Mar 13 2012 2:00pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Gathering Storm, Part 23

The Wheel of Time Reread on Tor.comFear not, citizens of WOT! It is I, Wheel of Time Re-read, here to rescue you from all that work you’re supposed to be doing!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 40 and 41 of The Gathering Storm, in which our Ooh-Ooh Girl gets her HULK SMASH on, and it is glorious.

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 40: The Tower Shakes

What Happens
Siuan awakes, convinced something is very wrong. Bryne is also awake, and Siuan tells him Egwene is in danger. Bryne starts dressing, and soon a soldier comes to report to Bryne that bursts of light and dark shadows in the air around the Tower have been spotted, that could be Shadowspawn. Bryne sends him to rouse the guard. Remembering Egwene’s prophecy, Siuan realizes it must be the Seanchan. Bryne is inclined to sit tight, but Siuan insists they must seize the opportunity to rescue Egwene. Bryne reminds her she gave her word, but Siuan replies that she knows what the Seanchan do to women who can channel, and will not be budged. He refuses to help her, and Siuan shoots back that she will go to someone who will.

Egwene and Nicola are thrown against the wall as the Tower shakes again, and Nicola wails that it is the Dark One. Egwene snaps at her to pull herself together, and hurries to a window, where she confirms that it is to’raken outside, flying with sul’dam-damane pairs aboard.

Portions of the Tower’s wings below were alight with flames, and to her horror, Egwene saw several gaping holes directly in the sides of the Tower. To’raken clutched the side of the Tower, climbing up like bats clinging to a wall, unloading soldiers and damane into the building. As Egwene watched, a to’raken leapt free of the side of the Tower, the height allowing it to forgo its normal running start. The creature wasn’t as graceful as one of the smaller raken, but its handler did a masterful job of directing it back into the air. The creature flew right by Egwene’s window, the wind of its passing blowing back her hair. Egwene faintly heard screaming as the to’raken swept past. Terrified screaming.

It wasn’t a full-scale attack—it was a raid! A raid to capture marath’damane!

The Tower shakes again, and Egwene fights against a wave of panic and despair as memories of her captivity threaten to overwhelm her.

She had to run! She had to hide, flee, escape...


She pushed herself upright.

No, she would not flee. She was Amyrlin.

The forkroot has worn off enough that Egwene can embrace the Source, but she can only channel a tiny trickle. She declares that they will fight, and Nicola sniffles that Egwene can barely channel. Egwene exhorts her to stand firm, and promises to protect her; Nicola takes heart and falls in. Egwene hurries toward where she thinks she hears faint screaming, and finds a group of over fifty novices huddled together, terrified. They all babble questions at her, and Egwene quickly and calmly explains what is happening, and assures them that she does not intend to let a single one of them be taken.

“Nicola, Jasmen, Yeteri, Inala,” Egwene said, naming off some of the more powerful of the novices. “Come forward. The rest of you pay close attention. I’m going to teach you something.”

“What, Mother?” one of the girls asked.

This had better work, Egwene thought. “I’m going to teach you how to link.”

There were gasps. This wasn’t a thing taught to novices, but Egwene would see that sul’dam did not find easy pickings in the novices’ quarters!

She is very worried by how long it takes to teach the girls the technique, but Nicola already knows the basics and is able to help her demonstrate. Soon she has a circle formed with Nicola, Yeteri and Inala. She weaves a gateway, warning the novices that they are under no circumstances to try the weave, and leaves them to practice forming circles while she and her circle go through to the storeroom where the Tower’s objects of Power are stored. She finds the rod the Aes Sedai had used to Heal Mat, and the novices gasp at the torrent of Power Egwene pulls through it.

Few women had ever held such power. It surged into Egwene, like a deep breath drawn in. It made her long to roar. She looked at the three novices, smiling broadly. “Now we’re ready,” she announced.

Let the sul’dam try and shield her while she was wielding one of the most powerful sa’angreal that the Aes Sedai possessed. The White Tower would not fall while she was Amyrlin! Not without a fight to rival the Last Battle itself.

Despite his words, Bryne has followed Siuan to Gawyn’s tent. Gawyn bursts out at her shout, asking if they are under attack. Siuan tells him no, but that Tar Valon might be.

“Egwene!” Gawyn cried, hurriedly doing the last loops on his belt. Light, but the boy was single-minded.

“Boy,” Siuan said, folding her arms. “I owe you a debt for getting me out of Tar Valon. Will you take my help getting you in to Tar Valon as repayment?”

“Gladly!” Gawyn said eagerly, sliding his sword in place. “Repayment and then some!”

She sends him ahead for horses, and wishes she had the strength to make a gateway. Bryne says this is madness, and wants to know how she expects to get into the city. Siuan tells him she’s going in the same way Shemerin got out. Bryne says she and Gawyn have no chance on their own, and he will not be party to Siuan breaking her oath again. Siuan temporizes that Egwene said they could rescue her if it looked like she was in danger of execution, and Siuan has decided this counts. Bryne deeply disapproves, and she dares him to stop her. Bryne curses, and abruptly tells her that he will come, but on two conditions: one is that she will bond him as her Warder. Siuan is shocked, then eager, but hesitates as she remembers the pain of losing Alric.

Did she dare pass the opportunity to have this man bonded to her, to feel his emotions, have him by her side? After all that she had dreamed and all that she had wished?

Feeling reverent, she stepped back up to Bryne, then laid a hand against his chest and wove the required weaves of Spirit and laid them over him. He breathed in sharply as new awareness blossomed inside of both of them, a new connection. She could feel his emotions, could sense his concern for her, which was shockingly powerful. It was ahead of his worry for Egwene and concern for his soldiers! Oh, Gareth, she thought, feeling herself smile at the sweetness of his love for her.

Bryne marvels at the strength and stamina he feels now, and Siuan rolls her eyes. Gawyn returns with a horse for himself, and Bela for Siuan, to her pleased surprise. She asks Bryne for the second condition, but he refuses to tell her until later. She warns him it had better not be “indecent”; Bryne senses through the bond that she kind of wishes it might be, to Siuan’s mortification and his amusement. He salutes her mock-solemnly and goes to gather men for the rescue attempt. Gawyn asks what’s going on, and Siuan tells him they’re not going in alone anymore.

“That means our chances of surviving long enough to take Egwene just improved. Which is fortunate, since after what we’re about to do, she’ll undoubtedly want the privilege of killing us personally.”

Adelorna Bastine runs through the Tower, bloodied and stricken, ashamed that the Greens have done such a poor job of defending themselves and the Tower; she had seen one sister captured with some kind of silver collar, and more killed. One of her Warders is dead and another is wounded, but she can’t reach him. She comes upon a party of invaders and runs the other way; she feels someone try to shield her and fail. She rounds a corner and almost falls out of a gaping hole in the side of the Tower. As she backtracks, another shield comes her way and cuts her off this time, and she struggles wildly as flows of Air pull her toward two pairs of women with a squad of soldiers. One of them clips a collar on her, and tells her she will be a good damane. Then the collar suddenly falls away, and the woman before Adelorna is consumed in fire. Chaos breaks out, the women in gray weaving fresh shields, but both their collars come off too, and the other women die in lightning and fire. The soldiers flee.

Adelorna turned hesitantly. A woman in white stood atop the rubble a short distance away, a massive halo of power surrounding her, her arm outstretched toward the fleeing soldiers, her eyes intense. The woman stood like vengeance itself, the power of saidar like a storm around her. The very air seemed alight, and her brown hair blew from the wind of the open gap in the wall beside them. Egwene al’Vere.

Egwene orders novices to help Adelorna up and collect the women in gray, who are oddly just kneeling there, and “put them with the others”. Egwene then pauses to blast two more flying creatures out of the sky, and Adelorna sees she is using Vora’s sa’angreal. She asks about captives on the creatures, and Egwene replies that they’re better off dead if they were there. Adelorna automatically tries to take command of the situation, and Egwene stops dead.

“I am in command until this threat passes. You will call me Mother. Give me penance later if you must, but for now my authority must be unquestioned. Is that clear?”

“Yes, Mother,” Adelorna found herself saying, shocked.

Egwene asks after her Warders, and is impressed that Adelorna is holding up so well after the death of one of them; Adelorna is surprised by the pride she feels at the praise. Upon discovering that Adelorna is well-acquainted with the Tower’s angreal stash, she opens a gateway to the storeroom. Adelorna stares, and comments that she’d thought Traveling was a rumor; Egwene tells her she’d never have shown it if she didn’t know Elaida was teaching it quietly. She adds that this is why it is so important to stop the Seanchan; they cannot risk letting any woman with Traveling fall into their hands. Adelorna thinks it over, and realizes that Egwene could have fled at any time.

Egwene turned back to her, looking through the portal. “Fled?” she asked. “If I left, it wouldn’t have been fleeing you, Adelorna, it would have been abandoning you. I am the Amyrlin Seat. My place is here. I’m certain you’ve heard that I Dreamed this very attack.”

Adelorna felt a chill. She had indeed.

“Come,” Egwene repeated. “We must be quick. This is just a raid; they’ll want to grab as many channelers as possible and be off with them. I intend to see that they lose more damane than they gain Aes Sedai.”


Chapter 41:  A Fount of Power

What Happens
Gawyn watches the Tower seem to burn as the party approaches the hidden access point in the wall, in a string of small boats. In the tunnel, Bryne comments from the boat ahead that it was probably designed for workers; Siuan replies she doesn’t care why it’s here, but she is embarrassed that she never knew it existed as Amyrlin. Bryne snorts and tells her one can never control absolutely everything.

Gawyn calmed himself, breathing steadily. At least he was finally doing something to help Egwene. It had taken far longer than he’d wanted. Light send that he was coming soon enough!

They come to a landing with steps up to the alley above, and tie up the boats. Once out, the soldiers start dressing themselves in Tower Guard uniforms. Siuan is indignant about this until Bryne points out that they’ll have much less trouble getting through if people see them as a company of Tower Guards with an Aes Sedai leading them. Siuan sniffs, but gives in. They travel swiftly through the city toward the Tower.

The billowing smoke reflected red firelight, enveloping the Tower in a menacing crimson haze. Holes and gashes broke the walls of the once-majestic building; fires blazed within several of them. Raken commanded the air, swooping and spinning about the Tower like gulls circling a dead whale in the waves. Screams and shouts permeated the air, and the thick, acrid smoke made Gawyn’s throat itch.

Resistance seems to be coming from two main points, one on the ground and the other halfway up the Tower; the rest of the grounds seem deserted. Gawyn asks what now, and Siuan replies they’ll start at the dungeon level below.

In a room on the ground floor, Saerin demands a report as the Tower shakes again. Moradri (Green) tells her there are at least forty-seven sisters of various Ajahs on the ground floor, fighting in small groups; no one has been able to find Elaida, nor any of the Green Sitters. Saerin supposes that leaves her in charge. Captain Chubain enters, and tells her that the Guard is “all but useless” in this kind of fight. Saerin replies that they must change tactics, and switch to crossbows, engaging from a distance rather than head-on; and they must form a center of operations and get everyone organized.

What she didn’t mention was how embarrassed she was. The Aes Sedai had spent centuries guiding kings and influencing wars, but now—with their sanctuary assaulted—they had proven woefully inadequate in defending it. Egwene was right, she thought. Not just in predicting this attack, but in berating us for being divided. Saerin didn’t need reports from Moradri or scouts to know that the Ajahs were each fighting this battle independently.

She sends Chubain to track down any Yellow or Brown sisters and bring them to her to set up a Healing center for the wounded. She is interrupted when four Red sisters including Katerine come storming in, Katerine shouting about the outrage and how dare they, and declaring that she is taking command. Saerin begs to differ, and says that Egwene al’Vere predicted this, and that therefore she was also right about what the Seanchan do with women who can channel.

“They have brought no ground force; it would be near impossible to march them this far through hostile territory anyway. That means this is a raid, intended to seize as many sisters as possible.

“The battle has already stretched long for a raid, perhaps because we’ve done such a poor job of resisting that they feel they can take their time. Either way, we need to form a unified front and hold our ground. Once the battle goes more roughly for them, they will withdraw.”

Another boom sounds, and Saerin realizes that it hadn’t made the Tower shake. A guard says he thinks it came from within the Tower, and Saerin grumps that at least someone is fighting back. Then there are more blasts, and raken screaming in pain; Chubain runs back in to report that there is a concerted defense going on at the twenty-second level, and the Seanchan are breaking off elsewhere to focus on it.

“The novices’ quarters?” Saerin said. That seemed even more ridiculous. “How in the world...” She trailed off, eyes widening slightly. “Egwene.”

Egwene sees Renna each time she strikes, feeling cold, controlled anger that her Dreaming was even worse than she had feared. She thinks she has taken out at least a dozen to’raken by now, and now the entire raid is focused on her. The novices are fending off attacks from the stairs while the soldiers on the to’raken and raken try to kill Egwene.

But she was a fount of Power, drawn from deep within the fluted rod in her hands, channeled through a group of novices and Accepted hiding in the room behind, bound to her in circle. Egwene was part of the fires that burned in the Tower, bloodying the sky with their flames, painting the air with their smoke. She almost seemed not a being of flesh, but one of pure Power, sending judgment to those who had dared bring war to the Tower itself. Blasts of lightning stormed from the sky, the clouds churning above. Fire sprouted from her hands.

[…] The White Tower, the sacred dwelling of the Aes Sedai, was under attack. They were all in danger, a danger greater than death. Those silvery collars were far worse. Egwene defended herself and each woman in the Tower.

She would make the Seanchan withdraw.

The Seanchan keep trying to shield her, but she is holding far too much power. She deflects each blast leveled at her. She had tried to bring down as many as she could, but she knows some to’raken have gotten away with captives. She vows, however, to make sure that this raid costs them far more than it gains them.

Gawyn shouts a warning, and Bryne barely dodges as a burning raken crashes to the ground, already dead before it hit. His men are fighting a squadron of Seanchan soldiers that have just emerged from the Tower, perhaps expecting to be picked up. They outnumber the Seanchan, but also have to deal with attacks from above. Bryne looks for Gawyn and sees him kill two men at once in one move. Gawyn points up, and Bryne trains his glass on a hole on the upper half of the Tower to see a woman in white standing there, face indistinct, doing massive damage to the Seanchan. He also sees, on the roof, captives being hauled away and feels sick. Gawyn says they have to get into the Tower, and Bryne realizes that Siuan is gone.

Byrne felt a spike of shock, followed by one of terror. Where was she? If that woman had gotten herself killed...

But no. He could sense her inside the Tower. She wasn’t hurt. This bond was such a wondrous thing, but he was too unaccustomed to it. He should have noticed that she was gone!

The Seanchan soldiers are breaking and running, and Bryne gives orders that those of their own men too badly wounded to walk should be left behind, to his regret. Siuan marches out of the Tower, towing a girl in white. Bryne demands to know where she went, and Siuan pulls him aside to inform him that that is not how a Warder speaks to his Aes Sedai. Bryne doesn’t care, and asks what would happen if she’d been recognized. Siuan snorts and says “Moiraine herself” wouldn’t recognize her with this face, and besides no one saw her except the novice, Hashala. Hashala tells them that she’s been in the kitchens the whole time, but she’d heard that Egwene had been released from the cells and sent back to the novices’ quarters, now on the twenty-second floor, and dosed with forkroot. Gawyn cries that they have to get to her, and Bryne tells him, obviously. Hashala declares she is loyal to the real Amyrlin, and wants to go with them to rescue her. Siuan agrees. One of the men comes to report to Bryne that three of the six men too badly wounded to walk will die within the hour. Siuan says she can Heal them; Bryne acquiesces, even though the fighting is dying down and their chances of getting through the Tower undetected are dwindling. As she works, Bryne surveys the wreckage and wonders if the Tower will ever be rebuilt, or if it had fallen that night. Then a shadow moves, and Bryne strikes without thought.

Siuan, shocked, looked up from the man she was Healing. Bryne’s sword extended directly over her shoulder and into the neck of a Seanchan soldier in pure black armor. The man silently dropped a wickedly barbed shortsword slathered with a viscous liquid. Twitching, he reached for Bryne’s sword, as if to push it free. His fingers gripped Bryne’s arm for a moment.

The man falls, and Bryne notes that he is not dressed like the others, and surmises he is an assassin. Siuan says that he saved her life, and that “the blasted girl was right.” Bryne asks who, and Siuan explains about Min’s viewing of them. Bryne points out that as her Warder, it’s not likely to be the last time he saves her, and wonders why it’s getting hot.

“Yes,” Siuan said, standing up. “But this is different. Min said I’d die, and... No, wait. That’s not what Min said exactly. She said that if I didn’t stay close to you, we’d both die.”

“What are you—” Bryne said, turning toward her.

“Hush!” Siuan said, taking his head in her hands.

She Heals him, and then pulls a tiny black pin from his arm where the assassin had attempted to poison him, and sets it on fire. She says Bryne will have to thank Min the next time he sees her. Bryne has some logic issues with the viewing but Siuan isn’t interested as long as they are both okay, and suggests they move on.

Exhausted, Egwene sits on a pile of rubble, watching as the fires below are put out. The Seanchan are gone, and Egwene had sent the sorely overtaxed novices to bed immediately. Egwene wants to help those helping the wounded, but she is so tired she can barely move.

She’d fought. She’d been glorious and destructive, the Amyrlin of judgment and fury, Green Ajah to the core. And still, the Tower had burned. And still, more to’raken had escaped than had fallen.

[…] The White Tower was broken, physically now as well as spiritually. They’d need a strong leader to rebuild. The next few days would be pivotal. It made her more than exhausted to consider the work she’d need to do.

She is vaguely aware of being picked up, and sees it is Gawyn carrying her, with Siuan, but she thinks she is dreaming at first. Then she tries to protest, but cannot speak. Gawyn is indignant that she was just left in the hallway. Egwene tries to explain she destroyed them, but can only mumble. She hears Siuan exclaim upon discovering that Egwene is still holding the sa’angreal, and tell Bryne that with this Siuan has the strength to make them a gateway out.

No! Egwene thought, clawing through her drowsiness, forcing her eyes open. I’m winning, don’t you see? If I offer leadership now, when the rubble is being cleared, they’ll see me as Amyrlin in for certain! I have to stay! I have to—

Gawyn carried her through the gateway, leaving the hallways of the White Tower behind.

Saerin sits wearily in her center of operations slash medical station, accepting reports of damage and casualties. Over twenty Aes Sedai are confirmed dead so far, and the room is filled with wounded. She is amazed to see that in Egwene’s group of sixty novices and forty sisters, only three novices and one sister had died.

Ten Seanchan channelers captured, over thirty raken blown from the air? Light! That made Saerin’s own efforts seem downright amateur by comparison. And this was the woman Elaida kept trying to insist was simply a novice?

Chubain brings her an Accepted named Mair, who tells Saerin she had been attending the Amyrlin that night when the wall burst in. She wails that she had been covered with rubble and could do nothing. Saerin stares, thinking the girl could not possibly be saying what she thought she was.

Elaida wakes, disoriented, and realizes she is tied to the back of some strange beast, high in the air. She reaches for saidar and feels agonizing pain, and finds the collar around her neck. A dark figure is next to her, and tells her she will forgive that mistake once, but she is not to reach for the Source again without permission. Elaida shouts for the woman to release her, and the pain returns tenfold; Elaida vomits over the side of the beast.

“Now, now,” the voice said, patient, like a woman speaking to a very young child. “You must learn. Your name is Suffa. And Suffa will be a good damane. Yes she will. A very, very good damane.”

Elaida screamed again, and this time, she didn’t stop when the pain came. She just kept screaming out into the uncaring night.

It’s a pretty reliable measure of how much I love a scene by how badly I want to see it on film. I would like to see this on film a really, really lot. Fo’ sho. With the sweeping aerial shots and the dramatic lighting and the bombastic music and the whole nine yards.

The visual imagery provided as fodder here is some of the best in the series, easily (in my opinion) equal to the amazingness of the descriptive passages in TGH at Falme, with the Heroes of the Horn. As usual, I have my doubts about the workability of adapting WOT to the screen as a whole, but this scene would unquestionably be completely awesome to watch, and we wantsss it, Precious, oh yess. (Fortunately, I note in a very loud whisper, we do at least have some awesome art of it! *points up*)

You can also tell my love by the over-quoting in the summary, of course. Which was just ridiculous in this case, but what can you do? There were all these juicy bits I didn’t want to squash! I HAD NO CHOICE, SHUT UP.

The drawback to trying to make commentary on a thoroughly awesome scene of Awesome, of course, especially when it is a fairly action-oriented bit, is that there is often not a whole lot you can say about it without ending up in an endless and rather pathetically unoriginal loop of variations on the theme of “Whoo! Yeah! Whoo! Yeah!” Which, that’s real nice and all, but it does get old, I feel.

So why don’t we just assume for form’s sake that you know that I know that you know that every last moment of Egwene’s on-screen time in these two chapters is drenched in absolute buckets of Yay, and I’ll move on to more specific points – and to some of the things in here which were perhaps not so much full of Yay.

Let’s start with Siuan and Bryne! Who are, almost in spite of themselves, kind of ridiculously adorable here. AND BONDED, FINALLY, THANK YOU. And knocked off a viewing while they were at it! Efficiency and romance, I love it. Though I also love how they still have not actually kissed yet, unless I really missed something. They are like the action version of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy: together, they fight evil! Really chastely. Heh.

“You’ll have to thank Min next time you see her, Bryne. She just saved both of our lives.”

“But I wouldn’t have been poisoned if I hadn’t come!”

“Don’t try to apply logic to a viewing or Foretelling like this,” Siuan said, grimacing. "You’re alive. I’m alive. I suggest we leave it at that.”

Heh. I think it’s rather a matter of personal opinion whether their argument over the paradoxical nature of Min’s viewing was – well, not whether it was lampshade-hanging (warning: timesuck link, no clicky), because it was definitely that, but whether it was annoying meta or amusing meta. I went with “amusing”, myself; it’s a bit dicey, what with how rarely lampshading is used in WOT, but I like a little bit of meta as long as it’s not egregiously fourth-wall-smashing, and in this case it’s pretty logical for at least one of the characters to be all “wait, but…” about it. But then, meta in WOT seems to really bug some people, so it’s probably down to personal opinion in the end.

Regardless, Siuan/Bryne for the win, hooray. (I really cannot seem to think of him as “Gareth” no matter what I do. Possibly because “Gareth” is like the epic fantasy equivalent of “John Smith”; every story out there has one, seems like.)

(Randomly: Bela! Yay! Even though I have no idea why they got horses when they were with a hundred presumably non-mounted soldiers and were all going to end up in boats anyway, but whatever. Bela! Yay!)

Gawyn: I’m sorry, but every time he opened his mouth in these two chapters, the only thing I could think of was Prince Edward in Enchanted shrieking “GISELLE!” And then getting clocked by a horde of bikers. This was fortunate, as it meant I spent my time giggling at him instead of wishing for him to spontaneously combust.

(I tried to find a clip of just Edward, but no dice. But that’s an awesome song anyway, watch the whole thing.)

I really don’t remember if I had this little patience with Gawyn the first time around, but right now I find him so very eye-roll-y it’s almost upsetting. Well, whatever; he gets to be awesome later, and there’s enough awesome going on around him that I could afford to be magnanimous and ignore him.

That said, there is one negative thing about these chapters that I was not able to ignore, in fact, and that was the disposition of Elaida.

Sorry, I know a lot of y’all were like SUFFA WILL BE A GOOD DAMANE AW YEAH, and I get that, but I have to say for my part I did not care for the entire business. Not that I don’t think there is a certain fittingness to her end (though it makes me a tad queasy to suppose there is anyone I could willingly abandon to such a terrible fate, even Elaida), but the way it happened really bugged me from a story structure standpoint.

For one, while I see the dramatic value in waiting to reveal her capture until the tail end of the scene, it also had the effect of being very abrupt, in a way that I found rather off-putting. Elaida’s been chugging along as a minor-to-middling-major antagonist since the very first book in the series, and then all of a sudden bang she’s disposed of in eight paragraphs, whoops the end. It was… jarring.

Not least because it was a blatant deus ex machina that blithely cut off at the knees every last bit of the political and personal power struggle between Elaida and Egwene that had been the crux of Egwene’s entire storyline in TGS, with what I found to be a somewhat shocking lack of grace. Like, that’s how you get rid of her? Without Egwene, the protagonist to her antagonist, even being involved? So then why did we even have that whole conversation with Meidani in the previous chapters about Elaida’s censure and shoring up of her support in the Hall and blah blah blah, if all of it was going to be rendered completely moot by Elaida pretty much literally dropping off the face of the planet as far as the Tower is concerned?

Enh. I dunno, I just found it a waste of her character and her storyline. As a fan I am totally thrilled she is gone, but as a critic I find the method by which we got rid of her to be dissatisfying and unnecessary.

And yes, in ToM we find out that Suffa The Good Damane is tortured into revealing Traveling to the Seanchan, oh noes, which could be presented as an argument for why her capture was necessary, but as Egwene herself mentions to Adelorna, Elaida had been spreading that knowledge around already anyway, so that plot point could totally have been handled by some other captured Aes Sedai. So, no, it didn’t have to be Elaida.

(Actually, it would have been much more fitting for it to have been Beonin, n’est-ce pas? Seeing as she was the one who spilled the beans to Elaida re: Traveling in the first place, it would have been a nice comeuppance for her traitorousness.)

*shrug* Well, whatever. There remains the possibility that Elaida still has some role to play in AMoL that will justify her disposition as a character, in which case I will cheerfully eat crow on the matter, but until then, blarg.

And as a matter of fact, the way Gawyn gets to be awesome in ToM was totally by way of making my original complaints that the Seanchan ninja assassins were “lame” here in this bit completely unfounded. So we can hope that I will be just as satisfyingly proved wrong on this topic as well. We Shall See!

But other than that, the battle was great. A Crowning Moment of Awesome for Egwene, no doubt, no contest. She came, she saw, she kicked ass. Whoo! Yeah! Whoo! Yeah!

And the fact that pretty much everyone but Egwene completely sucked at defending themselves was the greatest part, actually, as it totally vindicated everything Egwene has been saying all along about the crapfest that is the Tower at this point, and proves without doubt what an utter disaster of a leader Elaida was. (Which is another reason why I was annoyed she got carted off; she should have had that flung in her face, man, and been formally deposed and bitchslapped reviled! Agh.)

Anyway! I should think it goes without saying that as far as I am concerned, as a result of this chapter Egwene – always a favorite of mine – became one of the top three Most Awesome Characters in WOT. In fact, given how annoyed I was at Perrin and Mat at this point, and how Rand is currently severely harshing my mellow with his trip on the last train to Despairsville, I think it’s safe to say that as of this moment Egwene was my favorite character in WOT, period.

The only person who might beat her out for the top spot at this juncture, in fact, is Verin. And Egwene probably wins pride of place purely because for her the honor doesn’t have to be posthumous.

So, in conclusion, the Tower raid might not quite earn The Giant Sparkly Yay™, but the YAY these chapters do get certainly has a very lustrous shine. Well done.

And that is what that is, folks, and there’s more awesome ahead! Have a delightful week, and I’ll see you next time!

Charles McGhee
2. ManshimaAlantin
Two reason I see for disposing of Elaida in this manner:

a. Space - B.S. is trying to finish this series and writing a long, drawn-out sequence where she gets her comeupence might be more fulfilling, but would take several chapters to do right.
B. Plot twist - I like that the Egwene/Elaida conflict has been building, and then BOOM, cut off at the knees when she is captured.

And of course, karma being the cold creature it is, having Elaida suffer a fate similar to what she inflicted upon Rand is a special brand of poetic justice.
3. ftbleighjkjk
It was all sort of rushed for me, albeit a glorious sort of rushed that is - perhaps - endemic of the Sanderson style. We've got a lot to get through so bonding, viewing, battle, rescue, Elaida, pow! Bam!
But yes, a long time coming for the lot of it, so to say this segment (coming on the heels of the Verin bit without so much as a breather) had me racing through chapters to keep up with the plot development would not be an exaggeration.
Excellent as always, Leigh; I could have used a bit more ribbing on Gawyn, but I suppose he's far from done doing stupid, annoying, obnoxious things. I can wait.
Cameron Tucker
4. Loialson
"Whoo! Yeah! Whoo! Yeah!"


Leigh, I just love your commentary, totally brightens my week so much!

And the Edward getting clocked is at 2:38 people, on the Enchanted clip.
5. wcarter4
The thing is Galina had the same thing happen to her so Eliada's capture is not without precedent or every logical sense considering she is the one who moved the Amrylin's apartments to the uppermost floor in the tower (right next to where the Raken and To'Raken woud logically land by the way).
I also think that tidbit may have been direct from RJ's notes. We must remember he was a veteran who saw combat, and the sudden death or capture of extremely important individuals with next to no warning or fanfare is something he was intimitely familiar with.
Thomas Jeffries
6. thomstel
If you are a fast reader, pop on some Knights of Cydonia and read the battle summaries again, especially the quotes. Nice recap Leigh, as always!
7. Rancho Unicorno
I'll read the post in a minute. First, I want to complain about the switch from the original cover artwork to the ebook artwork. Why?

And don't tell me that it was answered in the post. Well, if it was, no big deal, I'm still complaining.
8. SolarSoul25
I agree with most of your points here (as I usually do). Egwene really fulfilled her role in the series at this moment, and despite whatever involvement she has in the final book I think this will be remembered as her most important scene (i.e. the unification of the Tower).

Also, while Gawn is not a favorite of mine by any stretch I do not find his actions to be quite as annoying as you do. Basically, he is a guy that is in love with a girl who is also "in love" with him as far as he knows, and so he feels that urge to protect her and be all manly. Problem is she is infintely more powerful and capable of protecting herself than he could ever dream of, even in her situation within the Tower. So his attempts come across as obnoxious and ill-timed, even though he is doing what he thinks he needs to do to help. It's like being the normal sidekick to a superhero. When the crap hits the fan, you want to help any way you can, but compared to what they are capable of what can you possibly do?
Evan Langlinais
9. Skwid
I've been waiting for this post since we got to this book in the re-read. It does not disappoint. Full of Yay!
ana liese
10. analiese
And the fact that pretty much everyone but Egwene completely sucked at defending themselves was the greatest part, actually, as it totally vindicated everything Egwene has been saying all along about the crapfest that is the Tower at this point, and proves without doubt what an utter disaster of a leader Elaida was.

Unfortunately, it reminded me of this article from TV Tropes:
God Mode Sue exists purely to show up how pathetically weak the rest of the world is, and how badly they need his or her help. If there's anybody else that is even capable of standing up for themselves, they may lose their abilities for some reason when the character comes into the equation, or become incompetent boobs, or both. They'll probably get captured or find something that they just can't handle. Then the God Mode Sue shows up, saves the day on his or her own at least twice as easily as they usually do when working as a team, and doesn't get his or her ass kicked at all. Then he or she stands around and wallows in their praise a bit.
I wish I could like Egwene's storyline given how much space has been devoted to it in recent volumes, but she came off as too much of a Mary Sue in this scene and many others (giving sage advice to elderly Aes Sedai about aging Warders, etc), so I found myself not caring very much when she achieved her inevitable victory.
Mark Locy
11. Tathas
Egwene Awesome Status: Totes

Siuan and Bryne Status: Bonded at long freaking last. Also, Mr. Darcy and Ms. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Elaida: Ok, let me play Devil's Advocate for a moment. Yes, it would have been cooler if Elaida and Egwene had some form of final confrontation where Elaida was laid low and realized everything she'd done was wrong and she was forced to beg mercy from Egwene, who would have offered it. But, in essence, this same thing happened. Elaida ignored Egwene's prophecy to her own peril. Not only did the Seanchan attack, but they captured her. Not only did they capture Elaida, but the true Amyrlin unified the Aes Sedai front and pushed the Seanchan back.

Elaida is brought low, lower than she would be even if Egwene had deposed her. Because Egwene would have sent her into exile, probably. Maybe stilled her. Maybe. Even more remotely would be the possibility of execution. In this way, Elaida is suffering a fate worse than death, slavery to the Seanchan. Fitting because she was warned. Fitting because she deserves worse than Egwene would have given her. Fitting because she was brought low at the same time Egwene was elevated to Amyrlin status among the tower Aes Sedai. Fitting because her punishment will be as ruthless as she was.

Still, and this goes for Galina as well, I hate the idea of slavery. I want those women punished. But I don't want them forever enslaved. I hope, not so secretly, now, that they are somehow rescued from their fates. Perhaps stilled, certainly punished, but not trapped forever without free will.
12. SavageDave
Well done!
Karen Fox
13. thepupxpert
I'm in the opposite group on the dispensing of Elaida, I thought the abruptness and location of the scene at the end of the chapter really paid off. We have an amazing amount of previous detail of the Seanchan collaring channelers that led up to this scene and it would have been unnecessary to rehash it. The fact that I could see it all in my mind made it all the more chilling for me.

Just reading the review and Leigh's recap of Egwene's MOA gave me goose bumps. I could be working but heh... I'm not!
Ron Garrison
14. Man-0-Manetheran
So cool that you used the eCover for these re-read chapters that depicts Egwene's MOA HULK SMASH!!!
F Shelley
15. FSS
what's interesting to me about people's hate for Gawyn (and I count myself among them!) is how much he and Egwene are so much alike - they just jump right into situations and assume they're right. The difference is, Egwene's been let into the higher echelons of command for no apparent reason (the Pattern!) and Gawyn hasn't.
16. JeffS.
Posting in red as I'm on a break at work.

Egwene was so massively awesome here that I have goosebumps. She "IS" the Amyrlin Seat down to her toes.

When I first read this I was kind of hoping that Elaida would figure it out when she awoke aboard the Toraken and just fling herself over the side, taking the Suldam with her. I would have accepted her making the supreme sacrifice to keep the Seanchen from gaining her knowlege and taking a slaver with her.

No such luck but that scenario would have satisfied me and redeemed her stupid ways a little.

I am only an egg
Paul Long
17. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
18. Hammerlock
Elaida's capture and downfall may have been sudden, but all the buildup to the Egwene/Elaida showdown pretty clearly illustrated that everyone was getting fed up with Elaida and she was headed for a fall. Plus, as was mentioned her living right next to the raken landing pad made her capture an inevitability during a raid.

So the combination of the raid being built up over the last 1-1.5 books and the support falling out for Elaida's reign means this was a pretty soundly telegraphed plot twist. Moreover, it was actually a boon for Egwene, as deposing a sitting amyrlin is a politically dicey business even if no one likes her--you'll get grumbling on either side no matter what recompense you offer.

Now, all she has to do is be "Steadfast Hero Chick" and "Decisive Moral Compass" and everyone else will fall in line to her incumbency.
Sanctume Spiritstone
19. Sanctume
Here's an idea, how about Team Jordan have a writing contest to describe the scene for when Elaida got captured, and maybe how far she fought, and how much she resisted torture before spilling the Traveling weave.

Agree, Yay Bela! Do you think Bela will have a cameo in the Last Battle?
Anthony Pero
20. anthonypero
Guess what Rancho... It's explained in the post.

Favorite sequence in the series. Other than Dumai's Well. All that's lacking is the take a way line. "Kneel, or you will be knelt."
21. azuarc
I agree that Elaida's sudden disappearance is anti-climactic after a fashion, but there are a few important other developments that mandate Elaida being in absentia.

Events take place in the rebel camp once Egwene is abducted that are significant. However, at the same time, Egwene is not in the tower. If Elaida were there, maybe Saerin or somebody else would call her out, but maybe Elaida would simply reassert herself.

Secondly, Egwene's whole mantra is that the tower must be united. Ironic for the leader of a rebellion, but everything she has done since arriving inside the tower has been an effort to unite the tower. If there were a battle in the Hall over Elaida's leadership, while others were trying to use ancient law to call down Egwene, it would only serve to divide the tower further. The vacuum of leadership (on Elaida's part) is actually necessary for Egwene to assume the mantle there.

The part that I find tragic is that Egwene gets hauled off by the Midnight Rescue Squad. I would prefer they didn't, and let Saerin and her crew sing Egwene's praises while she's still there so Egwene can give some badass monologues and quip against Elaida, but the fact that they see her greatness even with her missing somewhat makes her coup de t'at (or however you spell that) that much more rewarding.
Ron Garrison
22. Man-0-Manetheran
GASP! Siuan called Gawyn “boy.” OMG! And yet she treats him like a man! Who wrote this?

Sorry, just had to toss that one in...

What I love so much about the battle for the Tower is the way RJ/BWS turn things topsy-turvy. The “lowly” novices and Accepted are key to repulsing the Seanchan; the Green battle ajah is woefully disorganized and inept. We could have guessed that about the Greens, but the novice action was totally unexpected.

Elaida’s demise: Well, honestly wouldn’t a throwdown between Egwene and Elaida been a bit of a low glow moment in the midst of all this action? We knew Egwene had to triumph over her at some point, so I’m good with the way it happened. In fact, I’m sure I did a fist-pump and a shout out.

Another thing I like about the writing of these chapters is while we have all this awesome action with Egwene, we also have the “meanwhile” action of Siuan/Byrne/Gawyn/bloodknives. Chock full of action, and so welcome after so many books of slow development. And yes, it is very cinematic.

...all this and Bela too!
Eric Hughes
23. CireNaes
I like the ebook cover, but I still wish the artist had done a wide establishing shot of the tower burning with a hole in the side and a very small female figure in white torching various to/raken that are circling Rand Land's greatest symbol of power. The scope of Egwene's activity is missing a little with the current depiction.

And I thought that a few of the Aes Sedai did a commendable job considering the nature of the attack combined with the currnent disharmony in the tower. Egwene's weakened state likely contributed to the quality of her tactical thinking. Not that she wouldn't have done well anyway, but I wonder if her defense would have been as effective if she had not been constrained by forkroot.
TW Grace
24. TWGrace
She asks about captives on the creatures, and Egwene replies that they’re better off dead if they were there.
So if Rand killing irreversibly mind-reamed automatons makes him borderline sociopathic...I wonder what killing allies to keep them from being taken prisoner makes Egwene...
25. SomeoneElse
"Elaida had been spreading that knowledge around already anyway, so that plot point could totally have been handled by some other captured Aes Sedai. So, no, it didn’t have to be Elaida."

From my understanding, didn't Elaida extract promises from sisters that she taught traveling to? (who, unless black of course, cannot lie and thus must keep this promise regardless of seanchan torture) Of course, some of the captured sisters might very well be black ,and Elaida might very well have taught them traveling, but my point is that not just "anyone" could have filled her role.

As for this:

"(Randomly: Bela! Yay! Even though I have no idea why they got horses when they were with a hundred presumably non-mounted soldiers and were all going to end up in boats anyway, but whatever. Bela! Yay!)"

Gawyn went to get horses before Bryne and his men decided to go with them. So I guess that when Bela and Gawyn's horse was already there it made little sense to spend time shipping them off again. At least that's what I'm thinking.

Still, great re-read as always!
Sara H
26. LadyBelaine
--short response

as happy as I was to see Elaida removed, this whole "take powerful women leaders and send them into a bondage" is a really old and borderline sexist narrative tic in this series.

It has happened to "villainesses" Elaida, Sevanna, Liandrin and Galina, it has happened to our heroines Egwene, Morgase, even Amathera, as well as to some extent Siuan and Leane, and Faile. Even Toveine and her misguided sortie into the Black Tower are reduced to doing laundry and menial chores around the house.

Hell, the whole way that Rand was allowed to abuse his "paroled" Aes Sedai prisoners was a problem.

In any event, the final coup de grace against Elaida was amazingly unsatisfying: this woman was among the most powerful in the sisterhood - the Seanchan couldn't have taken her down swinging, zorching a few sul'dam on her way out? Nope, she gets the ignominious fate of being taken and turned into a drone while she was sleeping.... No final confrontation by Egwene, no shaming and unchairing by the united sisterhood, not even a vainglorious death - this is a cheat, a cheat, I say, and it makes the whole success and elevation of Egwene a little tarnished.


- more later. I am at work ;)
Rob Munnelly
27. RobMRobM
Leigh - Elaida was building the ridiculous new tower for her home, as of a couple of books ago. Of course she was going to be one of the first ones plucked by the raken and rollin Seanchan. Poetic justice and irony all in one. Makes all sorts of sense.

28. zackattack
One thing that raised my eyebrow in this chapter was Eg’s thinking about whether or not she was violating the oath against not using the OP as a weapon. I get that she’s rationalizing it as saving them from a fate worse than death, but the oath says “the last defense of my life, the life of my warder or another sister.” (Or something very close to that.) It doesn’t say anything about mercy kills, which is what this was. Although I think she made the right choice, this seems to be VERY shaky ground ethically and also pretty clearly violates the three oaths IMHO.
Nadine L.
29. travyl
Leigh, I don't think the whole build-up scenes in the previous chapters (Egwene talking to Meidani and the red sisters to stop Eladia) were moot because of Elaidas capture. He actions showed to the Tower Aes Sedai, that Egwene was a valid choice for the position of Amyrlin, which will be reeeaaallly important in the following chapters, when Egwene intends to attack the Tower.
30. AndrewB

Let me echo Man-O-Manetheran's sentiments above (@14). I think it was great idea to use the ebook cover for this part of the re-read.

Quick question to everybody: When did Egwene learn to link? I do not recall a scene where she learned to link. I know that the SaS' plan if a Forsaken attacked was to form circle with Sisters, Accepted and Novices. The one time this was put into action on screen (in LoC, I think), Egwene was not yet with the SaS.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Paul Long
31. Caveatar

I can't say for sure but I believe the capture and leashing by the
Seanchan showed her how. How is that for Justice?
The poetic vibes go on and on.

32. ryamano
Was this attack and the fact that it led to the raising of Egwene as amyrlin of both factions of Aes Sedai the fullfiling of Egwene's dream-prophecy in CoT chapter 20?

In this dream, Egwene was walking on the ledge of a cliff. (trying to unite both factions of Aes Sedai is compared to climbing a mountain in those circunstances).

The ledge collapses and Egwene is left hanging by her fingertips (Egwene is captured and made a novice again. She fights a good battle, but it'll take a lot for her to be actually raised Amyrlin, considering Tower law and custom. It would be really weird for, with no Seanchan attack, the Hall of the Tower to propose Egwene as Amyrlin while Elaida still was acting as one, for example.)

A Seanchan woman climbs down the cliff and offers to help, saying it's easier to reach the top with her help (this would be Tuon. Her pre-emptive attack resolved the White Tower schism, by taking away one contender. Egwene basically wins by default).
33. alreadymadwithtower
The Wheel turns. That's what the story is about. So those who dish out abuse.... Get it in return.

But yes. This section is one of the more climactic battles in the story. Next to Dumai's Wells.
Paul Long
35. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
Ryan Reich
36. ryanreich
When you consider the long progression leading to it, Elaida's fall is quite reasonable narratively. She has been on a downward slide towards irrelevance for ages: first Padan Fain gets to her and she changes from harsh but human to villainous; then, Alviarin gets to her and she becomes even harsher, but it becomes an expression of Alviarin's power rather than her own megalomania. After she deposes Alviarin, she tries to fill the perceived vacuum of strong leadership by doing exactly the same things Alviarin did. This is where Egwene enters, at which point the political structure of the Tower is so thoroughly degraded that the contest between Amyrlins turns out to be a personal contest between women, and so Elaida's unpleasant character is revealed to be grand pettiness.

The whole political plotline since Egwene's capture has been to build Egwene up and to reveal to the Tower (in particular the Ajah heads, as we will soon see) both Egwene's fitness and the unfitness of the rest of the Tower politicians. Elaida's own character is largely irrelevant, as the censure revealed: she was on the way out anyway. The Ajah heads' conversation confirms that they were going behind her back all the time. Egwene already personally confronted and defeated Elaida during the dinner with Meidani, and her campaign resulted in her political defeat as well. Having her go out in anything like a blaze of glory would have been the true reversal of the trend, since after ten books of decline, Elaida basically had nothing left other than her own arrogance, and that was what the Seanchan took from her.
Tricia Irish
38. Tektonica
Great chapter! Thanks for all the yaying, Leigh.

As for Elaida....I liked that she was taken off screen, so the scene was just about Egwene's Awesomeness. I have a feeling Elaida may get some more screen time in the last book, as well as her "traitorous Traveling" bit in ToM. There may be either a redemption scene for her, or a chance for Egwene to formally chastise/or pardon her. I just don't think it's completely over between those two. It wasn't resolved, after quite a bit of tension between them.

Yay for Byrne and Siuan too!

She asks about captives on the creatures, and Egwene replies that they’re better off dead if they were there.
So if Rand killing irreversibly mind-reamed automatons makes him borderline sociopathic...I wonder what killing allies to keep them from being taken prisoner makes Egwene...

A very very good point. Let the debate begin! I think this is a very apt comparison. Personally, I think both Rand and Egwene have good reasons for what they did. It is War, after all. But I'm sure there will be much disagreement.
Roger Powell
39. forkroot
Leigh - Props to you for summarizing both chapters and then commenting. They are really linked and it worked much better.

I think Chapter 41's title is a missed opportunity. A much better title would have been: "Egwene opens a BIG can of Whoop-Ass!"

Regarding Suffa ... err Elaida. Eight paragraphs were a lot more than Aram got or Nicola got (admittedly they were more minor characters.) As you point out, Suffa will get more screen time in ToM and it's not beyond the
realm of possibility that she could be rescued in AMoL.

As for short-circuiting the struggle between Egwene and Elaida - um yeah, hooray! I like the idea of unexpected twists and foreshadowed stuff not happening. Fantasy, as a genre, suffers from too much predictability. You can fix that like GRRM (bump off favored characters) or you fix that like RJ/BWS did here.

She asks about captives on the creatures, and Egwene replies that they’re better off dead if they were there.
So if Rand killing irreversibly mind-reamed automatons makes him borderline sociopathic...I wonder what killing allies to keep them from being taken prisoner makes Egwene...
A fair question. I can point out two things in Egwene's defense:
The first thing is that she probably didn't kill very many Aes Sedai (if at all.) From what we learn later, the captured Aes Sedai were being mustered on the roof, then placed on outbound to'raken. It's pretty clear that once they had prisoners, they would not be participating in the assault. So unless Egwene happened to see a departing to'raken and was able to blast it, she would not have killed any Aes Sedai.

The second point I would make is that this is a war scene and Egwene is targeting the enemy, aware of the possibility of innocents being hurt. But the fight was brought to her. Rand's attack on Natrim's Barrow was of his time and choosing.

And now to my major problem with the whole battle - there is an enormous plot hole that detracts substantially from the whole scene. How the heck was Egwene able to get Vora's sa'angreal? No alarms, no wards? C'mon....

From the prologue to LOC:
Their eyes all went to Mesaana, and she drew a deep breath. Any of them would have given - well almost anything for a suitable angreal or sa'angreal... ...Automatically Mesaana dropped into a lecturing tone. "The White Tower now has guards and wards on their strongrooms, inside and out, plus they count everything four times each day.
I will concede that the guards might have run off to join the battle, but if one of the Forsaken felt it was impossible to gateway in and grab an angreal that she really coveted, then having Egwene just pop in and take it off the shelf is a plot botch.

EDIT: I've removed my response to a comment @34 that tnh has wisely removed. Later a technical correction to to'raken for the prisoners.
41. Hammerlock
Good point re the storeroom wards. However, consider that they'd have been done with "obsolete" thinking: gateways were not accounted for, the thief would have to exit through the door and the rest of the tower, and alarms would break the relative tranquility and call AS to the location. Also, you'd want to keep any interior wards simple to facilitate use of the room--having to undo wards every step or every time you wanted to examine an object to see if it was what you wanted would be cumbersome at best. That said, you'd think they'd have extra protection on the sa'angreal.

So the ward design was probably mostly alerts on the inside with immobilizing wards by the doors. By gating in, Egwene probably just set off some alarms that would hardly be noticed in the din of an attack literally shaking the tower, punctuated by fire and death. Anything else can be hand-waved as her seeing additional wards and undoing them (since the Tower AS don't know weave inversion).
Karen Fox
42. thepupxpert
@39 forkroot - re gating into get the sa'angreal, is it possible that the tower was still protected from gating in from outside (a la Hogwarts) but you could gateway in if you were already inside? Also by this time so many things were not working (i.e. rats in the tower) it wouldn't surprise me that none of the wards were working.
ana liese
43. analiese
Forkroot @ 39

I can point out two things in Egwene's defense: The first thing is that she probably didn't kill very many Aes Sedai (if at all.) From what we learn later, the captured Aes Sedai were being mustered on the roof, then placed on outbound raken. It's pretty clear that once they had prisoners, they would not be participating in the assault. So unless Egwene happened to see a departing raken and was able to blast it, she would not have killed any Aes Sedai.

Except the text makes clear that she did:
Some beasts had flown away into the night, bearing captives. Egwene had felled the ones she could, but there had been so many to'raken in this raid. Some would escape.
Brandon also discussed it in response to fan questions on Twitter.
YONIYO: Did you consult Maria before deciding Egwene shall attempt to fall fleeing raken? Would she be able to do so Bounded?
BRANDON: I'm a little confused at what you're asking. Do you mean "Fell?" And what do you mean by Bounded?
YONIYO: Sorry. There has been some discussion around the Third Oath and Egwene attacking retreating raken... I was asking if you think she could have done the same now, after taking the Oaths (and whether you asked Maria to weigh in).
BRANDON: We did talk about this. I think it's iffy. Depends on Egwene's mindset. I don't think most Aes Sedai could have done it. In fact, it's good her circles was with those who hadn't taken the Oaths yet...
LUCKERS: I think Yoniy0 meant 'would Egwene be able to kill (fell) fleeing to'raken were she bound by the Oaths?'
BRANDON: I don't know that she would have been able to. Depends. The Oaths depend on how you view what you're doing.
44. Hammerlock
Re: mesaana's reluctance: she see's herself as safely tucked into the WT and if she reeeally wanted one, she could take one, but it would cause a stir that might make her day-to-day life uncomfy.
Plus, she was probably embellishing a bit to discourage OTHER Chosen from just gating in and looting the place--she doesn't want them to get an advantage, after all!
Roger Powell
45. forkroot
I've tried some hand-waving like that. I guess my first concern would be that if the TAS had not accounted for gateways, Mesaana would have had the sa'angreal a long time ago. Even if it had triggered an alarm, she could easily have just exited via the gateway.

Bottom line: It's hard to figure out something that would prevent a very motivated Forsaken from taking the sa'angreal but wouldn't bother Egwene in the slightest.

I think this is just one of those things that got overlooked in the rush to publication (like the horses for Joline's warders, etc.) If anything, it supports the idea of pushing back AMoL to accommodate more review cycles to catch these sorts of things.
Karen Fox
46. thepupxpert
@43 analiese - I think from a timeline perspective, Egwene had not taken the Oaths at this point, so she could "interpret" them without any physical ramifications. I would think that once she was actually bound by the Oaths, that her perspective would be altered.
Tricia Irish
47. Tektonica
Egwene had not taken the oaths as of the battle. And the text did say she felled as many fleeing Raken as she could. To save the AS from a fate worse than death? To prevent the Seanchan from getting AS secrets? (Traveling, etc.) For either reason, she killed Tower AS.

Yes, this was an direct attack, and Rand was not under attack when he blasted Natrims Barrow. However, he is at War....with the Forsaken, and the DO, and all his minions. I believe his view was that Graendal had caused the (brain) deaths of all those with her, and would, without compunction, kill anyone who opposed her. She had to go, and to kill the brain dead minions was a mercy.Egwene thought she was performing a mercy as well, having been a captive of the Seanchan. Difference? Not much.

I feel we are being unduly influenced by the fact that Egwene was winning a big moral battle against Elaida's rule, while Rand is in his Very Dark Place. It's easy to root for Egwene, and very hard to stomach much of Rand at this point, but I think the similarities of motivation are very close.
48. Black Guy
Is 'Suffa' ebonics for 'Suffer'? Because if so, that is a really awesome Seanchan name for a damane. It's extra funny because the Seanchan are black.
Roger Powell
49. forkroot
Black Guy@48
Actually, the Seanchan are multi-ethnic (it is, after, a pretty big continent.) As for puns, ethnic or otherwise, RJ did not like them and I doubt he (or BWS) would go that way.

Sorry I don't have the reference, but I think he was on record as pointing out that we're reading the English translation of WOT speech, thus puns wouldn't work. (And before anyone else jumps on me, I'm aware that he broke his own rule with Min's Toh-toe pun.)
Sanctume Spiritstone
50. Sanctume
Re: Egwene vs Rand attack.

They are both attacks with collateral damage. I think the main difference is the reader's perspective in the context where Rand seemingly losing his sanity, while Egwene is put in a direct context of self defense from attack.

Re: wards on the 'ngreals.

Rand can put lethal wards on his few items, because he did not say the oaths?

Can SA make wards against DF while it being safe for non-DFs?
Kimani Rogers
51. KiManiak
Thanks, Leigh.

First, I’ve got to commend you on your choice of TGS cover to display today. So applicable!

Also, I liked that you didn’t take each chapter separately; one BIG comment section on both chapters.

I love the last 2 chapters and these 2 chapters. They definitely have to be among my favorites to read in TGS.

Adelorna: I want to like her, and here she is… pretty okay to read. She understands the better part of valor (run girl, run!) when necessary, she compartmentalizes the emotional shock of losing her warder instead of succumbing (and get’s major respect from Egwene and us), she sets her pride aside and defers to Egwene because she knows it’s the wise thing to do. If you ignore her and the other Ajah’s initial desire to repeat past mistakes in the next couple of chapters, then she actually looks pretty good in this book.

Saerin: Incredibly capable. Assesses the situation, deduces the enemies plan and the best way for the Tower to counter it, puts Katerine in her place, adequately utilizes resources. I actually think she would have made a good Amyrlin, if there wasn’t another candidate.

Katerine: Almost cartoonishly evil, ambitious and stupid. You’re under a massive attack, many of your sisters are dead, and your main desire is to take charge and still sow discord amongst the Lightsiders, before assuring yourself that you actually will survive the battle?

Siuan: I don’t have any major problems with what she was doing here. I don’t think she deserved the tongue lashing she gets later, either. The Tower was under attack by Seanchan. There were no guarantees that Egwene would survive or not be captured. If that happened, then what?

Gareth Bryne: Did very good here. I’m glad that he and Siuan finally did the deed (got Bonded is what I mean; get your mind out of the gutter). Dude is loyal, thoughtful and wise. Oh, and even with the spanking, I agree that he and Siuan had one of the most chaste courtships we’ve seen.

Gawyn: Funny, I often envision Gawyn as similar to Cyclops in the 90’s version of the X-men cartoon, when he was so lame and was good for at least one “Jean!” in every episode. It was kind of a running joke how pathetic he would come across sometimes.

Egwene: Was phenomenal. Simply phenomenal. She (logically) has fear and doubts initially; she thinks about fleeing. But she did a good job of embodying what real courage is about; overcoming your fears. She made excellent use of what she had (brilliant idea to teach the novices to link, raid the Tower storeroom, and pull people together in the defense of the Tower). She fought, and fought brilliantly. She was determined to make the Seanchan pay for the raid. She gave of herself even until exhaustion. Only good things to say about Egwene here. You go, Egwene!

Leigh, as to your point about Elaida: I had no problems with the way this was done. Actually, Elaida’s lack of participation in the battle was obvious (at least one character mentions her in the chapter), so the reader speculates right away about what happened to her (or at least, I did). At the end, we’re rewarded with the information.

Oh, and RJ has been setting this up since Elaida decided to relocate to the top of the Tower a few books ago. Of course the logical place for the raken to land would be the top of the Tower.

All in all, a very good, very satisfying reading experience. Now, I’ve got to see what my fellow commenters said…
52. Jshep12
So, we have 9 chapters left in TGS and an epilouge. In ToM we have a prolouge, 57 chapters, and an epilouge. If Leigh does 2 chapters each week and one for each epilouge and prologue, that means we need 27 weeks of rereads to get this in before the next book comes out. With 11 weeks gone in 2012, that means we have 41 left. So, it looks like we'll get there. I must say, leigh, you are simply the best!
Paul Long
53. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
Jonah Feldman
54. relogical
Is it possible that Mesaana kept the other Chosen from raiding the storerooms using gateways? She figured she didn't need to take them herself since she ran the BA, and so she just put her own wards to alert her if someone else tried to steal them through Traveling. But when Egwene did it, the Tower was too chaotic for Mesaana to respond, so she got away with it.
55. Black Guy

56. Black Guy

Please name one Seanchan that is not black =)
Paul Long
57. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
Thomas Keith
58. insectoid
Hey, you switched the cover art for the occasion. Nice thinking, Leigh! Great post as always. And as with last week, it is a Post of AWESOME.

EGWENE: Is totally, undeniably AWESOME. Let me count the ways:
-Takes charge of the novices and Accepted;
-Sneaks into the storeroom for a sa'angreal;
-Blasts Seanchan and raken to kingdom come better than any Green could.
The "Amyrlin of judgement and fury" and Green, indeed!

Siuan + Bryne: Awwwww.

Adelorna: Not as cool as Egwene.

Gawyn: Is still an idiot. The End!

Elaida/Suffa: At first read I was like "HELLS, YES", only to belatedly realize, "Oh crap, she has Traveling. She could give them Traveling!" Man, I hate being right all the time...

And yes, it would have been cooler if Egwene or Siuan had instead punched Elaida's lights out. Possible AMoL scenario: Capture her back from the Seanchan in the next attack on the Tower, and THEN punch her lights out. That would make me do a happy dance.
...every last moment of Egwene’s on-screen time in these two chapters is drenched in absolute buckets of Yay...

Cav @17: "Theater of the mind", yeah, I couldn't have said it better.

RobM² @27: Good point about Elaida's "palace"!

Fork @39:
"Egwene opens a BIG can of Whoop-Ass!"

Ki @51:
Katerine: Almost cartoonishly evil, ambitious and stupid.
No kidding.

59. Black Guy


Mat Cauthon is not a Seanchan native. Nice try.
Paul Long
60. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
61. alreadymadwithseanchan
A native is what the Empress may she live forever says a native is.
62. al'Kohol
Black Guy,

Egeanin isn't black. And I believe the Seeker she deals with is blond-haired and blue-eyed. I think it's pretty clear that the Seanchan are, indeed, multi-racial. As others have said, it's a big continent. I suspect this is to reinforce the Seanchan's duality; they are in some ways horribly repressive, and yet in other ways far more advanced/enlightened than Randland proper.

Not to beat a dead horse, but, eh. These chapters were indeed awesome, but the Egwene character still leaves me wanting. Has she ever had any sort of come-uppance? It just feels like she is always right. Her character gets into bad spots, but only as a victim. None of her difficulties ever arise from her character. Contrast this to almost anyone else in the series. Even CADSUANE(!) has caused problems, re: Tam and Rand. We could go on for ages about the blundering of Emo Perrin. Likewise Crazy/Dark Rand. But Egwene is just... always right. Her internal conflict is basically, "How can I get more awesome, and get these people to listen to my awesomeness?"

I will consider that her time with the Wise Ones was her character development. But in the context of her story arc, I just see it as Aweomeness Training, or Badass Academy, or some such.
j p
63. sps49
Egeanin is described as very fair with dark hair and blue eyes, and she came from Seanchan itself.

Collateral damage- nobody wants to, but if your enemies are going to put their headquarters under a hospital or use POWs as shields, one must choose whether and/ or how to oppose those enemies.

These are some very cool chapters; this book is rolling now!
Paul Long
64. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
ana liese
65. analiese
Tektonica @ 47

I believe his view was that Graendal had caused the (brain) deaths of
all those with her, and would, without compunction, kill anyone who
opposed her. She had to go, and to kill the brain dead minions was a
mercy. Egwene thought she was performing a mercy as well, having been a captive of the Seanchan. Difference? Not much.

In both cases, there was still a chance of rescuing the victims. As long as just one of the captive Aes Sedai had a Warder left behind, the Tower could have located them fairly easily and attempted to rescue them. If they had acted soon enough, they could even have prevented Elaida from giving Traveling to the Seanchan. It did take a few weeks before she broke down and showed them Traveling.

I feel we are being unduly influenced by the fact that Egwene was
winning a big moral battle against Elaida's rule, while Rand is in his
Very Dark Place. It's easy to root for Egwene, and very hard to stomach much of Rand at this point, but I think the similarities of motivation are very close.

No one ever questions the morality of Egwene's actions (another reason why I feel she's turned into a Mary Sue in later books). Those Aes Sedai she blackmailed into swearing fealty? Somehow, that never came up even when she railed at Elaida for considering a fourth Oath or when she condemned Rand for his sworn sisters. Sheriam had the perfect opportunity to cause trouble for Egwene by revealing this before her execution, but still failed to mention that despite confessing just about everything else. Whatever she does, Egwene gets off scot-free, every single time. In ToM, it even ended with Gawyn apologizing to Egwene instead of the other way around.
Roger Powell
66. forkroot
Black Guy@56
Please name one Seanchan that is not black =)
Others beat me to it on Egeanin and the Seeker. I'll also mention Seta (one of the sul'dam that Mat takes with him from Ebou Dar.) She is described as being pale with yellow hair.
Alice Arneson
67. Wetlandernw
@7 - Sigh. Why do people jump in and say "I haven't read anything yet, I'm just coming to complain about something before I bother to try to understand it." As if it wouldn't be totally obvious if you even took a tiny look at what the chapters were about.

JeffS. @16 - That would have been cool. And redemptive. Since that didn't happen, I'm in the group that thinks we may see Elaida again in AMoL - hopefully facing (rescued by?) Egwene.

Caveatar @17 - Or Rand. That would be cool. I'm not sure either Perrin or Mat would recognize Elaida; have they ever met her? They wouldn't even know she was originally a Randlander. But Rand would.

Sanctume @19 - The "Elaida capture writing contest" would be a lot of fun, but I doubt we could get Team Jordan endorsement. As I understand it, both RJ and Harriet have always loathed fanfic. Brandon quietly enjoys some of it, but he doesn't encourage it. (What writer would? No one wants to get flooded with badly written fanfic, even for the rare reward of the occasional well-written one.)

Man-o-Manetheran @22 - BAHAHAHAHA!! I noticed that too, boy. ;)

TWGrace @24 - From my perspective, anyway, three things: a) those under Compulsion aren't usually aware of it, and most of them wouldn't be physically suffering; b) Egwene isn't using balefire (which, in-world, is understood to destroy the soul, IMO); c) Egwene knows exactly what the captured AS are in for, and would herself rather be dead than repeat the experience. Also, as forkroot pointed out @39, this is a battle in which she is defending herself and those for whom she is responsible, not planning a cold-blooded preemptive wipe-out.

LadyBelaine @26 - Yes, but the whole "take powerful women leaders and send them into bondage" is a basic storytelling scenario. Rand, Perrin, Mat, Lan, Logain and Taim all get to try it, and that's just off the top of my head. If there's no danger, what's the point of story? Capture is a valid danger, just as is death. And in a world where women have on balance (for the last 3000 years) had more power than men, it's reasonable to expect a larger proportion of them to be available for capture.

Granted, so far the men have all escaped, while a few of the women you list have apparently been left to their fate forever, but everyone except Galina is in a situation where we could very easily see them again in AMoL, whether still in captivity or being rescued.

zackattack @28 - Maybe that's one of the (many) reasons this scene had to take place before Egwene could hold the Oath Rod. Just think if the BA Hunters had had the Rod with them when Egwene & Meidani had their little chat. You know Egwene would have sworn the Oaths on the spot if they'd have let her, and she might not have been able to do what she needed to do here. The others thought they were fighting for their lives, but Egwene knew that they were fighting for their freedom. If she'd believed, deep down, that using the OP as a weapon to avoid capture (rather than death) was unacceptable, things would not have been good.

(travyl @29 - umm... did you mean Tuon in that last sentence?)

AndrewB @30 - Given that they made Egwene the Amyrlin in Salidar, and they clued her in on the defense plans, it seems reasonable that they would make sure she knew how to link. We didn't really need to be shown her learning it; it's something every AS (as Accepted, IIRC) would have been taught - including Egwene.

ryanreich @36 - I totally agree that having Elaida go out in a blaze of glory, even getting captured in battle, would have been... narratively wrong. Well said.

forkroot @39 - Many good points. I, too, noticed and LOVED the two summaries together. Thanks, Leigh! Also, the artwork. That HAD to be done!

About Vora's sa'angreal, it probably was guarded, but not so much against Traveling. Unlike Mesaana, Egwene didn't have to worry about anyone doing a count and realizing one was missing; she wasn't hiding it, and had she not been "rescued" she probably had figured she'd walk in on the rest of the AS with it in hand.

thepupxpert @42 - Good point. We know some of the wards - like those against food spoilage - were already failing. It's possible that some/all of the 'greal storeroom wards had failed as well.
Sheila McEvoy
68. SuffatheDamane
Black Guy@56

"Please name one Seanchan that is not black =)"

Umm, the Seanchan are a multi-ethnic empire.

Selucia, Tuon's bodyguard is blonde and blue-eyed, Hyan, HL Turak's sho'jin was blonde, Egeanin is dark-haired, pale skinned and blue-eyed, Seta was blonde, Cerandin, the exiled s'redit handler is also blonde. Alwhin, the sul'dam that becomes Suroth's sho'jin is pale-skinned and blue-eyed. Mat sees a contigent of Seanchan marine archers which has members that are dark skinned and blue-eyed...

But!, it seems that a large portion of the ruling elite are what we would call black.
Sara H
69. LadyBelaine
Wetlander@ 67

LadyBelaine @26 - Yes, but the whole "take powerful women leaders and send them into bondage" is a basic storytelling scenario. Rand, Perrin, Mat, Lan, Logain and Taim all get to try it, and that's just off the top of my head. If there's no danger, what's the point of story?

I disagree - I can't think of one male character in a position of authority or influence who was taken prisoner and/or reduced in position and then forced into service as a servant, slave or da'stang.

Male antagonists get killed as their just desserts (Lord Toram, for example, or Daved Hanlon, Masema) they don't get carted off, usually nude and bound, and made to be someone's servant or drudge. Whereas, that seems to have been RJ's preferred version (and followed by BS) of comeuppance or punishment for his female characters.

Where is the male equivalent of Alliandre/Amathera/Morgase, a ruler forced off his throne and made into a slave or menial? Where is the version of Siuan or Leane, removed from power and forced to be a groom or bootblack? Who are the male versions Liandrin or Suroth or Elaida or Galina, (powerful female villains), who are removed from power and reduced to outright human chattel? Were any of the disobedient male Forsaken sexually violated and then enthralled and controlled via mind-trap? Nope, those rogue male Forsaken are given a dignified death in battle.

Ball tossed back in your court, I remain

Bel ;)

edit: spelling, mind-trap, not soul-trap
Cameron Tucker
70. Loialson
Hey y'all:

Brandon recently tweeted an Idea that I found brimming with awesomesauce. It's related to a concept he had of putting a code into hardcover copies so it's bundled with an e-book along with it for AMoL. Here's his tweets put together on the subject:
"On the A Memory of Light ebook thing. What would you guys think if I tried to talk Tor into a 'special edition' release. A kind of 'boxed set' that came with hardcover, ebook, audiobook, a medallion or other keepsake, and maybe some interviews with me & Harriet shrink wrapped & sold at bookstores for, say, $50 instead of $30insert by Loialson for clarity-for just the hardcover + ebook]? Does that get too far away from the 'free ebook w/the hardcover' concept?"
I am for a special edition release like this for the last book, as I get all the versions-ebook, hardcover, audio usually anyway.

Brandon wants to hear the fans' thoughts on it, so tweet him, fb him, or email and tell him your thoughts, he might ask Tor for it if enough of us would pay for it, it seems.

(and I apologize tnh, if this is not 100% related to the topic, but it is related to paying Tor more money and WOT...so if this product happens it may help pay for more server space :D)

So...would you buy it?
Anthony Pero
71. anthonypero
Name the male antagonist who has been taken care of by someone other than rand? Or we're you suggesting that Rand should do these things to someone?
72. NotInventedHere
@65: Good point about the possibility of rescuing the victims. As I recall, it took the Seanchan on the order of a couple weeks to move their force within striking distance of the Tower in secret. Even assuming that they would be quicker on the return (not having to worry about surprise), it seems like it wouldn't have been all that difficult to Travel ahead of them assuming even one of the captured AS had a living warder.

That's assuming some level of organization, and I think Eg was more occupied (once she woke up) with worrying about hitting the BA. Still, it seems like it would have at least occurred to her that there was still an opportunity to try to rescue the captured AS before they get back to Seanchan lines - Tar Valon is pretty much as far from Seanchan territory as it is possible to be, and that's one of the complications in attacking a target so far behind enemy lines. Do we find out if any warders survived their AS being captured? Without that link it does seem hopeless to try and find the returning raiding party.
73. Taryntula
I would say that Elaida getting kidnapped off screen made me feel like I did when we didn't see Couladin axed onscreen by Rand. Instead, Mat got him and we saw it in pieced together flash backs. Maybe Couladin isn't the antagonist that Elaida is, but this seems to be in keeping with RJ's style (Viet Nam like chaos in battle, PTSD abounding, giving us something more real than contrived...)...and while it's not as satisfying as seeing Elaida on screen deposed and shamed...at least she got some just desserts.
Sara H
74. LadyBelaine

That's not really not the point. The choice to make ALMOST EVERY female antagonist a slave is a conscious one on the part of our authors. It would have been just as easy to kill Suroth off, right? Nope, she was stripped, shaved and handed over to a barracks full of men.

When Rand was using Asmodean as his forced OP tutor, he was allowed to present a public role as a gleeman. When the Supergirls did the same with Moghedien, she was made to be a laundress and maid.

That the women of authority all must be humbled and broken and turned into servants is something that RJ chose to write into the story and an undeniable element in this saga. (Where is the refugee king reduced to pretending to be a shepherd? Where is the captive king made into a personal possession by the Aiel? Where is the imprisoned king made to be a sexualized plaything of the Seanchan?) All in all, it's just another little blip of the subtle but pervasive sexism.
Anthony Pero
75. anthonypero
I do believe that our beloved RJ suffers from the same sick for of sexism as Rand. I don't think he can kill them off.
Paul Long
76. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
77. Twi
I think Elaida still has a role to play in AMOL with the Seanchan - and I think it will be important that she learned just how horrible it is to be leashed. She basically thought Egwene was lying about how terrible the a'dam was, while denying the Seanchan were a threat.

I'm hoping her time with the Seanchan will be the precursor to something of a redemption for Elaida, and will finally give her a role that benefits Team Light rather than being an annoyance for everyone everywhere.
Jay Dauro
78. J.Dauro
zackattack and others

I have always wondered, could Egwene have destroyed the to'raken if she was bound by the Three Oaths? Granted, the Oaths are interpreted by the AS, but is killing other AS to keep them from existing as slaves a sufficient condition?

How many marath'damane were actually captured and brought back? How many trained damane were lost?

In the Epilogue we are told:
Over 24 Aes Sedai and less than 15 Novices/Accepted, for a total of less than 40.

Some were killed by Egwene. It is said that she destroyed multiple to'raken, both before she rescues Adelorna, and in the side of the Tower.
She blasted to’raken after to’raken from the air. They were much less maneuverable than their smaller cousins. She must have felled a dozen by now, and her actions had drawn the attention of those outside.
These were attacking the Tower, so probably most did not have prisoners, but it is implied that some did. How many damane are on each? They are large beasts, so maybe two, maybe just one. At two, we see a minimum of 24 trained damane killed. Plus inside the Tower we see two captured, with the implication that others have been taken. (the novices know how and where to take the two that are captured during Adelorna's rescue.) So I believe it is fair to say that around 30 trained weapons grade damane were captured or killed. Along with at least an equivalent number of sul'dam.

We know that less than 40 Tower initiates were taken, and at least half were Aes Sedai. Even if some were Black, that still means that the number of possible damane that can be trained as weapons is less than the amount that were expended. Depending on how many were killed by Egwene, the total of damane taken and brought back to Ebou Dar could well be less than the casualties. And none of the taken are currently trained as weapons.

With more major battles coming up quickly, I would call the raid a net loss for the Seanchen from a logistics point of view.

Of course they do get the demoralization of the Tower, which is good for them. But they also believe they are going to piss off the Dragon Reborn mightily. (And this may still come to pass.)

Overall, without the acquisition of traveling, the raid looks like a loss to me.

And it never seems to occur to the Seanchen that their major enemies have traveling, so they could be engaging in effective guerilla warfare. The Ashamon could do this easily, since the damane can't detect them channeling. So take a couple of strong channelers, have them jump in, destroy the palace, and leave. Besides killing many of the Blood, this would take out a large number of damane.

Of course we know that Rand wouldn't do this. And neither would the Aes Sedai. But possibly the Seanchen should start to wonder why this isn't happening.
TW Grace
79. TWGrace
@67 Wetlandernw
From my perspective, anyway, three things: a) those under Compulsion aren't usually aware of it, and most of them wouldn't be physically suffering; b) Egwene isn't using balefire (which, in-world, is understood to destroy the soul, IMO); c) Egwene knows exactly what the captured AS are in for, and would herself rather be dead than repeat the experience. Also, as forkroot pointed out @39, this is a battle in which she is defending herself and those for whom she is responsible, not planning a cold-blooded preemptive wipe-out.
ASFAIK balefire does not destroy souls. Souls killed by Balefire can still be spun back out by the Pattern, just not retrieved by the Great Lord, since he cannot step outside of Time.

Egwene knowing what they captured Sisters are in for...wonder how she would feel if instead of trying to rescue her, Elayne/Nynaeve had just fireballed her instead.

As to the morality of the participants...If the best battle is one you dont have to fight, the second best is one where your enemy doesnt get a chance to fight. In other words: Battle is not sport. It is scientific murder (Eddie Rickenbacker- paraphrased).

To say that Rand's action is worse because it wasnt "in a fight" is laughable to me. He was not being sociopathic, as was put forth in an earlier posting, he was operating as someone who knew that sometimes you have to take the battle to the enemy, and the element of surprise has much value.

Rand should be doing exactly what he did.

Same as Egwene.

But, whatever, I just found the dismay, and repulsion, of what Rand did, and quiet acceptance of what Egwene did, to be interesting.

ETA - I just went back and reread the comments on Mat's "massacre" of the 3K Seanchan and Altarans in Knife of Dreams...they were almost admiring.
80. Blood_Drunk
@ 67. Wetlandernw So I was coming up with my comments about these scenes and realized that they have all been said. And then when I was coming up with comments about other peoples comments Wetlander said all that I planned to say. However, I would like to clarify that I too felt like Egwene was able to access the storeroom too easily. If I were one of the forsaken I would travel in there and regardless of it sounding an alarm, grab an angreal and then be gone before they managed to unlock the door. I suppose that if there was a reasonable explanation for why the forsaken did not do this, it could be complacency.
1. They knew that they could Travel in and get the angreal without a problem so they felt they didn't need to arouse suspicion of their presence yet. Its not like any of the forsaken would have trouble dealing with a few of the channelers of this day and age.
2. I like the idea that possibly the wards broke down. It is a good explanation of why it was easy for her to grab the sa'angreal
3. Adelorna may have been able to take down any other wards that were around the other angreal but again doesn't explain why there were no wards on the sa'angreal.

As far as the story, I think it is great how Egwene takes the reins when Adelorna tries to take command and Egwene tells her No, I am in command. Also Adelora's realization that Egwene could have left at any time, but tells Adelorna that it would not have been fleeing but abandoning the tower. I personally like how Elaida was brought down. The political battles that Egwene and Elaida have been fighting was not a build up to an epic verbal smack down, but to build Egwene up in the eyes of the other Aes Sedai. They would not have elevated her to the Amerlin Seat had she not won each of them over in their own way. She gained the yellow for her thoughts on healing the tower, the gray on trying to mediate the divide both within the tower and within the ajahs. She won the white with her reasoning skills and the brown with her respect for the histories (that she learned from Siuan). Now with Adelorna she has won the green with her ability to command and fight. She will win the Red when she saves and Silviana.

The next time we see Egwene she has a great scene where she says she needs to embody the strengths of all the ajahs; to be as thoughtful as a brown, as logical as a white, as compassionate as a yellow, as vengeful as a red . . . etc.

Before this book I had my own theories on how Egwene would be elevated, and I wasn't too far off, but I am really pleased with how this all went down.
Tess Laird
81. thewindrose
Obligatory - Awesome chapeters Whoo hoooo:) More on that later.

Graendal - had many pets that were nobles and male.
Jorin Arene a rich merchant in Amador - Tamaile makes him a cowering cripple.
I think Padan Fain may have a complaint or two with what was done to him.
Jain Farstrider - we don't know all that has happened to him yet, but it he was held by the darkside for a while, and has some compulsion on him.
Logain was used for show by the SAS.
The men of Far Madding:)

So, I agree much more women have to suffer and are not killed right off, but there are men suffering and not getting killed cleanly.

82. Freelancer
Tek @47

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner! Yes, Egwene's rationale of firing upon t0'raken bearing captive Aes Sedai is quite similar, structurally, to Rand's rationale at the collateral casualties of Natrin's Barrow. If one were to judge either more harshly, it would have to be Egwene, because those sisters were still themselves at that point in time, and may have had an opportunity for escape, whereas Graendal's minions were already mindless. But Egwene can be excused some amount of irrationality, she is deeply affected by her own time under the a'dam, and determined to minimize the number of sisters who have to experience that. Who should gainsay her opinion on this, when her experience is firsthand?

Regarding Elaida, I'm reminded of an interview with Jordan where he was asked how to make such a large worldbuilding enterprise seem real in an epic story. Among the many things he said was to the effect that, reality is messy, unexpected, desired closure often unrequited, and a story intended to possess realism should do so as well. This is a perfect example of that. Nobody guaranteed us closure regarding the setup with Meidani, or the ultimate showdown between Elaida and Egwene, or that Elaida would face her failures in a just manner. This is not the first example of Jordan leaving a plot thread to trail off into oblivion unresolved, though it might be the strongest.

To go with that thought, I cannot picture Brandon making the decision to have Elaida snatched away from the Tower, just to ease the path of more rapid completion of the series. As always, if I even momentarily ponder such a thought, I back up and ask, would Harriet authorize that if it measurably altered the structure of Jordan's extant outline? Not very likely.

Bryne has a straightforward, logical mind. So his opinion that Min's viewing is illogical because, had he not been there, he wouldn't have been poisoned, makes perfect sense on the surface. However, he's a freshly-bonded Warder. Had he not gone, Siuan would have been killed with a poisoned sword, and Bryne very likely would have died in the ensuing madness. Min rules, Q.E.D. I had one other thought related to Bryne and Siuan, but since the issue wasn't raised by our fearless leader, I'll respectfully leave the pot unstirred for a week.
83. AndrewB
Zackattack @28 and Wetlandernw @67. I disagree. As BWS noted in the summary quoted by Analiese @43 above, in some instances, the manner in which somebody is restricted by the Oath Rod is how she view the situation at hand. A perfect example of this is the Aes Sedai who says she feels like she is now in danger and then begins to channel to help either Mat or Perrin (for the life of me, I cannot remember whether this was when one of the Aes Sedai "apprenticed" to the Wise Ones start to channel during the Battle of Malden or whether it is Teslyn when she helps out Mat in KoD). Similarly, you have the comment made one of Aes Sedai to Perrin after Dumani Wells when she explained why she went to the front lines instead of remaining in the back of the army with the Wise Ones.

Egwene's experience with the Seanchan causes her to view them as a dire threat. In her mind, every captured channeler (including Aes Sedai) will be turned into a potential weapon who will be subsequently used against the White Tower in future encounters between the Seanchan and Aes Sedai. On the other hand, an Aes Sedai who shares Niccola's initial opinion of the Seanchan (that they were an over exagerated rumor), may not have been able to blast a to'raken out of the air if she knew that a fellow Aes Sedai was captive. This hypothetical Aes Sedai would not realize what was in store for a collared Aes Sedai. She may not view it akin to death (as Egwene does). Thus, in the hypothetical sister's mind, it might be possible to rescue the captive Aes Sedai at some point in the future. This sister would not realize the likelihood that the captive would break.

I think that Teslyn and Edesina would have not been restrained by the Third Oath. I wonder if Adelorna would also have been restrained by the Third Oath. I tend to think not. At the beginning of that section, she muses that the Seanchan put the Green Ajah to shame. The so called Battle Ajah was embarrassed (at least Adelorna and those sisters who stood with her). Adelorna seemed generally afraid when she was collared. More so than if collaring was just being merely a captive who might be kept alive and eventually returned as part of a future exchange of prisioners. Adelorna may have come to the realization at that moment that what she heard about what the Seanchan do to woman who can channel was not an exageration.

(Despite my agrument above, in fairness to the other side, I must point out that an Oath Bound sister is unlikely to make an effective weapon. However, as Egwene was not bound by the Oaths when she was collared, I do not think this fact would enter her thinking when she justifies whether the killing of potential captives violates the Third Oath.)

Thanks for reading my musings,
Jeff Schweer
84. JeffS.
On the other side of the coin, and Andrew B, I like your points, is the one Damane of Tuon's that was an Aes Sedai that can't do weapon type weaves. Darn, I can't recall her name either. Mylen? is that it? Anyway it's the one Kurede brought along to meet Mat and Tuon in KOD. It was said that she made lovely skylights but couldn't kill. Kurede brought her along as she was not a threat. Very tightly bound by the oaths even after all the years of captivity.

The reason I brought this up is Andrew's point above opens a large can of speculation about the oaths and a persons own perception of how tightly they are bound by them influencing what they can and can't do.

How far you can bend the truth before you're lying for instance. We've seen a wide range of that over the years.

So in summary, I really think Andrew B has hit on it with the "now I feel I'm in danger" quote. I'm pretty sure it was with Mat in KOD, by the way.

I would argue that it depends on the Aes Sedai, the situation they are involved in, and the agility of their mind to possibly rationalize that situation.

So any Aes Sedai that had been collared at any time prior, Jolene for instance, would strike out and fight knowing that collaring was slow death to your spirit. Someone else, maybe not.

I am only an egg
Anthony Pero
85. anthonypero
Freelancer@81 and others:

While I agree with the sentiment comparing Rand's choice and Egwene's choice, there is one large difference.

Aes Sedai and Novices sign up to be Aes Sedai and novices (at least nominally, obviously Sparkers don't really have a choice). Graendal's victims had no such choice. Make of it what you will.
Jennifer McBride
86. vegetathalas
I would tend to agree with Lady Bel. The fact that men are taken captive and treated poorly is not the same as every single woman in the series (almost) being taken captive and made to do laundry. Domestic servitude has specific connotations. I find it a little odd, since, in a world where gender is reversed and women are the thinkers/doers, wouldn't men do the laundry and the cooking? Or both sexes? Where are the washer-men?
Bob Weld
87. WaitingShadows
Ok, I usually don't comment, but I feel the need to mention that while I understand (and by and large, agree with) the comments made by LadyBelaine, there are a couple men that come to mind (for me at least) as at least being torn from their high positions and forced into degrading and/or humiliating places. The problem is their situations aren't explored with as much depth.

Mattin Stepaneos was forcibly removed from his country, and although it's not spelled out because he pretty much immediately acquiesces and buys Eladia's story, if he hadn't (I would bet) that she would not under any circumstances have let him walk free, and he would have remained a prisoner of the tower until Eladia was removed from the Amyrlin Seat. It doesn't say he is doing demeaning things, but if he had stressed his right to leave or in any way had been a headache for Eladia, she would have had him scrubbing pots or doing something menial, if for no other reason then to make an example of him. Granted, this isn't the way it turns out, but that is more because he didn't fight and not at all because he was male.

This is not the only example. Hadnan Kadere was tortured by Lanfear, and the only reason he remains a peddler is so he can keep up appearances while spying for her. In his own POV he makes it very clear that Lanfear debases him and basically forces him to submit to her in almost every way possible. Jaichim Carridin was tormented unceasingly for months, and was eventually torturously killed (by a female character, who takes great amusement in that fact) SH brutalized him as well, and although there was no sexual connotation, it was still (at least partially) about asserting dominance and power. Granted, these are both evil characters, which does diminish the ethics of their treatment, but as an example, it serves to illustrate that men can be demeaned and dominated as well.

However, I feel the most overlooked character is Alsalam, the former king of Arad Doman. Unlike the former king of Illian, there was no justification of "imminant invasion", since (presumably) he was missing for a long period of time before Rand and Co. even got close to Arad Doman. My memory on his return is a bit hazy, but I believe it was implied (if not stated) that he was kidnapped just like Stepanoes, and held against his will in the tower. We don't exactly get a slice o' life from him, so no telling if he made more waves than Mattin and had to be slapped down, or if he just was forced to sit in the tower and twiddle his thumbs. Twiddle his thumbs while his former country fell into ruin, I might add, and every Domini in Randland got to talk about what a gigantic ass he was (presumed to be) for disappearing while his country was collapsing in shambles, even though he was kidnapped and really shouldn't be blamed for it (the tower should be). And I bet that even though Rand had him rescued, he probably won't be making a PA announcement about the situation. Which means not only has he lost all respect from his entire country, his entire house probably will take the blame (if not fall apart altogether).

By and large, I do agree with you. I just think you have to look a little harder to find the men that were tormented, since by default in WOT, many more women are in positions of power than men, hence their tendancy to fall more frequently.

P. S. I would shell out the extra money for the special edition boxed set, not so much for the e-book as much as the other goodies.

P.P.S. I just remembered the Aiel that were captured by Perrin and Co. and interrogated in CoT. They weren't going to be killed, just humiliated and made to beg for the rest of their lives.
88. das boot
I am an old-school, long-time, Wheel of Time reader. I mean, I read The Great Hunt in HARDBACK. I remember waiting desperately for The Dragon Reborn to come out.

Every time a new book came out, I reread the entire series every time a new book came out, at least through the first 5 or 6. Then, the pace of new books slowed, and the plots dragged (and i got old) and my interest in all things Wheel of Time slowed down, but I kept reading the new books.

A couple years ago I read TGS and loved it, but thought, "I barely remember what is going on in this series. Let me turn to the trusty internets to refresh my memory before reading Towers of Midnight." Which very quickly lead me to this re-read, where you all reminded me why I FREAKING LOVE THESE BOOKS.

And now I have spent the past year re-reading the ENTIRE series, pausing every few chapters for Leigh's opinions (and of course the comments).

So I just wanted to take an opportunity to say THANK YOU, to everyone who reads and participates here, for rekindling something that has been a significant part of my reading life for 20 years!

Also wanted to say how AWESOME it is that my own personal re-read caught up to this re-read on these last two posts, which cover the most SERIOUSLY AWESOME scenes of possibly the whole series. (Seriously, I would not be posting had I caught up in the middle of a two chapter discussion on bathing and dresses, but thats another story.)

Again, THANK YOU to Leigh, and to all of you, and I'm OUT!

(POOF, cloud of smoke, dramatic exit)
Lisa Mari Barba
89. Minaeve
Elaida's a bitch but she's no Darkfriend, I bet Egwene ends up saving her ass!.....that will knock her back a peg or two.
Lisa Mari Barba
90. Minaeve
Oh and YAY! to Egwene the greatest Amyrlin EVER!
Hugh Arai
91. HArai
AndrewB@83: I suspect you're thinking of Annoura with Perrin at the Battle of Malden. She actually goes so far as to claim she feels in danger, gets embarassed into not attacking so early, waits and then attacks with the rest. A clear example of how the individual's personal perceptions enforce the bounds of the Oaths.

Anthonypero@85: Graendal's victims seem to be essentially dead already with the Compulsion weaves being the only thing keeping them animate. At least, we have the example where one died as soon as Nynaeve removed the Compulsion. Captured Aes Sedai that are made damane can be freed, can still think and have a sense of self. Collared is not dead as Egwene has every reason to know.

I tend to think Egwene simply shows her own mental trauma here. Killing captives to prevent their collaring is her emotions overruling her rational judgement. Rand's strike on Graendal is the opposite, a rational action made while he forces himself not to feel. It's probably easier to sympathize with Egwene but I think her action was more severe.
Paul Long
92. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
john mullen
93. johntheirishmongol
The 2 chapters here are pretty great. This is one of the best battle scenes in the entire series and Egwene is perfect here. However, I wouldn't rank her in the top 3 of the series, Leigh. I might rank her at the top of the triangle of the female side of the equation, but there is equally another triangle of males with Rand at that pinnacle. That is for sheer feats of awesomeness. However, she goes right back down when she starts arguing with Rand and doesn't even try to listen to his reasoning later.

As for Elaida, if we had to go through 3 or 4 chapters of her complete downfall, that would have been terribly annoying and this was a really good exit strategy.
Roger Powell
94. forkroot
However, I feel the most overlooked character is Alsalam, the former king of Arad Doman. Unlike the former king of Illian, there was no justification of "imminant invasion", since (presumably) he was missing for a long period of time before Rand and Co. even got close to Arad Doman. My memory on his return is a bit hazy, but I believe it was implied (if not stated) that he was kidnapped just like Stepanoes, and held against his will in the tower.
He didn't make it to the Tower. Apparently he was kidnapped by Aes Sedai loyal to Elaida, who (of course) did not know Traveling. They set out overland to Tar Valon and got trapped in the mega-snows that followed the use of the Bowl of the Winds.

Verin's letter to Rand told him about Mattin Stepaneous. Either that letter suggested that Elaida had also kidnapped Alsalam, or Rand deduced that himself. Either way, he asked Caduane to search the route, and she found and retrieved Alsalam.

But Egwene can be excused some amount of irrationality, she is deeply affected by her own time under the a'dam, and determined to minimize the number of sisters who have to experience that. Who should gainsay her opinion on this, when her experience is firsthand?
I'm afraid I would gainsay her if she knowingly destroyed to'raken that were not participating in the battle and were only carrying captured Aes Sedai; however no such thing could have occurred. We know that for every captured Aes Sedai there was at least one enemy sul'dam. Thus in the worst case, the beast still had over 50% enemy combatants

Given that she was well below the roofline, I suspect she was mostly blasting raken and to'raken that were participating in the raid and were loaded either with 100% enemy combatants or darn close.
95. yasiru89
Elaida had already self-destructed and irreversibly undermined her political position. The meeting between the Ajah heads towards the end of tGS suggests they or the Sitters would have taken the reins and made Elaida a puppet (or perhaps even disposed of her- as opposed to deposed, which is a more public thing) had she not been taken away during the raid. Her harsh and, as Leigh would put it, 'abrupt' fate doesn't have to raise questions of whether it was warranted or not or whether it was necessary or not- rather, I thought it was well done exactly for being so sudden and unexpected, but seemingly unintentionally fitting.

On the other hand, Elaida had only passed on the weave for Travelling to a select few, and it being Elaida who offers it up to the Seanchan in ToM exposes her megalomania to a till then unprecedented extent in her offering of other Sisters in her place (necessarily true by the Oaths). I'm counting on an appearance when the time comes for Rand to demand the Seanchan do away with the damane system.
j p
96. sps49
I can't recall if this has come up already, but the Seanchan in Ebou Dar were perplexed by Aes Sedai damane that were unable to use the One Power as a weapon, no matter how much "persuasion" was used. If this chapter's raid scooped up any Black members,they are likely to go ahead and obey commands which violate the original Three Oaths. Which would probably incite the Seanchan to start all over with the non-Black Aes Sedai captives, since they are less likely to believe their protests.

Blood_Drunk @80-
I like imaging Egwene as the Mistress of the Five Magics/ Seven Ajahs
James Hogan
97. Sonofthunder
Wow, what an epic sequence of events this was. I remember the first time I read this, I could imagine Egwene in all her glory. Furious bolts of fire spiralling from her hands towards the invaders, protecting the Tower as a mother bird protects her nest. The visual imagery here was astounding. Like Leigh, I would *love* to see this done in a movie, just because it would be made of so much awesomeness. Egwene may have her flaws(as do we all!) but here she shoves away her fears, is decisive, takes charge and goes out to kick some Seanchan tail. What now! CMoA much?

As for Elaida, I can't say I like her fate...but her path has been descending for a long while now. It's a bit sad to see the semi-competent AS from books 1 and 2 get to this state, but ever since she returned to the Tower and let her lust for power cloud her wisdom...it's been all downhill. Another good argument for not allowing AS(bar novices, Accepted and Sitters) to stay in the Tower! Get out there and get work done, stop politiking in the Tower, gosh!

As for Egwene's indiscriminate destruction of all Seanchan to'raken, whether or not they held captives...while I do acknowledge the fact that her fury was emotion-fueled, I also do not think she had a better option. She knows the fate of the captives. The Seanchan are enemy combatants and this is war. Maybe this makes me cold and merciless, I don't know. But I can't quarrel with Egwene's decision here.
Thomas Keith
98. insectoid
sps49 @96: I like that title, "Mistress of the Five Magics". Egs should add that to the Amyrlin's titles. Multitudes of titles FTW!

Almost to the hunny already...

Jonathan Levy
99. JonathanLevy
Re: Elaida's removal.

I thought Elaida's removal was fitting and not abrupt at all. What could be more just than her being taken in an attack of which she was warned, but in her pride refused to listen? We've already had a moral showdown between her and Egwene, and an off-screen political showdown, and Elaida got thrashed in both. Do we really need a third confrontation (a physical one) between her and Egwene?

If we see her again in AMoL, this is the fate I'd wish for her:
Elaida fights as a damane in the last battle. In the course of the fighting she is stilled, escapes to the Aes Sedai, and is healed (using saidar, which weakens her). In the aftermath she applies for readmission as Aes Sedai, following the precedent set by Siuan and Leane, but no Ajah will have her, so she remains an Accepted for the rest of her days.

Re: Balefiring Natrin's barrow
Seemed perfectly just to me. War is war. It is not a Miss Morality Beauty Contest. A commander who is paralyzed by the presence of innocents, and who will not weigh the benefits of victory against the losses required to achieve it is doomed to defeat. More immediately, his enemies will quickly learn to surround themselves with innocents, thus putting more people at risk.

Practically speaking what real chance was there to rescue the innocents in Natrin's Barrow? When even Nynaeve cannot undo heavy compulsion without killing the victim? Even if she could, how many more mental cripples would Graendal have created in the time it took to save these poor souls? How many would have been killed in the civil wars she was fostering in Arad Doman? Are these lives not to be weighed in the balance?
James Hogan
100. Sonofthunder
It truly is great being here in Scotland...can get the big 1-0-0 with so little interference!
One more thought on this chapter...Bryne's kill of that Seanchan assassin...one of the smoothest kills of the series. He knows his business, sure enough. Also, made me SO HAPPY to see him and Siuan bonded!! They're pretty much one of my favorite couples...as creepy as it is that she looks so young now, we know she's his equal in maturity. And more than his match in wits! Oh Siuan and Gareth. I do want to see them kiss now. *am way too much of a hopeless romantic, gosh*
Robert Buckner
101. TheListener
I think these two chapters make it clear why there had to be oaths, much like the "I, Robot" laws; interpretations have to start from a basic set of morals. Egwene is wrong to kill as she does, and the Oaths would have stopped her or slowed her down enough to make it academic. The redeemable nature of the captured AS is so obvious to Egwene, as she is one herself, that no one can doubt she is acting out of her own fear and hate. Egwene cannot even justify her actions as having to do with protecting the WT, as she knows that her foes are of the Light and seek different modes of fighting the DO.
As far as Rand goes, he gets a pass of sorts. He can assume that the mind enslaved have been ruined beyond healing. He knows one of the worst villians of history is within. And, to top it all off, he knows that any of the Foresaken to die makes the endgame that much easier to fight. If he had been under the Oaths, though, he still could not have obliderated them.
Robert Buckner
102. TheListener
I wonder if the AS could submit if it was proven to them that their submission to a'dams would mean victory in the Last Battle? Rand's going to face this with the prophecies, obviously, but shouldn't the AS and the Seanchan work some sort of cooperation out?
Robert Buckner
103. TheListener
New to this, so I'm still in awe that someone else has read all of the books and remembers them! One thing that has always stricken me about RJ's style is the bondage aspects. I never picture most of the female characters as being good-looking or sexy, but that's just me, I guess. They all are both, and what's better than good-looking women tied up, Betty Page style, in a setting where everyone sees their humiliation? ERB used to write Tarzan and John Carter the same way. Maybe the sexism is actually just a bow to convention...?
a a-p
104. lostinshadow
I am happy with anything that lets me download the ebook on the same day as the N American release date. You know ToM is still not out here yet - I paid triple the book price to get it shipped here and prayed for days that it would get thru customs. Ebooks are easier in non English speaking countries.

About the chapters... Don't really like Egwene, never have and probably never will. She is admirable even awesome here but I don't know, she is just not a deep enough character for me; she is two dimensional, flat. Seems to me she hasn't really been challenged at a personal level, never really questioned herself, just can't quite put into words but to me she has shown the least amount of personal growth of all the main characters.

She's still the same ooh ooh girl but with way more power. Seems to me she's going to be due some serious disappointment or internal crisis soon but that might be wishful thinking on my part. Still her captivity by seanchean somehow doesn't compare to the kind of personal growth of all the others and I can't believe she's the only one that doesn't suffer some internal crises.

Anyway re actual chapter, within the context of rand and Egwene's knowledge : being collared is reversible, long term compulsion by Graendal is not. Also captured AS only danger to WT if they know traveling, otherwise oaths prevent them from being used as weapons. So only captured novices and accepted pose a danger.

Elaida's capture works for me, the confrontation had already occurred with eggs as winner.
105. Freelancer
forkroot @94

I agree, but your point does not oppose my own. The emotional position which I dare someone to gainsay is precisely as Egwene herself describes it in the text, that if indeed she is causing any collateral Aes Sedai casualties, she is preventing a fate worse than death. In fact, all respect to Leigh, the larger scene should be quoted:
"What if they're carrying captives?" Adelorna asked, watching one of the beasts fall amid Egwene's flames.
"Then those captives are better dead," Egwene said, turning to her. "Trust me, I know this." She turned to the others. "Back from the hole, everyone. Those blasts may have drawn attention.
"Shanal and Clara, watch this hole from a safe distance. Run to us if any to'raken land here. Do not attack them."
Two girls nodded, taking up positions by the rubble. The other novices hurrid away, chivvying the two strange invader women along with them. Egwene marched down the hallway behind them, like a general at the battle lines. And perhaps she was. Adelorna hastened to join her. "Well," she said. "You have done nicely to organize, Egwene, though it's good that an Aes--"
Egwene froze. Those eyes were so calm, so in control. "I am in command until this threat passes. You will call me Mother. Give me penance later if you must, but for now my authority must be unquestioned. It that clear?"
"Yes, Mother," Adelorna found herself saying, shocked.
Two things of interest here, one about Egwene, one about Adelorna.

Egwene speaks with absolute certainty that captured sisters are better off dead. Outside of the passion of the moment, we know that this isn't an entirely justified position to take. Egwene is aware of other collared channelers being freed, besides herself. But we also read how each of the Seanchan at which she strikes becomes Renna in her mind's eye, immediately followed by the description of her anger as "cold and distilled". She is in control of her actions, barely, but not entirely of her emotions. Caveatar is right, she is the Mother Grizzly defending her den, but she is also the unleashed victim exacting revenge. Her main thought is two-fold: Allow as few prisoners to be taken as possible; and pay them back for the wrong they have done to her and all other collared channelers. The first is her duty as Amyrlin, and perfectly righteous; the second personal, and slightly less so from a legal viewpoint, and driven by pure hatred and rage.

Adelorna's immediate acquiescence to Egwene shocks her, and though we as readers would expect it, given what we know from outside the frame, we are still somewhat surprised at the lack of continued resistance to permitting the ascendency of a novice by a full Sister. There is another force at work, literally, than simply Egwene's assertion of her authority. The ingrained behavior of all Aes Sedai, to defer to greater strength on a scale approaching absolute obedience, is pressing down upon Adelorna at this moment in time with the weight of a hundred tons, as Egwene commands the unimaginable "fount" of Power through her circle of novices and Vora's sa'angreal. How could Adelorna possibly fail to submit to this immense strength staring her in the face with absolute conviction?
106. birgit
Plus inside the Tower we see two captured, with the implication that others have been taken.

Saerin's reports say that Eg captured 10 Seanchan.

I don't think wards on the storerooms would fail. The wards against rats are an exception because they are related to the DO, but other weaves still work normally.
Tess Laird
107. thewindrose
birgit at 106 - Wards of all types are failing. Remember how all the meat is spoiling even though there is a warding on it . And weren't 2 White Sisters discussing different statistics on grain spoilage - I think I remember that correctly(at work, so no books.)

Marcus W
108. toryx
I totally agree that the way that Elaida's capture was handled was pretty sucky. And I'll also say for the record that I hate the way people take such glee in her being made a damane. Whenever people talk about Suffa on the forums (particularly in allusion to her serving them in the bunker or whatever) it makes me a little sick. I know it's just a joke but I happen to find it to be in extremely poor taste.

Elaida was certainly an evil woman and I wanted her to get her just rewards but there's just nothing good about her being taken as a damane.

Aside from Gawyn the rest of these chapters were awesome indeed. As frustrating as Egwene can (and will) be, I sure love to see her kick ass.
109. Looking Glass
@15 FSS: Egwene is way more likely to actually listen to people. I’m definitely not claiming she’s certain to- there are plenty of times when her communications skills, both talking and listening, are irritatingly bad (as is par for WOT). But still, there’s a long list of people that Egwene has real discussions with or listens to advice from over the course of the series. Whereas up until a few chapters ago, Gawyn’s storyline has had him stolidly ignoring and/or outright opposing everything said by pretty much every single person he ostensibly respected or cared about.

Well, it’s possible to suppose he might have respected Elaida once, but even there it’s pretty clear he sided with her more because he resented Siuan’s actions than because of any pro-Elaida stance.

@69 LadyBelaine: Jaichim Carridin had a spectacularly humiliating bondage followed by a sadistic and undignified death. Bayle Domon wasn’t a major political power, but he was still a pretty significant independent player in the story before his fall. His storyline has a lot in common with Siuan’s, really. Mattin Stepaneos was abducted and imprisoned. He wasn’t stuck with the housework, but he didn’t have anything else either, and the entire process was designed to drive home how powerless he was before Elaida. Logain was captured and gentled, spent quite a while as an object lesson with nothing to do but die slowly, and then got assigned as a lab rat for an accepted’s obviously futile experiments. There are others.

I agree that there is a statistically significant difference in the way women end up, but it’s not like there aren’t any guys in similar situations. Admittedly with fewer creepy sexual overtones, Graendal's activities aside.

@78 J.Dauro: It’s a pretty safe bet that the Seanchan had some form of defense against channeling raids against their power centers- they may not have or even know about traveling, but you hardly need traveling for guerilla warfare or commando-style raids (it might be harder to get back out again, but lots of Seanchan are ready to die for their rulers). For that matter, given their history of civil wars and uprisings, the Seanchan army must have at least some institutional history fighting adversaries with damane and raken, at minimum.

Reading the comments, the way people view Natrin’s Barrow seems to be pretty much determined by whether or not they read Balefire as annihilating your soul, or just killing you retroactively.

@101 The Listener: Actually, your comment raises an interesting point about the Oaths that I don’t think I’ve seen before- they omit the notion of collateral damage. They explicitly authorize targeting darkfriends, but don’t have any language about whether you can use techniques that have a possibility, or a certainty, of catching non-darkfriends alongside. Which means it’s up to the swearer’s interpretation- and I suspect a fair number of AS would view that as acceptable, at least in the absence of other alternatives. In fact, given the wonderful personalities of some AS we see, I suspect a non-trivial percentage of them would view it as acceptable even if it was just the most efficient alternative.

@106 Birgit: The wards could fail- they’re not actively opposing disease/corruption the way some of the other wards are, but the Dark One’s influence is undermining all order. If his presence is routinely putting architecture, geography, people, and occasionally even time into the blender, then the burglar alarm is hardly sancrosact.

That said, it probably didn’t need to fail. Fain had to have been visiting a high-security vault, and he only set off a monitored alarm; Egwene isn’t trying to be stealthy. Mesaana didn’t necessarily need to be either, but she doesn’t exactly strike me as the risk-taking, courageous sort.
Deana Whitney
110. Braid_Tug
@16, JeffS
While Elaida throwing herself off the Toraken could be a redeeming move - it would be totally OUT of her charter. She is too convinced of her own self-worth and infallibility. She would never consider the good of the group over herself. Her entire story arch has essentially been about how her selfishness and blindness causes harm to everyone around her.

Self-sacrifice is not in her make up. If RJ/BS had gone that way, it would cheapen the story arch. As we see later, she’s more than happy to offer others up in her place to suffer so she doesn’t have to.

Who knows, maybe one of the others sisters did make that type of noble sacrifice. We just didn’t get to read about her, because she was a “red shirt” AS.
111. Rancho Unicorno
@67 - Because the image at the top amounts to a logo for the reread and you don't change a logo without making it immediately clear why, and for how long, the change was put into place. We get the why pretty quick, but the one day only info is buried. It's an observation that doesn't demand a read of the whole post to notice - just a glance of the intro.

I like the image, but I think it would have been better suited to an inline or link at the relevant point in the summary.

I suspect Leigh is already planning the same treatment for the forging of Mjolnir. Is it going to bother you that I'm already disappointed about that - and that post isn't even written yet?
Anthony Pero
112. anthonypero
No Rancho, be bothered away. You can even tell us all about it. I, personally, find it a strange thing to gripe about, but it's no where near as bad as the trolls in TTTSNBN. Or what we've experienced around here the last three weeks.
F Shelley
113. FSS
@ looking glass - and I thought my comment was going to fall by the wayside!

I disagree - the real issue is that no one talked to Gawyn as a reasonable person who can see facts and reason...ever, until Gareth Bryne did. First his sister, who he was oath-bound to protect, was whisked away by the Black Ajah, but no one gave him any information, even Elayne or Egwene when they returned. Then she was sent away by the head of the organization on a dangerous mission, and all he was given was a flimsy cover story and punished for seeking further answers. Hell, he wasn't even told how much potential in the Power his sister had!

Then the night of the Blue Ajah attempted coup d'etat against the legally raised Amyrlin Seat, he sided with the rule of law. Yes, perhaps he had personal reasons as well, but his main reason was that he was fighting for the rule of law, as even Egwene should see, as she made the rebels apologize for their actions in dividing the Tower.

So, with no real information to go on, and only his own ethics, he continued to serve the institution that everyone claims should have his loyalty. When the word reached him of his mother, did he go tearing off to kill Rand (her supposed murderer)? No - he did his duty.
When Egwene appealed to him to not confront Rand, she couldn't provide facts. She just asked him to trust her blindly.

I mean, let's be real about all this. Why is Egwene Amyrlin? Because she's one of those characters that the Author decides will have the Luck of 10 regular people. She has gotten where she is as a combination of her stupidity and selfishness. To wit:

why did she leave Emond's Field? Not because the Dark One was after her, like the boys, or to rescue them from an Aes Sedai, like Nynaeve. No, she selfishly wanted adventure and invited herself along, leaving duty and common sense behind.

why did she get to be a Black Ajah hunter? because she stupidly fell for a Black Ajah trap. This led to her being at the Stone of Tear, where she met the Aiel.

why did she go to be a Dreamwalker and get all those Aiel leadership lessons she credits with her current abilities? because she selfishly left her duty to hunt the black ajah in order to learn to Dream

and why was she at the Tower to show everyone how much better she was than Elaida? because she stupidly took the place of a subordinate on a dangerous mission. Bode was cannon-fodder. Egwene was not. she was, however, stupid.

Now, to give credit where it is due, she has learned from her experiences. Gawyn hasn't had as many opportunities to learn from his, but where Gareth and Elayne pointed out his stupidity and selfishness (as of TOM), and he was forced to confront those qualities and has become a humbler, better person for it. No one has pointed these things out to Egwene, who is just as (or really, much, much more) stupid and selfish over the course of the books.

Egwene has spent the most captured than any other character in the series, almost always because of her own stupidity, but has somehow come out ahead of where she was each time. She could wallow in a field of manure and come out smelling like a rose.

So, to my original point, both characters are cut from the same selfish and stupid cloth. The only differences are that 1. Egwene has had much, much more information at every step of the way and 2. her rash actions have led to her being exalted. Gawyn's (actually more reasoned) actions have led to him being humbled.

Of course, Gawyn has whined a bunch more, so he remains, even to me, much more annoying than Egwene. No one likes a whiner...
Ron Garrison
114. Man-0-Manetheran
das boot - Welcome! Your story parallels how I discovered this group too - although it’s been a few years now. I’ve learned a lot here, however we do tend to run off into trivialities from time to time (like @ 111, for instance).

JonathanLevy @ 99: “Miss Morality Beauty Contest” ROFLMAO! You are exactly right. War is Hell — I believe I’ve heard that somewhere. I try to imagine Egwene sorting out which to’raken to blast: “ooh, is that a sister?” “hard to tell” “yeah, maybe” “no, I don’t think so” “oops.”
It’s unrealistic and absurd to think that in the heat of battle there will be no innocent casualties. Sucks, but true.

TheListener @ 101: “Egwene is wrong to kill as she does, and the Oaths would have stopped her or slowed her down enough to make it academic.” And the battle would have been lost.

WouldbeBrownAjah @ 110: “Self-sacrifice is not in her make up.” Exactly. In fact, Elaida's self-centeredness would make her an excellent candidate for Foresaken status. It’s probably her unwillingness to listen to anyone else that has prevented her from joining the Black Ajah. She just can't take orders. Although Suffa will be taking orders now, won't she?
a a-p
115. lostinshadow
Perhaps Egwene is willing to listen to people because they have actually offered to teach her as opposed to shoving whatever they think they know down her throat?
Paul Long
116. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
F Shelley
117. FSS
@ Caveatar

good point regarding the dark deeds that Verin almost assuredly did to be a mole in the BA. I wonder how many of us would like her if we knew how many men/women/children she killed/tortured to obtain that list of hers...
118. Faculty Guy
Regarding the wards on the angreal tower storeroom: I had thought, when reading tGS initially, that the reason no Forsaken or other AS had pirated the storeroom was that its LOCATION was unknown to all but the amyrlin and a few others. Then Egwene got its location from Siuan during a TAR meeting. I'm sure there were wards and locks etc. (they are, in fact, mentioned I believe), I thought the real safeguard was secrecy.
Paul Long
119. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
120. MasterAlThor
I was going to weigh in on this yesterday bu RL made a suprise visit. I managed to chain him/her in the basement for the moment, but I don't know how long those chains will hold.

Rand vs Egwene,

Thanks TWGrace for bringing this up. I hadn't really thought about it in those terms. And the more I look at it, the more I see that they are the same actions.

I think that what Rand did was justified just as much as what Egwene did. Brother forkroot says that Egwene was in a war situation and Rand wasn't. I don't really buy that. Rand is just as much in a war with the Forsaken as Egwene is with the Seanchan. Just cause your not making a lot of noise doesn't mean your not fighting.

Moving on,

I like the chapters. I like that Egwene took control of the situation. I don't like Egwene. She is a confusing character for me. I admire some of her attributes and then those same qualities drive me nuts. As I said she is assertive here and yet in the next few chapters she misuses that same gift when she is dealing with Suian.

Well that's all for now. TA-TA

Jody Liner
121. LightBlindedFool
I don't think we've seen the end of Elaida yet.

She's deposed, a captive and a slave. The White Tower has abandoned her to follow an upstart. And most importantly, she's selfish.

I think she'll swear her Oaths to the Dark One on-screen, then face Egwene in AMOL.
Paul Long
122. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
Alice Arneson
123. Wetlandernw
TWGrace @79 - As I indicated, IMO the in-world understanding of balefire is that it destroys the soul and prevents rebirth. From the outside, we know this is not true, but I believe that the text indicates that they believe it is. As I have said before, though on other threads which you may not have seen, IF Rand gave any indication of knowing that those people would be reborn, I would have no problem with his actions. What bothers me is that he seems to accept the interpretation that they are removed from existence, destroyed forever, and he doesn't show any remorse or hesitation about doing it. He calls it a mercy that they are torn from the normal cycle of death and rebirth, because he thinks it would be preferable for himself.

Given the discussion here lately, this is a question I want to ask Brandon: Did Rand know that balefire does not destroy the soul? Or did he believe that it would be the end of the rebirth cycle?

If Rand knew the truth, then the big difference between Natrin's Barrow and the Tower attack is the difference between unprepared defense and calculated attack. Both are warfare. I may not like Rand's attitude, but the facts are on his side.

If Rand believed he was destroying their chance of rebirth, there's no excuse.
Paul Long
124. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
Alice Arneson
125. Wetlandernw
LadyBelaine @69 - I wish I had the time to get into this discussion! I can't do it from school because I don't have the resources, and from home I don't have the time right now. :( I enjoy this type of thing, but on this particular subject I don't have a lot of solid evidence in my head; it's never bothered me, so I haven't kept mental notes. I'd have to actually pull out books, encyclopaedia-wot, etc. etc., and I can't do that. (Too bad the copy/paste didn't bring the strikeout with it - the quote in 69 reads really oddly without it.)

Still, I'd note that Semirhage, Chesmal and Eldrith (? one of those BA) were killed after being imprisoned, while others escaped their captivity. As far as Asmodean and Moghedien, both merely continued their persona when they were "captured in secret." Moghedien, as Marigan, was already doing the best disguise she could find as the "mother" of two little boys looking for any work she could find. What other disguise would you have suggested for a Forsaken in Salidar? particularly since she wanted to stay close to the girls? Halima managed a better position, but s/he had different resources to start with, and s/he didn't make the mistake of messing with Nynaeve. :) Asmodean was already posing as a gleeman with Keille and Hadnan, which would have been a logical choice, and made some sense for transferring his service to Rand. I suppose he could have been a groom, but why would Rand spend time chatting with a groom as he would a gleeman?

Obviously these were choices made by the author, but they fit the story that was going on. He could, perhaps, have set them up differently, but they would have required more suspension of disbelief. Delana and Sheriam were both under the direct thumb of a Forsaken, but they also maintained their persona in Salidar.

As for Galina, Liandrin and Sevanna... I really, really don't care, as long as they are too busy to meddle any more. I can't think of anyone more deserving of an... opportunity... to serve others instead of themselves for a while.

Sorry, that's the best I can do for now. It's not much of an effort, but the internet connection here is way too slow to pull up all my usual search tools, and my break time is up. Time to go back to the classroom.
Douglas Miller
126. douglas
@123 Wetlandernw

I don't have a source to point to, but I seem to recall a comment from Brandon somewhere that he himself had misunderstood balefire's effect until some fans pointed out the error, and as the author his misconception may have influenced that scene.

Because of this, I am inclined to discount any lines in TGS referring to balefire's effect on souls and/or normal rebirth. I would not be surprised if Nynaeve's view on the subject is quite different if it comes up again in AMoL, with or without an in-book explanation for the change. I think Brandon intended for Nynaeve and any other appropriately knowledgeable characters to have a correct understanding of balefire, and that intent may carry over the correction of his own understanding (an event that would not be possible for RJ or in BS's own books) into the characters.
127. Louis Theodore Tellman
A bit of a late entry, but in reference to Black Guy's topic of cultures in Seanchan, does anyone else vaguely remember a description of some of the Seanchans as being vaguely Asian? It would fit culturally too, not just as a physical description- all the screens used indoors for decor, the hari kiri of the some of the staff at the death of Turak (or was it someone else?), and even the armor evoking samurai-like visions...

Just a thought.
Roger Powell
128. forkroot
Easy to hate Slayer for what he did to Hopper! (After all, who didn't love Hopper?)

Harder to swallow is that we know that Slayer is somehow essential to the Light winning. So either he will turn against the Dark or do something (kill Fain?) that will end up being to the Light's advantage.

So he may end up getting forgiven after all - we'll see.
Roger Powell
129. forkroot
Very nice point about the possibility of the Seanchan getting a BA and the possible implications.

Wards of all types are failing. Remember how all the meat is spoiling even though there is a warding on it . And weren't 2 White Sisters discussing different statistics on grain spoilage - I think I remember that correctly(at work, so no books.)
Based on the quote I reproduced above (@39), failing wards would be unlikely to be an issue. If the TAS were inventorying the angreal four times a day, the wards were being reset every 6 hours. To assume that Egwene just "got lucky" and the wards failed in the hours between the last inventory and the start of the battle would be a stretch.

Looking Glass@109
Fain had to have been visiting a high-security vault, and he only set off a monitored alarm; Egwene isn’t trying to be stealthy. Mesaana didn’t necessarily need to be either, but she doesn’t exactly strike me as the risk-taking, courageous sort.
I think you are confusing Mesaana with Moghedien. In ToM, Mesaana is described as bolder than Moghedien or Graendal - she'll stay and fight vs. run.

WouldBeBrownAjah@110 (and JeffS)
The a'dam prevents the wearer from committing suicide - so nobody jumped off a to'raken.

Faculty Guy@118
Regarding the wards on the angreal tower storeroom: I had thought, when reading tGS initially, that the reason no Forsaken or other AS had pirated the storeroom was that its LOCATION was unknown to all but the amyrlin and a few others.
Not a particularly effective defense against Mesaana who could check out the storerooms via T'AR. Regardless, the quote I gave makes it pretty clear that Mesaana knew the location(s).
F Shelley
130. FSS
@107 - wards were failing (such as the rats in the Tower) but food was spoiling, apparently, due to the Fisher King effect of Rand going Evil. Now that's he's good again, food seems to be doing much better...
F Shelley
131. FSS
@all regarding why the Forsaken didn't Travel to vault where the sa'angreal were kept: either it was because they didn't want to alert the White Tower to their presence (remembering that most of them wanted to lay low) or it was serious oversight on RJ's, because ANY of the Forsaken could have just had a BA member escort them there...
Alice Arneson
132. Wetlandernw
Johntheirishmongol @93 - That would be a little more convincing if Rand had actually presented any reasoning. He told Egwene what he was going to do, and she said , "Rand, no, you can't do that!" or words to that effect. His only answer was that he was telling her so that she could prepare, and to meet him at the Fields of Merrilor in a month. What reasoning was she supposed to listen to? I don't believe it's entirely fair to Egwene to hold it against her, when Rand made no effort to persuade her.

FWIW, I think he did that on purpose. I don't think he had "reasons" lined up in any way that he felt would convince anyone, much less Egwene; he just wanted everyone to be there when he was ready, and counted on this conversation to goad Egwene into doing that for him. Reasons, if he ever presents them, will come later.
133. birgit
Wards of all types are failing. Remember how all the meat is spoiling even though there is a warding on it

I counted that as part of the DO's influence. A burglar alarm is not directly connected to his influence on the world.
Ron Garrison
134. Man-0-Manetheran
Re. Mesaana and the storeroom wards: Others have said this, but it bears repeating. Do we know for sure the storerooms were warded?
Their eyes all went to Mesaana, and she drew a deep breath. Any of them would have given - well almost anything for a suitable angreal or sa'angreal... ...Automatically Mesaana dropped into a lecturing tone. "The White Tower now has guards and wards on their strongrooms, inside and out, plus they count everything four times each day.
We’re taking her word for it? Mesaana told the other Forsaken that they were warded. She may have been lying to keep them all to herself. Selfish, perhaps???
Scott Silver
135. hihosilver28
@128-forkroot: Wait, what? I don't remember ever reading that Slayer has a major part in the Light winning. When the hell did that happen?
Scott Silver
136. hihosilver28
By the way @anthonypero, was The Thread That Shall Not Be Named attached to the book announcement...if so that one was an ugly one.
138. Blood_Drunk
@ 91. HArai Yes Annoura did say that at the battle of Malden but I believe it was Joline at Mulvaine Pass (sp?) at the end of KoD that they were referring to. Mat says, "Feel free to join in any time (in the battle)" and Joline says, "I do not feel in danger yet." On a small tangent, how long do you think it would take for a captured Aes Sedai made demane to 'believe' that by not doing what the Suldam want would mean death. Thus getting around the oath not to kill.

As far as Egwene is concerned I think that she makes a logical choice, it seems like many people are arguing that since the captured Aes Sedai are still alive that means that morally she shouldnt kill them. Egwene has no reason right now to believe that they can be rescued and from a rational standpoint she is trying to prevent the enemy from gaining valuable weapons. Even if they could be saved, once the enemy discovers Traveling, and all the other weaves, then the cat is forever out of the bag. Maybe some of her hatred for the seanchan comes through here, but I think her decision is also very rational. If a bully (the seanchan) thinks that they can get away with pushing you around and calling you names and stealing your lunch money, then they will continue to do so. But if one day you turn around and bloody their nose, then that might just give them second thoughts the next time that they want your lunch money . . . or they kick your ass even harder next time. Its kind of a toss up, but my point is that Egwene needed to fight this battle. Aes Sedai are sent through many levels of training and conditioning to make sure that they are up for the challenge, they know that they are always in danger.
Roger Powell
139. forkroot
We discussed it on the reread a few months back. Luc went to the Blight at the urging of Gitara Moroso, who convinced him that the outcome of Tarmon Gaidon depended on it.

This is the same Gitara Moroso who convinced Tigraine to leave her husband and infant son (Galad) to go to the Aiel waste. She must have been very convincing, because Tigraine was heartbroken to leave Galad (Taringail ... not so much.)

Given how vital (and accurate) Gitara's foretelling about Tigraine was, it's safe to assume that her foretelling for Luc was also correct.
Karen Fox
140. thepupxpert
@106 Brigit and others - also remember that Egwene gated directly inside the store room and gated back out the same way, she never opened any doors as such so that wouldn't have tripped any wards or alarms. I mentioned earlier that I thought the wards were failing but also the Tower may not have been warded against gating since wasn't it lost before the Tower was even built?
Nadine L.
142. travyl
Wetlander @67.
Sorry to answer your question 70 posts later, but I had to work, reprimand my boss* while doing it and catch up with 70 extra posts written in the meantime to see if somebody else answered it already.
Re my post @29: "when Egwene intends to attack the Tower"
I really did mean Egwene and not Tuon, and was referring to the fact that Egwene rallied her forces and let Brynes soldiers prepare for an attack on Tar Valon - which was only prevented because the Tower AS had selected Egwene to become their Amyrlin out of their own choice - which was my reasoning for why the scene with Meidani and the rest of the build-up was important, even if Elaida was disposed by other means.

PS) the long sentence - I did that on purpose, though I'm not sure that I stated my argument any clearer then the first time around.

PPS *) I really did reprimand my boss. Actually I told the boss of my boss that it wasn't appropriate to raise his voice (at me) to enforce his argument just because me and my workmate were disagreeing with his opinion. I guess the past weeks here must have affected me, so it's good that TNH and Irene's interference restored this thread (so far) to a less bickering level (I do love the ironig comments though). By the way my boss emailed me an excuse and I returned the favor, so I will probably keep my job ; )
143. NotInventedHere
@138: I don't think people are really arguing about whether Eg's tactic of downing *raken was tactically or morally correct; teh general consensus is that it was (with some exceptions). The question is whether it was 3 Laws Oaths Compatible behavior. The oaths are very specific (in theory; lots of wiggle room in practice); even if it would be unquestionably tactically or strategically the best decision to do X, if X involves killing someone who is not shadowspawn, or in the last defense of one's life, warder, or the life of another AS, then it is prohibited. Killing *raken actually engaged in attacking the Tower is pretty clearly acceptable; killing one as it tries to escape, even if tactically sound, would be prohibited. Assuming any *raken carrying captive AS is not engaged in attacking the Tower would, IMO, mean attacking them was prohibited by the 3 Oaths - Egwene can convince herself she is doing the AS a mercy by killing them, but I don't think that she could actually convince herself that she is acting in the last defense of her (or their) life. I think her actions were strategically sound (and awesome), but I also think that they were actions only someone not bound by the 3 Oaths could take (which might also help explain the relative effectiveness of the Novices compared to full AS).

@140: The fact that Eg avoided the wards (if wards there be) by Traveling to the store room just raises the question of why the Forsaken didn't do it since they are also prefectly capable of using that method. I tend to agree with an earlier commenter - Eg travelling there probably set off alarms (unnoticed in the general chaos), which might have been enough to keep Mesaana from doing it until/unless she really had to (and convince the other Forsaken that they are out of reach so they won't try for them in the mean time).
Scott Silver
144. hihosilver28
@139 forkroot- Ah, that makes a little bit more sense. Does anyone have a Book and Chapter reference...or a little more specificity on when it was discussed in the comments?
Irene Gallo
145. Irene
Quick note:
For those that use it, Bookmarking should be working again. If not, feel free to email me at: irene.gallo@tor.com.
146. deebee
When Egwene takes raken down, she`s also helping to prevent the next raid. The suldam and damane are one target, and preventing Aes Sedai being made into a weapon for the Seanchan (and especially keeping Travelling out of their hands) is vital. But there is presumably quite a limited supply of raken, and if the numbers brought down reach a significant level it may mean another raid simply isn`t viable. Or the cost may be too high to risk.
I wonder if the Oaths permit bringing down the raken if the aim is to save the lives of Aes Sedai who could otherwise be attacked in a second raid?

We tend to be critical about the amount of wiggle room the Oaths permit, but it seems to me that that flexibility is essential to allow sisters to respond in different ways to different threats.
Alice Arneson
147. Wetlandernw
Douglas @126 - it's quite true that Brandon believed that balefire caused the death of the soul and that Team Jordan had to convince him otherwise. Since they did so rather firmly, I see no reason to assume they allowed his misconception to color the text. If I ever have time, I'll look in the earlier books to see what is said about it there.
148. Palindrome
One interesting loophole is that the definition of 'Shadowspawn' would depend on the sister perception. Raken and grolm almost definately would come across as shadowwspawn when they're first encountered by a Randlander. Egwene herself probably wouldn't fit through that loophole though.
149. Blood_Drunk
@ 143. NotInventedHere I think the oaths allow enough interpretation by the individual to allow Egwene to use the OP on the raken regardless of captives and regardless of them fleeing. It may not have allowed anyone else to, which again is up to debate. Egwene knows that the seanchan will come back and put more Aes Sedai in danger if she lets those to'raken leave. If Egwene was constrained by the oaths, then it is possible that she would not be able to convince herself to attack a retreating to'raken. It really comes down to her conviction of their fate being worse than death. If she is saving them from a fate worse than death, then the death of these women by itself would not restrain her. In these chapters we have no reason to believe that anyone else besides Egwene is attacking the Seanchan. The Aes Sedai were all fending off attacks in the hallways and on the stairs. It is only Egwene that is said to be firing on the raken and to'raken, so it might very well be that she is the only one who could do anything against them.
William Fettes
150. Wolfmage
Great chapters. I how love how quick-thinking Egwene is here in immediately recognising the purpose of the attack, shepherding the novices into circles and getting Vora’s sa’angreal from the storeroom. She totally owns her moment of awesome here with clarity of purpose, resolve and decisive action.

Re: Elaida

Though Elaida’s capture was certainly revealed suddenly as an off-screen occurrence, I didn’t really find it rushed or anti-climactic. Elaida at that point was living in such a bubble that I think it was thematically appropriate to have her sleeping (presumably) and oblivious during the attack, and then finding herself finally forced to confront the harsh reality by waking up to captivity. It’s also relevant to mention that she had made herself vulnerable and isolated at the top of the Tower.

Re: The Three Oaths @ Various

Yes, that’s certainly a dicey issue. On one hand, we might read Egwene’s comment about being taken as a fate worse than death as a direct attempt to harmonise what she needed to do with honouring the Oaths as if she had already taken them. But it’s not entirely clear that could work, psychologically, because the Oaths don’t work like an all or nothing switch giving a licence to kill for long periods. Certainly not for someone who is composed and thoughtful like Egwene who can process the danger in a considered way. Each lightning strike or at least each individual engagement would probably need to be justified on a case by case basis according to what was actually visible in the night. Personally, I’m not at all convinced that Egwene could have done everything she did during the attack if she were really bound by the Three Oaths, so I don't think it helps to have her use what she must know is a flawed rationalisation.

The other way to see it is to step back a bit and read the comment down as more of a general statement about how she sees the potential for collateral deaths as a consequences of what happens during the fog of war. That is, she isn't assertively justifying a proactive stance of the causing the deaths of taken sisters at all. She couldn’t always know whether a to’raken manoeuvring outside had Aes Sedai on it. But she had to target them anyway and some deaths were a foreseeable consequence that she had to reconcile herself with on some level. So the 'fate worse than death' position is more her dealing with the consequences of military command. I personally think this reading is more plausible because it doesn’t depend on her comporting her intentions, in a convoluted way, to the Three Oaths. She is framing how to process consequences that are uncertain and contingent, but still foreseeable enough to be real. I think the usage of the hypothetical “if” to Adelorna supports this reading.
151. Sody Pop
These chapters and the preceding ones illustrate for me the good and bad aspects of Brandon Sanderson's use of language (or the RJ/BS combo, for those of you who don't perceive a difference in their authorial voices). The description of Egwene shooting Seanchan from the sky, aglow with Saidar, like Vengeance personified, was epic. Powerful, poetic, cinematic, and immediate all at once. Bravo.

But then, the flip side is that the later books take the easy way out of certain plot difficulties by playing semantic games. Prime example: Verin's oath not to betray the Black Ajah until "the hour of my death," so she can betray them as long as she's going to die. You can handwave an explanation for that--humans need some room for free will, yadda yadda--but I still don't find it narratively satisfying. It's too easy an out. And the resolution of Min's prediction, that Siuan found the poisoned thorn that the assassin wouldn't have stabbed Bryne with if he hadn't followed her into the Tower? Also too easy. It's like ending a story by revealing that it was all a dream. Sanderson hung a lampshade on it by having Bryne comment because it was so obviously not what Min's prediction envisioned. (And it wasn't even necessary to do or explain, because they *did* stick together, so the situation in which they would have died apart didn't materialize.) YMMV, but to me these examples are jarring because Jordan never took the literal nit-pick way out. These resolutions didn't feel earned.

Egwene is still a total badass, though.
152. Freelancer
Blood_Drunk @138

The Seanchan have a strict prohibition against killing damane, especially as a form of punishment. Remember Egwene being warned about losing her hands, or her tongue, if she disobeyed? They will mutilate, but not kill their pets. So that would not be a pathway around the 3rd Oath.

Palindrome @148

While it is true that most characters jump to the conclusion of shadowspawn when first encountering raken/to'raken, an Aes Sedai in any state short of utter panic would be held up about attacking one on that mistaken basis, because their ability to channel gives them an innate awareness of shadowspawn. That this sense would not be triggered should give them pause. In this situation, since those flyers are trying to kill or capture them, they should be permitted to respond, shadowspawn or no.

Wolfmage @150,

Not to pick a nit, but it is Adelorna who supplies the "if". Egwene's response explains everything:
"Then those captives are better dead...Trust me, I know this."
When Egwene says that Seanchan-captured Aes Sedai are better dead, she is drawing on her own experience of being enslaved as a damane, and how horrifying it was to her. There is no rationalizing, no harmonizing, just raw hatred and rage welling straight from her belly. It isn't about potential collateral damage, it is about her determination to make them pay so dearly for this raid that they come out losers no matter what. And if sisters die in her choosing to do so, she is convinced that it is a better end than being collared. That's all there is to it. Taken in context with her emotional state every time the Seanchan, or sul'dam are mentioned, it is completely consistent. She hates them with a transcendent passion, illustrated by her imposing Renna's face onto every Seanchan she attacks.

Sody Pop @151

So, you're saying that Brandon crafted those scenes from whole cloth, that Jordan never provided for those events in his outline/notes, and it was done to speed the completion of the story. You cannot be even remotely certain of that, and it always seems to me to be an insult to Harriet, the senior editor and Jordan's widow. Your thesis is that events in the text are handled poorly by the replacement author. But Harriet has final approval over any scene construction which wasn't predefined by Jordan himself, so your quarrel becomes more with your perception of her handling of the continuity, and less with differences in Brandon's writing style.

I tend to think that every case of a resolved Min viewing was prepared in parallel with the timing of the viewing itself. This is the sort of detail with which Jordan was very cautious. Regarding the Bryne/Siuan scene at the Tower, my comments @82 address the seeming logical paradox.
William Fettes
153. Wolfmage
Freelancer @ 152

Yes, I obviously accept that Egwene's experience means that she has a particularly acute view of the plight of damane, filling her with overwhelming revulsion and hardening her attitude. I think that's fairly self-evident and wouldn't be denied by anyone here.

The if in question is from Egwene. From the summary:
"She asks about captives on the creatures, and Egwene replies that they’re better off dead if they were there."
From that, it is clear to me she is adverting to potential collateral consequences of something she had already committed to. Something that isn't automatically true -- but is still foreseeable. Accordingly, she isn't taking an assertive position; she is saying if some do die as a contigent matter, then it's at least mitigated by being spared a terrible fate. So though that doesn't proclude her from taking a stronger more general position on the subject, the conversation is certainly a contingent one based on an objection to the exigencies of her actions -- essentially: "what about the Aes Sedai who may be killed if you continue to simply zap the to'raken out of the skies?"
Chris R
154. up2stuff
Seems like we had a similar debate before around the siege of TV if Aes Sedai could tip a boat or sink a ship and whether they could do it without violating the oathes. I forget what was decided. BUT, technically, TECHNICALLY, Egwene was shooting down the animals. Not the people. Course, she torched those sul'dam who were gonna collar that green.
Alice Arneson
155. Wetlandernw
Wolfmage @153 - The summary doesn't trump the book.
"What if they're carrying captives?" Adelorna asked, watching one of the beasts fall amid Egwene's flames.
"Then those captives are better dead," Egwene said, turning to her. "Trust me, I know this."
Adelorna supplied the "if" and Egwene, the "then."
Paul Long
156. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
Paul Long
157. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
Jonathan Levy
158. JonathanLevy
109. Looking Glass

I don't think the wards would fail either. The wards which are failing are wards against corruption, spoilage, infestation. I see it as part of the DO's touch on the world (though others have postulated the Fisher King effect, which also makes sense).

It's part of why Perrin finds so many weevils in his flour, and why tea starts spoiling. If someone put up a ward against stray tennis balls I wouldn't expect it to fail. For example, the wards against eavesdropping which are routinely put up by sisters show no problems at all.

Ok, 133.birgit said pretty much the same thing.

I don't think we've seen the end of Elaida yet. She's deposed, a captive and a slave. The White Tower has abandoned her to follow an upstart. And most importantly, she's selfish.
I think she'll swear her Oaths to the Dark One on-screen, then face Egwene in AMOL.
A very intriguing possibility. Isn't Liandrin hanging about with the Seanchan now? Would Elaida be strong enough to break Liandrin's shield, if only she could channel freely?

Also, we've never actually seen someone turn to the shadow on-screen.

Also, wouldn't such a scenario be a parallel to Rand's channeling the TP to get rid of the Domination Band?

The possibilities, they are endless!

As I indicated, IMO the in-world understanding of balefire is that it destroys the soul and prevents rebirth. From the outside, we know this is not true, but I believe that the text indicates that they believe it is.
This is an interesting distinction (in-world beliefs vs. our knowledge). But how exactly did the characters come to this belief, that balefire prevents rebirth?

To start with, the average Randlander has never even heard the term (see the supergirls' confusion in TDR when the Aiel mention the name). Moiraine explains only that balefire kills things into the past, damaging the pattern. She says nothing about rebirth. Cadsuane responds to balefire with slaps and warnings, not with explanations. The DO explains that it prevents him from resurrecting soulds (LoC). Moridin (in TGS) tells Rand that it prevents resurrection by the DO, but says nothing about rebirth (though one might be forgiven for jumping to that conclusion).

In ToM Rand has all of LTT's memories, so we can presume that he has the same understanding of Balefire's effects that was prevalent in the AOL.

Apart from that, I don't recall any more in-story explanations about balefire.

So - How is it that in-story characters belief Balefire prevents resurrection? Perhaps I have forgotten something, but to me it looks like we have to choose between:

1) They learned it from Rand in that brief window between his dream with Moridin in TGS and his epiphany.
2) In the AOL they also mistakenly thought it prevented rebirth.
3) This is what Moiraine/Cadsuane/Other Aes Sedai believe, but we just haven't seen anyone expressing it on-screen.
4) A minor authorial leak of knowledge from the glossary to the characters.
5) Effect of the minor ret-con I hypothesized in the previous thread.

Before trying to choose between any of these options, the first step would be to research which characters express this belief about Balefire, and at which points in which books. Ugh.

Hmmm, 126.douglas has some interesting points.

Apart from that, I have never understood the high value placed on rebirth in WoT. Death is still quite final. Consider two people who die on the same day. 500 years later, a baby is born with the soul of either person A or person B. So what? The baby has no memory of the past life, and is completely unaffected by it. Both A and B are equally dead, equally gone, equally destroyed.
Granted, there are a few exceptions:
1) Heroes of the horn in TAR remember past lives - but there are so few of these (~200 over billions and billions of lives) as to make no difference.
2) Madness caused by a leak between current and past lives - is this really what people mean by "my hope of salvation and rebirth"? To destroy a future life by maddening memories of a previous one?
3) Someone like Lanfear who has the ability to restore a lost personality (implied in Moiraine's letter to Rand).

It's a moot point to a certain extent, because in-world characters obviously assign a high value to it. But it just seems strange to me.
BTW, wolves are a different case, since they do have memories of their past lives.

151. Sody Pop
But then, the flip side is that the later books take the easy way out of certain plot difficulties by playing semantic games. Prime example: Verin's oath not to betray the Black Ajah until "the hour of my death,"
Since the Verin arc starts in book 2, I'm pretty sure the resolution of it - including the precise phrasing of the oath - was determined by Robert Jordan himself a very, very, very long time ago.

Considered, polite criticism of Harriet's work is not an insult to Harriet. In this case, however, I think it is simply mistaken.
Paul Long
159. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
160. Freelancer

You are quoting Leigh's commentary. I quoted the text. The "if" is from Adelorna. The rest of your point is moot on that basis.

JL @158

I completely concur that criticism is valid, especially here. But the accusation that Brandon took shortcuts or didn't give the craft enough attention, or anything along those lines, when referring to the published text, always brings Harriet's attention into question right along with it. I'm thinking she doesn't take too many shortcuts along the path of seeing WoT completed well, as a testament of deed to the grand opus of her late husband's life. That's all.
Roger Powell
161. forkroot
While it is true that most characters jump to the conclusion of shadowspawn when first encountering raken/to'raken, an Aes Sedai in any state short of utter panic would be held up about attacking one on that mistaken basis, because their ability to channel gives them an innate awareness of shadowspawn. That this sense would not be triggered should give them pause.
Interesting point. What, then, are we to make of the incident at the Kin's farm? (TPoD Chapter 5)

A raken appears shortly after they use the Bowl of the Winds and the Aes Sedai blast it from the sky, mistakenly thinking it is shadowspawn. Do we put that down to panic, or is there a range limit to an Aes Sedai's detection of shadowspawn?
Alice Arneson
162. Wetlandernw
JonathanLevy @158 - I don't know how they would have come by the idea that balefire destroys the soul, but as I read what was said by Min and Nynaeve in the recent chapters, that's what it says to me. I haven't yet had time to do the research to verify this throughout the series, though I would love to do so. In fact, I'd love to be proved wrong, in one sense, because it would make Rand's actions wrt Natrin's Barrow much less horrifying. OTOH, I think we're supposed to be horrified, so maybe not.

As far as its importance, well, why are our beliefs important? They shape our lives, our actions, our motivations; they make us what we are. The WoT beliefs are, I think, vital to the entire story line. Aside from the wolves and the Heroes, Rand's whole epiphany on Dragonmount would be nothing. He might as well go up there and destroy the mountain the same way he made it, because there would be no purpose for him. It's only in his realization that the SOUL is eternal, and each life of each soul is meaningful, that he finds a real value in his own life and in the sacrifice he's called on to make.

I think they all vaguely realize that the afterlife (or more accurately, the interlife) is not insignificant. The Aiel understand it more clearly, though: "We all wake from the dream that is the physical life, into the eternal spinning of the wheel, until we are once more spun out onto the land, to dream and wake again." If those dreams are sometimes hard and painful, they are also sometimes joyful and filled with love and happiness. On Dragonmount, Rand finally begins to understand what he believes, and why it is so important. It's the realization that, though he killed his beloved Ilyena once, she would nonetheless live again and might again have love and joy, that makes LTT back off from the total destruction he's been seeking. In Rand, it's the realization that his three loves, though they must grieve for him, will also have another life, another chance for happiness - but only if he does what he's called to do. The whole value of the Veins of Gold is that his actions, formerly driven only by duty, hatred and anger, are now an outflow of love and a clear vision.
I like, as a minor happening within all this awesomeness, that Gawyn killed two Seanchan soldiers with one stroke. Normally that would've been all we'd argue over, but in the midst of all the chaos his awesomeness gets passed over unseen.

In earlier posts people were questioning how Egwene got into the Angreal store room. If I remember correctly, Siuan told her where the storeroom was. It stands to reason she told her how to get in too!

Ron Garrison
165. Man-0-Manetheran
Wetlandernw @ 162:
"It's only in his realization that the SOUL is eternal, and each life of each soul is meaningful, that he finds a real value in his own life and in the sacrifice he's called on to make."
This reminded me of my Looney Theory:

In Rand's final battle with Moridin, Rand reminds him that if the DO wins, he will be no more - caput - fini - a dead parrot. For just a split second, philosopher Moridin contemplates Rand's remark, this memory of Light — just long enough for Rand to take him out.
Anthony Pero
166. anthonypero

The argument is regarding the wards that are set around the ter'angreal room. They aren't wondering, necessarily, how Egwene managed to get into the room; they are wondering why there was anything left. Why did the Forsaken not travel into the room previously and steal everything there, since they were constantly wanting to get angreal. The answer to me is obvious. The Forsaken are scared peices of garbage. They fear their own Shadow. A fear of death is what led most of them to the Shadow in the first place. Jumping into a place with 600 women who can channel, to the room that is guarded the most strongly in all the tower... not really their style.

I have no doubt that the wards were still in place, that Egwene set them off, etc... but there was no one left to answer their call. And odds are the wards set off silent alarms.
I also most note some disturbing trends in the post about RJ's intent wit regards to women being enslaved more than men.

I'd like to note that the only slaves in the books are being held under the rule of a woman. And it seems that it has been so for at least two generations.

I'd like to also note that the only population that is enslaved extensively are channelers. Since, until recently, all living channelers are female, it should stand to reason that the majority of visible slaves are female. I feel explaining the why of that should be known already so I shall cease with that threading.

I do not like what is being implied about this matter. I'm thinking some have a little to much time on there hands. I feel that some should follow RJ's advice regarding that kind of disorder.

Alice Arneson
168. Wetlandernw
I agree with Anthony - I think Egwene probably did set off all the alarms. The difference is that she didn't care who found out she was there or what she took - she wasn't trying to be stealthy.
Roger Powell
169. forkroot
The text doesn't support it directly, since the conversation with Egwene and Siuan happens on screen and there's no mention of defeating wards.

I like your idea though, and I think that's one of the ways that the plot hole could have been closed. Perhaps if TGS had been less rushed, the issue would have been noticed and the conversation between Egwene and Siuan could have been modified to include discussing a way to defeat the wards.

IMO, it's another argument for taking time to get AMoL right!

Wetlandernw@168 and anthonypero@166
Sorry, I don't buy it the idea that Egwene just blew in and set off alarms. If the wards were merely alarms, Mesaana could have done the same thing - be in, out, and gone with Vora's sa'angreal in no time. She would not have had to blow her disguise.

The text I quoted way back shows that the Forsaken were extremely interested in acquiring any angreal. Vora's sa'angreal would be an enormous prize, worth a little bit of risk; and as I've pointed out above, Mesaana is not Moghedien, she has some gumption.
F Shelley
171. FSS
wow...z...nice trolling and lousy spelling
Daniel Goss
172. Beren
@forkroot (161), et al.

I don't know that a range for detecting shadowspawn has been officially given. However, on the rare occasions where we see someone using it from the inside it seems that it's something that they have to concentrate on. They don't seem to get a flashing sign in their heads when something's coming. It just sounds like a vague feeling of unease that is easy enough to interpret when they think about it, but not something that jumps out at them.

As for using this sense to avoid killing non-shadowspawn at any range . . . We already have ample evidence that the Oaths are subject to the perceptions of the oath-taker. I guess what I'm suggesting is that if you jumped out in front of an Aes Sedai in an awesome Trolloc costume on the feast of Hallo'een, she wouldn't necessarily be expecting to have sensed you first, so she wouldn't have any trouble roasting your chestnuts over an open fire in a panicked reaction.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden
173. tnh
FSS @171, I took it as inadvertent rather than intentional trolling. Z's part of the community, and genuinely engaged in the conversation.
Roger Powell
174. forkroot
+1. ZEXXES may be not be the best speller or careful poster, but he's no troll. I do not agree with FSS at all.

I'd like to also note that the only population that is enslaved extensively are channelers.
Not sure we know that that is true, since da'covale are both male and female, and they seem to comprise a non-trivial percentage of Seanchan society.
175. Freelancer
forkroot @161,

The only Aes Sedai at the Kin farm were Vandene, Adeleas, Sareitha and Careane. I'm pretty sure it was Kinswomen and Seafolk channelers who killed the raken. Yes, they would have the same sense of shadowspawn as the sisters, but no bar against attacking it. Still, your point is fair, there is definitely a range limit to that sense, and the farm is out in the open where they had a long sight distance. The situation at the Tower isn't quite the same, and that's the scene under discussion.

ap @166

Not sure Egwene set off the wards. They were probably set on the doors, since nobody would be expecting a gateway entry, as Travelling was a lost weave.

RE: RJ's supposed misogyny. Puh-lease. "Hey, Harriet, was Jim really that anti-woman?" Go ahead and go there. Here we go with "old-fashion southern sensibilities" again.
176. CraigValentine
The thing that disapointed me was NOW was the time to stage a counterstrike. The Seanchan had picked up more than they had lost; but they had lost trained Damane and picked up untrained. The Aes Sedai could travel to the landing grounds and get there ahead of the To'raken and pick them of as they came in by oneses. But on the Aes Sedai side they did not know the Saeanchan had been stretched to the limit to conduct the raid. But in any case it is good military strategy that when you have the enemy on the run persue. And in any case you can't let Elaida fall into enemy hands to teach traveling.
Paul Long
177. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
Paul Long
178. Caveatar
Have to say it. Can't help it.

RE: RJ's supposed misogyny. Puh-lease. "Hey, Harriet, was Jim really
that anti-woman?" Go ahead and go there. Here we go with "old-fashion
southern sensibilities" again.

James O Rigney was as 'anti-woman' as I am and the old fashioned
sensibilities are as old as Eden! Not the southern USA.

Caveatar. I can't trust linking but in this thread or the previous is MY
feelings for women. I would bet JR felt the same if not for the same

Shuts codger mouth and listens
Paul Long
179. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
180. Greyhawk
I think the wards were supposed to be more than mere alarms. The whole point was that Messana thought them formidable enought to thwart her. It may be that Freelancer is right that they were set at the doors--if so Messana presumably wouldn't have know the otherside well enough to Travel there. Egwene I think had been there before (?) hence here ability to bypass the alarms.
Thomas Keith
181. insectoid
@111/112: Interestingly, Leigh seems to have added (retroactively) the eBook cover art to ACoS Re-read part 18, and to TFoH part 22. (I found that out just by chance. Really.)

AP @166:
I have no doubt that the wards were still in place, that Egwene set them off, etc... but there was no one left to answer their call. And odds are the wards set off silent alarms.
That seems plausible, but the more likely explanation is that—as Freelancer pointed out @175—the wards might only have been on the doors. (This had occurred to me earlier, but I forgot to mention it.) However, that doesn't explain why Mesaana feared to enter the storerooms.

Paul Long
182. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
Eric Hughes
183. CireNaes
I like several of the ideas that have been posted on the Mesaana/Egwene Travel Channel. A summary could be helpful.

1) Where the wards may or may not have been woven in addition to the presence of guards.

2) Food preservative and pest-control Wards/Weaves in general are not doing well. Perhaps this could be applied to anti-intrusion Wards/Weaves too. I don't think this is true, but it's marginally possible.

3) The Forsaken in general are reluctant to take risks and most need to be prodded by Ishydin to do so. There is a twist to this argument that I think applies in number 4.

4) Mesaana has quite a few and I think all of these combined are the most likely candidates: She doesn't want to share, she thinks she can take her time (i.e., Be'lal), and she is under strict orders to destabilize the Tower (sowing/preventing dis/unity ala Team Dark's mantra). These, in my mind, take precedence over any of the other possibilities. She shouldn't do anything that might blow her cover or her mission. This includes making the Tower susceptible to attack by lulling it into a false sense of security . It undermines Egwene's efforts to warn them of their impending doom (a raid on their most prized Tower Swag would be counterproductive to disunity at best). It's not that Mesaana fears Team Light. She's scared of messing up and facing Ishydin.

5) The various rules on what Saidining/Saidaring (What? Mattrim did it first) to a location requires. Seems Egwene is in the clear on this one.
ROBERT JORDAN For several people. Nynaeve could Travel after depositing Lan in Saldaea because she had "learned" that spot byTraveling to it. Remember, if someone Travels to a place, they now know the place they have Traveled to as well as if they had spent time there learning it.

ROBERT JORDAN On Skimming and Traveling he said: "In Skimming, one need to know the target better than the starting place. In Traveling, one need to know the starting place better than the destination."
So Eg's knew what she was after and the general location of the storerooms. She likely tripped the wards, but no one gave a rip as the Tower was under attack and the guards had likely left their posts anyway. Mesaana is already stronger than anyone presently in the Tower and might have thought she could scoop up any goodies later (she likely didn't know anything as strong as Vora's Sa'Angreal was at the Tower anyway as she was an arrogant cuss who regularly underestimates the resources of Team Light). She also does not want to jeapordize her mission. What troubles me is why Mesaana didn't go for upgrades later on before her battle with Egwene. Mayhaps TAR made her cocky and she thought she wouldn't need any? This chapter makes sense to me though. Did I miss anything?

Edit: Grammar and an additional sentence.
Anthony Pero
184. anthonypero
Messana could have stolen the sa'angreal if she wanted, I suppose. But why not just leave it where it is? It's not like she could have carried it around as Danelle. Manipulating the Split was far more important. And having that thing walk off would have set Elida hunting. What in the world did Messana have to gain?
185. Blood_Drunk
@ 152. Freelancer Just because they don't do it, doesn't mean they can't imply that they will. However, what I was really referring to was using the one power "in last defense of a sisters life." What if an Aes Sedai was made a demane and became institutionalized. What if she begins to view in last defense of a sisters life to be that of anyone who can channel, such as the suldam. What if that institutionalized Aes Sedai made demane begins to believe that to save the lives of the other Aes Sedai she must use the one power as a weapon to capture them. If belief is the controlling factor of the oaths, then I think there are infinite possibilities around the oaths.

@ 154. up2stuff I agree she is technically just killing the animals, if someone on those animals dies as a contingent circumstance (i.e. falling to their death) then that is not in direct opposition to the oaths. Also, you bring up the idea of tipping a boat; which brings to mind the situation back in the beginning of tGH where Siuan tells Moiraine that they used the one power to make the winds more favorable which would cause flash floods and other disasters in their wake. It seems implied that there is the possibility of collateral damage because of their actions. Just like Egwene killing the raken would cause the collateral damage of Aes Sedai falling to their death. Killing them is not the direct action, thus I think she would still skirt the oaths had she taken them. Once again it all comes down to perception. One Aes Sedai may not have been able to make that justification to herself to kill the to'raken while another may have had no problem with it.

In regard to Egwene taking down the to'raken I think it is also worth mentioning that the oath "in the last defense of a sisters life" comes down to what you define as life. If an Aes Sedai defines life as freedom of choice then being a demane is not life, therefore the third oath would not have prevented her from bringing down the to'raken anyway. The oaths are ambiguous enough to where I don't think they would have prevented Egwene from killing the to'raken based solely on the collateral damage of letting sisters fall to their deaths.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
186. tnh
The social dynamics of the antebellum South is a subject that can eat any comment thread alive. If people are interested in discussing it, please take it to the forums, where we can McPherson Catton Foot & Coates until we're blue in the face.
Eric Hughes
187. CireNaes

LOL! Like weavels in WoT grain. The South can rise again, but only where the North decrees. The forums it is.
The spelling due to the stupid phone. And you can't edit a post from your phone... Well not easily at least. The mobile page allows you to post but not edit. The full version does. But it is a pain in onion doing it that way from your phone.

And there is that word again. When I get home to my laptop, I'll have something special for ya.

So I apologize for the... Grammar, will correct later.

Paul Long
189. Caveatar
@187 Cirenaes

We have heard the voice of Cadsuane say, "That's one" and we respond
with alacrity and in a hurry too.
Love the TNH embedded. See you there.
Wave a flag when you start CireNaes
Thanks Tnh. We don't want to "make you come IN there."
Gotta love such people. And I do.

Eric Hughes
190. CireNaes

What's that smell? The sweet sweet smell of a 2'hunny just around the corner. AP is likely lurking. Anyone heard anything from Wolf? He's been strangely absent.

As to the whole which side I'm on. Why the West of course!
Hey, I think one my posts got bombed...

192. NotInventedHere
@181: Looks like the ebook covers were added to the chapters covering the scenes they illustrate. Though I wasn't aware Nyn met an unterseezombie wearing a hadori; guess I'll have to go re-read that chapter in ACoS again.
Eric Hughes
193. CireNaes

What's that smell? The sweet sweet smell of a 2'hunny just around the corner. AP is likely lurking. Anyone heard anything from Wolf? He's been strangely absent.

As to the whole which side I'm on. Why the West of course!
Karen Fox
194. thepupxpert
@181 insectoid - there was one scene in an earlier book when one of the BA (I think it was Liandrin?) set off the wards when she went into the storeroom and was confronted by a responding AS, I'm a little cloudy on the details and I don't have the books since I'm at the office. I think she talked her way out of being detained because the other sister was BA also. And then Fain also went into the storeroom to get his dagger, didn't he? Anyone remember what happened with the wards in those incidents? Either way, they used the front door and didn't gate directly into the storeroom so we may be talking apples and oranges.
Sam Mickel
195. Samadai
We don"t know that Mesaana can't get into the storage room with all the "greals are. All we really know is she told the rest of the forsaken that the room is guarded and warded. Being who she is, she probably just lied about it to keep the others away.
One proof of that could be the fact that Graendal had an Angreal that Mesaana traded to her for some info. Where did Mesaana get it? Most likely from the storeroom (IMHO)
Why would she need to keep one on her anyways? She is stronger than everyone else in the tower (until Egwene gets caught) and if she did anything with one she would be found out (most likely). She probably could take on any 3-5 single channelers by herself(before Egwene) and if someone is on to her even the Sa'angreal wouldn't protect her from a circle of 13
She has orders to lay low and manipulate the Tower throught the Black Ajah, She knows what happens to those who don"t follow the DarkOnes plans.
SO I am of the opinion she lied to the other forsaken.
Sam Mickel
196. Samadai
thepupxpert @ 194

That was Alviarin who caught Fain in the store room, (after he found the dagger he came to look for), after he killed the Novice/Accepted who came to check on whatever set off the alarm.
Eric Hughes
197. CireNaes

Mine too.

Embedded links are to tor.com's flagger as screams are to Machin Shin. Irresistably delicious.
198. Staizer
Point to consider regarding Egwene getting in the storeroom: An attack on the tower itself may have been a contingency in the storeroom wardings, The Amrylin would know that the storeroom wards would go down in an attack, in order to allow their own people to get inside to use the things for defense just as Egwene did.

Thing to consider while considering this option: Having a ward drop when an enemy is attacking will allow that same enemy to access the storerooms as well...

Which is more important? Getting weapons to defend yourself against attack or preventing enemies from using weapons once you are "supposedly" dead. Granted an attack might be a ruse to gain access the "weapons" in the storeroom before the AS can do so which is probably the biggest reason to not have a failsafe on the wards. . .

Another possibility: A "master key" that only Amrylins know for standard WT wards. . . Siuan would have been able to teach Egwene that, Elaida would know it and there is a good chance Mesanna would not know it.

Arguments against this:
1: The book probably would have mentioned Egwene doing this, either as a (quick) memory of Suian teaching her or showing her doing it.
2:The key may change at any time, either at Suian's deposition, daily, weekly, monthly or yearly.
Bonnie Andrews
199. misfortuona
So not quite as busy here this week as the last two, actually managed to read the whole thing.

Leigh I love reading your takes on these chapters. It's like reading them again for the first time.

Mis-slipping in for a quick hi.
Sam Mickel
200. Samadai
It really doesn't matter what wards they would have used on the door or walls, traveling directly into the room wouldn't set them off, as the ones who set the wards wouldn"t know how to ward against a weave none of them knew existed anymore.

edit for: WoT WoT, and I get the 2 hunny. No, I am not gloating. :P
Bonnie Andrews
201. misfortuona
You're Welcome Sam!!! Enjoy the 2-hunny!

Mis-sed it by that much!
202. Freelancer
CraigValentine @176

I would agree that a great amount of surprise is available in an immediate counterstrike. However, there are three problems:

1. Egwene, the one Aes Sedai fit to conduct such an operation, is not yet established as an authority in the Tower, and in fact was taken away from it by Gawyn, Siuan and General Bryne.

2. They have no Amyrlin at this point, and those who have attempted to hold some amount of organization together are not really in a condition to marshall any offensive. They still barely believe what has happened, they have no intelligence on the location and fortifications of the Seanchan. So which sister will assert authority and lead this assault?

3. The 3rd Oath precludes any retaliatory combat actions by Aes Sedai. Sending the Tower Guard would be delivering them into a sul'dam-cranked meat grinder.

Greyhawk @180

Hate to do this to you, but Mesaana didn't need to know the other side to Travel. That's the whole weird paradox with that weave, you need to know your starting place, not so much your destination.

I'm thinking that more viable answer is that she always felt she had enough time, and that she was going to take absolute control of the Tower, at which time she would have all the access she needed. Prior to that event, if by some chance an item of Power were discovered in the rooms of an otherwise unremarked sister, or missing from a periodic inventory(if such were taken regularly), it would raise questions, so best to leave them in place.

tnh @186

Mea Culpa. So you know, and not to push any buttons, the reference to "southern sensibilities" was a characterization applied to Jordan by a commenter on one of the volume release threads, suggesting that he was of a somewhat "backward" mindset regarding women. I've always felt it was unfair to presumptively analyze an author's real life worldview from his fictional characterizations, especially when one's conclusion regarding those characterizations isn't by any means proof against error.
Jeff Schweer
203. JeffS.
I'll have to agree with the "gating in wouldn't set off wards on walls and doors. Samadi, and others, have pointed out that you can't set a ward for a weave you don't know. Makes sense to me.

And by the way, everyone that mentioned that Elaida's character is such that she wouldn't take the big leap. I agree with you all. I was saying that it would have been a good resolution, in my mind, if she had.

I still hold out that if thought and action where as one, a freshly collared damane could pull it off in this situation. Although if the Suldam is paying attention, and probably would be, it would be very unlikely.

As much as others have wanted Faile to die, hate Egwene or
Gawyn, I have wanted Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan to be be, I don't know, smothered in woolly catepillars or something equally unlikely.
I don't know if I'd go as far as having her killed in TAR and totally removed from the pattern, but I would like to see her moved on to her next rebirth.

Phew, that level of concentrated loathing takes a lot out of you.
I am only an egg
Roger Powell
204. forkroot
Your explanation hangs together better than anything else I've seen proposed. IMO, the only way to make sense of the situation is to somehow discount the information given in the quote that I posted @39. Since Mesaana is the speaker, she could indeed be lying and you have proposed a plausible reason.

Here's something else to consider:

If all the important *angreal were supposed to be locked up and warded, how did the BA hunters get access to the Oath Rod? Remember, this started with Pevara and Seaine (who is a Sitter) ... Perhaps a Sitter could "check out" the Oath Rod (for study?) although a Sitter for the White would be a lot more suspicious than, say, a Brown.

Given the extreme caution that the BA hunters were using, I find it unlikely that they would have used a formal mechanism to get the OR. It seems equally unlikely that something as important as the OR would not qualify for some sort of protection.

So what are we left with? Maybe the truth was something like:

1) The *angreal were protected with wards that would raise an alarm (as we saw with Fain) and get someone to investigate. Mesaana knew this, but deliberately exaggerated the warding to keep the other Forsaken from raiding the stash.

2) The wards were sufficient to deal with non-channelers, Novices, and Accepted. Full Sisters (or maybe just Sitters) would be given the information on how to disable them, under the assumption that all Full Sisters were trustworthy (such a policy would be reasonable if you didn't believe in the Black Ajah.)

3) There were multiple storerooms, with varying levels of access. The Oath Rod might have been in a storeroom available to any full sister whereas Vora's sa'angreal would have been in more secure storeroom with only small number of sisters having access permission. This would explain how the 13 Black Ajah members that departed the Tower in TGH could grab a bunch of ter'angreal but not take Vora's sa'angreal.
Paul Long
205. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
Roger Powell
206. forkroot
I went back to check in TGH, as I remembered that Egwene had talked to Min how damane could not commit suicide. Interestingly enough, the a'dam prevented them from touching a weapon, or even something that they could use as a weapon (presumably that would include a bottle of poison.) This prevented killing yourself with a weapon, but not in other ways.

Egwene mentioned that the windows in high damane quarters were nailed shut to prevent them from throwing themselves out and that damane were watched in other situations (so they couldn't do something like throw themselves into a river.) For those interested, it's Chapter 42 in TGH.

So this means that Elaida could indeed have jumped off the to'raken if she was not restrained somehow. Given how the Seanchan apparently kept an eye out for this sort of thing (as explained in the referenced chapter), I imagine that Elaida and the other captives were pretty well trussed up to prevent jumping.

An interesting side effect of re-reading Chapter 42 in TGH, was to underscore just how awful Renna really was. It buttresses Freelancer's point about Egwene's deep emotional response to the Seanchan. Heck, I had an emotional response just re-reading it!
207. yasiru89
Regarding balefire, it was mentioned that though we know it doesn't destroy your soul and give you a final death, those in Randland may believe this. I don't see why they should conjecture this particular way, but there it is. (If only one of the Heroes of the Horn were known to be balefired during one life, but then was spun out again!) I won't attempt to undermine supposed examples from the text that suggest this (if any were given, I skimmed the posts). Instead, I think it's worth note that it's hardly significant in Rand's case (incidentally, the Hero of the Horn respun after balefire case is even more likely to apply to the Dragon). Even setting aside his insanity, he knows Graendal's level of Compulsion means her victims can't be rehabilitated in this life, and most importantly, is coming closer and closer to the conclusion that it would be a mercy to be given the final death (on Dragonmount he screams this aloud). He then found his reason to fight and was dissuaded from this belief, but is he to be condemned for what he did under a genuine (if crippling) belief which doesn't even really yield the effect he thought it did (assuming the conjecture that in-world they believe balefire a final death)?
This is all disregarding even the obvious facts that Rand's was a sound strategy and forced a favourable outcome for the Light (if not the one expected) and that the war isn't one of human conflict but one against the Shadow, which seeks to destroy all of humanity and the Pattern itself- so that, in this crucial context, going by the 'numbers' (i.e- sacrificing an already compromised group for the salvation of all) is not reprehensible- survival and necessity dictate otherwise. What made Rand not beyond redemption is that while he did not 'fear' what he was going to do (as he tells Nynaeve and Min), he knew the weight of it in the doing.

While this was all assuming it was true, I in fact reject the idea that those in Randland believe balefire grants a final death. It seems too peculiar a thing to believe and there's scant evidence in the text beyond what might sound suggestive (but this can be a 'basis' for trying to justify any theory at all).

Another objection is about using balefire on the scale that Rand did. Did he know at which point to stop short? Considering that he is one of the first to note that the Pattern is fraying on being told of the room rearrangements in the Stone (see Winter's Heart), he would be aware that his actions would have been for naught if the whole thing ripped apart in trying to get at just one Forsaken. It goes counter to the calculation he displays in setting the trap for the possibility of the entire game ending for playing that strategy. On the other hand, on Dragonmount he considered enough balefire to surely rip the Pattern apart- but, as with Tam, this he prevented himself from actually doing.
Jeff Schweer
208. JeffS.
Thanks for the research, it does bolster my thought processes so...
Yep, possible but unlikely.
I just wanted her gone and was so hoping it would happen here.
Oh well, maybe she'll have a redeeming death saving others in AMOL.
again, possible but unlikely 8^D
Chris R
209. up2stuff
Yasiru @ 95,
THAT would chap Elaina's ass! Her knowing she was freed by a man, let alone the Dragon Reborn.
Chris R
210. up2stuff
Lady Bel,
true it never happened, but Elaida fully intended to have Rand chained at her feet. She pretty much did her share of dehumanizing initiates, and they weren't even enemies.
202. Freelancer
tnh @186

Mea Culpa. So you know, and not to push any buttons, the reference to "southern sensibilities" was a characterization applied to Jordan by a commenter on one of the volume release threads, suggesting that he was of a somewhat "backward" mindset regarding women. I've always felt it was unfair to presumptively analyze an author's real life worldview from his fictional characterizations, especially when one's conclusion regarding those characterizations isn't by any means proof against error.
I think that it is somewhat inappropiate to discuss or criticize the beliefs of someone, having not known the person to any degree besides, possibly, speaking to him at a signing or having a short discussion at a Con. I am thinking, lacking actually knowing someones beliefs in totality from their own mouth, hypothesising about someones belief system using a non reality based fictional work as your reference is, and I apologize for the offensive, Ridiculous.

Also, it could be offensive to some, to criticize someones beliefs in such a way that it implies fact, when in reality that one is at best guessing and can't even question the subject, because in this case the person is no longer living. Which to me smacks as some kind of cowardly pontification. It is an offense, lacking any honor to such a degree, that it leaves the taste of the word Loathe in my mouth.

And yet still, even with that, I do sincerely apologize to anyone that opinion offends. But it just rubs me in such a way that it irritates more than simple chafing.

By the way Freelancer, this isn't aimed at you. I'm simply following the thread and using your post as the beginning of inspiration, as it was.


I hate that word. And people who use it are a loathesome people. Haters, they are. They are likened to crowd gatherers watching a stoning or even worse, a raping.... and doing nothing. Cowards, lazy, uninspired, petty, uncouth, lacking character, having no honor.... Nay, not knowing what even the concept of the word is... and not caring either. They are the mass of ancient, horrible and terribly putrid remains of dung, lying below the dung that a mound of even more ancient dung, defecated diarrhetically.

Same goes for the users of words, like the even more uninspired, Newb.

Edit- Newb isn't nearly the same offense and is normally used as a term of remembrance, as we are all a Newb at everything we do at one time or another. Though I personaly don't use the word. Mainly because there are some who use the word derogatorily. Yet most times, we can't actually glean that meaning when they use it as such within the written word.

174. forkroot

Well the only slaves we have seen with great numbers are Channelers. The number of Da'covale is unclear. And the circumstances of Da'covale enslaving is also unclear.

There are apparently a number of ways one could be enslaved, not least of which is the Empress seeming to have the power to, at will, enslave anyone she likes at any time. Granted she would not likely do so over trivial happenings; that would lower her eyes. But she does have that power.

What we do see are a lot of non-slave servants who are more of a caste than anything. Da'covale seems to be more of a negative retribution for some wrong doing or dramatic failure, as far as I can see. But placing numbers on Da'covale is difficult. Where as the Channeling slaves, Damane and for that matter by extention Sul'dam, being so visible and prominent, are much more estimable.

So I stand by my estimation until proven otherwise, knowing that could be done trivialy in the next book.

Roger Powell
214. forkroot
By the way, has anyone noticed the lack of low frequency response in the recent threads?

Terry McNamee
215. macster
I really don't have anything to say about the chapters themselves that hasn't already been said by Leigh or the other comments, so I'll just reiterate--Egwene is utter awesomeness incarnate, though Siuan, Bryne, and Gawyn are pretty awesome too and even Adelorna and Saerin show their quality. I didn't mind the way Elaida's fate was revealed to us, and thought it both karmic justice and a better ending for her vs. Egwene than any further confrontation. I also loved the e-book artwork and think it was great of Leigh to show it to us, I loved her comparison of Bryne and Siuan to Darcy and Miss Bennett (They Fight Evil!), and Gawyn as Edward is hilarious.

I am also not surprised in the least that this, Egwene's greatest moment of awesome, has brought out some of her most ardent haters and detractors, determined to pull her down and not allow her any good works or powerful moments in the narrative. I'm unsurprised, but also disappointed.

One other thing: I hope the encyclopedia will reveal to us just who this "Vora" was whose name was given to that sa'angreal. Was she a Brown or other Aes Sedai who studied it, as Corianin and Martine Jenata did? Was it literally hers, something she brought from some angreal stash she discovered or which was handed down in her family? Or was she a great Amyrlin whose name has been attached to it because, like Egwene, she used it in kickass fashion in battle? We Shall See, I hope.

And lastly: I always promised I would make note of any time Sanderson's writing did trip me up or knock me out of the narrative, and there was one in Chapter 41: when Bryne is describing to Siuan how you can never control absolutely everything, he says, "Sure, for an invading army, this city is impenetrable." Far too casual and colloquial for Bryne, IMO. From Mat, I would expect something like that, and in fact I think (though don't quote me on it) that he actually did use the word at some point in the series, in one of the early books, possibly TEotW itself. But not a noble and general like Bryne. It may be that his position as a leader of military men makes him more informal in his speech than I think he is, but I don't recall him ever saying such a thing before.

Did it bother me that much? No, and I'd be a hypocrite if I said it did. But I did notice it, and kind of frown a bit in a "that doesn't sound right" sense. Difference is, I moved on, didn't let it ruin my enjoyment of the story, and forgot about it.

@10 analiese: Actually I interpret it the opposite way--this isn't a scene to show how much better Egwene is than everyone else, it's showing how craptastic the rest of the Aes Sedai are, that for all their arrogance and belief that only they know how to rule and guide the lands, when it comes to fighting and serving the way they are supposed to, they suck. Egwene just looks so good in comparison because for all her flaws, she doesn't have the Aes Sedai's hidebound notions about staying separate from the world, having no emotions except calm and no cares except the Tower, and all their scheming and politicking and refusal to cooperate and unite. She knew what had to be done, and she did it, and kicked ass while doing so. If she is coming off as a God Mode Sue, it's meant as an inspiration to the other Aes Sedai that this is what they should be like. To go back to what we initially thought Aes Sedai were when we met Moiraine, before we learned the truth. And that is a good thing. As for her victory being inevitable, the only reason that's so is because of how incompetent the other Aes Sedai are, something that was established well before Egwene fully came into her power and position. Also, it's not as if she is the only one showing up the other Aes Sedai: Elayen and especially Nynaeve have done so repeatedly. So it's less "these characters are awesome" and more "the Aes Sedai are idiots and somebody has to show them their old traditional ways are wrong".

@17 Caveatar: That's an idea that never crossed my mind, but it makes perfect sense and would also be wonderful irony and karma. To have the very one Elaida had captured, kidnapped, and beaten, the one she was trying so hard to control, the one she hated as being a channeling man, the one she Foretold would bring death and destruction, be the one to have her freed would be absolutely delicious. And Zen Rand would do it, too. Besides, since we are pretty sure the releasing of all damane will be a condition of either Rand's truce with the Seanchan or the Dragon's Peace after the Last Battle, Elaida would get released in the end anyway. Whether she could redeem herself, who knows...Fain seems to have influenced her quite strongly, and that added to her personality and motivations makes it unlikely, but you never know--her time as a damane may actually change her for the better by breaking her pride, believe it or not. Regardless, I am sure she has a role still left to play in AMoL and Jordan didn't have her noted down as being captured just to pass on Traveling or even just as karmic justice.

Though if anyone does specifically ask for her release aside from Egwene, it would have to be Rand--neither Mat nor Perrin ever met Elaida. They didn't go to the palace in TEotW, Perrin was never at the Tower while Elaida was, and the one time Mat was there (when he was convalescing), no mention is made of them meeting.

@25 SomeoneElse: Then again I may stand corrected, that is a very good point that due to the oath Elaida extracted, no one but herself or a Black could teach Traveling to the Seanchan. Still, I think Elaida does still have a role left to play besides passing on the weave.

@26, 69, 74 LadyBelaine: And...your point is? Oh, of course, that Jordan was a sexist, chauvinist pig who either loved demeaning and torturing women, or showed such things as a form of titillation. And that Harriet either somehow missed this, or was complicit in it by allowing it. There's so many things wrong with these ad hominem arguments it's not funny, but there's a very simple answer: if you think Jordan's Southern sensibilities were wrong, and that he was either sexist or a sadist/pervert who got off on showing such things happening to women, then don't read Wheel of Time. There, problem solved. Happy now? Meanwhile, the rest of us can enjoy a deep, immersive, realistic, exciting and amazing story without being dragged down by overanalysis and a feminist agenda.

Oh, and I agree with something Wetlander said recently: calling one's opinion "humble" is in itself arrogant, calling attention to its supposed lack of importance. Just be honest and say it is an opinion, worth no more nor less than anyone else's. And just as freely disregarded.

@29 travyl: Good point.

@32 ryamano: That's an intriguing and very plausible interpretation! The only objection I can make offhand is that the dream Egwene had about the raven attacking the white-flamed lamp was already a reference to the Seanchan attack; it seems odd that two dreams would reference the same event. (Yes I know Egwene had dreamt of the same event more than once, but those dreams were usually either different in content or at least occurred at different times, not in the same dream session.) Also we know there is still one more Seanchan attack heading for the Tower, and assuming either Egeanin does something to put an end to it and helps Egwene, or Mat uses the Horn to convince Tuon to call it off and she then later comes to Egwene's rescue, the swordswoman dream could be referring to that. Still, a very good notion!

@36 ryanreich: Very well said.

@51 KiManiak: I agree about Saerin, she would have made a great Amyrlin or Keeper. But I am glad Egwene proved her worth to the Aes Sedai, and as for Silviana she is Made of Awesome as far as I'm concerned. If all Reds were like her (and Pevara, Teslyn, and pre-13x13 Tarna), that Ajah would be a lot less problematic.

One thing about Katerine though: I actually had to give her props for being so furious about the Seanchan attack and wanting to stop them. Granted, she was acting more like a personal affront to her pride, she likely just wanted those Aes Sedai for her own dark ends, and her taking over would have been disastrous. And I still hate her guts. But at least she understood the danger the Seanchan were and wanted to stop them. Even Evil Has Standards.

I agree, Siuan didn't deserve that reprimand--that's one point where I was pissed at Egwene. But I commend you, after your past debates where you criticized Egwene, being able to unreservedly praise her here for the awesomeness of what she did. Others, particularly Egwene-haters, would do better to follow your example...

Also: LOL at the reference to Cyke from the 90's X-Men cartoon, I know exactly what you mean!
What? It's late, so forgive my processing speed.

Terry McNamee
217. macster
@54 relogical: You mean, that Mesaana blocked gateways? I assume you mean in the manner Rand and Asmodean did, and which it was stated Semirhage and Demandred could do, since at this point there wasn't a dreamspike available and we didn't even know they existed. Interesting...I'm not sure how that could have worked, since I was under the impression you had to be in the room or at least viewing the weave before you could block it from forming/opening, but it's an intriguing possibility to explain the discrepancy. Of course for your theory to work it would have to mean Mesaana didn't leave the weaves inverted and tied off, but only wove them periodically when she thought other Forsaken might try to come in.

@56 Black Guy: Aside from the many examples already named by others--General Galgan is described as having blue eyes, and while this isn't impossible for black people it is highly rare; Captain Mishima had blond hair; we are never told what color Suroth's skin is, only that she has black hair and eyes; and while we aren't given a skin color for him either, General Karede is from a family which claims descent from a noble who accompanied Luthair Paendrag to Seanchan, so unless that noble was one of the Sea Folk...

@62 al'Kohol: I would consider her discovery she was absolutely wrong about the killings being the Black Ajah or Mesaana, and that if Gawyn hadn't come back and killed the Bloodknives she'd be dead, to be quite the comeuppance. She even thinks that she was an idiot and a fool and her victory over Mesaana meant nothing in comparison.

@65 analiese: As hard as it may be to believe, I have concluded that none of the Aes Sedai captured must have had living Warders. Either that or the Aes Sedai were so preoccupied with Healing the injured, assessing the damage, realizing what idiots they were to be so divided, and then choosing a new Amyrlin that by the time they considered trying to rescue those captured, they must have thought that the raiders had already made it back to the Seanchan armies, too far for them to chase after them and get their sisters back and among far too many enemy soldiers for them to make the attempt.

As for Egwene, all I will say is to repeat what I noted to al'Kohol above, that even if she never apologized to Gawyn, Egwene did realize in her thoughts how stupid and wrong she had been to dismiss his theories, and because of her error she is forced to admit Gawyn had the right to determine what was needed in order to protect her, even if he deferred to her in all else. On Sheriam, she was never a true Black--she joined to gain power, never thinking the Last Battle would come in her lifetime nor wanting it to, and certainly not wanting to help the Forsaken or the Dark One. Plus she seemed genuinely sorry at the end, so I can't see her revealing the oaths of fealty as some last-ditch effort to bring Egwene down and rip the Aes Sedai apart again. Not to mention that betraying Egwene that way would not be a good way to get her to consider sparing her life.

I do agree, though, that when Faolain, Nisao, Theodrin, and Myrelle return from the Black Tower (if they do...) they should be realized from their oaths, as should the other members of the Salidar Six.

@70 Loialson: Sounds like an awesome idea!

@79 TWGrace: I just re-read the scenes in Falme where Egwene was collared, and she was pleading with Min to "remember her". I think it is safe to say that if Nynaeve and Elayne had not been able to free her, she would have chosen death herself rather than remain collared. So if they had fireballed her, she'd have been grateful! Whether this is an admirable or moral thing to wish on herself and other captive Aes Sedai is another matter, but at least she is consistent in this belief.

As for Rand's actions vs. Egwene's, I agree with you: both were necessary and both were awesome (albeit in a dark and diabolically clever way on his part). It was never the fact he didn't do it in battle which bothered me, it's how he felt about it, that he didn't even seem to care he'd killed all those people, that they might have been innocent or possibly freed of Compulsion--what that says about his state of mind is far worse than him being willing to cause collateral damage and kill innocents in warfare to stop the utterly evil enemy leaders opposing him, and based on how he acts later (abandoning Arad Doman when the food goes bad, almost destroying the Borderlander army at Far Madding) I'd say we are right to worry about him. It isn't Natrin's Barrow itself we should be decrying, it's the state of mind which makes it possible without any accompanying guilt or regret, and the fact it seems to be a slippery slope to other acts which are undeniably worse and unjustified.

And in retrospect, the fact Egwene didn't show any distress either for the innocent Aes Sedai she "had" to kill, and that she was showing so much disturbing hatred and rage in how she kept putting Renna's face on every sul'dam and raken rider (she'd be quite happy to know what Mat did to her, I imagine) should make us worry for her as well as for Rand. Seems the two of them have more in common than initially seems the case--maybe she wasn't so far off in making comparisons between them?

For what it's worth, I don't find massacring people admirable, but I did admire the clever generalship Mat used to defeat those Seanchan.

@80 Blood_Drunk: Agreed on your analysis for why Egwene's political battle against Elaida within the Tower was still very necessary.

@81 thewindrose: Very good examples. I'd forgotten about that merchant in Amador, I love your tongue-in-cheek reference to Fain, and while we don't know what exactly was done to him and he eventually recovered, whatever Ishamael did to Jain Farstrider must have been pretty traumatizing. Granted he wasn't a leader exactly but he was a legendary hero.

@96 sps: From the epilogue of TGS:

"Each of the Black Ajah members on Verin's list had been seen healthy and alive following the Seanchan attack. But most had escaped before Egwene arrived at the Tower to take her seat."

So unless the few members of the Black Verin missed were among those captured, there should be no Black Ajah damane with the Seanchan. (Well, they have Liandrin, but she isn't damane and can't channel anyway.) And since the Black aren't constrained by the Three Oaths, I would think they could have fought far more lethally (a la Egwene) and thus evaded capture.

@97 Sonofthunder: I actually have to agree. While she had her problems (did she ever!) and I never really liked her, the Elaida of books 1, 2, and 3 I could at least respect for her convictions and admire for her strength. It really is a shame she became what she did. A smidgeon of me does hope she might get some redemption in AMoL, but if not I won't be surprised.

@99 JonathanLevy: Very good points re: Elaida's removal. And while I could see her possibly redeeming herself (though her eagerness to betray the Tower and her sisters to save her own life makes that a very unlikely possibility), I love your decreed fate for her. :D You're also absolutely right about Natrin's Barrow.

@103 TheListener: That's an interesting possibility I never considered.

@104 lostinshadow: I have the feeling that the Field of Merrilor at least, if not subsequent events, will involve a great deal of Egwene being proven wrong, losing, or having an internal crisis. I have to say, though, I am a bit appalled at your statement that her collaring doesn't compare to what others in the series have gone through. While it is true others have grown more, I don't see how anyone could read the scenes in Falme and not be as horrified as Leigh was and still is to this day. I just re-read those scenes last week and they still haunt me. See also forkroot @206.

It can be convincingly argued that such experiences have badly damaged Egwene, may be adversely affecting her decisions, and spell doom for any kind of accommodation between Randland and the Seanchan, barring the ending of a'dam use and a Seanchan (like Egeanin or Tylee) saving her life. In some ways she is as messed up as Rand, but without any kind of healing that can be done via the Power or past-life integration to help her recover, which doesn't bode well at all. But I'd challenge anyone to prove that based on what she went through alone, Egwene doesn't deserve props for being able to function at all, let alone as reasonably as she does. Whether any of her decisions and actions are also due to Halima, who knows. But I expect there will be more soul-searching for her, her being slapped in the face with things she has done wrong and needs to change.

I am hoping whatever happens with Tuon, Egeanin, and the Seanchan will have something to do with this--if the dream of her and a golden hawk touching isn't in reference to her marrying Gawyn while Galad marries Berelain, then hopefully that does indeed suggest she and Tuon will come to an understanding, probably via Mat or Rand.

@108 toryx: I...actually find myself agreeing, to an extent. Initially I did cheer and clap gleefully when I read what happened to Elaida. Part of it was it being so deliciously karmic since she had refused to take the Seanchan into account, believed they were a threat or even real, dismissed everything Egwene said about them, and tempted fate by putting her chambers right near the top of the Tower where they'd be landing. Part of it was also a reaction to seeing not just the overall evil and stupidity and selfish, arrogant megalomania in Elaida, but her worst moment in this book when she attacked and nearly killed Egwene. But...over time, as I thought about it, and especially as I remembered what Elaida was like in the beginning, I became more and more horrified by what happened to her.

Some of this is mitigated by what is revealed in ToM, namely that she was still so selfish she was willing to offer the Tower (via Traveling) and fellow sisters in her place just to save her own skin. And the fact she is still resisting so long due to her pride and strength tells me that if she does get rescued or freed in AMoL, her experiences aren't likely to be as traumatic as Egwene's or any other collared Aes Sedai, at best breaking her pride enough to teach her a lesson without destroying her, possibly even help her throw off the Mashadar taint, in which case it could actually be the best thing to ever happen to her. That said, the situation itself is still pretty awful, and while I can be grateful she was removed from the picture and find the justice rather perfect, it is still disturbing.

And for anyone who hates Egwene, I'd note even she agrees in Chapter 45 that Elaida doesn't deserve it, while it's the fellow sisters (the Ajah Heads for sure, and it seems the Sitters as well) who think she does deserve it and so won't bother to mount a rescue. Make what you will of what that says about the Aes Sedai vs. Egwene--I think it proves what Tathas said, that Egwene is actually far more forgiving than the other characters, and it seems many readers too.

@109 Looking Glass: Good point re: wards failing being a general sign of the Dark One undermining order, regardless whether the wards have to do with the Shadow or not.

@110 WouldBeBrownAjah (I think I would be too, BTW): You're absoluely right. Even setting aside Elaida's selfishness and lack of sympathy for anyone other than herself, she fully believes her Foretellings, particularly those about Elayne and Andor, are the key to the Light defeating the Dark One. She wouldn't sacrifice herself as long as there was a chance she could make those Foretellings come true, or have further ones that could tip the balance toward the Light. If she weren't so terrible at interpreting them, and weren't keeping them all to herself, I'd actually agree with her on that one point: the ability to Foretell is very rare, and with Nicola now dead, and Gitara long gone, the Light might need Elaida's ability more than ever. Though this close to the end I doubt there's any more coming even if she were forthcoming and objective about them.

Anyway, validity of that notwithstanding, Elaida using her status as a Foreteller to spare her own life just gives her another excuse to be selfish, so in the end it's still another sign she never would have done such a thing.

@111 Rancho Unicorno: I seem to recall a little something stated by Leigh repeatedly in the past--it's her blog, she can do what she wants to with it, and she isn't beholden to any of us in how she does things. In fact it's rather silly and petty to be all bent out of shape over the change of one icon, and how it required you to delve into the post to find out the reason for it--and it's only your opinion on what the function of a logo is, why Leigh uses it, or what the 'etiquette' is in changing and using one.

That said, I do agree she could have just placed it within the re-read entry as she has done in the past for other links and images, and getting upset about this is better than the other flamewars there have been, especially recently. So...
Paul Long
218. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
Terry McNamee
219. macster
@113 FSS: While I don't deny Egwene has made stupid mistakes, and sometimes out of selfishness, not everything you enumerate qualifies. Her becoming a Black Ajah Hunter was not due to selfishness--she was fooled by Liandrin because of the supposed danger to Rand, she went to Falme to help him, not for any personal self-aggrandizement on her part, and ended up collared for her trouble. Yes, going to help a childhood friend and getting tortured and imprisoned is very selfish. And the trap in Tear was one they knew was a trap and willingly sprang, so as to stop the Black Ajah and again--big surprise--to help Rand.

As for her leaving the Black Ajah hunt to go to Rhuidean and the Waste, three things. One, before she chose to do that, she was completely ready and willing to go to Tanchico with Nynaeve and Elayne to find whatever there threatened Rand. No selfishness there. Two, when she did go, it was because Amys ordered her to do so, not just her willingness to learn about Dreaming. And three, I don't see how it is selfish to learn about Dreaming when it is a) a lost Talent which the Aes Sedai sorely need b) something extremely critical to the Pattern and victory for the Light and c) something that can again help Rand as much as Min's viewings can. Plus, of course, the fact she left to learn this did not put an end to the Black Ajah hunt since Nynaeve and Elayne were still going, and I don't recall Moiraine getting after her for shirking her "duty".

Lastly, while going to change the harbor chains without telling Siuan or anyone else what she was doing was rather foolhardy, it wasn't stupidity which motivated her to do so--it was concern for Bode, since she is Mat's sister; a sense of duty that she shouldn't be putting others in danger for her sake; and the fact that with Kairen dead she was a much better substitute for changing the chain than Bode. This last comes up again in ToM when she points out she has to be one of those in TAR luring Mesaana out because she is one of the best at navigating TAR and therefore the Tower needs her as a tool, just as she was in her ability to make cuendillar.

@116 Caveatar: I...can't tell if you're joking there or not. But consider me a bit disappointed. Because while I agree that Verin must have done bad things we never got to see, yet we forgive her of them precisely because we never saw them and because of her dying moment of awesome, I can't see anything Egwene did which was objectionable that comes even close to the things Verin likely had to do under the Shadow. I don't think even those who hate Egwene can call her anything but devoted to the Light and not a Black Ajah in training. Switching their roles around might make for an interesting study to see whether people who love Verin and hate Egwene would switch their emotions, but I don't see it holding up in terms of the text or the characters overall. In fact far from Egwene serving the Dark, I think her awesomeness in these chapters comes from the fact she is proving why the Oaths aren't always good (lacking them enabled her to stop the Seanchan) and actually being the amazing, powerful magic-user fighting the Shadow which the Aes Sedai are supposed to be but so few have been. She's outdoing them--and hopefully, inspiring them to be like her, not in her twistiness, but in her ability to stop the in-fighting and politicking and actually get out of the Tower and do something. See my words to analiese.

@118 FacultyGuy: I wondered that too. Nothing Mesaana said in that scene in LOC implied she actually knew where the storeroom was.

@119 Caveatar: That is a very powerful and thought-provoking post, regardless one's beliefs. It gives the same answer Rand receives on Dragonmount--why live again? To have another chance to love and to do things right. To forgive, to save, to have mercy.

@121 LightBlindedFool, @158 JonathanLevy: An interesting possibility indeed. However, I don't think it will happen this way. For one thing, Elaida has always shown nothing but contempt and hatred toward the Shadow and those who follow it; I can't see her joining, even after having been tainted by Fain, especially if joining the Shadow were done in response to being made damane--all that would do is allow her to forego the Three Oaths and thus be able to kill with impunity and be the weapon the Seanchan want her to be. It might let her get revenge on Egwene or destroy Rand, but it wouldn't help her get free of the a'dam--even freed of the Oaths, she still couldn't kill herself or do anything the sul'dam didn't want her to. So there wouldn't seem to be a point to her changing sides, from her perspective. And she has always been utterly determined to save the world and stop the Dark One, and she still reacts with fury at Egwene calling her a Darkfriend--I just can't see even Fain's taint and her insane megalomania making her join the Shadow, it magnified qualities already in her but it couldn't fundamentally change her, and changing allegiance from Light to Shadow is pretty fundamental.

Even if she did join, though, I don't think it would be via Liandrin. Elaida is one of the most powerful Aes Sedai there is, but Moghedien believed her skill in weaving that shield was such that no one but Semirhage could unweave it. This could just be typical Forsaken arrogance, except we never see any sul'dam and damane undo it, nor does Semirhage herself, and one would think if she could have she would since Liandrin would have made a great minion to bring to face Rand with the Domination Band. In any event, even if Elaida did have the power to unweave it, I doubt she would have. Why? I just read the scene in Dragon Reborn where Elaida came to talk to the Supergirls in their room, and she showed only contempt and fury at the idea that Liandrin had besmirched the Red by turning out to be Black. Even if she wanted to turn to the Shadow, I don't think she'd do so for Liandrin's sake or due to her help.

@129 forkroot: How does the text you quoted prove Mesaana knew the location? She says the rooms are guarded and warded, but nothing about where exactly they can be found. She may know they are generally somewhere in the basement, but I don't think she could approach the specific room to locate it without the guards stopping her or an Aes Sedai wondering why the dreamy Danelle is down there. Without that, she wouldn't have enough info to gate in. She may only know where it is from having gotten Alviarin to tell her, and we don't know that Alviarin gave her the exact room location. See also my point about Mesaana not wanting the BA to know her to be weak and flawed, which would also apply to admitting lack of knowledge about the storeroom.

@134 Man o Manetheren: I thought of that too. We only have Mesaana's word that the storeroom is warded. Of course if it isn't, and she knew where it was, there seemed to be nothing stopping her from going in except her own fear of being caught or not wanting to jeopardize her plans in the Tower. And after Liandrin et al's thefts surely wards were put up. In fact Siuan said they "tried" to get into the angreal storeroom and did get into the ter'angreal one, which implies something stopped them. Traveling could get around the wards, especially if they were only on the door, while if Mesaana did know where the room was she could Travel to it. The only thing I can think is what others have said: Egwene did set them off, but no one noticed amongst all the fighting, and the reason Mesaana never tried despite being able to Travel was fear she'd be caught and her plans ruined. Why she didn't take a Black with her would presumably be because she either didn't want to risk them getting caught by another sister, or she didn't want to reveal to the Black that she wasn't all-powerful and needed help to get past the wards.

I think someone should ask Sanderson if this was a goof or not. Because if the wards existed, surely Siuan would have mentioned them when telling Egwene about the room, and when Adelorna wonders where Egwene got the sa'angreal she doesn't think "And how did she get past the wards?" So unless she didn't know about them, it must be that Sanderson goofed in not mentioning them or a way past them, and Mesaana had some other reason for not Traveling in.

Then again, maybe she didn't need to get in--she traded an angreal to Graendal in exchange for information, so she must have some other source of One Power items...maybe she too snuck into Illian after Sammael died? Or Moridin gave it to her? Or she got it from Falion and the others after they robbed the Ebou Dar stash? We know the coven were meeting with some Forsaken other than Moghedien, whoever it was Chesmal thought Elayne was disguised as, and Mesaana in the Tower seems like a likely bet.

EDIT: I see Samadai addressed this, but I'm leaving it in because while it's possible she got the ring from the storeroom, his points about her not even needing angreal are very valid. And I think my suggestions for where else she could have got it from are also worth consideration.

@147 Wetlander: That is a very good point. I too was under the impression Rand and other members of Team Light thought balefiring caused the death of the soul, but for the life of me I can't figure out what in the text made me think so. It could be a case of transposing what the glossary tells us into the main text, or applying the Dark One's statements from LoC to what the Aes Sedai know. As JonathanLevy says, Cadsuane never explained why Rand should not use balefire, and Moiraine only spoke of it burning the thread back and making it so you no longer existed a certain time period backward. Nothing about never being able to be reborn. So if Cadsuane or anybody else thinks that's what balefire does, they've never said or thought it for us to hear it.

What this leaves us with, though, is the sense that the Aes Sedai freaking out over Rand using balefire are doing so based solely on the damage it does to the Pattern...which while that is indeed worrisome since all of reality could unravel, doesn't hold quite the same moral rectitude as thinking you're making it so souls can never be reborn. Which in turn means that all the readers getting upset with Rand are doing so for the wrong reason...and that like Moiraine, Cadsuane, and Nynaeve, the reaction is excessive compared to the actual action. If the characters are freaking because of the damage to the Pattern, that's one thing, though they don't really say (other than Moiraine) their reason for being upset--the fact Rand could be so blase about damage to the Pattern is still troubling. But none of the readers who have gotten upset with Rand seem to be doing so because of the damage to the Pattern, they're all assuming he was making it so souls couldn't be reborn. It seems an adjustment in thinking needs to be done here. Though Jonathan does have a point that since the characters don't know how long it will be before someone is reborn, for all intents and purposes if they're dead they're dead and won't be coming back for a long time. Plenty reason to be upset, especially when it's large numbers being killed.

@151 SodyPop: I'm with Freelancer. It's very clear Jordan worked out all of this years ago back when he first created things like Verin and her seventy year plan or Min's viewings. So to assume this was something made up by Sanderson to fulfill what Jordan wrote without being properly written and fit into continuity not only suggests Harriet and Team Jordan don't know what they're doing, it denies all the intense detail work and planning Jordan himself did.

@152, 86 Freelancer: Exactly. If Bryne had not gone with her, Siuan would have been killed by the Bloodknife and then he would have gone mad from the breakage of the Warder bond and gotten himself killed in battle. The viewing was an 'if' viewing indeed because Min telling of it affected the outcome: if she hadn't told Siuan, Siuan would not have hung around Bryne so much, they wouldn't have fallen in love, and then he wouldn't have wanted to be her Warder in the first place so as to be put in the position of dying if she did. Only by being her Warder, and then by coming with her, could he both be in danger of dying and able to be saved.

@171 FSS: You've been gone quite a while from the re-read, so you aren't aware that yes, Zexxes has been here for some time (the last two books at least, I believe) and he's also been part of the fandom but not commenting if I recall correctly. Also, I think he is quite right to be disturbed by this tendency to demean and impugn Jordan's memory and character, as well as Harriet's in allowing something seemingly so sexist into the books--and from what Freelancer and JonathanLevy said, I don't think Zexxes and me are alone in feeling this way.

@183 CireNaes: That seems as good an explanation to me as any. Though Samadai @195 makes just as much sense.

@198 Staizer: While you make some good cons against your own idea, that is also an interesting possibility.

@204 forkroot: Another possibility--if the Oath Rod actually were in the same area the sa'angreal was, the Black Ajah Hunters having fetched the rod could have brought the wards down (or they were taken down to let them in), and the wards weren't reinstated because of the Seanchan attack. Said attack also distracted Mesaana which is why she didn't know about the wards being down and try to take something.

Also, why would she? Unless she checked the wards periodically, she'd have no reason to be down there, or to be Traveling to the storeroom on the off-chance the wards were down. It may be as simple as the fact that before this, she didn't want to take the chance that the wards would be set off by a gateway, and she was too busy to check for them being down during the attack.
Paul Long
220. Caveatar
@215 Macster
@17 Caveatar: That's an idea that never crossed my mind, but it makes
perfect sense and would also be wonderful irony and karma. To have thevery one Elaida had captured, kidnapped, and beaten, the one she wastrying so hard to control, the one she hated as being a channeling man,the one she Foretold would bring death and destruction, be the one to have her freed would be absolutely delicious.

I WISH I could claim that as my idea. It has been spread all over
the world for 2000 years by many people. Started by a Carpenter
YOU Know what I mean. Forgive them who despitefully use you....
But the original was probably Aramaic or greek or hebrew or somthing.

As to stoning as punishment. The alternate to doing that and just
patting ourselves on the back with our sore arms from throwing
rocks at a poor woman who had to debase herself to eat, getting
money from the bastards who wouldn't allow her food freely unless
she served them and all.....Whew.
The alternative to that Mosaic God Given Punishment was,
If you will at all NOT stone them, then hide your eyes from their
doings and shut your ears from hearing of their deeds, And
I the LORD will visit that person and take them from among you.
In all recorded history even Felix couldn't find a SINGLE case
where that option was taken.
We like to beat people to death. Makes us look better ourselves and all.

And Jesus Rand HAS to know, For if you forgive not those who sin
against you , then neither will 'you be forgive by your judge' basically.
I hope it happens like I put it and it would not suprise me a bit to
see the Master Scribe we love do exactly that, if only to make people
'throw the book against the wall.' Good, they will not learn anything
more from it anyway.
I have replace Mark Twain in my mind with Robert Jordan. Sorry Sam
but you had your day and now its his. And you would like him too!

Paul Long
221. Caveatar
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Paul Long
222. Caveatar
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Jay Dauro
223. J.Dauro

While it is true that we do not see a huge number of the white robed da'covale, we do see a fair number of them about as servants. And a large group of them trained to dance as shea dancers. Oh, and all of the Seekers. And the Death Watch Guard. And the So'jhn. Hmm, starting to add up.
Yes but if I'm not mistaken, they aren't slaves. They are a kind of indentured servant. Am I wrong about that? And some of those are castes from what I understand of it.

Anthony Pero
225. anthonypero
Zexxes... they are slaves. Look up teh relevant passages with Bayle Domon and Eaginian (sp?).
But thinking on it longer, I can hypothesize that if the Seanchan Empires population is at least 10 million, then we could loosely approximate a Da'covale population of at least 1% on up to say 10%. Any more than that becomes hard to control over time as rebellion would eventually be imminent. So you'd be looking at anywhere from 100,000 to 1,000,000 potential Da'covale. Now even at 1% that's high given the criteria for being Da'covale. But still way more than the estimated 2000 Damane even if you cut that to 10,000 Da'covale.

So I can concede that there are more Da'covale than Damane. But that hasn't effected the misconceptions over female to male ratios within the slave population. As Da'covale aren't known to us to be discriminatory with regards to that ratio, the argument is still blown.

I can only offer that the majority of visible slavery population has been women, because they are channelers. And that, I think, is a more logical alternative to any conscious or unconscious anti-women sentiment.

I feel the militants among the feminists here are reaching a little too far.

Paul Long
227. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
William Fettes
228. Wolfmage
FFS @ 113

IMO you're way too harsh on Egwene there whilst being rather strangely soft on Gawyn.

A couple of points:

Egwene does leave the Two Rivers, in part, because of her sense of adventure. But that is not in itself selfish. It is no more selfish than Min choosing to live and work out of a stable in Baerlon because she likes horses. Ordinary life decisions like that are simply part and parcel of what a person does in making autonomous life choices based on their view of what is a good life. If Egwene were imposing some great cost on others by leaving, or if she was abandoning some pre-existing strong obligation to stay, that might make out a case of selfishness. But there isn't any evidence of this: the one critical service she is well qualified to undertake for the village is being Wisdom, and that is already covered by Nynaeve for the forseeable future as far as she knows. What else did she need to stay for? She also holds her own perfectly well in the flight from the Two Rivers, so it's not like she was some kind of terrible burden on the primary mission. Moreover, as soon as she finds out about her facility with Saidar, she can justifiably claim that she is serving the light better by going forth to seek proper training rather than finding a place as a 'normal'.

It must also be said that her personal desires don't just crowd out any other altruistic desires to support the boys predictament -- ie. getting to the safety of Tar Valon. I think that's self-evidently false. She does want to help whilst simulaneously wanting to see the world. Nothing wrong with that!

On the issue of her wanting to learn dreaming - it's true she is driven and ambitious. But she explicitly wants to harness the power of the True Source and TAR to help Rand and she does so on many occasions. And this isn't just idle covetousness of power she has fixated on out of nowhere because of her ego. She was originally put on notice and encouraged in her nascent dreaming abilities by Anaiya and Verin, and only then does she begin to see the idea of being the first Dreamer of the White Tower in generations as a valid objective. The fact is she has a reasonably rare ability and she is simply choosing to cultivate it. That isn't selfish at all in my book, and that is coming from someone who does question some of her methods in how she goes about this.

Re: Gawyn

You can certainly make an argument that the way Gawyn is kept in the dark and isolated pushes him towards an oblique view of Siuan's leadership that makes his support less likely. I agree. But I dislike the implication that he was simply forced by this situation as if he had no real agency or brains to judge for himself. Ulitimately he did have agency and it was open to him to leave Tar Valon for Andor, as would be eminently sensible, or do something entirely different. Instead, he let his emotions cloud his judgement, and whilst that may be understandable, it was still his choice and it was a poor one, albeit one made with imperfect information.

I am also not in favour of this too-grandiouse argument about the rule of law. I get that, superficially, he does not have possession of all the facts to question the dubious nature of Elaida's usurpation of power on technical matters such as the Black Ajah's involvement and lack of notice given to the full Hall. So, he can't appreciate the problematic nature of what was done to evaluate it. But we must weigh that against him not trusting in the judgement of Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne, who were obviously firmly on Siuan's side, and his apparently having no considered view of Elaida's manifest unfitness for office - which was clear to many people and ought to have been clear to someone who grew up around her.

As a warder-trainee, I acknowledge that he isn't a complete outsider to the instution, but he is certainly not a Tower Guard charged with upholding the regime and Tower Law. He is, at best, acting as a well-intentioned, but deeply misguided, volunteer. You might even call him a vigilantee who was licenced as a regular belligerent by Elaida when she realised the Younglings could be her useful idiots. So he made himself the useful idiot in chief and persisted with that malfeasant service for a long, long time, even past the point where he strongly suspected his patrons were trying to kill him, up until he found out about Egwene. Call it duty if you like; I call it stupid. His role in the coup is arguable, but obviously iffy and marginal, but everything after that is just horendous.

I won't even get started on the logical and emprical train-wreck that is his reasoning that Rand must have killed his mother. Idle street gossip sure is compelling and unrebuttable! You must prove a negative or else it must be true! That makes even the notoriously rigid and Whitecloak sympathising Galad look like a deep thinker!
Paul Long
229. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
Paul Long
230. Caveatar
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William Fettes
231. Wolfmage

Just to be clear, I certainly wasn't intending any offence with that. I'm being pithy to make the point. Obviously Gawyn's heart is in the right place, and he will undoubtedly make the right decisions if given proper context. I do think he gets caught on the wrong side of the schism due to plot necessity written as some borderline and highly unfortunate decisions. But many of the qualities that got him there are highly admirable: being passionate, protective and loyal, for example. It just so happens that his tit against Siuan's tat was deeply disporportionate to her sin of keeping him out of the loop and sending the Supergirls, willingly, into danger, and pyschological transference isn't really a very persuasive defence for volunteering on the wrong side of a coup with massive geopolitical signficance. But he certainly did what he did because of the rashness of youth, and thankfully, there's plenty of time left for maturation and redemption.
Paul Long
232. Caveatar
You did no offense my friend. Sir or Madam I ain't looked.
Wolf and Mage both indicate male but wth? Dont have to.

But Gawyn's choices have irritated and puzzled me and not
made sense for 20 years near as dammit, and Until you posted
your post it never crossed my mind that someone had messed
with His. Morgase, Verin's stuff, all the compulsing(stet). and
here is little lord swordmaster who is acting irrational at every
turn especially about "you kilt my mama, and Im gonna kill YOU!"
I thank you for making me think of it.

Caveatar Never another smiley as long as I live. Too misused.

I saw what you did with the tit for tat. Reversed would lead to chuckles.
Sara H
233. LadyBelaine
macster @ 215,

My point is that there is a pervasive and no-so-subtle sexism present in the story. That's all. I certainly have no agenda, and if I did, I can't imagine why having a feminist one would cause such revulsion in you. Do you not wish to see a society in which both sexes are afforded equal dignity and opportunity?

I will thank you to not tell me what to do, by the way. I started reading the books while I was in high school and was very enthralled with the rip-roaring story and the prominence of capable, dynamic female characters - but after twenty years of reading and re-reading the series, I have definitely detected that Mr. Rigney had several narrative tics that taken in the aggregate evince a general sexism (the constant forced submission and bondage of women, the naked slap fights, the schoolgirl lesbianism, the spanking of grown women, etc...). I didn't call him a 'pig,' I didn't use the word 'complicit.' I just made the observation that there is a widespread theme of low-level sexism running through the series with a minor theme of male chauvinism. That's my point. That should be clear and I wonder why you should seem confused by it.

Lastly, I didn't resort to ad hominem attacks. I haven't resorted to baseless name calling. My point is that he writes an entertaining saga with several sexist borderline misogynist undertones. I cited several examples and I am eager to debate them with you since you think that I am so wrong as to be laughable, but naming my critical thesis and providing what I think to be evidence supporting it is the very antithesis of an ad hominem attack.

-- edit: typos!
234. Looking Glass
@113 FSS: You have a point about Gawyn’s relative lack of info; perhaps I haven’t been entirely fair to him.

Honestly, I’m not all that bothered by him siding with Elaida, which was understandable. What I think annoys me: a) him jumping to murderous conclusions about Rand based purely on rumor, and b) treating Elayne and Egwene (and Min? I don’t remember well enough offhand) like they’re delicate flowers to be protected rather than people whose opinions and decisions might occasionally hold some value (including their opinions on the topic of Rand). Even if they can’t always explain their reasoning, shouldn’t he have some esteem for their judgement? Or that they might have both a good reason not to explain their actions to him? Especially since he has, in theory, dedicated his life to a position of following what Elayne decides.

@121 LightBlindedFool: I suppose that could happen… but I don’t think it will. Partly for character reasons, but more because what would be the point to the story? As an antagonist, Elaida’s only ever been as relevant as the weight people gave to what she said. And from that perspective, she’s not just down but out. As for other taking up other forms of antagonism- she’s not really sneaky or manipulative enough for subterfuge without credibility, and while she’s stronger than the average AS she’s not in Egwene or Rand’s league in an actual confrontation.

Also, Elaida is pretty much the personification of the Aes Sedai’s failings as an institution. And for all their flaws, the Aes Sedai as an institution still sincerely try to fight the dark one, so it would be weird if Elaida suddenly defected to team shadow.

All that said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Elaida does resurface, as something other than a significant antagonist. If nothing else, captives from the Tower raid are going to be a major stumbling block in Seanchan/AS cooperation.

@129 Forkroot: I wasn’t confusing the two, but I admit I didn’t recall that description. I was mainly just correlating “timidity” with “degree of concealment”. Her cover isn’t quite as low-profile as Moghedien’s have been, or behind as many proxies as Graendal, but she’s been way more behind-the-scenes than most of the others. On consideration, that correlation may not have been well-justified- the tower heirarchy has to be much more difficult for a Forsaken to insert themselves into than a mundane government. She’s is still less hands-on than many of the Forsaken, though.

@134 Man-o-Mantheran: We know for certain that some artifacts are warded- Alviarin found Fain that way even before paranoia became the tower’s watchword. And, IIRC, there are other references to the warded storerooms as well. It’s pretty well certain there would be wards on the angreal and sa’angreal at the best of times, given the temptation for some AS to just walk off with one, and these are anything but the best of times. Heck, even denying the BA, the tower is still staring down the barrel of an AS-on-AS civil war, and Elaida at least knows the tower was infiltrated.

@138 Blood_Drunk: It’s far from certain every AS would view “do this or die” as equivalent to “self-defense”, and given how valuable damane are even outside of war it’s unlikely that Seanchan would be willing to kill them for it anyway. Torture, yes, but not kill.


@184 AnthonyPero: The Forsaken do need to worry about attack by channelers; if nothing else, they can’t completely rule out one of their colleagues hitting them. And it would have been handy to have in the sort of direct confrontation that she eventually did end up in.

@212 Zexxes: Re “trolls”: some people do deliberately provoke nasty arguments just because they think it’s funny to watch people fight; “troll” is as good a term as any for it (despite the tolkenian-monster overtones, I think the internet term arose from the “baiting” sense of the word).

We do need to be cautious about describing specific people that way, since it’s rather offensive to say “you are deliberately being both inflammatory and insincere” in the absence of strong evidence that both are the case.

@228 Wolfmage: Elaida’s unfitness for office wasn’t manifestly obvious to a lot of the people who knew her. Heck, she wouldn’t have been official advisor to the Crown of Andor, much less Amyrlin, if she hadn’t been able to get a reasonable number of powerful people to trust her judgement. She clearly blew the job once she had it, and her existing character flaws were amplified by the thrill of power and/or the corrupting influence of Fain, but there were still a lot of people who had to go along with the premise that she’d make an acceptable leader.

Also, in Elaida’s narrative, the fighting in the tower was an illegal coup launched by Siuan’s supporters to shield her from the legal punishments of her unethical and unilateral actions in handling Rand (do remember that, at that point, “self-proclaimed dragon” is largely seen to mean “superpowered warlord claiming to be the reincarnation of an insane mass murderer”). And Gawyn knows for a fact that Siuan was doing something else under the table that’s put his sister in deadly danger. And he also probably knows that Elaida, whatever her flaws, is genuinely committed to Elayne’s safety, which is Gawyn’s number one priority. He had ample justification to side with her initially.
William Fettes
235. Wolfmage

Did you acknowledge the examples of males brought low that were cited by Looking Glass @ 109? Admittedly there isn't nudity or sexual overtones there - but I think I do think it addresses a part of your argument.

There's also one additional point I feel I should make here:

The story is based around metaphysical evil being real, and this kind of allegorical causality that people who willingly surrender to evil beget more evil. By signing on with team dark, and doing terrible things, they are making a foolish bargain that potentially invites endless torment by allowing the ravages of the dark into their life voluntarily. We see that all the time, from the way Carridin is tormented, darkfriends being used up and spit out and sometimes raped in TAR and in physical Randland, and even Forsaken suffering at the hands of Shadar Haren and Moridin. So, I would argue that at least some of your examples are just a species of that special causality of evil begetting evil, rather than something that flows from gendered writing tics. I know that still leaves Morgase and Amathera, for example, but it does cover evil people like Galina and Liandrin.

I also don't think this is held out as equivalent justice. If anything, it is actually a comment on the foolishness of evil and making pacts with evil. Only Ishmael is really choosing team dark with anything like a true understanding of the nature of his master. Unlike those with delusions that they can earn power and status in the oblivion of victory, and the end of time, he accepts a victory of the dark side as a matter of pure nihilistic fatalism.

I won't try to account for the differing treatment of sexuality and nudity. Though I will say it is fairly uncommon to deal with male rape and sexual abuse, probably due to comfort levels, audience comfort levels, and purely as a a matter of statistics.
236. ryamano
@ 226 ZEXXES

I agree with a previous post of yours that says the number of da'covale is unclear. It could be anything from 1% to 90% in Seanchan. I don't think 10% is the top. Lots of slave-holding societies in our history had way more than that, and the only succesful slave revolt recorded was in Haiti. Classical Athens had something from 60% to 80% of the population made of slaves, Brazil between 33% and 50%, the CSA had almost 40%, Jamaica and other islands in the Caribbean more, etc.

Tuon does threaten to make Mat a da'covale after he kidnaps her, and some kind of sexual one at that (he isn't pretty enough to be one, but he'll suffice). I don't think so, that the portrayal of slavery was sexist in Seanchan.
Paul Long
237. Caveatar
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Paul Long
238. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
William Fettes
239. Wolfmage
Looking Glass @234

Yeah, I do disagree. Her flaws were obvious enough to many people who had first-hand experience of her personality. AFAIK there are several comments made by people in the series expressing a dim view of Elaida's limitations -- such as Basel, Thom, Moiraine, Gareth Bryne and the Supergirls. Maybe I was too harsh in implying she was self-evidently unfit for office, though I think that's true and ought to be discernable by someone in Gawyn's position, but her flaws existed long before Fain accentuated them with the taint. Indeed, he acknowledges as much when he calls her 'brittle' and 'easier to break' prior to brushing her with his taint.

On the matter of her stature in the Tower, and her role as advisor in Andor, I think you're conflating her power and prestige in the Tower with her personal leadership qualities and reputation. We have ample evidence that one can accrue any amount of status in the White Tower by virtue of the strength and speed-based hierarchy, without being hindered by the fact that you're actually a complete idiot or jackass. Plus, she had the ability to Fortell which adds a nice layer of mystique to her high strength. Also, as a member of the Red Ajah, where pigheadednes is relatively common, I would say she was far less likely to be encumbered by her personality flaws than she would be in other Ajahs, where the personality bell curve is more normal. Pre-Fain and pre-Amyrlin Seat, Elaida certainly was a more credible figure, but she was still a known egomaniac and authoritarian.
"Also, in Elaida’s narrative, the fighting in the tower was an illegal coup launched by Siuan’s supporters to shield her from the legal punishments of her unethical and unilateral actions in handling Rand (do remember that, at that point, “self-proclaimed dragon” is largely seen to mean “superpowered warlord claiming to be the reincarnation of an insane mass murderer”)."
Yes, I know very well what Elaida's justifications are -- which, incidentally, conveniently exclude the breaches of convention in how she assembled the mini-Hall, the involvement of the Black Ajah in the vote, her failure to recuse herself in her own appointment, and the torture and planned summary execution to name a few minor problems!
"And Gawyn knows for a fact that Siuan was doing something else under the table that’s put his sister in deadly danger. And he also probably knows that Elaida, whatever her flaws, is genuinely committed to Elayne’s safety, which is Gawyn’s number one priority. He had ample justification to side with her initially."
Yeah, again, I don't agree. I think he had a lot of fuzzy misplaced emotion driving him, due to the frustration of his impotence in not being able to account for his sister and Egwene. That made him uncertain in the fact of a difficult situation. In his later chapters, he basically concedes that he wasn't even judging Elaida to be in the right -- he was overwhelmed by hostility to Siuan's regime.
Ron Garrison
240. Man-0-Manetheran
Looking Glass @ 234 re. storeroom wards:

Thanks! I was hoping that someone would come up with a specific reference. I defer. Having read the many arguments presented by my fellow commentors, I am coming down on the side of “yes, there were wards — she set them off but there wasn’t anyone to respond.” And I add to that: In the long run, does it matter? I would give BWS artistic license to not bog down this very exciting battle scene with what really amounts to a triviality.
Paul Long
241. Caveatar
@ Damane and Women and men bondage, demeaned.

The counts certainly indicate the severity.
IF only ONE damane is shackled
IF only One Woman is demeaned or debased
If only ONE man is abused or whatever

And IF it is approved by the Laws.
Then it is time for a revolution. And Justice will see that the crap
collapses. You don't have to drink a barrel of wine to get the taste
and you don't have to visit injustice on a population.
If one suffers injustice, approved by the keepers of Justice or the Law
then The Law is Broken. One or a million. All the same.
Do you know of anyone who has suffered injustice in the name
of Justice? Think on it a bit. I do.

The Essence of a True Master's Piece. The Lesson taught, not the
unraveling of the pieces. The unraveling is to show a path to
solving the Real Life puzzle.
There is a Master's piece I have seen that teaches the lesson about
living fairly in a large group where all ARE treated equally,.
To my knowledge it has never been worked. Difficult.
It can be but not for a long time has it been worked.

Caveatar I will try to remember it. I was unable to learn it.
Still unable.
Paul Long
242. Caveatar
Deleted Cav
244. birgit
In earlier posts people were questioning how Egwene got into the Angreal store room. If I remember correctly, Siuan told her where the storeroom was. It stands to reason she told her how to get in too!

How should Siuan know what kind of wards the Tower AS are using? She only knows about the situation when she was still Amyrlin, but things could have been changed by Elaida.

I have wanted Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan to be be, I don't know, smothered in woolly catepillars or something equally unlikely.

There have been Bubbles of Evil when things like that happened (like the man with the beetles Perrin saw). Maybe Tuon will bring Suffa to a meeting with the three ta'veren whose presence attracts a Bubble that gets Elaida (or would Zen Rand keep Bubbles away? Maybe just Mat as a ta'veren would be enough).

but I don't think she could approach the specific room to locate it without the guards stopping her or an Aes Sedai wondering why the dreamy Danelle is down there. Without that, she wouldn't have enough info to gate in.

She could scout in TAR. The Tower faction doesn't have dreamwalkers.
Kimani Rogers
245. KiManiak
Macster@215 – Re: Vora’s wand – I admit to being curious, as well. I had always assumed that an Aes Sedai from the AoL named Vora had wielded it, and the name had survived the Breaking and the subsequent years of wandering. But, that probably is a longshot possibility, at best.

Re: Silviana – I agree, Silviana is what Reds should aspire to be like. With the small caveat of her continuing view of men being less than a positive one. But hey, nobody’s perfect. She has decades of Red-anti-male-conditioning to deal with.

Re: Katerine – Hmm. I do agree that her furiousness (who knew “furiosity” wasn’t a word; oh, wait, Websters did) was mostly linked to her pride. But my issues with her (and why I called her evil and still “sowing discord”) is because when she tried to take over from Saerin, is because I recall (couldn’t confirm as I’m away from my books and darn google books cuts all the good pages out of their preview) that she used the divisive method “you dare to challenge me, Brown?” that we believe has been part of the BA strategy to destabilize the Tower.

I would argue that, at that time, the most important thing is to protect the Tower, if for no other reason that it also means that you are protected. It didn’t seem that Katerine’s desire to stop the Seanchan overrode her desire to still cause discord in the Tower (thus making her cartoonishly evil, in my opinion). Or, she really was just plain stupid.

Re: Egwene – I am hard on Egwene when I think her actions or character deserves it. I think she has certain flaws, but also certain impressive qualities (which, as I’ve mentioned on multiple occasions, is due to the wonderful writing job that RJ did, in creating such a realistic, non-perfect, human character). I make note of those flaws, and my issues with them, when applicable. They are so not applicable here.

Her more impressive traits/qualities should take center stage in these particular chapters, and lo and behold they do. I found nothing wrong with her actions in regards to the novices, the Aes Sedai, the Seanchan, the destruction of the tor’raken with possible captives on board (although, I had no problems with Rand’s actions at Natrim’s Barrow either), etc. Egwene defended the Tower to the best of her ability, in a time of war. And she did it brilliantly.

Don’t worry, I’ll have things to say about her other qualities in future chapters (especially in early ToM), that may not be as complementary :-)

Oh, and glad somebody was feeling me on the whole Cyclops/X-men cartoon thing…
246. Looking Glass
@239 Wolfmage: I’m not saying Gawyn was necessarily right to side with Elaida, just that it was justifiable- he could make a pretty solid argument based on what information he knew or reasonably should have known, which probably doesn’t include the procedural shenanigans (the AS aren’t big on government transparency) and definitely doesn’t include the black ajah involvement (which literally everyone, including Siuan’s supporters, insisted wasn’t real). I’m not even saying that he was acting primarily based on a rational decision, just that he wasn’t making an emotional decision in defiance of rationality.

As to Elaida’s character, yes, she had personality flaws, and yes, people knew about them. On the other hand, I’m not certain the evidence from before her elevation indicates her ambition or ego were severe enough to be disqualifying. . Especially since from the outside, Elaida could easily have looked less authoritarian and egomaniacal than Siuan. Sure, Siuan’s less abrasive, but that didn’t keep her from unilaterally committing to prop up the same sort of superpowered megalomaniacal warlord the Tower has spent the last couple millennia fighting. Or from sending students off on suicidal missions because she was too paranoid to trust any of her actual subordinates.

My point about her advisorship was that, as ambassador-slash-top-advisor to a major continental power, she had already held a position of pretty hefty power and influence. People within the tower could look at how she did that job, and nobody thought her performance disqualified her (IIRC, Andor-Tower relations were quite warm until Siuan repeatedly misplaced the heir to the throne). Yes, the stupid Power-is-prestige thing helped Elaida's position, but her supporters were pulling down someone just as Powerful on the basis of a disqualifying performance.
Dawn Boyall
247. deebee

She could scout in TAR. The Tower faction doesn't have dreamwalkers.

So could she use Need to find it? Do we know if the Forsaken know about Need? I don`t remember seeing any reference to it by any of the Forsaken, and though they like to think they know everything there is to know about T`AR they clearly have big holes in their knowledge.
I just realized, having just started to read again, Enders Game, that Harriet McDougal Rigney was the Editor of that great work.

Little trivia for those who didn't know.

And if you haven't read Enders Game.... Do!

Paul Long
249. Caveatar
We are talking about Harriet here ?. I don't have a book handy and
don't remember.
I have read it 20 times. love it every time. Speaker for the dead and
all the others.
Love it.
She edited it and it was a great job.
But did she write her own work?
Theresa Gray
250. Terez27
Harriet is an editor, and a poet, but all indications are that she does not consider herself to be a prose writer, of fiction at least. She has a lovely way with words, both spoken and in the written interviews we have, but she is not quite so wordy as her late husband.
Oh yes... Haha... I totally forgot to include that Harriet McDougal Rigney is that esteemed Editor.

Don Barkauskas
252. bad_platypus
Re: Mesaana and the sa'angreal

You can't really argue effectively that Mesaana didn't know where the storeroom was. If she wanted to know, she would. She had the Keeper and the Head of the Black Ajah completely under her thumb. Anything that was known by any of the Black Ajah, she could know if she needed to. So you really have to argue that for some reason she didn't want to get the items. I agree the most likely explanation is that she didn't want to raise red flags and jeopardize her mission in the Tower.

(This reminds me of a quote, from A Mote in God's Eye, I believe, along the lines of "In war, your assessment of the enemy's strength has to based on their potential." Mesaana certainly could have known the exact location if she wanted to.)

Re: Egwene deserting the BA hunt to learn Dreaming

According to TSR, Ch. 12, Egwene wants to go learn Dreaming, but offers to stay with Elayne and Nynaeve if they think she should. But both Elayne and Nynaeve say in no uncertain terms that going to the Aiel is the right decision. And from an outside perspective, it is clearly the right choice. So you can hardly hold that decision against her.
Anthony Pero
253. anthonypero

Unfortunately, many on thIs thread have already beaten you to the RJ sexism discussion. We've all argued it over, and over, and over, and over again. It is a familiar melody. While some here will agree with you, and some will disagree, almost none will change tune. And no one really wants to sing the song, or even hear it, again. It's like Living' On a Prayer in 1989. Some hate it, some love it... But no one wants to hear it on the radio any more
Nadine L.
255. travyl
macster @217, a few comments quotes > italic]:
- I very much like how you outlined the Aes Sedai's failures.

- ... skin color General Karede is from a family which claims descent from a noble who accompanied Luthair Paendrag to Seanchan, so unless that noble was one of the Sea Folk...
>> Tuon is black and supposed to be direct descendant of Luthair - am I right on this? If so, your deduction insn't failsafe ?

- : ... there should be no Black Ajah damane with the Seanchan
>> this reasoning seems to support the theory from someoneelse @25, that not that many captured Aes Sedai could have passed on Traveling. At least if we accept that Elaida kept to her behaviour and demanded of all Aes Sedai to not pass on Traveling as she did "on stage" with Beonin

- Re Egwene: I think it proves what Tathas said, that Egwene is actually far more forgiving than the other characters, and it seems many readers too
>> I am less harsh to the Aes Sedai here: yes they don't bother to mount a rescue, but they haven't experienced what Egwene did, the utter despair the a'dam puts one in, so they fail to commiserate as much as Egwene. I base this reasoning on the fact how Joline behaved as opposed to Teslyn who was much more horrified by the prospect of ever being chained again.
Alice Arneson
256. Wetlandernw
Terez @250 - Darn it all, where IS that "Like" button when I want it? I didn't know...

@ several way up there... Even if she wanted to, Elaida couldn't turn BA and go against her Oaths while a damane, unless the Seanchan have an Oath Rod. She would first have to be released from her AS Oaths - on an Oath Rod - and then reswear the BA oaths - also on an Oath Rod. So no matter what she might or might not want to do, or what the sul'dam might try as incentive, she will be held by her Three Oaths.

Re: da'covale - (1) In the Old Tongue, "one who is owned" or "person who is property." (2) Among the Seanchan, the term often used, along with property, for slaves. Slavery has a long and unusual history among the Seanchan, with slaves having the ability to rise to positions of great power and open authority, including over those who are free. See also so'jihn. - From the PoD Glossary

If you start looking, you find that many of the da'covale are proud of who and what they are, but certainly not all of them. If I understand it properly, once someone is made da'covale, all their descendants will be property in perpetuum. Aside from the examples already given, the Seanchan made all the Illuminators who tried to protect their chapter house da'covale, and Bayle Domon is Egeanin's property. Domon seems to be more or less okay with his situation, but I doubt the Illuminators are happy about theirs.
Nadine L.
257. travyl
Wet: not to forget Juilin's love. I bet Thera wasn't as happy with her status among the seanchan either.
Alice Arneson
258. Wetlandernw
travyl - Nope, I'm thinking not.

Near as I can tell, those whose families have been property of the Empress for a long time tend to be pretty proud of their heritage; those who have merely been someone's property for a long time are middling okay with it - it's job security, anyway; those Seanchan who are made da'covale for their own actions are shamed, and the higher they stood, the deeper their shame; those who are not Seanchan are horrified by it, and either become completely cowed, or remain rebellious - and then become completely dead. As far as I know, the only exception is Domon, but then his owner is in love with him, so that probably makes it work out okay.
259. yasiru89
It seems the charge of misogyny has raised its ugly head again (as it tends to once in a while). There are supposed examples of it, but what these crucially lack is context. Looking at isolated happenings, you could scream bloody oppression about whatever you're clamouring for in whatever work of fiction (or possibly even non-fiction) you like. Feminism is so reviled today because it is a corruption of what its early pioneers intended, resorting instead to sweeping generalisations and a twisted political agenda. Equality is a grand sounding thing, certainly worth striving for (with due regard to the obvious that equality sometimes comes down to complementarity), but more often than not, the idea hides (in mechanisms like political correctness and identity politics) an unreasonable demand that past oppression calls for some sort of sacrosanct position beyond criticism even at the individual level now and forever in future- a particularly dangerous thing when it comes to our literature. A danger to social order too, since the effect is not to allow a woman to be unimpeded as an individual as may be the intention (a noble one, certainly), but for the collective to withdraw into what identity they've picked and trample about on everything and nothing where this may be the least concerned. This can easily be true of other forms of discrimination as well, and in my mind cripples exactly those individuals belonging to whatever self-similar group in question than anyone else. For here are people accorded supposed 'respect' not for what they've got in their heads or what they can accomplish as individuals given similar opportunities as others who identify themselves otherwise (and there are very many fronts for a person to do so nowadays), but what sort of bit they may have between their legs or what colour their skin may be or where their ancestors came from, etc.

But let us return now to context in this particular series. A theme I've come to associate with it is the resilience of women (particularly the challenners- though gender identity is an easier thing than gender identity confined to those who also channel, and so this extends certain rights to all women, though those who've taken the brunt of events tend to be channellers) and the rehabilitation of men as channellers (and again, there's an impression of men in general that this has come to engender over the course of some three thousand years). But resilience can be a funny thing- we struggle in desperation for some means to aid us in times of need (the Breaking for the female channellers in this case), and it's difficult to relinquish these means with any sort of abruptness for them having worked for so long and legitimised a certain social order. Though the return of the Dragon himself and why he is to be necessary was foretold in prophecy and this treated as an aberration in that this single male channeller can be guided and controlled for just the purpose he is to be used for (not a pleasant sounding life for any individual, man or woman), the rise of other male channellers and the increasingly apparent need the world had of them was a jolt to the system- a system that, all over the world, previously denied such men not only power, but too the will to live on once that was taken away (and this for the more gentle ways of dealing with them). An atmosphere of great distrust in such men is not only necessary for this kind of continued suppression (for good reason, one does not deny), but is also perpetuated in that every case has been the same and has had to dealt with the same way for so many generations. It is no wonder then that women should be particularly tenacious in hanging on to tried and tested ways (particularly apparent when even the confirmed cleansing of saidin fails to make the Aes Sedai even consider having the Black Tower stand equal, or for other cultures to consider not killing those men who touch the Power)- and perhaps rightly so had not the end of all things been looming. There is a reflection of what applies to channellers in this way on society in general- there are obvious matriarchies like Far Madding (which is curious for shunning the Power, but even in doing so acting as the dynamics of Power as discussed dictate) and possibly Altara, along with places where women have the exclusive right to rule like Andor, and places with an equal rule like Tarabon (with its king and panarch) and most tellingly, no throne (or almost none if I'm not completely correct) is confirmed to seat only men as rulers in this world. The change in the 'world of Power' sends ripples out to the regular world of mere morals (through the Dragon Reborn and his conquests of nations- though more often just through the reflection of them), but they have nothing to base the implicit hierarchy on for it having been a reflection of how the 'world of Power' once was. And so chaos ensues and is seen as an encroaching of men on matters they should have no say in for that having been the case since the Breaking. For all the reason women have to hold on to Power and the higher ground, having endured the Breaking and all the years that followed it, it doesn't seem out of the way sexism that harsh means are sometimes necessary to change their minds (the oaths of fealty at Dumais Wells and the ones to follow, what had to be done to Toveine Gazal and company to prevent harm, etc.).

On the other hand, this is hardly the most common form of women being 'brought low' in this series. Most often it's about other women in various groups or sisterhoods running a tight ship, exactly because they haven't been able to afford very many mistakes since the Breaking and have been shaped this way. This is the case with Aes Sedai, Aiel Wise Ones, the Seafolk, etc. and the harsh way the women in command treat other women. An example of this is Egwene on being captured.
There are also cases of Darkfriends or other antagonistic individuals or groups holding certain female characters in bondage- as has happened with Elayne, Faile, Morgase, Amathera, damane, Graendal's Compelled slaves (often important nobles), Galina, Liandrin, Suroth, Sevanna, etc. (as before, in most of these cases the oppressors are other women- again to do with a certain ruthlessness now the norm for maintaining order and/or the pursuit of certain goals). On these last four, it's unlikely that Jordan meant to show anything more than crime and self-interest not paying and unexpected karmic justice (as is also the case with Elaida, though her crimes are more to do with stupidity and megalomania), because, as has been pointed out, there are examples among men like Carridin (compared to whom they've had rather cozy times) and Asmodean (who for appearances was treated well, but lived in terror of both others of the Chosen and Rand himself and despondency, with his great powers made impotent by Lanfear's shield, rather similarly to Egwene in fact). Indeed, with Suroth, her eventual just desserts bear great similarity to what she had done with Amathera. With damane, considering the males to whom something similar might apply are murdered outright (and that the Domination Band has now appeared- having been a Breaking-era invention no less), I don't think there's much of a case for sexism (too, several characters wonder whether death may not be better).
Elayne and Faile have, like Egwene, been rock-solid and never wavering in their determination through their ordeals. Morgase shows the same kind of resilience, though her lot was far harder. If anything, compared to how the main protagonist suffered his ordeals, it seems these cases only reflect positively on the women. Siuan has something of a premonition early in the series when she says something to the effect of, 'how can they respect a woman they see cleaning floors?'. Egwene and these others achieve this without breaking like Rand (whose incarcerations were admittedly shorter, but certainly more intense, for he's the 'thread' that moves the story after all). Besides Rand, for whom turning to stone and to steel and finally to heartstone each time (the original kidnapping in LoC, captivity in Far Madding and briefly being controlled by Semirhage) represented breaking inside more and more, in tEotW it was Perrin's viewpoint as he and Egwene found themselves in the hands of the Whitecloaks that was the focus. More humorously, Mat too was Tylin's very unwilling pet following his injuries in an intended reversal of the more common kind of sexual harrassment.
This is not counting Logain and knowledge of other such individuals off-screen (Jain Farstrider among them) who have suffered captivity and been made less than they were. The women have simply been more important sometimes (not surprising given the background I took care to detail). As with Siuan and Leane, who became more important to the story following their stilling. While they were restored to less than they were, this had necessary plot implications, while on the other hand, the Sisters Flinn healed back in Cairhien would have been restored to full strength though we've not seen them much.
260. yasiru89
In my second paragraph above, the penultimate parentheses should read 'reactions to them' and not 'reflection of them' towards the end.

Hopefully I've made an adequate case for the upholders of tradition happening to be women.
Sam Mickel
264. Samadai

Great post, but it could have used some paragraph breaks. :P
Sam Mickel
267. Samadai
@ 263

This is all about free speech, but even the amendment doesn't give the right to attack people. They aren't even telling you not to attrack people, they are telling you to go do it elsewhere, it isn't allowed here. They are protecting everyones rights to free speech.

It's funny that those that protest that their free speech rights are being infringed are the ones who spit vitriol when you disagree with them.

edit for: Never mind, you people(person) know who you are, and you are not worth my time or my effort. Spout your bs, get blitzed off the board, nobody who comes here for the camaraderie and to talk about one of our favorite series really cares what you think.
269. yasiru89
Yes, I probably could have used more breaks, looking back at it. One thing that might have gone unmentioned was that an Elayne and Nynaeve came upon an actual misogynist as they made their way to Salidar. The man's views were vilified for the insensible things they were, but rather than directly through Elayne's viewpoint (which had an air of mild bafflement), by laying the irrationality of it bare even when both Elayne and Nynaeve failed to quite understand it (and through this failing too).

On censorship, I admit it bothers me even when it may be warranted, but I console myself that the likely victims are those who had no more than ad hominem attacks to offer (and as no post of mine has been deleted, as far as I can tell).
Paul Long
270. Caveatar
If you start looking, you find that many of the da'covale are proud of who and what they are, but certainly not all of them. If I understand it properly, once someone is made da'covale, all their descendants will be property in perpetuum.

In the days of the Egyptian Pharoahs the Joseph of the many colored
coat was sold into Egypt as a slave by his brothers.
He interpreted the seven fat, seven lean years to come of Pharoah's dream.
After storing grain for seven years the Nile failed in its rising.
The first year the people bought grain from Pharoah with money;
Second year they sold their farm equipment.
Third year they sold their lands.
Fourth year they sold whatever was left
and at the end, to keep from starving to death,
they sold themselves and their children in perpetuity to Pharoah.
Nice guy! Bought the free men * generic men includes all adults.*
and their children forever!
Perpetual bondage. Seti and Ramses and Yul Brynner..well, he was
in the movie owned the land the people and the property
These perpetual Seanchan family slaves are a good image of that.
As you already know. But , I've missed yall. Laugh.
Codgers back to the Iceman Cometh thread and clears more rubble.

And Sam can control his dragon. Good on you Sam
How does the view count work on the forums, I edit often but not
that much and no way have near 200 people viewed that alphabet
gone wild. Anybody know?

JUST a note. Went and had a pipe with Darkun and he explained
about Mat's luck. But it is buried under a lot of stuff. Save it for
a surprise later. If Darkun didn't lie to me.
William Fettes
271. Wolfmage
"Feminism is so reviled today because it is a corruption of what its early pioneers intended, resorting instead to sweeping generalisations and a twisted political agenda."

Yep, that sounds exactly like a sweeping generalisation to me.

Speaking as a man with little to no sympathy for some of the more extreme species of feminism, and indeed, other forms of epistemological post-modernism, I just don't accept your caricature of the feminist project or its status as 'reviled'. Apart from the unfortunate popularity of fairly juevinile name calling, such as 'feminazis', I would say the movement is healthy and intact, although a lot of what is important about it has been folded into mainstream consciousness. Therefore, you have this situation where plenty of men and women might disavow the name, but nonetheless accept all the basic premises, and certainly they free-ride on the achievements and benefits of the tradition.

But I'm perfectly happy to self-identify as a feminist as a part of the mainstream big tent without worrying about such narrow stigmas. I'm also married to a woman who, likewise, self-identifies as a feminist. I have many friends who do the same. We can also be emphatically sure that Leigh, and many other posters here, are feminists in this broader sense drawing on feminist contributions to consciousness-raising over many decades as a given in their assumptions about equality. So don't over-generalise just because you believe a particular subset has discredited itself.

This is actually a problem that affects all successful political movements over time. When a movement's core views are assimilated into the mainstream, that leaves the movement open to the rubbery accusation that the contentious views of the fringe that haven't been accepted are what really defines the movement. But an honest appraisal will surely measure the movement by what has been internalised and accepted by the body politic, not just what is leftover. So, measuring the popularity of self-identification labels is a poor substitute for looking at the substance.
Eric Hughes
272. CireNaes

Nice balefire and very appropriate. That one @254 lost sight of what it means to serve. Much like the ending in Saving Private Ryan. Disappointing.

As far as Elaida being viewed as fit for leadership, New Spring does highlight her disqualifying attributes and is worth reading. It didn't take much of Fain to ruin her completely. She is due for a "respin."
Paul Long
273. Caveatar
Dont worry about it Wolfmage. It bears repeating.

Well it did before. lol
And Magus Canis Lupus You can do my debating anytime.
But I am cheap and I don't pay on time.

Paul Long
274. Caveatar

At your convenience and at your leisure.
Critique when ready on my threads. Or use your time for
something more useful
On the forums.

Private Ryan and a few good men both did well I thought.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden
275. tnh
Yasiru, it was only a troll. Don't let yourself be troubled by it.

Good conversation doesn't happen if we can't trust and rely on the social contract -- the basic civility -- of the forum where it takes place. Far more speech has been lost to trolls and other online malfeasants than was ever suppressed by moderators.
Eric Hughes
276. CireNaes

It was the "earn this" line that rubbed me the wrong way. Still a powerful film and well acted. But disappointing in the end.

I'm on WoT less and less as my work load increases. April and May are busy months for me. I do read them, but I won't have time for comments until June rolls around. I'm on an entertainment time budget.
Paul Long
277. Caveatar
Yes. I loved when the guy said, Did we do wrong and his buddy said
yes we did. We signed up to fight for people who couldn't fight for
themselves, and (red blanket guy) was one of them.

I don't cry about stuff like that but I was so proud of him I got something in my eye

I understand your limited time. If however you see anything that you
object to or anything you think anyone might object to, I am talking
real people here, then Post a quick , "FIx this" or something.

I trust you.

sorry to be off topic, but every word I type on here my mind is on
the topic of Robert Jordan. No matter the words. He is the subject.
Dont make sense I guess.
Paul Long
278. Caveatar
@ 260
Hopefully I've made an adequate case for the upholders of tradition happening to be women.
Yes you did and perhaps the worthy women and us pretty men can
make a tradition of what you did. ?
My mother and some aunts taught me more about history and
many other things than I ever learned in school. Of course I
played hooky at school and when those family women talked to
me I wouldn't dare sneak off.

279. yasiru89
For Wolfmage @271-

Assuming you are addressing me, did you even read the article, or even the rest of my brief critique? The feminism that has become mainstream bears little resemblance to the original programme that de Beauvoir, Kristeva and others advocated. Feminism in its popular interpretations today reflects this distortion, so that my claim is not a generalisation but an unfortunate reality. For lack of self-reflection upon the 'assimilation into mainstream consciousness' of much of what was reasonable and fuelled the agenda, what you call healthy and intact I call a festering boil, a label of vagueries, withdrawn into itself and having forsaken Sartre's key dictum- l'existence précède l'essence (which influenced Beauvoir's feminist existentialism- 'one is not born a woman, but becomes one'). It doesn't matter that worthwhile ideas hide in esoteric nooks and crannies if the direction of the programme is compromised.

This is not about the petty extremes you so eagerly forward (either in ignorance or as a conscious attempt to deflect my argument), but about the caricature that is. That one is a woman or a man should not alone dictate anything about what is due the individual. What is the case today is that a blanket identity extends over the whole female gender and this 'essence' of being a woman first colours everything before the person in fact defines their own 'essence' as an individual. This backwards view extends to feminist literary critique, as we have often had on these reread threads whenever the accusation of sexism has been levelled that a deplorable character in question is a woman with no regard for what the context is. I have seen it embarrassingly often, here and on other such forums.

I could care less what you identify yourself as or what the personal beliefs of others or yourself are. You may believe what you will and boast of it as you will, but the issue is not the action or the belief, but the effect (identity politics and political correctness in particular), which can be subtle enough to seem removed from either for not enough thought going into it. What I point to is a critical failure of a programme that has been interpreted along general lines with unqualified but inspirational sounding ideas like equality when the original ideas were far more nuanced and indeed rejected many facets of collectivist identity politics that today has come to reign. When a movement is without relevant direction and becomes a mere label and the effects of its glory days (the result of gross simplification), the stagnation deserves ideological revulsion, for there grows complacency in the face of what is unreasonable. Postmodernism as a whole suffers the same fate, devolved now to cynicism for its own sake.
Nadine L.
280. travyl
yasiru @279.: I could care less what you identify yourself as or what the personal beliefs of others or yourself are.
You are in good company: I think most of us do care about the opinions of their fellows, why else would we attend these threads and read the posts?

Btw: if you register @tor and leave red behind, you can edit your posts.
281. yasiru89
travyl @280-

On the contrary, I care about what can be substantiated with solid arguments and analysis, whether conjecture or not. I've no use for opinions or anecdotes or how people see themselves.
Dawn Boyall
282. deebee

Unfortunately, many on thIs thread have already beaten you to the RJ sexism discussion. We've all argued it over, and over, and over, and over again. It is a familiar melody. While some here will agree with you, and some will disagree, almost none will change tune. And no one really wants to sing the song, or even hear it, again. It's like Living' On a Prayer in 1989. Some hate it, some love it... But no one wants to hear it on the radio any more.

There are many people who follow these threads who may not post, or do so rarely. But they too have opinions on what they may or may not want to see discussed. Anything they don`t want to see they can scroll on past.

These threads are open to all and you can`t know what everyone thinks. Let's not start making topics no-go zones because someone says it`s already been discussed to death.

This thread follows events which had not occurred in earlier re-reads based on the preceding books. So it`s legitimate to react to any events which occur in these chapters. Who knows, new events and new posters may actually contribute something new to the debate.

In any event I`m not comfortable with the idea that any poster feels it`s legitimate to declare that "no-one wants to hear" about certain topics. Let`s respect the right of each individual to make his or her own decision on what they want to post about, or what they want to read.
Anthony Pero
283. anthonypero

Let me say that first, you are right in general, I spoke too broadly, and for too many people. I apologize. However, the tone of the entire post was obviously meant to be light, given the 1989 and Bon Jovi reference.

Furthermore, we have been asked by the PTBs to stay on topic. Whether feminism is on topic for this particular thread may be a matter of debate. What is not a matter of debate is that we have all already been warned away from this topic by TNH at post #186. I'm sure the next thing that will happen will be a lock down of the thread, as has now occured on two of the previous 6 posts.

So, no, we may not discuss whatever we like on this thread. Posts are getting deleted and threads are being locked down. I don't think many would disagree that this happens to be one of those topics that brings out the worst behavior in many of us. So, I made a fairly innocuous, light-in-tone post trying to give a warning that we should steer clear of this topic right now. In doing so, as previously stated, I included too many people in what I said. For that I apologize, but not for trying to give the warning.

As the Moderation Policy of this site states, they really want this site to be self-moderated. In otherwords, first order of business: try to tell people if they are repeatedly crossing the line before the moderators intervene, in a way that is respectful. I think I did that. Right now, at this time, given how moderation has proceeded recently, and given repeated warnings, I think what I did was mostly fair, outside of perhaps being a little too universal in my declaration of what people do and don't want to discuss.
Dawn Boyall
284. deebee

Um...I read your post at 253 late last night, and 254 in response. I decided to sleep on it before I replied. And this morning tried to answer in a calm and measured way. So I appreciate your reply to me above, which is equally measured and balanced.

However, your post at 153 never at any point struck me as light-hearted or amusing, which I now realise was your intention.
I read it as excluding anyone who isn`t a regular as having any right to post about anything which doesn`t meet the in-crowd`s approval.

I am generally dumb-struck at the level of knowledge which regular posters demonstrate here, and am constantly gaining new insights into these great books. So I love these threads, whether or not I venture to comment.

Occasionally these threads feel a bit exclusive-a few disparaging remarks about noobs or whatever., a few in-jokes about putting hooks out.

I will work on not feeling these comments are intended to make outsiders feel unwelcome. But maybe comments which are intended to be light-hearted are more easily misinterpreted than you think.

Anyway, this forum is much too good to spoil by bickering so I apologise if anything in my post offended you.
Anthony Pero
285. anthonypero
Well, Deebee, if my tone wasn't clear, than I certainly share in culpability. And as I said, you were right, I spoke far too broadly. I was not offended, and I hope my response wasn't offensive to you, because that was not my intention, it's why I started with the apology. You were right in the main thrust of what you were saying. I was wrong to include everyone in the post, whether I meant it or not, and whatever my tone was. Its too easy to misinterperate tone on the internet, something I should be well aware of by now. Thank you for the reminder :)

I'm sorry if my post made you feel excluded in anyway, it certainly wan't my intent, I was just trying to steer the conversation back away from the ledge. Which I obviously failed in, given that at least 15 more posts have ensued.

As far as the knowledge of the "Regulars" I'm a regular, and I don't feel particularly knowledgable. I get stuff corrected for me constantly. Sometimes not so nicely. But overall, the regulars here are far more accomodating to "noobs" than any other WoT community I've seen. That doesn't mean we never set a noob on fire, of course ;) We shouldn't do that.

***EDIT*** This next section is not addressed at Deebee, or to anyone in particular. It's just a good idea. ***/EDIT***

However, I will say that anyone who considers themselves a "noob", and wants to engage in discussions regarding theories, plot points, etc, would be well served to read the WoT FAQ in its entirety. It's current home is Dragonmount. It is the collected wisdom of 18+ years of WoT Fandom, with literally hundreds of thousands of fans contributing to it. Most of the "noob" flames revolve around issues and theories that have already been debunked (in some people's opinion). If someone wants to come in and promote a theory that goes against the concensus, and that is addressed in the FAQ, it really, really helps to present new arguments that aren't addressed there, rather than rehash old ones that have already been discussed. It helps move the discussion forward. The lack of forward progress is a large reason for the attitude towards "noobs" I think. Part of this is because this awesome resource already exists. Its a great resource and primer to know what fans (in general) have discussed and thought for the previous 18 years. In the "old days" of usenet and rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan, it was required reading before posting. People were much, much, much meaner there, lol, than they are here. I got toasted nice and crispy several times. So I armed myself. Didn't mean believed everything that was in the FAQ (I hung on to Taim killing Asmodean until the Graendal reveal), but knowing what other people had already discussed and thought allowed me to actually add to the dialogue, rather than rehash old material.

Plus, Leigh wrote about half the articles, in the same style she's writing these synopses. It's pretty awesome to read!
Nadine L.
286. travyl
Re to JLevy (158), Wetlander (162), yasiru (207), macster (219)
Let me add my part to the discussion about balefire.

I only recently learned that balefire woudn't mean final death. I still think (and agree with Wetlander) that characters believe that balefire is "soul-ending".
Since JonathanLevy raised the question why "we" would think that the characters believe as I think they do, this is my response:
Balefire is described as "buring things from the pattern":
LOC, Prolgogue : Entire cities died in balefire that year, hundreds of thousands of threads burned from the Pattern
I don't think it's such a huge stretch to assume if something is removed from the pattern, that it is removed period. Nothing (apart from the DarkOne and the Creator) exists outside the pattern. I know that it is a false assumption - because you told me that RJ told us outside the written story - but I can see why I fell for it - and why maybe the characters did as well
Anthony Pero
287. anthonypero
I didn't even get to read 254... no fair! Being blasted can be amusing sometimes.
Irene Gallo
288. Irene

We’d like to do our best to welcome new readers. There are polite ways to get newbies up to speed with current wisdom while still giving them space to express their own thoughts.

....and, everyone, back to the Wheel of Time....
Anthony Pero
289. anthonypero
Actually, T'a'R is outside the pattern. It connects to all the various worlds of if, etc... so it is outside of the Pattern, at least in some sense of the phrase. There is also talk of threads being "snipped" from the pattern, i.e. People dying. I don't see how this is any different, really. We were told repeatedly that balefire burns the person from the pattern back to a certain point. It doesn't remove it entirely. Bured from the pattern, snipped from the pattern does not equal removed from the pattern, at least to my way of thinking. Which means nothing of course. It's just how I see it.
290. yasiru89
travyl @286-

'Burned from the Pattern' could simply refer to the prominent burn-back effect threads experience on encountering balefire. It says nothing about whether a soul can be spun back into the Pattern again or not.

If I recall, RJ originally meant for balefire to be a final death, but decided against it (the only means remaining now is death in Tel'aran'rhiod, and this is only confirmed so far for wolves- which may not apply to humans because we're not quite as 'wild' as may be required- see what Elyas tells Egwene about the wolves thinking her firmly grounded in the human world in tEotW). The conjecture presented in this thread (or perhaps it was the previous one), remains just that- perhaps the inhabitants of Randland believe as we once erroneously did, that balefire gives a final death. But, while we have the author's original intent and the hints afforded thereby, what reason would Randlanders have to conclude this? Not much I think.
(There is also something of a counterexample in Lews Therin. I suppose he could have been too distraught to think it through at the time, which is part of why I didn't forward this before, but we've had Lews Therin moaning about longing for the final death, so why didn't he balefire himself back in the prologue of tEotW? There's the question whether you can balefire yourself, but I don't think it's impossible (use a gateway and a thin enough, long duration beam to counteract the backburn?).)
Nadine L.
291. travyl
Of course you are both right.
I just tried to say, that because I was erroneous, for me it wasn't that a big leap to explain why the characters might be as well.
Sara H
292. LadyBelaine
Good morning everyone,

First of all, I must profess to be somewhat appalled at being told by whomever that I am not free to offer my own observations and comment in this group discussion about you, know, the themes and content of the story.

AnthonyPero, I will try to read your comment to me at 253 as you have suggested, with its "light tone," but I will suggest to you that it still reeks of condescension and dismissal, if not for the fact that "Living on a Prayer" is always welcome on the radio 'round these parts ;)

Additionally, I will also say this - I myself am a former habitue and dabbler in rasfwrj and remember those conversations well, and although the group was shall we say.... strict and insistent on newbies reading the FAQ, no one ever actually told anyone "stop what you are posting. No one wants to hear what you have too say about topic du jour."

Another point I'd like to make before I go don my green and go drink my face off is that when you say at 253 "Unfortunately, many on thIs thread have already beaten you to the RJ sexism discussion," I simply cannot fathom what you are referring to, since I first offered my observation up at post 26 (which, it should be noted, refers to the recent plot development germane to these chapters so my observation is timely), which appears to be the first time the topic was broached. Please enlighten me otherwise.

And lastly, just because I make what I think to be a defensible and demonstrable observation that RJ definitely had his internal ... habits/ingrained social mores/whatever that are pretty evident in his writing does not in any way whatsoever mean:

a) that Mr. Rigney was a bad person
b) his wife is a quisling and enemy of womynhood! (sisterhood is powerful! down with patriarchy!)
c) I am a hateful, biased feminazi with an anti-male agenda (or any agenda, really - I just want to make my mortgage, see my sons do well in school, etc.. oh, and eat scones)
d) anyone here has the right to order me to either not read what I want to read or refrain from participating in this discussion.

Last of all, I am definitely not a noob to this re-read and discussion. So please, do not presume to speak for the "old timers" especally when you don't even know who that group includes. (Oh, look a that, my inaugural post here was in a discussion of tDR, just a whisker over three years ago, on March 8, 2009.)

I won't be able to check on this thread for the rest of the day, so please don't take any lack of response to any responses directed to me as anything other than I am not going to be home - I will return and engage those of you who have asked me to respond or comment, probably tomorrow. There are queries directed at me upthread that I don't have time to address right now.

Everyone have a nice day!
Jeff Schweer
293. JeffS.
Question on the balefire topic. (once removed)

We know that being killed in Ta'R is the final death right? Poor Hopper, man, that still makes me upset.

Rahvin was balefired in Ta'R and is doubley dead. The DO can't retrieve him, and he can't be reborn. That's also correct, yes?

SO: Is our confusion on whether balefire burns you completely out of the pattern with no hope of being reborn stem from these two points?

The reason I ask is that is the way I took it for a long time until I found the reread and found out about how RJ had stated the point outside the story. I was sure every balefired soul was gone, just like it seems the characters opinions trended. Ta'R deaths reinforced my thinking this way, especially if by balefire.
Just wonderin' out loud.

I am only an egg
Edited to add: Yasiru89 posted while I was typing and shows me I wasn't alone in my misunderstanding in general. My thoughts don't explain why the characters in the book think that way as most have no idea that Ta'R even exists. The general prohibition and horror of "whole cities burned out of the pattern" seems to be enough to reinforce that thought in story though.
Irene Gallo
294. Irene
We do, in fact, want to be as inclusive as possible.

285, this issue is over. Please stick to themes of the book from here out.
Anthony Pero
295. anthonypero

Sorry, Irene, we posted at the same time. I've removed my post.
Jeff Schweer
296. JeffS.
Lady Belaine
Don yor green, enjoy yourself well and safely,

and return to us here when ye can.

I tip a wee dram of Bushmills 1608 in your general direction and to all of this group on this most Irish of days.

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.

(the 1608 being named in honor of the year Bushmills was granted their distillery license from the King)
Paul Long
297. Caveatar
@289 AP
I don't know whether you are aware, but old teachings have it
that unborn souls, the threads of the pattern, living ones, reside
in the Guf. A place of waiting. Somewhat like TaR but not TaR

A balefired soul would cut the thread back in time, remove it from
the pattern and return it to the Guf, but in the original, Guf idea
when those souls are used up the weave is complete. Linear time. Ends
In the Wheel concept they would return to be recycled. The only soul
threads removed from the pattern would have two possible destinations
One is to return to the source of the souls, The Creator, God if you will
and God has a great wolf companion to hunt with now...Hopper!
if that carries through.
The other is destruction in the Abyss, or in mathematical ideas ,
a black hole, where total annihilation occurs for the entity instantly
but the 'smoke of their burning goes up forever" , trapped at the time
slowed Event Horizon. Gone, but not forgotten because of the
super dilatated, (slowed down) , not 'dilated = spread open,)
Event horizon.

WAY to long but maybe worth it to you and I am a codger. ANd it is about the WOT.


And besides that. I love the idea that the Creator chose as his hunting
and constant loving companion from one who was worthy of the job
as we know from observing him. To SOAR is what he is doing and
you will forgive me for picturing the Eternal Creator walking the
woods and hills with his faithful and well loved Wolf buddy.

Edit. BAD sentence structure.
Sam Mickel
298. Samadai
JeffS @ 293

We don't know that Rahvins soul is lost forever, it might be different because Rahvin was there in the flesh when he was killed (before He was there ;) sorry a little balefire doublespeak) so as it was his body that was killed, I would bet that his soul is most likely going to be reborn. Though of course it is just my opinion.
Sam Mickel
299. Samadai
Speaking of the room with all the 'greals in it. It would be awesome to have Rand and Aviendha go through the rooms there, in Caihien, and Tear. I bet they could arm up a buch of AS/Ashaman with various "greals of many types. Imagine how great it would be if team light had some more of those one ter's that allow communication over a long distance(and would use them)
Jeff Schweer
300. JeffS.
Samadai @298
Hmm, I see what you're saying. It might be all of the warnings about Ta'R from general inputs that make me feel that way.
"you are here too strongly" to Perrin in the wolf dream
"They are here in the Flesh!" was that Moghidein to Nynaeve during the battle with Rahvin. etc, etc? Don't have the books by me to pull exact quotes out, sorry.

I guess I'm thinking dying in the dream especially by balefire would completely remove you from the pattern. If that's not fully upheld by facts, I'm OK with it. Chalk up one loony theory by JeffS.

I am only an egg.
P.S. I know my earlier post was a bit off topic, but I'm so fond of all of you and this reread and the conversations, that I was impelled to let you all know how I feel. And as for the general tone, I've had family reunions that were more fractious than events here. Oh well, Off to enjoy the day myself. Take care all.
Jeff Schweer
301. JeffS.
300 by accident?
Ah, that's a bit satisfying, that is... 8^D
302. AndrewB
The following question is a bit of a tangent. (As it does touch upon dreaming and this is an Egwene chapter, I will ask it.)

I know that in WoT if somebody is in the Dream World (be it on purpose or accidently), and they die in the Dream World, he or she dies in Randland. In RL has anybody had a dream in which they died? Last night I dreamed that I was thrown off a building but woke before I hit the ground in my dream.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Paul Long
303. Caveatar
@302 AndrewB

In RL has anybody had a dream in which they died? Last night I dreamed
that I was thrown off a building but woke before I hit the ground in my

Yes. I have. More than once. But I hesitate to relate it. I talk too much
as it is and I will wait for others to respond.

Tricia Irish
304. Tektonica
Is there some ongoing work being done on the site? Not only are the shout boxes gone, but I have to sign in again every time I hit the Tor page???

(Maybe if we had shout boxes again, some of the, erm, personal attacks tangents, could take place off screen....just a thought.)
Irene Gallo
305. Irene
There is some work being done and that does seem to screw up, what should be, unrelated things. Apologies -- we're working on it.

In a way, you guys become our test crew since you are the most robust commentors. I have "log in", "shout boxes" and "broken permalinks" on my list but if ya'll start seeing other things, feel free to email me at: irene.gallo@tor.com
Paul Long
306. Caveatar
@302 AndrewB

CopyPaste link.
Please reply on the forum thread, personal tangent here.

Anyone offended by me please ignore.

Cameron Tucker
307. Loialson
@305 Irene, and also tnh

Can I just say a big thank you both for actually being here and caring. You guys provide us a fun place to discuss books we love, and you actually care and work to improve things, acknowledge when difficulties arise, and seek to fix it.

I've worked in alot of places where little things like these are ignored and shoved off til it's too broken to work, and I appreciate the sincerity of both of your efforts to fix the site and make the thread environment a place we'd like to spend time in.

It may not be much, but you both really do have my gratitude (and also any others working behind the scenes).
Tricia Irish
308. Tektonica
Irene...thanks so much for the quick response! I figured you were "on it". The sign in thing was an old issue for me, that has recently reappeared...thus my query.

And ditto, what Loialson@307 said.

Paul Long
309. Caveatar
@ Those who provide this site.
My thanks as well.
And if all who have benefitted would agree, the post count would
be a KiloHunny.
If all who have enjoyed this would acknowledge it would crash
the board.

Perfectly On Topic. The Garden of Our Delight! The Reread.
(Omar Khayyam and Edward Fitzgerald both would agree.)

Caveatar, "never again an emoticon" Trakand
Irene Gallo
310. Irene
Thanks guys. Being on staff is a ton of fun, it's almost unfair to call it work. We love having you all here.
Paul Long
311. Caveatar
Irene = Peace and peace she brings to the troubled sea.
And if I knew her last name I would continue.
And click the nick and find really quick
Nah. She ain't no rooster. ?

Irene Gallo, Who brings Peace to the barnyard(us)
and is the
"Cock of the Walk" when her voice is heard in the land.
All other chicks take notice and stop their peeping.
And Ain't it the Truth? Can I get an Amen, (it is so)
or even a peck on the ankle?
I love this henhouse, barnyard, Playground!

Caveatar "Foghorn Leghorn" The pippin chicken.
Irene Gallo
312. Irene
And now my day is made.

Thank you, Caveatar.
Paul Long
313. Caveatar
And so is mine Oh thou bringer of Peace to my heart.
I emailed you with a request to impose on your time.
As someone said, "Help thou my understanding."


HEY , You want to try for the 4 hunny , honey? Llol
I can help. SLAPPPPP Codger shuts up
Codge can't be stopped.

And if I were YOU , know what I would do?
I would lurk through the 95th post
and in my capacity as the website host
I would get every hunny jar coming through!

And some would moan and say it aint fair
and I would give them the dragon stare
"All other hunny has been grabbed by you
but we decided we want sweetness too!"

And great on pancakes and waffles as well
Any body doesn't like it go to ....walmart and buy your own.

That didn't work out just right.
In honor of St Pat.
"De'il ding a divot on y'r backside wi' a spade" to any complainers.
I will behave. I promise.
Later: I thought I saw a tumbleweed pass my window but it was
this screen. What happened.
Saint Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland but who drove everyone
away from here?
That ain't Saintly Behavior.
Gives up and goes to read something. Somewhere
So I was thinking again about Gawyn and the BloodKnife rings. I'm thinking that the ill effect of the Blood rings would or could be nullified by a Warder bond. I'm thinking the strengthening and endurance of the Bonded Warder would, in effect, counter the effects of the ring; so long as itisnt being used for too long and rest is taken afterwards. It's almost like the side effect of the Oathrod, where the life span is shortened as a side effect of the Oath binding. Well the Blood ring is sort of doing the same, except much more extremely. I believe this is because the wearer is not a Channeler, so the effect appears to be more extreme than the Oathrod binding, because of the Channelers lifespan having been extended by having the ability to channel.

So I'm theorizing that if a Warders lifespan is also extended as long as he is Bonded, the life extension from the Bonding, I believe, would be temporaily nullified. So instead of dying from the effects of the ring he must rest and replenish his strength to recoup what was lost from the use of the ring. If the ring was used for too long a period, he would eventually die; being used up completely and beyond the power of the Bonding to regenerate,unless he was healed and maybe beyond even that- also dependent on the length of use.

So let's say Gawyn is Bonded and he uses one of the rings. He kills a couple hundred advisaries and after the task is done, he goes back to his rooms to rest. He takes off the ring and immediately falls into torpor. Unconscious and oblivious to the world, for lets say, an entire day or three; all of that dependent on how long he wore the ring. So lets say he wore it for 2 days. Well he would then need a day to recover. For 3 days use, a day and a half recovery. 6 days? Three days of recovery. Or maybe its just an hour or so. But the longer he wears the ring, the closer to death he would be when he takes off the ring. Maybe with healing, the torpor could be shortened or avoided all together.

Watcha think?

By the way I think "itisnt" should be a recognized word as a conjunction for "it is not" or "it isn't". And maybe "isn'it" for "isn't it" or "is not it".

I know... stupid.

Edit- I also had a thought about what would happen if a Channeler wore a Bloodring. Would it have the same effect as it does with a Warder if my theory is true? That would be verrrry interesting wouldn't it?

316. birgit
So I'm theorizing that if a Warders lifespan is also extended as long as he is Bonded

A Warder's life is not extended like a channeler's. But Healing could work to recycle a Bloodring user.

I was thinking about ways a Forsaken could steal *angreal from the Tower. Would it be possible for someone who dreams themselves into TAR (not there in the flesh) to open a gateway to the real world, take an object, return to TAR, then open a gateway to where they are sleeping and throw the object through to the real world where they can take it when they wake up? Of course a Forsaken could simply send Slayer (but he might not be able to tell the function of *angreal).
Anthony Pero
317. anthonypero

I thought we were leaving this subject behind, per Irene's request to move on to WoT topics @294?
318. Freelancer
forkroot @214

Been uber-busy all weekend, just catching up. Did anyone twig to your subwoofer reference?

macster @217

You mention blocking gateways "in the manner Rand and Asmodean did". Rand alone blocked Aviendha's gateway. Asmodean used a weave to hide the opening in case anyone entered Rand's rooms.

Caveatar @230

Harriet cannot be found as an author in her own right under that name, I cannot say with certainty that she's never used a pseudonym herself. She is, however, the editor of another fantastic set of volumes, Orson Card's Ender Series. Some of the most thought-provoking and compact prose I've ever encountered, and the most immensely, immediately immersive story imaginable. The enemy's gate is down!

And, I see Zexxes had that at 248.

Irene, we know that you earn your pay, and not just as a mod. You bring us wallpapers! And awesome art videos. And I'm certain that you had a hand in bringing in Whelan for the final WoT cover art. Get that girl a raise!
Jeff Schweer
319. JeffS.
On the blood rings discussion:
I know there might not be time but I would love for Elayne and Aviendha to have a chance to look at those rings. Their individual talents on studying and making Terangreal would be very valuable. maybe take the dying part out or mellowing it so it could work as Zexxes suggests.

Zexxes, what you say makes sense and my first question in my head was, Why don't the Seanchen use healing already as you suggest, and then immediatly remembered that the Seanchen don't really use healing much and most refuse to be touched by a weave. And besides, they may just not know or have thought of the possibility. The Bloodknives are one way assassins and that's just the way it is. A very regimented society has trouble with original thought. Someone who's eyes would be lowered or executed may keep most insight to themselves.

I still think that those rings will come into use as a symbol more than a battle enhancer though. I'm pretty sure someone mentioned in an earlier comment thread how cool it would be for Gawyn to stroll up during some meeting and the Seanchen flipping out. Very nice indeed.
edited for "I can't spell"
Jonathan Levy
320. JonathanLevy
It's only in his realization that the SOUL is eternal, and each life of each soul is meaningful, that he finds a real value in his own life and in the sacrifice he's called on to make.
It's not only that realization. Rand's epiphany comes in two steps. In the first step he realizes that Love gives life its meaning. In the second step he realizes that Ilyena might live again. The first step does not require a belief in reincarnation; the second step does.

As for the belief in reincarnation, I fully accept its significance for the characters in the book. But I find it curious, because it seems to provide a very barren sort of solace. Does my persona survive? No. Do my memories survive? No. Beliefs and Hopes? No. Does my flesh survive as it does through progeny? No. Does the memory of me survive, as in works of history? No. Do my deeds survive, as eyeglasses survive the memory of their inventor? No. Do my remains benefit others, as the kidney of an organ donor might help a patient? No.

What remains? The soul, stripped of any shred of my identity, bestowed upon an unknowing infant, who will think it was his from birth. Because if I think of this soul as my own - which is perfectly naturaly, since those who possessed it previously have no influence on me whatsoever - how can I get any comfort from the thought of another reincarnation of it, which is utterly disjoint from me? The soul is no longer *me*, it's just another temporary vehicle through which I exist.

It's as if upon one's death a hair follicle would be transplanted onto the head of a newborn baby - and when he died, transferred to another, ad infinitum. How much solace would that give?

Perhaps if I had been brought up in such a world it would give me comfort, but as I stand today, it does not.

I meant to imply that Liandrin would release Elaida from the A'dam in exchange for her swearing oaths to the Dark One. Perhaps I should have been more explicit.

If it works out this way, then Mat's conversation with Tesly in WH:19 would become an ominous foreshadowing:
She inhaled deeply. "If you do help me escape, I will do anything you ask of me that does not encompass treason to the White-" Her teeth snapped shut, and she sat up straight, staring right through him. Abruptly, she nodded to herself. "Help me escape, and I will do anything you ask of me," she said.
Anything? Would Teslyn have pledged herself to the Great Lord if Mat had asked it? An interesting question to ponder, considering that Teslyn is bound by the 3 oaths. :)
I just can't see even Fain's taint and her insane megalomania making her join the Shadow
How about a lifetime of the most abject slavery imaginable with no hope of rescue? Sorry, 2-3 lifetimes, since she can probably expect to live another 150-200 years.

As for unweaving Liandrin's shield, well, I think these semi-permanent tied-off shields are more useful to the author as plot devices than consistent with the world he created. Rand can cut a weave of Mask of Mirrors, Lanfear can cut through his weave of Air in the Stone of Tear, but another damane cannot chisel through the shield on Liandrin? Asmodean cannot break through his shield because that requires (according to Lanfear) accepting pain, which he never could, but when Rand breaks through his shield in LoC there's no particular pain associated with the process or the result?

302. AndrewB
Yes, but in a spectacularly banal way. Occasionally in a nasty dream I will realize that I'm dreaming, and try to end it by jumping off buildings. Surprisingly, this doesn't always work.
Irene Gallo
321. Irene
Quick note to yasiru89. I agree with you — readers shoudl feel free to express their ideas on WoT without being fear of being enough-on-the-inside — but I think the thread has gotten back on topic now.
Addition: feel free to talk about the issues and themes related to WoT. Let's move on from rehashing arguments already expressed in the thread.
Dawn Boyall
323. deebee
Jonathan Levy @320

I guess it comes down to what you think a soul is. I can imagine a belief that attached to the soul are certain basic characteristics which would live on. For example, if I were reborn, I might always be the kind of person who smiles at babies, who loves the sight of the sun on the sea and an armchair pulled up to a wood fire.
I would have no memory of a previous life, but in the quiet moments I may think about my life and wonder about the soul I have inherited and who I loved in my past.
Clearly I`m an old romantic because I think there`s something infinitely satisfying in making this connection with those other lives.
Maybe that`s what John Donne was saying-no man is an island...

Anyway, clearly the thought of continuity of the soul does bring comfort and hope to Randlanders, so presumably they see the soul as something encompassing more of the essence of the person than a transplanted follicle...
Paul Long
324. Caveatar
@315 Zexxes
By the way I think "itisnt" should be a recognized word as a conjunction
for "it is not" or "it isn't". And maybe "isn'it" for "isn't it" or "isnot it".
I know... stupid.

Zex, there is a word we use in certain areas for 'it is not', and most
call it stupid. That is what Darkun would say as "Taint so!"
"Am" being used as the generic for "to be"
English teachers say it shouldn't be used because it 'taints' the language

@318 Freelancer.
Thank you. I have read everything I can FIND by that writer and the
editor must have had some wonderful input. I read the earlier, the
expanded and the sequels. No problem with any of them but there
is a poetic aura in some that presents the very horrifying treatment of children in a way that softens the feeling.
When someone sent a copy of her horse armor gift
I read it and noticed the words and shifted back to Knightly Times
and in the theater of my mind there appeared as fading into being
a blessed warhorse with all the armor. and line by line the thing got
more real until I could see the vapor from his nostrils and before
my view stood a Percheron or some such waiting for a rider and a
war! That is Poetry with a Capitol "Poe" and a writer who leave the
image 'writ large' in the mind.
I thank all who responded. And I know why RJ can write a scene
which should make me puke and doesn't. Well done to the gentle soul
who balanced him.


And Buaidh no bàs to you Ms McDougal Rigney.
Victory or Death, Conquer or Die

Must be a maiden of the spear.
Eric Hughes
325. CireNaes

I agree with debee, and I would use the hero's awaiting rebirth as Pattern correctives as enough of a premise to base it on. RJ said that no matter what age Birgitte is born in she would be phenomenal with the bow and would not use any other weapon. This connotes a certain soul characteristic. I say this because being a good shot requires genetic ability and a proper temperment, but to always gravitate towards that weapon appears to be "tied" to the soul, just like channeling. The body needs to have the proper genetics for it to be actualized, but being burnt out, stilled, or severed only wrecks the current body and does not adversely impact the soul's ability to channel after rebirth. So the things or activities or career choices a soul would be drawn towards for lack of a better term such as Aes Sedai or an archer will naturally influence the kind of things they do. I equate this to a soul's muscle memory. This is why I believe that Rand can make Lews Therin very real and not merely a construct. The soul will power any set of memories that build a personality that is in accord with its "muscle" memory. The soul of the Dragon is always be spun out as a corrective for the D.O. and will naturally be drawn to fight the D.O. (or more likely the D.O.'s champion and various forces of darkness).

Now does this stuff happen for Joe or Jane al'Schmo Randlander? debee's example could be accurate. A question for Brandon or Maria. I would think that a certain familiarity or deja vu could be indicitive of a soul's baseline characterisitc. If the soul is merely a battery then that's a true bummer. I know RJ says that no soul is born with the same personality since a memory wipe occurs in the rebirth process, but something needs to explain those baseline tendencies.
Theresa Gray
326. Terez27
As for making Lews Therin 'real' (which is by definition 'constructing' him)...quite aside from the semantics debate, did Rand ever really do that? I don't think we've seen much of the 'real' Lews Therin at all, even now. We would be seeing it now if not for Moridin's continuing influence, but even then it would be mixed with Rand. What we've seen is grief over Ilyena most of the time, and an impression of madness that is neither physically logical nor consistently accurate.

Aside from Ilyena—Rand's most inconvenient memories, which he steadfastly avoided by assigning them to 'Lews Therin' until Dragonmount when he realized that he had almost done worse—you get other inconvenient thoughts and emotions, such as mistrust of Taim and Aes Sedai, wondering who that dude is who keeps showing up in his head, wondering wtf is wrong with the Power in Altara, noticing that Gray Man coming, etc. More comfortable knowledge goes straight to the top level most of the time. That rarely happens pre-epiphany because Rand is suppressing the memories, but according to Rand, it was even more rare for 'the voice' to share information with him 'in their conversations'.

And Rand and Lews Therin didn't have normal, sane 'conversations' that might have allowed us to get to know Lews Therin as a person. Rand diverted the parts of himself that he didn't like—whether they were from Lews Therin's memories or not—into the construct, and kept the parts he did like. This process became rather noticeable in TSR, from beginning to end despite the fact that the only blatant memories were in chapters 9 and 10, when he faced Lanfear and destroyed the Shadowspawn with Callandor. In TFOH he began to realize that there were a lot of things popping up in his head that were distinctly alien. But by then, the transformation was nearly complete.
Eric Hughes
327. CireNaes
Captain's Log, 18MAR2012:

Personal Note. The quickest way to get a construct theorist to post on WoT reread thread is to make passing mention of construct/real debate. 90+/-5% certainty of success. Possible means of advancing thread an additional 30-50 posts. Ask tor.com powers that be for a cut in their advertising traffic revenue. Begin standard response below to initiate minimum goal of 365 posts for TGS Part 23. Email tnh with offer tomorrow morning.
Nice to see you Terez. Ignore the above attempt at WoTTrek humor.

I don't mind the construct arguement, I even think it is logically sound. However, it still feels off/incomplete to me. So my response has and always will be what is the definition of personhood in WoT? We know how WoT's cosmology works: soul recycling, memory wipes, TAR afterlife, rules for contacting the "living" for those souls in said afterlife, possession of past life memories etc... Memories plus soul power equals passable jazz musician or an actual person. Memory wipe plus soul equals new personality/person. To say that Rand has more than one personality is still accurate, but I'm looking for a different angle to view this ongoing debate from. A few other outliers are how does the Taint mess with the brain specifically regarding past life memories? Why is Rand's head a LiteBrite now (possible connection to TAR aiding integration? Connection to the land? Or is this purely the idea fairy)?

Rand's repressive tendencies are allowing a split to occur and that is why I think the construct theory is still accurate, but it's because the construct theory is accurate that LTT is as real as real can be. My position may lead to great gnashing of teeth among the construct community and result in the summoning of the Nine Rods of Dominion. I presume you have the ring?
Theresa Gray
328. Terez27
The definition of personhood is preciesly the semantics debate I was trying to avoid. It's pointless. And yet the real'ers always jump on it, even when the issue is tangential, as it is in this case.
Eric Hughes
329. CireNaes
:::Que up Mortal Kombat's "A Taste of Things to Come" track. I'm completely serious. I have that on my computer and have actually pressed play:::

Semantics indeed (I think we have conceptual, formal, and lexical here). Meaning is everything.

Out of curiosity, have you ever taken the realer's position and built up a defense for it? Just to see what turns up? You do have a comprehensive baseline knowledge and an extensive brand spanking new database for that kind of project. I've read your construct position several times. It's pretty good. Why not complete the circle? It would be very Wotsy of you. It could even begin the transition from construct apologist to WoT specialist with construct leanings.
Eric Hughes
330. CireNaes
I'm on the "Unlearn" track now. It's terrible. There we go. "Control" is much better.
Theresa Gray
331. Terez27
The 'real' position is not difficult to build. Just take everything at face value, and don't ask questions when things don't make sense.
Eric Hughes
332. CireNaes
I'll take that as a "No." Or at a minimum an "I don't feel like it." If you wan't to up your prominence quotient in the world of WoT dialog, I've shown you the path. It is up to you to walk it.

Yuck, they really phoned in "Blood and Fire." Oddly enough "Reject" and "Twist the Knife" are next. God's humor never ceases to amaze me.
Theresa Gray
333. Terez27
Do you really believe that I just can't see the light? Honestly? That's beyond insulting, you know. I raised a logical point about Rand's ability to 'make' Lews Therin 'real', and all you've done is evade and condescend.
Eric Hughes
334. CireNaes
No. That's a negative interpretation, no need for escalation (tnh/Irene are stressed enough). This is not about me winning the arguement or insinuating a lack of comprehension.

Because of all the hard work you do I would like to see you take on a more prominent role in the whole WoT community. That's it. Doing that would require a niche talent not already provided. The ability to conceptualize and express various WoT theories would naturally compliment your talents. This is academia at its core. The pursuit of knowledge. Thought it might intrigue you. Nevermind. No skin off my back.
Paul Long
335. Caveatar
@ Captain's log
Ask tor.com powers that be for a cut in their advertising traffic revenue.

What revenue. What adds? Does tor make money if links are clicked?
Never though ot it. Maybe my browser is blocking them.
Target links Cap'n and I will laser the hell out of them.
Never occured to me I could repay for the great stuff this site gives
me. Buying books and passing them to others doesn't count.

Mr Spock. How may I aid in the revenue of a busines worth it?
I will buy another mouse and click my little fingers til they are worn.
How does it work Geordie?
Anyone who can explain, post it or post a link.

Caveatar (fastest clicker in the west)
Eric Hughes
336. CireNaes
It's pretty minimal stuff. Mostly (perhaps all?) things t0r publishes. A clutter free operation if I ever saw one. Community oriented some might say. Really I'm just fishing for loose change.
Alice Arneson
337. Wetlandernw
Zexxes – Per RJ’s blog (so you know it’s word for word):
Warders don't slow. They age at a natural pace, but they do maintain vitality and vigor beyond the levels associated with most ordinary men.
That “vitality and vigor” might give a Warder a better chance against the effect of a Bloodknife ring, letting him survive longer than the average soldier, but I don’t see how it could be something that would let him just recuperate back to normal by taking it off for a few days. If that were possible, anyone should be able to do it; they’d just have to have it off longer. I don’t think it’s something you can “get over” like the flu; it takes a permanent toll. However, as I suggested last week, I do suspect it’s something that could be Healed. We know the Seanchan have not had Healing until very, very recently, when Tuon bought Mylen (formerly Sheraine Aes Sedai), so it’s probably never been tried.

If I were an Aes Sedai, I would not approve of my Warder using a Bloodknife ring unless I were a) a very good Healer and b) had a chance to study someone else who was using one, to see if it even could be Healed. (Not that I’d expect any volunteers for that job…) Maybe in a real emergency, where I couldn’t see much probability for either of us to survive otherwise, I’d consider it, if I had at least some skill in Healing. Otherwise, I think I’d stick with the old-fashioned benefits of the bond.

Re: LTT yet again… I’m not getting into it today, but I’ll toss in here that I’ve always believed that framing the argument discussion exclusively in terms of “real” vs. “construct” created a false dichotomy.
Paul Long
338. Caveatar
@337 Wet and Zex

“real” vs. “construct” created a false dichotomy.
And RJ does Bugs Bunny and says "Ain't I a stinker?"

The bloodknives stuff has a counterpart in modern times and in
modern military stuff.
Angel Dust. Don't know the chemical name. One guy on this stuff
will whip a squad of trained soldiers even as they kill him.
When he uses it the stuff overdrives the body and the result will not
heal up. Permanent damage to body and brain.
If you happen to see one gone on a rage, Be somewhere else fast.
:"Better living through Chemistry". (Corporation motto)

@ Cirenaes. Do they get a token payment for each link clicked?
Ah hell you wouldn't know, you just told me you didn't."
Maybe the PTB, PolyTetraBoron people know. OR maybe not.

Paul Long
339. Caveatar
To All who love the Wheel of Time.
I have been sent the single known writing of Ms Rigney.
And I have read it and been impressed. And Homer doesn't impress me!

In that densely compressed communication She has answered all
questions about James Oliver Rigney from the Heart of a Woman
with the Tongue of a Poet.
You waiting for the Memory of Light?
Spend the next ten months or so reading that short work and
understanding it. If you don't know the words look them up and learn.

I understood part on first reading. More on second.
I listened to Chopin Nocturne #1 and read it again.

Any want to be writers who want to understand her feelings about
the greatest Scribe since...Hell I don't know when.
It is there. A few lines.
I love James Oliver Rigney like my brother
and now I love Ms Harriet McDougal Rigney like the Female version
of him. I am deeply impressed and no modern tale or even ancient
one impresses me more with its content.

Call me anything you like.
But Hear what the Lady says. And you will Know.
Paul Long

ETA: It is not a sole work. "a poem of mine". Not 'the', it has company
and if she has shared them, maybe a private printing, there is a
possibility of more. Which I would pay one month's social security
check for and stop smoking for a 4 months to pay it.
Any form as long as her words were there. As she wrote them.
One hundred and six words to convey 1000 words of information.
Tennyson would like this lady's work. It matches and may beat his.


Anyone interested:
The dice icon on Mat chapters signify his luck source. Cabalastic and
Gematria and Numerology rolled up! Ilea iacta est. (Spelling)
Paul Long
340. Caveatar
@ CireNaes.

A note for you. Currently end of Darkun's Tale..forums.


Too all. If I seem to have shut up for a while it is only because I
go to learn from a Poetess.
341. yasiru89
Regarding Lews Therin, the problem seems to come of assuming distinct identity. Assume instead that there is a constant soul of particular characteristic, and that the person we call Rand al'Thor and the one we call Lews Therin Telamon are simply instances of a period of being this constant is subjected to. There is then an underlying unified identity, but also more superficial ones those memories and experiences make for. Rand's madness comes of a reluctance in his role he cannot act out (for fear of losing humanity its struggle for survival), which then becomes resentment of the possibility of past failure mingled with the abandoned horror at the notion that he could have been this cursed man who failed. He wishes to disassociate himself from those past failures and that other life's shadow of his own personage that is responsible for them, partly to convince himself the same will not happen this time and partly because he still cannot fathom his final actions of that previous life. This dissonance then becomes the core of his insanity, the memories of his past life only a trickle manifest and given voice to by a dual of himself constructed by splitting that single, underlying identity based on the different lifespans he knows of. The voice is a recollection of Lews Therin which is a continuation of the man himself, for coming about within the underlying identity and equipped with memories of what he was.
This kind of interpretation assumes that Rand didn't have access to all of Lews Therin's memories simply because he cordoned them off with a part of his identity to reconstruct the very much real Lews Therin (Perrin's startlement at how quickly Rand's scent changed after Dumais Wells at the beginning of aCoS hints at different identities- hence a lack of acceptance on both sides leading to a withholding of some things, like how Rand learns to banish Lews Therin's voice, but extending this to the possibility that Lews Therin too can ignore Rand). Rand's claim in ToM that he was always Lews Therin and that Lews Therin was always him makes sense however, assuming a single identity undergone a dissonance.

Irene @321-

I would have thought once and for all prevention better than a temporary cure, but it's your show to run and I've no stake in it.
a a-p
342. lostinshadow
@217 i did not mean to say Egg' collaring is not as horrific as anything could be, it is definitely one of the worst out there. What i meant was it seems not to have triggered sny kind of growth in her. it didnt really change her other than to make her rightfully paranoid of the Seanchen
Jonathan Levy
343. JonathanLevy

One thing her captivity did is give her a long-term panicked reaction to imprisonment. There are two good examples I can think of.

1) Immediately after being released she hastily attacks the Seanchan with the OP, thus revealing her position.

2) When captured in TDR in Tear, Egwene fights much more desperately than Elayne or Nynaeve, and is subdued more violently.

This reaction is well played for drama when Egwene is collared by Mesaana, but IIRC it's absent when Egwene is first taken captive after cuendillaring the harbor chain, or when she wakes up after being beaten by Elaida in TGS. I may have to re-read the last two, it's been a while.

Also, having been collared also puts her in an interesting position when dealing with captives of her own, such as when she shields one of the Black Ajah in TDR, or when she has Moghedien in Salidar, or when she decides that captive damane should be trained as Aes Sedai.

But yeah, it doesn't have the same defining hold on her character that Rand's imprisonment had on him.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
344. tnh
Easy there, Terez. Your fellow commenters are sorting out complicated ideas. That's hard enough. They aren't simultaneously making each comment that touches upon your ideas a perfect reflection of their opinions about you as a person.

Imagine that you're getting hit with accusations that you're being deliberately insulting whenever you fail to understand or agree with someone else's comments. How well would that work on you?

I don't know how much experience you have with internet discussions, but as a general rule, people who intend to insult you don't do so by implication. I suggest that what you're experiencing is frustration, not deliberate affront. I further suggest that instead of getting angry, you get used to it. Frustration is built into communication. It's just the way things are.
346. Looking Glass
@255 travyl: Yes, you’re right about Tuon’s ethnicity and descent. Remember, it’s been a thousand years; even at just three generations a century, descent would only give a guarantee that she’s at least 1/(2^30) Hawkwing. Which is like a ten-millionth of a percent.

Granted, there would certainly have been a lot of marrying back into the same bloodlines and between Randland-descended nobility, even if they didn’t do the squicky-close inbreeding seen in real-world royal families. So she’s probably lots more than one-billionth Randlander. But even so, Tuon is very probably more native-Seanchan-descended than not.

@315 Zexxes: “It is” gets abbreviated to ‘tis, so presumably “it is not” gets shortened to ‘tisn’t.

@316 birgit: I’m not sure we know enough about bloodknives to know if it can be healed, at least by any weave we’ve seen in the series. Thus far, there’s been nothing that genuinely left people with more vitality than before, has there? The old-school general-purpose version took a lot out of the healer and the subject both, potentially even to the point of lethality itself. Even Nynaeve & co.’s new versions seem break-even at best.

@320 JonathanLevy: On souls: I think the premise is that a) you are something more than the sum of your memories, and b) your soul is that something more. The fact that so many people seem to have taken on similar roles and qualities over the cycles of reincarnation would tend to support that, though it’s hard to tell how much that can be ascribed to “they’re basically the same people” and how much to “fate is forcing them into the prescribed pattern without regard to their personalities”.

Also, your soul may still be attached to your memories somehow, even if they’re not immediately accessible.

On shields: Lanfear and Moghedien may not necessarily have been using vanilla shields; who knows what sort of unpleasant variations or defense mechanisms may have come up in the war of the shadow?

Even assuming standard-issue shields, Rand had the knowledge of the best channeler of the AoL against reds who had likely never had to hold a shield against anything but brute force, if that. Asmodean and Liandrin were both up against opponents more skilled than they. And wasn’t Rand described as straining to break that shield?

Yes, a damane with enough power, and there are a few, could probably just blindly swing at even a shield that she couldn’t see. I’m not sure I would want someone taking the piñata approach to anything attached directly to my brain, though, even given the alternative.
Paul Long
347. Caveatar
The Dreaded Double Down Dirty Dastardly Ditto post.
Paul Long
348. Caveatar
@346 #315
Thank you Looking Glass,(Seen any Alices lately?)
Tisnt is the word and Tis is the word and my granny said it all the
time but she also said 'taint' and being a wot fan I couldn't resist
putting the 'taint' in and my teacher said that to explain why we
didn't or wont (will not, another improper one)use the word.
"Taint a proper use of the language." Loved that woman. (She also used all of them in everyday talking.)
Thank you Looking Glass and if a little Alice shows up from behind you, let her back out will you?

349. JackMyDog
@Cav I think the word your looking for is "tisn't"
@all I read all the many posts and can't believe nobody commented on Leigh's placement of her statement regarding the Sang'real , in the chapter. It was never mentioned that Egwene seeing it before and did not mention its being used to heal Mat in tDR. Only that Siuan told her where.
"Reading right along with..."
350. JackMyDog
Just Wondering,,,
Garath noticed a blond woman fighting high in the Tower, hair blowing, an awesome sight as we knew it to be Eg. Why did Siuan not see a "Fount Of Power" up there. She could (would) have realized Egwene needed no rescuing and saved herself from an apology.
Paul Long
351. Caveatar
Folks like me and granny who use such words also ignore the
apostrophe. Just fact.
Suian has set her head on something and she will do it until
That Fount of Power pops her in the head and knocks her
crosseyed, and puts her on Bela and says, "Run Bela" and jolts
some sense into her through her sensitive bottom. Only way to
get through to some and our Bela is just the horse to do it. Smile.

Nice catch. I missed it for sure. Both of them. Thanks

Luke M
352. lmelior
I've gone back and read Chapter(s) 40+ a couple of times, but reading this summary still took my breath away, gave me goosebumps, and had me fighting off tears just from the sheer awesomeness. Verin's sneak-tastic scene in the last post might have you gushing for days, Leigh, but as far as action scenes go, this is at the top of the heap, in all forms of entertainment. I absolutely loved the Adelorna PoV. You rated ToM better than TGS, but this scene set too high a bar for me (even though Egwene has always been among my least favorite among the good guys).
Rob Munnelly
353. RobMRobM
JL at 343 - don't forget Eg also freaked out when the Whitecloaks confronted the Verin party when returning to Tar Valon from Falme. Add that to the ledger as well.
Rob Munnelly
354. RobMRobM
I haven't been participating much, but I really enjoy this chapter. I'm a bigger fan of Egwene than most on this Board, and this was truly an epic MOA.

355. JackMyDog
That I feel I must say this is because of the Egfest that's been going on during this chapter.
Early in this novel we meet Renald and sons, worthy Borderlanders ready to join the fight at ykw. Basically no comments were made either by Leigh or others.
When we next meet these brave souls, it is the Field of Mellior, where Eg says to Gagwyn, look at those shady charactors, better go keep your eye on them. "Duh OK Eg, whatever you say, I now obey."
Egwene and Gawyn deserve each other.
Sanctume Spiritstone
356. Sanctume
Re: Bloodknife Ring used by a Warder.

It should be possible to let a Warder wear the bloodknife ring to gain a few more stats for the duration. One way to remove it is to cut the Warder's finger, unattach the ring, then Heal back the finger.
Paul Long
357. Caveatar
@356 Sanctume

What if it is magically poioning the wearer's entire system
like some things would? Angel Dust for example. Of Course
The Creating Healer Nynaeve could probably heal that too.
I have tried to make them safe and I can't grasp it.

Roger Powell
358. forkroot
forkroot @214
Been uber-busy all weekend, just catching up. Did anyone twig to your subwoofer reference?
The indefatigable Caveatar did @221 and even did a brief homage to our friend. I'm guessing that RL caught up with Sub and that we'll hear from him again in a little while.

Kicking poor Bela in the ribs once again, I am now wondering if Egwene and company have taken the proper steps to secure the sa'angreal and other valuable items? Certainly she could learn from Rand who took the proper steps to secure the access keys after he found them.

Of course those weaves were done with saidin. Maybe she should ask Rand to send Cadsuane to her to show how to secure valuables from Darkfriends. Or maybe not...
Tess Laird
359. thewindrose
Hi fork™:) It's on the list of the many things that Silviana must handle.
Which make me ask the question 'who here would like to work for Egwene? (Besides Caveater Gawyn Long;)). See this question is double tasking for work and WoT.

Tess Laird
360. thewindrose
CireNaes at 327 - WoTTrek -That is hilarious! Although, and I am sure you know this - all I see Tordot merchandizing is their own books - no advertising for other items.

Question - Egwene does her Need walking in chap 36 News in Tel'aran'rhiod, and comes upon a camp of Tuatha'an, and sees a fire smoldering in a firepit with smoke. Could this be the same fire that Rand is at in person during chap 40 - Just Another Man. Do the time lines support this? Would be cool if so. We see Perrin in the wolf dream witnessing Rands moment on the mountain - I kind of picture that Rand's aura/presence moves though T'a'R even when he is awake - although I think the mountaintop was a special case, so I don't know...

Paul Long
361. Caveatar
@358 and 359
Forkroot and Windrose.

indefatigable! I won the spelling bee in third grade with that one!
Thank you!

Thank you both. When I next visit Darkun I am sure he will mention
about one of them infinite channels and the two of you.
Or Possibly I might write a brief alphabetical bow to the both of you
singly, and in good taste. (well, what tastes better than a woman's lipstick?) Give up? Roger knows and the windrose knows.
The lips they are covering of course. And if I am mistaken and windrose
is actually a man I will be obligated to tell about the breath of life
and how a male figure kissed the first made man on the lips.
No smileys ever again but I can write a long substitute.
Smiles. A mile between the esses and my very name is long.

SLAP. Shuddup Codger.
I love this place.

Caveatar, Egwene aint bad as you think. Did you ever pillow friend
or sheathe the sword with a woman of her power???
neener. (My daughters would laugh themselves hoarse at that. I might send it to them.
Paul Long
362. Caveatar
@360 theWindRose

It is begun on The Darkun's Tale, #29 on the forums.
Want to hear the rest as I listen to the wind?

Tumbleweed blow across this board right now.
I will put it here too.

The Polish Landowner, Beloved of God

In respect of Tess Laird
and Marie Sklodowska

The WindRose as the sun descended
the moon sailed the night like a bark
A Beloved of God, purified, ascended
Pure Light soul erased gathering dark


Forkroot, You are right after the rising wind.
forums, darkun, I can't make a link right

This is the beginning

Roger Roger, I copy.

Son of Hywel thou Famous Spear
Warrior bold, who knows no fear
Face the charge with steady Arm
Guard your young from all Harm
more? Happy smile here.

Paul Long
363. Caveatar
@337 Wetlandernw.
"Warders don't slow"

And one more answer is revealed. The answer to the question.
WHAT in the hell would Moiraine want with that old bastard Thom?
Plus, Now we know why the greens have so many!

Thank you for once again changing my outlook.
And this time I didn't have to take the other side
like Cads and Egs.
DONT make me defend Faile! Loial can do that and I will hold on
to my sworn ideas and ...never mind
Tess Laird
364. thewindrose
Caveater - I have read the Iceman Cometh - up to the redhead story. Looks like you have added more? I haven't read the Durk'un tales yet, maybe tonight, or tomorrow at work.

You have my gender correct.

sub has taken 40 days and nights to ponder the universe, he will be back soon / in a couple of weeks.

**Laughing** at this:
Plus, Now we know why the greens have so many!
I am getting the Mom is crazy look from my kids.

Tricia Irish
365. Tektonica
Fork and Free:

As The Windrose has hinted, Sub gave us up for Lent. He'll be baaaaaaack........
Paul Long
366. Caveatar
@364 Oh windrose, I will continue your epic tribute
while listening to Chopin and thinking about Copernicus
if I need logic and courage.
I would be pleased for you to read, and when Venus does
the pose at the strip club and the Old man tells the male
nurse about the worst thing. I may be close to done with
why I adore the females in my life and all others who can
say, bare breasted or not, "I am a woman." And that dam
Uno can't fool me. Hope the kids bring you a drink from
concern for you.
I have been understanding Harriets solitary published poem
while listening to the wind. If you get a chance, let me know
your opinion on that.
ANd tell me why the view count is so high? Cant be that many
people reading that many words.!

My final I love women post will be the one that hurts me most.
A 13 year old girl who was hurt by a sour disappointed teacher
who rejected her work.
I will get it with a box of tissue and post it later.

May Prince Siddharta Gautama, the Bohdisvattva, The Buddha
rap that old teacher in the mouth.

Paul Long
367. Caveatar
@365 tektonika
Sub gave us up for Lent.

A worthy and dire sacrifice to give us up!
I alone am too pretty to give up easily. (Well, I don't have a mirror.)
May he be spared the 40 days and 40 nights from Purgatory
to Unscrew the inscrutable and Eff with the ineffable.

Alice Arneson
368. Wetlandernw
JonathanLevy @320 – I submit that Randlanders place a much higher value on the afterlife than you are accustomed to doing. Your comments indicate that you see value only in the temporal lives spun out on the earth, and that when one of those lives is over, it might as well be done with because it doesn’t last into the next birth. I think the people of this world see it somewhat differently than you. First, they see a value in the soul itself, more than the single persona. Second, as has been mentioned by others, there is a significant continuity of the soul; there are traits that carry from one incarnation to the next. (For example, we know that channeling is tied to the soul as well as the genes.) Third, we’ve been told that there is an afterlife (or maybe an “interlife” – whatever) of the soul.

I would postulate (because this is what makes sense to me, more than because we ever see it discussed in the books) that the Randland belief is that the soul is aware, during that time, of all its past lives, and that one’s beliefs, thoughts and actions are clearly remembered – with shame, or with honor. We’ve not been given any indication of a paradise-or-hell antithesis, where one’s deeds are either honored or punished, but there seems to be a belief that it matters during the afterlife. If you look at Ingtar, for an example, he knew that he had done badly by becoming a Darkfriend, and he apparently hoped that by dying well, to buy the freedom of his companions, he could redeem his honor – whether he hoped for some form of honor in the afterlife, or simply to be able to look at this incarnation without complete shame, is not made clear.

Whatever their beliefs, it seems clear to me that while the lives give the afterlife meaning, it’s the soul that matters to them more than the individual persona, in the long run. I’ll admit that this would make more sense to me if there were a final result – a heaven-or-hell dichotomy, salvation or damnation in some sense. And maybe there is; maybe the afterlife does imply a time during which the soul is either rewarded or punished. After all, they swear “by my hope of salvation and rebirth” and Rand hopes he has accomplished something other than “my own damnation.”

I guess this would be an interesting question to ask Team Jordan, although I don’t know if they’d have a firm answer. There certainly doesn’t seem to be much in the interview database, except that the DO doesn’t have any control over reincarnation other than the occasional transmigration.

forkroot @214/358 - The Woof will return after Easter. (As noted by others, now, I see.) I'm sorry I didn't comment on the reference when I first saw it, though it took me a blink or three to make the connection. :) May have to report it to him via fb. He'd love it.
Anthony Pero
369. anthonypero
@Wet... actually, Randlanders swear by their hope of Rebirth... it seems to me that the temporal world is the important one to them. I'll think about this more and comment when I have time to dig.
Alice Arneson
370. Wetlandernw
anthony @369 - It's almost always "Under the Light and by my hope of salvation and rebirth" (or sometimes "rebirth and salvation"). Certainly there's a hope of rebirth; maybe the afterlife gets boring or something. But they know perfectly well that they won't remember anything from this life in their next one, so it's obviously not a problem for them - they still long for the continuation of their soul.

I'm not hard over on the above "theory" (if you can even call it that) regarding the WoT afterlife; I was just thinking out loud about why they care. Probably didn't come off quite that way. Still, for whatever reason, it's very important to them that their souls continue the cycle of life, death and rebirth, regardless of their inability to remember past lives during their "lifetimes". It seems reasonable that there's some belief system that involves the afterlife and the consequences of one's lives on it.

Okay, so there's no other interesting discussion going on, all right? ;) I haven't finished that compilation of captives yet, so I have to go with this one.
Theresa Gray
371. Terez27
@tnh—Did you get my question on Twitter? We're trying to make a list of people who have transcribed and translated interviews, and this one is a very important one. The transcriber is unknown, but s/he credits you with helping; that is the only credit given. Do you remember who transcribed the interview?
Terry McNamee
372. macster
@220 Caveatar: Very good point indeed. With all the Messiah parallels being given to Rand, I wouldn't be surprised either if Jordan/Sanderson had him go that route with Elaida.

@222 Caveatar: Many have surmised on the source of Mat's luck, particularly on whether it came from the dagger or if Lanfear did it. The consensus seemed to be it was neither, that he always had it and it only became magnified after he was freed of the dagger (and perhaps after what the Finn did) due to him being ta'veren. For the discussion on it, and my own personal thoughts, see Part 5 of The Dragon Reborn re-read, but the short version of the latter is: I think the luck is a combination of ta'veren and Aridhol turning Mat into a weapon against the Shadow (his luck to counteract the chaos of the Dark One and his touch on the Pattern).

This may be strengthened by the theory I've seen that he and Demandred are meant to be anatagonists, both being great generals, in which case Mat having luck to counteract the Shadow makes it seem even more like an Aridhol thing (using the tactics of the Shadow against it). Of course the Pattern could have done that alone through weaving Mat in as a ta'veren...but then again, Mat getting the dagger seems to have been fated, judging by Min's vision, so...

@228 Wolfmage: Again, well said.

@229 Caveatar: Nice idea, but sadly it won't work. From what we were told, Gawyn stayed at the Tower with Galad all the way from the Great Hunt when they came there with Logain and Elayne until the time of the coup, so there was never a chance for him to have met Lord Gaebril (not Brend, that was Sammael)--Rahvin could not have been free as early as TEotW, the last time Gawyn was in Caemlyn.

@233, 292 LadyBelaine: Of course I have no issue with wanting men and women to be equal, but sadly feminism has become more about making women superior to men, as they often appear to be (or want to be) in Wheel of Time; if anything I'd take issue with Jordan perhaps inadvertently promoting such a view in these books, before claiming him as a sexist or chauvinist--i.e., that in bending over backwards to try not to be a misogynist, he went too far in the other direction.

But in any event, my apologies for putting insulting words in your mouth, but I don't see the point in bringing this up, or debating it, if you weren't intending to insult Mr. Rigney or his wife. Because the books can't be changed, and neither can whatever views he may or may not have held even if he still lived, so why bother? If the presence of this supposed sexism makes you not want to read the books, then I don't see why my suggestion you not do so is so upsetting, and if you can still read and enjoy them then I don't see why it's necessary to address this. Since, as I said, the books and its author are not going to change. So why does it matter that Jordan seems to be promoting sexism and chauvinism...other than to critique his character or upbringing, which is in fact an ad hominem? Either they are sexist or they are not, and if they are nothing can be done about it and you won't stop reading the books because of it, so...?

You say that making this claim about him is not you calling him a bad person. But I am genuinely confused as to what other reason you have to bring this up and discuss it. Seriously, what is the point? By your own admission, if Jordan really did want to see women in bondage whether out of misogyny or titillation, he wasn't a bad person, and seeing this in the books does not make you want to stop reading them. So what is the point? What does discussing the appearance of such things accomplish? And I would say yasiru does a wonderful job of refuting your claims and/or placing them in a proper context. Unless that is what you were hoping to prompt.

Again, I apologize if it seemed I was telling you you couldn't post your thoughts and opinions. I just don't see what value can be derived from this particular one, other than insulting Jordan, or causing more dissension in the re-read which tnh and Irene have been so good and insistent about preventing.

Side note: I think Anthonypero meant the re-read overall, not this particular entry, when he was talking about the matter having been rehashed repeatedly in the 'thread'.

@234 Looking Glass: Agreed, that was always my problem with Gawyn as well.

@235 Wolfmage: That's a very good point--Jordan isn't showing women being tormented and abused and demeaned, he's showing Darkfriends and Forsaken for the most part, and even Amathera and Morgase end up where they do becuase of Forsaken and/or evil men (Carridin, Valda)--in fact Amathera ends up as she does because of the Black Ajah (other women) and the Seanchan (ruled by a woman!). The reason so many who end up in this position are women is because women have the power in Randland so are in the position to be so abused, and statistically more of them are likely to join the Shadow than men.

Also to LadyBelaine, see what happened to the Sharan (?) in TAR and Kadere--that may not have been abused and tortured for months on end, but I'd hardly call their deaths painless and merciful. And since when is being barbequed and balefired a "clean death" in battle for Rahvin? Not to mention what was done to Rand by Galina and the TAS...

@239 Wolfmage: I am actually in a middle position here. I see and acknowledge the value of all of Looking Glass's points about Gawyn. The difference is I don't excuse him because of them. I think all the things Looking Glass brought up are good reasons for Gawyn to doubt Siuan and at least consider Elaida's POV in his decision-making. They just shouldn't be the sole reasons for him to do so, and the fact they were proves how his emotions were ruling him, something Bryne and Elayne both comment on in ToM.

@244 birgit: You're assuming Mesaana knows how to use the Need walk or the equivalent, without that she'd just be seaching blindly. Also, does finding a place in TAR allow you to open a gate to it in the real world? I'm pretty sure it doesn't, otherwise Nynaeve and Elayne wouldn't have had to search the Rahad for the six story building.

@245 KiManiak: You may be on to something. This may just be me but Vora sounds more like an Age of Legends name than a Third Age name.

Agreed on Silviana, the reason I can put up with it (aside from the likelihood such views will change over time as men are no longer feared and hated) is that it often comes across to me as just a foible, a gut-wrench reaction based more on exasperation and amusement than anything else. And one can see why Silviana would have a hard time changing her view when she has men like Gawyn as an example. *smirks*

Oh I agree, Katerine was still evil, and stupid, and working to undermine the Tower (or at least Saerin) in favor of her own authority. I was just commenting on the fact that even if her motive in doing so was wrong, and we didn't want her to succeed, hey, at least even she could see that the Seanchan winning was bad.

Oh yes, I know you will--I saw your comments on the ToM spoiler thread! ;) And I agreed with you for the most part, since while I understand why she reacted as she did, and I do think Rand was deliberately manipulating her to act that way, it doesn't change the visceral reaction to seeing our boy Rand so mistreated, especially right after his epiphany. I was just saying how glad I am to see you proving that intelligent people take all things into account, both flaws and positive traits, when judging the actions of of characters. Most people who hate a character can never admit they have any good qualities at all, in any situation, and trying to get them to do so is like pulling teeth. Kudos to you!
Terry McNamee
373. macster
@252 bad platypus: For the most part I agree with you, and the reason I give for why she didn't want to locate it was because she was afraid of being caught and jeopardizing her plans. But I do think there are other reasons she couldn't have learned it on her own--she didn't know Need, if she did it wouldn't have helped her gate to it in the real world, she still would have had to approach it physically to find it which required getting past guards or having a sister with her, and I think she would not want to appear weak to the BA by needing their help to get past the wards. Plus as stated, she didn't even need to do so when she could get angreal from elsewhere--or maybe she did get that angreal from the storeroom. We have no idea how strong it is, it might be quite strong and so she wouldn't need any other items. It's not like she was raiding it for every single item to hoard, or that she'd be sharing the contents with the other Forsaken or the BA. She'd be more likely to leave it all there, trusting she could get items from it later as needed.

@255 travyl: Tuon said she was descended from Luthair?? I must have missed or forgotten that...well if that is the case, either he and Artur were much more dark-skinned than we supposed, or Luthair interbred with the black natives of Seanchan. Which would explain Tuon, and could suggest Karede was dark-skinned too. Hmm. Well anyway, I think the point is still valid that many in Seanchan are not black, and that a lot of the ones who are are among the leaders.

Considering I agree with the theory at 25, that makes sense. :) But yes, I think it's very in character for Elaida to have forbidden all Aes Sedai who learned the weave from her or Beonin to teach it to anyone else. It certainly seems to hold, since Adelorna hadn't been taught it, and Egwene had to show Meidani if I remember correctly. But I also think there aren't any Blacks among the captured damane because of the quote from the epilogue, and the greater ability Blacks would have to fight back due to not being held by the Three Oaths.

You have a good point; it seems, and rightfully so, that no one who hasn't experienced an a'dam can possibly take it and its threat seriously, because until you experience it you can't believe anyone could do something that terrible to another person. Still, the fact even Egwene wouldn't subject Elaida to that says something, albeit more about her own experiences than about Elaida's deserving such a thing or not.

@259 yasiru: I heart you, and so wish to +like that post.

@286 travyl: Hmmm. I think you may be on to something. Being "burned from the Pattern" does sound pretty final. Which brings us back to the idea that if this is indeed what Rand and other Randlanders think balefire does, Cadsuane/Moiraine/Nynaeve's reaction is understandable. And unless Rand, via Lews Therin, knows more than he is telling about balefire, this suggests what he did was indeed a terrible thing even outside what it does to the Pattern--not because of the context or reason for it, but the method. Note that after he goes Zen we never see him use balefire any more.

@297 Caveatar: I love that analogy, and it makes me feel better about Hopper even as I tear up.

@299 Samadai: I really hope that happens too. And with the attack on Caemlyn and the one on the Tower they have even more reason to grab and identify those stashes. Rand says the others will be fighting the Last Battle while he faces the Dark One; surely that means he will want the others properly armed and able to stand a chance, and since the others will have the assistance of the Aes Sedai (once the conflicts with Egwene and the Seanchan are settled) and Asha'man (once Taim is dealt with), One Power items would be essential to that.

@315 Zexxes: A very interesting theory! No real evidence for or against it, it's pure conjecture, but it does suggest that using the ring may not be as obviously a death sentence as we think, Egwene's dream about Gawyn notwithstanding. Then again, if he were to be stupid enough to use two or even all three rings at once...

@318 Freelancer: Thank you, I misremembered that. Or rather I remembered Asmo hid the gate, but confused him telling Rand about blocking (and how rare it is to be able to do so) with doing it himself. My bad.

@320 JonathanLevy: Ah I see what you were getting at now. I think the rest of my post still stands to you though, and others have addressed the issue too, but to respond: the fact Teslyn was forced to stop speaking by the oaths suggests that indeed, saying you would do 'anything' to escape does not hold if there are some things you wouldn't do, like betray the Tower (Teslyn) or join the Shadow (Elaida). Also, Wetlander's point that the Rod is required, which neither Elaida nor Liandrin have access to. And the fact that while hundreds of years of servitude might make Elaida switch sides to escape, she has only been there a few months if even that much (and with the Last Battle coming and an accommodation between Rand and the Seanchan needed, her captivity could also be ending quite soon) and I really think she is strong enough to survive that--Egwene didn't go to the Shadow to escape.

You have a point about the shield, although in Rand's case clearly he was already in pain and wanted to escape it, so him breaking through doesn't really count. (Plus he's pretty much the strongest channeler alive.) But again as proof I offer the negative: if the damane could have cut through Liandrin's shield they would have by now, because then she could have been made damane as all Aes Sedai should be according to the Seanchan. Unless Suroth kept her that way as part of her lording it over a fallen Shadow member? In which case though it still seems odd that Tuon didn't order her damane to break Liandrin's shield once she got rid of Suroth at the end of Knife of Dreams. And Semirhage never tried to break or unweave it either, though that may have been because she knew how it got there (Liandrin betraying Moghedien) and so considered her useless as a servant and deserving of the punishment.

Still, adding all this together, the fact Elaida doesn't have the character for going to the Shadow, that she would never trust Liandrin to free her or agree to join the Shadow when she hates her and how she made the Red look, and their not having an Oath Rod to do the changeover with, and it just doesn't seem likely to me. I do agree, though, that Elaida still has a role to play and that one way or another, so does Liandrin. If you're right, though, I'll gladly eat crow.

@327 CireNaes: LOL!!

Also I agree with you: the personality wasn't the real Lews Therin himself, but thanks to the way Rand poured his past life memories and unliked traits into it, it became a real personality/entity. Until the integration. In other words, I'm like Wetlander--there's no reason it has to be limited to one or the other, and plenty of reason to use the mathematician's answer: "Both." As for the rest, especially the LiteBrite in his head (love that!), your guess is as good as mine.

@342 lostinshadow: Thanks for clearing that up, I feel better now. :) I am not sure if I can unequivocally say it didn't change her at all aside from her feelings about the Seanchan...but I do agree she has grown least of the characters, and will hopefully go through that at last in AMoL. I was just saying I don't think her lack of growth can be attributed to her experiences being less horrific than those of other characters.

@343 JonathanLevy: Also in TDR, Egwene's reaction when returning to the Tower--her blowing up the earth under Dain Bornhald's Whitecloaks was a response to "never wanting to be held again". RobM noted this too.

@346 LookingGlass: Another good point on the shields.

@349 JackMyDog: That's a good point, seeing as I just read the Healing scene the other day. I guess we can chalk that up to Sanderson and Team Jordan dropping the ball for once.

@358 forkroot: Ouch. LOL, but ouch.

@360 thewindrose: I wondered that myself. Would take a more dedicated person to check the timelines, but offhand I think it may be possible.
Paul Long
374. Caveatar
@373 macster

Since you tear up, read this and they will clear up.

Wolf Brother

He was where he had always wanted to be
The most perfect place for Wolf such as he
The sky beyond skies with all he could need
For all time to come Running Soaring Freed

And as the reward for his willing sacrifice
He was granted a gift, a gift beyond price
To hunt with his Maker the Creator of Life
To walk the Hills and Fields with no strife

His yellow eyes flashed, his spirits arose
Hopped to the riverbank seeing the Rose
Held to the honeybee to sample its taste
Saw the Maker's yellow eyes, made haste

To be by the side of the greatest of goals
Master walks with him as the wheel rolls
His Mercy for all forgave Slayer his crime
Together for always, with no end to Time

His Yellow eyes turned to the Master Adored
Yellow eyes of both. He walked with his Lord
Hopper the Soarer saw with Wolf's clear sight
What we all have only as: A Memory of Light

For All Who love Hopper.

What a pal to hunt with now. Eh, Woofbrother?
The only entity all can agree on as worthy of love.
Want a tissue while I have them handy?

Paul Long
375. Caveatar
@370 Wetlandernw

"Under the Light and by my hope of salvation and rebirth"

For Fain it is ,
"Under the Blight and by my hope of salivation and wide girth
of the trollocs I plan to put in the pot."
Can anybody Stand! that bastard?

I want him ded ded ded and gone even. Bastard would scare Chthulu!
Jonathan Levy
376. JonathanLevy
346. Looking Glass
I think the premise is that a) you are something more than the sum of your memories, and b) your soul is that something more.
Except that it's not really your soul. It's sort of borrowed until you die. It's less yours than your body is. Replace 'your soul' with 'the soul with which you happen to have been born' and it becomes a lot less convincing.
The fact that so many people seem to have taken on similar roles and qualities over the cycles of reincarnation would tend to support that
To be fair, we only know that of Birgitte, and heroes of the horn may be an exception.
Also, your soul may still be attached to your memories somehow, even if they’re not immediately accessible.
Immediately? You mean 'not accessible by any way, means or form to the average Randlander'.
On shields: Lanfear and Moghedien may not necessarily have been using vanilla shields; who knows what sort of unpleasant variations or defense mechanisms may have come up in the war of the shadow?
Lanfear says:
He was never very good at breaking through a shield; you must be willing to accept pain, and he never could.
Lanfear doesn't say "I am making a special shield which he won't be able to break through because he was never willing to accept pain". She is describing a general property of shields, not a unique property of her shield.
And wasn’t Rand described as straining to break that shield?
Yes, but 'straining' and 'enduring pain' are very different things.

Quite right, I had missed that one.


"Under the Light and by my hope of salvation and rebirth"
I understood this as I think anthonypero does. Rebirth is the way the soul's salvation is expressed, the reward for having been judged worthy of salvation.

There's an open question here which I think should be stated explicitly. What percentage of lives lived are those of souls which have never been spun out before, and are never spun out again? Is this a small minority, or the overwhelming majority? As WOT readers we are not getting a balanced sample, since we deal with ta'veren and Heroes and what not.

More precisely, we should ask what the perception of Randland characters is of this question.

Sorry, why would the Oath Rod be required for Elaida to swear to the shadow? It's not used in the process of swearing BA oaths - otherwise Verin would not have expressed doubts whether the Oath Rod could unbind her. The same process which binds the new Oaths on BA members may be sufficient to unbind the Three Oaths.

Even if it isn't, Elaida could become BA and still bound by the Three Oaths, and her first instruction would be to go and find a way to unbind herself.
Even if the process of being bound to the shadow a la Black Ajah cannot be completed by Liandrin on her own, it may be quite sufficient for Elaida to swear to the shadow. Once sworn, the Dark One can find you, and terrorize you with Myrdraal, other BA, etc. As Verin said, once He has his claws in you, you can't get away.
the fact that while hundreds of years of servitude might make Elaida switch sides to escape, she has only been there a few months
Even the prospect of endless servitude without hope can be enough to break someone. How long did it take Therava to break Galina? And that without any A'dam. And what broke Galina in the end was the knowledge she would be Da'tsang for the next 100 years - not the actual experience of having lived 100 years of slavery.
You have a point about the shield, although in Rand's case clearly he was already in pain and wanted to escape it, so him breaking through doesn't really count
Sorry, I think it does count. The process of breaking through the shield did not require Rand to endure any pain. The fact that he was already enduring unrelated pain is not relevant.
Still, adding all this together, the fact Elaida doesn't have the character for going to the Shadow
One of Elaida's character traits is brittleness. When she breaks, she can be broken to a surprising degree, which Alivarin was surprised to discover when she blackmailed her after Dumai's Wells. We saw this again when Elaida betrayed Travelling to the Seanchan. I think it's possible she could be turned to the shadow, though it is much more likely that having been removed from the main scene, very little time will be spent on her.
Anthony Pero
377. anthonypero
Exactly @JL (@wet). This system sounds particularly proto-hindu. They did have an afterlife, but it was more of a "holding" place... the actual reward was being reborn, in order to have more offspring. It wasn't until the 6th century BCE that we find evidence of the current hindu reincarnation cycle involving rebirth as a lower life form as punishment.

The point is, even though they would have had an "afterlife" in early Vedic traditions, all the focus was on the here and now. Interestingly enough, the same can be said of early Hebraisim as well. While they believed in an afterlife, almost no time was spent thinking about it, or teaching about it. The vast majority of the focus was on the here and now, like it appears to be in Randland. It wasn't until the Greeks and Persians began to introduce the concept of Hades and Hell to the Hebrews that a full doctrine of Heaven and the afterlife was codified and taught.

I have no idea why I went off on that tangent, lol.
Dawn Boyall
378. deebee
RJ on the belief in rebirth as opposed to being immortal ala the Forsaken:
"the natural order of things is believed to be cyclic. You are born, you die, you are born again. To most of the people in this world the notion of living on forever is at least queasy making and to some considered to be an abomination. They don't want to. It would be doing something unnatural. After all, the next time you might be somebody better, somebody you like better than who you are now. You might be somebody richer or more famous or more skilled, or whatever. "
INTERVIEW: Aug 30th, 1999

That implies that the normal belief is that essentially whatever it is that makes a person "you" will be reborn. The soul continues in a different body, born into a different age (or even Age).
I like Wetlander`s view that in the afterlife the soul retains its memories. Maybe at that point the Creator judges its worthiness of salvation and rebirth, as opposed to damnation and nothingness.
Ron Garrison
379. Man-0-Manetheran
Terez @ 371:
Thanks for that link to the Sydney interview. A great bunch of stuff: balefire, Mat on a Harley, how he met Harriet. There is also a comment in the balefire answer that feeds my pet Looney Theory:
"And even the guys going for the Dark One knew that there's not a whole lot of point to winning if winning means there's nothing there to rule, nothing there to win.”
— A "memory of light" perhaps?
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
380. tnh
Terez @371: Sorry, I had one of those aggravating "I have fallen into a sitcom" days yesterday, and didn't look at Twitter.

I'm afraid I'm no use on this question. I vaguely remember helping correct some proper names and bits of publishing-related language, but I don't remember who transcribed the interview.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
381. tnh
Windrose @364, Tektonica @365: No kidding, SubWoofer gave us up for Lent? That's sort of a compliment.
Rob Munnelly
382. RobMRobM
@381 - And we're almost at 400 posts without Sub's usually robust contributions. Almost scary, eh?
Paul Long
383. Caveatar
@ all regarding Souls and Memory and Rebirth and loss of memory
or 'continuity of existence'

Birgitte is the example to answer all these because LTT/Rand is so
confusing to think about.
She is a hero, jerked untimely into rebirth, all previous memories
and they are fading.

So. Her soul was aware in Tar, She got slapped into the Circus, all
memories with her, and damn near couldnt survive, Elayne bonded
her soul and kept her from going back to the beyond.
Now she is losing her memories. But though the soul is losing its
recollection those memories are still around, Stored in the legend
and myth of past times, under a different name and she is surprised
when Mat tells about Birgitte under a different name, same soul, and
she tells him the Real Story about her Tower adventure, She does
recognise it in essence and could identify it with a 'Deja vu, Damn, I
seem to remember this from somewhere."
Lost memories of reborn, rewashed souls are stored in the legends and
myths of the race's history.
That is probably why all of us love the damned old stories.
Heroes are those who can live with all their memories available and
not go stark staring raving insane.
I will put this on the forum.

You get the idea I know.

384. Freelancer
Tek @365

Yep, I was aware of why Sub was gone. I just didn't know if anyone else had picked up the "low frequency response" line from forkroot.


I'm sorry, my friend. I'd been expecting an email from you, and finally realized that having left an address in your now defunct shoutbox isn't going to prove profitable. ::facepalm:: I'll send along a note to your addy and we'll take it from there.
Roger Powell
385. forkroot
Sorry, why would the Oath Rod be required for Elaida to swear to the shadow? It's not used in the process of swearing BA oaths - otherwise Verin would not have expressed doubts whether the Oath Rod could unbind her.
I'm almost positive that the Black Ajah does use the Oath Rod, first to unswear the three Aes Sedai oaths and then to replace them with three oaths to the Dark.

Here's what we know:

1) BA members can lie, thus they must have had their previous oaths removed. As far as we know, the only way to do that is to unswear on the OR.

2) The Oath Rod is one of two known examples of an AOL ter'angreal called a "binder". These were used on criminals back in the AOL, to forestall future transgressions. They only work on channelers. The Oath Rod was #3. Sammael found another binder (#111) in the stasis box that he discovered. He ended up giving this to Sevanna and this is the OR that Therava has used to bind Galina. We have zero evidence that any other binder is available.

3) The use of binders shortens the lifespan of the bindee - this is why they were only used on criminals in the AOL. The lifespan shortening effect (and the "ageless look" effect) are proportionate to the number of oaths. This is how we can be reasonably sure that the BA swear three of their own oaths on the OR - so that they look like any other AS.

4) When the BA hunters discovered that Talene was Black Ajah, they forced her to unswear her BA oaths. It took quite a bit of duress to force her, and the process was apparently quite painful ... this hints that Verin knew something about unswearing that made her wonder if it would even work (Verin didn't know that Talene had successfully unsworn, albeit at great pain.)

5) We don't know if you can "unswear" on a different binder that you swore on. The fact that they are enumerated suggests that you can't. If you can't, then it proves that Talene had sworn her Black oaths on the Tower's OR (presumably the BA occasionally "borrowed" it the same way the BA hunters have.)

So, bottom line, it would be virtually impossible for Elaida to become BA while a Seanchan captive. She could always become a plain old Darkfriend, although I doubt she would want to.
386. Looking Glass
@376 JonathanLevy: On souls: Yes, we don’t have much information on what souls do, and what data we do have applies to the potentially atypical cases of Heroes (Birgitte, and to some degree LTT and Gaidal) or Shadow resurrections. On the other hand, the little information we have suggests that at least for some people, a) the soul retains possession of past-life memories without the body, even if those memories are not accessible to all incarnations, and b) reincarnations will have consistently have similar personalities even absent any recall of past-life memories.

I guess the idea is that dying in WoT is, in some ways, more equivalent to getting amnesia than to ceasing to exist, and that there are a few documented cases of some people recovering from that amnesia.

While we don’t have the information to be certain that it works that way for non-heroes, neither does anything we know rule out the possibility that an average reborn soul does provide some actual continuity of identity across lives.

I had not considered that souls might be permanently taken out of circulation in the natural course of events, without the intervention of something like the way some people suggest Balefire works. Maybe the assumption of Eternal Souls is my own religious upbringing showing through. If that can happen, I suppose that dying would then be analogous to sustaining some sort of head injury, with the potential to either kill you for good or leave you amnesiac. Even so, there some hope of the second case rather than the first.

On shields: “Straining” and “enduring pain” are different, but sometimes that difference is just a matter of degree. In terms of physical exertion, someone who strains to run five miles would probably be really hurting after a marathon. It doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to think this sort of mental exertion is similar. And there are several reasons to think Asmodean would have to work significantly harder against Lanfear (or Liandrin against Moghedien) than Rand would against Random Reds.

One of which is the opponent skill difference. I agree that there’s no evidence Lanfear or Moghedien’s shields have actual tamper-protection on them*. On the other hand, I think it’s likely that the relative knowledge and skill of the shield’s constructors would play a part in making them harder to break. Forsaken who fought a long Power-based war against equally-skilled opponents are going to be better at it than miscellaneous reds who have
at most only ever encountered self-taught adversaries.

Yes, Lanfear makes a very general assertion there- “breaking shield = pain”. I’m suggesting that the actual import of her statement is that “breaking out of a shield can often, and in this case most definitely would, require a painful degree of exertion”. I don’t think the discrepancy between those two interpretations is so great as to indicate that the author is clearly breaking his own rules for the sake of a so-far-not-especially-vital plot device.
Eric Hughes
387. CireNaes
@windrose & macster

Thank you kindly. I wanted to make it even more Trekish, but it would have come off as insulting if I had. Refering to construct theorists as "strange lifeforms" would have been antithetical to keeping things civil. Sigh, so much humor that must be avoided due to this limited form of communication. Truely a shame.
Theresa Gray
388. Terez27
@tnh—Oh well. Was hoping you'd remember, but it's no big deal. That's one of those posts that was probably originally on Usenet, but we can't find it.

@MoM—That's definitely the best source of info we have on how RJ and Harriet met. We're hoping to get a little more at JordanCon; I've got an interview scheduled, and Matt has agreed to do it for me. (Harriet intimidates me.) It's also the best source we have on why RJ wrote Fallon the way he did. He was trying to tap into the lucrative softporn market. That explains a lot.
Don Barkauskas
389. bad_platypus
macster @372 & 373:
@244 birgit: You're assuming Mesaana knows how to use the Need walk or the equivalent, without that she'd just be seaching blindly. Also, does finding a place in TAR allow you to open a gate to it in the real world? I'm pretty sure it doesn't, otherwise Nynaeve and Elayne wouldn't have had to search the Rahad for the six story building.
Or, Nynaeve and Elayne might simply be too inexperienced to know how to do it. Not enough evidence either way. It seems to me likely that Mesaana would know about the need walk, but---again---not enough evidence either way.
@255 travyl: Tuon said she was descended from Luthair?? I must have missed or forgotten that...well if that is the case, either he and Artur were much more dark-skinned than we supposed, or Luthair interbred with the black natives of Seanchan.
That's their whole claim for the right to rule the mainland: the royal family is descended from Artur Hawkwing through Luthair. Also, in a society without skin color prejudice, there's no reason that racial intermarrying couldn't have happened.

Another point is that when Tuon's hair grows in it is described as "tightly curled black hair." My best friend from grad school was mixed-race, and he once told me that that type of hair was common in mixed-race people. I don't know whether that's true or not, but it's something to consider.
Theresa Gray
390. Terez27
1000 years is a long time, you know.
Terry McNamee
391. macster
@374 Caveatar: Simply beautiful. Thank you.

@376 JonathanLevy: forkroot already gave the answer I would have--the fact Black Ajah can lie shows the oaths have been removed, but the fact they still look ageless shows they've had oaths administered by Oath Rod. But there's one other important reason we know the Rod is used in this manner: Galina told us in her POV, or at least implied it, when she spoke of having unsworn the Three Oaths and sworn the Dark Trinity instead. That phrasing, along with her being aware at all that the oaths can be unsworn and her determination to acquire Therava's rod, suggests that the Rod is used for the Dark Trinity and that only the exact same rod can be used to unswear oaths already sworn. So no, Elaida couldn't be made a Black Ajah without a rod. Even if one of the ones Moridin has were somehow delivered to Liandrin (How? Why? Would he really consider turning Elaida that important?), she'd still need the Tower rod to unswear the Three Oaths and until she got it, she couldn't do what the Dark One or the Seanchan wanted. Verin's doubts about the rod would likely be because there are others things done in swearing to the Dark One besides the usage of the rod, things to bind your soul to him and not just the rod.

Elaida may be brittle but I have more respect for her strength than you do. Her offering other sisters in her place seems more to me her usual selfishness and arrogance, not that she was about to break and desperate.

Of course the fact Rand was enduring other pain was relevant. My point was, if he was already enduring pain, what would be a little more in order to escape the shield (and, not incidentally, escape the source of the first pain)?

In any event, you haven't addressed my main points yet: that firstly, if Liandrin's shield could be unwoven or broken by the damane or Semirhage, it would have been, and since it hasn't even post-Suroth becoming da'covale this means it can't be; and secondly, that even if everything else you said about Elaida were true and indisputable, I just can't see her getting aid in turning to the Shadow from Liandrin when she hates the woman for how she made the Red look by turning out Black, and certainly has no reason to trust her. In fact I think it more likely that in an attempt to curry favor and get revenge, Elaida will tell Tuon about Liandrin being Black.

@389 Bad Platypus: Point. But as you say we have no proof one way or the other on Mesaana's knowledge of Need (note we have no indication Lanfear, the supposed master of TAR, knows it either--she found Rand by following his ta'veren nature, not via TAR; the only one who might know it is Moghedien, to explain how she found Nynaeve in the Dream, and she is more skilled than both Lanfear and Mesaana). And we don't know for sure about Need enabling someone to make a gateway in the real world to somewhere they found in TAR. So this really has to come down to personal opinion.

I know the Seanchan all claim descent from Luthair and his nobles and armies. I meant that travyl made it sound like Tuon specifically stated she was directly descended from him--as in, by specific lineage instead of a general "the Seanchan came from him and his armies" statement. And I wasn't incredulous about the interbreeding, in fact I was fairly sure that had to have happened. I was just commenting on that needing to be the case if she was descended directly from Luthair.
Anthony Pero
392. anthonypero

Point of clarity... how do we know you have to unswear on the same oath rod you originally swore on? Did I miss that? That information would have to come from a Forsaken, since no modern Aes Sedai even knows that more than one Binder exists (excepting Galina, of course). Was that in the text and I jsut missed it?
Jonathan Levy
393. JonathanLevy
Probably too late, as this thread will die now that the new one is up, but still:

Yes, we know the BA has had their oaths removed. Yes, it was most likely done on the Tower's Oath Rod.

Were the BA Oaths taken on the Tower's Oath Rod? Possible, but uncertain. It's the most obvious solution, but it must be balanced against Verin's doubt that the Oath Rod can be used to unbind her oaths to the Dark One. If Verin had simply unsworn 3 oaths and re-sworn 3 oaths on the Tower's Oath Rod, then she would not have had any doubts about removing her Dark Oaths.

It is the swearing of the 3 new oaths which makes you Black Ajah. Removing the first 3 is a no-brainer, but not strictly necessary. If swearing the new 3 oaths does not require the Oath Rod, then it is possible that Liandrin can perform it.

In any case, this is a secondary point. The main point is that Elaida can swear loyalty to the Great Lord without undergoing the Black Ajah initiation ceremony, regardless of what it is, and if her will has been sufficiently broken, Liandrin can dangle the prospect of freedom in front of her to tempt her to the dark side.

Galina's thoughts about her new trinity suggests that the same rod is used, but does not prove it. Verin's doubts about removing the oaths with the rod prove that something more is required, but does not prove that the rod is not used. The matter is far from clear.

Neither case proves that one rod cannot remove another rod's oaths. Galina had only one rod at hand to free herself, so the fact that she pursued that rod does not prove it was the only one which could work. It was merely the only one available.
Her offering other sisters in her place seems more to me her usual selfishness and arrogance, not that she was about to break and desperate.
Her offering other sisters in her place seems to me proof that she has already been broken.
In any event, you haven't addressed my main points yet: that firstly, if Liandrin's shield could be unwoven or broken by the damane or Semirhage, it would have been
I am not aware of Liandrin ever meeting Semirhage. Liandrin's page on encyclopedia wot contains no such reference. Secondly, you seem to have missed my point, which was that unbreakable tied-off shields seems at variance with the general Saidar-mechanics of the world. I'm perfectly aware that an authorial choice was made here to allow these, and the fact that Seanchan damane do not break Liandrin's shield is consistent with it. It's just not so consistent with other examples of Saidar usage, in my opinion.
I just can't see her getting aid in turning to the Shadow from Liandrin when she hates the woman for how she made the Red look by turning out Black,
Sorry, you're saying that resentment for damaging the reputation of the Red Ajah would outweigh a desire to escape a life of endless slavery?
and certainly has no reason to trust her. In fact I think it more likely that in an attempt to curry favor and get revenge, Elaida will tell Tuon about Liandrin being Black.
It's true that Elaida has no reason to trust Liandrin, but desperation is a poor counselor. That said, telling Tuon is definitely a viable option - assuming Elaida ever has the opportunity. The Empress does not exactly have an open-door policy for the average Seanchan, much less animals like Damane.

I don't think we know it for certain. It's speculation. Reasonable, but speculation nonetheless.
Terry McNamee
394. macster
@392 anthonypero: Sorry, I was merely reiterating what forkroot had already said. His post refers to the fact binders are numbered as evidence that you must swear and unswear oaths on the same binder. I agree with Jonathan that this isn't ironclad proof, but I think it is highly likely--if you can use any binder to swear and unswear, why bother numbering them? They should all be interchangeable.

@393 JonathanLevy:

I already addressed Verin--I said that in fact I agree she did use the Tower rod to unswear the Oaths and swear the Dark Trinity. My suggestion, based on her saying that swearing to the Dark One is a very "distinctive" process, is that there are other things which are part of the ceremony, in addition to using the rod--namely something which swears you to the Dark One himself rather than just to the rod, whatever it is that allows the Dark One to claim your soul when you die for reincarnation, that allows Shaidar Haran to block channeling by Forsaken, and that allows Ishamael to draw Darkfriends into TAR/Fain to sniff them out. You are right that the other parts of the ceremony could be done without the rod, but the rod would still be needed.

"It is the swearing of the 3 new oaths which makes you Black Ajah. Removing the first 3 is a no-brainer, but not strictly necessary."

Excuse me? How is it not necessary? If any Aes Sedai retained the Three Oaths but also swore the Dark Trinity, that would be six oaths and their lives would be halved yet again. I rather think that's something both the swearer and the Dark One would want to avoid. :P

I didn't say that Liandrin ever met Semirhage that we know of. But Liandrin has been da'covale to Suroth ever since the Seanchan took Amador, and up until she was captured by Rand Semirhage was in disguise as Anath and staying at Tuon and Suroth's side in Ebou Dar. Surely at some point she would have noticed a channeler da'covale who was tied up in a labyrinthine shield! Even if the shield was inverted, she'd still be able to tell Liandrin could channel, and as soon as she investigated why she wasn't a damane she'd find out about the shield. Also, I think we can safely assume that once Moghedien was put in the mindtrap she confessed everything she had done to Shaidar Haran and Moridin--that's how the latter was able to know of Carridin's failure to get the stash and order his death, know of Ispan's capture and order Careane to kill her, and grab Falion and Marillin (as well as the rest of the coven in Caemlyn) and put them under Shiaine's control. So presumably once Moridin knew of what Moghedien did to Liandrin, he'd have told Semirhage to undo it--the fact she'd tried to betray Moghedien would probably be a mark in her favor at that point! The fact he didn't suggests either he did consider Liandrin useless and so left her to her punishment...or that no one could undo it but Moghedien herself.

I am guessing that Moridin did decide Liandrin was worthless (since he could have just ordered Moghedien to undo the shield). In which case she is still shielded and unable to do any channeling, so she couldn't undo the a'dam (unless she knew how to do so physically and wasn't being watched) or make a gateway to go and get a binder even assuming she had the strength in the Power to do so once Elaida taught her. I see that you consider the unbreakable shield to be something you personally find against the rules of saidar and something Jordan threw in for plot purposes; you're free to think that, but that doesn't change the fact he did put it into the story, so whether it's consistent or not, until something appears to contradict it we have to assume that yes, her shield can't be broken or unwoven. If it could be, or if had unwoven or worn away on its own, Liandrin would have either tried to flee, or been made damane, by now.

Yes, I think Elaida would care more about the reputation of the Red. First, because of how selfish and arrogant she is about her Ajah being the best and only worthwhile one in the Tower; second, because of how livid she was in TDR when she spoke of Liandrin; and third, because I am not convinced that having been collared such a short time she would already be ready to break and do anything to escape, even join the Shadow, just because of the possibility of a life of enslavement which hasn't come to pass yet. Not only is Elaida too proud to accept defeat and give in to her sul'dam, but I would bet she believes the Tower will come and rescue her because she is Amyrlin. She's megalomaniacal enough to think they still respect and fear her enough to do so. As for her offering others in her place, we weren't in Elaida's head for that scene, but she didn't come across to me as broken yet; yes she was pleading, but she was also being typically arrogant, going on about being the Amyrlin and all the powerful sisters she could give in her place, and Melitene did call her "amazingly stubborn".

In any event, I also can't see Elaida swearing to the Dark One even to escape such a fate--Elaida, Bitch Supreme? Bowing down to the Great Lord when she believes herself greater than everyone else? Bowing down when she believes she will be the greatest Amyrlin ever who will save the world from the Shadow? It just doesn't fit. She may be more brittle, but again I point to Egwene who didn't turn to the Shadow. Neither did Sheraine Caminelle, or Ryma Galfrey. I allow it is possible Elaida might do so out of desperation as she's about to break, but how adamantly she was against the Shadow, against Darkfriends (or being called one), the fact she called Egwene a Darkfriend (so now she'd join the same side as Egwene?)...it just doesn't seem probable to me.

If it does happen, I won't really be surprised...just disappointed since I personally feel that would be untrue to her characterization.
Anthony Pero
395. anthonypero
RE: Binders being numbered.

I certainly see the logic in what is being said, but let me offer this scenario. People were removed from Bindings from time to time... what if they lost one? Or it broke? Or it was stolen? You are then removing any chance of a prisoner being released from the binding. Why would they make the ter'angreal that way when their society was built around bieng equitable? That strikes me as off.

They may have been numbered simply as a device to keep track of who had which one, in case one fell into the wrong hands. Like a serial number today.

Don't forget that to the AoLers, the ter'angreal were more like an iPhone than a magical item. They were in abundance, used all the time, and people had a much broader general knowledge of them and their workings. I would imagine that a mass produced item that was used as part of the governmental administration having some sort of normal identifying marker to help with access control is not an unlikely proposition. When coupled with the knowledge that the criminal's pardon would be impossible if the Binders were unique and the original binder was lost or destroyed or stolen, etc... Hmmm. Interesting theoretical discussion that probably has no actual answer.
396. King of Flames
Here's the thing...Egwene's stand is actually much less impressive than it looks. She's better at fighting than Aes Sedai...because she doesn't have any oaths binding her. The Seanchan are trying to take captives, so they are trying to shield her, and since it's very difficult to shield someone holding the power (and she has a sa'angreal too) The Seanchan don't know that, so they just assume that this is someone insanely powerful that would make a great damane, so they keep trying to shield her, not kill. They concentrate their efforts on her, giving her more targets, and still aren't trying for a kill.

She's admirable in not fleeing, but that stand itself quite so awesome as it looks.
Cody Daniels
397. CDaniels512
Personally I loved the handling in this book of getting Elaida out of the way. It seemed to me that it was the ultimate burn that she would be taken simply and quickly by random Seanchan. She is not given much consideration at all and that is exactly what she deserves. She is a perfect example of why the Seanchan are in some cases justified in their radical beliefs about channelers. It was partially fools like her that created this culture that is basically obsessed with keeping channelers from having any freedom at all.

Also, I will give some positive energy to Egwene and say that I am sure the Seanchan weren't purely trying to capture her the entire time she is ripping their forces from the sky. Nothing implies that the Seanchan were not absolutely trying their best to kill Egwene and it was mentioned she was stopping or cutting weaves directed at her which were not described as being purely spirit. With the amount of saidar she was holding almost any attack could be countered whether it was an attack of fire and lightning or an attempt to shield her from the One Power especially considering that she had plenty of mandated time to study the weaves they were using on her (ha, yes I did just make a little joke in reference to Egwene's time spent as a slave to the Seanchan but hey it was necessary to help explain her performance here).
398. ChocolateRob
I have to disagree somewhat on how awesome Egwene is during the battle, she is letting her anger overide reason. She completely forgot that she had her own MASSIVE FRICKIN ARMY to call upon to defend the tower.

All she needed to do was quickly open a gateway to the rebel camp to call upon massive reinforcements. She does not even have to wait around to mobilize them herself, just pass on orders to the first Greens she sees to get circles organized and surround the tower with overwhelming force (we already know they have made preparations to create circles in case of forsaken attack).

Heck, she could create a gateway behind her and pass on orders even while fighting the battle, they would have overwhelmed the attack force quickly and unexpectedly and could even chased down escaping Raken with gateways too. As at is they only destroyed a third of the assault force when they could have annihilated it completely.

This plan would have instantantly healed the tower even if Elaida weren't taken. It's hard to keep calling people traiters and rebels when they have just swooped in and saved your asses from a threat their leader had been warning you about to the scorn of your own.

The only downside would be the risk of the damane seeing the traveling weave but A) They may not be able to see it from the exit side and B) If they are close enough to see it then they are about to get a fireball to the face.

Also not capturing any Sul'dam was not that wise either, once the a'dam come off both the Sul'dam and Damane are just as vulnerable to capture. Just to demoralize the enemy she could have snapped the A'dam straight onto the Sul'dam when she removes it from the Damane.
399. AviLev
I realize this is a bit late in the game but i don't think anyone has mentioned this yet.
@ the Three Oaths
It is worth noting that Egwene believes that she is breaking the oaths - she realizes that attacking retreating soldiers and damane violates the oaths.
"...But she was a fount of Power, drawn from deep within the fluted rod in her hands, channeled through a group of novices and Accepted hiding in the room behind, bound to her in circle. Egwene was part of the fires that burned in the Tower, bloodying the sky with their flames, painting the air with their smoke. She almost seemed not a being of flesh, but one of pure Power, sending judgment to those who had dared bring war to the Tower itself. Blasts of lightning stormed from the sky, the clouds churning above. Fire sprouted from her hands. Perhaps she should have feared breaking the Three Oaths. But she did not. This was a fight hat needed to be fought, and she did not lust for death—though, perhaps, her rage against the sul'dam approached it. The soldiers and damane were unfortunate casualties. The White Tower, the sacred dwelling of the Aes Sedai, was under attack. They were all in danger, a danger greater than death. Those silvery collars were far worse. Egwene defended herself and each woman in the Tower. She would make the Seanchan withdraw..."
(faux hunnie anyone?)
400. Darkfriend
4Hunny HE HE HE
Deana Whitney
401. Braid_Tug
Wow that one was hanging for a long time!
Congratulations Darkfriend!

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