Apr 17 2012 2:00pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Gathering Storm, Part 28

Happy tax day, Wheel of Timers! There is no postage necessary and no forms to file to enjoy this Wheel of Time Re-read, I totally swear!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 49 through the end of The Gathering Storm, in which a battle is won, and appropriately for the date, a decision is made to pay it forward.

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!

First, traditional last post look at the cover art!

And, um. I kind of… feel really bad saying negative things about the work of someone who’s recently died? And yet, I kind of also feel giving less than my honest opinion on something just because of that is a little like copping out? But the fact that I’m even posing these hypotheticals like this probably conveys my thoughts on the cover pretty clearly anyway? So maybe I should just shut up? And also stop phrasing everything as a question?

But, uh. The sky is very pretty!

Seriously, I do like the colors, in all of it, and even though the manor house looks oddly anachronistic to me, it’s well done, just as all Mr. Sweet’s architecture invariably is.  But then, I rarely or never have had a problem with any of the backgrounds in the cover art for WOT over the years; it’s always been the people who have bothered me.

I think I just have a basic dislike of how he draws the human figure. I am in no way any kind of expert on artistic technique and the merits (or lack thereof) of the myriad methods of rendering the human body, but as a purely personal predilection, I tend to prefer people to be depicted in either a very realistic fashion (or maybe I mean proportional fashion, because I’m not necessarily talking about photorealism or anything like that), or in a very stylized one. There are exceptions to this, of course, but for the most part it’s so.

And to me, the people on the WOT covers, who are mostly realistically depicted but always seem to have something about them that’s just a little bit off, proportionally (e.g., Rand’s upraised fist above, which to me seems too small in relation to the rest of him), have always landed in a sort of amorphous middle ground between those two extremes that just… puts me off. *shrug* It is what it is. I wish I felt differently but, well, I just don’t.


Once again and for the last time, scheduling note: JordanCon 2012 is here! I will be in attendance, and speaking on some panels, and meeting people, and generally having the blast I always have whenever I go to this shindig. I hope to see some of you there! And I shall be blogging the con, as is my wont, so I hope your wont will be to want to… er, want that.

Given that, and also given that we are finishing off TGS today, I will be taking my traditional between-book break before starting Towers of Midnight, because your Auntie Leigh needs to unmelt her cortical vertices, or, you know, whatever I should have said there that actually makes sense. (See?) Therefore, the Re-read will be returning full blast on Tuesday, May 8.

Got it? Good! Let’s bring this baby home, shall we?


Chapter 49: Just Another Man

What Happens
Rand walks the streets of Ebou Dar, bothered that it seemed so peaceful. He felt that it should be suffering under the tyranny of a people who treated channelers the way they did, but it was not. Rand thinks of the large groups of Tinkers camped outside the city, there for weeks and talking of staying, for the Seanchan gave them food in return for sheltering travelers and sent them custom. After staying the night with them, Rand had traded his fine coat to the Tinkers for a rough brown cloak and a walking staff, which he slouched over to disguise his height.

He had nearly killed his father. He hadn’t been forced to by Semirhage, or by Lews Therin’s influence. No excuses. No argument. He, Rand al’Thor, had tried to kill his own father. He’d drawn in the Power, made the weaves and nearly released them.

Rand’s rage was gone, replaced by loathing. He’d wanted to make himself hard. He’d needed to be hard. But this was where hardness had brought him. Lews Therin had been able to claim madness for his atrocities. Rand had nothing, no place to hide, no refuge from himself.

Rand thinks of how his own friends fear him, and sees that none of the Ebou Dari seem afraid at all, even praising the Seanchan for conquering them. He tells himself he is not here to people-watch, but to destroy his enemies; but he wonders how many others will die. He feels odd that no one recognizes him, that he is just another foreigner, and he thinks they will not know him until he destroys them.

It will be a mercy, Lews Therin whispered. Death is always a mercy. The madman didn’t sound as crazy as he once had. In fact, his voice had started to sound an awful lot like Rand’s own voice.

He can see the palace, where the Daughter of the Nine Moons should be, from where he stands, and he plans what he will do: destroy the palace and the ships in the harbor with balefire, and then rain fire down on the city to create panic and chaos. Then he would Travel to the garrisons at the gates and the supply camps beyond the city, and from there to Amador, Tanchico, and so on.

A flickering light of death, like a burning ember, flaring to life here, then there. Many would die, but most would be Seanchan. Invaders.

He seizes saidin, and the sickness is so bad that he collapses and vomits, groaning. He sees people approaching, and knows he must attack now, but the people look concerned for him, and he cannot. He screams and makes a gateway to the Skimming place and throws himself through before any of the onlookers can do anything. Curled up on the black and white disc from his banner, he Skims through the void, wondering why he can’t be strong enough to do what he must.

They called the black half [of the disc] the Dragon’s Fang. To the people, it symbolized evil. Destruction.

But Rand was necessary destruction. Why had the Pattern pushed him so hard if he didn’t need to destroy? Originally, he had tried to avoid killing—but there had been little chance of that working. Then he’d made himself avoid killing women. That had proven impossible.

He was destruction. He just had to accept that. Someone had to be hard enough to do what was necessary, didn’t they?

Rand arrives at his destination, which is the meadow where he’d tried to destroy the Seanchan with Callandor and failed. He stares at it for a while, then weaves another gateway, stepping out onto a snowy, wind-blasted landscape – the peak of Dragonmount.

Why have we come here? Rand thought.

Because, Rand replied. Because we made this. This is where we died.

Rand looks down into the fiery chasm of the volcano hundreds of feet below him, and then at the view from the peak, the land around visible for miles in every direction. Then he sits down, and sets the access key ter’angreal before him in the snow, and starts to think.

I think saying “poor darling” about goes without saying at this point, but just in case: poor darling.

That aside, this chapter (as intermediary as it is) brought to the forefront an issue that I myself have been struggling with pretty much throughout this Re-read, which is The Problem Of The Seanchan.

Ever since our first real encounter with them – i.e. Egwene’s period of imprisonment with them in TGH and all the horribleness that entailed – I have been fairly vehement in my dislike of their culture, even while I grudgingly admitted liking actual individuals within that culture to greater or lesser extent (Egeanin, Tuon, etc.). And we all know where that dislike is rooted. While there are lots of little niggly things you could get shirty about re: Seanchan culture, in the end it’s really come down to one thing: their practice of institutionalized slavery.

Which is, as I’ve said before and still say now, an utterly reprehensible, unconscionable and morally disgusting practice, end of story. It is not acceptable, no matter what the rationale given. Human beings are not chattel, and that is all there is to it, and anyone who says otherwise is wrong, wrong, wrong.

There are many ethical issues in which (I feel) one side or the other can be reasonably debated, but I myself feel no qualms whatsoever in declaring this particular issue Closed on that score. Slavery = Bad, straight up. Go to Hell, go directly to Hell, do not pass Go, do not collect two hundred dollars, game over. Yeah.


The problem here, of course, is that declaring “X = Bad” is really an extremely easy thing to do. Probably because it’s also (generally) a functionally useless thing to do. Saying something is bad means nothing.

…Well. Not nothing, because speech is always important, and speaking out about injustices, to bring them to the attention of a larger world, is always important, too. But nevertheless, actions still speak louder than words, and they always will. In the end, what we do is almost always going to have more impact than what we say.

Saying “X = Bad” is easy; what’s hard is deciding what to do when you are confronted with X. When you are presented with people who blithely and self-righteously declare that the thing you find reprehensible is not only okay, but in fact is the logical and moral thing to do, and insist on doing it no matter what you say to the contrary.

Or, perhaps I should qualify, the hard thing is being confronted with this kind of people when you have the ability to do something substantive about it. Because if you have no power to affect matters, then it’s largely an academic exercise anyway, but if you do, well, what then?

What, then, is the right thing to do?

If you could reach out your hand (or give an order, or press a button) and wipe these reprehensible people practicing their reprehensible practices from the face of the earth, is that the right thing to do? If committing one unconscionable act (even if it is mass murder, or even genocide) prevents another unconscionable act from occurring any longer, does that make it justifiable?

When considered from a remove, perhaps this question is easily answered. Maybe it’s a no brainer as long as you couch it all in abstracts. It’s almost always easier to answer a thorny ethical question, after all, when you aren’t staring the consequences of that action eye to eye.

And so perhaps we should consider, then, how Rand may have subconsciously sabotaged his own ethical quandary, by going to where he would have no choice but to look his enemies in the face, and see not just the ways in which they are reprehensible, but the all the ways in which they are not reprehensible at all.

Because the Seanchan practice slavery, and yet they simultaneously offer honest shelter and true protection to a people who have never once received it from anyone else, in all their long history. It’s not an accident that the leaf icon, the icon of the Tinkers, graces this chapter’s head, because that is the central question, isn’t it?

If you are not dealing with actual agents of certified FDA-approved Evil™, where do you draw the line between where their good outweighs their not-good? And where do you draw the line about what you can do about it?

Difficult questions. But, ultimately, not so difficult at all. As, thankfully, Rand retained enough humanity to realize. And so we come to the real question, eh?

Why have we come here? Rand thought.

Because, Rand replied. Because we made this. This is where we died.

On initial reading, I spent a probably ridiculous amount of time trying to work out if this passage contained a typo or not. It doesn’t, of course.


Chapter 50: Veins of Gold

What Happens
Rand sits at the top of perhaps the highest point in the world, only able to breathe because he is using Air to compress the atmosphere around him; he doesn’t know how he knows the weave. He has been there for hours, and he doesn’t dare let go of the Power.

What was he? What was the Dragon Reborn? A symbol? A sacrifice? A sword, meant to destroy? A sheltering hand, meant to protect?

A puppet, playing a part over and over again?

He is angry at the Pattern and the Creator, for leaving people to fight the Dark One with no guidance. He is angry that he had offered his life for it, and yet that did not seem to be enough. He had tried to make himself hard enough not to feel the pain, thought making himself hard was the only way to shoulder his burdens and remain sane, but he could not.

He hadn’t been able to stamp his feelings out. The voice inside had been so small, but it had pricked at him, like a needle making the smallest of holes in his heart. Even the smallest of holes would let the blood leak free.

Those holes would bleed him dry.

He thinks that the quiet voice had vanished when he’d attacked Tam, and wondered if he dared continue without it, if it had been the last part of his old self. He stands, picking up the access key, and begins shouting at the land below, asking, what if he doesn’t want the Pattern to continue?

“We live the same lives!” he yelled at them. “Over and over and over. We make the same mistakes. Kingdoms do the same stupid things. Rulers fail their people time and time again. Men continue to hurt and hate and die and kill!”

[…]“What if I think it’s all meaningless?” he demanded with the loud voice of a king. “What if I don’t want it to keep turning? We live our lives by the blood of others! And those others become forgotten. What good is it if everything we know will fade? Great deeds or great tragedies, neither means anything! They will become legends, then those legends will be forgotten, then it will all start over again!”

The access key begins to glow, and the sky grows dark. Rand shouts, what if it’s better for this all to end, what if the Light is a lie, and this is all just a punishment? He bellows that none of this matters. He draws in more and more Power, even more than when he cleansed saidin, or when he had created this mountain. He thinks that Lews Therin had been right to kill himself, except he hadn’t gone far enough. He remembers Ilyena’s broken body.

He could feel the palace around him shaking from the earth’s own sobs. Or was that Dragonmount, throbbing from the immense power he had drawn into himself?

He could smell the air thick with blood and soot and death and pain. Or was that just the scent of a dying world, spread before him?

He thinks Lews Therin made a mistake in leaving the world alive after him; there is no escaping the Wheel without ending everything. Aloud, he demands to know why they have to do this again, why he must relive his failures again. He holds more Power than perhaps anyone ever has, and he prepares to use it to end everything.

He would end it. End it all and let men rest, finally, from their suffering. Stop them from having to live over and over again. Why? Why had the Creator done this to them? Why?

Why do we live again? Lews Therin asked, suddenly. His voice was crisp and distinct.

Yes, Rand said, pleading. Tell me. Why?

Maybe... Lews Therin said, shockingly lucid, not a hint of madness to him. He spoke softly, reverently. Why? Could it be... Maybe it’s so that we can have a second chance.

Rand hesitates, and remembers what Tam had said to him about the reason he does his duties being more important than anything else, and the question he had asked:

Why, Rand? Why do you go to battle? What is the point?


All was still. Even with the tempest, the winds, the crashes of thunder. All was still.

Why? Rand thought with wonder. Because each time we live, we get to love again.

That was the answer. It all swept over him, lives lived, mistakes made, love changing everything. He saw the entire world in his mind’s eye, lit by the glow in his hand. He remembered lives, hundreds of them, thousands of them, stretching to infinity. He remembered love, and peace, and joy, and hope.

Within that moment, suddenly something amazing occurred to him. If I live again, then she might as well!

That’s why he fought. That’s why he lived again, and that was the answer to Tam’s question. I fight because last time, I failed. I fight because I want to fix what I did wrong.

I want to do it right this time.

He turns the Power within him upon itself and drives it through the access key to the great sa’angreal near Cairhien, uses its own power to destroy the Choedan Kal. The statue explodes, and the Power winks out. Rand opens his eyes and knows that he will never hear Lews Therin’s voice in his head again.

For they were not two men, and never had been.

He regarded the world beneath him. The clouds above had finally broken, if only just above him. The gloom dispersed, allowing him to see the sun hanging just above.

Rand looked up at it. Then he smiled. Finally, he let out a deep-throated laugh, true and pure.

It had been far too long.

The WOT books have always been consistent in that the one thing each one of them delivered, if nothing else, was what I always liked to call the Big Ass Ending. There was always some monumental showdown between the forces of Light and those of the Shadow; a fight on which hung, if not everything, than at least the survival of Our Hero and the continuation of his fight. Which, in the context of Rand’s role as Savior, amounts to much the same thing.

But TGS’s Big Ass Ending is unique in that its cataclysmic battle was, for once, solely a philosophical one. It was a showdown between Good and Evil, and the fate of the world did indeed hang in the balance, but this battle was fought entirely within the mind of Our Hero. Rand’s enemy here was himself, and it is a testament to how well it was choreographed that I didn’t feel, reading it, that his victory was assured – until it was.

I think this is something I didn’t really grasp on first reading. I mean, I got it, but I remember thinking even so that it seemed a little anticlimactic, that the Big Ass Ending was basically a guy sitting on top of a mountain yelling at himself.

On reflection, that characterization of the end of TGS was a serious disservice to how important this confrontation was, and how impossible it would have been to go forward without resolving this essential conflict in the heart and mind of WOT’s protagonist. It had to be done. We could not have continued forward with a hero whose purpose had been so thoroughly lost. Rand had to win the battle with himself if he was to have a hope of winning the battle with the Dark One; he could not have had a hope of succeeding if any part of him still agreed with his opposite number’s goals.

And yes, his revelation that it was All About Love is a cliché. It’s probably, actually, the cliché, the ultimate trope. This does not, in fact, make it the trite thing that the word “cliché” implies. Things become clichés for a reason, after all.  There are still some universal constants, after all, in fiction if not in reality, and while I might have had a kneejerk instinct to snort at this one I think that it was exactly that, a kneejerk reaction.

Because really, what else does make life in this sometimes seriously shitty world worth living, but the love of family and friends? To have people who care about you, and have people to care about in return? I guess if someone said to me, will you go through hell if that means your loved ones don’t have to? that I might truly have to say, okay, yes. So I guess that’s what it all comes down to.

Also, there is something very compelling about the idea that you might have a chance to fix the mistakes you made in a previous life in the next one. It’s funny how looking at life as a circular occurence (as the Wheel of Time cosmology obviously does, hello, it’s a wheel) can be so easily spun, no pun intended, as either a profoundly positive notion or a profoundly negative one. In a kind of hilarious way, this chapter can be viewed as Rand talking himself around to switching his view of the whole reincarnation thing from “glass half empty” to “glass half full.”

Yes, I’m being flippant here (I know, contain your shock), but seriously, isn’t that about what it boils down to? As a wise fictional man once said, you got to either get busy living, or get busy dying. And when put that way, what else makes sense?

Besides all these weighty issues, I really had to giggle madly at this chapter because oh, Team Jordan, with the slyness on the Is Lews Therin Real Or Not Real conundrum! Because, I hope we’ve all realized, this chapter manages to resolve the Lews Therin Problem without ever once resolving the Lews Therin Issue. Which of course is the one the fans have been arguing about for a thousand years or so: was the Lews Therin in Rand’s head for all these books the real Lews Therin, or was he an alternate personality Rand constructed to reconcile the memories from the his former life as Lews Therin leaking into his head?

Because the way it’s phrased here – quite deliberately, naturally – could be interpreted as supporting either theory, depending on how you twist it. I can see how this might have annoyed some fans, but personally I found it hilarious, because while I did sort of have a pony in this race (I subscribed to the “alternate personality” theory), I wasn’t nearly committed enough to it to be upset if it turned out to be untrue – or if it was left open to interpretation, either.

As a matter of fact, I don’t think there really could have been a better way to address it, really. This way everyone gets to believe what they prefer to believe, and the Wheel rolls on. And I, for one, am pretty well satisfied with that.

Plus, I was mostly just incredibly relieved that the Lews Therin Thing might finally actually be done with after umpty million books of it driving Rand crazy, literally. I didn’t know at the time what the ultimate result would be, but I remember thinking, at least it’ll be something new. Which it definitely, definitely was.

Last but not least, I was surprised to realize, on re-reading, that the titular “Veins of Gold,” the (sort of) literal ones that represented how Elayne and Aviendha and Min saw Rand’s love for them through their bond, are never actually mentioned in the chapter text at all.

But then, I guess they didn’t need to be mentioned specifically, eh? It’s all there between the lines. Best way to do it, really.

In conclusion, I was a bit uncertain about this ending for TGS on initial reading, but on reflection and re-reading I really can’t even imagine how else the book could have ended. So bravo, Team Jordan. Bravo.

…Though of course this isn’t quite the ending yet, is it?


Epilogue: Bathed in Light

What Happens
Egwene goes through paperwork on the desk in the study that is now hers, with all of Elaida’s things removed, though Egwene had ordered the possessions guarded until she could look through them, hopefully finding clues to Elaida’s plans before any of them came back to bite her or the Tower. She is going over Silviana’s report, and reflects that Silviana’s is proving to be both a better Keeper than Sheriam ever was, and an effective bridge between the rebels, the loyalists, and the Red Ajah together (though Romanda and Lelaine are still deeply unhappy about it). The report itself is troubling, though: nearly forty women, over two dozen of them full Aes Sedai, had been captured by the Seanchan.

Those women would be beaten, confined and turned into nothing more than tools.

Egwene had to steel herself from reaching up to feel her neck, where the collar had held her. She wasn’t focusing on that right now, burn it all!

Worse, none of them had been on Verin’s list of Black Ajah. And though the Black sisters on the list had been accounted for after the raid, nearly all them had escaped before Egwene had returned to the Tower, including a few more who hadn’t been on Verin’s list, like Evanellein. Egwene thinks it was probably the purge she had conducted in the rebel camp that had alerted them, but there had been no way to avoid that. Some sixty Black sisters in all had escaped, including Alviarin, leaving only the weakest behind.

They’d captured three more Black sisters who hadn’t been on Verin’s list. Only three. What accuracy! Verin had proven herself once again.

Including those who had escaped from the rebel camp, that made some eighty Black Ajah still at large. She vows to herself that she will hunt them all down. Egwene had had the captured Black sisters in the Tower executed, and then had all the loyalist sisters remaining reswear the Oaths. Silviana had been the first to volunteer. But this worries Egwene in another way, for between Verin’s information and Sheriam’s confession she is sure that Mesaana is hiding in the Tower, yet all the sisters there have resworn the Oaths and affirmed she was not a Darkfriend. She supposes it is possible Mesaana could have captured by the Seanchan, but highly doubts it.

That gave her a chill. Was Mesaana still hiding in the Tower?

If so, she somehow knew how to defeat the Oath Rod.

Silviana enters, and says there is something Egwene should see. Curious, she follows Silviana to the Hall, where masons are working to repair the gaping hole behind the Amyrlin Seat; Egwene has ordered that a rose window should be fitted there as a memorial and a warning both. Silviana leads her to the gap, and Egwene sees:

After all this time, the clouds had finally broken. They had pulled back in a ring around Dragonmount. The sun shone down, radiant, lighting the distant, snowcapped crag. The broken maw and uppermost peak of the blasted mountainside were bathed in light. It was the first time Egwene could remember seeing direct sunlight in weeks. Perhaps longer.

Silviana comments that it has caused quite a stir, and even though she says it shouldn’t be a big deal, she trails off, and Egwene thinks that it is both beautiful and pure in some way. Silviana asks what it means. Egwene replies that she doesn’t know, but that the opening in the clouds is too regular to be natural.

“Mark this day on the calendars, Silviana. Something has happened. Perhaps, eventually, we shall know the truth of it.“

”Yes, Mother,“ Silviana said, looking out through the gap again.

Egwene stood with her, rather than returning to her study immediately. It felt relaxing to stare out at that distant light, so welcoming and noble. ”Storms will soon come,“ it seemed to say. ”But for now, I am here."

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

 – from The Prophecies of the Dragon, Essanik Cycle. Malhavish’s Official Translation, Imperial Record House of Seandar, Fourth Circle of Elevation.

Ah, the poem at the end reminds me to note that these last chapters in TGS did apparently fulfill one of the few prophecies we ever got from Perrin, who saw Rand in the wolf dream in TSR dressed as a beggar with a bandage over his eyes. Min also saw a beggar’s staff around him at some point. So good, we’re done with that.

And, I really like the imagery of Rand finding new purpose in this life while standing on the grave of his previous one. That was quite clever, y’all.

Other than that, I don’t have a great deal to say about the epilogue, except that while I was annoyed initially that so many Black sisters had escaped the Purge, on reflection it’s only appropriate. After all, there have to be some Dreadlords (Dreadladies?) for the Aes Sedai and Asha’man to face at the Last Battle, right? Which, sadly, bodes ill for the success in stamping out the Darkfriend factory Taim’s running up at the Black Tower, for much the same reasons. Bah.

But that’s all next book! And we shall come to it anon, but anon is not now, and so I leave it.


And so we come to the end of The Gathering Storm, the first book of the series co-written by Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan. It was not without flaws, some of them fairly serious in my opinion (most particularly the characterization of Mat), but as a shakedown cruise of a what had to be a monstrously intimidating collaborative effort, I think overall it did an wonderful job of maintaining the tradition and furthering the story of the Wheel of Time series, and on re-reading it improved even further.

And, best of all, I know now that there is even move improvement to come.

But that is for next time, kiddies! I am off to JordanCon day after tomorrow, so watch this space for my likely-redonkulous blogging of the madness, and join me starting May 8th for the beginning of the penultimate novel in the series, Towers of Midnight. We are SO CLOSE, you guys. Whoo! Yeah! Whoo! Yeah! See you soon!

Roger Powell
1. forkroot
Rarely, always, and never before. :-)

I've rarely changed a post (other than editing for grammar and typos) so replacing my former post here is a bit unusual. I hope you all agree that circumstances warrant it (and thanks tnh@251 for the reassurance.)

I've always "apologized" to the original author. In this case my tongue-in-check apology goes to Garth Brooks since I'm using his song "Friends in Low Places".

And lastly I've never before before dedicated one of these spoofs. But this is a little bit different. Silly me, I've actually got a little lump in my throat when I tell you all how much I've enjoyed sharing the reread with you.

It's been well over three years(!) that I've enjoyed your humor, intelligence, and at times, vulnerability. Though we've mostly met "on-line", I feel I've gotten to know some of you better than some people whom I see "physically" all the time but don't interact with at anything more than a superficial level.

So this is dedicated to all of you, because you truly are my ...

Friends in Tor Places
Blame it all on Leigh B.
and the re-read that she
updates every Tuesday or so
Summarizing the plots
with personal thoughts
about Wheel of Time books that we know

And then after her post
we all try our most
to answer in clever style
There's a cage match, a poll
the occasional troll,
but most comments bring me a smile

'Cause I've got friends in Tor places,
and my favorite place in cyberspace is
where Wetlander writes
(many megabytes)
It's where subwoofer tries to grab the hunny
Except for forty days before the Easter Bunny
Oh I've got friends, in Tor places

You'll be rolling with Rick
if you ever click
A link posted by R Fife
But his word count is down
Seems he's hardly around
I guess he has gotten a life

Meanwhile Rob M admits
the plot no longer fits
with the Morgase and Tam match he planned
Still there's dozens of these
personal theories
Like: Terez thinks Gawyn will kill Rand!

Yes I've got friends in Tor places,
where the site slows down when the database is
sometimes toast
(That's when it eats your post)
It's where Samadai writes fan fiction
and discussing Cadsuane brings friction
Yes I've got friends, in Tor places

Lews Therin: Construct or real?
Seems to be a big deal
Well I don't think I've chosen a side
Gender issues discussed
They just leave me nonplussed
So I pass and hang on for the ride

How can three become one?
Can the Bore be undone?
And then what will become of Fain?
But the one thing that we
can completely agree
on - That Olver is not Gaidal Cain!

Yes we're all friends in Tor places,
though we're mostly on a screen-name basis
because we've never met
Or at least not yet
Well I know I'd never recognize your faces
(Bill and Sam and Rob - you are special cases)
Yes we're all friends, in Tor places

So if your screen-name is red
You should join us instead
Register, keep your handle the same
You'll find it's really not bad
unless you're "alreadymad"
To have no one else using your name

So then once you've "gone black"
and you're part of our pack
Click on "forkroot" and leave me a shout
That personal touch,
it still means so much
And friendships are what we're about

'Cause we're all friends in Tor places
and I know I missed a bunch of warm embraces
Out there at JordanCon
(How I wish I'd gone!)
Tek and Jay and Lannis did a little pranking
Giving Leigh a gift to mark her "love" for spanking
My clever friends, in Tor places

Yes You're my friends in Tor places
You're a motley bunch, but your saving grace is
that you read this song
Maybe you sang along?
And if singing this put you through your paces
Well you know I ain't Julio Iglesis
Still you're my friends in Tor places.

You're all my friends in Tor places
You're all my friends in Tor places!

{:: bows and blows a kiss ::}
2. scottbair30
Relief at last! Whew! Finally Team Light gets to start fighting back for realz!
Ryan Reich
3. ryanreich
Every time I read that chapter, I cry. The first time, I picked the book up again the next day and reread just the climax of the last chapter again, and cried again. Even your summary made me cry. The only other things in my adult life that have made me cry are deaths.

I think that says something very positive about this series as a whole; I think that if it were not so long, it would not seem so real or so important, and Rand's conflict and revelation wouldn't have been touching but, indeed, trite or cliched. Jordan played an incredibly long game with incredible consistency in pursuit of this goal.
Rich Bennett
4. Neuralnet
I am not going to beat around the bush... I hate this cover. It is my least favorite of them all. It always reminds me of Gone with the Wind for some reason where Scarlett comes home to the burnt out farm and yells out "As Gd as my witness, I will never go hungry again - LOL (the mind works in weird ways - I think it is the red sky in the background)
5. srizzo00
"…Though of course this isn’t quite the ending yet, is it?"

There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. (sorry, couldn't resist!)
6. Greyhawk
So Rand learns to laugh again and without the assistance of Cadsuane. I know some pointed to Cads actions in the last post as an example of the difference between Jordan's depiction and Sanderson's, but for me it was truly the expression of the bullying she always has employed. I have never thought Cadsuane was a likable character and more importantly, a particularly relevant or effective (in world) character. And I still cannot get past that with respect to the “big purpose” for Cads (teach Rand how to laugh and cry) she has been a complete failure—come on bringing in Dad—after how many books? She had no idea what she was doing and was lucky that Rand did not kill his father (which would have irretrievably broken him) and that he was then able to, on his own, reassess and alter his approach to being the DR.
Nadine L.
7. travyl
Great Chapters, with the downward spiral of Rand not only ending but rebounding.
And I don't want to be nitpicky, but I have a small question. Rand is channeling through the Choeden Kal, more Power than he ever did before - I see why the Forsaken would leave him alone, but why didn't Cadsuande use the bonded Ashaman (eg. of Merise) to find him?
In ToM it certainly seems that she pestered Alanna about Rand's whereabouts. - Any thoughts?
Jeremy Vanneman
8. Jeribai
I haven't finished the reread yet, but I first just wanted to say that I look forward to possibly getting you meet you, Leigh, and all the other fellow WoTers at JordanCon on Friday. Secondly, I completely agree about the cover art. His proportions are, and almost always have been just a little off. That's not to mention the inconsistancies of the character's faces or proportions (most notably Rand's), nor the fairly anti-dynamic way he poses them. Aviendha is somewhat interestingly posed, especially considering she's wearing a dress; but Rand is facing the viewer head on, head tilted back so that his face is distorted (and reducing any effect facing the viewer head on would have), legs symmetrical, shoulders symmetrical, hips symmetrical, with one arm back in a way that doesn't make sense, and the other upraised and slightly out of proportion. All that being said, I was very sad to hear the news of Sweet's passing, and also that he wouldn't be able to complete the final cover of aMoL. He is a part of this series even more than Brandon in his own way. He will be missed.
9. Davyd
Loved the re-read! I had many of the same thoughts you did about the epic-ness of the BAE. It had to happen. I experienced it the first time by listening to the audio books, and I remember having to pull over on my way to work and think on it. All in all, I liked it. Can't wait for TOM! Have fun at JC12!
Karen Fox
10. thepupxpert
Great reread, thank you Leigh! I also had a kneejerk reaction to the ending, that it seemed anti-climatic in a way (kind of a "duh" for the whole love issue), but on subsequent readings I've grown to really enjoy it.

forkroot @ 1, your last sentence made me spit up my coffee onto my keyboard. I think that takes the award on my laugho'meter!
Neil Sood
11. RanchoUnicorno
Was this last "battle" one between Good and Evil? I thought it was more akin to Hope vs. Despair.

That is, Good and Evil are active forces that direct thoughts and deeds. Hope and Despair are more integral to the human condition. While we may associate Good with Hope and Evil with Despair, Rand was never Evil - his Good acts and desires were shaped and twisted by the Despair that overwhelmed him into simply becoming the absence of pain. It was the conquest of that Despair by Hope that realigned his vision of Good with the sustaining of life.

Wow - it was simple to think, but hard to express in words. Hopefully I make some sense.
Rich Bennett
12. Neuralnet
Thanks for the reread and comments Leigh. They have been a joy to read as usual.

The first time I read this book I was in the ending is dissapointing/anticlimatic camp... but now I have done a complete 180 and wonder if maybe this was really the last battle. After all, if Rand had decided to break the pattern/wheel of time.. it would have been all over... dark one wins. The Dark one lost the last battle when Rand made the decision to turn good and preserve the wheel of time... now all that is left is to seal up the bore and kill Trollocs. (easier said than done I will give you)
Alice Arneson
13. Wetlandernw
I appreciate the point, Leigh, that clichés become so for a reason: there is usually a large amount of truth to them, but we’re used to thinking of it in smaller terms, to the point where we make it trite. That doesn’t change the fact that the reality of this cliché, that Love is what makes life meaningful, is a bigger, deeper, stronger truth than our poor minds can really handle.

travyl @7 – I’m not sure this actually answers your question, but Cadsuane wouldn’t be able to feel Rand channeling here. Only a saidin-user can feel saidin being used. (Should have set off the entire Black Tower, though!) Her ter’angreal wouldn’t likely catch it either, because no matter how much there is, he’s a long ways away from Tear. Without an Asha’man standing there gawping in the direction of Dragonmount, there’d be no way for her to know there was anything to follow.
14. NotInventedHere
@6: I disagree, I think Cads does get some credit for Rand's flipping out. No, it wasn't exactly her intention - and no, she didn't know exactly what she was doing - but she recognized that she needed someone to shock Rand out of his steadily darkening miasma, really someone who was no associated with his being Dragon Reborn and his worldly problems. Min would have been the obvious choice, but she was already close and he had already been forced to face killing her. There really weren't a lot of other people that could have sufficed - Egs was too Aes Sedai, Mat and Perrin too distant and unlikely to see the problem or be willing to respond to a summons from Cads or Nyn; Elayne and Avi too entwined in his being the Dragon (and unavailable to boot). Tam was the only real choice - someone whose opinion Rand greatly respected, someone not connected in any way to his being Dragon. Also, in the scheme of things (especially to Cads), somewhat expendable if things went wrong.

So no, Cads didn't really know what she was doing beyond trying to force a reaction and reconsideration of his actions and view of the conflict out of Rand, and Tam was the only one she could think of that had a good chance of accomplishing it. I'm not saying Cads is the true savior of the world or anything, but she was responsible for engineering the one confrontation that could really make Rand reassess what he was doing. It was nearly a disaster, true, but no one else seemed to be on the verge (or even the path) of helping Rand.
15. gadget
Good re-cap Leigh.

I share your (somewhat guilty) dislike of the cover art. Just look at Aviendha in the background (at least I assume that is who it is), she looks like a three dollar hooker...from the 80's. I mean check out that eye shadow. I've never been particularly fond of the WOT covers, even the suposedly "iconic" first book cover art.

I also agree that this was an interesting and unique climax for a WOT book, and well done. Well done indeed.
16. Greyhawk
@14 I understand your point, but what you are arguing is that simply by her presence she suceeded. Even though everything she intended didn't not work, because Rand did not go off of the deep end, she gets the credit. To me the credit goes to Tam and Rand (and I think that many other characters could have and would have thought of getting Tam involved). In the way that mattered, Tam was the one who had the wisdom and ability to convey that wisdom to Rand about the "why" being the important thing and not necessarily the doing of it. There was nothing about Cads per say that lead to Rand's redemption and nothing that she did that taught him to laugh (in fact I would argue her actions moved him farther from that mindset).

If I introduce you to an amazing author who provides a great insight into writing for you---do I get the credit for the insight or does the great author?
Alice Arneson
17. Wetlandernw
Neuralnet @12 - That's a very good point. Maybe that's the real meaning of "The great battle done, but the world not done with battle." The future is still teetering and the land is still divided, but if "he who is dead" means LTT, and he "yet lives" by Rand's integration of him (and full access to his memories!), Nicola's Foretelling could be half fulfilled right here.

RanchoUnicorn @11 - Rand's personal battle was between Hope and Despair, but it could also be argued that the actions resulting from Despair, however good his intentions, were mostly of the Evil category. You know where that road paved with good intentions ends up... I believe that RJ fully intended this to link Hope with Good and Despair with Evil as far as Rand's viewpoint and actions go.

Despair led Moridin to side with Evil; Despair led Lews Therin to destroy himself; Despair was leading Rand to destroy himself, the Wheel, the whole world, and everyone who ever had or would have lived in it. Despair had led Rand to some pretty foul actions already, and had nearly led him to kill his own father. (I found it... interesting... that it didn't occur to him, here, that while he loathed himself for the impulse to kill Tam face to face, his destruction of everything with the Choedan Kal would kill him just as dead. Rand just wouldn't have to see the terror in Tam's eyes as he did it.) Despair was leading Rand straight into doing what the DO wanted done; if that's not Evil, I don't know what is.

As for Hope... there's a reason Ishamael was called "Betrayer of Hope." He betrayed Hope and the Light when he chose to ally himself with Evil. With Hope as a driving force, Rand's actions turn from Evil to Good. Not that everything he does is perfect from here on out, but his goals have changed because his motivation has changed. Now, finally, he's able to be a true Champion of the Light, which is Good.
18. Dougg
"'Maybe Christmas,' he thought, 'doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more.'"
Alice Arneson
19. Wetlandernw
Greyhawk @16 - And yet, Tam was deliberately staying away from Rand. It was Cadsuane's idea to bring him to Rand, and she had to convince him to do it. Without Cadsuane's involvement, Rand would have continued to avoid the one person who could help him, just as that one person was avoiding him - both for the wrong reasons. Someone had to identify the one thing that might bring Rand to his senses, and make that one thing happen. Enter Cadsuane. She (and I) couldn't care less if she was the one to speak the right words, do the right thing, directly make Rand change his mind - she just knew he needed to change, and she found a way to cause it. So yeah, she gets credit for being the one to make it happen.
j p
20. sps49
It's a good thing Rand didn't see any collared women in Ebou Dar.


And from the start, I thought "LTT" was Rand, just suppressed/ lost to "rebirth" amnesia memories bleeding through, especially during situations that would've been familiar to Lews Therin.

Herding sheep- no reminders of the Age of Legends.
Forsaken attack- reminded of defensive weaves.
21. Greyhawk
Wetlander @ 16--I think the prophecy was that Cadsuane had to teach Rand how to "laugh and cry". My parents made me go to school but I credit my teachers with teaching me about mitosis, the quadratic formula, etc.
22. ryamano
The WOT books have always been consistent in that the one thing each one of them delivered, if nothing else, was what I always liked to call the Big Ass Ending. There was always some monumental showdown between the forces of Light and those of the Shadow; a fight on which hung, if not everything, than at least the survival of Our Hero and the continuation of his fight.

Crossroads of Twilight doesn't have such a thing. The closest thing to a climax there is Egwene being captured in the end, which is more like a cliffhanger than a climax.

Knife of Dreams has several climaxes (just as TSR and TFoH have), with the added matter that, contrary to the earlier books in the parenthesis, there isn't a "bigger" climax. Rand's fights (against Asmodean and Rhavin) are the "bigger" climaxes in the earlier multi-climax books. Not in KoD though, where his fight happens in the middle of the book and isn't as extended as Perrin's or Mat's.
23. MostlyAnthony
@Greyhawk, let's shake hands! And you know what, by book 12 I had grown so tired of those despicable Aes Sedai, and in fact of Randland in general (Min is the only likable character) that I was really hoping that Rand was going to commit suicide on Dragonmount and THAT would be the end of the series. But no, it's going to drag on for another two books. If it wasn't for Min, I would have given up on this series already. And worse is even going to come: Rand is going to APOLOGISE to that bitchy über-Aes Sedai???
24. ryamano
By the way, I wonder if Rand is having some of Moridin's thoughts in his discussion of half glass full/half empty. They're merging somewhat, according to Min's prophecy, feeling what the other feels, etc. Lots of his thoughts in the last chapter have some of Moridin's nihilism feel to it.

Was this part of Moridin's ultimate plan to win the Last Battle? Win by making the Dragon give up hope and destroy the world, by kind of corrupting his thoughts. In his chess-like game, not actually owning the piece of the kingfisher, but forcing it to make some actions otherwise. Was this intentional or not?

So, if Moridin lost this battle (supposing it's intentional), the plan reverts to physical confrontation (something he doesn't like, because he already experienced death). Maybe the best thing Team Dark can get out of this now is a tie, since the Dragon seems incorruptible now (Lanfear asking for help notwithstanding).
25. Lsana
"For they were not two men, and never had been" seems to me to pretty clearly say that the Lews Therin voice was not real, though I care enough about it to get into a serious argument.

Still annoyed with Egwene, this time for failing to recognize the freaking obvious method of defeating the oath rod. Just another part of becoming a true Aes Sedai.
Don Barkauskas
26. bad_platypus
travyl @7: At the Cleansing, the Forsaken located him because he and Nynaeve are channeling enormous amounts of both saidin and saidar for an extended period of time. Even though Rand's channeling more here, it's not for very long (probably a few seconds; minutes at most) so they would (at best) get a brief flash of enormous power and would not likely be able to locate where it came from.
Nathan Martin
27. lerris
@25. Lsana

To me "For they were not two men, and never had been", following Rand's realization that he was here for a second chance suggests the following interpretation to me:

Rand is Lews Therin reincarnated. They are not two men, because they are the same man in different times. This does not make the voice not real, but more a matter of Rand talking to himself. Seems a good way to cope with suddenly gaining a second set of memories.
Pepijn Vemer
28. Artsapat
I guess if someone said to me, will you go through hell if that means your loved ones don’t have to? that I might truly have to say, okay, yes.
Leigh, thank you. This was exactly the sentence I needed to read today after hearing news about my wife's job. It reminds me why following her to the other side of the country, even if I have no idea what I can or want to to do, is a good idea.

(And of course, thank you once again for the wonderful review of this book. You really know how to get me (more) exited for AMOL.)
Jay Dauro
29. J.Dauro

Min's viewing is that Casuane will teach Rand and the Asha'mon something that they will not like. (ACOS 41) Min says nothing about laughing or crying. Cadsuane says she has to teach Rand to feel again, but evidently that is not what Min says Cadsuane will teach him.

I expect Rand has more to learn.
No matter what your opinion Leigh, I for one believe Matt was spot on and True to character. I feel you really only have a problem with Mat's opinion and characterizations of women. I think most Men would agree with him and most Women would of course, disagree. Regardless, I think he was true to character.... So there!

On the chapter... I agree one hundred percent with you and only feel need to mention what you did not.... Hundreds and Thousands, that sure is a lot more than one. Hell, that sure is lot more than what the word WE should be allowed to contain. That sure is a lot of lives stuck in his head. I do believe he actually has Mat beat in that regard.

Is it just me, or did anyone else wish Rand had his epiphany after he decimated the Seanchan hierarchy. Mat wouldn't have been very happy, but man that would solve a whole bunch of problems later on.

And I like how Egwene had a enough sense to have Rands moment of glory recorded. To bad she hasn't actually put 2 and 2 together and figure out that it was in fact Rand.

Anyway... It's time to read the comments!

Neil Sood
31. RanchoUnicorno
@17 (wetlandernw) - Good points. My thought, specifically, was that Hope and Despair are not inherently Good or Evil, but rather states of the human condition which will naturally ebb and flow. Nevertheless, you are right that Jordan really did make this a story in which Hope is Good and Despair is Evil - rendering my thoughts inapplicable to the situation.

@23 (MostlyAnthony) - While I can't stand Cads and would have considered supporting Rand ending the Pattern just to be rid of her, I think his apology make sense. Part of embracing Hope is that you start to see if and how each person can contribute to Good. And if a person can contribute, what is it off your back to do what is necessary to help bring the best assistance out of them. In this case, it cost Rand an apology to bring Cads, who is siding with Good, to her full potential. It didn't harm him in any way.

Every once in a while, I find moments of enlightenment (they don't last). When I do, I find that I can let things what could be slights or irritations slide off my back without a second thought. Those are the moments that I tend to feel the most upbeat. I wish I could figure out how I normally end up crotchety again - it would be nice to know how to avoid things that make me unhappy. Of course, there are limitations - hurting the missus or the kids is enough to wake me out of that stupor and I don't develop Rand powers when I'm feeling good.

@25 (Lsana) - I'm going to side with @27 (lerris) on this. The way it is phrased suggests to me that they were never two men - that the cycle of rebirth means that both of them were the same man, that this was Rand tapping into his previous life and speaking its thoughts. LTT wasn't the voice, Rand was, it was just LTT's experiences that fed Rand. Not too different than Birgitte remembering her past lives - the difference is that the veil of birth has shielded pure knowledge of those lives from Rand.
James Hogan
32. Sonofthunder
I still remember the first time I read these last few chapters, curled up in my comfy chair in my apartment in Houston one Saturday morning...feeling Rand's lostness and wondering how Rand could possibly be saved. And then his glorious epiphany as light and love washes over him. Beautiful. Beautiful.
Marcus W
33. toryx
I'm a romantic and I'm all for the whole "Love conquers all" bit but there's still something about Rand's epiphany that irritates me. I just don't like how it's written, especially in those lines that were quoted. I don't know whose words they are, and I don't care. They just feel false to me, like someone is trying too hard.

That aside, I love the scene with him in Ebou Dar dealing with the incongruity of the Seanchan slavery of channelers and their restoration of order to (most of) the rest of society. I love that his epiphany occurs on Dragonmount and I agree wholeheartedly with Leigh that the resolution of the Rand/ Lews Therin minds/souls/katras or whatever was masterfully done.

I'm also a big, big fan of the clearing in the skies over Dragonmount. So all in all, that last full chapter is a lot of bittersweet for me. Some of it delights, others sours but all in all I'm satisfied with the resolutions.

I'm looking forward to pushing on to ToM. Lots of excellent moments and writing that makes me see red.
34. Greyhawk
J. Dauro @29. Ultimately we will have to wait and see how it plays out in MOL, but a quick search on wot wikia turned up this reference:

From her conversations with Sorilea in TPoD and also with Verin in WH, Cadsuane says she will teach them "laughter and tears". She also speaks of teaching him the difference between being strong and hard.

I have not seen any discussions about Min's viewing being about something other than this and it has seemed to me that this was what the viewing generally referred to. I agree that Cadsuane has more left to do with the Asha'men under the viewing, but it sure seems like Rand's internal growth storyline has been treated as completed in the story since the Dragonmount scene.

But you raise a good point that maybe what the majority of readers thought Cadsuane was supposed to do (including the character herself) is not what she is actually supposed to do to fulfill the viewing.
Donna Harvey
35. snaggletoothedwoman
Thank you Leigh, for the re read. I was so very happy that Rand has had an attitude adjustment. The doom and gloom were starting to make me want to skip too many pages. There is still a long road ahead.....
Places to go...... People to meet.... The world to save. Loved seeing Rand laugh!
Anthony Pero
36. anthonypero
Constructionists FTW! I really don't know how anyone can read that any other way. Maybe I'm just blinded by my own preconception. Or maybe EVERYONE ELSE IS. :P

@7, 13: Rand was holding great amounts of the OP, but not channelling great amounts of the OP. The only time he channeled a ton was to destroy the Choeden Kal. It was brief. And since they were in Tear the best any Asha'man could have told Cadsuane was "north". Well, duh.

@JohnathanLevy, CieresNae when you finally post here:

I'd love to hear you guys chime in on the parallels here between this scene and the Soon Coming Randsiah and Jesus' Transfiguration. I know there are certain gospels that when read individually (without allowing other Gospels to effect your interperetation) that would imply a significantly more human Jesus up util this moment, and that Zen Master Rand and Transfigured Jesus would have much in common. Any educated opinions on that?
John Massey
37. subwoofer
Hi Leigh- baby needs a new pair of shoes;)

I'm commenting on the second bit first. We see the ladies commenting on Dragonmount and the ray of light. It is interesting to note that Egwene was a similar white light, a font of power, but it was limited to within her. Rand OTOH and his beam of light manifests itself in the land. Rand happy, land happy. I think there is a limerick in there somewheres but I don't think WoT has a "nantucket".

What I would like to see is when the two towers are united, perhaps the Red's new task is to hunt down the black sisters. Reds as the police so to speak or we have men hunt down the baddie women as option "B".

The first chapter was good. It had such a good payoff the first time I read this book I stood up and cheered "FINALLY!"

As for love being cliche, well, maybe so, but it is the strongest force in the universe.

I'm going to paraphrase 1 Corinthians 13 because I don't want to be too preachy here but this chapter reminds us of what we should hold fast to:

....Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up....

....Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

.... And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Without a doubt, one of the great truths of life. Rand lives as a chance so many of us all wish for; to love again and do it right this time. IMHO Rand being the Dragon Reborn is not about becoming as hard as he can be to match the power of the Dark One to see that task through to the end, it is about Rand finding hope in life and keeping to that path no matter what the DO throws at him. After all, isn't that what we all try to aspire to?

38. hawkido
Okay, here's my theory (loony optional):

The Dark One is a scavenger of failed time-lines. Lookit, the portal stones show all the worlds that could have been, or actually were, as each decision point in the story creates an alternate universe for each possible outcome (recall *Flicker* scene in TGH). The dark one wins in all the other possible outcomes and thus terminates those timelines... I know Verin “said” that a victory (of the Dark One) in one parallel world would result in a victory in all (yeah right, and the creator himself sealed the bore at the end of the last age, right!?!), but in the parallel world that Rand, Loial, and Hurin were in showed that the trollocs won the Trolloc Wars, and humankind ceased to exist that we could see, and the world was fading out of existence. Are you seeing what I am saying? The Dark One won, and time was dying out in that world. The branch was in the process of being terminated. I believe that the Dark One is nothing but the consumer of failed timelines, who has grown bitter at his (its) role and has switched to actively trying to make timelines fail, perhaps all timelines fail (remember the Dark One has “Claimed” that he has won before). If a Stalemate happens, then it is a “push” and both sides must wait till the next age (the Fisher's rebirth) to attempt a real victory. We have seen that a "Push" results in a circular timeline, and a "Loss" results in an end of time. Just what is the reward of a "Win"? If the LightSiders "Win", might they actually escape the wheel and resume a linear time line? Have we ever seen a claim of victory of the LightSide in the past wheelings? I know Jordan has stated that this is a wheelish timeline, and this theory belongs in the “loony” column. But I thought it would be an interesting twist.
39. hawkido

He "drew" more of the power than he ever had before... he was not channeling it tho, other than the small amount needed to keep the air pressure right and warm. At the end he "pushed" the power he was holding back through the Key into the choden'kal, which exploded back in Cairhien, or the key exploded, and the statue melted.. can't remember...
Mike Giroux
40. RMGiroux
How does Rand not go "Boom!" at the end of the last chapter?

Chapter starts:
Rand sits at the top of perhaps the highest point in the world, only able to breathe because he is using Air to compress the atmosphere around him; he doesn’t know how he knows the weave. He has been there for hours, and he doesn’t dare let go of the Power.
Chapter ends:
He turns the Power within him upon itself and drives it through the access key to the great sa’angreal near Cairhien, uses its own power to destroy the Choedan Kal. The statue explodes, and the Power winks out.
So he's no longer channeling. How's he breathing?

But that's a minor quibble - it's a good ending, and thank the ghods that's the end of emo-Rand!
andrew smith
41. sillyslovene
So, just an intersesting thought/symbolism analysis: prompted by reading somewhere else about roses, which in the past were used as a symbol of something hidden. Here, Eg looks through the hole for the rose window to see the light on Dragonmount. The great truth that Rand learns about love, or the influence and power of him being one with the land, etc (many possible interpretations, all potentially viable) being hidden in plain sight, but unknown and unrecognized by the White Tower/Egwene. Similarly, Dragonmount as a symbol of hope hidden from them. Pretty intresting symbols and imagery.

On other things: a good wrap up, and some good thoughts from you all, and Leigh. Thanks
James Hogan
42. Sonofthunder
toryx @33 - Just wanted to say I absolutely agree with you regarding the prose of Rand's epiphany. While the power and beauty of the moment overwhelmed the actual words(because after so long of Rand spiralling into darkness and despair...I just couldn't help smiling happily to myself reading Rand becoming alive again!), upon further readings, I noticed the same thing. It does feel a tad forced and doesn't have quite the subtle touch I'd prefer. (Side-note: this the reason I like Rothfuss' works better than Sanderson's - don't hit me! - Rothfuss' prose just makes my emotions sing like no other...while Brandon's never quite hits those heights)

Anyway, negativity aside, these are still some of my favorite chapters ever, just for the sheer joy they represent!!

Anthony - As a fellow constructionist, I stand proudly alongside you!

Sub - loved your post.
43. hawkido
@40, he isn't in space... just Himalaya-syle altitude. You can breath up that high, but it will rob you of strength/energy and you will eventually pass out from hypoxia.
Alice Arneson
44. Wetlandernw
Greyhawk @21 and 34 – Min’s viewing was:
She is going to teach you something, you and the Asha'man. All the Asha'man, I mean. It's something you have to learn, but I don't know what it is, except that none of you will like learning it from her. You aren't going to like it at all.
Cadsuane knew nothing of that for a long time; I'm not positive she actually knows about it even now, though she did learn that Min had told Rand he needed Cadsuane. (One assumes that she’s smart enough to have figured out by now that it was based on a viewing, and probably the details, given last week's chapters.) The “laugh and cry” and “strong vs. hard” were her own personal goals for him, presumably based on her own personal experience with male channelers and possibly on the Shiotan prophecy, “Pray that the heart of stone remembers tears, and the soul of fire, love.” We really don’t know that Min’s “something you have to learn” will be in any way related to the laughter & tears business, though many of the fans have assumed it was the same thing. FWIW, Brandon has also said that (as of the end of TGS) this particular viewing has been partially fulfilled. Whether that is confirmation that the laughter and tears is the subject of Min’s viewing is still open to debate.

In any case, the fact remains that bringing Tam to see Rand was Cadsuane's idea and doing. It nearly went down the big swirly, but the end result was his epiphany on Dragonmount, remembering what Tam had said a few hours before about "Why do you fight?" I think it's fair to say that she completed the task she had set for herself: "That boy will laugh again. I didn't live this long to fail now." He laughed as a result of something she had put in motion.

It will be interesting to see what she has to teach the Asha'man in AMoL. I wonder if that means she will go to the Black Tower with Logain to disrupt the 13-13-twist operation.

While I was looking for evidence of Cadsuane knowing about Min’s viewing, I came across this tidbit, which directly contradicts a lot of what people (including Rand) like to think about her:
“Verin, he can do whatever his heart desires, anything at all, as long as he lives to reach Tarmon Gai’don. And as long as I can be at his side long enough to make him learn how to laugh again, and cry.” Closing her eyes, she rubbed her temples with her fingertips and sighed. “He is turning into a stone, Verin, and if he doesn’t relearn that he’s human, winning the Last Battle may not be much better than losing.”
Which is much the same as what most of us have been talking about here, and hardly anyone else in the book seems to realize. (Certainly not at that stage of the game, halfway through Winter’s Heart, anyway.) She really didn’t care what he did, as long as he didn’t kill himself with it, she just knew that he had to remember to be human. Methodology aside, she was on the right track way earlier than anyone else.

Sonofthunder @42 – Hey, how come you’re not involved in the Kingkiller reread? Or have I asked you that before?

Hawkido @43 – That. Thank you.

Can't believe I forgot this earlier...: forkroot @1 - I await the next with bated breath! Figuratively, anyway. :) I can't really hold my breath that long.
Lannis .
45. Lannis
will you go through hell if that means your loved ones don’t have to? Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes.

Re: Cover. Ugh. I’m not a fan, even if only for the spoilery lack-of-hand pictured. But I’m sure Team Jordan had their reasons, and I’m saddened to hear about D.K. Sweet.

Re: Black Ajah. I feel like I’m going to want a printout of the BA list for when I begin reading AMoL, just to keep tabs on who’s who and operating where, in case the POV character isn’t aware they’re dealing with a Black Sister...

Hey, we need to gather the rereaders attending JordanCon together to have a drink with our Auntie Leigh! Looking forward to seeing you, and thanks for the post, as always. :)
Alice Arneson
46. Wetlandernw
Lannis @45 - So wishing I could join you! Have a drink and a good laugh for me, too. (But don't have a drink for each person who wishes they could be there too. You have to be coherent enough to remember what you're enjoying. ::snicker, snicker::)
Kimani Rogers
47. KiManiak
Thanks for shepherding us through another WoT novel, Leigh! I hope you enjoy your time at Jordancon; I look forward to your blog posts. And to getting to ToM.

The cover: I’m not a great fan. You can definitely identify the scene it depicts (which isn’t always true of the covers), and its close to an accurate depiction of the scene (although I think Rand comes out onto the balcony to scream his defiance, and I always pictured Aviendha to be further away from the manor). But, it seems to be… lacking. Anyway, like I said, not a great fan.

The Seanchan: I’m not a fan of some of their beliefs and practices, but I’ve never had a major issue with their society. I don’t agree with their practices of slavery, dehumanization of channelers and class structure.

But, I believe that every country/government we are introduced to in WoT has aspects that I am not a fan of nor agree with. Far Madding and (pre-Rand “conquering”) Tear annoy me as much as the Seanchan do.

What leads to the Seanchan being so disliked is that they are brutally effective in their efforts to expand and enforce their social rules and values on others. That, I am not a fan of.

Veins of Gold: I don’t think this is the best written chapter of the book. One of the main reasons I like this chapter (and have been looking forward to us getting to this point for the last several weeks) is because Rand comes through all of his trials and tribulations and emerges as the Savior that Randland needs him to be.

He endured so much, and it grew more and more painful to read about his suffering, and the suffering of those around him. Here, we get to see him persevere; to arise from all that he had to endure and be (the best version of) the character that we (or at least, I) rooted for in The Eye of the World.

The suffering he had to endure made the reader (or this reader, at least) appreciate the end product (Zen/Jesus-Rand) even more than if he would have just started out that way.

Real? Construct?: As for the Lews Therin - “Real” vs “Construct” debate, I never really had much of a dog (whoops, sorry sub; I meant to say horse) in the race one way or the other. He could have been real; it could’ve all been happening in Rand’s head. I do agree with Leigh; I think you can interpret the phrasing in VoG either way, to support your theory.

I do remember the text stating Rand could remember every life he ever lived and thinking that maybe he would use that knowledge in the next 2 novels. For some reason, I think early on in ToM Rand lets us know that he only remembers his and Lews Therin’s lives since he left the mountaintop, which is too bad.

Epilogue: eh. I did like the prophecy quotation. I believe we see Tuon reference it either in TGS or ToM.
Lannis .
48. Lannis
Wetlander @ 46: Re: A drink and a good laugh... For you? For sure! And "sacrificial liver" is already on the packing list... ;)
John Massey
49. subwoofer
@Lannis- go around at the Con with a er... white rod... ask people if they are black ajah;)

Lannis .
50. Lannis
@ Sub: Are you kidding me? The Con's going to be full of Aiel... I'm bringing weapons... ;)
Roger Powell
51. forkroot
He could also "tie off" the weave that's compressing the air around him. Of course there's no reason that he couldn't keep channeling a trickle even while sending most of the power back through the CK.

With the action in the scene building to a crescendo, I'm glad BWS didn't bother with those sorts of details at that point.

In TOM, Rand tells Naeff to tell the Asha'man that they are not weapons, they are men. This seems to be an extension of his own enlightenment.

Since Brandon was saying that as of the end of TGS, Min's vision was partially fulfilled, I have to assume that meant that he was crediting Cadsuane with Rand's epiphany. I wonder if it's that insight from Rand that is the fulfillment.

I must say, I'm awaiting the Black Tower scenes in AMoL with extra anticipation.
John Massey
52. subwoofer
The Con is full of Ale? Sounds promising:D

Deana Whitney
53. Braid_Tug
Was so glad Rand finally took a different turn. After getting lost for so long, the change was vastly welcome. And like Leigh, I love the fact that the “veins of gold” was subtext, rather than overtly mentioned. Another case of when the chapter title, rather than the icon, foreshadowed the action.

@ 15, Gadget – Thank you for pointing out the bad makeup job! Really? Raccoon eyes?! And a corset?! The Aiel are never shown wearing corsets! Nor are the Randlander women! Tight bodices, yes, but no one talks about corsets. Trust me, unless you grow up wearing them, you talk about wearing a corset to your girlfriends.
Plus, it’s blue!! When would that fade into the Waste?

@ Forkroot – looking forward to reading the new poem / song.

@42, Sunofthunder – since I’ve never read Rothfuss, I can’t compare them. Will have to check him out. However I found that Sanderson’s ending of the Mistborn Trilogy was very moving prose wise. And unexpected.
54. Wotman
I think Leigh nailed it when she said several loose ends got tied up right then!

I admit I had to read the chapter several times thinking - is that all? I guess it was my own feelings all along that love conquers all and all that sort of stuff, that is why I had such a hard time believing that was the key although there were tiny hints along the way to guide us to that conclusion.

While some want to erase Cads, I do not go along that she won, getting Tam involved is what saved Rand, because Tam gave Rand the key when he asked why do you fight? So without her, no Tam, and no Tam, no idea.

The cover art - Man, I feel bad the guy passed on, but I was always thinking this guy must have been a relative or something because I could never see any good art in this whole series, and I was frustrated the story was so good but the cover art was so bad, what was up with that?

I feel that when Rand gets to Tuon the situation will change, especially if Matt teams up with him. Two taverens and the fact the dark cloud is gone will be a game changer ( that was the main reason Tuon decided agianst merging forces) and I do not know how far this will go in AMoL but I think the Seachan will be assimilated into Randland and the best of both will come out. In fact I was glad that Rand did get to see what was happenning with the occupied people and was able to note how well they were getting along, it was a wake up call.

Allana should have been able to explain what Rand was feeling through that whole deal, not only where abouts he was but also the emotional strain he was going through, in fact she should have been nearly apopalectic at times.

@#30, I agree most strongly about Matt, this guy is my most favorite dude in the whole of Randland!!

About apologizing, i think Rand could very easily , when you are feeling good, it makes things so easy and he generally was honest and thankful for anyone who helped him, even though I would cut off her head, Rand would do the right thing here.

Bad black ajah, bad!! I am feeling like a lot of good people are going to bite the dust when they show up, and I do like the idea of giving the Reds a chance at them to give them some pupose in their long lives. Kinda keeps them out of trouble.
55. Taryntula
The term "Dreadladies" made me chuckle much more than it was probably worth.
Kimani Rogers
56. KiManiak
Forkroot@1 – re: your next chapter – By all means, bring it!

travyl@7 – A good question; one that is never addressed in-book, as I recall. I would guess that the Ashaman were aware of him channeling that much Power, but no one would dare to actually confront him at that point in time, as he was in such a touchy mood. They might have mentioned the massive amounts of Saidin to an AS, but then again they might not have. Or, it’s possible that some Ashaman tried to Travel near Rand to investigate, but once they came close to Dragonmount or the White Tower, decided to stay away.

Neuralnet@12 – I think an argument can be made that the Dark One’s chance to win the Last Battle was resolved here; and that all is left now is for the Light to win or for it to end in a draw.

@6, @14, @16, @19, @21 and others re: Cads’ role in “helping” Rand – I’m not going to give her that much (if any) credit, here. If you want to say she was indirectly involved in healing Rand, then you should also extend that same credit to Sorilea and the Wise Ones. Since the decision to get Tam happened offscreen, after Cads went to the Wise Ones and expressed her failure in “dealing” with Rand, I believe it is unclear as to whether the idea was a collaborative effort, or not.

Regardless, it failed. Spectacularly. To then give credit for their failure to be what helped Rand learn to “laugh and cry again?” I still don’t accept that. I think if anyone deserves credit, it was Tam.

Let’s put it another way: if you are going to give Cads indirect credit for setting up a situation where Rand could receive the lesson from Tam; shouldn’t you give Min the same amount of indirect credit, for setting up a situation (informing Rand that Cads has something to teach him) that allowed Cads to be in Rand’s presence for so long, as opposed to Rand keeping Cads as far from him as possible?

Or, shouldn’t you give Rand the same amount of indirect credit, since he made it possible (by listening to Min) for Min to make it possible for Cads to make it possible for Tam to teach him the lesson?

Or, maybe Tam gets indirect credit for raising Rand to be the type of person who would make it possible for Min to make it possible to, etc, etc…? Where do the indirect influences stop? We could trace it all back to Gitara Moroso, or Lanfear, or Lews Therin or Ilyena, or the Dark One, or the Creator. :-)

ryamano@22 – I agree with you about CoT. When Leigh made her point, my mind immediately went to CoT as having no major climax. I think KoD’s climax was the battle between Perrin vs the Shaido, and Elayne vs the BA and for the throne.

mostlyanthony@23 and rancho@31 – re: Rand’s apology to Cads – I actually see Rand’s apology as another indicating factor that he is on the right path, is the leader and the Champion that Light needs. Compare his willingness to apologize with Cadsuane and her (very pointedly spoken) unwillingness to apologize to Rand after Semi puts the Domination Band on Rand, right before he banishes Cads from his sight. It shows that apologizing isn’t being weak; sometimes it shows the strength of the character. Cads could learn from that…

sub@37 – re: love – I “love” that Bible verse. I always have.
(As an aside, it often irks me when people use the term “love” too freely or loosely. Love is powerful and enduring; it’s not something that a 13-year-old feels for another 13-year-old, but then disappears 2 days later. Love is overwhelming and enduring; love is badass! It actually rankles me when adults use the term too loosely, as well. Love is a force; it shouldn’t be something you enter into easily or fall out of just as easily).

Anyway, thanks for the quote. Cliché or not, love conquers all!
57. BryanA
"Veins of Gold" is, for my money, the best chapter in the series. It's like a one chapter summary of what the entire point of the series is, and it's beautiful.

That said, I think it's a real shame that the moment wasn't highlighted in at least the e-book cover. A ray of light shining down on Dragonmount would have been pretty sweet, far better than either of the covers turned out.
Nadine L.
58. travyl
Anthonypero @36 & hawkido @39:
holding the power but not channeling - thanks for that explanation.

@37. subwoofer
You are not the first to mention it, but i never commented on it before: I really hope the Red Ajah won't transform into a police to hunt black Ajah/Ashaman. - It would be good for them to have a purpose again as an Ajah, but it would give red sisters more power than the other Ajahs (how else could they be a police force?) - and therefore I don't like that idea.

I second Wetlander @46.

Re Credit to Cadsuane / Tam:
While the whole scene between Tam and his son felt completely genuine (in its awkward way), Tam did say he followed Cadsuane's script. So there is no way to know, who had the idea to ask Rand what he is fighting for, and that this does matter. - If the suggestion to steer the conversation to this topic came from Cads, she can claim even more credit, than "just" for the idea to bring father and son together.
Roger Powell
59. forkroot
A cover with the ray of light on Dragonmount would have been very cool. I can't agree with dismissing the actual e-Book cover though. Egwene's crowning MOA was pretty amazing as well.

love is badass!
Never heard it put quite that way, but heck yeah!

BTW, You want to talk cliche and I Corinthians 13?? How about all those people who have had someone read that passage when they get married. How cliche! How appropriate! My wife and I included it in our ceremony and we don't regret it for an instant.

Sometimes cliche is just fine.
60. Alan C
I agree with BryanA @ 57. "Veins of Gold" was one of the most beautiful chapters in the series, and, I'd say, the most pivotal. When I heard that there were going to be ebook covers, this was the scene that sprung to mind, as emblematic of the theme of the book, and the series as a whole. Instead, we had a bit of awesome, that ended up not looking so awesome, as opposed to the image of a man, smiling into the sun, learning to laugh again, whilst accepting that his decision will lead to his death.

And P.S. love is the only thing that makes it all worthwhile =)
Ron Garrison
61. Man-0-Manetheran
• a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.
• a very predictable or unoriginal thing or person : each building is a mishmash of tired clichés.
So, I'd say cliché is probably the wrong word to use. How about "truth"? All the great hero myths come down to LOVE and SELF-SACRIFICE. Not a cliché, but a Truth.
John Massey
62. subwoofer
@travyl- yeah, me too, but it would explain why sirens are red these days;), they didn't have sirens back then but I can see a Red sister on the roof of a coach screaming "pull over" at a bunch of fugitive sisters:D

... I think Eddie Murphy did some twisted stand-up on the subject...

@Ki- thank you, and agreed. Here is the contrast that interests me about Rand and many readers comments. Often have I seen Rand referred to as "Jesus Rand" or some sort of messiah figure. At the same time, because this is a fantasy series folks also expect huge fireworks at the end and some sort of titanic struggle or ultimate blademaster vs. ultimate blademaster type fight.

If we are comparing Rand to Jesus, from what I recall, Jesus' answer for hate was love. This isn't Old Testament time here folks, eye for an eye type thing. I have often wondered with all the vices that the DO garners; chaos, hatred, greed, decite etc. what is the Creator's answer to that? IMHO it is the only thing that can endure- love. At this moment on Dragonmount, I feel that Rand came to a similar conclusion. Not quite a spectacular Fantasy ending, but very fitting for the situation. And we all like Rand much better post-Dragonmount than in previous books.

Tricia Irish
63. Tektonica
I so love this chapter....after all we've Rand's been through! Such a great moment of epiphany. And yes, love....I'd do anything for my loved ones. It is a powerful force.

As for Cads....you know I'm not a fan....but here, I give her credit for a good idea, Bringing Tam. Then she screws it up, with her "script". It could've gone completely, utterly, irretrievably, eternally wrong if Rand has killed his father. So I give the ultimate credit to Rand. Absolutley.

I love this Wetlander@17!
Neuralnet @12 - That's a very good point. Maybe that's the real meaning of "The great battle done, but the world not done with battle." The future is still teetering and the land is still divided, but if "he who is dead" means LTT, and he "yet lives" by Rand's integration of him (and full access to his memories!), Nicola's Foretelling could be half fulfilled right here.

I think you've hit the nail on the head.

To me, LTT was a construct. Rand remembers all his past lives in those moments on Dragonmount. He was always LTT, but could not handle the gravity of what he'd done. But I agree that it was resolved in a wonderful, non-definite way!

Thanks Leigh! I love your thoughts, both funny and profound. See you at the Con!
Thomas Keith
64. insectoid
Good afternoon Re-read peeps! Great post as usual, Leigh. I'm sure I speak for us all when I say we're all looking forward to your bloggings from JordanCon.

Rand: Goes from batshit INSANE to Zen Master in the space of two chapters. And I think it's for the best (duh!), because if he hadn't... well, the Last Battle would probably have been lost.

Yes, the "love conquers all" thing is clichéd, but it's the good kind of cliché. All in all, these two chapters were well-done. Kudos to Team Jordan!

Lews Therin: Buh Bye Lews! Been nice knowing you!! XD

Mesaana+Oath Rod: We never did figure that one out, did we? I don't recall.

Yay, end of the book! There are no beginnings or endings to the Wheel of Time. But it is an ending. (D'oH, srizzo00 @5 beat me to it!)

Fork @1: LOL, yeah, stick it to him!!

Lannis @45: You'll give her regards from those of us who can't be there, won't you? :) So wish I could be there... :(

Sub @49/Lannis @50: *LOL*

Anthony Pero
65. anthonypero
40. RMGiroux

If it helps, maybe the weave was tied off.
Cameron Tucker
66. Loialson
Thanks for the quote, made the sweetness of this chapter deeper, and more valuable.

This ending with Rand is why I can see RJ's intent to finish it all in one last book, this is the game changer for act 1, act two is getting the LB setup, act 3 is the Big Bang Ending. The last three should really be read all in one, which I think I just may do when AMoL comes out. ;)

I really hope there will be a final release in a few years (maybe in ebook format) with the chapters restructured time-line wise so that it can be all as one book like RJ intended. I agree with how Brandon and Harriet did the split, and it's necessity, but wouldn't it just be wonderful to read this scene alongside with Perrin's POV from the Wolf Dream switching back and forth? *sigh*.

This story is such brilliance, love it so much. Wish there was a well-made screen version of Wheel of Time, like Game of Thrones got (unlikely, but I still wish).
67. Taryntula
"Could he have done something different, something that would have avoided this day, this place? Next time, perhaps. The tasseled length of spear lay atop his sword belt and scabbarded blade beside his blankets. There would be a next time, and one beyond that, and beyond again." - Rand al'Thor, Chapter 43 of TFOH

Prophetic, much? Next time being the turning of the Wheel?

Also, note on Mesaana and the oath rod...she was able to get past it because the Forsaken don't think of themselves as darkfriends, so she could truthfully say she was not a darkfriend. Lanfear says over and over again that she is not Aes Sedai and not a darkfriend...yes? Unless I missed some other obvious reason the Oaths don't hold for her.
Ron Garrison
68. Man-0-Manetheran
"He is angry at the Pattern and the Creator, for leaving people to fight the Dark One with no guidance."

Harry Potter, if I recall, spent a great deal of energy being angry with Dumbledore for not telling him how to defeat the Dark Lord. And Dumbledore's answer to Harry was usually "Love, Harry. It's the one thing he cannot conquer."

And Frodo and Sam — probably the most moving moment in all the LOTR was when Sam refused to let Mr. Frodo go on alone.
Don Barkauskas
69. bad_platypus
insectoid @64, Taryntula @67: We are never told specifically how Mesaana defeated the Oath Rod. The "she doesn't think of herself as a Darkfiend" theory was very popular in the community. In ToM, Ch. 15, Seaine gives Egwene three possible ways that Mesaana could have beaten the Oath Rod. Given Mesaana's mental state at the end of ToM, however, it's highly unlikely we'll ever know exactly how she did it.
Kimani Rogers
71. KiManiak
Loialson@66 - Here's hoping that they are able to combine the three, sometime in the future. Like you, I would so enjoy reading about Rand on Dragonmount from Rand's point of view and Perrin's point of view.

I would gladly buy such a combination of the last 3 books (Tor, I'm just saying...)
Brandon Daggerhart
72. BDaggerhart
A lot of people complained when this book came out about the "anticlimactic" ending. I, for one, find it to be one of the most emotional and well-done endings in the entire series. Extremely poingnant. I did not remember what Veins of Gold were until a reread later (and getting to book 9), but it was a pretty awesome moment when I realized it, and had to come back to re-read this chapter. Great stuff.
73. Wotman
in relating to how Mesaana was able to defeat the oath rod; I (probably wrong) believe it was because she is not an AS, she is working as a maid and was overlooked in the search. It was mentioned n the series that the maids and other workers roamed freely without raising any suspicion. (I think it was when they were looking for the horn of valere at that party and the dude was later found torn apart in his bed.

Man -o - Manatheran has it right on about each of those examples!

I have to admit I am happy to see LTT gone, I was really getting tired of his whining. The cool thing is, Rand gets al the info without the BS ( not you Brandon) ;)

One tiny question - If the DO has always won, how come he never destroyed the wheel? From what I gather; that is his whole purpose and here, we find that the Creator is gving Rand another chance to finally win. That does not make sense. What I sense is LTT failed, and Rand has decided that all these past lives came to the same end, he loses and he is tired of fighting while the people stil do what humans do and that is screw up.
74. whoamiInRed
One thing I have to say is that I felt a sinking disappointment when I saw the chapter title as I was reading the book because it felt like a spoiler to me. Rand had such a terrific and intense arc, and then the title said 'Oh, but it all gets resolved here!'.

I would have preferred a chapter title like ''On Dragonmount'" or 'On his grave", which would have kept the mystery and suspense going.

But, the chapter was great.
Thomas Keith
75. insectoid
KiManiak @71: Thus fulfilling the prophecy "...and the three shall be one." XD

Richard Chapling
76. Chappers
Loialson@66, KiManiak@71 - As RJ said in 2005:
One more—the twelfth book. That will be so even if that book has to be 2000 pages in hardcover, and require a luggage cart and shoulder strap to get it out of the store.
My friend and I have since referred to the idea of the combined AMoL as the "wheelbarrow edition" (presumably due to a misquote somewhere).

Certainly an ebook would be easy to do, but the true luggage cart edition would probably be unbindable or illegible. Could be an interesting challenge for the dedicated fan :).

insectoid@75 - Very droll :D

hawkido@38 - Okay, I'll have a go at this. What do you mean by a "failed timeline"?
Jay Dauro
77. J.Dauro

We know Mesaana was masquerading as Danelle, of the Brown Ajah. We don't know exactly how she defeated the Oath Rod.
78. MasterAlThor
First Happy Bday to that Samadai guy who wonders around here from time to time snatching the hunny and the first post.

Second Lannis I would like to offer my name as one who you will need to have a drink and a laugh for. Here is a tip, use water and tell everyone it's vodka. They'll never know.

Ok on to the reread.

I love these chapters. I seriously got my popcorn and M&M's ready cause I just knew that we were going to get the goods this time. I wish I was more tech savvy so I could have posted a pic.

LTT is gone and thank goodness for that. I am on the other side of the fence from Leigh regarding LTT, but I whole heartedly agree that Team Jordan did a great job of solving the issue without solving the debate.

Love is all you need. Love is the greatest of all things. If you don't have love in your heart then you are nothing. Thank goodness that Rand has found love.

That's all for now. More to come.

Jeff Schweer
79. JeffS.
Hi All,
A second chance to do it right... Love is the answer. Poignant.
Absolutely love this ending. not all great struggles have to be fireworks in the sky involving a cast of thousands.

I would say that instead of Cliche the proper definition of this would be a "Greater Truth" On the order of something Spider Robinson wrote about in one of the Callahan books. I wish his books weren't in storage right now, I'd look it up.There was a whole chapter about things that are true and then things that are always true and then Greater truths that sometimes have a built in dichotamy.
Love is grand, Love sucks, was one example given.

Tam's influence here I think is also a Greater Truth. Why you do something is more important than doing it. Yes, that.

I am only an egg
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
80. tnh
Cliches can be great truths. What distinguishes cliches is that they irritate people. If they got used just as often but somehow avoided being irritating, we'd call them tropes, or proverbs, or literary conventions, and think nothing more of it.
81. AndrewB
Gadget @15 - nice analogy re Aviendha. My initial thought when I saw her on the cover was that Tammy Faye Baker taught Aviendha how to apply her makeup.

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then" - Bob Seger, "Against the Wind"
(Sent from my smartphone)
82. Freelancer
Construct...phbhthbhbht. Rand is exactly right, they were never two men. They were two personality incarnations of the same man. Now that the barrier is completely broken between them and the LTT personality has been subsumed by Rand, no more sanity issues, no more fog, probably no more channeling sickness, and the land itself feels that the Dragon is well.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. ~ I Corinthians 13
Loves comes in many forms. Love of family, romantic love, love of non-sentient beauty, and selfless love of fellow man.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. ~ I John 15:13
The charity spoken of in I Cor 13 is the last of these, the agape love which gives without expecting recompense. The love which says without hesitation Yes, I would go through Hell to prevent my children doing so. This is the bedrock upon which our heroes were raised, the reason the Two Rivers' Old Blood sings. It is why the Creator chose Rand to be the Dragon, the answer to the central question of the story.
What do you do if someone taps you on the shoulder, and says that you have to save the world?
Once Rand passed the point that he couldn't deny his position, he accepted it, understanding the likely consequences. Of course he looked for another way. He asked the Aelfinn how to win and live. He questioned Herid Fel about the nature of the prophecies. But through it all, he was willing to be the sacrifice, the Ransom. Does he love all of mankind as he does Min? No. But it is the purer love to strive for a stranger, allowing them to live whatever the cost to yourself.

At his best, and at his worst, Rand al'Thor never turned from his acceptance that the burden was his. Yes, he questioned the value of repeating the endless cycle, but even then he didn't question his place in the conflict. This is love.
83. AndrewB
Balescream @30 - Your prejudice against Egwene is showing. How could any Randlander, including Egwene, realize that the presence of the sun shining over Dragonmount was because Rand had his ephiphany?

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then" - Bob Seger, "Against the Wind"
(Sent from my smartphone)
84. al'Kohol
It is well that of Min and Rand, Min is the philosopher. If Rand thought about it a little more, he might realize he's also doomed to relive the failures of Lews Therin again. And Mierin will drill into the Bore again. Etc., etc., etc....
85. Freelancer
Not entirely true. There is no Law of the Pattern which says that there is only one repeating set of events. Each full turning has uniqueness, even if there are major occurences which are set to happen. If that were true, I would agree, blow it all up, for there is no hope. The chance to make it right is why Rand did not.
Jack Jack
86. JackJack
Alrighty. So...

When I was a sophomore in high school, there was a woman with a certain presence about her that taught English. After correcting a paper, if there were a certain amount of mistakes (more than three or so), she would simply write "redo" on the top, in big red. I learned quite a bit from her, but I would never change my opinion about her challenging personality. I feel that Cadsuane is not necessarily a meanie head, just difficult. She is a green through and through. She more than likely approaches making tea as a battle.

The Ending:
I hate to bring it up, but I see it almost like the end of the Mallorean. Cyradis at the end of The Mallorean could have easily just said "screw you all," but the death of Toth made her see (tee hee) that if there was something worth living for, there will be in the future. The "battle" was simply a choice. Either give in to despair, or give in to love. It seems like an easy decision, but you can't always trust yourself to do what you think you would. When Rand accepts that he doesn't want to stop loving the Littlest Harem, LTT has to simply remain a memory, and Ilyena's fate can't be a constant source of fear in the life that he's living now.
Jack Jack
87. JackJack
Ach, I completely forgot about a question I've always had. If Rand has LTT's memories, did LTT have the last Dragon's memories?
Cameron Tucker
88. Loialson

Brandon just mentioned on his google+ hangout he's already pitching the reordered ebook idea for the last 3 books together in one (timeline and POVs in correct order)! He said (paraphrased) that since the digital medium clips out the issues that the printed page does, he's working on getting this accomplished. Yay!
89. JimF
Thanks, Leigh for another great reread, with your unique and valuable commentary. And further thanks to all those who regularly comment here for their views. Have a great time at JordanCon.

I'm reminded of the climax of the sci-fi thriller "The Fifth Element" where love was the key ingredient to inspire supergirl LeeLou - the Fifth Element - to do her job of saving the world.
90. Cloric

I'd say that LTT did not, since it seems that the taint is what caused or allowed the barrier between lives/memories to erode.

Hmm... SO... the Dark One was a partial participant in his own defeat. Huh.
91. Halcyal
"If committing one unconscionable act prevents another unconscionable act from occurring any longer, does that make it justifiable?"

Not really, since committing the unconscionable act always reduces down to the same fundamentally malignant thing: committing an unconscionable act. Basically, in this regard, people separate out into two fundamental types: those who will do unconscionable things when a certain set of personal conditions are met and those who will not do unconscionable things, period. Compare the Seanchan, who feel that it is okay to collar and dehumanize channelers because channelers can wield the (dangerous/evil) one power (er ... and then essentially steal the one power and channel by proxy; nice non-sequitur, there, Seanchan) against Rand, who momentarily considers wiping out the Seanchan people (with collateral) with the one power because (amongst other things) they enslave and dehumanize channelers. In both cases, at the most fundamental level, they are persons who are willing to do unconscionable things when conditions make them so inclined (they are entity A that will do unconscionable thing X to entity B because they feel Y.) It is an underlying philosophy that breeds monsters, and, in the end, all it results in is two (or more) groups aimed against each other, doing awful things, each one throwing out the same barbed arrow, only pointed in another direction. Thus, the only way to get away from it, and to be fundamentally different from that kind of human being, is to be someone who makes the choice never to do unconscionable things.

Of course, defining what exactly constitutes unconscionable becomes a little more difficult. Are all terrible things necessarily, through and through, unconscionable ones; and who gets to decide what even constitutes terrible in the first place? A complete set of musings on the answer probably fall outside the scope of this re-read board, but, for my own personal view, I'd likely cite things like decency, respect and compassion as being pretty good instructive staples to start with; those and the old notion of: "consider a thing being done unto you and whether or not you would find it terrible," which, while perhaps being a little cliché, really does seem like it serves as a fairly good universal litmus test.
92. moleman
I will admit that I haven't read all the comments, so this may have been addressed, but I will continue nonetheless.

On the Rand epiphany: many years ago, I sufferred a severe bout of depression. I see in Rand the same thoughts I had at that time: boiled down, it's "what the fuck is the point of all of this"? In a similar way to the way Rand came out of it, my awakening was "the promise of happiness in the future". This chapter is incredibly powerful for me; I think Jordan/Sanderson did a fantastic job of demonstrating the depths of depression, and showing the way out.

Things can get better. Even when they're very bad, and may get worse - there is always hope for a better tomorrow.

That's what I take away from this chapter, and I take it happily and fervently.
93. Mndrew
Reading you rant against slavery always reminds me of someone fresh off their first reading of Rosenberg's "Guardians of the Flame" or Heinlein's "Citizen of the Galaxy". Nothing like an acurate portrayal of something vile to push those buttons.
94. graftonio
@26 Also at the cleansing I believe the Forsaken were basically ordered to go stop Rand. One of the characters opinioned that selfishness was a key attribute for the Dark One in selecting his Chosen. I don't think these are the kind of people that volunteer to go fight someone holding the kind of power to split the planet and end time without a real good reason.
ana liese
95. analiese
BryanA @ 57

That said, I think it's a real shame that the moment wasn't highlighted in at least the e-book cover. A ray of light shining down on Dragonmount would have been pretty sweet, far better than either of the covers turned out.

I think that would have been a tad spoilery for people who hadn't read the book (though no more so than Eggy al'Sue vs. flying lizards) but the German cover of TGS shows Rand on Dragonmount.
Thomas Keith
96. insectoid
So fly, little bird
Up into the clear blue sky
And carry the word
Love's the only reason why

I thought this was strangely appropriate to the whole "love is the answer" cliché discussion. (Let's see who gets this one—no googling!)

So close to the hunny...

Nadine L.
97. travyl
analiese @95
The german covers look kind of good - I never knew. But book number 33? I don't want to know where they made all the splits in the books.
Jonathan Levy
98. JonathanLevy
36. anthonypero

I appreciate your vote of confidence, anthonypero. I'm no scholar of the subject, but I'll do my best.

As I see it, Jordan has managed to reflect in his work a dilemma of early Christianity (by 'early' I mean before the first council of Nicaea in 325 AD). The question may be summarized as 'When did Jesus become Christ'? (It should be noted at this point that 'Christ' is not a last name, but an honorific derived from the Greek khristos, meaning 'Savior'.) In other words, when did the man Jesus of Nazareth become more than just a man?
The answer, at first glance, seems to be obvious - Jesus was Christ from the moment of his birth. Hence the Annunciation, the Virgin Birth, the Three Wise Men:
Luke 2.7-11 And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Well, it's not that simple.

First, the Gospel of Mark does not contain any reference to Jesus' birth. Jesus appears fully grown in Mark 1.9 to be baptized by John. The description of the baptism is worth reading carefully:
Mark 1.10-11 And when he (Jesus) came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, "Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased."
The Spirit of the Lord descending upon a man is evocative of many passages in the Books of Judges, Joshua, and Samuel. In these cases, the descent of the Spirit marks the beginning of a divine mission, and the granting of the ability to carry it out. For example:
1 Samuel 11.5-7: And, behold, Saul came following the oxen out of the field; and Saul said: 'What aileth the people that they weep?' And they told him the words of the men of Jabesh. And the spirit of God came mightily upon Saul when he heard those words, and his anger was kindled greatly. And he took a yoke of oxen, and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the borders of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying: 'Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen.' And the dread of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out as one man.
Saul goes on to deliver the men of Jabesh from a horrible fate.

So this passage in the Gospel of Mark fits well with the idea that Jesus the man received a divine mission upon his Baptism by John the Baptist, thereby becoming Christ.

However, there are other possibilities:
John 1.1-3 In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
Here the Word (which is understood to refer to Christ) is an entity which pre-exists all of creation. The Savior of humanity pre-existed all of humanity.

To round off the collection, we have this announcement during the Transfiguration:
Matthew 17.2,5 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light... He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him."
It is similar to the announcement upon Jesus' baptism.

So how does this connect to the Wheel of Time? Well, the question 'When did Jesus become Christ' has its parallel in WoT: "When did Rand become the Dragon?". In addition, each of the answers suggested by the Gospels has its parallel in WoT.

1.A) Jesus was Christ from the moment of his birth.
1.B) Rand was born as a reincarnation of LTT. Prophecies foretold his birth, and its circumstances (Maiden wedded to no man). The moment of his birth was announced by a Foretelling (Gitara Moroso)

2.A) Jesus was revealed as Christ from the moment he was Baptised by John the Baptist.
2.B) Rand was revealed as the Dragon on Toman Head (Wielding Callandor is another alternative).

3.A) Jesus was revealed as Christ during the Transfiguration.
3.B) Rand became the true Dragon after his epiphany on Dragonmount. We don't call him Jesus Rand for nothing. He is at peace, knows what to do, has LTT's memories. Also, note the parallel with the spot of sunlight on dragonmount and the quote from Matthew: 'his face shone like the sun'. BTW, this is a parallel to Moses (Exodus 34.29-35).

4.A) Christ preceded creation, even if He was made flesh at a particular point in time.
4.B) The Creator made the wheel, and the ages, and the pattern of the ages, including the Thread of the Dragon, who precipitates the Third age and inaugurates the Fourth. The Dragon is reincarnated at a particular point in time.

Which is true? Each of them is true in its own way. There is no definite answer.

Well, there you have it, at least as I see it. The parallel is beautifully done. I consider it a testament to the skill of Robert Jordan.
Birgit F
99. birgit
The german covers look kind of good - I never knew. But book number 33? I don't want to know where they made all the splits in the books.

This site has all the German covers and how many books there are for each English one. ToM 2 is book 35 (they counted NS as book 29).
Thomas Keith
100. insectoid
JLevy @98: Wonderful analysis!

1 hunny pounce, Wheeeeee!

Thomas Keith
102. insectoid
JLevy @101: No idea what you mean... *whistles*
Okay, so it was a hunny-induced Freudian slip. ;)

Nadine L.
104. travyl
@98. JL, sorry you have to give AP at least some credit.
I'm sure you see reason if you compare your situation with Cadsuane / Tam ; )
Yes it was wonderful. If not a scholar (doesn't show), you are certainly literate, insightful and rhetorically skilled and ... Please insert here any praise you wish]
Anthony Pero
105. anthonypero
The more you know about the subject of Jesus' deification in the Bible, the more obvious it becomes that the parellel could not have been happenstance. Hitting the four points where the four Gospels announce Jesus as a member of the Godhead so precisely... I think Toman Head equates to the baptism, not drawing Callendor. Pulling the Sword from the Stone seems to have other obvious parallels.
Jonathan Levy
106. JonathanLevy

Haha. Rushing to grab the Hunny, were you? :)


I'll gladly give AP the credit he deserves, as long as you don't expect me to be reasonable after mentioning SWMNBN!
Tricia Irish
107. Tektonica
Wow...JL@98: Superb!

Freelancer@82: Also wonderful.
Anthony Pero
108. anthonypero
+1 to JL's skill in rhetoric. That's why I asked CeresNae and he to elucidate us on the parallels rather than trying to do it myself. My version would have been a ham-fisted verbal mess.
Anthony Pero
109. anthonypero
I would say that in addition to the Transfiguration, the way Veins of Gold plays out very nicely parallels Jesus' crucible of faith in Mark 14:32-42 (and Luke and Matthew), while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. The feelings of despair and hopelessness, then determination, and ending with a resurgence of faith... they all resonate strongly in Veins of Gold.
110. Freelancer
Well done to JonathanLevy for the comparative analysis. It's something I usually avoid, because the distinctions might not outnumber the similarities, but the distinctions absolutely trump them.

Rand is the son of a woman and a man, Jesus the only begotten of God the Father. Rand does not know that he is the Dragon, or that he is adopted. Jesus at around the age of twelve, knew that He "must be about my Father's business". Rand has to battle for every bit of understanding and information about who he is, what he must do, and how he must do it. He is a man asked to accomplish a task with the world in the balance. Jesus knew why He was introduced in human flesh, what His task was, and what it would mean. Rand's success keeps the Wheel weaving. Jesus' success reconciles to the Father all who accept Him, once for all time. Finally, Rand is not God in the form of a man, he is a man acting as the Creator's champion.
Gerd K
111. Kah-thurak
Concerning the Ebou Dar Episode: I think Rand is the only character that gets out of that city in one book. He even stays only one chapter. This is the point after which I was sure, that Jordan would never have been able to finish the WoT in less then 5 books instead of Sanderson 3.

And if you take into account the prophecies concerning Rand as a beggar it seems pretty likely that a longer stay actually was originally planned, and while Sanderson did wrap it up in a recap of Rands memories of his stay, I cant see Jordan doing that.
craig thrift
112. gagecreedlives
Im wondering if grumbly mcsooky pants Moridin is getting any serenity seepage since Rands epiphany.


Yep the war is (possibly) now over but that doesn’t mean the dark one cant get a few shots in before last drinks is called on him. Probably wont be as fun as tequila either


Now that sounds intriguing. I really like that idea

And because I am in a silly mood is this what a bunch of constructionists look like

Hope everyone that is lucky enought to be going to JordanCon has a great time. And if the oosquai starts flowing freely plenty of photos need to be taken
Chin Bawambi
113. bawambi
Insectoid with the Beatles "The Word" FTW!


Now I'll go Google to see if I was right LOL

EDITED for incorrect guess ;(
Anthony Pero
114. anthonypero

Excellent point. As one would expect, there are far more dissimilarities between Rand and Jesus then there are similarities, just like with Odin, King Arthur, and all the other sources that RJ used as inspiration when creating The Wheel of Time. But it sure is fun to analyze and try to figure out where his inspirations for particular things might have come from.
Roger Powell
115. forkroot
Interesting analysis - but since you mentioned the Council of Nicaea it's worth clarifying that the issue on the table at that time was the so called Arianism heresy.

The debate was not about whether Jesus was divine at the time of his human birth/incarnation. The debate was whether the Son coexisted eternally with the Father or was brought into being by the father (still before the incarnation.)

In other words, what the heck did "begotten" really mean? (Remember that they were arguing in Greek and Latin though.) The council settled that orthodox belief is that the Son is co-eternal with the Father and that begotten refers to coming from the essence of the Father vs. being created.

And ... if all of this sounds like theological hair-splitting, you are right. They didn't have TV or Playstation IIIs back then, so they had to keep busy somehow.
Anthony Pero
116. anthonypero

That's part of the reason why historically, the rest of the Gospels have been interpereted through the lens of John's Gospel. Its a fun (and sometimes futile for someone raised in church) exercise to try to read and interperate each individual Gospel without the other three, and see what you come up with regarding the divinity vs. humanity of Christ, along with other things. Each writer focused on and emphasized different things.

I also don't think JL was implying that the Council of Nicaea was wrestling with that issue. He only used the Council to frame what constitutes the "early church". The divinity of Christ was settled in the minds of what became main stream christianity (i.e, those who participated in the Council of Nicaea) at least a century before the Nicaean Council.
Jonathan Levy
117. JonathanLevy

Yeah, Toman Head fits the Baptism better than the Young Arthur impersonation.

And if you take into account the prophecies concerning Rand as a beggar it seems pretty likely that a longer stay actually was originally planned...
Interesting idea. I've tried to collect the relevant prophecies, using Encyclopedia WoT and my faulty memory.
1) TEotW,Ch15 Min's viewing of Rand: She sees a beggar's staff

2) TSR,Ch53 Perrin's Dreams: Perrin thought it was Rand. He wore rags and a rough cloak, and a bandage covered his eyes.

3) TGS,Epilogue Prophecy: the blind man shall stand upon his own grave. There he shall see again, and weep for what has been wrought.

4) TGS - When Tuon meets Rand she thinks to herself that he hasn't gone blind yet. She's expecting him to be literally blind.

5) Sanderson has explained that Perrin's vision was fulfilled in Ebou Dar, the blindness being moral, not physical.

6) TPoD Prologue: "The Fisher was always worked as a man, a bandage blinding his eyes and one hand pressed to his side, a few drops of blood dripping through his fingers"
That's all I managed to find/remember. There may be more, and I may have gotten something wrong. What can we make of this? Well, I think the prophecies can be grouped into two buckets:

Bucket A:
Min has him a Beggar. Perrin has him in rags, and blinded. These two can be reasonably connected. Tuon is also expecting Rand to be physically blind, which fits with Perrin's Dream, so it goes in this bucket as well. Same with Moridin thoughts on the Fisher, from TPoD Prologue.

Also, toss in the fact that Rand's eyes were injured in the battle with Semirhage at the end of KoD - a plot element which has so far served no useful function.

Bucket B:
The TGS epilogue is strikingly different from the previous group. First, it associates the blindness with Dragonmount ("his own grave"), not with Ebou Dar. Second, it has no reference to being a beggar. Third (and least), it is somewhat ambiguous as to whether the blindness is moral or physical. At a minimum, it's slightly more ambiguous than Tuon's expectation.

What to make of this? Well, Bucket A does seem to be leading up to a scene in which Rand is a physically blind beggar. The scenes in Ebou Dar are a poor fit. He's not physically blind, he's dressed in simple clothes, but they're not rags, and he does no actual begging. He has a walking staff. We are told his walking staff is a beggar's staff (ok), his cloak qualifies as rags (meh), his blindness is moral (double meh), his eye injury is completely unrelated (some coincidence), and whoosh! The prophecy has been fulfilled.

I think you're right. Sanderson had to cut some scenes from TGS, so he shortened Rand's stay there to a couple of pages and removed some plot elements. He made use of another blindness-related prophecy to try to associate the earlier viewings with Veins of Gold, and moved on to the next chapter.

I'm not saying this wasn't a good idea - the last thing I felt I needed was a few more chapters in Ebou Dar - but it's a fascinating suggestion. I wonder if we'll ever be able to get an answer from Sanderson.
Ron Garrison
118. Man-0-Manetheran
@ 115, 116, et al:
I'm so glad The Wheel of Time was not translated from the Greek.
119. Raylene
So this is all very sureal. I started this series in September for the first time, never having heard of it. Halfway through the series I stumbled onto your site and starting reading your chapters re-reads after I read the chapter myself. I never paid attention to the dates that you posted because honestly I thought you had posted these so long ago it wouldn't have matter.
Last night I finished this book, and for the last few weeks I was still coming to your site after each chapter to see what your thoughts were. Only today did I realize that yesterday you posted this last chapter probably just as I was finishing it. How weird is that!?
Now I am moving on to the last book and will hope to have it finished by the time you start your re-read, but I can't wait to see what you have to say.
Anthony Pero
120. anthonypero

Hallelujah >:-P

And since we're on the subject of Biblical inspiration in fantasy:


Love the song... about as biblically innacurate as it gets, lol. But hey, this is the Bon Jovi version, so... YEA!
121. PK from Singapore
Thanks Leigh for The Gathering Storm re-read. For some reason, when I saw that you will be starting Towers of Midnight on 8 May, there was an excitement anticipating A Memory of Light next year. Cos when you are done with ToM, we will be preparing for AMoL's arrival, wouldn't we? What a celebration that would be!
Deana Whitney
122. Braid_Tug
@ 95, analiese & 99, birgit - thank you for the links to the the German
versions. Makes me wonder about the other language covers.
I found the titles of the smaller versions funny, since only half of them reflect the original. Hope I'm right in translating: Die Macht des Lichts as "The Power of Light."

Edit - anyone from Germany care to clue me in to how they translate the "Old Tongue"?
Ron Garrison
123. Man-0-Manetheran
Hallelujah. One of the greatest songs of all time by Canada's poet laureate, Leonard Cohen. A few years ago, Cohen performed at Red Rocks Amphitheatre and asked the 10,000 to join in on the chorus. Breathtaking.
Anthony Pero
124. anthonypero
I want to record Hallelujah so bad, but I just can't do it. I'd have to rewrite the lyrics, and that would be, for lack of a better word, sacreligious ;)
125. hawkido

Okay by failed, I mean outside of the pattern or creator's design (however you see the WoT Universe.

The Wheel of Time isn't a battle of Good vs. Evil, but merely a process by which the best possible outcome is always taken by taking all possible outcomes and using the Dark One as a method of eliminating all but the best possible outcomes... else how could the DO claim to have beaten Lews Therin so many times... the portla stones showed all alternate possibilities Rand could have taken or been imposed upon him. All other "paths" resulted in the DO winning, and when the DO wins time stops... thus the "failed" timeline is eliminated. Yes, the DO could be fibbing, but I don't think so.

This comes down to, "What is the DO's purpose in the creation?"
I don't subscribe to the duality of creation. Duality poses that the forces of creation must have a 1:1 or better average of victories to overcome the forces of destruction, while also not suffering too great (or too many in quick succession) of defeat(s). Duality cannot have balance as the forces of creation must always have an edge, else the duality ceases to exist.

The Creator seems to take no hand in the WoT universe, but a properly made machine needs little if any interaction from its creator. Perhaps the Creator's device for cleaning up the deviated/corrupt timelines is to have the DO eradicate them... The DO has started to realize it is a patsy for the Creator, and has started trying to corrupt all timelines, but that itself plays into the creator's hands, as that is the DO's purpose. The DO is in a rage because he resents his position as "garbageman" and seeks to end it all, but cannot unless humanity ceases to hope and struggle for a better tomorrow.

"Hope and Order give strength." - Herid Fel
Birgit F
126. birgit
anyone from Germany care to clue me in to how they translate the "Old Tongue"?

Alte Sprache
127. Freelancer
Nothing like a fan of the Bon Jovi cover, but the Cohen studio version is outstanding:

"I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah"

Hawkido @125

I'm not really sure how you can read all of TWoT and declare that it isn't a battle of Good vs Evil. Especially in these chapters. But I cannot gainsay your perspective. However, two thoughts raised by your comments. It isn't definitive that the Portal Stone event showed ALL possible scenarios of Rand's life. Many, indeed, but no boundary indication that the experiences were comprehensive in that regard. Also, the one time we get to visit an alternate world via Portal Stone, it is clearly an "unreal" place, suggesting that it's connection to the "true" universe is tenuous. Likewise, parallel events in alternate timelines of the Portal Stone viewing may be similarly "unreal". Finally, the dark one does indeed lie. As does Moridin. The Dragon never turned. I believe that is stated by the author at one point during an interview or signing event.
128. NotInventedHere
@95: Ugh, not a fan of the German cover. Rand is so high up on Dragonmount that he needs to channel compressed air around himself in order to breathe, yet we're supposed to believe that there are trees (with flowers!) and grass growing up there? And birds!? What ever happened to that famous German attention to detail?

Tongue mostly in cheek, though honestly I don't really like that depiction of Rand any more than Sweet's - and IMO Sweet did a much better job on landscapes and architecture (his covers would be approximately 1000% better if he'd just dropped all the characters and stuck to showing the places; I always like the backs of the books more than the fronts).
129. Greyhawk
Wetlander @44

I think methodology is a big part of it as, notwithstanding your qoute from Cadsuane to Verin, Cadsuane was not willing to let Rand get away with what she deemed bad manners. In many respects I think of Cadsuane as a Mary Poppins (practically perfect in every way (at least in her own mind)) without the "Merry". I think an irony of Cadsuane's treatment of Rand is that while she is always seeking to get him to respect others or really herself, she does not afford him true respect in return. She treats him essentially as a 15 year old spoiled brat when he is anything but. He is older, never been spoiled (even after becoming the DR he works as hard or harder than those around him) and had been thrust into circumstances one could only imagine and then been hounded by nightmares and legends brought to life and brutalized by the official delegation of the White Tower. Her approach has never struck me as sensical.

In any event I have never doubted Cadsuane's intentions but a domineering bully would not have been my choice for the task. Also, I will agree that Cadsuane was one of the first to articulate Rand's problem but Sorilea reached that point first and others, including Nynavae, reached it as well before Rand's epiphany and were better positioned to effect that change.

I doubt we will not change each others opinions on this, but I have enjoyed our discussion.
130. Faculty Guy
@JonathanLevy98 & Commenters: Writing and thinking like this is why I read this thread. Thank you.

Since we really don't understand even one human brain/mind, it is understandable that we struggle to comprehend how two could merge/intertwine/coexist as one person. I think RJ and BWS have done a great job of depicting a (somewhat) believable scenario and letting us figure out the details. I doubt that even the authors have a clearly worked out "mechanism" for the Rand /LTT relationship.

As for the early Church and Christology, the more I learn about how the "standard model" of Christian dogma was manufactured, the more I think that NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON EVER had a clear picture of how the various "persons" of God coexist. In the case of the person of Jesus of Nazareth, it makes no sense to think that he "undestood" his divine nature as (say) a two-year-old. So when DID he come to sense his nature and mission? The story about the 12-year old Jesus in the temple is sweet but likely aprocyphal, and even so the phrase about "my father's business" could refer to his "heavenly father" in the sense that we are ALL creatures of a heavenly creator. (I'd guess that the baptism is a good guess at when an "enlightenment" took place - and it shook him up so much he wandered off for 40 days to meditate in the wilderness - maybe a little like Rand leaving the camp to think while making his way toward Tear in TDR.)

My conclusion after much reading is that the various factions arrived at the early Church councils with quite different theories, and solved their problem by simply stating that they were "all correct." Thus Jesus was declared "totally human and totally divine," whatever that means - and I doubt that anyone there could have explained it to my satisfaction.

Anyway, not to drift off into heavy theology. I think both theologically and in literary analysis it is occasionally alright to simply admit that certain things remain a mystery. But analyzing such matters is great fun and intellectual stimulation!
Alice Arneson
131. Wetlandernw
Greyhawk @129 - No, we probably won't change our opinions, but sometimes it’s fun to point things out. FWIW, the reason I came to see Cadsuane as I now do is that, way back when she came on the scene in LOC, a bunch of readers were bashing on her. While I agreed at first, some really crazy things were being said, and in fairness I had to point out the conflict between what they were saying and what the books actually said. Then I found RJ's comment on her:
She's the tough maiden aunt a lot of us have had. Not the one who tries to keep you a child your whole life. She's the one who began expecting at least some adult responses out of you at about age six, the one who was willing to hand you responsibilities that everyone else thought you were too young for. You probably had a more nerve-wracking time, and more excitement and adventure, with her than you did with any three or four other adults in your life.
That made me stop and think – RJ didn’t think of her the same way I did, obviously. Then I started reading what other AS thought about her, and the rumors they had, and decided that just maybe there was more to her than I'd realized. (It didn't hurt any that we'd had some... episodes with some rather young and extremely rude commenters in the recent past, and I felt very much like a smack upside the head and an expectation to be moderately polite might be in order!)

Long story short, I realized that: A) She was way more adventurous and wild than any other AS we'd ever met, including Moiraine; she wasn’t some stuffy old lady who’d spent her life in the WT scheming over her teacup, refusing to adapt to real life.* B) She had background experience that qualified her far beyond anyone else to deal with a man who could channel, including the Dragon Reborn; she wasn’t just another arrogant AS who thought she knew everything just because she was AS. ** C) She was not what is Biblically referred to as "a respecter of persons" - in other words, she couldn't care less what your supposed "position" or "due dignity" might be; if you act like a child, that's how you get treated, and if you act like a responsible adult, there you go. It’s pretty obvious from the text that she treated other AS that way, and pretty much everyone else too, no matter what tradition or protocol expected.***

Like most of us, she had some blind spots where she herself was concerned, but once I started realizing that my dislike of her was based largely on my own misconceptions, I had to rethink virtually everything about her. Like most readers (I think), my initial reaction to her was based on her coming in with no set-up, right after Rand had gone through something awful, and she wasn’t very kind and understanding right there. (How dare she!!) Add in my own generally negative reaction to authority (especially authority that I didn’t choose), and… yeah, I disliked her for a lot of years. Until the reread got to LOC.

After some thought, I came to this point: Combine what we do know with what we don’t know: we do know that she had phenomenal success with male channelers (see ** below), but we don’t know what she did to achieve that. Whatever else her reputation, she is widely recognized (and observed) to be highly intelligent, so it seems reasonable that her method of approaching the Dragon Reborn would be based on her previous experience and success, not something she came up with on the spot to see how much she could annoy Rand al’Thor personally.

Like it or not, I’ve come to see it from a perspective much closer to hers than I would ever have thought possible. While on one hand I might deplore her own lack of humility – it’s quite possible to have great acheivements and still not be arrogant – on the other hand I also have to deplore Rand’s increasing lack of self-control, hot temper and, let’s face it, arrogance and tyranny. They each have some reason to be arrogant, I suppose: Rand, because of who he is and what he must do, and Cadsuane, because of what she’s already done and what she’s learned about things upcoming. Neither of them tells anyone anything, because neither is sure who to trust, and keeping things to yourself becomes a habit rather quickly. Both of them feel an enormous sense of responsibility: Rand, because of who he is and what he must do, and Cadsuane, because of what she knows and what she can do. On one hand, what an awesome team they’d have made if they’d really worked together earlier! On the other hand, what a boring story that would have made.
The following are quoted from RJ’s notes on Cadsuane. These weren’t available at the time I was first thinking this through, but they provide a succinct source for the points made. Emphasis is mine, to tie more directly to the point being made above.

*...These hair ornaments were considered something of a trademark because she had worn them for as long as anyone could remember. For many sisters, the fact that she had was just one more indication of how set in her ways she was; they thought Cadsuane would never change, could never change. Of course, that was far from true; Cadsuane was remarkably adaptable, as befits someone who survived as long as she.

** In truth,Cadsuane had “a nose” for men who can channel. She faced more of them than any other sister living; she herself said more than any two Reds, maybe more than any ten. That seems to indicate at least twenty of them by that time, maybe more. She brought more of them to Tar Valon than any other sister. Of these, she never had to kill one, either because she could not capture him or because he was trying to escape. These men have ranged over the years from farmboys to nobles to the king of Tarabon, but one and all, they made much better adjustments to their fate than is considered normal. They eventually died short of a normal span, but they lived considerably longer than usual.

***She had a reputation for standing White Tower custom on its head, twisting it as she chose, and even violating it outright, as in her frank speech about age, her direct questions and refusals to accept oblique answers, and her interference in the actions of other sisters. The same could be said of her regarding Tower law, for that matter. She had a reputation for taking direct action, even to the point of violence, slapping faces, boxing ears, and more (especially when faced with what she considered stupidity), with high as often as low, or rather, more often. She also had a reputation for not caring whether she dented somebody’s pride, if she thought it necessary.
132. hawkido
@ 127.Freelancer

Battle of Good and Evil people - yes that is plain to see.
Battle of good and evil forces (spiritual) - where is the good force (the Creator)? We see the good minions (Rand et. al.), we can see the evil force (the DO) and his minions. Why create the Evil force? Its purpose is to be the Grue, and consume that which walks into the darkness.

"On a global scale, Evil is not something to fear, much less negotiate with. That only gives it more power. Yes, there are times when you have no choice but to battle Evil -- as the Maccabees did against the Syrian-Greek oppressor. But stoop to conquer Evil and you will only join it in its mud. Against Evil, you must march to battle on the clouds. You must trample it while never looking down." -- Tzvi Freeman

The faded universe they visited IS dying out... as we haven't seen what happens when the DO wins it very well could happen like that... Conjecture I know. As stated I am tossing out a Loony theory. But here is what I am catching on, The traveling People and the Way of the Leaf. What is their purpose if this is just a "Battle" between Good and Evil? They do not (will not) fight, they do not produce food or weapons to feed/arm armies. They just ignore the influence of the DO. Deny the DO and his power. If the DO is just a function of the machine, like a bacteria/virus/fungus/scavenger that feeds on those who walk into the darkness, then the Way of the Leaf doesn't support any of the methods that could be used to herd people into the darkness. There is a twist, a non-violent end to this series. When the Bore was opened it took decades for the DO to gain enough people with "whispers in the dark" to do his bidding and sow the seeds of chaos and ths strengthen his control and chase people into the darkness where they may be consumed. If the population capitulates in this fashion then the DO consumes that entire branch of the timeline. If it was just the destruction of time then teh DO would push all of his channelers to Balefire the world. As that would unravel everything, wouldn't it? The DO doesn't even condone Balefire except in very limited cases, and even then he asked "Would you unleash the BaleFire for me?" Granted there was a threat behind the request, but the option to refuse was there, even if it meant death.
133. hawkido

"The Dragon never turned."

Not in any timeline that still exists... LOL
This is purely a psuedo-philosophical discussion. Just a what-if supposition.

thanks for the comments.
John Massey
134. subwoofer
@Wet- you forgot to mention that you like Cadsuane because you are old too :P

As Leigh did this reread, one thing did jump off the page to me that I completely missed as I was going through the book myself; Rand was about to do the DO's work. Although I am not a strong supporter of the Seanchan and have issues with... well, just about everything they do, the Seanchan are people and in the areas that they have conquored, regular citizens live there too. If Rand decided to rain flaming mounds of poo down on the Seanchan he would be harming innocent folk as well, and I have a feeling that is what the DO wants.

Up until this point there was always a balance associated with Rand's presence. Some folks would get caught up in a bubble of evil, a baby would bounce of the pavement unharmed. At this juncture there is not much "good" we can attribute to Rand's presence. Cadsuane noted this unbalance in the Pattern and it is what decided her ultimate course of action resulting in Rand atop the mountain he created thousands of years before.

Before folks get their undies all twisted, I am not saying that one action caused the other, but there is a correlation.

Deana Whitney
135. Braid_Tug
@ 126, Birgit - At first I thought you were being funny, then I clicked on the link. Vielen Dank!

@ 115, 116, et all. I suddenly feel like I'm back in my Humanities Studies in College. Since I really enjoyed those classes, this is a good thing.
136. Greyhawk
Wetlander @ 131

One of the things that I find interesting about your approach is how much of what appears to inform your opinion of Cadsuane is her backstory as opposed to her in story activities. The notion of the strick no nonsense aunt who nonetheless appreciates and rewards hard work and competence is a little bit of a sugar coating of the Cadsuane we see in action. One observation that has stuck in my head is from (I think) aCoS where Daigan heals Rand and Cadsuane observes that she does not like the independence that Daigan was showing (maybe with respect to Flinn, I cannot recall). So, incompetence big no, smart and competent yes but must also be subservient. That is not a leader but a dictator--maybe a "benevolent" dictator but still a dictator.

Also, her prior success was with tracking down and stilling false dragons. Here she did not have to track Rand down and was not going to still him. So her past experience was in confrontation and then a substitution of her force of will for the stilled men's lack of will to live (my interpretation of why she was successful in that regard). None of that experience was directly useful to the situation with Rand and for her not to understand that is a big miss.

In a way, I think my opinion of Cadsuane is a little more like the one she might have of herself if she were to evaluate her performance in the story. Just as Cadsuane does not put stock in titles, reputations, etc. neither should she be given excessive deference based on her past, but rather judged on her actions now. Plus, much of her reputation is by her own design ambiguous so for her to come in and expect much in the way of respect from a man who can channel is a little surprising. Ironically, when Cadsuane was introduced, I remember thinking we have been told Cadsuane is this great figure and man is she blowing it big time. I wanted her to be more insightful, above the sexist tripe, and more aware of what open and honest communication can acheive and in many respects she let me down. I thought upon her introduction that she would acheive what the other Aes Sedai had not, instead she effectively presented herself as the archetypical Aes Sedai to Rand, with disasterous consequences.
Chin Bawambi
137. bawambi
My 2 cents re: Bela

The ends never justify the means.
Could you ever imagine her washing our saviors feet?
She doesn't have the slightest conception of agape love which when it boils down to it is what veins of gold is all about.

BawambioftheIneverlikedthatauntinmyownfamilyAiel :)
Alice Arneson
138. Wetlandernw
Greyhawk - Not much time right now, but two thoughts:

One, you might want to go back and revisit your "observation" from ACOS; I know you have the characters wrong, and you might find something else that doesn't ring entirely true either.

Two, I'm not quite sure how "her past experience was in confrontation and then a substitution of her force of will for the stilled men's lack of will to live" fits with the text. Are you suggesting that she spent the next 10-20 years at the side of each man after he was gentled, forcing them to want to live? Even at only 10 years each, that would take up her whole lifetime and not leave time for any of the other things we know she did. (We also have direct evidence that this is not true, in Algarin's gratitude for her work with his brother Emarin.) It's much more logical to assume that she found a way to get through to them, even prior to gentling, that life would still be worth living without saidin. Certainly every one of them had to be confronted in one way or another, as did Rand; certainly every previous one of them had to be stilled, because of the taint. She did not, however, do the gentling herself; she brought them to the WT, in accordance with the law, after which they were, apparently, free to go home or whatever they wished.

Whether or not her previous experience was applicable to Rand, it was at least a more informed experience than anyone else had, and it would have been criminal negligence on her part to not try. We may have more or less appreciation for the way she goes about it, but (aside from RJ writing her the way he chose) you can't honestly expect someone to change their whole personality because "this guy is special."

LOL - Has it ever occured to you that she IS the archetypal Aes Sedai? Prior to the events of this series, she was the strongest AS in the last thousand years. She's also the longest-lived in recent memory, meaning she was wearing her shawl while the oldest of the other living AS were novices. (Romanda might just possibly have been a very new Accepted when Cadsuane was raised.) She's the type, the rest are just wannabees.
Alice Arneson
139. Wetlandernw
bawambi @137 - Absolutely.

If you're referring to the subject of my discussion with Greyhawk, I can imagine that quite easily. As RJ said, she's "remarkably adaptable" and if she thought it would serve her purpose, she'd be down there with the water in a heartbeat. I think she's made it quite clear that she would sacrifice anyone or anything, including her life or her reputation, if it would get Rand to the person he needed to be before TG. However, she'd have to be convinced it was really the best thing to do, which... might be difficult.
140. useofweapons
I only just realised in this reread post (thanks Leigh) that Rand's sickness on seizing saidin is due to his increasing darkness of outlook and rejection of hope.
Thomas Keith
141. insectoid
APero @103: That must have been what my brain was thinking... I was obviously up tooooo late. ;)

Bawambi @113: Not quite... but you're close. The group is from England.

Okay, I'll give you guys a clue(bat): Remember that WoT is a land of make-believe... and Rand was sort of lost in a lost world up till now. :P

Birgit @126: Neat! Thank heavens for Google Translation...

Sub @134: *snortLOL*

useofweapons @140: Many of us (myself included) would argue for the "crossing the streams" of balefire back in ACoS being the cause, but that is an intriguing new interpretation. Come to think of it... We haven't been in Rand's head since he went Zen Master (not much, anyway), so we might not know till AMoL if he still has the saidin-seizing sickness.

edit to add: Maybe the white stuff that Nynaeve sees when she Delves Rand's brain protects him from the sickness as well as the Taint.

Anthony Pero
142. anthonypero
@insectoid, @useofweapons:

I've been arguing that Rand's channeling sickness is a manifestation of his insanity, the same way that the one Asha'man constantly saw trollocs in the shadows, etc... I wondered this for a while, but I became convinced of it when Nynaeve started curing people of Taint madness. Just the way all the various psychoses were presented... I dunno. I think Rand the nausea is from being dizzy, and being dizzy when he channels, and not being able to grasp it, is a manifestation of the Taint. Rand fears not being able to channel when he needs to from way, way back. I think the crazy brain latched onto that fear and paranoia.
Thomas Keith
143. insectoid
APero @142: That makes sense... but why would it only start occurring when Rand and Ishydin crossed the streams?

::checks to make sure it was really you that made the comment::

Terry McNamee
144. macster
What to say...okay, let's just take it in order. First, the cover--as usual, I never really had much of a problem with it, though this may be due to me not having a very good eye for realistic or proportional art. But I will say that whether or not Sweet's human figures look good here, at least TGS shows something a lot closer to the actual scene than most of the covers. I would question why this was picked for the image, but then again, this moment where Rand rails against the Dark One (and challenges him to come and face him, get it over with right then and there) is actually at the heart of the narrative and points right to the moment on Dragonmount, since the sort of despair and fury Rand has toward the Dark One is very easily turned, after he crossed his personal Moral Event Horizon, to directing it toward the Creator and all of the world. So perhaps it resonates more after all.

The Seanchan...that really is too much of a can of worms to deal with, and since this will be addressed more in the next book and we have to wait and see how it is finally resolved in AMoL, all I'll say is this--that I too agree the Seanchan and Randland will be integrated, but only if collaring is done away with; that this will come about through a combination of Mat, Rand no longer having the dark aura, and something else (Egeanin, Rand having Justice, Hawkwing); and that for now, it was indeed the right decision for Rand not to take matters into his own hands and destroy them all, including so many innocents.

As for the final chapter...those few complaining about the writing in it not being as deep, well-crafted, or rich may have a point--Sanderson isn't Jordan. I am certain if Jordan had gotten to write it it would have been all you dreamed it would be. But...even taking that into account, I still think it's one of the most powerful things I've ever read. Perhaps paring it down to such simple language does make it seem more like a cliche instead of a Great Truth, but to me (and, it seems, many others), the overall power of the scene and its emotional resonance both within the series and in our own lives outweighs any technical flaws in the prose. Would I like to have seen what Jordan would have done with it? Of course. But since that isn't possible, I can safely say that even this simplified, bare-bones form has its artful moments for me, and is powerful, hard-hitting, and beautifully poignant. If I wanted to, I could sit down and analyze it all word for word, and would likely find the flaws you point to...but I don't want to, because I am afraid if I did it would ruin the entire scene for me. And I don't want that. Besides, it seems no one is able to explain just what is wrong about it, or how to fix it, so dissecting it like that wouldn't really have any positive result.

To put it another way: while I am a person who sympathizes deeply with fictional characters and cries fairly often when watching movies or reading books, I have only cried twice when reading WOT--once after Moiraine's "death" when Rand read her letter, and Veins of Gold. It's that powerful. It resonates, it's profound in its simplicity, it's a lesson everyone must learn, an anvil that must be dropped far more often (albeit perhaps not so blatantly), it reminds me why I loved Rand when I first started the series, and it made me both excited and happy to know there were two more books, an end to the series that promised great and wonderful things. Regardless of the exact words used to express it, it is to me some of the best writing I've ever read, if not the best. And I am so very grateful to Jordan, Sanderson, and the rest of the team for making it a reality.

I do have to admit though that Leigh's tongue-in-cheek description of the Big Ass Ending (a man shouting at himself on a mountain) is downright hilarious. Just goes to show what you see on-screen isn't always as deep and personal, or tells the whole story, as what's going on on the inside. And suggests this scene might not film very well... :/

The "real" vs. constructionist debate: I've never really cared much about it either, but just for the record I've always found myself to be a middle-of-the-road, "why can't we all get along" guy--I've never found conflict between religion and science for example, easily seeing Genesis as an allegory and evolution as God's tool for creation, so I don't see why both theories can't be right. It was Lews Therin's real memories, his real soul and personality leaking across thanks to the taint, but poured into a split personality Rand constructed to stave off the madness until it took on a life of its own. And I have to say, I didn't even notice the "typo" Leigh pointed out, but it's perfect no matter which theory you buy: Rand is either thinking to himself because the construct is a split personality of his own, or his name is used because he is Lews Therin and Lews Therin is him via rebirth. Or...because he was just talking to and answering himself in his own head. :P

@1 forkroot re: the "fixed" version of the cover: LOL!

@14 NotInventedHere: I agree with that reading of Cadsuane and how she helped Rand, and I'll leave it at that.

@16 Greyhawk: But if you had never shown me the great author's work, I might never have discovered it. Others could conceivably have shown Rand what to do/how to think, but it was still Cadsuane who made it happen, and it is entirely possible in the end that no one else could have come up with the idea of Tam (Nynaeve at least seemed to have a low opinion of him if I remember correctly) or convinced him to come to Rand except Cadsuane. Or it could be she was merely in the right place at the right time. This means there may not be anything instrinic about her to justify her getting the credit, but the Pattern did still choose her for whatever reason, so...

@18 Dougg: That is both absolutely hilarious and incredibly heartwarming at the same time. Rand as the Grinch...

@24 ryamano: I wonder that myself. We haven't seen Moridin since the epiphany after all (he appears early on in ToM, but that occurs chronologically before Dragonmount since Graendal is still plotting against Perrin then and that happened before he and the wolves watched Rand in TAR), so we'll find out in AMoL.

@34 Greyhawk, 44 Wetlander: I still agree with Wet, but you raise some interesting points. Specifically that the viewing and Cadsuane's goals may not necessarily be related the way we think they are, or that there is more to it. The fact the viewing is only "partially fulfilled" could mean more than that she hasn't taught the Asha'man yet. For what it is worth though, I think they could be connected. First, when Rand first told the Asha'man that they were weapons it was in the same context as his own hardness--basically, to become inhuman fighters only made to destroy. Him telling them he was wrong, they are men, connects back to part of his speech (in LoC I think it was) that they couldn't afford to be men, because men had families and loved ones to care about, and they couldn't do that since they were all going to go mad and die anyway. (Again, Rand projecting here, though pre-taint it was true of the others as well.) Now that he has told them he was wrong, then they will be getting the same lesson he did, that he can't ignore humanity, that he can't hide behind responsibility to justify being a heartless monster ("I did what I had to do").

This could be why he and the Asha'man wouldn't like what she taught them--because by admitting they could and did care about others, by remaining human, they were leaving themselves vulnerable, open to loss and sorrow and suffering. What Rand realized, when he's talking to Min and Bashere in ToM after Maradon, is that the very fact he can hurt, that he cares about those whom he is fighting for, is the whole point--he has to feel, or it's all meaningless, even though feeling inherently means he will hurt at some point too.

Or maybe there is still something more Cadsuane has to teach them. I guess we'll see!

@38 hawkido: So the Dark One is one of the Langoliers? Interesting theory...

@40 RMGiroux: Nothing in that passage says Rand stopped channeling completely, just that the Power "winked out" of the access ter'angreal. He could still have been channeling without it, and in fact we know he was since he seized saidin in Ebou Dar (and got sick) before he could even use the ter'angreal, and he wasn't using it when he opened the gateways or when he first compressed the atmosphere--he sat the access key down in front of him and looked at it, but wasn't using it until he started gathering enough Power to destroy creation. So I think what winked out was just the Power he'd been pouring into the access key, not all of his channeling.

@41 sillyslovene: Nice!

@47 KiManiak: As JonathanLevy points out, it was in TGS, Tuon thought about Rand not being blind yet during their meeting in "A Halo of Blackness". And BTW, she was absolutely right to think it was critical to know if he'd fulfilled that prophecy or stood on his own grave, since that moment, his internal, philosophical conflict, is indeed the key to the series. Hopefully the fact he has now will indeed change how she deals with him in AMoL. And how interesting that this is the first time we've seen the Essanik Cycle as containing something not only accurate, but truthful and worthwhile. Makes me think that, whether Ishamael altered it or not, we may indeed be seeing the "bowing to the Crystal Throne" bit happening in AMoL. Though more likely it will either be a mere formality, or related to Jesus Rand doing the right thing in acknowledging her authority, even as she binds the Nine Moons to serve him...something which of course can't happen unless the damane are released.

@56 KiManiak: Valid points, but what you're missing is that in the end yes, Gitara and all the others you named do deserve credit and are part of what happened, but in the end everything goes back to the Creator. And that includes the very viewing that is being debated in the first place. Which means that if Cads having the idea to fetch Tam, making him come, and giving him a script is what made the viewing be fulfilled (and save Rand and the Wheel), and if it came about because the Creator made it happen by arranging everything from Gitara on down, the fact is he still chose to put Cadsuane where he did and use her to fulfill that prophecy. So in the end, even if he was the ultimate source of these turn of events, he still chose Cadsuane to be his instrument to make it happen. That may not mean she deserves much "credit" but it does mean he chose her for a reason, something that suggests he considers her an important thread in the Pattern, and if she had not fulfilled her role the way he knew she would, by virtue of being a stubborn old lady who wouldn't give up until Rand changed, things would not have turned out well.

@79-80: Very well said, both of you.

@86 JackJack: I guess you assume a lot of people hate Eddings. Maybe some do on this re-read, but I happen to love him. Again it's a case of derivative, strictly formulaic work not always being bad any more than cliches always are. If it's not broken, don't fix it. Even setting aside what has always made Eddings stand out, his characterization and dialogue, I always found Cyradis's choice deeply moving, and I really like your comparison here.

@88 Loialson: That is awesome! Now if only I could get hold of that when it comes out...

@57 BryanA and 95 analiese: A shot of Dragonmount with the light shining down, but not showing Rand at all, would not have been that much of a spoiler. In fact it would have been more intriguing since it wouldn't have really told us anything about what it meant or what was coming.

@98 JonathanLevy: Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. And I mean both your anaylsis and how it reflects Jordan's own research and skillful writing.

@111 Kah-thurak: LOL!

@112 gagecreedlives: See my answer to ryamano, but I bet he is. Also, that picture is awesomely funny.

@ several re: Ebou Dar. I too think this was originally meant to be something much longer--aside from Jordan's overall dense writing style, the fact the first reference to it (the beggar's staff) was all the way back in book one, and that Perrin's vision of it was in book three, suggests the prophecy was intended to be more important than it was in execution. I have to admit that I didn't want the books to be dragged out any longer than needed, but at the same I kind of felt like after all that time of waiting for it, the fulfillment of the beggar prophecies was rather given short shrift and not developed enough. Unless of course you accept the idea that his blindness was indeed a moral one, a metaphor related to his increasing darkness and despair, in which case Rand's whole arc in TGS would constitute the fulfillment of the prophecy, with this moment in Ebou Dar being just the physical manifestation of it. In which case it actually did get plenty of attention in the narrative, just not the obvious one we thought it would be. Still, it might have been nice to see more of him wandering, whether in Ebou Dar or not, but then this comes from a guy who never really minded the digressions and tangents in the book so I may be a bit biased. Nevertheless, it does seem some did get cut out.

@132 Hawkido: While I am not sure I completely buy your theory, I think you're quite right that there is indeed a non-violent solution--consider that your point about how long it took the Dark One to worm into humankind was partly related to the fact that in the Age of Legends, the whole world was one of peace and nonviolence and the Tinkers' philosophy, in the form of the Da'shain Aiel, was much more prevalent, accepted, and respected. That said, there's the fact Rand keeps stressing his conflict with the Dark One is separate and different from the Last Battle everyone else will be fighting, and that both him here and Egwene before the Seanchan attack on the Tower visit the Tinkers and think about their role. And also note Rand reiterating in his thoughts that he knew the full history of the Aiel, and that the Tinkers were more true to it--this hearkens back to his walk among the ancestor ter'angreal back in TSR, which Leigh called the core of what the series is about since he used the Wheel icon for those chapters, suggesting that the Tinkers too are at the heart of the series. Add to this Perrin's connection to them, the Song, and the flowering trees and it seems clear Jordan was building up to something. Exactly what that is and how it will play out remains to be seen.

@136 Greyhawk: One thing to note--your notion that Cadsuane, were she to judge her own perfomance in the story, would be as hard on herself as you are toward her is actually borne out by the story. Because both within her own mind, and in her talk with Sorilea and the Wise Ones, she admitted and acknowledged her failure and bungling. She may have tried to deflect blame to Rand himself, or to Semirhage, and she immediately set about trying to make things right (and regain control/infuence), but she did acknowledge that she screwed up. Which means your notion about her judgment of herself is quite right.

@142 anthonypero: Good theory. But aside from what Insectoid pointed out, if you are right this should mean that Rand no longer has such sickness--because thanks to the white light (whatever it is), he no longer has any symptoms of madness, which should mean any other manifestations of it (like the dizziness) should also be eliminated.
Alice Arneson
145. Wetlandernw
insectoid @96 - you insist on no googling. How about bing? Would that be okay?
Thomas Keith
146. insectoid
Wetlander @145: Well, I used 'googling' in the general sense, so no. I was sort of hoping someone would recognize either those lyrics, or the song titles I referred to @141. :)

Alice Arneson
147. Wetlandernw
Just kidding. I knew what you meant. Sadly, though, I didn't recognize the lyrics and had to look it up, but then realized that I didn't use google, so... just thought I'd check. ;)

It does seem like someone here ought to recognize it, though...
Lannis .
148. Lannis
insectoid, MAT, gagecreed, and everyone who wishes they could be at JordanCon: Rest assured that despite our fun, we all wish you were there with us... Here’s to next year, eh? :)

PS: Yes, we’ll report back with links to photos... no worries. ;)
Cynthia Ahmar
149. tenkuu
Great final chapters! Will edit this when I have time.
William Fettes
150. Wolfmage
I am firmly in the real or otherwise real enough to pass a Turing Test as makes no difference camp. I don't regard the passage as at all discordant with my position, so I find it funny that so many should think it is so dispositive of the constructivist theory. It is precisely and carefully ambiguous, (though I think the better interpretation is still the ~ real approach).

When Rand has his epiphany he has just been vividly experiencing a connection to all the past lives of the Dragon, not just LTT. From this endless vantage, he suddenly realises that there is a fundamental unity in the iterative existence of his soul – we might call it the Dragon identity. But he also realises that there is still room for his own personal identity within this and that he can find hope through that fact, as Rand qua – The Dragon Reborn, he has the capacity to change the actions taken in past cycles and right any wrongs. The whole point of this carefully sequenced revelation is for him to end up seeing no difference between himself, LTT or ANY OTHER DRAGON. He embraces that he is one and the same as the Dragon identity, resolving the whole dillema of him being Rand and having hope! The sameness spoken of is expressed in relation to this profound insight.

Yet some people want to take this lofty moment of recognition and turn it into gimmick where the author swivels their chair to face the camera, stops the majestic prose and careful choreographed characterisation of the moment, and bluntly tells the audience "The Answer" to the number one all-time favourite fan-service meta-question. That is, said sameness is just confirmation that the voice is a made up agency according to long-held theories on the board!

Okay, but nobody is denying they are not the same. The whole point is they are the same. They are different perssonalities, with the same shared-soul. That actually says nothing about whether the voice is real. The resolution of the matter is that the voice no longer speak to Rand, because he has harmonised and integrated himself with the Dragon identity.
Robert Crawley
151. Alphaleonis
I've always thought it significant that In the prologue of the first book, Ishamael watches LTT kill himself and create Dragonmount from the island. Which island would later become Tar Valon. When I read the prologue for the first time, I didn't catch that of course, because I had never heard of Tar Valon then. But in subsequent readings, it hit me like a brick between the eyes. Why would Jordan have Ishamael standing in that precise spot to watch the momentous event.

Now I know! At the very moment that LTT is coming back again to true life, Egwene is watching from the same spot, or very near. Is this a hint that Egwene is Ishamael reborn as Rand is LTT reborn? (TIC. Moridin is Ishamael reborn. What the significance of this coincidence is I do not know. But it seems that there aren't any coincidences in the WOT universe.)
William Fettes
152. Wolfmage
Interesting idea, but I don't think it's viable. AFAIK souls are gendered in the WoT universe, and there isn't evidence of 'organic' gender swapping upon rebirth. There is gender swapping transmigration, but that isn't the same thing - because it isn't a pattern-based cycle with a new personal identity sharing the same soul.

Also, Ishamael is presumably alive the whole time as far as we know -- pulling strings and taking out Manetheren when he is free and then going into hibernation otherwise. He would need to die first and not be resurrected by the DO to be reborn wouldn't he?

The original meeting with Ishamael establishes his (true) insight of the iterative nature of struggle being fought through avatars again and again. But I don't necessarily think that means Ishamael's soul is a shadow champion destined to be reborn. Rebirth is part of the pattern, and despite Moiraine's philosophical musings of the presence of the dark in the greater neutrality of the pattern, I'm not sure if that would happen naturally. Regardless, the Dark One has the means to raise and keep champions without such help - once he gets his paws on you he can keep you alive indefinitely and he can put you back into play in death so long as there's no balefire. That makes rebirth mostly superfulous. And if Ishamael was really reborn, I imagine he might have the same opportunity to correct mistakes that Rand has as the DR. So long as the DO doesn't get automatic dibs anyway!
Rob Munnelly
153. RobMRobM
Bzz. I googled, so sue me. I didn't know it in any event.

Anthony Pero
154. anthonypero

If that is when the channelling sickness started (I'd need to look it up to be sure), then it could be laid down as a false trail so the reader doesn't pick up on the merging of Moridin and Rand as quickly. Its a pretty standard misdirection, in that case.
Anthony Pero
155. anthonypero

As always LTT Real vs Construction boils down to one's definition of "Real". To me, real memories don't make a person real. It will always be the soul that determines if someone is "real" or "artificial". Since Rand and LTT are the same soul... There can only really be one of them. (Please note I am saying that this is the way I see it, YMMV). So, when I read:
For they were not two men, and never had been.
...then it is inevitable, that based on my predisposition on the matter, that I would interprate the line as solid evidence that I was right.

That being said, in the context of a "Real LTT" mindset, I can certianly see where you are coming from, in regards to the text under examination. The part I could never get/understand/see is how someone could believe that in RJs universe, two people could share a soul at the same time. That woud be necessary for me to perceive LTT as "Real". Since I can't do that, its natural to find another answer that makes sense. A hybrid of dissasociative disorders, fueled by "real" memories of a life Rand knows he didn't live makes sense to me, and always has.

I've often heard people argue that memories aren't enough to conjure up LTTs true personality. To which I always said, 'How do we know this is LTTs true personality?'. It seems to me that this text, and much of ToM make it clear that the LTT in Rand's head was no where close to LTTs true personality, further strengthening the Constructionist viewpoint.

Then I've heard it argued that Jesus Rand is not LTTs personality but an amalgamation of Rand AND LTT. This argument disregards what this passage says, in my opinion, and it completely disregards what Rand says to Min in ToM, that Rand and LTT were only separated by circumstance and culture, and that Rand is the same Rand he's always been. We're very quick around here to point out when BWSs character voices are off from our perceptions of them. Rand's voice seems off to me in ToM from the Rand I remember, but not by much. To others for whom it is way off... isn't it likely that Brandon just didn't read Old Rand the same way you did?

Once again, for the most part, I can see how the evidence can be construed either direction. It's the initial premise that does in "Real LTT" for me.
156. hawkido
@ 144.macster

Holy crap that was an impressive post! did you take notes? you had like 30 responses and a wall-o-text on top! nice!

Thanks Langoliers! that was what I was thinking of... yes!
Tess Laird
157. thewindrose
insectoid - Our theme at Prom was Nights in White Satin - same group right?

What a relief that Rand had his epiphany - it was getting so hard to read him, each chapter another step towards the DO 's desired outcome.

I can't wait to hear about the shenanigans happening at JCon. Wish I was there;)

Anthony Pero
158. anthonypero
This is post 998 for me on this site. I have something special planned for 1000, but it needs to be on one of Leigh's JordanCon posts. Nothing earth shattering, so don't wait with baited breathe, lol. Anyway, just saying this so you know I can't post for a while ;)

Have a good time without me. If I need to post, I'll have to don the Red as therealanthonypero.
159. jbo
I thought this was the best book in the series...before I read Towers of Midnight. Probably because stuff finally happened after a long hiatus!
Thomas Keith
160. insectoid
Wind @157: Yes, same group.

APero @158: Wow, talk about dedication... :)

(wishing I was in Atlanta)

161. therealanthonypero
I've already cheated twice... I'm hangning on by a thread at 999.
William Fettes
162. Wolfmage
As always LTT Real vs Construction boils down to one's definition of "Real". To me, real memories don't make a person real.
The realness of the memories aren’t in dispute. Both sides state that the LTT memories are real memories. The question is about the agency of the voice, not the memories.
“ It will always be the soul that determines if someone is "real" or "artificial". Since Rand and LTT are the same soul... There can only really be one of them.
No that's not obvious at all. Nobody is denying that it’s the same soul. You are being too imprecise with your language here in using the concept of the soul as the singular aspect of identity. In the WoT cosmology, an individual soul is reborn again and again, but each iteration has its own personal identity. That is beyond dispute. Only Heroes of the Horn in TAR, or other special cases, involve a composite identity where each iterative personality of the soul is simultaneously present in the aggregate, with all memories of past lives co-existing together.

So it is entirely proper to distinguish between the "soul identity” and various personal identities of that soul. So you have Birgitte v1,v2,v3 and so forth throughout the ages - but only one Birgitte Silverbow soul. In respect to each version of herself, there are no doubt some essential characteristics that are in common, but they are NEVER identical - there is room for variation in the personality because each environmental upbringing is somewhat different.

So LTT is a different personal identity to Rand, and other Dragons before LTT were different again. That is not something that can be argued. They do share a soul identity - and that is what Rand is talking to Min about and that is what Rand is having an epipaphy about: the Dragon identity. He is not at all disputing that, as Rand, he has his own personal identity. Indeed, it is exactly the opposite: he says explicitly that he probably didn't break according to the DO's plan only because his upbringing and friends were better this time around.That is, he is a different peson to LTT. That's why you need to be careful with how you phrase these issues. Because "two men" can refer to two personal identities or two soul identities and the interpreting that will depend entirely on which context is being used. Rand is a different man to LTT but he is also not a different man at the same time.

So none of this resolves the issue or suggests anything about the agency of the voice.
John Massey
163. subwoofer
Hey! Is it "try to make AP post now" day? I musta missed the memo...

Did anyone talk about his mom yet?

Have we made the obvious comparisons between her and Cadsuane?

Have we made the obvious comparisons between AP and Uno?

Has there been any discourse in the realm of is it "Jesus Rand" or is it "Hay-zus Rand"?

Can the Aiel be compared to modern Mexican society?The foods are very similar, and I am sure there was a picture of an Aiel wearing a poncho... in Nakomi's talk and Aviendha's er... dream type thingy, didn't they share an Old El Paso meal? And the Aiel barter, just like in Mexico...

164. therealanthonypero
Haha, Sub, all I gotsta to do is sign out, and keep my count at 999.

The Aiel are obviously supposed to be MezoAmerican Jews, dude. 12 tribes, a "lost" tribe, they are nomadic, etc, wandering in the wilderness for generations. "Dedicated" is very close to the hebrew word used to describe God's Chosen People, etc...

I'm joking of course. But given the Book of Mormon, with Hebrews running around in Mezo America, I wonder if RJ didn't incorporate some of that into the creation of the Aiel.
165. therealanthonypero
See, Wolfmage, that's what I'm talking about. What you just described as a personal identity doesn't = "real" to me. As in, a real person. Hence, for me, Construct. Memories are there, Rand (subconciously) creates a "voice" and shoves the memories in there, to protect his psyche, Voila! One Psycho Former Dragon for all your deus ex machina needs.

We don't see enough of LTT at any time outside of Rand's head to determine if the voice in Rand's head is consistent with the real LTTs personality. But even that doesn't really matter. It could be completely consistent with the AoL LTT and it could still be Rand remembering how LTT was and reconstructing him.
166. Freelancer
Hey, AP, looks like we carefully maneuvered away from "that topic" without a major meltdown. Who knew it could happen?

Insectoid, I knew the group, but didn't answer because any clue would have been too much. I lived in the middle of the American music world of the 70's, could help but know the classic rock groups. But you waited too long, should have asked on Tuesday Afternoon.

Alphaleonis @151

Some distinctions to be made. Moridin is NOT Ishamael reborn. It is the same incarnate personality, captured by the dark one at death and possessing a different body, and issued a new name. The same is true of Aginor, Balthamel. Cyndane may be the same, or she may have been handled slightly differently, there is an information gap about how she came to be as she now is. Also, Egwene cannot be Ishamael/Moridin reborn, since his personality has been intact since he was sealed, however tenuously, in the Bore at Shayol Ghul.

sub @163

Jordan (or perhaps Harriet) has said that the Aiel were patterned after the Cheyenne.


The foundation of specifying "real" vs construct is simpler than your monologue offers. Is the source of the "voice" which Rand perceives, an independent consciousness sharing occupancy of his mindspace, or is it a schizophrenic division of his own? I hope that you can agree on such a definition for establishing the question.

Unfortunately, given the very nature of mental psychoses and the corruption of awareness they produce, Rand's own thoughts and reactions are incapable of providing an honest answer, since those thoughts and reactions are able to beg the question from whichever position you suppose is correct. Any clear truth on this issue must come from without, not within.
Alice Arneson
167. Wetlandernw
FWIW, I've always thought that the "real vs. construct" formulation of the debate set up a false dichotomy - as if some arbitrary definition of "real" and "construct" are the only possibilities. What makes it worse is that there's no agreement on the definitions. Those who claim the "construct" position don't really agree on their own understandings of the term, and their definitions of "real" vary even more. The reverse is true as well, of course, except that I've never seen anyone argue from the point of what a construct-theorist simplistically calls the "real-er" position.

Frankly, half the time there's so little difference between one person's definition of "real" and another person's definition of "construct" that the debate becomes meaningless.
Chris R
168. up2stuff
Sub @37,

"It is interesting to note that Egwene was a similar white light, a font of power, but it was limited to within her."

What Font? Times New Roman, Script, Wingdings?


William Fettes
169. Wolfmage

See, this is very much an issue of phrasing. I get what you're trying to say, but I totally disagree with how you're trying to say it -- jumping between soul as real and personality as unreal.

I mean, just forget the can of worms that is the voice and Rand-LTT for a second and think about any particular cycle of a Hero of the Horn. That at least puts us in a neutral situation where all things are equal and we can test the explanatory power / usefulness of your distinction without the baggage of psychosis, the taint or the unique nature of the Dragon skewing the analysis.

So, when considering said Heroes - we only need to ask ourselves two simple questions to see your framework is inapt:

1. Is it true that the there is personality for each cycle of a Hero?

The answer is unequivocally yes. There is a one-to-many relationship between a Hero soul and the various versions that are spun out at any one time, but those versions are sufficient differentiation to be called different personalities. They may speak slightly different dialects. They will have different parents. They will growing up in different ways, meet and befriend different people etc. They are different people unified by their soul and some shared characteristics.

2. Now, is it appropraite to say of any of these particular personalities - that it is real?

The answer is: of course. Birgitte v1, Gaidal Cain v2, Rogosh Eagle-Eye v4 - they are all real. Every version must be real for the very idea to make sense. If they weren't real then there would be no evolution of the hero - all the stories would be the same.

Now, it is true that there is something important missing in the description of the Hero if we fixate only on the current version and forget about the soul being their global identity. But the appopriate dictonomy to explain that is not real versus not real. At best we should be talking about many real personalities that are subsumed as part of one soul that is the global identity. That is fine - but it isn't about them being unreal. We just need to specify what we're talking about.

Now returning to LTT - the debate is about whether the voice that speaks to Rand is real agency with its own consciousness or whether it is purely a manifestation of a Rand's mental problems. There are various ways of arguing that it is not real. But there is no argument just from soul = real; personality != real.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
170. tnh
Fonts of power: True Helvetica. Gill Sans. Baskerville. In their proper contexts: Gotham. Trajan. New Century. Lubalin. Cooper Black. Other faces as appropriate. Ask a typographer.

Arial is not and will never be a Font of Power.
Roger Powell
171. forkroot
Arial is not and will never be a Font of Power.
I always thought it was named after the first Disney character with boobs ... until my wife correctly me (sternly), pointing out the spelling difference.
Thomas Keith
172. insectoid
Free @166: I suspected you would know. ;) Would've thrown it out there Tuesday Afternoon, but it didn't occur to me till early the next morning.

I know I didn't give a time limit, but the answer is: The Moody Blues, from the album Seventh Sojourn (1972). I started listening to it earlier this week, and the lyrics in several of the songs reminded me of the chapters we've been talking about. Isn't life strange? :P

up2stuff @168: Hmm, how about a blackletter typeface? Are those not powerful?

I wonder how we're going to make this thread last 2 more weeks... Oh wait, Forkroot said something about songs and poetry, so there's that. I suppose someone could derail this into a fiction-fiction thread like TSR #10...

Speaking of Fork... @171: *laughs insanely for about 5 minutes*

Teresa Nielsen Hayden
173. tnh
Forkroot, that's appropriate. Like Antique Olive, Arial's lower-case "a" always makes me think it needs better support.
Tricia Irish
174. Tektonica
tnh: What do you think about Bodoni or Pallatino?
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
175. tnh
Tektonica: Both classics. You have to keep an eye on Bodoni in the smaller sizes and lighter variants to make sure the thin strokes haven't disappeared.
Roger Powell
176. forkroot
Still working on it - on schedule for next Tuesday. Intermediate results are promising.
177. Jak_o_Shadows
Hiya! I recently found this re-read (a few months ago?) and ever sine i finished reading the backlog, i'ts been agony waiting. However, I never used to read the comments back when there was a backlog.

With regards to the Rand/LTT thing, I'm in the group of being seperate people, because I always thought of it like that. Also, being a split personality just seems too convulated for a world that doesn't even know the word "paranoid".

I always took Rand's feinting and dizziness to be the taint. Yes, it may have started in significance after he crossed the streams with moridin/ishamael (who I had no idea who it was, perhaps abstractly thinking it was all Rand), but that was also when he seemed to get a lot madder as well.

Anyway, greetings.
Ron Garrison
178. Man-0-Manetheran
tnh @ 170: Gil Sans Ultra Bold Extended - now THAT's a Font of Power!
179. therealanthonypero

This, as always, an interesting discussion. Part of my hang up is the association with memories as personhood. To me, if my memories were transfered wholly into a computer, that computer would not have personhood. It would not really be me, even if it could think, talk, and make decisions exactly like me. The eternal soul is what makes something real. (I'm not going to try to argue this point, it's just how I feel, and, with no real evidence, granted, how I believe RJ would have felt.) So, by that reasoning, LTT cannot be real in the sense I am refering to. The simple fact that LTTs memories are dumped into some one else's body (as a subset, no less!) doesn't make that LTT.

As far as the agency of LTTs voice goes--I grant that either position could be supported based on the text. But I would also say that the various personalities created by someone with Dissasociative Identity Disorder have their own agency by that definition of the word agency. That doesn't make the personalities real. It is still one mind controlling them. What Rand has may not strictly be Dissasociative Identity Disorder, although, in limited cases, the constructs can and do speak to each other, but that is usually in the subconscious when another identity is in control. They don't ride along like LTT does. So, its not a perfect example, but it's really darn close.

My point is, I don't see what the AGENCY of the voice has to do with LTT being Real, or a construct. The voice of LTT can have agency, at least by how we seem to be defining it, either way, just like they do in Dissasociative Identity Disorder. There are two personalities being controlled by one brain, but the brain is sectioned off in such a way that it really doesn't matter that its one brain. It acts as two. But that doesn't mean there really IS two people.

Once you set aside the agency of the voice (because its immaterial), the most compelling evidence in favor of Construction to me is that the memories have been wholey integrated into Rand, with no more voice. Since he possesed the memories before LTTs voice emerged, and he now posesses them again, reintegration strongly implies deintegration, which fits with a constructed personality.

Not that I'm expecting to change anyone's opinion with old news at this stage.
Nadine L.
180. travyl
There are two personalities being controlled by one brain, It acts as two. But that doesn't mean there really IS two people
Who is talking here? Our AnthonyPero or TheRealAnthonyPero? Are you both feeling well?
I won't argue about psychic disorders, just one small comment:
no matter where the voice comes from, it is not mere memories from LTT, it has a personality (IMO), since it responds correctly to "new settings" not merly remembering similar situation from it's earlier life. (E.g. when he suddenly comments that he likes Weiramon)

Another note: I think it is not a fair argument to say, that we haven't seen enough of LTT, because even if we had, he bacome lunatic only at the end of his life, and this really changes a personality I'd guess.

Re fonts: I don't know what font it is, but I really liked the font tor used for the WOT ebooks titles
Robert Crawley
181. Alphaleonis
Since both posters who commented on my post at 151 above missed it, I had to go back and check myself to see if I am going nuts. No I guess not, the post actually had the TIC that I had originally put in it. TIC means Tongue In Cheek. Yes, I further explained that I knew Egwene could not be Ishamael, because Moridin is. Whether you want to call Moridin Ishamael reborn or Ishamael Frankensteined is immaterial to me. Reborn through the womb or reborn through the soul transplant is reborn to me.

Nobody replied to the significance of Ishamael watching the death of LTT and the birth of dragonmount from the island that was to become Tar Valon, or what the possible significance of that could be. That was the main point of my text. I think it was a nice touch by the authors that two of the three most significant events in the history of the mountain Dragonmount were witnessed from Tar Valon Island. (The third event of significance there was also witnessed from Tar Valon, but not visually but audibly in the form of trumpets proclaiming Rand's birth. (Please nitpickers do not come on here to correct me that the trumpets were not proclaiming Rand's birth, but were proclaiming the death of Laman. I know what the trumpeters THOUGHT they were trumpeting for.)
182. therealanthonypero


No, there is just one of me, unfotunately. (Or not as you see fit ;P)

Constructed personalities in DID can do exactly the same thing, in a handful of cases, but that is significantly more like someone suffering from Schizophrenia, where they create people and have conversations with them. They, too, comment and say things in the moment. Schizophrenia does not always present visually. Thats why my initial post on the subject said this acts like an amalgamation of a couple of disorders.
183. therealanthonypero
@alphy (May I call you alphy?)

Not to mention that Gitara Moroso, Suian and Moiraine, and whoever the Amyrlin was at the time were in Tar Valon, and basically "gave witness" to his birth.
Roger Powell
184. forkroot
Who is talking here? Our AnthonyPero or TheRealAnthonyPero? Are you both feeling well?
Damn good thing I had just swallowed my coffee before I read this. Otherwise it would be time for keyboard and screen cleaning. LOL!
Rob Munnelly
185. RobMRobM
Hey Fork - I went to Kimballs last weekend, for the first time in a dozen years. Son had a Root beer float, Daughter had a sundae (and couldn't finish it), wife and I shared a small sized coffee heath bar cup (and couldn't finish it.) What a place.

Roger Powell
186. forkroot
Ah - the harbinger of Spring - I doubt they had the fresh raspberries yet though.
Cameron Tucker
187. Loialson
177. Jak_o_Shadows

Welcome! You should go Black, you'll never go back (well, except for AP here, but he's a special case as travyl has alreadypointed out ;) )
188. therealanthonypero
Oh, and Travyl, I wish I had a psychic disorder, then I could anticipate people's responses and attempt to refute them before they are given :D
Kimani Rogers
189. KiManiak
gagecreedlives@112 – So happy. Anytime we can place an 80's cartoon reference (or picture?! I thought that capability had been disabled months ago?) in the reread, I become an incredibly happy camper.

@JL, AP, Freelancer, Forkroot and others – re: the very detailed biblical comparisons and information – Very nice, very informative. I really appreciate this reread and the wealth of knowledge and information that various commenters have. Thank you.

Macster@144 re: indirect credit for others actions - I meant to respond to this earlier; got sidetracked. First, I really like your massive comments (no sarcasm; I mean it) and responses. I can’t imagine how long it takes you to craft those badboys.

And when you respond to some folks comments, you appear to keep track of others comments on the same comment further down the line, which I admit I sometimes do not do.
(Btw, if you made sense of that last sentence, then great; I admit it makes sense in my head but I don’t know if others will get what I’m saying when they read it) :-)

Anyway, on to the main point. What I was getting to, is that it appeared that some wanted to single out Cadsuane for credit in Rand’s… epiphany at Dragonmount, almost as a type of justification for her (and possibly the Wise Ones', I discuss that below) attempted manipulation (and bullying, condescension, etc.). That is what I’m taking issue with.

My argument is that if you want to give someone indirect credit for Rand’s actions (and, no I don’t think Tam’s words would qualify as “indirect” in this case as Rand does reference them while on Dragonmount), then you could link a number of people and events that ultimately led to Rand on the mountaintop, deciding the fate of the world. As I said, you could trace Cadsuane’s influence to Min; whose ability to influence could be traced back to Rand; whose ability to set the stage for that influence could be traced back to Tam; and so on, and so on.

Sure, the Creator ultimately deserves an indirect amount of the credit (and, it could be argued, all of the blame) for the situation. Indirect credit, or links, or causality can be traced back in all kinds of clever ways.

My issue is that some are choosing to select Cadsuane’s action for an elevated amount of praise in these circumstances, as if she had a master plan which was a main positive agent/factor in Rand reaching his epiphany; instead of the fact that her actions played the same amount of a role as Min’s, or Nynaeve’s or anyone other than Tam and Rand.
(You might as well credit Tuon for keeping Ebou Dar in such a state that led to its people approaching Rand with compassion when he seized Saidin with the intent to destroy them; which allows Rand to realize the potential horror of his actions; which leads him to jump to Dragonmount in the first place, so that he can reach his epiphany.)

Anyway, back to your comment, yes the Creator chose several people to create various conditions which led to Rand making that choice on Dragonmount. Why then should Cadsuane be singled out for praise above and beyond the others?

Oh, and I still debate whether this was Cadsuane's plan, or whether it was her and the Wise One’s plan. True, when she goes to the Wise Ones in Ebou Dar she has an idea that she then runs by them. But, when Nynaeve and Min go to Cads room after Rand balefires Natrin’s Barrow, the Wise Ones seem involved as well and Cads identifies the plan as “our plan.”
(Yes, it could be her attempt at being diplomatic/inclusive, but it could also be a plan that was crafted by Cads and certain Wise Ones).
So let’s spread the praise (and blame) around. Darn you, Sorilea! :-)

useofweapons@140, insectoid@141, ap@142 and others re: Rand’s sickness – I’m in the camp that thinks Rand’s sickness was linked to the sealing of his 2 wounds (Ishamael’s stab in TGH and Fain’s slash in ACoS) by Damer Flinn. Damer mentions that he had the two contesting or battling each other. I always read Rand’s issues with seizing Saidin to be linked with the power of Mashadar and the power of the Dark One in conflict with him using the power of the Creator.

I grant that the crossing of the streams linked Rand and Moridin, but I didn’t see that making him/them sick; just linked.

I wonder if Team Jordan will spell it out for us in AMoL?

(the real)AP@161 & 164 – Hold out for as long as you can; you can do it!

TnH@170 – Ha! Thanks for that. I admit; I don’t know my fonts that well. Couldn’t tell you which ones are weak and which ones are strong.
Birgit F
190. birgit
Arial is not and will never be a Font of Power.

I always thought it was named after the first Disney character with boobs ... until my wife correctly me (sternly), pointing out the spelling difference.

Ariel is a washing powder. What matters about a font is that it contains the characters I need. For Americans who only need ASCII that might not matter, but when you need a font that can display both German umlauts and Japanese/Chinese that limits the choice.
Rob Munnelly
191. RobMRobM
Fork - do you really believe I would let raspberries supply the perfection of coffee heath bar crunch ice cream? Da noive of you. (Trying to get psyched up to take my son to the Three Stooges movie tomorrow. Coitenly.)

192. Freelancer
Baskerville Old Face will always be one of my favorites. Extremely easy to see, distinctive serif pattern, and intelligent kerning. But for a font of power, Olde English MT hands down.

Insectoid @172,

Not all that strange. You'd be surprised how many of the British classic rock songs had some inspiration from fantasy/adventure fiction, the most prominent coming from The Moody Blues, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Yes. Check out the lyrics to Ramble On to see an obvious example.
Anthony Pero
193. anthonypero
I've been using Sabon a lot recently, for my serif typeface.

And just to be clear, a font is a file. A typeface is what the characters look like :) I've had typographers get quite upset when I say, "What font is that?"

Of course, now I do it just to see what sort of reaction I can get, lol.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
194. tnh
Led Zep, very skiffy.

Freelancer: I love Baskerville Old Face too.

Old English MT isn't a power font for me because my native theocracy has a thing for Optima, centered, all caps. Old English is just the lettering on the cover of the hymnal. Back in the snailmail era, I once used my former denomination's standard Optima style and format as a memo header in order to zing an author who was raised in the same continuum, and who was repeatedly running late and making excuses. I got my missing text within a couple of days.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
195. tnh
Anthony, I know a point from a pica and a typeface from a font, but those heathens in Redmond and Silicon Valley persist in using "font" for all occasions, so the distinction's getting lost.

Sabon is a very respectable typeface. I like its alternate numerals.
Anthony Pero
196. anthonypero

Gosh, it's so tempting to place proper names into that post.
Peter Davis
197. PeterDavis
So just a couple thoughts rattling around. what if the three becoming one isn't the users of Calendor but are Rand, Mat, and Perrin? we have the color swim everytime they think of eachother. they are born days or weeks apart. All three are Taveren. So is it possible that all three combined are The True Dragon Re-born???? just as Min, Aviendah, and Elayne could be the reincarnation of Illyena? just throwing it out there.
198. adaptr
I wish certain people would keep the unashamedly overt proselytizing out of these otherwise excellent re-read comments.

There is no place for bible-thumpers on my watch.
Thomas Keith
199. insectoid
Free @192: One of these days I'll have to familiarize myself with Led Zeppelin. (I already know The Moody Blues well enough to recite a good number of their songs, as you've seen.)

Must... resist... double-posting... for the hunny... :P

Roger Powell
200. forkroot
Wouldn't that be the "two-hunny"?

Um yeah ....
Alice Arneson
202. Wetlandernw
adaptr @198 - Good thing it's not your watch, then, isn't it?
John Massey
203. subwoofer
@adaptyr- sorry, I tried to be as brief as possible, but I did feel that the passage I quoted was salient to the given topic.

I will say that I don't consider it to be Bible thumping as it is a standing theme that Rand is a messiah-type figure for WoT and the comparison has been made several times over on many threads throught the whole WoT community and not just here. Theoryland, 13D, Tar Valon, and Dragonmount all have pages devoted to the very topic.

Taken as a whole, the point being is that Rand is attached to the land and as he loses hope, the land dies. Rand has regained his hope and the world shall follow suit.

Anthony Pero
204. anthonypero
Ooh! And we were so close to 200... But I totally called it, huh Free?
John Massey
205. subwoofer
Confess AP, it was you in a non-black log in again...

Anthony Pero
206. anthonypero
Haha! Actually, I thought it might be Caveatar baiting us (love you Paul!) from his exile. He's clever enough to do something that insidious ;) and maybe HE had 198 in the pool! Let me know on FB if it was you Paul! I promise not to tell.
207. Freelancer
Nah, I don't count a poser in red. For all I know, it was you just making a reason to keep the thread alive, and hoping to tweak some of us into a debate. Whether that is true, or someone who can't tell the difference between a topic about which they should be offended compared to one which improves every life it touches, I'm going to leave it alone.
208. therealanthonypero
I posted at 198! I am real, damn you! Stop calling me a construct. I will survive!
209. therealanthonypero
No I am not. I will survive ok, but not real.
William Fettes
211. Wolfmage
travyl @ 180

Yes, exactly. The argument isn't at all trying to conflate the authenticity of the memories with proof of realness of the voice. The argument is that the voice has agentic-characteristics and that the construction argument can't plausibly explain how Rand can mimic those unique characteristics of agency so convincingly in real-time. I also doubt that the coping mechanism argument, which does all the heavy lifting in this theory, can explain the variable behaviour of the voice and the partition between the memories he does have access to and those that are ostensibly assigned to the voice to protect him (notwithstanding Rand's frequently fervent desire to have channelling secrets, knowledge from the AoL and his evolving attitude to being the Dragon which is anything but uniformly alienated and scared).

There are countless examples of the voice responding to in-the-moment stimuli as a plausible agency, including myriad semi-lucid remarks that are highly suggestive of a commentary or allusion on Rand's current situation, remarks that are extremely lucid and undeniably on-topic, remarks that appear to be a reasoned application of knowledge, as well as more personal reactions which express personal aesthetics, tics and other matters germane to a personality. Then there is also the very objectively described ability to channel from within Rand's body.

Given Rand's internal dysfunction, you can certainly try to downplay every instance of this as an unreliable POV - but there is so much of it that, accumulatively, I think it's ample evidence to believe that the voice is a real agency rather than an ad hoc delusion brought on by psychosis.

I am particularly persuaded by the cases where LTT is making judgements about situations - demonstrating some cognitive ability to take stimuli and process it into situational awareness, drawing on values and abstract knowledge, and then applying that to the situation. To say that Rand is constantly simulating this phenomenon unconsciously in real-time because he can't cope - well okay - but I find that extremely gimmicky. Even armed with real memories I think there would be much greater limits on what a fake voice would be capable of that the LTT voice routinely surpasses.
Anthony Pero
212. anthonypero
The figments of imagination created by those suffering with Schizophrenia appear to act with agency to those who see and hear them as well. They act on stimuli received by the sufferer in real-time. They comment on conversations the sufferer is currently engaged in. I don't see how the argument of acting on real-time stimuli affects the debate in any way. That is exactly what happens in real mental disorders of multiple personalities. The construct (being controlled by a portion of the sufferer's brain) is able to react to any stimult that the sufferer receives.
213. Freelancer
Given the current lull, this would seem to be the best time to ask our wonderful moderators for an extra helping of understanding. Drawing on historical examples, the coming two (or more) weeks, with no fresh material from our illustrious hostess, will surely induce a 90° vector deviation in the substance and coherence found herein. On behalf of those who agree, we respectfully submit that a nominally reduced constraint on the commentary will sustain its viability until a replacement is produced.
Nadine L.
214. travyl
Re memories ... @211, 212
I agree with Anthony that in a psychic disoder a constructed personality would of course react to actual stiumuli. And the fact that Rand's voice does it has no impact on the discussion.
In my previous post @180 I deliberately didn't state my own opinion on what I think is true, because, Leigh has it right: the text presents arguments for both sides.
I understand that people are adamant to their opinion, because before reading this re-Read I never even realized that there was a different approach to that voice than the interpretation I had come up with.

So while I agree with AP, what I tried to state before, was an objection to this quote (from 179): "The simple fact that LTTs memories are dumped into some one else's body (as a subset, no less!) doesn't make that LTT."
It was not simply memories dumped into someone... I know this is taken totally out of context and not at all resuming your whole post. And in retrospect my post wasn't really that clear about what I tried to say. Sorry.
Peter Davis
215. PeterDavis
while the argument of Multiple Personalities is sudo Valid it still doesn't explain some events that I can think of

1). when Rand steps into Telienriad to fight Rahvin for a moment he turns into LTT. while possibly being a manifistation of his MPD it was specific to LTT's description from EOTW so how did rand know what LTT looked like?

2). The entity in Rands head, that we think is LTT has specific, and distinct memories from the AOL. to point out his memories of Lanfear he has when she shows Rand her real face in the Stone of Tear.

And numerous other occasions that are slipping my mind at this point. as well lets not for get the events of Dumies Wells when LTT is his companion in the box.

I know I have mispelled WAY to much but you get the point. I don't think Rand suffers from MPD but it could be his mind protected itself from the mad ravings of LTT because even after reincarnation he was still insane from the dark ones taint.
Anthony Pero
216. anthonypero
Just in case anyone was wondering, I enjoy the back and forth. No reason to step lightly. Arguing against my ideas, even telling me they are poorly formed (and giving me a reason why) is perfectly acceptable. I enjoy having my ideas (and wits) sharpened here. Wolfmage, this has been a highly enjoyable engagement for me. I commend you on sticking to arguing ideas, and not ideologies.

Peter Davis, I think I can address those issues, but I'm mobile, and would rather do it at my desk, so I'll post later.
Anthony Pero
217. anthonypero
To be clear, Peter Davis, I don't think Rand suffers from DID (which is the same as MPD) either, or schizophrenia. I simply used those as two real-world disorders that present much like LTT in order to demonstrate how the perceived agency of LTT is no different than real cases of constructed personalities. In fact, whatever is wrong with Rand pre Veins of Gold, it seems to combine symptoms from these two disorders.

The huge difference is that the memories are real. The personality being reconstructed has real memories. We don't really know how they got into Rand's head, but we know they existed before the voice presented itself, so we know that the memories didn't come with the personality. We also know that Rand was freaking out about "remembering" things that he couldn't possibly remember. As you said, I believe that Rand's subconscious constructed (split off) the LTT memories into an LTT voice as a defense mechanism, which is startlingly similar to real-world identity disorders (at least the mechanism is).

As far as your specific bullet-points:

1) First of all, unless LTT never looked into a mirror, or a lake, or a metal surface, the memory of what LTT looked like would have been in Rand's subconcious somewhere. Post Veins of Gold it is clear that Rand possesses all of LTTs memories. There's also the possibility that whatever that was, it was a trap from Rahvin. Although I really can't see Rahvin wanting to face a a crazy, homocidal, knowledgable LTT over Rand, so probably not.

2) Actually communicating with your constructs is a function of schizophrenia. Happens all the time. The fact that the memories are real is not a point of contention, and doesn't really matter to figuring out if Rand constructed LTT or not.

Ultimately, we are trying to figure out the mechanism behind LTT being in Rand's head. Did Rand already have all the memories, and when he started remembering things, did he freak out, and was the trauma and fear of going crazy do so intense that he constructed a personality to shove those memories into, and then used that personality to access them, or was LTT waiting somewhere (maybe inside of Rand all along, or TaR, or somewhere else) as a whole entity separate from Rand, and then dumped into Rand. I have never believed the second to be possible, because, based on what we know regarding the Heroes of the Horn, those memories reside in the soul. Since there is only one soul, I don't see how a separate being/person could exist.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
218. tnh
Freelancer @213, you guys have been having an exemplary conversation. If there's a problem, I'm not aware of it.
Anthony Pero
219. anthonypero
We had a troll at @ 198 complain, but the general thought is it was one of us poking fun, not really taking issue.
Thomas Keith
220. insectoid
Free @213: Translation please? :P

Anthony Pero
221. anthonypero

Translation into the vernacular: Mods--We're gonna be off topic for a while. Deal. Please. ;)
Nadine L.
222. travyl
I had to look up what vernacular means - so much for Translation ;)
224. AndrewB
RobMRobM @185 - Kimballs in Westford?

Good ice cream; although I prefer Chandler's in Peabody or Crescent Ridge in Sharon over Kimballs?

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't then" - Bob Seger, Against the Wind"
225. AndrewB
Edit of #224 above - 2nd paragraph should have read "Good ice cream; although I prefer Chandler's in Peabody or Crescent Ridge in Sharon over Kimballs."

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't then" - Bob Seger, Against the Wind

p.s. this is what I get for being too lazy to preview a simple comment before I post it.
Thomas Keith
226. insectoid
APero @221: Oh I understood what he said... that was just me being facetious.

Besides, 'sideways' was probably the intended translation. ;)

Anthony Pero
227. anthonypero
Take the Black AndrewB, then you can edit your posts, and no one can pretend to be you. I'M LOOKING AT YOU FREELANCER! I KNOW IT WAS YOU!!
Jay Dauro
228. J.Dauro
Okay folks, I posted some of this on the Bloggening, but will do it here also.

JordanCon V - "Tar VaCon" will be April 19-21, 2013 at the Doubletree in Roswell, GA. And our Fearless Leader will be the Toastmistress. We can't let all those other websites show her up, we need to support her with our presence at the Con.

They are also hosting DeepSouthCon 51 (DeepSouth travels between other Cons, and JordanCon won the hosting rights for next year.) So they are preparing a blowout time. Michael Whelan will be the Artist Guest of Honor, so I expect to see Artwork in the show, and prints and poossibly original art for sale. They expect Team Jordan to be present, along with an Artist Guest of Honor.(tba)

This year was fantastic. Seeing Darryl Sweet's original artwork was incredible. You may or may not like his work, but seeing the entire painting is a totally different experience than seeing it on the covers. Sam Weber's work was also a wonderful treat (and I got a print of Mat.)

There was a lot of other art, from Linda's embroidery (Linda from The 13th Depository) to Paul Bielaczyc's "Ravens" (You can get this on a shirt from Ta'veern Tees. And I got a print from Paul.) Paul appears to be doing others like this, (Mat's done, so who else might we expect?) so keep an eye on these.

Lot of sessions, on WOT and what may happen, to costuming, props, swordplay, etc. They even cover writing and publishing. Besides, listening to Mary Robinette Kowal read is amazing.

They did let us hear a bit of the Prolouge, read by Harriet. Brandon had said we would see more of Jarid Sarand, and we do. Then we had some questions for the Team. Probably the best line was from Peter Ahlstrom, who when asked what part of the series surprised him the most responded, "When Demondred was revealed to be . . . " (he realized what he was saying and stopped, drat it.)

I'm not a big Con goer, but comments from folks who are, position JordanCon as one of the most literate groups around. So for folks here on the Re-read, it should be right up your alley.

So it should be obvious, I am trying to make sure you are planning to attend next year. It won't be the last JordanCon, but with the release of AMOL, it should be one of the most exciting. Hope to see you all there.
John Massey
229. subwoofer
So is that a green light to stray off topic as we are not going to have a fresh post for a couple weeks?

We could discuss the combination of beer and cake donuts...

Or conversly, there is a cage match brewing on non powered up characters on the Chosen thread on FB. 32 of the best non tapped in fighters including Mat, Perrin, Hartha, Galad, Artur Hawkwing, Min?! and so on... should be interesting times ahead.

Anthony Pero
230. anthonypero
I may try to see about going next year. I can probably get my frend Terry to go, too. He lurks around here, but doesn't post.
Anthony Pero
231. anthonypero
Or not, since I just priced air travel, Con costs, and hotel costs. Ouch.
Alice Arneson
232. Wetlandernw
anthonypero @231 - Don't forget food & drinks...
John Massey
233. subwoofer
Yeah to travel to the east coast like that would cost me twice as much as a round trip to San Diego to visit with Freelancer... and perhaps the odd person at Comic con...

Anthony Pero
234. anthonypero
I plan on being skinny enough for the cost to be negligible, and I only drink pop, so... ;)
William Fettes
235. Wolfmage
anthonypero @ 212

It is not just response to stimuli. A plant responds to stimuli - that itself means nothing. It is entirely conceded that there is nothing persuasive to be said about picking out many of these individual responses and looking at them in isolation. Many responses could be plausibly guessed based on a simple profile, so the addition of real memories to the picture makes it trivial, and thus irrelevant to this discussion.

But I am talking about two things - the totality of the agentic characteristics of the voice, and its sophistication as an agency. That is, the ironic sense of humour, the political judgements, the detailed applied knowledge, the physical control -- these are all harder to explain as arbirtary processes.Together they IMO pass the Turing-test as an addled personality and I do not think that can be run just from Rand's spare CPU cycles as it were without it being a bit absurd .

As I've said, I also don't buy the seldom contested argument that Rand is uniformly alienated from his identity as the Dragon, and hence the whole argument that LTT had to be invented to compartmentalise the memories. People assume it, but it's really not a well founded argument IMO. There are no doubt massive problems and dysfunction and disintegration over time. But Rand's state is a key variable and its seldom the case that Rand truly doesn't want LTT's memories. Quite the opposite. There are parts of the books where he is rather well reconciled to his fate, where he is happy to get on with business, without it being the low-road of Dark Rand, and there are long stretches where he actually covets better access to these memories in ways that don't ring false at all. I don't suggest the voice should follow conscious processes, but I think it is telling that the voice does not follow Rand's variability at all, even assuming time-lags and fits and starts. It appears to manifest totally independently - - except if you want to rely entirely on Veins of Gold as the n of 1 all-or-nothing reconcilation which I think is a rather large explanatory crutch for a series spanning phenomenon. IMO taint-induced madness where Rand teeters back and forth on the edge of sanity would be a far more plausible explanation for the behaviour of the voice over time than the often cited coping mechanism.
Robert Crawley
236. Alphaleonis
thereal @183

Yes, you may call me Alphy; as long as it is capitalized. I have been called many names through the years, including Basiliskos, Regulus, Cor Leonis; but Alphy is OK. As long as it's not Alfie, because Alfie doesn't know what it's all about.

But speaking of names, I don't know what to really call you. Many on this post have hinted that you are not real. Even you have hinted that you are not real. Your name in red lends credence to that. So assuming that you have no flesh and blood identity, but are merely a figment of the internet, I will add an E (indicative of only an electronic ID) and I will call you Ethereal.
Roger Powell
237. forkroot
I regret to inform you that "Ethereal" has changed his named to "Wireshark".

In other matters - I'm still plugging away on next Tuesday's offering. Methinks you will all be pleased.
Alice Arneson
238. Wetlandernw
forkroot - I eagerly await!

BTW... I've got Twas the Night Before Bel Tine, Lan at Tarwin's Gap and Fraasti the Myrddraal copied and saved. How many more have you done? I know there was the Big Bad John, which I have to go find, but were there others as well? These really are keepers. Looking forward to another for the collected works. :)
Anthony Pero
239. anthonypero

Please explain how any of the traits you give to LTT differ in any way whatsoever to the constructs associated with schizophrenia. Your description of the "agentic" characteristics of LTT are dead on with how those afflicted with schizophrenia perceive their constructs. They in no way provide any evidence that LTT is not a construct, since those traits are associated with known constructs in real life. That's not even to mention DID, in which the entirety of the afflicted's conciousness is devoted to the construct at times, and a large degree of their subconcious at others. I maintain that perceived agency is a rather worthless indicator of LTT's status as a construct or not.
240. mojo&numberless
Freelancer and dSubwoofer, if no one's gutted you for it so far, why shouldn't they let you keep on keeping on?
Birgit F
241. birgit
WoT reread posting statistics up to the end of TGS
(up to comment 238)

- different spellings of usernames are counted separately
- punctuation is counted as words

top 50 posters by number of comments
username;comments;words;average words per comment
1: subwoofer;2211;384128;173.0
2: Wetlandernw;2157;583088;270.0
3: Freelancer;1361;318796;234.0
4: RobMRobM;1352;145856;107.0
5: alreadymad... (all);1128;137312;121.0
6: Tektonica;1075;162070;150.0
7: thewindrose;1019;141853;139.0
8: forkroot;958;146290;152.0
9: insectoid;811;94497;116.0
10: jamesedjones;805;65828;81.0
11: toryx;772;147107;190.0
12: anthonypero;678;66838;98.0
13: Randalator;658;118616;180.0
14: Man-0-Manetheran;654;65006;99.0
15: HArai;648;88273;136.0
16: Samadai;640;48038;75.0
17: MasterAlThor;620;79949;128.0
18: R.Fife;609;83449;137.0
19: blindillusion;601;94985;158.0
20: birgit;562;98205;174.0
21: Isilel;540;187762;347.0
22: ValMar;530;59993;113.0
23: J.Dauro;483;65920;136.0
24: JonathanLevy;466;158781;340.0
25: Terez27;440;111933;254.0
26: Lannis;434;62841;144.0
27: misfortuona;428;46383;108.0
28: sps49;396;34682;87.0
29: Wolfmage;372;148408;398.0
30: Fiddler;366;49316;134.0
31: Lsana;360;72984;202.0
32: gagecreedlives;343;39856;116.0
33: Caveatar;336;65910;196.0
34: Shimrod;316;36563;115.0
35: UncrownedKing;304;25917;85.0
36: tonka;299;39839;133.0
37: KiManiak;289;153274;530.0
38: sinfulcashew;268;26563;99.0
39: Sonofthunder;268;37353;139.0
40: SteelBlaidd;268;67288;251.0
41: Balescream;266;66959;251.0
42: Bergmaniac;254;48619;191.0
43: Longtimefan;252;82027;325.0
44: AndrewB;250;51338;205.0
45: Shadow_Jak;233;29017;124.0
46: blocksmith;213;28618;134.0
47: leighdb;211;20330;96.0
48: sweetlilflower;209;26278;125.0
49: CireNaes;207;33587;162.0
50: Alisonwonderland;196;41945;214.0

top 50 posters by number of words
username;words;comments;average words per comment
1: Wetlandernw;583088;2157;270.0
2: subwoofer;384128;2211;173.0
3: Freelancer;318796;1361;234.0
4: Isilel;187762;540;347.0
5: macster;164240;146;1124.0
6: Tektonica;162070;1075;150.0
7: JonathanLevy;158781;466;340.0
8: KiManiak;153274;289;530.0
9: Wolfmage;148408;372;398.0
10: toryx;147107;772;190.0
11: forkroot;146290;958;152.0
12: RobMRobM;145856;1352;107.0
13: thewindrose;141853;1019;139.0
14: alreadymad... (all);137312;1128;121.0
15: Randalator;118616;658;180.0
16: Terez27;111933;440;254.0
17: birgit;98205;562;174.0
18: blindillusion;94985;601;158.0
19: insectoid;94497;811;116.0
20: HArai;88273;648;136.0
21: R.Fife;83449;609;137.0
22: Longtimefan;82027;252;325.0
23: MasterAlThor;79949;620;128.0
24: Ouroboros;78578;187;420.0
25: Lsana;72984;360;202.0
26: chaplainchris1;71794;175;410.0
27: Wortmauer;70133;186;377.0
28: SteelBlaidd;67288;268;251.0
29: Balescream;66959;266;251.0
30: anthonypero;66838;678;98.0
31: J.Dauro;65920;483;136.0
32: Caveatar;65910;336;196.0
33: jamesedjones;65828;805;81.0
34: Man-0-Manetheran;65006;654;99.0
35: Lannis;62841;434;144.0
36: ValMar;59993;530;113.0
37: AndrewB;51338;250;205.0
38: Fiddler;49316;366;134.0
39: Amalisa;49206;177;278.0
40: Bergmaniac;48619;254;191.0
41: Samadai;48038;640;75.0
42: misfortuona;46383;428;108.0
43: Alisonwonderland;41945;196;214.0
44: gagecreedlives;39856;343;116.0
45: tonka;39839;299;133.0
46: Sonofthunder;37353;268;139.0
47: Shimrod;36563;316;115.0
48: sps49;34682;396;87.0
49: CireNaes;33587;207;162.0
50: yasiru89;32397;96;337.0

There were 4073 different usernames; 2374 appeared only once (including many alreadymad...).


WoT reread posting statistics TGS only
(up to comment 238)

top 50 posters by number of comments
username;comments;words;average words per comment
1: anthonypero;478;42236;88.0
2: Wetlandernw;362;111955;309.0
3: Caveatar;335;65440;195.0
4: Balescream;263;65954;250.0
5: forkroot;227;36428;160.0
6: subwoofer;193;41744;216.0
7: Terez27;159;33557;211.0
8: JonathanLevy;138;55482;402.0
9: travyl;132;20911;158.0
10: ValMar;124;16099;129.0
11: macster;118;133743;1133.0
12: Samadai;117;9265;79.0
13: insectoid;110;17602;160.0
14: RobMRobM;108;8279;76.0
15: Freelancer;107;27231;254.0
16: thewindrose;98;15228;155.0
17: Wortmauer;91;33002;362.0
18: Loialson;90;15590;173.0
19: MasterAlThor;90;12218;135.0
20: up2stuff;86;10894;126.0
21: HArai;82;13218;161.0
22: CireNaes;81;11805;145.0
23: KiManiak;79;35674;451.0
24: birgit;77;10862;141.0
25: J.Dauro;74;11042;149.0
26: tnh;74;7219;97.0
27: AndrewB;64;12939;202.0
28: Man-0-Manetheran;57;6852;120.0
29: Bergmaniac;47;7217;153.0
30: TheWolfKing;46;4187;91.0
31: tenkuu;45;15070;334.0
32: missbee;42;6113;145.0
33: thepupxpert;41;1702;41.0
34: Tektonica;40;6740;168.0
35: yasiru89;40;15013;375.0
36: Shadow_Jak;40;3891;97.0
37: Cumadrin;39;11867;304.0
38: alreadymad... (all);37;3834;103.0
39: Wolfmage;34;15718;462.0
40: JeffS.;33;5056;153.0
41: Randalator;32;4379;136.0
42: sps49;32;3327;103.0
43: Ryanus;29;6631;228.0
44: s'rEDIT;29;2208;76.0
45: bawambi;27;2274;84.0
46: parrothead;27;4685;173.0
47: Sonofthunder;27;4061;150.0
48: deebee;26;3979;153.0
49: toryx;26;4097;157.0
50: Looking Glass;23;13761;598.0

top 50 posters by number of words
username;words;comments;average words per comment
1: macster;133743;118;1133.0
2: Wetlandernw;111955;362;309.0
3: Balescream;65954;263;250.0
4: Caveatar;65440;335;195.0
5: JonathanLevy;55482;138;402.0
6: anthonypero;42236;478;88.0
7: subwoofer;41744;193;216.0
8: forkroot;36428;227;160.0
9: KiManiak;35674;79;451.0
10: Terez27;33557;159;211.0
11: Wortmauer;33002;91;362.0
12: Freelancer;27231;107;254.0
13: travyl;20911;132;158.0
14: insectoid;17602;110;160.0
15: ValMar;16099;124;129.0
16: Wolfmage;15718;34;462.0
17: Loialson;15590;90;173.0
18: thewindrose;15228;98;155.0
19: tenkuu;15070;45;334.0
20: yasiru89;15013;40;375.0
21: Looking Glass;13761;23;598.0
22: HArai;13218;82;161.0
23: AndrewB;12939;64;202.0
24: WOTDragons;12637;22;574.0
25: MasterAlThor;12218;90;135.0
26: Cumadrin;11867;39;304.0
27: CireNaes;11805;81;145.0
28: chaplainchris1;11211;20;560.0
29: J.Dauro;11042;74;149.0
30: up2stuff;10894;86;126.0
31: birgit;10862;77;141.0
32: Samadai;9265;117;79.0
33: RobMRobM;8279;108;76.0
34: tnh;7219;74;97.0
35: Bergmaniac;7217;47;153.0
36: Man-0-Manetheran;6852;57;120.0
37: Tektonica;6740;40;168.0
38: Ryanus;6631;29;228.0
39: missbee;6113;42;145.0
40: matthew1215;6065;21;288.0
41: JeffS.;5056;33;153.0
42: ryamano;4916;15;327.0
43: parrothead;4685;27;173.0
44: Ouroboros;4564;16;285.0
45: Randalator;4379;32;136.0
46: DeJulis;4324;21;205.0
47: analiese;4310;14;307.0
48: TheWolfKing;4187;46;91.0
49: toryx;4097;26;157.0
50: Sonofthunder;4061;27;150.0

There were 594 different usernames; 307 appeared only once.
Anthony Pero
242. anthonypero
So what did we learn? I spent way too much time on this blog this time around. Geesh. Top poster by 116 posts? Yikes.
Alice Arneson
243. Wetlandernw
Hey - beaten out of top spot on TGS by two who've never held #1 before, I do believe. And Freelancer - down at #15 & 12? Slacker.
Anthony Pero
244. anthonypero

Maybe I should just go by TShark, to avoid any licensing issues at all?
Roger Powell
245. forkroot
I know there was the Big Bad John, which I have to go find, but were there others as well?
There was one other hacked-up song ... a bathroom humor version of Tom Petty's "The Waiting". I posted that one quite some time ago. I'd have to look around for that link. I've got copies of everything, so I'll reach out via your shoutbox.

In my moments of vanity I have considered doing something like compiling the links to what I feel were my best posts - not just the hacked up songs and poems. In case anyone is curious, I'm most proud of my "Top Ten things that won't happen in ..." postings, especially the one before ToM. (Yes, there will be one before AMoL - I've been planning it for months.)

Meanwhile, we're on schedule for tomorrow. If y'all don't mind, I'm going to indulge and replace my comment at #1 with the new song. This one means a lot to me and I hope it will mean a lot to all of you.

{:: smiles mysteriously ::}
James Hogan
246. Sonofthunder
Well, my inactivity did hurt my ranking, I suppose...#50 for TGS - I'll take a trophy for that! Thanks for compiling the stats, birgit!!

And fork...can't wait for tomorrow!!!
Sam Mickel
247. Samadai
I post an above average amount of times, but need to work on my words per post number. Since nobody reads what I write, I will just start filling my posts in with random words. ;)
Heidi Byrd
249. sweetlilflower
I just wanted to say I represented this re-read by winning the bronze medal in Illian's Trivia Bee....Terez won first place, but she was only claiming TheoryLand when she was on panels :-)

I don't post as often as some, but I greatly enjoy reading everyone else's ideas. Perhaps now that Tax Season is over I can get back into regular postings.
Heidi Byrd
250. sweetlilflower
Also, I would like to second JDauro @228 because the actual paintings are amazing....almost all of the misproportions are gone when you see them on canvas in oil. If you ever get a chance to see them, you will understand why Jordan kept him as the cover artist. On the books, there are all kinds of suck going on...but the paintings themselves are really well done :-)
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
251. tnh
Forkroot @245, I know I'd like to see that.
j p
252. sps49
Huh. I figured I'd still be up there in number of posts, not so much by word count.

sweetlilflower- I dunno how proportions could be different on the actual paintings, but it would be nice to see them in reality.
Roger Powell
253. forkroot
You did us proud! Way to go!

And fork...can't wait for tomorrow!!!
No worries - I've decided to take a page (so to speak) from Tor and offer the first verse in advance for $2.99 via Paypal.

{:: Just kidding!! Really! ::}
Heidi Byrd
254. sweetlilflower
40. RMGiroux, I asked Maria how tall Dragon Mount was, but she was not sure. So....I guess we will just have to assume that he either tied it off or he was able to get back down before suffering from lack of oxygen :-)
Heidi Byrd
255. sweetlilflower
@sps49 I'm given to understand that the actual paintings are shrunken or otherwise digitally changed in order to fit the entire painting on the cover. Rand's hand looks perfectly in tune with the rest of his body in the actual painting. However, Aviendha is still wearing a corset....so, they are not perfect :-)
Thomas Keith
256. insectoid
Birgit @241: Thanks Birgit! Can't imagine how I'm still in the top 10 after sitting out for KoD. Oh well, yay top 10! I'm not even going to complain about both of my totals being 3 comments off. ;)

I for one find it remarkable how fast Macster and Caveatar got to the top 10 of the word-count lists.

Fork @245: Whaaaat? You'd make us scroll a-a-a-allll the way up to the top of the comments? :P (Not that that's a problem; the current Tordotbugs™ cause you to jump to the top of the comments when you post a comment, instead of to your comment.)

Oh, lookit that... hex 1 hunny!

257. Freelancer
tnh - Indeed, we have not yet achieved a portion of the phase shift expected during a long hiatus from new material, this was a completely pre-emptive request.

For Insectoid and others, the translation is:

Hey, Moderators, please cut us some slack. When Leigh goes on vacation, and there's no new re-read, we go sideways, so don't come down too hard on us, it's how we deal.

AP @227

Two things. 1) I'm the one who raised the concern about your red nick being nicked, I'd hardly crack out of school if I were going to avail myself of the opportunity, especially since I referenced having a "false you" take an opposing stance from normal. 2) The grammar @209 is not mine. I wonder if it really was you, giving yourself something to get "het up" about. ::squint::

Alphaleonis @236

Bacharach reference, FTW! Careful, you will be accused of being old.

birgit @

I'm not the least bit concerned with my standing in regard to your always remarkable commenter stats, but my profile shows nearly 2,100 comments, and I daresay that fewer than 15% of those are not within the reread. So 1,361 seems a bit light. ::shrug::


Yep, I've been trying to not bother folks too much with my never-humble opinions. Unless, of course, they beg for special attention. I'm sure that Leigh has better digestive function when I comment less, as well, so there's that.
Robert Crawley
258. Alphaleonis
"Storms will soon come," it seemed to say. "But for now, I am here."

Who is the "I" in this passage? Rand, The Light, The Creator? Someone else?

My opinion is The Light, since it was "the distant light" that seemed to be saying this to Egwene.
259. Freelancer

I would agree. Egwene doesn't know what has happened, so she can't be ascribing the event to Rand, and very unlikely the Creator. What has been missing, what is so remarkable at this moment, is clear, golden, sunlight. We can speculate that Rand's ta'veren nature is at its peak just now, and might be influencing her from that distance, but when you've been in prison for weeks, and the world has been in gloom, a simple ray of unexpected Light would be enough of a comfort to mentally attach to it a declamation, an affirmation.

It is a common response of humans, to draw from lovely natural scenes all manner of sublime, metaphysical implications; to take comfort from a quiet stream or a sunset; reverent awe from the sea in storm or a raging cataract; wonder and mystery from the moon. It is a perfectly normal, perfectly human behavior. Especially if you believe that the Creator provided them all as gifts for our benefit.
Cameron Tucker
260. Loialson
Is anybody else here keeping up with Once Upon a Time, on ABC? Fascinating tidbit: two characters who are friends: Baelfire and Morraine.

I really do wonder if the writers of the show were doing a WoT shout-out there ;)
Robert Crawley
261. Alphaleonis
OK, I'll restate my question: Who is the "I" referred at the beginning of the prophesy "I am here at the end of time"? Rand?, The Light?, The Creator?, someone else? I also think this is The Light speaking.
Sam Mickel
262. Samadai
Alphaleonis @ 261
What prophecy are you referring to? I can't seem to find that one
Roger Powell
263. forkroot
If I understand Freelancer's response correctly, he was attributing a slight anthropomorphization to Egwene. She was referring to the light (or maybe the "Light") and just thinking of the message it sent.

I might look at a painting and think: "That painting says 'Violence and strife' to me". Well obviously I don't really think that the painting was sentient - I'm using a figure of speech to indicate that my reaction to the painting is analogous what it would have been had a human verbally communicating a similar sentiment.

If I don't understand Freelancer's response correctly, he can jump in now and work on getting that post count back up.
Karen Fox
264. thepupxpert
birgit @ 241 - A List, A List! I actually made a List! Wow how do you figure out how many posts you have? I didn't know I was so prolific... just kidding!
265. Freelancer
At work, so no book on hand, hence I cannot verify the quote offered. If this is indeed accurate from the text (and I was assuming that it was):
"Storms will soon come," it seemed to say. "But for now, I am here."
Then it is Egwene ascribing, to the vision before her, a communication. The phrase "it seemed to say" defines this for us, and isn't exclusive of the following sentence. Stated alternately:
It seemed to say ; "Storms will soon come, but for now, I am here".
The pronoun 'It', in this context, more than suggests an inanimate subject, which would have to be the beam of light shining from above Dragonmount.
Alice Arneson
266. Wetlandernw
Here's the direct quote, with context:
There was something beautiful about it. The light streaming down in a column, strong and pure. Distant, yet striking. It was like something forgotten, but somehow still familiar, shining forth from a distant memory to bring warmth again.
"What does it mean?" Silviana asked.
"I don't know," Egwene said. "But I welcome the sight of it." She hesitated. "That opening in the clouds is too even to be natural. Mark this day on the calendars, Silviana. Something has happened. Perhaps, eventually, we shall know the truth of it."
"Yes, Mother," Silviana said, looking out through the gap again.
Egwene stood with her, rather than returning to her study immediately. It felt relaxing to stare out at that distant light, so welcoming and noble. "Storms will soon come," it seemed to say. "But for now, I am here."
I am here.
It seems fairly clear that "it" is the distant light, which gives Egwene the feeling of reassurance. My question is... who is the "I" in the very last paragraph? No quotation marks, it's not attributed to anyone or anything. Quite probably, it's just the thought that lingers in Egwene's mind, that the Light is with them, but... I just thought it was an interesting presentation.
Anthony Pero
267. anthonypero
I think this is a copyedit mistake. The last unquoted I am here should probably be italicized (I am here), to indicate that Egwene is thinking it, not in reference to her, but as an echo of the "light's" last "statement".
Alice Arneson
268. Wetlandernw
anthony - It might have been an error, but I don't think so. FWIW, I didn't mean to imply that Egwene was applying it to herself in any way. It's clearly intended to be an echo, but is the echo in Egwene's head (in which case, yes, it should be in italics) or is it someone else reminding us that we (they) are not alone? In which case... Dragon Reborn? Fisher King? Wheel? Light? Creator? Bela?

I have to admit, I'd like to ask Brandon or Harriet that question.
Robert Crawley
269. Alphaleonis
Samadai @262

Got my copy of TGS out and checked, and the "I am here" I was referring to - is not in the prophesy. The way the prophesy was written above, in Leigh's summary immediately before her comments on the last chapter, made it appear that it was part of the prophesy. Sorry, My mistake. The "I am here" seems to be in Egwene's mind, and not some personal entity. At least the first "I am here" which stands within the quotation marks from Egwene's thoughts. The Last "I am here" outside of her thoughts, is the one that I attribute to another being, possibly The Light. People speak to or pray to The Light throughout the series. To me this is His comforting response of assurance. If people can speak to the Light can he not answer and say "I am here."?
Anthony Pero
270. anthonypero
This has to be in Egwene's head, or I think its an error. The wheel of time is incredibly consistent with Point of View. With the sole exception of the Wind in the beginning of each book, the series has never once switched to or from omniscient viewpoint without at least a linebreak, which is what would be necessary to accomplish what is being suggested.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
271. tnh
An excellent copyeditor works on these books. (Srsly, authors ask for her by name.) My guess is that if there's arguably this much ambiguity about that last unquoted I am, she followed the style of the manuscript in not italicizing it. Good copyeditors may be able to find clarity amidst ambiguity, but they can't manufacture it.

I could be wrong. I never make definitive statements about stuff like this unless I've seen the copyedited page, and ideally discussed it with the copyeditor.
Anthony Pero
272. anthonypero
Perhaps I used the wrong term when I said copyedit. I don't really know at what stage things like that are supposed to be caught and corrected. I thought an error was the most likely answer, since, as has been noted elsewhere, there were a lot of typographical errors in this volume. Not trying to impunge the copyeditor, of course. I get the impression that tGH was rushed to print to satisfy the fans who had been waiting for 5 years. ToM was significantly more clean.

What are your thoughts on it's meaning, tnh? Any ideas, based on how it's written?
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
273. tnh
Rushed, yes.

My take on that one is that I'd ask the author. I've seen too many queries come back with unexpected answers. It's overexpanded my imagination of what an author might have in mind.
Roger Powell
274. forkroot
For those of you checking the newest comments - I just replaced my comment up at #1 with the promised offering. Enjoy!
Sam Mickel
275. Samadai
Great job Forkroot, what an awesome song. I love it. Bravo Bravo
Tina Pierce
276. scissorrunner
I am smiling so wide I almost look like Loial!
You have so eloquently said what so many of us feel in our hearts.
Me most especially!!
(oh crap, the grammar police are sure to slap me for that one)(never mind, still feeling blue at having to miss JCon AT THE LAST MINUTE!!!!)
Thanks again !!!
Kimani Rogers
277. KiManiak

That was great! I was indeed singing along (although mostly to myself as my colleagues at work probably wouldn't understand).

Well done. Well done indeed!
Anthony Pero
278. anthonypero
Everybody needs to go read the sticky DRM post on the front page. Awesome news! When you finally get your eBook copy of A Memory of Light, it will be DRM-free!
Alice Arneson
279. Wetlandernw
forkroot @1 -

::applauds wildly::

Bravo! Bravo! Well written indeed! Some major effort going on there, too... Very well done.

And also, well said. For all we argue and snarl sometimes, the rereaders have become my friends, and I treasure each one. I was trying to explain to someone the other day why I like this group so much, and I finally realized - it can't be explained, really. You have to be there. My life doesn't permit of much traveling just now, so my chances of meeting anyone here in person are quite small, but that doesn't change the fact: we're friends.

Thank you, forkroot! And thank you, Leigh and all the rereaders, for making this such a fun place to be.

My husband, on the other hand, does NOT thank you... ;) He can't wait until this shindig is over. I haven't broken it to him yet... I'm pretty sure we'll keep going for a while after the last book is out....
Robert Crawley
280. Alphaleonis
Why have we come here? Rand thought.
Because, Rand replied. Because we made this. This is where we died.

When I first read this, it was a great moment. Warm and fuzzy over the feeling of personal reconciliation within Rand. Though he still had some large boulders to stumble over in his mind, It was a moment of mental clarity; of not fighting with LTT, but of calm self acknowledgement. Especially after his inner turmoil of the preceding few days.

For days, Rand had been in peaceful Ebou Dar, while a tempest railed with fury within him. Then he travelled to a peaceful meadow - still the tempest within. Then at last, he was on top of dragonmount; soon to be enveloped by a horrible tempest without,while he found peace within. It was a beautiful series of reversing contrast. And the above quote was to me a sweet beginning.
Nadine L.
281. travyl
Wow forkroot,
that was beautiful and funny and acurate ;). And thanks to youtube I could enjoy it along with the music (totally not singing along, that was ... someone else).

As others said so eloquently above, me as well has found friends here, I highly enjoy the enlightning comments as well as the banter. (And I too spend entirely too much time here, but it's so much fun I don't care).

Thank you.
Now when comes your next installment?
You could replace your 2 hunny comment for the occasion : )
John Massey
282. subwoofer
@Fork- heh- I remember back in the day when "No Fences" came out... we used to go to this bar for karaoke (long story, amazing what you'll do for a girl...) and they had a big "No Garth Brooks" sign posted for requests on all the song list sheets. I thought they were anti-hill billy, but there were a whack of other hick songs on there. Turns out that the club owner was a huge GB fan felt that no one else in the galaxy could do the song justice.... which makes sense, but kinda sucked for me because at that time, the only other song I knew off the top of my head was "Jump Around". After my go at it I think they added to their list of banned songs...

Thomas Keith
283. insectoid
FORK @1: ::applauds::

Beautiful! Bravo!!

Tricia Irish
284. Tektonica

Brilliant! You are so kind. I thank you for your good humor, and share your feelings about this Thread. Good friends, indeed!
285. AndrewB
Forkroot @1:

Brillant as always.

AndrewB (one of the few red holdouts and proud of it)
"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then" - Bob Seger, Against the Wind
Sam Mickel
286. Samadai
So, I was bored again and now must share my suffering with all of you. here is the first and second part of my Logain story

Logain rode at the head of his army, they were finally out of Ghealdan and heading down the road to Lugard. He hated having to battle and kill the innocents sent against him, but what other choice was there. To lose the source, it would be like losing his hands at this point, better to die. So, he and his army were heading for Tear knowing full well what that meant. He would proclaim himself the Dragon Reborn though he knew it was just a vanity to stay alive.

He had always been a very lucky young man. It had all started just after his dad died and and he inherited his families title. It seemed like things couldn't get any better for the Ablar family. Their long time enemies had exhausted their fortunes in the long feud,had come begging to be allowed to serve to repay the debt. The third son was the last surviving member of the family and he swore allegiance to the House. Even King Johanin had begun to notice the frequency that the Ablar family name came up. Logain was invited to visit house after house amongst the upper nobility of Ghealdan, those families hoping to add the rising noble to their factions. He had several of the finest families offer their daughters hands in marriage. Sadly he knew he couldn't accept.

He was 24 years old when it had happened, he was out with his families retainers on a survey of his land. He remembered the wolf erupting from the foliage to his left, his horse wild with fear bolting away from it. The uncontrolled gallop through the brush, he saw the chasm just as his horse jumped. He knew he wasn't going to make it, and he felt cold as he wished for something to land on. The horse came down and hit something solid with it's hooves and so startled was it, it came to a complete stop, standing over a chasm, on a bridge made out of air. He felt the connection to the bridge and as he dismounted and pulled his horse to the other side, he felt it begin to disappear. He felt as if all the light in the world was in his grasp, but slipping away, leaving him empty. He felt alive and tired all at once. When his retainers caught up to him he was back on his horse attempting to recreate what happened, when he could not he motioned for them to follow along until they reached and area of the Chasm that he could jump across.

When he got home, his families oldest retainer took him aside. "Master Logain, I believe it is time for you to know the secret behind your family." The story of your family goes back about a 1000 years to just before the rise of the High King. Master Guaire Amalasan had just been defeated and taken to Tar Valon to be gentled. Your ancestor Aleis was a wilder that Guaire Amalasan had found in a little village inside Dhowlan. He came to respect and greatly admire her. When he was taken your ancestor fled back to Dhowlan to her village. a few months later she gave birth to a son, Reinar. When he was full grown he joined Hawkwings army and became a Captain of great renown. During the downfall he kept the alliance with the regional governor and was made a lord. Your grandfather was the last member of your family that could channel, He was taken to Tar Valon and gentled when he couldn't hide what he was doing anymore. That was 40 years ago. Your grandfather kept notes on everything he learned and thought of during that time. Though he was kept in Tar Valon until he died, he snuck out the journal he wrote with one of his friends. The old man had been rummaging through a chest as he talked and pulled out an old worn book. "Master Logain, this is his book, he would want you to have it, I serve faithfully you and yours."
He had spent years studying the book, learning how to channel. How to summon the void and consume all emotion into the flame. It had taken him six months before he could summon the power every time he tried. Three years after he had started channeling he had become as proficient as the notes he read allowed. There were already rumors of him abounding around the country. He could no longer hide it when another family moved against him, he had struck out against their army with fire before they could siege his house, and by then it was too late to hide. His family and allies were firmly behind him, and so he proclaimed himself the Dragon. War had consumed Ghealdan as houses flocked to and against his banner. Word had come that King Johanin and the council had revoked his lordship, but by then it was too late. His army had destroyed the Kings own, and they were now on their way to Tear. Word had reached him that there was Aes Sedai and an army in Lugard, he hoped to get by without too many deaths.

As his followers moved into the valley of the Manetherendrelle he spotted the forward scouts of the opposing forces. They were at the bridge over the river when one of them must have caught a reflection of the sunlight off a piece of armor, for as one they all turned and galloped back towards Lugard. Logain called back to Ronal, “Lets set up camp on that side of the bridge, with a detachment across to hold it against a need to retreat” Ronal grunted in agreement and called back. Logain waited to the side as his army moved down to the river and in fairly short time the camp was erected.

Ronal and him were in the command tent when word was brought back that an army was marching in from Lugard flying multiple countries banners. Andor, Tear, Illian, Cairhien, many others. At their forefront rode a group of women who could be nothing but Aes Sedai. Logain was a little worried. He had yet to face Aes Sedai and wasn't sure how to proceed. He knew deep down that he was strong, though he had no one to compare against. “ I want the army to prep for an attack in the morning, I will lead from the back this time so I can counter any acts from the channelers. Send cavalry detachments to the North and South to protect against flanking and to flank when necessary. Infantry up front, cavalry in reserve, put the archers on the heights by the river.” Ronal left to organize the army.

“ I was so close to success last time, damn Hawkwing.” the thought skittered across his mind. Logain shook himself as he listened, I must be nervous for the coming battle. He rose out of his chair and wandered over to his tent. The morning would see the largest battle since the Aiel war, Logain thought as he laid down.

You are nothing when I came this way I had armies in the hundreds of thousands, life was mine to command. I had destroyed every army sent against me, left Aes Sedai smoldering in the dust.
You and your ragtag army of rebels will never make it without my help.” Logain sat up out of bed in a cold sweat, there was someone talking in his head, he wasn't imagining it. Who are you, he thought.
Fool, who do you think I am, I raised the banner of the Dragon and fought wars all over the land, people flocked to my banner, if it weren't for trickery by that fool Hawkwing I would have conquered all the lands. My name is Guaire Amalasan.

Logain was frightened, he knew he was going mad now. He grabbed a bottle of wine and drank until he passed out.

Logain sat his horse on the the high ground next to the river watching the the opposing army attack his lines. He had been channeling most of the morning and was growing weary. He cursed as he realized that his men were going to lose, and began to rain fire down towards the enemy. He felt the fire bounce off the shields and knew the Aes Sedai had taken a hand. Logain watched as his army was routed, his followers fleeing in many directions.

So dies my hope of living he thought. Turning and trotting down the incline he headed into the woods to the west. An hour later he came to a clearing and was startled to see a figure sitting a horse in the middle of it. With the power in him he could see she was a very old Aes Sedai. He slowed to a walk and said, “If you allow me to depart in peace, I will let you live”

“Phaw boy, I think you have caused enough trouble for one day, you Will come with me now, and I will see you are safe. I give no guarantees for what the others might do for you.

“Surrender now, face the rest of my short life without the Power, I would rather be dead”

“Boy, You can live without it, I can show you, I have faced more men that could channel than most others combined. They have all lived normal lives without it.”

Kill her before it is too late, we must flee, without the power we are better dead. Logain pulled deeply on it and through several fireballs at the old women. As they approached her they just seemed to disappear.
“ I was hoping we weren't going to have to do this the hard way, but you have given me no choice boy.”
Logain felt something trying to block his power and tried pushing against it. He felt the shield slide in between him and the power as he felt it leave. Logain slumped in the saddle as he felt unseen bonds wrap around him.
So, this is it, he thought, I can't even take my own life, it will be taken from me, then I will die.

“Boy, you interest me, I will see you are cared for. There is life after the power.” Logain felt powerless as she grabbed the reins to his horse and turned around and led him back to the armies. He couldn't believe that this one Aes Sedai had captured him when he had evaded armies and more.
You may call me Cadsuane Sedai, boy, I have you now.”
Tricia Irish
287. Tektonica
Great Sam! Thanks! Well done.

Perfect for a week with no post.
Roger Powell
288. forkroot

The meter was wrong, otherwise my song would have said:
"It's where Samadai writes great fan fiction"

Excellent work.
Thomas Keith
289. insectoid
Sam @286: Heh heh heh... oh those voices in his head!
Great job, Sam!

Sam Mickel
290. Samadai
Thanks Forkroot, Tektonica, Insectoid
Jeff Schweer
291. JeffS.
First of all.
Forkroot, that was brilliant.
Samadai, you too!
That is excellent work by both of you.
Sam, I really like your forays into outrigger like fiction. In this case especially, it reads like a chapter that unfortunately didn't make the cut for inclusion in one of the earlier books. Very nice indeed.

To paraphrase Bilbo Baggins "I like you all twice as much as you deserve." We will have to find a way to continue this family gathering as long as possible.

I'm a bit surprised to find myself in the top 50 for TGS. I knew once I got the going "black" thing figured out, I would post more often, but I didn't think this would happen. Then again, why not. I've never felt on the outside looking in while involved with this reread so I've never felt inhibited about making an observation or responding to one of the other commentors.

I'm glad I'm in Tor places.
P.S. Andrew B. you just keep the faith and stay RED as long as you want to.
Jonathan Levy
292. JonathanLevy
Re: Why have we come here? Rand thought. Because, Rand replied. Because we made this. This is where we died.
When I first read this, it was a great moment. Warm and fuzzy over the feeling of personal reconciliation within Rand.
Wow, amazing how two people can read the same line so differently. I saw it as the logical culmination of Rand's madness - the poor boy from the Two Rivers has succumbed to the taint, and lost any sense of distinction between himself and Lews Therin.

It started way back in TSR and TFoH when he would occasionally speak Lews Therin's words and think his thoughts; developed in LoC when he would speak to LTT in his mind; worsened as he absorbed his memories, dreamt his dreams, spoke to him aloud, and lost control of Saidin. In the last two books Lews Therin starts sounding less and less like a madman to Rand, and by the end of TGS Rand no longer distinguishes between his own thoughts and LTT's.

Personal reconciliation? Not in my opinion - at least, no more than the walls of Jericho could be said to have had a 'personal reconciliation' with Joshua's trumpets.
Nadine L.
293. travyl
One small critic: I find it out character that Cadsuane would allow any man to call her just Cadsuane instead of Cadsuane Sedai ; )
I will leave final judgement to Wetlander.

Re: 280/292: "this is where we died"
- when you read the line with hind-knowledge of how Rand Sedai behaves after Veins of Gold it does feel like the beginning of reconciliation between the LTT and Rand. But it happens before.
Yet I don't see it as culmination of Rand's madness.
Rand has long since accepted that he is the Dragon Reborn. He spent quite some time now arguing with the voice he considers to be the Dragon (no matter if it is constructed, a symptomn of madness or real, it is there). So he and this inner voice travel to Dragonmount, which was not a conscious choice made by Rand, considering that Rand asks why.
I find it fitting that he finally uses "we" after he almost repeated the Kinslayer's deed and so I see it as an acknowledgement that he has become the Dragon personality, and not a ongoing effect of madness.
James Hogan
294. Sonofthunder
forkroot @1 - absolutely fantastic!!! Had me smiling the whole way through...I'm with you on every sentiment. Y'all are awesome.

Sam - Great conclusion to the Logain story!!
295. alreadymadwithveinsofgold
subwoofer @37
I've long posited the theory that Red was the traditional color of law enforcement in the Age of Legends and well into the time of Hawkwing. And yes, that includes the belief that the Red Ajah was all about hunting rogue channelers, which in recent memory simply devolved into hunting males.

hawkido @125
I thought the quote was properly.. "Belief and order give strength."

anthonypero @154
Misdirection can work both ways and insectoid could be right.

Forkroot.. that was absolutely brilliant.

Samadai... jolly good stuff.

As for Rand:
Huh.. I never figured reversing the polarity would work.

On the Font of power:
Times New Roman, Arial and Comic Sans do it for me.
Valentin M
296. ValMar
forkroot @ 1

I'll join the deserved accolades heaped upon you for this delightful piece, well done sir!

Also, I have to agree with JL. When first I read the lines "why have we come here... this is where we died" my gut reaction was "oh dear, we haven't reached the bottom yet, what is Rand going to do now"...
Which is great because, however clever and astute I am, I like to be surprised once in a while.

PS Thanks for the stats, birgit!
Tess Laird
297. thewindrose
forkroot - as always - AWESOME job! I am picturing some of the rereaders singing this next year at JCon:) (sub , see another reason to go;)

Samadai - great back story for Logain!

amwvog - Reversing the polarity - Ha! That is good:)

ValMar - Reaching for 300?

Ron Garrison
298. Man-0-Manetheran
Forkroot #1!
Late to the party again, but I have to shout out how wonderful your lyrics are. I truely had to Laugh Out Loud in many places — like “Julio Iglesis”. This is a real keeper, and I’ve copied it to a text file in my WoT folder so I won’t lose it. It’s so true. I too, feel like I’ve made so many friends here tho’ I’ve only met Tek in person. I really want to get to JordanCon next year, and I do hope to meet more of you — my Friends in Tor Places.

Another brilliant bit of fiction. Thanks for being so productively bored. And thanks for including my favorite Cranky Sedai. You got her voice just right.

Thanks again for the count. I’ve fallen way down on the list since I retired. I had more free time to comment when I had a desk job! How ironic. My numbers would have been higher, though, if I hadn’t bitten my tongue and discarded my responses to some really irritating posts. Hundreds of words went to the trash can. So glad we’re back to the old jolly good times.

Thanks for the Bilbo quote. I totally agree.

And another thought on "3 will become 1": It's Ron, Harry and Hermione. And the voice in Harry's head is real, but it's Voldamort.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
299. tnh
Is the site serving up molasses for everyone, or just me?
Rob Munnelly
300. RobMRobM
Fork - Bravo!

Edit - wow, haven't had me some hunny since the last age.

Theresa - speaking of sticky hunny, yes the site (or at least this post) is slow as the PLOD.
Ron Garrison
301. Man-0-Manetheran
tnh - It seems to be working the same as always for me.
Sam Mickel
302. Samadai
Travyl, I don't know what you are referring to, it clearly says Cadsuane Sedai right there. ;).
Bill Reamy
303. BillinHI
Forkroot, thanks for the shoutout. Don't really know Garth Brooks' songs, but that was very well done. As for JCon, I mentioned to my wife the other day that JCon was going on and she suggested I should go next year! I will certainly keep it in mind.
Karen Fox
304. thepupxpert
re the cover art - I never knew that was Avi, I wasn't sure who it was but I thought Elayne was the one with the curly reddish-blonde hair. I always pictured Avi as having straight short hair with a tail when we meet her, and then when it grew out it was still straight and more dark blonde. Frankly I've had trouble matching together the characters on the front covers of pretty much all the books.
Sanctume Spiritstone
305. Sanctume
Can you really make a bridge out of air? For yourself? Logain on his horse? I thought bending weaving something like that is as hard as lifting yourself. I'm thinking back in the passages when Egg was floated by other AS during her rise in the rebel camp.
Sam Mickel
306. Samadai
Rand made a bridge out of air when he visited the Sea Folk ship in A Crown of Swords.
Nadine L.
307. travyl
Hereby I take back my statements from my comment @293.
Apologies to Sam, I do see the Sedai honorific quite clearly now. : )

The second part of my comment is equally false, since it wasn't the first time that Rand used "we" instead of "I": The previous occasions I found was less deliberate, chapter 35 (before meeting Tuon):
The madman scrambled for the One Power.
He was Rand, wasn't he? Sometimes, after a battle like this, he had trouble recalling who he was.
Who was he?
Did it really matter?
"Are you all right?" Nynaeve asked again.
"We are fine." Rand did not realize he'd used the plural ...
I still don't think its madness that causes him to lose himself, but he does seem to gradually lose himself, not just accept his Dragon self.
Roger Powell
308. forkroot
forkroot - as always - AWESOME job! I am picturing some of the rereaders singing this next year at JCon:)
Yeah, as the lyrics say ... "I wish I'd gone".

I'm working up my courage to suggest to the missus that we really want to go next year. Unfortunately, she has zero interest in WOT. What I need to convince her is that there is killer shopping nearby :-)

If we all want to sing the song next year, it would need a little rework. I'd have to pull out the personal stuff (e.g. the acknowledgement that I've met BillinHI, Samadai, and RobMRobM in person - I was kinda proud of that line.) We'll see how things go with that.
Sam Mickel
309. Samadai
Forkroot, Apparently Atlanta has all kinds of things to go see while you are there, Zoo, Aquarium, Coca Cola museum, all kinds of things, surely the missus must like so,e of those. ;)
Jay Dauro
310. J.Dauro
Forkroot - And Atlanta does have some killer shopping.
Rob Munnelly
311. RobMRobM
Fox Theater, the Varsity (huge old fashion drive in diner), shopping/clubbing in the high end Buckhead area, Atlanta Braves games, etc.
Roger Powell
312. forkroot
You mean the Boston Braves are now in Atlanta?? Man, I should have been paying more attention. I suppose the next thing you are going tell me is that the Red Sox actually won a World Series after 1918.
Rob Munnelly
313. RobMRobM
Yes, fork, in the words of the not quite late, more or less lamented, Theo Epstein: "1918 is now just another year in which the Sox won the World Series. "
314. Freelancer
forkroot @312

Well, not exactly, or I should say not directly. The Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee in the '50s. The rabid early fan support in Wisconsin faded quickly, and after several court battles the Milwaukee Braves, including up and coming slugger Hank Aaron, moved to Atlanta in 1966.

tnh ~ There was a time earlier today when things were working poorly. It is not uncommon that reloading the page gets slower once the comments pass 300, though I cannot say there is a connection between the two. But try loading a page with >3K comments, including several hundred pictures. That behemoth redefines going 'round the bend and back.

And if fortune should permit me to attend JordanCon when next it gathers, I will then be able to say that there is something in Atlanta to which I am attracted. The extant memories of that city are mostly concerned with the traffic, the airport, the humidity, and the attitude.
Jeff Schweer
315. JeffS.
OK, Fork and Sam got us through the start of the current reread drought in a masterful fashion. Who's next?
Me? No, sorry. I just used up all of my poetical brain cells on the prologue excerpt thread.

I'm still having random goosebump attacks thinking about that excerpt.
I can wait till January, I can, really.
Looks like I need to start a new reread of the books from the beginning just so I'm fresh for the spoiler thread of AMOL.
I am only an egg
Alice Arneson
316. Wetlandernw
JeffS @315 - "I just used up all of my poetical brain cells on the prologue excerpt thread." - And they were well spent, I must say! Quite eloquent, indeed.

Also... if I can get the little grey cells to cooperate, maybe I'll make a contribution. Don't anyone hold your breath, though.
Roger Powell
317. forkroot
One of the hobbies that "Mrs forkroot" and I enjoy is the collection and display of ceramic lit Christmas houses. The major brand is "Department 56" - at least that's the brand where older pieces have actual value.

The houses made today have a hole in the bottom to admit the C7 light bulb; however some years ago the hole was in the back.

I just mention this now, because I'm feeling a weird resonance with the TGS cover.
Sam Mickel
318. Samadai
Forkroot @ 317

That's funny, my mom collects those as well. I always thought that manor on the cover looked familiar, now I know it is one of moms Christmas displays. :D
Thomas Keith
319. insectoid
Fork @317: My mom has a ceramic Christmas tree, hand painted by her mother, that we get out every year. Its hole for the C7 bulb is, indeed, in the bottom.

Wait, why are we talking about this again? XD

Epic (and lovely!) photodump on Leigh's wrap-up of JCon. :)

Karen Fox
320. thepupxpert
Insect thanks for the link, I had to do a search for AMOL prologue to find the prologue that Wet was referring to, so glad I did find it and swiped the hunny also, WOW!
Jeff Schweer
321. JeffS.
Thanks, I appreciate the sentiment. The prologue excerpt really struck a cord with me. The whole idea that the land calls and people respond to the lands need.
The Land Calls, the Dragon is one with the land. Creating something fights the DO. The song the Tinkers search for. The Ogier, and treesung wood. The song of the earth...

I'm on the edge of something here, I'll think about it for a few days and see what I come up with.
John Massey
322. subwoofer
Ran away from Tor for a while because it took soooooooo long to load, my browser timed out.

Christmas decorations eh? Fitting since it was snowing in my neck of the woods yesterday. Philosophical (read crazy) folks suggest that we need the moisture, I say, forget that, gimme summer already.

Lately I have been collecting Elmo dolls.... its more like my daughter's collection, but I have made several pilgrimages in search of the elusive Elmo, and lemme tell you, I feel like a goon showing up looking for these things sans kid.

As far as Altanta- visited there in my Uni years, and as Free mentioned, the humidity left an impression. I sweat like a champion there and I couldn't get cool. Parked my hiney by A/C units my whole visit. It left a lasting impression on my tees too. OTOH it was a great weight loss program... took me back to my wrestling days trying to make weight by shedding water...

James Hogan
323. Sonofthunder
To all you complaining about the humidity of Atlanta...never lived in Florida, huh? The humidity is our constant friend and companion...you almost get used to the fact that you'll be sweating within 2 minutes of walking outside!!
Alice Arneson
324. Wetlandernw
The thing that I could never get used to in Florida was getting out of my (air-conditioned) car and having my glasses fog up. Wrong. Just... wrong.

Okay, that and the sugar ants and the cockroaches. I ended up keeping all my food in the refrigerator. Chilled crackers.... mmmm.
John Massey
325. subwoofer
@ SoT- and you're bragging about this, why? I suppose it could be worse... up here in the borderlands it usually snows around the May long weekend, we pack away the skis come mid-June;)

That being said there was a brave and hearty fella out there in a Dicky-Dee van the other day hocking his wares. I think I was one of the few customers as I overheat in anything above 52 degrees.

326. AndrewB
Outrigger novel I would most like to see somebody from Team Jordan write (something along the length of New Spring): story of the creation of the White Tower.

The snipet that we get in the big white book is creates the potential for a nice novella.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
327. tnh
Forkroot, Samadai: Get a look sometime at the cover of the original paperback edition of Samuel R. Delany's Triton. If you stare at the futuristic city long enough, it resolves into a clutter of objects collected from an artist's work area. One of the buildings is very recognizably a Neo-Synephrine nasal decongestant inhaler of the period.
Dawn Boyall
328. deebee
Since this thread is going to go sideways for a few days, I thought I`d toss this out.
I`m about to start a full re-read from the EOTW, and I`m going to try to answer one main question-who doesn`t know what?

(Actually it`s WetlanderNW`s fault, her description of re-reading specifically to try to understand Cadsuane`s point of view set me thinking about the lack of communication between characters, even where meetings in TAR gives the supergirls at least a chance to keep each other fully in the loop.) So I`m looking at how characters make the decisions they do, looking at what they know, as opposed to what we know.

So one of my questions is- who knows about Rand`s bonding of the wifelets?

And who knows about Rand`s impending fatherhood? (I don`t remember anything that shows even Rand knows.)

And what does Egwene know from Nynaeve about Rand`s state of mind and his actions in recent books?

I suspect there`ll be lots of other questions along the way- does anyone want to contribute any more for my list?
John Massey
329. subwoofer
Deebee- you asked a very interesting question about Rand- he doesn't know about the kids, does he? I do wonder if that will give him pause, should there be a reunion with Elayne.

Heh... OTOH, I could see his initial reaction to Elayne and her belly... Putting on some weight there Elayne? Was that me? Was there someone else? Do you know who the father is? Was it something I said?....

Dawn Boyall
330. deebee
If Rand knew about the babies, it would surely have been part of his jesusification on Dragonmount. Why does he need to die to save the world?

To make the world a better place for his children. For them to have the chance to grow up in a world free of the Dark One`s touch.

So if he doesn`t know, Min hasn`t told him...
Heidi Byrd
331. sweetlilflower
If we are going to go sideways a bit...I have a question for the British re-readers. My son loves this show called Kipper that comes on the Sprout channel. Anyway, it is a British production, script, and actors. There is this one episode where they read part of the beginning of a story, and it kills me everytime. I am hoping someone will recognize it and tell me the name of the story so I can find it.

"Deep in the middle of the dark, dark woods; there lived a horrible, horendous, terrible, tremendous..."

That part gets read at least 5 times during the episode.

So, here's hoping someone knows!

Dawn Boyall
332. deebee

I googled horrible horrendous terrible tremendous and came up with a story by Mick Inkpen called Kipper`s Monster.

My offspring are (supposedly) grown up now but I do remember Kipper stories from when they were small. No Kipper TV program though, that was obviously after our time.
Haha hehe hoho, cheerio!

It is I, Zexxes... back from hiatus. Why? For absolutely no damn good reason other than...uhhh.... lazyness? Nooo, uhhh....uhhhh...I got nothing!

Covers- My absolute favorite is the very first one. Why? Because I bought TEotW on a Tuesday, which is my Random buy day. It is usually meant for CD's but on that day I was in the Borders and happened upon the cover of said book. I said "cool" and then I said " the horse is to small for the girl....wayyyy to small.... dimensions are all wrong!" So then I read the back. I then said " typical storyline". I then put the book back. I went to the CD section and didn't see anything promising on the covers after 15 minutes of browsing. So I mosied back to the the scifi/fanatsy section again, looked at the cover again and said "if you overlook the Horse its a great cover". So I bought it and the rest is a little peice of history.

Cadsuane- I've said it before and I'll say it again. Cadsuane is more responsible for Rands downward spiral than she is for Rands epiphany moment. Everything she did to manipulate him came to naught. He fought her machinations tooth and nail every time. She annoyed him to no end. The only reason she was allowed in Rands presence was because of Mins reading. The only part she played in his recovery was driving him to almost kill his own father. Sending him was so much a huge mistake that it baffles my mind that any would think otherwise. Sure if he hadn't mentioned Cadsuane he Maybe wouldn't have flipped out. But it was only a matter of time before he found out. Her obtuseness was absolutely merciless with regards to her treatment of Rand, having absolutley no respect for him. She took him to be a problem to be resolved, instead of a human being who needs mending from deep wounds. The Forsaken wished they could have had as ill an effect on Rand as Cadsone alone managed.

I will give you this. If not for her failure, and she did fail, he would not have come to the place he did the way he did. Her failure and the way the failure manifested was one thread of a lay, one of many, that caused the Dragon Reborn to be Reborn. Just think about what would have happened if her plan succeeded. Imagine what would have happened if Tam didn't mention Cadsuane and her "Plan". When would that moment or one like it, have occured? He was already beginning to merge without Cadsuanes "Plan". I like to think it could not have happened any other way, because it was the Creators champion being shaped, not some puppet of Cadsuanes to be handled. She was simply a pawn in Creations plan and the Creator left it to Rand to make the right decision. I like that a lot.

Name me the time anything that Cadsuane did, caused Rand to laugh. Name me anything that Cadsuane did to cause "the heart of stone remember tears, and the soul of fire, love". If anything she hardened him even further. *Beavis and Butthead just giggled*

Rand and Lews Therin- some have mentioned and I would agree that Rand is the reincarnation of Lews Therin. What I think is that Rand is a reincarnation of the Soul of Lews Therin with different life experiences along with Lews Therin's memory laying dormant because there is no common themes to link them to they may manifest or awaken. The moment that Moraine and Lan came into Rands life, Rand was doomed to that twin existance of memory.

They were one and the same, because it was the same soul. But we are also combining the full life of a man long dead, with no memory of living missing, awakening into Rands present living mind; forced to co-exist until they lived amongst each others memories long enough to permit the merging of the two no-longer distinct minds. And they were distinct. It wasn't insanity. It wasn't the taint. It was literaly two Lives minds sharing the same soul. Well... thats my take on it anyway.

Rand apologizing to Cadsuane- @56. KiManiak
Compare his willingness to apologize with Cadsuane and her (very pointedly spoken) unwillingness to apologize to Rand after Semi puts the Domination Band on Rand, right before he banishes Cads from his sight.
Not only did Cadsuane not apologize, but she took the opportunity to insult Rand and try to make it seem his fault. And remember in ToM after apologizing, she continued to disrespect him until he FINALLY confronted and shamed her into FINALLY calling him by name.

more in a minute.
I don't know about Atlanta, but I have lived in Florida. And lemme tell you Florida's humidity is quite heavy and thick. But Florida's is nothing compared to Maryland's. There is just nothing quite like that kind of humidity in Northern America except for maybe New Orleans and the Lousiana swamplands.

A lot of people don't know that Washington DC is built on recovered swampland and that about a good quarter of Maryland is swampland. Maryland has over 100 swamps within its border. The DC metropolitan area humidity is absolutely brutal. Being trapped by the Shenandoah range east in Virginia and the Appalachian Mountains in Northwestern Maryland, the humidity builds slowly with the spring rains and the summer heat with long stretches of above 95 degree weather.

Whether your in Baltimore, Annapolis or our Nations Capitol, its all the same. With minor exception with regards to the Mall in DC, being absolutely deadly. Having that humidity while absolutely baking at over 100 degrees is just insanity. You should see the number of ambulances waiting around for someone to fallout in the middle of the Mall.

Avoid visiting DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland in late July and early August. Its not just the Humidity that you gotta worry about in those months. The summer storms come outta nowhere. The lightning comes down like rain and the rain comes down like poured water. The DC metropolitan area is second only to central Florida with regards to lightning strike counts per year. Of course we also get Tornadoes, although on average Maryland only gets three per year. But, per ten thousand miles, and given our size, in the United States only Florida and Kansas gets more tornadoes than Maryland, with 10 per 10,000 square miles. We remembered on the 28th of April, ten years ago an F4 that devastated the town of La Platta with winds of over 200mph and killing, thankfully, only three. A year earlier the University of Maryland suffered the loss of life with three deaths which included two sisters being thrown across a parking lot in their a car by an F3 tornado.

The storms in Maryland only saving grace, is that they come like clockwork at around 3pm. If only to cool things down to 90 degrees... maybe 85.

Just my two cents on that.

Anthony Pero
335. anthonypero
Having lived and travelled all over the US, I can tell you three places right off the bat that have worse humidity than Maryland:

New Orleans, LA
Charleston, SC
Knoxville, TN

And one more as a bonus:

Houston, TX

Maryland gets bad, but only for a few weeks out of the year. These three cities are humid beyond belief, with temperatures in the 90s and up, for 6 months out of the year.

Sticky doesn't cover it.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
336. tnh
I grew up thinking 112 F./7% humidity in the summer was normal, and wondering why Easterners thought a few days of 95 F. constituted a "heat wave". Then I visited littoral Northern Virginia in late July, and couldn't believe human beings survived in that climate.
Tricia Irish
337. Tektonica
How did we get on weather?

tnh: Did you grow up in Arizona? 112F. is hot anyway you slice it. Once, when playing golf in Az in May,(when it was about 104) my husband said that it was like being in a convection oven. (The nights are still nice tho!)

Totally agree with your assessment, AP...Charleston in the summer is miserable! I live in Florida and it's humid. It's a jungle. But it's rarely out of the 90's, and at least on the east coast, where there are constant ocean breezes. That helps somewhat, but yeah, major rain, thunderstorms and lightening, which usually pass pretty quickly (due to the wind), and oh yeah, the occasional pesky hurricane. Actually, worrying about the hurricanes, watching them cross the Atlantic headed straight for us, is the most anxiety producing problem we seem to have.
(The good news is, all the snow birds have flown north, and we have our streets and restaurants back!)

I'm heading to Colorado!
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
338. tnh
Tektonica: Got it in one. I grew up in Central Arizona. Late May and early June weather is not unlike a convection oven if you're in the sun. Thing is, at low humidity, the air doesn't hold the heat as much. If you're in the shade, it's much easier to take, and the nights are very nice. When you've got high humidity, the air itself carries the heat, and there's no escape. I've never quite gotten over my sense of betrayal at discovering that in NYC in the summer, it can get hotter after the sun goes down.

Do your snowbirds drive like idiots?
Deana Whitney
339. Braid_Tug
@328, deebee
In my own re-read, I have just finished reading Ch14, of CoT. Apparently the Wise One Monaelle (who was the "mid-wife" at the sister bonding) knows about the wife bonding and the twins’ parentage. “She was among the few who knew…” (pg. 354, hb edition).

So my guess is this:
Bonding: Rand, the wives, Monaelle, Birgitte, Dyelin, and maybe a few other WO. Allana knows Rand is bonded to another, but not who.

Since Elyne hasn’t even confirmed Rand is the father to Ny & Eg, I’m not going to wonder beyond the list above.

Good luck with your re-read! The Eg question is a really good one.
Heidi Byrd
340. sweetlilflower
332. deebee

Yeah, that is the book the episode is based on...but it also stops after the word "tremendous". I was hoping it was perhaps the opening of a well-known British story :-)

Thanks for looking, though!
Heidi Byrd
341. sweetlilflower
@ Balescream and many others (looking at you, Wetlandernw!)

We can all agree that Cadsuane has done some incredible things in her life, and that she is one badass AS. However, I think where the two camps separate is in her rationale for doing these acts.


When I first started reading the books, I did not dislike her character, I even laughed at some of her lines...but, the more I am forced to go back and read her actual interactions and thoughts; the more I dislike her. It all stems from her very first meeting with Rand. She walks into his room and then proceeds to insult, ignore, or manhandle pretty much everyone in the room. Since every other interaction is based on this first horrible meeting, I think that she ultimately fails as an advisor, and with her plan to teach him to be more human.

However, if you read this first interaction and agree that Cadsuane should be able to do as she pleases, and that someone needed to smack-down Rand, then the character reads differently. After reading the backstory Brandon posted on his site, the same dichotomy exists.

Yes, she Gets. Stuff. Done.
That has never been in contention.

But, should she be able to do anything she pleases simply because she has the power to do so?

Aren't her actions exactly why the Seanchan started collaring channellers? (really think about this one)

So, I guess what it comes down to is your own internal belief system as to whether Cads is the best thing since sliced cheese, or...not.

(edited for spelling...sigh)
Tricia Irish
342. Tektonica
tnh: We have a horrid stew of bad drivers: Older people who can't see over the steering wheel and are petrified on the roads, foreigners here on vacation and are lost, or going slowly, or are sightseeing and pointing out the window, and the busy working folks that live here and are frustrated behind the first two (me). So, yes, they drive like idiots.

And Phoenix is one of my favorite places. I was just out there for a long weekend. It's so different from our jungle. I love the starkness of the desert, and the nights are glorious! (Everyday is a good hair day too ;-)
Anthony Pero
343. anthonypero

Locals pretending that the 95 sign on the freeway is the speed limit don't help much either.
Rob Munnelly
344. RobMRobM
Atlanta is not a big humidity City - it's at altitude (about 1,000 feet above sea level) so less humid than Tek land.
Anthony Pero
345. anthonypero
Hotlanta in June and July... I'll avoid.
346. hawkido
@331 sweetlilflower

Kipper's Monster by mick inkpen
Thomas Keith
347. insectoid
Still buzzing about...

Z @334, et al: And I thought mid-90s in Southern California was bad...

WouldbeBrownAjah @339: Elayne did admit (sort of) that Rand was the father to Nynaeve & Egwene in ToM ch. 14. On the same page (HC p. 210) Eg surmises that Elayne has bonded Rand because she lets slip that she can feel him. But I don't think Nynaeve knows.

As for others: Cadsuane (and possibly other AS in her party) knows that Min is bonded to Rand.

APero @343: ROFL!! In California, US route signs are slightly less ambiguous (i.e., they actually say "US" on them!), and they don't have the outer black border; they're just a cutout. (Road sign-ology and CA road history are two of my more obscure hobbies.)

Karen Fox
348. thepupxpert
Oooh I like talking about the weather. I've been to some sweaty places and I'm sooo glad I live by the beach, sometimes it's overcast all day but you can go inland about a mile or two and it's 12 degrees hotter and bright and sunny. I prefer the occasional cloudy mild days anytime.
Tricia Irish
349. Tektonica
AnthonyPero@343: 95 isn't the speed limit????

thpupxpert@348: Carmel?
Karen Fox
350. thepupxpert
Tek - Huntington/Sunset Beach - great in the winter, Carmel's too cold!
Mike Edenfield
351. kutulu
About that "Problem of the Seanchan":

I have often wondered how much of the Seanchan RJ really had planned out when he wrote TGH. I have always heard that the original plan was for this to be a trilogy, meaning Jordan would have no need of the Seanchan after TGH ended; as he extended his story further out, he realized that he would have to bring them back, and they they would play a significant role going forward, but his portrayal of them was already tainted with a (deservedly) horrible first impression.

The depiction of them the first time we seem them has almost no redeeming qualities, and I certainly don't get the impression that a conquered Falme was happy to see them. Remember, in that first battle, the Seachan were literally the proxy of the Dark One: their success/failure in battle exactly mirrors Ishamael's success/failure in his duel with Rand. They were (IMO) clearly meant to be depicted as "evil".

Then they vanish, and don't really show up en-masse (barring the stragglers like Egeanin) for five books. Then they reappear far to the South, this time bringing a harsh but "fair" regime as they conquer. In fact, the only real problem with them, from aCoS forwards, is their institutional slavery of channelers. In almost every other aspect, RJ seesms to go to great pains to point out how superior they are to whatever was in place before they showed up. Less crime, more food, more stability, etc. They punish their own people as or more severely as those they conquer, they have a disciplined and effective army and police force, etc. In short, they are exactly the kind of government that most of that part of the world is in dire need of. They are shown as being no more or less corrupted by the DO than any other culture, and certainly show no cultural inclination towards "evil" in the metaphyiscal sense.

There's just that whole slavery thing.

I wonder if perhaps this Seanchan Problem is one where RJ wrote himself into a corner and was trying hard to get out of it. There's no way I (as a reader) would have accepted Rand or Perrin making a truce with the Seanchan of Falme, but by the time the last few novels rolled around, it seemed perfectly reasonable that they would do so. Rand's problem with them was never cast as an issue with their treatment of channelers, even though they routinely killed the men. It was their political/military opposition to him. But RJ made them too good of a bad guy the first time out, and now he has to figure out some way to make them palatable. The only way to do that was to make them "better" than the extant governments in every way possible, except that they kept channelers as slaves. That was still needed, because it's a key part of Egwene's story arc; but it rarely seems to come up as an abomination unless Egwene is involved.

I wonder if, had Jordan thought more about their eventual significance prior to publishing TGH, if he wouldn't have tried to tone down the sul'dam mess a little bit.
Jay Dauro
352. J.Dauro

While it is possible that RJ didn't have the Seanchen in his plan all the way through, there are too many things being tied up in TGS and TOM that started in TEOTW for me to believe that. I believe he knew where all of our major characters were going when he started. That include the Prince of the Ravens.
Alice Arneson
353. Wetlandernw
Balescream - I love the way you just slide right on by the number of times Cadsuane saved Rand's life. She did some things she really didn't like doing in the process, but she figured that keeping him alive was worth more than any of the other consequences - including her own regrets.

Seriously (and this is for sweetlilflower, even more) - she's 295 years old. She's got more experience and success with channeling men than the whole Red Ajah put together. She knows more about the prophecies - and especially Callandor - than anyone except some Brown hiding in the Tower, barely aware that they're being fulfilled right outside. Rand is 22 years old, somewhat insane, and has an unknown amount of memory (poorly integrated) from his past life - which he won't discuss with anyone, so there's no way to evaluate its potential for good or ill. He's done a few great things, and a lot of seriously irrational things. He's killing the land by his very existence (up until this last chapter). He's a loose cannon on deck, with the world at stake.

IMO, forget about "What does Cadsuane have a right to do?" Think about what she has a responsibility to do. Is it okay for the most experienced, most powerful Aes Sedai living to shrug and say, "Oh, well, he doesn't like me, so I guess I'll just go back to Ghealdan and see if I can get those roses to grow before he destroys the world"? If she's one of the few who has any idea what needs to be done (as is demonstrable in the text), and even an inkling of a way to go about it, doesn't she have a responsibility to do so?

Frankly, by the time she succeeds in bringing Tam to Rand, the "risk" is minimal. Do nothing, and the Wheel of Time, the Pattern and all humanity goes to hell in a handbasket within a few weeks. If the scheme goes badly, it might get there a little faster - but if it goes well, Rand may be able to recover his sanity and actually save the world after all. I don't think "do nothing" is a good answer. (And that's aside from the fact that she'd be constitutionally incapable of walking away from the adventure.)

Side note: As it turned out, "going poorly" may have been the best thing, because instead of a long road to recovery Rand was shocked out of the downhill slide. Instead of continuing the gradual descent into darkness, he came up short at a cliff, where he could either jump straight in, or turn around and find the Light again. What would it have been like if he'd just had a good chat with Tam, maybe smiled at some recollection from the Two Rivers, and started to slowly remember the value of love and fellowship? Would he have had time to recover, to gain clear access to the LTT memories, to return to his humanity, before Tarmon Gai'don overtook him? It's a moot point, of course, since that's not the way RJ wrote the story arc, but hypothetically, the shock and sudden reversal may have been humanity's only hope.
Thomas Keith
355. insectoid
APero @354: I-95? Oops... my bad! I thought we were still talking about the Arizona desert. ;)

353. Wetlandernw

Oh no no no no No! Your not going to rewrite history to fit your argument. Cadsuane's power and prowess as an Aes Sedai, her experience dealing with male channelers, her life experience having lived close to 300 years is not in question nor did I question it. What is in question is whether what her contributions with regards to helping Rand fulfill his duty as the Dragon Reborn were in the end helpful or harmful. Cadsuane saving Rands life is moot. Lots of people have saved Rands life. She isn't the only one and she won't be the last and she sure enough wasn't the first. Her knowledge of the prophecies were quite helpful, but, ummm, how many times did that come into play? She has been mistaken and there is prophecy that Rand has fulfilled that she isn't even aware of. There is prophecy that doesn't even involve Rand that has been fulfilled that she isn't aware of. And to my knowledge and so far as I've seen and heard, he was doing just fine without her.

But what I must stress again, all of that is even moot with regards to whether or not her plans worked or were successful in any way with regards to effecting Rand in any positive way. With regards to fulfilling this one piece of prophecy which she had focused on, the answer is no. She contributed more towards his downward spiral then any one person with the exception of Semirhage. How in the Creator's name is insulting someone over and over, having nothing good to say to someone but the occasional wise word, threatining that person anytime they don't comply with your wishes and at no point give any encouragement, not one word of it, supposed to make someone....anyone... Laugh.

The only part of her Plan amongst all the rest of her self admitted failures that actually succeeded was bringing Tam to Rand. And then the rest of the Plan backfired when after so much as hearing her name, Rand flies into a belligerent, seeing all kinds of every color of red, rage and narrowly stops himself from killing his father. Yeah....great Plan. Then still angry almost destroys not just the Seanchan but the entire city of Ebou Dar. I think we forget that part sometimes. Yeah great Plan. And then was a breath away... nay.... a singular thought away from annihilating with balefire... all existence.

Yeah... great Plan.

Who saves the day? Rand/Lews Therin.

Someone asked why Cadsuane didn't use an Asha'man to find Rand when he was holding all of that Saidin. What do you think would have happened if she showed up on Dragonmount?
Rand startled to see a gateway, prepares to balefire whomever steps through and realizes its Cadsuane and smiles as she says "Boy! Whatever your doing, you had bett...". She cuts off as she realizes that she thinks she can actually feel how much Saidin Rand is holding and realizes for the first time that Rand is smiling. Bloody, Choden Kal! His smile is not an annoyed smile. It's not an enraged smile. It's not a sinister smile and not even an insane smile. It is a smile of serene knowing... as if somehow, some great weight has lifted off his shoulders.

The dark aura one could only see when not looking directly at him, but out the corner of the eye just as your looking away, is quite visibile now. It only appeared so prominently shortly after walking through the gateway which is still open. She looks around and then up at the maelstrom Rand has manifested through holding so much of the power. She can feel the tension on the pattern. As if the whole tapestry is wailing in fear. She looks over at Rand just as his face relaxes even more. He closes his eyes and Cadsuane knows now that it was a mistake to follow him here. She starts to look at the gateway longingly and then realizes that it matters not whether she could escape through the gateway, as there won't be anything to escape to. She belatedly reaches toward him as a terrible, blinding light fills her eyes, no, her whole being and.....
I'll give Cadsuane this... she excellerated his moment on the scales. Have you not wondered what would have happened if her plan had succeeded? I don't even want to go there.

The Dreaded Double Post... at least its a nice play in football! RGIII yall...yeeeah booyeeeeee!
358. Freelancer
deebee @328

That will be an excellent exercise once (if) the reread gets into the no-man's land of finishing the published material and waiting for AMoL to drop. Who knows what about whom (location, disposition, condition, collaboration, etc) could be a minor work unto itself at this point. Consider the cathartic sense engendered by Mat reaching Elayne in Caemlyn. How much will that be magnified when they all arrive at Merrilor? And how much time will any of them spend sharing experiences of the previous months? Since that is no lower than third or fourth on the overall list of major lessons being taught by this saga, I would expect there to be a significant amount of comparing notes as they prepare for the Last Battle.

Humidity... as a past resident of both Memphis, TN and VA Beach, VA I've had more than my share. Humidity off of the Mighty Muddy in July is just horrible. I've been in D.C. in early August during summer storm season, I was in NYC on the 14th of August, 2003, when the lights went out (hottest day of the year, but thankfully not terribly humid that day, because my family walked from the Battery Park ferry landing to the Sheraton at 53rd and 7th while the traffic was snarled). I've been in Atlanta, Baltimore, Kitty Hawk, Daytona Beach, Gulfport, New Orleans, and Corpus Christi in humidity that makes taking a shower seem redundant. But nowhere in the U.S. can touch the humidity to be experienced in Subic Bay, PI. The humidity literally decreases when rain is falling.

I will happily continue to suffer here, where 76F/20% humidity is most days. But that said, I do love desert weather; Prescott or Alamagordo or Mojave, or even Palm Springs works just fine for me. And don't get me started on Sedona. The place makes me drool, but you'd never know it because it evaporates instantly.

thepupxpert @350

A couple of us used to bicycle from Woodland Hills, over Topanga Canyon, and down to Huntington once or twice each Summer. The onshore breeze always keeps you dry. However, I love Monterey for the ocean views and coastal scenery, and the weather isn't bad at all. There's an insane little break just about halfway between Carmel and Big Sur, that gets riled up nicely by Asian storms. Almost worth the gas money (back in the day) to spend a few hours on that lineup.
Jonathan Levy
359. JonathanLevy

Interesting suggestion. Not sure I agree, though. Let me think out loud.
The depiction of them the first time we seem them has almost no redeeming qualities
True, but our PoV is Egwene's and Nynaeve's. Observations on the justice of their rule would have been very out-of-place.
I certainly don't get the impression that a conquered Falme was happy to see them
Also true, but this was much too soon after the conquest to see the positive traits. Also, Falme had not suffered yet a wave of dragonsworn/machiavellian Whitecloaks/Prophet riots fomenting chaos.
Remember, in that first battle, the Seachan were literally the proxy of the Dark One
This is a good point, but if it winds up standing by itself it's not enough.
Then they vanish, and don't really show up en-masse (barring the stragglers like Egeanin) for five books.
You can't dismiss Egeanin so easily. She serves several imporant purposes:

1) Creating a moral dilemma for Elayne and Nynaeve, who discover her identity only after they discover they like her.
2) Sowing the seeds for the still-anticipated Great Seanchan Channeling Crisis.
3) Set-up for future plotlines: Getting the Domination Band from Tanchico to Semirhage, having a hold on Sul'dam to help Mat escape from Ebou Dar, and bringing Bayle Domon to Ebou Dar to give Mat the location of the Tower of Ghenjei.

This means that in TSR the plotlines resolved in WH and KoD and TGS were already envisioned, if not in their final form.
In fact, the only real problem with them, from aCoS forwards, is their institutional slavery of channelers.
It's a bit more than that:

1) Institutional slavery of female channelers.
2) Institutional slavery of non-channelers (da'covale anyone?)
3) Institutional Spanish Inquisition which puts the Whitecloaks to shame.
Not to mention:
4) Institutional murder of male channelers.
5) Institutional Colonialist Expansion.
I wonder if perhaps this Seanchan Problem is one where RJ wrote himself into a corner and was trying hard to get out of it.
I think it's more of a case where the writer is trying to present some moral ambiguity, by introducing you to something via one POV, and then showing you a very different one which makes you think twice. GRRM does this with a vengeance, but RJ also does it to a certain extent -

Aes Sedai start out as fearful, become superwomen, then intriguing masterminds, then petty and terrified. Aiel start out as bloodthirsty savages, then become bloodthirsty exotics. There are also non-moral examples: The notion of "Ta'veren" starts out as part of the established cosmology, but then we meet Tuon who discounts it as a quaint superstion while she's busy counting ants.

I think that's all RJ was trying to do here - present some moral ambiguity. Perhaps he had envisioned a trilogy before he wrote TEOTW, but by the end of TGH it's obviously not going to be wrapped up in one book, and by TSR distant plotlines that involve the Seanchan are already being set up.

It's also worth noting (thanks to IdealSeek) that even TGH:29 distinguishes between the Hailene (the Forerunners, at Falme in TGH) and the "Corenne" (the Return, eventually seen in Ebou Dar in WH). If no second wave of Seanchan was planned when writing TGH, there would have been no need to distinguish between these concepts.
Ron Garrison
360. Man-0-Manetheran
“Cadsuane- I've said it before and I'll say it again.” I have no doubt! And meanwhile, I’ll shake my head and roll my eyes. I find it so hard to understand such hatred of a fictional character. I have always read her as if she was being played by Bea Arthur or Maggie Smith. She’s a cranky curmudgeon, but as a character, I like that.

You are quite right about the heat and humidity in the D.C. area. I recall a comment by a Houston, TX city councilman saying that Houston is a great place to live “now that we have it all indoors.” I hate high humidity, and the lack of it is one reason I’m glad to live in Colorado. Although, I do get quite annoyed by the moronic local news anchors who feel obliged to remind us that “we need the moisture” at EVERY forcast of rain or snow. Well, duh.
You know what is effed up? Reading the statistics shown, it seems that despite Caveatar's numerous long posts, that we have two commentors who were more guilty of the offense he was accused of. Seeing as how we consistently have the same names in the top ten. And some ran the poor man outta here. For shame. The numbers don't lie. Nor the names attached to them. Nor the words of malice by those who felt there wasn't enough room for anyone else.

Sam Mickel
362. Samadai
You know what else is effed up? When people bring up things that are past just to start a fight. perhaps we should go back further. Damn the French for conquering most og Europe in the 1800's. Damn the Germanic tribes for the downfall of Rome. Damn the Romans for the downfall of the Etruscans and the sack of Carthage. Damn the Greeks for the fall of the Cretian empire. Damn the Homo Sapiens for taking away the Cro Magnons hunting grounds. Damn it all to hell that the Mammals survived Nuclear winter and the lizards died. Pretty sure this would be a nicer world if it was ran by Lizard overlords.

Edit for: tongue firmly in cheek, in case someone doesn't understand that
Karen Fox
363. thepupxpert
Free @ 358 - haha I used to hitchhike with friends over Topanga Canyon to the beach (ok we're talking a LONG time ago in high school). Downtown HB is not really my thing but go a little further north into Sunset Beach where it's a little calmer and less crowded, and it's perfect year-round (at lease IMO) for the most part.
Thomas Keith
364. insectoid
Everyone having a nice Bel Tine? Just another gloomy May Day in So Cal for me.

I do declare that Tor.com has a case of the slows today! It had logged me out since I was on last, and took 2-3 minutes to log me back in! Page loads are sluggish too, and it took a minute or two just to post this comment.

Sam @362: *LOL*, lizard overlords...

I bet this thread goes to 500 by next Tuesday.

Anthony Pero
365. anthonypero
Tor.com is no longer broadcasting from the future.

I'm kind of sad about that, actually. That was one bug that could have stayed.
Thomas Keith
366. insectoid
APero @365: Aha! I knew something must've been up when Tor went boom... they've been tampering with the fabric of space-time! :P

Wasn't stating it to start a fight per say. But just because it's in the past doesn't mean that the deeds are or should be forgotten or forgiven. I was and am quite upset about what was said, what went down and and the resulting conclusion of the issue. The fact that some could be so rude and unfair and now it seems hypocritical and to top it all off be defended without so much as a threat of recourse was very disturbing to me.

I only brought it up because of the above reminder of the hypocrisy of the whole thing.

I apologize to those who were not involved and even more to those who are new. Disturbing others tranquility is something I try to avoid if not overtly necessary. I just thought, for myself and maybe for others, the honorable mention was at the very least, necessary. Take that as selfish if you will. But I felt the behavior displayed before was not any less selfish.

Anthony Pero
368. anthonypero

They should have played with the concept a bit more. Instead, I think they were just annoyed by the bugs...
Thomas Keith
369. insectoid
APero @368: Well, hopefully not by this bug. ;) I haven't had this many comments on a thread since the WH re-read...

Heidi Byrd
370. sweetlilflower

Well....yes, she has a lot of experience with male channelers that need to be gentled. All of this is really your fault anyway. I used to just cheerfully read everyone's comments, and all of Cadsuane's faults were clearly brought into the light. That was when I started to dislike her. Then, you made the argument that people should go back to the books and actually read her interactions and thoughts. So, I did as you asked, thinking, "well, I actually kind of liked her before I joined this re-read, so....maybe I was right before." However, after I carefully read her first meeting with Rand, and then really thought about it; I decided that her character sucks (excuse the vulgarity, I actually typed numerous other things but this fit the best).

She is almost 300 years old, and it shows. She just assumes that she will know what is best. It is the same thing that Moiraine did in Tear, and if Rand would have followed her advice and conquered Illian; he would have died (we know this from the Wise One's dreams). I disliked Moiraine at that point as well, even though she was also a kick-butt AS who Got. Stuff. Done.

Perhaps she had an obligation to share her insights, and she certainly has the inclination to be involved in the Last Battle; but she doesn't have to be a hypocritical, rude, meany-head to do either. I call her hypocritical because she exhibits rude behavior in the first meeting with Rand, before he has had a chance to do anything to her first.


Of course she is a fictional character, we understand that. However, it is so much more fun, and not as mean, to disect and bad-mouth fictional characters that real-life individuals. That's the whole point of us being here instead of on another blog from msn or fox.
360. Man-0-Manetheran

Hey man, I don't hate Cadsuane! She actually reminds me of my mother and I love my mother dearly. No sir, I just can't get over her treatment of Rand. And I simply cannot give her credit for Darth Rands transition to Zen Rand. Her plans, every one of them, backfired on her anytime they involved Rand directly. And it all stemmed from her total lack of respect towards Rand. What I don't understand, is why she thought he was gonna break having that attitude about him. He fought her at ever turn either directly or indirectly, but he rarely did anything she wanted of him. He simply wasn't about to give her that satisfaction, even if it meant shooting himself in the foot.

Also why do so many like to hype Egwene and Cadsuane and whomever, yet marginalize Rand. I mean, he isn't my favorite character either, but still! He Cleansed Saidin. He has killed, caused the death of or defeated 6 Forsaken. He has established Universities. He has freed and or conquered Tear, Illian and Caemlyn from Forsaken control. He basically saved the lives of every male channeler on the continent by backing them with his own decree and his might. And though its not until next book, lets not forget what he did at Maradon.

Speaking of Maradon, was it just me or did that scene feel vaguely familiar. Sorta Eye of the World familiar. I may be seeing shadows but wasn't his defense of Maradon in the end of TEotW with that little dream thingy that Ishy perpetrated?

das it

Birgit F
372. birgit
Damn the Homo Sapiens for taking away the Cro Magnons hunting grounds.

The Cro Magnons were homo sapiens sapiens. You probably mean the Neanderthals (though I think they are called homo sapiens neanderthalensis, so they are homo sapiens, too).
Why do Americans still use historical measurements like miles and Fahrenheit instead of using the metric system like the rest of the world? At least I have a converter program.
Anthony Pero
373. anthonypero

If the prisoners had to remake all of our speed limit signs, there would be an uprising ;) Or because, gosh darn it, they made us learn this complicated system, I'm darn well not going to learn another!
Birgit F
374. birgit
An idea struck her. She seized it like a drowning woman in the churning waves. She didn't know what it was attached to, but it was her only hope.
She spun on her heels and turned back the way she had come, her head bowed, barely daring to think about her plan. It could fail so easily. If al'Thor really was as dominated by his rage as she feared, then even this would not help him.
But if he really was that far gone, then there wasn't anything that would help him. That meant she had nothing to lose. Nothing but the world itself.
TGS ch. 31

Cads does understand the risk of her plan, but she does it anyway because if it fails, she thinks it is because it was already too late to save Rand and the world anyway.
Rob Munnelly
375. RobMRobM
bug @360. 500 posts by next week is NOTHING for those of us with WOT re-read fu.

I propose a survey: three favorite and three least favorite characters as of end of TGS.

I'll start: Favorites: Mat, Birgitte, Tam (Verin a very close fourth; Tuon would have been a contender but Fortuona has slipped a notch).

Least favorites: Fain, Gawyn, Suffa
Ron Garrison
376. Man-0-Manetheran
balescream: "Also why do so many like to hype Egwene and Cadsuane and whomever, yet marginalize Rand."

I have no idea. I find the whole idea of choosing sides over fictional characters incomprehensible. I happen to enjoy reading the character Cadsuane. That does not require me to dislike Rand! Over the years I've read uncountable nasty things written about Cadsuane by readers who claim to love WoT. Some have even admitted that they skip over her parts because they dislike her so much. WTF? To me that is just crazy.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
377. tnh
Birgit @374:
Why do Americans still use historical measurements like miles and Fahrenheit instead of using the metric system like the rest of the world?
Because we like them.
Gerd K
378. Kah-thurak
I guess the main reason is that Napoleon didnt conquer the US (or GB) ;-)

These units remain an engineer's nightmare though.
Anthony Pero
379. anthonypero

I'd say it's the only thing that we unanimously agree on in this country. The one true cultural universal: NO METRIC SYSTEM!!

Maybe Congress could pass another fluff bill to show solidarity behind our unreasoning hatred of the metric system. Lots of flag waving, pass around some Freedom Fries, etc...
Rob Munnelly
381. RobMRobM
Happy birthday, fearless leader.


P.s. Irene - this is an even better trick to get the posts heading towards 500. Thanks.

P.p.s. noone has responded to my survey above. Maybe I should have picked Cads or Faile as one of my favorites.
Thomas Keith
382. insectoid
Is it really? I wondered why she took an extra week off... :P
Happy Birthday Leigh!!

RobM² @381: I'll respond to it tonight... got a busy day today.

Heidi Byrd
383. sweetlilflower
Happy Birthday, Leigh!

@ M-o-M quick question: Are we talking favorite characters b/c of their personality, of whom we most like to read about? I love reading the Fain scenes b/c he is still so much of a wild card, but he is the character I would least like to meet up with for lunch.

Personality wise, my 3 favs are Perrin, Nyneave, and Verin
Least 3 are Fain, Cadsuane, and Egwene*

*I really like to read Egwene, I just don't really like her personality :-)

favs to read: no way I could pick any three; I don't skip any parts during a re-read :-)
James Whitehead
384. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard

Hippo birdie two ewes!
Hippo birdie two ewes!
Hippo birdie deer ewe!
Hippo birdie two ewes!


PS - Have a great one.
Sam Mickel
387. Samadai

Rand has always been my favorite character, Perrin a close second, and Nynaeve third.
My least favorite characters are Alviarin, Elaida, and Galina
Tricia Irish
388. Tektonica
Happy Birthday, Leigh!

Favorites? These are my favorite/least personalities, not necessarily the ones I like/dislike reading, but they probably are ;-)

Runner up: Nynaeve

Runner up: Egwene, representing the White Tower machinations.
Alice Arneson
389. Wetlandernw
That's tough, Rob, because I'd have a different "favorites" list depending on whether I chose to go with the characters I most admire, those with which I most closely identify, the ones I think are best for the story line, the ones I would like to hang out with, the ones I enjoy reading the most... You specified "as of the end of TGS" so that narrows it a little, but there are so many ways to choose favorites!

At the moment... maybe... Tam, Cadsuane and Nynaeve, but the list can change without notice and for many, many reasons.

The least favorites are easier. Fain, Hanlon/Mellar, Asunawa.
Alice Arneson
390. Wetlandernw
Happy birthday, Leigh!! And many happy returns of the day, as Pooh Bear would say. :)
Nadine L.
391. travyl
Man-o: I find the whole idea of choosing sides over fictional characters incomprehensible
The characters are really well "characterized" ; ), so for me, it's not that much of a strech to sympathize or hate them, or argue about it. Though I admit that choosing sides is quite another matter.

- Favorites to read: Mat (irrevocably since book 3) > Nynaeve > Rand.
- Characters I like the most: can't decide.
- Least likable: Fain, Asunawa, third place is shared by several female Black Ajah. (When we include ToM second place will be: Slayer/Luc (killed Hopper!)). **edited to fit the requirement "to TGS" **

@380, Irene: That's a really great birthday cake.
And let me join the crowd: Happy birthday Leigh.
Anthony Pero
392. anthonypero
I'm basing this on when the character appears on the screen, my emotions are pulled in the proper direction. So even though Fain is evil, and I don't like him, I find him massively interesting.

Most favorite characters:

Egwene, Mat, and Lan. I eagerly await any chapters they appear in and always have. Add Rand, and you have the Mount Rushmore of WoT, as far as I'm concerned.

Least favorite characters:

Loial/Ogier in general, *Perrin, Faile.

As you can imagine, the PLOD was especially painful to me.

* Ironically, "The Scouring of the Shire", er, I mean, the defense of Emond's field, is one of my favorite sequences in the entire series. I had hope that they would no longer bore me, but then, no, they sucked again for the next 8 books.
Karen Fox
393. thepupxpert
I've always liked Perrin & Faile, of course the PLOD was a bit too long but really the scene when he makes his hammer and his scenes with Hopper are among my favorites.
Perrin/Faile (counts as one)
Avi counts as one of my 2nd tier favs, I have really related to her character arc, especially with the whole past-to-the-future thing, which was just awesome.
2nd Tier Favs:
Moraine/Lan (counts as one)
Alanna (I really, really hate her!)
Rand's arc has always been really hard for me to read, I know the whole story is centered around it but there are so many things about the character's development and motivation that left me confused, I'll just leave it at that. He'd probably be in the 2nd tier Non-Favs category. I know I'm going to earn some enemies for saying this but Min and Elayne both rub me the wrong way.
2nd tier Non-Favs:
Haha that's half the main cast! I know I left out Mat but so many other people have talked about him already and although I've grown to like his character development throughout the course of the series, in the beginning... not so much.
Karen Fox
394. thepupxpert
Hey I have another thing to talk about, how's about a re-read of the Mistborn series? Getting close to the hunny!
Happy Birfday, Leigh! May you have many many more. Don't tip to many back !)
My fav characters:

1. Matt= the friendly trickster and I enjoy his ability to make Leigh shriek in Rage... LOL!~!~!
2. Lan- The Ronin King
3. Rand
4. Faile
5. Min- Being so close to Rand, I feel for her the most if Rand should pass.
6. Nynaeve- Tug....so sexy!
7. Thom- The Bard Assassin: back in the day the Bard Assassin was one of the most badass characters in D&D.
8. Gawyn- I know, I know... but he's such a badass with the sword!
9. Verin- Ahhh Verin.... I'll miss you the most.
10. Rodel Ituralde- Great Captain indeed!

Least fav:

1. Elaida- She made me shake in anger so hard that I just put the book down and tried to remember that I was in fact reading a work of fiction.
2. Masema- ditto
3. Alviarin
4. Egwene- Yes I know, but I hate higher than thou, goody-goody hypocrits!
5. Cadsuane- self explanitory
6. Tuon- Bigot! Slave owner!
7. Ishy- He whines to much to be a proper villain. Rahvin was prototypicaly Ming the Merciless right down to his pointy goatee!
8. Elayne= don't get me started
9. Sevanna- I didn't know if I wanted to sleep with her or choke her
10. Cadsuane- she deserves it two times!

Teresa Nielsen Hayden
397. tnh
May the cities in your wake
Burn like candles on your cake.
micheal julia
398. high fantasy
happy happy joy joy for your birthday Leigh!
I don't know from where in the books my list started but...
way back.
#1)Mat. big like. big
#2)Nyn. just rocks
#3)Egs. for just knowing that a"fount of power"had to be coming.
Least liked
#1) Perin&Faile. PLOD yuck.
#2)Any already killed but come back forsaken
#3)That"s all I got I loved reading all the rest first time,last time, and all the times inbetween.
John Massey
399. subwoofer
Hi Leigh- There be birthday cake:)

Yay! Save me a piece.

John Massey
400. subwoofer
Ummm... make that two pieces....

One for me, one for the FOUR HUNNY!!!!

Anthony Pero
401. anthonypero
Back to your double posting hunny stealing ways, I see.
William Fettes
402. Wolfmage
Sticking to point-of-view characters, my preferences are as follows:

Favourite characters to read (including first tier and second tier):
Mat, Rand, Thom, Moiraine, Nynaeve, Verin, Min, Siuan, Bashere, Ituralde, Birgitte and Talmanes.

Like to read ( subject to qualification):
-Perrin (I love all the Wolf Dream sequences, his entire arc post-leadership epiphany, and most of the stuff pre-Faile. Rather more ambivalent about the Faile - PLOD arc.)
-Elayne (everything that isn't the god-awful pregnancy sequence, including the travelling show which I loved)
-Tuon (at least the parts around Mat)
-Forsaken (enjoy 99% of the Forsaken POVs)
-Fain (have not idea why people don't like reading Fain. Mordeth is so interesting!)
-Egwene (enjoy most of her POVs, though I do find her infuriating at times.)

Don't like reading:
-Most whitecloaks, including Niall
-Gawyn (a lot of the time)
-Elaida (most of the time)
-A bunch of n-th tier Aes Sedai characters I don't care about.
-Liandrin and Galin - nothing wrong with the characterisation just hate both of them.
403. Freelancer
M-o-M @360

Judy Dench. Other than that Cadsuane is described as more slender, I would say she is it to a "T". Who is more certain of their authority, of their place in the food chain, of their nerve than the inimitable M?

birgit @372

Because they are more logical, and were known to be a logical method when they were created. You need no special measuring devices to divide things in half, or in most cases, in thirds. So, a sixteenth of an inch, an eighth of an inch, a quarter, a half, and twelve inches to a foot is easy work. And while the genesis of the 5,280 foot land-based mile is quirky, the 6,000 foot nautical mile is the most sensible measure of distance there is. But even for the standard mile, everyone knows exactly what is meant by a half mile, a quarter mile, even a furlong. 0.3Km is just numbers in comparison. As for liquids, by the same concept cups, pints, quarts, gallons all make perfect sense and are no problem to divide up, both mathematically and, more importantly, physically. 125ml, really? Is someone actually counting mililiters?

I'll give you the Fahrenheit scale, it is rather arbitrary in relation to any temperature threshholds or absolutes. But while we're holding fast to the more manageable measurements in the other forms, we'll just be consistent and stick with that as well. I mean, saying it's 105F outside just sounds more like it means hot than saying it's 41c.

Characters. (No qualifications)


Least favorite:

Protests of sexism in 3..2..1..
Rob Munnelly
404. RobMRobM

(You asked for it).

One of the things I like are the minor characters: Hurin, Leane, Talmanes, Beslan, Sulin, Lord Angelmar, Mendevwin, Seluccia, Melitene, Setelle, Nesune, ....

And how can I forget Jolene on the bad side.
Thomas Keith
405. insectoid
Free @403: What's sexist about it? Those ladies are so MEEEEEN, and the fact that you don't include Mat or Perrin or the SuperGirls or Moiraine on either list can easily be dismissed because RobM² asked for three characters on each. ;)

In My Opinion, of course. Also, Judi Dench would be a great Cadsuane!

My picks:
Faves: Mat, Nynaeve, Egwene. (Runner-ups: Moiraine, Elayne.)
Least faves: Elaida, Fain... (tries to think of someone besides Gawyn; fails) ...Gawyn. (Runner-ups: Taim, any Seanchan.)

Metric system: Is the Europeans' way of making measuring things harder for us. Or, what Freelancer said. ;)

Kato @384: *blinks* Say that again? XD

Sub @400: Naughty Woof!

RobM² @404: What's so bad about Joline?

Jeff Schweer
406. JeffS.
Happy Birthday Leigh. I don't have dragon cake here but I had some mint chip ice cream in your honor. Mmm, minty ice cream.

Nynaeve: She grows the most.
Mat: Gots to love the trickster.
Aviendha: Don't have a good reason, just always liked her POV's

Do not like
Asunawa: The inquisition of fake piety
Masema: Fanaticism is never attractive
Elaida: And neither is megalomania.
I noticed two are dead and one in slavery. Karma is a bitch ain't she.

Likeable part two
Perrin and Faile: Yes, they are exasperating at times but this is what culture clashes in a marriage are going to look like.
Birgitte: I've served in the military with women like her. Competent, adaptable and good to have a drink with.
Egwene: Definitely not a Mary Sue in my book

Dislikable part two
Gawyn: Just grow up and listen you twit.
Aram: no sympathy from me about your situation at all
Cenn Buie: Just an old fart sitting around making judgement calls on everyone one else in town.

Strange, I don't have any of the forsaken on my bad list. They are the villains of the piece but they're just filling the evil minion needs of the tale. Doesn't tick me off as much.
John Massey
407. subwoofer
Sorry, I didn't realise the post police were out in force... didn't see your badges... who called 555-2368?;)

Maybe if I flash some cleavage you'll let me off with a warning....

Anthony Pero
408. anthonypero
No need for threats, Sub. Move along. Nothing to see here.
James Hogan
409. Sonofthunder
Er...well, I'm a little late, but didn't have time to log in yesterday - so, happy birthday, Leigh!!!! Hope your day was most amazing and full of awesomeness!
Nadine L.
410. travyl
Freelancer @403
41°C sounds hot enough for me.
I use mililiters and miligramms on a daily basis.
And: my scale displays less than half the numeric weight of what it would in pounds. Quite the advantage : )
411. denari6
Hi all and Happy Birthday Leigh

Favorite Chars:
Mat -time to toss the dice and my laugh out loud char
Rand -has become so complex and so many things occur off screen that I feel when I read him I dont know him as well and I just hang on and hope the Rand I know is still there somewhere...
Lan -embodies the ultimate warrior
Tom -because he is just as bad ass as he needs to be
Alviarin -Suprise 5th choice and a second tier char. I think she has been the only effective/competent bad gal to date.

Lease favorite:
Padan Fain -come on and die please you are sooo book 2
Faile/Perrin -EMO
Tuon -I have never been able to really like her
Sevanna -someone needs a spear in her back
Elaida -for pretty much every reason noted

My favorite secondary chars: Talmanes, Rhuarrc, Gaul, and Demandred.

You know I am very much looking forward to the last book but I feel that I already know the ending or rather the conflict has been completed. From the very first Rand has been tempted to join the darkside. When that didn't work he was made to feel "pain." He turned dark, (I wonder if the binding with Ishy had any influence here...speculations abound). Yet when the moment came upon him he chose to save the pattern instead of shatter it, (my opinion of the ramifications of the mountain top scene). He fully became the servant of the light. Through it all, through every frustration and personally felt pain, Rand chose to save the pattern and face reincarnation because of Love. One could insert a possible cliche here but I personnally really like reasoning and resolution. Now with the final two books we get to see the ramifications, the who dies when and so on. However, we know what Rand will do or at least try to do. His conflict has ended. Therefore I will await Rands living or dying with anticipation but with the knowledge that whatever happens Rand's soul is safe.

Tess Laird
412. thewindrose
Leigh - I hope you had a great B-Day! That cake Irene made;) looks yummy - hope you enjoyed:D

Teresa Nielsen Hayden
413. tnh
Lent is over, and Subwoofer is once more on the prowl for hunny.

Does anyone besides me visualize him as Pooh Bear?
Anthony Pero
414. anthonypero
"on the prowl for hunny"

Sounds like a dog to me... a hound dog who can't spell ;)
415. dollhouse
Freelancer @403 - "But even for the standard mile, everyone knows
exactly what is meant by a half mile, a quarter mile, even a furlong.
0.3Km is just numbers in comparison."

That is highly subjective. I have absolutely no idea what a furlong or a mile is. But I can picture 300 meters (0.3km) with perfect clarity. It's more or less the distance from my place to the next bus stop, and it takes me about 3 minutes to walk. Same for cups, pints, quarts and gallons. They make perfect sense to you, but are obscure and needlessly complicated units of measurement to me. I always forget how to convert from one to the other, and it gives me headaches to try and figure out which one I should be using.

As for characters (sticking to the main ones):

Top 3 as of the end of TGS, in no particular order: Nynaeve, Mat, Egwene (she was still awesome at that point)

Worst 3: Rand (just painful to read, and VoG wasn't enough to redeem him in my eyes), Elaida, All Whitecloaks
Anthony Pero
416. anthonypero

Freelancer is baiting the thread. To get your exact response. Everything you just said about English measurements are exactly how I feel about the metric system. And everything you just said about the metric system is exactly how I feel about the English system of measurements. Its all about what you are used to.

Like in my world of web developement. Wordpress people tell me Drupal is unnecesarily complicated by comparison. But I have no trouble doing whatever I want with Drupal. I install Wordpress, and it's "intuitive" interface, and I have to scramble to the internet to try to figure out what the heck I'm looking at.

The point of the metric system was to standardize measurements among nations that were increasingly becoming more united as a people, and had to interact with each other more and more often. In the US, since we are one nation from sea to shining sea, the English system works just fine, because it is standardized. A mile means 5280 feet everywhere in the US. That wasn't true in Europe when the metric system was adopted. 12 inches means one foot everywhere here. That wasn't true across Europe when the Metric system was invented.

The metric system was invented to solve a specific problem. In the US, we didn't have this problem, so we never had a need for the solution.
Nadine L.
417. travyl
In the US, we didn't have this problem, so we never had a need for the solution
Anthony, you disregard the failed NASA mission to Mars, which crashed (*) due to your non-existent problem of even USA-people sometimes having to work with other nations and other systems. ; )
418. dollhouse
anthonypero @ 416 - Oh I totally agree. That's why I said it's subjective. What seems simple and clear to you is obscure to me because I'm not used to it. Which is why claiming that "everybody knows" what a mile is doesn't make any sense at all.
Anthony Pero
419. anthonypero

One would assume that big time scientists across either side of the pond could do the conversions without error.

Actually, Celsius didn't gain it's current form until 1744, although a similar system was created by Anders Celsius in 1742. By comparison, the Fahrenheit system was proposed in 1724. Fahrenheit is nearly 20 years older than Celsius.

Not that any of that has anything to do with the units of distance I was discussing :) I did say measurement, to be sure, But the metric system of measurement was what was under discussion, which doesn't include celcius.

EDIT: In case this isn't clear, I'm meaning this to be light and fun, as I imagine you were :) (maybe one more smiley face for good measure) :)

And another :)
Anthony Pero
420. anthonypero

Freelancer was having a little fun with you (not you specifically, but the conversation in general). He's been known to do that. Some times more insidiously than this :)
Anthony Pero
421. anthonypero
Now, if we can only figure out why the Brits insist on driving on the wrong side of the road...
422. dollhouse
As a side note: neither Celsius nor Fahrenheit are SI units. Kelvin is. So I guess nobody's really got that one right yet ;)
Nadine L.
423. travyl
I just erased my false statement about the temperature systems in my previous post, thanks for correcting me, AP. I remembered if differently, and therefore didn't take the time to look it up.
(My main claim about the NASA wasn't about temperature though, but distances so I obviously stayed well *on topic* .....)

I am happy that US decided to drive on the *right* side.
John Massey
424. subwoofer
"I'm just a little black rain cloud, hovering under the honey tree"...

I'm just going to offer up something that came to me just now...

So male and female Aes Sedai used to live in Tar Valon together, there was a bit of a falling out... the Breaking... and men were left to fend for themselves while the female Aes Sedai stayed in Tar Valon. Yet another case where the women keep the house. There should have been some "War of the Roses" action going on here. Guys, next time sleep on the couch, but don't be giving up the whole place unless the lawyers make you.

Anthony Pero
425. anthonypero

Except Tar Valon is a post-Breaking, Ogier-built city. No Tar Valon in the AoL.

Chew on that bone. ;)
Thomas Keith
426. insectoid
Teresa @413/APero @414/Sub @424: When my mom was young she had a dog she named Winnie-the-Pooh. If that helps. ;)

dollhouse @422: Point. But you won't hear anyone but a scientist tell you that water freezes at 273 K. :)

Everyone's seen the AMoL cover right? (rolls eyes at 120+ comments already)

Deana Whitney
427. Braid_Tug
Happy (late) Bithday Leigh!

@ insectoid, will your eyes roll if this post hits 500+?
Really everyone? 425+? We must miss Leigh. The other end of book
post couts are high, but not this high! (I think, need to go check)

Fav: Nynaeve, Perrin, Moraine
Least: Elaide, Gelina, Fain

@ 380, Irene - did you make the cake? the Dragon rocks!

P.S. What's up with the "hunny"? really missing the inside joke. Must have skipped over those posts.
Thomas Keith
428. insectoid
WBBA @427: Not at all... in fact, I predicted it!
You should have seen the epic mid-book break that we call "TSR #10" that Leigh took for JCon 1... 845 comments of silliness. XD

Hunny is a word that Subwoofer made up (I forget when) to refer to the 100th, 200th, etc. comments on a thread. At least, I think it was Sub, since he uses it so often. :P

427. WouldbeBrownAjah

I think a lot of people, including Management are not considering that there is an increasing amount commentors per month. And there are regulars here who are high count posters, just check out the statistics up above.

And whats the big deal even if it hits 600? Sooooo whaaat! Why is a high post count some sort of need for people to cease commenting or slow their roll. That is more surprising to me than anything.

The need to restrain something that needs no restraint, is usually an indicator of some feeling their need to take control of something; to be powerful and to be able to say

"You need to do this and not do that, because I said so"

And if you don't those people tend to convolute a problem out of thin air where there is no problems except within themselves.

I know that is far beyond what you were implying WouldbeBrownAjah so don't kirk on me. But I've seen it plenty'o times here, there and everywhere. Thats just my opinion on that.

Alice Arneson
430. Wetlandernw
I'm commenting here so as not to do it there, I guess, but I find it hilariously funny reading the comments on the Whelan art release, as compared to the Sweet sketch release.

There are the usual list of nitpicking complaints about people not looking like the reader thinks they should, and the expected list of sidelong shots at Sweet's art, but mostly it's very positive. What I find funny is the lack of complaint about spoilers, as compared to all the whining about spoilers on the Sweet sketch.

Really? Sweet gave us a look at a scene that's been clearly prophesied since book 2 or 3, I think, with no real question about who the three women or the man on the pyre would be, and people were complaining that it was too full of spoilers. Whelan gave us 1) the solution to the "twice dawns the day" prophecy; 2) the answer to who will join with Rand to wield Callandor; and 3) just exactly where they will be wielding Callandor, with strong implications of what they'll be doing with it. All of those are things that were still under discussion, though the majority were assuming what turns out to be the truth. Still, it's way, way more spoilery than the Sweet sketch - but no one is complaining.

N.B. I'm not complaining either! Knowing those things ahead of time doesn't in any way spoil either the anticipation or the story, for me. I just think it's funny that, at well over 100 posts, no one is seriously whingeing about it. But I'm not complaining about that either!! :)
Cameron Tucker
431. Loialson
The AMoL cover art is just...so beautiful.

Three Favorites:
1. Nynaeve - this girl won my heart over and over again, love her so much.

2. Egwene- mostly for the fascinating magic systems surrounding her:
dreaming, Tel'Aran'Rhiod, etc.

3. Mat - especially his Tuon courtship, hilarious, and the only thing I liked about book CoT.

Three Least Favorites:
1. Squabbling whatever-tier Aes Sedai

2. Whitecloaks+Masema: I lump them together, as they're all-see 98%- crazy loony fanatics (though Galad does kick some Major Hiney, and is beautifully written in the prologue to KoD)

3. Rand (because it's so painful to read his descent and traumas,
Anthony Pero
432. anthonypero
@Wet... I didn't complain, but I did point out the spoilery nature of the cover, especially considering Irene's accompanying post.
Rob Munnelly
433. RobMRobM
New poll (to keep the fun going and get this into TSR 10 territory)

1 Which character(s) you would want to sleep with/marry?

2. Which character(s) would you would want to saddle on your worst enemy in a blind date/marriage?

For 1, there are lots of candidates, but I'll go for any of Min (I like sweet girls), Leane (I like fun girls) and Selucia (I like dangerous girls).

For 2, Keile Shaoggi (sp?) (will rip your skin off if you don't do what she wants); Dasie Conger (everything is Women's Circle business); and, of course, Cadusane ("Boy...!")
Alice Arneson
434. Wetlandernw
anthonypero @432 - Yes, I noticed that you noticed it, but since you didn't phrase it in the standard RLW mode, I gave it a bye. :) I just thought it was funny that the overall reaction seems to be "Hey, we can figure out some new stuff here! Cool!" rather than "Spoiler! Spoiler! Waaaaaaaa!!"

Then again, I suppose the RLWs will show up en masse before too long, so I'd better enjoy it while it lasts. (Cynic.)
Cameron Tucker
435. Loialson

New poll:

1. Who would I marry?
Min, Nynaeve (her compassion and caring trumps the issues we'd have to deal with), Anaiya-the kindest person in the series IMO, Birgitte-though I don't think I'm ugly enough for her ;)

2. Sevanna, Therava, Elaida, Lanfear, Berelain, Semirhage

If my enemy was a heterosexual girl:

Weiramon, Lord Nasin, Cenn Buie, Ishamael, Shadar Haran (then again, Yikes dont wish him on anyone!).
Karen Fox
436. thepupxpert
Wet @ 430 - I agree there may be more spoilers in the Whelan painting but for me I think the point is that in the Sweet painting it is obvious that someone important has died - and I assume we all think that is Rand - and that seems to put a final period on the book before we've had a chance to actually read it, whereas the Whelan painting depicts movement, again obviously we are still in the heart of the story, and that there is much more to come, and therefore is still open to interpretation.
Karen Fox
437. thepupxpert
Yay a new poll:

Marry - hands down: Lan, he's hot!

Enemy Date (female/straight) - definitely Mat because she'll fall in love with him and he'll break her heart, haha!
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
438. tnh
Balescream @429: Peace, Z. We've got no objection to a 600-comment thread.
Thomas Keith
439. insectoid
RobM² @433: Really? We're going down that road again? :P

My picks:
1. Min. She's smart and pretty—what's not to like? I wouldn't mind Leane or Anaiya, either.

2. Lanfear, definitely. Crazy-at-the-Docks is one blind date you may not live through...

440. AndrewB
Happy birthday Leigh.

Re spoilers - not the first time in the series that the cover could be considered a spoiler. Think back to TFoH.

More recently, TGS cover contained a spoiler. It was clear (at least to me) that the woman in the cover was Avi from the moment that I saw it. Hence, I knew that she and Rand would be in the same location.

Sometimes spoilers are inevitable. Otherwise you would get a "bland" cover that the fandom would complain that lacked any gravitas.

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then" - Bob Seger, Against the Wind
micheal julia
441. high fantasy
For the new poll; sleep/marry, yup both counts.
Nyn. as long as she promised to repair any and all liver damage that I may or may not cause with excessive single malt beverages.
As to blind date/marry.
I can think of a couple people that I would like to shackle to
mwah ha ha hah
John Massey
442. subwoofer
Yes, it was me that coined the hunny;) AP just gets sulky when he misses out;)

As for post breaking- exactly! We had the blue prints all drawn up, the GC was just fiddling with the permits and had to wangle financing terms etc. Things go sideways and the women get the house, the guys go to live in a bunch of trees.

Marry? My wife. She is my one and only. Perhaps the person in WoT that closely resembles her er... personality would be Siuan, with perhaps a little Nynaeve, leaning strongly towards blue but has a medical background.

Inflict on others? Lini or Elaida. Mind you, the way the story is reading now, Tuon would be quite the misery to marry as well.

Ron Garrison
443. Man-0-Manetheran
wetlandernw @ 430 re. Whelan cover:
“There are the usual list of nitpicking complaints about people not looking like the reader thinks they should” Predictable, huh? What really means something to me is Harriet’s comment: “"that is the Rand I have waited to see for twenty years.”

I second that emotion! The colors and feel is Sweet, but the human figure is all Whelan, and one we’ve all been waiting for.

Judi Dench is just fine by me. I was speaking historically that I had always read the old girl as if Bea Arthur or Maggie Smith were playing her. Which is why I always found some humor there.

A belated Happy Birthday to you! (What the heck are you doing reading this?)
If she were still living, Queen Tylin would be my main squeeze. Uninhibited woman are among my favorites.

Of the still living: Aviendha, she is without fail is the most loyal of the main character females. And she's hot.

Spiked saddles : hmmm I would have to say Liandrin. I would have said Sevannah but she was described to be a little too hot. One could...... Oh no..... Lol.... I change my mind Graendal would simply be soooo wrong! Yes saddle them with Graendal.

Roger Powell
445. forkroot
Gah! I get busy for a few days and come back to find you all talking about my hometown (Phoenix), arguing measurements systems, and resuscitating a poll that had a truly definitive answer some time back.

OK - so Phoenix is very hot and very dry in the first part of the summer (through about mid-July) and it's surprisingly livable. Then in mid-July the humidity comes up from Mexico and although it's slightly cooler, the place becomes unlivable for two months (that's why we take the bulk of our vacations in Aug/Sep.)

The metric system is only mildly more rational than English units. Among other things its numeric base comes from the fingers on our hands. One could make a compelling argument for either base 12 (so it's easy to do thirds) or base 16 (power of two) , but we use base 10 because we count in it - purely by tradition - and it would be a pain in the butt to change ... hey wait ... I guess that's the reason we didn't bother to convert to metric in the US!

With that said, a large part of the US does work in metric - worked on your car recently? Dispensed pharmaceuticals? etc.

Combining the two above topics (AZ and Metric) - Did you all know that we here in AZ actually signed an entire Interstate highway in metric? Yup - Interstate 19, which runs from Tucson south to Nogales. The speed limit signs are still in English units though.

Now about that poll - RobM you should know better, you were around for the original which asked: Who would you want to

1) Bonk ?
2) Marry ?
3) Kill ?

There were a number of responses, but the topper was someone who logged in as Lews Therin Telamon and answered:

1) Mierin
2) Ilyena
3) Ilyena
446. Freelancer
Balesscream @429

Not even close. There have been several threads which tore 500 comments apart. The second-most epic of these is the TSR-10 post, which took us places we never expected to go. But King of them all is the uber-massive, sideways-beyond-recognition TGS Post-release Thread, which was broken into a second segment after the mod capped it at 3,200+. That monster is a thing to behold, and I still have about 75 bookmarks in it.
Thomas Keith
447. insectoid
Where'd everyone go?

Fork @445: I knew about I-19; I "drove" it on Street View a few weeks ago just out of curiosity.

I forgot all about the post release. But it doesn't count as a re-read does it? Anyway I remember coming in to comment at number 60 something or was it 160 something....I don't remember. But what I do remember is coming back to it a day later or so and it being 500 something and I was like, "Holy!" Then later of course the odometer flipped and that was that.

Heidi Byrd
449. sweetlilflower
marry: Perrin, for probably the same reason a lot of people pick Min

attach to my worst enemy: hmmm.....either Fain or Semihrage

A quick side note, most people in Europe drive on the left side of the road for the same reason they walked on the left: to make it easier to draw a sword. By the time people were colonising America and setting up the infrastructure, guns were the most common weapon. I've heard this rationalle before, and it alwasy made sense to me.

btw, thanks to those of you who told me about Kipper's Monster. however, from what I have seen, it is just the book that the episode is based on and not the actual book in the episode; if that makes sense.
Roger Powell
450. forkroot
Forgot to weigh in on the "faves/not" poll

Favorite three POV characters: Gareth Bryne, Mat, Min
Three most disliked POV characters: Moghedien, Carridin, Galina

Favorite three non-POV characters: Leane*, Daimer Flinn, Setalle Anan
Three most disliked non-POV characters: Katerine, Chesmal, Sevanna

Special mention "like": Davram Bashere - As cool as the other side of the pillow!

Special mention "dislike": Mutch (stablehand in Baerlon) - I can't stand the surly bastard!

* Technically speaking, Leane gets a brief POV in TGS Chap 6, but I really couldn't classify her as a POV character
Birgit F
451. birgit
The reread thread with the most comments was TSR 10, which was closed at 845 comments. Second is LOC 31 with 724 comments. Between LOC and ACoS was the only time there were no new posts for over a month (no posts in nov 2009).

Marry: Perrin

Bad dates: Fain, Mellar, Graendal, Semirhage
Rob Munnelly
452. RobMRobM
Buzz@439. Of course we are! Someone expressed a wish to post maximize in Leigh's absence and, la voila! Mirabile dictu! I can bring the WoT re-read fu when needed. No doubt we can always head down the cage match road if we really get desperate.

Fork - Mutch FTW! LOL. And congrats on the 4 hunny eight ounces.
Cage match: Given Rands increase in strength (again, remember Maradon) who would could legitimately match up against Rand? Or would we now need to send multiple channelers at Zen Master Rand.

Nynaeave vs. ? Mogs again?(I personally feel this would be a boring choice)

Cadsuane vs. ? Taim?

Lan vs. ?

Gawyn vs. ?

Perrin vs. Slayer

Rand vs. ? Moridin is too obvious, so I would like to see a Taim smack down or maybe even a Demandred showdown.

Mat vs. Gawyn? this I feel would be epic in that since Mat has become more excepting of his memories resources, he has become quite proficient with the Ashandarei and has now defeated some formidable opponants himself. So for me, I'd like to see whether Gawyn has given some thought over the problem of defeating the advantages pole-arms have over a sword.

Any more matches?

On another tip,

The Bad Muthafucka Wallet- has to go to al'Lan Mandragoran. He is noted as the most badassed swordsman in all the land. He's got a shimmery color changing chameleon cloak. His whip is named Mandarb which translates to "Blade". And he has one of the hottest women in Randland as his main squeeze who just happens to be at least 10 years his junior, so he's still pull'n the 4S's .

And last but not least he is The KING....das right I said it! Big Al is really Elvis in disguise!

Anthony Pero
454. anthonypero

Davram Bashere - As cool as the other side of the pillow!

You just dated yourself, buddy! But, hey, quoting Stuart Scott makes me want to "call you butter, cause you're on a roll!"

Beware though, off-topic is fine, as long as you stay away from religion, politics and sports. ;)

And if that made no sense to you or anyone else, I apologize. Just Google "Stuart Scott As Cool as the other side of the pillow."
Wow...845? I don't remember it being that high, but there it is! I guess I just never really paid to much attention or even cared about the post count at all. And then I sorta lost track with the whole Re-Read thing when I went underground, so to speak.

Anyway from what I've seen things have gone sideways so many times and in so many different ways that it doesn't surprise me in the least that some get frustrated with it. But there IS a crew here who have been together a good amount of time that tend to (and I'm wording this as best I can as not to offend if at all possible) get a little possesive(?)... when its not themselves that are going side ways. Thats the impression that I get anyway.

Now I will note that a lot of them having been made aware of it and are way cooler about it now and happily take part in the new poster's wading into the mirk. But some still offer resistance to some new forays into new or old theory, sideways commentary or challenging length of post and it is to those that I plead exceptance with, whomever they may be. For the good of all and the happiness of EVERY Fan old or new to this forum.

I will endeavor to leave this subject alone, now. It gets in the way of having fun!

Anthony Pero
456. anthonypero
The only people I've ever seen get upset when things go sideways (unless the "sideways" is being attacked personally) is the Mods... mostly to cool tempers.

Challenging someone's theory is hardly stifling sidways conversation.
Tricia Irish
457. Tektonica
RobM: You old devil, you! Ok, fun and games.....

Marry: MAT!!! Of course. (In fact, I did.)

Inflict on my worst enemy: Has to be Fain, but there are a host to choose from....Gawyn to start. Personally, Perrin would drive me around the bend, but he's a good guy. Ummmm, Cenn Buie, Mellor, Sammael, Rahvin, Cadar (Kadar?), how about Mr. Priss, aka Weiramon, Moridan....

If my worst enemy was a man.....Cadsuane!!.
458. Ryamano
Leigh, I think the part of your post that states that Rand passes through the "half glass full/empty" visions in this chapter is much more spot on than saying the final answer is a cliché, "the answer is love" or "what matters is being with your loved ones, even if it's hell".

The cliché used at the end of this book is not "the answer is love", because the question is not "what makes life worthwhile?". The question is "what makes life worthwhile when you know you're going to suffer?". Lews Therin has to live with what he has done with his loved one. He met her, he lived with her for decades, but then he killed her when he was mad. He has to live with that even in his next lives. The last time he was faced with this dilemma, he killed himself and created Dragonmount. Now he faces the same dilemma and is seriously mad, with his mind going towards depression and nihilism, almost killing not only himself, but the entire world in the process.

The question is "is it worthwhile to live with the memory of killing your loved one or live again knowing you'll meet the love of your life but you're doomed to kill her/him?". The answer to that is not "love" or "loved ones", it's "hope". "The answer is hope" is the cliché used here. Lews Therin hopes he'll meet Ilyena again and that he will have good times, and maybe could even make things right the next time, not killing her. And even if he kills her, he should live on, because he hopes life will be wortwhile after that. This is a discussion every depressive person had in his or her head, and I think people who have gone through depression would understand better what happened with Rand/LT at the end of this book.
Actually, I have one further thing to say about it all.

I think there are lessons to be learned from the whole "business" and given that we are approaching the end of the series and we will undoubtly be accruing more commenters, we may want to be a little more patient with any seemingly overly hashed over subject matter involving the books.

I'd hate to see what happened during this books Re-Read occur in the next or most especially the Re-Read of AMoL. Marring this forum over impatience seems to me selfish to some degree. Granted some parties did get a litlle carried away. But there were options to handle things much better than they were, from myself included.

I hope everyone isn't too annoyed with me for bringing this subject up. I just would like to avoid what happened before, in these last two opportunities to share our mutual love of this great work from a man who allowed us a way to escape and dream along in way that is so very special; A dream, very uncommon, and will be lasting within those lives it touched for the rest of our days here on this world. Let us marr that dream with nefarious trivialities no more. Peace fellow dreamers.


Rob Munnelly
460. RobMRobM
@455 - We did a full multiround cagematch on one of those mega threads. I seem to recall we did powered and nonpowered categories, and commentary was written regarding each match. Good times. My brain may be failing but I do believe Rand defeated Moridin and Mat defeated....somebody in an upset.
Bill Reamy
461. BillinHI
And now for something completely different (not to mention totally off topic!): Warner Bros is now selling a bobblehead Sauron!!!
Well given what we've seen from Moridin so far Rand, is a good bet in that match. With Rand, having elevated to almost God like power now, I can't imagine a scenario where any one channeler could defeat him. I mean he took on and decimated an entire army along with enemy channelers by himself wiping them out in just over an hour. Tens of thousands. I'm reiterating my opinion that no one channeler can defeat him. Naef was absolutley stunned by the display of power he saw from Rand, with so many simultaneous weaves going on, he couldn't track them all.

I've got rand against any channeling fight one on one!

Mat on the other hand is almost as crazy if channeling is left out of it. His luck alone is so overwhelming that he could be blind and still accidently woop your ass decisively. I remember him throwing a Knife at random and having Rabbit for dinner. I remember him turning to see if someone was following and felling a would be assassain with his Ashandarei balanced on his shoulder. We're talking a tall order for anyone going against him without knwing what they're dealing with. And then there are the knowledge and memories of all those warriors. He could very well be a blademaster and not even know it, until he picks up a sword!

And besides we gotta have a new set of matches because so many characters and their abilities have changed! Was the last one done recently? I can never remeber these things. Sometimes you skip over stuff to get to what is a more pressing discussion, you know?


463. fragrantelephant
Marry: Lan. Tall, kickass, and will keep me nekkid all morning. Yes.

Revenge-on-my-enemy date:
a) Male enemy: Therava. BWA-HA-HAAAA
b) Female enemy: Fain. ICK
ana liese
464. analiese
Relevant webcomic about the TGS cover. It's pretty funny, but now I can't unsee it whenever I look at TGS.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
465. tnh
Zexxes, every good conversation is a mixture of challenging and comfortable. If there's no shared knowledge and understanding, no sense of knowing the place and its people, it can feel emotionally exhausting and impersonal. On the other hand, if nothing's new and nobody ever has to stretch a little, it may be cozy, but it may start to feel like a closed circle, and can be just a tad dull. I'm exaggerating both of those aspects for the sake of illustration. In practice, conversations tend to fluctuate in one or the other direction by just a few percentage points.

It's good for newbies to have their say. It's only human for oldtimers to say "We've run through that argument about six times now." Both are valid, and both are going to happen.

In threads elsewhere on this site, I've been preaching the value of the sentence, "That's an interesting reading." It has a distinguished provenance: I swiped it from Samuel R. Delany when I saw the good use he got out of it.

"That's an interesting reading" is a truthful and non-inflammatory opening that's applicable to most circumstances that arise when you're discussing literature. It sounds both polite and intelligent -- never a bad thing -- and it helps focus the conversation on the literature, rather than the people talking about it. Also, in face-to-face conversations it gives you a little more time to think about what you're going to say: priceless!
466. MasterAlThor
Breaking News:

Adam "MCA" Yauch has passed. For those who don't know he was one of the founding members of the Beastie Boys.

Rest in peace Adam. You were guys were pioneers.

Cameron Tucker
467. Loialson

Heads up, Sevanna is a POV character :). She has POVs in:

LoC Prologue, ch 53

it shows the battle of Dumai's Wells from her POV in aCoS Prologue, also Sevanna POVs in ch 20, ch 40,

and finally tPoD ch 11

But yeah, bad date plan ;)
Rob Munnelly
468. RobMRobM
Balescream/Z - A Crown of Swords 17 is where the Cage Matches occurred. Happy reading.

469. Freelancer

Drat. I realized that it was TSR-10 that had gone over 800 comments right after I posted, but just then response times went to inverse plaid, and I didn't bother correcting. That post now edited to say TSR-10. Thanks.

Can't bring myself to ponder fictional characters for potential matrimonial partners. The real Mrs. Freelancer doesn't deserve that sort of insult, and she beats them all like a drum anyway. Actually, based on that thought, I propose a new utterly off-topic bit of pot-stirring. How about everyone's least favorite re-use of a regular word as popular slang. For me...


It wasn't so bad when used in reference to cars (thanks, Mattel), but I refuse to label human beings with so demeaning a term.
Demeaning? Hot, is demeaning ? Oh come on... You do know that the term preceded Ms. Hilton by like thirty years. And since the term is used to describe acute attractiveness by both men and women, I seriously don't see the need to relegate the term as derogatory simply because you have an aversion to it. It's about the only word that is used to describe great beauty with out sounding like a creep or a dweeb and still use one word. Maybe it's a language thing. Some people can't stand words that encompass several different descriptions focusing on one thing or person. They'd rather spell the whole thing out. But taking a dislike and labeling it derogatory is just going to far, IMO.

Birgit F
471. birgit
Given Rands increase in strength (again, remember Maradon) who would could legitimately match up against Rand?

He needs to be strong enough for his next match against the DO.
472. Wortmauer
Most/least favorite characters: I find favorites polls kinda boring, so here's a twist. Who are the three characters about whom I disagree the most with, as it seems, most other fans? I'll start with least favorites because that's easier.

1. Aviendha. Friggin Aviendha. I never did and probably never will understand why so many people love her character. She's a shining specimen of the most racist culture we've seen. (The Sharans may be more racist, but we've never actually met any of them.) She's about as culturally open-minded as a loud (US) American tourist in Peru who wonders why not everyone speaks English. She makes Nynaeve seem self-aware, and unlike Nynaeve, her lack of self-awareness mostly grates rather than amuses. Rand could do so much better. (And thanks to Min, he does.)

2. Tuon. What a thoroughly unpleasant person at the head of a thoroughly unpleasant culture. She teases Mat for two books or so and a lot of people decide maybe she's kind of awesome after all. Not me. But then, I don't think Lanfear redeemed herself much by hitting on Rand in TGH either.

3. Moridin. I mostly put this one in just because, while many fans seem excited to see the original dream bogeyman from TEOTW as the real Nae'blis, I thought it was too cliche that the head bad guy at the beginning of the first book turns out, even after he's killed twice, to still be the head bad guy as we enter the homestretch. There were twelve other Forsaken vying for advantage. It just seems like a waste of that whole setup for the game to turn out to be "oh, yeah, that power struggle y'all have been in? It's all meaningless, I already picked the winner before Book 1, and none of you can change my mind, no matter how many times he gets himself killed." Yes, I get that the Last Battle is something nobody but Moridin seems to actually understand, I get why in the end he's the only suitable Nae'blis, but dang it, I would have liked it better for the eventual generalissimo, the one who gets it, the one who turns out to be the Dark One's only possible choice, to have originally been a dark horse.

4. Bela. I don't hate her, I just can't buy into the usual theories. I mean, sure, she could have killed Asmodean, but where's the motive? And if she's really the Dark One, you'd think there'd be more bubbles of evil around her environs. And while she has been both North and East, I don't think she's whom the Aelfinn meant.

Characters I like a lot, that most fans seem to either hate or be indifferent to:

1. Pedron Niall. I know we were supposed to hate him as the architect of lots of Whitecloak mischief. He's the guy behind much of the Dragonsworn chaos on his whole half of the world. And yet - I was so sorry to see him go. And not just because I didn't care for his successor. I really hoped Niall would thread more into the story and I wanted to see how he would interact with our main characters. (Morgase playing stones with him doesn't count.)

2. Tenobia. I rarely hear the fans mention her. Probably because we pretty much only know her by reputation. But she's one I would quite like to meet. She seems to have a lot going on, and I bet there's much more to her character than the frankly dismissive way Ethenielle thinks of her in TPOD prologue. Of course, it's also possible she's basically a clone of her cousin Faile, i.e., not really very interesting or likable after all.

Now I'm stuck. I can't think of a third character that I feel much more positive about than most other fans. To make up for it I added a fourth in the other category.
Anthony Pero
473. anthonypero
I imagine Tenobia as an older version of Faile. I can't stand Faile, even though I love her dad to peices.

So I imagine I would hate Tenobia quite thoroughly.
Alice Arneson
474. Wetlandernw
Freelancer @469 - Okay, you used my "most annoying" already. I loathe that usage. To pick another...


It's so often used for such miniscule things that involve no awe whatsoever, and this and its ilk leave us with fewer and fewer words to describe those things which truly are awesome.

I was first going to use "teh" or "pwnd" because they annoy me no end, but they aren't real words, so don't fit the poll.
John Massey
475. subwoofer



Not a big fan of either.

"Newb or newbie" I hate.

"Troll" I absolutely loathe.

Any abbreviated or acronym speak, such as IMO or such like it. *Lol* is ok as it is term of action and so makes sense with regards of a use of abbreviation, because of what the action is implied: the person is laughing. But with IMO which is : In My Opinion, we have simple laziness occuring, as if its to hard to type, In My Opinion. Granted it does save you a couple of key strokes, but still it's kind of off or tasteless to me. Although I will say that it is very forgivable on a mobile device, with their diminutive keyboards.

I will admit though, that I am not immune to the practice. Just above I used IMO. I use it though, somewhere in my mind, as a mock. Even though you don't know that I'm using it that way, I still do. And so I apologize for mocking whomever I have mocked.

Anybody remember Saturday Night Live.... "You Mock me" " Are you Mocking me?" *Giggle* always loved that.

I wonder if there is one for giggle! Maybe it it could be *Ggl*, although it does remind me of Google, huh? I just thought that Lol is used to describe giggling as well as laughing and it just seems like we can do better, if we gotta do the Acronym thing.. you know?


Roger Powell
478. forkroot
Steal the line from Stuart Scott? Absolutely!

Date myself?? Hardly. I can "date myself" a lot further back than that. See below...

..least favorite re-use of a regular word as popular slang
How about "groovy" ?

{:: limps with a cane to the bunker ::}
Andrew Thomas
479. ThomOfAndr
This is a bit off topic but since the reread is on hiatus for the week I thought this would be an appropriate time to say thank you!

I only discovered the reread in September 2010, which was also the same week I started law school, truly unfortunate timing. I have read the series through twice (currently working through my third) and, naively, I thought I knew my way around pretty well. Then I slowly started working my way through the reread and comments. I quickly found out that I was just scratching the surface with my own readings. The world that Mr. Jordan created is deep and beautiful. The true extent of that world is seen in these comments each week, endless discussion and debate filled with challenging questions about so much more than just the books.

Last week I finally caught up on all the previous reread posts and comments. All of you have helped expand my interactions with the series from casual fun and entertainment to something that goes much deeper. Even though I still can't throw facts and theories around with all of you I now feel like I am a part of this world and community. As silly as this sounds, just making my way through the reread/comments up to now has been quite a journey and I am glad its not over yet. I can't wait to finish the journey with all of you.

My apologies for this rambling and off topic post but I just want to say thank you to Leigh Butler and all of the commenters here for enriching my WOT experience (and really, my life). Maybe next year I'll make it to JordanCon!
Alice Arneson
480. Wetlandernw
LogainTheDragon - Wow! You made it through all the rereads and comments? Congratulations!

Also, Welcome!

Like you, this reread has very much enhanced my enjoyment of the series. The discussion has given me a reason to search more deeply and make the connections RJ built in from the beginning (as well as possibly a few that he didn't put in at all...), and it's been a lot of fun! Even now, when I've read every book many times (okay, the last three I've only read 2-3 times), I find new things to enjoy. I've even learned to enjoy the few story-lines that I didn't like before, and learned to appreciate some characters I used to dislike. Good stuff, this! Glad you've joined the zoo, too. :)
Jonathan Levy
481. JonathanLevy

Welcome aboard! Here's looking forward to seeing you on the ToM re-read when it starts up.

BTW, there are some excellent online resources for WoT, including encyclopedia-wot, the faq, 13th depository, theoryland, dragonmount, and lots of others. If you've never read them, they're easy to find with google and well worth bookmarking. (I'm not posting links here because the spam filter will kill my post.)
Rob Munnelly
482. RobMRobM
@479 - I'll add my welcomes. Glad to have you join our community.

Tricia Irish
483. Tektonica
LogaintheDragon: Welcome! It's amazing that you made it through the entire reread and law school. Impressive! Welcome! Please join in! The Bunker is thata way.........

Freelancer: My contribution to the least liked slang use of words.....


So dismissive. It almost makes me growl.

Followed by my son's new favorite phrase: " I am aware, mom." &*^%#....then DO something!!!
484. Lostinshadow
Welcome logainthedragon! Very impressed that you were able to get thru the reread and comments while in the first year of law school.

Love this place and how knowledgable everyone is about WoT.

RL keeps dragging me away each time i catch up but all this all work and no play is really getting me down.

So completely off topic question. I keep wondering cause i cant remember, did Egwene take the AS test with the hundred weaves? She made it hard for Nyn but has she taken it herself? And can she risk it in any case? Dont know why but i keep wondering
Jeff Schweer
485. JeffS.
I have to echo Tektonica on the least liked list adding "Whatever."
I could give you a 20 minute Dennis Miller style rant on how much I hate that word when used in conversation. Most of the conversations were about 10 years ago with my then early teenage daughters...
Need I say more?

Also on the not liked words list, and I'm dating myself quite badly here, are the words, Far out and Excellent. Far out is of course the 70's and John Denver. Excellent was actually the same time frame. Way before "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure." The two terms were used so heavily when I was in college that I grew to loathe them.

Welcome Logainthedragon, nice of you to stop by and chat.

There is a metaphysical bunker where we hang out and have snacks and partake of our favorite beverages. We also run there to hide when we tease another friend on this reread thread. Since you've read through and are aware of a lot of our idiosyncracies, let me be the first to invite you to drop in. I have some Scones and some French roast coffee for breakfast that I brought in and as it's a lovely day, we might have to open the bottle of Moscato this afternoon for sipping while we sit out on the patio.
I don't have an exact reference but I don't think she did. She's taken the 3 oaths as part of the BA reveal thread but having been raised Amyrlin seat (twice) I think I remember something about her being above it already. I think it would be a bad idea anyway politically. You're the Amyrlin but have to take a test like an accepted to prove it? Not a viable idea in my mind.
Jeff Schweer
486. JeffS.
And to add:
Only two more days till "Apples First"
I'm ready for us to work through TOM as a group.
Such fun conversations in store for us.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
487. tnh
Balescream/Zexxes, I'll agree that noob has disrespectful overtones, but newbie is standard internet parlance, and close to value-neutral. If you don't like it, give me another word for it.

I'm sorry that you dislike troll, because that word is not going to go away. What we need more varied and precise terminology for all the different kinds of trolls. Everyone knows they exist. Besides, if someone pops up here for the first time and addresses the community collectively -- All you people, You folks, Your type, You and your ilk, What you people don't understand, -- and then goes on to use some assortment of the following --
I'm just trying to understand what you people think.
Your choice to wilfully misunderstand me is not the same as me being unclear.
You seem to be taking this rather personally.
I'm sorry that you found that offensive.
Looks like you people are overly invested in (whatever).
By all means, continue to amuse me. This is a fascinating demonstration of irrational thought and behavior.
I thought we were supposed to be adults here.
This is a very emotional issue for me.
You just don't understand my uniquely special experience of total specialness, so STFU.
The fact that it's right makes it right.
Yes, but I have superior perceptions of objective reality.
Why are you all so defensive?
I'm sorry you find me intimidating.
I'm sorry you can't handle the truth.
It’s like you all have something to prove.
You are too sensitive/have no sense of humor/can't take a joke.
It's just electrons. Don't take it seriously.
Someone's definitely got too much time on their hands.
Some of us have this thing called a life.
I see the whiners are out in force.
Anyone who takes themselves that seriously has it coming.
This is the internet, not real life.
I've struck a nerve and you can't take it.
I'm not rude, just honest.
I don't understand what I've done to earn this hostility.
I was being ironic./I was being sarcastic.
It's just rhetoric./It's just semantics.
You wouldn't react with this much hostility if I wasn't right.
I can't believe I'm being censored for just expressing an opinion.
I know you're just going to delete this comment/ban me because you can't tolerate the challenge to your worldview.
I have been repeatedly attacked with senseless ad hominem arguments.
This is what I get for questioning the groupthink around here.
I wasn't trolling.
You're calling me a troll to avoid dealing with my ideas.
Your type likes to throw around these pejorative labels for anybody who doesn't agree with you.
Multiple accounts are an accepted part of internet culture. I don't see why you're getting so uptight about it.
I don't believe in giving in to the political correctness nazis.
I'm not racist/sexist, but --
I haven't read the article/book/rest of the thread, but --
I know I'm repeating an earlier argument, but --
I know this is just going to upset everyone, but --
I know this is just going to get deleted, but --
I came here expecting a civil and thoughtful exchange.
I was just playing the Devil's advocate.
I thought I would stir a more lively debate.
I enjoy a lively discussion with people who have different views.
You believed me? I just wanted to see what would happen.
This is just the sort of thing I've come to expect from you people.
All I wanted was some kind of constructive discussion. Seems to me all you care about is winning. All right, you win. I'll leave. I have better things to do with my time, so this will be my last comment.
This debate has gone on long enough, so that's my last word on the subject.
Don't bother replying to this; I'm not going to read anything more you write.
I'm out of here.
LOL Fckng sshls! LOL
-- what else are we supposed to call them?
Nadine L.
488. travyl
JeffS you are completely right, about Egwene and the testing, here is the quote:

TOM, Ch 14, a Vow:
Egwene had no intention of going through the testing herself, and didn't need to. The law was specific. By being made Amyrlin, she had become Aes Sedai.

and AP @477: NFI what WNTCO means, but FYI IMO LOL anyway.
OMG I can't breath! It took me so long to get through that! Oh Lord you are my muse, my shizzle fantizzle, I will slay the world for thee! Thine hath felled my funny bone and I can't stop giggling and FOTF LMFHO.

Baby you ROCK!!!!!!!!! That was the most awesome display of frustration I've ever seen and it.... Was. Funnier than hell.

You gotta get that out to the public. Baby, let's take this show on road, cus dat wa Bomb Diggity!

Ron Garrison
490. Man-0-Manetheran
re. Annoying, misused words

News anchor Susie: “Thanks Felicia for that incredible report!”
Me: “Yeah, thanks Felicia for that impossible to believe report.”

The same goes for “unbelievable!”

Annoying phrases: “wait for it” Any more it is frequently followed by an underwhelming punch line.

Big Welcome to LogainTheDragon! I stumbled on the re-read a few years back while waiting for news of an upcoming book. I thought, “hey, this might be a quick way to re-read the books again. I'll just read Leigh's synopses.” Hah! Or as Leigh would say, “Heh!” First I started laughing at her witty remarks, and then I started reading everyone's comments. It may have taken longer to read than reading all the books again, but I’ve never regretted it.

tnh @ 487: OMG! Do you have that collection in a database? LOL!!!:)
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
491. tnh
Thank you, Zexxes. It's been a long time since I made anyone laugh that hard.

Every moderator I know collects verbal patterns. It helps us see trouble coming.

Man-o-Manetheran: Literally. Decimated.

I don't know whether this counts as a database.

Logain, welcome.
Jeff Schweer
492. JeffS.
I need to add one more word to the overused category, a personal recent pet peeve.

Outrage or outraged.
On the CNN web page, someone is outraged about something almost every 3 minutes. NO kidding. even when it's about a ticket for speeding. Gaah, it burns me brain it does.

tnh @491 went to the link and realized I will lose hours reading. So I bookmarked it and backed away slowly...
Hey there's a death metal band called Balescream. They suck!
Although the production is pretty bad, I can tell they have some talent. Which is why they only suck, instead of me using more radiant language. So for now they merely suck and not something much worse than that.

494. AndrewB
Wortmauer @472 opined: "She's about as culturally open-minded as a loud (US) American tourist in Peru who wonders why not everyone speaks English."

Everyone does not speak English? Huh, Ithought they did. BTW, I object to your above sentence -- I have never been a toursit in Peru and I am not loud-spoken. :)

Thanks for reading my musings.
Andrew B
(a non-culturally open-minded, soft-spoken America) :)
Jeff Schweer
495. JeffS.
Thanks for the quote. It's nice to know that my *CRS* syndrome is not advancing as quickly as I thought.
Balescream: Nice having a sucky death metal band to follow. chuckle.

My nephew was in a speed metal band in high school called Arsenic Picnic. They didn't last too long. Creative differences, so on and so forth.
No I'm not really sure what the difference is between death metal and speed metal. I'll have to ask my nephew.

*Can't remember SH--*

I am only an egg
496. AndrewB
Please note that the comments in @494 above were made in jest
Jeff Schweer
497. JeffS.
better join us in the bunker just in case.
I still have that bottle of Moscato...
I gotta fix something. That Balescream band is leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

Jeff Schweer
501. JeffS.
oh my, well played sir, well played indeed.
Thank you sir! betybety much! Mwahahahahahaaaaa!

I should stop, it's only my first hunnyz!

Butifits gonna be yo furrs, it might as well be da Faaahunned !

Jay Dauro
503. J.Dauro
tnh @487

Although "troll" itself doesn't bother me, since I agree it is a descriptive term that most everyone understands for this specific type of poster, it does bother me that is has come to mean this.

Right after college, "troll" was my nickname (okay, only after I was promoted from ogre.) Granted this was long ago. Now these folks are giving me a bad name.
Oh crap.... I forgot to change my profile picture. That sunset isn't a sunset at all, really. What it is, is a very rare photo of the visible shock wave of the TSAR 50/100 nuclear test. The Sun that you see is the very beginnings of the bomb cracking the ionisphere and the absolutely and terrifyingly massive fireball completing its expansion. Remember, this is shot from around 50 miles away. Any closer and the equipment would fry.

50/100 is the yield it used in kilotons and 100 is the yield it could have been blown at. Its implosion was the most powerful ever on this earth. They were afraid of the consequences of imploding the bomb at its full yield. Think about that for a second..... these are the greatest pyros on the face of the planet and they are scared to set off one of their own bombs.

Enuff history. I chose the picture because the temporal shock wave from a fission implosion is the only thing that would be close to a balescream.

edit- correction that should be megatons, not kilotons.

491. tnh

"Straight White Affluent Male Native-Born Protestants Are Uniquely Oppressed"

OMG that one is soooo hilariously true! I will not say anything further other than as a person of color, I have personally argued with this type and lemme describe it in a couple of words.... mind-disintigrating futility.

Have you ever seen the Chappel Show episode: The Black White Supremacist? Das how it was.... seriously. No, I mean seriously! Gnnnnaaaah!*smacks face with hand*

Tricia Irish
506. Tektonica
tnh: Excellent collection! You are a pro Troll spotter alrighty. Very very funny. Thanks!

JDauro: You are neither a Troll nor an Ogre. Where did that come from?! Just because your a big guy?? For shame. You are a gentleman and a scholar! Let the record show.
Jay Dauro
507. J.Dauro

Next Con I will tell the story. Suffice to say I was promoted by a Dragon. So I guess it stands.
Roger Powell
508. forkroot
Now that was impressive. I'm glad that I do not have your job though. I have neither the temperament nor the verbal acuity to deal with what you must deal with. You have my respect.

I sympathize with your frustration over a new definition of "troll". At least it's a completely separate use of the word, not a corruption of its meaning.

In the 70s and early 80s, the term "hacker" was a term of respect, even praise among those of us who worked in the computer field. Then the idiots in the mass media got a hold of it, confused the term with clowns that break into systems or craft malware, and completely ruined the original meaning. It went from an honorific to a pejorative. All this despite initial protestations from those of us in the field -- such protestations fell on deaf ears.
Anthony Pero
509. anthonypero

I have a sneaking suspicion that you merely went to someone's account and copied their posts to our blog here, lol.
Alice Arneson
510. Wetlandernw
forkroot @508 - Yet another example of how anything can be made an insult if you just put your back into it...
Thomas Keith
511. insectoid
Still buzzing about. Came down with a cold; still sounding froggy. Made a new avatar (blown-up version can be found in my profile). You know... the usual ho-hum weekend. Glad you guys finally got to 500. ;)

LogainTheDragon: Welcome! Kudos for finishing the entire Re-read and comments!

Teresa @487: You are to be commended for keeping such a detailed catalog of troll-speak. Bravo! Agree about noob/newbie; I use newbie myself on my webpage (mostly as part of the phrase "newbie guide" for video games).

Z @498-500: You pulled a Woofer on us! For shame! ;)

Fork @508: Totally agree about hacker; now they call us Nerds! (insert relevant Jurassic Park quote) Dratted media.

Thomas Keith
512. insectoid
Annnnd now I will contradict myself and pull a Woofer to get a specific number. :P

0x200 = hacker-speak for 512. :)

513. Faculty Guy
@ insectoid #512: OK I'm curious. Obviously 512 is 2^9 binary or 8^3 octal, but I don't quite understand the code you're using to translate this into 0x200. Translation would be appreciated . . .
Jay Dauro
514. J.Dauro
Faculty Guy

The 0x prefix is programmer speak for hexadecimal. So 200 base 16 is 512 base 10. 0 times 16^0 plus 0 times 16^1 plus 2 times 16^2
515. Faculty Guy
@ J.Dauro #514: Thanks. Interesting, and shows how out of touch I am with programming. Back in the beginning of "computer science" when it was basically an interdisciplinary field bridging math and EE, I wrote in ALGOL and FORTRAN but have not kept up with current languages. Also I programmed DEC PDP machines using octal, but have never used hexadecimal; the use of letters for digits is strange.
Deana Whitney
516. Braid_Tug
I see the post did go past 500, and that Zexxes got the honey, good job.

@thn, 487 - Wow. Impressive. What I find funny is how that carries over to other lists I've read. The flip side are the people who post regularly, that you just dread, because they love to "throw email bombs." Say something so inflammatory, that the list just explodes with negativity. Yet, the sentences start the same way as many of your "trolls." I’m not referring to anyone on this list, but others that I’ve been a part of.

And the opposite is true for the term “newbie” in the SCA. We use it all the time, but (in my group) there is now a push to stop using the term in exchange for “new comer.” Some people feel it’s a condescending term. So it’s cool to see it’s considered “value neutral” here.
Roger Powell
517. forkroot
-- Warning! Off topic, but hey we're waiting around anyway.

Faculty Guy@515
You bring up memories! FWIW, the reason that DEC systems often used octal in programming guides was that their dominant "large" architecture was the PDP-10, which featured a 36 bit word (12 octal digits.)

Octal was sort of the "DEC" way and thus the PDP-11 guides continued the tradition, even though the 16 bit word would be a more natural fit with hex.

With popular microprocessors all based first on 8 bits, then 16 bits, then 32 bits, octal has fallen out of fashion. You still see echos though, as an old time UNIX guy (like me) will still use it for changing permissions, e.g:

$ chmod 777 somefile

One more thing ... the "C" language that appeared with UNIX used a leading zero to introduce octal constants. E.g. 0777 was the number 511 in octal. Similarly a leading zero followed by the letter "x" (or "X") would introduce a hexadecimal constant. So insectoid had the right of it.
518. Freelancer
balescream/zexxes @470

Please do not attempt to tell me what I am and am not allowed to find offensive. You seem more offended by the fact that I choose to have standards of conversation which do not objectify others, than my offense at the offending term. You have been quite ardent in your DEMANDS that others respect each other, so step off of my freedom to state what I see as crossing a social boundary. You simply cannot have it both ways.

forkroot @478

I do not believe that you can find "groovy" with a usage other than the colloquial. Grooved, even grooving, have common definitions. So the word "groovy" is cromulent.

Full disclosure. I'm a 70's, surfing, Valley Dude. Now, many of the terms, styles, and much of the dialectic attributed to us via "Fast Times" are apocryphal, but the period was indeed responsible for the "reassignment" of many common words and phrases into new territory. In fact, "groovy", while from an earlier decade, comes from surfing, where you described a sublime ride as being "in the groove", a term used in other places as well, but abbreviated by the beach and beatnik communities. A few additional examples:

Tubular ~ pretty obvious
Gnarly ~ Originally descriptive of the shape of something, such as a gnarled tree branched, later a substantially large and hard-breaking wave, one which could be either a joy or a nightmare.
Wicked ~ Again, converted to a colloquial superlative, though usually for something good, as opposed to the previous, more common usage.

Now, along with others, I'm no fan of superlatives such as "awesome" being used to mean anything one finds interesting at the moment, or "totally" as a quantitative/qualitative modifier. Most of the other terms folks get annoyed by are not in my daily vocabulary either. The distinction by which I so much more strongly despise the misuse of "hot" is that, while the others are aimed at inanimate objects or descriptions of one's response to something external, this term directly objectifies a person, with no interest in the subject's feelings for being so describe, no care if the term would be taken as pleasing or disgusting. It is base, inelegant, impolite and indecent.

tnh @487

Hah! Thank you for that. "Newbie" is another for which the surfing community can take credit. We called the little kids "grommets", and adults who obviously had no experience on the lineup "newbies", later "newbs". Also "pounders", because they were sure to get pounded into the beach, or "laundry" because they would take many trips through the "washing machine" before they started getting it right.

Very interesting list of trollish phrases to scan for. I'm sure I've never seen any of those around here. Some of them are just neutral and generic enough, though, that under the right circumstances most folks are likely to have put them down online, even if not a troll. There is one site I frequent where several folks play at trolling each other with substance-free comments, to see who else they can pull into the "debate", and then slam them for engaging in a pointless confrontation. So it can be seen that the original use of the word "trolling" for online behavior was in the fishing sense, where you dragged bait around hoping for a bite. Later, others shifted terminology to refer to the "troller" as a "troll", suggesting the monster who only exists when you pay attention to it. Both perfectly fitting in the correct context. Wit abounds.

FacultyGuy @0x203 (515)

Dude, DEC PDP? You mean BCD IBM punch cards? Or straight octal, both were used. Hex code is pretty common, I got to the point where I can read it for the decimal equivalent with hardly a thought. The Navy still had DEC VAX machines around when I was teaching technicians. The 8080s and 6800s where the upscale chips in the classrooms in those days.

Extra-credit pop-quiz: Where did I leave out the /s tag?
Roger Powell
519. forkroot
Re "groovy" - point taken, although I was going more for the laugh and to make sure of "old" dating.

Since we're on the topic, I never liked the redefinition of "sick" to mean something good or exceptional. I first heard it being used that way in the early 90s (and occasionally still hear it on Sportscenter, as I'm sure anthonypero would also attest to.)
Karen Fox
520. thepupxpert
A little late to the party today I see...

Annoying word: "Clearly".

My 13 year old's response to just about any observation at this point is "Well, Clearly..."
Karen Fox
521. thepupxpert
tnh @ 487 - I actually recognize a few of those from reading these posts over the last couple of years!
Anthony Pero
522. anthonypero
The internet is awesome. Its rad, man. Really rad. It's sick, dope, bad. Awesome!
Anthony Pero
523. anthonypero
Speaking of trolling... let's see how long it takes tnh to correct my (lack of) use of punctuation above ;)
Thomas Keith
524. insectoid
FacultyGuy @515, et al: Good grief, what have I started... a lesson in computer history? ;)

PDP-11s and UNIVACs and System/360s, oh my! Actually, I know a good deal about computer history (having more than a few books on the subject), so much of what you guys are talking about makes perfect sense to me.

Free @518: Pop quiz... do you mean from that last paragraph, or from your entire post? O_o

Fork @519: Agreed; sick is definitely being misused. Even I don't use it in that context.

Heidi Byrd
525. sweetlilflower
"I'm just saying..."

this phrase bothers me b/c it is a way of defending an argument or idea without actually saying anything of substance.

On the use of abbreviations, there are some I use without even noticing, but it stems from copious note-taking in high school and college.... not texting or responding to blogs. Most of them are math related; such as using the signs for equal, similar to, congruent, real numbers, function, equation, etc... (hahaha).
I would guess that most of the posters here were also studious note-takers, and we get sort of used to abbrv crtn wrds.

Most of my notes just consist of a bunch of math symbols and very few vowels.
Deana Whitney
526. Braid_Tug
Annoying /Overused word: "Like"
Listening to my teen nieces and even the early 20's interns, I want to scream. When "like" is said 10 times in three sentences, I can't stand it.
It's only used as a filler word. They don't even realize they are doing it. But it makes every Toastmaster nerve I have stand on end.

I once pointed out this over use to a niece, she stop for one hour, then was right back to saying it every 5th word.
Rob Munnelly
527. RobMRobM
I always say, "Abandon hopefully all ye who enter here...."
518. Freelancer

Peace! That whole thing was in jest and not at all serious and most certainly wasn't meant to tell you what to do. It was an opinion of an opinion, as a response to a response to the rather fun survey question and thats it ......geez!

Roger Powell
529. forkroot
Agreed. "Like" is the present generation's "You know".

Then again for subwoofer and others north of the border, there's always "OK" and "eh?".

and..... we're all really, really ready for tomorrow's post! Is it too early to {:twitch::} ?
Ok... I got another one: Um.

I remember as a child my Dad flicking me in the ear everytime I said "Ummm". It got to the point that I was so terrified of getting flicked in the ear, that whenever I was around him I spoke very slowly, so as not to say "Um". To this day I have this twitch of a very feint recoil to try to prevent getting flicked in the ear. It was that traumitizing!

So now, guess what I do when my Kids say "Um"?

Oh and I can't stand it when people replace your name with Jack or Buddy or some such. Uhhhhhhrggggh, I hate that!

"Hey, Buddy!", they'd say.
"I aint your Buddy, Buddy!" I'd say.


"Wassup, Jack!?!", they'll say.
"Oh you must be mistaking me for my son." I'll say. Or maybe I'll go with, "Oh hey there, Jill!". They always squint their eyes when I say that one. *giggle*

532. Freelancer
To go along with annoying misuses of words/phrases, we could discuss behaviors which produce similar results. Such as any form of the classic weaselly "Can't you take a joke" response when someone realizes they are on the losing end of a debate, or when otherwise confronted for their words or behavior.

I didn't even want to bring up "like", or "y'know". Even worse, when the user pairs them up before each phrase and doesn't even know they're doing it. Many pro athletes do this during interviews, and you wonder how badly the team owner/manager is cringing while they do it.

AP, "radical" is yet another quite normal term usurped by the beach community. There was even a pop-culture cartoon character of the time called Radi Kalman, a totally laid-back guru-dude who could read the cosmic vibes, and spread the groove to all who sought, turning otherwise helpless fishfood into total shredders of epically radical tubes. And while there was certainly some cross-over between the surfing and druggie communities, the Spicoli archetype didn't exist in significant numbers, as dopers ("wake-and-bakers") just aren't off the floor early enough to catch the best lineups.

sweetlilflower @525

Unfortunately, "That's all I'm saying" was pushed into pop lore by Jerry Seinfeld, and now it's a handy phrase to toss out if you want to make a point, but don't want people to tie it to you seriously. Expanded version; "I'm not saying, I'm just saying".

Ok, some of the words used outside of their normal scope have been mentioned, but others which grate on my nerves include "actually" and "literally", the latter especially egregious when used in an obviously figurative sense.

insectoid @524

There is one sentence in my comments @518 which is clearly not true, and some folks probably read it with the implied /s, while some might think I meant it as written. Oh, and IBM 360/390's, the military was still using those at least as late as 1996.
Alice Arneson
533. Wetlandernw
Our Latin teacher won't let the kids say "um" when they're responding to a question, unless the answer really is a neuter noun. As soon as they say "Um..." while they're working out their answer, she'll say "Incorrect. 'Table' is not neuter." (Or whatever the word is they're supposed to be translating.) Doesn't sound like much, but it works! For her, anyway. And if it is neuter, she'll tell them they can't start the word with the ending. There's a lot less "um" going on in third grade these days.
Oh so now Imma weasle? Ok. You know, what I said was the truth! Both Times! And you know what I say now?

Another thing I hate is when people accuse you of things that aren't true because they have a certain opinion of you. And you know what I think about people who do such things? I normally call them jerks. But I won't today.

You know what I also don't like, is when people half heartedly call someone out, as in, they won't actually come out to call out. They hide behind words and phrases usually because they think they're clever. But to explain what they really are would require to go down a road I swore I wouldn't unless truly necessary. And in this case, people like that just don't qualify. Not even close.

Alice Arneson
535. Wetlandernw
Freelancer @469 - Well, as pot-stirring goes, that one worked...
Birgit F
536. birgit
Since we're talking about language, Leigh will like this one:
To understand why this spanking new feature is so cool, ...
Leigh Butler
537. leighdb
Hi guys,

I regret to inform you that there will be no new Re-read post this week.

I suck, I know, and I apologize, but I'm gonna have to call this one
on account of complete lack of brain. I'm really sorry, but it's
become very clear that I need more time to detox before I get back
on the WOT wagon. I'd rather wait another week and give you something decent than be on time and give you something crappy. I hope y'all understand.
538. Freelancer
So, Leigh. Pulling a Brandon on us, better late with quality than early with junk? Well, we know your game, milking the profits by making us wait. All you 1% folks are the same, sticking it to the little guy in the name of the almighty $$. We'll show you: Occupy Re-read!

||||\ /||||


The no-spanking zone is set up right over there, and the food lines will open in two hours. Authority is oppression, so obey the Committee.
539. Faculty Guy
Although I'm a physics/math type, etymology has always fascinated me. In regard to "groovy" don't you think that the ORIGINAL meaning probably had to do with records (the vinyl kind), and the phonograph needle being "in the groove" as opposed to skidding across the surface and yielding the discordant (even now it makes me shudder) ripping sound?

I've often thought that if I could really understand words and where they came from, I would have achieved total knowledge. And English, especially, is really interesting that way.
Tess Laird
540. thewindrose
So glad I know better than to be drinking my coffee while this thread loads up. The first thing I saw was Freelancer at 538 - Occupy Re-read! Obey the Committee.

RobMRobM - you forgot to add lose/loose in that dig;)

I see I have a chance now to answer all the assorted polls going on, which I will do later.

The use of like does get to me, it even bugged me when I was a kid. But I did love to 'whatever' my parents. Listening to my kids and their friends- like is still in. Beast is very popular right now; as in 'Did you see me take down that nazi zombie with my bfg, that was so beast.'
Or, if they don't get the 'kill', then the game is glitching - because it couldn't be their 'mad skillz'. Tight - is used a lot as well - 'the new COD Black Ops is tight'(cool).

Deana Whitney
541. Braid_Tug
Darn, no new post this week. How big will this thread go now?
Enjoy the break Leigh!

@ Wetlandernw - 3rd grade Latin? That's great! Wish my school system had thought to introduce Latin before the 10th grade.
I applaud the teacher.

@ Zexxes - glad you're making your kids think about what they are saying. I plan to make an annoying bell sound when my son is older and doing that.
Anthony Pero
542. anthonypero
No re-read... hmmm. I guess I should get some work done then. Oh well... See you all next week, or on other posts...
Rob Munnelly
543. RobMRobM
Where are we planning to set up our tent city? In the bunker? I guess we'll have to drag out Suffa to serve as our police detail - or maybe some of Mat's Redarms.
544. s'rEDIT
Just a quick word before the first ToM reread is posted by Leigh this morning:
Things become clichés for a reason, after all. There are still some universal constants, after all, in fiction if not in reality
This comment brought home to me what I will miss because of the loss of my WOT-loving son. These are the kinds of truths that he and I used to discuss, knowing between us exactly why humans see them as universal constants. He continues to be missed.

btw, many, many thanks to all those who offered me a word of sympathy. I still feel your support.
Billy Abbey
545. felix
FacultyGuy: The first computer game I played was Dungeon on a pdp 11 (circa 1977ish)....it was awesome and had a HUGE 10MB drive. I remember thinking "We will never fill up a 10 MB drive!"

We really need a post.

Billy Abbey
546. felix
DOH! With the double post. Must be becasue of all the twitching.
547. ugh...
Thomas Keith
548. insectoid
Leigh @537: Of course we understand, Leigh. We will just be up to 700 or 800 comments by the time you get back. This I Foretell. :P

Free @538: *LOL*

felix @545: My first computer that I built (almost 16 years ago) had a 40 MB hard drive. And I thought that was big, since Windows (3.1) only took up 1/4 of it. But then I started adding games... ;)

Jonathan Levy
549. JonathanLevy
529. forkroot
532. Freelancer
533. Wetlandernw
540. thewindrose

Re: Like/You Know/Totally/Whatever

Ha! So true. You guys will love this video, if you haven't seen it already: www dot youtube dot com /watch?v=fPwBdnknGIs

Make sure you get at least up to 1:20. I'm guessing you'll find it conveys your feelings perfectly. Weird Al Yankovic is a genius sometimes.

536. birgit
Lol :)

539. Faculty Guy
Yeah, Etymology is the Archaeology of one's language... :)
Alice Arneson
550. Wetlandernw
Leigh @537 - Definitely wait till you're ready. There's too much going on in the beginning of this book to give it a half-hearted shot. Seems to me that plugging it in "on time" just to make us whiners twitchers stop whining *twitch*ing would take all the fun out of it; I don't know about you, but when I do something "fun" that I'm not up for, it's not fun and I don't do it well. And unless they move the release date up by a big chunk, I don't really see us running out of time here.

Freelancer @538 - Piper.

WouldbeBrownAjah @541 - I love starting Latin this early. The kids eat it up and have a blast with it, and by the time they hit grades 10 and 11, they're amazing. I wish I'd had a chance to learn Latin when I was a kid!

s'rEDIT @544 - You & yours are still in my prayers. I'm glad you can still be part of this group, even when it's a fresh reminder of your loss.
Rob Munnelly
551. RobMRobM
Sounds like we need another poll, a serious one this time.

I say let's do our favorite three predictions as to what will happen in AMOL. They can be large (The Borderlanders will be gated to Tarmon's Gap and save Lan; Rand will die and come back via TAR) or small (Gawyn and Egwene will have a baby named Joiya; Leane will bond Tam).

Have at it! I'll think of my own later.

552. hawkido
@551 Robmrobm

okay I'm game...

Here's my prediction. The Tinkers defeat the DO by finally finding a stasis box with a large 50 pound shoulder-mounted sound playing device, where rand jumps up and starts singing.

Damn you Robert Jordan... 23 years, more than 4 million words, and for what? A Rick Roll!
Matt Spencer
553. MisunderstoodMe
Hopefully nobody actually finds this offensive - boredom has produced this rendition of tnh's list.

Hi all you people – I haven’t read any of the posts after Leigh’s post saying she wouldn’t have a blog post this week, but since I don’t believe in giving into the political correctness nazis, I’m preemptively posting this. I know its just going to upset everyone, but it’s really a very emotional issue for me when you folks don’t understand how someone can have a life, and need an extra week of detox. I’m extremely uniquely and specially positioned to understand this situation, and my superior perceptions of objective reality in these cases allow me to show you and your ilk the truth – which is definitely true, and anyone that says otherwise is just reacting to truth with hostility. I know I’m repeating an earlier argument, but like how could you think that Leigh is just in this for extra pay that you assume she gets for delaying in writing a blog post for a week?

I'd really like to try to understand what people of your ilk think about Leigh not posting a post this week. If you choose willfully to misunderstand me in this post, its your choice, and its cause you didn't read my post enough times. Please don't take this overly personally, or as offensive, that you people being overly invested in this blog is amusing to me. I'm sure that your fascinating display of irrational thought and immature behavior in response to this comment will highlight all your types inability to be adults. Some of us have this thing called life, and actually aren’t that concerned with a post which is after all, just electrons. Like anybody that’s actually sitting around and waiting for a post has WAY too much time on their hands. Don’t get defensive, and don’t take this overly seriously, but if you want your can take this as a challenge to your worldview. Maybe deal with me seriously instead of just calling me a troll and deleting this comment and banning me for questioning the groupthink entitlement attitude that obviously is just the result of a bunch of whiners coming out of the woodworks. You’ll probably find someone that can actually handle the truth about you to be intimidating. People like you who just have something to prove often find someone who doesn’t have anything to prove intimidating. If you folks can accept a Devil’s advocate we can a civil and thoughtful exchange on my honest remarks. But if like happens so often, your type starts throwing around pejorative labels of rudeness just because I don’t agree with you, when all I want is a lively debate – know two things. Firstly the fact that I’m right is undeniable – its obvious in fact, as I am right. And secondly, you are far too sensitive, need to learn to take a joke and develop a sense of humor. If I’ve struck a nerve – its not because I’m a troll, its because my ideas are true and you just want to avoid them. If I’m banned – well I’m not racist, sexist, ageist, or vitalist – but the moderator who does it is just acting like a one hundred and thirty year old Incan dead man. Anyways, it’s not like I couldn’t get around my ban – multiple accounts do exist and are an acceptable part of modern internet culture, but I think I’d let you win – that’s all that moderators tend to care about anyways is winning against people that disagree with them – unbelievably censoring people like me that are just trying to express an opinion. So I’ll leave, as I have better things to do with my time than argue the rhetoric and semantics of my post with you all. After reading a couple of the posts, I expect I’ll be repeatedly attacked with senseless ad hominem arguements – but like can’t you and your ilk get it? Anyone who takes themselves this seriously really really has it coming, and I don’t think they should get uptight about it. Anyways, this post is full of sarcasm and irony, that just points out the truth in you people that you need to know – so any hostility that you direct towards me will be entirely unearned, and will just be evidence of how poorly you understand me.
I do enjoy a lively discussion though, but you people rarely to never understand a true conversationalist when you meet one – constructive discussion is so hard to find these days. Anyways, I’m almost done – I really do have better things to do with my time than to type a post where I doubt I’ll be believed, and I really just want to see what will happen. This will be my last paragraph – in fact, this paragraph has gone on long enough, so that’s my last word on this subject. Actually no – a warning – don’t even bother replying to this, I’m not going to read a word anyone writes about it. I’m out of here! LOL!!!:) LOL.

EDIT: Any passing relevance to anybodies actual posts in this thread is entirely unintentional - this post just tries to hit every one of tnh's listed 'look out' phrases. The actual passing subject that this comment vaguely mentions was just inspired by how people responded to AMOL coming out when it is.
Don Barkauskas
554. bad_platypus
@545, 548: One of the signature computer events in my childhood was when we upgraded our IBM PC Jr from 128 to 256 K of RAM. At the time, you could run any computer game in existence with that.
Rob Munnelly
555. RobMRobM
@553 - Freelancer (the evident target of your post) was being ironic/humorous. But...you're apparently not reading this anyway, so all the best.

EDIT - After re-reading your post, I'm officially confused. Are you trying to collect all of the passive aggressive things that some people say (similar to the tnh troll post)? If so, bravo and brilliantly done.

556. Freelancer
Hmm, 1986. Upgraded my Motorola 68000-based computer from 512KB to a FULL 1MB of RAM, attached an accelerator to double the processing speed to 32MHz, and replaced the 600bps modem with a Supra 2400. Each of those items cost around $100.

Nowadays, businesses give branded 16GB thumb drives as conference swag. (Actually, I got a set of top end BOSE earbuds from an analyst conference not too long ago, those bad boys are...)

RobMRobM @551

I'll play. 1) Prophecies will be fulfilled. 2) Theories will be proven right or wrong, or various shadings of both. 3) An end will occur. Not The End, as there are neither ...
558. Freelancer
RobMRobM @555

As Arte would say, veddy interestink. I detect a smooth play. I'll pull another string or two and we'll see if what I'm supposing is accurate.


A curious approach. Certainly more comprehensive than the predecessor, but lacking the passionately inarticulate conjugations. I'd offer a welcome to a new commentor, but we both know that isn't necessary, so I'll simply say good day.
Steve Barkmeier
559. sbark
RobMRobM @551

I'm finally caught up with this reread with my first reread of WOT.

My big prediction is that Perrin will have to allow Faile to be killed or the dark one will win the last battle. Throughout the PLOD, Perrin constantly had the thought that he would put saving Faile first over anything including Tarmon Gaidon. I think that is a setup for Perrin actually facing a choice of losing Faile or allowing the Dark One the ultimate victory. Now that he has grown as a leader and as a man, he will be able to make this sacrifice and make the right choice.
Matt Spencer
560. MisunderstoodMe
Freelance@558 Good day! Sorry if that subject seemed to be directed at you. It truely is simply a literary effort inspired by tnh's list. :)

- MisunderstoodMe, who normally on forums ends his posts in third person. He's been a lurker, and an occasional poster (under the name palindrome) - but just was inspired to go black by a combination of wanting to comment on tnh's post and a frustration with the anti-robot enter these two words system.
Alice Arneson
561. Wetlandernw
Yup. At this rate we'll get to at least 700.

MisunderstoodMe @553 - You know, you could have made that into at least two posts and contributed to the effort. But I wouldn't want you to have to break up that last paragraph. That took some real effort. (Please tell me you didn't copy and paste from tnh. I'd be disappointed.) Masterful job, though. If you want suggestions for next time you're bored, try leaving out some of the capital letters. (I dare you!) That really makes it hard to read.

RobM @ Predictions - 1) Nynaeve and Moiraine will accompany Rand to Shayol Ghul. 2) Nynaeve will loan someone else her jewelry 'greal before she goes. 3) An eclipse will occur while they are there.


Okay, for real? 1) Logain will battle it out with Taim and win. 2) Min, in collaboration with Cadsuane, will find the key to the Callandor mystery. 3) Mat will join Lan at Tarwin's Gap, and they'll win.

That last might be wishful thinking, though.
John Massey
562. subwoofer
@sbark, not sure if you are brand squeeky clean new, but welcome, good to see you:)

No re-read? No problem;)

May I suggest the variety of ways we can get Leigh to talk about spanking in her upcoming post? Or perhaps how we can have the topic come up at random?

My prediction is that Perrin spanks Faile again in the final book.

Perrin: Faile, stay here, it isn't safe for you where I am going, and I can't fight like I need to.

Faile: Perrin, my place it at your side, you cannot keep me from that.

Perrin- grab, upend, frying pan, ::spank::

Matt Spencer
563. MisunderstoodMe
Wetlandernw @ 561 - I think my eyes would have fallen out. It took enough effort to write that without worrying about trying not to capitalize or punctuate.
-MisunderstoodMe who is glad you recognize effort when you see it!
Rob Munnelly
564. RobMRobM
Wet @561 - Spoiler, spoiler!!! You dare! You must be banned from the re-read henceforth. If you want to talk about things in the AMOL cover, reserve them for the Spoiler forum. Da noive of it all. Grrhhh.

I'm doubtful about your real category 3. Mat has too much to do (find Horn in Laras' kitchen, convince Tuon to cooperate in the final battle, get in a bit of smooching, set up defense of Camelyn, etc.) After all that, I'd also expect him to be the grand general of TG for all of light side forces, and won't likely be in Tarwin's Gap. Shayul Ghul by the end, maybe, but not the Gap with Lan.
565. AndrewB
My prediction -- at least on of the Chosen will survive the Last Battle

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then" - Bob Seger, Against the Wind
Anthony Pero
566. anthonypero
I really don't think a "coordinated defense of light-side forces" is in the cards. I'm expecting the trollocs and dread lords to pop up all over the place. So, Caemlyn will be being fought while Tarwin's Gap is being faught, while a massive attack of the people Egwene has gathered up will be fought.

Also, I'm imagining the Seanchan will attack the Tower at the same time this is all happening, and an invasion int he south will happen as well. Any dreadlord can use the power to break through the "sealed" waygates, just like they did in Caemlyn. Meanwhile, Rand just breaks the seals and takes Moiraine and Nyn to the Bore. If there is an "organized" part of any of this, it will be the counter offensive after Rand wins. Mat might be in charge of that. The rest is going to be pure chaos.
567. Freelancer

No worries, I understood immediately the purpose and aim of the verbage @553, and was mildly surprised that anyone else believed it to have been presented in earnest, given your disclaiming preface. It is not your subject of choice which is in question, but existence itself as other than a misdirecting, ancillary operator.

Back on the subject of misappropriated words. "Whatever" gets an honorable mention, but the word isn't actually being repurposed or redefined when so used. Expanding to a phrase; "Whatever you say", while dripping with attitude, retains the standard definition. I'm just saying...
Rob Munnelly
568. RobMRobM
Hawkido and Free @556 - I'm with you both 100% on the predictions - except Woof is right, you forgot the Spanking Gaidon set to occur before the Dark One is banished.

Shark - that, my friends, is a gutsy prediction. I don't buy it but it shows spunk.
Billy Abbey
569. felix
What is the over/under of "Holy Shit"s by Leigh in the next book. As a sidebet over/under on her said "HS's" in her read of ASOIAF
Billy Abbey
570. felix
Now thinking about it, the HS factor in ASOIAF is extended to the "HF" factor as well. We really need to determine an LB standard as we wait for the next reread. On a side note, I have not posted often, but have been an avid reader of this reread, having said such......I think there needs to be a spank panel in the next JordanCon so we can get to the Bottom of this spanking issue. I mean, I wouldn't want to misunderstand and only start seeing the whole problem from the backend of things.
I for one, would like to thank all the regular posters on this blog that help me from twitching to much, and Leigh for doing the whole thing....I don't know how she does it (seems to be a "Hey can you take care of this elephant for a few years...and oh yeah, describe it to everyone while you do it").
Roger Powell
571. forkroot
Predictions eh? As I've stated before, I believe Slayer has some important role to play ... after all, Luc was sent to the Blight by Gitara Moroso with the same sort of apocalyptic warning that Tigraine was given that got her to the Aiel waste.

Considering that Slayer has been unrepentantly evil for the whole series, it's hard to think of him as having a change of heart. So here's my prediction:

Somehow, Rand's efforts at Shayol Ghul are on the verge of being successful - then Fain shows up and threatens to ruin everything. Slayer then appears and takes out Fain (remember Slayer was charged with killing Fain as far back as TSR.) Thus he fulfills his commission and unwittingly helps Team Light.
Jonathan Levy
572. JonathanLevy

Predictions? Well, here's one I'm wondering about. We've got a dream of Egwene's wherein a Seanchan saves her and the White Tower. Egeanin went to the White Tower, and (I think) we know from a letter in ToM that she has already arrived.

On the other hand, Tuon is planning another attack on the White Tower. We also know Tuon (I'm not going to call her Fortuona) has nothing but contempt for Egeanin, considering her a traitor and having named her Leilwein Shipless in mockery of her hopes for a higher name after the Corenne.

So how could this possibly play out? Egeanin has no leverage with Tuon. Egeanin has no leverage with Egwene. If Tuon decides to attack there's no way she could influence the outcome.

No way except one. The only thing special about Egeanin is that she knows that Sul'dam can be collared. So here's my prediction: Tuon will lead the attack on the White Tower. Under some pretext Egeanin will approach her and collar her with an A'dam in full view of the Seanchan army.

Chaos ensues. Thus the 'Chekov's Gun' which was introduced way back in TGH - and loaded in TSR and cocked in KoD - will finally be fired.

Extra bonus prediction: As Tuon lies on the ground writhing in nausea, Rand will arrive and kneel down to remove her A'dam, thus fulfulling another prophecy. :)
Cameron Tucker
573. Loialson
Ooh, I like it.

For me:
1. Olver dies, or something terrible happens to him at the least/flipside Talmanes dies bc of Olver's actions at the battle of Caemlyn (which would be a truly tragic loss)

2. Someway or another, Min has to go. Either she perishes somehow (unlikely, given DKS portrait)or her and Rand leave this Realm somehow (go to a mirror world, Gate to the other side of Shara's backside, something).

3. Rand's confrontation with the DO/Shaidar Haran/Ishydin will be far different than any of us could imagine. Take all the weirdness The Heroes Three Ishy-induced dreams, and throw in that the One Power will not shield him (like how the DO got into Rand's Dreams in ToM Epilogue), I think that most of the "battle" will be very Meta, yet satisfying.

(Lightbulb thought moment)
The DO is not evil per se, he is Darkness personified. Darkness and Light are things, forces, push and pull yin and yang.

Thus the Last Battle's crux will lie in something...else, something not really Deus Ex, but something well hidden in the series we really won't have expected (RJ was really good at doing that) that will blow us out of the water.

4. The BIG VOICE from tEotW will be revealed as either the DO, or the Creator (who I'd love to meet on-screen btw)

How do y'all feel about The Creator and The Dark One? Are they Personages, or merely Forces? IE like how in the Mistborn series *spoilery following whited out * The Gods had physical bodies and could die, but the Powers they held made them Immortal (if not invulnerable) while they lived VS. just being omnipotent and invulnerable BIG VOICES with sentience?
574. Wortmauer
Wetlander, I see your awesome and raise to brilliant. People get called brilliant for ridiculously small mental achievements. Like awesome, the word has lost all its punch, and that annoys me greatly. We are left with no way to describe true brilliance, as the word genius has met a similar fate. I do love perspicacious, but it was never meant to denote true brilliance.
Yes, I know, a lot of things annoy me greatly.
Same goes for comedy gold, which rarely seems to actually mean a gold standard, i.e., comedy that all other comedy should be held up to.

That's right. I don't think any of you guys are awesome, brilliant, geniuses, or posting comedy gold. That's not to say I don't think some of you are quite clever, witty or insightful.
a a-p
575. lostinshadow
to this day, my father has a hatred for my favorite teenage inanity "same difference" - drives him nuts even (purposefully left blank number of) years later.

@574 I have to say I am rather fond of brilliant - though perhaps it's because of all the English people I've been hanging out with - I really enjoy how they insert brilliant and marvellous into virtually any circumstance.

Predictions predictions predictions....

1) not sure how it will play out but...Seanchean headed by Fortuona will attack the White Tower as Egwene tries to rally all against Rand's crazy idea and Egwene has to eat crow and ask for immediate assistance from those present - Rand accompanies them and not only saves the WT but also manages a detante with the Fortuona dearest.

2) Rand will figure out a way to use Callandor, his two wounds and T'A'R (no way I'm spelling that) to somehow tie the Dark One into the Pattern in all the worlds thereby ensuring that the DO never wants to destroy the Pattern on any turn of the Wheel since it is now tied to it.

3) I will throw the book out the window if Min dies (not too bothered about the other two wives, happy to sacrifice either one and actually Elayne should probably die in childbirth or something - twins often come early don't they?)
Billy Abbey
576. felix
My twins were born 9 weeks early, spent a month in the hospital and the doctors were worried about their lungs. Now they are 15 and I can't get them to SHUT UP!

I like that theory a lot.
a a-p
577. lostinshadow

glad to hear that early concerns did not translate into signifcant problems for you - as to your current problem, perhaps you could gently weave some air to muffle the sound?
Terry McNamee
578. macster
@156 hawkido: Actually I do; after writing my initial thoughts on the day's chapters, I literally go down the thread and make notes of people and their post number so I can reference them when they say something I wish to respond to. It helps organize my thoughts and lets me reply to everything I find interesting or important.

@181 Alphaleonis: That IS a very interesting point, comparing Egwene to Ishamael to Gitara/Moiraine/Siuan/the Amyrlin (who was Tamra Ospenya, by the by). I am not sure what it means, but I am pretty sure it means something, Jordan being the master of symbolism he was. Unless it's mere symmetry of narrative. Also, your TIC bit about the trumpets is delicious--and indeed highly accurate. The fact the trumpets for Laman just so happened to announce Rand's birth too makes me think the Creator must have quite the sense of humor.

@189 KiManiak: Thanks! As I said to Hawkido, I really do go through the whole thread up to that point so as to keep everything organized and flowing logically in my mind as I respond. It lets me give credit to the right people, connect points to each other that are relevant, state which parts (and people) I agree with and which I don't and why, and make sure I don't miss anything (or repeat it).

As to your response: I see your point, and overall I agree that Cadsuane does not deserve sole credit for this; part of why I replied to you as I did, though, was because I thought you were trying to dismiss her of any credit at all. My mistake. I will say this, though: while I don't think Cadsuane deserves sole credit, she does deserve a lot, and the credit she gets is for being the key person involved. Why do I say this? First off, because she was the catalyst to cause all this to happen. Even if someone else could have done what she did, no one did, and most importantly no one would have. The Wise Ones just sat there watching Rand harden (and mistreat the Aiel) without doing anything; Min tried to help him but never considered bringing anyone in to appeal to his humanity; Nynaeve didn't either, and judging by her opinions of Tam, even if she'd thought of the idea she wouldn't have gone to him; Tam was staying away from Rand because he thought he shouldn't be interfering in his son's business and destiny; and Rand was staying away from Tam, partly to keep his enemies from hurting him or using him against him and partly because of him trying to become inhuman. So if Cadsuane hadn't forced the issue, it would not have happened. That is why I give her so much credit.

Additionally, while it is true part of the reason she did this was because Min told her of the viewing, that Rand needed her and she was to teach him something, it was still Cadsuane who decided what to teach him and why he needed it. When she first spoke with Sorilea about it, she clearly already had it in mind that Rand needed to care and feel before he faced the Dark One; what Sorilea told her only made that clearer for her, while Min's viewing told her it wasn't just her, it was the Pattern itself that considered this so important. But it was Cadsuane's determination to fulfill the viewing, and to make sure the savior did not become a destroyer, that led to her bringing Tam. One could even say her past history prepared her for this, because she caused numerous channeling men to not give up on life, to recover and keep living for many more years than gentled men usually did. Most if not all the things she could have used to get them to consider life worth living would also be things that would allow them to retain a hold on humanity. Even aside from Rand needing to be human to face the Dark One, Cadsuane's experiences with gentled men could have given her the unique perspective that the way to help channeling men was to teach them they were still human, not the horrible, Light-forsaken monsters the Aes Sedai and everyone else believed them to be. (See also Wetlander @209 on the re-read part 25.)

So while many people, things, and events helped either make Rand the kind of person who would respond as needed to have this epiphany, or arranged events so that he could do so (though note the whole thing in Ebou Dar wouldn't have mattered if Rand hadn't tried to kill Tam and then run off), I still think Cadsuane did the most--because she actually DID something unlike everybody else, and she refused to give up on it or on Rand, partly because of how important it was to the world and partly because she was too damn stubborn to quit. Yes, she did nearly screw everything up with the script she gave Tam, let alone all the treatment she gave Rand beforehand, but she was also the right kind of person to ensure Rand would be saved from himself, and to see how it could be done and why it was important. She doesn't deserve sole credit, but she does deserve credit for being in the right place at the right time, for understanding what it was Rand needed and how to give it to him, and for being the kind of person who could force it to happen.

@birgit: Somehow I am not surprised I managed to get the top spot in word count for TGS, but not the top number of posts (since I usually wasn't here enough to indulge in debates and numerous posting on each thread). I certainly wasn't trying for it though, whatever some might think--I'm just...very verbose. Sorry all!

@forkroot: I laughed so hard at a lot of your little song--because the things you said about the various commenters, even after me having been here such a short time, rang so true! And I do enjoy this re-read, and the vast majority of you, very much. I'm glad you all let me join in on your wonderful creation, and with only a small amount of snark regarding my very long and wordy posts. ;)

@286 Samadai: Wow! That was a very creative and fascinating insight into Logain's possible backstory. While we don't have any evidence that anyone other than Rand has had access to their past life (or thought they did), I have to admit the idea of Guaire Amalasan being in Logain's head and speaking to him was quite chilling and well-done. And the bit with Cadsuane is not only in-character, it's funny and accurate, since I believe we were told she had something to do with his capture. And in any event she was living in Ghealdan before reappearing on the scene so it beggars belief she couldn't have been involved with Logain in some way. Kudos!

@353 Wetlander: As usual, I agree with you 100%.

@354 Zexxes: You are right too, but what you're missing is the point Wet made--that everything blowing up like it did, Rand being pushed to the brink, and then finally having his epiphany, was the way it had to happen, what the Pattern had arranged for, and the best way he could have been saved in the time they had left. Cadsuane's prior treatment of Rand did indeed make him darker, nastier, less trusting--but this had to happen, he had to go down before he could come up, he had to come close to breaking before he could be healed. Because that was how the Pattern planned it. So Cadsuane was merely fulfilling her role in the Pattern, and doing so by being true to who she was as a person--i.e., proving why her thread in particular was needed in this role, because only one of her experiences and personality would do and say the things she did, both pushing Rand into his nadir and providing the means by which he could be saved.

So you know, though, I agree with you completely that while Rand has done terrible things, either thanks to being pushed there or the overall progress of taint madness, he has also done amazing and awesome things, and I am glad he got his act together and became the hero and savior he was meant to be--not just for the sake of the Pattern, but for his own sake. Just because I can defend Cadsuane, Egwene, or anybody else, and that I can see problems in Rand's actions, doesn't mean I am down on him.

@RobM: Favorite three would be Rand, Perrin, and Min, though Nynaeve is a close runner-up and I still love many more, like Birgitte, Aviendha, Mat, Moiraine, Thom, Verin... Least favorite: Fain, Elaida, Suroth. (Though I like reading about Fain and Elaida, and Suroth's comeuppance was rather delicious.) Though really there are many I can't stand, so...

@472 Wortmauer: Actually, I rather liked Niall myself. I thought he had a lot more potential for plot and character interaction, there was a chance he might have gotten his head on straight and actually helped the Light (until Fain came along), and it did indeed seem like a waste of a character who could have been powerful, influential, and intriguing.

@487 tnh: LOL!!! Oh my, many of those do have a very familiar ring to them...however I would say this, that at least a few of those lines could be given sincerely and not be a sign of trolling. Context is important, as Freelancer notes.

@538 Freelancer: LOL! That was hilarious. I do think, though, that you not getting Zexxes's joke and the accusation you made toward him was a bit over the line. True, he didn't make it clear in his post that he was joking, but that doesn't mean him saying he was was merely backpedaling and feigning a joke.

@553 MisunderstoodMe: That was a thing of...well I can't say beauty, but it was certainly quite unique. ;)

@566 anthonypero: I think you're right--all of that will indeed happen chaotically at the same time. Certainly the Seanchan attack and the one on Caemlyn.

@572 JonathanLevy: I love your prediction. I hope it comes true.

@573 Loialson: I think your prediction about Talamnes is right, and that it's his death foretold by Min's viewing of the two dead men on the battlefield surrounded by Trollocs with the smoking pipe.

@leighdb: Perfectly understandable that you need to wait, and we will certainly prefer something cogent and thought-provoking to something forced and lame. Looking forward to next week! Also, happy belated birthday!
Billy Abbey
579. felix
@577 lostinshadow
I believe that weave involves duct tape and a closet
Ron Garrison
581. Man-0-Manetheran
JonathanLevy @ 572: I like it! It ties up some loose ends that I’ve been struggling with. Thanks.

Macster @ 578: I think that is probably the fairest assessment of Cadsuane to date. She (and probably she alone) knew what had to be accomplished. How she accomplished it was chancy, but nothing is perfectly predictable. In heroic tales such as WoT, the safe route is rarely the right road. There is an element of chance and daring in events such as this, and she took it.
582. Freelancer
loialson @573

A quibble, admittedly, but one to which I must attend. Light is a force, a power, without question. Darkness is a nothing. It is an absence, a lack, and has no source for energy or power. A thing like a Dark One has energy, and is therefore not pure evil.

C.S. Lewis posited that while good can and does exist for no other sake than good, evil is not a true opposite. Other than cases of utter insanity (and with proper analysis, most likely even then), people commit crimes to achieve something they believe to be good. They steal to have, which they consider a more important good than not having. They kill because they see their victim as more evil, and worthy of death.

When investigating crimes, law enforcement always considers motive, which is to say the desire being followed by the criminal which makes them consider the act viable. There is always a "want" attendant to the act, a satisfaction of an appetite or need. These things can be called good of themselves, but not the wrongful act to achieve them. So evil is motivated by a perverse good. A force of value drives an act without value.

Darkness is not the opposite of light, it is light gone missing. Be not afraid, neither let your heart be troubled.

macster @578

I empathize with, and approve of your sympathy. Given the "retort" @534, I believe it can be settled that there was no joke, as admitted. Interesting that while confessing to the accusation, the outrage over the accusation continued. I am put in mind of Birgitte's admonition to Dyelin, and while not properly analogous, there is yet a lesson to be gained.
583. s'rEDIT

No, not so much of a quibble when drawn out to all its ramifications and implications.
Kimani Rogers
584. KiManiak
RobMx2@551 – Ok, I’ll do this poll. Except, instead of favorite predictions that I’d like to see happen, I’ll go with predictions of minor events that I think will happen:

1. Although some of us might wish for different, Moiraine and Cadsuane’s meeting in AMoL will be low-key and almost pleasant. The same with Moiraine and Egwene.

2. Before AMoL is complete, both Gawyn and Galad would have both completed their redemption arcs. Gawyn’s actions may even garner the respect (and maybe even praise) of some of his harshest critics amongst the readers (What? Too unrealistic?)

3. Aviendha, Elayne and Min will all 3 sit down and discuss (yes, I believe that there will be actual communication between characters in WoTland) their roles on how best to help Rand. These discussions will in no way include Rand. Rand will be quite okay with this.

As far as one of the other discussions 100 or so posts ago (the one regarding words or phrases we don’t like): My pet peeve is replacing “have” with “of.” Like “would of” instead of “would have.” Darn kids (and, unfortunately, some adults). They should have been taught better than that. Or, they should have paid better attention in school.

Drives me batty. I’m really worried that in 10+ years the vast majority of high school and college students will actually think that “would of” or “should of” is grammatically correct.

Macster@578 – Thanks for the very detailed response. I’d almost forgotten that we were discussing this topic on this thread since that was, what, almost 3 weeks ago? :-)

I will say that I respect the arguments that you make, although I think you and I may just have to agree to disagree on this one. I will give you that Cads played a significant role in the chain of events that led to Rand’s epiphany. I still don’t believe that is worthy of giving her a significant amount of credit for it, though.

Anyway, at the end of the day, Rand was able to “ascend” to Zen-Rand/Jesus-Rand/uber-Rand status through whatever means, and that is what’s most important. Nice discussion, though; thank you.

I think there are some other polls/surveys/activities further up the comment-chain that I never responded to. Well, since we’ve got another week, maybe I’ll eventually get to them. If for no other reason then to aid in getting this post up to 700.

Happy Wednesday, everyone…
Jay Dauro
585. J.Dauro
We all know big questions we expect will be answered in AMOL. Here are some of my little questions. Somewhere I have a list of more, I need to find. What are some of yours?

Where and when did Morgase hear Two River's speech?

Who stilled Owen?

Where is the Fat Man Angreal?

How did the Portal Stones (from before the Age of Legends) get steps the colors of the Ajahs?

How were the Shadow forces able to decipher the Guidings in the Ways?

What were Mat's Portal Stone Visions of Betrayal?

Was Corianin Nedeal Black Ajah?

Lanfear's comment, "There are only two more powerful that a man can use. One at least, I know, still exists."

Does Rand reveal his ancestry?

Does Perrin learn who killed his family?

Does Rand learn Luc killed his father?

What was Cadsuane's blackmail?

Do the Seafolk acknowledge Mat's role in the Escape?

How did Jahar channel in Far Madding?

Do we see any of the ter'angreal Avi identifies used?
Rob Munnelly
586. RobMRobM

Where is Talaan and Merlille?

Where is the Horn of Valere in Tar Valon and who will help Mat find it?

What will Hurin end up doing to become a Hero of the Horn?

Which ugly little kid is Gaidal Cain reborn?

What is Elayne going to give her mother as her special job that gets her out of Camelyn?

Are we going to see Tam show his blademaster skills on screen?

Since Perrin his Steward under Elayne, will he have to follow Elayne's orders if she directs him to support Egwene rather than Rand regarding the seals?

Is Liandrin going to get her shield broken and become a threat again?

Where are the two or three missing BA agents who received special instructions from Moggy several books ago.

Who wants to bet that Rand sends the Borderlands armies to help Lan, Tenobia will demand the right to lead troops in battle, and will die -- bringing Faile and Perrin closer to the broken throne?

Will Tenobia meet up with Bashere and what will happen then?

Where the heck is Demandred and what army is he commanding (cough Murandy)?

Gawyn plus seanchan ter'angreals - trouble?

Steve Barkmeier
587. sbark

I think your grammar pet peeve is more of a spelling issue: would of versus would've, should of versus should've.
Rob Munnelly
588. RobMRobM
Pronounciation issue, maybe. Spelling issue, no (unless of and have and be conflated). Stop the madness, I say.
Roger Powell
589. forkroot
I don't think Narishma did channel in Far Madding. He opened a gateway to a spot outside the range of the guardian (in ToM.)

Way back in Winter's Heart, Flinn pretended to channel but it was either Cadsuane or Nynaeve using a well that actually produced the effect.

Did I miss a reference somewhere? (On the road, don't have the books.)
Jonathan Levy
590. JonathanLevy
Here's another idea on how to pass the time: little epilogues with which to end the last book. I'm not talking about central, much-anticipated scenes, but little vignettes, like the last chapter in the Harry Potter series. I'll go first.

The Last Battle is over; the forces of dark have scattered. All the Foresaken are killed except one. Moghedien flees, disguising her face with inverted weaves, as she did in Salidar. During the chaos of her flight she is stilled or burned out (many ways this could happen: stray flow of spirit from Callandor, unraveling gateway, etc).

She is carried on the tide of refugees until she washes up in some remote village, where she starts dispensing herbs and caring for the sick to eke out a living. At the end of a long day of applying poultices and replacing bandages - and burying corpses - another tired band straggles into her village. Amongst them is a half-familiar woman in a torn dress with dirt and mud caking her tattered braids of honey-colored hair. Wearily, she looks up. It is Liandrin.

The End!


Where is Talaan and Merlille?
Stuck in a spank'o'mat, of course. In Hinderstap. Forever.
John Massey
592. subwoofer
A couple more questions- why is Gawyn still alive?

The only thing I am hoping with regards to bloodknives is that they speed up Gawyn's death.

Question for general fodder... and if anyone can track down Brandon, please ask him- Is Gaidal Cain a blademaster?

I may or may not be around, but the six hunny is looming brightly:D

From what I understand of Gaidal Cain he is not a Blade Master in the sense others are known for swordsmanship. He uses two swords when he fights. Could he be a Blade Master? I say it is possible, if he is as good as legend says he is gaidal Cain very likely is a Blade Master. And if he is a BM then he is probably a BM with both hands.

Jay Dauro
594. J.Dauro
Do they ever discover that it takes cross gender healing to fully repair stilling/gentling? Are Siuian and Leanne ever fully cured?

Forkroot. In WH as they enter Far Madding, it is not until they are inside the city that Shalon notices Jahar is not with them. She does not notice any of the others missing. I would expect that if any were not at the bridge, she would have noticed, so how did an Ash'amon inside the Guardian channel? I believe that RJ said it was Damar, from outside. In that case, why the big hoopla, and how did Damar enter the city later? And where did Jahar go? As I said before, small questions, and many I do not expect to get answers for.
Rob Munnelly
595. RobMRobM
Consider my mind partially blown by a new theory on Thirteenth Depository - that Demandred has been in Seanchan gathering his army and will travel to Randland via the Ways. Linda asked Brandon if there were waygates in Seanchan and he got nervous and gave a big RAFO. That would certainly be a scarier army than Murundy, eh?
Deana Whitney
596. Braid_Tug
Pet Theories for after AMOL:

The Book Reader ter’angreal will be used to restore the Song to the Tinkers. And give a whole generation of Browns something to do for the Fourth Age. Along with the Whites, because you know there are some advanced philosophy and sciences books stored in the thing.

The Talisman of Growing will help restore and clean the Ways. Which is good, since the Ogier opened the “Book of Translation” and road off into the sunset like the Elves do in LotR. But not before a few hundred of them put long handles on their axes and kicked but at the TG.

Elyane will be the world’s most overprotective mother. Because she knows what she did and will try really hard to prevent her children from doing the same dumb stuff. Or will at least hire them a really good tutor in logic leaps, because she sucks at them.

And Bridgett will meet the Asha’man, who’s ugly baby son will grow up to be Gaidal Cain. (Sorry, I can’t remember his name right now, but he’s with Perrin.)
Matt Spencer
597. MisunderstoodMe
Has there ever been a confirmation that Gaidal Cain was actually reborn and not just killed in dream?

Also +1 to Forkroots theory of the two gollums Faine and Luc/Isam playing against eachother in interesting ways. I wonder if Faine dreams.
a a-p
598. lostinshadow
@595 hmmmm intriguing - I'll go check it out, I like the sound of it (and since we know that outrigger novels with Mat back in the Seanchan had been planned - makes a lot of sense)
Kimani Rogers
599. KiManiak
Teeing it up. Who wants the Big 6?

Also, RobM@595 - Thanks for the reference; I'll go check it out. I kinda like the 13th depository. Plus, I think she's doing a reread of ToM.
Irene Gallo
603. Irene
Freelancer and Zexxes: the last few comments have been deleted. It's time to agree to disagree, and move on. Thanks.
Rob Munnelly
606. RobMRobM
I love the 13th depository. Linda is made of awesome. And, yes, she is re-reading TOM.

Since we have no 6 hunny, "The six hundred and fifth I give you."

No six hunny and no funny. :-(
Kimani Rogers
608. KiManiak
Wait... what? The Big 6 (hunny)... gone? Ok, next time I'm just gonna pull a Subwoofer :-) or AnthonyPero :-) (much respect to you both) and post back to back and just snag it. No respect for the sanctity of the Big 6, I tell ya...

Well, we just have to redeem ourselves by getting to Seven (Soldiers of Victory?) Hundred.

(Bonus points if someone with the handle of Vigilante or Crimson Avenger takes it (hmm, maybe I need to take a break from superheroes for awhile...))

Yeah, we really need a new post. Gotta find a way to hold up until next week...
Here, here I second that....Seven Hunny, we will smite thee!

Whatya say Free? Agree to disagree, however personal it got. Smile, spit and shake!?! Let us put our formidable powers together and destroy our common enemy, the Dread Comment Beast , 700!

John Massey
610. subwoofer
Wait... What?

No six hunny? Way to go dudes. Make Irene put here shoe down;)

er... can we have a do over? I promise I'll be good, hover over the post button:D

Well then, our next marker will be good ol' 666, let's all get there with clean underwear.

@Z, is your new avatar half the Red Bull symbol? ;)

Question 2- when Cadsuane saved Rand the first time, after he was stabbed by Fain- was that Fain with his new mojo or was that a bubble of evil?

I'm putting questions from the chosen page over here:D

13D be evil, days could be wasted there. Am headed that way right now...

Roger Powell
611. forkroot
According to TPoD glossary, it was a bubble of evil - see entry for Daved Hanlon. Thanks to encyclopedia-wot.org for this one.
Nadine L.
612. travyl
J.Dauro @594.
Are Siuian and Leanne ever fully cured?

I'm not 100 percent sure about this, but I think somewhere it is mentioned, that because Siuan and Leane got healed, they couldn't ever recover full strength even if Flinn or an other Ashaman would try now.
Did we ever talk about the possibility that Demandred could be Talmanes (he's got an army)?
Alice Arneson
613. Wetlandernw
travyl @612 - The Demandred = Talmanes theory doesn't work, because we were told we hadn't seen Demandred's alter ego on screen as of... KoD, maybe? One of the later books, anyway, long after we'd met Talmanes. Several otherwise promising notions fail that test. It drives everyone nuts. :)

About Siuan & Leane, it was speculated that they couldn't be re-healed, but when (several times) fans asked RJ directly on the KoD tour, he gave them a RAFO. So it's still unknown, unless I missed something in TGS or ToM.
Don Barkauskas
614. bad_platypus
Re Siuan and Leane: The most common speculation I've seen is that "what's been Healed can't be Healed again," so as-is they can't be changed; but if they were stilled again and Healed by a man, then they'd be at full strength. In any case, no attempt has yet been made (that we know of, and I think we would).
615. jtodd
How is Gaidal not Olver? I mean how many references to how ugly he is have to be made? and the fact that birgitte wasn't spun out but ripped out so that they won't be at appropriate ages to each other?
John Massey
616. subwoofer
Well, there's lots of ugly people in the world.... it doesn't make them special, at least not in the way you'd hope it would;)

@Fork- thanks for the heads up:D

Kimani Rogers
617. KiManiak
jtodd@615 – Granting you the benefit of the doubt that you honestly are asking the question and have not ever come across any type of serious answer: here and here (type in Gaidal Cain or Olver)

Hope that helps!
618. Freelancer
Time moves differently in T'a'R than in the "waking world", but it cannot move backwards. Olver was born years before Gaidal Cain was spun out.
Jay Dauro
619. J.Dauro
Hey, I'm ugly. Can I be Gaidal Cain?
Rob Munnelly
620. RobMRobM

1. Laras will know where Siuan and Verin hid the Horn of Valere and will help Mat find it.
2. Rand will die, become a Hero of the Horn, and be pulled back from TAR by Nyneave (the "something funny" about Avi's four kids with Rand is that they will be from Rand 2.0).
3. Mordin will help reseal the Dark One's prison. It is his "Memory of Light' in the title.
621. Hawkido
Hey I'm short and ugly... anyone out there that looks like birgette want a pinch and tickle?
622. hawkido
Demandred is in murandy... either the King or the one controlling the king... he (with the aid of the Band /sans Matt) has forged the nobles in the area into a unified force... for the first time since Artur Hawkwing. Mat/Rand/Perrin have not been through Murandy to do the ta'veren thingy on them to make this happen, so who else have been able to make things happen that have not happened in so long that you might think them un-happenable? One of the Forsaken.

The King of Murandy has not had screen time, but both murandy and it's weak king (it's been stated before in the books that he was weak and unskilled) has somehow found the wits and stength to forge this fractured region into a unified country just south of Andor, right before Demandred states to Moridin that he is in place and has his army ready?

Like I said it has been mentioned enough to put it in-line with Jordan's way of telling us that it is significant enough to be mentioned several times and even have some cool stuff happen there off-screen (the Band's visit) but never once show it on screen.... how often has Elain talked of murandy and the troubles with it's southern boarder, how about Siuan and Gareth, even Egwene and the Aes Sedai have met with them and Gated out just as they were to enter Murandy.

Name the only country that has had no screen time by tPoD, (that we don't see by the end of ToM and can easily agree that Demandred isn't there)... Well there is Murandy, and there is Mayene, Kandor, and Arafel.

I can't see Demandred in the borderlands as the leaders have the army and don't seem to be Dark Friends as the prophesy they saught to fufill is working against the Dark one.

Unless... It's Hurin! while the Borderland Kings and Queens met with Rand, Hurin took over and is leading the borderlander's to attack the "un-Bore" or the light side... WTH, did I just throw-up in my brain?

out... of my mind and your sight.

I can't see
Craig Jarvis
623. hawkido
Nooo!.... Damn they were right...
Now I can't go back...
Just tried... nope still can't.
David Goodhart
624. Davyd
Lol.. Hurin as Demandred. All looking up the the Dragon reborn, and getting his feelings hurt. Poor Hurandred.
Karen Fox
625. thepupxpert
Are we still on predictions? OK here's mine: Perrin and Faile will BOTH survive the last battle and go on to have many many kidletts. In fact, Faile will save Perrin's life. Oh, and Lan and Nyn will survive also, but Tom and Moir will die. Brigit will die also but she'll go back to being a Hero.
Karen Fox
626. thepupxpert
Jonathan @ 572 – Ooh I like that one!

Loialson @ 573 – Agree that Min bites it.

Jonathan @ 590 – Very nice, can we add Suffa to that little reunion also?

Sub @ 592 – I think Gawyn is still alive but ultimately the authors are romantics at heart. Egs and Gaw can break precedent and have lots of little rugrats running through the Tower. Wouldn’t that be cute?

travyl @ 612 – If Demandred is Talmanes - whoa, I’ve never gotten the feeling that Talmanes oozed even an ounce of evil so that would be a real shocker.
John Massey
627. subwoofer
@626.... reads

::rubs eyes::

reads again.

Hmmmm... well I suppose that sentence works if you edit out the word "romantics" and replaced it with "sadists". The only gift Egwene should be giving Gawyn is a bar of soap in a sock upside the head.... it's the gift that keeps on giving:)

@JD- depends... are you ambidextrous?

I still see tamales.

@hawkido- welcome to the black, maybe you should have taken the blue pill;)

Cameron Tucker
628. Loialson
Irritating word:

"dat" when used during texting/FB, etc. Really, how much harder is it to type "that"?

I can give a pass to children saying it, a squinty-eyed for now pass to teens, but to grown adults using the word "dat" is inexcusable.

Except when it is funny (heh).
Craig Jarvis
629. hawkido
okay... I just looked over my Hurandred (Funny Davyd) post... sorry for the typo's and sp's, I am entering this at work and don't have time for a full preview before posting.
Steve Barkmeier
630. sbark
I have a couple more predictions:

1) Teslyn will be the one that finds the horn for Mat. When they parted ways, she made a point of thanking him and telling him he has an ally in the Tower and that she would do what she could to help him.
2) Rand will kneel to Tuon and it will be in order to get her to agree to the Peace of the Dragon. Aviendha will get Rand to include the Aiel in the Peace of the Dragon as part of her plan for avoiding the doom of the Aiel that showed in the ClanChiefInator. Based on Aviendha's vision, I think it's now pretty clear that the prophecy of the Dragon kneeling to the Crystal Throne was more than a corruption of the original prophecy.
631. srEDIT
Here's my contribution to the "race" to 700:

My biggest p.p. (aside from the misuse of "I" as an objective pronoun) has still gotta be the misuse of lay for lie. Even my own daughter (the younger) refuses to "get it" . . . and here *gasp* I was her English teacher in school!

But what can you do? When someone hears it wrong all the time everywhere they go, it's almost impossible to fight.

I don't know whether any of you might have read an original copy of Hunger Games, but it was riddled with typos and grammar errors, including numerous misuses of lay. My older daughter (who would *never* use lay for lie) couldn't understand why she hadn't noticed. But then we compared editions and discovered that the errors had been corrected!
632. srEDIT
Oh, right . . . and JonathanLevy@572: I like it, I like it! Especially the rationale for Rand kneeling to Tuon!
Roger Powell
633. forkroot
What's all the fuss about "finding the Horn?" Siuan knows where it is and I can't see how she'd have any objection to giving it to Mat now that the Last Battle is imminent. It's no good to anyone else unless Mat dies. Seems to me it's a non-issue.

Speaking of non-issues ... if all Demandred has done is get himself made King of Murandy - ho hum. It's just not that big a country economically, nor did it have lots of super-trained fighters (and generals like Bryne) lolling around waiting to be recruited. Although Talmanes and the Band helped Roedran raise a force, it would be a "farce" against the various armies at Team Light's disposal.

RobMRobm@595 called attention to a theory that Demandred has managed to get a big chunk of Seanchan behind him. I like that. You wouldn't even need the Ways to get the army over to Randland, just a bunch of gateways or possibly a Portal Stone.

Remember that Semirhage and Demandred were working together. Is it too much of a stretch to imagine that once Semi wiped out the Empress and allies, Demandred could assume some Seanchan identity and be the "murderer" who now rules in Seandar?
Jacob Todd
634. jtodd
Yes it helps. It's been a VERY long time since I have been a member of a message board or anything similar and immeadiately upon hitting the post button I thought to myself: "self, you should have done a search to see other people's opinion first." But thanks!
Jacob Todd
635. jtodd
@633 forkroot

I concur about Demandred in Seandar. I was thinking maybe the kneeling before the Crystal Throne could possibly be in reference to Rand facing Demandred in Seandar??? Has this been discussed as well somewhere and I missed it?

By the way hello to everyone here. I read WOT for the first and second time this past year. Absolutely blew my mind out of my skull. I enjoy everyone's insights and thoughts here.
John Massey
636. subwoofer
Hello and welcome Jtodd. BTW it is traditional to let the grizzled vetrans get the hunny posts;)

... Like AP for instance:D

I agree with fork... the Horn is no good to anyone other than Mat. I don't see the big deal in giving it back to Mat unless there is a Tower plot for either mind control or killing of the Hornsounder.

Asking us if we read the Hunger Games? Hmmmm... may as well take a poll to find out who read the Twilight series while we're at it;)

Raise your hand if you have read one or both.

I am firmly sitting on mine now.

Rob Munnelly
637. RobMRobM
Murandy - home of Suffa. Enough said.

Actually, the Demandred picking Murandy theory makes some sense. It is centrally located, near big powerful countries such as Andor, Illian and Altera. Perfect spot for a sneak attack in the rear of a Randland army. Also, gating an army from Seanchan would require help from other Chosen or Dreadlords - would Demandred trust them? Or would use use ways or portal strones instead.

Woof - yes, I read all three Hunger Games books (and saw the movie). I liked them, especially the first book. Pretty dark for a kids book. No Twilight, although my wife read and saw most/all of those. i have no interest.

Hurindred - LOL. Too funny.
Steve Barkmeier
638. sbark

I'm surprised you don't know the source of the fuss about "finding the horn." it's the newest aphorism for "easing the badger."
David Goodhart
639. Davyd
Also a Hunger Games fan, and they are definitely darker that one would think. Also, I read twilight years ago, before the hype. It was a good summer beach read, but I'm over it. I *am* looking forward to the final film, however. I *SQUEED* at the sneak peak during the Hunger Games previews... /runsaway
640. Faculty Guy
RE: Language Misuse that Drives Me Crazy:

(. . .and before I start: yes, I occasionally do it too, and especially when typing online and not having patience to proof carefully, but I DO know the correct form usually . . . I'll try to be careful here for obvious reasons.)

1. "less" for "fewer:" an example would be "less people." Rule: "less" for uncountable stuff, "fewer" for countable: less money, fewer dollars. This relates to continuous versus quantized: less energy, fewer particles. And so on.

2. "amount" for "number:" this is related to (1) but even worse IMO, as in "greater amount of people"

3. "all are not" for "not all are:" this is a logical mistake. "All are not" means NONE are. Think about it: ALL (meaning every single case) are NOT = none are. What is usually meant is that AT LEAST SOME are, and the correct logic then is to say that "it is NOT the case that ALL are" or "Not all are." This mistake is even embedded in classical literature as in "All that glitters is not gold" which, logically, means that NOTHING that glitters is gold.

4. Closely related to (3): "I could care less" for "I could NOT care less." This one is simply weird. Obviously the literal meaning is exactly opposite the intent. The text seems to have followed enunciation: "Could not ==> "Couldn't" ==> "Could" as the pronunciation of the final weak syllable of the contraction faded and finally was dropped in rapid speech.

Oh well. There are others but . . .

Maybe there are more important things to worry about. The English language evolves and those who fight the evolution are going to lose. But I DO find it worrisome when the language reflects sloppy thinking.
PUNCTUATION mistakes bother me less - maybe b/c I'm not so good myself?

BTW: I REALLY LIKE some of the theories I'm reading, especially (among others) JohnathonLevy@572 and the questions, especially J.Dauro@585/RobMRobm@586.
641. Freelancer
Faculty Guy,

The same idiomatic weaknesses catch my eye, though to our own shame, the proper use of language has evaded so many these days that those have become some of the lesser faults. I bother to comment only to note that, in the case of "could care less", which bothered me terribly as a child for recognizing the reversion of intent which you note, has an etymology. The sarcastic retort "Like I could care less" slowly came to be spoken without the cynical tone or the modifying preface, joining the ranks of simply bad grammar in common usage.

As to considering these modification to be "evolution" of the language, I submit that the corruption and dissolution of proper grammar is more representative of entropy, than an ideal which is meant to describe adaptive improvement. The language is not evolving, it is decaying.
Nadine L.
642. travyl
@640 & 641.
After reading Facultyguy's post, I have to ask:
Free, if you type "lesser faults", do you mean that you/we make so many mistakes, that one can't count them anymore?

(please note: thiswasnotaseriouscomment AND
Jeff Schweer
643. JeffS.
New poll answers:
Hunger games. No, but I have some interest.
Twilight: NO and NO WAY
I have nothing but contempt for Emo vampires and their vapid girlfriends.
As for spelling and Grammar issues. I owe any skill in these matters to my 7th grade English teacher, Mrs. Saunders. It didn't all take, but I usually don't mess it up too much.
Do any of you spell a word, it looks wrong, you look it up, it's correct but it still looks wrong? It happens to me all the time.
Jeff Schweer
644. JeffS.
In addition, and to help the push to 700.
Mrs. Saunders reminds me of Sorilea. She had a saying that involved the "As I'm still alive, it's still my day and we will diagram these sentences." Hated the idea at the time, but as I said before, I appreciate it more now.
645. Faculty Guy
Gosh, I find myself doing this more frequently . . .wonder what's happening to me?

Following up on #643 & 644: My own Mrs. Saunders was named Mr. Richardson, who taught me English in both 7th and 8th grade and we diagrammed sentences until I couldn't LOOK AT a sentence without mentally diagramming it. (BTW: is it true that what we called "diagramming" is identical to what is known as "parsing?") I remember thinking, in high school, that there was not ANY structurally sound sentence that was beyond my ability to dissect.

Sadly, my high school was a step backward in my literary education, and I was a physics/math student from then on. I am, no kidding, inferior today (with my PhD in physics) compared to my 8th-grade self at analyzing a complex sentence. Still, I'm pretty intuitive at DETECTING non-sentences or defective sentences - just not so good at being able to say precisely WHY they are defective.
Ron Garrison
646. Man-0-Manetheran
re. Demandred
Jumping ahead here, but I'd like to point out an upcoming line from ToM - Chapter 1:
"Men did not whisper that this might be the end of times. They yelled it. The Fields of Peace were aflame, the Tower of Ravens was broken as prophesied and a murderer openly ruled in Seandar." (emphasis mine)
Matt Spencer
647. MisunderstoodMe
Read Hunger Games as my room mate at the time was doing his dissertation on young adult dystopias. Read the first book of Twilight doing a 'book swap' with my then girlfriend (now wife) - she got to read an anthology of Kiplings short stories which I think was the better end of that deal.

Faculty Guy @ 645

Almost all of my physics professors were horrible at spelling and grammar - and the ones that had English as their first language were often worse than those who'd learned it later in life. There's more important things than spelling anyways. :)

My math professors though were actually quite good at spelling. Not quite sure what the difference was though - because some of them were mathmatical physicists.
John Massey
648. subwoofer
Grammar? I dunno. I type like I speak which probably means that for some, I am killing the english language as we know it. Meh. As long as the ideas I am trying to convey get across.

OTOH if a post requires a decoder ring to understand it, the poster may be grammatically correct, but the message has lost its impact to the intended audience.

John Massey
649. subwoofer
As far as the books go, as a general rule, if tweens like it, I run from it. Nothing good can come from consorting with the emos of the world.... Unless they are reading Encyclopedia Brown or some such, but that is a rare kid these days.

Heidi Byrd
650. sweetlilflower
Sub! Do you still like any of the books you read as a teenager? If so, then you cannot automatically dismiss the books currently popular to that group. My manager told me how much she liked The Hunger Games, so I decided to give them a try. It was well worth the money I forked over. Go check out the first book from the library, if you don't get into it after the first 50 pages, then you've lost maybe an hour of your life.

I thought of some more pet peeves: cannot written as can not and any time an adjective is used as an adverb

It especially annoys me when people confuse good and well. If I ask someone how they are, and they say "good", it is not really answering my question. Interestingly enough, I never had an English teacher explain the exact difference between the two words; it wasn't until I took French that I learned that good is an adjective and well is an adverb.

*just trying to help us get to 700!
651. Freelancer

A reasonable question, serious or no. Simply put, the fact that remarking on an error in spelling or grammar brings upon one the label of ...-nazi saddens me. If I misuse a word, and someone shows me better, I have become less ignorant than before that moment. By and large, however, an attempt to educate draws anger, defensiveness, and resentment. Too many people would rather remain unknowing of the badly constructed prose with which they attempt to communicate, than to admit that ignorance and gain beyond it.

To specifically address my response to FacultyGuy, regarding the misapplication of "less" for "fewer", or "amount" for "number", I daresay that no more than 3 people in 10 who are not writers of some stripe would notice such errors. It is much easier to spot the swapping of "loose" and "lose", the "of" instead of "have", and yet even those abound. Choosing a word which is not quite the most correct in those cases, must be considered a lesser error than many more substantially "wrong" bits of writing.

Mistakes are always going to occur, and it is quite common that, when preparing a comment in a forum such as this, revising what you are thinking risks leaving a word in or out, or spelled to conjugate based on a sentence structure which was later altered. Nobody is interested in making an issue of such. My real care is for philology, and its increasing absence from most English-speaking culture.

Robert Jordan loved the language, as seen so clearly in his work. He cared deeply for the character and integrity of the scenes painted with his prose. One major issue with writing a story of many nations is that they would normally not all speak the same language. Yet it would be ridiculous to use multiple languages to tell the story, when most readers are limited to one. So, he took special care to alter some pronunciations, modify sentence structures, include uncommon idiomatic usages, etc. In this way, the reader can identify an Illianer, a Taraboner, a Saldaean or Ebou Dari from their speech alone, even while sharing the same lexicon.

As the entropic disintegration of valid grammar continues, fewer and fewer will want to spend the energy to read something which requires them to know very well how words are used, and the lessons of Shakespeare or Kayyam, of Verne or Voltaire, of Dickens or Stephenson, of Thoreau or Adams, will fade unnoticed as a sunset behind clouds. I can conceive of few greater tragedies.
652. Freelancer

Hah, Encyclopaedia Brown, FTW! Read them all in 3rd grade. Hunted them down and got my kids to read them too. Keeping the brain engaged is always a good thing.

So, when you say
OTOH if a post requires a decoder ring to understand it, the poster may be grammatically correct, but the message has lost its impact to the intended audience.
this sounds as if intended to justify "dumbing down" what is written based on a presumed lack of ability on the part of the reader. I would oppose that position. Referencing my most recent comments, many folks today would need to "decode" MacBeth to understand it, but that isn't the Bard's fault.


I very often greet folks with "Good day", and respond to the normal "How are you?" with "I am well, thank you, and yourself?" And I smile inside everytime that causes someone to do a doubletake.
Jonathan Levy
653. JonathanLevy
Jonathan @ 590 – Very nice, can we add Suffa to that little reunion also?
Not sure about that - it would ruin the symmetry of the scene (Moggy and Liandrin meeting up when neither can channel). However, I am fondly imagining an equally grim fate for Suffa:

The damane Suffa is close to the breaking point. Liandrin visits her in the kennels. Suffa tells her that she will agree to anything to escape, including treason (a la Teslyn). Liandrin also wants to escape, now that Suroth has fallen. Suffa knows how to Travel. But Liandrin cannot channel because of her shield.

The solution? Liandrin puts on Suffa's bracelet. They Travel, and to Suffa's horror the destination is Shayol Ghul or some nest of darkfriends, where she is forced to swear to the shadow. Suffa fights at the Last Battle alongside the Black Ajah against her former associates.

Her doom? I haven't thought it through just yet. Perhaps she'll run into Siuan Sanche on the battlefield :)

Edit to add: Perhaps she will be kept leashed, and Alviarin will hold her leash ;)
Birgit F
654. birgit
The language is not evolving, it is decaying.

People have been complaining about that for a long time. If it were true, all languages would long ago have been decayed so much they are no longer usable. Prescriptivists can't stop language change.
Wikipedia has some lists about words that are often used "wrong": Common English usage misconceptions and List of English words with disputed usage.

BTW: is it true that what we called "diagramming" is identical to what is known as "parsing?"

Parsing is often used for computer analysis of sentence structures. Chomsky's followers like syntax trees.
a a-p
655. lostinshadow
Haven't read either tween series ... Twighlight because I read a really bad review about it and then just couldn't bring myself to pick up the books after having seen the movie trailers - I honestly cannot even sit through the trailer for one of those.

Hunger Games, I actually meant to read them after having seen the movie - I really enjoyed the movie and had not even heard of the series until then (yeah, news on fantasy literature doesn't always travel rapidly to Turkey). But then I read a synopsis of the remaining books and thought they were too depressing so I won't be going there.

My 8th grade teacher Miss (she insisted) Riddle played a huge role in improving my grammer skills though I honestly do not recall diagramming anything. Now that I think about it, she did have Cadsuanne like attributes - her class was defintely my least favorite, she seemed like a really mean old lady and the only person who ever (until that first drunken semester in college) gave me a B. But my mother (who is a language teacher) insisted that she was the best teacher I had and I should pay close attention. Looking back - it was a turning point on my linguistic abilities. So yeay for Miss Riddle.
a a-p
656. lostinshadow
and speaking of my mom....

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL THE NON-UK MOMS OUT THERE (and a very belated happy mother's day to the UK moms)

chocalate, tiramisu and flowers in the bunker
657. alreadymadwithwalloftext
sbark @587
It's both. It's a spelling issue in the sense that they have the spelling of would've or could've wrong. But when you consider that of should not be placed after should or would, not noticing it becomes a sign of bad grammar skills as well.

WouldbeBrownAjah @596
That would be Jur Grady. He has a baby son but as far as I know the boy was born before the Black Tower was established.

forkroot @633
Ah but Roedran is suddenly styling himself as a General. With fancy textbook in hand. Yes, Murandy isn't that big, but it suddenly has an army without anybody to fight. It hasn't declare for or against anyone, making it a wildcard. And it hasn't seen the amount of devastation that, say, Cairhien has.

jtodd @635
I think the authors and editors made it pretty clear that the action isn't going to move to Seandar.

RobmRobm @637
Yep. Murandy makes sense. Add in an increasingly suspicious ruler and you've got all the makings of a Forsaken takeover.

Faculty Guy @640
You make interesting points. As far as I can tell, though, sloppy language somewhere along the line eventually starts using the excuse of being idiomatic.

Man-0-Manetheran @646
Considering that Seandar had apparently devolved into civil war, anybody could sit on the throne and be labeled a murderer without being one of the Forsaken. Besides Seandar was Semirhage's playground, and these Forsaken tend to steer clear of each other.
658. Wortmauer
Less vs. fewer: Oh yes. Horrible. I guess I've always imagined that the reason they confuse people is that more is an antonym for both. Though I do remember an even worse abuse some years ago. In a TV commercial, some tween or teen girls were gushing about some store's low prices: "...so you can get twice as much clothes for the money." Argh!

Lay for lie: yep, I notice those too. I've had to build mental defenses against a lot of those kinds of things over the years.

Should of: Add kind of when used as an adverb phrase. It's a very common Brandonism, so, unlike the rest of this conversation, is almost on topic! This is an instance where I think a further corruption, kinda, actually improves the situation. I can kinda see kinda as an adverb, whereas kind of is a harder sell. Kind is a noun and of introduces a prepositional phrase, and that's how it should remain.
Just like hella. Another fine adverb, from the adj. helluva.
Or does it? Does "my favorite kind of cheese" actually end in a prepositional phrase, or is there another term for that?
Can not: Didn't Jane Austen use that? Then again, I've always thought the excellent opening sentence of Pride and Prejudice would be better without the comma. And her spelling of chuse has gone irrevocably out of style.

Txt msg abbrs: I mostly hate 'em, but I do have to admit amusement at the evening signoff n8. That one puzzled me for awhile - n-eight? - before noticing that it's always German speakers, who are saying Nacht. Which makes me ponder that, in the end, it isn't too improbable that a few vowel shifts ago, eight and night used to rhyme.

Favorite corrupt usage that is now considered perfectly normal: Cherry. From the French cerise, people must have thought "cherries" was plural so they invented a singular. (That's my reconstruction, I haven't actually looked up the etymology.)
659. alreadymadwithkinda
You mean hell of a.

Frankly I don't see anything wrong with kind of. It at least makes grammatical sense. Unlike could of and would of.

Kind of ___ implies that it is close but not identical. Like sort of.

Text message butchering:
It kind of(heheh) made sense when you consider how unwieldy phone keypads are and the fact that each message could only be a certain number of characters long before you got charged double. Myself I don't use them.
Cameron Tucker
660. Loialson
@648 Sub, @ 652.Freelancer
"OTOH if a post requires a decoder ring to understand it, the poster may be grammatically correct, but the message has lost its impact to the intended audience."

"this sounds as if intended to justify "dumbing down" what is written based on a presumed lack of ability on the part of the reader. I would oppose that position."
If the meaning of a novel, it's intent and meat of it's purpose, is obfuscated by very complex prose, it definitely gets easy for the casual reader to get bored and turn away.

It becomes hard work to read and understand novels like Dostoyevsky, Dickens, Bronte, etc., yet there are things in novels like those that are extremely beneficial if attention is paid and the effort made.

OTOH I do feel that using plain and simple language is preferable when trying to communicate with the masses of people in general. For instance, Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game.

He made it very clear that he could have written his books in a higher prose to make it...well, prettier is the best word I can come up with. More lyrical to read. But he decided it was more important for people to understand his point, and be up front about it, than to have shiny prose all riddled with unclear symbols and motifs that would set people to arguing about what the author intended. It was a waste of time to him to make Meanings, Symbols, and Motifs arguable that he wanted clear.

E.G. In one of the Ender's Shadow series, a character sees a flock of pigeons fly away after a critical scene, it was intended as a symbol of an inner dilemma that the character was dealing with. Card proceeded to explain in the text what the symbol was, by having the character use inner dialogue to find meaning from the symbol and apply it to his life. Was it a bit bald? Yes. Did it make Card’s point, the characters inner conflict easier to comprehend? Yes.

Doing that struck me as odd at first (being used to reading novels like Heart of Darkness, or The Brothers Karamazov, and such for convoluted, deep meanings, that were rarely clear and it was up to the reader to puzzle out what they wanted to take from it in College), and then I saw the brilliance of using plain and simple prose. He was not dumbing down the reading per se, he was removing readers’ chance of error in understanding his message by adding clarity.

Currently there is a trend in authors to do this.
1. because it's easier for people to understand and can take away the same meaning in less work. It’s more efficient.
2. it's more likely that people will purchase it to read for pleasure and the authors can make a living (honest, but true, and not a bad thing)

And probably a host of other reasons I can’t think of right now.

Are classic writing style of less value than simple writing styles? No, but they are different mediums, and so can be used differently depending on the author’s intent. I like both, but prefer simpler writing styles, merely because of it’s efficiency in my use of time to understand it’s intent. They're valuable in their own ways.

RJ was very good at blending both methods. As a kid I’d always have to look up a great deal of words from WOT ( like verdant, for instance), and would have to re-read many scenes to glean the jewels of character and plot he set up, because it used a higher prose and took work.

So I feel I came away more enriched from WOT for this, yet he used simple enough prose that the story was still clear. He wanted to make his readers work for the full extent of the richness of his story in WOT, but he didn’t want to alienate them by making the main intent of his story impossible to fully puzzle out on our own.

RJ even stated what his themes were outright at signings and such (gender dynamics, theme of how lack of communication can be catastrophic, origin of myths/legends, how rumors effect people, etc.), but was subtler about it in the text than authors like Card or even Brandon Sanderson (who I love as well, but uses a bit simpler prose; he’s very open about that in Writing Excuses, his blog, etc.).

That was the long way to say this: Don’t count either style of prose as superior or inferior. They’re different tools for different purposes.

You can hide much meaning in little text with higher prose, but that also makes it difficult for the reader to decode and that little amount of text takes a huge amount of the reader’s effort to gain a faint grasp of, and even then you’re unsure about what the author truly intended much of the time; it's like a puzzle made of words, with no 100% right way to put it together.

You can be more clear and up-front in simple prose and the reader is less prone to err about understanding what you wanted to convey. It also takes much less of the reader's time and resources to utilize and process the meaning you intended. The downside is you generally lose some types of flair, style, and bit of a beauty that comes from high prose (perhaps because of the hard work it took to understand it).

*shrug* Both are great :)
Cameron Tucker
661. Loialson
And wow, that came out as an essay, heh.
662. Wortmauer
alreadymad@659: You mean hell of a.
No. If that's what I'd meant, I would have indicated that hella is derived from hell of. But, while I've never been to the Bay Area or points north, it seems clear to me hella did derive from the adjective helluva — there was a perceived need for an adverb form. (Helluva itself, as you point out, derived from hell of a, and both forms are still attested.)
Frankly I don't see anything wrong with kind of. It at least makes grammatical sense. Unlike could of and would of.
I'll argue that none of the three make grammatical sense. Kind of works in the phrase "my favorite kind of cheese." My favorite what? My favorite kind. Describe the favorite kind? A kind of cheese. That's fine. But if you use it as an adverb: "I was feeling kind of tired." I was feeling what? Feeling kind. No, that's not where that sentence was going at all. Kind is either a noun ("a kind of cheese") or an adjective ("You are kind to all the animals"), but here, it is neither. The only way to make sense of "feeling kind of tired" is to treat feeling tired as the base of the structure, and kind of as a fixed phrase, a phrase that behaves as a single word (an adverb, in this case) and cannot be split up or analysed independently.

And then, if you accept that kind of is a fixed phrase, why not grant the same pardon to should of?

That I reject both kind|sort of and should|would of, rather than accept both, shows that I don't like the "fixed phrase" loophole, though it is certainly used elsewhere in the language.

This is why I think kinda and sorta sound better. By contracting the two words, you turn the fixed phrase into a fixed word, skirting around the grammatical problem of analysing the words independently, and you're left with a mere vocabulary problem, a neologism, if you will (though not really very new, I bet).

That said, I do smile when I hear Londoners say sor'of, turning the t into a sort of glottal stop as is their wont, something you really can't do if you've already turned it into sorta.
See, there sort is a noun, so it's OK. (:
Rob Munnelly
663. RobMRobM
Back to Demandred location theories. One interesting nugget I picked up re-reading LoC. They have the scene between Graendel and Sammael in Arad Doman and Sammael believes that Demandred is behind the activity "to the South." Always puzzled me what this means? Behind the so-called Dragonworn uprisings incited by Carridin? Or....is he talking about Falme and the Seanchan? The latter could work. Keep in mind that Semirhage and Demandred typically acted as allies. D could be taking care of the military option and gathering armies purportedly for the return while S was taking care of the Empress and her family by killing the former and then compelling the latter - who, unfortunately disappeared right at the critical juncture for control. Could be could be....
664. Freelancer
Wortmauer @662

Because should of is directly and grammatically wrong. Where the intended thought is should have or would have, there is no proper meaning to should of or would of. It is an erroneous substition of one word for another, thanks to the phonetically similar contraction would've for would have. While a vanishingly small argument can be made for suggesting that all cases of kind of should be replaced with another sentence structure, there is nothing grammatically incorrect with the phrase.

O/T: Orson Scott Card is working on an Ender prequel, Earth Unaware, with an excerpt posted here. I like it.
665. Wortmauer
Freelancer@664: While a vanishingly small argument can be made for suggesting that all cases of kind of should be replaced with another sentence structure, there is nothing grammatically incorrect with the phrase.
Why did you say all cases? Did you mean to imply that I argued that all cases are incorrect? I certainly didn't say that, in fact I went to some trouble to distinguish two very different forms of kind of. One is solidly correct, one is grammatical nonsense. Unfortunately, the grammatical nonsense seems to be the more common usage. (There are actually at least two other usages I can think of, one correct and one not. I'll cover all four below.)

I'll start with the assumption that we don't want to just say "kind of is a fixed phrase that you should just treat, grammatically, as a single word that happens to have a space in it." I mean, that strategy can be used to justify any usage of any phrase, up to and including should of.

So here are the four ways I've seen to use kind of. The first two are perfectly fine.

(1) "Thanks for doing that, it was kind of you." Here, kind is an adjective, and of you describes kind; I'm actually not sure if it's a prepositional phrase or something else. Anyway, you can tell kind is an adjective because you could substitute any other adjective and it still parses: "it was good of you"; "it was forgetful of you"; "it was Machiavellian of you."

(2) "What kind of mushroom is Gawyn?" Here, kind is a noun. I think of mushroom is a genitive phrase; you could rewrite it as (awkward but roughly equivalent): "What mushroom's kind is Gawyn?" Don't quote me on that; the genitive case isn't something we native English speakers learn much about. But whatever it is, it's the same pattern as "What breed of dog is that?"

(3) "Gawyn is kind of a doofus." This seems superficially similar to (2), but has quite a different meaning. You're not actually talking about classifying Gawyn into a particular kind, or type, of doofus. That's not what kind means here. In fact, I can't figure out even what part of speech kind is. It ain't a noun, it ain't an adjective. Doesn't seem to be anything. If you remove of, I don't think it can even stand at all.

(4) "Cadsuane is kind of overbearing." Similar construction to (3), except the linking verb gets an adjective instead of a noun. Anyway, kind of displays exactly the same problems as in (3), in that you can't remove the of without having to rewrite the whole sentence; kind cannot stand on its own.

Notice the crucial difference between the first two sentences and the last two: in the first two, kind stands alone. If you remove of and its object, the sentence still makes sense. (1) "Thanks for doing that, it was kind ." (2) "What kind is Gawyn?" Whereas, in sentences (3) and (4), you can't separate kind and of and still have kind mean anything at all. "Gawyn is kind a doofus"? "Gawyn is kind doofus"? "Gawyn is kind"? (That last one parses, but means something completely different from the original.)

So, yeah. If you want to say sentences (1) and (2) are grammatical, that's easy to demonstrate. But if you want to say sentences (3) and (4) are grammatical, I think the only way is to treat kind of as a fixed phrase, a sort of two-syllable, six-letter word with a space in it, in which the two syllables kind and of have no independent meaning or grammatical function. Just like individual syllables of any other polysyllabic word.

Or, educate me. Just find a satisfactory answer to the simple question: In the sentence "Gawyn is kind of a doofus," what part of speech is kind? I can't find one. (I mean noun, verb, adjective, adverb, etc. You can tell you got the part of speech right if you can substitute other words of the same part into the sentence: "Gawyn is _______ of a doofus." The resulting sentence may be nonsense but it will be grammatical. And if the only valid substitution you can find is sort, it doesn't really help, as sort of is simply a variation of kind of that is equally correct and equally incorrect in its different usages.)
Amanda Perez
666. ViciousCircle
How wrong is it to steal the six hundred sixty-sixth comment?

Leigh, come back, I miss you!

PS Yes, I did see Leigh's post @ 537 I'm just an incredibly needy jerk. ;)
Nadine L.
667. travyl
@666. I hoped this would go to the DarkOne, but you seem to be vicious enough to take it in his place ;)

I do understand your grammatical qualms explained above, but I think your Nr. 2 explains why it became a (two word) adverb, because it still has the meaning of Nr. 2: "kind of" as specifiying a subgroup of the whole.
"Gawyn is kind of a nice guy". - "Kind of" tells me, that in the overall variety of nice guys he is one of the kinds that togheter would form the collection of "nice guy".
I therefore argue that "kind of" is not a fixed phrase, but a two-word adverb and you can substitute it for any other adverb:
Gawyn is "certainly not" a doofus. ; )
Rob Munnelly
668. RobMRobM
C'mon you dogs! We need to get to 700 and beyond and no lollygagging. Here's a new poll - your favorite book you have read in the past year, any genre.

Mine is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Finished in top ten in Tor.com poll, only that that either was not widely discussed on this website (a la Rothfuss, Martin and Walton) and not pushed by author initiated efforts and still finished near top. Mix of Willy Wonka meets the Matrix - the Bill Gatesian owner of a virtual reality world that everyone plays in to escape troubles of a distopian Earth dies and in his video will reveals he's hidden three Easter Eggs in his world, keyed to 1980s movies, TV shows, video games, music, etc - and whoever finds the eggs gets his entire fortune. Brilliant and fun.

Next up.....?

Deana Whitney
669. Braid_Tug
@ 657, alreadymad. Why would Grady's son beign born before founding of the Black Tower prevent his son from being Gaidal Cain?
We don't know when he was spun out. It's been over a year in book time since he showed up in T'A'R, right?

Rob, with the weekend over, 700 is on the way.
You know, I tried to find a Pooh Bear eating from a honey jar in ASCII art, just in case I ever do get the "honey". Could not find one. Know I saw one in an email years ago....

Poll - favorite book of last year: Cyroburn by Lois MacMaster Bujold. Not the best Miles book, but a real fun read. Looking forward to the next installment of the Miles world.
I also like her Chalion series, but apparently it does not sell in high enough volume for her publishers.

Hunger Games: Also read (all three). Pretty good. Much better written than Twilight. And despite Hollywood’s wishes - it is NOT a romantic three way. Sadly I think they will push it into one during the next two movies.
It’s a girl trying to keep her family & friends alive. Despite a horrible government. Spoiler:
Her best friend happens to be a really cute guy with feelings for her. Any time she misses him, her thoughts are of missing his hunt skills and friendship – not romantic in any way.
End spoiler.
670. Freelancer
Favorite book not previously read ~ Trickle Up Poverty
Favorite book read including previous reads ~ Atlas Shrugged

Wortmauer @665

First, there is no disagreement between us that not all possible sentence structures which happen to place the word of after the word kind met the conditions which bothered you, and I understood that. It was all cases of what you considered a poorly employed "fixed phrase" usage that I agreed could be considered replaceable with other grammar. The form of the phrase which disturbs you is either a selector or a qualifier. Saying "Gawyn is kind of a doofus" is tantamount to saying "Gawyn is a particular type of doofus", suggesting one of a selection. Saying "Gawyn is kind of foolish" is intended to mean "Gawyn is somewhat foolish". It 'softens the blow' as it were, or diminishes the otherwise absolute nature of the predicate. And if you recall, I was agreeing that there is better language for making the same statement, but through common usage it has become idiomatically acceptable. Certainly more acceptable than suggesting a further corruption to kinda, sorta, woulda, etc.
I mean, that strategy can be used to justify any usage of any phrase, up to and including should of.
And again, no. Should of is a grammatical corruption substituting an incorrect of for a correct have. No equivalency exists between the two.