Jun 12 2012 2:00pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Towers of Midnight, Part 5

And a very stormy hello, WOTers! Assuming my computer doesn’t get fried by all the lightning before I can upload this or the house doesn’t get carried away by a tornado (because what the hell, New Orleans weather), welcome back to the Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 4 and 5 of Towers of Midnight, in which shoutouts are awesome, toboggans are scary but secretly awesome, and the Trakand boys are fired. And not awesome. And FIRED.

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 upcoming final volume, A Memory of Light.

This re-read post contains spoilers for all currently published Wheel of Time novels. If you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!

Chapter 4: The Pattern Groans

What Happens
Perrin examines the diseased-looking but verdant growth the Maiden scouts had brought him to see on the side of the Jehannah Road, along with Seonid, Masuri, the six Wise Ones, Faile, Berelain, Annoura and Gallenne. Seonid says the foliage is like that of the Blight, and Perrin agrees, thinking it smells like rotted meat. They press into the heart of the Blight-like growth to find a strange abandoned village that Masuri is sure is not native to the area.

“The Pattern groans,” Berelain said softly. “The dead walking, the odd deaths. In cities, rooms vanish and food spoils.”

Perrin orders the village and foliage alike burned to the ground, and no one argues.

In the wolf dream, Hopper and other wolves (Oak Dancer, Whisperer, Morninglight, Sparks, Boundless) entreat Young Bull to come hunt with them, but Perrin declares he will not lose himself and become a wolf. Hopper tells him he is a wolf, and also a man. Perrin remembers Noam, locked in a cage, all humanity gone, and realizes that in the waking world he is not far from the village (Jarra) in which he saw Noam.

Moiraine had told Perrin there was nothing human left inside of Noam. That was what awaited a wolfbrother if he let himself be completely consumed by the wolf.

“I must learn to control this, or I must banish the wolf from me,” Perrin said.

Hopper is frustrated and baffled by his reluctance, and invites him to hunt again, and Perrin realizes this is Hopper’s attempt to teach him as he had demanded. He agrees to hunt, but is determined at first to do so in human form, which amuses Hopper and the other wolves. Perrin comes to a clearing and sees holes in the sky above, showing what he thinks are visions of the future:

Mat stood there. He was fighting against himself, a dozen different men wearing his face, all dressed in different types of fine clothing. Mat spun his spear, and never saw the shadowy figure creeping behind him, bearing a bloody knife.

[…] He saw sheep, suddenly, running in a flock toward the woods. Wolves chased them, and a terrible beast waited in the woods, unseen. He was there, in that dream, he sensed. But who was he chasing, and why? Something looked wrong with those wolves.

A third darkness, to the side. Faile, Grady, Elyas, Gaul… all walked toward a cliff, followed by thousands of others.

Hopper bounds up, not seeing the visions, and shows him a picture of what Perrin had looked like during Faile’s captivity, and Perrin is shocked by how bad he looked, almost as bad as Noam, he thinks. Hopper takes off again, refusing to wait, and Perrin does the flash-step trick to keep up with him. As the hunt goes on, Perrin relaxes more and more, and feels more and more alive and exhilarated until he decides to stop holding the rest of the pack back, and changes to Young Bull. He and the others glory in the chase, Young Bull in the lead, until they reach their quarry, a magnificent stag. Young Bull brings the stag down, but Hopper stops him from going for the kill, explaining that if it dies here, it dies “the last death.” The shock brings Perrin back to himself, terrified at how wonderful the hunt had been. He asks Hopper if this is how he will teach him the dream, and Hopper says yes. Perrin knows that this will push him to the edge of the thing he worries about most, but also knows that he has been avoiding this issue too long.

He relied on the powers of scent he’d been given, reaching out to wolves when he needed them—but otherwise he’d ignored them.

You couldn’t make a thing until you understood its parts. He wouldn’t know how to deal with—or reject—the wolf inside him until he understood the wolf dream.

“Very well,” Perrin said. “So be it.”

Galad rides through the Children’s camp near the Jehannah Road, and reflects that he will have to change the layout now that the Questioners are no longer allowed to stay together. Vordarian argues against the letter Galad commanded to be sent to the rest of the Children with the Seanchan, informing them what had happened and ordering them to join him, but Galad says it must be sent. Harnesh is more concerned with Galad’s declaration that they will ally with the witches of Tar Valon, whom he protests are evil. Galad says perhaps they are, but their evil is insignificant compared to the Dark One, and they must have allies to fight that battle – and right now, the Children have none. Galad says that the Children’s “overeagerness” alienated those who should have been their allies in the past, and they should strive to have the monarchs of the nations respect them, not fear them for how they answer to no king or queen. Harnesh mutters, “Darkfriends,” and Galad rebukes him sharply:

“You speak like a Questioner,” Galad said. “Suspecting everyone who opposes us of being a Darkfriend. Many of them are influenced by the Shadow, but I doubt that it is conscious. That is where the Hand of the Light went wrong. The Questioners often could not tell the difference between a hardened Darkfriend, a person who was being influenced by Darkfriends, and a person who simply disagreed with the Children.”

“So what do we do?” Vordarian asked. “We bow to the whims of monarchs?”

“I don’t yet know what to do,” Galad confessed. “I will think on it. The right course will come to me. We cannot become lapdogs to kings and queens. And yet, think of what we could achieve inside of a nation’s boundaries if we could act without needing an entire legion to intimidate that nation’s ruler.”

They are interrupted by Byar, who gallops up to report that they have captured a group of “suspicious” travelers on the Jehannah Road. Galad sighs at Byar’s automatic assumption that they are Darkfriends, and goes to see. He immediately divines from the equipment they carry that the travelers are not merchants, but most likely camp followers of an army. Their leader starts at the sight of Galad, who concludes that he must have recognized Galad. The man introduces himself as Basel Gill from Caemlyn, and spins a story about going to trade in Ebou Dar but being stymied by the Seanchan occupation. Galad doesn’t believe this for a moment, especially when Gill refuses to sell any of his wares, and orders them all taken prisoner. He tells Gill he wants to know whose army they are attached to. Soon Bornhald and Byar approach, and tell Galad that some of the “merchants” have talked, and there is a large army nearby.


Byar spat to the side. “Have you ever heard of a man called Perrin Goldeneyes?”

“No. Should I have?”

“Yes,” Bornhald said. “He killed my father.”

There’s a Star Wars joke here that I have WAY TOO MUCH dignity to make. Right! Dignity! Moving on!

Let’s just say, it is a very different experience reading this chapter once you know who Boundless really is. I was all, OMG! when I saw the name, and then I spent the rest of Perrin’s POV being pissed at him that he didn’t get it immediately. Which is absurd, of course, but he’s all “Gosh, I think I’m near Noam’s old joint, what a co-inky-dink!” and Boundless is right there and I’m all “ARGGH.”

By the way, Hopper should totally be nominated for sainthood for putting up with Perrin in this book. You know, if he were Catholic. And, er, human. But you know what I mean!

Like I said before, I get why Perrin’s having such stage fright about this, but his interaction with Hopper is sort of irresistibly reminding me of when I was ten or so and my dad was trying to convince me to get on the water toboggan (which is basically just like a snow toboggan except you tow it behind a speedboat on the water, because I am from the South and we do weird water sports instead of weird snow sports) and my dad was like You will love it it is so much fun and I was like But what if I die and my dad was like You will not die I totally swear I’ve done it a million times just try it and I was like BUT WHAT IF I DIE and my dad was like Sigh.

And okay, so Perrin’s issue is possibly a tiny bit more dire than whether or not ten-year-old me got on the damn toboggan, but my point is, sometimes you really just have to trust that your dad and/or de facto lupine parental figure knows what they are talking about, mostly because they would bloody well tell you if they didn’t know. Hopefully.

Cause they were right, weren’t they, Perrin? You totally had fun on your dream hunt once you got into it, and I had such a blast once I finally got on the toboggan that trade negotiations had to ensue to convince me to let anyone else have a turn. I Hope We’ve All Learned A Lesson Here, Sonny.

(Well, we didn’t, yet. But eventually!)

Also, I confess that in my summary of Perrin’s dream, I totally stole the term “flash-step” (don’t click that) from the anime Bleach. But just like in TFOH when I said that Moghedien “Crucioed” Nynaeve, if another sf author has come up with an awesome one-or-two-word term for a concept that would otherwise take me an entire sentence or more to describe, who am I not to shamelessly co-opt it? It’s all for the BREVITY, man.

“Brevity,” of course, being understood to be an extremely relative term. Ahem.

Re: Perrin’s visions, I’m… bemused. Unless I’m seriously misremembering what happened in the Tower of Ghenjei or in Caemlyn in TOM (which is certainly a possibility), the vision of Mat denotes something that hasn’t happened yet. So I guess Mat either has a real fun multiple doppelganger fight (avec side of extra assassin) ahead of him in AMoL, or this is symbolic hoohah about Mat having to choose which of his increasingly fancy outfits he has to wear (general and possible second in command – or, hell, first in command, maybe – of the armies of the Light, Prince of Ravens, yadda), also with assassin fries on the side. Personally I vote for the doppelganger fight, which sounds much cooler.

The sheep and wolves thing, I’m… well, I’m sort of assuming that has something to do with Graendal’s trap and Perrin’s army and the Whitecloaks getting all tangled in it, but I’m having real issues with the idea that you can legitimately refer to Whitecloaks as “sheep,” so maybe there’s something else I’m forgetting that this could refer to. Or it refers to something that hasn’t happened yet. It’s pretty vague, so I dunno. The cliff thing, also, could refer to any number of things, from the Whitecloaks to Graendal to the Last Battle itself, so I’m just going to noncommittally shrug at it for now.

As for Galad, I really like him and I keep wanting to root for him, and then I keep running headlong into how severely I object to pretty much every single aspect of the Whitecloaks as an outfit, from their philosophy to their tactics to their very organizational foundations. It’s a problem, seriously.

Like here, when Galad in one breath reprimands his officers for assuming everyone who opposes them is a Darkfriend, which I can totally get behind, and in the next breath is musing how best to continue the Children’s utterly appalling lack of oversight by or answerability to any sovereign power whatsoever, which makes me want to beat up something. Especially when you consider that Galad is of royal blood, and says himself in this chapter that he was well aware of how much his mother couldn’t stand having them bang around in her kingdom like they owned the place.

And it couldn’t be, Galad, that Morgase didn’t hate it just because the Children weren’t nice about it, but also maybe because having a completely autonomous military force composed entirely of paranoid zealots taking it upon themselves to randomly police her towns and cities was both an affront and a threat to her people, her sovereignty and the stability of her entire nation? No? Nothing?



Chapter 5: Writings

What Happens
Gawyn and Sleete arrive at the apartments of a White sister named Kateri Nepvue, who was murdered the night before, making her the fourth sister killed within the Tower, each from a different Ajah. The official explanation for the deaths is that they are the work of the Black Ajah, Traveling into and out of the Tower, but Gawyn is doubtful of this story. After the Aes Sedai leave with the body, Gawyn and Sleete enter the room to find Captain Chubain there, who is not pleased to see him, but does not try to prevent him from examining the room. Gawyn observes there is no evidence that a gateway was used in the room, and Sleete finds a scrape on the deadbolt that may indicate it was jimmied by a physical pick. Sleete also points out that none of the victims had Warders. Gawyn also doesn’t understand why, if the killers were Black Ajah, why the victims had been killed with a knife rather than the One Power.

“But that would also risk alerting the victim or those around,” Sleete noted.

Another good point. But still, something about these killings didn’t seem to add up.

Or maybe he was just stretching at nothing, struggling to find something he could do to help. A part of him thought that if he could aid Egwene with this, maybe she would soften toward him. Perhaps forgive him for rescuing her from the Tower during the Seanchan attack.

Chubain reenters and tries to kick Gawyn out, and Gawyn holds his temper back and tries to figure out why the man dislikes him so much. Then it occurs to him that Chubain might think Gawyn was after his own job, which Gawyn finds “laughable,” and draws him aside to explain to him that Gawyn’s interest in these murders is in the hope that it will help the Amyrlin look favorably on him and perhaps take him for her Warder. Chubain is startled by this news, but it seems to relieve him, and they discuss the murders. Gawyn tells Chubain that he thinks it might be Gray Men or Darkfriends as opposed to Black Ajah, and suggests that Chubain might want to look at the servants; Chubain agrees. Sleete shows them fibers of black silk he’d found in the room, which may or may not have come from the attackers. Gawyn decides to go talk to Egwene.

“Assuming she’ll see you,” Sleete said.

Gawyn grunted irritably. They walked down a series of ramps to the level of the Amyrlin’s study. Sleete remained with him—his Aes Sedai, a Green named Hattori, rarely had duties for him. She still had her eyes on Gawyn for a Warder; Egwene was being so infuriating, Gawyn had half a mind to let Hattori bond him.

No. No, not really. He loved Egwene, though he was frustrated with her. It had not been easy to decide to give up Andor—not to mention the Younglings—for her. Yet she still refused to bond him.

He goes to Egwene’s study, and Silviana informs him that Egwene is writing a letter and makes him wait. He looks down at the new exercise grounds below, and reflects that while most of the Younglings have already been reincorporated into the Warder training, his memories of the coup and the men he had killed that day still haunt him. Egwene emerges from her study, and Gawyn blurts that he needs to talk to her. Egwene agrees, and they go back into her study. He wants to know why she only speaks to him as the Amyrlin and never Egwene, and Egwene replies, because he refuses to accept that she is Amyrlin and Aes Sedai, and she cannot be served by someone who refuses to see her authority.

“I accept you,” Gawyn said. “I do, Egwene. But isn’t it important to have people who know you for yourself and not the title?”

“So long as they know that there is a place for obedience.” Her face softened. “You aren’t ready yet, Gawyn. I’m sorry.”

He set his jaw. Don’t overreact, he told himself.

He moves on to the murderers, and points out that none of the victims had Warders, and that he thinks this is a problem as a whole, that so many sisters do not have one. Egwene says she can hardly order sisters to choose a Warder, but Gawyn argues that the Last Battle is coming, and every sister will be of vital importance, more valuable than any hundred ordinary soldiers on the field, and that it is irresponsible to allow them to remain unprotected. To his surprise, Egwene concedes that he has a good point, and promises to consider the matter. Gawyn asks about the possibility that the murderer(s) are Gray Men or Darkfriends; Egwene says the killer is definitely not either, and the way she phrases it makes Gawyn sure she is hiding something, and he pleads with her to trust him with the secret. At length she sighs and admits that one of the Forsaken, Mesaana, is hiding in the Tower, and she is responsible for the murders; she has kept it secret to prevent a panic, and to keep from newly dividing all the Ajahs with suspicion. Gawyn is aghast, but tries to appear confident for her sake. Egwene then says she wants him to stop guarding her door at night.

What? Egwene, no!”

She shook her head. “You see? Your first reaction is to challenge me.”

“It is the duty of a Warder to offer challenge, in private, where his Aes Sedai is concerned!” Hammar had taught him that.

“You are not my Warder, Gawyn.”

That brought him up short.

Egwene points out he could do nothing against a Forsaken anyway, and that her apartments must look unguarded. Gawyn is appalled that Egwene is using herself as bait, but Egwene tells him wearily that the murdered sisters are her responsibility, and she is confident that if she can confront Mesaana she can defeat her; the problem is finding her. Gawyn really doesn’t like this, and tells her so, and Egwene acknowledges it is dangerous, but says he will have to trust her.

“I do trust you,” he said.

“All I ask is that you show it for once.”

Gawyn grits his teeth and leaves.

Egwene sighs and wonders why it is so hard to keep her feelings in check around Gawyn. She still wants him, but he gets under her skin far too easily; she wants to bond him, but thinks he is still too untrusting yet. She puts aside the letter she was writing to Darlin regarding Rand’s plan to break the seals; she is still not sure whether to believe the rumors that Darlin is Rand’s ally or the ones that say he is his enemy. She considers Gawyn’s argument about Warders, and decides that while she will not order it, she will make a strong plea for unbonded sisters to choose a Warder.

She hadn’t told Gawyn of the other reason she’d asked him to leave her door at nights. She had trouble sleeping, knowing he was out there, only a few feet away. She worried she’d slip and go to him.

Silviana’s strap had never been able to break her will, but Gawyn Trakand… he was coming dangerously close to doing so.

Graendal is hiding in the last place anyone would expect of her, a dank uncomfortable cave on a remote island in the middle of nowhere, but is not surprised that Moridin’s messenger finds her anyway. She follows him back through the gateway to Moridin’s palace. Moridin is angry that she caused the death of Aran’gar after the Great Lord went to so much trouble to bring her back the first time, and Graendal pretends confusion, saying that she was only following her orders, and that the gain was worth the cost. Moridin snarls that she was caught unaware, but Graendal protests that she’d let al’Thor find her on purpose, to Moridin’s astonishment.

“Moridin, don’t you see? How will Lews Therin react to what he has done? Destroying an entire fortress, a miniature city of its own, with hundreds of occupants? Killing innocents to reach his goal? Will that sit easily within him?”

[…] These actions would tear at al’Thor, rip at his soul, lash his heart raw and bleeding. He would have nightmares, wear his guilt on his shoulders like the yoke of a heavily laden cart.

She can see that Moridin hadn’t considered this, but knows that like her, he had once had a conscience and dimly remembers what it was like. She says he told her to hurt al’Thor, to bring him pain, and that is what she did, though she regrets that Aran’gar did not listen to her and flee. She also points out that al’Thor now thinks her dead, which is a large advantage. Moridin tilts his head as if listening to something, and then scowls that he is not to punish her for now.

Had that been a communication directly from the Great Lord? As far as she knew, all Chosen in this Age had to go to him in Shayol Ghul to receive their orders. Or at least suffer a visit from that horrid creature Shaidar Haran. Now the Great Lord appeared to be speaking to the Nae’blis directly. Interesting. And worrisome.

It meant the end was very near. There would not be much time left for posturing. She would see herself Nae’blis and rule this world as her own once the Last Battle was done.

Moridin says she is still to stay away from al’Thor, though, and Graendal smoothly replies that she had a different suggestion anyway: to send her after Perrin Aybara. She says it will ruin al’Thor to lose Aybara; Moridin agrees, but points out that she will never trap him, as Aybara has men to make gateways for him. He leads her to a storage room, which Graendal is amazed to see contains dozens or even hundreds of rare objects of Power. He gives her an object she recognizes with shock as a dreamspike, and sees that Moridin has not one but two of them. He warns her that he has the “key” to this one, and he will know if she uses it against him or any of the other Forsaken.

“Aybara can walk the World of Dreams,” Moridin said. “I will lend you another tool, the man with two souls. But he is mine, just as that spike is mine. Just as you are mine. Do you understand?”

She nodded. She couldn’t help herself. The room seemed to be growing darker. That voice of his… it sounded, just faintly, like that of the Great Lord.

He tells her, though, that if she succeeds, she will be granted even greater access to the True Power. Then he shows her a book bound in “pale tan skin,” and she is astonished at what the page contains. She asks where these prophecies came from, and Moridin tells her hardly anyone besides himself knows of their existence.

“But this…” she said, rereading the passage. “This says Aybara will die!”

“There can be many interpretations of any prophecy,” Moridin said. “But yes. This Foretelling promises that Aybara will die by our hand. You will bring me the head of this wolf, Graendal. And when you do, anything you ask shall be yours.” He slapped the book closed. “But mark me. Fail, and you will lose what you have gained. And much more.”

First, before anything else: Kateri Nepvue! Ahahaha AWESOME.

Kate is not only a great advocate of and participant in sf fandom in general, she is a personal friend of mine whom I’ve known for years, one of many whom I met solely as a result of belonging to this wonderful fandom. So seeing her get a shoutout in WOT was occasion for, first, an almost literal spit take, and second, several hours’ worth of mad grinning on my part. Too effin’ cool, y’all. (And check out her kickass Lord of the Rings Re-read on Tor.com if you haven’t already.)

This is, I think, one of the more awesome things Brandon is doing with his stewardship of the end of the WOT series, which is sending lovely little shoutouts like this to the fans of the books, but in a way which does not disturb the reading experience of anyone not into the fandom enough to recognize them for what they are. By which I mean, I got the shoutout here instantly, but Random Non-Hardcore Fan reader can go right by this without noticing a thing out of joint, and everyone is happy. Nice.

So that part’s awesome. Most of the rest, however, is Gawyn, and therefore not so much with the awesome, because I believe I am on fairly emphatic record regarding the height and breadth and Dutch Elm disease-ness of the tree he drives me up. I’m pretty sure I have just committed a relatively grievous crime to the English language with that last sentence, but I don’t care because I am UP A ROTTING GAWYN TREE, AND I DON’T LIKE IT.

I know I forgive him later (or at least I did originally), but right now he is still getting on my last nerve. It’s probably not even rational, because he’s actually being quite smart here in not buying the Black Ajah cover story and sussing out clues and all. But he’s just so… so… irritating about it. Gah. Like the part I left out in the summary when he realizes Chubain thinks Gawyn’s after his job:

The concept was laughable. Gawyn could have been First Prince of the Sword—should have been First Prince of the Sword—leader of Andor’s armies and protector of the Queen. He was son to Morgase Trakand, one of the most influential and powerful rulers Andor had ever known. He had no desire for this man’s position.

Yeah, so even though Gawyn walked away from every last bloody obligation and oath his birth rank gave him, he doesn’t want Chubain’s job because it’s not good enough for him. Even if that’s not what he meant here, that certainly is what is implied, and all I have to say is ugh. Snobbery is bad enough, but unearned snobbery is a whole new level of You Suck.

And I even agree with his argument that all sisters should have Warders, because they really probably should – although I also agree with Egwene that ordering Aes Sedai to bond Warders is unethical – but of course my mind immediately went to the benefit such an order would give Gawyn. Because, naturally, Egwene could never get away with giving out such a mandate if she herself didn’t follow it. Uh-huh. I See What You Did There, Gawyn, and it’s a little skeezy.

And then there’s this:

Gawyn didn’t often think of [his mother], as doing so brought his mind back to al’Thor. That murderer had been allowed to walk away from the White Tower itself! Egwene had held him in her hand, and had released him.

True, al’Thor was the Dragon Reborn. But in his heart, Gawyn wanted to meet al’Thor with sword in hand and ram steel through him, Dragon Reborn or not.

Al’Thor would rip you apart with the One Power, he told himself. You’re being foolish, Gawyn Trakand. His hatred of al’Thor continued to smolder anyway.

So basically Gawyn is that guy in the bar everyone hates with a passion because he comes in and feeds twenty dollars into the jukebox and plays the same fucking song six hundred times in a row so he can cry into his whiskey and make everyone else just as miserable as he is.

Bah. Get a new tune, dude, because we are so over this one it isn’t even funny any more.

As for Egwene, it was suggested by several people in the comments that Rand’s visit to the White Tower in Chapter Three was actually designed to put Egwene against him, so that she would do all the work of gathering the armies of Light at Merrilor for him. And, further, that she thinks they’re going to oppose him there, but then (presumably) Rand will show up and stun them with his Ta’veren Beam of Awesome™ and make them all see it his way.

I’m not a hundred percent sure New and Improved Jesus Rand would actually be that devious, personally, but judging by the mention here of Egwene’s letter to Darlin, if that was his plan it seems like Egwene is falling right into line with it. If this does turn out to be the case, I’m having trouble deciding whether that will irritate me or not.

And then there’s Graendal!

…Who, er, I really don’t have a lot to say about, since this scene is basically just a set-up for the rest of her plotline in TOM, and most of the stuff concerning that will be more relevant to talk about later. Though you’ve got to give girl kudos for her sheer brass, lying her head off to Moridin cool as you please.

Other that that, the only thing that really jumped out at me in this bit was her observation that Moridin now apparently has a direct line to the Dark One, which is probably about as clear an indication that the Dark One’s house arrest has got a definite expiration date on it as one could hope for. If one was evil, of course.

(And also assuming, of course, that Moridin isn’t just crazy and talking to some guy in his head. It’s not like that hasn’t happened before!)

And that’s what I got for today, chirren! Party on, and I’ll see you next Tuesday!

Nadine L.
1. travyl
I have one observation about Moridin / Graendal:
"Arangar is dead, lost to us One might think you are making a habit of this sort of thing, Graendal." ...
... “It will not be used against me, or others of the Chosen I do not wish your apparent habit to be indulged further …”
I totally missed this the first time around, but now knowing that Graendal killed Asmodean, I conclude that Moridin clearly knows it and refers to it here. After all, one killing could hardly count as a habit. Or am I forgetting another Forsaken she killed?
2. neverspeakawordagain
On my re-read of this section, I was really, really struck by how much my opinion of the Trakand brothers had flip-flopped -- around about Lord of Chaos I loathed Galad completely and felt very sorry for Gawyn, but I really did a 180 on both of those characters by this book, and I never really did get back around to liking Gawyn.

I've always also been something of an Egwene... not hater, exactly, but disliker, and so the scenes of them together were always my least favorite part of this book.
3. Jonellin Stonebreaker
Great commentary as usual, Leigh. I will, however take issue with your characterization of Galad's future plans for the Children.

I believe his aim is to have the Children be the darkhunting order they were always meant to be; one that is respectful of the sovereignty of the nations in which they find themselves, while maintaining a certain distance from the ruling classes, the better to show themselves as being truly interested in their work of opposing the Dark One and his associates as opposed to using it to gain political power.

The classic noir private eye was always on the the side of right, but never allowed himself to be an auxiliary of the police force.

As for Gawyn... nuff said.
Charles Gaston
4. parrothead
Gah! Now I'm crossing over Bleach with WoT in my head. And it is glorious.

I'm actually on Gawyn's side here. Partially because, well, he's right on so many things, and partially because Egwene's martyrdom complex has gone on way too long. You won, you're the Amyrlin now, get over yourself. Stop talking in the third person and belittling everyone who cares about you, the ones who care about you personally, like Gawyn and Siuan. This is especially irritating as, even a few chapters ago, she was all "I can bring Rand down to human level"; funny how that seems to be a one-way street. Damn, girl, for 1 1/2 books you were my all time fave, and now it's just blarg.
Kate Nepveu
5. katenepveu
*waves to Leigh*

And yes, I was super-surprised and pleased to be a dead Aes Sedai (kind folks on the Internet alerted me to it when the book was released but before I read it, otherwise I might not have noticed because I don't register names a lot of the time! My husband, who had the book first, actually went right past it.). WOT fandom has meant a lot to me and it was really great.
Matt Spencer
6. MisunderstoodMe
@4 I agree that Gawyn could be a humanizing element for Egwene - but as of this chapter he's doing it too intentionally, he's got too much to gain, and there's too much antipathy for his character for it to really work well.

I'm definately not in the Egwene rules camp - but its really hard to get behind Gawyn for me in this. It does seem a bit like just payback for some of her own illogical motives for 'humanizing' Rand in the earlier books.
Damon Garner
7. IrishOmalley
-Gawyn and Egwene.... blech....

- I didn't notice Boundless in this chapter. Gah!

- Any speculation on what the dueling Matt's means?

- Moridin go the Dark One's 4g upgrade....
Stefan Mitev
8. Bergmaniac
I really like Gawyn in this chapter, he's the only one who actually uses his brain and looks at the clues objectively, unlike Egwene, who's so sure it must be the BA and Mesaana that she totally disregarded that it makes no sense for them to use knives to kill. The suspicions of Chubain about Gawyn were silly. Gawyn's idea about Warders was pretty good too.

Rand's thoughts in the epilogue are pretty clear that he provoked Egwene to do exactly what he wanted. "Egwene was there, with armies marshaled. He was ready for that. He’d counted on it."

I totally agree that Hopper deserves sainthood for putting up with Perrin.

Galad is a thief here. Stealing supplies and arresting people for nothing. How is that "the right thing"?
9. wcarter4
Epileptic tree time...Moridin is now hearing his previous incarnation raving his head because...umm Rand and his LTT persona have consolidated. But Moridin is still Balefire linked to Rand and all that crazy had to go somewhere. Since Rand Sedi isn't Extra Crazy Kill 'em All anymore then Mordin must be even more crazy to perserve the balance so yeah...
Rob Munnelly
10. RobMRobM
White coats; led in part by a guy with a shepherd's crook, tastes delicious with mint jelly - sounds like a perfect analogy to the Whitecloaks. *nods sagely - or at least basilly* Perhaps it's time for another baaaa-d pun.
11. Skia
I totally missed this the first time around, but now knowing that Graendal killed Asmodean, I conclude that Moridin clearly knows it and refers to it here. After all, one killing could hardly count as a habit. Or am I forgetting another Forsaken she killed?

Perhaps my memory is off, but I thought that there was a third forsaken that she also had a hand in as well. I don't remember it off the top of my head, but I seem to recall some discussion on it.
Also, I confess that in my summary of Perrin’s dream, I totally stole the term “flash-step” (don’t click that) from the anime Bleach. But just like in TFOH when I said that Moghedien “Crucioed” Nynaeve, if another sf author has come up with an awesome one-or-two-word term for a concept that would otherwise take me an entire sentence or more to describe, who am I not to shamelessly co-opt it? It’s all for the BREVITY, man.
Yessssss sorta like the word, Hot!

Well.... maybe not the same... But you know what I mean!

I had friend who used to say Naybe, as in "probably not, but maybe"

13. av willis
Hopper getting canonized isn't quite as farfetched as you'd think crazier things have almost happened...

14. AndrewB
I beleive the Greandal chapter contains an instance where Brandon advocated for a scene and/or language that RJ did not originally plan to include. IMO, had RJ lived, he would have advised the reader that Graendal killed Asmo as he did in the glossary. To understand that Graendal killed Asmo, you have to make some inferences from the language (By that I mean that is does not come out categorically and state she is the killer as in the glossary; however, the inference is such that there (IMO) can be no doubt.

If RJ stated what he did in the glossary, I do not see why such an indirect approach was needed in the text. My theory, is that Brandon argued to have those lines which indicate in the text that Graendal killed Asmo. (I think it was this way -- rather than Brandon arguing for inclusion of the language in the glossary, because RJ had stated that he did not beleive that the identity of Asmo's killer was that big of a deal; I could easily see him making such a reveal in the glossary and not in the text.

Thanks for reading my musings,
15. MasterAlThor
I noticed that Gawyn basically says what Leigh suggested in last weeks post. But our Lady Champion simply says "as long as you can obey". I think Rand would have gotten roasted for the same thing.

The Whitecloaks stood as a way to balance the WT. The WT has no male members and have no "oversight by or answerability to any soverign power". If the Whitecloaks should have to undergo such a radical change all the more reason the WT should too.

Deana Whitney
16. Braid_Tug
Now On Channel 5, CSI: White Tower

Gawyn – the Cocky cop
Sleete – the Sidekick
Captain Cubain – The resentful Detective
And Eqwene, as the Chief of the Tower who already knows all the answers.

Sorry, that's what this chapter makes me think.

Yeah for the post, and good comments for yet more set up chapters.
Brendan Lavin
17. BrendanL
My feeling about the fields of Merilor is Rand will get there and tell everyone that he already has broken all the seals, "...but since we're all here we really do need to start fighting this last battle, and oh by the way, here are my terms for going to Shayul Ghul."
Skip Ives
18. Skip
4. parrothead - Considering that both Bleach and WoT have tall red(orange) headed protagonists that wield swords and project beams of power, I'm surprised more people don't make the connection. Then there is the whole Chad/Perrin thing...
20. Looking Glass
“And it couldn’t be, Galad, that Morgase didn’t hate it just because the Children weren’t nice about it, but also maybe because having a completely autonomous military force composed entirely of paranoid zealots taking it upon themselves to randomly police her towns and cities was both an affront and a threat to her people, her sovereignty and the stability of her entire nation? No? Nothing?”
She got on pretty well with the Aes Sedai, at least before the whole Rahvin thing. Not an entirely fair comparison, perhaps, but true enough to be meaningful.

In particular, the Tower has just as little national oversight, at least as much tendency to meddle, and exactly the same fight-the-shadow agenda plus a whole mess of other issues they claim a right to act on. The major differences would appear to be that the whitecloaks tend much more towards overt use of force (or at least intimidation) as a first step, and that they have very low standards for what constitutes serving the shadow- exactly the problems Galad is trying to fix.

Of course, Elayne has indicated that even the AS approach annoyed Morgase at times, but that relationship was light-years more friendly and productive than the way the whitecloaks get on with local rulers.

Bergmaniac @8: IIRC Galad’s still in more or less hostile territory, and as far as he knows the only coherent military force likely to be nearby is the Seanchan army. And maybe the prophet's mobs, assuming Galad doesn't know they're toast now. Then he runs into the supply elements of a big army which is nearby, and to judge from Gill, trying to conceal its presence from him. That’s not exactly friendly behavior. Detaining these guys while he figures out who they are and what they’re doing is really the only responsible thing he can do.

Even if he could have accurately identified them as "a huge pile of assorted dragonsworn, but cooler than the prophet's dragonsworn, we swear", that's not likely to inspire great confidence in a friendly reception for anyone. Much less whitecloaks.
21. zackattack
@1 et. al re: Asmo. I think this is as close as we get to an in-text confirmation that Graendal killed Asmo. It always struck me as dumb to put that in the Glossary. My best guess is someone thought it would be funny to do it that way. I think it's lame, but not really that fussed about it.

@Leigh: "I’m not a hundred percent sure New and Improved Jesus Rand would actually be that devious..."

I'm 99% sure he would be that devious considering how well he now remembers LTT being screwed by the women last time around. I'm not even sure it's all that devious. He needs someone to gather all the armies and get folks united, and Egwene is probably best positioned to do that. It's actually the first plan Rand has had in a long time that hasn't filled me with deep unease. Which probably means it will go horribly wrong.
Kimani Rogers
22. KiManiak
Thanks again, Leigh. Good recap, interesting opinions as always. My thoughts (kind of in rambling style today and definitely longwinded):

Perrin: I did appreciate Team Jordan’s call back to Perrin’s ability to see visions in the Wolfdream like way back in the earlier novels (TDR and TSR, I believe). Again, you can see a strong effort to connect the end of this series with some of the concepts introduced in the beginning (and then kind of ignored in the middle) of this series.

The vision of Mat: interesting, regarding the person sneaking up on Mat. If not the gholam, then what is this? The easy speculation is that one of his inner circle in the band is a Darkfriend? Or will betray him, at the very least. I wonder… As for the “fighting with himself” portion, that could just be Mat wrestling with his responsibilities, or “fighting” against a duty (or 10) of his, or something like that.

The sheep & wolves vision: The events that happen in this book; Perrin and his followers are being herded into an ambush. I did like that the wolves don’t symbolize Perrin or his wolf-brothers, either.

The cliff and darkness vision: Appears to be the same as the previous vision. Perrin and his followers are being herded into an ambush; to “fall off a cliff.”

Hopper & the Wolves: I respect that Perrin finally allows himself to be taught. Having an ability in and of itself isn’t bad; you just need to learn how to use it properly. And we see how Perrin’s abilities in the Wolfdream grow and develop throughout this novel. Without him being willing to undergo training, well events with Perrin’s army and with Egwene’s plan to flush out the Black Ajah in T’A’R would go quite differently.

Galad: didn’t really bug me that much. I liked his actions in Chapter 4. The only thing that I would question is whether the Children have the authority to just arrest any old body they find on the road, especially when they’re not in their own country. Kind of what Leigh was head-desking about in general, but which we saw happen in “actuality” with Basel Gill and his group.

I’m happy for Kate Nepvue and all those who find themselves mentioned in these books. A really cool thing to have happen to you! I applaud Brandon and Team Jordan for doing this; it’s a great way to connect with, and reward, the fans.

Gawyn and Egwene: Part of me thinks they deserve each other (in the non-flattering, you’re-both-screwed-up kind of way), part of me believes they both deserve someone better. The reader can see that they are both trying to feel out their new roles, and how their relationship can function in incorporating the responsibilities and limitations of those roles when it comes to a romantic relationship, not to mention the positions of Warder and Aes Sedai.

(You do have to commend Team Jordan on the writing regarding these two. Both are incredibly head-strong; there is no way that they should easily and seamlessly become Aes Sedai and Warder in the course of half a chapter. These are two of the most stubborn and perplexing characters in Wotland (okay, all of our Superkids fit that description, as does every Andoran prince/princess). Why expect things to be resolved easily. But, it’s still frustrating to read.)

Gawyn brings up good points about Aes Sedai and Warders. Egwene to her credit, agrees to consider it and the reader can assume that she did proceed as she stated she would “off-screen.” Gawyn then brings up another good point to consider non-Black Ajah possibilities for the murders. As for Egwene, well Egwene… does a very “Egwene” thing and really doesn’t consider it, because she generally refuses to accept other viewpoints/opinions/ideas when she thinks she knows best. Even to err on the side of caution. Just like Gawyn, and how doesn’t change his tune about Rand and Morgase, like an idiot. Even to err on the side of caution, or explore the possibility that he may be wrong and everyone else that he’s talked to about this that he knows and trust is possibly right when it comes to Rand killing his mother. Idiotic.

Again, Egwene and Gawyn are written to be incredibly frustrating to the reader throughout their respective (and overlapping) story arcs. And the writing is done incredibly well; I’m very frustrated.

Graendal and Moridin: It was a nice attempt by Graendal to cover her backside in regards to her actions escaping Natrin’s Barrow. It reminds us that Moridin (and the Dark One) aren’t omniscient when it comes to the actions of the Forsaken. Although they do know quite a bit. Also, Moridin may be able to hear the Dark One’s voice remotely from anywhere now? Interesting…

I did like the view of Ishmael/Moridin’s *greal storeroom. It makes perfect sense. He’s been able to access the world, impact events and direct Darkfriends and Black Ajah for 3000 years; he should have been able to stockpile items that use the Power. And, he was the only one (after the first couple of a hundred years or so) that new what each item could do. Also, it makes perfect sense that there would be dark prophecies or dark Foretellings from the perspective of the Shadow. It was interesting to see Ishydin with a book-full of them. I wonder if the final WoT encyclopedia will contain more of them.

And… that was a lot of rambling. Wow. Anyway…

travyl@1 – re: Graendal and Asmodean – Yeah, I think Team Jordan mentioned that this was their way of putting to rest the whole “who killed Asmodean” discussion. That, and a notation in the glossary, I believe. I see AndrewB@14 got there first. Well done, sir.

parrothead@4 – re: Gawyn and Egwene – Some good points. I just think it’s uncomfortable for the reader to get these points from Gawyn’s character. Especially in the same chapter where he shows that he still is doggedly holding on to his irritating belief that Rand killed Morgase.

MasterAlThor@15 – Interesting point re: Gawyn’s comments and Egwene’s response. I don’t think there would be much disagreement in how Egwene would have responded. Egwene is Egwene; her character is written to be a certain way, and she always stays true to that character, like Gawyn does to his. No matter how frustrated the average reader may get with them both.

Brendan Lavin@17 – Re: Rand and the seals – I would not be surprised by that move. Part of me could see that happening. I just don’t know if Zen/Jesus/Rand Sedai would do something that dismissive of his followers’ feelings. I’d like to believe that he would state his case, hear out the opposition, and then do what he chooses to do.
Alice Arneson
23. Wetlandernw
Gawyn had his moments of cool in this chapter, mostly in realizing that it isn't necessarily Aes Sedai (or Forsaken, though he didn't know about that at the time) doing the killings. That was cool. And Egwene, however understandably, was stuck in her secret knowledge of a Forsaken in the Tower and couldn't recognize any other possibilities.

The things that really annoyed me about him were a) abandoning his oaths and responsibilities to Andor and Elayne and then b) thinking that since he'd given it all up for Egwene, she owed it to him to make him her Warder. Not! Dude, just... NOT. You set aside your sacred oaths to your family; how does that give me any confidence that you will keep any oath you make to me? You didn't even go back and ask Elayne to release you from your responsibilities, you just threw them away without even telling her about it. And somehow this is supposed to convince Egwene of your value as a Warder.


Galad... *sigh* If the Whitecloaks weren't a bunch of fanatics who were convinced that every non-Whitecloak was most likely a Darkfriend, there might be some progress to be made on the lines of free access to the nations. Even so, as Leigh pointed out, an external "policing force" is an affront to both the monarch and the nation itself, and it can't help being a threat to the security of that nation. And just exactly what does Galad think they might "achieve" in those nations? That's not... entirely clear to me...

MasterAlThor @15 - I have to disagree with your equation of the Whitecloaks and the White Tower. Aes Sedai don't go around accusing people of being Darkfriends just for not liking them, much less torturing and killing them for it. The Whitecloaks have done exactly that, for many years. They come into a town, and anyone who doesn't grovel is, by their definition, a Darkfriend. (For the more reasonable ones, maybe they're only suspected of it, but the reasonable ones seem to be the exception rather than the rule.) The White Tower also does not go to war with nations purely for their own glory, as the Whitecloaks have been known to do under the guise of "bringing that nation into the Light."

Yes, the WT has interfered in the ruling of nations from time to time, but it's generally for the purpose of preventing war. Sometimes it's even totally misguided, but they don't go in and start torturing and killing people.
Zayne Forehand
24. ShiningArmor
Great reread as always Leigh.

On this Dream:

He saw sheep, suddenly, running in a flock toward the woods. Wolves chased them, and a terrible beast waited in the woods, unseen. He was there, in that dream, he sensed. But who was he chasing, and why? Something looked wrong with those wolves.

I always thought it was referring to the T'A'R battle later in the book with the sheep being the Aes Sedai running blindly into T'A'R thinking they are all that and a bag of sassy chips. The Wolves were the Black Ajah with the terrible beast being Mesaana. Then the reference to Perrin chasing Slayer into it.

Just my two cents.
25. Lsana
While I can't stand Gawyn and particularly can't stand him in this book, I think you are way too easy on Egwene in this post. First of all, her fixation on Mesaana as the killer to the point where she's completely ignoring any evidence that something else is going on. Second, she's using herself as bait to catch a Forsaken? Really? Because that's worked out so well for her and the other supergirls in the past. Gawyn is right to lose it with her here.

I can't be nearly so hard on Galad. Are they going to start bowing to Kings and Queens? He doesn't know. That doesn't exactly scream, "We should consider ourselves above all authority and do whatever the heck we want" to me.

As far as the Graendel/Asmodean thing: I can see how, knowing the answer, you could take that as the reveal, but if there hadn't been the note in the glossary, there is no way that the comments here would have settled the debate. It still kind of annoys me: we could take chapters to go over how Elayne takes the Sun Throne (something I've never seen a fan express any real interest in), but couldn't spare one lousy sentence to give the solution that has bugged the fans for more than a decade?
Alice Arneson
26. Wetlandernw
MasterAlThor @15 - Can you provide a citation for Egwene saying "As long as you can obey"? I can't find it.

ETA: I reread the whole chapter, and all I can find is Egwene telling Gawyn, "Your approval is not required. You will have to trust me." When he insists that he does trust her, she says, "All I ask is that you show it for once."

Unless you meant earlier, when she reminds him that those who serve the Amyrlin must realize that there is a place for obedience. And in an Aes Sedai/Warder bonding, there is definitely a place for obedience. It's part of the way things work. Go reread all Lan & Moiraine's interactions, if you need to prove it to yourself; he definitely accepted the requirement of "a place for obedience."
27. Ryamano
@17 BrendanL

My feeling about the fields of Merilor is Rand will get there and tell everyone that he already has broken all the seals, "...but since we're all here we really do need to start fighting this last battle, and oh by the way, here are my terms for going to Shayul Ghul."

This just made me think of this scene:

Rand arrives at the field of Merrilor.

Rand: My plan is simple. I'm going to break all the seals and then I'll try, with the copperation of male and female channelers, to seal it back.

Egwene: That's madness. I can't allow you to do that. I'll do all in my power to prevent that.

Rand: What do you take me for, Egwene? A comic book villain? I already broke the seals 15 minutes ago. You can call me Ozymandias if you like.

Alice Arneson
28. Wetlandernw
Rereading the chapter, I had to provide a couple of quotations to mitigate the antagonism toward Gawyn and Egwene. First:
“Warders keep sisters alive, and every Aes Sedai is going to be of vital importance soon. There will be legions upon legions of Trollocs. Every sister on the field will be more valuable than a hundred soldiers, and every sister Healing will be able to save dozens of lives. The Aes Sedai are assets that belong to humanity. You cannot afford to let them go about unprotected.

"Bring it before the Hall. At its core, Egwene, a sister not bonding a Warder is an act of selfishness. That bond makes a man a better soldier, and we'll need every edge we can find. This will also help prevent the murders."
Gotta say, the boy has a couple of very good points there. In light of Tarmon Gai’don, some “personal preferences” need to be set aside – or at least reexamined very, very carefully. I suspect that, if presented this way, most of the sisters who had just been mildly reluctant to bond a new Warder, or who simply hadn’t gotten around to it yet, would see the point and would actively start looking for a good candidate. Which begs the question, of course, as to whether there are enough good candidates available…

Then there was this interchange:
"Use yourself as bait?" Gawyn was barely able to get the words out. "Egwene, this is madness!"

"No. It's desperation. Gawyn, women I am responsible for are dying. Murdered in the night, in a time when you yourself said we will need every woman."

For the first time, fatigue showed through her mask, a weariness of tone and a slight slump to her back. She folded her hands in front of her, suddenly seeming worn.

"I have sisters researching everything we can find about Mesaana," Egwene continued. "She's not a warrior, Gawyn. She's an administrator, a planner. If I can confront her, I can defeat her. But we must find her first. Exposing myself is only one of my plans—and you are right, it is dangerous. But my precautions have been extensive."
Like her or not, appreciate her methods or not, the girl has a very strong sense of responsibility. Rand is not the only one willing to risk his life for others. She’s not being fatalistic about it; she’s got plans in place to mitigate the risk, but she recognizes a couple of key things: that she’s the very best bait there is, and that it’s her responsibility to do all she can to protect those she leads.
Skip Ives
29. Skip
@28. Wetlandernw - She has a strong sense of responsibility, but in this she is as wrong-headed as Gawyn usually is. Egwene is so interested in getting Gawyn to respect her authority that she just rides right over him and disregards any non-AS idea as irrelevant. It sounds like she learned her lessons from the AS a bit too well. I just wanted to slap some sense into both of them in every scene they appeared in this book. I expect the bonding will mellow them both out a bit.
You know, I hope Egwene and Cadsuane meet. That would be a stellar meet between dominate personalities. I wonder if Egwene will expect Cadsuane to kiss Egwenes ring or something. The coming retort to that would just make the book for me.

So to my point....hmmmm.... oh yes. I'm thinking that Cadsuane will be the one to convince Egwene about Rands Plan. Well, Min also, but I think Cadsuanes word will lend more weight to Rands Plans, whatever those turn out to be.

Gawyn and Egwene interacting? Yawn. Over it. If the series ever gets made into a movie they are going to need some reeeeeeeally great actors to make it seem that bantering dialogue between Egwene and Gawyn has anything to do with being in love. This whole thing is just sooooo annoying that during the books it is the ONLY time I get distracted.

Pfft! ^%$#^*(&^ , @#$% wwwwwwwWWWWhat? He did not just say he was.....distracted did he?

Yeah! I did. Anytime I read Gawyn and Egwene, my eyes would glaze over in what probably looked like a Heroin overdose induced, braindead, vegeteble state.

So imagine reading and then having to go back and re-read because you have this habitual problem with becoming comatose just as Gawyn's Superhero moment plays out.....

I know, I know... serves me right.

But for right now, consider me to be drooling and slumped in my chair.

Douglas Miller
31. douglas
@11 Skia
The third Forsaken whose death involved Graendal is Mesaana later in ToM. In any fair assessment it's not really her fault that Perrin moved the dreamspike and just happened to bring it to Tar Valon at exactly the wrong (or right) time, but the bad guys are rarely interested in fairness. The dreamspike was given to her to use, and it ended up ruining Mesaana's ambush plans and leading to her death mindbreak, so Graendal was partly responsible for Mesaana's downfall.
Thomas Keith
32. insectoid
Yay, post day! Great as usual Leigh.

My mom has been re-reading ToM, and by now is far ahead of the Re-read. But she's been asking me all the (mostly) tough questions, like:
-what's the deal with the domes? who/what made them?
-what is Slayer's purpose in all this? Which Forsaken is he working for?
-who is Mattin Stepaneos, and why should we care?
-what are Trollocs? Aren't they former humans?
So you can see I've had my hands full. ;)

Ahem. Moving on!

Perrin: Being emo some more. (That was another of her questions—"What does 'emo' mean??") Boundless showing up in this chapter is interesting, considering he thinks about Noam almost on the same page.

Galad: Is being wonderfully hypocritical for someone with royal blood. Sigh.

Bornhald: You idiot. If you didn't see him do it with your own eyes, it didn't happen.

Kateri Nepvue: I LOL'd when I read this. Although, being murdered by Super Ninja Assassins = gah.

Egwene: You idiot. Didn't Siuan tell you about the Super Ninja Assassin that almost killed her last book?

Gawyn: You idiot. (Just on general principles.) His concern for Egwene's safety is completely justified, and unlike Egwene he's actually using his brain. Whereas Egwene is being more like Gawyn, stubborn and insistent that: "Oh, Mesaana is in the Tower, it must be her!"

Moridin: Is hearing things. Wonderful.

"Desperado" is a good song, but not 600 times in a row, true.

Reading the last few comments from the last re-read and the latest so far, it always amuses me when some feel that everything has to fit into some sort of equation. That every minutae of detail MUST be explained in order to satiate every curiosity. Its almost ridiculous to expect that with a world with soooo many characters, plots, random happenings and new discovories popping up from paragraph to paragraph. I think it was intended right from the get go, that many many things would be left up in the air and that some should be guessed upon, while even more are TBC.

Life. No one life on this planet, living or dead,has ever had their life summed up into concrete equations. It would be ridiculous to try. So many things go on in the making of a life, that trying to calculate the reasons for the holes in ones story is damn near impossible. It is impossible as far as I can see. Why do we soooo yearn for such absolutes in our fantasy worlds ? Maybe its because we lack it on our lives. Or maybe be its just within our nature to Need to know.

This is not a criticsm at all. Because we all do it, or a good many of us wouldn't be here. And certainly there'd not be so many 500 post commentaries going on.

I'm just wondering is all

34. Wendy Johansson
I'll voice the unpopular opinion that I am not a fan of the shout-outs to the old-school fans. Only because it wrenches me out of the story. The illusion of Randland is shattered, the real world imposes itself.
35. Blood_Drunk
I might be a little off on this, but didnt Graendal have a partnership with Sammel. Maybe thats the other forsaken that she allowed to fall victim to death.
Gary Singer
36. AhoyMatey
Thanks Leigh. My favorite part was the toboggan story... Trade negotiations indeed!
David W
37. DavidW
When I first arrived at this chapter I almost threw the book across the room in joy and most definitely shouted that I had known it all along that Graendal was the killer. Now I may have been indulging in some confirmation bias but I thought that Moridin made it crystal clear who killed Asmodean.
38. gadget
I might be a little off on this, but didnt Graendal have a partnership
with Sammel. Maybe thats the other forsaken that she allowed to fall
victim to death.
She definately had a partnership with Sammel, but she was the junior partner in that relationship by the end, she had allowed herself to be manipulated into thinking that Sammel was about to be named the 'big cheese' and went along with him. She could hardly be blamed for his death. In fact, one could argue that the whole reason she was in position to kill Asmodean was because she was fullfilling her role in the plan to goad Rand into attacking Sammel, then link with Rhavin & Lanfear and 'take him from behind'. Lanfear, of course, never ment to follow through with the plan, and Rhavin had it backfire on him with Rand attacking him instead of Sammel, so the plan did not go so well.
Alice Arneson
39. Wetlandernw
Skip @ 29 – I’m not saying that Egwene is 100% right in her approach – she truly is stuck in “I know something no one else knows, so it must necessarily be the key” mode. And, of course, the confidence that Aes Sedai are more right than anyone else. (In both of which, obviously, she’s wrong, and will later admit it.) I was just pointing out that in this case, a large part of her apparent risk-taking comes from her sense of responsibility, not merely an arrogant assumption that she’s the only one who can do anything right. She is the strongest woman in the Tower at the moment, but her plan is based on being the most attractive bait for a Forsaken. Because she is responsible for these women, she refuses to hide behind her own positional importance to avoid the risks of being that bait.

In her favor re: the first point, though, there is the paragraph I left out of the Gawyn-quote. She conceded that there might be wisdom in his argument, and promised that she would see what could be done. Really, for all her annoying characteristics, she does have some good points. ;)

ZEXXES @30 – That’s an interesting idea, and very plausible. Nynaeve and Min may provide support for Rand’s plan, but if Cadsuane-the-legendary stands up and tells Egwene to either help or get out of the way… could be some fireworks, but Cadsuane could win a staredown with a stone cat. Egwene doesn’t have a chance if it comes to sheer willpower between them. (Oh, help. I hope Egwene isn’t stupid enough to demand that Cadsuane kiss her ring… Fortunately, she hasn’t required much of that. It does have major amusement potential, though…)

insectoid @32 – Whoa. Did Siuan tell Egwene about the assassin that almost killed her and Bryne? I… don’t think we know for sure. If she did, then Egwene is not using all the info at hand. If she didn’t, then Siuan and Bryne aren’t using all the info. Seems like somebody should be able to put it together… Did they tell Gawyn about it? Argh. I’m going to have to do some research later to find out if they told anyone. Unless someone here happens to know…. ::looks around hopefully:: Anyone know?
40. TheAndyman
I think it is definitely Rand's intention to rile up Egwene into pulling all the monarchs of the world together, but I don't think his manipulation is so nefarious. I think his intention is to give Egwene strength in this way, to cement her as the world's shepard after he is gone, and to kill another bird with the same stone he intends to present the terms of the Dragon's Peace to Randland. This is more or less confirmed by his POV in the Epilogue where he is like "I don't care what Egwene has to say about the seals cause I'm breaking them anyway."
Craig Jarvis
41. hawkido
@15 Masteralthor
I believe Rand HAS said something along those lines only harsher (but with better reason). I believe his phrase was "So long as you obey." there was no choice in the matter when Rand said it... I believe once to the High Lords of Tear and once to the captured AS from Dumai's Wells.

@ Leigh
As to Rand's plan, Leigh, in the Way-Forward-Machine we see that Rand forms a pact (the Peace of the Dragon or Pax Draco, LOL) that says he will only proceed to save the world if they ALL accept his terms (of peace mainly, Aiel Excluded, unless Avi can change that). Rand has realized that they have a choice as to whether they are to be saved... You cannot force salvation (that is the downfall of alot of "religious" types), they must choose it, and pay the price (of Jesus's Rand's choice) if they so choose. All up-front, no hidden hanky panky, shenagins, etc... This is how he forces the Seanchan to cease expansion further east (sword drawing a line on the map et al.) If they refuse then Rand would probably still try, but the threat of turning his back on them will be all he needs. Because if they have a choice, then so does he. Rand is not FORCED to save the world, the world must agree to give him the attempt, and he must accept it. Last time he tried to force salvation and caused a stalemate for his pride, and the stalemate was nearly a loss. This time he will not proceed until they all agree. If they are not ready come FoM, then he will wait until the pattern kills off the hold-outs then ask again. "Ready now?"

That's my take on it... just wanted it out there in case I am right I can say " see I threw 1000 looney theories out there and one of them was right, so that means I was RIGHT ALL ALONG!!!" or something lame like that.
Jay Dauro
42. J.Dauro

Bryne leaves Gawyn to organize the troops while he goes with Siuan to heal the men. So Gawyn is not there when the attack happens. We do not see them tell Gawyn about it, although I woud be surprised if they never mentioned encountering a Seanchen "Assassin" to him, and Bryne does refer to the Bloodknife as an assassin.

I cannot remember any other explicit conversation mentioning the Incident, and the word assassin is never mentioned between the attack in TGS, and this chapter in TOM. (Rand uses assassinated talking to Tam, but that's it.)

So I guess I am surprised. I cannot see Gawyn not using this when he talks to Egwene, if he does know about it, and I cannot see Egwene not making the connection if she does know about it. So we have to assume that the two do not know.
43. mutantalbinocrocodile
The existence of the Dark Prophecies may shed some light on one of my personal Big Questions about WOT that doesn't seem to get discussed often. . .where did the Kareathon Cycle come from? Ishamael seems to have imprisoned a ton of people with the Foretelling and complied a book of their utterances. How would Team Light do something comparable? And how organized as a text is the Kareathon Cycle anyway? The fact that bards sometimes perform it implies that it's in verse--is it all in the same meter? Do the different parts connect? Or is there any chance it's the creation of one person (though if so, who and how?)
Craig Jarvis
44. hawkido
@39 wetlandernw
I think that blood knife died spectacularly easy as he was out patterned (via Min's viewing), and thus went down without enough effort to warrant special mention once the attack was over. The lighting wasn't particularly bright, so his light bending trick wasn't as effective, and again didn't warrant comment... I think the BK was just picking off easy targets in the fighting and got over confident and got killed too easy for anyone to think he was anything more than just a good spec ops trooper. Fight over... well they must be gone now, else we would be having more than two or three AS killed... Notice they were killing one from each Ajah so they could see if the colors had any flavor (What!? All the M&M's taste the same!?! Like Chicken...) What about the last BK... It's the one that goes after Mat when he comes for the horn, Perrin dream!!! Wow, Back to back chapters about the same thing... Mat in a dream and an investigation about the Seachan assassins, probably during a bubble where alternate Mats from other universes pop out, kinda like the Mirror Rands in tSR.
My thoughts are like the pattern, getting kinda loose and wibbly. (Time's gone wibbly - Dr. Who)
Jay Dauro
45. J.Dauro

Siuan and Bryne specifically refer to him as an Assassin
“He wasn’t dressed like the others,” Bryne said, shaking his head. “The armor is different. Assassin of some sort.”
“Light,” Siuan said. “I didn’t even see him! He almost seemed part of the darkness itself!”
Assassins. They always seemed to look the same, regardless of the culture. Bryne sheathed his sword.
The Gathering Storm - 41

No matter what, I would expect them to remember, and when Aes Sedai start being assassinated, at least bring it up.
Rob Munnelly
46. RobMRobM
Call me crazy, but back in LoC or PoD, didn't Egwene confirm that the Amyrlin couldn't put herself in danger without approval of the Hall? Can we say oopsie on that law?
@44. Hawkido

Like the Matrix reference.

48. Wotman
So I am getting seriously deranged, if Moridin has a direct line to the DO, then what about the head Myrdahl, Haran... so and so? I thought he was the DO walking, and I would think he would be the real Naeblis. Just thinkin.

I have to give Galad an atta boy because he is starting to come around, he definitely has a ways to go though.

Gawyn, well, even though everyone's liking him, I couldn't help but notice that Basil Rathbone Sleete comes up with the goods and pretty boy runs to his girlfriend and takes the credit, no class there.

As far as the assasins, I don't think Siuan or Bryne thought too much of him and dismissed the thought that there might be a bunch more of them ( I think they were a new entity to them.)

I am not much of a dream reader, but I do like some of the comments - especially about Mat.

I do agree with some that Rand is going to do what he wants (with the seals) and the rest had better get with his program. After all, Herid mentioned what he needs to do way back in the series.

I still think that the Mat/Dragon Reborn duo will apply extreme tavereness upon Fortuona and get the Seanchan on their side, not just backing off for awhile.

As for Egwene/ Cads face off, I laugh at that because Cads has no regard for Amyrlinsand would knock Egwene down a peg or two (and then propping her back up).
49. MasterAlThor
Wetlander @ 23
You are right that the WT doesn't accuse the populace of being a Darkfriend, but the WC's don't go around kidnapping rulers do they? My point was that the WT and the WCs are similar in that their is no oversight by other sovereign nations. I wouldn't want either involved in the US.

Wetlander @26
I was talking about "a place for obedience" paraphrasing really. I am not an english major, so if I made some grammatical error I apologize. I can't stand the grammar portion of english. I will endevor to be betterr though.

Really though Egwene needs to be called out for how she phrased that. I do understand the Warder Aes Sedai dynamic. But he isn't her Warder and Suian isn't either. Yet she wants everyone to obey her without question. Otherwise she wouldn't still be in a huff over Suian coming to her rescue.

hawkido @41
Thanks for helping to make my point. Rand doing that was not well recieved.

Gary Singer
50. AhoyMatey
I'm wondering about the Dark prophecy - we know that Min's visions, Foretelling and Dreaming are tools of the Light and/or pattern. There's been commentary that Halima stopped Egwene from dreaming. So where do the dark prophecies come from? I know the Trollocs wrote some on the dungeon walls when freeing Fain waaay back when, but how did they get them?

I don't remember ever reading about a source for the dark prophecies.
51. Freelancer
Yay Kate!

Gawyn is cool. The concept of the character is cool. In oh, about 99.8% of fantasy novels, good characters are not portrayed as making a decision based on the information at hand, and having it turn out to be a wrong decision, and then having to be stuck working their way through the consequences of that for months after. To do that with a character is a master-stroke. Gawyn is never once a bad person. He has been jammed behind the eight-ball by circumstances, split-second decisions, and poor information, and as they say about those fancy-pants computational machines, garbage in results in garbage out. In the meantime, dude is trying his butt off to be of value, to be an asset, and is constantly shown the corner.

Galad is also cool. Less so, in my mind, because the mindset which forms the foundation of his decision to walk away from Andor and become a Whitecloak is full of fail. That mindset remains the foundation of his decision-making process, and is still not quite right. However, Galad is thoughtful, introspective, and is both strategically and tactically astute, so he comes to proper conclusions about some of what must change.

I don't have a problem with him thinking that the Children should remain independent of any national political affiliations, but it also means that he will have to engage in much more conciliatory, and less intimidative, methods when dealing with representatives of nations. I'm thinking he gets that. As for putting the Whitecloaks and White Tower on identical footing regarding their relative standing with, and behavior towards heads of state, there is almost no comparison. While the Aes Sedai certainly intend to meddle in the affairs of nations, their methods never include torture, brutal harassment, or threats of imprisonment by a military force.

Yes, Elaida had people kidnapped, but she isn't exactly the ideal of Aes Sedai leadership, and the White Tower as a whole would never have endorsed nor approved such behavior, whereas the Children mostly act in lockstep with their leadership, with few questions asked. Groups of Aes Sedai do not walk the streets of a city expressly to frighten and intimidate the citizenry until their leadership caves in and gives them what they want. The White Tower deals perhaps less honestly than the common man would approve, but never including the threat of violence or incarceration. Finally, Aes Sedai don't routinely (or basically ever) summarily label an opponent as pure, concentrated evil just for being an opponent. That last point by itself is enough to destroy any attempt to consider the two groups equivalent in the least, in my mind. The good news is, Galad will surely see that such practices are never witnessed again.

RobMRobM @10

For shame.Consider yourself duly lambasted.

Wetlandernw @23

Yeah, all that stuff I wrote about the WhiteCloaks? Ditto.

douglas @31

Yes, it is thoroughly consistent that a tool given to a bad guy which ends up aiding the defeat of another bad guy, means that the first bad guy who lost the tool is to blame. Graendal not only failed to kill Perrin, but he ended up with her dreamspike, which ended up in Tar Valon, which ended up trapping Mesaana, leading to her defeat. Totally Graendal's fault. And with Shaidar Haran dumping blame for three forsaken casualties on her doorstep, the third can only have been Asmodean. But we already knew that nobody else could have killed Asmodean, so whatever.

RobMRobM @46

Hokay, you crazy. And, without being able to check the text just now, I think that the Hall's rule meant to protect the Amyrlin was specifically that she wasn't permitted to act as an Emissary intending to negotiate the settlement of a conflict. That kept her from going to visit Rand in Caemlyn. So, limited application regarding her using herself as bait while the Tower is under attack from within, as everyone is already in danger.

Wotman @48

Shaidar Haran, as the corporeal representative of the dark one, needs no other title. Nae'blis is a trophy being held out to the forsaken, the proverbial carrot, to incentivize their actions. That is low rent to Super-Fade.
Jay Dauro
52. J.Dauro

I believe all we hear of their origins is in this chapter. And it's not much.
“They have long been known to me,” Moridin said softly, still studying the book. “But not to many others, not even the Chosen. The women and men who spoke these were isolated and held alone. "
Towers of Midnight - 5

They are quoted again in the Epilogue, and mentioned by Verin earlier
"We know little of prophecies from the Shadow, Mother.”
The Amyrlin hesitated only a moment before nodding. Prophecies from the Shadow, dark prophecies, had an unfortunate way of being fulfilled as well as prophecies from the Light.
The Great Hunt - 7

Someone else may know of another mention.
Jay Dauro
53. J.Dauro
RobMRobM @46

Yes, I think you crazy.
“The Amyrlin Seat being valued with the White Tower itself, as the very heart of the White Tower, she must not be endangered without dire necessity, therefore unless the White Tower be at war by declaration of the Hall of the Tower, the Amyrlin Seat shall seek the lesser consensus of the Hall of the Tower before deliberately placing herself in the way of any danger, and she shall abide by the consensus that stands.”
A Crown of Swords - 9

However, we cannot say for sure that she did not get the lesser consensus. I'm sure both Romanda and Lelaine would stand for it. ;^)
Rob Munnelly
54. RobMRobM
Yeah, I be crazy, I say only somewhat sheepishly.
55. Mndrew
I was a bit disappointed when the big reunion happened between Gawyn and Byrne in that Byrne didn't spit in his eye and call him "Oathbreaker".
Someone needs to do this; perhaps Elayne or one of her sister-wives. Perhaps both of her sister-wives should pull him aside just before the big reunion and heap all the scorn upon him that the boards have been piling up for so many years now.
Pat .
57. dolphineus
Gawyn is frustrating. But I can understand why he is that way.
He is probably the most ignorant of any of the characters in the books. Granted, there is a general lack of info sharing all over the place, but Gawyn really doesn't know anything about what has been going on.

He was stuck in Tar Valon having just killed his mentor. Everyone he knew and who he trusted is gone. The woman he just helped secure power keeps trying to kill him.

Seanchan? Rumors.
Black Tower? Rumors.
Cooramoor? Whats that?
Car'a'carn? Who?
Rumors that Rand killed Morgase? Sure he believes them, he has not heard one credible piece of evidence/rumor/story to the contrary. The most he's gotten to disprove it is basically his sister saying "no way dude" but he doesn't believe her because he knows she has the hots for Rand.
So he's stuck. He doesn't know Elayne is even in Andor let alone that she is almost queen. Or pregnant. Or has a woman warder. Or an Aiel for a sister.
Last time he saw or heard from Egwene she was an Accepted and an Apprentice. Does he even know that Galad is a Whitecloak? That Gareth Byrne was sent out to pasture?
Does he know the Seanchan control everything from Falme to Ebou Dar? What does he know about the Forsaken? Black Ajah? Sure,they exist, but does he know anything?
He really is completely ignorant of everything that has happened in the last six books or so.

Then you look at who he is. Who he was raised to be. Top flight noble education. Taught weapons and tactics by Gareth Byrne. Raised in the palace by Morgase. The guy was brought up to be the one of the most powerful men in his country. To command armies. And he does it well. Everything he was trained to do, he does well. Almost effortlessly well.

He is trapped. And he knows it. He lacks information and has no way of changing the status quo. Then his world is turned upside down, and he finds out that Egwene is Amyrlin and is a prisoner of the woman he helped put on the throne.

He's pretty much an ass in this book and is frustrating as hell to read. But I can't really hold it against him
Jay Dauro
58. J.Dauro

Yes most of what you say is true. Of lots of folks in the story. How many of the AS believe in the Seanchen?

And as you say, he has not heard one credible piece of evidence/rumor/story that shows Rand did kill her. Either.

However, Gawyn is told by Egwene that Rand did not do it, that she was with Rand when the news of Morgase's death came to him, before he went to Andor. While I do not necessarily mean he should believe her without looking into it himself, he should at least show some doubt. Instead he believes rumors from people he doesn't know, and who do not know Rand.

I also understand a bit of why. When something bad happens, many people want to blame someone. It's a whole lot easier to blame someone specific.
@57 A little about what you got there isn't wholly acurate, but for the most part your dead on it. Cheers!

William Fettes
60. Wolfmage

True. Obviously we must accept that he hasn't been presented with proof and nor has he even been subject to sustained and comprehensive persuasion outside of Egwene's partial effort. So there's that.

But the problem with that is that he has already shifted the onus of proof based on mere rumours, and he ends up obstinately demanding that a negative be proved before he will soften his position.

Now, presumably he doesn't put credence on everything he hears on the street, so I agree with J.Dauro@58 that it's most likely driven by an emotional need to blame something less fantastical than the forsaken (perhaps combined with his mixed feelings about Rand). That is human and understandable, I guess, but also not a logical, mature and educated response. We see at various points, people ranging from Galad, to Morgase to others - parse rumours and uncertainty with far more care than Gawyn does. The kid has his heart in the right place, no doubt. But I don't accept the rumours are good reason for his mistaken belief, nor for his obstinacy in refusing to reconsider the balance of probability in light of alternative explanations. Indeed, it says something about his personality flaws - flaws that make him a good match for Egwene who is equally obstinate - although she is usually much more careful and considered before staking out her position.
Steve Barkmeier
61. sbark
I think that the M&Ms (multiple Matrims) in the vision will end up being connected to the terangreal that alters chance.

I generally like Egwene but find her incredibly annoying in this chapter. She just doesn't take into account that she needs to pay attention to information that is contrary to her assumption. It's one thing to be wrong. It's another to be willfully ignorant.
62. Karan
Ok, someone want to humor me and tell me what Star Wars joke we're missing out on here?
Craig Jarvis
63. hawkido
@62 karan

Obi Wan told Luke that Vader killed his father...
Vader was Luke's father...
Byar told Dain that Perrin killed his father...
So, Perrin is Dain Bornhold's father...

Benjamin Moldovan
64. benpmoldovan
Re Graendal's "habit". The whole Mesaana thing hadn't happened yet, whoever mentioned that. I would have to guess he meant Sammael. She WAS manipulating him, after all. The only other candidate I can think of would be maybe Lanfear or Rahvin, and those would be a much bigger stretch than Sammael.

62. I presume it's the whole "you killed my father!" thing, in SW, Luke to Vader, which is particularly ironic in that case.

Benjamin Moldovan
65. benpmoldovan
Leigh, re Gawyn: whoa, time out. I haven't been a huge fan of his lately either, but IMHO, you're letting your dislike so contol your opinion of what he's been doing that you're WAY too hard on the guy here.

Gawyn has his fair share of faults, and things to criticize, but honestly, I just can't see him not wanting Chubain's job because he's above it. His main concern is Egwene, to a fault. He was just surprised that the dude thought he wanted his job. It was the furthest thing from his mind. If only all his problems were as easy to solve as mitigating Chubain's hostility.

And there's not a scrap anywhere in there to give the slightest implication that Gawyn's suggestion that all AS should have warders had any other basis whatsoever than exactly what he said. I dunno, maybe subconsciously there might be a smidgeon there, but I don't think there's any conscious intention of that selfish manipulation. Seriously, we've all been so annoyed at him, and rightly so. He's got a lot to figure out, but deep down, he's not nearly the bad guy some people have got into their heads. Come on people, give the guy a break.

His biggest fault to me is his stubbornness about Rand, and he's even starting to let that go, to the point where he wouldn't go after him before the last battle, and eventually he lets it go pretty much altogether.
Craig Jarvis
66. hawkido
Someone should write Mars corp and suggest that for Jan 8 2013 they produce a bag of M&Ms for the Aes Sedai ajah colors.

White, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Grey, Brown, and BLACK!

The Red ones would have dark chocolate in them, cause they are bitter.

@51 Freelancer paragraph 4

Please go back and re-read all the chapters where the Aes Sedai "brag" about their political accomplishments, kings/queens removed/hung/imprisoned, rivals to the leaders the WT wants assassimated. Siuan's own admission to Bryne the disasterous kingdom building in Murandy, and she was ONE of the BEST Amrylin's the WT ever had.

AAAANNNDD.... Male channelers... I shall quote your words:
"That last point by itself is enough to destroy any attempt to consider the two groups equivalent different in the least, in my mind." -- I fixed it for you.

The AS concidered ALL Male channelers as evil even those who came to them to be gentled, there has not been a one of them not brutally handled by the white tower, save PERHAPS the ones that Cads claims she helped, and the manner in which she "helped" them can be seen with a reasonable amount of dubiousness.

Really how many of them ever expressed ANY sympathy for them... not counting those who grew up or are in love with Rand...

How many ever tried to help them? Heal them? Stave off madness? Cleanse the male half?

Ah the white tower histories saw they did... but those histories are full of lies even after the Oath rod was put into use, and remember that the oath rod was not used for like 600 year AFTER the breaking... How many of those statements were out right lies... Malkier, the histories say the WT wouldn't help them, LIE, They just got there too late, and thought it would make the WT look better if they say they never tried.

Same with the male channelers, they lied and said they tried. When was the last time before Rand and the Asha'man had they tried linking with a male channeler?

Hell they could have had a way to heal severing all this time... plus not had the ability bred out of them. Just think... alittle something in the wine, and many of the men would have willingly self terminated when the madness started to make them teeter, and the other males would have helped hunt the rogues/wilders.

Different note, how did the seanchan handle Male channelers? they couldn't form a circle, but then again their damane were age handicapped by the oath rod, so perhaps 300 years of more channeling experience would make a big difference, plus the social stigma of channeling in their society would probably make most males self terminate, and the sheer numbers of damane wcould over run the males... since they "found every girl with the spark."

I guess i could find that a satisfactory explanation.
Benjamin Moldovan
67. benpmoldovan
Ok, what the heckfire happened to my edit? I was going to say that I was a bit premature in saying Gawyn was starting to let go re: Rand. But he does eventually in this book, and I thought that somewhere, even before that, in this book or TGS, he at least had got to the point where he wouldn't have gone after Rand and got in the way of the DO being defeated at TLB.

Craig Jarvis
68. hawkido
@67 benpmoldovan

When Gawyn goes and sees his sister, she convinces him he is jealous of Rand, that is when he gives up on Randacide. End of the Book he sees his Mother... nothing further, but that is when he MUST know that he has been wrong about Rand the whole time. If he doesn't after that... then I am going to be dissapointed if he doesn't bite it in tLB.
Alice Arneson
69. Wetlandernw
hawkido @ 66 - I like the M&Ms idea. As to the rest, it's my turn to say "WHOA! Just a minute!"

Cadsuane never claimed anything about the men she took to the Tower - it's documented fact that they lived longer and better lives than any other men who were gentled. Remember that manor house where Rand & co. holed up after the debacle with Semirhage? Lord Algarin is forever grateful to Cadsuane for saving his brother's life and giving him many more years of enjoyable life after he started channeling. So much so, in fact, that once he knows the taint is cleansed, he asks to be tested and then goes to the BT - we see him there, later, using his brother's name of Emarin.

As for considering men who could channel "evil" - well, maybe some of the Reds do, although clearly not all of them. As a rule, they aren't considered evil, just dangerous. They will go mad, and they will die a painful death. 3000 years of evidence, there. Even so, those men aren't accused of being Darkfriends, they aren't "put to the Question," they aren't executed on flimsy excuses (except for when the BA went on a rampage after the Aiel War). They are brought to the Tower to be gentled so that they don't go mad, destroy everyone around them, and die of the rot.

Much as you might like to pretend that if the women had just tried harder, maybe they could have found a cure... they couldn't. The taint was there, and would affect any man who touched saidin. Until Rand Cleansed it, even Nynaeve's Healing wouldn't have provided a lasting cure; she'd have to do it over and over as long as the man continued to handle saidin. It's possible that if someone had discovered that technique before, most of the men could have lived better after being gentled, but Nynaeve is unique.
Birgit F
70. birgit
Galad doesn’t believe this for a moment, especially when Gill refuses to sell any of his wares

Gill does offer to sell his wares, he only refuses to sell food.

The sheep and wolves thing, I’m… well, I’m sort of assuming that has something to do with Graendal’s trap and Perrin’s army and the Whitecloaks getting all tangled in it, but I’m having real issues with the idea that you can legitimately refer to Whitecloaks as “sheep,” so maybe there’s something else I’m forgetting that this could refer to.

Later Perrin realizes that his people are the sheep and he got it wrong because he identified with the wolves. The Whitecloaks just happened to get in the way of Graendal's trap.

Of course, Elayne has indicated that even the AS approach annoyed Morgase at times, but that relationship was light-years more friendly and productive than the way the whitecloaks get on with local rulers.

Morgase was trained in the White Tower. Of course she has a more positive attitude about AS than about Whitecloaks who hunt channelers. She is a channeler herself, even if she is so weak she can hardly use it.
71. Drongolord
Setting: Field of Merrilor

Dramatis Personae: Morgase, Rand, Perrin, Egwene, Elayne, Galad, Gawyn

Gawyn to Morgase: "Why did Rand kill you, Mother?"
Tricia Irish
72. Tektonica

I like your idea about Rand creating peace and consensus by refusing to go to Shayol Ghul without everyone buying in. By choosing to survive in whatever world remains, and joining in the fight, Rand would finally get the cooperation he needs, from all the countries/govts., and the Aes Sedai. If he gets the Aiel on board too, Avi's bad vision might be thwarted.

I'd never considered him refusing to go, but it's a great bargaining chip.
Douglas Miller
73. douglas
@43 mutantalbinocrocodile
When Rand goes to Rhuidean in book 4 and sees the Aiel history, one of the scenes shows a group of Aes Sedai frantically making plans. Callandor is there and they say something (I don't remember exactly what) about how important it is, the Green Man is there and they mention they have a task (guarding the Eye of the World) for him, they talk about a group of young male channelers that they'll have to trust despite the taint (presumably the group that helped them make the wards around Callandor and made the pool of Saidin at the EotW), and a number of other major things come up in that conversation.

One of the things they talk about is how one particular Aes Sedai among the ones there has been making a lot of incredibly important Foretellings, and they gripe about how she can't tell them when any of her Foretellings will come to pass. I'm pretty sure the Prophecies of the Dragon are simply a collection of her Foretellings written down.
john mullen
74. johntheirishmongol
Gawyn is still annoying. In fact, other than the first time we met him, he really has been nothing but annoying. But sometimes Egwene is just as stubborn and annoying. Thats pretty much the case here.

As for Perrin, get on with making yourself a new weapon already and get your head straight!
75. Freelancer
benpmoldovan @64

When Moridin referred to Graendal's "habit", there was no specification that three forsaken had suffered because of her; at that point, it was only two, and Moridin was warning her that it might be interpreted that she was setting up her fellow forsaken. Later, when visited by Shaidar Haran, it was directly stated that she caused the loss of three of the Chosen. That was after Mesanna's fight with Egwene.

hawkido @66

No. The Aes Sedai don't consider all male channelers to be evil. Reds get closest to the Whitecloak zeal in such a regard, but as an organization they consider male channelers to be exactly what they are; diseased and insane or soon to become insane. They know, and history backs them up, that such men are dangerous to themselves and others, and must be dealth with. Not tortured, not accused of being darkfriends, and not needlessly slaughtered. And if, by "brutally handled" you mean gentled, there is not an equivalence between the two. The Tower didn't offer any "after-care" to men they gentled (see Owyn), but they believed, from experience with stilled sisters, that there was little that could be done, and before the Cleansing, they were right. That is absolutely not intentionally brutal. At worst it is ignorant, and there is no group in this story who isn't guilty of that charge.

You mention Siuan's involvement in Murandy. The extent of that was telling the Andoran army not to get involved. Yes, meddlesome indeed, and politically intrusive, but the upshot was that she pressed for INACTION which, as it turned out, was fruitless, because the noble being set up to take the Murandian throne was killed by a farmer during a raid.

Now, back to male channelers, there was a band of outlaw Reds, acting illegally and without the sanction of the Tower (and under the influence of the Black), who brutalized men, and those who were discovered were punished. In equivalence, there is no mention of Whitecloaks being punished by their order for overzealous behavior.

Please do not "fix" my words and then call it a quote.

You are welcome to continue viewing the Tower as being equally bad with the Children of the Light, but you are wasting energy with mis-stated and overstated attempts to persuade me of the same.

ETA: ::squint:: ::mumble:: I really need to watch for a Wetlandernw response before I spend time making the same comments...
77. Looking Glass
Freelancer @51: On Gawyn: Gawyn doesn’t get criticism for being A Bad Person. He gets criticized for occasional arrogance and hypocrisy, and for leaping to conclusions based on zero evidence and then sticking by them as evidence to the contrary piles up.

I mean, this is someone who straight-up decided to murder the only possible savior of the world based on a random rumor he heard, despite the fact that basically everyone he supposedly trusts has told him it’s totally full of crap.

And for extra frustration points, he tends to think “oh, mustn’t do , that would be wrong/ irresponsible/ etc” even as he’s doing it.

just don't understand they're walking blindly into danger" reflex common in WoT. But given that he grew up with Elayne, she who has launched a thousand headdesks exactly that way, I find I can't give him too much crap for that.]

I don't hate the guy- for one thing, I tend to think his initial siding with Elaida was reasonable, if not actually reasoned- but there's a lot of legitimate criticism that can be aimed his way. He does get better. Veeeerrrry slowly.


On the Tower and the Whitecloaks:
“the White Tower as a whole would never have endorsed nor approved ”

What gives you that idea? The Tower’s history is full of sketchy stuff like this, since long before Elaida’s tenure.

Rand’s kidnapping was a huge debacle primarily because of the way it ended (and, to a lesser extent, the torture); no one seems especially outraged by the Stepaneos kidnapping. And it was a multi-ajah team that grabbed and boxed Rand; some of them may not have liked it, but everyone in the embassy went with it. For that matter, there’s a good possibility that even the Salidar rebels would have gone back to Elaida despite everything, if Siuan and Egwene hadn’t maneuvered them away from that option- in Siuan’s case with outright fabrications.

And no, Elaida isn’t the ideal of Aes Sedai leadership. Nor are Valda or Asunawa the ideal of whitecloak leadership. Heck, the whitecloaks removed and executed Asunawa (and Valda too, sort of) themselves, specifically for morally outrageous behavior, which is more than can be said of the Tower and Elaida.

I’m not claiming the whitecloaks haven’t behaved worse, in general, than the tower. They have. But they have a lot in common with the tower, enough to make meaningful comparisons. They’re both wholly autonomous international organizations with their own ideological agendas, covert operations, and significant military force (above and beyond the tower troops, the AS are themselves significant military assets, even if they try to pretend otherwise). Both groups have badly abused their power on occasion. The whitecloaks have definitely been more prone to those abuses; that is exactly what Galad is trying to reform, in terms of how they relate both to individual people and to national governments.

Hawkido @66: IIRC, the Seanchan test near-100% of their population for at least the spark, so they shouldn’t get nearly the number of wilder guys running rampant. And even above and beyond the lack of an Oath, their male channeler laws seem more shoot-on-sight than “drag them back for a trial”. With that much freedom to act, even a well-trained mundane force could pose a pretty serious threat to an untrained channeler.

For that matter, Mat and Ituralde have demonstrated very thoroughly that the side with the most Power doesn't always win.

Birgit @70: “Morgase was trained in the White Tower. Of course she has a more positive attitude about AS than about Whitecloaks who hunt channelers. She is a channeler herself, even if she is so weak she can hardly use it.”

Morgase’s channeling does make her an atypical example, but historically Andor got on relatively well with the (just-as-autonomous-as-the-whitecloaks) tower even before they had a channeler on the throne.

Nobody sends their heirs to the whitecloaks to be trained, mainly because the whitecloaks routinely act like bullying dicks . That’s pretty much exactly Galad’s point, though.
@60 Wolfmage

I don't know, somebody murders my Mother, they'd may make it a week. If more than one person tells me a person has killed my Mother.... That dude better run and hide and live as long as it takes for me to find you. Because thats all the time you'll ever have for the rest of your life.

So for me at least, Gawyn hasn't done enough. And I wouldn't believe Egwene or Elayne either. One is his boyfriend girlfriend, the other used to be his boyfriend girlfriend. And neither of them can prove that Rand didn't do it. They can only say they think he didn't because they know him.

EDIT- But looking in our reality how many times has that panned out! people think they know somebody all the time, even love them and live with them, Marry them even. End they end up beaten, abused, betrayed or dead. And then everyone is like, " Ohhhh, I just can't believe it!" But there is always that someone who says there something wrong with that guy. And they were right. This his mother everyone. You can't just say, " Oh, Rand wouldn't do that... let it go already! I've known him since he was boy!" and expect them to! They have to prove it. And they haven't even tried. Neither has he, but that is another issue.

Right now, there is only one suspect in this murder investigation. And as far as Gawyn is concerned, all the evidence points at Rand.

I think we as the humble readers forget that we are privy to information that our antagonists are not. So while we roll our eyes yelling, " figure it out already ", Gawyn is mourning his murdered mother. Murdered. Its not his fault he doesn't know. Perrin didn't know until recently either and she's been serving him for how long?

We're all lucky, because if it were my Mother, Rand would already be dead.

Edit- What would you do if someone told you someone you know murdered your Mother and he's no where to be found and there is no evidence to say he didn't?

Alice Arneson
79. Wetlandernw
Z - Umm... wouldn't that be "girlfriend" instead of "boyfriend"? My mental images are going all weird here.
63. hawkido

That was lame, yo! It should have gone like this...

Dain, "You killed my Father!!!"
Perrin, "Mwahahahahahaaaah! Is that what Fain told you? Dain.... I... ....am your Father!
Dain, " Noooooo! Thats impossible!"
Perrin, "Mwahahahahaaaah! You know it to be true! I feeeeeel you sensing it within youuuu!"
Dain, "No no no nooo!"
Perrin, "Yeeessssss, myyy prrrecioussssss!"
Dain, "NOOOOOOOoooooooooo!
Perrin, "MWAAHAHAH, MWAAHAHAH, MWAAAAAAAAHahahahahaaaaaaaah!

das howis done!

75. Freelancer

I thought the "habit" had something to do with balefire. Thats what I got from it.

Alice Arneson
83. Wetlandernw
Oh, yeah. One other point about WT vs. WC: When a male channeler starts going wacko, people want the WT to get involved, and the faster the better. I don't recall any time when anyone actually wanted the WC to get involved, except possibly in the Aiel War. Maybe Galad can change that enough that they will be welcomed in the Last Battle - if people like Byar and Bornhald can be kept from destroying their own teammates.
Craig Jarvis
84. hawkido

I'm not bagging on you, I just see your view-point as narrow in this subject. As others have pointed out about the views of Gawyn. You are an astute and intelligent poster, and you got me thinking...

"Nyneve is unique"

An Asha’man discovered the healing of severing without any info from Nyneve. An Asha’man discovered the 5 powers healing without any info from Nyneve, Unique indeed. There is an Asha’man just like her, and he hasn't had more than a dozen lines in the whole book series.

Nyneve's compassion and fortitude make her unique, not her power, which she is outstripped by Alivia and that Kinswoman. The only unique thing Nyneve has re-discovered is actually looking and seeing the maladies of the mind, and removing compulsion and madness, both wew done in the AoL. She is credited with co-discovering Sever healing and 5-power healing.

The WT held the view that all men who touched Saidin should be put to death for the betterment of all. Oops, the WT doesn’t kill men who can channel, do they? That’s right they strip them of their power and condemn them to walk around with a guard close by their side for the rest of their life. Wow! How they cry like little girls when another group of people, who had an even worse experience with WOMEN who could channel (and called themselves Aes Sedai) ruling through force, fear, and devious power tricks of the mind for millennia; finally managed to control them with a leash. Not insane men, but perfectly sane long-living women! And the women didn’t have the excuse of being MAD, and didn’t have the eventuality of rotting to death within 15 years, so the women could live for half a millennia or more; for more torturing, enslaving, and using the people as pawns in their wars with each other. And now the Seanchan are sweeping the earth making sure they get them all, like Poke’mon.

As to the Seanchan and what they do to female channelers, taking away their power and setting someone to guard them for the rest of their lives… because “They know, and history backs them up, that such men women are dangerous to themselves and others, and must be dealt with.” -I fixed it for you… again… Sorry

“AHHH Boo Hoo, we are being treated just as we have treated others!!! It isn't fair!” - says the Aes Sedai who is now stripped of power and has a guard holding her leash for the rest of her life.

I can hear someone saying “yes, but with the women, it is worse 'cause they will live longer!” And the argument against is “The AS had a choice; the men did not, they were insane”

Have you noticed that most all of the chapters where the WT talks about men who could channel were sandwiched with Seanchan pertaining chapters? Sometimes even in the same paragraph... I see what you did there Jordan! The hypocrisy you were outlining. Because, other than the slavery thing (mostly damane and criminals), the Seanchan are portrayed as a very happy, safe, and productive people. How many Seanchan Dark Friends have we seen? Suroth and the small group she has around herself (a sul’dam or two)… have we seen many more? Any more? A forsaken in hiding, and even she mentions that there are VERY few DFs in Seanchan territory, maybe that was Suroth, I will have to look that up.

Why did Jordan name the Aes Sedai “Servant of All” The only way you can be a “servant of all” is to be lower than anyone else in social rank. That would mean slave… So how do the current AS (On par with Kings and Queens, in their minds), whom if you called them a servant they would consider it a verbal assault (against a King or Queen), go from where they are now to be where they will be during the next age as servants. The Raven Empire commeth… Until there is a way to control the Men, they will just be exterminated. And the AS will be treated as the AS treated the male channelers, stripped of power and guarded for the rest of their lives…

The circle, it waxes full...
Stefan Mitev
85. Bergmaniac
"How they cry like little girls when another group of people, who had an even worse experience with WOMEN who could channel (and called themselves Aes Sedai) ruling through force, fear, and devious power tricks of the mind for millennia"
The channellers in Seanchan can't be compared to the male channellers who literally destroyed most of the world during the Breaking. The Seanchan channellers who became Queens weren't any worse morally than any other ambitious monarch, they just lived longer.

"The hypocrisy you were outlining. Because, other than the slavery thing (mostly damane and criminals), the Seanchan are portrayed as a very happy, safe, and productive people."
Real happy, sure. Slavery, secret police, nobody daring to utter a word against the the ruling class...all signs of happy population.

"That’s right they strip them of their power and condemn them to walk around with a guard close by their side for the rest of their life. "
I think that's just for false dragons like Logain to prevent their supporters rising up again in rebellion. And let's be honest, Logain committed more than enough crimes to deserve much worse than just being kept a prisoner in the Tower.
Craig Jarvis
86. hawkido
@85 Bergmaniac

I think the Big Book of WoT has a better and more clear history of just what Lothair encounter when his ships beached on the Seanchan continent. It was horrible, compulsion was an everyday utinsil for those AS. They were pretty much forsaken-lite, all the evil, half the Powerleries. Just without the DO link.

Look when you live that long with that much power you begin to get bored, Look at what Semi was doing... she was a long lived healer, she got bored and started making healing "interesting", for her own benefit, not her patients. Semi was only a few hundred years old. how much worse would she be in a few hundred more.

An argument against would be "but not all of them were that way", and the counter argument would be "how well would a 'good guy' AS fare against an AS with no moral scruples to get in their way?"

Cooperation is more of a 'good guy' tactic, and the big book states that Seandar was divided up into little micro factions of AS fighting and killing each other for control of the continent, using the poeple as pawns and slaves. From this I infer the Seanchan continent was not ruled by a majority of 'good guys'. Lothair didn't bring slavery to the Seanchan... the AS did.

(Ewe^2), So, Reap, What?
Craig Jarvis
87. hawkido
Also Berg... the path on High is paved with daggers... the lower path is paved with bouncie castles.

The secret police were mainly looking for assassination plots againt the Empress/Emperor (whichever it may be at the time). Slavery couldn't just be dished out willy-nilly there had to be a crime committed and the lowly did not operate in the circles where such a crime was possible. If you didn't play in the ruling class circles then you didn't face the ruling class punishments.

And as there are no representative democracies or republics in WoT, it probably isn't safe to speak out against any of the ruling class in any of the countries...
88. Looking Glass
Zexxes @78: If you heard a rumor that your sister’s boyfriend had murdered your mother, you’d really just whack him, no questions asked? Despite the people you trust most all telling you that was complete nonsense?

Even if a remotely cursory investigation could have told you your mom hadn’t been seen in weeks, from long before he showed up in the country? If asking a single person who’d been anywhere near your mom could have told you that her boyfriend had been cheating on her and palling around with her worst enemies?

Figuring out that his mother is actually alive would indeed have required some pretty spectacular detective skills. Figuring out that Rand hadn’t done it would have required (a) going home, and (b) possibly as many as five minutes of asking questions.

something resembling due diligence to make sure you've got the right guy. Especially if everyone you know is saying that you don't.]
Craig Jarvis
89. hawkido
@88 remember he can't travel and camelyn is still about a weeks travel... that would take a month he didn't have...
Stefan Mitev
90. Bergmaniac
"I think the Big Book of WoT has a better and more clear history of just what Lothair encounter when his ships beached on the Seanchan continent. It was horrible, compulsion was an everyday utinsil for those AS. They were pretty much forsaken-lite, all the evil, half the Powerleries. Just without the DO link."

My memories of the Guide were different. I checked it, and it doesn't mention the Aes Sedai in Seanchan using Compulsion at all, nor that they were clearly evil or Forsaken lite. They were ambitious, and didn't care about honor much, but so was the rest of the population of the continent. There were constant wars, but that's often the case when there are many countries on one continent and no dominant power.

And let's not forget the Guide is not supposed to be 100% objective and this info is probably at least somewhat influenced by the perspective of the Seanchan Empire whose propaganda likely exaggerated how bad things were before Luthair came.
Charles Gaston
91. parrothead
Also, yes there ARE republics. In addition to elected monarchies like Arad Doman and constitutional monarchies with division of powers like Illian (based on the historical Venetian republic), Far Madding is definitely a republic, albeit a very bad one. Then you have the Two Rivers, a de facto commonwealth. Even Tear was an aristocratic republic in the sense that there was no single ruler and certain laws were considered immutable.
Alice Arneson
92. Wetlandernw
hawkido @84 - are you really sure you want to go there? You are about to be buried in a wall of text...
93. Looking Glass
hawkido@86: Semirhage made The Age's Most Evil list.... and creeps out the other people on it. Using her as the baseline for how most channelers would behave is loading the dice just a bit. Most AoL AS lived that long and made it their entire lives without committing even one horrific atrocity.

It appears you’re suggesting that terrible crimes commited by some members of a particular minority justify terrible crimes committed against every member of that minority?

@87: IIRC, lower-class Seanchan get such wonderful social perks as brutal punishment for daring to look at their betters. Or, if you're a slave, killing yourself when your master dies. I don't actually recall any indication that Seanchan commoners have any less chance of Horrible Consequences for any real or imagined transgression against their social betters.

@89: He’ll commit to skewering the world’s only hope of salvation, but can’t be bothered to take a couple weeks to make sure he’s actually murdering the right guy?

He had the time. Perhaps not between hearing the news and Egwene telling him that was BS so he should hold off, but certainly after Dumai’s Wells. It’s been like half a year since then, and it’s not like he can go two scenes without bringing up how he should be back in Caemlyn anyway.
94. MasterAlThor
Freelancer, Wetlander et al...

The WT/WC comparisions were only meant to be curisory glances. Most obiviously if you look deeper their is really no comparision.

I just was trying to point out where they are similar. And they are where I pointed it out. Intimidation is part an parcel for AS and WC. It is different in how they use it.

Neither answers to any Sovereign ruler. Both are interested in the affairs of the world.

Yes the WC push everyone around and try to do mean horrible things to you if you don't play nice with them.

I am reasonably sure that the WT's secret histories are secret for a reason. It is chockfull of AS doing very bad things. Kidnapping isn't even the worst of it.

95. Cassie001
"Mat stood there. He was fighting against himself, a dozen different men wearing his face, all dressed in different types of fine clothing. Mat spun his spear, and never saw the shadowy figure creeping behind him, bearing a bloody knife."

My first thought on this, was it was symbolizing Mat fighting the memories he received in the door. He hasn't completely rejected them, but he has been trying to keep them separate from his own. Doing so might cause him some danger.

But on my second read through, I'm not too sure anymore. It might just be symbolizing something that hasn't happened yet.
88. Looking Glass

I see what your doing! Your taking my extereme to another extreme. Me done that too!

But your missing my point. It only seems ridiculous for us to believe that Rand is the killer because we know he's not. We know the circumstances behind how he's not and we also know in fact that, as far as it concerns Morgase, there isn't a killer at all. We know the circumstances behind the confusion of how one could believe that Rand is the killer, even though most of us continually ignore the sequence of events that leads anyone to believe that Rand killed Morgase.

Here we have Gaebril/Rahvin having compelled Morgase. It is becoming quite apparent to everyone that she is more than just a little besotted with him. So much so that its become downright disgusting. She realizes that something awful is going on and endeavors to leave Andor, seeing no other choice. I can't remember the details exactly, but she either knows that Gaebril is a Forsaken or suspects something of that equivilant.

Mat of course knows of Rahvin and has seen him and even tries to warn Morgase. But we know how that turned out.

Then there is Rand showing up out of the blue, having been seen within the palace on the same day that Gaebril disappears. Well no one has seen the Queen for awhile and now Gaebril is gone. Hmmmm. I wonder what happened to them? They must of been killed! No! Assassinated! By who? It was the Dragon? Was he here? Sure he was... I seen him with me own eyes! And not just me either....

And it goes on and on until it reaches Gawyn's ears. So you have a Rumor that is strong enough to reach hundreds of miles away. Then quite of bit time later, during which you fume and mourn and then seethe, you have it told to you that Rand wouldn't do that. Well, he could have? He was there. He has the power to do so. There isn't anything contrary to it other than his sister who is in love with him saying he didn't do it because... well... he just wouldn't, and the person he loves, saying the same thing. Neither of them have proof that he didn't do it. And they don't know who did? They can't even confirm that Morgase is in fact dead or alive. They only know of the rumor and refuse to believe it, because of the knowledge of whom the accused is. Would that be enough for you? All they are, are character witnesses. But that doesn't mean he didn't do it?

No one knows about Gaebril/Rahvin except Rand and whomever he's told. None of whom have bothered to tell Gawyn what actually happened.

So he has the belief of a nation vs. his girlfriend and his sister, who don't actually know for sure.

We have Rand who has done this and that throughout the world. He's capable of it. He was there. Morgase and Gaebril are missing. There are witnesses seeing Rand fighting Gaebril.

What would you believe? Given only what information Gawyn has, what would you believe?

97. alreadymadwithbigbook
That's.... disturbing.

hawkido @86
That Big Book is mostly propaganda by Lothair and his descendants. Lothair brought slavery by way of the a'dam. That much we know. Yet if slavery was frowned upon then, and I know it was in Hawkwing's time, why has his descendants perpetuated it? I have my own theory as to what Lothair found.

Master AlThor @94
Plausible deniability. That's what the secret histories are for. For an organization that is unable to tell outright lies, this is the only way they have to sugarcoat things with a straight face.

On the shoutouts:
We've seen the dearly departed Kateri Nepveu. We will soon see the very much alive Denezel, the innkeeper in Caemlyn. I'm just waiting for Leigh Butler to show up.
Craig Jarvis
98. hawkido
@90 Bergmaniac
Lets make sure we don't take complete conjecture, over somewhat questionable information... Given the regular occurance of forms of compulsion as one of the first weaves 3 most common weaves sparkers exhibit (Verin as source), you are telling me that AS rulers that are "ambitious, and didn't care about honor much" would NOT use this weave? I realize that you weren't putting that together... and people point out alot of things I hadn't thought about, so everyone gets a free pass everyday on the WoT re-read... but not always without a poke in the ribs :).

@91 parrothead
Look up republic... It doesn't mean what you think it means.
In a republic the Law is the final authority, not the leader, nor those who make the laws. That is why there is no Monarchial Republic... In the UK the Monarch has no role in the government, or no more role than any other respected (maybe) public figure.

@92 Wetlandernw
Are you saying I shouldn't go there because the things I have stated are completely wrong and baseless? Or should I not say things that do have merit and haven't been said out of fear of some backlash. Or because it looks like I am bagging on a very popular character of late (of whom I AM a huge fan from about the time she got married to date).
The first, one please do tell, I want to know what supported observations you have... maybe I have missed something.
The second, well that is the excuse the silent supports of evil always use. "Don't want to make waves..."
The third, I am not bagging on her. She is great and special, but it is not what she does that makes her special... it is why she does them... Remember that Semi could do all of the things Nyneve could do other than the sever healing... and how Great is she?

@93 Looking Glass
You are overlooking that ther WAS an entire continent of channelers, that did what ever it took to secure power and make sure only the strongest survives (that is still part of the Seanchan ruling class lifestyle) and that is EXACTLY how the Forsaken are described.
The entire age of legends was utopian except for the last 20 years... conflict and struggle left little room for want and verticle advancement was purely merit based with room for all... Few things there COULD spark a conflict, until the hole was bored into the DO prison. Semi was the BEST they could come up with in a utopian society. What about a society that is constantly in a greuling war, filled with desperate rulers grinding out a millenia long battle of attrition... don't you think they could come up with something alittle more evil, maybe not OP strong, and knowledge rich, but definately something you would not want to get crosswise of.
And when everyone is superman then noone is, but just because there is a continent of supermen that fight and hate in a conflict that was as intense as the War of 100 years (micro-countries emerging from the fallen Hawkwing empire) if not worse as the OP was openly used as a weapon. That doesn't mean that any more that a tiny minority of them are good people (which is my point) only points to the fact that the AS if left as their own masters are everybit as bad as the WC, only with much more room for baddy mcbadness as the WC's can't won't don't channel.
the TV AS used the oath rod as a form of self restraint, but it just made the AS more circumspect in their nefariousness (say that 3 times fast).

The only way the AS will every reach a level of trust and respect (much like the wise ones, who had up until recently been a fairly neutral force in the Aiel culture) is if they do not play in politics, morality, or warfare. Like they did in the AoL. AS only ruled AS, and supported the muggle population at the whim of the muggle government.
Craig Jarvis
99. hawkido
@97 alreadymadwithbeingwronginthefirstplace

Lothair recieved the adam from an AS in Seanchan who wanted to use Lothair as a tipping point to grab more power... to bad for her, Lothair was so disgusted and realized his father truly was right about the AS he slapped it on her neck and made her make more a'dam. Fufilling her plan but not for her benefit. and thus starting the end of the thousands of years long war on that continent that claimed untold millions of people's lives.

ribs + poke = you :)

The wars of consolidation took hundreds of years to complete, over the centuries the habits and customs of the various kingdoms seeped into the Hawkwing empire as it became the Seanchan empire. As you said Slavery was NOT part of the Hawkwing empire... then where did it come from? outer space? Remember where the christmas tree, the easter bunny, and halloween come from.
Rob Munnelly
100. RobMRobM
Time for some hunny? Edit - Yum

I never picked up on Perrin's Mat vision before. Multiple Mats - memories from old? Knife at back - gholam or some Foresaken plot we haven't seen yet?
Craig Jarvis
101. hawkido
@100 RobMRobM

Mat's knife wielder at his back... Mat said he was comming for the horn. There is still one blood knife at the tower still lurking with several days of good blood left.

also - foreskin plot? trying to be circumspect? or just keeping your plots under a hood? Chilling plot so you keep the turtleneck up? Dang can't think of anymore right now LOL

oh! Someone should tell those schmucks to cut it out and toss them away.
William Fettes
102. Wolfmage
“I don't know, somebody murders my Mother, they'd may make it a week. If more than one person tells me a person has killed my Mother.... That dude better run and hide and live as long as it takes for me to find you. Because thats all the time you'll ever have for the rest of your life.”
A few random people in a city far removed from the event giving hearsay, circumstantial evidence about an event that happened in Caemlyn (under assault at the time) is worth precisely nothing in establishing the point that Morgase was murdered by any specific person, let alone Rand.
“And neither of them can prove that Rand didn't do it. They can only say they think he didn't because they know him.”
Logically it is incoherent to ask them to prove Rand didn’t do something. You can’t prove a negative like that. At best his dark presumptions about Rand should translate to a frantic need to find anything that might substantiate the rumours precisely so he can act. Or, indeed, seeking out any other evidence related to alternative explanations and the balance of probabilities of what actually happened, that would nullify the rumours. But instead he hangs onto his first reaction to rumours like it's an iron-clad certainty that must be dislodged by the inquisition. It's ridiculous.
“EDIT- But looking in our reality how many times has that panned out! people think they know somebody all the time, even love them and live with them, Marry them even.”
Whatever the validity of that point, putting some trust in the judgement and knowledge of virtuous and credible people is certainly bound to work out far more often than going off half-cocked like a hot-blooded vigilante charged with emotion.

Just because it's logically possible that Rand is psycho-killer doesn't mean it's probable or nominally plausible. To positively believe something like that you need evidence not rumour. Gawyn shifts the burden of proof to Egwene and Elayne without ever having justified his position adequately.
“Right now, there is only one suspect in this murder investigation. And as far as Gawyn is concerned, all the evidence points at Rand.”
A suspect implies a minimal level of investigation, not just passively receiving rumours of bare circumstantial guilty and not applying any filter of doubt.

Contrast this eagerness to accept rumour with Morgase who lets Rand walk away from detention, despite Elaida’s strong protestations, because it goes against her convictions of justice to deny his liberty without evidence of a threat beyond reasonable doubt. She had Elaida in the room giving a Foretelling warning, not just random rumour, and she still lets him go because even such an ominous certainty about the future is not proof of present misconduct or threat.

Contrast this also with Galad who treats rumours about his mother sceptically. Contrast this with Balwer and Thom who are professionals at sifting through rumours and weighing them up according to variable probabilities. They don't accept rumours as a given, they look for patterns, confirmation from reliable sources and they present the information as contingent.

WoT features a lot of miscommunication, rumours and unreliable viewpoints, etc., but there are people who still use their brains in navigating such uncertainties, including most of Gawyn's relatives.
“I think we as the humble readers forget that we are privy to information that our antagonists are not. So while we roll our eyes yelling, " figure it out already ", Gawyn is mourning his murdered mother. Murdered. Its not his fault he doesn't know. Perrin didn't know until recently either and she's been serving him for how long?”
Using an emotive word like "murder' doesn’t strengthen his actions. If anything, the strength of his emotion should give him more pause precisely because he should know he cannot think reliably in such a situation. The whole point is that he hasn't conducted even minimal effort required to get an informed opinion on what might have happened. Strong emotion isn't a substitute for doing this.

Even this very chapter with Gawyn stands out like a sore thumb in contrast to Gawyn's strange passivity about Morgase's death. Here he and Sleete investigate a crime scene, looking at fibers and wounds like it's CSI, and end up scrutinising the presumptions of the Aes Sedai and Egwene about the deaths. Such presumptions were far more solid than anything he hears about Morgase, but he's perfectly capable of looking at them objectively. So we know Gawyn is capable of applying his brain in the right situation.
Rob Munnelly
103. RobMRobM
@101. Interesting thought. Do we know there is one left? I haven't done the math.

Foreskin plot FTW. You may have a point there. Someone's looking for a piece of the action. Hope they don't leave a big tip.
Jay Dauro
104. J.Dauro
There are no bloodknives left.

Tuon blessed 5 Bloodknives (TGS-36)

Bryne killed one. (TGS-41)

Gawyn killed 3 (TOM-37)

"A fourth assassin was killed taking two Tower Guards and a Warder with her" TOM-42

This accounts for the 5.
Craig Jarvis
106. hawkido
ah, wow I missed that... must have been in Egs morning report the day after gawyn's rescue of her. I'll give it a re-listen on my audio books. Thanks... that was an awesome catch.
Jay Dauro
107. J.Dauro

You have pointed out some similarities. We do see the Aes Sedai capturing men who can channel and using the man's power to conquer and destroy other peoples, just like what the "bad men" would do without their control.

No wait, we don't see that. Under Tower law, Aes Sedai who capture a man who can channel bring him back to the Tower for a trial. If it is decided he can channel, he is gentled and released. Unless he has also commited other crimes, such as raising an army and attacking other people. Then he is kept under guard to prevent his followers from trying to use him in conflict.

Seanchen detect someone who may have never channeled, enslave them, teach them to use the power as a weapon, or in the support of their armies, and have them do the very thing they condemn them for. Just in support of their Empire. It is stated that the only reason the Empire has lasted is that it has damane.

Aes Sedai who do have the Power, do not use it as a weapon (Black Ajah excepted, but they do not follow the Tower, and as such, are not true Aes Sedai.) Aes Seda do manipulate, but so do non-channelers. Aes Seda do use the power to heal, defend against shadowspawn, etc. They also use their position to mediate and to try to stop war. They are not perfect, and at times they aggravate the hell out of me, but I cannot see anything other than a slight simularity with the Seanchen.

So basically we see one organization use the Power in warfare, and the other does not.
108. Freelancer
In Perrin's vision, Mat's battle with himself is not unlike Perrin's: Who he must be vs. who he wishes to be. That it is magnified and multiplied by his hundreds of injected memories, explains the many people all wearing his face. And since this vision occurs before the Gholam has been dealt with, it is the most likely subject for the knife-wielding figure at Mat's back.
Charles Gaston
109. parrothead
@ 98: On the contrary, I know exactly what republic means. It is a duly constituted government, formed out of either a written constitution or custom and usage, with supreme legislative and executive power spread among multiple persons. To deny the term to Tear, whose High Lords govern by consensus, said High Lords being chosen from the electorate of Lords of the Land, means that you must deny its application to most historical republics. Oligarchic/aristocratic republics have been the norm since Rome.
110. AndrewB
Hawkido @101 - your theory that the person in the shadows is a Bloodknife is wrong. There were only 5 Bloodknives that were sent to the Tower: 1) the one Bryne killed during the night of the raid; 2-4) the 3 Gawyn kill while protecting Egwene; and 5) the one who is killed that same night (see chpt 42 of ToM).

Thanks for reading my musings.
Alice Arneson
111. Wetlandernw
hawkido - I simply meant that you were making a lot of slightly wild claims, many of which can be effectively argued against, and that the argument would involve many, many, many words. It was also intended to be just a tiny bit humorous, but I guess that didn't come through to you. Unfortunately, RL is getting in the way of finishing my wot comments; it will have to wait a few more hours.
112. AndrewB
J.Dauro beat me to the punch. It is very difficult for me to edit when I post on my smartphone.

Thanks for reading my musings.
113. Looking Glass
Zexxes @96: I get that, based on the extremely minimal and unreliable information Gawyn has, Rand looks like the leading suspect in Morgase's murder. That is entirely reasonable.

My point is that Gawyn then decided that he was totally justified in committing murder himself, based on what he is well aware is extremely minimal and unreliable information. Without bothering to investigate any further, and despite several of the people closest to him providing character witnesses to the contrary. That is not a reasonable decision, or a moral one.

That would be true in anyone's case, but it's especially true in the case of one of his country's most powerful nobles, who had been trained since birth in the responsibility that should be expected of someone making life-or-death decisions.

And in fact, if he had bothered to do any investigation whatsoever rather than just jumping straight to the murder phase, he would have come across information that strongly implied Rand didn't do it. Heck, even just asking around Cairhien would have at least suggested that, since rumors of Morgase's disappearance weeks prior were circulating there before Rand went to Caemlyn.
102. Wolfmage

Wow, your treating this as if somebody is going to Court to find justice for their fatally assaulted family member. As if gathering evidence is the first priority of someone who is emotionaly unstable after losing their loved one. Perhaps Gawyn should go to therapy also. Maybe his Psychotherapist will prescribe a sedative as well.

I do not know of anyone whos first inclination is not to seek revenge for the loss of a loved one. Most times, people are seeing red as soon as the news sinks in. My great surprise about Gawyn has always been his lack of conviction of finding his mothers killer. As I said before, i felt he didn't do enough. If two anybodies told me my mother was murdered, I'd flipped out and killed and maimed as many horses just to get home and confirm if any of it was true. He rightly went to his sister first, I believe, and it was she who was first to try and talk him out of believing the rumor that Rand had killed Morgase. But at that time one must consider that the information of Morgase's death is also combined with the Dragon Reborn Rand al'Thor. Whatever Elayne said could not waylay the need to find out if it was indeed Rand who killed his mother.

Lets break down your impressive analysis:
Logically it is incoherent to ask them to prove Rand didn’t do something. You can’t prove a negative like that. At best his dark presumptions about Rand should translate to a frantic need to find anything that might substantiate the rumours precisely so he can act. Or, indeed, seeking out any other evidence related to alternative explanations and the balance of probabilities of what actually happened, that would nullify the rumours. But instead he hangs onto his first reaction to rumours like it's an iron-clad certainty that must be dislodged by the inquisition. It's ridiculous.
And what precisely is ridiculous about hanging on to that first reaction when until he does as you suggest, it is All. He. Has. Granted and, as I might add, as I said before, he was waylayed from pursuing that matter by a more immediate problem before him. I would not have let it lie such as that. Screw pressing needs, I'm going to find out if my Mother is dead. What was more scary was Elayne's attitude toward it. She just brushed her shoulders off because it was a rumor and went on an adventure, without even trying to inquire....

And all of this is besides the fact that Gawyn had no idea where to find Rand even if he was inclined to go after him. Which is why he did allow the more immediate problem to sway him from personal pursuits of revenge. But stating that its incoherent to put the burden of proof on the person you are vouching for in the case of whether or not someone killed your mother and then let it go without any cooberative evidence, is much more than incorherent, its naive. Who would do that! Would you? I know I'm not treating my Mothers memory like that.
Whatever the validity of that point, putting some trust in the judgement and knowledge of virtuous and credible people is certainly bound to work out far more often than going off half-cocked like a hot-blooded vigilante charged with emotion.
Well now lets see....so we should just let it work itself out? Because ummm, up to this point it hasn't. And its been how long? However virtueous someone is, shouldn't have any bearing on whether or not someone should be a suspect in the investigation of murder. Or do you agree with quite a few upstanding wealthy todo's, that they shouldn't have to indure any amount of questioning with regards to a murder that any and all known evidence so far points to them. And need I not remind you that.... to his knowledge, no one is investigating her... disappearance. If not Gawyn, who? If he doesn't pursue Rand, half cocked, then how then was he going to find out who killed her, when Rand is the only one who knows anything about what has happened besides the fleeing Morgase. Whom, by the way, is starting to enjoy being dead.

If we follow your logic, he should just take Elayne and Egwene's voucher and let it lie. But then what kind of son would he be? If he pursues Rand he's a half crazed madman in mourning who in your opinion should just listen to wisdom and just calm down and do... nothing? Nobody is looking for Morgase because everyone thinks she's dead. Everyone in Andor thinks its Rand that killed her by the way. Or how else does a rumor like that travel so far? So who else is gonna prove it wrong or right. So who is going to find the killer?

Following your logic.... Nobody.

My logic is, pursuing Rand gets you Rands information. Information that only he holds. He didn't kill Morgase. He killed Gaebril. Why? Because he's the Forsaken Rahvin. Did Rahvin kill Morgase? Not sure.... its possible! Well when was Morgase last seen.....

and then we'd get some where.

If we follow your logic we get no where. We get Gawyn as he is now.

Craig Jarvis
115. hawkido
@107 J. Dauro

Oh... so there were no Aes Sedai before the tower was built? Thats funny cause the tower took 104 years to build I believe and wasn't started until 98 years after the breaking was done and a new calendar was formed.
So, who bored the hole in the DO prison to start the whole war of power...
All channelers were AS in the AoL, what makes you think they would drop the title? Even the Aiel in the AoL who could channel became AS.

The Seanchan MAKE the channelers serve the people... the forcing is their only fault... But going back to why I made the parallel was to illustrate the simularities of the AS standing against Men who could channel, and the Seanchan attitude against all who could channel, both based upon history.

Self serving channelers are evil.

Serve the People or serve the DO, but serve you will. Thus the meaning of their title... The Kin are not viewed as evil... neither are the Wise Ones (by any of the Aiel)

The WC see AS using their age and power as a means to rule and see that as evil... the story supports that view historically in every culture in the WoT. I am seeing continuity of story line here, and you are declaring civil rights violations to a deaf audiance in the book series. The Seanchan don't respect civil rights of AS. And neither do the AS respect the Civil Rights of the Men who can channel. Nor of the people in their lands. Just how long ago was it in book months that the Seanchan ran across the first West lands AS? 30 or so months? and they are still having trouble reconciling the AS oaths with what they know about the AS of their land, who had sworn no oaths.

The AS have sworn statements of AS who were there when the source was cleaned, yet they still treat the Men as if they are cootie riddled evil men not to be trusted and must be controlled... again always sandwitched by Seanchan pertaining chapters or paragraphs...

It is a deliberate illustration of the problem by the author.
Craig Jarvis
116. hawkido
@111 Wetlandernw

Yes, I do jump across alot of the gaps... but the gaps are there... Jordan didn't exactly spell out who killed Asmo until the glossary of this book. So taking that as my clue I am using similar writing patterns to piece this together without going OMG FEMALE SPANKING! THE OUTRAGE!!!

I am trying to keep in the Wot Mythos and mindsets of the cultures in the book series. With my newer insight I see that Rand WILL INDEED kneel before Tuon. Because he is a servant now, and She is a leader of the people he serves (which is "all" if you haven't been reading my posts). She may also kneel before him, when she joins the pact.

But thanks for your concern... my eyes, they may be bad but they can take the textual beating of my peers.
Craig Jarvis
117. hawkido

Well put together... and well thought-out from inside the story.
Craig Jarvis
118. hawkido
@109 Parrothead
Thanks for the wikipedia quote ... Somehow I couldn't manage that...

You could have just said oh, the People's republic of China is a republic...or Iraq pre-liberation was a republic...

'cept here is where you are wrong...

The LAW is the head honcho in a republic... that is what republic means... LAW.

There was a law against killing a farmer in Tear... but it didn't apply to the Lords of Tear... thus it wasn't a republic... Might as well have been the people's "republic" of China running over people with tanks in Tianaman Square. I am sure in china it is illegal to run over their own subjects with tanks, yet oddly noone was arrested, other than the survivors of the crushing tanks.

In the US the constitution is the LAW... However it failed to specify what the punishment was for a lawmaker bypassing the constitution and passing an un-constitutional law. Thus it has been and is still being circumvented, The US has a broken republic, and if it is not fixed it will devolve into a democracy, then quickly into an anarchy then back to oligarchy, which is power in the hands of a few, who are not subject to the laws they create.

The closest thing to a republic in WoT is the White Tower, with the Oath rod. But the Oaths are broken...

the oaths should be:
Swear to not interfere in/take side in/show undue preference to muggle affairs.
Swear to give freely assisstance to the muggles whereas it does not cause unreasonable harm to the AS.
Swear to oppose/contain/seek to destroy the forces of the DO and his minions.

Much better than the current oaths:
I will not speak the truth plainly.
I will have my warder kill you if you piss me off.
and You gonna die when your sword breaks trying to fight that trolloc horde, sucka!
William Fettes
119. Wolfmage
“Wow, your treating this as if somebody is going to Court to find justice for their fatally assaulted family member. As if gathering evidence is the first priority of someone who is emotionaly unstable after losing their loved one. Perhaps Gawyn should go to therapy also. Maybe his Psychotherapist will prescribe a sedative as well. “
If I sound a bit legalistic that's because we're talking about evidentiary standards. In reality, I am not saying he should apply a standard beyond reasonable doubt and call witnessnes in a courtroom or something silly. Even some basic scepticism applied to the rumours and a basic effort to seek out confirmatory evidence would be a huge improvement.

I’m just treating him as I expect all reasonably educated adults to behave, particularly, after the passage of some time. The whole point of education is so that we are not slaves to our passions. As I’ve pointed out, that’s not an expectation that most of his relatives and a numerous other characters have much trouble passing. I see no reason to treat Gawyn differently.
“I do not know of anyone whos first inclination is not to seek revenge for the loss of a loved one. Most times, people are seeing red as soon as the news sinks in.”
We see things very differently then. It's not seeing red that's the problem, it's who you target and why whilst seeing red that's the issue.

To simply accept the account of street gossip as valid evidence for assessing a situation, reaching a conclusion that comprehensively dismisses alternative explanations, belligerently refusing to budge from that position without seeing impossible "proof", then asserting that flawed conclusion as the basis for taking someone else’s life in an act of revenge is I think utterly reckless and illogical.

The fact that the ostensible loss of his mother invokes powerful emotions doesn't save the fundamental flaws in his assessment of Rand’s guilt. His entire approach is flawed and those flaws persist long after the immediate aftermath of the death, when we would certainly be inclined to grant him some forbearance. He is entitled to grief and understanding, not a licence to vent and kill any random person who is circumstantially and emotionally convenient for him to blame.
“But at that time one must consider that the information of Morgase's death is also combined with the Dragon Reborn Rand al'Thor. Whatever Elayne said could not waylay the need to find out if it was indeed Rand who killed his mother.”
Again, this isn’t logic that I accept. The fact that in vague proximity, Rand takes the city and Morgase disappears means nothing. Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc - after it therefore because of it - is a fallacy. Sequential events are not necessarily related at all - and even minimal investigation would reveal they weren't sequential at all. It's especially dubious to attribute specific responsibility for a disappearance during a battle situation. Anything could have happened.

He has filled in gaps in his imagination with street gossip because that is emotionally convenient to him.
“And what precisely is ridiculous about hanging on to that first reaction when until he does as you suggest, it is All. He. Has.”
Again, that is an emotion-based excuse that he copes better with a convenient scapegoat, not a defence of his reasoning. I'm not saying his approach isn't convenient to him. I accept that in my argument. I'm just saying his approach is illogical.

In terms of proving a negative - let me illustrate the point with an example. Imagine Gawyn hears some gossip about the existence of a purple swan which he accepts because it sounds beautiful and nice that something like that would exist in the world and he wants to believe it. Elayne comes along and hears him talking and she tells him he is crazy to believe something like that. She has read all the fauna books and such a species is not in any book, her tutors don’t know anything about it, there's no record in the White Tower library, and Gawyn admits he hasn’t seen one. So she says he must be wrong. In response to this, Gawyn insists that he will keep believing in purple swans until Elayne can prove they don’t exist. But Elayne can’t do that. That's basically impossible as it requires cataloguing every animal and exploring every habitual space simultaneously to be sure. So, you're essentially saying that Gawyn is entitled to do this because Elayne can't prove there are no purple swans. That's bad reasoning.

The proper response to this is to say Gawyn's demand is nonsensical. Proving a negative is a fallacy, except in special circumstances, and as Gawyn never had sufficient evidence for the existence of purple swans in the first place his belief can be discounted. That is basic epistemology and logic – something taught in classical schools since antiquity and so I certainly think it’s something you might reasonably expect a privileged noble brought up by Morgase to understand.
Craig Jarvis
120. hawkido
@119 wolfmage
Purple swan fail
Gawyn has good justification that his mother is dead without seeing the body. No one can justify her absence if she were still alive. So the Swan thing fails.

There is motive of a sorts for Rand killing morgase, with all the other kingdoms falling to him at that time.

He was in Camelyn around the time she was reported conspiciously missing, as she stopped holding public court, at Gaebril's compulsion shortly after Mat left the palace.

Rand did have the weaponns capable of killing her and removing the traces of her body. (even the uneducated didn't see that as a huge leap.

Rand DID consort with anti-Morgase peoples (he was secretly keeping his enemies close) once he took the palace.

There is nothing here to present that Gawyn was ever going to get any better evidence against Rand. His position was as justified as Galhad's when he slew Valda. Rand himself feared seeing Elaine for the evidence was so compelling.

Gawyn would suspect that any testimony was either from a sychophant or from someone too scared to speak the truth, and rightly so, as Rand's political Kung Fu was very strong (Rand was protecting himself from enemy states, Tar Valon, and the Forsaken.)
William Fettes
121. Wolfmage

The point of the purple swan is not about justification it is about the logical problem with proving a negative. As Gawyn is demanding proof that Rand didn't kill Morgase he demanding Egwene and Elayne prove a negative - which is a fallacy.They can't possibly do that so it is obviously spurious even to ask as if that was a reasonable point of contention.

The point about justification is separate. The absence of Morgase, and the absence of any body, combined with Rand's effective control over Camelyn, obviously raises a suspicion. But nothing more. Rumours are just rumours and are not worth anything unless investigated or corroborated. Gawyn doesn't do this - he accepts them in a pique of convenient rage against Rand. His position is not that of a reasonable person looking for the truth.

Collectively there is no persuasive evidence that Rand killed Morgase when viewed objectively. There is simply some circumstantial hearsay that Gawyn accepts as a way of processing his grief.
Alice Arneson
122. Wetlandernw
hawkido @98 – Partially answered @111, more fully in my next post. (Which will, unfortunately, have to wait until tomorrow.) My primary reason for asking if you really want to go there is your #1 – much of what you said @84 was indeed baseless, in my opinion. The only “backlash” I would warn you about is that you are setting yourself up for a whole bunch of people to poke holes in your arguments, as I see has happened already; if you say something of merit, let it stand on its merit. As for bagging on Nynaeve – say what you like. No one is required to have a particular opinion of a particular character, but it’s great fun to defend one’s favorites. In point of fact, I didn’t think you were bagging on her; you just missed my not-very-clear late-at-night point, which I will clarify in my next post.

However, I’ll disagree here that Semirhage could do everything Nynaeve could do except Heal stilling. Semirhage was a great physician who enjoyed extracting a little extra pain from her patients; in terms of physical healing, she probably could match or overmatch Nynaeve. She wasn’t much into diseases of the mind, however; that was Graendal’s thing, and neither of them could ever do what Nynaeve did with minds. Compulsion, especially as heavy as Graendal used, was supposed to be irreversible, but Nynaeve figured out how. Taint madness likewise. And there’s no evidence that anyone had ever come up with a way to Delve the mind the way Nynaeve does.

And in the AoL “AS only ruled AS” – but then how did Lews Therin have the power to “summon the Nine Rods of Dominion,” which were in effect planetary governors? No, they didn’t arbitrarily rule the world, but they did have a fair amount of political clout, and used it when they felt it was appropriate.

Oh, and like Freelancer said, please refrain from “fixing” my statements. I’ll fix them to my own satisfaction if they need fixing.

parrothead @109 – Good for you! “Republic” is a badly misunderstood term these days; most people assume it to necessarily mean a democratic republic, when in fact democracy is a possible but non-necessary modifier to the form of government. And you are quite right; Tear is a republic. Not one I’d want to live in, mind you, but a republic nonetheless.

ZEXXES @114 – Actually, Gawyn has as yet made no effort whatsoever to contact Elayne and find out what she has learned about Morgase’s disappearance. Egwene is the only person he has given half a chance to tell him Rand isn’t guilty, although she didn’t, apparently, use the best information she had available to convince him. (I assume that the scene where they learned of Morgase's "death" got lost in her memory when Lanfear tried to kill her the next morning.) She did, however, tell him flat out that Rand did not kill Elayne as Gawyn had believed, according to that same rumor, which one might think would make him at least question the validity of the rumor at all. But no, contrary to your claim, Gawyn did not go to his sister first, as he should have done as soon as Egwene told him she was alive. In fact, he won’t bother to go to Andor for another 18 chapters yet - until he throws a snit at Egwene and huffs off to where he should have been months ago.

You also seem to ignore the fact that he had two opportunities to confront Rand and ask for the truth; the first time, he refused Rand’s invitation to meet in Cairhien; the second time, he issued Rand a death threat after Rand saved his life. In other words, he has made no effort to find the truth; he’s satisfied with the rumor, even though half of it has been firmly disproven.

hawkido @118 – Can you find a quote to prove there was a law against killing a farmer in Tear, before Rand came in and decided there should be? In any case, nothing requires that the constitutional ordering of a republic be fair, or that the governing entities be subject to all the same restrictions as everyone else. It can be set up (like Tear) so that the nobles have a different set of rules than anyone else, and it’s still a republic.
119. Wolfmage
To simply accept the account of street gossip as valid evidence for assessing a situation, reaching a conclusion that comprehensively dismisses alternative explanations, belligerently refusing to budge from that position without seeing impossible "proof", then asserting that flawed conclusion as the basis for taking someone else’s life in an act of revenge is I think utterly reckless and illogical.
Street gossip. Thats an acceptable argument if there is an alternative. But there isn't. He hasn't heard anything from anyone else that is more reasonable than his assumptive conclusions. At what time has he been belligerent about his need to find his Mothers killer.

The purple swan argument fails to apply in this situation. Elayne has not seen Rand in any recent time. She has no alternative response other than her not feeling that its within the character of the man she knows. Now this would be compelling for some circumstance not involving Murder. It might even be compelling for a Noble such as Gawyn to except his sisters opinion of Rand and his character, vouching his innocence.... without proof otherwise, yeah or nay, with an example such as the death of another Nobles death outside of the Royal Line of succession. Your analogy loses strength here, because this isn't an issue of textual fact. This isn't an issue of professional knowledge of subjects pertaining to a dispute of erroneous information. This about the death of the Soverign of a nation. The Queen. His Mother.

None of your analogies work here, because:

1. There isn't any material, physical, or even imagined contradictory evidence, reasonable enough to remove suspicion other than a witnesses character assessment.
2. Morgase is in Fact missing.
3. Rand can be confirmed to be within the palace during moments of conflict as an aggressor, lending circumstancial evidence to reasonably make hypothetical conclusions subducting an assumption of innocence.
4. He has the means to commit the act.
5. He has motive. Removing Morgase from power obviously gives him control of one more nation, however usurped, is the most immediate theory.
6. He was seen killing another Noble, Gaebril, during a time period where Morgase had conspicously been absent from court for an unusual length of time. And as she failed to appear or even act upon an attack within the palace grounds, would it not call upon grounds for numerous assumptions? Not the least of which (and it doesn't take an educated guess) includes assassination for reasons of empirical dominance.
Again, this isn’t logic that I accept. The fact that in vague proximity, Rand takes the city and Morgase disappears means nothing. Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc - after it therefore because of it - is a fallacy. Sequential events are not necessarily related at all - and even minimal investigation would reveal they weren't sequential at all. It's especially dubious to attribute specific responsibility for a disappearance during a battle situation. Anything could have happened.
Goodness gratious. I at least, have seen the sequence of events to be compelling enough to make reasonable assumptions laying down the foundation to at least investigate the possibilty of Rands guilt. And as there is no other logical scenario that anyone in Randland can sumbit to the contrary? Come now! Morgase vanishes Rand is the King. That would mean nothing to a lawyer without proof, sure. But to the masses of citizens in Andor?

None of that can be disputed in anyway without the help of those knowledgable of the events as they occured. Morgase would need to come out of hiding. Rand would need to submit himself for questioning. Mat would need to come forward to support Rands reasons for Gaebril's death or disappearance, to be more accurate, as I believe there is no body to recover for Gaebril as well. And any witness to any of the said events would need to be questioned.

Your argument submits none of that. We still only have the word of two women who know Rand, as reasons to dismiss guilt. Understanding the circumstances of your scenario, Gawyn would be an idiot to hold any wrath toward Rand. But your asking Gawyn in the absense of any contradictory data whatsoever, excepting character vouching, to give Rand a pass with regards to the death of his mother.

I couldn't! I wouldn't! There is no way I can concede that to you. So I feel this is one for the books.

We agree to disagree.

(Goooood boy Jaymus, goodboy!)

Terry McNamee
124. macster
I had to decide which Star Wars meme you were referencing: "It's a trap!" (thanks to what Graendal is planning) or "No, I am your father" to answer Bornhald's claim. Either way, hilarious!

Galad: so very right about not everyone being Darkfriends. When I saw him calling out the Questioners for assuming someone was a Darkfriend just because they disagreed with the Children, I cheered! And I think Jonellin is right about what Galad wants. If this autonomous organization were what it was supposed to be (a group fighting and bringing down only actual Darkfriends), wasn't corrupt or overzealous, and continued to do the right thing, then its autonomy would not only be no threat, it would actually be a boon since it would mean the group wouldn't be able to be coerced or kept from doing its duty by oaths of loyalty or diplomatic immunity--can you imagine what would happen if the ruler of a nation or its nobles were Darkfriends, but the Children couldn't do anything about it because they were immune from prosecution or going after them would abrogate oaths the Children had sworn to that nation? The key is just making sure the group is doing its job and not stepping outside its bounds in doing so, which can in turn be ensured by having a truly good man like Galad in charge. And if you really want him/the Children under someone's jurisdiction--well, assuming they survive the Last Battle, that won't be a problem now that Galad has agreed to obey Perrin.

Visions: no, I'm pretty sure that however cool a doppelganger fight would be, the vision of Mat has the second meaning you gave it: not only do we have the scene at the end of this book with him, Setalle Anan, and the discussion of boots which is indeed a metaphor for the various roles Mat is now confronted by, but it partakes of Egwene's dream of Rand wearing many masks until one of the masks is him. Jordan loved the symbolic hoo-hah, you know. It could also be a veiled reference to the Darkfriends who are after him because of his face finally being passed around by Moridin, which we see happening in Caemlyn Real Soon Now; i.e., it isn't Mat himself or his roles which he is fighting, it's his reputation and fame catching up with him and endangering him as it makes the Darkfriends able to find and target him. See also Freelancer's point @108 about Perrin's internal struggle with his leadership mantle.

And yeah, it seems pretty clear to me the Whitecloaks being sheep is supposed to be a reference to the color of their clothes and the fact they just mindly follow whatever leader tells them what they want to hear. (Though Rob's comment about the Questioner's crook is even more obvious.) They're being chased by the wolves (Perrin's group, some of whom are rabid to get rid of the Whitecloaks) toward a monster (the waiting Shadowspawn army). Faile and the others walking toward a cliff is the other side of the trap: that in insisting on facing the Whitecloaks or just pressing on to Lugard, they're walking into the same Shadowspawn army.

Gawyn is being stupid for not being properly obedient and trusting Egwene the way a good Warder should, acting like a Warder when he isn't one yet, and thinking he could do anything against Black Ajah or Mesaana. But Egwene is being stupid for not considering it could be anything but the Black Ajah or Mesaana, and for making demands of Gawyn while not even listening to his rationale. At the same time, Gawyn's analysis of the murder scene and possible suspects is very smart, as is his suggestion about sisters and Warders. And Egwene is right that Gawyn couldn't do anything against channeling and that bait really is the only way to draw Mesaana out; it's just her bad luck she's trying this plan at the same time the Bloodknives are in the Tower. They're both showing intelligence and foresight at the same time they're showing blindness and idiocy. Gah! No soup for you!

And it's funny though: I didn't even see Gawyn's thoughts about Chubain as snobbery at all. While I had plenty of reasons to be annoyed with him, before, during, and after this moment, how he acted toward Chubain wasn't one of them. In fact I had actually admired him for a) figuring out what was wrong and b) letting him know he was no threat to Chubain (and thus earn his respect and loyalty) in a way that let the man keep his dignity because it didn't come right out and reveal what was going on. YMMV, I guess.

Egwene is also revealed to be falling in line with Rand's trap when she is later shown reading Darlin's letter, replying to it, and then realizing "she was using Rand's proclamation as a beacon by which to gather and tie the monarchs to the White Tower. They would come to support her arguments against breaking the seals. But in the end, they would serve humankind in the Last Battle" (Chapter 27, "A Call to Stand", p. 428). So whether or not this is Rand's plan, it seems that's what the Pattern is causing to happen. Also, it may not be just Rand's Ta'veren Beam of Awesome that will bring everyone at Merrilor together behind him; recall Perrin will be there, says he "will help", then agrees with Rand about breaking the seals. If his ta'veren influence is also brought to bear...

The bit with Moridin revealing she'd been "going around offing traitor Chosen" was a great and apparently subtle hint that she killed Asmodean (subtle since you didn't pick up on it on first reading, Leigh). And I also found myself fascinated, not only by Graendal revealing she had once been good and with a conscience (while Semirhage was bad from the start, natch), but again the emphasis upon Elan Morin being a good person once which we saw in his fireside chat scene with Rand in TGS. More fuel for the fire (hah!) on the theory that it's Moridin's "memory of light" which will be key in the last book.

At the same time, it's disturbing not only that he seems to have a direct line to the Dark One in order to receive orders from him, but that his voice even sounds like the Dark One's now. This suggests it will be very hard (barring any positive ta'veren/Dragon-Fisher King effect flowing back through the link between Rand and Moridin) to bring Moridin back to the Light...but at the same time, if such a thing were to be accomplished, it could make it quite easy for Moridin to help Rand bring the Dark One down, either through his knowledge of/connection to the Dark One or simply by the Dark One being weakened when his first lieutenant turns on him.

Still wondering about the Dark Prophecy...we're told all prophecies are valid and will come true (as opposed to Dreams), so since this one doesn't come true with Graendal and Perrin it suggests either it doesn't refer to Perrin or that he is slated for death/some other bad event in the Last Battle...
Terry McNamee
125. macster
@11 Skia: Technically one could say Graendal allowed Sammael to die since she didn't come help him against Rand, but I don't think that counts as causing his death. She gets blamed for her dreamspike trapping Mesaana, but that hasn't happened yet.

@14 AndrewB: If you are right, he may have had a point: Leigh herself didn't pay attention to the glossary so didn't think the revelation had been made until someone pointed it out to her. So despite the glossary coming right out and saying it, including it in the text is necessary for those who don't read the glossaries. Or, if you want to be a bit cynical, because some might not believe it even when it's spelled out for them in black and white, so making indirect references to it in the text are necessary to bolster the claim.

@20 Looking Glass: Very good point re: Gill and Perrin's army retainers. Even the fact Gill knows who Galad is is neither here nor there; as far as we know, Galad doesn't know Gill, so he'd have no reason to trust him if Gill told him who he was and who he was serving. Heck, even if he did know: Gill was always a queen's man through and through, but now he's working for Perrin? Hmmm...

@21 zackattack: See my response to Andrew, but I suspect it is there in the glossary to be as blatant as possible so people would stop arguing and hair-splitting about it.

@22 KiManiak: Leigh (and others) had mentioned how it seemed Perrin's wolf-dream visions got abandoned after book four. But what everyone forgot was that Perrin was actively avoiding the wolf dream; we didn't even see him in book five; in books six and seven he was with Rand in Caemlyn and Cairhien, in eight he was busy with the Prophet and Alliandre, and then from books nine through eleven he was trying to rescue Faile. During that time he was avoiding the wolf dream too, which he'll note in ToM when he scouts the Whitecloak camp, because he was so focused on Faile as well as because of his fears of going wolf and what happened at Dumai's Wells. So while I agree that Sanderson and Team Jordan are making a conscious effort to bring back things from early in the series, plot-wise and characterization-wise this is the first time since TSR that Perrin has both an opportunity and a desire to use the wolf dream at all, let alone see visions in it.

Mat's vision: I am inclined to think the gholam, but the idea of there being a Darkfriend among the Band is actually pretty valid. I'd say Talmanes except for how he reacts to the attack on Caemlyn at the end of this book. Maybe one of the lords we haven't seen in a while? Or (loony theory) Demandred infiltrated the Band while it was in (drum roll) Murandy? He could have replaced someone, or put someone under Compulsion...

@24 ShiningArmor: A very unique interpretation. It could well be right!

@30 Zexxes: Cadsuane convincing Egwene? That would be pretty awesome to see. :)

@32 insectoid: Sounds like from some of your mom's questions that she needs to re-read earlier books in the series. Particularly if she can't recall what Trollocs are. :P Also: I don't think Siuan DID tell Egwene about the assassin that attacked her and Bryne. Probably because they naively thought there was only the one. Gah, again!

@41 hawkido: Very well said.

@43 mutantalbinocrocodile: I wonder that myself. Hopefully the encyclopedia will answer questions about that.

@52 J.Dauro: That's a very interesting point to quote. It suggests (as is logical) that unknown male channelers have been having Foretellings throughout the centuries and that Ishamael isolated them and took down their words before killing them when they went mad. The White Tower, meanwhile, has been doing no such thing. Imagine all the men out there who never channeled, did but went mad and died, or did and were gentled, none of whom had their words taken down. How many prophecies for the Light got lost that way, all thanks to the taint? The Dark One's counterstroke was masterful indeed.

@57 dolphineus: Good points. When Gawyn goes back to Caemlyn later in this book, he remarks in his thoughts that he doesn't know who Birgitte is (he at first dismisses her being the hero of legend, then says maybe she is, she certainly calls herself the same name), making it clear Elayne didn't tell him. And he has no idea who or what the Kin is.

@70 birgit: So if Perrin's people are the sheep and the wolves are the Shadowspawn, what is the monster waiting for them? If the monster is the Shadowspawn, what are the wolves?

@84 hawkido: As is usual (for WOT fans I mean, not you in particular), there's quite a bit of exaggeration and bold, inflammatory statements made there to try and make your point. However, while what men did during the Breaking of the World cannot be compared to what female Aes Sedai in Seanchan did, you are right that there is enough truth in the pain and sorrow caused by gentling to give us pause. It is not enough to fairly compare it to being made damane, and two wrongs do not make a right, but it does, as you say, underscore the Aes Sedai's hypocrisy. What we can hope is that now that saidin is cleansed, the White Tower can clean up its act just as much as Galad will do for the Children of the Light.

@96 Zexxes: You're quite right. Sure, Gawyn had promised Egwene he wouldn't go near Rand, that he'd let her find proof Rand didn't kill Morgase, but he couldn't exactly find out what happened any other way. He couldn't and wouldn't ask the Aiel; he doesn't know Mat is in the city, doesn't know Mat was in Caemlyn when Rand went after Rahvin, wouldn't trust his word anyway since he is Rand's friend, and after being beaten by him in the Tower probably wouldn't listen to him anyway. Meanwhile, Egwene didn't say anything about the attack Rand was leading the day she got taken out by Lanfear, that it was in retaliation after he (and the rest of them!) heard the rumor from Mat that Gaebril killed Morgase--that right there is proof he didn't do it, since a) rumors of her death started long before he went to Caemlyn and b) he was trying to avenge it. So while Gawyn should have tried harder to find the information he wanted, it would have been pretty hard for him to get it and we can understand why he didn't. You pointed out the same thing Wetlander has pointed out many times--people are always ready to jump down the throats of any WOT character they don't like without actually going to the text and seeing what it actually says, what is actually known to the characters as opposed to the reader.

@102 Wolfmage: See what I said to Zexxes, specifically that Egwene had forbidden Gawyn from speaking to or confronting Rand, that she offered to get him proof but never did, that there was no one else he could have asked at the time, and that she never offered the information she had which would prove him innocent. Yes, Gawyn needed to try harder to learn the truth, and try to work past his emotions, but neither Elayne nor especially Egwene did a great job in making their cases to him.

@122 Wetlander: And the same point--I am pretty sure I remember, when Gawyn spoke to Egwene in Cairhien, that she told him not to go near Rand or confront him until she'd had a chance to find proof he didn't kill Morgase. So him refusing to meet Rand (while I'm sure it felt good to thumb his nose at him) was just him complying with Egwene's request. As for the second possibility, I really don't think in the middle of the Battle of Dumai's Wells was the best time for Gawyn to be asking Rand about Morgase, nor was either of them in a mindset to talk about it. If you are right about Egwene forgetting about the rumors thanks to Lanfear's attack, fine, but that just proves even more that Gawyn didn't have anyone he could ask to get the information, barring going to Caemlyn--and Zexxes has made a pretty good argument that no one in Caemlyn could have shed any more light on what happened. And if she did still remember, her not telling him was a major failure on her part. Not to mention, where was Elayne throughout all this? Gallivanting about in a menagerie (um...), studying in Salidar, and getting the Bowl of the Winds in Ebou Dar. Would have been rather difficult for Gawyn to meet her in any of those places. And as usual with the Aes Sedai, he didn't know where she was anyway because Egwene hid that from him. Heck, I still roll my eyes at the fact Elayne didn't believe Mat about Morgase and Gaebril. Funny thing, we never see her mentally or verbally apologize to Mat about that when she gets to Caemlyn and finds out from Dyelin it was all true.

I'm not excusing Gawyn (he should have tried harder and done more searching and interrogating, yes), and I do think he wasn't being very logical or fair, but Egwene and Elayne both screwed up too, and he did have plenty of reason to be suspicious in my opinion. He was, after all, present for Elaida's Foretelling that Rand stood at the heart of the division and suffering Andor would soon be facing, and even if he had reason to distrust her later, at the time he heard the rumors, he didn't--it would have been one more reason in his mind to say Elaida was right about Rand. The fact Morgase let him go would to him just be an unfortunate mistake on her part that may well have led to her death. He did screw up, and I think he shows a lot of stubbornness, passion, and even idiocy at times (in this particular chapter, as well as later in this book and also in TGS), but he's not the huge failure everyone seems to think he is.
Birgit F
126. birgit
Seanchen detect someone who may have never channeled, enslave them, teach them to use the power as a weapon, or in the support of their armies, and have them do the very thing they condemn them for.

Damane are women with the spark, they would have channeled whether they want to or not. The learners become sul'dam, not damane.

The Kin are not viewed as evil

Who could view them as anything when nobody knows they exist?

Even if Rand did kill Morgase it's still a bad idea to kill the savior of the world before he can do his duty.

Still wondering about the Dark Prophecy...we're told all prophecies are valid and will come true (as opposed to Dreams), so since this one
doesn't come true with Graendal and Perrin it suggests either it doesn't refer to Perrin or that he is slated for death/some other bad event in the Last Battle...

The wolf who dies in the prophecy is Hopper, not Perrin. Even Moridin points out that Graendal might be misinterpreting the prophecy.
122. Wetlandernw

My contention is not against whether he has made any inquiries regarding Rands innocence or guilt. I stated two times and now three, that I also am upset with him on that count. He has had the opportunity to confront Rand about the subject. But he hasn't. And given that fact, until he does so or as we should all know, he sees the proof of life later on, he only has heresay to go on. And the majority of it doesn't look good.

What would be prudent, would be an accurate sequence of events regarding the subject. We'd need a timeline of when Morgase left the palace. When did Mat see Rahvin and when did Mat leave. When did Rand battle Rahvin and were there any witnesses to it. When did Gawyn find out about Morgases supposed death. When was the first time he inquired in any way from anyone about her death. And what exactly does he know definitively, up to present, about the circumstances as they are.

That would go a long way to put to rest this arguement.

Birgit F
128. birgit
So if Perrin's people are the sheep and the wolves are the Shadowspawn, what is the monster waiting for them?

Maybe Graendal.
Stefan Mitev
129. Bergmaniac
At this point it must've been clear to Gawyn that Rand had no motive to kill Morgase. Bryne told him that Elayne rules Andor now, not the dragon Reborn. Why kill Morgase to take over Andor and then leave few months later peacefully? Makes no sense.

@hawkido - again, the Guide mentions nothing about Compulsion being used in Seanchan. Is it probable it was used to some degree over the years? Sure. But your claim that "It was horrible, compulsion was an everyday utinsil for those AS" is pure conjecture. How come no damane now knows and uses it? If it was so widely spread and used before, it would've been very easy to keep it known. It's not like the Seanchan high class would have any moral qualms against it, they are ruthless bastards...

"The Seanchan MAKE the channelers serve the people... the forcing is their only fault... "
Actually the Seanchan make the channellers serve the Empress and the interests of her despotic regime which uses channellers to fight aggressive wars of conquest and murder people by the thousands.
130. Looking Glass
Morgase/Gawyn Timeline stuff (based on Steven Cooper’s chronology):

-Mat meets Morgase and overhears Rahvin (and immediately leaves for Tear) sometime around early May (equivalent) 999. Not really relevant.
-Rand leaves Tear for the waste a month or so later, in early June.
- Morgase apparently breaks free and leaves around mid-to-late August. That one’s not dated as thoroughly, but we’ve got a while before Rand gets there. Incidentally, her (mindrape-stalled) confrontation with Rahvin was her last appearance.
-Rand leaves the Waste and enters Cairhien (the country) in late August, probably around a week after Morgase disappears.
-The battle of Cairhien happens about two weeks later, around September 10.
-Rand, in Cairhien, hears of Morgase’s death around Sep 20 and decides to kill Rahvin. Egwene is present.
-A day later, he goes to Caemlyn. Egwene isn’t present, due to injury. This is about a month after Morgase disappeared.

Rand attacks Rahvin in the throne room. Unfortunately, I don’t have the book handy and it’s not mentioned in the re-read if Rahvin is alone, though I dimly recall he isn't. There are definitely servants around who see Rand fighting shadowspawn as he chases Rahvin through the halls. Rahvin runs off and jumps into T’A’R, Rand follows, no further witnesses.

-In the LOC prologue, Gawyn hears (from a random peddler) the rumor that Rand has taken Caemlyn and killed Morgase and Elayne. Not well dated, but probably sometime early October (ie, a week or two after Rand kills Rahvin).
-Egwene meets Gawyn in Cairhien mid-november. Gawyn claims Rand killed Morgase and Elayne. Egwene says that’s not true. Gawyn asks her if she can swear to it; she says she personally knows that Elayne is just fine. She’s also certain Rand didn’t kill Morgase, and asks Gawyn not to raise a hand against him until she can find him proof of that. (She might tell him Elayne loves Rand here, too).

As far as I can tell, he hasn’t heard, or sought out, any further information. In particular, the bolded bit above should be easy to find out, and would make Rand a much less reasonable suspect.

-Rand is taken by the tower mid-Dec, and freed early Jan 1000. The TAS army travels to the tower around Feb 24. Sanderson’s chronology isn’t as concrete as Jordan’s, but Gawyn hears of Egwene’s capture and leaves the Younglings late May-ish (about 7-8 months after first hearing the rumor).
Craig Jarvis
131. hawkido
Fast point... re-read the prologue of tEotW... i believe I have mentioned it a few times in this series of posts...

Ishy quote paraphrased "Too bad one of your sisters isn't here to remove this taint madness. Though they could only give you a little respite... the DO's kind of healing I can do will not be pleaseant" Or very close to that...

So there you go... the very first book in the prologue is the "evidence that anyone had ever come up with a way to Delve the mind the way Nynaeve does."

As to poking holes... look DO YOU REALIZE THAT IS WHAT I WANT... if there is a hole to poke then poke it! *Wow... that was unexpectedly sexual*

I pitch looney theories threaded together by the barest of mentioned things based off proximity of other chapters... That is the way Jordan hides things... I dunno look at the 7 book long mystery of who killed Asmo...

However do not come all Pokey McPokster and say "Ther most surely is no Evidy McEvidence especially abot the Taint Madness!" When right there in the prologue of book 1 is not only an event of one such thing with the TP, but a claim that a AoL Healer could do it with the OP... he didn't even say it was a talent. just any trained healer. cause if it had been a rare talent he would named them, as both Ishy and LTT knew them by name.

Put a little though into it before you blow back at me. If you notice I AM referencing alot of the points I am using to knit this together, it isn't just wild conjecture, yes I do have to skip and hop over the holes in the data, because that is the established way the author writes...He doesn't give you every thing, nor does he spell it out... again pointing to Asmo murder.
132. MasterAlThor

I thought that you would appreciate this.

I am riding in the car with my youngest and we were talking about his friend. He wanted him to come over but realized he was at Cedar Point (think Six Flags). I said to him I bet that he isn't riding any rollercoasters. To which my son replied that he would be to scared to ride them. I asked him why and he told me that they are too hight and go too fast. I told him that that was the fun part about riding them.

I am sure that you can see where this is going. As soon as I thought about it I started laughing. So I had to post this just for you. Thanks for your story.

Craig Jarvis
133. hawkido
@129 Bergmaniac...

Wow Berg great use of logic there... just how many sparkers actually grow to the point to make their first touching of the source in seandar? None? Oh thats right they are taken before they are even old enough to make the first random touching, so I guess no wilder weaves then? Right, I thought so... thanks for making this easy and you not putting ANY thought in it as you make a blind stab at poking a hole. "But what about the others?" RIGHT a paranoid empire where interior assassination is an everyday thing would just love to keep channelers around who can use power tricks on the minds of normal people. Oh wait.. Tuon says that many Seanchan would not even accept healing from Damane. Pretty sure any damane who knew that weave has been put to death by the first peoson who found out, or is so brainwashed now they wouldn't even consider using it on anyone else.

Read about the consolidation wars in China... Thousands were killed to stop millions from being killed, as millions had already been killed. Or watch the chinese movie "Hero" Great movie and it basically is a mythological tale about why china had to be united.

Craig Jarvis
134. hawkido
@122 Wetlander
the good for you statement... when HAVE I SAID a republic must be good? I said the LAW must rule in a republic... BAD for you for adopting the pack mentality. ever heard of Draconian law? I believe you will find it most horrible. The People's Republic of China, IS NOT A REPUBLIC!!!! and it isn't ruled by the PEOPLE, but it is "of China"! A republic must be of the Lawful-* alignment. Read your D&D rules if you don't understand alignments.

on your kill a farmer in tear comment... you are right ... it was rape a farmer's daughter in tear... The famous card game with Mat in tear in the shadow rising, the "You gotta talk to the Dragon Reborn about enforcing this law on the nobles Mat..." comment. Plus all the other statements from Rand on making sure the laws of the Land Also apply to the nobles, even the high lords of Tear.

How many times can you be unfounded and baseless in one post. I was only wrong in mistaking one GREVIOUS crime for another... MY BAD!

Think before you post... else you will join the Lemmings at the base of the cliff.
Stefan Mitev
135. Bergmaniac
"Hero" is a propaganda movie with a disgusting message I reject completely.

Anyway, I am done discussing with you, hawkido. You are clearly trolling.
Craig Jarvis
136. hawkido
@125 macster

on my 84 comment:

exactly, and well said... however, unless there is some way to avert the way-forward-machine's viewing... things look grim in teh comming age for channelers... and the remainder of the Aiel... perhaps if that happens, they will be reborn in the next age.
Robert Crawley
137. Alphaleonis
Thought I'd weigh in on the Gawyn debate. (As if my two cents carries any weight)

I've never been too hard in my own mind against Gawyn. I just assumed that his lack of mental sharpness was an inherited thing. Exhibit A: Elayne. Nuff said. Exhibit B: Gawyn & Elayne's dad. He had by far more political clout and resources than his court bard, but failed to match him in the wits category; thus being outwitted, he bit the dust.

Exhibit C: Galad. I have only spent the equivalent of a few months, and that part time, in the WOT world. My opinion is that anyone with half of his synapses connected would have enough in there to never even investigate, much less join the WC.

But then us street rats have always had it more together than born & bred nobles.
Alice Arneson
138. Wetlandernw
macster @125 – Actually, all Egwene made him promise was "not to raise a hand against Rand" until she could prove he hadn’t killed Morgase. It didn’t preclude him from talking to the man! One simple question would have gotten an answer that should at least have made him stop and think. We can give him the benefit of the doubt (after a fashion) and assume that he didn’t trust himself in the same room as Rand, I guess.

As for talking to Elayne, while we know where she was and when she got back to Caemlyn, I don’t see that as excusing him from trying. The right thing to do would have been to head for Caemlyn as fast as he could (maybe take the Younglings with him, since he felt so responsible for them), and if he got there first he could still have stepped in as First Prince of the Sword and started preparing the way for Elayne’s return. Egwene had just reliably told him that Elayne was alive, and he should assume that she would be heading to Caemlyn to take her place there. Instead, he flailed around with a bunch of Aes Sedai he didn’t even trust any longer, got mired by winter when it caught up with them, and made no attempt whatsoever to do his sworn duty.

I’m not saying I don’t understand his failing, but it was a failure nonetheless.

hawkido @134 – Since the “Good for you!” statement wasn’t aimed at you, I don’t see what your beef is. It’s quite clear that historically, a republic is merely a form of government that is established by written law as opposed to (primarily) right of conquest. Nothing requires that the laws be just, fair or equitably applied, although in a good government they would be. The fact that the nobles of Tear aren’t subjecting themselves to the law doesn’t mean that they aren’t a duly constituted republic; it just means that they’re a terribly dysfunctional one, like many RL republics. Human nature is prone to abuse the power that comes with being in the ruling group, and when that ruling group is hereditary it’s even more likely to be abused; Tear is a good example, and you yourself have provided plenty of RL examples.

The “Good for you!” comment for parrothead was for his pointing up the fact (which most people don’t realize) that the rulers of a republic don’t have to be elected by those they rule. Most people, at least in America, assume that “republic” means a “democratic republic,” and anything that calls itself a republic but doesn’t work that way is misnamed. I’m not sure why you felt it necessary to assume that I was accusing you personally of believing that a republic must be good.
Alice Arneson
139. Wetlandernw
I told you you were about to be buried under a wall of text. It took a day, but... wall ahoy!

hawkido @84 – I need an emoticon for “tongue in cheek.” The thing about “Nynaeve is unique” was more than half tongue in cheek, because while she has come up with some amazing things, she’s certainly not the only one. (It would be interesting to learn if her “new” Healing is the same as Flinn’s or if they are two distinct things; either way, both have almost simultaneously come up with some amazing Healing weaves. The Pattern is granting some cool level-up stuff here.)

What I was after, and obviously didn’t say Tuesday night, was that the books are written to make Nynaeve this unique, wildly different person who can think outside the AS box and invent new weaves, and it’s critical to her uniqueness that “new weaves” are relatively uncommon among the AS of the past 2500+ years. It’s important to the character that she comes up with these “impossible” things: Healing stilling, Delving the brain, Healing madness, unweaving Compulsion, etc. (There remains, of course, the anticipated Healing of someone three days dead…) From the Forsaken POVs, it seems clear that most of what she’s come up with was unknown in the AOL, so it really is new – at least in this turning of the Wheel.

We don’t know whether or not, historically, anyone spent much time trying to find better ways to help the men. It doesn’t really matter, other than its effect on our attitude toward Aes Sedai, because they obviously weren’t terribly successful. We don’t even really know whether Cadsuane’s track record was unique in history, or if there had been others who also were able to actually help, to whatever extent, men who had started channeling. (My personal theory is that Norla had been working on it for 600 years or so, and passed what she knew on to Cadsuane, but there’s no proof of that. My even loonier theory is that there had been a series of women who had passed the knowledge and the paralis-net along for 2000 years or more, though one would obviously wonder why it was kept secret from the Tower until 250 years ago…)

So… Nynaeve is, as far as we know, unique in history as being the first woman to figure out a way to actually Delve the brain to this extent – first for unraveling a Complusion and then to separate and remove the taint-madness from the brain. (Remember, Graendal the mind-manipulation expert from the AOL, thought it was impossible to undo her Compulsion.) Her success in the latter, as detailed with Naeff, indicates that it not only required a strange ability to see things that most AS can’t even see, but also great OP strength, endurance, patience, compassion and sheer stubbornness. (It would sound better if we called it tenacity, wouldn’t it?) There are others who have strength, others who have endurance, etc. – but Nynaeve has the unique combination of those traits, along with a distinct lack of formal training and a fierce determination to heal people, that enables her to do what “shouldn’t” be possible. I suspect that once she removes the remaining taint from Flinn, he’ll be working on it too – or maybe he already is, and we just haven’t seen it yet. Maybe they’ll make a circle with all the best Healers and cleanse the Black Tower in the next book – once all the DFs are cleared out, anyway.

Insertion regarding a later argument… if you go back and read the prologue to TEotW, you’ll see that what Ishamael actually says is, “A pity for you that one of your Sisters is not here. I was never very skilled at Healing, and I follow a different power now. But even one of them could only give you a few lucid minutes, if you did not destroy her first. What I can do will serve as well, for my purposes.” YMMV, but I read this as indicating that some of the AOL Aes Sedai had ways of restoring lucidity to someone who had gone mad under more normal circumstances. It was probably something that would work on –maybe even Heal – a normal madness; there’s no guarantee that their AOL methods would actually work on someone with taint madness. Ishamael seemed to think it wouldn’t be more than marginally effective, and then only temporarily. When you consider what Nynaeve found when she Delved Naeff, it seemed fairly clear that the taint had established itself in his brain and had to be removed, thorn by thorn. It's not merely a disease of the mind, but an invasion.

We have no way of checking AOL Healing against Nynaeve’s, unless Graendal comes back to the Light and compares notes with Nynaeve, but I have to think that if anyone had any way of Healing taint madness, they would have used it and taught the weave to every woman capable of using it. They would have had every man with any skill at Healing working on figuring out a saidin version of the weave, and every man would, whenever possible, return for Healing every time they used the Power. If such a thing had existed, there should at least be rumor of it, either among the WayBack columns or the Ogier, or both. Instead, we only hear that those who tried to avoid the taint by hiding in the stedding managed to retain their sanity longer than most, but eventually the need to touch saidin again would drive them out, and they’d go mad, with no hope of Healing.

On the rest of your argument - you know perfectly well what I will say to most of it, and I’m not going to bother, but I’ll pick a few of your arguments to shoot down.

The problem with the men is that they were going to go totally insane, and there was no way around it. It’s not like they had a choice whether to use their power for good or for selfish gain, like the women did. They were going to go insane, most of them loudly and very dangerously, and then they were going to rot to death. Maybe the women should have tried building an enormous cuendillar bunker, (with lots of good food and cable TV) to contain them, so they could live out their lives without gentling but without hurting anyone else. Would that have been a kindness? Not in my book. The taint was universal and unavoidable (unless you had the DO’s protection), so the choice was to either sever their connection to saidin, or let them go mad, wreak havoc, and rot. The severing may have been primarily for the safety of those around them, but it was also for their own good. Many of them died of sheer apathy, but at least they died with some shred of human dignity remaining. (Incidentally, those who walked around with a guard were those who had committed other crimes, were being kept from suicide, or who were already so insane that they were a danger to themselves and everyone around them on a purely physical level. Some might say it would have been kinder to allow them to suicide, but that’s a deeper ethical question than I want to get into here.)

The case with the women on the Seanchan continent is not even close to the same. They were apparently using their power selfishly and without concern for the lives or welfare of the people they claimed to rule. Keep in mind, though, that the only source of information on the subject comes from a biased source; the winners write the history books, after all. If the information were absolute truth, some of those women may have deserved to be stilled and executed. (The problem with that, of course, is that there was no law under which they could be tried and convicted. Details, mere details.)

However, I fail to see any moral superiority in simply taking a woman's power and allowing it to be used, without her will or consent, by someone whose only claim to virtue is siding with the winner – who, incidentally, had no rights there other than what he took by conquest. A Seanchan damane is neither more nor less dangerous than a well-trained Aes Sedai – it’s just that someone else, every bit as human, selfish and fallible, gets to determine how to use the power.

Look at it this way. Suppose you have a magical ability to make everyone do what you want them to do. I observe this (from a careful distance) and decide that since you are using it in ways that don’t benefit me, I shall declare you Evil. (I find this especially easy to do because I'm prejudiced against people with your kind of ability anyway.) Suppose, further, that you are ruling a land that I have come to conquer, because my dad had run out of places to conquer back where I came from and decided I needed a new outlet for my own agressions. Not only have I declared that you are Evil because of your power, I’m also envious of your ability to make people do what you want, and I want your land.

Suddenly I find a magic key that will give me absolute control of your body and your magic ability. Aha! I will now use you to make people do what I want, no matter what you might think about the ethics or desirability of what I want. I win! I also make you create more of these keys, so that I can control the ability of all the other people like you, regardless of how they had been using their ability. Neither you nor they are allowed to make any decisions any more, and I use all of you to conquer the entire land and become the supreme ruler of the whole continent. I can set up any system I want, regardless of good or evil, because I control the power to make everyone do what I want. Furthermore, I shall make sure that no one ever gets to use that power for anything but what I and my heirs decide, because I’m now the boss.

And this makes me morally superior to you… how?

Gentling the men is not a matter of the moral value of their ability or the use thereof. It’s a simple matter of removing something that will drive them insane, mostly likely with great collateral damage, and will eventually kill them in a rather horrible way. They are not made slaves, they are made safe. Leashing the women is a matter of stealing not only their power, but any semblance of personal autonomy, leaving them fully aware of what someone else is doing with their power but unable to stop it. It is not done for the good of the people, but for the good of the ruler.

Back to your comments: "How they cry like little girls when another group of people, who had an even worse experience with WOMEN who could channel (and called themselves Aes Sedai) ruling through force, fear, and devious power tricks of the mind for millennia; finally managed to control them with a leash."

I’m not sure how the conditions in Seanchan constitute “even worse” than the Breaking. We have only the assurances of those who conquered them that they were, in fact, abusive rulers. Even if they were, the effect of the Breaking was of far, far, far greater magnitude than the rule of any one woman in Seanchan, who at least had a vested interest in retaining something over which to rule. They may have been petty, scheming rulers who waged OP battles against one another, but they didn’t turn the whole continent into a wasteland, entire cities into plains of glass, seas into mountains, and mountains into the abyss. They were sane enough to want to keep their land reasonably intact, with people living in it to make it productive, or what’s the point of ruling? Their greatest crime was that they resisted the invasion of Luthair Paendrag & his army. History, as written by the winner, declares that all channelers are dangerous and must be leashed, but fact doesn’t necessarily back that claim; it’s even less believable when it’s quite clear that the propaganda is totally to the advantage of the sole ruler.

You claim that the Aes Sedai who are leashed are crying “Boo Hoo, we are being treated just as we have treated others!!! It isn't fair!” In point of fact, when have the Aes Sedai enslaved someone, taken away their self-governance, and made use of the enslaved person’s powers for their own personal gain? I don't see any examples.

Why did Jordan name the Aes Sedai “Servant of All” The only way you can be a “servant of all” is to be lower than anyone else in social rank.” (sic)

Perhaps RJ was more aware than you of the example of the Creator of the universe, who humbled Himself to take the form of His creatures and serve them by taking their crimes upon Himself, while yet remaining their Lord. In terms of the AOL, however, being a “servant of all” is not a matter of social rank, but of the obligation to use your natural ability in the best interests of society. It in no way follows that in the Third Age, it is appropriate for all those who call themselves by the name “servant of all” should be made into slaves, to do good or evil at the whim of the one who owns them. A servant serves by choice; a slave (especially a leashed damane) has neither choice nor service, but is merely the tool of another.
140. alreadymadwithaessedai
hawkido @99

I'm getting in late on this convo, but consider this. Yes we have evidence of one bad apple. Are we judging all the other Aes Sedai of the era on the actions of one? Are we judging them all based on the Big Book that everybody from the author down says is not fully accurate and depicts what everybody believes now and may be propaganda? Are we judging them on the word of the empire that threw them down and enslaved them? Are we judging them based on the supposed actions of a man who probably left the Westlands with a huge chip on his shoulder against Aes Sedai?

When you think about it, it's not as if it's been quiet and peaceful since the conquest of the Seanchan Continent. Characters are always talking about this and that uprising. The Ever Victorious Army would have to have been in a series of conflicts to earn that name. Likely against insurgents.

Wetlandernw @193
On the paralis-net, perhaps modern day Aes Sedai don't recognize it, but Rand does, meaning it was known in the Age of Legends. He even flat out stated that he had worn the original male model as Lews Therin. Why don't the modern Aes Sedai don't know it?

Probably because all angreal and ter'angreal were taken during the Aiel evacuation from Paaram Disen. Probably because the modern White Tower's founders were little more than half-trained apprentices whose obsession for secrecy further diluted what little knowledge base was left to them. Probably because the most skilled and powerful Aes Sedai of the Age who were likely to know of or use them also had an unfortunate tendency to die in battle, either against the forces of Darkness or insane male channelers. That's if they didn't turn into insane male channelers.
141. silence
Um, the Aes Sedai routinely bonded men against their will, and then controlled them and used them and their abilities. While that has fallen out of practice now, it was done nearly as often as with their consent - for at least a thousand years.
Craig Jarvis
142. hawkido
@141 Silence

Great name by the way... especially if you took it from Dr. Who.

Great point and wonderful example that I hadn't brought into this conversation. *Everyone Groans*

Unwilling warder bonding certainly has fallen out of grace as recently as what book 9? I believe that is the last time an Aes Sedai (Cadsuane) said she would have considered bonding Rand willing or no, except now she knows that it wouldn't work.... What exactly about the bond didn't work... He got the Stamina, the Damage tolerence, and the SS radar... Oh, I remember, CONTROL OF ANOTHER UNWILLING HUMAN BEING, so they can use him as a tool of their own desire... Yes I can see how this is COMPLETELY different than a Leash. Because you can escape a leash. (See Egwene, Aliva, and others)
Fortunately, Taveren seem to not be controllable in this manner, or at least Rand. Just how many AS, even those who think that bonding a man against his will is "sickening", follow right on top of that with "why are you not compelling him to do what we want". Kinda like being totally against stealing cars, but then berating your friend when they steal a car for not driving the heck out of it... Yes, clearly these women are responsible adults that should be lauded for not being as evil as the Seanchan.

I hope the sun only gets swollowed by a small black hole... That will be so much better.

Egwene has the potential to save the AS from this fate... but only if she seeks the cooperation of the asha'man and work together.. the way-forward-machine shows them as being still seperate and both falling to the raven empire about 10 - 20 genertions after tLB. *SIGH* No lesson learned.

I do not see the Way-Forward-Machine viewing being averted. The only saving grace is that life under the Seanchan Empire is not as onerous as Rand once thought, in fact Life looked so pleasant and orderly, the people so happy; that Dark Rand's wrath was averted. Only Nyneve was able to accomplish that. That, among other things, will be why he will kneel before the crystal throne.
William Fettes
143. Wolfmage
“Street gossip. Thats an acceptable argument if there is an alternative.”
I disagree. It has little value without being properly weighted, compared with other scenarios and verified. As per Robert Jordan, a huge theme of WoT is how information distorts over time and distance. In addition to the way that WoT mythologies and Gleeman-tales are obviously real events that are warped in the retelling across Ages, we see information is routinely unreliable simply in the mild version of Chinese whispers that occurs in local communities, cities, and across nations for contemporary events. Any reasonably intelligent person is aware of this and treats rumours accordingly.

In order to parse rumours effectively into information you need to actively investigate, compare against reliable sources and use some nuance and professionalism comparing rumours with other rumours – weighing them up against each other on a variable scale. We see this information strategy employed very effectively by Balwer, Thom and Sandar, for example, to take the unreliable crap they hear on the street and find out what is really happening. Gawyn does not understand that apparently and he certainly doesn’t use any skill in examining the rumours he hears. He simply blindly trusts what he has heard and then discounts anything that contradicts it. That’s a failure and it’s not an innocent and reasonable one when multiplied over a considerable period of time during which he has ample opportunities to learn more and spot problems wih his view.
“But there isn't. He hasn't heard anything from anyone else that is more reasonable than his assumptive conclusions.”
He has heard contrary information, though nothing presented comprehensively. The point is his "information" was only ever an unreliable source and combine that with the fact that he has heard contrary information from virtuous, and trusted people, it should be enough to put any reasonable person on notice that they need to investigate further before cementing their convictions so firmly.
“At what time has he been belligerent about his need to find his Mothers killer.”
I said he is belligerent about his conviction that Rand did it. I said nothing about him finding Rand – though the consequences of his flawed reasoning are especially acute precisely because his conviction is backed by murderous intent. The point is he has nothing solid to correspond with such a firm conviction and the gravity of his intention. If he justs want to confront Rand in a conversation, the implications are much less. Remember it is only Egwene's intervention that stops him trying to kill Rand on sight based on his conviction, which he only promises because he loves her personally not because he is moved to reconsider his position at all.

I would have much less of a problem with Gawyn if he simply suspects Rand did it but is uncertain about how to proceed because it cannot be verified. Potentially murderous thoughts about Rand would be fine based on this if he had no intention to carry them out until he investigated further. But he doesn’t suspect he thinks he “knows” Rand did it and he was prepared to kill based on that which is utterly reckless.
“The purple swan argument fails to apply in this situation.”
The purple swan argument applies to any attempt to prove a negative. I have simply used the syllogism version for non-existence of a thing to illustrate the inherent logical problem. With both sides believing Morgase is dead, proving Rand didn’t kill Morgase is equally problematic short of producing Morgase.
"Elayne has not seen Rand in any recent time. She has no alternative response other than her not feeling that its within the character of the man she knows. Now this would be compelling for some circumstance not involving Murder. It might even be compelling for a Noble such as Gawyn to except his sisters opinion of Rand and his character, vouching his innocence.... without proof otherwise, yeah or nay, with an example such as the death of another Nobles death outside of the Royal Line of succession. Your analogy loses strength here, because this isn't an issue of textual fact. This isn't an issue of professional knowledge of subjects pertaining to a dispute of erroneous information. This about the death of the Soverign of a nation. The Queen. His Mother. None of your analogies work here, because: 1. There isn't any material, physical, or even imagined contradictory evidence, reasonable enough to remove suspicion other than a witnesses character assessment. 2. Morgase is in Fact missing. “3. Rand can be confirmed to be within the palace during moments of conflict as an aggressor, lending circumstancial evidence to reasonably make hypothetical conclusions subducting an assumption of innocence.”
I didn't say Elayne's opinion is proof against. It is merely part of relevant persuasive background for him to keep an open mind. A character reference can be wrong, of course, but it counts for at least as much as a rumour. I'm simply saying the rumour itself was never good enough proof for him to hold a strong opinion. He doesn't have enough verifiable facts to have any firm opinion really. The circumstantial evidence is not proof that warrants a firm conviction. It is merely suspicious. And the process is not perfectly additive. A rumour plus suggestive circumstantial evidence isn't proof.
"5. He has motive. Removing Morgase from power obviously gives him control of one more nation, however usurped, is the most immediate theory."
And what would be the point of removing Morgase just to stabilise the country and accede to Elayne. That motive collapses over time and Gawyn persists with his view long after this motive has collapsed.
“Goodness gratious. I at least, have seen the sequence of events to be compelling enough to make reasonable assumptions laying down the foundation to at least investigate the possibilty of Rands guilt. And as there is no other logical scenario that anyone in Randland can sumbit to the contrary? Come now! Morgase vanishes Rand is the King. That would mean nothing to a lawyer without proof, sure. But to the masses of citizens in Andor?”
I’m not saying the sequence isn't suspicious. I’m saying it is not enough to have a reasonable conviction that Rand did it. It certainly warrants investigation, like visiting Caemlyn and making inquiries. Looking Glass has posted a good chronology of the sequence @ 130 which shows Gawyn has ample opportunities to spot contradictions with his view over time if he is open to learning about them. Also see Wetlander's post which addresses the failure of imagination as to appropraite actions that could have been taken to investigate further.

See what I said to Zexxes, specifically that Egwene had forbidden Gawyn from speaking to or confronting Rand, that she offered to get him proof but never did, that there was no one else he could have asked at the time, and that she never offered the information she had which would prove him innocent. Yes, Gawyn needed to try harder to learn the truth, and try to work past his emotions, but neither Elayne nor especially Egwene did a great job in making their cases to him.
I don’t disagree with any of that - except to say that his failure to speak to anyone else about it is an ongoing failure not just limited to that specific moment. If it was a momentary lapse in his grief I would be much less harsh in my judgement.

What you've said doesn’t contradict anything I’ve written. He did need to try harder.
Craig Jarvis
144. hawkido
@139 wetlandernw

Wall'o'text indeed... it was good tho.

I didn't read Greandal's statement as being that compulsion couldn't be unwoven... I read it as HER compulsion couldn't be unwoven. Pride being a shining attribute of the Forsaken and AS alike.

Ishy... yes good quote... I think with the taint still active it may have been harder to remove, or perhaps it could only be lifted, but would re-settle once the weave dissolved. Wish we had better info. A fair enough point... however the eye could have provided the satiation of the men retreated into the steading so they would not drink the dirty dirty. They could liquify and purify the male OP. and there was alot of it in the well. But that is pure conjecture, and a pyramid scheme too boot.

The Breaking:
It wasn't called the Breaking of the Westlands. Seanchan suffered just as much as the rest of the world. The remaining AS in Seanchan chose not to try and reform into a "benevolent" group of channelers serving mankind. This is what Lothair found... Every country was ruled by a channeler, I guess the normal population couldn't come up with a good leader? ever? Or they died too young to take leadership... with the aid of a channeler.

How come if the AoL AS supported a unified government with no wars, then why did the new westland AS not join Artur Hawkwing once he had succeeded in restoring that continent to just such a state... After all his reign was the only multidecade period of peace the continent knew. Tar Valon was seiged true, but only after the AS attempted to stop him in his quest to unify the continent. A child could walk across the continent with a sack of gold and not once fear being robbed. We see the AS constantly claiming they should "guide" and "Control" and "Manipulate" the people "for their own good"... yet just how good was it. Yes I know Ishy got involved... which did Ishy see as a bigger threat that time, the White Tower, or Artur Hawkwing... Had Ishy not been involved then all the shadow spawn in the mainlands would have been exterminated as they were in Seanchan... The AS swore to watch the seals dissappear LOL. How many of them actually fought in the borderlands against the shadowspawn. Shouldn't there be at least 50 or 100 in each borderland country at any one time... shouldn't each ajah send a rotating contingent to help support and kill the shadowspawn. Here, read about Hawkwing, he sounds hideous. Yes I could see how you would not want to live under that kind of empire... Merit based promotions, egalitarian society. one third of his rulers under him were channelers. Once the AS turned on him, the shadow struck with the second trolloc invasion... not at the white tower, but at Hawkwing, and he defeated them without AS help. If only the tower had submitted to artur hawkwing after they deposed and stilled Bonwin. then Lothair would have not had the negative view of AS and would have brought some with him, and the Seanchan AS would have been absorbed into the new unified world government like in the AoL 1000 years before Rand would have been born the world would have been unified under one banner and could have fought the DO united. But prophesy is a fickle thing.

It keeps falling on the AS shoulders as the cause of human suffering. and the cause of AS failure is their belief that they are better than others. Sea folk do not let channelers rule, Aiel neither, the kin do not rule non-kin there is no problems there. Only the AS seek to rule other non-channelers. Indirectly, and from the shadows... but if you deny (not you in particular, but you the reader) that the AS seek the role of leadership among the people of the westlands, then you deny reality... The only saving grace is that they suck at it soo much. Again look at Seanchan pre-unification.

(edit) A servant is not a slave... an honored servant is like a son. The AS choices are be a servant to man or be a slave to man or the Dark One.

tangent: Why isn't Elaine still ruling in Camelyn in the way-forward-machine viewing? Her age wouldn't be so great that she couldn't? Avi's daughter was in her 20s in that last step. Her child who sat the throne couldn't channel. Perhaps Rand had something to do with that, setting rulership straight.
Jay Dauro
145. J.Dauro

Actual quote.
“Promise me you will not raise a hand against Rand until I can prove he didn’t.”
Lord of Chaos - 25


He only has hearsay going either way to start. However, he trusts the hearsay of people he does not know, and who do not know his Mother, Rand, or even him over the statement of the woman he loves? If he cannot trust her, he shouldn't be wanting to marry her.

However, in TGS - 24, he should get some inkling that something is amiss. He finds that there are things in the world he doesn't understand. Egwene has forbidden rescue. Here he gets testimony that Morgase banished Bryne, and was destroying Andor. This is not hearsay, it comes from someone he has trusted up till now, who saw it. Rather than thinking, "Wait, something smells here, I need to consider that something is not quite right.", he thinks of attacking Bryne for badmouthing his mother.
“You could,” Bryne said gruffly. “But it wouldn’t be true. Your mother saw to that.” Gawyn glanced at him. “She put me out to pasture, Gawyn. Banished me and threatened me with death.”
Bryne looked grim. “I felt the same way. But it is true nonetheless."
“No reason other than foolish love for that fop Gaebril. She nearly let her clouded head ruin Andor.”
“She’d never!” Gawyn snapped. “Gareth, you of all people should know that!”
“I should,” Bryne said, lowering his voice. “And I wish I did.”
“She had another motive,” Gawyn said stubbornly. He felt the heat of anger rise within him again. Around them, peddlers glanced at the two, but said nothing. They probably knew not to approach Bryne. “But now we’ll never know it. Not now that she’s dead. Curse al’Thor! The day can’t come soon enough when I can run him through.”
Bryne looked at Gawyn sharply. “Al’Thor saved Andor, son. Or as near to it as a man could.”
“How could you say that?” Gawyn said. “How could you speak well of that monster? He killed my mother!”
“I don’t know if I believe those rumors or not,” Bryne said, rubbing his chin. “But if I do, lad, then perhaps he did Andor a favor."
Finally in TOM - 33
“Burn me,” he said. “Elayne, how could you? After what he did to our mother!”
“He did nothing to her,” Elayne said. “I can produce witness after witness that will confirm it, Gawyn. Mother vanished before Rand liberated Caemlyn.”
So it's not just Elayne's opinion, she has investigated and determined that the sequence is out of order. (Although she could have told him her their mother was "in love" with Rahvin.) And still Gawyn does not stop to think that something is not right here. Three of the people he loves and/or respects have told him that his opinion is wrong, but he never stops to reconsider his belief.

As Bryne says in TOM - 22
“You always were the passionate one, Gawyn. Like your mother and your sister. Impulsive, never calculating like your brother.”

“You act with passion. You don’t act because of the way you think, but because of the way you feel. In a rush, with a snap of emotion. That gives you strength. You can act when you need to, then sort through the ramifications later. Your instincts are usually good, just like your mother’s were. But because of that, you’ve never had to face what to do when your instincts lead you in the wrong direction."
I feel that this is the key to understanding Gawyn's behavior. He has made a snap "emotional" decision, and does not know how to apply reason to it.
Craig Jarvis
146. hawkido
Rand has even given up his attempts of rulership... curious that... It is almost as if the role of AS is to NOT rule... but to help... kinda like a servant, or a slave if they choose not to serve.

Yes the seanchan are not giving the channelers the choice to serve willingly, and I have stated that is their own brand of evil. The westland AS have done as much to as many non channelers with unwilling warders during the trolloc wars and hundreds of years surrounding it. AS had several warders each, and replaced them as they sent them out like cannon fodder. Girls were raised to sisters in their early 20's during the trolloc wars to fill the AS ranks with more warder bonders. even the weakest girl could bond a half dozen.
147. Freelancer
It seems to have been wise to buy stock in Redenbacher's.

Monster batch freshly popped, help yourselves.
148. DJW
Sorry... I love this reread and everyone who comments on it; you guys are at least as interesting to read as the characters in the book. I even have voices in my head for each of the super-regular posters.

But please, just one small favor - if you're writing about a character or place or item or concept from the books, and you aren't sure how to spell it, please look it up. You have Google and two Wikis. Whenever I see "Lothair" or "Suaian" or "Cariienhininhin", I always get derailed and have trouble taking the writer seriously, because it feels as if the comment is rushed, which implies it is not well-thought-out. This is especially egregious when the writer appends "(sp?)" to the offending word, thereby essentially saying "I know this is wrong but I can't be bothered to look it up".

Okay, that probably sounds a little harsh, and I don't mean it to. But it bugs me. Am I alone in feeling this way?

I'm not a Spelling/Grammar Nazi; I understand that people make mistakes, and sometimes it is not important. But this kind of thing drives me a little up the wall. Not all the way up; say somewhere between the top of the skirting board and the electrical sockets.
Alice Arneson
149. Wetlandernw
DJW @148 - LOL!! "...somewhere between the top of the skirting board and the electrical sockets" indeed!

No, you are not alone. Not at all alone. :) There's a reason I have so many bookmarks in the WoT folder on my browser... encyclopaedia-wot, the theoryland database, IdealSeek, the chronology...

Sure would like to know what some of those voices sound like, though.
145. J.Dauro

Not to be hyper critical, but you do realize that this part of the discussion involves what Gawyn knows to date so far in the re-read, not the books.

And yet, taking into account what you have researched, we see that Egwene tells him to lay off until she finds proof that Rand didn't kill Morgase in LoC. And now it takes until chapter 33 of ToM before he actually learns that Rand didn't kill his Mother. And it was Elayne who tells him, not Egwene, right? And even still, at that point, he doesn't yet know that his Mother lives.

How long in Randland time is that? We know Rand didn't do anything wrong here. But until someone tells Gawyn what he needs to know, how is he to simply except opinion over evidence, however circumstantial. Read the discussion. Given what he knows here and now, he has more reasons to believe from without than he does from within his circle of friends and family. Of which only two have any grounds to dispute his belief. And that only upon there word.

Galad thinks she's dead, Perrin thinks she dead (and Morgase is even working for him), Blood and Ashes! Even Rand thinks she's dead. Elayne thinks she's dead. Egwene thinks she dead. Everyone thinks she's dead. Somebody killed her, so who was it? There isn't any other person to point a fingure at except for Rand. He has the means, motive and he was there. To any witness account he is assumed to have killed Gaebril? Why not Morgase too? No one except Rand, Mat and Egwene know that Gaebril was in fact Rahvin. And Egwene has failed to mention this to him. She hasn't even told Elayne and they're best buds. She's had this information for sometime now and still has yet tell Gawyn.

Wow! I mean you'd think the person who professes love for you would think enough about you that they'd realize that any information regarding your Mothers death should be immediately relayed to you at the most early convenience. Send a message or something.

But Gawyn is the stupid one? Hmmmm....

Come on!

151. alreadymadwithTowertalk
Wolfmage @143
I don't see why Egwene or Elayne had to follow up on Gawyn to make sure he did not persist on hating on Rand. He's older than either of them. Making sure he acts maturely and checks his facts is not a responsibility of either of them. Not on top of what they already had on their individual plates. If their word is not good enough for him, nothing short of Morgase coming out of the dead to smack him is. Oh wait, that is nearly what happened.
Contrast Gawyn's attitude with Galad's. Galad's own reservations about Al'Thor hinge upon the fact that Elayne is enamored of him and that trouble follows him wherever he goes. Nothing about killing his mother, nothing about seizing the throne of Andor. In his view, Rand did whatever he had to do.

hawkido @144
Let's talk about the Aes Sedai of Seanchan later. For now let's talk about the Westlands.

The Breaking wracked most of the world. Knowledge was lost. One Power based technology was lost. Aes Sedai increasingly found themselves spread too thin to control the chaos. This was the entire rationale for establishing the White Tower. To present a unified face of the Aes Sedai. There are some issues with it however.

First as you noted, Aes Sedai in the Age of Legends seemed reluctant to take personal control. The Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends seemed to have a rather decentralized form of leadership. Some of course had wide spread, even world wide influence but for the most part, each town or city had a guild of Aes Sedai. I can see where some communities would see the attraction in a leader that can live longer and ensure stability longer. This is the same argument Dyelin has for supporting Elayne. On the whole though, not all regions had Aes Sedai leaders and in no way was being an channeler a qualification for leadership. Each guild was answerable to the Hall of Servants and on top of this, individual Aes Sedai were often in Ajahs that changed continually as their chosen causes waxed and waned.

Fast forward to the end of the Breaking. Much knowledge was lost. Travelling had been forgotten as the landscape had changed drastically from what people remembered. While an Aes Sedai that was fully trained before the start of the Breaking could have lived to see its end, this would rarely have been the case. Taking control of chaos could take its toll on the most competent. Hunting down vastly more powerful male channelers could whittle them down even more. In the Age of Legends each field had its experts and some fields were invented by Aes Sedai with long lives and nothing to do(cough Lews Therin and swordsmanship, cough). In the chaos of the Breaking apprenticing to a specific expert was simply impossible. An Aes Sedai would teach her apprentices what she could of her specialty, and what little she could glean of others. In addition, this disparity in skill level was likely causing tension among several groups who had never learned to interact in a time of peace. This I think is where things got twisted. While the establishment of a unified authority to govern Aes Sedai is laudable, there also seems to have been an undercurrent of opinion that Aes Sedai should simply be in charge of everything. This would not have gone over well with those who wanted the same setup as in the Age of Legends and might have disagreed. What we do know is that those who disagreed with establishing the White Tower were hunted down and forced to submit. I blame the Red Ajah. Or their precursors. It's no coincidence that one: they have the largest numbers in the modern day Westlands, and two: they have persisted in trying to wrest power from more influential and even potentially influential people, Aes Sedai or not. The list of people they have betrayed to get to the top includes the last leaders of Manetheren, Hawkwing, Siuan Sanche, the entire Blue Ajah, and more lately, the Dragon Reborn. Quite a feat for an organization whose supposed goal is hunting male channelers. Not engaging in worthwhile causes(Blue) or diplomacy(Gray), or even war(Green).

As for the Seanchan Continent, it's only conjecture but my pet theory is that the Aes Sedai of the area maintained their decentralized organization. Luthair saw the continuously shifting ajahs and concluded the Aes Sedai were continuously at war and betraying each other. Deain came to him with the tool to conquer them, but you also have to consider that she had the ability to invent a ter'angreal(if she did invent it and did not inherit it from her own mistress). In any case, the Seandar Aes Sedai seems to have retained a bit more knowledge than their Westlands counterparts. They still know how to Delve for minerals, manufacture ter'angreal, though the latter in the aftermath of Luthair's conquest was limited to a'dam. This is why I suspect it was not as dark as Luthair's descendants claim it to be.

J.Dauro @145
Yep. The way Gawyn persists in wanting to hate Rand, you'd think he was the one who was at the business end of a Compulsion instead of his mother.
143. Wolfmage
I’m not saying the sequence isn't suspicious. I’m saying it is not enough to have a reasonable conviction that Rand did it. It certainly warrants investigation, like visiting Caemlyn and making inquiries. Looking Glass has posted a good chronology of the sequence @ 130 which shows Gawyn has ample opportunities to spot contradictions with his view over time if he is open to learning about them. Also see Wetlander's post which addresses the failure of imagination as to appropraite actions that could have been taken to investigate further.
Ok, I got one for you.

Hypothetically, what if Rand did indeed kill Morgase. No bodies (Morgase and Gaebril). No witnesses (except for Gaebril). Just what Gawyn knows, same as now. Egwene and Elayne still vouching for Rand. Remember they had no proof in reality until much, much later.

What then? Just let it lie? No Proof will be forthcoming. Just let it lie?

Or does that not change anything, for you.

Jay Dauro
153. J.Dauro

Sorry, when you started discussing Gawyn not being able to trust Elayne's opinion, you brought in the remainder of this book. At this point, he has not had any contact with Elayne, and does not know her opinion.

No, I do not let it lie. I investigate. He does not. He ignores his Oaths and refuses to leave the Younglings. That is until he finds that Egwene is in trouble, then he feels he can abandon the Younglings. So he could have left earlier.

He follows his passions. Although his sister and mother are like this also, they have learned to control it much better, and to use reason, to investigate the facts. He does not care.

He has learned that things are not exactly as he thinks, but does not stop to consider what this means. He goes with his passion. It is probably a good thing he becomes a Warder, he would be a terrible ruler.
154. Looking Glass
Hawkido@144: You’re entirely right about unweaving compulsion- Nyn didn’t discover that, she just followed Rand’s (LTT’s) instructions. Graendal’s just full of herself.

Some Aes Sedai want all the power they can get their hands on, some don’t want any at all, some just want enough to do what they care about. In that, they're like any other group of people. Moiraine straight up went AWOL to avoid a political position. Assuming every one of them will act like an Elaida-style power-hungry SOB given the chance just isn't supported.

Also, wise ones aren’t apolitical. They don’t have a central authority, but they’re more than capable of political action- Avi notes that their influence is what’s kept the chiefs unified behind Rand. It's mostly soft power, but that seems to be exactly what you're objecting to in the Randland AS.

You appear to be arguing that anyone born with the ability to channel should (a) be compelled, by force if necessary, to serve the public trust exclusively, and (b) have no say in politics. I have issues with both the involuntary-lifetime-conscription and the disenfranchisement parts of that, but the combination is particularly bad, as it means they’d coerced into serving something they’d have no part in shaping. Best case, people would be forced to work towards someone else’s ideals. Worst case, whoever they were forced to work for wouldn’t care about the greater good at all.

Zexxes@150: He’s not pitting opinion versus evidence, he’s pitting opinion (of people he trusts with his life) versus opinion (of random people on the street).

One could argue that the coincidence in timing counts as circumstantial evidence… except there is no coincidence in timing; Morgase was missing before Rand entered Cairhien, much less Andor. A fact which, as I said above, should be pretty trivial for Gawyn to learn.

I agree that Egwene managed a pretty huge failure in terms of her communication skills. That doesn’t absolve Gawyn of his responsibility to not just murder the first person rumor says killed his mother. Egwene and Gawyn are both quite capable of being "the stupid one" simultaneously.

Zexxes @152: First, how could Gawyn know there was no evidence unless he investigated? If he had checked (in reality), he’d have found plenty of information suggesting that (perfectly mundane usurper) Gaebril was the culprit, and none that Rand had anything to do with the matter.

He could have been certain searching for evidence was pointless because Rand did it, but that’s circular reasoning, which is not a great basis for committing murder.

But OK, what about the hypothetical reality in which Rand did do it, sneaking into the palace a month early and tracelessly obliterating Morgase?

Gawyn could still have established that there was in fact no evidence (not a given, even if Rand killed her), meaning someone who could murder and dispose of her while leaving no clues or witnesses. Gawyn may have no idea that Random Forsaken Murder or Random Tower Abduction are possible causes of monarchical disappearance, probably leaving Rand and mundane-Gaebril as people who could have that capability. Rand because of the Power, Gaebril because he’d methodically purged the Guard of Morgase’s loyalists and replaced them with his own (scumbag) troops.

Gawyn could also have tried to pin down more precisely when Morgase disappeared, and then tried to find out if Rand actually had an alibi for that time. The latter would’ve been tough, yes. Rand, with teleporting and invisibility and everything else, could probably have gotten the deed done from anywhere in under an hour. And, as it turns out, Rand was still in the waste, so the only people who even might’ve known where he was at any given time were the Aiel, Kadere’s peddlers, and Rand’s immediate retinue. Most likely a dead end for Gawyn, unless Egwene could verify Rand’s whereabouts or absence given a particular date and time. Not that Gawyn could have known that route was a dead end until he went down it.

Finally, he could have actually confronted Rand and demanded answers. Heck, even “tell me what happened or I’ll murder you” is a step up from “stab first, ask questions never”.

In the Rand-murdering hypothetical, there's still a lot Gawyn could have done to at least try to turn up evidence and/or rule out other possibilities (and if he can’t conceive of anyone but Rand wanting the Queen of a major country dead, then he’s just thick). And if he’d tried any of that investigating in reality, the information he found would have been pointing suggestively at mundane-Gaebril being responsible.

I’m not saying that Gawyn’s intent to commit murder based on zero evidence isn’t a plausible, even somewhat sympathetic attitude, frustrating though it can to read. It’s just not a reasonable (or moral) decision. Gawyn is acting like a human being, just not a rational or responsible one.

Not great behavior in a future ruler.

J.Dauro @153: IIRC, Gawyn does know well before now, from Egwene, that Elayne loves Rand and doesn’t believe he killed her mom. I think we’re all willing to count that as Elayne’s-character-witness-as-relayed-by-Egwene, even if not everyone agrees on how much weight Gawyn should give that.

Which frankly, I think should be a heck of a lot more than he does. She’s not just his sister, talking about their mom’s murderer- she’s also, on top of that, the person whose judgment he’s ultimately sworn to uphold. Instead of ignore totally.
Stefan Mitev
155. Bergmaniac
I don't think Egwene ever told Gawyn anything about Elayne's opinion of Rand, either regarding the possibility of him as Morgase's killer or in general. It was Min who told Gawyn at Dumai's Wells that Elayne loved Rand.
Philip Alan Smith
156. AlanS7
hawkido @ 146 "AS had several warders each, and replaced them as they sent them out like cannon fodder"?
I doubt this: every reference I can think of implies that the loss of a Warder is a terrible grief-stricken experience.
Alanna and Owein in Shadow Rising
Siuan remembering Alric after she was Healed in Lord of Chaos (and Leane still thinks of Anjen, 15 years later)
Erian in LoC after Rand kills two of her Warders
Adelorna in Gathering Storm
Hardly cannon fodder
Alice Arneson
157. Wetlandernw
I must admit that I find the equation of "rumor from a peddler" with "evidence" rather amusing. It's hearsay, not evidence.

"Their queen's dead.... The Dragon did it.... Everybody says so... The Daughter-Heir? Some says she's dead too. Some says he killed her, but old Mil don't know for sure..."

Leaving out all the flailing around, that's the rumor Gawyn hears. Then his immediate thoughts:

"His mother dead, and Elayne. Only a rumor, but rumors on everyone's lips sometimes had a way of turning out true... Coiren and the others meant to take Rand al'Thor to Tar Valon, but if his mother was dead... Elayne. If they were dead, he would see whether the Dragon Reborn could live with a sword through his heart!"

And that's the basis of the "evidence" he later places against Egwene's word that Rand did not do it.

It's not evidence vs. opinion, it's hearsay vs. Egwene's word of honor.
Alice Arneson
158. Wetlandernw
AlanS7 @156 - Thank you for pointing that out; I'd meant to but forgot. Given the trauma to an Aes Sedai when her Warder is killed, it's not something they do lightly. (It's even part of the reason that so many Aes Sedai don't have Warders now; it hurts so much to lose one, that they often choose not to bond another, knowing they will outlive him and have to go through it again.) During the Trolloc Wars, I'm sure a lot of people (not just Aes Sedai) did what had to be done and steeled themselves to the pain, but I hardly think "sent them out like cannon fodder" would be remotely applicable.
Tricia Irish
159. Tektonica
Wetlander@139: Bravo! Well said. Thank you.
Jay Dauro
160. J.Dauro
Looking Glass

Can you provide a quote on that? Because I don't find Egwene saying anything other than Elayne is alive, and I can't tell you where she is.
Ok do we all acknowledge that Gawyn knows Morgase is missing: Yes
Do we all acknowledge that Gawyn knows Gaebril is missing: Apparently, No.
Do we all acknowledge that Gawyn knows that Rand killed Gaebril: Apparently, No.
Do we all acknowledge that Gawyn knows that Rand controls Cairhein: Yes, I think we do.
Do we all acknowledge that Gawyn knows that Rand controls Tear and Illian: Yes, I think we do.
Do we all acknowledge that there is no other suspect that could be supported, given the bounds of the Rumor that Morgase is dead and what Gawyn has been told up to this point in the re-read. Apparently, No.
Do we all acknowledge that Elayne and Egwene are both as much, if not more, idoitic than Gawyn because that have failed, in an uncountable amount of time, to relay what news they have about his Mothers disappearance: Apparently Not.
Do we all acknowledge that Rand is minimaly somewhat of a jerk to not at least attempt find both Gawyn and Elaynes Mother and at least try to alleve any fears about whatever said rumors may imply: Well maybe just a bit.
Do we all acknowledge that Gawyn was an idiot not to drop any and all to find out if his Mother was dead, up to and including ignoring the word of Egwene and Elayne and go find out for himself since neither of them cared enough to do so: Oh yes, I think we do.
Do we all acknowledge that nobody was trying to find out what happened to Morgase: I at least think so.

So I think what we disagree on is what Gawyn could possibly have known. Those I disagree with, seem to think that Gawayn had only the rumor to act on. They think that Gawyn is too stupid to put surrounding facts together and form an opinion from them. I disagree with them. I think Gawyn is capable of basic algebra and can figure out what are the most likely scenario's given what other information he already knows and what other rumors are floating around at that time and can do so just as well as any Aes Sedai, excepting maybe Moraine.

Like I said we agree to disagree.

I think a lot people mistakenly think that evidence can only support the truth. When in fact it can support a lie as well. And has been used to do so and so proficiently well now, that we have training manuals on how to use it to the greatest effect. It is taught in universities, if you have the right professors. And it is used daily by our politicians. It is used in our courts of law and laws have been inacted based on its merit. And so much more depressingly, our soverign Presidents have been decided from it.

I call it Deception Relations. Call it what you will. But know that this is true.

haa..hahaa.. Haaaahaa... I-knowww-thiiss... muuuch-iis tru-ue
haa..hahaa.. Haaaahaa... I-knowww-thiiss... muuuch-iis.... TRUE! *snapp'n fingers *

Awwwwe yeeeeaaah! Tak'n it back... What! You young'ns don't know about dat! Go ahead you can move it like dat! Push back you know I like it like dat! Pull your hair when I...

Cuuuut! Cut cut cut cut! This is family programing people!

But it's the re-mix!

I'm bored!

Tess Laird
164. thewindrose
Gah! It's Gawyn - in medical books, Gawyn is listed as causing severe trama to the brain by such actions as the repeated headdesk and/or facepalm.

I have experienced first hand peope who let their emotions take over their decision making process - it is so frustrating. And it can be amazing how long they persist in clinging to that first decision made under that emotional haze.

In Gawyn's case, I just wish that after he heard the rumor - he would have hightailed it back to Andor. (He had those Younglings he was in charge of, but I am sure someone else could have stepped in. I think his most important duty would be in Andor - he swore an Oath in front of Bryne to the Light that he would protect Elayne and be the First Prince of the Sword.)

Moridin as a pantry full of objects of Power - and knows their uses. The dreamspike is a really cool one, and there is a book of dark prophecies - dun dun dun:)

Robert Crawley
165. Alphaleonis
The vast majority of headdesking I've done while reading this series is over someone not telling someone else something that is critical for that 2nd someone to know, when telling would violate no trust or promises. How many times has that happened in this series? Next time I do a complete reread, I will count them. I know it is numerous, and I know that all of the readers are pounding their heads against the desktop in unison when it happens. (Well not unison, because thankfully we are not all reading the same pasages at the same time or we would be setting off the seismographs.)

With that said, perhaps the worst example of this kind of miscommunication in the entire series is that of Egwene's lack of giving what evidence she already had to Gawyn about the time sequence of events in the disapearance of Morgase. And Rand's fury with Rahvin over what had happened to her. Very bad reader frustration when she did that. Epic fail!!! But even without her information, Gawyn is still epic stupid!!!

On another subject: For 16 years of my life, I worked in the field of political education, travelling 3 western states and spreading information about current events in relation to the ideologies of the Founding Fathers as found in their writings. I have been in general impressed with the comments on this board about political systems, ie. republics and other forms of government. The best little treatise I could recommend on the subject is a short pamphlet called Republics and Democracies by Robert Welch.
Thomas Keith
166. insectoid
Wet @39: I'm shocked... I actually stumped you! :P
ETA: Oh yeah... I left you a picture on the previous post.

Drongolord @71: Hehehe.

Macster @125: Well, it has been a good many years since my mom re-read all 11 (now 13) books. And with all the vast quantities of books she's read since then, the bit of info about the origin of Trollocs probably got buried.

Wet @139: I have an old (1993) O'Reilly book of smileys, and I found several for tongue-in-cheek:
:-? :-J
Hope that helps. Nice wall BTW.

Wet @149: My WoT bookmarks are like that, too. I have seperate folders for Resources, Fan Sites, etc. Good grief, my Resources folder has 15 things in it...

Free @147: *LOL*

Wind @164: Heck, Gawyn is pictured in medical books under head trauma. XD

We should have T-shirts made that say Gawyn Is a Doofus! on them. :D

My nameday's on Monday. *sigh* Sometimes I wish I were still a teenager...

167. Looking Glass
J.Dauro @160: Bergmaniac's right, I was misremembering and it was Min who passed that on after Dumai's Wells, not Egwene in Cairhien. The two are about a month and a half apart chronologically, during which period he'd only have Egwene as a character witness, but he does know as of book six.

Zexxes @161: Really, I think the only major difference in commenter opinions is quantitative- does one think Gawyn can be certain enough, from the information he has, to be justified in committing murder, or should he feel obligated to seek greater certainty?
Bill Stusser
168. billiam
I can't believe I'm going to even kind of defend Gawyn but I agree with what Zexxes has been saying. If I were to find out that somebody killed my mother, that person better hope I find out differently before I find them or they are going to be in a world of hurt. The one thing that would be different is that I would be out looking for that person not wandering around doing other stuff and thinking of what I would do if I ever ran into the guy.

Also, @ 166, why would anyone ever wish to be a teenager again? Worst stage of a person's life, ever. I would not want to go back for any reason, and that's coming from someone who was both a star athlete and popular. I feel sad for those who believe that their so called 'glory days' were when they were in high school.
Craig Jarvis
169. hawkido
@ 151. Alreadymad
If I am reading your post right, you are making a false assumption about ajahs (If I am misreading or just poorly stated, please disregard , as I am as prone to make as many mistakes as others LOL)... Ajahs did not exist in the AoL like they do today, and the likelyhood of ajahs becomming a permanent society anyplace but the west lands is unlikely as it was several hunderd years after the tower was founded that the ajahs consolidated into these societies in a permanent nature. The ajahs in the AoL were work groups of assigned AS for a particular feat or project, such as making Callendor or the choden'kal, once finished the ajah was disbanded.

Part of the reason I keep bringing up the Seanchan is that to understand their outlook on Channelers you must look at their history, the history is not so ancient that they wouldn't know. Also, Seanchan's history was not wiped out in the hundred year war and Trolloc war as it was in the westlands. So, believing the westland's history which was wiped so completely that they didn't know what year it was that they had to found a new calendar two more times than Seanchan, is probably not the wisest of options.

Biblically, the Nephalim were purged by God because they, with their near millenia long life spans, saw themselves as gods amoung the natural men, who only lived 1/10 of the Nephalim's age, and lorded themselves over the Natural men as if they were gods. Biblical history or if you see it as myth, so be it, Jodan used all myth/religion as inspiration to draw from as fact for this series. Of course you can believe your view because you wish it to be true. As I do mine. Until the encyclopedia we won't know for sure. But my view explains the Seanchan view logically without condeming an entire population of peoples as all evil. Whereas the AS with their life spans driveing them to see all muggles as lesser beings meant to be herded to the pastures that the AS want grazed. Remember, no one crys foul when a woman punches a man, but the whole room will go up in arms if a man punches a woman. Why do you think it would be different if an AS abuses their power and forces a muggle into submission. The only difference is that the Seanchan people managed to fight back sucessfully, because the bullies weren't united.

The AS that you and others say are good and shouldn't be mistreated, already SERVE the people willingly, the ones you acknowledge as bad would be the ones enslaved.. the rest would not have bad examples to follow blindly, and would hopefully also choose to serve, if not for the betterment of mankind, then at least to avoid slavery. Prison is full of strong men with weak wills, should we let them out because not all strong men are bad. Should they be judged on a case by case basis, YES. Do the police prosecute the crimes of their fellow policemen as they would a civilian? Tight fraternaties never do. If the only ones that can bring an AS to justice (not a slap on the hand but true justice) for their misdeeds refuse to as they see these "crimes against the lesser peoples" do not warrant true justice (case in point raping a farmer's daughter in tear, not a crime for nobles, pre-Rand) then the whole lot are guilty and must be judged as a whole. That is also a biblical law, a village failing to prosecute a crime, subjects the entire village to the punishment for the crime.

@ 154. Looking Glass

Fair point and well said... Perhaps what I am thinking but failing to state (as is my unconcious habit, also shared by others...LOL) Is that, as in the most recent case of Elaida, is that the propensity of the AS to blindly "follow the leader" without checking what the leader is leading them into... A full 1/3 of the AS just followed her, and another 1/3 failed to stand against her, so only 1/3 of them opposed her. now, let's look at the third that opposed her, how many of them opposed her, not for what she was doing but, merely because they wanted to be the leader, again not caring where they lead. The third that refused to get into the fight are actually more akin to what the AS are supposed to do in muggle affairs... not get involved. But when it is a channeler misbehaving, they have a duty to get involved, and yet the only third that did so, consists mostly of those who would replace her, not to right things, but merely to replace her, they may change the tactics some, but the strategy would remain the same. They want to be the ones that the muggles flock to for leadership in the very catastrophies they create. "Let no tragedy go to waste, and when there is no tragedy... make one"

Yes, we see Pedron Niall plotting the same thing... useing the DR as a wolf to unify the people behim HIM! and that is what the AS are trying to do... Goes back to the original argument that the AS are just like the WC. Some of the tactics are different, but there you have it. Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

@ many concerning the Gawyn
This goes back to Terry Goodkind's Wizard's First Rule:
People will believe any lie, if they Fear it may be true, or if they wish it to be true.

All Feared Morgase was dead, and accepted the indications as proof.

Gawyn's subconcious jealousy of Rand, as pointed out by Elaine and acknowledged by Gawyn later in this book, lead him to accept any indication that Rand killed his mother and discard any doubts on the subject, because Gawyn wished it to be true.

Before you bag on Gawyn for this too much, remember the Wizard's Second Rule:
No one is immune to the First Rule.
Craig Jarvis
170. hawkido
@ 156. AlanS7 and @ 158. Wetlandernw

A channeler can release her warder from his bond as he is dieing to prevent herself from suffering. It is not done nowdays, becasue it would dishonor the memory of the warder... Hower, if you have been unwillingly bonding warders who only live a few days or even hours on the battle field, you really don't give a rat's ass about his memory now do you? You didn't know him in the first place and he was probably spitting in your face as you bonded him, the bastard! This is based on a question to Jordan, can an AS release a warder to spare him from going bezerk if she is dieing? And the follow-up question can she dump him if he is about to die to spare herself. the answer to both was yes, the first still happens if there is time and no hope, the later isn't done anymore. But then neither is bond raping men in a wholesale fashion a common practice either, since the end of the Trolloc wars. I believe we will see this happen again from Gawyn's suggestion and Egwene's experience at the end of this book.

Novices and accepted were also bonding men willing or no in the Trolloc wars.

What you think is flying in the face of what the author has told us, on and off the page.

Again, believe what you want, desperate people with power WILL abuse it with, at most, only a little concern who they step on. Most won't give it a thought at all. They will believe it is their right.

Jordan was awefully handy with the info. That is all.
169. hawkido
@ many concerning the Gawyn

This goes back to Terry Goodkind's Wizard's First Rule:
People will believe any lie, if they Fear it may be true, or if they wish it to be true.

All Feared Morgase was dead, and accepted the indications as proof.

Gawyn's subconcious jealousy of Rand, as pointed out by Elaine and acknowledged by Gawyn later in this book, lead him to accept any indication that Rand killed his mother and discard any doubts on the subject, because Gawyn wished it to be true.

Before you bag on Gawyn for this too much, remember the Wizard's Second Rule:
No one is immune to the First Rule.
I like that a lot. I also watch T.V. as well as read. And when I do, I frequent a television show called House. His first rule?

Everybody Lies.

Remember, no one crys foul when a woman punches a man, but the whole room will go up in arms if a man punches a woman.
I hope Leigh doesn't see that or this, but Imma have to agree with that discrepency within equality between the sexes. It is frustrating to get beat on by a woman and then if you so much as push a woman away from you, its the guy who is prosecuted most times. This has gotten better in law enforcement. But on the otherhand I've seen a woman punch her boyfriend repeatedly and did anyone try to hold her back? No. Everyone laughed! Except me. I broke it up. And I explained to the officer (the manager called the cops) infatically that the girl was lying about him hitting her (he didn't, he tried to restrain her and that was it) and he still went to jail for the night. I had to call her a cab so she could get home. I later went to court in his defense. He won.

And yet, if their weren't so many assholes out there, we men wouldn't have nearly the problem with that particular brand of discrimination as we do.

167. Looking Glass.

Well it would only be commiting murder if Morgase wasn't dead. Eye for an eye, if death is the eye, isn't murder to everyone. To some, whom believe themselves more evolved, maybe believe so. Or maybe if the person believed themselves to be more enlightened or maybe its simple passivity; they might believe it to be, as well. But to some, the rule is indeed, life for a life. But that mantra should rightly be taken with a grain of salt, because you allow extreme belief systems to perpetrate undo rights unto warfare. Hence the reasons behind 911 and the reasons for our escalating retaliation.

Now here in this scenario, regarding Gawyn, it would in fact be murder because Rand did not kill Gawyns mother and whats more, she is in fact alive and well. But wouldn't it have been a major tragedy if the Wonder Twins, having proof that Rand didn't kill Morgase, failing as they have to deliver said info and Gawyn somehow finds a way to kill Rand.

How big of idiots would Egwene and Elayne be then?

Craig Jarvis
172. hawkido
@ 171. ZEXXES

House - the what-if series that poses the question: What if Sherlock Holmes practiced medicine instead of solved crime? LOL Love that show. Too bad it has ended.

My problem in the whole situation is the Peter Parker principle "with great power comes great responcibility" LOL... If 2 men were fighting, there wouldn't be an outcry because there is little power discrepancy. If a man was assualting a woman the authorities would be called and men present could step in and stop the assault till the authorities could arrive, for both social and power balance issues. If an AS assualted a muggle (man or woman) who could you call? They could provoke the person till they tried to defend themselves then the AS could strike them dead with the OP if they were bound to the 3 oaths, if not then they could stike them down unprovoked. Take the westlands, let's say you witness such and event, and find another AS and report the incident to them in time to do something... The Best you could hope for was the new AS would stop it, remove the agressive AS and talk to them sternly... Maybe next time they show up to the tower, they have to hoe potatoes for a few months... Wow, that's justice. When was the last time that the tower recorded a single AS assulting a muggle charge? Never? In 3000 years never? Really? Perhaps the punishment was too minor to ever be recorded? It probably got reported about as often as rapes in the middle east countries do, and for the same reasons... "Hi, Police Officer, I got raped!", and the reply "Put her in prison till we can get time to stone her!" All so the Tower's Image doesn't get tarnished... The reputation gets tarnished either way, but if the punishment is public and just. the people would know that there are AS who do stand up for the mugles against rogue AS. As it is now, it is an us vs. them. That is the reason the Seanchan leash the channelers, because the channelers will NOT police themselves, and without the leashes the muggles cannot police the channelers. All the while taking protection money from kingdoms...
Craig Jarvis
173. hawkido
Hey Zexxes

In the next year or so you may start seeing a new type of debit/credit card issued into the market worldwide. I'm getting my patent worked on by a Lawyer next week, and the Bank I work at is backing me on the patent. My CEO was wiggling in his chair with excitement. I have the tech locked down to deafeat pretty much every type of electronic fraud, from skimmers and hacked pin pads to man-in-the-middle-attacks and stolen databases (like TJMAX's). Once we have the patent filed, My CEO is going to fly me out to meet with Michael Dell of Dell computers as they are friends. I'm stoaked.
154. Looking Glass
One could argue that the coincidence in timing counts as circumstantial evidence… except there is no coincidence in timing; Morgase was missing before Rand entered Cairhien, much less Andor. A fact which, as I said above, should be pretty trivial for Gawyn to learn.
Just because Morgase is missing before Rand entered Cairhein doesn't mean that anyone in Andor knows that. They believe Morgase to be dead. Thay know Rand killed Gaebril. They don't know of Gaebril being a Forsaken. They don't know of Rahvin compelling Morgase. What reason would the Andorans have to believe Gaebril had anything to do with Morgases death? Rand never told them why he killed Gaebril. I don't think he even addressed the fact that he didn't kill Morgase! To the Andorans Morgase isn't missing. To them she is Dead. So why would anyone think that anyone other then Rand had anything to do with Morgases death, when Rand, the killer of Gaebril, is conveniently there to assume the role? The rumor is completly justified and if Gawyn had arrived in Andor before Elayne did, he would be faced with the very same information as any other Andoran would have access to. Remember, no one in Andor knows that Morgase is alive. They believe Morgase to be murdered and they have no proof conradicting that.
Gawyn could still have established that there was in fact no evidence (not a given, even if Rand killed her), meaning someone who could murder and dispose of her while leaving no clues or witnesses. Gawyn may have no idea that Random Forsaken Murder or Random Tower Abduction are possible causes of monarchical disappearance, probably leaving Rand and mundane-Gaebril as people who could have that capability. Rand because of the Power, Gaebril because he’d methodically purged the Guard of Morgase’s loyalists and replaced them with his own (scumbag) troops.
Gaebril is a non issue because Rand killed Gaebril. They know he did. They have eye witness account of it. That immediately makes Rand suspect 1 in the question of what happened to Morgase. So Rand is a known powerful channeler and the Dragon Reborn: Savior/Destroyer. It takes no great leap to imagine Rand having the ability to dispose of a body tracelessly (and he can). It takes no great leap to imagine that Rand is capable of entering the palace unnoticed (and since he is capable of it?). So....

Everyone is arguing against on knowledge the Andoran and Gawyn have no access to. Basing it soley on what they have access to, it makes any rumor of Rand completely reasonable. One could see easily how it would spread and be believed by the populace without any dissenting information. If Gawyn had arrived in Andor shortly after hearing the Rumor he would have no other reason to believe that Rand was the killer. Egwene or Rand himself or both, would be the only people at that time that could have proved otherwise and they both failed to do so.

But Gawyn didn't even go to Andor, so I can see where the frustration comes from. I'm just saying the frustration is caused by undue bias given what he would have discovered had he gone to Andor to investigate.

In fact, I would boldly go so far as to say, that had Gawyn gone to Andor, he would have indeed had his opinion reinforced and then would have tried to kill Rand and likely he would fail. And in doing so, I fear Egwene, after all her hard work healing the Tower would be dead shortly after, along with him. Think Blood Knives.

173. hawkido

Congratulations! That is hella kool! I wish I had something going on like that or to even be involved in something like that. Don't let'em Oceans 13 you.... these are treacherous times we live in. And nowadays its practically legal to steal such things. Well actually it is legal to steal such things if done the right way.

Be paranoid. Very paranoid. Paranoid is a symtom fear and fear is our survival machinism, along with pain. It can also help keep you from getting screwed.

But I'm sure your aware of all that so, I wish you luck! and the Force! and everything well and good!

Birgit F
176. birgit
Rand did try to tell the Andoran nobles that Gaebril was Rahvin, but many refused to believe him.
William Fettes
177. Wolfmage

Nobody is objecting to legitimate feelings of hatred towards Morgase's killer fueling an intent to take revenge. This whole back and forth isn't about the problem of hot-blooded vigilante justice against mother-killers. We're not arguing that Gawyn should show restraint against his mother's killer. And it isn't even about impulsive acts and thoughts in the immediate aftermath of the news which are entirely understandable.

This is solely about the lackadaisical process of how Gawyn arrives at a unshakable conviction that he knows who his mother's killer is and how he obstinately clings to that conviction over time. That is, he passively receives hearsay rumours and counts them as capital T Truth without appreciating the low weight of hearsay on the street far removed from the event, and he doesn't probe any of it with thoughtful scrutiny or investigation. Indeed, though he may well feel he has conflicting duties that keep him from being exposed to new information (which is reasonably though odd given the Tower has done nothing to engender such loyalty and his duty is to Andor and Elayne), the point is he is utterly closed to hearing any new information which might contradict his view and does not even think any investigation is warranted. He believes he has sufficient proof to kill Rand on the spot but for the promise he made Egwene.

It is also about how he allows his prejudice against Rand to bolster this obstinancy through confirmation bias and how rather than be open-facing to new information about the issue, he illogically shifts the onus of proof to an illogically high threshold far above and beyond the standard he accepts for his conviction that it was Rand. If he was consistent with his actual approach, he would be a weathervane switching his conviction depending on the latest rumour. But he is only
lackadaisical in forming his original conviction, and then obstinate against reconsidering his view like he has a mountain of evidence and authority on his side.

Were it just about him being denied information that he was minimally open to receiving (even if hostile to it) we would not be having this debate. Similarly, it would not be an issue if he placed some discount value on rumours he hears, and applied some thought to appraising the difference between fact and rumour, even if he still arrived at a tentative conclusion that Rand did it. That would at least make his position somewhat thoughtful and reasonable.
Craig Jarvis
178. hawkido

Yeah... There is the chance of being ripped off... however the CEO of my bank, who I have known and respected and talked with frequently for about 7 years, is more concerned with his appearance and reputation. Of course, that can change with the proper incentive... But I am to the point I need outside help to patent and develop it, and I need the contacts to cut through the red tape of getting to the people who can help implement it. And my boss told me to go the the big guy, so that was what I was doing all friday night.
Maiane Bakroeva
179. Isilel
ZEXXES @174:
Just because Morgase is missing before Rand entered Cairhein doesn't mean that anyone in Andor knows that.
On the contrary, rumors that Mograse was missing or dead and that Gaebril killed her were flying far and wide. That's what prompted Rand to attack Caemlyn, remember? And yes, Gaebril looked likely as a murderer to the public, since Morgase vanished and he immediately proclaimed himself king. All of which Gawyn could have easily learned, if only he'd bothered to go anywhere near Andor and ask. Or even bothered to talk with reputable merchants who traded with Andor.
So, yea, you steadfast defense of Gawyn is in vain ;).


How do you expect the AS at the time of the Trolloc Wars to free warders who were going to die, when physical proximity is required? So, either they'd be in the heat of battle together, and it would be very dangerous to get distracted and perform the unbinding. Or they just wouldn't be close enough for it to be possible. Not to mention that it can't be done when a warder is killed outright anyway. So, yes, those AS did suffer and your warder cannon fodder theory just wouldn't work.

As to the whole thorny problem of taking unwilling warders - bond compulsion here or there, there is always a risk to AS if the warder truly hates her. They can turn against the AS and kill her and she may not have time to protect herself. Both Myrelle and that Black whose warder was hunting her both confirmed that this risk is very real.

And Trolloc Wars were desperate times. Not all people who had to fight were volonteers, I bet. Some had been drafted. And yes, the unwanted bond is a particularly distasteful form of "draft", but the men did get better survival chances through it. So, I wouldn't condone it, but it is certainly not a reason to collar channelers two millenia after the fact.

Oh, and BTW, do you advocate collaring (or maybe killing?) of male channelers too? Now, that saidin is clean. After all, they could cause all the same problems, right? More, since their destructive potential is higher.
And those male AS were selfish cowards who chose to go mad and break the world, causing untold suffering in the process, rather than honorably off themselves, once it became clear that taint couldn't be defeated. Surely they deserve to be preventively collared, all... Heh.

Re: Seanchan history, no they didn't lose it in 2 massive disasters. Instead, it was purposefully purged and re-written by whoever held the power and contradicting evidence destroyed. The Yellow Emperor-style.
And those are the people who'd you want to control channelers? And think that they'd be more accountable than channelers, somehow? LOL.
180. AndrewB
Hawkido @170 said: "Novices and accepted were also bonding men willing or no in the Trolloc wars."

Please provide a citation for that statement. From what I recall, Novices and Accepted were never allowed to bond Warders. After Elayne tells Birgette that she is only an Accepted, Birgette tells Elayne of the story of the Accepted who was caught bonding the man she wanted as her Warder before she was properly raised. Aes Sedai forced her to relinquish that bond and then selected her new Warder after she was properly raised. Birgette also remarked that she was not sure who was in control - the woman or the man she was given as a Warder.

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then." Bob Seger - "Against the Wind"
Craig Jarvis
181. hawkido
@179 Isilel
Right! Because Moirane touched Lan as she was falling through the twisted stone portal? Well, with that example, if you can TRANSFER a bond without touching, then you can RELEASE a bond without touching. Touching is only required to create the bond, the exact contact is needed to discriminate other targets in the area.

Wow, you guys can't accept the fact that I am not directly advocating that channelers be leashed, Thought I have been speaking in the first person as my earlier posts established this. I am justifying the Seanchan position based on the history and behavior of those who call themselves AS. The Hawkwing empire was not a terrible thing, once established it was fair and egalitarian. Only criminals, some posters on this forum, the DO and AS opposed it. When Luthair crossed the ocean he didn't encounter anything to change that opinion, only that which continued to support it. The seanchan continent is the only known continent with no shadowspawn because Luthair's army wiped them all out. The Way-Forward-Machine shows that the Seanchan empire survives and continues as it was, or possibly that the Pact with Rand suspends the collaring, and the betrayal by Avi's daughter nullifies the pact. (Avi's daughter was pissed that the Wise One's release was not part of the pact, and sought to force their release). I don't recall any other country having a problem with them, I need to re-read the Way-Forward-Machine scene again.

Draft is a particularly distastful form of conscription, wholesale bond raping men to compell them into the trollock cookpots so you don't have to go is... something else. More akin to human sacrifices. I presume that the AS were "Too important to risk"? That is kind of like saving your money for a rainy day, only when it rains well... the money is too important to spend. Just when is it that AS are supposed to fight the dark one?

One of my posts above addresses that the Men would continue to be killed in Seanchan, until they found a way to collar them. But men who can channel would be much harder to find, as two male channelers can pass each other and not know that the other can channel unless they do, unlike females who can sense the ability in another even if they are not a sparker.

@180 AndrewB
Yup you are right... my memory failed me and it was the shadow of this one story in my mind, that tossed them in... It was the fact that most of the girls were raised to AS in just a year or two during the Trolloc wars, combined with my corrupted memory of this story.
182. AndrewB
Hawkido, do not take this personally. However, you are wrong again @181 (or at a minimum, leaving out important points). Well before Moiraine met Lanfear, she had made arrangements with Myrelle so that if anything happened to her which caused Moiraine's bond with Lan to break, the bond would automatically pass to Myrelle. I am guessing that this was done when both were at Fal Dara (in TGH). (The purpose of this arrangement was so that Lan would not have the Warder rage, thus resulting in his death before Nynaeve could bond Lan. However, the reason is immaterial).

Unless one made the arrangements before hand, doing so on the field of battle just before a Warder's death is quite impracticable. Trying that on the battlefield may distract the Sister and cause her own death. Further, the dynamics of an active battle would be prohibitive from finding another Sister to transfer the bond to.

IMO your suggestion and the situation with Moiraine and Lan are like comparing apples to oranges (perhaps I should have said comparing saidin and saidar).

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then" - Bob Seger, "Against the Wind"
(Sent from my smartphone (as was #180); please excuse any typos)
Craig Jarvis
183. hawkido

I realize you are trying to keep things real, and I accept it gladly when you actually point out someplace where my info is wrong or my memory is corrupted. However this isn't one of those places.

Where was LAN when Myrelle transferred the bond to Nyneve? Did she touch Nyneve? No, she merely shoved the link into Nyneve (TOM ch.20 near the end of the chapter). To release the bond she would merely pull the bond out of herself and drop it, I presume. Exactly how the bond was passed over great distance from Moirane to Myrelle probably includes another trick (a finder maybe, so she could target Myrelle at a vast distance?) combined with the transfer.

Apples first and apples only here :)
John Massey
184. subwoofer
Been busy doing the back 40 so I haven't had the time I usually do to wail through the comments.

Hi Leigh ::waves::

Heh, don't think Gawyn has his big boy pants on yet. Whiskey may be too mature for him... how's about goat's milk;)

I see we are on the Gawyn chapters... oh joy, oh mirth.

I still have not forgiven the boy for killing his teacher then siding with Elaida. No amount of reasoning could come up with the conclusion- "hey, let's support the usurper to the Amyrlin in this little coup".

Elaida is a douche and Gawyn just burried himself in douchiness. Gawyn makes all sorts of excuses for doing laps around the Tower, but it just doesn't wash. Do your duty dude. You swore over your sister's cradle to protect her etc etc. and you are still thinking with your little head and hairing after Egwene.

The thing that really grinds me is that Gawyn doesn't go to Caemlyn until he needs space from the woman that snubs him. As far as I recall, Gawyn thinks his mumsie is dead... well, how about taking a trip home to pay your respects and visit her grave? What's that? No grave? Well Gawyn would figure that out if he took the time to actually take the time instead of carrying his brain in the same scabbard as his sword.

Other suspects for the throne beyond Rand? Hows about everyone that Elayne had to deal with for her claim to the throne. They had as much motive as anyone else, especially Rand.

Galad. Well, the boy tries, this particular part really drags out, but I think it is a timing thing more than anything else, so Galad is at the bottom of the hill when all the Trollocs in the world visit him and Perrin&Co bring his chestnuts out of the fire.

Hi Hopper:D - school that Perrin kid, willya?

And I do nominate Hopper for sainthood. Surrogate father of the year at least. Happy Father's day Hopper!

Thomas Keith
185. insectoid
Still buzzing around here.

billiam @168: Oh, that was just my gloomy mood talking. The older I get, the more depressing birthdays are; I'll be having a good time tomorrow, eating out at the pizza parlor (and getting beat at air hockey), and then enjoying whatever cool gift I get, but later I may be pondering over all the time I've wasted in the last decade. Which is a lot. ;)

Buuuut, I don't know why I'm talking about it here. Fear not though; I'll be back to my cheerful self in no time. :)

hawkido @173: Neato!

Sub @184: Hi Sub :D
Heh... We call our upper deck in the backyard the "back 40", even though it's only about 10'x75'; my mom insists on weeding it every few months, even though we seldom grow anything other than catnip there. ;)

Almost to 2 hunny, guys...

Rob Munnelly
186. RobMRobM
Hang in there Insectoid - look on the bright side, you're younger than me (and I'm not quite as old as those old fogies, Wetlander and Free).

Tricia Irish
187. Tektonica
Happy Birthday, Bug....Cheer up! The Gawyn chapters are almost over and then you can celebrate properly!

Edit: Spelling error ;-)
Tess Laird
188. thewindrose
So sub - you were doing ice scuptures?

I hope all the father's out there had a great father's day! My daughter and I made a new york style cheesecake, we have plenty left to share with the bunker(tastes good - just too much for a family of 4.)

insectoid - Hope you have a great birthday!!! (tempest™)

Craig Jarvis
189. hawkido
Insult is like dust...
If you look hard enough, you can find it, but...
It doesn't matter, if you don't mind it...
Deana Whitney
191. Braid_Tug
@ insectoid - Happy Birthday! Use it as a reason to do something silly.

@ Hawkido - Wow! I don't always agree with your theories, but I love your cultural references, from Poke'mon to muggles. Plus, thanks for helping us get close to a 2nd honey.
And you could always make your own bag of AS M&M's. Sadly Mars will only let you mix 3 colors at once for a custom order, but you could buy 7 bags of individual ones and mix.

P.S. I hope you get that patent. As a former victim of that type of fraud, something to prevent it at the source would be great. It's a sad world when I have to run credit checks on my 1 year old to make sure no one has stolen his ID.

@171, Zexxes - Good of you to help the guy out.

And a belated "Happy Father's Day" to the guys on the list that qualify!

Wish I had something else to say about the post, but you all covered it and then some. There were some impressive walls on this one.
Alice Arneson
192. Wetlandernw
We got so far off on other subjects that I forgot what I'd meant to say about Perrin.

Main point: Why on earth should he put pi and theta together to get Noam? Just because last time Perrin saw him, he was "not far from here" doesn't automatically make every wolf Perrin meets in the area him. RJ carefully scattered new wolves throughout the whole series, and in this chapter, it's almost always "Oak Dancer, Sparks and Boundless" running together. Nothing to distinguish one from another, to say "this one wasn't born a wolf." From a much later chapter:
"Boundless was indistinguishable from the other wolves, for all that Perrin now suspected the truth. This was not a wolf. He was a man."
Secondary point - I can totally understand Perrin not wanting to "go wolf" even in the dream. He's currently met two other Wolfbrothers; one is sane if slightly feral, the other has lost every shred of humanity. What made the difference? At this point, there's nothing to blame it on except blind chance. He's got every reason in the world to want to stay human, and precious little reason to risk it on a 50-50 chance with questionable benefits even for the "successful" outcome.

He's made use of the most obvious benefits - the sight and smell enhancements - and now he's trying to cautiously test out the rest of it, but trying to do so without letting go and falling into that 50-50 scenario. It's actually pretty gutsy of him, because while there may be some benefits, the risk is not insignificant - and the risk is not just to him alone. Aside from the wife to whom he has a certain obligation, he knows (from Min's viewings, Moiraine, and his own ta'verenness) that he is important to helping Rand win the Last Battle. If Rand needs him, it's going to be as a man, not a wolf-in-a-man-skin like Noam.

Jumping ahead again... Throughout this book Perrin begins to find his own balance, and completes the process when he realized that Noam didn't lose his humanity, he discarded it by his own choice. When he finds that key, he doesn't have to worry about it any more, and he's finally able to be a full Wolfbrother. But I honestly don't see how he can be faulted for not accepting it before that point.
Thomas Keith
193. insectoid
Thanks for the b'day wishes, guys... makes me feel lots better.

Tek @187: Yeah... That doofus.

Wind @188: That made my day, Wind... thank you! :D

Braid_Tug @191: Can do! Though around here, I usually don't need a reason... :P

Seems kind of silly that Mars will only let you mix 3 colors—they're really missing out!

Roger Powell
194. forkroot
Happy Birthday. I remember now that our birthdays are close (mine's the 19th.) I've decided to mark mine by kicking off my "pre-AMOL" reread of WOT. I've only reread the series once before (although I've occasionally gone back and reread some of the good parts of the books.) This should give me time to go back through everything before AMoL comes out.

I'm toying with the idea of a chronological reread. Something like:

1) Strike at SG (from BBoBA)
2) Prologue to TEoTW
3) New Spring
4) Ravens (TEoTW pre-chapter)
5) Remainder of TEoTW through KoD
6) Possibly interleave TGS and ToM

I'm curious if/where I should slot any of the other material from the BBoBA.

This is, of course, just for fun - I'd never suggest reading the text in that order for someone who had not read WoT already.

Opinions and/or suggestions anyone?
Valentin M
195. ValMar
Getting closer to the two hunny. Looks like I'll miss it given how late it's for me, it'll be gone by the morning.

Recently I barely manage to keep up with the re-read and comments. By the time I catch up with the comments it's very late to add anything except "I agree with X" or "Y was right". Discussions have been entertaining and I didn't want to cut them short, since once I pointed out who was right any further argument would've been pointless...

Wetlander @ 192

Re: who Boundless is- I'm glad that you said that. It never crossed my mind that he was Noam, and I couldn't see why it should.
Re: Perrin embracing the Wolf stuff. Agree completely, 'nuff said ;)
The pros and cos, as you starkly laid them out, are as they are. If I put myself in Perrin's shoes I too will be very wary. Let us not forget that Perrin's character is a cautious one.

forkroot @ 194

That's worth doing, given that it's a re-read before the final book. Starting from the very beginning to the very end. But if you want to be so dedicated as to read TOM and TGS at once, might as well read in chronological order Rand's chapters through the eyes of his Aiel ancestors in Rhuidean? I.e. work them around "The Strike" and the prologue to TEOTW.

Lastly it's 19th here already so, Happy Birthday past and present to the Bug and the Drug*!

* That's forkroot, obviously. Sometimes I can't help show off my cleverness...
Jay Dauro
196. J.Dauro
I decided to try and figure out exactly what Gawyn does know about Rand, etc.and when. So, with the assistance of the good innkeeper, Master Quillin, I have put this together. Warning, major wall of text.

In TEOTW 40 Gawyn meets Rand for the first time. He learns Rand's name, and that he is from the Two Rivers. Elayne thinks he is handsome and is attracted to him. Rand has a Heron Mark blade, supposedly given to him by his father, Tam. And Rand looks like an Aiel, but his speech is Two Rivers.

Later in TGH 24, he meets Egwene. He discovers Egwene knows Rand, and is from the Two Rivers. Egwene tells hin Rand was born in the Two Rivers, and they grew up together. She does not tell him she and Rand were considered to be an item.

Gawyn has met many people who have met Rand, he says,
"You could almost think he was ta’veren. Elaida is certainly interested in him."
He sees that Elayne, Egwene and Min are tied together, and involved with Rand

TDR 16
The girls were gone fom the Tower, probably together, and Morgase is furious about it

TDR 24
Mat is good with a quarterstaff. Rand's dad is better.

The girls came back to the Tower and left again. Supposedly they are doing Penance on a farm, but he does not believe it.

Here he describes his oath.
“That has been my duty since the day she was born. My blood shed before hers; my life given before hers. I took that oath when I could barely see over the side of her cradle; Gareth Bryne had to explain to me what it meant. I won’t break it now. Andor needs her more than it needs me.”
So he knows what he has promised.

In TSR 17 we see that he knows rumor is not always true.He has heard rumors that Rand is the Dragon Reborn.
“You mean because the stories in the streets say he’s taken the Stone of Tear? Rumor has a way of magnifying events. I will believe that when I see it, and in any case, it will take more to convince me. Even the Stone could fall. Light, I don’t really believe Elayne and Egwene are in Tear, but the not knowing eats at my belly like acid. If she is hurt. . . .”
In TSR 47 he shows he knows the Amyrlin was deposed. He meets Min with Siuan and Leanne. Siuan tells him Egwene and Elayne are in Illian, studying.

Min tells him of Egwene and Elayne's opinions of Siuan,
“Gawyn, Elayne supports her and everything she’s done. Your own sister, Gawyn.” His flesh was still stone. “Egwene believes in her, too, Gawyn.” His wrist trembled under her fingers. “I swear it, Gawyn. Egwene believes.”
“Gawyn, Egwene and Elayne believe in her. Can’t you believe, too?”
Gawyn gets his first inkling that he has chosen the opposite side from his sister and his love.

In TFOH 16 Galad tells Elayne that it did not take long for Gawyn and him to find out they were not on a farm. He also says Gawyn was unhinged with worry for Egwene.

Now we get close to the start of his hate. LOC - Prologue. Why did he stay with the Tower?
Even with that, Gawyn had chosen to stay, because his mother had always supported the Tower, because his sister wanted to be Aes Sedai. And because another woman wanted to. Egwene al’Vere. He had no right to even think of her, but abandoning the Tower would be abandoning her. For such flimsy reasons did a man choose his fate. Knowing they were flimsy did not change them, though.
And he accepts Rand is the Dragon Reborn
Yet the fall of the once-invincible Stone of Tear, fulfilling prophecy, said Rand al’Thor was the Dragon Reborn, and even Elaida said the Last Battle was coming. Gawyn could hardly reconcile the frightened farmboy who had literally fallen into the Royal Palace in Caemlyn with the man in the rumors that drifted up the River Erinin to Tar Valon. It was said he had hanged Tairen High Lords and let Aiel loot the Stone. He had certainly brought the Aiel across the Spine of the World, for only the second time since the Breaking, to ravage Cairhien. Perhaps it was the madness. Gawyn had rather liked Rand al’Thor; he regretted that the man had turned to be what he was.
Now he hears the rumor.
“Oh, big doings southward, my Lord. You’ll have heard of Cairhien? Him that calls himself Dragon and all?” Gawyn nodded, and he went on. “Well, now he’s taken Andor. Most of it, anyway. Their queen’s dead. Some say he’ll take the whole world before—” The man cut off with a strangled yelp before Gawyn realized he had seized the fellow’s lapels.
“Queen Morgase is dead? Speak, man! Quickly!”
Tesen rolled his eyes looking for help, but he spoke, and quickly. “That’s what they say, my Lord. Old Mil don’t know, but he thinks it so. Everybody says it, my Lord. Everybody says this Dragon did it. My Lord? Old Mil’s neck, my Lord! My Lord!”
Gawyn jerked his hands away as though burned. He felt on fire inside. It had been another neck he wanted in his hands. “The Daughter-Heir.” His voice sounded far off. “Is there any word of the Daughter-Heir, Elayne?”
Tesen backed away a long pace as soon as he was free. “Not as old Mil knows, my Lord. Some says she’s dead, too. Some says he killed her, but old Mil don’t know for sure.”
And what does he think? He has one peddler's hearsay.
Only a rumor, but rumors on everyone’s lips sometimes had a way of turning out true. He climbed half a dozen paces toward the Aes Sedai camp before he knew it. His hands hurt. He had to look to realize they were cramping from the grip he had on his sword hilt, and he had to force them to let go. Coiren and the others meant to take Rand al’Thor to Tar Valon, but if his mother was dead. . . . Elayne. If they were dead, he would see whether the Dragon Reborn could live with a sword through his heart!
So on the strength of 1 person's rumor, without taking any time to think or investigate, he has concluded that Rand probably killed his mother and Elayne, and that he should kill Rand.

In LOC 14 Gawyn dreams of rescuing Egwene from Rand, but it does not say that he knows Rand was once her her boyfriend.

In LOC 25 he learns that Egwene was never in Illian.

Egwene then tells him,
“Gawyn, he really is the Dragon Reborn. You must have heard what happened in Tear. He—”
“I do not care if he is the Creator made flesh,” he grated. “Al’Thor killed my mother!”
Egwene’s eyes nearly popped out of her head. “Gawyn, no! No, he did not!”
“Can you swear it? Were you there when she died? It’s on every tongue. The Dragon Reborn took Caemlyn, and killed Morgase. He probably killed Elayne, too. I can find no word of her.” All the anger drained out of him. He slumped where he stood, head falling forward, fists clenched and eyes closed. “I can find out nothing,” he whispered.
“Elayne is unharmed,” Egwene said, surprised to find herself right in front of him. She reached up, and surprised herself again by running her fingers into his hair as she raised his head. It felt just as she remembered. Her hands flashed back as if burned. She was sure she would flush so crimson her face would ignite, except. . . . Color stained Gawyn’s cheeks. Of course. He remembered too, though only as his own dream. That truly should have set her face afire, but somehow it did the opposite. Gawyn’s blush steadied her nerves, even made her want to smile. “Elayne is safe, Gawyn. I can swear to that.”
“Where is she?” His voice was anguished. “Where she been? Her place is in Caemlyn now. Well, not Caemlyn—not so long as al’Thor might be there—but in Andor. Where is she, Egwene?”
“I . . . cannot tell you. I can’t, Gawyn.”
Now he should know that at least one part of the rumor is inaccurate. That is, if he believes Egwene. But as we will see, he is known for making decisions based on passion, and is not good about dealing with conflicting data afterwards.

And he discovers something else from Egwene
“I do not love Galad. I love you.”
In this chapter he also says,
"and I understand that you feel loyalty to a man from your own village. That doesn’t matter."
So at this point, he does not appear to know that Egwene and Rand were ever an item. He does not appear to know that Gaebril/Rahvin exists, or anything of what has been happening in Caemlyn.

And this is where Egwene asks
“I have a second favor to ask. Rand did not kill your mother.” How could she word this to put the least strain on him? Strain or no, she had to. “Promise me you will not raise a hand against Rand until I can prove he didn’t.”

“It has to be that way, Gawyn. He did not do it, but it will take time to prove.” How under the Light could she? Rand’s word would not be enough.
Gawyn agrees and swears

For the next days (LOC 27, 32), she meets with Gawyn often, but does not question him, and tries not to reveal too much. We are not shown her talking any more of Rand.

In LOC 33 Egwene leaves for Salidar, she writes Gawyn a note, but does not say much more than she has to leave, and to ask him to wait for her.

In LOC 50 Rand sends a letter to Gawyn, asking him to visit, Gawyn does not reply, and Rand concludes that Gawyn believes the stories that Rand killed his mother.

In LOC 55 Gawyn approaches Min after Rand has escaped at Dumais Wells, and offers to take her out. Min tells him,
“I’m staying with him, Gawyn. Gawyn, Elayne loves him.”
So at this point he knows nothing of what Elayne thinks about the death of her mother, but he does know that she cares for Rand. He tells Rand,
“Al’Thor, one day I will see you die.”
So either he believes that Rand killed Morgase and Elayne does not know, or that she has heard the rumor and doesn't believe it, or she thinks Rand did do it and does not care. This is not a very high opinion of his sister, and Queen to be.

In the prologue to ACOS he thinks
He wished he could have killed al’Thor. For his mother, dead by the man’s doing; Egwene denied it, but she had no proof. For his sister. If Min had spoken the truth—he should have made her leave the camp with him, whatever she wanted; there was too much he should have done differently today—if Min was right, and Elayne loved al’Thor, then that dreadful fate was reason enough to kill. Maybe the Aiel had done the work for him. He doubted it, though.
Still he trusts street rumors more than the woman he supposedly loves, and thinks his sister is either uninformed or does not care that her love killed her mother. He ignores anything he is told that conflicts with his beliefs.

He does know of the Dragon Reborn and should have some knowledge of what Rand is supposed to do. (And we see later that he does know Rand is destined to die.) But he would still kill Rand and doom the world if he had not promised Egwene.
He should have killed al’Thor; he had to kill him. But he could not. Not because the man was the Dragon Reborn, but because he had promised Egwene not to raise a hand against al’Thor.
In ACOS 32 we learn Gawyn has returned to Tar Valon, and the Younglings have been refused entry. He is reasonably sure he was meant to perish and not return.

In COT prologue, Gawyn realizes he should have gone home.
returned to Tar Valon and found the Younglings expelled from the city, instead of letting himself be caught here by winter. Especially when he was sure Elaida wanted them all dead. His sister Elayne would come to Caemlyn, eventually, if she was not already there.
He is now trapped and cannot easily get back to Caemlyn. He learns that Elayne is with the rebels, but can be re-admitted to the Tower. She will be punished for pretending to be Aes Sedai, but not stilled or executed. He agrees to do what Elaida asks.

The next time we see him is in TGS 4. He is starting to truly question his decision to support Elaida. He realizes he has chosen the opposite side from Egwene and Elayne and Bryne, but is still up in the air about it.
And what of your duty, Gawyn Trakand? he thought to himself.
He wasn’t certain he had duty, or honor, left to him. Perhaps his guilt about Hammar, his nightmares of war and death at Dumai’s Wells, were due to the slow realization that he might have given his allegiance to the wrong side. His loyalty belonged to Elayne and Egwene. What, then, was he still doing fighting a battle he didn’t care about, helping a side that—by all accounts—was opposed to the one Elayne and Egwene had chosen?
They’re just Accepted, he told himself. Elayne and Egwene didn’t choose this side—they are just doing they’ve been ordered to do! But the things that Egwene had said to him all those months ago, back in Cairhien, suggested that she had made her decision willingly.
She had chosen a side. Hammar had chosen a side. Gareth Bryne had, apparently, chosen a side. But Gawyn continued to want to be on both sides. The division was ripping him apart.
In TGS-24 he fights his way to Bryne. He talks with Bryne about Rand killing his mother. And Bryne says things he does not want to believe.
“Because she’s forbidden us to rescue her,” Bryne said, clasping his hands behind his back again. “Or so I’ve been able to gather. The Aes Sedai tell me little. One would think they’d be more trusting toward a man they depend on to run this siege of theirs. Anyway, the Amyrlin can communicate with them somehow, and she’s instructed them to leave her be.” What? That was ridiculous! Obviously, the Aes Sedai in camp were fudging the facts. “Bryne, she’s imprisoned! The Aes Sedai I heard talking said that she’s being beaten daily. They’ll execute her!” “I don’t know,” Bryne said. “She’s been with them for weeks now and they haven’t killed her yet.”
So Egwene does not appear to act as he expects. And he hears of Elayne.
Light! He should have asked earlier. He really was tired. “I heard that she was in your camp earlier. She’s gone back to Caemlyn? Is she safe?”
“She hasn’t been with us for a long while,” Bryne said. “But she seems to be doing well.” He stopped, glancing at Gawyn. “You mean you don’t know?”
“Well, rumors are unreliable,” Bryne said. “But I have confirmed many of them with the Aes Sedai, who have been Traveling to Caemlyn to listen for news. Your sister holds the Lion Throne. It seems that she’s undone much of the mess your mother left for her.”
Gawyn took a deep breath. Thank the Light, he thought, closing his eyes. Elayne lived. Elayne held the throne. He opened his eyes, and the overcast sky seemed a little more bright. He continued walking, Bryne falling into step beside him.
“You really didn’t know,” Bryne said. “Where have you been, lad? You’re the First Prince of the Sword now, or you will be once you return to Caemlyn! Your place is at your sister’s side.”
“Egwene first.”
“You made an oath,” Bryne said sternly. “Before me. Have you forgotten?”
“You could,” Bryne said gruffly. “But it wouldn’t be true. Your mother saw to that.” Gawyn glanced at him. “She put me out to pasture, Gawyn. Banished me and threatened me with death.”
“Impossible!” Bryne looked grim. “I felt the same way. But it is true nonetheless. The things she said . . . they stung, Gawyn. That they did indeed.” That was all Bryne said, but from him, it spoke volumes. Gawyn had never heard the man offer a word of discontent about his station or his orders. He had been loyal to Morgase—loyal with the kind of steadfastness a ruler could only hope for. Gawyn had never known a man more sure, or a man less likely to complain.
“It must have been part of some scheme,” Gawyn said. “You know Mother. If she hurt you, there was a reason.” Bryne shook his head. “No reason other than foolish love for that fop Gaebril. She nearly let her clouded head ruin Andor.” “She’d never!” Gawyn snapped.
This is the first time we are shown Gawyn being told anything of Gaebril. We can infer from his lack of questioning about the name, that he may have heard of him before, although it could just be gawyn's reaction to Bryne saying these things about his mother causing him to skip this.

But now Gawyn has another of the people he respects contradicting his view of what happened. Not that Rand didn't kill his mother, but that his mother may have needed killing.

The next time he gets to talk to Egwene is TGS-43 as she leaves her tent. At this point she is more in a mood to kill Gawyn than talk with him. He comes close to provoking her into sending him away.

Then in TGS-45 he follows Egwene to the confrontation at the Tower. They do not talk. As Egwene enters the Tower he follows. In TGS-46 he waits outside as she goes to the Hall.

As we start TOM, Gawyn is still following Egwene, but she is refusing to talk to him. We see him outside as Rand comes to see Egwene in TOM-3

In TOM-5, he investigates the murder of Kateri Nepvue, then goes to talk to Egwene. We find he has talked to her enough to be granted permission to do the investigation, but it is not until now that she tells him about Mesaana. There is still the wall between them. She tells him she is planning to use herself as bait, and that he is not to protect her. This displeases him.

In TOM-22, he finds some of the Younglings do not want to be Warders, and he says he will help them join the Guard. He then goes to see Bryne. here they discuss Egwene, and Bryne describes how Gawyn acts with passion.
“You always were the passionate one, Gawyn. Like your mother and your sister. Impulsive, never calculating like your brother.”

“You act with passion. You don’t act because of the way you think, but because of the way you feel. In a rush, with a snap of emotion. That gives you strength. You can act when you need to, then sort through the ramifications later. Your instincts are usually good, just like your mother’s were. But because of that, you’ve never had to face what to do when your instincts lead you in the wrong direction.”
This I think is the key to Gawyn's behavior. He makes snap decisions based on his feelings, and is not good at figuring out what to do if he chooses wrongly.

He then goes to the hall outside Egwene's rooms, where he chases off a bloodknife. He runs into her chambers and is trapped by her snare.
as the Amyrlin herself walked from her bedroom. She was alert and fully dressed in a crimson dress trimmed with gold. She did not look pleased.
I doubt he will learn much from her now.

An hour later, in TOM-23 she confronts him. They argue, and he storms out. Chubain gives him a bloodknife, and he recommends some of the Younglings to Chubain. He leaves for Caemlyn.

In TOM-27 Egwene discovers that he has left the city, and has Silviana send him a letter telling him to return. Not a very polite one either.

Finally in TOM-33 he sees Elayne, and confirms that Rand is the father. He is upset,
“Burn me,” he said. “Elayne, how could you? After what he did to our mother!”
“He did nothing to her,” Elayne said. “I can produce witness after witness that will confirm it, Gawyn. Mother vanished before Rand liberated Caemlyn.”
So apparently Elayne has investigated. This is the first time that Gawyn discovers what Elayne thinks. And she claims to be able to produce evidence. She has people who can testify that Morgase was gone long before Rand came to Caemlyn. It should have been possible for Gawyn to discover this if he had come to Caemlyn first. In fact, he could have investigated some before he talks to her.

Elayne talks with him, and helps Gawyn come to realize why he feels what he feels about Rand. She points out that killing Rand would not be a good idea.
"And what would happen if you won and ran him through as you’ve said you wanted to do? Would you doom us all to satisfy your momentary passion?”
He had no reply to that.
“That’s not just jealousy, Gawyn,” Elayne said, taking the oars from him. “It’s selfishness.
Elayne finishes talking to Gawyn, and leaves. And he comes to a decision.
Perhaps Elayne was right. Perhaps al’Thor hadn’t had anything to do with Morgase’s death. If he had, Gawyn would never prove it. But that didn’t matter. Rand al’Thor was already condemned to die at the Last Battle. So why keep hating the man?
“She is right,” Gawyn whispered, watching the hawkflies dance over the surface of the water. “We’re done, al’Thor. From now on, I care nothing for you.”
It felt like an enormous weight lifting from his shoulders.
And from here on, he becomes the warder that Egwene needs, with a little sidetrack.

This is what we are shown in the books. From what I can see, he still does not know that Rand and Egwene were ever an item. We are shown that he knows the name of Gaebril from Bryne, and we are shown that he has listened to others with rumors of what happened. But since Gaebril was actually killed in Tel'aran'rhiod, no one (besides Nyneave and Moghidean) saw it happen. People saw Rand chase him, and then both disappeared. Rand does admit killing him as Rahvin. So it is possible that Gawyn has heard a rumor that Rand killed Gaebril.

For passion, (his love for Egwene), he ignores his oaths.

For passion, (his love of his mother,) he becomes single-minded in his beliefs, ignoring any of the opinions of other people he supposedly loves and/or respects.

I have tried to get most everything that could be related to the question of his behavior towards Rand. If someone finds something else, I would like to hear it.

Edited for spelling and grammar.
Thomas Keith
197. insectoid
J.Dauro @196: Holy Cowski, I can't even find the top of that wall! :P
ETA: In all seriousness, though, that's an impressive bit of research.

ValMar @195:
the Bug and the Drug*!

So close... D'oh!

Alice Arneson
198. Wetlandernw
Echoing the birthday wishes for "the Bug and the Drug"! (Good one, ValMar!) Sorry I missed that earlier. Hope you both had/have great celebrations. (And you may be grateful that you're neither one in Seattle, or it would be raining on your respective parades.)

Jay - Well done!! Excellent research, and it helps to see everything together. I have to grant that most of the rumors Gawyn heard after that first one merely confirmed his belief, but he certainly had a much healthier skepticism toward rumor earlier on. "Yeah, sure he did. I'll believe it when I see it." Too bad he didn't apply that to what he heard from Mil Tesen - but then, he didn't really have a big care factor about Tear. As you say... under stress, he makes decisions based on his passions, and now he has to figure out what to do when his decision turned out to be 180 degrees wrong.
Craig Jarvis
199. hawkido
@191 Braid_Tug
Once I get my patent filed and get a pending number I will outline the protective schemes I have developed. Also the features are top notch. with ZERO chance of compromise, at least zero chace on the wide spread scale that current cards have... Some one could compromise you data but it would take about 2 days per card one at a time and would have about 80% chance of destroying the card in the process, plus you would probably figure out by that time you card has been stolen, as physical possesion of the card is required. I have been doing IT in both the Air Force and the Banking industry for a combined 13 years now I guess. I have seen horrors you couldn't belive (TJMAX database theft, Wal-Mart merchant machine fiasco to name just two that totaled nearly 20 million completely compromised cards) My method defeats all that and much more. I feel for you and your compromised security. That can nearly be a life destroying event. Almost as bad as being declared dead while still alive by the Federal Government.

Back to writing my patent info for the lawyer.

@197 insectoid
I found it... it just scrapped the face off of Mars LOL.
Craig Jarvis
200. hawkido
Let's not race to see who gets the hunny. I got it and that is all... I think I composed most of the messages this time anyway and it is mine... WEEE...
Gary Singer
201. AhoyMatey
J.Dauro @196: Now that's one pretty impressive piece of research!
Birgit F
202. birgit
In the next chapter Morgase thinks about Tam and doesn't seem to know him from earlier times. She must have heard the Two Rivers accent from someone else.

A reread is a good opportunity to count who gets spanked how often. Has anybody written a paper about spanking in WoT yet?
William Fettes
203. Wolfmage
J.Dauro @196

Well done. That is great work. Pretty clearly it settles the matter. His prior thoughts discounting rumours are particularly damning.
John Massey
204. subwoofer
@JD- That. Was. Awesome.

Pretty much puts it all down on the epic fail that is Gawyn. Gonna be bookmarking that so any future Gawyn conversations we can say, "see J's post on ToM pt. 5". It must have taken a massive amount of time to follow that one thread from start to finish through the whole series. Thank you for taking that time to see the story to the end, can't argue with the text.

Valentin M
205. ValMar
Thanks JD, this was a big effort and very well worth it.
Rob Munnelly
206. RobMRobM
Jay - very nice!

Happy day to the birthday boys.

Fork - I just finished KoD in my re-read, although I still have to do New Spring. Re your re-read, don't forget you can do both the novella and book length version of New Spring. Probably also could re-read Brandon Sanderson's notes of his re-read of the series several years ago (I believe he still has them on his web site).

Birgit - I've always been convinced that there is an indirect tie between Morgase and Tam - either she heard his speech in his role as Second Captain for the Companions based in Camelyn or as suitor to Kari (who is from Camelyn and I was always hoping had some tie to Morgase). I'm still hoping but BWS has not seized on opportunities to make the point so hopes are dimming.

Re the spanking paper - Maybe Jay can adopt that as his next big research project. We can call it "That killed the goat!"

Jay Dauro
207. J.Dauro

Nope. I am nowhere near that reckless.
Rob Munnelly
208. RobMRobM
I'm betting there is a direct correlation betweeen the amount of spanking and the breakdown of the pattern over the later books. It's not balescream, it's Failescream.
Gerd K
209. Kah-thurak
That Egwene does not tell Gawyn what really happened in Camlyn when she meets him in LoC is one of the most unconvincing plot devices in the story. If I remember correctly, Egwene was actually present when Rand heard the rumour that Rhavin had killed Morgase and ordered the attack on Camlyn to avenge her. That a Forsaken had made Camlyn his Stronghold and proposedly killed Morgase after gaining enough power to rule without her might have been something to convince Gawyn - or not, but that she didnt even try is very strange.
Tess Laird
210. thewindrose
J.Dauro - You should put a warning before your summation of Gawyn - ie::Where protective head gear if you decide to read:: ;)

Thanks for doing the heavy lifting - that is why Gawyn drives me nuts, but I never actually compiled it in such an impressive way.

sub - good idea at 204 - heh:D

forkroot - have a great birthday!

Just make sure you don't stop by Ronde Macura's to have a cup of tea;)

211. Looking Glass
Zexxes @171: I’m going on the simple definition of “murder” as “unlawful killing”. Which absolutely does apply here; Gawyn’s intended course of action is entirely extralegal. That isn’t a judgment of its justification or lack thereof, just a description.

Yes, I did use the term because it’s a bit loaded, but the intended load was “this is serious and irrevocable, so make sure you know what you’re doing” rather than some inherent immorality.

Of course, much of the point of the legal system is to make sure that the parties responsible for punishment know that they’re doing the appropriate thing to the appropriate person. Gawyn does have real reason to believe he couldn’t use the actual legal system to get at Rand, but that definitely is the function I’m giving him grief for skipping.

If you’re going to take it on yourself to be judge, jury, and executioner, you have to actually do all three jobs. Not just the last one.

Zexxes @174: “Just because Morgase is missing before Rand entered Cairhien doesn't mean that anyone in Andor knows that.”

I think they do- wasn’t this rumor what sent Rand after Rahvin? I suppose there’s a difference between “hasn’t been seen by anyone” and “is definitely MIA”, but it’s suggestive at the least.

(Edit: several people have gotten here before me, I see.)

Subwoofer @184: Gawyn’s actions in supporting Elaida were the wrong choice in hindsight, but I’m not convinced he could have known that at the time. Sketchy though some of the behind-the-scenes maneuvering was, to all appearances Elaida’s taking power was a legitimate matter of trying and removing Siuan for exactly the sort of shady dealings Gawyn was already down on her for, and it was the blues and their warders who were mounting a coup to free/reinstall a criminal.

In fact, colossal PITA that Elaida was before and has been since, and despite her personal ambitions, all indications are that she really was acting then based on Siuan’s handling of Rand, and especially her endangerment of Elayne. The former was more important to the AS, but the latter was more important to Gawyn, and quite possibly to Elaida as well.

Of course, it probably was another snap judgement based on incomplete information, but given his priorities I’m not sure he’d have decided differently even if he’d known everything we the readers did at that point. Siuan did lose Elayne once, and then sent her off into mortal danger again shortly after getting her back. Knowing Siuan’s actions led directly to Elayne being a guest at chez Be’lal probably would not have left Gawyn better disposed to Siuan.
Roger Powell
212. forkroot
Now that was a good birthday laugh!
213. Faculty Guy
@209Kah-Thurak: Yes, absolutely. One of the least attractive features of Egwene's character is that she picks up the AS's fanatical practice of secrecy. As pointed out many times, the failure to openly share information, and the resulting confusion and mistakes, is one of the most consistent themes in the books. It is not unique to the AS, but they are perhaps its most devoted practitioners. And Egwene early-0n begins to idolize and emulate AS behavior.

Can't blame Egwene for ALL Gawyn's character flaws, but this is a flagrant case of her contributing to a major problem.
Robert Crawley
214. Alphaleonis
@209 Kah-thurak and 213 Faculty Guy

I said exactly the same thing @165 and others have mentioned it earlier, but this board seems to be a hate on Gawyn board and this EPIC FAIL by Egwene seems to have gotten a pass for some strange reason.
Rowland Hills
215. TickTockTick
J Dauro@196 - Excellent work there!

Sub - Saw this elsewhere and thought of you:

PS - Am I allowed to...*twitch* ?
Gerd K
216. Kah-thurak
@213 Faculty Guy
From my point of view this is more a flaw in the storytelling than in Egwene. Where Gawyn's Rand-Must-Die attitude comes from is hard enough to follow for the reader as it is, and I guess Jordan figured, that if he had been told what really happened that would have been made even worse. So he is not told even though that makes no sense at all. Why wouldnt Egwene tell him what happened to his mother?
Jay Dauro
217. J.Dauro
Looking Glass

One of the girls does think that Gawyn cannot be blamed for supporting Elaida, as he could not have known better when he had to make the choice. But as we have seen, he very quickly discovers that Elayne and Egwene have chosen the other side. He discounts their choice as being influenced by Siuan, because they are only
William Fettes
218. Wolfmage
"Kah-thurak and 213 Faculty Guy I said exactly the same thing @165 and others have mentioned it earlier, but this board seems to be a hate on Gawyn board and this EPIC FAIL by Egwene seems to have gotten a pass for some strange reason."
It's not hate at all. In this thread at least it's push-back against a determined effort to whitewash Gawyn's emotional tempestuousness and recklessness and cast him as this innocent and blameless victim of “bad information” that any reasonable person might rely upon. This argument is frustrating because it completely ignores that the rumours are not substantive evidence to be relied upon and it basically exorcises him of his flaws -- flaws acknowledged explicitly in the text repeatedly – as well as his responsibilities for his own decisions and thinking processes, his duty to Andor (which ought to at least bring him back to the crime scene), and the general expectations of any decent character of moderate intelligence, prudence and consistency to take care and investigate the truth. You can't always help making decisions based on unknowns, miscommunication and false information - but we can rightly judge some characters are far better at dealing with such uncertainties than others.

I would also like to register my strong disapproval of the accusation levelled up-thread by others that this is about finding fault with Gawyn based on pre-determined hate. Speaking personally, I can tell you that is chronologically false to the journey I have gone on with Gawyn. I liked Gawyn in the early novels. It is precisely this ongoing failure of thinking, along with his actions in supporting Elaida, that drove me to revise me estimation of him and lose patience in the first place.

In terms of Egwene, I've grumbled many times about how unsatisfying it is that Egwene's provides such an incomplete injunction on Gawyn, and fails to revisit the evidence she has or attempt further persuasion during their many subsequent encounters. I do count it. But ultimately Gawyn is responsible for his actions. Even without Egwene, Gawyn is ready to kill Rand without any evidence that isn't paper-thin.
Stefan Mitev
219. Bergmaniac
Personally I've always thought Egwene should've told Gawyn a lot more back in Cairhien. Not just about Morgase's death and Rand's supposed involvement, but about Elayne too. Why didn't she tell him that Elayne was in Salidar and that she had chosen to oppose Elaida? She could've also told him that Elaida tried to kidnap Elayne and bring her to the Tower against her will. This probably would have convinced Gawyn to stop working for Elaida.
Alice Arneson
220. Wetlandernw
Kah-thurak @209 et al - All of us are frustrated and annoyed with Egwene for not telling Gawyn about the evening when Mat brought the news to Rand about Morgase. It's the best evidence she has. But lets not forget that first thing the next morning, Egwene was blasted by Lanfear, suffered severe headaches for weeks, and was in rather a fog for (at least) several days. It might not be too surprising if she simply doesn't remember the previous evening at all.

Whether that's what RJ intended, or if he had some other reason for Egwene not using that as evidence, or if he simply overlooked it, we'll probably never know. (Anyone want to ask Maria?) It simply doesn't make sense, though, that she would refuse to tell him just for the fun of keeping secrets. She's been known to not tell things because she doesn't think the other person has a right/need to know, or because it's not her secret to tell, or because she just doesn't know that it would help them to know that little thing. None of those apply in this case; it wasn't a secret meeting, and it would obviously help Gawyn to know about it. So I have to assume that she just didn't remember it clearly enough to bring it up - most likely due to the head trauma of the following morning.

Bergmaniac @219 - It would indeed have been nice if Egwene had told him a lot of those things, but they fell (for her) under the heading of "Aes Sedai business and none of yours." It truly is annoying that "Aes Sedai business" always seems to carry the corollary "therefore none of yours" even when it's deeply, personally relevant to the n0n-Aes Sedai person. She shows a few small signs of getting over that later, so there may be hope for her to consider that other people occasionally do have a right to know. (I suspect Mat may have a hand in that... don't ask me why.)
Rob Munnelly
221. RobMRobM
Wet - keep in mind, Eg also has amnesia about the battle prowess of Mat and the Band of the Red Hand during the time when Mat is in Salidar. She knew before got clocked by Lanfear, she could have told Elayne and Nyn that Mat surprisingly was a great warrior who had earned respect from his soldiers and the people of Carhien and eastern Andor .... and she didn't.
Tricia Irish
222. Tektonica
I should probably post my good wishes to Fork on the new thread,
'cause I seem to have missed that it was his B'day also!

Best wishes, Forkroot! Have many more!

Jay....Great synopsis of our favorite passionate tool!
Jeremy Vanneman
223. Jeribai
I don't know if people really read comments after new posts are up, but one thing I did notice is Gawyn finally growing up. Before he was headstrong to turn the world into head-desk-ers. Now, he grits his teeth, he tells himself to not overreact, he's at least beginning to think, and try to control his stupid immaturity. I just don't understand why he has this trait so much more than any other character in WoT, other than the general group of Whitecloaks and AS that is.
Charles Gaston
224. parrothead
I know the new one is up, but something else occurred to me regarding the increasingly absurd attempts to give the Seanchan moral superiority over the Aes Sedai. The sul'dam institutionalized rape. It's part of their training program. "Heart-friends". Just lock the recalcitrant new damane in a cage with one whose will has already been broken, and let nature take its course. Yes, that is rape, at its most basic definition: the fundamental denial of consent. And who is to say that it isn't rape in a more clearcut manner? If the broken damane doesn't think of it as harmful, it might entirely be possible to force the other. Much like the Three Oaths, the a'dam is influenced by belief (e.g., the inability to hold anything thought of as a weapon).
211. Looking Glass
I think they do- wasn’t this rumor what sent Rand after Rahvin?
I do note that you yourself outline that Rand did go after Gaebril over a Rumor. Granted, we all know that its justified, and that Rand suspected that Rahvin was in Andor. Gaebril's actions and Morgases subsequent disappearance just lent more weight to his need to see to the removal of Rahvin. It was a bold move for Rand, one that no one, including any of the Dark Ones minions, had forseen. And how could they? How could they have known that Rand had a relationship with Elayne? How could they have known, that despite Rands lack of training or experience with the power, despite being almost hemmed in, so to speak (whereas he was starting to react more than take action again) that he would make such a unpredictable decision to attack Rahvin within his strength.

Rand would have gone to Caemlyn eventualy, to free it of possible Forsaken influence. He just would not have done so so soon, had he not had a relationship with Elayne. And so since he did, thus did the rumor reach his ears. Thus his actions caused the rumor of his supposed ill deeds and so giving Gawyn his reason for his belief.

And so with that belief, Gawyn, because of Egwenes relationship with Rand and her vouching and cuckolded vow to stand down, now has reason, because of the vow, to delay going back to Andor to investigate the rumor of Morgases death. Without all of theses happenings Gawyn most likely would have been killed by Rahvin while investigating Morgases disappearance, had Rand not killed Rahvin before his arrival. So if Gawyn were to have been killed by Rahvin before Rands arrival, then there wouldn't have been anyone to be stubbornly persistant and ignore the now Amyrlin Egwene and save her life from assassination by the three remaining Bloodknives.

If you look at it that way, it could not have gone any other way than how it has. If any one of those details changed, the end of ToM would be a tragic one.

Well.... at least for some.

This also, is besides the fact that it serves the purpose of removing Morgase from the throne to make way for Elayne's eventual rise to the throne of Andor. Which is also just as key as Egwene becoming Amyrlin. Think Mats Dragons and things of that nature.

It also reinforces the rise of the trinity female heroines to balance the three triad male heroes. Although to note the third female has yet to rise to distinction as the other two have. I am conflicted now as to whom the third is supposed to be now. We have always assumed it would be Nynaeve. But it could just as easily be Aviehnda or as Rands most visible companion Min.

I seem to think sometimes that Rand shouldn't be a power within the trinity, but should be a power unto himself. So it would be more like Mat, Perrin and Logain. Egwene is Rands balance. And so it would be Elayne, Avienda and Nynaeve.

They have both, Egwene and Rand, had there struggles to Rise to enlightnment. Rands was the greater, but I feel it was necessary for Egwenes to be less, to have one of them uncorrupted to balance the corrupted. In a lot of ways Egwene is stronger than Rand. This is not to say that had the the roles been reversed that Egwene would not have been broken as well. She also lacked the pressure of such a dire prophecy riding on her head.

But still I believe her to be stronger. I just get that sense of her. But strength to not break is not the same as the strength to endure. I'm not so sure that she would have gone on. She would not have broken. But I think she would have given up. Her inability to bend would be her downfall. Rand had to become hard. She already is hard. Thus as Rands fall was a long one. Egwenes would not be so lengthy.

This is purely an opinion, of course.

John Massey
226. subwoofer
@Z- she only had to fall as far as the MoN desk... a.k.a. bending over for the spanking strapping:)

@Looking Glass- it has been said time and again that Gawyn is impulsive and hot headed and he follows his gut... one of my gut feelings is usually to follow those I respect and trust, like the Warder that trains me, Hammar. Gawyn bucked that one. And it has been pointed out that it was a bare minimum amount at the impromptu sitting that Siuan wasn't even there for that had her deposed... and on top of that a few of those votes were BA. Gawyn could not have known this but here's the deal: during Elayne's rise to power and getting the throne... The Lion Throne, not the porcelain one, Egwene always refers to her training and what her mumsie taught and instilled in her. Did Gawyn receive non of this? Was Gawyn booted out into the harsh cruel world with a "here kid, you hold this end and the pointy end goes in the other person"?... um... I'm speaking of swords of course:)

Terry McNamee
227. macster
@126 birgit: Um...how is Hopper a broken wolf? How was he consumed by the Midnight Towers (which symbolize the Forsaken) when it was Isam who killed him? How did his death bring fear and sorrow to anybody except Perrin?

@131 hawkido: Point, but since Ishamael speaks of it only being temporary while what Nynaeve does so far seems to be permanent, that suggests what she does is different from whatever Ishamael was referring to. Also, your suggestion that it was a well-known weave in the Age of Legends doesn't hold water because Semirhage, one of the foremost Healers of the Age, said when she was captured that neither she nor Graendal could do anything for maddened men like Rand. Wetlander @139 also covers this.

@138 Wetlander: Huh. I could have sworn she made him promise that. Not sure where I got that from... Okay, I withdraw that line of argument. I still contend, however, that Gawyn isn't as stupid as people think he is. Just hotheaded and passionate, and with very little to work with. If he had gone looking for information, most of those whom he could have spoken to either didn't have it or he wouldn't have trusted, and without looking, the information he had on hand looked bad for Rand. He screwed up, but so did Egwene, and based on what he knew...

@139 Wetlander: Very well said. One thing I will say in Hawkido's defense, however: the fact that chapters about the Aes Sedai are often back to back with those about the Seanchan most likely is intended to make us reflect on the two groups, seeing what they and their practices have in common. The Aes Sedai, while never doing exactly what the Seanchan have done, have been arrogant, believing they know what is best and can lay their idea of morality on top of everyone else's, manipulating and controlling nations (but never enslaving them). You make a good case that gentling men isn't like the enslaving of damane. I would say, then, that Jordan's point in contrasting the Aes Sedai and the Seanchan is to show us how they are different as well as alike, to let us see that yes, the Aes Sedai have mishandled the nations, harmed many channeling men (and nearly bred the ability out of existence), and unfairly applied their moral superiority onto others; but at the same time, they are nowhere near as bad as the Seanchan, and the contrast between them, rather than drawing a correlation, is to show why the Seanchan need to be stopped and the a'dams done away with forever. And, perhaps, as a cautionary tale to the Aes Sedai, to keep them from going down the same twisted path of self-righteousness.

@142 hawkido: Don't be so sure it can't be averted; if Aviendha convinces Rand not to leave the Aiel out of the Dragon's Peace, that could change things significantly, at least for the Aiel. As for the Towers, another thing to keep in mind is that she had this vision before Rand had his epiphany on Dragonmount. Doing so may, as you say, cause him to bow to the Crystal Throne...and that, combined with Mat's influence, could cause Tuon to agree to do away with the a'dam, which will spare the Towers and change the future a great deal.

@143 Wolfmage: Point. But what I was trying to say was that it doesn't seem fair to attack Gawyn, or call him stupid, for not trying harder to find the truth when those who could have most easily given him the information he needed weren't doing so. So much could have been avoided if Egwene had opened her mouth and told Gawyn what he needed to know instead of habitually hiding things like all Aes Sedai, and if Elayne had been available instead of being hidden away in Salidar. Yes, Gawyn should have gone looking for Elayne, to help her take the throne and protect her if nothing else, but if he'd tried, does anyone really think the Salidar Aes Sedai, or Egwene, would have told him she was in Ebou Dar? Which is too bad, because if they had, he'd have gone rushing off to help her, and encountered Mat there, who could have told him all about Gaebril and the rumors about Morgase before Rand ever went to Caemlyn.

Also, just to play Dark One's advocate, there is a possible motive Rand could have to kill Morgase only to then give the throne to Elayne: if he knew that Gaebril was controlling Morgase and that, until both of them were removed, Elayne would never hold the throne and Andor would be ruined. Gawyn wouldn't even need to know about Compulsion--the fact Morgase was willingly letting Gaebril rule, letting a man have enough power to become king of Andor, would be enough to justify killing her so as to spare Andor and allow Elayne to become queen and fix everything. And if he did know about Compulsion, he could have decided Rand believed that killing her was the only way to free her. Not to mention the possibility of accidental death--namely, Rand comes to save Andor from Gaebril and the latter shoves Morgase in the way of the killing thrust. I doubt Gawyn would have forgiven Rand for that either.

Note I am not saying I agree Gawyn was right to blame Rand, especially without investigating, just pointing out what motive he could have come up with for the deed even though Rand tried to give the throne to Elayne.

@145 J.Dauro: The problem with your quotes is they all come after Gawyn had his mind already made up about Rand. If he had been told these things back when he first heard the rumors, it might have been different, but he wasn't and couldn't be because Elayne and Bryne were not available and Egwene didn't tell him anything. You are quite right to be frustrated that Gawyn would not believe them when he finally did get to talk to them later, but events conspired to make it so he couldn't talk to them until his opinion was already set in stone. This makes him stubborn and illogical, yes, but it still isn't all completely his fault.

@174 Zexxes: Very interesting point. This would suggest that Gawyn's fate being either to serve Egwene or to break her neck, to save her or to kill her, may not have been referencing whether he came to rescue her in the Tower, either from the Seanchan attack or the Bloodknives--at least, not only this. But that the key point was whether he went back to Caemlyn or stayed with the Younglings. Remember that Min's vision of Gawyn's choices (and for that matter Egwene's dreams of the same) didn't happen until after the Tower coup, when he formed the Younglings. Which suggests that whether he saved Egwene or destroyed her was actually predicated on whether he decided to stay with the Younglings or abandon them, and when he did so. Waiting until when he did to learn the truth may well have saved him and Egwene both; it certainly saved Rand.

@192 Wetlander: Well said.

@196 J. Dauro: *claps* Very well done and thorough! I just want to draw attention to one thing you quoted:

“It has to be that way, Gawyn. He did not do it, but it will take time to prove.” How under the Light could she? Rand’s word would not be enough.

This suggests to me that either she somehow doesn't think that the knowledge of the rumor of Morgase's death at Gaebril's hand which came to Cairhien before Rand went to Caemlyn will be enough to sway Gawyn, or that as Wetlander surmised, she forgot it thanks to Lanfear's attack. Which would leave only Rand and Mat to know the truth. But if Zexxes's point and my response to it are accurate, it may be the Pattern wove events this way because it was the only way to keep Gawyn from killing Rand (or being killed himself).

Follow-up point: I just checked, Aviendha was also in the room when Mat brought the news of Morgase. And of course the Maidens Rand takes with him know, because Sulin is able to speak of Gaebril being a Forsaken (and Edarra about Rand telling people about Rahvin and his Compulsion) in Chapter 21. But I highly doubt Gawyn would have listened to Aiel.

@211 Looking Glass: I don't think many dispute Gawyn had good reasons for being loyal to Elaida at first, just later on; but of course by later on he couldn't get away when she was having him constantly under threat from Aes Sedai. Anyway, I agree with your reasoning.

@219 Bergmaniac: Very good point. Only reason I can come up with is Aes Sedai secrecy again, and not wanting to look bad to the world--unless she was afraid if he knew the truth he'd go off half-cocked against Elaida and be killed by her or the Aes Sedai with him?

@220 Wetlander: Could it be their interaction in Salidar, when she manipulates him into going to Ebou Dar but he shows respect for her to shame the other Aes Sedai? Perhaps this makes her finally start respecting him, and thus seeing he may have a point about Aes Sedai and their secrecy. Though see Rob's post.

Also: late happy birthday, insectoid and forkroot!
William McDaniel
228. willmcd
As I read the Perrin chapter, this passage jumped out at me, as he begins to throw himself into running with the wolves:
The rough, regal leatherleafs were interspersed with yew and the occasional ornamented spicewood in full bloom. He threw himself into the air as he passed one of these, the wind of his passing pulling a storm of crimson blossoms from the branches. They surged around him in a swirling blur, caught in the currents, cradling him in their sweet scent.
Could this be the fulfillment of Min's viewing of Perrin from TEotW Ch15:
The strongest things I see about the big, curly-haired fellow are a wolf, and a broken crown, and trees flowering all around him.
I haven't seen this connection mentioned on many of the other WoT resource sites.

As it seems the Egwene/Gawyn dynamics have been well and fully hashed out, the only thing I will venture to say about those two is that they truly do deserve each other. Great line by Braid_Tug @16 on CSI: White Tower.

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