Jun 26 2012 2:00pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: Towers of Midnight, Part 7

Well, it’s 100 degrees Fahrenheit and my air conditioning is broken, but the Wheel of Time Re-read marches on, because that’s how much I love you, my peeps. For reals.

Today’s entry covers Chapters 8 and 9 of Towers of Midnight, in which things improve mightily on an aesthetic level but kind of suck in every other way. Thems the breaks when one insists on the meta level as well as the literal one, eh?

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 8: The Seven-Striped Lass

What Happens
Mat sits in an inn in Caemlyn called The Seven-Striped Lass, toying with the sealed letter from Verin and cursing her for the oath he’d made to her. He thinks the innkeeper, Melli, is very pretty, but resolves not to smile at her, as it wouldn’t be right to break her heart now that he is a married man. He asks her opinion about what he should do about the letter, and Melli snatches it from him and threatens playfully to open it herself, teasing him about it being from a lover. Mat pleads with her to give it back, insisting that he’ll have to do what it says even if she is the one to open it. Melli finally relents and gives it back when he tells her it’s from an Aes Sedai.

Bloody woman. The only way for him to stay free of Aes Sedai plots was to never open this letter. Well, not exactly free. Mat had plenty of Aes Sedai plotting around him; he had them coming out of his ears. But only a man with sawdust for brains would ask for another.

[…]The letter would probably instruct him to do something dangerous. And embarrassing. Aes Sedai had a fondness for making men look like fools. Light, he hoped that she had not left instructions for him to help someone in trouble. If that were the case, surely she would have seen to it herself.

Mat is irritated that he’s having to disguise himself to avoid being recognized, thanks to the pictures of him being circulated everywhere. He leaves Melli’s inn and heads to another, less reputable inn to find a good dice game. While dicing, one of the other players tells a story about a man he knew found dead that morning, with his throat torn out and his body drained of blood. Shocked, Mat demands the man repeat himself, but one of the other players interrupts for them to look at the dice Mat had just thrown, which had all landed balanced on their corners. Mat feels the dice in his head start rolling, and jumps up and leaves.

The Forsaken hunting him, a picture of his face in the pocket of every footpad in the city and a corpse killed and drained of its blood. That could only mean one thing. The gholam was in Caemlyn. It seemed impossible that it could have gotten here this quickly. Of course, Mat had seen it squeeze through a hole not two handspans wide. The thing did not seem to have a right sense of what was possible and what was not possible.

He had already sent word to Elayne and gotten no reply, but the gholam makes a second attempt more urgent. Mat thinks to himself that he has a score to settle with the thing, and hurries to the inn near the city gate where Thom is performing. Mat pauses a moment to marvel at Thom’s skill with the flute, and wonders why he’s playing such a mournful melody. He tries to scoop up Thom’s coins and gets a knife through his coat sleeve for it. He complains to Thom about it, and Thom makes fun of him for caring about his clothes so much. Thom sobers, though, when Mat tells him about the gholam, and suggests that Mat open Verin’s letter so they’re not stuck in Caemlyn anymore, but Mat refuses, saying that whatever is in the letter could make a worse delay.

They go back to the Band’s camp a league outside Caemlyn. Thom tells Mat that he is not surprised that Elayne has ignored Mat’s letter, as she has her hands full at the moment. He also reports that three other sailors have corroborated Domon’s word on the location of the Tower of Ghenjei, several hundred miles northwest of Whitebridge. They discuss the problem of how to get there, now that they have no one capable of making a gateway; Mat hopes that Verin will come back and release him from his oath, but Thom opines that there is something “off” about Verin, and hopes she doesn’t.

“She’s Aes Sedai,” Mat said. “There’s something off about them all—like dice where the pips don’t add up—but for an Aes Sedai, I kind of like Verin. And I’m a good judge of character, you know that.”

Thom raised an eyebrow. Mat scowled back.

Thom thinks that Mat should start bringing guards with him from now on, and Mat reluctantly agrees. They arrive at camp to hear Teslyn, Edesina and Joline have returned, which sours Mat’s mood. He almost makes it into his tent before being intercepted by Teslyn, who asks if he’s heard the news about the White Tower. He recites the myriad of conflicting rumors flying around about what’s going on in Tar Valon in answer, and she replies that nevertheless she and the others must return there, so she wanted to come to him tonight to give him her thanks. Mat is astonished, and Teslyn dryly acknowledges that she did not agree with everything Mat did, but that she would still be in Seanchan hands without him.

Remarkably, she held out her hand to him. “Remember, should you ever come to the White Tower, you do have women there who are in your debt, Matrim Cauthon. I do not forget.”

He took the hand. It felt as bony as it looked, but it was warmer than he had expected. Some Aes Sedai had ice running in their veins, that was for certain. But others were not so bad.

She nodded to him. A respectful nod. Almost a bow. Mat released her hand, feeling as unsettled as if someone had kicked his legs out from underneath him.

He impulsively offers her horses for the journey. She tells him she did not thank him just to manipulate him into giving her horses, and Mat tells her that’s why he’s offering. He steps into his tent, and freezes as he smells blood.


So, my main thought, I’m pretty sure, when first encountering this chapter was, oh, thank God, that is much better.

There is a fair amount of controversy in the fandom, I think, over Mat’s portrayal in TGS. Many fans seem to agree with me that his characterization in that novel was… off, to put it charitably, but there are just as many, I think, who liked Mat just fine in TGS, and thought the rest of us were being overly critical on that score. In the end, as most of these things do, it comes down to personal preference, but since this is my blog, well, we’re going with what I think, which is that Mat in TGS was, well, off. It seemed to me that in TGS, Sanderson was trying just a little too hard to make Mat the funny rake we all know and love, and that he was, unfortunately, just kind of missing the mark on how to do that.

And the thing is, as I think I’ve also said, that that is pretty understandable, because Mat is a very difficult character to write; “loveable scoundrel” characters almost always are. It’s a dicey thing, that balance between jerkishness and awesomeness, and it’s very easy to think you’re doing the one when you’re actually doing the other.

But here in TOM, I think, Sanderson seems to have caught on to the essential thing about Mat, which is that he thinks he is both much more of an asshole and, simultaneously, much more of a wonderful guy than he actually is, which is a pretty neat trick when you think about it. And, more importantly, that he is in his own head massively (and quite purposefully) blind to his own motivations, whether they be of the jerkish philanderer variety or of the noble heroic variety.

Mat has always, throughout the series, constantly lied to himself about why he does the things he does, and the fun of him has always been in seeing how he always managed to do the right (or awesome) thing despite how often he told himself he was doing the exact opposite. I mostly left out in the summary all of Mat’s hilariously self-contradictory reflections in this chapter on how he was totally not looking at women that way anymore, no no, he is a married man now, but here is a great example, talking about a woman in the party he is dicing with:

Anyway, dicing with women was not fair, since one of his smiles could set their hearts fluttering and they would get all weak in the knees. But Mat did not smile at girls that way anymore. Besides, she had not responded to any of his smiles anyway.

Heh. Yeah, that is vintage Mat right there. So, total kudos to Brandon here, for (as I perhaps arrogantly see it) learning from his previous mistakes and adjusting his portrayal of Mat to be more in line with the adorably oblivious rogue he became after he stopped being the obnoxiously oblivious jackass he was in the first couple of books. Well done.

As for the whole Verin’s letter thing, I’m rather torn over whether to berate Mat, with my twenty-twenty hindsight, for not opening the damn thing, or to berate Verin (and, by extension, Aes Sedai in general) for cultivating such a reputation for devious manipulation as to convince Mat that opening it will just fuck him over hard. Probably both impulses are correct, and also probably that is the entire point of the exercise. Doesn’t make it any less frustrating, though.

Also, perhaps it’s an obvious thing, but I love the détente between Mat and Teslyn here. Teslyn has always been much more pro-Mat than her Red Ajah background would normally allow for, for obvious reasons, but it’s just very cool that she continues to acknowledge her debt to him and not let herself slip back into her (no doubt) formerly disdainful stance regarding men in general. Prejudice is such an endemic thing in the human condition, and it never fails to be awesome when you get to see it (believably) be overcome and overwritten by a person or character’s personal experience. It gives one hope, it really does.


Chapter 9: Blood in the Air

What Happens
Mat ducks as the gholam swings at him, and manages to find his ashanderei and cut his way out of the tent, yelling to raise the camp. He pulls off his medallion and ties it to the ashanderei. The gholam whispers that Mat should be proud, that it has been ordered to ignore all others until it has killed him. Mat attacks, and the gholam avoids the medallion, but Mat manages to clip it on the hand, burning it with the medallion.

“I’ve been told to kill them all,” the gholam said softly. “To bring you out. The man with the mustache, the aged one who interfered last time, the little dark-skinned woman who holds your affection. All of them, unless I take you now.”

The gholam attacks again, and Mat feels something haul him out of harm’s way, and realizes that Teslyn had done it with flows of Air. He screams to warn her that she won’t be able to touch it directly with the Power, and Teslyn begins hurling objects at the gholam instead. The camp is roused now, and the gholam breaks off and runs straight toward two Redarms, Gorderan and Fergin. Mat yells at them to let it pass, but it too late, and the gholam kills them both. Mat begins to pursue, but then remembers the smell of blood from the tent, and runs back to find two more dead Redarms dead, plus Lopin, which fills Mat with grief. He searches for Olver, who was supposed to be in the tent, but a soldier tells him Olver was with Noal, and Mat runs to confirm it. Noal begins to apologize for keeping Olver with him, but Mat embraces him fiercely for saving Olver’s life.

An hour later, Mat has explained to Thom and Noal how the gholam had threatened them specifically, as well as Tuon, and how Mat had decided the only way to stop it was to hunt it down and kill it. Thom asks if it actually can be killed, and Mat replies that anything can be killed. He tells them to continue their preparations for going to the Tower of Ghenjei, and in the meantime Mat will begin sleeping in the city, in a different inn every night, in order to protect the Band. He says that Noal and Thom will have to come with him, and Olver too, just in case. They are interrupted by Joline calling for Mat, who tells him that it appeared he had been right after all about this creature, and that she needs horses to go to the Tower. Mat agrees mockingly, and she warns him to watch his language. He mentions he needs to write a letter to “Her Royal bloody Majesty Queen Elayne the prim,” and Joline asks if he’s going to swear at her too.

“Of course I am,” Mat muttered, turning to go back to Thom’s tent. “How else is she going to trust that it’s really from me?”


But, aw, poor Lopin. I always very much enjoyed the byplay of Mat’s unwillingly inherited manservants, and it’s just a damn shame that one of them bit it. But it felt like a real death, not a cheap one, if that makes any sense. Sometimes you get the feeling that a narrative kills off characters for very manipulative and, frankly, artificial reasons, but I didn’t get that feeling here.

So, Teslyn’s kind of awesome. She is definitely very firmly on the tragically short list of Reds Who Do Not Suck, and she just reinforces it here.

As for the gholam, first of all on a purely selfish level I am totally annoyed that this is one of the Old Tongueish words that Jordan decided to randomly italicize in the text, because wow that is getting old, but also I am a tad confused, because what the gholam says here seems to imply (to me, anyway) that it has gotten further instructions since the last time we saw it in Ebou Dar, re: Noal and Thom and Tuon.

Which is interesting, because Moridin seemed to have totally missed the gholam when they were both mutually but separately in Ebou Dar in ACOS, so when and from whom would the gholam have gotten updated orders? As these must be, considering that Tuon had hardly had anything to do with Mat (from an outsiders’ point of view) prior to the point where he “kidnapped” her from the city, so how would the gholam have gotten orders about Tuon specifically unless someone had given them to it at a later date than where we saw?

Not that that’s not possible, of course, but I dunno, it previously seemed like the gholam was almost going rogue, post Ebou Dar, and this seems to contradict that. Perhaps this is explained later and I just forgot, though.

Which is eminiently possible, because the further I’ve been going with the reread of TOM the more I’m realizing how much I’ve forgotten about this book. Which makes it more fun for me personally, of course, on a pure rediscovery scale, but tends to turn my predictive powers re: What It All Means in the commentary rather to shit, which is a tad annoying.

Perhaps all of y’all can provide an answer, yes? I hope so! Have a lovely week of commentage, O my peeps, and I’ll see you next Tuesday!

1. E3
Here's one from the loony bin: Demandred is driving the gholam. The gholam got updated orders related to recent events in Mat's life because the Forsaken has been traveling with him.
2. RoyanRannedos
I've always thought that Mat's humor comes from the colloquial nature of his dialogue. Since RJ was a Southerner, he added a lot of Southern charm into Mat's character, and it's a tricky thing to pick up without knowing the culture. I also think that Brandon Sanderson improved on the tone between TGS and TOM.
3. AndrewB
Thanks for another great post. Is it possible that Moridin gathered the gholam after the death of Sammael (which would be before the scene where he saw Avi unraveal the gateway)?

In ACOS, it is inferred that Sammael was giving order to the gholam.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Stefan Mitev
4. Bergmaniac
It's small thing, but the few times when I've reread this chapter it really bugs that after spending quite a few evenings in Caemlyn's taverns, listening to news and rumors, Mat didn't know Elayne was pregnant. You'd think it would be one of the biggest talking points, if not the biggest. And he was specifically interested in hearing news about Elayne.

Anyway, I agree that mat is much improved here. Though for my money he's a bit too confident about his abilities in charming the ladies, more than he used to be. But that's a minor thing.
Sydo Zandstra
5. Fiddler
Rereading the part about the gholam listing Noal, Thom and Tuon, but not Olver combined with Olver accidentally not being in the tent and Mat thinking about the gholam knowing where to look for him in Tylin's bedroom in one of these 2 chapters as well, made me put Olver on my suspected DF list a week ago...

sub asked me to mention it, so here I go... ;-)
Daryl Strickler
6. Seacaptain13
Thanks again for a fantastic reread and powerful insights. This is one of the highlights of my week! Which some people must conclude my life is dull and boring but then they are just nutty. The don't realize the awesomeness of the reread!

I don't like the whole Elayne is ignoring me angle. It is just another reason to cause angst between the boys and girls. At the same time it rocks when they do meet.
Jeff Weston
7. JWezy
Fiddler@5 - So what are you suggesting - Olver is Demandred with a mask of mirrors disguise?
8. NotInventedHere
Refreshingly Mat-like after the definite offness of TGS.

I find it strange that the gholam has instructions to kill Noal, Thom, and Tuon, but apparently nothing regarding Olver. It seems like anyone familiar enough with Mat to know that Tuon is very important to him would also realize how important to him Olver is, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
Charles Gaston
9. parrothead
Yeah, Teslyn's cool. She kinda makes up for Joline. Maybe even gets elevated into the category (fresh on my mind as I am rereading ACos) of Female Friend. And since that list is pretty much just Egwene, Nynaeve, and presumably Elayne... If wondering why no Birgitte, that's explained in the passage I'm referring to; she drops the "Female" qualifier and is just "Friend".

Totally forgot about Lopin. Kinda sad, as I liked Mat taking him in (again, fresh on my mind).

As January creeps closer, I'm thinking about the Merillor reunions; I think the two people who have at this point gone the longest without seeing one another would surprise some readers. Unless I am way off, that title belongs to Egwene and Min, who parted ways at Falme. I wonder how that will pay off, learning the whole "break the seals" thing isn't something the possible lunatic thought up, but rather came from Egwene's old Tower friend who she hasn't seen in like two years.
Francesco Paonessa
10. ErrantKnave
@5 OLVER?! ...well, damn. I need to look into this. Theory threads, anyone?

P.S. Fiddler, what a great name. Reminds me I need to finish the Malazan books. (Not trying to hijack WoT comments.)
Francesco Paonessa
11. ErrantKnave
Oh, and I should add that I agree with Leigh about Mat being off in TGS. I was pretty sure we'd never see the old Mat again. Despite feeling that TGS was a success (not at all an easy thing to manage for Brandon), I felt crushed at the loss of my favourite character. The ToM Mat was a marked improvement.
12. RoyanRannedos

Well, at the end of this book, it's Olver that makes the astounding discovery and rushes off toward the burning city. He even gets his own POV. It would be a little strange to twist that into a secret darkfriend pretzel.
Stefan Mitev
13. Bergmaniac
Egwene and Min meeting should be interesting. I wonder how Egwene will react to the news that three of the closest friends she made after leaving the Two Rivers are all in love with Rand and share him. It's sure to be awkward...
Sydo Zandstra
14. Fiddler

Nah, just a regular DF, like that Andoran kid that ended up in Amadicia... (Paitr?)


It's only my second read of ToM. Just that reading what I mentioned above got me suspicious. Maybe I'll change my mind at the end of the book, maybe not :)

FWIW, as things seem now, Caemlyn is already doomed at that point.
15. wcarter4
I think I've said it before, but it seemed to me the first time Sanderson tried to do Mat he ended up sounding like Lightsong the Brave from Warbreaker with maybe a smidge of Kelsier and only later was able to get the voice right. I disagree with Leigh in that I don't think its as much a case of Sanderson not being able to write a "loveable rouge" as case of his own simliar but oh so very different scoundrel characters tainting the voice of "Mat."
At least part of that was probably his focusing more on Egwene and Rand in TGS. He seems to have a much better grasp by ToM.
Noneo Yourbusiness
16. Longtimefan
The new orders for the gholam do seem to indicate that at some point a darkfriend was traveling with Mat after he and Tuon changed the nature of their relationship.

I have no suspicions on who the darkfriend might be as there are a number of people traveling in that group and the ones we know are not the ones we would want to suspect.

Unless it is Noal who may still be struggling with Greandel controling him from the world of dreams.

I have often wondered how the Forsaken gather information from darkfriends since meeting them in person is not always viable or desireable. Access to the world of dreams which we do know from the books all the Forsaken seem to have access to may be one of the ways that the Forsaken control their minions.

I know that no one would want Noal to be the source of information about Mat and who he cares about in the camp (to the Forsaken controling the gholam not to the creature itself) but there were a few suspicions that he was under Greandals complusion and even she would thow away a darkfriend if it furthered her plots.

Then again her focus is Perrin so a Mat assasination by gholam would be really ambitious and not very probable.

But other Forsaken do know of other darkfriends, perhaps even the same darkfriends.

Just some random rambling. work is very distracting today. :)
17. Ralphy
I think the gholam has been re-purposed by Cyndane and/or Moghedien... in Graendal's POV in TGS, it's said that they've been rallying Darkfriends to get Mat & Perrin. Not sure though how they know about Thom, Noal, & Tuon. But there's gotta be a DF somewhere in the Band.
Deana Whitney
18. Braid_Tug
Overall, I don't think the Forsaken see children as important. Therefore they would ignore Olver in any orders given to the gholam.

I think they want Thom, Noal, & Tuon killed:
1) because, yes, it would screw with Mat
But the more important 2) it would screw Team Light.

Thom and Noal are needed to go with Mat to save Moraine. She's the key to Rand winning against the Dark One. Therefore, kill one of them, kill the hope of Team Light.

Tuon, is hopefully destined to do something great on behalf of Team Light. Her current actions don't really show that, but I'll wait for aMoL. If she dies, her important action would not happen.

I was sad at all the Redarms who die that had surived the gholam the first time. Leigh was right, the deaths felt "real."
Alice Arneson
19. Wetlandernw
Okay, so I really, really don't want Olver to be a Darkfriend. Which probably makes it more... probable. Bah.

Hi, Fiddler!! ::waves::

The trouble is that the unexpected DF is usually someone we know to some degree; usually not someone we've had a POV from, but some named person we see in the middle ground a lot. Melindhra, Sheriam, Ingtar, Ryne... Okay, a lot of the named DFs are people we didn't even notice, or who were introduced as DFs, but the hidden ones are usually not someone we really expected, right?

For what it's worth, we know that Cyndane and Moghedien have been ordered to rally Darkfriends to kill Mat and Perrin. Could Moghedien have found DF contacts either among Mat's Band when they were with the SAS, or with camp followers instructed to tag along with the Band? Unless they were among the few who went along to Ebou Dar, it doesn't fit with the idea of someone who could really know about Tuon, though.

Best candidates (other than Olver):

Any thoughts?
andrew smith
20. sillyslovene
well, Harnan has a crude tattoo on his cheek (hawk) = prison tat, so he must be the one... :P

But then again, Metwyn is sly and Cairhienin. He is also pale and looks younger than Mat despite being older (thanks encyclopedia-wot...)- all characteristics that could be hints taken in the right light...

Personally, I think Vanin could be an interesting choice also. Out of those Wet put out, probably the best choice for both being in the know as well as not having people have a reason to doubt him...

Also, it wouldn't surprise me if it was someone like Fergin or Gorderan- with the gholam killing the inside man as a two-edged sword for Team Dark. Don't know how they would figure that out, but the gholam has always been feared by the Forsaken, etc and it would serve well for it to cut both ways...
21. Tenesmus
My problem with Mat in TGS was that his first POV started with a less than stellarly written diatribe about women with one of his lieutenants. (forget the name) It sounded forced and fell flat. Everything after that diatribe was OK. The diatribe just dug a hole too deep for Mat's remaining screen time to overcome.
Alice Arneson
22. Wetlandernw
I'm actually leaning toward Vanin; he has plenty of reasons (or doesn't need reasons) to disappear whenever he wants, and Mat trusts him. Harnan is my second choice, because he's more of a leader. Metwyn has been too... "background noise" to be a top candidate.

I thought about Fergin and Gorderan, too; the gholam might not necessarily know - or care - who the DFs were. I can't remember - is there any indication between here and the gholam-killing scene that it's gotten any new info?
Rajesh Vaidya
23. Buddhacat
Further along in the book, there is mention of a missing Redarm as being the informant - then the body is found, severely tortured. Mat even muses about how he didn't expect the gholam to have the thinking/ capability to torture information out of someone. So that's the other possibility that obviates the need for a DF.
Sydo Zandstra
24. Fiddler

*waves back*

I'm not digging in my heels on Olver. I guess most of my suspicion comes from BS mentioning him too often in gholam related scenes within a small number of pages in this book, which made it stand out to me. That is a nice way of me saying that RJ was better in hiding such clues than BS is. I am not saying BS is bad at writing WoT, just noting a few differences in style while BS is set on a timetable that forces him to wrap up a few plots. And therefore having less bookspace to hide clues in. :)

On a side note, a DF in Mat's company wouldn't need to disappear from the company in order to get updates/instructions. Any Forsaken could enter the DF's dreams, whoever he/she is :)
Noneo Yourbusiness
25. Longtimefan
While I have doubts it would be Joline for no other reason than I do not think it would be her I cannot believe it would be Edesina because she was held by the collar and was being trained as a damane. The collar would have shown her to be released of the oaths or under new oaths as the sul'dam commanded her to perform weaves or speak the truth. Yes the black ajah can lie but the Seanchan have already found the marath'damane cannot and cannot use Saidar to attack as a weapon (unless against shawdow spawn or in defence of their life) and I do not think that the Seanchan just accept the findings as a standard but as a challenge. I do not have any in book proof that every sul'dam tests the newly captured marath'damane to see if they have one that has the same limitations that others may have had but the structure of the society seems to indicate that proof is more important than assumption.

One cannot know limits unless one tests for them. With property one does not hold back because property has no feelings.

This is the general attitude I feel is presented in the work about the Seanchan upper culture.

So with that tangled mess of noodlely nonsence I put forth that it is very unlikely that Edesina could be black ajah.
Tricia Irish
26. Tektonica
Nice to have the old Mat back, indeed. He was a bit off in TGS, but I didn't care as much as many did. I was just glad the books were being finished! Brandon did improve on him in ToM though. Yay!

Teslan is a good friend. I think this could be a nice set up for Mat getting some help, if/when he gets to the Tower to collect the horn ;-) Joline, on the other hand....erg. Could she be a DF?

Hi Fiddler! Nice to see you on this thread! Welcome back ;-)

Olver...really? Does the DO collect children too? How Evil! I think it's pretty certain that Olver is in this story for some reason......but what? It can't be just to flesh out Mat's character, as he's pretty much made of whole cloth already. Ummmmmmm.........

Thanks, Leigh! Sorry about the temperature and no air- con ;-(
Is "Debbie" giving you a good soaking too?
Glen V
27. Ways
@23 Buddhacat:
I like your proposal! I would hate to think that any of the characters we have grown to know and love - esp. Noal, Olver, Vanin or even Teslyn or Joline would turn out to be DF.

Noal has his great moment of awesome in the Tower of Ghenjei at the end of the book. That doesn't prove he isn't DF (cf. Verin), I just don't want to believe it.

@20 Sillyslovene and@22 Wet suggested Vanin. Well, if so, it is what it is and I can live with that reveal if it must be the case (but I hope it isn't).

Teslyn and Joline haven't being mentioned wrt. Verin's list, so they appear to be off the hook.
j p
28. sps49
I felt that Verin judged Mat too much by his reputation, expecting him to break his word and read the note. Really, what is the point of Option B coming after the invasion?

This and failing to use the Oath Rod to undo her Dark Oaths is all that keeps Verin from being a perfect 10 for me.

And I'm still on Team Don't Care If A Character Doesn't Add Up Like Dice Where The Pips Don’t Add Up Because Otherwise The Story Would Never Be Completed. So there. :)
29. Elezar
@Braid_Tug: I don't think anyone outside of Mat, Thom, and Noal know that they're going to try to free Moiraine, much less know that it HAS to be those three to have a chance of succeeding. I doubt any of them would have told anyone (assuming they weren't Compelled to, at least). I'm pretty sure this is purely an attempt to screw with Mat, just as the gholam says. The people chosen does seem weird, though. Thom and Tuon make sense, but in addition to Olver not making the list, Noal seems a little odd to be there. I would think Talmanes would be seen as a closer friend to Mat, and thus would be a better target…

@Fiddler: Do all the forsaken have the ability to enter people's dreams? Ishamael is the only one I can remember seeing do so, and we were told that Lanfear did. Have we seen evidence that the others can do so, also, that I'm just not remembering?
Glen V
30. Ways
And Olver surely has an important role in aMoL.
31. NotInventedHere
@27: As I recall, Noal's last words pretty much confirm that at one time he served the DO, and I seem to remember Ishy gloating over the fact that Jain Farstrider served him (albeit possibly unwillingly/unwittingly). So I'm not sure whether he is or was a darkfriend, or was merely used for the DO's purposes. At this point I think it is pretty clear he has thrown in with Mat in an attempt to make up for what he did in the past (knowingly or not), so while it is quite possible he is a darkfriend I don't think he is the one that gave the information to the gholam or its keeper.
Steve Barkmeier
32. sbark
I'm obviously in the minority here but I still don't think that Matt's character is quite right here. It took me a little thinking to understand why. One area where Matt always underestimated himself was in his ability to flirt with women. In his mind, Rand and Perrin are the ones who understand women. Now Matt seems to believe that one smile will totally incapacitate any woman. That strikes me as out of character for him.

Outside of this point, I do agree that BS seems to handle Matt's character much better.
Steve Barkmeier
33. sbark
31. NotInventedHere

I think that Noal/Jain pretty much confirmed inadvertantly that some has used compulsion on him. I don't think that there is anything that clearly shows he was ever a darkfriend.
Glen V
34. Ways
@31: Quite right, IIRC. I vote for unwillingly/unwittingly and that he is no longer a dupe. I don't believe a confirmed DF would be allowed to turn back to the light without consequences - like death. It would be great to learn Noal/Jain's complete backstory.
35. wcarter4
@31 I was under the impression that what Ishamael implied was that Jain was manipulated by him rather than an outright darkfriend. It fits into Ishy's M.O. since he did the same thing to Artur Hawkwing as his "advisor."

Not to mention he demonstrated a weave early in the series where he can apparently give his followers orders they are not even aware of themselves.

It's not too far of a stretch to assume he could use that and/or good ole' fashion compulsion to turn a hero like Jain into a pawn.
Thomas Keith
36. insectoid
We love you too, Leigh! I'll try to send some nice 80°-something weather your way, 'kay? :) Great post as always.

Mat: YAY Mat!! He's MUCH better written in this book than in TGS.
And I'm a good judge of character, you know that.
Oh, excellent judge, yeah, sure. NOT!

Lopin: Aw.

Teslyn: Is kind of cool for a Red, like Tarna. Let's hope Teslyn ends up better off...

Mat's letter: That conversation between him and Joline at the end made me LOL when I first read it.

Loved the bumper-sticker tangent last thread, guys. Couldn't think of any myself, though; it was a busy week. (Though on the upside, my computer is now wicked fast!)

Rich Bennett
37. Neuralnet
I agree mat was not quite right, expecially in TGS. But it bothered me more after the first reread. I think because it was a surprise and in my mind he came off as too Tom Sawyer - LOL. Now I am happy to get to the end of the story, and I can live with Mat being a little off.

I've always wondered though what would have happened if Mat had opened the letter... would he still have gone to the tower of Ghenji. and Olver being the first to run off towards Caemlyn... wonder if that will be important somehow... RAFO I guess.
Roger Powell
38. forkroot
Fiddler@5 - So what are you suggesting - Olver is Demandred with a mask of mirrors disguise?
Ahhh! I see it now! And Taim is Gaidal Cain. Suddenly everything falls into place.
39. alreadymadwithcursing
“Of course I am,” Mat muttered, turning to go back to Thom’s tent. “How else is she going to trust that it’s really from me?”

HEH. Pure awesome.

Olver is Demandred? O.o... So he was using Compulsion just so he could lie his head on the marvelous bosoms of Tylin's ladies in waiting?
40. Lsana

Verin isn't counting on Mat breaking his promise; she's counting on him opening the letter and considering himself bound to keep that promise. I love Verin, but I blame her entirely for screwing up the letter here. Mat is right not to bind himself to do something that an Aes Sedai (and a member of the Black Ajah, though he doesn't know it) without knowing what it is.

Verin could have avoided all this if, instead of making him promise to do what was in the letter, she'd just said, "If I'm not back in a week, open the letter and use your own judgement about what to do." She was already trusting him to keep his promise; why not trust him to do the right thing about the invasion.


I don't think we've ever seen anyone but Ishy and Lanfear actually enter someone's dreams, but we've seen pretty much all of the Forsaken enter the World of Dreams without needing a ter'angreal, and I don't think we've seen any modern-day characters who can do that who can't also dreamwalk. At the very least, I suspect that Moggy, who was said to be pretty good with the WoD, can probably do it.
Roger Powell
41. forkroot
OK - Now to be a nag ...

I don't pay a cent for this site, so I can't demand anything, thus I am forced to grovel :-)

Leigh - Is there any way you could pick up the pace to three chapters per week?

Here's the math: We're through Chapter 9 - there are 48 chapters and a very interesting epilogue to go. At two chapters a week and a chapter for the epilogue, we would be finishing the reread on Tuesday December 18th. This is assuming no breaks for you.

If you bump it up to three chapters a week and one more week for the epilogue, we'd be finishing on October 23rd. (Again, assuming no breaks.)

Now if past history is any guide, Tor will be ramping up the excitement for AMoL several months in advance. There will probably be an early release of the prologue, a free teaser chapter, etc. I'm sure by November we're going to want to be focusing on the upcoming release.

(Not to mention that you'll probably be doing your own read early, then a spoiler-free review, etc.)

It would really be nice to be tying a bow on ToM, including discussing all the teasers in the epilogue and then segueing nicely into the AMoL buildup.

Grovelingly yours,
Alice Arneson
42. Wetlandernw
If anyone cares (and I'm not sure anyone does), I posted a full write-up of my "Nakomi is a Jenn Aiel" theory on part 6 just about the time Leigh posted this. So... if you care and want to read or discuss, it's there.
Karen Fox
43. thepupxpert
@32 Agree, I couldn't put my finger on it but I still felt Mat's character was off and you described it aptly. Mat may have obtained some confidence from his relationships with Tylin and Tuon and all those nights in the the hundreds of taverns but still, just seemed a little too confident...
44. Freelancer
That's one immensely rude gholam, to have killed two dead redarms:
Mat begins to pursue, but then remembers the smell of blood from the tent, and runs back to find two more dead Redarms dead...
So, the discussion raises a question: Have we seen a Black Sister as a captured damane? I can't think of one named, but it remains possible.
45. mtman
I need to read back over my copy. How does Teslyn pull Matt out of harms way with flows of air? Is he not wearing the medallion?
46. mtman
Nevermind reading fail
47. Freelancer
Ways @27

Don't worry about Farstrider, he's no darkfriend. He was a puppet under Ishamael's Compulsion, sent to the Ogier with a warning. The Compulsion obviously included some sort of memory block, because anytime Noal/Jain tried to remember certiain things/times he suddenly couldn't recall why, or what he'd just been thinking about.

Elezar @29

Noal is on the gholam's kill list because he helped Mat to fight the creature that first time, and he's still with Mat.

re: Teslyn & Mat...
She nodded to him. A respectful nod. Almost a bow. Mat released her hand, feeling as unsettled as if someone had kicked his legs out from underneath him.
Nah, not his legs, just his paradigm vis-a-vis Aes Sedai, and Reds in particular. No way a red sister shows him respect. Now what's he to do with his worldview?
48. Wotman
I am enjoying this book very much. This is one of my favorites.

I am surprised that some think Olver is a DF, I can't see that anywhere, I Think he is doing well and providing some key clues to get Moraine and how to get into the tower, he is like most kids, thinking outside the box. He would have ample time to do harm if he was one.

I am surprised the Golam ( who was told who were his targets) never mentioned Julin, he has been in the thick of things for a long time. Olver has never been in the limelight because Mat works by himself or with Thom or Noal. I think while Vanin might be a horsethief, he is an honest horsethief. not sure about the rest, but I do believe it is a red herring thrown in just to start speculating.

I agree, Verin could have avoided all this if she would have been straight forward and came out with it, but I think she was so used to manipulating things and working under the radar that she simply tried to use some psych on Mat and figured he would get it done one way or another not to mention that she did not expect an eminent move on Caemlyn because of the time frame she allowed.
Katie McNeal
49. Katiya
Insectoid @ 36: Aladdin reference FTW!
craig thrift
50. gagecreedlives
Personally I dont think Olver is a darkfriend. I think what they might be doing is to set him up as Mats potential saviour later on.

The Gholam overlooking Olver I think is to help set up a bit of a mirror to Mat. Mat for the most part of the series has had his badassery constantly overlooked by people just dismissing him as either a drunken gambler, a toy, someones pretty. How long did it take Tuon to realise how dangerous he actually is?

Olver is being trained by a bunch of talented men in Mat, Thom, Noal etc and is travelling with perhaps the elite military organisation in Randland at the moment and its likely his picking up other various skills through the soldiers as well.

My guess is somebody is gonna have Mat bailed up later and is about to kill him when Olver appears from behind and hamstrings them after been dismissed for being just a kid. My pick is for either Demandred or Shadar Haran
51. Nik_the_heratik
I agree that ToM Mat was much closer to the actual character than TGS Mat, though I don't think the swear words are right in places and a few other things are a bit off. But the other nice thing is that there isn't any one part that I can point to and say "Jordan must have done this because it's way different from the rest" which is good.

As far as the gholam targetting people goes, there was a throwaway line either here or in the next chapter where Mat &co. realize that at least one of the Redarms was missing and could have been tortured for information. This may have been done by the Forsaken giving him an update, but more likely was done by the creature itself as it figured out that you can't kill Mat by brute force you have to go after him where he's weak, which is his friends.

What makes the gholam scary to me is not just his strength, but also that he is cunning, patient, and doesn't think like a person does. The only reason he isn't as dangerous as one of the Forsaken is that he has no will or goals of his own besides just killing.

Also, people who keep speculating on Demandred need to remember his reports from his Book Club of Evil meetings: He has an army under his thumb ready to go to the dark at any time (and at this point, my guess is that it's the darkfriends in the Black Tower). And since Demandred hasn't been unmasked and killed this is probably still the truth. Which means he doesn't have time to go haring after Mat in secret.
Roger Powell
52. forkroot
I think while Vanin might be a horsethief, he is an honest horsethief
As much as I want to add the above to my list of oxymorons, I actually get what you mean.
I agree, Verin could have avoided all this if she would have been straight forward and came out with it
Remember at the time that Verin was constrained by her Black Oaths, sworn on the Oath Rod. Because of that, she had to resort to all sorts of mental gymnastics to accomplish her goals.

She had to convince herself that the only way that Mat would get the information in the envelope was if she were dead (hence not violating her oaths.)
Steve Barkmeier
53. sbark
40 & 48
I'm not sure that Verin had a choice about being so circuitous in getting the information to Mat. She was working around her BA oaths. she gave him instructions such that she could convince herself that he wouldn't read the note until it was too late. She hoped that she could return sans oath to stop the invasion. In the alternative, she hoped that Mat's curiosity would push him to open the letter early.
john mullen
54. johntheirishmongol
I was less concerned about the diff in tone for Mat than some seem to be. Believe it or not, some guys do change when they get married.

As for Olver, what silliness. He was too young to be all that useful as a DO and what kid could keep that kind of secret.
55. mjmillar
In talks with Brandon, he does make clear that one of the things that helped him get Mat right in ToM was that more of the Mat chapters were already partly written, whereas he needed to do much of the heavy lifting himself in TGS. Interestingly, Brandon has also had to do much of the Perrin text as well, and that has been a great success I feel. I always felt the Verin POV was off in TGS, and was rather shocked to dscover that that was pure Jordan.
Jonathan Levy
56. JonathanLevy
Re: Children DFs

I recall a scene where Fain is making use of a mother & child DF pair. (He gets angry, inflicts one of his uncontrolled visions on the child, and then rapes the mother.)

Plot-wise, DF Olver could be made to work - it's a very original idea. However, stylistically Olver is set up to mirror Mat - in the way he wants to be a Hero, in the way he flirts with and flatters women, in the way his game of Snakes and Foxes reflects Mat's adventure in the Tower. This would clash horribly with his being revealed as a DF.
57. birgit
This and failing to use the Oath Rod to undo her Dark Oaths is all that keeps Verin from being a perfect 10 for me.

She wanted to, but the BA hunters had the OR so she couldn't find it.

I don't think anyone outside of Mat, Thom, and Noal know that they're going to try to free Moiraine

Olver knows, but his POV at the end of the book makes it clear that he is no darkfriend.

Mat is much better here, but at the beginning of the chapter he sounds like Siuan with all the fish sayings.
Terry McNamee
58. macster
On a side note to start with, one thing I miss with Sanderson is the way Jordan always used to describe taverns and inns, specifically their signs over the doors and what they mean or might mean. Sanderson does it later with the Happy Throng, but he doesn't here. I can only imagine the Seven-Striped Lass has something to do with the Amyrlin Seat, but when would one ever have been called a lass? Could it possibly be referencing Egwene? After all, the owner of the Happy Throng recently commissioned a picture of Rand to hang in his tavern, so why couldn't someone have done the same here, renaming their place in honor of the new Amyrlin/friend of the Queen?

Other brief notes: is it just me, or is the mention of Murandians passing by right after Mat worries about the pictures of his face a hint about the Demandred-as-Roedran theory? Maybe I'm just paranoid. Also, I love the bit about Mat wondering who Thom was sorrowing for during his flute-playing; despite knowing about the letter and their impending rescue, he still doesn't catch on to the feelings between Thom and Moiraine, which this is another hint at. And Mat being glad that for once battles took place and he wasn't part of them really hearkens back to how he was earlier in the series, particularly in TFOH when he first formed the Band. The callback to the last time they were in Caemlyn, when they rushed off to Tear to save the girls, was also nice.

And I laughed for quite a long time when Mat was telling Teslyn about the White Tower rumors: the one about "Aes Sedai raising an army of babies" was hilarious, and reminded me a great deal of the White Ajah's theory that gentling men had been culling channeling out of the population, and Verin's suggestion to Alviarin that Aes Sedai should be the ones breeding with them, starting with her. I can only imagine her expression looking like Teslyn's here!

On the gholam: personally I don't see a reason it couldn't have been Moridin who took over as its controller. He wasn't connected with it when they were first in Ebou Dar, no, but we saw him gather in other Forsaken assets: Falion and Marillin who had been Moghedien's, and Lady Shiaine who had been working with Sammael. And he also most likely got what part of the angreal stash had been Sammael's that Graendal didn't take. So why couldn't he have tracked down the gholam off-screen? The alternative that Cyndane or Moghedien could have done so also works though, since they're serving Moridin already anyway. Pretty sure Demandred is too busy with his armies to have done it, though.

As to how the Forsaken knew about Tuon: Semirhage knew she'd vanished around the same time Mat was in Ebou Dar, and once she recognized him after Moridin showed them his image, she could easily have put two and two together and realized he was the one who kidnapped her. I am guessing she would have given full reports on Tuon to Moridin anyway, since she had been put in charge of the Seanchan and it was very important to Ishamael that they bring about "the doom yet to come"--he was the one who manipulated Hawkwing into sending his son west, who played around (maybe) with the Seanchan Prophecies of the Dragon, and who made the deal with Suroth to get rid of Egwene and Nynaeve, so I'm sure he'd asked Semirhage to keep him apprised. Once she knew Tylin's Toy was actually Mat, she'd have easily been able to tell Moridin of Tuon's interest in him and it would have gone from there. There's also the possibility of Darkfriends with Luca's circus as well as in the Band.

What puzzled me on first reading, though, was how the gholam got to Caemlyn so fast. Finding out it is resistant enough to the One Power as to not be killed by gateways explains the mechanism (Traveling) but not who could have used it. However, by my above logic, it could have been Cyndane, Moghedien, or Moridin who opened the gate.

Poor Lopin. I always liked him. This death scene did indeed feel quite immediate and troubling, bringing the horror of the gholam back into the books again. The rush to find Olver and have him turn out to be all right was similarly suspenseful. While we don't know yet what role he has to play, it was good to see Olver was all right; I've gotten quite fond of him.

I look forward to finding out just how Teslyn and Joline's debt to Mat will be repaid, whether in regards to the Horn or the impending Seanchan attack. (Poor Amathera, I really hope she doesn't get caught up in that.) And I loved Mat's final line of Chapter 9, classic. I was one of those who had no problem with him in TGS, but I do agree he's great in TOM; I think he was still Mat (and still likable) in the previous book, but he's even more so here.

Everything with Verin and the letter has such dramatic irony now that we know what it held. Of course she was constrained by her Dark Oaths, and she counted on Mat's curiosity and honor to get him to open the letter; we can be disappointed in her not reading enough into Mat's aversion to all things Aes Sedai, but she did what she could within the constraints she was under. And as has been said many times, the Wheel weaves as it wills; it seems this had to happen to Caemlyn, most likely to ensure Mat succeeded in rescuing Moiraine. We can only hope not too much is lost or sacrificed in saving the city or fleeing it, particularly the dragons, Olver and Talmanes, and Birgitte. Whether this will tie into what happens at the Black Tower, we can only speculate. If Mat makes it back (rather than going to the White Tower) or Perrin and/or Rand come to help take care of the dreamspike and Taim, a lot of things could happen both for good and for ill.

@9 parrothead: You're absolutely right. The closest they came to meeting again was in Salidar, but by the time Egwene was summoned to be raised as Amyrlin, Min and the embassy had already departed for Caemlyn.

@17 Longtimefan: That would be a twist...we always wondered what was up with Noal and how Ishamael/Graendal controlled him, and he seemed to have broken free and redeemed himself at the Tower of Ghenjei. To find after the fact that he'd been forced to betray Mat would be heart-rending. Then again, it's more likely to be someone who is still alive and around for added dramatic value. And the others are right about Noal having been manipulated and controlled by Ishamael, not being an outright Darkfriend. Whether we'll ever learn if there was more he was made to do that made him feel he had to die "clean" as a free man, who knows.

@19 Wetlander: I'm with you, I can't see Olver as a Darkfriend (him helping out at the siege of Caemlyn really doesn't jibe with that, even if he is doing it more to prevent another massacre like the Shaido in Cairhien). If anyone in the Band is of the Shadow (and it isn't Talmanes or one of the other lords), I'd agree that Harnan and Metwyn qualify, Vanin too. Joline...maybe, I'm still not sure about her. I think Longtimefan is right about why it can't be Edesina though.

@26 Tektonica: I am thinking the same as you re: Teslyn and helping Mat with the Horn at the Tower. Though with the Seanchan about to attack there again, she may be needed in other ways too...

@29 Elezar: Well as the gholam itself points out, Noal did help stop it from attacking Mat back in Ebou Dar, so it would see him as a threat. Also, if Moridin knew Noal was with Mat, he might want to get rid of him as a loose end who had failed to be a proper tool for the Shadow.

@38 forkroot: LOL! But sorry, Taim is still too old to be him. ;)

@40 Lsana: I concur. In fact remember who else we saw in TAR when Nynaeve was in the Waste--Asmodean, scouting Rhuidean. Asmodean, who was supposed to be the weakest of the Forsaken. Not to mention him also appearing in Rand's dream with Min, Elayne, and Lanfear. If Asmodean can do it, I think we can assume all the Forsaken could. In fact the only ones we never saw in TAR were (I think) Semirhage and Osan'gar--I can't recall if the Forsaken Coffee Hours where they appeared (in LOC and WH) were in TAR or at Moridin's place near Shayol Ghul.

@48 Wotman: That's a good point. On the other hand, even before Sanderson took over, Juilin was already receding into the background. The most he did anywhere, whether before they left Ebou Dar or after, was to help procure the dresses and a'dams for the escape and then rescue Amathera. Not much to really draw the gholam's attention.

@50 gagecreedlives: I like that theory.

@55 mjmillar: Well, Perrin is easier to write than Mat. And that's funny, I thought Verin read as pure Jordan.
Philip Alan Smith
59. AlanS7
Wetlander @ 42 re: Nakomi

Interesting. I hadn't considered that the Jenn were in T'A'R or a Portal World.
I have been assuming that Nakomi was a construct of the WayBack machine, one which reflects the apprentice's hopes and fears, and that this is how Wise Ones are marked (cf clan chiefs' Dragon tattoo): they must meet Nakomi as well as pass through the columns. Thus Amys being insistent on Aviendra not Travelling direct to Rhuidean.
On the other hand, I've lots of daft ideas, eg, Zen Rand is like a Darkovan catalyst telepath and he'll start all the sul'dam channelling when he next meets Tuon.
Philip Alan Smith
60. AlanS7
As for Mat, he's been confident with the ladies since Dragon Reborn, if no better at understanding them.
61. LarsS
In her Matt characterization stuff, Leigh say about writing Matt: "It’s a* dicey* thing..."

I see what you did there!

As a long-time lurker, thanks for the great commentaries and for making the connections that I've have never seen on my own.
Valentin M
62. ValMar
I have to agree with AlanS7 @ 60. Mat always has thought that he can charm his way out of trouble with women. Brandon isn't wrong here.
Perhaps this scene illustrates most clearly one of the main differences between RJ and Brandon's writing styles. Brandon here is spot on with Mat's character, no complaints. But the way RJ would have written it would've been more subtle and "show, not tell". Something about giving her his "winning smile", or some quip or compliment being certain to win her over. Not simply thinking he is awesome with women.
Taryn Barker
63. Taryntula
I would like to add two cents; I don't think it's highly probable that simple darkfriends are controlling the gholam. The creature, as Leigh said I believe, seemed to have gone rogue after Ebou Dar and I don't see anything short of a Forsaken being able to give it direction. MAYBE a darkfriend is passing a Forsaken information, and then the Forsaken is passing info to the gholam...but it still seems far fetched. If that is the case, Graendal's ties with Sammael circa ACOS makes her suspect...but Moridin is my choice for ultimate puppeteer.
andrew smith
65. sillyslovene
@50, gagecreedlives
My guess is somebody is gonna have Mat bailed up later and is about to
kill him when Olver appears from behind and hamstrings them after been
dismissed for being just a kid. My pick is for either Demandred or Shadar Haran
If it's Shadar Haran (but also with Demandred), it would be a good LotR parallel- with Pippen stabbing the Nazgul king... But I don't think Mat will say "I am no man" ;)
Jay Dauro
66. J.Dauro

I always saw the Seven-striped Lass as an Accepted, with the seven bands of color on the hems of their dresses. Probably intheir 20's or 30's.
Wouldn't be hilarious if Mat's letter was a blank page? It would soo serve Mat right and would be just like Verin to play a parting joke on him.

Alice Arneson
68. Wetlandernw
Z @67 - Huh? The full text is in the epilogue.
I'm just saying, wouldn't be funny?

Ooo I caught the dreadedly nefarious double post before it could do its dastardly deed. Mwahahahaaaah

Alice Arneson
71. Wetlandernw
In RL, it would probably be funny. In-world, it wouldn't make any sense - even as a joke on Mat. Verin had a bit more on her mind at this point than yanking his chain.
72. Shadow_Jak
Agree that Mat is written 100% truer to form than in TGS.
And while he always told himself that Rand and Perrin were the ones who understood women... he still expected his 'best smile' to usualy work for him.
He was quick to try them even back in the earlier books.
I'll try to find some examples later

Can't see any of Mat's traveling show companions being a DF. The word was out to kill him while he was still with the show. But there were no attempts until they were leaving the 'Hell' in ... whereever it was.
74. DJW
I always assumed gholam was in italics because it was an Old Tongue word that nobody in Randland was particularly familiar with.

This goes for other words, too - saidin and saidar are probably hardly used at all outside Aes Sedai circles, so they are italicized to emphasize their unfamiliarity to the regular people in Randland.

Words that are OT but are so common they are used in daily conversation would not be italicized.

Although I now can't think of an OT word that is not italicized, apart from proper nouns like "Aes Sedai". I'm sure there are a couple though. Sorta sure.

Man, I wish I had the books in some kind of chip in my brain for easy searching.
75. ness09
I thought most people agreed that Olver is Brigitte's guy friend, Gaidal Cain. Diffentatly not a darkfriend.
Jay Dauro
76. J.Dauro

Olver was born long before Gaidal Cain disappeared from Tel'aran'rhiod.
Gaidal was last seen in Tel'aran'rhiod around TFOH - 14, or around August 999NE. We first see Olver in October 999NE, and he claims 9 years. In any case, he was born long before Gaidal was spun out.

Or if you want a more definite reason. From a signing interview with Robert Jordan in 2003

Is Olver Gaidal Cain?


No. I didn't really think that this would last as long as it has. The timing is wrong. He has another reason for being there besides being a red herring, though.

He's too old.

Yes. Time in Tel'aran'rhiod and the real world run at different rates, but it never runs backwards. You may spend an hour in Tel'aran'rhiod, and a day has passed when you get back, or you may spend a day, and an hour has passed when you get back, but you'll never go in on Tuesday and come back on Monday.
Steve Barkmeier
77. sbark
I agree that Mat always knew he had a winning smile. However, this internal dialogue where he expects women to completely fall apart from it is totally different in tone from Mat earlier. He always expected his smile to get him out of a little trouble. He never thought his smile was so powerful that it was unfair to use it.
Glen V
78. Ways
@74 DJW:
"Man, I wish I had the books in some kind of chip in my brain for easy searching."

Yes!!! I'm totally envious of other commenters who seem to have "photographic" memories.
Cameron Tucker
79. Loialson
@Ways 78
OR you can just google: encyclopedia-wot.org,
as it is a fantastic resource.
Cameron Tucker
80. Loialson
Hmm...spam filter ew....

@78 Ways

Lets try this again.
OR you can just google encyclopedia-wotDOTorg. It is a fantastic resource with all of this info there so we don't have to remember ;).
81. s'rEDIT
@ZEXXEZ 67, 69, 73:

Just for future reference . . .

I think if you'd used conditional tense, you might not have been misunderstood: "Wouldn't it have been hilarious" and "it would so have served" would *probably* have prevented the first reaction we all had.
82. srEDIT
Note to self: post in the black so you can edit for spelling!

Sorry, ZEXXES!
Alice Arneson
83. Wetlandernw
Okay, I'm a geek. I just pre-ordered my copy of AMoL... six and a half months before it comes out. *sigh*
Roger Powell
84. forkroot
I'm hopeful that Brandon will do an AMoL tour that will include an AZ stop. If that were to happen, I'd make sure to buy my copy from the store that would be hosting his stop.
Jerry Blair
85. Linekat62
100 degrees is a cool spell this time of year in the Calif. desert it's really in the 1-teens but the chamber of comerence shaves 10 degrees offTeslyn turns in to a hero-type in this sequence, hope she gets a warden soon.
Jay Dauro
86. J.Dauro
Many great resources. The Encyclopedia, of course. Terez's interview database at Theoryland. Steven Cooper's calendar. Ideal Seek. And I do love my ebooks, so I can quickly cut and paste.

But I would still love the chip. I can't say how often I remember something, but spend hours trying to actually locate it.
Alice Arneson
87. Wetlandernw
forkroot @84 - There's one problem with that: I know precisely where (though not when) Brandon will be in Seattle, but it's beastly to get to. At that time of year, I want to reliably get the book the day it's out so I can read it before the signing! But I always get a couple of his other books at the signing, so I do support them. :)

(Not that they'll go out of business any time soon - it's the University Bookstore next to the UW. Built-in consumer base. But it's nice to be able to encourage them to continue to have the best SFF collection in the area. And Brandon has gotten so popular that you have to buy tickets to attend the signing anyway, because the crowds are too big for the bookstore now. Go, Brandon! I wonder how he feels about speaking in a Methodist church, though...)
Nadine L.
88. travyl
re 19./ possible Darkfriends:
I agree with those who don't think / wish Olver to be a Darkfriend. Furthermore I really hope Vanin doesn't turn out to be DF either. - Joline, I don't really care about, to me she was never really likeable and using Wetlanders reasoning about Olver I think these statements above make it actually less likely for her to be a Darkfriend.

Re Mat:
During this reread I am more aware of the changes Mat has gone through, than I was on my first read, because when the details are pointed out for me, I realize that I could agree with some of the objections ;) - but still, I am enjoying him and totally agree with Leigh, that BWS did a good job here.

"geek" @83. we can already preorder the book? That's so cool, january feels suddenly a lot closer.

Question: On this and the previous threads there were several argments using infos from the guide / BBoBA - can that still be bought? It always amazes me when people use these sources, because, although I am kind of devoted to WOT I have "only" read the books in the "normal" series.
Sam Mickel
89. Samadai
Travyl, I saw the guide in my local Barnes and Noble just the other day, so I would say yes. Though not sure about where you are.
Don Barkauskas
90. bad_platypus
travyl @88: A quick search on Amazon shows it available in paperback for $18.37 +S/H. If you're not in the U.S., then it might be harder to find and/or more expensive.
91. srEDIT
May I confess I preordered mine on May 12?

Let's all 'fess up now . . . who was even earlier? How early did they open for pre-orders?

P.S. If we keep this up, we'll hit the hunny soon!
Alice Arneson
92. Wetlandernw
You win! I hadn't noticed that it was available for pre-order until I saw Brandon's fb/twitter post about it... then I couldn't resist.
Roger Powell
93. forkroot
Speaking of the BBoBA .. I've started my pre-AMOL reread by reading the front chapters of the BBoBA.

I know that RJ wanted the guide to be written as in-story historian would write it - in the sense that it would be mostly accurate, but contain some distortions and a few outright falsehoods.

The preface does a great job of setting that up:
This compilation of the world's geography, sociology, and history uses information dating from the earliest available records of the Age of Legends through the current era.
... skipping...
The authors hope that the reader will forgive the occasional inaccuracy that may arise within these pages and relish instead the immense diversity and energy within the legacy of the Pattern and the World of the Wheel.
One of the "inaccuracies" was deliberately hinted at:
Some historians, although not all, believe the the Oath Rod of the Aes Sedai may in fact be one of the original Nine Rods of Dominion mentioned in the ancient texts.
We know now that is not true.

Another interesting statement was:
.. the fabric of each age changing only its weave and pattern with each passing. With every pass the changes vary to an increasingly greater degree.
Now any engineer will tell you what is being described is a system with positive feedback, hence one that will eventually become unstable.

In other words, with enough turns of the Wheel, the system is guaranteed to break. So maybe Ishamael is right and soon or later the DO wins. Or maybe that quoted text is another one of the "inaccuracies".

Here's another interesting quote:
No one inside and of the Pattern can destroy the Wheel or change the destiny of the Great Pattern. Even those who are ta'veren can only alter, but not completely change, the weave.
This is either wrong or the world did not hang in the balance when Rand was on Dragonmount. Rand surely thought he had the power to end everything.

Lastly, this about Portal Stones:
Indications are that they may predate the Age of Legends
This squares with what Verin said about them. I think Brandon has also tentatively confirmed this as true.
94. Freelancer

I would say that the contributor who cited the turnings of the Wheel as having continually increasing changes could have done nothing but speculate. Since it seems no more than myth survives beyond the time of a complete turning, it would be impossible to even remotely quantify the effective changes from more than two turnings (representing at minimum 15 consecutive ages) in order to make that statement. There simply are no reasonable observations to be made from which to draw other than a speculative conclusion.

It would seem more likely that the system is indeed stable, hence the function of ta'veren and the working of ta'maral'ailen. Unfortunately, I've given this sort of trans-physical view a fair bit of thought in the past. If you view the timeline of turnings of the Wheel as the path along a corkscrew, then "unwrap" the timeline, you get a linear path identified as a vector. Changes induced in the Pattern which are not corrected by inherent mechanisms of the Pattern would alter that vector. Each subsequent uncorrected variation may increase or decrease the divergence of the resulting vector from the original, with little to no correlation available between the causes of the changes themselves.

It may well be that the cumulative changes across numerous turnings results in precisely the same time trajectory as at the "beginning", or not. But it would remain impossible for an observer existing within the Pattern to be able to know.
95. Shadow_Jak
It may well be that the cumulative changes across numerous turnings results in precisely the same time trajectory as at the "beginning", ornot. But it would remain impossible for an observer existing within thePattern to be able to know.
An ordinary observer, true.

But for someone like the Dragon Reborn, or the Heros of the Horn, that doesn't always apply
Alice Arneson
96. Wetlandernw
Shadow_Jak @95 - But the Heroes only remember while they're dead; when they're spun out into the Pattern, they don't know anything about their past lives. It would require a Hero who not only served for multiple turnings of the entire Wheel, but was willing to violate the precepts which bind them by repeatedly meeting with an historian (or a philosopher, since they're discussing such metaphysical concepts) who could enter Tel'aran'rhiod. They seem to be... reluctant to break those precepts, and they hold one another to them as well.

Just edging up on the hunny....
97. Freelancer
Shadow_Jak @95

I submit that even the Heroes while in T'a'R only remember their lives from within no more than a single turning of the Wheel. What Wetlandernw refers to is valid, but remember that we have a Hero who is not only willing to fudge the precepts, but exited T'a'R with her memories intact, if only for a time.

Birgitte speaks of remembering the founding of the White Tower. Were she able to recall lives from across multiple turnings of the Wheel, one would expect something more than her commentary on the lives from within but one turning.

Rand now claims the memories of many lives lived, and assures Moridin that he knows he has never submitted to the shadow. But those two items can be handled independently. His Dragon nature offers him confidence in his allegiance to the Light, but his memories may yet be from within no more than one turning of the Wheel. How many lives might a person live during seven indistinctly-defined ages?

Now, even acceding to your thesis, that Rand is aware of his lives during multiple turnings of the Wheel, each of those lives were still lived within very finite periods of time, within a given age, and a given turning, and still, lived within the Pattern, only able to observe his own life's journey. This would not provide adequate knowledge to quantify turning-by-turning variations relative to each other.

Certainly, if the Creator felt it necessary, He might impart onto Rand such an awareness. But that would be taking a hand, would it not?
john massey
98. subwoofer
::sniff sniff::

Smells pot of hunny around the corner;)

Many props to Teslyn, one of the few that gives me hope for all Aes Sedai. Good for her to also figure out about the gholam- they do exist- it would be nice if buddy appeared back in the day and caused some havoc so Mat could give certain Aes Sedai etc. a big fat "I told you so" look.

The letter. Personally, I never really understood the deadline garbage, it just felt like something to build the tension. Verin knows how sketchy Mat feels about Aes Sedai and all of Mat's trust issues, why complicate things? The outer city of Caemlyn is toast, but the inside bit, especially the part with the dragons, should be saved, by said dragons. For me it smacks of a grand way to introduce the destructive power of dragons to the world, and to the baddies.

Hi Wet, nice icon, you must collect microchips or flea circuses or something really small that cannot be seen with the naked eye;)

john massey
99. subwoofer
About this Gaidal Cain guy... I can't remember which one, but didn't one of Perrin's Asha'man comment on how ugly one of his children is? Raised in the Black Tower, magic weilding dad, kid in turbulent times, and ugly... could be the stuff of legend....

There, I set somebody up for success:D

Alice Arneson
100. Wetlandernw
Hi, Woof! Thanks, don't mind if I do. The new icon is my favorite flower - dogtooth violet. I miss them; they don't grow out here.

Funny, I was just rereading a few chapters ahead, and Mat noted to himself that the outer city, the inner city and then the palace were each fortified, and specifically he thought that "If Caemlyn fell, this palace could hold on its own." Foreshadowing?
Nadine L.
101. travyl
Freelancer @94
The historians could "know" about the increasing changes between ages from the same source they know that told them the wheel of time is a wheel and has 7 spokes. Right?
Thomas Keith
102. insectoid
Haven't had much to say, just resting up for the busy day next week.

Fork @41: Oh, I dunno... it'd be interesting if we finished like the week before AMoL drops. We'd have to cram all that pre-book discussion into one week. :P

Katiya @49: I had to do it; it was too good an opportunity to pass up. XD

You guys have preordered your books already?? Good Grief!

Sub @98: Wet's new icon looks like a flower to me. (See, I was right!)

Wet @100: Noooooooooooooooo! I took too long... ;)
Love the new icon, BTW. What a strange flower!

Roger Powell
103. forkroot
Good point about the Heroes of the Horn - but that brings up another awkward question:

Which came first, the Heroes or the Horn? Does the Horn get destroyed in some Age so that it can be made again in another? If not, then the one time it was made was a substantial variation in the pattern of that particular Age!

What's also interesting is that even though the Horn is stated to be an artifact from before the Age of Legends, it has an inscription in the Old Tongue. This would either mean that the inscription was added in the AoL or that the Old Tongue survived the transition from the First Age to the Second Age.
Alice Arneson
104. Wetlandernw
forkroot @103 - According to Maria, the inscription was added in the AOL.
Roger Powell
105. forkroot
Thanks for the MAFO answer :-) I think that also settles the issue that the Horn must be destroyed in some Age and remade in another (otherwise it would have the inscription all the time.)

I would imagine that the Heroes just hang out in T'AR waiting for the Horn to be remade and blown.
Deana Whitney
106. Braid_Tug
Re: Olver, wasn't he going around asking everyone (Redarms) about how to attack the Tower? And save Moraine. It's another throwaway line in a chapter.

@ 99, Subwoofer: I had that thought too about Gaidal Cain, but was shot down last time we talked about him. Apparently Grady's son is still "too old."
I now think his current ID is just going to be one of those unsolved questions.

Anyone know if Brandon is coming to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for a signing?
Alice Arneson
107. Wetlandernw
Braid_Tug @106 - There's nothing on his current "Events" list in that area, but at the moment it's only showing a list of the Cons he's attending in the near future. He doesn't have a signing tour outlined at present - at least, not published on his website. I've been wondering if he's going to do a tour for his new novella (out in August) or if he'll wait for the AMoL tour. FWIW, you can check it out at brandonsandersonDOTcom; click on the Events button for his posted schedule.

FWIW, he posted this on twitter/fb about 8 hours ago:
I just sent my complete revision of A Memory of Light to Harriet. This is the fourth draft, and was every extensive a revision.
(I'm thinking that was supposed to be "a very extensive revision"...)
Rob Munnelly
108. RobMRobM
Had the thought that we could really drive post counts up if we try to agree on a consensus top 5 or top 10 quotes from the series. Or a mix of top 5 serious and top 5 entertaining. Lots of fodder in brainstorming quotes post from yesterday.

Anyone interested in playing?
Rob Munnelly
109. RobMRobM
On a serious note:
- I'd definitely vote for Lan's mashiara talk with Nyn in EOTW. Still mulling over the others.
Alice Arneson
110. Wetlandernw
Sounds like fun! Do you want ground rules about how context-dependent it is? Or how long? Should they be true one-liners? Would you have to be able to use in IRL, at least around other WoT fans?
111. s'rEDIT

Yes, do you mean whole passages or just 1-3 lines?
Deana Whitney
112. Braid_Tug
@ 107. Wetlandernw;
"This is the fourth draft, and was every extensive a revision."
Guess it really was, since his brain had a short circuit. Good thing they have another month or so before it has to go to layout for printing.

Thanks for the Brandon info.

should we just harvest from "38. Kadere" post on the Favoirte Quote page? Sorry, that was an impressive list.
Rob Munnelly
113. RobMRobM
OK, I'll set ground rules. Submit nominations for top 5 serious quotes and top 5 fun quotes. Let's cut off nominations by 9 a.m. Monday EST.

You can pick any sized quote you like, but keep votability in mind. (And keep in mind that Suffa is a good damane. LOL).

114. Jonellin Stonebreaker
1.“Well, Managan, Gorenellin,” he demanded, “do you still remember who you are? Do you remember your blood? Who rides with me for Tarwin’s Gap?”
For a moment, he thought neither man would speak, but then Gorenellin was on his feet, tears glistening in his eyes. “The Golden Crane flies for Tarmon Gai’don,” he said softly.
“The Golden Crane flies for Tarmon Gai’don!” Managan shouted, leaping up so fast he overturned his chair.Laughing, Aldragoran joined them, all three shouting at the top of their lungs. “The Golden Crane flies for Tarmon Gai’don!”

2."Death is lighter than a feather; Duty heavier than a mountain." 3." I am Lord of the Morning." 4."Let the Dragon ride on the winds of time." 5." To be a Green means to stand ready. In the Trolloc Wars, we were often called the Battle Ajah. All Aes Sedai helped where and when they could, but the Green Ajah alone was always with the armies, in almost every battle. We were the counter to the Dreadlords. The Battle Ajah. And now we stand ready, for the Trollocs to come south again, for Tarmon Gai'don, the Last Battle. We will be there. That is what it means to be a Green.”
115. AndrewB
My favorite quote is from Birgitte: "If you must mount the gallows, give a jest to the crowd, a coin to the hangman, and make the drop with a smile on your lips."

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then" -- Bob Seger, Against the Wind
Rob Munnelly
116. RobMRobM
Serious nominees, in my current thinking. I reserve rights to change:

1. I will hate the man you choose because he is not me, and love him if he makes you smile.
2. Kneel or you will be knelt.
3. He is born again! I feel him! The Dragon takes his first breath on the slope of Dragonmount! He is coming! He is coming! Light help us! Light help the world! He lies in the snow and cries like the thunder! He burns like the sun!
4. A lion stuffed into a horse-stall might look like a peculiar joke, but a lion on the high plains was something very different. Toy was loose on the high plains, now. She felt a chill. What sort of man had she entangled herself with? After all this time, she realized, she had hardly a clue.
5. I am, after all, a member of the Black Ajah.
Nadine L.
117. travyl
Surprising what you can dig out of books if you read long enough, isn’t it?

this quote will always top the list of "favorite WOT quotes" for me. It is so fitting to us all who are participating in the reread.
john massey
118. subwoofer
I've got a couple, they're not top 40 stuff, and I'm searching for my favorite Hopper ones but here goes:

"The crest!" Birgitte shouted joyfully. "We made it! It's good wine and a well set-up man tonight!"

"I suppose I should have started with something simpler," Elayne said. " I have a habbit of leaping in over my head."

... and there, carrying the silver bow with which she never missed....
He pushed the door shut trying to lean against it. He felt dizzy, dazed. "You are she. Birgitte, for true. Burn my bones to ash, it's impossible. How? How?"

"Maybe she is Aes Sedai.... but I still think she's one duckling who means to stuff herself in that wolf's jaws."

john massey
119. subwoofer
@Braid_Tug, yep, I'm checking every ugly child to see if they carry two swords;)

Roger Powell
120. forkroot
I know the timing doesn't work (a pity) but wouldn't it have been ironic if Galad and Berelain got married and had a child. The whole world would anticipate a beautiful baby, but the Wheel would choose to spin out Gaidal Cain at that exact moment {::chuckles::}
Rob Munnelly
121. RobMRobM
Fork - we'll see that in the Harry Potter style epilogue.
122. Faculty Guy
Has anyone suggested this one yet (I've quick-read the comments)?

Rand to Cadsuane: "If you wish, you may call me Rand Sedai."

I know it's getting a little ahead (Ch 51 of ToM) but it's one of my favorites.
Scott Mayer
123. tiornys
Long time reader, first time poster. Couldn't resist getting in on this.

I also have a quote from later in ToM.

(already mentioned, but deserves an accurate quote): "Kneel and swear to the Lord Dragon," he said softly, "or you will be knelt."

"Take this message back to Sammael," he said coldly. "Every death he has caused since waking, I lay at his feet and call due. Every murder he has ever done or caused, I lay at his feet and call due. He escaped justice in the Rorn M'doi, and at Nol Caimaine, and Sohadra...." More of Lews Therin's memories, but the pain of what had been done there, the agony of what Lews Therin's eyes had seen, burned across the Void as if Rand's. "...But I will see justice done now. Tell him, no truce with the Forsaken. No truce with the Shadow."

Lan shook his head slightly. "He was better. But he thought I was finished, with only one arm. He never understood. You surrender after you're dead."

"I will never serve you, Father of Lies. In a thousand lives, I never have. I know that. I am sure of it. Come. It is time to die."

"By the way, that dress you are wearing is green."

"Did you have to choose this stable to be murdered in?"

"Oh, sheep swallop! Sheep swallop and bloody buttered onions!"

"I suppose she'll do well enough as long as she really can shoot that bow. Down the wrong hole?" he asked Juilin, who had begun choking on his ale.

"And who might you be when you're to home? Do you always show off your legs like a bloody feather dancer?"

"Also, you can all go rot in a flaming pit of fire and ashes, you unwashed lumps on a pig's backside. Have a grand bloody day."
Robert Crawley
124. Alphaleonis
"Why have we come here?" Rand thought.
"Because," Rand replied. "Because we made this. This is where we died."

I have this quote posted in my car where I can see it. I will switch it with other quotes that are good that come out in this post.

Thanks RobM. I have wanted to have a contest like this for some time, in the hopes that some of the very best quotes would come out. May I suggest that the quote include the chapter and book that it comes from and who the speaker is? Most of the speakers are self evident, but source would be helpful; as I am trying to compile a list of my favorite passages from the series to casually read when things get dull.
Robert Crawley
125. Alphaleonis
Sorry, in my own post I didn't follow the rule that I was suggesting. My quote is Rand from the last page of chapter 49 of TGS.
Robert Crawley
126. Alphaleonis
for fun:

Abruptly, Birgitte's glazed blue eyes bulged. The golden haired woman's mouth dropped open, and she would have fallen if Min and Aviendha had not each seized an arm.

- WH chapter 12 "A Lily In Winter"

Maybe this should be in another category besides serious and for fun. Maybe a category "too much fun"
My favorite quote by Mat is..... Well... Before I do put it down, let me first apologize to all of woman kind. But to be honest, this is mildly true to some extent and I feel that, to some and most especially myself, one can relate to Mats feelings in this regard. While this is a rather uncouth analogy, I must say that taken for what it is, it's one of the funniest things I've ever read.

So without further ado,

“Women are like goats. It’s like… Well, reasoning with a woman is like sitting down to a friendly game of dice. Only the woman refuses to acknowledge the basic bloody rules of the game. A man, he’ll cheat you - but he’ll do it honestly. He’ll use loaded dice, so that you think you’re losing by chance. And if you aren’t clever enough to spot what he’s doing, then maybe he deserves to take your coin. And that’s that. A woman, though, she’ll sit down to that same game and she’ll smile, and act like she’s going to play. Only when it’s her turn to throw, she’ll toss a pair of her own dice that are blank on all six sides. Not a single pip showing. She’ll inspect the throw, then she’ll look up at you and say, ‘clearly I just won.’ Now, you’ll scratch your head and look at the dice. Then you’ll look up at her, then down at the dice again ‘But there aren’t any pips on these dice’ you’ll say.” ‘Yes there are,’ she’ll say. ‘And both dice rolled a one.’ ‘That’s exactly the number you need to win,’ you’ll say. ‘What a coincidence,’ she’ll reply, then begin to scoop up your coins. And you’ll sit there, trying to wrap your head ‘bout what just happened. And you’ll realise something. A pair of ones isn’t the winning throw! Not when you threw a six on your turn. That means she needed a pair of twos instead! Excitedly you’ll explain what you’ve discovered. Only then do you know what she’ll do? Then she’ll reach over and rub the blank faces of her dice. And then, with a perfectly straight face, she’ll say, ‘I’m sorry. There was a spot of dirt on the dice. Clearly you’ll see they actually came up as twos!’ And she’ll believe it. She’ll bloody believe it! Only that’s not the end of it! She scoops up all of your coins. And then every other woman in the room will come over and congratulate her on throwing that pair of twos! The more you complain, the more those bloody women will join in the argument. You’ll be outnumbered in a moment, and each of those women will explain to you how those dice clearly read twos, and how you really need to stop behaving like a child. Every single flaming one of them will see the twos! Even the prudish woman who has hated your woman from birth - since your woman’s granny stole the other woman’s granny’s honeycake recipe when they were both maids - that woman will side against you. By the time they’re done, you’ll be left with no coin, several lists worth of errands to run and what clothing to wear and a splitting headache. You’ll sit there and stare at the table and begin to wonder, just maybe, if those dice didn’t read twos after all. If only to preserve what’s left of your sanity. That’s what it’s like to reason with a woman, I tell you.”

Martyna Berek
128. missbee
Late to the party, but I thought I'd chime in while I try to remember some quotes

Wetlandernw @ 22
I agree Vanin is a good candidate but I really, really hope he isn't.

gagecreedlives @ 50
I do like your Olver idea

DFs with the Band
Going back to a discussion some time ago (TGS36) I assume it was Verin who informed on the Band's whereabouts.
(To recap: The standing DF orders were to find and kill Mat. There was no way Verin's presence and her actions would have escaped notice so she needed an excuse to give her boss (I assume Moridin). Maybe something like: I couldn't get him all by myself (medallion, surrounding army etc), but I've moved him to Caemlyn to make it easier for you to get at him.)
Informing on the Band scores Verin points with Moridin but doesn't harm Mat since he can't hide the Band's arrival in Caemlyn anyway.
Hence fast arrival of the gholam

Of course there is bound to be a resident DF or two with the Band as well.
My candidate for the post is Lord Edorion of House Selorna.
He tried to pump Mat for info on Rand's plans back in TSR2 and he's the first to find Rand on his return from the Waste in TFOH30. Back in LOC5, when Mat is in Maerone, pretending to be pretending not to be marching on Sammael (umm, I think I got that right), he somehow knows that Rand had visited Mat (if not exactly when) and he recognises the signs of the Band's imminent departure. He asks Mat about it and we get this line:
""We'll move when we move" Mat told him. "No need to let Sammael know we're coming. "Endorion gave him a level look. This Tairen was no dunce.”
The irony works on too many levels to be a coincidence.

Shadow_Jak @ 72
The fact that no one has made a serious attempt on Mat while he's been on the road is a good point.
Edorion's inaction is easily explained, he worked for Sammael and may not have been re-employed yet. As for any others, well, I'm taking it as one of those series of ta'veren coincidences. The orders to kill Mat went out just before he went cross-country, meh, they were the reason he went cross-country. He then met Talemanes, who had also been out of touch for a good while, moving at night and camping during the day, avoiding any contact.
General DF orders would, presumably be issued through a network of ordinary DFs, I can't see Moridin et al issuing orders personally to each and every one separately. Which means that it is quite possible that no one with the Band has had any new orders for a while now. Certainly not since they met up with Mat.
By the time they reach Trustair, their approach is known and I assume there is a 'welcoming' committee waiting, but Verin rides out herself and whisks them off to Caemlyn before they can meet. At this point, there is no need to issue any specific orders to any DF in the Band as the gholam is on its way.

Gaidal Cain reincarnation - I was convinced it was Grady's son...

For the quotes, well, the one I mentioned above is one of my favourites, just for the layers of irony in it.
129. Freelancer
"Let go," Lan said quietly. He looked up at Rand, his eyes cold and hard, no expression on his face. "Let go."
"When the sun turns green," Rand told him.

Mat's lip curled. "I'm no lord. I've more respect for myself than that."

"Mia ayenda, Aes Sedai! Caballein misain ye! Inde muagdhe Aes Sedai misain ye! Mia ayende!"

"Has all this talk been a test - a test! - to see if you could make my bond rub? After all this time? From the day I pledged to you, I have ridden where you said ride, even when I thought it foolish, even when I had reason to ride another way. Never did you need my bond to force me. On your word I have watched you walk into danger and kept my hands at my sides when I wanted nothing more than to out sword and carve a path to safety for you. After this, you test me?"

"Life is a dream from which we all must wake before we can dream again"

"My neck is scrawny and old. If you want to give it to hangman or headsman, I am almost done with it anyway. 'A gnarled old branch dulls the blade that severs a sapling'."
john massey
130. subwoofer
"If I decide I want to die, I will go to the Royal Palace when we reach Caemlyn, and I'll pinch Morgase!"....
..." Stop shaking, Thom. There's no need to be afraid...."
..."I am not afraid, you mud-footed swineherd," Thom said with elaborate dignity. "I am shaking with rage because I'm traveling with a goat-brained lout who might kill the pair of us because he cannot think past his own-"

Philip Alan Smith
131. AlanS7
Z@127: I feel the same re Mat, but there's were the kerfuffle about Mat's voice in TGS first blew up. Myself, I like Brandon's Mat.
@131 AlanS7
The funny thing about that rant from Mat, is that it had nothing to do with how women are like goats. At first I thought it was a diatribe about how stubborn women can be and how infuriatingly insane things can get before you realize it's simply time to pack up and leave. But no, it had the whole enchilada covered, lacking the one statement that would justify the opening line. Hilarious!

Jonathan Levy
133. JonathanLevy
Another interesting statement was: .. the fabric of each age changing only its weave and pattern with each passing. With every pass the changes vary to an increasingly greater degree. Now any engineer will tell you what is being described is a system with positive feedback, hence one that will eventually become unstable.
And any mathematician will tell you that there is such a thing as a bounded infinite series:
1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 + ... is always less than 1.

So... is the Creator a Mathematician or an Engineer? :)

Re: Favorite non-serious quotes.

I've always like this one:

"Pay special attention to the chamber pots."

- Nynaeve to Moghedien, in Salidar.

And this one: "I was sent to see if you wanted anything, Mother. For the . . . the general, I mean. Wine, or . . . or. "

- Tabitha to the Amyrlin, in Salidar.
Martyna Berek
134. missbee
A couple of Mat and Tuon favourites

Selucia sniffed, and so did Mistress Anan. Tuon had to agree with them. "A battle won't get you out of Altara," she said sharply.
"In that case, Talemanes said, "he's planning us a war."

"One more kiss before you leave?"
"I'm not in the mood at the moment," she said cooly. That hanging magistrate was back. All prisoners to be condemned immediately.
john massey
135. subwoofer
"Thom, you're with me. Talmanes, watch the women."
"We have little need of being 'watched', Matrim," Joline said grumpily.
"Fine, Thom, you're with me. Joline, you watch the soldiers."

Martyna Berek
136. missbee
subwoofer @ 135
lol! I'd completely forgotten that one

how about this, just one quote from one of my all time favourite passages

"You addle-brained lummox! You don't have to do any such crackpate thing! You goose-brain! If you try it, I'll hang you myself!"
"Perrin," Mistress al'Vere said quietly, would you introduce me to this young woman who thinks so highly of you?"
Rob Munnelly
137. RobMRobM
Here are my funny ones, although 135 and 136 are truly excellent:

I came to bloody rescue you. Burn me if I expected to be treated as if I'd come to steal a pie.

Had Nynaeve and Elayne been cavorting with Jaichim Carridin and Elaida in the fountain beneath that statue of some long dead queen two spans or more tall and pointing to the sea, he would have passed it without a second look.

As my Lord says, my Lord's leg is not a side of beef. Thank you, my Lord, for instructing me.

In my day, girls jumped when a Wise One said jump, and continued jumping until they were told to stop. As I am still alive, it is still my day. Need I make myself clearer?

Lead me to this oosquai of yours, Aviendha. I don’t know about you two, but I intend to get drunk enough to…well…to take off my clothes and dance on the table. And not a hair drunker.
So this has been a twofold weekend. On the one hand, I've been to two cook outs with good food, good drink and good people. On the other hand half of the state of Maryland is without power (just under a million in the DC metro area alone). Some areas look like a hurricane went through. We've had brutally humid and baking hot whether on top of it. You'd have to go to Pennsylvania simply to get ice. I know people are suffering, especially the elderly. Power across the region won't be restored until Friday at the earliest for some.

So as you can imagine everybody who has power has guests this week. And a lot of people won't even work this week. Well anyway, if any of you are here in the DC metro area, stay cool!

139. Freelancer
Jonathan Levy @133

What forkroot describes with the quote "With every pass the changes vary to an increasingly greater degree", is not a match for your asymptotic progression. It is much more similar to the logarithmic advancement of the transcendental constant e.
Jonathan Levy
141. JonathanLevy
"One more kiss before you leave?" "I'm not in the mood at the moment," she said cooly. That hanging magistrate was back. All prisoners to be condemned immediately.
To be honest I've never liked that one, because it seemed a ham-handed repetition of the excellent original in WH:19:
"I was looking for a Windfinder, High Lady," he said hastily, making a leg and thinking as fast as he ever had in his life. "She did me a favor once, and I thought she might like something from the kitchens. Some pastries, or the like. I didn’t see her, though. I suppose she wasn’t caught when . . . " He trailed off, staring. The stern judicial mask the girl always wore for a face had melted into a smile. She really was beautiful.
"That is very kind of you," she said. "It’s good to know you are kind to damane. But you must be careful. There are men who actually take damane to their beds." Her full mouth twisted in disgust. "You would not want anyone to think you are perverted." That severe expression settled on her face again. All prisoners would be executed immediately.
As my Lord says, my Lord's leg is not a side of beef. Thank you, my Lord, for instructing me.
That one always makes me giggle. :)

If by "degree" he means the differences between successive elements, then of course you're right, but if it refers to the sum of the series then I see no problem.
142. Wortmauer
In no particular order....

"By the nine winds and Stormbringer's beard, I am not."

"I don't care about your bargains with anybody else, you daughter of the sands."

"Others go away. Narg stay. Narg smart."


"During his lifetime, Jearom fought over ten thousand times, in battle and single combat. He was defeated once. By a farmer with a quarterstaff! Remember that. Remember what you just saw."

"We are going to tickle some Aes Sedai under the chin, rescue a mule, and put a snip-nosed girl on the Lion Throne. Oh, yes. That's Aviendha. Don't look at her crosswise, or she'll try to cut your throat and probably slit her own by mistake."
Rob Munnelly
143. RobMRobM
Ok, I've done some thinking and I propose to tweak the rules of our little contest.

Deadline for submissions is extended until tomorrow, Tuesday, 1 pm EST.

Once the deadline is over and the new post is in, I'll review the submissions, pick 10 serious and 10 funny that seem to have the most support (reserving rights to reduce to a top 7 or 8 if there is a clear breaking point) and republish. Then I'll take votes among the smaller number of nominations to get the two top 5 lists.

We seem to be having trouble because there are so many funny ones and everyone seems to have different favorites. Even if you've voted, feel free to give +1 notes for additional ones that you think are particularly good. I can use those as tie breakers in the event of close votes.

Scientist, Father
144. Silvertip
Hey all,

Please join me in welcoming the newest member of the Silvertip Family to the world! Katherine Elizabeth joined her mother, myself, and two older sisters on Friday June 29. Everybody is doing well.

Which would make my favorite quote from WoT whatever we get to hear Elayne say in AMOL about the last stages of labor ...

Teresa Nielsen Hayden
146. tnh
Mazeltov! May she have a wonderful life.
Jonathan Levy
147. JonathanLevy

Next time we get bored, how about trying these rules:

Give a quote, and see who can remember the speaker/addressee/context first. No cheating :)

If 3 people say a quote is too short or too vague (for example, "She sniffed") it is disqualified.


Mazel Tov from me too. :)
Tricia Irish
148. Tektonica
Congrats Silver Tip to you and your wife!

Really enjoying the quotes guys. Sorry I'm on the road and don't have time or books to do any research...but keep it up!
Rob Munnelly
149. RobMRobM
@147. I'll start.

"Too much like me." Please don't cheat by reading the quotes page.
150. AndrewB
@149 -- Berelain mumbling to herself re Mat. In TDR right after the Trolloc attack.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Rob Munnelly
151. RobMRobM
Ding ding! Nice job, Andrew (except it is TSR rather than TDR).
john massey
152. subwoofer
Whoot! Congradulations SilverTip, although I don't recognize the charater name from the books;)

john massey
153. subwoofer
"Not the whole world," he replied. "But if they can see, they can hear as well. You have made a place in my heart where I thought there was no room for anything else. You have made flowers grow where I cultivated dust and stones. Remember this, on this journey you insist on making. If you die, I will not survive you long.... And remember also, I am not always so easily commanded, even with letters from the Amyrlin... As you command, so do I obey."

"Poke the meekest dog too often... and he will bite. Not that Lan is very meek."

Edit- I had to throw the last one in there... for some reason;)

154. s'rEDIT
@Silvertip 144: Oh, most hearty congratulations and best wishes!

I'll be curious to hear whether the increase to 3 changes the sibling dynamics . . . in the way it did in my family (too many years ago).
Alice Arneson
155. Wetlandernw
Silvertip - Congratulations! May you find water and... sleep? :)
Rob Munnelly
156. RobMRobM
@153 - OK, woof, I'll bite. First quote is TSR before Nyn goes to Tanchico. I'll leave the second quote to others.

Welcome little one... May the Lord smile upon you for all of your time on this Earth. May the wind whisper His good advice in your ear. When it rains may it be His tears shed to soften your pain. And where ever you walk may His light guide your path, forever and ever. Amen

Donna Harvey
158. snaggletoothedwoman
"If you spend much time around Nynaeve, you'll need bow, quarterstaff and sword to protect yourself. And I don't know whether that would be enough."
I giggle every time I read this!! lol
Jonathan Levy
159. JonathanLevy
156. RobMRobM

The second one is just a few lines down from the first one, isn't it? It's what Elayne or Egwene says after Lan leaves.

Let me offer one:

“What I mean to say is, you don’t understand,” he muttered. “You have it all backwards.”
Deana Whitney
160. Braid_Tug
@ 120, Fookroot; Oh you are most evil with that sense of humor... Love it. Galad and Berelain producing an ugly child...
@119, Woof; keep us posted on your search.

@ SilverTip - Congratulations!
As Wetlandernw said: "May you find water and... sleep?"

But I don't think Elayne will be in labor during AMOL. I think she's only 3-5 months pregnant. Since the book probably won't span a year of "book time", I doubt we'll get to see the twins birth.

Serious - "Why do you fight son?"
Fun -
"Oh, sheep swallop! Sheep swallop and bloody buttered onions!"

You know there is a few more versions of this we could explore.
1) Best Quote: fun/serious
2) Best Insult
3) Best "Old Saying" - I've always like the one about dancing well.
Anthony Pero
161. anthonypero
We already know that Noal is a DF. Keeping Olver in his tent told me that he knew the Gholam was coming.
john massey
162. subwoofer
@Rob- I'm not sure what the game is, I was just offering up some of my favorite quotes, funny and non, same as my posts before. FWIW I'll quote anything that has to do with Lan... or Aiel, they garner my favorites, hands down. The Golden Crane chapter has a place in my heart for all time as a people discover their king once again. The other bit that I like is when Nynaeve finds out that Lan isn't just a Warder but something much, much more. When I am done digging a trench maybe I'll take the time to look it up, but for all intents and purposes, that is what keeps me going in WoT. And Hopper. And Uno. And bloody buttered onions. And flaming goats.

Roger Powell
163. forkroot
We already know that Noal is a DF. Keeping Olver in his tent told me that he knew the Gholam was coming.
Actually "we" already know that Noal/Jaim is not a DF. There is zero evidence to support any assertion that he is one, and abundant textual evidence to refute it.

For starters, in TEoTW Ishamael brags about "painting him as a fool" and sending him to the Ogier. If Jain/Noal were a DF, Ishy would not have to compel or otherwise mess with him, he would have just ordered him to spread the misinfo to the Ogier.

Furthermore ... Jain was responsible for capturing Cowin Gemallan, the Darkfriend who betrayed Malkier and bringing him to justice.

All we ever see Noal do is help Mat, including the vital assistance in the Tower that saves Moiraine. Inconceivable for a DF.
164. Wortmauer
JL@159: “What I mean to say is, you don’t understand,” he muttered. “You have it all backwards.”
Too easy. Mat explaining the Tylin rape situation to the Supergirls in hopes that they'll stop blaming him for, metaphorically, wearing a miniskirt. Or something. ACOS.
Anthony Pero
165. anthonypero
Well, I'm not going to argue with you, forkroot, other than to admit that my "we" was obviously too inclusive. I happen to think that what you state as "clear textual evidence" of Jain NOT being dark, coupled wiht his closing statement to Mat at the end of ToM, is clear textual evidence that he WAS, so I doubt there would be anything productive in the engagement. I don't have the taste anymore for the kind of "debate" that has been going on around here recently, and have no intentions of engaging it. Please note that I'm not saying YOU are causing that. I withdraw the too-inclusive "we".
Martyna Berek
166. missbee
I don't think that Noal was a DF myself, but he is obviously no innocent either. Perusing the database today, I came across a confirmation from Maria that the man spotted sitting at Graendal' pad (TFOH pr) was indeed Jain Farstrider. This suggests he was not a DF, since Graendal disliked using DFs (although if she had some sort of a fetish for previously uncontaminated victims she obviously failed with Noal).

As Forkroot said his actions were not those of a DF, so I'd guess his compulsion was limited to spying. Which, in turn, makes me think that Graendal can not reach her spies in TAR. Though I suppose she could have had other reasons for not ordering Noal to kill Mat.
Roger Powell
167. forkroot
I think there's room for reasonable debate on the Noal/Jain issue, and I'm sure we can keep it civil. Having acknowledged that there are differences in opinion, if you want to drop it that's fine.

OTOH, if you want to kick it around in friendly fashion, I'm curious about your reasoning.

You stated that Jain's final statements in ToM provide some evidence that he was a DF. I'll assume (tell me if I'm wrong) that you are arguing that his situation was akin to that of Ingtar - once a DF but now repenting. I could see (given that assumption) that Jain shouting to Mat to tell any Malkieri that Hain "died clean" was his way of stating that he had come back to the Light.

I can certainly see how that interpretation would make sense if you assume Jain was a (repenting) DF. Let me point out though that if he had merely been a compelled spy (who has some foggy recollections of malfeasance as the text suggests), he might have said the exact same thing.

What I don't understand is why you think that the examples I gave somehow support him being a DF?

1) Jain capturing capturing Cowin Gemallan ?
2) Ishamael bragging about "painting him (Jain) for a fool" ?
3) Noal saving Mat from the Gholam (when they met) ?

I'm guessing that Noal not sabotaging the Moiraine rescue would be because he was repenting at that point?

Again - if you don't want to pursue it, I'm not offended. I'm just curious if a stronger case (for him being a DF) can be built than I initially thought.
Glen V
168. Ways
After some procrastination, and what the National Weather Service termed a "wind event" that still has much power & internet service out of commission in this part of the country...

@80 Loialson - An excellent resource indeed! Use it regularly, but it would be very cool to have instant and total recall on command (for those of us who have memory issues, anyway). BTW, believe it's "encyclopaedia".

@88 travyl and @90 bad_platypus - Used copies of the Big Book in hardcover are also available through Amazon.

@144 Silvertip - Congrats, enjoy!

Just kinda running up the number here. The next hunny still seems far away considering it's Monday evening.
john massey
169. subwoofer

"Till shade is gone, till water is gone. Into the Shadow with teeth bared. Screaming defiance with the last breath. To spit in Sightblinder's eye on the last day!"

170. Wortmauer
"Gareth Bryne is Captain-General of the Queen's Guards. He personally commanded the Guardsmen Morgase sent to bring Thom back in chains, and I misdoubt he'll ever forget returning empty-handed to find Thom had already been back to the Palace and left again. And the Queen never forgets anything. You ever know a woman who did? My, but Morgase was in a taking. I'll swear the whole city walked soft and whispered for a month."

"No, Mother. I can channel, the Light help me, but I am not Raolin Darksbane, nor Guaire Amalasin, nor Yurian Stonebow. You can gentle me, or kill me, or let me go, but I will not be a tame false Dragon on a Tar Valon leash."

"'One pretty woman means fun at the dance. Two pretty women mean trouble in the house. Three pretty women mean run for the hills.' My da used to say that. You're up to something, Nynaeve. You are all smiling at me like cats staring at a finch caught in a thornbush, and I think I am the finch."
Jonathan Levy
171. JonathanLevy

The game is to give a quote and see who can identify the source/context. Participants are trusted not to cheat by looking in the books or using idealseek.

164. Wortmauer
Yeah, it was a bit easy, since it's such a memorable scene. I had thought about abridging it a bit, but realized that I was expected to quote it word-for-word.

170. Wortmauer
Are these part of the game, or just some of your favorites? If it's the game, I'll try the third one. It's Mat in TDR when he's in his sickbed and the supergirls ask him to get a letter to Morgase.

Let's see if I can find better quotes to identify.

"Rand would not have been so forward with a girl at a dance back home"

And, of course, the quote which is best suited for this type of game:


Thomas Keith
172. insectoid
Sorry I'm in lurk mode; my brain, he is tired, otherwise he'd come up with some better quotes for the game. But the first one that popped into my head is below.

Sub @130: You left my favorite line out:
“I do not care why there was no bang! Do not do it again!”
Sub @135: LOL, that was a good one.

Wort @142: Does the WoT by ISAM even count?? We'd probably fill up a whole post quoting from that thing... Go Light. :P

Silvertip @144: Congrats to you and yours!

Wet @155: LOL!!

Sub @169: Ooh, good one. Or perhaps the drawn-out one in TGH when Rand is trying to resist the sa'angreal in Cairhien.

JLevy @171:
Either Elayne or Nynaeve (one agrees with the other) re: the number of stories of the *angreal storehouse in the Rahad, ACOS.

Jonathan Levy
173. JonathanLevy

Very good!

Here's one which I hope will be a challenge:

“You are supposed to be cleaning, yes? Not standing about? Well, clean! There is dust everywhere. If I find a speck of the dust this evening, you cow you, I will have you beaten!”
Jonathan Levy
174. JonathanLevy
BTW, for those who might have missed it, some interesting non-spoiler AMoL quotes have been posted on the Favorite Wot Quotes thread, starting at post #112.

Jonathan Levy
175. JonathanLevy
Sigh, previous comment eaten by spam filter. Repeating without links:

For those who might have missed it, some non-spoiler AMoL quotes have been posted on the Favorite WoT Quotes Thread, starting at post #112.
Gerd K
176. Kah-thurak
@173 Jonathan Levy
Is that the cook in the panarch's palace in tanchico?
Scientist, Father
177. Silvertip
Thanks for the good wishes everyone! And @wetlander: Nice one!

@173 JLevy: Liandrin to Moghedien in disguise, wasn't it?

Scott Mayer
178. tiornys
@Silvertip: congrats!

Not sure if this was part of the guessing game, but @158 snaggletoothedwoman: "If you spend much time around Nynaeve, you'll need bow, quarterstaff and sword to protect yourself. And I don't know whether that would be enough."

That would be Galad, making a "rare" joke.

For others to guess: "Steady my pretty," she murmured. "Oh, steady, my lovely strong one."
Jonathan Levy
179. JonathanLevy

Not quite, but the cook is from the same city as the speaker, and does use the phrase "you little cow you" (instead of "you cow you"), so that's about as close as you can get without nailing it on the head.


Very good!

That didn't last very long at all, did it? Obviously I'm doing a bad job judging what is hard and what is impossibly unfair. Is this next one hard?
"Finally she found a position she liked, lying half on top of him with one hand behind his neck and the other beside her face on his chest."
That's one of the Aes Sedai talking to her Asha'man Warders. I think it's during the Cleansing, and the Asha'man is Narishma, but those are guesses. Maybe someone else can be more precise.
Scott Mayer
180. tiornys
@179. JonathanLevy

Right circumstances, wrong Asha'man, and of course, the game is to name the speaker herself ;-)

For yours, that's Min with unconscious Rand after his duel in the clouds, yes?

I'm not sure that "impossibly unfair" exists here (impossibly vague is a different matter). I'd imagine many of us have read most of the books in the series multiple times (roughly once per release since first reading, perhaps?), and have retained a lot of details over the years.
Alice Arneson
181. Wetlandernw
JL @179 - Min with Rand in Far Madding when (she thinks) Alanna knocks on the door. She moves rather rapidly when Cadsuane walks in, IIRC.
13 minutes until the new post! Grrrh! I hate waiting...

184. Wortmauer
JL@171: I should have been more specific. My three quotes @170 were just random favorites. But they shouldn't be that hard to place. The middle one, "I will not be a tame false Dragon on a Tar Valon leash," has always been a particular favorite, right up there with "I don't care about your bargains with anybody else, you daughter of the sands."

Here's one to guess:
"And we can't forget you," ______ babbled on. "I know just the thing."
Thomas Keith
185. insectoid
JLevy @173: No idea, besides being someone in (or from) Tanchico.

JLevy @174: When did that post? I totally missed it.

Wort @184: Elayne (feeling drunk) to Nynaeve on Swovan Night, ACoS.

Off to read the new post.

Philip Alan Smith
186. AlanS7
Forget the competition; something I was reading yesterday always gets me going:

"To marry the Daughter of the Nine Moons!"
"To die and live again, and live once more a part of what was!"
"To give up half the light of the world to save the world!"

I also like "Six."
Thomas Keith
187. insectoid
AlanS7 @186: That reminds me of one I always liked:
"Fortune rides like the sun on high
with the fox that makes the ravens fly.
Luck his soul, the lightning his eye,
He snatches the moons from out of the sky."

(CoT ch. 28)
Rob Munnelly
188. RobMRobM
All - my family got invited away to our friends' beach house, so I may not be able to move forward on pulling together any sort of coherent poll on favorite quotes until next week. It seems, with a few exceptions (e.g., Mashiara talk from EOTW) that we all seem to like different quotes from the 15 books of RJ and RJ/BS material.

Jonathan Levy
189. JonathanLevy
I just double-checked, and it is Narishma, though only his first name is given (Jahar). The speaker I'll leave to someone else to guess, since I just read her name :)

As for mine, 181.Wetlandernw has it right :)

I missed it too, until someone actually sent me a link.

Oh well, off to the new post.
Scott Mayer
190. tiornys
@189. JonathanLevy
Oops, my bad. Guess I should have checked more than just the direct quote.
Alice Arneson
191. Wetlandernw
@189 - Well, if it was Narishma, then the speaker had to be Merise.
Jonathan Levy
192. JonathanLevy

Yes, it was. While grabbing his hair and shaking his head, no less. :)
Alice Arneson
193. Wetlandernw
Okay, now there's an image to start my day with...
Terry McNamee
194. macster
@59 AlanS7: That's a good point, why did the Wise Ones insist on her not Traveling directly there? Of course it could just be doing so would go against the tradition of running in and thinking as you prepared yourself, and even if every apprentice Wise One gets told something different based on their own fears and dreams and knowledge (thus explaining Nakomi's knowledge about current events), this wouldn't explain the good tasting food or how fast it cooked. And the Wise Ones never said anything else had to happen besides going through the columns. Still, they did seem to know something would happen...

@65 sillyslovene: LOL! And nice thought, it would indeed be an interesting parallel.

@66 J.Dauro: Ah that's right, I hadn't been thinking of the Accepted. Still an odd thing to have a tavern in Caemlyn named though, that seems more likely for Tar Valon.

@98 subwoofer: Except that if the synopsis we've been given for AMoL is correct, Caemlyn falls. Whether or not the dragons get used before this happens is unknown, but it seems hard to believe they'd lose if they had been. Unless "Caemlyn falls" only refers to the New City... And hah, sorry but Gudren is also too old to be Gaidal. ;)

@103 forkroot: What that suggests then is that if the Horn is remade with each new turning of the Wheel, then between the destruction of one Horn and forging of the next, the Heroes either do not exist or cannot be summoned. And during that time are tied only to the Wheel/TAR, not the Horn.

Also, LOL @120!

@127 Zexxes: I laughed too. Not the most flattering of portrayals, but funny.

@128 missbee: Very good point. There's only one downside to it--how would Verin have known about Tuon to tell Moridin? And I think you are right about Edorion. If so, he would have found out about Tuon from anyone among the Band who had learned of her via Olver or one of the others.

@161, 165 anthonypero: No, he was captured and put under Compulsion by Ishamael. He wouldn't have had to do that if Noal were a Darkfriend. Forkroot debunks this well. I am not sure why you think his closing statement from ToM proves anything--dying clean doesn't mean he was a Darkfriend, just that he had in his mind done something bad (betrayed because he was Compelled to, perhaps?). And you don't address why Ishamael would have to force Noal to do something if he was a Darkfriend. Unless you are trying to say Ishamael lied, so many books in advance, just to get Mat to later trust Noal if he runs into him and finds out he's the same man Ishamael mentioned? Ishamael was good but not that good. Noal saving Mat from the gholam could have been part of his orders, but his capturing Cowin Fairheart was long before he was captured by Ishamael. If Ishamael Compelled him that would explain the discrepancy in his actions, but for your theory to be right, Jain would have had to suddenly become a Darkfriend on his own at some point after capturing Cowin. Which...doesn't make much sense. He can't channel so he couldn't have been turned with the 13+13 trick, which only leaves Compulsion. And it being confirmed he was Graendal's old man suggests Compulsion even more.

@166 missbee: Maria confirmed that? Wow, that's kind of big actually.

@185 insectoid: As has already been noted, it was Liandrin to the disguised Moghedien; remember Liandrin was from Tarabon.

I know it may be too late for the contest, but I'll quote one of my favorite funny moments:

"Why, that's like being told to go up in the hills and find lions, only you do not know whether there are any lions, but if there are, they may be hunting you, and they may be disguised as bushes. Oh, and if you find any lions, try not to let them eat you before you can tell where they are."

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