Tue
Jul 10 2012 2:00pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Towers of Midnight, Part 9

The Wheel of Time reread on Tor.comI was gonna do a Re-read post, but then I got high. Oooh-ooh…

Just kidding. The Wheel of Time Re-read is squeaky clean and super sober at all times!

…What? Hey, quit laughing, I mean it!

Thbbt. Today’s entry covers Chapters 12 through 14 of Towers of Midnight, in which we discuss pacing, shoutouts, and appropriate aesthetic choices in WOT bong design. No, really.

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 12: An Empty Ink Bottle

What Happens
Min sits at her window in the Stone, enjoying the unexpected sunlight bathing the city through an unnaturally circular break in the clouds. Her enjoyment irritates Nynaeve, who is incensed that Min refuses to lead her to Rand, who’s been missing for three days. Min thinks that she had been tempted to seek him out when she’d felt his pain, fury and despair.

In those moments, Rand had seemed more dangerous than he ever had before. Not even that night—when he’d knelt above her, strangling her with one hand—had he been as frightening.

And then…

She smiled. And then had come the warmth. It radiated from the bond like the comfort of a winter hearth. Something wonderful was happening, something she’d been awaiting without knowing it.

She tries to reassure Nynaeve that everything is all right, but Nynaeve is unnerved by what Rand did at Natrin’s Barrow and what he almost did in Ebou Dar and to Tam. Nynaeve says that she wanted Rand to grow up, but now that he has, he frightens her. Min compromises by promising Nynaeve that if Rand’s absence continues much longer, she will lead her to him. Sarene enters to tell Nynaeve that Cadsuane wants to see her: Alanna Mosvani has disappeared.

Cadusane, Corele, Rafela and Bera are in Alanna’s room, which is empty of clothes and possessions except for an empty ink bottle and a torn, hastily-opened envelope with the remnants of a blood-red seal on it. Corele tells Cadsuane that she had not sensed enough channeling for Alanna to have left via gateway. Bera says that she had not really talked to Alanna for weeks, but had overheard her weeping in her room frequently. Nynaeve and Min arrive, and Cadsuane shows her the envelope and asks if Nynaeve knows what it is. Nynaeve says that she does not, and Cadsuane is irritated that she cannot know for sure whether Nynaeve is telling the truth. Nynaeve wants to know why it matters, and Min points out that Alanna is just as much a path to Rand as Min is; if the Shadow has taken her… Nynaeve says they should have had Alanna better guarded, and Cadsuane privately agrees. She asks for tea; when Bera brings it to her, she braces herself for the spoiled taste.

Cadsuane froze. The tea tasted good.

It was wonderful, as a matter of fact. Perfectly sweetened with honey. Faint bitterness and a relaxing flavor. It had been weeks, perhaps months, since Cadsuane had tasted tea that wasn’t spoiled.

Min gasps and turns toward the northern quarter of the city, and the two Maidens who had been watching her dash off immediately.

“He’s here,” Min said softly.

Commentary
RAND’S HERE HOORAY

It’s just amazing, y’all, the difference an epiphany makes in a Messiah-type figger. Before Dragonmount, “hooray” would definitely not have been my response to Rand showing up, especially not in TGS, but now I’m all bouncy-bouncy with anticipation, to see how New Non-Toxic Rand will make things better. Non-crap tea for everyone!

As for Alanna, I continue to be amazed she isn’t dead yet. I don’t think we see her again before the end of TOM, so who knows where she’s fucked off to or why. Well, except that if the note is from Verin, which I am assuming is the case, then the odds of Alanna’s mission being disastrous and/or ill-advised are actually pretty low. Because Verin is sneaky and awesome even from beyond the grave!

Oh, wait, right. It’s probably of a piece with Verin’s note to Mat – giant incursion of Trollocs imminent, please put on To Do List ASAP – isn’t it. So maybe Alanna’s off to warn Arafel of the same? Yeah, that would make sense.

 

Chapter 13: For What Has Been Wrought

What Happens
Min runs across the courtyard to meet Rand as he approaches the Stone surrounded by Aiel. She thinks the warmth from the bond is overwhelming now, and sees a strange distortion of the air around him, along with new viewings: “An open cavern, gaping like a mouth. Bloodstained rocks. Two dead men on the ground, surrounded by ranks and ranks of Trollocs, a pipe with smoke curling from it.” She stops short as she sees his eyes, which look deeper and older.

Min felt a moment of panic as his eyes held hers. Was this the same man? Had the Rand she loved been stolen away, replaced with an ancient force of a man she could never know or understand? Had she lost him after all?

And then he smiled, and the eyes—deep though they had become—were his. That smile was something she’d been waiting a very long time to see again. It was now much more confident than the one he’d shown her during their early days together, yet it was still vulnerable. It let her see a part of him that others were never allowed.

Min runs up and hugs him, and demands to know what he’s been doing. “Existing,” Rand tells her. She tells him about Alanna, but Rand tells her that she went north, possibly to Arafel, and that it doesn’t matter that she could tell where Rand is.

“The Shadow does not need her to find me, Min, nor will it ever again. All its eyes are fixed directly upon me, and will be until I blind them.”

He turns to the Aiel, and tells them he has toh. Rhuarc rebukes him for acting stupidly, and Rand promises him he will never leave them behind voluntarily again, and that he will meet his toh for not doing so before. The gathered Aiel relax, and twenty Maidens come up to form Rand’s guard. Rand goes to Darlin, Flinn and Narishma, and sends a Maiden for messengers, and walks with them to where the Aes Sedai are gathered.

“Rand al’Thor,” Nynaeve said, folding her arms as he walked up to them. “You are—”

“An idiot?” Rand finished, sounding amused. “An arrogant fool? An impulsive, wool-headed boy in need of a sound ear-boxing?”

“Er. Yes.”

Rand agrees, but says he may have gained some wisdom now. He sends for Cadsuane, promising not to execute her, and then tells Narishma to go to the Borderlander army outside Far Madding and tell them he will meet with them in a few days. He instructs Darlin to have all the Tairen nobles gather in the courtyard, and to post word that the Tower has been reunified with Egwene al’Vere as the new Amyrlin Seat. The Aes Sedai are astounded, and at Min’s suggestion, Rand modifies it to announcing that Egwene has “succeeded” Elaida as Amyrlin. The Aes Sedai are further astounded to learn that Rand went to the White Tower, angered Egwene, and yet walked out unhindered. He tells Darlin to marshal his forces, and Nynaeve asks eagerly if he is heading to Tarwin’s Gap. Rand feels pained through the bond, but tells Nynaeve that he swears he will help Lan, but not yet; he needs to go to Arad Doman first.

“Min.” He looked at her, and those unfathomable eyes seemed to draw her in. “I need you, Min.”

“You have me. Stupid looby.”

Callandor,” he said. “It plays a part in this. You have to find out how. I cannot seal the Bore the way I tried last time. I’m missing something, something vital. Find it for me.”

“I will, Rand.” A cold shiver ran through her. “I promise.”

Cadsuane approaches, and Rand pardons her for her “past mistakes” and revokes her exile, though he notes wryly that it was never more than an “inconvenience” for her anyway. Cadsuane expresses skepticism that she needs any pardoning, and Rand calmly adds an apology, commenting that he was under a great deal of stress. Cadsuane opines that he cannot afford to let pressure drive him, but Rand counters that that pressure has made him what he is. He tells her that she tried to manipulate him and failed “horribly,” but her efforts taught him that he was wrong about what he was being shaped for.

“I thought I was being forged into a sword,” Rand said, eyes growing distant. “But I was wrong. I’m not a weapon. I never have been.”

He asks Cadsuane for help in locating someone “in the hands of well-meaning allies”; he mentions Mattin Stepaneos, in the White Tower, but tells her the person he wants is someone different, probably in the Caralain Grass. The nobles have gathered by this time, and Rand has them all line up and walks down the line, examining each one until he reaches Weiramon and Anaiyella, both of whom can hardly look at him. Rand seems disappointed, and tells them to deliver a message from him to the others of their “association”:

“Tell them that they cannot hide among my allies any longer.”

Weiramon tried to bluster, but Rand took a step closer. Weiramon’s eyes opened wide, and Anaiyella cried out, shading her face.

“Tell them,” Rand continued, voice soft but demanding, “that I am no longer blind.”

He orders them to go, and assigns three Maidens to watch them until they leave the Stone. Min asks what that was about, and Rand replies that the time for hiding is past, on either side. He stops when he sees Tam al’Thor enter the courtyard, and Min feels his emotions: reluctance, shame, and fear. Rand walks to his father and abruptly embraces him.

There, holding to his father, the Dragon Reborn began to weep.

The gathered Aes Sedai, Tairens and Aiel watched solemnly. None shuffled or turned away. Rand squeezed his eyes shut. “I’m sorry, Father,” he whispered. Min could barely hear. “I’m so sorry.”

“It’s all right, son. It’s all right.”

“I’ve done so much that is terrible.”

“Nobody walks a difficult path without stumbling now and again. It didn’t break you when you fell. That’s the important part.”

Eventually Rand pulls away, and motions Min to come closer, telling Tam he wants to introduce them. Tam chuckles that they’ve met, but Rand says he needs to introduce them formally.

“Father,” Rand said, resting his hand on Min’s back. “This is Min Farshaw. And she’s very special to me.”

Commentary
Hokay.

I debated a really long time about saying this, because it feels mean to say it and I know a lot of people will get upset with me and think I’m being way over-critical, and maybe I am, but nevertheless it’s how I feel and so I’m sharing it: I was a little underwhelmed by Rand’s reunion with Tam.

Not so much in what actually happened, because I loved that, that Rand would weep and beg his father’s forgiveness and then formally introduce him to Min. That was great, and utterly appropriate, and all of that. My problem here is that the actual execution of the scene felt… rushed.

This is something that’s going to come up again in TOM, but this is one of the big ones for me. Because yes, I know we have a metric shit-ton of stuff to get through here, and the book’s already probably classified as a deadly weapon just on its sheer weight because you could totally beat a dude to death with this thing, but nevertheless there are certain moments that really, really, really deserved to be lingered over, and this was one of them, and instead it was over in less than a page of text. And I really felt that took away from the impact of the moment.

There’s a whole lot more I could say about the understandable-yet-still-detrimental impulse to sacrifice character interaction for plot movement, but I really don’t want to hammer this into the ground just yet, because for one thing it’s going to come up again, and for another I feel really guilty right now, so I’ll leave it here for the moment, and invite y’all to give me your thoughts on it in the comments.

All that said, in a more general sense I enjoyed this chapter quite a lot, for pretty much the same reasons I mentioned in the commentary to the previous chapter, which is that it is suddenly fun to be around Rand again, and see him confound everyone who was expecting him to still be Stressball Doom Guy from TGS. His initial rejoinder to Nynaeve here was especially hilarious, and I really really appreciated that he made a point of promising her that he would help Lan, which is very apropos after what a dick he had been to her about it in the previous book.

It’s seriously a wonderful relief that he isn’t Stressball Doom Guy anymore, y’all, and I really don’t know why I was so against it on the first go-round. Maybe I just needed time to get used to it.

Also, for those who may be mad at me for not loving the Tam scene, if it makes you feel any better this chapter also features a development that proved one of my older WOT theories wrong, wrong, super-plus wrong, which is the reveal of Weiramon as a Darkfriend. If you recall (and you may not, and I wouldn’t blame you, because I think the last time I talked about it was during the re-read of TPOD or thereabouts, i.e. a million years ago), up until the publication of TOM my stance on Weiramon was that he was in the class of characters which included Pedron Niall and Elaida: in other words, antagonists to our protagonists without being actual certified Cohorts of Evil™. I thought Weiramon was a dumbass and a jerk, but not actually a Darkfriend. Whoops?

So, yeah, totally chowing down on the corvus corvidae over here. But hey, at least the way he was revealed was pretty cool. Rand’s got Shadow-seeking infrared laser vision, y’all! Sweet.

As for Cadsuane, I’m going to talk more about her later, but I did want to point out one thing in particular Rand said to her, which I’ll quote again for convenience’s sake:

“I thought I was being forged into a sword,” Rand said, eyes growing distant. “But I was wrong. I’m not a weapon. I never have been.”

We’re going to come back to this statement, you mark my words. I’m not entirely sure yet what it could mean, but I’m betting right now that it’s pivotal to how this whole shindig will go down.

Min’s visions: the first two seem pretty obvious, and in fact I think we just saw the first one. As for the two dead men, it’s unclear to me if the pipe part was meant to be connected to that vision or separate from it. The comma would suggest the former, but there are an awful lot of typos in my copy of TOM, so, not sure.

If it is connected, it seems a little odd. What, these two dudes sat down for a smoke in a fieldful of Trollocs before falling down dead?

Okay, probably not, but that’s the image that leaped to my mind. Silliness aside, the only immediate association I have with pipe smoking is Thom, even though that’s pretty dumb considering about half the male characters in WOT smoke pipes, including Rand himself. (Why smoking is only a male vice in WOT – at least, if we’ve ever seen a woman smoking a pipe I don’t recall it – I have no idea, because yeah, no.)

So maybe it means that Moridin and Rand will meet up and be all, “yeah, this sucks, how about a bowl before we kill each other?”, and I am totally cracking myself up picturing various WOT characters taking bong hits now.

(This one would totally be Rand’s. Hahaha.)

Annnnyway. Then there’s this:

“Leeh,” Rand said. “Take two others. Watch them.”

Three Maidens split from those watching over Rand, darting after the two former nobles.

*tilts head*

Hmmm.

*tilts head other way*

 Hmmmm.

You know, I meant to ask Brandon about this at the TOM signing – or Maria or Alan or Harriet at JordanCon – and totally forgot. My brain, she is sieve-like sometimes.

But what the hell, I’m taking it unless and until I find out it ain’t so. My shoutout! Mine! MINE! Mwahahahaha!

*dances* I’m a Maiden, yes I am! Whoo!

*bangs spear on things*

*cuddles shoutout*

(whoo)

 

Chapter 14: A Vow

What Happens
In the Dreamworld, Egwene walks in the field where she had first come when learning about Tel’aran’rhiod, and reflects on how little she’d known back then. Then she goes to the first of her two meetings, with Bair and Amys in the reflection of the Heart of the Stone. She tells them the Tower is whole and she Amyrlin. Bair comments that Sorilea will be disappointed she is staying with “those fools,” but Egwene rebukes her, saying that she, Egwene, was once a fool as well, and yet the Wise Ones did not abandon her, any more than she can abandon the Aes Sedai. Amys comments that she has grown much, which pleases Egwene very much, as she values their opinion of her highly.

“Have you seen Rand recently?” Egwene asked.

“The Car’a’carn has embraced death,” Amys said. “He has given up trying to be as strong as the stones, and has instead achieved the strength of the wind.”

Bair nodded. “Almost, we will have to stop calling him a child.” She smiled. “Almost.”

Egwene is shocked at their approval of him. They digress briefly into a discussion about the possibility of Aes Sedai training with Wise Ones and vice versa (though Amys is very against this idea) before returning to Rand. Egwene tells them Rand intends to break the seals; Amys and Bair seem shaken at the news, and promise to consult with Rand on the matter. Amys and Bair leave, and Egwene goes to the reflection of the Hall of the Tower. She is profoundly irritated that Nynaeve is not there to meet her, and then notices with a shock that the rose window here is different from the real one, featuring a Dragon’s Fang as well as the Flame of Tar Valon.

There is a third constant besides the Creator and the Dark One, Verin’s meticulous voice said, a memory from another time. There is a world that lies within each of these others, inside all of them at the same time. Or perhaps surrounding them. Writers in the Age of Legends called it Tel’aran’rhiod.

Did this window represent one of those, another world where Dragon and Amyrlin ruled Tar Valon side by side?

Nynaeve shows up at last, and Egwene is relieved. Nynaeve is shocked to learn the Seanchan had attacked the Tower, but is reluctant to stick around for details. Instead of rebuking her, to Nynaeve’s evident surprise, Egwene asks for her advice as someone who has been in a similar position to hers.

“Amyrlin?” Nynaeve asked flatly.

“A leader,” Egwene said, passing Nynaeve and nodding for her to walk beside her, “that everyone thinks is too young. Who rose to her position abruptly. Who knows she is the right woman for the job, yet has only grudging acceptance from most of those near her.”

“Yes,” Nynaeve said, walking with Egwene, eyes growing distant. “You could say I know something of being in that situation.”

Egwene asks how she dealt with it, and Nynaeve admits that she doesn’t know that she did, really, but advises that Egwene establish her authority quickly, before her subordinates have a chance to see how far she can be pushed, and to make sure she is not being bypassed on important decisions. Egwene nods, but comments that her biggest problem is her lack of supporters. Nynaeve protests that she has herself and Elayne.

“Do I?” Egwene said, stopping in the hallway and looking at Nynaeve. “Do I really have you, Nynaeve?”

The former Wisdom stopped beside her. “Of course you do. Don’t be silly.”

“And how will it seem,” Egwene asked, “if those who know me best refuse my authority? Might it seem to the others that there is something they do not know? Some weakness that only my friends have seen?”

Nynaeve stops, caught out, and Egwene asks her how it felt when those she was supposed to be leading saw only the girl and not the station. Nynaeve ruefully acknowledges the trap Egwene laid for her, and Egwene asks why, if Nynaeve would be willing to serve other women as Amyrlin, why she cannot do the same for Egwene when she acknowledges Egwene will do well at the job. Nynaeve admits it will be difficult, but promises to try. She calls her “Mother” with some difficulty, and Egwene thinks wryly that at least she’s trying. The wards Egwene had set go off, but when they go out to the corridor there is no one there. Then Elayne appears. She congratulates Egwene on the Tower, and hugs Nynaeve, saying she is glad she decided to come so Egwene didn’t have to hunt her down and “pull your toes off one at a time.”

“The Amyrlin,” Nynaeve said, “has much better things to do. Isn’t that right, Mother?”

Elayne started, looking amazed. She got a glimmer in her eye, and hid a smile. She assumed that Nynaeve had been given a tongue-lashing. But, of course, Egwene knew that wouldn’t have worked with Nynaeve; it would be like trying to yank a burr out of your skin when its spines had gone in the wrong way.

Egwene wonders who set off the wards, though, and weaves a deliberately imperfect ward against eavesdropping, hoping to lure whoever it was in. They sit, and Egwene tells Nynaeve she wants her to return to the Tower and teach more sisters her new Healing, but Nynaeve is reluctant to leave Rand. Elayne is concerned to hear he has “changed”; Egwene suspects Elayne is hiding something about Rand, and wonders if Elayne has bonded him. Nynaeve replies he has changed, but in a good way.

“Mother… you don’t know how bad he grew. There were times when I was terrified of him. Now… that’s gone. He’s the same person—he even talks the same way as before. Quietly, without anger. Before it was like the quiet of a knife being drawn, and now it’s like the quiet of a breeze.”

“He’s awakened,” Elayne said suddenly. “He’s warm now.”

This confirms Egwene’s suspicion, though she doesn’t press the issue. Nynaeve suddenly looks more closely at Elayne and declares indignantly that she is pregnant, which is something Egwene had already known. Egwene congratulates her and Rand, but comments the timing is awkward. She tells them what Rand had said about breaking the seals, risking releasing the Dark One.

Elayne pursed her lips. “Well, there are only three seals left, and they’re crumbling.”

“So what if he is running that risk?” Nynaeve said. “The Dark One will be freed when the final seal crumbles; best if it happens when Rand is there to battle him.”

“Yes, but the seals? That’s foolhardy. Surely Rand can face the Dark One, and defeat him, and seal him away without taking that risk.”

“Maybe you’re right,” Nynaeve said.

Elayne looked troubled.

Egwene is disturbed by their lack of negative reaction, but tells herself that Nynaeve is probably just being affected by Rand’s ta’veren nature. She moves on, telling them that she wants them both to come to the Tower and swear the Oaths. Elayne objects on the grounds that she doesn’t know what that will do to her unborn children, which Egwene accepts provisionally, but she insists on Nynaeve. Nynaeve is very reluctant, but agrees humbly, to Elayne’s surprise. Egwene is worried about getting her exempted from the testing, though. Nynaeve, however, tells her it is not a problem; she’s learned all the weaves for the test and has no problem with taking it.

“When have you had time to learn those?” Elayne exclaimed.

“I haven’t spent the last few months mooning about and dreaming of Rand al’Thor.”

“Securing the throne of Andor is not ‘mooning about’!”

Egwene tells Nynaeve to be there the next morning, then, to her dismay, and tells Elayne that in the meantime she needs to make more dream ter’angreal, as the ones they had were stolen. Elayne and Nynaeve are both horrified to hear that Sheriam was Black Ajah, but before Egwene can explain further, her wards go off. Egwene blinks to the hallway, where a Black sister named Talva tries to attack her. Egwene shields her, but Alviarin appears and attacks from behind; Egwene blinks out of the way, and Alviarin’s weaves kill Talva instead. Alviarin disappears before Egwene can shield her, to her chagrin.

Egwene hadn’t been thinking like a Dreamer. Lately, her mind had been on the Aes Sedai and their problems, and weaves had come naturally to her. But she couldn’t let herself forget that in this place, thought was more powerful than the One Power.

Nynaeve and Elayne catch up to her. Nynaeve comments that they shouldn’t have met here, but Egwene counters that they’ll never defeat the Black Ajah unless they can find them. Nynaeve disapproves of this, but Egwene is distracted by something down the hall. She blinks over, but nothing is there. She reflects that she had cleansed the White Tower, but the infestation at its heart was still unpurged. She promises herself that she will find Mesaana before returning to the others.

Commentary
So, Egwene is being both cool and annoying in this chapter.

Cool, because she totally schools Nynaeve, but she does it with logic and with an appeal to Nynaeve’s innate empathy and loyalty, rather than just yelling at her or ordering her around. Which was very nice to see after the near-assault she pulled on Nynaeve back in TFOH (I think) the last time they were tussling over the question of who’s the boss, and I feel it means Bair and Amys were right when they said Egwene has Grown As A Person.

But she is also annoying me in her willful and almost inexplicable blindness to the evidence that everyone and their dog is giving her that maybe Rand is no longer Stressball Doom Guy (sorry, but that’s just way too fun to say/write), and that maybe destroying the seals is not actually a totally psychotic suggestion to make. Especially since, as Elayne pointed out, they’re eventually going to break on their own anyway, so why not at least control how and when it happens?

Still, I suppose I might be being a little too impatient with her here. Because if you’ve got, say, a big, poisonous, and deeply pissed-off spider trapped under a jar, and you know the only way to kill it is to let it out first, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to have to seriously psych myself up first before I’m willing to admit to the necessity. And if it was a big, poisonous, deeply pissed-off and universe-destroying spider, well, I would imagine even more so, then. That’s logic, y’all!

Speaking of the sometimes dangerous practice of applying logical thought to fictional magic systems, I’m a little confused about the rose window thing in this chapter, because while we’ve seen the Dreamworld reflect things in the real world oddly or intermittently or whatever, I feel like this is the first time it’s ever actually reflected something from an alternate version of Randland. Verin’s comments notwithstanding, as far as I can tell the only place we’ve come across the whole parallel universe thing is when everyone was mucking around with the Portal Stones in the early books; I don’t ever remember the Dreamworld specifically switching elements around between dimensions before this.

I always kind of figured (insofar as I thought about it at all) that even if Tel’aran’rhiod touches all the parallel universes out there, when a dreamer is actually in it she only sees the reflection of the particular universe she belongs to. This is the first time that assumption’s been challenged, which therefore makes it either a gaffe, or an indication that reality really is getting seriously tattered around the edges by this point. For obvious reasons, I think I’ll go ahead and believe that the latter option is the correct one.

“Pull your toes off”?

Also, Egwene didn’t know that Elayne had bonded Rand, but did know that she was pregnant by him? WTF? It’s probably a bit inconsistent that I am simultaneously annoyed that she didn’t know the first thing and annoyed that she did know the latter thing, but, well, there you go. It must be positively exhausting keeping track of which characters know which things at which time in this series.

I was, kind of hilariously, rather disappointed that Alviarin appeared only long enough to take a potshot at Egwene and miss before booking it. Fortunately, though, she shows up again later, and I have high hopes of her being a decent opponent to the Supergirls in AMOL.


And that’s what I got for this one, peoples! Have a lovely week; I will be over here loving and hugging and squeezing my shoutout. But not calling it George, because that would rather defeat the purpose, methinks. My shoutout! Mine!

(whoo)

175 comments
Daryl Strickler
2. Seacaptain13
I'm not sure what I am more excited for, the Re-read or the Afroman Shout Out. I wasn't going to run from the cops...
Kristoff Bergenholm
4. Magentawolf
Sigh. I *still* don't like the new and improved Rand. He's just too Jesus'y to feel like a worthwhile character any more. :(
Stefan Mitev
5. Bergmaniac
I don't get Rand's nonchalance about Alanna's disappearance. He's bonded to her, so if she's killed it would be really bad for him. It's not just him, even the others like Cadsuane and Nynaeve don't seem to realise this.

Great to finally see the Supergirls meeting in TAR again, I missed it in the last few books. They were the only main characters who shared info and actually talked to each other about important things for most of the series. But there's a problem with the scene here which shows the flaws in the structure of ToM. Elayne's timeline at this point is way behind Egwene's so most of the sharing of what's going on between the Supergirls had to happen off-screen. Otherwise the plot of next few Elayne chapters would've been totally spoiled.

Elayne didn't tell Egwene about bonding Rand because she was unsure how legal and according to custom the triple bonding was.
Deana Whitney
6. Braid_Tug
So glad that Rand first acknowledged the toh he had to the Aeil. Wonder what the Maidens did to him since we don’t hear about it again.

Second him weeping in Tam arms was really moving to me. As for rushed… the whole of Sanderson’s book with WOT has been putting the car in 5 gear and flooring the gas. I find being told he fell into his father’s arms and weep more moving than reading every word of apology.

Weiramon: thank goodness all the debates were put to bed! I never really cared one way or the other, but was glad this questioned was answered. Wonder if Anaiyella’s relationship with him was something she wanted to do, or was ordered to do for the Dark One?

Alanna: oh why has she not removed the bond? Why??? If she meets up with the Trio, I hope Avi takes her down before ordering her to remove it.

Bongs? Oh boy, let the comments fly…

Really like the “strength of the wind” comments by the Wise Ones.

Ahw.. the Bela of this post will be “Egwene sucks / does not suck.” And I love Nynaeve (duh), but Egwene did have a vaild point about her authority and perception. The title of Amyrlin is more important than the woman who holds it.
Glad Ny and Elayne sided with Rand. Hope that is step one in making Egwene see his side.

“Stressball Doom Guy” – funny. Too bad you didn’t think of this phrase last book!
Davyd
7. Cody91
I'm having a hard time picturing what more anyone could have wanted out of the Rand and Tam reunion. They met happily, they hugged, they made up, Rand introduced his girlfriend. It was sweet and I teared up a little.

That's all it needed. I don't need 5 pages of useless fluff of them going over stuff I already know, and I don't think it'd fit their characters anyway. Tam is a rather taciturn man, and Rand isn't much different.
Nadine L.
8. travyl
As a whole I loved Rands "arriving in Tear" chapter. The apprehension when he faces the Aiel and his father (but not with the Aes Sedai) was great, the fisher king effect (gulls falling silent) even more so, but I have huge issues with the end of the chapter: why would Min arch an eyebrow at him, when Rand wants to introduce her to his father, and why would she do that while thinking nothing at all (it’s her POV after all). I would have been okay if she had arched said eyebrow after the introduction: "she is very special" – really? That felt lame to me, aside from Leeh's (:: no typo, but shoutout::) point that the reunion could have lasted a frew more pages :)
Daryl Strickler
9. Seacaptain13
I can say from my point of view as being a father of 2 boys and close with my dad this is how I imagine our reunion would be. Short, to the point and underwhelming. It was perfect and made me a little misty eyed. Of course I can't listen to the great Harry Chapin's Cat's in the Cradle without a lump either. And WoT bong hits, lol.

We were going to kill the dark one, but we got high. We were going to assault that Shayol Ghul, but we got high. Now Shai'tan rules and I know why, hey hey because we got high, because we got high because we got hiiiiighhh. Lada da da dadada...
Davyd
10. MadCardigan
“Yes, but the seals? That’s foolhardy. Surely Rand can face the Dark One, and defeat him, and seal him away without taking that risk.”

This quote of Egwene's is just terrible. Lets break it down...

1. Break the Seals? Foolhardy.
2. Face Dark One?
3. Defeat him? Given!
4. Plan to seal him up all ironed out? Sure, Rand's got one, definitely going to work too.
5. Since we got all that covered, why break the Seals anyway?

Other than that, fun chapter.
Davyd
11. arby64
Even if Alanna died would it really hurt Rand that much when he is still bonded to three other people?
Sam Mickel
12. Samadai
3 very good chapters. The Tam/Rand scene always chokes me up. Nynaeve again shows just how awesome she is becoming. I like Egwene so her povs dont bother me much, but sometimes she is a ..... well whatever she is.

One thing I have noticed about ToM, Rands Timeline is messed up ( I think)
He leaves Tar valon on the 3rd day to go to Tear. He tells Narishma to go to the borderlanders and tell them he will meet them in a few days. he tells the borderlanders he is going to the fields of Merrilor the next day to meet everybody. ( he told Egwene to meet him there in 30 days)

So my problem is obvious, a few days is more than 2 but certainly less than a week. How does his timeline work?, 1-2 days at Arad Domon, One day in Saldaea, one day in Far MAdding, only comes to 4 days. It has to be a mess up somewhere in there.
Don Barkauskas
13. bad_platypus
arby64 @11: There's no evidence that Greens who are bonded to multiple Warders have any lessening of the effect of losing one of them. This is obviously not the same, and there's no evidence either way on what would happen here.

In any case, it's certainly worth worrying about.
Stefan Mitev
15. Bergmaniac
@11 - who knows how severe the effect would be, but why take the risk? Besides, Cadsuane and Nynaeve at this point don't know about the triple bonding.

I liked Rand and Tam's scene, it wasn't rushed for me at all. Short and to the point, and it worked.

One of the issues I have with ToM is that it's never shown why Elayne went from being ambivalent about opposing Rand's idea to break the seals in this chapter to really supportive of Egwene's plan to stop Rand with no hesitation later on. Some explanation should've been included, it's pretty important for the plot.
Jim
16. JimmyMac80
I don't know why you're upset that Egwene knows about the pregnancy but not the bond. The pregnancy is common knowledge in Caemlyn, which means the Tower's Eyes and Ears have surely reported on it.

The thing that really annoys me is the fact that everyone seems to think that breaking the Seals means the DO is free. The Bore was open for quite awhile during the War of Shadows without the DO breaking free, why does everyone think that destroying the Seals will completely free the DO at this point?
WOT Dragons
17. WOTNoDragons
I haven’t managed to post for quite a while, but now that RL is not so manic, I wanted to chime in again. Great re-read Leigh – thanks as always. I’m with you in terms of the Rand / Tam reunion: it’s a really touching moment and one that needed a bit more screen time. My only slight frustration is that the scene is marred (in my head) because of what Rand doesn’t say, - but probably should if he’s going to be really honest: “she is very special to me but, **whispers in Tam’s ear** but I’m also ‘especially’ fond of 2 other girls I want you to formally introduce you to! - heh.” I guess it’s the fact that Rand has this love-triangle square thing going on & knowing this just slightly tarnishes this scene for me - I mean, I don’t think Tam would overly approve of his boy’s behavior. In any event, I think I’m just pining for a more traditional 1:1 romantic love interest - I really heart Min and feel so sorry for her in regard to having to share Rand.

Also, I imagined the smoking pipe was more like a metal ‘pipe’ - which might be more along the lines of a smoking gun, but in this case it might be a Shocklance. Given that the POV is from Min - who’d quite correctly use a frame of reference she’d understand, it seems therefore appropriate for her to ‘see’ it an image of a smoking pipe because a Shocklance would not be a recognizable object to her.
Noneo Yourbusiness
18. Longtimefan
As I think about the window I wonder if it is something that Egwene would unconsiously project into her dream.

She was practially betrothed to Rand in the Two Rivers. I would suspect that several years of her life were spent knowing of him and speaking to him and thinking fond and kind thoughts of him in a partnership of husband and wife.

Her relationship with Rand was also part of her struggle in her testing for Accepted even though she had known that she and Rand were no longer going to have the relationship they had assumed just a couple years before.

Elyane and Nynaeve both mentioned that male channelers would be needed for the bowl of the winds so the idea of working together with the male half of the source has been in Egwenes thoughts when contemplating working on global issues.

Egwene also knows that Sisters and Asha'man have been bonding eachother and she has given the command to have Sisters travel to the Black Tower to bond several Asha'man as part of the offer from Rand to balance the Sisters that were bonded from the excursion to the Tower that Elaida had authorized.

Subconciously it is possible that Egwene has been thinking on having a more unified family of channeling than she conciously admits to.

The white tower may have influenced Egwenes thinking (as well as the general disposition of the world towards male channelers) but her whole life she has known Rand and has spend a few of those years thinking about developing some form of partnership with him.

Fictionally emotionally she may still think of how to work with Rand and through him the other half of the source.

Her interest in connecting all of the women who can use Saidar shows that she wants to be a unifying force between people who use the one power. why would that not translate to her wanting to be a unifying force between the Amyriln and the Dragon and by that to combine Saidar and Saidin and all of the people who can access those powers.

Ofcourse it would be in the window of her audience chamber. She would still be the leader. :) Well, maybe co-leader.

Just a thought.
Davyd
19. Ralphy
I think the shortness of the Rand/Tam scene would've been worse if this had been their first interaction since Eye of the the World, but they did have a good scene together in TGS (that is, until Rand almost killed him, but I digress).
@4: Part of the Dragon's character all along has been "Jesus-y": He's there to save the world and die (and live again? Who knows where this is going?) in the doing.
Mark Lawrence
20. incurablyGeek
I'm at this point a little annoyed at Egwene (perhaps I'm meant to be) with regards to her skepticism (really, opposition) to Rand's plan and judgement.

She has the benefit of a long history with Rand to know of his essential character. She knows what he's been through and can appreciate it because of what she hereself has been through. She knows the taint has been removed from saidin. She's logical and shrewd.

The only explanation as to her discounting his judgement perhaps is a trace of bigotry towards men wielding power. What else explains her rejecting his intentions out-of-hand?
Natasha Sewell
21. saintsfan4life
@Leigh: I just wanted to thank you for this post today. I always enjoy them, but the past few weeks have been really stressful for me (work issues) and today I was near my breaking point. The few minutes I took to read my favorite recapper actually put a smile on my face and, quite possibly, saved a few lives! Thanks so much for doing this and the ASOIF read. Now back to the salt mines :(
Davyd
22. Emily D
Congrats on the shoutout!! Woo indeed!
Also, I think we have seen Wise Ones smoking pipes...
Davyd
23. Kurtis75
Does anyone else think the quote "I thought I was being forged into a sword..." is a clue to understanding Callandor?
Davyd
24. Megaduck
I actually think that the Rand Verse Egwene thing has been set up from book 1. A lot of the story has been about the opposition between male and female and is most ways Egwene has been Rands female opposite. I do notice however that no one has yet asked Egwene what her plan if they don’t break the seals.

I think that's why Moriene is so important. It's her job to bring Rand and Egwene back together again.

Heck while I'm at predictions.

Ishy is going to take control of Calador and use Moggy and Lanfear in the circle to control it. Lanfear will betray Ishy and turn back to the light and save Rand.

This is why Rand would have lost if the Chodan Kal thingy was still in his position. Ishy could have simply seized it and then used it himself.

This will also fulfill one of the major themes that no one has served the shadow to long to turn back to the light.

Oh, and I guess that the twice dawns the day stuff has to deal with the clouds. Rand disrupts the clouds with his presence, then he breaks the seals and the battle is on and the clouds close up and darkness falls. Then when Rand wins the clouds break.

I also think the pipe is the future after the last battle. I think Rand retires into peace and happiness and smokes a pipe as a farmer in the two rivers.

Fin.
Charles Gaston
25. parrothead
Honestly, I love the reunion scene. One of the best in the Sanderson books, I think, and one of the most touching in the entire series. The only thing that spoils it somewhat is Weiramon (and to a lesser extent Anaiyella). Put me down as one of those who thought he was too stupid and incompetent to be a DF. Oh well. “This is Min Farshaw. And she’s very special to me.” Being a rather serious intellectual, I of course did not squee, nor did I do so upon further reread. That is slander and you'll never prove it.

On Egs, I continue to have problems with her characterization. She has had possibly the most character development of anyone in the series, much of it good. And then she got rescued. I think here she suggests/demands that Nynaeve and Elayne call her "Mother", something that she all but begged them never to do in private when she was first raised.
Davyd
26. Kirth Gersen
On Min's visions, I thought the pipe with smoke coming out of it was more like a metal pipe, which made me think of a cannon - or, in Randland, a "dragon" - the smoke coming out would be the discharge from firing the cannon, which would explian the ranks of dead Trollocs.
Roger Powell
27. forkroot
Leigh
There’s a whole lot more I could say about the understandable-yet-still-detrimental impulse to sacrifice character interaction for plot movement, but I really don’t want to hammer this into the ground just yet, because for one thing it’s going to come up again, and for another I feel really guilty right now, so I’ll leave it here for the moment, and invite y’all to give me your thoughts on it in the comments.
The problem is that RJ "spent that coin" already, with pages of decisions on how low cut should a dress be, bath scenes, etc. in previous books. We're just flat out of time folks!

In many ways, Brandon was an inspired choice to finish the series. RJ checked out with so many plot lines open, it required a writer who could write with some urgency to get this thing wrapped up. Yet for all the urgency, Brandon's love and respect for what RJ has built has balanced the rush to the end.

Leigh again
Cool, because she totally schools Nynaeve, but she does it with logic and with an appeal to Nynaeve’s innate empathy and loyalty, rather than just yelling at her or ordering her around.
Sorry, no "cool" awarded. Egwene is so anxious to get Nynaeve to knuckle under, she loses track of the fact that Nynaeve is with Rand, is by far the most trustworthy person with Rand, is going to Shayol Ghul with Rand, and (frankly) is a whole lot more important in the big picture than Egwene herself.

I have no problem with her pointing out to Nynaeve how important it is that Nyn support her in public. Once we get part the "Mother" bit though, I think that she really just needs to bless Nynaeve's mission as a Tower representative attached to Rand and trust her to do the right thing.

Great leaders lead more by consensus than by fiat. Sometimes fiat is necessary, but it loses power when overused. Egwene should have consulted Nynaeve on whether it made sense to come back and do the testing and vows, vs. just ordering the latter.

Egwene is incredibly smart and talented, but this is a classic case where intelligence can outrun wisdom. If she lives long enough for the wisdom to come, she will be accounted as the greatest Amyrlin ever.

JimmyMac80@16
The thing that really annoys me is the fact that everyone seems to think that breaking the Seals means the DO is free. The Bore was open for quite awhile during the War of Shadows without the DO breaking free, why does everyone think that destroying the Seals will completely free the DO at this point?
Thank you! I was going to make that point, but you beat me to it. I guess the character's defense might be that they didn't understand the timeline of the Bore/Strike, etc. -- although the "Strike at Shayol Ghul" purports to be in-world literature, so anyone of significance (like the Amyrlin) really should have that information.
Chris Lehotsky
28. Tel_Janin
@12

I don't think Rand's timeline is messed up as much as we just don't see much of it. My guess is that it took the Borderlanders awhile to arrange and schedule the meeting, especially after the near-disaster with Hurin. I'm hoping that we'll find out at least a little bit of what Rand did for the rest of that month in aMoL. I would hate to see the timelines all caught up at the end of ToM just to backtrack on one of the main arcs again, but maybe the resolution at the Black Tower happens before Merrilor. And we have to assume that Rand found time to send Lan help, even though he has a great cliffhanger. January can't come fast enough.

@Leigh

I read a theory somewhere that the pipe is the one Roedran gave to Talmanes in Murandy. It also went on to suppose, since the pipe is gilded or filligreed or something, it has a finder weave on the metal like Moiraine did with the coins in EotW. Of course, the theory also said the Roedran is Demandred, and that's how he's going to screw up the Band in the Last Battle. Not my theory, but plausible, I suppose.
Roger Powell
29. forkroot
One of Leigh's real skills is her ability to highlight essential passages in the midst of her summaries:
“The Shadow does not need her to find me, Min, nor will it ever again. All its eyes are fixed directly upon me, and will be until I blind them.”
I wonder if this a bit of foreshadowing for Rand to use the dull dagger ter'angreal - the one that Avienda claims will make the bearer undetectable to the Shadow. That particular Chekov's gun has yet to be fired.

“Callandor,” he said. “It plays a part in this. You have to find out how. I cannot seal the Bore the way I tried last time. I’m missing something, something vital. Find it for me.”
So is Callandor the key to blocking the True Source - as the price to be paid for repairing the Bore completely? If the TS is blocked, then the DO could not taint it with a counterstroke like before. Plus it solves the peace with the Seanchan problem (no more damane) and it would be a big enough change that we could call the end of an Age without killing off almost everyone like before.
LT Tortora
30. Lucubratrix
I'm not sure Alanna's death would be as devastating for Rand as it would for other (normal) Warders. He's already accepted that he's going to die, and I think the white light covering the black thorns of madness that Nynaeve sees a little later on might serve to protect him from the Warder's usual response to his Aes Sedai's death.

I didn't think the scene with Tam was underdone. I did think the "she is very special to me" line was pretty cheesy, though. It somehow doesn't seem to fit (too modern, or something).
Kurt Lorey
31. Shimrod
Considering how much you put up with around here sometimes, and your dedication to the re-read, you DO have the heart of a Maiden of the Spear.
Davyd
32. Faculty Guy
Congratulaions Leeh on being christened Far Dareis Mai, and for being directly addressed by Lord Jesus - er - Dragon.
Davyd
33. pwl
On Min's visions, I thought the pipe with smoke coming out of it was more like a metal pipe, which made me think of a cannon
Sounds like a good question for Team Jordan. "What kind of pipe is in Min's viewing?"
Put me down as one of those who thought he was too stupid and incompetent to be a DF.
Incompetent like a fox. After the Tairen noble in silver-worked boots that was constantly coming up with hare-brained plans that just would have happened to lead to Lan being killed, as well as that whole "I won't move without direct orders from...", it seemed like a total waste if they didn't out him as a DF eventually. The fact that Rand was able to trust him after the latter event puzzled me, especially after Anaiyella's straight considering murdering him after he got shot with the crossbow.

He was right to call himself "blind" in this chapter, with regard to not noting Weiramon and Anaiyella for what they were before. And we had even more information to go off of than he did. I think some people were unduly influenced by his and LTT's thoughts on Weiramon. A lot of readers have a tendency to forget that Rand between TDR and ToM is quite crazy at times, and not always in the sort of way where he puts his underpants on his head and stuffs pencils in his nostrils and everyone can see he's daft.
Rich Bennett
34. Neuralnet
Congrats Leeh! so cool to be a character. Thanks for the rereads.

I really love the jesusification of Rand in these chapters. It rejuvinated the series for me. It had become so hard to read about Rand in the last book or two and now he has one MOA moment after another. I love how he just looks at Weiramon and sends him packing. The scene with Rand and Tam worked perfect for me... maybe its a guy thing but I dont think anything more would be believable.

I like the theory someone above has that the smoking pipe is Mat's dragon canons instead of a regular tobacco type pipe. I hadnt thought of that before now, but who knows... RAFO as usual.

I am still frustrated by how out of sync Rand and Egwene are regarding the strategy for the last battle. also, once again we see someone got a sneaky verin letter, but we have no idea what it was about. so many reveals in the last book... cant wait.
Davyd
35. wcarter4
I agree that parts of this book were defintely rushed. And yes the Rand/Tam reunion was short. HOWEVER, I think the time spent was actually quite reasonable.

Rand and Tam are fairly quiet men, and more importantly they're soliders. Men like them dont usually chat about this that and the other thing when their is a deep rift that has just been healed. Whether RJ or Sanderson wrote this I have no doubt it came directly from Jordan's notes and Jordan was a veteran of Nam. He knew first hand how a couple of men who had been through a years long grinder carrying that much baggage would meet back up.

Why do you think so many cases of suicide, depression PTSD exist in real life?

Not to mention there seems to be weeks left at best before The End. I imagine everyone is quite busy.

For them to sit down to tea and biscuits and have a good long cry would make about as much sense in context as Mat pulling out a cellphone or getting in a car.
j p
36. sps49
Yeah. A father and son reunion would be much less eventful. Did you never see the Luann comic strip of Luann and her mom in the car, both talking and listening simultaneously, contrasted in the next panel by Brad & dad driving in silence?

Rand's introduction of Min was overdone. With a hand on her, just say "This is Min", and that's enough.

I think the window is Egwene's subconscious trying to tell her the Aes Sedai should contain both sexes.

Smoking pipe = cannon, yes. Probably wielded by both sides.
Glen V
37. Ways
Congratulations to Leigh for the probable shout-out - she richly deserves it!!!

The brevity of the Rand/Tam reunion also surprised me a little when I re-read ToM a couple of months ago. A glass of ale or wine together seems apropos to me, to celebrate. Having said that, I acknowledge the huge task Brandon has undertaken to finish the series, in RJ's style, and tie up all the loose plot lines, while avoiding stretching out the series for 10 more books (well, that's a two-edged sword - sigh). I'm eternally grateful to him for doing so (!) and can easily forgive minor issues where we think RJ would have done it differently. It is enlightening to read different commenter's opinions on these topics, up to a point, but many of the discussions reach Bela-dom (TM).

Regarding Min's vision of the smoking pipe...I too initially wondered whether the passage refered to a pipe for smoking plant material or, rather, a smokestack-like affair for venting noxious fumes from underground. I really like @26. Kirth Gersen's speculation that it refers to dragons. Min has not seen these weapons and would have difficulty providing a description. @28. Tel_Janin - I recall reading that same explanation about the smoking pipe also. I'm not sure where, though. The in-book description doesn't mention anything about gilding or filigree. Does anyone know where that came from?

Edit: acknowledges @17.WOTNoDragons' theory as possible also.

@24. Megaduck
"Ishy is going to take control of Calador and use Moggy and Lanfear in the circle to control it. Lanfear will betray Ishy and turn back to the light and save Rand."
Loony theory and I love it. Maybe Ishy will turn back in addition to, or instead of, Moggy.

@16. JimmyMac80 and @27. forkroot
Excellent point about the seals (you both got there quickly). In defense of Egwene not knowing this info: her education in most things Amyrlin-ish was condensed into a short course provided by Siuan. Some topics were no doubt given short shrift. She'll get up to speed and come around to support Rand's plan eventually, one way or another.
John Smith
38. TheHardTruth
Im not a big Brandon Sanderson fan, but I have to say that ONE element of criticism he takes that I think is a bit unfair is how rushed his WOT books are, how he can't do the scenes that need more depth...Do we really know that he can't? The guy is in a bind. He HAS to fit SO MUCH into the very end of this series. If the series were going to go for another two or three books, then we may see a better example of ''non-rushed'' material by Brandon.
John Smith
39. TheHardTruth
Re: Min's Vision. If the two pipes are more literal, rather than figurative, and linked to the two dead men...is it possible those two might be Rodel Ituralde and Davram Bashere? :-(
Valentin M
40. ValMar
I also liked the reunion of Tam and Rand. What more had to be written? I love RJ's prose and enjoy every word he wrote in WOT but sometimes he did dwell a bit too much, 100 000 words here 100 000 there... But this is irrelevant to the reinion, it's fine as it is. Plus RJ could be succint, i.e. get scenes fit a page, as well.
Should we call Leigh from now on Leeh?
Charles Gaston
41. parrothead
Perhaps the pipe is a smokestack? From one of Poel's steamwagons or something. I'm still leaning towards it being an ordinary tabac pipe, but I didn't attach much significance to it one way or another.
Nathanael Schaffer
42. N_Schaffer
Re: "I thought I was being forged into a sword." This is explained later, in chapter 51, when Rand sends Naeff back to the Black Tower, to Logain and his followers, with a message. "Tell them that I was wrong. Tell them that we're not weapons. We're men." This seems to be the lesson that Rand and the Asha'man had to learn from Cadsuane, and fits in with Grady's feelings a few chapters ago. They won't go mad, and therefore should attempt to be part of the world, and not hold themselves apart from it, and their humanity.

Re: Min's vision with the dead men and the pipe. Never thought of this as a cannon, which is an interesting idea. I've always thought of the two dead men as Rand and Tam (between the pipe and the placement in this chapter, Tam sprung to mind). With this being a new vision, I assumed that the recociliation that happens here will culminate in the two of them fighting together in their last moments. Perhaps wishful thinking on my part, or a desire for a larger reunion, but I'm sticking with this theory for now.
Valentin M
43. ValMar
The pipe vision is a curious one. What did she mean by "pipe"? I think it's a matter of context. If I were to tell people here about something happening to me today involving a "pipe" e.g. "I saw this pipe when walking to work today" it will mean a water, gas, etc pipe. Few feet long, a diameter of few cm. If I meant a smoking pipe I would specifically note it as it is unusual.

In WOT when Min mentions a smoking pipe I guess it is different. If she meant a pipe different from a smoking pipe she will note it. Maybe call it a tube instead?

Anyway, this is one of Min's visions where we don't have enough info and will have to wait to know for sure.
Dawn Boyall
44. deebee
I don`t really buy that Min`s viewing could refer to a dragon, or a shocklance if it comes to that. Min sees visions. She knows whether she saw a large metal tube whose purpose she doesn`t understand, or a tabac pipe. The fact that both could be referred to as a "pipe" doesn`t change the fact that the object she sees is either one or the other. So creating an ambiguity by the use of language is just semantics.

I guess on a meta-level it could be argued that the ambiguity adds drama and intrigue. In general I think that the prophecies, Foretellings and visions add significantly to the way I feel about these books.

I know Min doesn`t always know what her viewings mean. But if the "pipe" she sees here is a strange metal tube I would expect her to think that to herself when she sees the vision. So I`m hoping that the pipe turns out to be exactly that- something Min would look at and immediately recognise as a pipe: probably a tabac pipe.
Glen V
45. Ways
@43. ValMar and 44.deebee

You both bring up a good point about the pipe ambiguity. I fell into the our-world paradigm trap where "a pipe" can mean many things. That's not likely the case with Min.
Charles Gaston
46. parrothead
I do think they have drainage pipes in the cities (Tar Valon, Caemlyn), referred to as such. And of course I can't back that up from the text, at the moment...
Davyd
47. deBebbler
When I first read TOM, I grinned from ear to ear when I saw Leeh introduced.

Brandon got it right. You are definetely a Maiden.

Congrats!

Great post, too. I have also laughed myself silly imagining different WOT characters smoking down. For a while, the circle I really wanted to see included Cadsuane, Elayne, Mat, and Verin.

I could see them talking about how cool it is to hear someone read the Travels of Jaim Farstrider and the Prophecies of the Dragon at the same time because of all the cool things that line up, almost as the former was written to blend with the latter.
Valentin M
48. ValMar
Ways @ 45

Pipe can mean different things for Min too, I'm pretty sure. I think there are pipes in WOT. There is pipework in the big cities, at the very least. So Min knows of, at least, smoking pipes and water pipes. In our RL context simply "pipe" would normally mean water pipe or the like. For WOT Min, grown up in small town in the middle of nowhere, a"pipe" will be a smoking pipe, one ought to assume. Do we really have an idea whether Min has any clue of the practicality of drainage or supplying fresh water in the giant cities she's been in?
Dawn Boyall
49. deebee
Ways@45 Valmar@48

The point as I see it is that Min sees a picture that she interprets. The things that she sees are things she recognises or not. She isn`t writing or speaking so she isn`t using any words. You don`t look at at a chair and think in words "that's a chair"

At this point Min is seeing several new visions, and she`s already very emotional about seeing Jesus Rand. So this is an experience which is rendered in words for us the readers, but I don`t think that Min herself will have used any words at the point at which she she sees the visions.
Martyna Berek
50. missbee
Congratulations on the shout out Leeh!
And thanks for a great re-read!

Ways @ 37
The pipe is described as gold-rimmed (TGS 20)

Tel_Janin @ 28
The theory you read about the pipe being gilded may well have been written by me, elsewhere. Though I'm probably not the only person to have thought of it.
The idea came to me because of the number of times the pipe is mentioned in the chapter. It is very noticeable. And then, when 'a pipe' turns up in a vision in this chapter, it just seemed a natural jump to make. (As an aside, I don't believe Demandred is Roedran, I just think he controls Roedran.)

On the timeline

A while back I had far too much time on my hands and compiled my own. I made a very determined effort to approach it differently to other timelines I've seen, just to see if I could get a different result.
I managed to answer some of the apparent inconsistencies, but some remain.
I'm not going to claim mine is better than others, or more complete, but for anyone interested
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkoVqSXYFOjzdHZxNl9aeEZBOFhDejJaRDNKMDRYS2c
Noneo Yourbusiness
51. Longtimefan
The pipe/pipe conundrum seems to me as an issue that one can only have in literature.

In a visual medium such as a comic or movie the item in question would be clearly observed.

Much like the Messeana identity shading. In a visual medium her disguise would be less of a secret from the veiwer since she did not seem to change her apperance from the Sister she was emulating by much.

These little literary mysteries are fun if not frustrating but they do lead to some interesting speculation and interpretation of the words.

As for the Tam/Rand moment I did like it. I do not know if I felt it was rushed. The whole point in story is that everything is rushed as the Last Battle is pretty much tomorrow or as close to that as counts considering that volleys from both sides have been shot at each other for the last few months and the Dark One has harmed the world quite a bit more than the world has fought back.

It feels genuine in its own way and fits in to the greater story as being something that has to be done when there is no time to do all that must be done.

Plus, one may assume that Tam is awesome enough to believe in his son with out needing too much conversation.

The Aiel seem to practice that and many fans of the work think they are pretty impressive. :)
JAMES MCCLELLAN
52. ZEXXES
You know what Leigh? I must forgo reading the rest of your post to get this off of my chest. It's subject demands immediate recompense.

I too feel that Rand and Tam's reunion was over too quickly. It needed another page, at least a half page more to properly move the scene along. In fact the scene should have ended right there, fading to black and cutting to commercial. Then we'd start anew with the searing heat of the light upon those of the dark.

Given my last comment within the last post, I feel hypocritical to some degree. Not a bunch, as I remember this happening distinctly and I let wash away just as soon as I finished whiping my tears away.

It was a moving scene regardless, but I just wanted to let you and those I may have aligned against know of my transgression and apologize, and with great sincerity.


Z
Sanctume Spiritstone
53. Sanctume
along with new viewings: “An open cavern, gaping like a mouth. Bloodstained rocks. Two dead men on the ground, surrounded by ranks and ranks of Trollocs, a pipe with smoke curling from it.”

I wonder if those two men are from the Band of the Red Hands defending Caemlyn during the Trolloc attacks, and Rand travels there and do those cool ninja stars made of Trolloc-seeking spinning close-open travel-gate disks (vortex)
Sanctume Spiritstone
54. Sanctume
Valmar

@48

But at the same time, Min is Rand's book researcher so her "pipe" definition would not be limited to the tabac use only.
Rob Munnelly
55. RobMRobM
Re the pipe and whether a tobacco pipe or something else (dragon launcher), query whether the foreign language versions of ToM would add light to the subject. Birgit, or Birgit - wo ist du?????
Davyd
56. Blood_Drunk
Ok, so I tried to hold my peace, but I need to say a few things.

1. I don’t see why the whole world has to fall apart for this to be the end of an age. The fact is that for 3000 years everyone has been under the threat of the Dark One. I would say that regardless is there is a massive calamity or not, the end of a 3 thousand year old war is worthy of being called the end of an age.

2. Some have put forth that in real life, there were a few instances that are comparable to an end of an age for us. Three thousand years ago was before the founding of Rome. So I don’t think we can make the same transition of time as being the end of an age. It seems that many historians will call the rise and fall of the Roman Empire an Age. Then you have the Middle Ages where life was lived in a distinctly different way. It wasn’t until the Renaissance that the Middle Ages were considered to be the end of an Age. There are many interpretations of what the end of an Age would be, but it isn’t necessarily something cataclysmic.

3. Someone also asked the question, ‘why would a man and a woman linking together be stronger than say 2 women.’ I think RJ has been trying to get the point across that men and women are stronger together and it is together that they can create life where neither one can do it alone. When men and women come together they can create a life just as Saidin and Saidar coming together can do things that neither side could accomplish alone.

4. While I agree that it is unfortunate that Eg is at odds with Rands plan I don’t see it as being out of character or unexpected. Eg cant afford to take for granted that breaking the seals will not cause more harm than good. Rand spent very little time explaining his plan and yet expects everyone to jump on board with no questions asked. I think it is Eg’s obligation to ask those questions. So what if the taint has been removed or that a couple people in the last few days say that he is not bat-shit crazy anymore. As the leader of the oldest ruling body in Randland, she has an obligation to make sure herself that he is not crazy. I agree with Leigh’s spider analogy.

5. @ 16. JimmyMac80
@ 27. forkroot

The reason that they think that breaking the seals might open the dark one’s prison is because they have no idea how he is able to break the cuendillar (sp?) seals. Now that there is a hole in his prison I feel like the Dark one has been slowly poking away at it making the hole larger. Think of it this way; if you have a hole in a boat and then patch it up. How would that patch become useless? It would become useless if the hole got bigger than the patch. Let’s call the cuendillar seals the rivets attaching the patch to the hull of the ship. Once the hole was large enough it would begin to render each of the rivets useless in turn. For those that don’t like my boat analogy then they can reference the Shawshank Redemption. The Dark One is using a rock hammer and slowly but surely making that hole large enough for him to squirm through. This is all just my opinion, it could very well be that the Dark One doesn’t break free in AMoL, he just ‘touches the world’ through the bore like he did before.
Thomas Keith
57. insectoid
Late to the party as usual... Heat wave finally arrived in So Cal. :(
Great post as usual, Leigh. Hope you got your A/C fixed...

Rand: He's back, yayyyy!

Alanna: That's a puzzler, but you may be on to something re: imminent invasion to her homeland. But why wouldn't she tell anyone about it?

Behold, the new and improved Zen Rand! Now with more non-toxic Darkfriend-detecting flavor!

Rand + Tam + Min: Awwwww. I didn't have a problem with this scene at all, because awwwww.

Leeh: Congrats! May you always find water and shade. :D

Three chapters? Goodness!
Rose Window: Very strange. Perhaps the "groaning Pattern" thing is starting to affect the Dreamworld, or something?

Egwene + Nynaeve: Heh. I suppose it was about time that Egs put Nyn in her place. Strange way to go about it, though.
a big, poisonous, deeply pissed-off and universe-destroying spider
*shivers*
And yes, they're still being idiots for not realizing that Rand may actually have a reason to break the seals.

Bongs, Leigh? Seriously??

LTF @18: That's an interesting and plausible theory! I like it.

Shimrod @31: Agreed! Go Team Leeh!!

Bzzz™.
Davyd
58. Blood_Drunk
Ok, so I tried to hold my peace, but I need to say a few things.

1. I don’t see why the whole world has to fall apart for this to be the end of an age. The fact is that for 3000 years everyone has been under the threat of the Dark One. I would say that regardless if there is a massive calamity or not, the end of a 3 thousand year old war is worthy of being called the end of an age. The end of the threat of the Dark One, trollocs, the forsaken, the blight would constitute the end of an Age in my mind.

2. Some have put forth that in real life, there were a few instances that are comparable to an end of an age for us. Three thousand years ago was before the founding of Rome. So I don’t think we can make the same transition of time as being the end of an age. It seems that many historians will call the rise and fall of the Roman Empire an Age. Then you have the Middle Ages where life was lived in a distinctly different way. It wasn’t until the Renaissance that the Middle Ages were considered to be at their end and the dawn of a new Age. There are many interpretations of what the end of an Age would be, but it isn’t necessarily something cataclysmic.

3. Someone also asked the question, ‘why would a man and a woman linking together be stronger than say 2 women.’ I think RJ has been trying to get the point across that men and women are stronger together and it is together that they can create life where neither one can do it alone. When men and women come together they can create a life just as Saidin and Saidar coming together can do things that neither side could accomplish alone. You can also think of it like this; copper by itself is very malleable as is tin. However, when you combine the two they become bronze which is far stronger than the individual components. A thick copper door is not as strong as a thinner bronze door.

4. While I agree that it is unfortunate that Eg is at odds with Rands plan I don’t see it as being out of character or unexpected. Eg cant afford to take for granted that breaking the seals will not cause more harm than good. Rand spent very little time explaining his plan and yet expects everyone to jump on board with no questions asked. I think it is Eg’s obligation to ask those questions. So what if the taint has been removed or that a couple people in the last few days say that he is not bat-shit crazy anymore. As the leader of the oldest ruling body in Randland, she has an obligation to make sure herself that he is not crazy. I agree with Leigh’s spider analogy.

5. @ 16. JimmyMac80
@ 27. forkroot

The reason that they think that breaking the seals might open the dark one’s prison is because they have no idea how he is able to break the cuendillar (sp?) seals. Now that there is a hole in his prison I feel like the Dark One has been slowly poking away at it making the hole larger. Think of it this way; if you have a hole in a boat and then patch it up. How would that patch become useless? It would become useless if the hole got bigger than the patch. Let’s call the cuendillar seals the rivets attaching the patch to the hull of the ship. Once the hole was large enough it would begin to render each of the rivets useless in turn. For those that don’t like my boat analogy then they can reference the Shawshank Redemption. The Dark One is using a rock hammer and slowly but surely making that hole large enough for him to squirm through. This is all just my opinion, it could very well be that the Dark One doesn’t break free in AMoL, he just ‘touches the world’ through the bore like he did before.
John Smith
59. TheHardTruth
Call me crazy but I THINK in one of the books Rodel's Chapter Icon was a pipe...
Martyna Berek
60. missbee
TheHardTruth @ 59
I got all excited at the idea, but if there was a pipe icon, it wasn't Rodel's.
(Just checked his PoVs)
Isn't there an index of all the icon's somewhere?
Valentin M
61. ValMar
Blimey, how did I get myself into a discussion about pipes?! Well, on we go,

deebee @ 49

Hm. Not sure what is your point here. You are right about us not thinking objects into words normally but this is different. In a vision, Min is specifically trying to note all the stuff in it as it can be important. Plus, on a meta level, what she sees has to be descibed to us.
Glen V
62. Ways
@59 and 60...
I got excited too, and checked all the usual web sources, but couldn't find a pipe icon listed anywhere. Chap. 10 in TGS, where Rand and Rodel meet, uses Rand's dragon icon. Maybe later in ToM??
JAMES MCCLELLAN
63. ZEXXES
Was it really? Because I can think of a couple of scenarios if Rodels icon is indeed a pipe.

Z
Theresa Gray
64. Terez27
The theory about Talmanes' pipe having a tracker weave on it was mine. It was on my Demandred FAQ page which I have since taken down for rewriting. New version will be up soon. The gist is: only metal will hold a finder weave forever, and Talmanes' pipe is gold-rimmed.

PS—Just talking about the finder weave theory. It was a pretty common assumption after TOM that Min's viewing referred to Talmanes' pipe. IMO, it might, or it might not, but as missbee said, the pipe was mentioned too often not to be suspicious. The problem with the viewing referring to Talmanes' pipe is that is was a viewing of Rand, not Talmanes. Perhaps that's not important, but it's hard to make it work.
Justin Levitt
65. TyranAmiros
I think the smoking pipe symbolizes Rand after Tarmon Gai'don, enjoying a nice pipe of tabac in the Two Rivers in his retirement. We know that Rand smokes, and that he and Tam farmed wool and tabac, and if Rand goes anywhere when this is all over, it will probably be to help Tam rebuild in Emond's Field.
Ron Garrison
66. Man-0-Manetheran
re. the Pipe

Ah hah! The missing link! Moridin and Rand have a bowl of good Two Rivers tabac before the last battle. Moridin, in a philosophic moment, has his epihany: “This is what makes Life worth living. If the Wheel stops turning, this is just one fine thing of which there will be no more. NO! It’s not worth it. Come on, Rand. Let’s go seal that Loser up for good!”

And here’s a quote for the previous weeks’ contests: “Securing the throne of Andor is not ‘mooning about’!” LOL

OK, everyone – Non-crap tea in the bunker (with a spot o’ rum)!
Rob Munnelly
67. RobMRobM
One funny/ironic point - the juxtaposition of Eg claiming that Rand needs to try to hold on to existing broken seals when locking up the Dark One with her likely correct analogy, at the end of TGS, that one usually needs to break down the old broken parts before forging a new sword. (Perrin makes the same point later in ToM.) She is surprisingly (to me) resistent to the possibility that the same principle applies in both cases.

I'm probably one of Eg's biggest fans on the entire board but her attitude on this point makes little sense. Express doubt - sure. Blind opposition that assumes every contrary voice makes no sense - yeesh. Waiting for AMOL so she can become cool again.
Jonathan Levy
68. JonathanLevy
Congrats, Leigh, on your shout-out!

That said, wouldn't it be funny if the next edition "corrected" the name to "Lehy" ? :)

Re: Rose Window
Yeah, wouldn't it be a bummer to discover that all those little notes in the Amyrlin's table were actually from substantially different parallel universes? :)

7. Cody91
I agree.

9.Seacaptain13
Now Shai'tan rules and I know why,
LOL! :)

JimmyMac80@16
Randlanders have spent 3,000 years terrified of the moment the Dark One will break loose.
Also, they've spent 3,000 years terrified that the Dragon who will save them will also destroy them.
So yes, I can understand Egwene's instinctive reaction.

24. Megaduck
I do notice however that no one has yet asked Egwene what her plan if they don’t break the seals.
We all know what Egwene's plan is:

1) I will decide, because nobody else can make this decision.
2) Then I will do what I will decide, because I am the most suitable person to make this decision.
3) I will make everyone else follow along with my decision, because they are obviously idiots.
4) My brilliant plan is to do what I will decide.

Face it, the Dark One has no chance against her logic. Look what happened to Mesaana.

26. Kirth Gersen (also 43.ValMar)
Interesting idea.

That said, I'm not sure that in a medieval context the word 'Pipe' would be the first to come to mind when seeing a tube of metal for the first time. Historically speaking, when cannon were first introduced on the battlefield and a word was invented to describe them, nobody thought a variant on 'Pipe' would be the most suitable.

And since most smoking pipes are made of wood, at the very least you'd describe it as a 'metal pipe'.

In short, I think it's a very original idea, and it's definitely possible, but I'm guessing in the end we'll discover an actual pipe-for-smoking is meant.
(I see 44.deebee made a similar point. And 48.ValMar. Boy am I late to this discussion.)
30.Lucubratrix
I did think the "she is very special to me" line was pretty cheesy, though. It somehow doesn't seem to fit (too modern, or something).
Well, Rand comes from a society in which people go from being friends to being engaged to being married. They don't have a live-in boyfriend/girlfriend stage. Also, they don't have a triple-harem stage. So Rand introduces her in a slightly vague way. I dunno, it didn't seem out of place to me.

33. pwl
Black Adder! Black Adder!

50.missbee
Thanks for the timeline link, will go take a look.

55.RobMRobM
Good thinking!

56. Blood_Drunk
Now that there is a hole in his prison I feel like the Dark one has been slowly poking away at it making the hole larger. Think of it this way; if you have a hole in a boat and then patch it up.
While this makes sense, the text of 'The Strike on Shayol Ghul' argues that it is not true. In 'The Strike' two plans are contrasted - Lews Therin's (place seals) and Latra's (use the Choedan Kal to block off the Prison). The exact weakness you describe is attributed to Latra's plan, and Lews Therin's is presented as an alternative which does not suffer from that weakness.

66.Man-0-Manetheran
Moridin and Rand have a bowl of good Two Rivers tabac before the last battle
Maybe this is the key, and 9.Seacaptain13 has it backwards:

I can almost envision the scene at Shayol Ghul:

Rand: I have the finest leaf from the Two Rivers in my Dragon Bong.

Moridin: Man, it's been a while since I did one of these. Do you remember how it works?

Rand: Here, use my lighter ter'angreal. Flick the wheel with your thumb and -

Moridin: (Flicks wheel) Oh yeah, now I remember how to light it (* inhales *) ...


And of course, the Epilogue consists of a song from the Fourth Age:

"I was going to release the Dark One - but then I got high.

I was going to unmake the Pattern - but then I got high.

Now the Wheel's still turning, and I know why..."
JAMES MCCLELLAN
69. ZEXXES
Hahaaaaa, I found Darth Rands theme music : Shadows Fall's "The Power of I and I" from the album The War Within.

Anybody have one for Holy Man Rand? I was thinking Creed's "Higher".


Z
Karan J
70. karanj
The Pipe Issue - what instantly jumped out at me in my first read through is that, to me at least, a smoking pipe is linked to two men: Lan and Herid Fel. Lan I believe is the first character we see on screen smoking a pipe who isn't from the Two Rivers, and I have the impression Fel smoked too.

I could link from the pipe to Lan to the dead men with ranks of Trollocs, but not Fel. Then I read in the comments speculation about Ituralde and Bashere, and I have a suspicion that the pipe image is linked to the dead men, but perhaps it's Ituralde and Bashere having a last smoke before they go out in a final blaze of non-channelling Great General Glory.

OTOH Min has seen Bashere and Ituralde before so she should have been able to identify them from the vision (?)...

In summary, just thought I'd throw the Lan-linked-to-pipe in as my 2c :)
Karan J
71. karanj
And of course, the Epilogue consists of a song from the Fourth Age:

"I was going to release the Dark One - but then I got high.

I was going to unmake the Pattern - but then I got high.

Now the Wheel's still turning, and I know why..."
I was a total badass before I got high
I coulda freed the Great Lord and we coulda won but I got high
Now I gotta do it next age - and I know why...

but seriously :) Wasn't there something about the last scene being Nynaeve giving her braid a firm tug, sniffing and then hopping up on Bela? Because I can totally see her having that reaction to finding Moridin and Rand giggling at the bottom of Shayol Ghul...
Dawn Boyall
72. deebee
Okay, last word on the pipe:

Min sees a vision which includes an object lying on the ground with smoke coming out of it. If it`s a tabac pipe then she`s completely familiar with it and just referring to it in the text as a pipe is fine.

Where I would have a problem is if the object is some strange metal object which is formed like a pipe or a tube, which may resemble something from the inventions in Rand`s school.

In that case Min`s train of thought is likely to involve some surprise or curiosity about it, something that we usually see in Min`s viewings when she isn`t sure about what she sees. There`s usually some sort of context which indicates her response to things she sees-she thinks there`s something odd, or she doesn`t know what it means... I`ve looked back over all of Min`s viewings (thanks WOT encyclopaedia) and there`s commonly some sort of qualifying statement-like the open cavern, gaping like a mouth. The heron blade hovering over Gawyn-but she doesn`t know if it`s his or it threatens him (TSR 1)

So if it turns out that Min is sees something she doesn`t understand and is puzzled by, some strange piece of tube, I think I`ll feel that it is deliberate misdirection by the author just to refer to it as a pipe with smoke curling from it.

Anyway that`s just my feeling on the subject, YMMV
JAMES MCCLELLAN
73. ZEXXES
I've got one for the Aviendha, Min and Elayne too! Steve Vai's "Sisters" from the album Passion and Warfare.

Perrins is easy with Ozzy Ozbourne's "Bark at the Moon"

I have yet to figure out Mat's theme song. He's kind of hard to pin down.

Moridin's theme: "Haunted" by Type O Negative.

The Dark One/Fain: "The Thing That Should Not Be" by Metallica.

Masema: "Leper Messiah" by Metallica.

Grey Man: "Seek and Destroy" by Metallica.

Lan: "Disposable Heroes" by Metallica.

Thom: Anything by Jethro Tull

Music before the entrance of Machin Shin in the Ways:
"Bridge of Sighs" by Robin Trower.

The Nym: "The Trees" by Rush.

Berelain: "Can't Get You Outta My Head" by Kylie Minogue. Although it may be more appropriate for Tylin and Mat.

There is a song by Kaki King that I know is perfect for Min, but I just can't remember the name. Do you all know Kaki King? She is an awesome guitarist. She is capable of the sweetest sounds, like lilting lilacs rustling in the wind.

Ok I just had another eww moment.

Z
Birgit
74. birgit
a big, poisonous, deeply pissed-off and universe-destroying spider

Now we know why things go wrong if you call the DO Shaitan: her real name is Ungoliant and she gets angry if you take her for a guy.

Oh, and I guess that the twice dawns the day stuff has to deal with the clouds.

The cover suggests that it is an eclipse, not clouds.


I don't know how the pipe is translated into German because I only read EotW and TGH in German. I thought of the pipe as Rand retiring to a Hobbit-like life in the Two Rivers after the Last Battle.
Davyd
75. izzy618
I think Egwene's reason for opposing Rand is his ta’veren swirl effect. When she dismisses Nynaeve's thoughts, it reminds me of how Mat doesn't know who's influencing Olver. She's to smart and logical a character to not realize that what Nynaeve is saying makes sense. She also doesn't even try to come up with any other plan, just focusing on how to stop Rand. Rand needs to have the world leaders gathered and Eg does it for him.
Valentin M
76. ValMar
deebee @ 72

This has been my opinion that I've tried to express all along too.
Davyd
77. Looking Glass
Egwene’s supposition about the window being from another world might be right, but I don’t really favor that option. I think it’s more likely that it’s just reflecting their world (either present or future) a bit more symbolically than usual, and that Egwene hasn’t quite managed to acknowledge it yet.

In fact, that’s a lot of what Leigh’s commenting on in their actual conversation: Rand is back, and on the same team as the Aes Sedai- indeed, he is Aes Sedai- and Egwene isn’t seeing it even when the evidence is right smack in front of her.
--

Blood_Drunk @56: I think all three are aware that at this point you could basically break a seal by knocking it off a table.

But then, reality is already closing up the office on its way out to lunch. Even if they don’t know whether breaking the seals would release the Dark One entirely or just give him much more freedom to act, either way it’s not a particularly attractive option.
--
john mullen
78. johntheirishmongol
I don't think that the Rand and dad scene was too fast. An apology doesn't really suffice and not much that you can do except apologize or just treat it like it didn't happen. Since Rand wasn't really in his right mind, totally forgiveable anyway.

Anyway...I'm thinking Two Rivers Gold for that pipe

I really think the convo between Egwene, Ny and Elayne was an intermediary step to convince her that Rand does have the right idea. She did seem more willing to listen to it after
Davyd
79. NotInventedHere
She is profoundly irritated that Nynaeve is not there to meet her, and then notices with a shock that the rose window here is different from the real one, featuring a Dragon’s Fang as well as the Flame of Tar Valon.
I found the way she referred to what she saw in the window as the Dragon's Fang and the Flame of Tar Valon sort of strange. Isn't this just the ancient symbol of the Aes Sedai we (and she) have heard about so many times? The yin-yang-eque design that is also the pattern of the seals? Did she somehow not recognize it? I could have sworn that at some point she was present when it was discussed. Something just seems off with her thought processes here and with her unthinking opposition to Rand's plan; I'm not sure if it is a result of Rand's need for her to gather the forces of Light, or if it is some manifestation of Aran'gar's (or was it the other? I get them confused. Halima, I guess.) meddling with her mind. In any case, strange.
Terry McNamee
80. macster
Wow, three chapters--awesome! It seems perhaps Leigh did pay attention to fork's request after all...

Initially I thought Alanna was not Black, and generally I still believe that--unless she was very good at hiding the truth, Verin would have figured out her allegiance and put it in her book if she was. Verin did figure out Elza's, after all. On the other hand, Verin herself was Black and so could easily have been ordered to allow various things--her bonding Rand, her being left in Rand's coterie--and we don't know what was left in that letter; for all we know she did Compel Alanna and there was a trigger phrase in it to send her haring off. And it seems odd that Alanna could vanish with no one the wiser, and so little channeling felt. Does that mean the True Power was used to make a gate? If so this would suggest Moridin or one of his mindtrap victims made the gate, but unless they really did plan to use Alanna to find Rand (which isn't even necessary thanks to the Moridin link) or to hurt him by killing her, why would they summon her away?

It makes more sense she isn't Black (but may still have been Compelled by Verin), and she left to, say, find Mat and lead him to the Horn (since Verin knew where it was hidden). But that doesn't explain how she left with no one feeling a thing. You can't invert or reverse the Traveling weave, can you? Maybe she slipped out of the Stone, and didn't open her gate until she got beyond sensing range? In any event, I am hoping however this is resolved in AMoL it will finally explain why the bond was so important to the story. And that if she does die, it doesn't adversely affect Rand too much.

Rhuarc having a role again: people had said they were sad characters like him and Bashere have faded into the background. Rhuarc stepping out here to chastise Rand seems to me as a good example of him making his presence known again beyond the way he was used in TGS. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come.

Rand admitting he was a wool-headed idiot: loved it. Easily one of the funniest moments in any of the books.

Some interesting comments from Rand, too. On the one hand, him telling Nynaeve that when he faced Egwene he did "what he had to do". I mentioned this before as more proof indicating that Rand fully intended to play Egwene, to manipulate her into gathering the armies to stand against him so that Randland would be ready for Tarmon Gai'don, and I still think it is. However, also of note is Rand telling Min he needs her to help him figure out what to do to seal the Dark One. This suggests that however much he may have held back on telling Egwene anything in order to force her into opposing him, at the same time he may not have had much of anything to tell her about his plan. I.e., even if he was manipulating her, he was doing so with a bluff.

Which in turn suggests that while she is stupid for not even considering he might know what he's doing and automatically opposing him, it seems to be he doesn't know what he's doing--he knows it is right to break the seals and battle the Dark One at the time and place of his choosing, but if he hasn't come up with an alternate solution for the re-sealing, then just breaking them isn't a good idea. If Min comes up with something, then it can work, but until she does, Egwene would be right to be worried. Still, I have faith Min will, and it isn't fair to be so dead-set against Rand, so in the end Egwene will still need to change her tune.

Weiramon/Anaiyella: I must say I never expected Rand's Darkfriend Detecting Eyes, but it's certainly a cool ability for him to have now that he is integrated as the Dragon Amalgamation Man, and I always suspected both of them--Weiramon's stupidity nearly costing Rand so many victories, and his comment to Torval, was very suspicious, as was the way Anaiyella acted when Rand was in danger of being killed in battle. I suspect neither of them are in for a warm welcome when they tell their Shadow masters they've been ousted.

On Rand's reunion with Tam, and introducing Min: Loved it. Loved loved loved it. It is true, I suppose, that it could have gone on longer and been a bit more detailed, but I agree with the majority of people that it feels right for both their characters, and that what was said and done felt perfect and was deeply emotional. So I can't praise this moment highly enough. (I've also mentioned before that the chapter title, coming from the Seanchan prophecy at the end of TGS, is in my opinion one of the better titles in the whole series.) This remains one of my favorite Rand chapters in ToM, another being the one in Bandar Eban.

Min's new vision: There's a lot to unpack, and many people have addressed this already, but let me give my opinion/interpretation. First there are two possibilities: either the pipe is connected to the dead men and Trollocs, or it isn't. If the latter is the case, this suggests the pipe itself or its owner will in some way be significant--apparently to Rand, or at least his chances in winning, since the vision was seen around him. How the pipe itself could be important I don't know, aside from the plausible theory there's a Finder on it. How the owner is important--well, aside from Lan (obvious importance) and Talmanes (also key since he's of high rank within the Band), there's one other person we've seen smoking a pipe, where it was called to our attention not by a chapter icon or a vision but by a chapter name. And if I remember correctly the pipe in question was described in some detail because of its significance to the owner and, interestingly, another Min vision of a bull tearing off roses: the one carved with a bull and the Rose Crown, the "old pipe" from TFOH smoked by Gareth Bryne. Considering he's Siuan's Warder and still the leader of the White Tower's army, I think it's safe to say he will be important in the Last Battle too.

Now on to the other possibility, that the pipe and the dead men are connected after all. Despite the humor of the image, this doesn't necessarily imply one of the men was smoking the pipe before or during the battle, just that it has some connection to one of them. It could either be identifying one of them, or it could have something to do with how they ended up in the battle/dead. Personally I think the most likely interpretation is that it is Talmanes, based on how often his new pipe was mentioned, and that it either appears in the vision just to identify him, or because it has something to do with him being there--namely, the idea that Demandred is Roedran or controlling him, and he marked the pipe, which will allow him to find Talmanes on the battlefield. Since Talmanes is with the Band and as of the epilogue is currently rushing to save Caemlyn from the Shadowspawn attack which is surely led by Demandred, this is very attractive indeed. And quite clearly what happens to Caemlyn and the Band is important to Rand even if he isn't nearby at the time to take out Taim. Which just leaves the second man unaccounted for. It could be Demandred himself; it could be Edorion or one of the other lords, if indeed one of them is a Darkfriend; it could be Taim; it could also be Bashere, if he turns out to be a Darkfriend too.

In the case of the pipe being Bryne's, most of the above logic applies except since no one got hold of it to put a Finder on it (and it is wood), it would serve only as an identifier and not a means of getting him there or the Shadow locating him. As to why Bryne would be there, no idea, unless he somehow hears of the attack (from the Kin contacting the Aes Sedai?) or he goes to fetch the Band for the Merrilor meeting after Teslyn and Joline arrive to bring word of it. Depending on timing and how things get resolved with Tuon and Egeanin, it's also possible that he could end up bringing the Seanchan with him to help. He went with Siuan to Merrilor didn't he? Did Birgitte go with Elayne? If she's still back in Caemlyn, and Elayne feels her panic when the attack happens, perhaps Bryne will go back (with Morgase, or Gawyn?) to try and save the city... Or it could also be that the battle scene depicted is the Last Battle/an attack at Merrilor, not the attack on Caemlyn, in which case Bryne is already on the scene.

Anyway, I still think Talmanes is most likely, but I mention Bryne just as a possibility no one else has commented on.

I didn't even get that Leeh could be a shoutout. How awesome! And yes you certainly are a Maiden of the Spear.

The rose window: interesting speculation on parallel worlds. But the answer characters come up with first is rarely the correct one. I think the idea that this is symbolic of Rand/the Asha'man uniting with the Aes Sedai (particularly post-Taim) makes the most sense. It could also be foreshadowing of the actual union itself, when the window becomes a reality, most likely with Egwene and Logain as the equal partners.

Egwene vs. Nynaeve: Oddly, this version doesn't bother me as much as their confrontation in TFoH did. (I'm also amused that that concoction Nynaeve says she "feels like she's been drinking" isn't the same one from that first assertion of Egwene's authority.) Probably because, however stupid and arrogant Egwene's being on other issues (like not even considering Rand could be right), she's right that she needs Nynaeve's loyalty, and for it to be shown in demonstrable ways to get the other Aes Sedai to toe the line.

Other minor points: I love how casual Nynaeve is about knowing the hundred weaves. Just another hint at her upcoming badassery. Elayne's concern about a pregnant woman using the Oath Rod is...intriguing, and worrisome. But I imagine it won't come about as having any relevance; unless she has the babies prematurely (which Min's vision precludes unless they get transferred to Aviendha which I have no idea how that would even be possible), she'll still be pregnant at the Last Battle, so either they'll find the rod would hurt them, or it wouldn't, or they won't get to find out either way before the fighting starts. I also like the foreshadowing of Egwene's realization during the Mesaana/Black Ajah fight, courtesy of Perrin, that she needs to use TAR as well as channeling to win.

It certainly does seem odd Egwene doesn't know of Elayne's bond with Rand. But not only does Elayne not know how the Aes Sedai will take such an unconventional and unheard-of bonding, and so she would not wish to tell Egwene, I would imagine she'd have told Aviendha of the possible repercussions, thus accounting for her not having told Egwene either. And it's not as if having Rand's babies implies bonding--not every Green marries her Warder after all, and even the ones that do don't seem to have children with them.
Martyna Berek
81. missbee
I posted this some hours ago, but it seems to have been swallowed. I'll try again...
-----

Some more thoughts since I've had a chance to sleep.
It's hard keeping up with you all at 2 am

- the rose window
I'll admit I had not thought about it much before. My immediate assumption was that it was yet another effect of Zen Rand's presence.
He clears the skies and makes things grow in the 'real' world, why shouldn't he leave some mark behind him in TAR? The physical effects of his visit linger still in the Tar Valon at this stage, so they may linger still in TAR
The idea that Egwene herself changed the design is a good one though, so now I'm not so sure.

forkroot @ 29
The idea that OP disappears and thus solves the damane problem is one I've played with too. I've seen it discussed before and shot down (via Avi's kids). But, I just can't think of another way of resolving the differences between Randland and the Seanchan that would be realistic or satisfying.
Maybe the differences don't get resolved...

RobMRobM @ 55
Good thought about translations.
I can only vouch for French and Polish, but I imagine that the different meanings of pipe go under different words in most languages.
Unfortunately, my Polish copy is in Poland, and I'm not.

JonathanLevy @ 68
Egwene - an elegant and concise summary - lol!

ZEXXES @ 69

Holy Man Rand theme
It has to be ----- Feeling Good (Muse or Nina Simone)
...
Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don't you know
Butterflies all havin' fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done
And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
For me
Stars when you shine you know how I feel
Scent of the pine you know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And you know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good
...
Love all the Afroman lyrics
Terry McNamee
82. macster
@8 travyl: I am guessing she raised an eyebrow either because she didn't want Rand ordering her around, or because she found it presumptuous of him to present her like a prize to Tam. But she went along with it because she saw how important it was to him.

@15 Bergmaniac: That's a good point. I suppose it could be as simple as that when she took more time to think about, his plan seemed too dangerous to her, but considering how important this conflict is it seems odd to not show why/how she changed her mind.

@17 WOTNoDragons: I think you have hit on the head why Rand didn't tell Tam about Elayne or Aviendha though--because he knows the whole harem idea wouldn't go over well with him, so he doesn't know how to tell him and is refraining. Also add in the fact that he met Min first and feels most happy and comfortable with her, and that he wouldn't know how Tam would react to his son being involved with royalty or Aiel, and...

@18 Longtimefan: Very nice theory. And there's no reason it couldn't be right, even if the symbol also represents the Aes Sedai in general having to ally/work with Rand/the Asha'man.

@24 Megaduck: Interesting. I expect Moiraine has more to do than that, but she could still be helpful in smoothing things over. As for your Moridin theory, while I think it is more likely he'll turn back than Lanfear or Moghedien, one point of interest is that if Moridin does end up taking Callandor, the flaw in it could end up being his undoing instead of Rand's. What it would mean if he were the one who was "seized", and by Rand, I'm not certain. A similar logic could apply if the onyx hand from Min's later vision is Shaidar Haran's.

@25 parrothead: At the time Egwene asked the girls not to do that, she was still new to the whole thing and hadn't yet been tutored by Siuan or grown beyond her figurehead role. Also, she was still viewing herself as her equal then; in the time since then, she has gained wisdom, confidence, and yes, arrogance, and she's also become more powerful (first among the rebels, then in the Tower). Now with everyone unified behind her, and the need for her authority to remain unquestioned, it makes sense she'd change her stance--particularly with Nynaeve, who's always gone her own way and resisted Aes Sedai ways, unlike Elayne (who is also a queen and thus someone she wouldn't insist on making humble herself).

@29 forkroot: I think you're onto something. After all I can't think how else Rand will blind the eyes of the Shadow. It's not like he can go around doing what he did in Maradon and blind all Darkfriends, and even if he could that would be no good against the Dark One himself or, I'd imagine, the Forsaken and Shaidar Haran.

@50 missbee: I agree re: Demandred/Roedran. It is still possible he actually is disguised as the king, but since I am convinced Demandred has actually been doing multiple things behind-the-scenes (Seanchan, Shara, the Black Tower, Masema and perhaps the Whitecloaks, Murandy) it would make sense if he had only Compelled Roedran and/or swayed him to the Shadow's side via that book and other military knowledge, thus leaving him plenty of time to move about seeing to his other plans.

@64 Terez: I can easily see how something happening to Talmanes/the Band could have great impact for Rand, particularly if it is connected to the Shadowspawn attack on Caemlyn. Especially if Rand ends up going there to help, or is nearby facing Taim.

@70 karanj: One point--just because Min describes them as "two men" doesn't mean they are people she doesn't know. It could just be the vision was vague/fuzzy, or that the position or angle made it difficult to see their faces. She also saw Nynaeve bending over someone in a posture of grief, yet the two most likely people for that to be, Rand and Lan, Min knows quite well, so the fact she doesn't know who it is suggests she just couldn't see the face. The same may be true for this vision.

@75 izzy618: Interesting notion. It seems to tie into the idea that this opposition is something which needs to happen, whether to get everyone gathered at Merrilor or for some other reason. People have theorized that Egwene being able to speak to Rand during their confrontation when no one else could was because the Pattern needed her to be able to speak (and oppose him). Being made/encouraged to dismiss any chance he could be right about breaking the seals may fall under that same theory.

@79 NotInventedHere: I can't recall Egwene ever being present when the ancient symbol of the Aes Sedai was discussed--was it mentioned when he made it his flag and raised it over Cairhien after the battle with the Shaido? And she was already in Salidar when Dumai's Wells happened and Taim made the Aes Sedai kneel to him and the sign. She was, however, most certainly present to see the symbol on the seals--not at Falme, but at the Eye and the Stone.

Perhaps, though, the reason she identifies them as Fang and Flame is because they aren't actually joined as the Aes Sedai symbol? The text says the Fang is "below" the Flame in the window, but not that they are actually touching or forming one shape... Also, while Aran'gar could be responsible for some of Egwene's actions including being opposed to Rand, it would seem odd for that to extend to how she sees the window...
Martyna Berek
83. missbee
macster @ 80

This suggests that however much he may have held back on telling Egwene anything in order to force her into opposing him, at the same time he may not have had much of anything to tell her about his plan. I.e., even if he was manipulating her, he was doing so with a bluff.

I'm thinking Rand is half-bluffing.
“I'm missing something, something vital. Find it for me.”
That line, for me, suggests that he knows what he has to do, but realises that there is something else about Callandor which he needs to know. He has a plan, but he's not happy with it yet. And, even if he's less than half-bluffing, I'd argue that breaking the seals at a time of his own choosing must be better than being cought out some time later.

Interesting idea about Gareth Bryne, a small re-read beckons...

Nynaeve's badassery
This touches on a topic which I think you all discussed last week.
I was away, and am still catching up on the comments, so forgive if I repeat something that has already been said, but your phrase made me think of this quote:
TGH ch 23, Nynaeve is fighting Aginor during her Accepted test - 1st part of the test - for what was
It seemed to her, just for a heartbeat, as if time had suddenly slowed, as though that heartbeat took forever. She felt the flow inside her - saidar, came a distant thought - felt the answering flow in the lightning. And she altered the direction of the flow. Time leaped forward. With a crash, the bolt shattered stone above Aginor's head. The Forsaken's sunken eyes widened, and he tottered back. "You cannot! It cannot be!" He leaped away as lightning struck where he had stood, stone erupting in a fountain of shards.

Is this a foreshadowing?
Badass indeed, I think she may have some surprises in store for us yet.
And here's a random thought - what if, it is Callandor that enables her to do this?
There are other points to be pulled from this too, but I'll stop rambling now until I've finished reading those comments
Jonathan Levy
84. JonathanLevy
83. missbee
And she altered the direction of the flow.... Is this a foreshadowing?...And here's a random thought - what if, it is Callandor that enables her to do this?
Interesting idea. There are two ways I see to interpret the lines you underlined.

1) Nynaeve felt the weaves of Saidin which were creating the lightning, and redirected them. Total badassery, since it is not possible for a woman to do that, not even if she's melding the flows of a circle with a man - which is precisely where she'll be when Rand uses Callandor. Hm. :)

2) Lightning is created when the OP is used to build up a static charge, and guide it to its target via a path of least resistance. It is not a weave of lightning, otherwise Mat wouldn't have died from Rahvin's lightning. When the charge is high enough, a current begins to flow, and all Nynaeve did was detect the current and give it another path of least resistance, leading to Aginor. She did this with Saidar, and no special powers.

Aginor's reaction suggests that he thinks it's #1, but he could be mistaken. #2 seems the simplest explanation, even if we assume that an explanation is necessary for something which does not have to conform to any physical laws, not even Randland's.
Charles Gaston
85. parrothead
@ macster 82: I know all that, I'm saying that from the aftermath of the Seanchan attack until the Bloodknives she was written wrong. Egwene was acting more like a natural leader when she was being beaten everyday and locked up in a dungeon. She went from this immovable pillar of moral authority to a petulant tsundere with a martyrdom complex who lashes out at those who least deserve it. The reason she didn't want Elayne and Nynaeve to treat her as the Amyrlin in private was that she wanted to keep herself grounded; she wanted them to play the same role she's always seen for herself to Rand. Does anyone think that Siuan insisted on ceremony with Moiraine?
Martyna Berek
86. missbee
JonathanLevy @ 84
I can't deny that re-directing lightning, as you explain it, would be, err, easier. Though the Creator only knows what sort of speed you'd need to be working at. Slowing down time is suggested by the quote, I suppose. Maybe that would be easier? :)
I can't deny that, under the circumstances, this doesn't even have to comply with the in-house rules of physics either.

But, I don't think we have ever seen the in-house rules of physics violated like this in the other tests. Or do I remember wrongly?
Granted, there are few examples to draw conclusions from, but this one did strike me as odd.

The test was “for what was”, for the past. It made me think that Nynaeve is 'remembering' skills of a much earlier life. Which brings me back to the original thought that she may surprise us with her badassery yet.
I'm hoping this is forshadowing, whether option #1 or #2, involving Callandor or not.
Scientist, Father
87. Silvertip
@73 A round of character theme songs?

I always get Steve Miller's "The Joker" running through my head around Mat ... but maybe that's just me.

S
Karan J
88. karanj
I always get Steve Miller's "The Joker" running through my head around Mat ... but maybe that's just me.
Nice choice (though I do favour the Fatboy Slim version), but Mat's theme song in my mind has to be The Jackal by Ronny Jordan - you might know it best from The West Wing, where CJ sings it. Mat would be one suave mofo, and that song is just perfect :)
Tess Laird
89. thewindrose
I loved the re-reunion for Rand and Tam - I thought it very touching and the right length.
I did have a problem with the ' Min is special'. Maybe it is how the word special has evolved in American vernacular(or my own special one;)). Definite eye excersise going on whenever I read that short passage.

I thought Rand and Nynaeve were great - and Rand is back on my good side(and Nynaeve's) with promise to help Lan.

I thought T'a'R was giving Egwene a big ol' cluebat about how things need to change in regards to 'hey the taint is gone - start working together as partners'.

I can't see Verin letting a black ajah member bond Rand and remain alive. If Alanna was BA, she woud have had more then 3 drops of the sleeping potion - stat back in WH.

Always thought the pipe was a tabac one - and makes me think about Talamanes. Good question about how that would pretain to Rand though. Rand and Moridin would be funny but I don't think so. Bashere and Ituralde or maybe Rhuarc... Many possibilties...

tempest™
Davyd
90. jcfocarino
You voiced exactly what I was thinking when I first read about the rose window in Chapter 14! Because I obviously haven't gone into as much detail with these books as you have, I just assumed there had been an earlier example of Tel'aran'rhiod showing an alternate reality (at least, I know someone had mentioned it might happen, but I also thought we had seen an example of it). Now I'm not so sure. Clearly it is a bit odd to never mention the fact that something in T'a'r could reflect an alternate reality until now, so I'm leaning more towards the fact that Egwene's subconcious dreamed it up? Or it somehow reflects what she (or other Aes Sedai in the Tower) might want to happen? Hmm...
Jonathan Levy
91. JonathanLevy
86.missbee
But, I don't think we have ever seen the in-house rules of physics violated like this in the other tests. Or do I remember wrongly?
Well, I can think of one example. In Egwene's third test she sees herself in the mirror with an ageless face, but has never held the oath rod. The conventional explanation is that at this point in the series Egwene doesn't know that it's the oath rod which causes the ageless face, and the ter'angreal weaved the scenario out of her ignorance. The same explanation could conceivably hold for Nynaeve's first test.
The test was 'for what was', for the past. It made me think that Nynaeve is 'remembering' skills of a much earlier life.
Meh. I think the words of the Aes Sedai ritual have very little to do with what the ter'angreal actually does. In both Egwene's and Nynaeve's cases, you could have switched the order of their first and second tests, and no-one would have thought it out of place. I'll grant you that the third test (in both cases) does seem more oriented towards the future than the other two, but I still wouldn't read too much into the words of the ritual.
Birgit
92. birgit
But that doesn't explain how she left with no one feeling a thing. You can't invert or reverse the Traveling weave, can you?

Why should it not be possible for Traveling? Another AS did feel her channeling, just not strongly enough for a gateway. Maybe she was doing something else first do cover what she was doing and then inverted her weaves and wove a gateway.
Would anyone feel the channeling if someone else opened a gateway to Alanna's room? Of course if it was an Ashaman the AS wouldn't have felt anything.
Thomas Keith
93. insectoid
In lurk mode, as I see the post is trying to go sideways...

ZEXXES @73:
Thom: Anything by Jethro Tull
Anything, you say? I can think of 3 or 4 songs off Songs from the Wood alone that would fit the bill. ;)

Bzzz™.
Davyd
94. The Lord Drongo
Samadai @12
One thing I have noticed about ToM, Rands Timeline is messed up ( I think) He leaves Tar valon on the 3rd day to go to Tear. He tells Narishma to go to the borderlanders and tell them he will meet them in a few days. he tells the borderlanders he is going to the fields of Merrilor the next day to meet everybody. ( he told Egwene to meet him there in 30 days) So my problem is obvious, a few days is more than 2 but certainly less than a week. How does his timeline work?, 1-2 days at Arad Domon, One day in Saldaea, one day in Far MAdding, only comes to 4 days. It has to be a mess up somewhere in there.
The solution is obvious: the Pattern is unravelling, the snake swallowing its tail is getting serious indigestion, etc ...

Mat's theme song? Bill Haley and the Comets: "Rock around the clock!"
Followed by Cake's "Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell" and David Lee Roth, "Just a gigolo" and Queen, "Another one bites the dust" and "Who wants to live forever".
Davyd
95. Curtain Jerker
Apologies if someone above has mentioned this...

By the end of ToM, everyone important knows that Elayne is pregnant with Rand's children...except Rand himself.

Now, I don't think anyone should tell Rand that he's going to be a dad except the mom-to-be, so I don't blame Nynaeve and Min for keeping mum, and it isn't like Rand and Elayne have had much face time since WH. Just always found that funny.
Deana Whitney
96. Braid_Tug
Leeh's shout out:
Since I wasn't part of "fandom" when the book came out, I didn't know about the shout outs going on in the books.

So my first reaction to seeing a named Maiden was - "Uh... who is this? Should I remember her?" Like Bain.
My second reaction was - Darn it! I miss the characters being in the Glossary! Now I know about the Wiki and things, so...

Congratulations on being a "red shirt" Maiden!!
Davyd
97. Wortmauer
macster@82: Perhaps, though, the reason she identifies them as Fang and Flame is because they aren't actually joined as the Aes Sedai symbol? The text says the Fang is "below" the Flame in the window, but not that they are actually touching or forming one shape...
Below? Huh, sure enough. Whereas in the ancient Aes Sedai symbol, the Fang is above the Flame. (DKS's cover for APOD, one of his better ones, got it right.) Well, that would explain why Egwene doesn't immediately recognise Rand's banner. Also, she does seem to be more of a woman on top kind of girl, doesn't she?
Deana Whitney
98. Braid_Tug
@ 95, The meet up between Rand and Elyane is going to be fun.
Elyane : "Uhm... I have something..."
Rand: "With my Zen powers I see that you are carrying my children. Yea!"
Avi: "I'm back and its time we revisited the blankets."
Rand: "Guess you are now pregnant too."

Rand to Tam: "Uhm, Dad, I have something to tell you..."
Tam: "Let me get this straight... You have THREE loves, and I'm about to be a Grandpa to SIX kids!!! Boy, didn't I teach you better?!"
Sam Mickel
99. Samadai
Hmmmmm, it just doesn't wash. No one says a few days and means 25 days. The off time doesn't account. We know he hasn't dealt with the Black Tower as of the day of the meeting with the borderlanders. If that is suppose to be day 29( which it should be since he is meeting with everyone on day 30) No matter how you add days together, that doesn't add up to 30 days. now of course things could have taken place off screen, but It sure doesn't read like it.
Anyone going to Comic-Con? Freelancer? Insectoid? Can anybody ask him if that is an error? or will the mssing days be accounted? Was Rand saying a few days an error?

Terez27, you are the collector of info, any ideas?
Sam Mickel
100. Samadai
And since I am so close and the hunny tastes so good, I'll take it( but share of course)
Chris Chriserson
101. Captchas_are_annoying
I have to say that, for me, Rand and Tam's reunion was spot on. I have a sneaking suspicion that opinion on that score will tend to fall pretty neatly along gender lines - girls tend to talk, guys tend to leave things unsaid, but understood. Quick poll on that, ladies and gentlemen?

On another note, Rand's return to Tear pretty much sums up the entire feeling of the book for me. It's almost bewilderingly fast, as Rand settles his differences (many of them long-standing) with half of Tear, sends off messages to everyone else, and ousts a few darkfriends to boot. It's happening at breakneck speed, but at the same time it's rather calm and, above all, hopefull. I would compare it to the moment just before a wave cathces a surfer - the activity is actually rather frantic, but it feels like the calm before the storm, full of hope - it might all fail horribly, but there's no going back now, so might as well give it a shot... Anyone agree?

Also, Samadai@100, that woulda been mine if it weren't for those damn tricky captchas.... /glowers
Sam Mickel
102. Samadai
Captcha... Now that you have joined the black coats, you don't have to worry about them anymore.. :D
Dawn Boyall
103. deebee
Captcha@101

Well this girl loved the Tam reunion. Great build-up as Rand keeps looking for someone, getting more and more nervous, then that emotional reunion. Just a wonderful chapter, and written so well.
Dawn Boyall
104. deebee
Curtain Jerker@95

I`ve always wondered why it isn`t more of an issue Rand not knowing about the babies. When Rand`s on Dragonmount wondering why it`s worth the struggle, he could have been thinking he wanted to make the world a better place for his children. That would surely have been a bit more immediate to him than thinking about Ilyena being born again sometime in the future.

It also seems odd we never see Min thinking about whether to tell him, or wondering how he`ll react when he finds out she`s known all along and kept it from him.

We see so many scenes about what Elayne is allowed to eat or drink, the pregnancy is endlessly referred to in relation to her, but no-one ever wonders how Rand will feel about it.

We see Elayne think to herself that she has to protect Andor even if Rand dies, that she has to be prepared for his death though she hopes he will live (sorry I don`t have the exact quote to hand) but she doesn`t think-how sad my babies will never know their father, or that Rand would die without ever knowing about them.

There`s just silence-except for all that stuff about honey in the tea...
Tricia Irish
105. Tektonica
If you would like to read one of the very best descriptions of how to create characters in fiction, get thee over to the Malazan book of the Fallen Read and go to the last entry listed. This entry is questions and answers from Steven Ericson ,following the completion of The Bonehunters.....go to entry # 33. It's amazing, thoughtful, in depth, and of course, well written. Enjoy!
Don Barkauskas
106. bad_platypus
thewindrose @89:
I can't see Verin letting a black ajah member bond Rand and remain alive. If Alanna was BA, she woud have had more then 3 drops of the sleeping potion - stat back in WH.
It would probably be a really bad idea to have the Dragon with a death wish from having his bond holder die.
Roger Powell
107. forkroot
Bloodthirsty fellow that I am, I still maintain Rand's proper response to Alanna's uncalled for bonding should have been to balefire the crap out of her. If done right away, that would run her thread back enough that it would have been as if the bond had never happened, thus dodging the "dead bondholder" craze.

But then again, I'm also the guy that wishes Rand had balefired Tuon and retainers before his epiphany.
Tess Laird
108. thewindrose
perry at 106;)(sorry my daughter loves that show) - good point. I guess I don't think Verin would be too keen on a BA sister bonding Rand, however if Alanna is, maybe Verin felt confident from being with her for a pretty long period(Two Rivers to Far Madding) that it wouldn't be an issue? If she saw an issue, maybe she would have convinced Alanna to give up the bond before taking care of her?

Malazan fan girl at 105 - I just got through Bonehunters - what a great book! So Fiddler a BB and a BH - I can't wait to see what he ascends to by tCG.

I can understand why no one told Rand about the babes before the mountain top - he was a box full of crazy - just don't think it would have been the best idea. Now would be a good time though!

tempest™
Nadine L.
109. travyl
@44. deebee: well said about viewings of pipes.
I agree with you, though I'd like to add, that I she viewed something she identifys as a pipe, in her thoughts she wouldn't need to specify if it's one or the other definition - she doesn't explain it out loud to people whom she fears might misunderstand an ambigous word.

@50. missbee:
I only had a first glance at your timeline. I certainly looks impressive, though I haven't yet plunged into it to understand it as a whole (colors and all). It cerainly looks more impressive than my own feeble attempt, though I usually relay on Steven Cooper these days.



@55. RobMRobM:
I wouldn't count on it that translations would be helpful. I remember that Randalator once mentioned that the first several books were full of mistakes - but I only have read the english version so I can't be sure.

@80. macster: Alanna's disappearance:
birgit already mentioned it @92: a saidin gateway could have enabled Alanna to leave the Stone without the Aes Sedai feeling it - which is much wider available than the True Power. However, although Verin might have access to Taims Ashaman due to her DF status I doubt that she would have used a DF to deliver her "help-the-light-side-letters".

@99. Samadai: Rand's timeline
I can accept that Rand told the Borderlanders to visit them "in a few days" but than delays almost a month because of other pressing matters. All it needs are some more messengers sent back and forth, and there certainly was time for that. - Still it's worth asking, maybe SubWoofer is going?
Dawn Boyall
110. deebee
thewindrose@108

I agree that Rand has been scary for a long time. It may be just as well that Rand didn`t know-though I also wonder how Darth-Rand would have reacted if he`d found out that others knew and deliberately didn`t tell him?

But my point is that we don`t see anyone even think about telling him-there`s no Elayne or Min POV deciding not to tell him, or wondering how he`d react. As far as I remember, there is no-one who thinks about Rand in relation to the babies other than to speculate that he`s the father or (like Egwene who knows from Aviendha) knows he`s the father. Neither does anyone wonder if he knows, or what effect it would have if he knew.

Complete radio silence.

It just seems a very strange omission, particularly from Min.
Thomas Keith
111. insectoid
missbee @50: Jumpin Jehoshaphat, that thing is big! Very nicely done!!

Braid @98: *LOL*

Sam @99: Are you kidding me? That thing is too hard to get into and too darn crowded. Maybe next year...

travyl @109: While it may not be as elegant, it does put things in perspective. :)

Bzzz™.
Davyd
112. WJones
I think Rand's song should be James Brown's I feel good from the Turn It Loose album.
When I hold you in my arms I know that I can't do no wrong and when I hold you in my arms My love won't do you no harm
With Mat playing the sax and Perrin druming like a wildman - Whoa!
Kimani Rogers
113. KiManiak
Thanks for the post, Leeh! :-)

I’m incredibly late to the party, and I think that most of my observations have already been stated, so this will be a relatively brief post for me (well, maybe only until I catch up on the comments).

Loved the Afroman “Because I got High” reference! Absolutely loved it. Had the song playing in my head the entire time I read your post (which got a little weird, I must admit).

Alana: Obviously, Leeh is a fan :-) I admit that Alana’s disappearance has placed her back in my “moderate probability of being a Darkfriend” group. Especially since she and Verin were traveling in the Two Rivers together in TSR. I guess we’ll see in AMoL…

Rand and Tam’s reunion: I had no problem with the length of the scene. I know a number of parent/child pairings (mostly men, but some women) who probably would’ve handled such a reunion the same way. Both in what was written and the length of the actual written portion, I did not feel that the scene was rushed. YMMV, obviously.

Min’s viewing of a “pipe”: I am leaning towards her seeing a tobacco pipe. I think that even with her exposure to plumbing, Rand’s two schools’ various devices and other items, that she would have described a long, cylindrical piece of metal differently. At the same time it is plausible that the text was drafted in just this way to have the reader jump to the wrong conclusion.

Rand and Moridin smoking a bowl together: I would pay good money to read that scene. (Yes, I know that I’ll be paying good money for the book anyway; I would gladly pay extra) That would be hilarious.

Leeh is Leigh!: Completely missed this the multiple times I have read this scene. Leigh Butler of New Orleans Cove Hold, Far Dareis Mai! I don’t think there’s any doubt about it; Brandon clearly gave Leigh a shout out. It is known, kaleesi.

Egwene is cool and annoying: Hmm… want to keep these comments relatively short. I’ll pass on saying something for now; chances are good this will come up once or twice in the comments.

Hokay; it appears as though at least a few of my fellow rereaders have made some comments in the past couple of days… :-)
Sydo Zandstra
114. Fiddler
Amen to what Tek said.

That post gives a great insight on character building.
Roger Powell
115. forkroot
KiManiak@113
I admit that Alana’s disappearance has placed her back in my “moderate probability of being a Darkfriend” group. Especially since she and Verin were traveling in the Two Rivers together in TSR.
I would actually argue that since Verin and Alanna were quite involved with the defense of Edmond's Field, it tends to reduce the chances of Alanna being a Darkfriend.

If they were both BA, then there would be no need for them to do things like put weaves on catapult payloads that made them explode and kill more Trollocs. As it was, Alanna being a light-sider allowed Verin to "go along and not blow her cover" (her excuse to her BA masters.)

Rand and Moridin smoking a bowl together: I would pay good money to read that scene.
Ah, but there is am even better scene in my upcoming "Top Ten Things that Won't Happen in AMoL" post. And you won't have to pay anything for that - just wait til AMoL gets a little bit closer.
Martyna Berek
116. missbee
First, I'll add another girlie vote for the short Tam scene, nothing more needed to be said.

deebee @ 104
I agree with your comments about the strange silence on the babies.

I'd even extend the theme to include Rand/Elayne and the Rand/Avi relationships. I find them unconvincing in the later books.
Obviously none of them have the time to moon about composing poetry, nor do we have the time or page space to devote to lengthy declarations of undying love (nor do I want to see any).
But, Rand and Elayne's feelings toward each other come across as luke warm and Rand's feelings for Aviendha fare only slightly better.
Aviendha's feelings for Rand are covered pretty well I think.
I can see that the distancing is a deliberate device, but the overall impression I'm left with is such, that if Elayne suddenly dumped Rand in AMOL chapter 1, I wouldn't bat an eyelid.
Ok, maybe I exagerate, but still. A few very short comments or thoughts could have kept those relationships alive for me.

Forkroot @ 115
I look forward to that post


Thanks for the comments on the timeline.
I appreciate that Google has made it somewhat clunky and difficult to read - I'm happy to send a copy if anyone wants to mess with it.
Glen V
117. Ways
@73. ZEXXES and @87. Silvertip
"The Joker" works for Mat, but I kinda like "House of the Rising Sun" better.

@93. insectoid
Yep! But now I have "Locomotive Breath" and "Aqualung" spinning around in my head at the same time. Different album, but...

(Only briefly scanned comments between 73 and here, so may have missed something)
Davyd
118. s'rEDIT
RE: Rand + Tam scene.

It's not that I would have wanted any more dialogue, necessarily. What was missing seemed to be more of a general emphasis surrounding the scene, or something in the immediate build-up and denouement of the scene, leaving me feeling vaguely unsatisfied.
Steve Barkmeier
119. sbark
So if Rand isn't a weapon, what is his function? Right now all I have is that he is the bung for the hole in the DO prison. That would certainly be a disappointing end for the biggest superhero of the age. I'm curious to see how RJ has this all set up to pull together at the end.
Elijah Foster
120. TheWolfKing
Does anyone know who that person is that Rand needs that is in the Caralain Grass?
Dawn Boyall
121. deebee
Sbark@119

So if Rand isn`t a weapon, what is his function?

I have a horrible feeling he`s to be the Sacrifice.

I only hope the die and live again thing means he gets to sail off into the West with Min...a new hand would be nice as well. But I don`t really see this as a happy ending for him. So he may not have Min either.
James M
122. Otoahhastis
Finally caught up again, hurrah! \o/

Not that I have much to say except that I thought the Rand-Tam reunion was just right in terms of length and what was said.

TheWolfKing@120 - As far as I remember, it's that other king the Tower kidnapped. Though his name escapes me and I don't have the books to look it up at the moment.
Chris Chriserson
123. Captchas_are_annoying
Missbee@116 and others: I'm not surprised Rand doesn't know about Elayne's babies. The whole hareem is completely skewed towards Min. I mean, Rand's "three true loves" consist of:

1) A girl he slept with that one time
2) A girl he slept with that one time and knocked up
3) A girl who is constantly by his side, sleeps in his bedchamber every night, and is frequently relied on as an emotional crutch.

It's not so much "three true loves" as "one true love and a couple of bits on the side".

I realise that Aviendha is deliberately holding herself away from the relationship untill she is "worthy" of a relationship with the Car'a'carn, but in a general way, I think the point still stands. The whole relationship is skewed towards Min, and the other two barely get a look-in.
James M
124. Otoahhastis
Oh, one other thing!
On Alanna disappearing, couldn't she just have... walked out?

Mundane for an Aes Sedai, I know, but if they didn't sense channelling isn't it just as likely to be because there wasn't any?
Valentin M
125. ValMar
The WolfKing @ 120

It's Alsalam, the King of Arad Doman.
Dawn Boyall
126. deebee
Talking about Alanna- does anyone know why she was weeping at night?
I always assumed she was in love with Rand and didn`t want to share him, particularly after he bonds his trio. But weeping at night reminds me of Sheriam having a tough time with one of the Forsaken.

Or is it that just about everyone who knows about the rape-by-bonding despises her for it, however useful they think it might be?
Jeff Schweer
127. JeffS.
deebee,

I always felt that Alanna weeping at night had to do with the bond with Rand when he was the Royal Dark A@@hole. I mean, his bond with the others is split amongst the three ladies which would dilute the effect slightly. Alanna's bond is singular and direct and she's feeling it fully.
Theresa Gray
128. Terez27
Samadai—I'm unsure as to what exactly you're asking about. I apologize for not having the head right now to read through the whole thread; could you break down the problem for me? I'll check back here relatively soon but if you like you can email me (terez27 AT gmail DOT com if you don't still have it on hand).

Also, missbee, since you have made extensive notes on the timeline, perhaps you can tell me if there are any specific timeline contradictions in TGS-TOM? I am taking timeline notes myself, but this would be a lot easier if I knew what I was looking at beforehand. Last time I attempted a timeline I noted several internal contradictions. I also have the errata for both books, which will help.
Davyd
129. Ryanus
I'd assume the tears are a combination of Alanna trying to deal with the injuries Rand just doesn't even worry about and her still thriving grief of her lost warder and all the nastiness that comes with a bond breaking via death.

The Bond with Rand to his three isn't a single bond diluted and shared by each, it's basically three bonds that were laid all at once. each of the three feels Rand every bit as strongly as Alanna does and Rand feels each of them in the same level he can sense Alanna.
Eric Hughes
130. CireNaes
Alanna's weeping, then she gets a super sneaky letter and beats feet. I wonder if Rand's newfound presence through the bond caused her to take off too. Not saying she's Black Ajah, but one could imagine how painful it would be to be a Dark Friend and bonded with the fully integrated Dragon. Again, it was most likely just the letter.
Martyna Berek
131. missbee
Terez @ 128
I'll dig out the list of questions and contradictions and tidy them up.
It's a while since I spent any time on this, but if memory serves, there were about 15 or so items on the list. Plus at least two split chapters.

It'd be good to have a fresh pair of eyes look at the whole thing
Davyd
132. PeaceofWestphalia
This is what I posted on the re-read 8 of ToM (post #316) and it was removed by the moderator. As impartial jurors, I request all of you to examine my post and tell me where have I lead a personal attack or used objectionable language. If I have not done so, then I request you to please offer an explanation why my post which expressed my views, was removed?
This is the post:
EvilMonkey@315
Certainly LB has every right to express her views. I wouldn't dream of saying otherwise but feminism and other such issues are her favourites and these issues keep cropping up again and again and again.... That is what bothers me. Wortmauer@314 said, accept it and move on. I agree totally and I am ready to do that. I completely understand LB's feministic point of view but repeatedly bringing it up in every other post? Sorry, but I cant wrap my head around that. This community is about WoT, not a propaganda machine for any contemporary issue.
On a broader note we all read sci-fi because it allows us a transient 'escape' from the real world and if real world issues (read:feminism) are constantly going to be brought up into WoT then to a certain extent it defeats the purpose of reading Sci-Fi.
We all know Sci-Fi is not real. Thats exactly my point. We all must accept it and move on. The society of Randland is what it is and discussing the flaws it has again and again and again is not going to help. Instead it brings down the entertainment value of this blog.
None of us come here for political activism and the only common thread joining us is the love of WoT. I wish everyone would love the series as it is without constantly harping on the 'flaws' the WoT society suffers from. Once or twice is perfectly fine but its constant repetition appears unwarranted. If WoT society and its laws are so irritating then one may choose not to read the series.
Wortmauer@314
Thank you. I agree with you on most points.
Roger Powell
133. forkroot
@132
Without double-checking, hadn't the moderators requested that we move on? If so, any further post pertaining to what we were supposed to drop would surely be removed, regardless of how right/wrong/offensive/inoffensive the post might be.

CireNaes@130
Again, it was most likely just the letter.
Yeah, that's my vote too.

For someone that's dead, Verin is casting an outsized shadow over AMoL. Sneaky Verin - we love you! Your soul is indeed bathed in pure white.
Theresa Gray
134. Terez27
missbee—Can't express how helpful that would be. And yes, I can definitely try to be a pair of fresh eyes; I want to send something helpful on to Team Jordan so maybe they can fix the contradictions at least. As far as I can tell, there aren't any timeline corrections on the TOM errata list, but Maria did mention that she made a few extra corrections at some later date (for the mmpb) and she lost her list of them, so I don't know what they were, except that this might have been one of them. If so, it's probably the only timeline correction that was made in TOM.
Dawn Boyall
136. deebee
CireNaes@130, forkroot@133

It could be just the letter-but Bera says she often heard weeping in Alanna`s room, which implies something long-standing.

The letter is obviously what sends her hotfooting off to Arafel, but I suspect the weeping predates it by some time.
Davyd
137. s'rEDIT
RE: Rand not being forged into a weapon . . .

While it wouldn't seem to jibe with Min's vision(s), it occurred to me that instead of a sacrifice, Rand could mean that he's being prepared to be a vessel. No more "seals" needed because he himself becomes the unbreakable container to hold the DO.

What do you think? Could this work?
Neil
138. sabatorius
Personally, I think the unspoken end to Rand's statement sbout his forging is that instead of a sword, he is a shield. But maybe that's too easy. Seems pretty fitting though.
Jonathan Levy
139. JonathanLevy
119. sbark
So if Rand isn't a weapon, what is his function?
Triple dishwasher.

The married guys will get it.

:: bunker!!! ::

126. deebee
127. JeffS.
I still think it's just the aftereffects of losing her warder in the Two Rivers.

I see 129. Ryanus mentioned this point.

132. PeaceofWestphalia

If it had been the first post on the subject, it may not have generated a reaction. Since it was about the twentieth, after requests to drop the topic, it got harsher treatment.

Most people here are not LeighDB groupies in any sense of the word. Not even the ones who showed strong reactions which you found excessive. I believe most people here consider themselves guests on Leigh's blog, and are therefore circumspect in their criticism, and intolerant of petulance, as they see it. It's not a 1st amendment issue, it's just being polite.

There are always several threads of discussion on each blog post - simply ignore the ones you think are not worth your time. If you do so you may find that your contributions are appreciated.

138. sabatorius
Elsewhere Rand says that they're not weapons, they're men. I think that's the other half of his thought here, as well.
Roger Powell
140. forkroot
s'rEDIT@137
No more "seals" needed because he himself becomes the unbreakable container to hold the DO.

What do you think? Could this work?
Hey, it worked for Thomas Covenant, why not Rand? OTOH, he'd probably have to turn in his Hero of the Horn card.

JonathanLevy@139
Triple dishwasher.

The married guys will get it.
Except that Wetlandernw's husband would have no idea of what you are talking about.
Deana Whitney
141. Braid_Tug
I've been thinking about the whole Tam / Rand reunion. Maybe what Leigh was wanting was not "more", but "more space."

Remember, back when we found out Careane was the Black Sister who killed Adeleas? (KOD, Re-Read Part 19)

Leigh talked about how the scene didn't work for her because we went from "Revel" to "Death" with no pause. She wax eloquent about how the pause was really needed to make certain scenes work.

Thoughts?
Dawn Boyall
142. deebee
sabatorius@138

I`m not sure whether you`re right but it`s an interesting thought, I`ll ponder on it some more. It certainly chimes with my thought that he is the Sacrifice.

JonathanLevy@139
Elsewhere Rand says that they're not weapons, they're men. I think that's the other half of his thought here, as well.
That`s what Rand thinks about the Asha'man- it doesn`t necessarily follow that it applies to him.
"Of all people," Cadsuane said sternly, "you cannot afford to let the pressure of life drive you."
"On the contrary I am who I have become because of that
pressure, Cadsuane. Metal cannot be shaped without the blows of the hammer."
I think that passage suggests he`s thinking that he has been forged into something more than merely a man.
Davyd
143. NotInventedHere
@124: I was wondering the same thing. The small amount of channeling could have been her weaving a mask of illusion, which would explain why nobody recognized her. There's no reason she had to have done something drastic, like travel directly from her room. Nynaeve notes that they should have guarded her more closely, but I don't recall who (if anyone) was watching her before.

As to her crying, I wonder if Verin had somehow forced or compelled her to stick with Rand, someone she hated and/or feared? Did Verin bond Alanna in an attempt to track Rand through her (not sure if the bond works that way; are the warders able to detect each other?), exactly what Cads referred to (DO using Alanna the same way Cads used her)? Did she bond Rand fresh from losing one warder, only to realize that she was bound to lose him as well? So many possibilities, but I don't think there is really enough to go on to come to any particular conclusion.
john massey
144. subwoofer
Rand isn't a weapon? What's option "B"? Iron Chef?

Caddy gets a pass, heh.

Not much else to say here at first blush, stuff did happen, but beyond the glance at the nobles sending some scurrying, nothing really moving and shaking happened.

Oh yeah, hi Leigh.

::waves::

Thanks for the three chapters this week. Way to be:D

Woof™.
Alice Arneson
145. Wetlandernw
Well. Super-late to the comments this week. But for what they’re worth, here are my thoughts on a few things.

First of all, I have to permit myself a tiny squee; in the story I wrote about Cadsuane two years ago, her first indication of hope was the lifting of the clouds around Tear. It was nighttime in my story, and I didn’t write the perfectly circular break in the clouds, but still… this scene with reminded me of the mental image I had when writing that. Yay me? (What can I say – I have to take my little triumphs where I find them…) Although I have to say, I loved the way Cadsuane’s first hint of Rand’s presence here was the tea tasting good.

Alanna… some good speculation in the comments, but we don’t have much to go on, do we? If it was a Gateway, either she was able to invert her weave or use the TP, or someone came to fetch her. (I think they’d have mentioned if an Asha’man came to see her. That would be too obvious to miss.) The chances of her using the TP are infinitesimally small; if Alanna is sufficiently high among Team Light Dark to get access to that… no, I don’t see it. It would be too out-of-the-blue for her to be a Forsaken-level BA. My current best guesses are that either a) someone Travelled in to give her the note, and she Travelled back with them (would Corele have sensed the channeling from a Gateway in?) or b) she used an Illusion weave to slip out past the Defenders and then Travelled out from outside the Stone. The amount of channeling Corele sensed might be about right for an Illusion; then, it would depend on whether anyone was actually watching her door or not. And… I don’t think we know that. Nor do we know whether someone on the other end can sense the channeling used to create a Gateway.

Interesting (though I’m not sure what to say about it) that the Maidens were watching Min, not for her safety, but for a sign that Rand had returned.

Pipes: While the vast majority of pipes actually mentioned in the series are tobacco pipes, followed by the musical instrument and the way of speaking, I also found two references to drain pipes, one to an exhaust pipe (from the steamwagon), one to a stove pipe and one to a water pipe. The POV’s were Rand, Mat, Egwene and Moiraine. The point is, whoever was thinking/speaking didn’t have to think about what to call them, they were referenced in a way that you’d mention any common item. There aren’t many references to chamber pots, either, but no one ever seems to have trouble recognizing them. In other words, the fact that Min hasn’t actually talked about pipes doesn’t mean she doesn’t know perfectly well what one is when she sees it. Add to that the fact that we’re not looking at decades (or centuries) of perfecting the design of a cannon; we’d be talking about very early designs modeled off what were known as “lofting tubes” for fireworks. In fact, they are described elsewhere as a “long bronze tube.” If she didn’t see the whole mechanism, and especially if all she saw was then end sticking out from the grass or something, there’s no reason Min wouldn’t think of a metal tube as a pipe.

That said, my immediate assumption was a tobacco pipe. I’m glad, though, that someone suggested the cannon; it’s a good idea and may well be correct. In fact, the more I read the original text, the more I think it’s probable.

One thing Leigh left out of the recap that cracked me up was Rand telling Nynaeve she needed some new insults, since “the ones you use are wearing out like last year’s lace.” Uh… not much to say in reply to that, is there?

Another thing about Rand; he sees a lot more than he used to, but he still doesn’t see everything clearly. Fortunately, although he doesn’t necessarily know where he’s wrong, he at least doesn’t assume he knows everything any more, either.

The reunion: Well, I’ll admit it was short on the page, but I honestly can’t think of what else could have been said that would have made it better. And making it longer… I don’t think that would have improved it. More chitchat certainly wouldn’t have been in character for these two, and given that it was an outside POV I don’t see what else there would be to say about it. I guess he could have inserted some of Min’s perception of Rand’s feelings, but I’m glad he didn’t. I like it the way it is.

And… I’ll jump back in later tonight with reflections on the third chapter and more comments on the comments. Right now, there’s a swim lesson requiring my attention. (I'll confess I haven't quite gotten through all the comments, so if I repeated what someone else said, I apologize.)

Ooops.
ETA - Shoutouts FTW!! :)
Still cozy?
Birgit
146. birgit
The whole relationship is skewed towards Min, and the other two barely get a look-in.

If Rand (and the girls) survives TG the two channelers will have a lot of time to spend with him while Min only has a normal lifetime.

The chances of her using the TP are infinitesimally small; if Alanna is sufficiently high among Team Light to get access to that… no, I don’t see it.

Shouldn't that be Team Dark?
Theresa Gray
147. Terez27
Heads up: Excerpt from AMOL chapter 1, which Brandon read at ComicCon yesterday. Any help cleaning up the transcript would be appreciated.
Theresa Gray
148. Terez27
Hey missbee, I saw you digging around on the archived thread for your timeline, and I see that you already gave me a list, and I either never saw it or was distracted by other things and forgot about it. But I have noted it!

PS—I've also asked Nae'blis to move it to the resources forum so we can discuss it if need be. If you don't go to Theoryland often, you could subscribe to the thread; I doubt it will be very busy (i.e. annoying).
Alice Arneson
149. Wetlandernw
birgit @146 - Uh... uh.... Did I say that??

Oy. I'll go fix it. *sigh*
Cameron Tucker
150. Loialson
Terez@147

Hooray! That was beautiful. Highlight to read the following: Aaaand we finally get to see a bit of Rand's perspective on Lews Therin and their reintegration. Loved the hidden bible reference with the pearl in the fish, Jordan did lots of those very well.
Matthew 17:27
Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
also:
Matthew 13:45
45 ¶Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
I agree with Rand here, in valuing Perrin's innocence; that Perrin even has his innocence and integrity after all he's gone through is a touching thing to me.
Tricia Irish
151. Tektonica
Thanks Terez@147: A most excellent teaser!! The stage is set for the opening of the book now.....
Valentin M
152. ValMar
Hey guys, no need to summarize the new chapter! Some people might want to read it with the rest of the book. Looking at Tek and Loialson, you rascals...
Tricia Irish
153. Tektonica
Is that better, ValMar?

I can't imagine not reading Terez's transcription!! But I bow to those who hate any hints! It's a very short passage that's transcribed...not the whole chapter, btw.
Valentin M
154. ValMar
Thanks Tek, I can be anal about spoilers. The UK publishers already released the text on the sleeve (sorry can't remember it's proper name) it was full with stuff I'm currently trying to forget.
As for the transcript 1) I want to have the option reading it now or with the book, 2) if I read it before the book release, I want it first to be with the authors' words.
Could be that the awful pain in my back is making me cranky. Ehm, no it's not. It's the bloody spoilers! ;)
Davyd
155. sadface
So this is probably super not kosher, but I am way behind on this re-read thing. I am doing my own re-read and using this site as cliff notes, prodding me to catch things I have missed before, and to expand the way I think about WOT. I am trying to really savor what is almost sure to be my last re-read before reading the end for the first time. It is great, except that since I am so far behind I can't have any discussion with those who are inspiring my new thoughts. I am currently just starting The Shadow Rising, and I have stumbled on a discussion that I really want to have regarding Min's viewings, worlds-of-if, and prophecy. I just posted a comment on TSR part one and would like to invite people back there to discuss with me.
Tom Feltes
156. tomf
I can definitely confirm, Leigh is "Leeh" (or "Leeh" is Leigh, either way). Just got the chance to talk with Brandon at Comic-con and he confirmed - that is YOUR SHOUTOUT, Leigh! Whoo! I was halfway through describing that scene and he was already smiling :-)

And sorry I could not ask him about the time/days discrepancy, I did not read through these comments until just now...

Whoo! I see you, Leigh Butler, Far Dareis Mai of the Big Easy sept of the Tor-dad Aeil!
Alice Arneson
157. Wetlandernw
Where's that darn "Like" button?? I want one for @156!!

sadface @155 - I'll go check it out, and depending on what's happening I might just encourage you to bring it to a current thread... But I'll check it out first. Way to go on posting even if it's "late" - because it's never really too late around here!
Thomas Keith
158. insectoid
JLevy @139:
Triple dishwasher.

The married guys will get it.
Umm... why don't you elaborate for the less-fortunate of us guys?

Fork @140:
Except that Wetlandernw's husband would have no idea of what you are talking about.
LOL!!

Terez @147: Neato! An interesting glimpse at one character reunion...

tomfeltes @156: Wooo! Go Team Leeh!! :D

Bzzz™.
Leigh Butler
159. leighdb
tomfeltes @ 156:

SWEET!

Thank you for checking for me! I am super pleased to have confirmation. Yay!
Cameron Tucker
160. Loialson
@ValMar
Oops, let me try to fix that...*whites out*.

Okay, all done! :)

Sorry to spoil it for ya.
Alice Arneson
161. Wetlandernw
Loialson - it didn't work. Make sure you don't preview the comment after you change the text color, I think...
Jonathan Levy
162. JonathanLevy
140.forkroot
Except that Wetlandernw's husband would have no idea of what you are talking about.
He's one lucky guy :)

142.deebee
Elsewhere Rand says that they're not weapons, they're men. I think that's the other half of his thought here, as well.
That`s what Rand thinks about the Asha'man- it doesn`t necessarily follow that it applies to him.
My impression was that he reached the conclusion regarding himself first (on Dragonmount), and applied it to the other Asha'man.

158.insectoid
Re: Triple Dishwasher

If Rand had one girl, he would be a (regular) Dishwasher.
If Rand had two girls, he would be a Double Dishwasher.
If Rand had three girls...

:D
Martyna Berek
163. missbee
Terez @ 148
Unfortunately I've lost the rolling list I kept whilst compiling the timeline. However, I've revised the short list I do have and added it to the bottom of the chronology. There are only a couple of contradictions left (ignoring the problems left by Mat's 20 day hitch) and they don't affect any other timeline. Everything else I feel happy to waive through, usually it comes down to a stretched definition of 'few' or 'several' (and that only in the last two books).
I'm sure there are things I've missed, I'll try to keep things up to date.

Great to read the excerpt, thanks!

Edit - I see the thread has moved, great! (subscribed)
Rob Munnelly
164. RobMRobM
The actual text of the Chapter 1 AMOL excerpt is on the main Tor page. Interesting....
Davyd
165. Looking Glass
Deebee @104: Rand’s kids: I think, if he’d known and thought that way at Dragonmount, it would have been… kind of a distraction from the central conflict. Or perhaps, a way around it when what he needed was to go through it.
--

Forkroot @115: Even if Alanna were black, it’s likely that Verin would have been “officially” unaware of it (and able to beg off to her masters). BA leadership or the Forsaken would know everyone, but neither of those groups seem to have actually gotten involved in Emond’s Field- just Fain, and Slayer-chasing-Fain.
--

Sbark @119: I know what I want to be true. Rand is the end of one age, and the beginning of the next. Lews Therin ended the conflict of his age, and dropped the next into the crapper. Win or lose, Weapon Rand would have left behind nothing but ashes. Light Rand may do better.
--

Deebee @126: For one thing, Alanna always seemed to take the experience of Rand’s physical pain a lot harder than anyone else (not that she felt it more, just that she adapted worse). Probably his emotional pain, too*. She’s suffered through losing a warder, and then promptly stuck herself to someone predestined to die shortly.

She may or may not have additional reasons to cry, but the ones we’ve seen are a pretty crappy deal already.

*Though if she got the Dragonmount emotions, maybe they’re happy tears. Or maybe she’s black and she’s unhappy that he’s happy. Or who the heck knows.
Cameron Tucker
166. Loialson
Thanks Wet! That tip will come in handy, and it looks whited out now on my end after trying it that way. I'll remember that in the future for spoilery comments.
Davyd
167. Faculty Guy
So: I kept waiting for someone to clear this up, but can't find it in the commentary. What IS the source (or significance, or double-entendre, or . . .) of pulling toes off? Have we seen that particular form of torture (from Semi, maybe), and why is it an appropriate (joking) threat for Elayne?
Alice Arneson
168. Wetlandernw
Loialson - Yup. It looks right this time. It's the same trick as avoiding excess spacing around your quotes - figured it would probably work. :)

Faculty Guy - FWIW (probably not much) I just took it at face value - if you didn't cooperate soon I expected Egwene to begin torturing you. If there's some double meaning, someone else will have to explain it to us both.
Davyd
169. Wortmauer
Loialson: My preferred method for not only whiting out but doing other formatting edits reliably is to disable Javascript for tor.com. (Not sure you can do this in all browsers, but for Firefox, the noscript plugin lets you allow scripting per-domain.) That leaves you with a text box with no fancy widgets in it. The usual phpbb codes apply (e.g., color=white in square brackets, then /color in square brackets). Call me crazy but I'll take "what you specified and what you see in the preview is what you get" over "what you see is sometimes what you get."

Pulling toes off one at a time: I'm just waiting for Egwene to do it, then later repent: "I have toe."
Davyd
170. s'rEDIT
Wortmauer: I just *knew* there was another pun in there somewhere!

Whew! Thanks for getting that out of the way before our weekly update.
Davyd
171. Jekadu
The depressing part about Weiramon is that no matter how you swing it, he's probably the most successful Darkfriend saboteur on-screen. In one paragraph he goes from a bumbling fool to one of the cleverest characters in the series, and I'm kicking myself for being so wilfully blind. "Weiramon? Nah, he's too incompetent to be a Darkfriend..."

Well, we all felt sorry for Sheriam in Knife of Dreams, didn't we?
Bill Reese
172. breese68
Re Pipe: A crazy thought... what about Loial? She did not see him, but he does smoke a pipe, and would certainly want to be there for Rand. After he speaks at the stump I am sure he would try and catch up with the DR if only to finish his book.

Noob to the threads!
Alice Arneson
173. Wetlandernw
Welcome breese68! The bunker is thisaway... :)
Maiane Bakroeva
174. Isilel
Well, I totally called Weiramon looong time ago, so it was a moment of vindication. Yes, he is the most capable DF so far.
Something felt off to me in Rand-Tam reconciliation scene. Can't put my finger on what it was, though - not length, IIRC.
Terry McNamee
175. macster
@83 missbee: You mean, that Nynaeve could learn to redirect saidin weaves? Now that would indeed be badass.

@85 parrothead: Except that in this scene she only tells Nynaeve to call her Mother "until she gets used to it". Not to do it all the time, even in private. You are right that the way she acts through much of this book is annoying, but I think she is right that they need to be seen obeying and respecting her.

@92 birgit: Note I wasn't denying that this was possible--I was genuinely asking if we had ever seen anyone talk about it or doing it. And yes I was getting at the fact someone else could have woven the gateway, but the question is who? No Asha'man have any connections to Alanna...and for that matter I can't think of any other Aes Sedai either. So I think either she is Black and one of the Forsaken/Dreadlords/Black Ajah wove the gate, or...like I said, she slipped out of the Stone and then made her gateway somewhere outside sensing range. Occam's Razor. (Otoahhastis says the same thing.)

@97 Wortmauer: *snickersnort* QFT.

@deebee: That IS odd. I know the characters aren't always introspective, but...

@126 deebee: I have always assumed she can feel the pain of Rand's unHealable wounds.

@Terez: That is a wonderful excerpt, I am more excited than ever!
Davyd
176. SADFace
Rose Window - I think that the reason things are so mutable in TAR is that it reflects all worlds and all worlds-of-if. The window showing a different pattern is really not much different then a door varying between degrees of openess, both happen because TAR is reflecting that particular item from a different world-of-if. This leads to a question of why TAR so closely resembles the real world, and not (for example) the world Loial, Hurrin, and Rand visited earlier. I have two possible reasons;

1) TAR, being infinitley mutable, defaults to what the visitor thinks of as their reality, with the more ambigous details (the ones they expect can change) having the freedom to oscilate through realities that the visitor considers likely. A door can change position because the visitor doesn't think of doors as staying in one place, but it doesn't just disapear, because the visitor doesn't think of doors as being able to disapear.

2) TAR reflects more strongly from worlds that are more likely to exist. This assumes that the real world is the one that is most likely to exist, so TAR is close to the real world. Details like how open a door is vary because there exist many worlds that are close to the real world, but the door is in a different place.

In either scenario, the visitor can shape TAR by using their imagination and will to force TAR to reflect other worlds-of-if.

Anyhow, I don't believe that TAR is failing because tDO is breaking free. TAR is working fine, the same way it always has, you just can't fully trust it because it reflects multiple truths.

Also, per Verin's lecture, TAR is also connected to and reflects all other worlds - like 'Finnland. Why do we never see this part of TAR? Like in our own world, is it not accessible, or do our visitor not have sufficient imagination to pull these relfections into TAR?

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