Aug 28 2012 2:00pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Towers of Midnight, Part 16

The Wheel of Time reread on Tor.comNeither rain, nor thunder, nor hurricane-force winds can stop me, WOTers, because the Wheel of Time Re-read must go through!

Er. Let’s hope so, anyway.

Today’s entry covers Chapter 27 and 28 of Towers of Midnight, in which we have politics-fu and politics-fail in nearly equal measure, Pervasively Purple Problems, and no elves whatsoever.

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 27: A Call to Stand

What Happens
Egwene reads a letter from King Darlin, in which he says that while he is troubled by Egwene’s news that the Dragon Reborn plans to break the seals, he is nonetheless loyal to him, and additionally wary of the Seanchan, and therefore only promises to bring a small number of his troops to Merrilor to discuss the matter. Egwene is impressed that Darlin had the courage to put this in writing, but is not satisfied, as she wants his full strength there to back her. She writes back to remind him that the Dark One is their largest concern, not the Seanchan, but she offers him gateways to bring his forces back to Tear immediately should a threat from the Seanchan materialize.

The Dragon Reborn must see our full forces marshaled to oppose his brash intentions. If he sees this as halfhearted, we will never dissuade him from his course. Please come with all of your troops.

She writes to Gregorin in Illian next, offering him similar terms; she has not yet told him that Mattin Stepaneos is alive and at the Tower, but Stepaneos himself is afraid to return to his nation in any case. She realizes that she is using Rand’s proclamation as “a beacon” to tie the monarchs of the continent to the Tower. Silviana enters to report that the Borderlands are under attack; she says they hold for the moment, but that this is the largest incursion from the Blight since the Trolloc Wars. Egwene asks about Tarwin’s Gap, but Silviana has no information on it. Silviana leaves, only to burst back in with the news (brought by Nicola and another Accepted, Nissa) that the Hall is meeting.

“I can’t believe they would try this,” Silviana said softly as they walked.

“It’s not what you think,” Egwene guessed. “They won’t try to depose me. The division is too fresh in their minds.”

“Then why meet without you?”

“There are ways to move against an Amyrlin without deposing her.”

They reach the Hall to find it two-thirds full, and Egwene notes that the Reds have replaced Pevara and Javindhra with Raechin and Viria Connoral (who are actual siblings). Takima, Lelaine, and Romanda are there, and Egwene is irked that all three Green Sitters are present. Egwene sits and says nothing until Romanda asks, then replies that as they did not inform her of the meeting, she assumes they don’t want her words, and will simply watch. This makes the Sitters uncomfortable, but they continue. Saroiya (White) rises and tells of how Egwene had seized total authority in the Rebel Hall by means of the War Vote, and her concern that she will try to do the same again. She says the Hall is meant to be a balance on the Amyrlin’s power, and this must be prevented. Egwene is somewhat relieved to hear this.

This meeting meant her plans were proceeding as hoped, and that her enemies—or, well, her reluctant allies—hadn’t seen what she was really doing. They were busy reacting to things she’d done months ago.

That didn’t mean they weren’t dangerous. But when a person anticipated danger, it could be handled.

Lelaine says that they cannot declare war, then, but Varilin asks how it is reasonable not to declare war on the Shadow. Takima opines that perhaps that war is already declared by default, by the Tower’s very existence, but Romanda counters that there must be some kind of proclamation from the Hall to dissuade the Amyrlin for calling for war. Andaya wonders how they will do that without sounding ridiculous. Egwene speaks up to say she thinks the Hall acts in wisdom; the war between the factions of the Tower was her war, as it was about the Amyrlin Seat specifically.

“But the war against the Shadow is more vast than any one person. It is greater than you or I, greater than the White Tower. It is the war of all life and creation, from the most destitute of beggars to the most powerful of queens.”

Romanda asks if she consents to let the Hall prosecute the war, then, and Egwene replies that it would depend on how the provision was worded. Saerin and Janya (Brown) enter then, giving Takima dirty looks. Romanda says there is a provision in the Law of War that allows for the Hall to take up prosecution of war, and Egwene points out that is contingent on the Amyrlin’s agreement, and wants to know whether such a provision would attempt to ban her from the “day-to-day” proceedings. Lelaine points out that Egwene has been busy “wrangling” the kings and queens, which is a “fine task” for the Amyrlin.

“Then you’ll stand for such a provision?” Egwene said. “The Hall sees to the army, while I am given authority for dealing with the monarchs of the world?”

“I…” Lelaine said. “Yes, I’d stand for that.”

“I suppose I could agree,” Egwene said.

Romanda calls for a vote, and nine Sitters stand for it. Takima and Saroiya are highly suspicious, though; then Saroiya seems to realize something, but before she can speak, Doesine and Yukiri arrive, whereupon Saerin stands immediately. Doesine sees this, and she and Yukiri stand as well without being told what the vote is for. Saerin declares the lesser consensus.

“No!” Saroiya said, climbing to her feet. “Don’t you see? He is a king! He holds the Laurel Crown. You’ve just given the Amyrlin sole responsibility for dealing with the Dragon Reborn!”

There was silence in the Hall.

“Well,” Romanda said, “surely she…” She trailed off as she turned, seeing Egwene’s serene face.

“I suppose someone should ask for the greater consensus,” Saerin said dryly. “But you’ve managed to hang yourselves quite efficiently with the lesser rope already.”

Egwene rises and tells that she thinks it is wise of the Hall to let her deal with the Dragon Reborn, as he will need a “firm, familiar hand,” and also to relieve her of the burden of managing the day-to-day concerns of their army. She is very displeased, however, by the secrecy of this meeting, and asks if their memory is so short that they have forgotten how foolish such a thing is. She proposes that it be written into Tower law that henceforth no meetings may be convened unless both the Amyrlin and all Sitters are informed of it, in a reasonable enough amount of time to either come themselves, send a surrogate in their place, or send a message that they cannot attend. Saerin points out that she proposes altering traditions that have been in place for centuries.

“Traditions that hitherto have been used only for treachery, backbiting and division,” Egwene said. “It is time for this hole to be closed, Saerin. The last time it was used effectively, the Black Ajah manipulated us into casting down an Amyrlin, raising a fool in her place, and dividing the Tower.”

She tells them of the attack on the Borderlands, and says the Last Battle is here, and that they will stand now, or be forever remembered for their refusal to support openess and honesty. She calls for the vote, and one by one all the Sitters stand for it. Egwene is heartened that in the end, they recognized when to stop the politicking and do right. The meeting breaks up, and Egwene tells Silviana that losing control of the army was worth it to close that loophole in the law. She finds Nicola and Nissa, and as a reward for warning her about the meeting, sends them to Caemlyn to fetch the dream ter’angreal from Queen Elayne, which she promises to use to begin teaching them about the World of Dreams. They leave, and Silviana points out that Egwene did not swear them to secrecy, and it’ll be all over the Tower immediately. Egwene replies that that’s the idea.

“Gawyn scared off the assassin,” Egwene said. “There hasn’t been a murder in days, and I suppose we should bless him for that. But the killer is still hiding, and I’ve glimpsed Black sisters watching me in Tel’aran’rhiod. If I can’t catch them here, then I will catch them there. But first I need a way to trick them into thinking they know where to find us.”

Silviana warns her not to let the Accepted get in the line of fire; Egwene thinks of the danger she was put in as an Accepted, and thinks it made her a stronger person, but nevertheless agrees. She asks where Gawyn has run off to, and Silviana tells her that actually he has gone to Caemlyn. Egwene groans and tells Silviana to tell him to return, as he is “infuriating,” but she is going to need him.

This bit with the Hall was maybe not quite as politickingly satisfying as the War Vote in TPOD, but then that’s probably an unfair comparison, as the War Vote was a crucial turning point in Egwene’s entire story arc, and this scene was really just one more step in Egwene’s total pwning of this Amyrlin gig.

That said, that certainly doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, because I did. I believe the relevant phrase is oh snap, girlfriend. My favorite part was Doesine and Yukiri automatically toeing the Egwene Party line and voting without even knowing what the hell they were voting for. Mostly because you totally know that happens all the time in real governing bodies. Which ought to be disheartening or irritating, but for some reason right now I only find it amusing. Also, I very much applaud her move to eliminate the secret meeting tactic, because that really is just all kinds of bullshit that I would totally bet was a Black Ajah-instigated thing in the first place. We demand transparency, yo!

However, all that being said, I confess to more than a little instinctive apprehension about what Egwene is doing re: Rand. As many commenters have pointed out and I myself agree, it’s a pretty fair bet that Rand totally manipulated things to goad Egwene into doing the very thing she is doing, so that he doesn’t have to, and that therefore it’s probably all good, but even so I have issues with it on principle.

Setting up any kind of “us vs. them” mentality between the forces of Light and their putative leader, no matter how benign Egwene believes it to be, is by its very nature an inherently unstable situation. In fact I would liken it to smoking a cigarette while sitting atop a leaky powderkeg.

And let’s not kid ourselves: the fact that Egwene is so gung ho on getting the monarchs to bring all their military puissance to bear on this meeting means that she is definitely preparing for the possibility that that powderkeg will go off. Anyone who thinks a strategic standoff that basically amounts to Mutually Assured Destruction is either comforting or stable needs to have their head examined.

So, yeah, not overly thrilled with Egwene on that score. No matter that Rand probably maneuvered her into it, she still took the bait, and that’s on her.

I’m also rather raising my eyebrow in her general direction at her order to Silviana to get Gawyn back. Weren’t you just complaining about him being all up in your grill, Eg? Not very consistent of you! Plus, Gawyn going to Caemlyn is probably the first decision he’s made since the Tower coup that didn’t make me want to roll my eyes, so I’m personally a bit miffed that Egwene disapproves of it. I approved that, girl, how dare you contradict me!


Chapter 28: Oddities

What Happens
Perrin tells Faile about the strange smell he’s noticed in the area, and also that there are no wolves anywhere near, and other wildlife seems scarce as well. He plans to look for answers in the wolf dream. Faile tells him she does not like this trial idea, and he counters that she is angry about Maighdin.

“Of course I’m angry about Maighdin,” she said. They’d been through Malden together, and she hadn’t told Faile that she was the Queen of bloody Andor? It made Faile look like a fool—like a small-town braggart, extolling her skill with the sword in front of a passing blademaster.

Perrin points out that Maighdin didn’t know she could trust them; this does not mollify Faile, but he tells her to let it go, and she is pleased he stood up to her. She goes back to the trial, and Perrin tells her he won’t let himself be taken, but the trial gives him time to think, and also gets their people back; he adds that maybe what he needs is to finally have a chance to plead his side. He also comments that Damodred doesn’t smell “rabid with anger or hate” like so many Whitecloaks do. Faile thinks of how Berelain had reacted to Damodred, and thinks privately that there might be some way to use that. Perrin falls asleep.

Perrin finds himself in the wolf dream, leaning against a massive steel tower with no openings that feels unnatural. Hopper appears and scolds him for coming there, and Perrin protests he didn’t do it on purpose. Hopper replies that his mind is focused on it, “or the mind of one to whom you are connected.”

“Mat,” Perrin said, without understanding how he knew. The colors didn’t appear. They never did in the wolf dream.

As foolish a cub as yourself?

“Maybe more foolish.”

Hopper smelled incredulous, as if unwilling to believe that was possible.

Hopper leads him to the Jehannah Road, where the violet glass wall has appeared again, in a different place than before, and comments that wolves have seen this thing before, long long ago. His images include confused pictures of things Perrin tentatively thinks might be from the Age of Legends. Perrin moves a way down, and realizes the thing is a dome, rather than a wall, leagues wide. He senses Oak Dancer, Sparks and Boundless inside, feeling frantic, and tries to go after them, but the dome will not let him inside. Perrin wonders if that is the purpose of it, to trap wolves inside so Slayer can hunt them, and tries to physically touch the dome. It saps all the strength out of him, so he can’t even breathe, until Hopper hauls him back. Hopper then tries it himself; he stumbles, but makes it through. Perrin asks him how he did it.

I am me. Hopper as he saw himself—which was identical to who he was. Also scents of strength and stability.

The trick, it seemed, was to be in complete control of who you were. Like many things in the wolf dream, the strength of one’s mental image was more powerful than the substance of the world itself.

However, Perrin decides to try charging the wall instead. He makes it through, but Hopper scolds him again. They hunt for Slayer, sensing that Sparks is wounded and the other wolves are trying to distract Slayer. Hopper sends Perrin after Sparks while he goes to join the others. Perrin finds Sparks and pulls an evil-smelling arrow out of him, and picks him up. Perrin heads for the dome barrier as fast as he can run, but when they arrive they find Slayer waiting for them. Perrin shifts himself to where he first entered before Slayer’s arrow finds him, and throws himself and Sparks through the barrier. Slayer appears again, and Perrin shifts again, to Dragonmount. Slayer does not follow, and Hopper appears and tells Perrin all the wolves but Whisperer got away. Perrin tells him about the odd scent in the air in the waking world, and they both speculate it is related to the dome.

Search another time. Slayer is too strong for you.

Perrin took a deep breath. “I have to face him eventually, Hopper.”

Not now.

“No,” Perrin agreed. “Not now. Now we practice.” He turned to the wolf. “As we will do every night until I am ready.”

Ituralde can’t sleep, and tries to figure out why the Trollocs massed around Maradon haven’t attacked yet, instead beating drums for hours on end. He is unsettled by the accusation that he is Dragonsworn, and the realization that he is fighting in a foreign land for a man he’d only met once. A messenger comes to tell him Captain Yoeli has sent for him. Ituralde goes to the wall to meet him and the head Asha’man, Deepe Bhadar. Deepe tells Ituralde that he can sense men channeling among the Trolloc army below, doing “something powerful.” Ituralde curses and says that’s why they’ve been waiting.

“With Asha’man of their own—”

“They are not Asha’man,” Deepe said fervently.

“All right, then. With channelers of their own, they can tear this wall down easily as knocking over a pile of blocks, Yoeli. That sea of Trollocs will surge in and fill your streets.”

Deepe says he will stop them, but Ituralde points out that he is exhausted; Deepe replies that there’s nothing they can do about that, and signals for the other Asha’man to join him. He tells them that whatever is going to happen is going to happen soon, and Yoeli hurries off. Ituralde tells Deepe that the Asha’man are too valuable to lose, and orders him to leave if the city falls. Deepe doesn’t like it, but agrees. Then Deepe suggests that perhaps they should all leave; Ituralde says that this is still the best place to make a stand, and rejects the idea. Then an explosion hits, and Ituralde is knocked down. He gets up to see that a massive hole has been blown in the wall, and the Trollocs are already moving to breach.

The city is lost…Light! It’s lost, just like that.

He sees that Deepe is unconscious and his leg has been severed at the knee, and tries to bind the wound. Connel arrives with other soldiers and helps them get away from the wall to the sick tent. Ituralde is dazed and partially deafened until Antail Heals him, then camouflages his tiredness so Ituralde can function. Antail warns him of the danger of that last weave, and that he’ll pay for it later. Deepe is alive but still unconscious. Ituralde goes to the palace, which they’ve been using as a command post, and gets up high enough to see that the breach is indeed hopeless to defend. He orders Connel to gather the Asha’man to prepare for evacuation, but Yoeli appears and tells him no. He points to a watchfire on the horizon which he says means his sister has seen aid coming.

“Give us a few hours,” Yoeli said. “Hold the city with me and send scouts through those gateways of yours to see if a force really is coming.”

“A few hours?” Ituralde said. “With a hole in your wall? We’re overwhelmed, Yoeli.”

“Please,” Yoeli pled. “Are you not one of those they name Great Captain? Show me what that title means, Lord Rodel Ituralde.”

Ituralde hesitates, then calls the Asha’man Tymoth forward. He orders the Asha’man to defend the wall breach for half an hour with everything they’ve got, leaving only Antail out for a last minute retreat. Tymoth dashes off, and Ituralde tells Yoeli he needs four cavalry companies formed up in the courtyard in ten minutes, along with firewood, oil barrels, all the walking wounded and anyone who can use a bow. An hour later, the Asha’man line is weakening at the breach, which fortunately is the only point at which the Trollocs are attacking. Finally the Asha’man are spent and limp away, leaving the breach undefended. The Trollocs enter the city to see the carefully arranged picture of chaos and disarray Ituralde has prepared, and storm the city with glee, pursuing the wounded soldiers left as bait to draw them down one particular avenue as much as possible. Ituralde asks Yoeli if he ever plans to be a general, to learn this lesson well.

Below, shutters on windows were flung open on buildings along the avenue the Trollocs had taken. Bowmen surged out onto balconies. “If you ever have so much as an impression that you’re doing what your enemy expects you to do, then do something else.”

The bowmen fire away, targeting the Myrrdraal in particular. Before the surviving Trollocs can storm the buildings, Yoeli’s cavalry charges down the avenue, trampling and slaughtering the Trollocs. The Trollocs retreat, herded into the palace courtyard, where the archers and horsemen repeat their volleys until the Trollocs are all down. Yoeli moves to order a defense of the breach again, but Ituralde stops him, and tells him to move the archers and cavalry somewhere else and start again. Yoeli points out that they won’t fall for it so easily the next time, and Ituralde agrees, but tells him that it will make them slow and cautious, and the whole point is to buy enough time for help to arrive. Yoeli hesitates, and asks, doesn’t that violate Ituralde’s rule about not doing what your enemy expects? Ituralde tells him he’s overthinking it, and sends him off.

This, Ituralde thought, is why I should never teach tactics. It was hard to explain to students that there was a rule that trumped all of the others: Always trust your instincts. The Trollocs would be afraid. He could use that. He’d use anything they gave him.

He didn’t like to think too long about that rule, lest he dwell on the fact that he’d violated it already. Because his every instinct screamed that he should have abandoned this city hours ago.

Mm. Still a little underwhelmed by Perrin’s response to the Maighdin thing. At least Faile is having a more normal reaction to the revelation; I just would have liked to see that indicated a little more in the initial scene. And I still don’t like that we never saw the Aes Sedai react. But whatever, I’m moving on.

Meanwhile, Perrin continues to be shocking by doing things like exercising actual caution and prudence, and actually listening to what Hopper says (well, mostly), and it’s almost as disconcerting as it is welcome. It’s like he’s Growing As A Person or something!

Also, I totally forgot about the detail that Perrin initially appears next to the Tower of Ghenjei here, and his theory that Mat’s concentration on it is what caused that to happen. That’s… really interesting. We know the Superboys can all see each other in the colors, and that Rand can exert influence over Perrin and Mat, pulling them one way or another, but unless I’m mistaken this is the first time anything like that has happened between Perrin and Mat, excluding Rand. Perhaps an indication that all three boys’ ta’verenness is getting stronger as the Last Battle approaches?

This dreamspike thing in general, I find interesting in an abstract way, because it obviously was developed during the Age of Legends and yet is also very obviously nothing but a weapon, which seems a little out of character for the utopia-ness of the period. Then again, the Age of Legenders were also apparently running around with things like “shocklances,” so clearly they weren’t all sitting around singing “Kumbaya” 24/7. It’s a little bemusing, though, to think about a weapon that’s (evidently) designed to only work in a dreamworld state. It’s very Inception when you think about it.

(I’ve always kind of vaguely wondered if “shocklance” wasn’t just a fancy name for “cattle prod,” because that would be kind of hilarious. Bzzt! Hah.)

As for Ituralde’s section, my main thought was oh heeeeyyy DREADLORDS. About time they showed up, even if only off-screen. What do you want to bet they are graduates of the Mazrim Taim 13x13 Precinct Public School of Made You Evil Neener?

Also, was I the only one having flashbacks to the Helm’s Deep sequence in The Two Towers, with the hole blasted in the wall and all? Except with an appalling dearth of elves, of course.

(Sometimes I like to taunt Tolkien purists, because I am a bad person.)

Also also, survey: is the head Asha’man’s name pronounced “DEE-pay” or just “DEEEEP”? I suspect the former, but I kept saying the latter in my head in this basso profundo voice and mentally giggling, because I am apparently four years old sometimes. DEEEEEP.

And wow, Yoeli, no pressure on Ituralde or anything. Though Ituralde did definitely deliver on pulling a brilliant strategy out of his ass magic hat, so there’s that. Though I do find it at least a trifle convenient that the Trolloc didn’t even try to breach the wall at any other point through more conventional means concurrently with the Dreadlord attack. I mean, I know Trollocs as a general rule are never going to be Mensa members, but surely whoever’s ultimately in charge of this shindig would have thought of it.

*shrug* Whatever, it was a good scene regardless.

And that’s what I got for this one, kids. I’m off to batten down hatches, stock up on batteries, and brace for impact. If y’all have a minute to send good flood-and-wind-damage-avoidance thoughts down Gulf Coast way, please do. We could use it. Cheers!

Heidi Byrd
2. sweetlilflower
Mazrim Taim 13x13 Precinct Public School of Made You Evil Neener....priceless!

I heart your commentary :-)

Also, here are my good flood-and-wind-damage-avoidance thoughts coming your way .............
Lee VanDyke
3. Cloric
Leigh, the dreamspike does have a non-dreamworld effect as well. It stops all gateway travel out of or into the space contained within the dome.
We haven't specifically been told that yet, but there ya have it..

Edit for content.

Also, could you somehow take all the energy out of Issac so when the vestiges hit eastern Oklahoma it's a nice gentle soaking rain? kthxbye!
s r
4. Veovim
Concerning dreamspike/shocklances in the age of legends, wasn't there a lengthy (decades long) period of decline in between opening the bore and the beginning of the war of shadow in earnest? The same period in which blood sport (osan'gar/aran'gar poisoned dueling swords) became popular.
Benjamin Coole
5. BCP316
I always figured the channelers at the battle of Maradon were the red-veiled Aiel you see at the end of the book, not Taim's 13x13'ed Asha'man. Although I suppose that certainly is possible. I just thought Taim would have been too busy with the Black Tower stuff and that this is more of a Demandred thing.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
6. Jonellin Stonebreaker
Dear Leigh,

My prayers are with you and all the residents of the Gulf. May the Lord keep you all safe.
As to the development of the dreamspike not being consonant with the peaceful mien of the Age of Legends (not to mention shocklances and paralis nets, which when taken as a whole are One Power personal combat kits), the drilling of the Bore and the War of Power were all during the Age of Legends; that Age could not properly be said to have ended until after the Breaking.
Corkryn Williams
7. MadCow21
I have never been appalled by a dearth of elves.
F Shelley
8. FSS
Here's a scene I want in AMOL:

Egwene - so, yeah, Rand, we have all these zillions of troops and rulers and what-not, all supporting ME so you better not break those seals, because that's not how you win the last battle, you woolhead.

Rand - OK, how do I win?

Egwene - what?

Rand - yeah, you thought this through, didn't you? how do I win? How do I seal back the Evil Thingie that's already broken 4 or 5 seals and has the world about 2 days away from dying a horrible final death?

Egwene - well, I, um

Rand - Egwene, the White Tower has had 3000 years to think about this. Have you discussed this with the White Ajah? The Brown? What does the collective wisdom of thousands of Aes Sedai going back 3000 years have to say about winning this thing and saving the world?

Egwene - er, um

And at this point Rand smashes the seals upside Egwene's head because despite how awesome Egwene has seemed lately, she's still a totally moronic moron who acts first, then justifies her actions later.
F Shelley
9. FSS
Oh, and Leigh - prayers for you and all the folks in NOLA. I live in Panama City and was sweating bullets until it swung your way. Sorry our better weather came at your expense...
S Cooper
10. SPC
The 13x13 wasn't said to require a circle, just 13 channelers, right? I guess what I'm getting at is asking whether they even could have been 13x13ing people at the Black Tower (or the red-veiled Aiel) before they had enough women to make a circle.
Rich Bennett
11. Neuralnet
I did not remember Nicola and Nissa being sent to Caemlyn as a "reward" LOL should be a fun trip. Keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times and watch out for trollocs kids.
William Carter
12. wcarter
@8 FSS

That's both a funny and fairly accurate summary of how that conversation should go. Although I think it would be even funnier/more appropirate if the conversation happened between Egwene and Min.

Egwene: "Min, you have to help me. Rand wants to break the seals 'cause he's crazy.."
Min: "But that wa-"
Egwene: "I know you love him but you have to see what he's planning will doom us all. His arrogance has blinded him"
Min: "Umm Egwene it was m-."
Egwene: "Please Min he'll listen to you. You know how stubborn he can be."
Min: "Will you SHUT UP and listen. Breaking the seals was my idea sheepbrain! The only way the Dark One's prison can be properly resealed is if the debris from the old is removed."
Egwene: "but--"
Random white ajah: "Mother her logic is sound **insert exposition here**."
13. brentodd
Wasn't there something in Arthurian legend about two armies meeting on the field of battle under a banner of truce - then one soldier sees a snake and draws his sword to kill it, thereby kicking off a big ol' final battle (in which Arthur dies)?

Do the Fields of Merrilor have snakes?
Kat Blom
14. pro_star
But the red pointy teethed scary Aiel, they were never shown or implied to be channellers were they? (forgive me, it's been awhile since I've re-read).

I just thought them an even crazier more bloodthirsty warrior society (think of the Immortals from 300) possibly created by Sir Not Appearing In This Film?
Jonathan Levy
15. JonathanLevy
Some happy news to share with everyone.

Yesterday saw the arrival of my second son, weighing in at just under four kilos, after an easy delivery. Mother and child are rested and content. Father is not so well rested. :)

Next week after the Bris I plan to start him off on the audio books 24/7, and by my calculations we should finish just in time for AMoL.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
16. neverspeakawordagain
I never thought of the dreamspike as a weapon. It seems to me to be designed purely for defensive purposes -- kind of like (God, I can't believe I'm referencing this awful series) how there's a magic spell at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter books that prevents you from apparating yourself there. The ability to magically transport yourself anywhere sounds great and all, but it would also prevent you from having, say, bank vaults, or closed meetings.

In the real world here, would you want anybody at all to be able to magically transport themselves into the Oval Office, say? Of course not. Especially when people's magic teleporting doorways open up like razor blades to chop anything and everything in half. You'd need to have a way to prevent people from just busting in certain places, and the dreamspike seems like a perfectly suitable thing to use that for.

On a greater scale, it seems like battle in the Age of Legends would be completely impossible without dreamspikes. Various Foresaken have spoken of "holding territory" during the war of the shadow -- how exactly would you be able to hold territory if your opponents could just magic themselves behind your lines any moment they please? How would battle lines even exist, when you could just appear at your enemie's flanks and rear and then disappear as soon as you hit them? Being able to prevent travelling seems to be kind of a necessary thing to be able to defend a city in wars involving channelers. Otherwise (to state the most obvious of a billion different uses), you could just open up a gateway in a city with the other end set at the bottom of the ocean, and flood the place. Boom, one channeler destroys an entire city, and they don't have to be particularly powerful.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
18. neverspeakawordagain
@14, pro_star: the general thinking (or at least my general thinking) is that the red-veiled Aiel are all of those men who could channel who were sent off "to fight the dark one," who've been trained by Demandred.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
19. MikeDeepo
@8 FSS: This is what I've felt ever since I first read Egwene's knee-jerk reaction to Rand's announcement. It never seems to occur to her to ask him why Rand wants to break the seals, and she doesn't seem to have a better idea.

It also seems obvious to me that delay only strengthens the DO's hand. Delaying the Last Battle won't make the worldwide famine thing any better
Donna Harvey
21. snaggletoothedwoman
JonathanLevy@15 Congratulations to you and yours for this blessed arrival.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
22. DougL
It seems pretty clear to me that a lot of weapons were developed in the War of Power, or even before that began, probably soon after the bore was created.

As to Egwene, well, it's par for the course, the only time she supported Rand was in the Stone of Tear when she went to his room with Elayne. As Awesome as Egwene was in the few chapters in this book, she is my least favourite light based character because of how she reacts to and treats the people around her. Basically, I have never forgiven her for abusing Nynaeve to cover up her own lying way back in whatever book it was. Also, she loves Gawyn the Headcase.
Kat Blom
23. pro_star
@18 - neverspeakawordagain, that makes some sort of sense. Again, Sir Not Appearing In This Film.

I wonder if he will make an appearance in AMoL?
Karen Fox
24. thepupxpert
Yay I finally got to catch up on my reading, so busy at work lately just no time for commenting but just wanted everyone to know that I've really enjoyed the last few chapters!
Roger Powell
25. forkroot
Congratulations and all the best for the little one!

You have it exactly right - the last 100 years of the AOL saw society degenerate from near paradise to a war-torn, strife-filled world. All courtesy of the DO's touch.

The dreamspike was foreshadowed in one of RJ's interviews where he mentioned that there was an AOL defense against gateways into your held position.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
26. Joe Heron
"Is that all there is for me? ... To betray him, fail him, again and again?" - Egwene al'Vere

the fact that Rand has to and can bait Egwene in a way that uses her selfish stubborness is pretty sad. hoping elayne slaps her again at some point.
I can think of numerous ways to protect against flanking and not using a dreamspike. Many of them have already been used in story. Wards and locators, Ter'angreal, steddings and such are all examples from preventing flanking by gateway. And now that gateways can be unraveled, gateways aren't necessarily the end all. That's not including that not just any channeler can even make one. It takes strength in the power to make one. It takes great strength to make large enough ones to be useful for armies. Assassinations would be a better use for gateways. If one were smart, I'd have the Crown jewels as anti channeling as the Fox Medallion. Maybe some torcs made for the royal family.

Jonellin Stonebreaker
28. Herb66
@16 neverspeakawordagain

I think RJ addressed that at some point. Basically, just because you can strike anywhere doesn't mean you can maintain a supply line, and without that you can't do anything more than raid (not that I don't agree that dreamspikes would be enormously useful to protect super-important people/places).
Jonellin Stonebreaker
29. ChocolateRob
I've not read the rulebook on gateways all that closely but would it not have been easier to use one big gate to block the hole in Marradon's wall than spending all that energy on fireballs. Shadowspawn die if they go through a gate therefore aren't they even more effective than walls once tied off to remain open.
For added fun have the exit side high in the sky above the attacking army to pelt down their own dead on them as they try to go through.
For added sneakiness lay one flat on the floor they are about to charge over - instant bottomless pit.
Or how about a gate one centimeter tall but five meters wide to utilize a portal cut, any attacking hoard would only briefly be able to wonder why their legs are a few paces behind the rest of them before gravity defeats momentum.
William Carter
30. wcarter
@26Joe Heron

The line of people who deserve to be slapped at one point or another in this series is almost a long as the number of recurring characters in it.

A shorter list I think, is those who don't:
Egwene's parents
Setaile Anan
Thom (marginally)
The Luhans
Darlin and Caroline

I probably missed one two but the list is vanishingly small compared to the number of characters who have done something (or several somethings) slapworthy.
Drew Holton
31. Dholton
Actually, re Ituralde's defense of Maradon, what it reminds me of is the Siege of Stalingrad. Where the Russians sucked an entire German army into getting bogged down into a murderous war of street fighting attrition. The tactics Ituralde uses are similar to the ones used by the Russians.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
32. RoyanRannedos
Dreamspike - developed to keep Semhirage in prison.

And Trollocs are lazy - why climb a wall with archers on top when you can go through a Power-blasted hole? Plus, the Dark One prefers Zerg Rush tactics and laughs when his side dies.
Jay Dauro
33. J.Dauro
Rand doesn't get a complete pass here, he didn't offer any reasons why he wants to break the seals, but yes I believe that was intentional. I am hoping for a good confrontation, that being defined as people actually communicating. Hey, it could happen.

I always wanted to see Rand ask Egwene, "So how do the seals work, do you know? I do."

IIRC they were a male plan, so I assume made with Saiden. By LTT. Or, as we know him, Rand.

Congratulations JLL. We all hope you get rest soon.

wcarter, I don't quite cut Lini that much slack. She believed Perrin slept with B.
Donna Harvey
34. snaggletoothedwoman
wcarter, I think Lini deserves a couple of slaps, but the others on your list can stay. I think Elyas could be added too.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
35. RoyanRannedos
@29 Chocolate Rob

Gateway shennanigans are a fine idea - until the Dreadlord cuts the weave.
Deana Whitney
36. Braid_Tug
@ Leigh & southern coast – good luck! Hope it’s a Cat 1 storm, because lower numbers are better in that situation!

@ 15, JL – Congratulations to you and your family! 4 kilos = ~ 8.8 pounds! That’s a big boy!
I hope the sound of the readers’ voice helps him sleep.

Here’s where the timetable starts to get all weird for me. How long has it been since Rand and Egwene spoke? Any current updated timelines?
Her closing the loophole = goodness
Her thoughts about Rand and the seals = headshake
@ 8 &12 : Can’t wait for the real version of this scene, but I like yours.

Did anyone else feel like Deepe and the Asha’man were pulled out of a hat? When did they show up? When did Rand send a message to the BT? Or was this all off camera? So M is doing bad things at the BT, but is still taking nominal orders from Rand? I’m confused.

Survey: DEE –pay

@ 29, Chocolate Rob: Gate to close the wall: They don’t have any women to make a Circle. Therefore the gates they can make are only as big as one man can make it. Unless any of them are really skilled at gates, you’re talking about a doorway sized gate in the middle of a blown wall. Not that affective.
Wish they had known about the “Death gates” that Rand threw around in Tear.
F Shelley
37. FSS
@36 - for that matter, why not just set trolloc killing wards? Seems team light used to have those...
Roger Powell
38. forkroot
I wonder if the Ashaman were strong enough to do the Deathgate weave? Logain learned that one from Rand/LTT, but remember that Logain is very strong.

As much as I like Setalle Anan, she got played by Nynaeve into divulging the Kin. So she's off the list IMO.

Additions to your list:
Alise (of the Kin)
Sharina Melloy
(very tempted to put Tylee Kirhgan on it - but I don't
think we can allow Seanchan in principle.)
Sydo Zandstra
39. Fiddler
Re: Gateways.

IIRC a simple gateway should be enough to block the gap, against Trollocs, because Shadowspawn dies when passing through. That's why Team Dark is using the Ways (and later on portal stones) ...

Leigh, good luck with Isaac.
Jonathan Levy, congrats :)
Nadine L.
40. travyl
About the hall meeting: I liked the "it's an important vote" - "oh then I'll stand for it" exchange from Egwene's AS supporters. They hadn't been invited to the meeting for a reason, and so it seems logical to trust your allies on what to vote. - especially when time is essential, to not let the others realize their mistake.

Dreadlords: I wonder why there seem to be so many around, while I would expect much more Black Ajah at the Shadow's disposal. My "first" thought after having read the whole book, was that there should be an association to the red-Aiel and not Taim's minions, though I agree, we have no prove, that they can channel, but still: the Aiel did send their male channelers into the Blight.

@15 JL: Congratulations to you, and welcome to the newest family member. Once you'll have listend to all the books, you may introduce him to this bigger family here ; )

@36. BraidTug: Deppe and his Asha'man: there was scene somewhere, which described, that Logain had pulled away some Ashaman from the BlackTower for Rand to use (We still don't know where Logain is, I believe). - Like Naef suddenly being in the close entourage of Rand.
I was more surprised by the mentioning of AesSedai coming to Maradon to help. Rand doesn't have all that many Aes Sedai - but I'll ask about that, once we will get to that chapter.
(these chapters are really good, so I did get carried away and read on to the next chapters....)
William Carter
41. wcarter
@33, 34, and 38

Good catch on the Lini snaffoo (although I do give her some leeway from lack of a personal history with Perrin)
Also, as forkroot pointed out, I forgot Dobraine, one of if not the most sensable nobles we've seen especially compared to some of his psychoticly depraved peers *slaps self*
Robert Crawley
42. Alphaleonis
I grew up in the New Orleans area (Luling, about 12 miles upriver from N.O.) Still have many high school friends in the area. I have been communicationg with some of them on Facebook, praying with them. Some have been required to evacuate. It looks like max winds will be about 80 mph, far less than the 125+ of Katrina. Glad Leigh didn't have to evacuate. My prayers will continue till all danger has passed.
Robert Crawley
43. Alphaleonis
WCarter @30

Most of the ones on your list haven't had a whole lot of screen time. If they had as much as our superstars, they would all need to be slapped. Simply because they are like we are, human. When the discussion was going about Elayne's temptation to switch medallions a few threads back, does being tempted deserve a slap? I know several times in my life when I have been tempted, I wish someone had slapped me. That discussion about Elayne made me contemplate a situation about ten years ago, where I was tempted to do something but didn't do it. I have been mentally slapping myself over that for nearly ten years, even though outwardly, I didn't do anything.
Valentin M
44. ValMar
Congratulations JL! Great that mother and child are alright. I was similar weight and my mum and I barely made it through.
Also, I hope Isac is puny and feeble and is far weeker than Katrina. From what I gather this is the case. Hope it's nothing you crazy people living in this swampy, hot-and-humid, mozzy-ridden, storm-hit city aren't used to ;)

DougL @ 22

Egwene helped Rand when he was hiding in Fal Dara in TGH. Nevertheless I tend to agree. Her default position towards Rand has been to be contrary unless persuaded otherwise. She has some iffy form towards other people close to her too.

Re: Travelling and warfare. We can only speculate. But we have seen with Rand's war on Illian and eventual attack on the city itself that it's not simple and there are numerous permutations when both sides have many channelers (not just one- Sammael- like in Illian). Not knowing fully what can be achieved with Saidin and Saidar makes it hard to speculate. But from Sammael's defence of Illian city we can assume that there are ways for channelers to cancel each other out and more conventional warfare to be necessary.
Tricia Irish
45. Tektonica
HaHaHa, Leigh. I will spit coffee all over my copy of AMoL if THE Song is Kumbaya!! That would be hilarious!

I always thought of shock lance as a taser, myself. But cattle prod is probably the same.

And good luck with Isaac. He's big and very wet, but not too windy. We sruvived him here in Florida, and I don't think he's picked up too much steam. Good thoughts are flying your way!

And now to the comments.....
Steve Barkmeier
46. sbark
Is it just me or is it a really stupid idea to put a large committee in charge of running the army for a war for the survival of the world? When the framers wrote the US Constitution, the one responsibility that they gave to the president was to be in charge of running wars. Everything else the president does pretty much falls into the category of checks and balances on other branches. The whole reason for this structure is that committees are notoriously bad for prosecuting a war. There are just too many decisions that must be made too quickly to go through a committee process.

I would expect that we will see some fallout from this decision.
Steve Barkmeier
47. sbark
WCarter @30

Shouldn't that be a spanking instead of a slapping? Yes, you must spank us all!

I'm ducking now.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
48. s'rEDIT
@Leigh: we're hoping and praying with you! Thanks for getting the re-read up despite such distractions!

@ JL: Wonderful news! Give my congrats to the other half too! Be sure to love him up, hug him lots!
I always thought a Shock Lance as either a weapon that fired bolts of lightning or maybe a spread of lightning. I may have even thought they were a mobile weapon as the word Lance is used. Lances are used by cavalry and only cavalry. If something like a Lance is used by foot soldiers it is called a Spear or a Pike or maybe a Halberd or an off shoot of such.

So I have always leaned towards a mobile weapon using electricity in some form. It could possibly have flown and if so is probably why no more remain. As flying vehicles have a tendency to be unrepairable and even unrecognizable when... damaged.

Sydo Zandstra
50. Fiddler
sbark @46

Is it just me or is it a really stupid idea to put a large committee in
charge of running the army for a war for the survival of the world?

Technically, I think Egwene only handed Tar Valon's army to a committee. They left her to deal with all the Rulers of Nations. Guess who will be commanding those Nations' armies? And Bryne is not easy to manipulate by Aes Sedai...

Apart from that I strongly suspect that, committee or not, we will not be going to see AS Sitters directing troops on the battlefield in the Last Battle...

We do have some remaining Great Captains in the area or heading there, and then of course there is Mat. :)

Rand Sedai may put them in their place, like he did with Cadsuane the Uber Green. So let those Sitters be Smug for now. ;)
Tricia Irish
51. Tektonica
WhooHoo, JonathanLevy! Congratulations. Good luck sleeping ;-) Glad all are doing well.
Glen V
52. Ways
Leeh DB - Godspeed!

JL - Congratulations!
Eric Hughes
53. CireNaes

Great news. The Lord's hesed to you and yours.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
54. Birdiedude
This is my first time posting, good luck with Isaac.

I had an odd thought about Egwene wanting Gawyn back - she's just as annoyed with his antics as we the readers are. We've been watching him screw up throughout the entire series, and we can see that he's finally starting to grow up, but as far as she can tell this is yet another reckless decision on his part.

Completely off topic, but something I've wanted to complain about for a while, when Rand was being forced to learn politics and how to run an empire Egwene was always there as a thorn in side, even when he was doing a good job. Now that she's in charge there's no one around to provide the same service for her. I guess the closest this comes to being relevant is that I doubt she can see him manipulating her simply because she can't see him as being skilled enough to do that.
Alice Arneson
55. Wetlandernw
Leigh – I do hope that Isaac leaves you (at least relatively) unaffected!

Saerin – LOVE HER! She’s got such a good head, and a lovely way with words sometimes. “You’ve managed to hang yourselves quite efficiently with the lesser rope already.” Hah!

Re: Egwene’s preparations… "Us vs. Them" within Team Light doesn’t sound good from our perspective, but I still say that given her best possible understanding of the situation Egwene is correct in bringing as much as she can to stand in Rand’s way. He’s overtly intending to do something that everyone knows (or has assumed for the last 2000 years or so, which amounts to the same thing for all practical purposes) would most probably open the way for the DO to step out of his prison and take over. Even Rand thought that at first, remember? We may have some confidence that Rand is doing the right thing after sufficient research, but she doesn’t, and Rand has done nothing to convince her. I’m not sure whether Egwene’s insistence that the monarchs bring large portions of their forces indicates that she’s really expecting Rand to go ballistic, or if she’s counting on the large numbers to at least make him pause and confer before he takes off to do the deed. In her place, I have to admit that I would want as many people WITH me as I could get.

I’ve been trying to imagine what the dreamspike could have been used for in the AOL (peacetime), and the best I can come up with is: a) the channeling equivalent of a “do not disturb” sign or b) a tool to protect a given area in TAR while using it for training. I don’t know that either of those would stand up to much scrutiny, but… that’s all I could come up with quickly. (Maybe I’ll come up with something better when I’m doing dishes tonight.) If you move on to the War of Power time, though, I can think of plenty of uses for it as a weapon. (And I notice that a few other people have come up with some thoughts on the subject. Yay!)

The Dreadlords might be any combination of Black Ajah, Taim’s private Black Asha’man battalion, and 13x13 graduates. I wonder if we ever get to find out?

Veovim @4 – Good point; there was a period of about 100 years between the Bore and the actual War of Power, during which all sorts of things were developed – many of them awful and twisted “games” and “toys” created by channelers and non-channelers alike.

In fact, going back to the BBoBA and scanning through the history of that time, I have to say I see even more support for Egwene’s opposition to breaking the Seals. A lot of seriously nasty stuff started happening even with the minimal access the DO had via the original Bore. By the time the Seals were placed, the opening had been enlarged through the concerted efforts of the DO and those who had turned to him. No, they didn’t succeed in breaking him completely free, but the effect he had during those ~100 years is enough to make the idea of removing the barrier worth a serious round of careful thinking. If (when) Rand has a decent plan in place for repairing the hole, I can see removing the remaining Seals and slapping the repair in place; without a plan, it would be a terrible idea to just break the Seals and see what he can come up with on the spot. Yeah, if I were in Egwene’s shoes, I’d be opposing him too, at least until he straight-up says he knows how to fix things. I might require some serious convincing, even then.

(Seriously, folks. Even before Team Dark made their move to try to blow the prison open (the opening move in the War of Power) murder, rape and torture had become spectator sports. This is not an appealing situation, and not a door you open lightly. If I had any authority at all, much less the responsibility of leading the White Tower in the aftermath of this little project, I'd want a whole lot more than what Rand gave Egwene by way of justification. If I didn't get something better than that, I'd throw everything I had in his way until he proved that he either had something, or killed me, because that is NOT a world I want to live in.)

SPC @10 – All we’ve been given as detail is “thirteen Dreadlords weaving through thirteen Myrddraal” – no idea whether a circle is required or not. There’s been a lot of semi-heated discussion, but no conclusions, because there's just not enough information.

brentodd @13 – Battle of Camlann, I believe… Draw conclusions from that, if you will. :) Others have.

pro_star @14 – You are quite correct – we have no reason to conclude definitively that the “red-veiled Aiel” in the epilogue can channel. That pops up because we know that Aiel men who start to channel go to the Blight to die with honor – so of course, there is speculation that these men have been captured rather than dying, over the years, and have been turned to the Shadow. They may really be Aiel (brown-and-black clothing, short spears carried on their backs, the way they walk), and they might be turned channelers (hard, glassy eyes), but we didn’t see them channel. And the one Barriga saw had dark eyes, which isn’t very Aiel-like.

JonathanLevy @15 – Congratulations! May you find water and sleep.

neverspeakawordagain @16 – Some good points re: uses for dreamspikes. IIRC, it’s been mentioned that one of the things that really was difficult about holding territory in the War of Power was that bit about Travelling – and one of the things that kept Team Light from being overwhelmed was that fluke that Shadowspawn mostly can’t go through Gateways.

ChocolateRob @29 – Hey, that would be a nice idea. The only drawback is that the Asha’man are getting pretty tired, and without Aes Sedai there, they can’t link (as I see others have noted). I hope someone (in-book) thinks of that clever defense sometime, though, because it would be cool.

wcarter @30 – A short list, indeed. Once again, a tribute to the realistic human traits built into the characters in this series!

travyl @40 – “Dreadlords” refers to both male and female, so the BA isn’t ruled out by the term “Dreadlords” here.

Birdiedude @54 – Hey, there! And welcome! Gotta agree – from what Egwene could see, this could only look like Gawyn stomping off in a huff. Again. And you know, it’s hard to bond a Warder who won’t stick around to learn how to be a Warder so you dare bond him without risking him killing you by accident or something.
Roger Powell
56. forkroot
Is it just me or is it a really stupid idea to put a large committee incharge of running the army for a war for the survival of the world?
Technically, I think Egwene only handed Tar Valon's army to a committee. They left her to deal with all the Rulers of Nations. Guess who will be commanding those Nations' armies? And Bryne is not easy to manipulate by Aes Sedai...
Good point to bring up Bryne, but he will only be commanding the Tar Valon army, not the armies of the nations. Most of the nations are either directly sworn to Rand (Tear, Illian, Arad Doman, all Borderlanders, the Aiel, Ghealdan via Perrin) or allied with him (Andor, Cairhien, Mayenne.)

I suspect that Egwene is going to find out very quickly at the Fields of Merrilor that she has almost no sway.

The tougher question is getting the Seanchan into the alliance, presumably there is some epiphany for Tuon yet to come. Even when that happens, I could see something like:

Rand: I am going to appoint my best General as Supreme Commander of the forces of the Light

Fortuona: That is unacceptable. We can only follow those of the Blood.

Rand: Sorry, but I insist. I must have Matrim Cauthon as the Supreme Commander.

Fortuona: Never mind.
Jay Dauro
57. J.Dauro

"Never mind." - Very good.


I understand your point, and agree that is how Egwene sees it. But I feel Egwene is assuming he will stay around to discuss it if she tries to force the issue. She doesn't think much of Rand's mental state, and she acknowledges they haven't been able to contain him.

If we still had Rand from just before Dragonmount, Rand would show up, blow up, and game over.

If we had Rand from before the Domination Band (which is more how I think Egwene sees him still) I think Rand would show up, see all of the armies, maybe talk long enough to see that Egwene is going to try to control him instead of persuade him, and skip. He has the seals, and he can run. (Egwene just acknowledged that she didn't think the shield could hold him.)

This is one place where I think she would have been better bringing in the monarchs, plus the folks Rand respects, and talking. (Talking? In WOT. Never happen.)

Of course, I think Rand is counting on her bringing in all of the armies. So we will see where it goes.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
58. tariqata
Birdiedude @54:
when Rand was being forced to learn politics and how to run an empire Egwene was always there as a thorn in side, even when he was doing a good job. Now that she's in charge there's no one around to provide the same service for her.
I'm not sure that I agree with that. What about Siuan? Granted, a lot of her coaching of Egwene happens offstage, but as I recall there were more than a few pointed "don't get cocky" warnings. I think that her links with the Wise Ones help too; the Aiel perspective - and her desire to earn and keep their respect - is a check on her Aes Sedai assumptions.
I guess the closest this comes to being relevant is that I doubt she can see him manipulating her simply because she can't see him as being skilled enough to do that.
I also have to disagree with this. We know that Rand is manipulating Egwene into rallying the armies of the world to the Fields of Merrilor, or at least we're pretty sure that's what's going on. However, would it really be reasonable for Egwene to believe that Rand has deliberately goaded her into gathering an army to oppose his plan to break the seals, so that (presumably) he can then take control of that army? Even knowing that he's got his ta'varen nature working for him, I'm not sure where he's going with this plan, and I don't blame Egwene for not considering the possibility.
Roger Powell
59. forkroot
Regarding a plan after breaking the Seals: Wetlandernw makes a good point about how the DO's touch spread corruption over the course of the years.

If we just go by what happened in the AoL, the opening of the Bore caused a localized tragedy (the explosion of the Sharom) but it's not clear how much additional mischief the DO was able to create in the ensuing days - seems like it took years.

The initial reaction to all of this might be that it's no big deal to break the remaining seals and then try to figure out what the replacements should be even if it takes a few days (obviously Team Light doesn't have years anyway.)

The problem with that argument, is that in the few sources of information we have about the years of the War of Power, we don't see descriptions of the Pattern unraveling like we have seen in the last few books,
even though the DO was touching the world directly way back when.

You don't hear about the dead walking, people spontaneously combusting, people splitting open and bugs coming out, etc.

There is reference to issues with the Pattern caused by the overuse of balefire (hence the decision by all sides to abandon it), but the nature of the strain on the Pattern is never expounded upon.

So ... what are we to make of this? I suggest that the one reference in the SaSG about the Bore expanding indicates that it's possible that the DO himself has been able to expand the Bore behind the seals. So in some ways, he's been able to cause more corruption through the weakened seals now, than he was able to do earlier through a smaller, unsealed Bore.

This indicates that Rand probably should have a plan in place for what happens when the final seals are broken. Wetlandernw's defense of Egwene is well founded, given that Rand deliberately manipulated Eg into getting everybody to the pow-wow (by making her think he didn't have a plan.)

Perhaps Min will figure out Harid Fel's notes in time and Rand, Nyn and Moiraine (can't wait for that reunion!) will head to SG with a clear plan. Whether that plan survives Fain showing up, who knows?
David Weidendorf
60. Oberndorf
I suspect that the dreamspike quite simply didn't have a peaceful AOL purpose - that it was purpose built as a weapon to inconvenience Traveling and afflict The World of Dreams as well. After all, the Forsaken had time to cook up self-replicating biological weapons, a simple slightly malicious warding system shouldn't have been too much of an extrapolation from extant technology.

I also seem to recall that shocklances were explicitly described as man-portable weapons (in the Glass Columns sequence in Rhuidean) carried by soldiers leaning on/resting on some kind of ground conveyance. I always pictured them as some sort of directed energy weapon (probably some sort of Ter'angreal) mass produced for soldiers on either side of the war.
Has anyone speculated on whether the red veiled Aiel are the captured male Aiel channelers who have walked north, ran into Demandred, he enslaves them with compulsion and that is this army of his we can't locate?

Glen V
62. Ways
I'd be inclined to add Gaul to the list.

(Jumping in and out here, but didn't see him suggested upthread)
Eric Hughes
63. CireNaes
I think Rand's maneuvering of Egwene is for one reason: To enhance the survivability of a structured humanity (see Bandar Eben, the universities, and world hunger relief).

He will do this by creating both a large military response force for Mat/Perrin and a large audience comprised of Randland's leadership.

This gathering is necessary for Egwene to accomplish since Rand hasn't established a positive modality with the majority of the ruling class (Darth Rand). It is necessary for this to be done in a hurry as each day that passess the DO weakens the Pattern thereby weakening the Pattern's corrective efforts via its Ta'veren and the chance for a preserved infastructure. Newly integrated, savior Rand will then put forth his terms for acting as humanity's champion against the DO's champion(s?).

Rand doesn't really need those armies. He just needs a hug from his Da, a fleshed out plan, and and a dedicated team. He always wanted to leave a positive legacy before he went ultra dark. His agreement to fight will be dependent on their agreement to stop fighting and rebuild what remains after the LB. Legacy preserved, chances maximized, and he is go for launch.

Edit: Spelling
Jonellin Stonebreaker
64. Wortmauer
JonathanLevy: Congratulations! Hope the boy likes those audiobooks. Or that they put him to sleep. Either way, I mean.

Blocking a breach: Yes, even if you can only make a small gateway, you could make more than one, tying each one off, hard against each other. So even if only one or two of the Asha'man could do it, they ought to be able to block a breach. Of course, it isn't necessarily practical to go around the entire city wall building little gateways, so the Trollocs could still assault your wall. And it is possible you'd have to defend the tied-off weaves from Dreadlords attempting to sever them. (I believe that's not at all trivial to accomplish, however.)

But at some point you have to let it all go — the deeper you look into what these magic users should be capable of, the less sense it all makes. My favorite wasted ability (and I have mentioned it before around here) has got to be cuendillar. Back when Egwene was still leading an army against the White Tower, why didn't she make paper-thin, super-light-weight, infinitely hard, unbreakable plate armor and shields? Only a few of the rebels were strong enough in Earth to transmute big stuff like harbor chains in a timely fashion, but I'm talking paper-thin here. And why stop with armor? Lightweight wagon wheels + axles that will never break, paper-thin boat hulls that will never rust or leak.... (You do have to make sure the hull has plenty of brackets with holes for fittings, as you can't drill more holes after you transmute it.) Paper-thin cannon dragon tubes (though nobody who has taken the Three Oaths could help with those). Once you have the ability to manufacture objects that are unbreakable, infinitely rigid, and almost weightless, that opens up all sorts of possibilities that neither Egwene nor anyone else in the Tower seems to have ever thought of.

So it is with gateways. If you're strong enough to create one at all, there's all sorts of things you could use them for, in warfare or otherwise, and we don't see a lot of exploration of the concept. This is why I was so happy to see Androl use a tiny gateway basically as a razor, to cut leather with. (Guess we haven't got that far yet.) That's the sort of thing we don't see enough of.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
65. Bartz
@ 11. Neuralnet

Unfortunately Nicola doesn't live long enough to see any Trollocs. She is killed during the battle with the Black Ajah
Terry McNamee
66. macster
Good luck, Leigh, I hope you and yours (and everyone else in the Big Easy) make it through the hurricane all right!

Darlin: Is awesome. Egwene not so much (until we get to the Hall). Even taking into account what she does and doesn't know, and why it would seem bad to so many in Randland to break the seals, trying to divide the forces of the Light into those for and those opposed to Rand is a recipe for disaster--or would be, if she could get anyone to really stand up to him. I too doubt anyone will listen to her. Yes, Rand is the Dragon, but so few nations trust the Aes Sedai any more if they ever did...and now that they are all loyal to him or one of his followers... Still, instead of wasting time trying to stop him (and even if she isn't explicitly planning for a fight she's at least prepared for one by having so many troops to intimidate him), she should be researching the seals--either to find out why they should be broken or to come up with an alternative to Rand's plan.

On a related note, Silviana bursts in to let Egwene know about the watchtowers going out, the Borderland invasion has begun. Egwene is properly concerned. She even warns the Hall about this. And...nothing else is mentioned? We don't get a single word or thought from her, Silviana, or the Hall about what the Tower intends to do about this. No indication they've been planning or preparing off-screen for defending the Blightborder or the Last Battle in general. And this from Egwene who considers herself a Green, and with the Green Sitters all present. This decided dearth is not just troubling, it's nonsensical. Would they really not have thought about this, even with things like Rand's declaration and the Black Ajah/Mesaana in their midst? Surely they'd at least have made some sort of thought or comment. And I don't think Sanderson or Team Jordan would have forgotten this.

It seems to me this is a big red flag that will surely be addressed in AMoL. Either they haven't been planning and everything's about to go pear-shaped, or they have and it's been kept under wraps because of the Unspoken Plan Guarantee. Unless that last trope is being applied, though, I don't get why we haven't even been given a hint as to what's happening or been planned. Not even a significant look, an eyebrow lifted, some skirt smoothing, something...you'd think both being caught with their dresses down and having carefully concocted a plan of action off-screen would justify a comment, thought, or expression. But...nothing.

In any event though, Egwene and Saerin are both awesome in the Hall, and even if this is less impressive than the War Vote, I will still glad to see Egwene preventing the Hall from undermining her and creating more division and confusion. Now if only Egwene, being given sole control of interacting with Rand, actually knew what she was doing and was planning to do right by him. We can only hope he will explain himself better and she will come to her senses--because if she does, and it's because he and Min (and even Moiraine!) explain in a way that shows the dangers of the Collapse won't happen this time because they immediately have a plan for what happens after the seals are broken, then Egwene really can be a force for good and an ardent defender of the one she once said she didn't want to betray.

Side note: what Leigh quoted, about the war against the Shadow being more vast than any one person, that it's the war of all life and creation, dovetails rather neatly I think with my thoughts back in the Prologue about why we can all feel inspired by the Kandori defense even if we are not soldiers or men. Because it is all of humanity rising up in one voice to stand against the Dark One. Nice to see Egwene agrees with me. Now if only she will walk the walk, by looking beyond herself and the Aes Sedai to Rand, Min, Nynaeve, Perrin...

Perrin: I still think his reaction to Morgase is in-character, and for that matter so is the Aes Sedai's--they never break that calm, remember? Without getting in their heads we can't know how they really react. And I love Perrin's little "if I had a Forsaken after me, I'd be hiding too" bit. And Faile thinking Lini was a Seanchan queen and Gill being Alsalam is rather hilarious, considering developments later in this book. And she was right on the money about Balwer knowing, though not at all for the reason she thought! That bit with Hopper being incredulous Mat is more foolish than Perrin is also hilarious.

What I am looking forward to is just why the three ta'veren are so linked and what it is they will do for each other that will win the Last Battle. It's only one of the big questions of the series we've had from the very start. So excited!

For some reason the scene with Ituralde sleeping in the cot made me think of Egwene's dream of a man dying in a narrow bed. Perhaps because she's never met Ituralde; because Ituralde did have his leg badly injured so could have died (and was still in danger of it from the Shadowspawn); because I'm pretty sure it will be key for the Last Battle that Ituralde not die; and because while the forces of the Light clearly would be upset if he did, both the Shadowspawn and Torkumen would be celebrating if he did. Thoughts anyone?

Oh, and of course Ituralde's tactics are badass and amazing. I think he isn't giving himself enough credit, though; once you set aside his instincts to abandon Maradon because he'd been ordered not to by Rand, everything else he does is still following his instincts. And indeed, sometimes they will tell you when to change up your strategy and when to stick to it.

"the Mazrim Taim 13x13 Precinct Public School of Made You Evil Neener"--ROTFL!

Vote: Dee-PAY (or DEE-pay). And now that you mention it, that is rather like Helm's Deep...
Jonellin Stonebreaker
67. Salvation122
Brief academic note: Mutually Assured Destruction (or bilateral opposition, as it's formally known) is second only to total hegemony for stability, presuming rational actors and sufficient information. (Sufficient, in this case, means that you know the other guy can wipe you out regardless of your own actions.) This is counter-intuitive, but the math works out.
Terry McNamee
68. macster
@4 Veovim: Exactly. The seeming discrepancy Leigh is seeing is no discrepancy at all--with the hundred years of the Collapse, there was plenty of time for weapons, including dreamspikes, to be made before the War and the Breaking, and all of that is still within the Age of Legends and thus still counts.

@8 FSS and 12 wcarter: Perfect!

@11 Neuralnet: Um, the invasion of Caemlyn by Shadowspawn happens at the end of this book. Nicola and Nissa return long before then, which is why the Aes Sedai have the dream rings to use to fight the BA and Mesaana, and why Nicola is able to stupidly use one to go charging into battle and gets herself killed.

@13 brentodd: Funny you should mention that. Perhaps Egwene's dream of a serpent in a nest was not referencing Mesaana in the Tower after all, or not only that? Recall the footer prophecy from LoC about "serpents nestling in the bosom". Most have taken that to be referencing Halima, Mesaana, Semirhage, the Black Ajah, and various Darkfriends, but what if it references unknown Darkfriends/Black Ajah among Rand or Perrin's people? Say, Annoura or Masuri if they are Black, or my theory that Aravine is a Darkfriend or perhaps even Moghedien in disguise. One of them could say or do something at Merrilor to set off a battle... Or, per Wetlander, it could be referencing the Battle of Caemlyn. Perhaps a meeting between Roedran/Demandred or Taim, and Talmanes and the Band, goes awry?

Also of note: the Forsaken symbol is the serpent with the square...

@15 JonathanLevy: Congrats!

@16 neverspeakawordagain: Others have already covered this, but it seems Jordan already had the dreamspikes in mind to explain how channelers could still be forced into conventional warfare, and we're only just now having the reason why revealed and explained to us. But also note what other commenters have pointed out about the ability to make gateways, the amount of Power it takes to make ones of large enough size for armies, supply lines, and so on.

@26 Joe Heron: Great quote! Here's hoping Egwene remembers that, once Rand has fully explained his plan to her.

@29 ChocolateRob: A good idea, but as Wetlander has pointed out, the Asha'man were actually already quite tired, and they didn't have Aes Sedai to help them link and increase the size of gateways. So they couldn't really make large-scale gates to block the hole in the wall the way you describe. As for gates killing Shadowspawn, does everyone even know that yet? Unless Rand's been telling people off-screen, the only ones who know besides him are Logain and the Asha'man who were at Algarin's manor, and we don't know how many of those are with Ituralde. Plus I don't believe Rand actually told them that gates kill Shadowspawn, they merely learned the Deathgate weave from him...and as has been pointed out, only truly strong channelers like Rand and Logain can even make those. Also note RoyanRannedos's point @35.

Still, if anyone will figure out how to use gates the way you describe, whether to block holes or cut off limbs, it'll be Rand Sedai.

@31 Dholton: His tactics reminded me of that too.

@36 Braid_Tug: In TGS Chapter 10 "The Last of the Tabac", Rand sends Ituralde to defend Saldaea with "Aiel and a hundred Asha'man", so no they've been with Ituralde all along. A better question is why they weren't used before this. I guess either Ituralde and his men still didn't trust them, or they were waiting until they were needed for Healing, defending the walls, and killing Shadowspawn wholesale, and fighting conventionally until then.

@37 FSS: What Trolloc-killing wards? Unless my memory is faulty, Aes Sedai have never set wards which killed Shadowspawn, only detected them. Are you sure you're not thinking of the Shadowspawn-killing traps in the Ways?

@40 travyl: Rand has more Aes Sedai than it seems. Not only does he have Cadsuane and all her allies, he has the Aes Sedai from Salidar and the Tower who swore fealty to him back in Cairhien, and we also have no idea how many of Toveine's Aes Sedai that Logain and his Asha'man bonded may be with Rand or available for him to call upon.

@46 sbark: No one ever said the Aes Sedai were a democracy. Despite how the Hall and Amyrlin are elected, in truth they are really far more authoritarian and absolutist, and that's not even getting into the strength in the Power pecking order. But in any event, yes that would seem to spell doom for the Light...except as Fiddler noted, the Hall is only in charge of Tar Valon's forces; those of the other nations serve their rulers, who are in turn now mostly loyal to Rand or Perrin. So not only does Egwene have little chance of swaying them, the Hall can't really muck things up either.

@55 Wetlander: Very well said. Egwene does need to realize Rand isn't mad and she shouldn't be fighting him, but based on what she knows, what happened at the end of the Age of Legends (and that's even assuming enough knowledge has survived from then to let them know things didn't immediately fall apart), and what is happening to the Pattern now, she has every right to be wary and want to try and stop him. This really is all about him deliberately not telling her his rationale or plans, and what those plans will be once Min and Moiraine can compare notes. I was mad at Egwene at the time, and I am still frustrated that she can't see things from Rand's POV, but the thing is he wouldn't let her. I am sure that once all is explained she will be in Rand's court.

@56 forkroot: So many great conversations to look forward to for AMoL!

@58 tariqata: Good point re: Siuan, although after a while she seemed to not be listening to or getting advice from her any more, and after the rescue in TGS she pushed Siuan away and has charged her with earning her trust again, so... Whether her desire to keep the Wise Ones' respect is still acting as a check on her is likely, but not ironclad.

You're right about the manipulation bit though. I mean, she thinks right here in this chapter that "obliquely" she realizes what she is doing, but she never thinks "and that's what Rand wants me to do". In fact she says at another point that she thinks Rand knows he shouldn't break the seals and therefore he wants her to gather the armies to stop him. She never thinks he wants her to do so because he actually wants all the armies gathered for the Last Battle, and he'll defuse her arguments right away with his plan for sealing away the Dark One for good once the seals are broken (and his call for the Dragon's Peace from the nations, as CireNaes describes). She doesn't think this because to her it seems impossible Rand (either Two Rivers Rand or crazy Dragon Rand) could come up with something like that. Is she in for a surprise!

@59 forkroot: Very good points. Indeed it all does seem to come down to what plan Rand and Min (and Moiraine) come up with; it seems likely that just breaking the seals, when the Pattern is unraveling now as it didn't during the War of the Shadow, would be a bad idea, but if they have a plan to put into effect immediately after breaking them, it should be okay. Problem is even aside from Fain, we don't know what all will happen that could prevent the plan from being carried out--a fight at Merrilor, the fall of Caemlyn, Demandred's armies showing up, Rand dying...

@64 Wortmauer: Perhaps the problem is not enough people are creative and think outside the box. More might do so as the Last Battle starts, or in the world afterward assuming they survive.

@67: True, but assuming Egwene really does have equal forces to Rand (the guardians balance the servants, but there's sure to be more forces of the nations loyal to him or Perrin than to the Tower), she still seems to think there will be a battle (probably because she thinks Rand is still mad) and is preparing for it--which you would think she'd be avoiding since it would lead to MAD. And of course, if things go the way they did at Camlaan with something/someone setting off a battle, then the MAD would be inevitable. So while the prospect of MAD should theoretically keep things stable, with this particular climate and the possibility of Shadow interference, creating such division actually would be a powderkeg. So we can only hope Rand, Min, and Moiraine can get through to Egwene (and that they're allowed to do so), before things explode...
James Hogan
69. Sonofthunder
Just posting a quick off-topic comment to say...Congrats JL!!! So awesome to hear!

And quick on-topic, Egwene, while seemingly foolish in some matters(I understand her rationale for dealing with Rand thus, but still annoyed by her assumption of Rand as crazy person)...she sure knows how to wrassle the Hall into bowing to her wishes. Team Egwene FTW!!
Thomas Keith
70. insectoid
Late to the party again. My invitations must be getting lost in the mail. ;) (Actually, I read the post earlier.) So be forewarned that I have not read any of the comments, save one.

Oh, I hope you don't get too soaked, Leigh. I'm sending some hot, sunny So Cal weather your way! Great post as usual.

Egwene: Awesome political pwnage FTW!

It is pretty funny that Doesine and Yukiri (two of the BA hunters) stand without knowing what it's for, and so does Saerin (another of the BA hunters). Don't know if that's just a coincidence or not; just sayin'.

Faile: Toldja she was mad. :P

Perrin showing up at Ghenjei because of Mat: Interesting... didn't notice that before.

Perrin: He's still learning! Willingly! Amazing.

Ituralde: Still being badass even when the situation is dismal.
What do you want to bet they are graduates of the Mazrim Taim 13x13 Precinct Public School of Made You Evil Neener?
Also, was I the only one having flashbacks to the Helm’s Deep sequence in The Two Towers, with the hole blasted in the wall and all? Except with an appalling dearth of elves, of course.

(Sometimes I like to taunt Tolkien purists, because I am a bad person.)
Just as it should have been: three hundred, against ten thousand! >:P
Also also, survey: is the head Asha’man’s name pronounced “DEE-pay” or just “DEEEEP”?
I would say DEEP. Helm's DEEEEEP! ;)

I'll play catsup later on, but for now:

JLevy @15: Congratulations!! Get sleep while you can... ;)

Jonathan Levy
71. JonathanLevy
Thanks to all the kind well-wishers. My posting will be light, but I will be lurking as much as possible when the boys are sleeping and the wife's not looking :)

P.S. If I had to guess I would say the dreamspike originated as something completely different - say, a ter'angreal which ensures dreamless sleep to everyone within its area of effect - and only when the War of the Power started did people realize that its curious side effects - no gateways and a T'A'R bubble - were more valuable than its original purpose.
Valentin M
72. ValMar
Regarding Egwene and Rand possible confrontation in the Field of Merrilor.
From TEOTW untill now Egwene has been consistently negative towards Rand. Usually presuming the worse of him in any particular situation. It wasn't "keeping his feet on the ground" with occasional friendly poke or frank opinion. It was more like "Rand you are an idiot. Shut your piehole and do what I or my latest mentor tells you to do". Maybe she genuinely thought she was simply keeping him grounded. Fal Dara was the only time I recall a truly friendly and tender moment of her to him.
I think that all this is intentional. It was a set up for the Field of Merrilor moment. There has to be a real possibility of conflict between Eg and Rand, a tension. Whilst the main charater Good guys have had their differences, IMO, there wasn't any real doubt that they will sticand by each other during any point in the story.
With Rand and Egwene is different. There has been this constant uneasy feeling between them and Egwene's strongly expressed lack of trust since she came to power. This conflict will need to be overcome. It will be a major scene, long set up, IMO.
lake sidey
73. lakesidey
@15 JL: Congrats. A warm welcome to Leviathan Jr.

@Leeh: I still get all nit-picky when someone refers to 13x13 instead of the more accurate 13+13. Comes of being a maths teacher I assume. Also, I pronounce Deepe as deep (with the "dee" as in saudi) as Deep (meaning, appromixately, lamp) is a fairly commmon name in India. And I loved Yoeli's line - not least because I too was curious as to what a Great Captain not named Matrim could be capable of.

F Shelley
74. FSS
@68 macster - now that you mention it, perhaps only Rand knows the trolloc-killing ward. he set it up close to the Waygate at Shadar Logoth when Loial's mom and company were with him.
Maiane Bakroeva
75. Isilel
Congrats, JL!
Good luck, Leigh!

Re: Egwene, I was infuriated by her concession of prosecution of war to the Hall. Since, yea, war by committee is a recipe for disaster.
Now, I was always more invested in and enjoyed the WT plot-lines more than most in WoT fandom and I was always convinced that despite it's many problems, once the WT sorts itself out, it would become a formidable asset of the Light. Unfortunately, this chapter seriously makes me suspect that this extremely long-running sub-plot will end with a whimper, just like Morgases's one did (IMHO).

Where are sensible preparations for the TG? Where is cuendillar armor (for the AS/Accepted, Warders and important officers at least , battle training, training with the troops? Establishment of functional military hierarchy of the AS while at war? Innovative approaches to battle-channeling? Realization that wearing silk dresses to battle, rather than whatever soldiers wear is an invitation to be sniped from afar, finally? We see absolutely zero of any of it.Instead, we are treated to cretinistic injunction that Accepted (grown women, who'll very likely have to participate in TG - heck even the novices already had to fight the Seanchan!) must no be risked.

Oh, yea, and how could I forget - no reaction to the invasion of the Borderlands?!!!!

And no, Gareth Bryne cannot make up for it. Mundane army is more of an after-thought re: what the WT should have been able to contribute - namely, an army of channelers and officers who truly understand the potential of tactical uses of channeling and are able to act seamlessly in concert with the troops.
After this chapter, it looks like the WT will just play the OP batteries for Asha'man at best and/or will completely waste it's potential and throw a few inconsequential fire-balls at worst, sniffing all the way. And all the foreshadowing of Egwene as another "soldier-Amyrlin" was so much bunk. Cause, women, they can't competently prosecute war :( ....

Forkroot @59:

I am convinced that there were much weaker effects on the Pattern during the War of Shadow because the Pattern was very robust to begin with. And the effects they did have, like spoilage and crops sickening, they knew how to counter-act.
But in the Third Age, the Pattern, due to the efforts of Ishamael was thin and frayed to begin with. Every time it had a chance to become stronger, he managed to sabotage it and produce hugely destructive chaos instead.

The three powerful t'averen, unnatural acceleration of skill acquisition and discoveries among people who are going to be involved in TG, Rand's t'averen powers being so much stronger than anything we ever heard of LTT - all of these are last desperate measures of the Pattern strained to it's breaking point, IMHO. And one of the reasons the FS fail to anticipate a lot of things is that it didn't happen, back in their own Age. Maybe it is the very weakness of the Pattern that allows it. Because of this, Third Age is the one time when the DO really can break free... IMHO, YMMV.

P.S. Re: dreamspikes, reckless Travelling could be so dangerous to lives and infrastructure, that it would be only sensible if in the AoL all population centers were protected by them, IMHO.
William Carter
76. wcarter
I think you hit the nail on the head. But I also think it goes deeper than that. Everyone has their blind spots and Egwene's biggest is she thinks she always knows best. When it comes to Rand, Egwene's "I know better" mentality ventures into outright misandry at times.

That being said, she doesn't just do that towards Rand. If she doesn't immediately understand and agree with someone else's opinion on something, then it must be wrong or outdated--because it doesn't match hers. That view has ventured into all out hypocracy at times.

(For an example: there was one time she tried to pry secrets from Rand. Rand asked her to tell her the secrets the Wise Ones were keeping from him in return. She refused to tell him, then suggested he stuff an angry hat wearing cat down his breeches...)

But she doesn't just do this to Rand. She lied to and manipulated Wise Ones, Mat, Elayne, Nyneave, both halls, Gawyn, Galad the list goes on.
There are other characters in this series just as guilty of this as her--Rand, Moraine and Cadsuane come to mind right off the bat; and some far worse--Elaida.

In Egwene's defense, when she is showed that she is wrong, she admits it. But like every other fault in this series is caused her and everyone else a lot of problems.
Tricia Irish
77. Tektonica

Brilliant. I'd like to reprint your whole post here, but instead will just hope everyone read it.

You are absoltutely right. Rand doesn't need conventional armies to survive TG, but most countries will. His bargain will be their cooperation for humanities survival, vs. his sacrifice at SG.

And he does have the sworn alliegance of most of the countries already. Which will aid this cooperation, and probably surprise Egwene.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
78. JamesEdJones
Haven't posted in a while. Hoping Leigh is okay in New Orleans!

@75 Yeah. Have to agree that this is just a complete 180 on her own manipulation of the Hall in order to gain more power in the first place. Now she switches postitions, when the war becomes infinitely more important (Last Battle vs broken tower), just to gain more power. And leaves the forces of the tower under a committee. Bleh.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
79. Wortmauer
lakesidey@73: I still get all nit-picky when someone refers to 13x13 instead of the more accurate 13+13. Comes of being a maths teacher I assume.
Ha, I had gotten the distinct impression (last time we discussed this) that it was pretty much just me.
Also, I pronounce Deepe as deep
However you say it, it should probably be with the same vowel sounds and syllabic stress as Sleete. Just like Bair, Bain, and Taim, right? Like Guaire and Faile? (:
Jonellin Stonebreaker
80. Toby1Kenobi
Did no one consider putting Ituralde on wcarter's list? What about Yoeli and Bryne too?

I don't remember reading about the red veiled Aiel, but it makes sense to me that a decent proportion of the Aiel male channelers sent to fight the DO alone would have been 13x13ed in the blight.

Congrats JL
Jay Dauro
81. J.Dauro
Actually what the Hall now does is approve recruiting plans (made by Gareth Bryne), approve and implement supply plans (mostly made by Gareth Bryne). It appears the Strategy for the Army is also developed by Gareth Bryne.

So the Hall is probably not going to affect actual preparation much, they are the beauracrats behind the army. If they can keep their hands off, Gareth will have them a fighting force.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
82. Rancho Unicorno
Maybe this issue has already been dismissed by TPTB, but assuming that the Big Wheel keeps on turning (and Proud Mary keeps on burning), don't we need a new set of Forsaken?
Eric Hughes
83. CireNaes

Much too kind. Really nothing new there. It was more a blatant emotional appeal to those raised up on mid 80's to mid 90's entertainment. Myself, I was always transfixed by the F-16 at an early age. Despite the inescapably bad script and outright ridiculous technical qualities found in the inexhaustible fuel, Mk-82's, AGM 165's, 20mm rounds, and AIM 9's, not to mention the downright explosive quality seemingly built in to the enemy air base...despite it all; I still get warm fuzzies watching that movie.
William Carter
84. wcarter
@80 Yoeli's honor before logic no matter what attitude leaves him somewhat suspect.
Ituralde was manipulated by Grendel for multiple books and never questioned a series of strange illogical orders from the "King" of Arad Doman.
Gareth Brayne may make the list but only if "The Pattern Made Me Do It" is an excuse for abandoning his responsibilities as a lord to go trapesing after three pretty girls "and a set of blue eyes."

At the end of the day, it doesn't take much to get on the every so much longer "deserved to be slapped for something/mulitple somethings list". That doesn't change the fact that all three are very cool individuals who have earned a lot of respect.

Ok you got me a thinking. So it's Isilels fault okay! I'm warning you now. This is as Its coming to me, foreals!

I'm thinking Isilel, that the pattern doesn't get thin or thick. It's not vast or small and there's no up or down with regards to the pattern. The Tapestry isn't some set weave visible from afar for the Creator to see, to weave corrections or to change at its will.

No I believe very much that this world is following many of our rules even within the scope of this fictional power that inhabits their reality. And I'm thinking what Meiran discovered and found was either antimatter or dark matter. Some such that was a power to equal the One Power they were familiar with. But it was behind a barrier. And the barrier was the in between that they are just barely aware when they reach for One Power. The Creator sealed off this Dark Power because unlike the One Power its essence was of being. The Dark Power was sentient. And that One was Malevolent Evil, lusting for destruction and chaos.

Meirans Bore shouldn't be looked at as a hole anymore than
Craig Jarvis
86. hawkido
@68 macster
just a few replies, to your replies:
@4 Right on... but remember the Dream Spikes were not a weapon but a safety device used to protect people from traveling into area where it was not safe, either for them, or for the people who might be sliced in two by the gateway. (think university research centers, high population areas where there are many random pedestrians, or high security area where the only traveling is done by those with the "key" to allow them to travel through the dome.
@16 agreed... even one of the Forsaken mentions something along the lines when another forsaken visits that they used an old world curtesy of starting the weave just enough to create a chime (think doorbell) and the reciepient Forsaken then makes a counter sign telling them it was okay to enter. This implies that if this quasi weave were to be used you chould probably request entry into a dreamspike protected area and someone could let you in if they had the "key" that Ishydin mentions.
@29 Recovery of anything other than mild channeling takes days and can become life threatening. Plus the amount of channeling and type of channeling was up to the AM commander Deepe (I think it should be pronounce DP, as in short for DPS cause that is what those guys do!) Not all Am are mega destroyers... most are near typical AS strength. and I doubt many AS could do a 30 min barrage at that gap and have anything left for the next 2 or 3 days even if they were fresh at the start. As to gates as blockades Few can make a 16 foot wide gate... While Rand could make a gate sword or such, Androl Genhald has already been seen using gateways as tools (cutting leather) as he is so weak in channeling and only his enormous talent for gateways gives him any hope (I hope Nyneve heals him soon!).
@56 are they going to realease an editor's cut edition? I want all the tidbits that were sliced out for printing purposes!
@58 Whoa HEY! You just pointed something out to me... Egwene needs to take lessons from Ituralde because he just said "If you ever get the feeling you are doing what your enemy expects, do something else!" and here she is ignoring that advice just a few pages later! LOL
@67 Didn't egwene just say how secret meetings and power grabs were basically doing the Shadow's job... Glad she is not secretly meeting others to ally against the Amrylin, er... Rand, for a power grab. Cause if she was, then she would be first in line for a hypocrite award.
Craig Jarvis
87. hawkido
@85 Zexxes

You probably shouldn't be looking at Meiran's Bore any which way.
Roger Powell
88. forkroot
Maybe this issue has already been dismissed by TPTB, but assuming that the Big Wheel keeps on turning (and Proud Mary keeps on burning), don't we need a new set of Forsaken?
When the Second and Third Ages roll around again, there's nothing to prevent the same souls being reborn and becoming "Chosen" again.

Remember, balefire burns people out of the pattern in such a fashion that the DO can't snatch them and put that same personality into another body (e.g. Moridin and the 'gars.) However, balefire does not prevent that soul from being reborn as the Wheel turns - this has been directly confirmed by the authors.

(Some number of posts ago, Leah was shaky on this and was straightened out by posters with citations.)

Of course the pattern of the Ages allows for some variation, so there's nothing that requires someone like Rahvin or Be'lal to be reborn and become one of the Chosen - it might be a different soul.

If we can believe Ishamael's rantings, he is a special case (like LTT) and is always the soul reborn to be the DO's champion. I'm not sure we have any independent confirmation of that though.
Valentin M
89. ValMar
wcarter @ 76

Yes, I also think that Egwene has these character traits which she exhibits towards others, not just Rand. But she does so more variably, i.e. she can be "bad" (e.g. her attack on Nyn to cover her own deception) or "good" (e.g. post-test with Nyn). I can think quickly of other examples involving Siuan and Mat.
I can give her a pass on many of these because as you say others do it too, plus she is human. Hypocricy is one of the hardest vices to avoid, as Nyneave will tell you... Also, to be an Amyrlin a "big head", a forceful and opinionated personality, is a useful trait. Rather ironic, given all the BS she gave Rand about it.

But, as you said, when it comes to Rand Egwene's character traits that can cause negativity towards him become exagerated. And this has been consistent from the very beginning. One can even describe their relationship as poisoned as early as Rhuidean.
IMO, this tension has been build up between them for the meeting at the Field of Merrilor. The ultimate frank and honest talk between protagonists, without which the Light cannot win.

Isilel @ 85

Re: WT preparations for TG. Don't worry, it's all done off-screen, masterfully covered-up so that we are pleasantly surprised by the brilliant preps Eg did whilst we were watching her battle the Hall, catch Mesaana, and dream of Prince Harry Gawyn. She probably has found the time of thinking of a way of defeating the DO too.
Roger Powell
90. forkroot
ValMar@72 (and @89 while I was typing this)
Regarding Egwene and Rand possible confrontation in the Field of Merrilor. From TEOTW untill now Egwene has been consistently negative towards Rand. Usually presuming the worse of him in any particular situation.
I'm as annoyed as you are about a lot of Egwene's blind spots about Rand, but I can't agree with "consistently negative".

In TEOTW she worries about Rand (when they are split) and the book closes with them embracing as she worries deeply about his future (she knows he can channel, hasn't figured out yet that he is the DR.)

In TGH she worries about him and wants to protect him so much that she starts discovering her dreaming capabilities - and encounters Ishamael so often (in the dream world) that Ishy remarks about this to Rand - dissing the idea of his female protector.

Remember - Liandrin suckered Egwene (and Nynaeve) into creeping out of the Tower by dangling the idea of Rand in danger.

Egwene helped Rand in the battle for Cairhien, even though she was squeamish about using the OP in a way that she wouldn't be able to once she held the oath rod.

Egwene assisted Rand by watching the first Tower embassy meeting (cloaked.)

Egwene trusted Rand's amnesty enough to free Logain and encourage him to join Rand.

Now having listed the above, I freely admit those annoying blind spots. A particular whopper is her being annoyed at Rand about the forcible bonding of Aes Sedai by Ashaman, ignoring the fact that the Aes Sedai were approaching with "kill" orders, and not realizing that the Ashaman disabled the Aes Sedai (instead of killing them in self-defense) likely because of Rand's orders to avoid conflict with the AS. I think the Ashamen knew that Rand would be furious if they killed Aes Sedai (they certainly didn't get that restraint from Taim.)

So just to make it crystal clear, I'm annoyed with Egwene too - but I see more balance in her actions than you are attributing to her.
Craig Jarvis
91. hawkido
@89 Valmar

I think the way forward machine gives us the best hint as to what Rand will do. He will spell out his plan and tell them either do it with me my way, or do it by yourselves without me. I believe it was called the Pact of the Dragon. The Seanchan were bound by it as well.. but not the Aiel.

They have a choice and he has learned to respect that, but he also has a choice, and he has learned that you cannot forceably save someone who does not want you to save them. He has to stop trying to save everyone and just let those who refuse salvation die.
William Carter
92. wcarter
Since I've put her through the wringer a bit, now its time to defend Egwene on the whole giving control of the army to the hall. It's not as bad an idea as some think it is.

It's logical to assume the Aes Sedi are smart enough to know that a group of arguing beuracrats is not the unit you want in charge of day to day military actions. They will likely appoint Gareth Brayne as Field Marshal and give him general objectives. Let the Aes Sedi figure out as a group what needs to be done. Let the great captain figure out how to do it.

For those of you not interested in politics or the division of powers in the U.S. Government, you can stop reading now, For everyone else, I can cite for you a real life example:

*steps on soap box*
A few of the above posters are unfortunately wrong. It is Congress and not the President that has the power of war in the United States. The President is the Commander-in Chief, yes, but he cannot actually declare war. Only Congress can. Congress also appoints field commanders for operations.

The President has the power to order military action, but not to formally declare war and must ask Congress for permission to maintain a lengthy campain. Beyond that there's the National Security Council the Joint Chiefs of Staff...the fact is war is run by committees in real life.

Congress can also stop the President's military actions at any time if they are considered unconstitutional, not in the best interest in Union, too expensive etc.
*steps off soap box*

Edited for length
Noneo Yourbusiness
93. Longtimefan
Dreamspikes could have been scientific for studying dreams much like vacules. (as far as science/magic goes in the Age of Legends)

The opportunity to study a region of a dream without other dream ephemera floating into the area could have been seen as helpful to intensive study. It is never clear if something with such a basic purpose is intended to be used for positive or negative purposes. It just is an object. How one uses it is the key.

One could say that Slayer used it for "evil" and Perrin used it for "good" although unintentionally. The violet dome that trapped Perrin's army for Graendals trap was the same one he used to keep Messena's Black Ajah from leaving the Tower and luring Egwene's allies into a trap.

It is just an object. How it is used defines our opinion of its purpose.

@ 15 JL

Congratulations on having a healthy baby (well congratulations to your wife for having the baby and for you being supportive and caring)
but since you brought up the Bris and this is a fourm where people discuss gender equality, would you remove a part of a child if it was a daughter?
Valentin M
94. ValMar

I completely agree that Egwene on a personal level wishes Rand the best and will assist him as she can, something especially obvious early on in the books. What catches my attention in my current musings is the way she is regarding Rand's actions, thoughts, and motivations, as she perceives them. His ability and mental state (with some reason). Essentially his quality as a person. To give a rather far fetched example, an owner of a German Shephard dog will love it and do his best for it. But wouldn't have it answer the phone for him or leave it alone with a toddler.

But thanks for giving these examples, they provide for a little more balanced view. Particularly about her letting go of Logain- this is a big one. Though, the deeper Eg went with the AS, the more adversarial her view of Rand became, I think. No coincidence I suspect, plus necessary for the showdown.

This was rather hurried as I have to go now, hopefully makes sense. Wil be back in a few hours, don't pass the hunny...
Kimani Rogers
95. KiManiak
Thanks, Leigh! Hope you’re able to stay dry (or as dry as is reasonably possible), hale and whole.

So I’m a day late, but hopefully not a dollar (or any monetary unit, for that matter) short. Anyway, I think these chapters were a good blend of actions that bugged me a bit; slightly bugged me; were “okay, I guess;” and that were quite entertaining and fun to read.

Egwene: Believe it or not, Egwene only slightly bugged me in these chapters. Of course, that’s not how I felt when I first read this, but after several months and rereads, I’ve gotten to the point where Egwene’s view of -and tactics towards- Rand is slightly amusing. I mean, sometimes you just have to laugh at people who have just gone off into their own delusional world so much.

Egwene interprets Darlin’s comments that he is loyal to the Champion of the Light (which, by the way, shouldn’t they all be?) yet has concerns about breaking the Seals, as him joining his forces with her to “oppose (Rand’s) brash intentions?” Egwene believes that she can handle the Dragon with a “firm, familiar hand,” after their last encounter when he walked in to her seat of power, announced his intentions and then walked out? And after reading multiple reports of his actions and accomplishments, all while Nynaeve (who Egwene knows is both familiar to Rand, and has a rather… firm hand when she is dealing with most people) has been with him for months? Egwene's megalomania is nearing an all time high. And it wasn’t aided by the fact that she totally schooled the Sitters Sitting in Private. Speaking of which…

Sitters: Okay, this one bugged me a bit. Seriously ladies, how lamebrained and forgetful are you? Isn’t all this secrecy how they got into this mess, in the first place?

Seriously, one of my major complaints throughout this series is that the Aes Sedai aren’t just written as too arrogant. They are often written as petulant, backstabbing, shortsighted little girls; not the politically savvy, clever and formidable women that they realistically would have to be in order to have maintained a position of power and influence for millennia. The wiser, most respected of these women should not be this inept to where they can continuously be outmaneuvered by a 19year old girl. They just shouldn’t be.
(And yes, I understand that Sitters are often chosen for their strength in the Power, but even then some of them have to be somewhat smart and slightly politically savvy to have gotten as far as they have.)

Perrin: He was okay, I guess. He helps where he can, and he realizes he needs training to really battle Slayer. He learns about the strengths and limitations of the dreamspike, and that comes in handy later. We see the bond between him and Mat exists even in the dream; maybe that fact will be important (in relation to Rand, the other ta’veren) in AMoL? And, I have no problem with how Perrin continues to view Morgase’s actions in deceiving everyone about her true identity.

Ituralde: Continues to be awesome, and incredibly fun to read. He continues to demonstrate how Great a Great Captain can be, in any situation. He had to defend a breached city from marauding Trollocs; and not only did he get the Trollocs to do what he wanted and go where he wanted, he annihilates them once they get there. With only an hour to prepare. The guy is incredible.

Deepe: I’ve always pronounced it as “DEEP” (but never in a really deep voice before; now I’m hearing it like James Earl Jones would say it).
Kimani Rogers
96. KiManiak
Cloric@3 – Yes, the dreamspike has a rather powerful function in the real world (I think it could be argued that it is the main function, too)

BCP316@5 – I don’t think there is any proof that the entities at the end of the book are Aiel or channelers. I still think they could be *Finn, personally. As for the channelers at Maradon, I think they could be Ashaman that were turned, or just Darkfriends who could wield the Power, like Torval or those other Ashaman who tried to kill Rand at the Sun Palace along with Dashiva. Plus, we don’t know what Moridin has been doing (and who he’s been gathering and teaching) up in the Blight. He could already have an army of male and female channelers that he has been gathering and having trained in the Blight.

FSS@8 – That had me busting up! Thanks for the laugh!

wcarter@12 - I like your scenario, too.

JonathanLevy@15 – Congrautlations! And may I applaud you on your plan to get him up to speed for AMoL. Truly the actions of a great father!

never@16 – I could believe that the dreamspike was mostly designed as a defensive weapon, but that doesn’t mean that one can’t find some offensive uses for it (as demonstrated in this book). This probably isn’t the first time that one side has used a dreamspike to trap an enemy force in a certain location. However, since a number of the channelers in AoL could apparently enter T’A’R in the flesh, that tactic may be easily defeated.

Oh, and I like your creative ways of using gateways as a weapon. Nothing like trying to flood a city…

never@18 – How could Demandred have gathered and trained all of those Aiel (and I still don’t think they’re Aiel, but that’s for a different time), if he’s only been released for a couple of years? Was Ishamel holding them all in stasis until this particular point in time? Or is it more likely that (if any male Forsaken were gathering and training channelers in the Blight) Ishydin has been gathering male and female candidates and training them for awhile in preparation for the Dark One’s release.

DougL@22 – I agree with your point that Egwene is not known for treating her friends anywhere near the level of treatment that she expects. Nor does she often grant them the benefit of the doubt. However, you can’t argue with her consistency in that behavior. :-)

ChocolateRob@29 – Interesting tactics for sealing the hole in the wall. A couple of points. Maybe they didn’t have the time to come up with such a strategy (they were in a stressful situation, what with Ituralde shell-shocked, Deepe maimed and their main outer defense breached in seconds). Also, the hole has to be pretty big; maybe the Ashaman aren’t strong enough to create a gateway that size. Or, maybe the enemy channelers could have found some way to disrupt those gateways. Still, its something that I hope the Lightside’s military minds are considering (which means, I wonder if Team Jordan decides to write something associated with clever tactics associated with creative uses of the Power in AMoL). I’m sure that other commenters have added other comments regarding this by now.

wcarter@30 – Great point; the number of folks who don’t irritate us in this series is significantly smaller than those who do. I would add Tam al’Thor to your list. Also, Sorilea is a candidate for being added on. I could also submit a reason or two to take Silviana off of the list, if pressed (her treatment of Gawyn near the end of ToM, for instance). Maybe even a reason to remove Setalle Anan. However, there is a clear dividing line between those who should be considered for this list, and those who definitely should not (most of the characters in WoTland).

BraidTug@36 – I believe that Rand gave Ituralde a number of Ashaman when he sent them to defend the Blight in TGS. We just weren’t given any of their names until now. I see Travyl@40 already answered this.

ValMar@44 – re: Sammael’s defense of Illian – That’s a good point. Experienced channelers would probably have many strategies to adequately defend a city against other channelers. It is slightly different, as Sammael knew that any channeling he sensed in Illian could be considered from an enemy and he could strike blindly; when there are just as many channelers on your side as on the enemy’s side, you don’t have that simplicity working in your favor.

sbark@46 – Good point about a committee being in charge of an army. I’d like to believe that the Sitters would appoint one person to represent them as their “Voice” when setting policy and goals. Also, I would hope that they would be smart enough to realize that Gareth just needs the objectives from the Sitters; he can manage the strategy and various little details on his own. Then again, I did mention earlier that the Sitters are continuously written as short-sighted, ignorant and arrogant teen-agers; so assuming they would not micromanage is probably not wise, and putting them in charge probably is a colossally bad idea.

Zexxes@49 – I’m with you that I thought the shocklances fired a bolt of energy/electricity. However, I did envision them as handheld weapons carried by your “average” soldier. I believe the flying vehicles were called Sho-wings(?). Now, I could see more powerful shocklances placed on the Sho-wings.

Birdiedude@54 – Welcome to the mix!
Kimani Rogers
97. KiManiak
Wet@55 – re: Egwene’s actions. I do appreciate that you often try to present/defend the less popular side, and I think that type of voice is always needed. It’s good to consider the alternatives, to not just jump to your first conclusion. Unfortunately, Egwene does not have a Wetlander in her retinue when it comes to this situation.

Egwene’s “best possible understanding of the situation” is specifically due to her rejecting anyone else’s opinion or suggestion as valid if it doesn’t align with hers. Nynaeve gave Rand some benefit of the doubt and Egwene viewed Nynaeve's opinion as contaminated. I think Elayne was even wary at first in condemning Rand's decision to break the Seals, and Egwene treated her reaction with suspicion. Egwene receives a letter from Darlin expressing cautious concern and interprets it as him agreeing to side with her against Rand’s “brash intentions.” Later, Egwene interprets the Wise One’s words of caution as them allying with her and “those who oppose him” or the like (I forget the quote, book’s at home, but this is when she meets with the Wise Ones in T’A’R). Egwene doesn’t want to understand anything different than that.

Egwene sees Rand as she has always seen him: as the foolish young boy that she has to boss around and set straight whenever she can. Again, I agree that it is a very human thing to do. It still doesn’t make her actions right.

As for your comments regarding all of the dark things that happened once the Bore was created: I don’t think Egwene has that kind of information regarding this, nor do I think that those specific reasons are the basis for her rejection. She doesn’t cite those instances out loud; she doesn’t internally dwell on them. She only knows that the Seals keep the Dark One imprisoned, and she is also aware that the Seals are either currently decaying or have already been broken. I know that you like to remind us not to assume that the characters have access to the info that the readers do. I think that definitely applies here for Egwene.

As far as we know, Egwene has little to no idea of what will happen or what to do next; she just doesn’t approve that Rand had an idea that involves her forces without running it by her first. She just can’t accept him in a leadership position over her, and being able to tell other folks (which may directly or indirectly include her) what to do, without her being able to do what she wants or thinks is best for her.

Egwene has never been able to do that, even in LoC where she wanted Rand to tell the Wise Ones to let her do what she wanted, but wouldn’t compromise and trade information with him. In Rand and Egwene’s interactions, for Egwene, it always has to be her way. Once again, I agree that it is a very human trait. Once again, I don’t think it makes her actions right.

Wetlander, it’s okay to criticize Egwene for this. Join us; join the “Egwene is wrong” side (said in my best James Earl Jones impersonation) :-)

fork@56 – I like the dialogue between Rand and Fortuona. “Never mind.”

Zex@61 – That was a funny callback to our last reread post. :-)

Wort@64 – Yes, there are a lot of missed opportunities for practical uses of cuendillar, gateways and a number of other skills and abilities (for instance, with all of the beautiful things that the One Power creates, why isn’t there an Artisan Ajah full of artists that use the 5 Powers and their paired elements to create beautiful works of art?). Kind of sad, but not necessarily germane to the story being told.
Craig Jarvis
98. hawkido
@29 Gates cannot be "Tied off" to remain open... At least not like you think. Lews Therin was just about the only one in the age of legend who had that talent. And even when Rand repeated that weave, the gateway began shrinking it was only half as wide about 8 hours later. I doubt anyone could keep a gateway open for a fraction that long... even an hour. What would be better would be to make a 1/4 inch high gate that spanned half the breadth of the gap about waist high to a Trolloc. Have the exit gate come out and cover the other half of the breach. Or have multiple channelers do that to break up the stress of maintaining them ala the patchwork shield in LOC at Dumai's Wells. "It slices, it Dices, it cuts mydraal's Heads off even after cutting 10,000 Trollocs in half." -2nd age advert for "Traveling Knives, even better than Cuendillar Knives!"

Nyneve thinks at one poit about making a gateway to the Seafolk ship (cause she hates boats) She realizes that she cannot make a gateway to a "moving target" But Rand can clearly make a gateway that moves with his deathgates. I wonder in only the Input Gate can move about willy nilly. Could you make a Gateway Sword, with the output over the middenheap? You kow to catch all the shaved ham...
Don Barkauskas
99. bad_platypus
lakesidey @73, Wortmauer @79: Replace "the more accurate 13+13" with "the (probably) more accurate 13+13", and I agree. Since we don't know exactly how the process works, it's possible that "13x13" might actually be more precise. I don't think it's likely, but it's possible.

macster @68: In TDR, Chapter 3, Moiraine tells Min
"Well, to set wards that would kill them if they tried to enter camp is beyond my abilities, and even if I could, such a warding would only pen us here."
That certainly implies that Shadowspawn-killing wards are theoretically possible.

hawkido @98: The example you cite was Rand blocking someone else's gate from closing, not tying off his own weave. I don't believe we've ever seen a gateway tied off, so it's conceivable that it's simply not possible to do so.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
100. Rancho Unicorno
forkroot @88 - That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I mean it does, but it doesn't. The same souls may be reborn, but are they condemned to become Forsaken? And, if they have no choice in the matter, are they really evil?

My question, though, had more to do with the transition from now into the next Age. The more I read the comments about Egwene in this book, the more I see someone who is a bit domineering and believe in the absolute rightousness of her decisions. Maybe she is just being set up for a lesson in humility, but I wonder if she is being set up to be an accidental Forsaken. Hear me out:

Egwene gets all these armies and leaders to FoM. Rand shows up and tells them what he is doing. Gasps roll through the assembled masses. Egwene rides forward with the leaders of nations and tells Rand she will not let him follow this path of madness. Rand looks at each leader, asking them if they are still loyal to the Dragon, if they trust him. Each says that he does. Egwene mentally snaps, feeling she and the Tower have been betrayed by the world. In trying to stop his madness, she reaches for the OP. But, it is her anger that drives her. Instead of the OP, she taps the TP. She is horrified at what she has done, but as her psyche catches up, she is no longer concerned about the world - only stopping the Dragon. And in setting herself against the Light and the Creator's champion, she becomes a subject of the DO.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it.
Roger Powell
101. forkroot
You make an excellent point about how Egwene's mistrust of Rand's intentions/ideas seems to have increased as she became more deeply involved with her AS/Tower arc. In fact, most of my examples of Egwene's explicit cooperation with Rand and/or concern for him came from the earlier books.

The explanation probably harkens back to a theme that RJ has repeated over and over: Honest communication between characters yields great benefits, information hoarding yields mistrust.

I think that it's no accident that Eg's declining trust level with Rand mirrors the fact that they've been out of personal touch for a while. Heck, we even see that with Egwene's relationship with Elayne to a lesser degree.

Perhaps the big powwow to come at the Fields of Merrilor will be just the thing that Team Light needs. We've already seen a tantalizing snippet with the portion of Chapter One that has been released. Of course we've also seen that everyone is on edge and that a successful summit is not a given!
Roger Powell
102. forkroot
Rancho@the hunny
forkroot @88 - That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I mean it does, but it doesn't. The same souls may be reborn, but are they condemned to become Forsaken? And, if they have no choice in the matter, are they really evil?
Good question! I'm going to guess that in RJ's cosmology, they will have a chance to make a better choice the next time around. It seems that that sort of redemptive option would be available, given the LTT/Rand musings in "Veins of Gold".

Of course if the Pattern requires that the Second Age have a number of Forsaken, then other souls would probably make the "wrong choice". (Interesting side note - there were more than 13 "Chosen" but the Great Lord bumped off at least a dozen that he suspected of not being fully committed to him - per Demandred's recollection in WH Ch 13.)

As for Egwene "snapping" and grabbing the TP. First off, the DO would have to grant it - I supposed that's possible if he thought he was getting a new uber-Dreadlord. Still though, I doubt Egwene would turn to the Dark for the same reason that Rand/LTT says that things will be different:

Egwene, like Rand, is Two-Rivers born and raised. She is steeped in the strong moral tradition of the Two Rivers. She might be stubborn and egotistical (to go along with smart, strong, and resourceful) - but in the end she is the child of Bran and Marin al'Vere and she will do the right thing.
Alice Arneson
103. Wetlandernw
Zexxes @61 – From my earlier post:
pro_star @14 – You are quite correct – we have no reason to conclude definitively that the “red-veiled Aiel” in the epilogue can channel. That pops up because we know that Aiel men who start to channel go to the Blight to die with honor – so of course, there is speculation that these men have been captured rather than dying, over the years, and have been turned to the Shadow. They may really be Aiel (brown-and-black clothing, short spears carried on their backs, the way they walk), and they might be turned channelers (hard, glassy eyes), but we didn’t see them channel. And the one Barriga saw had dark eyes, which isn’t very Aiel-like.
It’s a fairly obvious conclusion that doesn’t require much of a leap, but it remains unproven and with a few small holes.

Wortmauer @64 – You have problems with things that never bothered me, but I can see your issues. I think at some point you have to assume that an author (being only human) either couldn’t think of every possible permutation (though RJ addressed a LOT of permutations!) or due to narrative necessity had to manufacture reasons for something to just “not work that way” because it would spoil the story. As an author, I think that would be one of the major difficulties of writing fantasy: you have to come up with a magic system that is strong enough to be cool reading, but limited enough that the magic-users can’t just do anything and everything they want. Either too weak or too strong, and you end up with a dull book. (Or at least a dull magic system.)

Because RJ did such a fantastic job of creating realistic characters, I like to blame them for thinking in all-to-human way that simply overlook things that “ought” to be obvious – like killing Trollocs with Gateways or making cuendillar armor. FWIW, Rand – or rather, LTT - may be the only person (at least until he used the Deathgates) in this Age who knew that Shadowspawn can’t go through Gateways. After all, no one even knew how to make a Gateway until a short time ago (book-time). So I give them a pass on that; Rand and Logain may teach the Deathgate weave to trusted Asha’man, and Rand may realize that Gateways could be a cool weapon, but it’s not terribly surprising that it’s not common knowledge. (And… I see macster covered this @68, too.)

As for cuendillar… as you noted, not many AS are strong enough in Earth to even form the weave; at the point we see them first working on it, there are 10 AS (including Egwene), 2 Accepted and about 24 novices. Egwene is the only one who can do the “flash” version; Leane was only barely good enough to take on the harbor chain project; Kairen was not quite as good as Leane, but she’s dead anyway; Bodewhin is not as good as Kairen, but the best of the rest. That means the rest are practically changing it molecule by molecule. Even paper-thin iron, if they can make it and get it to hold shape adequately, would take most of them several days; even Leane or Bodewhin would take at least an hour to make a single breastplate. And of course there’s the problem of making all that paper-thin iron plating in the first place… It’s not without its challenges, in any case. However, I think the real problem is that cuendillar items have always been considered “collectibles;” it takes a bit of a leap to go from “extremely valuable knick-knack” to “superior armor” in your thinking. Outside the story, it’s an easy leap to make; inside, maybe not so much.

Anyway, I don’t have much trouble finding plenty of plausible reasons for them not to have tried it yet. What can I say – my disbelief-suspension muscles are bulgy. ;)

macster @66 – re: the Borderlands… You have a different take on it than I. You expected this to trigger some (onscreen) action by the AS; I assumed that this was our “yes, the Aes Sedai know about it” moment, so we aren’t wondering how all that was going on without their knowledge. I didn’t necessarily expect to see Egwene jumping up and down and sending the entire Green Ajah off to do something about it. FWIW, there are very few scenes in the remainder of the book that could reasonably show what the Hall decided to do about the Borderlands; most of the remaining WT scenes are part of the BA-trap or the actual battle. I’m just assuming for the moment that we’ll find out in AMoL what they did about it.

Also: “Now if only Egwene, being given sole control of interacting with Rand, actually knew what she was doing and was planning to do right by him.”I think she is, and always has been, planning to do right by him. It’s just that her definition is different than yours. :) And hey – if anyone actually knew what they were doing and explained it to anyone else, there would be a lot less story here.

Re: MAD… good thoughts there, gentlemen. I can only hope that the Fields of Merrilor meeting doesn’t actually turn into Camlann. There are obvious differences, but there are some similarities too; it would be terrible if some innocent action in the middle of the parley triggered a pitched battle between Team Light forces. One can hope they won’t be drawn up into an “us vs. them” layout…

FSS @74 – Oh, that Trolloc-killing ward. Yeah, I think Rand invented that on the spot.

Isilel @75 – While I sort of agree that it would be nice to know the AS are working out plans, I’m truly grateful not to have to read them. If AMoL shows that they are completely unprepared, I’ll shake my head and say how stupid it is; if it shows that they are ready and have some plans in place, I’ll assume (as I do now) that the planning and training happened without us having to read about it.

Great thoughts on Ishamael managing to keep the Pattern from strengthening properly over the last 3000 years, and on the Pattern’s desperate measures to keep things together. It explains a lot.

JamesEdJones @78 – Now there’s an understatement… :) Welcome back!

forkroot @90 – One more point in Egwene’s defense: she didn’t know the orders Toveine & company marched under, and they were illegal orders. They were supposed to gentle and hang every man they found – no capture, no trial, no pretence at following Tower Law. If they had been following the law, they certainly probably wouldn’t have deserved to be forcibly bonded; as it is, they received greater mercy than they had planned to give.

wcarter @92 – Nice box. Good speech. (I think it’s Commander-in-Chief, though.) Anyway, I totally agree about the lame ways of pretending it was all someone else’s fault come election time. Then again, election-time rhetoric always makes me angry.

Longtimefan@93 – “It is just an object. How one uses it is the key.” Yup. That.

KiManiak @95 – You laugh at Egwene’s “firm, familiar hand” after Rand’s visit, but the AS who saw it weren’t laughing. Egwene was the only one who could even move or talk; some said they were having trouble breathing, though that may have been slight exaggeration. She gained a lot of respect from the AS for being able to not only have a conversation, but stand up to him in that situation.
Craig Jarvis
104. hawkido
@90 Forkroot

Actually, Taim DID give the order not to kill the AS but rather capture them, he used Rand's Order as justification ... Also he didn't want an Asha'man to bond more than 1 AS and was particularly upset when Logain bonded 2, as he didn't have a way to 13x13 three people at once. which he would have to if he were to continue doing so undetected.

Isn't it nice that Alverin convinced Elaida to send only AS who didn't have warders?
Jonellin Stonebreaker
105. Wortmauer
Jay-Z@85: Meirans Bore shouldn't be looked at as a hole anymore
Or, as Beidomon Nietzsche eventually learned, when you gaze into the Bore, the dude inside the Bore also gazes into you.

Longtimefan@93: is back! Am I just absentminded, or have we really not seen you in quite awhile? Good to see you, anyway.
Craig Jarvis
106. hawkido
@95 Kimaniac

Have you watched any political debates?

I would say Jordan nailed it exactly... Very few are grown-up and most of them would rather mind their own kettles. Only one or two EVER do the right thing. If they ever cooperate it is either the most dire of situations or the People need to be very weary...
Craig Jarvis
107. hawkido
@ alot about the WT army and G Bryne

His contract is up.
If the Hall doesn't acqueis to his plan of action he can just quit... Remember he swore to first and foremost build, train, lead an army to retake the WT - Done. And he also swore to follow Egwene. The Hall now has prosecution of the war (which doesn't include Bryne who is sworn to Egwene) so when the Hall gets pissy (and they will) Bryne will tell them to step off or he walks... and as they have no other Great General... Guess they need to un-piss themselves.
Craig Jarvis
108. hawkido
U forgot Talmanes.

Keep slapping it will help you remember that even you can fall if you are not weary... But drop the guilt, it does you no good. You resisted. Just remember you can be tempted subtly... I have a regular slap routine going on in my head...
Roger Powell
109. forkroot
His contract is up.
LOL! I love it. I can just see Lelaine trying to explain to Bryne about how he is to conduct the war....

Lelaine: .. and furthermore, you are to have the men ... wait, what are you doing?

Gareth: Packing, Lelaine-Sedai.

Lelaine: You can't leave now, you gave your word!

Gareth: I gave my word to Egwene al'Vere that I would help her reunify the Tower. I have remained out of loyalty and respect to that young woman. Now that you have informed me that the Hall has taken over prosecution of the War, I must respectfully decline any further role.

Lelaine: But we have no other leader of your caliber!

Gareth: With all due respect Lelaine-Sedai, no leader of "my caliber" (as you put it) would agree to report to a committee and have his discretion curtailed.

{It's just such a delicious scene, I had to write it out some to enjoy it}
Kimani Rogers
110. KiManiak
Macster@66 – I knew I got distracted from something; thanks for reminding me. Yes, the Aes Sedai are informed that the Border is being invaded, and there is no action taken to address this? No discussion of dispatching forces of Greens and Yellows to assist and augment Borderland forces? No mention of contacting the monarchs (who, at least, Elayne knows the general vicinity of their location) and working with them to push back the invading forces?

I’m not just piling on Egwene here; not one Sitter or Aes Sedai thought this was worthy of serious consideration or some type of action?!?

Wow. Just, wow. I really do hope this red flag is addressed in AMoL, even if its just a throw-away line or two.

ValMar@72 – I do agree that Egwene has acted consistent towards Rand, and it very rarely was overly supportive or encouraging. Usually it was combative or adversarial, with an underlying need to assert control or dominance. I can somewhat agree with a type of tension slowly growing and reaching a flashpoint at Merrilor.

Having said that, I really hope it’s resolved quickly and doesn’t dominate a large part of the story. I’d even prefer it happen in the first couple of chapters, and then the story moves on. Egwene is not an adversary that Rand should have to defeat. She should fall in line like his other, true, friends and give him the support he needs to accomplish his herculean task.

Isilel@75 – Valid points about the reality of the White Tower not living up to the potential that a lot of readers saw. I’ve already mentioned how I dislike their lack of action and preparation for the events along the Borderlands. I don’t agree with your concluding statement, though; I would like to think (or maybe just hope) that BWS will have both women and men contributing competently to the persecution of this war. I will even cheer for Elayne and Egwene to lead their forces in an intelligent and effective way, under the Dragon’s Banner.

Rancho@82 – Why do you think a new batch of Forsaken are needed? The Shadow already has a number of minions and tools, not to mention at least 5 (Ishydin, Landane, Moghedien, Grendal and Demandred; who am I missing?) of its original Forsaken remaining.

Hawkido@87 – Hah! No, she probably wouldn’t like that at all. It may make Mierin angry, and you wouldn’t like Mierin when she’s angry :-)

Longtimefan@93 – Clever premise about the dreamspikes. That would actually seem kind of cool. However, are you suggesting that they would take dreamspikes out of T’A’R and into someone’s actual dream? Or that they would take folks out of their own dreams and into T’A’R? Or, would the researchers just be studying T’A’R without worrying about anything outside of their local area infringing upon them?

Rancho@100 – Okay, I see more of what (I think) you’re trying to say, now. I think Egwene would have to willingly go over to the Shadow, in order to be a Forsaken. Why would the catalyst for her going to the Shadow be the fact that she disagrees with the Dragon on how best to fight/defeat the Shadow.

I don’t think just snapping enough would be sufficient for her to reach the True Power. Oh, and what forkroot@102 said, too.

Also, no bragging about the Hunny? Even in a later post?

Wet@103 – Well, I laugh at a lot of things; I’ve been told I have an excellent sense of humor! :-)

I’ll get you to the “Egwene is wrong” side yet :-)

hawkido@106 – I’ve watched political debates, I’ve watched CSPAN’s showings of Senate and House sessions, I’ve read transcripts and summaries, I’ve followed the rulings of the Supreme Court, etc. I see few, small similarities between the White Tower’s Sitters and the United States Congress (or between Egwene and the President, for that matter).

I grant the basic point (I think) you’re trying to make about politicians being childish, opportunistic, back-stabbers by nature and I don’t necessarily disagree with that. But, I think the distance/buffer the Sitters have from their constituents versus the distance/buffer that Congress has from its constituents would allow the average Aes Sedai far more checks on the terms of ineffective and incompetent representatives in the White Tower then it would allow the average citizen to exercise on their elected official in America. Not to mention the input/influence of the Ajah Heads in issues of policy and action. There are enough other factors involved that should not allow incompetence and ineffectiveness of this level.

(And no, I am not trying to make this a discussion regarding specific American politics; just critiquing American politicians as a whole)

forkroot@109 – Hah! I would enjoy reading that scene, too. Although I would be worried with the larger implications of his leaving.

Finally, all caught up.
John Massey
111. subwoofer
.... Wowza... When I started this we were on comment 38. I took a wee bit o' a kip and here we are.

@JL- brilliant! Congradulations! I went and celebrated for you ( let's face it, I am so far removed from everyone up here in the Borderlands that I figured if I may as well get started early.)

Not much to say about Isaac, I just hope that folks that live on the coast are still above sea level.

Perrin... love him.... in a strictly guy type way. Remember, this is the same person who when Maighdin(what a terrible name btw) had the reaction Leigh was expecting- all drama- upon learning about Ravhin, was choked to discover that he actually liked having tea to hand, and was reflecting on how soft his "not being a lord" has made him. Perrin's the strong, silent type. Get used to it.

Dreadlords- FINALLY! Their achilles' heel will be that they are all arrogant doofs, but glad to see them up and about. I didn't really get the fireballs either. The Asha'man would have been better served by channeling a giant bouncy castle across the gap and letting the Trollocs try to make their way across that. Let the carnage begin.

Egwene. Le sigh. One step forwards, one step backwards. She is good at dealing with other women, but guys? Forgetaboutit. Gawyn? Well he's a tool, but Egwene made a nice matched set with him. Bryne? The man is loyal to a fault. Rand? Heh. This will be fun.

@Rancho- methinks it is a "same s#!t, different pile" scenario with the Forsaken. Just like Birgitte being reborn to be an awesome archer, each and every time, Gaidal Caine, to be ugly, good with swords and fall in love with Birgitte, Forsaken are going to be Forsaken.

Craig Jarvis
112. hawkido
@ those who mentioned MAD.

MAD is not a battle tactic... it is a peace tactic, and one that does work, only so long as: The force thrown at the other side cannot be stopped and would be fatal with the same true for reciprocation, and both sides value life enough to want to survive (US and USSR).

MAD will not work with Iran... They seek the Death of those they arbitrarily deem enemy without regard to their own lives. If they get nukes (the dirtier the better)they will use them on Isreal (even tho they are down wind... dumb SOBs).
John Massey
113. subwoofer
Oh yeah, in regards to the whole tLotR shout out, Silviana, Egwene, the beacons are lit, Gondor calls for aid.

Craig Jarvis
114. hawkido
@110 KiManiak
Not JUST US politics... look at UK politics... the House of Commons is a great watch LOL! Jerry Springer shit up in there.

But your statement about the seperation between the Hall and their constituents... I would like to point out that not just mushrooms grow in the dark, but shit also. The less transparency the more shit shows up. In US politics our politicians have bullshit shade umbrellas so they can grow shit faster. Here watch this reality show while we plunder the treasury. LOL. I swear our schools are so messed up, REAL education could fix this, but alas the politicians have control of that as well.
Alice Arneson
115. Wetlandernw
hawkido @98 – You reminded me of something I came across recently that’s been bugging me. We’ve assumed, and I’m not sure why but I thought it had text basis, that Gateways can’t be tied off. Except… in KoD, Grady was doing exactly that. They were doing the Malden preparation, and Perrin asked Grady if he was all right:
“Just tired a little, my Lord,” Grady said wearily. He remained seated with his elbows on his knees. “All this Traveling we’ve been doing lately… Well, I couldn’t have held the gateway open long enough for all those soldiers to ride through yesterday. That’s why I’ve taken to tying them off.”
This makes me wonder, and I hope someone else can help me out here. Was there merely a warning that it’s dangerous to tie off gateways? Is it just not all that useful to have longer-term gateways most of the time, so we don’t see it? Are more experienced channelers really reluctant to tie off weaves? Or do we just not see it happening for some other reason?

Rancho Unicorno @100 – There’s no reason that the same souls, when reborn, will necessarily choose to become Forsaken, but of course it’s possible. Ishamael seemed to think that he was always the DO’s champion, the way the Dragon is always the champion of the Light, but Ishamael has a very…interesting relationship with the truth anyway.

As far as any “need” to have a certain number of Forsaken, I don’t think there is any such need. Depending on how exactly each turning matches, I’m sure new Forsaken will arise at the end of the next Second Age, though how many and what souls probably changes each time. IIRC, the only reason this particular group of 13 was remembered was due to their presence at Shayol Ghul when the Seals were placed, but over the course of the Collapse and the War of Power, there had been a fair number of other men and women who were also labeled Forsaken (or Chosen depending on your POV). And of course, forkroot addressed this @102.

I personally think the idea of Egwene becoming an “accidental Forsaken” is not viable. While many people have indeed become unintentional tools of the DO (and many of them without even becoming Darkfriends), becoming one of The Chosen requires a special trip to Shayol Ghul to swear certain oaths before the DO himself. Additionally, access to the TP is not an accidental thing; it has to be specifically granted (or, in Rand’s case, made accessible through a very weird psychic link with someone to whom it had been granted).

Wortmauer @105 – LOL! “I stared into the abyss, and the abyss stared back, and neither of us liked what we saw…”

KiManiak @110 – Dare I say, I gagged just a little at this: “She should fall in linelike his other, true, friends and give him the support he needs to accomplish his herculean task.” Hardly anyone just “falls in line” – they all need a reason to trust and support him. Most of them have had better reason than Egwene has had, up to now. The long separation between them was pointed out upthread. Additionally, last time they were together, Rand was acting like an arrogant, paranoid, psychotic nut job – and by all reports, got worse. And she knows about his ta’veren influence, which makes the support of Nynaeve and Elayne less convincing than it could be. If they meet up and she just “falls in line” – I’d be deeply disappointed.

hawkido @114 – Far, far too true. Especially about education.
William Carter
116. wcarter

I think RJ said tieing them off messes with gateways, not necessarily that it couldn't be done.
This would also explain why Rand's tieing off the gateway to Seanchan didn't work flawlessly.
So it's probably more a of rule of physics/the power that you can't make actual holes in the time-space continuum/pattern last long-term .

That, or it's a plot hole. Best not to examine every little detail of a story too closely no matter how well it's written.
Valentin M
117. ValMar
hawkido @ 91

I hope you are wrong. I didn't enjoy this future. Also, it will be an unexpected thing in a Fantasy setting for the a future shown in some magical gizmo to pan out exactly as shown. Though the specific point on Rand may be right but I hope not.

wcarter @ 92

I agree. It didn't bother me that the Hall has control of the army. It is only a part of the whole forces of Light. If the AS forces are to join the fight with the rest the Hall will practicaly not be able to be much involved. They will have to delegate to a commander who will work with the other commanders.
Also, the AS have experience already, last time in the Aiel War.

KiManiak @ 96

Good point about Sammael knowing that any channeling inside the defence line will be enemy. My overall point was that one guy could do so much, imagine dozens or more with similar tactical background. Facing as many other channelers with said tactical knowledge. We simply can't imagine what it will be like. Except that Travelling will be something they have to approach in some way.
@ 97
Good points throughout. Join us Wetlander! ;)

forkroot @ 101

Yeah, Egwene appears to become more cynical about Rand the longer she is estranged from him. Immersing herself in AS affairs and culture probably doesn't help... It is a major theme ot WOT so I think that it's honest and full communication that will be the key at the Fields of Merrilor and help avoid a "Camlann" scenario. It fits thematically too well. But first there has to be mistrust and potential for disaster.

Wetlander @ 103
re: wartmauer @ 64. Yes, I think we are overthinking it. It can be easily explained. The guys are new at this kind of Power warfare. As new technologies become available for war it takes time for tactics and counter-tactics to develop. Probably the guys and gals haven't had the time and opportunity to think of more ways of killing and defending with the Power. It's been mere months and little channeler vs channeler fighting, yet.

Re: dreamspikes. If they were used as a mundane safety devices to prevent Travelling into hazardous areas, private meetings, etc... they should be more common, right? I think there is more to them than being simple tools.

KiManiak @ 110
re: me @ 72. Bloody hell, in four and a half lines you managed to summarise what I've tried to express in a whole essay upthread.
As for the resolution, I think it will be relatively short. At least the conversation and reconciliation between Rand and Egwene. If anything I'm worried it maybe more hurried than ideal.

hawkido @ 114

You are right about UK politics. It's no coincidence that like US politics it's basically two party system with little or no co-operation and very adversarial character. At least things are getting much better :D Actually it ain't funny at all :(
Jonellin Stonebreaker
118. LogainsBrother
I'm surprised no one noticed it so far, but my first reaction reading the Ituralde part in this chapter was: "Stalingrad!WOOHOO!"

The whole storyline of the defence of Maradon in this chapter and the later one, basically recreates the stories of the battle of Stalingrad in WW2.
Rodel Itralde invented urban warfare right there, and it's actually not that far fetched. The Russians pretty much invented it right there by simply refusing to give up even when they had less than 10% of the city under control.

This part almost feels like it was taken out of Enemy at the Gates (the book, not the movie)
Jonellin Stonebreaker
119. Blood_Drunk
@ 18.neverspeakawordagain I was going to agree with the other guy that there was no evidence that they could channel. We only saw that they have sharpened teeth. However, I never thought about the aiel that were given the choice to fight in the blight. That is a really good theory.

25.forkroot Ya, according to the strike on Shayol Ghul, the AOL had no strife or war until the Bore. Then they learned the art of war and the weapons of war quickly. Rand tells Cads that he was the first to have a male paralis net. I agree that a dreamspike would be necessary. I am curious why Perrin makes this thing out to be evil. He says the air is stale, I cant remember if he ever says the word evil, but still. When he goes to destroy it at the white tower I was wondering why they don’t try to keep it. I know that slayer is still around, but I would think that Eg would want it to keep the Seanchan from traveling to the largely unused basement of the WT and mass an army from the inside of the tower itself. Granted that Moridin knows the ‘key’ to this one, but Eg couldn’t know that. If it were me, I would choose to use the weapons of the enemy against them, especially one that powerful.

@ 29.ChocolateRob I was thinking something similar. Such as a wall of fire, but then I thought of the enemy channelers are figured out that they could just cut through that weave. Rather than spending all of your energy to make a weave that will get cut, they make a lot of smaller and faster weaves to take out the trollocs. That’s my thought anyway, plus, from what Rodel was describing, it sounded far too big for one of the exhausted channelers to try to do. Also, even if the attacking army couldn’t use the OP to cut the gateways, then they would see that it was hopeless to get through, so they would start attacking the rest of the walls and spread out the fighting more than the light side would be able to handle and would ruin Rodel’s plan.

On the Eg issue, I really cant blame her for questioning Rand. She doesn’t know if he is sane or not. He didn’t tell her how his plan to break the seals was going to help seal the bore. And even if Eg presses the issue, I don’t think Rand even has a clear plan yet. Why are we mad at Eg when Rand hasn’t told us anything? Rand’s only plan so far is to break the seals and somehow keep the DO from getting out. Somehow??? That doesn’t sound like a plan. In the Strike on Shayol Ghul it was theorized that if LTT had taken a circle of men and women, then both Saidin and Saidar would have been tainted. Rand knows this, he told Min that ‘something has to touch HIM’ and that is why Saidin was tainted. Rand wants to break the seals and has no plan to make sure that things wont actually get worse. I think Eg is justified in asking for an answer to that question and just because Rand is the ‘prophesized leader’ doesn’t mean he is always right, nor does it mean he doesn’t need help or advise. This is a war that involves all living things and to get mad that Eg is questioning him seems unfounded regardless of having a plan or not. She doesn’t need to have a plan to know that releasing the DO without a plan sounds like a bad idea. At least talking to all of the leaders and WO’s and Aes Sedai of the world might bring about different perspectives and possibly an innovative idea. Collaboration! Of course, personally I think that to seal the bore will require a circle of men and women and the ‘thing that must touch HIM’ will be Fain. Remember Rand's wounds that fight against each other? Slap Fain on that wound and watch the Dark One squirm!
Roger Powell
120. forkroot
Good points.

BTW, I just reread TEoTW where Moiraine's "plan" for defending the Eye of the World was essentially:
"Let's take three ta'veren to the Eye and we'll figure something out."
If Fain is going to show (and be the key to "touching" the DO), how could Rand plan for that? Maybe he'll be "winging it" once again and his ta'veren nature will provide Fain at the proper time. Or maybe he'll be there with the wrong plan and Fain's appearance will help him get it right?

All just guesses, of course.
F Shelley
121. FSS
@various. I'll grant you that in the moment when Rand tells Egwene that he will break the remaining seals it is fairly reasonable for her to react the way she did. However, she's spent the time since then doing no thinking about the alternatives and all her time politicking.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
122. Blood_Drunk
@ 68.macster, @ 37 We did have trolloc killing wards. In tEoTW in the blight Moiraine said she didn’t want to set a ward strong enough to kill or ward off trollocs or else that would draw all eyes to them. Also Rand made those trolloc killing wards to put around the entrances/ exits to the ways. Also he described in more detail the one he put at Shadar Logoth that it would not kill them right away, but let them get some distance out of the ways before they died, so that they would not immediately know that it was a trap and that they were already dead. I believe that he also said that the nature of the ward meant he could only make it for shadowspawn Or humans but not both. But once again, I’m sure enemy channelers that are well rested relative to the ashaman that are exhausted, would be able to slice a stationary weave.
Alice Arneson
123. Wetlandernw
FSS @121 - Umm... except for that little matter of trapping and taking out one of the Forsaken, trying not to get killed in the process and generally doing her job as Amyrlin, which requires her to "play politics" wrt the AS, as well as reaching out to make connections with the WO and the WF. There are others in the WT who ought to be far better qualified to research the alternatives than Egwene herself.
Craig Jarvis
124. hawkido
I wonder how much strength it would have taken to just cut a pitfall in the ground (still covered by about 4 feet of stoney soil) about 100 feet deep. (that fire beam Rand used in Illian or balefire (which they do not know AFAIK)). Then when the trollocs start charging across, it will give way after a few dozen 300-400 lbs Trollocks tramp across it. The Body pressure of the rest of the horde will continue to fill the hole... 20'X10'X100' would be a metric buttload of trolloc jelly in that pit... True the ones that fall in when there is only about 10-15 feet left won't die from the fall but they would turn into strawberry jam from the thousands that proceeded after... pour some oil on them afterwards and there is you firewall also.

I really gotta stop playing so much "Orcs Must Die!", tho it makes you get really ingenious on how to eliminate superior numbers.
Craig Jarvis
125. hawkido
@123 WetlanderNW
Except Egs spent more time trying to figure out how the oathrod was defeated instead of how to defeat the DO. Which by the way was totally fruitless.

Collective Whites and Browns:
"Yup, we figured it out! Oh, there messy is! Mind-Squish her, Mother!"
"On it!" *pop*
"Well now I wish I had you guys working on something we actually needed... What was that again? Oh! I remember! Controlling Rand! You guys find out how we can keep him from doing anything until we can figure out how we can save the world like he is prophisied to do!"

Good job Egs... but if you were perfect we would hate you like we hated Will Wheaton.
Don Barkauskas
126. bad_platypus
Wetlandernw @115, wcarter @116: As I was typing the "maybe it's not possible to tie off a gateway" line in my post @99, I had a nagging voice telling me we actually had seen a gateway tied off. It figures that it was Wetlandernw that found the reference.

And, once again, the gateway to Seanchen was Aviendha's, and Rand blocked it from closing. That was what impressed Asmodean so much. It was a completely different thing from tying off one's own gateway.
Stefan Mitev
127. Bergmaniac
Personally I have no problems with Egwene objecting to Rand's plan about the seals. he didn't explain anything to her. But what's annoying about the whole thing is that instead of seeking him out and asking him to explain his plans before opposing them, Egwene immediately puts into motion her plan to stop him, which involves huge armies. She should've at least tried to make Rand explain his position. She could easily find him now, he's not hiding anymore, plus she knows about Elayne's bond. But I guess it wouldn't have been WoT if half the plotlines weren't largely based on miscommunications...

BTW, is it just me who finds it a bit annoying that Sanderson refers to Andor as a kingdom several times in TGS and ToM? IIRC RJ never did it, it was always "realm". Kingdom just feels wrong to me in Andor's case since it has never had a King.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
128. Oldwizard
That is sort of what I think too. Perrin also noticed a staleness to the air. Could the dome also keep everything inside the dome from escaping (or entering), including air. (Thinking of King's "Under the Dome" here :-) )

Also, what you like is each individuals point of view and I respect everyone's opinon on what they like and do not hate them for liking or disliking things that I dislike or like. But the HP series ir brilliant! Just so you know. (The books! And all but a few of the movies. )
Roger Powell
129. forkroot
That is sort of what I think too. Perrin also noticed a staleness to the air.
Hopper's fault. Fortunately, wolves can't blush.
Bill Reamy
130. BillinHI
FWIW, the audio book has Deepe pronounced as Deep. . . . but they also have waffled on the pronounciation of Moghedien ( mo - GED - ien and MOG - he - deen)

subwoofer @ 113: Beacons of Gondor is in my top ten favorite scenes of LotR but I do have a problem with Peter Jackson & co making one of the hobbits (I can never keep Merry and Pippin straight ;) light the first beacon. I think he wanted to give Merry & Pippin more screen time since he knew he wasn't going to film the Scouring of the Shire.

I also hope we find out in AMOL that there has been a lot of planning for Tarmon Gaidon going on off-screen as that will be the only thing that will change my opinion that the WT as a whole is a bunch of spoiled little princesses.
Bill Reamy
131. BillinHI
Subwoofer @ 111: Knew I forgot one: Maighdin was Morgase's mother's name.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
132. Blood_Drunk
@ 93.Longtimefan Why is that only boys are named after their father? You don’t see a Jennifer Jr or a Kerrie Jr only when a man names his boy after himself. I am guessing it is the idea of the transfer of wealth to the oldest son. Since for a long time in certain cultures women couldn’t hold property. Or maybe it is an ego thing or possibly a hope that a child will carry on their line of work/ legacy. I hope I’m not tossing a grenade into a fireworks factory, but all this talk about a baby made me wonder about this.

@ 98.hawkido Wow, innovative, I like how you used the exit side as a weapon as well. There are lots of creative ways of using traveling.

@ 100.Rancho Unicorno Wow, of all things that I don’t think are possible or even likely to happen, that wasn’t even on my list but now . . . ya, its on my list.
Thomas Keith
133. insectoid
Playing catsup.

Veovim @4: Good point. Reminds me a little bit (while I still have Tolkien on the brain) of The Silmarillion, where Morgoth talks the Elves into making weapons. Perhaps in the AoL they were used to keep prisoners from Traveling out of prison?

FSS @8: LOL!! Exactly. (Long time no see!)

wcarter @12: XD

nsawa @16: Good points.

RoyanRannedos @32: There you go... perfect!

sbark @46: Hmm... good point. They would have to vote on everything... food rationing, supplies, weapons, TP rationing...

Wet @55: Saerin is great, isn't she? :D
They don't even have any spectator sports right now, do they? Do fencing/practice sword duels count?
May you find water and sleep: XD

Fork @56: I can see Fortuona rolling her eyes now...

CireNaes @63: I haven't seen that many YouTube links in a long time...

Mac @66:
And now that you mention it, that is rather like Helm's Deep...
Ah! You beat me to it. D'oh!

Sandy Brewer
134. ShaggyBella
Subwoofer @ 113... Oh yeah, in regards to the whole tLotR shout out, Silviana, Egwene, the beacons are lit, Gondor calls for aid.

Thank you! My FAVORITE movie scene. I get 'Chicken Skin' watching the beacons fire up. Also NZ is so beautiful.

Wetlandernw@103 brought up that the Hall would not be able to deal with the Dragon Reborn. Every woman present was affected by his Tavereness. Except for Egwene. She is the only one who could even think with him in the same room. She did them a favor by being the one to "handle" Rand.
Egwene has always adapted and changed to fit in with each group she encounters. She has fully embraced the Aes Sedai culture, which includes opposing male channelers and thinking only she knows best.
Jay Dauro
135. J.Dauro

So we have a pit with a volume of 20,000 cu ft. What's the volume of a Trolloc? Let's say 2 cubic feet. (Probably a bit more, since a human is around 2-3 cu ft), So this pit can hold 10,000 trollocs. With the numbers that came out of the blight, ten thousand trollocs is just a banner of masons to build a bridge. As soon as the hole is full, the rest just keep on coming.
Thomas Keith
136. insectoid
JLevy @71: That seems like kind of a stretch, but I suppose it's possible.

lakesidey @73: Leviathan Jr... LOL!!

Isilel @75: Good points re: AS (not) preparing for TG.

JEJ @78: Hey... whassup? :P

@several: I think it would be fun to just start using emPHAsis on the wrong sylLAbles. Doesn't render too well in text, though.

ValMar @89: What is this frank and honest talk you speak of? No, we must dissemble for the good of the White Tower! :P

wcarter @92:
It's logical to assume the Aes Sedi are smart enough to know that a group of arguing beuracrats is not the unit you want in charge of day to day military actions. They will likely appoint Gareth Brayne as Field Marshal and give him general objectives. Let the Aes Sedi figure out as a group what needs to be done. Let the great captain figure out how to do it.
Well said!

hawkido @98:
"It slices, it Dices, it cuts mydraal's Heads off even after cutting 10,000 Trollocs in half." -2nd age advert for "Traveling Knives, even better than Cuendillar Knives!"

@several re: Trolloc-killing ward: If I remember right, Rand said that it was not an instantaneous effect; it took before the Shadowspawn passing through it actually died.

Wort @105, Fork @109: LOL!

Political debates? I avoid them like the plague. I'd rather be doing something more constructive or mind-numbing than watch a bunch of talking heads. IMO, of course.

Sub @113: Hehehe, beacons.

Fork @120: Interesting thought.

Alice Arneson
137. Wetlandernw
bad_platypus @126 – It was driving me crazy, and I knew I’d just read it… :) For what it’s worth, I also found the one place it’s addressed in the theoryland interview database:
LORDJUSS: Why did Grady and Neald stop tying off gateways?
BRANDON SANDERSON: They found that it didn’t work as well as they originally thought. Tied-off gateways behaved in strange ways; they were inefficient, ineffective, and unpredictable. There was also a considerable continuing cost to maintaining even a tied-off gateway. I can’t remember exactly when the change happened, but I think it was Jordan who made it. You can armchair this and see that he had to create a reason why they didn’t just tie off gateways all the time. If they could do that, then they would just have gateways everywhere and that would be that. So, he had to have an in-book reason to explain an out-of-book issue.
So… yeah. I’ll accept it, for both reasons. But I sure am glad I looked it up; now it won’t bug me any more.

Bergmaniac @127 – Well, RJ only used the term “kingdom” a few times anyway. FWIW, the BBOBA refers to Andor as a kingdom, in saying that “most of the inhabitants of don’t even know that they are part of a larger kingdom, much less that they are ruled by a Queen.” But as to your actual question, no, it’s never bothered me. A few minutes searching reveals that only once in each book did he refer to Andor as a kingdom, so I don’t find it a big issue.
Thomas Keith
138. insectoid
Aw, don't tell me I killed the discussion with my crazy talk of emphasizing the wrong syllables? ;)

Berg @127: I don't recall him calling it a 'kingdom', so I guess I didn't think it out of the ordinary.

However, I do remember the frequent use in this book of the word 'Crown' (capitalized), which I don't recall ever having been used by Jordan to refer to Andor or any other monarchy. In fact, according to my lazy Idealseek search, the only time 'Crown' is used by itself in that context (referring to a monarchy) is in the BBoBA!

Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Birgit F
139. birgit
When Sammael scatters the Shaido, I think he ties off the gateways and they close at random moments, killing some of the Shaido who are just passing through.
Eg leaves the paperwork of organizing armies and supplies to the Sitters. The actual planning is done by Bryne (and maybe offscreen by Green Ajah?).
Craig Jarvis
140. hawkido
@135 Jdauro

How many did they kill with their 30 minute firework show? A Deadfall like that could induce a lemmings effect as the trollocs would be shoving the front ranks into the pit only to be in turn shoved in by those behind them. But he havent seen anyone burn away that much material so I would assume that the power involved would be outside the AM's ability. I remember a scene where AM are cutting a drainage trench at the black tower in a similar fashion. There were only 2 or three Soldiers and maybe a dedicated involved... Hell they could have just used a gateway to cut the hole and drop the rubble out to make barracades. Assuming others besides Rand and Logain know how to made gateways move (so far only deathgates have been seen moving). Though cosmically all the gateways are moving at tremendous speeds and in multiple changing vectors. Must go back to the "We all make our own limits."

On a side note: I wonder how much good a book on modern medicine would help those channelers who lack the healing talent with medical assistance... they should also be able to do this upon themselves in an emergancy. (i.e. stiches, stopping bleeding, severed arteries, welding bones, etc...)
Craig Jarvis
141. hawkido
@109 Forkroot
You pulled that scene straight out of my head... beautifully written as well.
Nadine L.
142. travyl
I have a serious problem with Darlin's letter:
Rand visits Egwene, then directly goes to Tear, and tells the Aes Sedai, with Darlin present, that he will meet Egwene at the Field of Merrilor. Rand seems to be "all in peace with himself now". This letter has to be some time (weeks) later: why would Darlin describe Rand erratic, now? And how does he think it works, that his troups go to Merrilor by Gateways provided by Egwene, when Rand has his actual "base of operation" in Tear?
Could it be, that Rand told Darlin to answer like he did?

macster @66: Aes Sedai never break calm –
I prefer Bryne’s assessment from chapter 3, TOM:
Are they in control of their emotions? Or do those emotions just never change? If one is always concerned, one will always look the same.”
@ 119 Blooddrunk +128. Oldwizard:
The dome doesn’t cause the staleness:
TOM, Chapter 38, just after Perrin removed the Dome):
The wrongness was still there, in the air. He’d assumed that the dreamspike was causing it, but he had apparently been wrong. The air smelled like the Blight
Kimani Rogers
143. KiManiak
hawkido@114 – I’ve heard a bit about UK politics. I had hoped it was not true; it sounded as if they make the American politicians look classy and principled in comparison.

Wet@115 - re: “gagging” – Yeah, I make it a point to not eat or drink while reading the comments here; its all about self-preservation :-)

(Completely off topic, but when I hear the word “gag,” I flash back to the old 80’s “valley-girl” phrases “Gag me with a spoon!” and “Grody to the max!”
I can’t be the only one, can I?

Can I?)

Okay, anyway, back to your point…

As far as falling in line, I never said how far the other Superkids had to fall, nor how hard the landing was for some of them (Mat literally tried to run away in TFoH). But, there is no doubt about it; they are all in line with the Dragon. Perrin, Mat, Nynaeve are all strongly on his side, and will be at his side come Tarmon Gaidon (Nynaeve will even be at his side when he goes to Shayol Ghul).

(As for "a reason to trust and support him," what specifically was Perrin’s reason for supporting/following Rand? Mat’s? Nynaeve’s?)

Elayne may seem to side with Egwene as of the end of ToM, but originally she was not neccesarily opposed to Rand's planned action. Remember, Elayne bonded Rand against custom and has kept it a secret (even if Egwene figured it out) from the White Tower for months and up to present day. And do we really think Elayne will choose Egwene over the father of her children and love of her life (especially when Min and Aviendha are standing beside Rand) if a choice has to be made?

So yes, Egwene needs to fall in line. Or get left behind.

ValMar@117 – I get your point about multiple, experienced channelers defending a city or region against other experienced channelers. I was just using Sammael as an example of one such channeler with experience, while acknowledging the qualification (qualifier?) to my example. Anyways, good point :-)

Blooddrunk@119 – I’m not mad at Egwene (I think she is wrong, hypocritical and being contrary just because Rand came up with the idea without running it by her first).

My reaction stems, in part, from how she treated Rand when he came to her "house" (by not meeting his respect with any of her own); and also from her initial reaction to Rand telling her what he was going to do. Her initial reaction wasn’t, “Why!?” (Surrounded by as much shock and exclamations of “please explain to me why this isn’t a stupid idea” as you would expect from someone who supports you). It was, “Rand, no.”

She wasn’t inquisitive about his actions. She didn’t think that maybe there was some worth to his “plan” that she just wasn’t seeing. She didn’t try to understand him. He was Rand, she was Egwene, and (to my understanding of her mindset) Egwene always bosses Rand around and tells him what to do. That’s where part of my problem exists.

She only asks for Rand to discuss his plan after:
1) she has told him he can’t break the seals;
2) she is upset by the fact that he’s going to demand terms (again, remember in LoC when Egwene wanted Rand to talk to the Wise Ones for her but wouldn’t tell Rand about Elayne; Egwene never wants to deal with Rand’s terms, she wants to dictate), and
3) she screams at Rand for daring to turn his back on her (again, my earlier comments in a previous post regarding her megalomania).

Egwene didn’t really want to discuss his plan (like Bergmaniac@127 says, Egwene never made an effort to discuss his intention to break the Seals with Rand or any of the people who might know his mind, after Rand leaves the White Tower in Chapter 3). Egwene wanted Rand to do what she wanted and jump through her hoops. Instead, Rand has Egwene doing what he wants and jumping through his. :-)

Side with Egwene if you like (although, again Rand is the one and only Champion of the Light; while Egwene is just one of dozens, if not hundreds, of Amyrlins that are noteworthy but not unique or specifically chosen by the Creator to do anything all that special), but I think you should accept (or at least, be aware) that there is ample reason for those of us who have issues with Egwene’s behavior, to feel the way we do.

hawkido@125 – Hah! But darnit, they figured out how Mesaana defeated the oathrod. Oh, wait; no they didn’t…

BillinHI@130- re: the White Tower being a bunch of spoiled princesses – Well, they did raise Kiruna, after all…

travyl@142 – re: Darlin’s letter – interesting point. Darlin has seen the new Rand. I guess the question is: How much has Darlin been exposed to the new Rand? Is he aware of new Rand’s calm, and positive-Dragon-effect?

Having said that, I could see Darlin taking Egwene’s initial letter (presenting Rand’s “brash intentions”) to Rand, and Rand encouraging Darlin to respond as Darlin did.
Craig Jarvis
144. hawkido
@142 travyl and other concerning the "Stale Air"

I think it has more to do with Slayer's activities... or maybe he rolled in the blight before comming out there to mask his scent from the wolves. it could just be the sudden decay of the pattern being represented in the dream as a scent... only a wolf or wolfbrother could detect it through scent.
Jonathan Levy
145. JonathanLevy
139. birgit
When Sammael scatters the Shaido, I think he ties off the gateways and they close at random moments, killing some of the Shaido who are just passing through.
There is such a thing as tying a weave loosely, so it will fall apart on its own after a certain period of time. I always assumed that this is what Sammael had done, and not that it's an inherent property of tied-off gateways.
Craig Jarvis
146. hawkido
Perrin's nose... I wonder if when Rand and Gahlad are together that he can tell they are related... maybe he can sniff their butts and say "hey guys, did you know you both have the same mother?"

That is a scene that I would love to see... Faile could swat him with a rolled up piece of parchment, and say "No! Bad Perrin!"
Sam Mickel
147. Samadai
Hawkido, that's funny!
But, seeing as Rand already knows that Galad is his halfbrother, it wouldn't be a surprise to him.

Perrin smells the air as stale and dead like the blight because the Shadow is putting in a lot of effort in that area to stop Him. It goes back to the theme of decay. when the light side isn't doing anything to oppose the Shadow, decay grows stronger.
At this point Perrin doesn't have enough info to fight back, as he hasn't figured out what is happening. But he is learning faster and faster, and I am guessing he is close to being a master Wolf-dream weaver( by the end of the book at least) (will be interesting to see him take on the ter'angreal around the Black tower) Anyways what I am trying to get at ( I think) is that until Perrin figures out the plot against him, he isn't actively fighting the shadow, once he does he builds the hammer and the fight against the shadow becomes stronger. ( I bet if we get a Min pov in AMoL during Perrin and Rands first meeting, she will see so many more fireflys striving against the darkness consuming them)
Alice Arneson
148. Wetlandernw
hawkido @140 - "We all make our own limits." - That could be another theme here. It's true of most of us, to some extent; how many of us are good at thinking about things from a completely different angle than the one we've been taught? Especially if we've been taught all our lives, or if we have reason to believe that those who taught us are the best/most knowledgeable in the field?

travyl @142 - Good catch on the stale air! Now... why does the air smell like the Blight?

As for Darlin... I hadn't actually thought about that, but of course he's seen Rand since Egwene has. It could be that Darlin thought that the changes in Rand - dark/grim/arrogant to bright/purposeful/confident - was more a mood swing than a real, permanent change. On the other hand, it could be that Rand told him Egwene would be contacting him, and how he should respond. I wonder if we'll find out?

KiManiak @143 – Self-preservation, or computer-preservation, or both; I’ve discovered that laptops don’t always respond well to coffee spit-takes. (And no, you aren’t the only one with those flashbacks…) As to the rest, the phrase “fall in line” just gives me the creeps a little. I know this may not be what you meant, but it gives me a feeling of “shut up, don’t ask questions, he’s the boss and you’re just a peon with no brain.” By now, we (think we) know that Rand is all goodness and Light, but if everyone had just “fallen in line” with the direction he was going in TGS, the DO might well have won on the spot. Even then, he was the Dragon Reborn, just as much as he is now, but at that point he did NOT need a bunch of “supporters” who just jumped to do everything he wanted. He spent a lot of time being angry at people who didn’t, but if it hadn’t been for them, the consequences would have been disastrous.

Well, you won’t convince me and I won’t convince you, so… whatever.

Re: Mesaana – No, they didn’t find out for sure how she had defeated the Oath Rod, but they did find out that it could be done, which is what really mattered. This could also be extremely significant in changing the attitude of AS to the Oaths and their reliance on the efficacy thereof. It could even be a major step in getting them to move away from “Oath-bound honor” to real personal honor. (Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure many of them have a very real sense of personal honor, but they’ve relied too much on their confidence that no Aes Sedai could break those oaths.)
Jonellin Stonebreaker
149. endertek
Hi everyone!

I wanted to pose a little DO's advocacy.... From everything I've been reading, nearly everyone on the re-read is making an assumption that the light will win in AMoL. Has anyone considered that the fact there will be no out rigger books based on RandLand by Brandon or anyone else on team Jordan make you consider that all will go very badly for Team Light??? Perhaps no books can be written because there will be no fabric of reality on which to attach a plot line!
Jonellin Stonebreaker
150. Braid_Tug
Sorry to be in red, but I can't log in for some reason.

@ 127, Bergmaniac: "Kingdom", I don't remember Sanderson doing that, but if so, yeah - that would be bad of him. A land that has never had a King, would never be called a "kingdom." A "queendom" maybe, but that's a different debate.

@ 132, Blood_Drunk: Actually girls are named after their fathers. I have meet a Jamie Jr. (because Jamie started as a boys name). I am also named after my father, Dean. Toss an "A" at the end and you get "Deana", and many people who say "De-Anna". But yes, Jr. for girls are Much more rare.

@ various: thanks for answering my question on 36 about where Deepe and other came from.

Re: Trollic ward - Rand set that up on the Ways doorway. I couldn't be used on a broken wall (I think). Plus, we can't really assume that just because we've seen Rand do it around the other male chanellers that the knowledge has spread to them all. He's not really spent any time teaching, nor do we know where Logan got off too after he learned the Deathgate weave.
Also, I'm pretty sure Taim keeps some things back for his "special" guys.

Cool, got the half way honey...
Alice Arneson
151. Wetlandernw
endertek @149 - Then how do we get all those quotations from 4th Age scholars, and Loial's book?

Aside from that, RJ had written the ending a long time ago, and had planned outriggers which were to take place ~10 years after AMoL, so he must have been planning something that included a future for the world.

As a side note in general - most of us have tried to get our spouses, significant others, children, friends and relations interested in the books, with varying degrees of success. My husband informed me the other day that he'll read all the books after AMoL comes out, on one condition: in the end, the DO is destroyed and time becomes linear.

Poll: What are his chances of actually ever reading the books, based on this condition?
Jonellin Stonebreaker
152. endertek
Thanks - I do remember the Loial quotes - but they might just be pre-publishing release teasers. haha.

I was reading thru all the comments in a rush and everyone is so certain Team Light will win - I just wanted to raise an eyebrow. Thanks for commenting.
Roger Powell
153. forkroot
My husband informed me the other day that he'll read all the books after AMoL comes out, on one condition: in the end, the DO is destroyed and time becomes linear.

Poll: What are his chances of actually ever reading the books, based on this condition?
100% because you love him and want him to experience the pleasure of WoT. So you will lie to him after reading AMoL yourself.
Craig Jarvis
154. hawkido
@153 forkroot and Wetlandernw
Dishonesty is the best route! Your marriage may dissolve but you will have another person to talk about the wheel of time with!

LOL me and my ex-wife still talk about the wheel of time, not much else, but there is that!
William Carter
155. wcarter
@153 Look at this way, given that each individual age (of which there are seven) are so long, and that no two turnings of the wheel are exactly alike, you could tell him that time in WoT verse is linear.

From A Certain Point Of View you wouldn't be lying. Since, to the perception and comprehension of human beings, it is. Example: the Earth looks realatively flat to those of us on the surface--hills and valleys not widthstanding--but we all know good and well it's actually and oblique sphere.

As for the Dark One loseing and everything going hunky dory, no way he wants a story where a war has no consequences at all right? He's an adult. You would be doing him a favor to tell him it ends like it needs to. And since RJ is the one who wrote the actual "end" it does it like it 'needs' to.
michael gaston
156. Ashenladoka
First time poster here so please forgive me if I cover something yall have covered months (or years) before. Sorry but I haven't read every comment in this or previous re-reads.
I do feel that many here are forgetting something VERY important in the defense of Egwene. That being that Rand (other than the last remaining Forsaken) is the only person that REMEMBERS the sealing of the Bore. We watched it through the Aiel ancestors eyes and REMEMBERS as LTT. He knows what they did to try closing it and obviously what went wrong with the attempt and what caused the Breaking. The women AS refused to help just like Egwene is doing now. A valid point he should make if Egwene refuses is that knowledge and a "You say men caused the breaking when we went insane from the taint but lets take it to conclusion... We would have sealed the prison if women AS would have helped and the taint would not have happen so before you say men caused the Breaking again accept that your hinderance was as much a factor as the taint itself"
Rand is trying to get both sides to help but Egwene knows best.

Yes she did care for Rand and did want to help him and I honestly could overlook her continous obnoxious behavior at times. But Rand is a leader of nations and all she has done IMO is insult and ignore most of what he has said.

Rand/LTT has all the knowledge the WT only dreams of and Rand/LTT doesn't need to share his plan but should DEMAND the respect he deserves from Egwene just as Egwene did of him. Equal footing or down with the WT IMO. Get some Windfinders, WO and Kin to help and outlaw the WT. They have had 3000 years to make a plan and for 3000 years they have bickered amoung themselves. Seems like a failed institution.
Craig Jarvis
157. hawkido
@155 wcarter
linear in a non-euclidean plain.
Craig Jarvis
158. hawkido
@156 Ashenladoka

Way to jump in with both feet.

Rand (with the LTT memories) even admits that a circle of men and women may have turned out to be a greater disaster as both might have been tainted.

Rand doesn't remember much of what happened after the bore was sealed as he killed himself just a day or two after if not that very evening.

"Hi, honey, I'm home but I gotta go real soon to kill myself, just stopped in to say hi and kill you and the kids. I already got the records keeper wasser-name."
Jonellin Stonebreaker
159. samadai_atdiffcomputer
Working at an old computer for the afternoon, found this on it. It's not great, but it is my old Verin through the portal stone story.

“Gather around now” she said. She wasn't worried, she knew this would work, and by doing it allow prophecy to unfold in Toman Head. As everyone crowded together she felt something take a hold of her, pulling her into the void.

As she lay there dying she wondered what had happened, the healers had no explanation for her quick illness. At least nothing they were saying. They thought it might be poisoning from the old well she had fallen into, but nothing seemed to help the pain. She didn't understand it, she hadn't been sick, just a few days ago she and Eadwin had gone out on a picnic to the woods surrounding Far Madding, they were walking through the forest when the ground gave out beneath them. Thirty feet down, they landed in water, Eadwin hitting his head on the side of the well as he fell. Verin treaded water as well as she could holding him up, but there was nothing to grab onto in the well and slowly she was losing her grip. If she let go she could stay afloat longer, but he would drown, if she didn't they both were going too. Closing her eyes she prayed for something to help her, She didn't know what would but suddenly felt the heat of something like the sun was upon her. She imagined them floating up out of the well as the water raised from below. She felt sunlight upon her as she passed out. She awoke to Eadwin over her, checking to see if she was okay. “Verin, are you ok?” he said. “What happened, first we were falling, and now we are up here on the ground soaking wet.”Verin shook her head and thanked the Creator. “No idea Eadwin, we were in the well, and the water just started to rise, and here we are.” They had gone back home and were waiting for Verins mother to come back from the trade delegation to Tear. Five days later she lie here dying. She felt that light again burning into her as she screamed her last.
“Something is wrong”

Verin was thrilled when she passed her test and was accepted into the Brown Ajah. She knew that a life of studying everything was what she wanted all along. She felt a twinge of remorse over leaving Eadwin, but it left the first time she stepped foot in the library. A woman could spend a lifetime reading all of this, studying everything to her hearts content. She was studying some forty years when she began to take notice of what the other sisters were doing, and so she turned her attention to the study of them. For many years she watched the Ajahs and individual sisters, Sitters and others. She began to note when some met others, who they were meeting with and where. Some were just visiting friends they had created over years, or looking for followers for a particular proposal in the Hall. But there were the others, quite a few, who would try to hide what they were doing. Secret meetings that were shielded from spying on. Notes left in random places with a code that Verin was unable to decipher. She had finally cracked the code on one of them, the easiest yet, it called for “a meeting of the heart.” She crept into the subbasement to follow Chesmal Emry to her meeting. As she crept close to the door she felt the shield slide between her and the source.
Merean stepped out from the shadows and wrapped air around her. “Verin so pleased to see you, Perhaps you would care to join us” Verin felt herself being dragged into the room. The room was filled with thirteen sisters, all wearing masks.
“Verin”, Merean said, “We have watched you studying several of us, and so you are to be given a choice.” Verin felt the pressure begin in her head as the circle of women began to channel. In agonizing pain she screamed.
“You will swear an oath to the Great Lord of the Dark, or you will die. “Which is it going to be?”
Black Ajah, she thought. Verin considered for half a moment before spitting in Mereans face. Merean wiped off her face and handed a ter'angreal to Verin. “Pity. We have so many accidental deaths from people studying these when they shouldn't. Bye Verin.”
She felt the pain in her head increase and passed out, dead before she hit the floor.
Something is happening ,

She lived many lives, she died many times of a wasting sickness in Far Madding, She became Aes Sedai, she ran away as a novice, as an Accepted. She died during her tests. She spent her life in the Library and died when the Tower fell to the Black Ajah. She joined them to save her life, to gain power, to save others. She watched Moiraine and Suian die under torture. Watched Moiraine and Suian plot to find the Dragon Reborn, so she could kill him when they found him, so she could help him, So she could turn the Red Sisters on him. She was turned to the Dark One in the basement of the Tower by thirteen myrdraal and Black Sisters, she helped turn others. She saved the White Tower and statues and Libraries were built in her name. She was cast down when the Black Ajah was destroyed in the great purge, she helped the Amyrlin purge them by having her oaths to the Dark One removed. She was stilled and beheaded. So many lives, so many deaths, betrayals, heroics.

Her knees hit the ground and she became aware of where she was.

Looking over at Rand as he spoke.

“What Happened” he said.

“A surge of the One Power, you must learn to control it.”she said.

She knew she was doing the right thing, but right for who? She felt pity for Rand, so much for one soul to bare. How will he ever be prepared. “

I never thought I” she looked around and walked over to Ingtar.
Thomas Keith
160. insectoid
Sam @159: So that's what became of your Verin story... lost in the bit bucket! (We did sort of wonder.) *applauds*

I'm with Wetlander: we definitely need a "like" button! (Nobody seems to read my comments anyway; might as well have a button to click...)

Sam Mickel
161. Samadai
Thanks Insectoid. Happy you liked it. I forgot all about it on that computer. good thing I had to work over there today.

Happy you could read that, I feel like a ghost sometimes with my comments too. "Hello is this thing on?" ;)
Jonellin Stonebreaker
162. IrishAlzheimers
@ 160.
I read everything you post and you never 'bug' me. Even with
your six legs.

I also read everything that you write Samadai. Different
computer or not.
I am glad to see this truncated story .

All together now let us all ask, "Where the hell is the rest of it?
Computer ink is relatively cheap so type away.
Roger Powell
163. forkroot
Yes indeed!

{:: presses "like" button for Samadai's Verin story (repeatedly) ::}
michael gaston
164. Ashenladoka
@158 Halwkido
I seem to remember Rand saying saying something about that. Go to chapter 3 and you will see him saying..."I can see his entire life, every desperate moment..." My assumption is that he saw everything up to the moment he lost his sanity and even after when Ish "Healed" him (I know that's going all the way back but memories are memories).
Not sure where you read it was the next day he went insane but I'd like to read where too. I've only read the books and haven't been in all the theory, etc. so any pointers are appreciated. Love this series and can't even say how many times I've read it.
Still seems to me that Egwene is only trying to consolidate her own power and sees everyone else as inferior to the WT in general and her specifically, including the one and only person that can save the world. Yes I know he will have help, but honestly without him the whole series would have never been printed or told.
It is about the Dragon after all... not the prophecies of the Two Rivers Amyrlin Seat.
Remember power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Egwene wants ABSOLUTE POWER, full respect and refuses to give it sometimes even to the same people that trained and taught her.
She wants respect but never has she given it to Rand. Does she address him as Lord Dragon, King Rand (he is the king of Illian)? Nope, she asserts her power as Amyrlin and then tries to subvert his authority with his people because she knows best.
Again the WT has had 3000 years to plan and maybe its a behind the scene plan she has we don't know about going on, but if your going to possibly start WW1 in Randland right before the LB, you better have a damn good reason other than "well I think your a wool-head".

And the Perrin sniffing was hilirous!
Roger Powell
165. forkroot
Nice to have you on board.

Regarding when LTT went insane: The Strike at Shayol Ghul claims that all of the Hundred Companions (including LTT) went insane instantly when the DO tainted saidan. (I'm guessing because they were all holding massive amounts of the power - but that's just a theory.) The point was to differentiate the Hundred from the rest of the Male Aes Sedai who went insane at (apparently) random delays afterward, most likely as a function of how often they touched the True Source.

We don't know the time lapse from when LTT went bonkers to when he went home and murdered his family, but we can infer that a little bit of time lapsed because Ishamael taunts him about the destruction that the other Companions have caused.
Remember power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
You might be interested to know that the above is a slight misquote (of Lord Acton), the actual quotation is:
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
With that said, the misquote doesn't really change the meaning much, unlike the way some other famous phrases have been changed.

I would agree with you that Egwene is trying to consolidate her power - and one of the chapters reviewed in this current post shows how delicate her position was. I'll be somewhat charitable and only attribute her ambition to a genuine desire to see the WT fulfill its proper potential.

OTOH, your trotting out Lord Acton's admonition is appropriate. Time and again in human history we have seen the zealous pursue power to "do a noble thing" only to have the results anything but.

We'll only be able to render a final judgment on Egewne once we see how she either molds the WT into an effective partner with the rest of Team Light or keeps it as annoying impediment (like it has been to date.) Here's rooting for the "ooh-ooh" girl to figure it out in the end.
Tricia Irish
166. Tektonica
I want a "like" button too! That's a really good idea! Especially for those of us who don't seem to have a lot of time anymore. :-( I'm still reading it all gang.

Wetlander: Definitely lie....he'll forgive you because he'll love the books.

Ashenladoka: Welcome! Fire away! (I agree with you btw)

Samadai: **waves madly** Glad you finally found that! Now keep at it!
Very excellent, per usual.
William Carter
167. wcarter
Whatever. I'll try to study up on proper math, physics and geometry terms. But the consequences of my actions are your hands.
*reads math textbook; head explodes*
Sandy Brewer
168. ShaggyBella
Well, since I JUST started a reread... I am not sure what ten years they are talking about but.... Was the war ten years and then the counter strike? I never did figure it out.
From EOTW, Prologue
"Lews Therin raised his head, and the black-clad man took an involuntary step back from that gaze. “Ten years, Betrayer,” Lews Therin said softly, the soft sound of steel being bared. “Ten years your foul master has wracked the world. And now this. I will. . . .”
“Ten years! You pitiful fool! This war has not lasted ten years, but since the beginning of time. You and I have fought a thousand battles with the turning of the Wheel, a thousand times a thousand, and we will fight until time dies and the Shadow is triumphant!” He finished in a shout, with a raised fist, and it was Lews Therin’s turn to pull back, breath catching at the glow in the Betrayer’s eyes.
... ... ...
“Remember, you fool! Remember your futile attack on the Great Lord of the Dark! Remember his counterstroke! Remember! Even now the Hundred Companions are tearing the world apart, and every day a hundred men more join them. What hand slew Ilyena Sunhair, Kinslayer? Not mine. Not mine. What hand struck down every life that bore a drop of your blood, everyone who loved you, everyone you loved? Not mine, Kinslayer. Not mine. Remember, and know the price of opposing Shai’tan!”
Nadine L.
169. travyl
::presses the Like-Button for samadai @159::
The story is good no matter what, but I have to ask:
did you write that before or after we learned Verin's true ....end
Roger Powell
170. forkroot
I think that LTT in your first quote was referring to the ten years of the War of the Shadow. Actually, the DO had been touching the world (through the Bore) for 100 years before that, gradually corrupting the paradise of the AoL down to the point where enough people had turned to the DO to allow for open war.

So, yes, the War had been going about 10 years.

Your second quote buttresses my earlier point that a little bit of time (perhaps 2-3 days?) had elapsed from LTT going mad at SG until he went home and murdered his family - for all we know, he might have been out wreaking other havoc those few days.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
171. bawambi
Im not a big eggy sue fan but I think some mitigation is called for. She has been fained to a small degree and hamiled too. Back in the day her disrespect for Rand was somewhat playful after all he is her first boyfriend. It has grown as I think she has no capacity for personal loyalty left. For those who think Halima had no influence how is Perrin higher in the dream than she is. Dont worry though Nyn will delve her and then she can be Mother Perfect again...
Craig Jarvis
172. hawkido
@159 Sam
She saved the White Tower and statues and Libraries were built in her name.
That brought a tear to my eye... Damn right she is going to have a library, and a statue of her reading a book at a desk full of books with that damned owl keeping watch for mice. A little bronze plate will read "In the Histories, she found the Present. In the Present, she had the Presence to save the Future"
Sam Mickel
173. Samadai
Travyl @ 169

I wrote that after we found out about Verin. That one was the hardest one I had to write. Perrin and Mats were easy as we have all the info about them. Thats why I never finished this one, How to make it sound like it could have happened in the Great Hunt, and yet include bits of things that might happen in the future. I only put it on here cause I know some of you like my writing, and the first 2 paragraphs aren't total junk. ;)
Most times when I write, words just kind of fumble their way onto the page, this one I had to grasp them firmly and yank them to where they should go.
Sam Mickel
174. Samadai
Thanks, and that is an excellent bronze plate message, and it fits her wonderfully
Craig Jarvis
175. hawkido
@167 wcarter
non-euclidean plain. Euclid proposed using a flat plain for diagramming geometric shapes... however life, the universe, and everything is not flat. Thus the non-euclidean plain (or not flat, spherical even) thus a linear line drawn around the circumference is straight yet forms a loop.

This also gives us a triangle with greater than 180 degrees total, and most specifically a triangle with three right angles.

there now did your head un-'splode?
michael gaston
176. Ashenladoka
Yep knew exactly where that came from and not so much a misquote as I was trying to incorporate it into my general theme.
I do agree that her position is "less than stable" or down right knife edged if you want to know the truth considering the politics at the WT, the Gray Men, future Bloodknifes possibly showing up again and who knows what else. But my true tolerance of her went out the window when she demanded equality and then tried to treat Rand like a servent. One of my personal mottos is if you want equality from me you better give it back.
And honestly she will never be equal. Rand is the King Shiznit making him the HCIC (head channeler in charge) and then you have the other two guys Mat and Perrin. They support him and while they are important to the fight they are STILL below Rand in order. After those three then comes everyone else. I just really hope Rand puts them all in their places, WT, BT and all those idiot nobles looking for power.

bawambi@171 I'd venture that it's because he has NEVER used anything but the Dream whereas Egwene has to keep putting that in her mind. She's dependant on the OP where he isn't. Just look at Bair. She can't channal at all but is a Jedi in TER. Plus Perrin has thrown himself into numerous nightmares just to learn his way around. He actually shows that using the Dream is more powerful OP.
Chin Bawambi
177. bawambi
I'm still of the opinion that something is a little off with Eggs. Besides her actual personality that is.

William Carter
178. wcarter
@175 Hawkido
Yes that actually makes sense (which probably means it's been simplified enough to not be entirely true).

@176 Ashenladoka
While I agree that Egwene is a hyp0crit when it comes to how Rand and herself both act, I don't think RJ ever entended him to be viewed as somehow better than than everyone else. (And actually Elayne has some messed up views about that too thinking "everything would be better if Rand would just bow to Egwene.") But you're missing the point. Rand is not the be all end all, and has royally screwed up on just aas many if not more occasions than any other character in the series discounting Dark Friends and Elaida.

When it comes down to it, the Wheel of Time is not about Rand Al'Thor, it's about everyone. High and low, magical and mundane fighting for something to survive.

One of the great themes of the story is that one gender is not superior to another, and that the greatest accomplishments can only be done together.
Craig Jarvis
179. hawkido
@178 wcarter
actually that is about as steep as it gets... if you wrap your head around that then the only issues you would have are typical algebraic problems most people have when dealing with the abstract art of describing concrete objects and elements using letters and numbers.
Okie dokie, here's my opinion on the who's the most important,who should defer to who diatribe.

Without Rand everybody dies. Rand wins.

The fact of the matter is Rand is the King Fantizzle period. There is no channeler more powerful. There is no channeler living on the light side more knowledgeable, more skilled or more experienced. He's the only one of the channelers living who even has idea how to deal with the problem of seals or the Dark One.

Rand is a King in one realm, defacto King in another, is in control of two and has the sovereign of several sworn to him.

He is the most powerful Ta'veren in memory and has the support of and is best friends with the two of the most powerful Ta'veren to ever live.

Oh and if Rand fails everybody dies.

Now I don't know about you, but I don't care how powerful Egwene becomes as Amyrlin of the Aes Sedai, I don't care how influential she becomes as Amyrlin or what cockamaymie ideas she will put forth or how much awesome she puts down.

No one trumps Rand "My very presence will foshizzle make the very sweat on your brow sweetened like sunflower honey and will have your monthly menstruations smelling like Mt. Fuji spring fresh cherry blossom water, with your toe cheese as palatable as your grandmother's very best Orange State 5 time champ-ee-un Key Lime pie" Al'thor.

Yeeeeah boyeeee!

Sam Mickel
181. Samadai
Thanks for the Summers Eve commercial, we now return to your regularly scheduled Egwene, Perrin bashing.
Robert Crawley
182. Alphaleonis
wcarter @178

WOT may not be about just Rand Al Thor. But it is primarily about Rand Al Thor.

The Dark One is not only interested in the Dragon. He has expanded his interest since book 1 to include others, mainly mat and Perrin. But he is primarily interested in Rand Al Thor.

The prophesies we have been reading since book 1 sometimes have reference others, like mat and Perrin. But they are primarily about Rand.

The focus of the books from the start has been about Rand, as the very titles attest: The Dragon Reborn, The Lord of Chaos, The Crown of Swords, Winters Heart, The Eye of the World, all refer directly to Rand or one of his characteristics or prophesies about him. Other titles are not directly about him, but aren't about any of the others either.

The Prologue of the first book gets us into Rand (as LTT). Then the first several chapters are all from Rand's POV. These are what sucked me in and I presume most others into becoming fans. What is going to happen to Rand and his friends. But Rand was the start, and has always been in the middle of it.

In New Spring, Moiraine and Siuan dedicate their lives to searching for LTT/Rand. They didn't dedicate their lives to search for Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Nyneave, or Thom. Though they found them all while searching for Rand. I'm sure Moiraine is glad she found Thom, but in the end, it is most important that she found and saved Rand.

In the last battle, if Rand doesn't have the most important part in defeating the Dark One, I will be very disappointed. Yes, Egwene, Mat, Perrin, Nyneave, Logaine can all play roles. But they had better be minor in comparison to Rand's role. Else I will feel cheated. As in over 10,000 pages of buildup for naught. Like "Who needs the Dragon? We beat him by ourselves!"

Better not be. Else the prophesies are just a sham to deflect the DO's attention to those really important people?
183. Freelancer
Rand has discerned that Egwene was positioned to either oppose him, or expect him to submit to her authority. His discernment was accurate. Egwene's own thought here, in her follow-up letter to King Darlin, verifies this assumption:
The Dragon Reborn must see our full forces marshaled to oppose his brash intentions. If he sees this as halfhearted, we will never dissuade him from his course. Please come with all of your troops.
That she imagines, in any way, that a show of force will change his mind is remarkably un-Egwene-like. That is, when it comes to anybody other than Rand. Would the Amyrlin Seat herself decide that her course of action might be ill-considered, simply because people brought armies to convince her? I doubt it. Would she think that such a tactic could work on Siuan? Elaida? Any sovereign ruler? No, such people take a stand on the principles they hold, and will fight for it. Rand no less than any other. But she is so certain that Rand needs her guidance and advice to do anything right, that she jumps instantly to this plan; the plan that Rand knew she would jump to, and a plan for which, as others have already said, she has considered no alternative, even though it's supposedly the raison d'etre of the White Tower.

Well, it is fitting, paired with her crafty bait-and-switch action on the Hall. As easily as she got them to bite on the war prosecution while they handed her what she was really after, Rand used the concept of freeing the dark one to get her to bring the armies he wanted all together in one place.

wcarter @30
I probably missed one two but the list is vanishingly small compared to the number of characters who have done something (or several somethings) slapworthy human.
FIFY. That is very much one of the morals of this saga. Humans are frustratingly human, read fallible. It is also one of the many aspects which set the Wheel of time story apart from the rest.
P.S. I would add Tam and Verin to the list.

Cirenaes @63

::thumbs up:: Well said.


~ Grand news, JLevy! Take good care of that young man.
~ Hope you've kept dry, Leigh.
~ A new analyst has been hired to assist me, and it turns out he's a rabid Sanderson fan, but he's never read any WoT. He also has read nothing but e-books for the last 5 years, so I brought in my signed Way of Kings and Towers of Midnight, and he went apoplectic.
William Carter
184. wcarter
Slapworthy human. I consider the two so interchangle using them both in the same sentence is tantamount to repeating one's self.
I'm also fully cognizant of the fact I have deserved a place on that list many a time in my life.
Robert Crawley
185. Alphaleonis
Free @183

Sorry to hear that you needed an analysts help.

Actually, I talked to an analyst several months ago about my addictions. I told him that I am addicted to 3 things: my wife, food, and The Wheel of Time. I had to explain to him what WOT is. He told me that those were not true addictions because there is not a point of "diminishing returns". After considering this for some time, I concluded he is incorrect, PHD or not. No point of diminishing returns with food? And sadly, there is one for WOT also, if it keeps me from accomplishing more important things. Which it was at that time.

Now, I won't let myself read in a WOT book unless I have read at least 2 chapters in the scriptures that day. That has worked out really well,because since I am still addicted to WOT, it means I am addicted to the scriptures too.

Also, the way I am currently reading WOT is out loud with my wife. That enables me to do both addictions at the same time. And one of them really doesn't have a point of diminishing returns.

I've not solved the food addiction yet. But I have become addicted to running to make up for it. If only I could burn as many calories per day as Michael Phelps. I heard it is 18,000.
Glen V
186. Ways
What an amazing week for comments! Lack of time to jump in this week had me eating late-night ketchup. And those walls of text around post 100...hoo, boy...the many intricate loop-backs within loop-backs had my head spinning. Finally got to the end tonight (well, this morning). The 2-hunny is a real possibility and only the US holiday this weekend might dampen enthusiasm.

Alphaleonis @185 - Going a little sideways here, but...Gerald May, MD, does not agree with your analyst. Read/skim Addicition & Grace if you're interested in the other side of the coin (from a spiritual approach). Aside: I'm thinking Freelancer had a different kind of analyst in mind.

Free and wcarter - I'm pushing the "like" button for Gaul again.

Ashenladoka @176 - HCIC...love it!

forkroot @165 - non-100 Companions male channelers were definitely going crazy with random timing - hiding out in Steddings, and probably related to strength in and/or use of OP (as you mentioned).

Samadai (of the Old-computer Aiel) @159 - ::like, like, like:: Want more, more, more (an ending to the Verin story)!

Wetlander @151 - Just encourage hubby to read the books, regardless. We have a pretty good idea that time is not going to go linear in WoT, so you're more-or-less doomed from the get-go. My wife is an avid reader; got me started with TEOTW 20+ years ago as a Christmas present; understands how much time I spend on these re-reads, checking references on other sites, just generally re-reading the series; talking about getting a BS autograph in a couple of the books; etc. And yet, she won't read the books because it's not her genre. So, good luck to you with hubby.

BTW - I think you are getting the 13x13 treatment (or 13+13, whatever), wrt Egwene, by the other commenters herein. :-)

KiManiak @110 - You were missing Mesaana, but you probaby figured that out by now and she's not worth much after a few more chapters.

Enough for now, good morning all.

Edit - spell check.
Chin Bawambi
187. bawambi
Another take on Eggs v Rand in the WT. I liken Eggs to someone who has made it to the second day at the WSOP by beating mainly noobs and getting superior cards. She is in no way ready for the final table as she was easily manipulated by a man who has somewhat successfully brought most of the WoT countries under his sphere of influence. The BA has devastated the WT over the millenia by making sure the weakest of the sisters who are not BA are in charge and the strongest of their own are in charge. Cads (very strong willed) for example seems to be disgusted with the politicing in the tower so much that she exiled herself for many years. BA much poker-fu WT left behind not so much.
Robert Crawley
188. Alphaleonis
@186 Ways

Again, I get into trouble by not putting jk or TIC after some of my comments. Freelancer's comments about "A new analyst has been hired to assist me" - I knew what that meant, just thought I could crack a joke about it to introduce my story about my conversation with the analyst. I thought of saying "Free, I thought you needed an analyst." But if Free didn't take it as a joke, that would have been a putdown that I definitely wouldn't have wanted to go that way. Especially since Freelancer is one of my favorite commenters here. I almost always agree with his/her comments, and definitely don't think he/she needs an analyst.

To clarify, I didn't need an analyst either. The conversation I had with him was in the hall of my church between meetings, as we were walking to a class. He and his wife (who is also an analyst) had been teaching a class on addictions which leaders of the congregation had suggested that everyone take. The class they taught had been during regular Sunday School hours, and 6 or 8 couples took it at a time for about a 6 week period. I had finished the course a few weeks before and just happened to catch him in the hall as we walked to the next portion of Sunday services, and what I said to him was also somewhat of a joke. Though true. Those are my three addictions. But I really wasn't seeking help. I'm proud of those 3 addictions. Well maybe just two of them. The food one I am really trying to get better controlled.

I think most if not all of the regular posters on here are "addicted" to WOT. Would that be a bad thing in Gerald may's opinion?
Ron Garrison
189. Man-0-Manetheran
Samadai: Loved the Verin story. Like Tek, by the time I get through all the posts, I’m out of time or feel there is nothing new left to say. So I say nothing. And I tender one more vote for a “Like” button.

Wetlandernw: ShaggyBella’s quote from tEotW ("You and I have fought a thousand battles with the turning of the Wheel, a thousand times a thousand, and we will fight until time dies and the Shadow is triumphant!") tells me that your husband won’t be reading WoT — unless you creatively lie to him as some have suggested...

Hawkido: "In the Histories, she found the Present. In the Present, she had the Presence to save the Future" Awww. :’ (

Egwene/Rand: It’s always been my assumption that part of the outcome of this story is that the historic “Tower” will be united again — the yin and the yang of the ancient symbol. I expect (hope?) that this will be a moment of awesome between Egwene and Rand at Merrilor.

Dreamspike: When contemplating its origin and use, I think it would be useful to consider the name: DREAMspike. Just sayin’...

Merrilor and Aftermath: “The Peace of the Dragon” This will be the essence of the pact made at Merrilor.
I just want to go on the record and state that as far as I'm concerned, the amount of Awesome Egwene puts down is more than enough to overcome her short comings. She just has a couple more blind spots to do away with.

I guess it's a matter of degree. When she gets obtuse, she does so in the most infuriating way. But compared to Gawyn's antics, Egwene is barely short of plum, comparatively. And that's not even mentioning Darth Rand's brand of jello brained idiocy. And let's not get started on Perrin. Or even worse, the all time favorite punching bag, Cadsuane.

It makes me realize that the only main characters in the book that you really can't trip out over is Mat, Lan and Thom. Well... in my opinion at least.

Glen V
191. Ways
Alphaleonis @188 - not to worry, it's all good. I wasn't being critical of your twist on "analyst" (nor was I thinking you needed one). Liberal use of LOLs and smiley faces, etc., does tend to mitigate misuderstandings here, though, since we are totally missing the body language component in our discussions. However, I believe the majority of us have a well-developed sense of humor, if somewhat dry, and "get the drift" (most of the time) even when meanings can be taken multiple ways. I am also guilty of leaving out LOLs and should have put one in my reply to you in the "aside" comment @186.

Anywhooo...I had noticed from your previous posts that you have a distinct spiritual/religious leaning (as do several other commenters), hence the reference I cited (should you be interested in further reading). It's not a long book. A good friend (and Episcopal priest) gave me Dr. May's book when my family was struggling with a drug addict in our family. Dr. May proposes that all activities taken to obsessive levels are addictions, be it eating, shopping, gambling, exercising, video games or, yes, even WOT. This is because
obsessive levels (that's the key) of any activity have some degree of negative impact on self and/or family. Of course there is a huge difference between being a hard-core drug addict and occasionally losing a few hours sleep participating herein. But, you can imagine that if WOT and this re-read became obsessive, then someone's job, livelihood, and eventually family structure, could suffer. WOT would be an addicition at that point. Diminishing returns are not necessary for true addiction (provided I understand Dr. May correctly), it's the negative consequences that result from the activity that are the qualification.

Dr. May states that something must take the place of the obsessive behavior (fill the hole) to completely cure an addiction. Simply putting an opioid addict on methadone or suboxone therapy, then tapering the dose of the replacment drug to zero, is not enough. His solution is belief and complete trust in a higher authority (God, not the Federal Government - LOL). I'm oversimpifying here because this comment is starting to look like a wall of text and I'm going way sideways (apologies to other commenters).

So let's get back to WOT. Hopefully, LDB has survived the ill weather in NOLA without incident and we will have a new post to tackle next Tuesday!

I can smell the 2-hunny now.
192. Freelancer

My wife wants it understood in no uncertain terms that I'm a male. And never fear, it was apparent that your humorous segue was neither a misunderstanding of my comments, nor an insult. You see, contrary to those who cannot, I can tell the difference. And as you'll gather from the following comments, I would agree with much of the conversation you shared.
::response to yanked chain in 3..2..1..::

Ways @191

Not sideways at all. Addiction is so very much more common than people are generally willing to admit. It can be as simple as your favorite TV show. If you are so set on engaging in a desired behavior that you will choose it, even when there are obviously undesirable results, you are addicted. That's not a clinical definition, it is a functional one. I used to play several RPGs, and unfailingly there would be some participants who practically lived their lives in the virtual world, while ignoring their families, jobs, meals, etc. Some pepole who have overcome weight problems through strength training or running become unable to go without multiple workouts a day, even if they are sick or exhausted, or at the expense of family or social functions. Other addictions are much more mundane, but no less real. Many addictions are ignored simply because the behavior itself is not a destructive one, though it becomes so when taken to excess.
"And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things."
~ I Cor. 9:25
Peer pressure pulls many people into addictive behaviors, and helps keep them locked in, as the other addicts will become very harsh with one who tries to free themself...
"Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you"
~ 1 Pet 4:4
Most, though not all, addictive behaviors take root from some selfish seed. The most effective method of breaking it is to identify and surrender the relevant selfishness, and replace it with a charitable behavior, by which is meant one focused on other people, not oneself. Once the root is severed, the wish to continue the addictive behavior will almost always vanish as if it were never there.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
193. surmiser
longtimefan@93: re:dreamspike - i'm just guessing that Lanfear originally found one dreamspike protecting Rhuidean and concealed it (after Rand's battle with Asmodean in TSR). And when she was being fitted for a mindtrap (same as Moghedien), she then used it to trade in for "one last chance" to serve the Shadow.
Wahoh! The dastardly and damnable dread double post strikes again.

*Cough, cough* hurumbumgurglblumbergaaaah!

Sorry! Someone just made me snort my soda right out my nose.


Jonellin Stonebreaker
196. Surmiser
@Zexxes, 195 -- Disbelief -- TSR describes Rhuidean several times before the LTT-Asmo battle as "cannot be entered in a dream...", "cannot be reached by Travelling.. but only by skimming to the edge near Chaendaer" . In Chapter 58 Traps of Rhuidean, it was described "The bluish glow of the fog dome cast its shadowless light..". This comes close to how the Wolfbrother sees the effect of the dreamspike in ToM. The slight color change could be a known dog/wolf attribute of "color-blindness"
Perhaps you think that Rhuidean was protected by tied off weaves of saidar kind of like those protecting a small area around the sword in Tear. The amount of Saidar to create such a dome to protect the whole city of Rhuidean would serve as a beacon to the Forsaken. It makes sense for me that Rhuidean is protected by an object for that purpose - a dreamspike. You can compare the dome sizes if you want.
Thomas Keith
197. insectoid
surmiser @193: You do have a good theory there! I hadn't thought about Rhuidean in a long time.

If we would follow this train of logic, though... This may tie in with the "Blight-is-TAR" theory brought up by the DragonCon WoT theory panel. Anyway, we have:

- The Blight has no reflection in TAR;
- Perrin's observation that (with or without the Dreamspike) the air in the Dream smells like the Blight.

These points seem to contradict each other, though, if the "Blight-is-TAR" theory is true. Sorta derailed my train... oh well.

On the other hand, if the Dreamspike had been the cause of the "wrongness" in the Dream-air, I might have suggested that there were Dreamspikes all over the Blight. (But that seems a little silly.)

Annnnd... whether any of that makes sense I leave up to you, because it's past my bedtime. I think I'll catch the next train. :P

Robert Crawley
198. Alphaleonis
This discussion about Rhuidean and the possible dreamspike is intriguing. Will we ever know? Another question to ask Brandon at the next signing party, though it is likely that he doesn't know.

So many mysteries in this series and so many separate story lines is part of its alure. My wife finally agreed to read the series if I would read it aloud to her. She diligently listened as I read, but was not really getting into it - until the chapters about Elyas and the wolves! If I had made a guess before starting as to what would be the first thing to really grab her, this would have come in last. Her favorite novels are romantic: Gone With The Wind, Pride And Predjudice, The Scarlet Pimpernel, etc. She is not at all an outdoorsy person. Her idea of roughing it is a 2 star motel, instead of 3 star or higher. Wolves??? Go figure.

I'm still thinking that when we get to the many romantic plots, she will be more trapped.

Oh - back on topic. I don't think the dome protecting Rhuidean was a dreamspike. It would have been too simple for Ishamael to steal it during all those years he was free. I think the Rhuidean protection was more complex. But maybe Harriet could tell us.
@196 Surmiser

I wasn't disagreeing with you. No, that was on someone else. Lol. It took me as I was taking a sip of Coke. I just can't believe some people ability to see only what they want to. I apologize for the confusion. Lol.

Oh would you look at that!

Aaaaand Hunnyzzzz!

Valentin M
201. ValMar
Alphaleonis @ 198

Re: the ease of stealling the presumed dreamspike at Rhuidean. Ishamael is playing pretty complex game here. In chess, simply because you can take opponent's piece doesn't mean it is the right action for you. In snooker it may be better to leave a ball over the pocket. And so on.
Ishamael (or the DO himself) may have wanted to keep Rhiudean as it was, for a time. As we know, the Shadow's policy towards Rand and his path was rather convoluted.

On a side note, given RJ's somewhat questionable reputation with the Romance side of things in WOT, I'm curious how your wife will find the different couples, and other more complicated relationships :)
Sandy Brewer
202. ShaggyBella
Upon my reread today I found this Ewgene passage, after Perrin met up with her after the run from the trollics......
He blinked in surprise. She was waiting for his answer. Waiting for him to tell her what to do. It had never occurred to him that she would look to him to take the lead. Egwene never liked doing what someone else had planned out, and she never let anybody tell her what to do. Except maybe the Wisdom, and he thought sometimes she balked at that.
...Then there are leadership issues in Perrin's POV, too. Interesting.

The smell of the blight under the dome could be from the Dark one's touch. Didn't they find a place where a patch of blight had been transported into their area.
Also there were thatched bamboo huts. Like the rooms changing places in the White Tower.
203. Freelancer
Excerpt of Chapter 11 of AMoL posted earlier today, right here.

There is already a hue and cry about Mat being written all wrong.
Sandy Brewer
204. ShaggyBella
Nope...not gonna read it. I can be strong... Yes I can! But, poor Mat?? No...
Valentin M
205. ValMar
Hm, Chapter 11. A bit too far into the book, I think I'll read it in January. For the first time that is. It's worrying to hear that there are complaints about Mat.
Roger Powell
206. forkroot
There will always be complaints about Mat. Heck, people complained about Mat in parts of ToM that we later found out were written by RJ. Mat is hard to write.

I said my peace* about it back when TGS came out and I don't think the issues are worth flogging Bela over and over. On the whole, I think Sanderson did a fantastic job with both TGS and ToM even if he had trouble getting Mat exactly right.

FWIW, the chapter doesn't reveal too much - so go ahead and read it. Think of it as another small appetizer before the main course.

*EDIT: RobMRobM correctly pointed out that I should have "said my piece", but he liked the Freudian slip!
Jonellin Stonebreaker
207. AndrewB
For those of you who want to read the excerpt from AMoL but do not want to read comments about how the PoV character was or was not written as how individual fans think that the character should have been written, I posted some questions (@37) to move the conversation away from that direction (while still commenting about the chapter). Hopefully others will comment on my comment and the discussion will move away from comments about the writing style of the excerpt.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Thomas Keith
208. insectoid
Free @203: You do realize your link points to the comment section of that post? Just sayin'. Read it. Can't wait for more. :D

Ahhh the haters. You gotta love their devotion, at least. I for one enjoyed the chapter. Thanks for the link Freelancer. It was right on time.

Alice Arneson
210. Wetlandernw
Alphaleonis @198 - FWIW, while I don't like Gone with the Wind (too much melodrama) I absolutely love Pride and Prejudice as well as The Scarlet Pimpernel - and I have from the very first time I read each of them. So... your wife may just love these books too. If that's the kind of romance she enjoys, I would say she probably likes adventure more than she realizes, and fantasy is really all about Romance and adventure (at least, Romance in the capital-R sense...). All the best to you both in this adventure. :)

Freelancer - thanks for the link! Heading over there now, fully prepared to skip a LOT of comments...
Valentin M
211. ValMar
forkroot @ 206

There is always someone complaining about something. In this case it depends who does the complaining. I think Mat was ok in TOM and I wasn't the only one from the regular commenters here, but others would've still been unreasonably unhappy, IMO. I'm thinking of unsigned posters who just post once, usually.
I haven't decided yet whether to go and see for myself. I read preview chapters from GRRM's ASOIA, but:
1- By the time the book itself comes out I had already forgotten the chapters...
2- The preview chaptes are storywise at the beginning, so I'm not reading anything out of sync.

I hope AndrewB's attempt at moving the conversation has been successful.
Ron Garrison
212. Man-0-Manetheran
As anxious as I am for aMoL, I don't want to read anything until I have the whole book in my hands. I especially don't want to listen to more of the waaa-waaa-waaa "Mat's character is off" whining.

Has anyone else noticed that the closer we get to the end of the series, the more we talk about writing style, minutiae about the characters that's not particularly relevant to the story, etc.? Perhaps I'm just being nostalgic*, but I recall our discussions being more about plot twists, foreshadowing, "what did he mean by that." Or are we just inventing things to stave off boredom?

*or maybe I'm just feeling cranky...
Rob Munnelly
213. RobMRobM
Fork - you said your "peace" - nice Freudian slip, there. Peace to all the posters, especially those seeking to criticize AMOL.
Nadine L.
214. travyl
If you're more interessted in plot twists, or theorizing about them, without any spoilers of the coming AMOL (unless the theories will prove true) - you might want to visit the other WOT-related thread posted on the weekend here at TOR, of theories from Dragon Con.

So far, almost no regular posters over there...
Alice Arneson
215. Wetlandernw
travyl - Gotta get me a fresh suppy of mistletoe before I post on either of the new threads...
Dawn Boyall
216. deebee

"Has anyone else noticed that the closer we get to the end of the series, the more we talk about writing style, minutiae about the characters that's not particularly relevant to the story, etc.? Perhaps I'm just being nostalgic*, but I recall our discussions being more about plot twists, foreshadowing, "what did he mean by that." Or are we just inventing things to stave off boredom?"

I've been rereading the old TOM spoiler thread comments and you`re so right. There`s some great stuff in there, stuff I`d forgotten about. So if you`re feeling nostalgic, skim through the comments and pick out the bits that grab your interest.

Best done with a glass of wine to hand, I find...
Glen V
217. Ways
Man-o @212 & deebee @216

MOM is always right - lol.
Agree with you both (and definitely about the glass of wine). We are getting nit-picky. But we shouldn't be getting overly bored just yet, what with this ToM re-read still underway and due to conclude about the time AMoL comes out. Maybe it's the anticipation factor.

Well, I read the AMoL Chapt. 11 excerpt and loved it. Mat is written just fine IMHO.
Glen V
218. Ways
Surmiser @196
The amount of Saidar to create such a dome to protect the whole city of Rhuidean would serve as a beacon to the Forsaken.
What if the weave was tied off and inverted?

Kinda begs the question about a tied-off weave hanging around for millennia though.
Dawn Boyall
219. deebee
Wetlandernw @215

Even before doing the dishes?
Tess Laird
220. thewindrose
Arggg - everytime I almost caught up with you all, something happened and then I was behind again.

First off - JonathanLevy what wonderful news - I am so happy for you and your expanding family:)

I enjoyed seeing Egwene in action to protect her leadership role. I think in order to change the White Tower, she has to play her cards close to her chest(maybe clad in the light ::snicker:: ). To change the way things are, without completely tearing the Tower down, she has to play the same old game better than her opponents. Will we see this by the end of aMoL - maybe a hint here or there - this will take many years. This is my hope - that Egwene still wants to change - many argue against this, and have very convincing thoughts.

Love the defence that Ituralde comes up with for Maradon. I have high hopes to see Mat and him work together during TG!

Now someone mentioned wine... Yes please;)

Ron Garrison
221. Man-0-Manetheran
Ways - Thanks for noticing! ;-)

travyl - Thanks for the nudge to the theory thread. Some interesting stuff there.

deebee - Thanks for the confirmation that I'm not just cranky. (Well, probably a little.)
Jonellin Stonebreaker
222. Surmiser
@ Ways 218 -- inverted weaves ? yes i think they are possible except that the Jenn/Aes Sedai who were building the city of Rhuidean didnt seem to have that skill. Neither did their successors (Wise Ones).
If i were to design/build a dreamspike, I would include some controls to allow adjusting the dome size, ambient color, maybe external camouflage settings so that i can make the outside look like a dense fog or maybe part of the desert... Heck i would also put in something to control access (maybe requiring 3 dreamwalkers to grant external access), and maybe make the entrance to the inside dome such that one would have to pass thru a passageway with hanging pointy stones that dynamically adjust to the height of the people entering.
I dont think a dreamspike array is protecting the blight since the Forsaken always Travel/Skim thru all the time. But i strongly suspect that Shayol Gul has an active dreamspike that protects it from a direct attack from the forces of Light
Dawn Boyall
223. deebee

I`ve always felt that Egwene`s handling of the Sitters is inconsistent and counter-productive. They meet to discuss how she manipulated the SAS via her use of The Law of War-essentially a situation where they weren`t aware of the full implications of a decision they were called on to make, but which bound them once it was made.

So when they meet, what does Egwene do? She manipulates them into agreeing to give her sole authority for negotiating with the DR, because they haven`t realised the full implications of agreeing to her proposal, and she doesn`t enlighten them.

And the next time Egwene wants them to agree to something, they`re going to assume they`re being manipulated again, and refuse on principle, until they`ve had a chance to consider every angle thirty times. And even then, why should they trust her?

If honest communication is one of the themes of the series, I think Egwene is a long way yet from understanding that it works both ways. She has to be open and honest about her intentions if she demands it in return.
Tess Laird
224. thewindrose
deebee at 223-
I agree that she has been inconsistent - even in her internal thought processes. However, what she just wrangled into being - that every sitter and the Amyrlin has to be informed of a meeting, and if a sitter cannot attend a surrogate can go in her place is a big step in the right direction.

The AS have been hard core manipulators for a long time, open communiaction isn't going to happen by the end of aMoL. But Egwene planned, implimented and followed through on a step in the correct direction towards open communication. She is also going to reach out to the windfinders and wiseones shortly. Yes, we have her internal dialogue that she wants the AS to be the top dogs, however she also thinks about how good it would be for all channeling women* to keep communication open.

*The same cannot be said about male channelers - sadly:(

Dawn Boyall
225. deebee

Yes, the agreement that the secret meetings and sneaky votes have to stop is an immense step forward. I just feel that Egwene`s actions are frustrating and frankly baffling- she double-underlines that anything she says probably has six different implications that none of the Sitters has recognised and which they would never agree to if they did understand. So when decisions need to be made quickly and the AS need to trust each other-instead they`re wondering what they`ve missed this time and they`re likely to oppose on principle.

I would have liked to see Egs lead from the front on this issue-to explain the need for them all to abandon the trickery and intrigue and work together honestly for the good of all-the Borderlands are being overrun and winter is coming...

She could have asked the Hall to approve giving her the sole authority to deal with the dragon Reborn and explained/justified her reasoning. Maybe they wouldn`t have agreed-but at least they would trust her next time she puts a proposal to them.

I would hope that from here on the manipulation of the Hall stops. That is presuming they heed her call to stop the sneaking in corners hatching plots.

They`ve spent too much time looking inwards and putting their personal ambitions before the greater good. It's time the Servants of All started remembering what they're for.
michael gaston
226. Ashenladoka
Egwene is just another Elaida without the years to the shawl. Manipulators and power hungry both. Egwene lovers please don't forget she DID make some sisters swear to obey her, which I can't remember a time when Elaida even did that. Could be wrong there and if so I'm sure someone will point that out.

Granted the Sitters should have been a little smarter here and after the first time I would have been leery, but I will say Egwene's "stated goal"... backstabbing to stop is a good step. I think she's going to try ZenRand's nerves at the meeting and if she's not careful ZenRand may actually break the WT again with his pattern-bending power leaving her standing alone with every AS swearing to follow him to SG. That is the Green Ajah's boast after all and as any leader knows your troops need to follow orders when given and having a gang of people going their own way in a battle will get you a loss pretty fast. So I'm thinking Rand may make the GA leave her. Blues and Yellows too for their similar goals.

As for the male channelers, well they did just start and haven't been around for 3000 years pulling strings and being hated by almost everyone. Try to give them a few years at least. I think Logain is going to pull them together after he kills Taim (hopefully it will be him getting Taim in a good battle not just a one paragraph sneaky kill).

Theory behind the dome at Rhuidean...We all know that numerous objects of power were there in the middle. I bet one was a "dreamspike" maybe one of the ones that were standing upright on there own, however being brought into the "real world" the dome that was violet in the dream was visable at Rhuidean. All it needs is someone with the key to activate it which the Jenn or the AS with them could have.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
227. Mabus
Haven't been able to comment before due to computer issues (and the fact that I only found this reread a few months ago). Leigh's recap is awesome!

Hey, Samadai, where can I find your other stories? You're a good author.
Sam Mickel
228. Samadai
Mabus, you can find them by clicking on my name, and then my book marks. Yes, I have bookmarked all my stories, sue me. :P
Jay Dauro
229. J.Dauro

No, Elaida did not succeed in having sisters swear to her yet (that we have seen.) Of course, she was trying to make obedience to the Amyrlin a fourth Oath for all sisters.


Yes, I would like to see all Aes Sedai become trustworthy, instead of trying to depend on the First Oath. Even when they say something outright, they are not trusted, most of the people just try to figure where the hook is. Still, at this point, not getting the authority to deal with the Dragon Reborn may have made worrying about the future a moot point. I do not see any way that being honest would have allowed Egwene to do the negotiating. And the rest of the Hall would have blown it.
Terry McNamee
230. macster
@71 JonathanLevy: That's an interesting idea, but why would something which wards your dreams also block gateways?

@72 ValMar: A good point. Of course what I am hoping is that just because this conflict has been set up for for so long does not mean that once all is explained sensibly to her, Egwene won't come over to Rand's side.

@74 FSS: Ah now I know the one you mean. Yes, as far as I can recall Rand has never showed those weaves to anyone. The only exception might be Karldin, since presumably there's no reason he'd be going around with Loial to all the Waygates unless he could keep Shadowspawn out with the killing wards. Which suggests that either for some reason Karldin didn't put such weaves over the Caemlyn gate, or that someone on the Shadow side was able to undo or sever them. Doesn't sound too difficult to me actually--as long as the weaves weren't inverted, any male channeler with sufficient strength and skill could do it...Moridin, Demandred, Taim...

@75 Isilel: As I said above, I think the decided lack of any reaction or commentary re: the Borderland invasion or the Last Battle seems like a clear indication this will be a major plot point in AMoL. Like you, I can't see the Tower and Egwene as being so incompetent they wouldn't plan for that or think of it, and I can't see Sanderson or Team Jordan missing it either. So I think this means there are, in fact, battle plans, troop arrangements, cuendillar, research, and plenty of other plans with weaves going on off-screen which we'll learn about in the last book. At least there'd better be.

Also, interesting theory about the Pattern then vs. now and why all this terrible stuff is happening and so many old talents/ta'veren/powerful channelers are turning up. It makes sense to me.

@82, 100 Rancho Unicorno: Um, no--the new Forsaken will come about in the next Age of Legends, when the Bore is made and Aes Sedai are tempted to the Shadow. Replacement Forsaken, whether Egwene or anyone else, will not be sealed in the Bore; despite the Randland catechism, the Forsaken being sealed in the Bore happens after the War of Shadow ends, they weren't sealed at the moment of creation so as to be there the next time the Bore is drilled. If anyone were to become a Forsaken now, they'd be stuck there until the next drilling, then released--and I think if something like that had happened when Mierin and the others drilled the Bore, it would have been remarked on. The sealing of the Forsaken in the Bore was a one-time event which happened at the end of the war thanks to the chance of them meeting the Dark One at the same time Lews Therin and the Hundred Companions arrived. If Egwene or anyone became a Forsaken now, they'd just be killed off after the Dark One is sealed away again.

@86 hawkido: Hmm, good point. In which case, Leigh has even less need to be confused about the dreamspikes--being invented during the Collapse would explain their war-time uses, but they do have peace-time uses as well. And thanks for the support re: Asha'man being too tired to do the gates suggested, though of course it was Wetlander and others who pointed this out first. As for Egwene being unpredictable--she realizes she needs to do exactly that during the Black Ajah's attack; Bair is the one who chastises her for following a pattern, which is what causes her to change it up and be able to ambush the disguised Katerine. Finally, I'm not sure which secret meetings you mean (unless it's the ones in TAR), but her gathering the monarchs of the world to stand against Rand is hardly a secret, in fact it's what Rand wants her to do--he just intends to defuse their arguments once he reveals his rationale and plans for peace. And I don't think she's doing it just to gain power; she truly does believe she needs to stop Rand, and the power-grabbing she's doing is meant to fight the Shadow, not because she wants power for its own sake. She's mistaken that only the White Tower should have this power and only they know how to stop the Dark One, but she isn't gaining the power just to be Queen of the World like the Forsaken do.

@89 ValMar: No need to be snide. I doubt Egwene and the Aes Sedai have come up with all that either, but I am positive they've planned and arranged some things off-screen, at least.

@93 Longtimefan: Another good dreamspike point.

@95 KiManiak: While I too am amused/bemused by Egwene's blind spots here (the amusement only grows when I think of how Rand clearly manipulated her into doing this), I think "megalomania" is too strong a word for what she's doing. Again, I think she truly believes Rand is out of control, about to do something that will destroy the world, and needs to be stopped. That she thinks she can do it is her typical arrogance; that she thinks she and the Tower should do it is thanks to being indoctrinated by Siuan; but she isn't doing it to gather power for the sake of power (which is what megalomania is, and what Elaida was doing), she's doing it to (in her mind) save the world from Rand's madness and the Shadow. See Wetlander's defense of Egwene. But then of course I know you loathe Egwene beyond all reason and can rarely ever be persuaded to see her in a good light, similar to Elayne. :P But I felt I had to say something since that word seems so out of place when comparing her to Elaida, a true megalomaniac. She isn't mad because Rand didn't run his plan by her first for her permission; she's mad because he hasn't run a plan by her at all, and because what he has told her sounds like madness which could destroy the world. And I don't side with her, in fact I am annoyed and frustrated by her too. I just don't think she's the power-hungry megalomaniacal person you think she is, and I think she'll come around once she's made to realize she's wrong.

Also, good point about the dreamspike being more vulnerable in the Age of Legends due to their being more dreamers who could enter TAR. Of course Slayer says that it is extremely difficult to destroy a dreamspike, but he's only going by what Moridin and Graendal told him--there may be ways to do so that were known to AOL channelers, and of course if one of them simply knew how to turn it off, or opened a gateway to the real world and took it with them, that'd be a lot easier to defeat than the way Perrin has to do it. And if the person who set the dreamspike knew less about TAR than the one seeking it, they could get away with it a lot easier than Perrin could vs. Slayer.

Oh and I too have always viewed shocklances as hand-held weapons which either fired lightning-like bolts or were always surrounded by an electric field/aura.

@99 bad_platypus: I stand corrected. Though again, not only does this imply you have to be of a certain strength to make such wards, you also have to have the knowledge of them. We know the Aes Sedai are stingy with sharing weaves, and they couldn't teach Asha'man anyway, so we're back where we started--to whether a) Rand had taught the Asha'man with Ituralde Shadowspawn-killing weaves and b) if they are strong enough to make them.

@103 Wetlander: Careful of those assumptions! If you carefully read my post again you will see I said I didn't expect jumping up and down, lots of activity, open discussions about the Borderlands/Last Battle, or even on-screen action. What I said was I found it odd there wasn't even any reaction to the news other than some gasps, and the brief moment we had from Egwene and Silviana. That nobody reacted in any way to the news, even subtly, to suggest something was being plotted or planned off-screen. Egwene is concerned, but thinks nothing about any plans; she doesn't even think about it when she reveals Silviana's news to the Hall. I fully believe something is happening off-screen; I just found it odd there weren't even subtle, telltale clues or hints in the Aes Sedai's actions or Egwene's thoughts. If they are planning something, and I hope and think they are, they're very good at hiding it, even for Aes Sedai.

And I would agree Egwene thinks she is doing right by Rand. But since the definition of that she has which is different than mine all relates to him being either mad (which he isn't) or a woolheaded man who needs to be controlled by the Aes Sedai and her in particular, then no I wouldn't say she she is planning to do right by him at all. What I do think is that at heart she is a good person who wants to stop the Shadow and does still care about Rand. I just don't think she'll be able to effectively help him until she lets go of her preconceived notions about him, admits she could be (and is) wrong about him and his plan, and actually agrees to help instead of commanding and taking over. I do think she will be able to do all of those things after she a) finds out she doesn't have the support against Rand she thinks she does and b) has the full situation explained to her by Rand, Min, and Moiraine.

@105 Wortmauer: LOL!

@110 KiManiak: Something tells me that Harriet choosing to call a chapter in ToM "The Amyrlin's Anger" was a red herring on her part--the real anger will be at Merrilor, before Rand et al. get through to her. Though to be fair, the scene at Merrilor will come about because of the talk she and Rand had when he came to the Tower, so I suppose the connection is still there (i.e. the anger didn't happen in that chapter, but it will because of an event stemming from that chapter).
Terry McNamee
231. macster
@113 Subwoofer: Nice, I was thinking about that too.

@115 Wetlander: I'd say the reason we haven't seen it is that not everyone is strong enough to make gateways, and the ones who can either don't know how to tie them off, or haven't had a need to do so. Since tying them off would make it so tired channelers could keep gates open, that suggests the Asha'man with Ituralde don't know how to tie them off. Or else for some reason they didn't think of it. Perhaps they didn't learn because they went off with Logain, while Grady learned how from Taim (he was one of the Black Tower's first students) before going off with Rand and Perrin?

@118 LogainsBrother: Actually someone did notice it, Dholton @31.

@119 Blood_Drunk: Because Perrin was only thinking of getting rid of the thing that Slayer was using to trap his people, nor did he have time to tell Egwene about it. She might have thought of using it in that way, but all she knew of it was what Mesaana told her (which was next to nothing), and by the time she could have gotten to Perrin to find out, he'd already destroyed it. Now, if Perrin can get the one from the Black Tower without destroying it, and Rand can tell him how it works so it can be passed on to Egwene...but by that point the Seanchan will likely already be on Team Light, so unless they need it to keep Dreadlords out of the White Tower, the dreamspike would be superfluous.

Personally, the reason I am annoyed with Egwene is not because she is questioning the wisdom of Rand's plan (which isn't even much of a plan and which he hasn't even told her of anyway), it's her attitude toward him. Instead of saying "he's my friend, I trust him, he's the Dragon Reborn" she is automatically assuming he doesn't know what he's doing and must be stopped. Yes, if what he has planned is as weak or nonexistent as it sounds, force might be needed, but she doesn't seem to even be planning for anything else, no diplomacy, no careful and calm rationales. If she were saying "I'm not sure this is a good idea, we need to plan better, but I will trust that you'll let us do that", I'd feel a lot better about her. And since I am pretty sure that once they all get to Merrilor he and Min, and hopefully Moiraine, will explain everything and come up with a plan, then once this plan is shared and discussed I'm sure Egwene will be onboard.

Finally, as I already stated above, the Trolloc-killing weaves you describe aren't of any use here since ones known to Aes Sedai could not be used by Asha'man, we have no proof Rand has taught his to the specific Asha'man who are with Ituralde, and as you acknowledge, tired Asha'man vs. rested Dreadlords wouldn't work anyway.

@134 ShaggyBella: That's a very good point. Whether or not Egwene is the best at dealing with Rand, she seems to be the only one among the Aes Sedai who can, save Elayne and Nynaeve...and despite them being queen and full Aes Sedai now, the Hall wouldn't accept them in charge of working with Rand. So it's basically her or nobody. And really, as long as she changes her tune once the plan is explained to her and she knows she really doesn't have support in helping her stop Rand, it'll be fine.

@142 travyl: That's...an interesting proposition! Of course it's possible that Rand coming to Tear so calm and controlled, right after having been there commandeering his troops to Arad Doman, then coming back again in raging storm saying they were going to Tarmon Gai'don, could have made Darlin consider Rand still erratic--i.e., yes he's calm now, but how long will that last? Still, your point that Rand could have had Darlin send that letter would be a brilliant stroke on his part.

And true, in fact we know from Gawyn that what Aes Sedai feel inside is hidden behind the calm mask, but their Warder knows the truth. (Another reason besides the obvious that Reds don't have Warders--they don't want men to know what they are really feeling.) So again, the Aes Sedai with Perrin could have been quite startled indeed about Morgase's identity, but aren't showing it on the surface--only their Warders would know the truth.

@143 KiManiak: Nope, I remember those Valley phrases too... *shudders*

@146 hawkido: *falls over laughing*

@149 endertek: There were going to be outrigger books before. The reason they didn't get written is because Jordan died. I don't think think he would have planned to write them and told us he would if he planned to have the Shadow win, and the outriggers not being written because of his death doesn't mean they suddenly decided to have the Shadow win to explain the lack of the outriggers. It's just that Sanderson won't do it without Harriet's consent, and she and Tor both don't want to milk WOT and turn it into a franchise. Also, Jordan didn't leave behind much of anything related to the outriggers the way he did for AMoL, so they couldn't really be written anyway.

@150 Braid_Tug: That's what I've been saying about the Trolloc wards. :)

@156 Ashenladoka: Good points re: Rand, but talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Just because the Aes Sedai have screwed things up doesn't mean the White Tower as an institution is completely worthless. And we don't know there isn't a plan, either one made over those 3000 years and hidden away, or one come up with off-screen. Even if there isn't, the Aes Sedai can still be key in making whatever Rand, Min, and Moiraine come up with work, and once she's onboard with Rand I am sure Egwene will revamp the Tower and make it better and more effective, so there's no need to do away with it.

@159 Samadai: Not as polished as your other works, and with some definite anachronisms and diction problems, but overall...quite effective. Wow.

@165 forkroot: Hear, hear!

@171 bawambi: While I still am not certain Halima did anything else to Egwene besides block her Dreaming, I agree that if she did, Nynaeve will find it and fix it. She did after all learn how to undo Compulsion.

@196 surmiser: That...is a very interesting theory. I'd always thought it was something about Rand and Asmo's fight that broke the dome/barrier around Rhuidean, but how could that be, unless some of the weaves they made just happened to be the right ones, and struck at the right places, to cut the saidar weaves they couldn't see? And it does seem odd that Lanfear took so long to catch up with them. On the other hand if she found the dreamspike and turned it off, why did she not have it with her? She took it back to her hideout before coming back to Rhuidean, which is where it was when Moridin got it from her as Cyndane later? And Perrin doesn't see the dome in the real world, just TAR, so that doesn't explain why it could be seen, even faintly, over Rhuidean. Still, it's a cool idea and could well be true, my objections notwithstanding.

@212 Man-o-Manetheren (BTW I've never said so but I love your user name!): This close to the end there are a lot less plot twists and foreshadowing, and what is left unknown is so key to the series as a whole many of us either can't or won't theorize about it (often because we don't want to spoil it for ourselves). So all that is left, it seems, is the minutiae. Personally though I think we can keep guessing and theorizing about things, even if we don't know what they mean or can't guess for sure what will happen.

@220 thewindrose: Well said.

@225 deebee: I see your point and you're right, but the thing is, the very fact the Aes Sedai have been politicking and plotting and scheming and having secret meetings for so long means that Egwene basically had to do what she did. If she tried your plan, explaining everything she wanted and why it was best for both the Tower and the world, they in their arrogance would likely still have refused--and then because she was open and revealed everything to them, they'd think she would always be naively open and they'd have the information to make sure she could never have power over them again to make them do what needs to be done. By forcing them to no longer have secret meetings and sneaky votes, she's made it so they can't do anything now without being held accountable, without her say-so and those of the other Sitters and Ajah Heads. They may not trust her yet, but with being forced to be open and aboveboard, she won't need to manipulate them any more after this...and after being forced to be open, it'll eventually become second nature, as will trusting her, and each other. Basically, Egwene had to play things their way because it was all they would listen to, the only way it would work...but now that she's made this definitive move, such gamesplaying won't be needed any more.

@226 Ashenladoka: *sighs* I'm sure there's no point to this, but I'll say it again, once more: yes, Egwene is blind when it comes to Rand, needs to stop trying to control him, needs to trust him and her friends who follow him, but no she is not power hungry and she is certainly not Elaida. She's just trying to protect the world from what seems to her its imminent destruction, and trying to put the Tower in control of advising Rand because of her indoctrination by Siuan. Both of these will be dealt with if not solved once she discovers she doesn't have the support she thinks she does, and once Rand's plan is explained to her in full. After that she will put the Tower's full might behind helping the Dragon Reborn. As for the swearing, she only made sisters swear who were manipulating her and refused to be loyal as they were supposed to be, her oath was just to get them to do what they were supposed to have been doing all along, so she could unify the Tower. And fealty is not direct obedience, as Elaida's oath she wanted them to swear on the rod would have been.

@229 J.Dauro: Thanks, couldn't have said it better myself.
michael gaston
232. Ashenladoka
Enjoy reading your comments macster. And truthfully I hope Egwene DOESN'T live up to the thoughts I have on her. However going from what she's done and what she's moving toward I can't really see her having an ZenRand type moment and saying "Hey maybe I'm wrong here".
She WANTS to control the Windfinders, she WANTS to control the WO, she WANTS to control the Kin and all others that channel, she WANTS to control the BT, she WANTS to control Rand, she WANTS to control all Kings and Queens and their governments and she WANTS to control all items with the power where she can. And fealty isn't the Oath Rod but when you swear fealty while already under the Oath Rod its basically the same thing.
However, and here is the difference, those sisters swore to follow HER not the Seat. She directly has power over them unless you think AS can just ignore that bond. Wiggle around it yes I grant they can, but break it?
Eliada was just trying to protect the world too. Although I may not have really liked her she was only doing what she thought was right, her Foretelling about the Andor line. Unfortunately she just had the wrong person. Rand vs Elayne. Yes she made some classic blunders and caused a crapload of problems in the Tower and yes she was WAY to power hungry, (just like Egwene is being but hopefully with a more noble cause).
But I would prefer her brand of oath to Egwene's, Oath to Am Seat vs Oath to individual. As an American I gave my oath to the OFFICE of the President, to defend what he says defend, I did NOT give my oath to Bill Clinton, George Bush or Barack Obama. They were men that hold the office and are the office for a time, but when they leave I don't leave with them to continue to follow. Egwene's oath of the sisters will make them follow. A very big and major difference.
The WT is/was broken and anyone that has read this series can agree with that. Do I think it should be flat out destroyed? No, not really but it has GOT to change. Last chapter in LoC even talks about the unstained tower and the first nine...so lets be honest does anyone here believe that Egwene is going to swear fealty to Rand? Aes Sedai...Servents of All...does that even sound like what Egwene is doing or what the Tower has done for 3000 years? They have not been Servents, they have been manipulators. So if that prophecy is to be believed I assume more if not all the sisters will swear. And I really don't see Egwene doing that. Of course I could be wrong and RJ/BS and Team Jordan could have said no more will ever swear.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
233. Surmiser
@232 macster -- glad to see you are getting the reasons why i have the "Lanfear hid the Rhuidean dreamspike" theory.
why she didnt have it with her?
i think she might have concealed it via inverted camouflage-- same way that the broken access key and the seals were hidden in Tanchico (FoH).

I just noted that she was first to test by successfully creating a gateway in Rhuidean (after the LTT-Asmo smackdown). It's also in her character to steal something and blame someone else. (see Isendre).

Sidenote: The gateway weave she created at that spot was then examined and successfully duplicated by saidar forensics expert Aviendha for "The Far Snows" in 'Fires of Heaven'.
Chris R
234. up2stuff
JL ... Congrats!!!!

Leigh, glad you are okay. They were saying that Isaac was going to drown us up here in Indy as it fizzeled out. Meh. Glad it wasnt TOO hard on you.

Ways @ 62.
Gaul is willing to marry 2 women, just to marry one.
Definately revokes his "no slap pass"
Dives into bunker...
Kimani Rogers
235. KiManiak
Macster@230- Veeeery delayed response, I know. Still, why not? :-)

I liked your playful dig at me about Egwene :-) It’s true that I may, figuratively, “foam at the mouth” when considering Elayne (outside of her political maneuvering, that is) and discussing Elayne’s stupidity, but you know that I try (and admittedly, sometimes fail) to be rational and fair when discussing Egwene. However I think I’m still being somewhat rational and fair here (while possibly slightly engaging in a tad of hyperbole :-P ).

Egwene and her megalomania: I think you are seeing megalomania just as "gathering power for the sake of power." But there is another aspect that you’re overlooking.

I’ll cite some sources here, since we’re discussing the proper usage of a word. Dictionary.com describes megalomania as (in psychiatric terms) a symptom of mental illness marked by delusions of greatness, wealth, etc (I think we’d both throw “power” into the "etc"). Second definition: an obsession with doing grand or extravagant things. The google search definition was: 1) obsession with the exercise of power (closer to what I think is your understanding of the word); and 2) delusion about one’s own power or importance (which is closer to what I’m stating in my argument).

(Also, I’m not anywhere close to an expert, but I believe that megalomania used to fall under the “narcissistic” personality disorders in Psychology. I’m picking-&-choosing and cutting-and-pasting here, but the DSM IV (or Psych Online’s representation of it) states: “The symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder revolve around a pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and sense of entitlement.”)

Is Egwene 100% textbook megalomania? I don’t think so. Again, my use of megalomania was more towards the “delusion” aspect. As I said in my post@95 where I first bring up her megalomania in relation to delusion, her interpretation of Darlin’s letter as siding with her, as well as her ability to handle Rand with a “firm hand” (where Nynaeve, who was with Rand for months couldn’t “handle Rand with her ‘firm hand’”) were quite delusional.

As I state in my post@97, Egwene discards Elayne and Nynaeve’s initial open-mindedness to Rand’s course of action; she views Nynaeve’s opinion as contaminated by being too close to Rand for too long. Several chapters from now Egwene will interpret the Wise One’s words of caution as them allying with her (and “those who oppose him,” or whatever the exact quote is) against Rand. Delusional. Definitely. I go on to talk more about what Egwene’s underlying problems with Rand are, and why she sees Rand and her’s roles a certain way, in regards to their interaction with one another.

And one more aspect of her delusion of importance (and borderline narcissistic personality disorder) in relation to Rand: Egwene screams at Rand for turning her back on him. Yes, Egwene couches it in terms of her position “Rand al’Thor, you will not turn your back on the Amyrlin Seat.” But Egwene paid absolutely no admiration or respect towards Rand’s position (which she definitely knows is unquestionable; Rand is the Dragon Reborn and Egwene has no doubts about that) while he had already given her quite a bit of respect for hers. Yet Egwene demanded admiration/respect for hers. She felt she was entitled to it, while he was not. That little outburst was nothing more than ego, mixed with frustration that Rand wasn’t doing what Egwene wanted.

Oh yeah, and Elaida was almost a textbook megalomaniac (delusions of grandeur; craving of power for power’s sake; origins coming from the inferiority from being the daughter of a minor lord in Murandy). She easily exceeded Egwene. It still doesn’t exonerate or negate Egwene’s megalomania, though.

Having said all this, I do hope/believe that Egwene will come around when confronted with reality. But will the realization come fully or partially and grudgingly? Easily, or with much conflict? Will Egwene revert to her childish behavior when Rand doesn’t do what she wants (her “You can take your cat and your hat and shove them” outburst from LoC when Rand would only talk to the Wise Ones if Egwene would tell him where Elayne was. You know, a trade or bargain), or will she realize that things don’t always have to be her way?

Egwene’s treatment (and perspective) of Rand is still strongly rooted in her view of their childhood roles and norms from the Two Rivers. It was true of how she viewed/treated Rand in TSR after he was in an authority position that far surpassed hers in regards to Tear; it was true of how she viewed/treated Rand after he started acting as Car’a’carn in TFoH; it was true of how she viewed/treated Rand after he was in an authority position that far surpassed hers in regards to Caemlyn and Cairhien in LoC.

Egwene childishly resents -and feels the need to exert her dominance over- Rand when he holds any type of authority position, whether it indirectly impacts her (in the earlier novels) or whether she is directly subject to it, like in ToM. Can Egwene finally “grow up” in this area? We’ll see…
Terry McNamee
236. macster
@232 Ashenladoka: I would take issue with some of your statements; I don't think she wants to "control" the Wise Ones, Kin, or Windfinders; she wants to lead and guide them. Yes these are the same words she uses in reference to Rand, but I think she means them exactly as they sound, not with a darker manipulative bent, "bonds of lace" notwithstanding. She wants all the channelers to work together; the fact she wants the Tower/her in charge isn't about control per se, but about the experience and knowledge she thinks the Tower has which they don't due to the Tower being involved with the rest of the world while the Wise Ones and Windfinders only had power in their own societies. She therefore thinks the Tower has more to offer as the leader because of its past connections with the outside world. She wants everyone working together, not just doing whatever she says. And no, she explicitly says that the Tower cannot control all items of the Power--that's why she lets the Windfinders have the dream ter'angreal and tells Yukiri they can't have items only Asha'man can use.

I'm not going to get into the oath of fealty much because I've done it to death before and I'm tired of it. But I will add as I've said numerous times: fealty is not obedience. Fealty means being loyal, doing what you think is best for your oath-holder, helping and serving them. But that allows for plenty of interpretation and wiggle room, it lets you decide how and when to act based on what you think is best for them. And note Beonin who was able to break her oath--not because she had sworn personally to Egwene, but to the Seat, so that as soon as she no longer considered Egwene to be Amrylin she could betray her. That suggests swearing to the Seat and not the person is a bad idea. And finally, swearing directly to Elaida to obey her isn't the same as the oath of fealty. By the First Oath an Aes Sedai who swore the oath of fealty had to mean it, and therefore obey it, but they can interpret what obedience means. An actual Oath of Obedience would go beyond merely being forced to tell the truth--there would be no wiggle room at all, if she ordered you to do something, even jump off the Tower roof, you would have to or else be put through the same physical reactions as if you tried to lie or had two conflicting oaths working on you, like Zerah.

Lastly your comment on Egwene swearing to Rand--no I don't think she will, nor will she have to. Although the unstained tower bent knee, Nicola's Foretelling said the Guardians would "balance" the Servants, not that one would obey the other. In the end the two must be equal, now that the taint is cleansed. And Egwene's vision of the Fang and Flame in the White Tower stained glass window suggests that is what will come to pass.

@KiManiak: Not really addressing this much, since I did on another thread, but to sum up: I'm glad you admit Egwene is not a "perfect" megalomaniac and that she doesn't exhibit all the traits of one the way Elaida does. But personally I think the traits Elaida has (craving power for its own sake, sense of inferiority, trying to control all, make them obey her, and wanting to be "the best Amyrlin ever" who was personally responsible for winning the Last Battle) are more important to being termed a megalomaniac than mere delusions of grandeur. You may (mis)interpret Egwene's motivations all you like, but nowhere in the books does she ever say or think she wants to be "the best Amyrlin ever" in the sense of "the best and greatest throughout history" (she does want to be the best Amyrlin she can be according to her ability), and she definitely doesn't say or think she wants the whole world to see her as the Amyrlin who won the Last Battle.

She may misunderstand or misinterpret things for her own benefit, but she isn't obsessed with having power, and what power she does seek is all to either a) help Rand b) guide Rand (because she thinks if she doesn't he will go mad and/or destroy the world as prophecy says he will) c) help her friends or d) save the world. That's it. Everything else is a means to an end, and if she shows satisfaction at a job well done, or how she gains/applies the power she has gained, it is only because she is glad this will enable her to fix the White Tower, help Rand, and stop the Dark One. Her mistakes in how she deals with Rand aren't megalomania, or even delusions of grandeur, but simple Two Rivers womanhood vs. manhood, and belief in her own rightness. She is wrong to think she knows better, but thinking so doesn't make her a megalomaniac, just flawed, and I think in the end she will realize this. Her hubris being revealed to her first by Perrin, then Gawyn, I think is the start of this process. Now that she knows she can and has messed up, she'll be more likely to be more understanding with Rand, especially when she doesn't have 100% support, he explains himself better, and a plan is given by Min, Moiraine, and Cadsuane.

As for how she treated Rand and those who support him among her allies...yes I agree, it's wrong. But I don't think it makes her a megalomaniac. Her rejecting what Elayne and Nynaeve said isn't about delusions over her own power, if anything it's delusions about Rand's power--that she thinks he's had that much influence on them. And it's the fact she doesn't want to admit Rand could be right--but that's because a) he's a man and b) he's done some stupid and dangerous things in the past, both things she witnessed and things she's heard about. But neither of those things make her delusional--prejudiced in the case of his being a man, and overly cautious/suspicious in terms of his past mistakes, but not delusional. She needs to get over that prejudice, and while she's quite right to be wary of him, she needs to accept he isn't mad any more and can show wisdom and foresight. The latter will happen as soon as she learns what the plan is, and that in turn will help her see men in a better light.

As for yelling at Rand (which by the way she didn't yell: while the text used exclamation points, it only said she "said" her words), I think him suddenly revealing he would break the seals, not explaining why, and being amused at her desire to plan are pretty good reasons for her to be at least annoyed with him. She should have treated him better, yes, but then again he hadn't treated her with complete courtesy either--she had every right to want him checked to make sure he wasn't mad, and in fact if he had it would have gone far toward convincing the Aes Sedai he was safe and sane, yet he refused (albeit politely) and then dropped his bombshell and made fun of her instead of capitulating. But since I am fairly sure he refused on purpose, so she wouldn't have evidence of sanity and would gather the armies for him, then she reacted exactly the way he wanted her to.

This means, of course, that he knew how to push Egwene's buttons and she did react rather petulantly...but him taking advantage of her that way isn't very admirable, and it doesn't make her a narcissist either. She'd just decided he was the man she always knew, and could trust with saving the world...then he unveils a seemingly crazy (and undetailed) plan, followed by an amused dismissal of her genuine concerns about his sanity and her justifiable desire to make sure what he was planning was actually viable. I'd be annoyed too, but I don't think being upset my best friend wouldn't let me check to make sure he was okay, wouldn't tell me what he was planning so I knew he knew what he was doing, and thought making fun of my concern was a good idea, are all signs of me being narcissistic.

Did she handle it well or perfectly? No. Does she need to trust Rand, and not let him push her buttons, and treat him with more respect? Of course. But that doesn't make her a megalomaniac, and I think she will improve in all these points once she sees him again and learns the full story. I think it will even happen with less pain and struggle than you think--there will be some or it wouldn't be in-character, but I think both of them have grown enough (and events will outpace them enough) that it will have to happen quicker. I really don't see the same aspects to her character that you do--yes, she did resent all those things about Rand and his power relative to hers, and probably still does on some level, but I think she is far more motivated now by her concerns for the world, for making sure he isn't mad and that he will stop the Dark One instead of inadvertently helping him, than any petulance about her personal power. She isn't gathering the nations to stop him because he wouldn't bow to the will of the Amyrlin Seat (or just bow, period); she's doing it because she is genuinely afraid he's mad and will destroy the world. As soon as she knows that isn't the case, she'll back down, and from there it will be easier, albeit not a complete cakewalk, for her to come to a mature understanding with him. This I Foretell.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
237. ernesttrocks
Regarding Egwene"s singleminded conviction that the WT and she knows best--IMHO this is a learned behavior from her Two Rivers upbringing. From her experience, the WT is a Women's Circle on super hormones: WC/WT females, to her, have the sense and vision to direct the poor unenlighted, dim men. She has no capacity, yet, to grok to the fact that Rand--JesuaRand--is a leader and partner in saving the world. Her horizons at this point are still limited.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
238. hesuchia
As much as I find Gawyn annoying, I still haven't lost my dislike for Egwene and her treatment of others (especially men to be "dealt" with, very much like 237 said). I've wanted Gawyn to leave her behind for a long time and actually keep his oath and defend Elayne. She's made it abundantly clear that he's in the way and she doesn't want him around (except in her own head, where she thinks somehow that she can't keep her emotions in check around him). He's finally like "okay I'm tired of this crap she's dishing out, I'mma gtfo now". Then finally she decides "Omg he left? That jerk! Can't he tell I needed him here? I made it perfectly clear when I constantly berated him and told him to go away. Just like when Elayne gave Rand that letter calling him a monster and displayed her hate for him, and that fool man still didn't think she loved him. Ugh men!" She orders him back because she'll "need him" in the coming days. "I need you here Gawyn, but stay out of my sight. I don't want to talk to you or be with you or give you the feelings you and I both have and want, but I'd rather you stay a prisoner here than ever be happy". She's grown in a lot of ways but she's still a self-righteous prig.
William McDaniel
239. willmcd
Having no military experience whatsoever (but plenty of experience with committees), I am in full agreement with sbark @46 and Isilel @75 that putting a committee in charge of a war is a bad idea. The strength of having a large body of people involved in a decision-making process is that it brings a large variety of perspectives and a large quantity of experience, and helps to curb rash decisions. Committees/Legislative bodies often generate comprehensive solutions; they also generate overly detailed solutions, and they do so very slowly. It would seem to me that in an active military conflict more decisive action is needed; ergo the designation of a "commander in chief" in the US Constitution.

Regarding the soapbox by wcarter @92, philosophically I am in full agreement with you that it has been an unfrotunate trend in the US for a century or more for powers to shift from the legislative branch to the presidency, regardless of political party. People seem to want this on some level (ultimately so many of us are monarchists at heart; but that's another topic!). However, I think that you are talking about something slightly different from those whom you decry as "wrong".

It is not the declaration of war (which should certainly be deliberated over by a large legislative body), but the enacting of a war already declared, which cries out for a Commander to set large-scale strategy for the conflict. They ought to be assisted by knowledgeable advisors, and should hopefully have some military experience of their own, but with decisive action needed, one ultimate commander, not a committee, would seem to me to be the way to go.

Good point by macster @66 on the AS's acknolwedgement that the Last Battle has begun, and their complete lack of direct action (at least so far as we are told). Alanna's words from TDR Ch23 ---
"The Battle Ajah. And now we stand ready, for the Trollocs to come south again, for Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle. We will be there. That is what it means to be a Green."
--- are revealed as hollow rhetoric. The Trollocs have come south. And they are emphatically NOT "there".
Finally, regarding Egwene, who remains perhaps WoT's most divisive protagonist, I have little to add to what others have said about her political actions in this chapter. I might briefly revisit Leigh's criticism of her issuing a summons to Gawyn, whom she had so harshly dealt with back in Ch23, agreeing (albeit in anger) with his assessment that she didn't seem to want a Warder at all.

I don't get it. Her actions are somewhat amusing (in a "Facepalm" sort of way), but the two of them just had it out a few chapters ago about the difference between "Egwene the woman" and "Egwene the Amyrlin". Gawyn desperately wants to have some interaction with "Egwene the woman" (who likes him, despite not having any real reason to, barring physical attraction), but only gets to see "Egwene the Amyrlin" (who seems to despise him and find his actions completely unacceptable, yet still wants him around to give orders to on some level).

So, knowing that he desperately wants to relate to her personally, and knowing that she has hurt him enough for him to leave the city (which she seems to treat more as a minor irritant than anything else), what is her approach to resolving this conflict?

She sends a *messenger* with _orders_ for him to come back.

I believe the term used by those in the industry is "*headdesk* *headdesk*".

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