Sep 19 2012 1:00am

Spoiler Thread for A Memory of Light Prologue: “By Grace and Banners Fallen”

Spoiler Thread for A Memory of Light Prologue: By Grace and Banners FallenGood news for Wheel of Time fans! The prologue to A Memory of Light, “By Grace and Banners Fallen” has been released for sale early and is now available to purchase immediately at Apple, Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and the Dragonmount ebook store.

In “By Grace and Banners Fallen,” a man who loves the hunt begins a new pursuit, red veils appear, and one of the Forsaken stands newly revealed. The forces of the Shadow swell in triumph as the world unravels. By grace and banners fallen, the Last Battle has come.

We’ve set up a spoiler thread here for those who have just devoured the prologue or who were lucky enough to read it early. From this point onwards, we’ll be endeavoring to keep A Memory of Light spoilers out of the Wheel of Time reread, but feel free to theorize and exclaim openly here!

Without further ado... spoilers for the A Memory of Light prologue immediately ahead.

1. ClintACK
Dagnabbit! It's tomorrow here on the east coast, but I can't read the prologue, because it's still yesterday in Seattle.
2. Crusty man
Unreal. Talmanes is the best and I can't wait for Isam and Demandred's plot lines to play out
Katie McNeal
5. Katiya
Seriously, will they just freaking tell us who Demandred is already?! The hints with Taim and an army that NOW needs supervision are just downright mean! Why isn't it January yet?!
Lee VanDyke
6. Cloric
Wow. Just wow. A bit odd that we kept going back to Talmanes like that. I didn't mind it, per se, but we don't usually go switch back to a character in the prologue after we finish their POV.

January can't get here soon enough.
7. Cat
Maybe you could add a note to the article saying that at the moment the prologue is only available to those in the US? I got my hopes up, only to have them dashed when I found that none of the retailers wanted to take my non-US money . . .
8. Keithaway
Dagnabbit! It's tomorrow here on the east coast, but I can't read the prologue, because it's still yesterday in Seattle.
Dammit! I'm European so I can't buy it at all ;'(
What the hell is wrong with worldwide release for digital content?
Abhijit Srivastava
9. abhi_sedai
I am in India, and am unable to buy it. since due to legal and technical limitations, sale is restricted outside the US. Alas!
10. Stargazer
My money is still on Demandred being in Shara, running the whole place and building up his forces. Where else on the map are you going to stash a surprise massive army, hey? And Shara's crazy government structure just screams "built for malicious channeler takeover". But yeah, talk about teasing reveals! Nice to finally put the ultimate nail in the coffin of Taimandred, though.

Loved the scenes with Talmanes and the Band. I agree it's a different pacing to return to the same POV, but I thought this worked superbly.

But the most interesting part of all was Isam's scene, and the Town. Has there been even a hint of this place before now? What a creepy look far behind enemy lines. Almost makes me feel sorry for Isam, that he grew up in that wretched place yet still can't stand it one bit. And that was... Cyndane? Ouch. No fury like a woman scorned, indeed.

Why yes, it is 3 am local time and I just read that in one sitting, why do you ask. :-)
William Fettes
11. Wolfmage

Yes, bit annoying that there is a US only restriction.
Martin Jarvis
12. Boscot
All I have to say is Talmanes damn well better still be alive when I get the rest of the book.
13. ClintACK
Awesome! Can't wait to read the rest of the book!

Nice confirmation on the identity of the red-veiled Aiel... and deeply creepy. Not at all surprised to see the M'Hael Chosen... At first I was surprised that Alviarin wasn't there as well, but Elaida's fall was a blow.

Re: Demandred... the sentence that jumped out at me was: "Demandred wants you watching over one of the armies that now lacks proper monitoring." So, it's got to be a Shadow army that has recently lost its leader somehow. And one that Moghedian would be well suited to leading. Mesaana and Semirhage have both been recently killed.

Theory: Demandred's in command of the new Dreadlords, which consist of the red-veiled Aiel, the Black Tower, and the Black Ajah. This explains his familiarity with Mazrim Taim, and all the hints that made us think Demandred was in charge of the Black Tower.

Loved Talmanes' moment of awesome. Praying for Mat's ta'verenness to bring him to the rescue in time for Talmanes to be healed. (Of course, it wouldn't be a Last Battle without losing characters we care about...)
Abhijit Srivastava
14. abhi_sedai

Yeah I feel so forlorn now on this spoiler thread. Glad to know there are other ppl, similarly miserable. :-)
Kimani Rogers
15. KiManiak
Boscot@12 – Although I share your sentiment, I have to say that it’s not looking too good for Talmanes. And I was just starting to really enjoy his sense of humor.

Still have no idea who/where Demandred is. I was completely wrong about the Red Veils. I thought them being Aiel was too obvious. Kudos to all of the folks who stuck to their guns.

Avi is back near Rand! And she’s going to go claim her man!

Now we’ve just got to last til January.
17. Cate T.
As usual B&N is behind the times. They've still got it up for pre-order and my Nook won't let me read it yet!
Michael Maxwell
18. pike747
I am sorry for those who are experiencing technical, or temporal, difficulties. Highly unfair.

If the prologue is an indication this is going to be a great book!
19. aland
Talmanes will be back, he will be a Hero of the Horn
Barry T
20. blindillusion
Hmm. I was right about the Red Veils. Awesome.

Talmanes better not die. He's one of my favorite characters.

Taim as Chosen. Makes sense....

Seems Egwene will be getting her Seanchan with a sword.

All and worth it. Cannot wait until January.
21. markhelwig
Can't wait 'til January! Whatever happens, I think Lanfear plays a large part (I'm guessing she's the ex-damane Alivia that's more powerful than Nynaeve and spends all her time looking at Rand) and the end of the Dark One is a part of her redemption--she was one of those that opened the bore--she takes part in closing it. Speaking of the great healer (Nynaeve) she will also break one more "it can't be done that way" rule and heal death itself (which also works against the Dark One) by bringing Rand back.
Bryan Cogswell
23. shmoo
@19 - Nice I love it... Mat (re)blows the horn - Talmans comes back as a hero and starts showing Mat that he has a sense of humor.

And perhaps leaves a little note saying "Dear Andor, sorry about blowing a hole in your capital's wall had to be done. ..."
Damon Garner
24. IrishOmalley
"I've found the secret to defeating them," Talmanes whispered. "You just have to be dead already."

Love that line.

I had a gut feeling that Taim would be elevated to the level of Chosen. I wish I would have posted it! Well my other gut feeling is that Rand's biological father is still alive and turned into a Red Veil...
Mitchell Swan
25. mcswan
21. markhelwig
I thought Cyndane/Lanfear was the one who visited Isam in the Town. Seems to me she's nowhere near redemption. She wants Rand dead, dead, dead.

Also, I think it's seriously cool to have confirmation that the Dark One has been snagging and 13x13'ing all the male Aiel channelers who've made the trip to kill him. Anyone have a translation for Samma N'Sei?
26. yocxl
mcswan - Samma N'Sei means Eye Blinders. It's in the prologue.
Tricia Irish
28. Tektonica
Wow Wow Wow. I'm so stoked for January!!!

Why is Moridan so thoughtful and focused on those flames? Is he "comtemplating" the End??

Loved the bit with Graendal! Serves her right...very poetic. But there are the lame reamaining Chosen, still selfish and infighting. Nice to see Demandred on screen....hints that he's been working with Taim/M'Hael. Is the BT his Army? Or the M'Hael's. Sounds like there will be a bit of competition between Dem and M'H to kill Rand. But doesn't it have to be the DO's champion, Moridan, that brings him down in order for the DO to win?

Talmanes! So amazing. Loved his humor and his heroic acts. I do hope some AS comes to his rescue, but alas, some of our faves are going to die. Mat is going to be ticked. I loved Talmanes observations about Mat too...his caring, soft side and his battle genius.

So sad to see Andor destroyed too. It seemed most civilized, and one of the cities that we've spent the most time in. And yay for the most resourceful Aludra! Yay for Guybon too, a true soldier for Elayne.

It was nice to see Avienda being strong again too, and the WO's respecting her new position. I'm glad they listened with open ears and took her story to heart. And go for it Avienda. You can save the Aiel through Rand!

Thanks Tor!! And Dragonmount!
Craig Jarvis
29. hawkido
Sam Mickel
30. Samadai
OMG. How completely awesome and terrifying. I can't wait until January. Great job Brandon Sanderson and team Jordan.

I pray Talmanes makes it though I doubt it. What great scenes he has. It is so cool how from Mat, he has learned how to care about everyone. I was so hoping that a random AS had been with Aludra and those people when he found them.
31. Sajmon313
Its sad because i really wanted to buy it, but it is only avaible in US.
WTF? this is frickin' ebook, doesnt need shipment, why block it outside US?

Im in poland, tried all links besides apple (hate that fuckers), and none want to sell me this.

Do I really have to pirate it?
32. freedaslaves
I'm in the UK and was wanting to give my money to TOR through the Dragonmount site, but it looks as if it's not available outside the US. For someone who's been reading these books for years and is a massive fan of the series, this is a bit of a smack in the teeth and I feel discriminated against purely because of where I was born and where I live.
33. Gotitoutsideus
I got it from outside the US. Just use paypal and give any US postal address.
Bryan Cogswell
34. shmoo
Isam - wonders if the whole two rivers opperation was supposed to be a trap for Rand OR if it was to keep him away "from other important events" -- any clue as to what he is thinking here? Team Dark didn't know he was gonna run off to the waste...
William Carter
35. wcarter
@21 Markhelwig

Cyndane cant be Alvia. The two actually squared off and fought each other at the cleansing in Winters Heart.
36. Irriterad svensk
Is there any legal way of getting this in Sweden? (Without having to fake a US address as I'm guessing that this is probably not legal either and I'd rather not have that attached to my Paypal history.) For the previous prologues, I didn't feel like shelling out any money, but this one is different because I'd really like to support the DRM free policy that Tor has adopted. (I actually bought my ebook just a few weeks ago because I noticed that it was DRM free, and based on that experience I'm probably going to continue buying ebooks, but at the moment I have money I'd like to give to Tor but they won't accept. Their loss I guess.)
37. ClintACK
Nynaeve healing death itself to bring Rand back?

Am I the only one who thinks that Rand will "come back" when Matt blows the horn? Artur Hawkwing has already told us that the Dragon usually leads the heroes of the horn...
Chris Chaplain
38. chaplainchris1
I'm reading the Prologue! I'm reading A Memory of Light! I'm reading the last volume of the Wheel of Time! I'm chortling like a madman with saidin sickness! HAHAHAHA I'm READING THE PROLOGUE!!!!!
Omg, I'm 76% done. What will I do then! Argh! I think Talmanes is gonna die! Haha Aviendha is going to find Rand and "sleep will have to wait" wink wink nudge nudge.omigosh Battle of Caemlyn and the Town. So good. Must read more!
Alice Arneson
39. Wetlandernw
@ several re: complaints about discrimination because you don't live in the USA - Tor is not discriminating against you; they are obeying international copyright law by not selling ebooks where they don't own the ebook rights. I'm sure Tor would love to sell you the prologue, and would love to accept your money, etc. - but they would NOT love to be sued for copyright infringement by the companies who own the ebook rights in your various countries.

@Tordotcom - In future (not that there will be any more WoT prologues, but for other ebooks) it might be worth a statement in the opening text that Tor does not own the ebook rights everywhere, etc. etc. There's a faint chance that it might head off - or at least reduce - the repetitive clamor that you're being mean to them just because they happen to live elsewhere. :)
Craig Jarvis
40. hawkido
@ wetlander

Thanks Wet for pointing that out to the poohpooh'ers... I knew most of that but couldn't get the words out in a human understandable manner and just let it die in the "Post a Comment" box.

so er... thanks for your human-readable-ness. OMGSTFU

There is a reason hyper-active people should not drink energy drinks... I just can't think of it now...

I think i saw Bela leading the Trolloc horde in Camelyn.
Craig Jarvis
41. hawkido
About Moggie's assignment. She is set to watch-over an Army that now needs supervision.

While that could imply that she would be leading an evil army it could also mean she is watching a non-darkside army (such as the Seanchan), and doing what she can to use them against the plainly light-side armies.
43. Doorman
Come On you Guys; This is a spoiler thread; So Start spoiling!!!
What happened to the dragons???

Say,s a Canadian Eh!
I like how all the Borderland Warders seem to have almost adopted Nynaeve for their love of Lan.
Gary Singer
45. AhoyMatey
I'm a bit confused. I was under the impression that Wise Ones go through the columns to become an apprentice, and then again to become a Wise One. Otherwise what do they go to Rhuidean a second time for? If my impression is correct, I think there's a mistake in something Bair says. It goes ".....through the glass columns a second time?". I think it should be "....columns a third time?".
Gary Singer
46. AhoyMatey
I loved the prologue, btw. It's awesome. Talmanes is awesome all by himself!

I like the way the 13x13'd red veiled Aile Aiel unveil to kill. Would make it uncomfortable to eat, I think :) (Edit: The rule is i before e before l, right?)

Why would Moridin walk anywhere when he can travel? I wonder if he knows Cyndane is chatting to (owning) Slayer? If I recall correctly, Moridin doesn't want to kill Rand. They're BF linked. Which brings a whole new meaning to BFF!

Go M'Hael! At least he's an effective Evil Dood.
Mikayla M
47. Alira

They go through the ring ter'angreal the first time (where they see their own possible futures), and the columns the second time.
Gary Singer
48. AhoyMatey
Ahh. Thanks for clearing that up for me, mmicomon!
Lee VanDyke
49. Cloric
Comments on second reading:

Am SOO very glad to see the crazy Taimandred theory put to rest at last with M'Hael as the latest Chosen. I find it funny that only Moghedian and Demandred (and now, M'Hael, I guess) are the only Forsaken left in their original bodies.

Edit to add:


I like the way the 13x13'd red veiled Aile unveil to kill.

I didn't know you could turn an entire island to the Dark One. j/k.

So, is the "blank" in the waste the Town or the Aiel warrior society?

And a rather odd way to deal with Bair... she can't channel, so I guess she doesn't have any purpose at the Last Battle, but she's effectively out of the action at this point, if the second trip thru the glass forest takes as long as the first trip. At least, I would figure we don't have must longer than a week or so left in Story-time.
50. Surmiser
Why kill Graendal and thenrevive in a new body? Why not just give the new.body toDashiva?
Sam Mickel
51. Samadai
Very well written scene with Isam though. almost made me feel sad for him.

I guess this is the thing hidden in the blight that no one knew about. Is it me, or has there been no hint of this town in the series, just what BWS stated on his tour?

The Black Ajah (some of them) they would have to know if the 13 +13's have been going on all this time. This isn't the first time I noticed this, but it is the first time I thought to mention it. I wonder if the reason there are 13 sisters as the head council of the Black Ajah is because it takes 13 of them to turn a channeler, (most likely scenario for the amount of people).

I didn't figure the red veils were Aiel, but it looks like I was wrong.
I wonder how many of them there are? hundreds? thousands?
I really hope for that Logain/M'Hael showdown now. Two men, both false dragons, one loyal to humanity, the other corrupted by dark promise, should be an epic ass kicking.
Androls faith is touching, and the mens faith in him is wonderful. Pevara finding out that the men follow him, not because he is the most powerful, but because he inspires them, is all that much better. I hope these guys all make it.
Sam Mickel
52. Samadai
Hmmmm, is there any mention of someone disappearing in the series? I am trying to determine if Androl is someone who might have been known at one time, a former lord, or soldier, or? It would be cool to see his background.
Kimani Rogers
53. KiManiak
Re: the 13x13s - I wonder if this is what happened to the remaining Black Sisters that Moghedien sent out several books ago (when was that; TFoH?).

I wonder if certain Aes Sedai (who were BA in secret) who the Tower thinks are reported as dead, have actually been "assigned" to the Town.

I wonder if that is maybe even a type of punishment by Moridin for BA Sisters who fail in their duties, but not badly enough to be killed or the like.

Otherwise, you'd have to wonder where the Black Ajah Sisters have been coming from, all of these years (that is, before Egwene "cleansed" the White Tower).

On another note, I also liked how the Borderland Warders have kind of "adopted" Nynaeve. Then again, they probably know that she has married Lan and is therefore Queen of the Malkieri...

Edit: Doorman@43 - The Dragons Go Boom!
Sydo Zandstra
54. Fiddler
I was thinking the same, Samadai...

There is just a little too much background, and he does seem to have wandered around, with that rebellion in Murandy, and admitting having played the game of Houses...

He's too world savvy, if you know what I mean...
F Shelley
55. FSS
@52 and 54. Androl was the Tairen Lord Rand and company stayed with after the cleansing...
F Shelley
56. FSS
Oops correction, that was emaril...sorry
Sam Mickel
57. Samadai
Fiddler, yeah, exactly.
There is more there than we know. When he shows up at the last battle, who is going to recognize him?
And I am happy you figured out how to get the prologue over there in the Netherlands. :D
Sydo Zandstra
58. Fiddler
Thanks, Sam. I am currently staying with friends in Toronto atm; I just forgot to update my Kindle account... ;-)
59. fanaa
Could Androl be the Murandian that Siuan was trying to prop up when she was Amyrlin? The one that got Gareth in trouble with her and Morgase in their first meeting, and was supposed to have died in a hunting accident?
Sam Mickel
60. Samadai

I thought that for a moment too, not sure. it is an interesting idea.
F Shelley
61. FSS
I think somewhere it's mentioned that he's a taraboner. The first taraboner i could think of is the former king, andric, who the seanchan report as killed. The timing doesn't work though...
62. Tayn
i haven't read the prologue yet, but to answer a question i saw here. i think there was a mention of a Blight town in one of the earlier books, maybe even in one of the earlier prologues. i may be wrong, but i really think i remember a reference.
Karan J
63. karanj
Then he found out he really, really didn't want to die.
Talk about a Moment of Awesome! Talmanes!

I for one liked the intercutting between the Battle for Caemlyn and the others - for one, it established that things are happening now in the sense that it's simultaneous and this is all just the night before the big meeting at the Field of Merrilor. In the camp at Merrilor it all seems to be the calm before the storm - while out in Caemlyn Tarmon Gaidon has well and truly begun. I'm a little surprised we didn't see the refugees picking up weapons, improvised or otherwise, during the battle, but no doubt it's a bit of shell shock at the moment.

Curious though as to who is leading the forces of the Shadow in Caemlyn - since it's not Dem, there's got to be some high-level general giving direction (such as telling the Trollocs to occupy the walls) to the Fades and Dreadlords.

I'm not certain that Demandred is in Shara or the Land of Madmen - it feels like it's too far to get people across solely for the purpose of the fight, but then again when the resources are there... it certainly seems like Dem would be more prominent. More hints as to his identity - prominent nose, tall and black haired, more deeply personal grudge now - suggests that he's interacted with Rand, particularly as he's seen Taim'hael before (he's not Logain, is he?!), but I love the fact that the Taimandred/Taimoridin theory is now officially dead as can be.

As soon as the new Graendal came in I spotted her for what she was, but I'm a little disappointed at the renaming. By that logic, Moggy was due for a new name too, surely? Partially too is that it will be jarring to see a new name on Team Evil just coming into the last book. Moridin's pensiveness has me thinking something more subtle is yet to come.

Nakomi is confirmed as not being a random Aiel: cool. Was it Verin? I don't know if we'll ever know.

I felt like the section with Bair going off was a little odd. How is she coming back to report, if at all? What's the point of heading out if not to head back?

Androl played the Game of Houses around Murandy and Andor. He quotes Tairen idioms as well as Saladean. He's got a history of working with leather. He's a very interesting man... and from the sounds of it, he's lived a decent time. Definitely someone should be able to pinpoint with those hints? Faile's brother or something?

I'm a little confused at Guybon. Was he a Caemlyn..ian before? It sounded like he came from elsewhere before, but the way he's discussed here it's as though he knew Caemlyn intimately. Or maybe that's from Talmanes' perspective.

I loved the fact that Leilwin realised the scale of the cockup with the Sad Bracelets, and we're finally seeing the resolution to the seanchan that helps Egwene prediction.

I'm a little taken aback by the vehemence of Cyndane's orders for Rand's death... and here I was thinking the hint at the end of ToM when Rand sees her in the dream was going to show us the possible dark-side-flip candidate.

As for those complaining about not being able to get it outside the US, as @33. Gotitoutsideus says you just need to enter a US address for Dragonmount to be able to grab it.
Sam Mickel
64. Samadai
Just reading some of the Androl pov again, it just occurred to me why Androl wants more lamps on in the darkness... less shadows.... DUH! LOL
Sydo Zandstra
65. Fiddler

I'm a little confused at Guybon. Was he a Caemlyn..ian before? It sounded like he came from elsewhere before, but the way he's discussed here it's as though he knew Caemlyn intimately. Or maybe that's from Talmanes' perspective.

He was in the Andoran army, just stationed at Aringill. That's how I read it. Since Andoran recruits (and officers probably even more so) are probably trained in Caemlyn, I didn't find his familiarity with the city surprising...
Karan J
66. karanj
@Fiddler, thanks, that makes sense... I just had the impression from before that he was with one of the houses that fell in line with Elayne, but it makes sense that perhaps he was one of the loyal group sent out of town by Rahvin.

@samadai - yes, and I guess that needs Nynaeve's attention to cleanse the madness from his brain... how I wish this book was here already so we can see the resolution to the Black Tower!
michael gaston
67. Ashenladoka
I know several are assuming that the woman that met Isam was Lan/Cyn but I'm not to sure. Isam says he can recognize all of the Chosen now but why a disguise? She is only discribed as...

"She was a pretty woman, dressed in black trimmed with red. Isam didn't recognize her slim figure and delicate face..."

Interesting points, she calls him Al'Thor when addressing him and later only says Lews Therin would see a trap. I'm not 100% positive but usually Lanfear called him LTT almost exclusively. So unless Mor killed her again why not look like she is now? Blue eyes and all.
So maybe Sammael reborn? He wasn't balefired afterall and the woman was staring into the glass looking at her reflection. Sam usually called him Al'Thor too. Just a thought, been wondering if Sam was coming back anyway.

Isam seems to have a little humanity in there still too. Looking at the child and wanting him to flee. Wonder if he's going to have a change of heart at some time and I'm thinking he's a real Dreamer too but can't touch the OP/TP.
Sydo Zandstra
68. Fiddler

At the Chosen Tea Party where M'Hael is being welcomed later on, Moridin says that only them 4 (Moridin, Demandred, Moghedien and Graendal-new-style) and the one who has been punished the most (or something like that) are the only remaining Chosen. That would point at Cyndane...

That would outrule Sammael coming back (besides that, RJ confirmed that Sammael was roadkill)
69. Tenesmus
I have to go back and look at some of my old posts, but I am fairly certain I predicted that there was a city in the blight. Talmanes stays dead. Aviendha will "forget" what her kids names were from her vision, so then can't "change" the vision. Bair meets Nakomi. Demandred has a big a$$ sa angreal and will make a huge a$$ gate for an army from Shara. Androl is old, he has been channeling for decades. He knows Cads from somewhere from back in the day.
DA Ford
70. Ford75
So HAPPY to get this today (did the other Canadians still have issues getting it? I got it without any problems at all).

Can't wait for this book!
Eric Hughes
71. CireNaes
It was great and very well written. It also felt strange reading it. Like I had been waiting for the Last Battle to finally kick off and now that it had arrived I wanted everything to slow down. Like I don't want what the WoT world that I know to change. What a great series.
72. AndrewB
Let me echo others' opinion: I enjoyed the prologue. Two comments. First, I bet there will be at least one post somewhere by somebody who will argue that the person at the Chosen social had an inverted weave to look like Taim. Further Dem and Moridin are on in this plan.

After so many years of the Taimdred theory, some will not give up. No matter what RJ said or how the text reads. (FWIIW, I gave up on the Taimdred theory after WH.)

Second, does Bair's decision put to rest that she is a DF? I hope so. I never believed she was a DF.

Thanks for reading my musings.
(Sent from my smartphone; please excuse any typos)
Eric Hughes
73. CireNaes

It appears the cannons are safe by the end of the prologue. Rest easy, Eh? Talmanes looks to have saved the day. Albeit at great cost to himself and the Band.
74. elliesaurus
Okay, was anyone else tearing up during this? When Talmanes told those mercenaries he was dying I had to put my Kindle down because I couldn't see the screen anymore. The POV switches didn't help. At one I was literally begging for him to just die already because I couldn't handle him suffering.

You know it's good writing when...

And Pevara and Androl? Awwww yeah! I ship it like the Sea Folk. They're gonna set up a REAL honest-to-Light Black Tower and usher in an era of peace and understanding between the Aes Sedai and Asha'Man and just be generally awesome and amazing. I can't wait to see how their little coup goes.

And the red veiled Aiel? Pretty awesome. I love how they lower their veils to kill, and only some of them were converted. The others are born and raised and apparently the ones who wash out of training get eaten .

How is Bair going to get back to Merrilor from Rhuidean.

Also apparently Nynaeve has a whole slew of Warders at her service I wonder how their Aes Sedai feel about that? She's a Yellow not a Green, sheesh, guys.

Lielwin you dun goofed. The idea of someone with a Texan drawl trying to sound Dutch had me in stitches. This was RIGHT AFTER Talmanes too, so I honestly had no idea what my feelings were doing. I was laughing but inside I wanted to cry. :c

That's all I can think for now. Ugh, January cannot come fast enough. I think the wait is going to come very close to killing me.
Theresa Gray
75. Terez27
Non-US residents: from what I understand, it's legal to use a US address to buy the book so long as you have the resident's permission. They don't check your card against it, nor do they check your IP, and it appears as though Orbit is uninterested in its rights in this case anyway.
Karan J
76. karanj
@67 Ashenladoka - Cyn is described along those lines, and I think the point is that Isam met the Forsaken as they were just after they got free
Karan J
77. karanj
Also I hearby propose we refer to Talmanes with his newly acquired title, Dreadbane!
78. Julie Marshall
Why is the prologue only available in the states and when will it be available in Scotland ? Really upset about this I have been an avid fan for years and cannot wait for the final book so please release the prologue across the world very unfair to fans that are not American.
79. Rob copper
Thanks apple store!!! Not available in the uk!!
Alice Arneson
80. Wetlandernw
Julie Marshall @78 - If you read a couple of the comments, you might have a better understanding. Try @39 and @75. Unless, of course, you just stopped in to complain.

A couple of random comments...

I don't know that there was any actual mention of a town in the Blight, but we did see some activity at the forges of Thakan'dar, and the presence of people there could be taken to imply some sort of... habitation... not too far away. The only other mention of someone living in the Blight that I can recall was Moridin's palace of black stone, from which one could see fields being worked. Graendal determined that it was in the "deep northeastern Blight," though, which doesn't look like it could be near the Town.
"Nakomi." Bair tried the word in her mouth. "An ancient name. I have never known anyone who uses it. Why?"
YES!! This fits perfectly with my theory that Nakomi is of the Jenn Aiel.
michael gaston
81. Ashenladoka
Oh well. Forgot about the Sammael is toast comments fron RJ. I believe Isam has spied more recently though at least that's how I read it. Just was thinking that Lanfear saying sorry to Rand and asking him to help her. Then 180 to wanting to kill him with extreme prejudice. Just struck me as a little wrong.
Awesome beginning though. Just so many loose ends to tie up. Anyone know the final word count?
Bob Hoskins
82. Murex42
I've noticed a lot of people are jumping to the conclusion that the woman who talked with Isam was Lanfear/Cyndane, but for some reason I automatically assumed it was Graendal under an Illusion weave.

1. She comments on Isam's "failures" - which is what she blamed the SNAFU at the end of ToM on.
2. She keeps looking at her face reflected in Isam's cup. Which fits in with Graendal being made ugly.
3. She calls Rand "Lews Therin".
4. She's angry at Rand and wants him dead. If it wasn't for him balefiring Natrin's Barrow she wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.
5. Isam doesn't recognise her. New face + I think Cyndane's made an appearance in TAR once or twice.
Bob Hoskins
83. Murex42
Although, on another reading, she is wearing black and red, Moridin's colours, whereas brand-new Graendal is wearing yellow in the dream.

Lan/Cyn also calls Rand Lews Therin...

I'm confused.
Theresa Gray
84. Terez27
Tayn@62—There was no mention of the Town before now, but you might perhaps be thinking of the Blightpatch that Perrin and Co. discovered in TGS. There was a small village in the center, and some fans theorized that it had been transported from the Blight. Some further argued that it was evidence that there was an Aiel town in the Blight, though I never could see the logic. (It wasn't that I didn't think they had a town—I figured it was a good possibility that this was the blank in the Blight—I just didn't think the Blightpatch was evidence of it.)

We have gotten hints of its existence, arguably as far back as TEOTW (when 'black-eyed' Aiel were mentioned, and Agelmar voiced his pity for Isam). Later we found out that male Aiel channelers believed it was their duty to go north to kill the Dark One. In TPOD Tenobia made a reference to black-eyed Aiel. And someone asked RJ who raised Isam—was he raised by his mother, or by the Shadow directly, or by someone else? And RJ said, by someone else.
Kurt Lorey
85. Shimrod
@80 wetlander.
I too, think that Nakomi was of the Jenn Aiel.

Creepy about the male Aiel channelers being co-opted over the centuries. Smart, though.
86. Doorman
CireNaes @ 73 I will rest easy! At least until Jan.

@ KiManik 53. Boom Eh! Lol.
Marty Beck
89. martytargaryen
Have not read any comments yet, but just wanted to say how awesome Talmanes was. And I'm glad I was right about the male Aiel channelers.
Rich Bennett
91. Neuralnet
wow.. the prologue was fabulous. It is so hard to wait for Jan 8th.

some thoughts... I love that Bair suggested Aviendha change one of her children's names. Such a simple solution, lets hope it works. but like the wise ones say... it doesnt really matter if they can change that future or not... they have to try. It will be interesting to see what Bair finds out. I assume she will report back at some point by a dream world meeting.

Am I the only one that found the whole shadow taint/poison taking over Talmanes earily similar to Amyloidosis... Everytime he talked about how he felt dying and how his veins were turning black it made me think of RJ... so sad. I think Talmanes is probably done for but since we didnt really see him die, it wouldnt surprise me if he is saved at the last second.

Isam/Luc is still such an interesting character... his ability to instantly step into Tel'aran'rhoid and his split personality. such fun to find out more about him. What a creepy town to grow up in. I am going to go with the simpliest answer... that it was cyndane/lanfear that he met with. Looking forward to the scene where Rand and the Aiel are attacked and first learn about the red veils.

I think Moghedian will be somehow infiltrated into the Seanchan... I know this is a little crazy but I think that when Semirhage was captured/died, Damendrod lost his contact with the seanchan armies and moghedian wil take this over. Alternativly it could jsut mean that she is going to take over an army of trollocs + dreadlords, but that strikes me as too simple somehow.

all in all a great prologue... funny but the first part of it with the metal turning soft etc. ended up being the most underwhelming part I thought.
Marty Beck
92. martytargaryen
Loved the back and forth featuring Talmanes, especially the way the Epilogue left us hanging in ToM. I was sure he was going to have a heroic death on-screen. People have to start dropping like flies now that it is the end.

I, too, was right about the red veils. So, I wonder what the origins of the "talentless" are. The Town is just about the creepiest place ever.

The Isam thing confused me a bit. I had always thought that Isam only existed in TAR, and if he left he became Luc. Guess I was wrong on that one.

74. elliesaurus - "And Pevara and Androl? Awwww yeah! I ship it like the Sea Folk."

I don't know this for sure, but I have a strong suspicion that Androl is going to be the one male gay character that Sanderson has mentioned in interviews or Tweets.
Marty Beck
93. martytargaryen
does anyone else here have a birthday on January 8th? Just checking.

I know what I'll be doing...dang it, I can't wait!
Sam Mickel
94. Samadai
The Red-veiled Aiel raise a whole lot more questions. When didthey start? Timing-wise it sounds like it might have been around the Trolloc wars. Isam speculates the town to be around 2000 years old. So, did Ishamael find one of the Aiel men who had begun to channel, catch him, and turn him? ( I personally find it hard to believe that they would become darkfriends on their own, (not impossible, just improbable))
Though if they were darkfriends to begin with, I can see them heading to the blight, ( maybe darkfriend Aiel know about this town).
Sam Mickel
95. Samadai
I would imagine the talentless are those children, born to the women of the town, who either aren't born with the spark, or can't learn to channel.

Who taught Isam to do what he does? How did he and Luc merge? I sure hope we get at least another pov from him to explain. If the Forsaken are jealous of what he can do, that leads me to believe they don't know how it is done.

Another point, is it the combination of them both that allows them to enter Tel'aran'rhiod, or is it a natural born talent. too many questions.
96. Kerros
Loved this, way to short, but it was great! I have an issue though, How are they supposed to get the Dragons over the rubble of the wall? when you knock down a wall there is a bunch of loose stuff left behind. Even on waggons it would not be easy to get through all of that. I don't think we've seen the last in the battle for Camelyn.
Sam Mickel
97. Samadai
Well, the group wanted to follow the line of the wall to the city gate, but the trollocs on top of it were keeping them from doing so. Assuming the blowing up of the wall and trollocs would allow them to use the path to the city gates ( I think they assume the city gate is still hld by the band and the rest of Guybons men
Antoni Ivanov
98. tonka
Thanks whoever mention entering US billing address in dragonmount in order to buy it.
That was a great read. I am almost sad because only in 3 months time there will be the last WoT book, and after that there will be no more (aside from the encyclopaedia-thingy). I swallow it in no time. I have almost forgotten how great these books were.

@82. Murex42
Yes you are very much right. I should have seen that. It's very likely Graendal, there was no mention of silver hair or blue eyes. I think it was left vague on purpose though, so we cannot be sure.

It's likely though that she is not acting by herself. Moridin is running too much of a tight ship for her to be able to slip such important tool as Slayer for herself. And Rand must die at some point (link to Moridin or no link) especially after Dragonmount when Rand is no longer damaging his own side (and any chance of converting him to the Shadow has disappeared).

Probably the Shadow has decided to launch attacks against Rand on multiple fronts (Slayer, Cyndane (maybe), Demandred, Moridin himself somehow, who knows who and what else). I mean Rand is the Dragon and ta'veren and so far he has defeated anything that has been thrown against him. They'd need a lot of "firepower" from many sides to take him down
michael gaston
99. Ashenladoka
She (whomever she is) calls him Al'Thor ever time but says Lew Therin would recognize the trap. Maybe was Gren in a mask, and that makes more sense to me now. Last in ToM Lanfear was saying sorry and asking for help. But with Mor just walking by, does this mean he doesn't know she is meeting Isam? Or did she (whomever she is) meet Isam with Mor's permission? If so then this is a big policy shift since it was don't kill Rand for all previous books.

Unfortunately there were Aiel DF's. Mat's main squeeze for a while was one and lots of speculation about the Shaido's WO.
Eric Dean
100. Aerich
I managed to get it from Kobo in Canada.
Craig Jarvis
101. hawkido
@94 Samadai

I don't believe the Aiel had settled or became as they are now by the trolloc wars... I think they were still travelers, drawing water from the ancestors of Cairein. Only after the founding of Ruidean and the death of the last Jenn Aiel and old school AS would the prophesies be past on to them, verbally and through the ter'angreal.

Looney theory:
Birgette, when "blown" out of the Horn had a "Magical" silver bow that shot silver arrows that could sink a ship in one shot (more or less).

Talmanes has been blackened by time after a Fade Blade has struck him... I wonder if there is a Rand sized Fade that is likely to strike Rand and after time Rand's Hand starts to blacken during the Strike at Shao'ghul part deux..
Craig Jarvis
102. hawkido
@96. Kerros
There are 1000 people there with them (not even counting what is left of the Band... I am sure they will manage.
Dale Norman
103. dokipen
Am I the only one who immediately thought Isam's new employer was Alviarin? In retrospect it makes more sense that it was Cyndane I suppose.
104. Kerros
@97. Samadai, @102.hawkido

Even with 1000+ people, clearing away the rubble of a 50 foot wall would take a lot of work. (I know i've seen that figure before, but don't quote me on it). It's also not just a couple feet thick, as men and equipment are able to be up there. With the amount of Trollocs in the city, even with the dragons the Band is going to be hard pressed to get any of them through a hole in the wall.
105. elliesaurus
@92: Hey, that's cool. BroTP it is. Platonic Life Partners. Back to Back Badasses.

I wonder how Leilwin will serve the White Tower. We know Egwene saw herself being helped by a Seanchan woman, but few if any Aes Sedai, especially Egwene and her bone-deep hatred of any and all things Seanchan, would trust her. She's needed, and Egwene will probably realize this, but would she bond her in order to keep her in line? Just demand some sort of blood oath? Put a Finder on her? I'm curious to see how that turns out, given how close we are the the Last Battle.

And, thank you to whoever it was that reminded me that Bair was a dreamwalker and can talk to others in their dreams. I was wondering how on earth she would get the message back to the other Wise Ones, but seeing as she can't channel her presence won't really be missed on the battlefield, and her intel is more important.
William Carter
106. wcarter
Possibly (read probably) looney theory here.

Moghieden spent a lot of time worrying about her Cor'Souva holding her very soul.
Is it possible that the Maerion/Lanfear Rand saw trapped in his dream was actually the Lanfear that has become Cyndane but rather her soul being tormented inside her own mind trap?
We know that wholling ripping a soul out of someone results in a state worse than death a la Greyman or the zombie Ogier used to warn Rand and Co. away from the Way gates back in TGH.
So to have one's soul trapped in a Cor'Souva must be fundamentally different somehow to leave the person still sentient inside their own body (at least until such a time as the mind trap is destroyed).
107. Lillyanith
I have not read it yet.. but wow there seems to be SO much information in just the prolog! I have been worried that the word count would not be hight enough to fit in all of the loose ends! If there is this much information in just the prolog then I feel better about the word count.

The comment on the crops being cultivated in the blite is the only refrence I can think of that points to people in the blight needing to be fed. Why make a new strain of crops that can grow better if you did not need the food ?

Thakan'dar is where the weapons are made but there is no town. The people uesed to make the weapons were take in a raid into the boarderlands.
108. Kathie M
After what Talmanes just went though, I think we'll see him again. I think even if he's NOT healed by an Aes Sedai (which I find unlikely), I think he will be bound to the Wheel as a hero of the Horn. He's just too awesome of a character to NOT have at the last battle. And since we know the Horn will be at the Last Battle with Mat to blow it, it just seems fitting.
michael gaston
109. Ashenladoka
I know several have said Tal should be a new hero tied to the Horn and I tend to agree. But I'd also hope Intagar gets to join. Yes I know he was a DF for a while but he did, in a warped way, only want peace for his people. Unrealistic when fighting the DO true, but I guess I could understand it.
Plus his sacrifice in Falme is probably the only reason they got out to allow Matt to blow the Horn. Very pivotal point in the book showing that the Light could defeat the DO's direct power thru sacrifice if your willing.
I'm sure others have favorites for the Horn and in these last months of waiting its a good time to point them out. Kind of like weaning off the addiction since this is the last book.
I wonder if there will ever be a storyteller like Robert Jordan in my lifetime again?

Edit spelling sorry about that.
William Carter
110. wcarter
Hurin got the nod from the Hawkwing himself. Granted I know the current heros probably have no say about when and if the horn adds to their number, but it surely didn't hurt his chances any.
As for other great storytellers, there is no denying that Jordan was special. That being said, I think there are several out right now that show a great deal of promise.
Patrick Rothfuss jumps to mind if you haven't tried him yet. There's always George R R Martin... and of course you can always look at some of the literally hundreds of posts on this site that list great writers you might want to check out.
111. Tenesmus
Am I the only one that immeadiatley thought that the "child" that Isam saw ducking into the alley was actually Padan Fain? Just saying... it was the first thing that popped into my head.
Nadine L.
112. travyl
What an impressive prologue. I really liked the switching back to Talmanes .... whom I seriously hope will survive. This is a fantasy series, so IMO, all my beloved characters should survive.
And though I not really cared for Talmanes before KoD, after this prologue, I really want him to survive. – Maybe Moiraine could come around. It would be poetic, after all she healed Tam from a Shadow-inflicted wound in EotW.

Side note: I don’t think it quite believeable that Elayne would take all but 4 Channelers (weak enough to only be able to create a Gateway if linked) with her. But I don’t blame Elayne, rather the pattern (in work for the book), because else you couldn’t explain why there is no help being sent to Caemlyn.

@110 wcarter: my fondness of keeping the characters I come to know and love alive so far prevented me from reading anything of GRRM.
Sam Mickel
113. Samadai
Kerros @ 104

I wasn't talking about clearing the rubble. I was talking about the avenue in front of the wall that led to the gate they were trying to get to. They dont have to take the Dragons through the crumbled wall, all they have to do is make it to the gate and out. That is what the trollocs were blocking them from getting too.
Nadine L.
114. travyl
@104 / 113,
These are Aludras Dragon's were talking about. Of course the will blast the wall in a fashion which will create a clear way out through the wall ; )
Lee VanDyke
115. Cloric
Okay... I'm doing my re-read and just finished tSR, and I think I might have a theory as to why the Red Veils lower their veils to kill, as opposed to other Aiel.

"Riding closer to the black-veiled Shaido, Rand saw Rhuarc lift a hand to his own veil. 'No, Rhuarc. We are not here to fight them.' He meant that he hoped it would not come to that, but the Aielman took it differently.
'You are right, Rand Al'Thor. No honor to the Shaido.' Leaving his veil hanging, Rhuarc raised his voice. 'No honor to the Shaido!'" (tSR, 661)

I think the red veils might lower their veils to kill to deny their victims honor. Possibly a perversion of their Aiel roots.
Sam Mickel
116. Samadai
This raises a few more questions. If there have been all of these male Aiel channelers around for such a long time, why haven't they gone crazy and destroyed the world? It can't be because they have a link to the DarkOne. As far as the books have explained, only the "Chosen" have that link.

Is this "town" the place where Taim learned how to channel?
Is this where Moridin "recruited" him?
Is there a heirarchy in this place or order of Red veils? Who leads them? Maybe Moridin does now, but he has only reappeared in the last 15(?) years.
117. Melanie veracity
It's hard not to feel ripped off when the prologue is only available for purchase in the US - especially when that was not the case for the earlier books! And not even a note in the post that this is the case. We've been waiting in Australia for as long sad people in the US. Lets have some equity between regions.
Alice Arneson
118. Wetlandernw
Samadai @116 - I sort of assumed that the "restrictions" in Isam's thought were what kept them under control. My guess is that their access to the OP is limited in some way, though I haven't really tried to figure out how.
Vincent Lane
119. Aegnor
"The carriages passed. So. Another had been caught. Isam would have assumed that the practice had ended once the taint was cleansed."

So I guess that means that all the Aiel who started channeling, and went off into the wilderness, were captured and turned to the shadow using the 13-13 trick. That sucks :(

Melanie veracity@117,
Wasn't there a post today about the prologue now being available overseas?
120. Timewalkerauthor
It occurs to me...the Town isn't in the Blight. It's in the Blasted Lands, if it's within sight of Thakan'dar and Shayol Ghul. Hmm.
Stefan Mitev
121. Bergmaniac
I liked it a lot overall, but a few things really bugged me. First Egeanin going all the way to Tar Valon and later merrilor instead of sticking in Caemlyn when her goal was to meet Elayne. Surely she knew mat was trying to arrange an audience and would likely get it soon, in fact he had it arranged when she left for Tar valon IIRC.

And Elayne leaving just 4 Kin women, weak ones too, in Caemlyn makes no sense either. She had hundreds of those after all.
Sam Mickel
122. Samadai
One thing that just popped into attention. Sleete tells Bayle that he is in the camp of the Dragon reborn, so that means Nynaeve is camped there too. Interesting.....
Sam Mickel
123. Samadai
So, Rand is going to ask for peace between all as his price to save everyone. He isn't going to include the Aiel in the peace plan, that is why everything goes wrong for the Aiel in the future (huge guess, but probable) . But now the wise ones know what could happen, and will fall in with the peace plan, thus avoiding the terrible future. They will become the peacekeepers, and as the world becomes more peaceful, they will slip back into their role as servants of all.
Thomas Keith
124. insectoid
Read it finally. Awesome work Team Jordan! Can't wait till January.

Lots of intriguing reveals, mostly about the Dark Side: the Samma N'Sei, Graendal's somewhat appropriate fate, Taim becoming Chosen.

Isam's meeting with the anonymous Chosen in the Town is puzzling. I initially agreed with a lot of people in thinking that it was Cyndane, who (as Moridin notes in KoD) still wants Rand dead. But if it is her, then the scene from the ToM Epilogue makes no sense. So (as Murex42 @82 suggests) it could be the uglified Graendal whatever-her-new-name-is.

Also: the Town be creepy. That is all.

Talmanes, of course, is buckets of awesome, but I doubt he will live to see the Band win the day, if they even can. Maybe Mat will show up with Moiraine and Thom and turn things around. Seems like a stretch, though.

And Jarid Sarand is totally bugnuts. But we already knew that. ;)

I'm puzzled by the scene with Egeanin and Domon; specifically, I'm wondering what their purpose in being at the FoM is.

The Wise Ones' casual brush-off of Aviendha's revelations is a little unsettling. At least Bair is willing to go find out more.

Did I forget anything? Man, that was a long Prologue.

James Golden
125. Treemaster
Great prologue -- MUCH better than Towers of Midnight! I agree with pretty much everything said. I haven't seen any comments on Sorilea, though. This the first time we have seen her in quite some time, and I've been carefully scrutinizing nearly every word from her for clues as to whether or not she is a darkfriend (I think she must be). There wasn't too much to chew on in the prologue, but possibly some clues:

Comments on Aviendha's vision: "It's unimportant," Sorilea repeated. "If this vision were unchangeable, if our destiny is to ... fall ... as you have spoken, would any of us stop fighting to change it?" An honest comment on how the Aiel should do anything to stop the vision? Telling people what they want to hear? or is this just discouraging Aviendha from trying to determine exactly what the columns were trying to show Aviendha?

Comments on Dark One's Goal: "It proves nothing, " Sorilea said. 'Sightblinder's victory would break the Pattern, and so no vision of the future can be sure or trusted, Even with prophecies of what might happen in ages to come, if Sightblinder wins this battle, all will become nothing." This could go either way, but it strikes me that Sorilea knows what the end-game is, as does Moridin, where most do not.

Criticisms of Aviendha: "He would not make these mistakes if he had been trained properly in our ways."

I don't think there's enough here to make any definitive determinations either way, but I'm curious as to whether anyone else has any thoughts.

@122: I noticed that also. It can't mean Nynaeve has "picked" Rand's side, though, since she takes Leilwin off to Egwene. Maybe Rand has told her she is coming with him to Shayol Ghul? Is Nynaeve trying to influence Egwene, and if so, how. Also, everyone seems to know Rand is going to make some kind of demands. What happened to the ostensible purpose of the meeting, which was Egwene's opportunity to discourage Rand from breaking the seals? Also, whatever happens at the Fields probably can't be too cataclysmic, given Mat's thoughts in the other released chapter.
Sam Mickel
126. Samadai
One thing that I noticed that might need a fix in future releases( just from my own pov) Guybon knows Talmanes, by name, and as the leading lieutenant General of Caemlyn has certainly met and talked with him more than the 2 times in ToM. I don't think he would have called Talmanes "mercenary", he surely would have addressed him as Talmanes, or even Lord Talmanes
Sam Mickel
127. Samadai
Hmmm, I seem to be on fire here. I don't think I have commented this much on the last 40 posts.
Jay Dauro
128. J.Dauro
martytargaryen @92

We have been told that as Slayer steps in or out of Tel'aran'rhiod he can choose who he will be. I will try to find the reference.

Samadai @95

Doesn't Slayer somewhere say this power was given to him, but not other powers?

Bergmainiac @121

Egeanin left Mat in TOM-17 to go to Tarvalon with Joline (from Caemlyn), and we know the party arrived because Joline sent a letter to Setalle in TOM-52. She says when she leaves
“I always intended to make my way to the White Tower,” she continued. “I set my mind there on the day I left Ebou Dar."
So apparently the desire to see Elayne has started after she left.

Samadai @ 122

The last we see of Nyneave in TOM she is with Egwene after the defeat of Mesaana. With Egwene going to meet Rand, I would be surprised if Nyneave wasn't there. She probably knows more of Rand than any other Aes Sedai that Egwene has access to, even Elayne.
Jay Dauro
129. J.Dauro
For all of you who are not able to purchase the Prologue, and wondering why, you may want to go read this article:

Patrick does a great job of explaining it (not defending, but explaining how it came to be.)
130. AndrewB
I hope we learn Olver's fate. At the end of ToM, Olver grabs his knife from under the mattress and rushes out towards Camelyn.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Jay Dauro
131. J.Dauro

I'm sure we will see Olver again. He has some purpose, I just hope he doesn't do a Nicola.
michael gaston
132. Ashenladoka
Glad to see that Nye is with Rand. At least he's an old friend he can trust, but should we keep calling her AS or just give her the title "The Adopted" since I'm pretty sure most of the Borderland Warders are watching out for her some kind of way.
Wonder if she has any new insults for him though...
133. kerros
113. Samadai / 114. travyl

I'm sticking by my previous post. Talmane intent was to blow a hole in the wall and get the heck out of dodge. They pointed all the dragons at one spot to get the most effect, so trying to breach the wall in one shot.

Even will the power of 50 dragons pointed at one spot there is only so much rubble that would be cleared before the rest of the 50 foot wall dropped in the way...

This might just be one of those times where you need to believe the impossible is possible to move along the story.

134. Czernobog
"She seemed...revolted. As if she were disgusted to need his aid." Isam's interpretation of her revulsion is incorrect, methinks. Cyndane/Lanfear/Mierin is revolted because she is carrying out her role as "the one who is punished most" in loosing a weapon to kill the only person she wants alive. The entire series, all of her efforts have been to make Lews Therin love her again; nothing would change that driving desperation.
135. BigJon
To Talmanes the Dreadbane,

May you shelter in the palm of the Creator's hand, and may the last embrace of the mother welcome you home.

If you have to go out, go out like a champ.
136. Hawkido
@126 Samadai Guybon does know Talmanes by name but called him "Mercenary" because Talmanes demanded payment for killing the gholam... remember... guybon was miffed due to it? Calling Talmanes that was ment as a somewhat playful jest at Talmanes. *Wink* the book is fine... your memory is flawed *Nudge*
@134 CZsomethingerother Her revulsion might be at her only-pretty face and not her ZOMG awesome face. Enh, as to her giving up on LTT... heh, she might if he bedded one chick... but he is bedding 3 so yeah she flipped on the psycho-bitch switch and she was his head... both of them.
137. hawkido
@104 kerros

they won't need to clear the rubble... they aren't sealing the bore again... they will just drag the cannons over them... most castle wall is a double layer of stone block with a filler in between (helps cushion against catapault/trebuchet hits). If the wall is hollow (allowing for troop movements inside the wall, and they target the lower portion of it they may very well just pop a hole in one side then out the other while the rest of the structure remains intact... just a hole at the base. They could just carry/drag the cannons over the rubble. They each only weigh about a ton with the cart (comparison a 12-pounder napoleon cannon with cart weighed 2300 pounds). At 10+ people per cannon they should be able to make this happen. Plus once the wall is down then those outside the wall can help cover the escape.
Barry T
138. blindillusion
As to the rubble...perhaps the last WO could help....
139. MJ 13
Has anyone else thought that the woman meeting with Isam is really Moridin with a Mask of Mirrors? She is wearing his colors, and he would have had ample opportunity to adjust the weave before entering the inn from the other side of the door...
140. kiwiozzie
No happy - not on iBooks that I can find - is it only being released in the States? (I live in Aus)
141. wagman26
Great Prologue!! Can not wait for the book.

I want, I want, I need, I need!
142. Kartikeya GS
First things first - what an absolutely incredible start to the book! But, honestly, while this prologue was brilliant, there was, in my opinion, only one big reveal (in terms of a denouement) - M'Hael. Everything else was simply narrative (the Red Aiel thing was cool, but hardly something that we have been cogitating over for books on end).

That said, when Taim stepped through the doorway, my mind did cart-wheels in awe! This has, for me, been so long awaited a revalation that I had to reread the section a couple of times before it really sunk in. On my reread, I noticed too that Moridin seems to overestimate Taim's achievement - Rand never trusted Taim and from their very first meeting there has been tension and distrust between the two.

As for the Isam bit, if it was indeed Cyndane (and I hope it is not), it makes for poor plot construction. To dangle such a tantalizing tidbit before readers' eyes at the very end of ToM and have it snatched away two pages into AMoL seems rather pointless. That said, I also doubt it is Graendal since she had run afoul of Moridin for her supposed misuse of the 'tool,' Isam - hardly the lead in to her ordering Isam in such a manner and assuring lack of interference. Perhaps it is one of the Black Ajah who has become Moridin's pets/servants.

As for the battle raging in Caemlym, kudos to Talmanes for just being so awesome. It seems being around Mat seems to rub off on one's personality! Again, as has been pointed out, it does seem odd that no one outside has heard anything of the attack yet. The whole battle scene was frighteningly simliar to the bleakness of Ituralde's battle in ToM. So much so that at the conclusion of each passage I kept expecitng some rescuing force to emerge from the smoke and save the day. Sadly, that has not happened. It is truly the beginning of the Last Battle - it comes down to each man to fight for himself.

I am simply burning to see how things get underway in the book. Considering the pleasantly surprising early release of the Prologue, perhaps Tor may choose to unveil an even bigger surprise and release the book a couple of months early (oh, pretty please with a cherry on top)! No harm in hoping, right?
143. NickEllis
I can't get the prologue as I'm in the UK, and I wouldn't buy it if it was available. I remember when the prologues and/or the first chapter were free and think it's blatant greed by the publisher to make people pay to see what is basically an advert
Marty Beck
144. martytargaryen
@125 Treemaster - I was doing the same thing WRT Sorilea. I almost got the feeling that the author(s) was (were) toying with us, leaving it intentionally vague. BTW, I too am in the Sorilea Is DF camp.

However: her explaination of the DO's goals, that it will be a complete destruction of everything for all time, is counter to what most DF (and the Forsaken) believe - that there will be a DO's world in which to rule and live forever. If she is a DF, it then sounds like her thinking is more in line with Ishy/Moridin.
Rich Bennett
145. Neuralnet
Wondering this morning if there is a dark side version of the Horn of Valere. We have seen dark side versions of almost everything else. Plus, Isam's ability to step in and out of Tel'aran'rhoid is sort of similiar to the Heros of the Horn stepping out... I wonder if Birgette could fight Isam/Luc and somehow get pulled back into Tel'aran'rhoid.
146. RhysMarkov
Go, Talmanes, go!!!
Craig Jarvis
147. hawkido
@ the who met Isam debate team

Isam said he was better/equal to in the World of Dreams than any of the Forsaken he had met.

However, Moggy (she may just have been overestimating herself) once said she was far better than Lanfear in T'A'R. Perhaps it ws Moggy that Slayer had never seen... as Moggy is most skilled of the forsaken at hiding and striking from the shadows. Perhaps Slayer truely never has seen her. The description fits her, slim and pretty.

Remember the Forkasen got their reputation as clever and destructive when they were fighting pasifists. Now they are up against people who have fought and struggled their whole lives to survive. The supergirls kept thinking the forsaken are SO MUCH MORE and kept training and exploring far beyond what the forsaken did. Who would have stopped learning once they could destroy soft pacifists with impunity.
Craig Jarvis
148. hawkido
@143 NickEllis
I can't get the prologue as I'm in the UK, and I wouldn't buy it if it was available. I remember when the prologues and/or the first chapter were free and think it's blatant greed by the publisher to make people pay to see what is basically an advert.
Okay if what they are doing is greed, then what is wanting something that isn't yours without paying for it? Stealing?

I'll take a greedy person over a thief anyday.

People seem to use this greed thing way out of whack... Greed today has come to mean getting the price you request for your work/labors/art/products/etc... That is not greed. That is business. If you "THINK" that is greed then you are well on your way to socialism/communism. Enjoy the ride... watch out for the sudden stop at the bottom.

The true definition of greed is scroogelike. being the one who will not pay fair prices for goods (heh, kinda like you!) refusing to pay fair wages (this does not mean the wages the employee "WANTS", but rather what is comprable in the market). And sacrificing your character for financial benefit. That is what greed is.

Now, with the proper definition of greed before you... WHO IS GREEDY?

I myself said "WooHoo I can pay $3US and read the Prologue 3 Months early. I can get about an hours worth of Supreme entertainment that will echo for weeks for ONLY 3US dollars!" Hell, right now I would pay $3 per chapter to read this book three months early!" You hear me TOR/Macmillian publishing!

As far as not being able to get the prologue, I suggest you actually ask how you can because "yes you can, get it over seas" you just have to do it the right way... You can get teh version that works on the Ipad, but you will have to manually add it to ITunes... It doesn't have DRM on it.. It doesn't have to be purchased through the IStore. But, here, you can have my Idontcare.
Craig Jarvis
149. hawkido
@144 and others

Has Rand looked at Sorilea after he got his DF glasses...
That would settle this point. As he can see sense DF's now... remember they cannot hide from him. He can see the mark placed upon them by the DO.
Sam Mickel
150. Samadai
Sorilea can not be a darkfriend. Rand can detect them now, and Sorilea has been in Rands presence. She was in Tear with Amys and Bair when Rand came back, she is at the fields of Merrilor where Rand is. The only way she could be a darkfriend is if Rands DF vision only works on every other person he sees.
* and no this doesn't happen "onscreen" but there are some things that you you can infer in these books that are true
Craig Jarvis
151. hawkido
@147 me, myself, and I

Also maybe this is how she earns her soul cage (cour'sourvya) back. Because she has it back the next time she is seen. The last time we saw her she didn't and she was working under Moridin's soul cage complusion.

Moridin wants Rand dead now, else the DO risks loosing, as the light now controls the Fisher King. Perhaps Moridin, is contemplating switching sides as a TRUE victory by either side would acomplish what he wants. Both sides keep stalemating in this struggle. For either side to actually "WIN" they need to control the Fisher King AND defeat the other side, without getting the Fisher King killed. So far this hasn't happened that we know of.

Sha'ra is the second example of a game used as instruction in this series (snakes and Foxes being the other), have we missed any more?
Craig Jarvis
152. hawkido
@50 Surmiser

If the DO doesn't "Catch" their soul at teh instant of death then they are lost. There is only a brief moment where they can be caught. if missed they slip out of the resurrection window... That is why balefire victims cannot be resurrected. Perhaps the DO didn't have someone ready for Aginor/Osan'gar/Dashiva. Also he got pwned by a DF so the DO may not have wanted to Revive him. But I havn't seen anything that would disqualify him from being revived. He may yet have been revived... It takes months before they show back up from that process. Perhaps he will be the last of the old guard to survive the end of this age and become the new "Ishmael-like" forsaken in the next age?
I always thought that Rand's dream at the end of ToM was just the Shadow trying to play on his need to save the damsel in distress and maybe set him on a path to go darkside again. Maybe I'm wrong.
154. jms1969
@148hawkido...I couldn't agree more about the prologue. Tor is making it available wherever they have contractual rights to do so, and people can make the decision to buy or not buy it, just as they can buy or not buy the book. Like you, I have no problem with paying $2.99 to get part of the book early.

My personal problem is the decision to delay the e-book, which has been beaten to death in forums previously. While I understand the concerns about illegal pirating, the distribution system for this book is setup to require those true fans who want to get the book as early as possible to possess as an e-book reader for the prologue, then pay for a hardcover book. This will presumably be followed for many of us with a purchase of the e-book to complete our collection. In a very real way, many of us will be purchasing the same content three times, which hits me as a little ridiculous.

Like many, I've already paid to have the majority of the books in two formats (the original paperbacks or hardcovers from when I first started the series that I've discarded, and the e-reader versions as I updated my collection), and the current system is pretty much designed to make sure I have to do the same thing with the new book if I want everything as soon as possible. It's frustrating to me, and I do think it's a little greedy of all involved and somewhat disrespectful to the fans who have waited so long for the completion of this book.

However, if I or anyone else doesn't like it, we have a simple choice - wait until the version we want comes out or don't buy the book at all. Tor and everyone else involved isn't evil for setting this situation up - they are in business to make money and don't "owe" us anything.
155. Surmiser
@152 hawkido
Also he got pwned by a DF so the DO may not have wanted to Revive him.

This was the best reason for me storywise. Although I always thought that Aginor held a special place in the Shadow hierarchy- that of being able to create more exotic creatures for their side. I dont get why capture and then kill and then revive Graendal.

@145 Neuralnet
Dark Horn?
I think this was foretold/foreshadowed in Bors/Carridin POV in the Prolog of Book 2 TGH. The horn that time calling him from the grave.
156. jms1969
I really enjoyed the others have said, it was a major switch to have one story (Talamanes) as an alternating thread throughout, but it did make for a satisfying semi-complete story (with a cliff-hanger, of course) in a Prologue, which is unusual in the WOT.

One question regarding something everyone is taking as a given. Does the story come out and state anywhere that the red-veiled people are former Aiel channelers? All I found was the part about the wagon going by, with a reference to someone being turned and the comment about being surprised "that particular practice is continuing after the Taint was cleansed". While I agree it seems like a logical theory to assume it refers to the Aiel channelers who were sent into the Blight, especially given the veils, is this confirmed anywhere that I missed?
157. Surmiser
@151 hawkido
...maybe this is how she earns her soul cage (cour'sourvya) back...

Just my thought that Moghedien earned back her soul cage when she accidentally destroyed the female Choedan Kal at the end of the cleansing (WH).
Sam Mickel
158. Samadai
Moghedien didn't destroy the access Ter'angreal, nor the Choedan Kal during the cleansing. It melted and broke apart from overuse.
James Reid
159. JamesReid
@156 jms1969
Does the story come out and state anywhere that the red-veiled people are former Aiel channelers?

The red veil guys call themselves Samma N’Sei, the Eye Blinders, which sounds like an Aiel Warrior Society (allbeit a shadow serving one). There's also Isam's thoughts on the alcohol served in the Town:
"The locals just called it “fire.” It lived up to its name. It was supposedly related to some drink from the Waste. Like everything else in the Town, it was a corrupt version of the original."
The red veil guys keep their veils up except when they kill which is an inversion of the aiel.

Isam sees a procession of 13 Myrdraal and female channelers another another male channeler was caught and about to be turned. The only people in the books that sends male channelers into the blight are the Aiel. Isam is even surprised that their still doing it since the taint was cleasned from saidin.

So while the text doesn't state they are male Aiel channelers it is safe to infer that they are.
Gwen Potter
160. tariqata
@Neuralnet 145 and Surmiser 155:

I don't have access to the book to check the reference right now, but I don't think there's any basis to believe that there's a "dark horn". However, we do get a hint at some point (in The Great Hunt, if memory serves) that the Heroes will answer to whoever blows the Horn, whether a Darkfriend or Lightsider.
michael gaston
161. Ashenladoka
By grace and banners fallen.

Now that was an awesome statement by Tal.
162. Twedge
Loved the prologue and this thread! I'm firmly in the camp that Cyndane was the Forsaken to meet Isam, and here's why: the red and black colors ala Moridin (since he still holds her soul hostage), and the fact that the dream plea to Rand at the end of ToM is either unconscious (it came from the corsova, manipulated by Moridin in his pseudo-telaranrhiod realm where he's lured Rand before), or a clever trap. There's no doubt in my mind that Lanfear/Cyndane wants Rand dead (and if I have any doubts I can always reread the end of tFoH). Definitely wants Rand dead, that Cyndane...
michael gaston
163. Ashenladoka
She was 100% emotion driven at that time but ask yourself this. If you were on Team A and the leader of Team A decided to torture you with insane punishments flaying your mind, body and soul, wouldn't you SERIOUSLY consider moving to Team B? It's a well documented fact that enough torture can turn even the hardest person and Mor has had months with Lan/Cyn.

At one point Mog does state that she's happy she never taught the AS the higher learning or deeper secrets of the One Power. I assume LTT/Rand knows them due to his display in the Borderlands, but even though the Forsaken are fighting people that have struggled most of their lives, the AS are still children to them. I wonder if it's just weaves she is speaking of or something way cooler and something we haven't ever had a glimpse of. It's gonna be interesting though to see how this plays out. Especially since we don't know how many channelers are on Team Dark vs Team Light.

So the Eye Blinders...strange but the Aiel call the DO Sightblinder. Reference to the Great Snake's eye? Can't be Eye of the World since that is gone. Anyone else getting barely controlled terror from Isam too?
Kimani Rogers
164. KiManiak
Hmm. No mention of the captured damane and suldam who were being kept in the Palace in Caemlyn. I doubt Elayne would take any/all of them to the Fields of Merrilor.

I wonder if they fought Trollocs, got free and caused trouble, or were slaughtered in the attack...
165. jms1969
@159JamesReid...thanks for the info. I had missed a couple of the clues and when you put them all together I agree it's pretty obvious.
Liz J
166. Ellisande
So, Eye Blinders - a society of Dreadlord Aiel, intended originally to seek out and blind the Eye of the World? Maybe that's what that Maiden who passed on the desperate message to the Tinkers way back in EotW ran into. Because a couple of fists of Trollocs would not have convinced an Aiel that the Last Battle was on the way; it had to be something else they saw or discovered, something big and different, that made them so desperate to pass on word.
James Golden
167. Treemaster

I'm not convinced. We do not know that Rand has seen Sorilea, and we also do not know that Rand can detect ALL darkfriends, esepcially ones that can channel. I agree that your point constitutes evidence in Sorilea's favor, but not enough to counter all of the evidence going against her.
168. SlappytheClown
With regards to the comment Sleete makes to Bayle about Rand's camp, I think he was referring to the Aiel camp Bayle was looking at as they passed (as in "Oh, those guys belong to the Dragon Reborn, and over here we have the Tairens...," etc). Nyn was probably in the Aes Sedai camp (hence the warders near her tent), not Rand's.
169. djp0n3

I don't think so. Nyn is in Rand's camp, IMO. She's already commited to being there with him at SG, plus they started in the AS camp and were led out to a different camp to find her.
170. MasterAlThor
You know it just doesn't make sense that Cyndane is the one to meet Isam in the Town. End of last book she is begging for Rand's help. Beginning of this one she is wanting him dead beyond all reason? Nope not buying that. It wasn't her.

I would love to see more of this theory that Nakomi is a Jenn Aiel. I am still on the "it was the AS formerly know as Verin" bandwagon.

And thanks goes to Samadai for pulling me out of my long slumber. We shall see how long I stay awake this time.

171. Surmiser
@158 Samadai

I have proof that Moghedien broke the female Choedan Kal
Fact 1: Terangreals are extremely difficult to destroy but a proven way to destroy them is to use one within the same room as a similar one
(see Egwene testing for accepted where Alanna says clearly that both will melt due to 'resonances')
Fact 2: Saidar gateways are made when a channeler 'makes' the two places as one (see Egwene teaching Salidar AS about gateways)

If the broken Choedan Kal in Tanchico were placed near the Female CK during use (saidin cleansing) then both will melt. Presumably the whole CK will melt halfway. And those in the vicinity will expect experience severe headache (remember Nynaeve and Rand getting knocked out?)
Moghedien created a gateway close enough to one end of the saidar mega-straw that Rand created and gated into her homebase Tanchico Palace. End result - the female CK melted.

what possibly happened offscreen:
Moghedien kneels before Moridin:
"i was unable to answer to your summons because i was knocked out after i successfully destroyed the female access key. Here i bring you the melted remains of the broken key and if you want additional proof, check that with Elza and ask her what happened to the working duplicate. Have I not done well miacova? I am the only one who can claim success in that battle and for my reward perhaps you can allow me more freedom? my cur'souv'ra please?"
Sam Mickel
172. Samadai

Except both the one that Rand brought and the broken one in the museum in Tanchico are both access Ter'angreals. nether one is the Choedan Kal, which, in case you might have missed, was located on the Sea Folk Island of Tremalking. I don't have the book handy, however one of them( Cadsuane, I believe) even mentions that it was worked beyond it's limit. Now while the Characters don't know everything, without any actual kind of evidence saying otherwise, Moghedian had nothing to do with the destruction of the female Choedan Kal. I am not saying you're not entitled to your opinion, Just from my pov, it is wrong. Also, Moggy was working her butt off at staying hidden and alive, she had no thought but to stay away from them all until it was over. She was so afraid for her life, that she vowed she would never be afraid again.

edit for: Surmiser that didn't come out the way I meant it. what I mean is I like your theory but I read the facts differently than you do
173. Surmiser

i think RJ has the genius of providing enough circumstantial proof but not enough to convict. But this was the only theory i have that connects Moghedien (at end of WH) and the same Chosen (now proudly carrying her soulcage unlike Lanfear).
"I am Moghedien, the Chosen, the only Forsaken to complete the mission. I claim my reward- my coursouvra my freedom.
If further proof you want then send one of the children from the Tower. Yes send that so-called Aes Sedai Alviarin of the White to the Sea Folk Isle and let her measure the logic of my awesomeness. For the spider is never easily beaten Mwahahahaha"
Roberto Burtoni
174. MadCardigan
I find the whole dragons subplot lacking. Even assuming that the shadow has the ability to grasp their use. They have no way to create more ammo. And they can't travel in a manner that actually affects the world as a whole. Basic lack if realism within Randland's own rules. We know how deadly they are, if there is the mass production/backing of a nation, in this case andor, buttogo from 'oh shit is exploding at me' while the trollocs are fighting to actually understanding how all that works is a huge leap.

Basically, the dragons may be worthwhile from a resources perspective, but have no value to the shadow unless you assume they understand the concept to begin with and just didn't have the resources to manufacture them.

/hangs up hat and get back to being excited
Chris R
175. up2stuff
Surmiser, I like your idea, but I agree with Samadi...

Your argument about the super fun headaches for everyone in the area also seems a bit off to me too. SWMNBN was also standing guard over Rand and Ny and blasting every thing she saw, as well as blind firing anywhere she sensed channeling. There were a couple others with her too that could channel, if memory serves.

Cads and her retinue did not get any resonance migraines. They were all fatigued, but I think Rand and Ny had headaches because they channeled ALL OF THE ONE POWER...EVER. They were hurting because even with angreal, which protect from burnout, they were just short of the threshold of pleasure becomes pain.

Again, a Saidin/Saidar Hangover if you will. Just my interpretation though.
176. Surmiser
@175 uptostuff
Part of my theory was Alviarin suddenly had to go investigate Sea Isle.
Why would she suddenly do that when she was enjoying her job so much slapping the most powerful bitch aes sedai around? No thrill can replace a power tripping like that but you know you have to go when the Big Boss tells you to. So there she went and investigated completely.

Re: fun headaches
remember when Cads "washed" away the exhaustion from Nyn ? Roughly around the time Dashiva started his BF weave? Nyn shouldnt be feeling exhausted like she did that she would pass out. Maybe Cads and others were just outside the range of resonance headaches (barely).

So far only this theory explains
1. how the female access key melted
2. why the two were knocked out
3. why a full weeks-long investigation by Alviarin was warranted
(obviously a Forsaken cannot be sent to do this-they would not be impartial and would rather have Moghedien constrained)
4. why Moghedien was rewarded with more freedom
4. satisfies the mechanics/physical laws that could cause all the events
177. Surmiser
"Have I not done well miacova?"
"Was I not the last one to exit from battle?"
"Did i not deprive our enemies the use of their greatest weapon?"
"The only reward I seek that i can punish our enemies more effectively
that you grant me a little leeway that I can truly serve the Great Lord forever. Grant me my coursouv'ra and I will bring all your plans to fruition."
178. jeremySorensen
I haven't read it yet so I am probably way off but...
If the person who meets with isam says Rand out loud but thinks of Lews Therin and tells isam to kill him, knowing Lews Therin will see the trap.
Could it be that Cyndane is playing lip service? Ostensibly wanting Rand dead whenever Morridin is in earshot, but secretly making sure the plan fails?
Alice Arneson
179. Wetlandernw
More random comments… (in other words, I’m not going to try to reply to particular comments by name or number.)

“The one who is punished most” – for some reason, I immediately assumed he meant Mesaana; she’s in the WT dribbling for the rest of her life. On the other hand, Cyndane isn’t there, and he does hold her cour’souvra, so maybe he did mean her. Mesaana doesn’t exactly “remain” in terms of any viable contribution.

I’m also reminded of a couple of Min’s viewings – specifically, viewings about Rand: “Two dead men on the ground, surrounded by ranks and ranks of Trollocs, a pipe with smoke curling from it.” A glowing sword, Callandor, being gripped in a black hand.”

:: This is the second time since then that we’ve seen “ranks and ranks of Trollocs” – I can’t help wondering if Talmanes and Guybon might turn out to be the two dead men. We didn’t have any specific mention of “two dead men” in the chapter A Storm of Light, although certainly more than two men died. We did hear specifically about Torkumen and Yoeli dying at that time, but the circumstances hardly seem to match Min’s viewing.

:: There were an awful lot of words in this about Talmanes pipe. A lot. Is this significant? Also, though the text isn’t entirely clear that the “two dead men” and the “pipe with smoke curling from it” are necessarily the same scene, I think the punctuation indicates it. In that scene, there are a series of new viewings given:
An open cavern, gaping like a mouth. Bloodstained rocks. Two dead men on the ground, surrounded by ranks and ranks of Trollocs, a pipe with smoke curling from it.
The fact that there are periods after the first two makes me think that the next sentence is intended to be read as a single viewing. (Incidentally, whether it’s one or two, if this really is the scene(s) from that viewing, it means Rand will come to the rescue of Caemlyn.)

:: Which brings me to the third thought…
“Veins?” he asked, then noticed his hand. Tendrils of blackness, like ivy growing beneath the skin, had wound down his wrist and across the back of his hand toward the fingers. They seemed to be growing darker as he watched.
His hand looks to be turning black, and if Rand is coming to Caemlyn and bringing Callandor, could this be related to the viewing? I don’t honestly see any reason for Talmanes to be holding Callandor, but that’s where my thoughts jumped. Anyone want to weigh in on this weird notion?

In other news… FWIW, the last paragraph has the wall crumbling outward. Maybe there was enough force from the multiple dragons to scatter most of the debris outward, or even out and to the sides, so that the route straight ahead is clear. It’s a thought. (Possibly a too-late-at-night thought, but a thought nonetheless. I'm quite sure of it.)
180. Rahvin37
The forsaken are so few compared to the number of good guy heroes now that Demandred has to be somewhere ominous and buttkicking. I'm thinking Demandred is near Shayol Ghul, training new shadowspawn / dreadlords / red veils, and has amassed a large army. I don't think he's in Shara, because it seems too convenient (no back story). I don't think he's Logain, because Logain will have glory of some kind (kicking M'Hael out of office?). Other than that, where can he be?
Nathan Love
181. n8love
Double. Sry
Nathan Love
182. n8love
This was awesome. Edit: I cant use the internet apparently, so some of this was lost.

Talmanes is fully dead tho. You don't have to admit it but you know it's true and you know you're okay with it. He's a perfect candidate for killing at this point, as far as us liking him and his narrative function being nigh unto complete and, as mentioned, some bodies are undoubtedly going to be dropping asap.

Loved the Town but no guess on the identity of Isam's handler. I don't keep tabs on the forsaken. I tried once.

It would have been much better for Bayle, Lyl and the whole mess to go flaming out of my aching neck than keep muling and hijacking everything. We have Nyn and Tuon, we get it.

Red Veils. Nice. Firmly in the "how can anyone still question if these are the male Aiel channelers?" camp. They are. Aiel may have to lose j'e't and decline as pennance for this collasal bonehead move.

Horn Hero nominations: Like the idea of Talmanes, but DOOD what about Noal/Jain? Yeah.

Cannon/wall logistics? These are not hunks of metal, they're boss level boboms. Wide enough hole for the non-pebblized wall fragments to be far enough apart to pull a dragon through.

So what if Mo became queen of Car as a vassal of El? The rod would bind her to her fealty so she could be trusted completely and they have recently warmed to the idea of an AS monarch, which in NS is her major objection to it.

Yes it makes perfect sense for El to leave 4 weak channelers. It would be irresponsible of her not to take every channeler she could spare to the LB. Besides, Cam is safe as far as she knows.

LTT was right about Taim all along, but we knew that. Logain is gonna take off his belt and count to 10 when he gets back. This is gonna be sweet.

When are our Ogier friends gonna pop in?

More later.
Marty Beck
183. martytargaryen
@ 160 tariqata - there is a bit of a contradiction in WRT the HoV in TGH. I know there was talk earlier in the book that the heroes could be called and would fight for whoever sounded the horn, light- or shadow-aligned. However, once they were actually called, The Hawkwing wouldn't move until the Dragon Banner was shown. You can even make the argument that Lew Therin (or Rand) had to be there, based on what Hawkwing said:
"The Pattern weaves iteslf around our necks like halters. You are here. The banner is here. The weave of this moment is set. We have come to the Horn, but we must follow the banner. And the Dragon."
(from TGH, The Grave is No Bar to My Call)

My guess is that the idea that the Heroes could fight for the Shadow comes from the idea that the Fisher King can be controlled by the Shadow. Otherwise, the Pattern has a pretty strong control over the Heroes.
Nadine L.
184. travyl
I have another question about the Isam scene: why does "she" (whomever she is) say, that Isam “needs to find Rand”?
The way I read TOM Rand said that the time of hiding was over.
TOM, Ch 13, after Rand sends Weiramon away
“The time for hiding is past, Min. The Shadow made its play for me and lost. It is war, not subterfuge, that turns the day now.”
Wetlander @179:
you have a point that it is quite pronounced when Talmanes is taking out his pipe. Interessting idea. - I still hope he survives, though.
Jay Dauro
185. J.Dauro
Note that the idea that the Heros of the Horn will fight for whoever blows the Horn originates with people in Universe. One of the first to say it will work for both sides is Siuan.
“You ride to find the Horn of Valere,” she said, “and the hope of the world rides with you. The Horn cannot be left in the wrong hands, especially in Darkfriend hands. Those who come to answer its call, will come whoever blows it, and they are bound to the Horn, not to the Light.”
The Great Hunt - 9

But we know that although this means Siuan believes it, it is necessarily true.

However, as martytargaryen has quoted, we are actually shown that the Heroes request two things to follow. the Dragon Reborn and the Banner.

They make no mention of who blew the Horn itself. So it does appear that they may only fight for the Dragon, with the Dragon. And do we have any idea where the Banner is now?
186. Surmiser
I just want voice out my strong hunch that the Horn of Valere will end up with the forces of the Seanchan. I havent completely placed all the puzzle pieces together but i strongly believe that the Horn of Valere will be in Seanchan hands and they will use it to wipe out the Aiel (so bad that only a fragment of a fragment will have a chance to survive). Weep now for the moment of darkness is upon us and only the Light can help us find reason in this time-the end of life's illusion. Yada yada yoda uh
187. AndrewB
I am not sure if I completely believe what I type in this post. Hopefully others may have thoughts (pro or con) as to the validity of my theory.

I propose that Avi's vision of the future has already changed. In the AMoL prologue, Caemlyn is destroyed. Yet in Avi's vision, her grandaughter meets with the Queen in the palace.


Thanks for reading my musings.
Stefan Mitev
188. Bergmaniac
This vision is almost 60 years later, more than enough time to rebuild Caemlyn.
189. AndrewB
Bair's decision to go through the glass columns a second time could have a major hitch. Recall that after Avi went through the glass columns the first time she touched a glass column. Somehow this did something to the columns - allowing the person to see through the eyes of his/her decendants rather than through the eyes of his/her ancestors.

The text does not state that she unconsciously channelled. However, if it takes channeling to make somebody able to see through the eyes of his/her decendants, then Bair is SOL.

Another thought - in the past, I have expressed my doubts that Nakima (sp?) was a living Jenn Aiel (as opposed to something that Avi was dreaming). That said, if I am wrong and Wetlandernw is correct, I believe that Bair will encounter Nakima on screen. Nakima will also tell Bair crucial info regarding the future that Avi (and probably what Bair sees).

Thanks for reading my musings.
(Sent from a smartphone; please excuse any typos - this disclaimer applies to @187)
190. Surmiser
@182 n8love

When are our Ogier friends gonna pop in?

My two cents-- Ogier are masters of Stone-working although a few of them are also blessed with tree-singing.
Both skills very crucial in a world where metal starts to lose strength in malleability and ductility - losing tensile strength. I look forward to see what Ogier stone workers can do with something stronger than slate. Am thinking granite boulders hefted by Aludra's dragons spraying the Trolloc legions with .... umm....nevmind.
191. Surmiser
Let's try this again

@182 n8love
When are our Ogier friends gonna pop in?

The Ogiers have been masters of Stone work and some excelled in Tree-singing. I seriouly think that they will come to fulfill an ancient prophecy, a prophecy older than the Wheel of Time itself. In an old script it was written "Sticks and stones will break the Dragon Bones..."
oops sorry i was reading from the wrong book
James Reid
192. JamesReid
@189 AndrewB

Not sure it will work for Bair. Avi has a Talent with ter'angreal and thus far there has been no story reason for her to have this ability. Maybe she can repurpose or reprogram ter'angreal and uncionsciosly did that to the columns.
Cameron Tucker
193. Loialson
Bah!!! Brandon is doing a signing and I'll be an hour away! If I can make it, does anybody have some questions for him? I can't guarantee I'll get there in time, but I'll try.
Cameron Tucker
194. Loialson
Okay, Im in line for questions. Last call for questions for Brandon Sanderson :)!
195. Bogsey
@ Loialson Does talmanes die. Argh he gotta give us a clue. Anything will do
Glen V
196. Ways
Wow. There's enough herein that I don't feel the need to actually purchase the prologue now (that may change before January). Many of my pet theories and those on Leigh's re-read blog - confirmed. Thanks especially to Tek (early on), Samadai (throughout) and others for the reveals.

Wet @80 - snarky, but still my hero (yes, it was deserved).
197. wagman26
The One eyed fool who travels the halls of mourning. I hope Olver and Talmanes are not the ones he is mourning. I am worried that we have not heard anything about Olver in the prologue. Does anyone believe that he might be dead?
Jay Dauro
198. J.Dauro
I doubt that Olver is dead yet. I expect we will see more of him. We have been told that Olver does have a purpose, but not what it is.

Although metal has softened in Jarid's camp, it does not appear to have softened elsewhere (or Talmanes' sword would not kill anything.) So it does appear that the effect is probably caused by a bubble of evil.
Alice Arneson
199. Wetlandernw
J.Dauro - Thanks for bringing that up - I meant to make much the same comment. It's so very bubble-of-evilish, and the effect certainly doesn't seem to be elsewhere, so I think the guys in the first scene may be a bit annoyed if they left all their coin behind. It might not be "coin" any more, but in Randland the metal itself would have the same value as the coins, more or less.
200. Doorman
@ Wet.

Silly putty! lol.
Cameron Tucker
201. Loialson
Only thing I got from him relevant to the Prologue was related to Cyndane.

1.Be cautious in judging what we see from the epilogue of TOM regarding her, and other sources. All may not be as it seems. Trust not what we see from the readers perspective. Her POVs are reliable concerning her.

He RAFOd if the one giving Isam orders was her or not.

"“We are few, now,” Moridin said. “We four, and the one who is punished most, are all that remain."
-the one who is punished most IS Cyndane/Lanfear.
203. Surmiser

didnt see your last call for signing questions until too late but
curious to hear his answer to the following:

1. how far from one's self can a gateway be channeled?
- i always thought that to set one up, the channeler needed to know his/her starting point well ( makes the use of deathgates limited to range(less than 300 paces? less than range of an arrow?)

2. skimming platforms- how does this work? is the channeler supposed to be on the platform to make it solid?
204. Surmiser

3. also curious to know if we will see Dashiva in AMOL or is he awol?
Jonathan Levy
205. JonathanLevy
@several re: Isam.

I don't know why everyone is looking for a complicated theory here. There are a lot of small hints that the person talking to Isam is Cyndane.

1) The Black & Red clothes - Moridin's colors, also seen earlier to be worn by those whose mindtraps he holds. Also, she's not wearing a mindtrap, at least not that Isam notices.

2) Isam doesn't recognize her - Cyndane has a new body, so this makes sense.

3) She tells him that all the other Chosen have renounced claim on him. If this is true, it means she's acting on orders from Moridin. If it's a lie it's an incredibly risky one which will be discovered very soon. Also, she brings him a few men to help him, which strongly suggests it's not a private initiative of hers.

4) She keeps looking at her reflection - this suggests that she is wearing a face which is not her own, against her will. If she put on this disguise herself, why would its appearance trouble her at all?

5) Her disgust at the end could mean either (A) a reflection of the disgust she feels by giving these orders, which are contrary to her will, or (B) a reflection of the disgust she felt when she was looking at her reflection in the cup.

Also, I'm not sure she calls Rand by any name other than 'Lews Therin', though I don't have the text in front of me. I do specifically recall that it was Isam who first said 'Al'Thor?', not her.

This is the simplest explanation, and the only problem with it is that the motives behind it do not fit with her appearance in the epilogue of ToM. But this can be resolved in many ways:

1) Cyndane wants Rand to help her, but she is forced to carry out Moridin's orders, against her will. He has her cour'souvra, after all.

2) Cyndane is deliberately laying a trap for Rand.

3) Cyndane wants out, and she doesn't care how. If Rand saves her, fine. If Isam kills Rand, then Moridin might also die, or be incapacitated (because of their link) and then Cyndane can run, or kill Moridin. The more I think about this idea, the more I like it, to be honest.

4) The person who appeared to Rand in ToM was not actually Cyndane, but someone else, perhaps Moggy in disguise. I know Rand is convinced he saw a little label on her Thread saying 'Mierin', but his judgement is not foolproof, and Moggy is skilled in the Dream - and she might have been given her cour'souvra as a result of an actual, you know, successful action on her part. Not the likeliest of theories, mind you, but possible.

From a literary perspective, if it's Cyndane, then this works well to sow doubt and increase the tension regarding the epilogue of ToM. It also looks like a foil for another appeal for help by Cyndane in the early chapters of AMoL. If it's not Cyndane, then suggesting it's her serves no purpose.
Theresa Gray
206. Terez27
Thanks Loialson! It's in the database. Though clearly I have problems formatting paraphrased reports, lol.
Theresa Gray
207. Terez27
Sorry, double post.
208. Surmiser
@172 Samadai

Also, Moggy was working her butt off at staying hidden and alive, she had no thought but to stay away from them all until it was over. She was so afraid for her life, that she vowed she would never be afraid again.

I was wrapped up with other parts of my loony theory and couldnt come back to this earlier. Anyway i took the liberty of copying from the awesome re-read of leighbutler WH Chapter 35 (italics below)

Moghedien watches the dome over the city, now two miles or more high, and wonders why she is not afraid. Suddenly the dome boils “with Stygian fire” and abruptly collapses in on itself, creating a vortex which sucks Moghedien (and everything else in the vicinity) toward it.
Strangely, she still felt no fear. She thought if she survived this, she would never feel fear again.

Bottom 2 sentences to me indicate that she found the key to being restored in the heirarchy (by claiming to have destroyed their enemy's strongest weapon)
209. Surmiser
Androl questions

- why is Androl using a lot of candles???
i find this odd because
1. Black Tower folks were supposed to use Saidin whenever possible
(to build their strength in One Power)
2. we always see White tower sisters, even accepted, using tied saidar weaves to create floating light sources.
- has Androl not found out how to tie off saidin weaves? (dont think so because he's close to Logain and Logain had been tying weaves early on

Anyway it would be cool to know BWS thoughts ( if not RAFO'ed)
Cameron Tucker
210. Loialson
@Terez, I'll try to email the recording to you when I have time. Probably in a week or two, when school lets up and I can figure out how to get it off my phone ;s, (I lost my recorder which I used last time that was way easier to just download and send, thus the time needed).

Re: Dashiva, his soul was NOT transmigrated a second time by the DO. He is gone.
Nathan Love
211. n8love

Androl is crazy. And afraid of the dark, because he's crazy. And maybe he's not strong enough in the OP to make a bright enough light.
212. Surmiser
Town Characteristics/question

- Town is accessible by dreamwalking (Isam can easily go around)
- Town is not accesible to Travelling/gateways/skimming
Isam pov:Forsaken would have a harder time going around here
Black sisters using carriages here instead of gateways.

contrast with Blight
Blight is accessible to Travelling (Demandred-LOC)
Blight is accesed by skimming (Moghedien-after escaping from Salidar)
Blight is not accesible to dreamwalking (Wise Ones teaching Egwene)

how quickly could Luc/Isam move from Far Madding to Town?
213. Surmiser
@210 Loialson
RIP Dashiva may you shelter in the Creator's hand....oops
Thanks Loialson, i was kind of holding the possibility that he is
"the one punished the most". Nice to get that out of the way
214. Surmiser
continued from 213

my best guess before Loialson's announcement was that Dashiva was placed in another body and was goofing around as 'Sammael' sending the missing Trolloc legions into the Tear farm where Rand was staying (and which was then decimated by deathgates from Rand and Logain). That would have resulted in being punished the most.
215. Surmiser

And maybe he's not strong enough in the OP to make a bright enough light.

he could order other Ashaman to tie off saidin weaves, yes?
he could ask the bonded Aes Sedai to tie-off saidar light bulbs, yes?
Glen V
216. Ways
JL @205
"This is the simplest explanation, and the only problem with it is that the motives behind it do not fit with her appearance in the epilogue of ToM."
There's what BWS told Loialson @201 yesterday.

Surmiser @209, 215 and n8love @211
Androl is very weak in the OP, but the best there is at making gateways (TOM Chap. 46). I believe n8love is correct about him being too weak to make a bright light (didn't check that chapter to confirm, if it even does). I haven't read the prologue, so I can't comment on the scene y'all are (apparently) referencing. But, could it be that Androl is just too polite to order/request others to do things for him?
217. Surmiser
@216 Ways

could it be that Androl is just too polite to order/request others to do things for him?

Lets try dissect Androl's personality/training
(Ref: LoC Ch 42 The Black Tower)
Mazrim Taim says: "Sometimes we need a hard discipline. You cannot tell a man he has the power to make the earth shake and then expect him to walk small."

This is the man that who trains them (Androl and his peers). The same man they have decided to challenge at some future date. And Androl is very much respected by his peers.

Ways I respect your opinion but i think that politeness would not come close to describing the personality of Androl and his peers. I just think that Androl seems to "break character" but i can handle it.
218. Surmiser
continued from 217

It would have been cool to see some deviousness from Androl
"Pevara, Emarin over here. Let's see if saidar can make more brilliant light than saidin. Emarin you sure you cant power up that light a little bit more?
219. Surmiser
continued from 218

It would have been cool to see some inventiveness from Androl.
"Pevara, is saidar channelling better for digging tunnels under those walls so we can, you know, get to Logain?"

or some moment of genius
"Pevara - can you channel a decent size dome bubble thingy to hold us using saidar that Emarin will launch using a giant slingshot? Canler and Algarin might be able to channel a parachute and some airbags and when we get far enough i might be able to try setting up my awesome gateways? what do you think?"

Instead, this leader type guy is having a fit about candles and shadows and wasting his time manually sewing a saddle?
Jonathan Levy
220. JonathanLevy
Demandred had been changing lately. Once, he wouldn’t have cared who killed Lews Therin— so long as the man died. What made Demandred insist on doing the deed himself?

Hm. Perhaps Demandred was in charge of the Trolloc attack on Maradon? He's a general, after all. A recent defeat, snatched from the jaws of victory, could explain his extra resentment. Especially since it was won single-handedly by Rand.

What would that say about what Demandred has been doing all this time? Building up armies of Trollocs in the Blight?
221. weatherman
Kobobooks will supply to almost any country price in Portugal was only € 2.53. and they gave me a free e-reader for my PC.

I believe that Cadsuane is connected to Logain, by bonding, and they will be given the task of sorting the BT, and they will use circles.
222. weatherman
Nakomis is the grandmother of Hiawatha(Rand)
Theresa Gray
223. Terez27
Loialson—Zach from 17th Shard also recorded it; he said he would have it up 'in a week or so'.
Alice Arneson
224. Wetlandernw
@several - Androl doesn't think of himself as a leader, and he doesn't really see why others look to him. Arrogance isn't really a natural part of his character at this point, no matter what Taim says.
225. Surmiser
@224 Wetlandernw

Arrogance isn't really a natural part of his character at this point, no matter what Taim says.

I agree precisely. Somehow because of his training, and his talents, and his previous combat experience, i think he should exude chutzpah - like Cadsuane and Sorilea. But he is written as wishy washy, unfocused non-weaponized BT dedicated. Is this an editing oversight? i don't know and so i call attention to it.
226. Surmiser
continue from 225

i try to compare rigors of training between Warders (WT) and Dedicated (BT) and somehow Androl comes across as lacking in something. And the funny thing is - his peers at the BT look up to and admire him.
227. Surmiser
continue from 226

Gawyn's Younglings had esprit, slogans, fighting spirit. Androl's group had saidin and what?
228. Surmiser
continue from 227

Bottom line: Androl looks like someone who had a master's degree in Engineering from MIT and yet couldnt answer a simple question in physics
Theresa Gray
229. Terez27
Loialson—I've got the recording. Transcribing it now, including the Demandred bits! :p

Big news: Demandred officially DOES have an alter ego. And just as that could be deduced from Brandon's previous comments, it can now be deduced that this alter ego HAS NOT been seen on screen. We know from previous RJ and Brandon comments that we DO hae enough clues to figure it out, by 2001 (WH) at the latest.

Transcript of Loialson's questions is finished, though I could use some help with the question marks. I have to say, the Cyndane bits come off differently verbatim.
230. Surmiser
@229 Terez27
awesome work
also cool to keep the question marks....
kind of fun to play what word would best fit
helps to exercise the reader imagination
(that's just me)
Theresa Gray
231. Terez27
I actually just filled in a bunch of them. Gonzo, who helped transcribe the Budapest Q&A, has a good ear for them. Which is kind of weird, because he's Dutch. And the other guy who transcribed Budapest (also very good) is also Dutch.
Androl seams to be a laid back version of Noal. Lots of life experience with lots of different things, but he doesn't seem to like being the center of attention. Combine that with his low strength in the Power and his taint madness causing him to be scared of shadows, and I can see him not wanting to be the leader everyone else wants him to be.
Eric Hughes
233. CireNaes

I see what you did there...
Craig Jarvis
234. hawkido
@179 Wetlander

Wow... thanks for bringing that up with the pipe...

Everytime before now when I read "pipe with smoke curling out of it," I was thinking "good two river's tabac".

But to the uninitiated, A cannon just looks like a big pipe.
Craig Jarvis
235. hawkido
@222 Weatherman

That is outstanding! I sure hope that is true... Rand's GamGam is a channeler, and she yet lives. She is also a dreamer as she was in T'A'R at the Stone of Tear in tDR.
Craig Jarvis
236. hawkido
@222 Weatherman

Okay I looked it up because alot of people thought that Nakomi was Lanfear, due to Nokomis being "Daughter of the Moon" in Iroqouis, not the native Ojibwe, however the poem makes the "Daugter of the Moon" reference as well. Tho, in Ojibwe Nookomis means Grandmother.

In the Poem, Nakomi's daughter had a child with the WestWind.
In WoT, Nakomi's Son had a child with a WestLander.
In the Poem, Nakomi's Daughter was abandonded by WestWind, and Died in Childbirth.
In Wot, Nakomi's Son died after the WestLander died in childbirth (Walked into the Blight I believe).
In the peom the pertinent lines about the birth are:
Till she bore a son in sorrow
Bore a son of love and sorrow
Thus was born my HiawathaRand

If Nakomi is Janduin's mother that would be really wild... She may not even need to be a channeler, as she could still fill the role and be 75ish years old. Janduin was young to be a clan chief (Read late-twenties to mid-thirties). What if Janduin's Mother was selected to be a Wise One and never returned from the Rings or Columns (Well she came out of the rings/Columns, but did not return to mount Chandier), as she saw what HAD to happen to preserve the Aiel.
Alice Arneson
237. Wetlandernw
hawkido - I'm not sure that quite fits with Bair's description of Nakomi as "an ancient name" thought. One doesn't necessarily equate 75 years or so as "ancient" - it brings to mind more like multiple hundreds of years.
Craig Jarvis
238. hawkido
Moses, is an ancient name as well... I know several people with that name.
John, Joshua, Mark, Luke...

Lots of ancient names. The only thing she said of true merit was that she didn't know anyone with that name, and perhaps not... As the Aiel do not speak of the ones who do not return from Ruidean.
Alice Arneson
239. Wetlandernw
But... "I have never known anyone who uses it?"
240. weatherman
I looked up Nakomi and got directed to wikipedia entry on Hiawatha, possibly because I mistyped it. But you know RJ had a penchant for taking names from myth, tweaking them, and leaving them lying around as clues. It also makes sense she would have a valid reason to interfere, as Avi's chidren would be her great grandkids
241. insouciant
I just have to add to the discussion about who Isam met. It seemed obvious after one reading through the prologue that it was Graendal. The person was definitely wearing a MoM, as she kept regarding herself in the reflection of the cup, and because he didn't recognize her from anywhere. Cyndane is short and buxomy with silvery hair, and so would have had to be using MoM... but why? Graendal is recently hideous and would have a reason to masquerade with pretty features.

Also, of all the chosen, she has the only real motivations that fall in line with what the person said to Isam. She is angry at Rand for recently ruining everything for her, and disgusted with Isam for failing her previously. Thus, her reaction to having to deal with him.

The only tangible evidence anyone's offering against Graendal is that she wears a black and red outfit. Considering that she's "below Moghedien" in favor at the moment, she would definitely qualify for that garb. And remember, in a dream meeting, Graendal would choose whatever clothing she wanted to wear, just as Moghedien chose to wear a spider dress.
242. jeck

Graendal asked for the task of killing Al'thor in ToM but Moridin says that its been given to somebody else, why would Graendal need a MoM when she has a new body? More likely that Cyndane calls Al'thor lews therin than Graendal and much more likely that Cyndane was given the order of killing Rand than Graendal. If Graendal was the one I think she went behind Moridins back to do so and it's not very likely.
243. Pixie
Is it just me, or is M'hael the lamest name for a Chosen, like... ever. lol.
244. hangontight
Well, you know with regard to the light side, he's going to give M'hael... you're welcome :)
Craig Jarvis
245. hawkido

Do the Aiel acknowledge the names of people or their existance if they fail to return from Ruidean?

Would she know every apprentice who fails to return from either the rings or the columns? It would have been 50+ years ago. Only 3 Wise Ones are required to appoint an apprentice and send her into Ruidean. So why would every WO know of every other apprentice wise one... remember before Rand there wasn't this big interclan powwow. The WO's did dream chat with each other, and make the occasional cross-clan visit, but not often and rarely between feuding clans.
Jay Dauro
246. J.Dauro

Bair would probably know the names of every person who entered Rhuidean since she became a Wise One. There aren't that many. Note that theWise Ones discuss a candidate who is being prepared for entry, saying she is not ready yet. Here they appear to know of all apprentiuces being prepared, no matter which clan.

And do you really think she wouldn't know the name of Janduin's mother? One of the most influential Clan Leaders ever, the Leader of the first group of Aiel to cross the dragonwall. The father of the Car'a'carn.
Jonathan Levy
247. JonathanLevy
233. CireNaes
Moi? A subtle hint? Do I ever do such things? :)

Actually, I'm not sure I tried to do anything there. Might you be overreading?

238. hawkido
Moses, is an ancient name as well... I know several people with that name.John, Joshua, Mark, Luke...
Don't forget also Joshua, Judges... and Brian.

That said, when someone hears a name and his first reaction is 'that's an ancient name', he usually means that he knows the name, but doesn't know anyone living using that name. Like 'Beowulf', for example. Nobody says 'that's an ancient name' when told a fellow named David left them a message.

241. insouciant
Wearing a Mask of Mirrors does not give one a motive for staring at one's reflection. This is because a Mask of Mirrors is (1) Temporary, and (2) Chosen by oneself.

For example, when someone dresses up for Halloween, they don't stare at themselves in every passing reflection. When someone gets a nosejob, they are often obsessed by their new appearance - especially if they are beautiful, but not in the way they expected.

As for motivation, the person Graendal has most motivation to be angry with is Perrin, not Rand. Rand hasn't ruined anything for her since TGS. And her main reaction at that time was terror, not hatred and a personal thirst for revenge. We even had a PoV from her when she justified herself to Moridin. No blind hatred at all.

In my opinion Graendal is a much poorer fit than Cyndane.
248. Ed L
Question: is anyone else reading this part of the text, and noticed this?

“Men require women to form a circle,” Pevara said. “In fact, a circle must contain more women than men except in very limited cases. One woman and man can link, as can two women and one man, as can two women and two men. So the largest we could create is a circle of three, with me and two of you. Still, it could be of use to us.”

But she just said that it needs more women than men, or equal to, therefore Androl and another man cannot link with Pevara.
Noneo Yourbusiness
249. Longtimefan
So having just read the prolouge a couple times and coming to the party late I am going to throw out two opinions on the visitor who speaks to Issam.

One, and less wacky, she is Graendal. Her new face is permitted when commanding Issam so he is not thrown off by how distorted her punished appearance has become. With time pressing down there is no allowance for distractions such as explaining why a Chosen is not amongst the best and most powerful looking. (none were unattractive before) Graendal has reasons to want Rand dead. She has lost her palace, her pets and her annonimity through his "discovery". I have a poor memory about the direct passage but I believe that she has said before that Mordin would be dissapointed when the "don't kill Rand" order was sent out. Her attempt to kill Perrin was part of her need to recover what was lost when Rand found her and undid her plans. Graendal may want to kill Perrin but she was focused on Rand since the trap in Camelyn with Rhavin. (instead she killed Asmodean)

Graendal is familiar with Rand and LTT being the same person and knows that Rand is who they would try to kill but LTT would be wary of a trap. Her specialty was the mind and of all the Chosen would probably be the one who could see that he is both at the same time more clearly.

Other less likely scenario. It is Mordin but doubtful since he is connected and would not need to use a mask of mirrors to command Issam.

My other observation is that Leilwin (Egeanin) went from traveling to Nynaeve to offer her help and work with her to realizing that her action with the sad bracelets had pushed the world to the brink of collapse (she originally thought that giving them to the Seanchan and there would be no harm in that as it would be the same as putting them at the bottom of the sea. Why? Bureaucracy. The levels a Seanchan would have to go through to get to something in the possesion of the Empress is (perhaps in her mind) equivalent to being at the bottom of the sea.

But the reveal that Semi was high up in the Empire and was able to get them and to collar Rand changed everything in Leilwin. She did not go to submit herself as property but decided to with that revelation.

This will be interesting to see how Egwene deals with having Leilwin as property. She was held by the Seanchan for a while and has lived with the Aiel and knows more about societies that follow "demotion to servant" options to uphold social obligations.

I just wish there had been a tiny bit more. I really want to see how Egwene works out this situation with Nynaeve not realizing how committed Leilwin is to her new position as da'colve to the White Tower and Egwene having to make accomodations with her "Seanchan with a sword" (saving her from dangling on a cliff, if i remember correctly)
250. Surmiser
@248 Ed L

But she just said that it needs more women than men, or equal to, therefore Androl and another man cannot link with Pevara.

Actually the special case Pevara meant was 3 ppl linked with 2 men. All other links/circles require more women than men.
In a previous scenario, Rand was getting tutorial from Asmodean. Asmodean says he could teach Rand but they need Lanfear to link them both and then Asmo can demonstrate the weaves. It was implied that Asmo would control the circle. Obviously the LTT in Rand and Lanfear would veto this. Asmo made it seem like a harmless lesson but it really was fraught with danger.
251. Ed L

Thanks. I'd forgotten about that little detail.
252. Surmiser

Yep that characteristic deviousness of Asmodean,
so endearing that when he went out, it seems like
tons of usenet followers sent out massive search parties that
so affected the Great Author that he finally relented and
disclosed Asmodean's curtain-caller.
Glen V
253. Ways
Surmiser @225
Again, I haven't read the prologue and my take on Androl is limited to where he appears toward the end of TOM, but...

Have to agree with Wet @224 about him. Androl appears (in TOM) to be elevated to leader status by his immediate peers as a result of his actions and charisma. One doesn't have to exhibit serious bravado (cf. warders, Cadsuane) or be a total domineering jackwagon (cf. Taim, Darth Rand) to be an effective leader. I don't see Androl as whishy-washy (wrt. the caveat about not reading the prologue yet), just focused on other things (gateways, leather-work) than being a weaponized Asha'man (since that is not his strength). I can't imagine that RJ/BS writing him this way is an editing oversight. Anyway, let's come back to this when Leigh gets to the chapters with Andol in her re-read.

hawkido @234
"But to the uninitiated, A cannon just looks like a big pipe."
Someone suggested that on Leigh's blog a few weeks back. It started quite a bit of discussion, the result of which, IIRC, was to pooh-pooh that explanation. I bought into it then and still like it, looney or not.

hawkido @236
"Nakomi's Son had a child with a WestLander."
Read that sentence with "Wetlander" as the last word the first time. XD

Ed L @248
The Big Book (p. 24) says 2 men and 1 woman can link. It is one of the exceptions to the general rules (limited cases) that Pevara describes, but perhaps not completely. Could be an editing oversight or maybe the BB is wrong (possible).
254. Pixie
@244 hangontight - lol.. i feel a bit duncey... totally took me about 4 tries to get that. duuuuuuur.
Eric Hughes
255. CireNaes

Perhaps I mishandled my interpretation of your comment about Rand's Maradon victory.
256. kalelio13
There's a lot of silly debate going on - my thoughts on the prologue - AWESOME.
Sorilea and Cadsuane are not DFs - stop overthinking -they don't act like DFs, there is no point in them being DFs for so long and being near Rand and doing nothing - never in WoT has there been an impossibly convoluted plot. Occam's Razor, people.
The Red-Veils are obviously Aiel channelers and they are also (smirk) a RED HERRING - My bet is that they are gonna get killed in seconds before they can do jack, by the Wildcard (and my fav character) - Mr. Fain- he's on his way to Shayol, remember?
I loved the prologue bit about Jarid's men - it showed the bleakness of the LB from the POV of the common man, something also done in the prologue of TGS.
Isam's orders came from Cyndane (duh) -she hates Rand but Moridin doesn't want Rand killed, he finds out and tortures Cyndane AFTER - this prologue doesn't necessarily have to be chronologically following the epilogue of ToM - Rand dreams of her after she sends Isam. IMO Isam is another pointless attack by the Shadow just to keep LTT occupied and on his toes.
Talmanes is dead - he's not gonna be a hero of the Horn - he's dead like Nalsalean he's had his last glory - let him die in peace.
I don't know how the Black Tower bit is going to get resolved - a huge oversight by Mr. Rand esp. after he knew Taim was sending Ashaman after him (some couple of books before).
Logain's glory = Rand dies - does 90% of the work of sealing the DO, but Logain has to mop up the last 10% and the world remembers Logain as the Dragon/Savior forever. He's Jesus, people.
Who cares what happens to Bair? BORING.
Rand goes to Tuon and kneels before her begging for her help in fighting the LB - Seanchan prophecy fulfilled.
The Shadow has already lost the LB - they could only have won it by converting Rand to the Dark Side, all this war bit is now a desperate last minute attempt at overwhelming the Light with brute force rather than subtlety - never works. Yep, this book is pointless the Last Battle ended with the TGS.
Who cares what happens to Lan? BORING.
Repeat as above regarding Elayne/Perrin/Aviendha.
257. CorDarei
Well Kalel, we already know you're wrong about one thing :)
260. srizzo00
I'm going to post a theory here - my theory is that Rand lives although dying by switching bodies or outright taking over Moridin's body through the connection they've had since they crossed balefire streams in ACoS.

In one of the books (I couldn't find the reference, unfortunately) when Rand is seeing Moridin in his mind through their connection, he thinks something to the effect of, "if he moved a little further, he could touch the other man." I think that when Rand goes to Shayol Ghul, he will encounter Moridin and end up using this connection to switch places with him, so that while Rand's body ends up being killed, Rand himself will continue to live.
Alice Arneson
261. Wetlandernw
Well, that's one of the many theories circling around about what will happen to Rand in the end. RAFO.
262. Dael
Any ETA on when it will be available on the Australian iTunes store?
Adam Fischmann
264. afisch
Loony theory - Demandred = Roedran. We haven't seen him on screen, and he's bringing an army to FoM... Could get ugly.
265. Craigers
You know, I'm really waiting patiently for the Ogiers to show up. They need to get together with the tinkers so LTT can teach them the song before the last battle, so that mankind will have enough food to eat AFTER the last battle.
266. kalelio13
@CorDarei I'm not wrong about a single thing
267. Genisius
The Chosen were played by the Dark One. He will merge with Fain. That is what Moridin is thinking so hard about. Both he and Lanfear are going to be redeemed. I know, far out there, but......
Also, what about the Aiel Song? relearning the song. you know the one they sang before to stop Lews Therins madness. I know Ishmael cleared his mind, but the Aiels song stopped him from blowing stuff up. I always thought they would use it in the last battle.
All the hints along the way, bands of traveeling people searching for the songs. Seems strange it was dropped. Seemed important.
Love that the taint helped him communicate with Lews Therin.
268. Genisius
The other question to ask is, where did Rand send Logain? What was his mission? When he comes back what will his surprise be?
And somewhere it mentioned that the green man will return approaching the last battle. And other things lost will return again. Eh... just saying. I know he had so many arcs he couldn't address them all. So excited to read this book. And I am very happy with how well Sanderson has done keeping very close to RJ's voice.
Alice Arneson
269. Wetlandernw
kalelio13 @266 - In point of fact, you are indeed wrong about at least one thing. When you read Chapter 1, you will find out about it. Of course, you can always go back and edit your original post so no one can see it any more, but you'll still have been wrong. Just sayin'.

Genisius @267 - I think you're thinking of Jaric Mondoran, who killed 10,000 Aiel, one at a time, as they sang "trying to remind a madman of who they were and who he had been." He listened to the last Aiel sing for nearly an hour before killing him and turning the city to a sheet of glass, but while he listened to the Aiel, many people escaped the city. The Da'Shain felt it was worth their lives to save so many. There's no record of Lews Therin doing anything after the Strike except destroying his home and family, being restored to some semblance of sanity by Ishamael, and creating Dragonmount while killing himself.

As to your actual question, though, I don't think the Song has been dropped. I think we will see it again, and I'm reasonably sure it will have something to do with Perrin. Or rather, Perrin will have something to do with it.

And Logain? Good question... and one I'm sure will be answered soon. (Well, January, anyway.) We haven't seen him on screen since the TGS Prologue, I believe, and only heard of him in that Mezar says that Logain is well... but Mezar is acting strange and is hanging out with Taim's men now, so that's not exactly trustworthy. Where, indeed?
Jay Dauro
270. J.Dauro
Actually Wetlander he cannot edit it, he is in the red.
Alice Arneson
271. Wetlandernw
J.Dauro - Good point! Okay, so the incorrect prediction will stand for posterity. Good times. ;)
Roger Powell
272. forkroot
Regarding Bair's trip ... I disagree with the choice of Bair to go to Rhuidean, unless she stays in close touch with Amys et al.  Sorilea would have been a better choice.

Even though Bair can't channel, she is very strong in T'AR. We have received countless hints that T'AR is very important to the conclusion of the story -- not to mention that the Pattern spun out Perrin and Egwene with big-time T'AR skills.

For starters, Team Light needs to do something about the dreamspike covering the BT. If Naeff reports back to Rand and Perrin is within earshot, they'll know exactly what they are facing.

I strongly suspect that Team Dark will have some defenses for the dreamspike in T'AR - so it won't be as easy as Perrin snagging it and tossing it into another nightmare. A team of Perrin, Egwene, Amys, and Bair though ... that would be a tough team to defeat in T'AR.
Alice Arneson
273. Wetlandernw
Maybe what Bair learns at Rhuidean will make her decide that getting back immediately is worth the risk of entering TAR in the flesh. Or maybe she'll just snag Amys in a dream and have her open a gateway RIGHT NOW, BURN YOU! :) But the cool thing about being a Dreamwalker is that she doesn't actually have to be physically in the same place as the rest to help out with the BT dreamspike.
Sam Mickel
274. Samadai

Perrin already suspects that there is a dreamspike around the Black Tower. Grady tries to visit it just before Perrin and co. head for the Fields of Merrilor. Rand, through Lews Therin, probably expects it as well.
275. Gavin t Doyle
Only because no one else I know would care... Ha! I got named in the prologue! I am a member on the Band. A leader of crossbowmen. Talmanes orders me to form up my men. My name: gavid.

This is so freaking awesome. Ok. Now you can all continue on your way
Alice Arneson
276. Wetlandernw
Gavin - or should I say Gavid - WAY COOL! Yes, around here we get it and I, for one, am excited for you! Congratulations - and thanks for participating in the charity drive. I know your contribution was appreciated.
Jay Dauro
277. J.Dauro
All right Gavid. Have you met our deceased Blue Scholar, Lannis?
Michael Maxwell
278. pike747
I believe that the song, the Tinkers and the Ogier will be a major part of this ending.

'Set in the cosmos
is a single, sonic sound
that is vibrating constantly
and if we could catch
and hold on to the note
we would see
our minds
were free, Oh they're free'

Dreamer Deceiver, Judas Priest Sad Wings of Destiny
279. wadehart
Thoughts on Androl,
I think I have an idea who Anddol is. Didn't Jain farstrider have a brother ? I think Androl is that brother?
Roger Powell
280. forkroot
Noal Charin claimed to be Jain Charin's cousin, but as we always suspected (and was later confirmed), he was actually Jain himself. AFAIK there was never any mention of a brother.
281. Sailock

follow this link and you can get it for free
282. Surmiser
@269 Afisch

Loony theory - Demandred = Roedran. We haven't seen him on screen, and he's bringing an army to FoM... Could get ugly.

I have a similar theory that encompass Roedran, Demandred, Siuan, Elaida, Morgase but would be interested seeing your reasoning of it.
283. Freelancer
fanaa @59

The Murandian lord in question, Dulain, was ignominiously killed by a farmer during a raid. Siuan had to shamefully confess that to Bryne in Salidar.

FSS @61

The King of Tarabon is Alsalam, and he has been "sheltered" by the White Tower for some time. Andric was Siuan's warder who was murdered during the Tower coup.

karanj @63

Charlz Guybon was the guard captain of one the the Andoran houses, sent to support Elayne during the Succession. He apparantly had the opportunity to spend time in Caemlyn prior to this.


It was Cyndane. She doesn't call him Al'Thor, Slayer does. She begins by simply saying, "I want him dead". Isam would have recognized Lanfear, but hasn't seen her in her new body, as Moridin has been keeping her mostly under wraps. As for her demand to kill Rand, she has bounced back and forth about him several times during the story. I'm comfortable with the concept that this isn't her wish, it's part of her punishment. Moridin knows that her failures are in part due to her lingering and virtually insane wish to have Lews Therin back, and all to herself. So, being the one "who is punished most" would necessarily include forcing her to order his death, whether she wishes it or not.

Samadai @123

Tiny quibble, Sam. You refer to the Aiel slipping back into their role as "servants of all". That is the translation of Aes Sedai. Aiel were the dedicated, and many of them were bound in service to an Aes Sedai.

Samadai @126

Guybon does know Talmanes, and it isn't a mistake there. Talmanes and Mat were demanding a bounty of Elayne for killing the gholam, and Guybon wasn't happy about it, since they had asked for her help in figuring out how to defeat it, and getting Kinswomen to assist. Guybon is just needling Talmanes about wanting pay for service, hence "mercenary".

J.Dauro @128

Winter's Heart, ch22. Isam assassinates a sleeping couple in a Far Madding inn, expecting it to be Rand and Min. Here is where he mentions that he can shift personas during transitions in and out of T'a'R.

Surmiser @157, 171, 173, 177

You seem to be quoting someone there, but those quotes don't exist in the text that I can find. As for Moghedien's actions at the Cleansing:
Moghedien was not sure why she had remained this long. There could not be more than two hours of daylight left, and the forest was quiet. Except for the key, she could not feel saidar being channeled anywhere. That was not to say that someone was not using small amounts somewhere, but nothing like the fury that had raged earlier. The battle was over, the other Chosen dead or flying in defeat. Plainly defeat, since the key still blazed in her head. Amazing that the Choedan Kal had survive continuous use for this long, at this level. ... Suddenly something writhed up from that dark smooth surface, like a flame if flames were blacker than black, then another, another, until the dome boiled with stygian fire. The roar of ten thousand thunders made her clap her hands over her ears and shriek, soundlessly in that crash, and the dome collapsed in on itself in the space of a heartbeat, to a pinpoint, to nothing. It was wind that howled then, rushing toward the vanished done, dragging her along the stony ground no matter how desperately she clawed for purchase, tumbling her against trees, lifting her into the air. Stragely, she still felt no fear. She thought if she survived this, she would never feel fear again.
The very next passage begins with Cadsuane inspecting the destroyed female access ter'angreal. There simply was no time nor opportunity for Moghedien to have done as you suggest, and there is no mention of her having, or having fetched, the ruined access key from Tanchico. That she marvels over the Choedan Kal having survived such a use indicates that it was quite reasonable for it to have been damaged at the conclusion. None of your theory has a real fact beneath it.

Surmiser @190

Can't speak to what will happen next with the Ogier, except that I expect to see Loial lead a group of those willing to fight onto the Field of Merrilor JIT. As for metal failing, there is nothing to suggest that this was other than a local indicent where the Sarand camp was. A bubble of evil.

Surmiser @204

Corlan Dashiva, aka Osan'gar, aka Aginor, is dead, dead, dead, and the Dark One refuses to restore him again because of his repeated failures.

Surmiser @208

No, all that happened is that Moghedien passed so far up the fear chart during that event that fear is burned out of her. There isn't a word, not a syllable, nary a phoneme in that passage that shows her being clever, only hoping for survival.

Surmiser re: Androl
The man is not sane. His taint madness is well advanced. He is clever, but when an irrational fear has you in its grip, it is almost impossible to think of other things, or even to think of methods to dispell that fear. Secondarily, if he made or asked for a method to eliminate all the shadows in the room, we couldn't read the ominous descriptions of his dread due to those shadows.

hawkido @245

I have let the discussion about Nakomi alone. Parly because I had already discovered the connection with the Hiawatha story, and didn't want to spoil that for many, and partly because there are little more than questions, and not many (yet) deducible answers. However, I have to answer your question to Wetlandernw:
Do the Aiel acknowledge the names of people or their existance (sic) if they fail to return from Rhuidean?
Given that the current discussion is about the very fate of the Aiel, and Aviendha's momentous and, as far as we know, singular second vision in the crystal spires, to withhold information about someone who failed to return from there, when a meeting with that someone carries potentially grave significance to what transpired, would be totally out of character for a Wise One, especially when Aviendha asked a direct question. The Aiel practice of considering someone dead who leaves the slopes of Chandaer on their way to Rhuidean would not be violated, if suddenly new evidence of them having survived Rhuidean was brought to light. So I can't agree with your premise that Bair is refusing to divulge that Nakomi was such a one. Also, what J.Dauro said.

kalelio13 @256

For openers, silly debate? On an internet forum? Shocking thing, debate on a forum... And then to throw down your opinion of what is and isn't boring is truly hilarious, if also valueless. Not to mention that at least three of your points are demonstrably wrong. Very poorly played indeed.

Craigers @265

Ogier and Tinkers are not unacquainted, as Tinkers seek sung wood and Ogier like having their pots mended. Ogier treesinging is NOT the lost song.

kalelio13 @266

True. You are wrong about a more than one thing.

Genisius @267

Aiel singing did not stop Lews Therin's madness. You might be thinking of this, from The Shadow Rising ch26, The Dedicated:

Edit: typed out that entire passage only to see next that Wetlandernw took care of this one...what else is new?

(Edited slightly by moderator)
Roger Powell
284. forkroot
FSS@61 was correct. Andric was the (former) king of Tarabon - reported killed by the Seanchan.

Alric was Siuan's warder, killed when Siuan was deposed.

Alsalam is the king of Arad Doman. He was "escorted" from Arad Doman for his own safety by Aes Sedai under Elaida's orders, trapped by winter storms in the Caralain grass and then found by Cadsuane and brought to Tear (for a joyful reunion with Ituralde.)

Curiously, what saved Alsalam was his relative ugliness! Graendal took other members of his family and made them her "pets" (hence they surely perished with Natrin's Barrow.) She refused to take Alsalam though, because he wasn't good looking enough.

So - I'm thinking Alsalam, Olver, Jur Grady's son, and Gaidal Cain might want to form the "Brotherhood of Ugly Men." Birgitte would buy the calendar.
Roger Powell
285. forkroot
Alsalam is the king of Arad Doman. He was "escorted" from Arad Doman for his own safety by Aes Sedai under Elaida's orders, trapped by winter storms in the Caralain grass and then found by Cadsuane and brought to Tear (for a joyful reunion with Ituralde.)
Curiously, in a nearby Portal Stone world, the country we know as Tear is named "Joy". In that world, Alsalam was brought to Joy (for a tearful reunion with Ituralde.) Gotta love those Portal Stone worlds!
Jay Dauro
286. J.Dauro

You should be ashamed. And proud.
287. Freelancer

D'oh! I wrecked that one. Good catch. And also, huh?
288. Tell'em'Rod
Ok, so I'm not sure if I heard this right, (I bought the audio version on my phone which has since died so I can't check my suspicions...) but at the beginning of the Pevara/Androl scene, Pevara says something like
"you were telling me about your life before joining the black tower"
Androl refutes this and is even somewhat miffed about it. So my question is, if they weren't discussing his pre-BT life wouldn't that make Pevara's statement an outright lie and therefore a violation of the three oaths??
Alice Arneson
289. Wetlandernw
@288 - You heard right, except that in the written text her sentence has a question mark at the end of it. “So,” Pevara said, “you were telling me about your life prior to coming to the Black Tower?” In other words, she had been trying to get him to tell her, even though he wasn't saying much. Figurative speech doesn't violate the Oath.
Bridget McGovern
290. BMcGovern
Freelancer @283: Missed this while I was away last weekend, but better late than never, I suppose...I'd appreciate it if you would play a little nicer, and call everyone by the correct name, moving forward. Thanks.
291. Freelancer
::Throw himself down the hillside::

As you wish...
293. fragrant elephant
The definition of "surmise" makes Freelancer's proposed nickname unnecessary, no?

@264 afisch -- that theory's been going around, actually. I think it's credible. We shall RAFO.
Bridget McGovern
294. BMcGovern
@Surmiser: Fair enough--all name-calling has now been edited out, including the last comment. Blank slate time, no hard feelings!

@Free: Hooray :)
295. Surmiser

Many thanks for your patience
No hard feelings.

"Stone must abide"
Roger Powell
296. forkroot
@293 and @264
Re: Demandred == Roedran

Definitely not a "looney" theory as there are a number of people that subscribe to it.

My main objection is that it would be sort of a wimpy reveal. Murandy is pictured as a mess, and although Roedran has an army now (Talmanes helped him build it), it's not likely to be anything that someone would be scared of.

I'm sort of partial to the idea that Demandred has taken over parts of Seanchan. He could potentially raise a substantially more impressive force over there and it could include damane. Since it's not shadowspawn, it could be moved via gateway.

The big problem with both of these theories is that whether it's Murandians or Seachan, when these armies arrive at TG they are unlikely to fight against Team Light once they realize who/what they are fighting.

It almost seems like Demandred would have to have a cache of "turned" channelers (like the Samma N'Sei). Perhaps from Shara, or (a really long shot) from the Isle of Madmen?
Alice Arneson
297. Wetlandernw
forkroot - I think you put your finger on my vague dissatisfaction with the Roedran theory. While there's certainly nothing to prove that it's incorrect, Roedran seems like such a wimpy alter ego for someone like Demandred. Unless he's got an awful lot more (army? channelers? something!) hidden around Murandy, it seems like a terribly lame position for him.

Now, if he took over a bunch of Seanchan and turned a whole raft of sul'dam... He could do something with that. Any non-channeler army would need different treatment; if he can convince the rest of his army that he's pitting them against Darkfriends, or even that he's simply assisting the Return and the Last Battle hasn't started yet, that might work. (Of course, in that case he wouldn't need to turn the sul'dam, would he? Just convince them that these folks here need wiping out for crimes against the Empire.)

I'm really wondering about Shara. We've been given enough to know that there are plenty of channelers there, and an entire culture that is almost unkown to the Westlands. We also know that news of the Dragon Reborn has caused some unrest there. Could Demandred have convinced them that he is the Dragon Reborn, and made them into his own personal army, complete with channelers? If they believe him to be the DR, they'd do whatever he tells them...
michael gaston
298. Ashenladoka
I can't believe I'm actually going to agree with Wet on something...but I'm thinking Shara too. Kind of makes sense why he's making the killing of LTT / Rand so personal too especially if he has convinced them he was the DR. I'm sure some of the Chosen would have taken a perverse pleasure corrupting a whole nation, others with personal dislike/hatred it would probably effect differently especially if you heard the DR is god! Dem is a fool and evil nimrod!!! blah blah blah all day. Assuming it's a fairly large place I can see why he would need assistance from Mog.
But Dem as Roed? The place just doesn't have enough ppl to be a threat to Rand's standing army unless most of Roed's army are channelers in disguise.
More importantly everyone else that is on the map is represented somehow except Shara and the Isle of Madman (unless I'm missing some sneaky group in Rand's army) and to have a battle for the world and NOT include them seems a little...lacking??? Not sure what to call it.
Also in the Karaethon Cycle (and maybe I'm stretching it here) there is one passage. "...The wall is pierced and the veil of parting raised..."
Knowing that the land is basically surrounded by walls and the cities where Westlanders can visit the residence are veiled at all times, the possibility could be there is a role Shara will play. Just a theory and welcome to criticism if I seem to be stretching the prophecy too thin.
Susan Brownhill
299. SusanB
My loony theory....What if Nakomi is Avi's daughter? Her kids are supposed to have special channeling abilities, what if one of them can time travel or use T'AR for this somehow. Her kids would know the details of her trip to Rhuidean and could easily meet her. Her daughter could be the grandmother of the "new" aiel.
I realize this is a bit out there as far as theories go, but I thought I would share it anyway.
300. Freelancer
If changing a name is enough to alter the future, why not go all the way and not raise the children as Aiel, but as Two Rivers inhabitants. Rand is the father, right? I know that he's half Aiel and half Andoran, but hey...
301. kmucha31
I personally think the 'Chosen' that hired Slayer wasn't actually a Chosen. Not really sure why, it's just a gut feeling. Not to mention it wasn't actually confirmed that she was a Chosen. Slayer only assumed she was because of her supreme confidence despite being in the town.
302. Freelancer
There is text much earlier in the series where Slayer says explicitly that only the chosen know how to find him. Plus, after Graendal's last failure, we know that he was taken away from her, and was reserved for someone else.

Slayer doesn't recognize her, but neither does he describe her.
She was a pretty woman, dressed in black trimmed with red. Isam didn’t recognize her slim figure and delicate face. He was increasingly certain he could recognize all of the Chosen; he’d seen them often enough in the dream.
Not Hessalam, then, since part of Graendal's punishment was being killed and her soul put into a very ugly body. Wearing black with red is Moridin's livery. And what of Moridin coming through the town just before? Perhaps he keeps so tight a leash on the one named "Last Chance", that he escorts here there. Everything points to Cyndane.
juanita heath
303. nanajade
Better late than never but was able to get and read the prologue today. My only complaint was that it was too short. :) Having read chapter one I know/knew Talmanes was healed but it did not alter my feelings as I figured he would survive anyway. (During the Harry Potter days I was what was termed a OBHWF follower as I did not want any of the Weasleys to be killed though I knew it would/could/did happen. I don't want any of my favorites to die. End of story. I enjoyed the scene between Nynaeve and Leilwin. I am more scared for Bair than I was for Talmanes.
304. Doorman
I wasnt going to get the prologue; But along comes chapter 1. WTF;
So much for waiting! lol.

What a great read! It,s like having 2 potatoe chips; Now I want the whole bag! Come on Tor; Give me the bag Dec. 1st. You can do it!!!

1 or 2 more chips wouldnt be bad though! lol
305. Shadow_Jak
@209/211 and others Androl's shadows are coming for him ever more quickly when he channels. And now even when he doesn't channel. Hence the candles.

Free @ 302
Per Slayer, "
She was a pretty woman, dressed in black trimmed with red. Isam didn’t
recognize her slim figure and delicate face. He was increasingly certain
he could recognize all of the Chosen; he’d seen them often enough in
the dream."

But that doesn't really sound right to me.
She is a short young woman with long silver hair, vivid blue eyes and an impressive bosom. She holds herself very straight striving for height. (from Encyclopaedia WOT)
He's a guy and he never even mentions the impressive bosom. But then... maybe he's the token gay guy? (Besides we already KNOW he has a significant other)
306. Freelancer
Well, Slayer is surely more of an "it" than any other POV character in the story. Maybe the author didn't want the female's identity to be a dead giveaway to less observant readers, which it would be if given a completely matching description to one already known. He doesn't note a cour'souvra around her neck, he definitely doesn't call her ugly. So she isn't Moghedien nor Graendal. What are our remaining choices?

There were only ever five women named among the forsaken. (Ignoring Baltha'gar) Semirhage and Mesaana are OOC.

Folks are going to fight me on this like they did Danelle being Mesaana...
Eric Hughes
307. CireNaes

That's the violence inherent in the system. Remember not to oppress anyone.
308. chuckwagon
Sometimes there is so many seeds planted in the these previews and get us all worked up but then we really don't see it play out later in the book. That being said I wonder if the reason for the extent of the amount of time spent with the Band is that it's needed info... but it there will not be enough time to get them where they need to be in the story to be included any where but this early.

To all who have written about wondering if Matt will show up to save the day... I've been wondering exactly how is Matt going to show up? One would asssume that He and Perrin made plans on how often someone should check to see if they made it out of the tower, but who knows.

What we do know now is that with Slayer on the trail of Rand it sets up the final showdown with Perrin. Since Perrin has to be near Rand once agian to protect him it makes this an epic way for Perrin to be involved in the "last hunt".

With the Spider we can assume that whatever army she is with it will lead to her having a final battle with her main rival of the current age.

I can see it now... Rand ready to finish the great task and out of the shadows comes Slayer and the Spider. Slayer having to deal with Faine and Perrin... the spider with the one who's been able to escape her web. That would be a chapter I'd truly love to read!
309. Nynaeve (in truth)
Oh I hope Talmanes isn't done! But what do really know about Charlz Guybon... Demandred has had dealings with Taim so he must be around Andor and he does have an army! Could be wrong but just saying...
310. Keivan77
if I remember correctly, Grady was supposed to make Gateways every day at noon for Mat.
Alice Arneson
311. Wetlandernw
Wow, this is making the reread comments tough! It's SO hard not to talk about what happens in this prologue (or chapter 1) when it would have such impact on the discussion there. Teeth-gritting seriously required.
Alice Arneson
312. Wetlandernw
GAH!! I'm about to bite my tongue off! Someone over on the reread is proposing a theory about what happens when Aviendha tells the Wise Ones about her future-view... Oh, it's so hard not to comment.

must. not. speak. must. not. speak....
Craig Jarvis
313. hawkido
@246 J.Dauro
Bair would probably know the names of every person who entered Rhuidean since she became a Wise One. There aren't that many. Note that theWise Ones discuss a candidate who is being prepared for entry, saying she is not ready yet. Here they appear to know of all apprentiuces being prepared, no matter which clan.

And do you really think she wouldn't know the name of Janduin's mother? One of the most influential Clan Leaders ever, the Leader of the first group of Aiel to cross the dragonwall. The father of the Car'a'carn
Okay, 12 Clans... just one of the clans has 500 channelers all of which are Wise Ones and not all wise onees can channel, and that number wasn't even a number to bat an eyelash at according to the Aiel, so we can say that all 12 clans have at least 500 WOs. That is a bare minimum of 6000 wise ones if ONLY counting Channelers. Only about half of the WOs we have seen can channel... Let's say that Bair Has spent at least 5 days discussing each candidate for each trip to Ruidean, and on the more realistic 12000 total WOs if she had only sat in on 10% of them that would be 1200 times 10 days (not counting failed Wise Ones, those who do not return) that would be 20 years of doing nothing but discussing WO candidates... you think she would remember one of them in particular?

Also only three Wise One's approval is all that is needed to send a woman to Ruidean either time. per the books (tSR).
Jay Dauro
314. J.Dauro
We have seen that channelers without the Oath Rod can live hundreds of years. Let us estimate an average lifetime of 300 years. This means 20 new channeling Wise Ones each year. If one out of two can channel, that means 40 each year. Not really very many. And from their discussion, this is probably more than actually happen (meaning that the average lifespan is longer.)
Ron Garrison
315. Man-0-Manetheran
I've finally had time to read the Prologue and all your comments. It is so hard when you fall behind. Nothing new to add, except Isam/Luc/Slayer: He’s Perrin’s to take out.

Now off to Chapter 1...
Scientist, Father
316. Silvertip

If your resolve weakens, remember Karma. Give in to temptation here, and someone will walk up to you as you read AMOL in a coffeehouse on january 10th and say "Oh that was a great book, I never expected .... to happen in the end!"

Alice Arneson
317. Wetlandernw
Silvertip - Can't happen - I'm not leaving the house until I finish it! :)

I shall curl up by the fire and ignore all needs of my family, taking time only to make more coffee and use the necessary. I shall refuse to answer the phone or look at the computer. From the moment UPS delivers my book to my doorstep, I shall acknowledge the existence of no one and nothing but the book. This I Foretell.

Okay, it won't really happen except in my dreams... kids and husband can make reading difficult if you're ignoring their needs for food and clothing, but you can bet I'll be prepared with quick-fixing meals and will have the laundry caught up and put away by Monday morning, just in case my book gets here early. :)

Since I can talk about it over here, though, I wonder how many of the Egwene-bashers will acknowledge her (and the Tower's) efforts to research the seals/Last Battle and to communicate effectively with Rand. There have been a great many who have jumped all over her - first, for having the nerve to object to anything Rand said, and second, for not doing anything to figure out what else should be done.

The latter, especially, has been decried as yet another example of the WT doing nothing to prepare, while still claiming that everyone ought to follow their lead. By extension, this was also held as Egwene's fault, because she was clearly doing nothing but collecting all the royals she could find, asking them to oppose Rand. Oh, and fighting the BA, but really... Several lonely voices were raised to claim that just because it wasn't shown "on screen," it's hardly proof that nothing has been done, but that objection was virtually sniffed at.

Now we see that they have been searching the libraries - including the new ter'angreal - to find everything they possibly could. (There wasn't much, obviously - but there wouldn't be, would there?) I honestly don't see why so many people assumed that they weren't. Or maybe it was just some of the very vocal ones who made that assumption? (No, it wasn't me!!)
Don Barkauskas
318. bad_platypus
Wetlandernw @317, Re: Egwene bashers
Don't forget about the people who will call it "Brandon's ret-con to answer fan complaints" (as I've already seen it labeled on other sites).
Alice Arneson
319. Wetlandernw
bad_platypus @318 - Yeah, I have not much patience for that attitude. Those who are seriously determined to find fault will make it if they can't honestly find it.
320. alreadymadwith300years
J. Dauro @314
300 years is about the limit for a channeler who has sworn the Oaths. Without the Oaths, a channeler can live much longer, as many as 3 times longer. LTT was considered in his prime at over 400 years old. Most of the Forsaken were his contemporaries.
321. Skyler
-What about Nakomi as a ghost? The way she just disappeared. Mayby Jenn. She plants the seed of influence in Avienda. Now Avienda is already thinking that there is no point to sticking to traditions that are not practical/needed. (Sweat tent where there is water.)

-What about Demandred as Bashere? There is something dark about Bashere, if there was some big twist, it might be here. I also think Dem could be Shara, awaiting to show his 'bussels and droves' of armies.
322. DougL
Sorilea a DF? Never crossed my mind. She independantly roused the Aiel to save Rand in Lord of Chaos.

I get that Taim may also have done so, probably at the request of Dem, but that was to create a great schism between Rand and the White Tower. Sorilea had no such ulterior motive to power her decision.

I can't believe that a true DF would take such an action without consultation, and the rest of the Forsaken would have known that Mesaana was the one directing the capture.
323. DougL
Couple more things.

1) I think Bair is more likely to know of every other apprentice sent to Rhuiden because is one of the 3 dreamwalkers. Her, Amys and Melaine (who seems younger), all seem to occupy a special space just below Sorilea, and Amys is even challenging that position and they represent all the non-shaido clans that came to Rand in the books.

Regarding the columns; Bair may also have descendants. We know she's been married a few times, do we know she did not have children or they did not survive? I don't remember that being stated, and I am doubting it would be in the books because Bair has always been a background character, though, at times, prominent.

2) Demandred cannot be Bashere, it has been stated by the authors that it is someone we have not seen onscreen.

3) I also do not believe Nakomi is Rand's grand mother, but...well, I have no idea who else she could be. Verin never made sense to me.

4) Re: Egwene, yes it is nice she is researching. It is not nice how she outrights refused to ask Rand why he feels the Seals must be broken when he first told her his plan. It is necessary to acknowledge the other side of an argument may have merit to have meaningful dialogue of two separate but valide ideologies.

5) Here's my theory on Isam/Luc. He can freely enter the dream at any time because one of them is always asleep; it's not like they ever converse with each other.
Alice Arneson
324. Wetlandernw
DougL @323 - re: 4) - She hasn't had a chance to ask him about it at all. Her first, automatic reaction (and the initial reaction we've seen from pretty much everyone else who hears it) was "Rand, no!" From that point on, he gave her virtually no opportunity to ask anything, and he did not even pretend to try to explain or to convince her. (Quite probably, he knew perfectly well that he didn't have a scrap of evidence to explain it because he didn't understand it himself; he was going on gut instinct and an inconclusive scrap of a note from an absent-minded professor.) When she suggested that they talk about this and plan, he said, ""That is why I cam to you. To let you plan." As far as he was concerned, any further talking and planning could happen "when we next meet" - at the Field of Merrilor. It is necessary to be willing to have a dialogue in the first place to have a meaningful dialogue of two separate but valid ideologies.

She didn't refuse to ask him - he refused to discuss it. And all of the AS research has been to find out everything they can, and there just isn't much. There's no indication the AS were trying to find arguments or proof against Rand while ignoring anything that might support him: they're trying to find out anything that will help.
michael gaston
325. Ashenladoka
Lover of Egwene's character or hater of her, you still have to admit that it’s a little suspicious the way it came out that she had always been trying to find out about the seals and through a ter’angrael Elayne discovered no less. I just wish we had a timeframe here of when she started. And before you stare daggers at me I’ve said more than once I hope she is doing something off screen but with only the book knowledge in front of us it doesn’t look like she is. Regardless, it IS highly convenient to be put in after thousands of “I hate her!” / “I love her!” comments. Anyhow it’s there now so on with the show!

Your argument however is invalid. True he didn’t give her much of a chance but she was the only one the Pattern allowed to talk and she really could have said “Hold it buckoo I’ve been researching that!” But I think the AS mantra of not giving up information until it’s almost too late is now firmly ingrained in her (rightly so, but still irritating if you need that information). But Egwene didn’t want to discuss this anyway. She wanted to discuss bonded sisters. Had Egwene not brought them up changing the conversation and/or had Rand left right after dropping that bombshell, then yes I would easily seen your point. But she did, and he didn’t, so back to the Watchergate conspiracy.

In the same thought though, Rand clearly didn’t tell her he didn’t have a plan, just didn’t have the answers yet. In fact he kind of hinted he did…which he really didn’t…but he could have…which she didn’t know…because he really didn’t…doesn’t... have a plan at this point…that we know of anyhow…since it could be off screen too. But he kind of did refuse to discuss it which just irritates the readers and fuels the conspiracy even more.

Really the problem I’m having is that Egwene, for all her knowledge gathered over the past year or two (in book), is still firmly believes that Rand is an idiot…
“I’m not saying that we shouldn’t break the seals,” Egwene said. “I’m saying that we can’t afford to risk one of Rand’s crackbrained schemes with this.”
She is still believing he is the same boy she bullied in the TR, even after he told her the flat out truth about his link with LTT. Of course I’m sure that didn’t inspire confidence, but a 400 year old man, if Rand is to be believed, with all the knowledge of the AoL, should have given he a little pause in her thoughts.
But then again, arrogant, I know better than anyone, Egwene comes to the front…
“The sisters who gathered these for me came to the same conclusion that I have,” Egwene said. “There may be a time to break the seals, but that time is not at the start of the Last Battle, whatever Rand thinks. We must wait for the right moment, and as the Watcher of the Seals, it is my duty to choose that moment. I won’t risk the world on one of Rand’s overly dramatic stratagems.”
I agree that they need to do it together, but clearly Egwene still wants to be the boss. She knows they need to be broke, but when she thinks it's best. Not when the Pattern needs it to happen, but when SHE chooses the moment.
326. mikeslain
actually i think hes manipulating her in some way. he strolls into the tower and tells them THAT? its a sceme i tells ya. roll on jan
327. TopherBob
Why isn't anyone talking about Olver? At the end of TOM he races off to help in Caemlyn, but we didn't see him at all in the prologue, or in either of the first two chapters. I have a curveball prediction: He's been captured by the Dark Side and will be used against Mat to make him do something he wouldn't otherwise do in exchange for Olver's life ... Mat may even sacrifice himself for Olver, and Olver will eventually grow up to become the leader of the Red Band and a legend in his own right during the new age.
Alice Arneson
328. Wetlandernw
@327 - I think no one is talking about Olver because there's nothing to speculate with. He read the letter with Talmanes, retrieved his dagger from Mat's tent, and then we see nothing more of him. There are a score of possibilities, and nothing to make one more probable than another.
329. OldGoat
Lanfear/Cyndane. 106.wcarter. I agree wholeheartedly with your theory. The scene between Rand and Lanfear in the unidentified "dream" was likely between Rand and the "light" side of Lanfear's soul, trapped in a cour'souvra. The "dark" side of Lanfear's soul is embodied in Cyndane. Hence the split personality.

Moridin/Rand/Lews Therin. Moridin and Rand are clearly linked in some way. (The stiffness of Moridin's hand after Rand lost his.) Likely this involves the "dark" and "light" sides of Lews Therin. The "light" side of Lews Therin is embodied in Rand. The "dark" side has merged with Moridin. The climax likely involves Rand battling Moridin, with both the light and dark sides of Lews Therin "dying" -- hence the death of the Dragon Reborn at Shayol Ghul. Rand survives as Rand, probably without powers, and ends up wandering as a blind man in the company of Min. I vaguely recall also a scene where Rand/LTT refers to "the three of us" wrecking the world ...
330. Morakai
Rand makes a a pact with Padan ... to tackle the dark on together with the result in rand giving his life to padan on the rocks of shayogul. Callandor isnt powerful enough to create a new prison so the only outcome is to destroy which is a lot better than the age of power as women have built a backbone and decide to help the world :). Shara and aiel shall find contest as the others nations lock the seachan in battle. Mat makes an alliance while perrin aids a old friend in lan.. and the malkeri. With all than in mind... only a memory of light shall be left... darkness for the ages to come?
331. Morakai
The real memory of light for me .... is the greatest and most influential author in my life... the Sir Robert Jordan. May your light live in the pages you crafted and may the wheel you helped turn always invoke the minds of people that need to escape the madness of the mundane.
For the Smiles , For the Tears , For the Flutters in my heart waiting in anticapation for the next chapter/book.

Forever Blessed . Forever Strong

Thank You
332. Melkor
Has anyone thought what is going to happen in Seanchan in the Towers of midnight.
And i kinda believe Shaidar Haran is actually Dark One himself. Because in one of the earlier books he said while he was spying Sammeal and Greandel that he couldn't stay away from shayol gul for a long time.
333. Timoth
Actually, I don't hate Egwene, but I don't like her much either, for a few reasons. A. She is a practicioner of what I'll call "institutional morality". Whatever group she is with is awesome and no one else. Attitude drives me nuts. She condemned Rand's kidnapping not because that is bad in and of itself, but because it might hurt the Tower. I haven't liked her since she took pleasure in hurting and scaring/intimidating Nynaeve. My ethics on war, from Iraq, are that to take pleasure in any act of hurting or going after someone, justified or not, is bad.

Finally, she has yet to apologize to Mat, or even admit he is valuable. She is really the only one who was too "awesome" and what not, to admit she was wrong. Her growth is predicated on her greatness. She's the only character of the main bunch that is cool all the way through and had to change very little.

Actually, coda to the final one. I preferred Suian's attitude as Amyrlin to Egwene's. Suian was far more humble and "not use perks of office if she had a choice" than Eg was. I have a high regard for duty, very little for ambition. The reason that most of the folks who are villains never really seem believable to me is that I can't fathom caring that much for power. Nyn isn't perfect at all, but I much prefer her, Damer, or Corele's attitude of helping others regardless of politics or so forth, than the whole "everything for the sake of the Tower" of Eg. That said, I did like her a little in ToM, when she finally grew up and started believing in right or wrong, regardless of how it affects the Tower.

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