Sep 4 2012 2:00pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Towers of Midnight, Part 17

Last night I wrote a Wheel of Time Re-read post in my pajamas. How the post got in my pajamas I’ll never know!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 29 and 30 of Towers of Midnight, in which we recap a pivot point, ruminate on the perils (and allure) of absolutism, and Blow Shit Up. Whoo!

Previous re-read entries are here. The Wheel of Time Master Index is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general, including the upcoming final volume, A Memory of Light.

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

And now, the post!


Chapter 29: A Terrible Feeling

What Happens
Berelain, Faile and Alliandre stroll through camp, which is growing in numbers daily even though some of the refugees are leaving. Berelain suggests for about the dozenth time that she should go speak to the Whitecloaks on Perrin’s behalf, to Faile’s bemusement. She tells Berelain and Alliandre that Perrin is determined to go through with this trial because it bothers him that his name is not clear as long as the Whitecloaks continue to insist he is a murderer. Alliandre idly comments on how good-looking the Lord Captain Commander is, and Berelain blushes and waxes rhapsodic about him.

She was definitely taken with Damodred. Such a short time for it to have happened. Faile told Berelain that finding another man for her attentions would help with the rumors, but the Whitecloak commander? Had the woman lost all sense?

They discuss Morgase, and Alliandre agrees with Faile that she feels deceived that Morgase did not confide in them. Berelain, however, counters that any one of them would likely have done the same in her situation, and Faile privately acknowledges she is really more angry that now Morgase is presuming to pass judgment on Perrin, even though she does not really think Morgase will fail to be fair. Their talk is interrupted by screams as all the weapons in camp suddenly turn on their owners, the women’s knives included. Sulin wrestles Faile’s knife to the ground, breaking it, and Faile jumps in to help Berelain, who is fighting her own knife. Together they manage to plunge it into the ground, where the life goes out of it. Berelain thanks her, and they realize that dirt is what stopped the weapon. Faile shouts to the Maidens to spread the word, and they rush to help the rest of the camp.

In Galad’s tent, Morgase reflects on her stepson’s life-long tendency to view things in black and white, and how that naturally led him to an organization like the Whitecloaks, and regrets that she never managed to teach him that life wasn’t that simple. She wonders if there is some way for her to show him now. Galad tells her that he challenged and killed Valda under partially false charges, and though he does not regret killing the man, he will still need to release a statement. She tells him her captivity was her own fault, for trusting her enemies, but Galad does not accept this. She asks him if he realizes that fighting in the Last Battle will involve allying with both the Dragon Reborn and the Aes Sedai, and Galad says that the Shadow outweighs all other concerns, even allying with witches. She urges him to forget this trial then for the same reason, but Galad counters that Aybara himself asked for it, and either his innocence or guilt (and execution) must be proven before they can continue.

“I have heard you all but threatened to execute the prisoners if Perrin didn’t come to battle. Would you have actually done this?”

“Their blood would have been on his head.”

“Lini’s blood, Galad?”

“I…I would have seen her among them and removed her from danger.”

“So you would have killed the others,” Morgase said. “People who did no wrong, who were guilty of nothing more than being beguiled by Aybara?”

“The executions would never have occurred. It was merely a threat.”

“A lie.”

“Bah! What is the point of this, Mother?”

“To make you think, son,” Morgase said. “In ways that I should have encouraged before, rather than leaving you to your simple illusions. Life is not so easy as the toss of a coin, one side or the other.”

She tells him about a murder trial she judged early in her reign, in which she condemned the suspect to death by hanging, only to discover years later that he had been innocent. She asks if she should be hanged for that, and Galad answers that she did her best; Morgase points out that that doesn’t change the fact that an innocent man died.

“The Children like to speak of the Light protecting them,” Morgase said, “of guiding their judgment and leading people to justice. That isn’t how it works, Galad. Valda, claiming the blessing of the Light, could do terrible things. And I, hoping for the Light’s aid, have killed unjustly.

“I’m not saying that Aybara is innocent. I haven’t heard enough either way. But I want you to understand. Sometimes a good man can do wrong. At times, it is appropriate to punish him. At other times, punishment serves nobody, and the best thing to do is to let him continue and learn. As I continued and learned, after making such a poor judgment.”

Galad looks troubled, but then they are interrupted by Byar, who reports that “the creature Aybara” has sent a message asking to delay the trial owing to some disturbance in their camp. Byar declares it an obvious ploy and urges Galad to attack or at least deny the extension, but Morgase assures Galad that Aybara is being honest. Galad looks annoyed, but says he will consider it, as well as the rest of what she has said.

Gaul reports to Perrin that the channelers say it could be days before they can Heal all the wounded from the bubble of evil attack. Aravine reports that the Whitecloak commander is “considering” their request for more time, and Perrin says that Damodred can either accept the delay or just go ahead and attack. He sends them off on various tasks, and Perrin wonders why of all the weapons in camp, his own hammer was the only one that didn’t try to attack him. Tam approaches, smelling worried, and tells him he has to leave.

“I’ve been told I can’t say much. But it’s about Rand.”

The colors swirled. Rand walked the hallways of the Stone of Tear. His expression was dark. Dangerous.

“Perrin,” Tam said, “I think this is something I need to do. It involves Aes Sedai, and I have to leave you now. I can’t say anything else. They made me swear it.”

Perrin agrees, and Tam tells him he is proud of him, and Perrin’s father would be too. He says he’ll see Perrin at the Last Battle if not before, and leaves.

Elayne rides in a litter carried by four Guardsmen, embarrassed by the necessity, heading to one of the turrets of the outer wall of the city, where Aludra is waiting. Aludra had sent a message reporting that her first test of the dragons was successful, and today is the official demonstration. On the way, Elayne reflects on the problem of Cairhien, and how she can take power there without getting mired in the notorious tangle of Cairhienin politics. She also thinks about the three new copies of the foxhead medallion she’d made to replace the one she’d lost, and how they still do not work as well as the original. She reaches the tower and is a bit unnerved by how high up they are.

I’m safe, she reminded herself. Min’s viewing. Not that she said anything like that to Birgitte, not any longer. And she did intend to stop taking so many risks. This wasn’t a risk. Not really.

The dragon on her tower is a dummy, for demonstration purposes only, and Elayne sees that Mat is on the next tower over with the live dragon. Via looking glass, Aludra shows her and Birgitte the fifty mannequins set up on a distant hillside outside the city, and Elayne wonders if Aludra really thinks her dragons can hit targets so far away with such a small thing as the iron sphere they are loading into the device. Aludra signals once the weapon is primed.

The soldier touched his burning torch to the side of the dragon.

The explosive sound that followed was so powerful that it made Elayne jump. The boom was as sharp as a thunderclap, and she heard in the distance what sounded like an echo of the explosion. She raised a hand to her breast, and remembered to draw breath.

A pocket on the hillside exploded in a massive spray of dust and earth. The ground seemed to tremble! It was as if an Aes Sedai had torn up the earth with a weave, but the One Power hadn’t been used at all.

Elayne is amazed, but Aludra is upset that the shot missed the mannequins by some twenty paces, and has the soldiers reload and adjust the dragon’s position. They fire again, and this time hit dead center, destroying or knocking down at least a dozen of the dummies. Elayne tells Aludra that all the resources of Andor are at her disposal, but insists that she swear an oath to keep the design of the dragons a secret. Aludra doesn’t care who has the design as long as the Seanchan do not, but agrees to the oath. Elayne is very excited, but Birgitte feels solemn, and Elayne asks what is wrong.

“The world just changed, Elayne,” Birgitte said, shaking her head, long braid swinging slightly. “It just changed in a very large way. I have a terrible feeling that it’s only the beginning.”

Yeah, I guess if anyone would be in a position to comprehend the long-term (and disturbing) ramifications of Aludra’s new technology, it would be Birgitte. After all, she’s basically been a soldier for centuries.

Of course, that does kind of make me wonder what’s Mat’s excuse for not being equally as apprehensive, since technically he also has multiple centuries’ worth of soldiering material at his disposal. But then, now that I think about it I can’t remember offhand whether we’ve actually been privy to any possible philosophical thoughts Mat might have on the dragons and their likely impact on the world, so possibly I am not giving him the benefit of the doubt.

One of the cool things about speculative fiction (in my opinion) is how frequently it offers the reader an opportunity to view something they might take for granted, or regard as ordinary and boring, from an alien perspective, which often regards that thing the exact opposite way. (“Alien” frequently being a literal term, of course.) I’ve always found it fascinating to try and put myself in the mindset of someone who would find something I personally find perfectly commonplace – like, say, the concept of gunpowder-based weaponry – to be utterly amazing and crazy and difficult to wrap their brain around.

Kind of the same way I would react to a real demonstration of channeling, in fact. I don’t know, it’s just fun to reflect on the perspective there. Plus, I find, it’s a pretty cool way for one to be reminded of how many of the so-called commonplace things around me are, actually, amazing and crazy when you think about it. And also, sometimes, disturbing as well.

Elayne: Oh, Elayne. I really wish Min had never opened her big fat mouth about that viewing, sometimes.

As for Galad and Morgase’s scene, well. I know, intellectually, that there are people just like Galad out there, who truly believe that everything exists in black and white, that there is an absolutely right answer and an absolutely wrong one to every situation, and to whom the very notion of compromise is not only anathema but actually a sin. I know these people exist because I have met them and read about them (and in a couple of cases am related to them), but even so I just can’t completely wrap my brain around them.

I have hard lines in my own personal morality, no doubt, and I certainly agree that moral relativity can be carried too far, but I simply do not get people who do not see that life is anything but a binary situation. Life is messy, and complicated, and context-dependent, and sometimes (often) there just is no right answer, only a big fight over which is the least wrong one.

All that said, this trial is problematic for more reasons than the obvious, and while I find Galad’s outlook baffling and frustrating in general, I have to admit he kind of has a point on this score. Because basically the argument Morgase is making here is that Perrin should be excused from being punished for his crimes because he is too important to the war effort, and as a member of a society whose system of law is at least theoretically dedicated to the concept that all people are equal under the law regardless of status, I find this… problematic. Even more so because in this case she’s actually kind of right, which is terrible.

But this is the point, really, that she (and I) are making, that this trial just isn’t as simple as determining whether a man is guilty or innocent of one particular crime, and that sometimes doing the wrong thing is actually the right course of action. Or rather, it is the lesser of whatever particular assortment of evils you’re facing that day.

I guess now that I think about it, it must be nice to be able to convince yourself to ignore all that, and to have a nice, safe, non-brain-breaking set of rules to follow without question or deviation or complications. It’s still a bullshit and dangerous way of looking at life, not to mention (in my opinion) a morally and intellectually cowardly one as well, but on reflection I guess I can see the attraction nevertheless.

Messy. Very messy.

Moving on!

Okay, so when I said in the summary that Berelain “waxes rhapsodic” about Galad, I was really, really not kidding:

“Like a statue carved from marble,” Berelain whispered, “a relic from the Age of Legends. A perfect thing left behind. For us to worship.”

I mean, damn, girl. I guess when Min saw that Berelain would fall “head over heels” for her man in white, she was seriously not exaggerating. You know it’s bad when you start busting out the poetic marble statuary allusions. Like you do.

Also, I left it out of the summary, but I was amused by Faile loyally sticking up for Perrin’s hotness over Galad’s, even as she privately admits that Galad is, indeed, very shiny. Heh.

Also, nice little reminder here, in Tam’s departure, of the fact that Perrin’s storyline is actually significantly behind the others’. TGS and TOM are in general way more fuzzy about the overall timeline than any of the previous books, but I think I’m right in asserting that Perrin’s is at this point the only one still lagging, and everyone else’s arcs are more or less in sync with Rand’s. If I’m wrong about this, though, I feel absolutely certain someone will let me know.

*pats her commenters fondly*


Chapter 30: Men Dream Here

What Happens
Lacile and Selande have returned from the Whitecloak camp, where they were gathering intel under the guise of checking on Morgase. Lacile reports to Faile that the Whitecloaks respect Galad, though some are unhappy about his intention to ally with Aes Sedai for the Last Battle; Faile observes that this means Galad is more reasonable than your average Whitecloak, which is useful information. She meets with Dannil Lewin, who leads the Two Rivers men in Tam’s absence, and confirms with him the plan to get Perrin out in case the trial goes against him. Dannil is unhappy about going behind Perrin’s back, but agrees with Faile that it is necessary.

In the wolf dream, Young Bull reflects that he is learning bit by bit how to maintain the balance between being a wolf and being a man, though he worries that this is how Noam began as well.

He could not fail. He had to learn. It seemed that—somehow—the more confident he became in the wolf dream, the more comfortable he became with himself in the waking world.

He is chasing Hopper, who leads him through what should be impenetrable jungle and up vertical cliffs and into cloaking mists, Perrin adjusting the environment each time to make it do what he wants it to. Hopper praises him, and then they go to check on the violet dome, which Perrin is beginning to suspect is there for another purpose than trapping wolves. Hopper then drops Perrin in the ocean, and scolds him for not being prepared for any type of environment. He says Perrin will never defeat Slayer like this, and Perrin asks if there is a way to teach him. Hopper is troubled, but admits there is, and takes him to Caemlyn, where he explains about the intrusion of nightmares from people’s own dreams into the wolf dream.

Hopper looked at Perrin. Hunting in the fear-dreams will teach you strength. But you might die. It is very dangerous.

“I don’t have time to be safe anymore,” Perrin said. “Let’s do it.”

They hunt for the scent of fear, and find an alley. Hopper warns him to remember it is false, and sends him in. Perrin finds himself in a bleak and terrifying forest, where a woman is running for her life from a giant red-eyed monster. Perrin runs from it too, and prepares to fight it. He asks the woman what it is, and she says it’s the Dragon Reborn. Perrin is taken aback, and remembers that this is not real, and concentrates on not accepting the nightmare. Hopper appears and seems to push the dream away, and they are back in the alley. He asks Hopper if he made the nightmare stronger by accepting it, and Hopper confirms this, and praises him again. Perrin wants to try it again, but Hopper is distracted; Perrin asks what it is.

The Last Hunt. It begins. Or it does not.

Perrin frowned, standing. “You mean…right now?”

The decision will be made. Soon.

“What decision?” Hopper’s sendings were confusing, and he couldn’t decipher them. Light and darkness, a void and fire, a coldness and a terrible, terrible heat. Mixed with wolves howling, calling, lending strength.

Hopper takes them to Dragonmount, where Perrin is awed by the massive storm covering the top of the mountain, and the huge numbers of wolves in the area. Hopper says they are gathering for the Last Hunt, if it occurs.

A choice must be made, Young Bull. One path leads to the Last Hunt.

“And the other?” Perrin asked.

Hopper didn’t respond immediately. He turned toward Dragonmount. The other path does not lead to the Last Hunt.

“Yes, but what does it lead to?”

To nothing.

Perrin asks why the wolves don’t choose the first path, and Hopper replies it is not their choice to make. Perrin climbs the mountain until he reaches the maelstrom capping it, and creates a bubble of calm air around himself so that he can penetrate the violent storm. Hopper says it is not his place to stay, and vanishes, but Perrin presses on. He reaches the peak of the mountain to see a translucent figure perched at the very apex, facing east, and Perrin knows it is Rand. He sees Rand’s face, and wonders at its hardness, and then sees something black and evil seeping from Rand. Perrin bellows at Rand to fight it, but doesn’t think Rand can hear him. The black miasma envelopes Rand completely.

And then—from the midst of the blackness, from the center of the uproar and the tempest—a tiny sliver of light split through the evil. Like a candle’s glow on a very dark night. The light shone upward, toward the distant sky, like a beacon. So frail.

The light grows until it shatters the shell of blackness around Rand, and the storm vanishes. Perrin watches as the light becomes sunlight, bathing Rand, and the wolves below begin to howl in triumph. Perrin joins them, and Rand’s figure vanishes, leaving the sunlight behind. Wolves appears all around, dancing and cavorting in the sunlight, and Hopper soars over to Perrin.

The Last Hunt begins, Young Bull! Hopper screamed. We live. We live!

Perrin turned back to the place where Rand had stood. If that darkness had taken Rand…

But it hadn’t. He smiled broadly. “The Last Hunt has come!” he screamed to the wolves. “Let it begin!”

They howled their agreement, as loud as the storm had been just moments before.

I… had totally forgotten this chapter existed.

I completely did not remember that Perrin was actually a witness, sort of, to Rand’s critical turning point. Possibly because I’m not really sure why he was there.

It’s possible, of course, that this could be the fulfillment of the second half of the prophecy that Perrin had to be there twice for Rand, otherwise it would be really bad, but the problem with that is Perrin’s presence didn’t seem to have any effect on events at all. As far as I can tell, judging from both this POV and from what I remember of Rand’s in TGS, Perrin didn’t actually do a single thing that influenced Rand in any way, so if this is the fulfillment of that prophecy, then it seems… kinda lame.

But then again, there is that line that Perrin thinks about the wolves “lending strength,” to Rand presumably, so maybe it was just a really subtle kind of influence.

*shrug* Fair enough.

Either way, it was rather neat to get a glimpse of this pivotal event from an outside perspective. And to see the wolves’ reactions, though I must admit I winced at the word choice of having either Perrin or Hopper “scream” anything. Neither of them really strike me as, er, screamers, you know? (Heh.)

In other news, you really do have to give Perrin props on his Dreamworld learning curve, which at this point I think outstrips even Egwene’s. It’s a little influenced by plot expediency needs, of course, but even so I find it consistent to believe that Perrin may take a long time to accept a course of action, but once he has, he is on it. Commitment is not one of Perrin’s problems, let’s just say. Or, well, it is, or can be, but not in the sense that he can’t, er, commit to commitment, but rather that he has the complete opposite problem. I’m pretty sure that didn’t actually make a whole lot of sense, but work with me here.

As for Faile, I guess I’m going to have to admit to some hypocrisy here, because I know I was going on earlier about how she and Perrin really ought to be employing full disclosure of their plans to each other, and yet I did not have a problem with her secret emergency Perrin-extraction plans here. Mostly because, well, if it were a choice between my husband’s honor or his life, I’d probably pick the latter as well.

It would be preferable, of course, that they could have plotted this fallback plan together. And I’m not sure, but I think Faile might actually be wrong in her estimation that Perrin would not go along with the notion, because Perrin himself has said he has no intention of letting the Whitecloaks execute him regardless of how the trial goes. The thing is, I can’t remember if he’s said this in so many words to Faile herself.

Which brings us back to my earlier point, really, which is full disclosure = good thing. If Perrin would have told her his intentions, maybe she wouldn’t have felt the need to plan them for him in secret. So… maybe I’m having less hypocrisy here than I initially thought. Which is awful nice.

And on that only mildly self-critical note, we out! Have a lovely week, and make it a point to enjoy your electricity, because I know damn well that I am! Cheers! 

Rob Munnelly
2. RobMRobM
"I have hard lines in my own personal morality, no doubt, and I certainly agree that moral relativity can be carried too far, but I simply do not get people who do not see that life is anything but a binary situation. Life is messy, and complicated, and context-dependent, and sometimes (often) there just is no right answer, only a big fight over which is the least wrong one."

Except where spanking is involved....LOL
Kat Blom
3. pro_star
Leigh we've missed you!!!!!

Maybe we should have had Hopper et al caper?

Can wolves caper?
4. fixTheQuote
I prefer a more literary Groucho quote:
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.

And I had not realized that Rand's Dragonmount transformation moment, while momentous, would have led to either the "last hunt" or "nothing"? That seems like the Last Battle would have been lost at that point in time, which ... doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. But I have to admit I haven't really figured out how the whole "wheel keeps on turning, proud mary keep on burning" bit works, if the Dark One was only released from his cage in the last go-round (the Bore) then what the hell was the Dragon fighting all the infinite times before that? Warm-up evil? And how could the loss here mean the end of everything? Wouldn't it just mean a new cycle of suckiness leading to a new Dragon/battle?

That was a sideline rant, ignore my philosophical ignorance of WOT, I'm willing to suspend my disbelief for the sake of the story.
William Carter
5. wcarter
I don't know...Hopper maybe not so much, but I could see the beserker/emo Perrin as a screamer.

As for Mat, I doubt he wants to think about the rammifications of Dragons. He knows on a subconscious level at the very least, but as BS has said, he's not very honest with himself.

Lastly on Min telling Elayne about her viewing--in her defense, I'm pretty sure she was a little err umm...distracted...when she first had the viewing seing as how Elayne and Rand were Up To Something, and she along with Birgitt and Aviendha were quite focused on getting exceedingly drunk to try and ignore that fact.
I can't remember if she later told Elayne about her viewing first hand or if the information was relayed.
Stefan Mitev
6. Bergmaniac
“There was nothing you could have done, son,” she said. “My captivity was my own fault. For trusting my enemies.”

Galad waved a hand. “There was no resisting Gaebril, if what you have heard is true. As for your captivity, you did not trust your enemies. You were betrayed, like all of us, by Valda. The Children are never the enemies of a person who walks in the Light.

Yeah, Galad, when the Whitecloacks were trying to start a rebellion in Caemlyn against Morgase during EOTW they weren't her enemies at all. And it's not like they try their best to kill every woman who's been trained in the tower. Oh, wait..

The Whitecloaks even harassed Galad's own party when he and Elayne were travelling to Tar Valon. it's beyond me how despite all this Galad's still able say such things.
Nadine L.
7. travyl
About Morgase: I'm not sure that Morgase wants to excuse Perrin because he is essential to the Last Battle. The way I see it, she got to know his personality, and therefor knows that Perrin isn't a cold-blooded murderer, so there has to be more to it, even if he did wrong at the incident under investigation. For me she really just tries to force Galad to realize the multi-colored / non black-or-white world to become a better leader.
If Perrin were a "rabbid wolf", Masema-style, and essential to the last Battle, I don't know if she had argued for him as she did here. For me it's more about "I know his character, he isn't pure evil".

As for Perrin witnessing Rand's struggle, I don't see it as the fullfillment of "Perrin has to be there for Rand" either. I think B. Sanderson confirmed that, but am not quite sure.
Leigh has to *pat* some other commenter on that account as well as about time-line synchronicity.
Karen Fox
8. thepupxpert
"Aravine reports that the Whitecloak commander is “considering” their request for more time, and Perrin says that Damodred can either accept the delay or just go ahead and attack."

I think this should have been Galad?
9. Iarvin
@8 Galad of house Damodred
10. gadget
Good recap.

With regard to Galad, I've been constantly baffled by the love he seems to get from the WOT community at large. I can understand the Gawyn hate, of course, but I never understood how Galad, the man with the moral outlook of a precocious nine year old, gets so much love. I mean, even as far back as the Dragon Reborn he had the irritating habit of trying to decide what is best for the Super Girls based on limited information and assumes they are to naïve / pig-headed to see. I've come to the conclusion that it is a combination of blow back from Elayne hate, since she is so adamant in her dislike of Galad and therefore is a person that should be liked, and the fact that he is a super cool swordsman that gets to kill Valda. That's the only explanation I can come up with.
Don Barkauskas
11. bad_platypus
thepupxpert @8: Heh, I did a double-take as well when my brain read it as "Demandred" the first time. Really changes the meaning. :-)
Scientist, Father
12. Silvertip
Depends what kind of "scream"er we're talking about. Think "KHAAAAAN"! I have no problems picturing Perrin with that one.

Joe Walters
13. josepph
@4 it all just starts over again man... rands gonna seal up to bore real nice and pretty with no evil seapage and magic powers are going to get gone from the world somewhere down the line... rand and avi's kids' great grand son will be named Moses or Jesus or Mohammed or something and today will happen and you will read the book series and ask about the repeat thing and then i will eplain it thusly once more... after a while nuclear war destroys everything and the world is rebuilt into an aggrarian society and they figure out how to use magic again and that builds into some kinda legendary age that people will remember for "all time" until oops someone discovers there is some other kinda magic on the other side of this here imaginary veil... oh nos its the devil, hey lets patch that thing up so he cant... oh wait im crazy... crying on dragonmount...

So in short, the dragon always "wins" either by partially closing the bore or totally closing the bore and when the whole mess starts over again it just starts over again again... whenever teh dragon loses, everything is done... fortunately the dragon has won every single time forever and forever back in time and always will because its the same wheel this time as last time as next time

mostly i think the point of the wheel is to get you to read the series over again once you finish it and think it likes its brand new
Philip Thomann
14. normalphil
@10 gadget

Because he has the moral outlook of a precocious nine year old. Likely obtained at nine years old or thereabouts.

Really, it's quite endearing. He's pretty much a messed up kid that made good. Give the man a hug, he'll need every one he gets.
Gary Singer
15. AhoyMatey
Thanks for the post Leigh.

I liked seeing Galad finally getting his wakeup call. He respects his mother's opinion, and she at least causes him to wrap his mind around the fact that the world is not black and white. He gets to grow up!
16. PerilousPear'in
"Whats that, Hopper?" Bark! "Rand fell up a mountain?" Howl! "He's in trouble? " Snarl! "And now he's all covered in black stuff!" Whimper! Bark! "Lets go get him boy!"

Seriously though, I too forgot about this part of the chapter.
And Rand is in the 'real world' and Perrin is in the Dream, is that correct? Maybe that's why he can't hear Perrin. but then why can Perrin see Rand at all? Unless this mountaintop miracle known as J-Rand (sorry) is so 'permanent' as to reflect entirely into Tel'aran'hiod?

--Long Time Lurker, First Time Poster
17. xolotl
I don't think that Mat would look at the Dragons the same way Brigette would. Mat is a General, he looks at a battle as how to win with the least amount of soldiers dieing. To him, he knows that the Dragons would come sooner or later so better he has them than anyone else. Also, it gives him the most time to learn tactics so that when others get it (as always happens) he knows how to beat them.

Brigitte is looking it as a soldier. Those dummies that were being shot at could be her, or her friends. She sees it as a huge negative for a soldier because they have no way of stopping it, very much like channeling.

With regard to Galad, I think the reason that people like him, other than how he killed Valda!, is that you know what you get with him. He is straight forward and is always getting down to do the right thing. Mind you, his idea of a "right thing" isn't always what every one else thinks it is but he is never trying to hurt the good guys. For example, people point out how he treated the super girls at times but if you put your self in his shoes, these are girls who are supposed to be in "school" and are instead running around the country side getting in trouble. What is his response, "Lets get them home and out of harms way. I'm a soldier so I can handle myself, but them? No, they need to be safe." While irritating for some people who know the full story, if you look at the info he has, it is completely logical.
Andrew Mills
18. ajmills
As Perrin is Ta'veren, I am wondering if he (and Mat) does have some pull on Rand as well as Rand having a pull on them.

I think it could be possible that Perrin being there are that crucial moment did indeed influence Rand, especially if Perrin was emotionally charged at that moment.
Craig Jarvis
19. hawkido
Perrin's hammer was the only weapon not affected?
I read this last week when I got carried away listening ahead.
Is it because it was perrin's, or because it was a hammer?
21. Ryanus
I assume others like Galad for the reason I do. He's a hero. Despite how WRONG he is because of it so very often.

I compare it to the season five finale of Buffy. *Spoilers for a long over show*


Bad guy get beat down, is laying there, Buffy lets him/her live and tells him/her to leave and never come back. Giles crouches down, and the villain shows shock that Buffy would let him go and just try to protect and do the right thing. Giles has to explain "She's a hero, not like us." before he does something very unheroic for the greater good.

Galad's like Buffy, not willing to compromise no matter what it costs himself or anyone else. There's a nobility in that. The fact that it's not remotely feasable in real life or the world just turns most of us away from idealism.

As for the Perrin thing. I'm of a mind it's the 2nd Time for Rand. I see the arguement of no real influence, except if Rand was bleeding through into TAR, then maybe on a subconscious level he heard Perrin's words and that triggered something.

Or an even simpler solution, there was another Ta'veren there that helped tip the scales back to where they needed to be. Just because Rand tugs very strongly on Mat and Perrin doesn't mean he can't be affected on some level by them in reverse.
22. Ryanus
@20. It's not yet, this is still his normal hammer, he hasn't made the new one yet.

Honestly I think it's just that the bubble targeted Weapons. Perrin's hammer, for all its use as a weapon, was not built to be one. That's a semantic arguement to us, but to the pattern and the threads, it was a blacksmith tool, not a weapon.
walden jost
23. PerilousPearIn
@22. thanks for the clarification, seems I am getting ahead of myself. It is one of my favorite parts of ToM! Imagine all the darning needles coming alive!
24. Megaduck
Like Xolotl, I think Bridget and Mat are coming to the weapons from different sides and in a lot of different ways.

Bridget is older and wiser, she doesn't just have the memories, she has the life experience and maturity that comes with them. Her memories are a part of her that Mat's aren’t. She therefore acts older and sees the big picture. Mat by contrast does not look at the big picture, he tends to look at what’s right in front of him and he doesn’t see what he doesn’t want to see. In a lot of ways Mat’s loss of an Eye only highlights a character trait he already has. Of all the characters he’s the one that most see’s only part of reality.

There is also the fact that Bridget is a Hero and represents the more romantic view of combat while Mat is the General represents the more practical side. Bridget likes to fight, and to fight for a cause. She describes herself as an Archer and goes into battle quite willingly. Mat does not like to fight at all; he’d rather avoid it if he can. He describes himself as a gambler or a lover.

This is especially shown when Bridget states that she doesn’t like shooting people from behind after she shoots Moghedien. She prefers straight up fights. Mat ambushes an entire Seanchan Patrol and has his crossbow men shoot them down without warning and doesn’t feel a twinge of remorse. Of the two, Mat is by far the more ruthless one, willing to win and win at any cost.

The introduction of guns and gunpowder heralds the end of the romantic combat and a rise of practical combat. The soldiers are no longer going to be the big and powerful hero’s that win by their strength and valor. Soldiers are going to be winning by luck and the skill of their leader.

What Bridget is feeling the chill breeze of is not just the deaths of thousands but also the end of her entire type of warfare.
David W
25. DavidW
@fixTheQuote It is my opinion that there are more types of evil than just the kind brought by the Dark One. So while the Dark One may be sealed safely for 5 of the 7 ages, there are other forms of evil that crop up from time to time.

Consider the evil found at Shadar Logoth. I don't buy the story that a bunch of people distrusting each other could create something as powerful as Mashadar. I believe that this power was found, not created and it will play a large role in the coming age.
William Carter
26. wcarter
@25 interesting thought, but here's another theory: What if the Dark One himself had a hand in creating Mashadar?

There are two halves of the One Power. Why not two halves of the Dark One's own essence?

Shai'tan is basically hatred and destruction personified. Could he not influence the thoughts of those who used distrust and very nature of a group of people who decided the best way to fight the shadow was to "use the weapons of the Shadow turned against itself?"

The Dark One's end game is to wipe out everything. Why should he put all his eggs in one basket? If his minions of shadowspawn and Dark Friends bring that about, great.

If not, why not a creature created by the very group of people who swore themselves as his greatest enemy--Aridhol. As evil as he was, Mordeth was no Dark Friend. Everything he did, he did because he literally thought it would bring victory against the Shadow.

Despite that he was/is so evil he is feared as an undying monster to Tower initiates and anyone versed in history long after changes he brought to the city turned it into a graveyard. To me that has the marks of influence from an evil deity who loves to corrupt and twist minds and souls written all over it.
michael gaston
27. Ashenladoka
I think it's awesome getting this POV from Perrin in the wolfdream.
The wolves understood immediately what was happening with crazy Rand on that mountian. Maybe by instinct maybe through memory from another Age...Rand was going to fight the LB or destroy EVERYTHING with the access key. And as far as Perrin being there to see it...maybe it was just his presence. Perrin has always been the more stable of the 3 and we have seen his emotions a LOT more strongly then in Mat for sure.
A choice must be made, Young Bull. One path leads to the Last Hunt.
“And the other?” Perrin asked.Hopper didn’t respond immediately. He turned toward Dragonmount.
The other path does not lead to the Last Hunt.
“Yes, but what does it lead to?”
To nothing.Maybe there is a prophecy about the wolves watching this in the dream or Perrin or Egwene having a dream about it. I may have to go re-read all those books again to see.
28. RoyanRannedos
All these people want to know: Where In Time Is Tam al'Thor?

I got goosebumps from the Perrin chapter, even in reread format.

@26 The only problem with this theory is that Mashadar seems to cancel out the True Power, whether it's the neverending wound in Rand's side or cleansing the taint through Shadar Logoth.

There's a scripture from the Book of Mormon that I think of (yep, I'm Mormon): "But, behold, the judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished".

My theory is that since the Creator can't destroy, the pattern needs another tool to keep balance without leading to ultimate destruction - a byproduct of human agency that draws destruction like a magnet and depletes its power. How that ends up making zombie Trollocs, I have no idea. But there you go.
29. gadget
Sorry, I don't see anything remotely noble about Galad, just ignorant. Rand, Mat & co. are noble and do the right thing, including tremendous self-sacrifice for the greater good. They get it wrong form time to time and Rand in particular, has tremendous forces of conflicting priorities that almost crush him into a souless monster; but they are all trying to do the Right Thing TM(even Mat, though he may tell himself differently). Like Galad, they gave certain things they just will not do that violate their moral and ethical standards (i.e. murder, voilance against women, etc), unlike Galad, they have been forced to confront and challenge their beliefs, to temper and contextualize them to a degree. By this I don't mean to advocate a 'situational ethics' philosophy, just most adults realize it is not so cut and dried in life.
30. NotInventedHere
@27: I don't think the question was whether Rand would fight the LB or destroy everything with the access key, it was whether he would fight the LB or allow the DO to win without a fight, which would be the end of everything. Rand wasn't considering destroying everything (though he did consider destroying himself), he considered taking the access key and striking at Shayol Ghul and the DO himself. Which would have been a disaster, and handed victory to the DO - and thereby ending the world.

Rand destroys the access key because it embodies a false hope - that the DO can be defeated through sheer strength in the OP. As long as the access key exists that would be a temptation for him (or any other light-side channeler), so he destroys it to remove temptation - and commits to fighting the LB, not trying to destroy the DO.
Roger Powell
31. forkroot
It’s possible, of course, that this could be the fulfillment of the second half of the prophecy that Perrin had to be there twice for Rand, otherwise it would be really bad
I too had wondered if this was the fulfillment of the second half of the prophecy. When somone (I think it was Loialson, but I am not sure) asked for questions to pose to BWS at a signing, I proposed that very question. Reportedly, Brandon's answer was "no". It's all somewhere back in this reread - sorry I don't have a specific link.
32. Blood_Drunk
@ Leigh Thanks for the re-read. In response, I think that Mat has shown in a few different instances that he does understand the enormous repercussions of gunpowder. It was just a long time ago, so I think we have forgotten. When he first found out what Aludra's Dragons were for he saw the immense destruction that they brought. Then later he had a dream where the cannons were being used on a thousand battlefields and it ended with the Dark Ones laughter. He has had a long time to get used to the idea of what his actions would mean and I think we already saw his Eureka/ OMG moment.

Also, On the subject of Morgase asking Galad to consider not having a trial b/c he is too important. We see this all the time, especially in our own society. White collar criminals are sent to minimum security prisons that enjoy more amenities than many middle class Americans can afford. The president is also given the ability to pardon anyone he cares to on his way out of office. Which are typically people of high influence and wealth (strange right?). Then you have the famous and wealthy that are notorious for getting out of prison just because they are who they are. Remember when Paris Hilton went to prison, was sent there by a judge that felt she needed to serve her time in an actual prison? She was sent home less than 24 hours later by the prison warden. If it was for the judge being so insistent, she probably could have gotten away with it, but the judge really wanted to prove a point. Anyway, while we have a justice system that is supposedly blind, it seems to favor the wealthy and well-connected more often than not.
John Massey
33. subwoofer
Hi Leigh, glad to see you are safe and sound and in your jammies:)

Berelain, Faile and Alliandre stroll into a bar...
I have hard lines in my own personal morality, no doubt, and I certainly agree that moral relativity can be carried too far, but I simply do not get people who do not see that life is anything but a binary situation. Life is messy, and complicated, and context-dependent, and sometimes (often) there just is no right answer, only a big fight over which is the least wrong one.
Is this your roundabout way of saying that in certain circumstances, spankings are warranted?

The second chapter completely rocks. I love that of all the people in the world that see the Last Battle is coming, only the wolves truly get it. I think that moment on the mountain where Rand talks to the Burning Bush is the true pivotal point of the whole story. And I am thankful that Hopper and Perrin were there to bear witness. Without Rand, being in the right frame of mind, all is lost. It was through Aes Sedai prompting, but in the end, Rand, up on the mountain top by himself was what it took to really change the outcome for the world.

By the way, I am glad all is okay down south. The last time major catasrophe struck, folks had a hard time of it, and for about a year up here radios thought it taboo to play a certain song by the 'Hip.

John Massey
34. subwoofer
About Perrin's Dreamworld learning curve: four paws are better than two:)

Jay Dauro
35. J.Dauro

Oh yes, the Dark One was going to win, by convincing Rand to destroy everything.
“And what if I don’t want the Pattern to continue?” he bellowed. He stepped forward, right to the edge of the rock, clutching the access key to his chest. “We live the same lives!” he yelled at them. “Over and over and over. We make the same mistakes. Kingdoms do the same stupid things. Rulers fail their people time and time again. Men continue to hurt and hate and die and kill!”


“What if he is right?” Rand bellowed. “What if it’s better for this all to end? What if the Light was a lie all along, and this is all just a punishment? We live again and again, growing feeble, dying, trapped forever. We are to be tortured for all time!”


Rand raised his arms high, a conduit of power and energy. An incarnation of death and destruction. He would end it. End it all and let men rest, finally, from their suffering. Stop them from having to live over and over again.

The Gathering Storm - 50
36. Freelancer
RE: Mat's reaction to the cannon.

He had it, but long before here. When he solved Aludra's riddle, he immediately knew how impactful her dragon would be. That's why he assured Aludra that he'd get every bellfounder in Andor to work on her design. Mat had nobody to discuss it with other than Aludra, and clearly she is way ahead of him in knowing their significance to warfighting. So it makes more sense to bring the emotive version of this in a scene with Birgitte and Elayne.

Perrin had to be there with Rand, on two occasions, or else something very bad would happen. Perrin is one of the three strongest ta'veren currently in the land. It need not be more complex than simply that his ta'veren pull tipped Rand/Lews Therin toward fighting for the chance to love again.

It is also quite interesting to note that while Rand is sitting on Dragonmount in the waking world (or at least there'd been no reason to think otherwise), his actions are so momentous that they are replicated in real time in Tel'aran'rhiod. Usually, except for people visiting intentionally or momentarily dreaming themselves there, only non-sentient things are reflected in the World of Dreams. Perhaps we are being shown something we didn't expect here. Is it possible that Rand, as of this point in time, is fully present in both?

fixTheQuote @4

The "nothing" is the annihilation of existence which would have occurred, had Rand fully unleashed the Choedan Kal on the world. Everything is done. Rand/Lews Therin believed that the cycles would end if he did that. Reference the text quoted by J.Dauro @35.

hawkido @19

Agree with Ryanus @22, the hammer is not a weapon.

NotInventedHere @30

Disagree. J.Dauro has the text I would have pulled from TGS ch.50, which absolutely states that Rand wants, and believes the Choedan Kal capable of, the destruction of the entire world's existence from the Pattern. Imagine a maximum-power balefire shot through the center of the world. The Pattern would be utterly undone. There would be no "after that".

forkroot @31

I'd like it if you could find that reference to Brandon saying that this wasn't the second prophecied occasion where something bad would happen to Rand if Perrin wasn't there, because I'd assumed this was from the first time I read it. It seemed so appropriate that Perrin's ta'veren influence pulled Rand to the right decision, when he was teetering on the brink, that one of his friends being "nearby", made the difference in him deciding that there was something yet worth fighting for.
37. AndrewB
Subwoofer @33 said: "I love that of all the people in the world that see the Last Battle is coming, only the wolves truly get it."

I disagree. I think there are others who think like the wolves do (as articulated by Hopper when he said that one path leads to the Last Battle; the other leads to oblivion. This seems to be the fear that Cads, Sorilla and the other Wise Ones have. They fear that Rand is becoming too dark -- so dark in fact, that he is loosing his humanity. If he were to go to the Last Battle in that state of mind, they worry that even Rand's victory may amount to defeat for humanity (IIRC, Cads has this line of thought in one of her POV scenes in the TGS).

I do not recall if this was discussed during one of Leigh's posts during the TGS recap. I had always thought the "storm" in the title referred to Dark side marshalling its forces in anticipation of the Last Battle. This includes its minions and the growing strength of the Dark One's touch on the world. IMO, such strength was best illustrated by the prologue scene with the farmers and the description of the wind in the first chapter.

However, after reading Leigh's recap, I have a different opinion as to what the "storm" in TGS refers to. I now think the "storm" represents Rand's growing loss of his humanity (his becoming Darth Rand) climaxing with Rand's trip to Dragonmount.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Cameron Tucker
38. Loialson
31. forkroot

Hmm...I checked my transcript for my interview, it wasn't me. But I do recall that being said somewhere....

...I can't find it in Terez's database either. Maybe Wetlandernw or another knows?
Cameron Tucker
39. Loialson
I did find an interesting tidbit in Terez's database from a recent Reddit conversation from Brandon:

That, essentially, the scene at the end of the Ghenjei sequence, with Moiraine proposing to Thom, offering to throw away the angreal, etc. were 100% RJ. Fun to know.
michael gaston
40. Ashenladoka
Thanks for putting in that quote on crazy Rand about to end it all.

I just wish others would have been privy to that whole scene besides the wolves and Perrin. Say the WO's, Miss younger version of Eliada (yes Egwene if your wondering), and any other AS that were in the dream. All of them could have been pulled there almost like Perrin.

I do however think Zen Rand needs a very liberal dose of Darth Rand when dealing with everyone at the meeting place. But how are the Seanchen going to get there? I'm assuming Mat is coming to the rescue there and I hope that doesn't get rushed and leave the story wanting.

Any ideas on how Tuon and Berelain's meeting is going to shape up? Tuon is from one side and I remember it said that Berelain claims direct decendant from Hawkwing so does that make them technically "equals" at least in blood? Sorry if answered in a previous post.
Some Person
41. The Ninth Horse
I still don't get the trial, wherein Perrin is accused of murdering someone and it (the trial) would not happen except that he dared question the Childrens' kidnapping of freemen? Also, like most religions, the Children are perfectly willing to murder and rationalize it away when it suits them and how dare anyone challenge them!
Terry McNamee
42. macster
It's nice when the Pattern can work for the good guys for a change--in this case, making Berelain fall so head-over-heels for Galad that she no longer becomes an issue for Perrin and Faile. ;) And I too am amused Faile managed to defend Perrin's hotness while still acknowledging Galad's!

The bubble of evil was...interesting. Not so much for its role in the story--though it was good to have a chance for Faile and Berelain to actually work together and both acknowledge each others' skill in battle without it being used against each other, and it also allowed Cadsuane the opportunity to abscond with Tam and Byar to once again be a Tool--but because of its nature. Weapons coming alive definitely seems like a nice call back to the first bubble of evil (aside from the wind in Fal Dara), with Perrin fighting the axe, Mat the playing cards, and Rand his reflections. It's good to see that the bubbles can still be simple but disturbing oddities and not just creepy body horror.

And I suspect it was meant to be a a direct parallel to that scene in TSR, since there Perrin did have to fight the axe and here he didn't have to fight the hammer. It's all about the dichotomy between creation and destruction which he has to balance, though the fact a hammer is a blacksmith's tool probably also has something to do with it. And...dirt? *is puzzled* Is it because weapons are made from iron which comes from the ground? Or because earth is seen as the source of life, while weapons cause death?

The scene with Morgase and Galad, IMO, proves why Morgase was needed in this subplot and what her role in the story is, aside from the illustration of the Wheel of Fortune in Pattern form. In fact having just read the chapter in TFOH where she and the others leave Caemlyn to look for Bryne, I have found myself thinking how different the story would have gone if not for Morgase's role in it. If Bryne hadn't been drawn off to follow Siuan, obviously he wouldn't have gone to Salidar to lead the army, the rebels probably would not have gone to war with Elaida, and the Tower would have been reunified (so to speak) with her still as Amyrlin and the Blacks still in power, and the Seanchan probably would have conquered the Tower. Obviously all bad things, though I also suspect Bryne not being there would have been bad for Siuan, and that both he and she have roles in the Last Battle they couldn't have fulfilled otherwise. Heck, I'm pretty sure his advice to Gawyn is a great deal of why Gawyn finally gets his head on straight and without that he wouldn't have rescued Egwene, probably gone back to Caemlyn and been killed by Rahvin or the Black Ajah, while Egwene would have been taken captive by the Seanchan or killed by Mesaana.

Anyway, back to Morgase: if Bryne had been there for her to find, then what? Well, I doubt they'd have been able to topple Rahvin on their own. Most likely they and the loyal lords and ladies (including Dyelin, maybe) would have been waiting on the sidelines when Rand came in to kill Rahvin. Then Morgase would have come forward and probably been put back on the throne, no Elayne as queen. Not sure what that mean for the story--the dragons may or may not have gotten made, would Morgase have claimed Cairhien without Rahvin's influence? And what would Elayne being around Rand during his darkest point have led to? Or she might have stayed in Salidar and ended up back in the Tower under Elaida's thumb until the Seanchan came...

But meanwhile, it was Morgase coming to Amador that led to Niall's death--because he was negotiating with her instead of executing her outright, this is what led Valda and Asunawa to plot against him. If he hadn't died, he might have done something about the Seanchan in Tarabon, he certainly wouldn't have allied with them when they came to Amadicia, and he probably would have fought the Prophet's forces. At the very least, though, he and the Whitecloaks would not have been involved in the Last Battle at all until it was too late in the game, if then, and there would have been no way for Galad to end up leading them--which was obviously key to him and Perrin coming to an accommodation that lets them fight together at the Last Battle.

What am I getting at? Well that first, however much we may not wish it, the Whitecloaks are needed at the Last Battle and this is the only way it could have happened that would have pleased the readership at large, but also that specifically this was needed because Galad is essential to the battle in some way--whether it being his blood spilled at Shayol Ghul, or something else. And of course, to bring us back to our starting point, that having Morgase here enabled the trial, which in turn enabled Galad's view of right and wrong to be changed and Perrin to lay to rest the ghosts of his past--which, if he hadn't, probably would have prevented him from fully becoming the leader he needs to be at the Last Battle. All key aspects--I would point to the fact this chapter's icon is the Wheel symbol, suggesting events in it are critically important to the Pattern. Yes, the bit with the dragons is important, and there's a bubble of evil, and Tam being taken to Rand, but I would argue it's as much Morgase's talk with Galad that is worth paying attention to as the rest.

In any event, short version: I loved her talk with him, it was completely in character on both sides and raised some powerful points. It is good to have a strong sense of right and wrong, and moral relativism can only be taken so far, but there needs to be context, nuances, a willingness to be open-minded and realize that things are far more complex than we usually wish they could be. The fact she got through to him, and that this prevents bloodshed and eventually leads to Perrin and Galad becoming allies, is absolutely imperative, and for that alone I would excuse Morgase's subplot. Of course there are other reasons for it, as I've mentioned before, but this is a character-driven reason rather than thematic.

Don't have much to say on the dragons, other than to note that this seems to me to be a parallel to both Egwene's dream about Mat bowling and Mat's own dream with the Dark One laughing--i.e., the dangers of this kind of warfare returning to the world are now finally being acknowleged in the waking world, not just TAR. And I think Blood_Drunk is right, it was at the time of that dream of the Dark One laughing that Mat acknowledged the seriousness of this moment and he's already resigned himself to it now. And if the world and warfare are going to change, at least he knows of it first and has some time to control it and prepare for it before others gain the technology--that is, of course, if the Shadow's forces don't get hold of them when Caemlyn falls. Now I wonder if these prophetic dreams and the Dark One laughing aren't just due to the horrific possibilities of such technology itself, but due to the Shadow getting its hands on it...

Side note: Elayne once again proves she has learned her lesson and is aware of what an idiot she was--although she still hasn't told Mat (or, it seems, any Aes Sedai--there are none with her any longer, but you would think she'd have warned the Kin, or Egwene), she thinks right here how she screwed up in losing a copy of the medallion to the Shadow.

Amusing side note: Elayne's thought about all the gownmakers in the city being ticked off at having all their dressmaking dummies taken.

Perrin's training with fear-dreams: Badass to begin with--we know how dangerous they are from that horrific moment where Elayne and Nynaeve were training the Salidar Six back in LOC, so for him to be strong enough to do this is absolutely impressive. Though to be fair he has an advantage the Aes Sedai did not--even though they (and he) knew they were in TAR, there was nothing to really tell them the Trollocs weren't real, but in this particular dream Perrin's personal knowledge of Rand gave him the edge in disbelieving its reality. Of course from what I recall of the other nightmares he trains in, Perrin doesn't have such knowledge to help him later on but he still disbelieves them, so--yeah, Perrin is badass.

Continuity error: Perrin thinks he had only been to Caemlyn once, "briefly" (surely referencing his visit back in TEotW), but he has been there since and for longer--in LOC, when he and Faile came to see Rand before fleeing with him to Cairhien. Granted they stayed in the Palace the whole time, so he wouldn't have seen the city much, but still, there was more than one visit.

If Sanderson hadn't denied this as the second time Perrin had to be there for Rand, I'd have believed it--even if nothing in Rand's scene in TGS seemed to indicate he'd been influenced by Perrin, the fact Rand's image appeared in TAR showed what he was doing was powerful enough to affect reality, or else he would not have been reflected there. (Since I am fairly sure Rand wasn't willing himself into TAR, even unintentionally. I think Freelancer is right, but it's the importance and power of this moment making it reflect in TAR, not that Rand literally is there.) So it could well be that the strength the wolves were lending, and Perrin's urgings, could have affected him subconsciously. Even knowing this wasn't Perrin's second time doesn't mean he still couldn't have affected Rand--Min's viewing only said there were two times Perrin had to be there, not that there weren't other times he could or should be there.

In any event, a powerful moment, I think, and it's unfortunate the two events had to be placed so far apart the way they were due to how the books got split. It would have been quite something to read the scenes back-to-back or simultaneously. Though of course we can do that manually just by setting the books side by side...

What interests me is how Rand's epiphany appears to Perrin, the way it manifests itself. Is that just TAR warping, a symbolic representation of Rand "going evil" and then returning to the Light, or is it an actual true depiction of what was happening? If the latter, where was the "seeping shadow" and "sliver of light" coming from? The Dark One and the Creator respectively, or did Rand do it all himself? If the latter, that suggests the shadow is Rand drawing on the True Power and the light is...? It definitely raises interesting conclusions about the "liquid Light" Nynaeve sees coating the thorns in Rand's mind...whether the Creator was involved or just Rand, it does suggest some sort of power was used to ward away the taint when he integrated himself. If so, does that mean the shadow really was some of the Dark One's power trying to...possess Rand? A manifestation of Rand's negative ta'veren aura? The True Power? (It reminds me quite vividly of the shadow which surrounded Ishamael when he fought Rand in the TAR Stone of Tear...)

Anyway, regardless whether Perrin had any influence on Rand or not, I think this scene was here for two reasons: one, to definitively help us line up the timelines, and two, because it was essential that Perrin and especially the wolves know that Rand had made this choice. Aside from it being obviously important to know if the world was going to be unmade or not, knowing Rand has chosen to fight the Dark One, and for the right reason/in the right way, is important if his allies are going to keep supporting him.

And that seems doubly clear for the wolves--they call Rand "Shadowkiller" but that is predicated on the notion that Rand actually will kill the Shadow rather than joining it, or killing the world. (I am very struck by their image of the "nothing" if the Last Hunt does not begin--"a vacant den, all of the pups taken by trappers. A night sky empty of stars. The moon fading. The smell of old blood, dry, stale and flaked away." It reminds me of the Portal Stone world where the Dark One won, and there was no life left.) If Rand joins the Shadow, well...remember that the wolves hate the Shadow as much as anyone else. And if he destroys all life, there is nothing to fight for and no one to do the fighting. So of course the wolves must witness and know what will be chosen, because of what is at stake. Now that they know, they can support Rand fully, and follow Perrin and him at the Last Battle.

Re: Perrin and Faile and the plan for what happens if Morgase judges against him, Perrin does say to Dannil in Chapter 34, just before the trial that he a) knows what Faile is up to and b) agrees with it. He says she "needs her secrets" and that if things go bad, he does want to be rescued--he just cautions Dannil and the Asha'man to make sure there is no other choice first, and that it happens only when he gives the signal, not when a Whitecloak makes a wrong move. So first off, Faile hiding what she's doing is kind of irrelevant if Perrin actually already knows about it and approves.

And secondly, while Perrin hasn't told Faile directly he won't let them execute him, he did tell her he won't let them take him, which amounts to the same thing since that's what they'd do without a trial. Also, of course, recall that Perrin told her he would have told her what he was planning if he hadn't thought of it at the last moment. I'm sure his idea of promising to turn himself in only after the Last Battle, if the judgment went against him, is one he's already come up with by this point, but maybe not, and in any event he was probably waiting until he had thought it all out and he'd gotten to make his case before he decided what he'd do. So, he couldn't have told her, really.
Terry McNamee
43. macster
@4 fixtheQuote and @30 NotInventedHere: Actually no, from the bit I quoted about there being "nothing" left, and the fact Rand was quite clearly going to use the Choedan Kal to unravel the Pattern and destroy the world, not just kill himself, then the reason the moment on Dragonmount was so important is that if Rand had decided the other way, there would be no Pattern, Dragon, world, or anything.

From TGS:

Rand didn't want the Pattern to continue (p. 1057); he thinks it's all meaningless, the Dark One is right, it's better for it all to end (p. 1058); that "Lews Therin had been right to kill himself and create Dragonmount. Only he hadn't gone far enough...he'd left the world alive, wounded, limping forward. He'd let the Wheel of Time keep turning, rotating, rotting and bringing him back around again. He could not escape it. Not without ending everything" (p. 1059); that the Chodean Kal had enough Power to "unravel the Pattern itself and bring final peace" and "He would end it all. End it all and let men rest, finally, from their suffering" (p. 1060). So it wasn't about allowing the Dark One to win without a fight, it was definitely the end of everything as Ashenladoka said.

Whether or not the Dark One were still imprisoned, as far as the wolves and humans were concerned everything would be over, so this decision had to be made. Quite clearly if there was ever a point in previous turnings where the Dragon could make a choice like this, he always chose to preserve life. This time the matter was much more in doubt. He chose correctly, possibly because of Perrin and the wolves but mostly because of his upbringing and his three women, so now the Last Battle can happen. There's still a chance the Dark One could get completely free, or that Rand could die in a way he can't be reborn, but if the battle is won by the Light then the Wheel turns on and if it is lost, the Dark One remakes everything. Neither of those can happen, though, if Rand completely destroys the world and the Pattern, which is why it's "Last Battle or nothing". It's not that the Last Battle would be lost, it's that there wouldn't be a battle...or a world...or anything.

Edit: and I see J.Dauro and Freelancer already covered this. But I'll keep my words in support of them and their points.

@7 travyl: Agreed on Morgase.

@10 gadget: I've never liked him really, but I haven't hated him either. He clearly means well, and he's not of the Shadow, but he's caused many annoyances and difficulties as well as outright pain and ruin. I've only gotten to like him after he killed Valda, showed he could be swayed from the Children's all-or-nothing, black-and-white mentality, and finally allied with Perrin. Other than that, he's not really meant anything to me until now.

@17 xolotl and @24 Megaduck: Well said re: Mat and Birgitte.

@26 wcarter: An interesting theory, and entirely possible.

@37 AndrewB: Relevant to your point, recall in TGS after the meeting with Hurin, when Corele thinks that Min's visions prove that Rand will win, but Min and Cadsuane say no, if there is no Pattern the visions won't come true so all is still in doubt. That proves Min and Cadsuane think like the wolves as well--the Last Battle, or oblivion. Whether the latter happens due to Rand unmaking the Pattern, or due to being inhuman (something required for said unmaking), either way it is the same in the end.

Re: your thoughts on the storm--no reason it can't be both. Symbolism usually works on more than one level. There is obviously a storm gathering over the Blight which the prologue of TGS brought to our attention and has appeared many times since all over Randland, but I would agree it also does refer to what is happening inside Rand's mind and soul. Note that not only does this chapter, describing the storm forming around Rand on Dragonmount, reinforce that imagery and interpretation, but recall Min's vision of lightning around Rand, and Egwene's dream of a storm. Both of these could refer to Rand's growing inhumanity and this moment where Rand and all of reality are on the brink, as well as the storm over the Blight.

@40 Ashenladoka: My personal theory is that the second Seanchan attack will happen while Mat is going to the Tower to get the Horn of Valere. Once he and/or Hawkwing end the attack, they'll be able to Travel to Merrilor (since the Seanchan have Traveling now). Also keep in mind the Seanchan swordswoman who will save Egwene. This could be the Seanchan arriving at Merrilor, or it could be Egeanin helping Mat stop the second Tower attack, or both since the latter could well lead into the former.

I suspect Perrin's "second time" being there for Rand will be Merrilor. Without him there, it may be that the forces arrayed with Egwene will indeed turn on Rand and it leads into a battle; with him there, that could still happen, but it's less likely thanks to his support of Rand. How this fits into the Seanchan, who knows. Maybe after the conflict is defused, Mat wants to go get the Horn, so Egwene goes with him (because she knows where it is via Siuan or Verin), so Egeanin has to save her when the Seanchan attack. Or after the attack is stopped by Mat, the Seanchan go back to Merrilor with Egwene and she's saved there by them during the Last Battle. Perhaps, since we know Mat is supposed to be going to Ebou Dar in AMoL, he'll manage to convince Tuon to call off the attack? Or maybe he'll just go with her to Merrilor while Egeanin halts the attack. A lot of ways this could play out.
Bromo Sapien
44. Bromo Sapien
One of the reasons Mat doesn't react the same as Birgitte to the Dragons is because he's already seen gunpowder used in a (pseudo-) militaristic raid (saving the Supergirls from the Stone of Tear). Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the first time Birgitte has seen gunpowder used in anything other than pretty lights in the sky. This may be a huge change for her because it's so abrubt but Mat has pretty much placed each and every brick on the road to gunpowder-as-weapon (with some obvious help from Aludra).

As for Rand in TAR, could it be that because the event dealt directly with the ta'maral'ailen and the Pattern in such a monumentous way that it could have touched all possible worlds? Like, if Rand had lost there, all possible worlds would have ceased to exist, including TAR. I would imagine that Rand (or at list some representation of him) was in every possible world. And since TAR is the overlap (not the right word but you know what I mean) of all the others, that may be why he's more ethereal in this.

@42/3 macster: Damn that was long!
Terry McNamee
45. macster
@ Bromo Sapien: I usually have a lot to say about various points. Sorry about that.

I like your take on why Rand appeared in TAR. It works for me--not that Rand consciously projected himself there, but that what he was doing or about to do so affected the Pattern he got reflected into every possible world.
john mullen
46. johntheirishmongol
I think there is a bit of a mixed timeline going on here, but it is with both Mat and Perrin. I don't really think you can make the amount of cannons that they are planning without a little advance time so Mat has to be running about about the same time as Perrin, at least logistically.

As for the the whole Berelain/Galad thing, it's so over the top it's a little funny. Let's face it, we all had this prediction cold in 10 years ago, so it wasn't really too suspenseful. And as for why some of us like Galad, even though he is a too black and white is because he is always trying to do right, even when he doesn't know what it is...
Bromo Sapien
47. Bromo Sapien
@macster: No no no, you got me wrong. Long is good. Nothing to apologize for in the least.
Liz J
48. Ellisande
To me, Perrin at Dragonmount doesn't feel like it's the resolution to the Perrin-Rand prophecy, because the first time, Perrin knew that Rand needed him and that feeling is what drives him to go find and rescue Rand. But in this scene, Perrin had no idea Rand was even involved until he was there. I would think, given that the entire Pattern is on the brink of being unmade at Dragonmount, that Rand would need him more then than he did as a tortured prisoner, but Perrin doesn't feel anything. So it doesn't match.

Obviously it doesn't have to, and Dragonmount is a Pretty Big Deal, but still, I'd prefer an occasion where Perrin feels that Rand needs him and Rand's thread basically yanks Perrin toward him, like it did at Dumai's Wells.
49. shaggybella
So how did Nynaeve fetch Tam if the Dreamspike stopped all travelling into the area? I've been wondering about that.
50. silentpea
Another thing about Mat's viewpoint is that back in KoD he has nightmares about the nightflowers turned dragons:
" bloomed again and again in his dreams that night and for many nights after, but there it bloomed among charging horsemen and massed pikes, rending flesh as he had once seen stone rent by fireworks. In his dreams, he tried to catch the things with his hands, tried to stop them, yet they rainded down in unending streams on a hundred battlefields. In his dreams, he wept for the death and destruction." (p217 hardcover)
He isn't approaching it flippantly by any means, he has taken precautions to keep the dragons away from the Seanchan and the Shadow alike. Birgitte's view is not appreciably different Mat's from KoD, he simply has had more time reconcile the need behind the dragons and the horror they will bring to the wars of men.
Roger Powell
51. forkroot
IIRC Cads and Nynaeve had to travel some distance away and ride in to get Tam, as they couldn't travel too close. Not sure if that was in the text anywhere or BWS in response to a question about that very point.

Good catch on the Perrin/Caemlyn goof. You should make sure that Brandon or Team Jordan knows about it - that's the kind of thing they will correct in later editions.

One of the down sides of being a prolific commenter is that it would take me a l-o-n-g time to go back through all my comments to see if I could hook onto the thread. I'm scrambling to get ready for the annual vacation, so it may be some time. Hopefully someone else will come up with the reference. I don't think I'm imagining it though ... BWS really did say that the second time that Perrin needed to be there for Rand was NOT at Dragonmount.
52. Toby1kenobi
I thought Perrin was talking to Faile when he said he had no intention of getting killed by the Whitecloaks, but I'm not certain and I don't have the time to go back and look.

Is anyone else finding these Captchas really hard? OCR technology must be coming along really well to require this sort of thing!
Jay Dauro
53. J.Dauro

Nope, the Captchas don't bother me at all. But then, I haven't seen one in ages. Another reason to go black.

If you register and become a member of Tor.com, you login, then no annoying Captchas. Or as we say

"Come to the dark side. We don't have Captchas."

Wait, I want cake.
Dale Norman
54. dokipen
I thought that this probably was Perrin's second time of Rand-needing-him-ness:

Perrin bellows at Rand to fight it, but doesn’t think Rand can hear him. The black miasma envelopes Rand completely.

And then—from the midst of the blackness, from the center of the uproar and the tempest—a tiny sliver of light split through the evil. Like a candle’s glow on a very dark night. The light shone upward, toward the distant sky, like a beacon. So frail.

The light grows until it shatters the shell of blackness around Rand, and the storm vanishes. Perrin watches as the light becomes sunlight, bathing Rand, and the wolves below begin to howl in triumph.

I initially thought it was Perrin's Ta'verenness leanding strength to Rand to help him make the final push through his Darkness Spiral Of Doom. Still think the same if I'm honest.
55. King of Flames
"The executions would never have occurred. It was merely a threat."

"A lie."

Galad does not lie. Ever, for any reason. He gives Aes Sedai answers, rarely, but he does not lie. One would think Morgase knows her stepson better than that. He doesn't actually threaten to execute them, he just says that Perrin's refusal submit would not bode well for their health.

Faile is virtually always furious whenever she's left out of the loop, while Perrin is willing to accept that his wife doesn't have to tell him everything. What does he get out of that relationship again?
56. Looking Glass
Fixthequote @4: The basic assumption is that there’s a (possibly-unending) string of confrontations between the Dragon and the Shadow, any of which could (in effect) kick the can further down the road, and at least some of which could result in the final victory of the shadow. Those may be the only two options, which is why Moridin is so down.

The bore in the Dark One’s prison was opened in the last age. However, at the very least it’s been assumed that the bore was also opened at approximately the same point in every previous turn of the wheel- that is, eight ages ago, fifteen, twenty-two, etc. And that the dragon also fought the Shadow at the end of the third age. There may or may not be other face-to-face confrontations somewhere in the cycle. The Dark One may also not need to put in a personal appearance to win, if humanity’s champion goes totally over to evil under other circumstances.

Xolotl @17: The honesty and straightforwardness is one reason to like (or at least appreciate) Galad. I’d argue that he actually thinks a lot more about his motivations and actions than his siblings do, too, even if his reasoning leads him astray at times.

On consideration, I’d say he and Gawyn play opposite roles in that respect. When Gawyn goes astray, it’s because he’s following his gut without thinking. When Galad goes astray, it’s because he’s following his reason and moral theory without that gut sanity check.

Hmm. Maybe I just like Galad because he fails differently than most of the other characters.

Gadget @29: It’s not entirely fair to compare Rand or Perrin, post-massive-character-development, to Galad in the middle of his character arc. All of them, including Galad, have consistently tried to do the right thing. Rand and company have had to face some harsh lessons, and I’d argue that Galad’s dealing with his version of those lessons approximately as well as the others, and definitely better than some of Our Heroes.

The Ninth Horse @41: What’s not to get? Perrin definitely killed people; that merits some sort of legal inquiry. There may well be mitigating circumstances, like “we were just minding our own business and Bornhald Senior randomly decided we were enemy spies”, but that’s what the trial’s there to establish. Trials clear as well as convict.

Yes, if that trial were under someone like Asunawa or Valda, it would be incredibly dishonest. However, Valda and Asunawa do not represent the sum total value of religion in general, or even of the Children in particular. In fact, when faced with the choice, the Children ultimately chose Galad’s version of their faith over Asunawa’s.

Really, for all that the Whitecloaks have consistently had a much higher tool-per-capita than almost any other organization, I do give them props for ultimately changing course based on what they thought was right, rather than in the face of overwhelming force or a pre-existing leader conveniently being removed from the picture.
Pirmin Schanne
57. Torvald_Nom
Bromo Sapien@44: Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the first time Birgitte has seen gunpowder used in anything other than pretty lights in the sky.
My guess is that she might actually have a better idea of what havoc gunpowder weapons (and their derivatives) can wreck. Birgitte has been around for many turnings of the wheel, after all, some of which surely included that kind of technology.
William Carter
58. wcarter
@57 She has been, but she has also said that she is losing her memories of previous lifes and can no longer remember anything before the founding of the White Tower.
Birgitte remembers that she should have those memories, but not what they are, and it flat out terrifies her.
Given that there's no indication gun powder weapons were lost post founding, it's safe to assume her feelings on cannons dragons are purely from her ability to understand the theortical implications rather than drawing on personal experience, even though chances are she has had it at some point.
59. staizer
@57 Or lasers!

The whitecloaks are one of, if not the only non-female run organization outside of state governments. It is built to be counter to the Aes Sedai and their "negative" influence. As such it is designed to attract the weak willed and weak minded men of the continent. However we have not seen all of the whitecloaks, just those who have been influenced by the dark one through dark friends. Bornhold Sr. wouldn't have been so judgmental if not influenced by byar. The first commander we saw was actually very decent to morgase because he either lost his idealism or never had it. Galad didn't join the whitecloaks because he believes in their ideals, he joined because he believed he could do the greatest good from their organization and their ideals are the most black and white: you are with the light or against it. His trouble is that it is not always so easy to tell when someone is with the light or against it.

I kinda forgot where I was going here but I think my point is 1. Not all whitecloaks are as evil as the organization is made out to be, 2. Galad is an interesting character because he has mostly made correct decisions off of black and white premises (by their fruits shall Ye know them, either from goodness on the one hand or from evil on the other.) He is not wrong to expect the light to support good and destroy evil because as we have seen in the series, it has. Take Valda for example. If perrin was of the shadow the light would not preserve him from the trial, but it does proving his goodness even though perrin was judged guilty.

Can we really use or the world is grey world-view when the randland world-view really is that the light and dark are cut and dried. Even if you are not a dark friend if you are not of the light you are a friend of the dark.
Philip Alan Smith
60. AlanS7
Re: Perrin's number of visits to Caemlyn: his 'visit' in EotW was rather short - meeting Rand & Mat at The Queen's Blessing, discussions of dreams, Aiel and Tinkers, plans for the Blight, then a quick exit via the Ways next morning. Irrelevant, IMO.
Marty Beck
61. martytargaryen
Thank you Leigh from a long-time lurker.

macster @42:
It's nice when the Pattern can work for the good guys for a change--in this case, making Berelain fall so head-over-heels for Galad that she no
longer becomes an issue for Perrin and Faile. ;) And I too am amused Faile managed to defend Perrin's hotness while still acknowledging Galad's!
This actually highlights an overarching observation of mine that when the Good Guys are acting from motivations of love (ok, sometimes lust, but whatever) that Good Things Happen. There are many examples including getting Bryne to SD, getting Min to Rand's side (which helps keep Rand together and starts Min on the path of discovering the truth about the seals), tying Seanchan to Randland (via Mat and Tuon), Thom rescuing Moiraine (to supposedly 'save the world'), Lan saving Nynaeve (who will be needed at SG, supposedly), Gawyn saving Egwene (ok, maybe that's the exception that makes the rule), and there are many more. This all culminating in the thoughts Rand had just prior to his avoiding annihilation in favor of Jesusizing.

My theory is that the wheel actually uses love as a means of guiding the pattern in a positive Light-oriented way. Someone once commented that it seems weird that all the major characters seem to be pairing up throughout the series, and I think that this is the reason why.

Anyway, hello, I'm Marty and I've really enjoyed all the posts and comments.
Roger Powell
62. forkroot
Wow - if that was your first post, what took you so long?

I really like your insight about how often love has lead the characters in the right direction. Very nice!

Glad to have you aboard on the reread.
Marty Beck
63. martytargaryen
forkroot@62 - I'm an olde-tyme Theorylander but stopped participating years ago after my son was born. Now he's reading WOT! (age 12) and I searched and discovered this blog about 6 months ago. I wanted to catch up reading through it all, and I'm kind of a slow reader. I like the easygoing atmosphere over here. I'll be sure to be around more. Thanks for the kind words.
Nadine L.
64. travyl
Found forkroots quote re 31 / 36 (and me @7):
for everyone interessted (and not):
Wetlander reported her Q&A @147, thread TGS part 8
11. Min has said that Perrin would need to be there for Rand twice to save him from something very bad. Assuming Dumai's Wells was the first time (which BWS confirmed), was Perrin's presence in T'AR at Dragonmount during Rand's time there the second time? Or, in another phrasing, has the second time happened yet? (from forkroot)
A: No, that was not it. We have not yet seen the second time, but we will. (In other words, it’s coming in AMoL.)
(Sorry, I don't know how to link to the exact spot, so you'll have to scroll to see for yourself) - Please tell me if you do.
Edit: Link edited after learning how to do it, thanks Iarvin.
Roger Powell
65. forkroot
Ah, it was Wetlandernw's Q&A .. thanks! Loialson's instincts were right on.

Gosh ... going back to Wetlandernw's post that you referenced - I had forgotten what an excellent job she did and how much "good stuff" was in there (both on WoT and on Brandon's future plans.)
Deana Whitney
66. Braid_Tug
Darn it!! Work runs away with me on the day one of my biggest chapters comes up!!!
Well, I'm here with the party now and will try to catch up to the comments.

Black vs. White viewpoints - so glad Galad is forced to see things getting grey. Like Leigh, I just can't understand how someone over the age of 5 has that type of view point.

That's why we have legal terms like: "manslaughter" vs. "murder". Someone still killed someone else, but the reasons and circumstances behind the deed matter.

Perrin’s Time line:
BIGGEST pet peeve of the BOOK! WHY?!!? Why could we not have had more of his chapters grouped together at the front of the book so that he could catch up with everyone else? Yes we wanted to know what was up with Rand, but really?
Tam is jumping all over the place. One chapter Rand just sent him off to the Two Rivers again, the next he’s playing Captain of the Archers with Perrin.

So on my last re-read of the ToM, I read all the Perrin stuff up to this chapter, then went back to the rest of the chapters. I was a much happier camper and heard “nails on chalk board”much less often inside my head.

Speaking of the Two Rivers – how can there be anybody of fighting age left there? First Perrin leaves with a bunch, then the Black Tower comes to recruit, then Tam is sent back for a final Round up.

And since his stories have been intersected with the war in the Borderland, does that mean they’ve been on his timeline? Or everyone else’s?
67. Porphyrogenitus
All this discussion about Galad has finally made me want to post. I've been following your reread for a long time now, Leah, and it's a wonderful thing. Thanks for taking the time to do it for all of us.

What nobody is mentioning is the Arthurian archetype fulfillment by both Galad and Gawyn. The former is the pure knight (Galahad, famous for being one of the few of Arthur's knights who could find the Grail, and IIRC the only one who could touch it - and who was subsequently assumed bodily into Heaven). The latter is the emotional knight (Gawain, who had strong ties to the sun and who was often getting into trouble for following his heart and not stopping to think about anything).

Galad's appeal lies in his continued innocence of sorts, his ability to retain his sense of ultimate justice and right despite all the stumbling blocks that the world throws in his path. In many ways he is the ideal knight, in a platonic sense.

One of the epistles uses the phrase "of whom the world was not worthy" to describe the holy people of old, and Galad strikes me as one of those to whom that phrase would apply. He seems not to fit in because he doesn't fit in, because he is not worldly - he is innocent.

As a side note here, I disagree with the black-and-white description. I'd say that grays-and-white are more apt. Galad doesn't see two choices, he sees one right choice. That is an important distinction to make.
68. Iarvin
Travyl @64
To link to a comment on tor use the link provided to the lower right of the posters name.

For instane to link to your post -

@4,56, etc - Continuing the conversation on the wheel of time -
Its interesting to think about how the variations of the wheel for a given age could be fairly large. For instance - it seems possible that the third age doesn't need to be characterized by female only channelers. Given that the bore will be opened near the end of the second age, and that the (male) dragon will champion its resealing - its definately possible to come up with scenarios where both genders have the source tainted, or even possibly with scenarios that only females are tainted.

Its possible that someone could come up with a way to cleanse the taint well before the end of the third age - adrihol was available by 1300AB in the current age - and a similar entity possibly could have become available during the war of power. This could mean that second ages where the Bore is completely resealed would be possible, and the third age would be relatively conflict free.
I liken Galad to Data in STTNG. It's like he's beholden to programming and never seeing another way unless it has been allotted for by that programming. But even as Data grew as a sentient being he always questioned the logic of every conundrum he came across. He learned that there's more than one way to deal with most situations. But even Data came to the point where an exception Must be made.I don't know if it was Data growing to that point where he could overcome his programming or whether the provision was provided for. But there was Data famously faced with the ultimate catch 22, and so decides to break protocol and take deadly action, seemingly ignoring his programmings directive.

And that’s sort of what we're all waiting for Galad to face. The life altering happening in one's life, when all your perceptions are turned upside down and you can either adapt or fail, perish, lose a loved one... Something. That's the way I see it at least. Most people don't ever come upon such an event in one's life. Many go through life never having to shed their flaw.

Hopefully Galad will shed his.

Tricia Irish
70. Tektonica
Leigh, glad you have power, and made it safely through the storm. After sweltering for 2 weeks without power, (post some damn hurricane), our new mantra became: "Appreciate the Power"!

joseph@13:Very funny....and perhaps, true!

Silentpea@50: Thanks for the Mat quote. Mat always considered the cost of war. He is first and foremost concerned with his men. He's seen too much death and destruction in his own and his historical memories, not to. He's a realist.

Welcome Marty@61: A good observation about the power of love....it certainly jibes with many of the Biblical references.

As much as I have generally disliked the Morgase plotline, and how she has been discribed as a character, here, she is starting to truly become the queen we've wanted to see the whole time. I do hope we get a bit more of her, perhaps advising Elayne in MoL.

I loved the over the top nature of the Berelain/Galad "love match"...or "lust match", so far. Fandom has long predicted this one, so it was fun to see it happen in such a Big way ;-)

Glad to see Perrin finally dedicating himself to mastering Tel'aran'Riod....I just wished he'd done this books ago. Whether he was influential or not on Dragonmount, it was nice to see that scene again, from his pov, and to get Hoppers take on it's importance.
71. Wortmauer
AlanS7@60: his 'visit' in EotW was rather short - meeting Rand & Mat at The Queen's Blessing, discussions of dreams, Aiel and Tinkers, plans for the Blight, then a quick exit via the Ways next morning. Irrelevant, IMO.
Perrin's first visit to Caemlyn was short, to be sure, but I can't believe he wouldn't remember it vividly. Remember how the Two Rivers kids with hay in their hair reacted to seeing Baerlon for the first time? And that's a provincial town, not one of the Great Cities. Caemlyn is only the second of these Perrin had ever been to, and would make a pretty striking contrast with the first, Aridhol.
Nadine L.
72. travyl
@macster/forkroot, ...:
my new TOM ebook has the scene corrected, with Perrin now thinking to have been "twice" (still briefly) in Caemlyn.

Iarvin @68, thank you very much, it works perfectly.
73. Mabus
Something I came across in my own reread, related to Galad... (I'd have mentioned it earlier if I'd found this series sooner): When Morgase finally gives in to Pedron Niall, she signs a treaty with him--a lopsided one involving a permanent Whitecloak presence in Andor--and he has it put in the records. Morgase has not yet given up and abdicated at this point, so technically the treaty is valid--and who do we know who hangs on technicalities?

But at the same time, if there is anyone who could possibly make the presence of Whitecloaks in Andor tolerable, it's the brother of the Queen as their leader. As the Fourth Age dawns, perhaps the new Children of the Light will finally become a true force for Light, under Galad and based in Andor.

As for Perrin's visit to Dragonmount in T'A'R, I think the reason he needed to be there was simply that the events going down deserved a human witness. The wolves matter--absolutely they do!--but ultimately the battle is going to be fought primarily by humanity. There are, so far as we know, no Darkfriend wolves (nor, for that matter, do we know of any Darkfriend Ogier, though they may exist). Humanity deserves to have a representative (other than Rand) present when their savior decides they're worth fighting for.
74. RoyanRannedos
@73 Mabus

I always thought that the Whitecloaks would end up in Mayene. Galad is Andor-friendly, it's true, but he's leader of an organization with centuries of bigotry toward Aes Sedai. Making them accept Andor as their home, where Andor has a long tradition of Tower support and an Aes Sedai queen, doesn't seem like a probable outcome.
Mayene, however, with its penchant for political expediency and a dire need of strength against encroaching Tear, would welcome them in with open arms. Especially if the Lord Captain Commander marries the Queen, as seems likely.
75. Mabus
@74 RoyanRannedos

Point taken about Berelain. I have to admit, I've been waiting for several books for her to be accepted by the Seanchan as one of the Blood, and promptly betray the Westlands to gain their backing. (Either that, or have the Mayener claim to Paendraeg ancestry disproven.) It's starting to look like it won't go down that way, though; for one thing, I thought for a while they'd make her Queen of Tear.
michael gaston
76. Ashenladoka
Anyone wondering if Berelain has a niffty undercover prophecy like the Borderlanders do? Just tweeks my suspicious bone that a tiny little place like Mayener could stay independant and after Hawkwings death still claim his blood when almost everything of him was purged due to no one wanting to measure up to him. I mean she has already knelt to Rand and if she can somehow get power from Tuon or equality from Tuon that would go a long way in stopping leasing channelers. Well maybe stopping it anyway.
77. Winter's Heart
I don't know if someone else might have commented on this or not. And I certainly don't mean to assert something contrary to Sanderson; if he says Perrin's presence on Dragonmount wasn't the second half of the prophecy, then so be it. BUT, it does seem highly likely that it would be. Remember, Perrin was in the wolf dream. The fact that he could see Rand there means that whatever real world Rand was doing was crossing over - perhaps into every other world as well (I.e., portal stone realms). Now, Perrin was making leaps and bounds, literally, in his ability to control the dream world. So, in a sense, his fervent desire to see Rand defeat the darkness may well have been what tipped the balance of the light over the dark.
Alice Arneson
78. Wetlandernw
Even later to the party than usual... Hi, everyone! ::waves all around, in case anyone is still here::

“Their blood would have been on his head.”

This part of Galad’s argument (used frequently to twist people into doing the wrong thing, by threatening their loved ones and telling them “it will by your fault if they die!”) makes me see red every time. What’s even worse is the many people who go along with that belief. “I must do this evil thing, or someone will die and it will be my fault!” No, it will be the fault of whoever kills them. It’s a false dichotomy. Grr. (Can you say "Hunger Games"?) Not that this is exactly what Galad was doing; he was trying to force someone to do what he perceived as the right thing by threatening his people, but that's kind of weird, you know? If Perrin really was the Darkfriend Byar & Bornhald accused him of being, why on earth would he do anything because of a threat to his people? Weak argument, dude.

King of Flames @55 – I think Morgase was pointing out to him that a threat which you do not intend to carry out is a lie, whether you were thinking of it that way or not. Back a few sentences, though, Galad didn’t seem to be thinking in terms of “merely a threat” until Morgase pointed out that he would execute Lini for Perrin's perceived fault; then he backpedaled and said he would have released her, of course. She pushed, since the others were just as innocent as Lini, and he backpedaled some more until he got to the point of “it was only a threat.” I think this is the first time someone has hauled Galad by his ear all the way through to the logical end of something like this, making him realize that it wasn’t as clearcut as he thought - and making him realize that his own actions weren't quite as "right" as he'd thought. He, Mr. Upright-and-pure-in-heart, had either lied, or he would have killed innocent people for someone else's behavior. Neither one is acceptable; I'm almost surprised he didn't have a mental breakdown on the spot.

Re: The Decision on Dragonmount – This may actually have been a critical item in Verin’s statement that the Last Battle isn’t being fought the way Rand thinks it is. It may well be that if Rand had turned the other way here, the Last Battle would have been over before the Last Hunt could start; this would have been the end of all things, as it were. The details of the win are still to be worked out, but the Light may have actually won the Battle right here. I don’t know that I believe this, entirely, but I think it’s a very real possibility. It would also put a rather different spin on “The great battle done, but the world not done with battle.”

As for why Perrin is there to witness it… I have no idea, but it was an extremely cool scene, so I’m glad he was. Maybe we’ll find out why later on. And Brandon confirmed to me directly that no, this was not “the second time” Perrin had to be there or Rand would fail. (forkroot – that’s the one you were thinking of. I asked the question on your behalf. And I see travyl found it. I’ll confess, I had to look in the theoryland database to prove it! So much for that uber-reliable memory I used to have…)

PerilousPear’in @16 – I, too, wondered this time around just why Perrin could see Rand in TAR… I don’t have a firm answer, but yours is as good as any! And it really is pretty critical, and apparently permanent for all worlds if this one goes down the big swirly. I see several others have expounded on this, so I'll leave it alone, but I think this may indeed be the reason.

Same @20 – Perrin doesn’t have the Power-forged hammer at this point. I think his hammer wasn’t affected because it wasn’t supposed to be a weapon; it’s a tool. Everything else we read about was a sword, a spear, an arrow, a knife, a dagger… all weapons. (And of course several have already said that, starting with Ryanus @22.)

AndrewB @37 – This isn’t so much in response to your comment, as something I noticed in TEotW the other day. In Rand’s first recorded dream (Ch 9 or thereabouts) there are black and silver clouds boiling all around him, and it’s described exactly the way the clouds are described in the TGS prologue. That’s the storm… but what is it really? In that dream, there's also a huge mountain, "as black as the loss of all hope," which he remembers but can't quite grasp the memory. (Presumably LTT's?) There's a voice in his mind, coming from that blackness, calling him to "Serve me." Does anyone have any thoughts on this subject, particularly about the "black and silver clouds"?

martytargaryen @61 – Let me add my welcome! Good to have you here. Excellent first post!
Roger Powell
79. forkroot
You noticed the clouds too? I just did my TEoTW reread a few weeks ago and that jumped out at me (this was my first reread post-TGS ... amazing how many little things that I didn't notice before really jumped out this time.)

We're packing for HI right now (no Oahu, so no visit with BillinHI this time, unfortunately) and my wife is accusing me of backsliding ... you see, I had converted to eBooks, but all my WoT stuff is in physical books - and I'm planning to make a LOT of progress in my reread these next couple of weeks -- so the suitcase groans!
michael gaston
80. Ashenladoka
Also on Galad...this isn't the first time he has waffled...errrr faced a hard choice. Remember that Elyane and Nyne were in that town and when they met him Elyane almost went psycho and flat out freaked on Nyne saying this is the first time he has ever faced two things he knows to be right...handing us over to the Whitecloaks or getting us to the AS. He did help them escape so maybe that was the catalyst that helped him with Morgase.

And just a little food for thought...doing what is RIGHT doesn't mean your innocent or as silly as a 5 year old. Galad always does what is right. He knows his mind and has accepted the outcome. Doesn't mean he's naive. And Galad never did say he would harm anyone. Although letting other Children get their hands on them is technically different and splitting a hair to the smallest point.
And forkroot the weather is perfect on the islands right now. So read on the plane and enjoy the islands!
Amanda Perez
81. ViciousCircle
Finally getting the Berelain slut rumor distortion field neutralized is a huge relief. God I hate her character. Okay, a story needs conflict and she did the job of making me hate her very well. But does she honestly deserve to be with the most beautiful man alive? I could almost hope Galad is horribly disfigured just to see if she has the depth to still love him. Or better yet, that she is horribly disfigured to see if he has the depth to still love her. Or even better, they both are horribly disfigured to see if they will make a suicide pact.

Yeah, that works for me.
Marty Beck
82. martytargaryen
wetlander@78 - I'm glad you brought that up about the innocent deaths being "on head". I couldn't agree more about it being infuriating - and all the worse because there is thinking like that out there in RL!

I've also had similar thoughts about the pinnacle (sorry for the pun) of the Last Battle was fought between Rand and Dark Rand on the peak of Dragonmount. I don't think that AMoL will be anticlimactic, but I have a feeling that we are going to look back on the series as a whole and realize that the biggest victory was at the end of TGS. I wonder how this plays into that board game Moridin had. Anyone have any thoughts on what the Shadow's options for victory are, based on Moridin's analysis of how the game is played? I'll have to go re-read again.

I would also like to add that I did not realize the clouds from TEotW matched the clouds in TGS. Thanks for pointing that out - real cool.

Thanks for the welcomes guys.

Re. Galad - I'll say that I generally have been anti-Galad for all the years that I've been reading WoT, for much of the reasons already mentioned in these comments.
Now, my 12-year-old was reading the early boods this past year (first read) and he came to the parts where Elayne would complain about Galad (TEoTW, TGH, TFoH) and all Elayne's complaints were "he always does the right thing..." My boy could not understand what was so wrong with doing the "right thing". My point is...I'm not sure what my point is, but it was interesting getting a more innocent perspective, or an opinion from someone lacking the perspective of age.
Sandy Brewer
83. ShaggyBella
Rand has physically entered the Dream World before. I remember him being scolded by one of the girls. Maybe it was in Caemlyn vs Ravin. I am not sure, but maybe that is what he did on the mountain top and why Perrin could see him.
Deana Whitney
84. Braid_Tug
You know, what if the point behind Perrin seeing Rand's struggle was so that he knows 100% deep in is heart, that Rand is still a "good guy"?

By witnessing this act, Perrin doesn't have to question his friend. Last time they were together, Rand was starting to act crazy and go a little dark. No, Perrin never saw Darth Rand, but there could have been room in his head for doubt.

Now, by seeing this ray of Light, and all the wolves doing the happy dance, Perrin has no doubt about the path his friend is on. So he can be a pillar of un-questioning support.

So maybe Rand didn't need Perrin at Drangomount to save him. But maybe Perrin needed to be a Drangonmount to witness this act.
(and it gave us a cool outside perspective of a pivotal moment.)

It might be one of the unconscious driving forces behind him forging the Hammer of a King, and being a leader.
Marty Beck
85. martytargaryen
Braid-Tug@84: Good points, and we see results from Perrin's loyalty to Rand by the end of the book, when we know his feelings about trusting Rand regarding the seals.
Tricia Irish
86. Tektonica
I just had a quick thought as to why Perrin was in on Dragonmount to witness Rand's "awakening"......It could be HE will bear witness to Egwene about Rand's new current calmness and goodness being real, thus bringing her onto Rand's side at the Fields of Merrilor. Just a thought.....

It's nice to have a witness, just in case someone doubts Rand's power.
87. Susurrin
After all this Galad talk I find myself left with the question of what is wrong with a Black and White perspective on the world? Everybody talks about it as if it is a bad thing. To me at least it means that Galad (or whoever holds that viewpoint is certain of themselves).

The problem comes with how that viewpoint is translated into action. Which is where I often find myself disliking Galad. Nyn and Elayne are in trouble. Should he turn them in or help them escape? The Galad choice...kick the entire anthill over without any regard for anyone else's safety but Nyn & Elayne.

Knowing what's right isn't a bad thing. Its the doing and the lack of regard for consequences that can make a "right" decision turn out to be a wrong one. In this respect Galad is just as shortsighted as Elayne, perhaps even moreso.
Jay Dauro
88. J.Dauro

And Egwene does know that something happened on Dragonmount at that time, because she saw the ring of light, and told Silviana to mark it on the calendar.
John Massey
89. subwoofer
@Andrew, yeah, sure you are partly right... the WO are all poops and giggles now that Rand has embraced death, or become water or whatever it was whatshernuts said.

The thing is, as far as we know, Perrin and the herd of wolves were the only ones on Dragonmount to bear witness to the blessed event. Unless the DO had minions lurking or some such. I think it was Perrin that said wolves have a fatalistic view of things, but time and again they have sacrificed life with no thanks in return because like I said, the wolves get it. The rest of the world has their head in the sand, sure we see a few people feel the "Storm is coming" but there are still a whack of people doing much ado about nothing in the cities and the Seanchan are doing laps on the coast. If it wasn't for the goading of Rand, I am sure Egwene and Co. would be sitting in committee to discuss what to do. The Borderland countries are there, and they have always stood watch... except for all the monarchs and 200 000 troops hanging out in Far Madding on vacation.

Nope, I still think the wolves are one of the few that truly get it.

Ron Garrison
90. Man-0-Manetheran

Elayne “also thinks about the three new copies of the foxhead medallion she’d made to replace the one she’d lost, and how they still do not work as well as the original.”

Of course it will never happen, but let’s just say Perrin and Elayne are chatting one day, and she tells him about the “problem” with the medallion copies. Perrin replies, “Maybe you should try channelling into the medallion as it’s being forged. Let me tell you about my hammer here . . .”


macster: “Is it because weapons are made from iron which comes from the ground? Or because earth is seen as the source of life, while weapons cause death?”

I say it is because the Dragon is One with the Land.
91. staizer
@90 How much time do thy have to forge many more one power weapons do ya think?

As far as perrin being a witness, I think y'all had the right idea about perrin knowing that rand had changed. Perrin, for all of his emo problems is still the most rational of the bipotamians. He is calm and methodical and if anyone could talk reason into Egwene it would be him. His control of the dream after TOM is almost equal to egwene and there Is no way she can bully him the way she does with her other followers.
I am going to check about other references religiously of witnesses to holy events but I am fairly certain there is something else there as well.
michael gaston
92. Ashenladoka
I'd say that Perrin is better than she is and maybe he's close if not better than a WO in the dream with the way he handled the AS shooting balefire at him. Egwene would have been lost but he just brushed it aside like an irritating gnat. BALEFIRE!!! He didn't even blink at it!

I know I may get a *sigh* from mac again but I'll say it anyway... Does anyone really believe that Egwene, after telling all the Kings/Leaders to gather in defiance of the Lord Dragon is going to eat her words and say "Rand is right"? Seriously can anyone say that she will? No she won't and I think most here know she won't but are just trying to defend her to the bitter end. How is she going to save her office after something like that? (Think of the Cuban missle crisis if Kennedy would have backed down and how he would have tried to not be viewed as weak). She has absolutely set herself on a collision course and likely all the armies of the Light if someone sneezes at the wrong time. She has drawn the line in the sand unfortunately and I really hope the rest set her on the right path semi-gently (rest being Rand, Perrin, Mat, Elay, Cad's, Mor, and all the rest).
Speaking of Cad's I don't think she's ever met Egwene. Does anyone remember that? I can't wait until THAT happens since she's up there with WO Sorilea in sheer MOVE YOUR ASS PEOPLE presence!!!
Damn it 4 more MONTHS!!! Curse you Tor I would have loved this book for Christmas! (mainly so I could have ignored the in-laws)
Jay Dauro
93. J.Dauro
Cadsuane has not met Egwene that we have seen. And Cads has disciplined an Amyrlin before.
94. Freelancer
forkroot, Wetlandernw, others...

Thanks for digging up the reference. So Perrin has yet to complete his "two times" duty. No sweat. That said, it doesn't mean that his presence at Dragonmount in the Wolf Dream had no impact on Rand's decision. It is still reasonable to suggest that the proximity of another Team Light Ta'veren nudged Rand away from annihilation. Aside from that, he's a witness to a crucial event, and it fixes the delta between the two timelines for the reader.

Man-o-Manetheran @90

I think you are close, but just missing, on Perrin being able to help Elayne with copying ter'angreal. It wasn't about forging that made the main difference in Perrin's new hammer. It was both saidin and saidar being employed in the making. Elayne needs to find an Asha'man to assist, and things will fall into place. The greatest objects of Power were always created by men and women working together. It's a major theme, and once Team Light really gets into it, things will begin rolling in a big way.
William Carter
95. wcarter
@93 Cads has disciplined an Amyrilin before...
Does that mean theres a... *glances around*... spanking in Egwene's future?

*Runs away quickly*

I think you're on to something there. I'd be willing to bet that it'll be Cadsuane who sets her straight on the issue.

97. Freelancer
Ashenladoka @92

The next time Rand speaks with Egwene, what I'm imagining is that he will thank her for her service. That will set her off-balance, since she is intending to defy him. Then he'll inform her that he knew how she would respond, and used her to gather the armies they would need so that he could tell everyone in a single gathering what was to be done. She will be furious, of course, but with no choice but to agree that he outplayed her. Then a group composed of people Egwene respects and trusts, possibly including Min, Elayne, Aviendha, Mat, Perrin, Moiraine, Tam, Gareth Bryne, Siuan, Talmanes, and even perhaps Galad, Gawyn and Morgase, will stand with Rand to explain to Egwene that he must be obeyed and followed in this conflict if the world is to have a chance.

There's still that bit of trouble over at the Black Tower to deal with. Taim is way overdue for a serious whupin'.
98. keivan77
Every one keeps repeating that Rand's intention was for Egwene to gather everyone using Tower's Influence. Although I believe that Rand somehow played Egwene, I do not believe he needed her to do it at all.
Tear, Illian and Cairhien are directly under his rule; he goes after the Borderlanders himself and he finds the king of Arad Doman through Cadsuane. So, who else is left? Seanchan, Far Mading and Murandy.
Obviously seanchan won't listen to Egwene and Far Mading is the same place that borderlanders are. so all this fuss is for Murrandy? an Ashaman could have done it.

I will seriously be underwhelmed if Rand's purpose turns out to be this.
99. keivan77
I forgot Andor!. yeah... there's Rand's girlfriend and mother of his children.
101. Oldwizard
Ligh or Dark wins?
I know it is stupid to compare one series with another. But I will anyway! :) Aside from being a huge WoT fan, I am also fond of L.E. Modesitt jr.'s Recluse books. In them, Dark stands for order and stability while Light stands for chaos and destruction. And in the first book it is portraied as chaos is a force of evil and order a force of good. But as the series progress backward in time it paints a picture of a different sort. It speaks of the Balance, and that the death of Chaos will also spell the death of Order because the two are linked and intertwined, and it is really how you behave that shows what you are. There are good persons working with chaos and really nasty works that upholds order and the grays in the middle. But I ramble.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is; With Rand poised on the brink of the last battle, he can not really destroy the DO (I know, he will seal it in, mending the bore and not destroy it so that is good but I'm just making a point) because if the DO represent the evil in man, is it not as important to the Pattern(Balance)?
It is our choices, moral or otherwise that makes us what we are. But without the dark, the evil, what is there to strive for? Are we not here in (mostly) peacetime because we can stand above the possibility of evil and darkness. So the DO/Devil/Satan/Other subtitute will always exist but may be held back by a larger mental shield, namely the one of reason, love and compassion? I might be off my rocker here, just a point is all I'm making. :)

The Oldwizard cometh (actually he left)
Ron Garrison
102. Man-0-Manetheran
Freelancer @ 94
Agreed. I didn't go into details, but just wanted to say that IF the two of them communicated, Perrin could tell her how it happened. But I doubt we have time for this in the books or in the story. (It's easy to see sometimes how it became 14 books.)
michael gaston
103. Ashenladoka
Freelancer@97 and Man@102
I agree somewhat with yall on the "he will thank her/put her off balance", but the question becomes why force her to publically back down like that? And it's either back down and get with the program or withhold AS support on the LB maybe causing a defeat. "But she's gathering the armies" you say...Honestly does he need that? Keivan77 also pointed out the fact that he really doesn't need that. Rand already HAS the armies. He has the Aiel, the Borderlanders, Illian and Tear, maybe Andor and Cairhien depending on babies momma who I think will support him over Egwene, Perrin is coming with his forces and Galad with the Whitecloaks. Zen Rand or not, he put the fear of God in the leaders as Darth Rand and I really don't see ANY opposing him.
But he doesn't have a plan yet!!! Come on does anyone really believe he doesn't have a plan? Something pushed him for a specific day to meet. He's not fighting the Pattern anymore and with acceptance comes knowledge. I know Min is still trying to connect the last dot and I'm fairly sure Rand wouldn't meet Egwene without a full plan for victory so I can see a staged "delay" happening while Min, Cad's and Co. work it out.
Manipulated her? Yes I can see that, but not for the armies. I believe he manipulated her for another reason. To force her to accept equality of the WT/BT and join the Powers after this battle (provided they win). To merge the male and female AS again or at least get them on that path. They actually have to somehow for the new AoL to happen and this could be the catalyst for it. Just a theory and I'm sure someone will disprove it, but I'd rather have that then him going all Darth again and killing the whole WT which is STILL an option for him it seems....don't make me do something we will both regret look he gave her.
Sam Mickel
104. Samadai
Ashenladoka @ 103

I speulate that he gave her that look because he didn't want to mess up Egwenes power with the other AS, not because he actually meant to threaten her. As he stated just a moment earlier, he isn't there to challenge her.
As most of us who comment believe, he is using her to gather everyone else, because time is limited. He has a plan to bind them together as one unit fighting the Shadow versus several groups doing the same thing less effectively.

edit for: Is your name a cross between Valheru names from the Feist books?
William Carter
105. wcarter
There is one small flaw in your theory mate--there's no garauntee that what comes after is any kind of "Age of Legends."
There are seven ages on the wheel, and Jordan went on record a few years before dying that in at least some of those ages there is no channeling or channelers whatsoever.
Add to that the advent of gunpowder weapons and early industrial revolution inventions from Rand's academies, and last but(unfortunetly) not least Aviendha's visions and you have a recipy for any number of possible futures post Tarmon Gai'don.
106. Freelancer
Kevian77 & Ashenladoka,

I submit that Rand does NOT have those armies. Remember, to almost everyone in the world, he is still the most feared character in history, subject to taint-induced insanity, and not a reliable character, especially given events over the last several months. It is completely uncertain which, if any, armies will come to his call if he doesn't go place to place and force them to.

He doesn't need to spend that energy. All of those armies, every single one, will come to a call from the Amyrlin Seat of the newly reunited White Tower, when she warns that the Dark One is about to be set loose on the world. Who would not answer this call? Only the Seanchan, and Mat is taking care of that, we can hope.

As for the details of the next confrontation between Rand and Egwene, it's of course up for all manner of speculation. I don't imagine him "publicly" making her back down. Those people previously named (with the exception of Morgase) are well known to Egwene, and any combination of them explaining to her that Rand is doing what is necessary, and that she needs to support him, not oppose him, would be well-considered by her. Rand wouldn't be present for such a meeting. Maybe it would only require Min, telling Egwene of her viewings, the discoveries of Herid Fel, and her own research leading to this conclusion, as well as her totally reliable (via the combo-bond) description of Rand as untainted and sane.

No matter the assortment or arrangement, people will begin to communicate valuable information amongst each other, men and women will begin working together properly, and that MUST begin with Rand and Egwene.
Craig Jarvis
107. hawkido
@ Freelancer
will stand with Rand to explain to Egwene that he must be obeyed...
Obeyed... it is too harsh of a word... It implies defyance and opposition if you do not obey.

The way forward machine says that Rand sets forth "Conditions" or "Terms" that the assembled MUST accept, else the Last Battle was all theirs to deal with. The Dragon Reborn has a choice, and so do they. Salvation has a price both for the Savior and the Savyee (chuckle).

My theory is: Rand says he will die to save them, but here is what it will cost you. Basically, everyone follows "the Way of the Leaf", except the Aiel who carried that burden last time. LOL now wouldn't that be a hoot!
michael gaston
108. Ashenladoka
How could he not Freelancer?
Since he has "embraced death" the Aiel are feeling better about him and admitting he has toh will greatly help so he has them. He's the King of Illian and has that army as one would assume a King would. He's the ruler of Tear (sort of since he gave King Darlin the crown). The Borderlanders will follow him from what I understand from the whole knocking the crap out of him scene, Perrin immediately understood the significance of doing away with the old to create the new and he knows he has to support Rand. Assumpting is that Mat will bring Tuon and her people. Bind the nine Moons to serve him...I don't think Egwene will be helping there unless she hooks Tuon with one of those shiny collars.
Again the problem is Egwene is directly opposing him through letters and regardless if she is on public display or in private with the rest of Team Light she is going to have to back down. As much as I dislike Egwene and her role I just don't think that is going to be good. Her office loses power.
Lets say the meeting is private and she comes out a few hours later and says "OK my sisters and all the kings we are breaking the seals now..." if you were there what would be the first thought? Did she realize she was wrong? Did she put up a good fight but was overruled? Did Rand use the Power on her? Lots of other questions too, but the general theme would be "What the hell just happened?" Not a good moral booster for your troops if your the one following the person that just backed down and everyone knows that Egwene isn't going to explain she was wrong to a bunch of common soldiers.
The thought is getting back to the AoL at some point (not including all the other turnings of the Wheel), so they can re-drill and then start this all again if the Wheel keeps going the same why it has. But Rand wants to "Kill" the DO this time and if he succeeds the circular time will stop and linear time will began. No DO, no Bore to drill so no LTT/Dragon is needed. Unless Rand kills the present DO and somehow Fain in all his demented glory becomes a "new" DO which will start the whole thing over. Sure it's been covered somewhere but any thoughts on Fain as the new DO?
And I really believe it was a threat. Rand for all his one with the earth is still not going to let anyone stop him from meeting his fate. Back to accepting death again. If Egwene would have tried to force him to stay I think a hole where the WT was would be what we would see. He may want the AS to help but in the general scheme of things if its the world dying horribly or killing several hundred people stopping you from saving the world, I think LTT/Rand would have opened that hole right where they were trying to stop him. He just got his sanity back, I'm glad she didn't test it.

@Samadai Ashen-Shugar, Alma-Ladoka from Feist. Yes it is a cross from the two Valheru. Awesome books.
edit* corrected spelling and I know how who the Dragon Lord was. geesh some of yall act like you never misspelled a thing in your life.
109. Freelancer
Rand did indeed think, at one point, that he could kill the dark one and win. He no longer believes that or intends to attempt it. There is ZERO value in arguing over the seals if you think you can destroy the dark one. Rand plans to break the seals in order to repair the prison, a pointless task with a dead enemy. QED.

And don't even start with "Fain becomes a new DO". Not possible, not plausible, not going to happen. It isn't an office to which one entity can be assigned in place of another. He is a being of Power, Created as a necessary component to drive the Wheel, and imprisoned to keep the world safe from him.

Oh, and the Dragon Lord whose spirit merged with Tomas is Ashen-Shugar. His mount was Shuruga.
Nadine L.
110. travyl
What if we think too complicated about the Rand-Egwene thing:As others, I believe, that Rand could have easily called Tear and Ilian to march. - The one he would have trouble to summon is Egwene herself. Aes Sedai like to be in charge, they like to scheme.
What if Rand not tricked Egwene to gather his armies for him, but rather to make sure she comes herself?
With a few words he made certain that the Aes Sedai will be where and when he wants them - no hesitation to come at his call, no attempt to chose a different time/place / try to prevent the meeting in order to take charge of the situation as I would expect of Aes Sedai - because they think that they are sheming.
Robert Crawley
111. Alphaleonis
Does anyone know how Rand was so confident in the WT about not being kept by the AS. So many powerful AS channelers shielding him. Did he have a medallion like Mat's in his pocket, so that all he needed to do was to touch it and their weaves would melt away?
Jeff Schweer
112. JeffS.
Alphaleonis @111

In my mind all of the AS were gobstopped by his presence. They shielded him with 26 AS (TOM chapter 3) but even that did not seem to bother him. and many could not even breath let alone speak up.
I think he could have broke through easily if he had to which explains the "let's keep this civil" warning look from Rand to Egwene.
We haven't quite gotten there yet but soon we'll see the "power up" in Maradon where Naeff can't believe the number and power of the weaves that Rand uses.
Rand could have cut through and even stilled the 26 AS if need be. Which would have caused a very ugly of ugly things to have happened.
As it turned out, Egwene didn't force it, and Rand just walked out.
Luckily his Ta'veren nature allowed things to stay pleasant

Hi all, I'm back after another forced sojurn in real life. Is the bunker open this morning? I have a nice bottle of Viv Mament Malbec reserve to drop off. I'm keeping the Tempranillo for myself.
Robert Crawley
113. Alphaleonis
Perhaps Rand is that strong, but I thought that 13 AS were enough to shield and control any male channeler no matter how strong, so just wondered if there was another explanation.
John Massey
114. subwoofer
@Hawkido... but it's such a good word. I tried to work "obey" into my marriage vows because much to my consternation, it was removed from the basic vow ceremony thingy. Who came up with that plan anyways?

... The alternative for Rand would be "shut your pie hole and stop standing in my way, I'm trying to save the world over here"...

John Massey
115. subwoofer
@Alphaleonis- perhaps it was that Rand has the moves like Jager...

Jeff Schweer
116. JeffS.
And normally, I think that would be right as far as 13 AS shielding and holding him. I just think that since Dragonmount, and with the re-integration of the Dragon, both his strength and Ta'veren nature are off the charts. A true outlier in every sense of the word.
Between the two, I'm just not sure the AS would have been able to concentrate well enough to hold him or overpower him. Take your pick, but extreme Ta'veren in itself may work as well as a medallion could due to it's pattern bending.

Which kind of makes me jump into another strange thought.
Does Rand's extreme Ta'veren nature now bend the pattern to the point where the wall between Randland and Tel'aran'rhiod is weak and the Dragon simultaneously exists in both realms?
It would certainly answer the questions about how Perrin was able to see him while "in the dream" and allowed the wolves, both living and dead, to observe the choice being made.
edit for poor spelling, probably missed something else anyway but I do try.
John Massey
117. subwoofer
I dunno, I suppose the other question to ask is "if Rand is blocked, does it really matter?" When Rand had the aura of darkness about him, he was threatening people, ie. Cads, and it had nothing to do with channeling. In a way, it was lucky ducky that Rand had not gone completely barmy when he was in Far Madding, that could have ended really bad.

When Rand's presence brought that apple grove back to life and restored the sacks of grain and food, I am thinking that also had little to do with channeling. I think Rand is beyond that now, so it doesn't make a lick of difference if he is shielded or not, he can still change things beyond the reach of his arm just by force of will alone.

Robert Crawley
118. Alphaleonis
I was thinking more along the lines that LTT had a large cache of angreal and terangreal hidden before the breaking with some kind of homing device that enabled him to find it. So he had something with him at the meeting with Egwene that made the little fat man angreal that he lost when kidnapped by Elaida seem insignificant. The light side needs something like that (large cache of angreal) to balance what Moridin has. But maybe what Moiriane sent to the WT from Rhuidean and what Elayne has will be enough.

We've had the debate on here already about whether Rand can or can't control the Taveren effects, and I can't remember what the verdict is. I don't even know what my opinion is on that score, though maybe leaning toward he can't. Which is why I am still looking for some other reason for his total confidence while being shielded by 26 AS.

I agree that the extreme taveren effect "may work as well as a medallion"; but not positive. And Rand may not be able to control it to that extent. Still looking for what he knew that we don't.
John Massey
119. subwoofer
Hmmmm... that is an interesting thought, I'd like to keep it simple though. For me for instance, Justice appeared out of no where and IMO was a red fish. If Rand had a stash, that would be more mackerel. Rand is now one with the universe as it were and I am not sure he needs anything beyond himself. If it does come down to that however, I think it will be more like relying on a little help from his friends, rather than pulling out a magic do-dad that fixes everything.

Alice Arneson
120. Wetlandernw
Alphaleonis @118 - We asked Brandon about that...
LOIALSON: Can Rand consciously control his ta'veren pull to any degree? Specifically referencing to his meeting with Tuon to will her to submit to him, and when he threatened Cadsuane to will her dead.
BRANDON SANDERSON: He, um, believes that he can.
LOIALSON: Still, even after the The Gathering Storm reintegration?
BRANDON SANDERSON: He has a more zen view on it now, but he still believes that he can have some influence.
So... He wasn't really telling us. I choose to read that as "Rand believes it but he's wrong." Others choose to read it as "Rand believes it, so it's clearly true." I don't remember Loialson giving us a read on inflection and body language clues... Dude? You there? Do you remember?
andrew smith
121. sillyslovene
But remember, "Belief and Order give strength"
Maybe believing it and having faith in his Dragon-nature are enough? Faith as a principle of power, as it were.
Or maybe he's completely wrong, but Zen enough that everyone else has to believe that he could...
Cameron Tucker
122. Loialson
@Wet, Alphaleonis

I do! Brandon gave me the feeling from his body language that there is more to it than Rand knows. That Rand THINKS he knows how to control his Taveren nature, but it's much more complicated than that, and that there might be some consequences later for him with this.

That's what it seemed like to me. I think what he meant was:

Rand is using his Taveren mojo alot (and doesn't really have control over it 100%), yet THINKS he's got it under his thumb. This may come back to bite him if he's not careful.

Hope that helps! :)

(ps, sorry about the caps, italics/bold/underline aren't working for me on the Tor comment box in Chrome)
Alice Arneson
123. Wetlandernw
Loialson - Thanks! That's about what I thought I remembered, though with rather more implication that he does have some control over it. I'm really looking forward to how this plays out.
michael gaston
124. Ashenladoka
I know he's ZenRand now and all but I don't think he is worried about the shielding because he knows he can break it with the TP. Maybe he won't use it if he really knows the source of it but if he doesn't then why worry? He knows he can access something other than the OP. Just blast them and shield them if he can. I'm positive he knows they can't kill him. Plus if I was him I would know that if they do hold him the BT would probably lay waste to the WT. A hostage is only good if you can make people believe you will kill him. Since they can't kill him he loses most of his value. They may hide him but like I said the BT and Aiel not including all the others would go ballistic.
Birgit F
125. birgit
The Light does have a lot of *angreal: the Tower store, the Tear collection and the Rhuidean collection. The problem is that they don't know the function of many of them.

The Black Tower is run by darkfriends. They would probably be happy if the WT got rid of the Dragon.
Robert Crawley
126. Alphaleonis
Thanks, Wetlander, Sub, Loialson

If Rand as much as thinks he can control it, that is enough to answer my question about his confidence in the WT. I hope that he is not even thinking about using the TP. And I didn't really think he had another angreal - that would be too important to have happened off camera.
127. Nick S.

I think you hit the key here. As long Rand's head is in the right place and his faith in the light and himself is strong, then he essentially does have control of his taveren-ness, at least his faith that it will work for him is well founded. However if something else comes along to shake his faith in himself, i.e. Lanfear, then he might get bit in the ass if he counts on it to work for him while in such a situation.
I always held the belief that Rand had some control over his Ta'veren nature. Whether it be more of a Mat control of knowing the pattern of its nature and what the effects will be and betting that the pattern will heed his will. Or if its more of what Rand originally thinks it can do and he can use Ta'verens effect on chance to bend the pattern to his will.

I always thought it was the latter of the two and Mat's brand of Ta'veren is exclusive to Mat. Perrins seems to be more of a everything works out in the end kind of thing. Rand though is actively using it. The problem with the conformation is there is no way to confirm unless someone asks Rand specifically. But he sure does seem to dropping a lot of hints.

Just off the top of my head in the book alone: The Tower Aes Sedai. The bags of Grain. The Apple Orchard. (all though this one might not count with some people). I've got to read on for more. Anyway, I'd say there is more evidence pointing at "He Can" as opposed to the pure (well maybe its not pure speculation) speculation that he can't. Because really? What evidence do we have that he can't? Failed attempts in TGS? Well maybe that had something to do with his Dark Side of the force twisting and corrupting his intent with regards to what Ta'veren influence there is.

I have a theory about how it could work for Rand:

So lets say someone steals Elayne's crown while traveling from Camelyn to Cairhein and is running down the packed earth road lined with Great Oak trees. Its always been a problem with the Oak trees as there root system is notorious for uplifting walls houses and ...Roads. If they aren't planted a proper distance from the road they can play havoc on any human mechanations.

In this instance Rand decides rather than give chase after the young thief, he imagines that there could possibly be a chance that these rather ancient Oaks have roots criss-crossing underneath of the road that the young thief is pounding at, in full gate. He imagines that just underneath the surface of the packed road, one lone root has weakened the packed earth juuuust enough. So that when the thiefs foot made its last fall, up shot the root to just clip the toe of the passing foot. The root, so thoroughly catching the foot, that it was well enough to snatch the prematurely exulting thief and throwing him down with a whipping, slapping thud against the earth. A great woof exclaimed from the thief throwing up even more dust along with the thudding impact and caused a fit of sneezing from the failed thief as The Crown guard leisurely walked over to the now failed thief, laughing as the came.

Rand chuckles and wonders at the chance of that happening. After taking the crown from the guards and setting it back at its proper place atop those silken red, golden curls. He looks down at his sleeping little ones and wonders if they'll have the same fortunes as a Ta'veren as he was. Can you inherit being Ta'veren? He ponders this as he looks over toward Dragonmount and hopes that they have the simple life he had as a child with Tam, even as they are Royal heirs. He hopes that they don't ever have to endure what he did later in life. Ever.


I gotta work on the ending there.
Eric Hughes
129. CireNaes
Judging by Loialson's report a different line of questioning will be needed in order to squeeze out a few more tidbits from Brandon.

Perhaps someone could ask: Is how Mat and Rand think about their Ta'veren nature different? Mat appears to know when it will work for him.

I would be happy if anyone here could offer some Verin sneaky additions or adjustments.
129. CireNaes

I was thinking the same thing. Mat knows exactly how his ta'veren nature works and operates off of that knowledge. He uses it for purposeful advantage. There is no mistaking that or refuting that and since 99 percent of the time it happens as he wishes? How can we argue with him.

Granted, what Rand is doing is on another level and requires the rewriting of the past to effect the the future sort of. Or maybe its more like the past sees the future and writes itself to meet up in accordance with that future present. (duuhhh, dat didn't make sense!) yeah yeah I know. Its fantasy for Pete's sake! We're thinking about it to much.

Chris R
131. up2stuff
Even though Mat has centuries of memories, his are all from the same age, pre-gunpowder. Birgitte may be losing her memories, she was aware at one point of all her previous lives. She must have seen it invented hundreds of times, and even if she has since forgotten, she is clearly most likely the one to have a subconscious sense of the impact.
michael gaston
132. Ashenladoka
I made a statement the other day that maybe Fain would be the next DO and I told that its impossible and not plausible. So lets look at that. First let me point out that saying that to say something is not plausible when talking about a FICTION story is...not plausible. No matter how many times you read the story its still fiction and ANYTHING is plausible, including Fain becoming the new DO. And until AMOL is in my hands and on the last page I'll say it again ANYTHING is plausible.
Going by what is in the series and thats really ALL you can go by no matter what you get in an interview (please no voodoo for that comment), the books say that man had forgot about the DO and there was no knowledge of him by the time the Bore was cut. They thought they were tapping a new source of power (although personally I've always wondered about that). Yes we get "The Creator seals the DO prison" repeatedly but and this is the big but, who in Randland knows the actual truth of that statement? Answer is no one. It's a mantra, or prayer of hope for people that are fighting something they don't understand fully or sometimes don't even believe in.
Rand did want to "kill" the DO and I'm thinking hes got past that but again until that last book is done, we will never know.
However I do remember that Fain said he knows how to kill the DO. So maybe Rand wants to reseal the prison and be mister nice guy but someone wants to kill the big bad ol DO. Possible? Maybe. We will see. But to say that the DO can't be killed is the real inplausible statement.
If there is proof in the SERIES and not interviews please point it out. If not, well then, it's still a viable theory and definately plausible.
Roger Powell
133. forkroot
I have to disagree with the idea that in this fictional universe that anything is plausible. I think you are confusing the unarguable fact that the fictional author retains total control of his work with an assertion that this author (RJ and now BWS) would do something random. I think all of us agree that some things are truly "implausible" for AMoL, such as Thomas Covenant appearing and sealing the Bore with wild magic.

Having established that some things are implausible, the salient question is whether the idea that Fain could replace the DO is implausible. To argue one way or another, it's reasonable to use all material that sheds light on the author's view of his world -- which includes the story and published interviews. Anyone advancing an argument about the fictional world has to deal with whatever facts are available. You don't get to decide to exclude a set of facts.

Personally I would consider the idea that Fain will replace the DO as unlikely (mostly because I haven't seen the foreshadowing) but I wouldn't call it "implausible" because I don't see enough evidence to refute the idea outright. That's just my take on it, of course.
134. NeillS
I am surprised how everyone seems to accept that Aludra's designs for her dragons and the wholesale casting of dragon's by all the bell foundries in Camelyn is going to produce dragons that basically "work the first time and then every time". I know the scene with Elayne has her with a dummy dragon on one tower while Mat is with the "real" dragon on another tower because of the potential danger from the dragon, but it feels like a sop to the real issue of how long it took our age to get the design and casting of cannons "right".

Based on our history, Aludra's dragons have to be as dangerous to the "dragoneers" as to the "dragon fodder" that they will be aimed at (if not more so). In real life her dragons are going to mostly go "kaboom" rather than "boom".

I used to do Revolutionary War reenactment, and I knew a guy Ben who had his own cannon and led a band of "bloody" red coats. The cannon was an authentic reproduction of a British field artillery piece. Ben had to meet several requirements in order to actually be allowed to fire his cannon.
1. He had to have a black powder license.
2. He had to have an approved storage facility for his black powder.
3. He had to maintain a log of EVERY firing, including charge size and type of shot (including blanks).
4. After each group of a certain number of firings the cannon had to be X-rayed. If it was found to have developed a flaw that couldn't be fixed (in general they can't), then it would become scrap metal to be melted down & recast.

This is obviously a very expensive and dangerous hobby.

The practice of maintaining log books on the firings of cannons was developed as a means to estimate when the life of a cannon had "expired" and it was time for it to be melted down & recast before it went "kaboom" instead of "boom". X-rays were not available in the centuries over which cannons evolved.

It took several centuries for cannons to evolve into the light mobile artillery pieces as used in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Until the art of cannon casting was developed, cannons had to be massive pieces to avoid the "kaboom" problem. Yet, Mat clearly is thinking of Aludra's dragons as mobile field pieces. Aludra apparently is simultaneously solving all of the problems with cannons that took us centuries to get right. I find this very hard to believe.

We know that RJ was interested in many types of weapons (as evidenced by his collection of swords, etc.), and he clearly foreshadowed this development of Mat teaming up with Aludra to "tame" fireworks for warfare, ie. Egwene's dreams. Surely RJ knew of how long it took for cannons to evolve here in our age. I wonder if we are going to see the One Power applied to Aludra's dragons to cure the "kaboom" problem. We saw the One Power applied during the forging of Perrin's hammer, but do we know for sure if it can or cannot be applied after the fact to strengthen an object?

I will be very disappointed if we see a major battle in AMoL involving the dragons only going "boom" instead of "kaboom" unless some believable answer to this problem is presented. It will be interesting to see how Brandon and Team Jordan have dealt with this issue, and if they even realize that it is an issue.
Jonathan Levy
136. JonathanLevy
134. NeillS

Every word true. I'm pretty sure we've discussed the implausibility (if I may borrow that word from another discussion here :)) of cannons going from prototype to mass-production in the space of a few months - though perhaps not as succinctly and precisely as in your post.

I also agree with your last paragraph, though perhaps 'very disappointed' is a bit to strong for me. I cut the author a little slack here, because of what I perceive to be the true significance of the gunpowder plotline: to convey to the reader the sense that the world is fundamentally changing with the advent of a new Age. It serves the same function as Rand's academy - which produced a steam engine in an equally implausibly short period of time.

Given that fundamental purpose, I can understand the temptation to find some way - any way - to include them in the Last Battle, and to ignore logistical difficulties to accomplish this. If he hadn't done this, we'd be sitting around saying "... come on... they've invented cannon... can't they figure out some way to use it in the Last Battle? It's the end of the world for crying out loud..."

William Carter
138. wcarter
On the cannon casting, I should hope they have malfunctions but it may not be quite as implausible for them to make a semi-reliable cannon as it would appear on the surface.
RJ said in his blog years ago that with the exception of gunpower weapons, the overall technology of Randland was closer to the 1700s than the medieval era.
That would mean, among other things, that metalurgy would probably produce a higher quality iron and bronze for casting than what was available in say 1200.
That being said, I still hope to read about dragons cracking after being fired a couple of times or dragoneers injured/killed when the overcharge a shot.
Craig Jarvis
139. hawkido
@135 Birgit

A very important function of the cannon wall is its ability to flex with the powderblast... this allows the expanding gasses to acts as a lubricant for the shell as it passes down the wall of the cannon. Something perfectly rigid would either seal too loosely or too tightly. With exploding shells, which is what Aludra is using, an inflexible cannon wall would cause the shell to detonate in the cannon. The cannon ball will deform under the acceleration (imagine a basketball being kicked real hard) it will slightly become compressed on its acceleration axis. The same is true on rifle barrels...

As too the implausibility of the Cannon's functioning without explosion, alot of that came from poorly mixed black power. Remember cannon power and gun power are NOT explosives... they do not explode but rather burn. An explosion will destroy the cannon/rifle, rather than push the shot out.

A nifty experiment you SHOULD NOT TRY! would be to take a rifle shell and fill it only 48% of the way full of power then replace the bullet. The spark from the primer would skip along the top of the power all the way down the shell causing it to all light at the same time (an explosion) rather than being buried in the powder at the back of a properly filled shell, where it is then forced to burn like a fuse up through the shell (a burn). Aludra being a fireworks maker of the highest sorts might be able to control the quality of the power to reduce the likelyhood of loading an explosive powder in the cannons.

Now if you were shooting cuendillar shot then I suppose it wouldn't matter, but both the balls and cannon walls would have to be perfect else the ball could bind upon rotating in the barrel.

My S&W .460 revolver actually liquifies the lead in the copper jacket during acceleration. Mainly because I am firing very hot loads, with a very large ball (there is a joke in there somewhere, if someone wants to pick that off). The .460 has to have progressive rifling (the rifling starts out nearly straight, then slowly adds more spin as the bullet passed down the barrel. This reduces kick alot, for such a massive handgun.

Which I wonder if Aludra is putting rifleing in the cannon barrels or are they straight bore? Since she is firing round shot I would imagine smooth bore, as there is no reason for her to have thought of ballistics and rifleing before she built her first cannon.
Craig Jarvis
140. hawkido
@ Zexxes

Tavereness ins't inhereted (but I supposed it could be possible for a child to ALSO be a taveren) The taveren quality can also be relenquished, if Moiraine is to be belived. I figure there are books on them detailing thier lives and would note that the taveren quality dissapeared once the pattern was done with them. So I lean towards taveren being a temporary effect that will either last until your death or until the completion of whatever pattern goals are before you.
Sam Mickel
141. Samadai
Just because you asked

I hope you are wearing the proper protection while firing off those hot loads....... ;)
Alice Arneson
142. Wetlandernw
One of the clever things about Aludra designing the cannon is her extensive experience and education in fireworks. As hawkido pointed out (excellent post, btw!) she's been working with powder for a long time, and was educated thoroughly in the characteristics and behavior of burning powder. She knows how to make loads that burn slow or fast, what shapes possess what behavior when lofted, how to make a shot that explodes at the right place and time... These things have been worked on, researched, experimented with, and documented for centuries in her guild, and she was trained in it all. Depending on her personal proclivities (which I think we can - it's a fantasy, after all) she would have a particular understanding of the kinds of changes needed to loft a shot that will send shrapnel through the enemy ranks instead of making pretty lights in the sky. This might give her an advantage over those who were starting from scratch in RL. Add to that the well-made point that they are in many ways closer to 1700s than 1200s in terms of manufacturing technology, and I don't think it's quite as implausible as it appears on the surface. Sometimes a significant breakthrough depends less on time passage, and more on the right person with incentive.

Then, of course, there's my own personal proclivity to become irritated with people who insist that technological advancements in a fantasy must progress exactly as they did in RL. :) With completely different circumstances, why shouldn't they develop differently? Just because physics works the same way doesn't mean that all the social and cultural pressures leading to various discoveries would be the same.
Craig Jarvis
143. hawkido
@93 J.Dauro

If Cads does and behaves as "Badly" to Egwene as she has to Rand then I would be FAR more forgiving towards Cads as she is just an equal opportunity enforcer. Especially if Cads open with Egwene like she did with Rand. 'Cause the initial Rand meeting was a Freaking DISASTER! If she greets every major ruler in such a fashin then I could just say... "Oh this is just this crochety old hag's way of saying hello." Lets hope so, cause I don't want to see her all ring kissey and yes mother when she first meets Egwene. Unless she just does that until the doors are closed in a private meeting, then bellows "You petulent child!"
William Carter
144. wcarter
@143 Hawkido

Blatant hypocracy aside, how ironic would it be for their initial meeting to go full 180 reveresed with Egwene finding out how much of Darth Rand's craziness could be laid at Cads' feet then railroading her for her stupidity?
Chris R
145. up2stuff
Hawkido @ 140

How can Ta'veren ness (great word), be relinquished, and where did Moiraine say that? Not doubting you,but I thought that the whole reason for that was that the person was spun out to balance the pattern, and no matter what the person did, they couldnt hide from it. That seemed to be something that all 3 boys were wrestling with in the first few books.

I trust your knowledge, but what Moiraine quote are you referring to?
William Carter
146. wcarter
It was actually Moraine AND Loal (both while they were in Fal Dara).
In TEOTW and TGH they both said something along the lines of "the pattern swirls around you, and for a time at least you will affect the lives of all those around you." That may not be the exact wording but I do remember for sure that the 'for a time at least' part was. Moraine then went on to describe it as a phenomenon that can last anywhere from a few weeks to years.

That pretty clearly denotes the possibility of someone only being Ta'varen for a part of their lives. Beyond that Nyneave and Egwene think to themselves that there was never any evidence of the three boys being Ta'veren while they were growing up several times throughout the books.

For all that, we have no way of knowing if being as strongly Ta'veren as Rand, Mat, and Perrin. may last a bit longer than normal (even their entire lifetimes). Or if it may begin to noticably fade after Tarmon Gaidon.
147. Looking Glass
On Egwene Gathering the Armies: Rand could almost certainly have accomplished this particular task by taking the lead solo and just decreeing that everyone be there (and bullying anyone who didn’t want to play well with others). On the other hand, Rand has just realized that approach is how he was screwing the pooch, as Lews Therin did before him. He’s got a lot on his plate that can’t be handled that way, and so sometime before that he’s got to re-establish himself as not-a-tyrant. Getting Egwene to take the lead here (and not flipping out about it down the line) would be helpful in demonstrating the new, improved, not-psycho Rand.

NeillS @134: Well, the cannons certainly wouldn’t the first time, in-series, that characters have pulled out knowledge that went perfect the first time but could have gone really, really badly if they’d screwed it up. Nynaeve pulling the balefire weave out of nowhere comes to mind (Rand at least had LTT for it), and just about anything regarding healing qualifies too. Aludra’s at least got a leg up on half her problem- the illuminators may not be metallurgists, but they’ve had centuries (maybe millennia?) of experience with pyrotechnic chemistry.

(Ed: oops, I see people beat me to that.)

Or yeah, they may just solve the problem with the Power. Cuendillar aside, there are other weaves that make metal stronger, like the almost-indestructible swords. There is that whole Oath issue, but it’s not like there aren’t a dozen ways around that, or tons of non-AS channelers around.

On stopping being ta'veren: I also recall Moiraine indicating it was possible to screw up the pattern badly enough to risk de-ta'verening yourself permanently; I think that version only came up in the context of balefire, though.
Chris R
148. up2stuff
@ 146. Thanks, I do recall that now. I misread it the first time as a concious choice rather than the effect simply wearing off. That makes more sense.
Alice Arneson
149. Wetlandernw
On ta'veren - The Pattern spins out ta'veren as corrective mechanisms when they are needed, and uses them accordingly. For the time you are ta'veren, the Pattern weaves more tightly around you; once you've accomplished your purposes, it seems logical that since the Pattern no longer needs your ta'verenness, it dissipates.

The Pattern giveth and the Pattern taketh away.... a.k.a. The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills. Could have interesting effects on Mat's future fortunes, though...

(BTW - those paraphrasing Moiraine: could you provide actual quotes? or at least book/chapter references, if it's too long to type out? Interpretations based on what we remember reading 'way back when aren't a terribly good basis for discussion. Not relevant discussion, anyway. For example, "for a time, at least" doesn't at all prove that one can choose to relinquish one's ta'verenhood.)
Craig Jarvis
150. hawkido
@144 wcarter
that would be AWESOME!!!

@146 wcarter
Thanks for the rescue, Yes tEotW was the book I was thinking of... I didn't remember Loial also stating it tho...
Don Barkauskas
151. bad_platypus
Wetlandernw @149 et al.: Here's the quote people are paraphrasing, from TFoH, Chapter 6, after Rand destroys the Darkhounds with balefire.
With a sa'angreal like Callandor, you could annihilate a city with balefire. The Pattern could be disrupted for years to come. Who can say that the weave would even remain centered on you, ta'veren as you are, until it settled down? Being ta'veren, and so strongly so, may be your margin of victory, even in the Last Battle.
William Carter
152. wcarter
I highly doubt one could choose to relinquish Ta'veren nature, but you may not be able to keep it regardless of your wishes when the Pattern is done with you. There is no evidence whatsoever that it would be a permenant condition.
Just like countries may draft citizens into the military during times of war the pattern drafts Ta'veren to get the course of events and peoples' lives back on track. When the war is over the conscripted soliders go home. There is no reason to believe the same wouldn't apply more or less to Ta'verens (discounting any fame they would have built up independent of their chance/reality warping natures).

@150 One of several Loial given speeches on the nature of Ta'veren was in the tavern Rand found him, Mat and Perrin at in Fal Dara near the beginning of The Great Hunt.
Craig Jarvis
153. hawkido
@149 No one can choose to drop TVhood. No one was presenting that... someone mistook what I said, and that was probably more my crappy communication skills.

also an Aea'Sedai postulates that balefire could re-shuffle the pattern and you not even be ta'veren afterwards... as Looing Glass stated above, I thnk it was Cads but memory is flakey.
*edit and typing is worser*
Craig Jarvis
154. hawkido
I wish Loial's dad, granddad, and great granddad were named A'Bich, Da'Bich, and Tha'Bich respectively... That would make for some awesome formal greetings... It would sound like he had Tourette's Syndrom.

I am Loial son of A'Bich, son of Da'Bich, Son of Tha'Bich.
155. silence
Several people have mentioned that Mat's luck is his ta'veren abilities. I have ot disagree with that - in my mind Mat's luck seems more like Min or Hurin's abilities. It is magnified by his ta'veren and was brought into focus possibly by the dagger. This comes from the fact that Mat has always been lucky. It is mentioned in TDR, that he has always won more then he lost. My speculation also comes from the fact that his luck works in a far different way then the others. It is simply not identified as such because of it's overlap with ta'veren.
michael gaston
157. Ashenladoka
All valid points and I readily agree that there are certain things that go past the authors ability to control. Truisms that he/she creates...balefire prevents the DO from re-claiming the Chosen, Rand is the Dragon as opposed to Min being the Dragon in the next book. Other things RJ and co. can change or move around as need be, ta'vern. Yes the 3 are now but easily Egwene may be given that or even Nye or any other of the host. Almost everything else is fair game.
I understand trying to use interviews, articles etc but you can only use them to a certain level because what it's all boiled down to is what is in the books themselves. Team Jordan in an interview could say "Rand will grow a replacement hand for the one he lost by using a new sa'angreal that was just discovered, but if it's not in the book, well it just doesn't really matter what they say. And on Fain they still have a lot of latitude.
Foreshadowing? Not so sure. Similar names Fain/Shai'tan (very weak yes I know), Fain's alter ego is an ancient evil as bad as the Shadow which one must immediately ask where did it come from? Was it made from the DO somehow? The taint? Is there actually 2 DO's or is the DO really a duality and half was locked away at creation the other half escaping? Look at the powers Fain is getting (totally outside the "norms" of this place), Fain getting the power to make zombies! Plus more importantly, it would be a zinger of an ending considering how may people say its not plausible. But as I've said, please show me in the books where we know for a fact that the whole "Creator bound at creation" isn't just a mantra. The AoL didn't KNOW about the DO so how all of the sudden do they know the DO was bound by the Creator? Easy answer is they didn't but some group like an early form of the Children give the people some hope. Numerous religions have had one of the elder gods killed and replace by a new god, "good god" usually but we all know that Team Jordan has looked at various myths to get inspiration.
Reaching for straws? Maybe so, but I have a lot of time at work sometimes and I get bored so may as well try a new theory. Plus some of the arguements coming back are awesome. Gives me a new thought pattern to look at.

Edit* And as much as I disliked Cad's in Darth Rands fall I truly hope she's not a hypocrite with she meets the new Am Seat.
Roger Powell
158. forkroot
Some interesting ideas there. After I typed my previous response it did occur to me that Rand's obsession with killing the DO could be considered a form of foreshadowing.

You bring up a very interesting question. Was the DO completely unknown in the AOL or did Mieren and Beidomon just think they were accessing a different power source?
Rob Munnelly
159. RobMRobM
Different power source, based on TSR Rand Wayback Machine

@155 - thanks, I was going to make the same point.
Jonathan Levy
161. JonathanLevy
how ironic would it be for their initial meeting to go full 180 reveresed with Egwene finding out how much of Darth Rand's craziness could be laid at Cads' feet then railroading her for her stupidity?
Oh, that would be lovely! Especially if Cads tries the "But it turned out for the best in the end, therefore what I did was not a mistake!" line and Egwene replies with a richly deserved spanking.
162. re-read fan
And then—from the midst of the blackness, from the center of the uproar and the tempest—a tiny sliver of light split through the evil. Like a candle’s glow on a very dark night. The light shone upward, toward the distant sky, like a beacon. So frail.
This scene was reminiscent of Rand's time in Rhuidean when he witnessed the drilling of the Bore. I do not recall the specifics, but I seem to remember a tiny black spot breaking off the Collam Dam before it erupts and covers the land in darkness. I wonder if future turnings of the wheel will have Perrin's ancestors witnessing the Sealing of the Dark One through his eyes?
163. Wortmauer
up2stuff@131: She must have seen it invented hundreds of times, and even if she has since forgotten, she is clearly most likely the one to have a subconscious sense of the impact.
Hundreds of times? Probably just once or twice per Age, at most, or not at all in some Ages. And I'm pretty sure Birgitte doesn't go back further than 7 Ages, because as Hawkwing told Hurin back in TGH, "Sometimes the Pattern adds to our number." If the Heroes didn't "expire" or get demoted some time during the 7 Ages, there should be millions of Heroes by now, whereas we know there are really just a few hundred.

One is reminded of the famous answer on the thermodynamics test, about whether Tel'aran'rhiod is endothermic or exothermic.
Thomas Keith
164. insectoid
Hey guys, I know I'm a week behind (RL and stuff), so I'll just drop my thoughts on these two chapters here and move on to this week's post.

Hee hee, good old Groucho. Great post as usual Leigh, and glad you survived getting drenched by Isaac.

"Berelain blushes and waxes rhapsodic about him": LOL.

Morgase: Serves up a lot of good wisdom in this chapter.

Tam: Bye bye for now, have fun playing with the bullying Aes Sedai! ;)
“The world just changed, Elayne,” Birgitte said, shaking her head, long braid swinging slightly. “It just changed in a very large way. I have a terrible feeling that it’s only the beginning.”
Probably the understatement of the Age, there. And... why doesn't this watershed event bother Mat? Hmm.

Perrin: Dreaming and learning and doing dangerous stuff, oh my! And apparently witnessing Rand's Jesusifying on Dragonmount. Not sure I noticed that on first read.

Terry McNamee
165. macster
@47 Bromo Sapien: Thanks!

@48 Ellisande: Good point.

@51 forkroot: Thanks! And it's good to see they did catch it and fix it.

@59 Staizer: I have to agree. Being religious (but not a fundy) myself, I find myself quite pleased to see an example of religious people realizing the error of their ways and coming back to what their faith should be, instead of being hypocrites to it. Like everything in life, religion/faith can be turned to bad ends; the difference of course is that a) because religious people claim to be more moral and right than others, when they aren't the contrast stands out more and b) the sheer power religion can and does have over peoples and cultures and nations means that when it goes bad, it can do a lot of damage. This makes people harder on it--basically, the standards are set higher, and when it fails them that draws more ire and contempt. So it's good to see here an example where, despite prejudice, ignorance, confusion, and misinformation, even the Children of the Light can become what their name meant them to be. That it comes about through Galad is quite fitting, since in the end he can see things more clearly and simply due to his black-and-white view; all he needs to do is back that up with common sense and good instincts, not merely logic and a strictly defined, dictated code of morality.

@60 AlanS7: I was going to say that that was the visit Perrin was thinking about and they'd forgotten the LOC visit, but you may be right. On the other hand, I checked the timeline and he was only in Caemlyn for five days before they fled to Cairhien, so that too would be considered a brief visit. Either way though, for accuracy's sake both times should be mentioned, and as brief as they were memorable things happened both times, so I'm glad this got acknowledged in the new edition.

@61 martytargaryen: As you say, based on the nature of Rand's epiphany, I think you're absolutely right. And I've always supported the power of love anyway. :)

@67 Porphyrogenitus: Actually a number of people have noticed the correlations between Galad/Galahad and Gawyn/Gawain, and written literary analyses of them at length, on the Thirteenth Depository and elsewhere. I'm sure Terez could link you to lots of it. But it's good for you to bring it up again, and perhaps you meant no one had mentioned it here on this particular re-read thread.

@73 Mabus: Wow, good point re: the Whitecloaks!

@74 RoyanRannedos: But your point is good too. And as more support, recall that Mayene has long hidden their Aes Sedai advisors thanks to the disapproval of Aes Sedai and the Power in Tear. Accepting into their lands an organization which also disapproves of the Aes Sedai would make Mayene look very good to Tear, and could perhaps put an end to much of the conflict between them.

@76 Ashenladoka: I don't know about "prophecy", but recall that the redstone dooframe was in Mayene for centuries before it was given to Tear. Berelain may never have gotten to go through it herself, but it is likely many or at least some of her ancestors did, or advisors/nobles who served them went on their behalf. Whatever information came from the answers to their questions is likely a big part of how Mayene stayed independent and still tied to Hawkwing.

@78 Wetlander: Your interpretation of Nicola's Foretelling is quite thought-provoking indeed! Even if, as we've been told by Sanderson, this wasn't the second time Perrin had to be there for Rand, that clearly does not lessen the importance of the moment itself. It just may mean Perrin didn't have to be there, that it could have happened on its own thanks to Tam and Lews Therin. Perrin not needing to be there doesn't mean this can't be the "great battle", with more battle still to come for the world; Perrin just needs to be there for Rand at some point during those battles in order to make sure he succeeds.

@84 Braid_Tug: VERY good point. And note that Perrin's support of the seal-breaking plan at Merrilor (the second time he needs to be there, maybe?) may be very key. And would he have been so eager to support Rand in this if he wasn't sure Rand was a good and sane guy? I'm not so sure. Marty touches on this too.

@90 Man-o-Manetheren: Ooooo, good point.

@Ashenladoka: You have some good points, especially about what it would do to Egwene's reputation and power as the Amyrlin, and to the Tower, if she were to change her stance on Rand. But yes, I do believe she will be forced to change it--it may be messy, it may make things bad for her and the Tower, but it will happen. Why? First, because however stubborn and arrogant she is about him, she does still care about Rand and she does know that he is the Dragon Reborn. So if she can be convinced, by Perrin, Min, and others, that his course is the correct one, then she will capitulate because she trusts him. She won't be happy about it, she'll bitch about it, she'll sulk and grumble, but in the end she'll do it--because while it has happened very rarely in the series, when she's been proven wrong she has admitted it. And secondly, because the Pattern (the author) insists it has to happen. If she doesn't give in to Rand, however sullenly and reluctantly, then there will be another schism in the forces of the Light, possibly a battle. And I can't see Jordan writing that now, this close to the end. Especially not when there's already so much threatening the Light--the Forsaken, Fain, the Seanchan, Taim, the attack on Caemlyn... The collision course will happen, but the only way this can be resolved with any kind of a victory for the Light is if Egwene is run over and forced to see the error of her ways. And I don't think Jordan planned to end this with the Shadow winning. So, there you go.

I defend her because I know at heart she is a good person and will do the right thing, once she's shown what that is. And as for "saving her office", who says she will? We already know lots of changes are going to have to be made afte the Last Battle, a big one being integrating Aes Sedai and Asha'man. It may be Egwene will have to eat crow, with both her and the White Tower being lessened by their mistake at Merrilor, before the two sides can join as one. And you yourself address this possibility as to why he called the meeting, in which case nothing says the meeting has to leave Egwene and the Aes Sedai smelling like a rose. In fact it's likely to be the opposite.

@94 Freelancer: Considering Mat's medallion can block both saidin and saidar, it stands to reason both were needed in the forging of it. I expect the ornaments in Cadsuane's paralis-net that relate to saidin were forged by men, or with the assistance of them (obviously, ones who hadn't gone mad yet and wanted to help the women against their mad compatriots). Also, I like your scenario at 97.

@107 hawkido: Considering the Way Forward Machine spoke of "the Dragon's Peace" and in the bad future there was only war because of the Aiel's grudge against the Seanchan, you may be on to something. Also recall the importance of the Tinkers settling around Ebou Dar...with them becoming integrated into Randland society, this may give Rand the example to look to or source of information for his pact.

@109 Freelancer: No offense, but you really don't know that is true. While it may seem unlikely based either on what has gone before or on the world Jordan created, that doesn't mean it is impossible. We are only told the Dark One has always existed and was sealed at the moment of creation via the catechisms of the Aes Sedai and other Lightfriends, and as has been argued before on the re-read, unless the Creator came down and told His people this (and we know there's no holy books or religion because Jordan told us), how would they know this was the case? I suppose it's possible someone could have asked the Finn, but we all know their answers, while always true, don't always tell the whole truth. Even if the Dark One was created and sealed then, and has so far been eternal, this doesn't mean he couldn't be replaced by another evil which, by the time the next turning of the Wheel rolls around, everyone believes was always there and is eternal.

Personally I don't think Fain will replace the Dark One--if anything he may be used to seal the Bore, or will perhaps act as a distraction/spanner in the works for the Dark One or Moridin--but that doesn't mean it is utterly impossible, and making sweeping generalizations saying it is when you aren't the author is...perhaps premature.
Terry McNamee
166. macster
@110 travyl: That's a good idea too. And also ties into the idea of forcing the Tower to capitulate so as to balance the guardians against the servants.

@113 Alphaleonis: I think it's a combination of how strong Rand is and his being ta'veren. Perhaps with some of the Dragon-Fisher King effect thrown in. Subwoofer also has a good point.

@121 sillyslovene: That has even more resonance after what we saw of the bit with Sarand's army in the prologue of AMoL.

@125 birgit: Which reminds me, I still wonder about what it was in the Tower storeroom that brought Elayne and Nynaeve there, when they used Need to find the Bowl of the Winds. Perhaps whatever it was will be identified by Aviendha, after the second Seanchan attack is halted. Unless it was the Horn of Valere, though I can't see why Verin and Siuan would have hidden that in an obvious place like the angreal storeroom, unless it was because they believed a warded room like that was the safest place...

@128 Zexxes: Nice vignette. But from what Loialson says Sanderson said, it seems there is doubt as to whether he really can control it. You may not see any evidence he can't (and to be fair I don't see any either), but the fact things happen that go his way/are positive in effect doesn't prove he caused it to happen through direct control; it could still just be that the Pattern made it happen because it had to, and Rand erroneously believes his will caused it. And even if he can control it, that doesn't mean his control is unshakable or stable. It could still fail him at a crucial point because, while Rand thinks he can control it (all the time), he can't (all the time).

@143 hawkido: I could see that going either way, LOL! Though based on what we know of Cadsuane's history, I doubt she outright thumbs her nose at or disrespects Amyrlins on general principle--they have to do something to earn her ire. Now if Rand has told her what Egwene said, or if she gets to witness Egwene being bossy with Rand before she can greet her... ;)

@147 Looking Glass: Yes, let Egwene take the fall for him as tyrant instead. ;) Well not really; she's gathering them to supposedly save the world from his insane plan, and then once they find out the plan isn't insane he looks even less like a tyrant, but a wise ruler letting Egwene do all the hard diplomatic work--or a clever ruler making her look like an idiot. :P

@149 Wetlander: Yes and no, remember Mat was always lucky, long before the dagger and the Finn. And since there was no sign of Rand or Perrin being ta'veren when they were growing up, then that suggests Mat's luck isn't because of being ta'veren, just its later Up to Eleven version. So his fortunes may not be as good after he loses his ta'veren nature as they are now, but they'll at least be as good as they were in the Two Rivers. Though to play Dark One's advocate, while Nynaeve and Egwene apparently knew what a ta'veren was before Moiraine and Loial told them about it, how would they know what the signs of one were? Are they that well-documented and legendary? Particularly in the Two Rivers, where reading and education weren't as common as elsewhere in the world? Unless Bran, or Doral Barran, had books which talked a lot about ta'veren (did The Travels of Jain Farstrider?), we can't be sure Nynaeve and Egwene know what they're talking about. Maybe the boys did show signs when younger. Although see the quote below from the Glimmers Q&A...if the boys became ta'veren right before Moiraine arrived, then that does suggest Mat's earlier luck had nothing to do with being ta'veren.

On a random side note: if Jain really was Graendal's old man, and my theory is correct that Asmodean was allied with Graendal for a time and this is why she killed him to keep from being linked with him and his treachery, do you suppose that means he might have met Jain while in Arad Doman? And that Jain was another source of the Karaethon Cycle and the history of Randland which Asmodean used for his Natael disguise?

@151 bad_platypus: Of note is that Moiraine is only guessing there, positing the notion of what might happen if he uses Callandor without proper care. She doesn't know for sure that it would disrupt the Pattern, let alone cause Rand to stop being ta'veren for a while. It is possible of course that being ta'veren can still fade, or end when the Pattern is done with you, even if it can't be shattered or shifted away by a sa'angreal, but that quote doesn't prove it one way or the other.

@hawkido and Wetlander, here's what Loial and Moiraine said in TEotW. First in Chapter 36, "Web of the Pattern": "...sometimes the Wheel bends a life-thread, or several threads, in such a way that all the surrounding threads are forced to swirl around it, and those force other threads, and those still others, and on and on. That first bending to make the Web, that is ta'veren, and there is nothing you can do to change it, not until the Pattern itself changes. The Web--ta'maral'ailen, it's called--can last for weeks, or for years" (p. 554). Then on page 555 Loial says, when explaining why he wants to travel with Rand, "Perhaps you are not another Artur Hawkwing, but for a time, at least, part of the world will change itself around you..."

If I am reading these quotes right, this means that it is the Web which is temporary, that can "last for weeks or years", that it is the changing of the world around a ta'veren that lasts "for a time at least", not the state of being ta'veren itself. But there is also the implication that it isn't just the Web, but being ta'veren, that "no one can do anything to change" until the Pattern changes.

And then here's what Moiraine said in Chapter 42, "Remembrance of Dreams": "For a time the Pattern does seem to be swirling around all three of you, just as Loial says, and the swirl will grow greater before it becomes less" (p. 644). Again this seems to be referring to the Web forming around them, not being ta'veren itself, but again there is the implication that being ta'veren can fade or become less over time.

Lastly, from the WOT Encyclopedia: according to the Glimmers Q&A, "One becomes ta'veren according to the needs of the Wheel. No one is born ta'veren. Rand, Mat and Perrin became ta'veren just before Moiraine appeared." So that does suggest it is a thing which waxes and wanes throughout one's life. Whether it ever completely fades is anybody's guess.

@wcarter: I think you mean the inn in Caemlyn, The Queen's Blessing; Rand met Loial there, not in a tavern in Fal Dara.

@158 forkroot: The Guide says he was unknown until the Bore was drilled. Take that for what you will.
Hey guys, I just had a thought. (Yes, I get those sometimes. Haa-haaaaa! Laugh it up fuzz ball!) Is it possible that the tinkers have found the song and we're just not taking the hint from their settling in Ebou Dar as a hint? I mean Mat comments on it too and puts Great emphasis into explaining how Wrong that is. Did these settling tinkers give up? Or did they find the song?

Alice Arneson
168. Wetlandernw
macster @165 – I have a nit to pick with this one: “because religious people claim to be more moral and right than others, when they aren't the contrast stands out.” While I can’t speak for “religious people” in general, and maybe it’s true for a more general case, I can say that most thinking Christians would never claim to be more moral or right than others. We, more than anyone else, realize just how immoral and wrong we are under our own steam. I would say a greater issue is that others expect those they view as “religious people” to be more moral and right than they are; for the cynics, it goes one step farther so they expect the “religious people” to think they are more moral and right while they clearly are not.

Back on WoT… I don’t think applications of “religious people” are very relevant. While the organizations (WT and WC) are in some ways modeled after RL religious organizations, they aren’t per se more “religious” than anyone else. The Whitecloaks have tried to be, in a way, by assuming that anyone who doesn’t kowtow to them is by definition a Darkfriend. However, in Randland everyone is religious – they all believe in the existence of the Creator and the Dark One, and the only difference in their religion is which they choose to follow. They don’t even “worship” all that much, although the DFs do so much more than anyone else.

I realize this isn’t very organized by way of response, but I have another disagreement, with this paragraph:
So if she can be convinced, by Perrin, Min, and others, that his course is the correct one, then she will capitulate because she trusts him. She won't be happy about it, she'll bitch about it, she'll sulk and grumble, but in the end she'll do it--because while it has happened very rarely in the series, when she's been proven wrong she has admitted it. And secondly, because the Pattern (the author) insists it has to happen. If she doesn't give in to Rand, however sullenly and reluctantly, then there will be another schism in the forces of the Light, possibly a battle.
When have we ever seen Egwene bitch, sulk, grumble, or give in sullenly and reluctantly? None of those are in her character. While I agree that she will at some point agree with Rand, I don’t think it will involve any of the above. She may be (probably will be!) angry at him and at others who support him, but if/when she agrees that he/they are right, there won’t be any sullenness or reluctance about “giving in.” She’ll either agree wholeheartedly (with something – it might be his solution, or it might just be the need to appear unified) or she’ll oppose wholeheartedly. And she’ll bring the WT along with her, whether they like it or not.

I agree that there isn’t really time left (and it doesn’t fit with the story, IMO) for a big battle between Light and Light, so I’m pretty sure she will end up standing with Rand rather than against. I’m even reasonably confident that they will work together to coordinate what the rest of the world needs to do while Rand, Nynaeve & Moiraine go off to Shayol Ghul. What I’m not sure about is the mechanism of the events at the Fields of Merrilor. In fact, I refuse to speculate very much on that, because I just want to read it – I’m pretty sure that will be a lot better than anything I could invent.
169. Wortmauer
macster: If I am reading these quotes right, this means that it is the Web which is temporary, that can "last for weeks or years", that it is the changing of the world around a ta'veren that lasts "for a time at least", not the state of being ta'veren itself.
Ummm. If I'm getting you correctly, what you're saying is that the state of being ta'veren is separate from the effects of being ta'veren. I disagree. The way I see it, the fact that you have ta'veren effects on the Pattern is the very definition of being ta'veren. It is meaningless to separate the two. The only way to define a ta'veren other than by his or her effect on the Pattern would be to ask Siuan or Nicola if they see you glow. And then it might just be that you've been eating too much food that was grown next to that radioactive artifact in the Black Hills (referenced in the POD prologue).
William Carter
170. wcarter
No I meant the tavern in Fal Dara, the one Rand intentionally tried to piss off Mat and Perrin in so they wouldn't follow him. That was where Loail's relevent Ta'veren spuell took place. I know they initially met in Caemlyn.
171. Freelancer

I think macster has it right. I'll add more when I get home and can find Moiraine's first explanation of ta'veren, where she discusses the age lace and so on. Stay tuned...


I don't think that was a tavern, it was within the keep at Fal Dara, while Rand was trying to get out before the Amyrlin could summon him, and came across a room near the stables (an armory?) where Mat and Perrin were dicing with locals, and Loial was watching because they refused to gamble with him, "Kiserai ti Wansho".
Terry McNamee
172. macster
@Wetlander: Hmmm, seems I'm guilty of not being specific enough in my language. Your interpretation of "religious people" is what I meant, that people think they are or expect them to be more moral and right than others, not that they themselves are or think this. The only religious people who do feel that way are the fundys, because they have become "holier than thou" (something the Bible itself condemns, I would add). Though I would note that it is very easy to say we (religious people) are aware of how immoral and wrong we are or can be; actually acknowledging this and doing something about it is not something everyone is capable of, sadly.

As for WOT, you're right that the White Tower and the Whitecloaks aren't really more "religious" than anyone else in Randland. But because they are based on RL religious institutions, it is much easier to conflate them with real-world views of the religious than other people in Randland. (It also helps that the common people in Randland, for the most part, only hold negative views, which many readers would associate with the religious, in regards to male channelers.) I don't think you can deny that Jordan was intentionally mirroring the Inquisition or the Knights Templar when he created the Whitecloaks, or that the holier-than-thou attitude of many Aes Sedai was intended to reflect the RCC at different points in its history. So while no one in Randland is technically more "religious" than anybody else, in practice the Aes Sedai and especially the Whitecloaks come off looking like they are to many readers. This may say more about the readers than it does the characters (though again I note Jordan's parallels to real life were clearly intentional), but the implications are still there.

In which case I hope you didn't miss my main point--that I am glad we are getting the chance to see, in-story, a group composed of people who think like this changing, redeeming themselves, and becoming the good characters they did in fact claim and believe themselves to be. (RL religious people, other than fundys, don't do that, but the Whitecloaks certainly did.) The fact Jordan clearly had an issue with such thinking (see also: Aridhol), even as he came from the more religious South, yet still outlined such a paradigm shift for the Whitecloaks, is even more admirable, I think.

As for Egwene, again I misspoke, as I was attempting to stand against the Egwene-haters who are always willing to use the worst language and believe the worst of her. I don't think she will bitch, sulk, be sullen, etc., but that she may do those things--I was trying to be fair to the other side of the debate, allowing for their intepretation of her character, even as I said that should she react that way, it still wouldn't change the ultimate outcome of events that must occur. At one time she would have reacted that way, but I don't think even the most diehard Egwene-hater would be able to convincingly argue that she hasn't grown enough as a character to at least be beyond the sort of tantrums she threw toward Rand back in TEotW. Whatever her other faults, she has matured, and I'm sorry if I gave the impression I thought she hadn't.

Personally I think when proven wrong she will be angry, annoyed, and all the rest--but she won't act on it, she'll be in control as a good Aes Sedai should be and maintain the calm facade needed for dealing with Rand and the forces of the Light. She may show much more anger first (see Elaida's Foretelling) but once she realizes the truth, I think she will swallow her pride and calm down (even if she doesn't apologize) and close ranks with the rest of the Light. Whether this damages her reputation and the Tower's or not, it has to happen for the good of the story and the Light, and anyone who believes otherwise just is too dismissive of Egwene and her character to see otherwise.

Still looking forward to your thoughts on Jain and the ta'veren discussion!

@Wortmauer: Freelancer will surely cover this in more detail, but to wit--I was careful to separate being ta'veren from its effects for two reasons. One, to err on the side of caution, since just because Loial and Moiraine's words seemed to suggest being ta'veren itself can fade with time doesn't mean it actually can--in all cases they were speaking of the effects, not the state of being ta'veren. And two, because Loial and Moiraine themselves made the distinction. Re-read what I quoted again:

"That first bending to make the Web, that is ta'veren, and there is nothing you can do to change it, not until the Pattern itself changes. The Web--ta'maral'ailen, it's called--can last for weeks, or for years."

"For a time the Pattern does seem to be swirling around all three of
you, just as Loial says, and the swirl will grow greater before it
becomes less."

Pay close attention to the language there. It is the Web, the swirl, that is described as lasting for weeks or for years, that grows greater and becomes less. This is not the same as being ta'veren: one is the cause, the other the effect. What Moiraine and Loial are saying is that the tugging of the threads, the change in the Pattern, is temporary, but not necessarily the ability to make it happen. If a person is weaving and creates a tangle, the tangle itself is temporary, as is the stretching/shifting/pulling on the threads; but the ability to make a tangle or pull on the threads exists independently of the result, of actually making it happen.

This may be just semantics, and also irrelevant, since Jordan himself said being ta'veren was temporary in the Glimmers Q&A I quoted (and elsewhere too), but I wanted to be careful not to make assumptions, and to follow what the text actually says. Even if (as seems likely) being a ta'veren is itself a temporary thing, both Loial and Moiraine still drew a division between that and the Web. The swirl in events, the tangle in the Pattern, is not the same thing as the effect that makes it happen--proof of this is the fact that a ta'veren can pull multiple times on the Pattern, set off multiple tangles, create numerous ta'maral'ailen, without them all being part of the same event or Web. Nothing Jordan said indicated that a ta'veren's effects on the Pattern are all part of one long, ongoing weaving--their effects can just be woven into the Pattern at different times/places.

As just a few examples: Shadar Logoth, Caemlyn, and the Eye from the first book; Fal Dara, Cairhien, and Falme from the second; Tear from the third; Alcair Dal and Rhuidean from the fourth... I.e., a ta'veren can create multiple hub points, significant events in certain places, without them all having to be part of the same Web. Rand, in passing through Ghealdan and Altara, set off all kinds of events by his tugging on the threads around him, but those weren't part of the big Web he created in Tear that drew all the threads in the Stone together, just an effect of his presence. The same is true for any time he randomly affected luck in an area. The difference is subtle but worth noticing, in my opinion.

You are right that a ta'veren is defined by their effects on the Pattern; that doesn't change the fact that those effects, once set in motion, are separate from them and can eventually fade regardless of whether they are still a ta'veren. A blacksmith can strike his anvil with his hammer, his blow making echoing sound waves that disperse outward before eventually fading; but afterward, he still has his hammer and can do it again. A person can throw a stone in a pond, creating numerous ripples spreading across the water; but that doesn't mean they can't throw another stone later on. It's not necessarily a constant beating of the hammer, a constant throwing of stones.

@wcarter: Again, Freelancer is right. The scene you're thinking of occurs in Fal Dara keep. I just re-read TEotW and TGH not long ago, and other than when they rode into and out of the city, none of the boys or Loial ever went into it, let alone to an inn or tavern. In any event, you are also right, Loial basically repeated what he said in Caemlyn: "For a time, the Wheel will bend the Pattern around you three, whatever you do. And whatever you do is more likely to be chosen by the Wheel than by you. Ta'veren pull history along behind them and shape the Pattern just by being, but the Wheel weaves ta'veren on a tighter line than other men" (Chapter 3, "Friends and Enemies", p. 35).

Again, this does seem to suggest being ta'veren is temporary, although the shape the Pattern takes and the bending of it would still be separate; one is the mechanism, the other is the result of it being applied. Said results can last far past the time the ta'veren who created them no longer is one (Example: you can't deny the effects of what Artur Hawkwing did still have repercussions, on the land, the nations, and individual lives, even though he and his ta'veren effect are long gone), or they can be swift and brief, the tangle passing or unraveling while the ta'veren is still one (what happened at the Eye was localized, so was Rand's ta'veren surge in Cairhien in ACOS when he visited the Sea Folk and the rebel camp, but obviously the boys/Rand are still ta'veren).
Alice Arneson
173. Wetlandernw
macster - I dunno, I think you've covered the ta'veren thing pretty thoroughly. I was going to do a one-sentence summary, but I don't think I can. :) Anyway, I agree with you. The one question I have is how much the effects are deliberately formed by the Pattern, and how much are random tugs. Or if there's a difference.

There seem to be two different levels of effect: the deliberately woven ta'maral'ailen which pull in whole nations and have major effects on the way the Lace is woven; and the small apparently-random swirls of effect where crazy, highly-improbable (even implausible) things happen when a ta'veren is nearby. It seems to me (and without either support or opposition from interview questions) that the Pattern uses ta'veren for the former; this is the reason they were spun out, to restore balance and order. The latter seems more a side effect of their existence; as they follow their path through the Pattern, a lot of smaller threads are tugged - threads that are not significant to the overall Pattern, minor incidents that don't matter much in themselves, but are balanced in positive vs. negative effects.

The one problem with this last is the way Rand's effects went totally negative when he was doing the Darth Rand thing. Would this be a matter of the DO subverting a ta'veren so that he controls the effects? Can he do that?? I think this last needs more cogitation.

As for the Jain question... given that we know Jain was with Graendal at one point, and we're pretty confident that Graendal and Asmodean were allied at one time (yes, I agree with your theory!), it seems reasonable that he would have been a good source of information. We don't have any evidence that Jain knew the Cycle, but we don't have any evidence that he didn't either. OTOH, we know he was a pretty good storyteller, so... why not? It works for me. :)

Incidentally, I guess it's pretty clear that I consider the interviews, Q&A, etc. to be valid data for theory discussions. Granted that some of the "quotations" are not verbatim, but are based on the memory, interpretation, or paraphrasing of the person reporting, I think it would be silly not to take them into account. And the verbatim ones, like RJ's blog, email or direct transcripts are even stronger data. After all, without that information we could still be arguing that Taim is Demandred in disguise.
michael gaston
174. Ashenladoka
When have we ever seen Egwene bitch, sulk, grumble, or give in sullenly and reluctantly? None of those are in her character.
Let's see...When Mat helped her in the Stone, definately acted the b with the backhanded apology.
Several bitching and sulking on the trip with Rand in the Waste...when she sulked (a little anyway) because the WO's were ignoring her to concentrate on Rand, Mor, Avi, and that red headed idiot Cul... when she asks for him to speak on her behalf and he asks for something in return definately acted the b with gimme, gimme, gimme (I'll point out that give and take is part of any exchange however she doesn't appear to understand that, only the TAKE part.) I know she was sulking when her hair was in braids for acting the child in TER with the WO's, and more than once we see from her POV "it's just not fair that Rand doesn't have any rules". Several more instances but I'll keep it short and just jump to ToM.
As much as I wanted to punch Gawyn in the mouth for being an emotion driven nimrod it's clear to any reader that she was bitching (rightly so maybe) at him. Sulking, well I can bet she was after Darlin responded to her letter. Again rightly maybe but to say "it's not in her character" makes me wonder if we are reading different books!
No secret I don't like her but my dislike comes from people that believe they know EVERYTHING, know their decisions are the best and everyone else is compromised or stupid, and arrogant people that have little foundation for their arrogance (let me clarify, a high school teacher with the basics in physics from a co-worker vs Stephen Hawkins. One has the right to be arrogant whether they want to or not as SH is at the top of the field, but the HS teacher that barely understands physics shouldn't be) and in the general scheme of things Egwene really doesn't have that foundation yet. She's a little girl that was handed the Am Seat so she would be a puppet and through skill (Siuan's teachings, Leane network and the WO) she's learned a LITTLE and only a LITTLE and kept the puppet title off her back.
I'm hoping she has all the noble ambition and dreams for the WT but lets remember that she was a hay in the hair mudfoot a short time ago that now thinks she's a step (short one at that) below the Creator and equal to Rand, Mat and Perrin. I'll point it out but really shouldn't have to but she can die and we will get a new Am Seat pretty quick with a lot of tears and gnashing of teeth, Rand dies game over, Mat dies game over, Perrin dies game over...puts her character arch in perspective.
176. Wortmauer
macster@174: I don't see how your quotes settle the question of whether ta'veren the role can be separated from ta'veren the effect. A lot of people think of it as a role ("he is ta'veren and she is not"), but I think it is really just a description, a degree. While we're quoting Moiraine, how's this one:
"Elaida was wrong. Artur Paendrag Tanreall was never this strongly ta'veren. The Wheel will weave the Pattern around this young man as it wills, whatever our plans."
— TGH, Ch. 5, "The Shadow in Shienar"
Note the phrasing, how she uses it as an adjective. Moiraine certainly seems to think that ta'veren is a matter of degree, not just an on/off state. And that the degree to which you are ta'veren can wax and wane. This agrees well with the notion that one's ta'verenness is not some independent property, but can be defined directly in terms of one's observable (usually localized) effects on the Pattern at a given time.

I think the problem I have with the idea that someone can be considered a ta'veren while not actually exhibiting any ta'veren effects is that it brings uncomfortable questions on how to define a ta'veren. If the best answer is to define a ta'veren as "anyone Robert Jordan or his characters say is a ta'veren," I would find that very unsatisfying. The word should mean something, something non-circular.

Finally, we have a question of how one might measure one's degree of ta'veren. I propose a unit cM/d. Hundredths of a spontaneous marriage caused per day.
Birgit F
177. birgit
We don't have any evidence that Jain knew the Cycle, but we don't have any evidence that he didn't either.

Didn't Jain translate the Prophecies?
Alice Arneson
178. Wetlandernw
birgit @177 - My bad. I missed the bit about "The Prophecies of the Dragon translation believed done by Jain Charin, known as Jain Farstrider, before his disappearance." So... evidence that he at least might have known them, and if the "belief" is correct, he'd have known them very well. Which would make macster's theory almost indisputable.
179. Homeschool
Regarding Perrin's presence on Dragonmount: remember what Min has said about the lights in the darkness, namely that when Rand is alone, the darkness wins, but when two of the three are together, it holds the darkness at bay, while three together turns the tide. It's entirely possible that Perrin's presence there was to lend the complementary nature of his ta'veren calling in order to create a balanced situation where Rand could be free to choose for himself, uninfluenced by light or dark. (Note also that his choice was neither for good or evil, but for the circular nature of the Wheel.)

Remember the last time all three were together? Two Forsaken died, the Stone was taken, the Dragon proclaimed, the first Aiel tied to Rand, and Callandor released.

Merrilor should be an interesting place.
Chris R
180. up2stuff
Wort @163,
I dont know about her only being around for 7 ages. Before she started really losing her memories, I remember her reflecting on all of the lives she had lived. Some she had been a great general, others, had been quiet and boring, or some such. I agree, less than 1-2 per age, but seems to me like more than 7. I would say a few revolutions of the wheel at least, but what you say about the number of heroes adding up.
Terry McNamee
181. macster
@173 Wetlander: Your notion of the Dark One being able to control the ta'veren effect is certainly disturbing...

@176 Wortmauer: I never said my quotes did prove they were separate. I said I was separating them because Moiraine and Loial did. I also made it clear, I thought, that I only separated them as a thought experiment, and to be cautious and careful about making assumptions. Personally I agree with you that they are in fact the same, but I wanted to separate them for the sake of argument just in case assuming one did not prove the other.

However, other than leaving this to Freelancer if he intends to still address this, let me say this: whether someone can be "strongly ta'veren" and how much they are waxes and wanes doesn't really say anything about the effects of ta'veren-ness. Because again, and as Wetlander also pointed out, the Web, the tangling and weaving of the threads, would be independent of the thing that caused it. Whether or not a person could stop being ta'veren, or their power just waxed and waned, wouldn't change the fact that the things their ta'veren power caused to happen would either last or fade regardless of their presence and thus couldn't be said to be tied to their being ta'veren.

And finally, what I quote from Jordan should clinch it: he said the boys "became" ta'veren just before Moiraine showed up. So whether or not being ta'veren is separate from the effects, clearly being ta'veren is a temporary thing in Jordan's mind. Yes, a ta'veren's power could wane to the point it would seem they no longer were one, even though they actually were, but that wouldn't explain why he said they "became" ta'veren rather than "their ta'veren power started waxing". So if they could become ta'veren or stop being so, but the effects of what they did to the Pattern remain...

@177 birgit, 178 Wetlander: Not only did he translate them, but he also quoted them later on in COT when he gave us the first Karaethon Cycle reference to Mat ("Fortune rides like the sun on high..."). And of course thanks to the Compulsion from Ishamael/Graendal, anything he may have told Asmodean would be another thing he was made to forget.

@179 Homeschool: That makes a lot of sense. Again, this wouldn't have to be the second time he had to be there, but that doesn't mean his presence had no effect. It's possible Rand could have made the choice without him (which is why this wasn't the second time Min foresaw), but it was easier for him because Perrin did happen to be there.
Alex Fuller
182. AKFuller
So, here's a thing: the bubble of evil where the weapons attacked their owners introduced a delay in the trial. After the trial, Perrin wanted to move his army, and to do that, he had to go to TAR and do something about the dreamspike. In doing so, he just happend to take it to Tar Valon and just happened to trap the attacking BA forces + Messana. Eg beats down Messana, dreamspike is destroyed, Team Light wins, right?

What if the bubble of evil had never happened? Trial happens, maybe Perrin still destroys the dreamspike. BA attacks a few days later, but isn't trapped. Eg captured/killed? BA victorious?

So, was the bubble of evil really Evil? Maybe it was Perrin's taveren-ness causing what needed to happen to happen? For the Light to have a victory, some people in the camp had to be killed or wounded. Since the pattern is neutral, a more postive interpretation could be the Hand of the Creator.
William McDaniel
183. willmcd
The more I think about it, the more I feel like Rand's Dragonmount epiphany was indeed a significant portion of the Last Battle (echoing the remarks of Wetlandernw @ 78). I believe that, in this turning of the Wheel, events came perilously close to the endgame that the DO and Moridin are ultimately hoping for: the "Breaking of the Wheel", as I don't see how things could go much more their way than the Light's Champion becoming so taken by despair that he destroys the entire world (and perhaps, going beyond the world, the Pattern).

At this point, I would theorize that the "best" the DO can hope for is a military victory, leaving a ruined world like the one we glimpsed in the portal stone trip of TGH. A grim state for humanity, but perhaps a few scattered peoples surive, and eventually the Dragon will be born again.

I enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on Galad and the Whitecloaks here, and I especially liked those by Looking Glass @56 and
Porphyrogenitus @67 on the Arthurian parallels of Galad and Gawyn and the contrasts between them. Berelain's description of Galad as a "statue carved from marble . . . for us to worship" is certainly directly addressing that "perfect knight" archetype.

I agree that the Whitecloaks are a mirror image of the Aes Sedai, though of course we haven't spent as much time among them and they don't have as much influence on the world. Morgase's using the example of Lini to point out the undesirable consequences of Galad's merciless concept of "right" was quite inspired.
Terry McNamee
184. macster
An amusing thought I had, reflecting on how much Galad and Berelain became enamored of each other, to anyone who knows and loves the musical Wicked:

Berelain: After all- Now that we've met one another
Berelain & Galad: It's clear we deserve each other
Berelain: You're perfect...
Galad: You're perfect...
Berelain & Galad:
So we're perfect together
Born to be forever...
Dancing Through Life...

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