Feb 12 2013 2:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread: A Memory of Light, Part 2

The Wheel of Time Re-read: A Memory of Light, Part 2Laissez le bon temps rouler, party people! Have a bead, a doubloon, a cheap plastic cup, a band, a parade, crowds, music, mayhem, a puddle of liquid you really don’t want to identify to stand in, a hangover, and oh yeah, a Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Part II of the Prologue for A Memory of Light, in which we contemplate staggering feats of communication, nomenclature, and badassery. Whee!

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. The index for all things specifically related to the final novel in the series, A Memory of Light, is here.

This re-read post, and all posts henceforth, contain spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time series. If you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!


Prologue: By Grace and Banners Fallen[Part II]

What Happens
Talmanes and his men have forced the Trollocs at the city gate into a retreat even though there had been a Halfman driving them; Talmanes knows he is wounded, but ignores it. As the townspeople begin flooding out of the cleared gates, Sandip comes to tell Talmanes that they can’t stay here, which Talmanes knows, and that they’ve lost at least a hundred men; Talmanes thinks to himself that Mat will be upset about that. Talmanes flags down an Andoran soldier and asks what horn call the peasantry might respond to to come to this gate (“The Queen’s March”) and sends him off to sound it before finding his horse and heading to where the mercenaries are still clustered outside the walls. He knows they recognize the Band’s sigil. The leader of the mercenaries tries blustering to Talmanes about how they won’t fight unless they’re getting paid, but Talmanes ignores him to light his pipe instead.

“We’re not—” the head man began again.

“Do you know what this is?” Talmanes asked softly around his pipe. “This is the beginning of the end. This is the fall of nations and the unification of humankind. This is the Last Battle, you bloody fool.”

The men shuffled uncomfortably.

Talmanes informs the mercenary leader that he, Talmanes, was nicked by a Thakan’dar blade, and has hours at best before the wound kills him agonizingly, and therefore really has nothing to lose.

“You have two choices,” Talmanes said, turning his horse and speaking loudly to the troop. “You can fight like the rest of us and help this world see new days, and maybe you’ll earn some coin in the end. I can’t promise that. Your other option is to sit here, watch people be slaughtered and tell yourselves that you don’t work for free. If you’re lucky, and the rest of us salvage this world without you, you’ll draw breath long enough to be strung up by your cowardly necks.”

There is silence a moment, and then the mercenaries nod acceptance. Talmanes tells them to go help hold the gate.

Leilwin Shipless and Bayle Domon move through the Aes Sedai camp at the Field of Merrilor, where they’ve slipped through one of the regular gateways from Tar Valon. Leilwin tells Bayle they are here to find either Nynaeve al’Meara or Elayne Trakand. Leilwin is surprised by the sheer size of the camp; she hadn’t dared ask questions in Tar Valon for fear of her Seanchan accent drawing attention. Leilwin finds herself mourning her loss of the sea, and sharply reminds herself of her present task. Bayle does not understand why they are here when they could be off somewhere far from either the Seanchan or Aes Sedai.

Why had she come all this way, traveling with Matrim Cauthon, putting herself dangerously near the Daughter of the Nine Moons? “My people live with a grave misconception of the world, Bayle. In doing so, they create injustice.”

[…] “I am still loyal to the Empress, may she live forever. But the damane… they are the very foundation for her rule. They are the means by which she creates order, by which she holds the Empire together. And the damane are a lie.”

[…] Something had to be done. And yet, in doing it, did she risk causing the entire Empire to collapse? Her movements must be considered very, very carefully, like the last rounds of a game of shal.

At first Leilwin thinks they have entered the camp without detection, but then notices that they are being shadowed by several men whom she assumes are Warders. She stops and confronts one, and Bayle tries asking for directions to Nynaeve or Elayne’s tent. The Warder wants to hear this from Leilwin, and she tries her best to imitate Bayle’s Illianer accent. The Warder hesitates, but then tells them to follow. On the way, she asks him who does rule this camp.

The man turned to her, his features lost in the night shadow. “Your king, Illianer.”

At her side, Bayle stiffened.


The Dragon Reborn. She was proud that she didn’t miss a step as they walked, but it was a near thing. A man who could channel. That was worse, far worse, than the Aes Sedai.

The Warder leads them to a tent, and Leilwin and Bayle enter to find Nynaeve inside; Leilwin is surprised to see that her braid is gone. Nynaeve’s face goes cold on seeing them, and the Warder (Sleete) has his sword out; he tells Nynaeve that they slipped in from Tar Valon, and that the woman is disguising her accent. Nynaeve dismisses the Warder, and tells them that if they’ve come to beg forgiveness they’ve wasted their time. Leilwin says she regrets breaking her oath, and Nynaeve interrupts furiously to inform them that they allowed the ter’angreal they were supposed to dispose of to fall into the hands of a Forsaken.

“‘Regret’ is not a word I would use for endangering the world itself, bringing us to the brink of darkness and all but shoving us over the edge! She had copies of that device made, woman. One ended up around the neck of the Dragon Reborn. The Dragon Reborn himself, controlled by one of the Forsaken!”

Leilwin is nearly overwhelmed with guilt at the news, and goes to her knees, offering herself as payment for her failure. Nynaeve snorts that unlike Leilwin’s people, they don’t “keep people as if they were animals”. She forces Leilwin to rise, and says she will take them to the Amyrlin to decide what is to be done with them. Leilwin follows, and thinks to herself that regardless of what Nynaeve thought, Leilwin belongs to the White Tower now.

They owned her. She would be a da’covale to this Amyrlin, and would ride this storm like a ship whose sail had been shredded by the wind.

Perhaps, with what remained of her honor, she could earn this woman’s trust.

A member of the Band named Melten treats Talmanes’s wound with an old Borderlander remedy, said to slow the taint from the cursed metal of the Fades’ swords. They are fighting their way laboriously through the city toward the Palace, to discover if there is still resistance there, and to create a safe corridor back to the gate for townspeople trying to flee.

“Dreadbane,” [Melten] whispered.

“What’s that?”

“Borderlander title. You slew a Fade. Dreadbane.”

“It had about seventeen arrows in it at the time.”

“Doesn’t matter.” Melten clasped him on the shoulder. “Dreadbane. When you can’t take the pain any longer, make two fists and raise them toward me. I will see the deed done.”

Talmanes understands. One of the dragon captains, Dennel, briefly protests Talmanes’s decision to head for the Palace rather than try for the dragons, but Talmanes tells him that besides reinforcements, they may find channelers at the Palace who can take them straight to the warehouse. Scouts come with reports of Trollocs ahead, and Talmanes orders his men to form ranks.

Aviendha sits in the sweat tent with five other Wise Ones—Sorilea, Amys, Bair, Melaine, and Kymer of the Tomanelle Aiel—waiting for their response to her tale of her trip to Rhuidean. They are silent at first, but then she sees that the news has not broken them. Melaine says that Sightblinder is “too close” to the world, and the Pattern has twisted as a result; the dreamwalkers see too many possibilities to be sure of the truth. Sorilea declares that they must test this vision; Amys suggests an apprentice ready to be made a Wise One. Aviendha wants to know whether what she saw will happen, and if it can be stopped; Amys points out that the columns always showed the past accurately, so why should it not do the same for the future? Bair asks why, though, it would show them “a despair that cannot change.”

“Rhuidean has always shown us what we needed to see. To help us, not destroy us. This vision must have a purpose as well. To encourage us toward greater honor?”

“It’s unimportant,” Sorilea said curtly.

“But—” Aviendha began.

“It’s unimportant,” Sorilea repeated. “If this vision were unchangeable, if our destiny is to… fall… as you have spoken, would any of us stop fighting to change it?”

The room grew still. Aviendha shook her head.

“We must treat it as if it can be changed,” Sorilea said.

Aviendha agrees. Kymer asks how they can change it. Amys points out that at least the vision proves they win the Last Battle, but Sorilea answers curtly that it proves nothing, as Sightblinder’s victory will break the Pattern. Aviendha says that the vision has something to do with whatever important revelation Rand is planning for the next day. Kymer says that it sounded as if he was planning to ignore his own people, and asks why he would give boons to everyone else yet insult the Aiel? Aviendha counters that she thinks he means to make demands, not grant gifts, and Melaine adds that he went to Tear that morning and returned with something. Bair says he spoke of “a price,” but has said it is nothing the Aiel need to worry about.

Aviendha scowled. “He is making men pay him in order to do what we all know he must? Perhaps he has been spending too much time with that minder the Sea Folk sent him.”

“No, this is well,” Amys said. “These people demand much of the Car’a’carn. He has a right to demand something of them in return. They are soft; perhaps he intends to make them hard.”

“And so he leaves us out,” Bair said softly, “because he knows that we are already hard.”

[…] “That is it,” Sorilea said. “He does not intend to insult us. He intends to do us honor, in his own eyes.” She shook her head. “He should know better.”

Kymer agrees, and says that whatever this price is, the Aiel can pay it just as well as any of the other nations. Aviendha thinks privately that she can see Rand’s logic, and reflects that if he had made the same demand to the Aiel, the Wise Ones might have decided to take offense at that as well. Aviendha assures the others that she means him to be hers, but Bair warns her that he has grown strong since she last saw him, and Amys adds proudly that he has finally “embraced death.” Aviendha says she must see him, and they all dress and disperse from the sweat tent. Bair stops Aviendha, though, and asks her to make a gateway to Rhuidean, that she might test this vision for herself. Aviendha makes a token protest, but acquiesces. Then she asks Bair if she’d ever met a woman named Nakomi.

“Nakomi.” Bair tried the word in her mouth. “An ancient name. I have never known anyone who uses it. Why?”

“I met an Aiel woman while traveling to Rhuidean,” Aviendha said. “She claimed not to be a Wise One, but she had a way about her . . .” She shook her head. “The question was merely idle curiosity.”

Aviendha asks, what if her vision is true and there is nothing they can do about it? Bair asks if she saw her children’s names in the vision; at Aviendha’s nod, she tells her to change one of their names, and never tell anyone the original.

“If one thing is different, then others may be different as well. Will be different. This is not our fate, Aviendha. It is a path we will avoid. Together.”

Aviendha thanks her, and sends her through to Rhuidean.

There is never any downside to reading about Talmanes being badass. And by that I mean far more his ruthlessly efficient shaming of the mercenaries and his decisive coordination of his troops than his prowess in battle, because brains are sexy, y’all. Though the battle prowess thing certainly couldn’t have sucked either, since I’m pretty sure anything that earns you the appellation of “Dreadbane” is badass by definition.

It’s all about the inherent hotness of competence, really. Of which we will be getting a surfeit in this book, but this bit was especially nice. I do remember being quite upset at this point, though, because I was convinced on first reading that Talmanes wasn’t going to survive the Prologue. I’m still rather surprised I ended up being proven wrong, actually.

Leilwin: I really don’t like that name. “Egeanin” is so much better in my opinion. But then, the name was given in punishment, so I guess making it a suckier name is only apropos. Even if Leilwin herself only cares about the “Shipless” part. And I do have to admit that “Egeanin Shipless” doesn’t work at all, so maybe Tuon was actually being rather generous in the naming rhythm and flow section, there.

*examines previous sentence* I am so weird sometimes.

Leilwin it is, then. FINE. Anyway.

Besides exposing my bizarre nomenclature hangups, Leilwin’s POV also introduces very early on what is going to be one of the central issues of the book (aside from that whole apocalypse thing, of course), and one of my personal biggest sticking points as well. Which is, naturally, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Damane.

I’m going to be ranting talking about this at great length later on, so I’m not going to get into it too much here, but let’s just say it’s weird to be so in agreement with a character in one breath, and then in the next be so upset with them, because of what happens next.

Which is, of course, Nynaeve (quite rightly) bringing up the fact that it was Leilwin and Bayle’s fault that Semirhage got hold of the Sad Bracelets, and thereby almost broke Rand (and the world) beyond repair. Cause the thing is, until she said it I’d sort of completely forgotten that little factoid. So for me reading that bit was kind of like “Oh yeah! I forgot! I’m totally mad at you guys! Grr!” Which is a little juvenile of me, but also hilarious, so whatever.

Did Mat even know anything about that whole business, all that time Egeanin and Bayle were traveling with him? I’m pretty sure not, which means that this is the first time since it happened that they’ve met back up with someone in a position to call them on the carpet about it. Which is kind of crazy when you consider the time gap there—in reader time if not in actual story time.

And THEN Leilwin goes and makes me feel a little mollified by her horror at the news, but then ruins THAT by being all “Hi, you own me now, no take-backs,” after we just got through how the damane thing is bad, and ARGH FUCK SLAVERY.


My conflicted Leilwin-feels aside:

Nynaeve al’Meara was what, back in Seanchan, one would call a telarti—a woman with fire in her soul. Leilwin had come to understand that Aes Sedai were supposed to be calm as placid waters. Well, this woman might be that on occasion—but she was the kind of placid water found one bend away from a furious waterfall.

I kind of completely adore this description of Nynaeve. Although, like Leilwin, I am having a really hard time picturing her without her braid. That’s just wrong, man!

As for Aviendha’s scene, I just about fell on the floor when I read it, because what is this madness? WHAT, SRSLY.

WOT characters, talking to each other about a crucial event/prophecy/thingy? And immediately sharing (nearly) all relevant information on said crucial event/prophecy/thingy? Even though the consequences would have been dire if they hadn’t? And then everyone calmly and rationally decides on the best course of action as a result of said sharing of information? WHOA, NELLY.


Okay, so I’m kind of kidding, but I’m also kind of not. Because as I’ve often said before, one of the key running themes of WOT has always been the malignancy of misinformation: how lying or obscuring or omitting crucial information out of fear or ignorance or incompetence (and/or maliciousness, too, of course) inevitably has dire consequences for everyone involved. The fact that the plot doesn’t attempt even a perfunctory iteration of this theme with Aviendha’s revelation here is like a sign of the end times.

Oh, wait.

It certainly helps, of course, that the Wise Ones’ decision re: the Way Forward Ter’Angreal’s bleak vision of their future is exactly what I would have said, which amounts to Doom-Saying Hater Widgets to the Left, Yo. Fight the future, man! Yeah!

I’m a little puzzled by the inclusion of the character Kymer in this scene, who as far as I can tell has never appeared before in the series, and yet seems to have more lines here than Amys, who’s been around since the dawn of time, more or less. It’s not that Team Jordan aren’t allowed to introduce new speaking roles—major ones, even—at this late date (which is good, because they’re totally going to), it’s just that this one seems a little odd. Why not use one of the many minor Wise Ones lying around to whom we’ve already been introduced, like Nadere, or Monaelle? Or better yet, why not eliminate her entirely and just let the original Fab Four Wise Ones (Amys, Bair, Melaine and Sorilea) carry the scene? I dunno, it just seemed weird.

Oh, okay. (I keep forgetting this wonderfully handy list exists! *waves to Linda*)

And… hmm. I’ve been on record as saying that I enjoyed the fan shout-outs in the last three books, and that I didn’t find them disrupting, but my reaction to this particular scene rather proves me wrong, doesn’t it? Even though there have been plenty of other fan cameos that didn’t bother me at all (case in point: Dennel, the dragon captain with Talmanes in this same section of the Prologue), this one obviously did.

I think my negative reaction to Kymer in particular can be ascribed to, if I may be allowed to get nitpicky here, the fact that she just has too much dialogue for a walk-on role—too much crucially relevant dialogue, I should clarify. In other words, she’s not, say, a random soldier or a dead-off-camera Aes Sedai, but a principal participant in a key discussion concerning the direction of a pivotal event in the novel, and that’s a little much to hand to a character we’ve never seen before and never see again, if you ask me.

It’s possible I’m overanalyzing this, of course. (Who, me?) And on re-reading the scene again, I concede that all of the really big portentious lines were left to the established characters, with Kymer’s remarks acting merely as set-up for them. But… well.

*shrug* It bugged, what can I say. Take it for what it’s worth.

And as for Nakomi, I’m going to wait till she shows up again to talk about her. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about… well, you’ll see. Because The Truth Is Out There, y’all. Or so I hear. Dun!

And that’s our show, kids! Have a lovely beginning of Lent, if that be your ecclesiastical wont, and a lovely random week in February if that ain’t your wont, and I’ll see you next Tuesday!

1. CorDarei
Thanks Leigh!

Always love the re-reads.
2. Buddy
Hi all! I have been following the posts for the past 3 yrs, but have never posted before. I wanted to thank Leigh for the awesome job she has and continues to do with the re-read before it is over. Your insight and sense of humor are awesome, and I look forward to these posts each week. I worry about your head, and desk for that matter though. Please be careful!

A big thank you to everyone else also for your comments and insight as well, it makes the posts that much better. When I read I tend to gloss over details so this reread has been wonderful at giving me a whole new appreciation for the depth of the story. Thanks to all, I am sad this is the homestretch but I look forward to the ride while we still have it.
Deana Whitney
3. Braid_Tug
Yea, a post on Mardi Gras, which should be a bigger hoilday outside of LA.
lake sidey
4. lakesidey
Kymer upset me too...:(

But not as much as Leilwin *Hulk Smash*

Nynaeve hasn't stopped being awesome for several books now...:)

Sean Dowell
5. qbe_64
The next time we see Nakomi?!?

I will wait and see, because I have no F'ing clue what you're talking about.
Stefan Mitev
6. Bergmaniac
It's nitpicking, admittedly, but when I read this part of the Proogue, it really bugged me that Egeanin went all this way from Caemlyn searching for Nynaeve or Elayne when surely she must've known that Elayne was the Queen in Caemlyn and she could've gotten an audience with her alongside with a bit of patience. But neither her nor Bayle seem to be even aware that the Elayne they met in Tanchico (and earlier in Bayle's case) is currently the Queen of Andor which makes no sense given what happened earlier in the series. Both of them were present when Thom said this to Elayne after the Tanchico palace adventure:

“The justice of the Daughter-Heir,” Thom murmured, “may yet supersede the justice of the Panarch. There were men streaming in through that door as we left, and I think some had already got in the front. I saw smoke coming out of several windows. By tonight, little more than a fire-gutted ruin will remain. No need for soldiers to chase the Black Ajah, and thus ‘Thera’ can have her few days to learn the lesson you want to teach. You will make a fine queen one day, Elayne of Andor.
7. Makloony
Everyone is mad at Leilwin for giving the sad bracelets to the Seanchean. However, I would point out that without this Rand can not win the Last Battle. It was due to being in control of the braclets that Rand first learned that he had a link to the True Power. If he was never forced to take hold of the True Power he might never have figured out that Callandor was a sa'angreal for the True Power as well as Saiden. Therefore, winning the last battle can be attributed to Leilwin's failure to get rid of the bracelets.
William Carter
8. wcarter
Wow, Auntie Leigh gaves us a reread post on Mardi Gras? When She lives in Louisiana if memory serves? That's dedication.

On the matters at hand. I remember reading this section and being terrified for Talmanes. There I was starting the last book. I knew people were going to die, even it if is the Wheel of Time series. I could practically see a sword of Damoclese Myradrall decending on one of my favories secondary characters.

As for the Wise One discussion, this was one of the biggest relief moments I felt in the whole book. I was terrified at the end of ToM that Aviendha would take her vision and bottle it up insde or try to change it on her own. Or worse, it would be left as one of the "intentionally left hanging" plotlines (which it kinda still is but not as much as I feared) and we would never get a direct view of her taking any steps to avoid it.

Now at least we know there are people working to stop it. And since it's one of a vanishingly few instances of complete openness and honestly in a 14 book long series, I'm sure their efforts won't be completely fruitless.
Ron Garrison
9. Man-0-Manetheran
Hey Leigh. Thanks for taking time out of partying to give us a Re-Read. The rest of us don’t have a Mardi Gras, so it’s very much appreciated. And thanks for the musical send out.
How Do You Solve A Problem Like Damane.
How Do You Hold An A’Dam in your hand.
Brah? Is that the feminine version of Bro? Shouldn’t it be spelled Bra?

“if I may be allowed to get nitpicky here” Of course you’re allowed. That’s your job, right?
Bonnie Andrews
10. misfortuona
Happy Tuesday and all that goes with this particular one!

Talmanes, DUDE, you so rock! Dreadbane! Okay, enough of that. We all know just how awesome Mat's right hand man is, but SQUEE! And I'm done.

Got to admit that I blamed leaky memory syndrome for not recognizing Kymer, so it didn't bother me at all. Other than in a 'Damn I'm getting old fashion.' Honestly I'm glad to see that it was a fan shout out thing.

Leilwin, yep totally forgot about the whole failure to toss the Evil Eve into the drink bit. Of course Nynaeve wouldn't forget that. Her memory is way more better than mine, and she's also way more likely to hold a grudge. Not that this one isn’t deserved.
Seriously though, “Dude, I don’t care that you people see owning other people as wrong for some reason, but you owning me is the only way that I can feel better about myself and sleep at night, so… Which way to the see through shirts and flogging sticks?” I just don’t get it.

And that’s about all I’ve got this week, other than Thanks Again Leigh! You rock my Tuesday.

Mis-most likely missing the point
Karen Fox
11. thepupxpert
Wow 10 comments already? Yay I got to see Brandon and Harriet last week in Huntington Beach, it was great and the place was packed, what a turnout! Now onto reading the post...
Chin Bawambi
12. bawambi
Happy Fat Tuesday all y'all. For those of you with me in the NY area WBGO out of Newark is playing all N'Orleans jazz today but be warned it is a pledge drive... Anyway, I loved the prologue and I like Makloony's positive spin but I will throw out the DO advocate position that the pattern would have spun out a solution that was necessary for Rand to win just like the FAWSNBN (Future Amyrlin Who Shall Not Be Named) crackbrained solution to Evil Rand's issues.
13. jneth
Have always avoided posting, but am a long time fan of the re-read. Your comment on the name drops however, has prompted my first post. I hated them. Mainly because much like the common complaint I see about "character voices" being off, the name drops sucked me right out of the story. (I love your blog Leigh, but I had a jarring reaction to the name Lee for a maiden of the spear.) And I guess that would be my only real complaint with MoL. It feels more like an answer to our questions then a great story. And I don't care nearly as much about loose threads as I do great story telling. But then again, can something be truly exquisite without being a little flawed?
Skip Ives
14. Skip
9. Man-0-Manetheran - Brah is a corruption of "Brother" just like Bro, and is pronounced as you suggest, the "h" is there to emphasize the short "a" and draw it out with the exhaled pronunciation. Adding a little vocal fry to it is also appropriate.

Otherwise I have nothing to add; Kymer didn't bother me at all.
15. DougL
My especially favourite part of this prologue was that Nynaeve was in RAND'S CAMP! Not with the Aes Sedai. I love that. She is there for him like she said she would be and Egwene can't knock her off course.
Nadine L.
16. travyl
Actually I think it fits that the Aiel didn't fell to the WOT theme of misinformation. All through the series we see them confer and speak with each other, they are not Aes Sedai after all.
That Aviendha did it with such important new and was (nearly) completely open (besides her private plans and feeling for a certain shepherd) worked with what we know of the Wise Ones.

Re Talmanes: I really liked the structure of the prologue with it always going back to Talmanes - but leaving him again with me fearing for his life - well initially hoping he survive, until he met up with the Kin woman who wouldn't be strong enough to heal, where I lost most of my hope... Very well done.

6. Bergmaniac: unfortunately I think you have a point.
Ross Newberry
17. rossnewberry
The disregard with which Talmanes holds his own rapidly-approaching mortality also had me convinced he was about to buy it. I was happy to be wrong.
18. Rick25
Makloony @7 - good point about Rand, Callandor, and the True Power.
BTW, has anyone ever offerred up a theory of how the Aes Sedai during the Breaking even managed to make a Sa'angreal that could channel the True Power?
Steven Pattingale
19. Pattingale
@ 18 Rick25

What if the Callandor's True Power feature wasn't a feature at all, but meerly another flaw (along with the lack of buffer)?
Robert Crawley
20. Alphaleonis
@ 18 Rick25 and 19 Pattingale

That was one of my questions also. Good one to ask Brandon at a signing, if it hasn't already been done.
21. rhandric
If all (sa')angreal come from Seeds and then created by channeling through the Seed (as if it were a finished angreal, but to no immediate, apparent effect), then someone would have had to channel the True Power through Callendor for it to act as a TP amplifier. (At what point does a Seed become an angreal? Are Seeds for sa'angreal and angreal different, or just finished at different points?) Now, that brings about an interesting question - it's a TP angreal, and a saidin angreal -- could a woman also use it as a TP angreal? Since the TP is gender-indiscriminant, I would posit that yes, they could, though only a female Forsaken would be able to verify that.

Travyl @16 said it best, about Aviendha and the Wise Ones - They're the only group that consistently shares information and makes informed choices.

And who doesn't enjoy seeing Talmanes, though fearful for his life?
Karen Fox
22. thepupxpert
After Talmanes being Mat's sidekick for so long I was initially surprised to see him take charge so forcefully and frankly talk so much in the prologue. I found it a little difficult to get a sense of his character from his dialogue since up to this point, at least for me, he always seemed to be a foil for Mat's humor and didn't say very much. The battle scenes and his near-death experience just made me shiver, but his dialogue seemed a little off, can't seem to put my finger on it.

I had the same initial reaction to Lan but I'm sure we'll discuss that when it comes around.
Shani Gamble
23. ShaniBri
I did occassionally get a little pulled out of the story by the fan shoutouts, but I'm okay with it since my name was one of them. Of course, I actually didn't notice my namesake while reading, even though I was specifically watching for it, and had to wait for the list. Wise One mentioned in passing FTW! Also, Talmanes is made of awesome.
Mark Lawrence
24. incurablyGeek
Wearing my beads and crown. Party on and let them eat pancakes!

(oh, and thanks for another installment to savor)
25. s'rEDIT
RE: Egeanin/Leilwin

I hadn't forgotten about the a'dam, but what bugged me (in light of this being a RE-read!) is that her attitude and inner dialogue led us to expect some kind ofeither confrontation or resolution . . . that never happens!

What was the point? Just to show us how people's intellectual understanding of an issue is sometimes so at odds with their cultural conditioning?
26. Oldwizard
Considering the sad bracelet a'dam thing, and possibly everything else that went wrong (or right) through the story. I just want to quote a blue sister I know; "The wheel weaves as the wheel wills," and also to let you think about all the small "coincidents" just from lamans sin to the aiel war that just happened to land the dragon reborn on dragonmont like the prophesies... well, prophezised. :-) And then think how many more since the fall of the dragon. Sometimes bas shit happenes for a good reason, though it might not be apparent at the time. Good times!
Sorcha O
27. sushisushi
I do have to say that the Khymer thing rather dropped me out of the story, as I was trying to figure out whoinhell this Wise One was and why we had never heard from her before, even in passing. The rest of the fan shoutouts were fine, because they were mostly a lot more subtle, but this one had me head-scratching at this new character (and thinking 'it's the last sodding book and they *still* adding new characters???)

On Leilwin, wow, she may say that she's left the Seanchan Empire and the sea behind her, but she's still got the cultural conditioning deeply intact if her first reaction to an appalling failure is to decide that someone *owns her*, regardless of whether or not they accept that. I can see how this plays into her accepting Egwene's request of Wardership later on in the book - it's probably the most anathema (eyes lowering) deed that a Seanchan can imagine, short of learning how to channel, so she would happily accept it as a form of servitude suitable to her perceived station and relationship to the Aes Sedai. Yikes.

Also, for any remaining doubters, Talmanes does indeed rock :)
s r
28. Veovim
qbe_64 @5 There's a scene just before the end that might be Nakomi. It's a very short appearance, and she isn't actually named in that scene, but the description and behaviour she shows (appearing out of nowhere, trying to get people to challenge their preconceptions) are similar to what was seen in ToM with Aviendha.
Tricia Irish
29. Tektonica
malignancy of misinformation: Did you coin this phrase, Leigh? It's awesome!!!

Kymer: It threw me completely out of the story, not because it was a new character, but because it sounded like a man's name! Kymera, maybe? I had to stop and reconnoiter. Aren't they in a sweat tent? Why is there a man in there? *shrug*

OK...to the comments....
30. MasterAlThor
Now just wait a cottonpickin minute! You guys start this whole thing without me??? Tha nerv....

Actually it was probably my fault for not being around as much. Glad to see Man O and Mis are still holding it down.

Nothing to add here. Except that Nakomi makes another appearance??? Hmmmm.

D. Funk
31. archaeo
s'rEDIT @25, like all things damane, Leilwin's redemption gets pushed out past the end of the series. I'll save my rant for Leigh's rant, but I am seriously torn between being annoyed and impressed with Jordan's handling of the Seanchan problem. And I only include Jordan here; if Sanderson (and Team Jordan) decided to just punt on the Seanchan question, I'm not sure I'm so sympathetic, though it's still a defensible aesthetic decision, I guess.

The fans-as-characters thing has never really bothered me. I guess there's a point to be made that Jordan had endless stacks of fourth-string Wise Ones to be deployed instead of Random al'Walk-on, but after several million words and thousands of characters, I'm much less likely to get any kind of pleasurable burst of recognition (oh, it's you, random-Wise-One-who-only-gets-a-few-lines-in-Lord-of-Chaos!) and much more likely to grumble to myself while checking online to see if it's important that said random-Wise-One pops up again. I just barrel forward; I read that scene to hear about Aviendha's vision and to get some good old-fashioned pull-yourself-up-by-your-shoufa Aiel wisdom, and I get just what I want.
Evan Langlinais
32. Skwid
The prominence of Bair, Amys, and Melaine as characters is driven by their status as Dreamers, and thus the most relevant links to the story, but Wise One status appears to be driven primarily by age and force of personality, and so it never made much sense to me that there's only non-Dreamer, non-Shaido Wise One we see get any significant screen time (Sorilea). As such, I didn't mind a late introduction of a character at all, here.

Also, Jordan's continual re-use of characters has stressed my disbelief enough that I didn't mind on that axis either.
33. s'rEDIT
sushisushi@21: Yup. Pretty much my conclusion @25!
34. s'rEDIT
@Man-o: Did you know that today is "Red Hand Day"?
35. alreadymadwithsecrets
Westlands as a whole are that since everyone wants to be Aes Sedai. The Wise Ones on the other hand have always operated differently. I guess sitting with each other without a stitch of clothing on does wonders for any shyness or reticence about sharing.

rhandric @21
At a guess the seed is only for determining how much the angreal/sa'angreal amplifies one's strength. All the other safety features(like buffers) likely get added later. And no, I don't know whether the seed will work for both or if different ones are needed for angreal and sa'angreal.
Sorcha O
36. sushisushi
s'rEDIT@33 We must have been writing replies at the same time :)
I do think that Leilwin/Egeanin gets a sort of redemption in this book, by providing a most dedicated service for the leader of the Aes Sedai, but mostly, I think it was about setting up the plot threads for the outrigger trilogy. Fascinating to think how she might have taken her brief Warder experience back to the Seanchan, alongside the knowledge about the damane. That knowledge seems to be coming more widely known during this book (doesn't the confrontation between Egwene and Fortuona happen in front of Seanchan witnesses?), but there isn't anyone else Seanchan with that unique perspective of the Warder bond and how that might relate to the trustworthiness of marath'damane. Oh well, we can only speculate!
Chris Chaplain
37. chaplainchris1
Hopefully I'll have time to post more later tonight - for now, hi everybody! Excellent as always, Leigh! Happy not to have to speculate about Nakomi yet, since I find her mystery more annoying than intriguing! And DougL @15, I agree - I thought it was awesome that Nynaeve (who after all had been summoned back to the White Tower in the last book) is camped with Rand instead of the Aes Sedai. She rocks.

Loved that Sleete and the other Warders are watching out for her b/c of Lan, too.

And like Leigh, I totally thought Talmanes was going to die at the end of the Prologue. I didn't want him to, but I almost feel a little cheated/abused that he survived. Two things make it ok for me - well, three (the third being that Talmanes is awesome and should not die). First, Nynaeve gets to be awesome and heal something else unhealable (more on that when we get there, maybe).

Second, jack-in-the-box cannons.

Nuff said.
Bonnie Andrews
38. misfortuona
Jack-in-the-box cannons! Yes!

Mis-still doesn't want to dwell on thinking Talmanes was going to die.
Robert Crawley
39. Alphaleonis
Didn't we get a sneak peek at Talmanes being healed by Nyneave? I seem to remember that scene in one of the previews before the book came out. I was expecting him to pull through.
Roger Powell
40. forkroot
How Do You Solve A Problem Like Damane.
Leigh, Leigh .. are you trying to egg me on?

Yes - we got the sneak peek when Chapter One was posted early to tor.com. My feelings mirror chaplainchris1@37 - It felt cheesy to save him, but I like Talmanes so much I was secretly relieved.
Margot Virzana
41. LuvURphleb
Dedicated to Leigh and Man o manetheran

Writers note: as im still at work i could only work out part of the words. I have to watch the original than i am sure to think of additional lines

"How do you solve a problem like Damane?
How do you hold an a'dam in your hand?

How do you save an empire without Damane?
Indentured servants? Freedom for all? Boycott the land?

And how can we make her see?
The truth about slavery?
How do we make her understand?
42. alreadymadwiththesong
Durnit! It's only morning where I am! I'm gonna have that tune in my head for the rest of the day!
Jarrod Chlapowski
43. Chlapowski
And as for Nakomi, I’m going to wait till she shows up again to talk about her. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about… well, you’ll see. Because The Truth Is Out There, y’all. Or so I hear. Dun!
Given what is already out there on River of Souls, this basically confirms Nakomi is Lanfear.

Edited two seconds later for pesky grammer. Maybe three.
Cameron Tucker
44. Loialson

I really hope that you are joking, as I can find no logical support from that statement as evidence for the "Lanfear = Nakomi" theory.

Especially given that Perrin has killed Lanfear before the scene with (we assume) Nakomi and Rand that Leigh is referring (Rand leaving Shayol Ghul's entrance carrying Moridin).
Ron Garrison
45. Man-0-Manetheran
Peek-a-boo cannons?

And forkroot, if Leigh is not trying to egg you on, I AM!
Don Barkauskas
46. bad_platypus
Re: Fans' names
One thing to keep in mind is that (with the exception of Sandip, who was a contest winner) BWS only inserted a name when he had a character already in the book that needed one. Thus, for whatever reason, BWS felt he needed someone outside the core group of Wise Ones in the conversation and randomly selected a fans' name to give her.

Tektonica @29: The Aiel sweat tents are not gender-specific. There are several references to mixed-gender sweat tents. The reason we see just female-only sweat tents is that we are following the Wise Ones, who wouldn't be likely to discuss Wise Ones' business when non-Wise One women were around, much less men.
Roger Powell
47. forkroot
Thank you for picking up the gauntlet. That's a terrific start you have there. Keep going - I bet Man-o-Manethran would be willing to add it to the budding WoT Karaoke session for JCon (right Man-o ?)
48. Freelancer
Well, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one here old enough to catch the Sound of Music reference. Weird connection to make on Martes Gordo, though. I wonder how you say Fat Tuesday in Austrian...

It has been mentioned recently that taking Talmanes' Prologue piece in small chunks is meant to keep the reader fretting over whether he gets to see any positive results of his actions, much less whether he survives. Kind of the opposite to the Humongo-chapter later, which is meant to just wear the reader out.

thepupxpert @11

Hey, very glad you got to be there. I recall you considering coming to San Diego for one of the tours, good that one was scheduled close by you. I had no idea who from the re-read might have gone to the Huntington Beach signing. Do you know who any of the Memory Keepers were? There still isn't a report from that one up on Dragonmount.

jneth @13

It was Leeh.

Rick25 @18

It is only reader presumption that Callandor was actually made during the Breaking. It may well have been made earlier in the War of Power, perhaps by a Forsaken or Dreadlord, and captured by the Aes Sedai.

Veovim @28

Brandon specifically said at one signing that Nakomi makes another appearance between The Last Battle and the Epilogue. There's only one possibility. That said, he refuses to absolutely confirm it (so far), until probably the end of the signing tour, just to keep the potential questions viable.

Chlapowski @43

Nope. Not even close.

Loialson @44

It's actually more likely that Rand, in Moridin's body already, is carrying Rand's body.
49. Rand al'Todd
Rich25 @18:

My Looney Theory has always been that Norla (Cadsuane's 'toothless old wilder') was really Shadar Nor, aka Latra Posae Decume. And that she passed on all the info about Callendor to Cads. (Note that it was created AFTER the death of Lews Therin, so there was nothing in his memories about it.)

IMHO Callendor has NO 'flaw'. The missing buffer was not a design flaw, it was intentionally omitted because they needed a strong weapon. Neither was the fact that it was designed so that the women could take control of the circle. That was a safety precaution because the man you intended to use the weapon could go nuts at any time. The 'flaw' was the link to the True Power, which could only be inserted by someone authorized to use it (which automatically means that one of the construction team was actually a saboteur planted by Team Dark). The link amplified the taint and would make Callendor an even more powerful weapon if Team Dark could get their hands on it. Naturally, all three of these 'design features' could be considered a flaw if you were a pro-Light man trying to use it.

Note that all we are ever told about Callendor's function and 'flaws' comes from Cadsuane and the source is IMPLIED as the tower library, but that passage is simply Aes Sedai doublespeak. All Cads really says is that most people don't understand Callendor and that she did some research in the tower about the time of New Spring (presumably shortly after her appearance in that book.) She never actually says that she learned anything about Callendor due to that search. (See PoD chap 27).
50. gadget
Good recap. I must say that It was good to see some stuff happening in the prologue. I know people will string me up for this, but it felt like
Talmanes' survival was kind of cheating. Maybe this is for the next re-read, but Ny. compares his wound to the one recieved by Tam in tEotW and they are not really the same. Tam was wounded by a Trolloc blade that carried some of the taint from Thakan'dar in it, but a Fades blade seems to be made in a wholly different manner.
51. Rand al'Todd
Freelancer @48:

OOPS - Free is correct that some of us have assumed that Callendor was created after the Strike. Upon a little more thought, it probably was created before. IIRC, didn't the seals block the True Power until they weakened and the Forsaken were released?

However, unless some one can point out a specific reference, it appears that Lews Therin has no direct memories about Callendor. He is dependent on info from Cadsuane and Min's research. And Min's research is mostly interpretation between the lines and has no real confirmation of Cadsuane's info about the 'flaws'.
Jay Dauro
52. J.Dauro
archaeo @31

We do know that RJ originally planned to do a book about Mat and Tuon returning to Seanchen. It is my opinion that he planned to resolve the damane issue in that story, and had plans for how to do it. However, he did not write notes on what he planned, so we do not get to see it.

But I will think up plot lines on how I hope it would have happened.

In general we also know there were plot lines he specifically said are not to be resolved. I was listening to KOD recently, and this line caught my attention.
It was never this way in stories. In stories, everything was always wrapped up neatly by the end. Real life was much . . . messier. KOD - 35
Since, as we are all aware, WOT is much closer to real life, than it is to a story, we have to accept the ending is a bit messier.
Cameron Tucker
53. Loialson
@48 Freelancer

I agree. I was referring to them as individual souls (which I didn't make clear), not so much as to who as in who's body though, as I felt that regardless of what body he's in, Rand is Rand :) .
Glen V
54. Ways
And a happy Fat Tuesday to everyone! Be safe, whatever you chose to do tonight. I'll throw you some beads for a ________.

Check your Shoutbox and let me know, please.

Now, off to read Leigh's post...
55. Ryamano
Rand al'Todd @51

I don't think the True Power was inacessible after the Sealing. Ishamael uses True Power travelling just after the Sealing to visit Lews Therin and to heal him of his madness, right at the Prologue of TEOTW. Also, dreadlords and Ishamael/Baalzamon used True Power to see through rats and ravens' eyes during the Trolloc Wars. That's one of the reasons Borderlanders still remember to kill them on sight. Demandred thought it remarkable that the Borderlanders remembered that custom, because he thought it came from the War of Power, but it probably was due to being used a lot throught the time Ishamael came back to bother the world with Shadowspawn.
Terry McNamee
56. macster
Not a lot to say, since despite the page count it seems to be the way you've broken up the prologue has left us with only a small amount of plot progression with each entry.

I'll reiterate Talmanes' badassery, particularly in how he shamed the mercenaries into helping (and his nickname!). As for him living (which we haven't gotten to yet but it's been brought up), I didn't mind, and not just because I like him. Not only did I know there would be plenty of people who actually die (and I was right), not only was this a great chance to show off Nynaeve's Healing skills again, but it was pretty awesome to see that someone could have the willpower to resist long enough for them to have their life saved, so that they lived to see the positive results of their actions. It's a mirror to the section with Bayrd, how here instead of creating to offset the Dark One's destruction (order vs. chaos), it's the determination of will (belief) that wins the day. Talmanes doesn't believe he will live; he believes he must do whatever he can to make sure the dragons are saved, for the sake of keeping them away from the Shadow and giving the Light an advantage, and because of his belief he gets them to safety--which just so happens to also put him in the right place to have his life saved.

I really can't explain why Bayle and Egeanin didn't know Elayne was in Caemlyn and thus go to her there instead of going to Tar Valon and sneaking through a gateway. Yes, Elayne eventually left there for Cairhien, then Merrilor, but that was long after Egeanin and Bayle departed with the Aes Sedai and former sul'dam, and before that Mat and the Band were sitting near Caemlyn for quite a while. Could that really have a been a plotting error Jordan and/or Sanderson made, or is there something we're missing? Maybe...she didn't go to Elayne in Caemlyn because of the gholam? And then after it was gone, she'd either already decided to go to Tar Valon or Elayne was in Cairhien? Someone should ask Brandon...

Well whatever the reason, it's still worth it to see her realize her error when confronted by Nynaeve, and while perhaps the payoff with Egeanin and Egwene isn't as great as we might have hoped, it was still good to see some dreams/prophecies fulfilled, see Egeanin prove her worth, and suggest that there is more hope for her helping to bring down the a'dam in the future.

And as a reminder, Leigh: I was just re-reading the WH re-read, and you made sure to point out there when Thom and Juilin told Mat about the sad bracelets. So Mat did know they existed. However this was before they joined up with Egeanin and Bayle (as in, they'd met them, which was why the topic came up, but they were away doing the planning to free Seta and Renna and get the proper papers), so they weren't there to reveal they hadn't gotten rid of it. (Jordan in fact used his usual dramatic irony by having Mat think that the bracelet must be long gone, and that Nynaeve and Elayne must have told Rand about it anyway.) So yes, by the time he was with Egeanin and Domon for an extended period, the subject had already been discussed and dismissed as irrelevant, and Mat never pursued it with them.

I remember being puzzled by Kymer's presence too, but once I realized she wasn't a Wise One I'd forgotten about, I just appreciated the idea of an Aiel we'd not heard about making an appearance--there had to be a lot more Wise Ones we'd not been introduced to. Being a lover of world-building and one who enjoys being immersed in said world, I didn't mind at all having new characters constantly pop up. (And now that I have learned why Jordan kept adding them, to let us keep seeing everyone's different reactions to the end times, I appreciate them even more.)

The sweat tent scene was great for how it showed communication happening and reasonable, proper courses of action being planned to prevent the Bad Future--and Leigh, aside from the whole End of the World thing, and what others have said about the Aiel not being among those who habitually keep info to themselves in WOT, I think it bears repeating that if the theme of the series was that miscommunication hurt the Light, it stands to reason that here at the end, when people are uniting and working together, the miscommunication would finally be dispensed with. In other words, the sharing and openness here IS restating the theme, by showing what happens when miscommunication is avoided and trust is held among allies. We've been seeing mostly the lack of communication with a few moments of honesty; now this close to the end it's starting to reverse--not completely, since there's still some trust/communication issues between Rand and Egwene, not to mention the Aes Sedai and the Seanchan (with reason), but there's at least a lot more sharing and openness than there used to be. Which this scene is a part of, I think.

But anyway, the other things I liked the scene for were the maddening mystery regarding Nakomi (more evidence she may be Jenn, and I still say her name being similar to Nokomis of Hiawatha, Daughter of the Moon, is just saying she has abilities in common with Lanfear, not that she is her)...and the fact that this is the start of proving that Sorilea is not in fact a Darkfriend. The clincher comes later when she speaks of the male Aiel channelers being taken by the Shadow meaning they have toh to the Car'a'carn and to the land itself, but even here I think her attitude regarding fighting this future suggests she walks in the Light. Yes, she's trying to save the Aiel, but that coupled with her not wanting the Seanchan to win just seems like more of the same proof to me. Which pleases me, because I never liked the notion she might be a Darkfriend and I was pretty convinced anyway that there were other explanations for the discrepancies around her.
Judy Carmona
57. Farstrider
Free @48, Rand al'Todd @ 49:

From TSR Chapter 26 when Rand is going through the Way Back Machine in Rhuidean and sees through his ancestor Jonai, we get our glimpse of Callandor laying on Lews Therin's banner on a table surrounded by 6 female Aes Sedai who are arguing over a foretelling regarding the Aiel, sending off *greal with the remaining Aiel for safekeeping, about to task The Green Man with safeguarding the Eye of The World, and worrying about the impending ('by tomorrow') arrival of one or more mad-with-the-taint male Aes Sedai. As Jonai is leaving, they begin discussing whether or not they can trust a group of inexperienced, barely tainted male channelers. One of the Aes Sedai says "We will do what we must. The sword must wait."

I always thought that could mean that Callandor was never finished, leaving it a raw source of power and without a buffer. The way the Aes Sedai referred to it as "the sword" rather than Callandor, paired with the scenario of 6 women surrounding it when Jonai walks in certainly makes it look like they are working on creating a new sa'angreal rather than dealing with an existing one. Pressing matters force them to choose putting it on the backburner. Any thoughts?
Terry McNamee
58. macster
@5 qbe_64: Unless I am very much mistaken, Nakomi is the woman in Aiel clothes whom Rand encounters when fleeing the Pit of Doom with Moridin. What that means is anybody's guess.

@7 Makloony: Very good point indeed. The rebuttal to this may be true as well, but I think I take your side: the Pattern decreed it had to happen this way.

@15 DougL: Good point, I have to agree. :)

@25 s'rEDIT: I think the reason it was brought up was a) so that someone in-story could call Egeanin and Bayle to task for what they did (i.e. wish fulfillment for the reader) and b) to justify why Egeanin would throw herself on Egwene's mercy the way she did, thus putting her in a position to first save her (Seanchan swordswoman from the dream), then become her Warder (briefly). So while the issue may never have been resolved directly, it did compel Egeanin to make this decision, which is what enabled her to be there to help when she was needed.

@36 sushisushi: Good point! I have to agree, Egeanin's unique perspective, since the Warder bond allows the bondee to know his/her Aes Sedai's feelings, would definitely be something I bet was intended for the outriggers as part of how Seanchan culture changes and the damane are eventually freed. Assuming Hawkwing didn't just tell Tuon to let them go and she obeyed, or will.

@41 LuvURphleb: LOL!!!

@49 Rand al'Todd: Very interesting theorizing. You may be on to something, particularly with Cadsuane's doublespeak. We never do find out where/how/when Rand figured out Callandor was a True Power sa'angreal; it's implied Min helped him figure it out, but considering she knows nothing about the True Power I don't see how that's possible. He could also have learned it from Moiraine, if she in turn learned it from the Finn (we never learn her answers or requests aside from the angreal), but that's never confirmed either. Hmmm...

And in response to you @51, the only info we have on Callandor, other than what Moiraine and Cadsuane tells us, is the scene from Rand's ancestor memories when we see the Aes Sedai and Someshta with it. Considering that obviously happened mid-Breaking, after Lews Therin's death and the sealing, then I am a bit puzzled how the True Power could have been used in its making or poured into it, other than the notion of one of the Aes Sedai there being a secret Dreadlord. But we really have no way of knowing how much longer before that scene Callandor was made. If it was made pre-Strike, though, it must have been in secret or else Lews Therin would have known of it. And that scene did in fact seem to be a secret convocation...

EDIT: Farstrider already brought up the same scene, and he has a point. It did seem like the sword had just been made, rather than something that had been created quite some time before that. What puzzles me is, if they didn't get to finish it, thus explaining why it had no buffer and such, how did it end up being a True Power sa'angreal? Unless, again, one of those there was secretly of the Shadow, that suggests that somehow a Shadow channeler got hold of it and was able to channel True Power through it, thus attuning its Seed to it, before it was sealed behind the wards in the Stone. And I don't see how that could have happened...
Joshua Neth
59. jneth
Thanks for the correction @48, but I still think Leeh is no better name for a maiden then a suldam naming a new dominae Jordache. I'm sorry, but the name dropping is juvenile. It's akin to me putting my friends in a movie. Sure it's fun for the people doing it, and the people who know them, but it sucks for the much larger audience who has to sit through their shitty cameo. Names like Kymer and Courtani (really, Courtani??? Come on!) Are not in the aesthetic of Jordan's world. And I hate to be a dick about this, but a lot of us were still holding out for a masterpiece, not the key to a much less interesting game of connect the dots. Sorry to be negative, but the shout-outs have always been an unnecessary distraction that serve only to please the few, and are a lazy device in an otherwise skillfully crafted world.
Judy Carmona
60. Farstrider
Macster@58: Girls can be well- travelled too :)
61. alreadymadwithcallandor
I don't think it was any specially added feature that allows Callandor to amplify the True Power. Simply that the lack of a buffer that allows a man to channel safely also allows channeling the True Power. That the True POwer while not identical to the One Power is similar enough that by a fluke the lack of a safety feature in Callandor allows it.

While it is possible that Callandor was created during the Breaking, Rand implied that creating an angreal or sa'angreal of great power requires a lot of time. Time that Aes Sedai during the Breaking, rushing to preserve as much as they could might not have been able to invest in. Besides, it wasn't mid-breaking that the Aiel started their journey and therefore when the Callandor was sighted in Rand's ancestral memory. It was right after the start. So it was likely that it was created during the War of Power. In fact it's very shape as a sword implies it was meant as a double purpose weapon. But that the onset of the Breaking prevented further work and the application of anti-burnout safety features.
62. rhandric
The very fact it amplified the Taint (as was mentioned I believe in TPoD) might be how Rand, if he did, figured out it would amplify (act as an (sa')angreal to) the TP. As we know, the Taint occured because "something" had to touch the Dark One, the something being saidin; we also know that the TP *is* (the essence of) the Dark One.

How's this for a loony theory: Callandor is a sa'angreal for the TP because it was created after the SaSG. The men involved in channeling through the Seed of Callandor ended up feeding it both saidin and the Taint, the Taint making it so it was a TP (sa')angreal.
Ryan Reich
63. ryanreich
If you don't like Khymer, you'll hate that Bao the Wyld is a fan name.
Roger Powell
64. forkroot
The bit about Callandor being a TP angreal came out of left field for me. My initial reaction was "RETCON!" because I remembered RJ saying there were no angreals for the TP.

I went looking for the quotation and found this from a Wotmania Interview 2004:
Q: Can Moridin use a male angreal if he channels the True Power?
Now in hindsight, I note that RJ could have deliberately taken the question to imply an angreal for saidin (only), since it was identified as a "male angreal". So it could be parsed to allow for a TP-specific angreal.

The problem is that Callandor is most certainly a "male angreal", so Callandor serving as an angreal for the True Power is a genuine retcon.
65. rhandric
@64 forkroot

Technically, Callandor is a sa'angreal ;)
One can also surmise that for 99.9999% of (sa')angreal, male or female, that would be true. If my theory @62 is accurate, and if Callandor is the only male *angreal created after the Taint on saidin, then Callandor would be the only angreal that also works for TP. It would also explain why the Forsaken don't know about any TP angreal.

And the more I think about it, the more I like this theory. Hopefully we can get some answers related to it.
Andrew Kopittke
66. mendosi
It was sad to watch the destruction of Caemlyn, but I also felt that Talmanes' and the band's trek through the burning city to feel like it could fit in Warcraft III (or some other strategy game).
A hero and a group of soldiers making their way through a city, meeting up with enemies and discovering caches of weapons (or dragons in this case), joining together with the beleagured defenders of the city, etc. etc.

I completely missed the significance of Shipless and Egwene until someone mentioned it in the spoiler thread. And after so much discussion around the place about that Dream, too!
67. MatrimH
I've been a long time reader, first time poster though. English is NOT my native language, so please don't mind me making mistakes.

First of all: Thank you Leigh for doing this re-read. It is all kinds of awsome. I'll be reading along in the book with you, this being my third time I read the book. (Had a bit of difficulty getting it here in Europe, but when I got it, I read trough it in about 9 hours, so I had to read it again more slowly to pick up some things I missed. )

Second: I absolutly loved this section of the prologue. It has Talmanes being a dreadbane, Nynaeve being a rivery waterfall, Leilwin being put in her place and Sleete the second best Warder in the world. Oh and Aiel Wise Ones in a sweat tent.

When I read the Talmanes part of the post where Melten tells Talmanes that he will kill him if the pain comes to much, the thing that struck me is how much it resembled the later form of sepuku, where the convicted samurai only had to extend his hand to a fan or blade, after wich his second would cut of his head, instead of just letting the samurai cutting himself up first.

I don't think Avi telling the other Wise Ones what she saw was that special, altough I agree that not telling important things to other characters is a major WOT-beef. The reason for that is simple: the wise ones are a group dedicated to saving the Aiel as a people, and while they don't tell everybody what they're up to, they don't keep secrets internally. And as Aviendha sees herself as part of this group and not an individual, the logical thing to do is explain and ask for back-up.
But by all counts don't agree with me.

'till next week!
Thomas Keith
68. insectoid
A bit late in commenting; as usual, I've engrossed myself in another project (not the JordanCon buttons; this is entirely unrelated).

Great post as usual, Leigh. Hope you're not getting too drenched down there in NO. (A wet Mardi Gras doesn't sound like much fun.)

Talmanes: I didn't expect him to live past the Prologue, either, nor could I imagine how he and the Band would escape. (Thank the Light for Nynaeve!) It was pretty cool when Talmanes reminded the mercs what they're fighting for. And Dreadbane is very much an badass name.

Leilwin: Well, what did you expect—a medal? If not for a plot twist that none of us (or them!) could possibly have predicted (Rand channeling the TP), the world would already have ended! (I agree that Leilwin is a dumb name.) I initially (September) was puzzled as to why Egeanin and Domon were even there. (It's more obvious, now, but still...)

I found the Wise Ones' almost casual dismissal of Aviendha's revelations from the WAFWD machine a little unsettling on first read. Kudos to Bair for being the only one willing to go! (And I don't think anything came of that. Did it?) I agree that it is pretty funny in retrospect that characters shared info here.

James M
69. Otoahhastis
So, I totally missed the re-read starting last week - but that just meant I got two posts this week so it's not all bad!

Not much to say about this weeks post. I did think Talmanes was done for, but i'm glad he made it - one of my favourite lower tier characters, even more so after this last book.

After the Slayer discussion from last week, I had a question for you all but rather than posting it in last weeks thread, i'll post it here and beg forgiveness for going off the current topic.

I'm not sure if this has been raised elsewhere but I haven't seen it mentioned - so apologies if it has been said already:
We know that when Slayer goes into TAR, he can then exit into the real world as either Luc or Isam.
Can Perrin now do a similar thing? Is he able to exit TAR as a wolf instead of a human?
I guess it depends on the whole two-soul theory - if, as suggested, Perrin has two souls like Slayer, then it should work the same way?

Also, it would explain the Werewolf myths in 'this age'. ;)

Maybe if this hasn't been asked already then someone could put it to Brandon if they get the chance?

Thomas Keith
70. insectoid
Comments on comments:

I don't recall even noticing Kymer, but if I had I may have wondered "Who's that?" and then moved on. Glossed over, in other words.

Makloony @7:
Good point. (But I doubt anyone could have predicted that chain of events, either.)

Man-0 @9:
I didn't get (past-tense; I looked it up) the musical reference. (Grew up in the wrong generation, obviously.)

Pattingale @19:
Indeed; how could they know it could draw the TP? After all, all the channelers that could were a) servants of the Dark; and b) (presumably) dead or sealed in the Bore by that point.

rhandric @21:
I suspect that the forthcoming Encylopedia may shed some light on the nature of the Seeds. (And I expect BwS will say just as much if asked.)

Oldwizard @26:
Good point.

chaplainchris1 @37:
Second, jack-in-the-box cannons.
Yes, exactly. That's exactly why he needed to live! XD

LuvURphleb @41:
Very nice! Now, if only I knew how the tune went...
Could this be the Song? :P

Man-0 @45:

Free @48:
re: Nakomi: Say what?? I'm gonna have to go back and re-read that section now...

Rand al'Todd @49:
Good points. I like to think that that was our first clue to the nature of Callandor: when Cadsuane tells Rand that it magnifies the Taint. Taint=DO's touch=DO=True Power. (I see rhandric @62 came to the same conclusion.)

rhandric @65:
Perhaps, like some suggest, its ability to channel was an accident, due to it being made after saidin was tainted?

Otoahhastis @69:
Interesting idea re: Perrin/wolf. Doesn't seem likely, but makes for an amusing picture.

71. alreadymadwithtaint
forkroot @64
And yet, the Callandor as TP magnifier theory has been bandied about at least a couple of times on the re-read, so it isn't that new. It's one of my own pet theories, along with the TP as one of the "three powers as one". Although I was still surprised by how it all turned out.

rhandric @65
It's possible. Myself, I try to refrain from too much wild speculation. With the series truly over, I doubt we'll get closure.
72. Looking Glass
Hey look, Myddraal are actually dangerous to people we care about again. Huh.

Makloony @7: You could as easily say that we shouldn’t be mad at Semirhage for what she did, because ultimately her crimes led up to the same revelation. Which would be nuts; Semirhage is a horrible person who did horrible things, and if her actions ultimately worked out well it was through no fault of her own.

Leilwin is no Semirhage, of course; given the circumstances, her choice to surrender the bracelets (to her own side’s lawful authority, even) is somewhat understandable. But it’s not like she shouldn’t be called on the carpet for it just because it happened to end somewhat less disastrously than it could have.

Plus, above and beyond the task itself, Nynaeve and Leilwin are both the sort to take trust and promises very seriously.

On True Power Sa’Angreals: It’s worth noting that even people who can’t use the True Power are at least somewhat capable of interacting with it and studying its properties through the One Power. Weaves of the two can interfere with each other, and Lanfear et al. made some accurate inferences about the TP's properties even before opening the bore (even if they did miss the important “made of Satan” property). We know LTT knew the Forsaken used it, and given its military implications it's not as though Team Light wouldn't want to learn what they could about it.

I think it’s highly plausible that someone who knew how sa’angreals worked with the OP, and who had some grasp of how the TP and OP compared, could design a sa’angreal to work with the TP. It would be like, for instance, engineers who had a ton of experience designing water pumps building one to pump oil, based on what they knew about pumps in general and how the properties of oil differed from those of water. Even if they had to look up the properties of oil in someone else's research logs rather than relying on first-hand knowledge, it would still be possible to design a pump that would get the job done.

Of course, that would raise the question of why Team Evil never built their own TP angreals, but I can think of a half-dozen plausible justifications for that off the top of my head.

Insectoid @68: I don’t think there was time, in story, for anything to come of Bair’s trip before the end of the book, but it would be kind of strange if the Wise Ones hadn’t done that sort of followup. Bair, as a non-channeling non-combatant, was probably the only one (of our central Wise One cast) who could have gone without being missed on the battlefield.
Robert Crawley
73. Alphaleonis
@ 40 Forkroot

Thanks for confirming that we had already seen Nyneave healing Talmanes before the book came out. But I think the sneak preview had only shown Nyneave beginning to try to heal him and not the actual outcome. Is that correct?

Now the next question is: did all those posters above who thought Talmanes was going to die not read the sneak preview? Or did they not have faith that Nyneave would succeed? Or had they forgotten?

Since my previous post and Forkroot's confirmation @40 there have been several more posters who have stated that they thought that Talmanes might die. I'm curious to know if so many had the willpower not to read any of the prepublication tidbits. Or if some of the posters didn't know about them.

@ 8 wcarter, I know that you are a regular poster here, curious to know if you had purposefully avoided the pre - published snippets and were thus "terrified" that Talmanes might die.

Same question to travyl @16 and insectoid @68. Both faithful WOT fans. Did so many of you avoid the early released portions. I WISH I HADN'T READ THEM! It would have made reading the prologue more intense for me if I hadn't known Talmanes was going to escape.

Even Leigh said that upon her first reading she was convinced that Talmanes "wasn't going to survive the prologue". When we had already seen him being worked on by Nyneave in the first chapter. Then again Leigh's "first reading" may have been before the release of the first chapter online.

Again @ 40 Forkroot. I almost said @40 Dorkroot, since your reply to me @40 was a putdown of my name. Especially since my previous two posts have been totally ignored by everyone on these boards. But I decided that it's not nice to take an eye for an eye, so didn't do it. I think that you were just being "cute" with the putdown and did not intend an insult? It's not the first time on these boards that someone has called me Betaleonis. Maybe I just had a chip on my shoulder because the questions from my previous two posts had been completely ignored. So I will repost those 2 questions:

1) Is there any good picture of Moridin out there? For several months, the background on my computer has been a blowup of Rand's face from the "Saidin Cleansing" scene on the E-Book cover. That is no longer Rand, so I would like one of Moridin. Preferably riding a horse, smoking a pipe, with a bonfire in the background, three women staring at him. I'm sure no such picture exists, but are there any pictures of Moridin out there at all (other than on the cover of The Dragon Reborn, which will really not do)? Is there anyone with me on wanting such a picture? I am not rich enough to commission one of our favorite SFF artists to paint me one, but if the damand were there, maybe one could do it. I would be willing to purchase a print to hang on the wall of my office.

2) Has anyone asked Brandon at a signing yet how True Power accessability was incorporated into Callandor? Or will someone ask him at an upcoming signing?
Sean Dowell
74. qbe_64
Re: True Power Sa'angreal

Does this completely overcome the fact the use of the True Power is doled out in increments as the Dark One sees fit? Are we saying that Callandor overwhelmes the will of the Dark One and the amount of power he wishes to give you? Or does it only work in that Moridin already has unlimited access to the TP.

E.g. If Taim, who has limited access to the TP, had Callandor, could he draw more or still small stream allotted to him by the DO?
Ryan Jackson
75. KakitaOCU
Bair comes back later, she saw the same vision with differences to account for her bloodline instead of Aviendha's. But we don't get full closure on this beyond the Dragon's Peace info.

As an aside, with this talk about sharing info and with this talk of Bair not being useful as a combatant.

Wouldn't it have been hilarious and sad for Slayer if instead of taking Gaul Perrin had some how gotten in touch with the other Wise Ones and brought Bair and Melaine along to fight Slayer? (not including Amys since she is otherwise busy during TG).
76. CorDarei
@73 Alpha

Would it be better if he'd called you Omega instead? :) No need to name call.
Also, to pick nits, your previous 2 posts had nothing to do with a picture of Moridin. On Question #2, from the comments, Brandon probably hasn't been asked since they're discussing it and nothing's been mentioned of someone asking him.

@74 qbe_

I thought it was said in the book that Callandor forced Moridin to draw in more of the TP to the point the DO couldn't stop it.
Stefan Mitev
77. Bergmaniac
Alphaleonis - the prologue was available some weeks before Chapter 1, in which Talmanes was Healed. That's why many people thought he was a goner after they read the prologue.
78. Rand al'Todd

Moridin was already drawing a huge amount of the TP. Then, suddenly the girls use the "flaw" to take over the circle, and force him to draw even more and direct how it is used. We take on faith that the DO cannot react to shut down the flow instantaneously. I think of it as a fire hose connected to a fire hydrant. You turned the hydrant on full blast to fight a fire. If you have to stop the flow at the hydrant, it is going to take a few seconds to turn the wrench enough turns to shut off the hydrant. It will be even harder if the person holding the hose is using the water blast to push you away from the hydrant.
79. Rick25
Alphaleonis@73 - I for one controlled myself and didn't read any of the pre-release material. I just wanted the experience of reading the book in it's entirety for the first time.
Bill Stusser
80. billiam

I purposefully ignored everything that was put up for AMoL here until the book came out. It was hard to ignore all the preview posts or the spoiler threads that went up but I wanted to read the book without any spoilers (plus I knew that if I read any of the book early it would just make the wait for the book to come out even worse!). As such, I thought Talmanes was a goner.

Went to the Seattle signing event last night, with my nine year old daughter. Nobody asked any questions about the TP but even if they did It probably would have earned a RAFO. Basically anything that will be explained in the encyclodia, like whether or not someone who has been turned by 13 x 13 can be brought back to the light (yes, that was asked and it got RAFOed) will not get answered.

Also, met both Wetlandernw and JeffS last night at the signing.
Sean Dowell
81. qbe_64
@76, 78

I'm aware that it conceptually works for Moridin who already had unlimited access to the TP.

I don't know if it's ever explicity stated, but I believe that while the amount of One Power you can channel is based on internal limitations, there's no internal limitation on True Power channeling, the only thing that regulates flow would be the amount the DO gives you. E.g. strength in the OP has no corelation to strength in the TP. Androl for example could channel an unlimited amount of the TP if he so desired and the DO allowed him to do so.

So while OP angreals help you overcome your personal limitations to increase the amount of power you can channel, does a TP angreal overcome the limits of the TP the DO has given to you? I'll accept that he wouldn't be able to turn off the firehose (as per 78), but if he only allowed a small trickle in the first place, I don't think the TP angreal would do anything to increase chanelling ability.
82. rhandric
Speaking of the signing, I'll be going to the Philadelphia signing next Tuesday. Who else is going to be there?
Roger Powell
83. forkroot
Looking Glass@72
Bair, as a non-channeling non-combatant, was probably the only one (of our central Wise One cast) who could have gone without being missed on the battlefield.
Well the only reason she wasn't missed was because Team Light didn't share enough information about T'AR and who had abilities there.

I was stunned that Perrin and Egwene didn't talk about what happened in T'AR when they had a chance to talk at the Fields. This would have been a perfect opportunity to compare notes and discuss stuff like the Dreamspikes.

If Team Light had thought about it, Bair should have gone with Perrin and Gaul. She's not too powerful in the regular world, but she's uber-strong in T'AR.

Gaul did a tremendous job of learning the "rules" of T'AR - rather too quickly to be believable IMO. Bair would have been a much more believable helper, and she would have pwned anySamma N'Sei who came after her.

"Dorkroot" - LOL! I deserved that, and got a good laugh. For the record, no insult was intended (as you surmised.) I often mess with people's screen names for fun, and fully expect to get some of it sent back at me.


err ... I mean, um ..

84. rhandric
@81 qbe_64

The way I see angreal (and linking for that matter) working is adding a parallel pipe to your own, giving a larger overall flow. There's a minor issue with this analogy, in that in this model, to turn off the flow you turn it off at the destination (channeler) rather than the source (True Source or DO) (otherwise you'd be able to channel through an angreal without being able to channel independently (ie shielded or blocked by the DO), which isn't true), but it still works.

Unfortunately we haven't seen any TP angreal before Callandor, nor have we seen Callandor-as-a-TP-angreal being wielded by one with only a small link to the TP, so this theory only works if TP is such a direct parallel to the One Power.
Joshua Neth
85. jneth
@68 @ 72 the Bair trip was covered briefly on page 901 when Bair tells Aviendha that she saw the same vision but through different eyes.
86. Freelancer
Farstrider @57

I, too, originally presumed that when we see Solindra speaking with her sisters, trying to deduce when something was going to happen, that Callandor was their own creation, and an unfinished work-in-progress. I no longer hold that position. Given the scene between Rand and Elayne about creating angreal through the use of "seed" ter'angreal, I cannot believe that Callandor was manufactured by other than someone using the True Power, and none other than males. Callandor seems to have nothing to do with saidar, so it could not have been created by those six Aes Sedai. I can much easier see it having been made by some half-mad male channelers, uncaring if there were a buffer or not, and later captured by the female Aes Sedai.

If Callandor was the last male-focused sa'angreal available to them at that time, it would help to bring some thoughts together. It is obvious that they are preparing to create the Eye of the World, a concentrated well of pure, untainted saidin. To do that will require men, specifically "Kodam and his fellows" who are young, inexperienced, but barely touched by the taint. And doubly so if they must use a male-tuned sa'angreal in the process. They knew that they were gonig to spend their lives to accomplish this, which is why they sent the Aiel away, before Jaric and Haindar arrive. This tells me that they know the sword is both immensely powerful and unbuffered.

It may be that they had hoped to try and alter the design of the sword to add a buffer, but reading the passage with that thought in mind doesn't feel right to me.

macster @58

By the same logic that one of the channelers involved in creating Callandor had to channel the True Power into it, one of them would have to have been a male masquerading as a sister, since it is as much a saidin sa'angreal as it is True Power. It couldn't have been created by them.

forkroot @64

I think RJ pulled a Verin-esque sneaky answer. The question he answered amounts to "can Moridin use the True Power through a saidin-tuned device?". And the answer should be no. We didn't know then that Callandor was more than simply a male sa-angreal. So I do not see retcon. Besides, he knew how Rand was going to win the Last Battle long before then.

Alphaleonis @73

I believe that some are commenting here specifically in tune with their impressions by this point of the text. Meaning that, before the prologue ended, they didn't yet know if Talmanes was going to survive. That's all. And Leigh definitely didn't read any of the pre-release material. She wanted to be a complete AMoL virgin when she cracked open her ARC.

Brandon was asked if Rand's True Power access was given by the Dark One, or if he found it for himself (the asker forgot the third and most likely option, that he pulled it through Moridin's access), which was of course answered with RAFO. But nothing that I've read asked about True Power use in creating Callandor.

Don't feel bad about folks not answering comments. A great majority of mine get no responses at all, even if all I'm doing is asking questions. Sometimes I read a question in someone's comment and think "hmm, thoughtful", but have no useful response, and I'm not the type to "like" everything I read or respond just to say "good question". And it sometimes seems that many re-readers here wait for one of us extra-verbose types to respond before chiming in, but that might be just a false impression on my part.
87. iavasechui
Put me in the camp that believe that Callandor (sp?) is a true power sa'angreal because it was made with men affected by the taint. I'll hold by this unless team jordan refutes it via an answer or the glossary.

Also does anyone else have an absolutely horrible time trying to read the captcha? I usually have to refresh several times before I can make sense of it -_-
88. @miathecanecorso
A possible answer to the whole True Power / Callandor question is that one of the six Aes Sedai who forged it was either Black Ajah or a disguised Foresaken. He/She was given the ability to channel the True Power and therefore able to influence the creation of Callandor so that it could be used to channel it. Since the One Power channelers cannot see the TP being used, they would not suspect the inclusion of it in Callandor's creation.

What is going against this is the notion that the Dark One only granted the highest of his minions access to the True Power, and it seemed that he allowed it only in the rarest of cases, like Ishamael/Moridin and the female Forsaken late in the series. It is not mentioned (to my recollection) that any of the Forsaken at the time of the Breaking had access to it.
89. rhandric
mia @88
Actually, we know Ishamael used TP (near) the time of the Breaking, when he visits Lews Therin (in the prologue of EotW). Whether anyone else was granted access, though, is another story.
90. AndrewB
Rhandric @82

I will be at the Philly signing.

Heather Olver
91. Arila
I like the idea of callandor being able to channel the TP by the fact that it may have been created after the sealing and by tainted saidin. Also, maybe they intended to make it so that women could take over the male channeling for taint-madness related reaons. I also think that they may have been somewhat better at capturing and acting on prophecies. If they had a really Talented forteller who was getting specific messages from the wheel about what to do. "Make a pool of untainted saidin and hide the banner and the horn in it" I mean...how else could they have known? Why not also "make an unbuffered male sa'angreal and make it so women can take over"? I mean, I'm sure it was not always in words, but I could see a high-level foteller possibly gaining a bit more control/awareness of their visions over the course of hundreds of years, just compare Egwene's dreaming talent from beginning to end, from passive observer, sometimes bewildered by what she's seeing, to thoughtful dreamer who could "file away" the dreams to be mentally interrogated later. Besides, we have examples of many people who are able to read the pattern, and they don't always do it the same way. Some people see things visually, some people have words, and if Min is a good example, the meaning sometimes is just "known". Anyway, I'm filing all of that in the interesting but looney theory that we'll never know more about.

As for Talmanes dying/not dying, I didn't pre-buy the prologue, but I couldn't stay away from the other free postings. I sort of wish that I hadn't done it that way, because it kind of gave away the prologue, but I was through that so fast anyway that it wasn't too bad. I didn't feel like it was cheating for him to survive at the time, but later, when so many of our other favorites are falling, I sort of wish I could have traded him for someone else. :(
92. s'rEDIT
Alphaleonis@73 (to be counted in your poll):

As a not-so-regular poster on the re-read threads, I will declare myself totally in fear...in fact, I was sure as I read the Prologue...that Talmanes was going to die. And, yes, I had avoided ALL the pre-published stuff before AMOL was released.
93. CorDarei
@88 Re: TP used in creation of Callandor

I would disagree. Mainly because of the belief that when weaving all the powers together, weaves of Saidar/Saidin would bounce against the TP weaves and the wielders would be like... wtf was that?


i'm totally misremembering things and OP weaves somehow don't interact with TP weaves ala Saidar/Saidin weaves too.
94. PadraigBee
First time poster, long time reader of re-reads...

@83 Forkroot

I too wondered about Gaul being such a fast and prolific learner in T'AR, but based on the past of the Dreamwalkers not willing to teach newcomers the ins and out of T'AR, then Perrin was the best possible teacher to truly open up to this new student. So if anyone was to really teach a new student what was needed, who else could be better suited?
Joshua Neth
95. jneth
@63 ryanreich I read a post that said in the audio book it's pronounced "Bow the Willed"
Heather Olver
96. Arila
@94 I also thought Gaul picked it up surprisingly well, but on the other hand, he is a Stone Dog, known for their stubbornness, which seems to be a huge asset in TAR (see: Bair) Also, they seem to be a bit stubborn about the way they see the world. When he's left to defend against other novice users of TAR, it's not too surprising that his superior fighting skills are what tips the balance. He's also pretty smart about sticking to what he's good at (hiding and ambushing) already instead of trying to do all sorts of fancy TAR tricks. AND, he's got the wolves there who could conceivably have helped with any other/more advanced TAR trickery.

I've noticed too that the threads often seem to get stuck on one thread of conversation even if another is presented which is more on topic or more interesting (to the questioner). For example, my idle question in the last thread about whether or not Sheriam might be from "The Town" in the blight wasn't really answered, and it's been burning hotter on my mind the more comments that go by! ;) Sometimes I open a text file and make a comment/aknowledgement for every post that is similarly interesting to me, but they can get really long awfully fast, especially if I'm commenting around 100 or more comments. Don't get discouraged!
Thomas Keith
97. insectoid
Alphaleonis @73:
re: pre-release materials: Of course I read them: they were much too tempting. (The pre-release chapters, anyway. I mostly ignored the Memories.)

KakitaOCU @75/jneth @85:
re: Bair: Oh, okay. I'd forgotten that bit.

Rand al'Todd @78:
Interesting analogy.

Dork @83:

98. XLCR
Well, this isn't so bad, I guess. I'm not surprised that the no major character deaths rule was finally dropped, but after all the most major one that died and her spouse were arguably the least liked in the series. Maybe it was planned that way. I also liked the idea of killing or not killing in couples. No tragic lost loves that way.

WAIT!!!! WAIT A MINUTE!!!!! They KILLED BELA!!!!!!!!!

ok, I'm better now.......never mind.......
Ryan R
99. CorDarei
@95, is that pronoucned bow, as in bow and arrow? or bow, as in take a bow?
Heather Olver
100. Arila
@98 - Re: dying in couples - I guess that is one good thing....but, did Amys die? If she did, I totally forgot about that in the flood of other deaths especially since it could have happened in the whirlwind Graendal battle at SG. I've leant out my book so I can't check myself.
Ryan R
101. CorDarei
I also liked the Sheriam line of questioning... are there other redheads from Saldaea?
Chris Chaplain
103. chaplainchris1
Lessee, quick thoughts before the work night kicks into high gear:
Forkroot @83, PadraigBee @94 -
Gaul *was* a quick study, but mostly what I remember is that he quickly got to the point where he wasn’t inadvertently changing things (as opposed to changing things purposely). That’s not hard to believe. We’ve seen Aiel excel in, and value as a people, endurance, self-discipline, patience, and focus. They can stalk, or remain silent and still, far longer than the average wetlander. They’re also trained to alertness, making far superior scouts.

So – to be truly alert is to perceive what’s around you, not project your impressions on it. That, along with Aiel self-discipline, surely helps him not inadvertently change things in the dream.

Of course, not changing things about himself (other than the position of his veil) is even easier. When does Gaul ever wear clothes other than cadin’sor anyway?

I don’t remember lots of examples of Gaul shifting himself from place to place without Perrin’s help, or spectacular feats of dreamshaping.

@various on the mystery of Callandor’s making – unless Brandon or the Encyclopedia clarifies, speculation is kinda fruitless at this point; but I resonate with the idea of the Taint-magnifying flaw also being the True Power magnification factor. The DO Taints saidin; the TP is the DO’s essence, so the TP Taints saidin. Callandor magnifies the Taint; ergo, Callandor magnifies the TP.

We’re repeatedly told this is a flaw in Callandor; that suggests to me that it’s something that happened accidentally, perhaps as a result of Taint-madness afflicting the male Aes Sedai building it.

On the other hand...Rand refers to Callandor as a trap, a very clever trap. For most of the book (and really since TOM) we’ve been thinking of it as a trap for Rand, or at least a danger to him. But Rand uses the trap of Callandor to ensnare Moridin. Clever! (And it implies that the Dark didn’t know about the flaw, which has further implications for Callandor’s making.) But was it Rand’s cleverness alone, or also the cleverness of the ancient Aes Sedai?

After all, iirc, these are the same farsighted Aes Sedai who set up Rhuidean, placed Callandor in the Stone, and created the Eye of the World. Presumably they’re responsible for some/all of the Prophecies, as well.

Callandor’s flaws enabled Team Light to gain a decisive victory. Clearly, that’s why Callandor (rather than the Choedan Kal or some other sa’angreal) figures in the Prophecies of the Dragon. Did those ancient Aes Sedai intentionally flaw Callandor, trusting the DR to figure out how to take advantage of that?

Had more to say, but no time to say it in. Hopefully tonight I can post about Perrin/ Slayer/Two Souls stuff.
Joshua Neth
104. jneth
@CorDarei I don't have the audio book (maybe someone who does will chime in) but as he used compulsion to subject an entire continent, I'm going to guess "as in take a bow". Though I think both images work.
Valentin M
105. ValMar
Well, I was one o f those who made sure they didn't read anything from AMOL released stuff until the whole book was out. Looks like it was a good decision.

Re: Sheriam from "the Town". I don't think so. Besides the very tenuous argument of her red hair, there is nothing from what little we know of her motivation to join the Shadow which points to her being a Townie.
Chris Chaplain
106. chaplainchris1
Ok, quickly.

@99 CorDarei - take a bow (just got to that part of the audiobook last night). Which is more or less how I pronounced it when reading it, but Wyld as "willed" instead of "wild" was jarring.

@96 Arila - Sheriam being from the Town is an interesting idea but it seems rather far-fetched to me, if only because she seems quite normal and well-adjusted. She joined the Shadow to get ahead in Tower Politics, not because she was Cray Cray 'teh evil, or damaged like Isam. Plus...it's a whole country, and it *does* have regular trade and relations (including filial) with other nations. Red hair (and no other Aiel features) isn't much of a smoking gun; it seems unlikely that there aren't plenty of recessive red hair genes floating around the Borderlands.
107. alreadymadwiththetrap
chaplainchris1 @103
I totally agree with your reasoning about magnifying the Taint=>magnifying the Dark One's power=> magnifying the True Power.
I came to that reasoning myself a long time ago. I'm not so sure about intentionally putting that flaw in, however. That implies the Ancient Aes Sedai knew enough about the True Power to create such a trap. Of course if everything were just coincidence, the probability would be astronomical. To the point of needing a ta'veren's reality bending powers.
Rand had called it a trap. But most of the dialogue about that was after Cadsuane telling him about a circle being required to wield it. When he was leery of placing himself under somebody else's control. It's only at the end that he referred to it as a trap in the sense of being able to trap somebody else.
Valentin M
108. ValMar
Heh, great minds think alike chaplainchris ;)
Sheriam may not be from Isam's neighborhood but musings and other little theories like this keep wringing extra fun out of WOT. Thanks to the huge, complex, and wonderful tapestry that RJ wove and BWS/TJ completed.
Therefore, if anyone thinks they've read something between the lines, share it!*

* As long as you are aware that Gaidal Cain is not Olver!
Michelle Darnell
109. Navah
When Talmanes finally got to the Kin woman, and she couldn't save him, I put down my book and said to my husband, "Dear God, please tell me Talmanes finds someone to heal him!" I was all warm and fuzzy when Nynaeve came to the rescue.

I was still reading ToM when aMoL came out, so I didn't read any spoilers. I wanted to experience the book unspoiled.
Karen Fox
110. thepupxpert
Free @ 48 - There had to have been at least 150 people maybe 200, all the seats were taken and it was SRO all through the bookcases, etc. (and this is a big store we're talking about, two stories tall - pretty much the entire front portion of the store was taken up for this event). I managed to wiggle my way in to a position fairly close to Brandon and Harriet which was great. A number of people in red shirts were assisting with the event and they looked "official" but I don't know anyone outside of this blog so I couldn't tell you who they were. All in all, a very awesome night but it was a 2-3 hour wait to have him sign my book so I left without getting it... I had to get to work early in the morning!
Joshua Neth
111. jneth
@106 Chaplainchris1 @108ValMar I love the idea that Sheriam could be from the town as it gets at another curiosity, could she have been turned? I don't know if turned darkfriends would make trips into Shayol Ghul. I think it's interesting that "Turning" was set up similiarly to compulsion in that we were given descriptions of character's under compulsion, before we were told that they were. I wonder if there were clues given about "turned" characters (vacancy in the eyes etc.) that were never confirmed. (For the record I don't think Sheriam was one. Her discovery scene seems to genuine or.. human)
Bill Stusser
112. billiam
@ 104

I may be wrong about this but I do not think that Demandread used compulsion to subject the Sharans. The reason he was 'missing' throughout the series was that from the time he was released from the bore he was in Shara fulfilling their prophesies, much like Rand was doing in Randland, to become their ruler. At least that is what I've read about the Bao chapter 'River of Souls' that was cut from AMoL but will be available in the upcoming Unfetterd anthology.
Robert Crawley
114. Alphaleonis
Bergmaniac @77 That's what I get for being so cheap. I think that you had to pay to get the whole prologue before the free parts of chapter 1 came online. A few parts of the prologue were put online for free, not enough to make Talmanes appear to be doomed.

forkroot @83 Thanks for taking the dorkroot comment with humor. Note that I didn't really call you that at the top of 73, just said that I almost did. Also, I'm with you in wishing that Egwene had at least asked Perrin how he got so good in TAR.

Freelancer @86 You are right. I shouldn't get so upset at being ignored as I sounded @73. BUT I REALLY DO WANT THAT PICTURE to replace Rand's face on my computer. You are good at smoothing things over. My previous posting about the picture was not on the reread thread, but on the AMOL spoiler thread. So it was really more in sync with the general discussion there. I'll drop it here till the last section of the book.

Arila @96 Thanks to you too for trying to smooth my ruffled feathers. And I'm glad your response to my mini-tantrum @73 got you quite a bit of action on the Sheriam/Town theory. My opinion on that theory is on the same lines as chaplainchris1 @106
Jay Dauro
115. J.Dauro
Folks, both we and Nyneave may be coming down on Egeanin a bit more than she deserves. What does Egeanin know about the Sad Bracelets?

She gets them in TSR-55.

Nyneave does not explain what they are. She does say
“This goes to the Tower. But that. . . .”

“That is too dangerous to risk it ever falling back into the hands of Darkfriends. Elayne, can you destroy them? Melt them. I don’t care if they burn through the table. Just destroy them!”
Then she does see that Elayne cannot destroy them with the One Power. Finally Nyneave gives them instructions.
“Master Domon, do you know a very deep part of the sea?”
“I do, Mistress al’Meara,” he said slowly.
Gingerly, trying not to feel the emotions, Nynaeve shoved the collar and bracelets across the table to him. “Then drop these into it, where no one can ever fish them out again.”
So Egeanin does not know that these are a risk to Rand. She does know that they should not get into the hands of Darkfriends, but I do not believe she suspects Suroth of being a Darkfriend.

Yes, she should have dropped them. But Nyneave and Elayne are also at fault for not giving more complete instructions.

I believe Gaul may have had an advantage over the Dreamwalkers, being in the Dream "in the flesh."

I read each of the pre-release materials as soon as it was available. Yes, I worried that Talmanes would die when I read the Prologue. I was relieved when he was healed in Chapter 1. I fail to see how me delaying my reading of this would have changed that, whenever I encountered it, I would expect the same reaction.

I consider WOT one story. When I finished TOM I was around 93% through with the story. Reading the pre-release material brought me maybe another fraction of a percent closer to the end, and then I waited. I have waited for WOT to continue often before. As all of us have, we use this time to speculate. Which I did.

Team Jordan does try to be careful with what they release out of order. The bits with Mat later in the story (in TOM and AMOL) were chosen because they revealed little that was not already known.
D. Funk
116. archaeo
So many commenters, but only a few topic threads. Specifically:

Callandor is "believed to have been constructed during the War of Power," according to the Guide. Unless this is inaccurate, it definitely suggests that the taint on saidin has nothing to do with the TP abilities of Callandor. I tend to agree that a Dreadlord or Forsaken was involved in its creation; the idea that it's just an accident seems unlikely.

Gaul does get the hang of T'A'R awfully quickly, doesn't he? I found this pretty believable, generally because the Aiel sense of self seems to have abundant stability, and specifically because Gaul doesn't seem to have a lot of interior troubles or feelings that would get in the way when he's on a mission. His ladies are safely in gai'shan white, and he trusts Perrin to lead him. Frankly, if anybody was going to have an easy time with T'A'R, it'd be Gaul.

You can also put me in the camp that thought Talmanes was not long for the world, and while I think an early death for a main-ish character would've been a good thing, it doesn't bother me that he got saved.
117. ~dream
What happened to Nynaeve's hair?
118. Freelancer
jneth @95

Interestingly, at the San Diego event, Harriet briefly spoke of Bao the Wyld, and she pronounced it as you would take a bow. But I asked Brandon later and he said that he pronounces it as Bay-o the Wilde.

J.Dauro @115

Agreed, Nynaeve had little call for treating Egeaning quite so harshly about the Domination Band, when she didn't elaborate on the type and extent of the danger it represented.

~dream @117

It got damaged in her Aes Sedai testing.
119. Mndrew
"Fuck Slavery" - heh.
May I suggest, as a sort of soul palette cleanser, reading (or re-reading as the case may be) Rosenberg's "Guardian's of the Flame" series? I find this an excellent balm for an offended soul; and the books have just been added to Audible.
Oh, and by the way, Talmanes rules. Someone needs to give him a country to rule or somehting.
120. SerTom
Excelent synopsis/analysis as always, Leigh; however, I believe you and most everyone else that I've seen comment on this have missed the point re: Leilwin's seeming cognitive dissonance regarding the damane and offering herself as da'covale to the Amyrlin. Leilwin's problem with the damane was not their slavery, but rather that "the damane are a lie." meaning that she had come to understand that channelers were not the rabid dogs she had been raised to see them as. The revelation that sul'dam were also latent channelers really pushed things for her. For herself, someone above said it, giving herself as da'covale is the only way she knows to repay the dishonor she has for screwing up the sad bracelets deal.
121. Just passing by
Re: Callandor

I'd guess that Callandor was made before the taint without forsaken involvement. My main reason is that they knew exactly how strong it was. All the forsaken knew it was a male Sa'angreal. Unless the BA told them immediately, doubtful IMO, they shouldn't be able to recognize it on sight unless they had prior knowledge. Also lanfear knew that there were only two stronger Sa'angreal. She wouldn't know how strong it was if it was made post sealing. Even if the BA told her/them about it, I doubt they have that little detail.

Likewise I think it really was pure chance that it could channel the TP not forsaken intervention. A manufacturing flaw that accidentally provides the necessary buffer for resealing the DO, is exactly the sort of random chance that the pattern is built on. It's the 1 in 10^9999999999999 chance that a specific element fails at just the right time in just the right way to make a working item that eventually saves the world. (Side note: Did RJ ever say there were SA where the op wasn't tainted? If Callandor was made pre-sealing there is a semi-feasible scenario were LTT learns of the flaw in Callandor and seals the DO using the TP and nothing gets tainted) After all foretelling are pattern driven not AS driven. The pattern was what made Callandor important, the foretelling were just how it revealed that knowledge.
Joshua Neth
122. jneth
@112 billiam the compulsion may be a leap on my part, but the way that Shendla behaves at Boa's death, combined with the old mans recognition that Moghedien was not Bao, led me to believe compulsion was atleast used on the Sharan power players. Plus the image of making the willed bow before him, or even bending their will like a bow might be an indicator. But it could just be idol worship.
Judy Carmona
123. Farstrider
Freelancer@ 86 Your reasoning re: Callandor is fairly sound, but I had a couple of thoughts to add.
1) If Callandor we created by half- mad men using either tainted saidin or the True Power, why would they include the loophole where it could be buffered by using along with 2 women, one of whom would have to guide the flows?
2) From the passage in TSR, I still get the feeling that they are setting aside whatever plans they had for Callandor so that they can create the Eye. It seems like the items within the Eye go in one geographical direction and Callandor, possibly unfinished, goes in another. If these Aes Sedai know thy are going to expend themselves in the creation of the Eye, I doubt they used Callandor. How would it have ended up heavily warded in the Stone?
Sandy Brewer
124. ShaggyBella
I was thinking it was Talmanes who killed 2 Fades at once, but now I am not sure. Probably was Lan.
Does anyone remember if we ever saw Jolene or her warders? I know Tesslin showed up.
Birgit F
125. birgit
Creating a male sa'angreal probably requires male channelers, but it could have been made by a circle including women and men channeling tainted saidin. The women might have wanted to give control to a woman, not a mad man, while the taint on the saidin used by the male member(s) of the circle is responsible for the TP use.

I didn't read the prerelease of chapter 1 and 2 because the introduction to chapter 1 had a spoiler warning for the prologue, which I didn't get because it was only available for Kindle in Germany and I don't have that. I did read the prerelease of the Mat chapter and prologue part.
Jonathan Levy
126. JonathanLevy
49. Rand al'Todd
That's a great theory, about the origins of Callandor.

Perhaps the True Power access wasn't deliberately put into Callandor by a Darkfriend. If Callandor was made with Saidin after it was tainted, this attribute might have crept in unnoticed.

After all, we've seen what the taint was able to do to the Ways, which were also made with Tainted Saidin.

My understanding was that as a general rule, an True Source angreal is not also a True Power angreal. Callandor is unusual in many ways, and this is only one of them.

If this is true, there is no retcon.

65. rhandric
I see you've made points similar to my replies to forkroot and Al'Todd.
Also 70.insectoid, I see.

HA. The answer has got to be 'no', but I like your thinking :)
Valentin M
127. ValMar
J.Dauro @ 115

I also agree with you about Egeanin. She didn't have enough info on the danger of the object. The often-encountered trope of lack of trust and communication again. There is a difference between knowing it's important to do something and knowing exactly why it's important to do it.
OTOH, whilst I don't agree with Nyn's reaction to Egeanin here, I'm not sure I would've given more info to the Seanchan woman if I was in Nyn's place. There's no way of knowing where this important knowledge could've ended.

A bit belatedly, but I'd like to add my own pleasure of how Talmanes dealt with the mercs outside Caemlyn. The precise, cool, and logical manner he did with is exactly like I'd expect him to do it.
128. Freelancer

Well, that's always been the $64,000 question. How did a sa'angreal come to be hanging in mid-air in the Heart of the Stone of Tear, encapsulated in a warding attuned to the soul of a man who had been dead for a minimum of 80 years before they created the Eye of the World?
129. Looking Glass
Forkroot@83: Gaul did learn fast (and maybe too fast), but I’d say at least some of that’s attributable to the fact that Perrin is training him Asha’man-style rather than Aes-Sedai-style. As in, Gaul’s getting the risky, high-immersion, nigh-exclusively-combat-oriented version of the training that’s normally way more theoretical and drawn out.

Though you’re right, if they’d expected T’A’R to be a big battleground Bair would definitely have been useful.

Jneth@85: Oops, I had zero recollection of that scene- thanks. I suppose that’s the downside of reading the book in one sitting.

Freelancer@86: Was there anything in the angreal-seed scene specifically indicating that only a male channeler could make a male angreal? I don’t recall anything, but we’ve already proven that doesn't necessarily mean much.

I’d be very hesitant to assume it if it isn’t stated outright, given the number of occasions where we’ve seen saidar-only effects interact directly with a man’s ability to channel. Off the top of my head, there’s Logain’s healing (and really, all occurrences of gentling), as well as the fact that the female a’dam react (albeit very badly) with male channelers. (The male a’dam would be a better example, but for all we know men were always involved in the making.)

CorDarei@93: I think it’d be hard to miss if someone tried sneaking a TP weave into the middle of an OP one, but it’s quite possible sa’angreal don’t have to be made all at once, and that Callandor could have been secretly modified between steps. IIRC the big pair, at least, involved some longer construction, which is tied into why they were never used as planned.

I personally favor the “Callandor was deliberately built that way by the light” theory, and put “accidentally built by the light” in second, but the “shadow messed with it secretly” theory is possible.

More comment on Callandor: if the Dark One can, in fact, already dole out as much of the TP as he wants to anyone, then it seems like the only point of increased TP draw would be on the screw-the-Dark-One side of things. I mean, anyone trying to use Callandor that way would be, in effect, deliberately trying to pull more than the amount that the DO approved for them, which would likely make the DO really pissed.

There are precious few authorized TP users (read: maybe Lanfear, and that’s it) who’d have the chutzpah to intentionally create a device like that. “Deliberately light-made” or “accidentally light-made” seems more likely.

Though I suppose the fourth combination, “accidentally Shadow-made”, isn’t totally impossible. If some authorized dark-side TP-user was secretly on the construction team, it’s conceivable (albeit unlikely) that their simple presence could have caused that without them doing anything.

Am I remembering correctly that the AS who had Callandor in the column visions were kind of disgusted with the sword? Or am I making that up? I think I remember that, but it’s been a while since I read TSR.
130. rhandric
Looking Glass @129:
A lot of our theories re: (sa')angreal and Callendor (and TP angreal-ness) (read: all) are based on the scene in AMoL where Rand gives Elayne the angreal Seed.
"An angreal?" Elayne asked."No, a Seed. Creating angreal requires a different process. It begins with one of these, an object created to draw your Power and instill it into something else."
A lot is left unsaid in that scene. Some assumptions that can be made (and perhaps need to be verified, either by Brandon or perhaps in the Encyclopedia) are that a) the type of Power (saidin, saidar, or the True Power) instilled (channeled through) into the Seed determine the type of angreal (though that might also be determined by the manufacturing process of the original Seed); b) you need somebody to channel/instill said Power into the Seed, meaning to have a TP angreal you need a TP channeler -- meaning a Light-side channeler by definition couldn't deliberately create a TP angreal.
Robert Crawley
131. Alphaleonis
Freelancer @128 We've seen how it is possible for a channeler to completely open up his or her soul to another (LTT/Rand with Lanfear/Cynd in the dreamshard). Perhaps LTT had done so before sealing the bore to a select few AS, so that they could attune the weaves to his soul in case he didn't make it out of the attack.
Heather Olver
132. Arila
@130 can't wait to get to that part of the re-read. I suddenly have an idea about why angreal are so rare and so prized (even by age of legends people) "draw your power and instill it into something else" ??

If chanelling through an angreal makes it stronger, then surely continued use would make them stronger and stronger? Hmm.

Also, I have re-read chapter 25 of the Gathering Storm, and I guess my Sheriam theory is a little TOO looney. If she was raised in Town and basically born into the BA, then there wouldn't be any thoughts at all about purposely joining.
133. rhandric
Likely there's some process to "finalize" the angreal, since when the Seed is being used to create the angreal (which I didn't quote), it leaves the user drained (Rand goes on and warns Elayne not to use it during the time of war, or she'll be drained and useless for participating in the war).
Nadine L.
134. travyl
115. Jay Dauro / Freelancer / Valmar
No, I think Nynaeve did the right thing not to disclose why she thought the object so dangerous.
Do you think Egeanin would have dropped the Braclet, if Nynaeve had told her “this is dangerous, it can control male channelers, so it needs to be destroyed”
– even in this scene Egeanin still is uncomfortable with the conception of man who can channel. Had she known, I think its much more likely that she had intentionally handed the braclet over to end the practice of killing man, who guided by the braclet could then serve the Empress, may she live forever.
And it is a tough dilemma I think - what is worse: killing any male with the spark on the spot (as the Seanchan do) or enslave him, to use his powers for the good (of the Empire), with him not being able to inadvertently harm his loved ones. The brain-washed damanes are mostly happy about their position, seanchan male might see it as salvation to be of service...

Re Callandor:
I don't see a Darkfriend intentionally tune it to the True Power, and then forgetting to tell his oder Darkfriend allies. Had the Forsaken be aware of "the flaw" the TP-capable Forsaken should have tried more vigorously to get hold of it - IMO

100. Arila: I'm pretty sure, Rhuarc leaves both his wifes mourning.

83. forkroot, good comment that Bair could have helped in TAR, though probably only in her Dream. I'm sure she'd refused to enter in the flesh. - But it did not happen, obviously not even the Aiel share all the information, whigh could have been profitable to the outcome.

73. Alphaleonis
Like bergmaniac (77.) and others said: I did read everything of aMOL as soon as it was available. I purchased the prologue, so this was the first thing I read of aMOL and I went through hoping and dreading for Talmanes. (By the way I still haven’t read chapter two – I listened to it several times, so I dived right into chapter 3 once I finally had the book in my hands.
Chris Chaplain
135. chaplainchris1
Other things I haven't commented on yet - at least one of which is actually apropos to this section of the reread. :)

1. Leilwin. I actually heart Leilwin a bit. Yes, she still believes in some kind of role for da'covale, and that's despicable; yes, she lets Tuon strip her name and her passion for the sea away, and that's sad. (I’ve actually, as Mat did for awhile, refused to refer to her as Leilwin; now, I’m choosing to honor her sacrifice even as I disagree with it.) Yes, she did fail to dispose of the sad bracelets, and yes, that was almost disaster.

But she has integrity. She's loyal to the Empire, but sees that the damane are a lie, and she won’t abide that. Contrast it with Tuon who rationalizes the knowledge away; Leilwin faces the consequences unflinchingly. Likewise, while her acceptance of slavery is awful, her willingness to accept it for herself is honorable in the sense that she’s true to her convictions and follows them through to their logical outcomes. She’s not a hypocrite, even when hypocrisy would be far easier. I do admire that.

One could hope, as she’s overcome her prejudice at marrying “manumitted property” and has been property herself, she might eventually come around to desiring the end of *all* forms of slavery, for damane and otherwise.

Next post - Demandred/Shara/Bao the Wyld/etc.
136. SerTom
@135 My point exactly, only stated much more eloquently than I did.
Sam Mickel
137. Samadai
Long time rereader, first time poster............ on this AMoL part2. ;)

I read all the prereleased parts, and it in no way ruined any of the book for me. I was scared for Talmanes as well, I kept hoping they would run into a hidden AS in Caemlyn somewhere along the way.

Forkroot, I think Gaul is an ideal candidate for learning Tel'aran'rhiod. He has no preconception of the place, knows it is dangerous, and Perrin tells him that what he thinks is real. for a warrior like Gaul, I imagine he has an ingrained oneness that he uses.

As for Callandor, Rand himself gives us the clue as to how the sword is a TP Sa'angreal. He tells Perrin that the thing that boggles his mind is that it is because of the Taint that he has a chanceto beat the DarkOne( I don't have the book handy, so don't know the exact quote). Now of course he isn't talking about the Sword per se, however, the Sword is mentioned as one of the keys to the Last Battle and with Rands staement about the taint being another key, it is probable that Callandor is a TP Sa'angreal because it was created after the sealing, and thus Saidin was already tainted
138. rhandric
Of course, when Rand tells Perrin that he's speaking of the voice and memories of Lews Therin he gained due to the Taint (making him mad, breaking the barriers between previous and current lives), not Callandor or the TP. Of course, it could be a subtle way of the author pointing it out to us, without the character seeing the second meaning behind his words.
"Do you want to know the thing that twists my brain in knots, Perrin?" Rand said softly. "The thing that gives me shivers, like the cold breath of the Shadow itself? The taint is what made me mad and what gave me memories from my past life. They came as Lews Therin whispering to me. But that very insanity is the thing giving me the clues I need to win. Don't you see? If I win this, it will be the taint itself that led to the Dark One's fall."
Sam Mickel
139. Samadai

I agree, he is talking about the madness, but this whole reread is about discovering what lies beneath what is said. as is there is no way to prove it one way or another, but I like the idea, and as it is said, it is left open for speculation
140. Hammerlock
You know, I forget if this was addressed in AMoL, but isn't Leilwin doomed to go crazy and die after a certain Swarovski-bedazzling-on-steroids scene?
141. rhandric
@139 Agreed
@140 You mean because she was bonded? No, because her bond was released before Egwene's death
142. alreadymadwithseeds
Looking Glass @129
No, the Aes Sedai were fine with the sword. As fine as women could be, anyway. It was the Aiel whose POV Rand was looking thru who were disgusted at the sword.

Arila @132
Continually channeling into the seed will make the angreal product stronger. Continually channeling into the finished product will only get one tired.

rhandric @133

"An angreal?" Elayne asked."No, a Seed. Creating angrealrequires a different process. It begins with one of these, an object created to draw your Power and instill it into something else."
That something else then becomes the finished product.
143. Looking Glass
Rhandric @130: Ah. Yeah, I see what you mean; the actual text does kind of hint heavily in that direction. Not conclusively, I suppose- it’s still possible that any channeler’s capacity can jump-start the process in any direction. But it is pretty suggestive.

Do we have any idea if a complete non-channeler can use the TP? I’m fairly certain we at least never saw it happen on-page. Unless maybe we want to count Shadar Haran (which I don’t; his situation is way too idiosyncratic).

Travyl @134: “I don't see a Darkfriend intentionally tune it to the True Power, and then forgetting to tell his oder Darkfriend allies.”

Team Dark is second only to Team Light in their ability to screw each other by not communicating. Though for them it’s not a bug, it’s a feature. Verily, anyone who could use the TP at the end of the War of the Shadow would likely be interested in screwing over anyone else who could use the TP at that time.

However, given how it appears to work, a TP angreal seems likely to piss off the Dark One himself, which even the nuttiest Forsaken typically try to avoid.

Alreadymad @142: Wow, I’m just missing stuff all over today. Thanks.

It’s confusing to the general discussion that (if I’m understanding the process), “seed” is kind of a non-indicative term: the device doesn’t become the angreal, or get consumed in the process of creating it. It’s really more of an angreal-forming catalyst.
144. rhandric
Well, the text is vague, so something else might refer to a separate object, or it might refer to the Seed itself; being called a Seed implies that it would be consumed if not ultimately becoming the angreal, but that would need confirmation.

Looking Glass @143
re: non-channelers using the TP: That would be a definite no, only channelers are capable of touching the TP (think of a pipe system; channelers have a pipe, non-channelers don't, using the TP changes the source of the pipe.) I forget if this was mentioned in the books, or if it came from an RJ interview though.
145. DougL
Why are people making excuses for Eaganin? Domon was there when Elayne and Nynaeve tried to destroy it, saw how much they were afraid of it, and you guys are saying they didn't convey the seriousness of the band's nature? When someone asks you to drop it into the deepest part of the ocean, that it is something too dangerous to hand over even to the Aes Sedai, I think it's pretty freaking clear. She risked danger to someone, she may not have known who, she may not have known when, and she didn't know Suroth was a DF, but she handed over something super dangerous to save her own ass. That's cowardly.
Chris Chaplain
146. chaplainchris1
Samadai @137 “Long time rereader, first time poster............ on this AMoL part2. ;)”


Looking Glass @143: “Team Dark is second only to Team Light in their ability to screw each other by not communicating. Though for them it’s not a bug, it’s a feature.”

Hah! A perfect description.

Ok, I was going to post a bit about Demandred/Shara/Bao the Wyld, etc. I’m frankly not sure where to put it – the Spoiler Thread? But that seems likely to die out as we go through the reread, and the question of Demandred has come up in the conversation here, so...

Anyway, I’ll take it down and repost it somewhere else if you guys prefer. At any rate, I have a theory that is I’m sure not unique, but I want to put it out there before River of Souls becomes available. WALL OF TEXT ON DEMANDRED/DRAGON follows:

Demandred claims that the Sharans are his people and he is their prophesied leader, that they’ve been waiting for him even as the westlands waited for Rand. Some possibilities I see here:

1. This is unambiguously true. Somebody made prophecies – Dark prophecies, I guess? Somebody made prophecies about Demandred - excuse me, Bao - coming to rule them. This is what Demandred seems to believe, what the text seems to say, and it has interesting implications for Shara. For one thing, it may explain their weird isolationism and secretiveness.

2. This is unambiguously false. Demandred and the Father of Lies cooked themselves up a good little plan and somehow coopted the Sharans. Presumably it required some deep background work over the centuries from Ishamael/Ba’alzamon. This is possible – it would be a more successful iteration of the way Ishamael managed to co-opt and corrupt the Seanchan, using them as his proxies in The Great Hunt.

3. This is sort of true and sort of false. This is my theory, partly because it fits the general themes of WOT (miscommunication, knowledge shifting over time and distance, etc.). But also, partly, because of my guesses as to what drives Demandred.

So, what would I mean by saying it’s sort of true but not totally true that Demandred is the long-prophesied leader of the Sharans? Well, my Loony Theory (though it seems very plausible to me) is that “Bao the Wyld” is an alternate title for the Dragon Reborn, like “Cara’a’carn” or “Cooramoor.” If the Aiel and Seanchan have their own titles for the Dragon, it stands to reason that the Sharans would as well.

Now, I may very well be wrong about this, as I’ll get to below. But even if I’m wrong in the conclusion, there’s some (to me) interesting speculation about what the title of Dragon means (and specifically, what it meant in the Age of Legends), so I hope you’ll bear with me.

Here’s my thought process:

A) Sharans had prophecies about “Bao the Wyld” coming to save the world from the Dark One. Those prophecies actually refer to Rand. But Demandred co-opted them, taking Rand’s place.

B) This would be very satisfying and enticing to him – he thinks LTT co-opted his rightful place in the Age of Legends. This is payback.

C) We know what “Dragon Reborn” means to Third Agers; but what did “Dragon” mean in the Second Age? I seem to recall that it didn’t mean “scaly fire-breathing lizard” so far as anyone remembered. My impression – can anyone confirm or deny this? – is that it is a distinct title, not part of LTT’s “Tamyrlin/First Among Servants” titles. We’ve seen several mentions of the fact that the title was *granted* to Lews Therin, and that Barid Bel Medar/Demandred thought it should have been his title. Rand thinks there’s some truth to this; that he, as Lews Therin, competed with instead of affirming Barid Bel.

D) I also believe it unlikely that the Dragon title was seen as anything overtly mythical or prophetic. All during the Third Age, Randlanders knew about the Dark One and that a Champion would be born to face him. But in the Age of Legends, nobody remembered the DO, and the War of Power took them by surprise. Without knowledge of the DO, it seems unlikely that there was any Age of Legend equivalent of “The Prophecies of the Dragon” to talk about a champion who would face the Shadow. No one remembered the existence of the Shadow. Ergo, they’d also forgotten the need for a Dragon, one who would be One with the Land and stand for the Light against the Dark.

E) Putting the hints together, I believe that “Dragon” was a title that meant something like “Commander in Chief.” It may, likely was, a new office, created *for* the War of Power. After all, prior to that, war had been unknown.

So, if this is right, “Dragon” is what Lews Therin was named when he was made over-general of the Armies of the Light. From our perspective, this is right and proper – Rand’s soul is the reincarnated soul of the Light’s champion. But from an Age of Legend perspective, without the benefit of those prophecies, it just meant that the famous and accomplished Lews Therin Telamon was humankind’s highest ranking general. Barid Bel/Demandred believed he was the superior general; he may in fact have been superior. In his opinion, he should have been named Dragon. Instead, Lews Therin – who was a day older, minutely more powerful in the One Power, had slightly more popular books, was First Among the Servants, and won Ilyena from him – Lews Therin also got the head generalship, meaning Barid Bel had to take orders from him. Eventually he couldn’t take it and he snapped, going over to the Shadow.

F) In the Third Age, though, Demandred saw an opportunity to take the Dragon-role he believed he should have always had. He knew Rand was “the Dragon Reborn” in the sense of being “Lews Therin Telamon, General of the Armies of Light Reborn”; but he didn’t believe that Rand/LTT was the Light’s magically/divinely appointed champion. (In that sense, Demandred is a sort of atheist. He obviously believes in the DO, and presumably the Creator; but he doesn’t believe in the mythology of the Dragon Reborn.)

The Sharans had prophecies about the Dragon, “Bao the Wyld”; but Rand didn’t go to Shara, and so the role of that prophesied leader was vacant there. At first, I thought this was a flaw in my reasoning; if “Bao the Wyld” was supposed to be the Dragon Reborn, shouldn’t the Pattern have driven Rand to Shara?

And I do think Rand should’ve gone to Shara. Obviously, in hindsight, it would’ve been nice to get those Sharans sorted out (one way or another) prior to the Last Battle! (On the other hand, they’re slavers who were willing to fight alongside Trollocs; they’re far closer to being a nation of DFs than the despicably slaver Seanchan Empire. Maybe it’s just as well Rand never tried to pull them in.) At any rate, Rand *didn’t* go. Maybe that’s because I’m wrong, and “Bao” isn’t an alternate Dragon title. On the other hand, Rand avoided the Sea Folk for ages, even though they were actively pursuing their Coramoor. So, given their isolation, and Rand’s reluctance to cause even more chaos, and the general isolation of Shara...I think it’s still highly possible that Bao the Wyld is a Dragon-title.

G) Moiraine did tell us that the Pattern wouldn’t allow False Dragons after Rand declared himself. That seems to be at least partially true; but on the other hand, Forsaken were able to impersonate Rand when talking to Masema, so it’s not *completely* true. All it may have needed for Demandred to (falsely) take Rand’s place as “Bao the Wyld” is Demandred’s belief that he wasn’t doing it falsely.

H) Given this chain of reasoning – even if some of it proves to go too far – Demandred’s actions later in the book make more sense to me. I’m sure we’ll talk about it later, but Demandred’s apparent conviction that he really was going to save the Sharans from the world ending, and his steadfast belief that Lews Therin would confront him rather than bypassing him and going to Shayol Ghul directly...well, it fits, doesn’t it? Demandred (a name given by his foes, a name he rejects, instead claiming the Dragon-title Bao the Wyld as the name of his ‘true’ self) believes himself the rightful/true Dragon. He, basically, is deluded and suffers from an inflated sense of his own importance. He sees himself, not Moridin or even the Dark One, as Rand’s nemesis.

Actually, that’s probably reversed. Demandred is the protagonist in his story, he is Bao the Wyld, prophesied hero. So in Demandred’s story, the true antagonist isn’t the Shadow; it’s Lews Therin Telamon, who stole his rightful place.

So, for all his effectiveness, ultimately, he’s just got delusions of grandeur.
Roger Powell
147. forkroot
Interesting thoughts. We might get some insight into how accurate your musings are when the "Unfettered" anthology comes out.
Morgan Senkal
148. TaisharMorgan
Yay, more reread!!

Sorry I missed you at the signing! I was there; I videotaped all of Brandon and Harriet's Q&A, and I'll post up the video on the Reread FB page in the next coupla days. I tried to keep it to one video per question, so they're all fairly short.

Chaplain @146:
Regarding the source of the name 'Dragon'; Arthur Pendragon's epithet means essentially 'Chief Dragon'. Perhaps the name 'Dragon' filtered down from the first age as a term meaning Chief?

I think the idea that Demandred basically appropriated the Sharan prophecy for the dragon as his own totally fits with his motivations and personality. He finally got some of his own, and he was going to use it to not only shove down Rand's throat, but to destroy him as well. Tsk tsk. Envy is such an ugly thing.

The hills are alive: I'm so glad to see you all are stepping up with the Sound of Music rewrite! I now will never be able to watch that movie again without mentally editing the song...

Seanchan!!: I can see now that every time we touch upon Leilwin/Egeanin or Tuon in this reread, I'm going to be hit once again with the fact that we never see Hawkwing and Tuon have a little chat. Phooey and stuff. And some grrr and argh too. That being said, I really enjoying watching Egwene find a Seanchan that she thought didn't suck so much, since it sort of foreshadows the fact that the White Tower and the Seanchan need to find some sort of neutral ground - not just before the sh*t hits the fan in the interests of battle alliance, but also if there is ever to be a hope of a peaceful ever after once the Last Battle is won.
Debra Bradford
149. trotBelatrot
I have a job for Talmanes! Elayne needs a Captain-General. She has just lost Birgette, Gawyn and Gareth Bryne. Talmanes would be a great Captain-General. With Elayne now being queen of Andor and Cairhien it would probably be good to have a Cairhienin in the job. Elayne does admire him for saving the dragons.
Perhaps Callandor was not created by the good guys. Perhaps it was created by the dreadlords towards the end of the war. Because of it's flaw they lost it in battle - it may have led to the eventual defeat of the forsaken. Once the age of legend Aes Sedai aquired Callandor they were not sure what to do with it.
I too wished to witness Tuon and Arthur Pendragon's meeting. I also would like to see Tuon's face when she meets up with Tam Al'Thor wearing the sword Justice. After meeting Arthur Pendragon she should recognize the sword. Rand did ask her point blank if she would respect a country's rule if the ruler was a direct desendant of Arthur Pendragon. Maybe Tam can make her see reason on her slavery issues.
Bill Stusser
149. billiam

I think I know why at least one of your questions wasn't answered. I was just reading in the Read of Ice and Fire: ASoS part 15, and saw a comment from you asking about a picture of Moridin. I think you put your question in the wrong post.
Jay Dauro
150. J.Dauro
travyl @134

I don't think that any of us were arguing that Nyneave should have given a full explanation of whet the Sad Bracelets were, or why they should be safeguarded. What we were saying is that, with the limited information she did give Egeanin, she should not have come down so hard on her in AMOL.

While I do not think Nyneave should have revealed all about the bracelets, she could have provided a bit more information to Egeanin.

But with what Nyneave did tell Egeanin, I do not think Nyneave has justification for her "you could have destroyed the world" tirade.

DougL @145

They saw the girls try to destroy the bracelets. The girls did not say that this was too dangerous to go to the Aes Sedai. Nyneave thought it, but didn't say it.

All too often we ascribe the knowledge we have as readers to characters. Here Egeanin and Doman do not have the knowledge.
152. Freelancer
Alphaleonis @131

A perfectly reasonable theory, with one small caveat. The way in which the story regarding the Strike is presented, for some time prior to Lews Therin commanding his Companions at Shayol Ghul, male and female Aes Sedai had completely stopped communicating or corroborating with one another, thanks to Latra Posae's Fateful Concord.

The next best possibility which I can conjure, would be drawing enough information to attune a ward to Lews Therin from one of the Seals.

Looking Glass @143

You must be able to embrace saidin or saidar in order to sense the True Power. Beyond that, with the "normal" requirement of the Dark One's permission to empoy his essence, he wouldn't be giving that to an otherwise non-channeler in any case.
Birgit F
153. birgit
I don't think Bao the Wyld is the Sharan name for the Dragon Reborn. Demandred says that Randland had prophecies of the Dragon Reborn and Shara had prophecies about Bao and it sounds like he is talking about two different people. He also calls himself Dragonslayer, and that seems to be part of the prophecies. The Sharan prophecies are probably about a battle between Bao and the Dragon.

Elayne's new Captain-General (and Warder) will probably be Guyborn.
Katie Pi
154. Darth_Katie
Oh man, Talmanes is SUPER SEXY in this book. Damn.
Andrew Kopittke
155. mendosi
That may be true, but don't forget that the Dragon, the Coramoor and He Who Comes with the Dawn are also different propecies.

The Aiel even make a point about how they're not following those wetlander prophecies about the Dragon.

In any case, top points to Demandred. Although, I feel that we're getting a little ahead of ourselves here since it's only the prologue.

I like the idea about Talmanes being the captain of Elayne's guard!
Joshua Neth
156. jneth
@153 Birgit the dragon, car'acarn and cooramoor (sorry about spelling, I'm feeling to lazy to check) are all the same person, so it's completely reasonable that Shara had their own dragon prophecies. After all, EVERY other part of the world did, even tremelkng.

@146 Chaplainchris1 I think you're dead on. Demandred makes perfect sense as a false dragon. It fits his history beautifully, and if I'm not mistaken, we get clues about Demandred before Rand goes to Tear, so Moraine's comment about no other false dragons wouldn't apply. I think Demandre speaks directly about fulfilling Sharan prophecy, so we know there are prophecies. As I stated above, EVERY corner of Randland that we see has them. Even the shadows prophecies are "Dragon " based. Could Shara have a different kind of prophecy? Sure. But I think your theory about Demandred as a false dragon suit the story much better. I still think there is an argument to be made that Demandred also used compulsion. Unless someone can offer an alternate reason as to why the non-chanler old man that Demandred was "fond of" recognizes that Moghedien is not Bao.
Robert Crawley
157. Alphaleonis
billiam @149 Yes, I noticed that the next day and posted the same question on the AMOL spoiler thread. It was never answered on either thread. I didn't really expect it to be on the Ice an Fire thread, although there are many who frequent both book threads. Now I have posted it three times, and not one reponse yet. Does no one else want to see one of our favorite SFF artists do that picture (Rand/Moridin riding off into the sunset, smoking a pipe, with a bonfire in the background, three women staring at him)? Now this is the fourth time I have asked the question. Maybe no one else would like it . It would be my favorite picture from AMOL, but it couldn't have been the cover art, because it would have been a spoiler.

Freelancer @152 Your caveat holds if Callandor were created before the sealing. But not if it were created after, and I think the debate is still open on that? It could have been either a male or female channeler that he had opened his soul to. They worked together after the sealing.

To several above who have speculated on who would be Elaynes Captain now: I was hoping it would be a certain tall dark haired gentleman with a single saa in one eye, who has a lot of experience in leading armies in two different ages.
Chin Bawambi
158. bawambi

I can't answer for anyone else on this board but I detest the final resolution of the series. I don't want this to turn into a war with everyone else on this board - nothing personal here but I can't stand Rand being in my mind Emo Bombadil. I even liked the way Rand defeated the DO and loved the Last Battle. I was hoping that my quick read would lessen the sour note at the end but it isn't going away. I hope my stance lessens after I read it aMoL a second time.

159. Freelancer
Alphaleonis @157

It's possible that people aren't answering about your interest in such an image is because the answer for many would be no, they don't want a representation of the hero of their story wearing the face of his enemy. Please don't presume that it is rampant, broad-based rudeness. Folks are responding to your other discussion points.

Speaking of which, Back to your idea that Lews Therin "opened himself" to one or more other channelers, consider from the viewpoint at the time. Does anyone yet know that the Dragon is going to foment the Breaking of the world? Is there yet a single prophecy of his future rebirth as the incipient savior? No, there is not. The gaps in our own knowledge of this history are substantial. We don't know what the time gap is from Latra Posae initiating the Fateful Concord, until Lews Therin commands the Strike with only male Aes Sedai (no less than the time required for the construction of the two largest sa'angreal ever, and for them to be hidden by burial in separate parts of the world); we don't know the time gap between the Strike and Lews Therin's suicide where Dragonmount now sits; we are told by the BBoBA that Callandor was made during the War of Power, therefore before the Strike, and long before Solinda Sedai and her team created the Eye. Yet if Callandor had been made by other than forces of the Shadow, why wouldn't Lews Therin have used it during the Strike? He certainly did not know of it's flaw, since even after Rand got all of Lews' memories he still hadn't puzzled out the truth of the Crystal Sword.

When would Lews Therin have decided, and more importantly why, to have other channelers be able to attune special wardings to him? You say as a precaution in case he didn't survive the Strike. But what, from their perspective of the time, would they employ that warding to accomplish? Was there an understanding, prior to the Strike, that Callandor would be the final tool of salvation used by the Dragon Reborn? Not a chance. So, I simply see no logical construct of motivations, events, and expectations which would follow that theory.
Janet Hopkins
160. JanDSedai
People talking about Egeanin and Bayle not dropping the "sad bracelets" are forgetting that they never had the opportunity to do so. IIRC, they were immediately spotted upon leaving Falme, and "escorted" to the Sea Folk island where Semirhage was organizing the remnants of the Return. Even if Egeanin tried to throw the bracelets overboard, the Damane on the other ship would have "tractor-beamed" the item to them. Egeanin is fully aware of the significance of her failure, and it has been eating at her soul for all this time ( over a year? two years?).

I also support the view that Callandor is (was) able to use the TP because of the Taint. I think this was unintentional and unnoticed until Rand came up with his plan.
Robert Crawley
161. Alphaleonis
Freelancer @159

I was never really upset that my posts hadn't been answeed. That was only a tongue in cheek response to Forkroot when he was playing around with my name. Then billiam pointed out that I had first posted my question on the wrong site. I have basically been using those excuses as more times to post my question about the picture. One response so far was not in favor of such a picture. And the lack of enthusiasm so far seems to indicate that I may never see it. That's OK. I have several artists in my family that will paint one for me for free, and do about as good as Sweet and the others have done.

As to my theory about the warding around Callandor in the Heart of the Stone. It would not have required LTT to paint his open soul to anyone for a specific purpose known at the time. It would only have required him to do it to anyone for any reason. And that person or persons to have survived the breaking. Since he was able to do so, and asked Lan/Cyn to do it too implies that the technique was known in the age of legends, and presumably used.
Debra Bradford
162. trotBelatrot
I like your idea for a Elayne's Captain General better.
Juan Avila
163. Cumadrin
@Alphaleonis & Freelancer,
It occurs to me that this newly revealed Open Soul weave would be really handy in creating security wards for the forces of the Light. They would probably be able to effectively secure an area at least from infiltration by Dreadlords and Forsaken using Masks of Mirrors, possibly captured people sent back under Compulsion as well, and maybe even channelers who've been Turned. Though the latter two are less likely, as they wouldn't exactly be imposters.

Seems like something that would've been common practice in the War of Power, actually, for both sides.

It also conveniently gives the Aes Sedai a way to setup Callandor's prophecy in the Stone. They would've protected Callandor with ridiculously strong and dangerous wards attuned to his soul, which they would've had already as standard operating procedure security during the War.

Just a thought.

Also, I didn't read any early released material, though I accidentally caught a glimpse of a comment somewhere on Tor saying Talmanes died. Which filled me with a bit of pre-dread as I read the prologue.

For spelling and to add that wouldn't said wards have been really handy for Team Light against the Shadow's sabatoge of the Great Captains, and especially the spy in Mat's command tent? Granted, the Last Battle was not such an extended conflict where precautions like that would've been made. That and Demandred's correct assumption that no one from the Third Age knew how to attune wards so explains why Androl was able to walk right up to him. Might've turned out differently had he tried impersonating a Sharan.

It's a bit annoying when you want to just propose a simple theory but then yourself start thinking of the cracks in it and start looking for explanations.

So far though, I think it's still reasonable.
Andrew Kopittke
164. mendosi

Lews-Rand-Elan-Ishydin as the Captain of Elayne's guards?
But that would draw attention to himself, and end his quiet retirement by returning to public office. I think it's going to be difficult for him to get near Elayne, Min or Avi without the penny dropping for someone that He Who Left With the Dusk is still alive.
Chris R
165. up2stuff
okay, me likey prologue hopscotch. Talmanes is cool. Like the themes of Order and Creation keeping you afloat when things are going down the Big Swirly.

Leigh, thanks for all the work on the reread. Made the WOT more enjoyable and comprehensible than ever before in my life.

I remember in '96 was when i first got into it. What is that, around Fires of Heaven, or Lord of Chaos? I even found my way to what was probably the rec.sf.blah.blah.blah online chat room. I remember posting one time becuase I felt that Rand's unhealable wound would simply break open and fulful the "blood on the rocks..." prophecy without being the immediate cause of his death.

Then I was overwhelmed and slightly cowed by the barrage of "NOITISGOINGTOKILLHIMIMMEDIATELY, new guy!" comments, or some such. Just a bit intimidating, but i watched for a little bit. No hard feelings, just a little...intense, I guess is the word.

Point being, I have never felt that way here. Thanks so much everyone. Especially the people that were there too way back when.

Anyway, I digress. I am actually confused about the River of Souls story. I know it is in this Unfettered Anthology, and that is some kind of fundraiser for a cancer victim.

I would be happy to contribute, but I am confused as to whether it is actually out yet or not. It seems like you maybe order directly from the Publisher and it is? Not on Amazon, or B&N or anything? Or is it not out yet? I REALLY want to know Dem's backstory, but can't really justify shelling out the money now, if I wont get it for 2-3 months.
Judy Carmona
166. Farstrider
Chaplainchris1 @146: Thought provoking ideas about Bao, the Dragon, and Shara. It would be anomalous for Shara to not have any prophecy regarding some iteration of the Dragon Reborn. What do you make of this: LOC Ch 17 (Rhuarc speaking to Rand) "When you came from Rhuidean as the Car'a'carn, word of you spread, and of your title among the wetlanders here.........There is fighting in Shara and the Sharamen in the trade holds ask when the Dragon Reborn will Break the World."

Also, one other puzzle piece tickles my mind- we know that Jain Farstrider visited and wrote about Shara. We also know that Ishamael used Jain somehow. I wonder if there is any connection.
Janet Hopkins
167. JanDSedai
Well, there was fighting in Shara because Greandal kidnapped both the rulers for her harem. So maybe the Sharan version of the Prophecy of the Dragon was that the Dragon (or Wyld) would come when nobody else was ruling. If so, then Greandal actually helped Demandred by creating a power vacuum!

On the topic of reading spoilers-- I admit that I read everything I could get my hands on! And I think it helped me to process the myriad of information in this last book. I don't know that I would have been able to get through Elayne's death, or Olver's rescue by Jain Farstrider with out fore-warning. Even so, I could hardly breathe, I was crying so hard.
Judy Carmona
168. Farstrider
JanDSedai @167:

I love the idea that Graendal's attempt to mislead Sammael may have inadvertently fulfilled Sharan prophecy. At the very least she created room for Demandred as you suggested. I wonder what Demandred was up to before that opportunity arose; there was a chunk of time between the Forsaken's release and Graendal's Sh'boan/Sh'botay abduction.
Janet Hopkins
169. JanDSedai
I guess that is what we will find out in "River of Souls"...
Alice Arneson
170. Wetlandernw
Better late than never?? Or not... Still, I'm here. Random comments ensue.

bad_platypus said some of this @46, and others have commented, but I’m going to expound on it anyway. Re: “fan shout-outs” – While Brandon has been extremely transparent about using fan names (and whose names) to fill in placeholders in these last three books, he hasn’t created any new characters in order to use them. He’s been pretty transparent about that, too – the characters in the scenes are there because someone thought they needed to be there. Sometimes it was an RJ scene or notes, a la “Aviendha reports to Amys, Bair, Sorilea, Melaine and another WO.” Sometimes Brandon or Harriet simply thought another character was needed, e.g. to play “straight man” for the fab4, to say the lead-in lines that wouldn’t fit the other characters. In either case, perhaps they could have recycled another WO we haven’t seen since LoC or something, but instead they chose to use a “new” person. It might even have been specified in the notes that this has to be a new person; without access to the database, we don’t really know.

In all cases, Brandon did the same thing RJ did to come up with names: he drew them from real life – except that instead of using the phone book, he’s used a list of fan names, and then told them he used their names. Someone asked Harriet about this at the signing last night – “How did Robert Jordan come up with names for the characters?” Her response was that some few of them were drawn from legend or myth – like Egwene al’Vere (and when she says it, you can’t possibly miss hearing “Guinevere”); for the rest, he used the phone book, people he knew, signs he saw around the city… he would come across something he liked and file it for later use. One of the Aes Sedai is named for the antihistamine Harriet was using at the time, and a whole group got its name from the kitchen stove.

Brandon himself has said that he really struggled with coming up with good names for the WoT, because he invents names in his own works much differently. After beating his head against it for a while, he realized it would work better if he took RJ’s approach and worked from real names. If his modifications don’t sound quite like RJ’s, that’s to be expected, isn’t it? How many of us could come up with hundreds of genuinely WoT-sounding names – and names that would pass muster with every fan?? Personally, I get tired of hearing people complain about “fan shout-outs” as if Brandon were throwing in random new characters just so he could give them fan names. He didn’t do that. If you don’t like the names, that’s a pity, but those are the names Team Jordan gave the characters needed for the scenes.

rhandric @62 - I actually like that theory a lot. It makes sense, and doesn’t require any contrivance of a secret Dreadlord. As Callandor would have been one of the very, very few items of Power created after the Strike using sai’din, the fact that we haven’t seen this effect in other items is meaningless. (And I see others have chimed in on this, but… that says all I need to say.)

ryanreich @63 – LOL!

Otoahhastis @69 – The question of switching bodies during the transition between TAR and the waking world would be an excellent question for Brandon. He may not know the answer, but he’d like the question, anyway!

Alphaleonis @73 – First, if no one answered your question about a picture of Moridin, it’s probably because no one has an affirmative answer but no one is confident that they know about all the pictures out there. Personally, I’m sure some fan has done a picture of Moridin – whether it’s worth looking at, or would match your mental image, is another question. I tend to avoid fan art like the plague, myself. For what it’s worth, there may be something in the forthcoming Encylopedia; Harriet specifically mentioned getting artwork done for it. Second, I have not yet seen a question/answer re: TP accessibility for Callandor, though I’m betting someone has asked. Far more obvious questions are repeated at nearly every signing, though, so I’d put it in the list of “hey, would someone ask this!” questions.

Jneth @95 – Brandon pronounced it like “wild”.

@ many re: Bao the Wyld – I asked Brandon on Tuesday if “Bao the Wyld” was part of Sharan prophecy, and if it was a matter of Demandred coopting their Dragon prophecies. His answer was that “The Wyld” was Sharan prophecy, and that Demandred thought he was indeed taking their Dragon-spot – but that the prophecies were, in fact, really about Demandred and not Rand. So chaplainchris is right in one regard – Demandred thought he was taking back a position that should have been his, but (as we’ve seen so often in this series) just because someone thinks a thing is true, doesn’t mean he’s right…
Scientist, Father
171. Silvertip
@170 Wetlander:

Brandon's answer about Bao the Wyld fits nicely. After all, WoT is a world where All Prophecies Are True (with the fallback of "unless the pattern itself is destroyed"). So whatever the Sharan prophecy that apparently referred to the Dragon's return was called, it would presumably have been written in sufficiently Delphic fashion as to disguise that it was actually referring to a Big Bad thinking he was hijacking the Dragon's identity, when really he was playing his designated part in the machinations. Presumably we'll learn more when the DVD deleted scenes River of Souls comes out.

Joshua Neth
172. jneth
@170 Wetlandernw. I hate that my first post ever was to complain. The more time I spend reading everyones comments and conversing with all of you, the more I am convinced that you are all deserving of a place in Jordan's world. We'll have to agree to disagree about the shout-outs. Jordan may have derived names from similar sources, but there was a consistency to them. He put thought into the rythym of the names and how vowel sounds were used in different parts of his world. It wasn't "I need a name, who's next on the list, let me change a couple letters." I have no problem with character's being based on fans, in fact I think it's fitting.

As far as Bao, I also read it as Bayo the Wild. I prefer the sound of that pronunciation. However both Harriet and the audio book pronounce it Bow the Willed, Wichita has fascinating implications. Regardless, isn't nice to have a discussion about a name that evokes imagery and speaks directly to the character?
Ron Garrison
173. Man-0-Manetheran
Wetlandernw @ 170:
“One of the Aes Sedai is named for the antihistamine Harriet was using at the time, and a whole group got its name from the kitchen stove.”

Do tell! I’ve not seen that mentioned before, and I’d love to know. That is what I call really useful trivia. LOL.

Tweaking you again with:
Ba-O, Ba-a-a-O
The Wyld has come and me wants go home.
Alice Arneson
174. Wetlandernw
jneth @172 - Oh well, we all have to start somewhere, right? ;) Seriously, though, I think Brandon agrees with you that many of the names didn't feel quite "RJ" in their tone, but it's not a hard-and-fast rule. Some of the names felt very natural, but if you look it turns out to be a fan mod; other names didn't feel quite right, but if you scrounge a bit you find out that RJ invented them. And of course, some of them were fan names and don't feel quite right. As in the example below, though, RJ often did exactly what you said - took a real name and changed a couple letters; sometimes merely using a different phonogram to result in the same sound. However, I think it would be very, very difficult as a "replacement author" to duplicate what he did and make it "feel" the same.

(For an example, I was working on a little fanfic which would have had a cast of roughly 25 characters; some of the names I'd come up with sounded very "RJ" (to me, at least) but many of them just weren't quite... there. Even after struggling with them for a long time, they still didn't feel right. Since I'm not a real author and the story probably won't even get written, it doesn't matter - but it gave me a lot more sympathy for the predicament.)

The other thing I have to factor in is that with the input of Team Jordan and all the beta readers, these were the names they ended up with. I simply don't think it's possible for anyone else to come up with that many names that would please all of us. (It's entirely possible that even RJ couldn't have done it in a way that would please all of us.) If you look at the names different people complain about, it's not all the same ones. A name that reads awkwardly to one person seems just fine to another, and vice versa. I think for some readers, it would have worked better if they hadn't been aware of how Brandon was deriving the names, because with that knowledge, every new name brings the question of "what was the origin of that one?" In the end, I've personally chosen to hold firmly to the knowledge that the character was necessary, and hold the names loosely. :)

Man-o-Manetheran @173 -
The antihistamine was Seldane - the Aes Sedai is Coiren Saeldain
The stove is a JennAir... :)
Bill Stusser
175. billiam
When I saw the name Bao the first time I thought it was Boa, like the snake (musta been a dyslexic moment or it coulda been 4 AM, who knows). I can see it pronounced 'bow' but Wyld will always be pronounced 'wild' as in Wyld Stallyns rule! Excellent! /plays air guitar =)
Jeff Schweer
176. JeffS.
Billiam @175

So we're gonna need Eddie Van Halen, right? For the Triumphant video?
Birgit F
177. birgit
My problem with Bao the Wyld is that the two parts of the name don't fit together. Bao sounds Chinese, that would fit geographically for Shara. But combining it with old Germanic Wyld doesn't make sense. Each part of the name would be fine separately, they just don't belong together.
Chris Chaplain
178. chaplainchris1
Re: fan shoutouts - I found the idea of them mildly irritating during TGS and TOM - not enough to mar my enjoyment, just enough to be jarring if I thought about it. Mostly because I want to be immersed in what I read, not be pulled out of it to think about extraneous things.

The happy thing, for me, was that I didn't know anyone in fandom, beyond posting here, some most shout-outs went right by me.

I *did* love the shout-out to Leigh, because of how much the Reread and reread community has enhanced my own enjoyment of the WOT.

In fact, this community has really brought me around, both on the idea of shout-outs and on what I think of organized fandoms. I had bad (skeevy, uncomfortable, misogynist) experiences with RPGs in middle school and high school, enough to make me shy away from fandom. But the camaraderie of this group has me signed up for Jordancon, which will be my first con experience of any sort.

I'm also trying urgently to rearrange my schedule to be able to do at least a bit of the Raleigh signing - which (sorry, guys and gals, another bad early experience) I previously thought the province of annoying namedroppers rather than people actually reading the book just because they loved to read.

In fact, I had a very different experience of the fan shout-outs in AMoL. My excitement to be reading it was too intense to take alone, so I kept checking in with the re-read group on facebook. So when I saw the shout out to Linda Taglieri, I was able to post and say "Hey, Linda, I see you!" It didn't pull me out of the story; it pulled me deeper in to see someone I'd spoken with via the reread. Later on, in the hugely exhausting Last Battle chapter, when there was mention of the not-trained-in-war Dragonsworn throwing themselves into the battle, I immediately thought of this reread community. Aren't we, in our own way, Dragonsworn? Whether it was Team Jordan's intention or not, I immediately saw myself and all of us thrown into the Last Battle.

It was powerful and moving for me, considering how long this series has been part of our lives, how so many of us have waited for it, how we grieved at the loss of Robert Jordan/Jim and grieved for Harriet and those who actually knew him, how we cautiously allowed ourselves hope for an ending when Brandon was announced, how we hashed out ideas over these several years, how we twitched together, how we threw bunker parties together, how we laughed, argued, reviled Gawyn, and headdesked together, all of it.

This has been the most communal reading experience of my life, something completely different for me, and it felt great to be able to imagine myself and my fellow Dragonsworn somewhere on the pages.
179. Faculty Guy
Shout-outs have never bothered me for the simple reason that I was oblivious to them until they were pointed out by Leigh and/or commenters here.

chaplainchris@178: I appreciate your feeling of immersion in the story and recognize it as a good thing BUT: for me, the term "Dragonsworn" cannot be divorced from Mesima, and thus always carries a negative connotation!
180. OleBB
Callandor being one of the sa'angreal created during war of power (not the end of war of power), base on previous documented - is a time where many angreal is created and the sword lack of buffer is possible a defect in the manufacturing.

A defective artifact yet it is the only artifact does Named in the prohecies as the sword of light, this tell the rand's land saying this broken sword is the savior and not chodan kal or any others.

While it is flawed, no one know for sure what is the exact flaw at that time which prompt many AS to research it. Even ancient AS only know the sword is in prophecies but does not know what exactly that make it so special because other than it is a flawed sword it is no special known bonus to user.

However the wheel weave as the wheel will, to solve the puzzle of this world there must contain both light and dark together. If the one power is light then true power is dark, with only the artifact of light, one cannot complete the true cycle of the world and mend it. Which prompt the wheel to spawn a flawed weapon that is capable complete the cycle.

As it lack of buffer, so the wielder can pull in unlimited saidin, by the time when Cadsuen say it, saidin is already covered by taint. Which angreal does protect the wielder from taint? the answer is none, so as this artifact is capable to pull in more saidin, it will means it pull in the same proportion of taint as saidin which is what cadsuen suspect it will amplify the taint by theory.

The 2 women guiding the flow thing is actually a misread from prophecies where 3 shall be 1, and cadsuen think it is 2 women (as only women capable to link) with one provide the saidar and one guiding the flow of saidin.

And base on this point AMoL, the lack of buffer actually allow Rand to take alot more power in their pure form to weave the pattern.

At later of the book, min did say one thing "i think the sword is flawed beyond this, it open you for attack", what is the good of weapon that kill you rather than kill others? and from here it tell the sword does this way not because the designer want to make a "suicide sword" that make its wielder susceptivle to a link (who will exchange weapon during battle just to link with the enermy during "war of power") but just due to the flaw of the sword that make it so "Open".

Base on the Rand's land theory, there are thing created not by the designer intend but by the wheel, if there is anyone try to channel true power into the seed perior of its making to steal it, isnt it obvious all forsaken will know for sure? there is none speaking of such in the book. There might be no how it actually does but it does, the wheel weave as the wheel will, everything happen for a reason.
Glen V
181. Ways
The Jenn(air) Aeil? *headdesk* Didn't see that one coming. Shoulda - have a reliable old Jennair in my kitchen. After reading @170 I was imaging the super secetive Maytag Aeil clan hidden away somewhere in the Waste and wondering where the AS named Suda Fed or Clari Tan (which aren't really antihistamines, but you can see where my mind was wandering late at night) had appeared in-book.
Chris Chaplain
182. chaplainchris1
@179 - having a positive feeling towards the word "dragonsworn" was a new thing for me, too; although, to be fair, in-series the term has been used of some of our heroes. I can't quite bring it to mind; maybe Egwene telling Mat he was Dragonsworn, or something? (This would have been back during Salidar days if I'm remembering at all correctly.)

At any rate, the mysterious Tinna and her Dragonsworn refugees seemed to be positively presented in AMoL, and Tinna's a fan shout-out (I think), so that's the group I was placing myself in - a Dragonsworn group of fans led by a fan, suffering through the Last Battle with Our Heroes. :)
Alice Arneson
183. Wetlandernw
There's a reason for that...

INTERVIEW: Jan 9th, 2013
Skokie Q&A (Verbatim)

QUESTION: That charity drive that you draw names from? Originally it was mentioned that they would be represented by a group, or army at the Last Battle. What group?

BRANDON SANDERSON: You will find them in there. They call them Dragonsworn. They are a group of unaligned Dragonsworn which include people who have just left their oaths behind and joined this group. There are Aes Sedai in there; there are Aiel in there; there are people from all around, and that group represents the fandom. They just call themselves the Dragonsworn.
Alice Arneson
184. Wetlandernw
Blast. I just posted a reason for your affinity for the Dragonsworn, and inadvertently left a link in, so now it's flagged. At the risk of a double post, here it is without the link:

INTERVIEW: Jan 9th, 2013
Skokie Q&A (Verbatim)

QUESTION: That charity drive that you draw names from? Originally it was mentioned that they would be represented by a group, or army at the Last Battle. What group?

BRANDON SANDERSON: You will find them in there. They call them Dragonsworn. They are a group of unaligned Dragonsworn which include people who have just left their oaths behind and joined this group. There are Aes Sedai in there; there are Aiel in there; there are people from all around, and that group represents the fandom. They just call themselves the Dragonsworn.
Chris Chaplain
185. chaplainchris1
@184 - Very cool, Wetlander, thanks! And I'm pleased that without knowing about that interview, Brandon's intention was clear enough that I felt it.

And thanks Terez for that transcript, which I hadn't seen! (I just googled "Skokie Q&A Brandon Sanderson" and found the Theoryland link immediately.)
Chris Chaplain
186. chaplainchris1
@69 Otoahhastis - personally I don't think Perrin has two souls. I think Perrin has two *natures* (and I'm suddenly flash-backing on church history classes reading the very technical Greek-language debates involved in the Council of Chalcedon) as a wolf-brother, which the Dark One unnaturally and horribly imitated to get Slayer.

Frankly the idea of Perrin having a wolf-soul (which, based on Hopper, Dapple, and all the other named wolves, would be a sentient and independent entity in its own right) grafted into his is kind of...ick.

My personal looney theory is that Slayer's abilities in T'A'R aren't because he has two souls (Luc/Isam) but because he has two natures, each linked to a different 'world'. In other words, it's 'one lived, and one died, and both are' that's important.

We know (I guess) that dead souls normally move on *somewhere* while waiting to be spun back out into the Pattern. That somewhere doesn't seem to be T'A'R, but the fact that souls of dead Heroes of the Horn wait in T'A'R indicates that there may be some tangential connection (perhaps souls wait somewhere closer to the void where dreams can be seen as a scattering of stars - a place Hopper never showed Perrin and may not have known about). In any case, I think the DO merged Luc and Isam, one alive and one freshly killed but his soul 'caught' by the Dark One, to create a being with a dual nature. One side of him is tied to the waking world, one part somewhere else. And using that dual nature, he can shift between the waking and sleeping world at will, "leaning in" to the tug from either direction to decide which world to be in at any given time.

This is, I'm positing, a horrible imitation of the natural state of Wolfbrothers, who are naturally connected to two worlds.

I'm basing this on my guesses about the nature of wolves and their link to T'A'R, which they persist in calling the Wolf Dream and think of as *their* domain.

So, a few points.

1) Wolves in the waking world can all go to the Wolf Dream of their own volition - at least, that's my impression. Very few humans can do so. They may accidentally and briefly dream themselves into T'A'R, but to come lucidly and with control, almost all need ter'angreal. The very rare Dreamers are the exception that proves the rule. In general, both humans and wolves are connected to T'A'R, but wolves have a much stronger connection.

1b) Possible Tangent - wolves can all communicate telepathically while awake. How? Is that another manifestation of their dream-talents? After all, speaking in dreams is basically a limited form of telepathy; the wolves have a less limited form. Perhaps their shared connection to T’A’R is so strong that some part of it persists while they’re awake, allowing for their telepathy.

2) Wolf-brothers, who in some way share many aspects of wolf-dom, share their link to the Wolf Dream.

3) Perrin's link to the World of Dreams is far stronger than an ordinary humans - perhaps even stronger than an ordinary Dreamer - much like a wolf. Egwene, who the WOs always said displayed a very strong talent for the Dream, never had the problem of coming to T'A'R "too strongly". Egwene never had to learn to balance keeping some of herself in the Dream and some tethered to the waking world (so far as I remember). Perrin did. Neither Egwene or any of the women we saw use ter'angreal to enter T'A'R had trouble with coming too strongly into the dream (and we know most of those ter'angreal actually didn't pull you in as strongly as Corianin Nedeal's twisted stone ring.) Perrin had that problem from the beginning. That indicates that Perrin's link to T'A'R is stronger. Perrin's two natures tie him to two worlds.

At any rate, I don't believe Perrin could shapeshift in T'A'R and remain shifted in our world, anymore than Egwene could eliminate her whipping by the Aiel while in T'A'R and retain the shift when she returned to the waking world.

Though now I wonder about what happened to the stitches Slayer imagines into the cut on his face....
Erdrick Farseer
187. Erdrick
@184: Wow...I was checking in on this blog for the first time in a while, and was very surprised to see my own question to BS being quoted. I was the one at the Chicago signing who asked that question. You see, I remembered there being a poll for which group would represent us (Aiel, Aes Sedai, Two Rivers archers, or somethign else), but then that pole just disappeared. Perhaps the mixed bag of dragonsworn was an attempt to please everybody. I guess WOT fans are a rather diverse (disparate) group united by this one common thread.
Erdrick Farseer
188. Erdrick
Re all this talk about the name Leilwin: that was not a name Tuon made up as punishment. "Leilwin" was the cover name Egeanin originally chose (and she did not just make it up). Tuon stripped her of her old name, making her cover name stick and adding the "Shipless" part.

Let's trace this back...in TSR (i.e. book 4) Egeanin is in Tanchico looking for a'dam and runaway sul'dam. She hires Floran Gelb (that annoying guy Rand jumped on, who Bayle Domon tossed out of his crew at Whitebridge way back in book 1) to help her. Gelb mistakenly kidnaps a minor noblewoman named Lady Leilwin because she resembles one of the women Egeanin is looking for. To keep her cover, Egeanin has no choice (other than killing her) but to bundle poor Lady Leilwin off to Seanchan.

Now skip ahead to CoT (i.e. book 10). In chapter 1 Egeanin starts wearing a wig and takes on the name Leilwin because it is more local sounding (and perhaps a little bit out of guilt as well). It is not until chapter 28 that Tuon punishes her by bestowing on her the new name Leilwin Shipless.
Erdrick Farseer
189. Erdrick
Also, I think there has been a lot of false equivalency going on here between Damane and the broader class of da'covale. I think both are deispicable practices, but they are qualitatively different, one being far worse than the other. It's like equating the older notion of slavery (usually the result of one's actions/failures, debt, capture in battle, etc...) to the slavery found in early US history (racially based and transgenerational).

I don't agree with the practice, but I can see how Egeanin can disagree with the concept of Damane (a slavery imposed on someone based on a trait they were born with through no choice of their own) and still feel she can offer herself in servitude as payment for her dishonor (not completely unlike the concept of gai'shain). Let me be clear, I do feel that abolishing both concepts would be making progress toward a more enlightened world view. I just don't see Egeanin's actions here as that blatant a contradiction.
190. Faculty Guy
Do any of the "insiders" know how the WOT Encyclopedia team is coming on "constructing" the site for aMoL? The chapter summaries and especially the character lists really do help me (who is not as fully cognizant of WOT names and the order of occurances as some) as I read slowly and carefully a second time through the text.
Jay Dauro
191. J.Dauro
Faculty Guy

I believe Bob is trying to do a dual website, one side without AMOL and spoilers, and one with. He may even be working a setup where you can choose which books to go through (so a user could get an Encyclopedia through Winter's Heart, if that's as far as they have read.) So it may be a bit.
Judy Carmona
192. Farstrider
Chaplainchris1@ 186: Thank you for sharing your well-articulated thoughts. I had never really given much thought to Perrin's need for caution re: entering TAR too strongly. My brain must have filed it away with Perrin's struggle between his wolf- nature and his humanity, thus never comparing it to Egwene or any of the dream walkers. I also agree with your thoughts regarding Slayer being a DO attempt at mimicking WolfBrotheryness.
193. MJF
Chaplain @186: That makes a lot of sense, and explains several things.
194. Freelancer
The last external post from the Encyclopaedia-WOT designer indicated that he had finished his re-structure through The Dragon Reborn. It seems to be primarily a cosmetic redesign effort, with continuity and explanatory adjustments based upon the knowledge of the complete series. Spoilers still exist in the chapter summary footnotes.
195. Looking Glass
On True Power angreals: Since (as several people have confirmed) True Power use requires the… spiritual circuitry that grants access to the One Power, that would make it at least plausible that a TP angreal wouldn’t necessarily need the TP to start. That is, if an angreal operates by affecting that OP spiritual circuitry*, then it wouldn’t be surprising if some modifications could affect TP use as well.

*Which it might or might not. I’m just pointing out that it’s plausible.

Actually, it strikes me that the lack of the safety buffer and the addition of the TP capacity might well be one and the same, or at least inextricably related. The whole internal imbalance/lack of restraint deal is at least part of what made for team evil.

DougL @145: It appears that Egeanin saw the choice as being between (a) actively (and probably unsuccessfully) fighting the imperial authorities in the attempt to fulfill her promise, and (b) giving up on fulfilling her promise, turning the bracelets over to the empire, and saving herself and her crew (including, notably, Domon). She chose option (b).

You can make a good case that option (a) was the morally correct one, but it’s not a foregone conclusion. Especially if she didn’t fully understand how dire the consequences of (b) could get, which she apparently didn't.

But even if (b) was absolutely wrong and she had understood the consequences, it’s hard to be too down on a character just because they flinched while staring down the barrel of martyrdom (for herself and her love interest), especially given that she genuinely feels guilty about the decision to the point of signing her life away to make up for it.

Freelancer @152: There’s no obvious reason the Dark One wouldn’t ever be willing to grant TP access to a non-channeller, if that was an option (though it isn’t, so the point is moot).
196. alreadymadwithcallandor
On the Warding for Callandor in the Stone:
There are any number of conditions they could use without doing anything as complicated as a soul imprint. The Prophecies of the Dragon give a lot of possibilities:

One of the Prophecies says that the Stone of Tear will never fall until the People of the Dragon come to the Stone. Another says the Stone will never fall till the Sword That Cannot Be Touched is wielded by the Dragon's hand...

Modern day Randland doesn't know who the People of the Dragon are, but the Aes Sedai who built the Stone and Callandor know, and could have planned the Wards to fail when they come.

He will be of the ancient blood, and raised by the old blood.

There aren't a lot of ancient blood lines intimately familiar to the Aes Sedai. The Aiel are among them.

Once the heron, to set his path.Twice the heron, to name him true.

Hmm... Maybe all Belial had to do to get Callandor was mark himself twice with the Heron.
197. Freelancer
Cumadrin @163

Referring to this comment of yours:

It occurs to me that this newly revealed Open Soul weave would be really handy in creating security wards for the forces of the Light.

There is no weave involved in this. Rand and Cynfearin are in a dreamshard, and in that place you can, by an act of will, completely open yourself to another's awareness. Back to the issue of how a warding shield around Callandor, tuned to the Dragon, was created in the Heart of the Stone of Tear, this is an interesting mystery, but conjuring methods out of thin air doesn't help to solve it.

Could Lews Therin have brought a female Aes Sedai into a dreamshard of his own making and "revealed" himself to them to the point that they could channel a ward keyed to him? Who knows if being able to witness another person's dreams, intentions, passions and fears also means you assimilate the essence of their soul such that you could create a focused warding? That's a fair leap of speculation all on its own. Then said essence would have to be passed along to whoever placed Callandor in the Stone (which was built after the Breaking, and therefore easily a century after Lews Therin's death).

The largest question in making a believable scenario out of this thinking remains. What would drive Lews Therin to feel the need to set in motion the steps needed to let someone else design a warding tuned to he alone? And this would have to be done years before the Strike at Shayol Ghul, since no female Aes Sedai would cooperate with Lews Therin following Latra Posae's Fateful Concord. The plausibility falls sharply toward nil at this point.
198. Looking Glass
Freelancer @197: As one or two others have pointed out, it's very likely that there were existing wards tuned to Lews Therin long before Callandor's placement ever became an issue. Given Team Light’s constant issues with infiltration, mind control, traitorous generals, etc, it would be more surprising if they didn’t have ways of ensuring only specific individuals could access certain things.

It’s not a given that whatever wards were designed to pass LTT would also pass Rand, but given that they obviously had the ability to link wards to a person’s soul (or whatever quality they used to identify Rand as LTT reborn), there’s little reason they wouldn’t have used that ability as an authentication factor on other stuff while he was still alive. If so, then whoever hung up Callandor may simply have based their ward on an existing model.

There's not really any way of knowing whether the Callandor ward's soul-check or whatever it was is at all related to what Rand did in the dreamshard, though. It's possible, but frankly if people on Team Light were regularly baring their souls to their compatriots they'd probably have had fewer (or at least different) personnel issues.

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