Mar 19 2013 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread: A Memory of Light, Part 7

The Wheel of Time Re-read A Memory of Light Robert Jordan Brandon Sanderson Leigh Butler Part 7Wheel of Time Re-read is GO!

Today’s entry covers Chapter 5 of A Memory of Light, in which everyone talks FOR A MILLION YEARS, felines fully fail to be funneled, and someone makes A Dramatic Entrance.

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!


Chapter 5: To Require a Boon

What Happens
Rand wakes and goes to the entrance of his tent, feeling the land under him and how it is still alive even though it does not look it. He tells Katerin, the Maiden on guard, to tell the rulers that he will meet with them in one hour at the center of the field, and turns to find Aviendha trying to sneak up on him. She kisses him, but grows annoyed when he brings up their first tryst, saying he should not remind her of toh she has already paid. She regrets not having time for a bath, and Rand shows her how they used the One Power to bathe in the Age of Legends. Aviendha is deeply impressed, but calls the act “crackbrained and irresponsible,” and Rand agrees that it probably is.

“That was a different time, Aviendha. There were many more channelers, and we were trained from a young age. We didn’t need to know things like warfare, or how to kill. We had eliminated pain, hunger, suffering, war. Instead, we used the One Power for things that might seem common.”

“You’d only assumed that you’d eliminated war,” Aviendha said with a sniff. “You were wrong. Your ignorance left you weak.”

“It did. I can’t decide if I would have changed things, though. There were many good years. Good decades, good centuries. We believed we were living in paradise. Perhaps that was our downfall. We wanted our lives to be perfect, so we ignored imperfections. Problems were magnified through inattention, and war might have become inevitable if the Bore hadn’t ever been made.”

Aviendha tells him that she will require a boon of him today; she is not sure exactly what it will be, but it will be important, and may require him to change his plans, perhaps drastically. She does not require that he grant it. Rand is mystified, but accepts her forewarning.

Egwene dreams of a frozen pillar of glass that looks almost like a column of light, but cannot fathom what it is. She also dreams of a sphere that is the world, cracking, and she trying to bind it back together with cords. She wakes in her study in the Tower, and remembers her annoyance that Gawyn insisted on bringing her back here to sleep, though she admits that it is less likely that assassins would find her here. She finds Gawyn at Silviana’s desk, reading a report from Caemlyn that shows the city to be truly lost. Egwene offers her condolences on the loss of life, but thinks to herself that she is more worried about the consequences of the loss of Caemlyn’s foodstuffs and supplies, and the possibility of starvation among Andor’s armies.

“That Seanchan woman,” Egwene said, staring into her cup. “The one with the Illianer. Did you speak with her?”

He nodded. “I have some Tower guards watching the pair. Nynaeve vouched for them, in a way.”

“In a way?”

“She called the woman several variations of wool- headed, but said she probably wouldn’t do you any intentional harm.”

“Wonderful.” Well, Egwene could make use of a Seanchan who was willing to talk. Light. What if she had to fight them and the Trollocs at the same time?

Egwene then realizes that the meeting with Rand is in half an hour, and rushes to finish breakfast and hurry back to Merrilor. She declares that only Sitters may accompany her, and stares down anyone who objects. She observes the forces of the nations approaching just as hers are, and ponders how easily this could go badly. She converges with Elayne and offers commiseration on Caemlyn; Elayne tells her Aviendha stayed with Rand the night before, but learned nothing about his plans. Darlin and Gregorin come to kiss Egwene’s ring, and Egwene tells them she is glad Tear and Illian could put aside their differences to support her.

“You seem troubled, King Darlin,” she said.

“Some old rivalries run deeper than the ocean’s depths, Mother. I can almost wonder if this meeting was the work of the Dark One, hoping that we would end up destroying one another and doing his work for him.”

Egwene knows that Ghealdan will stand with Rand, and thinks the Borderlands will too. She is sure that Rand will want to lead the forces of the Light himself, and that he should not be allowed to do that, as his mission is to fight the Dark One. She intends that she be placed in command. She and Gawyn are surprised to see the kings’ flags for both Arad Doman and Murandy. She approaches King Roedran’s convoy and expresses her surprise that he is here. She deduces that Elayne must have provided him a gateway in order to arrive on time, and Roedran bristles at the implication that Elayne sent for him. They are interrupted by Rand’s arrival, trailed by Asha’man and Aiel. He walks over grass that greens at his passage, a large bundle hovering next to him; soon the whole meadow is alive again. Gawyn asks Egwene if he is using a weave to do that, and Egwene answers that she knows of none that would have so extensive an effect; she sends Gawyn to try and find out something from the Aes Sedai with Asha’man Warders. The bundle forms itself into a huge pavilion tent without Rand even looking at it, and Egwene thinks he has become quite the showman. He tells the rulers that they may each bring five people with them; Egwene chooses Silviana, Saerin, Romanda, Lelaine and Gawyn when he returns.

The other rulers allowed Egwene to enter before them. All understood that this confrontation was, at its core, between Rand and Egwene. Or, rather, the Dragon and the Amyrlin Seat.

Egwene is annoyed at the look of pride Elayne gives Rand when she enters, though she admits that she feels somewhat the same at how far Rand has come. Silviana points out that the man leading the Domani contingent is Alsalam himself, which startles Egwene, and she is also worried that Cadsuane and Nynaeve are present, clearly allied with Rand. She is mollified, though, when Sorilea and Amys come to her side of the tent, which clearly surprises Rand. The Asha’man move to flank Roedran when he enters, and Rand steps to him to stare him in the eyes, ignoring the man’s bluster.

“Light burn me,” Rand said. “You’re not him, are you?”

“Who?” Roedran asked.

Rand turned away from him, waving his hand to make Narishma and the others stand down. They did so reluctantly. “I thought for certain…” Rand said, shaking his head. “Where are you?”

Rand moves on, welcoming the rulers. He tells them Kandor has fallen as well as Caemlyn, and that “the end is upon us.” Paitar demands to know why they aren’t getting on with the fighting, then, and Rand replies that he will have all the fighting he can stomach “and then some” soon enough. He points out that the last time the Light went up against the Shadow, they had all the miraculous resources of the Age of Legends to call upon, and still barely won. Egwene asks if he is saying they are doomed, then, and Rand replies that they need to present a unified front and plan of attack.

“In those days, every man and woman considered themselves to be the leader on the field. An army of generals. That is why we nearly lost. That is what left us with the taint, the Breaking, the madness. I was as guilty of it as anyone. Perhaps the most guilty.

“I will not have that happen again. I will not save this world only to have it broken a second time! I will not die for the nations of humanity, only to have them turn upon one another the moment the last Trolloc falls. You’re planning it. Light burn me, I know that you are!”

Egwene acknowledges the truth of that to herself, but tells Rand that what he is trying to do is “beyond his calling,” and that he cannot bend the world to his whims. She asks if he would become a tyrant in truth, and in answer Rand brings out a document, which he tells them is The Dragon’s Peace, one of the three things he will require of them in exchange for his life. He explains the terms: borders to be locked to their current positions, forbidding one nation to attack or annex another, and for each nation to found schools funded by crown and open to admission by all. Elayne reads the document and points out that it requires far more than that, and the rulers break into outraged murmurs at the tally of restrictions. Darlin and Gregorin both protest that they must be able to defend themselves from outside aggressors, like the Seanchan. Egwene cuts in to ask for the other two prices, and Rand says that as the White Tower will be exempt from the Peace, he asks something else of them: the seals. Egwene says she is their Watcher, and Rand replies that he already possesses them, and will break them.

“I won’t allow anything, not even you, to come between me and protecting this world.”

All around them arguments over the document continued, rulers muttering with their confidants and neighbors. Egwene stepped forward, facing Rand across the small table, the two of them ignored for the moment. “You won’t break them if I stop you, Rand.”

They argue back and forth quietly: Rand insists the risk of not breaking the seals outweighs that of doing so; Egwene does not agree, and points out that he can’t know for sure that he is right. Rand hesitates, but says that if the seals are not broken, his only choice will be to create another imperfect patch, which may only last a few centuries at most, and may reintroduce the taint on saidin. Egwene replies that that is better than risking destroying the entire world. Rand grows angry, then chagrined that she can still get a rise out of him. Egwene is sure there is something he isn’t telling her.

“I’m going to kill him,” Rand said passionately, leaning in. “I’m going to end the Dark One. We will never have true peace so long as he is there, lurking. I’ll rip open the prison, I’ll enter it and I’ll face him. I’ll build a new prison if I have to, but first, I’m going to try to end all of this. Protect the Pattern, the Wheel, for good.”

“Light, Rand, you’re insane!”

“Yes. That is part of the price I have paid. Fortunately. Only a man with shaken wits would be daring enough to try this.”

“I’ll fight you, Rand,” she whispered. “I won’t let you pull all of us into this. Listen to reason. The White Tower should be guiding you here.”

“I’ve known the White Tower’s guidance, Egwene,” he replied. “In a box, beaten each day.”

The monarchs in the meantime are still arguing over whether they would sign the document, and Roedran wants to know what the third requirement is. Rand tells them that the third price is that they cede absolute command of all their armies to him for the duration of the Last Battle. This causes an explosion of protests and renewed arguments, which Rand watches calmly. Egwene is about to intervene when something changes in the tent, and she hears cracking sounds from outside the tent. Rand tells them that they cannot turn him aside from his intentions or force him to obey; he must face the Dark One of his own free will. Berelain asks if he would really throw over the world for this, and Darlin calls it extortion. Rand replies that it is a business arrangement.

“I have something you want, something you need. Me. My blood. I will die. We’ve all known this from the start; the Prophecies demand it. As you wish this of me, I will sell it to you in exchange for a legacy of peace to balance out the legacy of destruction I gave the world last time.”

Egwene feels the ta’veren pressure building, and realizes that the monarchs are going to cave. She tells Rand that she will not let him bully them, and that she is calling his bluff. The tension and shouting rises, and Rand growls at Egwene that he will have his price. She snaps back that he is not the Creator, and will kill them all if he goes forward this way. Rand retorts that the White Tower has “ever been a spear at his throat,” and now she is truly one of them. Egwene begins to fear that the negotiations will break down, and knows if Rand leaves the tent it is over.

“Don’t do this,” she said. “Don’t throw it all away.”

“It cannot be helped.”

“Yes it can! All you have to do is stop being such a Light- burned, woolheaded, stubborn fool for once!”

Egwene drew herself back. How could she have spoken to him as if they were back in Emond’s Field, at their beginning?

Rand stared at her for a moment. “Well, you could certainly stop being a spoiled, self- certain, unmitigated brat for once, Egwene.” He threw up his arms. “Blood and ashes! This was a waste of time.”

He was very nearly right. Egwene didn’t notice someone new entering the tent. Rand did, however, and he spun as the flaps parted and let in light. He frowned at the interloper.

His frown died as soon as he saw the person who entered.



Also, holy CRAP but this was a pain to summarize. I’m beginning to realize that the sheer density of these chapters may make keeping to a two-chapter-a-week schedule more or less impossible.

So, I don’t know if anyone has ever officially compared international politics to herding cats, but if they haven’t, they should. Even the (comparatively) simplified version of it that we get in WOT is enough to make anyone with sense want to tear their hair out. Darlin is probably one of the smarter guys in that tent, and the proof of it is how close to prophetic his forecast of how the meeting would go turned out to be.

Which I guess makes Rand’s impulse to want to slice through the Gordian Knot of it all understandable, but it doesn’t really make it any less foolish. Because cats is cats, Rand my boy. Cats is cats.

That said, I think it is very easy to fall back on the kneejerk reaction to hate on Egwene for fighting Rand in this chapter, because even acknowledging the inevitable cattishness (heh) of world politics, the instinctive inclination we have as readers is still to be like, hey, Eggy, Rand is the protagonist/Messiah figure/central focal-point thingy in this story, not you! Of COURSE what he wants is the right thing to do, because that’s how stories work! How dare you contest him on that, you suck, why you gots to be a hater, blah blah yadda.

The problem with this is on multiple levels. First of all, as an actual character in this story rather than a reader, it’s kind of silly to expect Egwene to accept a course of action just because it makes sense narratively. And second and far more importantly, it’s probably worth reminding everyone that it doesn’t really make sense to get mad at Egwene for pointing out the truth, which is that what Rand is proposing is, in fact, almost completely nuts.

Because seriously. Let’s not even address how Rand expects to command armies while he’s off getting killed in a mountain, and instead just concentrate on the far larger absurdity of his thinking that that piece of paper is going to last a hot minute past his own demise. Oh, everyone’s going to magically become pacifists, suuuure. It’s even worse when you consider that the five hundred pound and very aggressively imperialistic gorilla in the room, whose name rhymes with “Schmawnshawn,” is not even a nominal signatory to it!

But we’ll get to all that. My point for now, though, is that maybe you can quibble over whether Egwene is being foolish re: the seals, but no one who’s studied history for more than ten seconds should be giving her crap over calling shenanigans on this Dragon’s Peace thing, because she is absolutely right to do so as far as I am concerned.

She sort of should be given kudos, in fact, in so openly opposing it, because the far sneakier (and underhanded) thing to do would have been to convince the monarchs (I know not all of them are monarchs, but seriously, you come up with a collective noun that adequately describes this hodge-podge of more-or-less leader-like people) to just nod and smile and say, “sure thing, Mr. Lord Dragon sir!” and then ignore the whole thing as soon as Rand bites it. Which they might end up doing anyway, but at least this way Egwene and the others are arguing in good faith at the outset, for whatever that’s worth.

And… hm, I just went back and re-read the beginning part of this, Rand’s scene with Aviendha, and realized that, okay, but the thing is, Rand/Lews Therin DID live in a pacifist utopia once upon a time. Which… makes his insistence that his Peace can be achieved a lot more understandable than I have been assuming in this commentary.

*shrug* I still think it’s not feasible anyway. But then, I’ve never lived in a world where pacifist utopias actually existed outside of fiction, so maybe my opinion is biased.

As far as the “breaking the seals” part of it goes, obviously I as the reader am biased by the foreknowledge that Rand is in fact correct about the disposition of the seals, but this is the only place where I think I would have disagreed with Egwene even without that knowledge. She has a point about the danger, but, well, it’s the apocalypse. Danger is about the only thing on the menu at this point.

And besides, the bigger the stakes, the bigger the risks, n’est-ce pas? I don’t know, it just doesn’t make much sense to me to suppose that a fight to save the entire world can be won by choosing the safe, conservative path of action. Which is essentially what Egwene is saying here, and yeah, no.

But then, maybe that’s owed to my investment in narrative rules, as well. I mean, I think not, because the Vegas truth of “to win big, you gotta play big” is empirically proven both by Vegas and by history, but I suppose it’s possible.

I laughed out loud at the Roedran thing, as I mentioned in my spoiler review, because that was SUCH a fan shoutout. And yet I think it still worked within the story, too, because after all, if there’s anyone more interested than the fans in figuring out where the bloody hell Demandred has been all this time, it’s Rand. This bit also had the added benefit and/or frustration of reminding me that we still didn’t know the answer, which kind of blew my mind at that point.

Nice callback here at the beginning of the chapter to the prophecies that said the Dragon Reborn is one with the land, as well as a reminder that Rand is also WOT’s version of the Fisher King.

The One Power-fueled bath with Aviendha was kind of hilarious and awesome at the same time. Certainly sounds like a lot more fun than just taking a boring old bath, that’s for sure. Although I don’t know how I’d feel about having to be personally responsible for controlling the water pressure and so on. I guess there’s an argument to be made that modern indoor plumbing is actually a more decadent waste of resources than channeling yourself a shower, in terms of personal energy expediture….

Egwene’s dream of the frozen pillar of glass: that’s a reference to the anti-balefire thing, right? I can’t really remember.

And I’m spent, kiddies. Have a week, and come back next time for MOIRAINE. Whoo!

Deana Whitney
1. Braid_Tug
Why do I suddenly fear the Re-Read going into 2014?
But yea, a post. I've been waiting.

Sad. Forgot about Eqwene's dream. Yes, I would say a "Dream" of her own death.

Rand and Eqwene fighting like they were still kids in the Two Rivers was also a fun call back to the first book. Rather perfect.

Did anyone not laugh at the "You're not him!" comment? :-)
Chris Chaplain
2. chaplainchris1
Great stuff! Hopefully I'll have time to comment this afternoon. For now - Egwene's pillar dream is re: the anti-balefire weave, but specifically it foreshadows her own death in the crystal pillar it produces.

:( Sadness.

The One Power shower reminds me of one of my first issues of the X-Men (#160 was the second issue I bought for myself using my allowance!), where Storm takes a shower by creating her own stormcloud.

Other stuff later.
Margot Virzana
3. LuvURphleb
@1- a memory of light part 2,478,390
Year 2019 "we've finally reached the end, WOTers. It's been a great ten years..."

I still snarl and mutter nonsense when egwene does her whole "you're such a wool head, rand..." Arguments because she doesn't like that rand doesn't listen to her. Unfortunately for egwene but many people and us readers have been conditioned to distrust the Tower.
Now Egwene is awesome in her own way gathering storm was a great moment for her an she is a good amrylin... Lost my point for a sec here... But it bothers me that she chastised rand for being arrogant when she is just as arrogant...
4. ageless
Rand's death is the price paid for the Dragon's Peace. If, at the end of the book, the rulers realized Rand is still alive they would not have to abide by it's rules. No one can realize he still lives. Hopefully Elayne is content with Andor and Cairhein. I worry about Faile finding out, she may wish to extend her lands.
Dixon Davis
5. KadesSwordElanor
Leigh, thanks for making my Tuesdays come alive like a Zen Rand walk through the Blight. Where, instead of a stick killing you, it tickles, and instead of a mud puddle that eats off your skin, it tastes like chocolate syrup.

If I’m being honest there were a couple of things I did not like about this part of the book. One is admittedly nitpicky (but I will save for Ch. 6) and my mind can be swayed on both, with a little nudge from the peanut gallery.


Although she did some awesome things and I respect her, she lost me in this Chapter. I feel as if Egwene got too uppity, petty, and too Nynaevey (I invented a new adjective and Nynaevey is not always a bad thing). Don’t get me wrong, I agree with Leigh that she deserves Kudos and a lot of what she did makes sense when you account for an unsure future. It took me ¾ of the series to warm-up to Nynaeve because of her attitude, but I eventually did. Egwene’s comment on p.156 about “where is that sheepherder” crossed a line, to me. It seemed to me that the statement was made merely to disgrace Rand in front of others (and let us not forget where we come from Mrs. Two Rivers). And I know Rand bears a great deal of the responsibility too, but her pettiness about the dragon’s peace was severe and almost ruined things, if not for a certain AS’s return.

Again, this is just opinion and I most certainly am open to being wrong and arguments to the contrary.
Matthew Smith
6. Blocksmith1

Great re-read as always.

The pillar of glass is actually Egwene annihilating Taim and his cronies. It is Egwene trying to hold the world together that is the anti-balefire weave. If I recall correctly that is.

Edit: To add or it could be both.
7. Rancho Unicorno
Not that you meant to be taken literally, but "About 585,000" hits says that yes, international politics and herding cats have been compared. And I suspect that many of those authors would agree with your assessment here.

Anyway, back to the reread.
Sean Dowell
8. qbe_64
It's already been said, but my biggest problem with Egwene is she's a giant hypocrite. She doesn't trust Rand because she thinks of him as sheepherder from a small village unschooled in the ways of the world. Egwene please meet this kettle, you may call him black. (Egwene's a pot in this analogy).
They've had very similar rises to power and experiences and Rand also has 4 centuries of memories to pull on that you don't so please go ahead and oppose him on principal, but not because you think he's too unsophisticated to do his job.

MY BIGGEST ISSUE, and I may be the only one who read it this way, is that in her quote about pride in Rand it seems to me that she's taking credit for what he's done.
Just because you two used to bang in the haystacks when you were 16 doesn't mean you get credit for what he's done. You've done considerable things yourself Egwene, hang your hat on those.
TW Grace
9. TWGrace
Yeah, Lews lived in paradise...

You better believe it, or the ogier might come for you!

Ron Garrison
11. Man-0-Manetheran
“There were many more channelers, and we were trained from a young age.” Heh. Like from birth maybe? Rand may have his hands full when he visits Avi.

Roedran: Loved it! I too laughed out loud. But, at least those who held to the theory got a bone: Rand thought it too! “I thought for certain…”

frozen pillar of glass: I take it as a reference to the anti-balefire weave. balefire vs. baleice. She also sees the world cracking in the same dream — the result of of the use of balefire.
Steven Pattingale
12. Pattingale
One thing that felt off was the Egwene: “... stop being such a Light- burned, woolheaded, stubborn fool for once!”/Rand: “Well, you could certainly stop being a spoiled, self- certain, unmitigated brat for once, Egwene.”

"Woolhead" sounds right ... but "self-certain, unmitigated brat" ... maybe that's a Lews Therin-ims instead of Rand-speach ...

Accurate descriptitions though, going both ways. haha :)
Eric Wyatt
13. SunDriedRainbow
What happened to the dream with the twenty three stars in the globe of crystal? It always seemed like such a specific number.
14. MGP
Lews Therin Telamon lived in paradise, but Rand al'Thor has lived (and, more importantly, ruled) in the Third Age. It's not realistic to expect the conglomeration of the two to expect that the people he's been dealing with for the past couple years to put aside their differences even if he knows it's theoretically possible based on his memories of people from 3000 years ago.

@1: Yeah, I fully expect this re-read to not wrap up until the beginning of 2014. As Leigh mentioned, these chapters are very dense (not sure how much of that is Sanderson's style in particular, or simply that he's wrapping up a few thousand pages' worth of story and nearly all of them are dialog- and/or action-heavy, which is difficult to summarize). Also, as a reminder, there's a 190-page chapter coming up in this book. If a 60-page prologue takes 3 weeks to summarize, we can look forward to The Last Battle taking upwards of two months. And I'm fine with that - Leigh will make it glorious.
Nadine L.
15. travyl
Leigh, I disagree with you about Rand's plan concerning the Dragon's peace. The fact that the "monarchs" oppose the idea of signing that document so much indicates that it for them wouldn't be a contract they would break the minute the Dragon is dead.
This is a land, where an oat, really means something: Gareth was so shocked when Siuan broke her oat, that he pursued her beyond reason. And a signature of an Aes Sedai (Egwene) could even be more binding, if they keep holding their oat rod - so they cannot lie etc.
I agree with you though, that the "poetic gorilla" is a problem not considered enough. Though I think it wise to first unite the Randlanders, before going to the Seanchan. So at least, he knows he has a solid front against them.
16. alreadymadwithroedran
On the one hand, I was wrong about Demandred. On the other hand, I thought the same way Rand did.
Mike McCaffrey
17. earlgrey
Rand demands three things. All in the earlgrey ajah will tell you that when you need to know what time it is, ask for a Rolex...and accept the Timex.
18. Greyhawk
My issue with Egwene is that she cannot seem to get over her blind spot with Rand (or really any of the Two Rivers gang). She only sees him as he was, young and inexperienced, while ignoring that he may have been through a crucible even more trying that what she has endured . Further, her belief that he should be guided by the White Tower shows how quickly she drank the White Tower cool aide. The institutional arrogance that she adopted was a real dissapointment for me. I had hoped her experiences would have brought a broader, more nuanced and more humble attitude to the White Tower's approach to Rand. Oh, well.
Marty Beck
19. martytargaryen
Thanks for a great post Leigh.

Everyone keep an eye on the bouncing Roedran and his Murandian army from here on...I believe they kind of vanish into the ether....
20. neverspeakawordagain
I've read A Memory of Light twice now, and on my re-read (and on reading this summary from Leigh) this part really, really bothered me. Not for the reasons you might expect -- it was Egwene. Just her presence, the fact that she was sitting around having breakfast and doing normal-person things. I wanted to scream at her "You're about to die! Stop it!" but, obviously, she's a fictional character and all.

I've re-read the entire series probably at least a dozen times over the years (including two full re-reads between Towers of Midnight and A Memory of Light), but I don't think I'll ever be able to re-read the series again. Every time I get to an Egwene chapter, I'll be overwhelmed by a feeling of "she's gonna die anyway, what's the point of bothering to read anything about her?" The same way, I guess, I've felt about Jaichim Carridin chapters on previous rereads -- "this is all going to end up going nowhere, so you should probably just skip this." It's just such a shame.
Karen Fox
21. thepupxpert
Great recap Leigh, I really liked the pacing of this chapter and dialog. I could envision in my mind the scene where everyone is arguing and muttering but the focus is only on Rand vs. Egwene. I actually thought it was funny that it was Egwene who got frustrated and caved first, and resorted to TR name-calling. I don't blame Rand for his response at all. They've known each other all their lives, they are like family, and no matter how much they have accomplished they are still going to have those feelings of how they used to relate to each other. And I may be getting my timelines mixed up, but hasn't it been quite a while since they have actually have seen each other? How much does Egwene know about the new and improved Zen-Rand?
It's so windy, there is a breeze blowing up my tutu! TWITCH!

I type a phrase that has made me cringe: I haven't read any of the previous posts... nor have I read the commentary... HEADDESK! And I am suffering for it. I just discovered this reread site a few weeks ago. In my own (audio) reread, I am up to chapter 15 in TGS. In Leigh's reread, I am up to post 16 in TSR. I have read every commentary and every post so far, including part 10 in TSR (ok, I might have skipped a couple in part 10). As this epic comes to a close, I want the body of work to be fresh my mind as I begin the last volume. *TWITCH* Afraid of spoilers, I can't allow my eyes to touch the current section. **HEADDESK**

So far I have been lurking. there's not much point in adding to a 2009 commentary. And this will probably be my only post... by the time I get up to this point in AMOL, it will be rather late in the game.

But while people are actively participating, I need to say THANK YOU! Thank you Leigh for your insight, your honesty, your skill in herding cats as we (yes I include myself as a devoted follower, if late coming) have all pursued our devotion and points we ached to make. Your writing and knowledge of your subject matter is a given. Thank you to this community who has participated in this journey. I have learned things I would have never gleaned without you. And thank you Tor!

I shall continue to follow RPM and ENEMA (anybody remember those acronyms?) and I look forward to, and regret the finale of this series, all at the same time. Best wishes to all! **TWITCH!**
23. AndrewB
Leigh, in past commentaries you have addressed the dramatic aspect of certain scenes. Either in a comment in this thread or as part of your commentary to the next part, what are your thoughts regarding the dramatic aspect of how Chapter 5 ended?

I liked how Moiraine's presence became known to the reader (albeit unamed) at the very end of the chapter. I further liked how the Chapter ended with the reveal of Moiraine's name.

However, this type of suspense would not work as well on the screen (be it TV or a movie). It would be hard (IMO). Perhaps you (or anybody else for that matter), could come up with a way.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Glen V
24. Ways
Leigh, take all the time you want finishing off AMoL. If it takes until mid-2014, then so be it. This is it, let's do it right. JMHO.

And a hearty welcome to ERNEST T ROCKS, even if you don't come back and post again (but please do). You aren't the only one who got into the game late. I didn't discover this re-read until the end 0f 2010 or so. Then it took me ages to catch up without reading the myriad comments, just Leigh's posts. The ToM re-read was just starting when I finally stopped lurking and put in my 2 cents for the first time.

M-o-M @11: "baleice" - I like that.

SunDriedRainbow and martytargaryen: So many things vanish into the ether. ::sigh:: Maybe the Encyclopedia will take polish off some of the loose ends.
Billy Abbey
25. felix
I'm still not sure why people are having an issue with how long the reread is going to take. I am rather enjoying the current pace. It is the last dance, so make it a slow one.
Tricia Irish
26. Tektonica
I agree with you Greyhawk@18, and the others that have concurred. Egwene is right about many aspects of her objections to Rand, but her methods stink. Why didn't they have a private pow-wow before the general meeting? Maybe Rand didn't want to, but a bit more time together might have changed Egs opinion of Rand. Of course, then we wouldn't have this Drama!

Their reversion to TR childish taunts was pretty funny, even though it was wildly inappropriate. Her lack of respect and appreciation of Rands' impending sacrifice really galls me. The bit with Roedran was hilarious. He was my choice for the hidden Dem too.

I do love when Rand harks back to the AoL ,and comes up with some bits of history for us, even domestic history. I'd like to know more about that time. It really gives Rand depth, and gravitas, as well.

And frankly....I do hope this reread goes on through 2014, and beyond! I don't want it to ever end ;-)
Valentin M
27. ValMar
On the issues themselves Egwene has a point, just her attitude continues to stink. The Dragon's peace was untennable as it stood- before Aviendha's boon.
Overall, I have been anticipating this showdown for awhile and enjoyed it. Neither side (and their respective arguments) was represented as a two dimensional caricature. Obviously, it took the awesome Moiraine to save the day. And the Aiel's inclusion in the Dragon's Peace.
28. s'rEDIT
I was one of the holdouts for Demandred in Shara, but I didn't really have any strong opinions on the subject, just a desire to see the "whole world" involved in the last battle.
Thomas Keith
29. insectoid
Got my improvised black coat in the mail today. :D It's sort of a bluish-black denim, with orange stitching, but I don't care—it FITS! And it has a high collar, and goes down to my thighs, so it's cool. Hip pockets are stitched shut, which is kind of bizarre.

Oh—hi Leigh. Great post as usual.

Power Shower: Heh.

"Frozen pillar of glass": *sniffle* You know what they say: some prophecies don't make sense till they actually happen. I certainly didn't predict this one would mean Egs was going to go out in a blaze of glory.

Roedran: LOL. I wrote in my notes: "Will the real Demandred please stand up?" XD

Dragon's Peace: Eep. Rand's started more arguments than he's quieted!

Re: that last bit you quoted: Nice to see that Rand and Egs are being honest with each other. XD

Moiraine's arrival: DUN! (sparkly YAY can wait till next week)

Herding cats: BAHAHAhahaha. In 26 years, I've learned quite a lot about that.

30. s'rEDIT
insectoid@29: check that inside stitching. It should pull right out. If not, ask your mom to clip it with sewing scissors or use a seam ripper. I'd be really surprised if there isn't a usable pocket in there!
j p
31. sps49
I had forgotten Egwene's Flame of Tar Valon foreshadowing Dream, there. (Tar Valon still sounds like a King of Nûmenôr to me.)

And I laughed with everyone else at the Roedran bit.
Thomas Keith
32. insectoid
Oh, one other thing: this is my (second-to-) last call for design requests (i.e., border color) for the JCon buttons. So far, I've printed and pressed 17 sets (myself, plus aprildmoore, BillinHI, Braid_tug, chaplainchris1, forkroot, JanDSedai, JeffS., Lannis, leighdb, Man-0-Manetheran, Misfortuona, R.Fife, rossnewberry, Tektonica, travyl, and Ways).

The remaining 17 have been drawn but not printed or pressed yet; five have a colored border:

Branwhin (Brown), moondivatx (White), Scissorrunner (Green), Sulin (Green), Sweetlilflower (White).

The rest do not have a colored border; don't worry, they're not required. Those that don't will instead have some snippets of Old Tongue around the edge that you may recognize. (I hadn't thought of edge writing when I made the first 9 sets, so only one of the color-bordered buttons will have it. I'll let you guess whose that might be.) They are:

AhoyMatey, Darth.agilus, Davyd, J.Dauro, JonathanLevy, Linda, Rand al'Todd, Sussurin, Terez27, UnoNomesta, wcarter, Zexxes.

I think I'll give you till the weekend the next Re-read post April 1st. Gotta get these things done so I can worry (and panic where appropriate) about the other things I need to do in the next 4 weeks.

(And of course, if you're going to JCon and you're not on the list, let me know, either here or on FB.)

*updated 3/30*

Thomas Keith
33. insectoid
s'rEDIT @30:
Oh, there's are actual lined pockets there; no idea why they'd sew them shut. We'll probably just use a seam ripper.

sps49 @31:
Tar-Valon, huh? I never considered that similarity...

Alice Arneson
34. Wetlandernw
insectoid @33 - They do that a lot - that way the jacket hangs better when you're looking at it, instead of pockets gaping open. :) They deliberately make it easy to remove; no sweat.

Real comments later....
35. Terazed
Egwene's calling Rand a "Light-burned, wool-headed, stubborn fool" as if they were back at EF was probably a good thing in this case. Rand had no intention on listening to anyone at the meeting and talking to him like he was back at EF at least got his attention. Calling Rand a fool or treating him like he was still a sheep herder has worked plenty of times on the past on him. This time he truely deserved it. Someone finally after all this time calling Egwene a "spoiled, self-certain, unmitigated brat" probably would have caught Egwene's attention as well even before Moiraine stepped in.

All 3 of Rand's demands were wrong at least in the details and wouldn't have worked and Egwene did have to stop him at at all costs on the seals and command of the armies at least. Granted tact has never been Egwene's strong suit. I think she blew up at him more over his comment about killing the DO then anything else, after all just a few lines before she says "You are not the creator. If you go to the Last Battle with this foolishness, we are all dead anyway." That is not a comment about the Dragon's Peace.

If Rand had gotten away with breaking the seals right away she would have been right. Since we are talking about the Fisher King, Rand does give us one reveal to Nakomi at the end. "I see the answer now. I asked the Aelfin the wrong question" In almost all of the Fisher King stories the dolorous wound can not be healed by someone who does not ask the right question. Rand walked into the pit of doom with the wrong answer. If he had broken the seals before he learned his error in chapter 38 (he has a second epiphany there as important as at Dragonmount I think) then the DO would have squashed him like an ant while yawning and would have squashed the armies of the light walking the kitchen to get it's morning cup of coffee without even noticing.

I still think Rand has more in common with Parzival, who heals the Fisher King's dolorous wound, then the Fisher King himself who just lies in a bed an moans all day about wanting to die. Parzival's early history has a lot in common with Rand's. I am talking about the Fisher King stories from Wolfram von Eschenbach and Chrétien de Troyes in this case more then some of the latter English versions.
36. Faculty Guy
When the number of comments posted near the beginning of Leigh's posting differs from the number of the most recent comment, I go looking for the "missing" comment. Almost never can I remember the content of what was deleted - which means either I didn't read it carefully or simply did not recognize the problem that caused its later deletion. But it always piques my curiosity.
37. Freelancer
Painful. Mostly so because Egwene is far more insterested in arguing and telling Rand what she won't allow him to do, than discussing and collaborating. When Elayne and Egwene spoke, it seemed there would be a chance that Egwene wouldn't try to make up for whatever points she thought she lost when Rand visited and White Tower. Not to be. When Rand and Perrin spoke, it seemed likely that Rand would be able to effectively describe the reasons why he believed his course of action the most promising, however bold. And he never got close to that. Each aggravated the other beyond reason; a major leadership fail on both parts. Which reminds me of the cut-quote, as this is also simply the audacity of audacity, and completely hopeless.

Thank the Creator for Moiraine.

And yet, through all the idiocy of two underage rulers, Rand's overarching plan works: He brings one half behind him, Egwene brings the other half behind her, and if only she is convinced to agree with him, then all the nations serving the Light are on the same side.

One other thing. Are all of these people present at Merrilor so used to seeing the One Power in action, that Rand's magical pavilion build didn't blow their minds? Inconceivable.

qbe_64 @8

Rand and Egwene never so much as kissed during their upbringing in Emond's Field, just to be clear.

SunDriedRainbow @13

The most popular theory regarding the twenty three stars were that it referenced the Amyrlin Seat, the Keeper, and the Sitters. In other words, that the White Tower was responsible for overseeing the health of the world.


Sure, RPM is Rand/Perrin/Mat, and ENEMA is Egwene/Nynaeve/Elayne/Min/Aviendha
38. Weezer
The shower scene with Rand and Aviendha irritated me. It felt so contrived to have an Age of Legends "slice of life" moment coupled with a "happy morning afterglow" moment coupled with an "exposition while walking" moment.
The moment when all the leadership is finally in one place listening to the Dragon was perfect for me. The voices all felt right and everyone was being exactly who they were written to be. Flawed, entitled, leaders of their respective peoples. I thought it was well done through this chapter and the next.

Oat rod- fought over by Ceres and Demeter?
Roger Powell
39. forkroot
I well remember my initial reaction to the end of this chapter: "Wow" ... followed by "Damn, that woman can sure make an entrance". So yay Moiraine!

The fan shoutout with Rand/Roedran would have been a whole lot funnier if the Tor "memories" hadn't spoiled that one for me (I had more or less guessed that particular snippet.)

Lastly, call me a softie but Egwene's dream gave me a lump in my throat. Even though the "ooh-ooh" girl drives me nuts at time I will take her death hard each time I reread it.
Simon Southey-Davis
40. Glyph
@2 - 'Power shower'... oh my, that's a sublime/awful pun.

The bit with Roedran flew right over my head when reading it, as I'm not into the fan-theory side of things. So it was just confusing: I thought Rand meant that Roedran wasn't Roedran, and was waiting for the reveal of who he really was.

Eg and Rand reverting to childish name-calling felt off rather than funny/fitting to me, like RJBS was building the diplomatic collapse up to an absurd extreme to make Moiraine's long-awaited return to stage more impressive. For me, at least, it had the opposite effect by reducing the resolution to a plot device or narrative cheat - like Moiraine's magical diplomacy-fu could only be showcased by having the leaders of the Light throw out thirteen books' worth of hard-won political acumen and personal maturity. It just... grated. (Still, I had to admire Rand's misdirection with the document, giving the rest of the leaders a distraction to focus on while he fought the real battle with Egwene.)
Bridget McGovern
41. BMcGovern
Faculty Guy @36: Usually (as in this case), the missing comments are just spam links that never actually published. The system still counts the spam as a comment, somewhat annoyingly.
42. olethros
At least one of those "spam" comments was me posting a link to a book by Trent Lott entitled "Herding Cats: A Life in Politics."
Deana Whitney
43. Braid_Tug
Re: 2014 Re-read.
Only reason I'm concerned is thinking I need to change the Re-read shirts. The current dates are: 2009 - 2013

I'm loving the re-read! Need to re-read the book in fact, but sometimes Leigh's summaries are all I have time for.

If you are going to order, please order by the first week of May. I would like to send the donation check to the Mayo Clinic within a good timeframe from JordonCon.

Thank you!
Marcus W
44. toryx
I had a rough time with the arguments between Egwene and Rand. I think that some of her points were justified, but they were so motivated by emotion (and youth) that our insight into her perspective sort of ruined her argument.

One of the things that has continually bothered me as I've gotten older (while the original characters age only a couple of years to my two decades) is that with rare exceptions, the young seem to "know" better than the old. That's especially the case with the three girls, Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve. They enter into this ancient organization where most of the influential members have over a century of knowledge and experience and repeatedly prove themselves to be better at almost everything. That didn't bother me at all when I was in my teens/ early 20's but now it annoys me quite a lot.

A lot of the ways that Egwene is handling the situation is driven by her youth and immaturity. Technically, that fits next to Rand, who jumped from being in his early twenties to a centuries old awareness with the acceptance of Lews Therin, but the way the argument went kind of negated a lot of that and put them on equal footing. Both of them started acting like children until Moiraine (mom) shows up. That just doesn't work very well for me and I was more frustrated than anything else. It turned into a pretty disappointing scene.
Bridget McGovern
45. BMcGovern
olethros @42: I'll go in to the back end and free it up as soon as I can--if your links and comments get flagged as spam and don't appear, please feel free to shoot us an email at the webmaster address: webmaster(at)tor.com. With the amount of spam links bombarding the site every day, if can be difficult for us moderators to identify non-spam (especially when there's no other context in the comment). Thanks!
Sean Dowell
46. qbe_64
Freelancer @37

Maybe not on screen, but I'm sure there's some poorly written, gramatically incorrect and vividly graphic fanfic out there addressing the subject.
Alice Arneson
47. Wetlandernw
qbe_64 @46 - Ah, yes. I'm sure there is... and it's one of the reasons RJ hated fanfic so much. :)
Sam Mickel
48. Samadai
Yeah, darn people who write fan-fic, they should all be drawn and quartered. ;)
Deana Whitney
49. Braid_Tug
So I have an observation, but don’t know where to share it. Since many of you have probably read Sanderson’s other works, I’m making it here.

After reading the first real chapter of “The Way of Kings” and all of his Mistborne, I feel that if Sanderson had wrote the Wheel of Time, there would have been a big battle using the One Power right at the beginning.
And I don’t think that would have pulled me the same way as Rand seeing the motionless rider on the road.
Sam Mickel
50. Samadai
This was a very good chapter. I love the Rand/Avi banter, good stuff. Another little peak into the past, and Rand looking back and understanding what was part of their downfall long ago. I had no clue that Egwenes dream would mean she would die and leave that pillar, very sad.
I guess I am just a Rand fan, but I saw nothing wrong with his demands, the one man who can save everyone else at the price of his life deserves to get something out of it, not that they owe it, but out of gratitude that he is willing to do it. I love that Egwene called him crazy when he said that he was going to kill the DarkOne, and it is so perfect that he could have done it there at the end (whose crazy now?) ;)
I never believed that Roedran was Demandred, I was in the he is in Shara or maybe Land of the Madmen gaining followers (though there can't be too many there, or the world would be still having a breaking of some kind)( Now I am wondering if the name is just left over from the time of breaking, maybe the female AS took a bunch of Weaker in the power men (who couldnt create gateways) and left them on that island(or continent). hmmmm maybe someone could ask at Jcon more about the Isle of madmen.
Deana Whitney
51. Braid_Tug
Fan-fic vs. fan-fic porn - whole different universe of author displeasure.
William Carter
52. wcarter
The OP shower seemed a bit silly to me, but it also makes sense contextually. There's no war and the industrial and manufacturing facets of the world have other advanced tech that may or may not need the OP.
So really, what else are you going to do with the power other than trying to make various things more convienent/environementally friendly.

On an unrelated note:

@qbe_64 and Braid_Tug

Ahh what's wrong with the occasional NargxBelaxMorgase slash fic every once in a while...;)

Now if you'll excuse me I need to go throw up and try to blind my mind's eye from the abomination of a mental image I just created.
Thomas Keith
53. insectoid
Brain bleach, anyone? *passes bottle around*

54. Freelancer

Let me be more clear. I'm saying that on-screen or not, Rand and Egwene never had even the slightest physical relations, beyond dancing on the Village Green or perhaps holding hands for a few seconds. The same boy who would not harm a female to save his own life, would not do anything which might be considered taking advantage of a girl by the Women's Circle, or the Mayor, or the Wisdom, or his own father. The same boy who could barely control himself while dancing with Moiraine, and barely fared better with Nynaeve, doesn't have any experience in intimate matters.

Then there's the tiny detail that it IS known that he and Aviendha were each the other's first, and even then, she was the aggressor, and he tried to back off.
Michael Davies
55. TheWeatherman
Egwenes dream of the column of glass and holding the world sphere together were a foretelling of the keeping control of the seals until the victory of Rand over Moridin. This victory was signalled by a column of light. It had nothing to do with the death of Egwene, but just before she sacrificed herself she gave the instruction to Leilwin to break the seals when the column of light appeared to the North.

Mad Mike
Glen V
56. Ways
Run for the bunker, the Mods are watching. :-)
FacultyGuy @36 - I do the same thing, even though I understand that it's usually spam that didn't quite get through. Do we get some kind of vicarious pleasure in seeking out who crossed the line and why (rare these days, but it does happen)? Guess I'd better talk to my shrink.

It is easy to say that I didn't believe Roedran was Demandred (or vice-versa) after the reveal. But hey, it's true. As others mentioned upthread, Shara or Isle of the Madmen seemed to be the most likely locations for His Forsakenness. (Hope we get the Shara backstory someday.) I did, however, have a temporary brain fart like Glyph @40 because I was so convinced that Demmy was not hiding out in Murandy and building an army there. Doh! Anywho, someone important (Talmanes, for instance, somewhere in TPoD through KoD) almost certainly would have seen that type of activity and said "huh?". Unless, of course, Demmy usurped Roedran very late in the game, which just doesn't play well.

WHAT? Rand was a virgin until Avi jumped him? OMG! (XD)

I enjoyed these chapters, and it didn't surprise me in the least (or seem out of character) that Rand and Egs would revert to adolescent behavior when confronting each other. However, Glyph @40 does bring up an interesting point about showcasing Moraine's awesomeness (in the next chapter). I suspect we'll hit on that more next Tuesday.

I see @10 is back in the line up now.
Valentin M
57. ValMar
Yeah, it's pretty clear that nothing physical happend between Rand and Egwene in the TR. Their society was such that my impression is that even Mat hasn't had anything more than an odd kiss before leaving. Otherwise his sister would've eventually learned about it and his young wife would've never let him leave the TR ;)
Glen V
58. Ways
Hi Braid ::waves::
You bring up a good point @43 regarding the re-read t-shirts having the wrong year emblazoned on them if the last dance is too slow. A back-of-the-envelope estimate suggests Leigh might wrap up this AMoL re-read by the end of the year at the current pace, even allowing for a week off here and there (JCon, vacation, holidays). It could be close though. I hope no one will be too upset if we drift a week or three into 2014.

The most important thing, though, is that all dedicated re-readers (and even those not so dedicated) should have their very own awesomely awesome Leigh's Loonies commemorative t-shirt (or 2, or 3). That's especially true for those heading to Atlanta next month. Solidarity reigns supreme! What a fantastic show of support this will be! OK, I'll stop now.

Do I hear crickets?
Thomas Keith
59. insectoid
Ways @56:
WHAT? Rand was a virgin until Avi jumped him? OMG! (XD)

same @58:
Well, I hear something...

*cheep* *cheep* *cheep* *cheep*

Alice Arneson
60. Wetlandernw
Just trying to decide if I have the energy for a good rant or not. Or if there's any point in spending the energy on it, if I do have it...
Roger Powell
61. forkroot
I ordered a reread shirt and a coffee cup. The cup just arrived today - I expect to be drinking coffee from it tomorrow AM.

Update: Yup, the morning coffee tasted particularly good from my reread mug. Just sayin ....
62. MJF
@Wetlander: Rant about what?
Deana Whitney
63. Braid_Tug
The pride Eqwene feels for Rand, is the pride one feels for a sibling who has done well and grown up. Not the pride of an ex-girlfriend for a boyfriend who they sort of stayed friends with.
When they “broke up” in book 4, Rand and Eqwene both said they felt like “brother and sister” to each other.

My sister had very little to do with me earning a Masters’ degree, but she still felt pride that I earned it. Just like Eqwene for Rand’s success.

But my sister and I can also revert back to 8 & 10 year olds calling each other names when we get into a fight. (Thankfully not often.)

That is the lens I see this fight through. And yes, Moraine (Mom) has to come in and stop it. Because no one can push your buttons faster than family. And that is what Eqwene and Rand are, family.

@Wetlander, sorry you felt the need for a rant.
Alice Arneson
64. Wetlandernw
Possibly less of a rant and more of a brabble... but only if my brain will freck a bit more this morning. :)

(Lannis, are you here? Tektonica? Scissorrunner?)
Ron Garrison
65. Man-0-Manetheran
Wetlander: Rant on girl! The question is should you write it BEFORE you do the dishes, or AFTER. Before might be better so that the urge to break things is out of your system. :-)
Karen Fox
66. thepupxpert
I had a bit of a rant building up myself but after Free's response to the whole Rand/Egs pre-marital TR thing I'm feeling much better thank you.
qbe_64 are you just trying to find out who would rise to the bait?
Valentin M
67. ValMar
Is there a rant baking in the oven? Nice, as long as it's not about sex, people are obsessed about it ;)
And what's a "brabble"? Sounds like an old East German car. Or a bar in London, apparently...
Glen V
68. Ways
It looks like qbe_64 might have Wet nibbling at the hook. Brabble, eh? Had to look that up. We'll hit the hunny yet if we all get to brabbling about Egwene. So much for the crickets. :-)
69. Freelancer
At your service. But, don't let anything I say stop you from your own rant. Sometimes it's best to let 'er rip.
Leigh Butler
70. leighdb
Ernest T Rocks @ 22:

Thank you! And welcome!

(And thank you, as always, to everyone else too!)

AndrewB @ 23:
Leigh, in past commentaries you have addressed the dramatic aspect of certain scenes. Either in a comment in this thread or as part of your commentary to the next part, what are your thoughts regarding the dramatic aspect of how Chapter 5 ended?
Who doesn't love a good cliffhanger?
However, this type of suspense would not work as well on the screen (be it TV or a movie). It would be hard (IMO). Perhaps you (or anybody else for that matter), could come up with a way.
It would work perfectly in a TV show, actually. Rand looks up, we see his expression change; cut to Egwene turning to look at what he's looking at; cut to Moiraine framed dramatically in the tent entrance; musical sting (Dun!); cut to commercial. Commercials are TV's version of chapter breaks.
Sean Dowell
71. qbe_64
@54, 63,68


I'm perfectly aware that they did not bang, as they would have been 16 and 19 at the time, the story telling of the first three books would have probably suffered if Rand was serving time for statuatory rape.

The initial exaggeration was intended to illustrate my disdain for her taking credit.When I read her quote it struck me that SHE was internalizing the credit for all that HE had accomplished.

Also, at no point was I trying to suggest that fan fiction = story canon.

But I'm sure that if I typed in "Wheel of Time Rand + Egwene erotic fiction" into a search engine, it would not take me very long to find a story.

Oh and BTW (literally just realized this while typing, and I'm not going back to erase anything), when they travel via the portal stone in the first or second book, and Rand experiences all the possibilities his life could, he marries Egwene in like half. So they for sure banged in a barn. You don't spend you whole life living on a farm without banging your wife in the barn at some point.
"I win again Freelancer."

As for inciting conflict, if you can't defend your point it's not worth making. Spirited debate is one of the hallmarks of advanced society and I welcome it!
Sean Dowell
72. qbe_64
On a separate note. I'm sure a bunch of you are currently double dipping the ASOIAF re-read as well as this one. I'm not, but I plan on following the stormlight archive re-read as well. What do you guys do? Keep reading like one or two chapters of each book each week? Reading two books at once drives me pretty nuts. I guess I've never tried Re-reading two books at once, that will probably drive me less insane.
Any thoughts/tips are welcome.
Roger Powell
73. forkroot
You don't spend you whole life living on a farm without banging your wife in the barn at some point.
Interesting. Having been raised in the suburbs and currently living in the city, I now realize there are certain aspects of rural life that I just didn't know about.

Changing the subject: My T-shirt has arrived and I am thrilled. I do cut a rather dashing figure in it. In fact I will make sure not to wear it in a barn if I'm with my wife to ensure that we don't get straw in places we'd rather not.
Tricia Irish
74. Tektonica
Yes, Wetlander...I'm here. I check in at least once a day and try to catch up to the shenanigans here. ;-)

qbe@72: I can only Read one book at a time, but I can Reread several. Big difference. Of course, if I'm totally immersed in the new world, I might just indulge in the Post portion of the reread and skip actually rereading myself...shhhhh...don't tell.

JordanCon update: The Bunker has a banner. We will be having a "pop up" Bunker, as all rooms are totally sold out. We'll make camp in various places, where we can find a niche (with party supplies ;-) )

Maybe someone will have a room they'll let us use???? Or perhaps we can slip into an unused panel room in the evening? Or perhaps, we'll take over the lobby or the pool area?

We are planning a Friday night Rereaders dinner. I'm working on the spot. Not expensive, but somewhere we can have some fun. Any and all ideas are welcome! Friday night is also karaoke night, courtesy of RFife, and starring Forkroot, and his signature WoT lyrics!
Valentin M
75. ValMar
So, shagging in a barn? Hm. Well, a theme is a theme.
I was under the impression that the cliche was that the barn was the setting for adultery or pre-marital sex in conservative places. OTOH farms back in the day were pretty crowded places for the family and livestock (first misspelled it licestock- still would've worked lol) so the barn could've been a necessity for the wife and hubby.
Nowadays I guess this isn't the case anymore. Certainly wasn't the case in the "clan" farm back home. Or else the frase "ignorance is bliss" would never've been truer for me!

qbe @ 72

For me there are re-reads and re-reads. It depends how deep and thourough it is. I can do two if one is very superficial.

Tek @ 74

I'm getting greener by the day! I'll be asking for reports and begging for a couple of questions to be asked.
Dixon Davis
76. KadesSwordElanor
I am saving up my money to go to JCon next year.

I live in Eastern NC (ENC) and there are barns everywhere. I worked in tobacco and corn growing up and never so much as kissed in a barn. I will not Google "Wheel of Time Rand + Egwene erotic fiction." If my wife checks the history there is no way I will be able to explain it.
Thomas Keith
77. insectoid
Wet @64:
A brabble, huh? Sounds like something I should bring popcorn to.

Leigh @70:
Heh, good point.

Tek @74:
Ooh, dinner! I'm all for that.

Will we have a designated meet-up place on the Thursday afternoon? I don't know exactly when I'll be getting to the hotel from the airport (the Doubletree has shuttle service, yes?) and checked-in and alla that. I'd certainly like to meet up with some of you after I'm settled.

Glen V
78. Ways
LDB @70
Yep, it works very well for TV and I'll bet a good director would figure out how to make it work on the really big screen.

bug @77
The Doubletree has shuttle service from the MARTA (train) stop a few blocks away from their location. I think ya gotta call 'em for a pick up - no routine runs. Tek knows more about this than I do since she actually did it last year. There's a MARTA station in the airport. I used it once to travel back and forth to downtown Atlanta many moons ago. Was OK then.

Should we take this discussion over to the FB page to avoid contaminating the ::brabble:: with, well, other stuff? I've been chatting with Tek, Man-o and Braid about some local travel arrangements there already (pm-ing).

Am I the only one staying at LaQuinta? Show of hands, please.

BTW, there's another FB page for trading rooms, etc.

Let the brabbling begin.
Jeff Schweer
79. JeffS.
Sex in a barn is highly overrated. So says this Nebraska boy. Barn swallows being just a small part of the problem.

Insectoid, I don't care what color my button has. Just the fact that you're taking the trouble of making them is seriously cool. My plans on a costume have fallen apart at the seams so I'll just be wearing various T-shirts including my shiny new re-read shirt.

OK, time for an actual comment.
No matter what pinnacles that Rand and Egwene have attained, they spent most of their lives relating in a small town/farming community with all of the social mores, values and customs that that upbringing entails.

Now, if all of the growth and wisdom that they had both gained had been done in each others company, instead of largly apart from each other, maybe, just maybe, they would relate to each other in a more mature fashion. It's one thing to know intellectually about the attainments of someone. It's quite another to have seen them with your own eyes.

I don't see how this conversation could have gone any other way once the frustration started to set in...
Jeff Schweer
80. JeffS.
Oh, and I'm staying at the Hampton Inn that is close by. I'll be renting a car so I can take my daughter to the college she is visiting. If some one needs a bit of taxi service, I'll be available.
Glen V
81. Ways
Wait a minute. I don't think you're part of the 'WoT Tor(dot)com rereaders' FB loonies. Samadai would have to add you.
Thomas Keith
82. insectoid
Ways @78:
I suppose I could do MARTA, but it might be a longer ride. Tek, what say you?

JeffS @79:
Very well—to the Beige Ajah you go! :P

Ways @81:
I'm not on Facebook, either, so I would have to add me.
Maybe I really should? ;)

Glen V
83. Ways
It's a good distance from Hartsfield International to the Doubletree in Roswell - about 40 minutes on the Interstate (freeway, whatever ya wanna call it). Unless I'm seriously off base (happens), the Doubletree is not running a shuttle all the way to the airport. Hence take the train as far north as it goes, then pick up the hotel shuttle. Cab fare would run $75 or more. Better off renting a car, if ya don't mind driving in Atlanta traffic (heh, like LA or maybe even San Diego these days).

No FB? Can't say as I blame you - pretty much a waste of time except for the reread group.

Edit - that's 40 minutes with only light traffic, I believe.
Thomas Keith
84. insectoid
Ways @83:
Not planning on renting a car or taking a cab, so I'll likely be doing MARTA. Less expensive that way.

Well, I wasn't on FB until about an hour ago.
(What have I gotten myself into...?)

Alice Arneson
85. Wetlandernw
Okay, one rant as promised. It’s not really a rant, and I’ve probably said most of it before. However, apparently it bears repeating, from the number of readers who seem to think that Egwene was out of line in opposing Rand here. There are three major reasons why her opposition was necessary: it was required by the narrative, by the character, and by the culture.

1. Narrative necessity: What kind of story would it be if all the world jumped in to support Rand? Certainly not the Wheel of Time! And not a story, really, that would have kept our interest for 23 years and 15 books. Also? If it were that easy, it wouldn’t take 15 books to tell the story. Maybe 15 pages.

Okay, so “all the world” isn’t “Egwene.” Or is it? The fact is, she represents a large number of people & nations, as well as being the leader of the strongest and longest-lived single organizational unit on the planet. If The Amyrlin Seat gives unquestioning obedience to the Dragon Reborn, the rest of the world wouldn’t really have much choice left. And… you’re back to “not much of a story.” Narrative necessity – she has to oppose him for the sake of the story-telling.

2. Character necessity: You’d have to rewrite Egwene from book one to make it in-character for her to do anything but stand up to Rand here. She’d stand up to anybody who tried to push her – much less the known world – into something she didn’t wholly believe in. When it’s a Duopotamian she’s known all her life – and with whom she’s had a lifetime’s experience of pushing around and/or pushing back – it would be impossible to believe if she suddenly said, “Oh, you must be right. Please explain your plan, Rand; I’m sure I’ll support it all.” Really? Umm… No. It would be light-years out of character.

3. Cultural necessity: This one gets more involved, and requires a lot more individual interpretation; still, here’s my take on what an in-world perspective would reasonably reflect.

A) Prophecy: We’ve been told (many times) that the prophecies don’t guarantee that if the Dragon Reborn goes to Shayol Ghul, he’ll win; it is a necessary but not sufficient condition. (As Cadsuane & Sorilea realized, he had to be the right person, or it wouldn’t matter if he did the right things. Maybe a rock feels no pain, but a rock can’t win. And that’s only one of the other necessary conditions.) In any case, prophecy doesn’t set him up as the supreme leader of Team Light – it sets him up as the sacrifice. There’s a lot of prophecy that doesn’t support his current plan, and in many cases he’s unaware of it. (More on this in a bit.)

B) Ancient Past: Last time around this carousel, Lews Therin Telamon screwed it up badly – and Rand is making some of the same mistakes this time, if not in quite the same way. Trying to be the one single leader, thinking he knows best, trying to impose his ideas on everyone else – all these are reflective of the way he did it last time. The details might be different, but the attitudes are the same. I keep hearing that “he’s older than the oldest living Aes Sedai” – but frankly, that doesn’t mean much. Okay, it gives him the knowledge to do a power shower, but a good 280 of those 400 years were spent in exactly that kind of life. Lews Therin had only about 120 years of experience with major evil, and about 10 of that with actual warfare. Some of the Aes Sedai have a lot more experience than that, personally, and they’ve got three thousand years of history to have studied as well. All that “I’m the oldest real Aes Sedai” bunk is just that – bunk. He doesn’t honestly have the experience to be the sole leader for Team Light.

C) Recent Past: Rand has screwed it up all on his own, more recently. Just a couple of the more egregious examples: he got himself captured by Elaida’s crew, primarily through his own arrogance and determination to go it alone; and he killed many of his own people when he lost control of himself against the Seanchan. His exploits of the past year or so look a lot like someone who is increasingly unhinged.

D) Present: Rand freely admits that he’s not exactly sane. This is supposed to inspire confidence in his strategic planning and leadership skills? Really? Yes, he’s much better, and Nynaeve even saw his lite-brite-mind-shield thingy working – but it doesn’t make him omniscient, omnipotent or omnipresent. He may have made the original 7 seals, but face it: things didn’t go down quite like he’d hoped, last time around. He doesn’t really know much about the research that has been done regarding the seals - their effects, or the details of the prophecies regarding them – and we’ve already been shown that the Aes Sedai have that information. Maybe, just maybe, a quick consultation could have been in order here before the grand confrontation… but he doesn't seem to have thought of that.

E) The choice of the location and the style of this meeting was Rand’s. Solely, completely, Rand’s. (With the unfolding-tent show, did anyone else have a flashback to that scene in Cairhien when Rand and his Asha’man tried to intimidate Cadsuane? The one that ended in Rand looking like a posturing fool, and Flinn trying so hard not to laugh out loud? Hmm. Just me?) So anyway, here you have Rand. He got Egwene to do half the dirty work of collecting all the rulers together; in addition, she’s got everything the White Tower could dig up that might have anything to do with his clever plan to break the seals – not that he asked, by the way. And he’s right back to doing the B) stuff – he comes in with his list of demands, absolutely sure he’s right, unwilling to consult with anyone or listen to alternative ideas. He’s showing just as much pig-headed arrogance here as Lews Therin did at the end of the previous age. The fact that he’s closer to right than he was last time does not make him perfect.

In my opinion, all of those factors combine to require that a large proportion of the “power people” in Randland would feel it necessary to oppose him; as the Amyrlin Seat, it fell to Egwene to spearhead that opposition.

The upshot, as of course we’ll see in the next few chapters, is that Rand is somewhere about half right. Yes, the treaty is a good thing – but only when it’s modified to include the Aiel as justices and peacekeepers, and made contingent on the Seanchan signature. Yes, the seals will need to be broken – but not when he thought, and not by him; the time has to be right, and it has to be done in another place, on the right signal. (Which signal, by the way, was found by the Aes Sedai researchers… Oh, yeah – and you have to have the real seals, not the fake ones, dude.) Yes, the armies of Team Light need a proper and well-defined command structure – but he can’t be at the head of it, seeing as how he’s got a different job description right about now. If Egwene and the rest of the leaders had agreed to Rand’s demands, the result would have been a) a worthless treaty, violated before the ink was dry; b) seals broken at the wrong time, releasing the Dark One too early, or possibly the real seals not broken at all, leaving a mess to work around; and c) a complete breakdown of the military command structure, given the weird time dilation effects of the Last Battle.
Jay Dauro
86. J.Dauro
Ways @83

Yes, that is light traffic. During rush hour it can be as much as two hours. MARTA runs around every 15 minutes, and will take around 40 minutes to get from the airport to the station near the hotel.
Dixon Davis
87. KadesSwordElanor
Well done Wetlander @ 85

You have definitely swayed my opinion a great deal and I agree with pretty much all of your points. However, I stick to my guns on what I said @ 5

“Egwene’s comment on p.156 about “where is that sheepherder” crossed a line, to me. It seemed to me that the statement was made merely to disgrace Rand in front of others (and let us not forget where we come from Mrs. Two Rivers).”

I think this was out of character for her, at this point in the series anyway. She is not the kind to degrade someone in front of others willy nilly. I guess one could make the argument that she didn’t really think about the fact that others were around, or that it wasn’t meant out of disrespect. But, as Amyrlin, she should be more aware. While I do see a great deal (actually everthing) of what you said as necessary to forward the plot, that specific comment, to me, seemed extreme and very disrespectful. And I honestly lost some respect.


Hey Tek @ 74

I’m curious about other rereads too. I saw (or read) you on the Hobbit reread and was thinking about joining in. My friends consider me the “go to” authority on all things Tolkien. I did several papers in college on him and his works, have read pretty much everything he has written, most several times, and The Hobbit, LOTR, and Silmarillion stay on constant loop on my IPOD or CD player as I work, exercise, etc. I’m not saying this to be impressive. I’m saying this because I read others comments and was a little intimidated. I mean good Illuvatar, someone was justifying their point by quoting from Unfinished Tales, from what I can only assume was memory. It just did not seem as friendly in there as it does here. Guidance please.
William Carter
88. wcarter
@Ways and Insectoid,

40 minutes to travel by interstate in Atlanta? on a Friday? Ha!

Excellent points all. Though personally, my beef has always been with Elayne, not Egwene. And her mostly because her suicidal bravery has gotten other people hurt or even killed when they've had to come rescue her. Again.
Tricia Irish
89. Tektonica
Insectoid: Take Marta...it's a piece of cake. The Marta stop is right IN the airport, and the RED line stop, North Spring, is the end of that line. Even I couldn't get lost. Call the Doubletree from there, and they'll come get you. Easy-peasey. Much better than Atlanta traffic!!

As for finding us....the Doubletree isn't that big. Behind the registration desk, down a wide and obvious corridor, are the meeting rooms and ball rooms that we'll be using. At the very end is the Art/gallery room. There will be a number of us in there on Thursday setting up. Come find us and introduce yourself!

JeffS. Glad you have a car. I'm renting one in Roswell for transport services and supply runs. JDauro usually has one, so we'll pack people in and buzz off to restaurants when we need/want to.
Valentin M
90. ValMar
KSE @ 87

Egwene has been throwing pejorative terms at Rand throughout the series and not in a Min kind of way. But I don't remember if these occasions have been infront of other people- besides close nit ones like Moiraine and Elayne.
As for willy nilly- maybe it wasn't and she had a purpose for disssing him there. Just maybe. Also, don't forget how Egwene tore to bits Nyneave to hide her trips to TAR from the WOs.
Tricia Irish
91. Tektonica
KadesSword@87: The other Reads and Rereads here are, um, different.
I kind of dropped out of the Hobbit reread, and I do read all the GRRM posts (the closest in atmosphere to this thread, btw), but I don't have much to contribute there, as I read those books awhile ago. I'm most embroiled in the Malazan Read. It's kind of odd, as one of the two excellent commentators is a newbie, so there are no spoilers discussed, which really limits things, in that very complex world. There is a spoiler thread for Malazan, but it's not too active. (GRRM's spoiler thread IS active.)

So I don't know what to tell you, except, Jump in! Tor does keep things very civil on all threads. You'll meet new people! Show off your expertise! Don't be intimidated! Go for it.
Bill Reamy
92. BillinHI
I really think Egwene is channeling her inner Cadsuane (read: prototypical Aes Sedai) here. She is absolutely right that Rand's plan as stated will go wrong (possibly VERY wrong) but her attitude towards Rand really bugs me. What really grates is her insistence that the Amyrlin Seat as the Watcher of the Seals is the only one who can decide their fate. The AS have not had a clue as to their whereabouts for many hundreds of years. BTW, I am wondering about the "AS research" that tells them what to do about the seals. Given that Rand's part of the LB did not take place as envisioned, didn't Egwene just have a last minute flash of inspiration as to when the seals should be destroyed? Don't get me wrong, Rand is being quite pig-headed here but I don't see him as disparaging Egwene nearly as much as she did him.

On a JCon note: I will be renting a car (and staying at the Doubletree) but my wife is not a WOT-fan, so she may have other things she wants to do. Also my sister is going to be in Atlanta that weekend to see her son and daughter-in-law and their 2 kids and we may try to do a short get-together with them at some point. We will be arriving about 7:30AM so maybe we'll hang out at the airport for a while before braving the Atlanta traffic after an overnight flight from Honolulu.
Alice Arneson
93. Wetlandernw
KadesSwordElanor @87 - The thing is, "Where is that sheepherder?" could not have been meant to disgrace Rand in front of others: the only person who could possibly have heard it was Gawyn. They were in a very private conversation at the time, after she'd just given Roedran… something to think about in return for him being so rude.

If you look through that section again, she'd just (prior to the dialogue with Roedran) been thinking about how uncomfortable she was with this new Rand, and wondering how much she could trust him. It’s perfectly in character for her to remind herself that he’s still human, and that she knew him as a sheepherder. Also, he’s being irritating by not being there at the time he told everyone else to be there, and that brings out the tendency (in all of us) to use mild insults in our thoughts or our muttered comments to our closest friends.

During the entire meeting, Egwene called him three things: Lord Dragon, Rand al’Thor, and Rand. She argued with him, she stood up to him, and she called his bluff – but she didn’t denigrate or demean him in front of the rest. Once, at the very end of the chapter, when it was just the two of them being ignored by the rest, she told him that he was being a Light-blinded, wool-headed, stubborn fool – to which he responded by saying that she was being a spoiled, self-certain, unmitigated brat. But at that point, they were both completely frustrated, and they were both worried that things were about to explode; neither felt like they dared back down, and both were worried that the other was going to be too stubborn to back down, and they couldn’t see a way to compromise that wouldn’t involve backing down.

BillinHI @92 – Back in Chapter One, we saw Egwene and Elayne looking at what the research turned up. One page of the Karaethon Cycle said something about “His blood shall give us the Light…” and had a note by the only other Dreamer-Amyrlin that said, “Wait upon the Light.” As with most prophecy, they couldn’t be sure what it meant, but from all the research, Egwene was pretty well convinced that if the seals had to be broken, they at least had to wait until the right moment. As it turned out, someone else had to determine when that right moment was, but she was able to reinforce the directive in the moments before her death. And truly, it did have to be someone besides Rand; he could not have broken the seals at the right time (even if he’d had them), because he was thoroughly occupied at the time. It was a result of his actions that sent the signal that told Logain it was time to break the seals.
Dixon Davis
94. KadesSwordElanor
I shall not concede yet Wetlander :)

Seriously though. I will have to reread that part when I get home. I was thinking that several people were around at the time. I just remember being jarred out of WOT World, and when I get jarred out of whatever world I happen to be in while reading, I take note to revisit. Upon reflection, several times, disrespect was my conclusion. I promise I will revisit and reflect again, per your argument.
Alice Arneson
95. Wetlandernw
Ah, but you will. You will. MWAHahahahaha.
Alice Arneson
95. Wetlandernw
Rats. Twitchy thumb double-clicked. MWAHahahahaha.
Thomas Keith
96. insectoid
KadesSwordElanor @87:
I'm our household authority on Tolkien, too (and, coincidentally, took a college course on the subject). But I never got into the LotR or Hobbit re-reads, because I was much too busy with this one. ;)

(And now that I've joined the Loonies on FB, I'm busier than ever!)

Tek @89:
Sounds good to me! I'll have to write all this down so I don't forget.

KSE @94/Wet @95-95:

Dixon Davis
97. KadesSwordElanor
Insectoid @ 96

Tolkien is the man, and I feel as if I know him pretty well. But the people in the Hobbit reread are scary.

Wetlander @ 95 & 95 (had to get a dig in somehow)

I guess I assumed (you know what happens when you do that) that Egwene’s retinue was in tow, even after several reads to justify my horror at her statement. Upon closer inspection of the text, I think it was a private conversation between Egs and Gawyn. So, less horror, more normal Egwene.

So Wetlander, the battle is yours. But we shall meet again on the field of combat. Now, off to finish the bacon and cheese omelets for my wife and girls.
William Carter
98. wcarter
T-shirt just came in the mail today. Hells yeah.

All this talk about the Facebook group almost makes me wish I were still on Facebook.

I'll have my truck at Jcon since so I can give rides to 1-2 people if necessary. I'll be staying at the LaQuinta.
Alice Arneson
99. Wetlandernw
KadesSwordElanor - Bacon & cheese omelets? You win. *sigh*

(About that other bit - I had to go back and read the whole section to make sure before I posted that. And the retinue isn't far behind, but it's pretty clear E & G were speaking softly; didn't want Roedran to realize he'd been had. So... yeah. I just have an advantage in being at home where I can look things up.)
100. AndrewB
And I will take 100 -

Does Logain's breaking of the seals have something to do with Min's vision of future greatness for him?

Thanks for reading my musings,
Glen V
101. Ways
RATS! Missed the hunny while I was reviewing Wet's excellent comments (pshaw, grumble).
102. Kat W.
So I just finished reading AMOL for the first time, and immediatly came here and read the first 7 parts of your blog here.

Which are awesome as always, and I eagerly await Tuesdays for probably the next year :p

Egwene Dreamed her own death, I totally had forgotten that >.
Glen V
103. Ways
So I presume the brabbling is mostly finished.
Two thoughts on the recent posts upthread...
1) I'm really glad Egwene chose to use her substantial resources in the WT to investigate the 'breaking of the seals' and 're-sealing the bore' issues. I recall being concerned during the ToM re-read that this wasn't going to happen. It would have been cool to be clued-in somewhere in the narrative (even without a description of the research results), but hey, it happened. Yay!
2) Rand was clearly heading in directions that wouldn't fly during the tent conference! But I'm wondering if he proposed some poorly thought-out ideas (i.e. breaking the seals himself and controlling the armies) because he actually realized he didn't have all the answers and needed to get more input than just his own ideas, LTT memories and Min's contributions-::takes breath::-but didn't want to admit it in public. It's a guy thing. You know, sort of a distinctly male, I am the DR, machismo reverse psychology. Maybe I'm giving Rand too much credit here??

wcarter @98
I'm at LaQuinta also. So far we are the only 2 to admit it. I understand it's reasonably close to the Doubletree (1/4 mile?), but there is apparently a hill involved and numerous trips to and fro may take a toll on my aging knees. So...I may try to bum a ride or three if the timing works out and you have room in the truck. I have to wonder about parking at the Doubletree though. That place is gonna be a zoo.

I'm not a big FB fan either, but I do appreciate the re-read group over there. It's a good place to take discussion such as this very one so the re-read thread doesn't go too far sideways. Insectoid bit the bullet today and signed up. FB could also be an effective communication tool at the Con. Too bad I'm still using a dumb phone. :-)

I'm glad to hear you like the t-shirt!

Welcome Kat W.
Erdrick Farseer
104. Erdrick
AndrewB @ 100 - I don't think Min's vision of Logain's future glory has to do with any singular event. Consider the following from one of Egwene's dreams in ACoS:
"Logain, laughing, stepped across something on the ground and mounted a black stone; when she looked down, she thought it was Rand's body he had stepped over, laid out on a funeral bier with his hands crossed at his breast, but when she touched his face, it broke apart like a paper puppet."

Men who can channel have been feared for thousands of years. The Black Tower, originally constructed by Rand to mass produce terrifyingly efficient human weapons, did nothing to alter that perspective. That "save the children" scene near the end of AMoL represents a turning point in the direction of the BT. The world is entering a period where Asha'man learn to live up to their title, changing their primary function from weapon to guardian.

I know many people predicted Logain's "glory" to be some flashy battle victory (e.g. taking out Taim). Even if the story played out with Logain killing Taim in some epic saidin showdown, I would still attribute the significance of Min's vision to his future role leading the BT into this new age. His true glory is tied to exculpating male channelers from their 3000 year entrenched negative image.
Jennifer Backstrom
105. Goldilox71
One last comment about the Rand/Egwene namecalling event at the Big Meeting. Rand was apparently trying to use his Taveren-ness to push the rulers to go along with his ideas. Egwene has repeatedly used her own personal strength/stubbornness to avoid being bullied into things--culminating with defeating the A'dam and Mesaana through personal force of will.

When she felt Rand Taveren-tugging her, she probably instinctively reacted to push back, which resulted in something more juvenile and primal than a reasoned discourse. Of course, as has been pointed out, the Right course of action was midway between her thoughts and his.
Thomas Keith
106. insectoid
FYI, as of tonight I've printed and pressed the buttons of aprildmoore, BillinHI, Braid_tug, chaplainchris1, forkroot, JanDSedai, JeffS., and leighdb (and edited my post above @32 accordingly). I'll be posting a for-sure last call for changes on the FB group, as the remaining 15 sets of buttons are all plain.

107. alreadymadwithlogain
Erdrick @104
Agreed. At first glance the scene might have implied that he had a hand in Rand's death, but I think the dream Foretold several events in one go. Rand's body breaking apart as a paper puppet we already know as his death having been faked. Most of the Dream pertained to Logain's actions. Laughing may imply a hint of a little madness. Not uncommon among Asha'man. Maybe he will overcome it in the process of stepping up to mount that stone. Stepping over Rand's body to mount the stone may also imply that he will be personally responsible for moving the Black Tower away from Rand's influence and into its own destiny.

This is in itself huge. Huge on the order of Hawkwing and the original Amyrlin Seats of the White Tower. Imagine being the undisputed leader of a channeling sect for years centuries, with a reputation as a war hero to draw on. If that's not glory, I don't know what is.
Jeff Schweer
108. JeffS.
To add to 107's comment.
"Imagine being the undisputed leader of a channeling sect for centuries, with a reputation as a war hero to draw on. If that's not glory, I don't know what is."

Not just that but also being seen as a protector of innocents to the point of mothers taking oath on sending their sons to be tested.

From madmen to benefactors and Logain is the symbol.
Very huge indeed.
Jeff Schweer
109. JeffS.
And I seem to have killed the thread. Darn.
Glen V
110. Ways
@ JeffS.
It's been dying a slow death since Thurday, despite several attempts to revive it.

Do you have a room at the Doubletree for JCon, or are you a blacksheep at LaQuinta with wcarter, chaplainchris and myself? Don't recall if you spoke up on this previously.
William Carter
111. wcarter
In all fairness I think Wetlander wrapped up most of the real chapter discussion on this thread when she laid her righteous brabble smackdown against the Egwene bashing. Amost everything past that point has been Jcon boilerplate stuff.
Valentin M
112. ValMar
Ways @ 110

If the "sex in a barn" discussion couldn't revive the thread then nothing could. And yes, once we agreed Egwene is perfect, not much more could be said, only admired.
Alice Arneson
113. Wetlandernw
Oh, dear. I didn't mean to kill discussion... :(

We could just pretend we're all holding our breath, waiting to see what Moiraine will do. On the other hand, once we've registered our various opinons of the power-shower and "you're not him, are you?" the chapter is almost solely about the confrontation between Rand and Egwene.

For what it's worth, while I firmly believe that Egwene was completely reasonable (and actually correct) in her opposition, at the same time I felt so bad for Rand in this scene. From the outside, he's arrogant and showy, and he made some huge mistakes in his plans, but his heart was in the right place - he really wanted to make it work better this time. He thought he'd done such a good job, but they all fell to bickering and then Egwene called his bluff. Poor kid.

He was right in his goals: getting a lasting treaty in place, along with academies and fair trade; getting the Team Light army under a single command structure; even, in a way, breaking the seals. I suppose that consulting with the right people ahead of time might have helped, but even better would have been to come in with more "here's the starting point" attitude would have helped him. Better yet - before the grand come-together, how about a quiet meeting with just a few people he trusted and who had authority: I'd suggest Egwene, Elayne, Darlin, Cadsuane, and one or more of the Borderland kings. Tell them what he wants (valid peace treaty, schools, trade, unity), give them this document as a starting point, and work out how it could be done.

On the other hand, narratively that wouldn't have been nearly as suspenseful, and wouldn't have made for nearly such a spectacular entrance for...


And we're back to narrative necessity.
Dixon Davis
114. KadesSwordElanor
Hey Wetlander,

You didn’t kill it, you just made good points that are hard to refute. But, I can’t wait to criticize Moi’s return and have you set me straight. :)
Alice Arneson
115. Wetlandernw
::psst! I'll let you in on a little secret. I was a little underwhelmed with it...::
Valentin M
116. ValMar
Wetlander @ 113

I agree that what you suggest is exactly what Rand should've done. Though maybe Rand was trying to avoid such a discussion and force the issue before everyone. Who knows.
Re: narrative necessity, this is a tricky issue. It is strongly on my mind on this particular case but I try to discount it because things like that take me out of the story.
On the one hand it could seem that the whole Rand/Egwene conflict in this chapter could've easily been avoided, thus appearing somewhat contrived. For narrative purposes.
OTOH, as I wrote above, Rand may have planned it this way on purpose, for whatever reason. Also, the Rand/Egwene relationship has been strained from the get go. As I've said before, IMO RJ had been building towards the meeting at Merrilor with Egwene and Rand's interractions from the EOTW onwards.

KSE @ 114

Sir, unless your criticism is that there was too little of Moiraine, I suggest you prepare yourself for a smack in the gob with a glove!
Dixon Davis
117. KadesSwordElanor
ValMar @ 116

Shall we prepare to dance the spears then, on the morrow. :)
Valentin M
118. ValMar

A dance-off or spears, I believe it's up to you to choose the weapons...*

* On a less flippant note, I'm looking forward to tomorrow's post from Leigh and the discussion that will ensue.
Tricia Irish
119. Tektonica
Wetlander@113: I agree. Poor Rand. He has some good ideas, and a genuine desire to do it right this time. But, as you said, the narrative necessity, plus the consistant of lack of communication amongst these characters, makes a pre-large group meeting an impossibility.
No Talking!! As I said in my post @26:

Why didn't they have a private pow-wow before the general meeting? Maybe Rand didn't want to, but a bit more time together might have changed Egs opinion of Rand. Of course, then we wouldn't have this Drama!
William Carter
120. wcarter

Please don't think I had accused you of "killing" this thread, just of pointing out some facts it's hard to argue against.

I was a little disappointed by Moraine's big appearance too. But I'll get into that tomorrow.
Deana Whitney
121. Braid_Tug
Come on everyone. No person "killed" the thread.
Weekends kill the thread. :-)

See, it's Monday, and we are all chatty again.

@ Wetlander: great points! So not the rant I was first expecting, but even better and more on point.
Alice Arneson
122. Wetlandernw
wcarter @120 - :) I know. No offense. You gave me a good chance to be fair to both sides.

I'm sure I've said this before, and I'm sure I'll say it again... One of the things I really like about the WoT is the character dimension. There's nothing flat about them - they're very like real people we've all known and loved (or loathed). Even the caricatures - we've all known someone who does a disturbing job of reinforcing every last stereotype that could apply to them, right? Not many, but there really are some folks like that. Stereotypes exist for a reason.

I was thinking about this late last night, and realized (again) that one of the reasons I can (and do) defend Egwene so vigorously is that I understand her. In many ways, she's exactly like me. Our methods are different, but our motivations are so much the same it's scary.

(Well, there's also that little detail of being hyper-aware of what the character knows versus what the reader knows, and the one about cultural understanding, but in some ways they're secondary. They apply to every character.)

I understand that need to not just "do your best" but to Be The Best at whatever it is. Not everything, of course, but anything that matters. If you're going to put any significant effort into it, throw yourself into it and be the best there ever was or ever will be. It's not actually possible, of course, but it's a driving motivation.

I also (totally!!) understand the aversion to being pushed around. None of us like it, of course, but some of us are... unreasonable about it. Come to me with a courteous request, and I'm on your side all the way. Try to force me into something, bully me, or order me around, and I'll dig in my heels and you will not get what you wanted. As for the passive-aggressive attempt to make me feel guilty so I'll do what you want? Never. Going. To. Happen.

I'm not saying it's always right; I know it can be a great fault in me, and I do struggle with it. (Thank God for a sense of humor, and the occasional ability to laugh at myself!) But I totally understand it in Egwene - from Rand's first attempt to make her stay in Emond's Field, through twisting Nynaeve's behavior to cover her own, to finding the strength to resist Rand's ta'veren push in this chapter, right up to refusing to let Taim or the Sharans beat her down. She's more agressive in her resistance than I (usually) am, but the motivation is the same. You will not push me around, and you will not make me do something I don't want to do, even if the resistance kills me.

Thus endeth the navel-gazing for the day.
123. alreadymadwithnavels
Navels? Where? I don't see any.
Alice Arneson
124. Wetlandernw
You prefer the ingrown eyeballs metaphor?
Kimani Rogers
125. KiManiak
Real late to the party, folks. Just a relatively quick comment on this post; I have little wish to introduce anything to stimulate the thread all that much at this late of a time.
(Okay, after typing this thing I see that once again I am not good in the "quick comment" department. Oh well...)

After reading this chapter for the first time, I had issues with both Rand and Egwene.

As others have said, Rand meant well and was really trying to do the right thing. But he did it in a poorly thought out fashion (“End the Dark One?” Really, Rand? Because that doesn’t sound poorly thought out at all, does it?). He is prone to trying to do too many things on his own, and he really could have relied upon others to assist him with the Dragon’s Peace idea. Also, it would have been a wise idea to see what information the White Tower may have had to aid in his research of how he could defeat the Dark One; he would just have had to find a way to do it where he wouldn't have to worry about the Tower trying to dictate, or "guide him" as they put it. Of course, that last part is easier said than done.

Egwene meant well and apparently thought her role was to stop Rand from doing the wrong thing. But she did it in a poorly thought out fashion. She is prone to thinking her way is the only correct way and she has totally bought the “Aes Sedai way is the only way” mentality (“The White Tower should be guiding you?” Really, Egwene? Because that is a guarantee of success?), and she could have reached out to Rand or one of his allies to explore the pros of his approach, not just research the cons. She could have allowed for the possibility that maybe the White Tower's way wasn't the only way to do something, and come to a topic with the belief that maybe one of her friends' is capable of doing something that she didn't initially expect them capable of.

To be clear, neither group had it right; they both had it wrong.

Rand’s “plan” to hurry up and force the issue with the Dark One was a good idea, but would have been flawed in execution. He didn’t strongly consider the timing and the logistics involved. Also, he most definitely should not lead the forces of the Light in the Last Battle. His place was to confront the Dark One in Shayol Ghul. And the Dragon’s Peace would have been a useless document without the Seanchan’s involvement.

Egwene’s “plan” to oppose Rand’s plan and force a confrontation rather than an alliance was pretty decent in its execution, but was a flawed idea. There was no desire to work together with Rand on her part, just oppose and then dictate what she thought they should do. She was right to point out that Rand shouldn’t lead the forces of the Light. But her informants had to have informed her that Min, as well as Cadsuane and a host of Aes Sedai were advising Rand. She made no effort to reach out and discuss his approach with Rand’s allies; figure out if there was an effective way for Rand to accomplish what he wanted to accomplish while factoring in the information that only the Tower had access to.
(Yes, Egwene had the research of the Tower and access to information that only the Aes Sedai would be aware of. But she was lacking some information (the Nachiman Foretelling, the Callandor analysis and Harid Fel’s suggestion, if not more info that Rand’s faction had come across) too, right?)

The way I see it, Rand’s approach was solution-oriented (It was about what should be done and how, it just had the wrong solution); Egwene’s approach in opposing Rand just to oppose him wasn’t solution- oriented at all (it was about what shouldn’t be done, not what should be done or how things could be done).

So what happens when you put together a meeting where one side has good intentions but the wrong idea and the other side has questionable intentions and no ideas?
(Edit to add: To paraphrase Lewis Black, it was a showdown between the party of bad ideas and the party of no ideas) :-)

A big clusterf@$#, where things degrade to name calling, bluffing and the threat of direct physical opposition between allies. A regression of the 2 factions leaders to their more childish selves (good to know that even in Wotland, siblings (even pseudo-siblings like Rand and Egwene) can still get under each other's skin).

Fortunately, the chapter ends with the appearance of Mom (Moiraine) to knock some sense into them…
126. Jeff S.
In the red for the moment.
Since this is the 17th comment since I thought I broke the thread, I feel better. I think I have more toh than Wetlander since I did shutdown the sex in the barn thing.
I'm staying at the Hampton Inn about a mile away, thus the car rental. I still plan to be at every possible panel and spend mucho time in the revolving bunker. Since Wetlander is not coming, I have an obligation as the Great NW Wine Group spokesman. With that being said, I will be a responsible driver. I would be anyway but driving in Atlanta has always meant that you need to keep ALL of your wits about you.
127. Freelancer
You mean the 285 International Speedway? Oh yeah, if you aren't ready to draft like NASCAR, you aren't ready for that loop.
William Carter
128. wcarter
Parking lot I-285 and Georgia drivers are the closest thing to the gladitorial games since Rome itself.

Thank God I don't have to get on that road but once or twice a year.

Idiots drive too fast(and I mean for the Interstate too fast, never mind regular roads) and change lanes whilst drinking coffee, texting on a phone, and curling their hair all at the same time without using any sort of turning signal or mirrors.

They will cut you off then drop their speed without cause by 12-15 mph ,and then even after you've navigated through the psychos and gotten relatively close to your destination, you'll suddenly come on a two mile line where traffic is simply stopped for yet another wreck thereby making that last 200 yards to your exit an epic ordeal spanning 45 minutes to an hour.
130. Freelancer
He ain't lying. First experience with the I-285, merging from the NB I-85 at around 70MPH, nearly got run over by five consecutive cars. Nobody in four lanes going less than 85, including the truck lane, and ricky-racing like there was a checkered flag coming up. Unlucky for me, I'm driving a rented Tercel.
Thomas Keith
131. insectoid
Free @127 et al:
*shudder* And I thought some of our traffic was bad... Good thing I'm not driving when I get there!

Glen V
132. Ways
I am so totally out of practice with that type of driving environment that I'd likely get squashed quickly. Maybe that's a good thing (the out-of-practice part).

Twelve hours and counting until the next installment.
Deana Whitney
133. Braid_Tug
So, since were on the topic of driving in Atlanta...
Guessing the I-285 loop is not the "easier" way of getting back to the airport from the hotel, even on a Sunday.

What about driving up 85 and on 400, UP to the convention?

To be honest, all this talk about Atlanta traffic is making me re-think the car rental. Dallas is bad, and I drive fast, but not on unfamiliar roads.
William Carter
134. wcarter
As in Dallas Texas? You'll be fine. In all seriousness I-285 should be OK on Saturday and most of Sunday, just try to stay off of it late Friday afternoon as much as possible.

The problem isn't so much driving fast, as that the speed can be inconstant. Trouble happens on 285 because of two main reasons:

1. Cops tend to run radar under bridges and those with a guilty conscious will hit their brakes causing a domino reaction. So the tailgaters end up rear ending someone.
2. People don't show courtesy to each other merging in and out of traffic. They don't use turning signals half the time, and occasionally don't use their mirrors--so wrecks tend to happen right at entrance and exit ramps during rush hour.

This will clog up traffic at those points and if you're not paying attention you can come up to an area where traffic is moving slower while you're going over 70.

Easiest and best thing to do is just try to stay in one of the middle lanes where you can see a good distance down the road. If you know what's coming you should have plenty of reaction time to adjust.
135. JimF
Ohmigod, Leigh, this:
"...That said, I think it is very easy to fall back on the kneejerk reaction to hate on Egwene for fighting Rand in this chapter, because even acknowledging the inevitable cattishness (heh) of world politics, the instinctive inclination we have as readers is still to be like, hey, Eggy, Rand is the protagonist/Messiah figure/central focal-point thingy in this story, not you! Of COURSE what he wants is the right thing to do, because that’s how stories work! How dare you contest him on that, you suck, why you gots to be a hater, blah blah yadda...." is maybe the funniest of all the funny things you've ever written on this blog. You're the Mat Cauthon of bloggers.

However, it is no kneejerk reaction to Miss Prissy Pants Power Climber Egwene al'Vere. She earned it, fair and square.
136. hesuchia
When Rand called Egwene the spoiled, self-certain, unmitigated brat, I cheered and laughed and punched the air victoriously. FINALLY. She's been a butt to other people for so long, treating them like idiots if they don't agree with her. Yes, Rand did the same thing but people berated him about it all the time. Turnabout, it's what's for dinner.

I did love Moiraine's entrance too. As always arriving at the perfect dramatic moment. In the next chapter, (hardly a spoiler imo) Perrin makes an educated guess that Moiraine was likely eavesdropping the whole time outside, since that was something very like her. It's pretty funny that she has changed, but also hasn't changed.
William McDaniel
137. willmcd
As she so often does, Egwene really ticked me off in this chapter, not so much in her confrontation with Rand (because many of his ideas were, in fact, poor---commanding the armies personally? Really?), but in the Aes Sedai institutional arrogance evident in her thoughts prior to the meeting. "The world needed an Amyrlin"? "Her presence would calm the rulers"? "Some nations relied on force of arms, the White Tower had something better"? (I am quoting from memory) Talk about a disconnect between how an institution is actually perceived and how it thinks itself to be perceived.

But, as Wetlandernw pointed out, such things are entirely consistent with Egwene as presented heretofore in the series, and to have her make an about-face now wouldn't be true to the character. And perhaps the fact that she evokes such a strong reaction in me is a testament to RJ and BWS's skill in writing her so well. (Additionally, perhaps the fact that she reminds me of a high school girlfriend that I parted with on poor terms is playing a role as well. But I am digressing.)

Egwene does seem to think the worst about Rand. In his newfound effort to be polite to others (which doubtless makes Cadsuane proud), he addresses her as "Mother", and she immediately thinks he is "pretending respect". Also, it's interesting that she doesn't really seem to believe in him as the Dragon/savior; she thinks the grass-greening when he steps is a deliberate "trick" and sets Gawyn to finding out how he does it.

Rand, on the other hand, was being a punk for that entrance he pulled with setting the tent up, and is also badly off the mark for thinking that he could change self-serving human nature through legislation that he wouldn't be around to enforce. (And, remembering Avi's trip through the columns, all of we readers' hearts jump when he breaks out the phrase "the Dragon's Peace".)

I did think that it was interesting that, for the first time since the Dragonmount epiphany, we see Rand not in full control of a situation. It looked like it was about ready to come to blows before Frodo said he would take the ring Moiraine showed up to calm things down.

One thing that left me scratching my head here was Egwene's response when Rand says "I'm going to kill him". Egwene says: "Who? Moridin?"

Huh? Does Egwene know who Moridin is? If any of the good people who pop back in and read my late-arriving remarks have a reference on where she might have found this out, I'd be most appreciative if you'd post it.

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment