Tue
Apr 16 2013 12:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread: A Memory of Light, Part 10

A Memory of Light Wheel of Time reread on Tor.comOh, joy! The white smoke over your monitor indicates that a new Wheel of Time post has been selected!

(Or, that you need to get a new computer.)

Today’s entry covers Chapters 8 and 9 of A Memory of Light, in which we discuss Papal marriage rites, amazing daredevil feats of DOING THINGS WHILE PREGNANT RUN AWAAAAAY, and who would win in a game of 13x13 Chicken.

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.

I am also thrilled to continue to tell you that the Wheel of Time Re-read is also now available as e-books, from your preferred e-book retailer! How cool is THAT, seriously.

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!

Once more with feeling: scheduling note: JordanCon V is ALMOST UPON US, ZOMG. And I am Toastmastering it!

Therefore, the Re-read will be going on hiatus for a week after today’s post, returning April 30th. However, be sure to watch this space, as I will no doubt have a hopefully-coherent con report or two to share with you in the meantime!

Onward!

 

Chapter 8: That Smoldering City

What Happens
Elayne joins Guybon and Talmanes on a hill northwest of Caemlyn, and mourns the sight of her city, destroyed before she had ruled it more than a hundred days. She surveys the damage done by Talmanes’s dragons escaping the walls, and thinks that everything they know about warfare is going to change. Talmanes estimates that there are tens of thousands of Trollocs in the city.

[Talmanes] was said to be one of Mat’s most trusted officers; she would have assumed that, by now, Mat would have corrupted the fellow far more. He didn’t curse once. Pity.

Elayne has Perrin’s forces with her, as well as the Queen’s Guard, Guybon’s Andoran regulars, Bashere’s Legion of the Dragon, and a contingent of siswai’aman. She is uneasy at only having the Kinswomen and the Wise Ones with Perrin for channelers, and not at all sure what to think about the Whitecloaks. She approves of Bashere’s plan to draw the Trollocs out into Braem Wood, where the Aiel and the Two Rivers archers in particular will be put to deadly use, and likes the idea of strengthening her ties with the Saldaean throne as well. Birgitte and Bashere approach to report that most of the fires in the city have been contained by now, thanks to the Halfmen. Bashere says that he is not certain what the purpose of taking Caemlyn was.

“Was this attack on Caemlyn intended to sow chaos and bring fear to our armies, or is it intended to take a stronghold and hold it long- term as a base from which to harry our forces? Back during the Trolloc Wars, the Fades did hold cities for that purpose.”

Dannil approaches to report that Perrin’s forces are set up in the forest. Talmanes thinks that there will be no need of archers once his dragons come into play, but Elayne disagrees. Bashere says her plan for the city itself is almost ready, but asks if she really wants to do something that “drastic”. Elayne says she does, and Bashere leaves. He returns a short time later to report that the basements of many of the remaining buildings in the city have been filled with lamp oil, and they are waiting on Gawyn’s report to begin.

Elayne nodded, and then removed her hand from her belly as Bashere glanced at it. She hadn’t realized she’d been holding it again. “What do you think of me going to battle while pregnant? Is it a mistake?”

He shook his head. “No. It proves just how desperate our situation is. It will make the soldiers think. Make them more serious. Besides…”

“What?”

Bashere shrugged. “Perhaps it will remind them that not everything in this world is dying.”

Bashere then asks if she is going to let the troops know that she is carrying the Dragon Reborn’s child. Elayne says he doesn’t know that’s true, but Bashere answers that he saw the way Elayne looked at Rand. He does not understand why she is keeping it a secret, and Elayne tells him the children of the Dragon Reborn will be targets. Bashere agrees, but points out that they are targets just as much because of their mother as their father.

“You’re high commander of the armies of the Light! I think your men deserve to know what exactly they’re fighting for.”

“It is not your business to know,” Elayne said, “nor is it theirs.”

Bashere raised an eyebrow at her. “The heir to the realm,” he said flatly, “is not the business of its subjects?”

“I believe you are overstepping your bounds, General.”

[…] “Your men will fight more bravely if they know that you carry the Dragon Reborn’s heir.”

Birgitte approaches with a nod, and Elayne gives the order to burn the city: the Kinswomen open gateways to the oil-filled basements so that torches can be hurled in, setting them all aflame. Elayne watches the Andoran troops watching Caemlyn burn, and grits her teeth and tells Birgitte to spread the word among the army that her children were fathered by the Dragon Reborn. Birgitte and Bashere both grin, and Elayne decides they are insufferable, but she sees that the men seem to stand taller after. When the Trollocs start pouring out of the gates, she gives the order to go north.

“Caemlyn is dead. We take to the forests; let the Shadowspawn follow!”

Androl wakes to find himself bound and shielded along with Emarin, Evin, and Jonneth. He senses that Pevara is somewhere nearby. Evin is sobbing, and he begs for Androl’s forgiveness for caving to the Darkfriends. Mishraile appears and kicks Androl, promising retribution for what he did to Coteren. Mezar and Welyn drag a groggy Logain in and tie him up, and Taim instructs them to take Evin next. Androl yells for them to take him instead, but Taim sneers that he is not even worth Turning, and they drag Evin away. They can’t see him anymore, but they can hear him screaming. Pevara tells him silently that she thinks it’s been less than a day since they were captured. She asks what’s happening with Evin.

They’re Turning him, Androl sent back. Strength of will has something to do with resisting. That is why Logain hasn’t been Turned yet.

Pevara’s concern was a warmth through the bond. Were all Aes Sedai like her? He’d assumed they had no emotions, but Pevara felt the full range – although she accompanied it with an almost inhuman control over how those emotions affected her. Another result of decades of practice?

She tries to guide him through untying the knot that binds his hands, but the attempt fails. Pevara observes that their shields are tied off, and could perhaps be gotten through with time, but Androl isn’t sure how much time they have. Evin is no longer screaming, and Androl can faintly sense channeling going on. Evin returns a few minutes later, and smiles, commenting that was not as bad as he’d thought. He tells Androl not to worry.

“I feel great. No more fear, no more worry. We shouldn’t have been fighting all of this time. We are the Black Tower. We need to work together.”

You are not my friend, Androl thought. You might have his face, but Evin… Oh, Light. Evin is dead.

Evin tells him Nalaam is dead, killed in the cave-in, and confides to Androl that he think he can convince Taim et al to Turn Androl rather than just kill him, and that Androl will thank him later. Androl sees the Fades coming to drag off Emarin next, and thinks of how lucky Nalaam was to already be dead.

Commentary
It’s got to be quite a thing, giving the order to raze your own city. Some people may be envious of kings and queens and Presidents and High Commanders and etc., but on most days I ain’t one of them. I mean, I get guilty when I don’t tip twenty percent; if I had to make actual life and death decisions, I just… well, I just don’t know how well my soul would bear up under that.

You never know, though, until you’re there. So there’s that. And here’s hoping that that stays over there, and bothers me never. Other than fictionally, of course.

In other, more grammatically coherent news, Elayne’s conversation with Bashere was interesting, because I had forgotten about it until I reread it, and up to that point I had just been thinking about how I was going to say something about how great it was that not just a woman, but a very visibly pregnant woman, had been made the WOT equivalent of Commander in Chief and no one felt the need to even mention it, much less object to her on those grounds. Some of the other rulers had had issues with Elayne’s selection, true, but unless I forgot something, those objections were purely political in nature. And that… that was just really refreshing.

So I was, initially, actually rather irritated that Elayne herself decided to bring it up to Bashere, because I was like, nooo, girl, no harshing my rare and elusive lack-of-sexism buzz! Why you want to do me like that?

But I get it: both why she felt the need to bring it up, and why Bashere thought it was a good thing, both in general and because of who the children’s father is specifically. In general, because one thing you can definitely say about apocalyptic situations is that they cut through societal-barrier bullshit like nothing else: it’s all in, no limit when the end of the world itself is on deck. And in particular, because he was totally right that knowing her kids were the Dragon Reborn’s would boost morale.

It’s one of those things that is so intuitively obvious that it’s actually kind of difficult to articulate why it’s so. But to give it a shot: whether rightly or wrongly, people always automatically invest in the idea of dynasties; if you don’t believe me, just peruse the amount of ink (electronic or otherwise) that’s been wasted on every last blip of Kate Middleton’s pregnancy, or the Kennedys, or even the ongoing paparazzi furor over Brangelina’s children. (Seriously, I generally don’t pay attention to this kind of thing, but I just Googled “Kate Middleton” and holy crap. KATE SHOPS FOR ANTIQUES WHILE PREGNANT ZOMG HOW DOES SHE DO IT. Really, media? That’s just sad.)

Sad, but it does support my point. And it would be even more so in Rand’s case, considering that he is not just some random royal figure or movie star but, you know, the actual savior of the world. And also considering how much he (as such) is tied to images (and literal examples) of rebirth and renewal and, ahem, fertility. The supreme leader of our army is carrying the Messiah’s children? Shit yeah, we good!

(Is what I project the average soldier is saying. Probably not in those exact words. What? Yeah, well. Never let it be said I can’t surfer-dudeize any given situation regardless of historical or fake-fantasy-historical period. I’m gifted that way.)

I continue to really like the Androl storyline. This is going to sound odd, perhaps, but I feel like it’s got an energy and tension to it that maybe isn’t precisely in keeping with the style of WOT as a whole, but taken on its own merits is nevertheless a ripping good suspenseful subplot that I was (and am) genuinely invested in, and anxious to see how it turned out even though I was pretty sure I knew at least generally how it was going to go.

Even so, man, that’s just deeply creepy and upsetting, the Turning thing. Poor Evin. Which I’m certain I’ve said before, but definitely is worth saying again, emphatically, because if you ask me it’s pretty much the mental equivalent of rape. Maybe even worse, because – wait, did we ever find out whether Turning can be reversed? I feel like someone answered that question (or maybe the book did), but I can’t remember if so.

Well, either way I give the entire notion a resounding and categorical DO NOT WANT. Though it is kind of interesting, in a morbid way, to speculate on how long Androl himself would have held out against the Turning process if things had ever gotten that far. Would he have lasted longer than Logain?

Not to mention other channeling characters as well. Given that “ridiculously stubborn” is a root trait of most (if not all) of Our Heroes, that could be a long fight. So if y’all get bored while I’m away, you could always argue about who would outlast who. (My money for longest hold-out, personally, is on Nynaeve, but I bet there are lots of people who would disagree with me. Heh.)

 

Chapter 9: To Die Well

What Happens
Lan and the Malkieri fall back from their latest turn at the front, and Lan reflects that as effective as their tactics are, eventually the advantage would go to the Trollocs. Bulen falls from his saddle, and Lan rushes to him to find he is already dead, having concealed his wound from Lan so as not to leave him alone. Lan is furious, but seeing Kaisel and several others watching, announces loudly that he does not mourn for Bulen, who could not have died a better death. The others then begin telling stories of other fallen comrades’ heroic deaths, and taking cheer in the tales. Lan brings Bulen to Narishma and asks him to put him somewhere cold.

“When this is done, and Malkier is reclaimed, we will want a proper resting place for the noble fallen. Until then, I will not have him burned or left to rot. He was the first Malkieri to return to Malkier’s king.”

Narishma obeys, and Lan keeps Bulen’s hadori and ties it on his sword before going to meet with Agelmar. On the way, an earthquake strikes the camp, and Lan sees that there is something unnatural about the fissures it creates; Lan thinks it is “as if he was looking at fractures in the nature of reality itself.” The strangeness fades after a moment, but Lan thinks that the earth itself is weakening. Tenobia is arguing with Agelmar as he approaches, and he thinks she is too hotheaded to be a good tactician, and likely to go off and fight herself if they don’t watch her. He draws Agelmar aside, who agrees with Lan’s assessment. Lan wants to know what Agelmar will do about the increasing fatigue of the troops, and Agelmar answers that they will hold as long as they can and then retreat. Lan is astonished, and says he will not abandon Malkier again.

“The determination of a man set upon justice is a thing not lightly ignored. However, there is a time to put yourself aside and see the greater importance.”

Lan stopped, eyeing the aged general. “Take care, Lord Agelmar. It almost sounds as if you are calling me selfish.”

“I am, Lan,” Agelmar said. “And you are.”

Lan did not flinch.

“You came to throw your life away for Malkier. That, in itself, is noble. However, with the Last Battle upon us, it’s also stupid. We need you. Men will die because of your stubbornness.”

Lan protests that he did not ask those men to follow him, but Agelmar is unimpressed by this. Agelmar insists that the best thing they can do is fall back as necessary and delay the Shadow as long as possible, and attrite their numbers as much as they can. Lan considers his words, but then an emergency signal goes up and Lan goes to return to the field even though he had just left it.

They will follow me. Like Bulen did. Leading them to death in the name of a fallen kingdom… leading myself to the same death… how is that any different from Tenobia’s attitude?

Lan decides that when the time comes, he will retreat as Agelmar suggested.

Egwene’s forces are assembled on the north end of Merrilor, crossing into Kandor via gateway, while Rand’s are waiting to the south. She hopes his negotiations with the Seanchan are going well. Gawyn complains about the delay, and Egwene reflects that she still feels odd that she had authorized her own wedding to him the night before. The Trollocs have razed Kandor’s capital, Chachin, and are now moving toward the border with Arafel. Silviana approaches to report on Elayne Sedai’s insistence that the Yellows form a central stationary hospital for the wounded from all fronts. Egwene debates giving in to Elayne on this, but decides to suggest Mayene as the staging area, and declares that all Accepted and novices should go there with the Yellows, to add their strength to Healing out of harm’s way. Egwene and Gawyn cross into Kandor and go to the tent where Leilwin and Bayle Domon are being guarded. Leilwin prostrates herself, and when Egwene snaps at her not to bow like that, Leilwin answers that she has failed her duty, and in so doing “endangered the Pattern itself”.

“Yes,” Egwene said. “The bracelets. I’m aware. Would you like a chance to repay that debt?”

The woman bowed herself, forehead to the ground again. Egwene sighed, but before she could order the woman to rise, Leilwin spoke. “By the Light and my hope for salvation and rebirth,” Leilwin said, “I vow to serve you and protect you, Amyrlin, ruler of the White Tower. By the Crystal Throne and the blood of the Empress, I bind myself to you, to do as commanded in all things, and to put your life before my own. Under the Light, may it be so.”

She kissed the floor.

Egwene looked at her, stunned. Only a Darkfriend would betray an oath such as that one. Of course, every Seanchan was close to being a Darkfriend.

Egwene asks what Leilwin can tell her of the Seanchan military and the plans of its Empress, but Leilwin answers that she was a ship captain and therefore only knows of its navy. She begs, though, to be of use any way she can, and Egwene instructs her to tell of anything she knows of her people.

Rand examines maps, and contemplates the idea of a world without evil, without the Dark One. Elayne enters and is shocked to see him there in her tent. He tells her he had to see her alone again one more time, and kneels before her and apologizes that he didn’t know sooner about their babies.

Children. His children. He closed his eyes, breathing in, enjoying the thought.

He would never know them. He would leave them fatherless before they were even born. But, then, Janduin had left Rand fatherless— and he had turned out all right. Just a few rough edges, here and there.

Elayne says she was thinking of naming one of them Rand, if there is a boy, but Rand asks her not to; he says his shadow over their lives will already be great enough. She tells him he will be a good father, and refuses to listen to his protests, telling him a queen must have hope before all else. Rand says he hopes for her and the rest of the world, but he has accepted his own death. She changes the subject to the war, and Rand congratulates her on her ability to coordinate so many great minds. They discuss tactics over dinner, which reminds him of their time together in Tear, when he had fallen in love with her.

Their love was born of the things they shared. With Elayne, he could speak of politics and the burden of rule. She understood. She truly did, better than anyone he knew. She knew what it was to make decisions that changed the lives of thousands. She understood what it was to be owned by the people of a nation. Rand found it remarkable that, though they had often been apart, their connection held. In fact, it felt even stronger.

Rand confesses to her his chagrin at so many people he doesn’t even know dying in his name, and she tells him he cannot protect everyone. He tells her about what he had realized on Dragonmount, that in order to win, he must care, he must feel pain for others.

“And you remember Lews Therin now?” she whispered. “Everything he knew? That is not just an air you put on?”

“I am him. I always was. I remember it now.”

Elayne breathed out, eyes widening. “What an advantage.”

Of all the people he had told that to, only she had responded in such a way. What a wonderful woman.

He tells her he should be able to fix the world, to keep everyone from going through such suffering. She kisses him, but says angrily that he cannot deny his people the right to fight for themselves. He concedes the point, and makes her tea sweet again. She asks how, and he tells her about ta’veren, and how before the effects were random, either good or bad, but now his effects are all good, because someone else is doing all the bad, and that is the Pattern’s effort to restore balance.

“If what you say is true,” Elayne replied, “then there can never be good in the world.”

“Of course there can.”

“Will the Pattern not balance it out?”

He hesitated. That line of reasoning cut too close to the way he had begun thinking before Dragonmount— that he had no options, that his life was planned for him. “So long as we care,” Rand said, “there can be good. The Pattern is not about emotions— it is not even about good or evil. The Dark One is a force from outside of it, influencing it by force.”

And Rand would end that. If he could.

He gives her a gift: a Seed, an object designed to help her make angreal. She gives him a gift in return: a dull dagger with a deerhorn hilt, a ter’angreal which, when worn, prevents the wearer from being seen by the Shadow. They stay together long into the night.

Commentary
This chapter ended kind of weirdly. For one thing, I’d think that Elayne, of all people, would have had a much stronger reaction to being told she had just been handed a device for making angreal. Because this is Elayne, the original Ms. I Am Obsessed With Figuring Out This Ter’angreal Thing Even If It Blows Me Up Occasionally. Not to mention the whole thing where the secret of making angreal has only been lost for three thousand years or thereabouts.

I’m just saying, I’d think that would at least rate a gasp of surprise or something. But here she’s just like “Oh, I got you something too!” like Rand had given her a bottle of wine or something. Eh?

In that same vein, you’d think that if Elayne had had a ter’angreal lying around all this time that hides you from the Shadow, that she would have at least tried to reproduce it. *shrug* Well, maybe she did try and the attempt failed and we just weren’t told about it. Still, daaaaaamn could that have come in handy in mass production, right? Or even if there had been just enough copies to give to a few key people. Imagine Graendal’s Compulsion plan falling through just because she could never even find the captains to corrupt them!

Speaking of which, I’m actually not sure if Graendal’s subversion of the captains has started here yet or not, because I was sort of under the impression that Agelmar’s plan (to slowly fall back while whittling down the Trollocs as much as possible) is basically the same as the one they’d had all along. I mean, maybe I’m missing something here, but what else can they do, but give ground as slowly as they can? It’s not like they have the numbers to actually defeat the Trollocs.

Although I suppose, considering the crazy shenanigans Team Light gets up to later with gateways and cannons and lava and so forth, that this could instead be a tragically shortsighted case of thinking inside the box.

So, probably Graendal’s already going to town, then. Hrm.

That said, I don’t think it invalidates what Agelmar said to Lan about his selfishness, though. There is often a very fine line between nobility and stupidity – and sometimes there’s no difference at all.

Also, aw. Bye, Bulen. I’d be more upset about your death but I’ve got to save up for later, sorry.

I found it a little startling that we had evidently skipped over Egwene and Gawyn’s wedding completely, as well as rather surprised by the lack of goofy morning-after moments between the two of them. Yes, I know, imminent apocalypse to coordinate, we’re all very busy here, but unless I’m very much mistaken Egwene just lost her virginity to Gawyn the night before. And while that’s probably not as big a deal for her as it might be for some (I imagine getting het up about popping your cherry rather pales in comparison once you’ve personally hurled a dragon off a tower and snapped a Forsaken’s brain like a twig), I would still think it would merit a passing thought or two, you know?

I did snort a bit, though, at Egwene’s chagrin at having to authorize her own wedding. “I now pronounce me – us – husband and wife!” Heh. I guess that’s one good argument for realworld!Pope to be celibate: who would he get to marry him?

Leilwin: blah blah slavery slavery blah. Because don’t try to tell me da’covale (which is essentially what Leilwin was making herself here) don’t count, because they so do. Plus, in the same scene, a nice added dollop of xenophobia from Egwene’s side of the tent, too. Good times!

Besides being a nice scene between Rand and Elayne (the last they’ll get, er, ever, unless I’m mistaken), their dinner conversation in this chapter is a lot more significant in retrospect than I realized the first time I read it. Because what they’re actually arguing about, of course, turns out to be the first real iteration of what will end up being the pivotal dilemma of Rand’s confrontation with the Dark One. Nice.

And in light of that, Elayne’s role (or rather, fake Elayne’s role) in proving to him that Rand’s accidentally-horrific fantasy world was, in fact, horrific, provides for some very nice symmetry there, I like it.

Also, how terrible it must be to have to accept that you’ll never get to meet your own children? I can’t even imagine. (Though now I’m having faintly ridiculous thoughts about the potential for awkwardness down the line, post-bodyswap: “Mommy, why do none of us look anything like our father?”)

Racking my brains now: Rand got to have his impregnating night with Aviendha, and now he’s had his time with Elayne, but I honestly can’t remember what the hell happens to Min after this. Does he get his scene with Min, too, or does she get shafted because of the three of them she’s already had the lion’s share of face time? That’s still not fair, you know, if so. Goodbyes are Very Important!


Except for this one, because it is only for the nonce, my chickens! Wish me luck at JordanCon (and see some of you there!), and I’ll be back with a new post week after next! Cheers!

135 comments
Dixon Davis
1. KadesSwordElanor
I refuse to display my pleasure for the reread this week Leigh, because you are going to JordanCon and I am not. And that goes for everyone else too. :)

Was the “Duty is heavier than a mountain” conversation between Agelmar and Lan a ruse of the dark side that backfired? It seems that it might have been more beneficial to the dark side if Lan had not retreated. Or, was it just a conversation about strategy between two battle tested strategists, with mutual respect for one another, where one “called out” the other. I think it was the later, but I am curious to hear the thoughts of others. I also see that Leigh hypothesizes, and maybe rightly so, that the “subversion” has not started yet.

Hope everyone going has a blast. Can I put someone in charge of having a frosty adult beverage in memory of Bela?
Karen Fox
2. thepupxpert
Haha white smoke over my computer... Back in the day a place I worked at got partially burned because one of the Mac Classics caught on fire, anyone remember those? Now back to the reread...
Eric Wyatt
3. SunDriedRainbow
I won't lie, I cheered when Agelmar called Lan out. I am SO OVER the endless "woe is me" bull that seemingly ALL the characters in the WOT are constantly dragging out that it was LOVELY to see someone call it what it is.

Re: characters getting turned, it's interesting that Nynaeve is one of the only major characters we DO see Turned, though it is in FakeEvilUniverse, not "irl", so to speak. I won't lie, I think Nynaeve would be a badass villain, not least because A) Semirhage was so frickin cool, and B) I think yellow and black are a kickin color combination and YOU CAN'T SAY ME NAY.
William Carter
4. wcarter
One thing about Egwene's POV that I found disturbing if accurate to real soliders (and in her case not unjustified) was the racism she now harbors for the Seanchan.
Soliders from various armies go off to fight foreign enemies, and can harbor a hatred for anyone and everyone from that part of the world long after the war is over and often for the rest of their lives.
In Egwene's case unfortunately, that won't be very long...
acemarke
5. acemarke
Well. Since this post just went up, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to Leigh for doing this re-read, and for all the posters who have commented over the last few years.

I'm a long-time SF/F reader, and had heard about the WoT years ago. However, all I knew was that it was popular, it was long, and it got really slow and draggy in the later books. I saw the announcement of Brandon Sanderson finishing the series, followed along with a few of his progress reports, saw the WOT Reread posts go by in Google Reader, but always had other books that were higher priority.

I decided to finally dive into the series back in December, since I knew AMOL was coming out in January. I started with NS, and blew through all the books up through KOD over the next few weeks. However, while my speed-reading ability allows me to find out what happens very quickly, it also means I tend to miss a lot of the deeper pieces of a book. Obviously, with something like the WOT, that meant I was missing a lot. Also, I kinda got lost in the proliferation of Aes Sedai and other characters :)

I started in on the WOT reread posts after finishing KOD. Leigh obviously has done a fantastic job of both summarizing the action and delving into further detail of what's going on, and the comment discussions have been INCREDIBLY helpful in shedding further light on the intricacies of the series. I estimate I've read about 80% of the reread post comments (skipping things like the speculation threads, most of the uber-gigantic spoiler review threads, and bailing out early on things like the infamous gun control discussions).

I read TGS and TOM at the appropriate points in the reread progression. I just finished the NS reread, and am a few chapters into the KOD reread. I do intend to go through the TGS and TOM rereads before I finally dive into AMOL itself. I won't have that same "years of anticipation" wait that all of you had, but I'm certainly sharing and savoring that sense of anticipation that everyone expressed during the discussions.

Most likely the AMOL reread will be over by the time I catch up. I doubt I would have had much to add to the discussion - I've always been more of an information absorber than a contributor, particularly with something this deep and multi-faceted - but working my way through the posts makes me feel like I've been part of it nonetheless. Consider this one post my lone contribution to the discussion :)

Thanks again to Tor, RJ, BWS, Leigh, and everyone who's been part of the reread. You've added immensely to my understanding and enjoyment of this incredible series.

That One Guy Who Posted That One Time (TM)
Deana Whitney
6. Braid_Tug
Yea a post before JCon!

Getting confused about timing:
Dagger Cloak: Avi speculates what it can do the last time they are together. Elayne is unable to channel or experiment properly at this time.

Now how much time passed between this scene and her giving Rand the dagger?
But Leigh is right, wish there was a line trying to make more, or about the Seed.

Agree Nynaeve would hold out pass the others. J

Anyone else really scared when they first saw the title “To Die Well”? Wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw that, but it went to a better place than I feared.
Glen V
7. Ways
Leigh
Hope you have fully recovered from being ridiculously sick!

More later.
Alice Arneson
8. Wetlandernw
First: All you JCon attendees - Listen up! You have a fantastic time together, you hear? (As if it were a question...) And report back!!!

And on the reread...

Re: Elayne being pregnant and all that… Note that she doesn’t ask about the wisdom of making her C-in-C while pregnant, but about going to battle while pregnant. That really should be recognized as a valid concern, because a) pregnancy affects her mobility and stamina and b) the physical wear-and-tear on her body could endanger both her and the babies. While it has to do with gender in that only women can be pregnant, it’s far more a pragmatic matter. And I do agree – when you’re facing the end of the world, it’s all in. (The wisdom of choosing a C-in-C who may be subject to pregnancy-induced hormonal effects on her emotions and wisdom is another matter, but that’s a very individualized effect and not something appropriate to blanket declarations.)

Also: poor Evin. He wasn’t very strong-willed, but for pity’s sake – he was only 16, if that! Poor kid.

And the last answer I heard from Brandon on whether the Turning can be reversed is… “we don’t know. Nynaeve would certainly think so.” Possibly someone can pry a definitive answer out of Team Jordan this weekend? (Also, possibly, someone more recently has pried out said answer…)
“Duty is heavier than a mountain, Dai Shan.” This time, Lan did flinch.
And I’m sure we’ll have this debate again… but I still agree with Elayne and Egwene in the decision to send the untrained novices and Accepted with the Yellows.

Was it just me, or did anyone else crack up at Leilwin swearing “by the Crystal Throne and the blood of the Empress” to serve the Amyrlin Seat and the White Tower? Not that the two ended up being in conflict, but still – at this stage, I found it hilarious! (Might have been just a moment of giddy relief from the tension, I suppose…)

When I was rereading these chapters in preparation for the discussion, I discovered (much to my shock!) that I had completely forgotten about Elayne & Rand’s dinner together and their discussion of the babies. Huh. He’s already working/worked through the idea of leaving them fatherless. It doesn’t make me like it any better, even though I fully understand the need for him to “die” at the end. Can you spell ambivalent? Oy.

I don’t think I have the energy to go into it today, but I actually agree with Rand’s thinking here: that the Dark One is a force from outside the Pattern, and that the “balance of Good and Evil” is not a valid concept. Good does not require Evil in order to exist. But… that’s a discussion for another time. Or not, because I can’t change the ending of the book.

(By the way, Egwene only authorized the wedding; Silviana performed the ceremony.)

FWIW, I don’t think we know for sure the moment at which Graendal’s meddling started, but my personal opinion is that it hadn’t started yet. I also got the impression that it was an on-going thing, because she didn’t want anyone to notice any sudden changes in them. In any case, I’m pretty sure that Agelmar’s comments to Lan here were simple truth, and not driven by Graendal’s Compulsion. JMO, though.

acemark @5 – Welcome (in case you see this someday), and I’m glad you found the reread! And I can certainly say, “Me too!” – as in, I have gained a much deeper understanding and appreciation for the series through the reread and discussion here. See you on the flip side!
acemarke
9. Herb88
@4, for it to be racism, it would have to have something to do with race.

It's a bad sign for your queenship when your capital and greatest city is "destroyed before had ruled it a hundred days."
Bryan Cogswell
10. shmoo
we've seen what compulsion does to a mind - it varies from a light touch that the SG got (with no lasting effects) to being a blittering idiot that if healed - kills you.

Imagine what having all scraps of goodness taken outta you - i'd guess that healing that would make you something like a gray man. Cause it isn't like they are gonna stuff all your goodness back into your body. As much as we'd like to see the people turned healed - i'm thinking it is a one-way street.
Tricia Irish
11. Tektonica
Thanks Leigh! See you later this week!

And to all of you....I do wish it were possible for all of you in this wonderful community to be at JordanCon. We will post some pictures and reports...for sure!

I too had forgotten about Elayne and Rand's dinner conversation...yes...It has much more foreshadowing than I noticed on my first read through, and a nice symetry with Rands final confrontation with the DO. Such a sad discussion about Rand never seeing his children. I for one, am glad he will eventually get to know them. (In my fictional post book happy ending.)

Thank you Agelmar for giving Lan that slap upside the head!

The Black Tower sections are very tense and involving. They were a taste of tension to come.....

Acemarke: Welcome. Enjoy at your leisure! It has occurred to me that rereading the reread at some point, now that the book is finished, could be a lot of fun.
James Kendall
12. JKsilver
@5 I’m in a very similar position to you, in that the re-read has been my only interaction with the WOT fandom thus far, having only recently discovered it tangentially from Leigh’s ASOIAF read.

I’ve always enjoyed WOT, but the re-read has immeasurably broadened my understanding and appreciation for the series. On more than one occasion (i.e. dozens), I’ve been pleased/surprised/bemused to discover that something I’d assumed to be true was utterly wrong, or I’d missed the point entirely.

So thank you Leigh, for crafting such an entertaining and illuminating re-read of such a phenomenal series! Have a great time at JordanCon, and I look forward to the rest of the re-read, having finally caught up with the rest of you!
Rob Munnelly
13. RobMRobM
I still can't believe how dumb it was for Eg to send all Accepteds to Mayene when many of them would have channeling strength that would be desperately needed during TG. *headdesk*

P.s. Have a fun time at the conference, Leigh, and the others.
jeremiah gaster
15. jer
Edited for better language:


Hi, long time reader, but just pointing out (and not complaining): we seem to be missing a chapter...
JAMES MCCLELLAN
16. ZEXXES
Hey Leigh! You seem better... But it's hard to say given the lack of visual clues.And if not, then I hope you feel better soon. It sucks to be sick during the spring.

I especially liked Lan's mini speech on
Death and Remembrance. Gives me hope for his rather morbid inclinations becoming left behind.

I'm rather surprised by your wanting more fluff regarding Egwene's wedding and such.We are speaking about Gawyn too you know! Don't want you giving yourself a headache *headdesking* while sick...no no no! You have to be in tip top toasting form this weekend... Yes?

Another challenge round. Who would last longer under threat of being Turned?

#1 You guessed it... Rand. He's only been in a constant state of being turned since damn near day one!

#2 Egwene She's the tuffest cookie out there. Matterofact she we've seen how hard she is. She wouldn't be an easy mark at all. Also let's not forget that she flat out broke a Forsakens mind herself. Huge Stubbornness builder.

#3 Tuon. This little pint size ball of hurt went toe to toe with Rand and his Dark Tavereness.... and won.



Z
William Carter
17. wcarter
@Wetlander; others

RJ said that someone turned wouldn't necessarily want to turn back, and certainly not without help. Someone else dug up the actual quote transcript a post a few weeks back. I'll try and find it later.

@9 Herb88

"Race" is itself a social construct. In any case Egwene's traumatizing at the hands of the Sul'dam in TGH have left her with an extreme blanket antipathy for every single person from Seanchan.

So I'm calling it racism because I can think of a better blanket term for hatred of an entire people group right off the top of my head.
Kimani Rogers
18. KiManiak
Thanks, Leigh.

So, first: As to who would be the longest holdout from being Turned – I would say this isn’t an easy one; I would think Nynaeve, Rand and Egwene have to make the top 3.

And of those 3, who do I think would last the longest? My money would be on Egwene. She cowed Nynaeve and resisted Rand’s ta’veren persuasion effect like no one else before her. Strong-willed, stubborn, hardheaded, whatever label you want; that girl definitely has it in spades.

Anyway, cool chapters. We get to see each of the major fronts (kinda), and by extension, each leader’s tactics in dealing with their respective battlefronts. True, we observe more action at Tarwin’s Gap and Caemlyn, but it was a good touch to see some of the planning for the disposition of the Tower’s forces for the Kandor battlefront as well.

I would guess that Graendal's plan to subvert the Great Captains hasn’t “gone to town” yet, Leigh. It’s still early and the Light’s forces haven’t shown their effectiveness, or even their strategy yet. I would suggest that Graendal would begin her coercion a bit later.

I liked the Rand/Elayne confrontation (granted, it was more like a conversation than an actual “confrontation,” but they did finally address the pregnancy and Rand’s concerns that he won’t be around to help raise their children). It was far past time for that. I have no issue with each of their stances on Rand’s possible future: Rand wants to prepare her for his death; Elayne wants to hold out hope for his post-apocalypse survival. And, it was a good time for a reminder of what particular aspect of Rand’s life that Elayne is able to meet/fulfill.

Hey, and they end date night with an exchange of gifts! The ter’angreal dagger that Aviendha found was finally given to the person who could best properly put it to use. I do agree with Leigh that it was weird that we weren’t shown Elayne’s appreciation and obsession with her new angreal maker. We will just have to assume that it happens offscreen.

As for Min getting “shafted” by Rand, well… I’m not going to touch that one!
::Runs for the bunker, giggling like a little kid::

KadeSword@1 – Yeah, someone at Jordancon definitely has to pour out a little something-something in honor of Bela.

SundDried@3 – I think Nynaeve would be an incredible villain. She’s smart, she’s innovative, she’s tenacious, she doesn’t ever back down and she’s one of the strongest female channelers in the world. She would be incredibly formidable.

Wet@8 – I am sure we’ll have the discussion re: the Novices and Accepted going to the Yellow in the future, as well. :-)
(For the record, I don’t have a major problem with the Initiates not participating right now (although possibly a minor problem when it applies to the more apt Accepteds); my issue is at the time of the Last Battle. To quote Leigh from up above (if slightly [/i]out of context), “it’s all in, no limit when the end of the world itself is on deck.“)


And yes, I also noticed the… interesting wording of Leilwin’s oath to the Amyrlin Seat including her swearing by the Empress. At least she didn’t request that the Empress live forever…

Tek@11 – Have a great time! I look forward to the various recaps from those of you who grace us with those posts. (Depending on who shows up, maybe you’ll have a nice Malazan reread get together, as well).

acemarke@5 and JKSilver@12 – Glad you’re joining us!

RobM@13 – Hah! Nice stirring of the pot there, sir.
Jordan Hibbits
19. rhandric
I must say, the scene where Bulen falls and Lan, rather than grieving, celebrates his (and others) live(s) was such a great scene.

And, welcome to acemarke! Even if you don't keep up with the pace of the reread, it's always nice to see a new face around here :)
Rob Munnelly
20. RobMRobM
To follow up - throughout the entire series, Accepteds and Novices have been brought into circles whenever the AS believed that they were to be attacked by Foresaken and similar forces. And now. with the final battle on the horizon, all are sent off to the Island and limited to helping with healing. I don't get it.

P.s. Thhbbbttt to you too, young lady.
acemarke
21. Rhienne
I agree with the comments on Elayne acting as CiC while pregnant. I don't think it is sexist to be concerned about a pregnant woman being placed into dangerous situations. True, being CiC would be thought to keep her more out of the way and less likely to be harmed, but Elayne being Elayne likes to command from the field, and put herself in harm's way. I actually think Elayne did a pretty good job, but I was surprised that no one had reservations about an 18 year old pregnant girl having overall command of the Light's armies when there were many more better qualified generals/leaders with more experience to choose from.

The argument that she would boost morale because she carries Rand's children works both ways. Surely it is more important to protect her because it would massively lower morale if anything happened to Rand's children-to-be and their mother? And of course there is the (sexist-but-true) argument that some men will ignore orders, make bad decisions, endanger themselves and others, etc., if they seem a woman in danger. This has got to be multipled x100 for the Dragon Reborn's lover and mother of his children.

As for who would last out longest about being turned, I would go with Nynaeve too. Not 100% sure why, but maybe something to do with her inherent desire to do good in the world, her devotion to healing, and her stubborness. Unlike some of the other characters who might be expected to last out against turning (most notably Egwene, but also Rand), Nynaeve has no desire for power, no 'corruption' (i.e. because she is not in a position of leadership she hasn't had to make any of those decisions where even the best result includes doing some wrong), and I think in a bizarre way, by the end of the books she is one of the most stable characters, and one who is most comfortable (and confident) about her role in the world.
Jordan DeLange
22. killtacular
Ha! Not ever sure I've seen "attrite" used as a verb like that before.

Re: who holds out the longest. Well, if we are counting minor characters, I guess I'd go with Sorilea. I'd guess the attempt to 13x13 her would end with 13 new light side channelers and 13 very strange new warders. But if only major characters, yeah, probably Egwene.
Tyler Durden
23. Balance
Have Fun, all who are going to the Con.

Turning Resistance:
#1. Rand. He went tet a tet with the Big Boy for the final round, in a battle that was basically a test of wills. He wins.
#2. Nyn. She’d be that one they never turn. They’d have to take breaks. Drag her out and try again for a day, get pissed off, then drag her back to her cell.

Accepted and Novices at the Hospital:
I think it is a good idea. What are you going to use them for? Extra batteries for the fighting AS. What are the AS doing? Fighting. Having a bunch of 12 year old girls following you around, unable to defend themselves, in a battle, doesn’t sound like fun to me. Think about Avienda, and her loss of “batteries” against Graendal. Now imagine the batteries are not trained adults, but 12 year old girls!! They can’t be too far away from you, and the AS doing most of the destruction get into the thick of it. Imagine you are on a battlefield. You see severed arms, legs, piles of corpses and blood. Explosions going off constantly. Arrows flying by your head. Annnd you have to keep an eye on 4 children trying to stay with you in this chaotic environment. No thanks, Send me in without the extra juice, Coach. Perhaps some could have stayed back and helped with the Channelers only doing Gateways or something, (and only the older Accepted) but the kids should be at the Hospital. Which I think is a great advantage in itself. We are the only side that renews its forces. You think they got Trolloc medics? A sweet and deformed old Fade, who only wishes to care for his lost children? Hell no. They eat yo ass, bitch. Now Team Light can heal their troops and get them back to the battlefield in a few days. This battle(s) lasted months. Using a strategic advantage like being able to regain some lost soldiers is huge. Especially when you figure in the inherent advantage of shadowspawn having vast numbers. So for me, it makes good sense to divert extra magic juice there. Both practically and tactically

EDT:My spelling is horrible
acemarke
24. Ellanora
@23 Balance: "Annnd you have to keep an eye on 4 children trying to stay with you in this chaotic environment."

Women spend on average 12 years training as Novice and Accepted. A lot of these 'children' will be 25-30 years old, and every bit as much experience keeping calm in a battle as the average Brown or White Sister - that is to say, none! Never mind the fact that the open Novice book policy that Egwene started means there are probably at least 50 Novices who are middle aged to elderly women.

Several times throughout the series Aes Sedai use linking to draw on the strength of other channelers when they are too exhaused to be useful on their own. The most relevant example of this is when the bubble of evil attacks Salidar and Aes Sedai need to link with Accepted and Novices to give them enough strength to Heal the injured after fighting off all the inanimate objects attacking the village.

During the LB the AS (and other channelers) are absolutely exhaused and are struggling to continue channeling. At this point I believe they should have brought in the Novices and Accepted, and even some of the Yellows. They were no longer serving a purpose in Mayene as most of the AS at the battle fronts were too tired to open Gateways.

R.e. Who would last out longest on being Turned: My vote is split between Rand and Nynaeve. Egwene is harder and more driven than, but Rand (post VoG) and Nynaeve (perhaps post WH?) are stronger.
Roger Powell
25. forkroot
As promised... This one should be sung to the tune of Hank Williams Jr's "Family Tradition."

Reread Tradition

Wheel of Time Rereaders have been a real close family,
every Tuesday clustered round their computer's bright LCD.
Reading Leigh's opinions on a certain Wheel of Time edition
Gender rants and “warmed seats of pants” - it's a reread tradition.

People ask me "Why do you worry all about what someone wrote?"
"Why do you prefix your responses with a quote?"
Take a peek over at Ideal Seek to get text to bolster your position
or make your case from T-land's database - it's a reread tradition.

When Wetlander reviews a post that makes her disagree,
she takes her time responding, thinking oh so carefully.
She does the dishes, puts the kids in bed - while reflecting on her composition.
Then what comes next, is a "Wall of Text” - it's a reread tradition.

My wife asks me "Why are you still on-line? It's time to go to bed!"
"Why is there a flat spot where the desk contacts your head?"
"Staying up to grab the 100th post is a simple-minded proposition."
I say "Don't mind me, I'm just debating 'Free'" - it's a reread tradition.

There's a spot where veterans of the reread will appear.
It's what we call "The Bunker", stocked with virtual cookies and beer.
You won't find it in your Rand McNally though you search through every last edition.
It's a special place, only in cyberspace - it's a reread tradition.

My friends ask me "What will you drink? How will you carry on?"
"How will you behave yourself out there at JordanCon?"
So if you should see someone over a knee in very compromised position,
I'll say "Hey Leigh B, don't complain to me - it's a reread tradition!"
acemarke
26. AndrewB
To all those on their way to JordonCom -- enjoy. And to all those who are not, we can have our own party in the bunker. Jello shots for all (or at least those who are of age and drink). For those who do not drink, free bevarage of choice.

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then" - Bob Seger, Against the Wind
AndrewB
Thomas Keith
27. insectoid
2 DAYS AWAY OMG. I'm up to my eyeballs in preparation...

...oh. Hi Leigh ;) See you in a couple of days!
Great post as usual.

El re: Talmanes:
He didn't curse once. Pity.
Heheheh.

El's conversation w/ Bashere:
While it might be a smart move by Elayne to reveal the father of her babes... Bashere sure was being nosy!

Turning:
*shudder*

Lan:Badass as usual. Also this:
He handed Mandarb off to a groom, holding up a finger to the horse and meeting his dark, liquid eyes. "No more biting grooms," he growled at the stallion.
For some reason I found this passage rather funny. Not the first time Lan talks to his horse in this book, either. XD

I'm glad Lan finally got some sense knocked into him, by Lord Agelmar.

Egwene + Gawyn: Talk about your shotgun wedding...

Rand's scene with Elayne was sweet, I think. The "Seed" is an interesting concept. (It sure would have been nice if she'd had time to actually use it.) Interesting how this foreshadows the alternate-reality battle.

Bzzz™.
Tyler Durden
28. Balance
#24 Ellanora: Let me say, most of my posts are off the cuff. Don’t read into it so specifically. (I say with a smile) My shit is just broad strokes. I see what you’re saying. And you’re right. Though, there would be an age cut off for me if I was going out. I don’t know where it would be, I’d have to meet my team. There would probably be a stupidity cut off too. And yes, later on we could bring everyone out. Once the scales had shifted enough that the value of the hospital was lower than the expenditures caused by its staffing.

I’ve gone back up and reread some of the comments. It appears this topic has probably already been given the Bela treatment. Somewhere in some post that I didn’t read all the comments, this thing has been argued out. I’m sure the respectable citizens of this site have already come to a reasonable agreement on this subject. (another smile) And I don’t want to be the one to rehash old fights. I’ll just say that yes, Ellanora, your argument is valid, as is everyone else’s, and is probably part of the final mish mash which is the truth.
Thomas Keith
29. insectoid
KSE @1:
I will gladly raise my soda to Bela. ;)

thepupxpert @2:
LOL! We have a couple of those in the garage, and my dad and I had to work on one because the power board or somesuch went bad. I forget exactly what made the units sometimes overheat.

SunDriedRainbow @3:
Agreed re: Lan.

acemarke @5, JKSilver @12:
Welcome to the zoo bunker!

Wet @8:
You're looking a little green. :P

Wet/RobM²:
LOL!

Fork @25:
Oh boy! Looking forward to it.

Bzzz™.
Cynthia Ahmar
30. tenkuu
Leigh, it's amazing how that's exactly what I was saying in my comment to part 9: the kids are gonna be wondering why they look nothing like their father.
j p
31. sps49
The RandElaynes won't wonder until someone else wonders out loud.

This may be the biggest, but there had better be a JordanCon next year. I spent the last two between good jobs, and need to miss as few days as possible until new job probation is over in August. Have fun, all who go!

Count me as one who is just fine with missing a morning after scene with Galad. That one could screw up a wet dream.
Jay Shifflette
32. jaybird
to all headed to JordanCon
May your journey be safe & merry

A toast to Brandon for his masterful work.
A toast to Robert Jordan for his wonderful saga
A toast to Harriet and Team Jordan for their tireless efforts
A toast to Leigh who enriched my understanding
A toast to faithful Bela
A toast to those who thought this could be finished in one book
&
A toast to the books that never occurred - for having read the final three , I believe a healthy Robert Jordan would not been able to end in only three.

My Thanks to All.
David Goodhart
33. Davyd
Honestly, I would just like to see Novice/Accepted Egwene's reaction to being sent by Siuan Sanche to Mayene for the last battle..

Just sayin' lol
Alice Arneson
34. Wetlandernw
Oh, hey, all you JordanCon goers... Someone had asked me earlier to make sure there was a copy of my crossword there for them. There will indeed be a copy; Jenn emailed me a while back and asked if they could print it in the program. :) Have fun!

On-topic comments in a few more minutes...
Roger Powell
35. forkroot
killtacular@22
You beat me to it .... Sorilea for sure!

I had never paid much mind to Agelmar before, but the "talking to" that he gave Lan made the same points I've made on this re-read previously. I was cheering when I read it.
T C
36. Freelancer
Leigh,

I'm pulling rank on you. That line? It wasn't even close to "surfer-dudeizing". More like South-Centralizing.

I'd guess that much more was meant to be written about details of the Amrylin's wedding, but got sacrificed in favor of a a few pages of battle.

Tai'shar, Shienar! Good call, Agelmar. I can't recall Lan ever issuing a warning to someone so directly, as this:
Lan stopped, eyeing the aged general. “Take care, Lord Agelmar. It almost sounds as if you are calling me selfish.”
It is fortunate that Lord Jagad was up to the task, popping Lan's little pity bubble. At least Lan, almost exactly like Elayne, is introspective enough to recognize valid advice when it's given, even if unwanted.

Under the heading Fools Rush In... The idea that Good and Evil require Balance has always been the only significant point of contention I have with this story. Good does not require Evil to gain it's definition, impetus, or value. A world without the Dark One would not be a world of automaton idiots, as suggested by the "possibility" seen later.

That said, the foreshadowing of that event here by Elayne is smooth.


wcarter @4

A "hatred" of a wartime enemy is not nearly as common for soldiers as you are suggesting. For the most part, it depends upon why the war is being fought, and how. I knew men (all gone now) who served in the Pacific in WWII. Some of them loathed the Japanese to their dying day, some of them became lifelong friends of former foes. Those who bore the hatred, to a man, either lost comrades or loved ones at Pearl Harbor, or to barbaric treatment in POW camps, or had been POWs themselves and suffered horrors which will not be described here. For their loathing to be extended to all of that nationality is irrational, this is true. But walk a mile, as it were, and understand the pain of the sneak attack, or the Bataan death march, and you will find that you ought not judge them too harshly. Simply calling it racism misses the point, and the parallel with Egwene's feelings toward the Seanchan is valid.


I am fairly sure that Graendal had barely, if at all, begun her mental infiltrations at this point. It doesn't seem plausible that she had yet planned out the use of Compulsion to make the field generals fail, until there was a thorough view of their deployment and operating strategies.


Hardest to Turn? Rand. Egwene a distant second, followed by Cadsuane, Nynaeve, and Moiraine. Nynaeve has not been tested to an extent as has Egwene.


For those going to the Bunker this weekend, enjoy yourselves, and say howdy to Leigh and Team Jordan for the rest of us.
Birgit
37. birgit
I won't lie, I think Nynaeve would be a badass villain, not least because A) Semirhage was so frickin cool, and B) I think yellow and black are a kickin color combination and YOU CAN'T SAY ME NAY.

Evil Ny wears yellow slashed with black and a Seanchan helmet:
William Carter
38. wcarter
@36 Freelancer

I never said soliders keeping hatred was necessarily common, just that it can and does happen. If it looks implied in my previous comment, I apologise for the confusion. Nor did I mean that when it does happen there isn't a strong cause at the root.

The only thing I meant was that Egwene as the leader of one of the most powerful organizations on the planet feeling that way about all Seanchan citizens was a recipe for future diplomatic problems on a large scale if she had survived.

@37 birgit
Ha!

Edit: weird spacing issues
Glen V
39. Ways
Welcome to all the first-time posters!

I expect there will be plenty of toasting going on at JCon - more alcohol than I really want to consume - for Bela and everyone else in the series.

Wet - thanks for resolving the issue about keeping colored text colored in the last thread.

We like to quip about RJ turning the last book into 5 installments. I expect Brandon could have easily done the same thing, had Harriet and Team Tor allowed. There are so many hanging chads at the end of AMoL. *sigh* I can only hope the Encyclopedia clears up a few of those loose ends. I wholeheartedly agree with Leigh that the short shrift given the angreal seed and shadow-invisibility ter'angreal was unsatisfying, not to mention Egwene and Headdesk's Gawyn's wedding. I'm dying (well, not really) to know how 13x13ing works. What kind of weave is used to channel through the 13 Fades? Certainly not Balefire. And how do you channel through someone anyway? Arrrgh.

I continue to love the Androl storyline too, and found myself skipping ahead (again) on this second read to keep up with it. I don't necessarily agree 100% with Leigh that it has a tension/excitement that is out-of-character with the rest of the series. It does have tension/excitement! I do recall skipping ahead to follow certain POVs (Mat) in the first few books, though. That wasn't to avoid Perrin's PLOD either, it hadn't gotten into full swing by that point.

As to who could resist 13x13ing the longest, how about Alivia? Given her background and strength in the power, I think she'd be a contender right up there with the others mentioned upthread.
acemarke
40. Mjjcoward
with regards to the novices and accepted being sent to the Yellow's to help with healing, wasn't there also concern about being able to trust them? All of the AS had re-sworn the 3 oaths and could be trusted to not be dark friends, wasn't there some worry about the accepted and novices possible being dark friends as they haven't sworn the oaths and stated they are not?
Roger Powell
41. forkroot
@40
Interesting angle, and one I had not considered.

Ways@39
I don't think strength in the power was mentioned as having anything to do with how long someone could resist being turned (and I apologize in advance if I'm wrong.) I thought it was pure strength of character (hence my vote for Sorilea - love that tough old hag!)

Speaking of Alivia though, her minor role in the whole conclusion was a bit of a letdown as far as I was concerned. Plus, she's got serious offensive skill in the OP -- it would have been fun to see more of her in combat action.

Oh well - we could (and will) repeat the same complaint (not enough screen time in AMoL) for any number of the WoT characters. Brandon's task was impossible and he did an outstanding job anyway.
Bill Reamy
42. BillinHI
Not much to say that hasn't been said (and better). I guess I would go with Egwene as hardest to Turn but Nynaeve surely wouldn't be far behind.

Starting to pack to head off to Atlanta this afternoon! And then off to Africa in May returning just in time for our son's wedding!! A real perfect storm of events!!!
Ross Newberry
43. rossnewberry
Can't wait to see all the folks at JCon! I'm probably going to miss all of the Friday festivities due to a scheduling conflict that my wife had come up, but I'll be there Saturday and Sunday.

And I don't drink at all, so if anybody has one too many and needs to get somewhere nearby, flag me down and ask! I live 10 mins from the event hotel.
Richard Hunt
44. WOTman
One thing has bothered me, it's about how Rand had no idea about the kids, he should have known about her pregancy and the kids through the bond. Even Birgitte could feel through the bond.

One thing I have to say about Lan, all his life he has been a fatalist, so it is not hard to notice that lifelong habits die hard. Lan does show his character when he listens and finally agrees.

With Egwenes experience with the Seachan and their refusal to give up their ways, I don't have a problem with her attitude concerning Lielwin but I have confidence in the long run everyones attitudes would change, including the Seanchan and Fortuona especially now that she is aware of her possibly being in the same boat.

Also, I did notice a missing 9th chapter (part) to the re-read.

Everyone's having a cow about sending every accepted and novice to the infirmary, but you need to remember they can move them around at the speed of traveling, so if needed, they can be called up as in reserve. I wouldn't have, I would have at least teamed the top accepted to partner with the greens as a battery pack of sorts.

The Androl story line is great and almost a separate book, that said; I am still bewildered why Rand allowed all that to happen, he should have known after being warned abou the situation including the dreadlord possibilities. He createed a real mess and a lot of people died because of it.
Alice Arneson
45. Wetlandernw
Someone please explain to me this "missing chapter" complaint. There are 10 parts to the AMoL reread so far:
#1-3 Prologue
#4 Chapter 1
#5 Chapter 2
#6 Chapters 3 & 4
#7 Chapter 5
#8 Chapter 6
#9 Chapter 7
#10 Chapters 8 & 9

What's missing?
Glen V
46. Ways
And there are 3 POVs in Chapter 9, which were all covered.

ETA
forkroot @41
You're correct about strength of character being the criteria for resisting turning. I must have been dosed with forkroot this morning to bring up strength in the Power too. I still maintain Alivia would be a contender based on her background. She successfully overcame damane-dom (her a'dam was removed almost immediately) and is 0ver 400 years old. I expect her to have huge strength of character, as well as great maturity. And yes, I would have liked to have seen more of her awesomeness in the LB. Sorilea is an excellent suggestion too! My goal was to bring in another 2nd or 3rd string character, and Alivia seems to fit well.

Time to pack.
Maiane Bakroeva
47. Isilel
I really liked Elayne being C&C for forces of Light too - pregnancy and detractors notwithstanding.
Not quite sure about announcing the parentage of her kids, because IMHO it did make her even more of a target than she already was. And really, wouldn't people have been motivated to fight for their own families already? I mean, it is the end of the world.

The plan re: drawing Trollocs out of Caemlyn makes no sense, of course, but let's not attribute it to Elayne's alleged stupidity - every career military person in the book was OK with it.
Now, imagine if they'd done the logical thing and icinerated the place via as many mega-circles as they could assemble. Would have been too simple, I guess.
Instead, all those thousands of channelers, some of them very powerful, get shipped to Mayene to never appear in the story again.

Those off-screen marriages - Egwene's _and_ Moiraine's, are IMHO a criminal waste of opportunity for badly needed emotional character moments and last meeting of most of the main cast before the grinder truly started.

Androl and Pevara are great as always. Kinda expected them to use their secret bond to escape, but it didn't happen. Still, very scary and tense. And I'd say that Turning is actually much worse than even rape, because the person doesn't regain their personality/agency even after it is over.

Speaking of *angreal - heh. They didn't even use Moiraine's Rhuidean haul or stuff that remained there. Or the Tear stash either. If only somebody among the Lightsiders knew what some of them were and how they worked... oh, wait!
And of course, Moiraine herself is also conspiciously absent during those preparations, even though she had more experience versus Darkfriends and Shadowspawn than most Third-Agers.

Lan - yea, petulant and selfish and Agelmar was right to call him on it. In fact, in view of how a warder's death affects an AS and Nynaeve's importance to the cause of Light, I always thought that Lan's intention to go and hopelessly die in the Blight just when things were coming to a cusp was amazingly egotistical. I really like his character, but it was always a major WTF to me.
Lan's thoughts on Tenobia are very patronizing, though. It is not her fault that Bashere prevented her from gaining experience as a military leader. And while she is not an amazing fighter like Lan, why disregard inspiration that her personal involvement gives her troops? Fairly hypocritical, IMHO.
Alice Arneson
48. Wetlandernw
Isilel re: "Lan's thoughts on Tenobia are very patronizing" - well, they are a bit, but from the way we've seen her all through, the woman refuses to think before she acts. If she were a wiser person (to which military training is irrelevant) I wouldn't agree with Lan; as it is, she's extremely liable to do something incredibly stupid (if "brave") and demoralize her troops by their inability to rescue/protect her from her own foolishness. It's not that she isn't smart, but she's hotheaded, and she lets her reactions control her, instead of her controlling them. Combine that with the unlikelihood of her reactions working well with the military strategy, and I wouldn't want her on the field either.
Glen V
49. Ways
BTW
I think black & gold (yellow) are nice too. ::stirs the pot::

Valentin M
50. ValMar
First of all, to all going to JCon- enjoy! And spare a thought to those who couldn't come ;)

I always was bemused, and rather annoyed by Lan's obsession with going into the Blight and getting himself killed there. I fully understand his attitude originally, I know his back story. But after his encounter with Moiraine and becoming her Warder- WTF!
After Moiraine told him her mission and bonded him Lan should've felt like a kid whose all Christmases have come at once. Instead of fannying about in the Blight killing fades, trollocs, Blight Worms, Blight Donkeys, Blight Chickens, what-have-you, and dying when some Blight Bee stung him... Lan got the chance of being at the heart of the effort which would/could culminate in the ultimate revenge for Malkier.
Someone had to call him on it. Good on Agelmar!
Kat Werner
51. Sakaea
Another lovely re-read, thank you Leigh!

Have fun at the con, wish I was going!
acemarke
52. s'rEDIT
Count me in (with Freelancer and Wetlandernw) on the poll regarding the need for "balance" of good versus evil. If RJ was obliquely trying to present a picture of a RW truth, he missed the mark. I know/hope we'll discuss this at length later, but just put me on record as being irked by Rand's believing (the DO's lie? His own ego? whatever it was) that his enforced "goodness" had any relation to the real thing.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way . . .

Welcome, welcome to those who are newly delurking and best wishes to all the JCon participants.

RE: who would hold out the longest in a Turning Contest, I tend to go back to our new friend, Androl. He was full of surprises, and that might just be one of them!
j p
53. sps49
Agree with s'rEDIT about the DO outfoxing Rand just enough to avoid being extinguished.
Stefan Mitev
54. Bergmaniac
I've been waiting for a new Rand - Elayne scene ever since I read WH a decade ago, and fortunately it lived to my expectations for the most part.

I was really disappointed Egwene's wedding was offscreen - would've been a perfect chance for more character moments, reunions and humour, something I was looking forward to much more than the battles, who got too repetitive anyway. Plus I know Elayne has a million issues to deal with in this book, but IIRC she didn't think about her brother marrying her best friend once in the whole book which is just wrong (though I may be wrong with that, if someone has a quote proving me wrong, I'd love to see it).

Loved that Elayne used even her pregnancy as a propaganda tool. I don't think it increased the danger for her, too many people already knew who the father is to be a secret for the Shadow, plus Moggy knew Elayne had strong feelings for Rand and Mellar's superiors would know the rumour of him being the father is not true.
Valentin M
55. ValMar
Oh yeah, these weddings. I had actually forgotten that they happened. I knew that the couples involved were married but the weddings were done in such a perfunctory manner. Really sad, IMO. Like others said, it was a missed opportunity to get people together before the battles on screen. Later I ended up skimming many of the particularly "in the thick of the fighting" scenes, feeling repetitive.
acemarke
56. Faculty Guy
@37 Birgit: Nice close-up of my Ga Tech mascot (along with a 1930 Modal A Ford). Not many schools with an insect for a mascot! Hope all the meeting attendees have a great time in Buckhead. Is the Red Dog Salloon still extant?
Thomas Keith
57. insectoid
Birgit @37:
Looks like one of my family members. ;)

So overwhelmed right now. I'm gonna be a zombie in the morning...

Brainzzz™.
Judy Carmona
58. Farstrider
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Siuan as a contender for Hardest to Turn (second after Rand, of course). The woman is quite well known for her force-of-will.
And here's a silly yet related thought- if Galad could channel, would he be difficult to Turn, as secure as he is in his righteousness?
acemarke
59. Rhienne
@50: "
Instead of fannying about in the Blight killing fades, trollocs, Blight
Worms, Blight Donkeys, Blight Chickens, what-have-you, and dying when
some Blight Bee stung him..."

This made me laugh so hard! :D

I agree, I always thought surely Lan must see the bigger picture? While I thoroughly enjoyed reading his arc at the end of the series, his attitudes did seem bizarre. The only thing I could come up with is that it is some trace of the Warder-rage induced by Moiraine's death coming out again?

@55: "
Like others said, it was a missed opportunity to get people together before the battles on screen."

I felt this too. Maybe it was unrealistic to hope for a proper reunion for plot-reasons, but these weddings were perfect opportunities, and when I finished AMoL the thing I felt most disappointed about was that the closest we had to reunions were an observation of Avi/Min/Elayne at Rand's pyre, and a brief scene with Perrin, Nynaeve (and Lan).
Nadine L.
60. travyl
"she had Captain Bashere"
this must by a *typo* right at the beginning of chapter 8. A great general wouldn't be demoted to that rank, right?
James Kendall
61. JKsilver
@60 travyl

Could be a shorthand for Great Captain?
Nadine L.
62. travyl
Re Leilwin's oath.
I find it sensible and fitting rarher than hilarious. She first swears by the light - which fits Egwene's world then confirms her oath swearing as a Seanchan making it binding in her old "belief-system". There's no room to wriggle out.
Even Tuon saw reason to let the mainlanders (Beslan) swear as they saw more binding. After all Mat had no second thoughts to breaking his first oath which meant nothing to him.
Dixon Davis
63. KadesSwordElanor
Travel mercies for all those headed to JordanCon. Where is everyone going to post pictures? Didn’t see a pictures tab on JordanCon home page.
acemarke
64. LaDi
Lots of fun at JordanCon.
And like KadesSwordElanor I would like to see pictures....

@36. Freelancer I thought at first Fools Rush In was a sword pattern...

On the subject of who would hold out longest against Turning I would have added Siuan but Farstrider @56 beat me to it.

I was wondering if Brandon had an easier time writing Androl, since it is a character that never had been published in pure RJ books. Anyone any ideas?
I am also member of the Androl Fan Club.

And then Egwene and the Seanchan. I have a friend who had been in a Japanese prison camp from the time she was 4 years old untill 9 years old. Even when I got to know her (somewhere around 1982) she still had trouble seeing any Japanese (or even Asian) person without feeling fear. Her reaction was always the same: avoid confrontation and express strong resentment. It hid her fear.
To finish the story: somewhere in the nineties some Japanese women confronted her, made their apologies and invited her to Japan. She went and could see Japanese people as normal human beings.
My point is: Egwene hasn't had any leisure to cope with her experience at Seanchan hands and everything she sees, confirms her fears. So to deal with it, her solution is avoid or destroy.
And racism is a form of the same fear, dehumanizing your "enemy". But is is possible for all of us to become racist

This has become quite a rambling argument, but I hope someone understands what I am trying to say.
Alice Arneson
65. Wetlandernw
LaDi @64 - As I understand it, the story with Androl is that Brandon asked for a character that he could "play with" - that he could develop however he wanted in these last three books; in addition, he wanted to get inside the Black Tower more. Androl was already there, but he wasn't much more than a name. So... they picked Androl to cover both aspects, and then gave him a few more odd bits that Harriet knew RJ had wanted to include but hadn't done yet. Since there wasn't any "voice" for the character yet, and all Brandon had to do was make sure he fit the world, I'm sure he was easier to write.

One of the fun things for him, I believe, was being able to give Androl the Talent for Traveling. Brandon has said he'd been thinking about Gateways, and all the things he'd like to do with them if it were his world, for about fifteen years. This was his chance to follow that to some of its logical conclusions wrt the ways people would come up with to use Gateways once they got used to the idea of making them.

And yes, I do understand what you're trying to say about racism. Once you get to know one of the "them" as a real, live, likable person, you can learn to drop most of the "them" way of viewing things. But an initial negative experience, or even a learned negative view, will be very hard to overcome without that personal interaction. I like to think that her experience with Leilwin as Warder would have helped Egwene overcome her antipathy toward all things Seanchan, even though she never would (or should) accept the damane situation.

(And I know that's not all you were saying, but I believe it's a part. Racism, or any -ism, is a complex issue rooted in our own fears and insecurities, and is usually difficult to understand or overcome.)
acemarke
66. Ellanora
@65: I think her experience with Leilwin did help. After all, she chose to release Leilwin from her bond before she died, because she wanted to spare her from the Warder-rage and almost certain death.
William Carter
67. wcarter
Packin' for JordanCon :in the voice of the late Randy Savage:: Oh yeah!

Now I just have to figure out what to bring aside from the awesome t-shirt Braid_Tug designed...
Roger Powell
68. forkroot
Apparently the Windfinders were too busy (with the Bowl) at Shayol Ghul. I sure could have used their help today. The weather was fine in Phoenix and fine in Atlanta but apparently rotten in between. Air traffic control wouln't let us take off for hours so I ended up dragging in here at Atlanta near midnight. So much for finding fellow rereaders early.

Oh well. Tomorrow should be great fun.
Dianne Timmerman
69. LaDi
@wcarter 67: just curious what does the t-shirt look like?
Jeff Schweer
70. JeffS.
It looks Awesome. There was a link to it on Zazzle but I'm mobile and can't find it at the moment. It's Friday morning, and I'm in Atlanta just a mile or so from Jcon. Very antsy to get moving but my daughter is a bit jet lagged and slow. I am seriously excited to see everyone and expect that the bunker will be filled with a serious amount of laughter.
Joana Dwan
71. LandRoamer
After all this time lurking, from the very beginning, I had to step out the shadows before it is too late and thank you for sharing your time, and ideas, and a bit of yourself with me. That means you, Leigh, and all of you rereaders. This post will probably stay hidden in here, but I just had to do this.
It is mighty generous of you all to let me glimpse a bit of you through these (tons of) posts.
Thank you. Really. Just thanks.

Now to stay in topic, @59 I had the impression some characters were not always "in character" while reading this book, but I atribute that to the result of many hands in the writing, so it is a minor flaw in a huge work.
Alice Arneson
72. Wetlandernw
LandRoamer @71 - No post is hidden from the OC rereaders... (say that in your favorite spooky voice)

Welcome! Stick around and let us get to know you, too! All are welcome in the bunker.
Roger Powell
73. forkroot
Checklist for today:

1) Sleep in -- check
2) Post new WOT novelty song -- check, see @25
3) Head over to the "Con" through the rain -- on my way!
Kimani Rogers
74. KiManiak
Forkroot@25/@73 - Nice addition to your previous editions!
Alice Arneson
75. Wetlandernw
forkroot @25 - Nice! (Also, aww.... shucks.) I hope you're having a BLAST at JordanCon! And I really, really hope someone posts a video of your karaoke. :)
Thomas Keith
76. insectoid
Okay... Day one of JCon is over and I'm wiped. I've been taking notes on my iPod, though, and I took a bunch of pictures, so I'll be sharing those soon. (Soon = when I'm home and not wiped.;)

I still have 8 6 unclaimed buttons out of the 34 on my list, plus Samadai, who was a secret last-minute attendee. They are: Darth.agilus, Davyd, JonathanLevy, Sussurin, UnoNomesta*, and ZEXXES. I understand if some of you couldn't make it to the Con, or couldn't make it today because of a delay, or whatever.

I should be pretty easy to find; I've mostly just been wandering around or hanging in the lobby when not attending a panel. And there are some pictures of me out there already (on FB). I don't have to leave until around 1:30pm Sunday, so there's still time.

Fork @25:
Very nice! You have a gift with words, even though I don't know many country songs.

* - confirmed as unable to attend

Bzzz™.
Roger Powell
77. forkroot
Wetlandernw@75
I don't know about a video but there should be some pictures. When I sang "your" verse the rereaders cheered your name. So you are greatly missed.

Huge props to Braid_Tug, Man-O-Manethran, and ChaplainChris for encouraging me and leading the cheers. You guys were awesome!

PS I should also mention that Leigh cheered enthusiastically as well.
I found out something tonight about Leigh that many rereaders may not know. She's actually quite a good singer! She was one of the few singers at the Karaoke session that could sing in tune and was actually pleasant to listen to.
Alice Arneson
78. Wetlandernw
You all are far too kind. I'm glad you're having a great time! Just have a great time for me, too, and I'll be happy.
T C
79. Freelancer
Bravo, Fork @25. Just don't cut to lose out there, you might loose you're mind.

Sorry, Wet, I couldn't help myself.
Joana Dwan
81. LandRoamer
Wetlander @ 72 - thanks for the kind welcome. Now if I could just wipe this silly smile off my face...

I am honestly envious of you all at JordanCon. I will of course eagerly await all the reports and read them vicariously...
Bill Reamy
82. BillinHI
Start of day 2 of JCon. Got cold last night but supposed to warm up today. Great costumes: saw 2 Matrims with Rand (complete with a "stump" on his left arm), a great Birgitte but didn't get a picture unfortunately.

Pause for a panel and lunch. Not really getting all that warm outside. Last night's Re-readers dinner was really great and was certainly well attended. A few more pictures added but will probably have to wait to post them, as they are too big (size-wise) to go right now.
Thomas Keith
83. insectoid
Free @79:
I showed your comment to Fork in "The Bunker" (our corner of the lobby)... he was most amused. ;)

Bzzz™.
Dianne Timmerman
84. LaDi
JCon sounds like a lot of fun.
I am thinking about the "need" for DO. If you say it it is not necessary, wouldn't it also negate the "need" for an agent for the Good side aka Creator?

It is simply the human capability to do good or evil with her talents.
Alice Arneson
85. Wetlandernw
The Creator is necessary in order for there to be anything. That's the definition of Creator.
William Carter
86. wcarter
Edit to move this post over to Leigh's interim con report where it belongs.

Don't blame me too harshly guys, I'm tired.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
87. Lisamarie
I don't really have much to add to this conversation that hasn't been discussed (although I'll also throw my hat into the 'good does NOT need evil to exist' ring, but that discussion is better for another time), but here's your Catholic theology for the day!

1)In the Catholic sacrament, the priest does NOT marry the couple or administer the Sacrament. He is there as a witness only. The couple marry each other. So, real!Pope would marry himself ;) I did not know this until I started studying up in preparation for my own marriage years ago. Also, your question reveals a slight misunderstanding of how the Papacy/heirarchy works. After all, the Pope DOES still avail himself of the Sacrament of Confession (which actually IS adminstered by a priest) and who do you think he goes to? Any old priest he wants to. Even the priest of the tiniest little backwater diocese could administer the Sacraments to the Pope. So, in WOT-terms, even some bumpkin Two Rivers Aes Sedai could preside over Egwene's wedding ;)

2)HOWEVER - If priests did marry (which IS possible, as it is a matter of doctrine not dogma, and there are some branches of the Church in communion with Rome - the Eastern church, NOT to be confused with the Orthodox churches, which also have married clergy- that do have married priests, not to mention some Anglican converts who have maintained their priesthood while married) actually, nobody would marry the Pope. Even if that tradition changed, even in the aforementioned groups, it only goes one way. Married men can become priests (or deacons, in the Roman Rite Catholic Church), but priests/deacons can't get married. So, nobody will be marrying realword!Pope, since he would already have to have been married prior to the papacy.

Yeah, I'm a big nerd...
acemarke
88. s'rEDIT
RE: Wet@85

Nailed it, exactly.
Tricia Irish
89. Tektonica
Hi everyone...having a recovery day. A great time was had by all, I believe. Well, I certainly had a great time. It was so wonderful to meet so many rereaders in person!

Question: Has Leigh published more than one JCon report? And where are they and how do we get to any of them???
Alice Arneson
90. Wetlandernw
Just the one, so far. I think we can probably hope for something tomorrow, though.
Deana Whitney
91. Braid_Tug
First off, the “Bunker” store can be found at:
http://www.zazzle.com/BraidTug?rf=238881050850119255
There you will see the shirts the Ad-hoc committee created.
Currently we are up to $90.00 in funds raised for the Mayo Clinic! Thank you to everyone who bought an item or made a personal monetary donation to me this weekend!
I really must buy myself the “Headdesk Icon” mouse pad now. Been debating it, but can’t resist it any longer.

Re: Weddings & Reunions –
Brandon and Team Jordan were asked about them this weekend. Brandon’s reply was along the lines of “If you have nothing but emotional reunions, you undermine the danger of the Last Battle.”
This was during the big Saturday panel, so I’m sure the whole thing will be posted soon and we can hear his exact words again.
Re: Novices and Accepted –
I asked at the panel mentioned above, “Was there ever a version of the book that had the Novices and Accepted doing something besides being batteries for the Yellows?”
There was laughter in the room and Brandon said a firm, “NO.”

Jordan Con:
Happy to say all the Re-Readers were great in the panels! Asking questions, having replies. Some of the panels were like watching our comments happen in live action.
And Forkroot SANG his “Re-Read Tradition” at the Karaoke night. It was great.
A group of us were there to cheer him on and sign “It’s a Re-Read tradition!” at the top of our lungs, right along with him. If I figure out how to post the video here, I will, otherwise it will be on the FB page.
JordanCon VI – April 11-13, 2014!
Mike DMonte
92. MickeyDee
@85 Wetlandernw- In fantasy, yep absolutely, definitely, most of the time ;) This is a true. In fanstasy it works better with divine conflict. In WoT both Creator and Adversary are real beings. Just about everyone acknowledges this. Hence the complete lack of religious orders. When the various deities are real and demonstrably so then there is no need for some organisation to "make it so". The DO is real, is frequently seen on screen and directly interacts with the lives of everyday people. And the DO confirms the existence of the Creator - mainly through his version of muttering "I would have got away with it if it weren't for you meddling kids and your dog too". Nice.

Though I do remember going back 15+ years to Books 2 & 3 expecting that the Creator would spend at least some time on-screen. Little did I know he was wandering around the garden in his tattered terry-towelling bathrobe, with one sandal missing and cats living in his beard, yelling at kids to keep off-a his lawn. Sigh.
Dianne Timmerman
93. LaDi
@91 Braid_Tug thnx for the link and it is indeed an awesome T-shirt.

@85 Wetlandernw: agreed. the point I was trying to make, that if you remove the DO as an evil character/entity, the Creator as entity isn't a force for Good anymore, it (he in the imagery of MickeyDee :-) ) simply IS.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
94. Lisamarie
“If you have nothing but emotional reunions, you undermine the danger of the Last Battle.” -
Huh. I love Brandon Sanderson, but I completely disagree with that statement. To me that is exactly what would heighten the danger of the Last Battle - having an emotional investment. I'll be honest, I glazed a bit during the 200 page last battle chapter. I mean, it was awesome for sure...but I would have traded some of that for more 'emotional' stuff.
Roger Powell
95. forkroot
It's a tough, tough balance. I'm glad I didn't have to make all the decisions that Brandon (and Team Jordan) did. There's just no easy way to wrap up such an enormous saga including a battle that has to really feel like Armageddon.

I also would have loved to see more reunions. But I also wanted more battle stuff, more scenes for some other characters, etc. etc. There's no way I would have gotten all I wanted in one book!

Changing the subject - from the Con we learned one thing for sure: Harriet killed Bela. Brandon was going to save her, but Harriet (correctly IMO) objected that Brandon had put her in a situation where no horse could reasonably survive. Brandon still couldn't do it so Harriet actually wrote the sentence where Bela died!
T C
96. Freelancer
Yeah, Brandon isn't much better than Jordan for slaying his beloved characters. In one series, he kills the most prominent character, but then leaves that character "hanging around", so to speak. Even harder with Bela, since she isn't really his character, and has been involved in so many big moments. Well, the next time the Horn is sounded...
Deana Whitney
97. Braid_Tug
Someone asked if Brandon could include Bela in the "Ways of Kings."
I was too far away to dectect a gleam in Brandon's eyes, but there was something to his smile that gives me hope!
William Carter
98. wcarter
Every Harriet got in on it and said Bela should make a cameo in Stormlight Archives. I think she said something about her needing a robe too, but I can't remember.
Kimani Rogers
99. KiManiak
I would LOVE to see a Bela reference in Words of Radiance (or any future Stormlight Archive novel, for that matter). I hope he makes it happen! :-)

Also, setting someone up for a little honey...
Ron Garrison
100. Man-0-Manetheran
OOO! OOO! I almost forgot:

Avienda’s babies: I asked if all 4 were conceived in Merrilor, and Alan confirmed — as did Maria. They were all four conceived that night. Alan specifically negated the idea of 2 before and 2 after the body swap. So there you have it.
Ron Garrison
101. Man-0-Manetheran
Harriet spoke several times about being the one to kill Bela. As forkroot relates, Brandon had Bela in a situation where she couldn't recover. "When a horse is down, that's usually it, and I didn't want her carved up by Trollocs." "I wrote that sentence, and it's a good sentence."

Nevertheless, she wore my Bela Lives button quite a lot and signed my book, "Bela indeed lives! Best, Harriet." I hope to see her listed as a Hero of the Horn in the Encyclopedia.

http://www.tor.com/community/photo/5978?tmpl=component

Valentin M
102. ValMar
M-0-M @ 100

Thanks for this info! Hopefully this will stop this damned discussion ;)

Lisamarie @ 94

I agree completely!
Glen V
103. Ways
KSE @63 (and others)
The JCon photos and links to other on-line galleries are all over on the 'WoT Tor.com rereaders' private Facebook group. I'm not certain if I can add you, but one of the admins (like Samadai) can if you send a request.

wcarter @67
Don't forget props for Sulin. She played a very major role in the design of the t-shirt graphics, along with Braid_Tug. My original concept, before we got professionals on-board, was something like what you see below. I did produce a shirt with this on the back (via transfer paper) and take it to the Con, but never wore it. Braid and Sulin most definitely have superior skills.

William Carter
104. wcarter
@Ways

Yup, all of you who worked on the design did a great job! Insectoid's buttons made them that much cooler

*On A side note I have my shirt cleaned and put it and the button up with my other signed memorabila. Don't want to lose them, and I don't think I'll be wearing the t-shirt again any time soon. I don't want Leigh's autograph or the logo to fade.
Thomas Keith
105. insectoid
Man-0 @100:
Great!! Now we can bury that poor horse. If only we could do the same to the hair color/genetics debates...

Ways @103:
LMAO!! I'm sure Leigh will appreciate your attempt.

wcarter @104:
Thanks! And good idea—I'll almost certainly be hanging my Loonies shirt up with my Con shirt and Asha'man coat... for next time. I can only wish next time will be soon.

Bzzz™.
Nadine L.
106. travyl
Man-o @101
if I Interpret Brandon Sanderson correctly then Bela WON'T be a Hero of the Horn. We were Not Talking about Bela but that makes the argument even stronger IMO : Brandon said that a HotH has to be known across continents and different societies for his deeds - to be heroic isn't enough. It wouldn't even matter how He dies. Like Jain was known among the Aiel, the Borderlanders as well as in a remote village in (insert any randland country of your choosing).
I don't see how Bela would fit that unless you include RL. In real Life she might be famous enough ;)
T C
107. Freelancer
Yes, but didn't Harriet also say, "If a wolf can be a Hero, then I see no reason why not a horse as well"? Definitely leaving the door open, and with no more canon to come, this becomes sublimely subjective.
Ron Garrison
109. Man-0-Manetheran
Freelancer:
I said that to Harriet. She smiled in the affirmative.
Roger Powell
110. forkroot
Freelancer@107
Since you mentioned "canon to come" that reminded me: At JordanCon, Brandon stated that the River of Souls material should be considered canon except for timing and consistency issues (the things that Alan and Maria normally fix.)

One more point: We will certainly take the forthcoming Encyclopedia as canon. So there is indeed "canon to come". Whether any of it will be relevant to Hero horses is, of course, a matter for speculation only.
Birgit
111. birgit
Human heros are famous among humans. The wolf heros are probably unknown to humans except maybe some wolfbrothers. Bela has been all over Randland and should be known to many horses.
acemarke
112. s'rEDIT
@all: But . . . but . . .

No fair! I'm not on FB, so I don't get to see all those great posts!
Alice Arneson
113. Wetlandernw
You could join... :) You don't have to friend everyone, either (just me). Get Samadai to add you to the bunker, so you can see all the JCon stuff, and you're set!
Dixon Davis
115. KadesSwordElanor
I am not a member of Facebook either. There are some temptations I just don't need. No offense to anyone who has self control.
Glen V
116. Ways
insectoid @105
We might all have been wearing shirts with that graphic on the back and a paddle on the front if Braid_Tug and Sulin hadn't raised their hands.

Freelancer @107 and M-o-M @109
M-o-M did indeed say that to Harriet. But Harriet said it in one of the sessions too (Friday afternoon?) and may have previously. Great minds think alike, M-o-M, as the adage tells us, FWIW.
Glen V
117. Ways
KSE @115
There are a few photos in Leigh's interim JCon report. Click her name at the top of this page and you will find a short description of the interim report with a link to the photos and comments.
Ron Garrison
118. Man-0-Manetheran
Ways - My interaction with Harriet was Friday MORNING, so perhaps she already had that thought, but I would love to think that I planted the seed. She was non-commital, but like I said, "smiled in the affirmative."
Dixon Davis
119. KadesSwordElanor
Thanks Ways,

Have viewed those many times and tried to guesstimate names with faces.

PS: Why don’t you get in on DT reread?
Dixon Davis
120. KadesSwordElanor
::Edit:: Complete coincidence that it happens to be post 119
Glen V
121. Ways
KSE
The Suzanne Johnson read, right? Well...I took a look at it a few months back. I noticed Tek and some of the other WoTers are over there too. I didn't follow through due to available time, inability to multi-task more than minimally, and it just didn't catch my interest like this group does. Even so, I am a King fan to the core. At the Con I SO wanted to buy a copy of Michael Whelan's print with Roland stepping through the door drame and the dark tower in the background. Getting it back home undamaged on the plane would have been a bit of challenge though. At least I convinced myself that was the issue, not the $200 price tag.

ETA
Maybe I can post a few photos on the interim report thread without annoying anyone?
Dixon Davis
122. KadesSwordElanor
Ways

Yes, the Suzanne reread. My wife would kill me go todash if I came home with a $200 piece of Sci-Fi/Fantasy art, so I get it.
Thomas Keith
123. insectoid
birgit @111:
Well-said.

Ways @121:
I had the same reservation about getting a signed AMoL cover print—didn't know how I would get it home intact. (Oddly, my mom's concern is that it's too BIG, not necessarily too expensive. As if I don't have a surplus of wall-space in my bedroom! I would have to frame it, though.)

As for photos: Since Leigh hasn't posted her full recap yet, I don't see why we couldn't post a few on the interim.

Bzzz™.
acemarke
124. JimF
You commenters are TOO good. I love the discussions (and often, knowledge or at least insight gained).

This final reread is saddening for me, as it is the end of something that has occupied considerable of my time for many rears. If TeamJordan wants to, they could probably make a mint on AMOL: The Untold Stories (these last three books are like swiss cheese, there are so many missing high points, etc.) and ATWOT - After etc. That might be too commercial, but I would probably buy at least the first book.

Now this: "...They discuss tactics over dinner, which reminds him of their time together in Tear, when he had fallen in love with her...." which is among my favorite sequences in the whol' dam' thing, and I groan, and say to myself: "Self, we have to go reread the entire thing, at least once more. You can skip all the Jaichim Carridine parts, etc. but how can you miss out on the initial flight from The Two Rivers, and the SG's plight in Falme, and Perrin's freeing of Gaul, and Mat's budding Awesomeness in TDR, and, and...?"

Well, I counted, and I still have 6 of the books in hard cover, and my nephew, who I "turned" has them all, so I guess I'm set. I will determine if Mat and Min ever spent 5 seconds with one another prior to AMOL, a good question raised the other day, along with many other heretofore unsolved mysteries of Jordan's magnificent creation - TheWorldThatWon'tEndFor SomeOfUs.
Roger Powell
125. forkroot
JimF@124
You are absolutely right that Harriet could make a lot more money if she would allow more books to be written. But it seems to me that she is much more concerned with RJ's legacy and doesn't want to see it all watered down (see: Dune or Star Wars)

I totally understand although I'd selfishly like at least one more prequel, written by Brandon of course. How did Moiraine and Lan arrive in the Two Rivers just in the nick of time (and Thom?). I suppose we might get some of those answers in the forthcoming Encyclopedia.
Terry McNamee
127. macster
Things have been busy and hectic around here, making it hard for me to keep up on the re-read any more. :( Maybe next week will be better...

Anyway, I might get back to what you all have been discussing, but for now I'll just quickly comment on the chapters. Which really consists of me saying:

Loved Bashere's observation that Elayne going into battle while pregnant would remind people not everything is dying. Even if he didn't comment on her putting herself and them in danger, the way Birgitte probably wishes he did, his words tie back to the theme of this book, of creation vs. destruction, life and rebirth vs. death and blight, something to fight for vs. selfishness and greed. In fact Bashere comes off really well overall in this chapter. It makes it even more heartbreaking when he gets Compelled, and then later dies...but at least after so many books of doing nothing but hang around Rand, we got to see more of his wisdom, battle skill, and badassery before the end.

Him telling Elayne to reveal Rand is the father was not only common sense (aside from their mother's identity putting them in danger as much as their father's, it's not like they could get in any more danger now than they already are), it was heartwarming and beautiful. I got a bit choked up over that as much as I did the firing of Caemlyn. Which...yeah. Just a city and all, it can be rebuilt, but it's been there since the first book, and I admit to caring about it more than most of the other cities in Randland... :(

Speaking of getting choked up...yes, I cried over Evin's fate. We still have no proof one way or the other on whether Turning can be undone. I have the sinking feeling it cannot, but if it can it will take Nynaeve to figure out the method, I'm sure. But in any event, I don't even know how many of the Turned Asha'man, including Evin, even survive to the end of the book, so the point may be moot. Horrible, and so very traumatic, but it gives Androl and the others even more reason to fight on. I have to hand it to Pevara for giving him the support and comfort she did--and to Logain for being able to hold out so long. Not that I'm surprised at all.

As to who would hold out longest against Turning, it depends on if it's just a factor of willpower, or if how strong you are in the Power also matters. If it's just willpower, then while I too would put Nynaeve at the longest holdout (at least among the women--Rand would have to be right up there too), Egwene and Siuan would also be pretty good contenders, as well as Aviendha, and certainly Amys and Sorilea as well. And then there's Cadsuane...yeah I think a lot of these Turnings would be hard. :P

Poor Bulen. I remember him from New Spring (though I would never have guessed that he'd return or in what manner), and certainly in ToM, so to see him die here was painful. But, the man was badass, like all Malkieri.

Brief side note: the fissures' first appearance. I was disturbed by them from the moment they first showed up in the narrative, even before we knew exactly what they meant or what was causing them (though it was fairly obvious, I thought), and they only got worse with each repetition. They're also nicely symbolic, since unbeknownst to Lan Graendal is probably already doing her work to subvert the Captains, or if she isn't she will be soon, which is another form of "spreading cracks" in the forces of the Light.

I think though that even if Agelmar is being tampered with by this point, he's still right to call for a retreat, and he's definitely right to call Lan on his selfishness. Both that his conclusion is right, and that he's the right one to do it, since there are few others Lan would listen to and respect.

Even if we only saw it once (in New Spring) and never really got attached to it (I certainly didn't), I still had to take pause when reading that Chachin was razed. As we know from A Million is a Statistic, it's hard to care about others being hurt or killed when we don't know them; similarly, it's hard to care about places you've never seen or been to. (Not impossible, but hard.) But we've seen Chachin. We never saw Jehannah, so it was hard for me to care about what the Prophet's men were doing there; we never saw Arafel, other than Lan's brief pass-through; but we saw Fal Dara (which made it truly heartbreaking when the Shienarans later have to destroy it like Elayne did Caemlyn), we saw Maradon quite a lot in ToM, and we saw Chachin. So...very sobering indeed.

Leilwin: So this is the fulfillment of a Seanchan woman with a sword helping Egwene (or at least the start of it). Though the hawk and Egwene touching must be her later agreement with Tuon, or else the fact that by marrying Gawyn she just became connected to Berelain through Galad, just as some fans predicted. Also, since Leilwin was with the Aes Sedai with Egwene (though not actually in the tent, right?) I guess that fulfills Egwene's dream of Rand confronting her when she had a Seanchan woman with her.

I am slightly amused that Leigh got all bent out of shape over Leilwin's swearing herself essentially into slavery to Egwene as recompense for her failure with the Domination Band, when back when we first found out she hadn't gotten rid of it and Suroth and Anath had it (WH), she was quite pissed at Egeanin for that. Only slightly amused, because obviously being mad at someone and thinking they should be punished for what they did doesn't mean you want to see them made a slave.

As for Gawyn and Egwene...yeah, considering she was still enough of a Two Rivers girl to be embarrassed that Gawyn wanted to sleep in the same room with her before they were wed (and by what he was feeling through the bond), it is a bit odd no thought was given to losing her virginity. But then again, maybe she didn't lose it. Or if she did, that very prudery would keep her from thinking about it, even circumspectly. Ah well.

Lastly, I adored the scene with Rand and Elayne. Don't get me wrong, their last meeting back in WH was wonderful too, but now he's no longer insane, he's integrated with Lews Therin's memories and is mostly at peace, he's not in pain any more, and he's just generally in a better place. Add in him knowing about the children (even if he thinks he won't get to see them...which he won't, just not in that body!) and the call back to their time together in the Stone, and it's just really heartwarming and shows how good they are for each other. We can argue whether Jordan was any good at romance, particularly this one, but in the end I can at least say Elayne helped Rand mature a great deal, and even if there were issues (those two stupid letters, gah! I'm surprised that didn't get mentioned, there were so many callbacks in this book), in the end they make a good couple. Not as good as him and Min, IMO, but still good, in a different way.

Also: pretty awesome that, like so many fans, she actually sees the advantage of Rand having Lews Therin's memories and is grateful for it. And the explanation for why/how Rand is able to only cause good ta'veren effects now (even if he does mention there are some secret weaves he uses now and then to augment them) makes a lot of sense, and is another theory many fans have held to.

I didn't even notice, of course, that this scene reflects later what Rand tries to do when facing the Dark One and weaving a world without him in the Pattern. That's what makes these re-reads so good, being able to notice foreshadowing we didn't before.

As for the gifts exchanged: the knife is pretty self-explanatory, aside from that being the one Aviendha identified in KOD before the Wise Ones took her to Arad Doman (so Elayne didn't have it "lying around" to study for a long time), Rand mentions later at Shayol Ghul that the knife was something channelers were trying to make during the War of Power and that "someone finally succeeded". That implies (unsurprisingly) that making something which can block the eyes of the Dark One is a difficult and unique crafting. So it makes sense to me that, even setting aside how busy Elayne's been, and her inability to channel properly until this book, she'd have trouble trying to duplicate it. It is odd she didn't react more to the Seed, but then again once she got to Caemlyn and focused on the Succession plot, she didn't really seem to think much about making ter'angreal any more--that didn't come up again until Mat let her have his medallion in ToM. So maybe she's less obsessed now that other things take precedence.

Re: Min--we get to see one more scene with her and Rand later, when he sends her off to watch over Egwene and the Seanchan, despite her wishes to go with him to Shayol Ghul, but that's it.
Ron Garrison
128. Man-0-Manetheran
macster - always great to read your comments. I was reminded that I meant to post something about the meeting of Elayne and Rand:
Elayne settled back down and took a sip of her tea, then grimaced.
"It's gone bad?" Rand asked. . . . Rand walked to her and took the cup from her fingers. He held it for a moment, but did not channel. (emphasis mine) . . .
He handed the cup back to her and she took a sip.
Her eyes widened. "It's wonderful. How do you do it?"
"I don't," Rand said, sitting. "The Pattern does."
Easy to skip over in a chapter with so much going on, but to me here is the flat out answer to the pipe question: "The Pattern does." In the Epilogue, Jesus Rand has become Buddha Rand. Not merely ta'vern, he is one with the Pattern and so is what he touches. A pipe is not fully realized until it is lit, so the Pattern lit it.
acemarke
129. JimF
@128. Man-0-Manetheran: "...A pipe is not fully realized until it is lit, so the Pattern lit it...." particularly if it is filled with pipeweed from the South Farthing, uhh, erm, The Two Rivers. Such a shoutout to the granddaddy of all science fantasy literature. Jordan dotted many an i and crossed many a t in this epic work.
Dixon Davis
130. KadesSwordElanor
JimF @ 129

You just went deep. I don’t know that I agree, but I don’t know that I don’t agree (sorry for all of the double negatives Wet). Love to hear other’s perspective.
acemarke
131. s'rEDIT
Lots of shoutouts throughout, and especially in EOTW. Knowing that RJ wrote this ending early on suggests to me that it very well might have been meant to be yet another one.
Alyson Mahn
132. AyeJaySedai
*happy dance* I finally caught up with the reread!
Alice Arneson
133. Wetlandernw
Congratulations! Now join in... :)

Also? Welcome!!
acemarke
134. DougL
@129. JimF

It was pretty clear from the first couple of chapters in Eye of the World that the tabac thing was an homage, I like that they kept it up throughout the series though.
acemarke
135. L13
It was cute that they threw in Egwene getting married at the last minute. I guess this may have been a foreshadowing of her death since we know there can't be a major character who dies a virgin.

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