Tue
May 21 2013 12:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread: A Memory of Light, Part 14

The Wheel Of Time Re-read: A Memory of Light, Part 14The power of the Wheel of Time Re-read compels you! Hopefully!

Today’s entry covers Chapter 14 of A Memory of Light, which features unexpected villainesses, unsolicited movie reviews, and surprisingly lethal applications of standard cartoon gags.

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.

Also, for maximum coolness, the Wheel of Time Re-read is also now available as e-books, from your preferred e-book retailer!

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!

Before we start: OMG, you guys, I have a non-spoiler review up of the WOT short story “River of Souls” in the upcoming Unfettered anthology! LOOKIT.

And onward!

 

Chapter 14: Doses of Forkroot

What Happens
Perrin and Gaul find the wolf dream in chaos, unnatural storm winds tearing the land apart, and Perrin shifts them away from Rand’s location in the real world, correctly guessing that his presence was making it worse. They hide their supplies, and Perrin warns Gaul that his thoughts can become reality here, and he should try to act on instinct. He explains about Slayer and how dangerous he is in the dream, and Gaul laughs.

“You act as if it is something new,” Gaul explained. “Yet in the first dream, wherever I go, I am surrounded by women and men who could tie me in air with a thought and kill me at any time. I am accustomed to being powerless around some, Perrin Aybara. It is the way of the world in all things.”

Perrin concedes this, but insists that Gaul promise he not try to fight Slayer unless he has no choice. Then he shifts them toward the Black Tower, where they can see a purple dome over the site. Perrin tries pushing through the dome, and finds that being there in the flesh does indeed make him stronger, and he gets through fairly easily. Gaul collapses when he tries it, and Perrin has to pull him through.

“What did I do to deserve your loyalty, Gaul?” Perrin said, mostly to himself.

Gaul laughed. “It is not anything you did.”

“What do you mean? I cut you down from that cage. That’s why you follow me.”

“That’s why I began following you,” Gaul said. “It is not why I remained.”

They walk to the wall surrounding the Black Tower and go atop it. A woman appears, calling the Asha’man “arrogant” and Perrin recognizes her scent, though not her face.

“Moonhunter,” Perrin said, almost a growl. “Lanfear.”

She tells him she is not allowed to use the name “Lanfear” any longer; she is intrigued to learn the wolves’ name for her. Perrin demands to know what she wants, and she tells him “vengeance,” against the one who imprisoned her. Then she looks to the sky in alarm and disappears. Perrin tells Gaul who she was, and hopes that that is the last he will see of her, but he is not optimistic.

Toveine, who had been Turned easily, orders Logain taken away to try again, and Androl wonders how he is still holding out after almost a dozen sessions. But he knows that will change now that Taim has female channelers (brought by a “horridly ugly” woman), since it is easier for male channelers to Turn female and vice versa. Pevara is still heavily drugged with forkroot, but they have not bothered to renew Androl’s dose for a while now, and he realizes what that means when Evin comes over to him and explains that he has convinced them to Turn Androl next, after Logain. Androl assures Evin that he is willing to be Turned rather than dying, and then warns Evin to watch out for Abors, who he claims might be planning to kill Evin. Evin is still affected by the paranoia of taint madness, and believes him.

That… can’t possibly work, Pevara sent drowsily.

She hadn’t lived among them long enough. She hadn’t seen what the madness could do, and didn’t know to notice it in the eyes of the Asha’man.

[…] If they weren’t stopped, they would descend to destruction. They would kill those closest to them, lashing out first at people they should have loved.

Androl knew that madness. He knew it was inside of him, too.

Moments later, Evin attacks and kills Abors, and Androl feels the shield on him drop. He seizes saidin and frees himself, Emarin and Pevara, while Taim is distracted by Evin, who is attacking Mishraile now. Emarin and Pevara are too drugged to channel, and Androl fights off his madness frantically as he tries and fails to make a gateway. Taim kills Evin, and notices Androl is free; he slams Androl against the wall with Air, and the ugly woman declares that Taim is obviously not as in control here as he claimed and says she is taking over. Taim warns her (Hessalam) that he is in the Great Lord’s favor, having stolen “the keys.” Hessalam is surprised by this news. Taim taunts Androl for his weakness, not even bothering to shield him, and orders Mishraile to kill them, but then begins weaving balefire himself.

Shadows, all around!

Androl clung to the Power.

The dead, they come for me!

He wove by instinct, the best weave he knew. A gateway. He hit that wall, that blasted wall.

So tired. Shadows… Shadows will take me.

A white-hot bar of light sprang from Taim’s fingers, pointed right at Androl. Androl shouted, straining, thrusting his hands forward and snapping his weave into place. He hit that wall and heaved.

A gateway the width of a coin opened in front of him. He caught the stream of balefire in it.

Everyone is stunned, and then the door explodes in, admitting Canler and the Two Rivers recruits.

Perrin positions Gaul above the construction site for coverage, and then searches the site, finding two Asha’man guards. He is debating what to do when Lanfear appears again. She tells him the guards have been Turned, and explains what that means. Perrin is horrified. Lanfear wills forkroot into the wine the guards are drinking, knocking them out. Perrin asks why she is helping him, and she says she is “fond” of him.

“You’re one of the Forsaken!”

“I was,” Lanfear said. “That… privilege has been removed from me. The Dark One discovered I was planning to help Lews Therin win. Now, I—” She froze, looking toward the sky again. What did she see in those clouds? Something that made her grow pale. She vanished a moment later.

Perrin realizes that she had been able to mask herself from both his sense of smell and of hearing, and is reluctantly impressed. He goes into the shack the guards were guarding, and finds the dreamspike inside. Lanfear appears again and tells him she is being hunted. Perrin wants to know why he should care, and she tells him she thinks Perrin has the best chance to “win,” and she wants to be there when he does. She offers to turn off the dreamspike for him, and Perrin hesitates, but gives it to her. She deactivates it and shows him how it works. He thanks her grudgingly, and asks about the Turned men.

“It shouldn’t be possible,” Perrin said, kneeling. “Nobody should be able to force a man to turn to the Shadow. When all else is taken from us, this choice should remain.”

“Oh, they have the choice,” Lanfear said, idly nudging one with her foot. “They could have chosen to be gentled. That would have removed the weakness from them, and they could never have been Turned.”

“That’s not much of a choice.”

“This is the weave of the Pattern, Perrin Aybara. Not all options will be good ones. Sometimes you have to make the best of a bad lot and ride the storm.”

Perrin scoffs, asking if that what she thought of joining the Shadow, and she retorts that he understands nothing of what she has suffered for her decisions. She vanishes, and Perrin goes back to Gaul. Gaul is unsure whether Perrin is the real Perrin, and Perrin tells him about Bain and Chiad to convince him. Gaul asks what they will do next. Perrin tells him they will wait and see if taking down the dome will lure Slayer out.

“What if it does not?”

“Then we go to the next likely place to find him,” Perrin said, rubbing his chin. “And that is wherever there are wolves to kill.”

The fight rages in the underground room, and Androl crawls toward Pevara and Emarin again. He tries to make another gateway, and is amazed when suddenly the barrier blocking the weave disappears. Androl stands and walks to the center of the room, where Taim and his followers are fighting Canler et al.

Androl looked to Taim and felt a powerful, overwhelming surge of anger. The Black Tower belonged to the Asha’man, not this man.

It was time for the Asha’man to reclaim it.

He weaves a gateway before Taim’s people, setting it to terminate just behind them, so the weaves they fling toward Canler et al instead go through the gateway and emerge to hit the Darkfriends from behind. He sends Logain through another gateway to “somewhere safe.” Hessalam and Taim flee just before Androl opens a third gateway underneath the Darkfriends, dropping them to their deaths.

Commentary
The description of the dream world being eroded by winds reminded me very sharply of something, but I couldn’t put my finger for a while on what it was. Then I finally figured out that it was this scene from the movie Constantine, which I will probably horrify comics purists by opining was much better than its reception would lead you to believe. Certainly it had one of the better conceptual depictions of Hell that I’ve seen on film, so to compare the description in this chapter to that scene is definitely not an insult, even if it’s not completely accurate.

Anyway. I continue to heart Gaul. You have to appreciate a guy who totally acknowledges that he is fighting way above his weight class and yet never even considers backing down from the battle, because whatevs, fighters gotta fight. Or, you know, the appropriately non-surfer-dude Aiel version of that.

Also, Perrin and Gaul’s exchange in that same scene makes me wish a little bit that we could have had more time to explore their bro-ship, and give more in-depth props to the rather astonishingly effortless loyalty Gaul has displayed to Perrin pretty much since the moment his character first appeared in the series. Possibly the most amazing thing about it is that it’s never been difficult to buy, either. Even when Perrin was going off the rails during the PLOD, it’s easy to see how that would not have dented Gaul’s faith in Perrin.

Of course, Gaul had a parallel obsession to be, er, obsessed with during the PLOD, i.e. Bain and Chiad, but even so. If Perrin had ever had any kind of accurate sense of self-perception, Gaul’s unwavering loyalty to him should have by itself been sufficient proof that Perrin had it in him to be a leader. But I guess it’s easy to ignore and/or take for granted things that are always just there in front of you. Stop taking Gaul for granted, Perrin!

Lanfear’s appearance in Perrin’s storyline in AMOL was very startling to me, on first reading. I’m pretty sure that my first thought when it happened was what the fuck, over, because what did Lanfear have to do with Perrin? Shouldn’t she be bugging the hell out of Rand, like usual?

But then, of course, I didn’t know at the time how that whole thing in the endgame would play out. And also, of course, I was forgetting about the scenes in TDR with Perrin and Lanfear. So the foundation for their interaction was certainly there.

It’s pretty clear from how this and the earlier confrontation with Rand was written that it’s meant to be ambiguous at this point as to whether Lanfear is genuinely rebelling against the Shadow or if she’s planning a double-cross. I can’t quite remember which option I believed in at the time (although her wanting vengeance against Moridin is certainly believable), but either way I would have advised Perrin not to trust her any further than I can throw a Mack truck, so possibly it’s a rather moot point.

And then there’s Androl, which: YAY, ANDROL. Busting that dreamspike block down like a boss. Aw, yeah.

I’m not sure we ever get an explanation for exactly how he did that, mind you, but since it’s probably something along the lines of “his Travel-fu is JUST THAT AWESOME,” I’m not overly fussed about it, because I’m fairly well on board with Androl being awesome.

I also have to suspect that Androl’s Rain Man-like abilities with gateways grew out of an authorial desire to finally take the concept of gateways to their logical extreme, especially as regards combat. And that really gets underway right here in this chapter. I laughed out loud at the Scooby Door trick (don’t click that). As it will be with most of Androl’s gateway tricks in AMOL, my reaction was a combination of delight at the cleverness, and slight irritation that apparently no one had ever come up with these kinds of obvious-in-hindsight applications of Traveling before. (Then again, they were mostly only obvious in hindsight, so maybe I should shut my gob, eh?)

I was also startled to learn in this chapter that Logain has apparently been through a dozen attempted Turnings by this point, which was way higher a number than I had previously assumed. Willful? Shit, Logain must be about the most contrary human being on the planet, to withstand that. Damn.

Speaking of Turning, I totally call bullshit on Lanfear’s line of reasoning to Perrin that the Turned channelers had the choice to not be Turned, by choosing gentling instead. Because that doesn’t even make sense; how do you “choose” gentling in Emarin or Logain’s situation? Like Taim was seriously going to be all oh, you don’t want this? Gosh! Okay, we’ll just gentle you and send you on your merry way, our bad! Because yeah, I’m pretty sure not.

(Also, extremely nerdy nitpick: Lanfear would have used the term “severing” here, not “gentling,” since the former is both the preferred term for Age-of-Legenders and is gender neutral to boot.)

And Toveine! She was never my favorite, but it was still shocking to realize that she is now effectively dead. Made me sad, it did.

And Hessalam aka Graendal was at the Black Tower too, which seems a tad random. Shouldn’t she be off helping key military personnel make really bad decisions? Why is she helping Taim? Under orders, I presume, but enh. Weird.

And Taim straight-up tells her he has the seals (aka the “keys”) in his possession in this chapter, and I’m pretty sure I zoomed right by that without even noticing the first time. Hence all the confusion I seem to remember having over the entire seals issue earlier. Oops?


And that’s the end for now, kids! Check me out next Tuesday for more!

99 comments
Sam Mickel
1. Samadai
Androl is just all kinds of awesome in this chapter. opening a gateway where there is just no chance of doing so, fantastic.
Alice Arneson
2. Wetlandernw
I was sneakily happy to see Androl manage to form that tiny gateway before Perrin got the dreamspike down. Because it was cool that Androl was, as you say, just that awesome. Had to flex my suspension-of-disbelief muscles just a tad, but well worth it. :) And the Black Tower arc is now officially caught up with the rest of the world.

Go Perrin!
William Carter
3. wcarter
Lanfear/Cyndane is a lying liar who lies.

Athough, she might have been saying that upon initially learning they could channel, those ashaman technically could have made the trip to the (then Elaida controlled) White Tower and been all "Yo so I can totally channel apparently. Mind helping me out with that?"

The Reds would have been more than happy to oblige thus removing the vector for Turning badness to be introduced into their minds/souls.

Actually, now that I think about it, it's highly probable that at least some men did go to White Tower to be gentled of their own volition during the nearly 3,000 years it has existed--probably those with loved ones they didn't want hurt.

It also stands to reason that at least some would have survived since they had something to live for. Setalle Anan survived being burned out thanks to the love she has for her husband afterall.

If that's true then the idea that gentling is a death sentence that just takes a while may not be universally true. It just takes something you care about more than channeling/yourself.
Dianne Timmerman
4. LaDi
Something got done. Dreamspike gone, Androl et al. are escaping. The end is really getting on its way.

And Please Leigh don't say "don't click this". My curiosity cannot stand it.

All in all a good chapter. I was really thinking Lanfear switched sides because she thought Rand would win. Stupid me, Lanfear knows only one side.
I love the way Androl makes his "rain man" talent for gates work at its max here. And uses his empathy to know how Evian would react. And still feels sad about it. Okay like many, I think Androl rocks.

And Gaul too. Sometimes its easier to sympathize with less "important" characters. The main ones are larger than life, awesome, but somehow removed from ordinary humanity.
JoeJitsu
5. JoeJitsu
I presumed Hessalam was there to bring the Black Sisters to help with the turnings. Moridin probably didn't trust Taim with complete control of them since that might make him too powerful via the use of circles which would pose a threat to the Naeblis so he sent Hessalam with orders to have them turn Logain and then go somewhere else. Once Logain was turned the Black Tower would essentially belong to the Great Lord and would be one less weapon to be used in the final battle by Rand.

From the pacing of the story I thought that Androl just happened to form his small gateway at the moment that Lanfear hit the off switch on the dream spike. It probably had nothing to do with his beating back of the shadows.
Charles Foster
6. FossMaNo1
I’m not sure we ever get an explanation for exactly how he did that, mind you, but since it’s probably something along the lines of “his Travel-fu is JUST THAT AWESOME,” I’m not overly fussed about it, because I’m fairly well on board with Androl being awesome.
Leigh, I am not disputing your claim here about Androl, but there might be another perspective. What if Androl's opening the Gateway before the Spike was brought down was a simple "nudge" from the Creator? I know we have never seen the Creator take a hand in the story, leaving everything up to the people of Randland--and there is absolutely no way for me to prove this, either--but if the Dark One exists and is taking a hand in things, it should be conceivable that the Creator is too. The Big Dude in the Sky is just a lot more subtle about it than the DO.
From the pacing of the story I thought that Androl just happened to form his small gateway at the moment that Lanfear hit the off switch on the dream spike. It probably had nothing to do with his beating back of the shadows.
Of course, this could also be how the Creator works--coincidence and chance or subtle intervention?

Just a thought...
JoeJitsu
7. Woot
I took Lanfear's suggestion that they could choose to be gentled instead to suggest that the 13x13 weave inherently can either sever the recipient or Turn them, and by choosing not to get severed (perhaps by struggling against it), the channeler leaves him/her self open to being Turned instead.
Liz J
8. Ellisande
I thought Lanfear meant that 'choice' in kind of a supervillain way - if the victim doesn't really want it, he can choose to fight it until he burns himself out and can't be turned. So obviously he must want to keep his power more than he wants to keep to the Light. It's kind of Team Evil reasoning that ignores that the victim is probably shielded and can't get to the power. and yes, Lanfear should've chosen the right word here, whatever it might be - but it makes more sense to me that she would blame the victim for lack of fortitude more than a nonsensical appeal to be gentled.

But yes, badass Androl and his tiny gateway that swallows balefire. And gateways that open behind the villains is always a fabulous trick.
JoeJitsu
9. dragontrainer
That was the way I took it as well. I don't know that it's correct, but it made sense to me. Plus, it would make for an interesting decision, live without the ability to channel, or be able to channel but lose your ability to control your life.

With that said, I would think if those really were the options (assuming the character would even know that), it seems like the sort of thing the authors would call out. Still, I came to the same conclusion and am happy to believe this is the case.
JoeJitsu
10. Al C
I loved Androl in this scene, even saying out loud to a large empty room, "Dang, Androl is playing Portal to beat these suckers".

While it seems like it should be intuitive for others to have used gateways in this method, it really is a major dimensional shift.

Characters from this timeframe really only exist in 2.5 dimensions. Yes, they can jump in the air, and they can climb trees, mountains, or buildings. But they are always within 1-2 feet of "the floor". They have no idea of true movement in 3 dimensions (think Ender's Battle Room, The Enemy's Gate is down).

As we see later, Androl and others are just getting started with harnessing the true power of gateways.
Sean Dowell
11. qbe_64
On Androl's teeny-tiny gateway.

My theory is the circumference of the dreamspike is about that of a coin.
And that they field permeating from the spike starts on the edges as opposed to the center. Thereby allowing you gateways the size of the spike itself if you are in it's vicinty.
T C
12. Freelancer
wcarter has it regarding Lanfear's meaning about the "choice". That the men could have chosen gentling when they first discovered their ability, rather than go to the Black Tower and be trained. Because, as Leigh said, no way Taim is making that offer. Then again, Lanfear's acquaintance with honesty is fairly non-existent, and everything else she's saying to Perrin here is bogus, so why not this too?
Robert Dickinson
13. ChocolateRob
I always assumed that Androl would just figure out the key to the dreamspike by working hard at it.
The spike does not stop those that know the correct frequency (best way I can think of naming it), the darkfriends/forsaken all know how to get past the spike.

Think of it like tuning in a radio - you need to be told the correct frequency to hear anything clearly but with time you can find the right position. Androl has the advantage of instinctually understanding radios and fiddles with the tuning knob whereas everyone else is messing around with the volume knob and getting nowhere.

When Androl broke through here I'd been expecting it for a while, he's not tuned in perfectly and is getting lots of static but he has the correct station (then Perrin breaks the radio anyway and produces Live Aid).
JoeJitsu
14. Elanora
I thought that Androl broke through at the moment the Dreamspike was removed by Lanfear? And hence, that was why it wasn't explained how he broke through...because he didn't, it was just good timing.

Also r.e. gateways, it isn't that long since they've been rediscovered. I'm not that surprised that the novelty of the gateways themselves hasn't quite worn off, and its only now that we're beginning to see some innovation. I was glad to see that the AS (I think its Yukiri?) began to think outside the box a a bit too.

I was torn between really loving Androl and Pevara's plot and character interactions, and wishing the time spent on them could have been allocated to old favourites - seeing the reunion between Lan and Moiraine, a Rand and Min scene, a Moiraine POV from SG, Egwene's and Gawyn's wedding, etc. While I think there mini plot arc was the best written in the book, I think on balance they had too high a proportion of the 'screen time' in the final book; each of them individually had more POVs than Nynaeve, one of the six main characters, and combined, their plot arc was third largest after Rand's and Mat's.

I loved Gaul, too. He's been one of my favourite minor characters throughout, and he really carries the baton for the Aiel in the final battle, whose awesomeness got a bit lost with all the other fighting groups in AMoL. I, too, wish we had seen a little more of his and Perrin's relationship.
JoeJitsu
15. Megaduck
Now Androl is thinking with PORTALS.

As for the beating the dreamspike here at the WoT reread I belive that a highly motivated badass can carry out complex taskes while enduring the most intense pain. Besides, if he's failed, a negative mark would have been made against his testing score, followed by retroactive nonexistance.

(Ok, I'll stop now)

The awsome thing about Androl is also that he's putting decades worth of fan ideas into application. I recognized every single trick he uses in the book and got fits of estatic giggling whenever I enountered one.

In a lot of ways Androl and Pevera are Fan inserts. They are doing a lot of stuff people have talked about for years. (the double bond was another one.)
Billy Abbey
16. felix
@15 Megaduck
So the dream spike failed when it ran out of cake?
Deana Whitney
17. Braid_Tug
Prior to the "window" gateway, and Rand's "death gates", do we have an example of people making gateways off the floor, besides Androl?

He used it to cut his leather. And had been using them in similar fashion for a while based on the subtext. But it's because of his skills with them. In my version of the next Age, Androl has taught lots of people to think outside the floor. Lots of Scooby doors and “Peek-a-boo” cannons.

So as @10, Al C, pointed out, the rest of the world hasn't really thought in 3D mode yet. Just him. His catching the Balefire with a gateway was a huge "all right!" moment.

Looking at my notes from my first read, I have:
"WTH?" for Perrin and Lanfear.
Now we all know, but it did seem odd at that point.
T C
18. Freelancer
felix @16

Not possible. The cake is a lie.
JoeJitsu
19. Rancho Unicorno
Re: gentling vs turning. I've got nothing to add. I think the above comments capture Lanfear's meaning best - when push comes to shove, you're going to walk away from the power or you turn. That being said, I do wonder if it is more than just a choice or a lack of effort. I wonder if the result of 13x13ing is either you passively turn or actively self-gentle - that is, you have to actively decide to cut yourself off from the source. I guess I did have a little to add.

Re: Taim has the seals. I caught that the first time around. I even smirked at Egwene, thinking about how she'd had the seals for all of a few chapters and managed to get them stolen.
Tricia Irish
20. Tektonica
WCarter: "Lanfear is a lying lier who lies." Well said!

I must say, I do miss a lot of hints about things the first time through, but I didn't believe Lanfear for a nanosecond. She is nothing but self serving, and now, all she wants is Rand, dead.

I do *heart* Gaul. The man's a brick. And I agree, Leigh, I would have loved a bit more detail of his and Perrins Bromance, and maybe a tad less Plod or dress description somewhere. A good man. I hope he finds happiness with those two crazy Aiel maidens!

Maybe Androls baby gateway that caught the balefire worked because he made it to begin and end within the purple dome? Rather than trying to travel out of the dome? That was my mental justification for it working on the first read. Although we know Androl is extremely talented in the Gateway area, someone throwing balefire at you might provide the necessary edge for his success here.

Elanora@14: fwiw, I kind of agree with you about Androl and Pevara having an inordinate amount of screen time vis a vis the Central Cast. I do love their interactions, and it was a wonderful Brandon creation, but yeah....I would've preferred more of our main gang and some of our favorite secondary characters too.
JoeJitsu
21. neverspeakawordagain
I've been re-reading the book, and am currently up to the part where Mat takes over control of the combined armies, and... HUGE, HUGE, HUGE authorial slip-up. Mat and Min have been completely chummy and talking to each other as old friends throughout the their interactions -- but Mat and Min do not know each other at all. The only time in the entire series that they actually met was at the beginning of The Eye of the World in Baerlon, and Mat was only in the town for a few hours, while Min spent most of her time talking to Moiraine or Rand. It was also right before he grabbed the ruby dagger, and was thus smack-dab in the middle of all the memories he lost which later got filled up in Sindhol.

The only other time they conceivably could have met was in Falme at the end of The Great Hunt, but it seems unlikely. They certainly didn't meet before the giant battle, and afterwards Mat went with Egwene, Nynaeve, Hurin, and Verin back to Tar Valon, and Mat wasn't really in shape to be chatting things up. Min had glued herself to injured-Rand's side anyway.

After that, Mat and Min are never in the same place again - by the time she gets to Tar Valon, he's already left for Tear and then the Aiel Waste; by the time he gets to Salidar, she's already left to meet Rand in Caemlyn. She spends the rest of the series at Rand's side, and Mat and Rand never meet up again until Rand comes to him and Tuon, without Min, in Ebou Dar. Mat would have recognized Min from his visions of Rand, but he almost certainly wouldn't have known anything about her visions - which he tells Tuon about at length, even though there's noplace in the story where he would have gained the information that she had visions. Similarly, Min makes a crack about Mat's personality that she would have absolutely no basis for knowing anything about, other than whatever Rand had told her about Mat.

I have a feeling that Harriet and Sanderson just plain forgot about this, assuming that Mat and Min must have had interactions somewhere along the line, because in A Memory of Light they are just way too chummy for, essentially, total strangers.
Bill Reamy
22. BillinHI
Finally caught up in the re-read after two awesome weeks in Africa! Well, awesome except for my wife falling and breaking the small bone in her right arm, which caused us to return to the US a few days early, thus missing Victoria Falls. Now we have to plan another trip to South Africa.

As for the chapter: Androl is awesome. Gaul is awesome. Lanfear kind of caught me off guard as well at first reading, but, yeah, the ending makes it clearer. I do wonder if it's the DO himself or Moridin she runs from. (DO/Moridin in the Sky with Balefire?)
Alice Arneson
23. Wetlandernw
Rancho Unicorn0 @19 - Unless you assume Egwene and Rand are either wrong or lying, Egwene never had the real seals in the first place. Rand assumes (Ch. 19) that the switch was made before he gave them to Egwene. We've had the discussion before and generally concluded that most likely, the attempts to steal them back in CoT were actually attempts to swap the fakes for the originals, and were successful.

@several re: Androl & Pevara - While I understand the desire to trade their PoVs for those of others we've known longer, there's also something to be said in favor of this version. A) We get chances to see lots of other people in action without switching PoVs. B) There's no fan wrangling about getting a voice wrong, since these voices are primarily Brandon's anyway. C) Specifically re: Nynaeve, roughly half of the book passes in what is, for her, about half an hour.

neverspeakawordagain @24 - I believe you've mentioned this before. Perhaps we can hash it over again when we get there.
Thomas Keith
24. insectoid
Thank goodness it's Post Day!
Great job as usual, Leigh.

To all my Re-reader friends who live or have family in Tornado Alley—stay safe, okay? :)

Gaul:
Kudos to him for sticking with Perrin no matter how dangerous the situation.

Lanfear:
Initially, I was puzzled by her picking on Perrin (shame on her!). Then for a moment I wondered whether it wasn't Perrin she was interested in at all, but Moiraine (somehow knowing she was still alive)! Then reasoning chimed in and told me it was more likely either Rand or Moridin that was her true goal. This was then totally confused by Lanfear helping Perrin. What an enigma! (Of course, she's totally lying through her teeth, but still.)

Androl:
Nice save with the balefire-eating gateway. And yes, he IS that awesome!
As for his victory over Taim and the Turned Ones: AW YEAH.

"Scooby Door" trick:
BAHAHAhahaha! Of course that has a trope. XD
(Yes, of course I clicked it.)

"Keys":
Well, that one went in one eye and out an ear. Totally missed it.

wcarter @3/Free @12:
Good points.

Woot @7:
That's an interesting theory... but if it were true, how has Logain managed to struggle against being Turned and not been severed?

ChocolateRob @13:
Good analogy... It's like finding the resonant frequency of something.

Too many Portal jokes...

Tek @20:
Maybe Androls baby gateway that caught the balefire worked because he made it to begin and end within the purple dome? Rather than trying to travel out of the dome?
Interesting idea; seems plausible.

Bzzz™.
Ron Garrison
25. Man-0-Manetheran
Like Tek, I thought we had seen traveling within the dome, just not in-to or out-of it.

I loved Androl's Roadrunner gateways. Fortunately they worked better for him than they do for RR. I'm thinking now this must have been a subconscious influence over the choice of the Warner Bros. logo for "Leigh's Loonies." Heh.
Ron Garrison
26. Man-0-Manetheran
insectoid @ 24:
I think you are right that Lanfear mostly wants Moiraine:
"What do you want?" Perrin demanded.
"Vengeance," she whispered. Then she looked at him. "The same as you, Perrin."
"I'm to believe you want Slayer dead too?"
"Slayer? That orphan errand boy of Moridin's? He doesn't interest me. My vengeance will be against another."
"Who?"
"The one who caused my imprisonment," she said softly, passionately.
"orphan errand boy of Moridin's" — This also refers back, I believe, to the Prologue and my belief that Moridin was the mystery woman. Lanfear has no interest in Slayer.
JoeJitsu
27. Teddroe
"I also have to suspect that Androl’s Rain Man-like abilities with gateways grew out of an authorial desire to finally take the concept of gateways to their logical extreme, especially as regards combat"

Very correct Leigh.I was curious, so I asked Sanderson about that very thing at the Seattle book signing, and he said that virtually everything about Androl's gateway shenanigans--as well as quite a bit of the Perrin/Slayer dream fighting of both this book and the previous--was one of the areas where he went most "off-notes" from RJ. He gave himself a lot of liscense to explore the combat possibilities of T'A'R and gateways.
angelique price
28. ophel1a
I very much like 20's idea for explaining how Androl made the gateway seemingly before the dreamspike was deactivated. My thought was perhaps it shares a certain characteristic with the Oath Rod--it can sense intent and beliefs? If so, Androl's gateway would've been "allowed" because he did not intend to travel through it. Is there anything in the text that can outright disprove this idea? Very curious.
JoeJitsu
29. SCM 2814
On Androl beating the Dreamspike, I have my own theory, any variation of which I've enver seen to have seen espoused in these rereads.

Ter'Angreal are obviously mechanical things, or at least machines, and as such imply fixed upper limits as to use. If you overuse one, it break, the same way an angreal or sa'angreal melts when overloaded. Positing that ter'angreal can only do things it is possible to do with the power-- that is, a channeler who knows the right eave can do the same thing any ter'angreal can do, if a bit more labor and concentration intensively-- then the traveling suppression effect is in fact a weave. The ter'angreal was set to 'disrupt' at the known human upper limit of gate-making ability, since that handily covers most of channeling humanity, and is also cost effective, construction-wise. Androl, however, is a Traveling savant, and his gate-making ability is obviously leaps and bounds above everyone else as he is essentially Traveling using a dinky wristwatch battery while everyone else needs a frickin' warp drive.

I posit that Androl just pushed his Traveling ability above the hard-wired upper limit of the supression. If the suppression IS a weave iself and being used by an opposing human, then it would have devolved into the kind of willpower-based weave versus weave fights, kinda like that time Nynaeve and Mogsy tried to shield each other in TSR. However, the Ter'angeal HAS no will of it's own, so it couldn't adjust to Androl's burst of desperation willpower.

Also, as to dreamspike removal. Androl is explicitly shown hitting the Spike's supprsession effect 'wall' AFTER Canler and co arrived and when he was tring to free Pevara and the others, only ofor it to suddenly vanish, so it was still in effect at that time. Also, the spike was ABOVE ground, possible near the entrance the Asha'man (and one Aes Sedai) rescue team entered from, which is some distance away from where it was being held, so it couldn't be because he was 'near' the spike...

As to why no one really innovated with Gateways before this book... most people who've used them tend to think of them as 'doors'. Even the Forsaken never use them for anything else, though I'm curious as to why we only see Mogsy's 'doorbell' weave once, and never again. No one ever thinks doors can lead behind them. Though that doesn't excuse why everyone is so polite it takes MAT to think of opening a door and yelling through it to issue orders and talk to people. Mat esentially invetned Randland Video conferencing!
Don Barkauskas
30. bad_platypus
Edit: SCM 2814 @29 beat me to some of this, but I'll just keep it to reiterate and add a few details.

JoeJitsu @5 et al.: The text is absolutely unambiguous that the first gateway is made while the dreamspike is still activated. Androl breaks through a wall to make the gateway that swallows the balefire; then there's a Perrin POV where the dreamspike goes away; and in Androl's next POV, he hits the wall, something changes, and the wall vanishes. He really did break through the dreamspike barrier the first time, and the wall was still there on his next attempt before vanishing mid-attempt and allowing him to make normal gateways.

Braid_Tug @17: Re: Gateways off the floor, off the top of my head, when Logain Travels to the deck of a Sea Folk ship, and when Cadsuane makes Rand give her a hand down (in the Stone of Tear, I believe). Of course, those are only a foot or so above the ground, but...

Man-o-Manetheran @25: We see Perrin dream-shifting within the dome in Tel'aran'rhiod, but in the real world, gates don't even open within the dome, regardless of the destination (until the balefire-swallowing one). Androl tries and fails to make a gate that opens to Canler's store inside the dome at one point. It's not clear whether the balefire-catching gate was to somewhere within the dome or not, although probably, based on the previous text.
JoeJitsu
31. AndrewB
Count me among the (seemingly many) who had no clue (when I first read AMoL) as to how Lanfear was going to use Perrin to achieve her end game. Based on Lanfear's character, I assumed her end game would be to position herself in the Last Battle to gain the most power at the end. Which, it turns out, I was right. However, I would never had guessed how it would end.

Does anybody know how M'Hael's men caputured Toveine? Was she with Logain when they captured him (For that matter, how was Logain captured?) Also, how was it that Gabrelle was not captured whereas Logain and Toveine were?

Thanks for reading my musings,
AndrewB


As I was reading AMoL the first time, I would constantly wonder if Lanfear would be the Forsaken/servant of the Dark One who would forsake his/her vows to the Shadow and turn back to the Light. I would not have thought it of Lanfear. However, her "misdirection" through the course of the novel kept a nagging bit of doubt within me.

(For those who did not read pre-AMoL theory's on Tor.com (or other fan based-sites, I would persume), many postulated that a high raking Team Shadow member (most likely a Chosen), would foresake his/her vows and come back to Team Light. This "find the Light" moment would be crucial to Team Light winning the day.)
Valentin M
32. ValMar
M-o-M @ 26

That's interesting. Nothing comes out of it, IIRC, but sounds like Lanfear may be referring to Moiraine here. If I had noticed this whilst reading it the first time it would've made the rest of the book even more suspenseful.
JoeJitsu
33. Nanoha of 2814
@ 31: It did. ALL HAIL VERIN! : D

But seriously, I think Verin's exposition on Chosen/Forsaken Psychology in her last appearance was meant to nix that. We've been often shown in-story tht Darkfriends have more greed than self-preservation instinct, making defection unlikely because if they switched sides, at best all they'd get is thier life. Desire for material goods trumps desire to live in most Darkfriends, except possibly Arravine, though she quickly fell back into the part line when they tracked her down. Even Kadere tried to negotiate for payment to defect.

The closest we get to such a defection is Asmodean, and even he wanted to be Rand's right hand a bit more than he wanted to live. A reread looking for characters who were more greedy then self-preservatory might actually be a good wya to rack up a list of background Darkfriends.
Shane Carter
34. BankstownBoy
Loved this chapter as we get down to thre nitty gritty of "sorting out " the Black Tower. ( On time we need to discuss whether the home for male channelers to become known as the Black Tower was potentially Rand's biggest blunder, almost lost the Last Battle and had more negative effects thean positive.(( Except for giving us pevara and Androl)). But that for later chapters.)
I like @13ChocRob's view. Androl had been close before. He kept trying like the little train that could "I think Ican, I think I can..". The same way Nyn would not give up trying to cure stilling she kept trying intuitively to find a way. Androl is just the BEST! Also much later we see Perrin as the only character to beat compulsion on his own. These powerful individuals can evolve and upsize their "Talents".
Elanora @14 No , no,no we just needed Book 15 and maybe 16, I was not in any rush to finish.
@24 and @26 Yes Moiraine is a possibility both she and Rand led to separate imprisonments and torture for her. Also in Moiraine"s case a great diminishing in strenth in the OP.
Ellisande@8 Yes opening the small gateway to remove the Balefire was a neat trick and lifesaving, but where did it go? I hope some poor person was notat the other end!
As insectoid says my thoughts and prayers to all those effected in Oklahoma.
JoeJitsu
35. Teddroe
Elanora @14: I'm with you. I loved the whole Pevara/Androl subplot, and loved both characters individually...but I can't help but think that this whole sub-arc should have been in Towers of Midnight. Or at least most of it--perhaps leave it dangling at the end of TofM with the cliffhanger of the rescue team getting captured. It's good stuff, but so many really important scenes were cut for time/pacing reasons...

Neverspeakawordagain @21: Interesting--but I think Wetlandernw is right, it feels a little premature right now, would you mind tabling that point until we get to those Mat/Min scenes?

AndrewB @31: I was also a little confused as to where Gabrelle was during this whole time period. Did she escape? If so, how and where to? Was she captured? If so, where is she while Logain is turned and why didn't she get turned? I thought BS had just forgotten about her until she briefly appears in the scene where Logain breaks the Seals.

I was really surprised that the capture of Logain took place off screen...did we ever find out how that went down? Or what he was off doing?
Kat Werner
36. Sakaea
I was actually kind of irritated that Androl could open a gateway where he was totally not supposed to...I seriously thought it was an oops on Brandon's part. Then I read the passage a few times and was like "Eh, travel-fu, he has it." *shrugs*
Eric Hughes
37. CireNaes
I like Androl's channeling Talent with gateways. It has always reminded me of the Ebou Dari Wise Woman Berowin. Very weak on the scale of saidar users, but her Talent with OP Shields allowed her to hold Nyneave with little to no effort.

It would make sense that along with Androl's Talent with Gateways comes a comfortable aptitude with spatial dimensions. Combine that with his very low level OP strength and necessity becomes the mother of his inventiveness. Add a pleasent smattering of Rick Steves and a star is born.
Alyson Mahn
38. AyeJaySedai
I can always go for more Andol and/or Pevara being awesome. Really, they need their own book. I would buy the hell out of it.
Jay Dauro
39. J.Dauro
JoeJitsu @5

Actually we see that Androl has already succeeded in making a gateway before he stops Taim's balefire.
“We heard you!” Canler yelled to Androl amid the firefight. “Burn me if it isn’t true! We were in my shop above and we heard you speak, begging! We decided we had to attack. Now or never.”

Canler had heard him? The gateway he’d made, just before Taim heaved him in air. It must have opened, so small he hadn’t been able to see it.
Then he thinks that the restriction is still there, until the Dreamspike is switched off, as bad_platypus mentions.


Man-o-Mantheron @25

You can move inside the dome in Tel'aran'rhiod. But you cannot (unless you are Androl) make a gateway inside the dome's "area" in the Waking World. We saw this with Perrin's forces when they tried to setup the Pavilion for Galad.



SCM 2814 @29

We see gateways used as weapons by Rand with the Deathgates, and are told this was common in the War of Power.


BankstownBoy @34

I do not believe Rand called it the Black Tower, I think Taim did that. Rand could have stopped it possibly.


Teddroe @27

Not so much "off-notes" as no notes. From what Brandon has said, there was a lot that he knew had to happen to make the destination, with no notes on how to get there. Brandon did come up with Androl's talents, but what he accomplishes is needed for the end.
j p
40. sps49
Me, I think Lanfear referred to voluntary gentling as soon as the ability manifests. I don't see how it would work turing 13x1-3ing, and we did not see anyone do that instead of being Turned.

BankstownBoy @34-

Perrin defeated Compulsion by using TAR skills which noone, not even apparently Lanfear, had.

And the balefire went to a little clearing in the Seanchan Empire....
Cameron Tucker
42. Loialson
@34. BankstownBoy
"Also much later we see Perrin as the only character to beat compulsion on his own."
Don't forget both Nynaeve and Morgase both did similar things in resisting compulsion (Morgase's being quite strong) MUCH earlier in the series than Perrin did here with Lanfear.

Nynaeve pretty much broke through Moghedien's compulsion completely after seeing her in TAR and gettin her anger on in tSR (Ch. 52 "Need"), and Morgase broke Rahvin's (or resisted it enough to flee at least) in tFoH (Ch. 19 "Memories").

There's definitely been quite a bit of precedence here in this department before one of our Wonder boys got his Hammer Smash on for Lanfear's Web of compulsion.
Ron Garrison
43. Man-0-Manetheran
CireNaes @ 37:
"Randland Through the Back Door" FTW!
Shane Carter
46. BankstownBoy
Early in the Black Tower section of the chapter we hear Pevara send to Androl "Androl I have an idea ". Androl started to cough.......Are we to think that this distraction of Evin is aplot between our two cobonders. Even though Pevara is surprised it works so easily, it is still well done.
AndrewB @31 raises valid points regarding Logain, Toveine and Gabrelle. It would be interesting how this was done and how Gabrelle escaped. We know "the other reds who came with Pevara joined them" to make up the13 women to continue Logains turning. This makes me so sad. It appears that these are all killed in the underground battle. I join Androl and Perrins revulsion at this facet of the story. If nothing else one would hope that even your innate sense of good and evil would be your own to keep.
Roger Powell
47. forkroot
BankstownLad@34
Yes opening the small gateway to remove the Balefire was a neat trick and lifesaving, but where did it go?
While the dreamspike was active, the only gateway that could be made had to go "off world". Androl actually made a tiny gateway to Earth, in July of the year 1975. The unfortunate recipient of the balefire was a labor leader named James Riddle Hoffa ("Jimmy" to his friends.)
Shane Carter
48. BankstownBoy
As we all want to believe Randland is a different age of the wheel on Earth, this theory is entirely plausible.
Birgit
49. birgit
Androl opened two gateways before the dreamspike was down. The first time he pushed against the barrier he thought he failed, but he actually managed a very small gateway through which Canler heard him. The second was the small gateway that caught the balefire. Lanfear switched the Dreamspike off after that during the third time Androl tried using a gateway.
The Forsaken talk about a key for crossing the barrier. Moridin knows the key for this Dreamspike, but Lanfear doesn't. Androl could have gotten through by getting close to the "keyhole"/right frequency.

My vengeance will be against another."
"Who?"
"The one who caused my imprisonment," she said softly, passionately.

There are three candidates for that: LTT imprisoned her in the Bore, Moiraine in Finnland, and Moridin in the Mindtrap. They are all at Shayol Ghul and at the end Lanfear (with Compelled Perrin) wants to attack all of them together.
Nadine L.
50. travyl
@49 birgit: re the three prisoners of Lanfear all present at Shayol Ghoul: very clever, I never thought of it, thanks for pointing that out.

@39. J. Dauro and 49. birgit
I totally agree about the waygates (actually you "stole" my comment - both about the 2 dreamspike-piercing gateways and about the fact that even inside the dome, gateways don't work.)

@21. neverspeak...
As wetlander pointed out, we already discussed that. It might well be, that it is a slip, but it can be explained away. ("benefit of the doubt") Mat and Min had some time togheter at Falme and Mat WAS still in shape: he was gambling for some time with Hurin on their way back until he got too sick...
Terry McNamee
52. macster
I remember when I first read that Gaul wanted to go with Perrin to TAR I was not just worried, but oddly miffed because somehow it seemed to be a) intruding on Perrin's unique cool ability set and b) breaking the rules of who could go there and what they could do. But then of course I remembered that since Rand made a gateway for them to go in the flesh then of course Gaul could go, and that the malleable nature of TAR meant anybody there could change themselves and their surroundings and use amazing feats, even if they weren't channelers, wolfbrothers, or dreamers. And of course if anyone could adapt to such a place it would be an Aiel, and if anyone deserved to go it would be Gaul. Still, I remained startled while reading this chapter, pleased Gaul adapted so quickly and well, and amused that even this late in the game someone could be introduced to new things. (Seeing Gaul have issues with his clothing appearance was as funny as it first was for the Supergirls.)

I also remember someone or other complaining that back during Perrin's trial and the lead-up to it, Sanderson dropped the ball since he didn't have either Perrin or Gaul mention that it was Whitecloaks who had captured him and from whom he'd been freed. Personally I don't think it would have mattered much to Gaul, and he'd likely find them as irrelevant as he did the Hunters for the Horn, but Perrin probably should have thought of it. Anyway, it was good to see Perrin and Gaul talking here about how they met, and even if we didn't get to see more of how and why their bro-hood got established, I have to agree it's believable and awesome.

The reappearance of Lanfear with Perrin actually didn't confuse or startle me at all, possibly because it wasn't too long ago that I re-read TDR and so remembered their interactions there. But in any event I was just glad to see more of everyone's favorite insane Forsaken, because not only is she still as compelling a villain as ever, she was as much a wild card in the end as Fain. I never knew what she'd do next, I hung on every tidbit she revealed--and I would take issue with those in the comments who said everything she says is lies. The FAQ and encyclopedia both pointed out that nothing she ever said to Rand was proven to be a lie, and while it's certainly true her motives weren't always what she claimed they were, I think we can trust the information she reveals, particularly re: the Age of Legends and channeling. Everything she says about the dreamspike certainly seems to be true.

As I said already, yup, I was shocked and saddened over Toveine. Logain managing to resist Turning as long as he did just proves how badass and strong he is, though as we'll see, it didn't come without its consequences. It was sad that Evin still had the madness in him, and heartwarming that even after he'd been made evil, Androl still felt sorry for using him like that, but certainly beneficial to the heroes. I caught Taim's reference to keys here (of course, I also caught the fact Androl saw him rolling something round in his hands, so maybe I'm just really observant), but it seems Androl didn't or didn't catch its significance since he seems surprised later when Logain sends him to try and get the seals back from Taim.

The timing on how he managed the coin-sized gateway made it clear he did so before the spike was shut down. I have to concur it was just a sign of how good Androl was with Traveling, combined with him being stronger with it than the spike's weave. Yet another sign of people in the Third Age doing things those in the Age of Legends could not imagine. (I also liked how the tiny gate he made earlier without realizing it allowed Canler and the others to hear his plea so they could come to the rescue.)

The conversation about Turning says a lot about both Perrin and Lanfear. Obviously choice is important to Perrin--to be a leader or not, to be a man or a wolf, the axe or the hammer. Lanfear, even if she is being completely truthful, most certainly acted solely to gain power for herself, if not out of self-preservation, but I suspect there really is more to the story than we know. Not enough to absolve her of course, but enough to underscore the tragedy of how she could have been different, if indeed she had made the right choices. And of course her complexity and her playing both sides made it hard to guess if she would ever come back to the Light (albeit for her own reasons) or not, but in the end she was too greedy and the only real Shadow-back-to-Light conversions were Verin and Asmodean. Doesn't stop me from feeling sorry for her, though.

Put me also in the camp of "she meant channelers can choose to be gentled by going to the Tower, or burning themselves out deliberately, not being gentled by Taim and his men". As for her not using the proper terminology, Lanfear has shown a very good ability to fit into the Third Age and adapt to its societies (see TGH and her Selene disguise, her time as Keille in TSR) and terminology. I imagine that from being around Rand and having to be used to calling things what he does has, if not gotten her in the habit, at least reminded her she needs to use different terms now--if nothing else Perrin, who doesn't have an Age of Legends identity and memories in his head, would have no idea what she meant if she said severing. And being she's talking about channeling men at the moment, using a gender-neutral term is neither necessary nor appropriate. But I suppose it could still be an authorial gaffe.

And yeah, the creative uses of the gateways may only be just beginning here, but I absolutely loved it. I remember my jaw dropping when Androl made a gate which opened behind the Dreadlords--I mean really, why shouldn't a gate be able to do that? They're not bound by physics the way other weaves are, seeing as they either bore through the Pattern or force it to fold, so such a loop is quite feasible. Didn't stop it from being awesome, since for some reason I hadn't been thinking three-dimensionally either. (This explains why Randlanders, without the experience of Traveling until it was rediscovered, also haven't worked out all these creative uses yet.) And dropping them from a great height was satisfying too, of course.

Why is Hessalam there? Aside from what someone else pointed out that she would have been the one bringing Black Ajah to help with the Turning, something Moridin very much wanted Taim to do, she isn't seen messing around with the Great Captains' heads constantly by Perrin. It seems pretty clear to me that, subtle weaving aside, the best way for Graendal to Compel the Great Captains into betrayal while still remaining enough like themselves to fool everyone else until it's too late is to leave them mostly themselves, only going in every now and then to tweak their decisions and perceptions of the battles, which therefore wouldn't require her constant attentions.

Also, Compulsion isn't something that requires re-application, barring the Compelled person having a really strong mind and breaking free of it a la Nynaeve (and, apparently, Ituralde to some degree); if Graendal's commands were to follow the Light's game plan but subtly undermine them through retreats and the lack of proper scouting, this wouldn't require her to stay around Compelling them constantly. Even coming back to apply new weaves when the situation changes wouldn't mean constant supervision. Also finally, as Wetlander and others have been pointing out, the Black Tower storyline is only now catching up with the rest, so Graendal may not have done much yet to the Captains and so had time to ferry Black Ajah over. (In fact the release of Logain and forcing Taim and his Dreadlords to flee may have freed Graendal up for more Compulsion jaunts. A very necessary act of course, but...oops.)
Terry McNamee
53. macster
@5 JoeJitsu: Indeed. And not to mention, Lanfear was off doing her own thing, Moridin of course intended to face Rand, and Moggy had been sent to work with Demandred. So if somebody was to go help Taim, both to bring him the needed women and to keep an eye on/control him, there really wasn't anybody except Graendal/Hessalam. And one as clever and manipulative as she would be a pretty good choice to be paired up with Taim, both for assisting his plan and being able to outthink and control him.

@12 Freelancer: Everything? It seems pretty likely the Dark One or Moridin really would be on her case if they knew what she was doing (neither is preoccupied yet by the fight in the Pit of Doom), particularly knowing what we do now of her final intentions. And later, after the fight in the Pit starts, she starts appearing and hanging around constantly, no longer acting scared of being discovered at all, because she knows they're preoccupied. Why would she do that? Perrin doesn't know yet at that point what's going on with Rand, so she could have kept up a pretense if she wanted to. Why admit the bad guys aren't around watching her any more, something that would make Perrin likely to doubt her even more since he'd then know she doesn't have to be careful any more? And while she's a good actress, I think she really was scared of being discovered. So that, at least, was honest.

The only thing I think she was lying about here (other than her reasons for going to the Shadow and what she suffered because of it, and even that may have a grain of truth in it) is what she intended to do re: Rand and the Dark One, and she didn't actually come out and say what she intended yet. I think she really did like Perrin--as much as she can like anyone, in this case for what she thought he could do/be for her.

@13 ChocolateRob: Good description.

@21 neverspeakaword: I agree we'll need to discuss this more when the time comes, but for now I'll say I think you discount exactly how much time may have passed off-screen between TGH and TDR. Mat didn't get truly sick and unable to stay conscious until late in the journey back to Tar Valon. And Rand recovered pretty quickly so Min wouldn't need to stick to his side constantly. So when she wasn't being drawn upon by Moiraine and hanging around Perrin, she probably had plenty of time to meet Mat and get to know him, at least enough for him to know about the visions (thanks Moiraine) and her to know his personality. Not to mention Perrin could have told her all about Mat, and having experience with her visions he could have told Mat more about them when they were all in the Stone in TSR. (Post-dagger and Healing, no excuse of memory holes then.) Team Jordan probably did think they hung out more than they did, perhaps even allowed for more time at Falme than they actually got, but I think they may have gotten at least some time there, more than you seem to think anyway.

@23 Wetlander: I agree. While it might have been nice to see Gawyn and Egwene's wedding, Lan and Moiraine's reunion (though I expect that was left out on purpose, not due to space issues), and more from Moiraine and Nynaeve (not to mention the cut-out part with Perrin and Loial in the Ways), I had no problem at all seeing Pevara and Androl as much as we did. Aside from them being great characters (and Pevara was great even before this, since unlike Androl she wasn't invented by Sanderson), this whole subplot is critically important for a) setting up what the male-female channeler dynamic will be like post-Tarmon Gai'don and b) just plain showing us how male and female channelers work together on a regular basis, something we've only been clamoring for the whole series. Fine, they aren't main characters (most would probably say they'd rather see Rand with Egwene, Elayne, Nynaeve, or Moiraine for the male-female channeler dynamic) but still, at least we're getting to see saidin and saidar working in close concert. And it's awesome.

@24 insectoid: Because Logain is so very, very strong in the Power. Not only does he have the will to resist Turning for so long, but it would take a lot more, and a lot longer, to burn him out.

@26 Man-o-Manetheren: Huh. And here I was thinking she meant Moridin, as in she was referring to being in the mindtrap. But even that could be considered indirectly Moiraine's fault. And while we never receive any real confirmation who she means, she certainly seems eager to attack and kill Moiraine (or get Perrin to do so) in the Pit later...

Still not sure though why Moridin would be ordering Slayer to kill the guy he's linked to. Sure, we learn in this book that Moridin wants to die, but he has no guarantee dying from the link to Rand will bring oblivion, especially if Rand doesn't get broken by the Dark One first so he can properly impose his will on the Pattern. And wouldn't the Dark One know what Moridin intends and try to stop him? Also, I can't see Moridin disguising himself as a woman. It seems more likely Lanfear, having been rejected by Rand, has now decided she wants him dead, as we saw from her POV in WH. The bit in the pool in the previous chapter was either a complete lie, or a last-ditch effort which, if it had succeeded, would have led her to call off Slayer.

@29 SCM: Bravo, I have to agree completely. :)

@31 AndrewB, 35 Teddroe: Since it all happened off-screen, no idea how he succeeded in capturing Logain and Toveine. But judging by the fact Gabrelle appears just fine later on, I guess somehow she managed to get away. Maybe she met up with Naeff, who also didn't show up on screen until after Androl and co. got free? That would explain why we saw neither of them, and why Naeff was able to stay away and not get captured until after Taim was chased off. (And didn't get to deliver his message until later.) As for Logain, I am guessing he wasn't doing anything--the whole suspense over where he was, why he hadn't shown up, was simply a product of the mismatched timelines, and once he showed up at the Tower, that's when he and Toveine got captured.

@34 BankstownBoy: Whether it was more positive or negative is certainly up for debate (although if Rand hadn't made the Black Tower, they never could have gotten the seals back--it wasn't Taim who stole them as far as we know, so even if there were no Black Tower they still would have been stolen). But even setting aside the seals, the fights with Taim and Demandred, the Asha'man who come to Elayne's rescue in Cairhien, and all the fighting the Asha'man do at Merrilor, the fact is there had to be channeling men again for the world to be in balance and for everything to end up as it was in the Age of Legends again. So even if the Black Tower was a poor decision or a negative, it still had to happen.

@37 CireNaes: That is a very good point! We have precedent already that a channeler could be weak in the Power but really strong and good at one thing, so Androl isn't the anomaly he seems to be.

@40 sps: It's not so much Lanfear didn't have them as that she never had to use them. No one ever used Compulsion on her, and during the scene where Perrin throws it off by holding onto his love for Faile and thereby disbelieving it, she is too focused on Moiraine and Nynaeve to realize what he's doing. It may be that even if she was paying attention, she couldn't have sensed it. If she could, she'd have probably used her own TAR abilities to put the Compulsion back and it would have been a contest of wills a la Mesaana and Egwene, but she either couldn't or just wasn't paying attention, so she didn't. It doesn't really prove she doesn't have the ability.

@49 birgit: A very interesting point. It's like the Pattern made it so everyone she hated would be there, to ensure she'd try her little attack. Was that because that attack, and Perrin's response to it, was the only way to get rid of her?
Dixon Davis
54. KadesSwordElanor
Lurking & working.

Logain’s ability to withstand Turning underscores my love, yes I said love, for the man (Guess I have a bromance of my own). 3 cheers for Awesome Androl.

To Many

My vote for Lanfear’s vengeance candidate is Moridin. To me, it makes the most sense. He is the only one, besides the DO, who I feel she truly believes has more power than her. That cannot sit well with Lanfear. So far as Rand/LTT go, I think, even given the cave-drowning-reveal-true-self-scene, she goes to her grave thinking she has the potential to manipulate Rand/LTT. And everyone else for that matter.
William Carter
55. wcarter
@mcaster

I'm sorry but I disagree with you on Lanfear's honesty. At best, any'truths' Lanfear ever told anyone (including the other forsaken) were 'Sedi truths that were only partially correct or else complete misdirection from what she actually thought. Lanfear's basically the gal who says "The sky is blue" when asked what her favorite food is.

And she does flat out lie sometimes.

Rand himself pointed out (in his own mind) that little tid bit about "not even hurting others without cause" Lanfear tried to sell him in TSR was complete BS after witnessing her casually abuse Asmodean.

She didn't want a parnter she wanted a trophy--Rand, Perrin, it didn't matter. And that whole crap about "ruling together" is BS. There's no way she would have had the guts to actually turn on the Dark One.

She wanted Rand to swear to him, then probably had some plan to turn him into her little slave much like Rhavin did to Morgase (though something a bit more permenant/reliable I'm sure).

As far as she was concerned, bringing the Dragon to the Shadow would have been a feather in her cap, she would have both the Choden Kal plus a loyal slave/cabana boy to link with and the title of Nae'blis for all eternity (Or you know, until the Dark One did whatever it is he actually intended).

*Edit for weird spacing issues.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
56. Lisamarie
For me, there needs to be some reason Androl's gateway worked (I like the radio analogy) because it's one of my least favorite narrative devices when somebody just TRIES REALLY HARD and is able to get out of something nobody else could get out of. It just seems like the author wrote themselves into a wall and then couldn't figure out how to get out of it.

Or that they are trying to have their cake and eat it too - create a device that prevents certain things from happening so that the plot goes a certain way, but still provide a too-convenient out.
JoeJitsu
57. Darth_katie
@15 Ah, you beat me to it! Thinking with portals indeed. I'm pretty sure I delightedly shrieked that phrase to myself when I was reading the book.
Roger Powell
58. forkroot
macster@52
Gaul was not captured by Whitecloaks; however when Perrin is freeing him they are attacked by Whitecloaks who are attempting to stop them. Perhaps that is what you are thinking of.

Another quibble:
the only real Shadow-back-to-Light conversions were Verin and Asmodean.
You are forgetting Ingtar. Also, although Verrin had to swear to the DO, I don't think her heart was ever truly captured by the shadow as it's clear she was on Team Light all the time. A clearer example (also overlooked) might be Tomas who likely was a committed Darkfriend at one point; however per Verin we know that he wanted redemption and to turn back to the light like Ingtar.
T C
59. Freelancer
Verin was never of the Shadow. She accepted a deep-cover assignment forced to play with team Shadow rather than die, but was always working for the Light. There is no saying that Asmodean turned from the Shadow, only that he deemed it wise to show allegiance to Rand while he still had a chance of surviving. But he continues to refer to the dark one as the Great Lord in his own mind, and things that just fine. Ingtar and Tomas returned to the Light, without question.

Androl's coin-sized gateway is most definitely created prior to the dreamspike being deactivated. The description of him pushing against that wall permits no other interpretation. He beat the dreamspike through sheer talent and force of will. Do you think he would have been willing to settle for a tiny gateway in the face of Taim charging up a balefire shot? I'm sure he wanted a big gateway, and got "just enough".
Sean Dowell
60. qbe_64
Re: Gateways.
If you can effectively throw a gateways (deathgates), could you move an open gateway with a fixed end point? I'm picturing Androl like Magneto escaping his prison in X-men two with gateways swirling around him like Dragonflies. The opposite ends at the ends of his hands refiring the caught balefire shots like a deflections off a lightsabre.

And Hurray for X-men/Star Wars analogies in a single paragraph!
JoeJitsu
61. alreadymadwithgateways
Except Androl can't make Deathgates. He's awesome with regular Gateways, but that's it. Utter rubbish at anything else.
Alice Arneson
62. Wetlandernw
Catching up again… And of course, much of this has been said by others already, but I’ll say it anyway, as is my wont… :)

Dreamspike questions: As bad_platypus pointed out @30, the dreamspike blocked all traveling, not just attempts to cross the barrier. In this chapter, as Evin is providing the distraction, Androl is trying to make a gateway to escape, and can’t get it to happen.
Frustrated, he tried to make one to a closer destination. Perhaps distance mattered. Could he make a gateway to Canler’s store above them?
He struggled against that wall, fighting with everything he had. He strained, inching closer; he could almost do it…
So it’s obvious that merely traveling within the dome is not the solution. As Daruo @39 and birgit @49 point out, he actually was just barely successful with this one – it opened just enough for Canler & Co. to hear him – but the dreamspike was clearly interfering. Combined with the textual description of his success, it means that Androl’s coin-sized gateway is a matter of him overcoming the dreamspike’s restriction. Note that he didn’t break its power, because he hit the wall again when he tried the next gateway – and then “Something changed. The wall vanished.”

It seems a bit odd to try to deconstruct this further. The dreamspike is supposed to prevent all gateways, but Androl, with his incredible Talent and his desperation, was able to overcome it to make a tiny gateway. (Theories about the mechanism are interesting, if unprovable.) That not only saved him from Taim’s balefire, it gave him hope to try again – just as Lanfear was showing Perrin how to turn it off. It shut down just in time to allow Androl free access to Traveling at the critical time.

Pevara/Androl/Black Tower Sequence: At the Seattle AMoL Signing, we were chatting about various trivia, and someone suggested making the last three books into a single ebook, with all the timelines matched up properly – which of course led to a discussion of what the actual differences would be. Brandon said (verbatim):
The only thing we’d really gain, we’d gain two things by doing a reweaving: I can put the Tam sequence back in order, so it doesn’t look like Tam’s in two places at once; and we can have Perrin watching Rand on Dragonmount as it happens, which is how it was originally plotted. We’re cutting out of Rand, and then someone is witnessing Rand doing that, which I felt was very powerful emotionally, to have someone there with him, supporting him, and having one of his friends there. So those are the two things we’d gain. Basically everything else, because it would be the first two books weaving together, Perrin’s sequence in along, but everything after that is basically the same. The Black Tower stuff from this book would move backward overlapping Towers of Midnight, because most of that’s chronologically off a bit.
So the BT stuff from the very beginning of the book overlaps ToM, but most of the good Pevara/Androl stuff would still be in AMoL; they’re lined up with everyone else right here. Obviously not everyone is going to be pleased with the decisions about which POVs to include, but IMO we got a great story, and I’m not going to complain about their choices. It was all good stuff. And frankly, everyone did what they were slated to do, whether we got inside their heads or not. ::shrug::

Gabrelle – we have no idea where she was; she just shows up again later. Good thing she showed up, though; Logain would probably not have broken the Seals without her… assistance.

CireNaes @37 – Exactly like Berowin. This is what Talents were all about. Egwene, Elayne, Aviendha and Nynaeve all had cool Talents, but they were also just plain strong. Androl and Berowin are much more exciting in a way, because they turn expectations on their heads: a very weak channeler who can do that one thing better than anyone else, no matter how strong.

Loialson @42 – Yes, let’s not forget those! The one advantage Nynaeve & Morgase may have had was the physical absence of the Compeller; Perrin was standing right next to his. In any case, I salute all three of them for having the mental strength to resist and break free.

BankstownBoy @46 – I was just reading that, and trying to decide the same thing. Did Pevara communicate (off-page) her idea, or did Androl come up with his own plan to prevent Pevara doing something stupid? And I agree that the Turning is, if possible, even worse than Compulsion and absolutely revolting. I’m not sure which would be worse – doing evil things while some part of your mind is screaming that they’re EVIL, or simply losing all sense of good and evil. The latter would certainly be easier, but the former would at least leave you with a tiny bit of yourself… ::shudder:: Either way, it’s just wrong.

birgit @49 – Good point that the three candidates for “the one who caused my imprisonment” are all there together at the end, and if she had been successful, all three would have died. I wonder if Brandon did that on purpose.

macster @52 – re: Lanfear… Well, certainly some of the things she says are fact, but are they True? ;) Thing is, she really is “a lying liar who lies” – if not in every detail. She’s not going to lie on something where she can readily be proved wrong, but she’s absolutely going to give you only the facts that will serve her purpose, and will twist them to serve that purpose as needed. It’s just not safe to assume that anything she tells you is true – but you can’t assume that it’s false either. You just know that whatever she said, it’s for her own good and not yours, and be prepared for the unsaid part to stab you in the back.

I was a little surprised that Toveine was Turned so quickly, because she’d seemed a fairly strong-minded sort of person. Maybe she was weakened by past events, or already had more of the negative than the positive traits, but I’m assuming a lot of it was to show how much better it works when the Turners are the opposite gender from the Turnee, which was to heighten the urgency of the situation when all the BA and Turned AS show up.

I don’t know if I specifically noted the “key” and “something round” references the first time around, but on a reread, they’re blindingly obvious. You can never read it the first time again…

Re: Hassalam… It makes a certain amount of sense. There are only five Forsaken now, and both remaining women are somewhat in disgrace. Moghedien was assigned to assist Demandred, so it seems appropriate that Moridin would make Hessalam play errand girl for him and/or Taim as needed.
William Carter
63. wcarter
@61 alreadymadwith

I'm confused, I thought a "deathgate" was just a regular gateway only pushed forward while opening and closing it randomly to kill shadowspawn.

Is there a place where someone actually mentions the weaves being different?
Don Barkauskas
64. bad_platypus
wcarter @63: AMoL, ch. 37, pg. 638 (since saying something's in The Last Battle doesn't narrow it down much :-)
The Sharans turned on them and pointed, but then cried out as Androl brought an avalanche of snow down on them from a gateway to the side. He had tried making those Deathgates that the other Asha’man used, but the weave was apparently just different enough that he had trouble. Instead, he stuck to what he was good at doing.
William Carter
65. wcarter
@64 bad_platypus

Ah, that must not have registered in my mind the first time I read it.

But still, I wonder if even that couldn't be put down to the general handicap all channelers have in learing a different way to do a weave they already know. Doesn't matter too much either way I guess. Androll's got the market cornered in coming up with inventive ways to deal death via gateways whatever you want to call them.
JoeJitsu
66. alreadymadwithDeathgate
I think it has more to do with the required power to create a Gateway. Gateways aren't easy. They take a lot of strength in the Power to make. It's not so obvious among men because men in general have more raw strength. But among women, you see where it has become another benchmark in their neverending Power-based ranking. Androl is weak in the Power. Everybody makes fun of him for it, and anybody else of his level of strength wouldn't be able to make Gateways. But he has a Talent for them, allowing him to essentially sidestep the required strength to activate one. A Deathgate is a derivative of a Gateway. Similar enough that the activation cost must be close, but different enough that Androl's Talent doesn't carry over.
Glen V
67. Ways
Great discussions going on here! Keep up the good work. I'll try to stir the pot a bit later. It's been a hectic week getting back to "normal" after traveling until Sunday evening last week, and then an unscheduled power outage (AEP, not the OP) at our casa for about 5 hours last night - right in the middle of cooking dinner. Thank the Creator for propane camping gear, which allowed completing the meal with only a minor interruption. Had to re-read chapt. 14 by flashlight, though. Hmmm, that was actually fun.

moondivatx, who lives in Oklahoma City is safe and sound. The tornado was 35-40 miles from her location.

BillinHI: Glad to have you back in the thick of things. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to wifey. Maybe you can make a pit stop in Atlanta next April on the way to see Victoria Falls.
JoeJitsu
68. JimF
Great comments above. I have nothing to add to them, but to say that 49. birgit re Lanfear's rather ambiguous revenge statement has covered the ground that I imagined:

"...My vengeance will be against another." "Who?" "The one who caused my imprisonment," she said softly, passionately. There are three candidates for that: LTT imprisoned her in the Bore, Moiraine in Finnland, and Moridin in the Mindtrap. They are all at Shayol Ghul and at the end Lanfear (with Compelled Perrin) wants to attack all of them together...."
Heidi Byrd
69. sweetlilflower
I missed the connection between the keys and the Seals b/c I assumed the key Taim was playing with was the key to the Dreamspike. I figured that Androl was using it somehow to make his tiny gateways.
T C
70. Freelancer
My understanding is that the "key" to a dreamspike isn't a physical thing, but a bit of information about how it was set, allowing one to bypass it. If you have possession of the spike while it is unset, then you establish the key. If already set, and you don't know the key, then you have to physically deactivate it first. (almost total speculation there)
Birgit
71. birgit
Moridin said "I know the key of this Dreamspike", not "I have the key". It must be some kind of "password".
Erik
72. gadget
Elanora@14
I was torn between really loving Androl and Pevara's plot and character interactions, and wishing the time spent on them could have been allocated to old favourites - seeing the reunion between Lan and Moiraine, a Rand and Min scene, a Moiraine POV from SG, Egwene's and Gawyn's wedding, etc. While I think there mini plot arc was the best written in the book, I think on balance they had too high a proportion of the 'screen time' in the final book; each of them individually had more POVs than Nynaeve, one of the six main characters, and combined, their plot arc was third largest after Rand's and Mat's.

Teddroe@35

Elanora @14: I'm with you. I loved thewhole Pevara/Androl subplot, and loved both characters
individually...but I can't help but think that this whole sub-arc
should have been in Towers of Midnight. Or at least most of
it--perhaps leave it dangling at the end of TofM with the cliffhanger
of the rescue team getting captured. It's good stuff, but so many
really important scenes were cut for time/pacing reasons...
I agree with both sentiments. This and the whole 'take things to their logical conclusion' fighting in the world of dreams and gateway use struck me as the most Brandon-esque things in the last couple of books. I can't really blame Brandon for wanting to make some plots/characters 'his own' so to speak, but at this point I really just wanted our main characters and their ancillary supporting cast.


Neverspeakawordagain@21
Good catch about Mat & Min having only briefly met.

On Lanfear, I was always suspicious of
her, but I had to wonder what Mordin/ The Dark One was thinking
letting her run around Willie-nillie for the Last Battle. I mean,
from their point of view, it would have been better to just crush her
mind trap and leave her as a mindless automaton; it's not like they
were actually using her for anything.
Jordan Hibbits
73. rhandric
Well, I'm late to posting, and most things have been said. But one thing that came to mind as we start this chapter: what would Hopper think if he had seen Perrin enter the Dream in the flesh?
JoeJitsu
74. Ellanora
Gadget @72: Yeah, I think that's part of why I didn't 100% enjoy their plot (even though it was well written, had good character development, was fun to read, etc.) - you just couldn't convince yourself that this was ever something RJ would have considered doing.

I understand why BS wanted to have part of the series which was his own, and I think he was entitled to do so, giving up time from his own work to finish the WoT. I also think it was somewhat neccessary, as having Androl and Pevara to play with brought out his best writing in the last three books.

At the same time, a little of the enjoyment is taken away by my belief that this part of the series would never have been considered by RJ. I think partly, I would have preferred to have all plot-arcs and scenes that I could believe RJ might have chosen to right, rather than episodes that I'm pretty sure he would never have chosen to go with (e.g. portal-style gateways, the Hinderstrap sub-plot, etc.). I realise this is probably unfair criticism, because I actually really enjoyed Androl's story in one respect, but they felt a bit too much like fan gratification (even while I was feeling gratified!).
JoeJitsu
75. konigr
I am pretty sure that I imagined every usage of gateways shown in /AMoL/ well before the book came out. I would not say that they were obvious only in hindsight.

I noticed the "severing" thing.
Erik
76. gadget
Ellanora@74
Yes! I agree. I also feel there has been far too much fan service, particularly in this last book. Too often characters seem to be speaking directly to, or hamming it up for, the audience. There is a scene later on from Lan's point of view about women in war that seemed particularly geared to appeal to the modern audience at the expense of the story (not that I necessarily disagreed with the sentiment, it just came off as a rather blatant pandering to the audience). The whole thing of having Rand and the Asha'man close in on Roedran and be frustrated that he is not Demendred came off as a wink at the readership as well.
Terry McNamee
77. macster
@55 wcarter: I guess we'll have to agree to disagree then. Because while I don't deny that Lanfear was always in it for what she could get out of it, and that everything she said and did was geared toward manipulating things and people to that end, that doesn't deny what you yourself just admitted--that a lot of the things she said were still true. They may have been biased, taken out of context, or left out important information that would change how they should be viewed, but they were still, in and of themselves, true. I never said we should take everything Lanfear says at face value--hardly that! But just because she was always looking out for number one and using others doesn't mean we can discount everything she says as lies, either. She's like the quintessential Aes Sedai in that regard (which is delicious considering how much she hated being called one)--the truth you hear is not the truth you think it is, but there is still truth there. You just have to winnow the chaff from the grain to find what is useful and worthwhile. We can't base theories solely on what she says, but we can't discount her information in order to disprove theories either.

Oh, and I would point out that what Lanfear said about not hurting others remains technically true. She hurt Asmodean, but in her mind she had cause to do so since he had a) betrayed her and b) helped teach Rand too much of the Power so that he could stand up to her. Which just underscores the point--what she said was true, but it was an Aes Sedai truth, one that depended on her own personal interpretation of "with cause" and "harm". But knowing she can do this doesn't mean we can dismiss everything she says, any more than we can dismiss everything an Oath Rod-bound Aes Sedai says simply because they can be mistaken, fooling themselves, or using careful speech and thought processes and interpretation. We just have to examine what they (and Lanfear) say carefully.

And I think she would have had the guts to turn on the Dark One (and in fact in the end, she did! While he was weak and at Rand's mercy, she was fully prepared to have Perrin kill Moiraine while she killed Nynaeve, take Callandor, and with it take control of Rand and Moridin so she would have the latter, and the Dark One, at her mercy). The key is, she'd only do it if she believed she would be able to take over and reign supreme, and if she actually had the power and opportunity to do it.

@58 forkroot: Ah yes that's right, it was the Hunters who captured him. But I was indeed thinking of the Whitecloaks they fought right after Perrin freed him; someone before had mentioned this as something they thought Perrin or Gaul should have mentioned, at least in their thoughts, during the meet-up with the Whitecloaks in ToM.

I wasn't forgetting Ingtar; one, I never considered him to have truly given himself to the Shadow, and two, I was only speaking of people who came back to the Light (or seemed to) at or very near the end of the series, because of the implication many people drew from the title "A Memory of Light" that someone would; while people did turn back before this, and people theorized about characters who could or would, it didn't become a key component of theories until the last book's title was announced, and especially the scene with Graendal seeing a memory of having been good in Moridin's eyes. Though you are right that Tomas certainly counts as one who came back, probably much more so than Verin. I agree, I don't think Verin really counts--I only mentioned her because someone else put her forward as an example of "someone whose return from the Shadow to the Light was key to winning the Last Battle".

Which means the only ones we know for sure were truly of the Shadow and came back are Tomas and Asmodean. So the phenomenon existed, but it really didn't have much effect on the narrative, at least on Tomas's part. Asmodean certainly affected the narrative, but his teaching of Rand was under duress and out of self-preservation. Though perhaps that does still count--after all, someone else said that Verin's lecture about the selfishness of the Forsaken means we can never see a true follower of the Shadow come back because they are too greedy for power or too determined to protect themselves from the bad guys' punishment for treason (or prosecution by the good guys). Except Asmodean came back because of self-preservation, to escape that punishment...

@59 Freelancer: Point of order, Jordan said in an interview that at the end of his life, Asmodean did come back to the Light and his defection was genuine. It was out of self-preservation, yes, but he still made the choice. Whether it would have stuck, who knows, but if he'd survived until the Dark One was sealed up again, perhaps it would.

@62 Wetlander: Yes, that's exactly what I was trying to get at re: Lanfear, and just stated above to wcarter. Of course I'm not saying everything Lanfear said is absolutely true, let alone that we should trust and believe her. That would be utterly foolish, wool-headed thinking. ;) But neither can we afford to dismiss and discount everything she says either. The trick is figuring out what is true or not, what isn't being said, what can be trusted.

@75 konigr: But you have the benefit of being genre savvy, from a modern world, aware of how things like this could be used in three-dimensional and unorthodox ways. People in Randland don't have that luxury, and they have just rediscovered Traveling. It takes a while when something new is found/invented before people become good at being creative with it. You have to know the rules before you can break/bend/manipulate them.

@76 gadget: YMMV. I not only never had a problem with the "fanservice", I thought the bit with Roedran was hilarious, and perfectly in keeping with the series since Rand himself had been looking for Demandred for so long. But maybe I'm just one of those fans who enjoys being pandered to and thus can't see how it "ruins" the work...

Re: the mystery of Gabrelle's disappearance--I discovered something in reading ahead which I think might answer this question. In Logain's first scene in "The Last Battle" (p. 630), just before he and Gabrelle discuss Toveine and after he gives the order to find Taim and get the seals back.

"Logain's teams moved off. They left him with Gabrelle, Arel Malevin, and Karldin Manfor. It was well that at least some of his more skilled men had been absent from the Tower during Taim's betrayal."

The implication is that anyone we didn't see at the Black Tower, who didn't get Turned and reappeared after this, simply weren't at the Tower, and Gabrelle was most likely with them. This is probably also where Naeff was until he was able to meet up with Logain and Androl and give them Rand's message. From the wording it seems this group was simply out of the Tower, and while they were, Taim staged some sort of coup in which he captured Logain, Toveine, and the other Asha'man and Aes Sedai we later see Turned. We can then presume the other group, once they found out they couldn't Travel back to the Tower, simply waited until the dome came down and Logain and the others came to tell them it was safe to come back. Perhaps they also encountered but managed to escape Taim's Dreadlords on the road and thus heard of Taim having taken over and chose to stay away until either Rand or Logain did something.
Noneo Yourbusiness
78. Longtimefan
The frustrating thing about Logain being "away" is that it is not resolved with a why or a where. He was away. Doing what? "stuff". Why? "just because". um, ok?

Granted not all the plot threads were going to be tied up as promised but still... it is a bit awkward that whatever he was off doing was so boring (in the over all scheme of things) that he had no interactions with any plot driving characters or scenes during his away time.

eh, it all worked out in the end. sort of. :)
Maiane Bakroeva
79. Isilel
Late to the party, as usual, but who cares!

Anyway: Moridin's plan re: Lanfear continues to make no sense. She is supposed to kill Rand... but Moridin really doesn't want her to kill Rand, he wants to face him himself. And it was always blatantly obvious that no matter how harsh her punishment for earlier transgressions was, she'd try to do her own thing given half a chance.
And really, he should have known about the time-dilation, no? He was there at the Bore the last time around, after all.
So, why is Moridin giving her a useless run-around? Send her on a battlefield to sow destruction and despair, order her to attack Rand's threesome to break him, etc. This is such an idiot plot.

OTOH, her plan re: Perrin is very clever and subtly foreshadowed. You lose some, you gain some?

Androl - I love him, and I defended his part vehemently when the book first came out... but now I have to admit that he really is implausibly overpowered in this scene.
It has been foreshadowed that he'd break through the Dreamspike, but I always assumed that he'd have to link with Pevara and Emarin to do so. Extraordinary Talent with gateways or no, him being able to do so by his lonesome, when the dreamspike was designed to resist circles armed with *angreal? Lame.

Also, nobody thinks to cut his gateway weaves? Really?!!! Not Taim, not Graendal? FS women can detect and cut male weaves and even AS have been rediscovering it the method in... KoD? GS?
I somehow remembered that the Two Rivers lads were more instrum,ental in all of this, but it seems like it was mostly Androl. That was much too much.

Pevara not being familiar with how male channeler madness works? Um? She seemed quite familiar previously and isn't she getting a privileged view through the double bond?

Also, Taim not having women for Turning is a ret-con, because he had the rest of Pevara's group and AS bonded to captured and Turned Asha'man of Logain's faction.

Taim just leaving, when he had lots of DFs and Turned channelers at his disposal and families of good Asha'man to use for blackmail makes zero sense either. Didn't Androl say in the beginning that many men would fight for Taim, if he was challenged, because he'd been their leader for so long and they wouldn't know who to believe? Etc., etc.

This chapter, despite some cool moments, doesn't bear any scrutiny, alas.
Don Barkauskas
80. bad_platypus
macster @77:
Point of order, Jordan said in an interview that at the end of his life, Asmodean did come back to the Light and his defection was genuine.
Can you provide a reference for this? I don't remember ever seeing this before and couldn't find it during a quick skim through the "Asmodean" section of the Theoryland interview database.
Alice Arneson
81. Wetlandernw
Just have to share with the only people who will understand...

I went looking for an RJ quote about Asmodean turning back to the Light (which I also did not find), and came across several references to "Sherlock Holmes Examines the Death of Asmodean," which apparently RJ had printed out and notated, "This is right." So I had to go read it, of course, and it was pretty good. The part that made me laugh, though, was when I read the line,
Accordingly, any other Forsaken unexpectedly confronting him would assume that Asmodean was ready, willing, and able to use balefire to defend himself, and would want to get the first blow in, since with balefire at close range in broad daylight, the only way to survive is to do unto others before they can do unto you."
Somehow, I read it as "the only way to survive is to undo others before they can do unto you." First I laughed because it was pretty clever, then I laughed because it wasn't what he'd said at all but it still fit. :)

(edited to clean up formatting issues caused by copying...)
JoeJitsu
82. Ty Myrick
@29 SCM 2814

This is the best suggestion I've seen for Androl's overcoming the dreamspike. It makes sense and sticks to the text description of him straining to make a gateway despite the counter effect of the dreamspike blocking gateways.

My take on Lanfear's idea of a choice is more along the line that we all have choices, even if we don't know the outcomes ahead of time. Especially when looked at from a fatalistic or uncaring perspective. "Of course it's your fault you were T-boned by a Mack truck and paralyzed for life. You could have chosen not to drive to work."
Janet Hopkins
83. JanDSedai
Toviene was easily Turned because there were 13 men readily available. Maybe other people who have been Turned do not qualify as Dreadlords, which would mean getting the 13 women to Turn Logain would have been harder.
Alice Arneson
84. Wetlandernw
Please don't forget that there were only five Turned AS from Pevara's group, and most of the initial group of AS (with Toveine) were with Logain's group. We don't know for sure how many of them were captured, but we do know that many of them were away from the BT when all this went down. It might simply not have been possible to muster a full thirteen - and it might require that all the channelers be the same gender. It might not, of course, but we certainly never see it with a mixed group, and there's no mention of such an attempt, so it stands to reason.
JoeJitsu
85. alreadymadwithpevara
It's not so much not seeing how male channeler madness works as not understanding how much the volatility is kept in check by the military style hierarchy the Asha'man maintain.

Even then, nobody really has a clear handle on male channeler madness aside from the males themselves. Pevara of course has a bit of an advantage seeing it from a third person perspective. One that has gotten what is essentially a ringside seat. But not I think, to the point of being conversant with all the possible ramifications provocation and loss of control can lead to.
Lindy Brown
86. lbrown
So I thought Lanfear meant that in general that is your choice if you didn't want to be turned to the shadow. I don't think she was talking specifically about the people being turned now at that location. She just meant you should be gentled to prevent the possibility of ever being turned.
JoeJitsu
87. AndrewB
Rhandric @ 73: If Hopper saw Perrin enter the Wolfdream in the flesh, he would have said "foolish cub."

Thanks for reading my musings
AndrewB
(Sent from my smartphone; please ignore any spelling mistakes)
T C
88. Freelancer
macster,

Ok, piggybacking on bad_platypus and Wetlandernw, there are now three commentors capable of reasonably good research who have uncovered no evidence of an RJ quote about Asmodean turning back to the Light. What I do have is Asmodean's final thoughts in the text:
Idly -- but with a shiver, too -- he wondered whether being reborn in this fashion made him a new man. He did not think so. Immortality was gone. That was a gift of the Great Lord; he used that name in his head, whatever al'Thor demanded on his tongue. That was proof enough that he was himself.
If the idea that referring to the dark one as the Great Lord is proof that he was still himself, it is corollary proof that the 'himself' he remained was a darkfriend.
Ryan Jackson
89. KakitaOCU
So not directly related to this chapter. But we had Mr. Sanderson at Phoenix Comicon this weekend. Was very cool meeting him, though part of me is sad, he autographed my AMOL backpack, so I'm not sure I can use it as a backpack anymore. :)

We did have some WOT questions asked, I sadly had my recorder break, so below are paraphrased, but still interesting.

- He stated straight out that Lanfear had additional plans in motion that can be figured out based on AMOL that none of the fandom has found yet (Or at least not posted). He was asked for specifics and gave a RAFO, then specified he meant that in terms of re-reading AMOL.

- He confirmed that Lanfear's compulsion of Perrin was only in AMOL and that she didn't like using it and so had not done so in their previous meeting back in the early books.

- Re: Deaths of major characters. His statement was that Jordan had left ending situations for nearly every character and that, with only two exceptions, if Jordan didn't specify, they had the character live. He confirmed one of those exceptions was Harriet's decision re: Siuan. He did not reveal the other.

- The idea of Compelling the Great Captains was one he and Harriet worked up. The notes apparently just stated that several of the great captains died and then everything was given to Mat. Since it was so vague, they had to come up with a reason for WHY the world would trust Mat like that.

- He acknowledged why Asmodean's killer was revealed the way it was. Apparently when he got the "Notes" from Harriet there was a sticky note on the top that just said "Graendal killed Asmodean" with no further explanation or notes. So they thought it'd be fun to provide the same type of blank answer to the rest of the community.

- Re: Tuon and Arthur Hawkwings meeting. Brandon said #1: That while Hawkwing might have issues with certain aspects of Seanchan society, as a whole he would have found Tuon and her people to be awesome. He further said the reason he didn't show the conversation is because that and the fall out was supposed to be part of the outriggers that we won't see, and so Brandon wanted to leave that open the way Jordan would have.

- Jordan made the decision of the True Nature of the DO. He said that straight out. He and Harriet rewrote and developed the battle the way it turned out, with the possible futures, etc. But the true key of the DO being needed for the world and Rand having to discover that and just restore the prison were Jordan's directive.

- Lastly, and IMO, most important. While he stated he was paraphraing from memory, he revealed the "Two sentances" that Jordan had left for the outriggers. The first was a scene of Mat in a wull cap laying in a gutter having gambled away everything. The second was a scene with Perrin on a ship thinking that he was going to have to go kill a friend.
Eric Hughes
90. CireNaes
MoM@43

Until next time...keep on Traveling!

@KakitaOCU

Very cool. Thanks for the report.
Don Barkauskas
91. bad_platypus
KaKitaOCU @89:
Re: Deaths of major characters. His statement was that Jordan had left ending situations for nearly every character and that, with only two exceptions, if Jordan didn't specify, they had the character live. He confirmed one of those exceptions was Harriet's decision re: Siuan. He did not reveal the other.
I could have sworn I remember reading that it was Hurin, but I can't for the life of me find the quote, so maybe I'm misremembering.
Ryan Jackson
92. KakitaOCU
That might be, there's been a few people that mentioned Hurin. So maybe that's it and he just spaced that he'd already revealed it during that panel.

I honestly wasn't that focused during that question. I've never really worried or been curious on the "Who wrote which part" thing. I actually whole heartedly approved of his attitude about it during the panel where he basically said he's already starting to forget who did what. Not re: anything Jordan had already actually written, but in the sense that he feels he's no longer sure what things were completely on his own vs what came from something somewhere in the greater notes or something Team Jordan mentioned to him.

Personally I am intrigued by the idea that we missed parts of Lanfear's plan.
Shane Carter
93. BankstownBoy
KakitaOCU@89. Oh no! When you say outrigger stories do you mean prequels or after AMOL? If post AMOL then that is what I don't want to imagine. I prefer to think of our heroes living out their lives bathing in their well earned glory. Let there be many prequels and contemporary stories dealing with as yet untouched parts of the WOT world.
Ryan Jackson
94. KakitaOCU
Those two lines were what Jordan had written concerning after AMOL. He had planned a set of books with Mat and Tuon as the main characters dealing with Seanchan.
Ron Garrison
95. Man-0-Manetheran
KakitaOCU @ 89:
Thanks for these notes. Brandon drops little info bits here and there, and it's fun to piece them together. I like the R-RAFO!

Deaths: Several times at JCon both Harriet and Brandon said that Bela was one of the deaths that wasn't specified by RJ. Harriet wrote the sentence that killed her because she was in a situation no horse could likely survive. It was a mercy killing.

Outriggers: Harriet has said several times that the "two sentences" are not sufficient to base novels on, and there would be NO outriggers written.
Glen V
96. Ways
Waaaaahhh. Harriet killed Siuan too.
Janet Hopkins
97. JanDSedai
NOOO!! We didn't even get to one hundred! It;s not over yet folks-- keep posting!
Roger Powell
98. forkroot
Seems to me that if Harriet killed Siuan she's complicit in Gareth Bryne's death too.
Terry McNamee
99. macster
@Wetlander, bad_platypus, and Freelancer: Huh. I just did a search too, not just of Theoryland's interview database but of the WOTFAQ, and I couldn't find it either. I could have sworn I read it somewhere, but it looks like I must have imagined it. Damn.

Then I guess that means we indeed have no proof that anyone who had given their heart to the Shadow can ever truly come back to the Light. Except possibly Tomas and Ingtar, and since we don't know how committed they actually were to the Shadow...

@89 Kakita: Fascinating stuff! I am wondering myself now what in the world Lanfear's plans are that we didn't pick up on. I'll pay close attention when I re-read AMoL... Also, while I completely understand why Bela had to die, and I am curious who it was Sanderson chose to kill off (I am tempted to say Hurin), I am sad Harriet killed off Siuan. Though I think I know why she chose that: a combination of us needing other high-tier characters dying to hit us hard, making Min's viewing have more meaning, and resonating with the idea that Siuan and Moiraine were willing to give their lives to the search for the Dragon Reborn. Siuan was looking forward to having a life of her own, after she was Healed of stilling and fell for Bryne, while Moiraine seemed dead. Once Moiraine was saved and married Thom, having Siuan (and Bryne) die maintained the foreshadowing while also including painful dramatic irony.

It's interesting that the Compulsion wasn't put on Perrin back in book 3--but clearly Lanfear's interactions with him then (and her meeting with Mat in the Tower) still foreshadow it. But wow...the whole plot of the Great Captains being Compelled was all Sanderson's? Talk about an awesome addition! Not only did it explain why the captains weren't available and Mat had to be trusted to lead all the Light's forces, it gave Graendal something to do and made her more of a threat again...and it gave us the poignancy of what the captains go through, and the awesomeness of Lan's stepping up to lead and Ituralde's resisting. I am a bit sad that Hawkwing apparently found the Seanchan to be awesome--is that him approving of their orderly, just society, or lingering traces of what Moerad/Ishamael did to him to turn him against the Aes Sedai? But perhaps he did still at least make Tuon implement some good changes, and the rest will come about when she and Mat go on their trip to restore Seanchan.

It also makes sense to me that Jordan came up with the true nature of the Dark One. Aside from this being a critical philosophical underpinning of the series which he would naturally have worked out early on, Jordan showed a very dualistic, Manicheean worldview of dark and light, good and evil, being equally balanced. As a result, it would be paramount to him to say that free will and choice are the keys of existence, that it's no more right to force people into good than to force them into evil and thus both sides are necessary so that people can continue to choose. Which of course makes Perrin's thoughts on the matter when he learned about Turning even more resonant.
Terry McNamee
100. macster
@79 Isilel: You raise some unfortunately good points (unfortunate, since it shows signs of poor plotting on Team Jordan's part), but two things--Taim always showed nothing but contempt for Androl, while Graendal knew nothing of his skill with gateways, so neither of them would have thought to try and cut his weaves until it was too late. By the time they realized the danger, he was already throwing out so many gates they could only flee--I'm not positive, but I don't think the weaves for a gate can be sliced once they are already made, so once the gates were coming at them, they had no choice but to run. Which also ties into the second point: the whole reason Moridin gave the dreamspike to Taim was so that a) no one in the Black Tower could escape and b) no one from the outside (especially Rand) could come to the rescue. But as soon as the dome came down and Traveling was possible again, Taim pretty much had to flee. The ones he was there to Turn could get away, so there was no point in staying; there wasn't time for him to grab the families to use for blackmail; and with gates sending balefire right back at them, plus the very real possibility Rand could come barreling in on a rampage, it was run or get killed. And finally, Taim had the seals--he knew he had to get away and make sure no one on the Light side got them back from him.

@83 JanDSedai: Lanfear didn't mention it, but the fact she said something is "lost" in the process of Turning and that she considers Turned people weaker tools suggests to me that they probably wouldn't count as Dreadlords to help Turn others. (Dreadlords by definition are people who have joined the Shadow, which implies choice.) If they did, she probably would have mentioned it.

EDIT: And I got the hunny, what a surprise! It could only happen on a previous week's post of course, when no one is posting much any more because it's old. And even then it had to be a post with less replies to begin with. Still, kinda cool. :)

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