Feb 18 2014 2:00pm

The Wheel of Time Reread: A Memory of Light, Part 49

A Memory of Light Robert Jordan Brandon Sanderson Wheel of Time rereadWheel of Time Reread! Something witty! Yeah!

Today’s entry covers Part 13 of Chapter 37 of A Memory of Light, in which I am sad, puzzled, and nauseated by turns. The nausea, admittedly, having probably more to do with the bout of food poisoning I am recovering from than the text, which is why this entry is a little short.

Previous reread 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 reread is also now available as an ebook series, from your preferred ebook retailer!

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

And now, the post!

Before we get started, a plug for alla y’all to go check out the annual Con or Bust auction, administered by Kate Nepveu. Cool swag to be had includes A Memory of Light backpacks, a print of one of the Wheel of Time e-book covers, AND two memberships to JordanCon! And that’s just the WOT-related stuff.

Seriously, go check it out, it’s for a great cause. The auction ends this Sunday (February 23rd), so don’t wait!



Chapter 37: The Last Battle [Part 14]

What Happens
An exhausted Berelain deals with the chaos in her palace as wounded continue to arrive from all over the battlefield; she cannot help but look for one particular Whitecloak among those who are brought in. She talks to a blinded Aiel, Ronja, about why the gai’shain will not fight even at the Last Battle, and says they should be here helping carry the wounded, then. One of her maids, Kitan, comes to get her, and brings her to her own quarters, where she finds Annoura tending to a severely wounded Galad Damodred.

“I felt that I owed it to you,” Annoura said. “I located him on the battlefield after Demandred announced what he had done. I pulled him away while Demandred fought against one of the Black Tower’s men.” She sat back down on the stool beside the bed, then leaned forward, drooping. “I could not Heal him, Berelain. It was all I could do to make the gateway to bring him here. I’m sorry.”

Berelain tells her it is all right, and is shocked to see that Annoura is crying, and then the Aes Sedai passes out. Berelain realizes that Annoura’s face is no longer ageless, and that she must have burnt herself out. She feels great sorrow for Annoura, who was a friend despite their recent differences. She covers Annoura up to rest, and goes to Galad’s bedside. He wakes, and Berelain tells him that his hand is lost, but perhaps the Healers can do something about the wound to his face. Galad, however, refuses, saying they should save Healing for those who would die without it.

She hesitated. “The battle fares poorly, doesn’t it?”


“So now… we simply hope?”

He reaches for something under his shirt, but loses consciousness before he can do so.

Huddled in the darkness, Rand weeps as he is forced to watch people die as the battle rages on, the Dark One attacking him at the same time, trying to tear him apart.

Rand watched Davram Bashere die in a charge, followed quickly by his wife. Rand cried out at the fall of his friend. He wept for Davram Bashere.

Dear, faithful Hurin fell to a Trolloc attack as it struck for the top of the Heights where Mat made his stand. Rand wept for Hurin. The man with so much faith in him, the man who would have followed him anywhere.

Jori Congar lay buried beneath a Trolloc body, whimpering for help until he bled to death. Rand wept for Jori as his thread finally vanished.

Enaila, who had decided to forsake Far Dareis Mai and had laid a bridal wreath at the foot of the siswai’aman Leiran, speared through the gut by four Trollocs. Rand wept for her.

Karldin Manfor, who had followed him for so long and had been at Dumai’s Wells, died when his strength for channeling gave out and he dropped to the ground in exhaustion. Sharans fell upon him and stabbed him with their black daggers. His Aes Sedai, Beldeine, stumbled and fell moments later. Rand wept for them both.

He wept for Gareth Bryne and Siuan. He wept for Gawyn.

So many. So very many.


The Dark One entreats him to give in and stop fighting, and Rand, crushed by how very wrong his vision had gone, is tempted to obey, but holds on, barely. The Dark One tells him he has one more thing to show him, then.

Enraged by his forced retreat from “that Aes Sedai ridgecat,” M’Hael obeys Demandred’s summons to come to him. Demandred is resting, and M’Hael thinks that the sa’angreal he is using takes something more from him than just strength, and wonders if he can take advantage of that. Demandred asks for an explanation of his failure; M’Hael says she has a sa’angreal of great power, and complains that he is not allowed enough True Power to defeat the Amyrlin. Demandred tells him that he has killed the woman’s Warder, and orders him to go back and kill her, as she should be “easy meat” now. Then he offers M’Hael his own sa’angreal.

“You say she has a sa’angreal,” Demandred said. “With this, you will have one as well. I grant you Sakarnen to take from you any excuse for failure. Succeed or die in this, M’Hael. Prove yourself worthy to stand among the Chosen.”

M’hael asks, what if the Dragon comes, and Demandred scoffs that he would never use it then, as their strengths must be matched to show he is the better. M’Hael thinks he has gone quite mad, and that his time in Shara had weakened him, and thinks the proof is that he would give such a powerful item to a rival. He draws Power through Sakarnen, preparing to destroy the Forsaken.

“Take care,” Demandred said. His voice sounded pathetic, weak. The squeaking of a mouse. “Do not channel through that toward me. I have bonded Sakarnen to me. If you try to use it against me, it will burn you from the Pattern.”

Did Demandred lie? Could a sa’angreal be attuned to a specific person? He did not know. He considered, then lowered Sakarnen, bitter despite the power surging through him.

“I am not a fool, M’Hael,” Demandred said dryly. “I will not hand you the noose in which to hang me.”

He orders M’Hael to go and destroy the Amyrlin, and to use balefire to do it, as the world “must be unraveled before we reweave it to our vision.” M’Hael snarls, but obeys, deciding to deal with Demandred later.

Whoa, I forgot that Annoura burnt herself out to save Galad—just because she knew what he meant to Berelain. That’s… that’s some serious friendship there. Or serious guilt, over the Masema thing. Or both.

Actually, that entire scene is stuffed to the gills with Noble Acts—of which I certainly include Galad’s insistence that Healing his face was not important. I mean, it’s obviously The Right Thing To Do, which meant that Galad was always going to say that, but he didn’t even hesitate. And you know, I think most of us would have, even those of us who don’t have freakishly beautiful faces. ‘Cause, you know, it’s not like he’s getting another one. At least not until they invent plastic surgery, and even then it’s not a guarantee.

I’m not entirely sure that made sense, but never mind. My point is, everyone is terribly noble and self-sacrificing and it’s making my heart hurt.

Not nearly as much as did the next scene, though.

Because, ow, my feels.

I’m being a little flippant, but this passage, where Rand just rattles off a laundry list of people who died, really hit me hard, and remains one of the clearest things I remembered about the book when I finished it for the first time. And I think it was not just who died, but the way we were told about them: one blow right after another, no pausing. Just, really, ow.

Especially cruel was finding out about Hurin’s death literally minutes (in reader time) after having a POV from him. I might contend, though, that the description of Jori Congar’s death was the worst of the bunch. Because the others at least went down fighting, but Jori could have been saved, and wasn’t. It was just such a pointless, unfair, stupid way to die that it upset me more than the others’ did. Which probably doesn’t make sense, because it’s not like the other described deaths were so much more pleasant. And yet. I’m tearing up all over again right now, thinking about it. Because I am apparently a giant sap.

So let’s move on to more cheerful things, like Taim getting a super powerful sa’angreal to unravel the world with!

…Which, seriously, I don’t get the logic on Demandred’s part on this. Unlike Moridin, Demandred doesn’t actually want to obliterate the universe, so does he not get that that’s what will happen if they keep balefiring everything? He says to M’Hael that they’re going to break it down so they can rebuild it the way they want, but unless I’m wrong, that’s not what the Dark One is going for at all. So have none of the other Forsaken besides Moridin figured this out?

…Actually, now that I think about it I’m not clear which scenario is the real endgame. Moridin wants total annihilation of the world, while Demandred and (presumably) all the rest of the Forsaken just want total domination of the world (you know, just that), but which one is the Dark One actually going for?

I’ve been assuming that he wanted the “Rocks fall, everyone dies” Moridin version, but then he’s been sitting there showing Rand all these dystopian visions of how the world will be after he’s won, which indicates that (a) total obliteration is not the goal, and thus (b) it’s actually Moridin and not Demandred et al who’s deluded about what the purpose here is. Which is actually counter to what I’d been assuming all this time.

Weird. Well, silly me, I guess.

So does that mean balefire wouldn’t totally destroy the Pattern? …Or maybe, it might or might not do so, and the Dark One doesn’t actually care one way or the other. Like, either Moridin’s version or Demandred’s is fine with him?

*shrug* Dunno. What do you think?

And here’s where we stop for now! Each to our tasks: me to chug down more Alka-Seltzer, and never eat anything again ever, and you to discuss things that… aren’t that! Or something! See you next Tuesday!

1. DougL
I am going to assume that the DO just lied to the Forsaken about his ability to rebuild the world, we've seen no evidence that he is capable of doing so. I think it more liked that Moridin figured it out, and not based on discussions with the DO, but discovering lore in history and establishing his beliefs based on circumstantial evidence.
2. _Elena
Yay, the new post. Now I have an excuse to stop studying -- Leigh, you're awesome.
Ron Garrison
3. Man-0-Manetheran
I am of the opinion that Moridin is the only one of them that figured it out. The rest are still hooked on the "Look at me, I'm Ruler of the World" fantasy. And would the DO lie? Well duh. He's the "Father of Lies." We also know that he uses their greed to control them. He must maintain their fantasy.
4. Stromgard
I'm not sure. Unlike most of the Forsaken, Moridin is insane. (It could be argued that Graendal and the late Semiraghe was, too).

I don't really think that we can take Moridin's word for anything. Remeber, he is the guy that went Forsaken - publically - since he figured out logially that the DO existed and that the DO would inevitably win.

Yeah. I know, right? Maybe he was NEVER sane.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
5. AlirozTheConfused
Well, maybe DO could make a world, but only a very simple, limited one. Maybe one with a very few atoms in it.
6. ShawnRF
I think it is just as likely that the DO has no plans for the world other then to escape his prison. Since the world is part of the pattern, the only way to get ouside of the pattern is to take care of the world problem. I think if the DOs had won the battle with Rand there would have been no world to recreate or rule.

Just my 2 cents.
7. MGP
I'm not sure we can ascribe human motives to the Dark One. As far as I can tell, his promises to individuals are based on manipulating that individual into following a certain course of action. He wanted Moridin to face Rand, so he promised to grant Moridin's desire for oblivion upon completion of that task. He wanted Demandred to be his general, so he promised to set up a new world with Demandred as its ruler. He wantted Rand to give up, so he promised a slew of horrible alternatives to sap his will to resist.

It's possible that he has no goal further than breaking the Creator's toy. If he can do that, maybe he'll try to prove himself the Creator's equal (or superior) by making a new world. Ultimately, there's no way to know what his plan is.
8. _Elena
Oh, I'd forgotten Bashere died here. I remember being really, really sad -- I'd hoped til the last minute he would survive, Broken Crown or not. IMO both he and his niece were sacrified on the altar of 'let's make Faile queen', which is a twist I saw coming since book 5 or 6, and one, perhaps the only aspect of RJ's writing that I really hate.
9. Stromgard
He could just as easily lie to Moridin by showing HIM exactly what he wants to believe. Moridin WANTS oblivion, remember? And during the end of the Third Age, the Shadow stopped using balefire to avoid undoing creation. DO could just have ORDERED them to keep doing it, and promising them a new world afterwards.

Come to think of it, all the DO needs to do to win is having Dreadlords portal around the world like madmen, balefiring EVERYTHING. The Lightpeople wouldn't be able to keep up. And creation would fall apart.

So, yeah. My bet is that DO does NOT wanna destroy creation. He wants it in his own image.
10. nipper
I just want to know if Galad won the best with Mat (that he couldn't kill 20 channellers).
Adam S.
11. MDNY
I always thought the DO told the truth to Rand. When Rand made his version of the world, with Elayne's dead eyes, the DO said he wins even if he loses. I think the DO doesn't even care if the world is destroyed by balefire, or ruled by trollocs and the foresaken, or the Dragon turns and works to enslave and kill his friends. Any of those scenarios would satisfy him.
Hurin's death hit me hard. The others are bad, but Hurin's death was one of the most painful to me in this book (after Bella). Bashere was awesome (his wife less so), but his death was expected to make the way for King Goldeneyes. Annoura's burning herself out for the man Berelain loves was a noble act of self-sacrifice, but she was never a character I felt strongly about, plus she is still alive at least. Maybe Setelle Anan can help her out once this is all over...
12. Stromgard
Also, balefiring of entire CITIES, with hundreds of thousands of people removed, didn't break creation 3000 years ago. I'd think that it would take more than what can be done in this battle to undo creation.
Rich Bennett
13. Neuralnet
Part 13.. wow this chapter (and the reread) is unstoppable!

It always seemed sort of vague to me what the DO's end game was. Remember the portal world Rand went to back in book 2. supposedly that was a world where the DO won. But I am not sure I believe that is what would really happen here if Rand loses to the DO. What does it mean if the DO escapes his prison anyway? I tend to think Moridin is wrong and insane... the DO is just telling him what he wants to hear and has no intention of releasing Moridin to oblivion if he wins... The DO would remake the world and probably keep Moridin around. but who knows??
14. BreakTheSeals
"I might contend, though, that the description of Jori Congar’s death was the worst of the bunch. Because the others at least went down fighting, but Jori could have been saved, and wasn’t. It was just such a pointless, unfair, stupid way to die that it upset me more than the others’ did."

Thinking this is RJ's reflection of real war, people die pointlessly, even when the overarching war might have some lofty goal or purpose. Sucks, and these are just the characters we are aware of from previous plotline, there are thousands (millions?) of other trolloc-fodder all over this battlefield.
15. Another James
I wonder if Annoura burned herself out trying to heal Galad but failing because she didn't know he had the fox medallion. She should have noticed the weaves vanishing but maybe too tired to notice.
16. Phigment
I think it's a mistake to anthropomorphize the Dark One too much.

The Dark One isn't really a distinct person. It's a thing. A force. It's power married to evil, so that it can only be turned towards evil ends.

More to the point, it's a dark mirror. When you stare at it, you don't see something else. You see the evil parts of yourself, magnified and rampant.

So, Moridin sees oblivion, because that's the evil which captures his imagination. Most of the other Forsaken see their own eternal dominion, because that's the evil at their cores. Demandred sees the world dissolve and a new world born in its place, because he's bought into this whole "Bao the Wyld" thing too much and gone loopy.

Speaking of which, Demandred is not mentally well at this point. Communing with the Dark One earlier in the series clearly removed a few tacos from his mental family pack, and becoming a messiah figure for the Sharans has not made him more reasonable and thoughtful. The man is smart, he's strong, he's dangerous, but he's not rational, and that's important to remember when examining his actions.
17. BreakTheSeals
" clearly removed a few tacos from his mental family pack "


Thank you! Clearly, you win the thread.
18. James Spangler
Hurin... *cries*

I felt bad here for Rand, because as much as this section in some ways felt like an almost-contrived punch in the gut (something I really was down on the last Harry Potter book for; that is, pointless killings of major side characters to increase tension), it really puts the reader in Rand's place.

He's fighting, yes, but even as he fights, the world he's fighting for is unraveling bit by bit. Each death is one more wound for him, because as much as he would like to "fix" things, the world he knew is literally dying as he watches in the form of the people he knew and loved.

My only impression of the Forsaken and the Dark One at this point is that nobody can actually claim to know what the Dark One's goal is, and attempting to do so is an exercise in futility. The only concrete prediction we can make about the DO's endgame is that the world we know would end and be remade in some form; whether even the DO knows what form that will be is entirely up to question at this point, since even Rand's attempt to create a total utopia earned a "Not bad!" from the Father of Lies.

Most of the Forsaken are obviously sold on the "follow me and you will rule in the new world" line. Moridin, just as clearly, maintains loyalty because after he went on his uber-nihilist streak the DO promised that he would simply obliterate the world.

The DO, just as clearly, cannot be trusted on either of these counts. I see no reason why he would feel himself bound by promises of any sort to his servants, nor any indication that he ever actually found those promises binding.

The only sure and certain thing is that the world the DO creates would be horrifying by any reader-perspective standard.
Nathan Martin
19. lerris
Destroying the Creator's toy is a win.
Stealing it for your own is also a win, and perhaps a sweeter win at that.
Sean Dowell
20. qbe_64
Way back in the prologue when I was trying to break-down how long the AMOL re-read would take, I had 6 or 7 parts penciled in for the last battle. Boy was that misguided.

Leigh, I bet when you started this series, you wouldn't have imagined it would take you 4 months to read one chapter.
Kate Nepveu
21. katenepveu
Thanks for the signal-boost, Leigh!

Just to clarify, the JordanCon memberships have been donated to Con or Bust to give out free to any fans of color/non-white fans who want them; they aren't up for auction. If you're a person of color/non-white and interested in going to JordanCon for free, check out the link!
Christopher Kennard
22. Wani
As much as the scene with everyone kinda dying is depressing, I totally just realised it's kinda foreshadowing the bit later on when Rand shoves all the people who are still fighting despite all this in the DO's face . And that bit is awesome.
Andrew Berenson
23. AndrewHB
Rand's PoV here was a different way to tell the readers some of the named characters who died. I thought it was effective.

MDNY @11. Will Perrin actually be the King of Saldea? Or will he just be the consort of the Queen?

I do not think Demandred was lying about having bonded the sa'angreal. He could not have been dumb enouugh to give a rival a weapon that M'Hael could use to kill Demandred.

Do we ever get Demandred thoughts about Egwene defeating M'Hael? If we did not, that is a PoV I would like to have had.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Deana Whitney
24. Braid_Tug
Oh, the list! It was about 10 pm when I got to this part and I was crying my eyes out after this part. Then I got it together just long enough to be hit again and again.

@ 15, A.James: I think she burned herself out making the Gateway. Wasn’t her power level relatively low? Still a sad / great sacrifice for a friend.

You know, Faile does have some younger siblings. She could decide to step aside for one of them.

DO: think @19 has it right.
25. Ellanora
I have many complaints about AMoL but one thing I love about this book is what it did to Galad. By the end of AMoL I really liked him as a character - he still has many of the same irritating character traits as before, but in AMoL you seem them _really_ tested and his nobility, selflessness and desire to do what is right really shine in the context of the LB, while previously they kind of grated.
chris reiser
26. halibulu
"...He knew all secrets. He could see what the Dark One had done. And Light, Rand understoood. Much of what the Dark One had shown him was lies. But the vision Rand himself had created--the one withouth the Dark One--was truth. If he wished it..."

So there you have it, straight from AMoL itself. The Dark One never would have, or even could have created oblivion as Moridin wished. I believe at best, or worst, He would have fractured the world, and left it as a basically dead, pale imitation of a world with nightmares within.
Colt Seavers
27. Duffy12
AndrewHB@23 - Will Perrin actually be the King of Saldea? Or will he just be the consort of the Queen?

From Brandon Sanderson's blog regarding the writing process for the final three books - "Robert Jordan instructed that Perrin become a king,..."

And from aMoL chapter 1 - "Sure as the wind and the sky, Perrin had become a king. A different kind of king than Rand-a king of his people, who lived among them."

I would have to say a definite yes on that.
28. MRCHalifax
The way I see the Dark One's actions, it first presents Rand with horrific scenarios that Rand will recognize as terrible, and them politely offers a Gentlemanly 'stalemate.' The idea is to trick Rand into choosing the latter. If he thinks that that's the best option, he might go for it.

It's telling that oblivion is the Dark One's trump card and final offer. Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way, and that's what the Dark One is going for, trying to trick Rand into letting the Dark One have its way.
Ron Garrison
29. Man-0-Manetheran
halibulu @ 26: thanks for the quote!

Also to reply to some other suggestions, the DO didn't promise Moridin oblivion or utter destruction of the world. That was Moridin's conjecture.
Mike DMonte
30. MickeyDee
Does the Dark One lie? To quote that outstanding observer of human nature, Dr G House:

"Everyone lies."

So yeah, the DO lies. Moridin lies. Mat lies. Suian lies. The Creator lies. Demandred lies.

Sometimes these characters lie knowingly, sometimes unknowingly.
Terry McNamee
31. macster
I was rather shocked myself by what happened to Annoura. We knew it could happen of course, and with all the channeling and overtaxing going on it was simply a matter of time before someone burned themselves out in the Last Battle. But who it was, why, and the circumstances was still upsetting. I had always liked Annoura, and once it was clear she wasn't Black I felt no reason to stop doing so. But this...how self-sacrificing! Even if she did feel guilty about the Masema thing, she also clearly did it for Berelain. And since as we know it was this act which enabled Galad to get Mat's medallion to Berelain, who gave it to Lan, it's yet another example of one minor character's important role in the Pattern to help the Light win Tarmon Gai'don. The Creator bless you, Annoura Aes Sedai

Side note: I was rather amused by the interlude with Ronja, particularly when he spoke about no one wanting to suffer Berelain's wrath, and being confused when asked who could order gai'shain to abandon ji'e'toh. It was also interesting seeing a blind Aiel.

The scene with Rand...yes, I wept too, and I agree with Leigh as to why it was so effective. We can say all we like that these characters we've known so long deserved long and important death scenes, but that isn't the way real life works, or war, and Jordan knew that as well as anyone. While this sort of thing was not SOP for the series up until now, it makes sense the game would change come the Last Battle, and seeing people we care so deeply about dying quickly, without fanfare, one after another, is exactly the way it should be done. At least in this case a character was showing the proper remorse over the deaths, as some had complained hadn't happened with others. I'd also contend that as short as the descriptions were, they packed a punch because of the way the deaths were written.

I also have to make note of the fulfillment of another Min vision: turns out Beldeine's black knife was the one wielded by the Sharan that killed her, rather than a Shadowspawn blade or something of the Shadow in general. And I also have to note the important point that just before Rand starts seeing those who are dying, he runs through the list in his mind again--and while it starts with the women, it eventually includes all who have or are dying. It isn't right for him to take the burden of their deaths onto himself (though the fact he wants to is very much needed, good, and right, and makes him the Messiah he is) but it's good he's no longer being "chivalrous" about it.

"How it galled him to put himself beneath another." Well now we now why Taim acted so much like Demandred all the time, aside from having been trained by him. It seems pretty clear that he did take the role of Demandred in the Third Age (and, as I stated last week, this may have saved Logain from falling into it instead).

Although Taim calls Demandred a fool for giving up Sakarnen, I have to twistedly admire him for doing so--not just because of how ballsy this was when he knew very well Taim was his rival and planned to take him out, but because of the reason for it. Eliminating Egwene and the Aes Sedai is obviously key to the Shadow's victory, but the fact he wants to face Rand alone, without Power augmentation, and prove he's better than him that way, is almost admirable. He's also quite right about Rand, since we know he only took Callandor because of wanting to use its flaws to trap Moridin and otherwise would never wield it. As for Taim's doubts, he answered his own question without knowing it: Callandor had been attuned to Rand--not in the sense that only he could use it, but that only he could draw it from the wards holding it in the Stone of Tear--so it stands to reason Sakarnen could also be attuned. Exactly how this works we have no idea, since it's unlikely Lews Therin was present when Callandor was made or Barid Bel when Sakarnen was (unless it was made by the Shadow after he turned?), but the evidence is before us. I wonder if this will be covered in the encyclopedia?

As for what the Dark One wants, Verin did say understanding such a thing isn't possible for mortals. But recall that the first vision he showed Rand, of everyone in a horrible, dictatorial land of wickedness and death, was just "what men expect". It stands to reason that what he wants is simply to have his way, to have control over the Pattern and remake the world as he wishes. Whether this happens through conquering the land as is, or unraveling the Pattern through balefire and then reweaving it, either way he's won. So it seems to me he wouldn't quibble about the means or the exact nature of his victory.

Demandred is not necessarily deluded as to what the Dark One wants, he just may not realize the Dark One would be as accepting of Moridin's plans as his. Or perhaps he thinks he can convince the Dark One to leave the world as it is so that he can still rule. Or that unraveling the Pattern is the only way for the Dark One to create a world in which the Shadow rules, and his favored Chosen will somehow be preserved from this. Or he's just gone so Cloud Cuckoolander in his mad-on against Rand that he isn't thinking clearly any more. Maybe if he can't defeat and kill Rand he'll settle for taking him and the rest of the world with him in a twisted variation on "If I can't have--er, kill you, no one can!"

@1 DougL: That's entirely possible too.

@7 MGP: I like the way you put that, makes a lot of sense and covers all the possibilities, I think. It may be the Dark One can recreate, or not; that he doesn't care whether he wins by the world being destroyed or being remade; but in the end all that really matters to him is escaping and winning. Whatever has to be done to make that happen is fine with him, though if he can gain further power/satisfaction out of the exact method or results, all for the better.

@10 nipper: Good point. I have the feeling he did, considering how many Sharans we saw him kill. We never see Galad after this scene, let alone with Mat, so there's no way to know, really.

@11 MDNY: That's assuming Setalle survived... :(

@15 Another James: Good point, but as you said she should have noticed. Then again, maybe it was just from making the gate. We don't know how strong Annoura was in the Power but to make a gate all the way from Merrilor to Mayene after she was already tired may have been all it took.

@18 James Spangler: Well said.

@22 Wani: That is indeed a nice parallel, since it's not just a case of them fighting on anyway, but listing each one, one after the other, and their reasons for doing so, a similarly relentless litany of awesomeness.

@23 AndrewHB: No we don't. The closest we get is him acknowledging the death of Egwene when he tells the Light's forces "This is the end!"

@26 halibulu: Precisely, very good point. So Moridin was in fact the deluded one, and it makes sense--we have no evidence that the Dark One can create since after all he is not the Creator, so he wouldn't risk obliterating everything even if he could, unless just getting free was all he cared about. And similarly, he doesn't have the power to obliterate either, just fracture, twist, and remake what is already there.
Cameron Tucker
32. Loialson
@ 31 macster

Brandon confirmed that Setalle Anan survived. Don't have the source quote, but I definitely remember being HUGELY relieved about that. I love that woman so much, one of my favorite side characters.
Glen V
33. Ways
Leigh - Demandred is the sap, not you. And get better!

The DO won't destroy Creation if it can't recreate *something* to feed from. DOs need suffering 'humankind' to replenish/increase their ego/darkness.

I sincerely hope Nynaeve will heal Annoura.

Neuralnet @13 - IIRC, if the DO won in one world, he won in all. Maybe that portal world was just a possibility, not a true alternate reality. Help me out here.
34. Rand al'Todd
Re 13 and 33 - the Portal world Rand visited in tGH was NOT one where the DO won, but only one where the Shadowspawn had won during one of their invasions (I think the Trolloc Wars but I'm not sure.) The monument to Hawkwing had become a monument to various Trolloc tribes instead.

I don't recall the actual wording in the applicable chapters but it could be that even on that world the folks in Seanchan, Shara, etc. are still alive.

There is a difference between Trollocs killing and eating all the people on this continent (but leaving the pattern in control) vs the DO winning (and the pattern being destroyed).

Rand al'Todd
Captain Hammer
35. Randalator
@12 Stromgard

Also, balefiring of entire CITIES, with hundreds of thousands of people removed, didn't break creation 3000 years ago. I'd think that it would take more than what can be done in this battle to undo creation.

Uh, did you miss the part in AMoL where reality literally began to crack and the only thing that held it together was Egwene's Flame of Tar Valon weave?

@33 Ways

I sincerely hope Nynaeve will heal Annoura.

Sorry to disappoint you but there's no silver lining for Annoura. Stilling/Gentling can be healed, Burning Out cannot.

Stilling/Gentling severs the link between channeler and One Power, but leaves the inate channeling ability intact; it's like a cut power cable which can be repaired with a little metaphysical soldering.

Unfortunately, Burning Out is something else. In keeping with the analogy, Burning Out fries the entire circuit board in the channelers brain (or maybe incarnated soul?). You don't just lose the connection, you lose everything required for channeling. There's no coming back this side of dying and being reborn...
lake sidey
36. lakesidey
@35 Randalator: That's what they said about stilling before Nynaeve and her stubbornness showed up. Can't be healed - even the Chosen Forsaken said so. They said it about taint-madness too, as I recall. I wouldn't put it past her to figure out a way...

Glen V
37. Ways
@35 & 36
Ah, yes. Forgot that little detail (too focused on things WoK). I like the way lakesidey thinks, though.
Captain Hammer
38. Randalator

Unless Nynaeve discovers yet another way of Healing that surpasses even AoL Healing, I very much doubt it.

Even AoL Healing which is still far superior to any 3rd Age Healing (be it classic or Nynaeve style) could not restore something which was completely lost. What Nynaeve did with Stilling/Gentling was to invent a new technique to Heal a very specific "cut", but the injured "limb" in a manner of speaking was still there. The same is true for Madness, even more so as the brain itself was still healthy but proper function disabled by something external. She removed it like Compulsion, which it was after a fashion. The process itself despite being called "Healing" had nothing to do with any form of Healing. And it was also known in the AoL but those who knew the required process were either not sufficiently skilled to tackle Madness or couldn't be bothered (as would probably be the case with Compulsioness extraordinaire Graendal).

With Burning Out, however, the very thing that needs to be Healed is gone.

If Nynaeve figured out a way to do it anyway, that would be very bad storytelling as it removes any sort of consequence from the world of magic. Actually by extension it would remove any sort of consequence from the world period, as you'd probably be able to Heal death itself.
39. Ilmoran
My take on the DOs motivation/endgame goal is that it's a bit more meta then simply "I want to remake the world" or "I want to destroy everything and have permanent oblivion."

I think really want the DO "wants" is to have someone use it (the DO) to inflict their will over all of creation. The DO is a force more than an entity, I think it's "fulfillment" is to be used for selfish reasons against all of creation. I like the analogy that the DO is a dark mirror, it reflects the evil of an individual. It's ultimate achievement would be to become an evil reflection of the Creator, i.e. inflict evil (whether it be oppression, torture, destruction, etc) over all of creation, thus becoming the Creator's dark equal. It doesn't care about the exact nature of this influence (removing everyone's capacity for evil is still winning, because it's still removing free will from all of creation), just the high level picture of what happens.

I feel like the DO couldn't achieve anything on it's own (again, thinking of it as a force); it needs the will of others in order to achieve anything. To me, that's supported by Rand's line toward the end that the DO was never their real opponent (paraphrased); I take it as meaning that the DO doesn't have the power on it's own to do anything, it needs to be utilized by others, therefore the real problem isn't the DO, but the actions others do in the name of serving the DO.

Karen Fox
40. thepupxpert
@ Various - I like where the conversation is going with regard to the DO being a force to be used by the numerous evil-type characters throughout the series. So then my question is, if the Dark One is a force, does it really have a voice? Or is Rand actually have the physical and mental fight with himself? Conversely I would assume that we're applying the same theory to the Creator, so once again, is this all going on in his head? I'm assuming the answer is yes because we get a POV from Nyn that he and Moridin were just standing there. If that's the case then I would assume that he has the ability to physically manipulate his universe (ie, saidar & saiden) but the actual struggle of good vs. evil is, and has always been, in his head?
41. ajh
How did Demandred know that he killed Egwene's warder?
A spy I assume? Can we link that info to Moghedien, or do we know of another spy?
Tane Aikman
42. Greyshade
"Wheel of Time Reread! Something witty! Yeah!"

Heh. Leigh, you funny. Thanks as always, particularly for crawling out of the sickbed (or away from the toilet).

Re: the series of deaths. I would have preferred more of a death scene for the Basheres, but this was well done - a series of punches to the gut, even if the writing was a bit melodramatic. I wish we'd had more of this powerful emotional reaction to deaths. This was one of the things I remembered the most from the book too.

Re: Demandred. One of the pleasant surprises of AMoL was how good a villain he was. That colossal inferiority complex, the brains, the swordsmanship, the sparks of decency. He's a bit of a Magnificent Bastard. Nice work.
43. DougL
Oh ya, and Leigh, happy 4th anniversary!
44. DougL
Oh, how like a man hehe

Happy 5th year anniversary! lol
Captain Hammer
45. Randalator

You accidentally made her one year younger. I think you're good.
46. alreadymadwithdeaths
Strangely enough, the names that stood out to me were Karldin and Beldeine. You guys remember Karldin, one of those Asha'man Soldiers that were seconded to Rand along with Jahar, Eben and Damer. He was then sent on the not-so-secret mission with Loial only to return just in time for the aftermath of Dobraine's attempted assassination and to lock horns with Sashalle.
Beldeine was one of the loyalist Aes Sedai taken in Dumai's Wells. Egwene's trip to Rhuidean had her as a future Keeper of the Chronicles. Min's viewings showed her taking an Asha'man as Warder.
Two rising stars cut short.
47. Maiden of the ButterKnife
Hello everyone! First time poster here, but long time lurker. I finally caught up to the re-read! :) Go me.

Little background on myself: Have read through the series multiple times, and identify most with Egwene and Aviendha *cowers, covering self with hands* ...

*peeks out* Oh good. You didn't destroy me. :)

Ok, so I found this odd here in the interaction between the DO and our boy Rand: the DO tries to destroy Rand, but then is like, "oh, wait a second...one more thing I have to show you before I annihilate your soul. Just a sec...mmmkay?"
And how in the world is Rand resisting the DO trying to rend his very soul and being apart? This isn't some random channeler we are talking about here, this is the Big Baddy himself, the ultimate evil...the DO.
We aren't really given any insight into this, just that "it was hard, but he did it", and so on and so forth...
Walter Jones
48. wjones42
I don't have my copy of Eye of the World, so maybe you guys can help. Talking about Egwene (Ack! Ack!) is it possible that she and Gawyn were the reincarcinations of the Aes Sedai Queen of Manatherin and her king? IIRC, she and he died in a manner very close to Eggy and Gawyn.
49. dsv
There's a question that I've been wondering for a while: for maximum meta points, when this reread finishes, will there be a reread of the reread?
50. DougL
@48 wjones42

Then they were way, way, way cooler in the story Moiraine told.
51. Maiden of the ButterKnife
@ 50. DougL

LOL! Hey now. ;)
53. Maiden of the ButterKnife
@ 52. thepupxpert
Ahh, thank you for the welcome. :) It's good to be here. Well, I've /been/ here a long time, as a lurky-loo, but it's nice to...you know...be interacting and all. ;) I think I've been a tad bit intimidated prior to this. There seems to be a core group of long-timers, and (to me) dissenting opinions as to certain subjects don't seem to be welcome. Regardless, I decided to dive in, so again, thank you for the welcome! :)
54. Lord Foul's Bane
@26 - IMO, I think you nailed it here. There's no point in being evil if you don't have anyone to be evil to.

@40 - I think that while The Creator and the the Dark One are both forces, they both manifest personalities and voices as needed to further their aims when they feel they need to (see TEotW, Chapter 51, Rand's POV for an example).

@49 - Lordy, I hope not! LB will have more time to work on her other read! ;) (BTW, hurling one's guts out is NOT fun. Hope you feel better soon, Leigh!)
Glen V
55. Ways
Maiden of the BK-
Welcome! I had the same fear when I first came out of the closet (so to speak) a couple of years ago. You will likely be corrected for factual errors, but they're fair game and that's part of the learning process. We often disagree with Leigh or take her to task for belaboring her own beliefs and agendas (but we still love her!). What might get many of the commenters fired up is over-the-top criticism of the way Brandon handled something, or just generally calling him a poor author. There are/used to be a few forums devoted to Brandon-bashing and they are far better venues for that type of activity. I expect you've seen all of this already if you've been lurking for a while. And I'm certainly not trying to discourage dissenting opinions and lively discussions. You can see a bit of that going on up-thread. Many of us have met face-to-face at JordanCons over the last few years, and there is a private Facebook group (WoT TorDOTcom rereaders) where many of us carry on about all things Sanderson and much more. You are welcome to join in there too if you wish, just send a request to join. I've rambled on more than I intended, so I'll just say welcome to the Bunker again and sign off.
Alan Perry
56. stepper
@31 Macster -- thanks, I had not thought about Rand being 'attuned' to Calindor in that way... I had honestly assumed that Demandred was bluffing , buy you make a good point

@32 Loalson -- oh Thank the Light... I had wanted to ask about Mistress Anan but was afraid of the answer! Any word on Hanin or Varden?

@33 Randalator -- no offense but I hope you are incorrect about Burning Out not being able to be healed, I had hopes for one of the Ashaman (who heal women better) not only finishing returning Leane to her full strength (and Siuan of course, sigh... sadness).. but also healing Anourra and Setalle Anan

@47 Maiden of the BK -- first Hehehehe! love the name!! Maybe I can become a Maiden of the Fish Fork or something! :)

Anyway welcome! Felt a bit intimidated myself sometimes, as there are some incredible experts here. Still, I have been here since close to the beginning, and when I do post, I've found the feedback interesting and fair

So, while I am at it... I've had a thought in mind since 'way back' (I do believe there is Sherman and Mr Peabody movie coming out), that I didn't have the nerve to post at the time (not being sure how it would be received), but now I think it will be taken with the humor with which it is inteneded.

So, back in the reread of ?The Great Hunt? or possibly even TEOTW... Moraine and Lan take our Young Heroes to an inn named Easing The Badger. In the post many of us snickered and laughed and admitted we all thought it was a bit risque or somehow a sort of tongue and cheek adult joke though could not really explain why...

Personally, I always felt that taking our Young Heroes to that particular Inn was Not Nearly as significant as the fact that Lan and Moraine chose NOT to take them to the rather less reputable establishment across the street, the aptly named Greasing the Beaver!
57. Faculty Guy
Maiden@47: So, I'll restrain myself from yelling at you ("We do NOT angrily reject dissenting opinions!") and thereby prove your point. I agree with Ways that what gets "rejected" is anything bordering on overt hostility/rudeness. I don't think I remember seeing a reasoned argument or even criticism blasted, although people certainly may disagree with it. Anyway, welcome.
Valentin M
58. ValMar
Faculty Guy, a "reasoned argument" is in the eye of the beholder ;)
Deana Whitney
59. Braid_Tug
@53, First welcome.
Second, I don't remember in what post, but someone did basically call Brandon a "bad writer". But "he" did it by pointing out flaws as he saw them, with a well-reasoned arguments.

Many of us here still did not agree with him, but the way he argued was commended. At least the second time around. The first post was rather less well worded.

Or go re-look at post 46 of this book. There are some massive Wall o’ Text arguments, but done well.

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