Hi, Leigh. I'm a journalist who is really into looking at steam punk (if you don't mind) and getting a better look at your fucking terrific aesthetic. Is there any way/place I can get some photos of you at your best? Call me a twat, but I love the vision...AJ
Thanks again for the WoT re-read. I read most of it as it happened, the first go 'round, and now, doing my own full re-read (after blasting through AMoL, and realizing how much I forgot), I'm re-reading your re-read. (And suddenly, I'm apparently caught in some sort of recursive loop of re-reads.)
I'm also amused at how often you note that "as of KoD, we still don't have resolution of this", which also impresses me all the more with the sheer number of loose ends that Sanderson had to deal with.
Regardless, thanks again!
Just made an account to thank you sooo so much for the epic WOT re-read blog. I've just gone through the entire series in the past month, and now I can (finally) get to grips with AMOL fully recapped and ready :D
Didn't realize the shoutbox had such limited text formatting optinos. I reposted my wall of text in the comments of your ACoS Re-Read part 17 with actual paragraphs, which should make it easier on the eye.
I've just finished reading your ACoS Re-Read part 17. I agree with the with the general sentiment regarding Mat's treatment by Tylin- I had thought it was rape the first time reading it but it didn't quite set in until my second read through. After my 5th read through (Yes, you read that correctly) and on further consideration (brought upon by your re-read) I'm even beginning to think Mat might have developed a kind of a Stockholm syndrome during the Tylin story arc (though it might be a bit of a stretch).
However, I do not agree with the notion that RJ didn't realize that's exactly what he was writing. For another author it would've been fairly plausible, but RJ puts FAR too much consideration to just about every aspect of his work to miss or even underplay the ramifications of this story element.
I believe that RJ was deliberately making a point here, and in typical RJ style he gave us readers an "out" by camouflaging it with humor- the average reader who's not looking for anything more than a good read could miss it entirely or at the least be able to gloss it over thanks to Mat's, for lack of a better term, sporting response to the situation, but a more serious consideration reveals just how plain wrong this situation really is.
RJ's main point here is to show through his standard issue gender reversal schtick (TM) how skewed our society's perception is on this matter really is- if the genders were reversed this would've been one of the most horrifying occurrences in the entire series, possibly equaling or even eclipsing Morgase's rape at the hands of Valda or even her physical rape by Rhavin- Rhavin was a monster and viewed as such by the world at large, and Valda, while not quite on the same scale, was also largely reviled and his actions vilified and both eventually faced vengeance. Tylin on the other hand was largely viewed by most characters as a good person and suffered no negative interpersonal ramifications for the dead let alone justice or vengeance nor did she have any real motivation for her deed beyond her sexual drive (both Valda and Rhavin had ulterior political motives for forcing themselves on Morgase, Tylin had none and could very well be viewed has acting against her political position by threatening her relations with both Andor via offending Elayne and the Dragon Reborn by raping his close friend who is also one of his top generals and publicly slated to take command of the largest army assembled since Arthur Hawkwing's time). I also think it's no coincidence that this chapter follows so closely after Morgase's rape by Valda (separated by but a single chapter).
This is further driven home quite a few character responses- Mat's own words that he would never try to force his attention on an unwilling woman and the supergirl's reaction to finding out being to most glaring examples. The latter particularly strikes me as a rather strong criticism of society on the matter, not the least bit because of how true it rings- When Elayne believed he was the one forcing his attention on Tylin she was outraged and disgusted with him and even went as far as to rescind her promises to him (which, considering Elayne's character and the weight she puts on being true to her word is no small thing), but once he explains what really happened (including at least some of the abuse he's suffered in the process, if not the knifepoint thing) and even though he's obviously extremely uncomfortable with the whole situation Elayne's response was to practically laugh at him, make a rather tasteless joke and then turn to the other women where they proceeded to talk about his having DESERVED IT.
Now I don't know about you, but to me this sounds like a rather harsh criticism of society's double standards on these matters.
moving on to another point from earlier in the re-read, I remember you having mentioned you are somewhat unsure of why the maidens of the spear attach such a heavy emotional significance to Rand. This has got me thinking on the matter which in turn led me to realize just how deeply and thoroughly thought out RJ's writing is-
Just think for a moment about the Aiel's sciety and their costumes regarding the Maidens in particular. any maiden who comes with child is faced with a terrible choice- either give up her baby (just about the most terrible thing you can demand of a mother) or abandon her entire life as she knows it. Those that give up the spear are gone from the maiden's roof, quite possibly avoiding the maidens henceforth to put the pain of that choice behind her, while those that give up their baby HAVE GIVEN UP THEIR BABY. They don't even get the comfort of knowing he's well in another's care since the Wise Ones handle the adoption in secret, and in a society as warlike as the Aiel that means the children of the maidens are swallowed up in a veritable ocean of orphans which means it'll be impossible to discover their identities (even the adopting parents aren't told they're adopting the child of a maiden).
Given how sexually liberated Aiel society is (not to mention the Maiden's own reputation in the matter) this probably isn't a rare occurrence either.
Now just imagine how it must be for those maidens that haven't suffered though that particular nightmarish choice- over the course of the years they must've lost friends to this choice, women who couldn't bear to abandon their child and thus left the maidens forever, and even more painful, they must've known friends who chose the other way and gave up their child to stay with their spear sisters.
A lifetime of hearing your friends cry themselves to sleep over a lost child is no easy thing to bear.
Then Rand came along- the first child of a maiden to be known as such in the whole of Aiel history. Should it be any surprise that so many of the maidens project onto him the image of the child they've had taken away or feared to have, or the brother they never knew?
Breaks my heart just to think about it...
Just been reading your re-read of the conclusion to The Shadow Rising, and enjoyed your comments about the reference to Jason and the Argonauts. I don't think I'd spotted that connection myself.
Anyway, I'm sure you're already familiar with Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, but there's one scene that always tickles me in reference to the Jason story. It's in Interesting Times.
Mr Saveloy tries to tell Cohen about this hero who sowed dragon's teeth, which grew into magical fighting skeletons. Cohen doesn't believe it: 'If you sow dragons' teeth, you should get dragons. Not fighting skeletons. What did it say on the packet?'
I came a bit late to your reread party, mainly because i wanted to wait until ALL of the books are finally out. I reckon i should catch up with you somewhere around december...which should be perfect timing!!! Many thanks for three years full of very entertaining posts. btw.....if you combine all the psts and comments you far surpass the numbers the number of actual WOT pages, but im sure you know that well by now.
One quick question.... I notice that there has been almost no comments on the first few books in a couple of years. Are there any plans for an actual "Reread of Leighs Reread"as hinted at on Aprils fools day last year? Given that they were written before Gathering Storm came out, a lot of your posts become even more hilarious with the extra hindsight...