Sun
Jul 15 2012 10:00am
Read an Excerpt From Chapter One of A Memory of Light

A few lucky fans at San Diego Comic Con got to hear Brandon Sanderson read from Chapter One of Robert Jordan’s A Memory of Light, the final book in the Wheel of Time series.

In this short excerpt, a wind rises from the Mountains of Mist, traveling east and north across the land, retracing the Dragon Reborn’s steps until it finally blows back the flaps of his tent.

But where does it find Rand al’Thor? And with whom?

We are pleased to reveal the excerpt for all to enjoy. In many ways, it is the beginning of the end.

 

Chapter One

 

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.

Eastward the wind blew, descending from lofty mountains and coursing over desolate hills.  It passed into the place known as the Westwood, an area that had once flourished with pine and leatherleaf. Here, the wind found little more than tangled underbrush, thick save around an occasional towering oak.  Those looked stricken by disease, bark peeling free, branches drooping. Elsewhere needles had fallen from pines, draping the ground in a brown blanket.  None of the skeletal branches of the Westwood put forth buds.

North and eastward the wind blew, across underbrush that crunched and cracked as it shook.  It was night, and scrawny foxes picked over the rotting ground, searching in vain for prey or carrion. No spring birds had come to call, and—most telling—the howls of wolves had gone silent across the land.

The wind blew out of the forest and across Taren Ferry. What was left of it.  The town had been a fine one, by local standards. Dark buildings, tall above their redstone foundations, a cobbled street, built at the mouth of the land known as the Two Rivers.

The smoke had long since stopped rising from burned buildings, but there was little left of the town to rebuild.  Feral dogs hunted through the rubble for meat.  They looked up as the wind passed, their eyes hungry.

The wind crossed the river eastward. Here, clusters of refugees carrying torches walked the long road from Baerlon to Whitebridge despite the late hour. They were sorry groups, with heads bowed, shoulders huddled.  Some bore the coppery skin of Domani, their work clothing displaying the hardships of crossing the mountains with little in the way of supplies. Others came from farther off.  Taraboners with haunted eyes above dirty veils. Farmers and their wives from northern Ghealdan.  All had heard rumors that in Andor, there was food.  In Andor, there was hope.

So far, they had yet to find either. Eastward the wind blew, along the river that wove between farms without crops. Grasslands without grass.  Orchards without fruit.

Abandoned villages.  Trees like bones with the flesh picked free. Ravens often clustered in their branches; starveling rabbits and sometimes larger game picked through the dead grass underneath.  Above it all, the omnipresent clouds pressed down upon the land.  Sometimes, that cloud cover made it impossible to tell if it was day or night.

As the wind approached the grand city of Caemlyn, it turned northward, away from the burning city—orange and red, violent, spewing black smoke toward the hungry clouds above.  War had come to Andor in the still of night.  The approaching refugees would soon discover that they’d been marching toward danger.  It was not surprising.  Danger was in all directions.  The only way to avoid walking toward it would be to stand still.

As the wind blew northward, it passed people sitting beside roads, alone or in small groups, staring with the eyes of the hopeless.  Some lay as they hungered, looking up at those rumbling, boiling clouds. Other people trudged onward, though toward what, they knew not.  The Last Battle, to the north, whatever that meant.  The Last Battle was not hope.  The Last Battle was death.  But it was a place to be, a place to go.

In the evening dimness, the wind reached a large gathering far to the north of Caemlyn.  This wide field broke the forest-patched landscape, but it was overgrown with tents like fungi on a decaying log.  Tens of thousands of soldiers waited beside campfires that were quickly denuding the area of timber.

The wind blew among them, whipping smoke from fires into the faces of soldiers.  The people here didn’t display the same sense of hopelessness as the refugees, but there was a dread to them.  They could see the sickened land.  They could feel the clouds above.  They knew.

The world was dying.  The soldiers stared at the flames, watching the wood be consumed.  Ember by ember, what had once been alive instead turned to dust.

A company of men inspected armor that had begun to rust despite being well oiled. A group of white-robed Aiel gathered water—former warriors who refused to take up weapons again, despite their toh having been served.  A cluster of frightened servants, sure that tomorrow would bring war between the White Tower and the Dragon Reborn, organized stores beneath tents shaken by the wind.

Men and women whispered the truth into the night.  The end has come. The end has come.  All will fall.  The end has come.

Laughter broke the air.

Warm light spilled from a large tent at the center of the camp, bursting around the tent flap and from beneath the sides.

Inside that tent, Rand al’Thor—the Dragon Reborn—laughed, head thrown back.

“So what did she do?” Rand asked when his laughter subsided.  He poured himself a cup of red wine, then one for Perrin, who blushed at the question.

He’s become harder, Rand thought, but somehow he hasn’t lost that innocence of his.  Not completely.  To Rand, that seemed a marvelous thing.  A wonder, like a pearl discovered in a trout. Perrin was strong, but his strength hadn’t broken him.

“Well,” Perrin said, “you know how Marin is.  She somehow manages to look at even Cenn as if he were a child in need of mothering.  Finding Faile and me lying there on the floor like two fool youths...well, I think she was torn between laughing at us and sending us into the kitchen to scrub dishes.  Separately, to keep us out of trouble.”

Rand smiled, trying to picture it.  Perrin—burly, solid Perrin—so weak he could barely walk.  It was an incongruous image.  Rand wanted to assume his friend was exaggerating, but Perrin didn’t have a dishonest hair on his head.  Strange, how much about a man could change while his core remained exactly the same

“Anyway,” Perrin said after taking a drink of wine, “Faile picked me up off the floor and set me on my horse, and the two of us pranced about looking important.  I didn’t do much, Rand.  The fighting was accomplished by the others—I’d have had trouble lifting a cup to my lips.”  He stopped, his golden eyes growing distant.  “You should be proud of them, Rand.  Without Dannil, your father and Mat’s father, without all of them, I’d wouldn’t have managed half what I did.  No, not a tenth.”

“I believe it,” Rand regarding his wine.  Lews Therin had loved wine. A part of Rand—that distant part, the memories of a man he had been—was displeased by the poor vintage.  Few grapes in the current world could match the favored wines of the Age of Legends.

He took a small drink, then set the wine aside.  Min still slumbered in another part of the tent, sectioned off with a curtain.  Events in Rand’s dreams had awakened him.  He had been glad for Perrin’s arrival to distract him from what he had seen.

 

A Memory of Light copyright © 2012 by The Bandersnatch Group, Inc.

120 comments
Rob Munnelly
1. RobMRobM
"Events in Rand's dreams"?? More Moridin? Battle of Camelyn - but how would he dream that?

Lots of questions.

Rob
Taydon
2. Taydon
Caemlyn is burning and the world is dying. But Rand can still laugh.


~sigh~ How long do we have to wait now?
Nadine L.
4. travyl
Rob, I thinks he is referring to the last scene of ToM with Lanfear weeping and begging for help.
Taydon
7. wolfscloud
thankyoumoreplease?
Please, sir, I want some more :)
Taydon
8. Gambit
Reading this excerpt just made the wait for AMOL that much worse! *tapping fingers*
Taydon
9. Chrystina
Can't wait till January!
Brandon Daggerhart
10. BDaggerhart
Great excerpt, really makes me want to read more. Finally, we get to start seeing in Rand's head again!

My thoughts are agreed with those above - he's disturbed by Lanfear's particular vintage of Crazy-Broad.

Weird subject they're talking about - I mean, I know Rand was all business in LoC, and maybe I'm just misremembering, but did he and Perrin not catch up at all then?
Taydon
11. andrew schulte
Wow!Wow! cant wait. just started The Gathering Storm for the first time. This will come out just in time for me to finish Towers of Midnight.
Taydon
12. Rick13
I can't say enough about the writing here. I can feel the world taking its last breath. Reality hangs on by a fingernail. It has come full circle. The wind rose in the Mountains of Mist, just as it had in EOTW. What was...may yet fall under The Shadow.
I hate to see it end after being captivated by this story for over 20 years, but I really can't wait for January 2013.
Let The Dragon ride again on the winds of time.
Chris Chaplain
13. chaplainchris1
You feel the despair, the darkness, the hopelessness. All is lost. Then...laughter. And you know it's Rand.

SO. GOOD.
Matt Wright
14. matty42
So glad that Perrin and Rand are back together.

This wasn't nearly enough. More please!
Taydon
15. Yasmin
How glad i am it finally is summer, can't wait for winter to come and with it the final epic book of "The Wheel of Time" ...
Kimani Rogers
16. KiManiak
Oh yes, thank you!

Rand POVs! Rand and Perrin in the same camp, actually talking and hanging out like friends!

And yet, Caemlyn burns and the rest of the world is suffering; the Dark One's effect has even found a way into Rand's camp in the way of armor becoming rusted. Ominous, indeed...

Thanks for whetting the appetite, Team Jordan and Tor.com!
Sydo Zandstra
17. Fiddler
What I find interesting is that Caemlyn obviously has been sacked, even if that was expected.

I wonder what happened to Talmanes and the part of the Band of the Red Hand that didn't follow Elayne to Cairhien. I have a strong suspicion that they didn't rush into Caemlyn, because the city was already in flames at the end of ToM. There also may be some Mat-Ta'verenness going on, but that is a guess.

Still, it means that the secret weapon (Aludra's Dragons) still hasn't been revealed to the forces of Dark, barring a DF having seen the test shootings and realizing what it would imply for battle tactics. And it would take a military leader mind to realize what that would mean for battle tactics. What I mean here is that the Trollocs came from within the city, and there was no chance for anybody to use the Dragons against them. Range and all...

So, if Talmanes used common sense, and he has been seen to apply that before, he may have picked up some free extra Dragons in Caemlyn.

(Although I have no idea how many were made at that time. I also forgot if Talmanes stayed at Caemlyn or if he went with Elayne; my basic thought stands though. There's free Dragons in Caemlyn, after the Trollocs are done eating there ;-) )
Jackey Hankard-Brodie
18. jmh0303
How long until January? WAY too long!
Taydon
19. HecticDude
Such a **** tease! Can't wait for January!
Tricia Irish
20. Tektonica
Thank you, Tor!

The scene is set! The world dies, but Rand is still in a good state of mind. The descriptions of the world and the despair is very very real. It's great to see Rand with Perrin again, and Min asleep in the next room.

Disturbing about Caemlyn in flames ;-( Though, not unexpected.

Fiddler: If the Dragons were being made in Caemlyn, mighten they have melted in the conflagration, or the ammunition have blown up? I hope the Band had them before the attack, but I'm totally in the dark on the time line between when the Dragon order was placed and funded, and the Trolloc attack.

It sounds like the "next day" is the meeting with Egwene! Oh boy, oh boy.
**licking chops**
Sydo Zandstra
21. Fiddler
Tek,

This Chekov's gun has been a mantlepiece for too long. ;-)

If they are going to do anything, Mat should have as many as he can get his hands on :)
Eigor Maldonado
22. e-mann
Aauugghh, why do you torture me so TOR, why?!!! Need more, will do anything for MORE!!!

Meanwhile, at TOR Offices, the person responsible for these events watches. “Yes, yessss; that’s right. Squirm for me, all of you. Squirm for my amusement.” And they giggle, evilly into the night.
Taydon
23. Gambitiam
What about Caemlyn, and Oliver...? I wish I knew the timeline of how the sack of Caemlyn coincides with the marshalling of forces near Tar Valon. Did Rand dream of Lanfear the same night the Trollocs burst upon Caemlyn? How close are Mat and company? Oh, how long till January??? Too long!
Alice Arneson
24. Wetlandernw
Fiddler & Tektonica - FWIW, there were some dragons outside Caemlyn, in the hills, being used for training. Some had been taken to Cairhien for demonstrations there, so they might (or might not) still be there. The rest, Elayne had been collecting in a secret warehouse in Caemlyn. Unfortunately, "secret warehouse" doesn't sound like it was within the Palace grounds; it would be a nice little twist if (after Mat's observation that the Palace could be defended on its own if the city were taken) the remaining dragons were inside the Palace and could be used on the Trollocs outside. (I do expect - or maybe just hope - to see that the Palace was defended and isn't in complete ruin, but... Elayne will have a right mess on her hands.)

Anyway, Talmanes probably at least knew about (or maybe was leading in) the training in the hills, so he should be able to snag those dragons. As for the rest... well, if they can destroy the Trolloc horde eventually, they should be able to reclaim them - assuming they didn't, as Tektonica suggests, melt down in the burning city.

Also, a note regarding some discussion that hasn't come up here yet, but I saw on theoryland...

Someone was bothered that Rand/Lews was disappointed in the quality of the wine, while in another scene Moridin had noted that the vintners of this time made some really good stuff. In case anyone cares, I did note here that Rand's thought wasn't so much that it's impossible to find good wine, but that not many grapes now could match the wines he had favored back in the AOL. This suggests that either Moridin was able to obtain the rare good stuff and Rand didn't have it, or at least not here, or that they just had very different taste in wine. :)
JAMES MCCLELLAN
25. ZEXXES
My guess is that this is Rand visiting Perrin's army who probably pushed back and routed the invading army. But not in time to save Camelyn.

Mat is probably in Tar Valon retrieving the Horn of Valere. And I suspect the Band has retreated to Cairhein along with Elayne, Birgitte and whatever part of the Band went with them.

The Dragons likely weren't made within the city walls for security sake, as well as the shear number of foundries needed to make them, wouldn't make having them within Camelyn's walls sensible . They could very likely have set up originally near Rands school and then moved to Cairhein for safety.

Just some thoughts. I have to read back to the end ToM to find out if my assumptions don't work.

Z
Alice Arneson
27. Wetlandernw
sps49 - The prologue hasn't been released in full - just the excerpt about Jarid Sarand. I expect the ereader version will be on sale in a couple of months now. And of course, this isn't the whole of Chapter One yet, either; just the excerpt that Brandon read at ComiCon. Again, they'll probably put that on tordotcom along in November or December.
Jana Sedai
28. Deadsy
Zexxes, I think you need to re-read the excerpt in its entirety. It says exactly where they are, and close to when they are.
Theresa Gray
29. Terez27
Wetlander—Rand is the most important person in the world, and with all the traveling he's done, it's hard to believe he hasn't had the best wines this Age has to offer. And Moridin didn't think about his secret wine-making cabal; he just thought this Age knew how to make good wines. :p
Alice Arneson
30. Wetlandernw
Terez - Dunno - as much as Rand has been on the go, and not stopping much to enjoy himself, I don't find it at all hard to believe he hasn't had much chance to sample the best wines this Age has to offer. He may be the most important person in the world, but he's also just about the busiest. He's also not (up to this point) made himself known as a wine connoisseur, so it's not guaranteed that anyone (much less everyone) would be bringing the best of their cellar to offer him when he's in the country. Just suggesting alternatives; I personally don't see too much problem with him frowning at the vintage available in camp.

Of course, it's also possible that Moridin has been getting his wine from other places, as someone suggested yesterday. If he hasn't been restricting his activities to Randland, he might not really bother to point out the fact (and for obvious reasons, RJ and BWS wouldn't want to!!) that this particular wine came from Shara or Seanchan.

Or maybe Moridin's idea of a great wine is white zin.
Taydon
31. SoCalJayhawk
Just one quibble about your intro.
In many ways, it is the beginning of the end.
We all know that
There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time.
But you could say it's a beginning to an ending.
Theresa Gray
32. Terez27
Wetlander—For example, Ellorien complimented him on his Tunaighan Hills vintage in Caemlyn, so there's one; clearly she was showing off her connoisseur's tongue. Why would any other scenario be different? He doesn't have to find the wine himself, any more than he has to waste time and effort to bring ice down from the mountains to chill it. He moves in a world where details like this are automatic, and expected.
Alice Arneson
33. Wetlandernw
Well, then, it's time to convince yourself that Moridin likes big cabernets and Lews Therin liked trockenbeerenauslese. ;)
Taydon
34. Silence
I want to know what happened to Taren's Ferry. Last time we heard anything about that they were rebuilding, had elected a new mayor and Wisdom and seemed to be back on track. Now it is suddenly a wasteland of rubble and starving dogs. Did the Two Rivers get hit by Trollocs again or what?
Rob Munnelly
35. RobMRobM
@33 How sweet (for LTT at least)....
William Fettes
36. Wolfmage
I think the two sentiments about the comparative quality of wine are compatible.

First of all, "few grapes" matching an unspecified number of favoured wines in an unspecified market niche and at unspecified availability doesn't mean very much. Rand's statement does not at all preclude there being many good wines in Randland.

Rand refers to favoured wines, so we can reasonably go a few ways in terms of guessing his opinion. He might be referring to the baseline quality of mass market wines, compared to the average quality that gets served in Randland now. This might accord with the apparent popularity of fruit-based punches and mulled spiced wines served around Randland. Or he might be referring to the upper end of the market, and the sheer number of wines in the elite class compared to the more limited number of elite wines in Randland. That certainly makes easy, intuitive sense, as Randland would not have the economies of scale or the plant husbandry and specialisation of a high culture. Or it could be some combination of things involving the hybridisation and commodification of seeds creating a booming industry of exotic varietals, along with, say, flourishing dynasties of wine-makers perfecting their techniques beyond the ken of what is known in Randland.

I don't think Moridin being surprised by the quality of some particularly fine wines he has discovered in Randland contradicts any of that - especially when we know the Forsaken habitually underestimate the current age. When you're sufficiently moved by and surprised by the sheer quality of a new product to extoll its virtues, it's not an automatic jump to complain that there aren't more like it. Moridin expected dreck so he was positive about finding something good.

I must say, the text's fixation on “grapes” is somewhat awkward as wine quality isn't primarily about the grapes per se. The grape is one thing - but you can have the best grapes in the worst and produce a crap wine. Even more important determinates of quality wine are things like the soil, microclimates, pruning regime and not overwatering, storage and aging on the lees, and whatever percentage wood contact – depending on the variety of grape. It is the combination of viniculture and viticulture techniques that make good wines.
JAMES MCCLELLAN
37. ZEXXES
28. Deadsy

Ok from what I can glean from this, Perrin arrived after Rand. Camelyn is smoking after being battered. There are Gaishain there. So that can mean either Rand or Perrin's army are present. But there is no mention of Mat, his Dragons, Elayne the Andoran army, the Band or any such. So what am I getting wrong besides the order of arrival of Rand and Perrin? There are refugees on there way to Andor. A bunch of towns have been either abandoned or sacked. A bunch of people are in shock and are finally aware how near the end really is. Rand is happy that Perrin's soul is still intact. And Rands is not at all happy that the wine vintage sucks. Perrin seems happy to tell the tale, but seems to be unnerved by Rand as well.

After that is anyone's guess. Nothing definitive is presented or even implied! I'm just making guesses. But if mine are unlikely, please do state why.

Z
Dustin Williamson
38. Steerpike
@Zexxes
They are at the Field of Merrilor, I believe. At the end of ToM both Rand and Perrin were there but we did not see them meet as Perrin had just arrived. Also this is an excerpt from chapter 1 so I doubt Perrin or Rand has had time to fight any battles for Camelyn.
Alice Arneson
39. Wetlandernw
ZEXXES - It's pretty clear from the text that Rand and Perrin are at the Fields of Merrilor, and we know from the previous book when they arrived there. This is the same night as the end of ToM - that's why the servants are expecting a battle between the White Tower and the Dragon Reborn come morning.

When you put the two together, you know that Egwene, Elayne, Gawyn, Morgase, Rand, Perrin, Galad and their respective forces are all there together this night; morning will inevitably bring some kind of confrontation between the Amyrlin and the Dragon. We don’t necessarily see all of them in this excerpt, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Mat, on the other hand, is not there; while we don’t have definitive proof yet, it’s pretty likely that the scene with Mat, Thom and Moiraine camping out is this same night but many leagues away. (It’s also possible that it’s a day later.) The portion of the Band that went to Cairhien and then Merrilor with Elayne would be there; Talmanes, Olver and the dragons are still in/near Caemlyn.

Oh, and Caemlyn? It's not "smoking after being battered" - it's burning right now because the Trollocs are in the process of spilling into, burning and destroying the city. One of the things this chapter is doing for us is setting up a jarring juxtaposition between the destruction being wreaked upon Caemlyn even as the massed forces of Randland wait uneasily but quietly on the Fields of Merrilor, while the Dragon Reborn shares a moment of laughter with one of his oldest friends.
Jana Sedai
40. Deadsy
Zexx, they are at Merrilor. Rand has just woken up from his dream of Lanfear, which he had while at Merrilor. Perrin had just arrived as well. Mat exited the Tower of Ghenjei on that same night. He has no way of travelling away from there speedily until Grady arrives at noon.
Taydon
41. Arthurphilipdenu
Thanks for the awesome chapter excerpt!

Just a quick question: the first line of the second last paragraph says
"I believe it." Rand regarding his wine.
Should that be "said Rand, regarding his wine." or something similar?
Theresa Gray
42. Terez27
When I transcribed it, I put:

"I believe it." Rand regarded his wine.

But yeah, the official version has a typo.
Theresa Gray
43. Terez27
Oh, and I apologize for being an obnoxious nitpicker. It's what I do. ;)
Taydon
44. Chris Punches
I wonder if Robert Jordan knows that some of us have played Skyrim. Perhaps someone should tell him.
Taydon
45. Mndrew
Shut up and take my money!
Mike McD
46. msmcdon
What a glorious child-like glee, to open up tor.com on a Monday morning and see new WoT!
Marcel xxx
47. lowlandr
In many ways, it is the beginning of the end.[/quote]
it is... It is weird to know that this will end...
I'm really looking forward to this book, to know 'what will be'.
Kat Blom
48. pro_star
If the world ends in 2012, before we masses get to read this...I will be very dissapointed!!!!

I want more!!!! ...countdown is on.
T C
49. Freelancer
Lovely snippet. Obviously at Merrilor, obviously awaiting the next confrontation between Rand and Egwene. Perrin's entourage had arrived at Merrilor in Ch.53 of ToM, and there's no reason he would have returned to Caemlyn after having just left.


On the wine, there is no accounting for taste. One man's nectar is another's used bath-water. Judging the finished work of the vintner is as individal and subjective as anything, so there is little use in crafting an anomaly from two different people reacting differently to wines.

On the topic of wines, the French are threatening to stop selling California wines in their restaurants, in response to a silly new law in California banning foie gras. I'm amazed the French ever allowed the supposedly inferior American wines to be offered alongside their own, but the big question is, so what?
Taydon
50. jemron
Yay!

Finally a POV of Good Rand that isn't a weird dream. I love that he is reminiscient of "being Lews Therin" but is also entirely himself.
Alice Arneson
51. Wetlandernw
Freelancer - of course, you said it more succinctly... :) Well said.

And.... WHAT??? They banned foie gras?? You have some very strange people running your state, my friend. As for the French ruling... does anyone really buy California wines in France anyway? Seems like a rather empty gesture, there.
Ashley Fox
52. A Fox
Tantalizing.

Ok I have a random thing Id like to get your opinion on. Im rereading the series for the realease of this book, read them all once back to back a few years a go (and then subsequent releases), and have not been on any boards related to WoT. So...

Is Moiridin Isam's son?

Does the herald of three foxes in Fal Dara have anything to do with the snakes/foxes that Mat has so much troubl with?

Bit random, I know, any feed back welcome. x

EDIT: why did I put a kiss on the end? -_-
Kat Blom
53. pro_star
A Fox - because you love us so much.

I'm away from my books and haven't looked in a while - but isn't Moridin Ishmael? (spelling?)

And yes, there has even been talk about banning Foie Gras up here in this part of soviet canuckistan too, since the force feeding a duck is cruel and unusual punishment.

Come on, if I'm gonna die, may as well stuff me full of tasty easts so at least I can go out happy! (I am now so going to hell)
Roger Powell
54. forkroot
Nice touch with the wind originating in the Mountains of Mist, just like in TEOTW. However, it zig-zags quite a bit to touch all the places that BWS wants to refer to - the whole sequence seems a bit strained.

I also found it jarring that Perrin would be discussing the incident with Faile and the stairs with Rand at that point. Remember, Perrin and Rand saw each other for a while right after Dumai's Wells, which would have been the more logical time for telling that story. At this point, it's old news compared to all the stuff that has happened to Perrin and Faile in Ghealdan and northern Altara.

To be honest, if this were my first exposure to Brandon's handling of the series, I would be panicked. Fortunately, I've seen what a good job he did with TGS and ToM, so these remain minor quibbles.
Taydon
55. marcopolo
Time to start my reread!!!!!
Deana Whitney
56. Braid_Tug
Exciting! But I'm a little fuzzy... is Perrin talking about after his return to the 2 Rivers? I don't remember him being that weak...

Re: Wine. Brandon (as a Mormon) probably doesn't drink wine.
And very few laymen really understand the wine making process. Therefore, the whole "different grapes = better wine" thought might come from a misunderstanding of the process. Which even LTT could have from AOL, and Rand carries since 2 Rivers is not a wine making region.

Caemlyn: so I hope we hear more about in the book without having to do a ton of jumping around the timeline. Best guess right now is that we'll get someone's view point in the prolog. Fingers crossed!
Roger Powell
57. forkroot
BT@56
But I'm a little fuzzy... is Perrin talking about after his return to the 2 Rivers? I don't remember him being that weak...
Perrin is referring to when he was severely wounded by Trollocs in the Two Rivers. This happened all the way back in TSR.

He lost quite a few men to a Trolloc ambush (possibly set up by Luc) - they stumbled back to the Two Rivers where Alanna had to heal him. He was bedridden, but concerned about getting the Manethren waygate closed (he didn't realize that Loial and Gaul had gone to do that.)

Anyway, weak as a lamb, he tries to get out of bed and go downstairs (he was at the al'Vere's Inn). Faile tried to stop him and they both ended up tumbling downstairs to the chagrin of Marin al'Vere. It's actually a pretty funny scene in the middle of all the tension building at Edmond's Field.

But ... (as I noted above) ... it happened quite a while ago. Perrin later left the Two Rivers, participated in the battle at Dumai's Wells and then had some time with Rand before their mock fight and his secret mission to Ghealdan. That's why it's odd that he would be relating the incident now.
Alice Arneson
58. Wetlandernw
A Fox @52 – Short answer? No, and no. :)

Long answer: Moridin is Ishamael in a new body after Rand killed him in Tear. We don’t know who the body belonged to before the DO gave it to Ishamael; we do know, though, that Slayer (the Isam/Luc duality) is commanded by Moridin later and is loaned out to a few others periodically.

The Three Foxes is the house sigil of Jagad Agelmar, current lord of Fal Dara; as far as I can tell, he has nothing whatsoever to do with the Eelfinn who are represented by the Foxes of “Snakes and Foxes” and accessed via the Rhuidean doorway and the Tower of Ghenjei.

@several re: the conversation between Rand and Perrin – given how things work in real life, I don’t find it at all surprising that they would be telling this particular story now. When they met up before, Rand wasn’t in much of a mood for funny stories, and frankly neither was Perrin, though it might have done them both good. Even if he did tell some of it then, Rand might simply want to hear it again, and Perrin might be telling a different angle on it this time. Just because a story has been told (or partially told) once doesn’t mean it can’t ever be mentioned again, and the way real people function, it usually is mentioned again – and again, and again, if it was any good.
Glen V
59. Ways
Stock the bunker with good wine (for a January celebration).

Wet @58 - last paragraph makes plenty o' sense. Was thinking along the same lines about aftermath of Dumai's Wells.
Gary Singer
60. AhoyMatey
Thanks Tor and Team Jordan. It's always nice to get these teasers.

Terez27 @43: No need to apologize! Someone has to keep things on the straight and narrow... :)
Ashley Fox
61. A Fox
@wet. Mmmm, cheers. Was the body I meant. There just seems to be much made of the fact that the mother and child were taken but no bodies found. It is assumed that trollocs ate them. However, as you mention with Slayer , such assumptions are not always correct. I dont know- Moridin with his dark drifting eyes just seems to have been worked over quiet a lot, and if he has been in SG since infancy...thats a lot of time to prepare him for that power. I did get the impression that he was well established there, others fear etc, and is body is relatively young.

But then again...this is why im rereading!
Taydon
62. Ryanus
The body doesn't really have to be prepared, as we saw in discussion with Aran'Gar and Osan'Gar the shadow grabs whatever available humans are about the then shoves the soul of the forsaken into the most suitable body from the DO's perspective. All the power, all the ability, all that darkness in the eyes comes from Ishamael's soul in the body, the body could have been a borderland's general or a random farmer, it's all the same.
Taydon
63. Felix Pax
Why has literally no commenter who posted previously, picked on one of the clues for one of the biggest Wheel of Time plot twists of all?

Where does Hope exist? Where is protection? Who offers these?

Now what's clue, you ask? These lines:

The approaching refugees would soon discover that they’d been marching toward danger. It was not surprising. Danger was in all directions. The only way to avoid walking toward it would be to stand still.


In a nutshell, "hope" "protection" and yes, even "justice"... is near to these Refugees.

Who have offers these things? Not Rand al'Thor, nor Perrin Aybarra. Two individuals can together offer these things, in this location actually. Who? One is the Dragon's soul. One is the Shield's soul. (Each is a name for a Star constellation or Stark in the Heavens above, claims Egwene & Mat. Related to a Min's foretelling in TEOTW book.)

Who is the Shield? Artur Hawkwing's soul. Who is that presently? Mat Cauthon. Who is the Dragon soul? A man of many masks, labels, and names. Who is presently at "Grand Traveling Show and Magnificent Display of Marvels and Wonders". Valan Luca.

Dragon soul offers protection.
Shield's soul offers justice.

They're the two individuals, whom the "Easing the Badger" tale is about. A tale Moghedien, Graendal & Birgitte each know of, with different names from the 2nd Age. Myth isn't myth, to these three in particular.

Separately, where are the wolves, located in the area?
Answer: Hopper and other Wolves in literally at the "Grand Traveling Show", now. Additionally, Hopper knows Perrin's isn't safe to tell this.

Min's Aura Viewings in TEOTW book are accurate. Together individuals are stronger against the Shadow. This Excerpt has shown, that Two Ta'verens plus Two Ta'verens have been grouped together.

1st: Ta'veren indirectly shown as being grouped nearby: Mat Cauthon, Valan Luca.
2nd: Ta'veren directly shown together: Perrin Aybarra, Rand al'Thor.

This AMoL Chapter 1 Excerpt, also in parallel Mordeth's claim in TEOTW Chapter 19: "You are all dead!" he cried. "All dead!".

If you had a party to choose to join, it would be far livier to pick the 1st Ta'veren grouping....
Birgit
64. birgit
Artur Hawkwing's soul. Who is that presently? Mat Cauthon.

Mat cannot be Hawkwing reborn. He met Hawkwing at Falme.
Theresa Gray
66. Terez27
Birgit—You're talking to Felix; logic is optional.
Taydon
67. Felix Pax
"But I wonder if we heard what we thought we did.”--Nynaeve al'Meara (TGH, Chapter 38 'Practice')

@64 Birgit - What did Selene tell Rand, Loial & Hurin earlier?

Individuals can talk to own independent soul double in Mirror Worlds. Or additionally fight their own soul doubles, as Rand al'Thor did in the Stone to the death.

Sources: 1st - The Great Hunt, Chapter 16 'In the Mirror of Darkness' (Selene's other names include - Mierin, Moonhunter, Lanfear, Silvie, Keille Shaogi, Else Grinwell. FYI -- Mat & Mierin have each separately played pseudo siblings, each a Grinwell brother & sister previously. Mat as Thom; Mierin as Else.) 2nd - The Shadow Rising, Chapter 2 'Whirlpools in the Pattern'.

Mat Cauthon met his own soul double at Falme.
Whereas Thomdril Merrilin could have met his own soul double Rogosh Eagle-eye at Falme, if he was then with Rand, Mat, Perrin, Hurin in TGH book.


Artur Hawkwing never identified Rand al'Thor as the Dragon (soul), at Falme. Hawkwing mentions: “The Pattern weaves itself around our necks like halters,” Artur Hawkwing said. “You are here. The banner is here. The weave of this moment is set. We have come to the Horn, but we must follow the banner. And the Dragon.” Hurin made a faint sound as if his throat had seized. However not whom the Dragon soul is. Nor does Hawkwing even specify that the Dragon soul is in this group.

In theory, one does not even need the Dragon's Banner for the Heroes of the Horn to follow. One could simply possess the Horn and have the Dragon soul with the group. The Dragon's Banner in essense is a substitute for the Dragon's souls presents.

How is this theory suggested, and evidence given?

Justice shone like a mirror in Artur Hawkwing’s gauntleted fist. “I have fought by your side times beyond number, Lews Therin, and faced you as many more. The Wheel spins us out for its purposes, not ours, to serve the Pattern. I know you, if you do not know yourself. We will drive these invaders out for you.” His warhorse pranced, and he looked around, frowning. “Something is wrong here. Something holds me.” Suddenly he turned his sharp-eyed gaze on Rand. “You are here. Have you the banner?” A murmur ran through those behind him.

At first Artur Hawkwing will do what Rand desires of the Heroes of the Horn, but then "Something is wrong here". Point is Hawkwing will NOT do what Rand desires UNLESS the Dragon's Banner is found. Now why does Hawkwing require the Banner? Answer, the Dragon Soul is not present in this group of four individuals: Rand, Mat, Hurin, Perrin.

Additionally later Birgitte tells Nynaeve that all the Heroes of the Horn are suppose to follow Precepts. In other words, Artur Hawkwing was subject to those same limitations at Falme. All the Heroes know for a fact, Rand is not the Dragon soul. Even Birgitte.

One has to be extremely careful when interpreting TGH Chapter 47 'The Grave is No Bar to My Call', and in making claims. Robert Jordan is very subtle in his use of prose. He's telling multiple narratives at the same time. This manifold narrative is present in the beginning, The Eye of the World, Prologue 'Dragonmount'.


Those TGH Mirror World chapter scenes give readers another important clue: Pale Sun versus a Strong Sun.

Quote:
The sun—a wonderfully strong sun, not pale at all—sat low to the west, stretching their shadows out across the hollow.

As in the Pale Sun is a symbol for Rand al'Thor, while a Strong Sun is a symbol of the person called a "Bard" by Agelmar Jagad in Shienar--Valan Luca (in TEOTW book).

One narrative mechanism Robert Jordan uses to show where Valan Luca is roughly located is the Sun being equated to a Storm. A Storm which Nynaeve al'Meara can easily notice with her Weather Sense. Examples of this are found at (A.) Fal Dara, Shienar chapters in TGH book; (B.) in Salidar, Altara scenes with Nynaeve.



A Dreams Tangent.

In the Aiel Dreamwalkers words, the Dreamer is in control of the Dream, not those who enter it. That's why Rand did not die fighting in the Stone to his own soul doubles in front of Berelain (TSR book). Remember Gawyn's dream of Egwene (LoC, Chapter 14 'Dreams and Nightmares')?

Yet the Shadow during the Age of Legends invaded individuals Dreams. Aran'gar did this to Egwene al'Vere at Salidar Aes Sedai camp during the night. Its what the Dark One is attempting to do, in this Mirror World as well. Invade and conquer a dream world.

Who else fights the Shadow, the Dark One using his own tools?
Padan Fain does. Mordeth does. Sammael does. The Creature does.

What does Padan Fain no long complain about?
The Dark One is his Dreams.

Padan Fain Mordeth Sammael is a force unto himself. A Parallel World Being living midst what's left of a Mirror World being invaded by the Dark One.

Who can provide safety from both the dangers of the Dark One and Padan Fain Mordeth Sammael?
The Dragon soul offers this. Valan Luca provides safety.

Birgitte is no fool. Birgitte knows who can provide safety. Valan Luca.
Birgitte knows who's orders to follow, if in doubt. Mat Cauthon's suggestions, not Elayne Trakand's commands. (See 'Wandering Woman Inn' scene in Ebou Dar.)
Birgitte knows who Mat Cauthon's soul truly is. Artur Hawkwing.


@Terez - Still claiming "Gawyn will stab Rand to death with Callandor" in A Memory of Light book? Rolls eyes. You never did pay enough attention to prose, metaphors, similes, anagrams, imagery embedded in the Wheel of Time series. A Poets tools. Let alone Robert Jordan's use of Asian, African, Americas mythologies. Your too focused on European mythologies influences alone. You missed how Robert Jordan drew from other writers, like Ovid in writing WoT. Same for Freud, Carl Jung, Mircea Eliade, Wendy Doniger et al. Ignorant.
Theresa Gray
68. Terez27
I never claimed Gawyn would stab Rand to death with Callandor. I don't know why you keep saying that.
Mikey Bennett
69. EvilMonkey
Felix

I think you are over analyzing this, to the point where the prose written by RJ becomes unrecognizable. First, Rand is the Dragon Reborn. LTT was the original dragon. LTT is with Rand. How is it possible for Rand to be the Dragon Reborn and NOT have the soul of the Dragon? The more reasonable explanation is that the Horn and the Banner were meant to be used together for the moment at Falme. They were found together after all. If what you say is true about people meeting their soul double then Rand should have met LTT there. Moreover, it would stand to reason that Hawkwing would have acknoledged his soul holder if he had met him (Mat was there to be spoken to yet Hawkwing only calls him Hornsounder).
Second, Rand was not fighting soul doubles in Tear, those mirror people were fighting for the soul that Rand currently possesses. That incident was explained as a bubble of evil, not an incursion of mirror worlds.
As an aside, when you say mirror worlds do you mean Portal Stones? If so, the only people to have traveled via the Stones were the people in Rand's party during TGH. Luca has never even seen a Portal Stone, much less traveled by one.) If it was a dream, Rand would have never been in danger of losing his soul to souless doubles.
Third, Jaged was referring to Thom as the bard, not Luca. Seeing as it is that Thom actually was a court bard, that makes more sense than inserting a character that wasn't introduced until book 4 and who has never as far as the story goes been anywhere near the blight, much less Sheinar .
Taydon
70. Cotillion
I like where perrin hit the trolloc in the head with his hammer. I hope that happens again in this book.
JAMES MCCLELLAN
71. ZEXXES
I think what Felix is saying is that Rand wasn't the Dragon Reborn at Falme, but is now. The two souls, while being mirrors, were still separate. Not until the Dragonmount integration did we see the True DR. So if that's the case, as far as Arthur and the Heroes are concerned, they can only follow the Banner holder. So it's not enough to blow the Horn. You must either have the Banner to follow or be the Dragon himself, the integrate Dragon, not the Dragon Reborn. This is how it's possible for Artur to have fought against Lews Therin as well as by his side. These are all the countless times Lews Therin has failed. Sometimes Lews Therin didn't have the banner and the Dark acquired it. Thus all the times Artur fought against Lews Therin. Sometimes Lews Therin had the banner, but was not integrated. So while LT had the Heroes backing, he still failed so many countless times. Rands Golden Path moment showed him his errors, his countless times of failure. It gave him the knowledge that something profoundly different would need to occur for him to be victorious.

So as far as that part goes, I think maybe Felix's analysis is sound. I'll have to consider the rest a little more. But I see what he's getting at.

Oh yeah, I cannot believe someone said that Felix is over analyzing anything. All the times I've read cockamaymie theories and explanations for them from the whole lot of us? Puuuuleeeease! Foreals?

Really?

No... I mean foreal foreals...

Z
Alice Arneson
72. Wetlandernw
I probably wouldn't call it over-analyzing so much as inventing plot twists out of nothing for the sake of argument. It's been quite clear from both the text and the interviews that Rand is, and always has been, the Dragon Reborn. RJ's words were "one soul, two personalities."
Jay Dauro
73. J.Dauro
And RJ has confirmed that if you are a Hero of the Horn in Tel'an'rhiod, your soul cannot have been born out to the real world. In his discussions of why Olver cannot be Gaidel Cain
Interview: Dec 5th, 2000
WH Signing Report - Br00se (Paraphrased)

Question : Would a hero tied to the Wheel be seen in Tel'aran'rhiod after he'd been born?

Robert Jordan
No.
and
Interview: Aug 31st, 2011
Reddit AMA (Verbatim)
simenasak ()

Will Gaidal Cain be spun out as a hero of the horn of Valere should the horn be sounded again? Can a hero show up there if alive? Will a hero become a "copy" that rests within the horn until called to arms?

Brandon Sanderson

As I understand, if you are 'spun out' you do not respond to the call of the Horn. So no Cain showing up if it is sounded again, as he's been spun out.
So you cannot meet your "soul" in the dream, or when the Horn is sounded.

And
Interview: 2001
Thus Spake the Creator (Paraphrased)
H (Workings of the Wheel)

When a soul is reborn, at what point does it enter the body?

Robert Jordan

Hmm… *think, think* I’d have to say as a fetus. When the body becomes capable of sustaining life.
Taydon
74. Grizzly Ursula
WHY DID I READ THIS?

Blood and ashes it just made the waiting worse . So. Much. Worse. Now I'll be distracted all day I tell you - If my boss asks what the heck happened to me today, I'll tell them it was all your fault TOR, because Rand was actually having a good time, and then he saw something and then it was some comment thread that didn't continue the story and then I had a sad.

Rand and Perrin laughing together! Rand! Laughing! I'm suddenly super glad that Rand didn't meet up with any of his old buddies before he went all Zen Master Lews Therin, because now? There is laughing.

GAH.
Taydon
75. Steve L
Another possibility with respect to the different opinions of the wine is that the world's been going to the Dark One for a while now. We've been told that food has been spoiling all over Randland. Even if Rand had the best wine in the world, it might be a bit off because of that spoilage. Moridin may have the ability to shield his food and drink from the Dark One's influence (even the Forsaken/Chosen need to eat, right?) and so the same (great) wine may be great for Moridin and only good for Rand.
Taydon
76. DocHogan
"work clothing displaying the hardships"...

Should that not be "worn clothing"?
Taydon
77. @miathecanecorso
I guess it would be too much to ask for, but boy, I would really, really REALLY like for Lanfear to get her comeuppance by the hands of Min. We got to see some cool target practice a la Semirhage at the end of KoD, but it leaves us lacking. Such a confrontation would also nicely tie-in the encounter between Min and Moon-and-Stars-Psycho-Princess at the end of TGH after Falme, when Lanfear was all 'watch out for my man, little girl". I would be hating to see anyone else battle/covercome Mierin except for maybe Moiraine (as a revenge sort of thing) or Rand (since she annoyed the poop out of him for 14 books).

Does anyone else agree?
Taydon
78. BernieMargolis
@RobMRobM: At the end of Towers of Midnight Rand dreamt of Mierin/Lanfear being tortured, presumably by the Dark One. I'm assuming that those are the events to which he is referring.
Taydon
79. NotInventedHere
@36:
The grape is one thing - but you can have the best grapes in the worst and produce a crap wine. Even more important determinates of quality wine are things like the soil, microclimates, pruning regime and not overwatering, storage and aging on the lees, and whatever percentage wood contact – depending on the variety of grape.
Most of what you mentioned there goes into the grape... once you've picked your grape the soil, microclimate, pruning, watering go out the window. It's all in the grape at that point. So Rand's comment could just mean that from what he's seen, no one is using those things you mention to produce superior grapes for winemaking, not that the grape varieties themselves are inferior. Funny how much attention those few lines are getting, though; damn wine snobs ;)

Otherwise not too much to add to the discussion. Nothing really new, never mind the ridiculous attempts of some *cough*Felix*cough* to make it so. Still - can't wait for January.
Philip Wardlow
80. PhilipWardlow
It's like there's a doorway and I can't step through it but can only stand there stuck and look at what is going on through it in a limited view...aah well...a small view is better than none.
Raymond Sardella
81. Raymond_S
As I read this short passage, I remember just how long I have been reading this series, how long I have waited for book releases, sometimes cursing the length of time between them..... now that it is coming to an end, I feel as much sorrow as I do jubilation at reading this book and ending a journey that lasted almsot 20 years.
Taydon
82. tycherin
It's a hard blow for us ancient ones that we need to wait 'till January 2013 to read the final instalment of TWOT. I have been following this story for 22 years; have read and re read my precious volumes (always duscovering something new), so hurry up Tor and print and and send an early edition to us fans in our 8th decade and older.
Taydon
83. Wotman
At the end of ToM, Mat was trying to get back with Moraine;talmanes was calling to arms his Band of the Red Hand to try and keep the dragons from falling into the hands of the Trollocs. Perrin had just arrived in Merrilor andif you think back; except for the short time he was with Rand before he was sent to deal with Masema, he never really got a chance to catch up on his adventures with Rand. The time at Dumai wells was one of the most traumatic for both Rand and Perrin, so I find it difficult to believe that Perrin would start telling funny stories then. So , that leaves it to the fields of Merilor, where the "Good" Rand has the attitude to be able to enjoy good times with his friend.
As I recall, the horn of valere could have been blown by anyone and the heroes would have answered and even fought on the wrong side. Valan Luca? there is a thought, I have always assumed he was merely a tool to be used as a plot device, I would love him to be a heroe, which in my heart, he really could be one.
As for wine, afficianado, Rand (LTT) really never had the time and when he went to the darkside, he could have cared less, but now just before the last battle, he is calm, resigned and willing to stop and enjoy the small things before the end of the world. I myself would like to be locked in a good wine cellar come December 12th, I think it is and just sit there and sipping the good stuff.
Jerry Blair
84. Linekat62
Hmmm just enough to leave me befuddled (which is easy to do). My 14th reread is 2/3rds through Crown of Swords, Dec. 12th getting closer.
Taydon
85. Wayneb
“You should be proud of them, Rand. Without Dannil, your father and Mat’s father, without all of them, I’d wouldn’t have managed half what I did. No, not a tenth.”

Either:
"I wouldn’t have managed" or
"I’d not have managed"
Taydon
86. kaleidascope
Maybe the wine is a little less important than other things that are going on?! But I think the idea that everything else is spoiling so therefore the wine probably has as well, is a likely explanation.
Since I'm not the only one nitpicking! I have an issue with this sentence: Ember by ember, what had once been alive instead turned to dust. As it's a fire, I would think they would turn to ashes rather than dust. Whatever - I can't wait for January, though at least it does give me time to re-read at least the last few volumes!
Taydon
87. Kartikeya GS
Well. Another teaser that reminds us how much longer it is until January. But I must say, this is a rather welcome departure from the teasers for AMoL and the last few books - the presence of Rand!

First things first. I am alarmed by what is the apparent failing of Rand's new found ability to stave off the Dark One's Touch. Kind of ominous (or just silly depending on where you look at it from - to introduce such a potent ability in the penultimate book only to have it dissipate in the first chapter of the subsequent novel).

Considering the reams of BS (seriously tested my patience, man) that have been devoted to Elayne consolidating her position in Caemlyn, I think destroying Caemlyn would be seriously idiotic at this point in time. The attack on the city should instead serve as the first real point of reckoning in the Last Battle, with a bitter-sweet victory for the forces of the Light to set the mood (perhaps Demandred will finally show his hand, only to be thwarted by MatOdin).

Oddly enough, I am kindasortamaybe disappointed with the Rand PoV - from the little I gleaned from ToM, it appaeared that LTT and Rand had melded into a seamless union of personalities. Here it appears as though LTT is still a fly in his ear (albeit one who does not seem to be bat shit insane any longer).

P.S. Wine, guys? Seriosuly. Way too much attention to that element! :)

P.P.S. Asha'man! Please get resolved.
Theresa Gray
88. Terez27
I don't believe that Rand has lost the ability to stave off the Dark One's touch. The Dragon is one with the land, and the land is one with the Dragon. If the land is still dying, then it's because of Rand, because it wasn't the Dark One's touch in the first place. I don't believe the land will be healed until Rand severs the connection between himself and Moridin, and I don't believe he can do that short of death. As for why he is able to clear the clouds around him, I think that has to do with his veins of gold than anything else, for the moment. That, and the epiphany (and the warding of his brain from the taint) that allowed them to come to prominence. All is not healed, though.
Taydon
89. mattdied
Didnt Matt die already and come back when he went through the stone doorway in Ruidean? Thus severing his connection to the horn. Per the conversation from Suian as amryllin before separating the tainted dagger from matt. So therefore, shouldnt the horn be up for grabs to whoever blows it, since matts death severed the connection? Except that the only 3 people who know about matts death and rebirth are him, rand, and birgitte. Please correct me if I am mistaken. :D
Theresa Gray
90. Terez27
Theoretically, balefire actually erases events so that they never happened, or Mat would not be alive at all. Therefore, it's logical that the severing of his connection to the Horn never occurred, either.
Taydon
91. mattdied
What was balefire used on in relation to matt that would have cancelled out his death and being brought back? I am having a hard time remembering. And dont really feel like digging back through the text, lol. :)
Taydon
93. Aan'allein
I don't believe that Mat actually died when he was hung, however we know for a fact that he died when they go to kill Rahvin. But as said above balefire erased all that severing and whatnot so I believe he is still connected to the Horn.

I still believe that Olver could be Gaidal because we did not see him in the story until long after Birgitte was ripped out of Tel'aran'rhiod where she said she had been unable to find Gaidal for sometime. My belief may not be accurate, but all of the descriptions of Gaidal are that he is fairly ugly and Olver is also fairly ugly.

I am really looking forward to Rand putting Egwene in her place, in all of her PoV she thinks of Rand as arrogant and full of himself, but really the things he that he says and does are really not that bad, if at all. Egwene is a man-eater... I would like to see Nynaeve and Elayne stand up to her as well and side with Rand.

The mention of Taren Ferry in ruins comes as a shock to me, but I think the prologue will clear things up for us.

Rands ability to make the land produce/heal, from what I gathered, is only in the vicinity that he is in and only for a short time after he removes himself from that location. Maybe he can impress his will/healing ability on the land to make it last a little longer, but I don't believe it is permanent.

This book is going to be EPIC!
Kimani Rogers
95. KiManiak
mattdied@89 – I can see your confusion; I was also uncertain whether Mat had actually died when Rand found him hanging from the tree in Rhuidean. However, from the lips of the Creator himself:
TIM KINGTON: My friend Josh and I had been talking about how Rand and Mat spent a week in Rhuidean, and so he asked how long Matwas hanging.

ROBERT JORDAN: Long enough.

JOSH: Long enough for what?

ROBERT JORDAN: Long enough to be ALMOST dead.

TIM KINGTON: (Emphasis mine) I was pretty sure this was where Mat died and lived again, but I guess that's out of the question now.

(Theoryland’s Database: CoT Signing Report from Tim Kington, item 6 http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=161)
So Mat wasn’t really dead in Rhiudean, nor did Rahvin’s lightning strike count as real death due to the effects of balefire.

It seems most likely that he is still connected to the Horn.

EDIT: I see @93 addressed the hanging in Rhiudean point, too.
Taydon
96. Felix Pax
..and the Blade will bind him by twain. --Jendai Prophecies, Towers of Midnight, Chapter 32 'A Storm of Light'

"The White Tower shall be broken by his name, and Aes Sedai shall kneel to wash his feet and dry them with their hair."--Jendai Prophecies, The Shadow Rising, Chapter 19 'Wavedancer'

She glanced over her shoulder toward the Tower, the thick white shaft dominating the city, whole and straight, yet broken as surely as if it lay in ruins.--Min Farshaw's Aura Viewing of the Future, The Shadow Rising, Chapter 47 'The Truth of a Viewing'


@88 Terez The Dragon soul is not Rand al'Thor. The Dragon soul is Valan Luca.

The strongest images around the gleeman are a man—not him—juggling fire, and the White Tower, and that doesn’t make any sense at all for a man.---Min Farshaw Aura Viewing of the Future, The Eye of the World, Chapter 15 'Strangers and Friends'.

Valan Luca is the man, whom juggles fire and the White Tower. Valan is strongly tied to Thom Merrilin. Each has been a Bard previously. Elayne has seen both, as a child.

It is Nynaeve al'Meara and Valan Luca together, who shall fulfill the Dark Prophecy stated in The Great Hunt, Chapter 7 'Blood Calls Blood' : Her new lover she seeks, who shall serve her and die, yet serve still.


Rand al'Thor is a plow in the Prophecies, and a broken plow can be replaced with 'new plow'.

As the plow breaks the earth shall he break the lives of men, and all that was shall be consumed in the fire of his eyes. The trumpets of war shall sound at his footsteps, the ravens feed at his voice, and he shall wear a crown of swords. (ACoS, Chapter 18 'As the Plow Breaks the Earth' -- Rand point of view, of Prophecies)

Above quote Analysis: 'The Plow' = Rand al'Thor; 'He Break the lives of men' = Valan Luca; 'The Ravens' = Fortuona, Matrim, Berelain among others; 'He shall wear a crown of sword' = It is not Rand al'Thor in AMoL book! :-)

Sorilea made him feel he (Rand) had been disassembled like a broken plow, every pin hefted and examined to see whether it should be mended or replaced. (LoC, Chapter 53 'The Feast of Light'--Rand point of view)

Bad enough that she had rebels and recalcitrant rulers to handle, but too many Sitters still brooded and grumbled behind her back, fertile ground for the other woman to plow. (ACoS, Prologue 'Lightning'--Elaida point of view)

The New Plow was definitely not new; cracks spidered across the plastered walls, and unfortunate drafts crept in everywhere. (Source: TPoD, Chapter 20 'Into Andor')

Robert Jordan's embedded lot's of excellent clues in the Wheel of Time (WoT) series, by using "plow" as a thematic metaphor binding together story narrative. Many times in WoT metaphors are used as a way of foretelling future narrative events.

The Land:

Why is the Land in this particular Dream World of Flesh so screwed up? One reason is Severing, Valan Luca was severed/gentled. The Dragon soul was severed from Saidin. Did no one ever pay attention? Elaida's played a role in this. Black Hills ring a bell? Recollect a tales of a man destroying all but this bed in a village, told to Two Rivers folk in TEOTW?

Hasn't anyone else ever wondered how Ishamael could be half-caught in the Bore, and half-out the Bore at the end of the 2nd Age?

L.T.T. was outside the Bore, Ishamael was inside the Bore.
L.T.T. was linked Ishamael in the 2nd Age, as Rand al'Thor is linked to Ishamael/Moridin's soul in the 3rd Age. (Both Moiraine & Mierin mention possibility to Rand indirectly actually in the series too.)

Meanwhile Moridin has opened his self up to the Dark One, in the 3rd Age. Why is this important? It creates a Shadow Trinity: Rand, Moridin, Dark One are One linked Being. Four of them, if you include Shaidar Haran.

What was a desire Padan Fain?
Kill the Dark One. Kill Rand, and one kills Moridin and the Dark One. Kill One Kill Three. What's the end result? Darkness without any Blackish Light. The Creature's victory. The Creature's Dream. Echoes of this victory are found in 'The Ways' presently.

There exists odd parallels between The Creature and the Shadow Trinity; Ishamael and Rand al'Thor; Nynaeve al'Meara and The Creature, Valan Luca, Rand al'Thor. What are they?

As The Creature (Padan Fain) can sense Rand al'Thor's presents, via a gift of gained at Shayol Ghul. Ishamael can sense Rand al'Thor via his use of Saidin, as they share a common well source (bc of their soul linking. It's why Moridin never channels Saidin. Why? It would give away his plan to Rand al'Thor too early.). Nynaeve al'Meara can sense Padan Fain (being she's Healed him in the past in Two Rivers), Rand al'Thor (via Healing), Valan Luca (via Weather Sense Talent). These parallel sensitory mechanisms will all play a role in how 'A Memory of Light' book's narrative will unfold.
Theresa Gray
98. Terez27
I've always thought Ishamael's half-trapped situation must have something to do with both his skill at manipulating Tel'aran'rhiod and his relative proximity to the surface. Deeper than Aginor and Balthamel, but not as deep as Lanfear. But I do like the idea that Ishamael didn't use saidin so as to not give himself away. I've always liked the idea that they've been linked all along and that the balefire incident merely aggravated an already-existing link between them.
Sydo Zandstra
99. Fiddler
First, thanks for the explanation, Wet. I do not check tor daily. :)

Second, I'm not buying the Valan Luca argument, Felix. If you are serious, that is. I'd like to see quotes saying Valan Luca was a (Court) Bard for example. I've been to circuses like Luca's in my youth, and a circusmaster only has to show flashy coolness in an entertaining way. No singing at all.

Third, since we are getting the scene with the Heroes of the Horn in tGH back here, I'd like to point out that Hawkwing called Perrin Bannerman, since he was carrying the Dragon banner. I like to think that is RJ pointing out early how important Perrin is to Rand. And he still has one of two 'be there or the cause is lost' moments to fulfill...
Taydon
100. Avian
Hopefully we'll see, finally, Rand meeting for the first time
his half-brother Galad. The first time since he realized that his birth-mother was actually Tigraine, I mean.

Remember, Galad still doesn't know what happened to her.
I wonder what his reaction will be....

"You killed my mother. Prepare to die!"
Taydon
101. VnMJack
This Felix dude has been smoking some bad Two Rivers leaf. Valan Luca is a minor character we will most likely not see again. Rand IS the Dragon. Moridin is Ishamiel, and he and Rand are linked. they were NOT linked in the 2nd age. Go back and read the first chapter of TEOTW. And YES Felix is reading WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY to much into EVERYTHING!

nuff said
Linda Taglieri
102. Linda
Apart from not being a big deal, the wine isn't an error. In Lord of Chaos, To Understand a Message, Graendal said:

"Sipping her wine—and suppressing a sigh; it was from the here and now; she had hoped for a delicate Satare or one of the exquisite Comolads—she stroked her gown with beringed fingers."

She isn't that fussed with most current wine.
Taydon
103. LadyLisa
The strongest images around the gleeman are a man—not him—juggling fire, and the White Tower, and that doesn’t make any sense at all for a man.---Min Farshaw Aura Viewing of the Future, The Eye of the World, Chapter 15 'Strangers and Friends'.

I believe that was Thom's nephew who got gentled by the Reds.
Taydon
105. Felix Pax
Just that you shouldn’t think you know the whole story when you’ve heard part."--Thom Merrilin. Lord of Chaos, Chapter 40 'Unexpected Laughter'

"I have heard a hundred tales, each more fanciful than the last, but never the truth."--Cerandin. The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 17 'Heading West'.

Once again, where is safety? Where is hope? Where is protection? Where is food? Where is justice?

What does this particular A Memory of Light, Chapter 1 Excerpt speak of?

Quote:
The wind crossed the river eastward. Here, clusters of refugees carrying torches walked the long road from Baerlon to Whitebridge despite the late hour. They were sorry groups, with heads bowed, shoulders huddled. Some bore the coppery skin of Domani, their work clothing displaying the hardships of crossing the mountains with little in the way of supplies. Others came from farther off. Taraboners with haunted eyes above dirty veils. Farmers and their wives from northern Ghealdan. All had heard rumors that in Andor, there was food. In Andor, there was hope.

Where is hope to found between?
Baerlon and Whitebridge. Not in Caemlyn. Not East of Whitebridge, where quote: Above it all, the omnipresent clouds pressed down upon the land. Sometimes, that cloud cover made it impossible to tell if it was day or night. Same location both Matrim Cauthon and Valan Luca are each roughly at, as of Towers of Midnight book. Two Ta’verens.

Hope & safety is NOT found where Rand al'Thor & Perrin Aybara are located. Hope, safety, protection, justice are found where Mat & Valan are located.

Do the Refugees between Baerlon and Whitebridge know what time of day it is?
Yes. Night.

Quote: It was night, and scrawny foxes picked over the rotting ground, searching in vain for prey or carrion.

No clouds above Taren Ferry. An important observation. No clouds above this section of the (so-called) Mountains of Mist. No moon, nor moonlight is seen.

Who use to camp across the river from Taren Ferry's?
Tuatha'an. Traveling People. Tinkers (Two Rivers name of them). Lost Ones (Aiel name of them).

Quote: “Tinkers?” Perrin exclaimed. “I’ve always wanted to see the Tinkers. They camp across the river from Taren Ferry sometimes, but they don’t come down into the Two Rivers, as far as I know. I don’t know why not.” (TEOTW, Chapter 25 'The Traveling People')

Who was once called a Tuatha'an Mahdi or Seeker? Valan Luca. Yet he still even dresses like a Mahdi, in fact.

What do Tuatha'an never try to do? Channel the One Power. See Verin Mathwin comments in New Spring the Novel, Chapter 3 "Practice"

What do Tuatha'an actively try do? Dream.

Prophecy: Dragon is one with the Land:

Quote:
There can be no health in us, nor any good thing grow, for the land is one with the Dragon Reborn, and he one with the land. (Source: A Crown of Sword, Prologue)

What is an example, of claims stated by Valan Luca coming true to effect the Land, the Earth, and this World?

Quote:
The country roads? They would be half mud, more streams than roads, from the spring rains. It would take twice as long to reach Lugard that way, three times, maybe longer. Mat almost choked to hear Luca invoke speed, but the man was hardly warming up. He talked of the labor of freeing wagons that bogged down, made his listeners all but see themselves straining to help the teams pull them through mud nearly hub-deep on the wagon wheels. (Source: Knife of Dreams, Chapter 10 ‘A Village in Shiota’ – Mat Cauthon point of view)

What did Perrin Aybara's learn from travelers, of roads heading north of Garen's Wall towards Whitebridge, Andor?

Quote:
He looked at that passageway and campsite, thinking of what had happened the last few weeks.We met . . . . said that the muds to the north were almost completely impassable with wagons or carts . . . (Source: Towers of Midnight, Chapter 40 'A Making'--Perrin Aybara point of view)

Point is Valan Luca said told this group it would occur and it happened.

Why are muddy country and roads in this section of the Westlands important?
It cuts off or seriously limits a flank of attack, by the Shadow's forces arising out of the Shadow Coast Mountains via two once abandoned Stedding's two Way gates (once part of Balasun & Kharendor, see BWB 'The Nations after the Trollocs Wars' map). Demandred's armies. Trollocs cannot swim easily, and rivers are barriers or shields. A muddy road between Garen's Wall to Manetherendrelle Riverpushes Demandred's armies of Trollocs towards the Mountains of Mist. The one place without rivers acting like a barrier, is the Mountain of Mist.


What did Valan Luca claim to Nynaeve?
She is safe with Valan. Protection.

Quote:
“What I am trying to say is that I want you to stay. There’s a wide world out there, a thousand towns waiting for a show like mine, and whatever is chasing you will never find you with me.(TFoH, Chapter 47 'The Price of a Ship'--Nynaeve point of view)

“I will find you again, Nana, and you will choose me. I know it in here. (TFoH, Chapter 47 'The Price of a Ship'--Nynaeve point of view)

A return engagement is coming, Nynaeve and Valan shall meet again.

“Daughter of the Night, she walks again. The ancient war, she yet fights. Her new lover she seeks, who shall serve her and die, yet serve still. (Source: The Great Hunt, Chapter 7 'Blood Calls Blood')


To my skeptics, what did Tam al'Thor tell Rand al'Thor?

“ . . . battles are always hot, even in the snow. Sweat heat. Blood heat. Only death is cool. Slope of the mountain . . . only place didn’t stink of death. Had to get away from smell of it . . . sight of it . . . heard a baby cry. Their women fight alongside the men, sometimes, but why they had let her come, I don’t . . . gave birth there alone, before she died of her wounds . . . covered the child with her cloak, but the wind . . . blown the cloak away . . . child, blue with the cold. Should have been dead, too . . . crying there. Crying in the snow. I couldn’t just leave a child . . . no children of our own . . . always knew you wanted children. I knew you’d take it to your heart, Kari. Yes, lass. Rand is a good name. A good name.” (Source: TEOTW, Chapter 6 ‘Westwood’—Rand al’Thor point of view, Tam speaking)

Rand was born on "a slope" of Dragonmount. Is "slope" a singular or plural? Why do I ask this? Because Karaethon Cycle Prophecy speaks of "slopes". Plural, not a singular.

“The Karaethon Cycle, the Prophecies of the Dragon, says that the Dragon will be reborn on the slopes of Dragonmount, where he died during the Breaking of the World. (TGH, Chapter 8 ‘The Dragon Reborn’—Moiraine point of view)

To my skeptics, are you all claiming Tam al'Thor lied? Are you claiming that both Moiraine & Elayne Trakand's independent readings of Karaethon Cycle Prophecy are each in error?


@103 LadyLisa -- You wrote: I believe that was Thom's nephew who got gentled by the Reds.

Yes, Thom believes Owyn was 'gentled/severed' by the Red Ajah ( See TEOTW, Chapter 26 'Discord' for that detail). One difficulty with your claim, of Owyn was not 'gentled' at the White Tower. Additionally Owyn died, and hasn't not been reborn as far as I know.

Valan Luca is the only one who fits the description given by Min's Aura Foretelling.
Taydon
106. thegreeneyedkelly
First, thanks for the latest tidbits team WOT!

Second, where, in any one of the books does it say, or even infer that Valan Luca could use the One Power, had been gentled, had any connection with the Traveling People (other than wearing brightly colored clothing), or had been a Seeker or a court bard?

No theory’s, please, just quotes from the books, or from RWJ, BS, or Harriett. I have read the series many times, listened to the audio books over and over, and had never heard of this before today on this posting.
Taydon
107. Ryanus
Felix, I love your ability to not be literal when it helps your case, then make arguements for your case based on a literal interpretation of something. Double standards are always amusing.
To your actual points...
Your accusation about the Wind. Hope is Caemlyn, in the form of rumors stating that the city is safe, secure and has food. Which was true until the attack at the end of ToM.
Also, there is no relevent statement that Valan is in Andor in a remote road that leads nowhere but the Two Rivers. Last we saw him was south quite a bit, and the roads north to Tar Valon (His eventual goal according to his speaches) takes him nowhere near the Baerlon/Whitebridge path.
I see nothing that says there's a break in cloud cover over the mountains and Taren Ferry.
There is nothing at any point in the story that says Luca was once a Tinker. His wearing bright colours is not evidence of anything. More to the point, his clothing is not specifically "Mahdi" clothing, nor do the Mahdi have any special clothing that I recall.
Your point about the Dragon being one with the land has already been shown with Rand. When he was dark in TGS the world died around him, the sky warped, food spoiled and died. Once he got better in ToM everywhere he went the world got better, food flourished, previously spoiled stores were found intact. Nothing to do with Luca.
Your quote from ToM about mud? Yeah there wasn't any. We find out later on that plain and simple, Perrin's people were lied to, all part of the effort to force Perrin to the location of that Portal Stone for an ambush.
Beyond that, Mud would not stop trollocs, nor would it stop Demandred.
Valan claiming Nynaeve would be safe with him means nothing, he thought she was a runaway lady's maid, he offered shelter to what he thought was a powerless but strong woman. His claiming he will find "Nana" again really has no meaning, he doesn't even know who or what Nynaeve is, not even her name.
The prophecy in TGH you quote is about Lanfear. Already been handled.
Next you claim Rand doesn't fit the prophecy because Tam uses the word Slope and the prophecy says Slopes? The two words are interchangeable in the way they're used. Slopes can be singular too, specially in that term. The "Slopes of Dragonmount" refer to the specific area of the mountain, not a plural of multiple things. Going more literal, the Dragon will be born on one of those Slopes. Tam climbed up onto one of those slopes and found Rand.
As for the Owyn thing, Min's viewing are as often as not symbolic. The white tower rising could very well symbolize the Aes Sedai who gentled Owyn. Far more likely than them symbolizing someone we hadn't met at the point who happens to mention once that he wants to eventually go to Tar Valon.
I'm really going with the assumption your having fun, not being serious. Otherwise I have trouble with the number of mistakes and flaws you keep presenting as legitimate evidence of your theory.
Philip Alan Smith
108. AlanS7
After the comments re wine, foie gras and Frenchies ... I recommend the Mumm version of Champagne from Napa, California. Half the price of the French stuff.
Taydon
109. JonathanBtx
As I started reading chills kept going down my spine! I was near brought to tears by the tone set in the exerpt! To pull an emotional response from me has brought me relief in that this will be an epic finish to the greatest series of all time. I'm looking forward to January
Taydon
110. Nocterequiem
@Felix

The strongest images around the gleeman are a man—not him—juggling fire, and the White Tower, and that doesn’t make any sense at all for a man.---Min Farshaw Aura Viewing of the Future, The Eye of the World, Chapter 15 'Strangers and Friends'.

Note: "strongest images around the gleeman" i.e. Thom. She's in the middle of telling Rand what she had seen around everyone in their party, and at that moment she's talking about Thom, not Rand. She told Rand what she saw around his head a little bit before that. The "a man - not him - juggling fire" is his nephew. "and the White Tower" could be a couple things. It could be his hatred/distrust of the White Tower after what they did to his nephew or it could mean his future relationship with Moiraine. Wrong.

"It is Nynaeve al'Meara and Valan Luca together, who shall fulfill the Dark Prophecy stated in The Great Hunt, Chapter 7 'Blood Calls Blood' : Her new lover she seeks, who shall serve her and die, yet serve still."

That 'prophecy', which is probably not a prophecy at all, is about the Daughter of the Night ala Lanfear. Now you'll probably try to convince us that Nynaeve is Lanfear's soul double or something. No, more likely, if it is indeed foreshadowing anything, it means something about Rand and Mierin's interactions in AMoL. In fact, I'm quite sure that it does.

You can cite things and misinterpret all you want, but you won't convince anyone. Do you really believe that Valan Luca, an extremely minor character who isn't even introduced until a few books in will sweep in unannounced in the last book and end up being the savior of all?
Taydon
111. wishiwasthedragon
One thing everyone seems to be forgetting is that at the end of ToM when talmanes and oliver are reading the letter from verin to mat, talmanes realizes caemlyn is burning. It also says in the prologue to AMoL that it is burning there is no indication of any passage of time as it was also nighttime when oliver opened the letter. Also i beleive perrin was talking about the battle in emonds field when faile and marin didnt even want him to go outside but they put him in his saddle and faile stayed beside him the entire time.
Taydon
112. Brian Zimmerman
Oops: "I’d wouldn’t have managed"
Taydon
113. Wander
@ Felix above, dude you are so far off base about the horn and flame...the gambler wasnt supposed to blow the horn, that was what through them off...and the dragon's soul was inside Rand . the prophacies in place had the dragon, the horn, and the banner in the same place at that time...now rand doesnt necessarily have to be there to blow the horn unless it has been fortold. try reading it again without this "dragon soul" crap you are fixiated on, we have the wolf, the gambler and the dragon...the three legs of the tripod...keep it simple...it may seem that jordan was being obscure, but really he wasn't.
Marty Beck
114. martytargaryen
I was going to avoid pre-release excerpts, but I caved...

I love the talk about wine. It makes me think they should release the entire book in 1/4 chapter segments at a time so we can analyze every detail to death each day.
Marty Beck
115. martytargaryen
"A cluster of frightened servants, sure that tomorrow would bring war
between the White Tower and the Dragon Reborn, organized stores beneath tents shaken by the wind."

Wow, we the readers all know about the upcoming confrontation between Eg and Rand, but I didn't imagine that the threat of war was so evident.
Taydon
116. hauntu4ever
"Ravens often clustered in their branches; starveling rabbits and sometimes larger game picked through the dead grass underneath."

"Strange, how much about a man could change while his core remained exactly the same"
Taydon
117. Aeti
I haven't read of toh being "served" before, usually it's described as being "met."
Philip Alan Smith
118. AlanS7
@117: should read "their time having been served"
Taydon
119. hopemayansarewrong
@felix, i also heard Valan Luca is the new superman.....
Taydon
120. sad from waiting
GAH!!!! Reading these bits and pieces is a cruel torture.
Taydon
121. Nigel2012
Most recent excert released has Luca placed at Ebou Dar with the seanchen So your a bit off there felix :P
I cant wait til january sigh!!!!!
I dont want the series to end! wish brandon would write the 3 books that were rumored RJ was going to do after the series based around Mat and Tuon going back to secure her throne
Taydon
122. Hatinwaitin
@tycherin Yep, so right. Those of us older and/or mortally ill fans are just s*** outa luck the way Tor and Brandon kept pushing this back. For what, Way of Kings? Gee, thanks. Not. After all these years in love with these books, to probably miss the end is just too painful. I've almost convinced myself I just don't care. I'm kinda sorry I bothered to read this and the prologue. Maybe I'll run into RJ on the other side and he'll tell me how it ended. Yeah, I'm bitter, sorry! Guess we're just bit players who got knocked off before the Last Battle.
Taydon
124. Nemene Damendar Boann
97. Hasn't anyone else ever wondered how Ishamael could be half-caught in the Bore, and half-out the Bore at the end of the 2nd Age? L.T.T. was outside the Bore, Ishamael was inside the Bore.

98. I've always thought Ishamael's half-trapped situation must have something to do with both his skill at manipulating Tel'aran'rhiod and his relative proximity to the surface.

In 'The World of Robert Jordans Wheel of Time' Chapter 5- The Dark One and the Male Forsaken:

"When the Dragon lead the final strike against the Dark at Shayol Ghul, Ishamael may have been in some way only partially trapped by the seal on the Bore, leaving him aware and able to touch the world while the others slept whithin the seal- this according to a recently discovered manuscript attributed to Aran son of Malan son of Senar (born Circa 50 AB)... These writings claim that there were sightings of, even encounters with Ishamael after the bore was sealed, in fact perhaps as much as 40 years after.
Such claims might be thought ridiculous except that Aran is known to have been a writer of strict honesty, who never cited a source that he could not verify (though both his sources and their verification are lost to us). He speculated (citing other lost sources) that it may have taken some years for Ishamael to be drawn fully into the trap with the other Forsaken. If this was so, it seemed possible that Ishameal might well be thrown out of the prison holding the others and drawn back again on some regular cycle. During his lifetime Aran made observations based on cycles of various multiples of forty years without discovering any indications that one of the Forsaken was loose in the world at those intervals.
The last pages of the manuscript suggest that Aran had become doubtful of his own thesis, but we have evidence that he may have been right. Interviews with imprisoned Darkfriends revealed that a number of them received instructions from Ishamael long before the other Forsaken were freed... Some claim to have received instructions from him as early as 983 NE, when plainly the seals were still strong enough to hold the others.
It seems entirely likely that Ishamael could have been free in still earlier times, and that the cycle was merely longer than Aran could observe. .."

This puts an interesting spin on things, we knew Ishamael was only partially trapped, but if he was pulled in and out of the seal over time until the seal eventually weakened and released all the Forsaken, he would have had plenty of time to locate stasis boxes, recruit Darkfriends and set shemes into motion.

On the wine topic (lol) Ishamael/Moridin is quite mad dont forget, so the wine he drinks may be just as bad as elsewhere but within his mind he is happy with it. Look at the randomly strange way Padan Fain thinks of things, this may have been an insane Moridin moment enjoying spoiled wine...

And finally, going back to World of the Wheel there was a line about the Da'shain Aiel that I found quite interesting and cant wait to see if it links into AMOL-

"Sources are not clear concerning whether or not Da'shain Aiel could channel, though they do agree that the Aiel could often enhance channeling, as when adding their voices to the seed singing of the Ogier."

Aiel enhancing channeling??!! Although it will probably be the Tuatha'an finding/singing their song to help grow/fix the world after the Last Battle now that I think on it.. Your opinions please?

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