Sep 24 2012 3:35pm

A Memory of Light, Chapter One: “Eastward the Wind Blew”

Read Chapter 1 of A MEMORY OF LIGHT, the final book in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time is pleased to offer “Eastward the Wind Blew,” the first chapter of A Memory of Light, the final book in the Wheel of Time series.

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” contains spoilers for the A Memory of Light prologue, “By Grace and Banners Fallen.”The spoiler and speculation thread for the Prologue itself is here.



Chapter 1

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, Chapter 1: Eastward the Wind Blew

Eastward the Wind Blew


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 worn 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, red and 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 collected 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 inside 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. 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 regarded 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 vintage. Few wines in the current world could match the favored vintages of the Age of Legends. Not the ones he had sampled, at least.

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 take his mind off what he had seen.

Mierin . . . No. He would not let that woman distract him. That was probably the point of what he had seen.

“Walk with me,” Rand said. “I need to check on some things for tomorrow.”

They went out into the night. Several Maidens fell into step behind them as Rand walked toward Sebban Balwer, whose services Perrin had loaned to Rand. Which was fine with Balwer, who was prone to gravitate toward those holding the greatest power.

“Rand?” Perrin asked, walking beside him with a hand on Mah’alleinir. “I’ve told you about all of this before, the siege of the Two Rivers, the fighting . . . Why ask after it again?”

“I asked about the events before, Perrin. I asked after what happened, but I did not ask after the people it happened to.” He looked at Perrin, making a globe of light for them to see by as they walked in the night. “I need to remember the people. Not doing so is a mistake I have made too often in the past.”

The stirring wind carried the scent of campfires from Perrin’s nearby camp and the sounds of smiths working on weapons. Rand had heard the stories: Power-wrought weapons discovered again. Perrin’s men were working overtime, running his two Asha’man ragged, to make as many as possible.

Rand had lent him as many more Asha’man as he could spare, if only because—as soon as they’d heard—he’d had dozens of Maidens presenting themselves and demanding Power-wrought spearheads. It only makes sense, Rand al’Thor, Beralna had explained. His smiths can make four spearheads for every sword. She’d grimaced saying the word “sword,” as if it tasted like seawater.

Rand had never tasted seawater. Lews Therin had. Knowing facts like that had greatly discomforted him once. Now he had learned to accept that part of him.

“Can you believe what has happened to us?” Perrin asked. “Light, sometimes I wonder when the man who owns all these fancy clothes is going to walk in on me and start yelling, then send me out to muck the stables for being too bigheaded for my collar.”

“The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, Perrin. We’ve become what we needed to become.”

Perrin nodded as they walked on the path between tents, lit by the glow of the light above Rand’s hand.

“How does it . . . feel?” Perrin asked. “Those memories you’ve gained?”

“Have you ever had a dream that, upon waking, you remembered in stark clarity? Not one that faded quickly, but one that stayed with you through the day?”

“Yes,” Perrin said, sounding oddly reserved. “Yes, I can say that I have.”

“It’s like that,” Rand said. “I can remember being Lews Therin, can remember doing what he did, as one remembers actions in a dream. It was me doing them, but I don’t necessarily like them—or think I’d take those actions if I were in my waking mind. That doesn’t change the fact that, in the dream, they seemed like the right actions.”

Perrin nodded.

“He’s me,” Rand said. “And I’m him. But at the same time, I’m not.”

“Well, you still seem like yourself,” Perrin said, though Rand caught a slight hesitation on the word “seem.” Had Perrin been about to say “smell” instead? “You haven’t changed that much.”

Rand doubted he could explain it to Perrin without sounding mad. The person he became when he wore the mantle of the Dragon Reborn . . . that wasn’t simply an act, wasn’t simply a mask.

It was who he was. He had not changed, he had not transformed. He had merely accepted.

That didn’t mean he had all of the answers. Despite four hundred years of memories nestled in his brain, he still worried about what he had to do. Lews Therin hadn’t known how to seal the Bore. His attempt had led to disaster. The taint, the Breaking, all for an imperfect prison with seals that were now brittle.

One answer kept coming to Rand. A dangerous answer. One that Lews Therin hadn’t considered.

What if the answer wasn’t to seal the Dark One away again? What if the answer, the final answer, was something else? Something more permanent.

Yes, Rand thought to himself for the hundredth time. But is it possible?

They arrived at the tent where Rand’s clerks worked, the Maidens fanning out behind them, Rand and Perrin entering. The clerks were up late, of course, and they didn’t look surprised to see Rand enter.

“My Lord Dragon,” Balwer said, bowing stiffly from where he stood beside a table of maps and stacks of paper. The dried-up little man sorted his papers nervously, one knobby elbow protruding from a hole in his oversized brown coat.

“Report,” Rand said.

“Roedran will come,” Balwer said, his voice thin and precise. “The Queen of Andor has sent for him, promising him gateways made by those Kinswomen of hers. Our eyes in his court say he is angry that he needs her help to attend, but is insistent that he needs to be at this meeting—if only so he doesn’t look left out.”

“Excellent,” Rand said. “Elayne knows nothing of your spies?”

“My Lord!” Balwer said, sounding indignant.

“Have you determined who is spying for her among our clerks?” Rand asked.

Balwer sputtered. “Nobody—”

“She’ll have someone, Balwer,” Rand said with a smile. “She all but taught me how to do this, after all. No matter. After tomorrow, my intentions will be manifest for all. Secrets won’t be needed.”

None save the ones I keep closest to my own heart.

“That means everyone will be here for the meeting, right?” Perrin asked. “Every major ruler? Tear and Illian?”

“The Amyrlin persuaded them to attend,” Balwer said. “I have copies of their exchanges here, if you wish to see them, my Lords.”

“I would,” Rand said. “Send them to my tent. I will look them over tonight.”

The shaking of the ground came suddenly. Clerks grabbed stacks of papers, holding them down and crying out as furniture crashed to the ground around them. Outside, men shouted, barely audible over the sound of trees breaking, metal clanging. The land groaned, a distant rumble.

Rand felt it like a painful muscle spasm.

Thunder shook the sky, distant, like a promise of things to come. The shaking subsided. The clerks remained holding their stacks of paper, as if afraid to let go and risk them toppling.

It’s really here, Rand thought. I’m not ready—we’re not ready—but it’s here anyway.

He had spent many months fearing this day. Ever since Trollocs had come in the night, ever since Lan and Moiraine had dragged him from the Two Rivers, he had feared what was to come.

The Last Battle. The end. He found himself unafraid now that it had come. Worried, but not afraid.

I’m coming for you, Rand thought.

“Tell the people,” Rand said to his clerks. “Post warnings. Earthquakes will continue. Storms. Real ones, terrible ones. There will be a Breaking, and we cannot avoid it. The Dark One will try to grind this world to dust.”

The clerks nodded, shooting concerned glances at one another by lamplight. Perrin looked contemplative, but nodded faintly, as if to himself.

“Any other news?” Rand asked.

“The Queen of Andor may be up to something tonight, my Lord,” Balwer said.

“ ‘Something’ is not a very descriptive word, Balwer,” Rand said.

Balwer grimaced. “I’m sorry, my Lord. I don’t have more for you yet; I only just received this note. Queen Elayne was awakened by some of her advisors a short time ago. I don’t have anyone close enough to know why.”

Rand frowned, resting his hand on Laman’s sword at his waist. “It could just be plans for tomorrow,” Perrin said.

“True,” Rand said. “Let me know if you discover anything, Balwer. Thank you. You do well here.”

The man stood taller. In these last days—days so dark—every man looked for something useful to do. Balwer was the best at what he did, and was confident in his own abilities. Still, it did no harm to be reminded of the fact by one who employed him, particularly if his employer was none other than the Dragon Reborn.

Rand left the tent, Perrin following.

“You’re worried about it,” Perrin said. “Whatever it was that awoke Elayne.”

“They would not awaken her without good cause,” Rand said softly. “Considering her state.”

Pregnant. Pregnant with his children. Light! He had only just learned of it. Why hadn’t she been the one to tell him?

The answer was simple. Elayne could feel Rand’s emotions as he felt hers. She would have been able to feel how he had been, recently. Before Dragonmount. Back when . . .

Well, she wouldn’t have wanted to confront him with a pregnancy when he’d been in such a state. Beyond that, he hadn’t exactly made himself easy to find.

Still, it was a shock.

I’m going to be a father, he thought, not for the first time. Yes, Lews Therin had had children, and Rand could remember them and his love for them. It wasn’t the same.

He, Rand al’Thor, would be a father. Assuming he won the Last Battle.

“They wouldn’t have awakened Elayne without good reason,” he continued, returning to task. “I’m worried, not because of what might have happened, but because of the potential distraction. Tomorrow will be an important day. If the Shadow has any inkling of tomorrow’s importance, it will try whatever it can to keep us from meeting, from unifying.”

Perrin scratched at his beard. “I have people close to Elayne. People who keep watch on things for me.”

Rand raised his hand. “Let’s go talk to them. I have a great deal to do tonight, but . . . Yes, I can’t let this slip.”

The two turned toward Perrin’s camp nearby, picking up their pace, Rand’s bodyguards following like shadows with veils and spears.


The night felt too quiet. Egwene, in her tent, worked on a letter to Rand. She was not certain if she would send it. Sending it was not important. Writing it was about organizing her thoughts, determining what she wished to say to him.

Gawyn pushed his way into the tent again, hand on his sword, Warder cloak rustling.

“Are you going to stay in this time?” Egwene asked, dipping her pen, “or are you going to go right back out?”

“I don’t like this night, Egwene.” He looked over his shoulder. “Something feels wrong about it.”

“The world holds its breath, Gawyn, waiting upon the events of the morrow. Did you send to Elayne, as I requested?”

“Yes. She won’t be awake. It’s too late for her.”

“We shall see.”

It wasn’t long before a messenger arrived from Elayne’s camp, bearing a small folded letter. Egwene read it, then smiled. “Come,” she said to Gawyn, rising and gathering a few things. She waved a hand, and a gateway split the air.

“We’re Traveling there?” Gawyn asked. “It’s only a short walk.”

“A short walk would require the Amyrlin to call upon the Queen of Andor,” Egwene said as Gawyn stepped through the gateway first and checked the other side. “Sometimes, I don’t want to take an action that starts people asking questions.”

Siuan would have killed for this ability, Egwene thought as she stepped through the gateway. How many more plots could that woman have spun if she’d been able to visit others as quickly, quietly and easily as this?

On the other side, Elayne stood beside a warm brazier. The Queen wore a pale green dress, her belly increasingly swollen from the babes within. She hastened over to Egwene and kissed her ring. Birgitte stood to one side of the tent flaps, arms folded, wearing her short red jacket and wide, sky-blue trousers, her golden braid down over her shoulder.

Gawyn cocked an eyebrow at his sister. “I’m surprised you are awake.”

“I’m waiting for a report,” Elayne said, gesturing for Egwene to join her in a pair of cushioned chairs beside the brazier.

“Something important?” Egwene asked.

Elayne frowned. “Jesamyn forgot to check in again from Caemlyn. I left the woman strict orders to send to me every two hours, and yet she dallies. Light, it’s probably nothing. Still, I asked Serinia to go to the Traveling grounds to check on things for me. I hope you don’t mind.”

“You need rest,” Gawyn said, folding his arms.

“Thank you very much for the advice,” Elayne said, “which I will ignore, as I ignored Birgitte when she said the same thing. Mother, what is it you wished to discuss?”

Egwene handed over the letter she had been working on.

“To Rand?” Elayne asked.

“You have a different perspective on him than I. Tell me what you think of this letter. I might not send it to him. I haven’t decided yet.”

“The tone is . . . forceful,” Elayne noted.

“He doesn’t seem to respond to anything else.”

After a moment of reading Elayne lowered the letter. “Perhaps we should simply let him do as he wishes.”

“Break the seals?” Egwene asked. “Release the Dark One?”

“Why not?”

“Light, Elayne!”

“It has to happen, doesn’t it?” Elayne asked. “I mean, the Dark One’s going to escape. He’s practically free already.”

Egwene rubbed her temples. “There is a difference between touching the world and being free. During the War of Power, the Dark One was never truly released into the world. The Bore let him touch it, but that was resealed before he could escape. If the Dark One had entered the world, the Wheel itself would have been broken. Here, I brought this to show you.”

Egwene retrieved a stack of notes from her satchel. The sheets had been hastily gathered by the librarians of the Thirteenth Depository. “I’m not saying that we shouldn’t break the seals,” Egwene said. “I’m saying that we can’t afford to risk one of Rand’s crackbrained schemes with this.”

Elayne smiled fondly. Light, but she was smitten. I can rely on her, can’t I? It was hard to tell with Elayne these days. The woman’s ploy with the Kinswomen. . . .

“We have unfortunately found nothing pertinent in your library ter’angreal.” The statue of the smiling bearded man had nearly caused a riot in the Tower; every sister had wanted to read the thousands of books that it held. “All of the books seem to have been written before the Bore was opened. They will keep searching, but these notes contain everything we could gather on the seals, the prison and the Dark One. If we break the seals at the wrong time, I fear it would mean an end to all things. Here, read this.” She handed a page to Elayne.

The Karaethon Cycle?” Elayne asked, curious. “ ‘And light shall fail, and dawn shall not come, and still the captive rails.’ The captive is the Dark One?”

“I think so,” Egwene said. “The Prophecies are never clear. Rand intends to enter the Last Battle and break the seals immediately, but that is a dreadful idea. We have an extended war ahead of us. Freeing the Dark One now will strengthen the forces of the Shadow and weaken us.

“If it is to be done—and I still don’t know that it has to be—we should wait until the last possible moment. At the very least, we need to discuss it. Rand has been right about many things, but he has been wrong, too. This is not a decision he should be allowed to make alone.”

Elayne shuffled through the sheets of paper, then stopped on one of them. “ ‘His blood shall give us the Light . . .’ ” She rubbed the page with her thumb, as if lost in thought. “ ‘Wait upon the Light.’ Who added this note?”

“That is Doniella Alievin’s copy of the Termendal translation of The Karaethon Cycle,” Egwene said. “Doniella made her own notes, and they have been the subject of nearly as much discussion among scholars as the Prophecies themselves. She was a Dreamer, you know. The only Amyrlin that we know of to have been one. Before me, anyway.”

“Yes,” Elayne said.

“The sisters who gathered these for me came to the same conclusion that I have,” Egwene said. “There may be a time to break the seals, but that time is not at the start of the Last Battle, whatever Rand thinks. We must wait for the right moment, and as the Watcher of the Seals, it is my duty to choose that moment. I won’t risk the world on one of Rand’s overly dramatic stratagems.”

“He has a fair bit of gleeman in him,” Elayne said, again fondly. “Your argument is a good one, Egwene. Make it to him. He will listen to you. He does have a good mind, and can be persuaded.”

“We shall see. For now, I—”

Egwene suddenly sensed a spike of alarm from Gawyn. She glanced over to see him turning. Hoofbeats outside. His ears weren’t any better than Egwene’s, but it was his job to listen for things like this.

Egwene embraced the True Source, causing Elayne to do likewise. Birgitte already had the tent flaps open, hand on her sword.

A frazzled messenger leaped from horseback outside, eyes wide. She scrambled into the tent, Birgitte and Gawyn falling in beside her immediately, watching in case she came too close.

She didn’t. “Caemlyn is under attack, Your Majesty,” the woman said, gasping for breath.

“What!” Elayne leaped to her feet. “How? Did Jarid Sarand finally—”

“Trollocs,” the messenger said. “It started near dusk.”

“Impossible!” Elayne said, grabbing the messenger by the arm and hauling her out of the tent. Egwene followed hastily. “It’s been over six hours since dusk,” Elayne said to the messenger. “Why haven’t we heard anything until now? What happened to the Kinswomen?”

“I was not told, my Queen,” the messenger said. “Captain Guybon sent me to fetch you at speed. He just arrived through the gateway.”

The Traveling ground was not far from Elayne’s tent. A crowd had gathered, but men and women made way for the Amyrlin and Queen. In moments the two of them reached the front.

A group of men in bloodied clothing trudged through the open gateway, pulling carts laden with Elayne’s new weapons, the dragons. Many of the men seemed near collapse. They smelled of smoke, and their skin was blackened by soot. Not a few of them slumped unconscious as Elayne’s soldiers grabbed the carts, which were obviously meant for horses to pull, to help them.

Other gateways opened nearby as Serinia Sedai and some of the stronger of the Kinswomen—Egwene wouldn’t think of them as Elayne’s Kinswomen— created gateways. Refugees poured through like the waters of a suddenly unstopped river.

“Go,” Egwene said to Gawyn, weaving her own gateway—one to the Traveling grounds in the White Tower camp nearby. “Send for as many Aes Sedai as we can rouse. Tell Bryne to ready his soldiers, tell them to do as Elayne orders and send them through gateways to the outskirts of Caemlyn. We will show solidarity with Andor.”

Gawyn nodded, ducking through the gateway. Egwene let it vanish, then joined Elayne near the gathering of wounded, confused soldiers. Sumeko, of the Kinswomen, had taken charge of seeing that Healing was given to those in immediate danger.

The air was thick with the smell of smoke. As Egwene hurried to Elayne, she caught sight of something through one of the gateways. Caemlyn afire.

Light! She stood stunned for a moment, then hurried on. Elayne was speaking with Guybon, commander of the Queen’s Guard. The handsome man seemed barely able to remain on his feet, his clothing and arms bloodied with an alarming amount of red.

“Darkfriends killed two of the women you left to send messages, Your Majesty,” he was saying in a tired voice. “Antoher fell in the fighting. But we retrieved the dragons. Once we . . . we escaped . . .” He seemed pained by something. “Once we escaped through the hole in the city wall, we found that several mercenary bands were making their way around the city toward the gate that Lord Talmanes had left defended. By coincidence they were near enough to aid in our escape.”

“You did well,” Elayne said.

“But the city—”

“You did well,” Elayne repeated, voice firm. “You retrieved the dragons and rescued all of these people? I will see you rewarded for this, Captain.”

“Give your reward to the men of the Band, Your Majesty. It was their work. And please, if you can do anything for Lord Talmanes . . .” He gestured to the fallen man whom several members of the Band had just carried through the gateway.

Elayne knelt beside him, and Egwene joined her. At first, Egwene assumed that Talmanes was dead, with his skin darkened as if by age. Then he drew a ragged breath.

“Light,” Elayne said, Delving his prostrate form. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

“Thakan’dar blades,” Guybon said.

“This is beyond either of us,” Egwene said to Elayne, standing. “I . . .” She trailed off, hearing something over the groans of soldiers and carts creaking.

“Egwene?” Elayne asked softly.

“Do what you can for him,” Egwene said, standing and rushing away. She pushed through the confused crowd, following the voice. Was that . . . yes, there. She found an open gateway at the edge of the Traveling grounds, Aes Sedai in a variety of clothing hurrying through to see to the wounded. Gawyn had done his work well.

Nynaeve was asking, quite loudly, who was in charge of this mess. Egwene approached her from the side and grabbed her by the shoulder, surprising her.

“Mother?” Nynaeve asked. “What is this about Caemlyn burning? I—”

She cut off as she saw the wounded. She stiffened, then tried to go to them.

“There is one you need to see first,” Egwene said, leading her to where Talmanes lay.

Nynaeve drew in a sharp breath, then went to her knees and pushed Elayne gently aside. Nynaeve Delved Talmanes, then froze, eyes wide.

“Nynaeve?” Egwene said. “Can you—”

An explosion of weaves burst from Nynaeve like the sudden light of a sun coming out from behind clouds. Nynaeve wove the Five Powers together in a column of radiance, then sent it driving into Talmanes’ body.

Egwene left her to her work. Perhaps it would be enough, though he looked far gone. The Light willing, the man would live. She had been impressed with him in the past. He seemed precisely the type of man that the Band—and Mat—needed.

Elayne was near the dragons and was questioning a woman with her hair in braids. That must be Aludra, who had created the dragons. Egwene walked up to the weapons, resting her fingers on one of the long bronze tubes. She had been given reports on them, of course. Some men said they were like Aes Sedai, cast in metal and fueled by the powders from fireworks.

More and more refugees poured though the gateway, many of them townspeople. “Light,” Egwene said to herself. “There are too many of them. We can’t house all of Caemlyn here at Merrilor.”

Elayne finished her conversation, leaving Aludra to inspect the wagons. It appeared that the woman wasn’t willing to rest for the night and see to them in the morning. Elayne walked toward the gateways.

“The soldiers say the area outside the city is secure,” Elayne said, passing Egwene. “I’m going through to have a look.”

“Elayne . . .” Birgitte said, coming up behind her.

“We’re going! Come on.”

Egwene left the Queen to it, stepping back to supervise the work. Romanda had taken charge of the Aes Sedai and was organizing the injured, separating them into groups depending on the urgency of their wounds.

As Egwene surveyed the chaotic mix, she noticed a pair of people standing nearby. A woman and man, Illianers by the looks of them. “What do you two want?”

The woman knelt before her. The fair-skinned, dark-haired woman had a firmness to her features, despite her tall, slender build. “I am Leilwin,” she said in an unmistakable accent. “I was accompanying Nynaeve Sedai when the call for Healing was raised. We followed her here.”

“You’re Seanchan,” Egwene said, startled.

“I have come to serve you, Amyrlin Seat.”

Seanchan. Egwene still held the One Power. Light, not every Seanchan she met was dangerous to her; still, she would not take chances. As some members of the Tower Guard came through one of the gateways, Egwene pointed to the Seanchan pair. “Take these somewhere safe and keep watch on them. I’ll deal with them later.”

The soldiers nodded. The man went reluctantly, the woman more easily. She couldn’t channel, so she wasn’t a freed damane. That didn’t mean she wasn’t a sul’dam, though.

Egwene returned to Nynaeve, who still knelt beside Talmanes. The sickness had retreated from the man’s skin, leaving it pale. “Take him somewhere to rest,” Nynaeve said tiredly to several watching members of the Band. “I’ve done what I can.”

She looked up at Egwene as the men carried him away. “Light,” Nynaeve whispered, “that took a lot out of me. Even with my angreal. I’m impressed that Moiraine managed it with Tam, all that time ago . . .” There seemed to be a note of pride in Nynaeve’s voice.

She had wanted to heal Tam, but could not—though, of course, Nynaeve had not known what she had been doing at the time. She had come a long, long way since then.

“Is it true, Mother?” Nynaeve asked, rising. “About Caemlyn?”

Egwene nodded.

“This is going to be a long night,” Nynaeve said, looking at the wounded still pouring through the gateways.

“And a longer tomorrow,” Egwene said. “Here, let us link. I’ll lend you my strength.”

Nynaeve looked shocked. “Mother?”

“You are better at Healing than I.” Egwene smiled. “I may be Amyrlin, Nynaeve, but I am still Aes Sedai. Servant of all. My strength will be of use to you.”

Nynaeve nodded and they linked. The two of them joined the group of Aes Sedai that Romanda had set Healing the refugees with the worst wounds.


“Faile has been organizing my network of eyes-and-ears,” Perrin said to Rand as the two of them hurried toward Perrin’s camp. “She might be there with them tonight. I’ll warn you, I’m not certain she likes you.”

She would be a fool to like me, Rand thought. She probably knows what I’m going to require of you before this is over.

“Well,” Perrin said, “I guess that she does like that I know you. She’s cousin to a queen, after all. I think she still worries you’ll go mad and hurt me.”

“The madness has already come,” Rand said, “and I have it in my grip. As for hurting you, she’s probably right. I don’t think I can avoid hurting those around me. It was a hard lesson to learn.”

“You implied that you’re mad,” Perrin said, hand resting on his hammer again as he walked. He wore it at his side, large though it was; he’d obviously needed to construct a special sheath for it. An amazing piece of work. Rand kept intending to ask whether it was one of the Power-wrought weapons his Asha’man had been making——. “But Rand, you’re not. You don’t seem at all crazy to me.”

Rand smiled, and a thought fluttered at the edge of his mind. “I am mad, Perrin. My madness is these memories, these impulses. Lews Therin tried to take over. I was two people, fighting over control of myself. And one of them was completely insane.”

“Light,” Perrin whispered, “that sounds horrible.”

“It wasn’t pleasant. But . . . here’s the thing, Perrin. I’m increasingly certain that I needed these memories. Lews Therin was a good man. I was a good man, but things went wrong—I grew too arrogant, I assumed I could do everything myself. I needed to remember that; without the madness . . . without these memories, I might have gone charging in alone again.”

“So you are going to work with the others?” Perrin asked, looking up toward where Egwene and the other members of the White Tower were camped. “This looks an awful lot like armies gathering to fight one another.”

“I’ll make Egwene see sense,” Rand said. “I’m right, Perrin. We need to break the seals. I don’t know why she denies this.”

“She’s the Amyrlin now.” Perrin rubbed his chin. “She’s Watcher of the Seals, Rand. It’s up to her to make sure they’re cared for.”

“It is. Which is why I will persuade her that my intentions for them are correct.”

“Are you sure about breaking them, Rand?” Perrin asked. “Absolutely sure?”

“Tell me, Perrin. If a metal tool or weapon shatters, can you stick it back together and make it work properly?”

“Well, you can,” Perrin said. “It’s better not to. The grain of the steel . . . well, you’re almost always better off reforging it. Melting it down, starting from scratch.”

“It is the same here. The seals are broken, like a sword. We can’t just patch the pieces. It won’t work. We need to remove the shards and make something new to go in their place. Something better.”

“Rand,” Perrin said, “that’s the most reasonable thing anyone has said on this topic. Have you explained it that way to Egwene?”

“She’s not a blacksmith, my friend.” Rand smiled.

“She’s smart, Rand. Smarter than either of us. She’ll understand if you explain it the right way.”

“We shall see,” Rand said. “Tomorrow.”

Perrin stopped walking, his face lit by the glow of Rand’s Power-summoned orb. His camp, beside Rand’s, contained a force as large as any on the field. Rand still found it incredible that Perrin had gathered so many, including—of all things—the Whitecloaks. Rand’s eyes-and-ears indicated that everyone in Perrin’s camp seemed loyal to him. Even the Wise Ones and Aes Sedai with him were more inclined to do what Perrin said than not.

Sure as the wind and the sky, Perrin had become a king. A different kind of king than Rand—a king of his people, who lived among them. Rand couldn’t take that same path. Perrin could be a man. Rand had to be something more, for a little time yet. He had to be a symbol, a force that everyone could rely upon.

That was terribly tiring. Not all of it was physical fatigue, but instead something deeper. Being what people needed was wearing on him, grinding as surely as a river cut at a mountain. In the end, the river would always win.

“I’ll support you in this, Rand,” Perrin said. “But I want you to promise me that you won’t let it come to blows. I won’t fight Elayne. Going up against the Aes Sedai would be worse. We can’t afford to squabble.”

“There won’t be fighting.”

“Promise me.” Perrin’s face grew so hard, one could have broken rocks against it. “Promise me, Rand.”

“I promise it, my friend. I’ll bring us to the Last Battle united.”

“That’ll do, then.” Perrin walked into his camp, nodding to the sentries. Two Rivers men, both of them—Reed Soalen and Kert Wagoner. They saluted Perrin, then eyed Rand and bowed somewhat awkwardly.

Reed and Kert. He’d known them both—Light, he’d looked up to them, as a child—but Rand had grown accustomed to people he’d known treating him as a stranger. He felt the mantle of the Dragon Reborn harden upon him.

“My Lord Dragon,” Kert said. “Are we . . . I mean . . .” He gulped and looked at the sky, and the clouds that seemed to be—despite Rand’s presence—creeping in on them. “Things look bad, don’t they?”

“The storms are often bad, Kert,” Rand said. “But the Two Rivers survives them. Such it will do again.”

“But . . .” Kert said again. “It looks bad. Light burn me, but it does.”

“It will be as the Wheel wills,” Rand said, glancing northward. “Peace, Kert, Reed,” Rand said softly. “The Prophecies have nearly all been fulfilled. This day was seen, and our tests are known. We do not walk into them unaware.”

He hadn’t promised them they would win or that they would survive, but both men stood up straighter and nodded, smiling. People liked to know that there was a plan. The knowledge that someone was in control might be the strongest comfort that Rand could offer them.

“That’s enough bothering the Lord Dragon with your questions,” Perrin said. “Make sure you guard this post well—no dozing, Kert, and no dicing.”

Both men saluted again as Perrin and Rand passed into the camp. There was more cheer here than there was in other camps on the Field. The campfires seemed faintly brighter, the laughter faintly louder. It was as if the Two Rivers folk had managed, somehow, to bring home with them.

“You lead them well,” Rand said softly, moving quickly beside Perrin, who nodded toward those out at night.

“They shouldn’t need me to tell them what to do, and that’s that.” However, when a messenger came running into camp, Perrin was immediately in charge. He called the spindly youth by name and, seeing the boy’s flushed face and trembling legs—he was frightened of Rand—Perrin pulled him aside and spoke softly, but firmly, with him.

Perrin sent the boy off to find Lady Faile, then stepped over. “I need to talk to Rand again.”

“You’re talking to—”

“I need the real Rand, not the man who’s learned to talk like an Aes Sedai.”

Rand sighed. “It really is me, Perrin,” he protested. “I’m more me than I’ve been for ages.”

“Yes, well, I don’t like talking to you when your emotions are all masked.”

A group of Two Rivers men passed and saluted. He felt a sudden spike of cold solitude at seeing those men and knowing he could never be one of them again. It was hardest with the Two Rivers men. But he did let himself be more . . . relaxed, for Perrin’s sake.

“So, what was it?” he asked. “What did the messenger say?”

“You were right to be worried,” Perrin said. “Rand, Caemlyn has fallen. It’s overrun with Trollocs.”

Rand felt his face grow hard.

“You’re not surprised,” Perrin said. “You’re worried, but not surprised.”

“No, I’m not,” Rand admitted. “I thought it would be the south where they struck—I’ve heard word of Trolloc sightings there, and I’m half-certain that Demandred is involved. He has never been comfortable without an army. But Caemlyn . . . yes, it’s a clever strike. I told you they would try to distract us. If they can undercut Andor and draw her away, my alliance grows much shakier.”

Perrin glanced at where Elayne’s camp was set up right beside that of Egwene. “But wouldn’t it be good for you if Elayne ran off? She’s on the other side of this confrontation.”

“There is no other side, Perrin. There is one side, with a disagreement on how that side should proceed. If Elayne isn’t here to be part of the meeting, it will undermine everything I’m trying to accomplish. She’s probably the most powerful of all the rulers.”

Rand could feel her, of course, through the bond. Her spike of alarm let him know that she’d received this information. Should he go to her? Perhaps he could send Min. She had gotten up, and was moving away from the tent where he’d left her. And—

He blinked. Aviendha. She was here, at Merrilor. She hadn’t been here moments ago, had she? Perrin glanced at him, and he didn’t bother to wipe the shock from his face.

“We can’t let Elayne leave,” Rand said.

“Not even to protect her homeland?” Perrin asked, incredulous.

“If the Trollocs have already taken Caemlyn, then it’s too late for Elayne to do anything meaningful. Elayne’s forces will focus on evacuation. She doesn’t need to be there for that, but she does need to be here. Tomorrow morning.”

How could he make certain she stayed? Elayne reacted poorly to being told what to do—all women did—but if he implied . . .

“Rand,” Perrin said, “what if we sent in the Asha’man? All of them? We could make a fight of it at Caemlyn.”

“No,” Rand said, though the word hurt. “Perrin, if the city really is overrun—I’ll send men through gateways to be certain—then it’s lost. Taking back those walls would take far too much effort, at least right now. We cannot let this coalition break apart before I have a chance to forge it together. Unity will preserve us. If each of us goes running off to put out fires in our homelands, then we will lose. That’s what this attack is about.”

“I suppose that’s possible . . .” Perrin said, fingering his hammer.

“The attack might unnerve Elayne, make her more eager to act,” Rand said, considering a dozen different lines of action. “Perhaps this will make her more vulnerable to agreeing with my plan. This could be a good thing.”

Perrin frowned.

How quickly I’ve learned to use others. He had learned to laugh again. He had learned to accept his fate, and to charge toward it smiling. He had learned to be at peace with who he had been, what he had done.

That understanding would not stop him from using the tools given him. He needed them, needed them all. The difference now was that he would see the people they were, not just the tools he would use. So he told himself.

“I still think we should do something to help Andor,” Perrin said, scratching his beard. “How did they sneak in, do you think?”

“By Waygate,” Rand said absently.

Perrin grunted. “Well, you said that Trollocs can’t Travel through gateways; could they have learned how to fix that?”

“Pray to the Light they haven’t,” Rand said. “The only Shadowspawn they managed to make that could go through gateways were gholam, and Aginor wasn’t foolish enough to make more than a few of those. No, I’d bet against Mat himself that this was the Caemlyn Waygate. I thought she had that thing guarded!”

“If it was the Waygate, we can do something,” Perrin said. “We can’t have Trollocs rampaging in Andor; if they leave Caemlyn, they’ll be at our backs, and that will be a disaster. But if they’re coming in at a single point, we might be able to disrupt their invasion with an attack on that point.”

Rand grinned.

“What’s so funny?”

“At least I have an excuse for knowing and understanding things no youth from the Two Rivers should.”

Perrin snorted. “Go jump in the Winespring Water. You really think this is Demandred?”

“It’s exactly the sort of thing he’d try. Separate your foes, then crush them one at a time. It’s one of the oldest strategies in warfare.”

Demandred himself had discovered it in the old writings. They’d known nothing of war when the Bore had first opened. Oh, they’d thought they understood it, but it had been the understanding of the scholar looking back on something ancient, dusty.

Of all those to turn to the Shadow, Demandred’s betrayal seemed the most tragic. The man could have been a hero. Should have been a hero.

I’m to blame for that, too, Rand thought. If I’d offered a hand instead of a smirk, if I’d congratulated instead of competed. If I’d been the man then that I am now . . .

Never mind that. He had to send to Elayne. The proper course was to send help for evacuating the city, Asha’man and loyal Aes Sedai to make gateways and free as many people as possible—and to make certain that for now, the Trollocs remained in Caemlyn.

“Well, I guess those memories of yours are good for something, then,” Perrin said.

“Do you want to know the thing that twists my brain in knots, Perrin?” Rand said softly. “The thing that gives me shivers, like the cold breath of the Shadow itself? The taint is what made me mad and what gave me memories from my past life. They came as Lews Therin whispering to me. But that very insanity is the thing giving me the clues I need to win. Don’t you see? If I win this, it will be the taint itself that led to the Dark One’s fall.”

Perrin whistled softly.

Redemption, Rand thought. When I tried this last time, my madness destroyed us.

This time, it will save us.

“Go to your wife, Perrin,” Rand said, glancing at the sky. “This is the last night of anything resembling peace you shall know before the end. I’ll investigate and see how bad things are in Andor.” He looked back at his friend. “I will not forget my promise. Unity must come before all else. I lost last time precisely because I threw unity aside.”

Perrin nodded, then rested a hand on Rand’s shoulder. “The Light illumine you.”

“And you, my friend.”


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

This story is part of A Memory of Light: ‹ previous | index | next ›
3. jshahmiran
Omg I am so pumped
Bryan Cogswell
4. shmoo
Looks like i picked the wrong day to start being productive...
Peter Czyzewski
5. sebastianelgar
Well now I'm even more impatient for the next 3+ months to find out what happens next
Chris Zewe
6. Zewe
I love Talmanes and all, but why couldn't the man have had a decent, honorable death? Dammit.

Besides that though, great first chapter. Thank you Tor, Team Jordan, and all involved for this treat.
7. Varaconn
I thought it was Thom, not Tam?
She looked up at Egwene as the men carried him away. “Light,” Nynaeve whispered, “that took a lot out of me. Even with my angreal. I’m impressed that Moiraine managed it with Tam, all that time ago . . .” There seemed to be a note of pride in Nynaeve’s voice.
8. Stargazer
Wow wow wow. So much so good here. And talk about pacing! We spent entire books on rescuing Faile, now we get the sack of Caemlyn in the prologue and by chapter one all the major players already know about it and are taking action. Whew. If the pace keeps up at this rate, can you imagine how much is going to be packed into this book? *whistles*
9. beerofthedark
@7 - Moiraine healed Tam from a scratch from a Thakandar blade after Winter's Night at the start of TEOTW
Edward Pena
10. LilDragon

And meeeeep. January needs to hurry along now!
Mo -
11. Astus
@7 - It is Tam. Remember how Rand had to practically drag him from their farm to the town after the trolloc attack? Moiraine was the one who healed him.
Ninja'd. :)

@6 - Agreed. Although there's still plenty of time for honourable deaths to start piling up. ;)
13. Insouciant
Gets off to a pretty fast start after a little reminiscing (several moments from past books, especially EotW are recalled). I enjoy those momentary flashbacks. Rand and Egwene PoV's makes sense to start the last book.
Mo -
14. Astus
Also, obligatory omgomgomgomgomg!
This is too much, haha. Is it January yet? :)
jeremiah gaster
15. jer
omg, omg... but why doesn't rand just do what Eg. did in order to see Elayne, um.. the queen, his love, just lost her city, her royal throne, etc.
16. Kirk422
WOW!! just WOW!
19. Jasper Sedai
Don't Worry
Loyal and the Ogier will save Caemlyn....
21. nipper
Yea Talmanes, I knew you were not dead.
22. Korasa
Whew. It begins i guess. I have never been so excited and so worried for something concluding before.
Terry McNamee
23. macster so many kinds of amazing I can't stand it! *squees*

Balwer working for Rand. The reminiscing about something that was already talked about before explained, not a continuity error. Egwene being reasonable--and Rand too! (They are quite clearly going to come to an understanding, take that, naysayers!) Nynaeve Healing Thakan'dar tainting to (hopefully) save Talmanes. Egeanin showing up to help Egwene. (Can't wait to see how!) The dragons being saved. Aviendha showing up (time to warn Rand about the Bad Future!). Cool new prophecies. (So Rand will die before the seals are broken? And so many meanings to "his blood will give us the Light"...) An Amyrlin Dreamer from long ago--how exciting! Egwene showing she has in fact done research. Romanda and the Aes Sedai helping. All the references back to TEotW. The great moments of humor. Soooooo much is happening!

I hope my heart doesn't give out from the suspense before January!
Daniel Goss
25. Beren

Though if I have one quibble, it's a minor annoyance at Rand's learning that he's going to be a father happening off-camera. That's a scene I'd have liked to see. Ah well.

Eating worms, so that I may say that I'm waiting with baited breath.

26. puloy
And it seems Talmanes survives the Prologue and Chapter 1..will he survive the rest of the book? This tidbit matches Mat's chapter though as he wasn't too sad or hard on himself for not opening Verin's letter sooner.

And now the library ter'angreal makes an appearance! I've been wondering where it went to. I always thought it was too important to be left alone to collect dust..the Browns must be going all over themselves to have a got at all those Age of Legends tomes..I would've given an arm and a leg to have copies of Alexandria's treasures..

With the whole slew of AMoL material going out, I find myself expecting Leigh's spoiler post going up sometime soon..or is it up already?
27. Matt_F
why why why do you do this to me?!??!??
29. Jack Eriksson
As awlays an amazing story!

The only bad thing to me is the Talmanes part. Ok, I very much like Talmanes. But I am a bit disapointed that he will live. The obsession with character preservation in WoT irks me. This is the upbuild and fight of the last battle between the light and the dark one. And almost none light major, semi-major, or above minor charachter's have died?
Terry McNamee
30. macster
@26 No, she's said she is waiting to get and read her advance copy, and then post the review, until after she finishes the ToM re-read. Sometime in November.

@28 JimBurnell: Don't mind him, he's an old-school veteran WOTer who wouldn't have been happy with anything but Jordan's version of the last books. :P
31. chibimin
Sweet mother of us all, that was awesome! I shivered when the Last Battle began. So good.
Holly Finnen-Stewart
32. Branwhin
UH-OH. Camlann...

Mind you, as I'm quite sure the Dragon-soul is bound to the Wheel more firmly than just about anybody, mere death isn't going to stop him.

But it's sure going to put an interesting spin on tomorrow's meeting, if this is 'it' by twisting the Arthurian legend into RJ's favourite kind of pretzel (I grew to love it when he does that; I'll admit it did throw me at first), and by Egwene's vision in the Accepted ter'angreal.

Oh, Matrim, we could use some luck. And music...

Thank you, TOR and Team Jordan! You are, as always, awesome with awesome sauce. And a cherry on top. I'm in a haze of WoT-induced geekiness right now...
James Luckman
33. Luckers
@JimBurnell Keep an eye on Dragonmount over the next few days. My response to this will be... quite thorough.
35. Typhoonclass17
OMG I am not getting any work done, between reading all these snippets released by TOR and trying to reread the series before January (It doesn't help that I downloaded the kindle e-reader app to my PC at work) I'm gonna lose my job before halloween!

That being said, this is absolutely AMAZING!!!
Really bring all the big play makers back together in one camp!
We've seen Mat in the chapter 11 excerpt, now just waiting on the Thom/Moraine duo to return and most importantly I can't wait for Loial to come back to play a stellar role in this last book

Day and night I can't think of anything but WOT
36. Isimo
What a way to rescue my morning! Thanks Team Jordan!
A.J. Bobo
37. Daedylus
It's good to see Rand and Perrin together again, and being civil to each other. Heck, it's good to see Rand being civil to anyone.

I'm also very happy that Rand and Egwene are making sense in their thoughts about breaking the seals. Maybe they can discuss it like adults and not like arrogant, pouty children.

Goodness, I'm excited for this book. Too bad I have five a half books to get through in my own reread.
Billie Jo Smith
39. Rosered3791
I can't wait! I am so excited. Awesome! Absolutely awesome!
40. MasterAlThor
Tor your are soooooo very naughty for this.

I love it. Thx

41. jefff
That was awesome. Thanks Brandon and Team Jordan!
Michael Maxwell
42. pike747
As Charlie Brown is wont to say... AAaaaargghhhh! I can't stand it!

Terrific. I was just posting on another thread about Elayne and Egwene needing to meet face to face. It was good but different than I had envisioned.
Nynaeve, so awesome, she just refuses to lose. No back up, no surrender to the Dark One or to Death! And she has come full circle regarding Moraine. Needed a little bit of her and Mat to really get this party started!

I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with character preservation or conservation. If anyone does there is always George RR Martin. I want all of these characters to live, laugh and love forever! Alas I know that they won't.

The pacing. Man this was intense and I can't wait to read the 50,000 word chapter.

I have the same feeling now I have when I play a difficult fight in a video game!
Tricia Irish
43. Tektonica
Thank you, Tor! Great stuff. Nice to see Egwene and Rand holding similar thoughts and goals. There is hope!

Really nice to get Rand's take on the Taint, and what it was like for him to hold LTT's memories and the madness it caused. It confirmed my take on the whole thing. He really seems to have learned his lessons this time around.

Also, nice to see Rand and Perrin together, being "normal" friends again, albeit, after much stress and growth. Their trust and friendship seems to be firmly in tact.

So much awesome........can not wait for January!
44. Jokester
January seems a whole lot longet to wait now than it was before................So pumped So stoked My boss just walked over and asked why I was smiling so hard and I said "I just read a book about the end of the world as it's known and I've never in my life wanted to know how it ends as badly as I want to with this book" She asks, "You're looking forward to the end of the world? and I say "YES!!!!!"
Chin Bawambi
45. bawambi
First:He, Rand al’Thor, would be a father. Assuming he won the Last Battle.
This is a sea change in Rand's POV.

Demandred himself had discovered it in the old writings.
This might make the boogeyman rather lame against the Great Captains let alone the Trickster.

That and I'm intrigued enough by Luckers comment to go back to Dragonmount for the first time in forever. I hope I am not disappointed in the end of this series. I have been vastly let down by major series endings before e.g. Kate Elliot's Crown of Stars comes to mind...
46. SolGoodGuy
I don't want to be labeled elitist Jordan purist or w/e but that didn't feel like WoT to me. The world seems inorganic, everything is too direct and abrupt, including the way the characters think. I know that have alot to wrap up but Jordan was always good at weaving trivialities and anecdotes into important scenes, it made things seem more grounded and real. Wasn't detail rich enough either. Hopefully the ending will be better.
Noneo Yourbusiness
47. Longtimefan
so awesome.

Now if they would just release one chapter every wednesday. :)
48. Farragut
Great stuff! After 21 years of waiting to find out how this will end, it's nice to finally be there. . . .

One nitpicky point—what's with this sudden need in the post-KOD books for waving a hand to open a gateway? It's just one of those little things that stands out to me for some reason, and it seems a bit inconsistent with what RJ wrote earlier on about this sort of thing.
James Jones
49. jamesedjones
Meh. The amount of action is refreshing, but I miss the undercutting and hidden plots. Wasn't sure about some of the spoilers until now. I was kinda hoping Talmanes would die. His sense of humor is off. It's like he's not the poster boy for Cairheinin stoicism any more. Everything he used to say could be taken seriously, unless you were absolutely sure he was making a joke. His humor is more of a reach now.
Sam Mickel
50. Samadai
This is a great chapter. Rand, Perrin, Egwene, Elayne, Nynaeve. 5 of the main 6 characters in one chapter.

Thank you Tor and Team Jordan for another little glimpse
51. Theoryland Hopper
Just reading the first part about the wind coming down out of the Mountains of Mist gave me chills. It got better from there.

aMoL is going to be freaking incredible.
52. Bartz
Glad to see that the wine continuity error was fixed. I guess Team Jordan has been listening!
Kimani Rogers
53. KiManiak
Oh, excellent job Team Jordan!

It’s like an active decision was made to answer certain niggling questions right away! Egwene, the Aes Sedai and the 13th depository research; Rand finding out about Elayne’s pregnancy; Roedran coming to the Field of Merrilor; multiple Ashaman pitching in to create Power-wrought weapons; when Elayne would find out about Caemlyn. And as of the Prologue: will Talamanes survive (I admit, I thought he was toast); will the dragons be able to punch a hole in the wall big enough to make it out; will aid reach Caemlyn in time.

And its not yet October?! We still have 3+ months to go?!

::Immense happiness and frustration, felt at the same time!::

Thank you, Team Jordan and!
54. Aridreki
I think I held my breath the entire time I was reading. I'm serious...I'm a little light-headed now. But OMG!... January cannot get here soon enough!
Craig Jarvis
56. hawkido
Dammit I have a meeting I am prepping for in like 2 hours! Burn you TOR!... I may have to tell them I can't make it and they will have to do without all my reports!
Alice Arneson
57. Wetlandernw
Wow - that chapter gave a whole new meaning to "bated breath" - I could hardly breathe the whole time! So very many questions answered and criticisms quelled in the first chapter - and action, too!

I have to admit I'm a bit puzzled by those who are disappointed, but... I find that I can skip those comments with equanimity. I have every intention of enjoying every word of this book, right down to the endings - and beginnings - suitable for every single character. I have absolute confidence that Team Jordan has done it right, and I'm going to ignore the nitpicking and quibbling about writing style, etc. I'm pretty sure Brandon isn't going to save anyone RJ meant to die, and he's not going to kill anyone RJ meant to survive. Beyond that, I'm just absolutely thrilled to be reading the beginning of the end.
58. TheBeerPatriot
Great Chapter 1, already setting the stage for a breakneck pace. Thanks for posting TOR, really looking forward to getting the whole AMOL soon!
Amanda Perez
59. ViciousCircle
Oh no, Luckers is going to be apallingly thorough on our blessed new WOT chapter!
Come on buddy, any new WOT is a good thing!
I'm going to do my happy dance and hope for more pre-release goodness.
60. Tenesmus
I had a Foretelling that TOR may be bumping up the release date. They have always said they would get it ot as soon as they could. Jan 8, 2013 is really a "no later than" date. I think we will see it sooner.
Alice Arneson
61. Wetlandernw
Tenesmus - Yes, but I just convinced myself that January 8 is good - I've got the holidays from Thanksgiving through Epiphany to keep me occupied right up until the day AMoL arrives. :) Oh well. If they just have to release it earlier, I guess I won't wait to read it... (as if!!)
Rob Munnelly
63. RobMRobM
By the way, what's up with the chapter icon? Have we seen that one before? What does it signify?
Peter Ahlstrom
64. PeterAhlstrom
I expect the book to be released on January 8th. A number of the bookstore tour stops are confirmed, and that's just the tiniest reason the book will not be moved up.
Philip Alan Smith
65. AlanS7
Rand frowned, resting his hand on Laman’s sword at his waist.

Where's Justice?
F Shelley
66. FSS
Thanks tor and team Jordan.

Er about chapter 2?
67. Makilish
That was AWESOME! is TOR gonna release the entire book before it's released, jeez. January is a long way off. I like when Perrin tells him to stop being an ass and just be Rand. Nice
Tricia Irish
68. Tektonica
This chapter does seem to indicate that Rand thinks Demandred is behind the Trolloc army, doesn't it? So he's been in the Blight, training fades, trollocs and red veiled Aiel? Thoughts?

And come on people, we are all going to have our little pet peeves about certain developments, and endless debates over who wrote what, and style, and voice, but really, really......So much has to happen in this book. I say, bring it on fast and furiously, if necessary. I'm just glad it's happening and we get to know RJ's vision. I'm going to enjoy it all!!
Dan Herbert
69. Ordeith
All I can say is, WOW!

After 20 years I can't believe that it is finally coming to an end, such a bittersweat feeling.
71. Hammerlock
So it looks like it was just Laman's sword that was re-found and not Justice? Or does Rand coordinate his swords to properly accessorize his outfits?
72. Joe Heron
if you could do AMOL out by dec 1, they would gain a lot from Xmas sales. just saying.
73. Christine Brooks
Jeeezzzzzz...I just can't stand this waiting!! I've downloaded the entire WoT library on my IPod (who needs music) and had the story from the beginnning read to me over this last spring & summer. Pure bliss. I've listened in staff mtgs, HR mandatory training, dentist visits and vacation travels. I remember minute details forgotten the last 20 yrs since I began this travel with Mr. Jordon. I am soooo ready for climatic finale. Pure agony/ectascy for this final epic closure. Let the 'Balefire' begin. A surprise release for XMas please. Oh....did someone tether Bela is a safe local with plenty of oats?
VJ Bruce
74. vjbruce
I'm in complete agreement with what Wetlandernw says @57. Just wanted to pop in and say THANK YOU to Tor for giving us this glimpse! (I think this is my second of third post of the entire re-read. I don't say much but I read everything, just like many others, I suspect.) :)
75. ObsessiveFan
Great start to the last book/last battle. Coincidence? Wow! All that and only one typo and one grammatical error.

Grammatical: “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.”

Spelling: “Darkfriends killed two of the women you left to send messages, Your Majesty,” he was saying in a tired voice. “Antoher fell in the fighting. But we retrieved the dragons.

Too much parichial school to let those slide... :)

Fabulous start to the book, can't wait to get it in my hands!!!!!!!!!!!!!
janet vaughn
76. geochic1
I have no will power. I keep trying to not read the chapter releases but can never stay away.
Cant wait for Jan.
woo hoooo
77. jms1969
Enjoyed the's amazing how much the plot was moved along in just one chapter.

I don't quite get those who are complaining about the pacing. It's taken us over a dozen books to get here, each of which introduced new characters and plotlines, and there are now so many plotlines open that it will be a major accomplishment if even half of them are resolved. To get to the satisfactory conclusion that we all want, this will have to continue and even accelerate the rest of the way. I welcome this, and I think most WOT fans will also.

One plot question that I believe is unanswered, however, is how the Caemlyn army, dragons, and refugees managed to make contact with Elayne so quickly. The story is very specific on how they escaped from Caemlyn and were protected by the mercenaries, but how did they get word to the army so quickly? I guess we're to assume they met an unnamed channeler who made a gateway, but it seems like an odd part of the story to leave out. It could also be the person Elayne sent to the Traveling Grounds, but I'd assume that person would have only been able to report Caemlyn was under attack and would have no idea where survivors would be. Did I miss something here?
78. ObsessiveFan
and I couldn't manage a single paragraph without a typo...parochial. lol
79. jms1969
Ignore the last paragraph of my post above - with all the talk about Caemlyn falling, I forgot that the palace still was being defended at the end of the prologue. It's not that big of a leap from there to assume that those in palace knew what Talamanes group was up to and that they could be found pretty easily from there!
80. RegCPA5963
WOW, up until now the trickles of info were kind of cool, the prologue, etc. I was impressed by the flow of the chapter. I absolutely, cannot wait!
81. DescendantOfRand
I agree with all of the comments above... Except the negative ones. I think Brandon had done a fantastic job, along with Team Jordan, to finish the series, and I really cant imagine anyone else taking up that sword and finishing these books.
Kat Blom
82. pro_star
@48 - Farragut you mentioned the hand waving with gateways...

I can't recall which book it was mentioned in (and it's been awhile since I've done a mass series re-read) but I seem to recall the Wise One's scorn for the AS having to "wave their hands" to make weaves. So if they've been waving their hands for so long, perhaps its plausable they kept up the habit, if that's how they know to weave?

Yes, I haven't started my re-read yet. Trying to time it so I'm not waiting too long between when I finish and when aMoL comes out. (to use a Leigh-ism...SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!!)
83. Nevynn
Damn I can't wait! I will be so pissed if the world ends on December 21st to prevent me from reading this!
84. Darkclaw316
@81 You are correct. While I understand the desire of some for the entire story to have been 100% Jordan (that's where I believe the majority of criticism arises), Brandon Sanderson has done a fine job of taking Jordan's ideas and shaping them into book form. This chapter was perfectly fine. It sets the stage for what is going on with a number of the major characters just before The Last Battle and also shows that the Shadow still has its plots and plans going on. It reveals the maturation of Rand and Perrin from wide-eyed youths in EotW to not only men but leaders of men at the end. I'm sure subsequent chapters will show the same for Mat. I'm also excited to see what Moiraine will do and how Lan will fare against seemingly impossible odds. I'm putting my money on the King of Malkier.
Mo -
85. Astus
Rob @ 63 - We have seen the tree before. I believe it was used in the Blight chapter all the way back in EotW.
86. CasinovaRock23
That sent shivers down my spine...
Skip Ives
87. Skip
@45. bawambi, that's always been a thought of mine. Demandred was a battle leader to match anyone in the AoL, but none of them knew anything about actually fighting, and the weapons of the time were greatly different. Imagine sending Patton back in time to fight Alexander. Now imagine that instead of Patton, he's just a guy that read a few books on tactics. The great generals are people that have fought for years and have both practical and tactical leadership skills for battles. And then there is Mat ...
88. Voronwë
@46: the Prologue gave me that feeling; especially the fighting in Caemlyn. As if the city was just a painted cardboard background, with no depth. Chapter one, on the other hand, felt a lot better to me.
I like the way Rand and Perrin have renewed their old friendship, and was pleasantly surprised at how mature and reasonable both Eg and Rand sounded. Finally, we’re getting somewhere... (or we will be, in January!)

Also: Rand will be a father — if he makes it past Tarmon Gai’don. Way to motivate him to survive!
89. Pansy
I know you aren't supposed to wish your life away, but I wish Jan. was here!! Great job RJ, Brandon, Team Jordan and Tor!
Just a huh moment... wasn't all of Matt's family killed by trollocs?
Billy Martin
90. dawgriver
I'm dissappointed .. Brandon (who misses few chances at a quip) passed up a primo opportunity to continue a Long Running "gag".
On the other side, Elayne stood beside a warm brazier. The Queen wore a pale green dress, her belly increasingly swollen from the babes within. She hastened over to Egwene and kissed her ring. Birgitte stood to one side of the tent flaps, arms folded, wearing her short red jacket and wide, sky-blue trousers, her golden braid down over her shoulder.
What's happened to "beneath her breasts"? I desperately hope this is not a Portent...
Kidding aside .. This is gonna' be good ... and I could kick Tor squarely where their coat does not cover their hips for dangling bait like this.
91. Robbin
oh thank the light!! talmanes made it!! all of you haters who are wishing him dead have been reading too much bloody george rr martin! and don't worry, the last battle is still coming. i'm sure you'll get your fill of death and despair even if a few of the "heros" make it out alive.
92. Özgür
well, this time it kinda sucks, i just cant wait it to get published but it is the last book, so it will be all completed and the joy of waiting the next book wont be there, for i am sure that there wont be any saga like this, well cant
93. The Queen in the North
Oh my god, this was incredible. I can't wait until January!

So many of my favorite characters all coming together at last. All we need is Mat and Moiraine and Loial.

Speaking of Moiraine, I cannot WAIT for the Moiraine+Rand reunion. I will bawl, I just know it.
94. ClintACK
Well... there went my afternoon plans.

Really, really great. I love Brandon Sanderson's pacing.

So much there!

Is it January yet?
Mo -
95. Astus
@89 - Mat's family is fine. Perrin's family was the one that was butchered. Not by trollocs though. Fain (and his whitecloaks?) did the deed.
96. AndrewB
As others have stated above, the pacing of this chapter is diffent from other books. I would guess that a majority of the chapters in htis series focused on the point of view of one character. Those chapters that did have multiple points of view would have the scene of one character and then swith to another. Pre TGS, I do not remember that happening much. (With AMoL, it happened in the prologue and Chapter 1.) IMO, this causes a more frenetic pace.

I am not complaining about the pace in the preceding paragraph. I am merely observing a difference in tone and pacing. I think it is effective in this instance (as I did in the prologue).

I have two theories as to why the change in pacing and character perspective. First (which I do not subscribe to) is that this change in pacing is BWS' writing style -- whereas RJ had a more deliberate pacing writing style.

My other theory is that RJ left notes that the pacing should be more intense, almost more frenetic. I never served in the military and have had no first hand experience with battles. I am not sure if this new pacing method is akin to what a soldier may experience on the eve of a military action. It may be that this is the perspective I get from Hollywood's depiction of military scenarios. However, RJ did serve in Veitnam and saw action while there. If this heightended pacing is something akin to how a soldier would feel on the eve of a military engagement, it is possible that RJ would have wanted to use this technique to have the readers feel a heightended sense of something going on.

Other than the healing at the end, there was no action in this chapter. Yet by switching from Rand's POV to Egwene's POV multiple times, it created a sense (at least from my perspective) of heightended suspense. This suspense would not have been there if the chapter had first had Rand's POV and then had Egwene's POV.

I apologize if the above is a bunch of rambling words that is not coherent.

"Wish I didn't know know what I didn't know then" - Bob Seger, Against the Wind
97. Tenesmus
I would like to use a metaphor to to respond to the critics of Sanderson's work on the WOT. Compare it to someone becoming a guardian to a child whose parents have died suddenly. Now, the person who suddenly finds themselves the guardian of a precious child will never, ever, replace that child's original parents. The best they can hope for is to provide the child a caring environment to grow up and to provide a sense of closure on thier childhood so that they can become well adjusted young adults capable of supporting themselves. That may sound like the fill-in parent just "doing the minimum," but how many of us out there would really be willing to do it. Yeah, the fill-in is going to forget, or not know, favorite colors, or that little Billy is afraid of clowns, or that he hates mac and cheese, and be far from perfect in almost every detail, but the end result of that person becoming a young adult and being able to move on from childhood is something that no one should ever pay short shrift to.

(Edited by moderator)
Rob Munnelly
98. RobMRobM
@85 - the tree icon is a signal for the Blight? What does that signify here? *intrigued*
99. wboaz
Error near the beginning:
"starveling rabbits"
101. Rubia Elliora
That was awesome! I can't wait! although i was hoping Rand and Perrin would mention Mat and get a colour swirling thing and see Moiraine with him... Mat was mentioned but no colour swirly :-(
Alice Arneson
102. Wetlandernw
Pansy @89 - A little more detail: Mat's family was indeed captured by the Whitecloaks, along with the Luhhan's; Perrin's family was killed by Whitecloaks under Fain, although initially the Trollocs were blamed. Perrin rescued the Luhhan's and Cauthon's. While Mat's father, mother and youngest sister stayed in Emond's Field, his sister Bodewhin left with Verin & Alanna to go to the White Tower. If Egwene hadn't taken her place, Bodewhin would have been the one captured by the Tower Aes Sedai at Northharbor.
103. Smoke
Where is Olver? His absence is noteworthy considering he was last with Talmanes.
104. dbnob777
Awesome ! Can't Wait !
I love how things are moving fast
Looking forward to hearing more about Lan's Ride across the North to and into the Blight.
105. BPRs
@29 Jack: If I want to see all the decent characters die, I'll go read George RR Martin...
lake sidey
106. lakesidey
Thanks, Team Jordan.

Thanks several times over Mr Sanderson. Never thought I would get to see the end of this, but in a few months I will...:)

Roger Powell
108. forkroot
So it looks like it was just Laman's sword that was re-found and not Justice? Or does Rand coordinate his swords to properly accessorize his outfits?
They are different swords. Avienda gave Laman's sword to Rand, although he only accepted the blade (not the scabbard or the hilt.) The old hilt was taken off and a Cairhienien craftsman put a new hilt on the power-wrought blade.

Avienda kept all the jewels and they came in handy in Elayne's succession plotline (en route to Caemlyn.)

Justice was found and given to Rand later (in a decidedly anti-climactic fashion.) So he has two swords to choose from -- perhaps you are right about "accessorizing".
109. Genisius
The thread that has not been addressed at all is the song of the Aiel. I always thought that would play an important part in the last battle. Rediscovering singing. It seems to have been forgotten. But, I love that the taint was what connected Rand to Lews Therin, and also that the light is keeping him sane now. Brilliantly done.
110. Farragut
@82 pro_star: I remember that, but I was recalling that RJ also had something about gestures only being necessary if that's how you learned the weave; not the case here. As I said before, it's a small thing, really, but a curious writing choice that always stands out despite being used to (and generally fine with) Sanderson's difference in style.

Having said that, I really do think Sanderson is doing a great job finishing the series, and I think he only improved with ToM. It's always great to get excerpts like this a little early.

@97 Tenesmus: That was eloquent, mature, and very classy.
112. TeHardTruth
(Edited by moderator)

*Whistles* WOW!

@97 Would you like to have a good-natured wager with me onjust how long before THAT is deleted - or you possibly banned?

@97 You're not real big on Freedom of Speech, are you, lol?

- The HARD Truth
111. Darkenmal
The Hour of Reckoning draws near.

After the series ends, we need an HBO WoT series, either live action or animation in the Beowulf style.

Been a personal dream for years...
Alice Arneson
113. Wetlandernw
Smoke @103 - Actually, the very last thing we saw of Olver was him diving back into Mat's tent (while Talmanes was raising the call to arms), retrieving a large knife he'd hidden there, and dashing back out ready to fight, to prove he wasn't a coward. He wasn't actually with Talmanes - and probably didn't follow him too closely, because he'd know Talmanes would order him to stay in camp. I expect we'll see him soon enough, though whether dead or alive I couldn't guess.
114. TheHardTruth
Regarding some above (lke #97's) comments:

Everyone please remember - this is a page for CRITICISM as well as compliments and excitment. We are ALL excited, but True fans welcome both. Brandon has repeatedly said HE wants both.


The HARD Truth
Sam Mickel
115. Samadai
I just have one complaint,

How dare you guys at Tor offer this chapter up for free. As a business made for the selling of books I find this to be a heinous offense against people willing to pay for them. Going against the true values of market enterprise. Just so you know, I won't be reading any of your free previews as I find them to be completely out of touch with how a real business should be ran.
Jim Burnell
116. JimBurnell
@85 Astus @98 RobMRobM
I'm not sure using the Blight chapter icon means anything more than that the Blight is no longer confined to the north; the whole world is Blighted.
117. Paetric
Underwhelming. I expected more, but I don't know why I'm surprised when B.S. fails to deliver.
118. Tenesmus
@114. Duly noted. I was only tossing a water balloon on the flame throwers. I did have one bit of criticism; in Talmanes POV he says to Melet (sp?) that the fisrt myrdrall he killed had about 17 "arrows" in it. There were no archers in the Band, only crossbowmen, so shouldn't the myrdall be filled with about 17 "bolts?". That is unless in Randland bolt and arrow are synonyms.
Sanctume Spiritstone
119. Sanctume
Come the morning's meeting with Rand and Egwene's stalemate, enters Mat with Moiraine and compromise happens.

Too bad this is not like Game of Thrones where beloved characters die off the side along the way.
Jim Burnell
120. JimBurnell
Meh. OK, so Brandon lingers less on the details, preferring to focus on dialogue and action, and occasionally his characterizations are a little off, particularly where humor is involved (especially Mat).

To which I say, SO WHAT?

The alternative is that the Wheel of Time cycle ends, and we never know how RJ really wanted it to play out. Unless they published his notes posthumously, and from what I've heard about the volume and organization of said notes, it would be a gigantic mess. If nothing else, it wouldn't be a story.

If Brandon's writing style offends so much that you aren't willing to finish the series, then don't buy the book, and be done with it.

But if you're at the dinner table expecting prime rib, and the waiter says "sorry, we are out of prime rib; would you like a nice sirloin?" then either politely decline and leave the table, or eat what you're given and shut up. Or at the very least, wrap your criticism with a layer of respect and gratitude that at least you're being fed.
121. Thatwolguy
I don't believe it really is from the book. Trollocs dont attack by themselves, Rand wouldn't say "here's the thing" or "the thing is"- I forget which line he used- and there is no mention of what clothing anyone is wearing. Among other things. I call it a fake
Bridget McGovern
122. BMcGovern
@Tenesmus #97, TheHardTruth, et al.: As THT says, criticism and praise are equally welcome in this discussion--we just ask that you stay civil and treat everyone with respect. When in doubt, you can always consult our Moderation Policy (the link also appears at the bottom of the page). I've edited the comments above, in keeping with that policy--now back to more interesting topics!
Glen V
123. Ways
Aaarrrgh! I WON'T READ IT YET, I won't read it yet, I won't...
Well, maybe later. ::Finds something else to do::
124. Paetric
I did forget to mention that I found the lil bit about the power wrought weapons to be welcomed. I've been waiting for that for years! I really loved the part about the maidens calling dibs because spear points are shorter than swords, though I think from past writing it is more like two spear heads to one sword, not three.
125. Isimo
@115 - They offered up the proglogue for a charge. The issue is that many people who were more than happy to pay for it, were unable to purchase it and therefore obtain it legally. In my eyes this is maybe just a way to say sorry?
126. Narlock
@124 It is not just a matter of size. It says takes as long to make not uses as much materials. You are right the Aiel spears have longer points closser to that of a lance head but the procceses to make and temper a spear point is much faster than a sword so even though 3-4 spears uses more material than 1 sword it goes about as fast

Sorry for spelling I have never been good at it.
127. 12Anonymous
@124, 126

Yeah, but I have to question the efficacy of power-wrought spear point in general. Sure it sounds cool but the majority of the spear is still a wooden shaft. Putting a nice, eternally sharp point on it doesn't change that fact. I power wrought spear will break easily as normal one. (If not more so since you've harden the point without reinforcing the haft. With power-wrought swords the whole length is metal/ power wrought and won't break.
Timothy Simpson
128. Narlock
Yes but it has already been stated in TGH that many Aiel spears hafts are sung wood also you dont use the wood part to block a sword. Even if the haft breaks you still have the point you can put on a new haft. Finaly the Aiel are much better fighters than the recently trained men in Perrins camp so power wrought steel is much more effective in their hands.
Roger Powell
130. forkroot
Samadai's post at 115 was a sly piece of humor. While I certainly don't speak for him, I am sure that Sam was tweaking the noses of the complainers who thought that they should be entitled to the Prologue for free.

For those who are (legitimately IMO) annoyed that they cannot legally buy the e-Book prologue, see the spoiler thread to make sure you address your ire in the proper direction (hint: it's not Tor's fault.)
131. Surmiser
@120 JimBurnell

But if you're at the dinner table expecting prime rib, and the waiter says "sorry, we are out of prime rib; would you like a nice sirloin?" then either politely decline and leave the table, or eat what you're given and shut up.

Unfair comparison I think-
you pay a restaurant after you eat
you pay for a book before you read.
If you can find me a store that allows you to finish a book
before you pay then perhaps the analogy might work.

Try complete the following sentence...
The only/best recourse for someone who was disappointed
reading a book is......

(Disclaimer: This post does not express any of my opinions in how i rate this book or this series)
Karan J
133. karanj
@samadai 115 :- either you're walking a fine line with humour there, or you're not the same samadai from comment 50...

@surmiser 131: I think you missed Jim's point about this being about the whole series rather than being about chapter 1 being free etc. For that matter, almost all good bookstores will not be bothered if you come in, grab a book from the shelf and read for a bit; I've done it countless times. Obviously the expectation is that you will buy if you stand there for more than 5 - 10 minutes...

and for that matter, it's completely different to a restaurant where you can't sample the wares and then expect to walk out without paying, while you can do that in a bookshop.
Alice Arneson
134. Wetlandernw
FWIW, there shouldn't be too many left who can't buy the prologue, although those under Orbit's jurisdiction still have to wait until October 2nd.

JimBurnell @120 - While I have to agree with you, it seems unlikely to happen here. I'm sure there are a few who found the writing too disagreeable to them and just went quietly away to wait until the wikipedia entry comes out, and we'll never hear about them. However, there are a number who seem to feel personally insulted that RJ had the unmitigated gall to die before finishing the series, so they're taking it out on the team who is graciously giving us the best alternative possible. And on the rest of us, while they're at it. I don't entirely comprehend this attitude. If there had been less story left to write, maybe it could have been ghost-written to mimic RJ's style more closely, but there would be fault to find with that too.

Personally, I prefer the transparency of what they're doing: a very accomplished and dedicated writer, working with RJ's assistants and editors, is finishing the story RJ wanted told. Clearly it is being told by a different person, but it's the same story: the same events will take place, the same interactions will happen, the same ending will come. It's almost like "We're out of prime rib. Would you like lobster for the same price?" It's not like one is necessarily better than the other, though you might prefer one to the other. They're just very different from one another, but both are tasty and provide a great deal of protein and enjoyment. (I'd have to take the sirloin, being allergic to most seafood, but still...)

Anyway, I've decided not to argue with the naysayers any more (finally, after three years! they all say). They just join my list of "scroll on by" commenters, and I get on with the business of discussing and enjoying every word of the book I get.

Surmiser @151 - Yes, but there's a distinction here. We've all had the chance to read TGS and ToM, so we're all familiar with Brandon's writing in WoT. In the restaurant analogy, we've all eaten here before, and we know how good the prime rib, the sirloin and the lobster all are. This is like people who've eaten here before complaining that they got a price break on the lobster (or the sirloin) but they didn't like it any better this time than they did last time. Surprise. If you don't like lobster, or the way they do the sirloin, you probably won't like it better next time either. Why not just say, "No, thanks," and go away quietly? Why sit there and complain loudly about how the lobster (or sirloin) is no better this time than it was last time, and the shortage of prime rib ought to be somebody's fault, dammit?
Tami Martinez
135. martinezt
Long time lurker here...I agree with Wetlander, that I am so happy to have the series finished that I don't care who writes it. I get all caught up in the story, and don't really notice the style differences. I can't wait to read the end, but will be sad too, because what will I do on Tuesday mornings with no more re-read? :(
136. Isaac Mcgillicutty
I think we all need to remember that RJ himself was trying to write the rest of the story in one book.

How abrupt would certain scenes be if he actually suceeded in doing so?
138. Isaac Mcgillicutty
Wow man. You are taking this a bit too far.
140. Surmiser
@134 Wetlandernw

Hoping you dont get me wrong because the restaurant analogy
doesnt work for me and i only pointed one example to illustrate.

Bottom line for me is:
1. People need to know how they did.
(especially the people who work on this major project
for the past decades.)
2.They have done a phenomenal job but they also need
to know areas of improvement.
3. I disagree with some readers that say "if you dont like it
just walk away (without some feedback)."
4. I fully support any commenter/s right to respectfully
express their like/dislike of any part and i have more respect
for them if they can express/focus on those and perhaps give hints
of how to make it better.
I think creative writers gain more by getting access to constructive feedback and being a humble reader, i do not presume to tell other readers if what they like/dislike would have merit or not. Only the people working the project gets to make that call.
Sam Mickel
141. Samadai

Wetlander expressed how she feels about those people she considers whiners. Not once did she tell them to Not post here. Perhaps you should learn to read, then maybe you can understand the difference between what she says about how she feels and what you are accusing her of.

And that is "The Hard Truth"
142. Isaac Mcgillicutty
Well. As you have perfectly stated. People can say whatever they want. It is their right and freedom to do so. I completely understand where you are coming from.

I just thought your post came across as angry in tone and, for that very reason might not be received in the spirit in which you intended.

I have read every post here tonight.

The thing that stands apart is that you got a bit pissed and vented when maybe there was no need to do so.
John Smith
143. TheHardTruth
@140 - I think we can all agree that was beautifully said and speaks for the majority of us clear-thinking and objective (non sheep/fanboy-blinded/rose colored glasses wearing) readers here at Tor.Com.
John Smith
144. TheHardTruth
@142 - thanks for the follow up. You haven't read ALL of the nasty posts directed at the criticizers because most of them were deleted by mods before many of you guys DID get to see them.

My post was ONE post - after seeing so very many people telling the criticizers to ''shut their piehole'' or ''go away.''

You said there was ''no need'' for my rebuttal to those attacking the AMOL criticizers but, and I'm sorry, but as long as those unhappy with AMOL's early previews are being told to ''shut their pieholes'' and to ''go away'' - then there IS a need.
145. Isaac Mcgillicutty
I did see man. Was on my phone most of the day for excitement.

Go to Dragonmount and try to praise Brandons work. You will get the same Bullshat from the elitists over there.

Go somewhere else and decry him as the worst author ever. You will aquire nut draggers as well.

End of the day. Make your own opinion. Internet voices squabble and quibble, blather on and pontificate endlessly until you cannot even have your own opinion unclouded by others.

Turn this off and wait for the book then, decide for ourselves.

As for "no need" its simply cause there is no win.
John Smith
146. TheHardTruth
@145 - I hear ya. Well said.

Like I said, I have never posted a single bit of criticism here regarding Sanderson. I don't think he's awful by any means. I don't think he is perfect either. It is what it is. What I **DO** think is ANYONE who wants to praise or compliment what he has done has that right - just as equal, however, are the rights of those who share a different view. I'm done.
147. Isaac Mcgillicutty
Great post. Hoorah!
Eric Hughes
148. CireNaes
First of all, thanks to Team Jordan. Also, thanks to Tor for this early treat.

Man do I wish I could bring some of the material here to Chapters 19 and 20 in the reread. Since I can't, I'll post some thoughts here.
“It’s like that,” Rand said. “I can remember being Lews Therin, can remember doing what he did, as one remembers actions in a dream. It was me doing them, but I don’t necessarily like them—or think I’d take those actions if I were in my waking mind. That doesn’t change the fact that, in the dream, they seemed like the right actions.”
Bingo. This is how I like to read the series. Brandon via Rand took the words right out of my mouth. Are the actions right considering the information the character has? Wonderful. Pure wonderful.
Our eyes in his court say he is angry that he needs her help to attend, but is insistent that he needs to be at this meeting—if only so he doesn’t look left out.”
If Demandred is Roedran, then that will be a nasty surprise. Combine that with a strike from Slayer and some real damage could be done in the next few chapters.
Rand felt it like a painful muscle spasm.
One with the land. Rand has so many features. Strong(est) channeler, LiteBrite head which I think is a passive Creator bestowed healing feature, strongest ta’veren, color feature link to other ta’veren, and connected to the land. What I’m interested in is whether Rand’s intense feeling here is echoed with Perrin’s speculative nod. This ta’veren thing could be linked to the whole one with the land thing.
It’s really here, Rand thought. I’m not ready—we’re not ready—but it’s here anyway.
I think AndrewB mused the nail on right on the head about the pacing.
Rand frowned, resting his hand on Laman’s sword at his waist. “It could just be plans for tomorrow,” Perrin said.
Rand is accessorizing. Good call, Hamerlock. Likely a feature of LTT’s AoL metrosexual(?) style. And how else would Lielwen or some other Seanchan get her/their hands on Justice?
Tomorrow will be an important day. If the Shadow has any inkling of tomorrow’s importance, it will try whatever it can to keep us from meeting, from unifying.”
Not to mention the Seanchan. They’ll crash the party in their own way, I’m sure.
sending it was not important. Writing it was about organizing her thoughts, determining what she wished to say to him.
How nice. A glimpse into Eg’s thought process. If only she would sit down with someone and really think things through. Someone who could speak frankly with her despite her position. Oh wait…
Egwene handed over the letter she had been working on.

“To Rand?” Elayne asked.

“You have a different perspective on him than I. Tell me what you think of this letter. I might not send it to him. I haven’t decided yet.”
The sheets had been hastily gathered by the librarians of the Thirteenth Depository. “I’m not saying that we shouldn’t break the seals,” Egwene said. “I’m saying that we can’t afford to risk one of Rand’s crackbrained schemes with this." the very least, we need to discuss it. Rand has been right about many things, but he has been wrong, too. This is not a decision he should be allowed to make alone.”
Now is that unreasonable? That because she knew him during childhood she questions whether or not he thought things through? Especially after strolling into the White Tower? Nope, makes perfect sense to me. And Rand does need other's thoughts on the matter. He knows this and has enlisted Min (who has Cads to bounce thoughts off of, no small thing) to give input to the plan.
“And a longer tomorrow,” Egwene said. “Here, let us link. I’ll lend you my strength.”

Nynaeve looked shocked. “Mother?”

“You are better at Healing than I.” Egwene smiled. “I may be Amyrlin, Nynaeve, but I am still Aes Sedai. Servant of all. My strength will be of use to you.”
Absolutely megalomaniacal. Case closed.
Rand smiled, and a thought fluttered at the edge of his mind. “I am mad, Perrin. My madness is these memories, these impulses. Lews Therin tried to take over. I was two people, fighting over control of myself. And one of them was completely insane.” / The taint is what made me mad and what gave me memories from my past life. They came as Lews Therin whispering to me.
Oh boy. Where’s Terez?
149. Surmiser
My spoiler loaded feedback

I like this chapter because:
1. The characters work together seamlessly
(thought processes focused together, all dialog meshing perfectly
and easily explained by warder bonds and linkages and it is
nice to see that it sometimes work in their favor!)

2. cant remember how fun it was to see how each character was
being considerate of another and how one character can expect
another to react predictably.

3. me-reader totally immersed in the scene of the moment. perfect character blend.
Kristi Deming
150. tigana0118
(Just a warning: It's going to be long!!)

First off, thank you TOR for this. The way my life has been lately, I needed the bolster.

The thing that had me bouncing all day?

"Demandred himself had discovered it in the old writings. They’d known nothing of war when the Bore had first opened. Oh, they’d thought they understood it, but it had been the understanding of the scholar looking back on something ancient, dusty.

Of all those to turn to the Shadow, Demandred’s betrayal seemed the most tragic. The man could have been a hero. Should have been a hero.

I’m to blame for that, too, Rand thought. If I’d offered a hand instead of a smirk, if I’d congratulated instead of competed. If I’d been the man then that I am now . . ."

Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! As much as I would love for Barid Bel to find some peace before the end, I know he probably won't. He is my favorite character and while I accept that for the Light to win he has to die, I have only wanted three things for him: 1) that he make an incredible showing to justify my faith in the fact that RJ "saved the best for last" (and thanks to what Brandon personally said to me, I have no reason to doubt this); 2) that he dies well; and 3) that he receive some vindication.

Yes, he could have done things differently. But I completely understand where he's coming from: I grew up with a brother, a step-sister and a step-brother and even though I was the "good girl", obeyed the rules, got good grades, stayed out of trouble, I was never good enough to even bother with (even though my brothers were into gangs, my sister was promiscuous, and all three were heavy into drugs.) I only had to deal with it until I got out of the house, but it was still enough to make me feel worthless and resentful.

Imagine almost 400 YEARS of it? Of constantly being compared to this person, having everything you accomplish shrugged off because this other person did it too, and on top of it all, said person constantly rubs your nose in it! After 400 YEARS of it, it's incredibly understandable for someone to say "Screw it! I've had enough!"

But to finally have confirmation (from this PoV from Rand) that LTT wasn't exactly a "nice" guy, that he was petty and condesending, shows that it was far more than just Barid Bel turning because he was "jealous"!

The part that had me depressed?

"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."

We're back were we started over 2 decades ago. And we'll never hear those words again.

@99 starveling: "an undernourished or emaciated person or animal" (I know, I thought the same thing as you did, so I looked it up to be sure!)

First, thank you for your service! I don't know you, when you served (though you are obviously a Marine!), but I have always, do, and will always appreciate and respect those who serve our country.

Next, you are absolutely correct about how having the Freedom of Speech also includes defending the right for everyone, even the people you'd rather not have to listen to. If you are willing to deny someone else the right to voice their opinion, you certainly don't have the right to one of your own.

That being said, you kind of contradicted yourself at the end there when you told the censorers to just nod in agreement (not ragging on you for it, just pointing it out.)
Jeff Schweer
151. JeffS.
I wasn't going to read this as I haven't read the prologue and have stayed away from the spoiler thread.
I am weak...

And now am reveling in my weakness and don't care if I'm labeled a cheerleader or whatever.
Damn, that is one satisfying start.

I've never tried to be involved in the "whose voice is it" or "that's just wrong" thing. One, I'm not that big on deconstructing what I'm reading for pleasure and two, I seem to be able to disengage that overly analytical side of my brain at will. That's why I can enjoy both the Lord of the Rings books and the movies at the same time.
I understand why we all need to put what we feel out there. This series has become a HUGE part of all our lives. I get it, I do.
I'll just leave you all with John Mayer:

Take out of your wasted honor
Every little past frustration
Take all your so called problems
Better put them in quotations
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say

Even if your hands are shakin'
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closin'
Do it with a heart wide open
A wide heart ...
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
152. Lela
*sigh* I can't wait to get this book!!!! Omg wish I had it now!!! It's hard to be patient when things ate getting that interesting!!!!
153. VictorG
I thought Antoher was a persons name not a miss spelling. I guess they do need another threeeee months to proof read! Brandon, just pull a view all nighters and get us the book next month??????
William Carter
154. wcarter

After breaking down and reading this post, then the (edited) comments, I would have to say while you certainly have a right to offer up criticism, you don't need to get all defensive about it.

On a comment board where voice tone cant be heard in printed words, it makes you look whiny or thin skinned.

So some people are going to praise everything, and take it wrong when you don't. So what? They can't hurt you and neither your nor their opinions really matter in regards to how the final book turns out.

If you were in the Marines, then I can say with confidence that you should be better than that. After all, you were defending their free speech too.
Bridget McGovern
155. BMcGovern
@Everyone--a request as moderator: can we please get back to discussing the chapter? That is the point of this particular thread. As I mentioned before, all opinions on "Eastward the Wind Blew" are welcome, as long they're expressed respectfully and civilly. We should all be on the same page, now--let's move on.
156. lil me
Between the prologue, chapter one and the excerpts from other chapters I don't think I can wait...anyone up for a raid on tor to obtain a copy of the book, I think if we take 100 companions we can seal Tor away from knowing and obtain an early release copy! who's with me? and where exactly is Tor?
157. leetj
Eastward the wind blew, eh? Guess they were facing to the west when they came up with this one.

Unsure why Blight chapter icon.
158. stylusmobilus
Thank you very much, Team Jordan and Tor.
159. wvhermit
True justice is granting others the right to be wrong.
160. ammon17
“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. 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.”
161. ammon17
Typo!!! Check my pevious comment for details.
162. Skyler
Loved this!

One note - There's been tons of speculation on where Demandred is, some on where Logain is, and none on where Alivia is? I'm curious.

So looking forward to Jan!
163. natgreene1
I for one think it is just fine. I take my wide brimmed black hat off to BS and Team Jordan (yes I said that before). I agree that both praise and critisism have their places here but some of the vehemence is out of place. Sheesh! It's a story. Ever read the Silmarillian? I wish someone of BS's calibre had done that instead of what we got. Once again, great job! But I do think a pre-Christmas release would have made more fiscal sense...just sayin!
Alice Arneson
164. Wetlandernw
“The Hard Truth” @ 137 – Having caught my (misspelled) alias in your post, I somewhat reluctantly read your comments.

If you had actually read my comment, you would know that I did not, in fact, ask anyone to nicely stay quiet about their opinion. Your reaction was not, in fact, “hard truth;” it was merely harsh words resulting from misapprehension, conflation and misinterpretation.
Thomas Keith
165. insectoid
Great chapter. It's a pity January can't come any sooner...

*twitches madly*

Barry T
166. blindillusion
...And the end begins with a laugh. So...fitting.

Awesome chapter. Weaves exploding from Nynaeve. MOA.

Nice to see the bunker in full swing. WoT had all the latest comments again. First Ive seen that in a bit.

Bring on January and the end of the beginning of the beginning of the end.

Still most looking forward to Rand, Mat and Perrin reuniting. I so want that from Min's POV.

Blink ™.

Edit. 1+6+6=13
167. Aebram
@powerwroughtweaponeers Wait until Loial and co. turn all those spear and axe hafts into sung wood.

@Brandonstyle yeah the pace was quick but it's the eve of the first of the "twice" dawned days

why didn't the dragons get capitalized or italicized.

why aren't the people who use the dragons called dragoneers.

worried about editing, story looks great though
168. wallyrocket
I enjoyed Egwene's POV in this chapter. I've been in battle command centers, led disaster relief efforts, been on the base as casualties are brought in and debated different combat plans with other leaders. Egwene quietly surveys everything that is going on, provides direction when needed, moves on when everything is in hand, and after everything is taken care of by others, lends her strength to those doing the "real work." Real leaders need to be confident enough to believe that their plan is the best (can't go in thinking your plan is inferior), be willing to look at the problem from another POV, and have the guts to stick up for your own plan or acceed to another once you have more information. Hopefully both Rand and Egwene can do that. Perrin does it naturally.
The pace of the chapter felt like the pace just before and during a battle from the command perspective. There is always a lot going on around you and you can't get caught in the minute details unless it is of critical importance. If you do, you're likely to not be where you need to be when something goes wrong. It is good that Egwene takes the time to link and provide her strength, however, she better be ready to drop it no matter how many casualties there are when she is needed again. A leader off doing what can be delegated to others can quickly cause a greater problem and increase the casualties.
169. Kartikeya GS
It is clear that Tor is simply being cruel now!

Brilliant stuff, more so as it came as a wholly unexpected treat.

First thoughts
(a) The fresh, vibrant camaraderie between Perrin and Rand - I have been waiting for this for some time now (CoS left a bitter taste in my mouth on this front).
(b) The clarity of thought displyaed by the characters. For the first time, insights into peoples' minds did not reveal divisiveness but instead an organic synergy. Even if they may not be in agreement, they are certainly now oriented in the same direction.
(c) The casual mention of the Asha'man! The moment I read the word, I was hoping for some sort of a revelation. Sadly, no dice. Odd though that when Perrin mentions "all" the Asha'man, a discussion (or at least some mention) of the Black Tower did not ensue.
(d) The release of this new excerpt is decidedly too fast on the heels of the prologue! It's barely been a week. Considering that there are over three months before the book is released, that leaves precious little to offer us succour in the months to come.
(e) Which brings me back to my earlier plea - please release the book earlier! Perhaps November like TGS and ToM.
Jonathan Levy
170. JonathanLevy
Well, I've never hesitated to discuss stylistic differences between BWS and RJ, and never thought it an inappropriate topic - though I do acknowledge the importance of steering towards sober analysis and away from mean-spirited whining.

That said, I thought this chapter was excellent, Sanderson and all. To those who say it was ruined by his style, I would point out that some of the strong points of this chapter might well be credited to him (e.g. fast pacing), and that the weaker points are things we've already gotten used to over TGS and ToM (e.g. word choice).

If the entire book is like this chapter, I will be very pleased.

The prologue, I think, was a bit weaker. The Caemlyn-battle-scene-in-bits-and-pieces as a background for other prologue scenes didn't work very well, in my opinion, though I can understand why it was done. But the effect was to make it seem too rushed, on the one hand, and on the other hand, too unrealistic. I also didn't really connect with Talmanes as a British Officer from The Meaning of Life. The interspersed scenes, however, were very good (esp. Isam).
Jonathan Levy
171. JonathanLevy
Ok, now to discuss the chapter, instead of the comments.
One answer kept coming to Rand. A dangerous answer. One that Lews Therin hadn’t considered. What if the answer wasn’t to seal the Dark One away again? What if the answer, the final answer, was something else? Something more permanent.
I expect we're supposed to assume he's thinking about his plan to Slay the Dark One - which he's discussed more than once. That said, I can't imagine that Lews Therin didn't consider ways to slay the Dark One before compromising on sealing him away.

But if we juxtapose this with his plan to break the seals right away, it might suggest another solution - one hinted at by Moiraine in TEOTW:47:
"Three ta’veren in one place are enough to change the life around them as surely as a whirlpool changes the path of a straw. When the place is the Eye of the World, the Pattern might weave even the Father of Lies into itself, and make him harmless again.”
Of course, Moiraine is not omniscient, and extracts from TEOTW need to be taken with a grain of salt. But Rand's plan might turn out to be this: Rand breaks the seals, the Dark One gets out. Rand's trick (probably involving the old Blood on Black Rocks) is to make the Dark One just part of the pattern. Then he can be killed.

Also, in a fit of pique, Rand gives Fain a kick in the backside, tripping him into the Bore, where he gets stuck like a pig and stews for five Ages until Bierin and Meidomon drill a hole to get him out.
172. hassie862
For all you haters posting about Brandons writing style he never asked you to read the excert now i can understand you wish that RJ was still with us and that he had finnished the book but remember it was Harriot who choose Brandon to complete her husbands work and he has done the best he could i myself have enjoyed it remember every chapter has parts written by RJ himself so before you start hating be thankfull you have the chance to see this Masaterpiece completed instead of mothballed "Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time"
Guriqbal Singh
175. Garry1209
Egwene embraced the True Source, causing Elayne to do likewise.
another mistake.
Jay Dauro
176. J.Dauro

Why would that be a mistake? Are you confusing the True Source and the True Power? The True Power is from the Dark One. Ther True Source is the Source of the One Power, which is what Aes Sedai and Ash'amon use.
True Source - The driving force of the universe, which turns the Wheel of Time. It is divided into a male half (saidin) and a female half (saidar), which work at the same time with and against each other. Only a man can draw on saidin, only a woman on saidar. Since the beginning of the Time of Madness, saidin has been tainted by the Dark One's touch.
S Cooper
177. SPC
KilMichaelMcC, I think it came with the job of Elayne's royal guard.
178. BADBIRD71
@KilMichaelMcC I believe she wears it for effect only. I'm alittle confused on that also since she told Elayne once she "most likely would stab her foot drawing it from the scabbord" But remember,she does know how to use one,just not very good with it.

Awsome first chapter !! Why,oh why did I a coffee while reading I'm more jittery than ever !!
179. Somewheresouth
Back out of Lurkerville, Tasmania :D I really enjoyed that chapter! Not as much as the prologue, but I'm suspicious of the "great mix tapes are all rise" theory ;) the prologue was much-anticipated and incredibly dramatic. I find myself a bit unable to remember how everyone arrived in play, so it's probably re-read o'clock. I'm really really just looking forward to Rand and Egwene bloody well talking to each other. Sensibly. Most of this series sometimes feels like a cautionary tale about what happens when you don't talk about your problems. So, true :) anyway, love you all, love your work. Even if some of you are grumpy illegitimate children :D
180. Surmiser
@175 Garry1209

True Source=One Power= Saidin+Saidar
True Source ( not= ) True Power
182. thatwolfguy
this doesn't feel like Sanderson or Jordan to me, it feels like fan writing. as i mentioned before, both authors used vivid descriptions of the clothing, weather and food extensively, jordan used much longer chapters (and usually from one character's perspective) while sanderson used short chapters but also usually had one subject/p.o.v. per chapter. this has every main character mentioned (except Lan) but it doesn't mention clothing or banners at all, doesn't mention Rand's hand, and uses italics extensively which I seem to remember were only used for Lews Therin's voice in Rand's head before. It seems that this chapter is focusing on the last battle coming and Caemlyn being taken, but what it's really doing is putting every character in a somewhat happy place and/or resolving so many interactive conflicts between the characters that it really just seems like someone saying "i'm gonna write something that will make everyone feel good about what's coming" - not the style of either book, or a good first chapter. all of the past writing created suspense and created more conflict and a good first chapter should leave lots of stuff open for the rest of the book, not wrap everything up into a touchy feely package. i'll say it again, IMO i seriously don't think this is even really from the book at all
183. jms1969
@172 (hassie862) - While I am not usually a member of the grammar police, I have to give you credit for the longest single sentence post ever...not even a comma! All kidding aside - your sentiment and your obvious love of the series comes through loud and clear.
184. Surmiser
When Aviendha died, Rand used balefire on Rahvin
When Min almost died, he then used balefire on Semi
If Demandred captures the the pregnant Queen of Andor,
wondering how much balefire he might unleash...?
185. Jeroen van Berkel
Brandon, you and Team Jordan are doing Robert Jordan proud. Holy shit, I’m thankful for what you did in these last books.

What I like most is your succinctness. It’s refreshing and needed. If the rest of A Memory of Light is told this way I might just be able to persuade some of my friends to start reading the series again.

Thank you Brandon, thank you Team Jordan and thank you Tor. Much obliged.

You should all get a bloody medal for crying out loud.
Mo -
186. Astus
@ 184 - He'd probably let him off with a "Thank You." ;)

I kid, I kid!
187. jrd
Great Chapter. But I found it odd that Rand's missing arm was not mentioned even once.
Also, the chapter says that Lewis Thering competed against Demandred and did not really appreciate Demandred's contribution to the light and cold-shouldered him. Was it ever mentioned before that Lewis Therin was not a selfless person? I have finished KOD in my reread but have not come across it in any of the books.
Now that I think of it, Lewis Therin being an ass seems to be the reason why Demandred, Sammael and Bel'al defected to the Dark Lord. Plus he humiliated Ishmael at the Hall if Servants. So he is responsible for a lot of destruction that happened in the war of power. Which is the reason he attacked the Shadow with his Hundred Companions. To seek redemption for his mistakes........ very interesting.
Can't wait to read more about this storyline
Jay Dauro
188. J.Dauro
KilMichaelMcC @173

Birgitte is first shown carrying a sword in TOM-22 (I believe this is the first time)
..., Birgitte herself carried a sword, for an assassination attempt would most likely turn to close-quarters fighting.
Kat Blom
189. pro_star
@187 - jrd probably cause we all know he's missing his hand by now? No point in repeating? hmm.

@111 - Darkenmal - no! No hbo series! I mean come on, they'd have to find a way to get a WoT version of Ros in there...WoT just isn't steamy enough for sells, right? I mean, especially the first couple books...hmm.

Re: Brandon's pacing: I find it a welcome change. It's nice that things are moving along. Phrasing, italics, etc. - granted, there's a lot of things that make me go "hmm, one of these things is not like the other!" but, really, we have to let Brandon's style come through somewhere.

For some reason the *explosion* of weaves bugged me (when Nynaeve was healing)
and yes...where is Olver?
yo sil
190. catperson
You people there at Tor are cruel, cruel people to tease us so with bits and piecesof the book, with these long months to wait until January....
191. marshandthx
Thank you, Tor, for the chapter. After waiting over 20 years for this, I'm eagerly waiting to read the end of the story.
192. Surmiser
continue from 184

hmm.. it appears Elayne was still carrying the Egw's notes/letter/plans
when she gates into Andor with Birgitte...
a capture by Demandred might be catastrophic
193. Surmiser
@189 Pro_star

For some reason the *explosion* of weaves bugged me (when Nynaeve was healing)

Why would this bug you? An Egw pov would see the weaves but non-channellers wouldn't see.
Rob Munnelly
194. RobMRobM
Re dreams of a WoT television mini series - well known blogger site the Wertzone a few months ago made a series of posts detailing how it could be possible to film the entire series in four or five years. Worthwhile reading for those interested.
Noneo Yourbusiness
195. Longtimefan
@ 189 Pro_star

I can understand why "explosion" would be a bit off as a word.

If this is Egwene's perspective in a world where it has been shown that both gunpowder and steam power have not yet been developed then the general commonality of "explosion" as an action would seem undue.

But Egwene was trained as a damane by the Seanchan who use weaves to cause explosions and the word has been used in the series before.

Or maybe it is just an awkward sentence. Writing as fast as one can to please so many impatient fans does mean a few serviceable but not refined sentences may slip through.

I am fine with that, in most cases.

I found the pacing to be clipped and well spent. Yes there could have been some more descritpion but honestly the book is already been split into three sections does anyone really want A Memory Of Light to be two books by itself just so there can be more visual description of clothing and banners and sniffing and arm folding? LOL
196. bjarnevik
@171: Finally someone picked up on this. I found this being the most important thing in the chapter. Although my analysis is a bit different than yours. I think Rand is going to destroy the wheel, and hopefully the DO in the process. I think this is the only real solution to this being the last battle.
F Shelley
197. FSS
@various - 196, 171, etc

Rand may want to make this more permanent, but without a plan to destroy a god-like entity without a physical form or even a place within space-time (the DO is outside the Pattern), I don't see how he can. I think he'll end up re-sealing the Bore, perhaps until the next time the 2nd Age comes along.

It's not really the Last Battle, you know...but I like your thinking @171 that Padan Fain becomes the next cycle's DO. Kinda funny...
Kat Blom
198. pro_star
We need a chapter of Elayne in the bath! An ENTIRE CHAPTER!

And maybe an entire chapter of Avienda picking out soft wetlander dresses.

Anyway, I think it was more the explosion in italics that threw me off than the use of the word itself. Used to italics being thoughts, or old tongue...(sorry, need more coffee this morning...)
Marty Beck
199. martytargaryen
Perrin nodded, then rested a hand on Rand’s shoulder. “The Light illumine you.”
“And you, my friend.”
I don't know why....that moment seemed so real to me, so poigniant...choked me up.

Also, it was very cool to read Rand's thoughts (and exposition to Perrin) about his voice and madness and the taint and reminded me of my first online experiences in the late 90's on Theoryland 1.0. Those were the Hot Topics while waiting for Books 6 and 7.

good times, good times.
200. Makilish
When did Rand get Justice, i don't recall that at all. was it in the prologue?
203. Suremiser
@200 Makilish
When did Rand get Justice, i don't recall that at all. was it in the prologue?
Marty Beck
204. martytargaryen
@200 - nice grab there for the century mark.....Rand was given Justice off-camera between books...between KoD and TGS, iirc.
205. jak-o-the shadows
23 years later. I almost don't care.
206. Surmiser
"Siuan would have killed for this ability, Egwene thought as she stepped through the gateway."

I am guessing that part of the disfavor some readers have for Egw stems from this: that Egw doesnt hold high regard for her predecessor/Teacher (Siuan). The source of much Amyrlin knowledge including the "Bearded..".
and that she is closely linked to one who previously killed his mentor Hamar.
207. lenastockton
I started reading this series 18 years ago when the first three books had already been published. To finally see the end of this incredible saga is like a dream come true. I can't wait to see what happens. I know I'm going to cry, shout and laugh. Thank you to everyone who had a part in making this last book possible, especially Robert Jordan!
208. Greyhawk
Count me in as one of the people just happy that we will get an ending that in all major respects will sync with what Jordan intended. It is tough to step into another's place and continue the work and Brandon has done a good job. One of the things I like most about Brandon's style is his cut to the chase approach, IMHO, if Jordan had survived it would have taken him more than the three books it has taken Brandon to finish the series.

As for this chapter, for the most part I liked it, it put most of our major players on display acting more or less like normal mature people, it is just so refreshing. I often had to take a break from Jordan in the past because I became so frustrated with his conceptualization of the interrelationships between men and women and simply between people in general. That being said I was thrown a couple of times, some odd perspective shifts (e.g. when Rand and Perrin are going to see Balwer), etc. I also was surprised that Elayne, in her own tent, in her own camp, when visited in private would give Egwene the honorific and kiss her ring-just struct me as odd and out of place, especially with the leadup Egwene herself provided (i.e. that she was not paying an official state visit).

@171 I guess we will have to wait and see, but that sounds very much like what Guy Gavriel Kay did with the big bad in his his Fionavar Tapestry series (Maugrim was bound to the Loom and thus vulerable because he had a child, prior to that he was outside of it and unkillable).
209. Nanaimobar
This seems so right. Everyone coming into allignment before THE BIG DAY. I know the field will be littered with corpses, and I need to buy shares in a tissue factory before then. Just sayin' HOLY, MAN! Epic just took on a new level of meaning.
Craig Jarvis
210. hawkido
Wow that was alot of hurt, fear, anger, and frusteration... well, now that I am done reading the comments, I guess I will read the post!
Craig Jarvis
211. hawkido
“ ‘And light shall fail, and dawn shall not come, and still the captive rails.’ The captive is the Dark One?” “I think so,” Egwene said.
Did anyone else take from this that both Egwene and Elaine are wrong and that Rand will be the "Captive" that continues to fight after all the light/hope is gone. He will struggle unto his death, and in dying bring the light back. Thus "twice dawns the day". And by captive I mean wearing teh "Bad" end of the SAD Bracelets.
Sorcha O
212. sushisushi
Wow, this was an unexpected delight on a bad day. Don't even know where to start analysing it (particularly as I'm in no-prologue land until next week), but it's really fantastic to see threads starting to weave closed, characters have real conversations of weight with one another and the finale approach.
213. Surmiser
Last two spoiler predictions:

1. Siuan turning to the Dark One.
2. Thom Merrilin starting fight with Logain Ablar.
Jody Liner
214. LightBlindedFool
@45 Bawambi and @87 Skip:

Demandred found the books, studied them...and then fought about 5 times as many battles as Alexander and Patton combined. The War of the Shadow lasted a long time (100+ years, right?) (50-75 years, my bad). He led armies for the majority of it (until the bore was sealed).
Sam Mickel
215. Samadai
The actual war itself only lasted about 10 years, and Demandred left in the 3rd or 4th( something like that) year of it.
216. Fisher80
So awesome, I'm so happy, when is chap 2 gonna be released you think?? November maybe? Btw- I've been reading these since 1996 and Brandon's doing an awesome job.
Alice Arneson
217. Wetlandernw
@214 - The "Collapse" - the time after the Bore but before the Chosen started the war by trying to break the DO completely free - lasted between 100 and 110 years. The War of Power itself lasted about 10 years, as Samadai said, with Demandred defecting in the third year. After the Strike which sealed the Bore, the Breaking lasted for the next 100 years or so. Still, Demandred did the research and was one of the best generals in the war, and fought for the full 10 years. Some (including himself) would argue that he was the best general; part of his reason for defecting was that he believed that under Lews Therin, the Light was doomed to lose.

So it's true that Demandred doesn't have as many years' actual experience as Ituralde or Bryne. On the other hand, he has experience of Power war. No one but Rand and the Forsaken - and the Seanchan - have that experience, and it will definitely have differences. Interestingly, Mat and Birgitte both have non-channeler memories of Power fighting, though; Birgitte (if she retains them) had memories from the War of Power as well as the Trolloc Wars, and Mat has memories aplenty from the Trolloc Wars - the last time anyone (other than the Seanchan) used the Power as a major weapon in warfare.

You know, I may have just stumbled upon one of the important reasons the Seanchan will be needed - they have Power-fighting experience, and lots of it! And not many DFs among the sul'dam, and the damane's allegiances don't matter in terms of what they will or will not do. Thoughts?
Noneo Yourbusiness
218. Longtimefan
@ Wetlander 217,

That is a very good point. The Seanchan have been using the One Power as a way of warfare for a while. (at least 400 years since that is Alivia was collared and she has been a weapon all (not including the first 14 years) of her life)

I had generally assumed that the damane were property of the Empire and therfore used to wage war against people who did not have women who could channel to counter any One Power attacks.

Indeed in the limited perspective of the battle between Lanfear (Cyndane) it seemed that Alivia was not very subtle in her attacks but would attmpt to overwhelm with strength which Lanfear (Cyndane) would counter with her greater knowledge of refined weaves.

However it is still a good point that the people who can wield the One Power have a distinct advantage over the ordinary military. Even the Children of the Light who claimed to be directly opposed to Tar Valon did not openly attack women who could chanel and were aware that sword v magic was generally not favorable to the sword.

The Seanchan are very important to the Last Battle. Now to see if they are going to help in the actual battle or if they are going to be deployed to the many areas where Trollocs are overrunning the world.

They have traveling now so they can be in many places at any time.

If you think opening a gateway large enough to get a ship through on the sea would be tricky imagine opening one in the air to fly Raken through. :)
219. Kainos
I am just happy that we had the chance to read this chapter now.

I still can't believe that people are complaining that there is not enough description of banners and dresses. This is the last book, if you want the descriptions go read PoD or CoT. This book needs to have a fast pace to tie up many (not all) of the threads that are still going after this many books.
I can't wait until Matt and company get to FoM. That reunion is going to be epic.
Guriqbal Singh
220. Garry1209
176. J.Dauro & 180. Surmiser
Thanks a lot guys....yeah I got confused between True Source and True Power.
221. Rum
I personaly think BS is doing a great job of completing RJs work, ok the style is a little different but then when I read it I get caught up in the story anyway.

This chapter has already got most of us salivating for the release of the final book and is a testament to how brilliant these two great writers and one amazing story really are.
Jay Dauro
222. J.Dauro

It has happened to me before. One of the things I wish RJ had made just a little more different. Of course, there may be a reason why the names are so close.
223. Narg
@187. jrd

In LoC and a few other books, Rand hears Lews Therin ranting in his head about how his pride destroyed ... well, everything he valued.

That could well cover arrogance towards his colleagues that turned them against him.
224. The Lord Drongo
I get hungry reading about the True Sauce.

Does this mean there's no True Relish or Chutney?
Craig Jarvis
225. hawkido
@224 TheLordDrongo

The only True Sauce is the One Sauce... Ketchup, some may think it is Ranch, but I say "nay" because we have not reached the True/One Dressing debate yet.
Craig Jarvis
226. hawkido
Demandred's story is starting to sound alot like Benedict Arnold, who very nearly was the greatest and most popular General in the Colonies. At the very least he would have adorned statues and his name would have graced libraries and military buildings for the life of our country (the US that is). But after being injured, he took slight at some of the happenings, perhaps powerplays by those who feared his notariety, or perhaps by those who just had to fill in while he was down due to injury. This started a downward spiral in his moral, and led to his betrayal of the US to the British... Now, about the only things named after him are british style poached eggs, and traitors.
227. Thatwolfguy
just to clarify, i'm not complaining, i actually don't believe that this is the first chapter of the book. I'm more predicting, when the book comes out and we all read it and the first chapter is different than what's here, i want everyone to say "hey, thatwolfguy was right, it wasn't the first chapter".
Chin Bawambi
228. bawambi
One of the points I've been thinking about lately is the lack of higher order strategm used by both sides and how this plays out in the political and military fields of this wonderful series. Example: Eggs pwns other AS because they are for the most part one trick ponies against non-channelers but put them against folks who aren't overawed and they can't deal with it.

Lets see for arguments sake whether this holds water re: Demandred.
Demandred > Old Skool AS because they are just learning warfare.
I am leaning toward Demandred = Alexander the Great but how would lets say Alexander the Great have done against Norman Schwarzkopf?
My guess is not so great.
Alice Arneson
229. Wetlandernw
bawambi - I tend to agree with you, particularly in terms of battle strategy; it's had time to evolve over the last 3000 years. There's also the fact that the weaponry is completely different now than it was during the WoP; other than the Power itself, there are no high-tech weapons like shocklances available now, nor is there the technology to build them even if Demandred happened to know how they were made. I guess they managed to destroy a lot of the high-tech stuff during the war anyway, but the complete absence would have to change things somewhat.

If Demandred = Roedran, he's obviously been studying up again, but how he will do remains to be seen. I have to think, though, that up against Mat he'll have a tough time in terms of out-strategizing.
Theresa Gray
230. Terez27
Problem is, Demandred's efforts seem to be focused on Caemlyn (and did before this chapter, even) and Mat is off in Ebou Dar trying to track down Tuon. I have no doubt Mat will eventually take charge, but Demandred has a chance to do a lot of damage in the meantime.
Craig Jarvis
231. hawkido
@ ThatWolfGuy
(Edited for Clarity)
(Clarity is my girlfriend, she wanted me to edit this...)
Everyone needs to remember that Sanderson said the the final-draft BEFORE EDITING was 1800 pages. It had to be edited down to about 900 pages due to book shelving issues at book stores (they make X Dollars in profit per book, not per inch of book on the shelf at the store, the more books they can fit on the shelf the more teh store makes) The size of the book had to be trimmed down 900 pages besides all the other editing that had to be done. That is where all the flowery prose went... I suggest to Tor that they reslease a special edition for e-readers that contains the full 1800 pages. The E-readers do not have the book shelf limitations. I would pay double to have the final draft version instead of the cut-down on-paper-version. This isn't a critisism of Tor I know that Bookstores won't carry a book that is oversized. It just isn't seen as profitable to their bean counters. But this explains the lack of descriptive wordage, and the super condensed pace of this last book. Thanks go to the editing team, even with the editing the book is great.

But, like I siad I would pay double for a book twice as large. Sanderson penned the words, just edit the 1800 page version for corrections, and publish it on an e-reader. Charge twice as much and all of us will buy it. The Paper version will get the job done. But alot of us do like the flowery prose that makes the story not feel as jarring. For those who say that's not fair that the paper version would have less... well you are right, but the un--fairness of it is neither Tor's nor Sanderson's, nor the editing team's fault... it is the bookstores fault, and their fault is just wanting to stay profitable. In these days No one should realistically blame them for wanting to do that.

E-readers would be the answer to alot of these issues. Plus help those of us with poor or no vision (as there are brail e-readers out there). And you can carry the entire series in a tablet-like device or even your cell phone. That is awesome.
232. Surmiser
@ 75 ObsessiveFan and others
Antoher fell in the fighting.

To the powers-that-be:
please preserve this and make Antoher one of the chars.
It makes for a better narrative if the Captain actually knows
other people by name.
Craig Jarvis
233. hawkido
What if the Creator was sealed away and there is no Dark One... what if they betrayed God and imprisoned him... Much as Chronos was sealed away by Zeus, Poisidon, et. al. And for much the same reasons.

That is why there is no interaction from the Creator in this world. He's locked up and Pissed. He's going to bring the Apocalyps when he gets out and start this whole thing over again. Thus ending this timeline (time dies), and starting a new one... Remember the 4 quarters of a circle when expressed on a time line are just a sine wave. The Wheel weaves a Sine Wave. The Pattern is a Sine Wave. The Sine Wave of life. Sine Wave Jerk... LOL i'll stop now.
Theresa Gray
234. Terez27
hawkido@231—huh? You have a quote for that?
Erdrick Farseer
235. Erdrick
"Rand frowned, resting his hand on Laman’s sword at his waist."

Since he only has a right hand, unless he is reaching across his body (which would be less casual, and likely come across as an aggressive posture), this would imply he is wearing Laman's sword on his right hip. So, is Justice on his left hip (i.e. the proper location to draw from)? And don't forget the shiny sword he's brandishing in the cover art.

I now have a picture in my head of Rand heading to the Shayol Ghul with Laman's sword on his right hip, Justice on his left hip, Callandor strapped to his back, but wielding a sword of fire generated by the One Power. Yah...there's accessorizing, and there's just plain overdoing it.

On a side note, I hope this book never mentions the boarhide hilt and scabbard that was attached to Laman's sword back in TFoH. That way I can keep my imagined scenerio that Min (for sentimental reasons) kept Tam's sword stump and scabbard that Rand discarded at the end of TGH, and at some point (off screen of course) had Tam's old hilt and scabbard attached to Laman's blade. Hey, as long as the boarhide is not mentioned in AMoL, that's the story I'm sticking to.
236. Surmiser

I am also more than willing to buy the 1800+ page unedited book with multicolor strikeouts/annotations as it go thru multiple editings. It would be cool to actually get into the brains of geniuses at work.
Also would be nice to hear soundbites in there too. It doesnt have to be bluray.
237. MJF
Birgitte's sword bugs me a little as well; I don't remember exactly when, but there's definitely a moment in WH or CoT where Elayne thinks to herself that she's tried to give her one, only to have Birgitte adamantly refuse, claiming that in every lifetime she picked up the sword, things ended in disaster.
Peter Ahlstrom
238. PeterAhlstrom
Manuscript pages are not the same as book pages. Manuscript pages only have about 250 words per page. Go count the number of words on a page in one of the last two books. That will tell you where the main difference lies.

The first draft was 1846 manuscript pages, the final draft is 1686 manuscript pages, and the book's first pass proof is 909 hardcover pages (not counting non-story end matter).
Craig Jarvis
240. hawkido
@ 234 Terez

About the 1800 page quote?

I was on sanderson's page and saw a tweet or post where he said he was finishing the final draft... I am not a twithead nor a blog hound so I don't even know where to start to locate that... but yeah Sanderson said that... but he also said it would have to be edited for size and corrections and not to expect anything near that size.
Craig Jarvis
241. hawkido
@ Peter

Ahh thanks Peter.. well that just shows that you sould never believe what you see on the internet... Even tho it is correct the context is way off.
Craig Jarvis
242. hawkido
@ 237 MJF and others

Yes but Mat's point about wearing a shortsword acting as a distraction away from his real weapon and also wearing a weapon discourages attacks, comes to mind.
244. Pixie
@208 Greyhawk
I also was surprised that Elayne, in her own tent, in her own camp, when visited in private would give Egwene the honorific and kiss her ring-just struct me as odd and out of place, especially with the leadup Egwene herself provided (i.e. that she was not paying an official statevisit).
I don't think it's really that odd. What Egwene wants is to see Elayne Sedai, to ask her opinion on Aes Sedai matters and get her opinion, much the same way that Siuan and others used to come to Egwene for information about Rand, since she was close to him. She doesn't want a state visit going to see the Queen of Andor. If everyone in the Andor camp saw her going there, they would see it as the Amyrlin coming to see their Queen. That would require a heck of a lot more in the way of pomp and circumstance. But, that doesn't mean that Elayne Sedai wouldn't show respect to her Amyrlin Seat, coming to visit her for advice and counsel.

(Sort of the same way Nynaeve has come to behave toward Egwene, though I think it's much more natural for Elayne to do so. Elayne had always had a higher social/political standing than Egwene, like Nynaeve would have as Wisdom, but Elayne and Egwene were more equal on a personal level. They were students together. It was more Teacher-Student with Nynaeve, thus the change was harder. Plus, I also think Elayne said at one point she thought Egwene would be Amylin some day? Bit of an aside there, but yeah.)
Alan Courchene
245. Majicou
@179: No kidding. The alternative title could be Poor Communication Kills: The Series. Although it's sometimes frustrating, however, I don't think of it as any failure of writing as some have. It's all the fallout of the Sealing and the Dark One's counterstroke (even if it wasn't fully intentional on the DO's part.) It all started with LTT and his lady rival refusing to compromise on their respective plans, and LTT making a unilateral decision. The taint had effects beyond the direct one of driving male channelers mad--it really drove a wedge between men and women in general in the Third Age. The "war of the sexes" we joke about today was turned up to 11 by the taint and mistrust held sway. The forthcoming meeting of Rand and Egwene should be the culmination (or near it, anyway) of Randland's long, slow climb toward mending the rift between men and women. If anything is going to go right for the Light, they have to listen to each other and compromise.

Such is my theory, anyway, and I'm sticking to it.
Stefan Mitev
246. Bergmaniac
@244 Pixie - back in LoC Egwene specifically asked Elayne not to call her Mother, kiss her ring and perform all other protocol necessities, when they are in private, and unlike with Nynaeve, hasn't changed her mind about it. Since only Gawyn and Birgite were present, I think this count as a privae meeting, so it's weird.
247. Pixie
Drat.. I forgot about that. guess it's time for a re-read here, too.
248. Doorman
@ Terez 230;

Mat is going to make a Seanchan Airforce and drop a shit load of Aludra,s canisters! lol
249. Hutch
Im really curious to see wether Rand well and truly dies by the end of the book, It would certainly make for a tear jearking scene, but I really don't want to see him dead, after all that has happened to him I would like to see him able to live a happy life. But in the end I think he will. I just hope I'm wrong.
Jay Dauro
250. J.Dauro

Though I doubt we will see the drafts on AMOL, if you want to see Brandon's process, go to his website. He has put up most or all of the drafts on his novel Warbreaker, as well as the final version. This allows you to see how it changed over the writing. He also has annotations on the site, talking about each chapter, and why he did what he did.

One of his standard edits after the first draft or two of a novel, is a pass to reduce the wordcount. As he says, this is not so much about making the book smaller, it is about forcing himself to tighten up the prose and make the book better.

I think we just have to chalk "less description" up to Brandon's style being different than RJ's, although I think he has done a great job adapting his style for WOT. Plus, his three books have had a lot to accomplish, they have to move faster. In his early works, people referred to his last chapters as the Brandon Avalanche, I expect most all of AMOL will have a similar pace.
Ambrose Scalvini
251. MagicDragon
From the pace of the prologue and now chapter 1, this last book looks like its going to be packing in alot of activity into every chapter. I was a bit surprised at Nynaeve's comment about Moiraine healing Tam. Tam was in bad shape, but nothing was said about his veins turning black.
Now I am REALLY looking foward to the rest of the book. Seems Christmas isn't coming till Jan. 8th.
252. dreadbane
I keep having this feeling that Talmanes will gain some kind of resistance to Than'ka'dar blades. Nyneave used all five flows, which is already an altered way of healing. Getting the poison out of him was not possible. He will forever be in pain but he will live with the poison in him.

"Egwene returned to Nynaeve, who still knelt beside Talmanes. The sickness had retreated from the man’s skin, leaving it pale."

Pale like a myrrdral?
253. WOTfan
The prologue and this little tidbit is just stoking my excitement to Tarmon Gai'don levels.

I created a Sporcle quiz to feed my Wheel of Time fanaticism:
Feel free to check it out and offer comments. (I deliberately left out the Forsaken though.)
Theresa Gray
254. Terez27
Got all 49 in 3:40 the first time, but I was about halfway through before I realized you didn't have to keep scrolling down to see the questions. Did it in 2:21 the second time. But I'm not very good at speed games; I'm sure someone could better my time.
Nadine L.
255. travyl
There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning an ending.
It's not a typo, but upon reading the customary intro, I thought it could have been changed for the last book of this great series.
Then again there would be myriads of critics if the intro had been changed, so it's probably better as it is.

In addition to what KiManiak said @53:
I found it funny, that the text here explains, why Rand & Perrin are talking about events of book four, when this was criticized as illogical a few weeks back when we got the first part of the chapter.
Alice Arneson
256. Wetlandernw
travyl @255 - I know - isn't that funny? There are several things in this chapter that readily clarify some things that various folks have made a big complaining deal about, whether for the last two months or the last two years.

"Why are Rand & Perrin talking about this? They already did that back in LoC!"

"Why isn't Egwene researching the Seals and the Bore? What a failure!"

"Why aren't the Aes Sedai using the Kindle'greal? That would have so much good stuff, and they're wasting it!"

"Why does Egwene absolutely refuse to condsider Rand's plan? Of course he knows exactly what to do!"

Yup. Clearly neither the authors nor the characters thought about any of that... Not at all.
Theresa Gray
257. Terez27
Brandon has a thing for addressing fan theories, and he tends to be slightly blunter about it than RJ was. Though apparently RJ wrote the Verin reveal scene, which was a pretty blunt one (even using the same wording the fans had used when they asked him about it). (In case you don't know, some fans reported on the internet that RJ had said Verin never held the Oath Rod, and we have like three reports of people asking him about it because nobody believed he'd actually said it, even some people who wanted it to be true.)
258. Fleetzz
I have been reading this series for over twenty years and was devastated when I found out that Jordan died. I am grateful that the story is being continued and that the ending will be revealed. However, I fell in love with Jordan's writing. I do not even like how Brandon writes. The feel of the book has transformed. The personality of the characters are different, the dialogue has become prominent, no dominant, and we no longer know what the characters are thinking. There is still a character named Mat, but he is not the character in the last three books that he was in the first 11. Description of the settings and dress are skimmed over now. While Brandon has done a wonderful job moving the plot forward, I am dreading the upcoming final battle, especially if it is written the way the Mistborn series was-yes I did read some of Brandon's work-with every movement choreographed. I really don't care where Rand puts his left foot!

If Brandon had been the original author I would have never gotten through the first few chapters of Eye Of The World.

Sorry Brandon, I just do not like your writing style, but thank you for finishing my favorite series.
259. Argonath
I was wondering about that... the comment regarding Rand being tied to the wheel.

I wonder if he will die at some point, THEN return when Mat blows the Horn.

And once the Last Battle is ended, and a new breaking takes place, I suspect something will happen where Rand will remain on the mortal plane, and not return to the wheel like the rest of the Heroes of the Horn.
Cynthia Ahmar
260. tenkuu
I can't say enough how much I love everything about both this chapter *and* the prologue, but I especially love Rand and Perrin's interaction. Egwene, sorry, still don't like you.

Regarding the various comments made about Brandon's style, I personally don't dislike it. I've read summaries for his books and they are not the type I would read because of their plots, but his style is really ok. And of course the characters aren't exactly the same as when written exclusively by Jordan, since now they're also written by Brandon. There is something to be said for having way too high expectations: you'll only be disappointed if nothing can live up to your standards.
Barry T
261. blindillusion
So, with the advent of the final book nigh I think the most import question is...does Rand still have the Red Eagle pin Lan gave him....

Brought to you by a blind reread...currently on tGH.

Blink ™.
262. Freelancer
RE: Talmanes/Nynaeve vs Tam/Moiraine

I think this can too easily be over-analyzed. It was made clear that the results of being struck by a Thakan'dar blade could vary widely. That the type and speed of infection was not consistent from one event to another. We are unable to say if Talmanes was closer to death, or even a similar death, than Tam. Add to that, while Nynaeve was already a Healer back in Emond's Field, she did not know she was using saidar, and while she examined Tam, there is no suggestion that she delved him with the Power. Therefore, even Nynaeve is unlikely to have a detailed comparison of the work required to successfully Heal the two men.

I suggest that the point of her comment is expressing respect for Moiraine's skills at channeling overall, knowing that she (Moiraine) was weaker in the Power, and any Healing she had been taught would have been the more limited spirit/air/water version known to the Yellows. Also, recall that Moiraine had been busy all that night, first fighting Trollocs, then Healing who would permit it. Taking care of Tam exhausted her, even with her angreal. When Nynaeve Heals Talmanes, she is not Power-worn, she too has an angreal, and she draws on all five elements of the Source, yet she too proclaims how much it took out of her. That is the comparison to be made.

One last thing. On the reread, we often consider if it is possible that a forsaken might be turned back to the Light. The common objects of this speculation are Moridin, because of his link to Rand, and Lanfear, because of her love for Lews Therin. Looking over this chapter again, I wonder if Demandred isn't the most logical choice for such a reversal. Rand accepts some blame for Demandred turning to the Shadow, chastises himself for being more arrogant than charitable. If he came face to face with the one who claims to hate him the most, and spoke with him as the Dragon has been speaking with others lately, well, there's a chance.
263. BADBIRD71
@TheHardtruth..Semper Fi brother.
83-87 with HMH-362. CH-53 crewchief.

Like your comments and Thanks for voicing what alot of people really seem to take for granted.
264. Pokhila27
Ah! I can't believe we have to wait for the rest till January! It seems so far away, but I am happy we got to read the 1st chapter. Now to re-read some of the books :D
Jay Dauro
265. J.Dauro

If they follow the same pattern as TOM, I believe we may get to read Chapter 2 before release. Fingers crossed.
Rob Munnelly
266. RobMRobM
Jay - read, no; listen to audio version, yes. (At initially; I can't recall if the written version came out eventually pre-pub.)
269. hotrod
@262 Freelancer

i have the same thought driving into work this morning, why can't demandred change sides, the straw thet breaks the camels back could be taim and his crappy new chosen name, being raised maybe demandred is peeved and will do a swop when rand/LTT have a chin wag with him and and get him to come to the light.....but then maybe i am wrong.
270. hotmonkey
There's no place like january....
(taps his heels together)
There's no place like january...
Roger Powell
271. forkroot
There are several things in this chapter that readily clarify some things that various folks have made a big complaining deal about, whether for the last two months or the last two years.

"Why are Rand & Perrin talking about this? They already did that back in LoC!"
Um ... that particular one would be me {:: blushes ::}. Of course I could always say that Brandon went back and put that little bit in after my objection, right? Sure, sure ... that was what happened.
Roger Powell
272. forkroot
Re the wine:
A part of Rand—that distant part, the memories of a man he had been—was displeased by the vintage. Few wines in the current world could match the favored vintages of the Age of Legends.
Well that's one thing that LTT and Graendal agree on. When Graendal visited Sammael and discovered he had a lot of AoL goodies from a stasis box, she's hopeful of an AOL vintage.

From LoC Chapter 23:
Sipping her wine -- and suppressing a sigh; it was from the here and now; she had hoped for a delicate Satere or one of the exquisite Comolads
Here's hoping that the library ter'angreal has information on AoL viticulture!
273. Makilish
To heck with the holidays. COME ON JANUARY!
Never had that thought before. Weird. Dammit, this book should be out in a month! TOR your killin' us. Ugh.
Craig Jarvis
274. hawkido
okay, I have been working on channeling and linking trying to make sense of how the power "adds" in a circle.
From the book and the BBoBA we learn that while there is an additive effect it is not the same as adding their strengths
(i.e. two AS at a power of 10 doen't equal 1 AS at a powerlevel of 20), and I think I have figured it out. You guys let me know what you think:
The power-rating of a channeler actually represents the Radius of a circle (imagine a pipe-like connection to the One Power).
Here are the figures for the different powerlevels (pi*r^2, fractions rounded down):
26 = 2123
25 = 1963
24 = 1809
23 = 1661
22 = 1520
21 = 1385
20 = 1256
19 = 1134
18 = 1017
17 = 907
16 = 804
15 = 706
14 = 615
13 = 530
12 = 452
11 = 380
10 = 314
9 = 254
8 = 201
7 = 153
6 = 113
5 = 78
4 = 50
3 = 28
2 = 12
1 = 3
Okay if two 5's link the added power would be 156 which would be a little more powerful than a 6, but twice the power of a 5. You must be above a 7 to travel, barring a talent (which I would see as a multiplier of your power for specific weaves, also ineffecient weaves would be a fractional multiplier for that weave). So for the 4 Kinswomen who couldn't travel by themselves they would need a total power of between 150 and 200 (let's say 175), so three 4's and a 3 could link to accomplish this.
If the Average AS has a Powerlevel of about 9, which is 254. So 7*254 = 1778. Rand wouldn't have much to fear from 7 linked if
they were all a Powerlevel 9. 8 it becomes a near even match at 2032. And if one of the 8 were an 11 it would be 2158. Rand would be outmatched on Raw power. This is about what we see in the series.
Now it also says that 7 of the weakest AS (PL of 4) can maintain an unbreakable shield (unless you have to be 7 times as strong as the shield on you to break it). I would have to say that is a facet of the linking providing a strengh that is beyond just power level. Because that math won't add up even for Nyneve. And 13 women no matter their strength can place a shield on anyon (unlinked, I presume). So there is some X-Factor (not the TV show) also involved in linking (making the weaves more dense, etc...) involved, but fo rthe rest of it this works out for the strength.
I have been looking at the fatigue levels trying to calculate that in as well. There were times after a few minutes of extreme channeling that Moiraine would be exhausted and unable to stand. Where Rand and Nyeve can cahnnel a mountain to ash over an hour or two and be no more exhausted. I think taking the same number vaule and applying it to the volume of a sphere to indicate how much you can channel before fatigue sets in. That formula would be 4/3*pi*r^3. That would kinda match if for every cubic unit was say 10 seconds/powerlevel of channeling before unconciousness sets in. With an overload factor also for burn-out/self-destruct usage levels.
just a few examples:
26 = 73622*10 seconds/26PL/3600 seconds in a hour = 7.8 hours (may be a tad much, but the battle with Couladin Rand spent about twice that time channeling off and on. Battle started in the morning and ran till far after dark 8 am - 10 pm as it was early-mid summer.)
20 = 33510 = 4.6 hours
15 = 14137 = 2.6 hours
10 = 4188 = 1.15 hours
5 = 523*10 seconds/5PL/60 seconds in a minute = 17.5 minutes
1 = 4.18*10 seconds/1pl = 41.88 seconds (Sorry Morgase)
Well that is my thoughts... What do you guys think?

Also note I think Angreal add a fixed number of points to your power level, and Sa'angrael multiply your Power level. But as it seems with the chodenkal there may be PL requirements to use some Sa'Angreal.
Alice Arneson
275. Wetlandernw
forkroot @271 - IIRC, you weren't the only one! You may have been the first, but there were others. And I'm sure Brandon just put those two paragraphs in to resolve the question. Surely after the first excerpt was posted. :)

I just think it's really funny how much energy has been expended over the last couple of years, particularly that spent ragging on Egwene/the AS for not doing all the obvious stuff that should be done - and lo! it was being done - it just wasn't happening on screen in TGS or ToM. We get the results in AMoL, when they become relevant, instead of throwing in a few extra paragraphs of minutiae on Egwene directing various AS or Ajahs on what they should be doing to prepare.

I expect in a few chapters, we'll see some of the results of Accepted raised to AS, novices raised to Accepted - and some possibly even on to AS - and various Power-war training and planning. Inept as the AS may be in comprehending the meaning of their name, they aren't entirely stupid; with the Last Battle coming, I'm pretty sure they haven't spent the last month (book time) upgrading their wardrobes. Well, except perhaps they spent a few moments to shove the fancy stuff to the back to make room for divided skirts and other practical traveling & fighting gear.

hawkido @274 - What do I think? I think my head hurts... ;)
Craig Jarvis
276. hawkido
Math Geek + WoT Geek = Headache for other WoT Geeks
Alice Arneson
277. Wetlandernw
(I really want a "Like" button up in here...)
Craig Jarvis
279. hawkido
@274 me

I wonder if you can have minor reconstructive surgery on your connection to the OP? Maybe a point or two. Morgase could certainly be improved by even one point.

@271 forkroot

Since you referenced Wetlandernw's perfect square (that's not a sexual reference... or is it?) maybe you can examine my mathification of the channeling powerlevels and exhaustion chart @274. What'cha think?
Roger Powell
280. forkroot
Wow hawkido - that's a lot of work you put in! I applaud your diligence, but I'm sure you'll agree that the clues in the text are enough for some interesting speculation but not enough to draw hard conclusions.

As you noted, there are issues with skill (e.g. Androl's skill with gateways) and curious results like the stated fact that a circle of 12 could shield anyone.

What would be interesting to find out is if RJ had done any notes about this, and if so, will Maria and Harriet include any of that information in the forthcoming Encyclopedia?

P.S. The math stuff - nothing particularly sly intended - I just occasionally fool around with screen names and comment numbers for fun. As it turns out, I did manage to collect a math degree back when I was getting various degrees - but I think the computer scientist part of me would be the part more likely to flag "256". given our tendencies to work in powers of 2.
Craig Jarvis
281. hawkido
Then you should have said @ 2^8 or 11111111

There are only 10 kinds of people in the world:
Those who understand binary
Those who don't
Craig Jarvis
282. hawkido
11111111 would be 256 since comments don't start with zero... just in case someone pipes up and says 11111111 is 255... geeze, all these imagined critics are killin' me!
Craig Jarvis
283. hawkido
@280 Forkroot

as to a gaping lack of hard evidence in teh book yep... but the 13th depository has a wonderful list of every female channeler whose strength is mentioned in a great chart they made up.

I am trying to quantify this in an understandable manner.. The stronger people even one notch seem Soo much stronger than those below. and it compounds with every notch up. Also the fatigue, as a factor.

I do believe weave (or web) effeciency is a factor of both fatigue and strength required.
I do believe certain talents are nothing more than a bonus to certain types, or a certain specific weaves. either in increased effect, decreased requirements, or reduced exhaustion (or all three as with Androl and gateways). Some may not even be possible with out a degree of the talent (Healing, *'angreal creation) where others are little more than psycological limitations.

P.S. about degrees... I didn't bother getting degrees that much.. took a few PhD's worth of classes, tho. The Air Force strong armed me into clepping the three classes to get my CCAF degree, however. So yey, I have a 2 year degree and about 220 hours of credits, LOL.
284. Iarvin
Another little gimmick to include in those circle computations is that its stated in various places that bigender circles are more powerful due to "resonances" between saidar and saidin.
285. Brad hubbs
Completly freakin awesome I can't wait for the whole book But I will
michael gaston
286. Ashenladoka
Laman’s sword vs. Justice
Possibly what brings the Seanchan into Rand’s great plan? He waves around Hawkwings sword and they get all giddy with traditions etc and realize the error of their ways? Does that sword mean he’s the new Emperor somehow? (Not a real theory BTW just random thoughts.) But what will be the significance of Justice to the Seanchen due to their culture? Toun puts great amounts of thought into symbols and omens and waving that sword has around would be a big one I assume.
Another question that maybe is covered in another spot but is Mat’s POV in Chapter 11 before Chapter 1, parallel or will he be brought forward like Perrin has been before?
Was glad to see that Egwene was off-screen doing some research on the seals and I hoped that she was in previous posts. Although I still think her “I know what’s best approach” is still incorrect. She, just like all of Randland is going off of second- third-hand information and I still believe that Rand is getting some sort of Zen thought process from the Creator. Which brings me to my next thought.
One answer kept coming to Rand. A dangerous answer. One that Lews Therin hadn’t considered.
What if the answer wasn’t to seal the Dark One away again? What if the answer, the final answer, was something else? Something more permanent.
Yes, Rand thought to himself for the hundredth time. But is it possible?
Only a few things come to mind. New prison that repairs the Pattern or killing him but I believe that Rand has on numerous occasions thought about that and surely LTT thought about that at some point. So what does that leave? The final answer makes me think “killing the DO” or some type of variation of that.

Random thoughts
I do think that several details were left out that should have been covered. Tal and Capt G escaping the walls. How did they get over that rubble? I know that was a thought argued before.
I have often wondered if Bornhald is ever going to come clean on Fain killing Perrin’s family.
Personally I could care less who is completing the series. I’m just happy that it IS going to be completed and we get to have a closure to something that encompassed most of my adult life. True it would have been great to have RJ finish it but unfortunately that wasn’t possible. How much more peeved would have we been if Tor and Team Jordan said “ok no more books”. Collective mass suicide? Probably not but a billion cursing letters I could see.

edit* one other random thought that I've had upon occasion...whatever happened to that arrow that came with Birgette from TAR? Anyone think we will see it again somehow? Seemed kind of strange at one poin to me and now its gone.
Karan J
287. karanj
Just a thought I had as I hit the cleansing of the taint in my re-read - that's another thing that Lews Therin never acheived, though admittedly he didn't have Shadar Logoth to provide the counterpoint to the taint.

I'd love to see Rand pull that one out on Egwene & co - "yeah they never did that in the Age of Legends, but they also never cleansed the taint, so HAH!" :)
288. Iforget
The arrow was used to make the adam for Moghiden
Alice Arneson
289. Wetlandernw
karanj @287 - Well, to be fair to Lews Therin et al, he didn't really have time to cleanse the taint. It wasn't there during the AOL, and when it hit, he was the first to go mad - instantly, on the spot, starkers - and in the few minutes of "lucidity" granted by Ishamael's oh-so-generous healing, he realized what he had done and promptly suicided.
290. Freelancer

Just now leaving work, so haven't given myself time to consider any strong analysis of your work, but 11111111 in binary is 255 when a counted set does not begin with zero. It would be 256 only if the set DID begin with zero.

Pop quiz. How many values appear the same in decimal as in hexidecimal? No fair peeking.
Craig Jarvis
291. hawkido
@284 Iarvin
that would be a mixed circle... there isn't a mention of power increase, but rather strength, as in a porous bone vs a dense bone. This has been mentioned every time there is a weave of both powers. Though you cannot see all of what is there, you can see voids in the weave, but when you probe it, there IS something filling in the voids making the weave something very solid and un-breakable. The Callendor barrier is one such mentioned in tDR when Egs is examining it from T'A'R.
So when they mention strength, I take that as not so much added force to a swing of a bat but rather a blow that doesn't bend nor slow down when striking. The newtons are the same, but the transference is completely one sided. Grasping for the vocab, this english language is failing me... that's sad because it IS my native tongue. Why can't you just see my thoughts.... Getting hit by a 100 mph pillow vs a cuindillar balloon of the same mass and size. since the pillow would self absorb a great deal of the energy, it would be less effective, where as the cuillendar ballon (same mass and speed mine you) would transfer all the energy into the target. no difference in power but a far more effective result.

@290 Freelancer

you get 256 counts from an 8-bit sequence. if you start counting at 1 then the last would be 256... if you started counting at 0 the last would be 255... or are you accounting for a "null" character at 00000000?
Either way purely symantecs. it all comes down to IBM punch cards anyway.
292. Freelancer
128+64+32+16+8+4+2+1 = 255

The last count is 255. Counting to 256 would return to 00000000, with a 1 in a non-available 9th bit. Oh yes, there are a total of 256 distinct values in 8 bits, when zero is included. That is what I said in my previous response. But when zero is excluded, as you said regarding the comment numbers which start at 1, then 11111111=255.
Craig Jarvis
293. hawkido
@292 Freelance

But I am creating my OWN rules dammit! LOL
LOL subjectivity, you kill me! And yet subnet masking makes so much sense to me, as you have to look at the numbers both for intrensic value and numerical value.
Chin Bawambi
294. bawambi
Perhaps Eggs will become somewhat likeable as a person for me in this last book again. I guess the Fain effect (which I still think exists) is neutralized by Good Rand? Maybe the Good Rand effect might make everyone start communicating effectively again? RAFO.
295. stealth reader
@131, 133

Actually I read Starship Troopers front to back in a Barnes & Noble.
296. Freelancer
Ahh, well, since you mention masking. Must be careful to isolate position from value, that catches many people. It took me half an hour to convince some IT folks that the count which returned a 16-bit register to all zeroes was 65,536, when they were all certain it was 65,535. As you said, 10 kinds of people.
298. LongReader-FirstPoster
@274 hawkido

I like the thought you put into this power strength math!

But I think there's still a problem with it - it's still basically adding the strength of the channelers together to get the strength of a circle. This is hidden by the use of two different numbers, what you called the power rating and treated like the radius of a circle, and then the number you calculated from that like the area of a circle, which we could call the power capacity.

The problem is, the relevant number is power capacity. That's the number that describes how strong the channeler is and what they can do. For example, take a channeler of power rating 5 (capacity 78). Someone twice as strong as them would not be a channeler of power rating 10 (capacity 314), but rather someone closer to power rating 7 (capacity 153). A circle of two 5's does give the same strength as an individual channeler twice as strong as one of the 5's, in this scheme, and that is a problem.

The real proportional measure of power is the capacity number, in the system you've layed out, and the rating number can basically be dropped - it's not measuring proportional power of individual channelers. When you drop the rating number, it becomes obvious that the system is just adding channeler strength together to get circle strength, which goes against what has been said about circle strength.

I do like the systematic, mathematical nature of the idea though. I think maybe it would be better to think of an efficiency factor that changes based on the type of circle, more balance between sexes, more efficiency. The closer to 100% efficiency, the closer to a simple sum of all channelers power. With lower efficiency, perhaps 50% for the least efficient circle, the you get full power from the lead channeler and half power from all others, or something like that.
Tim FItches
299. El Fitcho
Egwene's thoughts on Egeanin: 'She couldn’t channel, so she wasn’t a freed damane. That didn’t mean she wasn’t a sul’dam, though.'

I don't get this. Surely if she couldn't channel, she couldn't be a sul'dam either? Or is a sul'dam's ability to channel not detectable in the same way as a damane?

Also, to those put off by the pacing: this is the fourteenth and final book in the series - it represents less than 8% of the whole story. Liken it to the last act of a film: the character development is out of the way; now stuff just needs to happen!
Chin Bawambi
300. bawambi
Thanks El Fitcho perhaps that last comment will give some people some much needed perspective but I doubt it...
Craig Jarvis
301. hawkido

I have moved this discussion to dragon mount. As there is a more persistant community to this discussion... I agree there is a discrepancy. I have been looking into this and others have been helping with suggestions and formula to help resolve this... I recognize that there is still and issue... also with angreal and sa'angreal... If you like this kind of stuff come over to and join in... Once we get the theory alittle more universal and fleshed out better I will repost here. These threads go quiet too fast for this discussion, and I don't want to keep tortureing people who do not want to see this discussion by keep moving it into the re-read post. That just isn't nice to the other readers/posters.
303. Freelancer
El Fitcho @299

A non-sparker who could be taught to channel but never has, cannot be sensed in the same way that an active channeler can. Cadsuane standing near Tuon would feel nothing, because Tuon has not learned to channel, even though she admits that she could learn. So Egwene's statement is valid, and remember, her greatest hatred from her captivity was for the sul'dams, so she would consider that when facing any Seanchan woman.
M Peters
304. DJ_Pon3
Does Egwene even know, at this point, that sul'dams must be able to channel to be a use the adam? I don't think she does.

If she did, she'd be able to test Egeanin to see if she had the ability to learn. She should know that weave, right?
Alice Arneson
305. Wetlandernw
Egwene was one who figured it out in the first place. Nynaeve and Elayne put an a'dam on Seta, but Egwene put it all together based on her suspicions and the proof they brought her when Seta could be controlled with the a'dam.
306. Freelancer
I can't find anything suggesting that Egwene knows how to test for the ability to learn to channel. She could always bring Leilwin into T'a'r and put an a'dam on her...
Ambrose Scalvini
307. MagicDragon
In TEOTW Moiraine tells Nynaeve that a woman who can channel can tell a woman born with the spark just standing near them. I don't recall anything being said about how women are tested. I think its safe to guess that Egwene has seen women who have come to their group, after she opened the novice book to all no matter their age, tested.
Roger Powell
309. forkroot
Agreed that women with the spark can be sensed, but we know Egeanin doesn't have the spark or she'd be a damane. The question is whether Egeanin might be a learner (able to channel, but would not start channeling without training.) AFAIK, female channelers cannot just sense a learner who hasn't channeled yet - there needs to be some kind of test.

I think it's highly unlikely that Egeanin is a learner though. I believe that the Seanchan check all women to see if they could be sul'dam. If she were a learner, she'd have been made sul'dam.
310. DarkMatter
A Memory of Light is going to be pure awesomeness!!
Try reading this while listening to this:
311. Freelancer

You, I, and the other readers all know that Egeanin cannot channel nor learn to do so, because you are right, ALL Seanchan girls are tested. The question of the moment is, does Egwene, wary of being closely approached by a sul'dam, know how to test for a non-sparker ability. No certainty one way or the other that I can see, and my GUESS is that Egwene would use a method if she knew one, just to assuage her paranoia.
312. Mkm
Put an A'dam on her... If she is sul'dam, they will know...
Surely there is at least one to be found from the WT attack...
Tim FItches
313. El Fitcho
Thanks, Free@303, for your initial answer to my question - I was about to concede that it was a stupid question, but judging from some of the dicussion it generated, perhaps not! In any case, it makes my brain hurt, so I'm off to think about Moridin-related matters instead...
314. nathan kindle
cant wait for it to be released. too bad ill be in afghanistan when it will be in stores. mayby i can get it at the px?
315. MrMan
where the hell have i been????
finding this now!!! ;D
316. MrMan
oh. n now i find the prologue too....
stop everything. read now.
Eric Hughes
317. CireNaes
@nathan kindle

Depending on where you're located you should be able to get a family member to mail it to you. This will likely be the best solution. Wi-fi is available in certain locations where you could download an electronic copy once Tor releases it, but you will have to wait longer for that plus the size of the download could ruin your day depending no the connection speed, availability, and price of a data plan. The VFW has been funding wifi and small internet cafe's at some of the more built up locations. I remember one in Manas. I haven't been to Afghanistan since '06 so your mileage may vary.

Just be careful about OPSEC. Even here.
318. Freelancer
nathan kindle @314

Who knows how things change with the years, but new TOR releases were always available in military exchanges, even overseas, while I was on active duty. Picked up the hardback of ACoS in the Bahrain NEX just after Christmas on a '99-'00 deployment.
TJ Mulvey
319. Shamty11
Greatest series EVER!!!! I'll be so upset if this whole Mayan world coming to an End hoopla actually happens before Januay 1st lol.
320. Mezar
As I was reading the familiar first paragraph of chapter one about the wind rising in the Mountains of Mist, it occured to me that this will be the last time I would be reading this. This is the last book. How should I feel about that? I am torn between feeling excited and anxious to read it, and at the same time extremely saddened that it will all be over. No more new adventures in Rand-land. It has been 20 years since I started this series. 20 years of my life waiting for this. Wow.

I know many people complained about Jordan dragging out the series in the past, but now I sort of wish there were more. Maybe Jordan was clever and had planned for this all along - by the time Tarmon Gaidon arrived, we are all just as anxious for the world that we have been reading for 20 years to end as all the characters are. This makes it more intense to read.

So I just wanted to say thank you to RJ and his wife for allowing this series to be finished and letting all of us to have closure.This is the greatest fantasy series ever.
321. Jared McClure
Okay... I'm ready for chapter 2 :P
322. Merlin's second cousin
Hear, hear..........chapter 2 would be very welcome, in fact, one new chapter each month untill release would definately be the way to go.
(hopefully the powers that be have already decided upon this course of action).....(if not, here's an idea)
Chris R
323. up2stuff
Here is my take on the whole "I want to complain about Prime Rib."

Mr. Jordan passed away. Then they announced that the ending and his notes were sufficient to finish the story and they have engaged Mr. Sanderson to write the book. He then stated, rather than try to copy Mr. Jordan because he felt he could not do the story justice that way, he said he was going to do this his way.

I thought, okay. Well there will be things that sound a little (or a lot) different. Be ready. Now I can read the story and have a pleasent experience. Since I know there are changes, they won't overshadow the experience of a great story. Most of the time, I read along and enjoy the story. Then I run across something "off." But it's okay, I was informed there were going to be differences.

Now, imagine our Steak and Seafood place. Instead of waiting until their customers getting there and then telling them, "We are out of Prime Rib," (that would be a bummer), the manager gets on Facebook and Twitter, sends an article to the newspaper, and even gets the President and Presidential Candidates to mention it in their debates, that the restaruant is out of Prime Rib. (Apparently it is THAT GOOD)

My point, WE NOW KNOW THERE WILL BE DIFFERENCES. If you say "Okay, they just said they are out of Prime Rib, I think I will go there and order the Prime Rib," THEN be mad that they are out of Prime Rib, that is the part that does not make sense to me.

I may say, "That place sounds good, lets go. I am just gonna to try something else on the menu." When I get a peppercorn in a bite of my Filet Mignon, with sauteed mushrooms (Hmph, my whole mouth just filled with saliva), I say to myself "Self, that was a bit surprising, but this is still a great steak. I'm glad I ordered it and I love this restaraunt."

After my meal, I think "That was a great meal. I wish they had Prime Rib and I am still gonna order that next time, but I still got a great meal."

Point is, I did not pick up TGS without information. Even had I not seen the debates, the Facebook Posts, the statements by Tor and THE COVER OF THE BOOK, if I knew there was another author with a hand in the project I would expect some differences because Mr. Jordan is gone.

To all of you who did not find Mr. Sanderson's Filet, as appealing as the Prime Rib, Fair Enough. You dont have to read any more of his books. Don't order that cut of beef again. You still got to eat at the Restaraunt and finish the story.

I agree there are differences, tell me about them. I like talking about this story. I just don't get why you are surprised.

P.S. Loved Samadi's comment about Tor being traitors to buisness ethics and stuff by offering a free chapter.
Chris R
324. up2stuff
Okay, since it has popped up a couple times here, I will mention why the theory that Fain will replace the DO bugs me.

1. Fain is of the world. He starts out as a mortal. Now, I know there is no evidence in actuality, but the DO is supposed to be a divinity and pre-creation. He is supposed to be above and from before time itself. A leap of, Ill call it status, of that magnitude seems a little unlikely for WOT.

2. Fain is supposed to be unique. There is a quote from RJ that I am probably misinterpreting that he is something the pattern has never seen before. Something outside the Pattern. Now by itself that may seem to confirm that he COULD turn into the next DO, but here's the thing, the DO coming from Fain each time wouldn't be outside the pattern if he starts as a mortal. Finally, the enmity itself doesnt seem to add up.

3. The DO supposedly has been struggling to break free for many turnings of the wheel. The Bore gets drilled again and again and again... you get the picture. Remember the Great Hunt and "I win again, Lew Therin." chapter? They have been at this a while. To win, the DO supposedly needs to turn the DR, and to stalemate he needs to kill him according to one of the few generally agreed upon theories.

While the DO does want LTT, his actual nemesis is the DR, an "ANCIENT FOE". That seems bigger than just LTT. BTW, I wonder if LTT's attitude and mood affected the land in the same way as Rand's Darkside shift. Im getting off track there.

What Im getting at, is that Fain hates Rand. Wants him dead. Wants to kill him with a cheese grater. Hates Rand more than Mayonaise. He isn't that happy with the DO, but Rand is who whe wants. Not the DR, not LTT. Just Rand. Dead. Dead Rand. Get it? If the DO USED to be Padan Fain, he would not have wasted 100 years on a war, and he would not have cared about taking over the world. After however many millenia, he would have gone straight for LTT, or whatever his name was 6 ages ago.

Rand. Dead. Dead Rand. Really, really dead. Painfully dead. Dead Rand from LOTS of pain. Dead and hurting Rand. As soon as possible, Dead Rand. Hey you, my chosen, nevermind power, scheming, taking over the world, or turning the DR, KILL RAND. Kill him now, kill him now, kill him now, kill.......

Get it? I don't find the idea of Fain as the next DO realistic, because I don't see the character's focus being consistent with that.
325. Chankit
Now, about Fain, he may be the very key to defeat DO once and for all, just like the cleansing of Saidin.

The possibility of Fain becoming the new villain does sound good, for Hollywood's sequel, but I don't think it was what RJ planned. Brandon said major parts of this book was written by RJ himself with little changes, and he was done with WoT series and would never revisit.
326. Ovd
sigh...when i came to this page i was overly excited at the small size of the the heck with work, but the reading was over pretty my excitement waned. damn this 3/4 of page as comments
Ron Garrison
327. Man-0-Manetheran
"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."
If you hadn't noticed, these are exactly the words of Chapter 1 of The Eye of the World. Although every Chapter 1 begins the same, the wind usually rises in a different locale. I bring this up to call attention to Jordan's story structure and basic premise. It is a Wheel. When Jordan wrote EotW, he already knew how the story would end. The rest of the books just served to get us from point A to point B (or more correctly, Point A again). For me the last book I read before January 8 will be The Eye of the World.
"Peace be on you always, and on all the People. I will find the song, or another will find the song, but the song will be sung, this year or in a year to come. As it once was, so shall it be again, world without end."
328. TheRealJohnSmith
World and Time without end...
Robert Crawley
329. Alphaleonis
Man - O

Yes, immediately upon reading the wind arise in the Mountains of Mist, I began misting up. Recalling that beginning of TEOTW.
michael gaston
330. Ashenladoka
I'll be re-reading TEoTW right before the release. Waxing nostalgic...thinking how far the series has come over the years...looking back at how my life has changed over the same time frame. I guess we will all be going into the next Age after the release of AMoL.

A perfect saying for a departing series...World and Time without end...
331. BoltWalt
I am fifty years old and seeing Talmanes healed ny Nyneave made my eyes misty. January 8th, 2013 will be a day long remembered, it will see the conclusion of my most beloved series 0f books. I can barely wait!
332. Syrric
ive had this idea for a bit, but does anyone else think that rand might use the True Power to seal away the dark one? just seems a good way to avoid tainting the One Power
333. Johnnyp
@15 - she's still the queen, without out the city!!!
But so far so good guys, can't wait til the actually whole book comes out to read it!!!! Excited, hell yeah I am!!!! January needs to be here soon!!!!! :)
334. MissLG
I am SO EXCITED for the last book! When I first discovered Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, I was HOOKED like a fiend! This series has inspired me to write my own novel, although I could never duplicate this scale. I AM SO READY FOR JANUARY!!!!! I'm SO READY! Of course, it's going to be a major job to read all the other books before I pick up the new one, but that's all the fun!
335. Freelancer
Syrric @332

Yes, the idea has been raised many times since Rand first "acquired" access to the True Power. The conventional wisdom among most theorizers is that this would be a bad thing, or worse than useless since, as the author has said, the True Power is effectively the essence of the dark one. Not very likely to work, to use his own power against him.

Then there's this tidbit. Does Rand even realize what he did when he broke free of the Domination Band, and killed Elza and Semirhage? Is he aware at all that he used the dark one's True Power? It is likely that he has puzzled it out, but it hasn't been said plainly in the story.
Roger Powell
336. forkroot
I am sure Rand understands what he did. IIRC, Lews Therin screams something "It is HIM" when Rand channels the TP. If Rand doesn't know immediately, the integrated Rand that follow Veins of Gold surely does.

He references this point (obliquely) to the Borderlanders when meeting them in the "protection" of Far Madding's True Source block. I don't have the exact quote, but he intimates that would have access to another power had things gone badly. It was all in the context of "Damn, I'm sure glad we didn't do all this slapping while I was 'Dark Rand'!"
337. Freelancer

"You don't know how close you came to doom," Rand said softly. "If I had come to you but a short time earlier, I'd have returned those slaps with balefire."
"Inside the Guardian?" Tenobia sniffed disdainfully.
"The Guardian blocks the One Power," Rand whispered. "The One Power only."
What does he mean by that? Cadsuane thought, frowning.
So yes, he definitely knows, via Lews Therin's memories, what Power he used.
Sean Dowell
338. qbe_64
Man, I don't really care for the Demandred as Roedran theory, just because after 13 books without seeing him, it strikes me as not being a big enough entrance. But getting invited to the Fields of Merrilor, to strike at the heart of your opponents? Sound strategy. Execution may be difficult as I can't imagine the Murandian army deciding to fight 300,000 people just because their King says so.
If he is Roedran, I'm guessing he's going to 'defect' to the light as a sleeper agent. Build up Rand's trust over time (Rand's already ripe to forgive him) and then BAM! stab him in the throat and try to take down the DO and Moridin himself, making him the greatest hero of the Age.
Sam Mickel
339. Samadai
Forkroot and Freelancer,

Which begs the question how did Lews Therin know that it was the Darkones power?
340. Bwahahaha!!!
Cant Wait Till January!!!!
Is it just me or does it seem like there will be major Light side/Dark side jumping in AMoL? I mean really, look at what all our favorite reborn hero has to deal with, interests in Lan/Cyn, 4/5 Chosen, vast amounts of darkfriends, turned Ashaman with varying battle experience, turned Aiel channelers with an even greater battle experience,( i mean they weren't sitting around for so long just playing Cats Cradle with each other), an army growing in Shara (supposedly) Pada Fain and his sick little followers lurking around somewhere, Shaidar Haran, freakin hand of the DO himself!!! Did i miss anything else??
Not saying that the Good side dont have high rolling, mass murdering, crowd controling characters also, and I know that the good side is always outnumbered and unmatched in these things but unless some major betrayal happens i think the last battle would be more of a Last Slaughter. I'm personally hoping(if Rand doesnt solve the BT problem) Demandred and Taim goes at it, leading the turned Ashaman against the turned Aiel, thats a fight i think both sides would stop to watch, doubt it would really happen but one can dream...
341. Asmodian?
does anyone else think that Faile is in fact a hidden Darkfriend?
342. LastToTheWOTParty

I just needed to get that out. Man.

Ok...I have two thoughts on this chapter, besides the OMG YAYness of it.

1. I heart the interaction between Rand and Perrin oh so very very much. I feel like it is the first time, the VERY first time, that we have seen an honest, open conversation between the Superboys since the beginning of the series. Long overdue, so refreshing, and just fuuuuulll of awesome.

2. Amidst all that fabulousness and rainbows and unicorns, there was this:
“Rand,” Perrin said, “that’s the most reasonable thing anyone has said on this topic. Have you explained it that way to Egwene?”

“She’s not a blacksmith, my friend.” Rand smiled.
Um. What? Since when do you need to be a blacksmith to understand the rightness of doing things right? That pissed me off a bit. It came across as waaaay condescending...did anyone else get that? I had to continue reading quickly to get back to my fabulousness and rainbows and unicorns...

343. LastToTheWOTParty
Oh one more thing.


I cannot state that more emphatically.
Karen Fox
344. thepupxpert
"Sure as the wind and the sky, Perrin had become a king. A different kind of king than Rand—a king of his people, who lived among them..."

All I can saw is WOW. This was the best linr of the chapter IMO! Still waiting for my book from Amazon...
345. Raheem Steward
Excellent way to start the last book off.
346. The_Duck_Is_Rising
WHAT!?! Still nothing on the Demandred is Narg theory?!? I wuz robbed!

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