The Wheel of Time Reread

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Great Hunt, Part 4

Hi-ho, Leigh de Recapper here. It’s Part 4 of your Great Hunt Re-read Show!

Today’s guests are Chapters 18-23; previous episodes can be found in our media archive.

In accordance with FCC regulations, all posts are labeled SP-11, with a little box around it, probably blocking a couple of characters’ faces at the most annoying moment possible. They would never have pulled this crap on us in the seventies. Not even when Alice Cooper guest-starred.

Ahem. Why don’t we get things started? It’s time to get things started!

Chapter 18: To the White Tower

What Happens
Egwene watches from the deck as the fleet of ships carrying them to Tar Valon race down the Erinin, driven by the saidar-created wind, then goes below to see Nynaeve, who is busy being seasick. She tells Nynaeve that she is worried about Rand; she’s had more dreams. Nynaeve asks if she knows what the danger is, but Egwene can’t say, and Anaiya is being no help. She tells Nynaeve that she’s seen the masked man with eyes of fire three more times, and that he had laughed at her. They are interrupted by a knock, and Siuan comes in, alone, to their surprise. She says she will be giving them their lesson today. Nynaeve tries to leave, and Siuan snaps at her to sit. She says she’d heard that Nynaeve had a temper “like a fisher-bird with a bone in its throat”, and she suspects that if Nynaeve is raised straight to Accepted at the Tower it will be no more than she deserves. Nynaeve growls that she’d rather learn to use a sword, or something useful; Siuan replies that she never thought swords were much use, especially if you can do this: and she wraps Nynaeve and Egwene in flows of Air so that neither of them can move. Enraged, Nynaeve demands to be released, and instead Siuan picks her up so that she is hanging in midair, immobile. Siuan is about to demonstrate how saidar can be useful in giving someone a spanking when she suddenly flies backwards and slams against the cabin wall, and is held there. Siuan is impressed. Nynaeve tells her to let her go right now, or—but then her eyes widen and Siuan sits up, free to move. She says she guesses Nynaeve didn’t know she could be cut off from the Power like that, and asks if now she’s interested in learning. Then she drops Nynaeve on her ass, literally, and goes on with the lesson.

The lesson does not go well for Nynaeve, since Siuan spends most of it trying to make Nynaeve angry so she can channel, and after Siuan leaves she snarls for a while about all the nasty things she’d like to do to the Amyrlin, before a change in the motion of the ship alerts them that they’ve arrived. They go above deck, and see Tar Valon for the first time; it is gorgeous. After the ship docks, Siuan and all the other Aes Sedai disembark and leave without so much as glancing at Nynaeve and Egwene, so they leave the ship by themselves. They gawk at the city for a moment until they are joined by a sister with very strange features to Egwene’s eyes; pale green, tilted eyes and flame-red hair. She introduces herself as Sheriam, Mistress of Novices, and Nynaeve immediately tells her that she is not to be a novice, but one of the Accepted. Amused, Sheriam informs her that she has authority over the Accepted too, and welcomes Egwene, saying she will make forty novices in the Tower. She warns Egwene that the work is hard, for if she is to break under strain, it’s better that they find out now than after she becomes a full Aes Sedai. Worried, Nynaeve asks if it really has to be that hard for Egwene, and Sheriam smiles and says not to worry; the worst is reserved for the first few weeks of being Accepted. Nynaeve’s mouth drops open, and Sheriam puts an arm around them both and says she will see them to the Tower.

Heh, poor Nynaeve. She is just not having fun in this section of the book. I remember being really annoyed with her here the first time, but now I just find it all kind of amusing.

The thing about Nynaeve is, whether you think she’s awesome or she’s horrible, she’s a great character because she’s got character, if you see what I’m saying. She is many things, but “bland” is most certainly not one of them; what’s more, she influences other characters to be less bland, simply by forcing them to react to her. I contend that even readers who absolutely loathe Nynaeve would have support my opinion on this, whether they want to or not; if I was wrong, they wouldn’t have such a strong reaction to her in the first place. Because you can love her or you can hate her, but one thing you can’t do is ignore her.
Chapter 19: Beneath the Dagger

What Happens
Rand’s group is still camped out by the mountains, even though Rand thinks they should long since have left, because every time he suggests they go, Selene sweet-talks him into staying one more day. One night Rand catches Selene messing with his baggage; he is suspicious at first, but then she tells him she wants to clean her dress, and was looking for one of his shirts to wear while she did it. He gives her one, and she starts to undress right in front of him. He turns his back hastily; he turns back after she says she’s done, sees her in just his shirt, and forgets how to talk for a bit. Selene continues to tell him about the glory that will be his once he finds the Horn, until they are interrupted by Hurin, who starts to tell them something, but then sees Selene in the shirt and stops dead. Rand asks him what’s going on rather harshly, and Hurin tells him about a fire he saw in the distance. Rand surmises it is Fain, and proposes following them until Ingtar’s group catches up. Selene says how can he even be sure they have the Horn, unless he goes to check? She tells him he should take the alantin (Loial) and go spy on the camp and maybe take the Horn if he sees the opportunity. Rand hesitates, and agrees.

Rand and Loial head to where Hurin saw the fire, and Rand asks what’s this alantin Selene keeps calling Loial. Loial tells him it’s Old Tongue for “brother”, short for tia avende alantin, “Brother to the Trees”. They dismount and sneak through the woods to the campsite, Rand assuming the void and trying to ignore saidin beckoning to him. Rand sees the chest with the Horn and the dagger on top of it, and to Loial’s shock creeps into the camp itself toward it. He reaches toward the chest, touches the dagger, jerks away and almost loses the void; the figure sleeping nearby thrashes in its sleep until Rand calms down. Steeling himself, he grabs the dagger and quickly thrusts it through his belt, trying to minimize skin contact with it. Then he grabs Loial, who has followed him into the camp, and gets him to pick up the chest. They sneak out of the camp, but don’t get very far when the figure Rand noted earlier jerks awake, screaming to the Trollocs that “it’s” gone, and to find al’Thor. The camp erupts in a frenzy, and Rand and Loial run. Trollocs come at them in the wood, and Rand, trying desperately to avoid seizing saidin, dances the sword forms and kills them one after another. He lets the void go in a daze, and mutters that he thinks he is going mad; Loial asks, if so, can’t it wait until they are away from here? They get their horses and run back to their camp. Selene is delighted that they got the Horn, and asks to see it. Rand tells her he doesn’t know how to open the chest, but she runs her fingers over it and opens it. She reaches for the Horn, but Rand beats her to it, and says he’s taking it back to Agelmar in Fal Dara. Selene says that’s crazy; she points out that to go back to Fal Dara will mean trying to pass the Darkfriends, and it would be much safer to continue on to Cairhien. Rand considers this, then agrees. He pulls out the dagger, and Selene tells him to get rid of it, it is too dangerous. Rand says he can’t, his friend needs it; he puts it in the chest with the Horn, and says that ought to protect them from its influence. Sourly, Selene agrees that it probably will, and they make preparations to head out.

Fain kills the Trolloc who brought him the news that Rand had escaped, and thinks that enough of the Dark One’s “gift” is left to him to know that al’Thor was in the mountains somewhere. He screams that he will be a dog no longer, and that al’Thor will pay for this.

Lanfear: Girl is pulling out all the stops, eh? Right down to the old “oh darn I spilled something let-me-take-this-off” trick. I know Lanfear’s evil and all, but I must give her props on her seduction-fu. Too bad for her that fornication is apparently a nonexistent concept in the Two Rivers.

You know, given that it was Selene who persuaded Rand to go try and steal the horn back, I was convinced the first time reading this that the whole thing was going to go horribly wrong, simply because it was her idea. I was shocked when Loial and Rand actually got away with it.

This is also the chapter in which, I contend, Badass Rand makes his first real appearance. He’s done cool shit before this, of course, but most of it was more or less by accident, and even shooting the grolm was only impressive to non-Two Riversians. But killing eight Trollocs with a sword, in under five minutes and without a scratch to show for it? That’d be impressive to just about anyone.
Chapter 20: Saidin

What Happens
Rand et al travel through the night, and when they stop for a break Selene tries to convince Rand to let her look at the Horn again. He refuses to open the chest, saying it’s better to keep the dagger as shielded as possible. Selene goes for the seduction angle again, and Rand, wondering at her apparent youth, asks her again if she’s Aes Sedai. This pisses her off, and when they ride on she is cold and silent to everyone. By the time they make camp for the night she is being nice to Loial and Hurin again, but is still ignoring Rand except to smile at him when he is not supposed to see in a way that makes him very nervous. They reach a village, and Rand notices something glittering off to the side of the town. He turns toward it, curious, and comes to the edge of a large excavation pit. At the bottom protrudes a giant stone hand holding a crystal sphere twenty paces across, and nearby a stone face of a bearded, wise-looking man. As he looks at the sphere, the void forms without him meaning it to. Selene says this is dangerous and they should leave; absorbed in the glow he sees in the sphere, he barely hears her. Selene seems to become genuinely worried, and begs him to come away, promising not to mention the Horn again, if only he will leave. Rand tries to release the void, but it won’t go.

Light filled him, blinded him.

“Till shade is gone,” he mumbled, “till water is gone . . . ”

Power filled him. He was one with the sphere.

“ . . . into the Shadow with teeth bared . . . ”

The power was his. The Power was his.

“ . . . to spit in Sightblinder’ s eye . . . ”

Power to Break the World.

“ . . . on the last day!” It came out as a shout, and the void was gone.

His horse shies at the shout and almost falls into the pit. Rand pulls his horse away from the edge, and asks the others what happened. They are all staring at him, and Loial replies that he had been standing there mumbling to himself and ignoring everyone else until he suddenly shouted “Day!” Hurin points out that the men in the excavation pit have noticed them, and there could be trouble. Rand says they will leave, an idea which the others greet with relief. They go back to the village and find an inn, and Rand asks Selene if she is all right. She replies tightly that he scared her half to death, and urges him to just ride away with her and the Horn; Rand again tells her the Horn is not his, and she turns her back on him.

I think the appropriate real-world analogy for how Lanfear probably felt in this scene would be walking in on a five-year-old playing with the detonator for a nuclear bomb. Yikes.

I’m puzzled as to why, when Rand’s all bedazzled by the Choedan Kal statue, he’s muttering the Aiel motto. It’s appropriate thematically, of course, considering what he’s eventually going to use the things for, but it’s a little odd otherwise. It’s not like it could be Lews Therin leakage; first of all, Lews Therin was never Aiel, unless I missed a serious memo, and secondly, I don’t believe that Lews Therin shows up in Rand’s head until much later, after Rand’s channeled a lot more icky taint. I suppose it could be the same Manetheren/Old Tongue thing Mat has, except with Rand’s Aiel ancestry, but if so why is this such an isolated incident?


The inn, at the very top of the hill, was stone like every other building in the town, and plainly marked by a painted sign hanging over the wide doors. The Nine Rings. Rand swung down with a smile and tied Red to one of the hitching posts out front. “The Nine Rings” had been one of his favorite adventure stories when he was a boy; he supposed it still was.

Heh. Ours too!
Chapter 21: The Nine Rings

What Happens
There are half a dozen men in the common room of the inn, whom Rand immediately pegs as soldiers, and one man sitting alone who’s clearly an officer. The innkeeper, Maglin, sizes up Rand’s coat (and his heron-mark sword) and Selene’s dress, and greets them as Lord and Lady. She asks if they are Hunters for the Horn, startling Rand, who tells her no, they are definitely not hunting for the Horn. She seats them, seeming startled that Rand allows Hurin to sit with them, and sends food; Selene is sulking, and hardly eats. Later, Maglin mentions to Rand that she noticed the flute case, and wondered if his man would give them a tune. Rand tells her Hurin doesn’t play, he does, and she apologizes and withdraws the request. Nostalgically, Rand tells her he doesn’t mind, and has Hurin pull the flute out. He plays, deliberately choosing folksy, non-lord-like tunes, while Selene watches him “as if wondering what he was”. The soldiers sing along on one tune, and after it is over the officer makes a sharp gesture to them; they rise and bow to the officer and Rand both, and leave.

The officer comes over to Rand and says he hopes the soldiers did not offend with the singing, and introduces himself as Captain Aldrin Caldevwin; Rand invites him to join them. Caldevwin asks for Rand’s name, which he gives, adding that he’s from the Two Rivers in Andor. Caldevwin makes small talk, asking questions designed to test Rand’s claim about being from Andor. Then he asks for Selene’s name, but before she can answer, one of the serving girls shrieks and drops a lamp, almost starting a fire. Maglin scolds her, and she says she’s sorry, but she “had such a twinge in her arm”. Selene announces she is not feeling well, and goes to her room. Rand asks Caldevwin about the excavation with the sphere nearby; warily, the captain answers that it is a statue from the Age of Legends, which Galldrian has ordered excavated for the glory of the throne and House Riatin. He asks if Rand is staying in the area, and Rand tells him they are heading to Cairhien tomorrow. Caldevwin says he is sending men back to the capital himself, and invites himself to travel with them, and leaves. In their room later, Rand asks Hurin and Loial why Caldevwin seemed so suspicious, and they explain to him about Daes Dae’mar:

[Loial:] “The nobles and the noble Houses maneuver for advantage. They do things they think will help them, or hurt an enemy, or both. Usually, it’s all done in secrecy, or if not, they try to make it seem as if they’re doing something other than what they are.”

Rand doesn’t really get it, and Loial and Hurin both say they don’t either, but he can ask Selene about it in the morning. The next day, however, Selene is gone; she left a note sealed with a crescent moon and stars, which says she must leave him for a time, but will wait for him in Cairhien, and that he is always in her thoughts. When they join Caldevwin to ride for Cairhien, he seems upset at the news that Selene is gone; Hurin whispers to Rand that the captain must have had the inn watched last night, and Selene must have slipped out without Caldevwin noticing. Rand thinks to himself that Selene had certainly ruined any chance that Caldevwin wouldn’t think they were up to something, and they head out.

Every party needs a pooper, that’s why we invited Forsaken. Exeunt Selene: good riddance! Now if only she would stay away. Alas, it is not to be. Dangit.

On the whole “lord” thing in general, since in Cairhien is where everyone really starts to care about it: I will fully confess to having a fascination with the trappings of feudalism even while completely acknowledging its fundamental flaws as a system of government. Of course, I suspect I’m hardly alone here on that one. Lords and vassals and kings and queens and swearing fealty and all may be a system riddled with the potential for abuse and the deprivation of basic human freedoms, but with all due respect to democracy, “getting elected Town Councilman” just ain’t got that same wish-fulfillment swing.

(I think Lois McMaster Bujold had the best quote on this in Ceteganda: “Egalitarians adjust to aristocracies just fine—as long as they get to be the aristocrats.” Heh. Indeed.)
Chapter 22: Watchers

What Happens
Moiraine sits in Adeleas and Vandene’s library, doing research. Adeleas and Vandene are Aes Sedai, and true sisters as well, gone into voluntary retreat in a tiny village in Arafel, and Moiraine thinks if she is going to find the information she needs anywhere, it will be here. She asks Lan if he remembers the first time they met, and reminisces about how he threw her in a pond; he is surprised she brought it up, considering that she told him they would never speak of it again. He says he remembers, as well as the retribution she visited on him; the ants in particular. She asks if the bond chafes after all these years, which is a deliberate insult, but he merely replies no. Then she tells him that should anything happen to her, she has made arrangements that his bond will pass to another sister. She will not allow him to die in a useless attempt to avenge her. Lan angrily wants to know who he is to be passed to, like a pet. Moiraine says she does not regard him as a pet, and neither does Myrelle; besides, Myrelle is only to hold his bond until she can pass it to someone who needs him more. Lan is furious, and she asks him again if the bond chafes. Lan asks, is that what this is, then—a test? Moiraine says no, but that at Fal Dara she began to wonder about his commitment to her. She asks why he did what he did with Rand, and notes it was not what Lan expected her to bring up. Lan replies that it seemed right; Rand needed someone on his side. Perhaps he was influenced by Rand being ta’veren. Moiraine sighs, and lets it go. After Lan leaves, she thinks about Nynaeve, and how the young Wisdom was breaking down the Warder’s walls without him even knowing it; already he shared her loyalties to the Emond’s Fielders. Moiraine is surprised to feel a flash of jealousy; she never had before, but she and Lan had fought together for so long, been through so much.

He thought he still stood strong behind his walls, but Nynaeve had laced bridal flowers in his hair. Would he still find himself able to court death so blithely? Moiraine wondered when he would ask her to release him from his bond. And what she would do when he did.

Vandene brings Moiraine tea, and comments on the many things she is studying. Moiraine asks Vandene if there is a link between the Dragon and the Horn of Valere, and Vandene says no, other than that the Horn must be found before Tarmon Gai’don. Moiraine asks, what about a link between the Dragon and Toman Head? Vandene hesitates, and says she and Adeleas have argued about this:

“There is a verse in the original that translates literally as ‘Five ride forth, and four return. Above the watchers shall he proclaim himself, bannered cross the sky in fire . . . ’ Well, it goes on. The point is, the word ma’vron. I say it should be translated not simply as ‘watchers,’ which is a’vron. Ma’vron has more importance to it. I say it means the Watchers Over the Waves, though they call themselves Do Miere A’vron, of course, not Ma’vron. Adeleas tells me I am quibbling. But I believe it means the Dragon Reborn will appear somewhere above Toman Head, in Arad Doman, or Saldaea.”

Moiraine hesitates, and then asks about Lanfear. Vandene replies that very little is known about her at all, except that she is linked to the Dragon. She frowns and asks if Moiraine knows something about the Dragon being Reborn already; Moiraine implies that the answer is no without actually saying so. Vandene muses about all the signs about that the Last Days are coming, and says that she and Adeleas have considered coming out of retirement, but perhaps they will have a chance to finish their history of the world since the Breaking first. She leaves, and Moiraine wanders out into the garden, thinking. She hears something behind her and turns, thinking it is Lan, but finds a Draghkar there instead. She tries to embrace saidar, but it is already too late, and she falls under the Draghkar’s trance. It is about to take her when Lan and Jaem, Vandene’s old Warder, attack it and drive it off her. They kill it, and its death shriek brings Adeleas and Vandene running. Adeleas demands to know how it got so close without any of them sensing it, and Moiraine replies it must have been warded. They all know that means Black Ajah. Moiraine asks the sisters to deal with getting rid of the corpse; she must write some letters to Tar Valon before leaving immediately.

Really nice scene here with Moiraine and Lan, revealing more about their relationship than we got in the whole of TEOTW, and, of course, a lot more about the nature of Warder bonds. This conversation, in fact, was what started the whole “can the Warder bond be released” controversy which went on for a million years or thereabouts, and I think was finally resolved in either Crossroads of Twilight or Knife of Dreams, I forget which.

Hey, we never do get a POV from Lan, do we? I’m actually okay with that; his character works much better seen strictly from the outside. I’d be happy to be proven wrong, of course, but I think actually being in his head would prove to be kind of a letdown.

Also, a ginormous infodump chapter, which is just my absolute favorite, not. Is it weird that, knowing what’s going to happen to Adeleas, I’m a little bit sad that she never got to finish her history?

Liandrin sent the Draghkar. I’m hoping if I state this firmly enough everyone will just nod and agree. I would also like perfect nails, world peace and a pony.
Chapter 23: The Testing

What Happens
Sheriam brings Nynaeve into the chamber where the Accepted test ter’angreal is kept:

Centered under the dome was a thing made of three rounded, silver arches, each just tall enough to walk under, sitting on a thick silver ring with their ends touching each other. Arches and ring were all of one piece.

Sheriam explains to Nynaeve about ter’angreal; unlike angreal and sa’angreal, they are made to do specific things; there is another in the Tower that she will use when raised to full Aes Sedai, to swear her final vows on it. This ter’angreal, however, will make her face her greatest fears, and Sheriam warns her that there have been women who went in and never came out. Then Sheriam tells her the rules: once she begins, Nynaeve must go through to the end, or she will be put out of the Tower and never allowed back. However, she can refuse to do it now, and she will be written in the novice book with only one mark against her; then she will be allowed to refuse the test two more times before being put out of the Tower. Sheriam adds that it is no great shame if Nynaeve is not ready to face it; Sheriam herself couldn’t do it the first time. Nynaeve considers, and remembers her vow to Moiraine to make her pay, and tells Sheriam she is ready. They begin the test, and Nynaeve takes off her dress, making sure to hide Lan’s ring.

“The first time,” Sheriam said, “is for what was. The way back will come but once. Be steadfast.”

Nynaeve steps through the first arch, and finds herself in a maze of twisty passages, all alike. She can’t remember how she came to be here or why she is naked. She begins wandering at random, until a man steps out in front of her, ancient and rotting. He says he is Aginor, and has come for her. She runs, Aginor pursuing, until her fear gives way to anger, and she finds saidar and attacks the Forsaken. Aginor is astounded, and flees from her. Now she pursues him, attacking with lightning and balls of fire. He fights back, but Nynaeve gradually overwhelms him and brings him to bay. Just as she is about to finish him off, she sees a silver arch, and a voice reminds her that the way back will come only once. She hesitates, wanting to kill Aginor, but finally abandons him and runs through the arch, furious. When she emerges, one of the Aes Sedai pours a chalice of water over her head, and Sheriam leads her to the next arch. Nynaeve asks her if it was real; Sheriam replies that no one knows, but to be sure that the danger is very real. Nynaeve comments that she channeled the One Power, and Sheriam is shocked; she should not remember how to do that in there. She warns Nynaeve to try not to do it again, as using the Power inside has killed or burned out other sisters.

“The second time is for what is. The way back will come but once. Be steadfast.”

Nynaeve steps through, and finds herself in the Two Rivers. She smiles, but then notices that everything looks neglected and rundown. She enters the inn, and finds a worn-looking Marin al’Vere there. Marin is shocked to see her, and asks if she brought Egwene back. Nynaeve says no, but can’t remember why. Marin tells her Bran is dead, and goes on that Nynaeve must not let Malena know she is here. Malena is the Wisdom now, and she’s got everyone terrified of her. She beat Alsbet Luhhan with a stick, and when Bran and Haral said she had gone too far and would have to leave, they both took sick and died. Marin says she saw gray fennel in the medicine Malena gave them. Horrifed, Nynaeve asks how Marin could see this woman poison Bran and Haral without going to the Circle; Marin says she has four daughters still living, and couldn’t risk it. Nynaeve says something must be done, immediately. They leave the inn to go talk to some of the Circle, and see a tall, scrawny woman coming. Marin says that’s Malena, and they hide behind a house. Nynaeve sees a silver arch, and is torn. Marin begs her to stay, and with a cry Nynaeve tears free and runs to the arch and through. She pleads with Sheriam to say it was not real; Sheriam says the second time is worse, and the third will be the worst of all; that’s what the test is for. You have to want to be Aes Sedai more than anything else.

“The third time,” Sheriam intoned formally, “is for what will be. The way back will come but once. Be steadfast.”

Nynaeve runs through a beautiful meadow, laughing; below her is the kingdom of Malkier, restored and lovely. al’Lan Mandragoran, King of Malkier, joins her on the hilltop and kisses her ardently. She pushes him away, saying no, not this. Puzzled, Lan asks her what’s wrong; she says she cannot marry him, and he laughs, saying their three children might be upset at the notion that their parents are suddenly not married anymore. She says she must go back, and Lan assumes she means the Two Rivers, and says he will write to Queen Morgase and arrange for an escort; the Queen of Malkier should not go without one. Nynaeve is amazed, but tells herself again not to be pulled into it. She sees the silver arch, and starts to head toward it, but Lan grabs her hand, asking her to stay. She feels memories forming of their life together, and weakens, wanting it so badly to be real, and then sees that the arch has disappeared. She thinks she could stay here with Lan, but then remembers everything that’s happening back in the real world, and thinks she cannot abandon them. She embraces saidar and channels, trying to ignore Lan’s pleas with her to stay, to tell him what’s wrong. She forces the arch to reappear, and as Lan tells her he loves her, runs through it, sobbing. When she emerges, crying, she tells Sheriam that she hates all Aes Sedai, and Sheriam says that’s usually what everyone says when they come out. The Amyrlin Seat is there, and pours the last chalice of water over Nynaeve’s head, and tells her she is Accepted, and sealed to the Tower.

Part of the fun of fantasy (and science fiction) is the way plot devices can be literally “devices” without (necessarily) breaking the reader’s suspension of disbelief. The Accepted ter’angreal test is a great example of this, and very well done, both here and when Egwene goes through it later.

(If you want a science fiction example, I’ve got two words for you: Holodeck malfunction.)

It’s odd, in my opinion, that Aginor is the Forsaken Nynaeve confronts in the “what was” part of the test. I would have thought, given what happened at the Eye, that Balthamel would have been the logical one to appear, seeing as he was the one who manhandled her; Aginor  didn’t actually do a thing to her directly. But then again, Aginor was the one who smacked Lan around, so maybe that’s why.

There’s been some differing of opinion on Nynaeve’s third test, and whether it was a true picture of the future. Some people think it was, because the “Sharina Sedai” mentioned there actually turns up later, as a novice in the Rebel camp, and Nynaeve at least seems convinced they are the same person. On the other hand, if Nynaeve ends up Queen of Malkier after all this is over, ain’t no way Morgase is going to be on the throne of Andor when it happens, as she is in the test.

Personally, I think it’s the same deal, to a slightly lesser degree, as with Egwene’s third test later, where she’s Amyrlin Seat: some of it is true, some of it is false, and some of it is true but distorted by the testee’s own preconceptions and knowledge at the time.

(And, maybe, some of it is because Jordan may not yet have decided/realized that Morgase was going to have a not-so-grand adventure and end up abdicating in favor of Elayne.)

And that’s our show! Tune in again on Wednesday to catch Part 5, Chapters 24-30. Bork bork bork!


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