The Wheel of Time Reread

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Dragon Reborn, Part 2

Bonjour, mes petites! Asseyez-vous, s’il vous plaît, et fermez ta bouche.

Quoi? Vous ne parlez pas français? Il est bien, je ne fais pas non plus, évidemment.

Bienvenue au Relire de La Roue du Temps! Aujourd’hui, c’est Le Dragon Réincarné, Partie Deux, avec les Chapitres 7-13. Oui, c’est vrai!

Entrées précédentes sont ici. Il ya des spoilers ci-dessous, fais attention!

Bon, c’est magnifique, n’est-ce pas? C’est ce qu’elle a dit! Laissez-nous commencer!

Chapter 7: The Way Out of the Mountains

What Happens
Perrin, Loial, Moiraine, and Lan head down out of the mountains, following Rand’s trail. Moiraine and Lan argue about the pace; when he reprimands her about going too fast, she comments that maybe she should send him to Myrelle before he gets too much older and slower. Perrin asks who Myrelle is, and Moiraine tells him just someone Lan has to bring a “package” to someday.

“No day soon,” Lan said, and surprisingly, there was open anger in his voice. “Never, if I can help it. You will outlive me long, Moiraine Aes Sedai!”

She has too many secrets, Perrin thought, but asked no more about a subject that could crack the Warder’s iron self-control.

Perrin is also uneasy about the fact that Moiraine has brought the Dragon banner with them, but the first few days of the journey are uneventful. One day Moiraine asks Perrin and Loial to teach her how to tickle fish out of the stream, and promptly catches twice as many fish as they do, and then makes them clean and cook the fish. Loial observes that Moiraine means to have them in the habit of doing what she says again; Perrin determines to resist it, but is not very successful. They reach the foothills of the range in Ghealdan, and come into settled land; Perrin thinks that the wolves should have long since been left behind in the wild country, but he can still feel them nearby. They reach the village of Jarra, a little way north of the border with Amadicia.

Yet Another Travel Chapter. Necessary, but boring.

I’m not a Moiraine-hater; I think most times she is relatively awesome. But I gotta say, she really comes off as kind of a dick here. Not only to Perrin, which could be written off as “let’s keep a lock on the one ta’veren I haven’t lost control of already”, but needling Lan about Myrelle? So not cool, girl.

Chapter 8: Jarra

What Happens
Jarra’s village green is littered with the debris of a recent celebration, but Perrin catches a scent of something vile that had passed through, and thinks worriedly that it couldn’t be Rand, could it? The man sweeping the inn steps jumps and stares when he sees Loial, but introduces himself as Simion, and assumes they want rooms. Moiraine asks if they’ve had a wedding here, and Simion replies they’ve had a plague of them; there isn’t a single unmarried woman of age left in the village after the last two days. Perrin starts to ask about Rand, but Moiraine cuts him off and asks for rooms and food. Simion agrees, and hesitantly asks what Loial is, and Loial indignantly answers that he is an Ogier. Simion is boggled, but brings them into the inn. The innkeeper inside, Harod, is just as shocked by Loial, but mutters that at least he isn’t a Whitecloak. Simion leads them upstairs, and Moiraine asks him about Harod’s comment about Whitecloaks; Simion replies that usually the Whitecloaks are annoying but not troublesome, but yesterday three of them announced they weren’t Children of the Light anymore and threw their cloaks off and rode away. Then another said he was leaving to hunt the Horn of Valere, and another that they should be hunting the Dragon, and then others started harassing women in the streets while two more tried to burn the village down before the other Whitecloaks stopped them. Moiraine and Lan go into their rooms, and Perrin asks Simion about a young man with reddish hair, who might have played the flute; Simion replies that he was there yesterday morning, and played at all the weddings. He was an odd fellow, Simion thought, talking to himself and laughing for no reason, sometimes, and he woke the whole inn with a nightmare.

Simion paused again. “He said something strange when he left.”

“What?” Perrin demanded.

“He said somebody was after him. He said . . . ” The chinless man swallowed and went on more slowly. “Said they’d kill him if he didn’t go. ‘One of us has to die, and I mean it to be him.’ His very words.”

“He did not mean us,” Loial rumbled. “We are his friends.”

Simion says he thinks the man was sick, and Perrin replies that that’s why they are following him, to help him. Simion says he knew it, and asks if “she” (meaning Moiraine) will help Simion’s brother. Carefully, Perrin asks why Simion thinks she can do anything, and Simion cautiously says he saw two women like her in Jehannah. Perrin agrees to speak to her on Simion’s behalf. He goes to Moiraine’s room and tells her Rand’s been here, he asked Simion about him; Lan growls that Perrin was told to keep his mouth shut. Moiraine tells him she was fairly certain already that Rand had been through here, because of the Whitecloaks, and he must remember that asking questions draws attention to them, too. Perrin doesn’t understand what the Whitecloaks have to do with it.

“Perrin, he is more strongly ta’veren than anyone since the Age of Legends. Yesterday, in this village, the Pattern . . . moved, shaped itself around him like clay shaped on a mold. The weddings, the Whitecloaks, these were enough to say Rand had been here, for anyone who knew to listen.”

She reminds Perrin that he is ta’veren as well, and to take care that he does not let a careless tongue “unravel more than you can know”. Perrin tells her that Simion knows she is Aes Sedai, and wants her to Heal his brother. Lan looks at Moiraine, and after a moment she tells him No, and Perrin realizes they were contemplating silencing Simion permanently. Moiraine goes to Simion, having Perrin accompany her, and Simion leads them both to a shed with a section of it hastily barred off. Inside is Simion’s brother Noam, ragged and filthy, and Perrin is shocked to see that Noam’s eyes are golden. Simion tells them Noam had been talking crazy for a year or so, saying he could talk to wolves, and then a month ago Simion found him like this.

Cautiously, unwillingly, Perrin reached out toward Noam as he would have toward a wolf. Running through the woods with the cold wind in his nose. Quick dash from cover, teeth snapping at hamstrings. Taste of blood, rich on the tongue. Kill. Perrin jerked back as he would have from a fire, sealed himself off. They were not thoughts at all, really, just a chaotic jumble of desires and images, part memory, part yearning. But there was more wolf there than anything else. He put a hand to the wall to steady himself; his knees felt weak. Light help me!

Moiraine examines him, despite Perrin’s warning that Noam is dangerous, but Noam only growls at her; once she leaves the enclosure, though, he hurls himself at the bars, snarling and snapping. Moiraine tells Simion that there is nothing she can do for Noam; there is nothing there that remembers being a man. Simion tears up a bit, but nods and thanks her, and she leaves. Perrin stares at Noam, and tells Simion that Noam would be happier let free; you cannot cage a wolf and expect it to live long. Simion hesitates and then agrees. Perrin opens the door, and Noam runs out on all fours into the dark. Perrin leans against the door, shaken, and Simion suddenly mentions that they had been hiding Noam from the Whitecloaks, because they had been looking for a Darkfriend named Perrin with yellow eyes and an association with wolves. Perrin looks at Simion and asks if Simion thinks this Perrin is a Darkfriend; Simion says no. He promises to bring Perrin something to eat in his room, so no one else will see his eyes.

Noam was another thing I completely forgot about: the example to show Perrin just how bad it could get if he loses control. I think that up to this point I had been kind of considering Perrin’s fears overly paranoid; after all, the only other Wolfbrother we’d met till now, Elyas, was just fine, if a little eccentric.

Noam’s fate, however, shows that in some ways Perrin’s situation is as precarious as Rand’s. Which sucks, both in general and because of how much it’s going to up the angst factor of Perrin’s POVs from here on out.

I don’t know if it’s intentional or not, but Rand’s ta’veren-ness seems to vary in intensity depending on how loony he’s feeling at the time. This, along with the crazy-level itself, is something that seems to have been really amped up in TDR and then dialed back considerably in later books, as I’ve already observed. Again, whether this is deliberate or a (relatively subtle) form of ret-conning is probably a matter of opinion.

Chapter 9: Wolf Dreams

What Happens
Perrin goes to see Moiraine, who has been expecting him. He asks if that’s what’s going to happen to him; Moiraine says perhaps. She once found a fragment from a book from the Age of Legends that mentioned that some who talk to wolves lose themselves, but what percentage of the whole “some” is, she doesn’t know. Perrin asks if it will help if he shuts them out, and Moiraine says it might. She adds that the fragment also said that wolves live partly in a “world of dreams”, that it has something to do with the way they communicate, and warns Perrin that he must be as careful sleeping as awake. Perrin declares that he won’t end up like Noam, and Moiraine says being ta’veren, he probably won’t have much choice in what happens to him. Perrin reluctantly asks if she can shield his dreams the way she does for Lan, and Moiraine smiles and says she is Blue Ajah, and can only have one Warder. Perrin protests that’s not what he meant, and Moiraine tells him it wouldn’t help anyway; her shielding is for interference from the outside, and Perrin’s problem is within himself. She sends him back to his room, where he tries to ensure again that he is too uncomfortable to sleep well.

Perrin is in a high-ceilinged stone hallway filled with strange shadows. He shouts that this is a dream and he wants to wake up, but nothing happens. He hears a wolf thought say Danger faintly, telling him to run, and Perrin recognizes the wolf incredulously as Hopper, but Hopper is dead. Perrin runs, holding on to his axe, and meets a man in strange yellow clothes, who says to himself now he’s dreaming of foreign peasants, and commands Perrin to get out of his dream. Then a strip of shadow reaches down to the man and jerks his skin off in one piece. Perrin runs again, leaving the screaming, dying man behind, yelling at himself to wake up. He comes to an archway that leads into a ornately decorated room, where a woman in white and silver is examining a manuscript. She sees him and, shocked and angry, demands to know what he is doing here, he will ruin everything.

Abruptly the space seemed to flatten, as if he were suddenly staring at a picture of a room. The flat image appeared to turn sideways, become only a bright vertical line down the middle of blackness. The line flashed white, and was gone, leaving only the dark, blacker than black.

Just in front of Perrin’s boots, the floor tiles came to an abrupt end. As he watched, the white edges dissolved into the black like sand washed away by water. He stepped back hastily.

Perrin turns and finds Hopper there, who tells him he is in terrible danger and must run, now. Perrin shouts he doesn’t know how, and Hopper leaps for his throat. Perrin cries out, and wakes to find his neck undamaged, but that he is covered with splashes of blood from the skinned man in yellow. He jumps up and washes himself frantically, and finally lies down on the floor, where he sleeps shallowly enough not to dream.

Rand crouches under a tree, watching the giant black dog coming closer to his hiding place. He waits until it comes close enough to scent him, and as it leaps, destroys it with something he’s not sure what to call, a bar of solid white fire. He stares at where the dog had been, grateful that it worked this time; it hadn’t for some of the other dogs. He wants to hold on to saidin despite the taint, but makes himself let go, thinking that “they” can track him if he holds on to it. He hears another dog howl in the distance, answered by others.

“Hunt me,” Rand snarled. “Hunt me if you will. I’m no easy meat. No more!”

He wades across an icy stream and heads east.

Right about here is where we see Jordan starting to establish the rules of the Dreamworld as it will be portrayed from here on, like how people can accidentally pop in there (and get killed horribly while they’re at it, eurgh) from regular dreams, and so on.

Though I don’t know what the hell is up with Lanfear’s Amazing Flattening Room, as that’s an effect I don’t recall from anywhere else. This, obviously, cannot AT ALL be taken to mean this is the only place it happens, but it’s really unclear to me what is supposed to be going on there, personally. From the description it sounds a little bit like Traveling, but the whole room? Weird.

Aw, Hopper. Hi, Hopper!

Also, boo, Darkhounds. Bye, Darkhound! I love how balefire is this big forbidden and/or forgotten thing, and yet is pretty much Rand’s One Power weapon of choice from the get-go.

Chapter 10: Secrets

What Happens
Egwene searches for a glimpse of Tar Valon as she, Nynaeve, Elayne, Verin, Mat and Hurin approach the city, but as yet she can only see Dragonmount. She thinks about her dreams of Rand, in which he is running toward something, but away from something too. Nynaeve rides up and she and Egwene twit each other for a moment, but then Egwene wonders aloud how Rand and Perrin are doing. Nynaeve replies the boys will have to take care of themselves for now; she thinks something bad is coming their own way. It feels like a storm coming. Worried, Egwene looks to where Mat rides in a litter; Mat hasn’t woken in three days now, and she thinks that they cannot afford anything that will delay them getting Mat to the Tower. Nynaeve asks Hurin if he senses anything; Hurin thinks there may be trouble. Elayne asks what kind, and Hurin isn’t sure, but mentions the tracks he saw of twenty or thirty horses going back and forth. He heads up to ride with Verin, and Nynaeve, Elayne and Egwene discuss what they should do if they are attacked. Elayne points out that they are not supposed to know how to use the Power as a weapon, and Nynaeve replies that they may not live to be stilled for it they don’t defend themselves. Egwene shivers at the notion of being stilled. Nynaeve checks on Mat, and says he is worse; Verin’s Healing is doing no good, and Nynaeve even tried it herself, but it seems she needs her medicines to make it work. She thinks he only has hours left.

Suddenly, two dozen riders come over the slope ahead of them, wearing white cloaks, and Elayne says she thinks they’ve found Nynaeve’s “storm”. They pull up, and Verin warns them to let her do the talking, and not to let the Whitecloaks provoke them. The Whitecloaks fan out to block their way, and their leader, whom Egwene notes is young for his rank, sneers at the “two Tar Valon witches” and their hangers-on, and demands to know where they are coming from. Verin replies mildly that they come from the west, and to let them by; the Children have no jurisdiction here. The leader snaps back that the Children have authority wherever the Light is, and threatens them with the Question if they do not answer him. Still calm, Verin says they have already answered his question, and does he really believe he will be allowed to carry off Aes Sedai in sight of Tar Valon itself? The officer shifts uneasily, but repeats his threat, and Elayne jumps in and informs him that she is the Daughter-Heir of Andor, and if he does not give way he will have Queen Morgase to answer to. Verin hisses in anger at her, and the officer laughs and says Elayne might be surprised to find Morgase has no great love for witches anymore, and he should take her back to Caemlyn with him. Egwene thinks she will not be chained again, and embraces saidar and causes a small eruption of the earth in front of the Whitecloaks, throwing some of them from their saddles. Other eruptions join hers, and she realizes Elayne and Nynaeve are following her lead. Then the Whitecloaks break and run except for the officer, who screams at Verin to go ahead and kill him like she did his father. Verin ignores him, staring in fury at the three girls. She tells them what they have done is an abomination and a violation of the Three Oaths. Nynaeve protests that they were about to be attacked, and Elayne adds that they didn’t hurt anyone, really.

Verin regarded the Whitecloak wearily. “He was only trying to bully us, child. He knew very well he could not make us go where we did not want, not without more trouble than he was willing to accept. Not here, not in sight of Tar Valon. I could have talked us past him, with a little time and a little patience. Oh, he might well have tried to kill us if he could have done it from hiding, but no Whitecloak with the brains of a goat will try harming an Aes Sedai who knows he is there. See what you have done! What stories will those men tell, and what harm will it do?”

Egwene feels guilty, and tries to apologize to the Whitecloak officer, and inadvertently mentions that they had come from Toman Head. Verin snaps at her to be silent, but the officer flies into a fury and spits that his father was killed on Toman Head, and he will see them burn for it. Verin sighs and tells the man to go with the Light, and rides around him. He shouts after them that his name is Dain Bornhald and he will make them fear the name. Verin tells them they had better learn the difference between telling all the truth and telling the truth appropriate to the situation. Elayne is troubled by what Bornhald had said about her mother, and Verin says Andor has always been a friend to Tar Valon, but things change. As they approach the bridge to the city, she tells them to be on their guard; now the real danger begins.

Ooh, look, first mention of Nynaeve tugging her braid. Hooray?

Okay, fine, Hurin’s still here. BARELY.

I am totally with Verin here; what a frickin’ dumbass move. If for no other reason than the PR repercussions! Not that it really ends up mattering in the long run, I suppose, but still. It only takes one screw-up to ruin a reputation forever, and in this case the Girls were representing the entire Tower; the fact that they were facing thuggish zealots already convinced of their evilness is irrelevant. The mark of true maturity is knowing when not to use power, Supergirls! Don’t make me judiciously exercise my ability to metaphorically smack you!

Chapter 11: Tar Valon

What Happens
As they ride through Darein, one of the “bridge towns” that have grown at the feet of the great bridges leading to the island city of Tar Valon, Egwene notices an unusual amount of military activity in the streets. They cross the bridge into Tar Valon, and Egwene is surprised by a feeling of coming home. As they head to the Tower, Verin warns them again to watch their tongues, and to accept whatever comes to them, as it is unlikely to be what they are expecting. They enter the square before the Tower, and Hurin tells Verin that he must leave them now. Verin invites him to rest at the Tower before leaving, but Hurin replies that he must waste no time; he must get back to Shienar to tell King Easar and Lord Agelmar about Falme, and Rand.

“Go in the Light, then, Hurin of Shienar,” Verin said.

“The Light illumine all of you,” he replied, gathering his reins. Yet he hesitated a moment, then added, “If you need me—ever—send word to Fal Dara, and I’ll find a way to come.” Clearing his throat as if embarrassed, he turned his horse and trotted away, heading beyond the Tower. All too soon he was lost to sight.

Verin takes them around to a small side gate, and sends one of the guards running off with a message before taking them to the stables. Sheriam soon appears with three Accepted, and says to Verin, so, she’s brought back the runaways. Egwene starts to deny this, and Verin almost shouts at her to be silent; reluctantly, she obeys. Verin tells Sheriam that the boy is dangerously sick and must be taken “somewhere away from everyone”. Egwene almost protests again, but subsides at Verin’s glare. Verin says she must see the Amyrlin immediately, and advises Sheriam that the three girls should be kept confined in their rooms until the Amyrlin decides what to do with them. Verin leaves, and Sheriam tells the girls if they say a single word to anyone except in direct response to an Aes Sedai, they would regret it. She dresses them down for running away, and directs the three Accepted, Faolain, Theodrin, and the unnamed third, to take them to their rooms. After Sheriam leaves, Faolain tries to goad them into saying something so she can rat on them to Sheriam, especially Nynaeve, whom she hates, but they all manage to remain silent, and Theodrin tells Faolain to leave them alone. They head off into the Tower, and Egwene prays that they are Healing Mat.

Well, that was brief. Bye, Hurin! See you again never!

And… that’s about it, except that Faolain continues the tradition of Reds (or proto-Reds) being defined as the least likeable Aes Sedai possible. Though she does redeem herself later? Sort of? Eh, whatever.

(Also, why not just name the third Accepted? C’mon.)

Chapter 12: The Amyrlin Seat

What Happens
Siuan paces in her study, glancing occasionally at the warded box on her desk, the contents of which will burst into flame if any person but she attempts to open it. She reflects on how far she’s come, a poor fisherman’s daughter from Tear, and how quickly it could all end if she slips up now. Leane enters and tells her Verin is waiting to see her; Siuan quickly says to send her in, and Leane is surprised, but obeys. Verin comes in and says she has news; Siuan advises her that the study is warded against eavesdroppers, a new precaution which startles Verin, and advises her to tell everything. Verin says first, Rand al’Thor has proclaimed himself the Dragon Reborn; Siuan is relieved to have it confirmed, but had been fairly sure she knew the very day it happened, for the two false Dragons, Mazrim Taim in Saldaea and some nameless guy in Haddon Mirk, both were taken on the same day in exactly the same way:

“They were in battle, and winning, when suddenly a great light flashed in the sky, and a vision appeared, just for an instant. There are a dozen different versions of what it was, but in both cases the result was exactly the same. The false Dragon’s horse reared up and threw him. He was knocked unconscious, and his followers cried out that he was dead, and fled the field, and he was taken. Some of my reports speak of visions in the sky at Falme. I’ll wager a gold mark to a week-old delta perch that was the instant Rand al’Thor proclaimed himself.”

Verin muses that the true Dragon leaves no room for false Dragons in the Pattern, and so they are removed. She shows Siuan the contents of the sack she carries: the Horn of Valere. Siuan is shocked, and demands to know why Verin brought it here; it was supposed to stay with Rand. Verin replies that it would do Rand no good if he did have it.

“What do you mean? He is to fight Tarmon Gai’don. The Horn is to summon dead heroes from the grave to fight in the Last Battle. Has Moiraine once again made some new plan without consulting me?”

“This is none of Moiraine’s doing, Mother. We plan, but the Wheel weaves the Pattern as it wills. Rand was not first to sound the Horn. Matrim Cauthon did that. And Mat now lies below, dying of his ties to the Shadar Logoth dagger. Unless he can be Healed here.”

As long as Mat lives, Verin adds, the Horn is nothing but a horn to anyone else; if he dies, of course, a new person could sound it and form a new link. She seems untroubled by what she is suggesting. Siuan considers, and says Mat’s fate is not yet determined; they will hide the Horn in the Tower for now. Verin agrees placidly, and moves on to the Seanchan. Siuan thinks they have bigger fish to fry, but Verin points out that they use the One Power as a weapon, and the ones on Falme spoke of themselves as the Forerunners of the Return, implying a larger force yet to come. Siuan admits that the stories are causing them trouble, but says there’s nothing she can do about it now. She tells Verin to tell her everything Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne said and did while Verin was with them.

Oh, Siuan, you and your endless fish metaphors! It’s not annoying at all, really, I swear.

So, yeah, this chapter tells us nothing we didn’t already know, except for the bit about Taim and the other false Dragon being taken out of the picture, which, great, but did we need a whole chapter of rehashing just for that?

No, no we did not. Moving on!

Chapter 13: Punishments

What Happens
Egwene lies on her bed in her chamber and talks to Elayne in the next room through the little hole drilled between them. Elayne wonders what’s going to be done to them, and Egwene doesn’t know. She’d rather thought that they might be heroes, what with retrieving the Horn and discovering Liandrin is Black Ajah, but apparently not. Elayne says it isn’t fair, and Egwene replies that she thinks Verin and Moiraine and the Amyrlin will do what is good for the Tower, not what is fair for them. She adds, though, that she will not allow herself to be stilled. Elayne doesn’t see how she could stop them from doing it if that’s what is decided, and Egwene says she could run away for real. Elayne considers this, and says she doesn’t know now if her mother would protect them if they went to her; would Egwene teach her how to live in a village? Egwene blinks and asks Elayne if she would really come with her, and Elayne says she will not be stilled either. Egwene’s door slams open, and Faolain smirks at the hole in the wall, and asks if Egwene had a nice chat with her friend. Just in time Egwene remembers Sheriam’s prohibition on speaking to any non-Aes Sedai, and remains silent. Faolain grimaces in disappointment and tells her to get up; the Amyrlin is not to be kept waiting. Egwene gets up as slowly as she dares, and follows Faolain out to find Elayne in the hall with her Accepted guard. They head to the Amrylin’s study, joined on the way by Nynaeve and Theodrin. They are greeted in the antechamber by Leane; Faolain tries to get Egwene in trouble and is sent to rake garden paths for it. Faolain glares at Egwene with hatred as she and the other Accepted are dismissed. Leane brings them into the study.

Siuan ignores them for a while, and finally greets the “runaways”. Nynaeve immediately returns that they did not run away, that Liandrin told them to go with her. Siuan slaps the table and warns them not to use that name again, but Elayne bursts out that Liandrin is Black Ajah; Siuan replies that she knows.

“Liandrin left the Tower some months ago, and twelve other—women—went with her. None has been seen since. Before they left, they tried to break into the storeroom where the angreal and sa’angreal are kept, and did manage to enter that where the smaller ter’angreal are stored. They stole a number of those, including several we do not know the use of.”

The girls are appalled, and Siuan continues that the twelve also killed two Aes Sedai and a number of other people in escaping the Tower. Nynaeve demands to know why she and Egwene and Elayne are being treated like criminals then, and Siuan points out that far from clearing them, if anyone besides she and Verin and Leane finds out of their association with Liandrin, they could be stilled on the spot. Egwene asks what the Amyrlin intends to do to them, and Siuan answers that she intends to have Sheriam switch them until they cannot sit down, and furthermore has announced their punishment to the whole Tower. Plus they will have scullion duty in the kitchens until further notice. She adds acidly that this is as much punishment for being stupid enough to fall for Liandrin’s ploy as anything else. Then she continues that Elayne and Egwene have progressed too far in channeling to remain novices anymore, much as she dislikes the way they have shown this, and so will be raised to the Accepted. Shocked, Egwene and Elayne stammer thanks, and Siuan tells them they won’t be thanking her after their first few weeks as an Accepted, which will be worse than all their time as novices put together; Nynaeve’s horrified sympathy does not ease Egwene’s mind. Siuan then tells Elayne that Morgase is furious with her, and she was lucky to miss Morgase’s visit, as she might not have survived it. As it was, Elayne may have ended a tradition that pre-existed Andor itself; Morgase refused to take Elaida back with her, and furthermore demands that Elayne be returned to Caemlyn as soon as it is safe for her to leave training. Elayne replies, but she wants to be Aes Sedai, and Siuan smiles grimly and says it’s as well, since she has no intention of letting Elayne go, whatever Morgase wants. Then she tells Leane to take Elayne to Sheriam’s study; she wants to talk to Nynaeve and Egwene alone.

Getting kind of sick of the White Flame icon. Realistically it’s the only icon that makes sense for Aes Sedai-centric chapters, I know, but there’s four in this section alone! Boring! However, it’s all good, because we are about to be inundated with a veritable smorgasbord (-orgasbord, -orgasbord) of shiny new icons in the next section.

(I really wonder if anyone is even getting some of these random references; I’m getting awfully obscure in my old age…)

Annnyway. Siuan’s (as yet unmentioned) Law of Unintended Consequences is seen in action here: Elayne goes adventuring, Morgase gets pissed and won’t take back Elaida, leaving Rahvin free and clear to move in undetected and glom on to her. Not that Elaida could necessarily have done anything against a Forsaken, but things still might have progressed quite differently if she had been there. Including, of course, the Tower coup; if Elaida had been busy in Caemlyn it might not have happened at all (and if she had been killed, well, duh.)

I like that the girls as yet don’t even know how big a deal raising them to Accepted so quickly actually is, since we find out later that how long one spends as a novice factors significantly into your pecking order rank among Aes Sedai. Which is a completely stupid method of establishing hierarchy, by the way, but we will get into that more when it comes up in the text.

The end, I have reached it, n’est-ce pas? Wai! Friday is Chapters 14-21, and you guys better remember to bring your Number Two pencils this time. D’accord, je t’aime, au revoir au revoir!


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