Reading The Wheel of Time

Reading the Wheel of Time: Mat Discovers a Trap, and So Does Faile in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 22)

Good morning and welcome to week 22 of the Read of The Dragon Reborn. This week, Thom is a stubborn ass for no reason, Mat seeks a remedy and finds the thing he was searching for all along, and Perrin starts to make some choices about his abilities and what they can be used for.

Chapter 52 opens with Mat making the decision to take Thom to a Wise Woman, as the gleeman’s cough has gotten so bad that he can barely get out of bed. Mat feels a little guilty for not noticing how bad Thom was getting during their search, and covers the feeling by giving Thom, who is resisting the suggestion that he needs any kind of medicine or help, a hard time.

“So I am supposed to do all the work while you take your ease?” Mat said lightly. “How can I find anything without you? You learn most of what we hear.” That was not exactly true; men talked as freely over dice as they did while buying a gleeman a cup of wine. More freely than they did with a gleeman hacking so hard they feared contagion. But he was beginning to think that Thom’s cough was not going to go away by itself. If the old goat dies on me, who will I play stones with? he told himself roughly. “Anyway, your bloody coughing keeps me awake even in the next room.”

He has to help Thom to stand, and the gleeman needs his cloak despite the heat as they stagger through the common room of the inn and out into the street. Much to Mat’s dismay, they have to cross out through the gate and back into the muddy section of the streets, but when he sees the house he’s been directed too, he realizes that he remembers passing it on their way into the city. He also notices the tracks of horses and wheels in the mud—a wagon or carriage, he thinks—and is momentarily puzzled, since he hasn’t seen any horses pulling wagons, and no carriages outside the city.

He pushes it from his mind and goes to the front door, despite being told to use the back, and knocks. He has to knock a few times and has almost decided that there must be no one home when the door suddenly opens, just a crack, and a gray-haired woman tiredly asks what they want.

Mat, inwardly annoyed at encountering another hopeless-sounding person in Tear, puts on his best grin and explains the situation, and Mother Guenna invites them in with a heavy “I suppose I can still do that, at least.” Mat and Thom follow her through the front room and towards the back of the house, Thom wheezing complaints all the way.

In the kitchen, Mother Guenna mixes some herbs and has to physically hold Thom down and pour it into his mouth to get him to take it. Mat, meanwhile, notices some well groomed horses tethered outside, and is perplexed at the idea that someone of Mother Guenna’s station would own one, never mind several, expensive-looking animals like that. He shakes the thought away, though, reminding himself that he doesn’t care about horses.

Mother Guenna gives Thom instructions on when and how to take the tea as well as some salve for his cough, threatening to tie him down in a bed upstairs if he doesn’t agree to follow her instructions. Thom seems cowed by her threats, but Mat feels the need to smooth things. He’s noticed that both Mother Guenna’s attitude and her accent remind him of the Amyrlin, and uses that to start a conversation.

“I knew a woman once who talked like you,” he said. “All fish and nets and things. Sounded like you, too. The same accent, I mean. I suppose she’s Tairen.”

“Perhaps.” The gray-haired woman suddenly sounded tired again, and she kept staring at the floor. “I knew some girls with the sound of your speech on their tongues, too. Two of them had it, anyway.” She sighed heavily.

Mat felt his scalp prickle. My luck can’t be this good. But he would not bet a copper on two other women with Two Rivers accents just happening to be in Tear. “Three girls? Young women? Named Egwene, and Nynaeve, and Elayne? That one has hair like the sun, and blue eyes.”

Mother Guenna doesn’t recognizes the names, but she admits that she suspected that the girls hadn’t given their real names, and Mat recognizes her descriptions of them. But he’s confused when Mother Guenna tells him that she’s sorry that they are the girls he knows. At first, she won’t even tell him where they are. She mentions the High Lords, that he doesn’t understand, frustrating Mat but making Thom frown consideringly through his coughs. Eventually, after Mat offers her money for the information, she explains herself.

Mother Guenna glared at him. “I do not take money for…!” She grimaced fiercely. “You ask me to tell you things I have been told not to speak of. Do you know what will happen to me if I do and you breathe my name? I will lose my tongue, to begin. Then I will lose other parts before the High Lords have what is left of me hung up to scream its last hours as a reminder to others to obey. And it will do those young women no good, not my telling or my dying!”

Mat swears that he will never breathe a word of her name, and something in the oath or maybe his desperation reaches Mother Guenna. She explains that he cannot do anything in any case, that he came too late. They have been taken to the Stone, sent for by Lord Samon and collected by Aes Sedai. She admits her puzzlement at that, since use of the One Power is forbidden in Tear, and although Mother Guenna has nothing against Aes Sedai herself, she cannot believe that even the High Lords would break this particular law, or allow it to be broken.

Mat is initially relieved, hearing that the girls were collected by Aes Sedai, but Mother Guenna insists that the women were not their friends, that the three fought “like lionfish in net” and that “friends do not give bruises like that.”

He felt his face twisting. Aes Sedai hurt them? What in the Light? The bloody Stone. It makes the Palace in Caemlyn look like walking into a barnyard! Burn me! I stood right out there in the rain and stared at this house! Burn me for a bloody Light-blinded fool!

“If you break your hand,” Mother Guenna said, “I will splint and poultice it, but if you damage my wall, I will strip your hide like a redfish!”

He blinked, then looked at his fist, at scraped knuckles. He did not even remember punching the wall.

Mother Guenna takes his hand and looks it over carefully, her gaze tender as she apologizes again, but Mat tells her not to be, and gives her his last two Andoran gold crowns as well as a kiss on the cheek. After all, all he needs to do now is get them out.

She touches her cheek, startled, and seems perplexed by the money and by Mat, who just cavalierly declared he was going to get them out of the Stone. Then she seems to come back to herself and tells him off for reminding her of her husband, “a headstrong fool who would sail into the teeth of a gale and laugh, too. I could almost think you’ll manage it.”

Hearing Thom coughing, Mat asks if Mother Guenna will keep an eye on him until Mat gets back. Thom protests, of course, insisting that Mat doesn’t know what he’s doing and won’t be able to get anywhere without Thom, but Mother Guenna is able to keep him in his chair with a single hand on his shoulder, so he doesn’t really have a choice.

Mat grinned at the white-haired man. “I have enjoyed knowing you, Thom.”

As he hurried out into the street, he found himself wondering why he had said that. He isn’t going to bloody die. That woman will keep him alive if she has to drag him kicking and screaming out of his grave by his mustaches. Yes, but who is going to keep me alive?

Ahead of him, the Stone of Tear loomed over the city, impregnable, a fortress besieged a hundred times, a stone on which a hundred armies had broken their teeth. And he had to get inside, somehow. And bring out three women. Somehow.

With a laugh that made even the sullen folk in the street look at him, he headed back for The White Crescent, uncaring of mud or the damp heat. He could feel the dice tumbling inside his head.”

Meanwhile Perrin has been putting in more hours at the smithy, and has even been able to make some ornamental work to go over the gate of some country lord. As he’s walking back to the Star, Faile observes that the blacksmith had been astonished by Perrin’s statement that he would not make anything if it was for one of the High Lords—he explains to her that he didn’t want any of his work ending up in the hands of one of the Forsaken. He can’t quite make up his mind about the girl he still calls Zarine, who he’s come to think of as pretty enough that she might be the beautiful woman Min warned him of. He also feels awkward around her, and wishes she would find something else to occupy her time with besides watching him. Seeing her shiver at the mention of the Forsaken, though, he apologizes.

“I did not mean to frighten you, Fai—Zarine.”

She smiled broadly, no doubt thinking he could not see her. “You will fall yet, farmboy. Have you ever thought of wearing a beard?”

Frustrated, Perrin thinks that it’s bad enough that he she’s always mocking him without him also being unable to even understand what she’s talking about. But his thoughts are interrupted as Moiraine and Lan meet them at the door to the inn. Moiraine announces that Rand is in Tear, which confuses Perrin because he doesn’t believe they have seen any signs of that, no wells drying up or unexpected weddings.

“Don’t you listen to rumors, blacksmith?” the Warder said. “There have been marriages, as many in the last four days as in half a year before. And as many murders as in a whole year. A child fell from a tower balcony today. A hundred paces onto stone paving. She got up and ran to her mother without a bruise. The First of Mayene, a ‘guest’ in the Stone since before the winter, announced today that she will submit to the will of the High Lords, after saying yesterday she would see Mayene and all its ships burn before one Tairen country lord set foot in the city. They had not brought themselves to torture her, and that young woman has a will like iron, so you tell me if you think it might be Rand’s doing. Blacksmith, from top to bottom, Tear bubbles like a cauldron.”

“These things were not needed to tell me,” Moiraine said. “Perrin, did you dream of Rand last night?”

Perrin answers that he did, describing how he has dreamed of Rand in the Heart of the Stone holding the sword, and Faile, shocked, admits that she has had the same dream. Moiriane adds that she has heard the dream spoken of a hundred times in a day, and that it has more traction even than the nightmares brought on by Be’lal. She laughs, remarking that the people say that the man in their dreams is the Dragon Reborn, and that he is coming.

When Perrin asks, Moiraine says that she will deal with Be’lal, and allows Lan to correct the statement to the two of them, rather than Moiraine alone. She declares that Faile, Perrin, and Loial are to go to Tar Valon until all this is over, prompting annoyance from Perrin, who remarks that the Ogier—currently upstairs, either in his room or perhaps their private dining room—will have plenty to say in his book about them running away.

“I will find him,” Zarine announced. “I have no shame in admitting I will be glad enough to run from this fight. Men fight when they should run, and fools fight when they should run. But I had no need to say it twice.” She strode ahead of them, her narrow, divided skirts making small whisking noises as they entered the inn.

Perrin follows her, his ears picking up murmurings about the Dragon as he passes through the common room, and as he mounts the stairs he hears something else, a soft thump as of something—or someone—falling to the floor in the private dining room. He goes to the door, calling “Zarine?”… and then, as his worry mounts, “Faile!”

He catches sight of her, lying prone on the floor, and is just about to rush in when Moiraine stops him. With an effort, Perrin obeys her command to move away, as she and Lan cautiously approach down the hallway.

In agony he stared at Zarine. At Faile. She lay there as if lifeless. Finally he made himself step back from the door, leaving it open, standing where he could see her. She looked as if she were dead. He could not see her chest stir. He wanted to howl. Frowning, he worked his hand, the one he had used to push the door into the room, opening and closing his fingers. It tingled sharply, as if he had struck his elbow. “Aren’t you going to do anything, Moiraine? If you will not, I am going to her.”

“Stand still or you will go nowhere,” she said calmly. “What is that by her right hand? As if it dropped from her grip when she fell. I cannot make it out.”

Perrin looks, and identifies the object as a small hedgehog, carved out of wood. Moiraine muses aloud, trying to connect the dots, a hedgehog and the flows of Spirit in the weave of this spell. She knows that this is some kind of trap, one set for her since she would have been the first in the room if Faile hadn’t rushed ahead. A conversation with the terrified innkeeper reveals that two Ladies who wished to leave “a surprise” for Moiraine came by and left the hedgehog.

“He knows I am here,” Moiraine told the Warder, “and he has found someone of the Black Ajah to set his trap, yet perhaps he thinks I am caught in it. It was a tiny flash of the Power, but perhaps he is strong enough to have sensed it.”

“Then he will not suspect we are coming,” Lan said quietly. He almost smiled.

Perrin stared at them, his teeth bared. “What about her?” he demanded. “What was done to her, Moiraine? Is she alive? I cannot see her breathe!”

Moiraine confirms that Faile is still alive, but deeply asleep, as though in hibernation, and that Moiraine suspects that she is no longer in her body, but trapped in a dream, perhaps even the World of Dreams itself. She remembers reading of the hedgehog, a ter’angreal that was studied by Corianin Nedeal, the last Dreamer in the White Tower. Moiraine’s talents do not lie in Dreaming, but she knows that it is bad that all of Faile is in the dream—a Dreamer only sends part of herself, but if Faile is not returned to her body soon, she will die.

Perrin demands that Moiraine do something, but the Aes Sedai answers that she can not enter that room without falling under the same spell, into the same trap, and that she has other work to do.

“Burn you, Aes Sedai! Burn your work! This World of Dreams? Is it like the wolf dreams? You said these Dreamers sometimes saw wolves.”

“I have told you what I can,” she said sharply. “It is time for you to go. Lan and I must be on our way to the Stone. There can be no waiting, now.”

“No.” He said it quietly, but when Moiraine opened her mouth, he raised his voice. “No! I will not leave her!”

The Aes Sedai took a deep breath. “Very well, Perrin.” Her voice was ice; calm, smooth, cold. “Remain if you wish. Perhaps you will survive this night. Lan!”

They depart without another word to Perrin, but Loial comes by soon after, telling Perrin that Moiraine mentioned something of what happened. Perrin—thinking of the wolf dreams and wondering if his budding plan might work—explains in greater detail, and is surprised by the vehemence of Loial’s response.

“No! Perrin, it is not right! Faile was so free. It is not right to trap her!”

Perrin peered up at Loial’s face, and suddenly remembered the old stories that claimed Ogier were implacable enemies. Loial’s ears had laid back along the sides of his head, and his broad face was as hard as an anvil.

“Loial, I am going to try to help Faile. But I will be helpless myself while I do. Will you guard my back?”

The Ogier, his normally careful hands clenching into fists, declares that not even Myrddraal or the Dark One himself will get past Loial while he is alive. Perrin nods and, after only a moment’s hesitation, hurls himself through the door, his hand reaching for Faile. He thinks he might have touched her ankle before he passes out.

Perrin doesn’t know if he is in Tel’aran’rhiod, but he does know that he is in a wolf dream, standing on rolling hills with deer and other animals browsing around him. He is dressed in a blacksmith’s leather vest and bare-armed, but he’s surprised to realize that it’s not his axe but the smith’s hammer hanging at his side. But still, it feels right.

Again you come, like a fool. The sending was of a cub sticking its nose into a hollow tree trunk to lap honey despite the bees stinging its muzzle and eyes. The danger is greater than ever, Young Bull. Evil things walk the dream. The brothers and sisters avoid the mountains of stone the two-legs pile up, and almost fear to dream to one another. You must go!

“No,” Perrin said. “Faile is here, somewhere, trapped. I have to find her, Hopper. I have to!” He felt a shifting inside him, something changing. He looked down at his curly-haired legs, his wide paws. He was an even larger wolf than Hopper.

You are here too strongly! Every sending carried shock. You will die, Young Bull!

If I do not free the falcon, I do not care, brother.

Then we hunt, brother.

Noses to the wind, the two wolves ran across the plain, seeking the falcon.

 

I have chills, my friends. Seeing Perrin embracing his abilities this way, seeing him assert himself to Moiraine and Lan over something that is truly important to him? Yes. I am here for this.

I’m also here for Mat embracing his abilities and true nature. It’s really funny to realize how much has changed in the way I see Mat from his first few chapters to now, but it’s not really unexpected. We are finally getting to know him, and he is finally getting to do more than be possessed, or unconscious, or both.

I had completely forgotten that he saw Mother Guenna’s house when he and Thom arrived off the boat. Although I don’t think I commented on it at the time (probably forgot to write it in my notes) I remember enjoying the irony when Mat said there was no way the girls would stay in that area, but I think I glossed over that actual description of her place, with the herbs in the windows.

Lightning streaked across the sky, three jagged bolts together, casting a stark light over a narrow house that seemed to have bunches of herbs hanging in the windows, and a shop, shut up tight, but a potter’s from the sign with its bowls and plates. Yawning, he hunched his shoulders against the driving rain and tried to pull his boots out of the clinging mud more quickly.

“I think I can forget about this part of the city, Thom,” he shouted. “All this mud, and that stink of fish. Can you see Nynaeve or Egwene—or Elayne!—choosing to stay here? Women like things neat and tidy, Thom, and smelling good.”

“May be, boy,” Thom muttered, then coughed. “You would be surprised what women will put up with. But it may be.”

Thank you for that dramatic irony, Jordan. I love it.

It’s so interesting to watch Mat figure out his new abilities (would you call them powers? I’m not sure). He learned in Chapter 49 about the randomness aspect, that he can’t work to any kind of pattern, either in games or in other aspects of his life, such as in the search of the inns. Now we see how chance incidences might also be guiding him, such as the lightning showing him Mother Guenna’s place before he was even actively looking for Elayne and the others at all. But despite that realization, it hasn’t yet occurred to him to question his other random observations, such as noticing the three horses outside Mother Guenna’s when he is, in fact, looking for three travelers. Of course, there is nothing odd about him noticing them, since they are something out of place, as were the hoof prints and wheel tracks in the mud of the street. Any observant person might have noticed them too. But at the end of the day, it’s still Mat’s luck that led him here, and it seems likely that learning to pay greater heed to his observations, to count them as a sort of honed instinct, will serve him well going forward.

I had to laugh at Mat’s decision to use the front door, despite being prompted to go to the back. It seems like—probably because of the mud—everyone uses the backdoor in the Maule area of Tear, except for people of status. Mat’s definitely got an egalitarian streak in him. He refuses to think of lords and queens as better than him or deserving of any more deference than that of common courtesy. We’ve seen him speak to Elayne and even Morgase in a very familiar way, although in the latter’s case, his fear of Gaebril had him adopting the persona of a deferential and loyal subject. Mat doesn’t stop to consider the reason behind the injunction to go to the back door—he thinks only of how he needs to get out of the mud.

I kind of love this about Mat. The Wheel of Time is very hierarchical in its setup, as most western-based fantasies are. There are good rulers and bad rulers, sure, and plenty of institutions that are not regarded as morally good by the narration at large, but the concept of rulers isn’t questioned much. (So far anyway. Who knows what will come in later books? Well, I guess all of you do! Enjoy that.) There is a sort of divine-right aspect to the Dragon’s position in the world, and indeed to that of other channelers. The Aes Sedai and the Forsaken make few qualms about acting as though their abilities put them in a station above others. The closest we get to seeing a true belief in equality is the idea that the Wheel spins everyone into the Pattern and that everyone is equally relevant within the Pattern, but the sort of “everyone has a place” line of thinking is still inherently hierarchical. We have a line of duty amongst the Shienarans, for example, that extends all the way down to the last person, and although the Aiel seem to have a somewhat egalitarian society where positions of authority are based on age and experience, they also have the Wise Ones over them, and seem to be destined to fall under the control of the Dragon and give up their way of life in service of him.

Most of our main characters either are already amongst those in power—Moiraine, Lan, the Amyrlin, Morgase—or are shaping up to be—the Two Rivers kids, Elayne, and possibly Faile. Perrin is reluctant to take a leadership role, but you can see his destiny taking him there. Elayne is meant to be Queen of Andor; Egwene and Nynaeve are supposedly going to be some of the most powerful Aes Sedai this Age has seen. All the other Two Rivers folk, even Perrin, chafe when they are treated as though they are of a lower station than where they see themselves, but that ire is still about placement and rank. Mat, on the other hand, just doesn’t want to deal with the concepts at all. It’s really fun to have that fresh perspective, and I think it shows the Loki-like chaos entity that he is becoming. After all, random chance is basically the opposite of socially-ordained, or even Wheel-ordained, hierarchy.

My heart went out to poor Ailhuin when she gave Mat that defeated answer: “I suppose I can still do that, at least.” Oh, my heart. She is such a lovely character and good person, and it shows in how she treated the girls as well as in how she treated Mat. Nynaeve said that she knew Ailhuin would have done something to help them if she could, and it was absolutely true.

Thom, on the other hand, is getting on my nerves. I mean, his complaining about “foul smelling concoctions” fits the standard way men are said to act around their health in the Wheel of Time-verse. We’ve seen several women, including Nynaeve and the Amyrlin, complain about the phenomenon, after all, and Thom is also a cantankerous old coot who has trouble with any woman who claims any kind of expertise or authority over him. Still, he’s being stubborn for no reason. I was kind of hoping that an older man with more experience in the world—and a traveler to boot—might prove the stereotype wrong. Like, I get it, men are children. But he’s not actually a five year old.

On a similar note, and this is maybe just a Sylas thing, there’s this trope in fiction where people injure themselves without realizing it when they are upset. Like digging their nails into their palms until they bleed, or punching something without knowing they’re doing it. To me, it comes off as unrealistic. I’m not even sure if it is unrealistic or not, but it’s used so frequently and feels so cliché. It’s not like Mat watched the girls die or something and is overcome with grief. It just seems like a weird short-hand trope to let us know when people are upset.

With Jordan’s increasing fondness for repetition, I’m starting to have to reevaluate whether or not I think something is relevant foreshadowing or just worldbuilding. Mat’s interest in Elayne has come up a few times now, and then Mother Guenna makes the comment “It seems you care for them. One of them, at least, I suppose it is,” and it made me wonder if there is something brewing between them that might eventually come to some kind of fruition. I know Rand is supposed to end up with basically all the ladies, but it is still an interesting speculation for me to play with.

Then again, this is probably more to do with Mother Guenna’s general assumption that traveling young people are looking for their lovers, as she did with Nynaeve and the others, too.

There is an interesting parallel developing between Mat and Rand and the way they seem to be pushed along by their developing natures. Perrin also struggles with this, but his push-and-pull with the dreams and his wolf-nature feel more even, somehow. More grounded. With Mat, and what we’ve seen of Rand from his pov sections in the beginning of the book, it feels more like he’s being born along by something that is almost outside of himself—the external force of luck for which he has now become some kind of focal point or prism. It reminds me of the way that the One Power can overtake a channeler, and the descriptions we’ve gotten from Rand about how that feels.

Speaking of Perrin, I am excited to see him embracing more of himself, both in the smithy and in the dreams. I wonder if Perrin finding a way to feel more like himself may make the wolfbrother nature easier to acclimate to. The fact that he is carrying the hammer in his Dream, rather than the ax, seems so pointed and important; if Perrin can tie the idea of the wolf to the parts of himself that he likes, rather than the aspect of his life that feels foreign and bad, it might help him feel more comfortable letting the wolves in. It might help him keep his sense of self within the wolfbrother identity.

I also liked seeing him stand up to Moiraine. Back when I was still reading the comments, a few readers pointed out to me how one of the themes in the Wheel of Time is showing how the White Tower is run in a very militaristic fashion. Indeed, the Aes Sedai are technically a military body which does many other things but is also, and perhaps foremost, there to oppose and fight the Dark One. Moiraine’s attitude towards Faile’s plight is consistent with what we’ve seen from her throughout the series: She is not without compassion, but she does prioritize her duties very specifically, and she does not show emotion over things she cannot change and people she cannot help.

Objectively, I know all this, and I respect her so much. But subjectively I found myself almost as frustrated as Perrin was. Just answer the question, Moiraine! Getting her to admit what she knew and what she didn’t was like pulling teeth, and although it’s understandable that she would emotionally distance herself from a problem she had neither the time nor the skill to tackle, she didn’t need to be so stubborn about telling Perrin what she knew. This isn’t one of those “there’s no time to explain the complexities of the Shadow” situations.

Perhaps she was trying to spare Perrin—trying to get him to distance himself in the same way by not giving him more information to think about than just “she’s gone.” But if so, it was pretty unrealistic for her to think that would work. Perrin is very loyal, and although he hasn’t understood that he cares for Faile until this moment—seriously, Perrin, you feel awkward around her because you like her—Moiraine must have noticed. I guess maybe she had too many other things on her mind.

Like, I don’t know. The Forsaken. Not to mention Rand.

So I should cut her some slack. But I think the time is coming when Moiraine is going to have to start viewing her companion’s usefulness in a broader way. Loial may be a font of knowledge, but when given the opportunity—such as when he, Rand, and Hurin ended up in the mirror world, or here when Perrin needs someone to watch his back—he has shown himself to be a hardy presence with overlooked depths of resolve. I’m not actually sure why she keeps Perrin around, but she doesn’t seem to think he is useful for much. She certainly doesn’t look to him as a confidant, even though he has abilities that she does not, such as being able to enter Tel’aran’rhiod and being ta’veren. Even with Lan, probably the closest person to her in the world, she is quick to push away as soon as things get too dangerous, more concerned with his usefulness in the fight at large than in assessing what he might be able to bring to her encounter with the Forsaken.

In any case, I am so here for Perrin’s rescue attempt, and I’m seeing another parallel here with Two Rivers folk and their friends springing traps. Nynaeve, Elayne, and Egwene set out to spring the Black Ajah’s, got caught in it, and now need Mat to rescue them. Faile accidentally sprang the trap left for Moiraine, and now Perrin has deliberately rushed in to get caught in it as well, in an attempt to rescue her. It’s kind of brilliant.

Oh, and then there’s Loial being amazing. He is so perfect I want him to come over to my house. I’ll buy a giant chair just for him.

I am so full of feelings this week, and that is not going to change next week when we move on to tackle the last three chapters! I hope you all are ready, because I am definitely not.

My final notes:

  • I guess Perrin is going to grow a beard at some point.
  • That bit about “the First of Mayene” is deeply upsetting. Is this political haggling or are they forcing her to get married or what?
  • Ugh, I’m still such a sucker for the bonded relationship between Aes Sedai and their Warders. Every time Moiraine calls Lan “my Gaidin” I just die.
  • Some beautiful descriptions this week. I particularly liked “Moiraine’s voice was like cold, unfeeling music.”
  • A special thank you to those who pointed out that Lord Samon’s true name is spelled Be’lal, not Bel’al. I can read great, but spelling is not my forte. Cheers!

Sylas K Barrett would very much like to know if all wolfbrothers get to go to “Wolf Heaven” in Tel’aran’rhiod with the other wolves. That seems like a pretty sweet deal.

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