Reading the Wheel of Time: Death, Love, and Fate in Robert Jordan’s The Shadow Rising (Part 1)

One more grammar police moment:

"the affects Rand left in his wake in Jarra" should be "effects".

Oathbringer Reread: Interludes 10 and 11

whitespine @87: The conversation Eshonai has with her mother in WoR seems to imply that Venli is the older sibling, but I don't know if it's confirmed elsewhere.  Anyone?

Hugo Spotlight: The Devastating Alternate History of Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation

Maybe I misread it, and I’ve already returned it to the library so I can’t easily check, but I thought her mother was passing, not white.  

Edited to white out spoilers.  My sincere apologies.

Reading the Wheel of Time: What it Means to Be Ta’veren

Lea @33: I don't remember that item, and I looked at the passage in TDR and couldn't find it.  Is this what you were thinking of?

“Item. A carved cluster of six spotted dice, joined at the corners, less than two inches across. Use unknown, save that channeling through it seems to suspend chance in some way, or twist it.” She [Nynaeve] began to read aloud. “ ‘Tossed coins presented the same face every time, and in one test landed balanced on edge one hundred times in a row. One thousand tosses of the dice produced five crowns one thousand times.’ ”

Reading the Wheel of Time: What it Means to Be Ta’veren

Moderators: Grammar point: In "much change they can actually affect", it should be "effect" (the classic example of "effect" as a verb). 

Ironically, in two separate replies there's an affect/effect mixup, once each way.

Reading the Wheel of Time: The Sword in the Stone Declares the King in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 23)

PaulTaylors @67: From The Wheel of Time Companion:

Moridin. The Old Tongue word for “death,” it was the name given to the resurrected Ishamael. His strength level was + + 1, the highest possible level for a man.

So, yes, Ishamael/Moridin was on par with Rand.

noblehunter @70: From AMoL, Ch. 47:

Moridin laughed, raising the weapon high. “You are mine, Lews Therin. You are finally mine! I…” He trailed off, then looked up at the sword, perhaps in awe. “It can amplify the True Power. A True Power sa’angreal? How? Why?” He laughed louder.

That seems to imply that Moridin had never even heard of a TP sa’angreal, and therefore likely of a TP angreal, either.

JonathanLevy @69:

If he was only using the True Power, why would he care much about One Power angreal?

That is weird; one possible explanation that comes to mind is that he was planning to give them to his minions for their use.

Reading the Wheel of Time: Of Herbs and Luck in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 20)

Moderators: Grammar note.  While the sentence "They’re too similar, and so rather than complimenting each other, they’re bouncing off one another and competing for the same spaces." could be correct, I'm pretty sure in context it should be "complementing".

Reading The Wheel of Time: Lost Queens and Exiled Aiel in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 16)

AeronaGreenjoy @59:

“Aviendha has an important-sounding name.” *snort* I think it is a rather cool name, but so are the names of many relatively plot-unimportant people in this story.

I took this to mean how she gave the formal "Aviendha of the Nine Valleys sept of the Taardad Aiel" version, although on further reflection that doesn't really make sense, since every Aiel we've met so far has introduced themselves via sept and clan.  *shrug*

Reading the Wheel of Time: Farmer’s Weapons and Library Secrets in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 11)

nygmus @6: The Wheel of Time Companion (as official a source as there is for these sorts of things) gives:

Mat: 5’11”, 170 lbs.

Perrin: 6’1″, 235 lbs.

Rand: 6’6″, 235 lbs.


Reading the Wheel of Time: Egwene Lets Go of Rand and Is Nearly Lost Herself in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 10))

AnthonyPero: It's definitely not equally-distributed.  The Red is the largest and the White the smallest; IIRC, Green is the second-largest.  At any rate, I would think certainly less than 200 Greens.

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4 Discussion/Review: “The Last of the Starks”

One nitpick I have: In Varys's "cocks matter" speech, he gets the rules of inheritance wrong.  Jon is the child of Dany's _older_ sibling.  Even if females were in the official line to the throne, the child of the heir comes before the siblings of the heir (e.g., Joffrey before Stannis, assuming Joffrey were actually Robert's, of course).  The only way Dany would have had a better claim than Jon under the corresponding "cocks don't matter" theory is if she had been Rhaegar's _older_ sister.

Reading the Wheel of Time: Egwene Lets Go of Rand and Is Nearly Lost Herself in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 10))

Lisamarie @40: Remember from TSR, Siuan was waiting to tell the rest of the Aes Sedai that Rand had taken Callandor and they had someone (Moiraine) close by; once he had taken Callandor, no one (reasonable) could possibly argue whether or not he was the true Dragon.  (They'd find other things to argue about, of course, but not that!)

Stupor Friends — Justice League

Strangely enough, I actually enjoyed this movie more than Thor: Ragnarok(!?!), even though everything krad wrote is true and Thor is an obviously better movie.  Part of that is probably growing up with the Saturday morning Justice League cartoons in the late 70s and early 80s, so these are "my" superheroes.  (Although I've always loved Norse mythology, so Thor has always been my favorite Marvel character.)  Another thing is that this whole series of articles has made me realize that as a movie watcher, overall cohesiveness is less important to me; what I look for is the singular moments that resonate.  The main one in this movie that comes to mind is during the team fight when the Flash is speeding toward Superman and everything is frozen, then Superman turns his head to follow the Flash's progress and Flash has an "Oh sh**" moment as he realizes Superman is on his level of speed.  That moment was beautifully done.  That being said, I love reading krad's analyses and all of your comments to get insight into the analytical viewpoint that I can definitely appreciate even if it's not the way I consume movies.

Honestly, if no one had told me about Moustachegate, I wouldn't have noticed.  It's just not that visually obvious to me.

And with regard to Superman's power level, I remember a quote from a writer who said (more or less) "the problem with writing a Justice League story is figuring out how to keep Superman away from the action so the others can actually contribute."  It's an exaggeration, of course, but it does get the point across.

Reading the Wheel of Time: Choosing Who You Want to Be in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 9)

I think this new spoiler policy is a bad idea.  I thought we were doing a pretty good job of keeping spoilers to a minimum, and being able to interact with Sylas is a _big_ perk of the format.  It's not that big of a burden to white things out (although people who use mobile devices may have problems; I've never tried that), so I'd vote for continuing as-is.

Of course, if the root of the problem is just that Sylas himself doesn't want to read the comments anymore, that's absolutely fine.  But while I'll still read the posts regardless, I think a lot of the charm of them will be lost if this change is implemented.

Reading the Wheel of Time: Mat Struggles With the Past in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 8)

Moderators: Formatting issue.  The paragraph starting "Mat asks what she means..." is Sylas's own words and should not be part of the block quote.

Reading the Wheel of Time: Everyone Wants to Help and They Can’t Be Trusted in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 7)

bonyenne @71: No, we never do.  //  Given Siuan's skills at Healing ("hardly her greatest skill, not very strong at all", per KoD), it's pretty clear that whatever they did wasn't Healing in the traditional sense.  Although that still begs the question of why Siuan would be the one to lead the circle; it's hard to imagine she happened to be the one most skilled at whatever was needed.  This may very well be another "early book" artifact where RJ hadn't quite worked out the system fully.  //

Reading the Wheel of Time: Liking What You Become in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 3)

ZEXXES @78, princessroxana @79: RJ specifically said women can be ta'veren.  From the Theoryland interview database:

INTERVIEW: Jan 20th, 2006
Robert Jordan's Blog: IT'S BEEN AWHILE (Verbatim)

For ben, of course women can be ta'veren. None of the major female characters in the books is ta'veren, though. The Wheel doesn't cast ta'veren around indiscriminately. There has to be a specific reason or need. (I tossed in the "major" just to leave you something to argue about.)


Reading the Wheel of Time: Liking What You Become in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 3)

Moderators: In the paragraph "“Perhaps,” Moiraine counters. She tells them that the prophecy of Callandor is only one fulfillment of The Karaethon cycle, just like the first one, his birth on the slopes of Dragonmount.", the second sentence should not be part of the block quote.

Reading The Wheel of Time: Building Rand’s Identity through the Heron-Marked Blade

JimIII @21: The answer to your “weird thing” is actually right in the text:


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


Oathbringer Reread: Chapter Sixty-Five

Scáth @74: "Wives and girlfriends" in the tabloids, but my WAG in context here is "wild-ass guess".  :-)

Reading the Wheel of Time: Ba’alzamon’s Lies in Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt (Part 26)

Moderators: Minor formatting issue.  The paragraph that starts "He blows a long, clear note..." should not be indented as a block quote; the direct quote from the book ends in the previous paragraph and that paragraph is Sylas's.

Reading the Wheel of Time: Despair and the Shadow in Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt (Part 25)

JonathanLevy @77: Can you point me to where I can find Terez’s analyses?  I’ve read her analysis of // Taimandred // but would love to read other things.

gadget @72:

@70 & @62 // It make no sense for the Oath Rod to work on non-channelers when stilling removes the oaths.  This contradicts what we are told in the books and what Sammael said to Sevannah.  //

My response: // It doesn’t necessarily contradict it; it could be that stilling severs the connection created when the Oaths were taken and replicates the experience of removing the Oaths via the Rod.  The stilled person could then be re-sworn using the methods for non-channelers.

That being said, your larger point that it’s pretty clear that Sammael said binders only work on channelers, and it’s unlikely he was lying is completely valid. //

A Few Too Many Strings — Avengers: Age of Ultron

I just recently re-watched the MCU in order (while recovering from surgery, so some drug-induced memory modification may be involved), but I thought I remembered that the plan was not just to let Sokovia drop, but to actually accelerate it downward beyond what gravity alone would do.

That still doesn't deal with the issue of "if you've got that much energy, why bother with such an indirect method", but I do like the suggestion of Ultron being into the symbolism.

Reading the Wheel of Time: The Hubris of the Seanchan in Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt (Part 24)

olethros6 @28: Re-read RobbyFriedlander @21.  It’s not “someone on the Internet”; it’s straight from The Wheel of Time Companion, which is canonical.  Here’s the exact quote:

A narrow-faced Taraboner Whitecloak officer who was the son of Geofram.

As RobbyFriedlander @21 said, Geofram’s nationality is not stated in the Companion, but given his speech patterns and the fact that his son is Taraboner, it seems almost certain that he is as well.

Edit: Ninja’d by Anthony Pero!

“I’m just a man in a can” — Iron Man 3

Austin @5: IIRC, there's a line in Captain America: Civil War where Tony explains that he and Pepper are taking a break because he realized that he couldn't stop being Iron Man (the implication being she wasn't happy with that and broke things off).

SF Novels That Get Special Relativity All Wrong

I think the Farmer in the Sky example is unfair to say Heinlein got it wrong; the character didn't know the answer.  It does not show one way or the other whether Heinlein understands it.  Now, maybe you could have argued that the character should have known the right answer, but that's a separate issue from Heinlein getting relativity wrong.

Also, I agree with ajay @7: my understanding (from Modern Physics taken 25 years ago) is that when one frame is accelerating, the symmetry is broken.

Reading The Wheel of Time: Suspecting Darkfriends in Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt (Part 18)

Anthony Pero @6, et seq.: In fact, the first reveal is in the Glossary to TDR; I confirmed with a Kindle search.  So barring a typo in my Kindle files, it's definitely a spoiler.  (Which surprises me; like you, I thought it had already been revealed.)

Reading the Wheel of Time: A Game of Trollocs in Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt (Part 15)

Sylas: I always absolutely read Thom's disdain of actors as disdain of the invention of the profession.  It's clear from what he says that this is a new thing and that one should be able to do everything just with the cadence of one's voice.

Jade Phoenix @13: Maybe, but it reads to me like the woman was one of the many people who were watching from the lighted windows and was just the last one left.

Also, moderators, a quick formatting issue: the paragraph starting "But after Rand has left, Thom doesn’t find it that easy..." should be separate from the block quotes both before and after it; it's Sylas's words, not from the text.

(Self-flagged for moderator attention.)


Oathbringer Reread: Chapter Fifty-Four

RogerPavelle @34, Gaz @36: The formula is for the nth Fibonacci number (1,1,2,3,5,8,13,..).  Phi is the golden ratio (1+sqrt(5))/2.  It’s weird the first time you see it that the formula given always comes out to be whole number, but in the end all of the sqrt(5)’s cancel out and you’re left with just a plain number.

Reading the Wheel of Time: Nynaeve Confronts Her Fear in Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt (Part 13)

AeronaGreenjoy @94: You remember correctly, but it's an Aes Sedai who's talking about it to another Aes Sedai, so she uses the common Aes Sedai term.  I don't recall any instance of a non-Aes Sedai using the term.

Reading the Wheel of Time: Nynaeve Confronts Her Fear in Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt (Part 13)

jadis666 @85, Sebastian @87: Per IdealSeek (, an interesting website that lets you search books 1–12 for text), there are 53 occurrences of “lover” among the books RJ wrote.  That includes “The spear is your lover” in the Glossaries of all of the books through LoC, for a total of 47 “in-text” uses of the word.

Since IdealSeek is not perfect, I went through and looked at the books individually via Kindle, and here’s what I got (counting both “lover” and “lovers”):

Ravens: 0

TEotW: 1 (Glossary only)

TGH: 4 (1 in Glossary)

TDR: 4 (2 in Glossary)

TSR: 7 (1 in Glossary)

TFoH: 13 (1 in Glossary)

LoC: 8 (1 in Glossary)

ACoS: 10

TPoD: 2

WH: 7

CoT: 7

NS: 2

KoD: 4

That’s a total of 69 occurrences, 62 of which occur “in-text.”  For completeness, in BWS’s books, the counts are

TGS: 2

ToM: 5

AMoL: 3


Oathbringer Reread: Chapter Fifty-Three

AeronaGreenjoy @33: Echoing ThunderCrush @39, I did the same calculations a while ago and got essentially the same result.  (I know I posted them somewhere on, but can't find it right now.)  Team Sanderson did the work to make sure the length of time was consistent with real-world pregnancies.

Reading the Wheel of Time: Nynaeve Confronts Her Fear in Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt (Part 13)

lmosiman @26:

I assume that a Sister could be startled from sleep, believe that she was being attacked, and light someone on fire. It’s not like she has to go to court and prove it was self-defense before she does it. 

And actually, to anyone who knows how the Oaths work, the very fact that she was able to do it would constitute proof that her belief was sincere!  // (Assuming she could convince them she's covered by the Oaths and not Black Ajah, of course.) //

Oathbringer Reread: Chapter Fifty-Three

@10, 19: It's this passage from WoR that strongly implies Renarin has been doing it all along:

“I can see it,” Renarin answered feverishly, his voice echoing in the chamber. Ardents who had been studying part of the murals looked up at him. “I can see the future itself. Why? Why, Almighty? Why have you cursed me so?” He screamed a pleading cry, then stood and cracked something against the wall. A rock? Where had he gotten it? He gripped the thing in a gauntleted hand and began to write.

Shocked, Shallan took a step toward him. A sequence of numbers?

All zeros.

“It’s come,” Renarin whispered. “It’s come, it’s come, it’s come. We’re dead. We’re dead. We’re dead. . . .”

“I don’t like bullies” — Captain America: The First Avenger

vinsentient @3: Echoing Jason_UmmaMacabre @5, I live in San Diego, which is just about as far away from NY as you can get in the continental US, and while intellectually I understand there's a difference, emotionally it just doesn't matter to me.  But I can completely understand how a native New Yorker would see it differently.

Reading the Wheel of Time: Cracks in the Wall in Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt (Part 12)

Not to derail the great commentary, but there are three egregious copy-edit errors that really should be corrected:

"yeild" should be "yield"

"sighting" should be "citing"

and (one of my personal bugaboos, and the reason why I'm actually posting this rather than just ignoring it like I probably should)

"unphased" should be "unfazed"

Oathbringer Reread: Chapters Forty-Three and Forty-Four
The idea of betrayal as one of the worst things a person can do (per EvilMonkey @37 et seq.) is echoed in one of my favorite pieces of literature: Dante's Inferno.  The innermost circle of Hell in that work is reserved for the traitors, and the three very worst traitors (who are tortured for Eternity by Satan himself) are Brutus and Cassius (of Julius Caesar fame) and Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Christ, with Judas getting the worst of it.  All three of them betrayed their masters (as did Satan, for that matter!), and to Dante that was the sin most deserving of damnation.  (I'm no classics scholar---far from it---but it's my opinion that this probably was reasoned the other way---"Who's the worst person in history?  Judas.  Therefore, betraying your master is the most heinous thing you can do."---but it nevertheless reflects the same attitude.)   Regarding the issue of puns in "translated" works, Alice said it best @46, but I'd just add that if you apply that standard, then you can never use a pun in such a work.  While some people might be just fine with that :-), I like having puns and am willing to handwave away the issues.  YMM (as always) V.   Side note: In Howard Tayler's Schlock Mercenary, a webcomic I discovered years ago (shortly after it was announced that BWS would finish the Wheel of Time) because Howard is good friends with BWS and which I have read almost every day since, he actually lampshades this in one of his early strips:  
Nejjat Terrorist Lea: No. 'Mercy' and 'Mercenary' may sound similar, but I assure you it's just a misleading coincidence.
Narrator: Oddly enough, this joke works in Galstandard West as well as in English.
Oathbringer Reread: Chapters Forty-One and Forty-Two

dwcole @60: Most of the clues require you to take RJ's word that the WoT is set on Earth in a different era; one of the conceits of the series is that the legends of the WoT era are things from our present.  Here are the examples I remember off the top of my head:

Tales of Mosk the Giant, with his Lance of fire that could reach around the world, and his wars with Elsbet, the Queen of All. Tales of Materese the Healer, Mother of the Wondrous Ind.

Mosk = Moscow (Russia), Lance of fire = ICBMs, Elsbet = Elizabeth I of Britain; Materese of Ind = Mother Theresa of India

“Tell us about Lenn,” Egwene called. “How he flew to the moon in the belly of an eagle made of fire. Tell about his daughter Salya walking among the stars.”

Lenn = John Glenn, mixed with the Apollo 11 crew; Salya = Sally Ride

Tales of Anla, the Wise Counselor.

Ann Landers

A silvery thing in another cabinet, like a three-pointed star inside a circle, was made of no substance she knew; it was softer than metal, scratched and gouged, yet even older than any of the ancient bones. From ten paces she could sense pride and vanity.

The Mercedes-Benz logo

Did Mosk and Merk really fight with spears of fire, and were they even giants?

Moscow (Russia), America, and their ICBMs

Reading the Wheel of Time: Facing Fate on Your Feet in Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt (Part 5)

Brent @73: I heartily agree with @72 and @74: KoD was the best book since at least LoC, in my opinion.  In particular, Egwene's big chapter (Honey in the Tea) is my favorite chapter in the entire series.  (Not the best chapter---that honor goes to a two-chapter sequence in TSR; re-readers know exactly which ones I'm referring to---but the one I most enjoy re-reading.)

Oathbringer Reread: Chapters Thirty-Nine and Forty

Alice has nearly survived her daughter’s excursion through driver’s training, possibly even with sanity intact.

Congratulations!  But wouldn't that imply you were sane to start...

toothlessjoe @3: I completely agree on the purpose of truths for a Lightweaver---to combat the very real danger of losing yourself.

Reading the Wheel of Time: Facing Fate on Your Feet in Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt (Part 5)

VladZ @34: To be precise, Nynaeve was born in 974 and Lan in 953.  The series starts in 998, so they were 23 or 24 and 44 or 45 at the beginning of the series.

Seanan McGuire’s October Daye Series Sweepstakes!

This would definitely be great!  (And require another bookcase, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make!  :-))

Reading the Wheel of Time: Stones on a Board in Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt (Part 3)

BenW @54: Flagged your comments for the Moderator to white out.  If you want to try it yourself, then the trick is to highlight the text to be hidden and use the button above the posting box that's an underlined "A" on a white background to set the selected text to white.  Do this _before_ Previewing the text and the change should stick.  (They may have fixed this bug since I last tried it.)

Reading the Wheel of Time: Stones on a Board in Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt (Part 3)

KalvinKingsley @35 already posted all of the typos I noticed, so I just flagged that posting for the Moderators.

Other than the typos, excellent post as usual!

Reading The Wheel of Time: Dragons and Amyrlins in Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt (Part 2)

[email protected]: You need to delete the “/&nbsp” from the end of your link to make it work correctly.

Edit: The link now works for me.

Reading the Wheel of Time: A Masked Plot in Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt (Part 1)

Wayneman @13: Tor did that to each of the first two books to produce volumes that were a less scary size for younger readers.  The first half of TEotW contained an extra prologue that follows Egwene as a young girl and gives some insight into her character.  The second half of TGH has an expanded Glossary.  Other than that, the texts are identical.

5 Things I Missed in Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World (Until Now)

I always read it as "the men broke the world, so they have to fix it"; because saidin was tainted, the Dragon had to be male in order to properly fix it. 

That of course pushes the argument to "Why couldn't the females have broken the world and tainted saidar?" in some turning of the Wheel, so I guess it doesn't really help the overall debate.  Maybe saidar being tainted is too big of a change to happen when the Wheel returns again...?

Reading the Wheel of Time: Eight Questions I Hope to Have Answered by The Great Hunt

princessroxana @82: Highlight the text in the editing box that you want to have be white.  There are two icons on top of the comment box that look like "A"; the left one changes the text color and the right one the background color; select white from the correct menu.  Preview your comment and the selected text should be white.  (There used to be a bug that you needed to do this _before_ you Previewed your comment the first time or it wouldn't work, but I haven't tested that in a while.)

Long Live the Chief — Marvel’s Luke Cage Season 2, Episodes 9-13

I really enjoyed this season.  I have two major comments:

1. krad: In your review of the first third of the season, you mentioned Tilda's parentage as if that was something that was revealed in the first season.  As someone whose only knowledge of these characters is from the MCU and television shows, I didn't even know that Mariah had a child.  When it was revealed that Ridenhour and Mariah had been an item in high school, my first guess was that Tilda's father was Ridenhour.  (Of course, in hindsight the correct answer was obvious.)

I just re-watched the relevant portions of S1E7 (the one where Mariah kills Cottonmouth), and I didn't see anything that indicated Mariah was pregnant or had a child.  Was it revealed in a different episode and I just missed it (completely possible), or is this one of those things that people who have read the comics would know but wasn't clear from the show?

2. Since my knowledge of the legal system mostly comes from way to many Law and Order re-runs, this question is for the lawyers out there: Do immunity deals like Shades's often actually hinge on the conviction of the person in question?  That seems awfully risky from the immunity-seeker's point of view.  I would expect that all they would promise is to testify against them.  Was that a failure on Shades's and/or his lawyer's part, or is this a pretty standard clause?  (Granted, having the prisoner die in custody might also negate an agreement to testify, but still...)

Finally, I am definitely down for Daughters of the Dragon and Power Man & Iron Fist.

Reading The Wheel of Time: For the Love of Egwene in Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World (Part 20)

fernandan @ 64: No, you can't edit posts made in red even if you later sign up with the same username; there's no way to verify that you were the author of the original posts, after all.

Reading The Wheel of Time: When Need is Greatest in Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World (Part 18)

telyni @25: A historical note: Yes, BWS uses "RAFO" all the time, but it was actually RJ who created the phrase in the first place!  BWS just continued the tradition when he took over WoT and then continued using it for his own works.

Reading the Wheel of Time: Almost Everything Finally Gets Explained in Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World (Part 15)

jadis666 @42: The problem with your argument is that the situation is not symmetric: birgit is saying that she doesn't remember any evidence and you're saying that there is evidence.  Even if birgit wrote back and said "I just re-read NS and didn't see anything like that", would you believe her, or would you just think she wasn't careful enough and missed it?  You, on the other hand, have the ability to quote the exact text that either says it straight out or seems to indicate it, and we can then judge it.

FWIW, I just did a quick search of NS (the search function on the Kindle app isn't great, but it's a lot better than re-reading the entire book!), and I couldn't find any evidence of a more-than-natural bond between them, but I could easily just not have hit on the right search term.

TL;DR: When people disagree about whether something exists or not, the onus of proof is (fairly or unfairly) on the person who says it does exist, as the other person can't prove their position.

Reading the Wheel of Time: Two Rivers or Aielman in Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World (Part 14)

Dalton24 @62: In your first white-out section, you're confusing Elaida with a different character.  // Nicola is the one who couldn't remember her Foretellings. //

Oathbringer Reread: Chapter Thirteen

Great article as usual.

Alice, I hate to be _that_ guy, but this the second time in recent months I've had to call you out on the "phase/faze" issue.  :-)

Seriously, though, keep up the great work.

Reading the Wheel of Time: Black Ravens and Whitecloaks in Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World (Part 9)

AeronaGreenjoy @46:

// There's an exchange in TDR: 

“Does it [a raven] have to report,” Perrin asked softly, “or does . . . he . . . see what it sees?” He had not meant anyone to hear, but Ragan, the youngest of the Shienarans, less than ten years his elder, answered as he fitted another arrow to his short bow.

“It has to report. To a Halfman, usually.” In the Borderlands there was a bounty on ravens; no one there ever dared assume any raven was just a bird. “Light, if Heartsbane saw what the ravens saw, we would all have been dead before we reached the mountains.” Ragan’s voice was easy; it was a matter of every day to a Shienaran soldier.

It's possible he's wrong, but it seems reasonable to me.  As we learn (much) later, the Forsaken can take over animals, but it's fairly time consuming.  Plus, at this stage I think only three of them are free, and they're probably doing other things.  So I think the simplest explanation is that the ravens are just generally scouting and killing for pleasure on their own. //

Reading the Wheel of Time: Moiraine Vs. Elyas in Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World (Part 8)

Naturally, in a series with this many fans, there are going to be disagreements about characters that people like and dislike.  However, I feel confident in asserting that the single most polarizing figure in all of WoT is Egwene.  For me, personally, she's my favorite character, but I can certainly understand why she rubs a lot of people the wrong way.

ClanOblique @57: Yes, RJ stated that every female character in the series has an aspect of Harriet (his wife).  My personal favorite: Semirhage is Harriet when he forgot to take out the trash!  :-)

A Return to Artistic Triumph: Pixar’s Inside Out

Speaking as a Californian and someone who did a Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, I'm 100% with you on the pizza issue: keep your vegetables off my pizza!

Also, I'll echo the other childless adult males who loved this film.

Oathbringer Reread: Chapters Five and Six

Carl @67: No, that's OK.  I can handle the math.  :-)  (Although I did make a false start by trying to solve the differential equation of the motion directly; it seems that there's not a closed-form solution.  It took me a while to hit on the conservation of energy approach.)

The Top Five Best-Worst Moments of the Wheel of Time

Lisamarie @10: "Top Five Awful People Get Awful Karma, but It’s Still Too Awful To Really Enjoy":

Burdened with waterskins and pots and kettles till she almost felt decently covered, Galina staggered through the forest at Therava’s heels. She did not think of the rod, or escape. Something had broken in her. She was Galina Casban, Highest of the Red Ajah, who sat on the Supreme Council of the Black Ajah, and she was going to be Therava’s plaything for the rest of her life. She was Therava’s little Lina. For the rest of her life. She knew that to her bones. Tears rolled silently down her face.

Oathbringer Reread: Chapters Five and Six

Carl @58: Just to double check: your reference to the square-cube law is that wind resistance is proportional to (cross-sectional) area while mass is proportional to volume, correct?  (I was initially confused as to how you were ignoring that, but I think I figured it out.)

And one other little detail (which I'm sure you know): technically, for a mass with nonzero volume, there is a maximum velocity even with no wind resistance: the escape velocity.  (Due to the inverse square law, gravitational attraction decreases with distance, so acceleration does as well.  Thus, there is a finite velocity such that if you throw a rock up at that velocity, it will never return to the ground.  It turns out that falling objects can never reach that velocity if they start from rest.)

Oathbringer Reread: Chapters Five and Six

Wetlandernw @ 31, Re: healing: There might be something more definitive, but the thing I remember from the final battle is (Kaladin's PoV):

All the Stormlight in the world wouldn't save him if they simply bound him, then hacked at him until he stopped healing.

I assume he's thinking that from experience, and I definitely have the impression that we actually get direct confirmation somewhere, but I can't pull up a reference right now.  (The search function in Kindle is quirky, and trying to do it on my phone is not helping.)

Reading The Wheel of Time: Separate But Not Equal Magic in Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World (Part 2)

AeroneGreenjoy @67: I was actually surprised that there were only those two additional mentions (I used Encyclopaedia WoT to find them, so I may have missed anything in AMoL, although I doubt there was anything there); I guess everything I remember about that subject comes from either the Guide or the Companion.

Reading The Wheel of Time: Separate But Not Equal Magic in Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World (Part 2)

[email protected]: One minor correction:


Myrddraal being offspring of Trollocs is also mentioned in the LoC Prologue, during Osan’gar’s PoV:

He had helped make the Trollocs, blending human and animal stock—he was proud of that, of the skill involved, the difficulty—but these occasional throwback offspring [referring to Shaidar Haran] made him uneasy at the best of times.

And in WH, Ch. 35, also in Osan’gar’s PoV:

His talents, his genius, lay elsewhere. The Trollocs were his making, and thus the Myrddraal that had sprung from them, and many other creatures that had rocked the world and made his name famous..


In addition to what you listed, there are a bunch of other things in the first couple of books that aren’t mentioned again or that have how they work change as the series grows.  One of the hazards of writing a series over a period of 20+ years, I guess.

Reading The Wheel of Time: A Boy Leaves Home in Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World (Part 1)

AlerieCorbray @ 30: And your method makes sense to you.  :-)  I think in this case either works.  For me it's neat to see how the hints in the text got fleshed out, but I can definitely see how it could also be neat to know what happened and watch for hints later.

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