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Yuri33
11-23-2009, 02:07 PM
I imagine there are several people working on a chronology for the TGS. Here is my current (and quite unfinished) work:

TGS Chronology (http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=t-nPWYmb17E4EM3XF4ZBufA&output=html)

There are several sheets to this spreadsheet. The first is basically a reconstruction/continuation of the WOT Chronology (http://www.stevenac.net/wot/tl1000.htm). The second sheet is my raw data, with colors representing various character arcs. The next few sheets are the major plotlines separated out: Rand, Egwene/Gawyn, Mat, Tuon, and Perrin. The last sheet contains some random notes from BS interviews about timing.

The plotline sheets are organized into columns: the first column contains temporal clues, the second contains the events themselves, and the last contains my best estimates of timing (either absolute day or relative to major events).

There are only a few events from TGS added to the first sheet (mainly from Perrin and Tuon's arc) because so far it's been very difficult to tie things down to this existing chronology. BS is not as precise and does not provide as many temporal clues as RJ did in previous books. I've put brackets where there is uncertainty.

A few comments:
1) BS has said the TGS ends late June/early July, which would make it around day 830 or so. However, my best estimate right now is that the last day of the book (Rand on Dragonmount) is about a month before this. Maybe I'm totally off, but you can judge for yourself.

2) BS is very fond of using "few days" or "few weeks." It makes nailing down timing very frustrating, especially when you have to propagate the uncertainty. Based on my research, his definition of "few" is probably 2-5.

3) Just to recap: 1 week = 10 days, 1 month = 28 days.

4) As far as I can tell, there are absolutely no references to the phases of the moon! (stormy skies and all...)

What I have currently represents a "first pass" using some minimal reasoning to put as much as I can together. I'm not sure I have the time to drill deeper into the logic to arrange things, but I'll spend what time I can. I'd appreciate any comments/input/deductions/corrections that any of you can add, as I hope we can work together to fully integrate this with existing chronologies.

I would be happy to grant editing privileges to anyone who wishes to contribute. Please PM me if you want access.

kcf
11-23-2009, 02:26 PM
FYI - I asked Brandon a bit about the timeline.

Q: Can you clear up the timeline issues? How do Mat, Perrin, Rand, and Egwene all match up in the timeline?

A: The Gathering Storm begins sometime in April. It ends around the end of June/beginning of July. However, Perrin advanced very little – only about 2 weeks. Mat advanced a bit more, but was still about a month behind Rand and Egwene (this gets an astrix as a MAFO), but Mat traveled to Caemlyn about 30 days before the end of the book – he emphasized 30 days and asked if I understood the significance of that – I said that I do.

Tuon’s timeline jumps around the most. In Knife of Dreams she ended about a month ahead of everyone else. There were probably (MAFO) about 2 weeks between her meeting with Rand and the launch of the attack on the White Tower.

Yuri33
11-23-2009, 02:41 PM
I had this quote in the notes section.

However, what exactly does BS mean by TGS beginning in April, though? There are several arcs that ended in KoD, some in the beginning of April (Egwene's on the 7th) and some towards the ends of April (Mat's on the 22nd, Tuon's at the very end of April, possibly even beginning of May).

For certain, Perrin's story advances on screen only a week. If you include off screen (i.e., Rand's color swirls), then it's possible he went 2 weeks, but that creates a new problem. Rand last sees Perrin the day before he goes to Dragonmount. But that completely messes up the timeline if Perrin only advanced 2 weeks from Malden.

Mat's arc onscreen is only 1-2 days or so. I've incorporated BS's info on him being in Caemlyn for 30 days on the day Rand was on Dragonmount. Mat's arc does make Verin's arc a bit weird--she apparently stayed in Trustair for a looooong time (like a month).

Yuri33
11-24-2009, 12:42 AM
As I've been putting together the chronology, several timing issues have come up. One of the first deals with trying to synch up Rand's arc with the Seanchan attack. To best explain this issue, it's actually better to work backwards.

We start with the last day of the book, when Rand is atop Dragonmount. The previous day, Rand unsuccessfully meets with Hurin and the Borderlanders. Just before Rand meets Hurin, Nyneave and Rand talk:

TGS, Scents Unkown:
Her mind turned back to Lan. She had to do something! But Rand wasn't seeing sense. That left only Cadsuane's mysterious plan. Fool woman, refusing to explain it. Nynaeve had made the first step, offering an allegiance, and how had Cadsuane reacted? With presumptuous arrogance, of course. How dare she welcome Nynaeve into her little group of Aes Sedai like a child who had been wandering in the woods!

How would Nynaeve's task—discovering where Perrin was—help Lan? During the past week, Nynaeve had pressed Cadsuane for more information, but had failed. "Perform this task well, child," Cadsuane had said, "and perhaps we shall give you more responsibility in the future. You've proven yourself willful at times, and we can't have that."
...
"Do you ... know where Perrin is?"

"He has tasks set before him and performs them," Rand said, turning away. "Why do you wish to know?"

Best not to mention Cadsuane. "I'm still worried about him. And about Mat."

"Ah," Rand said. "You are particularly unaccustomed to lying, aren't you, Nynaeve?"

She felt her face flush in embarrassment. When had he learned to read people so well! "I am worried about him, Rand al'Thor," she said. "He has a peaceful, unassuming nature—and always did let his friends push him around too much."

There. Let Rand think about that.

"Unassuming," Rand said musingly. "Yes, I suppose he is still that. But peaceful? Perrin is no longer too ... peaceful."

So he had been in touch with Perrin recently. Light! How had Cadsuane known, and how had Nynaeve missed those communications? "Rand, if you have Perrin working on something for you, then why have you kept it secret? I deserve to—"

"I haven't been meeting with him, Nynaeve," Rand said. "Calm yourself. There are simply things that I know. We are connected, Perrin, myself and Mat."

"How? What do you—"

"That is all I will say on it, Nynaeve," Rand interrupted, slicing into her sentence with soft words.

Nynaeve settled back, gritting her teeth again. The other Aes Sedai spoke of being in control of their emotions, but obviously they didn't have to deal with Rand al'Thor. Nynaeve could be calm too, if she weren't expected to manage the most bullheaded fool of a man who had ever put on a pair of boots.

Nynaeve is pressing for info on Perrin's location, because that's what Cads has tasked her to do. As highlighted above, the evidence implies that Nynaeve joined Cadsuane around a week before. Nynaeve joined her because of what she had just witnessed:

TGS, A Force of Light:
"I have to speak with Cadsuane," Nynaeve growled.

"Cadsuane Sedai, she has no business with you right now," Merise said, moving to close the cottage door. "Return tomorrow, and perhaps she will see you."

"Rand al'Thor just burned an entire palace full of people from existence with balefire," Nynaeve said, loud enough to be heard by those inside the cottage. "I was with him."
...
"Tell us of this event, child," Sorilea said. "We felt the world warping from here, but did not know what had caused it. We assumed it to be the Dark One's work."

"I'll tell you," Nynaeve said, then took a deep breath, "but I want to be a part of your plans."
...
"Sorilea," Cadsuane said calmly, cutting Nynaeve off. "This child could be of use to our plans. She is still close to the al'Thor boy; he trusted her enough to take her with him this evening."
...
"Sit down, child," Cadsuane said with a wave of the hand. "Let's see if you can follow orders. You might be the only one of the current crop who is salvageable." That made Merise flush.

...
"Your part," Cadsuane continued, "is to find Perrin Aybara."

"What good will that do?" Nynaeve asked, then added, "Cadsuane Sedai."

"That is our business," Cadsuane said. "He has been traveling in the south recently, but we can't discover exactly where. The al'Thor boy might know where he is. Find out for us, and perhaps I'll explain the point."

Nynaeve nodded reluctantly, and the others turned to a discussion of how much strain from balefire the Pattern could take before unraveling completely. Nynaeve listened in silence, obviously trying to glean more about Cadsuane's plan, though there didn't seem to be many clues.

So approximately a 11 days before Rand was on Dragonmount, Graendal was killed.

But there's something interesting about the time between the discovery of Graendal (Chapters 32-33) and her death by balefire (Chapter 37)--Rand's meeting with Tuon (Chapter 35-36). Now, Brandon has said that within a particular character's arc, things are written in chronological order:

TGS Book Tour, 11/9/09:
Q: Do Rand and Egwene’s timelines end up at the same time at the end of The Gathering Storm? Secondly, can you give us some idea as to when that is?
A: Yes they end up at the same time. I’ll have to give you a MAFO for an exact date for the second, but basically it is sometime in late June early July. In addition Tuon’s scene with Rand was about 3 or 4 weeks before her last scene in the book.

A relatively long discussion of timelines followed. Basically RJ would have the timeline within a story arc follow chronologically but “Jim was crafty” when it came to the overall timeline. Maria has a huge spreadsheet of a timeline but it is not publishable because it is very rough and unintelligible unless you’ve been working with it for a long time.

So the question becomes, how big a window was there between Rand discovering Graendal and destroying her? Apparently, there wasn't much of one:

TGS, A Force of Light:
"You're going after her, aren't you?" Min found herself asking. "Graendal."
...
He hesitated, then shook his head. "He was genuine, Min. Moghedien might have considered a trick like that, but not Graendal. She'd be too worried about being traced. We have to move quickly, before word reaches her that she has been compromised. I must strike now."
...
The Maidens exchanged a brief moment of handtalk; then one loped ahead and the other tailed Rand as he marched down the hallway. Min hurried up beside him, heart thumping, her boots loud on the floorboards. He had rushed off like this to fight Forsaken before, but usually he took more time to plan. He'd maneuvered Sammael for months before striking at Illian. He'd had barely a single day to decide what do with Graendal!

I won't quote the other sections of the chapter, but there are other indirect pieces of evidence dealing with timing:
1) He had sent scouts to Natrin's Barrow, who have interviewed the locals
2) He had the royal archivist searching for "hours" to find info on the fortress
3) He hadn't yet discussed the Seanchan with Min

None of these really contradict the "single day" quote above.

So, by this evidence, the Seanchan meeting was approximately 11-12 days before Rand sat atop Dragonmount (which happened after the Seanchan raid).

This of course brings us to the crux of the problem. The BS quote above states that there was 3-4 weeks (30-40 days) between the Seanchan meeting and Tuon blessing the raiding party.

Of course, there is the quote from kcf above: "There were probably (MAFO) about 2 weeks between her meeting with Rand and the launch of the attack on the White Tower." That's still 20 days, and that doesn't even allow for the time it took the raid to reach the White Tower:

TGS, The Death of Tuon:
But their enemies could travel far more quickly than they should be able to. Be it ter'angreal, weave or something else that gave the power, it was a distinct danger. Better to use all stealth. The flight to Tar Valon would take several days.

So using Rand/Nynaeve's arc, the time between the Seanchan meet and the Seanchan raid was at most 11 days. By BS's quotes, that same period was at least 20+ days.

Any way to resolve the discrepancy?

Weird Harold
11-24-2009, 03:19 AM
So, by this evidence, the Seanchan meeting was approximately 11-12 days before Rand sat atop Dragonmount (which happened after the Seanchan raid).

This of course brings us to the crux of the problem. The BS quote above states that there was 3-4 weeks (30-40 days) between the Seanchan meeting and Tuon blessing the raiding party.

Someone needs to remind Brandon that WOT Weeks are 10 days.

From the evidence, Brandon is thinking in R/W weeks instead of WOT Weeks -- as evidenced by his answer about tGS running from late April to late June or early July instead of using the WOT Calendar. He also doesn't seem to have a firm a grasp on where the pieces fit on the timeline as RJ did.

Yuri33
11-24-2009, 05:24 PM
He also doesn't seem to have a firm a grasp on where the pieces fit on the timeline as RJ did.

Yup. I tried to update the chronology as best I can, but there's just some fundamental conflicts. Either we believe the BS quote about there being anywhere from 2-4 weeks between the Rand/Tuon meeting and Tuon's blessing of the Seanchan raid, or we believe the other BS quote about the TGS ending (Rand on Dragonmount) on the 30th day of Mat in Caemlyn.

The most straightforward way to find the last day of TGS is by using Mat's arc. The day he marries Tuon and defeats Elbar's army is day 761. The first mention of Mat in TGS occurs on the same day as his visit to Hindersnap:

TGS, On a Broken Road:
Sapling pines had begun to sprout at the sides of the roadway and between rocks, miniature versions of their towering fathers above. The path was wide, if very rough, which was good. Mat had seven thousand men with him, all mounted, and they'd been riding hard in the little under a week they'd spent traveling since sending Tuon back to Ebou Dar.

So lets assume Hindersnap occurs 9 days after their marriage, day 770. The only question, then, is when Verin meets up with Mat.

The village of Trustair, where Verin is staying, is a short distance away:

TGS, Night in Hindersnap:
"Fine." Mat stood up straight and picked up his spear. "But first, tell me where these came from." He pulled the paper from his pocket, the one that bore a drawing of his face.

Barlden glanced at it. "You'll find those spread around the nearby villages," he said. "Someone's looking for you. As I told Ledron last night, I'm not in the business of selling out guests. I wasn't about to kidnap you and risk keeping you here overnight just for some reward."

"Who's looking for me?" Mat repeated.

"About twenty leagues to the northeast, there's a small town called Trustair. Rumor says that if you want a little coin, you can bring news about a man who looks like the one in this picture, or the other one. Visit an inn in Trustair called The Shaken Fist to find the one looking for you."

So how long does it take the Band to march 20 leagues? Fortunately, Vanin answers that for us:

TGS, On a Broken Road:
"How far do we be from Caemlyn, Master Cauthon?" Teslyn cut in. She did her best to ignore Joline. The two of them seemed at one another's throats lately—in the most cool-faced and outwardly amiable of ways, of course. Aes Sedai didn't squabble. He'd gotten a talking to once for calling their "discussions" "squabbles." Never mind that Mat had sisters, and knew what a good squabble sounded like.

"What did you say earlier, Vanin?" Mat asked, looking at him. "That we're about two hundred leagues from Caemlyn?"

Vanin nodded. The plan was to head for Caemlyn first, as he needed to meet up with Estean and Daerid and secure needed information and supplies. After that, he could make good on his promise to Thom. The Tower of Ghenjei would have to wait a few more weeks.

"Two hundred leagues," Teslyn said. "How long until we arrive, then?"

"Well, I guess that depends," Vanin said. "I could probably make two hundred leagues in a little over a week, if I were going alone, with a couple of good horses to ride in shifts and was crossing familiar terrain. The whole army, though, through these hills using a broken roadway? Twenty days, I'd say. Maybe longer."

200/20 = 10 leagues/day. Trustair is 2 days away. Mat stops "half a day's march away" (TGS, Legends). So when Verin comes to see him, it's most likely day 772. Verin then transports them that night to Caemlyn.

Therefore, the last day of the timeline is day 802, which is June 2nd. Not "end of June/beginning of July" as per kcf's BS quote.

I won't get into the specifics of it, but this works pretty well with Egwene's arc, but definitely clashes with Rand's arc (the time between Rand/Tuon's meeting and the Seanchan raid are too close together).

kcf
11-24-2009, 05:32 PM
The timeline is a mess and when I talked with Brandon it was clear he didn't have it firmly in his head. Maria is the person who has it most in hand. I'd trust the beginning and end, not much in the middle. I'm fairly confident that he was right about the end being end of June/early July. The starting point may be a bit off - and it's likely different for each arc.

Brandon was very unsure about the 2-4 weeks between Tuon meeting Rand and the Seanchan raid. Apparently Tuon's timeline jumps around a lot is the most confusing of the lot.

Yuri33
11-24-2009, 05:52 PM
Problem is, even if we remove the 2-4 week thing, we're still pushing it on the timing of the raid. The killer is Nynaeve's comment on pressing Cadsuane for "the past week," which really squeezes the timing.

As of right now, I have the Rand/Tuon meeting on day 791 and the raid 8 days later, which I know can't work, especially since the meeting was in Falme but the raid takes off from Ebou Dar.

I know that WH's old posts on the Seanchan attack talks about the details of flying the raiding party to the WT, and it would be great if he could give us some updated estimates on that stuff given the info in TGS. Specifically, I'd like to know the tightest possible realistic window between the meeting and the raid.

Weird Harold
11-24-2009, 06:10 PM
As of right now, I have the Rand/Tuon meeting on day 791 and the raid 8 days later, which I know can't work, especially since the meeting was in Falme but the raid takes off from Ebou Dar.

I haven't finished tGS yet, so I can't comment precisely, However...

Falme to Ebou Dar is roughly 1600 miles or a day and a half by lightly loaded to'raken -- (1000 mi/day)

Ebou Dar to Tar Valon is roughly the same distance (1400-1800 miles depending on routing.) At 200 mi/day for a loaded to'raken, your eight days would account for the transit to Tar Valon, but not from Falme to Ebou Dar and gathering the troops for her to review/bless/whatever.

From Falme, with just Seanchan modes of transportation, it would take a minimum of twelve to fourteen days for the Assault force to reach Tar Valon, and more likely twice that unless they were willing to work the to'raken to death and didn't plan on providing transport for prisoners.

Yuri33
11-24-2009, 06:18 PM
Only the meeting took place in Falme, most of the forces for the raid could theoretically have been in place in Ebou Dar, waiting for Tuon's go ahead. All you really need to do is get Tuon down to Ebou Dar to bless the already assembled forces. But either way, it would probably be unrealistically tight:

TGS, A Halo of Darkness:
As the da'covale rose and began to sing the praises of her coronation, Tuon stepped up to General Galgan. "Pass the word to General Yulan," she said softly. "Tell him to prepare his attack against the marath'damane of Tar Valon. We must strike against the Dragon Reborn, and quickly. This man cannot be allowed to gain any more strength than he already has."

Weird Harold
11-24-2009, 07:44 PM
Only the meeting took place in Falme, most of the forces for the raid could theoretically have been in place in Ebou Dar, waiting for Tuon's go ahead. All you really need to do is get Tuon down to Ebou Dar to bless the already assembled forces. But either way, it would probably be unrealistically tight:
"Tell him to prepare his attack..." doesn't sound like an already assembled force. Even if the necessary numbers of Fist of Heaven were billeted in Ebou Dar, it would take 48-72 hours to prepare them starting from normal rear-echelon routine to full deployment readiness -- most of that getting the word to the soldiers and retrieving them from Ebou Dar's taverns. :D

More and more, I'm expecting to discover that I was horribly and nearly totally wrong about the Seanchan's attack plan. I was correct about the justification and the use of to'raken but that's about it from what I've seen so far.

Weird Harold
11-27-2009, 06:16 PM
"Tell him to prepare his attack..." doesn't sound like an already assembled force. ...

I finally read up to the dispatch of the attack force...

Tuon traveled to and from Falme by Ship with "proper ceremony as befits her rank." That means 460 leagues (1840 miles) around Windbiter's Fingers in slow Seanchan rigged ships. I don't know exactly how slow Seanchan Rigged ships are, but that pushes the time between meeting Rand to dispatching the attack to around five to eight days.

That puts the minimum time from Falme to Tar Valon 12-15 days; five days to Ebou Dar and seven from Ebou dar to Tar Valon with the possibility of a few extra days for pomp and circumstance.

There is no way that the Attack could happen eight days after Falme.

Davian93
11-27-2009, 09:53 PM
Where does it say ships?

I just skimmed it and didn't see that...what if she took a to'raken?

She says at the end of the chapter of her meeting with Rand that the attack must happen quickly. We know that the High Blood aren't opposed to traveling via to'raken as Suroth and her Court used to'raken to travel in the past.

We also have Rand's observation of "hundreds of raken and to'raken" at Falme and that it must be a staging area for the Seanchan. However, unlike Rand, we know that the Seanchan only have so many of the creatures so these are likely the same ones used in the attack itself. So, it could very well be that these raken were strictly there because they were used to bring Tuon there and back to Ebou Dar.

Speed being a priority, I can't see her wasting time on a ship all the way back to Ebou Dar.

Weird Harold
11-28-2009, 12:23 AM
Where does it say ships?

I just skimmed it and didn't see that...what if she took a to'raken?

tGS
CHAPTER 35
A Halo of Blackness

The peninsula sloped down to a natural harbor, and numerous Seanchan ships lay at anchor there.
Seanchan flags flew, proclaiming this city a part of their empire; the banner that fluttered highest above the city displayed a golden hawk in flight, clutching three bolts of lightning. It was fringed with blue.

The strange creatures the Seanchan had brought from their side of the ocean moved through distant
streets, too far off for Rand to make out details. Raken flew in the sky; the Seanchan apparently had a large stable of them here. Toman Head was just south of Arad Doman, and this city was no doubt a major staging area for the Seanchan campaign to the north.

From Falme to Ebou Dar, a ship can be faster than a to'raken despite a 200+ mile difference in distance because a ship doesn't stop to rest overnight.

More importantly, an Empress can confer and plan on a ship where she would have a good bit of difficulty doiind so on a *'raken.

Also While Tuon, the Daughter of Nine Moons, could meet the Dragon Reborn as an equal, the same can not be said of the Empress

tGS
Chapter 35
A HALO OF BLACKNESS
He walked directly to the chair opposite Tuon and sat down, never once questioning that she had set him as her equal. She knew that the others wondered why she still wore the ashes of mourning, why she hadn't proclaimed herself Empress. The mourning period was over, but Tuon had not taken her throne.

It was because of this man. The Empress could not meet anyone, not even the Dragon Reborn, as an
equal. The Daughter of the Nine Moons, however . . . this one man could be her equal. And so she had hesitated. The Dragon Reborn would not likely respond well to another setting herself above him, no matter if that other had a perfectly legitimate reason for doing so.

The Empress is not merely of the High Blood and what is thinkable for the Daughter of the nine moons and the High Blood probably is not thinkable for the Empress, MSLF.

It is possible that Tuon further shocked the high blood and rode a to'raken with just her and the morat'to'raken aboard and made it back to Ebou Dar in the 1.6 days an unloaded to'raken can manage, but it would have involed leaving the trappings of her position and most of her entourage behind.

Taking to'raken loaded to a level sufficient to her position -- and the position of her minimum entourage -- reduces speed to the 200 miles/day of a transport mission and a ship probably becomes faster.

Like I said, I don't know what speed a Seanchan rigged ship is capable of, but guessing at ten MPH/Knots (which are essentially the same in WOT terms) means a ship would travel 240 mi/day vs the 200 a loaded to'raken averages.

PS: I don't know Tuon took a ship, but her thoughts about meeting Rand as an equal and declaring her coronation immediately afterwords makes a ship the most likely option.

GonzoTheGreat
11-28-2009, 05:49 AM
Does it really matter all that much?
Tuon travelled to Ebou Dar, and the to'raken and raken did too. But Tuon gave her order while still in Falme, so when it comes to the preparations, the only relevant issues are how long they actually took, and what the absolute minimum time needed for transferring the message is.

Weird Harold
11-28-2009, 01:48 PM
Does it really matter all that much?
Tuon travelled to Ebou Dar, and the to'raken and raken did too. But Tuon gave her order while still in Falme, so when it comes to the preparations, the only relevant issues are how long they actually took, and what the absolute minimum time needed for transferring the message is.
It does as far as reconciling the timeline. The delay between meeting with Rand and blessing the Bloodknives at the departure determines the timing of the attack on the Tower -- and it doesn't add up with the stated elapsed time of Rand and Egwene's timelines.

StevenC
12-06-2009, 12:25 AM
I imagine there are several people working on a chronology for the TGS. Here is my current (and quite unfinished) work:

TGS Chronology (http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=t-nPWYmb17E4EM3XF4ZBufA&output=html)
Glad to see someone else is interested in this area as well! :)

I've now updated my WOT Chronology (http://www.stevenac.net/wot/wotchron.htm) with my attempt at a timeline for TGS. As you'll see, though, there is significantly greater uncertainty in the timeline for this book compared to the previous several books. I'm fairly confident that the general shape of the timeline is correct, but the precise placing of most of the entries should be regarded as provisional, pending further information.

A few comments:
1) BS has said the TGS ends late June/early July, which would make it around day 830 or so. However, my best estimate right now is that the last day of the book (Rand on Dragonmount) is about a month before this. Maybe I'm totally off, but you can judge for yourself.As you can see from my updated timeline, I agree with you -- I can't see any way that TGS can end at the end of June.

2) BS is very fond of using "few days" or "few weeks." It makes nailing down timing very frustrating, especially when you have to propagate the uncertainty. Based on my research, his definition of "few" is probably 2-5.Yes, it's most annoying... :mad:

The other major complicating factor is his willingness to allow much greater out-of-chronological-sequence ordering of the chapters making up the individual plot threads than Jordan ever did. (In particular, Perrin's thread and the early part of Egwene's are significantly out of kilter with the rest.) Even worse, this extends to switches of POV within chapters. In previous books, cases like switching from Ituralde to Leane (chapter 6) or Cadsuane to Perrin (chapter 17) within the same chapter would be a signal that the events described were all taking place on the same day. In TGS, as the timeline shows, that assumption doesn't work.

I suspect a lot of these anomalies stem from the decision to split the book into three parts. As it stands, if TGS were rearranged into the same sort of chronological-sequence style used in previous books, all of the Mat and Perrin material would come at the start, almost before Rand had made a single appearance. It would make for a very disjointed volume, so I can see why things were mixed up, despite the difficulties created for us chronologists... :)

4) As far as I can tell, there are absolutely no references to the phases of the moon! (stormy skies and all...)I can find only three, all of them fairly indirect and vague.

[TGS: 28, Night in Hinderstap, 431] "Hours later... Now that the moon had risen - hidden behind the clouds - there was enough light for Mat to see Thom's concern."
Moonrise in the latter part of the night suggests the moon is between new and first quarter.

[TGS: 32, Rivers of Shadow, 489] "Those clouds glowed with a phantom pearl light, cast by a moon she could not see."
This is from Nynaeve's witnessing of the ghost procession through Bandar Eban. It's around midnight and the moon is up, so it's some time between first quarter and last quarter.

[TGS: 40, The Tower Shakes, 619] "The moon would be barely a sliver, and with those perpetual clouds, it was difficult to see anything at all."
This suggests a crescent moon (waning, since it's early on the night of the attack on the Tower).

None of which are particularly useful, I'm afraid. As usual with the later books, the moon references don't seem to fit the previously established lunar calendar. I'm currently going through the series again, revisiting the earlier books to see if there's anything I've missed that would help resolve these issues, but that may take a while... :o

Anyway, hopefully people will find the updated TGS chronology useful.

Terez
12-06-2009, 01:05 AM
Thanks for posting, Steven, and thanks for keeping it updated!

GonzoTheGreat
12-06-2009, 05:05 AM
[TGS: 28, Night in Hinderstap, 431] "Hours later... Now that the moon had risen - hidden behind the clouds - there was enough light for Mat to see Thom's concern."
Moonrise in the latter part of the night suggests the moon is between new and first quarter.

[TGS: 32, Rivers of Shadow, 489] "Those clouds glowed with a phantom pearl light, cast by a moon she could not see."
This is from Nynaeve's witnessing of the ghost procession through Bandar Eban. It's around midnight and the moon is up, so it's some time between first quarter and last quarter.

[TGS: 40, The Tower Shakes, 619] "The moon would be barely a sliver, and with those perpetual clouds, it was difficult to see anything at all."
This suggests a crescent moon (waning, since it's early on the night of the attack on the Tower).

None of which are particularly useful, I'm afraid.And none of which is correct, as far as I can figure out (apart from the second one, but that's an exception). Or at least, your interpretations seem off.

If the moon is between new moon and full moon, then it is already in the sky at sunset. A full moon rises as the sun sets. When the Moon is past being full, it starts to rise somewhere in the night time. Wikipedia phases of the Moon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phases_of_the_moon).

So the first one, with the Moon rising after midnight, would be a last quarter moon or a waning crescent moon.
The second one is correct, that would be somewhere between first quarter and last quarter, probably close to full if it gives plenty of light through a cloud cover.
The third, with a crescent moon in the evening, would be a waxing crescent moon.

StevenC
12-06-2009, 09:54 PM
And none of which is correct, as far as I can figure out (apart from the second one, but that's an exception). Or at least, your interpretations seem off.You're right. Somehow I was thinking that the lunar cycle had moonrise being earlier each night -- of course, it's actually later.

I can only plead that it's been a while since I was seriously thinking about this stuff, since the moon hasn't been particularly useful for WOT chronology for several books... :o

Thanks for the correction.

Terez
12-06-2009, 10:08 PM
You're right. Somehow I was thinking that the lunar cycle had moonrise being earlier each night -- of course, it's actually later.

I can only plead that it's been a while since I was seriously thinking about this stuff, since the moon hasn't been particularly useful for WOT chronology for several books... :o

Thanks for the correction.
Gonzo is the astronomy expert; I'll be the interview expert and throw this your way:

The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Union Square Barnes & Noble, NYC 9 November 2009 - Old (Peter) Salt reporting (http://13depository.blogspot.com/2009/11/stormleader-report-barnes-and-noble-ny.html)

Q: Do Rand and Egwene’s timelines end up at the same time at the end of The Gathering Storm? Secondly, can you give us some idea as to when that is?

A: Yes they end up at the same time. I’ll have to give you a MAFO for an exact date for the second, but basically it is sometime in late June early July. In addition Tuon’s scene with Rand was about 3 or 4 weeks before her last scene in the book.

A relatively long discussion of timelines followed. Basically RJ would have the timeline within a story arc follow chronologically but “Jim was crafty” when it came to the overall timeline. Maria has a huge spreadsheet of a timeline but it is not publishable because it is very rough and unintelligible unless you’ve been working with it for a long time.

StevenC
12-07-2009, 09:10 AM
Gonzo is the astronomy expert; I'll be the interview expert and throw this your way:
Yes, I've seen that quote -- and frankly can't make much sense of it...

As far as determining when TGS ends, that's governed principally by Egwene's timeline. The major constraints on that are as follows: Siuan telling Egwene about Halima's escape on day 746 (chapter 8) must be no more than two days later, since (at that point) they are meeting in Tel'aran'rhiod every three days. In chapter 12 (p.191), we have "It had been well over a month since Siuan had conveyed her disturbing news in Tel'aran'rhiod..." From this point, the days passing for Egwene are noted properly, and the reunification of the Tower definitely happens eleven days after chapter 12.

So assuming that the chapter 8 meeting with Siuan is on day 748, I needed to select where to place chapter 12, and everything else would follow from that. I don't think it can be much later than where I've put it (a month and a half after day 748), because if it were, I would expect the narrative to say something like "It had been nearly two months..." instead of "well over a month". Also, placing Egwene's thread where it is allowed Mat's thread to finish 30 days before the end of the book, as Sanderson has said elsewhere.

With Egwene's thread settled, I tackled Rand's as the last and trickiest part of the timeline. (Regarding the others: Perrin and Mat were easy, as was the first part of Tuon's thread.) As Yuri33 noted earlier, the best way is to start with the end, since Rand's and Egwene's threads end together, and work backwards.

Unfortunately, Rand's timeline in this book falls into about seven distinct sections, with only vague time-lapse indications between them. Cross-links with other threads are also rare - about the only notable one is Rand's vision in chapter 5 of Mat outside a large city. This must be after Verin has transported the Band to Caemlyn, so I placed that chapter as early as I could (day 773) so that I had as large a span as possible to distribute among the remaining sections of Rand's thread. I would have very much liked to increase the length of time covered by Rand's thread, but that's impossible since it definitely ends simultaneously with Egwene's.

So I'm afraid I can't offer any explanation for Sanderson's quote about Tuon's meeting with Rand being "3 or 4 weeks before her last scene in the book." Even if there was a slight mis-reporting, and he actually said "the last scene in the book," that's still only about two weeks (real world weeks, not 10-day WOT weeks).

I must admit that, when I got to the last page of TGS and Egwene said to Silviana, "Mark this day on the calendars," I was thinking it would have saved me a lot of trouble if she'd only gone on to mention what bloody day it was... :p

Terez
12-07-2009, 01:12 PM
I must admit that, when I got to the last page of TGS and Egwene said to Silviana, "Mark this day on the calendars," I was thinking it would have saved me a lot of trouble if she'd only gone on to mention what bloody day it was... :p
hahaha, I had the same exact thought as I was posting that quote. :D

wolframbohr2
12-07-2009, 01:45 PM
I wounder what kind of calender Egwene has hanging in the Amrylin Study, something with puppies perhaps? Or maybe half nekid warders?

Weird Harold
12-07-2009, 01:45 PM
So I'm afraid I can't offer any explanation for Sanderson's quote about Tuon's meeting with Rand being "3 or 4 weeks before her last scene in the book." Even if there was a slight mis-reporting, and he actually said "the last scene in the book," that's still only about two weeks (real world weeks, not 10-day WOT weeks).

The only real problem I see with the timeline as it stands is the travel time from Falme to Ebou Dar for Tuon and the Travel time for the attack force from Ebou Dar to Tar Valon.

"3 or 4 weeks" -- roughly one month -- is consistent with a ~~1,800 mile sea voyage back to Ebou Dar but the five days you allowed is not enough time for anything except a lightly loaded "express" to'raken trip the ~~1,600 mile straight line distance from Falme to Ebou Dar. 1,600 miles by to'raken would take 8 days at fully loaded to'raken speeds.

The Attack on the White Tower can't take place any earlier than seven or eight days after the force left Ebou Dar, and more likely ten days. The Attack force can't have been dispatched sooner than 8-10 days after the meeting in Falme and more likely 10-20 days minimum, allowing for some necessary pomp and circumstance for Fortuona's formal coronation.

I think the time frame between the Meeting at Falme has to be driven by the time/distance equation of the Seanchan not having Traveling, rather than Rand's movements.

Yuri33
12-10-2009, 01:50 AM
After looking over a few things, I'm beginning to believe that using raken/to'raken travel speeds is a very unreliable way to establish timing. For example:

In KoD, raken are bringing back word of Ituralde's massive raid in Tarabon. The maximum timeframe to bring this news a few hours short of a full day:

KoD, Prologue:
Daylight began to grow on this cool spring morning, though the sun had yet to show even a sliver above the horizon, and Rodel Ituralde raised his gold-banded looking glass to study the village below the hill where he sat his roan gelding, deep in the heart of Tarabon. He did hate waiting for enough light to see. Careful of a glint off the lens, he held the end of the long tube on his thumb and shaded it with a cupped hand. At this hour, sentries were at their least watchful, relieved that the darkness where an enemy might sneak close was departing,
...
The High Lady Suroth Sabelle Meldarath lay awake on her bed, staring up at the ceiling. The moon was down, and the triple-arched windows that overlooked a palace garden were dark, but her eyes had adjusted so that she could make out at least the outlines of the ornate, painted plasterwork. Dawn was no more than an hour or two off, yet she had not slept. She had lain awake most nights since Tuon vanished, sleeping only when exhaustion closed her eyes however hard she tried to keep them open. Sleep brought nightmares she wished she could forget. Ebou Dar was never truly cold, but the night held a little coolness, enough to help keep her awake, lying beneath only a thin silk sheet. The question that tainted her dreams was simple and stark. Was Tuon alive, or dead?
...
“Raken began arriving with reports from Lieutenant-General Turan about three hours ago,” Galgan began in conversational tones. Pointedly not making a report himself. He studied the map as he talked, never glancing in her direction. “They aren’t complete-each new one adds to the lists, and I expect that won’t change for a while-but what I’ve seen runs this way. Since dawn yesterday, seven major supply camps overrun and burned, along with more than two dozen smaller camps. Twenty supply trains attacked, the wagons and their contents put to the torch. Seventeen small outposts have been wiped out, eleven patrols have failed to report in, and there have been an additional fifteen skirmishes.
...
“Not a mutiny. A raid on a grand scale. But he won’t get out with nearly as many men as he brought in.”

The maximum daily traveling speed for a raken is 400 miles, according to the BWB. The distance from Tarabon to Ebou Dar, even using the closest part of Tarabon, is easily over 500 miles, so I have no idea how Turan's reports could have come in so quickly.

The other major discrepancy is the mysterious new Seanchan force that was about to destroy Ituralde:

TGS, The Last of the Tabac:
He studied his maps again, holding a smaller one up before him. He could use better maps, that was certain. "This new Seanchan general," Ituralde said, "is marshaling over three hundred thousand men, with a good two hundred damane."
...
And doing so had required every bit of craftiness, skill and luck Ituralde could muster. Even then, he'd lost well over half his men. Now he ran, limping, before this second, larger force of Seanchan.

This time, they weren't making any mistakes. The Seanchan didn't rely solely on their raken. His men had intercepted several foot scouts, and that meant dozens hadn't been caught. This time, the Seanchan knew Ituralde's true numbers and his true location.

His enemies were done being herded and goaded; instead they hunted him, relentlessly, avoiding his traps. Ituralde had planned to retreat deeper and deeper into Arad Doman; that would favor his forces and stretch the Seanchan supply lines. He'd figured he could keep it up for another four or five months. But those plans were useless now; they'd been made before Ituralde had discovered there was an entire bloody army of Aiel running about Arad Doman. If the reports were to be believed—and reports about Aiel were often exaggerations, so he wasn't sure how much to believe—there were upwards of a hundred thousand of them holding large sections of the north, Bandar Eban included.
...
He was trapped, a walnut crushed between two stones. The best he'd been able to do was retreat here, to this abandoned stedding. That would give him an edge against the Seanchan. But only a small one. The Seanchan had a force six times the size of his own, and the greenest of commanders knew that fighting those odds was suicide.

Galgan received a report that Turan was about to be destroyed the day Tuon arrived back in Ebou Dar:

KoD, Epilogue:
A frown creasing his face. Galgan looked down at the map spread out before them, and placed a red-lacquered fingernail atop mountains on the southern coast of Arad Doman. Suroth did not know what the mountains were called. The map showed all of Arad Doman and held three markers, one red wedge and two white circles, spaced out in a long line north to south. “Has Turan gotten an accurate count of how many men came out of these mountains to join Ituralde when he crossed into Arad Doman, Yamada?”
Efraim Yamada wore the ashes, too, since he was of the Blood, if only the low Blood, his hair cut in the bowl-and-tail rather than a narrow crest across an otherwise shaved scalp. Only the commoners around the table, whatever their rank, were without. Graying and tall in a blue-and-gold breastplate, with broad shoulders and lean hips, Yamada still held some of the beauty of his youth. “He reports at least one hundred thousand, Captain-General. Perhaps half again that.”
“And how many came out after Turan crossed the border?”
“Possibly two hundred thousand, Captain-General.”
Galgan sighed and straightened. “So Turan has one army ahead of him and another behind, very likely the whole of Arad Doman’s strength, and between them he is outnumbered.” The fool! Stating the blindingly obvious.

Remember, the raken scouting reports in KoD don't make mention of Darluna, just that it was inevitable that Turan would be wiped out. However, the next day, we hear from Tuon that she has learned of Darluna.

TGS, Gambits:
Chaos. She glanced to the side, where faithful Karede stood in his thick armor, colored blood-red and a deep green, nearly black. He was a tall man, square face nearly as solid as the armor he wore. He had fully two dozen Deathwatch Guards with him this day—the day after Tuon's return to Ebou Dar—along with six Ogier Gardeners, all standing along the walls. They lined the sides of the high-ceilinged, white-pillared room. Karede sensed the chaos, and did not intend to let her be taken again. Chaos was the most deadly when you made assumptions about what it could and couldn't infect. Here in Ebou Dar, it manifested in the form of a faction intent on taking Tuon's own life.
...
All kingdoms on this side of the ocean would need to bow before the Crystal Throne, eventually. Each marath'damane would be leashed, each king or queen would swear the oaths. But Suroth had pushed too hard, particularly in the fiasco with Turan. A hundred thousand men, lost in one battle. Madness.

So most likely some more raken had arrived that morning with news of Darluna. That very same day Tuon sends out a command to hold:

TGS, Gambits:
"General Galgan, send raken to our forces in Almoth Plain and eastern Altara," she said firmly. "Tell them to hold our interests, but avoid confrontation with the Dragon Reborn. And reply to his request for a meeting. The Daughter of the Nine Moons will meet with him."

By my best estimate, Darluna is approximately 1600 miles away, meaning about 4-5 days away by raken. The round trip from the battle of Darluna to receiving Tuon's command would be 8-10 days. Yet in that time window some force of 300,000 had been assembled and had trapped Ituralde at the stedding? It just doesn't make sense. The EVA is a very efficient force, but organizing a force of that size and hunting Ituralde in a week without benefit of Traveling is unreasonable.

Something is definitely off about raken flying capabilities.

Weird Harold
12-10-2009, 03:15 AM
After looking over a few things, I'm beginning to believe that using raken/to'raken travel speeds is a very unreliable way to establish timing.

I think you're missing two points about communications by *'raken:

1: raken are faster than to'raken but don't have the endurance. A single raken can travel 400 miles in one day, but it likely would not take it a full day to travel those 400 miles. A relay of three raken could therfore probably cover 1200 miles in the same time frame as a courier to'raken could cover 1,000 miles. (courier = morat'to'raken + message pouch only)

2: To'raken in courier mode require fewer relays to move information over long distances, but the heavier the load, the shorter the range. Carrying Tuon and her court 1,600 miles and then an attack force 1,400 miles is probably stretching the listed range of 200 miles with a heavy load to the limit. Those two movements are going to take 15 days, or more, no matter how fast they can move information with Raken relays or to'raken couriers.

I suspect that with appropraiately dispersed to'raken relays flying days and nights, the Seanchan can move information and possibly important persons (without entourage or bodyguards) up to 2,000 miles in 24 hours. The figures in the BWB are for single animals without support and presumably include overnight rest periods.

wolframbohr2
12-10-2009, 03:44 AM
There are AS that where captured by the Seanchan. They could have done the "healing" that Moraine did at the begining of tEotW to the horses.

Or maybe the Seanchan have all "raken" this side of the world pump up on performance enhancements. I think a wiz quiz is in order. I nominate Gonzo to be the "P*** Boy".

wolframbohr2
12-10-2009, 05:21 AM
GAH!!! I can't believe I missed this. I feel so stupid.

People are using the numbers in the BWB for "raken" travel. The BWB was "written" by a scholar during the time Rand is alive. It is not uncommon for militay powers to under state the effectiveness of their resources publically. For example, a country could report publicly that a missle has an effective range of 1000 miles, when infact it has a 1500 mile effective range. This very well could be happening with the miles per day "raken" travel.

RJ would know about such stuff and would use it in his writtings. I should have seen this since I was in the military also, I feel so stupid.

GonzoTheGreat
12-10-2009, 05:42 AM
I should have seen this since I was in the military also, I feel so stupid.Being in the military does that to you, doesn't it? :p

wolframbohr2
12-10-2009, 05:56 AM
I am still smart enough not to be in love with chickens. ;)

Weird Harold
12-10-2009, 02:25 PM
People are using the numbers in the BWB for "raken" travel. The BWB was "written" by a scholar during the time Rand is alive. It is not uncommon for militay powers to under state the effectiveness of their resources publically.

The numbers in the BWB are to only common reference point we have for *'raken capabilities -- or the capabilities of any of the other Seanchan "Exotics." If we don't use those numbers, we don't have any way to estimate how quickly they can move people or information.

As far as I know, the Seanchan don't 'publish' the capabilities of any of the Exotics, or even discuss them very much. Even Cerandin didn't discuss the military capabilities of her s'redit. The numbers in the BWB have to come from "unofficial" sources -- direct observations, captured handlers, or captured planning documents.

I don't doubt that the numbers are conservative. They are what can be expected of any randomly chosen raken or to'raken, and thus the numbers to use for planning purposes. Most *'raken should be able to better those wieghts and distances, but how much any random *'raken can do better is not something that can be prdicted or planned for.

Yuri33
12-10-2009, 08:51 PM
1: raken are faster than to'raken but don't have the endurance. A single raken can travel 400 miles in one day, but it likely would not take it a full day to travel those 400 miles. A relay of three raken could therfore probably cover 1200 miles in the same time frame as a courier to'raken could cover 1,000 miles. (courier = morat'to'raken + message pouch only)

2: To'raken in courier mode require fewer relays to move information over long distances, but the heavier the load, the shorter the range. Carrying Tuon and her court 1,600 miles and then an attack force 1,400 miles is probably stretching the listed range of 200 miles with a heavy load to the limit. Those two movements are going to take 15 days, or more, no matter how fast they can move information with Raken relays or to'raken couriers.

I suspect that with appropraiately dispersed to'raken relays flying days and nights, the Seanchan can move information and possibly important persons (without entourage or bodyguards) up to 2,000 miles in 24 hours. The figures in the BWB are for single animals without support and presumably include overnight rest periods.

The problem with your argument is that it makes communication via *raken faster than the simple estimations I made based on the BWB. That would make the mysterious 300k Seanchan force that was about to crush Ituralde at the stedding even less plausible.

I also don't believe the Seanchan have their flight schedules coordinated enough to create the efficient relays that you proposed. However, there's no real evidence either way.

Weird Harold
12-10-2009, 09:23 PM
I also don't believe the Seanchan have their flight schedules coordinated enough to create the efficient relays that you proposed. However, there's no real evidence either way.

It wouldn't take coordinated flight schedules for maximum speed high-priority message traffic, it would just take a standby raken or two waiting around for an urgent message.

Just because the Seanchan can move information 2,000 miles/24 hours -- or more -- doesn't mean that they do so on any sort of regular basis. But the problems with the Chornology aren't because the Seanchan can move information at prodigious speeds, the problems are because the Seanchan cannot move large numbers and/or large masses of cargo at the speeds required to make the different storylines match up.

For example, Tuon by herself could get from Falme to Ebou Dar in plenty of time to launch the attack five days later. She might even have been able to manage to bring Selucia and BG Karede along. She would NOT have been able to move that distance in five days with anything like the pomp and ceremony a newly proclaimed Empress requires.

I'm not sure how faster communications makes a 300K man army less likely? Seems like faster communications makes gathering and positioning an large force easier because you have more lead time.

Yuri33
12-11-2009, 01:40 AM
I'm not sure how faster communications makes a 300K man army less likely? Seems like faster communications makes gathering and positioning an large force easier because you have more lead time.

Because as I've pointed out with specific quotes from the books earlier in this thread, Tuon sent out an order to hold after hearing about Darluna. The faster that message could be relayed, the less likely a massive force could be marshaled and advanced before Tuon's command to hold arrived.