PDA

View Full Version : Thoughts provoked by a re-read II


looqas
06-20-2011, 02:33 AM
:eek:

I continue here to post the observations and thoughts, which was the original intent of the thread until it evolved. You guys managed to turn the earlier thread to derailment to merged with that awful Egwene thread. :rolleyes: Try to keep this one from derailing too badly. At least until I have had time to read the rest ;)

I'm nearing the end now. And my frustration of "wasted" pages before Ghenjei continues to grow.

I just finished 'Working Leather' where Androl is being ridiculed. Buahahahaha! I keep thinking that this chapter should have been way earlier in the book or expanded. If I remember correctly there is one more glimpse into the Black Tower in this book coming in the remaining chapters. The situation in the Black Tower is actually one of the most intriguing things right now in the books. Ever since Rand got en-lighted the rest of the plots/situation have been falling into place. Almost like aftermath like stuff. But not Black Tower. I so hope that the situation with Black Tower is resolved before Merrilor/End Game. It would be just so effing frustrating and wrong for the Black Tower situation merged with the Last Battle. What I mean simply is that I want Rand to go and solve the problem instead of Taim showing up "un-expectedly" with the cronies to "interfere" with other plans. Also the that pair of Taim's cronies that have risen so suddenly in Power are very interesting.

I wonder about the Shadows that supposedly destroy Androl if they reach him. To me it just smacks of unnecessary addition to the series. A way of creating an even more mysterious and hostile atmosphere. The only even remotely idea that makes sense to me it's something like Shadar Logoth like thing. Or Androl really is off his rocker. But the un-tainted youth seem to see/feel the same thing. At least that Androl's POV lets us understand.

Androl sees a grand design of Black Tower/city, but I'm wondering who designed the tower and the coming city and for what purpose? Taim? Only if he is thinking past LB. I also wonder how the curriculum will change after the LB. What kind of Ajahs would men form. Guilds?

All this speculation based on that the Black Tower and White Tower will remain separate and not unite.


PS. I can't be the only one that hoped Slayer had died when Perrin knife him in the chest. For me Slayer surviving just reminds me of stringing baddies along. The battle in TAR between Perrin and Slayer was fulfilling enough already, so why try to top it?

Davian93
06-20-2011, 10:37 AM
What kind of Ajahs would men form. Guilds?

I've always felt that the separation into Ajahs is one of the biggest weaknesses inherent in the current AS system. Its a completely artificial system that encourages rivalries and divisions and uber specialization into one narrow field that stunts their overall progression as Channelers.

Afterall, what special channeling weaves do the Whites or Grays learn? I mean, having an entire Ajah devoted to Logic or Negotiation is just stupid to begin with. At least the Yellow and Green somewhat make sense with focuses on Healing and Battle (though that focus is somewhat BS as the Green never actually trains on battle as shown by their pitiful performances in actual battles) but the rest are pretty ridiculous.

Terez
06-20-2011, 11:26 AM
I think it was supposed to be a commentary on the two-party system, especially as it's made clear in that there were a 'vast sea of ajah' in the Age of Legends, temporary coalitions dedicated to a particular issue or project. And so the Ajahs remaining have become rather pointless and far removed from the original purpose of the ajah. It's like a mix between the two-party system (or any useless party system that encourages blind loyalties) and college sororities.

Zombie Sammael
06-20-2011, 11:41 AM
Not really adding anything, but sorry I Egwene'd your thread, Looqas. I promise not to mention Egwene in this thread.

....DAMMIT!

Terez
06-20-2011, 11:46 AM
Thread-makers can request that Egwene be a verbatim topic. That doesn't mean she can't be mentioned at all - just that any prolonged discussions of her character will be merged into the great Egwene Thread of Doom. Thread makers can request posts about such to be individually moved to the EToD, but if thread-makers engage in said prolonged discussions, then the entire thread will be forfeit.

Davian93
06-20-2011, 02:23 PM
Thread-makers can request that Egwene be a verbatim topic. That doesn't mean she can't be mentioned at all - just that any prolonged discussions of her character will be merged into the great Egwene Thread of Doom. Thread makers can request posts about such to be individually moved to the EToD, but if thread-makers engage in said prolonged discussions, then the entire thread will be forfeit.

Verbatim?

As in "reciting something word-for-word?"

I assume you mean verboten...

~ducks~

Terez
06-20-2011, 02:50 PM
No need to get all dramatic about it. ;)

looqas
06-20-2011, 03:10 PM
No worries Sammael. It was death spiraling a bit already. :rolleyes:

I just finished Avi's visions section. Fresh thoughts. I don't like them one bit. My main grief is that they completely over-shadow the Last Battle. Like it never happened or it was just a minor incident. I have imagined for a decade the LB being so massive that it leaves the lands scarred and bruised. Like the bloodiest war ever after which the nations bloodlust is satisfied for a long time. A war that is to live in the legends, before fading to myths and even their memory forgotten. Not like Rand just makes the trip to Shayol Ghul and the whole thing is called off. Aiel also seem to come out of LB largely intact. How their toh is being paid if they suffer minimal losses? I bet the Aiel would not talk like for needing a war if they had their share of gore in the LB.

Besides there is something funky with the cannons and timings and when Seanchan got their hands on them. Also hiss sticks? Where's the boom in it? Maybe the Raven empire invents silencers. :p

One good thing is that Rand's kids (and especially grand kids) seem to be class A assholes, which usually is the case when kids that don't have to work for it feel entitlement.

Over all while the visions are nice alternate reality I still feel that they are just extra distraction.

Terez
06-20-2011, 03:16 PM
How their toh is being paid if they suffer minimal losses?
That's like saying a soldier has only done a service to his country if he dies in action. (Sounds familiar, actually.)

looqas
06-20-2011, 03:23 PM
That's like saying a soldier has only done a service to his country if he dies in action. (Sounds familiar, actually.)

No. But we have been drummed up that there will be a horrendous price to pay. Humanity is at stake. And then the visions make it sound like it fizzled out. At this point I'm expecting massive casualties. World War II scale or bigger.

Not one of the visions speak or describe the LB. I understand the reason; not to give away any hints, but the visions make LB be like a border skirmish. Like there are no casualties at all or the LB didn't shake the racial memory at all. Something that really will be stuff of legends. I know it bothers others too. I can't be the only one here.

Terez
06-20-2011, 03:30 PM
No. But we have been drummed up that there will be a horrendous price to pay.
For the Aiel? Haven't they already paid it, in a sense? And I think the alternative will involve a different sort of sacrifice. I have no doubt that their martial skills will be of some critical use in the Last Battle, but I don't think that their prophecies require a certain death quota. I often find that fans of fantasy series have a sort of sick fascination with the death quota. Maybe it's not that important that a certain number of people die. There are other things going on.

Humanity is at stake. And then the visions make it sound like it fizzled out. So do the rumors that go around about most of the events in the series so far, such as the Rahvin battle. No one talks about that, except for the people who were there, and they talk about it only rarely. i.e. What happened to that Gaebril dude? He kind of fizzled out.

looqas
06-20-2011, 03:39 PM
For the Aiel? Haven't they already paid it, in a sense? And I think the alternative will involve a different sort of sacrifice. I have no doubt that their martial skills will be of some critical use in the Last Battle, but I don't think that their prophecies require a certain death quota. I often find that fans of fantasy series have a sort of sick fascination with the death quota. Maybe it's not that important that a certain number of people die. There are other things going on.

So do the rumors that go around about most of the events in the series so far, such as the Rahvin battle. No one talks about that, except for the people who were there, and they talk about it only rarely. i.e. What happened to that Gaebril dude? He kind of fizzled out.

Rahvin was only one forsaken. We are talking about millions of trollocs pouring down from the blight. Unless Rand destroys them all or they are Dark One linked myrdie style I would hazard a guess there will be plenty of fighting for possibly years to come.

Terez
06-20-2011, 03:45 PM
Rahvin was only one forsaken. We are talking about millions of trollocs pouring down from the blight. Unless rand destroys them all or they are dark one linked myrdie style i would hazard a guess there will be plenty of fighting for possibly years to come.
The Seanchan version of the Karaethon seems to suggest that the Empire's forces will defeat the forces of the Shadow. If it's a truly unified front - as seems necessary, based on what the Aelfinn said - then there's nothing to suggest years will be necessary. In the future Aviendha saw, it was a temporary unified front along with terms for a lasting peace; in the actual future, I expect a full Consolidation. (Will be really surprised if that doesn't happen.) I'm guessing that the Aiel role in the Last Battle will be something more closely related to Rand's role - to Shayol Ghul itself, but that the big change in their future will be some sort of service to the Empire. For all that to happen, the Empire will have to change, which is heavily foreshadowed. (Sorry to go on about that; I just had to anticipate certain arguments.)

Zombie Sammael
06-20-2011, 04:21 PM
I have a demi-theory that the entire purpose of the Last Battle will simply be to get Rand to Shayol Ghul to do what he needs to do. I personally believe that Rand's re-sealing of the bore/killing of Shai'tan will cause all of the effects of the DO's touch on the world to vanish. We already know that the Blight is a direct result of his presence. Shadowspawn, too, while created partly by Aginor, are a result of TP use along with genetic engineering, and evidently must die out at some point after the Last Battle. I think that, once the bore is sealed and/or the DO is dead, the Blight will vanish and all of the living Shadowspawn will die screaming, the very thing that keeps them alive, that allowed them to live at all, having been taken away.

The counter-argument to this is that the survival of humanity is not (apparently) dependent on the Creator's presence; but it is dependent on the continued turning of the wheel. Moreover, Saidar and Saidin are, to a given extent, constantly being deployed; in a sense the Light is all around the world, and thus sustains the people. It is the Dragon and the Wheel which are tied together and ensure the survival of the "normal" threads in the Pattern. But the Shadowspawn and the Blight must have threads too, and the only way they are able to exist is with the Dark One's continued corruption of the Pattern. When that touch is gone, when the DO is either dead or sealed within the Pattern but no longer free to touch the Pattern, so too will the Shadowspawn.

Far from being anti-climactic, however, this will cause an enormous change to Randland. In the first instance, merely getting the Dragon Reborn to Shayol Ghul to do what is necessary (whatever that is) will require a massive fighting force, and preserving the rest of the world while that particular force is so occupied will require an unprecedented army. These armies, and the civillians caught in the path of the largest outpouring of Shadowspawn from the Blight in history - not since the Trolloc Wars, ever - will sustain tremendous and horrifying losses, even if it takes only a few hours to get to Shayol Ghul (which it shan't; Shayol Ghul is deep in the Blight, within which one cannot travel; it took days for Fellowship to reach the Mountains of Dhoom in TEOTW).

In the second place, once this is done the world will be faced with tremendous change. Where once the land was split into tiny nations divided by vast expanses, it will now be divided by two empires, purposeless Aiel now free from the Waste, male channelers demanding an equal footing with the White Tower (or within the White Tower), etc. But more than that, the destruction of the Blight will open up a vast northern territory for exploration and conquest. Such territory is likely to be mostly ice and snow, but an expansion of the existing northern kingdoms (even as they merge and divide with one another) is highly likely, and those northern kingdoms will have the most highly trained fighting force in the world next to the Aiel and Seanchan.

So, while I disagree with the generally held view that there will be a lot of Shadowspawn to "mop up" after the hurly burly's done and the battle's lost and won, I don't think this will be a massive anti-climax. "The great battle done, and the world not done with battles," remember?

The reason why none of this is delved into in Aviendha's vision is because Aviendha's vision is a tease, and as I keep saying until I'm blue in the face (or mandibles as the case may be), it's unlikely to come to pass in the form it does. I'm sure there are some hints within it but I think it's foolish to pay too much attention to it.

Unless you happen to be Rand, in which case: for God's sake man, she's seen the future and it's horrible!

The Unreasoner
06-20-2011, 04:23 PM
The war of power could be called a draw, and there were shadowspawn loose afterwards, but likely madmen were responsible for the majority of the damage. The trolloc wars accomplished their goal of shattering the second covenant. Presumably tg is won. Massive casualties, but no loss of nations. And the pov is from the aiel, who take a very light view of death. Casualties are expected and natural. The continued insults of the seanchan are bigger issues.

Weiramon
06-20-2011, 06:07 PM
- will sustain tremendous and horrifying losses, even if it takes only a few hours to get to Shayol Ghul (which it shan't; Shayol Ghul is deep in the Blight, within which one cannot travel; it took days for Fellowship to reach the Mountains of Dhoom in TEOTW).



Burn me, who could dream of going to the Blight?

Weird Harold
06-20-2011, 06:53 PM
I just finished Avi's visions section. Fresh thoughts. I don't like them one bit. My main grief is that they completely over-shadow the Last Battle. Like it never happened or it was just a minor incident. ...

Over all while the visions are nice alternate reality I still feel that they are just extra distraction.

Your concerns about Aviendha's second revelations is why I think the whole second trip through the columns is an illusion or post-hypnotic suggestion -- IOW, it never actually happened, Aviendha halucinated it.

see the many faces of Nakomi in the archives and/or search for "Svengali" in the archives for more.

looqas
06-21-2011, 01:08 AM
Ah. Fresh night's sleep behind me. Read couple of more chapters. I can't believe how close at the end the Ghenjei rescue op was placed. Mat is still in Caemlyn.

One more thought that just popped concerning Avi's visions. The "Force" is not very strong in the family since it seems that it's only the first generation that seem to have OP powers coursing through their veins. Oncala doesn't seem to have it. She's only missing her spear and does not mention the OP at all. Nor does the Queen Talana seem to have it. But later generations mark that the Wise Ones and the Dragon Blooded fought the Seanchan with OP.

Overall I regard the vision's as a scary story to make Avi do something about it. Ain't gonna happen that way.

When Rand is meeting the Borderlanders he says that tomorrow he's going to go to meet the monarchs of the world. So A) he's clearly aware, and I would say used Eggs to gather, of the monarchs coming to Merrilor. B) It's too soon! My earlier express wish that Black Tower is dealt with first is not happening. :eek:<BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO>!

But the most interesting piece of the whole chapter the latter part of the prophecy recited by Paitar and especially the line

If he cannot answer then all will be lost. You bring his end swiftly, so the final days may have their storm. So that Light may not be consumed by he who was to have preserve it...

I don't know about you, but this gives me trouble to understand. First it seems that if Rand can not answer Paitar kills him and it's up to debate if the final days will really be final days as in end of time. But then again the next verse indicates that Light will survive if Rand dies. By this I understand that there will be hell broken loose, but it won't be the end to turning to the Wheel. So maybe for the DO to achieve his assumed goal of killing time he needs to win the Dragon himself?

This avenue of thought leaves room for turnings of the wheel when Dragon has served/failed. But Rand seems to think in the next page though that if he's offed then it's gonna be The End. Wolves seem to agree with him what they tell to Perrin during epiphany, that if Rand dies it's curtains for the Wheel.

About the 'Choosing Enemies' chapter where Elayne binds ties between Andor and Cairhien. BOOOOOOOORIIIIIING! Wasting pages! And so much for the secrecy of the cannons. Showing her new toys to the first passer bys. Why do the tests near Caemlyn even in the first place? They got Travelling and there's plenty of empty property east of Ural, err western Andor, to do weapons R&D.

TheBear
06-21-2011, 01:21 AM
Very long time lurker (9 or so years), first time poster.

I was doing another re-read of ToM (hence I posted here) when I came across a passage that gave me pause. I thought that I would finally give in and join, and see if there is an answer/theory. The passage of interest is just before Rand Travels to Far Madding and Cadsuane calls him “boy”. Rand reminds Cadsuane who he is.

Chapter 51 - A Testing
"If you wish, you may call me Rand Sedai. I am, so far as I know, the only male Aes Sedai still alive who was properly raised but never turned to the Shadow."

Rand uses the words “properly raised”. This suggests to me that he doesn’t consider the method that the current day Aes Sedai use to raise on par with what they did during the AoL. If this is the case, then the only people “properly raised” are Rand and the surviving Forsaken.

So, with this assumption in mind shouldn’t it read “I am, so far as I know, the only Aes Sedai still alive who was properly raised but never turned to the Shadow."

What I am trying to get at is this – Is the word “male” necessary?

Am I reading too much into this? Is this an error by Sanderson? Could it be a foreshadowing?

Sorry if this has been discussed before.

The Unreasoner
06-21-2011, 01:39 AM
I think it is more a reference to the lacking education of the ashaman. Weapons as the sole goal with everything else secondary, as opposed to a more well rounded "servant of all".

I doubt he intended it as a subtle jab at the Aes Sedai. However annoying he's become post-epiphany, he is certainly less rude, and so not very likely to imply that around 1000 people held in esteem by millions are posers.

Zombie Sammael
06-21-2011, 05:40 AM
Burn me, who could dream of going to the Blight?

You know, I wrote this long post that I was quite pleased with last night just before bed, having finished TFOH during the day. I sat down with my copy of LOC and started reading it, the delightful opening scene where Demandred gates to Shayl Ghul, and realised I might have made a mistake...

The Unreasoner
06-21-2011, 05:44 AM
That's right. I was surprised with your post, but it made a lot of sense to me, and Demandred had to eff it all up.

Zombie Sammael
06-21-2011, 05:47 AM
That's right. I was surprised with your post, but it made a lot of sense to me, and Demandred had to eff it all up.

It's fairly minor in the context of the whole theory. I could argue that Rand et al would be unable to gate to Shayol Ghul because they have no idea what it looks like, but I expect Rand does. In any case, there will still be large losses etc during the time when Rand has to go to SG and do whatever it is he has to do whether he gates there directly from Merrilor or not.

The Unreasoner
06-21-2011, 05:53 AM
I almost said the same thing. None of the 10000 in the strike force survived, and he had 113 fully trained channelers (the SaSG).

In any case it explains the apparent lack of widespread damage while still giving the people the casualties they expect from TG (rather disturbing, from a distance)

Davian93
06-21-2011, 08:12 AM
The Seanchan version of the Karaethon seems to suggest that the Empire's forces will defeat the forces of the Shadow. If it's a truly unified front - as seems necessary, based on what the Aelfinn said - then there's nothing to suggest years will be necessary. In the future Aviendha saw, it was a temporary unified front along with terms for a lasting peace; in the actual future, I expect a full Consolidation. (Will be really surprised if that doesn't happen.) I'm guessing that the Aiel role in the Last Battle will be something more closely related to Rand's role - to Shayol Ghul itself, but that the big change in their future will be some sort of service to the Empire. For all that to happen, the Empire will have to change, which is heavily foreshadowed. (Sorry to go on about that; I just had to anticipate certain arguments.)


It fits with the prophecies but I would absolutely despise that ending.

Terez
06-21-2011, 08:13 AM
Any particular reason why?

Davian93
06-21-2011, 08:18 AM
Any particular reason why?

I really dont like the Seanchan and I dont want them in control of everything...they're so Soviet Union esque. Even if Tuon changes them (a possibility), I just dont want to see them in charge of the entire continent.

looqas
06-21-2011, 08:28 AM
I really dont like the Seanchan and I dont want them in control of everything...they're so Soviet Union esque. Even if Tuon changes them (a possibility), I just dont want to see them in charge of the entire continent.

I actually sign this. The moment Seanchan came and has managed to stay in the series I have felt rather strong and growing antipathy towards them. Better off if Rand had driven them to sea. To me it's more like a Nazi Germany. The people are ok (there are likable characters), but the system is just repulsive.

Tuon is one unlikable character in my insignificant opinion.

The Unreasoner
06-21-2011, 08:29 AM
I would be surprised if anyone is arguing that they will rule the entire continent.

Terez
06-21-2011, 08:31 AM
I really dont like the Seanchan and I dont want them in control of everything...they're so Soviet Union esque. Even if Tuon changes them (a possibility), I just dont want to see them in charge of the entire continent.
Just a silly prejudice, then.

Terez
06-21-2011, 08:32 AM
I would be surprised if anyone is arguing that they will rule the entire continent.
Be surprised, then.

Davian93
06-21-2011, 08:35 AM
Just a silly prejudice, then.

I suppose but then its just my opinion on them. The Seanchan are pretty disgusting when you break it down:

1. Endorse and promote slavery
2. Chain/dehumanize female channelers
3. Kill male channelers on sight
4. Gestapo/KGB secret police that kill everyone who even thinks of changing their World Order
5. Stubborn refusal to believe obvious facts of the world (existence of ta'veren, etc)
6. Annoying Southern accents
7. They even made the Ogier into scary evil killers

The Unreasoner
06-21-2011, 08:38 AM
Be surprised, then.
Who? Elayne's not going to back down, and Aviendha is presumably pacifiying the aiel to prevent this very thing.

Terez
06-21-2011, 08:42 AM
I suppose but then its just my opinion on them. The Seanchan are pretty disgusting when you break it down
Everyone knows what's wrong with Seanchan culture. You're saying you would dislike them even if all that changed. Also, Ogier were soldiers during the War of Power.

The Unreasoner
06-21-2011, 08:44 AM
The empire will change, by giving up their silly goals of military conquest, and 'manifest destiny'
In any case, total consolidation before TG from where we are now? It will take longer than that.

Terez
06-21-2011, 08:45 AM
Who? Elayne's not going to back down
She will have no reason to be stubborn under the terms that have been foreshadowed, particularly considering that she will keep her throne and that Andor will more or less stay the same as it was.

and Aviendha is presumably pacifiying the aiel to prevent this very thing.She's trying to prevent the destruction of the Aiel. That requires the Aiel to find a new purpose, but there is also the suggestion that the Seanchan are going to conquer everything one day anyway, so they might as well use the situation to force a suitable compromise - as in, the Seanchan will conquer everything anyway, but they will change certain offensive customs.

The Unreasoner
06-21-2011, 08:47 AM
I can't see even rand making Egwene agree to this in the time allotted, but okay.

GonzoTheGreat
06-21-2011, 09:05 AM
Maybe the compromise will be that the Seanchan put collars on all AS, but of the leash-less variety that Elayne invented, and they will leave all other channelers in peace.
And Rand wouldn't have to make Egwene agree to that; Fortuona can handle that once Egwene is recollared.

Toss the dice
06-21-2011, 09:38 AM
Only Terez could find satisfaction in Seanchan conquering Randland.

I don't like the Seanchan either. Never have. They're pretty despicable people and outright antagonists to the "good guys." Even if they changed a lot of their laws and make a complete 180 in that department, they would still be the Seanchan and an invading force. Assuming they pretty much control all of Randland in the generations to follow, that makes them invaders and conquerors. I would have no problem with Seanchan people "emigrating" to Randland more or less simply to live there, but that isn't the case. Along with the commoners that have already emigrated to Randland (albeit under the obvious intention of Seanchan conquest), the actual Seanchan authority and armies came to take over.

The Seanchan are clearly invaders and conquerors, and they have an all-encompassing view of it. In Seanchan itself, they have spent over a thousand years tirelessly conquering the entire continent, right down to the primitive tribal races. Like someone else said, they are VERY similar to Nazi Germany in this regard. They have their own ideals and world-view, and they force this world-view on everyone else by conquering them. They believe they have the supreme system of the world and it is their right and duty to assimilate everyone else under it.

There is absolutely no tolerance to anyone that displays that they don't share the Seanchan beliefs, let alone threatens them in any way. What makes the Seanchan even worse is their ignorance and stupidity when it comes to many of their customs and beliefs.

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the idea of Seanchan conquering all of Randland. Luckily, I'm not entirely convinced that WILL happen for sure, based on what Aviendha saw. While it does seem likely, I don't view it as a guarantee like I would if Min saw it. In Aviendha's visions, they weren't actually visions of herself, so I like to think it's more of a "could happen" rather than "will happen." Probably just wishful thinking.

Zombie Sammael
06-21-2011, 10:19 AM
I disagree with the collaring, but I quite like the Seanchan. Their "slavery" (except in the case of the Damane which has creepy S&M connotations) is not really slavery as we understand it at all; a slave under the Seanchan can and often does have more rights than a free person. Their culture and history is rich and fascinating. They could do with some liberalisation, but that's the sort of thing that happens with time.

Gonzo, if someone applied a device to you which essentially put you under the complete control of someone else, no matter how despicable you might be, I bet you wouldn't like it. Collaring is just wrong, regardless of how you feel about Egwene. Nynaeve was right to be disgusted by her own behaviour when she did it to Moghedien.

Davian93
06-21-2011, 10:33 AM
I disagree with the collaring, but I quite like the Seanchan. Their "slavery" (except in the case of the Damane which has creepy S&M connotations) is not really slavery as we understand it at all; a slave under the Seanchan can and often does have more rights than a free person. Their culture and history is rich and fascinating. They could do with some liberalisation, but that's the sort of thing that happens with time.

Gonzo, if someone applied a device to you which essentially put you under the complete control of someone else, no matter how despicable you might be, I bet you wouldn't like it. Collaring is just wrong, regardless of how you feel about Egwene. Nynaeve was right to be disgusted by her own behaviour when she did it to Moghedien.


Some of their slaves have rights/freedom, others are considered pure property with zero of that. They are very similar to the Turks during the Ottoman Empire in that respect. Being a "slave" to the Empress in name only is a lot different than being a cupbearer. Their entire world viewpoint is repugnant.

GonzoTheGreat
06-21-2011, 10:48 AM
I disagree with the collaring, but I quite like the Seanchan. Their "slavery" (except in the case of the Damane which has creepy S&M connotations) is not really slavery as we understand it at all; a slave under the Seanchan can and often does have more rights than a free person.Which is not all that much of a good thing, considering the fact that free persons have very few rights either.

And, frankly, based on how Amathera (the former Panarch of Tarabon) flinches every time a Seanchan seems to possibly take notice of her, I am not entirely sure that non-damane slaves are really always treated with as much tenderness as you seem to think.

Their culture and history is rich and fascinating. They could do with some liberalisation, but that's the sort of thing that happens with time.Or not. Ancient Egypt stayed the same to a great extend over a period of thousands of years, until it got overruled (literally) by outside forces. The Seanchan system seems pretty stable too, so I would not expect it to change all that automatically.

Gonzo, if someone applied a device to you which essentially put you under the complete control of someone else, no matter how despicable you might be, I bet you wouldn't like it. Collaring is just wrong, regardless of how you feel about Egwene. Nynaeve was right to be disgusted by her own behaviour when she did it to Moghedien.When you come you know me a bit better, you'll (hopefully) come to see that now and then I use some sarcasm. This was one of those occasions.

Zombie Sammael
06-21-2011, 11:35 AM
When you come you know me a bit better, you'll (hopefully) come to see that now and then I use some sarcasm. This was one of those occasions.

Really? I'm shocked. Shocked and appalled. :p

Heh, "come to know you a bit better", teehee.

The Unreasoner
06-21-2011, 12:52 PM
The seanchan are fascinating, yes, but don't dismiss dacovale so lightly. They are held by the device of culture and traditions, and broke amathera as well as sheraine was by adam.

Weird Harold
06-21-2011, 03:00 PM
I don't know about you, but this gives me trouble to understand. First it seems that if Rand can not answer Paitar kills him and it's up to debate if the final days will really be final days as in end of time. But then again the next verse indicates that Light will survive if Rand dies. By this I understand that there will be hell broken loose, but it won't be the end to turning to the Wheel. So maybe for the DO to achieve his assumed goal of killing time he needs to win the Dragon himself?

This avenue of thought leaves room for turnings of the wheel when Dragon has served/failed. But Rand seems to think in the next page though that if he's offed then it's gonna be The End. Wolves seem to agree with him what they tell to Perrin during epiphany, that if Rand dies it's curtains for the Wheel.

Once again, RJ's comment about "Lesser Victories" applies. The Prophecy is to insure that the Shadow can only win a lesser victory and not complete freedom for the DO.

It has been clear to me for a long time that Rand is necessary for the DO's freedom -- whether a willing accomplice or through the press of circumstances. The prophecy prescribed a test to determine whether total victory was withinthe DO's grasp.

As for what Rand and the Wolves believe, we've seen ample evidence that what the characters believe is not always the case -- The "Everbody Knows" fallacy, among other examples.

The Unreasoner
06-21-2011, 03:06 PM
The press of circumstances...sha'rah?
I'm decent at go (though below 1 dan), but what (if anything) is shah'rah based on?

Terez
06-21-2011, 03:29 PM
I can't see even rand making Egwene agree to this in the time allotted, but okay.
Who said Rand would be convincing anyone of anything? What do you think the purpose of Mat's marriage to Tuon was?

Madgod
06-21-2011, 03:29 PM
The press of circumstances...sha'rah?
I'm decent at go (though below 1 dan), but what (if anything) is shah'rah based on?

http://13depository.blogspot.com/2009/03/sharah-fisher-king-and-their.html
Might want to bookmark The Thirteenth Depository; it's a pretty good site for reference.

As for the Seanchan, other that the slavery bit I find their culture rather interesting. In the remaining time I can see Tuon being willing to change her opinions on channelers (by starting to channel by herself) and to set up the eventual assimilation of the nations under one ruler. I have no doubts that eventually the Seanchan would rule over the continent eventually unless Rand makes significant changes in AMoL

The Unreasoner
06-21-2011, 03:46 PM
Who said Rand would be convincing anyone of anything? What do you think the purpose of Mat's marriage to Tuon was?

My point was more, "even rand's ta'vereness will not persuade Egwene to allow the consolidation to occur"

Which is actually, in my opinion, big points for her.

Terez
06-21-2011, 03:49 PM
My point was more, "even rand's ta'vereness will not persuade Egwene to allow the consolidation to occur"
That would be the obvious conclusion, but don't you think there's some higher thematic purpose to Egwene's imprisonment in TGH? Can't you see everything pointing to it?

The Unreasoner
06-21-2011, 03:58 PM
I can see everything pointing to an alliance with her blessing. If the "it" you speak of is total consolidation, I guess not.

Weird Harold
06-21-2011, 04:09 PM
The press of circumstances...sha'rah?
I'm decent at go (though below 1 dan), but what (if anything) is shah'rah based on?
Madgod's link is a good explanation of Sha'ra.

The Press of Circumstances is not just a reference to sha'ra, but the opposite -- sha'ra is RJ's illustration of how predestination works with free will in the WOT.

Rand is not the only character herded into their Destiny by the Press of Circumstances, all of the characters are forced by circumstances to make choices and take actions they would rather not.

Mat actively avoided marriage, but circumstances left him no choice -- as just one example.

Zombie Sammael
06-21-2011, 04:12 PM
I could actually see Egwene having a similar enlightenment moment to Rand viz the Seanchan, given all the thematic signs pointing to it. She realises that her imprisonment was what led to her refusal to be bound again, and allowed her to find the way to heal the Tower; and remembers that in order to control Saidar you have to surrender to it. Further, the Aiel way of embracing pain might make the a'dam itself useless on an Aiel or Egwene, or at least diminish the control it can have over her. "We can reach the top together" perhaps meaning allowing herself to be collared to serve some greater purpose, knowing that it's ultimately meaningless.

Madgod
06-21-2011, 06:14 PM
Yeah, remember Egwene still has to be aided by a Seanchan in some form, if I remember the dream correctly. That might induce her to have a changed perspective on things. Either that or, even if Egwene doesn't agree to things, the Seanchan, especially with Rand's help, can crush any opponents to the consolidation. If that is the case the, quite frankly, Egwene has no say in what happens.

Terez
06-21-2011, 06:22 PM
I can see everything pointing to an alliance with her blessing. If the "it" you speak of is total consolidation, I guess not.
In order for Egwene to accept the alliance, she'll probably require that something be done about the damane issue. In order for her (or Mat) to demand any such thing, a compromise will probably be necessary. Aside from that, there are many clues related to Hawkwing (not to mention clues related to Tuon) that suggest the Empire can be a great thing.

Davian93
06-21-2011, 06:27 PM
In order for Egwene to accept the alliance, she'll probably require that something be done about the damane issue. In order for her (or Mat) to demand any such thing, a compromise will probably be necessary. Aside from that, there are many clues related to Hawkwing (not to mention clues related to Tuon) that suggest the Empire can be a great thing.

The problem with the Seanchan is that they are far more representative of the post-Ishamael Hawkwing empire rather than the Tamika influenced years. Hawkwing was a great man before he was twisted by Ishamael's influence.

Terez
06-21-2011, 06:28 PM
The problem with the Seanchan is that they are far more representative of the post-Ishamael Hawkwing empire rather than the Tamika influenced years. Hawkwing was a great man before he was twisted by Ishamael's influence.
Agreed, but they still maintain many of the good things in Hawkwing's policy, and I believe they can - and will - handle the necessary transitions quite smoothly.

Davian93
06-21-2011, 06:38 PM
Agreed, but they still maintain many of the good things in Hawkwing's policy, and I believe they can - and will - handle the necessary transitions quite smoothly.

Tuon is smart enough and determined enough to do it if she wants to. It all comes down to her waking up. She's by far the best Seanchan in Randland...other than maybe Perrin's buddy that is.

The Unreasoner
06-21-2011, 06:53 PM
Hell, ishamael was a great man before he started listening to ishamael. But I agree the empire is a great place for order and security, although some of elyas's early comments cast doubts on hawkwing himself. I think the current empire is more a seanchan empire ruled by hawkwing's line than hawkwing's empire in seanchan. If total consolidation occurs, the empire will hopefully be unrecognizeable next to the current one. And I doubt any sort of bargaining will occur to settle the damane issue. I think it will be a debate and Tuon will concede.

Terez
06-21-2011, 07:01 PM
...some of elyas's early comments cast doubts on hawkwing himself.
Only if you aren't paying attention. What he said was essentially that the common man loved Hawkwing, and the (former) nobility hated him because he took away their thrones. (Which is one area where Tuon is more reasonable than Hawkwing was.) Aside from that, Elyas's criticisms were due to an ignorance of Ishamael's manipulations.

And I doubt any sort of bargaining will occur to settle the damane issue. I think it will be a debate and Tuon will concede.
That makes pretty much zero sense. He didn't spend the whole series building up a concession; the Empire is more important than just that.

Davian93
06-21-2011, 07:04 PM
Exactly, the nobility (Old Order) hated him because he promoted on merit and all were equal under the law (something that the Seanchan do not do whatsoever with their institutional slavery and extreme caste system). Hawkwing was a great man by all accounts...other than when he was corrupted by Ishy.

The Unreasoner
06-21-2011, 07:42 PM
Mat seems to have some less than fond memories of the guy, but then he was probably a kings/queens man. I agree, for the most part. I just developed a bias against the seanchan after aviendha's ordeal.

Davian93
06-21-2011, 08:04 PM
Mat seems to have some less than fond memories of the guy, but then he was probably a kings/queens man. I agree, for the most part. I just developed a bias against the seanchan after aviendha's ordeal.

Considering he lost to him in battle and was killed in the effort to keep Aldeshar free...that's not surprising.

Also, his memories are from Hawkwing's dark time:

TITLE: The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time
CHAPTER: The Reign of the High King
Several sources use terms such as “the Black Years” and “the Years of Silent Rage” for the period from Free Year 961 to 965, the final years of the Consolidation and also the near disastrous invasion of the Aiel Waste in Free Year 964. Hawkwing is said to have sealed himself away from all human emotion, “and of these, love and pity he buried most deep.” Even writers plainly favoring Hawkwing agree that his search for the murderers was harsh and unrelenting; and they speak of more than one hundred executions. His initial treatment of Aldeshar, the last nation to fall to him, was certainly cruel: no prisoners taken in a number of battles, the displacement of nearly the whole population to other parts of the empire, the confiscation of all estates with the whole nobility and the entire merchant class reduced to absolute penury and scattered to every corner of the empire. Had such treatment continued, had it been extended to the rest of the empire, there can be no doubt that Hawkwing would have faced a thousand revolts during the rest of his reign instead of the handful reliably documented.

So its not surprising that he doesn't care for Hawkwing.

The Unreasoner
06-21-2011, 08:12 PM
Well that's one we know, he may have others.

Terez
06-21-2011, 08:15 PM
We know he had others. We also know that his impression of Hawkwing is generally unfavorable.

Ishara
06-21-2011, 08:21 PM
Sure, but, good rulers are not universally loved or respected. And Mat's not exactly known for his love of order and justice... ;)

Terez
06-21-2011, 08:34 PM
Indeed. Just saying.

Davian93
06-22-2011, 08:46 AM
Sure, but, good rulers are not universally loved or respected. And Mat's not exactly known for his love of order and justice... ;)

I agree on him not liking order (or at least order imposed on him from above) but I disagree on the Justice part. Mat has a very strong moral compass when it comes to such things and this has shone through several times throughout the books. Mat is a passionate defender of doing what is right...justice falls into that.

Enigma
06-22-2011, 05:28 PM
Is Mat's view of historical events and figures shaped by the prejudices of the person's whose memory he is experiencing?

Hawking was not exactly invited to be High King, he had to conquor by the sword. He may or may not have been a great guy but he was, to the point of view of the men Mat is remembering, an invaded. I don't think its surprising that the person living the memory would not care for some foreign king who was marching into his country and was in the process of taking over.

looqas
06-23-2011, 01:50 AM
Managed to get my near ending re-read moving again a bit. Mat is finally off to Ghenjei.

While the little glimpse to Black Tower via Pevara was enlighting it just moved the stones on board a little. Like the chapter with Elayne dealing with Cairhien nobles in Andor before the Cairhien scene. I'd prefer the Andor & Cairhien scene lumped together and shortened. The only highlight was Birgitte's throne-scene, the rest was just moving pieces aboard the table.

Surprisingly for me the most enjoyable parts lately after the main battles in ToM have been Mat & Perrin and Perrin & Thom interactions. This is more like it. I'd would so like to see Rand reconnecting with his old pals in similar manner, but I don't think there will be time. Sadly. I don't know about you, but for me the battles can wait a bit and would prefer the relationship closures first.

I marked that Perrin timeline is on par now with the rest. Somehow I thought that Mat will be at Merrilor too. I pictured the Merrilor to be a one day affair but now I'm not so sure. I can't remember the specifics if Mat is in Ghenjei only for one day in randland time, but if he is then I see Moiraine as the tool for defusing the situation between parties. Because Grady is Mat's only way out (at this point unless Deus ex machined some other way) from Ghenjei without spending weeks hiking. So it might be that Mat misses the attack to Caemlyn. Most likely he won't be there when it starts.

One interesting note I read from Perrin's POV when he arrived to Merrilor. There are ruins nearby. Maybe a Waygate? Or perhaps Rand does not surf to Shayol Ghul but uses a Portal Stone?

The Unreasoner
06-23-2011, 02:15 AM
I think many of the complaints regarding slow moving story arcs is a result if the book split. Move any one arc to far and there could be spoilers across the board.

the_collective
06-23-2011, 11:59 AM
I think many of the complaints regarding slow moving story arcs is a result if the book split. Move any one arc to far and there could be spoilers across the board.

I think this could be said of practically the entire series; particularly books 9 on to the present day at the very least. I think it would be pretty spectacular to be able to read everything as RJ would have intended had publishing "limits" been a non-issue, but of course that is never gonna happen. Nevertheless, I personally try to keep in mind that publishing limitations are largely responsible for most of the problems that I (and a lot of others) have with the tempo and flow of the series at times.

FelixPax
06-23-2011, 12:09 PM
Sure, but, good rulers are not universally loved or respected. And Mat's not exactly known for his love of order and justice... ;)

Not known for a love of order?

Oh really? So Mat's Band of the Red Hand is a group of disorganized motley souls? No better than the White Lions? ;)


Chuckles...


What does Mat Cauthon not known for loving to do?



Taking Public suggestions, of what to do, when he already knows what to do... (Elayne's done it, in Altara)
Following some else's orders.
Being told what to do, and when to do it.
Coerced into anything.





A Mule for Justice? One of Many Merry Wives of Hawkwing


One of Hawkwing's Aes Sedai wives from the Aiel Waste, Tamika, does seem to have possessed a sense of order and justice (See BWB).


Who has grasped Justice? ;)

Who is a Mule for Justice? :D

Davian93
06-23-2011, 12:10 PM
I think most of the complaints really stem from having to wait years between books. Many fans started reading the series back in the early 90s (like me for example and many of the long-time members of this board) and its hard to wait 2-3 years and get very little progression in the later books.

Had I started reading the series now, I doubt I'd be upset with the slower pacing of the later books. Overall, I still love all of the books anyway and am obviously biased as a member of a fansite where I have over 19,000 posts in the past 8 years going back to the EZboard/Yuku days.

The Unreasoner
06-23-2011, 12:56 PM
I think this could be said of practically the entire series; particularly books 9 on to the present day at the very least. I think it would be pretty spectacular to be able to read everything as RJ would have intended had publishing "limits" been a non-issue, but of course that is never gonna happen. Nevertheless, I personally try to keep in mind that publishing limitations are largely responsible for most of the problems that I (and a lot of others) have with the tempo and flow of the series at times.

Also, didn't RJ originally envision a six book series? Imagine all 14 books compressed to less than half of their size.

skaywalker
06-24-2011, 02:14 AM
I think most of the complaints really stem from having to wait years between books. Many fans started reading the series back in the early 90s (like me for example and many of the long-time members of this board) and its hard to wait 2-3 years and get very little progression in the later books.

Had I started reading the series now, I doubt I'd be upset with the slower pacing of the later books. Overall, I still love all of the books anyway and am obviously biased as a member of a fansite where I have over 19,000 posts in the past 8 years going back to the EZboard/Yuku days.


Well, I started reading the series in 2005 just several months before the release of KOD(in my country) but nevertheless I found books 8 and 10 slow paced and boring. Especially book 10. Book 11 was a huge relief, so I can imagine what was like for the ones that had to wait for it years.

sandoz12
06-24-2011, 02:32 AM
Well, I started reading the series in 2005 just several months before the release of KOD(in my country) but nevertheless I found books 8 and 10 slow paced and boring. Especially book 10. Book 11 was a huge relief, so I can imagine what was like for the ones that had to wait for it years.

Me too - I started in 2006 and found books 8 through 10 very slow going and I began to feel very disappointed with where the series was going or more precisely not going. It almost felt like Jordan had written himself into a situation he couldn't or didn't want to get out of.

Book 11 was a huge relief to me as well re-enthusing me and making me eagerly anticipate the books to come.

Of course having to wait years for each book 8-10 would have made them seem even worse and I do pity the poor fans who had to go through this.

Southpaw2012
06-24-2011, 10:32 PM
like Terez said, Tuon is much more reasonable about working with current rulers so they can keep their rule yet still be under Seanchan control so maybe eventually they can work something out after the LB

Terez
06-24-2011, 10:37 PM
Who has grasped Justice? ;)
Is that what you call your mule?

looqas
06-27-2011, 02:38 AM
Ah,

back to reading again. Mat's out of the Tower with dear, dear Moiraine. I think I have one chapter left. The rabbit supper thing, but I haven't checked. I usually skip the index so I don't spoil the reading or get advanced hints.

It continually amazes me how little I remember of the details. Like the 2 doors to *finn being destroyed or Perrin avoiding Eggs at Merrilor.

About Merrilor, I'm quite happy that Rand is at Perrin's part of the camp talking, presumably, to him. I'm so looking forward to this in AMoL.

Also just an off-hand thought. That 5000 disparate soldier army Gawyn marks to Eggs is the "trap/surprise/Black Tower agents/agents of chaos/Rand's ace in the sleeve". There really is no way to know, but they are the plot device.

Many people have been whining about how Mat's spear was the key. I for one found it actually nice and very fitting. I just wonder were there anyone anywhere who actually predicted/theorized that? Big kudos to him/her.

I also think that the Ghenjei part has been combed over by the magnifying glass by people here looking for material to theorize on. Especially what the Finn's say or seem to say. Especially the line "the gambler is in the center of it" has been giving wet dreams to many I assume ;)

I still wonder why there were 2 short glimpses to the Black Tower in the book. Why not lump them together?

GonzoTheGreat
06-27-2011, 05:42 AM
Many people have been whining about how Mat's spear was the key. I for one found it actually nice and very fitting. I just wonder were there anyone anywhere who actually predicted/theorized that? Big kudos to him/her.I did, though I do have to admit that my theory was that it had been the 'key' to him being let out in Rhuidean, when they hanged him from it. But apart from that (slight) timing mistake of picking the wrong time the key was used, I was entirely right. Sort of, at least.

looqas
06-27-2011, 06:10 AM
Good call Gonzo. Impressive.

Nudged the bookmark a little bit further. Caemlyn is on fire! Buahahahaha! So close to end, but something came up and had to leave it at that.

Couple of more thoughts about the Ghenjei part. My memory is hazy, but I don't remember it specified that you need a bronze knife / ashanderei to draw the door. Could they have used their finger or a stick to draw the door too? Most likely.

And why did not they try to draw the door again when they were sealed in to test if it worked 2 ways? Of course it wouldn't have worked, but why leave that bit out? That's what I would have done first thing.

The more I think about Verin's letter to Mat the less it makes sense. Why leave such a huge thing depending on Mat's curiosity? Why not go tell Elayne herself or just give the letter to Mat and tell him to open it if she's not back in 2-3 days (if she's worried that people start asking questions about where she got this info)? Why demand an oath to do whatever the letter says and leave it to man's imagination about crawling to Falme on his hands? The whole thing is just way too weird and way too contrived, but at least we get a plot twists and little bit of humor/action out of it.

Olver. I'm faily certain people find him endearing, but I am not one of them. The movies are already full of know-it-all kids. We see Olver opening the letter and that's it. Job well done. The only other thing Olver has contributed to the series is Mat's fatherly side, but that's it. No need for Olver anymore. I secretly hope he will go to Ghenjei and gets killed.

GonzoTheGreat
06-27-2011, 06:32 AM
I think that the bit about the bronze knife came from Birgitte, who had previous experience with the ToG.

And I think that Verin's miscalculation came from a combination of having seen Mat when he was rather down (on the way from Falme to the WT) and comments made by Egwene and Nynaeve. That combination is bound to produce a somewhat distorted view of the best manner in which to get Mat to do something.

And Olver has also been suspiciously close on a whole number of occasions when DFs tried to kill Mat. Which, come to think of it, might seem suspicious.

The Unreasoner
06-27-2011, 06:40 AM
Vein was probably held by some funky oaths. But I think her only real miscalculation was not realizing mat had already commited himself to the ghenjei enterprise. He at least gave his word, maybe even a promise. Mat would have opened it otherwise.

And how you feel about olver...I feel about Bryne.

Olver is oversold as a cute kid from a tough background, Bryne is oversold as a competent general and all around good guy.

FelixPax
06-27-2011, 08:20 AM
Vein was probably held by some funky oaths. But I think her only real miscalculation was not realizing mat had already commited himself to the ghenjei enterprise. He at least gave his word, maybe even a promise. Mat would have opened it otherwise.



Verin underestimates just how broadly ta'veren effects operates.
Verin make a series of bad assumptions, in Falme, after Rand told Verin the truth. She never did believe Rand's claim something pushed & pulled him, when using the Portalstone. (TGH book)
Verin has a distinct set of limitation in her judgment of "coincidence" and its effects.
Verin underestimates "change".


In the end, Verin died in the White Tower because of yet another bad assumption on her part. Verin believed she could find the Oath Rod in the White Tower.

Verin's horrible assumption about the Oath Rod, cost her, her very life in the end. (TGS book)



Coincidences made him uneasy; when the Pattern produced coincidence, the Wheel seemed to be forcing events.


The Shadow Rising, Chapter 41 "Among the Tuatha'an" -- Perrin point of view; with Ila, Raen et al.


Yet if there was a pattern and coincidence would not hold, then someone had to be at the heart of it.


Crossroads of Twilight, Chapter 18 "A Chat with Siuan" -- Egwene al'Vere point of view

The Unreasoner
06-27-2011, 01:00 PM
The Oath Rod bit at least, I disagree with. Finding it in the white tower seems to be a reasonable belief. And she even admitted it was a long shot, although more in its use than in its finding.
For the rest, she took a very scientific approach, doubting without proof.
And her confidence that mat would ultimately open the letter could have been born by her confirmed belief in ta'veren, after having the evidence of its power confirmed to her. Curiosity aside, she probably believed that the pattern would drive him to open it.

The black ajah questioned could only reveal old plots while they were bound. Verin was still bound. Presumably the required waiting days would only reveal the invasion after the plot became old. She planned to relieve him of it in a few days, and through that bit of mental gymnastics she convinced herself that, combined with the bizarre restrictions, mat would never open the letter while she was alive as a black. She firmly believed that if he opened it, she would already be dead, so the "hour of death" bit still plays.
I stand by the assertion that her only real miscalculation, at least in regards to the letter with mat, was not anticipating a greater need or a prior commitment. Likely just the greater need, as if mat was to open the letter, the pattern may not have let him make a prior commitment.

Therefore, either caemlyn will survive without him, or Moiraine was more important. Or both.

looqas
06-27-2011, 03:59 PM
FINITO! I managed to finish my re-reading of Towers of Midnight. I have to say it was one of the most pleasant re-reads of WoT books. I savored it properly and found a lot of stuff I really had no clue about or did not remember at all. As evidenced by my posts about Thom being bonded or Rand counting on Eggs to gather the armies and such trivia.

I want to thank all who participated and read these 2 threads. You made this more fun and gave me a mirror to ping my thoughts.

So final thoughts about the book. I'm really happy about the Supper chapter. It fulfilled my natural curiosity what happened after Ghenjei. It was surpringly the chapter I obviusly had liked earlier and thus I remembered it rather well. I just wish Mat had acccepted Healing for his eye. It's weird how Brandon makes us feel that Moiraine is powerless, but then says that with the angreal she is more powerful than before. Sounds like a good bargain. Also I wanna know those 2 things Mo asked. I hope we find out.

The whole Ghenjei business makes me wanna read Rand's POV about his visits.

Prologue is a real TL teaser. Multiple POVs and crammed with cliff hangers. The whole dream being not a dream but still dream etc makes me feel 2 ways. One is that it sets the TLers to a feeding frenzy and the second is that I somehow have averse feelings towards it. It's awfully late in the game to start bringing up new concepts and stuff. Much like how I felt towards dreamspikes at first. I think I just need time to get used to it.

Anyway. Thanks again.

Zombie Sammael
06-27-2011, 04:26 PM
It's weird how Brandon makes us feel that Moiraine is powerless, but then says that with the angreal she is more powerful than before. Sounds like a good bargain.

Of course, Moiraine had the angreal before she entered the realm of the *Finns.

I find it interesting that the two older powerful female leads who have found romantic interests (Moiraine and Siuan) have also had their power levels reduced significantly; Siuan both in channeling strength and politically. I wonder if it's RJ's contention that, having had the strength they had before, they would be unable or unwilling somehow to commit to the relationship while the One Power loomed so large in their lives. If so, I find it disappointing. Both Egwene and Elayne have managed to reach accommodations with their men and their Power, although Elayne is outmatched by Rand. It seems to be an interesting if unenlighted comment on Power and sex (in all sense of the words).

looqas
06-28-2011, 12:04 AM
Moiraine did not have the angreal when she entered. It was one of her 3 requests. She did not realize that it backfired on her. But the request tells me something about her personality. I can't see it being purely an unselfish for-the-greater-good thing. She really wanted an angreal of her own. And I think she had ample time to think those requests through before tackling Lanfear. The request sounds pretty premeditated.

Also the shape of it is interesting. Man bound by feet to wrists. Makes me wonder if it was made during the Breaking. That is if it was acquired from an AS that came there.

But interesting view about Siuan and Mo and the power and the relationships there ZS.

Weird Harold
06-28-2011, 12:25 AM
Moiraine did not have the angreal when she entered.

The Ivory Bracelet angreal was in Moiriane's posession when she and Lanfear went throughthe Doorway; she had just snatched it away as she tackled Lanfear.

It originally came from the Rhuidean stash and Moiraine pre-positioned it the night before to set up the scenario that was most palatable of the options she saw in the Rhuidean arches.

http://encyclopaedia-wot.org/items/ivory_bracelet.html

ETA:
The sight of Lanfear hit her like a blow. Not surprise, but the shock of seeing what had been in her dreams so often since Rhuidean. Lanfear standing on the wagon-bed, blazing bright as the sun with saidar, framed by the twisted redstone ter'angrealas she stared down at Rand, a pitiless smile on her lips. She was turning a bracelet in her hands. An angreal; unless Rand had his own angreal, she should be able to crush him with that. Either he did, or Lanfear was toying with him. It did not matter. Moiraine did not like that circle of carved age-dark ivory. At first glance it seemed to be an acrobat bending backwards to grip his ankles. Only a closer look would show that his wrists and ankles were bound together. She did not like it, but she had brought it out of Rhuidean. Yesterday she had taken the bracelet from a sack of odds-and-ends and left it lying there at the foot of the doorframe.


...

Suppressing a small bubble of hope -- she could not allow herself that luxury -- Moiraine balanced upright a moment on the wagon-tail, then embraced the True Source and leaped at Lanfear. The Forsaken had an instant's warning, enough to turn before Moiraine struck her, clawing the bracelet away. Face to face, they toppled through the doorframe ter'angreal. White light swallowed everything.

The Unreasoner
06-28-2011, 12:45 AM
Moiraine did not have the angreal when she entered. It was one of her 3 requests. She did not realize that it backfired on her. But the request tells me something about her personality. I can't see it being purely an unselfish for-the-greater-good thing. She really wanted an angreal of her own. And I think she had ample time to think those requests through before tackling Lanfear. The request sounds pretty premeditated.

Also the shape of it is interesting. Man bound by feet to wrists. Makes me wonder if it was made during the Breaking. That is if it was acquired from an AS that came there.

But interesting view about Siuan and Mo and the power and the relationships there ZS.
Given its precise placement, Lanfear's immediate recognition, and the horrifying design, I wonder if it was one of the forsaken's personal angreal, perhaps Lanfear's herself.

Weird Harold
06-28-2011, 01:16 AM
Given its precise placement, Lanfear's immediate recognition, and the horrifying design, I wonder if it was one of the forsaken's personal angreal, perhaps Lanfear's herself.
More Semirhage's or Greandal's style -- torture/BDSM motif etc.

GonzoTheGreat
06-28-2011, 04:43 AM
Given its precise placement, Lanfear's immediate recognition, and the horrifying design, I wonder if it was one of the forsaken's personal angreal, perhaps Lanfear's herself.Lanfear (and any other competent channeler) would have recognised an angreal she could use when she was that close to it.

Zombie Sammael
06-28-2011, 04:49 AM
Lanfear (and any other competent channeler) would have recognised an angreal she could use when she was that close to it.

Lanfear was essentially mad with rage at the time.

GonzoTheGreat
06-28-2011, 05:04 AM
Lanfear was essentially mad with rage at the time.Even being mad with rage, most people can manage to pick up a handy baseball bat. And for an enraged channeler, such an angreal is the equivalent of a really, really, big baseball bat.

Weird Harold
06-28-2011, 05:08 AM
Lanfear was essentially mad with rage at the time.
Yet she had enough awareness of her surroundings to notice and take the angreal Moiraine plated so conveniently.

Yes, Lanfear was insanely jealous, but the quote from Moiraine's POV shows, Lanfear did not bring the angreal to the docks, Moiraine did.

sleepinghour
06-28-2011, 06:16 AM
I find it interesting that the two older powerful female leads who have found romantic interests (Moiraine and Siuan) have also had their power levels reduced significantly; Siuan both in channeling strength and politically.
That bothered me a bit, particularly as Morgase and Amathera also had to lose their thrones and political power before finding husbands. Morgase was a good queen and lost the throne through no fault of her own...but hey, now she gets to be her former Guardsman's wife. I didn't mind Amathera as much since she wasn't a very good queen to begin with.

GonzoTheGreat
06-28-2011, 06:22 AM
Well, they were given advance warning. The DR was supposed to cast down thrones, Amyrlins and the like, so they knew they were gonna lose their position when they chose to accept it right before Rand went running around. And at least they didn't actually get killed, as happened to a couple of kings of Cairhien and some High Lords of Tear, who got in Rand's way. Edited to add: the "they were warned" thing may seem a bit insensitive in Morgase's case. But it is nothing but the truth in the case of Siuan. She had known about the DR's emergence into the world since before she gained the shawl.

Zombie Sammael
06-28-2011, 06:24 AM
That bothered me a bit, particularly as Morgase and Amathera also had to lose their thrones and political power before finding husbands. Morgase was a good queen and lost the throne through no fault of her own...but hey, now she gets to be her former Guardsman's wife. I didn't mind Amathera as much since she wasn't a very good queen to begin with.

Yes, it definitely seems like RJ thinks a woman must give up sexuality or romance in order to attain worldly power, which chimes with a 19th century view of women having to give up femininity in order to achieve intellectual success. I doubt either is actually true. Of course, in Morgase's case and Siuan's there is a question of how much power they have actually lost. Siuan has lost the worldly trapping of status and title, and suffered a reduction in supernatural power, but has gained the ear of her successor, and might find there is more freedom available to her as advisor than there was as ruler. Morgase is in a similar position; she is now the Queen Mother of Andor, and has the advantage of a Mother-Daughter dynamic to bend Elayne to her will (they evidently have a good relationship). Is there a net gain for these two characters? In addition, Morgase is shown as having had several long-term relationships whilst she was possessed of worldly power; the term "serial monogamist" seems to apply reasonably well to her.

I should state now that there is a strong chance that further detailed discussion of this subject will lead to some discussion of Egwene's accommodation with Gawyn. I hope that this does not degenerate into simple Egwene bashing, not least because it'll be the second time I've Egwene-d one of Looqas' reread threads by accident.

looqas
06-28-2011, 07:28 AM
I stand corrected about the bracelet. Interesting twist.

Makes me wonder even more why Moiraine requested that specific angreal and not a sa'angreal. What was so terribly important about that bracelet that she purposefully positioned it there? Gets even more interesting.

All I can think of is like this. Aelfinn (or was it the Rhuidean ter'angreal. I can't remember) tell Mo that she needs to place the bracelet there if she wants to live/save the world. But it gets even weirder. Why that angreal? To keep her alive until Mat mounts a rescue? What we can read from the Rabbit for Supper chapter Mo considers asking for that angreal a bit of a mess up on her part. At least she didn't see the angreal was used to suck her dry.

The only following makes sense to me:

Mo knows she needs to place that angreal and she has a vague notion that she needs it to make it out alive of Ghenjei. But she also thinks that the angreal has served it's purpose when she volunteers to throw it away. Maybe the angreal will play a part yet or maybe it won't.

Most likely what she saw was herself placing the angreal there and coming out of tower and nothing between. Otherwise she wouldn't have been surprised in the Finnland.

What I'd really like to know is what happened right after Mo and Lanfear went through the Doorway. Did they end up in the same room? Did they fight? Maybe Mo ran to an another room and they got separated? So many questions! :p

GonzoTheGreat
06-28-2011, 07:56 AM
Alternatively, that angreal made Lanfear just strong enough to hold out against Rand (saving him from the worry of having captured her), while it did not make her strong enough to defeat him and his angreal.

Davian93
06-28-2011, 09:03 AM
Alternatively, that angreal made Lanfear just strong enough to hold out against Rand (saving him from the worry of having captured her), while it did not make her strong enough to defeat him and his angreal.

Though Rand wasn't really fighting back 100% as he couldn't make himself kill a woman...otherwise, from context it seems that Rand and his fat man angreal could have overwhelmed her without too much issue.

GonzoTheGreat
06-28-2011, 09:12 AM
Though Rand wasn't really fighting back 100% as he couldn't make himself kill a woman...otherwise, from context it seems that Rand and his fat man angreal could have overwhelmed her without too much issue.But if he had done that, then Moiraine wouldn't have needed to bother anyway, so that's not a very relevant "otherwise".

Zombie Sammael
06-28-2011, 09:23 AM
All I can think of is like this. Aelfinn (or was it the Rhuidean ter'angreal. I can't remember) tell Mo that she needs to place the bracelet there if she wants to live/save the world. But it gets even weirder. Why that angreal? To keep her alive until Mat mounts a rescue? What we can read from the Rabbit for Supper chapter Mo considers asking for that angreal a bit of a mess up on her part. At least she didn't see the angreal was used to suck her dry.

The only following makes sense to me:

Mo knows she needs to place that angreal and she has a vague notion that she needs it to make it out alive of Ghenjei. But she also thinks that the angreal has served it's purpose when she volunteers to throw it away. Maybe the angreal will play a part yet or maybe it won't.

Most likely what she saw was herself placing the angreal there and coming out of tower and nothing between. Otherwise she wouldn't have been surprised in the Finnland.

What I'd really like to know is what happened right after Mo and Lanfear went through the Doorway. Did they end up in the same room? Did they fight? Maybe Mo ran to an another room and they got separated? So many questions! :p

It was the Rhuidean ter'angreal (the one I like to refer to as the animus, for Assasssin's Creed fans) which showed her what to do. The way to get the best end was presumably to place the acrobat angreal, make sure she took out Lanfear through the doorway, and hope Mat came to rescue her. I suppose it's possible that there was a future in which she was still able to take Lanfear out without using the angreal and therefore wouldn't have been drained, and using that specific angreal was therefore a miscalculation. It might also be that that specific angreal had the right level of strength to allow Mo to take out Lanfear, while anything weaker would not, and anything stronger would have killed or stilled them after going through the door. Conceivably however there was a future where Moiraine was able to drive Lanfear through the door without there needing to be an angreal, and she wouldn't have been drained, hence the miscalculation.

Weird Harold
06-28-2011, 12:02 PM
You really need to just re-read tFoH Ch 52 and 53 which explains everything we know about that angreal.

Makes me wonder even more why Moiraine requested that specific angreal and not a sa'angreal. What was so terribly important about that bracelet that she purposefully positioned it there? Gets even more interesting.

As far as I can tell, the angreal was chosen from the Rhuidean stash because it is apparently as strong as an angreal can be without being a sa'angreal. It was also chosen because Moiraine knew from her possible futures that she would choose that angreal -- kind of a circular logic argument.

As far as the resolition of the confrontation at the docks, it was the position, more than the angreal that was important; physically Moiraine is about half Lanfear's size and about half Lanfear's strength in the OP (hyperbole, not literal percentages) so she had to lure Lanfear into a position where she could take her by surprise. The angreal had to be noticeable enough to attract the attention of Lanfear in full Psycho-Cheerleader mode, but is otherwise insignificant.

All I can think of is like this. Aelfinn (or was it the Rhuidean ter'angreal. I can't remember) tell Mo that she needs to place the bracelet there if she wants to live/save the world. But it gets even weirder. Why that angreal?

When Moiraine went to Rhuidean on her own, she wnet through the Triple Arches/Rhuidean Rings ter'angreal that the Wise Ones use for the first testing of Apprentices. It shows multiple possible futures -- apparently much like the botched trip through the Portal Stones to Falme.

http://encyclopaedia-wot.org/items/three_arches.html

Enigma
06-28-2011, 05:52 PM
Though Rand wasn't really fighting back 100% as he couldn't make himself kill a woman...otherwise, from context it seems that Rand and his fat man angreal could have overwhelmed her without too much issue.

I agree that Rand was not fighting 100% but I don't think Lanfear was either. At first she is all pysco but then she sees the Angreal and starts to toy with Rand. She wants him to suffer so she inflicts pain while trying to either sever or shield him.

I do believe that had Rand accessed LTT's knowledge he could have pulled a surprise attack that might have killed her but that likewise Lanfear could have upped her game as well. I could be wrong but the impression I had was that once she had the angreal she upped her attacks but none of them were designed to be instantly lethal, she wanted him to suffer.

Yes she did stop his heart and that very nearly killed Rand but from memory I think that came before she had the angreal and at that point she was still in full psyco mode not to mention she knew that Rand & his angreal was a serious threat that could kill her. Rand then started to attack with air and she backed up to the wagon and found the angreal and suddenly she had a safety margin that allowed her to play with her victim a bit.

The Unreasoner
06-28-2011, 06:06 PM
I'm pretty sure that RJ said somewhere that Rand could have beaten Lanfear there if he wanted to.

And I still think that specific angreal was chosen because lanfear recognized it as what it was. neither elayne nor aviendha can just be near an angreal and know it for what it is, especially when they are surrounded by objects of power.

FelixPax
06-28-2011, 07:26 PM
I'm pretty sure that RJ said somewhere that Rand could have beaten Lanfear there if he wanted to.

Yes, Rand's knew how to stop Lanfear from L.T.T.'s memories. Rand also knew how to kill Lanfear from his own life's experiences.




For convenience sake, here is that scene's chunk of text:


Something that might have been anguish crossed her face; then it was a marble mask once more. “If you are not mine,” she said coldly, “then you are dead.”

Agony in his chest, as if his heart was about to explode, in his head, white-hot nails driving into his brain, pain so strong that inside the Void he wanted to scream. Death was there, and he knew it. Frantically—even in the Void, frantic; emptiness shimmered, dwindled—he wove Spirit and Fire and Earth, flailing it wildly. His heart was no longer beating. Fingers of dark pain crushing the Void. Gray veil falling over his eyes. He felt his weave slice raggedly through hers. The burn of breath in empty lungs, lurch of heart beginning to pump again. He could see again, silver and black flecks floated between him and a stone-faced Lanfear still catching her balance from the rebound of her flows. The pain was there in head and chest like wounds, but the Void firmed, and bodily pain was remote.

Well that it was distant, for he had no time to recover. Forcing himself to move forward, he struck at her with Air, a club to knock her senseless. She slashed the weave, and he struck again, again, again each time that she sliced through his last weave, a furious rain of blows she somehow saw and countered, always moving closer. If he could keep her occupied for a moment more, if one of those invisible cudgels landed on her head, if he could get close enough to strike her with his fist . . . Unconscious, she would be as helpless as anyone else.

Suddenly she seemed to realize what he was doing. Still blocking his blows as easily as if she could see every one, she danced backwards until her shoulders hit the wagon behind her. And she smiled like winter’s heart. “You will die slowly, and beg me to let you love me before you die,” she said.

It was not at him directly that she struck this time. It was at his link to saidin.

Panic rang the Void like a gong at the first knife-sharp touch, the Power diminishing as it slid deeper between him and the Source. With Spirit and Fire and Earth he cut at the knife blade; he knew where to find it; he knew where his link was, could feel that first nick. Her attempted shield vanished, reappeared, returned as fast as he could cut it, but always with that momentary ebbing of saidin, moments when it almost failed, leaving his counterstroke barely enough to foil her attack. Handling two weaves at once should have been easy—he could handle ten or more—but not when one was a desperate defense against something he could not know was there until it was almost too late. Not when another man’s thoughts kept trying to surface inside the Void, trying to tell him how to defeat her. If he listened, it might be Lews Therin Telamon who walked away, with Rand al’Thor a voice sometimes floating in his head if that.

“I’ll make both of those trulls watch you beg,” Lanfear said. “But should I make them watch you die first, or you them?” When had she climbed into the open wagon-bed? He had to watch her, watch for any hint that she was tiring, her concentration slipping. It was a vain hope. Standing beside the twisted doorframe ter’angreal, she looked down at him, a queen about to pass sentence, yet she could spare time for chill smiles at a dark ivory bracelet that she turned over and over in her fingers. “Which will hurt you most, Lews Therin? I want you to hurt. I want you to know pain such as no man has ever known!”

The thicker the flow to him from the Source, the harder it would be to cut. His hand tightened on his coat pocket, the fat little stone man with his sword hard against the heron branded into his palm. He drew on saidin as deeply as he could, till the taint floated in the emptiness with him like misting rain.

“Pain, Lews Therin.”

And there was pain, the world swallowed in agony. Not heart or head this time, but everywhere, every part of him, hot needles stabbing into the Void. He almost thought he could hear a quenching hiss at each thrust, and each came deeper than the last. Her attempts to shield him did not slow; they came faster, stronger. He could not believe she was so strong. Clinging to the Void, to searing, freezing saidin, he defended himself wildly. He could end it, finish her. He could call down lightning, or wrap her in the fire she herself had used to kill.

Images darted through the pain: A woman in a dark merchant’s dress, toppling from her horse, the fire-red sword light in his hands; she had come to kill him, with a fistful of other Darkfriends. Mat’s bleak eyes; I killed her. A golden-haired woman lying in a ruined hallway where, it seemed, the very walls had melted and flowed. Ilyena, forgive me! It was a despairing cry.

He could end it. Only, he could not. He was going to die, perhaps the world would die, but he could not make himself kill another woman. Somehow it seemed the richest joke the world had ever seen.



Wiping the blood from her mouth, Moiraine crawled out from beneath the tail of the wagon and rose unsteadily to her feet, the sound of a man’s laughter in her ears. In spite of herself, her eyes darted, searching for Lan, found him lying almost against the foggy gray wall of the dome that stretched overhead. He twitched, perhaps trying to find strength to rise, perhaps dying. She forced him out of her mind. He had saved her life so many times that by rights it should have belonged to him, but she had long since done what she could to see that he survived his lone war with the Shadow. Now he must live or die without her.

It was Rand laughing, on his knees on the stones of the quay. Laughing, with tears streaming down a face twisted like a man being put to the question. Moiraine felt a chill. If the madness had him, it was beyond her. She could only do what she could do. What she must do.

The sight of Lanfear hit her like a blow. Not surprise, but the shock of seeing what had been in her dreams so often since Rhuidean. Lanfear standing on the wagon-bed, blazing bright as the sun with saidar, framed by the twisted redstone ter’angreal as she stared down at Rand, a pitiless smile on her lips. She was turning a bracelet in her hands. An angreal; unless Rand had his own angreal, she should be able to crush him with that. Either he did, or Lanfear was toying with him. It did not matter. Moiraine did not like that circle of carved age-dark ivory. At first glance it seemed to be an acrobat bending backwards to grip his ankles. Only a closer look would show that his wrists and ankles were bound together. She did not like it, but she had brought it out of Rhuidean. Yesterday she had taken the bracelet from a sack of odds-and-ends and left it lying there at the foot of the doorframe.

Moiraine was slight, a small woman. Her weight did not disturb the wagon at all as she pulled herself up. She winced as her dress caught on a splinter and tore, but Lanfear did not look around. The woman had dealt with every threat except Rand; he was the only corner of the world she acknowledged in the least right then.

Suppressing a small bubble of hope—she could not allow herself that luxury—Moiraine balanced upright a moment on the wagon-tail, then embraced the True Source and leaped at Lanfear. The Forsaken had an instant’s warning, enough to turn before Moiraine struck her, clawing the bracelet away. Face to face, they toppled through the doorframe ter’angreal. White light swallowed everything.


The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 52 "Choices" -- Rand point of view, then Moiraine point of view -- on the Cairhien docks




Metaphors embedded the above scene's text include:


Razor's edge
Gray veil
Winter's heart
The first knife-sharp
Knife blade
'...trulls watch you beg...'
open wagon-bed
'...Queen about to pass sentence...'
chill smiles
dark ivory bracelet
fat little stone man
misting rain
quenching hiss
'...a woman in a dark merchant's dress...'
'...golden-haired woman lying in a ruined hallway...'
'A man's laughter...'
'foggy gray wall'
Toying
'Blazing bright as the sun'
Acrobat
'...he was the only corner of the world she acknowledged in the least right then.'




In terms of AMoL foreshadowing, RJ seems to have written this scene, like many others, to include aspects of the very final scenes of the series.


One basic method RJ used:

is to use a complex concept or image, then abstract, generalize the concept or image to broaden the feel or connection to other aspects of the story.




Examples:

"The White Tower" to "the Tower".
"the Tower" to "Elaida".



Prediction:

"Elaida" to the 'Seanchan controlled damane Elaida', meaning Fortuona/Tuon's will.

Zombie Sammael
06-29-2011, 03:44 AM
So are you saying Fortunona will kill Cyndane, Felix?

FelixPax
06-29-2011, 11:19 AM
So are you saying Fortunona will kill Cyndane, Felix?

Off topic, yes?

Answer: I never made that claim; nor am I, now.



---------------------------------------------------------------------


A Thought provoked by a recent re-read


Fortuona's going to have mixed feelings, about one gossip and rumor spoken from possibly Tylin's mouth:


One little whopper of a lie, Mat Cauthon once claimed to the deep laughter of Queen Tylin.

What was it?

Mat was already formally engaged to be married! :eek:


He had seen fishmongers in the city selling peculiar creatures called squid and octopus—Ebou Dari actually ate the things!—but they had nothing on Tylin. The woman possessed ten hands. He thrashed about, vainly trying to fend her off, and she laughed softly. Between kisses, he breathlessly protested that someone might walk in, and she just chuckled. He babbled his respect for her crown, and she chortled. He claimed betrothal to a girl back home who held his heart in her hands. She really laughed at that.

“What she does not know cannot harm her,” she murmured, her twenty hands not slowing for an instant.

Someone knocked at the door.


A Crowd of Swords, Chapter 28 "Bread and Cheese" -- Mat Cauthon point of view, with Queen Tylin, and Thom, Juilin arriving



Fortuona did once later ask Mat Cauthon, how many women, he has kissed. Mat dodged her question, and never gave her an answer.


So has Fortuona discounted gossip & rumors that Mat Cauthon is engaged to be married to another young woman? Forgotten? Ignored?


Irony is what was once a lie, will turn into a truth.