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Tollingtoy
10-25-2012, 05:38 AM
We know that the Black Tower storyline is a bit behind the rest of them, which raises an interesting question. Does the bit in the AMOL prologue with Taim being introduced as a new Forsaken happen before the events at the BT, during that time or after? Has anyone determined this?

GonzoTheGreat
10-25-2012, 05:53 AM
Before it. The Shadow wouldn't risk staging a big top conference right at the moment when all its commanders are needed in the field, again. The previous time they did that, LTT showed up and locked the whole lot of them away, after all.
So now they make sure they all know what to do when the actual fighting happens, and then, when the time is there, they won't present a single target.

Plus, for a Chosen to be useful to the DO, he has to be able to use him. That means appointing him when it can do some good, in the preparations for TG, rather than when it's useless, right at the height of the festivities.

Tollingtoy
10-25-2012, 03:44 PM
Obviously, we don't know what happens at the Black Tower, but isn't it at least conceivable that it takes place afterward?

GonzoTheGreat
10-25-2012, 04:24 PM
No.

The most conclusive reason, of course, is that I've already said it happened before.

But if you want another reason, then consider this: if it had been afterwards, then there wouldn't have been a Taim anymore to be Chosen, the Asha'man would have sent a representation to the Field of Merrilor as well, and they would've interfered in Caemlyn too.

Tollingtoy
10-25-2012, 04:26 PM
Unless you know something I don't know, I can't see how you saying so has any more weight than what I say.

You are assuming that the Black Tower storyline ends with Taim being killed. I'm not so sure that is something we can say with 100% certainty.

Dom
10-26-2012, 08:14 PM
It does not matter much at this point.

Toward the end of TOM, not that long before Merrilor, Egwene mentionned the Tower now had regular contacts with the 47 outside the BT, and obviously they've noticed nothing happening yet. Nothing really major, neither a Light's attack, nor a "Night of the Long Knives" scenario, and probably no escape from Pevara either (with the slim possiblity they left but for some reason have not contacted Rand or the WT) will take place prior to Merrilor's day.

Moridin presents M'Hael as Chosen after Graendal's transmigration, so at the earliest this meeting takes place a short while after the Shadow lost Mesaana, around the time Perrin came to Andor, or a while later. Gonzo's probably right it took place at one of the earliest possible times given those constraints. Rand made no secret of his plans, Mesaana as Danelle learned them, the Shadow has known the day Rand met Egwene that he intended to break the seals in one month. The Shadow certainly didn't wait until the last minute to assign Moghedien to oversee an army, to reveal to Demandred a Chosen would lead the male Dreadlords. Etc. Also, the meeting at Merrilor isn't discussed at all, suggesting it's not the first meeting of the Chosen since Mesaana (must have) reported that news, and this isn't the last meeting before Merrilor either (I mean even off screen ones, not that's we'll have another meeeting scene) unless the meeting went on off screen to discuss the last TG details Brandon didn't want us to know.

As for the BT storylines, the time markers are too vague to pinpoint when exactly Pevara's last scene takes place. It's anywhere between weeks before Merrilor and the eve of Merrilor (the heavy unnatural downpour might be intended to cover the attack on Caemlyn from the WT envoys outside.

I think it's fairly likely Taim will spring his trap for the last light siders shortly before Merrilor, and IMHO that could be what the so-called "visit from Logain with a big announcement of reconciliation" is about. Either it's the springing of the trap, or it's the setting of the trap. In any case, Taim has to be done securing the BT during the night of the attack on Caemlyn at the latest. He had to be ready in case Rand came or sent all the Asha'man, or the WT came in force to help the city.

There's something very odd, something Egwene should have noticed and did not: why has no envoy from the 47 come to her with the news of the attack hours before Elayne's kinswoman came. A huge city is burning in the night but four leagues (16 miles) north of the BT... but the 47 neither went to help, nor have reported about the attack to Egwene at Merrilor. Something has happened. Either Taim captured them, extended the Dreamspike beyond the BT walls, or something even more dire happened.

Rand of course doesn't even wonder why Taim has not come to warn him, that's not surprising as Rand knows Logain was right about Taim, but it's a bit unlogical that in chapter 1 Rand didn't even wonder if Taim is involved nor thought of the danger Taim represents if armies went to Caemlyn's help. For that matter, it's also unexpected that Elayne has not mentionned the BT/WT envoys yet either. Other AS who've dropped off the map for some reason is the large group who were at the Silver Swan.

GonzoTheGreat
10-27-2012, 05:21 AM
Elayne was willing to ask other countries for help against the Trollocs, but she didn't seem to think of calling upon the Black Tower, which, according to her, is on Andoran territory and hence under Andoran authority.

Master Ablar
10-27-2012, 09:13 AM
Elayne was willing to ask other countries for help against the Trollocs, but she didn't seem to think of calling upon the Black Tower, which, according to her, is on Andoran territory and hence under Andoran authority.

Rand is the leader of the Asha'man in theory and he's already at the FoM. Elayne would have no luck ordering the Asha'man to do anything and she knows it. At best she can ask them, and she'll have a better chance with Rand than Taim. I don't believe we've actually had a PoV from her yet have we?

Tollingtoy
10-27-2012, 10:58 AM
Dom--very well reasoned! So, in a sense, whatever happens at the Black Tower will happen concurrently with what will take place at Merrilor after Chapter 1 and after the Battle of Caemlyn? That certainly makes for one explosive day!

greatwolf
10-27-2012, 02:57 PM
There's something very odd, something Egwene should have noticed and did not: why has no envoy from the 47 come to her with the news of the attack hours before Elayne's kinswoman came. A huge city is burning in the night but four leagues (16 miles) north of the BT... but the 47 neither went to help, nor have reported about the attack to Egwene at Merrilor. Something has happened. Either Taim captured them, extended the Dreamspike beyond the BT walls, or something even more dire happened.


Well reasoned as usual, Dom. Egwene helped rush the envoys to the BT to avoid the process being stalled by those against it. But they've been there for how long now without progress and Egwene isn't concerned? I think she expressed some earlier (in TGS?) but she seems to have forgotten all about it now.

fionwe1987
10-27-2012, 11:36 PM
Well reasoned as usual, Dom. Egwene helped rush the envoys to the BT to avoid the process being stalled by those against it. But they've been there for how long now without progress and Egwene isn't concerned? I think she expressed some earlier (in TGS?) but she seems to have forgotten all about it now.
As I understand it, the envoys were sent during Egwene's captivity, and she didn't even know about it till she was free.

That itself is a very confusing thing. Why the hell didn't Siuan inform her of this, and that four women sworn to her had been sent to the BT? Why didn't the Hall inform her the entourage had been sent? Sure, Egwene doesn't have her war powers active on this issue, but nor is she relieved of responsibility here. Plus, several of the members of the mission were Sitters! Unless they were sent away on the very night of the Seanchan attack, there is no way Egwene wouldn't know about it.

Then, in tGS, Romanda tells Egwene that none of the envoys from the BT had contacted the Hall, and that this was weird given they can Travel. How much weirder is it that if these people were concerned, they didn't Travel right there and scout around to see what was happening? It makes absolutely no sense.

Then, in ToM, Egwene seems to have forgotten the envoys, but Nynaeve is easily able to Travel to them and get Lan's bond. Clearly, since Nynaeve didn't give a second thought to it, she knew where Myrelle was and that she could be reached by Traveling. This means someone in the Tower knew to tell her, which means someone should have wondered why they didn't contact the Tower before.

But regular lines of communication clearly exist, since Myrelle isn't surprised Nynaeve has been raised AS. That means she knows the Tower has been reunified. She knows Egwene is Amyrlin. Does she know she's no longer the Head of the Green Ajah (and since when did Heads of Ajahs go away on these kinds of missions with the Tower divided and their Amyrlin captive??).

Really, Sanderson wrote himself into a stupid bind, here. He just should have kept Myrelle in the Rebel Camp/the Tower. That way, he didn't need to show Nynaeve Traveling to the BT, so the Dramspike issue wouldn't have any contradiction. The Rebel embassy could have mysteriously gone off the map, and since no one can Travel to the BT, Egwene would have been clueless as to their fate. This would also have allowed her to raise the question to Rand when he came to the WT, making her "anger" more obvious and reasonable.

The major weakness then would have been: why didn't the envoys send someone outside the perimeter of the Dreamspike to Travel to the Tower and make contact? Sanderson would have had to answer that by having Taim invite the sisters into the Black Tower, and have them captive, which is where this is headed anyway, I think. That would have made the situation all the more dire, and questions like "why didn't they notice the fire in Caemlyn", etc. would have an obvious answer.

Brandon really dropped the ball with this whole plotline. And to an extent, Jordan did too.

Dom
10-29-2012, 02:27 AM
That itself is a very confusing thing. Why the hell didn't Siuan inform her of this, and that four women sworn to her had been sent to the BT?

That's typical of TGS/TOM.

Jordan had carefully set things up in KOD for Lelaine to become the central threat to Egwene's leadership, and for this threat to increase as Egwene's captivity progressed.

Siuan was perfectly aware in KOD of the danger this represented to Egwene, but in TGS this was very poorly handled. Lelaine rose in power, but not much was done with that for suspense or anything, and not much of the set up was used (typically Brandon rather told us Lelaine was more powerful, when didn't see much of that). Sending away most of Sheriam's circle and Faolain/Theodrin/Niaso with the embassy was Lelaine's next step in preparing her ascension to the Amyrlin Seat. By sending those away, she had deprived Egwene of all her "occult" means to pull strings in the rebellion, and spy on the likes of Romanda and co, influence the Sitters. Egwene was left with Siuan Lelaine thought wouldn't dare be disloyal to her as Lelaine had too much in hands against Siuan's schemes on Egwene's behalf and could destroy her by revealing all this to the Hall (which of course was another card in her hand she could eventually use to topple Egwene, a last resort one if everything else failed).

Brandon either didn't fully grasped the implications behind Jordan's choice for the envoys to the BT, or like many other small plot points like this, he didn't want to bother weaving this in and he merely brought all this up in the resolution phase, when it was meaningless.

Yes, Egwene should have learned of this from Siuan or the Hall as soon as the embassy was chosen, and she probably would have reached immediately the same conclusion Siuan would immediately have reached: Lelaine may not wait much longer to make her move. Instead Brandon had it happen off screen.

A small thing, but stuff like Lelaine's moves, the young sitters red-herring, Alviarin closing on the BA hunters etc. was obviously all elements meant to raise the stakes while Egwene was captive.


Then, in tGS, Romanda tells Egwene that none of the envoys from the BT had contacted the Hall, and that this was weird given they can Travel. How much weirder is it that if these people were concerned, they didn't Travel right there and scout around to see what was happening? It makes absolutely no sense.

Yup.

Then, in ToM, Egwene seems to have forgotten the envoys,

No, developments happened behind the scenes and Nynaeve told us about them. Egwene didn't, perhaps to avoid getting into the matter of the previous silence of the envoys.... From Nynaeve we learn that there are regular contacts between the envoys and the WT, that they had been warned about BA among them (the Shadow warned them first... they had already fled) and that Taim still had them wait outside.

So why were they alarmingly silent in TGS? Brandon's answer seems to be: "WHo cares, I had to retcon that okay?".

I think in RJ's outline there probably wasn't a month between Rand's visit and Merrilor (it's not very logical: Rand was pulled to act very fast, and he had most of his own forces (Aiel, Illianers, Asha'man, Tairens) already mobilized and ready to move, and he basically just had to visit the Borderlanders and set things right in AD and Maradon) I think originally Rand probably left far less time to Egwene to mount any "opposition" and for the Shadow to organize, something like a week. The "month" undermined completely the feeling of urgency.

If I'm right it would mean that at the end of TGS, Brandon thought the WT envoys matter would soon come to a resolution, he decided they had remained silent.

Then as he wrote TOM he changed his mind, realized he had missed to address several plot points in TGS he should have included and was now stuck with fitting in TOM.


He ended up needing a whole month between Rand's visit to Egwene and Merrilor. That left him with many weird stuff to retcon... Aviendha ended up going in the Waste for an indefinite amount of time after her visions to "ponder things up" to disguise the fact she's gone way, way too long and couldn't return before Merrilor. Other things he's not fixed and with the stretched timeline they make not much sense: e.g. Nynaeve not pleading for Egwene to send the Green Ajah to help Lan at Tarwyn's Gap or for that matter Rand leaving this rests a full month (it's fairly obvious this will be raised and dealt with at Merrilor) when he knows the invasion of the Borderlands is in full swing...

The other thing Brandon was forced to retcon, because now the delay had become way, way too long, was to resume contacts between the envoys at the BT and the WT.

Except for making extremely little sense, this won't have any impact on the plot. Here's my prediction for the envoys, quite opposite to what you suggested:

Rand knows something very wrong is going on at the BT. Rand has promised Egwene to discuss the matter of "Deal 47" at Merrilor, and Egwene's comments when they met revealed to him Egwene had not yet bonded the 47 men. Rand has sent Naeff to scout shortly before Merrilor. Naeff must have spotted the WT envoys outside the BT and reported to Rand. Rand then sent someone to invite them to come to meet him directly instead. They're now safely waiting for him in Tear, very probably with Cadsuane's sisters who bonded Asha'man and the 47 sisters bonded by Asha'man. Rand probably wouldn't want any of those to be at Merrilor to avoid them reporting to Egwene before he's ready to sit with her and settle this, after the more important matters are deal with.

And he will, as promised. If things don't fall apart at the main meeting, Rand will signal someone, I'd bet on Cadsuane, to fetch the envoys and the bonded men and women as he sits down with Egwene and Logain. They will put what they know in common about the Shadow's attempt to destroy the Tower, spin the Cleansing as a Forsaken weapon to frighten the AS into seeking an alliance with Taim: a big trap.

The Shadow feared much the Cleansing and men and women working together in the LB. Now it's up to Logain Rand will have put officially in leadership of Asha'man and Egwene to come up with a better settlement than Rand's bad plan to force Asha'man to accept a bond... with the possibility Rand points out it may not be such a bad thing if it speeds things up to bring men and women to work together as the brothers and sisters they used to be in the AOL.

Rand will warn them about the trap the BT now represents and that they must not fall into. They have to wait for the LB when Taim come out of his lair. He will also warn Egwene about the Dreamspike and its dangers. Rand's big issue will be the hostages, the families of the Asha'man, including the bonded wives. He will propose luring as many of Taim's dreadlords out of there before attempting a rescue, then destroying the BT.

This will either wait Pevara's and Androl's escape with insider information, or they will bring out the families with them in their escape.

After that, we'll see how important the BT becomes to the Shadow as strategic location. That will probably determine if it's a priority to assault them or if the channellers are better hunt for pockets of Dreadlords who come out of there to fight, and cause attrition in Taim's forces before launching a final assault at his base.

Jordan has patiently set this up since LOC, he's not going to have Taim fail and be dealt with as TG barely starts.