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Terez
01-03-2013, 01:46 AM
(NOTE FROM TAMYRLIN: This thread comes from a private forum I made available a few days before the release to those I knew had read the book. There are no spoiler tags, and a discussion of the entirety of A Memory of Light may follow. So expect full spoilers.)

---

Daughter of the Night, she walks again.
The ancient war, she yet fights.
Her new lover she seeks, who shall serve her and die,
yet serve still.
I think this was probably the best surprise in the book. We've been stressing about this little passage for a while, and the 'new lover' being Rand never made sense to me. That's her old lover, not a new one. It's that problem that led to my Moridin Loves Cyndane theory, but Brandon shot that one down when he said there wasn't anything in the notes on his sexuality one way or the other. (Luckers wondered if he might be gay, though it would have been disappointing for RJ to go there with the evil guy.)

"A man destined for glory."

He spun away from the mirror and found himself staring at the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He noticed nothing else about the room, cared to see nothing but her. Her eyes were pools of midnight, her skin creamy pale and surely softer, more smooth than her dress of white silk. When she moved toward him, his mouth went dry. He realized that every other woman he had ever seen was clumsy and ill-shaped. He shivered, and wondered why he felt cold.

"A man should grasp his destiny with both hands," she said, smiling. It was almost enough to warm him, that smile. She was tall, less than a hand short of being able to look him in the eyes. Silver combs held hair darker than a raven's wing. A broad belt of silver links banded a waist he could have encircled with his hands.

"Yes," he whispered. Inside him, startlement fought with acceptance. He had no use for glory. But when she said it, he wanted nothing else. "I mean..." The murmuring sound dug at his skull. "No!" It was gone, and for a moment, so was acceptance. Almost. He put a hand to his head, touched the golden helmet, took it off. "I... I don't think I want this. It is not mine."

"Don't want it?" She laughed. "What man with blood in his veins would not want glory? As much glory as if you had sounded the Horn of Valere."

"I don't," he said, though a piece of him shouted that he lied. The Horn of Valere. The Horn rang out, and the wild charge began. Death rode at his shoulder, and yet she waited ahead, too. His lover. His destroyer. "No! I am a blacksmith."

Her smile was pitying. "Such a little thing to want. You must not listen to those who would try to turn you from your destiny. They would demean you, debase you. Destroy you. Fighting fate can only bring pain. Why choose pain, when you can have glory? When your name can be remembered alongside all the heroes of legend?"

"I am no hero."

"You don't know the half of what you are. Of what you can be. Come, share a cup with me, to destiny and glory." There was a shining silver cup in her hand, filled with blood-red wine. "Drink."

He stared at the cup, frowning. There was something... familiar about it. A growling chewed at his brain. "No!" He fought away from it, refusing to listen. "No!"

She held out the golden cup to him. "Drink."

Golden? I thought the cup was... It was... The rest of the thought would not come. But in his confusion the sound came again, inside, gnawing, demanding to be heard. "No," he said. "No!" He looked at the golden helmet in his hands and threw it aside. "I am a blacksmith. I am..." The sound within his head fought him, struggling toward being heard. He wrapped his arms around his head to shut it out, and only shut it in. "I – am – a – man!" he shouted.

Darkness enfolded him, but her voice followed, whispering. "The night is always there, and dreams come to all men. Especially you, my wildling. And I will always be in your dreams."
"An Aielman in a cage," she said promptly. "A Tuatha'an with a sword. A falcon and a hawk, perching on your shoulders. Both female, I think. And all the rest, of course. What is always there. Darkness swirling 'round you, and —"

"None of that!" he said quickly. When he was sure she had stopped, he scratched his head, thinking. None of it made any sense to him. "Do you have any idea what it all means? The new things, I mean."

"No, but they're important. The things I see always are. Turning points in people's lives, or what's fated. It's always important." She hesitated for a moment, glancing at him. "One more thing," she said slowly. "If you meet a woman – the most beautiful woman you've ever seen – run!"

Perrin blinked. "You saw a beautiful woman? Why should I run from a beautiful woman?"

"Can't you just take advice?" she said irritably. She kicked at a stone and watched it roll down the slope.

Perrin did not like jumping to conclusions – it was one of the reasons some people thought him slow-witted – but he totaled up a number of things Min had said in the last few days and came to a startling conclusion. He stopped dead, hunting for words. "Uh... Min, you know I like you. I like you, but... Uh ... you sort of remind me of my sisters. I mean, you..." The flow stumbled to a halt as she raised her head to look at him, eyebrows arched. She wore a small smile.

"Why, Perrin, you must know that I love you." She stood there, watching his mouth work, then spoke slowly and carefully. "Like a brother, you great wooden-headed lummox! The arrogance of men never ceases to amaze me. You all think everything has to do with you, and every woman has to desire you."

Perrin felt his face growing hot. "I never... I didn't..." He cleared his throat. "What did you see about a woman?"

"Just take my advice," she said, and started down toward the stream again, walking fast. "If you forget all the rest," she called over her shoulder, "heed that!"
Brandon said that the significance of the forever-long Faile plotline would become clearer in the final books. This quote is essentially a summation of everything that fans hated about the Faile-kidnapping plotline:

"Burn the Pattern," Perrin growled. "It can all burn, if it keeps her safe." Loial's ears went rigid with shock, and even Gaul looked taken aback.
I admit, when I first read this, it struck me as fanservice:
Faile. Faile had been here at Merrilor with the Horn.

I have to find her.

Rand was alone, unguarded in the wolf dream.

Burn it, that doesn't matter! Perrin thought. If I lose Faile...

If Rand died, he would lose Faile. And everything else. There were still Forsaken out there. Perrin wavered. He had to go look for her, didn't he? Wasn't that his duty, as her husband? Couldn't someone else look after Rand?

But...if not him, then who?

Though it ripped him apart, Perrin sought the wolf dream one last time.
Until I read this, and it all made sense:
"We strike together," Lanfear said softly. "The barriers between worlds have been broken here. They will be able to fight back unless we are quick. We must kill them at the same time."

This is wrong, Perrin thought. This is very, very wrong. He couldn't let it happen, and yet his hands rose.

IT IS WRONG. He didn't know why. His thoughts wouldn't allow him to think of why.

"Ready," Lanfear said, eyes on Nynaeve.

Perrin turned toward Lanfear.

"I will count to three," Lanfear said, not looking at him.

My duty, Perrin thought, is to do the things Rand cannot.

This was the wolf dream. In the wolf dream, what he felt became reality.

"One," Lanfear said.

He loved Faile.

"Two."

He loved Faile.

"Three."

He loved Faile. The Compulsion vanished like smoke in the wind, thrown off like clothing changed in the blink of an eye. Before Lanfear could strike, Perrin reached out and took her by the neck.

He twisted once. Her neck popped in his fingers.
I know Matt has often said he relates to Perrin the best, of all the WoT characters. I wonder how he feels about killing Lanfear. :)

I have to admit, I'm not particularly fond of the metaphorical death implied by the TGH prophecy. But Perrin's is not the worst of it, alas.

PS: I asked bossman's permission for the thread title. But he points out we can tweak them before release day if necessary.

Linda
01-03-2013, 05:27 AM
and probably the biggest edit I'll have to do in my essays (Perrin and Lanfear).

I thought that Perrin's choice between women that represent Virtue and Vice was over. :P And it returned. Well Lanfear did say she would always be in Perrin's dreams and she is a Lamia/Lilith figure. The two most skilled in TAR are linked.

What particularly struck me was that Berelain and Lanfear - both symbolising Vice for Perrin - were linked back in Tear, the last time all 3 ta'veren were together. Berelain carried Lanfear's letter to Rand and co. Considering Berelain's comments, I wondered if Lanfear had 'touched' Berelain in some way.

kcf
01-03-2013, 09:40 AM
I think far too much weight is being put into the prophesies and how they turn out. A major part of the entire series has been the idea that prophesies don't turn out as expected and that their interpretation is very difficult at best. So, even in retrospect, I think that making sense any that are less than absolutely clear is really a futile effort.

But I go even further. I think that one of the consequences/changes of the new age that has been ushered in will in area of prophesy/dreams/visions/etc. Basically, Rand suceeded because he let go of all his ideas about prophesies and simply did what needed doing. In letting the way he did I think he broke prophesy in a way. And I think that will continue forward - what prophesy/dreams/visions there are going forward will be less reliable, slowly moving to not reliable and these talents will become even more rare - it was already fading in the 3rd age. I think that the 4th age will see the end of them. This sets up future turnings of the wheel where there simply aren't any real prophesies/visions/dreams, etc. (like the age that represents our reality).

Terez
01-03-2013, 02:29 PM
I think far too much weight is being put into the prophesies and how they turn out. A major part of the entire series has been the idea that...
It's a mystery series. Yes, we were bound to be wrong about things, but the prophecies were pretty much the entire point of reading for most of us. Without that element, it's just another fantasy series, and not very interesting.

Terez
01-03-2013, 03:25 PM
Quite a surprise...and probably the biggest edit I'll have to do in my essays (Perrin and Lanfear).

I thought that Perrin's choice between women that represent Virtue and Vice was over. :P And it returned. Well Lanfear did say she would always be in Perrin's dreams and she is a Lamia/Lilith figure. The two most skilled in TAR are linked.
I didn't even notice the fulfillment of the prophecy on my own. But Dom was emailing me while reading the book, and he started reinterpreting the TGH prophecy fairly early on in the book, so I had a lightbulb moment. And that lightbulb led to me noticing a lot of things I hadn't noticed before. I was so pissed off about the ending that I barely put any thought into what happened in the rest of the book.

What particularly struck me was that Berelain and Lanfear - both symbolising Vice for Perrin - were linked back in Tear, the last time all 3 ta'veren were together. Berelain carried Lanfear's letter to Rand and co. Considering Berelain's comments, I wondered if Lanfear had 'touched' Berelain in some way.I can remember some debates we had here on Theoryland about Min's beautiful woman viewing. It didn't seem to make sense, especially toward the end of the series when everything seemed fine enough with Berelain and Perrin hadn't seen Lanfear since TDR, seeming to make unlikely any sort of connection between them.

What's funny is that the 'daughter of the night/new lover' stanza made so little sense that we had all sorts of alternate interpretations. Moridin and Cyndane. Tuon and Mat. Egwene and Gawyn. But no one ever thought of Perrin. If anyone had, it would have made perfect sense, because there was foreshadowing for it, and also thematic connections as strong as anyone could ask for.

I do think it's one example of many things that were sort of obvious about the ending by the end of TDR, but seemed less obvious as time went on and readers felt RJ forgot about them. We expected some kind of small foreshadowing to maintain those hints if they were significant, and for the overall story it would have been better for RJ to do that, but he was probably too worried about the obsessive online fandom (http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=15#11) at that point.

Terez
01-04-2013, 02:20 AM
Some more thoughts. I have lots of them, but don't want to blab too much.

The man who channels stands alone.
He gives his friends for sacrifice.
Two roads before him, one to death beyond dying,
one to life eternal.
Which will he choose? Which will he choose?
What hand shelters? What hand slays?
Blood feeds blood.
Blood calls blood.
Blood is, and blood was, and blood shall ever be.I have always hoped that Mat's immunity would come into play, but feared that RJ would go random on us. But the best part about Mat being the one to kill Fain was Mat's manifestation of Manetheren, paying its debt to Mordeth along with Mat's personal debt. Not only does Mat apparently have the blood of Aemon—manifested right before they entered Shadar Logoth—but he also had the taint-induced holes in his memory filled with memories from Manetheren, blending in with the memories he had before he ever went to Finnland, the ones that manifested right after he was completely healed of the dagger's influence in Tar Valon. That was the purpose of Mat's Manetheren connection from the beginning: elaborate vengeance.

It's good stuff, and all very obvious, but I really feared RJ would do the unexpected here for the sake of it. As it is, Mat's early books have a significance they wouldn't have had if not for that one little scene.

I'm guessing it will be left open to interpretation, and that there can be many valid interpretations, but I like to think of Perrin as the hand that shelters, and Mat as the hand that slays, even though Perrin also did some slaying. Perrin is the one who took the task of protecting Rand, while Mat was the slayer because of his immunity, which Perrin lacked despite his nearly-comparable desire for vengeance (which is saying something, considering Mat's Manetheren vendetta). I also like to think of 'blood calls blood' being primarily a reference to the call of Manetheren's blood for the destruction of both the Shadow and the evil of Shadar Logoth, with the blood of the Aiel coming a close second, partly because of the fate of the Samma N'Sei.

That Mat scene was one of my favorites in the entire book. The bit with Mashadar poking out of his chest in the scene before that was a bit farcical, though, partly because we knew Mat wouldn't die.

Dom
01-04-2013, 04:26 AM
I like to think of Perrin as the hand that shelters, and Mat as the hand that slays

It's that to an extent. It's a big aspect of it. We see it foreshadowed when Perrin takes shelters in the hand of Hawkwing.. hoping some of his justice remained.

Perrin is a warrior, but a protector type. He acted as an idealized.. wolf pack-leader... or an Ogier. Perrin is deeply a creature of "order" and needs order to be at ease.

Mat is nearly pure chaos. He's a rescuer (always in chaotic circumstances...) but not a protector. You pick Mat to lead the battle to save the world, you don't pick Mat to protect it, or keep in well ordered... Tuon will take care of that. Perrin will take care of that.

One way RJ made it clearest is with Olver. 99% of the time, it's someone around them who had to act as Olver's "responsible adult". Mat's idea of taking care of a ten years old was playing games with him and being friendly. For Olver's leisures, he was there. He couldn't be bothered with any of the rest, left it to Riselle, Noal, Thom, Juilin and Thera, Birgitte, Setalle and finally Faile. Mat didn't even wondered once about Olver's fate after Caemlyn! He kept rescuing him, though, over and over. In the end, all those stories being around Mat put in Olver's head, and those of Noal and Thom and Birgitte provided the mean to Olver and the world's salvation. There is a beautiful quote about this, said by Thom, which is a favorite quote from the series for me, and was an important key about Olver: “Stories have power. Gleemen's tales and bards' epics, and rumors in the street alike. They stir passions, and change the way men see the world”. A child, alone in a cavern, surrounded by Shadowspawn, desperate.. he trusted the stories, even though he thought the Horn was tied to Mat, he trusted the stories... and saved the world.

But it's also Rand's two hands... the one that slays and the one that shelter. He used to have the two, and alternated, naturally and without thinking... we always chose the right hand for any task without thinking consciously about it. Then Rand lost one, and symbolically it became his choice... would he use his remaining one to slay or to shelter, and for a while, it really looked like he saw his hand as an hand that slayed.. a hand to relearn the sword, to use the CK, to wield Callandor to kill Shai'tan. During the LB, we saw him raise his hand, touch the darkness. His hand remained there until the end. He went during the arc from an hand that intended to slay to an hand that sheltered Creation. And it was all about choice - no about Shai'tan in the end, but about the temptation to refuse life, good and bad, and end it all because the opportunity to do so was there.

----

Olver has hornsounder was and wasn't such a surprise Ken. I foreseen it fairly early in the book. I wrote Terez "so Olver's parallel as Olivier will play out, after all", and right when I saw him with Faile and they ended up in the Blight I highly suspected Olver would probably sound the horn (after briefly wondering if RJ could have such a young DF...I hated the possibility! Second after thinking that, we have the POV ending any such possibility) because I pretty much always assumed Mat's tie to the Horn was cut. I just assumed for long it was ironic and he would sound it again without knowing, and tie himself for life again. Typical Mat.

RJ was sneaky. In the real legend, Olivier doesn't sound the Horn, which is however his horn. Roland picks it and sounds it. RJ twisted it around.. the one shirking his duty was Mat, the small boy in a moment when he thought only of salvation sounded the Horn in despair. It was a beautiful scene.

But Olver's tie with the Horn was discussed many times. The legend is much better known by francophones (as known as Beowulf or Chaucer for anglo-saxons, for eg.) we read it/study it in high school, along Tristan et Iseult, Marie de France, Villion, Ronsard etc. I reminded Linda of Oliver in Roland's Song after she found out about Ogier the Dane in her Buffin (alonside a few other medieval legends much more familiar to francophones.. Reynard the Fox, etc.) . She did additional research on the Song, got all that in her character names essays for many, many years now.

Because Olivier doesn't sound the Horn - it's kind of a big point of the tale, we never concluded Olver would, just that he would very likely be present and play a role. We (and least no me, and Linda's essay doesn't suggests it either) didn't foresee the inversion of the roles, that Olver unlike Mat deeply wanted to be a hero.. and not for glory...

The whole Horn arc in AMOL was bloody brilliant... all the misfits, those who had struggled much to find their place, who had become "heroes" or wanted to, thrown together. Faile as their leader, and Vanin, Olver, Cha Faile, and Bela (if it's Brandon who decided to include her, it was such a perfect idea...), the unlikely horse hero who never fit with the sleek mares and war horses etc. Even Aravine, who tried to escape the Shadow but failed, in a near perfect mirror of Ingtar, with a counterpart to the "mirror world" episode with the gateway leading to the wrong place and the trip through the blasted land and no way back but faith and hope (even grolm or another three-eyed beast evoking them showed up!). Aravine doubling as a Selene, who helps and not, who isn't what she appears to be.

And RJ mixed it all with the "other Great Hunt", the hunt to rescue Faile, this time leading her to the "Aiel town from hell", counterpart to Malden, and ending with a variant of the ending of TDR for Faile, Perrin hunting for his falcon from TAR. And Bela foreshadowing Egwene's death (when I read that, I emailed Terez "Egwene's end is coming soon...", little Olver saving the world at the end topped it all.

The arc was short but really exciting, kept me guessing all the way who the DF was... the child? The thief? the mysterious Aravine? (I guessed only very near the end, fell for the Vanin red herring at first).

I'll get to Perrin and Lanfear and Slayer tomorrow, but I must say the combined arcs of Perrin and Faile in AMOL were just... wow. I'll be 90% praise for this (a thing or two bugged me, I'll get to that tomorrow, it has to do with the DP). It's some of Brandon's best work for the series for me. His Perrin, his Faile, how he executed those arcs in AMOL in particular (it was also the most redeeming aspects of TOM, actually, how well Brandon got Perrin and Faile).

Terez
01-04-2013, 06:01 AM
I wrote Terez "so Olver's parallel as Olivier will play out, after all"...


...And Bela foreshadowing Egwene's death (when I read that, I emailed Terez "Egwene's end is coming soon...", little Olver saving the world at the end topped it all.
You emailed me a lot of good predictions while reading. I liked this one:

Shouldn't be too long before I see if my intuition that layering the scenes in EOTW, TDR, TGH predicts the death of either Egwene or Perrin. Perrin still seems far more likely and there's the DP to tip the scale that way, but the patterns are much clearer for Egwene as Shai'tan's "prisoner" striving to affect the RW from the afterlife. In a way, it was both, since the TGH prophecy implies a metaphorical death for Perrin.

The arc was short but really exciting, kept me guessing all the way who the DF was... the child? The thief? the mysterious Aravine? (I guessed only very near the end, fell for the Vanin red herring at first).I never fell for Vanin, partly because there had been too many fake-outs by then so I was wary of them. (I figured he was either under Compulsion or thought he was doing a favor for Mat, and I told Luckers so in chat. He said RAFO. :)) In fact, I was rather annoyed with the fake-outs, to the point that it irritated me when Lan survived. (Deadsy always argued to me that Lan wouldn't die because it was too obvious, and I always agreed with her that that would be a better outcome; I just didn't like it in the book because I was tired of the bluffs.) But bossman thinks that viewing of the two dead men must have been one of those subject to the Pattern falling apart. Others were given too early, including Alivia which still annoys me highly.

Dom
01-04-2013, 11:51 AM
You emailed me a lot of good predictions while reading. I liked this one:

In a way, it was both, since the TGH prophecy implies a metaphorical death for Perrin.

That's where I got the closest, probably.

In part because Brandon failed with his build up (or rather "downfall and redemption" - a repeating motif for Mat... he shirks, then something forces his arm, sometime external, sometime his own conscience, some time the Pattern leaves him no choice and he's just a the "wrong" place at the wrong time (eg: Couladin.. the whole battle of Cairhien had him maneuver brilliantly.. .trying to find his way out the battlefield!) - and he finally turns back and arrives in later than optimal/last minute kind of way), I quite misinterpreted the clues for Mat. But I was right it was all there in the layering, it was just damn hard to interpret right. In EOTW he serves to attract the Shadow to the wrong place/wrong time. That's part of the role he played in AMOL. In TGH, Rand and Perrin are there for duty, Mat for survival. He ends up saving the day against his better judgment. In TDR he refuses to help, until he believes by helping he finds his way out of things. He ends up doing the right thing when he learns the real stakes, but his ending, the one that most closely predicted his last arc, was a series of cunning face-offs with foes (High Lords... incl. the one whose army stood at SG with the Aiel!), and making alliances with allies that looked more like foes... the Aiel stalking in the night, Juilin the then apparent traitor/under compulsion (he stands for the compelled Generals of the finale), Rhuarc who also fell to compulsion. He does find his way to the prison, but by then it's nearly too late to count. The foreshadowing for "lateness" was completed by placing his his real role, "playing cards" after the fact, in his first TSR scene. He's the only one for whom RJ did that.

The "Halls of Mourning" was ultimately a metaphor for the extremly bloody, costly way Mat ended up saving the day as Son of Battles. I rather expected Mat to find his way through the maze of caverns at SG, to open a way out for Rand, Nynaeve and Moiraine. In a way he did, but metaphorically.

His final clash with SL was bloody brilliant, I adored that. I did not foresee it playing out that way, but that RJ was up to something by not giving Mat a chance of rematch with Mordeth/SL is something I did go back to often in comments/analysis. Perrin got his rematch with the very similar evil of Masema.

Rand atoned for his fall into the "the victory of the Light is all" philosophy by having to endure Cadsuane's lessons, by nearly killing Tam and having to go through a painful, cathartic epiphany, and by having to understand that "killing the DO" was embracing the Evil of Shadar Logoth, becoming it.. to kill the DO, Rand just had to wait for Fain and give his soul to Shasam, then enter the Pit and Shasam became Ba-boom! We'll see how many readers will figure out how massively important the combination of Cadsuane as stern mother and Tam as kind father were to Rand in the Pit of Doom.

Cadsuane couldn't do it alone. She could not afford to be kind to Rand. She was there to shake him to the core and bring the tree to the breaking point. What she did made it possible again for him to rely on his loved ones. Then she had to stand aside, with her new found humility.She had to be the follower, not anymore the guide.

The way Brandon wrote Cadsuane (especially in TGS/TOM) made me want to cry many times, but thankfully in the end he stuck to RJ's outline it appears. She speaks wrong, has the wrong thoughts, moves the wrong way (a huge fan complaint since her first scene TGS - CADSUANE DOESN'T STROLL ACROSS ROOMS, Brandon even has her move wrong, to which Brandon had the sense of humor to allude to in AMOL...), made the wrong deductions (her "method" to break Semirhage didn't need no epiphany about herself... she's had that epiphany long ago, it's how she worked on Rand, to destroy his image of fear/tyrany and make him find his true self again) but the events themselves occured and so in the end Cadsuane wasn't ruined despite Brandon's best efforts to :P She won over Brandon. He didn't get to kill her off in the gruesome way he dreamed off, and she ended up having her ironic ending as Egwene's successor (which was hilarious...). She'll be perfect to finish Egwene's job and bring back the Servants to greatness. Better than Egwene, ultimately - she's the next step, her heir. And the children of TV who thought Egwene stern are in for a surprise! Not many sisters will sit their ass off in TV under Cadsuane... she'll make us of all of them, won't stand for hierarchical nonsense as we've seen with the way she dealt with Daigian, she won't shy from doing what must be done... Sisters losing half their lifespans? Phaw! Sisters stopping to be AS because they don't use the OR anymore? Phaw! You don't want to be trained by old Wilders? Phaw, meet my dear friend Sorilea! She's got the SF on the straight path, she's made inways with the male channelers already and the second part of her "lesson", to them, is coming (they already got a large part of it through Rand who passed on the lesson). Cadsuane will be perfect to finish Egwene's job. Many had it right that Cadsuane's thinking and Egwene's were quite compatible and Cadsuane would approve of Egwene in a large way. We just didn't foresee she was also her heir.. with the SF, Asha'man, WO etc. All groups are much smaller now, the WT in particular has got massive, massive losses... but over a thousand novices to shape and form right, the way Cadsuane envisions the role of AS, active and useful, honorable. Cadsune inherits the near "clean slate" Egwene would have needed to succeed (and had she survived, she might have risen to the challenge.. but then perhaps not.). Cadsuane in some way is back to the days of the founding of the WT - she's got the task to bring together the remnants of the Windfinders, Asha'man, Wise Ones, Kin, and to solve the damane situation. A reforging of the WT is ahead.

I loved how RJ had the fact she rose herself to prominence and her reward for "dealing with Rand" was to have trapped herself in a situation where leadership was now unavoidable. I laughed for minutes reading that.






I never fell for Vanin, partly because there had been too many fake-outs by then so I was wary of them.

It sort of had the opposite effect on me. In part. I often thought "it's too much, it can't be a fake again". For Vanin I took it in stride. Lan's was also my "one too many". When it happened I was sure he was back as a Hero of the Horn, reread pages to see where the clue I missed was. I was very disappointed when it turned out he was alive for real.

I expected him to die, but I was ok with his survival, but the execution with a fake death scene really pissed me off. Lan deserved better. Kill him off or make him triumph, but this cheap trick to get both at once annoyed me (as much as Brandon doing it with Graendal in TGS and TOM pissed me off).. even though I suspect it was mean to end his parallel to Rand with his own variant as "dead yet alive", and may well have been in RJ's notes.

Dom
01-04-2013, 02:30 PM
Okay.. on to Lanfear.

I lack words to properly express how pleased and satisfied I was with this story line.

It was all my hopes coming true. For years and years I had been obsessed linking the "moon characters", in particular Perrin, Egwene, Slayer and Lanfear.

I was hardly surprised Lanfear and Perrin came together. Terez who got my reactions almost in real time could say how I rather reacted to her first scene with Perrin like a 5 y.o. in a candy shop!!

First, let's render unto Caesar and all that: with Lanfear Brandon was outstanding. I probably should have expected it. Since TGS, he's shown himself at his strongest with clear mythological elements to toy with, and in particular with the "Moon" figures. And with myth he really digs, he's just as good as RJ playing with them. Perrin for me is by a long shot the highlight of Brandon's work on the series, and now Lanfear is a close second.

I won't try to claim I foresaw Perrin being her "new lover". I wrote so many things over the years, went in so many directions it may well be at some point I considered it. I don't remember, and it wasn't on my mind lately.

At the time of KOD, I was 100% convinced it was Cyndane hiding in the shadows trying to get Perrin. I was convinced (still am) that it was her who sent visions to "guide" Masema, originally they were meant to neutralize Masema as a threat to Rand). I didn't foresee it was all part of some "testing" of Perrin. My only gripe about the story line is that because of the book division, Brandon gave Perrin (I'm pretty convinced he invented it) a Graendal interlude. We're deprived of the earliest moments of the arc in which Lanfear watched Perrin deal with Slayer, and decided Perrin was the new champion. Then she made her move. It would have strengthened even more the arc, IMO.

I had long spotted her interest in Egwene (her counterpart and rival) and Perrin. Her final arc was brilliantly foreshadowed through TDR. Her ties to the wolves and the "hunters of the night" figures were long foreshadowed.

What surprised me more is that RJ had Egwene echo Mierin so much at every other turn, but that he intended to keep their final arcs apart... Egwene met the challenges Mierin failed and triumphed over them, but that wasn't meant to lead to a big clash... yet Egwene did have her final Bore opposite triumph, finding a way to avert the effects of balefire... Now it's all clear... Mierin was a "broken mirror" of Egwene. She's the witch who looks in the mirror and sees a Queen reflected. She was a failure in life, a Queen of Dreams. Egwene was the real deal: a Queen of the real world, someone who really counted and really affected the real world, no new "mistress of TAR". It's in the real world she shone like a Moon, a female counterpart to Rand, Lanfear was only a failed reflection and a predator.

Egwene let go of Rand, had her clean break. She didn't love him she realized, and she intended to make a life for herself, not to latch on anyone else. She rapidly put aside her jealousy, was happy a friend, counterpart to Ilyena, fell in love with Rand, helped Rand see he loved her back. That was her first victory on the "Mierin path". Another was when she resisted her curiosity to find a way to look beyond the Pattern. Egwene shared a sometime dangerous curiosity with Lanfear for what's never been done, was lost or for trangressing barriers. It's Egwene who dares experiment making holes in the Pattern to verify her Travelling theories... it's her who enters TAR in the flesh knowing what she was doing and that it was evil. It's her we see use cuendillar in war, even knowing it "froze the pattern" and only Shai'tan could undo it... She even considered having the AS sell cuendillar objects to finance her war... It's her who nearly doomed the whole rebellion by replacing Bode at the last minute. It's her who for a while found a way to victory that emulated Mesaana's: dividing everyone against Elaida until the whole thing collapsed. But Egwene was always good at learning from her mistakes, and reconsidering. She triumphed over her darkness, over her flaws. Her final prophecy and her sacrifice, her creativity saved the world, the real one and not its reflection, and then she played with her death her part with Rand. Beautiful. RJ did well keeping Egwene/Lanfear as just mirrors, one the reflection of the other, the real world Queen and the TAR self-proclaimed one. Lanfear remained forever Selene deep down. She aged but never matured. She never reached true adulthood. Egwene looked a child, but she rose from daughter to Mother brilliantly.

From the first scene of Lanfear in the book, I suspected we were in for a real treat. And yes, I mean her trick with Slayer - showing in the town as Moridin, going inside and reverting to her Cyndane appearance.

Her first real scene, with Rand, finished to excite me massively. Lanfear would steal the show, I knew that by then. As I wrote Terez, all my hopes for Lanfear in the finale were suddenly coming true. It was so perfect. I suspect Linda is equally satisfied. She hesitated more than me, found that Lanfear's pedestal had been toppled, was more than me against a return of the Lanfear persona, but didn't rule it out either. We were both convinced Lanfear was RJ's main female villain and she's return in a large role before the end, in some way as equally important as Moridin.

At last her parallel as "the abyss" (from miere, the deep sea) showed up, with the fake drowning. Rand confronting her delusions with his reality was wonderful. It all goes back to Lilith. More on that below, as Brandon dropped a small ball there, I believe, something to do with the Dark Prophecy - but the rest of his Lanfear stuff is so great I don't begrudge him this one.

Lanfear was back to her polymorphic self, and Linda if she's around could testify how many years ago, in our early talks about my obsession with Lanfear's character (we met over that at Wotmania) I half-expected we were not quite done with Lanfear, that "Cyndane" was only a phase, that we'd see Lanfear in TAR again. In the end it was gradual, a feat of will for her (and such a futile, superficial and pointless thing to apply her will to...), and this was brilliantly executed, better than I could have hoped or ever theorized (I thought she'd simply rather be Lanfear in TAR, unable to conceive of herself as Cyndane, as simple as that).

For years I've developped Slayer and Lanfear theories. I'm still convinced most of them are right, that nearly all the actions of Slayer in the series (but his hunt for Fain, more on that below) were "guided" by Lanfear. She's the one who send him to the Two Rivers. Her plan was to make him attract Rhavin's attention to a rival of the Shadow playing in his backyard, and have Rahvin act on it. It nearly worked. Then Lanfear who have pointed Rand there, but he needed her to face that threat, she believed. She never intended Rand to go after Sammael, this was her deception for the three Forsaken she used. They expected Illian, she planned to have Rand move against Sammael. She told Rand it was Rahvin sending DH to Rhuidean to kill him. We know from his POV this made no sense, he intended to go along and point Rand toward Sammael, even had a contigency plan with Melindrah. It's Shai'tan, I believe, Old Grim himself, who sent the Dark Hunt to investigate what happened with Asmodean, to try to kill Rand and, when he found out he was there, Mat. We've been told all along.. the Dark Hunt roams with Old Grim, Shai'tan himself.. they are dead the souls of Hero wolves, they can't die normally, they expand Shai'tan's sight and will where they roam, if they die he re forms them out of sheer will. Only balefire defeats them, because their destruction happens before they vanish, and Shai'tan bound by time can't reform them, it's too late. Recently I've toyed with the idea the COT hunt was sent by Demandred to hunt down Fain, but I should have stuck to my first notion: it was Shai'tan hunting for Fain, not anyone else.

Lanfear was also the one who tasked Slayer to deal with the Grey Men of Ishamael, sent to kill Egwene and Nynaeve.

She's also the one who ordered Slayer to kill Joyia and Amico. Why? Elayne puzzled it out... it was to finish to convinced the girls she wanted out of the way that Amico or Joyia had revealed important information. Lanfear wanted them to go hunt, well away from Rand.

She's of course the one who used Liandrin, who told Liandrin the girls were coming to Tear, who guided them to trap the girls. She organized the clues in the false belongings leading to Tear in the first place, of course, we know this for fact. IMO, she got Verin to do that in secret. There's a big clue she was around when Verin and Egwene met. And there was an even bigger clue she noticed Egwene's ter'angreal as Else. And there we had Lanfear already "saving" Rand's friends... to her own nefarious purposes. She also saved Perrin from Ishamael's dreamshards, a few times at that (I loved the dreamshards, btw. I don't care if they're a retcon or truly an early concept only explained much later. I suspect the latter. In any way they make everything work at last).

We saw Slayer near Rhuidean, probably coming for a meeting with Lanfear. He must have reported Fain's presence in the TR. She knew Fain was very dangerous. She's probably the one who first ordered him to deal with Fain if he could. By the time Fain appeared in the TR and the Shadow could puzzle out where he was, Ishamael was dead. It can't be him who sent Slayer. It also appears Luc was already active when the WC arrived. In the prologue of AMOL, Isam wonders if baiting Rand as he had been told had really been the real intent of his mission, or if the Chosen who sent him really meant to keep him away from important events.

I think it's probably Lanfear again who tried to get Rand killed in Far Madding. She disguised herself completely (that's why he never met Cyndane before AMOL), passed herself as male (though there's a clue in AMOL it could have been Moghedien, I'm not against the possibility.)

As Linda pointed out above, the loving mate/dangerous seducer motif returned brilliantly, with Lanfear.. the beautiful woman Min told Perrin to run from, returning to play a far more dangerous and nefarious variant of Berelain. Again, this was foreshadowed all along by the ending of TDR... Berelain was used as Lanfear's messenger... and not long after Berelain gave up on Rand in a scene with shattered reflections that's an allegory of Rand's finale dual confrontation with himself and Mierin (Jeez I really love what RJ has done with the variants/patterns... nearly every scene in the early books set things up that he then repeated over and over, even at the geographic level... and I'm so happy and thankful Brandon one way or another puzzled this out... from explicit stuff in the notes, from his instincts. I'd be curious to know, but I don't really care: he got it all, and managed to include so much of that in the three final books (stuff like this balance out for me stuff he wasn't as succesful with, like the voice of some characters like Mat, Tuon, Aviendha, Cadsuane etc.) In AMOL he did it all so brilliantly, even repeating lines of old dialogues from the scenes he mirrored, sometimes bringing multiple variants together. This was all so deeply satisfying to me, obsessed as I've been for years with those patterns, and trust me when I say we're far from having found out all of the them or perhaps even most of them... the hunt for them will be a massive pleasure of my next full re read, and future ones later... It's full of Easter eggs... red scarves for shawls, stripped teapots, gold objects standing for saidin and silver ones for saidar etc. and watch for red stone doors and arches... etc. Not long before Mat met the Aelfinn, he passed with Thom under a redstone arch, and ended up in a maze of dangers he faced with courage, iron and fire (Thom tried music, he was forbidden its use by the ship captain who thought it would distract his men from their work... all ending with rescuing a woman...).

I'll end with the Dark Prophecy. Nope, I didn't foresee it wasn't fully fulfilled, though I've been part of a few discussions about the possibility.

It didn't take me long, the first encounter of Perrin and Lanfear, to think of it and predict to Terez a few things. For instance I never considered the possibility Lanfear was truly helping the Light. I was sure right away she'd turn on Perrin at the right moment. It's in her nature, she can't be loyal to anything but herself.

Daughter of the Night,1 she walks again.

That's the clue to the transformation of Cyndane back into Lanfear.

The ancient war, she yet fights.

The clue that Lanfear wasn't really helping....

Her new lover she seeks, who shall serve her and die, yet serve still.

This refers to Perrin's metaphorical death, Slayer's real one, Perrin finally serving her again, under compulsion. Etc.

There's another bizarre way to interpret this one. Lanfear loves only herself, but it fits well too. Cyndane hunts for Lanfear who died, yet serve still.

Who shall stand against her coming?

The wolves and Perrin.

The Shining Walls shall kneel.

This works as a metaphor of the Light's defenses kneeling at the end.
This works as foreshadowing of Egwene's death.
This works as the near destruction of the White Tower.
This works as prefiguring Lanfear's death, the shining walls the illusion she surrounded herself with, that Perrin ultimately defeated.

Blood feeds blood.
Blood calls blood.
Blood is, and blood was, and blood shall ever be.

Allusion to cycles and the victory of the Light, images of vicious circles, between Lanfear-Perrin and Slayer, image of Perrin's final action "blood calls blood".

The man who channels2 stands alone.
He gives his friends for sacrifice.

Rand in the Pit of Doom

Two roads before him, one to death beyond dying, one to life eternal.

Again, Pit of Doom stuff, direct allusion to his choices.

Which will he choose? Which will he choose?
What hand shelters? What hand slays?
(refrain)

Luc came to the Mountains of Dhoom.
Isam waited in the high passes.

Notice the past tense. It stand in the past in relation to the rest of the Prophecy.

The hunt is now begun.

Last Hunt of the wolves.

The Shadow's hounds now course, and kill

... and the Dark Hunt...

One did live, and one did die, but both are.

Again the past... thus Luc and Isam. There could be other valid interpretations.

The Time of Change has come.

Refers to AMOL matter in all kind of ways, the final end, the transformation back into Lanfear, the transformation of Perrin, the end of the Age, the body swapping etc. It's one of those "take you pick" one. There's no wrong answer, IMO.

The Watchers wait on Toman's Head.

That's the part where I think Brandon dropped a ball about. Maybe. To a small extent.

He sent the Seanchan to "watch over the waves" somewhere, to be the Watchers over the abyss, waiting to the moment to accomplish their real Return, but that it was on Toman's Head they were was far, far from clear.

It's possible he failed to give us the clue about Toman we'd need to puzzle out the true meaning. I'm not sure it refers to the location.

It's possible the Do Mievre M'avron refers to Mierin and Perrin's metaphorical death (she left him for dead in a stone in the middle of the sea...). But well... perhaps we were meant never to puzzle that one out. RJ pointedly made us aware this was a deceitful verse, full of old tongue subtleties... "Toman's Head" may not be translated properly either.


The seed of the Hammer burns the ancient tree.

That refers to Perrin killing Slayer.

The "seed" of the Hammer, aka the origin, the Maker of the Hammer, kills the ancient tree. To understand that one, one needs to know Luc Mantear's sigil is an acorn... the seed of the Mantear Oak.

Verin warned us her interpretation about the flag of Almoth was dubious at best...

Death shall sow, and summer burn, before the Great Lord comes.

Moridin shall sow. Summer burn refers to the summer of Tarmon Gai'don. Brandon tampered with the chronology, pushed Rand ahead by weeks in TGS to synchronize things, as he saw it. RJ planned to have the final battle take place on Sunday - the Day celebrating the Sun, aka Rand. I'm 100% convinced of this.

Death shall reap, and bodies fail, before the Great Lord comes.

And Moridin shall reap what he soweed... Bodies failing refer to Rand's and his, to Alanna, to Egwene's, to the fallen of the last battle etc. Again, too many possible right answers.. chaos.

Again the seed slays ancient wrong, before the Great Lord comes.

That refers to Lanfear's death by Perrin, righting her ancient wrong. That woman didn't deserve to survive even the backlash of the Bore. She's been on borrowed time since, and made nefarious use of it. She got way too many "last chances".

Wonderful that RJ made her Shai'tan's last chance in the end. So perfect.

Now the Great Lord comes.

Obvious... that's when Rand brought the GL into the Pattern.

Something occured to me about that whole prophecy... there's a strong element of confusion and chaos in those Dark Prophecies. Nothing excludes the possibility the TGH era interpretation is essentially correct, and the TG time interpretations are also correct.

There's a little of that in the light's prophecy, but only a little. It's far more obvious with the Dark Prophecy that it could have been fulfilled many times in various ways, and there's no single right interpretation. It makes them... fairly useless.

It's even more obvious with the TOM Dark Prophecy, which most hardcore theorists disliked. It's a mess.

Broken Wolf referred to Demandred, most likely. Wolf simply meant "Predator". He's the only broken predator whose death shook the will of men (the Sharans). It can't be Perrin, it can't be Ituralde, or Lan, or Bashere or Hopper... there's really no candidate but Demandred...

Perrin's pride was broken when he failed in his hunt and Slayer defeated him... yet he returned. He was the fallen blacksmith.

Rand was first among vermin.

The Halls of Mourning was the bloody battlefield.

Etc. But the whole thing is quite messy, chaotic.

Anyway.. thanks Brandon for the magical moments with Perrin and Lanfear in AMOL (and their counterpart in Faile's story... that was also one of the best ones in the Brandon "trilogy". I've got plenty of reasons to criticize him over stuff and won't shy from it, but for Perrin, Lanfear, Faile and the Horn etc., it's hats off and well deserved, largely unmitigated praise from me.

It's part of what "saved the day" for me, what will save my passion for the series in years to come, what let Brandon end all this on a fairly high note. TOM was a huge letdown, coming back from it was a big challenge, and AMOL in many ways did that. It's by a long shot the most achieved and best of the three books, whatever specific gripes I have with it (and like Terez I believe a lot of the gripes for AMOL I probably have with RJ, not Brandon).

Tamyrlin
01-04-2013, 04:21 PM
Where the hell have you been all this time? How did I not know of your Lanfear obsession? Why have we not met for drinks and discussed her holiness for hours?

Damn it.

Wait, we are still alive. You must come to JordanCon. If that doesn't work, we must work out a time and a place.

Must.

Terez
01-04-2013, 10:19 PM
I won't try to claim I foresaw Perrin being her "new lover". I wrote so many things over the years, went in so many directions it may well be at some point I considered it. I don't remember, and it wasn't on my mind lately.
In retrospect it's clear she was scoping out both Perrin and Mat in TDR and seriously considering both of them. It didn't make that much sense to us because it seemed she only had eyes for Lews Therin, and only wanted to get close to Perrin and Mat in hopes that they could help her get closer to Rand.

I wonder if it's possible Berelain's attempts to win over Perrin were also a result of Compulsion. A way to test and see if Perrin's love for Faile would withstand the temptation of a beautiful woman. We never get her POV.

From the first scene of Lanfear in the book, I suspected we were in for a real treat. And yes, I mean her trick with Slayer - showing in the town as Moridin, going inside and reverting to her Cyndane appearance.
Yeah, that scene is the only one that qualifies for Brandon saying that one Forsaken was posing as another Forsaken. I liked the idea that she was posing as Moridin, but I didn't think it was likely for whatever reason.

At last her parallel as "the abyss" (from miere, the deep sea) showed up, with the fake drowning. Rand confronting her delusions with his reality was wonderful. It all goes back to Lilith.
Kind of on another tangent, but it may interest you to know that I found another Lanfear parallel that wasn't on 13th Depository. (Linda might have since added it.) She's also Lasair, an Irish goddess whose name means 'Flame', and a triple goddess with her two sisters (one of whom has a name—Inghean Bhuidhe—that means 'yellow-haired girl'). The sisters might represent the forms of Lanfear.

Lasair - ("Flame") is the eldest of three sisters, a goddess triad representing the growing, ripening and harvesting of crops. Lasair, goddess of the spring budding, has beautiful long black hair and wears a silver crown, silver jewelry and armbands. She lives in a Red Castle (another reminder of her fiery nature) with an orchard. The god Flann brought her the Rose of Sweetness that never withers, the Comb of Magnificence, and the Girdle of Truth. She is alternately named Lassar Fhína, Lasairíona (flaming wine) or Crobh Dearg (Red Claws). Later, she became a Christian saint and her well is at Lough Meelagh, Ireland. Her feast day is May 1st, the old Bealtaine festival. Her sisters are called Inghean Bhuidhe and Latiaran. The three goddesses are said to be daughters of Douglas and Scáthach.And of course the Rose of Sweetness was paralleled with the Lily in Winter.
Recently I've toyed with the idea the COT hunt was sent by Demandred to hunt down Fain, but I should have stuck to my first notion: it was Shai'tan hunting for Fain, not anyone else.
Moridin said that Slayer was hunting for him, and I don't see any reason to disbelieve it. Slayer is intricately tied to the Darkhounds, and may be responsible for creating the new breed (by killing dead wolves in Tel'aran'rhiod).

It didn't take me long, the first encounter of Perrin and Lanfear, to think of it and predict to Terez a few things. For instance I never considered the possibility Lanfear was truly helping the Light. I was sure right away she'd turn on Perrin at the right moment. It's in her nature, she can't be loyal to anything but herself.
I considered it, but didn't think it likely. I've never liked the idea that she would turn back to the Light, though I started considering it recently since so many fans thought it was obvious so I figured I'd give the idea a whirl. But it was just too much of a contradiction to everything RJ ever said about her altruism or lack thereof. She didn't seem redeemable.

As I've said to you in email, one thing that annoyed me highly about Egwene's death was that I feared it would happen as a way of playing out RJ's revenge fantasy against the ex-girlfriends. Lanfear was not redeemable, and even Egwene would suffer for dumping Rand, for all she did it nicely. I was hoping he wouldn't go there. I don't know if I really picked up on this revenge fantasy of RJ's until I read the Fallon books, and then it jumped out at me.

This works as a metaphor of the Light's defenses kneeling at the end.
This works as foreshadowing of Egwene's death.
This works as the near destruction of the White Tower.
This works as prefiguring Lanfear's death, the shining walls the illusion she surrounded herself with, that Perrin ultimately defeated.
It was also used as evidence for the "Egwene is the Daughter of the Night" theories. I don't remember who proposed that; I think it was fionwe. I proposed the theory that it was Tuon. :p

Moridin shall sow. Summer burn refers to the summer of Tarmon Gai'don. Brandon tampered with the chronology, pushed Rand ahead by weeks in TGS to synchronize things, as he saw it. RJ planned to have the final battle take place on Sunday - the Day celebrating the Sun, aka Rand. I'm 100% convinced of this.
I was too. But instead it ended up being around the time Gawyn fought the Bloodknives, which works for a Gawain parallel.

It's even more obvious with the TOM Dark Prophecy, which most hardcore theorists disliked. It's a mess.
You stole my words for it. :p

Rand was first among vermin.
I thought it was Logain.

TOM was a huge letdown, coming back from it was a big challenge, and AMOL in many ways did that. It's by a long shot the most achieved and best of the three books, whatever specific gripes I have with it (and like Terez I believe a lot of the gripes for AMOL I probably have with RJ, not Brandon).
I have a few gripes for Brandon but they're mostly the same old, same old. The Rand-Mat reunion was awful. I don't think I've ever read anything so horrible. But Alivia and the boat were just....cheating. Great for 'just another fantasy story', but not for WoT. Even those who favored bodyswap are bound to be disappointed with those details.

Linda
01-05-2013, 05:30 AM
Gah I just lost this when I was about to post it. Ugh, I'm not sure this version is as good.

Lanfear is one of RJ's masterpieces, and the trigger for Dom and I working together. While her story arc was good, some of the details could be improved, for instance "you take the one on the left and I'll take the one on the right." But then there are mundane aspects to other plotlines - though I don't mean things like Singing to make miracles.


I agree that the Darkhounds in COT were searching for Fain. I was the first to suggest it (in my COT read-through) and there were quite a few doubters.

Terez
01-05-2013, 08:21 AM
I never saw any reason to doubt it. But then, I never saw any reason to doubt that Slayer was directing the Darkhounds, and we knew Slayer was hunting for Fain because Moridin said so. And it seems Brandon took that one at face value since he told Matt that he thinks readers should already know who the pack was looking for.

Dom
01-05-2013, 10:24 PM
Gah I just lost this when I was about to post it. Ugh, I'm not sure this version is as good.

Lanfear is one of RJ's masterpieces, and the trigger for Dom and I working together. While her story arc was good, some of the details could be improved, for instance "you take the one on the left and I'll take the one on the right." But then there are mundane aspects to other plotlines - though I don't mean things like Singing to make miracles.


I agree that the Darkhounds in COT were searching for Fain. I was the first to suggest it (in my COT read-through) and there were quite a few doubters.

A good vein to look into for Lanfear now will be extremely old myths.

Pre-history and close. Dawn of history stuff.

It's not exactly new, a lot of that's been done, but in the end it all went that way.

We see some of the older reflections in Perun, or Lilith, Lamia but you should dig even farther in time in shamanism, pre-historic Moon Goddesses. Very primitive Celtic or Aryan Moon Goddesses too.
Mind you, from memory it really comes more to principles and ideas that far back, not really concrete goddesses with names and a mythology, so later ones like Lilith and co. might be the best we have.

Perrin's Cuchullain aspects played out more than expected in his last arc.

In a way, Lilith, Lamia, Selene and co. are already a bit "too civilized", for the ending of the Lanfear arc. She's really gone through all phases and influences that one. So rich.

I loved how RJ fooled us with Egwene. That one needed no aggrandized reflection/TAR persona. She was the real Moon-Goddess in the flesh and shone in the Night of the LB. No TAR for her thank you, that was for Lanfear. Mierin was a failure who never lived up to expectations or her potential. She invented herself as Queen of Dreams, the only domain where no one was there to contest her rule. Queen of Nothing, a mere reflection of the woman she ought to have become. Egwene and the WO left TAR alone in the end, seemingly Moghedien too.

It's what RJ turned TAR into at the end: the dangerous world of the Shamans where they clash with each other or monsters. The realm of the moon.

I didn't expect that, but it pleased me massively to see it thorn by the elements, facing the full power of the storm. I love how it was all so primitive/uncivilized, empty.. war hammer, anvil, stone in the middle of the ocean. Raw, primal and elemental. It was all good. I wish Brandon went a notch or two further than that in making it primitively nightmarish, made it even more threatening, but it's essentially there.

It was very clever. The real world showed the effects of Rand, but TAR did not. It became a primal wasteland, Eriksonian in a way. A world only suitable for a Dark Goddess of the Night, a "primitive" character like Perrin, for Isam, for the strongest most primitive predators, the wolves.

I enjoyed massively that all the foreshadowing for Gaul as a kind of male WO (I had him pinned as the first man the WO would train as one of their own in the post-TG section we never got.) led to him being Perrin's co-warrior in his most dangerous campaign, daring to go where the WO didn't dare anymore. You'd expect Elyas, this was a nice suprise it was Gaul. Brandon even gave him the famous "Wounded/dying Gaul" moment, from the statue that the iconic representation of the primitive Celt warrior.

All very nice.

And yes, Lanfear is one of RJ's masterpieces - and she ended up in safe hands with Brandon. Very satisfying. Brandon had more problem rendering some of the solar characters perfectly for some reason, he's got more affinities to the lunar ones.. Min, Perrin, Gaul, Lanfear, Isam all had fairly satisfying treatment or better.

You might want to look into Dr. John Hasslam again Linda (yes, the Air Loom Gang one.. the doctor James Matthews thought was the leader of the Air Loom Gang in disguise). Terez got Brandon to confirm the name came from RJ, which makes the connection even more likely than before.

I didn't like Brandon's Graendal's much. She lost too much of her intelligence. But Hessalam, her lunar incarnation, was much better. Funny how she got the appearance of the lunar monster her original name hinted at. She was the Great Whore too after all. It's another who turned fairly primal by the end, an unleashed demon, with quite the death toll by the end of the book. I found her Lockhart end funny and typical of RJ's irony, but I would have preferred if she then got thorn to pieces by the wolves... I expected it, but it didn't come.

I agree that the Darkhounds in COT were searching for Fain. I was the first to suggest it (in my COT read-through) and there were quite a few doubters.

It made the most sense. It came right after Fain interfered in FM and ruined the Shadow's chances to stop the Cleansing.

My own theory came after I just gave up on RJ and like Terez tried to find ways to make the Roedred theory I so disliked more acceptable, because it looked inevitable.

I convinced myself Demandred intended to secure a false alliance with Elayne, who looked about to lose all her allies.. the Hall reminding Egwene they have control of the army, Rand refusing to send Asha'man, Aviendha telling her she had to stay with the Aiel etc. Egwene was also pissed off about the Kin. Then Demandred would provoke the Seanchan into war against Murandy and Andor and bait Rand to the battlefield.. but would have to settle for Mat.

It was close, yet completely off at the same time. We'll never know for sure what Demandred planned. It looks like he meant to throw Semirhage and himself against the WT then/or wherever he found Rand leading. He ended up facing the WT allied with the Seanchan ultimately, and no Rand. As long predicted.

Anyway, recently I had wrongly concluded Demandred was the one who had packs of DH in the south and sent them to hunt for Fain after Far Madding. Fain of course was long gone. Waygate near FM, most likely. That the Old Grim legends actually referred to Demandred was a funny idea, I thought.

But it was actually the DO hunting for Fain using the Dark Hunt.

I'm happy the DH were not explicitely tied to Isam. I never liked that idea much. Now I'm reverting to my original theory the Dark Hunt ones are definitely controlled by Shai'tan himself. The Forsaken only had use of the "normal" DH. the Dark Hunt was Shai'tan's alone. So that makes him the one who went to spy in Rhuidean, who hunted Fain because Isam kept failing, and in AMOL we learned he didn't bother much about those orders because Fain also hated Perrin.

Have you found anything about Knotai yet? I've drawn only blanks. The name sounded either Greek or Chinese, more likely the latter. I've been told it might be more sensible to divide it as No or Kno Tai if it's Chinese, but so far no luck on the mythology or historical front. Without knowing which letter(s) are wrong or missing, it could be hard if the name's Chinese.

Terez
01-05-2013, 10:55 PM
You might want to look into Dr. John Hasslam again Linda (yes, the Air Loom Gang one.. the doctor James Matthews thought was the leader of the Air Loom Gang in disguise). Terez got Brandon to confirm the name came from RJ, which makes the connection even more likely than before.
I just got that book in the mail today! Also, technically I only got Brandon to confirm that he hadn't personally come up with the name. The way he answered it (not wanting to say directly it was in the notes) makes me think Alan might have come up with it.

Have you found anything about Knotai yet? I've drawn only blanks. The name sounded either Greek or Chinese, more likely the latter. I've been told it might be more sensible to divide it as No or Kno Tai if it's Chinese, but so far no luck on the mythology or historical front. Without knowing which letter(s) are wrong or missing, it could be hard if the name's Chinese.
I think the K is probably silent, and then it's Notai, which is a Japanese name but probably more significantly similar to the Latin word for Notary (notaio, i.e. the person responsible for ensuring the validity of a contract).

Linda
01-06-2013, 12:54 AM
Yes I have something for the name.

sleepinghour
01-07-2013, 11:07 AM
The whole Horn arc in AMOL was bloody brilliant... all the misfits, those who had struggled much to find their place, who had become "heroes" or wanted to, thrown together. Faile as their leader, and Vanin, Olver, Cha Faile, and Bela (if it's Brandon who decided to include her, it was such a perfect idea...), the unlikely horse hero who never fit with the sleek mares and war horses etc.


Considering Faile was a Hunter of the Horn in TDR, it made perfect sense for her storyline to be tied to the Horn in AMoL. Another reference to the early books.

kcf
01-07-2013, 11:12 AM
the horn arc was great - a favorite, though it'll be overshadowed by other events in the book.

As for looking into Knotai - I suggest digging into Korean as that was where Brandon did his Mormon Mission. Just an idea.

Dom
01-07-2013, 11:20 AM
Considering Faile was a Hunter of the Horn in TDR, it made perfect sense for her storyline to be tied to the Horn in AMoL. Another reference to the early books.

Indeed. When it came it was a big "slap head/"of course!" moment.

It was a great "final arc" for Faile.

I also liked a lot Perrin and her had to work apart, each doing their own thing to the end.

That won't change the fact the "kidnapping" arc ended up split over too many books and has pacing problems (mostly because it happened over many books when that one would have worked better as a main arc in a single book - something he couldn't do - and with each book Jordan was forced to have a slow start to reintroduce everything, and to spend the end building to some pseudo climax.. leaving little space to bring the arc forward, and that undermined the urgency of the whole arc a lot), but Perrin's/Faile's build-ups still ended up, for me, as one of the most satisfying one beside Rand's. Mat was going extremely well, but Brandon failed to pick the ball up and lead properly to a Mat who could believably flee to Ebou Dar, and it all sort of turned into a disastrous mess. Egwene's not bad, but I'm not wholly satisfied with the arc in TGS (possibly the effect that RJ outlined most of it, and Brandon didn't flesh it out enough... it ended up a bit too simplistic, too devoid of the usual refining/subtleties Jordan would have layered over the outline as he wrote the final version)

Terez
01-07-2013, 12:03 PM
Indeed. When it came it was a big "slap head/"of course!" moment.

It was a great "final arc" for Faile.
Perrin's search for her in the end was also a huge and obvious TDR reference. But this time, he let her take care of herself for a little while, and didn't allow the Pattern to burn.

Egwene's not bad, but I'm not wholly satisfied with the arc in TGS (possibly the effect that RJ outlined most of it, and Brandon didn't flesh it out enough... it ended up a bit too simplistic, too devoid of the usual refining/subtleties Jordan would have layered over the outline as he wrote the final version)
One thing I noticed on reread is that Egwene mirrors Rand's bond to the land:

Rand closed his eyes. He could feel it, the land itself, like a faint Warder bond. Beneath his feet, grubs crawled through the soil. The roots of the grasses continued to spread, ever so slowly, seeking nutrients. The skeletal trees were not dead, for water seeped through them. They slumbered. Bluebirds clustered in a nearby tree. They did not call out with the arrival of dawn. They huddled together, as if for warmth.

The land still lived. It lived like a man clinging to the edge of a cliff by his fingertips.

Within the embrace of saidar she could see the signs of color that the Shadow wanted them to ignore. The grass wasn't all dead; there were tiny hints of green, slivers where the grass clung to life. There were voles beneath it; she could now easily make out the ripples in the earth. They ate at the dying roots and clung to life....

....Egwene returned to rupturing the earth. There was something energizing about using raw power, sending weaves in their most basic forms. In that moment—maiming, destroying, bringing death upon the enemy—she felt as if she were one with the land itself. That she was doing the work it had longed for someone to do for so long. The Blight, and the Shadowspawn it grew, were a disease. An infection. Egwene—afire with the One Power, a blazing beacon of death and judgment—was the cauterizing flame that would bring healing to the land.
And of course that's an early foreshadowing of her death in the last bit, and a strong return to her forcing at the hands of the Seanchan. And a reference to Loial's tree in the Mirror World. That's the thing I appreciated most about AMOL—Brandon's diligent effort to piece together the last book using the first three (mostly anyway; there were some references to later books, but fewer). He did it to an extent in the previous two books, but nothing like this. I would have liked it a lot more without the stuff I hated. ;) I'm sure at least some of it was plotted by RJ, but clearly Brandon had to do some work here.

Dom
01-07-2013, 12:25 PM
One thing I noticed on reread is that Egwene mirrors Rand's bond to the land:


Brandon handled the Arthurian Queen/King's roles really well, even including gender inversions of roles and all (well... that probably is to be credited to RJ, who I've little doubt decided Elayne was chosen war leader, Egwene was the Amyrlin for real etc.) .

It might have been better to have Egwene feels "one with the Pattern" or "one with all threads in the pattern", or perceiving clearly her place in it and what she must do or something, and leave the specific "Land" imagery to Rand. Egwene's ties were always more spiritual than physical.

But Brandon pulled off their mirror rather well in the end, the whole Eldrene/LTT parallel - that those two events were mirrors, a flight and a self-sacrifice, and how Egwene completed the triad with a self-sacrifice that doesn't destroy to save but destroy herself to save was really nice. The last Egwene stuff felt right, and satisfying (perhaps because it's one of the things I foresaw coming... I realize a lot of the stuff that feels more satisfying turns out to be stuff fitting my expectations... it's clear there's a a personal bias there).


And of course that's an early foreshadowing of her death in the last bit, and a strong return to her forcing at the hands of the Seanchan. And a reference to Loial's tree in the Mirror World.

Indeed.

That's the thing I appreciated most about AMOL—Brandon's diligent effort to piece together the last book using the first three (mostly anyway; there were some references to later books, but fewer).

He had spoken of things heading that way very early on in the project, but between his efforts and Alan's with that, he pulled that aspect off even better than I hoped. I wished other aspects had been as well handled, but that aspect was very dear to me, and that probably explain why I come out of AMOL with a globally positive feeling, somewhat unexpected after my deeply negative experience with TOM.

He did it to an extent in the previous two books, but nothing like this. I would have liked it a lot more without the stuff I hated. ;) I'm sure at least some of it was plotted by RJ, but clearly Brandon had to do some work here.

And it was big shoes to fill. I'm surprised it's the aspect he handled best when pre-TGS I was discussing that and feared this was the aspect I found near impossible anyone but RJ would be able to pull off, that I'd have to be satisfied with Brandon handling well more mundane, plot related, story details matters. Suprisingly, it's the mundane, and some character voices that often didn't work for me, while all the patterns, symbolism, mythology, themes and motifs were handled massively better than expected. The former I expected would be easier for Brandon to handle, with the notes and help from Harriet and Maria.

Peter Ahlstrom
01-07-2013, 02:08 PM
Alan's main roles were battle tactics and the Old Tongue.

Dom
01-07-2013, 02:37 PM
Alan's main roles were battle tactics and the Old Tongue.

So it's mostly Brandon?

All the better if it's mostly his own contribution as I think it's the aspect of the project that deserves the most praise. He pulled that off really well.

I suppose it's not that surprising he's got a keen eye for this, considering his background and the fact he's really good at playing around with all this in his own novels, but he really did justice to RJ's themes and "patterns".

Dom
01-08-2013, 09:46 AM
Arghh... I sort of missed that one.

Where the hell have you been all this time? How did I not know of your Lanfear obsession?

Well... I did make here a few Lanfear posts recently. :D

But most of them go back to Wotmania days.

Wait, we are still alive. You must come to JordanCon. If that doesn't work, we must work out a time and a place.

Must.

And Sindhol! I read avidly your Sindhol stuff with Brandon. None of my Sindhol pet theories got confirmed... nor debunked.

JordanCon sounds unlikely. I'd love to go, I've been wanting to go since the first one, but it's always in what's about the worst time of the year work-wise for me. The joys of freelance. You're free to set your vacations when you wish, but then you can't really risk making yourself unavailable to some clients... If I set up something, it would have to be very last minute.

I work in Toronto once in a while, but usually it's an airport/cab/studio/cab/airport sort of thing - and it's all arranged for me by the agency, so I can't extend my stay. So I'm in Montréal most of the time.

fionwe1987
01-09-2013, 01:58 AM
Nice work, Terez and Dom. I think you know, Terez, that I was initially dissatisfied with the way the TGH prophesy was handled (better only in comparison to the TOM one). But it does seem like it was well handled.

The weird thing is, the Daughter of the Night part still fits Egwene. Even better, actually:

Daughter of the Night, she walks again.

Egwene is walking again, after the break she takes.

The ancient war, she yet fights.

She's fighting the ancient war against the Shadow.

Her new lover she seeks, who shall serve her and die, yet serve still.

She's seeking Gawyn, who served her and died, yet still serves by giving her the motivation to fight back with renewed effort.

Who shall stand against her coming?

Fits well, given how she was channeling, at the end. Refers to Taim.

The Shining Walls shall kneel.

A reference to her dying and/or the moment she literally knelt in front of the one man who stood against her coming... Taim.

I much prefer Dom's interpretation of this. But its kind of amazing how this also still kind of fits Egwene. Its probably intentional too, in that she does mirror Lanfear a lot.

fionwe1987
01-09-2013, 02:18 AM
One thing I noticed on reread is that Egwene mirrors Rand's bond to the land:
There was also her mini-epiphany about Gawyn atop Polov Heights (soon followed by a huge beam of Light around her) that mirrored Rand's atop Dragonmount. There was a lot of Rand-Egwene parallells here, some thematic, others mechanical (like Egwene using Rand's technique of making a Gateway to a short distance so she could make one for a longer hop). Many more, throughout this book. I felt it was one of the better features of the book.



And of course that's an early foreshadowing of her death in the last bit, and a strong return to her forcing at the hands of the Seanchan. And a reference to Loial's tree in the Mirror World. That's the thing I appreciated most about AMOL—Brandon's diligent effort to piece together the last book using the first three (mostly anyway; there were some references to later books, but fewer). He did it to an extent in the previous two books, but nothing like this. I would have liked it a lot more without the stuff I hated. ;) I'm sure at least some of it was plotted by RJ, but clearly Brandon had to do some work here.
I also liked his gift of the red ribbon to her, and the reference to braiding. If you remember back to the EotW, Egwene unbraiding her hair was the first fight they had after leaving the Two Rivers. I'm putting the whole thing here, its so cool how it mirrors their argument in Merrilor, and I'm so happy Brandon remembered this, and in their final mending of their friendship, also kind of mended their first fight:

There was the morning that Egwene awoke and began unbraiding her hair. Rand watched her from the comer of his eye as he made up his blanketroll...
Startled, he asked, "What are you doing?" She gave him a sidelong look without answering. It was the first time he had spoken to her in two days, he realized, since the night in the log shelter on the bank of the Taren, but he did not let that stop him. " All your life you've waited to wear your hair in a braid, and now you're giving it up? Why? Because she doesn't braid hers?"
"Aes Sedai don't braid their hair," she said simply. " At least, not unless they want to."
"You aren't an Aes Sedai. You're Egwene al'Vere from Emond's Field, and the Women's Circle would have a fit if they could see you now."
"Women's Circle business is none of yours, Rand al'Thor. And I will be an Aes Sedai, Just as soon as I reach Tar Valon."
He snorted. " As soon as you reach Tar Valon. Why? Light, tell me that. You're no Darkfriend."
"Do you think Moiraine Sedai is a Darkfriend? Do you?" She squared around to face him with her fists clenched, and he almost thought she was going to hit him. " After she saved the village? After she saved your father?"
"I don't know what she is, but whatever she is, it doesn't say anything about the rest of them. The stories"
"Grow up, Rand! Forget the stories and use your eyes."
"My eyes saw her sink the ferry! Deny that! Once you get an idea in your head, you won't budge even if somebody points out you're trying to stand on water. If you weren't such a Light- blinded fool, you'd see - !"
"Fool, am I? Let me tell you a thing or two, Rand al'Thor! You are the muliest, most woolheaded - !"
"You two trying to wake everybody inside ten miles?" the Warder asked.
Standing there with his mouth open, trying to get a word in edgewise, Rand suddenly realized he had been shouting. They both had.


Their insults to each other even mirror what they say at Merrilor, where its Egwene pointing out to Rand that he's mule headed, and Rand asking Egwene to grow up. Rand even accuses Egwene of trying to stand on water, neatly mirrored by Egwene telling Rand he's not the Creator, at Merrilor.

Of course, the fight here is broken up by Lan, not Moiraine.

Tollingtoy
01-11-2013, 03:11 PM
I do think it's one example of many things that were sort of obvious about the ending by the end of TDR, but seemed less obvious as time went on and readers felt RJ forgot about them. We expected some kind of small foreshadowing to maintain those hints if they were significant, and for the overall story it would have been better for RJ to do that, but he was probably too worried about the obsessive online fandom (http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=15#11) at that point.


I think this is my main reason for being somewhat disillusioned with the ending even though I liked the book ok. I definitely felt a bit angry that we had been deliberately turned away from many of these ideas in the mid/late books of the series. I think that explains my complaints in the other thread better than I really did

SamJ
01-11-2013, 04:04 PM
Yes I have something for the name.

Really looking forward to reading this because the only thing I got was the awful pun, eg Matrim/matrimony, Knotai/tie the knot. Phaw!

Also - great stuff reading all the parallels. Dom - I've been searching for these since you used to mention them on wotmania and it has really enhanced my enjoyment of the rereads. Thank you!

klye
01-12-2013, 09:47 PM
So then what was Perrin's metaphorical death? I completely agree on the interprettation of the TGH's Dark Prophecy being about him & lanfear. heck, I've thought she complused him way back when....

But no sure about his death...

Terez
01-13-2013, 02:19 AM
The word is 'compelled'.

GonzoTheGreat
01-13-2013, 05:43 AM
The Broken Wolf was Ituralde, who was thrown off his perch by Elyas after his mind was altered by Graendal.

And I have to say that I like "complused".