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GonzoTheGreat
01-13-2013, 10:43 AM
Spoiler avoidance text inserted here. Hope it is enough.

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Obviously, it's not enough. So I'm inserting more blather here.
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I wouldn't ever have caught this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyld_(crater)) without Wikipedia. And there's even a neat fox feature added to it. :D

Anaiya Sedai
01-13-2013, 10:47 AM
And one called Saha :)

Frenzy
01-13-2013, 08:00 PM
An hey, let's not forget this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bao).

Never taking him seriously again, folks.


(Still in Chapter 24...)

Zombie Sammael
01-14-2013, 01:23 AM
I said all along that Demandred was in space, preparing to Balefire the planet. It's nice to be vindicated on that front.

GonzoTheGreat
01-25-2013, 09:17 AM
I've decided to hijack this thread. If the one who started it objects, though.

Some things I'm wondering about, now that I'm in my first reread:

1. Why didn't anyone burn down Braem Wood?
At first, when Elayne's forces were in it and the Trollocs were outside, it would have made a lot of sense for the latter to set fire to the trees. Later on, when Elayne had left and the Trollocs were still in there, it would have made sense to burn the Shadowspawn, rather than letting them regroup. In between, it wouldn't have been sensible for either side, but both had plenty of occasion to let fire get out of hand.
Yet no one burned this forest down. Curious, isn't it?

2. There has been a lot of discussion over whether ta'veren were necessarily HotH and vice versa.
That debate is now over, it seems: it is possible to be one without the other. A number of people who could recognise ta'veren on sight had seen Birgitte, yet none of them exclaimed about the light they saw around her.

3. When Lan was still holding Tarwin's Gap, why the bad tactics?
He had archers positioned on some of the slopes around the gap. That made sense. But why no Dragons? Half a dozen on either side, and thousands more Trollocs would have been slaughtered before they could even come close to any human. Instead, Elayne had them doing nothing in Braem Wood, for fear that they might set fire to the trees apparently.

4. In a fight between Draghkar and Raken, which would win?
We really should have seen this, but I don't think we did.

SauceyBlueConfetti
01-25-2013, 09:41 AM
4. In a fight between Draghkar and Raken, which would win?
We really should have seen this, but I don't think we did.

Draghkar have a specific purpose, to (stealthily, if possible) call out to folks, then mesmerize and kill/incapacitate/suck the life from the victim. Raken are used for travel and recon purposes. I don't see a battle here...unless animals, etc are immune to the call of the Draghkar it would just be two big reptile-like birds (or bird-like reptiles) pecking at one another. If Raken are not immune to the call, and Draghkar like to suck them up, then it is all about the Draghkar.

Eh. I am being lazy and not looking anything up on this. Raken are smaller than To'raken, but both are only used for travel, right?

GonzoTheGreat
01-25-2013, 09:50 AM
Raken are indeed smaller than to'raken. Raken are usually used for scouting purposes, whereas to'raken are used for transport.
However, the fact that they don't engage in aerial battle when the opposing side doesn't have an airforce doesn't prove much. So it is quite possible that raken could fight in the air. And, if a raken tears its wings apart, a Draghkar has the choice between fighting or getting killed.

The Draghkar's call wouldn't seem to be particularly useful, as that can be overridden by loud noise, which flight can supply easily.

Ishara
01-27-2013, 01:26 PM
3. When Lan was still holding Tarwin's Gap, why the bad tactics?
He had archers positioned on some of the slopes around the gap. That made sense. But why no Dragons? Half a dozen on either side, and thousands more Trollocs would have been slaughtered before they could even come close to any human. Instead, Elayne had them doing nothing in Braem Wood, for fear that they might set fire to the trees apparently.


Because they were a proprietary secret of Andor/ the Band? Can't have or ask for what you don't know about...

GonzoTheGreat
01-28-2013, 05:00 AM
Because they were a proprietary secret of Andor/ the Band? Can't have or ask for what you don't know about...
Lan wouldn't have known to ask for them, true.
But Elayne, as commander in chief all the Light armies, might have been told by Elayne as queen of Andor that sending a couple of those dragons (with units from the Band to operate them, of course, and a channeler or two to move them through gateways whenever necessary) to defend a narrow pass would be useful.

The things weren't doing any good at all during the retreat through the forest. They would have been worth dozens of times their numbers in archers, in a situation such as the one Lan was facing before the Dreadlords upset the balance there.

Using gateways, it would have been possible to move units such as the Band's dragon banner (or whatever it's official designation) from one battle field to another, using it wherever it could do the most good. Instead, it was used in a traditional, Weiramonesque, manner.

Mat's idea of stuffing them in a cave and using gateways to shoot through was even better. Though it might have become somewhat uncomfortable if those gateways had failed to open during a salvo, I think.

maacaroni
01-28-2013, 05:28 AM
Don't play all your cards straight away?

GonzoTheGreat
01-28-2013, 05:44 AM
The dragons had been played already, in Caemlyn, and they were being played again in the beginning of the Braem Wood Battle. The Shadow knew about Traveling. So it is not clear to me what could be gained by not using this weapon again in a situation where it can do good.

GonzoTheGreat
01-28-2013, 12:34 PM
In my reread, I've now come to the start of the Battle of Shayol Gul, and I think that a couple more dragons (apart from the already activate there) would have been useful there too.

But I also noticed that the *finns joined the Last Battle on some side:
Young Bull became Perrin, with hammer at the ready, crouching on the plain of fragmentary fighting, changing people. Careful, he thought to himself. You are a wolf, but more a man. With a start, he realized that some of those impressions weren't completely human. He saw a couple that were distinctly snakelike in appearance, though they faded quickly.
Interesting, that, isn't it?

fdsaf3
01-28-2013, 12:49 PM
The dragons had been played already, in Caemlyn, and they were being played again in the beginning of the Braem Wood Battle. The Shadow knew about Traveling. So it is not clear to me what could be gained by not using this weapon again in a situation where it can do good.

I think the most obvious answer, and you'll appreciate the appeal to Occam's Razor, is that killing a few thousand more trollocs when their horde numbered in the hundreds of thousands (or millions) wouldn't have made a difference.

Dragons are clunky, not easily transportable, and there was no chance of holding the Gap. The simplest solution, at least to me, is that the additional firepower didn't offer enough benefit at the cost of their eventual loss to merit bringing them to Tarwin's Gap.

GonzoTheGreat
01-28-2013, 01:03 PM
At the start, the Trollocs had to clear a bunch of shrubbery away in a place where 50 humans at most could stand side by side. That means that there was maybe place for 30 Trollocs at a time in the front line. Just a couple of dragons would have been enough to kill half of the Trollocs that could advance through such a bottleneck, leaving the humans facing them with an enemy that was only half as strong as the group they now had to fight.

Yes, when the Dreadlords showed up things would have changed. But then, that would have been true in other places too. And in all other locations the Trollocs could spread out more, thus decreasing the kill rate per shot fired.

Davian93
01-28-2013, 01:10 PM
Perhaps they could have added a second shrubbery and maybe a little path running down the middle. That would have helped I think.

Nothing too fancy, mind you.

neurotopia
01-28-2013, 03:39 PM
Yes they probably should have demanded shrubbery.

Ishara
01-28-2013, 04:01 PM
Lan wouldn't have known to ask for them, true.
But Elayne, as commander in chief all the Light armies, might have been told by Elayne as queen of Andor that sending a couple of those dragons (with units from the Band to operate them, of course, and a channeler or two to move them through gateways whenever necessary) to defend a narrow pass would be useful.


Well, a) I'm not sure that her knowledge of battle tactics was good enough for her to effectively consider their usefulness elsewhere, and b) she's selfish and likely wouldn't have wanted to give away any of her resources at all, ever.

Tomp
01-28-2013, 05:27 PM
While we're on the subject of Dragons and channelers.

The dragons was primarily used against non channelers.
It would be interesting to see a battle where they were prominent on opposite sides i.e. what is more effective
channelers (of normal aes sedai strength)
or
dragons.

TBF
01-28-2013, 06:11 PM
So i have to say it, even if it is considered heresy in here:
Reading the Book i got the feeling, that despite everything said, Demandred was ment to be Taim and it was altered after it became to obvious.
First thing is that meeting of the forsaken at the beginning of the book, wich holds no purpose, besides positioning taim and demandred in the same scene.
Second thing is the Fact, that of all Persons Taim kept all the Plans of the Shadow lying around in his tower ready to be falling into lights hand.
And third Taim was placed standing useless around most of the battle, like the author was trying to evade getting them acting to much together.
I have to admit, that it is not very solid, but despite that, i somehow can not get lost of the impression, that it was ment to be the same figure. But all in all, if it was a thing they changed, it was changed rather good.

Davian93
01-28-2013, 07:10 PM
That's okay, TBF, I've pretty much felt that way for a good 15 years now.

lord Mordeth
01-28-2013, 07:28 PM
I agree about T/D, and the way they were 'developed' in aMoL sort of contradicts the first rebuttals of Taimandred in WH. There, one of the DF A'M hunting Rand in Far Madding (forget his name) thinks that Demandred and Taim had given him the same order as though they were unaware of each other's.

Now in aMoL, we're suddenly told that they were working together and planning in concert, however uneasily, including the plans in Taim's study. That doesn't sound much like the situation in WH at all, indicating that the initial attempt to separate them put an unsustainable distance when it came to aMoL, and that it had to be walked back.

GonzoTheGreat
01-29-2013, 04:49 AM
Perhaps they could have added a second shrubbery and maybe a little path running down the middle. That would have helped I think.

Nothing too fancy, mind you.
That is actually a good idea. If they'd been provided with a path they could walk through, then they might not have gotten the idea of widening it for quite a while, thus slowing down their progress substantially.

I agree about T/D, and the way they were 'developed' in aMoL sort of contradicts the first rebuttals of Taimandred in WH. There, one of the DF A'M hunting Rand in Far Madding (forget his name) thinks that Demandred and Taim had given him the same order as though they were unaware of each other's.

Now in aMoL, we're suddenly told that they were working together and planning in concert, however uneasily, including the plans in Taim's study. That doesn't sound much like the situation in WH at all, indicating that the initial attempt to separate them put an unsustainable distance when it came to aMoL, and that it had to be walked back.
I think you're making a mistake here.
When Taim and Demandred first met, the latter was the teacher and Taim simply had to sit and listen. But by the time that the BT got going, Taim was acting on his own a lot, with occasional instructions from Demandred at most. Thus, when those Asha'man got their orders, they got them from Taim who did not bother to consult Demandred about them. Demandred, at the same time, gave them very similar orders, without bothering to ask Taim for permission to do so, as at that point Taim was still one of his underlings. Demandred didn't have much time to waste on the running of the BT, as he was already busy conquering as much of Shara as feasible.

So Taim and Demandred had the same goal at the time, but they did have good reason not to be aware that the other had given the same orders.

GonzoTheGreat
01-29-2013, 09:46 AM
Some further points, in the order in which they occurred to me:

It took Perrin quite a while to get around to his "kill a woman" moment, didn't it?
Until this book, he hadn't indulged in this Two Rivers pastime, yet, I think.

Mat cried out, "Los caba'drin!" Words most of those assembled did not understand, yet instinctively knew to mean "Horsemen forward!"
Or, alternatively, if they had heard about Mat, took to be the Old Tongue version of his battle cry "Blood and bloody ashes!"
Either would work, of course.

... We got to the frog-kissing river on the run, Mother, with all due respect!" Uno's topknot danced as he continued to blaspheme, and Egwene could have sworn* the eye painted on his eyepatch became a more intense red.
It does probably count as blasphemy when someone addresses Egwene with no more respect than she is actually due. :D

* Why would she bother, though? Uno was already taking care of that job.

Dom
01-29-2013, 12:03 PM
So i have to say it, even if it is considered heresy in here:

Reading the Book i got the feeling, that despite everything said, Demandred was ment to be Taim and it was altered after it became to obvious.
First thing is that meeting of the forsaken at the beginning of the book, wich holds no purpose, besides positioning taim and demandred in the same scene.
Second thing is the Fact, that of all Persons Taim kept all the Plans of the Shadow lying around in his tower ready to be falling into lights hand.
And third Taim was placed standing useless around most of the battle, like the author was trying to evade getting them acting to much together.
I have to admit, that it is not very solid, but despite that, i somehow can not get lost of the impression, that it was ment to be the same figure. But all in all, if it was a thing they changed, it was changed rather good.

It's not heresy, but I never liked that line of reasoning.

RJ made the connection very obvious from the start. The "so-called" Aiel, the Seal, Rand's ravings about Demandred, and he put the notion in our minds that a male Forsaken could try to infiltrate the Farm. Rand thought Asmodean, but the readers knew better on this.

At first he meant us to believe Taim was Demandred. It was the start of a more subtle arc, a variant on the LTT-Bel Medar story. It played both between Rand and Taim, and behind the scenes it was playing between Taim and Demandred (with the pay-offs to both in AMOL). At some point, despite his clues this was only a red herring, too many readers still look at Taim only from the Taimandred perspective, missing what RJ was actually building there and with the themes of his story arc and Logain's (and too many people were no longer for his other Demandred red herrings... the south, Roedran etc.), and RJ seems to have gotten frustrated and spilled the beans: Taim isn't and wasn't Demandred. You should have realized this by now. Red herring, now move on!"

The arcs are all variants. Logain genuinely believed he was the Dragon Reborn, and meant to do good. Taim was also genuinely certain he was the DR - probably seeking glory and power in his case, but Rand's claim at Falme toppled and humiliated him. That was the end of his glory, he now ran for his life. Barid Bel Medar was also this "almost", who never accepted his part was that of the loyal sidekick, and LTT apparently didn't do much to ensure Bel Medar's loyalty. They had been too much rivals in a contest LTT had won.

Demandred brought Taim to the Shadow - offering him a greater power, sent him to Rand. He would be at his side, Demandred's spy. The seal was bait - a gamble of Demandred who had found one and sought the others. The way things turned out, it might well have had a tracker on it.

Demandred had no plans for "The Black Tower". He was just sending Rand an irrestible second, very powerful. He has obviously passed his hatred of Rand to Taim, who probably didn't need much help for this. The "so-called Aiel" is a slip Taim made. It must have been how Demandred referred to them scathingly. Bel Medar probably holds a grudge against the Da'shain since the WOS, when so many believed (wrongly, we were told) they now served LTT exclusively. Following the DO's orders, and his own goal to fight and defeat Rand on the battlefield, Demandred also ordered Taim to protect Rand and watch out for the other Forsaken, like Sammael.

Unexpectedly, Rand refused to keep Taim with him and put Taim in charge of training the men he was gathering. That was the end of Demandred's notion to have Taim be his spy near Rand, but Demandred probably then told Taim: make sure to bring some of those men he has you train to the Shadow. Keep pressuring al'Thor to accept bodyguards. I want those spies near him.

It could well be Taim's own idea to not only bring a few men to the Shadow to obey his orders to place spies near Rand, but to push Rand to allow active recruitment, confident he could bring most of these men under his own authority and away from Rand (that backfired a bit, Logain became a magnet for the men resisting Taim's authority and attempts to lure them with "greater power", favors and special training). Demandred would never know it's Taim who pushed for the recruiting, he had ordered Taim to obey Rand, to do nothing to spark his suspicion. Well, Taim would just tell him Rand has decided to recruit, but Taim would try to bring as many of the recruits to the Shadow as he could.

Just as Taim was starting to hatch plans of his own, he received unexpected help... another Forsaken joined him, trained him a bit further, helped his efforts. A Forsaken whom the Great Lord forbid Taim to reveal the existence of to Demandred.

Demandred used Taim to destroy Mesaana's kidnapping. He had made Taim paranoid: he must report every threat, regularly make sure al'Thor was safe and keep an eye out for those Aes Sedai. As soon as Taim got a whiff (from spies, probably) Rand seemed to have disappeared, he tracked him down and freed him. Demandred had added an open conflict between TV and the BT to the mix. And he lost Osan'gar, despite trying hard to convince Rand not to pick him among the bodyguards he accepted. Oh well... there went the possibility of more AOL training but there also went the risk Osan'gar tried to take control and praise for Taim's own achievements. And Demandred might his "spies" were not so loyal after all.

Osan'gar soon decided he had enough and moved against Rand with the DF Asha'man.

It seems that Demandred stopped supporting/giving much to Taim early. Perhaps we'll never know for sure what triggered it. Was it because with recruiting Taim could grow too powerful and was less and less obedient and Demandred decided to leave him on his own? Was it because Taim "lost control" and his men he placed near Rand tried to kill him, and Demandred never fully trusted Taim's assurances he had nothing to do with that? Was it because he found out Taim was also answering to Osan'gar and Demandred severed his ties to Taim, who perhaps was starting to fish for clues about Demandred's other plans, in the vein of what Alviarin did with Mesaana? Was it because after the failed attempt to kill Rand by Taim's men, Demandred had lost his spies and didn't have any more purpose to be involved with Taim? Is it because he realized Moridin was getting involved with Taim?

Moridin did. He brought Taim under his authority, passed him some knowledge and showed him favor. Taim adopted his colors by KOD. Moridin seems to have given him the Fades and the method to turn men, and he did give him the Dreamspike. Moridin was also behind the plans for Caemlyn, which apparently involved Taim who was the last phase of the plan. A convoluted plan, because a large aspect of it involved making Elayne suffer a lot before she was finally turned into a new "Kinslaying" to break Rand at SG. It started in Ebou Dar. Moridin swore if Elayne and co. managed to upset the DO's plans, he would ensure all of those responsible for it would pay.

It began with Carridin and the BA he punished, then Careane whom he forced to act before she reached Caemlyn, dangerously narrowing the list of suspects for Elayne. Hanlon was also infiltrated in a way meant to immediately rise suspicion, then Shiaine had orders to make him frequently report... which would eventually lead Elayne to her. Elayne dithered about Careane and just didn't seem to take a clue, so Moridin had Shiaine order one of his BA Elayne knew infiltrate the palace to murder as many of the Kin she could. The BA managed to put that job on Careane's shoulders instead. Meanwhile, Shiaine worked to bolster the rivals of Elayne, just to prolong the Succession, and she started to destroy with arson the food reserves Elayne brought from Tear and distributed. Elayne finally acted and took Shiaine prisoner. Moridin wanted her to find out she was surrounded by DF plots, couldn't trust anyone anymore and must isolate herself... But as Hanlon figured out early, Moridin always meant to let Elayne win Caemlyn after a difficult struggle, win Caemlyn that he would immediately make her lose, destroying it. He put the next pawn into play... a DF torturer who had conveniently abandoned a losing mistress to take service with one of Elayne's new "allies" and who could pass Moridin's next set of orders to the prisoners, telling them of their upcoming break out, and that they would join with the rest of Moghedien's pawns to kill Mat Cauthon and prepare his big attack on the city. Taim had his own set of orders. Moridin expected Elayne to come fight for the city. M'Hael had orders to bring into play a second army of Shadowspawn via the Portal Stones in Cairhien, and to crush Elayne.

Moridin's last orders to Daved Hanlon and Lady Shiaine's DF circle she had in Caemlyn was to infiltrate the refugees, find Elayne, and bring her to Shayol Ghul for Moridin's final revenge, and final use for her... a replay of the Kinslaying to finish to break Rand there.

Things didn't play out exactly as planned - Hanlon and the DFs found themselves nowhere near Elayne, sent to Whitebridge (where seemingly they played a role in convincing a group of refugees they must convince the channelers who came to bring them food and supplies to let them use the Gateways to join the battlefield north. After Faile vanished and was no longer in charge of these operations, that was eventually referred to Berelain, who agreed to arrange it.) Elayne baited the Shadowspawn out of the city and to Braem Wood. Hessalam had joined Taim, seemingly Moridin has ordered her to take over the Black Ajah/female Dreadlords, and to bring a few to M'Hael who was getting late finishing the job at the BT. Moridin's plans for the trap wasn't working, but Graendal put it back on tracks by compelling Bashere, who convinced Elayne to retreat to Cairhien, right in the path of the second army and third army. However, Androl/Logain forced Taim out of the BT, and Demandred called all the Dreadlords north. If Taim had been ordered to finish off Elayne's forces and bring her safely to SG (the same orders as Hanlon), Demandred gave him new orders and Moridin was no longer giving any. Hessalam went her own way, to her own plans, bringing several BA with her while Alviarin's group was with Taim and Demandred (in the end, Taim had made Alviarin his second - Mishraile at some point is shown resenting that Taim had placed a woman over them and that he let her bond one of his men -, and she took command after his death).

Hanlon found Elayne, but too late.

The whole thing was an elaborate and creative revenge over Elayne for the Bowl of Wind fiasco. He used the revenge to punish all the DF involved. He targeted the Kin, the Windfinders were probably next. Elayne was to find out she was surrounded by DF and could not trust anyone anymore, which more or less happened as she only trusted Dyelin in the end.

I gave much thoughts to why Verin specifically knew of that plan, or part of it, and why she didn't simply tell Alanna to release her bond to Rand. And I came up with this:

Moridin used Verin as his spy near Rand, a role she probably had played for Ba'alzamon in TGH.

He told her of the plans for Caemlyn, likely because when news of that attack reached Rand - "look for distress through the bond, it will mean I have attacked his little Queen and his unborn children, and destroyed her city" Moridin told her, he wanted Verin to do <i>something else</i>: probably capture Alanna and maybe move against Min, bring them to SG? We'll never know for sure what her specific orders from Moridin were - that it involved moving against Alanna and/or Min as he captured Elayne seems likely, as around the time she must have got them, Moridin was trying to capture Rand, and Semirhage did try to kill Min, and from his orders to Graendal, it appears Moridin was moving to drive Rand to insanity, despair and "pains of heart".. Semirhage was involved, Graendal then got involved and did not much, and Semirhage was given another chance. It seems to me Moridin tried to use Cyndane too - he ordered her to take out Aviendha, but Cyndane wriggled out of that task and targeted Rand using Slayer instead. I think Moridin's mistake was to have allowed Cyndane to use TAR again to kill Perrin after she told him she had played with Masema once, gave him visions of the "Creator". She tried and failed, he then sent Graendal instead and she failed, and as he told Graendal who wanted to try again, "someone else now has this opportunity": he let Cyndane use TAR to hunt down and kill Perrin, and maybe take care of Aviendha (he tried to convince Rand she was after her, anyway).

She disobeyed and invaded Rand's dreams, and instead of attempting to kill Perrin, she started using him, and set Slayer another task, keeping him from his hunt for Perrin at the same time that put in motion her plans for Rand.

What did Verin do? Moridin had given her clues to the timeline and nature of his endgame, that he intended to use the bond(s). She tried her best to wreck it. That attack on Rand at the manor seems to have told her the time to flee had come. She could no longer risk staying with Rand. She went to Alanna and left her a letter. It seems she forewarned Alanna to let herself be captured and at the right time to release Rand's bond, which was the best way to wreck Moridin's plan without leaving time to find an alternative.

She did not foresee Alanna may not be in a state to release the bond when time came. Verin knew about Min. She could have found out from Alanna there were more bonds, or not. Did she puzzle out about Elayne? Did Moridin tell her? We'll never know. She decided the best way to wreck the plans for Caemlyn or Elayne was to prevent the attack through the Waygate. She warned Mat, which failed. Apparently she had redundant orders, so it seems she also warned others but it also failed. Was Galad's letter from her or was it a love letter from Berelain? Did he just forget to open it? Was it so obtuse and cryptic Galad just didn't trust what he understood from it nor for gave it to him in Whitebridge and discarded it as a Shadow ploy to distract him? We'll never know unless we get it out of Brandon (it would be cool to at least know why nothing came out of it, a frustrating omission from the book, as if Brandon simply forgot to include something).

SauceyBlueConfetti
01-29-2013, 02:23 PM
Elayne was to find out she was surrounded by DF and could not trust anyone anymore, which more or less happened as she only trusted Dyelin in the end.

Disagree with this, what about Birgitte? If Moridin knew this much, he knew how trusted SHE was by Elayne, through Hanlon. Maybe not the warder bond, no one really knew that, but Birgitte was basically second in command to Elayne and it was obvious.

What did Verin do? Moridin had given her clues to the timeline and nature of his endgame, that he intended to use the bond(s). She tried her best to wreck it.

this makes sense to a point, if not directly from Moridin (NOTHING points to Verin being on the inside track with Moridin. He shared his endgame plan with HER above the CHOSEN? I just don't buy that.)

but this, definitely does not:
She went to Alanna and left her a letter.
I find that hard to believe. Alanna allowed herself to be captured? She knew Verin was black and trusted the letter anyway? You are inferring it was a scene similar to the reveal to Egwene. I doubt it. She had to be dead or dying before the reveal, enough to make a doubter TRUST her anyway. Alanna was tops of the list to mistrust Verin. AND vice versa.

No, if nothing else the scary storytelling about The Chosen would indicate they knew HOW to torture and control Aes Sedai, and Alanna was always a wildcard, ESPECIALLY in the eyes of Verin. I don't see Verin risking GIVING Moridin an idea, and a great tool in an uncontrolled bond to the Dragon.

Besides, how would Moridin know whether or not she released the bond? And when? Why not just release it in advance and lie about it? (Or Aes Sedai-r it?) Verin likely knew of the 13x13 crew roaming those lands, why would she send Alanna to MORIDIN who could initiate a turning at the nod of his head?

I think Alanna had another task set to her by Verin, and that is on my list of questions for Harriet/Brandon. (if it isn't answered before JordanCon ;) )

Davian93
01-29-2013, 02:28 PM
Maybe not the warder bond, no one really knew that, but Birgitte was basically second in command to Elayne and it was obvious.


The AS around her did...including Careane most likely.

GonzoTheGreat
02-02-2013, 05:54 AM
The Two Rivers men looked as worn as Arganda felt. It had been a long, long day, and the fighting was by no means over. I wish Gallene were here, Arganda thought, inspecting Trollocs at the river as al'Thor's men approached. I could use someone to argue with.
This is actually a good reason for the squabbling between Arganda and Gallene that had been going on. They couldn't argue with their superiors, as that's not a good example in regards to discipline. They could not argue with their inferiors for the same reason. So the only way of letting off steam was to argue with the other. If Perrin had known this, he would have worried less about it, I think.

Dom
02-02-2013, 10:26 AM
Disagree with this, what about Birgitte? If Moridin knew this much, he knew how trusted SHE was by Elayne, through Hanlon. Maybe not the warder bond, no one really knew that, but Birgitte was basically second in command to Elayne and it was obvious.

I was speaking of the AS with her and her political allies/rivals.

And I didn't say Moridin fully succeeded. Careane had orders. Had she waited but a few days, she would have been in a big city. She struck in circumstances that would narrow it down to a few women Adeleas would have accepted tea from. One more day and she would have had plenty of other suspects.. a DF among the servants or in the kitchen, and assassin etc. There was no urgency to kill Ispan, her BA oaths held her and she could give nothing, as Moridin and Careane knew. The odds Ispan even knew about Careane are slim. Either Careane was really stupid, or she had no choice... she was ordered by a Forsaken to kill Ispan before they reached Caemlyn. Careane waited as long as she could, then in the end she had no more choice and struck in far less than optimal conditions. She must have slept badly for a while, but Vandene/Elayne fooled her she was safe.

That murder indeed destroyed most trust Elayne had in Careane, Sareitha and Merrile... but not in Vandene. Careane was again either totally stupid, or she had orders from above to overdo it with Adeleas. It was totally gratuitous and hyper risky. Careane killed her, then stabbed the body. Someone would have wanted her twin to make it personal and never give up looking for which of the three sisters was the murderer they would not have arranged it better...

As for politics, the plot by which Hanlon was ordered to place himself near Elayne was designed to arise her suspicion, which it did, immediately. The readers were not told, but Elayne gave him that position to keep him close. They sent her one of Rahvin's pawns. Shiaine kept calling him to the house in the middle of the night. Hanlon suspected she was trying to get him caught doing that, grumbling how those nightly calls for someone in his position would attract attention from the palace (which they sure did) - and it was all for futile motives. Shiaine was probably rather following orders from Moridin, too blind to her own importance to realize those orders to get reports in person from Hanlon regularly placed her in grave danger that Elayne would track down Hanlon to her house. Shiaine was also calling to her house agents of the Shadow from the Houses assieging the city, and under orders to perform rather pointless arson, more an annoyance to arise suspicion than anything since the Shadow knew Elayne used Gateways to feed the city. Those contacts between Shiaine and DF with the nobles outside the city were redundant/unecessary/risky. The Shadow had agents like Lounalt closer to Arymilla than Shiaine's agents...

Shiaine, Hanlon, the BA were all used as baits. They were meant to be found, and interrogation would have revealed the Shadow was involved with the moves of Houses against Elayne.

The one thing the Shadow didn't foresee was Elayne and Vandene acting so prudently and in appearance not reacting to Adeleas's murder, or the obvious plant that was Hanlon. So Moridin raised the stakes... Shiaine started having visitors from outside the walls, people obviously aligned with her rivals that Elayne might watch for at the Gates. Then the orders came to send one of the BA Elayne knew on sight to infiltrate the palace and kill Kin and Windfinders. They managed to shove the job on Careane instead, Shiaine having no idea certainly that it mattered to Moridin she used one of her own two BA who could be spotted and tracked to the her house... Then orders came to get frequent reports in person from Hanlon.

Moridin (or probably Moghedien acting for him) was running out of new ways to make Elayne act and capture Shiaine. Elayne had spotted most of this as the Shadow wanted, but she was threading far more carefully than expected. Then when she finally acted, Moghedien's strays ruined most of it and Elayne won the throne easier than the Shadow would have wanted, and didn't have the motivation to look for Shadow agents behind the succession anynore, seemingly refused Lounalt's "help" to question the prisoners, which had that worked would have gotten the exact information Moridin wanted her to have...

Moridin didn't get the results he hoped for. In the end it was "to hell with this, let's jump to the endgame".


(NOTHING points to Verin being on the inside track with Moridin.)

Really? It's not 100% confirmed, but Maria said she believes Verin was the second Aes Sedai at the DF social.

So yeah, Verin would once have been a direct pawn of Moridin. That she knew about a High Lord of Tear being a DF (and one of Moridin's, btw) but didn't know his indentity also supports the theory she was the second AS at the social. Weiramon stupidly flaunted himself at that meeting. I think it's what Verin passed to Rand: her notes from the "Darkfriends social" that could be relevant to him: a High Lord, a high level Illianer woman, a Domani Highborn etc. plus Elza. She may also have been the one who suggested to Rand the very showy, very crafty, very Verin-esque scheme by which he made potential DFs believe he could spot them on sight (that's further suggested by the fact she passed Egwene similar tricks to trap BA). Brandon stretched itby having DF on the other side of the continent learn of this and kill themselves when he arrived, but the scheme to frighten hidden DF to leave and come nowhere near him was brilliant. And Verin gave Rand a few DF in select groups she was sure existed, and that Rand could use to pull it off: one of the High Lords, or Elza. I think she gave him the trick to "purge" his inner circle of all DFs this way. The heartbeat trick to spot terror/nervousness might be something she's used herself on non-channelers for years.

In Ebou Dar, Moridin thought he needed to re establish contact with his agents. Verin is the most likely to have been Moridin's spy near Rand.

She also met Mesaana, and Lanfear knew of her.

Why would Verin have known about Caemlyn unless there's a connection between this attack and her own orders? She's not been around Caemlyn or any of the Shadow's agents involved there in a long time, long before Elayne became Queen, before Rand blocked the Waygates, and more to the point, long before the timeline of TG was determined. The most likely scenario is that Caemlyn was related to orders she herself had from a Forsaken somehow. There might be a reason why she apparently didn't pass the warning to Rand himself beside other people. Obviously she also didn't tell him about Alanna, as we see in AMOL Rand having no idea what Alanna was doing north.

I didn't say Moridin had an heart to heart with Verin and shared his plans with her. The Forsaken never do that. It also doesn't even matter if Moridin gave her orders himself or used Cyndane or Moghedien to pass them on to her. I suggested she might have been told about Caemlyn because news of that attack might have been a sign she was to look for, to act on orders of her own. Her orders might have been to capture (or kill) Alanna and Min when news of the attack on Caemlyn arrived. That may be all Verin knew of Moridin's intent to use Rand's bonds.

The most likely scenario is that whatever Verin passed to Alanna didn't work, no more than her warning to Mat.

I think she simply forewarned Alanna that she found out the Forsaken knew of her bond to Rand. She most likely didn't tell Alanna how she knew (it would work better if Alanna believed Verin couldn't lie...) She didn't need to say more to any Aes Sedai who isn't BA, and Verin must have made damn sure long ago Alanna wasn't BA. Not that it made Alanna trustworthy, though Verin might have counted too much on her common sense, of which Alanna alas never had much. She fits right there with the likes of Gawyn and Elaida.

Alanna is Alanna and of courze she didn't do the right thing, especially if it meant sidetracking herself or losing her bond to Rand.

She couldn't bring herself to release the bond. She never could, despite the pain it caused her, despite the fact Rand didn't want her and had either bonded others or let them bond him. Knowing other had him, she couldn't even fall back on the excuse Rand needed her bond for the strength

She couldn't do the right thing despite the fact it had not worked to control him. Alanna remained Alanna. She had to be on the brink of death and disaster before she finally let go. She seemed to have gone in hiding close but not too close to Rand. She was where he would easily narrow down her exact location if he wanted to have her at her side for Tarmon Gai'don, and probably wasn't anywhere where that encounter would be witnessed if he did.

That would be just like Alanna the Green to hope until the end "her warder" would of course come and fetch her to fight TG at his side. She was always a bit of a match for Gawyn that one. From the beginning or close she's wanted to be Moiraine that one. She only gained Egwene/Nynaeve's mistrust from her over eagerness, then Verin and Faile managed to prevent her from putting a leash on Perrin. Verin failed to prevent her placing one on Rand. She protected the secret as long as she could, but after Alanna collapsed after Fain's attack it started to get out and the Shadow learned. Verin herself might have been cornered and had no choice but to explain to Moridin or his pets how Cadsuane found Rand in Far Madding.



You are inferring it was a scene similar to the reveal to Egwene. I doubt it.

Absolutely not. I think the odds Verin revealed to Alanna she was BA are extremely slim.

I was juggling with various possibilities, but the most likely scenario I have in mind is the one depicted above: she simply forewarned her she "found out" the Forsaken knew of her bond to Rand. Any sensible AS who isn't BA would have dissolved the bond or made damn sure to sit out TG and hide where no one could find her.

Alanna was never a very sensible woman, however.


I think Alanna had another task set to her by Verin, and that is on my list of questions for Harriet/Brandon. (if it isn't answered before JordanCon ;) )

The only thing I can see is that beside forewarning her about the Forsaken knowing of her bond, Verin suggested she tried to locate Padan Fain. Between what happened in TGH and at Falme (and the strong possibility Moiraine and her shared their findings.. what Moiraine found out at the Namelles, that Mordeth was loose in the form of Fain, was terribly relevant for Verin in whose hands she was entrusting the Horn and Mat's fate... on her way back to TV she could have had to deal with Fain who had vanished from Falme and could be tracking the dagger, a possibility Moiraine couldn't dismiss), in Cairhien and what happened in Far Madding, and what she could puzzle out about the taint of SL from the Cleansing, Verin had more than enough to know how massively dangerous Fain could turn out to be during the LB. Alanna is one of those who knew Fain on sight. Verin might very well have puzzled out/anticipated that Fain would ultimately go to SG to await Rand.

It's very possible Moridin "helped her" in this. It's fairly logical that by the end, after FM and when it became obvious Isam wasn't very succesful he would have warned his agents, especially those near Rand, to watch out for Fain and to interfere and try to kill him if he showed up.

Verin could easily have puzzled out from the patterns of his travels and sudden reappearances that Fain was using the Ways. She might have tipped Alanna to start there, at the known Waygate(s) in Shienar/Malkier that had fallen to the Blight, or at the Waygate near Far Madding. Signs of the SL taint on people is something AS can look for, especially Alanna who, like Verin, was familar with it in practice rather than just theory. Verin also believed that Fain was "contagious" and could spread the Taint (according to RJ, he could only do that when he had the dagger). She also knew from TGH, and possibly from the TR, he had powers over Shadowspawn.

As a Brown scholar, Verin no doubt knew more about SL, Mordeth's "creatures" and "unnatural assassins" from TW era reports than we do. Moiraine did to (it's from her that we know the little we do), but RJ didn't want us to know all the details so on screen Moiraine gave a bullet point summary of the Aridhold/Mordeth stories.

Alanna trying to hunt down Fain in the Blight could be how she ended up being captured.

It's not impossible the connection between Rand and Moridin by TOM was "strong" enough that he could locate his bond-holders as Rand himself could. Perhaps not as clearly or as reliably or as constantly.. but Alanna got close to him.

Moridin has dealt with AS insiders (BA) long enough it's likely he knew an AS could release a bond. He probably left Alanna no chance. I guess he might have kept her for a while in the same sort of stasis Sammael put Carridin, or in some other way unconscious. He couldn't harm her or torture her, or kept her in terror. As Rand got close, he would have been forewarned, and he didn't need to get that close to get a sense of her emotions or state (he felt Elayne's elation/relief when she gained the throne from Arad Doman, for e.g.).

My feeling is that the whole idea to use Rand's bond(s) during the endgame may not even originate from Moridin himself. I think this may rather have come from Shai'tan himself, from what Shaidar Haran found out during the Semirhage/Cabriana Mecandes sessions SH in person had overseen.

KilMichaelMcC
02-02-2013, 02:23 PM
What's this about Elza? I think I'm missing something, what indication is there of her being mentioned in Verin's letter?

Dom
02-02-2013, 02:39 PM
What's this about Elza? I think I'm missing something, what indication is there of her being mentioned in Verin's letter?

No. Elza is one of the sisters Verin held under her form of compulsion and questioned. It's not very likely she missed the fact Elza was BA, and she wasn't one she had spotted in other ways (she didn't miss all that many in the end).

GonzoTheGreat
02-05-2013, 04:44 AM
Galgan has been removed as a serious threat to Fortuona and Mat, I suddenly realised. That is a direct result of the action, or rather inaction, of the Shadow.

Consider:
The four Great Captains of the Randland part of the world were targeted by a Forsaken, made undependable with Compulsion. That was done because otherwise they would have been competent enough to be real threats to the DO's forces, and they hadn't received good enough protection to prevent this. Then, when the Seanchan got involved, the Shadow did not think Galgan worthy of such an attack, but it did attack Yulan.