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  #21  
Old 10-12-2012, 08:22 AM
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And we still have to deconstruct the entire series to prove Bela is the dark one and Demandred is Taim.
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  #22  
Old 10-13-2012, 04:41 AM
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I think we will never know who tricked Masema and appeared in his dreams as Rand or why the sisters were visiting his camp, I just don't see whoever did it sitting down and explaining it to us.
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  #23  
Old 10-13-2012, 11:31 AM
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Or whatever happened with Berylla Naron, Jeaine Caide, and Rianna Andomeran.
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  #24  
Old 10-13-2012, 11:48 AM
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Or whatever happened with Berylla Naron, Jeaine Caide, and Rianna Andomeran.
Maybe they've made a new Seal, on the explicit orders of the DO. That'd be fun: if Rand breaks the Seals he has, and then finds out that that isn't enough to help him anyway.
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  #25  
Old 10-15-2012, 12:31 PM
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Will we ever find out where all these bleeding trollocs come from beyond what is mentioned in the prologue and

'sending these trollocs to whatever pit birthed them!'
?
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  #26  
Old 10-21-2012, 07:06 PM
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I think we will never know who tricked Masema and appeared in his dreams as Rand or why the sisters were visiting his camp, I just don't see whoever did it sitting down and explaining it to us.
For Masema it's pretty much down to Moghedien or Cyndane (Brandon said it was a woman, hasn't he?), which we could already pretty much figure out when Graendal said they were sometimes active in the south trying to execute Moridin's orders to kill Mat and Perrin. The possibility is certainly there that the remaining Forsaken in their last POVs makes allusion (à la Graendal in TGS) which give us new clues to figure out their early series' plans, perhaps not definitively, but close enough.

As for which of the two it was, it's rather obvious. Lanfear was the one who followed Rand in TGH and possibly spied on dreams of his followers as it's how she does things (could even be how she discovered Egwene had the potential to be a dreamwalker), and we know she was active near Rand after Falme as she sent him those dreams of Callandor to attract him to Be'lal's lair while Be'lal admits flatly at the end of TDR his surprise that Rand shows up, and that he never expected Rand to come to fetch Callandor so early - and he mistakingly thought Rand came because of the captives he had (admitting again surprise the girls were of any use as bait) Rand didn't even know about. Therefore, his plans for him (to which Mesaana collaborated) were long term - likely involving finding the sad bracelets first, and he's not the one who attracted him to Tear with dreams. So, Lanfear did.

In any case, she's also the best placed to have figured out Masema was a potential threat to Rand. Lanfear's plans forced her to avoid causing harm to people near Rand as she wanted to depict herself as an ally (beside, she claims truthfully or not, probably she depicted herself in a too good light there, she doesn't kill unless she must). She needed Rand's allies near him to reproduce the conditions of Falme where the Pattern came together for Rand. It worked, but afterward she needed to get rid of his entourage for the next phase of her plan. She had to use ruses to deal with them, like having the BA killed to convince the girls they held precious information they had to act on (Elayne figured it out, the other two dismissed the possibility), like sending Slayer to the Two Rivers after she learned Perrin had gone there (Slayer was to hold him there, simply enough). Mat didn't go, Moiraine didn't go with the girls, Egwene didn't go with the others - Lanfear had to live with that.

The means to deal with Masema fits Lanfear like a glove... Appearing as the Creator in dreams and turning Masema into a fanatic faithful of the Dragon, thus making him harmless to Rand. That may well have been the extent of her goals with Masema. The guy was unhinged and going crazier, turning those visions of the Creator into a call to become The Prophet may have been his own crazy notions and have nothing to do with Lanfear. However, she'd be the one aware of who he was and his potential as an assassin when she had to find a way to kill Perrin without doing the deed herself (as those were Moridin's orders: to use their followers). Meanwhile Moghedien was likely the one trying to take care of Mat in Caemlyn (and thus likely to be the one who tracked down and gave new orders to the gholam). Perrin and Mat shouldn't have been much of a challenge for those two as the BWB hinted they can kill using TAR (snatching people there from their dreams, presumably), except both Perrin's dreams and Mat's dreams are protected - the wolves for one, the medallion for the other.

The (same?) Forsaken tried to get Perrin killed with DF in KOD, it didn't work. She then must spotted Masema's presence and have visited Masema in his dreams, but Masema responded by using Aram, which failed.

Speculatively, I'm rather convinced Perrin's original AMOL storyline was more succint, and had neither a dreamspike nor the involvement of Graendal. It's all stuff Brandon came up with to expand Perrin's arc to book length. I'm rather convinced the original outline had Perrin bump into Galad who had captured Lini and co, all while his Asha'man were too exhausted to Travel. The Trial, the forging of the Hammer. Etc. That ended with the Forsaken who had used Masema to attempt to kill Perrin realizing Perrin was stuck there and sending a huge army of Shadowspawn lead by Isam to deal with them, just as Perrin saw his Traveling problem solved by mixed gender circles. Perrin goes to save the WC left behind, during which battle Byar, who hardly needed any Compulsion to hate Perrin (Brandon actually ruined/trivialized the Byar arc ongoing since EOTW by adding this element), tried to kill him.

As for Annoura and co, we might still learn the answer too, as Brandon referred to this again in TOM, perhaps as a reminder before resolution comes. But again, we'll be able to puzzle it out after AMOL. Either one or more of those AS will be revealed as BA, in which case we'll have a new clue. But that's not so likely. There's so much spying ongoing at Merrilor it's unlikely BA with Perrin would not have been exposed by now, especially Annoura who would have been awaited by the WT as Berelain's advisor (which also makes her a sister Egwene would have wanted to meet the minute she learned of Berelain's arrival). There remains the possibility Annoura is one of those Verin has missed, otherwise she's most likely in the clear.

If she is, we really have all the clues we need to figure it out. Annoura is a Grey who seems to always have two solutions to every problem: either you negotiate, or you scheme and deceive to get your way (which makes her perfect for Berelain, whose diplomacy rests on the same methods...); and Masuri was the one convinced Masema could be controlled (the AS who wasn't allowed to visit Masema, presumably by the WO, was Seonid, convinced like the WO Masema was rabid and had to be put down...). It's rather obvious they attempted something to "control Masema", which sounds very much like the Wise Ones attempting to prove to Perrin Masema had to be killed, and the whole thing of course failed, Masema has demonstrated what he thought of Aes Sedai. Obviously Berelain confronted Annoura after Perrin told her she visited Masema, and Annoura must have flatly refused to account for her actions to Berelain - claiming WT business, while Berelain had grown accustomed to have the apparent last word in their ruler-advisor relationship (and as we know, she trusted Annoura and was used to even scheme and deceive secretely with her). So whatever happened, Berelain lost trust in her advisor, but must have been sufficiently chastised about interferring further with AS business not to dare tell Perrin what happened between her and Annoura.

The whole thing probably sits even worse with Berelain that she was making her own efforts about Masema using her thiefcatchers, likely in secret from Annoura (efforts which got them killed, quite possibly because Annoura's visit to Masema made him even more suspicious of people from Berelain's entourage. He may well have assumed the thiefcatchers's spying (and theft if he noticed that, but it seems unlikely) were further efforts by the Aes Sedai), and their deaths a warning to stay away from him.

Unsolved mysteries are more likely to include pretty much all the early plans of the Forsaken, especially those of the ones who met the final death.

I used to think the Shaido would become a "lose thread" (never to be seen on screen as such again, their final fate unknown) but it's somewhat unlikely now as they seemd to be caught between northern Altara and Murandy and thus all too close to Demandred's (likely) power base, ripe for an "alliance" with Murandy (especially if, like I believe, his real plan isn't to attack North, but to come back from Merrilor pretending to have an alliance with the WT (actually the BA) and the BT (actually some of Taim's forces) and launch an attack on the Seanchan in Altara, combined with attacks near Ebou Dar by Shadowspawn. Then he will pick the remainder of the damane, have them turned to the Shadow and go for Rand and Tar Valon.

We'll certainly miss the final answer to minor mysteries (like which Forsaken had Fel killed, but I've long helded the view it's Sammael who believed Fel was how Rand hid Asmodean thus explaining RJ's "AS answer" that the one who had Fel killed thought Fel knew too much. Obviously whoever that was didn't find out what Fel and Rand really discussed, because the books from which Fel was deriving all this knowledge were left untouched for Min to come pick up...), various AS sub-plots Brandon left drift to the side, the details of what happened with Alviarin's efforts against the Hunters during TGS (we might kept scraps from a POV in AMOL, but it won't be much). We might not learn as much as we'd like about Taim's path up to LOC, and much of the behind the scenes of the BT since then. We will probably not learn nearly as much as we'd like about the "dark magic" Mordeth used and that was behind SL (it's probably a good thing we don't...)

RJ said he would solve all the main arcs, and most of the secondary ones, but that some of those had been designed to remain unresolved or to be open ended. I suspect we already know the most important of those, and it's what happens to Seanchan itself post TG. For the rest, it doesn't look to me like there's a whole lot of important things that absolutely need resolution, and I think RJ never intended to tell us too much about early unsolved mysteries no longer having any bearing on the finale as it would have defeated the very purpose of his theme of mutable and partial knowledge (which might be the theme Brandon mishandled the most in the two last books, having many characters suddenly be aware of so many things they didn't know before... non channelers knowing too much about the OP or AS customs, or about Aiel customs, or even plot points they never have been aware of, like Nynaeve epiphany about Moiraine coming from details of what happened between her and Rand in the Waste she didn't witness and Egwene would not have told her as she didn't understand herself what Moiraine was doing).

I suspect we know pretty much all we need to know about Shara, or close (I doubt RJ worldbuilt it in much more details, as far as we know the Ayyad have their hands full handling the chaos sparked by Graendal and the continent, like Seanchan, is unlikely to play much if any role in the LB).
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  #27  
Old 10-22-2012, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Dom View Post
Be'lal admits flatly at the end of TDR his surprise that Rand shows up, and that he never expected Rand to come to fetch Callandor so early - and he mistakingly thought Rand came because of the captives he had (admitting again surprise the girls were of any use as bait)
Can you post some quotes for this? This was not the scene I read in my copy of The Dragon Reborn...

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Originally Posted by dom
like sending Slayer to the Two Rivers after she learned Perrin had gone there (Slayer was to hold him there, simply enough).
You do realize that Slayer was operating in the Two Rivers prior to Perrin's arrival, right?

He was there to try to eliminate the "renegade" aka Fain...

Some of your ideas are as far out there as Felix's...
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  #28  
Old 10-22-2012, 11:19 AM
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Slayer was sent to the TR to kill Padan Fain. The fact that Perrin showed up was a surprise, which at first seemed pleasant but then soured a bit.
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  #29  
Old 10-22-2012, 01:50 PM
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Slayer was sent to the TR to kill Padan Fain.
That's never been solidly established. It's not because Moridin mentions that Isam is hunting "the regenade" in Winter's Heart that it confirms he was already doing this back in TSR. If he had failed to accomplish this task given him as far back as The Shadow Rising or even earlier, you'd think Moridin when he returned and realized it still wasn't accomplished would have gotten a clue about Isam's incompetence for the task and put someone else in charge of that by WH...

Then there's the MO. Why give Isam an army of Trollocs with Fades to deal with Fain when the whole idea of using Isam is because he is a solitary hunter relying on <i>stealth</i> and his abilities with TAR that would let him appear near Fain by complete surprise? I mean, either Moridin believes Isam is up to the task, or he believed he wasn't and would have tasked a Chosen to kill Fain.

Why would Isam have needed to play a double game in the TR, leading the Shadowspawn on one hand and on the other infiltrating the area as Luc, pretending to organize the defense against Shadowspawn but making sure people stayed isolated? What was the point of all this, if his orders were to kill Padan Fain who was extremely easy to find, as everyone in the area knew the WC had made a camp near Watch Hill? If he knew where his prey was, why all the dithering and fooling around? To what purpose? Why did Isam let Fain escape and didn't track him (as far as we know, Fain passed the river and rode with his corrupted WC toward Caemlyn... why would Isam lose his trail at the time, and fail at the WT, and again in Caemlyn, and when Fain was with the remnants of the White Lions? Not much of a hunter, don't you think?)

If Isam's mission was to hunt and kill Fain in the Two Rivers, why would he doubt so much it was the real goal of his mission? Why would he have reasons to doubt, when according to this theory by Winter's Heart it was (still) his mission, and from no less than the Nae'blis?

Isam thinks in AMOL, pr:

"That Two Rivers operation, it stank like a carcass left to rot. He still didn't know. Had the point really been to lure al'Thor, or had it been to keep Isam away from important events?"

Isam implies the stated goal of what he calls the "Two Rivers operation" was to lure Rand to the Two Rivers, but he doubts that's really why he was sent there, in other words that the Chosen who gave him those orders deceived him about his (her) real motives to send Isam there.

This doesn't confirm my notion that Lanfear's the one who sent Isam to the TR in TSR a while ahead of Perrin (I've held that notion for years, though I've changed my mind a few times about her real intent, alternating from an attempt to lure Perrin or Mat and an attempt to lure Rand to an isolated area where she could introduce him to Asmodean), but it pretty much kills the notion that Isam was there to deal with Fain.

IMHO, Moridin realized how truly dangerous Fain was after he wounded Rand near Cairhien. I think it's then and only then he ordered Isam to find and kill him. Isam failed, because Fain vanished after Cairhien. Perhaps he caught up to him in Far Madding, but at the time a Chosen snatched him and ordered him to find and kill Rand.

I'd suggest Moridin possibly isn't the only one who's try to kill Fain, that after what happened to his "agents" in Far Madding, Demandred set packs of Dark Hounds after him as well, but the DH roamed the south in vain as Fain had already fled the area via a Waygate. It may be Masema's scent that confused them briefly when they came accross Perrin's camp.
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  #30  
Old 10-22-2012, 04:14 PM
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Can you post some quotes for this? This was not the scene I read in my copy of The Dragon Reborn...
When Rand tries to bring up the matter of the girls and his dreams (which from his behaviour I believe where sent by Lanfear, not Be'lal), Be'lal cuts him off...

"The man made a dismissive gesture of his hand. "They are less than nothing. Perhaps one day, when they have been trained, but not now.I confess surprise that you cared enough to make them useful. But you were ever a fool, ever ready to follow your heart before power. You came too soon, Lews Therin. Now you must do what you are not yet ready for, or else die."

Be'lal is surprised the girls were of any use as bait, therefore it's highly unlikely it was his idea to use them as bait and if he had attracted Rand to Tear with dreams, he would have tracked his progress and known this was working, and that Rand didn't come because of the girls. This all suggests Be'lal had nothing to do with the dreams, and thus that he was not really expecting Rand, or at least not trying to attract him.

As per my theory, Lanfear was the one who sent Slayer to kill the Grey Men Ishamael had sent to kill Egwene and Nynaeve as soon as they showed up again in the WT, who arranged for the girls to go to Tear and to arrange for their capture by Be'lal's BA; she was the flash of white in the corridor seen as Egwene left Verin - a clue she was spying on that encounter; who pushed Perrin to continue on his path while Ishamael was urging him to give up and return to the TR, who encouraged Mat to leave the WT. In short, Lanfear was behind all the attempts to send to Rand in Tear "the players" from Falme. She has seen what happened there, how all the threads came together to defeat Ishamael's plans. She worked to reproduce this in Tear, to have Rand seize Callandor early to discourage the other Chosen from coming for him. Then, she assembled her alliance of four Chosen, largely a deception which real goal was to prevent Rhavin and Sammael from going after Rand before he was trained, and to make Demandred wary of attempting the same, knowing he'd face an alliance of four Chosen if he tried. Meanwhile, she had provided Asmodean to Rand, and intended to place him in a position where he would ally himself to her.

I believe it's Mesaana who sent Fades to capture the girls once they were out of Siuan's sight (Rahvin hears of the girls who left the Tower and are on their way to Tear only a few days later, and initially dismisses the news as "Let them ruin his (Be'lal) plans, if they can". Comar didn't get this information from the Myrddraal, whoever his source was it revealed to him one of the girls was Elayne. Again, I suspect it's Lanfear who arrange for that information to reach Rahvin via Comar. Before long we witnessed Rahvin, Sammael and Be'lal arguing in TAR and Ishamael in a rage losing his temper at them. I think Rhavin was venting his anger about Elayne and Be'lal's foolish impatience, Sammael was venting his anger about happenings in his territory he blamed Be'lal for too, Be'lal was claiming (truthfully) this was none of his doing and had nothing to do with his plans to capture Rand, and Ishamael was trying to regain control of the mess. Once the men are gone, Lanfear appears and confronts/mocks Ishamael openly.

I believe it's Ishamael who used all the Grey Men in the book, to kill Mat, Perrin, Egwene and Nynaeve. He was trying to prevent the same thing, what happened at Falme, that Lanfear was working to make happen.

It's Sammael who used the DH.

Be'lal did nothing, he was in the planning stage, he had called for 13 BA, was seemingly training them in TAR (and we know from a comment of Alviarin he liked to meet his agents, thus maybe a hint he planned to send his BA away on errands and would have need to gather them for meetings/reports), was perhaps planning to send them soon to Tanchico after the Sad Bracelets (Liandrin had already talked of that with Amico) etc. Mesaana was involved Graendal told us, and you can bet it's not because of the BA part (more likely her contribution may have been a report of the Sad Bracelets) as Mesaana boasted about that plan to capture Rand in front of Graendal and she would never have willingly tipped the others she was in the White Tower (Graendal rather found out because of a slip Mesaana made in a moment of anger about Semirhage's being late at a meeting).

Be'lal had arranged to get a full circle of BA and yet he didn't use them when Rand arrived (so that wasn't his plan), he came alone to meet Rand, that's the basis of my notion that Be'lal never expected to be able to attract Rand so early as Rand would never be so foolish as attempting to seize Callandor so soon. I believe he was getting ready, with Mesaana's help, for something far more long term, to face a stronger/better skilled Rand when he finally came for Callandor.

The notion it was all Lanfear's doing comes from several things. First, we know from RJ she was Else in the Tower in TDR (after the real one had been sent home), and it's Else who sent the three girls to find the hidden belongings of the BA, full of clues about Tear. Verin also confirmed in TGS that the SC wasn't best pleased that by Siuan's orders she had to give the girls information about Liandrin's group, but the SC decided she had no choice. She gave them as little as she could, obviously it wasn't the SC's notion to attract the girls to Tear, and thus it was most unlikely Mesaana's wish... Someone else interferred: Lanfear. We also know Lanfear visited Alviarin once, I believe it was for that purpose. She later guided Egwene further in TAR as Silvie.

And then there's Egwene's dream (TDR) of a woman holding the strings of puppets, IMO it refers to Lanfear.

Then there's Perrin's Wolfdream (TDR) where Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne walked into a cage, with Liandrin laughing at them and Lanfear laughing at Liandrin. Could it be more obvious that Lanfear deceived Liandrin? I believe Lanfear's the one who arranged for the BA in Tear to find out the girls were there, and it's Liandrin who told Be'lal they could be used to attract Rand to Tear, that he came for them to Falme. From what he tells Rand, it appears Be'lal didn't never believed Rand would be so foolish to fall for that, but he kept the girls for eventual use after they had been trained, just in case.

Quote:
You do realize that Slayer was operating in the Two Rivers prior to Perrin's arrival, right?
Yes I do. Luc, the Trollocs and the WC with Fain all arrived around the same time, dixit Egwene's dad.

You seem to overlook the fact Tear was full of rumors about problems in the TR, enough for both Rand and Perrin to learn of them from different sources.

Dain Bornhald arrived in Taren Ferry by Saven 12. A mere 16 days later, Tear was full of rumors from traders about problems in the TR. Do you really believe these rumors were natural, not even two WOT weeks after the WC arrived there?

There's the possibility Fain took the pain to arrange to spread those rumours in every city on his way to the TR but it's unlikely, as weeks later Fain reflects that rumors of the scouring had not reached Rand yet but that eventually they would, and that he had to arrange for more tales to get past Bornhald's guards at Taren Ferry. He makes no mention of having spread rumors preemptively on his way to the TR...

I prefer to believe Isam reported the presence of the WC in the TR to Lanfear (when she interrupted his TR operation to have him kill the BA in Tear, the rumors about the TR appeared at inns the very same day) and she had Hadnan Kadere spread rumors of troubles in the TR to merchants in the Tairen Inns. I didn't take long before that reached the ears of Rand (via Thom, IRRC), and Perrin.

Quote:
He was there to try to eliminate the "renegade" aka Fain...
I don't believe he was, too many details don't fit, including the fact that weeks after Fain arrived, Gray Men were sent by a Forsaken to kill him, and they failed. This suggests at that point Isam reported Fain's interference, and his sponsor sent Grey Men to deal with that, as Slayer had other duties to perform there.

See my other post for the rest, but in short AMOL pr, Slayer claims the goal of what he calls the "Two Rivers operation" was "to lure Rand" not to deal with Fain, but that he still didn't know if that was the real goal (of the Chosen who ordered him) or if the Chosen who gave him that task did it to keep Slayer away from important events.

Another thing I see as a hint that it's Lanfear who was using Slayer's services in TSR is his presence in Tel'aran'rhiod during the "Two Rivers operation" right where she was, ie: near Rhuidean.
Idle curiosity by Slayer for Rhuidean at the time? I think not. He was there for a pre-arranged report to Lanfear, IMO.

Quote:
Some of your ideas are as far out there as Felix's...
Come on, there's a lot of speculation to fill the holes, and forcibly some of those ideas will be wrong, but I hardly see anything in there that's even remotely comparable to Felix's raving madness.

Last edited by Dom; 10-22-2012 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:39 PM
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nice rationales, Dom. In my reread I found the idea of Forsaken who hadn't been introduced yet as being central to events highly improbable. RJ seemed to spend the early books intensely focussed on one or two Forsaken at a time, and it is difficult to conclude at first reading that kidnapping the Novices, or harrying the Two Rivers is the work of unseen and unknown players. Your Lanfear rationales stand up much better than the ones involving Mesaana. Do not overlook Lanfear's jealousy as a motive to get the girls out of the way, sufficient in its own right regardless of other objectives.

The place where that observation goes off the rails is in Lord of Chaos, which was constructed in such a way as to make everything uncertain, and a previously unknown player cold surprise the reader. If Mesaana had been involved in earlier events, Lord of Chaos wouild have been the choice place to reveal it.

Overall, I concur that many of the earlier mysteries will remain mysterious, for lack of sufficient motivation to explain them. The only way they're going to show up is if a theme of A Memory of Light is revelation, and it fits the story to have many small and big mysteries revealed.
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:21 PM
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nice rationales, Dom. In my reread I found the idea of Forsaken who hadn't been introduced yet as being central to events highly improbable.
Thanks, and I largely agree with your reasonning there.

Obviously, RJ broke that rule here and there, including some unexaplainable actions that only made sense later (eg: Semirhage being ordered to send Trollocs to Tear during the TDR timeline) but by and large TGH and TDR are the "Lanfear vs. Ishamael" books, and what happened in TDR is, IMHO, the whole reason why Moridin's hatred for Cyndane is so... personal. The DO has his reasons to punish her, but I'm convinced my rationales would explain well why Moridin holds her responsible for his death, and explains why Moghedien could comment in AMOL 1 that having killed her to "rescue" her from Findhol is "obviously" part of her punishment (being given the permission to kill Lanfear to get her out might have been a reward from the DO to Moridin. I merely provide a motive why Moridin would have badly wanted her to experience death as he did, that is when Lanfear confronted him, mocked his posture of authority that he didn't officially have back then, all but told him she was scheming against him, Ishamael figured out why everything was going so badly... that it was all her doing). Lanfear has done something to seriously piss off Ishamael personally, and the events of TDR provide a much better motive for this than what she did after his death, which concerns far more Shai'tan.

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Your Lanfear rationales stand up much better than the ones involving Mesaana. Do not overlook Lanfear's jealousy as a motive to get the girls out of the way, sufficient in its own right regardless of other objectives.
Definitely, though she seemed to believe (rightly) Rand and Egwene no longer held, and she doesn't seem to have discovered his attraction to Elayne (what Rand mistook for an indication she knew sounded in fact like a remark ahout Ilyena). She knew about Min, and I certainly wouldn't discount the possibily it's why she didn't involve her in her plot, despite the facts it looks to me as if she intentionally worked to reproduce the "pattern" that lead to the events of Falme (what convinces me so much Lanfear did that intentionally, that she sought to reproduce the pattern that lead to a fiasco for Ishamael is the wolfdream which suggests she's behind Liandrin's capture of the girls... that it's part of some deception of Liandrin by Lanfear). Add Masema to the mix (I believe it's Lanfear who "neutralized him" by vision of the Creator bringing him to worship Rand), and it's really uncanny... encouraging the two ta'veren Perrin and Mat to join Rand (let's not forget Lanfear has the ability to track ta'veren, she knew they were heading for Tear long before they arrived, thus had no further reasons to entice them further than she did), an attempt to provide Rand with a new "faithful" Shienaran to replace Ingtar, reproducing the same pattern with the same women as prisoners.. heck, even using the same BA agent...

But this could also be RJ without an intent of Lanfear behind it. RJ used that device repeatedly, to create the impression of micro patterns evoking the larger cosmology. These repetitions never fit perfectly, but have enough elements to be perceivable if you look for it.

Eg: the Taren Ferry episode in EOTW provided a pattern RJ repeated later:

- The Finns are evoked through "Master Hightower" and his foxlike features, through the reputation of Taren Ferry for cheating in deals and for their greed, and to the red stones they use to build their home. The last connection is an evocation of the fact the Finns may be cheaters, but are still antagonist of the Shadow, via a comment by Lan that Hightower wouldn't sell them to a Myrddraal.

We have Lan climbing the steps to the doorway, something Moiraine did at the docks, climbing the steps to Lanfear. We have Thom wistling and playing with his knife.

The threshold between "two worlds" is evoked through the Ferry, which like the doorway Moiraine destroys. The group paid their passage, and escaped safely that time. The fight with Lanfear which sent her "in eclipse" is evoked by the Moon in TEOTW, which made them too visible to the Draghkar and which Moiraine dealt with using a mist to cover them. The other aspect as Rand's lover is evoked whom Rand worries about in that scene, Egwene is the obvious parallel/mirror to Mierin among the protagonist. Unlike Mierin, Egwene realized she didn't love Rand and simply let him go, even "gave him" to "Ilyena". And instead of becoming a Lanfear, she became the Amyrlin (but appeared like a Lanfear-like Moon Goddess in TGS all in white in front of the moonless black sky, her black hair flowing in the wind (she was the moon that night, and shone as brightly), holding Vora's Rod.

Anyway, the whole series is built like this, of patterns.


Quote:
The place where that observation goes off the rails is in Lord of Chaos, which was constructed in such a way as to make everything uncertain, and a previously unknown player cold surprise the reader.
Agreed. TSR is where this began, but it's by LOC RJ decided we had got enough by then to bear with him and that the whole cast was now "fair game" to put in play even behind the scenes, so to speak.

The books that correspond the most to your observation are the first three. TSR and TFOH were far more ambitious (TSR has a very achieved stricture, with themes from Perrin's storyline echoing issues in Rand's step by step), but for "scheming" by villains RJ still kept it focussed.

Quote:
If Mesaana had been involved in earlier events, Lord of Chaos wouild have been the choice place to reveal it.
All we got was a thought by Graendal, when Mesaana mentions she might get her hands on Rand soon (the kidnapping) that this wasn't the first time and Mesaana has previously boasted of a brilliant plan to capture Rand in Tear. A lot of assumptions about her role in what we saw happen in TDR were made then, though I believe this is more relevant to what Liandrin's group did after leaving Tear, that Mesaana's plans to capture Rand in Tear involved finding and using the "sad bracelets".


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The only way they're going to show up is if a theme of A Memory of Light is revelation, and it fits the story to have many small and big mysteries revealed.
I didn't think of that, and it's an interesting observation. So far "epiphany" is a central theme of the finale, not "revelation". RJ's world was never much of one for "revelations". In a way, that motif is actually associated to the Shadow, the only thing approaching a revealed religion in the series, and those "revelations" of Shai'tan are most often full of lies. For the other characters it's almost always puzzling things out on their own, or some crucial understanding dawning on them through epiphanies they worked hard to achieve.

The only way we could get big revelations about early events would be via retrospective POVs of some of the Forsaken and DF. The key ones we would need for this are still in play: Cyndane and Moridin are the most crucial, the Graendal reveals are more or less done, and then we have Demandred have reflections about his past plans with Semirhage and Mesaana. Aside from Moridin who in the past had the habit of shrouding his thoughts on past events and plans in obscure metaphors, the others aren't very prone to introspections, even less prone to honest looks on their own past failures...

Mind you, some of that has taken place under RJ via Galina POVs, and Brandon did it with Sheriam in TGS. We'll see. That's a cheat in a way, because it's revelations without the characters learning about them, thus preserving the aspect of incomplete knowledge for the characters, but cheating for the readers RJ liked to leave in the dark as much as his characters about the behind the scenes stuff.
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:46 PM
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Dom,

You say you dont think the other Forsaken were so active etc during the early books, however, how do you explain Semirhage sending Trollocs to Tear to battle Sammael's Trollocs at the beginning of TSR? Rand thought Lanfear did it, and she didnt exactly deny it, but her lying semi-confirmation was proven false when we saw Semirhage's PoV admission that it was a secret mission from the Dark One.. We did not find that out till much much later in her PoV... we did not know she was even active at that time in the series yet...
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:07 PM
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That's never been solidly established.
I'm with Gonzo here. Even more importantly, so is RJ:
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TSR ch 42 Slayer/Isam:
"It was only a few hundred to begin, Goldeneyes Just enough to keep those fool Whitecloaks off balance and see that the renegade died." Slayer's voice became angry. "The Shadow consume me if that man does not have more luck than the White Tower." Abruptly he chuckled. "But you, Goldeneyes. Your presence was a surprise. There are those who wants your head on a pike. Your precious Two Rivers will be harrowed from end to end, to root you out. What do you say to that, Goldeneyes?"

Last edited by Cabadrin; 10-23-2012 at 01:29 AM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:05 PM
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I pretty much answered that above by bringing this very exemple up as an evidence that despite focussing the events on fewer Forsaken in the early books RJ didn't make this an universal rule, and yes there were behind-the-scenes moves, if far fewer obvious ones than we can spot in LOC and beyond.

The theory that Mesaana's pride about "the trap" to capture Rand in Tear is related to Liandrin's group is very hard to reconcile with the fact Mesaana said that in front of Chosen when she hid her whereabouts closely at the time.

Graendal put it this way:

"She thinks Lews Therin soon will be in our hands, but then she has said the same every time. She was sure Be’lal would kill or capture him in Tear; she was very proud of that trap."

Technically, Graendal never stated that Mesaana was responsible for "that trap", though it's hard to see why she spoke of it in a way that made Graendal perceive she was proud unless she was. But in the first sentence Graendal used "our hands", the Shadow's in general, and she suggests Mesaana has tended to believe LTT was within their grasp and to get excited about it a whole lot of time (no doubt by LOC this means Graendal included AOL events in that statement). Basically, Graendal was telling Sammael Mesaana cried wolf too often for her to put much weight on her claims they'd soon capture Rand (and there's the context, Graendal was saying all this while trying to put in Sammael's mind the notion Rand was too dangerous to leave him wander around... she brought up Be'lal mostly to remind Sammael Rand killed him, and she was dismissive Mesaana's claim she'd soon capture him, even implying Demandred warned Sammael to be wary of Rand. That got Graendal a reminder about the DO's orders, but it worked... Sammael did set a secret trap for Rand, and he bought himself an insurance policy by forcing Graendal to get involved... His scheme was to get Rand killed after Mesaana captured him... That "very tall man" disguise he used, and bringing Graendal as "Aes Sedai", it was a ploy to plant the notion, in case someone got to Sevanna before he came back to kill her and the WO, that Demandred and Mesaana had schemed against the DO's orders to get the Shaido to steal from the AS and kill Rand while pretending to have simply "captured him" to bring him to TV.)

Was Mesaana truly involved in Be'lal's plan, or did she just play the mysterious and hinted at a Chosen encounter she was, just because she knew what the others didn't, that Rand's three friends were heading for Tear and she had sent a Myrddraal to catch them, planning to offer them to Be'lal as bait in exchange for a share of the rewards? She may have made those claim to save face with Semirhage and Demandred who knew she was in the Tower, passing the departure of the three girls for Tear she didn't wish or planned nor could stop as some brilliant plan she came up with... That would be pretty much in the vein of her proud "hints" at the meeting Graendal attended that she had some deep plans that would place Rand within her reach very soon, when actually she's got nothing to do with that, it was Elaida's plan, down to unwittingly putting the #2 of the Black Ajah in charge of the expedition! That didn't stop Mesaana to boast and hint she had a deep secret scheme on the burner.. one that nearly got Rand killed which would presumably have put her in trouble with the DO in the LOC period.

As I wrote in the previous post, I think it's Mesaana who sent a Fade to capture the girls in TDR, she just waited for the first opportunity after they were known by Siuan and co. to have left TV. An attempt that failed miserably - but Mesaana who tends to sell the bear skin before she's killed the bear, heck... before she's even seen the bear, may well have hinted at a meeting she would contribute something "brilliant" that would help Be'lal capture or kill Rand in Tear.

That Fade seemed to know the girls were on that boat, and he knew exactly what he was looking for (he told the bandits "those are the ones I seek"). Considering Be'lal confessing to Rand his surprise he cared enough for the girls to even be useful, it sounds unlikely it's him who extended efforts to find go find them in Cairhien (not veru logical either if he was told they were coming to Tear!), and it's not Rahvin either, who learned only shortly later about these girls who were heading for Tear, and who was told by Comar one of the girls was Elayne (something he can't have gotten from the bandits who were killed by the Aiel anyway). That leaves Mesaana, the one I believed sent the Myrddraal, or Ishamael, who was getting desperate and seemed rather intent on killing Rand's friends in this book (and the fact further attempts were not made to kill Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Nynaeve after TDR suggests it was indeed his strategy in TDR. His death put an end to those efforts, until KOD when he resumed the efforts to get Perrin and Mat killed, which was news to the Chosen).
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Cabadrin View Post
I'm with Gonzo here. Even more importantly, so is RJ:

Not RJ, one of RJ's characters. Sligth difference, but an important one in a series where the antagonists serve the Father of Lies, and the relativity of truth is part of a central theme...

You take Slayer's word for it, that he told Perrin straight up the truth about the reasons he was there... that he didn't lie about his real motives to be there, or hid part of them. The part where he claims he'll exact vengeance on Perrin, that it's his fault if he'll scour the TR now especially reeks of a lie.

This merely proves Slayer did know about Fain and did intend to deal with him, knew him for a renegade to the Shadow, it doesn't explain why in AMOL pr. he thought something that seemingly contradicts that the whole notion he had been sent there foremostly to kill Fain:

"That Two Rivers operation, it stank like a carcass left to rot. He still didn't know. Had the point really been to lure al'Thor, or had it been to keep Isam away from important events?"

My theory is simply that Slayer was sent to begin scouring the TR by Lanfear, who told him it was about luring Rand there (which could be the truth, or which could be false.. perhaps it was a decoy to distract Rahvin that an unknown Chosen was getting active in his backyard and attempting... something). Slayer reported to Lanfear Fain's presence (Slayer interrupted his TR operation to go kill BA in Tear at a Chosen's orders, again I think this Chosen was Lanfear who was getting impatient that the girls were not leaving to hunt down the BA.. she provided the incentive to believe the BA really had revealed important info or that someone cared to stop them from revealing those.

Lanfear happens to be the other Chosen beside Ishamael who knew about Fain being a renegade (she's got more than enough clues about this in TGH, even saw the dagger which made her hiss), who knew he could track Rand and the danger he represented. Two Grey Men were then sent by a Chosen to kill Fain, they failed. It may be when Lanfear granted Slayer a ton more Shadowspawn, and orders to deal with Fain. If this happened when Slayer came back to Tear to kill the two BA and reported there were WC there, then this was before Lanfear knew Rand would head for the Waste. Perhaps she truly intended to lure him back to the isolated area of the TR to introduce him to Asmodean, appearing as merchants from Saldea coming for tabac or wool.

Brandon said that the AMOL Slayer scene was written by RJ, but that he had to tweak it a bit (probably just to include the references to TOM events in it or alter the timeline pointers, IMO)

Last edited by Dom; 10-22-2012 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:30 PM
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Where/how Min got her abilities?
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:25 PM
Great Lord of the Dark Great Lord of the Dark is offline
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It's not that other Forsaken couldn't have taken a hand in earlier books, or that they didn't, it's that the things they took a hand in don't mean much in relation to the fact that it was them doing doing it. There's no sudden a-ha moment when Semirhage jumps out in The Shadow Rising to claim responsibility for the 'good' Trollocs, even though she was behind it. What mattered in that situation is that the concept of Forsaken actively helping Rand was established, culminating in Asmodean's coercion at the end of the book. When Semirhage does reveal her involvement, it is done in Lord of Chaos, because throughout that book is a theme of surprise and unexpected twists, like punchlines. The time and manner of these little revelations were chosen to fit the themes of teh book they fit in. Any Forsaken could have sent the Gray Men, or the Myrddraal, or various other baddies in many of the books. Whenever it's not obvious who did it, it's because their identity isn't the most relevant point.

Another argument against other Forsaken's open involvement in early books is that The Shadow Rising is the book where the world of the Wheel of Time was expanded and exposed to readers. More places, more people, and not coincidentally, more Forsaken. Earlier Forsaken involvement than Book 4 diminishes that aspect.

The personal score to settle with Lanfear is an interesting take, and might fit well with Rand's need to rescue Cyndane. She is the one who messed up and released the Dark One, and now she has Moridin's nihilism or Rand's hope to choose from as her reaction.

The Taren Ferry metaphor is nice. I've described several others in my reread, but made much skimpier observations about that part of the novel. I think those early parts are the purest version of teh complete vision Jordan had for the series.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:28 PM
The Angry Druid The Angry Druid is offline
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In nor particular order:

1) What was Rand doing for the rest of the month in ToM (we've only got about a week accounted for, if that). It sure wasn't helping Lan (as promised), dealing with the BT, researching what to do at the LB (Min does that).

2) Same questions with Egwene. Did some nice reforms with the Hall. Had meeting with WFs and WOs. Did some Oath Rod research. Had big battle. Wrote some letters. Some good stuff there, but no help for Lan (even with Nynaeve right there) or the Borderlands.

3) Tinker song. It is just the song used to sing the fields we've already seen via Rand's passage through the columns? Or is there more?

4) The the Ways grow bright now that the Taint is gone? Or if the DO is defeated?

5) Will channelers rediscover how to make angreal/sa'angreal or even costructs (chora trees, Nym)?

6) Why didn't the DO bring back Aginor for a 3rd time. At least he was following instructions this time. Seems like a valuable tool wasted.

9) Why didn't Verin simply write to Egwene in the book about the danger to Caemlyn, or contrive a way for someone to get a letter to Elayne?
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:07 AM
newyorkersedai newyorkersedai is offline
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Nice questions! My thoughts and opinions:
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Originally Posted by The Angry Druid View Post
In nor particular order:

1) What was Rand doing for the rest of the month in ToM (we've only got about a week accounted for, if that). It sure wasn't helping Lan (as promised), dealing with the BT, researching what to do at the LB (Min does that).
No idea. I've only just started to get some joie de WoT back recently. I've long accepted the number of gaps that I'm supposed to fill in, and the time needed to do a good job of it. I gave up a while ago, but...
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Originally Posted by The Angry Druid View Post
2) Same questions with Egwene. Did some nice reforms with the Hall. Had meeting with WFs and WOs. Did some Oath Rod research. Had big battle. Wrote some letters. Some good stuff there, but no help for Lan (even with Nynaeve right there) or the Borderlands.
Admittedly, yeah, this is a big oversight. Still, you described a pretty exhausting set of events - like a half-season of 24, with magic.

Prioritization is any good leader's guiding principle. You choose need vs want, and you choose your house burning right now over the mortgage payment in two days. Rand, the Seals, LB prep are all #1, and they all center on the Dragon. What's weird is that she should've made some real POV note of it if she's going to handle it at all...
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Originally Posted by The Angry Druid View Post
3) Tinker song. It is just the song used to sing the fields we've already seen via Rand's passage through the columns? Or is there more?
I must believe it is this and this alone. If it turns out to be "All Along the Watchtower," I will make a paper recycling plant recycle the books before my eyes, except the one RJ signed for me (out of respect).
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Originally Posted by The Angry Druid View Post
4) The the Ways grow bright now that the Taint is gone? Or if the DO is defeated?
No, I have to believe any "tainted object" that isn't magically cured by Nynaeve on a lazy afternoon will remain tainted. Yes,the do is the source of it, but he probably can't <i>really</i> die. His "energy"(?) will remain, his influence. Even if Rand achieves a "perfect" seal or whatever, the Ways are dark, with a semi-unique Dark nature...

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Originally Posted by The Angry Druid View Post
5) Will channelers rediscover how to make angreal/sa'angreal or even costructs (chora trees, Nym)?
Yes to #1, the wonder girls have already done too much... prolly not to our eyes to #2. The latter's too involved- btw, why did Rand not examine that AoL city that he and asmo saw?
The NYM-MAKER 2000 and the SHAITANERATOR might be lying on the street!

I hope he went there with his three weeks. And the hidden books in the WT, to pick up whatever Mesaana learned...
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Originally Posted by The Angry Druid View Post
6) Why didn't the DO bring back Aginor for a 3rd time. At least he was following instructions this time. Seems like a valuable tool wasted.
Hmm. It might already be the case, but it could be a time/manner of Death thing. Burned to a cinder by great Power right before a wave of un-Tainting and Aridhol-Evil Implosion might be the sort of thing that would jam the DO up...
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Originally Posted by The Angry Druid View Post
9) Why didn't Verin simply write to Egwene in the book about the danger to Caemlyn, or contrive a way for someone to get a letter to Elayne?
Um... you got me. Maybe she was really that sure of what Matt or his party would do? Maybe it was the sort of betrayal that she had to play very carefully?...

I wish there were more solid answers about the WoT. A TV series based on this would probably need 3-4 seasons per novel, if they actually gave, through acting, dialogue, or visuals, the amount of info we are. It's insane.

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