Hello everyone. Welcome back for Part VII of the read along, which covers Chapters 41-47. Next week is our final week, which Anya (On Starships and Dragonwings) will be hosting. We’ll be throwing up an announcement post for The Great Hunt (Book 2) read along sometime this coming week. Right now we are leaning towards a 1 week break in between Books 1 & 2 as Anya is still awaiting her book in the mail, and my man desperately wants to follow our silliness with his audio version, which he is also still awaiting.
Anyway, for this week please put your blog link in the comments so that we can all hop around and see & discuss each other’s answers. Below are my snarky, occasionally insightful, mostly irreverent answers. Do I need to say that there will be spoilers roaming out in the open and hidden in every crack from here on forward?
1) Out of all the minor characters we have come across so far, Lamgwin and his body guarding (of inn and cats) has made me laugh the most. I do hope he gets swept up into things for a bigger piece. Who has been your favorite or most interesting minor character so far?
Lamgwin made me laugh with his comment about cats recovering quickly, even when someone has attempted to shove them in a sack. My kitty Pico about two years ago was helping me hang clothes in the closet by playing with the plastic coat hangers on the bed. While my back was turned to the closet, he started hissing and screaming and thrashing around and at first I couldn’t tell what the issue was. But then it became apparent that he had a hanger, the hook end, caught in his mouth. Eventually I got him free by holding the hangar still and he unhooked it from inside his mouth and ran and hid. I found him behind the water heater and coaxed him out. But to this day, he hates plastic coat hangars. His ‘recovery’ is to avoid them like you would avoid a rabid dog.
2) Hooray! The reunion has finally happened, and the only stain is Mat and his dagger. How do you think Mat’s long-term relationship with his dagger will affect things?
Mat really stepped in it with that dagger! I think this definitely makes Mat reliant on Moiraine or another friendly Aes Sedai to maintain his emotional balance. Also, from here until Mat is freed from the dagger, if he speaks his suspicions of others, his friends may or may not trust his judgement, believing it to be clouded by the malevolent influence of the dagger. For us readers, it will makes things all kinds of interesting.
3) Finally, on page 641 (of my book anyway), the boys break and start to tell all to Moiraine. Do you think the Two Rivers folk will trust Moiraine with things more easily in the future? Why didn’t Moiraine strangle the boys there and then (I know I would have!)?
I really must marvel at Moiraine’s self control – and Lan’s too, for he surely would have helped the boys piece things together or known the significance if they had confided in him. I can see the boys and Egwene trusting Moiraine and Lan more, especially since neither of them immediately beheaded Rand, Mat, and Perrin upon hearing of their dreams. Nynaeve holds little trust in anyone, unless she has deemed them harmless or good hearted (like her relationship with Egwene). So I expect she will keep challenging Moiraine especially.
4) The party kicks around several theories about the Waygates. Which was your favorite, or do you have one of your own? How about those things that lurk in the Waygates?
With the Waygates, the reader really gets a sense of what the male Aes Sedai were once capable of, working together with so much power. As for the corruption of them, the Ogier tie in, and the things that lurk within (like that evil wind), there’s plenty of room for Robert Jordan to explore. I am so glad that Loial got to go along, and that he played an essential role. While looking back, it may seem a little convenient, but Jordan built Loial into the plot line several chapters back, and also gave the Waygates a past, so the solution feels very plausible to me as a reader.
5) This section introduces the knowledge of the Green Man. How do you think he will measure up to your cultural knowledge of the legend of the Green Man?
I read this like 15 years ago and totally forgot about the Green Man, so I was not expecting this legend of legends to be pulled in. In many ways, he is a force of nature, or nature itself, so I am very excited to see what Jordan does with him. Of course, the Green Man of legend is not always kind to humans, but is rather a wild child of nature. So will this deity help rand and crew?
6) The Lord of Fal Dara, Agelmar, seems to have some previous business with Moiraine and Lan, Lord of the the Seven Towers. What do you think their collective past dealings have been?
Whatever these three faced, they did so together, because there is mutual respect all around. I am deeply curious about Lan past now and the mention of the Golden Crane. With Lord Agelmar, we have the introduction of a new culture, a warrior culture. So I am guessing that Agelmar got to see Moiraine and Lan in battle, probably joined, and may have even been rescued by them. Still, it would be a tale worth hearing (or reading).
Padan Fain! What a deranged and evil individual. I am glad we have more definitive info from him. However, I really felt there was a very Gollum-esque quality to him. Anyone else, or just me?