The Dragon Reborn Read Along Part III

JordanDragonReborn BannerApologies for the late posting. I spent yesterday arguing with inanimate objects (busted water pipe, raspberries, and warp threads) and my hands, back, and mental acuity were used up by these endeavors. Anyway, this week is being hosted by Sue at Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers, so make sure to stop by her place to see what everyone else thinks. This week covered Chapters 21-30. There be Spoilers throwing a party below.

1. We see Verin hoarding a collection of Corianin Sedai’s writings on Dreaming. Do you think that she should share them (or selected portions) with Egwene or do you think that blundering around in the dark is the best way to learn how to do something?

If Verin is secretly Black Ajah, then letting Egwene blunder in Dreaming is a great way for the Dark One to influence her or at least see what she is up to. If Verin is not Black, then she is a short sighted idiot in this manner. Or she was directed by someone, perhaps the Amyrlin Seat, to let Egwene blunder in order to fulfill some brainless prophecy. Either way, makes for an entertaining story and that is why I am here.

2. In her testing for becoming Accepted, we see Egwene as Amyrlin. Can you accept this as a possible future for her or is it too improbable?

Well, this is a 14 book series, and I expect the Two Rivers folks will age at least 2-5 years during the course of this adventure. Supposedly we are going to be dodging breaking the world and yet still defeat Mr. Black Supremo, so a lot can happen. You guys have seen Battlestar Galactica, right? Chain of command and all put the Secretary of Education as Head of State. So, yeah, it could happen to Egwene. I expect lots of folks would have to die to make it so.

3. Mat seems fairly nifty with a quarterstaff, even when he is half dead. Did his defeat of Galad and Gawyn seem to be based upon his skill, rather than luck, and did you find it convincing?

At first, I was like, Where the Hell did that come from !?! But I really enjoyed the scene, so I am willing to give Jordan time to build in some backstory to make it more believable. And I want to see Mat trounce some other arrogant folks again. I’m greedy that way. At this point, not too sure about the luck thing. Is Luck it’s own beast, or does it belong to one side or the other in this fantasy of Good and Evil?

4. It seems that the realm of Dreams, Tel’aran’rhiod, is very important to the Black Ajah because they have stolen many ter’angreals that were thought to be associated with Dreaming or Corianin Sedai. Why do you think they are so interested in Dreaming? 

Dreaming is a portal to places best left unmentioned, if you are a Good Guy. The Bad Guys rule in dreaming, because they can create infinite terrors there. Anyway, this seems intuitive to me. If a good Sedai can safely, and secretly, navigate these waters, they could gain lots of intelligence on the Bad Guys. But as we know, Egwene has been left to stumble around a bit on her own.

5. Now that we know that Else was definitely an impostor, it seems that Lanfear has more than one set of tactics. Do you think that she might also be the true identity of Silvie, the old woman that Egwene encounters in her Dream of the Stone of Tear and are you surprised by the way in which she approaches women? 

I was wondering how Landfear’s sex mojo would, or would not, effect women. I am a little sad that she doesn’t enrapture the women quite as well as the men. I had not really made the connection between the old woman in the dream and Lanfear. Perhaps since this is my first time reading this book, I am still trying to figure out all the side characters who later become major characters or important characters. While Lanfear has been interesting so far, she hasn’t really accomplished anything. So, I simply put her on The Watch List, rather than The Pay Attention To List.

Tofu being Shy Kitty.
Tofu being Shy Kitty.

6. We know that the Black Ajah ‘evidence’ is a trap set by Lanfear. Do you think their plan to spring the trap intentionally will work or will it lead them into some other trouble?

Well, the evidence points to Tear. And Rand is going to Tear. So, either way, the ladies have got to go to Tear. Rand is ta’veren, and secretly I believe Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne are too, so they pull the world around them to shape destiny, whether they like it or not. So, yes, all the good guys will end up at Tear with some heavy weight bad guys to duke it out and create lots of entertainment for the reader.

7. Suddenly, Mat has been revealed as a gambler with incredible luck. Does this fit with the young man that we met in the first two books and did you detect any unusual luck before his Healing in the White Tower?

I found this a little convenient. I have mulled over whether or not this is some left over evil from the dagger doing what it can to get what it wants – namely, to get away from the Tower full of Aes Sedai. While Mat liked to think himself lucky and clever before being hauled off to the White Tower in a sick bed, he often got caught at this pranks in Two Rivers and often had to have his butt saved by one or another of the party as they ventured forth. On the other hand, this little turn in Mat’s character has made him much more interesting.

Other Tidbits:

Does Mat judge all women on their pretty faces first, danceability second, and everything else third? If so, can I take my quarterstaff to him?

The Amyrlin, if she is Black Ajah, could have been lying abut burning the left over objects that once belonged to the Aes Sedai that fled.

We don’t know for certain that all those missing Aes Sedai are Black – some could be prisoners….or stuffed down some unused well.

8 thoughts on “The Dragon Reborn Read Along Part III”

  1. If you don’t mind, I’d like to know who is on your Pay-Attention-To list. 🙂

    Pretty sure Mat judges women on their Aes-Sedainess first, and pretty faces second. But yeah, he’s a bit of a womanizer, determined to enjoy life and not to settle down under any circumstances.

    In lieu of this post, I put my answers on Liesel’s this time around.

    1. I pay attention to all the Two Rivers folks, Moiraine, Lan. Then comes the royal family – Elayne and her brothers especially. Verin, because I want her to be good. Thom because I want to see him dice someone up. Padan Fain because he is Gollumesque evil. The Amyrlin Seat – because I haven’t decided if she is good or bad. Shiriam because she dishes out punishments. Yep, I have this long list I am paying attention to, and then there are all these side characters that may or may not get pulled into the plot further but haven’t really accomplished much yet (like Lanfear).

  2. Yeah, Mat’s a bit of jerk sometimes. At first, I hated him because of that. Then I learned to love him for his humor and other qualities…but I maintain that he’d make a terrible boyfriend. And, you know, having a friend that ALWAYS wins would definitely come in handy. 😀 And I would argue that the women are somewhat enthralled with Lanfear. Not in the same way as the men of course, but they always comment on her beauty and feel the need to smooth their dresses, so…:D Great answers!

    1. Well, if we didn’t have a womanizer, then Jordan would have missed capturing a key feature that keeps cropping up in the human race. We all know a womanizer, or manizer, and it is not likely that such a thing will be weeded out of the human gene pool.
      Still, this is an annoying part to Mat’s personality that has me not minding if he suffers a bit here and there.

      1. I’m not sure that I would categorize Mat as a womanizer, mainly because he hasn’t been successful so far and even he admits that women make him nervous and tongue-tied. Instead, I see him more as someone who struggles to think before he acts. He is rash and often speaks without thinking about the consequences. I found him quite irritating in the first two books, but I changed my mind about him when he rebuffed Lanfear! 😀

  3. 1. I like your idea that Verin could be using this as a way to put Egwene in potential danger without doing it overtly, so that she, Verin, will not be blamed for the outcome: very Aes Sedai, but it pushes me more towards thinking that she is definitely Black Ajah.

    2. Totally off topic, but what the frack? I really didn’t like the new BSG series at first, but then totally fell in love with it and the final episode was so beautifully moving. I loved the paranoia about the skin jobs and the drama of the big reveals: I’m guessing that we will see something similar when the Black Ajah are unmasked.

    3. I’ glad that I wasn’t the only person who was a little stunned by the ‘new’ Mat. I like your question about Luck being Good or Evil . . . lots to think about!

    5. I love your idea of Lanfear bewitching the girls as well as the boys . . . but perhaps she, or Mr Jordan, never even thought about doing that! 😀

    6. Agreed: who says only men can be ta’veren????

    7. I also thought that this was a little odd. I know that we hadn’t been in his head before, but it seemed like there was no foreshadowing in the earlier books for his luck. I like the idea that it is possibly an effect of his exposure to the dagger.

    I think that Mat would probably improve with a little judicious quaterstaffing! 😀

    Your other two points are also excellent. I find it hard to believe that the Amyrlin is Black Ajah because her behavior does not make any sense if she is, but anything is possible and I trust nobody.

    1. Fracking A, man, I loved the BSG series. I need to dig out my DVDs and have a BSG evening.

      I would love to see the lightbulb moment when some character suddenly realizes that the boys are not the only ta’veren on the block.

      Mat’s sudden extra luckiness could be because of his ta’veren quality, or something left over from the dagger. But. yeah, where did that come from if not from either of those?

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