Apologies 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.
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.
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.