Spoilers are throwing a party below. There may be language, references to nude behavior, and run on sentences. You have been warned.
1) Egwene dives back into Tel’aran’rhiod to investigate Tanchico and comes out with an Aiel Wise Woman’s contact info. Egwene kicks herself for not having the knowledge and skill to interpret her dreams. Have you ever given dream interpretation a shot? Do you think Egwene’s plans to train and pass that on to Nynaeve and Elayne will work out as she plans?
I think this was the funnest trip to Tel’aran’rhiod yet! Egwene got several lessons, such as messing with another’s hunting dream can lead to all-over sunburn! I think it is great that at least one of the Supergirls is going to actively pursue some training. But will Egwene be able to pass that on? Perhaps, but I doubt it will go smoothly or as she plans. Something will crop up, and distance and time between Egwene and Elayne and Nynaeve I expect will be a factor.
I have never really dabbled with dream interpretation. In college, a friend told me that if you dreams include anything even marginally phallic, like candles, lying broken all about willy nilly, then you have ‘man issues’. Hmm…. So, what means you have ‘woman issues’ in dreams? Broken clams? *snort laugh*
2) Robert Jordan loves setting up the battle of the sexes, doesn’t he? In this section we see that Perrin and Faile are having a contest of wills. Rand versus the Aes Sedai (Moiraine in particular). Thom versus Moiraine. Even Min! What do you think of Jordan’s use of this?
In Min’s case, I found it very amusing. Her whole disguise and being a helpless airhead – and men were OK with it! But for Perrin and Faile, I found this a bit over done. While initially amusing, I sometimes do get a little tired of the underlying message that men & women are different for two reasons: 1) over done and 2) not necessarily true. So, a bit of it is amusing; too much takes away from the story line.
3) Mat, Perrin, and Rand finally hear about Whitecloaks in the Two Rivers. Perrin feels an obligation to return, tries to break some ties, and then finds out he won’t be going alone. Were you surprised at Perrin’s self-sacrificial take on this situation? Will the White Cloaks get more than they are looking for?
At first, I believed Perrin was going back to defend Two Rivers, not to put himself in a gallows tree! I was pissed at him when I figured out that was his plan. I was worried Rand would be the one to consider some form of suicide, but no, it is Perrin I must keep my eye on.
So Perrin is gathering quite the small, effective strike force to take with him. Faile alone, in her current state of pissiness, would give the White Cloaks a second thought about messing with Two Rivers. But then throw in Loial and the Aiel and now it looks like I might have to feel sorry for the White Cloaks.
I do worry that we will have some Two Rivers death to mourn before this book is over. Will this book maintain it’s PG rating, or will the shit get real and we loose some characters we care about? I don’t expect Perrin or Faile to be taken out this early in the series, but some Two Rivers parents or friends may have to die to move the plot along :(.
4) Ladies and their weapons: We saw some hand-to-hand altercations and some subtler weapons in use in this section. Who do you deem the more dangerous – Berelain or Faile?
Berelain. Hands down. She is not afraid to harm folks to get what she wants, she is driven by power not goodness, and no one expects her to be trained in hand-to-hand combat in those oh-so-sheer and skimpy clothes.
Faile is dangerous too, but she has a strong moral compass that won’t allow her to manipulate people (without very good reason) as Berelain will. She has to have a clear signal that someone needs to be taken out before she’ll take a knife to them with conviction.
5) Of course Mat goes through the doorway! But once he is done with his question and answer session and tossed out, he realizes he wasn’t the only one seeking answers. What kind of beings do you think the folk in the doorway were? What do you think Rand and Moiraine asked and had answered?
Mat, Mat, Mat! If anyone could break a ter’angreal, it would be Mat. Those beings made me think of succubi – beings that feed off the life force or emotional energy of others. Leeches, if you will.
I expect that Rand and Moiraine went into the ter’angreal with specific questions in mind, just as Mat. Rand seemed, perhaps not content, but at least set on a decision based on what he learned. Moiraine gave no hints at all. I am guessing that Rand and Moiraine got the run around same as Mat, but perhaps were asking bigger view questions that Mat.
6) Finally, Loial is back in the story. While he seems to be content as a chronicler, do you think The Wheel will let him sit in a corner with pen and ink the entire book? What do you think of Faile’s twisting his arm to visit The Ways?
It was so very good to see Loial again (chapter 16 folks!). No, I don’t think The Wheel is done with Loial and it’s set up nicely for him to have need to hit the road again – avoiding his mother and her plans to marry him off. hehe.
Faile. tsk, tsk. I think Faile has taken things too far on this one. Yes, Perrin was harsh with her. But dragging Loial into their lover’s spat, basically lying to and manipulating Loial….not cool. Poor Loial is stuck in an awkward position now. And Faile pushing Perrin to the breaking point when she knows that he is trying to get to Two Rivers swiftly, to protect his family, friends, and home town – well, kind of low of her. These two will need counseling after this if they intend to remain a couple. Should I root for them, or just for Perrin at this point?
Moiraine had a summons for Egwene from the Aiel Wise Women…..which she received long before Egwene’s visit to tel’aran’rhiod. Spooky!
We ran into some very, very interesting side characters in this section, but I have to say I am very interested in Rhuarc and his comments to Berelain about their past conversation. I wish I knew the back story on that one!
When Perrin ran into Gaul, who told Perrin that he and some Aiel would be going along, Perrin comments about using The Ways for travel. Gaul’s response, paraphrased – ‘We all must face death sooner or later’ – had me laughing out loud. I hope we get to know Gaul better.
Gawayne and Galad – one is so sweet and one is scary in his convictions, his flirting with the White Cloak way of life.
Thom and Moiraine have a very interesting and revealing conversation about their names. I so very much want a back story on both these characters!
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