The Shadow Rising Read Along Part IX

JordanShadowRisingBannerWelcome everyone to the ninth week of this read along where we cover Chapters 49-53. Sue from Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers is our host this week, so make sure to stop by her place for more thoughtful and witty discussion.

There be spoilers below. Ye have been warned!

1. It seems to me that the evidence is mounting that Keille is definitely Lanfear. How long do you think she will endure Isendre’s incessant flirting with Rand and rudeness to ‘Keille’ herself? What revenge do you think Isendre will suffer?

Lanfear will only tolerate it so long as she needs her disguise to be unquestioned. But once that is no longer so, she may end up in a trolloc cook pot. Or perhaps a myrrdraal’s plaything. It won’t be pretty whatever the punishment. I hope Mat isn’t too attached to her by that point because she is clearly something of a gold digger and manipulator.

2. Rand’s relationship with Aviendha has softened somewhat, although he did not intend to give a gift to attract her ‘interest’. Do you think that his dream of her, Elayne and Min means that he has found his trio of wives? If so, what do you think of Aviendha standing on the bank whilst the other two women swim naked with him?

OK, part of me (like the 30-something woman part) rolls my eyes and snort laughs at the blatant male fantasy taking place in that dream…and well, throughout the series concerning Rand’s love life. Now, if I shove that common-sense woman aside, I would say this is most likely the trio of wives, his little harem or stable of fillies. Aviendha standing on the bank instead of swimming naked means that she is not fully committed as the other women are.

Still, snort laugh.

3. Rand’s life seems to get more complicated with each chapter. We now learn that Sevanna, the wife of the dead Shaido Clan Chief is a troublemaker: is this a surprise? Also, any guesses as to who is sending the Shadowspawn against him?

I am not surprised that not all the Aiel respect the cool tatts on Rand. So, no, not surprising that we have Sevanna and others who are being suspicious, negative, or outright rude and challenging about the situation.

I don’t think any Aiel are sending Shadowspawn at Rand. Let’s see who else dislikes, wants to use, or eliminate Rand. Hmmm….. The Dark One should go at the top of the list, then the plethora of Forsaken (tho Lanfear I think wants to bed him a few times before eliminating him), the Black Ajah, the White Cloaks, and idiot Aiel. Oh, and those political factions he out foxed back ‘home’. Home is where the sword is, right? So, let’s say that the White Cloaks and Aiel are the least likely to employ/control Shadowspawn. So, Darkfriends of one flavor or another or Forsaken – that’s who I am guessing is currently gunning for him.

4. Now that Egeanin has been ‘outed’ as a Seanchan, are you surprised by how Elayne and Nynaeve chose to handle the situation? Do you think they are being wise or foolish?

Elayne has too much compassion on this one. Even if Egeanin truly enjoys their company, she may not be able to overcome her training and cultural upbringing to avoid doing them harm if pushed by other Seanchan. On the other hand, if Nynaeve at least pretended some sympathy, she may get more info than she will by being so hard nosed about it. Still, it is hard to overcome such a guttural dislike – being tortured will put you off a person/culture/invading force.

5. We now know, courtesy of Birgitte, that the dark-haired woman in Tanchico is Moghedien, sometimes known as the Spider. Any ideas why she has not simply pointed out the ter’angreal in the Panarch’s Palace to the Black Ajah or taken it for herself? How many years of suffering do you think Nynaeve will inflict upon her now that she remembers being Compelled?

Well, first everything we saw in Tel’aran’rhiod may have been staged or manipulated to some extent. Nynaeve is a novice, at best, at Dream Walking and I wouldn’t be surprised if Moghedien noticed her presence in T’A’R and decided to ‘show’ her the ter’angreal. Perhaps it really is guarded and Moghedien is leading her into a trap – perhaps in the hopes and Nynaeve & crew removing some of the Black Ajah, leaving fewer Aes Sedai for Moghedien to take out. Perhaps the Black Ajah do know about it and can’t touch it for some reason – like some virgin or goody-two-shoes is needed to handle it.

If Nynaeve ever gains control of her on/off switch, she may be able to go toe-to-toe with a Forsaken. If that happens, I doubt she will allow Moghedien to live years.

6. Loial has returned safe: hooray! Is there even the tiniest chance that anyone believes Lord Luc rather than our favorite Ogier and Gaul about the number of Trollocs in the area? Any suggestions of why Luc would like Perrin to underestimate the enemy’s numbers?

While I and Perrin believe Loial and Gaul about the numbers of trollocs, I am not certain others will. Perrin may allow the bulk of folks to believe Luc in order to keep their hopes up. As to why Luc wants Perrin to underestimate the numbers, that is probably related to him being Slayer. Whether Luc/Slayer has been ordered to kill Perrin or he is simply doing so out of his personal enjoyment, having Perrin or the townsfolk underestimate the number of trollocs can lead to Perrin’s death.

7. It would seem that Luc is Slayer. However, he looks different in the Wolf Dream, where he closely resembles Lan. Any guesses as to why he has two different appearances, and why they are both so similar to important members of the fight against the Dark One?

Perhaps this is so he can get close to the good guys before sticking a knife in them? Perhaps because he is blood related to both in some distant way? I will probably go with option A here because bad guys are annoying that way. He may be stuck with his real world face, but perhaps enjoys taking on a more hunter-ish aspect in Tel’aran’rhiod – pure vanity may be at play here.

Other Tidbits:

They’re married! It’s too cute. Really. And why shouldn’t the women propose?

My heart goes to Loial, who obviously believes those who stay are doomed. Tho his comment about being away from the Steading too long intrigued me. Perhaps Ogier are tied to their land and need to return to rejuvenate.

Mat flirting with Isendre – talking about how hard of work it is fighting trollocs, etc, but don’t worry, you are safe now. I’m rolling my eyes. I think Mat could truly benefit from a relationship with a woman like Zula.

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11 thoughts on “The Shadow Rising Read Along Part IX

  1. Eivind Fonn says:

    Morning!

    1. Yeah, this seems pretty conclusive now. I’m afraid Isendre is deep in it now and with no way to get out of it. Lanfear might endure it for… oh, I don’t know, a couple more chapters? She’ll be surprisingly creative. :P

    2. I would assume you’re right. Elayne loves him, and so does Min. We can’t say for sure about Aviendha, but it reads like a classical falling-in-love scenario if I’ve ever seen one.

    I once read a theory that Rand’s three loves are supposed to represent his three different families, in a sense. Min for his upbringing in the country, Elayne for his royal ancestry through his mother, and Aviendha for his Aiel father.

    3. About as shocking as water being wet. Oh, Sevanna, how do I hate you, let me count the ways. No numbers go that high, unfortunately. She’s just the worst kind of person. If Sevanna, Elaida and I were the last people on Earth, I think I would repopulate it with Elaida.

    4. I think this was well handled. I’m pretty sure Egeanin is a good guy (well, girl), but I can totally understand Nynaeve’s reluctance. And, it seems, so can Egeanin.

    5. Not just sometimes :). In fact, ‘Moghedien’ is old tongue for ‘spider’. You will notice that many of the forsaken are very strongly characterised. Lanfear is driven by intense jealousy, Be’lal was driven by envy, and so on. I once tried to fit all thirteen of them into some kind of “deathly sin” system, but it’s not as organised as that, I think.

    In any case, Moghedien’s primary characterisation is that she’s a coward. It’s masked in the narrative as a strength in that she prefers working alone and in the shadows, etc., but the downside is she’s craven. I assume she hasn’t gone for the item simply because she has considered it too risky up to now.

    Nynaeve and Moghedien will actually develop something of a vendetta against each other, especially after what’s about to go down in the finale…

    6. I don’t think it matters how many people believe him or the Ogier. Everyone will listen to Perrin at this point, so his is the only opinion worth considering. And he obviously doesn’t believe Luc (and we saw for ourselves in T’A’R too).

    7. I asked you guys before to look up some passages. Let’s see… This is from the shadow prophecy at the beginning of Hunt:

    “Luc came to the Mountains of Dhoom.
    Isam waited in the high passes.
    The hunt is now begun. The Shadow’s hounds now course, and kill.
    One did live, and one did die, but both are.
    The Time of Change has come.”

    So two people called Luc and Isam met somewhere in the blight at one point, something happened, one killed the other presumably, but still both exist. So who were these people?

    Here is Agelmar explaining Lan’s history in Eye:

    “Breyan fled with her infant son Isam (Lan’s cousin), and was run down by the Trollocs as she rode south with him. No one knows their fate of a certainty, but it can be guessed. I can find pity only for the boy.”

    As Sue noted last week, Tigraine’s brother was called Luc, and he set off to find her after she vanished, but never returned.

    By the kin = similarity rule, Luc should look a bit like Rand, and Isam should look a bit like Lan, which they do according to Perrin. What’s more, we’ve heard that after Tigraine died, her Aiel husband went off to the blight, where he was killed by someone who looked so much like her that he didn’t want to fight him.

    So the most common theory is that the two merged into one, a creature called Slayer, who can choose to appear either as Isam or Luc, and who is extremely powerful in the T’A’R. Nobody knows how this happened.

    Slayer is actually one of my favourite antagonists in this series. :P

    Other:

    Yay, go Perrin!

    As far as Mat goes, I think if he knew who he’d end up with, he’d be frightened out of his wits.

    • nrlymrtl says:

      I look forward to Lanfear’s creativity. I hope Isendre does a bit more mischief so I can feel she deserves it.

      Well, now I have a mental picture of you….well, repopulating the Earth with Elaida. The immature part of me is snickering.

      I hope Nynaeve and crew can use Moghedien’s craven side against her.

      You know, I was looking for fan art of Luc and Slayer yesterday so I could answer this question better. While I found some, I also stumbled upon the passages you refer to, and then went off and looked at art. I could see Luc being Rand’s missing relative and Slayer being Lan’s missing relative, but I wasn’t certain how they all came together. So, I am glad you explained that bit, as far as it is known.

    • Liesel Hill says:

      Interesting about Rand’s three women representing three aspects of his life. I’d never thought of it that way before. It’s amazing how well thought-out the Forsaken are, isn’t it? More brownie points for Robert Jordan! I was always a big fan of the Nynaeve-Moghedien rivalry. Every time it was obvious that some chapter would deal with it, I’d rub my hands together and read faster. Slayer is also one of my favorite antagonists. Though, while I was reading the first time, I kept yelling at the characters to get together and tell their stories. When you think about it, there’s a list of crimes a mile long to lay at Slayer’s feet, and his crimes have affected almost every single major character, even if they don’t know it. Tell your stories, people! :D

      • suecccp says:

        The ‘not telling each other what they know’ is one of the great aspects of the book having multiple POVs. It makes it so much more frustrating for us as readers, but also increases the believability of the characters.

        I am always so impressed by series that are so intricate and well planned even before the author starts writing. I can’t begin to imagine how thick his notebook was!

    • suecccp says:

      2. That’s an interesting theory about Rand’s women, but I’m still not sure why he couldn’t have just one! :D

      3. Yikes! That bad?

      7. Wow! That’s not complicated at all! I wonder of we’ll ever learn how the two men merged into one spitting ball of hateful evil?

  2. Liesel Hill says:

    I hear ya about the dream. Typical male dream, even if there might be some element of truth to it. And you make a good point about why it probably isn’t other Aiel sending shadowspawn into the Waste. Although, there is always the possibility of Darkfriends among the Aiel that might make such things possible. And yes, the Ogier need to return to their stedding every so often to keep the Longing at bay. It appears to be a psychological problem more than anything else, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hinder them physically. In this chapter, Loial even said, “It hurts.” This is a very intriguing concept, though. I always perk up when it’s talked about. :D

    • nrlymrtl says:

      Interesting idea about the Ogier – their deep longing for their stedding. I mean, we just put Loial thru Ogier hell – making him cut down trees, severely damage a Waygate, then run for 3 days carrying a damaged human (and he probably had to kill a few baddies too). No wonder he is longing for home so bad it hurts.

  3. suecccp says:

    1. Somehow I find it difficult to imagine Mat attached to any woman at the moment . . . he seems to be somewhat allergic to commitment! :D

    2. I know what you mean. I find it hard to take the whole ‘three women’ thing completely seriously, especially as I can’t any good reason for it related to the world or magic system.

    4. I find myself hoping that Egeanin will prove to be true friend to them, although I can imagine it making life very awkward for her with her superiors.

    5. Your idea of Moghedien setting a trap for them is intriguing, but somehow I don’t think that the Spider works in that way. Somehow I think that Liandrin is a virgin – can you imagine her letting a man get intimate with her?

    6. I would hope that Perrin’s reputation would make everyone else listen to him these days, and if not I am sure that Faile will give them a tongue-lashing.

    7. I like all of your ideas about Slayer and I hope we get an answer sometime soon.

    I love that Grace Jones clip – she reminds me of a Maiden in that clip! :D

    • nrlymrtl says:

      The wives trio thing does add a certain kind of tension that you don’t find in other G-rated fantasy novels, so it has novelty. But, yeah, I wouldn’t mind bumping into a society were there are male harems for single women.

      Perhaps Egeanin will end up being a true friend but can only prove it by going against her superiors, possibly to her death.

      I like my Grace Jones clip too. She was so excellent in that movie.

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