Here we are at the finale of Book 4 of The Wheel of Time series, The Shadow Rising. There were some twists that I wasn’t expecting. We’ll be jumping right into Book 5, The Fires of Heaven. You can see the schedule over HERE if you missed it and want to join us.
This week our fearless and insightful commenter Eivind came up with the excellent questions.
The spoilers don’t want you to avert your eyes, but I suggest you do if you have not read this book.
1. Seems like Rand is not the only one who can stand toe-to-toe against a forsaken. Surprised? Could there be others, and if so, who?
No, I was not surprised that Nynaeve could at least hold her own against Moghedien. I expect we will see others, like Mat and Egwene. Also, we might groups of folks who face a forsaken together and win, like the Ogier. I expect we still have plenty to learn about their culture and strengths.
2. What went on between Elayne and Amathera? Should she lay off the forceful reeducation of foreign monarchs or just keep at it, you think?
I expect it was girl talk. I don’t think Elayne hurt Amathera, but rather, showed her that she really is out classed and that prettily pouting and stamping her little foot won’t get her what she wants. In this case, I think Elayne is doing some good, though I do find it a little hypocritical in that Elayne was sheltered and pampered most of her life and it has only been recently that she has been rubbing elbows with the masses and having to tend to her own needs. Yet, perhaps that is why she feels that such an education is so necessary for Amathera.
3. So we have our first “proper” battle, of many more to come no doubt. Please air your thoughts here, since I can’t find anywhere to put a question mark.
I liked that the women of Emon’s field were present, armed, and competent. They had the children taken into the forest in hopes that they at least would escape the slaughter. It was really hard on Perrin, but he stood with them to the last, never balking. Of course Faile showing up in the nick of time with armed men from Debin (spelling?) was great. She said that she was the first woman of her land to lead soldiers in battle. I didn’t laugh a little as she lead men to versus in a battle, but I don’t recall her actually doing more than finding Perrin.
4. Could these whitecloaks be any more pathetic if they tried? REALLY HARD?
I have to wonder what all the Whitecloak soldiers think of this. I mean, we have the leaders, who are into ineffectual, single-minded idiots. But what does the average Whitecloak piss ant think? Did they sign up to fight the dark, but then their leaders keep them from taking out trollocs? I would be pissed. Or were most of them coerced into joining and silently sighed relief at not having to join in the fighting? At any rate, they were the best equipped to assist in the fighting and they did not. Loosers.
5. So now (or soon enough) EVERY Aiel knows their history, and many are none too pleased. Was this the right call? How much support has Rand lost now?
Rand had to prove that he had been to Rhuidean, which meant publicly revealing something major he learned there. By Couladin calling Rand and idiotic liar, the senior Aiel who had also been to Rhuidean could immediately tell who was the liar. I think Rand was right to do it in that moment, and I think he was right in what he chose to reveal. The Aiel cannot come together as a people, let alone fight side by side with non-Aiel, without acknowledging their roots.
I expect that initially there will be some who will not want to support Rand, and I know the clan chiefs are pissed. But eventually his Ta’veren-ness will pull them all together, or destroy those who continue to oppose him.
6. With the massive sa’angreal access keys in hand, shouldn’t Rand be able to just steamroll through the next 10 books? Do you think he has a use in mind for them?
Well, we wouldn’t have another 10 books if Rand suddenly became all powerful and could just take out all opposition. So, these sa’angreal will be a boost, but won’t be the answer to all problems. I expect he has a few ideas in mind for their uses, but I bet there is plenty to learn about what they can do, but also their limitations or dangers. I wish they came with warning labels, even simple obvious ones like: Do not cook meat in dryer; Do not hold wrong end of chainsaw; This sign has sharp edges.
So, I did not see this coming at all, and yet, it is obviously what Rand needs. Not only was he expecting at least 1 Forsaken to try to take him out in the Aiel Waste, he was hoping it would be a man, so he would have a servant teacher on hand. I really like that Rand is using his brain instead of just reacting on gut instinct to the situations he finds himself in.
But, yeah, Asmodean doesn’t seem to be the brightest of the bunch of Forsaken. So, Rand might not have picked the best teacher, even though his choices are limited.
Nynaeve was ticked that somehow Moghedien escaped her bonds without her noticing, while she was busy with one of the Black Ajah and her Bale Fire Stick. I thin Moghedien is a great one for disguise and camouflage, and that she was there all the time but had camouflaged herself in to the background.
Perrin wrote Aiel a love note. Well, a goodbye note. He is more of a romantic than I thought.
Haha! Rand tricked a Forsaken and captured another. I’m sticking out my tongue at Lanfear!