The Fires of Heaven Read Along Part I

JordanFiresOfHeavenBannerWelcome everyone! The WoT Quad continues their Wheel of Time adventures with The Fires of Heaven, Book 5 in the series. Peek over here for the schedule if you think you would like to join us.

I’m you’re lucky host this week and if there are any quirks in the questions, or my answers, I blame sleep deprivation because sleep deprivation is too tired to fight back and say that it is not at fault, haha!

Anyway, spoilers are having a party below. Avert your eyes if you fear that your Wheel of Time innocence will be forever tainted.

1) Elaida doesn’t seem to have as strong a hold on the White Tower as she would like. Do you think her tactics to demand obedience and courtesy will work with all? How would you go about defying Elaida if you were stuck in the White Tower with her?

No, I don’t think Elaida will get obedience from all. She knows that she did not rise to power on her own, and those that put her in power know that too. I do believe she will be able to dominate many of those, but not all. After all, I am reading this for entertainment and I believe Robert Jordan knew that Elaida butting heads with at least one person in the White Tower would greatly amuse me.

If I was stuck in the the White Tower at this time, I would wiggle my way into having some control over Elaida’s food or bed linen. I will let your evil minds run amok with the kinds of unpleasant and sneaky things I could get up to ;).

2) A few of the Forsaken get together at the end of the Prologue for plotting and sniping at each other. Will any of their plans come to fruition? If you were Rand, who would you neutralize first?

I think that whatever Lanfear puts her mind and will into stands a chance of coming to fruition. She is focused and capable. For these same reasons, I would put her at the top of the list to neutralize.

With that said, I can see a few reasons why Rand has not done much to take Lanfear out. She is powerful and has a brain, so Rand might not feel ready yet to go toe to toe with her. Also, she has a vast amount of knowledge that Rand could benefit from, if he could get it out of her. So, on my personal list I will put Rahvin first because he irritates me with treating mere humans as puppets for his pleasure. Oh, and because he is breaking Wheaton’s Law – Don’t be a dick!

3) Leane, Siuan, & Min nearly get hanged for some burnt hay and stolen coin. Each woman chose a different approach to appealing to the judge; whose did you appreciate the most? What do you think of Siuan’s reaction to Lord Gareth Bryn?

While I don’t flash my boobies or bat my eyes at men to get what I want, I do see that it works very, very often. However, in a case like this where the villagers were threatening hanging, I would not be above trying such a tactic. I see that Siuan’s reaction – a mix of fear and defiance – was more effective in a way. Yet, she also peaked Bryn’s interest and he will be pursuing their escape. Poor MIn, in the middle thinking it is all mad and truly concerned about breaking her oath. I had to laugh a little. I mean, these ladies are trying to save the world so I think that obligation trumps doing maids’ work for a few seasons to pay back a black eye, some burnt hay, and some stolen coins.

Siuan obviously knows Bryn for some reason and fears him recognizing her. I smell a romance that was set aside for Aes Sedai glory.

4) Couladin still has not entered Rhuidean, even though it is now open to all. Rand plans to use the Aiel to quell the other other nations before he tackles the last battle. Do you think Couladin & the Shaido could jeopardize that plan?

Oh, I hope so! It would be oodles of fun for me as the reader to see Couladin presenting a major threat to Rand’s plans and then watching Rand quell that threat – with flaming sword, shirtless. He should have a decent tan going on now, right?

I am not too sure how the Aiel will feel about being used as a weapon to force the other nations into compliance. I assume many will quite enjoy the task, but others may feel that it is below their dignity and honor.

Here's Jake, our Mammoth Donkey.

Here’s Jake, our Mammoth Donkey.

5) Rand continues to pluck info from Asmodean about use of the Power and also details about the Forsaken. How much do you think Asmodean is holding back? What little tricks would you play on Rand if you were his ‘guest’?

While Asmodean appears to be the densest of the Forsaken, he would not have survived this long without some tricks, sneakiness, or other useful abilities. So I will assume at this point that he is withholding from Rand – and I think Rand at least suspects this. Good for him. He really isn’t the Farm Boy we started with The Eye of the World anymore, is he?

If I was Rand’s guest, I would first make sure that all his small clothes mysteriously turned to ash. Next, I would do my best to see that whatever he drank, or whenever he bathed, the liquid was just short of what he desired – just enough to be irritating.

6) At the end of Chapter 3, Melindrha hints at things she would like to do by moonlight with Mat. Hehe. What are some of the craziest moonlit excursions you have ever been a part of?

First, just let me say that I am very glad to see that Mat has become the prey in this hunt for love. I think it is good for him.

As for moonlit stories – well there was the time at the golf course collecting markers left by players so they could continue the next day (no, I didn’t know what they were at the time, but as a scientist I took some home to investigate further). I also rode around in a car driven by a blind man. There was a shrubbery involved. There was also that time stuck in an arroyo in the Jeep. Camping with my man under a full moon was great, until the dogs brought a deer carcass back to camp and into the tent. Sigh….the good old days when I still intentionally ventured out in the depths of night.

Other Tidbits:

Padan Fain is over the deep end and now he is near his dagger. I have to wonder how that will affect his abilities once he gets a hold of it, if he does. Of course, this is coupled with my concerns for the Horn, which is still in the White Tower. Hmm…. Mat may have to go toe to toe with Fain at some point.

As some of you know, I was a bit distracted this past week, but what the hell was Logaine up to? Why did he run in the first place instead of knocking a few more heads and getting the ladies out of there? Why wait until they are being carted up to Lord Bryn’s for a not-heroic ‘rescue’? Did I miss something?

8 thoughts on “The Fires of Heaven Read Along Part I

  1. Liesel Hill says:

    Yeah, Rahvin is definitely in violation of Wil Wheaton’s law! Then again, most of the Forsaken are, including the ladies. I agree that it’s fun to see Mat become the hunted. Sounds like you’ve definitely had some moonlight adventures. :D I’m not sure what Logain was up to. I can’t help but think he probably did decide to leave the ladies behind, but then thought better of it. He chocks it up to wanting the revenge Siuan promised. Maybe, but I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a sliver of conscience in there somewhere. Logain was a false dragon, after all. If he can keep the sadness of being cut off from the Source from killing him, why would he need three two stilled women to find revenge? Just sayin. :D

    • nrlymrtl says:

      Perhaps Logain has a shred of chivalry or chauvinism that is pushing him to continue protecting the ladies? It shall be interesting to see further interactions with him.

  2. Eivind Fonn says:

    1. It might very well work with ordinary Aes Sedai. However, I’ve theorized before that the Black Ajah was instrumental in the schism, and I don’t see them being nearly as amenable as she would like. I doubt even Elaida (or Siuan) knows the full story behind the coup, and the motivations behind each faction.

    Elaida butting heads with someone… ahh, yes. Now, who could that person be? Wink wink, nudge nudge. ;)

    2. Hard to say, it’s not exactly clear what their plan even is. Make Rand go after Sammael, was it? I really would have liked some more details.

    It’s easy to say with the benefit of hindsight who Rand should neutralize first. First, there are maybe only two who Rand can even find – Sammael and Rahvin, but I don’t consider any of them to be top tier Forsaken. It might be benefitial to let Lanfear off the hook for now, even. If she’s not friendly she’s at least friendlier than the others. Among the clique that we saw, I’d say Graendal is by far the most dangerous, but other than Asmodean’s thoughts about Arad Doman it’s not clear how to find her.

    Among the ones we haven’t seen, I’d say it would be very convenient to have Demandred and Mesaana out of the way as soon as possible.

    3. I really empathize with Min here. Siuan knows what she’s about though, it seems. Leane’s hobby is just another face of the growing “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” thing Jordan has going on. It does grind one’s gears after a while.

    I believe Bryne and Siuan met once in official capacities as General and Amyrlin, and Siuan humbled him quite publicly for some reason or other.

    4. The problem with wetlanders is that they don’t understand the nuances of Aiel society. To them, Aiel are just Aiel, and if Couladin goes on the war path now, it won’t help Rand’s image later when they see him at the head of a hundred thousand Aiel.

    5. If he’s holding back, I doubt he’s doing it with nefarious intent. He seems like a beat-down guy with nothing much left to live for. He claims to be a bad teacher, too, and I can empathize with that. I’m sure my students would say the same about me. :(

    6. Taking a nighttime walk in the Alps under the moon is a really humbling experience. You don’t have a lot of real wilderness in Switzerland, so you have to appreciate what you have. That’s definitely something I miss about home, Switzerland is too crowded.

    For that matter, screw moonlight. I got to see some mindblowing northern lights in the winter of 2003/04, in the far north of Norway while I did my military service. They lit up the arctic tundra with flares (which creates a really stark and alien kind of light – almost colorless), and played “The End” by The Doors really loudly while we were all being shipped out to various directions, Band of Brothers style. In the meantime the most spectacular cosmic light show took place in the sky. This was for the beginning of an exercise. I’ve never seen anything like it. Say what you want about the military, they sure know how to get your blood boiling.

    Other:

    I want to echo Liesel pointing out the Aiel motto:

    Till shade is gone, till water is gone, into the Shadow with teeth bared, screaming defiance with the last breath, to spit in Sightblinder’s eye on the last day.

    It’s one of my random e-mail signature quotes, actually. I also like, this, which is my favourite of the out-of-chapter quotes and prophecies, from the end of book 10 (don’t worry, no spoilers):

    We rode on the winds of the rising storm, we ran to the sounds of the thunder. We danced among the lightning bolts, and tore the world asunder.

    Also, if you liked the songs from the Mat PoV, here is a playlist with some third-party interpretations of Wheel of Time songs. For most of them, the books don’t have complete lyrics, so some verses have been added.

    • Liesel Hill says:

      Ooh I really like that prophecy from book 10 as well! One of my faves! :D

    • nrlymrtl says:

      Siuan humbled Bryne publicly, huh? I bet she was worried about some payback!

      Haha! Yes, Asmodean does seem to be a bad teacher – and a chunk of that is probably because his heart is not in it. But, I bet you still have your heart in teaching so I can’t see comparing you to Asmodean.

      Your northern lights story is awesome, Doors song and all ;).

      The Wheel of Time songs are awesome! My man is going to boggle his eyes over this and play them in the background while he plays xbox games.

  3. suecccp says:

    A little later than I had hoped, but here I am . . . finally!

    1. You are quite right – if Elaida proved to be a wonderful Amyrlin and was shown obedience and devotion by all the sisters, life would be very dull indeed. I expect her to be undermined at every turn.

    2. I like your rationale about Lanfear, but I doubt that Rand could bring himself to move against her. I also agree about Rahvin, although I think most of the Forsaken break Wheaton’s Law with gay abandon.

    3. I had never thought that Siuan might be interested in Bryne that way . . . now you have me thinking!

    4. You have got to start doing the “Top Off Tuesday” meme! :D

    I like your point about the Aiel not being happy to be used as a weapon, and I can see how they might not want to do anything that damages their honor.

    5. I see Asmodean as somewhat similar to Moghedien on the scale of least brave and therefore most sneaky, so I would also be very wary of him. However, Rand does seem to be quite clued in these days, so I am a little less worried than I might have been.

    6. You can always count on dogs to ruin the romantic mood, which why one of ours has the nickname ‘condom dog’ because she loves sleeping on the bed between us! :D

    Fain – is it just me or is he even more creepy than Gollum? Also, I wonder if Logain expected the ladies to run as well?

    • nrlymrtl says:

      Hooray! You made it! Crazy week, huh?

      I had to go look up Top Off Tuesday meme. Nice. Eye candy for the ladies. Somehow, I can’t see Rand prancing around shirtless for a book cover though. He would have to be caught unawares. I bet there is plenty of fan art, some of which I have already seen – some of it rather more intimate than I expected given the PG-13 rating these books have so far.

      OMG! I am drinking hot tea woman! I just about choked and burned my air passages reading about condom dog.

      But, it’s true, dogs will get in the middle of human frolicking. Cats, on the other hand, will literally sleep on the bed through the whole experience.

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