The Fires of Heaven Read Along Part II

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JordanFiresOfHeavenBannerWelcome back everyone to the second week of The Fires of Heaven read along. This week, Liesel of Musings on Fantasia is our host, so make sure to head over there for more discussion. This week, we covered Chapters 4-9.

Spoilers are jumping around in their birthday suits below. You have been warned!

1. The Wise Ones want Aviendha to sleep in Rand’s chambers. Do you see this leading to any kind of change in her and Rand’s relationship? If so, what?

There’s usually a latent bond of trust built simply by sleeping with, next to, or in close proximity to another. So, yes, even if they sleep on opposite sides of the room with weapons drawn, there will be a build up of trust. I expect the Wise Ones know this and are using it to force a situation or relationship on the two.

2. Our buddies the Darkhounds make an appearance in Rhuidean. Lanfear claims they were sent by Rahvin and reveals to Rand that the Forsaken is Morgase’s manipulative lover. Do you think she’s being truthful?

The Darkhounds were easily defeated, which leads me to believe this was a clumsy, ill-informed attempt on Rand’s life or no attempt at all. As for Lanfear not beign able to get there sooner – I doubt that. So, this could easily be Lanfear trying to manipulate Rand, yet again. She balances this deception with the truth of Morgase and Rahvin, which is probably the more important piece of information for Rand.

3. Moiraine cautions Rand about balefire and promises not to try and manipulate him. What do you think of balefire? Is it worth its consequences? Should Rand use it to take out the Forsaken? What do you think of Moiraine’s promises? Will they work out the way she hopes?

Balefire worked to Rand’s advantage in this case. I think it should come with a caution label. CAUTION: DO NOT USE BALEFIRE SETTING FOR LONGER THAN 1.2 SECONDS. PROLONGED USE WILL UNRAVEL THE HEART STRINGS OF THE WORLD. I bet Rand will have to make a gamble with it sooner or later, much to this reader’s entertainment. If he bruns too long on a Forsaken, and they have such long lives, it could seriously mess up our storyline. I hope he keeps it to a light toasting instead of charcoal.

As for Moiraine’s promises….See, this is where I have to wonder if they is bound to the oath to never lie. She needs the flexibility. Just look at Nynaeve, Egwene, & Elayne – anyone who was outside the White Tower when they were there could full well believe they are full-blown Aes Sedai. Couldn’t this unusual set of circumstances have happened before…. and therefore allow Moiriaine the flexibility of the occasional little fib? Moiraine is a control freak – she wants to control others and also she holds on very tightly to what knowledge she does have, only parceling it out when it suits her. I doubt things will turn out just exactly how she wants them to.

4. Rand’s making lots of changes–his new arrangement with Moiraine, sending for Ogier to help rebuild Rhuidean, making the fountains flow again in the city. What do you think of all these changes?

The Aiel are going to have to grow up and rejoin the larger world. Have water and permanent, stone cities will be part of that. Next will come trade, and hence foreign customs, foods, clothes, etc. I hope the Aiel can show their adaptable side.

When nice, she is Bell Pepper. But mostly she is evil, so she is Pepper Corn.
When nice, she is Bell Pepper. But mostly she is evil, so she is Pepper Corn.

5. Egwene is “rummaging” around in lots of people’s dreams and finding disturbing things there. Do you think this is a good idea? Would you do it, in her position? Do you think it could backfire, and if so, how?

I think Egwene would be able to use her slyly-gained knowledge better if she wasn’t such a prude. You going digging around in folks dreams, you are going to see them naked, and with other people(s) or animals or mythological deities. Instead of turning your nose up at it, use that little bit of knowledge for something. I’m not saying Egwene should manifest some popcorn and sit to watch the show (that would be my job after all), but just tossing the info aside means her time was wasted.

I would totally rummage through people’s dreams if I could. I am very good at keeping things to myself, so no need to blush. But I also firmly believe that you never really, truly know someone until you have been intimate with them. Not that that level of knowledge is needed for all your daily people transactions. I think snooping through their dreams would be the next best thing. And a lot less messy (both emotionally and physically).

Will it backfire? Hell yeah! 1) Egwene is somewhat of an idiot because she is cock-sure and innocent at the same time; and 2) Because it will be highly entertaining for the reader, and that is what Robert Jordan does – entertain his readers.

6. Moiraine muses on Lan and Nynaeve’s relationship. She says she’s already “taken care” of certain things. What do you think she means by that? On the other side of the world, Nynaeve and Elayne are drugged by Mistress Macura. What do you think this woman’s intentions are?

Moiraine takes care of everything. She knows that she may not live out this series, and being the control freak she is, she will make sure to continue to manipulate the lives around her long after she is gone – for their own good of course.

Mistress Macura…hmmm more Black Ajah laying traps for the helpful, and gullible, aes sedai traipsing the world? Maybe Macura isn’t aes sedai at all, but perhaps just a darkfriend acting under instructions? If she is a darkfriend, are her orders to capture aes sedai, or just Elayne? Was it just last book where a price was put on Elayne’s head – so this could be that coming into play.

I hope Nynaeve cuts her braid off for her rash behavior on this one ;).

7. Fun bonus! Now that Rand, according to Lan, is practically a blademaster in his own right, he moves quite naturally through the sword forms. There are whole online communities dedicated to these sword forms that love to come up with new, interesting, often comical ones. (i.e. cat and bird in a nap sack, sparrow blinks uncertainly, cheetah runs and trips, etc. You get the drift.) Come up with one or two sword forms you’d love to see Rand perform! Just ’cause.

Haha! what fun. hehe… let’s see:

A Heron’s Failed Landing;

Goats Snickering

Donkey Tail to the Face

Beetle-Entranced Cat

Dog Dances Along Chairbacks

Other Tidbits:

Isendre in a veil, jewelry, and nothing else? Can they really call her a flip-skirt? She isn’t wearing a skirt! And besides, she really is only pursuing one man – Rand. But she made him blush too hard. He will never accept her advances now.

Aviendha and her tantrum over jewelry and belt buckles. Sigh! The Aiel should realize by now, having traveled with Wetlanders for some months, that they are dense folks and need the ways of the world and society explained to them. She could at least explain to Egwene. Then again, Egwene, Nynaeve, and Elayne all have issues with some Aiel customs, such as sister-wives, and can’t seem to be open minded about several of them.

Is it just me, or did the whole Elayne flirting and hanging off Thom thing seem out of place, forced, ridiculous? 1) It seems totally out of character for Elayne. Did some one slip her some Spanish fly? 2) It seems totally out of character for Thom to not have put a stop to it after day 1. If he is not Elayne’s father, does he really want to live that male fantasy of bedding the mother and the daughter (purely for scientific comparisons, right?)? Sigh……

8 thoughts on “The Fires of Heaven Read Along Part II”

  1. Love your balefire caution label! I agree that Moiraine is too much of a control freak for what she’s promised. It will be interesting to see where this goes. And yes, Egwene ought to be smarter about how she uses her information–especially considering how risky it is for her to gather it. “Dog Dances Along Chairback”–love it! Totally want to see Rand (and Lan!) do that one. 😀 I’m with you about Elayne’s behavior. I was never a fan of that storyline. It’s one thing to get close to him because she thinks he might be her father or at least was around when she was a baby, but her behavior borders on the ridiculous. Quite undignified for the Daughter-Heir of Andor. Good times! 😀

    1. Yep, Wheel of Time world could use a few more caution labels. I am sure that Egwene and Rand would at least consider them. Mat would just take them as a challenge.

      The daughter heir to Andor can be undignified at times, like the rest of us. I just found this particular little subplot to be out of character for both her and Thom. Do we not have enough tension, intrigue, boogey monsters, mayhem, and love affairs in the making already Mr. Jordan?

  2. 1. Yes, I assume we will see spontaneous accidental intercourse happening any moment now. I mean, sleeping in the same room and all… how could they possibly help it? 😛

    2. At one point it starts becoming difficult to tell or even care when the Forsaken are being truthful or not. Sometimes I just give up and read on to see what happens, nevermind what people intended. But yes, I think she’s being truthful in this case. After all, we do know, or strongly suspected, that Rahvin really is Gaebril.

    3. It sucks that it’s so dangerous, because it’s really quite useful. Balefire actually has another important quality that we don’t know about yet, which makes it even more useful. So summa sumarum, it might just be a necessary evil.

    About time Moiraine and Rand patched things up. I don’t much care for Rand abusing the fact, but I suppose it’s still beter than nothing. Although one might wonder about her change of heart. It’s certainly out of character. What could have brought this on?

    5. Interesting question, what with spying being so featured lately. I don’t think it’s a very good idea, even without the dangers involved. However, I guess practice for an aspiring dreamwalker can only come one way. And yeah, Egwene is so prudish.

    6. I think Moiraine is talking about Lan’s private war with the Shadow. He’s acting like a man without a future, but Moiraine intends him to have one, whether he wants to or not. But… which future?

    Supergirls trap count: 4, now? Not very encouraging. Whoever Macura is, she is working for someone who knows a secret Yellow Ajah sign. That means either the White Tower or a Black Ajah sister (and even if the latter, that doesn’t mean Macura knows about it).

    7. Creative? Me?

    1. Yes, I am hoping for some intercourse, accidental or otherwise, just get some of the sexual tension out of the plot lines.

      Yeah. Between the darkfreinds, the black ajah, and the forsaken all telling lies when it suits them – oh and the true aes sedai word twisting too – sometimes I just read on not caring to puzzle out who is lying about what and why.

      Perhaps Moiraine saw her death in her future during her naked adventure into Rhuidean so she wants to help Rand as much as possible and to set Lan up with a future wife.

      Nynaeve, for all her need to not look like an idiot, she sure doesn’t learn from past episodes of being trapped. Elayne obviously wasn’t paying attention to her lessons in How to Avoid Traps, Abductions, & Enslavement While Maintaining Proper Etiquette. Dork.

    2. Spontaneous accidental intercourse–Nice. Good point about Moiraine talking about Lan’s war with the shadow. It’s things like that that make me like her a lot. She’s always got an agenda, and is never completely trustworthy, but despite all that her heart is generally in the right place. Aw no sword forms? 😀

    3. 1. How exactly does one have “accidental” intercourse? 😀

      3. Whatever she saw in the Rhuidean ter’angreal has certainly shaken Moiraine to her core and I get a real sense of desperation and urgency from her these days.

      6. I agree with you that Macura might be a very nice person who has been given instructions by a bad person. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is simply Elaida trying to get control of Elayne again, but I wouldn’t rule out the Black Ajah either.

  3. 2. Why do we all struggle to trust Lanfear . . . is it because she is batshit crazy?? 😀

    3. You make a good point about the Oaths that the Aes Sedai have to swear on the Oath Rod. I wonder when that practice began, because the Rod may have been intended for quite a different use when it was first created. I actual enjoy seeing her trying to be nice to Rand: I imagine that she looks like she is chewing rocks most of the time though!

    6. Nynaeve needs to get a tattoo that says “Assume everything is a trap!” I am starting to get rather tired of the girls being trapped and tricked all the time – I would expect them to have learnt some caution by now.

    Obviously I am a bit sheltered because I did not read Elayne’s behavior as flirting until Nynaeve pointed it out this week: I had just assumed that she was being girly with him because she knew him as a child. I am thoroughly repelled by your mother and daughter comparison. Yuck!

    1. ‘Batshit crazy’? Let me check my little list of indicators of trustworthiness. Hmm…. that doesn’t seem to be on there. Sorry, Lanfear, we can’t admit you to the clubhouse.

      Perhaps there are are Forsaken that once upon a time had to swear their oaths on the Oath rod. I wonder if that holds even if you go to the dark side – like Lanfear? If she has to tell the truth all the time, that would explain why she seems so hard to pin down.

      Yeah, Elayne’s cuddling up to Thom when we all know, and she knows, that Thom slept with her mom. Not once, but like a serious relationship once upon a time. Ugh….. And it seems so out of character too.

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