Welcome once again to the WoT Quad and our peanut gallery attempts to dissect this book, wringing every little tidbit of enjoyment out of it. There was definitely some mighty fine action, intrigue, and bare-ass shenanigans this week. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.
This week we covered Chapters 25-32. Spoilers lurk in every crevice (yes, even that unmentionable one) below. You have been warned.
1) Egwene nearly becomes trapped in a dream of Emond’s Field. Once she manages to untangle herself, we, the readers, see that Moghedien was lurking. How much trouble do you think Moghedien will cause Egwene & Nynaeve? Do you think Egwene needs to take some of her own advice?
I can definitely see Moghedien being Nynaeve’s nemesis for several books, if not the rest of series. I would expect Nynaeve to win in their final encounter, but Moghedein may take out people Nynaeve cares about deeply before that happens – so I am more worried about Egwene, or Jullin, or even Thom.
As for Egwene and her advice….hehe. So, she is such a prude sometimes, yet she seems to have a few young men in her dreams and on her mind, so perhaps she needs to not be so judgy of others. Also, she has been telling everyone to be careful in Tel’aran’rhiod and there she is, unescorted, and nearly becomes trapped in a beautiful dream that might have ended in a menage a trio wither her, Gawyn, and Galad.
2) Siuan & crew finally make it to Salidar. Did you expect Siuan & Leane to be grilled so by the aes sedai? Was Logain’s reception as you expected?
Yes, I expected the aes sedai to be full of questions and demands for info from Siuan and Leane. I expected them to put Logain under guard at least, and I really expected them to give him a grilling also – so when they didn’t, I have to wonder if they are idiots like Siuan is concerned they are – fussing over their tomato plants instead of planning for an attack.
Also, I wish to say that Siuan proves that even with out the aes sedai powers, the underlying personality is till there – she plotted with Leane a few hours ahead of time, in an effort to steer the aes sedai.
3) Gareth Bryne, his laundry, Siuan’s temper, and Min’s visions; what a mix! Having seen several examples of how Robert Jordan builds couples, do you have expectations for Siuan & Bryne? What do you make of Min’s visions?
Ha! Of course I think Siuan and Bryne will end up together. That is how it is. Two interesting people who have some connection to one another, maybe even attraction, will have to squabble and argue A LOT before they finally become an item… and then they will continue to squabble and argue.
Gosh, Min’s visions. Do we ever learn what every single one means? Is there some cheat sheet out there that has been made up by WoT fanatics? You know who you are – speak up! OK, so she saw a bull tossing roses off of him? Well… if I use some Freudian psychobabble, that possibly means that Bryne will finally loose his virginity? Oh, and Min saw a raven earlier related to one of the aes sedai, but I forget who. That makes me think of those mysterious bird messages that Aluda (spelling?) sent upon catching Nynaeve & Elayne. At any rate, Min’s visions give me something to contemplate late at night when I can’t sleep.
4) Kadere manages to eliminate one of his allies (Isendre) and is hoping to locate another among the Aiel all in one short chapter. In retrospect, how do you feel about the treatment of Isendre by Kadere, Rand, & the Aiel women? Who do you think left the note for Kadere?
I think it is always good to have more than one thing you are good at, and more than one way to get what you want out of people. Isendre was one of those people that never bothered to learn another way to deal with people. Her flirtatious nature had served her well up to this point, and when she realized she wasn’t going to get what she wanted, she could not adapt. You can probably tell that I don’t have much sympathy for her. The opposite side of the flirtatious coin is the bully – both use a behavior set to force, trick, or cajole in order to enact some control over another.
OK, I am putting the soap box away. Kadere was using her because he can’t get into Natiel’s or Rand’s bed. He sees Isendre, and probably all women, as tools. I wouldn’t mind seeing him strangled. Oh, and cutting up a corpse that soon after death – there is going to be a significant amount of blood. I butcher goats from start to finish so I have a pretty good idea about how much blood is in humans and how easily it can be spilled.
I think the Aiel women started off making a good point, forcing Isendre to go dressed in only the jewelry she ‘stole’. I am not convinced that shaving her (completely, every hair folks) was truly necessary. I look at my little belly fuzz, and I wouldn’t care to have to be that precise or thorough in forcibly shaving another human. Think about Isendre’s personal bits! There’s a reason there is waxing instead of shaving. Who wants a knife that close? We had enough trouble forcibly shaving are well-behaved dog, I can only imagine the chore it would be to do so to a struggling human. Did those two Aiel ladies really shave every hair? I think they probably let a few be, just because of the awkward nature of the task. Personally, I think the nettle beating is what drove the point home.
As to who left the message – Hmm… Who is Mat bedding again? I think it is her. I don’t like her. I mean, I think it is good that Mat is getting some action, but the continued relationship seems a little too convenient.
5) What do you think motivated Edorion to make his bet with Rand on the Aiel arriving at Cairhein in time? Rand makes it clear that Rhuarc & crew are not to use rough methods to gain information from Estean. Should we be concerned for Estean’s safety?
I thought this was an interesting section. It really put in perspective the ‘wet landers’ fear of the Aiel and also the Aiel’s complete disdain for the wet landers. Perhaps Edorion was trying to lighten the mood, maybe to set his men at ease, by making that bet. It surprised me a bit.
Up to this point I have liked Rhuarc. But his readiness, even slight eagerness, to forcibly gain information from Estean was a bit disconcerting. I fear that Rand will be forced to be a steel-fisted ruler sooner rather than later with the Aiel – perhaps by hanging a few or publicly killing them in some way. Rand wants to unite the peoples of Rand-land, perhaps the world, against the coming confrontation with the Dark. I don’t think the Aiel understand that means they will have to learn to respect the so called wet landers.
6) Rand & Aviendha find themselves in the land of the Seanchan. All sorts of things (both physical and metaphorical) are laid bare. How do you think Rand & Aviendha’s relationship will change? Will the Seanchan become a bigger problem sooner rather than later due to this little visit?
I am glad that Rand finally bedded someone. I expect that Aviendha thoroughly enjoyed being the one to relieve him of his virginity. I thought it a bit silly that Rand felt they should get married, but I was also surprised by Aviendha’s flat refusal to sleep with him ever again. Ha! But we’ll see what her Aiel sisters do about that. I do have to say that I am a little weary of Rand and Aveindha, and indeed all the couples in the series, constantly bickering.
I think Rand just put Rand-land on the Seanchan radar square in the center. They want him, and not in any good way (unlike his harem). He is going to need some protection when they come for him, because they will come in force, will be highly organized, and failure will not be an option for those leading the force.
So we have seen Rand use the portal stones, waygates, and even his personal floating disc in never land to go from point A to point B. Why were none of these options discussed in catching up to Couladin, especially after Edorion and his men show up?
Did I miss something – why is Aveindha opening some sort of gate into a blizzard on the other side of the world? When did she get that ability? She didn’t seem surprised by her actions, so I assume she has done something similar before, perhaps lots of times.
Here in the middle of Book 5, we have seen our Two Rivers kids grow up in so many ways. Even Nynaeve is shifting in her personality a bit with no longer having authority over Egwene. So, with all this maturing going on (Perrin saved Emond’s Field, Rand is He Who Comes With the Dawn, Elayne being so far from family & court, etc.), why do they all seem stunted when it comes to personal relationships with the opposite sex?