The END! Yes, we have reached the End of Book 5, The Fires of Heaven, of The Wheel of Time series. Wow! I wasn’t expecting that, or that, or that. Oh dear. That can’t be good. What the Hell!?! That was my quick summary of the various things I said while reading the ending.
Musings of Fantasia is our host this week, so make sure to visit her for intelligent chit chat and awesome fan art.
This week covers Chapters 54 to the End of the Book. Spoilers – they are big, crunchy, and will stain if you happen to glance upon them!
1. As soon as they get to Caemlyn, Rahvin lashes out, killing Mat, Aviendha, and Asmodean. Later, after Rand balefires him, the recoil in the Pattern brings them back to life. How did you feel about this roller coaster twist? Did you see it coming?
I was sad to see Aviendha dead, but thought it would happen sooner or later to Asmodean. It seemed just a tiny bit nebulous as to whether or not Mat was dead, or just severely wounded and unconscious, so I expected him to pull through. A few books back when Jordan killed off Perrin’s family, I finally felt that this series was getting real. I mean, if the main characters can be killed off, or severely hurt like that, then I really do feel for them, and fear for their safety. So, when Jordan killed off Aviendha, and perhaps Mat, my respect ratcheted up for his writing. It was real; Rand and his entourage are not untouchable.
And then the balefire recoil kicked in, and they are all back, untouched. Sigh…. All I could think was that this would truly fuel Rand’s dual obsessions with protecting/not harming women and also bringing the dead back. So, I expect to see some Rand angst in the future when this doesn’t work as intended.
2. Rahvin had a rough afternoon, not that he didn’t deserve it. First he got his face–one to rival Galad’s apparently–melted off. Then he got disintegrated out of existence. How did you feel about how Rand handled Rahvin’s execution?
It needed doing and he did it swiftly. It worked for me. I didn’t need Rahvin tortured for a day or week before execution. Though Rand might have gained some knowledge by questioning him on Morgase and/or the plans of the Forsaken. So, maybe 10 minutes of a torture & question session wouldn’t have gone amiss.
3. Nynaeve captured Moghedien. Again. With an a’dam. What do you think about holding one of the Forsaken hostage with the metal device? What’s your opinion of Moghedien after seeing her at Nynaeve’s mercy in this section?
It seems the Forsaken are pretty much human, with extra strengths, kind of like our heroes. I think Moghedien, and perhaps the rest of the Forsaken, have gone too long without a challenge, and so they themselves have forgotten that they are subject to the same issues anyone would have if, say, an a’dam was slipped over their heads. I think Nynaeve made a very useful tool out of Moghedien, by drawing on her power. Part of me wants to call Moghedien a coward for her actions in this scene, and that is part of it, but also I have to keep in mind that no one (not yet anyway) enjoys wearing an a’dam, and also Moghedien’s fear of both Rand and Rahvin in Tel’aran’rhiod told me as the reader that they were both very, very dangerous. Nynaeve and Moghedien could have both been fried, or worse. I have to say that Moghedien may have been exhibiting a touch of prudence, and deeper knowledge of possible effects of such two powerful entities wandering T’A'R as they were.
4. Nynaeve has now openly battled two Forsaken, capturing Moghedien and full on attacking Rahvin, even after being told that he was far stronger than she, being in T’A'R in the flesh. Do you think her actions were foolish or wise? What further role do you think she’ll play in the story?
I think Nyaneve did what she felt she had to do. Perhaps they were all foolish to be wandering T’A'R hunting Rahvin. In that light, Nynaeve was no more foolish than Rand. I can’t see her going back to cleaning chamber pots for the Salidar aes sedai. Perhaps they will want to study her. Perhaps they won’t want to remove that block after all, fearing her strength. Whatever her future role, I expect I will be entertained as the reader.
Moghedien will definitely wait to strike until either she is very powerful or Nynaeve is extremely weakened. I wouldn’t expect to see her again for a while.
5. Rand relayed Lan’s message. Do you think Nynaeve will listen? Do you think Rand will follow his own advice and stay away from Elayne?
Oh, hell no. Nynaeve is too stubborn and has set her sights and her heart on Lan. He won’t get off that easy. Nor will Elayne simply let Rand be. I bumped into a spoiler some time ago, that I won’t reveal here. But, yeah, Rand and Lan won’t be pushing their ladies away that easily. Silly boys. Why do they think they are stronger, more capable, and less harmful without a sensible, loving woman at their side?
6. Davrim Bashere (that’s Faile’s father, for those who missed it) shows up in Caemlyn and offers his services and (practically) an alliance with his country. What do you think his motivations are? Do you trust him?
I am trying to recall what Faile has said of her family. She has honor, and while her parents expected her to settle down and get married off, she seemed to speak with affection about them. But Davrim is having to the deal with The Dragon Reborn and doesn’t know the sheepherder Rand at all. So, he might be willing to pull a bit of subterfuge, or other, in the name of protecting his people from The Dragon Reborn.
I wonder if things will change when he meets Faile’s husband? That should be quite entertaining.
7. The murder of Asmodean! This was such a big deal on the forums. It drove fans nuts for many thousands of pages. Who do you think killed him and why?
Well, I think whoever killed him knew he was Asmodean and not just Natael, the Lord Dragon’s harpist. So, that limits the number of folks. Rand, all the Forsaken, hmmm… I don’t think Rand told Morraine, Aveindha, definitely not Mat. Morraine may have guessed, which means Lan may have known, but I think he had ridden away before this. Though, the man does have the skills to sneak back in, kill, and sneak away.
If one of the Forsaken wanted him dead (and that was like everyone but Lanfear – at least before she went through that door), then anyone of them could have ordered one of their slavish Dark Friends to stick a knife in Natael the Harpist, and they would. So, I am going to say this is the most likely. It could even be an order that Rahvin gave to his minions before he had his face melted off.
8. Morgase is determined to get her throne back, and to not look at Tallanvor with his well-turned calves as a man, apparently. How do you think she’ll fare in either battle?
I expect she will have a hard time on both fronts. First, her people have seen her acting the love-sick fool, turning control of her kingdom over to Gabriel, for several months. I think they will not so easily be ready to accept her rule again.
Second, Morgase is known for her assignations with men – she likes them. So I would expect that sooner or later for her to find a love interest, whether it is Tallanvor or not.
I loved how Nynaeve swallowed her pride and tricked Moghedien – pretending to beg her not to hurt her and then forming an a’dam. It must have taken quite a bit for Nynaeve to 1) beg in front of others (even if it was a trick) and 2) face Moghedien.
The ladies were chatting about something intently with Aviendha before Rand was noticed. I feel so sorry for Rand, because everyone wants something form him, but so few want the whole him. I think Aviendha is pregnant and that the Aiel Wise Women are pretty darn happy about this. I am not sure Aviendha is so happy about, perhaps because Rand may see it as being used.