Yep, the WoT Quad made it to Book 6 of The Wheel of Time series. My, Lord of Chaos sure does start off with some fascinating scenes and some interesting reveals. This week, Sue from Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers is our host. Make sure to swing by her place for lively discussion. Musings on Fantasia will also be joining us and you can most likely catch Eivind over at CCCP.
Now, you know the drill, but for form’s sake: Spoilers Reign Supreme from here on out!
1. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that we have now met all of the Forsaken in the flesh. What are your impressions of the last three to be revealed: Demandred, Mesaana and Semirhage? Any guesses which of the Forsaken have been reborn as Osan’gar and Aran’gar?
Demandred is a bit of a dandy – dressing and acting the handsomest man around, but he’s not. Mesaana describes him as just not quite handsome – which is a lot like how Morgase described Ilodien (spelling?), the ruler who she is trying to make an alliance with. So, of course I have to wonder if Demandred is running around disguised as Ilodien.
Anyway, Mesaana seems a little insecure, and definitely afraid of Semirhage. Semirhage seemed cold, even for a Forsaken.
Then enter Osan’gar and Aran’gar, reborn Forsaken. I wasn’t too sure on this and was chatting with my man on this, who has already finished this book by the way. I try to get him to play with us, but he is a speed reader. Anyhoo, I couldn’t recall these names from previously in the series (but there are lots of names, so it’s easy to forget one or two), and he said they were killed off back in Book 1. Hmm…. So, Moiraine got one and Rand killed the other. I’m not clear if they got new names in this reading section, or if I simply can’t recall them from Book 1. If renamed, i think one may be Ishmael, unless he really, really pissed off the Dark One by posing as Ba’alzamon. Should be interesting to find out why the Dark One wants their rebirth to be kept secret.
2. We also get our first look at Shayol Ghul and enter the presence of the Dark One himself. Was this what you expected and how horrific did you find the experience related by Demandred? Also, Shaidar Haran: is he the scariest thing that we have come across yet or not?
The most chilling part was how removed Demandred was from the lives of the regular humans that were being used one way or another by the dark inhabitants of Shayol Ghul. He had no feelings for them one way or another. He wasn’t disgusted, nor excited by what he witnessed.
And then he gets to have a chat with the Dark One and has one of those pain mixed with pleasure orgasms over the experience. I guess that is a simple way to keep people coming back, all the way to Shayol Ghul – give them one of the most pleasurable experiences they have ever had.
Now, Shaidar Haran seems quite interesting. A Myrrdraal with a name, and the clout to kick Forsaken around. The Forsaken are going to have to learn to grease the hands of that particular myrrdraal. I wonder what he did , or who he is a manifestation of, to have such high favor of the Dark One.
3. What do you think of the girls’ solution for containing Moghedien? Do you think they can hope to keep this secret, plus all the others they have?
Moghedien doesn’t like this solution at all, and I think this will make her more dangerous later on. Though I can understand why the ladies are doing it: They can’t simply let Moghedien loose to do as she pleases and they can’t outright kill her because the knowledge she is sharing is very worthy right now.
As to keeping secrets: Haha! Snort. No.
They have so many secrets, and various people know bits and pieces of various secrets, so sooner or later one of them will trip up, or someone will unravel it, or another will betray them, and then it will all come crashing down. then they will face some horrible (and stupidly short-sighted) punishment by the power-hungry Salidar aes sedai, that they will be left with no choice but to run off and join the circus. Again.
4. Yay! Faile and Perrin are back in the narrative, and Loial is mentioned if not actually shown (grump). Were you surprised by the changes that we see in the Two Rivers? How likely do you think it is that Perrin will be able to leave Faile behind when he travels off to meet up with Rand?
Hooray that Perrin is back. Too bad we had to walk around in Faile’s head to get to chat with him. Sigh…..I think Perrin is my favorite character. Faile seems to be more interesting now that she has some people to rule over. She is using her critical thinking skills more now that she has to watch out for and organize so many people.
I figured Two Rivers had to change some after loosing so many folks in nasty ways to both the White Cloaks and the trollocs. Still, I was surprised to see an increase in the variety of craftsmen – such as a tile maker for roof tiles. As for being more organized and even militant, no, I expected such practicality from Two Rivers’ folks.
I give Perrin a 50% chance of getting out of there without Faile. Faile feels that rulership is important to the ongoing existence of Two Rivers, whether the natives feel the same way or not. Besides, if Faile does turn up pregnant soon, she or Perrin may firmly insist that she stay put.
5. It seems that the members of House Trakand, with the possible exception of Elayne, are making some pretty dreadful choices at the moment. How long do you think Gawyn will stay with the White Tower Aes Sedai before he decides to call it quits and go to look for Egwene? Morgase seems to have lost most of her former composure: could she use a ‘good seeing to’ from young Tallanvor and his shapely calves????
I can understand the difficulty Gawyn was faced with when he made the choices he did during the turnover at the White Tower. Now, he is far from Tar Valon and just heard this horrid news (inaccurate, but he has no way to verify immediately). I expect that he just needs 1 more little straw to send him running off to either kill Rand or find Elayne and or Egwene. Hopefully he will do the second before attempting the first. If he attempts the first, well, rand may have to apologize to Elayne for turning her beloved brother into a blood smear on a ceiling.
Sigh… Morgase has definite ideas of how precious her royal ass is, doesn’t she? If I was getting tired of her mighty airs, Linni (spelling?) must have been ready to tan her backside. Yes, i think she could do with a good seeing to from Tallanvor, but because he is ‘low bred’ , I doubt she would respect him in the morning.
6. The Shaido have allied themselves with the White Tower. Do you foresee a problem with the cultural differences between these two ‘allies’ or will they work together smoothly? Do you think, as I do, that both these groups are underestimating Rand and his abilities?
Well, we know that Savanha (spelling?) has plans of grandeur for herself, plans that aren’t shared by other Shaido Wise Women. Then we have the White Tower aes sedai, and in this case, two of the aes sedai brokering the deal are Black Ajah. Then we have a lack of mutual respect between the aes sedai, the Warders-in-training, and the Shaido. Each group thinks the others are savages or idiots.
In short, rand is lucky once again that his enemies are ill-organized groups of idiots. And yes, all of them are underestimating Rand.
7. Poor Rand, surrounded by people that he does not really trust, apart from the Maidens. Last week I was totally convinced of Davrim Bashere’s honesty, do you think that his behavior this week proves me right or wrong? Then there is the False Dragon, Mazrim Tain: should Rand trust him or not?
I’m on the fence about Bashere. On one hand, I think everyone around Rand, including the Aiel, the Maidens, Egwene, Bashere, even Mazrim, all want something from Rand. If they can’t control him, they will try to channel him, and then once he does go insane, kill him. So, is Bashere as benevolent as Egwene? Probably not. Is he simply doing what he can for his people? Probably. I can totally see why he is such a comforting force to Rand: He doesn’t feed Rand bullshit – making an example of his power in front of everyone was interesting – and he doesn’t show fear even in moments where Rand slips and the mad Lews Therin takes over. I can see Rand coming to trust Bashere….and then perhaps Bashere will show his loyalty, or not, in an intense moment.
As for Mazrim Tain – very interesting. I am excited about this character because he brings so much to the table. First, he is over a decade older than Rand, so he has just simple life experience, then battle experience, then use of saidin experience, and finally, the experience of being a loathed as a man who can channel. Can Rand trust him? Well, I would need to know what evil things Mazrim as done to judge better. Did he burn children? Impale women? Slaughter men wholesale with balefire? Or did he simply proclaim himself the Dragon Reborn because it was the only way to live as a man who can channel? By claiming that ‘honor’ men flocked to his banner, and then battle naturally ensued. I expect the answers aren’t cut & dry and that Rand probably needs to keep him on a short leash while he learns what he can from the man.
Nynaeve & Elayne are getting points for their ‘research’ which lets them have a maid (Moghedien) and other trivial things. Part of me wants to yell, ‘Cheaters!’ at them, but I also see that they could have kept all that new knowledge to themselves instead, so I want to commend them too.
Faile is going in the wrong direction by insisting that Perrin treat the ‘servants’ as servants and not as real people he grew up with. Perrin and the whole community lost so many, I feel that building caste classes into the new Two Rivers would weaken it instead of building a stronger community.
Siuan and Leanne are pretty tough, even without saidar. I thought they were a little rough on Elayne – mentioning that Min was going off to Caemlyn – but then they were too easy on Nynaeve. Haha! I loved when they simply walked out. They do have lives, and chores, of their own.