Lord of Chaos Read Along Part VII

JordanLordOfChaosBannerOnce again the WoT Quad continues it’s ramble through The Wheel of Time. Make sure to catch Eivind’s comments below and to pop on over to Musings on Fantasia and Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers for deeper thoughts than mine.

We covered Chapters 31-38 this week. Spoilers reside below!

1) Morgase is summoned to the Lord Captain Commander hours before attempting to flee. What did you think of her summoner, the ‘short way’ past the scaffold, and her signing the treaty?

The Questioners in general seem to be an excessively creepy bunch, though some of the White Cloaks view them as weak (for choosing a noncombatant job). Though I guess the job position of Torturer is only noncombatant because the tortured are restrained while the Questioner does his work. Seems unsporting, really.

The short way definitely made a statement and, at least for now, got Lord Captain Commander what he thinks he wants – access to Andor. While it tugged on the heart strings to see all those folks being hanged, Morgase’s accomplices among them, I am glad that she kept some kind of demeanor. I am sure this will assist her later as the White Cloaks try to figure out how to strike at her; if she did not break into tears over this, how can they be sure who or what to target in the future?

As for signing the treaty…..oh, boy! This majorly complicates things. Morgase may no longer be needed by the White Cloaks and we already know several want her hanged. Some of her folks and supporters in Andor no longer have warm fuzzies towards her because of how she behaved when Rahvin had his hand in things, and this will isolate them further. It may also alienate her children. And of course, it puts Andor in between the White Cloaks and Rand, who wants to hand it over in one piece to Elayne.

2) Egwene attempted to board a Seafolk vessel, and got a dunking for her efforts. What did you make of the Seafolks taunt, ‘Tell the other, disguises do not fool us. You do not frighten us. You are all refused the gift of passage.’? Did you like Egwene’s reaction?

Well, I am not sure what this is going on about. So either I missed another person trying to steal onto a Seafolk vessel (bad reader!) or some such idiot has made this attempt and summarily was flung off. As to who and why they would disguise themselves as a short, brown eyed Aiel…. But the Sea folk probably didn’t pay that much attention and thought her Aiel. Perhaps nosy Aes Sedai… who is more nosy that Aes Sedai? Meddlesome Forsaken. Whether it was Aes Sedai or Forsaken trying to board the ship, I think the Sea Folk are right to toss them off.

While I chuckled at Egwene’s reaction, she probably didn’t do anything to improve diplomatic matters, and I am glad she showed some restraint.

3) ‘Only you know the worth of your honor.’ Egwene finally confessed to the Wise Ones and met her toh. Do you feel the method of meeting toh was satisfactory? Do you think it was too harsh, or too light?

While beatings of one sort or another are usually over in a decent amount of time, I usually prefer some punishment that causes physical pain and exhaustion and accomplishes some boring yet essential task – like mucking out stalls. Knowing the creative nature of the Aiel when it comes to punishments, I was a little surprised they did not pick something along those lines. However, Egwene was ordered by the Aes Sedai to make haste, so perhaps the Aiel were being considerate of this command.

Since Egwene did not have the Aes Sedai heal her upon arrival at Salidar, I say the punishment meets toh. If she had allowed a healing, or if one was done before she could avoid it, then toh would not have been met.

4) Egwene did a tricky and apparently dangerous thing traveling through Tel’aran’rhiod. Was Egwene reckless? Showing off? Just eager to have it over with? Do you think there will be any ill affects from that trip?

I think all three – Reckless in that she wanted it over with. And yes, for her, it was showing off a bit. More than a bit, actually. I think if she knew what she was being summoned for, she would have gone the slowest route, kept losing her way, and perhaps ended up in Salidar after the Last Battle.

As for ill effects, I don’t think she will have them from this trip. She is quick to point out to Rand how dangerous it is to enter T’A’R in the flesh, but it is also convenient for certain things. I expect we will see it again, and sooner or later, one of our fine idiots…er…heroes will have some horrendous headache, a bloody nose, split personality, or see a ghost of themselves in mirrors for the rest of their lives.

5) Egwene is made Amyrlin, and one of her first questions is what would have happened if not everyone had consented. Exile is the answer. Care to speculate on when was the last time some Amyrlin candidate was exiled and what were the consequences?

Since I don’t have a clear grasp on how long Aes Sedai live and I am not sure how long Siuan was Amyrlin, I would still like to speculate that the last time folks were exiled over the choice of Amyrlin was before Siuan. Probably 1 of 3 things happened with the exiled: 1) They were killed or stilled shortly after leaving the Tower; 2) They quietly left and set up shop somewhere else, creating some new ‘mythology’ for Aes Sedai-like powers among a completely different culture; or 3) They stayed quiet for a good long while until they could return in force, retake the Tower and the Seat and rewrote history to wipe out records of them ever being exiled.

In fact, I would be surprised if all three of those hadn’t happened throughout the long history of the Aes Sedai.

If it were to have happened here, it would have been messy. The Aes Sedai are already divided in half (Tower and Salidar) plus the Black Ajah. To split the Salidar Aes Sedai would have severely weakened them when they don’t need to be weak.

6) Nynaeve and Elayne are raised to the shawl and reunited with Egwene, and promptly spill their guts about nearly everything – such as the ter-angreal bowl and Moghedien. Do you foresee tension between the ladies as each knows what’s best?

Oh yes! Nynaeve and Egwene had already been having top-dog issues prior to their just past separation. Now that Egwene has this political and Aes Sedai power, plus the respect and love of the Wise Ones, I can see her getting an inflated ego. Who wouldn’t, honestly? But that is going to put a strain on her friendship with no only Nynaeve, but also Elayne. Sooner or later Elayne will be a nation’s ruler, perhaps a ruler of two nations. All three women will have their own ideas on what is best and how best to do it.

Though I don’t expect them to throw balefire at each other or other such silly bitch fight moves.

7) Not all is roses & tea in Salidar. We have two Sitter Factions – Lelaine and Romanda, with Delana playing both for one goal – sever or kill Logain. What complications do you see coming out of this little knotted mess?

This shall be mighty entertaining! I can’t wait for her to come up with a plan and to try to enact it. Because once that happens, Logain will be out of there. And I am expecting that either he will help Nynaeve and Elayne leave, or they will help him leave. Either way, that will be the merriest bunch to head off on some fanciful quest for a windy bowl.

Then of course, Delana will have to be discovered, or come close to being discovered, and things will go badly for her. I expect Aran’gar will kill her or have her killed before she can be captured or fully questioned.

8) Ah, Mat, ever the source of amusement! Mat leads the Band to Salidar, where he meets with the Amyrlin. Were you amused? Also, on the ride to Salidar, Aviendha accompanies him, along with Olver. Do you think Olver will ever come to accept the Aiel?

Mat out did himself this time. I loved that he de-stoled Egwene and read her the riot act for pretending to be the Amyrlin. While he made several good points about the ladies being idiots, etc. (which had been true in the past and I am sure will sooner or later be true again), he did put his foot, ankle, and good chunk of hit shin in his mouth over the Amyrlin thing. Haha!

And Mat doesn’t really look good draped in a stole anyway.

Wow, poor Olver. I kind of hope Aviendha adopts him and shows him the differences in Aiel, like there are differences in all nationalities, before he gets too old to see the differences.

Other Tidbits:

Ah, it’s so nice to see someone taking the time to play a board game with poor Mat while he recuperates from his latest wounds.

Ha! Elayne sure did get huffy about Rand’s plans to ‘give’ her the thrones. Has she raised an army and walked in and secured them? Has she used trickery or diplomacy to secure either of them? No. She’s relying on time, the Aes Sedai, and her sacred royal blood. *rolls eyes*

So even Mat can see Aviendha has a thing for Rand….and Mat assumes Aviendha wants to stick a knife in Elayne. No, what Aviendha wants (perhaps ‘needs’ is a better word) to do is far, far more difficult…for both ladies.

8 thoughts on “Lord of Chaos Read Along Part VII”

  1. I loved how huffy Elayne got as well. You’d think she’d be happy or at least relieved that someone is keeping an eye on her kingdom in her mother’s absence. But no, everyone’s got to have an ego. I was always surprised that Elayne wasn’t in more of a hurry to go to Caemlyn. I mean, she knows her mother isn’t there. Whether Morgase is dead or not, at least she’s not there, so you’d think Elayne would want to be, especially now Rhavin is gone. But, she seems to want to take her sweet time…

    I, too, am excited for the inevitable Elayne/Aviendha interaction. 😀

    1. Yeah, I have been wondering about that too. Elayne is a pretty responsible person, and now that Rand has the throne secured for her, you’d think she would be ordering Uno to saddle her a horse and pack some fancy travel rations and the fluffiest bed roll, and off they would go.

      1. I was also a bit confused by Elayne’s huffy attitude – considering that she thinks that her mother is dead, possibly killed by Rand, you would think that she would find this news reassuring. But, hey, I’m not a Daughter-Heir, so what do I know? 😀

  2. 1. This one really threw me for a loop. I just realized that the questioners (or at least Asunawa) did NOT know beforehand that they were trying to help Morgase escape, so this seems like an accidentally too-effective ploy, but then, they got what they came for, and who cares if some pseudo-darkfriends die?

    Which is why I was puzzled when reading the encyclopaedia WoT entry on this chapter that apparently Paitr and his uncle really WERE darkfriends! We met them in book 1, chapter 33, trying to grab Rand and Mat in a town called Market Sheran. This is the “past failure” for which they were about to atone. I had no idea…

    2. I didn’t mind it very much to be honest. Evidently they have been visited by another sister just recently, probably part of the embassy, and she was also disguised in some way. When Egwene reached the top of the ladder the windfinder was able to sense her channeling ability and figured that she must be an Aes Sedai disguised as an Aiel. Which is funny, because she’s actually just an accepted who is disguised as an Aes Sedai disguised as an Aiel, although the distinction may be understandably lost on the Sea Folk.

    3. A little harsh for my taste maybe, but it does have its charms. At least this way, past transgressions are really past and forgotten. It would be nice if it were possible to do this in real life, somehow.

    4. This is mentioned several times, but I’ve never seen anything that is positively identified as an ill side-effect of being physically in T’A’R. Rand has done it several times already, and we saw Rahvin and Ishamael do it without a moment’s hesitation (although forsaken might not be the best role models). I am fairly sure she will be fine. And now she has traveling, so there’s less need to go bandying about in T’A’R in the flesh.

    5. I don’t, really, but exile from Tar Valon isn’t really the end. In book 2 we met Adeleas and Vandene, living their life out in the wild (although they have actually rejoined the sisters in Salidar now, we saw one of them not so long ago I think). There’s also certain other individuals and societies that we will get to in due time.

    6. So it looks like Egwene and I graduated at the same time ;). She got a really smashing job though… Anyway, we’ve been seeing some build-up of tension already and I think they can handle it. Especially since I don’t expect them to stay together very long. Presumably Elayne and Nynaeve will leave for Ebou Dar soon, and the supergirls are back to meeting only in T’A’R.

    7. It wasn’t just for nothing I told you guys to watch Delana’s voting patterns. She the first to stand for Egwene, so we can reasonably conclude that the Black Ajah supports her fully. Probably because it looked like the rebels were losing motivation, and they needed an Amyrlin of their own to keep going.

    However, the Salidar hall politics aren’t straightforward. With Romanda and Lelaine each commanding almost half the hall, nobody had enough influence to field her own bid. Egwene is perfect because she’s viewed as young and impressionable, so I guess the sitters reasoned that she would be the choice that interrupted the power balance the least. And I suspect they’ll soon learn how very wrong they are…

    8. Great scene :). I hope and believe Olver will grow up over the series into a fine young chap who can lend a whistle or two to our heroes when things look their darkest.

    1. Paitr a Darkfriend? I had missed that. Thank goodness for the WoT Encyclopedia.

      I had forgotten about the Aes Sedai you live wild & free from the Tower, and do just fine. So if Egwene had been exiled with her ‘cronies’, life might not have changed much for them. They would continue to help Rand, go fetch a windy bowl, etc.

      Congrats on your PhD!!!

    2. 1. I thought that the poor guys were just part of some random round up or perhaps they had been noticed visiting Morgase, but that was as far as the suspicion went. I never realized that they actually WERE dark friends that we had met already . . . Mr Jordan was certainly sneaky!

      2. This just made me wonder how rude the Sister had been to them 😀

      4. Yeah, I think the warning is because being there in the flesh is so dangerous.

      6. With a PhD you can go anywhere and do anything: congrats!

      7. I feel like I should be very worried about the Black Ajah supporting Egwene, but I don’t think they will find her easy to manipulate. You are right – they have made a huge mistake in assuming that she is all malleable and a total pushover! 😀

  3. I seriously doubt that my thoughts are deep, but I try! 😀

    1. I agree that the treaty has thrown a huge wrench into Rand’s plans, but I can also understand why Morgase chose to sign it. I just wish she hadn’t gone to the Whitecloaks in the first place: Lini, why didn’t you slap her until she went a different way?

    3. Her decision to make Bella’s saddle all comfy was a bit of a cheat, but I did snigger at her dropping onto that hard chair and then shooting back up again . . .

    4. I was rather impressed by her determination to get it over and done with. Admittedly, she expected something entirely different, but it still shoed great courage and strength of character. I think the dangers are all about what happens inside Tel’aran’rhiod, not after-effects once you’ve left.

    5. One of the great problems with the Aes Sedai is that they are all such strong personalities that they struggle to accept leadership unless the leader is substantially more powerful than they are. Also, I think the lack of a proper enemy to fight has allowed them to develop a culture of independence and individualism that is very unhelpful when they all need to unite in a common cause.

    6. I’m afraid that I don’t foresee Egwene having much real power at all. It is obvious that the Salidar Six think hat she is their puppet and she also has to play along with the two main factions, so I can only see frustration and compromise in her future.

    7. Yep, Delana’s days are numbered and it will not be long before everyone works out that she is trying to play both sides.

    8. I agree: it was good to hear Mat speak a lot of truths to the super girls, even if he was making a wonderfully funny mistake. I can only imagine the synchronized sniff and fist planting!

    I was rather intrigued by the Foxes and Snakes game – the fact that it is almost impossible to win makes it rather unusual.

    1. I guess Lini couldn’t slap Morgase into going a different direction. Sigh…

      You’re right about the Aes Sedai all be strong individual personalities, so it is hard for them to unite under a 1-person leadership. More entertainment for us as the readers, but more headaches for Egwene.

      Ah yes, Mat. So much wisdom and truth spewed forth as he inserts foot while snatching the Amyrlin’s stole away from Egwene. I really enjoyed this scene. 🙂

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