Lord of Chaos Read Along Part VIII

JordanLordOfChaosBannerWelcome all! This week the WoT Quad and it’s fans are gathering over at Musings on Fantasia. So make sure to swing by there to see what everyone else thinks of this week’s section.

We covered Chapters 39-45 this week. Spoilers lurk below!

1. Egwene wants to send Mat to Ebou Dar with Elayne and Nynaeve. Because of his promise to Rand, he goes. What do you think of this situation? Good idea? Bad idea? Where do you think the plot will go–for Mat or the girls–from here?

Mat treats the ladies like they are juvenile idiot lasses with stuck up noses on the public green. The ladies treat Mat like he is some prankster jackass with an errant, and somewhat pissed off, badger. All of these characters have grown since leaving Two Rivers, but they haven’t been with each other to see the changes. So, I expect that they will treat each other as they did back in Two Rivers and I will laugh quite a bit at this. Then they will get into some nasty little fight, perhaps Trollocs or a Myrrdraal, and then they will see what each other now brings to the table.

2. Aviendha and Elayne finally have a…ahem…heart to heart. What did you think of each of their reactions, Elayne’s refusal to “meet toh” and the fact that Aviendha later ended up in a frilly dress?

Well, first just let me get this out of my system. I am still finding it difficult to believe Rand gets 3 women, and that they turn out to be OK with it. After all, they are each headstrong in their own ways, rather possessive, etc.

OK, thanks. Now, setting that disbelief aside, I think Elayne showed remarkable restraint. But I think this was, in part, because Aviendha was so straight forward about the matter, and because she offered up her flesh in payment for her ‘transgression’. Aviendha’s actions were in keeping with her character and I found that believable.

Part of me is amused that the ladies are treating Rand as an object, as if he has no say in how they divvy him up. *eye rolling*

3. Min comes to Rand. She’s obviously trying to win him. What do you think of her methods and his reaction to her? I know in my own (Liesel Hill’s) writing, whenever I try to make a character as clueless as Rand seems to be about Min’s feelings, I always get criticized for it. How does Jordan pull it off? Or does he?

I’m not trying to be all negative this week….but I am not trying real hard to be all positive either. Perhaps I am just an imp.

Anyhoo, Min was not acting according to the character we know and is well established after 6.5 books. So, that was the main problem I had with this section. Faile did this squirming on a man’s lap thing, I could see Elayne doing so in private, but not Aveindha. I am looking for character consistency and that was not present in this scene.

As for Rand, well he was way more friendly and inviting to Min than he has been to any of his friends, confidantes, guards, advisers, horse, cooks, pillow fluffers than he has been since Thom Merrilyn way back in….Book 3? So, again, this seemed a bit out of character. Plus, Min and Rand have not spent much time together at all, so why Rand views her with such open affection was odd.

As for him being clueless at first, that made sense. Again, they have not had much time together. But then he caught on and let her rest on his lap and later even pulled her back down when they were interrupted. As for what he will do with these new found affections – probably try to shove them in a little box and ignore them for next 5 books.

4. The formation of the Black Tower. What do you think of it? The name, the different levels of asha’man? When Rand put the pins on Taim’s lapel and proclaimed him second only to Rand, Taim seemed angry. What do you think he was so mad about?

I, like Rand, am uncomfortable with the name ‘Black tower’, but it fits so well with the themes – good versus evil, the ancient aes sedai symbol on the seals, and of course, the White Tower. I am sure some of Rand’s opposers will see the ‘Black’ in Black Tower and proclaim it evil without looking deeper.

I do like the different levels of asha’man as it gives structure to Rand’s little empowered army, and gives the men something to strive for. So, smart thinking on Rand’s part with that.

I would guess that Taim feels he is equal or superior to Rand, so to be publicly proclaimed a ‘second’ was infuriating to him. Perhaps Taim is also starting to lose his grip on sanity here and there, and it starts with his ego. Hence, this impingement on his ‘command’ struck his ego, his sanity slipped a little, and Rand caught a glimpse of the anger, ego, and insanity that lurks beneath.

5. At the end of chapter 43, we see several of the Caemlyn Aes Sedai manipulating Andoran nobles. And then there was Egwene’s manipulation of Mat. Apparently she wanted to get him away from the Band and keep his soldiers close to her. What do you think everyone’s plans are and how will they play out?

Well, no one’s plans are going to work out as planned. You notice that Jordan in general doesn’t allow plans that lack mutual respect to work out? Whereas those that are a true cooperative act actually stand a chance of happening?

Egwene doesn’t respect Mat’s authority, few respect Rand’s authority, the Aes Sedai are losing authority left and right, and the Andoran nobles are in a jumble. So, yeah, things will not go according to anyone’s plans, and I will thoroughly enjoy reading how things DO turn out.

6. Halima dances with Mat and then tries to channel at him, though Mat comes to the conclusion it wasn’t her. What do you think s/he was trying to do? Can you think of something else significant we learned in this exchange?

I think Halima was trying to Warder Mat. Then she would have some significant intel and perhaps control over a ta’veren and a close friend of Rand’s. Oh yeah, that would make her pretty powerful right there. I am so glad that Mat’s charm flummoxed her.

Well, we learned that Halima is a bad dancer – probably because she is more use to leading than being led.

Then we learned that Mat’s powers of observation are lacking  – asking Siuan to dance! Then being snatched up by Leane! I found this amusing. All these forward, powerful-willed women were so off-putting to Mat.

7. Hooray! Perrin is back! What impressions did you get of his and Rand’s reunion? How about the introduction of Faile and Min?

It was predictable that the men got to talk of marriage and war and the ladies got to sort out who was top dog and who had a crush on who. Though I did find it funny that Perrin’s nose told him what state Faile was in, and yet he had a hard time figuring out why Faile went from jealous to bonding towards Min so quickly.

Other Tidbits:

I am looking forward to Faile’s reunion with her father….and her introducing him to Perrin.

Anyone else find Min’s embroidered pants and little ringlets too cute?

5 thoughts on “Lord of Chaos Read Along Part VIII”

  1. As I said in my answer about Rand’s blondness, I can see it either way, but I definitely see your point. Certain aspects of it stretch reality. I agree with you entirely that there’s no way everyone’s plans will work out the way they hope. That’s the stuff of great fiction. 😀 Interesting idea that Halima might have been trying to bond Mat. I never thought of that, but I think you could be right. Mat’s lucky he has that medallion for exactly that reason: lots of evil or manipulative channelers would find advantage in trying to control a ta’veren. Just look at what happened to Rand when Alanna showed up. 😀 And yes, I too am excited for the first Perrin-and-the-inlaws interaction. 😀

    1. With Mat protected from any kind of channeling, as long as he has the medallion, then he may be the only one who could walk up to Rand and thump him on the head if and when he goes a little bonkers and decides to flip the world upside down.

      1. I now have an image of Rand going totally nuts and gibbering all over the place and Mat calmly walking up to bonk him on the head with a piece of wood! 😀

  2. 1. I pity whoever has to deal with that angry badger, but I bet Elayne will lift her chin at it and all will be well! 😀

    2. I have to agree that the whole “It’s cool that Rand gets three gorgeous babes” thing is something that I find more than a little irritating. I know he is the Dragon Reborn and destined to save the world and all that, BUT does he really need 3 women to do that? Lews Therin didn’t have 3 women, so this just seems a little too much like a male fantasy. If anyone deserves 3 women it is Loial, but he would be too embarrassed about it . . . 😀

    4. Yep: choosing to call it the Black Tower seems like really bad PR to me . . .

    5. I agree that nothing is likely to go as intended, but that does add to the interest.

    6. Uuuuuhhh! I hadn’t thought of that possibility: naughty Halima!

    I’m a little non-plussed by the Min’s outfits as I keep picturing her as the Blue Boy from Gainsborough’s painting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blue_Boy

    1. The Dragon Reborn already has an agenda that is quite full for the foreseeable future. Does he really need to try to squish in not just 1 personal, intimate relationship, but 3? Or perhaps that is the only perk to being the Dragon Reborn? 🙂

      Hahah! Now I am going to see Min dressed as the Blue Boy for the rest of the series.

Comments are always appreciated, so don't be shy!