Crossroads of Twilight, Part VIII

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This week, your host is Eivind and he can be found in the comments.Make sure to check out Sue and her often insightful answers over at Coffee, Cookies, and Chili Peppers. And catch Liesel at Musings on Fantasia who has the cool fanart.

This week, we cover Chapters 27-END. Spoilers for this section run free below!

1. After letting himself go with the Shaido prisoners, Perrin abandons his axe in the forest, as predicted by Elyas. What do you think of his way of breaking the Aiel? Is this a defining moment for him, and in what ways?

I thought Perrin did really well. It was quicker and more humane than letting the previous methods of torture continue. I think it was the concept of being so crippled and left in a city to beg that broke the Aiel resolve. Also, I believe it showed others (like Masema) that Perrin is insightful, decisive, and quite capable to taking care of business.

Unfortunately, I do think this is a defining moment for Perrin and he has defined it all negative. As much as I really enjoy Perrin, he can be an idiot and he will be an idiot over this one. I can see him moping over his decision to remove a hand in order to gain info, beating himself up over it for the rest of the series (all 4000 pages or so).

And, really, who leaves weapons lying around in the woods during times like this? I hope Aram or Elyas fetched it back for him, just keeping it tucked away until in the heat of battle, Perrin swears up a blue streak for having left his axe behind.

2. Tallanvor suggests to team up with Seanchan to defeat the Shaido. Should Perrin agree? Will he just end up having to rescue people from the Seanchan instead?

As far as we know, the Seanchan only enslave female channelers. So if he sends those ladies off, or keeps them in hiding, teaming up with the Seanchan may work. However, if the Wise Ones refuse to be sidelined, and the Seanchan are arrogant pricks (and we all know they will be) then I expect inviting them to the party will only increase Perrin’s headaches as the Seanchan make a point of enslaving the Wise Ones, and the Aiel retaliating by removing some Seanchan heads. It would be immensely entertaining for me, but I would feel sorry for Perrin (eventually).

3. From the female or male viewpoint, what do you make of Mat’s courtship strategy, and Tuon’s response? Bewildered? (I am!)

Quite frankly, I was very surprised that Mat was so able to change his tactics. After all, most other women have fallen for the jewelry lure.

But, yeah, I am still a bit confused. We know so little about Seanchan customs, let along how they go about courtship and marriage back home. I am guessing that Tuon had to be the first to make a move (since she is of the highest royalty). So direct gifts were an insult. But that final little gift of cloth rose buds, simply set beside the game board, well that left all the decisions in Tuon’s hands. She could have tossed them or given them away. But later she deigns to wear them. I am hoping this is a good sign. I think. Can I root for the Seanchan in this instance?

4. Renna betrays our heroes and Mat is presumably forced to leave the circus. Were you surprised? How happy are you to be rid of Valan Luca?

Mat was going to have to leave the circus sooner or later – I mean he has this part to play in saving the world, right? But I was not expecting Renna to stab Egeanin in the back. I didn’t fully understand what she thought she was gaining by that either. I guess her dedication to the Seanchan way was stronger than her obedience to Egeanin or Tuon (if she realized fully who Tuon is).

And since Mat wasn’t putting on a sparkly, thigh revealing suit and doing a high wire act, I am OK with Mat & crew leaving Valan Luca behind.

5. Egwene’s plan is revealed, and the harbor chains of Tar Valon are now cuendillar. How will this change the siege?

The plan was revealed? Hmm…..Well, OK, I thought we had a small smidgeon revealed. I expect the chains being cuendillar will allow Egwene (or some other Sister) to seal the harbor. Egwene wanted to prevent the boats from going in and out, because they allowed movement of the people inside the tower and restocking of goods. So by blocking the Tower harbor off, there would have to be some sort of attack from the Tower or some sort of surrender from the Tower. Anyway, that is what I was thinking. Did I miss something?

6. Egwene is captured! Should she have sent Bode after all? Is she stupid for having risked herself? Never mind the harbor chains… how will THIS change the war?

Well, yes, Egwene was stupid for having risked herself. But this falls back to that fond phrase, ‘The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills’. So Egwene had to be on that boat one way or another.

How does this change the siege? Well, it depends on who captured her. If it is Sisters completely disgruntled with Elaida, then Egwene should be fine because they will want to undermine Elaida. If it is Darkfriends or Black Ajah, then Egwene may be in some danger from them directly, but not from Elaida (as the Dark wants to undermine Elaida). If they are Elaida supporters, then Egwene will have to worry about being stilled and possibly executed.

Then Egwene also has to worry about her detractors in her own camp. I expect they will try to wrest control for themselves no matter Egwene’s status inside the harbor. So Egwene will have to work quickly and come out smelling like a rose to remain Amyrlin.

7. Rand will meet the Daughter of the Nine Moons, but we know she’s nowhere to be found (by Suroth, anyway). An obvious trap or just a really obvious trap? What do you expect to happen?

As the reader, I know that Suroth is a Darkfriend and that Tuon has gone missing, so this is such an obvious trap to me. But Rand doesn’t know those two things. I am hoping that the colorful mind-to-mind phone among our ta’veren will start working soon and Mat can tell Rand about Tuon.

But until then, I expect Rand to agree to meet with Suroth and the Daughter of Nine Moons. If that meeting goes down, I expect Rand to escape immediately with minimal blood shed. After all, he can Travel. Unless they have a convenient leash for male channelers. In which case, i expect Rand to be the first ever to break one with his belligerent personality.

While I personally want to see Tuon kill Suroth, I expect that Suroth will be kiled by one of our ta’veren or by the Dark side for incompetence.

Other Tidbits

Mat still doesn’t see his own influence on Olver when it comes to the ladies. This is amusing and distressing at the same time.

Mat pushed their mounts in order to catch Renna, and then pushed himself to order her killed. And yet he returns to Tuon to see that she signed a bit of paper than made the circus and Mat & crew untouchable no matter what Renna told the Seanchan outpost. He had trouble with that……and yet I still want to give him a wake up call. Having a vagina and boobs doesn’t protect you from being killed in war, especially when you stab someone in the back and run off towards the nearest enemy outpost.

Remanda (or is it Remilda? Anyway, the high & mighty snot whose name starts with an R) didn’t take the news about the Oathrod and longevity very well. I thought Egwene had a strong argument – it would keep the Kin tied to the Tower but also give the Sisters a reasonable retirement option.

4 thoughts on “Crossroads of Twilight, Part VIII”

  1. I said the same thing about Luca’s show: Mat was going to have to leave it sometime. Now was as good a time as any. Yes, it would be awesome to see Tuon kill Suroth. One can hope, right? And no, Romanda didn’t take news of the oathrod well. But one of the prime problem with Aes Sedai is that they are so stuck on tradition that they tend to blind themselves completely to progress. Here’s hoping Egwene can train that out of them. 😀
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    1. Perhaps I should lend Egwene my big hammer and the persuasion bar so that she can train the Aes Sedai out of tradition (and perhaps extinction) before the end of the world arrives.

  2. 1. Yes, I thought Perrin did well, too. I can’t understand why nobody thought of this before. They’re really a bit overproud and susceptible to psychological ‘torture’. After the revelation at Alcair Dal so many of them just gave up. Not so tough mentally…

    A number of people have mentioned Perrin’s axe/hammer thing throughout the series, so it’s definitely a Thing. They’re both weapons, but the hammer is also a tool that can be used to build. Perrin has been carrying an axe until now, with Elyas’ warning to throw it away the moment he started liking it too much. So now we’re just waiting for the hammer…

    2. I would perhaps be a little suspicious, but Perrin is hell bent on rescuing Faile (and the others), the end of the world be damned, so I understand that the Seanchan is a minor problem in comparison. Just don’t let them get to the Aes Sedai and the Wise Ones, and he might be fine. Besides, there’s no other reasonable way to get them out (that I can see).

    3. I don’t understand what Tuon is thinking, and I understand even less about how Mat figured it out. But I’m assuming he did, since things are at last moving in the right direction with these two.

    4. Not overly surprised, something had to happen eventually. Mat can’t show up to the last battle with this circus two months late, after all. Though it seems that I misremembered how soon he had to leave the circus… I see now that he starts the next book still tagging along.

    I don’t think Valan Luca is as annoying as so many others do, but right now it’s honestly about time. We have a world to save, after all.

    5. So both you and Sue were a bit confused about this. Well, I guess the missing piece of the puzzle is that if you turn a chain into cuendillar, not only will the links be unbreakable, but they become fused together as well. So essentially the chain is locked in the raised position, and the only way to get it down is to disassemble the whole mechanism on both sides of the harbor.

    Now, the problem with besieging Tar Valon is that you can’t effectively block the harbors to keep supplies from entering the city. But now they ARE blocked (mostly, anyway), and the siege clock is ticking.

    6. This raises first of all the question of whether she’ll live to see another day or not (see next week), but also about the stability of the rebellion. Let’s hope that those other sisters still want to pull Elaida down as much as they used to. Egwene has been pushing the rebellion lately, but now she won’t be able to any more.

    7. Obvious trap, at least to us. 🙂 (See next week.)

    1. I can see Perrin with a warrior’s hammer. He has the stature to wield it to devastating effect.

      And now I see what you mean by the cuendillar chains. If the links are fused and not movable, then the Tower Aes Sedai are screwed.

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