New Spring, Part I

JordanNewSpringBannerWelcome everyone to Book 0 of The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan which is a prequel to the series set several years before Book 1. You can find the schedule to New Spring over HERE. Everyone is welcome to join us!

This week, our host is Eivind, our WoT encyclopedia, and he can be found in the comments.  Stop by Sue’s at Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers, a place for deft reasoning. Make sure to check out Liesel’s at Musings on Fantasia, home of the cool non-spoilery fan art.

This week, we covered Chapters 1-6. Spoilers run rampant for this section and all previous books below!

1. We find ourselves back at the end of the Aiel war, with a long-lost friend. Are there any other time periods you would have liked to see instead? Other characters you would have liked to follow?

I’m not too sure when the Ogier pretty much stopped leaving their Steddings to do construction (was it before or after this Aiel war?) but I would have liked to see them at work, instead of just their handy work falling into disrepair over the ages.

For this book, I am really hoping we get to see Tam, maybe hang out in his head a bit, and see what he is like as a soldier.

2. Gitara Moroso foretells Rand’s birth. If you recall, she was also the one who told Tigraine (Rand’s mother) to leave and go to the waste. What do you think about one person having such an impact on history?

Maybe that is why Gitara had her heart attack. In her prophesy she saw Tigraine’s face and realized just what her impact on history was.

By now, we have had it repeated quite often that the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills and there is no escaping that will. So someone somewhere had to tell Tigraine to leave for the Waste, or help her, or force her to. So if Gitara had not done so, some other person/mechanism would have done so. With that in mind, no it is not so surprising that Gitara’s actions set in motion other actions that lead to Rand’s birth meeting the specifics of more than one prophesy concerning the Dragon Reborn.

3. Tamra Ospenya hopes to catch the Dragon Reborn in a big list of names. What do you think of this idea? Knowing what we know about Rand, do you find it likely that he’ll be in the lists somewhere?

I’m trying to recall if Tam came back with a big pouch of coins, even if he just tucked them away with his sword…..and I can’t recall. But since Rand was born to a dying woman, and Tam meets up with Rand’s step-mom just before or just after Rand’s birth, I am guessing that Tam wouldn’t have taken Rand to a long list and waited for such sad details to be recorded.

So perhaps someone else on the battlefield witnessed the birth and the death of the mother and will report it to the Aes Sedai when they take their own babe to be recorded, since we saw Moiraine and Siuan asking some of the women if they knew of other babes not being carried in the line. But even then, it might be pretty vague – Aiel mother, son with red hair, etc.

4. Elaida has apparently never been nice in her entire life. Was she even at this point seeing herself as a future Amyrlin, or has she just gotten ambitious later?

Oh I have the distinct impression that Elaida has always had a stick up her ass and has always planned to use that stick to climb as high as she can. And we all know she pulled it off. I feel a little sorry for the stick.

I do find it interesting that she seems to have it in for Siuan and Moiraine at the very start of their Aes Sedai career. I think this makes it that much easier to hate Elaida for what she does to Siuan later.

5. Am I the only one who can’t help drawing comparisons with Hogwarts? Do you have any funny ones?

LOL! I was doing that too throughout this section. The Amyrlin giving Moiraine a smile when it came to using the Power to clean the ink stain out of her skirt made me think of Dumbledore reminding Hermione about time and then casually locking them in so they won’t be disturbed as they rewind time to carry off the rescue.

6. Both Moiraine and Siuan are close to being raised to the shawl. Will we see that in this book? What do you think the testing will be like, and what new thing might we learn about Moiraine and Siuan from it? Lan is around also… will we see a warder bonding?

I expect we will see at least Moiraine raised so that she can bond Lan. Siuan seems ready and prepared to be raised, but will she be tested this book? I am not sure. The senior Aes Sedai seem to enjoy tormenting the young by moving too slowly on such matters.

We’ve heard a little bit that the testers can do anything short of physical abuse/maiming to break an Accepted’s concentration during the test. So I expect anything from outright goofy to vicious words to pains and threats of pain. Perhaps they will even threaten to harm an Accepted’s friends. Aes Sedai can be pretty darn cruel. But I bet if oneof them did something completely out of character, like suddenly appear in a clown suit, that shock factor may very well be enough to break the Accepted’s concentration.

As with Nynaeve’s testing from Novice into the Accepted ranks, I expect we will see some of what makes up the core of Moiraine’s character (and Siuan’s too if she gets to test in this book). Perhaps we will see something that points to her chaotic good nature – basically her deep dedication to save this world, and yet not really beholden to any one authority.

Other Tidbits:

Lan starts off with some interesting ideas of Aes Sedai, considering where he ends up.

I love seeing Moiraine and Siuan as somewhat insecure students still learning what they can do and what roads are possible for them.

It is also fun to see that Moiraine and Siuan totally buy in to some of these Aes Sedai assumptions and lies – like the superiority assumption that the Sea Folk and Tinkers turn over any girls who show a spark of the Power. Then there is the lie that all those who run away from the Tower are caught eventually and brought back to finish out their training.

Green Ajah are one of two warrior Ajahs (the Red being the other)! That’s a new way of looking at it!

OK. I need a family tree again. Moiraine is a Damodred. Elayne’s step-brother, Galad, is a Damodred, right? And Galad is suppose to be Tigraine’s first son, right? So is Moiraine like Rand’s auntie?

6 thoughts on “New Spring, Part I”

  1. 1. Apart from the obvious ones (The Breaking, which we have kind of seen when Rand was in Rhuidean, The Hundred Years War, The Trolloc Wars, etc.), I really would have liked to see the fall of Malkier and the mad dash to safety with baby Lan. It reminds me a bit of the rescue of the one year old to-be Norwegian King Haakon IV in 1205, which I just have to plug. 😀

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haakon_IV_of_Norway#Background_and_childhood

    2. I just wonder if she had any idea what she was doing, or if she was just a pawn of the pattern. The two are not exclusive, of course. But I think it’s kind of cool nontheless. I believe she’s recognized as one of the great Aes Sedai of the modern era, and so few people realize the whole truth.

    3. Well, the problem is that the Aes Sedai are only taking names from mothers, and Rand’s mother is dead. I don’t know how long a day-old baby can survive without breastfeeding, but I’m going to assume that it’s either not very long or that Tam doesn’t know a whole lot about babies. So I guess Rand is already in the care of Kari at this point. I’m pretty sure the Aiel War was Tam’s last as a military commander, and he might have already resigned and be on his way to the Two Rivers with woman and child, in which case Tamra, Moiraine and Siuan have a problem.

    4. It’s interesting to note that even though Elaida is not nice, she really does have the best interests of the Tower at heart. She’s pushing Moiraine and Siuan so hard because she sees genuine potential in them to produce very strong Aes Sedai.

    So I guess you could say her intentions are good, but as we all know they led her to act in the wrong ways eventually.

    5. Glad I’m not the only one. 🙂

    So Elaida is Snape. And Tamra is sort of Dumbledore/McGonagall: she knows Moiraine and Siuan are up to something they shouldn’t be, but decides to not interfere. Moiraine and Siuan are like the Weasley brothers in their pranky moods, perhaps, and Siuan is a bit like Hermione: bright girl brought into the magical world very suddenly who is effortlessly absorbing all kinds of knowledge.

    6. I won’t try to speculate too much on what’s going to happen. 😉

    Other. So your question made me look over the family trees again. We don’t know exactly how Moiraine relates to the rest, since we have some incomplete information. It’s mentioned somewhere (apparently, don’t ask me where) that Moiraine is Taringail’s half brother. Since they share the same last name it’s assumed that they have the same father: Dalresin Damodred. Dalresin is, I believe, the fourth in line of the four Damodreds: Laman (who was king), Moressin, Aldecain and Dalresin. So already now you can see that Moiraine is not exactly next in line to the throne.

    Taringail went off to marry Tigraine and brought Galad into the world. So Moiraine is Galad’s half-aunt or something like that. Tigraine then vanished and gave birth to Rand with a different father. So Rand and Moiraine are not related by blood.

    Taringail is also the father of Elayne and Gawyn, with Morgase. So that also makes Moiraine their half-aunt.

    1. Yeah it would definitely have been cool to get a closer look at the events surrounding Malkier. Or even Manetheren, for that matter, even though we had pretty detailed accounts of both in book 1. I’m not sure I’m partial to the ideal of Elaida paralleling Snape. I guess I can see it at this early point in the history, but, it’s just…I like Snape so much more than I like Elaida. 😀 She’s just not cool enough to be as selfless as Snape ended up being. Just sayin’. 😀

    2. Oh yes! Seeing baby Lan smuggled to safety would be great. His beginning story makes we think of the movie Willow and the baby Elora Dannen (spelling?) and how she was smuggled to safety, to be raised by warriors to be Queen some day.

      And now that you have me thinking about it more, I would like to revisit some of the secret histories of the White Tower and live through some of those events.

      While I think you are right about Tam & baby Rand being on their way back to Two Rivers already, I would point out that Tam was raised on a farm as a shepherd. This means he knows something about babies and how to obtain milk for them – steal a goat! But really, farm life gives you some practical sense when it comes to the young, four legged or two legged.

      Thanks for explaining the family trees again. I bet Moiraine knew most of this, perhaps all of if, before she took a dive through the doorway ter’angreal, which kind of makes it all that much more poignant.

  2. Good point about Gitara maybe seeing Tigraine and it causing her death. I hadn’t thought about it that way. But you’re right: we don’t know exactly what she saw other than what she said. I don’t think we know what Tam came back with, other than the sword. Even if he had gold, he’s not the sort to spend orflaunt it, so he probably would have still had some when he gave Rand the sword if he had. Good parallel when Tamra smiled at Moiraine about the stain. I couldn’t think of any major parallels. Eivind explains better than I could Moiraine’s family tree. 😀

    1. I can’t recall if there was gold in a pouch to go with the sword when Rand had to fight off Trollocs and leave the Two Rivers. And this is a good example of why this series is worthy of the occasional reread. 🙂

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