New Spring, Part II

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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, I am the host. You can catch Eivind, our WoT, 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 7-16. Spoilers run rampant for this section and all previous books below!

1) Throughout this section, we see that Moiraine is still having dreams about the babe born on Dragon Mount. Since we know dreams can have deeper meanings in this series, do you think it is just an anxiety nightmare? Or do you think it is something more?

I think it is something more. Sure, part of it is anxiety. After all, Randland is steeped in folklore, prophecies, religion about the next Breaking of the World (Tarmon Gai’don) and the Dragon Reborn. I guess it could be akin to worrying about the Devil or the Anti-Christ for those of Christian faiths. If you knew that a person of such legend/religion/spiritual belief had indeed been born, I guess your anxiety and/or enthusiasm would manifest in one way or another.

But in this world, we also know dreams can have deeper meanings. I don’t think Moiriaine is Dream Walking, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone could be influencing her dreams just a touch (like Egwene with her Dream Walking and happening to stride into a Gawyn dream and take control of it) to give her that extra push to go out and find Rand.

2) There were several side characters/minions from the series in this section too. Who do you wish we got to see a bit more of? Is there anyone you wanted to snuff out here and now?

Elyas!!!! I definitely want to see more of Elyas and his time as a Warder and then the change – how and when he became a Wolf Brother.

Of course, I wouldn’t mind Elaida being removed at this juncture, but that would probably screw things up later instead of making them easier. Can you imagine a competent Dark Friend/Black Ajah becoming Amyrlin Seat and denying Egwene her cozy rainbow stole and den? That would suck. So better to stay with Elaida.

3) Moiraine and Siuan are raised to the shawl. Do you think the ter’angreal used in the testing was created for that purpose? Or do you think it has another, long lost purpose, and the Aes Sedai of old found it and put it to this use?

Having seen how opportunistic and often twisted the Aes Sedai can be, I wouldn’t be surprised if this ter’angreal was originally created for another purpose (such as ascertaining info from a captured foe by running him/her through various scenarios) and then was repurposed to test the Accepted for the shawl. Perhaps for a while it was used for both and then perhaps such creative torture went out of fashion, so it all had to be kept hush-hush for several decades, etc. I wonder if the Amyrlin secret histories say anything about the origin of this particular ter’angreal?

4) The Amyrlin Seat, Tamra Ospenya, died. How, do you think? What do you make of the new Amyrlin Seat, Sierin Vayu?

We had no word that Tamra was ill, so I am guessing that she had a rather sudden and unnatural death. Perhaps there were Black Ajah in the Tower even back then and this was one of their deeds. After all, if Rand had been brought up in the White Tower, or even under the Tower’s watchful eye on a designated farm, the Dragon Reborn would be an entirely different beast. And for an as-yet unknown reason, the Dark One wants the Dragon Reborn at Tarmn Gai’don, in tact (largely) and with his powers. I don’t think that would have been the case had Rand been raised by Aes Sedai.

The new Amyrlin, Sierin Vayu, seems to be a vicious thing indeed. She has kicked out all the men from the Tower (all the ones she can. legally) even if they are elderly or harmless. Is it just me, or do the Reds and women like Sierin have an inordinate fear of penises? Really, like 80% of the time, they are flaccid harmless things that aren’t particularly noticeable at all.

5) What do you think of Moiraine’s decision to leave the White Tower? Is she leaving for the right reasons? Do you think Siuan will be punished for Moiraine’s actions?

I think Moiraine is leaving for the wrong reasons. She’s use to getting her way and not having to ask permission to do or not do something, being royalty and all. But she is no longer the Lady Moiraine Damodred. She is Aes Sedai Moiraine. She swore the oaths, had a fair idea of what she was getting into, and ran when the first hint of being asked to do something she didn’t want to do wafted her way. She didn’t even try any other options before just taking off. So, I don’t think she has particular respect for the White Tower and definitely not for the new Amyrlin Seat. I don’t either, but I didn’t go through the lengthy training and then swear the oaths.

Yes, I completely expect Amyrlin Sierin to punish Siuan for Moiraine’s sudden departure. She is a nasty piece of work and I expect Elaida may be tasked with questioning Siuan about Moiraine’s absence.

6) We spent some time in Lan’s head in this section. How does young Lan compare to the Lan we know from the main series? What are your expectations of the possible forthcoming reunion between Lan and his first lover, Edeyn?

Lan as a young man seems to have a stick up his butt. Granted, he isn’t as well traveled as the Lan we know from the main series, but he certainly does seem to be concerned with receiving the proper amount of respect – lowered eyes and all. But he isn’t as bad as Bukama, who seems to want people to blink the correct number of times acknowledgement of his rank and superiority.

Edeyn definitely is a user and opportunist. She used Lan’s position in society when she claimed him as a lover all those years ago, parading him around court. And then she raises the flag when Lan is reported dead, gathering all sorts to her banner. I am not sure yet why she wants an army, and one without Lan leading it. I am sure Lan wants this question fully answered too. Obviously, Edeyn can’t control Lan and I expect that’s why she needs a dead, martyred Lan, instead of a live, feisty, heavily armed Lan.

Their little chat should be most amusing. I expect Lan, like all our male heroes in this series, would truly despise himself (needlessly) if he killed a woman (even if it was well deserved), so I expect that there shall be another way to neutralize her.

Other Tidbits:

Moiraine and Siuan had one final prank to play before becoming completely respectable and level-headed Aes Sedai. I approve. Though the mice probably didn’t.

As with Egwene & Nynaeve becoming Accepted, we only got to see one of our current Super Girls (Moiraine & Siuan) go through the testing to become full Aes Sedai. Even though it was expected, I still wish I had gotten to see a little of what Siuan went through.

I like the idea of the woman deciding when to get in and out of the romping bed. 😉

8 thoughts on “New Spring, Part II”

  1. Ooh yea, seeing Elyas as a young man would have been awesome! I agree. 😀 Good point about Elaida. Yes we hate her, but being a dingbat makes it easier for our heroes to get stuff done. Someone smarter would be harder to deal with. 😀 And I agree that the Reds definitely seem to have a fear of men. It’s those who feel the most threatened that are often complaining the loudest. :/

    1. Since the Aes Sedai as a whole seem to be about facing and squelching fears, I wonder what the original Red Ajah looked like? And how did it become the man-fearing haters we see in the series? Would be an interesting backstory.

      1. The Reds in Knife of Dreams seem to suggest that the original Reds were very similar to the Greens, only that they restricted there battles to those with men driven mad by saidin. That takes a considerable amount of bravery, but it seems that a lack of suitable targets has warped their original mission to simply hating all men. But I agree, I want to know the history of the Ajahs and discover how they have changed over the millennia.

  2. Hi! I’m late again… Was away for the weekend, and still busy at work. :-/

    1. That’s a great question, and I want to say yes. Maybe Rand is already reaching out for help in a ta’veren way? Then again, Sue makes an excellent point when she points out that the lack of detail in her dreams is uncharacteristically non-T’A’R-ish, and more like real dreams. But it could be that this isn’t really T’A’R at all. Earlier in the series, we heard the citizens of Illian and Tear complain of bad dreams when the cities were held by Sammael and Be’lal. So there is some precedence for powerful channelers impacting dreams of those nearby.

    2. Yeah, Elyas is a good pick. I can’t really think of any Aes Sedai I would like to see (who we haven’t seen). We’ve already seen Lan. Who is left whom we could possibly visit? In five years from the book setting, Thom will kill Taringail and become Morgase’s lover, and the year after that he will lose his nephew, have a falling out with Elaida, and subsequently flee Caemlyn. That would be cool to see, but I think it’s a bit far into the future for this book.

    3. Possibly not, but I have a hard time imagining what it could have been used for. Some kind of virtual reality thing? A particularly dangerous virtual reality thing, I might add.

    4. One Amyrlin might be an accident, but since this is a prequel we have the power of foresight. Sierin Vayu herself lasted only five years before dying under suspicious circumstances (related to Red Ajah shenanigans, what Cadsuane calls “the vileness after the Aiel war”). She was followed by Marith Jaen, who also died four years later (she’s not really mentioned anywhere, so there’s no reason to suspect her death was unnatural). Only then was Siuan raised.

    So… there are definitely owls in the moss, as we say here in Norway.

    5. Erm… perhaps? We know that Moiraine will be vindicated by actually finding the Dragon Reborn some twenty years later, and giving him invaluable aid. All manner of things could have gone wrong had Moiraine not escaped. Then again, there’s no way for her to know that at this time. Siuan might be in hot water, though.

    6. Good heavens, Lan is grumpy. He needs to get l… umm, warderified. Seeing this I can kind of understand why Myrelle was so worried about him after Moiraine “died”.

    I honestly can’t recall what happens between Lan and Edeyn, but I suspect it won’t be particularly friendly. At least from Lan’s side… Edeyn might try to seduce him again, and it will very much not work.

    1. Don’t worry abut being late. We’ve all been there.

      Thom and Morgase’s story would be very interesting. I wouldn’t mind seeing the interaction of Elaida away from the Tower, yet still in a seat of power. She would have to balance her insults with compliments. But she is such a dingbat later on that I wonder how she held herself in check all those years.

      Owls in the moss? Do owls mess up moss? Use it for nesting?

      I agree that Lan could benefit from a good lay. I think most humans are a bit easier to deal with if they get decent sex on a regular basis. Just my opinion.

    2. 1. Good point about Rand’s baby ta’veren ability working strongly to get him to safety. It makes sense that the Pattern would need to work very hard to preserve an orphaned baby abandoned on a snowy mountainside.

      2. Any time spent with Thom would be entertaining, but this books seems to be very firmly fixed on Moiraine and her Great Mission.

      3. The recurring symbol makes me think of a MMORPG, but I agree that it is certainly far more potentially lethal than a session on World of Warcraft! 😀

      4. I seem to remember someone (possibly Verin?) mentioning that one of the reasons that Siuan was raised was because of her youth and the assumption that she would, therefore, be Amyrlin for a good long time. This makes sense if a whole string of women have dropped dead in service in a short time, especially when you consider the extended life span of the Aes Sedai.

      5. I think she would have been much more vindicated if she had found Rand two weeks after leaving Tar Valon. As it is, we know that it is going to take her a very long time to find him, so her departure now seems somewhat rushed. Plus, she is heading to the Borderlands, which we know is totally the wrong direction!

      6. It is difficult to believe, isn’t it, that the Lan that we meet in the main series is actually quite mellow in comparison to this version? 😀

  3. 1. I hadn’t thought of someone actually ‘poking’ Moiraine via her dreams, but that is certainly a possibility . . . although we only know of Wise Ones who are adept at that kind of thing, and they seem unlikely to have chosen an apprentice Aes Sedai to be their chosen agent.

    2. Yep, Elyas made me grin – and not just because he was all youthful and sweaty . . . and naked to the waist I believe! 😀

    Ah yes: it would be very enjoyable to watch Elaida die a horrible and painful death, but, sadly, we know that she will survive to make us all grind our teeth in the future. The only consolation that we can cling on to is the knowledge that she has made it much easier for Super-Egwene to become Amyrlin and also that the Seanchan are coming to Tar Valon for a bit of a visit . . . and probably bringing lots of a’dam with them.

    3. It seems very likely that none of the ter’angreal that the Tower rely upon are being used for their original purposes. We have a huge hint about that with the Oath Rod and its unexpected effect of greatly reducing the longevity of the Sisters in comparison to the Kin. Torture does seem like a distinct possibility, but we know that Semirhage was the master of that discipline and this seems far too bloodless for her.

    4. I suspect that the Dark One sees Rand as both a threat and also a massive opportunity. If he can persuade Rand to ‘come to the Dark Side’ he will guarantee a victory without too much hassle: that explains why he does not want the Forsaken to balefire him out of existence, and also why Moridin is so jealous.

    Only 80% of the time??!???!? 😀

    5. I hadn’t thought of it in quite that way, but I guess that I am suffering from only seeing things from Moiraine’s point of view. You are quite right that she should have at least tried to work with the Tower rather than just flouncing off at the first hint of responsibility. After all, what exactly did she expect to happen when most of her family were killed, leaving her in a great position to take the Throne and extend the Tower’s power and stability to a relatively important nation?

    You are probably right about the evil Amyrlin, but I believe that Elaida rode off to Andor once she had been punished for trying to make Moiraine fail the test, so at least Siuan is safe from her evil, Red knitting needles.

    6. Young Lan is certainly very stiff and grumpy, but I find Bukama more amusing than annoying. It is fairly common for subordinates to be overly concerned about their master receiving the correct respect, so I can understand part of his reasons. Plus, his reunion with the innkeeper was hilarious! 😀

    It seems that there is likely to be only a very small Team Edeyn cheering her on when they finally have their little conversation. I also expect the room temperature to delve towards absolute zero if she even thinks about trying to use her feminine wiles in his direction.

    I was very disappointed that we did not find out what happened to the mice . . . especially as it seemed to involve Elaida . . .

    1. Ah yes, I was simply interested in Elyas as a young Warder, and his muscles had nothing to do with my interest. 😉

      Good point that we have had hints that many of the ter’angreal are not being used for their intended purposes.

      Well, I was thinking about the young, supremely fit Warders when I tossed out that 80% number. 😉

      Yep, I expect Team Edeyn is comprised of Edeyn herself and her immediate subordinates – but, then again, maybe not. Hopefully we will find out this coming week.

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