Welcome everyone to Book 13 of The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. You can find the schedule to Towers of Midnight over HERE. Everyone is welcome to join us!
This week, Eivind, our WoT encyclopedia, is our host and can be found in the comments. Make sure to swing by Liesel’s at Musings on Fantasia for cool fan art. Sue at Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers has the insight and wicked humor.
This week, we covered the Chapters 26-33. Spoilers run rampant for this section and all previous books below!
1. Slayer prowls the World of Dreams, where a strange violet dome prevents access. Meanwhile, gateways fail in the real world. Is there a connection? It’s building to a battle between Perrin and Slayer very soon. Do you think Perrin’s work with nightmares will bear fruit or is it still too soon?
Yes, definitely a connection between the failing gateways and the violet dome, and possibly even the bubble of evil that turned nearly everyone’s weapon against their users.
I think Perrin will have to face Slayer before the armies can leave the valley through gateways. But since Perrin’s timeline is behind everyone else’s, we might not see that fight until next book.
2. Perrin avoids a battle by submitting himself to a possibly pointless trial. Do you agree with this choice? How risky is it for Perrin? At the same time, Morgase is finally revealed and will act as judge! What do you think about that? Does Berelain strike you as smitten by Galad?
Personally, I think the trial could wait until after the Last Battle, you know that big looming, possibly world ending battle with the Ultimate Evil? Yeah, prioritize guys!
I think Morgase is making Galad recall his sense of honor (like proving someone guilty before killing them) and making him question his ideals of ultimate right and ultimate wrong. There is plenty of grey between the two. So, this trial might not be so risky for Perrin. Plus, Perrin hasn’t agreed to submit to punishment and Faile is secretly planning an escape route for him. If anything, this trial is probably more dangerous for Galad – he could loose face with the Whitecloaks, he could force a confrontation that leaves him dead, or (worst of all) his ideas of right & wrong could be shattered and he will loose all confidence and go hide in some cave for the rest of his life.
I think Morgase will do fine as a judge. She may still think Perrin is beneath royalty, but she is not about to have him hanged for being an upstart.
God, yes! Please let Berelain and Galad distract one another to prevent them from wrecking other peoples lives!
3. Sitters attempt to undermine Egwene (again) and Egwene wraps them up neatly (again). Have we seen the final political battle or do you expect more? What do you think of Egwene’s proposed changes?
I hope this is the last Tower politics we see, at least until after the Last Battle. These ladies need to get their shit together or they won’t be able to make a difference in the Last Battle.
I am glad the Egwene has cut off most of their political maneuvering power, for now. Until they think of something creative. But she also set them a big task (minding the armies) and that should keep them sufficiently busy.
4. Shots fired! The dragons are in production and work well, but the Last Battle is near and time is short. How many will they be able to make, and much of an impact will they really have? Birgitte thinks the world has changed. What are your impressions?
I am thinking that time is getting short, so perhaps they only have enough time to make cannon for the palace. But as it is a governmental seat, that could mean a lot in the Last Battle.
Since so few people have seen cannon and know what they can do, I think the initial impact on enemies will be large. But, as with every weapon, folks will find ways to counter them or avoid them. So Elayne will have to plan carefully and get the most out of their initial use.
Apparently, the world in times past has come up with cannon before and Birgitte has seen it. And, yes, the world has changed. City states can no longer rely on strong, high walls for protection (both because of gateways and now because of cannon). Instead, leaders will have to build strong relations and cooperate in order to maintain healthy cities/kingdoms/etc.
5. Wolves gather at Dragonmount and Perrin observes the “Veins of Gold” event from the World of Dreams. The Last Hunt is now upon us and the wolves are mobilizing. What are your thoughts? Did you enjoy seeing this scene from another perspective?
This was an awesome scene! I really enjoyed revisiting this pivotal moment through Perrin’s eyes. And seeing the wolves so excited, relieved, and battle ready was awesome too. I want to think that Perrin’s presence in the dream world just might have helped Rand, all in the background, of course.
6. Mat finally disposes of the gholam, helped out by some Kinswomen and a gateway. What do you think? Was this the solution you had in mind?
I think this was the best they could do at this time. Of course, I always want to see such evils things destroyed completely. We all know that evil things tend to come back around (like certain Forsaken). Still, it was an awesome fight scene and it was pretty satisfying. Also, I like to see that Mat has learned to play nicely with at least 1 Channeler instead of insisting he do everything on his own.
7. Rand lands in Maradon in the eleventh hour, bringing aid. He then shows off some impressive channeling. Do you think he made a dent in the shadow army? Do you agree with his assertion that he must stay away from the main battle? Feel free also to comment on Torkumen and King Alsalam.
Since we don’t know how the Trollocs, Myrdraal, etc. are spawned, then I am not sure if he made a dent at all. My guess is that the Dark One can generate at least the Trollocs pretty easily, so this blasting of the bad guys, while satisfying, probably didn’t affect the total numbers all that much.
I am not sure what he considers the main battle – Lan’s fight? Ituralde’s battle? Breaking the final seals? They are all important, but I am not clear on where the Dark One will appear and have the one-on-one with Rand (and wouldn’t that be the main battle then?).
Well, it turns out that Torkumen was a Dark Friend of some kind. I thought he was just a self-interested idiot. But that may be enough in these times to allow the Dark One into your heart.
Have we met Alsalam before? Ituralde seems to hold him in high regard so that speaks well of him.
8. Egwene plans an elaborate trap in the World of Dreams. Do you expect it to be as easy as she imagines it? Meanwhile, Gawyn has discovered important information in Caemlyn, but refuses to return. Does this strike anyone as a potentially disastrous case of miscommunication?
No, nothing is going to easy in these last fights & battles. Egwene is underestimating her foe. But, you know, she has only recently become a badass fighter (and part of that is because she had a foretelling and know the Seanchan were coming). She doesn’t know about the Seanchan assassins and while she is pretty sure who lurks in T’A’R, she could be completely wrong…again. How many times did she and Nynaeve walk into traps earlier in the series?
Gawyn is a twit. May I slap him? I know lots of the characters are getting prickly over their pride lately, but this strikes me as extreme.
Elayne being hoisted up in a bed was an image! Birgitte found this amusing and so did I.
Yoile is dead. sniffle.
It was very good that Gawyn could let go of his anger at Rand (of course, part of the reason he can do so is because he believes he will die – what happens if rand doesn’t die?).
The captured Seanchan channelers are being so silly! I say that if collaring makes them more comfortable and useful for the Last Battle, then do so, save the world, and then work on rehabilitation.