A Crown of Swords Read Along Part VII

WOT 7 BannerWelcome back everyone! This week I am the host but you can catch my co-conspirators over at Coffee, Cookies, and Chili Peppers and don’t miss Liesel’s Musing on Fantasia. Eivind, our awesome commenter will be below in the comments.

This week we covered Chapters 31-37. Spoilers Below!!!

1) We finally have Nynaeve and Lan reunited. What did you think of the circumstances of their  fateful meeting? Will Lan ever be whole?

It was nice that there was limited clothing. 🙂

OK, for reals. It’s great that Nynaeve finally broke through her power block and therefore was able to spruce up for Lan upon being dragged to shore. I also like that both of them participated in the ‘rescue’ and that neither was fully dependent on the other. Lan was practical in pointing out the recent balefire-ness and getting the two of them out of sight and moving again. He also was very, very brave to tell Nynaeve about Mierella (spelling?).

As to Lan ever being whole, I am not sure. I am sure Nynaeve’s absolute insistence in marriage and a permanent bond ( of more than one type) will help him, but I think he will always have some shadow on this heart and soul.

2) Reanna Corly reveals the number of the Kin to Elayne after being told the Tower will accept any woman who can channel even the teensiest bit. 1,783 Kin. What do you think the ramifications of this will be?

A channeling army of a magnificence that has never before been seen!

But before we can get anywhere near organized enough to do that, we first have to ask all those Aes Sedai who have their heads of their asses about Wilders to please unstick themselves and mature a little bit. Then there is training and organization….ugh… what a chore. If we believe the bad guys to be uncoordinated, the good guys are a close second.

Eventually, after long painful bouts of Aes Sedai staring one another down and proving who’s will is stronger, again and again, we will have an awesome Channeler Army.

3) Corvarla returns to the White Tower and Elaida, with Alviarin in the room, finally learns of Rand’s escape. What is driving Alviarin to blackmail Elaida? What do you think Elaida will ultimately do in response?

Alviarin wants power. She can see Elaida making mistakes out of pride. I don’t think I like Alviarin, but she had Elaida issue the orders to start protecting the Tower from Egwene’s army. Alviarin isn’t an idiot. I’m not too sure why she targeted first the two with angreal, but then also two others to be rewarded. Did she want to discredit all four? Where the angreal two simply convenient? And she has been withholding news & info from Elaida, which is risky – but paid off in this instance.

As for Elaida, she’s already gone quietly to what’s her name to have her start a quiet investigation. Elaida is hoping this investigation will end with Alviarin discredited, Stilled, or dead. But what’s her name is thinking Black Ajah and probably won’t end her investigation the way Elaida is hoping.

Which means Elaida may well be forced to face Alviarin head on. Lots of flashy Aes Sedai power or a simple dagger to the heart of poison in the tea? I bet Elaida could do poison in the tea, and then claim she narrowly missed be poisoned too and make it look like the Tower has an assassin loose somewhere in it’s dark heart.

But ultimately, I expect Elaida to end up dead. Still plenty of the series for that to happen in. It’s on my WoT Wish List, actually. 🙂

4) So Min and Rand FINALLY talk about their night together. Amused? Irritated?

Haha! I soooooo wanted to smack Rand for his assumptions that Min had nothing to do with that sexual escapade. I am so glad Min gave him a decent thump, forcing him into a chair, and then flashed a dagger or two. Min was so right to point out that Rand was acting like Min and her wants and desires didn’t matter, as if he made all the decisions and moves on his own. Dork.

I am glad Min then proceeded to put Rand through a semi-public bath. 😉

5) Rand finally deigns to visit the Atha’an Miere and he takes along Min, and a few ‘tame’ Aes Sedai (Merana & Rafela). What did you make of the negotiations?

Quite frankly, I found this section to be a little dissatisfactory. I know we have heard previously that the Pattern will sometimes force something, no matter how a person fights against it. In this case, it seems that it was used a little too strongly, making it to easy. I guess we need the plot to go this direction, but it seemed a lazy way to do it.

That said, I thought it was very realistic that Rand started to freak out a bit in that small cabin. And it was totally in keeping with his personality to have little patience for haggling with the Sea Folk, if only for forms sake.

6) Once again, Rand feels the need to disappear without telling the Aiel. And into the woods he and Min go….where they run into the head of the rebels, Lady Caraline Damodred. Why do you think Lady Caraline lied about his identity? Do you think that this whole segment was the Pattern pushing Rand along?

I think this was partly the Pattern having it’s way with all involved and partly Lady Caraline wanting to see what the dreaded Lord Dragon wanted. I really liked that Lady Caraline was not all reactionary to stumbling across the Dragon Reborn while sport hunting. I am sure she had lots of questions and wanted to play out the venture a bit to see what knowledge she could gain.

Of course, she was part of the party that escorted a mortally wounded Rand back to the palace and I have to wonder if she is locked up….or was she overlooked and let go?

7) And then the tentacular fog disrupts the hunting feast and sword play. Where do you think this came from? Cadsuane got some good page time in this section. Did your opinion of her change?

I think the tentacular fog is related to Padan Fain who we saw in the feast tent just prior to the fog disrupting things. I wonder if that is what the Pattern pushed Rand to the woods for – to flush out Fain? Or was it to disrupt the rebels? Still unsure as to why the Pattern needed Rand there, and to take such a dreadful wound from Fain.

As for Cadsuane, she really shined in this section. She took charge, kept people alive, gave Rand a good slap to break him out of his Balefire frenzy, and commandeered a turnip cart. I especially liked that she listened to Min’s advice about where to take Rand and why. I am sure hearing of Rand’s recent torture gave her a deeper knowledge of his personality and current distrust of Aes Sedai.

8) Rand manages to become mortally wounded and it takes an Asha’man to heal him. Do you see a future for Flinn and Samitsu (the Aes Sedai who felt the need to pick his brain afterwards)?

I really liked this scene, even though Rand is not fairing too well. Samitsu initially showed some great fear of the Asha’men in general – men channeling! The horror! But then her need for info, her fascination with male power being used to heal, over came her fear. Could be the start of a collaboration…and knowing Robert Jordan, a romance.

Other Tidbits:

Reanna is 400+!!!! I wonder how Cadsuane compares, and yes, I would ask. Tis silly to be touchy about one’s age as not everyone makes it to old age.

If Corvarla is punished harshly for reporting that Rand escaped, it is not going to encourage the rest of the Tower Aes Sedai to be honest about set backs and failures. Elaida is an idiot.

Now some of Rand’s tame Aes Sedai know Min is the one who seems images surrounding people. I wonder if they will poke and prod her on this or somehow use it against her?

Rand did this whole section on an empty belly! He’s been moping for like 4 days, has his little spat with Min, gets his ass handed to him, has  a bath, and then decides to fix the world’s wrongs all in an afternoon – without lunch! No wonder he wasn’t performing at his finest.

A Crown of Swords Read Along Part VI

WOT 7 BannerWelcome back everyone! This week Sue is our host over at Coffee, Cookies, and Chili Peppers. And don’t miss Liesel’s Musing on Fantasia. Eivind, our awesome commenter should be at Sue’s.

This week we covered Chapters 25-30. Spoilers Below!!!

1. It would seem that we have the identity of the Watcher from last week, but Moridin is not the name of any of the Forsaken. Is he a new Forsaken, just as Shaidar Haran is a new type of Myrddraal, or is he a reincarnation of one of the dead ones? Were you surprised that Moghedien was allowed to live and do you think she will ever escape the mindtrap?

I wonder if Moiridin is a vessel for the Dark One to go on walk about. He does have that dark fleck in his eyes that seems to move around of it’s own accord and he does seem to be pretty bad ass. So I am thinking he is something we haven’t seen before and held in higher regard than most if not all the other baddies we’ve seen so far.

Moghedien is a tool, and still useful, and Robert Jordan doesn’t seem to kill off the personable baddies very often and not for too long. So, no, I wasn’t surprised that she lived. Will she escape the mind trap? I kind of hope she does, because I think her plotline will be more fascinating if she is free to cause grief & consternation, yet also be on the run from the baddies.

2. So, Valda has proven to be a rapist as well as a murderer: lovely! Do you think that Morgase will successfully evade the Seanchan and do you expect her to tell anyone about her renunciation of the Lion Throne?

I think we just need to leave Valda alone in a room with Elayne and he will no longer be a problem. To anyone. Ever. 🙂

I do expect Morgase to evade the Seanchan and hopefully, fingers crossed, make it to some safe harbor. I think Morgase has learned enough by now to be able to keep a low profile and not order everyone else around like she’s a queen and they are servants. Surely, she wouldn’t do something as asinine as that, which would give her away? Yeah, all fingers crossed on that one.

To me, her renunciation of the throne seemed to have some magic to it. In fact, I have expected Elayne to magically know that the throne had passed to her…but of course, if that was possible, she would know that her mom wasn’t dead, since the throne hadn’t magically passed to her. Anyway, I expect sooner or later, she will have to tell someone – maybe just Elayne. Maybe that lad with the fine legs when she beds him. 🙂

3. I guess we can assume that the Seanchan were that storm that Nynaeve could detect. What did you make of their attack on the Fortress of Light? Our previous impression of Suroth was that she was wildly overconfident about capturing Rand: do these latest events change your opinion?

The Fortress of Light was full of arrogant White Cloaks. Now it is full of arrogant Seanchan. I thought the attack was quite the light show – pretty fun to watch as long as you don’t have to be involved. Honestly, I wasn’t sure who to root for. White Cloaks? Seanchan? Pretty much, I was just hoping they created enough chaos for Morgase & crew to escape. Alas, she chose to stay, thinking it was Aes Sedai coming to the rescue.

It seems the Seanchan put a lot of faith? honor? in giving their word to obey the Empress. But not everyone is going to play by their rules. I think the Seanchan, including Suroth, are still pretty self-assured that their way is the best way and can’t really imagine anyone going against it. Should be spectacular when Rand gets a hold of them. 🙂

4. Sneaky! Although I hate a writer doing this, I was happy to discover that the fight between Rand and Perrin was a way to distract their enemies. How successful do you think Perrin will be at finding Masema and subduing the Dragonsworn? I am getting truly sick of it, so any ideas on how and when the whole Faile / Berelain thing will be resolved?

Yeah, that Perrin – Rand fight was faked…at least until Rand threw Perrin into a wall! Rand gets so passionate sometimes and loses his sense of balance in things. Perrin so far has gotten the job done every time he has committed himself. And I expect that tracking down Masema and subduing him will be far easier than returning to Two Rivers to discover his family wipes out. Got a tough job? Get a Perrin & wolf crew!

I think that if Faile and Berelain were to bed each other, that would resolve all the tension and silliness between the two. Alas, The Wheel of Time doesn’t appear to be that type of series. So I think we are stuck with their annoying behaviors until one of them dies. At this point, I am not sure I have a preference.

5. Fancy NOT telling Loial about the subterfuge: I could hold that against certain people, even if they are the Dragon Reborn and a sexy blacksmith! The Asha’man traveling with our favorite Ogier seems mighty untrustworthy: are they all like that or am I getting paranoid?

Sexy blacksmith, indeed! Let me just take a moment…..

OK, back to the question. It seems that many of the Asha’men have chips on their shoulders. To some extent, this is totally understandable as they have been told all their lives that they are not worthy of compassion and should be exiled, stilled, or killed. But I think Mazrim Taim has definitely encouraged this chip on the shoulder to a weighty arrogant boulder that requires both shoulders to carry. I do think the Asha’men have loyalty to Taim first, Rand second (hopefully), and no one beyond that. So, should Perrin and crew be worried? Hell, yes!

6. Tylin manages to snare her ‘little rabbit’, although it seem to scare him half to death. Was I the only one chortling away at Mat’s discomfort? It seems that the plan to use Mat’s Ta’veren luckiness has paid off, but will it be that easy to simply find the Bowl?

I keep going back and forth on Tylin and Mat. On one hand, Mat is being treated like a bed toy, kind of like he has treated a number of women. They were objects, yes, always willing, looking for some fun, but nothing beyond that to Mat. So I giggle at Mat being irritated, even angry, at being seen as a walking sex toy.

But then I swing the other way. Tylin held a knife to his throat as she used another knife to remove his clothes. Reverse the rolls and if Mat had held a woman at knife point for even part of the sexy times, I would have to put Mat on the Predator List.

So my man (who reads the books along with us but almost never comments) and I had this big discussion on this. Now, we both enjoy our sexytimes together. So I asked how he would feel about me using a butter knife at his throat while I peeled his clothes off (just to spice things up), and the answer was a flat NO! Which, of course, put an end to the sexytimes that night, so we chatted about Tylin and Mat in depth. After all that, I think I have to put Tylin on the Predator List.

But your real question is about the Bowl. No, it won’t be easy because both Nynaeve and Mat are involved and those two will butt heads until one walks away with a flattened face. Does Nynaeve’s stubbornness cancel out Mat’s luck? I am starting to think so.

7. Can Elayne’s chin get any higher? Whilst I find the Aes Sedai totally irritating, I am amazed that Elayne managed to browbeat them so successfully. Is this the end of the super girls being treated like idiots? How will Nynaeve cope with this sudden change in their circumstances?

Once Elayne takes the throne of Andor, her chin will go higher. That’s in the job description.

No, it is not the end of the Supergirls being treated as idiots….because I will continue to think of them that way for some time to come! Now, I expect Robert Jordan will continue to throw in new characters and from time to time some of those characters will treat the ladies with scorn, indifference, or as idiots.

I hope that Nynaeve will follow Elayne’s lead for a little while at least. I think that is the safest way for her until they get out of Ebou Dar.

8. Ooooooo, Moghedien tried to totally kill someone in a little boat. Is there any doubt at all that it is Nynaeve? Will Lan get there in time to save her or will she pull her braid out trying to make the water get out of her way?

Yeah, I think it is Nynaeve too. Moghedien probably wouldn’t risk breaking so many Dark Side rules for anyone else.

Will Lan save Nynaeve? I think Nynaeve will save herself just in time for Lan to have stripped out of most of his clothes and dived in. At least, this reader can hope there is a lack of clothing in the upcoming rescue. 😉 I am so looking forward to these two getting together. I wonder if it will be all kisses, or if there will be some Nynaeve shouting? At any rate, should be entertaining.

Other Tidbits:

The mindtrap seems to very delicate. How does the holder keep from inadvertently squishing it? Like when they sleep, or lean forward against a table, or get slammed against a stone wall by a good guy?

One of Morgase’s men saw a large winged beastie of some sort. And then another landed, for Morgase & crew to seem just before the Seanchan attacking. I suspect Dark Friends escaping, or at least sending messages out. I wonder how they contacted the beasties and their riders? Instead of the Pony Express mail service, we have the Winged Beast Express – special rates for all Dark Friend messages!

Loial and his story! He is so cute and so focused on writing his history of events. Sometimes I feel like the tale we are reading is Loial’s completed works. I know, we already discussed that possibility, and it is unlikely. Still, the idea has a certain charm.

A Crown of Swords Read Along Part V

WOT 7 BannerWelcome back everyone! This week Liesel is our host and you can find cool fanart of the non-spoiery kind over at Liesel’s Musing on Fantasia. Eivind, our awesome commenter should be there as well. And don’t miss Sue’s intellectual take over at Coffee, Cookies, and Chili Peppers.

This week we covered Chapters 19-24. Spoilers Below!!!

1) We got more of Cadsuane when she interviewed (grilled) the other Sisters around Rand. What did you think of how she handled them? What do you think her endgame is?
My first impressions of Cadsuane were two-fold: Arrogant and daring. But now I think she might be a bit wiser as she is gathering info, as she can, from the other sisters. This info is far from complete and accurate, but it is a start and I hope she doesn’t let her arrogance lead her down the path of Aes Sedai assumptions about male channelers.
2) Rand and Min take their relationship to the next level. (Poor Elayne!) What did you think of how this happened? How will it change Min and Rand’s friendship? And how will Elayne and Aviendha react?
Well, Rand and Min had just learned of some deaths and they needed comfort. Who can comfort Rand? Probably only his three ladies, and only Min is around. Who could comfort Min? Colavere wasn’t exactly popular and anyone who might understand Min sad over it might also fear being seen with her and mourning an enemy of the Dragon Reborn. If Elayne was around, or Egwene even, they might have been able to comfort her. But they were not. So, Rand and Min it is.
Of course it will change their friendship. Is Rand capable of just being friends with a woman he has bedded? Is he capable of being friends, or even a beau to a woman he has bedded out of wedlock? No. Rand hasn’t been able to expand his culture-based morals that far, yet.
I think Elayne will be OK with it. OK, as in, she won’t hate Min nor channel her into a crisp. Aviendha may have a harder time because she hasn’t gotten to know Min and become friends with her. But Aviendha may demand some ‘honor’ from Rand and that may entail marriage to all three ladies. I think Elayne will back Aviendha up on that.
3) Sevanna and her little retinue use the call boxes to speak to a man and a woman, who we later learn are Sammael and Graendal. What do you think their plan is? And who do you think the Watcher keeping on eye on them is?
I am not sure what Sevanna is up to. Nothing good, obviously. I think she is still set on forcing Rand to marry her or acknowledge her in some way so she could rule all the clans. But I think even she realizes that she will need a channeler, whether Wise One or Aes Sedai, to ‘collar’ Rand and make him compliant. If this is so, it is a sucky plan and she will fail. Much to my amusement.
I am not sure who the Watcher is. Is this the one with black dot that moves across their eyes? I don’t think this one is batting for the Light Side, but rather for the Dark Side. Still, anyone who can follow 2 Forsaken and go unnoticed is formidable.
4) After a (somewhat hilarious) evening of drinking with Brigitte, the dice in Mat’s head stop when Elayne and Nynaeve ask him to move into the palace. Obviously it’s an important event. What do you think it means? What will happen?
I loved the tipsy-through-the-bond Elayne. She seemed much more relaxed and personable.
I am not sure what will happen with Mat’s dice, but I am pretty sure what with happen with his man parts. Queen Tylin has been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to give them a try, and I think his closer proximity to her will allow that relationship to move forward. I am hoping it proves to be amusing….for us readers. 🙂
5) Nynaeve and Elayne discover a Circle of women who are either too weak to become Aes Sedai or have been kicked out of the Tower for some reason. What do you think of the Kin and their odd customs? How will they figure in the story from here on out?
This was a very amusing scene. Here Nynaeve and Elayne have the opportunity to discover some pretty important info. While Nynaeve is all for giving it a try, she is so blunt and impatient, things do not go well at all. Meanwhile, Elayne sees it as a waste of time from the beginning. The Wonder Girls each have moments of infuriating Aes Sedai arrogance!
Still, the same could be said for the Kin who don’t believe Nynaeve and Elayne. I think discovering the Kin may turn into a little bookmark event that the Wonder Girls come back to in the future and draw upon.
6) Nynaeve’s weather sense tells her a storm is about to break over the city, which we now know is something of a Talent. It doesn’t always mean the weather, but sometimes other kinds of storms. What do you think her weather sense portends this time?
The shit is about to get real.
Yeah, I think Nynaeve needs to add that label to her weather sense dial. Would make it much easier for her and those around her to know when to go find a hole to hide in or to get out of town.
As for this specific time, well…Mat’s got dice in his head, we know that White Cloaks, Dark Friends, and at least 1 Forsaken all know they are in town. lots of people (including some Black Ajah) are hunting the angreal stash. I think just maybe, all this stuff will come together into some street, or perhaps even palace, fight. I am hoping it will be spectacular.
7) While making their way back from the Kin’s manor, Nynaeve and Elayne are attacked in the street. Who do you think did it and why?
Remember last week how I made that joke about the Wonder Girls not falling into anymore traps? Well this was a very near thing. Idiots! They have free body guards on call via Mat, the Palace, could even hire some. Lots of choices.
Anyway, as to who did it…..well there was at least 4 people involved, right? We had whoever fired the blunt-tipped arrows, the man helping them to the carriage, the woman in the carriage, and the carriage driver. Possibly the shop keeper? But I tend to dismiss her as she offered Nynaeve a cup of water afterwards. She would have to be a ballsy one to stick around afterward if she was part of the kidnap crew.
So, who could either hire or be a part of that team? Well, there are those 2 Black Ajah ladies…..but I can’t recall if Nynaeve & Elayne know what they look like. Still, they could have hired a team. There is the Darkfriend Shiaine. I don’t think Nynaeve and Elayne know what she looks like. So that might be the better bet. Or we may never know, kind of like the attack on Mat.

Other Tidbits:

Has Min gotten a bit more clingy? Has she gotten a bit more fascinated with her looks? Like when she heard that Hered Fel (spelling?) was dead (due to the gholam), her thoughts turned to the fact that he was a nice man who’s head she had distracted with her looks from his studies.

I was pretty amused with Sevanna & Crew versus Sammael & Graendal – they each think they have the upper hand, are more clever. Only time will tell which of these two groups is more clever, but I don’t think either is going to outwit Rand & crew.

Mat & Birgitte are getting to be pretty buddy-buddy. I like this a lot. I think they should become an item. I think they would both enjoy the company and not having to hide their pasts from one another. Also, I have never really understood women who frown on men enjoying the view offered to them by other women (cleavage on display), especially when those women display too, at least from time to time. So it is refreshing to have Birgitte’s take on such things.

A Crown of Swords Read Along Part IV

WOT 7 BannerWelcome back everyone! This week I’m your host, and you can catch Eivind’s discussions below in the comments. You can find cool fanart of the non-spoiery kind over at Liesel’s Musing on Fantasia and don’t miss Sue’s intellectual take over at Coffee, Cookies, and Chili Peppers.

This week we covered Chapters 13-18. Spoilers Below!!!

1) Bravery comes up more than once in Chapter 13. Aviendha on the water, Elayne offering to discuss Rand….What do you think about how the ladies measure bravery?

I really liked how Robert Jordan used this trait to show the differences in culture. Aviendha belongs to a culture that doesn’t have dealings with the ocean, where such words as ‘sea’, ‘ship’, and ‘boat’ are perhaps even mythical. So, for her to face those ‘myths’ head on takes some guts. Add to that, her embarrassment over sea sickness, and you have a pretty brave woman.

Elayne, coming from a monogamous culture, probably finds it both difficult and embarrassing to discuss her beloved Rand with another woman, a woman who she intends to share Rand with. Right now, this sharing is a private thing, but it has great potential to become very public. So Elayne risks public ridicule too, as many cultures will view her part in the polygamous relationship as scandalous. In some ways, that is brave too. Though I think Aviendha is the little bit braver as she knows nothing of large bodies of water, which can prove deadly.

2) Within this section, we see Nynaeve and Elayne beginning negotiations with the Sea Folk for info on the Bowl of Winds, and yet Rand is still ignoring the Sea Folk. When the ladies find out Rand ignored the Sea Folk for so long, what do you think they will do? Why are the Sea Folk so interested in Rand? And if they find out the connection between Rand and the ladies, what do you think the Sea Folk will do?

Well, I expect there to be a big muddle. Of course each of the ladies will berate Rand for his short-sightedness in their own way. Perhaps Nynaeve will finally tug her braid out. Or perhaps Rand will cut it off for her if she uses her sharp tongue to harshly.

The Sea Folk have their own prophesy concerning Rand, about the Coramor (spelling?). Perhaps they need to verify he truly is their One & Only via some test or special knowledge. Perhaps they need to whisk him off to some secret Sea Folk island and have him chat with their version of Wise Ones. And once verified, I hope they offer Rand their loyalty because he could sure use it.

I am not sure the Sea Folk would do anything if they knew of the connection between the ladies and Rand. I am not sure they would see any significance to it. Right now, I am not concerned that they would hold the ladies hostage in an attempt to get Rand’s attention. At the most, I think they might refuse to deal with the ladies until Rand chats with the Sea Folk.

3) Mat recognized Darkfriend Shiaine and followed her to White Cloak Inquisitor Carridin. In turn, Carridin recognizes Mat, and then tells Sammael. Do you think this will change Sammael’s plans at all?

I had to break out the maps for this question. Listening to the audio, I don’t pay as close attention to where everything and everyone is. With that, Mat and Rand had some plan to draw Sammael out, or trick him, or box him in. If I remember correctly, Mat was to take his army to Illian for this plan to work. But Rand sent it and him to Salidar to bring back Elayne. I think this was meant to be a quick trip, but, alas, Egwene sent Mat to Ebou Dar, and kept his army for the march on Tar Valon.

I think this leaves Rand’s plan in tatters. Still, Sammael seemed quite shaken to hear of Mat in Ebou Dar. He talked of being betrayed, and I assume he means by whatever Forsaken he confided in. He seems to think that Mat is there hunting or spying on him and his agents. Ha! Mat, and his luck.

Still, Sammael seems set on having Carridin and crew continue to hunt for the stash of angreal. But what will Sammael do on his own? Well, I hope that he goes off in a rage at whatever Forsaken he thinks betrayed him and take her (it was a her, right?) out. Haha! Or perhaps she will take him out. Either way, it would be one less Forsaken for Rand to deal with and will completely discourage the Forsaken from working together.

4) Mat and women and the example they set for Olver. What did you think of Mat’s reaction to Queen Tylin’s straight-forward interest? Were you amused by Olver imitating Mat in his interactions with women? Foresee Mat changing his ways?

Mat was pretty darn amusing, in his rakish way, in this section. Mat seems to be comfortable when he is the hunter, when he is the one to decide a woman should be interested in him. So, yes, I did get a wicked grin on my face with Queen Tylin discomfited him so easily. Still, I was glad that he had enough sense to not jump into what might be a deadly relationship. I don’t think he knows enough of the local customs to safely navigate quickly and easily getting out of Tylin’s bed when he wants.

Olver….tsk, tsk. How old is he? Like 8? 10? Isn’t that still when most boys are like, ‘Girls, ew! Cooties!’ and not interested in doing anything more with women than either avoiding them or setting their pigtails on fire? Anyway, it was still funny, and a little sad, to see that Mat made no connection to Olver’s recent bought of bottom-pinching and his own ways of treating women.

Will Mat change? Maybe the Daughters of 9 Moons can get him to modify his behavior, but that will most likely be because he fears loosing his most favorite appendage by angering her and not because his inner inclinations have changed.

5) Why do you think Mat was attacked at the inn and who do you think sent the men?

Mat seems to write off this attack as due to the gold that noble idiot from the race track put in Mat’s room. However, these men attacked Mat, instead of going for the gold when no one was around. And they had that large, apparently empty box. I think that box is big enough to stash a man in, a man as big as Mat. I think they were sent to fetch Mat in a box, unconscious.

As to who sent them, I am not sure. Sammael specifically told Carridin to leave him be, so I don’t think Carridin would be stupid enough to act against that order. And I don’t think Queen Tylin would have to stoop to such means to arrange a secret tryst with Mat. So I turn my eye towards the two Ebou Dar palace Aes Sedai. Jolin and….??? I forget. I believe these ladies are still loyal to Elaida, and bringing Elaida Mat would be a little feather in their caps. Or they might simply question him about the current whereabouts of Elayne and how best to get through the defenses to stick her in a box with a bow and send her off to Elaida.

6) Moghedien seems to be back in the game, at least directing folks from the sidelines. Fallion doesn’t believe there to be a cache of angreal, but Ispan is ready to search for it. However, Fallion has another plan. How do you think that will fare?

If I was a bad guy, and perhaps I am, and a Forsaken told me to do a thorough search for a cache of angreal, I would do it even if I thought the Forsaken was daft. I don’t enjoy pain…..most of the time, but the definitely not the kind of pain the Forsaken would inflict. So, I would search. Hence, I think Fallion will be in for a nasty surprise when not only does her alternative plan fail but when also her refusal to look for angreal becomes known to Moghedien.

And while I do expect her plan to capture Nynaeve and Elayne to fail, as they have casually walked into enough traps in the past to be on high alert for future traps, I do expect her efforts will inconvenience the ladies. Perhaps, it will speed up their search and leaving of Ebou Dar.

7) Rand has women problems, and not because he is bedding too many (at least not yet). Between Berelain demanding she stay, Rand’s ‘tame’ Aes Sedai, and now Cadsuane Sedai, he may need a holiday. Why do you think Cadsuane has appeared and has chosen to show the Dragon Reborn such cheek?

If I understand correctly, Cadsuane is the oldest living Aes Sedai, and has lead a rather secluded life for many years. I think she is testing Rand, to see if he is truly the Dragon Reborn, and to see how violent a man he is. While she pushed him to the point where he crumpled some serving dishes, he did not harm anyone in the room. I wonder why she appeared unafraid of the possibility? I wonder if she has some power or angreal that shields her from those wielding saidin, like Mat’s pendant.

If she is wanting these answers for herself, to help her decide which side, if any, she will take, than I think she will be cool character. If she is Black Ajah or even a Forsaken in disguise, then I expect she will be a pain in the ass.

Other Tidbits:

Did anyone else enjoy Aviendha’s way of keeping the men from looking up her skirts before boarding the Sea Folk vessel? Haha! And while retrieving her knife, she lifts her skirts above her knees. Very funny.

Birgitte! She used that Sea Folk saying, and now they are all interested in her. Most of the time she thinks before speaking, but this must be an unusual situation. Normally, she is reborn into the world without her prior knowledge (until needed?), and she might not have realized this is an ancient saying among the Folk and no longer widely used.

While hanging around outside Carridin’s place, Mat talks with an old man who tells him whose place it is. Later, we have one little snippet from an unknown character, a man who has lost his ability with a sword due to age and who is trying to remember something important. I think these two characters are the same, but don’t know his significance to the story yet. Any guesses?

Someone has been sneaking notes into Mat’s clothes and they are aren’t all hugs and kisses. No, received a very definite warning for the ladies to be cautious. I think one of the ladies playing tug of war with Mat at the palace is responsible for the note, but I don’t know which one.

Alanna needs therapy to help her deal with the loss of her Warders, and perhaps her guilt over her impulse to bond Rand.

A Crown of Swords Read Along Part III

WOT 7 BannerWelcome back everyone! This week Eivind our Awesome Commenter is our host, and you can catch his discussion below in the comments. You can find cool fanart of the non-spoiery kind over at Liesel’s Musing on Fantasia and don’t miss Sue’s intellectual take over at Coffee, Cookies, and Chili Peppers.

This week we covered Chapters 9-12. Spoilers Below!!!

1. Nicola and Areina are trying to blackmail both Egwene and Myrelle. What do you think of their motivations? Did Egwene do the right thing in rejecting them? Could this damage her for real?

I thought these two were idiots. I wonder if someone talked them into it to muddy the waters for Egwene. First, several of the Salidar Aes Sedai know that Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve were ordered by the Amyrlin (Siuan) to go off and pretend to be full Aes Sedai to accomplish their mission. So, would it damage Egwene if that got out? Well, Egwene already has dissenters, so those idiots would grasp at that straw and try to make a big deal out of it, but then I think it would fade away, especially with Egwene being as strong as she is.

2. Egwene has lots of dreams, about Gawyn, Mat, Logain and herself. Any comments or crazy theories?

I think some of it is her concerns, but some of it may be spot on. Robert Jordan has used dreams to point the readers in a certain direction before, or to motivate certain characters into doing some action or taking some path. Her vision of Mat catching hold of a fireworks and from that men dying seems significant. Mat, with all his memories of other battle generals, could be thinking about weaponizing fireworks. Of course, he would need a team of Illuminators willing to give it a go.

Logain stepping over Rand’s body could be a worry, or he could be protecting Rand. Only further reading will answer that one.

The golden hawk, female, being tied to Egwene in some fashion could be an ally that she hasn’t met yet.

3. Egwene’s circle of trust is growing, with Faolain, Theodrin and Myrelle, soon also to include the rest of the Salidar six it seems. While not sitters, these are some powerful names. Will this finally be the tipping point, or do you expect she will need something more?

She’ll need something more. There will be some momentous decision, or some great show of saidin strength. I personnaly wouldn’t mind seeing Egwene kick some trolloc ass, or make a myrrdraal dance a jig, or unmask Halima and turn her/him over to the rest of the Aes Sedai for questioning and then stilling or execution.

Old, old Claudie woken for a picture.
Old, old Claudie woken for a picture.

4. It looks like Lan will meet Nynaeve pretty soon, and in Ebou Dar no less. This is growing into quite the mishmash of characters. What sort of amusing scenarios do you see in the future? Lan is no longer a King (sort of)… could he be the key to finding the bowl?

Haha! Well, I definitely look forward to this mix. Mat and Nynaeve and Elayne are already sort of at odds. I mean, Elayne absolutely believes she has a right to Mat’s medallion. Mat thinks they are all daft. Nynaeve is constantly ill-tempered and once Lan gets there, I expect her moods will sway back and forth even more than now. We have Aviendha and Birgitte too. Lan will get there and have to contend with a bunch of ill-tempered, stubborn ladies. Without manhandling them. Lan and Mat can’t simply throw the ladies over their shoulders and walk away from danger with them.

5. Halima/Aran’gar/Balthamel is earning Egwene’s trust. Do you think the headaches are her design? Are they just headaches or something more sinister? Compulsion? With her channeling saidin and Logain gone, how could she ever be found out?

Even if Halima is not causing the headaches, she is still bad news. I hope Egwene or another soon discovers Halima’s nature and she either has to flee or is caught by the Aes Sedai. the headaches could be caused by someone slipping something into her regular tea. This would be the easiest thing, and Egwene has no lack of evil-wishers. If Egwene is brought low by headches and can’t function as Amrylin, it would be reason to depose her and elect another. So I wouldn’t suspect Halima only. While I like Chesa, she could be putting on a good face while doing a naughty deed. Also, there is Selame. They both have access to Egwene in private moments, and her tea, food, etc.

Other Tidbits:

OK folks, time for me to confess. I think I missed something. What is an Aes Sedai Sitter again? What is her significance?

Siuan apologized to Egwene! Is this a sign of respect? Egwene must be doing something right.

Siuan insisting she has to work off her debt to Garyth Bryne, even when Egwene offers to pay it off. Very telling. I think someone has a crush.

I enjoyed Egwene’s gentle message to Nynaeve in dream land, and Egwene remembering the time she accidentally barged into a rather steamy and private dream Nynaeve was having. Haha! Oops, a hazard of dream walking.

Lan’s apology to Egwene, for ever helping her leave the Two Rivers, was very touching. Ah, Lan. Don’t you know that the ladies would have gotten into trouble with or without you?

We have seen a few variations of multiple ladies to one man (Rand, the Aiel), and now with Myrelle we seen a few men to one lady. But we get only the outsider’s viewpoint, like Egwene and Siuan, who feel that this is a highly inappropriate thing. If they can be accepting of 1 man to 3 ladies, why not 1 lady to 2-3 men? Though I will say in Lan’s case, this might not have been the wisest course Myrelle could have chosen.

Lord of Chaos Read Along Part X

JordanLordOfChaosBannerWelcome all! Here we are at the end of the book and it was a crazy, intense one! Eivind, our awesome commenter, came up with this week’s questions and you can read his thoughts below in the comments.

Spoilers run free and uninhibited below!

1. There seems to be a serious lack of cooperation in Ebou Dar, and things are not so easy as they seem. Do you expect the girls to be able to complete this mission on their own (without Mat’s help)? We know that the key to finding the bowl is to find the one who is no longer. Have we already met this person?

I think the ladies will need someone’s help…maybe not Mat’s, but someone’s. Perhaps when they find ‘the one who is no longer’ they may even politely ask for assistance. Maybe.

So, who is ‘the one who is no longer’? Well, if it is someone we have met before, it is also someone who has moved on from the earthly plain, majorly transformed themselves, or is from a past age recently reborn into the world again but hasn’t woken to the fact. When put like that, that leaves the door open for all sorts of people. Moiraine and Lanfear fell in battle through that freaky doorway. What if one of them is back in some guise? Then the Big Dark One resurrected 2 Forsaken, so either of them could qualify. And Mat and Rand and probably a few others carry other, ancient folks & their memories in their heads.

I think I will enjoy seeing who Jordan puts in this role.

2. Two escapees from Salidar. Logain flees with Egwene’s help, and Moghedien by Aran’gar’s doing. Where do you see the story going for these two? Was Egwene right in setting Logain free? Should she, in hindsight, have executed Moghedien earlier?

I think Logain wants to bring down the Red Ajah, and perhaps the White Tower. So I see him joining forces with someone who can make that happen. Hopefully he chooses a decent sort – like Rand – instead of the indecent sort – like Padan fain.

Moghedien will do what Aran’gar tells her to do, and right now that is to report the DO at his semi-secret batcave. Moghedien is great at disguise, so I expect she will be set to spy on someone. Should be interesting once Egwene, Elayne, Nynaeve, or Birgitte catch up to her. 🙂

I think Egwene was right to free Logain since she could not make him an open ally of the Salidar Amyrlin. She may have to kill him later if he turns towards the dark side, but I think she can handle it.

And, yes, Moghedien should have been executed earlier, but I can see all the reasons while the ladies held off doing that. She was a maid, a source of ancient and lost knowledge, and generally didn’t cause a ruckus. So the ladies would have been executing her on past mideeds and her reputation, and not on her current somewhat helpful demeanor.

3. Lan returns to the story as Myrelle’s warder, with a heavy heart and apparently near death. Nynaeve is none the wiser. Does Myrelle even know about their relationship? Has she agreed to send him on to her? Do you expect this to happen soon, or will she have to be forced?

I am not sure Myrelle knows of Nynaeve’s relationship with Lan, but Myrelle did make some passing thought-comment about wanting to keep him alive long enough to fulfill her orders. It is possible Moiraine had an agreement with Myrelle, or just plain ordered her, to pass on Lan’s wardership to Nynaeve once Nynaeve was a real Aes Sedai. Or Myrelle was ordered to pass Lan on to yet a different Aes Sedai, who will then pass him to Nynaeve.

If this is so, Lan will be passed around like a toned stripper at a bacherlorette party. 😉

Or Myrelle is really one of the bad guys and some middle-management Dark Friend gave her orders to pass Lan off to trollocs or myrrdraal or such. Who will then pass him around like a blow up doll at a campsite beer brawl.

Either way, Lan is not going to like NOT being in charge of his life.

4. The loyalist Aes Sedai seem to have really gone out of their way in torturing Rand after he killed a couple of warders. Justified? What do you think this has done to Rand’s psyche? Could there be a connection to the first genuine direct conversation with Lews Therin?

Those Aes Sedai are idiots in so many ways. Their torture was not justified as Rand was in self-defense mode. Their treatment of Rand has definitely reinforced his own natural distrust of Aes Sedai, but has also reinforced/reawakened Lews Therin’s distrust, even hate, of Aes Sedai. This is going to make things so much more difficult between Rand and Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve (people he once trusted). Egwene plans to boss him around. Elayne plans to warder him (not sure if she will ask permission first). Nynaeve will demand to heal him (that still half-healed wound in his side) regardless of his desires on the matter. So, I can’t say I would blame rand for shying away from these women.

5. The Battle at Dumai’s Wells really had everything, didn’t it? Except for the Seanchan and the Whitecloaks, it seems every faction was represented. As Liesel suggested, feel free to nerd out about it here. 🙂

My favorite parts were Perrin and his wolves. I loved when he was requesting aid from the wolves and explained to them the Aes Sedai had Rand. Their response was simple and eloquent – We come! Things are so simple with Perrin’s wolves. Though I was a little surprised he didn’t warn his people, so as not freak them out.

Then later, Perrin kind of brings Rand down to earth by shouting at him about how many people have died for him already that day. Perrin and Loial want out from behind the protective shield so they can go tell the team to retreat since Rand is safe. And that is when Rand joins the fray with Mazrim and the asha’mon. It was excellent.

Overall, I really, really enjoyed this fight scene. Oh, and I loved how Rand treated all the Aes Sedai, including the ones who came to ‘rescue’ him. Haha!

6. It seems likely that our heroes would have been defeated without the timely arrival of Taim (you could say he was “on Taim”). With him having put his life on the line to save Rand, do you think he can now be trusted?

Was Taim’s life ever at risk? Really at risk? The dude brought an army, wields the Power, and can create a door in the middle of anywhere to a save place have a world away, if needed. If Taim is really a bad guy, or perhaps he is just on the fence about the matter, then this would be a fairly safe thing to do in order to try to gain Rand’s trust.

But I did notice that Rand wouldn’t allow Taim to heal him. I think Rand’s paranoia is going to be extra high for a while, and I can’t say that it isn’t wise.

7. “…and the world was changed forever.” Rand now has nine Aes Sedai under his command. Do you expect this to lighten or heighten tensions between him and the rebels and/or the loyalists? What other things might come from this?

First, how true is the sworn loyalty of an Aes Sedai, especially one under duress? Will it hold? If it holds, I think this will create stress between Rand and Egwene. Who would the Salidar Aes Sedai obey first – Rand or Egwene? Next, the leaders of the White Cloaks are convinced that Rand uses Aes Sedai to perform all his Power tricks, and this will just add credence to that lie.

Now Alanna is sworn to Rand, right? And Rand is her Warder. That could get messy, mostly for Alanna. She hasn’t been able to force him to do anything through the bond. Can Rand force her through her oath? Will be interesting to find out.

8. After their second thorough defeat, have we now finally seen the last of the Shaido, or do you think there are there still misdeeds to be done? Sevanna was thinking about some “call boxes” given to her by a wetlander. What and who could this be?

Much of the Shaido is captured or killed. Those captured have to do their servitude time and I am not sure how many will hold to those ‘old’ ways. Those Shaido that retreated….well, I am not sure how Aiel treat those who flee from battle, even when it is obvious they will lose. Perhaps some of those will go to the other Aiel clans and go into servitude for a time to repent for their stupid, mislead ways. Some may instead regroup and build strength before being pains in the asses again.

I don’t recall Sevanna and her call boxes. Sounds like some long-range communication device, one that doesn’t rely on birds. I am going to guess that Padan Fain is involved in that one.

9. Herid Fel was assassinated by… something. Why? He seemed harmless enough! We also learn that the Daughter of the Nine Moons is likely someone related to the Seanchan, and that they have designs on Ebou Dar (or at least spies there). With Mat in town this seems like a prime opportunity for some first-class prophecy fulfillment, no? Who do you expect her to be? Have we perhaps already seen her?

Herid Fel was working on new weapons for Rand, but also researching whatever he could find on the Aes Sedai-Warder bond. I think Rand really, really wants to break that bond. I know I would, like a recurring blister in a most uncomfortable place. So, who controls a golem? We haven’t seen golems before, right? So if they are a Sea Folk or Seachan thing, then I say Herid was killed for his masterly skills at coming up with new weapons. If the Aes Sedai, like Alanna, control golems, then I say he was killed for his research in the Warder bond.

Yes! It is time we have Mat meet the Daughter of the Nine Moons. Honestly, I really don’t know who to expect, and I don’t know if we have met her before. Robert Jordan is great at pulling in characters from previous books and showing them in a new light or putting them in a new situation. So I wouldn’t be surprised if we have met her, that she is a Seanchan warrior badass, and that Mat and she detest one another from the beginning. Haha! Perhaps Mat loses a bet and therefore his money bag, his clothes, and his unmarried status.

Anyway, I look forward or jumping into the next book to see what happens.

Other Tidbits:

Perrin physically removed Berelain from the room, yelling at her! Go Perrin! But Faile didn’t spring up and thank him, or kiss him, or reassure him that his actions were appropriate. Sigh….

I am really, really glad that Rand and Lews have finally got a dialogue going, one that useful, like breaking out of Aes Sedai jail. I am just sorry to say that it took nearly a week of Rand being bent over double smelling his own ass crack for this little communication breakthrough to occur.

Lord of Chaos Read Along Part IX

JordanLordOfChaosBannerWelcome All! This week the WoT Quad is hosted by Sue from Coffee, Cookies, and Chili Peppers. Make sure you head over there for tea & intellect and to see what everyone else thinks of this section.

Chapters 46-51 were covered this week. Spoilers lurk below!

1. So the meeting that we have all been waiting for took place and Perrin met his in-laws. Perrin found the whole thing rather confusing, and I have to say that I agree with him: either Saldaeans are all crazy or it is just this particular family. What did you think of the encounters and do you think he will succeed in ruling his wife in a suitable fashion from now on?

I think once again we see Robert Jordan has all the characters’ hormones stuck at about age 16. Throughout the series, we see this constant competition, or sniping, back and forth between the sexes, and this was simply more of it. Mother and daughter are trying to outwit the men; the men are simply trying to keep up. And then we also have daughter trying to outsmart mother. All together, I think it was a test to see who could be pushed and how far. Luckily, Perrin was oblivious to much of this and simply stood his ground. He’s a smart lad. 🙂

2. Aiel attacking Aes Sedai: what is the world coming to? Any guesses as to who instigated the attack on Demira and why they let her survive?

This could be 1 of 2 things.

1) Some Aiel took in to their own heads and hands to send a message to the Aes Sedai to leave Rand alone. They were smart enough to know not to kill the Aes Sedai, as they simply wanted to get the message, “we can and will hurt you,’ through to them. Bodies are so much harder to deal with.

2) They were either Shaido or not Aiel at all. Whoever they were wanted shit to go down between Rand and the Aes Sedai and what better way to instigate that than to parade as Aiel and wound an Aes Sedai near to death. As Egwene found out, most people never look beyond the garb to see if the wearer is truly Aiel. This is my preferred theory.

3. Ebou Dar is certainly proving to be interesting. Any suggestions as to why Nynaeve is so upset with Mat? Also, what were your impressions of Tylin?

Nynaeve did kick Mat pretty darn hard for little reason when they were all reunited. Nynaeve use to be able to get away with stern look, a sharp tongue, and few hits or kicks back when she was Wisdom. But she isn’t that anymore. And Mat isn’t some punk kid with a badger either. So, I think she is worried that 1) Mat may give her a kick, or a spanking (and not the fun kind) or 2) She will be forced to apologize for her juvenile behavior. We all know how she hates to apologize. 🙂

Was Tylin the Queen? If so, I am so glad that meeting turned out well. She was regal and strong and courteous. Once the ice thawed, they actually had a meaningful and pleasant conversation.

4. Yay, Loial is back and being all nervous and cute about Erith trying to track him down! No need to ask if you are happy to see him, but do you think he will abandon his friends and spend the rest of the War in a Stedding if she catches up with him?

I think Erith will have to come along for the ride. I expect that the Ogier as a whole will be reluctant to join in the Last Battle, but Rand & crew will need their strength and wisdom. Loial, and perhaps Erith, will be the ones to talk or bully or shame the Elders into joining.

It is a quite cute. Loial isn’t ready to give up his travels yet, but he is interested in Erith. Hopefully she is the adventurous type.

5. On a scale of one to eleven, how stupid was Demira’s attempt to chastise the Dragon Reborn by making herself look big and shouting at him? Also, what do you think of Kiruna’s great plans to bring him to heel?

Ah, these ladies. You almost pity them. Almost.

Hooray for Min! If she had not rushed ahead on her mighty steed (Rosey Thorn? What is the mare’s name?), Rand would have been caught off guard. I think things would have gone quite messily then. rand might not have been able to lock down a surprised Lews Therin, and if Lews grabbed saidin and tore lose at the Aes Sedai….well, that would have solved things temporarily and created a larger problem for them to solve later.

Is it just me, or are all the Aes Sedai (even the good ones) getting rather narrow-minded and thinking a little too highly of themselves? was Moiraine the only one with a wider world view and appreciation for things and people not Aes Sedai? So, Kiruna’s plans. Yes. Well, I expect, since they are built on ego and faulty info, they will fall apart and she will rant and fume and perhaps even cry over it. If she doesn’t end up dead.

6. Berelain seems to be trying to give Faile a very good reason to stab her to death, but poor Perrin is getting all the blame, of course. Any idea what Berelain is doing and how Perrin is going to repair his marriage? Do you think Faile is handling this in a sensible and mature way?

First, I think Berelain is doing this for personal amusement – she likes watching Perrin blush and stammer and flee and she likes watching Faile fume and stamp her little foot.

Second, Faile is being a dumb ass. If you trust another person, in this case Perrin, with your life, your money pouch, your bed, your reputation, why not trust his penis? Perrin has given Faile no reason to believe he is interested in pursuing another woman. If I was Perrin, I would be deeply hurt by Faile’s lack of trust when it is so blatantly obvious that Berelain is of zero interest.

How will Perrin repair the marriage? Well, I think it is up to Faile to repair it as she has done the most damage through her irrational and misplaced jealously. But I do expect sooner or later Perrin will have to put his foot down with either one or both of the ladies. Perhaps Faile will get her bum spanked again?

7. Holy boxes of Dragon Reborn, Batman! They actually went ahead and took Rand! I think we all knew that the Tower envoy might try something like this, but were you surprised by how well it worked? Any ideas on what has happened to Min?

That was smooth. Very smooth. Rand has a reputation for taking off without his Aiel escort and without leaving word. So the Aes Sedai reporting that the Dragon Reborn left during their audience raised no suspicions. But gosh, folding a big man like Rand into that chest. That must have sucked!

As for Min….well, she was with the Aes Sedai, so I fear they also have her tied up somewhere….and if she were a minor character, I would be concerned that she would be dead.

8. Now that Rand has been captured, what do you expect to happen? Will someone eventually work out that he is missing? Will Loial Hulk-out and tear all the Aes Sedai’s heads off? Arghhhhhhh!!!!!!!

Well, this is a cluster fuck. 🙁 I really hope that someone notices soon that Rand is missing, but because of his reputation for taking off, I fear that it will be 2-4 days before anyone really worries. And once someone does worry, how will they figure out where he is? I mean, the Aes Sedai aren’t going to stay in place with him, right? They will be on the move.

So let’s say they figure it out this book, I expect the Aiel will all veil themselves, grab as many spears and knives they can carry, and head off in all directions if they don’t know where he is. Loial will probably ride with Perrin and, hopefully, Faile to chronicle their attempt to rescue Rand.

As for the Aes Sedai who did this, I really really hope that Rand gets to punish at least some of them once he is unfolded from the chest. So, hear that Aiel! Don’t kill them all. Not immediately, anyways.

Other Tidbits:

Hmm…marking your kids on your dagger hilt. That’s a new way to ‘notch the belt’.

Demira is being used, and by Verrin. I am not sure I like Verrin anymore. She was the book geek, the scientist, the nerdy detail-oriented, info-seeking Aes Sedai. Now I think she is manipulative on so many levels. She needs a sign: Do Not Trust!

Lord of Chaos Read Along Part VI

JordanLordOfChaosBannerWelcome back everyone! This week are awesome commenter Eivind is our host. You can catch his answers below in the comments.

This week we covered Chapters 24-30. Spoilers lurk below!

1. The Aes Sedai embassy, even when not meeting Rand, appears to be busy with pointless channeling and undermining Rand’s noble support. With the first meeting in mind, what do you think their ultimate intentions are? How will they go about achieving them?

I wonder if they are weaving some sort of saidar cage to catch and transport him in? Is that even possible? Rand has threatened to leave weavings in place around idiots before – basically locking them in place. Anyway, they are Aes Sedai and up to something. I don’t think they know how NOT to be up to something.

I think Rand did a pretty good job in this first meeting. He let them go on about the Amrylin’s titles, etc., and then he simply intros himself as Rand Al’Thor. Nice. Rand started off as a sweet boy and has turned into this powerful man, who has a touch of class. I also liked how he let them know that he could detect them channeling – which they completely dismissed as possible later. I swear, these Aes Sedai are blind! Anyway, back to Eivind’s question – what are their ultimate intentions? Well, power. they want power, don’t know how to live without it. So, power over Rand. If they can achieve that, then I think think they expect to be able to conduct the Final Battle in an organized manner.

Snort. Yeah, right. How will they attempt to achieve that? Well, they think gold will be a hook, and then I think they will employ whatever they are constantly channeling in town. Of course, it will all go sideways on them. And I will enjoy reading every minute of that!

2. Egwene and Gawyn finally have their moment. What will the future hold for these star-crossed lovers on opposite sides of a rift? Will Egwene manage to convince him of the truth? Will she be discovered by the Aes Sedai or can they both manage to elope?

Well, shared wet dreams or not, that was sudden! And I find this a bit of a tough question as we have seen so little of Gawyn. I wish his character was fleshed out a bit more. While Galad is an extremist, Gawyn does have a similar streak within him. I think it will take something huge, like Morgase walking up to him and slapping sense into him, to convince him Rand did not murder her. So, no, I don’t think Egwene by herself can convince him.

I think she will slip past the Aes Sedai this time, but she might need Rand’s or the Aiel’s help. This might force her to leave the Wise Ones and go cause havoc some place else, or perhaps force her to take Rand to Salidar.

3. The Sea Folk are back and they’re hounding Rand for a meeting. Evidently they also have a role to play, but how do they fit in?

I suspect that Rand is correct in that the Sea Folk have their own prophesy concerning him. But they also are in the best position to hear word of the Seanchan and what they are up to. They may also know movements, especially naval, of any other nation. In short, Rand is being an idiot, and perhaps even a dick, for ignoring them this blatantly for this long. His list of allies is short to begin with.

4. A Gray Man makes an attempt on Rand’s life, and Taim just happens to stop by the palace exactly then. Fortuitous timing or something else? Could there be a connection between this attack and the earlier one in the streets, which was apparently orchestrated by Padan Fain?

From Padan Fain’s mullings and contemplations, I don’t think he sent the Gray Man. Rand has such a long list of enemies, and even frenemies (like Mazrim Taim). So we have the Forsaken – any and all like to play with Gray Men. Perhaps Taim suspected or knew and wanted to be there to save the day to make an impression with Rand. Perhaps he just wanted to see how things went and when he saw that Rand planned to capture, instead of kill, the Gray Man, Taim eliminated the thing in case it incriminated him.

5. Siuan and Leane are finally healed, and Nynaeve makes headlines! Now that they’re back in the fold, do you see them trying to take over the show again? And what now to do about Logain?

Can I just say that Aes Sedai are sometimes real asses! Siuan and Leane needed compassion long before now, but some many of the Salidar Aes Sedai could barely give them the time of day. But now that they are Aes Sedai again, they are real sisters and once again worthy of comfort, respect, and all that honey goodness. If I were Siuan and Leane, I would have learned something important from that – like how transitory the friendship of the sisterhood can be.

So of course Siuan wants to be at the top once again. Already, the hierarchy of the Aes Sedai has raised its ugly head and Leane and Siuan are deemed at the bottom of the totem pole.

This is a little related to my answer to the next question, but I am going to guess that Siuan, Nynaeve, Elayne, Birgitta, and Logain (and perhaps Leane) all end up running away, perhaps with the help of Uno & friends. Siuan can’t have the power she wants in Salidar. Nynaeve and Elayne already have tentative plans to save the world by finding a bowl. Logain needs to get away from the Salidar Witches and Siuan & crew could use a ‘protector’. Now I just wonder how the bargain will be struck?

6. A couple of baddies resurface: Padan Fain in Caemlyn and Aran’gar in Salidar. One as crazy as ever, and the other the calculating villain we’ve come to expect from the Forsaken. What do you think Aran’gar’s orders are? And could Fain have a plan in mind that’s more specific than just… being himself?

I think Aran’gar is in Salidar for Rand’s childhood companions, perhaps simply to kill them. If she can do it with some subtlety, she can even stay in place and gather intel on the Salidar Aes Sedai, perhaps guide them into some stupidity or trap. This feeds into my answer to the question above. If Nynaeve and Elayne, perhaps even Siuan, are threatened, injured, nearly lose their lives, then they might finally decide to leave Salidar. Oooo! Perhaps Aran’gar will offer ultimate glory to Logain! that could makes things very interesting.

Padan Fain. He’s a disgusting brute, don’t you think? When Rand finally does kill him, I hope it is slow and exquisitely painful. I am guessing that Fain does have a plan, but it will have to be a tight knit one. As wicked as Fain is, he is a loner with few frenemies to work with. He has some regular human followers and a tame Myrdraal. I would guess that his plan would rely heavily on sneakiness and trickery. I am not sure if the dagger ties him to Shadar Logoth or not, but if it does, and if Rand returns there, that could turn into a messed up situation quickly.

Other Tidbits:

Egwene demands from Rand to know how he travels from city to city. Without hesitation, he picks up her shawl and does his best to explain and demonstrate. He gave away that knowledge without demanding something in return. Come on Egwene! You can’t be that selfish and not realize what he just gave you and yet you withhold something so important as Elayne’s whereabouts.

I just have to say that Egwene must be pretty physically fit by now, with the Wise Ones having her run around the city, sometimes literally. I am sure Gawyn has appreciated this particular aspect of Egwene. 😉

The Aiel rabbit warren of honor and obligation is complex and confusing. I feel for Rand. I don’t really understand why Sullin is now a palace servant, though I respect she is paying some obligation or erasing some smudge from her honor.  And Rand is starting to catch on – asking the Aiel to be silent about the Gray Man and Mazrim Taim. I now wonder what he has planned for Sullin – something that will help her pay her obligation, and also allow Rand to pay part of his obligation to her. And she won’t like it. But I bet I will love reading it! 🙂

While Aviendha has clearly spent too much time 1) staring at Rand’s eyebrows or 2) avoiding him, she now feels she is behind in teaching him abut Aiel honor, etc. And I think she has something else to tell him. I still think she is pregnant.

Lord of Chaos Read Along Part IV

JordanLordOfChaosBannerHello All! This week Liesel of Musings on Fantasia is our host. Make sure to swing by her site for cool, and non-spoilery, fan art. You can also catch Eivind over there. Our fourth in the WoT Quad is Sue over at Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers.

This week we covered chapters 12-16. Spoilers range free below!

1) Nynaeve, gutsy as ever, managed to find an open window and eavesdrop on what was happening in the Little Tower behind the wards. What do you think was being talked about? Later, Sheriam mentions not wanting to tell Nynaeve and Elayne what only a handful of (women) in the world know. What do you think the Salidar Aes Sedai are planning?

I think the Salidar Aes Sedai have been asked to hand over Elayne and probably Nynaeve to Elaida as a sign of goodwill and the first step in reconciling. At least some of the Salidar Aes Sedai are considering it, which makes me want to piss in their morning porridge! After seeing what was done to Leane and Siuan, I want to believe that none of the Salidar AS would consider reconciliation. But that would be boring and simple. Besides, I expect that some of the Salidar AS are tired of ‘roughing it’ by being so for from a power center.

2) In T’A’R, Nynaeve and Elayne find a bowl ter’angreal hidden in a dusty store room in Ebou Dar. They only know that T’A’R pointed them to it as something that might bring the Little Tower around to supporting Rand. What do you think it does and how–if at all–will it help bring Rand support?

First, I have to say that Nynaeve and Elayne squeezing eyes and buttcheeks and having a great need, all in sync, was a bit of a weak plot device. If this works for locating some forgotten about ter’angreal, then why haven’t they done this before to locate other items or people or places? I am guessing that other WoT fans have asked this same question.

Elayne is convinced it has something to do with weather control, which could be a big bonus for whichever side finds it and figures out how to use it. People need some rain and snow and nipply weather to make them happy. The great, sweating masses will flock to whoever’s banner that can make it happen.

3) Egwene was sucked into Gawyn’s dream where there were professions of love, make out sessions and, from the way her face heated when she woke, probably some sexy times. What do you think of Gawyn’s professions of love and the fact that Egwene seems to reciprocate? What do you think their future looks like?

Yeah for G-rated sexytimes! I can always hope for details…..hey, that’s what the fan art is for, right?

I think Gawyn believes he is in love with her, but he hardly knows her. Still, from strong feelings can grow the real thing, not just a needy libido. Hooray for Egwene! Perhaps she isn’t the prude I feared she was turning into. I expect that sooner or later these two will meet up again, unless Rand is forced to kill him because Gawyn can’t stop to listen for 3 minutes. That would put a damper on the Egwene-Gawyn relationship. Supposing neither is killed and neither kills someone the other loves, they will have an awkward first few meetings and once they start chatting about dreams they will happily go lock themselves behind a door for a few days while they get to know each other better :).

4) Nynaeve and Elayne link with the other Salidar women to guard against another bubble of evil. What do you think of the linking process (useful? will we see it again?) and what do you make of Anaiya’s apparent disappointment that it was a bubble of evil and not one of the Forsaken?

I noticed that not all the women were asked to link, but rather were swept up into it. Yes, it is an emergency situation, but I would feel better if Elayne and Nynaeve, and later Egwene, could guard against it. What is the linkee is doing something you disagree with? One needs to be able to break loose or not be a part of it if the linkee is up to evil…..like cutting a male Aes Sedai off from the Power, perhaps permanently. So, with that in mind, of course we will see it again.

Anaiya’s name simply sounds evil, like the sharpened edge of a tongue or knife. Perhaps her little stink in Salidar was to be over once the Forsaken showed themselves? Perhaps that would have been her signal to let loose and toss some bitchy Aes Sedai around? Hell, if I worked for the Evil Side, I know I would look forward to putting some pepper down some Aes Sedai bodices and then sewing them into their dresses.

5) Rand meets with a handful of Andoran nobles. What is your impression of them, especially Dyelin? Do you think they are sincere? Does Dyelin truly not want power herself and seek to see Elayne on the throne? Will they be a help or a hindrance to Rand?

Nobles = Hindrance

That’s how it goes in this series, me thinks. I’m guessing that Dyelin wisely doesn’t want to rule in Rand’s name in Andor. That’s what it would be – in name. I am sure the ruler would have a good dose of autonomy, but if they went against Rand’s wishes on something, they would have to be seriously concerned. And that is why it would be best if the ruler was Elayne because she could at least push back at Rand and not worry about being turned into a charcoal flame or having the breath squeezed out of them, etc.

6) We get confirmation here that Tigraine was Rand’s mother, and he muses on all the things that had to happen–including many deaths–so that he could be born at the proper time to save the world. General thoughts and impressions on this?

Boy, is this going to add to Rand’s guilt trip majorly! I wonder what little tidbit of ancient death and destruction, or current necessity and mayhem, will be the final straw that pushes him into the Martyr Syndrome? Oh wait, he’s already there :).

I need a family tree. Tigraine was married to so and so, and they had Galad together, right? Then Tigraine disappears in the Aiel waste and her little sister, Morgase marries Lord so and so, who dies. Correct me when I start getting this wrong. So Morgase marries again, and has Elayne and Gawyn. Meanwhile. Tigraine has had Rand  and passed away. So this makes Rand and Elayne first cousins, right? Am I right!?! This means Rand has been playing suck face with his first cousin?

You know how I just mentioned Rand’s guilt trip of wrongs (real or not) that he believes he’s committed is going to send him into Martyr Syndrome? Well, this little revelation might just make his sterile.

7) Sammael offers a truce, which Rand rejects. Do you think he was right to do so? What do you think Sammael will do now?

Rand could have accepted and then planned an attack of some kind. That would have been the smart thing, but Rand is still 1) too honorable and 2) too stupid to do this. Sammael might have been using this as a short delaying tactic. I expect that if Rand had said yes, and meant it, Sammael would keep scheming and planning to take Rand out. He wouldn’t wait for the Final Battle if he saw an opportunity. I expect that Sammael will continue to scheme and rally his forces, shore up his borders, etc.

Other Tidbits:

Nynaeve finally managed to grab saidar during the bubble of evil. She was still hard on herself, thinking that she was useless. Sigh….speaking of that martyr syndrome, it seems to be catching.

Elayne seems to be letting her students set themselves and each other on fire…..a little too often.

Berelain is in charge? Did I miss that? She’s efficient and seems to have stopped blatantly chasing Rand.

Lord of Chaos Read Along Part III

JordanLordOfChaosBannerOnce again the WoT Quad convenes to dice and slice apart Robert Jordan’s work. Makes his series sound like a tasty meal, doesn’t that? Well, it is a meal, for your brain. Don’t forget to visit my cohorts: Eivind in the comments below, Musings on Fantasia, and Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers.

This week we covered Chapters 7-11; spoilers infest the 7 course meal below!

1) Elayne & Nynaeve are teaching Siuan, Leane, and some of the Salidar Aes Sedai about Tel’aran’rhiod. What did you make of first Gera the Cook and then Elaida popping into Tel’aran’rhiod? Do you think Elaida’s pronouncement was Foretelling or merely her dreaming?

Well, I think Gera was merely dreaming, and I liked that she was dreaming a minor fantasy – weighing half of what she does in real life. Then I was amused by the some of the Aes Sedai playing around, changing their clothes and looks. Elaida is just scary whether she is dreaming or not. I think I would have needed a few minutes to catch my breath after he little appearance and proclamation.

I know some of the Aes Sedai worry that her words are a Foreshadowing, but many things would have to happen in order for he to unit the Aes Sedai under her. The Salidar Aes Sedai would have to be captured/wiped out or return to the Tower for one. Elaida would have to survive in power long enough to see either scenario come about. Still, we have 6 or 7 books left in the series and strange and horrible things do happen as the Final Battle draws closer.

2) While in Tel’aran’rhiod. Leane decides to go check her network, and Sheriam sends Nynaeve to go find her. Then most of the Salidar Aes Sedai stumble into a pocket of nightmare and Elayne has to rescue them. A series of coincidences? What did you think of Elayne’s actions?

Well, I don’t think they are all coincidences. Why can’t a skilled T’A’R walker set a trolloc nightmare trap for the unwary or idiotic? Possibly a Forsaken or a Darkfriend with skills could have set it and it is my inclination to believe it was a trap. Was it set specifically for these idiots? Maybe, maybe not. Leane going off shortly before the Trolloc’s Favorite Fall Soup could merely be her wanting to check her network – or she had some other task she wanted to do (like Elayne going by her home throne room after the nightmare scene) – or she knew what was on the Trolloc menu and bowed out. If Leane chats about what info she uncovered through her network in the next reading section, I will be more inclined to believe in her innocence.

Elayne! Part of me really, really liked how she swallowed her fear and her gorge and stepped into the nightmare to rescue those idiots. It took a lot of bravery. But the volunteer rescue worker in me knows that 99% of the time, this is a really bad idea and results in greater body counts. If you don’t have backup waiting on the sidelines, it is usually a deadly idea to step into such a mess. Perhaps she can now convince these Salidar Aes Sedai to take her and Nynaeve more seriously!

3) Logain is unsettling the Aes Sedai left and right with his claim that the Red Ajah set him up as the false Dragon. How much of what he says do you think is true? How do you think the Aes Sedai, both at Salidar and those visiting from the White Tower, will react to his claims?

I expect Logain is telling the truth on this. However, I am not quite sure why retelling it again and again seems to have breathed some life into him. Perhaps he hopes that the Red Ajah will receive some rebuke or censure from the rest of the Aes Sedai and that idea gives him a warm fuzzy?

I expect the Salidar Aes Sedai will use Logain to bolster their bid for power and credibility with the nations of RandLand. I expect the White Tower Aes Sedai to go into a muddled state of indecision where Logain is concerned. If Elaida reacts to his claims, she is then acknowledging him. I am not sure she is capable of that. If they kill him publicly, that could be seen as a sign of guilt. Perhaps Elaida didn’t know about the Reds using Logain, in which case she will honestly believe he is lying, which will bolster her believe that the Salidar Aes Sedai need to be brought to heel.

JordanLordOfChaos4) The Lord Captain Commander Niall has information coming to him from many sources: his fake spymaster Omerna, his disguised spymaster Balwer, and some unknown via messenger pigeon. What do you make of all this various info and Niall’s acceptance or dismissal of it?

OK, is it just me, or are Elaida and Niall like the 2 sides of a coin, male & female? They both choose to believe what they want to believe and then look for facts to corroborate that belief.

I think Niall would be a lot more dangerous to Rand and crew if he listened to Balwer. Oh hell, if he listened to half of what Omerna said, he would be able to make Rand uncomfortable. He’s ignoring too much to be successful. Which is probably a good thing because I totally am Team Rand :).

Still, it is interesting that eyewitness accounts, statistics, even reliable spy statements really don’t matter. It can all be twisted and dismissed. Niall, like Elaida, need it in their face to believe it. Perhaps Rand could give Niall a demonstration – perhaps of what it is like to be tied up by the Power and left hanging in the middle of a room for a few hours – just until you really, really, really need to piss.

5) As Morgase returns from falconing, she sees many refugees along the road and questions one of her escorts, Norowhin. What do you make of his answers? How do you expect Morgase to proceed from this point?

C’mon Morgase! I want you to be a hero! Escape! Rally the troops! Kick some teeth down some throats and help Rand make the world safe for small children and puppies!

The refugees are going every which way and the countryside itself seems destitute. So this should tell Morgase something about the White Cloaks, right? Like perhaps they aren’t good for business, harvest, protecting the people, nor making dinner for large numbers of people. While I greatly hope she won’t get into bed with them for the sake of regaining her throne, I can see how she has narrowed her choices and may now feel like she has little choice. Sigh….

6) Rand goes to visit Culain’s Hound Inn, where he gets more than one surprise. Verin and Alanna are escorting several young ladies from Emond’s Field area to the White Tower to train as Aes Sedai. What do you think they will do now that they know of the split? More importantly, how would you have reacted to Alanna’s little trap that she set for Rand?

That must have been surreal for Rand. Still, many of those ladies treated Rand like they did back when he was home in Two Rivers….at least until he gave them a little, gentle demonstration of his powers. I kind of hope that Rand decides to have the ladies rounded up and removed from Verin and Alanna, but he might not deem such a thing worth his time, and also several of the ladies might protest greatly. Since Verin and Alanna now have their movements restricted, I would think they would want to keep the ladies with them, partially as guarantee that Rand not harm them (Verin & Alanna). I think Verin is too wise to try to take this gaggle of girls to the Tower in all this uncertainty. I am expecting that she or Alanna has a way to track down the Salidar Aes Sedai and I wouldn’t be surprised if they insist on going there. This would give Rand the opportunity to ring the location out of them, if he takes it.

As for Alanna and her new Warder…. Well, first, I would have slapped her. Then I would have kicked her in the shin. Next, a punch to the gut or breast. I would follow this up by sweeping her legs out from under her and put a on her to hold her to the ground while I define for her the parameters of our new relationship.

Honestly, I think Rand was quite controlled about the situation. Alanna didn’t get half of what she deserved. I did have an incredulous laugh when she complained to Verin about Rand ‘daring to limit their movements’. Hypocritical little witch, isn’t she?

7) Mazrim Taim wants to go out looking for men who can channel. Do you think his enthusiasm for building this army is for the Dragon Reborn or his own glory? How do you think he will fulfill Rand’s order to bring Henre Haslin, the drunk Master of the Sword, back?

Mazrim is all about Mazrim. He wants to lead an army for his own glory. Perhaps he thinks that with an army, he wouldn’t need to obey Rand, even if Rand is the stronger. Perhaps he doesn’t mind being second as long as he is in charge of the male Aes Sedai army. Still, Mazrim might have to be taken out before he spreads bloodshed all over the world.

I can see Mazrim either delegating the task of bringing Haslin back or doing it in such a way that Haslin refuses to work with Mazrim, the male Aes Sedai farm, or Rand. I think it would be very hard for Mazrim to swollow his pride and invite Haslin back, letting the whole camp know that Mazrim changed his mind.

Other Tidbits:

I liked how Nynaeve gave Siuan a talking to about refusing to let her attempt to heal her…. and then later Theodrin gives Nynaeve a very similar talking to about not letting Theodrin attempt to remove her block. Still, I will be surprised if either Siuan or Nynaeve turn around and cooperate fully with zeal.

OK, last week we talked about Semirhage and her secret every day identity. She has a stubborn charge. I now want to guess that she is Theodrin. Though I have to wonder about her little story about having a block herself – how she couldn’t channel around boys. True? Partially? Completely false to set Nynaeve at ease?