Welcome back everyone. This week covers Chapters 31-39. Evind, our awesome commenter, came up with the discussion questions this week. He doesn’t have a blog, so please leave your links, and any comments/questions you have for Evind, in the comments below.
Spoilers dance riotously below. Just saying.
1. So Thom is back! …again! What do you think happened in Cairhien since we were there last?
I was very happy to see Thom. Unfortunately, I had hoped that he would have gone into some sort of superhero vengeful training, making his super fit and ready to kick some major ass. But, alas, no. He is drunk. And wenching. And puking. Sigh. Thom, Thom, really? This is how you are going about making revenge on those who killed your latest love?
As for what has been going on in Cairhien since, well I would say not as much butt kicking as I had hoped. Has anyone else read The Dark Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks? Yeah, well, I wanted Thom to go all dark angel on the high, mighty, and evil of Cairhien.
2. Perrin and the girls bring us some more info on the Aiel, turning them towards Tear in the process. What role do you think this elusive people will play?
I am very excited to see some Aiel. They have this prophecy that seems to not only involve Rand, but themselves, in being instrumental in marshaling in a new world, a new age. So, I hope that means we will be seeing a lot more of the Aiel. I like that the women, as well as the men, can be deadly hunters and warriors, and that the Aiel don’t think this odd at all. As for what they may or may not do specifically in Tear, assuming they make it there around the same time as Rand, I am not sure. Put on their black masks and dance a bit with some bad guys? *fingers crossed, hoping*
3. Our newest character is Zarine Bashere, or Faile, or whatever. She fulfills half of Min’s viewing. What do you make of this one?
I am ambivalent. She started off skulking, but not tattling. So this probably means one of two things: 1) She is to gather intel and report to someone else (good or bad?); or 2) She is in this for herself and is seeking adventure. I am not sure I like her yet, though she does have a practical streak that shows in her clothing. This bodes well. Plus, she carries knives, which is a plus in my book. You rarely catch me without at least 1 knife. Mandarb might be a little presumptuous of her to call herself. I liked how Perrin pointed out the horse of the same name.
4. We get a rare bit of insight into the workings of the enemy when Perrin overhears a conversation between Lanfear and Ba’alzamon. Does it strike anyone that they could be more effective if they worked together a bit more? What do you think of the nature of Ba’alzaman?
If the bad guys were united, the Two Rivers folks would not stand a chance. So, I am glad to see that Lanfear and Ba’alzamon are not the best of buddies and seem to be at cross purposes. So far, through the first 2 books and Book 3 up to this point, Ba’alzamon does not seem to be of high intelligence. He has all this great power and seems to be use to using his single trick – dream messaging – to bully people into doing his bidding. Lanfear, on the other hand, strikes me as a planner and schemer and someone I would lose easily to at chess.
5. For a book named after him, Rand PoVs seem conspicuously rare. This time we see him slay a dozen people unprovoked. Madness setting in, or justified?
He slaughtered folks unprovoked? Am I a bad listener? I don’t recall that. Hmm… rifling through paperback……this may take a moment. OK, I found it. The end of Chapter 36 – Rand kills a woman and her guards. Then he has all 10 corpses kneel to him, but oddly there are 11 and the 11st holds a dagger. So, at first I think this is all real, that he has actually killed those folks. But then the kneeling corpses and the added 11th makes me think that may be a dream sequence. For some reason, Rand felt the woman was the most dangerous – perhaps fearing Black Ajah? I hope we hear more on this bit.
Tofu being Shy Kitty.
6. There seems to be a connection between Egwene’s T’A'R and Perrin’s wolf dream. Do you think he is a dreamer, too? Can Egwene speak to wolves? Does Rand have anything there to do? Speculation is welcome.
We’ve seen Perrin chitchatting with the wolves in dreams for all three (or two?) books so far, so yes, in a this one way at least, Perrin is a dreamer. Now is it all T’A'R, or is it two different dream worlds that occasionally overlap, I don’t know.
No, I don’t think Egwene can talk to wolves. Well, perhaps if there was a great need and Perrin taught her, if that is possible. But right now, no. In the future? Who knows, long series, lots of crazy shit can still happen.
Does Rand have anything to do in T’A'R? Well, for the last two books, Rand had to fight Ba’alzamon in a dream sequence, which was probably T’A'R. So, I am going to guess that he may have to do so again because it seems to be the only way Ba’alzamon has of interacting drastically with mortals.
So, last week we had a question about Mat escaping from Tar Valon anytime soon. Well, here we are, one week later, and Mat did escape. Haha!
I like that Loial is able to travel with the crew and not be completely an anomaly. In fact, several places seem to think he is good luck and have special beds just in case an Ogier happens by!
I do get tired of Moiraine telling all the younglings to not question her. really, Moiraine, how the hell are they to learn anything, comprehend the situation if you treat them like mushrooms all the time? I love Perrin for pushing back.
Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne fall prey to brigands, and are being sold to Myrrdraal. Shudder. Then Nynaeve whips out some balefire to set things right. Hmm….Note to self: Do NOT piss off Nynaeve.
What Others Think:
Musings on Fantasia
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