The Dragon Reborn Read Along Part II

JordanDragonReborn BannerHello everyone! This week, our host if Liesel over at Musings on Fantasia. Make sure you stop by over there to leave your link and catch her savvy comments.

This week’s reading was Chapters 9-20. Spoilers roam free and eat the unwary from this point on.

1) Perrin saw Hopper in his dreams right after Moiraine warned him to be cautious of them. What do you think it means that he saw Hopper? Should he be as paranoid about his dreams as Moiraine leads him to be?

I don’t really think being paranoid is helping Perrin, just like with Rand. Moiraine and Lan keep saying to be cautious of this and that, but without the background knowledge, it is only making these boys paranoid and freaking them into poor choices. Personally, I like to think that the wolf’s spirit goes on, so seeing Hopper protecting him in his dreams by waking him the only way Hopper could is a good thing. Perrin has folks on his side, they just happen to have four legs, fur, and butt sniffing predilection.

2) Some kind of large, deadly dog was hunting Rand. What do you make of it and Rand’s plans to go to Tear?

I’m listening to the audio….and there’s a large dog hunting Rand? Hmmm….Was that a dream sequence? I always find those a bit vague. Well, if it’s a real dog, and it does catch Rand, I am sure I will make note of it. As for Rand’s plans to go to Tear, same kind of answer as I said for #1. Moiraine provides a great big serving of Be Careful, Caution, Guard Yourself, etc, but not enough background info for Rand to make real good, informed decisions. Her reasons for this are not clear to me. Perhaps she is trying to protect him. Perhaps she is trying to maneuver him. Could be both. Could be Moiraine is playing us all and is Black at heart and we will all be crushed emotionally to find out.

3) What do you think of Nynaeve and Egwene being asked to hunt the Black Ajah and the all-access passes the Amyrlin gave them? Do you think the Amyrlin is wise to trust them and Verin?

See, this section got me all paranoid. Basically, we know Min, Nynaeve, and Egwene are NOT Black Ajah. At least, not now. This is a long series. But the Amyrlin….well, we’ve heard a little of her internal monologue, but not enough to know if she herself is on the Good Guy side. Same for Verin. I really want Verin to be on the good side because I love her geeky, scientist nature. But I could see how she could be all about the knowledge gained and not so interested in good Vs. bad. Unfortunately, I can see Nynaeve becoming all about the payback and not so much about the Good Side in the future. In short, this could get very complicated very quickly.

4) Who do you think sent the Gray Man and who was he aiming to kill? (Who stabbed him, for that matter?) Nynaeve seems to suspect Sheriam of something. Do you concur?

Egwene holds great potential. So does Nynaeve. So, a simple rival for power could have wanted either of them dead. Both those ladies know what was brought to the Amyrlin – the Horn of Valere. So, someone could want them dead for their knowledge. If Verin is naughty Black Ajah, she would be logical. Supposedly, she told the Amyrlin everything about their adventures and the Seanchan. But the Amyrlin never verified that info with Egwene and Nynaeve. So, Verin could be playing both sides. If Egwene and Nynaeve know something that Verin doesn’t want the Amyrlin knowing, then they are targets again.

As for Sheriam – nah. Too damn convenient. Nynaeve suspects everyone expect Two Rivers folks. I hope this turns out to bite her in the ass. Even peaceful villages have dark friends.  I could point my little finger at some folks in my little village.

Pico is fixated on another kitty off-camera.
Pico is fixated on another kitty off-camera.

5) Elaida’s visit to the Accepted’s quarters was…interesting. What information do you think she was fishing for? Between the two, who would you more readily believe to be Black Ajah–Elaida or Sheriam?

Elaida obviously wants Rand, and not in a good way. More like in a vivisection way. But is she Black Ajah? Well, Robert Jordan already was obvious about Leandrin being a bitch and then also Black Ajah. But can we say that all the bitchy Aes Sedai are Black Ajah? I hope not – I hope Jordan wasn’t that obvious throughout the series. So, no; Elaida is not Black Ajah. Sheriam could be, but I still think it was convenient of her to walk onto the Gray Man issue. She would be in the perfect place at the perfect time to take the suspicion from someone else.

6) Once again we find Mat plotting to “get away” from all Aes Sedai. Do you think he’ll succeed this time?

Hell no! He’s Ta’veren. He sounded the Horn of Valere. There is no way the Aes Sedai will let him wander free. Heroic efforts would have to be made to free Mat from their clutches – which could happen. We still have like 11.7 books to go. But for right now, no. Mat is not savvy enough, hasn’t fully grasped the stakes, and is still weak from his near-death. Plus, there may be just a touch of evil left in Mat, which will make things complicated – and entertaining for me the reader.

7) Selene came to visit Mat and when he wasn’t as submissive as she wanted, she started doing something to him that gave him a headache. What do you think it was?

Naughty Selene. tsk, tsk. Normally it is the woman’s role to have a headache at an inopportune time, driving the man a little nuts. Perhaps since Mat was driving her a little nuts, she chose the vicious headache as a form of gender payback. I don’t know how she did it. Certain odors can do so, visual stimuli (like pulsing beams and such). But most likely, since this series is all about the mental powers, she used her enormous will to try to wake to dormant, weakened evil within him.

I know. It’s a piddly little theory.

Other Tidbits:

When Perrin went to Moiraine about his dreams, how he wants it all to stop, and she made that morose joke about being Blue, not Green, Ajah, so she could only have one Warder, I thought Perrin’s blush would last 3 chapters. hehe.

I am a bit frustrated for Egwene and Nynaeve – having nearly everyone at the Tower believe they ran off….when they actually put on their Super Hero costumes and saved the world, with no little cost to themselves.

Gawyn and Galad. Interesting pair. One a goody two-shoes to the point of being slightly evil, and the other too much of a good guy to act. It will be interesting to see what happens with them.

The Amyrlin actually considered NOT healing Mat just so the Aes Sedai could control the Horn. I wonder if Robert Jordan left room in this world for a woman to sound the Horn?

5 thoughts on “The Dragon Reborn Read Along Part II”

  1. Ah, hm, I don’t think I got the questions per e-mail this week. Maybe I accidentally deleted them, but I don’t think so.

    1. I agree, Moiraine doesn’t seem to know exactly what she’s after. Sometimes I get the idea that she’s collected three ta’veren, a shopping list of prophecies, and wants to travel the land ticking them off, one by one, under carefully controlled conditions. Of course, it’s not going to be that easy for her.

    2. This black dog was actually a Darkhound, the newest installment on the list of shadowspawn (together with the Gray Man). More info on those is comping up soon.

    3. When I first read this I thought it was a huge stretch. The Amyrlin Seat, perhaps the most powerful woman in the world, turning to three lowly accepted/novices, just because she doesn’t know who to trust? But actually, in hindsight (knowing what I know… not actually spoilers, just background info), this is just a measure of how precarious the situation in the Tower is. Siuan is clearly extremely worried about the Black Ajah and the political opposition.

    4. Prepare to not have this one revealed for a loooong time.

    5. I think Elaida is not only after Rand, but also after information that could help her bring Siuan to heel. I believe Elaida suspects that Siuan is pursuing her own agenda, and she’s none too pleased. (Indeed, the list of things pleasing to Elaida seems very short.) Fear not, there are severable insufferable assholes who are not Darkfriends. 🙂

    6. Yesss! It’s a real Mat chapter! Mat is by far and away the most loved character of the whole series, and having read just the first two books, you wouldn’t know it. He’s a pretty sad figure under the spell of the dagger. I can’t wait for him to become himself (starting next week – the Mat show).

    7. When I first read this part I figured it must be Mat’s destiny to forever be duped into serving the enemy. I’m happy to have been mistaken.

    1. Hi Elvind! Sorry you didn’t get the questions! I sent them to everyone that Sue sent an earlier email about the read-along too (just copied and pasted) but maybe your email wasn’t in there. If you want to send a message to my email (lkhillbooks@gmail.com) I’ll make sure to add you for the next time I host, which won’t be for many weeks. 😀

      I love your comment about plenty of insufferable assholes who aren’t darkfriends. Made me smile. Like you, I’ve read the series before. It’s very interesting to go back through and see the early set-ups Jordan put into place. 😀

    2. I love the idea of Moiraine riding around with a shopping list of Things Needed to Bring About the Last Battle and things not going according to plan. She means well (I hope) and is frustrated.

      hehe! Yes, the list of things that please Elaida is short indeed. I doubt icecream, men, or kittens are on that list. and I too like your comment about insufferable assholes who are not Darkfriends. We have them all, don’t we?

      I have to wait a long time to find out the truth of the Gray Man? I can be patient. I have to say, I am enjoying this book more than the first two and I think I will thoroughly enjoy the entire series.

  2. Great answers! The dog thing happened at the tail end of chapter 9 and Elvind is right–it was a Darkhound. I agree with you that paranoia isn’t helping Perrin solve his problems at all, and it will be interesting to see how the story of the horn progresses. 😀

    1. Yes, how about that horn? I mean, if it is separated from Mat, it doesn’t do Jack, right? So, of course the two have to stay together, and that most likely means Aes Sedai will be involved.

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