The Dragon Reborn Part V

JordanDragonReborn BannerWelcome back all! Here we are in week 5 of The Dragon Reborn, where we cover chapters 40-48. I’ll be hosting this week, so please leave your link to your post in the comments so we can visit one another. Spoilers roam free below.

1) In this section, we see Mat putting on a tough demeanor and then shelling out coins to those who need it. Do you think such behavior will perpetuate his good luck, in a karmic sense, or will he be taken advantage of?

Can I say both? I know, I made up the questions this week. But Mat needs all the karmic help he can get because 1) He’s up against some mighty foes and fumbling around in the dark and 2) He keeps trying to slack off his load. Slacker. Yep, I just called Mat a slacker.

And yes, sooner or later, someone may well use Mat and his kind inner core to do either him harm or someone close to him. I applaud him for shucking off Lanfear earlier in the book, but can he recognize a sneaky male foe in the same way? Well, some dude who wants to be buddies as I don’t get the impression that this epic fantasy will be inclusive of the homosexual or bisexual male population (pouty face).

2) Loial is writing a journal of sorts of his adventures. What do you think he is focusing on?

OK, so the little kid part of me that still believes that The Neverending Story is for real, says that we are reading Loial’s journal. Yes, that Loial and all live in some alternate universe and Loial wrote down the adventure and then somehow, through some worm hole or other, Robert Jordan was gifted with it. Then Jordan spent decades translating the work and putting polish to it to bring us The Wheel of Time.

That’s my theory, and I am stikcing to it.

3) At Easing the Badger Inn, Perrin is treated to some bawdy songs, making him blush furiously. Have you ever found yourself in such a situation unexpectedly?

The first time I saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show was the college stage silliness with the movie playing in the background. I had not seen it in highschool and my housemate was playing the blonde lady (Janet?). So, she dragged me along to it on Halloween night. I was also to meet my new-ish, sort of boyfriend there and perhaps go to some party afterwards. Well, I didn’t get a lot of the audience participation because it was all brand new to me and the fishnets were so fishnetty and the androgynous characters made me think of 80s rock bands (I grew up on country music – which I abandoned for alternative as soon as I left the house). Anyway, it was culture shock – in a good way. Yes, I was blushing. And then my date stood me up.

I went back to the house after the show. He called, gave me some lame excuse, I called him on it. 20 minutes later, he showed up drunk, dressed as an angel. We chatted. He fell asleep on the table. I kicked him out. He called late the next day, sober, apologized profusely. 15 years and 6.5 months later, we are still together.Β  The power of fishnets.

So, maybe this blushing episode will mean a future lasting relationship for Perrin. And I wouldn’t mind seeing him in a fishnet shirt.

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

4) Illian has issues. Darkfriends, Darkhounds, Grey Men, and a Forsaken. Do you think all that badass evil is there for Perrin or Moiraine, or is there something else about Illian that brings them?

Ooooo! This is a good question because I still haven’t made up my mind on it. On one hand, we know that Perrin is ta’veren, so the Dark One wants him in a bad way. We know Moiraine has done much to thwart the Dark One, so he probably wouldn’t mind removing her from the picture – but has he designated resources to do that? Hmmm… But on the other hand, Illian seems to be in the throes of some mass depression and paranoia. So, I am guessing some of these baddies have been in residence for at least a few months. But why? That I don’t know yet. Let’s say the Grey Men are after Perrin. Moiraine is simply bonus points if eliminated. And the group of good guys happened to walk into a snake pit that was busy minding it’s own evil business ruining lives and trying to take over the world.

5) Mat makes it to Caemlyn and proceeds to play delivery boy for Elayne’s letter to her mum. As luck would have it, he overhears a plot to take Elayne’s head. Whose danger is greater: Morgase’s or Elayne’s?

Right now, I would say Elayne. Obviously whatever dark forces want Elayne dead have decided that Morgase is currently useful to them (I assume without her knowing). Elayne has plenty of danger on her plate to avoid, but she isn’t expecting this danger. So while she is on high alert, she probably is tightly focused on the Black Ajah she hunts and looking out for Grey Men.

6) Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve make it safely to shore and nestle down with a Wise Woman called Mother Guenna. What do you think of Nynaeve’s caution and Egwene’s snippy behavior?

OK, you know how several people find Nynaeve’s abrupt behavior annoying in the first 2 books? Well, Egwene is turning into that annoying person with all her snippy behavior. On one hand I understand she wants to be treated as an adult, not a child. On the other hand, I think she is seeing conflict where there is no conflict. Perhaps she is being subtly influenced by her dreaming, some dark influence as I believe that TAR place is, and has been for many decades, the stomping ground of grief, consternation, and evil concentrated.

Nynaeve’s caution does her credit and I can see that she has learned the benefits of trying to blend in and stay below the radar. Perhaps she will live a few more books.

Other Tidbits:

Mat has fireworks. Is anyone else concerned? I know Thom is concerned.

Hopper is very concerned that the Grey Men are after Perrin. But Hopper doesn’t really answer Perrin’s questions. I think this is because Hopper was deeply concerned, perhaps shocked, and then focused on keeping Perrin safe, which means kicking him out of Dream Land while warning him to flee.

I found Mat’s whole escapade to get into to see Morgase quite amusing. He made it sound so simple. Then he was denied at the gate. So he climbed Rand’s wall and lurked around corners and in bushes, where he overhears that plotting death conversation. He ‘brilliant’ idea to simply tell Morgase about the plot didn’t work out so well.

What Others Think:

Musings on Fantasia

Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers

13 thoughts on “The Dragon Reborn Part V”

  1. 1. I know he hasn’t established a good track record, but Mat is smarter than he appears. Can I say street smart? I don’t think it will be so easy to take advantage of him. Good on you, Mat.

    2. Interesting theory. Hope he gets to finish it…

    3. I can’t say I have, except when I watch unexpectedly intimate movies with my parents.

    By the way, Easing the Badger was the same inn where Bayle Domon met the darkfriends in HUNT, where he was paid to travel to Mayene (or was it Tear?) to have his throat slit. The name is a bit of a running joke in the community. There’s another reference to it much, MUCH later.

    Oh, nice to hear we guys can fuck up sometimes and still get the girl. πŸ™‚

    4. I remember when I first read this scene. I had the picture of Moiraine just slamming the door open, dripping wet in the rain, maybe with her hood drawn up, announcing that Sammael has taken up seat in Illian, punctuated by lightning and thunder where appropriate. Perhaps my imagery was off from what RJ intended, but to me Moiraine seems just downright scared. If something can phase her, it’s probably a big deal. And the Darkhound chase, too. Those things are not playing around! It seems like balefire is to Aes Sedai much like nuclear weapons is to our own governments. It’s not something she will use lightly.

    Well, so on to your questions. I’m pretty sure that Sammael has no idea who Moiraine and Perrin are. Maybe Moiraine triggered some kind of protective spell or widget, and Sammael decided to have her dispatched of, or scared away, without too much trouble. He will be puzzeled when he learns that his Darkhounds are dead, but by then hopefully our heroes will be long gone and he none the wiser.

    I’m not sure what there is about Illian that made Sammael go for it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be anything. Judging from Mat’s visit in Caemlyn, things are not quite right there either. Could there be a forsaken lurking there? Could they be secretly ruling other nations?

    5. I agree, probably Elayne’s.

    6. I think the two main characters who interact the most with each other over the series is Nynaeve and Elayne. Books could have been filled with them snapping at each other for no good reason. (Come to think of it, there are books filled with exactly this.)

    I like Nynaeve much more now than I used to at first, but she still has some way to go. Egwene… well, I don’t know. It’s true she’s acting a bit off, and she also gets a lot of flak from the fans, but I have a thing for her. Without going into details, her story arc is glorious IMO, and I can’t help but loving her for it.

    Other: Yes, the fireworks. You realize, I assume, that Aludra was the same person who Rand overheard when he was messing about in the Illuminator’s Chapter House in Cairhien in the last book? So it seems she took the blame for that debacle and is now on the run. This meeting will reap benefits down the road, so hers is a name worth keeping in mind.

    As for Hopper, one thing I like about the wolves is that they aren’t just people with four legs and fur. Their mind seems to work in a different way. They’re just so delightfully… alien. Perrin wants help, but he might not get it in the way he thinks.

    1. Glad to hear that Mat will gain further smarts as we go forth in this story.

      I thought I had heard the name Easing the Badger before but couldn’t place it. I am sure there are fan sties dedicated to mapping all this stuff out, but I have so far avoided them because I don’t want to inadvertently spoil something for myself as I did while perusing WoT on reddit. Tsk tsk….I know something about two of our young people that doesn’t happen until Book 6? Anyway, once I finish the series, I can go indulge safely.

      If the Forsaken are secretly ruling the nations, this would make a lot of sense as to why Morgase’s closest adviser is plotting the death of her heir: control by the baddies.

      I can see Egwene’s character growing leaps and bounds in this series and perhaps her current aggressive behavior towards Nynaeve is part of that growth. I hope Nynaeve and Elayne both grow too, but so far they have been rather stagnant – Nynaeve showing a little more caution than she did in Books 1& 2, but that is it.

      Yes! The wolves do not think as men do, and this is definitely showing in Perrin’s interaction with Hopper.

    2. 1. I have to agree with you: Mat is not as gormless as he seems, which is probably a good thing as he does seem pretty hopeless! πŸ˜€

      3. It always makes me wonder what exactly the man is easing the badger into . . .

      4. I get the impression that some of the Forsaken are taking over the various nations and meddling in their politics. I’m not sure how they decided which ones to pursue, but I guess it is based upon their own beliefs about what is important. We know that Lanfear hasn’t chosen that route for gaining power, so they will all have a different approach. Perhaps Illian has some significance that we don’t know yet.

      I love Hopper and the other wolves, and I agree that it is great that they speak in images rather than being just like humans: it adds an alien quality to them that seems appropriate.

  2. Lol. Great answers! Awesome fishnet story! I like the idea of this being Loial’s story. And yes, I’m very concerned about Mat carting around fireworks. If I was traveling with him (’cause there’s a universe where that would totally happen ;D) I think I’d insist on carrying them, especially after he cut one open with Thom sitting there, trusting to luck that it wouldn’t go off. πŸ™‚

    1. Why is it that Mat doesn’t trust any opinion but bis own? He was told years ago not to open fireworks (for his own safety mostly), and Thom told him not to, and the fireworks lady Aludra (the EXPERT) told him to be careful. Alas, Mat is one of those that must discover all the secrets himself. I wonder if he will make it to the end of the series with all his fingers?

    2. I did wonder why Thom didn’t take control of them: they are explosives, after all, and Mat is a little too carefree sometimes! πŸ˜€

  3. 1. Mat is a total slacker, but he does do the right thing if forced to! πŸ˜€

    2. I love The Neverending Story! But Loial’s version would have a lot more plants in it.

    3. I’m sure that Faile would agree about Perrin in a fish net shirt . . . πŸ™‚

    Oh yes: Mat + fireworks = very, very bad! πŸ˜€

  4. Love the Rocky Horror Picture story. Glad you two are still going strong. Must get me some fishnets. Does Pico get along with the kitty he is staring down? That is quite the stare.

    1. Pico was staring at Tofu. Tofu is a childish cat with behavioral issues that we are working on. Tofu has been known to punch or bite Pico while he is drowsing and then he (Tofu) will scream like a ninny like Pico did something to him, when in fact Pico is still waking up wondering what all the fuss is about.

      Cats can be dorks.

      1. Atticus is a lot like Tofu. He pulls stuff like that with Miles and until I figured it out Miles used to get in a lot of trouble. Now we know what is really going on.

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