Lord of Chaos Read Along Part II

JordanLordOfChaosBannerWelcome everyone! This week our awesome commenter Eivind is our host (see his answers to the questions below in the comments section). We covered Chapters 3-6. Spoilers roam free and underfed below!

1. Rand seems to have taken Lan’s advice and is avoiding Aviendha at all costs. How will this turn out for them? Who do you think he had in mind when he asked Mat about being in love?

Rand seems to think that Aviendha is avoiding him, wants nothing to do with him, but he is spending a lot of time thinking about her. I loved the Wise Ones’ advice on how to attract her eye – such as offering to brush her hair with eyes demurely down cast, or dancing a little jig in his small clothes (or nothing) before tucking in for the night! Since he only had 1 passing thought about Elayne (and that was in reference to Aviendha keeping an eye on him for Elayne), I will say that he was asking Mat about love in regards to Aviendha.

2. A bunch of men waiting to go mad, what could possibly go wrong?! What lies in the future for these fellows? Is Rand right in trusting Taim with this?

Haha! I expect that this little Mad Men’s Farm will be a source of angst and entertainment for a book or 3. But I also have to keep in mind that the male Forsaken stay sane; they say it is the Dark One who keeps them sane, but I am guessing it could just be a closely guarded secret that another man could learn. So, if Rand has had the same idea, perhaps he is hoping that a group of male aes sedai together could mess around and stumble upon it. Look at Taim, he’s got like 10-15 years on Rand. How has he stayed sane all that time?

Rand has to trust Taim with something, for several reasons. He has to see if Taim will follow his leadership – and testing him by giving him a task he thinks demeaning is a great way to do that. On the other hand, he just handed Taim a potential army the likes the world has not see in many thousands of years, right? Hmm…. could get messy, and very entertaining for the readers.

3. Rand’s forces just won’t cooperate. Do you expect more rebellions? Is Rand making the right choice in leaving this one to fester?

Yes, there will be more rebellions, and I don’t think all will be rebellion against Rand. The world needs to be united to fight off the DO and his minions in the final battle, right? And the world is a big place, with several lands not even explored by our main characters yet. Also, not everyone seems to think Rand is the Dragon Reborn, so of course there is going to be more rebellions. Until he does something even bigger than fighting Ba’alzamon in the sky with a sword made of fire with the Great Hunt riding at his side, not everyone is going to unite behind him.

Rand has to pick and choose his battles right now. In leaving the little lordlings to rebel, and focusing on a Forsaken, I think he is right. After all, he doesn’t need an army to deal with those lords and ladies who are being idiot children. He does need an army to take out the Forsaken, even one at a time. He can always step through his little Saidin-powered doorway to whisk an errant lord away in the middle of the night – or slit their throats as needed.

4. It seems like the theme of chapter 4 is humor. Who did you find funniest? What’s your best joke?

I laughed the most when the Aiel didn’t get Rand’s joke and kept asking about the pond. And then the rooster. Ha! I think Robert Jordan was the funniest in this chapter, cleverly showing the differences between the cultures through the jokes. I have heard variations of Rand’s farmer joke before and I can totally see some of my neighbors telling a version of it at the next big shindig.

My best jokes would be considered crude by most and involve a lot of impudent and rude hand gestures. 🙂

JordanLordOfChaos5. Did Mat just… become an adoptive father? Mat doesn’t strike me as the fatherly type. How do you think this will work for him (and his officers, and of course Olver)?

I can totally see Olver becoming glued to Mat, or at least his horse. Mat’s father is a horsetrader, among other things, and Mat himself considers he knows a fair amount about horses. And horses like Olver, so there is that connection. Yes, I can definitely see Mat taking on more than he thought he was when he gave that child-beater a pounding with his fancy spear (naginata?). Pretty soon, Olver will become a little mascot of Mat’s men and he’ll have his own pony and little uniform and will start basic training. He’ll grow up a bit over the next several books and will die a tragic but meaningful death in service to Mat – possibly even saving Mat or Rand’s life. I’m a bit sniffly over it already.

6. It’s time to discuss forsaken intrigue yet again. Could you decipher anything from that chat between Graendal and Sammael? Does anyone else feel like Sammael has made a big mistake somewhere?

With Graendal & Sammael, they each think they have out maneuvered each other. I think that is amusing. It is probably also a big mistake for each of them, though I bet Sammael pays for his mistakes before Graendal. Graendal also thought it important enough to use authentic Chazon (spelling?) and Chabon (spelling?) in her scheme, though it was unlikely that Sammael would tell the difference. I also have to think that her well-placed whispers to herself, that Sammael could only hear because he was embracing Saidin, were on purpose.

And yes, Sammael seems to be making a big mistake. The other Forsaken are using him, pointing him right at Rand. Sammael doesn’t believe Rand is Lews reincarnated, so he’s underestimating him from the start. Next, even if Sammael doesn’t take Rand out, just his attempt, which is apparently against the DO’s current wishes, will probably land him in hot water with the DO.

7. Just how scary is Semirhage now, and what could Shaidar Haran possibly want with this poor Aes Sedai (who, I believe, we have never seen before)?

Wow! Semirhage takes the prize for being the most insanely self-righteous. She can heal some of the most desperate and hopeless cases, but she also believes this gives her the right to enjoy her little pleasures – which apparently entails torture of various kinds. *shudder*.

Shaidar Haran is looking for someone or something and needs an Aes Sedai to tell him where that person or things is. Perhaps it is Fain’s dagger, or Fain, or the Great Horn, or the location of one of the Ta’veren or Elayne & Nynaeve.

Other Tidbits:

I think Mat is a serial monogamist. He keeps picking one woman to place his serious affections on. Plenty of fun dancing this section!

Do aes sedai reproduce? If yes, does that mean the Forsaken can reproduce?

Through Rand’s POV, we learn that he thinks Asmodean ran off. So whoever killed him also got rid of his body – through some basic means like removing it and dumping it in the pig pen, or through some magical means that would disintegrate his remains – like through Balefire. Hmmm….

It seems that the DO had a little private meeting with each of the Forsaken, promising them glory, etc. Yet they, the Forsaken, are left to think that each of them was singled out and offered this ‘exclusive’ gift. The DO probably thinks he is being clever, but I think he just managed to keep the Forsaken backstabbing each other for several more books, instead of uniting against Rand. Haha!

10 thoughts on “Lord of Chaos Read Along Part II”

  1. 1. Closing a gateway in her face? Ouch. Kinda surprised she wasn’t livid when he got back, to be honest. Although if I know her well I guess she spent most of the day being livid.

    Considering Aviendha is the only one of the three around him, he probably had her on his mind of course.

    2. Ah, this project has such a great scope for disaster and success. I can think of so many things that could go wrong… madness, Taim turning them into his own army instead of Rand’s… and this will be a very tense diplomatic issue with Elaida as well. And on the flip side, this could reinstate the male side of the Aes Sedai, at least if the taint could be removed somehow.

    And Taim… well, we talked about him last week. 😛

    3. I imagine that future potential rebels will look at his handling of this case and decide, so it’s his chance now to stifle dissidents for ever. Then again, you are right. On the other side is Sammael, and he’s primed and ready for war. Standing down doesn’t seem to be an option.

    Even for Rand, assassination via gateway seems very unlike him… so far, anyway.

    4. I love these little thematic chapters. Especially the ending:

    «Sammael had no sense of humor at all, but that great hammer of an army waiting in Tear was the biggest joke the world had ever seen. With any luck, Sammael would be dead before he knew he should laugh.»

    Seeing the Aiel trying to work out the point of Rand’s joke was hilarious. For some reason this is one of the scenes that sticks with me the best. I don’t know why, really.


    5. Heyo Olver! Nice to have you on board. Like Liesel, I too had forgotten how he was introduced, but knowing what I now know, it sure seems fitting to have him introduced while trying to grab a horse. Still though, how can you not like Olver? Tragic backstory, adult attitude and everything.

    People have theorized that he’s Gaidal Cain reborn (Birgitte’s lover), since last thing we knew he had vanished from TAR. And also, he’s ugly. But it doesn’t fit the timeline, and what’s more, Robert Jordan has explicitly said that he isn’t.

    6. Ah geez, this chat was clear as mud. Trying to out-subtlify Graendel must feel like running away from a Cheetah. Kidnapping the rulers of Shara just for the sake of throwing Sammael off? That’s some dedication.

    And yeah, reading this again, I feel like I can smell Sammael’s fall coming a mile off. He’s antagonised his fellow forsaken to the point that he relies on Graendal, of all people, to communicate to him what’s up. The DO has evidently put some restrictions on the killing of Rand, but Graendal is clearly filtering what she tells him for personal gain. In the meantime, Rand is preparing to metaphorically nuke him from orbit, and this time he has no allies left. He may be a military mastermind, but this seems like a tall order.

    7. I think I know what is up here. Semirhage is gathering intelligence which will be used by either Aran’gar or Osan’gar, but Shaidar Haran intends to keep their existence a secret for as long as he can, even from the other forsaken. So Semirhage was just called away from «her charge» (oh hey, who could that be?) to do some torturin’ that she doesn’t know what’s for.

    And yeah, Semirhage is plainly insane. And she also has the coolest name of them all IMO.

    1. Yes, definitely potential for all sorts of political issues – that group of male aes sedai that are being trained by Taim. I hadn’t really thought of the political ramifications. Could either make negotiations easier for Rand or way more difficult, depending on who he is talking to.

      That like is a 15 page long joke! I read the first page and wanted to chat with the idiot about Desert Survival 101.

      Interesting about Gaidal Cain and Olver – the thought had not occurred to me. But, as you say, Robert Jordan specifically addressed this and said it was not so. Still, I should keep my eye out for a potential Gaidal Cain as we continue dissecting this series. I do want Brigitte to be happy, eventually.

      I am not sure who Semirhage’s charge is. In thinking of all the folks who are in charge of others – presumably younger or mentally challenged in some way, I immediately jump to Linni trying to watch out for Morgase. But I just can’t see Linni as Semirhage. I can see Morgase needing a minder to keep her from doing really horrendously stupid things.

    2. Yeah, gotta love Olver, gotta hate Semirhage. Never thought much about her name, but it is pretty cool. 😀 I only vaguely remember what Semirhage is up to, but I’m sure I’ll remember more as we go along. 😀 Liked your longest joke in the world, btw. 😀

    3. 1. Yep, Aviendha does seem to have serious anger management issues.

      3. I see what you’re saying, but I think a few groups of Aiel could probably deal with the rebels in no time at all. It would also send a bad message if he could be distracted from major actions by smaller guerrilla groups. So no matter which way he choses to act it could encourage some undesirable behavior in his enemies.

      5. I got the impression that Gaidal had only just reentered the world, so Olver is a few years too old, surely? It would be hilarious if Birgitte was drawn to this ugly little snot though! 😀

      6. It is interesting that the Dark One has not had a little chat with Sammael directly . . . perhaps that suggests that he is a lost cause.

      7. Perhaps he is hoping to use Aran’gar to infiltrate the Aes Sedai in Salidar? She would be less of a threat as a woman and could pose as a simple refuge, or perhaps one of the eyes and ears network who has had to leave her home. The information from the Sister being tortured could be used to provide her with a convincing back story.

  2. Late the party over here! Yes, the Wise Ones advice to Rand was hysterical. I laughed a lot in this section. I love the term serial monogamist. Yup, Mat’s one of a kind. And I think you have a point about the Forsaken. The more they bicker among themselves, the stronger Rand becomes. It’s the reason good always wins over evil, because evil is selfish and doesn’t know the meaning of team work. 😀

    1. Haha! I’ve seen my cats work as a team to take out a mouse or bully another cat – that’s evil, right? Or perhaps nature….

      I wouldn’t mind more scenes of the Wise Ones mothering Rand – especially when some of them are barely older than him. Very entertaining.

  3. 1. I loved the advice about offering to brush Aviendha’s hair – I just have an image of her asking where he would like her to shove it if he approaches her with a hairbrush. I am quite sure that she is as deadly with it as with a bow, spear or dagger! 😀

    2. I would love to know how Taim is still sane. I guess that not having Lews Therin yodeling inside his head has helped quite a lot. I have a feeling that the Dark One can grant the Forsaken a sort of protection from the taint since it is his creation. I sincerely hope that this is not the reason why Taim is not climbing the walls.

    3. I like your rather sarcastic comment about Falme – it would seem like a pretty big hint that he is actually the Dragon Reborn. However, people are most likely to believe what they want to (i.e. Dark One is still safely sealed up) and I am pretty sure that the reports are totally garbled by the time they travel 20 miles.

    5. Wow! And my husband says I’m a pessimist! 😀

    6. As with so many of the Forsaken, Sammael is so bound up with his own personal feelings about Lews Therin that he is blinded by it. He refuses to believe that Rand is Lews reborn because he simply does not want to accept that his greatest enemy is back to give him another arse-kicking. Someone should introduce him to Elaida – they would get along famously!

    7. Yep Semirhage is currently taking the gold medal for being an evil, psychotic bitch. I hope she dies soon and in great pain. Argghhh!

    I presume that Aes Sedai are capable of reproduction, but mostly choose not to. We know that they can marry, and presumably enjoy sexytimes, but can you imagine one of them breast feeding an infant or changing unmentionables? Even being pregnant would probably be too much bother for them . . . as for the Forsaken, they are even more narcissistic and less likely to divide their attention.

    Yeah, it seems that Asmodean probably got a good dose of balefire – though that doesn’t really narrow the list of possible murderers.

    It seems that the Dark one wants his special nibblet (or whatever the term was) for some reason, so he wants them all competing against one another to prove who is the most worthy / obedient / etc. It does seem like a bad tactical move though.

    1. Haha! such an image – Lews yodeling inside Rand’s head during his morning shower.

      Yeah, I have trouble picturing the Aes Sedai or the Forsaken actually reproducing and giving any significant care to the offspring. But if they had servants, then the pregnancy might be tolerable. I assume male Forsaken don’t mind donating sperm on a regular basis, especially if they are not expected to hang around for any resultant offspring.

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