Once again the WoT Quad continues it’s ramble through The Wheel of Time. Make sure to catch Eivind’s comments below and to pop on over to Musings on Fantasia and Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers for deeper thoughts than mine.
We covered Chapters 31-38 this week. Spoilers reside below!
1) Morgase is summoned to the Lord Captain Commander hours before attempting to flee. What did you think of her summoner, the ‘short way’ past the scaffold, and her signing the treaty?
The Questioners in general seem to be an excessively creepy bunch, though some of the White Cloaks view them as weak (for choosing a noncombatant job). Though I guess the job position of Torturer is only noncombatant because the tortured are restrained while the Questioner does his work. Seems unsporting, really.
The short way definitely made a statement and, at least for now, got Lord Captain Commander what he thinks he wants – access to Andor. While it tugged on the heart strings to see all those folks being hanged, Morgase’s accomplices among them, I am glad that she kept some kind of demeanor. I am sure this will assist her later as the White Cloaks try to figure out how to strike at her; if she did not break into tears over this, how can they be sure who or what to target in the future?
As for signing the treaty…..oh, boy! This majorly complicates things. Morgase may no longer be needed by the White Cloaks and we already know several want her hanged. Some of her folks and supporters in Andor no longer have warm fuzzies towards her because of how she behaved when Rahvin had his hand in things, and this will isolate them further. It may also alienate her children. And of course, it puts Andor in between the White Cloaks and Rand, who wants to hand it over in one piece to Elayne.
2) Egwene attempted to board a Seafolk vessel, and got a dunking for her efforts. What did you make of the Seafolks taunt, ‘Tell the other, disguises do not fool us. You do not frighten us. You are all refused the gift of passage.’? Did you like Egwene’s reaction?
Well, I am not sure what this is going on about. So either I missed another person trying to steal onto a Seafolk vessel (bad reader!) or some such idiot has made this attempt and summarily was flung off. As to who and why they would disguise themselves as a short, brown eyed Aiel…. But the Sea folk probably didn’t pay that much attention and thought her Aiel. Perhaps nosy Aes Sedai… who is more nosy that Aes Sedai? Meddlesome Forsaken. Whether it was Aes Sedai or Forsaken trying to board the ship, I think the Sea Folk are right to toss them off.
While I chuckled at Egwene’s reaction, she probably didn’t do anything to improve diplomatic matters, and I am glad she showed some restraint.
3) ‘Only you know the worth of your honor.’ Egwene finally confessed to the Wise Ones and met her toh. Do you feel the method of meeting toh was satisfactory? Do you think it was too harsh, or too light?
While beatings of one sort or another are usually over in a decent amount of time, I usually prefer some punishment that causes physical pain and exhaustion and accomplishes some boring yet essential task – like mucking out stalls. Knowing the creative nature of the Aiel when it comes to punishments, I was a little surprised they did not pick something along those lines. However, Egwene was ordered by the Aes Sedai to make haste, so perhaps the Aiel were being considerate of this command.
Since Egwene did not have the Aes Sedai heal her upon arrival at Salidar, I say the punishment meets toh. If she had allowed a healing, or if one was done before she could avoid it, then toh would not have been met.
4) Egwene did a tricky and apparently dangerous thing traveling through Tel’aran’rhiod. Was Egwene reckless? Showing off? Just eager to have it over with? Do you think there will be any ill affects from that trip?
I think all three – Reckless in that she wanted it over with. And yes, for her, it was showing off a bit. More than a bit, actually. I think if she knew what she was being summoned for, she would have gone the slowest route, kept losing her way, and perhaps ended up in Salidar after the Last Battle.
As for ill effects, I don’t think she will have them from this trip. She is quick to point out to Rand how dangerous it is to enter T’A’R in the flesh, but it is also convenient for certain things. I expect we will see it again, and sooner or later, one of our fine idiots…er…heroes will have some horrendous headache, a bloody nose, split personality, or see a ghost of themselves in mirrors for the rest of their lives.
5) Egwene is made Amyrlin, and one of her first questions is what would have happened if not everyone had consented. Exile is the answer. Care to speculate on when was the last time some Amyrlin candidate was exiled and what were the consequences?
Since I don’t have a clear grasp on how long Aes Sedai live and I am not sure how long Siuan was Amyrlin, I would still like to speculate that the last time folks were exiled over the choice of Amyrlin was before Siuan. Probably 1 of 3 things happened with the exiled: 1) They were killed or stilled shortly after leaving the Tower; 2) They quietly left and set up shop somewhere else, creating some new ‘mythology’ for Aes Sedai-like powers among a completely different culture; or 3) They stayed quiet for a good long while until they could return in force, retake the Tower and the Seat and rewrote history to wipe out records of them ever being exiled.
In fact, I would be surprised if all three of those hadn’t happened throughout the long history of the Aes Sedai.
If it were to have happened here, it would have been messy. The Aes Sedai are already divided in half (Tower and Salidar) plus the Black Ajah. To split the Salidar Aes Sedai would have severely weakened them when they don’t need to be weak.
6) Nynaeve and Elayne are raised to the shawl and reunited with Egwene, and promptly spill their guts about nearly everything – such as the ter-angreal bowl and Moghedien. Do you foresee tension between the ladies as each knows what’s best?
Oh yes! Nynaeve and Egwene had already been having top-dog issues prior to their just past separation. Now that Egwene has this political and Aes Sedai power, plus the respect and love of the Wise Ones, I can see her getting an inflated ego. Who wouldn’t, honestly? But that is going to put a strain on her friendship with no only Nynaeve, but also Elayne. Sooner or later Elayne will be a nation’s ruler, perhaps a ruler of two nations. All three women will have their own ideas on what is best and how best to do it.
Though I don’t expect them to throw balefire at each other or other such silly bitch fight moves.
7) Not all is roses & tea in Salidar. We have two Sitter Factions – Lelaine and Romanda, with Delana playing both for one goal – sever or kill Logain. What complications do you see coming out of this little knotted mess?
This shall be mighty entertaining! I can’t wait for her to come up with a plan and to try to enact it. Because once that happens, Logain will be out of there. And I am expecting that either he will help Nynaeve and Elayne leave, or they will help him leave. Either way, that will be the merriest bunch to head off on some fanciful quest for a windy bowl.
Then of course, Delana will have to be discovered, or come close to being discovered, and things will go badly for her. I expect Aran’gar will kill her or have her killed before she can be captured or fully questioned.
8) Ah, Mat, ever the source of amusement! Mat leads the Band to Salidar, where he meets with the Amyrlin. Were you amused? Also, on the ride to Salidar, Aviendha accompanies him, along with Olver. Do you think Olver will ever come to accept the Aiel?
Mat out did himself this time. I loved that he de-stoled Egwene and read her the riot act for pretending to be the Amyrlin. While he made several good points about the ladies being idiots, etc. (which had been true in the past and I am sure will sooner or later be true again), he did put his foot, ankle, and good chunk of hit shin in his mouth over the Amyrlin thing. Haha!
And Mat doesn’t really look good draped in a stole anyway.
Wow, poor Olver. I kind of hope Aviendha adopts him and shows him the differences in Aiel, like there are differences in all nationalities, before he gets too old to see the differences.
Ah, it’s so nice to see someone taking the time to play a board game with poor Mat while he recuperates from his latest wounds.
Ha! Elayne sure did get huffy about Rand’s plans to ‘give’ her the thrones. Has she raised an army and walked in and secured them? Has she used trickery or diplomacy to secure either of them? No. She’s relying on time, the Aes Sedai, and her sacred royal blood. *rolls eyes*
So even Mat can see Aviendha has a thing for Rand….and Mat assumes Aviendha wants to stick a knife in Elayne. No, what Aviendha wants (perhaps ‘needs’ is a better word) to do is far, far more difficult…for both ladies.