Welcome everyone! This is the first week of the dissection of Robert Jordan’s Book 8 of The Wheel of Time Series. Anyone is welcome to join us, so check out the schedule over HERE.
This week, Liesel from Musings on Fantasia is our host, so make sure to swing by her place. Sue from Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers will also be joining us. And you can catch our walking WoT encyclopedia, Eivind, in the comments at Liesel’s.
This week we covered the Prologue – Chapter 4. Spoilers run free and in their birthday suits below!
1) The major players of the Borderlands all have a pow-wow at the start of the prologue. Other than the obvious, stated goal of finding Rand, what do you think they’re up to?
Rule the world, have some tea and cake, and set the fashion sense for the next 100 years? I think that sums it up. But you wouldn’t ask this question if there was something else they were up to. Hmm….Well, many of them have a pretty strong sense that they are the most important person in the world. So it has to be something that would pull them all together. I would say the Dark One has ordered them all to play together, but they can’t all be Bad Guys.
So, I really don’t know. Personally, I think their goal of finding and subduing Rand is quite enough on their To-Do list.
2) What do you make of Verin’s covert work? What is her endgame?
Well, Verin is looking for some piece of info and this is above and beyond her normal, simply curiosity to know everything. Perhaps she wants to know exactly how to push a Dragon Reborn to that snapping point where he can break an Aes Sedai hold, shatter a well made trunk, and still 3 Aes Sedai all in one go.
As to her endgame….well, those of us who haven’t read the entire series have been wondering about Verin for a long time. Should Rand & crew trust her? Is she Black Ajah, or just absorbed in the search for info? Mostly, I think Verin is out for herself. She isn’t out for power, though knowledge can bring a side dish of power with it. No, she wants info, and lots of it. Her endgame is still unclear to me, but I would definitely be worried if she ever became part of Rand’s camp. Verin is one who would be willing to sacrifice a sample of some precious artifact in order to see the computer read out of results.
3) We get yet another jaunt in Moridin’s twisted head. What do you make of him at this point? Does he have things as well in hand as he seems to believe?
Haha! The bad guys are all psychos thinking they have it all together and that total power is nearly in their grasp. Really? Moridin is minus card in his playing deck and I think I hear more cards being shuffled out as we speak. On one hand he acknowledges that he has seen the impossible again and again from the current lot of channelers. Yet he still refuses to think of them anything beyond wild or savage or lucky. Then he goes a little psycho over the Bowl of the Winds and kills the messenger, squeezing out his blood, etc.
On the other hand, sounds like he was around a long time ago. Has he been active all this time or in a stasis box? Is he newly rebirthed? Either way, he has all this older, ancient knowledge to call upon and that probably makes him more dangerous coupled with his wavering hold on sanity.
4) Aviendha picked a weave apart. Do you think we’ll see this in the story again? In what capacity? Do you think Moridin will find them before they use the Bowl? How about the gholam?
I can see someone being stuck in a really bad situation and choosing to sacrifice themselves for some greater good. And of course this could entail picking apart a weave until it snaps and destroys everything within 100 paces or more.
Well, the story likes to have climatic reckonings, so I think the gholam or Moirin will find them as they are attempting to use the Bowl and this will cause all sorts of havoc. Of course, this will be a highlight of the story and I will quite enjoy reading it!
5) Elayne discovers many objects of the One Power from the stash brought out of the Rahad. Any guesses as to what might be their intended uses?
There was a set of jewelry that seemed to be made to be used all together. I would guess that each piece amplifies the abilities of each other. Then there was that dull knife that Aviendha had trouble leaving be. I wonder what captivated her about that? Then a carved lady in a sitting position (am I remembering that right)? I really don’t know what each of these is used for. Since Aes Sedai can wear jewelry to a ball, a political meeting, or a battle, the jewelry could be nearly anything. The knife is dull, so maybe it isn’t made to cut anything in the corporeal world? Maybe it cuts weaves? As for the carved lady, she seemed serene; I don’t have any guess for her.
I can guess that each of our Lady Heroes may very well end up with one of these unique angreals and we will get to see what they do.
6) We finally learn the details of Nynaeve and Elayne’s bargain with the Seafolk–Aes Sedai required to teach Windfinders and even live among them for a period of time, among other things. Will this bargain work out? Will our girls be in big trouble for making it? Do you see all these different groups and cultures of women ever being able to get along?
The Windfinders are given a groups of Aes Sedai to live among them and teach them anything they wish to know. Also the Windfinders will be allowed to enter the White Tower as guests, be taught anything they wish to know, and can leave at any time. But I thought there were hints that there was one final thing to the bargain, something that really rankled the Aes Sedai and had Elayne worried. Do I have that right? Maybe the last part of the bargain is that the Sea Folk get the Bowl of Winds, since they claim it is theirs by right. Whatever. Still, I can see why that last one would upset the Aes Sedai who think anything saidar related should be stuck in the White Tower (item or person).
I get the impression that the Windfinders were getting a bit highhanded, but we didn’t really see them being jerks or mouthing off until Aviendha was turned loose on them. So, I am not too sure what Elayne and the Aes Sedai were getting all snippy about. Maybe the Sea Folk are just annoying when away from their ships. I know Elayne was trying to think of ways to twist out of their bargain, or parts of it. So, I expect people on both sides to balk at some of the bargain sooner or later.
Elayne and Nynaeve are always in trouble, so I don’t think they will be in any notable trouble over this. The gains are too great, right? They are going to save Randland from drought and therefore, from famine.
No. Randland is not made up of people who can get along permanently. Will Rand & crew unite the bulk of them long enough to save the world (and perhaps the known universe)? Yes. But then things will go back to grumbling and positioning and trade and making fun of others’ clothing.
7) Sounds like they’re about to use the Bowl of Winds. Predictions as to what will happen when they do?
Well, the naughty imp inside is hoping that either Moiridin and/or the gholam shows up to the party and wreaks havoc because it would be cool to see all those channelers in action. Maybe with the power of the Bowl of Winds they could actually rip one of the bad guys limb from limb? Yeah, I know, I am demented.
As for actually successfully using the Bowl, well, nice healthy weather doesn’t happen all at once. So I expect them to mess up and try to summon rain right away and therefore, we’ll have flooding. They will learn their lesson, and redo their efforts to call forth a more gentle change in the weather so that life can continue without mud and flash floods every where.
Verin is a sneaky one and not really minding doing some damage down the road for a tiny smidgeon of info now!
And the gholam feasted upon the wring dry corpse that Moiridin left it. We saw it’s thoughts briefly, about how it was made to be controlled, that it was still controlled, but that it thought about life without being controlled. Hmm….I think I am concerned. A gholam with personal goals of freedom is not a good thing.
Also, I want to note that Moiridin suspected there may be some angreals for men in the pile. And we know that part of that pile was discarded….and that only a male channeler would be able to tell the male angreal from the rubbish. So I am really curious if Elayne & crew threw out some priceless male angreal and if they will be kicking themselves later?
Elayne & Aviendha hand over Ipsan to Vandene and Adilis (spelling on those last two names?). Was that the right thing to do? 1) I think Elayne should have taken some part, even if just as witness. 2) Can Vandene and Adilis be trusted to give a full account of whatever they learn?
Aviendha was casually discussion rand’s kissing techniques with Elayne. Hmm….I am surprised Elayne took that so well considering her upbringing and also her deep want to be in Rand’s bed.