Winter's Heart Read Along Part VI

WintersHeartBannerWelcome everyone to the continuation of The Wheel of Time saga. Here we are with Book 9, Winter’s Heart. As always, anyone is welcome to join us, so check out the schedule if you would like to do so.

I am the host this week. Eivind, our commenter with an encyclopedic knowledge of WoT, can be found in the comments. Don’t forget to swing by Sue’s at Coffee, Cookies, and Chili Peppers for in-depth analysis. Also, swing by Liesel’s at Musings on Fantasia with the non-spoilery fan art.

This week we covered Chapters 24-29. Spoilers are having a party below!

1) Cadsuane has come home. What do you think it was like for her growing up in Far Madding and finding out she can channel? What did you think of the Counsel’s reception of her?

I wonder if Cadsuane’s ability to channel made her something of a pariah to her home town? I can only imagine it would be awkward at the least and possibly have her tossed out at worse. Perhaps that would explain some of the reception she received? Granted, all but her most extended family is probably dead and gone, but the rulers of the city would definitely have her name in a little black book with a little black mark beside it.

2) Alanna and Rand have a little heart to heart. Has your opinion of her changed? What do you think of Rand’s reaction to her and the orders he issues to her?

Yes, my opinion has changed. When she initially bonded Rand she was suffering from the loss of her Warders, and was a bit insane. It wasn’t cool of her but perhaps forgivable. Alas, we see that while her grief has come under control she still feels quite entitled to Rand, in every sense. She doesn’t apologize for her actions nor does she release him. So now I think even less of her.

Alanna needs to get used to being ordered around. He is the Dragon Reborn and she is not his chosen boon companion. And I think it is interesting that rand trusts her with this task. I think he is placing a lot of trust in Min’s viewings and her interpretations of those images.

3) Egwene and Elayne meet in Tel’aran’rhiod in Emond’s Field. What do you think of Egwene’s concerns of going home, whenever she does get around to that? Do you think Elayne’s concerns about the possible threat to Andor from Emond’s Field is well founded?

Well, I think it is a viable concern. She hasn’t been out of the Two Rivers very long and even though she has gained this title (sort of), she doesn’t have the years of experience of past Amyrlins. She will need to think of a healthy way to demonstrate her authority, if there is ever a need, to Emond’s Field. After all, Andor has ‘ruled’ Emond’s Field, etc. for how many centuries and Egwene and crew barely knew that when they left Two Rivers.

And Elayne’s passing concern that Andor may be threatened by the Menetherin flag and Perrin’s flag is also a viable concern. After all, what did Morgase and the Andoran crown do for Two Rivers and Emond’s Field all these years? They didn’t garrison the area nor patrol the highways. They didn’t think the area worth the effort of keeping a presence in. So, yeah, I would totally follow Perrin’s flag over Elayne’s.

4) Elayne decides to rush off to meet the Borderlanders. Mellar stays behind to ‘see to his duties’. What do you think he is really up to? Do you think Elayne’s suggestion to the Borderlanders to go south is wise or merely selfish?

I think Mellar was up to no good. In fact, he might have spread the word to whoever orchestrated those marching on Caemlyn.

I think Elayne’s suggestion for the Borderlanders to go south is a mix of both wisdom and selfishness. If she can make it look like Andor is threatened by outsiders and then decisively put an end to that threat (without blood shed) she will look like an awesome ruler indeed. However, now that it looks like Caemlyn is under threat, the Borderlanders might turn into the heroes.

5) Noal and Mat have an interesting conversation, mostly abut the gholam. Is Mat under utilizing Noal? Has the gholam met his match in an old man?

Yep, Mat is being an idiot in this regard. I think his mind is too full of bedding ladies. Obviously Noal has some knowledge and some real-time experience dealing with gholam(s). I am starting to think that it may very well be Noal who ends this gholam and not Mat.

6) Beslan seems married to the idea of rebellion. Who else will side with Beslan? Will the possible rebellion mess up Mat’s plans for escape?

I am afraid that Thom may very well stay behind to help Beslan and try to keep him from getting killed. Sigh….well Thom never learn to cut a lost cause lose? I expect Beslan will be unable to wait long enough to allow his friends to get a safe distance away. Oh, he may not plan it to mess them up; I can totally see him losing his head and doing something in the heat of the moment.

7) Bayle Domon enters the scene and whisks Mat away to meet with Egeanin. Is this going to work or will we see a slaughter? What do you think Bayle had to do in private to convince Egeanin to go along with this?

Since Egeanin has already agreed, I don’t think we will see a slaughter. At least, not by her word or deed. However, we are now counting on the sul’dam that Egeanin brings into the scheme. How much will they need to know? Will they tattle in order to climb the ladder?

And I am guessing that Bayle had to use some serious sailor’s tricks in bed to keep Egeanin happy. 😉 Or perhaps he had to play the submissive?

The Wheel of Time, bringing angry cats together again and again.
The Wheel of Time, bringing angry cats together again and again.

Other Tidbits

Verin decided to go by an alias while in Far Madding. Apparently, she isn’t interested in being detained or flogged. And she did it so cleverly by telling the council what to call her in front of the entire party.

Haha! Min carefully placed her on Rand’s chest for Alanna to see and then Cadsuane walked in. Too funny!

Wow! Elayne might just let Mellar pinch her bottom in order to spread rumor and deflect eyes from Rand. This will probably make it that much easier for Mellar to pull off whatever scheme he has in mind for Elayne (death? kidnapping?).

Mat has developed an unhealthy liking for lace.


5 thoughts on “Winter's Heart Read Along Part VI”

  1. 1. Hard for me to guess, she’s so old that I can only assume Far Madding was different then, but perhaps not in the important ways—that ter’angreal must have been there then, too. Maybe her childhood was similar to Siuan’s. When it was discovered she could channel she was whisked away at night on a river boat, and I don’t think she ever saw her family again after that.

    As for the Counsel, I really want to know what happened there. In fact, sign me up for more books about Cadsuane’s life in general, they sound like something I would want to read.

    2. At least she seems to be somewhat apologetic and ready to work in Rand’s best interests. I can understand why she doesn’t want to let the bond go, either. It must seem like a great advantage to be able to find Rand whenever you want, although it seems she’s suffered a lot for it.

    I approve Rand’s decision to use the resources he has. It seems way too late in coming.

    3. With a series this long, I wish we had more reunions. The ones we get (mostly in Sanderson’s books) are almost always really great, but there’s still a long list of scenes I would have liked to see, people I would like to introduce to each other. I can go into more details later maybe.

    I’m ambivalent about the whole Andor vs. the Two Rivers thing. Sure, you need to maintain a good claim on the western provinces to keep the mining there, but you also left the Two Rivers to fend off a trolloc invasion on their own, without any royal help whatsoever. That doesn’t do your claim a whole lot of good.

    4. I don’t know or remember precisely what he’s up to, but it’s unlikely to be good.

    Fairly selfish by Elayne, to be honest. The world is ending and the borderlanders army is massive. It sounds reasonable to want them to get in touch with Rand as soon as possible.

    5. I don’t want to say too much about Noal. He’s there for a reason, but the gholam is not it. 🙂

    6. I suppose it’s a double edged sword, or whatever the saying is. A major uprising could very well help Mat escape, but the more likely scenario is that his attempts will be quashed, and Mat will find himself trying to escape under even stricter security. From what we saw of Beslan two books ago, he has no concept of danger to self or others, I doubt he’s capable of evaluating the risk here.

    7. Oh, you’ll see soon enough what happens. 🙂

    I don’t care to speculate what Bayle and Egeanin do in private, lol.


    I’d just like to highlight the latest viewing by Min: that Alivia will help Rand die!!!

    1. Oh yes! I would definitely like some more info on Cadsuane’s life. Maybe once I finish this series, I can go hunting for some fanfiction.

      Good point about Andor versus Two Rivers. Andor did not help with either the trolloc invasion, the White Cloak atrocities, nor send any help to rebuild and fortify afterwards.

      Ah yes, we have had these hints that Rand must die. And I have to think maybe it is something like the last book of Harry Potter. SPOILER ALERT for HP: So Harry had to die to rid himself of that tiny little bit of Voldemorte. END SPOILER. Maybe Rand has to die in order to cleanse saidin and then a healthy saidin brings him back and he goes on to fight.

  2. LOL. Yes, agree that Mat and Lace really ought to break up. I also think he’s under-utilizing Noal. He’s grown very mistrustful, but he should definitely make better use of the old man’s experience. Yeah, the Verin thing was interesting, wasn’t it? We know she has some secrets, and apparently some of them will get her into trouble in Far Madding. Interesting…

    1. Yes, Mat has grown suspicious of most, and unfortunately, dismissive of others. He seems to dismiss Noal purely based on looks – he looks like a harmless old man. But haven’t we seen several times that looks are not all that should be considered? Take Mat in lace for instance: should I take him serious? He carries weapons, knows how to use them, is ta’veren, etc. But he is dressed in lace and tight pants. No, simply can’t take the man serious. 😉

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