And the WoT Quad returns with Book 10, Crossroads of Twilight! If any of you silent stalkers want to join us, you are always welcome to. You can leave me a comment or email me (nrlymrtl [at] gmail [dot] com) to get on the weekly email of the discussion questions. Check out the schedule.
This week, Liesel at Musings on Fantasia is playing host. Eivind, our keeper of esoteric WoT knowledge, can be found in the comments over there. Make sure to swing by Sue’s at Coffee, Cookies, and Chili Peppers for excellent guesses as to what the future might hold.
This week, we cover Chapters 1-4. Spoilers for this section run free below!
1. Why do you think no alarm was raised when Mat kidnapped Tuon? How will this play out going forward?
I think the reasoning is two fold and both reasons have to do with the Seanchan culture and their love of order and hierarchy. First, it is deeply embarrassing to lose one of such high noble birth. Perhaps those who hold responsibility are honor bound to first locate and free her, and then kill themselves. Basically, they can’t simply shout to the world and put out a major search party as the embarrassment would then touch Tuon and her family.
I think the second reason may be that Tuon was under the veil, which seems to mean she is traveling incognito so she can’t be acknowledged as anything more than of the blood.
And, then, she has disappeared before, at least once by her own doing. So I am sure that lends a certain question to the the current disappearance – did she wish to disappear again?
2. Juilin’s Thera turns out to be the former panarch, Amathera. We knew Amathera had been taken by the Seanchan, but did anyone make this connection? What, if any, complications do you think this will cause for Mat and his group?
I had guessed that Juilin’s lady love was the former panarch when I heard the name Thera. He near-constant need for reassurance also fit with her personality. I don’t see any immediate complications, beyond the fact that Juilin stole Seanchan ‘property’. However, as time goes by, if the Seanchan are defeated, kicked out of Randland, or some mutual compromise/agreement is made with the Seanchan in the future, Thera may very well want her rulership back. She may go back to high and mighty ways, and perhaps even toss Juilin off as not worthy.
3. When Luca’s troop gets ready to leave, the dice roll in Mat’s head. They stop when he makes a bargain with Tuon. What do you think they mean in this case? How will this agreement between Mat and his future wife be fateful for him?
I think Tuon just accepted his proposal to wed (or perhaps even sealed the marriage). She has agreed to assist him, and to not give him away or hinder him and his. So long as Mat keeps his promises. Hmm….So Mat promised to not harm her, to keep her as comfortable as he can, and to release her once they were far enough away. His words from the end of Book 9 (She is my wife) could also be seen as a promise.
So, if he ever balks at publicly marrying her, she may very well be tempted to turn him and his people in the Seanchan, along with throwing more things at his head.
4. The Aes Sedai with Mat can feel Rand and Nynaeve trying to cleanse the Source, even if they don’t that’s what they’re doing. Rather than just see the swirl of colors when he thinks of Rand, he actually sees them sitting on the hillside. How do you see this ta’veren ability progressing? Will it be a help or a hindrance?
Well, based on this, I am hoping that sooner or later Mat will be able to communicate with Rand and Perrin via his rainbow swirls. The ladies have Tel’aran’rhiod. Even Rand and Perrin can sort of travel there (though not with real safety). So the men need a good way to communicate.
Of course, Mat won’t actively explore this anytime soon. He balks left and right at using his powers. Kind of like Perrin. Kind of like Rand. I think his hesitancy to use his powers will cause him more odd viewings, which will make him fall off his horse or stop talking mid sentence.
5. Tylin, it seems, is dead. Found by the gholam. How do you feel about her death, and Mat’s reaction to it?
Wow! Did not see that coming! From the end of Book 9 and the comments by our experienced readers (Eivind and Liesel), I had guessed that the Seanchan would either not believe Tylin’s story completely or not care and that she would be punished. I was expecting a lashing or the sul’dam allowing their leashed domane to ‘beat’ her. Something like that. However, it appears that the Seanchan are just as disturbed by Tylin’s sudden and messy death.
I can see why Mat would immediately think the gholam could have done this. He’s strong enough and doesn’t mind violence. However, there are other suspects. We learned at the end of this section that Tylin was being made of the blood because of certain sensitive things she knew of the Seanchan, not because she was ruler of Ebou Dar and said the oaths. So this makes me look at Suroth, our Darkfriend Seanchan. What if she ordered one of the Seanchan Ogier to rip off Tylin’s head to silence her forever? Just saying there may be other culprits.
I was actually a little touched that Mat had such a heartfelt reaction to Tylin’s death. He may have been irked by the woman, may have just been passing time with her in bed, but it still struck him hard to have her dead so suddenly and in such a way.
6. Furyk Karede is on a mission of sorts. What did you think of this chapter and what he’s up to? How will it play out? Affect other characters and the fate of the world? Predictions?
Well, Furyk is a dedicated body guard and has been one for years. So, I expect he plans to tract down Tuon and save her ass whether she needs or wants it saved or not. I expect things will go one of two ways. Either he will ride up to Tuon and her ‘captors’ and Tuon will simply order him to guard her and her new ‘friends’ as per usual, or things will be very, very messy with Furyk slaughtering part of Luca’s circus, etc. He may even make a permanent enemy of Mat, if they don’t have a final reckoning right at first.
The thought of Mat and Egeanin play kissing makes me giggle. And the thought of Mat, Egeanin, and Domon all sharing one tiny traveling wagon makes me snicker. 😉
I want to try Noal’s fish stew.
I wonder where I put my skull wine goblet…….