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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
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Two More Chapters


Always Sunny

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Against the Shadows

 

Oh, I'm excited about this chapter. Let's just jump right in, Okay? C'mon!

 

Rand is doing his thing: running away. Nynaeve and Lan are down, most likely dead. Perrine, Mat, and Egwene have scattered. Loial is still inside the cave, most likely (either that or looking at the tree corpse of the Green Man). Moiraine is somewhere, her screaming ended. Rand, though, is leaving all that behind him as he runs away. Unfortunately, he soon comes to a cliff. Ha, but don't they always?

 

Aginor, the shriveled mummy-like Forsaken, is right behind him. Instead of killing or capturing Rand he talks at him. "I'm powerful! I'm awesome! I'm — hey where you going?" But Rand doesn't run away this time. No. Instead he sees some sort of glowing rope attached to the Forsaken. Okay...?

 

Is that supposed to be a Thread in the Pattern? Is it some sort of umbilical? I don't know! Nothing in the past 756 pages have prepared me for this particular weirdness. They stand there, looking at each other. The glowing umbilical behind Aginor pulsates. Sweat beads on Rand's head. They continue to stare at each other. The Forsaken is all, "No, it's mine!" What's yours? What is going on?

 

Suddenly Rand is no longer in the Green Man's grassy Green Zone. Instead his sweaty, uncloaked self is in a cold mountain pass. What the hell just happened, man?

 

Rand is now in the middle of a battle. Trollocs on one side and humans on the other. He should be shivering in the cold but he isn't. There's a terrible heat. No one seems to notice him, either. Where is he? Tarwin's Gap? Faugh!

 

He looks up and sees lightning strike Draghkars in the sky and I am officially lost. Is Rand using magic or something? He's not waving his hands around like Moiraine does with her staff. He just looks up and lightning happens. He's not asking for lighting or fireballs or volcanoes but that stuff just happens. Faugh! And what kind of magic transports people from one place to another? You'd think Moiraine would have used that one once or twice by now. And if he is using magic then why is he not insane? I thought that was the whole point.

 

Anyway, Rand starts punching the ground. Hundreds of Trollocs and Fades die because Rand's punches make earthquakes. There's fire, too. I guess it was pretty lucky that the humans and Trollocs separated into two camps just before Rand started going violently psycho. Otherwise somebody might have been hurt (remember: Trollocs aren't people no matter how many languages they speak or how many tribes they organize themselves into. Unlike wolves who are people.).

 

Rand calms down and then the ALL CAPS voice of god or whatever tells him that "it isn't here" and "only the chosen one" can do it. Whatever. I'm all out of Give A Fuck at this point. What happened to Aginor? Did he turn around and kill the rest of the fellowship? Faugh!

 

Anyway, ALL CAPS creates some steps in front of him and Rand takes those. Where do they lead? I dunno. Darkness. So he goes. The battle of Tarwin's Gap continues below him.

 

I don't know if Rand is still in "reality" or if he's in another realm of pure darkness. He's got a white umbilical of his own now. He may have had it for a while, now, but I don't know. Honestly, I don't care. This book has gone off the deep end of crazy.

 

At the top of the dark stairs there is a room, the room from Rand's dream. And inside is Ba'alzamon! Whoa, alright. So maybe Rand is asleep somewhere and the weirdness is a dream. Maybe Rand is dying back there on that cliff and his mind is having one more encounter with the Big Bad.

 

Rand says he is tired of running. Good for him! I've been tired of him running since Shadar Logoth. Rand notices that Ba'alzamon has a black umbilical of his own. What are these cords? I don't know. But I picture the one from the baddie to be rigid, like a thick shaft. That way I can say BA'ALZamon and Shaft. God, I'm immature.

 

Ba'alzamon then lays out his master plan to our hero (our hero who ran away and left his friends to die back in the Green Zone). He did something to the Aiel, he sent Farstrider somewhere, and he did something with the Black Ajah. Really, it isn't important. It didn't work. He's about to die so who cares about his plan, right? Of course, this is Book One so either Ba'alzmon doesn't die here or some other evil dude will take over and continue the nasty plan.

 

Rand goes on denying and denying. He is shown a vision of Nynaeve and Egwene and his mother, Kari. Rand disbelieves. Yada yada yada. I'm not moved.

 

Soon the Fades start molesting his naked mother and Rand loses his shit. He pulls out a lightsaber and starts hacking at the Fades. Thus Rand saves his dead mother from Hell. Faugh! Rand then symbolically castrates Ba'alzamon by cutting off his thick, rigid, black, veiny cord.

 

The chapter ends with Ba'alzamon screaming and (I assume) dying. I am supremely disappointed. Rand spent this entire novel dragging his dad's sword across the continent even though he caused him nothing but problems. But instead of using it he used a weapon made of Light? Or was it his dad's sword that started glowing?

 

The last chapter was so good! Why did it have to be followed by this? So sad.

 

There is Neither Beginning or End

 

Rand wakes up. He's laying in the physical remains of Aginor. So he crawls away from the rags and ashes that was once a Forsaken to a cliff and throws up over it. From the surroundings I gather that Rand is back in the Green Zone, near the Eye of the World. Rand then says his own name, says he's Tam's son, and utters the name of the Dark One. He claims he killed the Dark One but as soon as he says "Shai'tan" the world lurches. So, umm, you didn't kill him, did you? You may have cut Ba'alzamon's black umbilical but you didn't kill the Dark One.

 

How arrogant is Rand? Didn't the Creator build a prison for the Dark One a long time ago? If the Creator can't kill the baddie what makes Rand think he can? And how did he get back here? I can buy that he accidentally cast a teleportation spell from the Green Zone to Tarwin's Gap. I can buy that ALL CAPS created a staircase for him to the Dream World. And I can buy that Rand found his own way out of Dream World right back to Tarwin's Gap. But how did he get from there to here? And once he got here, why did he pass out at that exact moment in this exact place?

 

Anyway, Rand goes looking for Egwene. You'll remember Egwene, right? She's the one he tackled in the middle of their fight against the Forsaken. And the Forsaken? Yeah, I have no idea how Aginor was killed. The climax made absolutely no sense. At all. I mean, those cords were introduced (color-coded, of course) with no explanation as to what they are (yet Rand knew that cutting Ba'alzamon's cord would kill him somehow), there was a sword of light that came from nowhere, Rand went from the Green Zone to Tarwin's Gap to Ba'alzamon's hideout Just Because, there was an ALL CAPS talking to him, Aginor died somehow, and Rand learned to use magic. What the Faugh?

 

Where was I? Oh, yeah, Rand is looking for his friends. By "friends" I mean Egwene. He eventually gets to them. Nynaeve is alive, somehow, with only bruises. Dude, Balthemal was holding her a foot from the ground by her face! She was thrashing around, kicking, trying to pry his fingers out of her cheeks, before being thrown (her head like a baseball!) across the room into a stone wall where she fell down, her body gone limp. All she got were some bruises? She should be missing a jaw, at least. Nynaeve, I have nothing but love for you, but you should be dead. You're one of my favorite characters but it would be better for the story if you had died here.

 

Moiraine was hurt, too. That explains the screams. But how was she hurt? I think Aginor attacked her with magic. So why isn't she burned to death or lightninged to death or earthquaked to death? She's just tired, it looks like, lying down on grass. Did Aginor use a fatigue spell on her? Is her hair even disheveled? Is her silly forehead gem tiara thing knocked askew? Even a little bit?

 

Rand then says that the Dark One is dead. He says that he killed him. Nynaeve, Egwene, and Moiraine look up to this farmboy, this nobody from nowhere, who was brought to the Eye of the World because he as a connection to the Dark One, and wait for him to tell him how he could have killed the Dark One. Especially since the last thing the three women saw of him was his ass and elbows as he ran away from them. Rand, of course, doesn't say how he killed the Dark One. Just that he did and they were supposed to believe him Just Because.

 

Then something unbelievable happens. Egwene apologizes to Rand! Yes, Rand shoves his ex-girlfriend down to the ground so that she'd be unable to save her mentor, Nynaeve. Rand pins her there, robbing her of her heroic sacrifice (Would he have done the same to the Queen defender of Manetheren, preventing her from going to save her husband? Would he have done the same to the Queen of Malkier, fighting the final fight against the Trolloc hordes?). And she thinks him for it! Faaaaugh!

 

Nynaeve tells Rand al'Thor that he is dangerous. Now, notice that this comes before he tells his story about using the One Power. Nynaeve was knocked out before all that happened, anyway. She says that Rand is too dangerous because of something else, then. He's dangerous because he refused to attack the Forsaken (all he did to either of them was prevent Egwene from saving Nynaeve and ineffectively throw a rock at Aginor). He's dangerous because he tackled Egwene during the fight. Rand has no sense of teamwork, solidarity, or working as a group to achieve the final goal. His goal, his one single goal, was not to win the battle but to keep Egwene alive. And only through author fiat did he manage to survive.

 

Anyway, under the witch's glare, Rand tells his story about glowing cords and swords of Light and all that. Lan is probably dead somewhere. Mat and Perrin? Who knows where they are. Loial? Psht. Rand doesn't give two shits. It's recap time! So Moiraine tells the boy that she knew all along that he could use magic. He de-fatigued Bela, don't you remember? He didn't actually cast a "de-fatigue" spell he just wished that Egwene not fall behind. Why did that "de-fatigue" the horse? Why didn't that cause Egwene to fly? Or for her to teleport? I thought I understood magic. But I guess not. Magic is more like wishing. "I wish to get out of this inn closet" somehow translates to "lightning bolt to blow up the wall" instead of "wall melts away" or "I teleport a few feet outside" or "I turn into a gas and waft out the window."

 

Magic seems to mean that the wizard wishes something and Robert Jordan makes it happen. Whatever

 

Finally, after all that time, Rand asks about the others. Good for him. Lan is inside the cave. Turns out the Eye disappeared in the fight. So what the hell was it for? It was pure Man Magic and now it's gone. Am I supposed to believe that Rand channeled the liquid in the Eye? Is magic like oil, then? Huge underground reservoirs of liquid mana that needs to be burned to power magic? And they know, for sure, that Rand used it up instead of Aginor? I just don't understand.

 

Anyway, who cares? Let's just move on and maybe I'll puzzle out just what happened later. All I need to know is that Rand can use magic and only Moiraine, Lan, Egwene, and Nynaeve know. Also, Rand using magic is evil because of the taint (I guess). So no one else is supposed to know. I guess Rand values his friendships more than the lives of his friends (since he might go mad and kill them; best they not know until it's too late). It's just like back in Baerlon. Rand could have warned the town that Trollocs were coming but by saying so he'd risk his own hide. So he keeps mum. Here, he could warn them that he might go insane at any moment and blow his friends to tiny bits but doing so would risk his own hide. Best keep that to himself, then.

 

The other half of the party comes back with some loot. They killed the boss in the dungeon so they get a treasure chest of loot, right? Is this a book or a video game? This is no ordinary chest, either. It's three thousand years old! The same technology that built the White Bridge built that chest. It should be made of crystal or plastic, like EVE from WALL-E. It should require voiceprint identification to open or require a sliding unlock like my cellphone. But, no. It's just a gold pirate chest.

 

As an aside, what happened to the horses? There's eight or nine horses tied up somewhere. Nobody has mentioned checking on them. And considering how Rand was tiptoeing around the Green Zone, avoiding stepping on planets, you'd assume the horses wouldn't be allowed to eat anything here. And there have been no mention of streams for them to drink from. They must be hungry by now. So everyone left the horses, went into the cave of the Eye, came out, ran from the Forsaken, hid from the Forsaken for a while, then rejoined each other, then started exploring the caves. Did the violence not scare them off (Lan has a warhorse and maybe Moiraine's mare is trained for loud noises but would Bela or the others stand still when there is all this combat going on?)? It's like the horses were parked cars, turned off and waiting patiently to be used again.

 

Anyway, Mat says he wanted to go look for Rand but Moiraine, Egwene, and Nynaeve wouldn't let him. And he listened! What the hell kind of friend sees his best bud running away into the woods, chased by a three thousand year-old mummy, and decides he won't go help but would rather look for treasure in a cave? Did Mat wait around until Nynaeve regained consciousness before trying to get Rand instead of running after him immediately? And why would they not let him go look? At what point did they figure Rand could use the One Power? Was that when he disappeared from the edge of the cliff about a hundred yards away, unseen through the foliage? And when did Moiraine get together with Egwene and the unconscious Nyneve to compare notes? So the timeline was this: battle in the cave knocking Nynaeve out, everyone running away and Moiraine screaming, Mat hides, Egwene finds Moiraine, those two find Lan, Mat continues to hide, Moiraine heals Lan, they then find Nynaeve, Mat still hides, Moiraine heals Nynaeve, Moirane tells Nynaeve and Egwene and Lan about the possibility of Rand's One Power ability, Mat finally decides to go looking for Rand, the three women tell him to stop looking for his best friend, Mat agrees that treasure hunting would be better, Mat and Loial and Perrin and Lan go into the cave of wonders, Rand walks back in the scene, Rand talks to Nynaeve and Egwene and Moiraine while not even asking if the others are alive. Did I get that right? Faugh!

 

Everybody gets one paragraph to tell Rand just how awesome he is. Perrin wants to go home, Lan says Rand should try to learn to use his sword (which makes Rand blush and go "Aw, shucks"), and Loial gets the best line of all. He says that he's had an interesting time. Any more interesting, though, he'll run home and confess to the Elders everything he's done and never leave his books again. Yes, I love Loial.

 

Rand lies to his friends about what happened. He says he just ran away and was knocked out all night. In fact, that's probably what happened. The Tarwin's Gap fight and the Ba'alzamon fight were probably Dream Fights. Probably not, but it's the only way I can make sense of it.

 

Anyway, they find a broken piece of Heartstone. This is supposed to be the toughest material ever. Nothing can break it. Now, I can ignore the obvious fact that it is broken. Thus I can ignore that Moiraine is full of shit. But think back to when it was made. How could they shape it and carve the Aes Sedai symbol onto it if it was unbreakable? Did they pour it into a mold? That doesn't seem very stone-like. I'm going with the fact that Moiraine is just a fountain of lies. That solves so many problems.

 

Wizards can't lie, right? That's what the forum says. So Moiraine holds a broken Heartstone. She identifies it as a Heartstone. She then says Heartstones can't be broken. But she's holding a broken one. Proof of her untruth is right there before her.

 

Moraine proceeds to open the chest. How does she know how to do that? I picture an ancient Roman knowing how to open a modern wall safe with a ten-digit push-button combination lock. And ignoring the goodies inside, the chest itself is a terrific find. Alchemists and engineers from across the world would love to have a chance to study it, to unlock its secrets. But, no. The characters treat the chest, an artifact of the Age of Legends, as if it were just a mere storage box. What a shame.

 

Inside the chest is the Horn of Valare (Valor). It's gold and curved with some silver filigree. I'm trying to imagine it. I think it is supposed to me a musical instrument. But solid gold? Shit must be heavy! I picture it like a golden kudu horn 'cause that just looks neat.

 

Finally, the box contains the Banner of the Lord of Morning. Not only is this a fantastic anthropological find (I remember Moiraine introducing herself at the beginning of the book as a student of history) but also a technological one. There seems to be no dye, no seams, no weave in the fabric. This could revolutionize the textile industry. Rand, a sheep shearing expert, should appreciate that (maybe not at this moment as he has other things on his mind right now).

 

The chapter ends with the group resting some more. The Green Zone is dying around them without the Green Man to maintain it. They need to prepare for the dangerous journey back to Fal Dara. There are Worms out there and vicious trees and who knows what other monsters. They've got a massive chest to carry, too (or are they leaving that behind?). It'll be two days, at least, until they leave the Blight. They barely made it coming in (actually, they didn't: they were teleported in when they got close enough) and they were fully supplied and rested. Now they're tired, wounded, burdened, and starting out in the most dangerous part. It'll be a touch march back.

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Magic seems to mean that the wizard wishes something and Robert Jordan makes it happen. Whatever

 

It's unconsciously channeling magic. People who aren't used to their powers or don't know about it do some crazy (and dangerous) stuff.

But yeah, the chapters are the end of EotW are pretty damn confusing. There's a lot that I could probably clear up though chances are what I could explain, you will have got your head round anyway by now.

 

*They were taken to the eye to force one to consciously channel for the first time.

*It was a clean pool of Saidin (no taint).

 

It wasn't the best end to a book. Very confusing. I'm up to date with the series and I still couldn't 100% tell you about the Black Chords. :P

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You've already seen how the magic system works from the female end, no doubt. Rand still doesn't get what he's doing by the end of tGH.

Saidin works similarly to saidar, just the weavings and the way saidin behaves are different.

 

 

As for WHAT exactly happened at the end of EotW, Aginor burnt himself out by drawing too much of the One Power into himself. Rand, who's body had already become sensitized to saidin, unconsciously started drawing from the pool at the Eye of the World, then spent it all at Tarwin's Gap and against Ba'alzy, who commented on Rand being far stronger than he should have been (because of the Eye). The golden chords were the connections Rand sensed to saidin, Ba'alzy's black chords have an explanation that can be reasoned out more easily later in the series.

 

That's the skinny, still confusing. Not the strongest ending. tGH is also confusing. tDR has an ending that's confusing to it's POV but one you should understand given that what's going on has been covered by other characters.

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The Eye of the World, had, without doubt, the most confusing of all the endings of the books. There are still debates, discussions and unanswered questions that go on in the forums about some of the events that happened here. Most of them make sense as you start to get a better grip of the story, but there are some things that we still find... Interesting.

 

Nevertheless, this much I can answer. Moiraine is as confused about the heartstone as you are - it shouldn't be breakable. How did it break?

You'll find out.

 

Yeah, the ending of the EOTW was confusing as heck. This was for either one of two reasons (possibly both):

Reason A; RJ had to find an ending for this book (I'm pretty sure books 1-3 were essentially one long book. Because of how long they ended up being, RJ had to split them and write endings for each of them. I know that RJ, back in the 80's, originally pitched this series as a trilogy. It turned into fourteen books.) and didn't do as good a job of it as he should of.

Reason B; RJ wanted to show us how confused poor Rand was.

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]As for WHAT exactly happened at the end of EotW, Aginor burnt himself out by drawing too much of the One Power into himself.

 

Okay. But what was he doing with that One Power? Lews Therin made a mile-high mountain when he drew too much power into himself. What did Aginor do? Even if the Forsaken wasn't half as powerful as Lew Therin he's still be able to cast some sort of fire ball or lightning bolt spell before being burnt up like that, right? Instead he just stood there, stared at Rand until Rand somehow disappeared, and then burned himself up.

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Those two Forsaken were useless

*cough* in both lives *cough*

. So are many of the Forsaken, and other bad guys, though some to lesser degrees, some to more. I know already you will be annoyed with the bad guys, well the main bad guys. You will probably also get annoyed that we still don't have a clue what one of the bad guys is doing after 13 books.

 

I suppose that's the problem with having a 10000 page story. It won't all fit into one book, and it may be difficult to tie off the plot in those books etc.

 

But yeah, you will find there are a huge amount if incompetant idiots in the series, and the competent characters are a minority(even close to non-existant). You will get annoyed with a great many of them. Kinda like real lfie I suppose.

 

Which is why I can probably like a few of them. I can put up with their bad traits, kinda like people in real life :laugh:

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Those two Forsaken were useless

*cough* in both lives *cough*

. So are many of the Forsaken, and other bad guys, though some to lesser degrees, some to more. I know already you will be annoyed with the bad guys, well the main bad guys. You will probably also get annoyed that we still don't have a clue what one of the bad guys is doing after 13 books. I suppose that's the problem with having a 10000 page story. It won't all fit into one book, and it may be difficult to tie off the plot in those books etc. But yeah, you will find there are a huge amount if incompetant idiots in the series, and the competent characters are a minority(even close to non-existant). You will get annoyed with a great many of them. Kinda like real lfie I suppose. Which is why I can probably like a few of them. I can put up with their bad traits, kinda like people in real life :laugh:

 

 

Totally agree, its almost too much like real life people :rolleyes:

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