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FOH reread comments Chapters 1-20




  • How does Fain know that the Horn is in the Tower?
    The Tower held things worth a little patience in its strong rooms. The Horn of Valere was there, the fabled Horn made to call dead heroes back from the grave for the Last Battle. Even most of the Aes Sedai were ignorant of that, but he knew how to sniff out things. The dagger was there. He felt its pull where he stood.
    -FoH, Prologue
    He is being very vague about his sources. Whoever among the Aes Sedai knows about the Horn's location would never discuss it anywhere somebody could hear. And very few of them would know of it anyway so if Fain kidnapped some random Aes Sedai to question she could not tell him anything about it.
  • In FoH, Ch4 the maidens play a game called a Thousand Flowers, laying out patterns of bits of stone carved with different symbols. I wonder what this game is based on. Doesn't sound like anything I've heard of.
  • Some interesting tidbits suggesting that the Wise Ones might know something interesting about Avi's future.
    Melaine leaned forward on her hands, until it seemed the sweat dripping from her face must fall on the hot kettle. “You know your fate, Aviendha. You will be a Wise One of great strength and great authority, and more besides.
    -FoH, Ch 5
    What is this "more besides" that Melaine is talking about? This is from the conversation when the Wise Ones order Avi to sleep in Rand's tent. They don't know what will come of it yet or that he'll even allow it. Do they know something about Avi's future, perhaps from their dreams?
    More hints of that in later books.
    When Avi tells Rand about some Dreams the Wise Ones had about him Rand remarks

    “There is one other I can tell you, though it may not concern you.” Which meant there were some she would not tell, which made him wonder why the Wise Ones had discussed them with her, since she was not a dreamwalker. “All three had this dream, which makes it especially significant. Rain,” that word still came clumsily too, “coming from a bowl. There are snares and pitfalls around the bowl. If the right hands pick it up, they will find a treasure perhaps as great as the bowl. If the wrong hands, the world is doomed. The key to finding the bowl is to find the one who is no longer.”
    -LoC, Ch 19
    Rand is right. This is fairly early in Avi's apprenticeship. Why are the Wise Ones discussing important Dreams with her besides those concerning Rand? I suspect they had some Dreams that concern Avi herself.
    Even more inkling of this much later in tGS. The Wise Ones push Avi hard ( very hard) to complete her training. But why?
    "You have no reason for shame," Amys said. "That burden is upon us. Despite Bair's joking, you did well. Some women spend months and months being punished before deciding that they have had enough. We had to be hard on you, child—harder than I've ever seen a ready apprentice treated. There is just so little time!"
    -tGS, Ch 26
    so little time for what? Why is it so important that Avi becomes a full Wise One before the Last battle? There are lots of other apprentices. None of them are pushed this way.
  • I find Egwene's attitude towards peeking into other people's dreams (FoH, Ch 7) rather unpalatable. She thinks that she shouldn't spy on Avi's dreams because Avi is a friend but spying on the others this way she finds quite acceptable. In modern terms this would be considered an outrageous invasion of privacy. It's worse than being a peeping tom. It could, perhaps, be justified when really necessary (like when searching for darkfriends) but she is just doing it for fun or sport. Makes me cringe every time I read this chapter.
    Speaking of searching out darkfriends, Egwene peeks into Kadere's and Isendre's dreams but does not suspect them of being darkfriends. That's really daft of her. And what about the Wise One Dreamwalkers? They never looked into any of those dreams or into Amodean's dreams, which would have been rather interesting. They had ample hints that there were darkfriends about. Peeking into dreams appears to me to be a good way to uncover darkfriends and would be one of the few reasons to justify the practice.
    The Aiel notions of honor are strange too. They see nothing wrong with spying on Rand's dreams but won't spy on Shaido.
  • In the same chapter 7 we get a very rare Moiraine POV. Some interesting stuff there. In particular she remarks on her experience in Rhuidean
    All possible futures were too many for a mind to retain, of course. They jumbled together and faded away for the most part, but a woman gained a sense of things that would happen in her life, that must happen, that might happen. Usually even that was hidden until the moment was on her. Not always, though. Moiraine had been through those rings.
    -FoH, Ch 7
    We get to see some of those effects much later in Avi's POV in ToM. She suddenly remembers some of her experiences in the Rhuidean ter'angreal rings.
    She remembered some of her trip through those rings, which had showed her life—her many possible lives—to her. Really, only bits and pieces remained in her memory. Her knowledge that she would love Rand, that she would have sister-wives. Included in that knowledge was the impression that she'd return here, to Rhuidean. She had known, though only stepping into this courtyard again had sparked some of those memories to life in her mind.
    -ToM, Ch 48
    Moiraine of course seems to remember quite a lot of her experiences in the rings based on her confrontation with Lanfear and the letter she left for Thom. I do wonder if she remembers the role she is supposed to play in helping Rand. That's coming for sure one way or the other.
  • FoH, Ch 10 Mistress Macura says that she discovered forkroot tea properties with respect to Aes Sedai by accident. This strikes me as implausible. She lives in Aamadicia where Aes Sedai are outlawed so I presume they don't visit that often. And even if she did feed forkroot tea to some passing Aes Sedai once, that woman should now know of forkroot properties too. Yet, none of Aes Sedai were apparently aware of this. How can this be?
  • Egwene walks in on Moiraine eavesdropping on Rand with the power in FoH, Ch 15. That's how Moiraine must have found out about Asmodean=Natael. This was pointed to me on the forums. I can't believe I didn't realize that before.
  • in TFoH, Ch15 Egwene dreams of Perrin and a tinker with a sword (obviously Aram) but does not recognize Aram. Why is that? She certainly knows him.
  • Socialized welfare for state employees in Andor?!

    The Pensioners’ Quarters. Some servants returned to their families when they grew old, but others had been so long in the Palace that they could think of no other life. Here they had their own small apartments, their own shaded garden and a spacious courtyard. Like every queen before her, she supplemented their pensions by letting them buy food through the Palace kitchens for less than its cost, and the infirmary treated their ills.
    -FoH, Ch 19
    I wonder if something like that ever existed in real medieval societies.
  • RJ really seemed to have a lot of fun writing Lini and her sayings.
    Wishing she could scratch, Morgase also wished that the other woman had not taken her so to heart about the dress not fitting very well. Stuffing the low-necked gown away under the bed, her old nurse had muttered some saying about displaying wares you did not mean to sell, and when Morgase claimed she had just made it up, her reply was At my age, if I make it up, it’s still an old saying. Morgase more than half-suspected that her itchy, ill-draped dress was punishment for that gown.
    -FoH, Ch 19
    This cracks me up. :biggrin:

  • Rand remarks that Moiraine told him that Elaida was the new Amyrlin.
    Occasionally she came out with something startling; for instance, that he should trust no woman of the Tower except herself, Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve, or the news that Elaida was now the Amyrlin Seat. Oath to obey or no, she would not tell him how she knew that. She said it was someone else’s place to tell if she chose, someone else’s secret, and she could not usurp it. He suspected the Wise One dreamwalkers, though they had stared him right in the eye and refused to say aye or nay.
    FoH, Ch 20
    This is slightly strange. Egwene did not tell the Wise Ones about the coup in the Tower but after this exchange with Rand they should have realized where Moiraine got her info and nailed Egwene for adventuring in TAR without them.
  • It just occurred to me that the Aiel have no last names. Quite common in tribal societies but it does make it strange that they insist on using both first and last names when addressing others. I seem to remember Avi thinking that it would be too informal and personal to do otherwise. But that makes no sense given that the Aiel themselves don't have last names. They call each other by their first names all the time and find nothing informal about it.
    This reminds me of foreigners visiting Russia. Russians use first names together with middle names when addressing each other formally. Instead of Ivan one would say Ivan Matveevich. Addressing somebody just by their first name is a sign of informality. Many foreigners (like Americans) visiting Russua or learning Russian find it strange and often use first names only as they normally do in their native languages. This is only natural and usually nobody takes offense. I would expect the Aiel to do likewise but they don't.
    On a different note, there are also no two characters with the same first name in Wot. That makes it easier on the reader in some respect but is hardly natural.



Recommended Comments

There were a few things that hadn't occurred to me or that I didn't remember when I read this blog entry. Thanks for posting your thoughts.


However, the statement at the end isn't true. I remembered from TDR how Egwene mentioned that she hated Joiya Byir even a little more because she shared the name of her daughter from the Accepted test, but a quick check on EWoT showed there are several actual instances of same named people. Jennet is the name of a Murandian noblewoman and also an Aes Sedai of the Grey Ajah. Jon, Jaim, Jac, Jori, Had, Hu, Haral, Huan, Hal, Herid are other examples (most involving Two Rivers names), yet I only looked at H and J. Nobody really major though.

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Thanks for the comments! I should have checked that statement about names before posting. I feel particularly sheepish about there being two Herids :rolleyes:

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It just occurred to me that the Aiel have no last names. Quite common in tribal societies but it does make it strange that they insist on using both first and last names when addressing others. I seem to remember Avi thinking that it would be too informal and personal to do otherwise. But that makes no sense given that the Aiel themselves don't have last names. They call each other by their first names all the time and find nothing informal about it.


It does make sense.

Aiel consider their name (Aviendha) as full name.

They consider the wetlanders' full name (Elayne Trakand) to have the same function.


So when it is 'shortened' to Elayne, it is the same to them as shortening Aviendha to Avi.

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Aiel consider their name (Aviendha) as full name.They consider the wetlanders' full name (Elayne Trakand) to have the same function.So when it is 'shortened' to Elayne, it is the same to them as shortening Aviendha to Avi.



Thanks for the comment. My point was that this is not a natural thing to do for Aiel. They don't have such a system with names in their own society. They don't use short vs. full names themselves to differentiate formal and informal addresses so the concept should be quite foreign to their minds. I don't believe they shorten their names in any way. Calling Aviendha Avi is something we don on the boards but I can't recall any Aiel characters doing something like that in the books. So it's not natural for them to come up with such system just for treating others. I gave a real life example which I've seen many times in person.

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