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Demos on The Shadow Rising, chapters 22 - 26




Alright now the real thing, no more jokes!


Just a warning, this was a hard blog to right. So much went on in such a short time.


Chapter 22


We start back up with Rand heading out of Tear. He’s already announced his plans, well somewhat announced, and he’s leaving with all the Aiel as well as Egwene, Moirain/Lan, and Mat. Rand is confused over the two letters Elayne left him, complete opposite of themselves, yet from my experience with females, at least she’s still talking to him. It’s when thy stop that you know you are in big trouble. Anyway Rand tells Moiraine that he means to travel to Rhuidean by means of a Portal Stone. Through some research he has found some stones in Tear, and knows there is one in Rhuidean. Rand is able to narrow the symbol he needs down to two, and ironically they leave it up to Mat and a flip of the coin of which to choose. With as lucky as Mat has been, why not? Now I was somewhat hoping we would see another episode of “What Might Be”, but I guess Rand has mastered a little more control over his powers, and manages to bring them all to Rhuidean without losing months or freaking everyone out. Rand does push himself to the limit, though, and almost kills himself in the process. Oh, and he also has a little fat man angreal in his possession now.


Chapter 23


We view our first scene of the Waste from Egwene’s POV. It’s hot as hell, though Lan seems to have a few tricks in order to beat the heat. It appears there are a couple different groups of Aiel waiting, or already there. We’ll start first with the Shaido. From what I have gathered already and from the next couple chapters, Rhuidean is the place those who want to be clan chiefs or wise one’s are sent. The Shaido are there because they have sent one in, meanwhile the guy's brother Couladin seems to be trying to start up trouble.


Already I can tell these Shaido don’t seem like the good guys, or good Aiel. Rand is granted permission to enter, and more surprisingly, Mat joins him. Couladin gets all fired up again at this, and attempts to kill Mat. Which is when we find out the Aiel Wise ones can channel, at least some of them. We also learn a lot about the ways of the Aiel which was pretty cool. I’m still not entirely positive I have it all down, especially the sister-wives and second mothers, etc. They do have an extremely strict honor code type of thing called ji’e’toh. It pretty much drives the way they live, and no matter how much you may hate someone, you still follow the code which is pretty neat. It’s one thing to have the code, but if you even have just one person that doesn’t abide by it, the code starts to fall apart. It also appears that the Aiel dreamwalkers can tell the future a little. I think we already knew this from the little we were told with Egwene’s potential for dreamwalking, but I thought dreamwalking and dreamers where too different things. Maybe not. They let it slip that Moiraine is to go through the rings in Rhuidean too, and she heads out the same way Aviendha does. Which leaves Egwene to begin her training with the Aiel Wise Ones, and from the start of it, it appears it will not be easy at all. Maybe they’ll bring her ego down a little. There was some more going on here, I know I’m missing some things, but I’m anxious to get on to the part inside Rhuidean, so that’s all for this chapter.


Chapter 24


Rand and Mat make it down to just outside the fog. As they walk through it they see a decent size half-built city. Rand is able to channel water into the fountain which probably saves them a little from the extreme heat and dehydration. As they walk towards the center they see tons of One Power items lying around, jackpot! Now if Rand can manage to figure out what some of them do, he and Moiraine will be set. Anyway Rand walks into the rings and leaves Mat to sit there waiting for him, as if Mat will be content to wait..


Thus begins Mat’s second journey into this odd place. It looks like a similar doorway to the one he went into in Tear, but instead of snake people he meets these fox like creatures. They ask the same question, if he has iron, music, or fire, but they don’t seem as friendly as the snake people. Friendly may not be the right word, but these foxes acted more hostile. Once Mat gets to the main room with the foxes on pedestals, he tries to asks his questions only for them to keep staring at him. It seems in this place he doesn’t get to ask questions, but is rewarded 3 things he wants? It isn’t until he starts making demands that they say anything, and the chapter ends before we really find out what he gets. Though, we do find out later that he gets some spear type thing. Not really sure if there was anything else, but it moves on to Perrin before we find out too much. So I guess I’ll have to wait until later to find out.


Chapter 25 -26


These two chapters were really, really cool. We start out at a time before Rhuidean becomes what it is today, and with each step we go farther back in time to the point of opening the bore. You really felt the pain of the Aiel as you go through it, and just wow. Great stuff. It was really well written to pretty much make it clear how the Aiel go from peacefully serving the Aes Sedai as Da'shain, to the warrior clans they are today. I’m not going to go back through all the sections as I’m sure you all have read this part many times, as I probably will, but I will go over some things. First, do we see the beginning of the Tinkers here? Not positive, but at one of the scenes, we see another part of the Aiel break off from the main group. They say they keep the Way of the Leaf, but must not serve the Aes Sedai or something like that. They take off some items from some wagons and take off. They also mention something about finding the song in them again (the talent of them singing with the Oiger and growing things?). I went back and reviewed some of the parts about when we first saw Tinkers, and when they mention meeting the Aiel in the Waste, they call them the Lost Ones. I don’t know, sounds cool though. Would explain how the Way of the Leaf started too. Second, this really sheds some light on a lot of the things the Aiel do. Like why the live in the waste, why they mistrust everyone else, why they fight. It’s interesting, though, with as violent and militarily built they seem to be, they won’t use the sword simply because its sole purpose is to kill men. That, along with their honor code, doesn’t make these people seem so savage. Regardless, these people are officially my favorite of the book so far.


It was also pretty cool to see parts of the breaking, and what it was like back then. It sounds like things where much more civilized and modern, before. Which confused me at first, how do you go backwards in development? But, I realized what the breaking must have been like, and it is almost like the nuclear war so many movies have depicted, and how much could be lost. I hope we get more scenes from the past, especially during the breaking. We see this Nym called Someshta, and the remaining Aes Sedai planning something. Is this the creation of the Eye of the World? Someshta reminds me a little of the Green Man, and the Dragon Banner was definitely on the table. It also mentions something to do with some young male Aes Sedai who haven’t been touched by the taint too much, to form that clean pool of power? I was trying to figure out how the sword got to Tear, and maybe that was the job of the men. So many questions have opened up because of this chapter, soo much info I think my head will explode.


Anyway Rand makes it out, and saves Mat from being hanged by the tree. From the ending of Mat’s POV, it sounds like the Snake people put him there. I guess he never specified how he got out, tricky little snakes. After all that, Mat and Rand couldn’t be left alone and a bubble of evil decides it needs to add a little more excitement to their lives. After they fight these dust figures, they finally make it out. I’m so pumped at this point to see what happens next, and I turn the page to find its back to Perrin, great. RJ really knows how to leave us hanging doesn’t he?


So in ending, after all which has just happened, here’s my take. We already know the Aiel are the people of the Dragon. We now know how they failed the Aes Sedai, or at least I’m assuming it is part of two things. First, they clearly lost the Way of the Leaf. Second, they must have lost a good majority of the items they were supposed to take care of, though a lot may be now in Rhuidean? So while the viewings explained a lot, they don’t exactly say why the Aiel need to follow the Dragon, nor why they were named people of the Dragon, did it? Maybe I missed that part.


By the way I've been meaning to ask for a while but always forget, what do the pictures at the beginning of each chapter mean? Sometimes it is what looks like trolloc horns, or what looks like an inverted teardrop, or even some dice. Not sure if they are supposed to mean anything.





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The chapter icons just refer mostly to whose POV the chapter is from (Dice tend to mean Mat, a wolf tends to mean Perrin, etc.) Some of them refer to what goes on in the chapter (the Trolloc horns mean a Shadowspawn attack, for example)


They really help with a re-read. For example, I can't stand the Sea Folk, so I skip the chapters with the Sea Folk icon. (seagulls flying in a circle)

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Just to clarify for ya, Someshta is the Green Man.


Anyway, good write-up. Many people count the Rhuidean scenes as their all-time favorite in the series, and for good reason, it's RJ at his best. Overall, this entire book is great and I look forward to seeing your reactions to the rest of it! You're really getting into the meat of the series, people are going to start growing into their roles and the playing field is going to grow bigger as new characters are introduced and fleshed out. It's really fun stuff.

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Nice writeup again!


I am suprised you didnt mention the most exciting part of the Ruidean/Rand bit.


How about Lanfear drilling the hole in the DO's prison?

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I think if you look at some of the subtext that could be inferred by some of the Aes Sedai that sent the Aiel on their journey in the first place, that the point of sending them wasn't necessarily to protect all the artifacts/cargo/avendesora trees, but really to shape them into becoming the warrior society that they are today.

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If you guess at what the snake weaving in and out of the square chapter icon means, it makes for interesting speculations in some chapters.


Hm, that one isn't until book 6 now that I look at it. Plenty more to read before getting into that I suppose, but it's something to keep in the back of your mind.

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People of the Dragon is just a name they become associated with after the War of Power. You'll remember one of the Aiel thinking it's odd how they're now remembered as being his, when they severed all the Aes Sedai before the Breaking. The group that breaks from the Da'shain Aiel because they killed the men with spears is the beginning of the Aiel as we know them, the group that breaks away from the Da'shain in search of the Song is the beginning of the Tinkers, it's through their total lose of history that they've forgotten why they hate the Tinkers and that they were once one, but they still hold that it was the Tinkers who were lost by giving up the quest. The woman who comes and asks to be taught the spear is the beginning of the Maidens of the Spear. Someshta IS the Green Man, he's the last Nym. And they are discussing building the Eye of the World. Charn, the last Aiel flashback you get, is the Aiel for Mierin who you know by another name.... (Hint: she really like Rand).


The Aiel have to follow Rand because of what the Aes Sedai says in the first flashback "The stone that never falls will fall to announce his coming. Of the blood, but not raised by the blood, he will come from Rhuidean at the dawn, and tie you together with bonds you cannot break. He will take you back, and he will destroy you." You'll find out more as you read.

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Ah ok, thanks on the info about chapter icons. Makes sense now that you mention it.


I guess I didn't actually realize that was actually her drilling into the DO's prison! Sweet! And Mierin = Lanfear, didn't pick up on that, but awesome.


Which then leads me even further to believe she isn't completely evil. Just won't stop short in her lust for power.


But thanks for the comments, really clears it up a little more for me.


p.s. Little sneak peak for the next blog, but I actually think I'm starting to like Faile. At least for the moment I don't detest her. We'll see if she keeps redeeming herself or falls back into the pit.

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The inverted teardrop has another name, as dose its inverse


Is it that dragon fang or whatever everyone keeps talking about? I don't know what the other one is, but was just flipping through the book and on chapter 30 it looks like the teardrop, while 32 was the inverted teardrop. It kind of looks like a ying yang type of thing if they are put together. I feel like they were mentioned before but I can't remember where

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The white tear drop is also known as the Flame of Tar Valan, it is the sign of the Aes Sedai. The inverted black one is also known as the Dragon's Fang. Both of them together make a ying-yang sign which is the ancient sign of the Aes Sedai before the Breaking. Recall this sign appeared on Lews Therin's clothing back in Prologue Dragonmount of TEotW.

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Did you make the connection, in the one flash back, before the Aiel go into the waste, where the Aiel are given water freely? those are the Cairhenin ancestors. Which is what lead the Aiel to make peace with them.


Those 2 chapters contain so many tidbits of inormation, its insane.

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Did you make the connection, in the one flash back, before the Aiel go into the waste, where the Aiel are given water freely? those are the Cairhenin ancestors. Which is what lead the Aiel to make peace with them. Those 2 chapters contain so many tidbits of inormation, its insane.


I did not. Though I think it was mentioned in one of the chapters I read recently. Good stuff.




I'm glad to see you missed the same thing everyone else did until ToM.


I'm almost afraid to ask. Thanks, now it's going to bug me until I get to ToM haha. Is it anything that should stick out?

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Did you make the connection, in the one flash back, before the Aiel go into the waste, where the Aiel are given water freely? those are the Cairhenin ancestors. Which is what lead the Aiel to make peace with them. Those 2 chapters contain so many tidbits of inormation, its insane.
I did not. Though I think it was mentioned in one of the chapters I read recently. Good stuff.
I'm glad to see you missed the same thing everyone else did until ToM.
I'm almost afraid to ask. Thanks, now it's going to bug me until I get to ToM haha. Is it anything that should stick out?



Well, we're beaten over the head with it throughout the series, but it isn't until TOM that we realize that there was even anything there.

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So you think Lanfear isn't evil now, or just wasn't evil before, as Mierin, she drilled the Bore?


In my book, a ruthless quest for power equals evil, regardless of what the person in question thinks of his or herself.

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