Chapter 22: Heading South
Back to Mat as he’s with the Band on their way to the gathering. They are about halfway to Tear, and moving at a pretty good pace. The rumors of Logain are starting to reach them, and Mat is contemplating all that when one of his scouts return saying there is something Mat needs to see. It turns out to be the remains of a Tinker camp, with a sign that says “Tell the Dragon Reborn”. At first I thought the shaido, but I’m up to chapter 32 now and two other names come to mind. Now I’m not 100% if this is even the same area as the two groups I’m about to mention, but figured I’d add it in as I went over this blog before posting. Could it be the Whitecloaks? Valda talks about destroying and killing everyone in his path on the way down, though I’m not sure why he would leave a message for Rand. The other would be Fain, and he certainly would have no trouble killing a bunch of Tinkers, and especially wants to piss Rand off. Either way, pretty cruel thing to do.
That night, Mat’s luck still holds as he decides to sit outside his tent. What appears as a gateway opens and out poor some Aiel who attempt to kill Mat. He barely manages to escape and shout warnings to the rest of the men. One of the forsaken? Anyway Mat lives and we find out Olver snuck his way into traveling with the Band. Mat offers him to be his personal messenger and gives him a horse. The beginning of Mat basically adopting this kid?
Chapter 23: To Understand a Message
We get another chapter dealing with Graendal and Sammael, but nothing really comes up as to if either of them had anything to do with the Tinkers or Mat’s assassination attempt. Graendal visits Sammael in Illian, and it appears he found some type of “stasis box” which sounds like a time capsule type thing, just more protected. It contained things from the Age of Legends, and protected them from the terror that went along with the breaking. What’s the most surprising is Sammael says he has a truce with Rand! From his reaction after Graendal leaves, I’m going to go with him just playing some type of game with her. Unless he is simply arrogant enough to assume that Rand would accept his truce. Either way, she leaves all flustered and looking to have lost the upper hand to Sammael. She knows she isn’t powerful enough so looks to be going back into pulling the strings from the shadows. I need a quick round-up of the forsaken..
*Sammael – Illian, pretty much preparing for the inevitable strike from Rand
*Graendal – Arad Doman, not quite sure her plans but she has spies close to Rand
*Aginor – dead, resurrected as Osan’gar? Not sure where at now or his plans
*Asmodean – dead
*Balthamel – Dead, resurrected as Aran’gar? Just arrived in Salidar at the end of chapter 31 (Uh oh!)
*Be’lal – dead by Moiraine
*Demandred – no clue aside from “events to the south”
*Ishamael – dead by Rand in Tear
*Lanfear – dead by Moiraine
*Mesaana – White Tower, probably controlling Black Ajah?
*Moghedien – Prisoner of Nynaeve and Elayne
*Rahvin – dead by Rand
*Semirhage – can’t remember where she was at?
Chapter 24: An Embassy
Thus starts some irritation at Egwene. I really don’t dislike her as a whole, there’s just something that nags at me that I can’t quite pin point. Maybe it’ll come out in the blog - probably more with the next one. Anyway it’s been a couple days since Mangin was hanged, and we find out she is finally allowed to return to TAR. At least now with the Wise One’s permission. We also see the arrival of the White Tower embassy, not sure what to think of that just yet. Rand isn’t in the city, but no big deal because with the way he’s been going about, he could show up at any point. She goes to the Wise Ones tents and informs them of the arrival of the embassy, and how they will try to control Rand. She tells the wise ones that her “sisters” can’t know she’s there either. It’s a good believable story, but it’ll be interesting to see if/when she gets caught. You know she won’t be able to get away with posing as a full sister forever. It’s just a matter of which group finds out first. For her sake, she better come clean to the Wise Ones. I would guess they wouldn’t tell on her, and only punish her in their own way for lying. Better than probably spending eternity in the White Tower doing penance as an accepted.
Chapter 25: Like Lightning and Rain
The next day we find a little more about the embassy, and where they are staying. Egwene talks with the Wise Ones a little before she ventures out to the house the Aes Sedai are staying at. They have brought a hundred guards into the city, and the rest are camped outside. I didn’t have to wonder if these were still the younglings and Gawyn with them, when he appears. Before that, Egwene decides to try and eavesdrop on the house with no luck. All she managed to do was alert the sisters that there was someone channeling at the house, smart move. She runs into Gawyn as she tries to run away from the house, and they head to an inn to catch up. The discussion leads to Rand, where Gawyn still is convinced Rand needs to die for the murder of his parents and Elayne. Egwene barely can convince him, and only makes him promise not to do anything until it can be proven he didn’t kill them. Which then leads to Egwene saying Gawyn will be her warder and that she loves him.
Say whattt? At first I thought it was cute, but as the next couple chapters went on, I thought on it more and was confused they professed their love so fast. I mean have they ever really hung out before? Last we saw of Egwene even being in the Tower, she had eyes for Galad mostly, Gawyn even says that. Gawyn’s POV I can understand somewhat. Sees Egwene in the Tower, and falls for her. In all the time since he can’t stop thinking about her and hopes to see her again. It’s always been about her. Not sure when or how Egwene switched from Galad to Gawyn, it kind of just happened. Ah well apparently they are in love now, and won’t be happy without each other. Surprising but hey, when the world is ending we find love in all the right places.
Not sure if it will come up, but I mentioned this to my buddy and he said based off where I'm at in the books, I could also say the same thing about Elayne - Rand, or Min - Rand. I agree to a point, yet those both have some more merit to it. Min and Rand spent a good deal of time together before they split up again. Maybe not a lot, but Min would have enough time to fall for him, and be in similar situation to Gawyn. Rand just hasn't "noticed" her per say. I have no idea if they ever will fall for each other, all I have to go on is that Min loves Rand and that she must share him with the other two girls. She's kind of just accepted her fate at this point.
As for Elayne/Rand, we see them in Tear snuggling in the corners. Not a lot, but still enough time for a young Elayne to get that crush on him and and then he "took it away" when he left. As far as I know, that's the best way to keep a girl interested/frustrated. She want's what she can't have, and at the moment she doesn't think she fully "has" Rand. From Rand, we see he clearly likes her and has feelings, yet it is more in remembrance of their time together. I see him having more of an emotional attachment towards Aviendha, and mostly wanting to find Elayne to put her back on the thrown.
Anyway the chapter ends with some scheming by those Aes Sedai in the embassy. It sounds like they are talking to the different rulers or lords and ladies there, like they are trying to promise something. Not sure I like the sound of what they are up too.
Chapter 26: Connecting Lines
We jump back to Rand as he is in a bad mood. He’s watching Bashere’s cavalry as they are practicing something. I feel like this is supposed to be important in some way. I feel like Bashere keeps trying to get Rand to come watch their formations, but just looks like they are practicing tricks for the circus or something. Bashere’s wife and the rest of the women there creep me out. They sound like some intense people I wouldn’t want to mess with. Their silence only makes it worse. When Rand rides back through Caemlyn, he is attacked by several whitecloaks. He survives and the Aiel kill or capture the attackers, but unfortunately Desora is killed as she saves Rand. Rand then memorizes her face and name and adds it to some type of mental list of all the women that have died for him. He really doesn’t like women dying does he? Sensitive from someone who’s trying to be so hard. We don’t find out much from the attack aside from Rand having one man live to send a message to Niall.
Later, Rand is meeting with the Lady Elenia where he learns more of Andor history. He freaks out, as I did at first, when he thinks that he and Elayne could be related. He finally realizes they are not, though, and that it’s safe to be hooking up with her. Either way, Rand lets the pressure of it all finally get to him and he leaves for Cairhien, and not to tell Aviendha.
In response to a comment in the last blog about Rand’s actions. I didn’t say anything there because I knew I had talked about it in this post. What is his deal? He’s really starting to freak me out with this whole Lews Therin in his head deal. I know mad men apparently hear voices or see stuff that isn’t real, but this seems different in a way. At some points it really does seem like Lews Therin is reacting to events happening around Rand, and communicating his own ideas of what should happen. We’ve seen his dreams, weaves that he knows – Rand uses, and even starting to see Rand freaking out because he thinks Lews Therin is trying to seize saiden before he does. Even to the point of adding Ilyena’s name to Rand's list of dead women. Some stuff you can reason out to being stuff Rand has already known or seen, the way it’s portrayed just makes it seem like its coming from Lews Therin. Still, there are a few occasions where memories clearly had to come from someone besides Rand. So it's hard to figure this out exactly, I’ll just go with it for now and assume that he’s not going to go completely mad on me and kill everyone. At least not for another 4-5 books. I'm guessing things will clear up as the book progresses?