Chapter 32: Summoned in Haste
Thus begins an extremely intriguing and surprising story line with Egwene. We start off with Egwene as she is in the camps. Some Shaido Wise Ones show up, and because of their odd rule, they are welcomed among the tents. Egwene eventually tries to visit the Sea Folk ship, but is dumped in the river once they can sense her channeling ability. She quickly turns to her girlish pranks and lifts the sea folk out of the boat and dumps them into the water as well. Couldn't help but laughing as I pictured this scene. At least that night her trial run into TAR with the Wise One’s is a success, and they decide she is fit enough to meet with the Aes Sedai at the next meeting.
When the meeting night arrives, she enters the Heart of the Stone in TAR. The 6 Salidar Aes Sedai arrive and summon Egwene to come to Salidar as fast as possible. I was completely convinced they were summoning her to either A: return to her studies, or B: punished for posing as an Aes Sedai. Needless to say I was completely wrong. Egwene has also discovered how to travel into TAR with the Flesh, and is planning on using that way to travel to Salidar quickly. Very impressive, but when did she figure this out? Was it based off Rand trying to explain how he did it, that she reasoned out her own way? Regardless of how she did, I just love how Rand happened to also be in TAR that night, and heard almost everything they said. He now knows about Salidar, which is a huge advantage for him.
Chapter 33: Courage to Strengthen
Egwene gained some respect from me here in admitting her lies to the Wise Ones, and accepting the punishment. She quickly prepares her departure, and sends a note out to Gawyn. I feel bad for him, I understand the need for haste, but she pretty much spent every scandalous morning at the Inn with him. Ok, slight dramatization, but point is Gawyn will be devastated. Lord knows when he’ll get to see her again, and the way things are going it could be on opposite sides of a battle between Aes Sedai. Anyway, the biggest thing in this chapter is Egwene admitting her lies to the Wise Ones, and taking the beatings as punishment. I mean she is beat mercilessly. She’s lied to a good amount of Aiel, and they are all pretty strong. I can only imagine the pain and will it’d take to go through all that. I really like the Aiel way here in that after the punishment is done, it’s like the deed never happened. Egwene takes the beating as well as one would expect, and she wins the Aiel over a little more with how mentally tough she is throughout it all. Afterword’s they all hug and announce there is no toh between them. There usually is some sort of celebration after, which is kind of funny, but with the circumstances Egwene is in they all leave so she can finish packing.
We also see Mat again here. They play this game called Snakes and Foxes, which for whatever reason reminds me of chutes and ladders. Stupid I know, but for whatever reason I think of that every time. Rand suddenly appears, and we find out what exactly his plans are for Salidar. They are close to Tear, but Rand says his new objective is to go bring Elayne to Caemlyn. Aviendha will accompany him, and I was with Mat at first as far as worrying over what exactly she would do to Elayne. I know originally she was supposed to look for him for her, but all this about her sullen mood and her sharpening her knife got me worried. Anyway Rand says he can make a gateway for them, and gives Mat the letter to Thom from Moiraine (I really want to know what that one says).
Chapter 34: Journey to Salidar
Fairly quick chapter here, and like the title suggests, deals with Egwene’s journey through TAR. So she manages to make a gateway to TAR directly and enters it in the flesh. Since she can do this, can’t she figure out the traveling gateways that Rand does? Anyway she imagines Bela being there, and she mounts the horse and begins the journey. Now I’m curious if the rules change if you come in the flesh? Basically can’t she just travel around quickly like they normally do? Just imagine she’s there and bam, she’s in Salidar. As I go through this blog again, I think I’ve answered my own questioned. She can’t because she has never been there before, nor the areas around there. Therefore she can’t just appear anywhere close to Salidar. She’s using Bela in a similar way Perrin takes those long strides as he runs around chasing Slayer?
No matter how she does it, she soon arrives in Salidar and surprises the Aes Sedai how quickly she arrived. I don’t really have the words to express my shock at the next announcement, so I’ll just say it with the added “!?” punctuations that I normally despise using. Egwene to be the next Amyrlin Seat?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Chapter 35: In the Hall of the Sitters
I’ll go on to express my thoughts on that whole deal at the end, and stick to the chapter because the process of admitting an Amyrlin is pretty interesting. The sisters have found a loophole in the Tower Law that states that the Amyrlin doesn’t need to be Aes Sedai, only that she IS Aes Sedai. They discuss and rehearse everything required for Egwene, and take her to the Little Tower. They go through the specific ceremony, and it’s interesting to note that the vote must be unanimous for the Amrylin to be “sworn in” so to speak. Also, how all the women basically bare their chests in order to prove that only women were present. Imagine a warder, or any man for that matter, walking into that. Unfortunately not all the women stand to vote for Egwene at first, and she is required to go around and wash all the feet of the Sisters and ask to serve them. Not to get all Religious, but reminds me a little of Jesus washing the feet of his Disciples before the Passover. Pretty cool and powerful stuff. At last Egwene finishes, and in the second vote is able to pass, with Lelaine and Romanda standing last. Apparently if the vote is not unanimous, Egwene may have been exiled, and one of those other two might have been raised to the Seat. It made me wonder why those two stood at all, especially if they believed they could have won. We find out more on why they did in the coming chapters.
Chapter 36: The Amyrlin is Raised
We have another cool chapter here, as it dealt with the ceremony and celebration after raising someone to the Amyrlin Seat. They do some nifty weaving to make it appear Egwene is standing on thin air as she gives her speech. She improvises a little and shortens the speech from what the other Sisters had given her, and announced Elayne and Nynaeve (as well as Theodrina and Faolain) to full Aes Sedai! This obviously creates quite a stir, but I feel all four of those girls deserved it. Afterwards we finally see the reunion of Egwene with her two friends, and they catch up on all the discoveries and everything that has been going on. Elayne is furious over Rand “giving” her the throne, but at the same time she has to know how little Rand knows about politics and should give him a break. He has enough to worry about. I understand why this could be bad for her, and how she needs to win it back on her own in order to win the hearts and minds of her people. It’s not like the world is crumbling around them or anything, and the DO could break free at any moment and wreak havoc around the world.. She could very well do all this work to win it back without Rand’s help, only to have it completely destroyed by Trollocs, Forsaken, Aiel, or something. I would be happy for the help, yet as I’ve come to notice with these Wheel of Time females, they love to do everything their own way and Lord help any male who tries to tell her differently.
Chapter 37: When Battle Begins
Finally, Egwene learns the truth of most of their discoveries and the existence of Moghedien. I’m really impressed with how Egwene handles the situation, and really seems to freak Moghedien out. With a little be of help from Moghedien describing how it’s done, Egwene is also able to discover how to Travel herself! I was kind of upset that Rand’s advantage was lost here, but it had to get out sometime. We’ll just see which Aes Sedai they share this knowledge with. Siuan then shows up and begins her role as advising Egwene on the ins and outs of being the Amyrlin. I didn’t quite figure out or understand what went on at the end of this chapter with all the political movement between Egwene, Lelaine, and Romanda. Basically, it just sounds like Elayne and Nynaeve are each “siding” with one of the two as a spy and everyone is doing their best to keep those other two fighting against each other, rather than combining to take Egwene out.
Alright so onto the subject of Egwene being Amyrlin. I was super shocked that she was even being considered, and here’s why. First, I feel like she has the least amount of actually training, at least from the Nynaeve, Elayne, Egwene group. All three of those girls have obviously got a lot of talent and power potential, but I was more focused on them becoming actual Aes Sedai first. Elayne was in the Tower for at least a couple months before Egwene ever arrived, and both she and Nynaeve returned to the Tower for a short time during the period Egwene was in the Waste. On top of that, you also have the months spent in Salidar. It really isn’t a question as to who has the most “Aes Sedai” training. I would imagine Egwene got some training from Moiraine, but it's in a completely different setting. That was like a "co-op". She has honestly been gone for a long long time. Yes, she has the Wise One’s training, but that was mainly dealing with TAR, and the Aiel Way. All that is completely opposite from the way the Aes Sedai function.
Now, take all that away and it’s pretty clear that the Aes Sedai mean for Elayne to be Queen of at least Andor. Nynaeve still has her block issue, and in all honesty just doesn’t seem to fit that leadership type roll like she did in the first book or so. Which leaves Egwene as the obvious choice, and I’m not upset over the choice as much as I’m shocked over they would pick her now. I could very well just be mixed up with how the books are spaced out, and that she wasn’t really gone as long as I’m thinking. Still, you’d think some time would be needed for her to adjust and growing up. As we saw with the Sea Folk incident and her losing her temper, you can’t quite do that as the Amyrlin. She’ll definitely have to grow up fast now, and she has started to grow on me the last couple chapters with how she handled and treated people. Still a bit arrogant for my taste, and this probably will only make it worse, but I’ll hold out on my judgment for now. As Amyrlin I feel you have to be a bit arrogant and self confident. So this may just end up being the perfect role for her.
Aside from that, I’ve also realized that maybe these Aes Sedai picked Egwene because they know they can control her to do as they want. She’s simply the figurehead, as they still pull the strings. Nynaeve and Elayne wouldn't fit for this role for some of the previously mentioned issues. From the few chapters we’ve gotten, though, I doubt Egwene will settle to be just a figurehead. Now we just have to wait and see what she’s going to do about it.
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