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Book 6 Chapters 6-7




This makes all of the chapter responses I have written so far. After this, I have quite a few chapters to catch up to, before I'm all current.


Chapter 6: Threads Woven of Shadow




Sammael reluctantly visits Graendal in her Domani palace, where her ‘pets’ serve and tend to their every whim, many of which are Domani nobles and royals. Her newest acquisitions originate from beyond the Aiel Waste, one of them a sort of empress. Sammael suspects Graendal’s explaining this somehow significant. He sees past her puerile exterior into a manipulative mind, and believes the Forsaken will compete for position of Nae’blis as they had before.


Much to Sammael’s distaste, the conversation shifts to Lews Therin Telamon, whom Sammael loathes and refuses to believe is Rand. Graendal comments LTT would make an ample pet. Sammael is paranoid about the possibility the Dark One intends to convert Rand into his Nae’blis, the position he contends for. With Rand focusing entirely on Sammael, the Forsaken wishes to kill Rand unimpeded. However, Graendal is frustratingly cryptic concerning the Dark One’s intentions for Rand. Disobeying him and, worse still, disrupting his plans would prove perpetually torturous.


Sammael is also certain Lanfear dispatched the trollocs who countered his own within the Stone of Tear. He still believes Asmodean alive. Graendal implores they stand together and ignore competition over becoming Nae’blis, but Sammael is suspicious, responding with a message for Demandred and his conspirators to exercise caution. He eventually departs in a fury, his gateway slicing open one of Graendal’s pets.


Upon Sammael’s departure, Graendal reflects to herself with confidence, only concerned with the bloodstains the gateway left behind. She believes Sammael a trapped fool in terms of politicking. Graendal refuses to disobey the Dark One, for the consequences, but still considers Rand a threat to her intended immortality. She therefore intends to use Sammael as a loaded weapon pointed at Rand, while she can claim the position of Nae’blis for herself, something promised to her by the Dark One.


Mesaana accidentally revealed about bindings, as well as her position in the White Tower. Graendal only wishes to learn about Demandred and Semirhage’s positioning as well, to determine their true plans. She disguises herself in order to speak with Lord Ituralde, who has arrived.


Semirhage confronts an imprisoned Aes Sedai and gleefully triggers the pain receptors in her brain, to induce exponential and incomprehensible agony. She finds torture a more useful method of forcing submission than Compulsion. Semirhage loathed Aes Sedai ever since her forced flight to the Dark One. She ceases the torture to determine the Aes Sedai is named Cabriana Mecandes.


She leaves her to even greater torture to approach her other prisoner, but encounters Shaidar Haran in the hallway, and cannot help being unnerved. The Dark One ordered her to obey Shaidar, and that included finding the two prisoners and wringing information from them. Semirhage approaches the second prisoner, Cabriana’s Warder, who seems to be suffering some of his master’s agony.


She decides to torture him through triggering the pleasure receptors instead, forcing dependence. She then reflects on the different Forsaken, on those who perished and those who still pose to plot against her. Semirhage even contemplates that Shaidar is manipulating the Forsaken themselves, and has trouble analyzing a new player like him on the chessboard. Neither can she determine what differentiates this Myrddraal from the rest. It was her who dispatched trollocs to intercept Sammael’s, not Lanfear. In her musing, her torture accidentally kills the Warder. Indifferent, she returns to Cabriana, who is in utter agony, to her delight.




Whoa, serious developments here. I always love me some villainous Forsaken plotting. So Sammael isn’t completely on his own, he’s had connections with Graendal, but he’s very wise not to trust her, because the Forsaken are totally trying to use him against Rand. It would work just perfectly for Graendal (and some others) for the two of them to just kill each other, wouldn’t it? Well, Rand’s definitely not focusing on anyone but Sammael, so I sense a surprise plot. Possibly from Mesaana. From this chapter, Graendal, as a manipulator, and Semirhage, as a sadist, seem to be the most dangerous, but it’s Mesaana who’s in the White Tower, which was an interesting development. Which Aes Sedai is she? Elaida’s making a move on Rand anyway… This could end badly.


Sammael’s in a really desperate position. His days are definitely numbered. He doesn’t seem totally stupid, so I’m not sure if Mat’s strategy will actually work. That would be too easy, wouldn’t it? Still, Graendal seems confident she can use him. Everybody regards him as a desperately loose cannon, which sounds accurate. But I’m sure he still has some tricks up his sleeve, and he is one of the Forsaken I was always curious to see more of. Hopefully the Big-Ass WoT Ending doesn’t disappoint in that regard.


Graendal herself, in this chapter, matches up with what little I knew of her before. Totally creepy, with her little palace of slaves, but also not as infantile as she looks. I have a feeling she’s in over her head, trying to become Nae’blis and thinking Sammael’s a total pawn, but she’s also got a secure position, unlike some certain other Forsaken. Admittedly, if the whole Sammael plan goes to hell, it’s Sammael, not her, who’ll be suffering the most from it.


And finally, Semirhage. Not the most pleasant Forsaken. Rand still has a lot to contend with, doesn’t he? He could end up a Compelled (is that proper verb form of Compulsion? I would assume so, just never seen it written…) slave of Graendal’s (and then killed, knowing her agenda), or tortured to death by a sadist like Semirhage. Seeing what she did to the Warder and this Cabriana, I’d imagine Graendal preferable. I’m curious who Cabriana is, and what Semirhage is supposed to extricate from her.


Other important developments… Shaidar Haran. He’s awesome. I’ve known him for 200 pages, but I’m fascinated. What kind of mega-Myrddraal exists that has Forsaken, even like Semirhage, freaked out? I’d say Semirhage is accurate in pinning Shaidar as a manipulator. He’s like the Dark One’s right hand, exacting DO’s agenda by moving the Forsaken like pawns on a board. I just don’t know what that agenda is. It’s obviously been relayed to Demandred (another interesting new player…) and, in a more garbled iteration, to the others. Could the Dark One really want Rand for himself? Come on, when does that ever work out? Have him killed, don’t try to convert him.


Also, practically nobody knows that Asmodean’s dead. I remember earlier on, Rand thought he just escaped somehow, and most of the Forsaken seem to think he’s still with Rand. That can definitely rule Semirhage and the like from murdering him. I still have no idea who did murder him, for that matter, and am disappointed to hear there’s little clarification further down the road, because I’m certainly not intuitive enough to figure out for myself where more perceptive devotees have failed. And we have confirmation (if we didn’t before, can’t remember) that Sammael and Semirhage’s trollocs were the combatants in the Stone back in TSR. Cool? Finally, Graendal’s meeting with Ituralde. I feel like I’ve seen that name before, but I have no idea who he is. Guess we’ll find out at the next symposium of Forsaken plotting.


One thing confused me, though: what bindings did Mesaana accidentally talk about? I am totally clueless, forgive my stupidity.


Chapter 7: A Matter of Thought




Nynaeve and Elayne prepare for another lesson for the six Aes Sedai in tel’aran’rhiod, with Siuan and Leane accompanying, who are still feigning animosity to confuse the Aes Sedai. The six arrive at the designated meeting point, discussing something Nynaeve cannot fully understand. They stop speaking once the four are completely in earshot. Nynaeve warns them about the potential danger of nightmares, and the Aes Sedai do not take kindly to her often condescending tone.


Leane disappears to scout Tar Valon upon entering tel’aran’rhiod, and Nynaeve is dispatched to accompany her, despite the impossibility of locating her. Elayne is forced to wait while the others secretively discuss the information in Elaida’s letterbox. Elaida herself briefly appears fuming in the dream, before vanishing. Elayne notes Elaida seems to have disbanded her advisors, with no chairs remaining in her office.


Once the Aes Sedai are prepared to leave, they seek out the others outside of the office, but find them trapped in a nightmare. Sheriam rushes headlong into a hellish cavern of trollocs, the others following, but Siuan and Elayne are wise enough to remain behind. They witness the surreal torture of the Aes Sedai and realize they lack the power alone to disband the nightmare. The two submit themselves to the nightmare and, with the other six anguished Aes Sedai, manage to disband it before the torture becomes too much.


Elayne remains behind briefly in tel’aran’rhiod, once the others recover and leave. She is uncertain what to think of Rand’s treatment of Andor. Demandred secretly spies on her until her departure.




This was an…interesting chapter. Not entirely sure how necessary a sketchy trolloc nightmare thingy was, but it was certainly surprising. What was Demandred doing there? Was he to blame? It’s been ages since I’ve read the infodumps on tel’aran’rhiod, which I think were two or three books ago, so I have no idea what the deal is with nightmares.


Weird nightmare scene aside, there’s not too much else to say about this chapter. A lot of tantalizing hints, Aes Sedai politicking, and foreshadowing (at least I think) going on, but I can’t understand much of it.



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