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Witless Looby

Questions as I re-read

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LMK if this is an inappropriate thread topic or type of thread; I just anticipate having a lot of questions and would prefer not to spam y'all with a bunch of new threads.

 

First question:  was Moirane and Lan's field trip to the Two Rivers the most productive road trip ever?

 

They found 3 ta'veren, including the Savior of the world, a future Amyrlin, and one of the greatest Aes Sedai of the Third Age who is the greatest Healer since the AoL (Nynaeve).  They also discovered how far the Dark One had penetrated south of the Blight and got a read on just how close he was to finding Rand first (via Ba'alzamon and his Fade/Trolloc/Fain minions).  Important information as the chess pieces start to line up for the Last Battle.

 

Oh, by the way, they each found their future spouse on this road trip.  Lan encounters the love of his life and future bondholder.  Moiraine finds her future hubby who, along with one of the 3 ta'veren she finds, will rescue her from another dimension (at great cost) in future.  

 

And Moirane finds one of the richest veins of channeling talent imaginable, which is later harvested by Verin, Alanna, and (on the male side) Taim.  

 

Side question:  Moiraine muses that if she had known she would encounter a fist of Trollocs and a Myrddraal on this voyage when she "set out from Tar Valon," she would have brought 6 or more of her Sisters.  Did she set out from Tar Valon?  I have a vague recollection that she avoided the place.  But she must have done so, as she said it, and as she apparently talked Siuan into letting her bring that angreal with her.

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Early in EOTW, mention is made that few strangers ever visit the Two Rivers.  An exception appears to have been a man down from Baerlon about 5 years prior, who suffered a problem that nobody understood.

 

Do we have any subsequent info or theories about this man and the nature of his problem?  Maybe a (real or suspected) male channeler hiding from the Red Ajah?  Or just a guy with "big city" problems that these yokels can't grasp?

 

I had forgotten that Lan is kinda harsh on the boys in these early moments together.  It's good knowing that their bumpkinish ways and thoroughgoing ignorance will be remedied eventually.

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I always assumed that guy was on the run from the law and thought the Two Rivers was a good place to lay low until he thought he was safe. 

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I got the impression she stopped by Tar Valon before heading to the two rivers.  One of the main reasons she avoided the WT and only went there when she needed to was she knew the BA had killed most the people involved in the search for the Dragon.  Without knowing if the BA had her name it was best to avoid the WT as much as she could just in case.  

Edited by Sabio

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Ah yes, the "vileness" and the killings of the AS other than Siuan and Moiraine who knew about Gitara's Foretelling re: the infant Dragon.

 

Yes I agree the Baerlon fella was likely just hiding from the law or whatnot.  If he had been a channeler he would almost certainly have done some damage with saidin.

 

Min is cracking me up here in Baerlon.  She had her vision about herself and two other women standing over Rand's funeral bier.  As Rand tries to skedaddle she is taunting him, "run if you want, you can't escape from me," and laughing all the while.  I have heard of psycho ex-girlfriends but, thanks to her viewings, Min is a psycho FUTURE girlfriend lmao.

 

Ishy/Ba'alzamon is really really entertaining me.  He just called Rand his hound and said he would strangle him with the corpse of the Great Serpent.  that is an awesome mental image.  Earlier, he called Rand a worm, and a "toad crouching next to a puddle in the forest" or some such, and made some very unflattering barnyard-related remarks about Rand's parentage.  these animal insults are gold.

 

I like all of Ishy's faces including Mr. Fireside "pull up a chair and sit for a while" later on in the series, but here in book 1 he is just pwning Rand and the other lads every night in their dreams, killing rats in alarming ways, giving them the fire-eyes mean mug treatment, and just riding the waves of madness and rage.  He chews up the scenery but in a good way that makes me want to see what he will do next.

Edited by Witless Looby
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I had forgotten that Perrin was prepared to mercy-kill Egwene rather than let the ravens maul her.  Ouch.

 

I wonder what the Tinkers do with their male channelers?  What would the Way of the Leaf prescribe for them?  For that matter, what do they do with their female channelers?  Did we see any among the Aes Sedai?

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1 hour ago, Witless Looby said:

I had forgotten that Perrin was prepared to mercy-kill Egwene rather than let the ravens maul her.  Ouch.

 

I wonder what the Tinkers do with their male channelers?  What would the Way of the Leaf prescribe for them?  For that matter, what do they do with their female channelers?  Did we see any among the Aes Sedai? 

 

There were definitely Tinker Aes Sedai - they just mostly refuse to harm anyone. I can't recall anything more specific at the moment - sorry.

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Aisling Noon is a Green sister who used to be a Tinker. When Tinkers realize they have a girl who can channel, they head straight to Tar Valon with her. I don’t recall what they do with young men who can channel. 

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Interesting that she joined the Battle Ajah, given her background.  I would have guessed that a Tinker AS might join the Brown and scour the Library to find the Song.

 

 

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I wonder why Agelmar, upon encountering Rand, does not mention that he looks like an Aielman.  Earlier in the 1st book, Gawyn and Loial did so (Gawyn in response to a question from Rand).  Shienarans skirmish with the Aiel often enough but Agelmar seems to just see Rand as a "farmboy" and "country oaf."

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Tinker children removed from their culture do seem to lose that culture. The White Tower being the strongest childhood culture eraser in the world. Yes, women most often choose to wear the clothing of their home country and hair, but beyond that, there isn’t strong ties to the way they grew up. I’ll admit, the last Ajah I expect to find a tinker is the Green, but to spend her life searching for the song sounds wrong too. The sea folk women live in the Tower, far from any sea port, tho admittedly, they do keep the secret until their deaths. 

As to Agelmar, for someone who often sees the Aiel in uniform, seeing a group of similarly dressed boys from a village, the might override the recognition. As Gawayn calling him Aiel, that makes very little sense as his family and Tigraine’s family have coloring like Rand. 

Edited by jsbrads

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Just finished Book One.  I agree with many that it was the Creator speaking in ALL CAPS before Rand charged after Ishamael.  My theory as to the meaning of "IT IS NOT HERE" is that the "IT" simply refers to Ishamael/Ba'alzamon.

 

I think it reasonable, or at least plausible for the purposes of my theory, for the Creator to view Ishy as no longer a human being and instead as some horrible, twisted, forsaken thing which it is most appropriate to refer to as "IT" rather than "HE."  Still quite ambiguous, of course, anf open to many interpretations, but that is my take on it.

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Why do so many in the fandom (includint me) give the Aiel a pass on many troubling behaviors whereas the Seanchan are more consistently held to account for theirs?  My theory is that it boils down to charismatic Aiel characters like Rhuarc and Gaul and (once she grew up a bit) Aviendha and Bain and Chiad.

 

The da'covale thing is just horrible.  The damane thing is bad, but I can see the impulse to want to control wild, terrifying, magical powers and harness them for the Empire.

 

What is also horrible, at least to me, is this attitude on the part of the Aiel that Cairhienin are essentially subhuman or even nonhuman.  All because one vainglorious moron chopped down the Tree.  Do Couladin's actions mean that all other Aiel are contemptible and lack honor?  Of course not.  And the Aiel are the last people who should moan about "oathbreakers" given that they broke their oath to the Aes Sedai and broke with the Way of the Leaf too.

 

There are troubling behaviors among various other peoples in the books.  According to Elayne, for instance, thieves who are caught stealing in Andor a few times get a humiliating thief mark tattooed on their face.

 

I am just always struck by how the readers (self included) seem to correctly diagnose the more unpalatable aspects of Seanchan behavior but have a blind spot when it comes to the Aiel.  The Shaido, like it or not, are Aiel, and they resorted to enslaving people and routine massacres once they crossed the Dragonwall.

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I'll just answer a few things, concrete ones.

 

Yea, obviously Moiraine avoided the White Tower mostly, since she had her search going, but she did clearly during the 20 years go there sometimes. Anayia did say they miss her, they get to see her too seldom, or something like that, not that they didn't see her at all since New Spring.

 

A general might not come to face to face fighting with the Aiel. Gawyn could not have seen them, but he did say Rand fit the depctions of Aiel he had heard. He a person who had been taught the major depictions of people in all the countries, aside from their typical characterists, trades and imports. Not just regions of Andor, but all the countries. I suppose, nobility have little else to do so they might learn those things.

 

Last you said, I think something the author wanted to bring across, but for the reader to notice: it may not be so different; it is art not a lecture. But realistic too, what you said earlier, say renaissance Europe was very cruel, particularly but not exclusively for those not nobly born.

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I can yet say about the vileness. It was essentially a grey Amyrlin allowed pogrom. Tower law states that the man must be identified, brought to the Tower, tested perhaps, given justice as we see the late end on Egwene's Accepted trial, gentled and then given the allieviating treatment (thus Logain's treatment in the Tower). I make a lot of deductions, but I haven't yet even started. What the Red did, (perhaps one of them outside Elaida had had a foretelling) was to kill every male child who could be suspected of being able to channel. It may have been started by the Black, who killed the Amyrlin Moiraine and Siuan stood attendance to in New Spring, but the vileness was mostly (the black ajah killed many prominent sisters then), the vileness of killing the children, was mostly carried out by the red, a part of who then killed Sierin Vaiyu the successor of Tamra Ospenya. The Grey was implicated (not punished) in this, because of the Amyrlin, but the Hall (I think) rightly sent the Red Sitters (did they all have a part in that) into penance. Elaida avoided punishment no doubt as a new sister, though that was reflected in her orders for the Black Tower later. This what they did happened to Thom's nephew, and Moiraine a blue could know who was responsible.

 

So the vileness was to kill or gentle without any later treatment over a thousand men or male children. Alviarin's pov mentions this, later, when Ishamael had been furious at Tamra beying killed, he raised Alviarin to head the Black Ajah, and she had to do all her convincing the black had nothing to do with killing Sierin. Later who was it was bored listening to Chesmal telling she had induced the Red to kill Sieryn. (the one who didn't liek doing embroidery but did it because then Chesmal wouldn't talk to her, Asne, I think). Chesmal had brought news of Tamra's death after all, she might have been uncovered -- pure deduction nowhere mentioned. Siuan left that note written in her lesser left hand before leaving then. Suppose Sierin acted on it and started asking questions. Chesmal knew she had lied to a breakfast-room full of people.

Edited by Graendals favourite

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Granny’s Favorite, pretty sure the punishment for murder is execution. 

Black Ajah killed babies, we saw that starting in New Spring.

Red Ajah’s error was stilling Owen, Thom’s nephew, and leaving him in “the wild”. A violation of due process (no trial) deserving a slap on the wrist, but when Owen was defenseless and lynched by townsfolk, it kinda got elevated to a weird almost 3rd degree Manslaughter, so some of those women got blamed, and got the book thrown at them. 

Witless, yes the king commanded the tree get cut down, but the people listened and cut it down. And in Aiel history the trees are more than sacred, countless Aiel lives were sacrificed to save the tree. I have a whole theory about the trees were the purpose of the Aiel people, and the way of the leaf was constructed to allow the Aiel to protect the trees, we know the obedience to Aes Sedai was only added later at the end of the AoL. 

Edited by jsbrads

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The Cairhienin tree, Laman was of course free to cut it down, but by doing so he destroyed a peace offering by the Aiel. The Aiel set to kill him for it, though to a lesser extent they blamed all Cairhienin.

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Not to say too much, but, jsbrads, and I am going to go beyond the rule that anything beyond the but has not significance; what happened to Owen happened to most of the lads so gentled. Their former dear neighbours were no longer so dear, they inevitably tried to lynch them. So they died, and if they had families, those probably died too. Tower law tried not to have that happen, and that even that those men got a chance, like Algarin,

 

now where was this, didn't mean to hijack anything, keep on as you would.

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Spoilers for end of series below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is there a conventional wisdom regarding why Egwene wielding Vora's sa'angreal was able to overpower and defeat M'Hael wielding Sakarnen?

 

My best guess is that Egwene overdrew on saidar due to the lack of a buffer on Vora's sa'angreal amd that this made the difference in this titanic duel.  she also had "dead warder rage" and simple righteousness on her side.  I also consider it possible that Egwene outclasses M'Hael in terms of deftness/skill.  I reckon his mastery is more narrowly tailored in destructive directions.  Balefire is pretty fierce, though.

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IMO it should of been impossible for her to do so since I believe he was using the second most powerful item for men and both should of been tired.   Taim should of been able to overpower her.  I always felt like RJ and BS pushed Egwene too much to be the super girl sort of the female LTT.  Her sudden weave that only killed evil channelers was a WTF moment for me and overpowering Taim seemed too much like we have to have a female super hero to counter Rand.  That weave she used has to be the worst thing in the series.

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Spoilers for aMoL below:

 

 

 

 

Did Rand sing "The Song" when shielded by Tuon's damane in Ebou Dar?  I hope so, and hope he bumps in to some Tuatha'an on his travels and sings it for/with them.  My understanding is that Sanderson has said that there is no such Song or that it has been lost, but I like to think Rand sang it with Fortuona and Mat and friends there when he made the peach trees blossom.

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So we know that the Seanchan are big on omens.

 

And by the time the battle at Falme happened, at least some Seekers for the Truth were in Randland to observe what happened with the Forerunners on Toman Head.

 

Would not the fact that Artur Hawkwing himself came down from the heavens and fought the Seanchan have been reported to the Court of the Empress back in Seandar?  Did Anath suppress this somehow?  It seems that Hawkwing's active opposition to the Seanchan invasion of Randland would rank as the very worst omen in history, no?

 

Also, some of the Seekers must have witnessed Rand battling Ishamael in the skies above Falme.  Same questions as above for the import of such an omen, and how word of it was received by the Empress.

 

High Lord Turak, a blademaster, being bested in a duel by a young sheepherder less than one year of age (in Borderlander swordsman parlance) could not have been a great omen either.

 

I guess what I am getting at is why did the Seanchan persist with the Return after the Forerunners encountered such seemingly negative omens?  Given that we know they rely heavily on omens, and have Seekers looking for the Truth at all times?  My provisional answer to my own questions is that Anath somehow suppressed/perverted the reports to the Empress that the Seekers should have made.

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