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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

What Have You Noticed on the Nth Read Through?


John
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So in preparation for the final book being published next year, I'm reading the WoT books for what I believe will be the last time for a long time (at least 5 years).

 

Every time I read the series I notice new things that I've never noticed before. So I thought I'd make a thread for people to mention what they noticed the last time they reread (or this time if they're still rereading) the WoT series that they missed the earlier time(s).

 

Tonight I noticed that it was Lanfear who was the mysterious woman in the villages in the Great Hunt when Rand is with Ingtar chasing the horn. I always thought she was some curtains or some past event like the one with the flies that trapped Rand.

 

This means that it was probably Lanfear that devised the trap that did catch Rand in the village where he kept seeing the events right before the Trollocs game.  The reason he only saw that one part was probably because that's when Lanfear started casting the spell.

 

Something I noticed this time was that the Travelling Stones have the 7 colours for the 7 Ajahs. Except this thing was created (if I recall correctly) before the Age of Legends. And in the AoL the Ajahs didn't exist like they do in the current Age. AFAIK there were no colors. So either the Aes Sedai took their colours from the Travelling Stones (and/or something written about the Travelling Stones), or they chose them out of thin air. If its the latter, then its quite possible that it is the Aes Sedai of the White Tower who will in some future Age create the travelling stones. Which means they'll probably continue for some time.

 

I thought those were interesting things to notice. Who knows if my conclusions are correct, its quite possible that Robert Jordan hadn't thought about what Ajahs in the AoL were like when he wrote the Great Hunt and so when he decided they were quiet different, he forgot about the Travelling Stones. But its still interesting to think about and hypothesise ;)

 

What have others noticed?

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This means that it was probably Lanfear that devised the trap that did catch Rand in the village where he kept seeing the events right before the Trollocs game.  The reason he only saw that one part was probably because that's when Lanfear started casting the spell.

 

I'm pretty sure this was Fain. He seems to have some traits that allow him to confuse people with visions and the like. You see this happening again in the duel in Far Madding. I could be wrong though. That said it was Lanfear throughout tGH =)

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***[Level 11 Spoilers]***

 

 

 

Rereading the series each time has made me more patient through the later books - instead of being annoyed that Rand doesn't get more screen time, or that Perrin takes four books to rescue Faile, etc.

 

Knowing the story ahead of time allows me to notice more subtle things about RJ's writing - his genius with POVs, structuring the books, etc.

 

It's made me more patient with the womenfolk.  I used to hate reading one of the Nynaeve/Elayne/Egwene/Aviendha chapters, but now I realize how much work RJ put into making fully fleshed out, unique characters.

 

 

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Indeed, RJ confirmed that it was Fain that made the time trap in his blog.

 

Something I noticed this time was that the Travelling Stones have the 7 colours for the 7 Ajahs. Except this thing was created (if I recall correctly) before the Age of Legends. And in the AoL the Ajahs didn't exist like they do in the current Age. AFAIK there were no colors. So either the Aes Sedai took their colours from the Travelling Stones (and/or something written about the Travelling Stones), or they chose them out of thin air. If its the latter, then its quite possible that it is the Aes Sedai of the White Tower who will in some future Age create the travelling stones. Which means they'll probably continue for some time.

 

That's always troubled me--though two other possibility seems viable. One, that both the Aes Sedai and the Portal Stone makers chose the colours in reference to a third common source--perhaps some historical event, or some such. Or Two, that the steps (which were actually what was coloured) were made after the breaking in relevance to the Ajah--this seems the most viable. It makes sense that the Aes Sedai studied the portal stones, and possibly tried to link their importance to the Tower--after all, the tower has a massive chip on its shoulder about all such things belonging to the Tower.

 

They couldn't move the stones, so they claimed them by making the path to the stones caste in the image of the Ajah.

 

 

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I'm doing a reread of the later books. One thing I noticed was the reference to Rand's "curls," which I started a separate thread about. Besides this, it's not so much not having noticed things for me but rather stupidly missing them the first time. For example, I just read the passage in WH regarding Taim ordering Rand's death; something that didn't stay with me for my first reading.

 

As I reread books 9 to 11, I get the feeling they are going to make more sense and be considerably more meaningful for someone who already knows the ending. I wonder if the flak the books are getting will subside once MoL is released and people go back and read them again. Saying that, I am enjoying this reread regardless. ;)

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One thing I have noticed is that there are clues absolutely everywhere. When people pull a face when asked a certain question or hesitate in a sentance it usually means something. For example, Rochaid, Kisman and Torvil exchange a variety of discreet mannerisms with Taim-things like the slight shake of a head when Taim raises his eyebrows after being absent from the Tower and whatnot-and later on we have Kisman and Rochaid attacking Rand at Far Madding. I had them three down as Darkfriends way before that attack. These tiny clues are EVERYWHERE around hundreds of characters, its the main reason I am so addicted to the series-its all a big mass of mysteries waiting to be solved. I cant help thinking if we arranged a structured read we could figure out a hell of a lot of stuff, although such a thing would be very difficult to manage I think.

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I'm on about my twenty-fifth re-read, and I still notice interesting facts--like for instance that peaches are poisonous--when and how did that happen? Or that dogs hate women who can channel, but like men, and vice versa with cats.

 

One thing I have noticed is that there are clues absolutely everywhere. When people pull a face when asked a certain question or hesitate in a sentance it usually means something.

 

Mmm, i love when i come accross a new one of those--or when i come accross something that indicates something that hasn't happened yet--for instance why does Javindhra, Elaida's pet sitter, display small signs of happiness at the prospect of Elaida being in trouble, or being blocked?

 

It's stuff like this that keeps you reading.

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more than honestly iv'e never really red a book more than twice. however since im currently at home due to circumstances out of my control, i have nothing else to do but read and watch tv -_-. that being said im loving my re-read of the books, one thing i have noticed is how foolish the foresaken are, their plans are to complicatd to work, so that if one thing goes wrong the whole thing falls on its head. i just finished book 6 and am enjoying it :D.

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Guest The Thin Inn Keeper

I'm on about my twenty-fifth re-read, and I still notice interesting facts--like for instance that peaches are poisonous--when and how did that happen?

Well, peach pits (the stones) are posionous ... maybe it's just a continuation of the same.

 

http://plantanswers.tamu.edu/fruit/peach.html

7. Q: Are peach pits poisonous?

 

A: All parts of the peach except the fruit pulp and skin are toxic. These parts contain cyanide-producing substances. Symptoms - difficulty in breathing, coma; may be fatal.

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Another thing I have noticed is a small reference to the future wayearly in EotW. Rand dreams he is in Tar Valon, that he can see the White Tower from the outskirts of the city. In the dream, people smile and laugh with him when he heads for the Tower, but as soon as he thinks about exploring-more specifically, delaying entering the Tower-people start acting upset. Also, in the dream people begin grovelling and bowing, and Rands first reaction of "Why are they bowing to me?" evolves into, "Thats what they should be doing." A very subtle piece of foreshadowing.

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I'm on about my twenty-fifth re-read, and I still notice interesting facts--like for instance that peaches are poisonous--when and how did that happen?

Well, peach pits (the stones) are posionous ... maybe it's just a continuation of the same.

 

http://plantanswers.tamu.edu/fruit/peach.html

7. Q: Are peach pits poisonous?

 

A: All parts of the peach except the fruit pulp and skin are toxic. These parts contain cyanide-producing substances. Symptoms - difficulty in breathing, coma; may be fatal.

 

Yes, but its directly stated that peaches are completely poisounous--and to a degree beyond what is true in our time. This is suggested by Moiraine and Nynaeve, and backed up by Demandred

 

Here...

 

But if either said the wrong thing here, word that Moiraine Damodred was wandering about in disguise would spread with the sisters in the room, and it would reach the wrong ears as surely as peaches were poison.

 

So direct--as surely as peaches were poison, as if that goes without saying.

 

"Those brown stains on the blade are gray fennel mixed with powdered peach pit," Nynaeve said, sitting down on the edge of the bed, and grimaced in disgust. "One look at his eyes and tongue, and I knew that was what killed the fellow, not the knife."

 

"Well," Elayne said quietly after a moment. Well, indeed. "Forkroot so I couldn't channel, or stand up, for that matter, and two men to hold me on my feet while the third put a poisoned dagger in me. A complicated plan."

 

"Wetlanders like complicated plans," Aviendha said. Glancing at Birgitte uneasily, she shifted against

the wall and added, "Some do."

 

"Simple, in its way," Birgitte said, rewrapping the knife with as great a care as she had shown unwrapping. "You were easy to reach. Everyone knows you eat your midday meal alone." Her long braid swung as she shook her head. "A lucky thing the first man to reach you didn't have this; one stab, and you'd be dead. A lucky thing Mellar happened to be walking by and heard a man cursing in your rooms. Enough luck for a ta'veren."

 

Nynaeve snorted. "You might be dead from a deep enough cut on your arm. The pit is the most

poisonous part of a peach. Dyelin wouldn't have had a chance if the other blades had been poisoned as well."

 

Again, Nynaeve implies that significant poisonous nature of peaches--'one look and I knew'. 'a gash and you'd be dead'.

 

Most telling, i think, is Demandred's comment.

 

The little woman drew herself up. By face and form she was a luscious plum, ready for plucking, but her big blue eyes were glacial. A peach, perhaps. Peaches were poisonous, here and now.

 

You see what I mean? It's incredibly subtle, but its made clear that peaches are by far more poisonous than they are in our time.

 

 

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Well, RJ was a Southern gentleman, and the Southern states of the US are very... competitive with one another (have been for decades), especially when it comes to college football (that's American football for the Europeans, Aussies, Kiwis and others out there; and yes we know it's horribly misnamed  ;)).  Maybe making peaches poisonous was his subtle way of taking a shot at Georgia (the state, not the country).

 

With RJ, you just never know (unless of course, he admits it...).  ;D

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Last time I read through the series I caught the part in EotW where Loial says that he went and taught the Tinkers the growing songs and the Tinkers just took the song but didn't really care about it. Makes me figure they don't actually care about finding the song.

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Guest The Thin Inn Keeper

Yes, but its directly stated that peaches are completely poisounous--and to a degree beyond what is true in our time. This is suggested by Moiraine and Nynaeve, and backed up by Demandred

Yep. Got it.

 

As I said, maybe it's a continuation of a theme...

 

Nyn's quote clearly mentions the peach pit, twice. Therefore, this is not a deviation from the real world, as peach pits are poisonous.

 

As for the references about the flesh ... (all 3):

 

I don't believe RJ is doing more than amplifying the amount of poison contained in peaches.  All the parts of a peach are toxic. Not enough to even make you aware of the issue, but toxic, nonetheless, this comes from the fact that the cyanide within the pit can be absorbed by the flesh. The entire plant, depending on the variety, can also be toxic.

 

And of course, Moiraine and Damendred are highly educated, Nyn was a Wisdom ... it doesn't mean, at all, that it's common knowledge that a peach is poisonous... The sample of people who mention it are, exceptional. Very few people would have their kind of knowledge.

 

As a result, the world is actually little different from our own in this respect... Very few people know that a peach is poisonous...

 

Anyways, like I said in the first post, merely an idea that RJ has included and amped up.

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  • 3 months later...

or maybe they knew it wasn't THE song, and thjerefore just treated it as any old tune

Except it was the type of song they wanted and they just didn't realise  :P

 

Something else I've been mulling over is the "remnant of a remnant" that will be saved. I'm thinking that the aiel will be destroyed, in that most of them will return to what they once were by having the gaishan learn from the tinkers on how to follow the Way of the Leaf. The remnant won't be aiel as such, but will instead be ji'e'toh and the way that Wise Ones are treated. The Cairhien will see the spreading of ji'e'toh while the Wise Ones, along with Windfinders, the Wise Women from Ebou Dar and the Asha'man will teach Aes Sedai how to be a part of society and how to act and behave and be respected.

 

Ji'e'toh surviving while the current practitioners abandoning it/dying out would be a "remnant of a remnant", right?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just started listening to the series by audio book at work.  Before, when I read it, I was always annoyed by the women in the series and especially by Rand's insulting treatment of women.  I am still irritated that Rand doesn't feel women can be criminally responsible for themselves (refusing to hang the Tear High Lady) or capable of making the decision they want to fight.  It also irritates me that he seems to feel that women are worth more than men if they're killed - that's just plain insulting to men.  But the women in the series don't bother me as much anymore.  They don't interact at all like real women - real women don't do all this hierarchy nonsense and bullying that these women do, but I really enjoy the characters of Nynaeve, Elayne, and Moraine.  They're really well written and have very distinct personalities (even if those personalities can be annoying at times).  The rest of the women, with their constant skirt-smoothing, glaring, bullying, and outright rudeness are just plain irritating and unrealistic.  I can never understand why Rand doesn't slap Egwene for her constant demands that he be polite while she is extremely rude to him.

 

I think that Jordan was trying to be subtle but instead hit with a hammer when he was trying to show social interactions.  I can see what he was doing now, which makes the whole thing less irritating upon re-reading (listening).

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adverge:

 

I am re-reading through the series right now and I have to agree - one of the more irritating aspects of the characters is the bizarre chivalry of the main male characters, particularly Rand and Matt.

 

One of the reasons that I really enjoy the world of WoT is the strong feminine characters. Usually fantasy is dominated by male characters, but Jordan has meticulously created a world where women have real sway, legitimate power, and an awesome level of equality with the men.  Absolutely awesome.

 

But then the whole idea gets turned on it's head by men who think that all the women are damsels that need rescuing, protection, or some inalienable right to not suffer the same punishment any man would get for the same action.  It's maddening.  Jordan created a world with a believable level of equality and responsibility between men and women, enough that all of the thing you say irritate you (angry petulance and arrogance) from the women  I actually find to be a neat aspect of the created culture.  I mean, this forum is full of folks who rail on the women in the series for being so irritating, all thr while ignoring those very same traits in the men.  I digress, the point is that all this nifty creation on Jordan's part is almost rendered moot because none of the main males in the series seem to have "bought in" to the culture that empowers women!  Women are given all this power, and then Rand and Matt act like it comes with no responsibility.  It drives me nuts sometimes.

 

On the other hand, it makes for some great dialogue.   :-\

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To say the women's actions in Randland are unrealistic, I mean, to some extent, maybe. I have noticed many times in my own experiences when women have acted very similar to say Nynaeve, or Elayne. I'm right, you're wrong end of story. And I think maybe part of the reason that women seem to dominate some aspects of Randland is because for 3k years only women could channel. THat may not affect a place like the Two Rivers very much, but for most of the world the fact that all humans with this amazing power are all women... well I guess it just makes sense that women seem to be more forceful in other aspects of society.

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