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The Band of the Red Hand - Spoiler


TreeJoe
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I wanted to dedicate a post to the Band of the Red Hand.

 

I love the parallelism that has happened with the Band. They rush into Caemlyn to protect the dragons, but they wind up spending their lives helping buy time for Caemlyn refugees to escape into the countryside. I imagine the band is mostly gone at this point - Talmanes rushed in to hold gates and get the dragons, he wouldn't have held much back (except maybe 1/4 for protect the flanks). And even after felling the walls at the end, they are still being rushed and harried by hordes of trollocs.

 

To me though, it was the perfect "end" to the Band. They died rushing in to protect refugees trying to escape a trolloc invasion. They were selfless and bought time and protected the Light.

 

To me, this is a far better "end" to the existing Band than if they, say, ran into Tarwin's Gap. Their doomed rescue of Caemlyn perfectly fit their backstory.

 

It's one of those little things to me that I will treasure for a long time, how the Band was explained by Moiraine, re-formed by Mat, grew by reputation, and then rescued the citizen's of a nation's capital.

 

Beautiful.

 

Just wanted to share :)

 

...

 

Minor edit: I realize the Band still exists in various forms and whatnot. I don't know the exact number who went into Caemlyn. I simply mean the faction that went into Caemlyn had an amazing parallel-istic story arc and has re-earned the Band's reputation throughout history.

Edited by TreeJoe
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Yeah, see my edit. I realized I sounded super fatalistic.

 

Let's say a full half of the band perished in Caemlyn. I think that fits them perfectly and I would've been dissapointed if they had ALL perished in something like tarwin's gap or even assaulting shayol ghul.

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I don't think the Band in Caemlyn is wiped out. Talmanes advanced to the Palace leaving behind troop contingents to secure his retreat. And he managed to convince 10,000 mercenaries around Caemlyn to help. I think that Mat will come back to Caemlyn to find the Band still capable of fighting; but it will not be the same Band he left behind him.

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I will be very dissapointed if the caemlyn band isn't predominantly wiped out. Trollocs OVER-RAN that city to the point where they could control all gates, man all walls so that people couldn't approach the walls, harry the palace itself to the point the palace couldn't send out sorties, and still have enough trollocs to run rampant throughout the city. At the end, the band is completely surrounded (and they have thousands of townsfolk as well as their own) inside the city walls by streets flooded black as well as walls jam-packed with trollocs. And that was just one small section of the city.

 

On top of that, Talmanes brought enough men into the city to:

 

A. Hold a gate

B. Secure locations along a path leading to the palace

C. Fight entrenched trollocs around the palace (and be on the brink of losing as more trollocs joined)

D. Run a sortie to the warehouse

E. Shepherd thousands of refugees/townsfolk and STILL be overwhelmed by trollocs at the end

 

...

 

You don't enter city warfare like that, against overwhelming odds, without massive losses. I get this is the band of the red hand (albeit without it's ta'ver'en). But if they escape with more than half their men, bullocks. They lost at least 100 in the opening fight against a gate the trollocs didn't even hold yet, and where they caught the trollocs by surprise.

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Talmanes led a rescue operation, not a liberation campaign. He didn't have to fight all the Trollocs in the city. He only had to fight the ones in his way. I am almost certain that most of the Shadowspawn army would have been deployed to secure most of the city, capture the gates, and man the walls. Those three objectives alone would probably require 50K troops alone. And since the fighting was urban warfare, Talmanes could have very well taken advantage of the defensive advantages of buildings.

 

Still, the Band probably suffered heavy losses; but I don't think it was wiped out.

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I would have loved to see Daerid, Edorian, Estean, or Reimon (sp) in the prologue. I wonder why they weren't there. Maybe be Daerid is with Elayne; and maybe the others didn't participate because they were cavalry.

Rodel used cavalry in the defense of Maradon, why didn't Talmanes utilize his?

Edited by Theodril
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I would have loved to see Daerid, Edorian, Estean, or Reimon (sp) in the prologue. I wonder why they weren't there. Maybe be Daerid is with Elayne; and maybe the others didn't participate because they were cavalry.

Rodel used cavalry in the defense of Maradon, why didn't Talmanes utilize his?

 

Ituralde could use cavalry in Maradon for at least three reasons. One, his forces were already in the city, so they were the ones setting the ambushes - Talmanes was coming in from the outside. Two, the majority of the population had already been evacuated from Maradon, so he had much clearer streets - Talmanes had to basically go through a fleeing population. And three, Caemlyn and Maradon are laid out very differently - without going into it too much, Maradon is a city designed for defense, and Caemlyn is a city that grew up around commerce.

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I would have loved to see Daerid, Edorian, Estean, or Reimon (sp) in the prologue. I wonder why they weren't there. Maybe be Daerid is with Elayne; and maybe the others didn't participate because they were cavalry.

Rodel used cavalry in the defense of Maradon, why didn't Talmanes utilize his?

 

Ituralde could use cavalry in Maradon for at least three reasons. One, his forces were already in the city, so they were the ones setting the ambushes - Talmanes was coming in from the outside. Two, the majority of the population had already been evacuated from Maradon, so he had much clearer streets - Talmanes had to basically go through a fleeing population. And three, Caemlyn and Maradon are laid out very differently - without going into it too much, Maradon is a city designed for defense, and Caemlyn is a city that grew up around commerce.

 

Makes sense! What are your thoughts on the Band officers missing from the prologue: Daerid, Reimon, Edorian, and Estean?

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Makes sense! What are your thoughts on the Band officers missing from the prologue: Daerid, Reimon, Edorian, and Estean?

Estean is in Cairhien or FoM, it's mentioned in the prologue. The other Tairens probably are with him, they were cavalry, and most of the cavalry went with Estean.

Edited by David Selig
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Makes sense! What are your thoughts on the Band officers missing from the prologue: Daerid, Reimon, Edorian, and Estean?

Estean is in Cairhien or FoM, it's mentioned in the prologue. The other Tairens probably are with him, they were cavalry, and most of the cavalry went with Estean.

 

Thanks, David Selig! I only read the prologue once and that piece of information didn't stick in my memory chips. What about Daerid? Is he also in Cairhien because he's Cairhienin? He is the leader of the infantry.

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I would have loved to see Daerid, Edorian, Estean, or Reimon (sp) in the prologue. I wonder why they weren't there. Maybe be Daerid is with Elayne; and maybe the others didn't participate because they were cavalry.

Rodel used cavalry in the defense of Maradon, why didn't Talmanes utilize his?

 

Ituralde could use cavalry in Maradon for at least three reasons. One, his forces were already in the city, so they were the ones setting the ambushes - Talmanes was coming in from the outside. Two, the majority of the population had already been evacuated from Maradon, so he had much clearer streets - Talmanes had to basically go through a fleeing population. And three, Caemlyn and Maradon are laid out very differently - without going into it too much, Maradon is a city designed for defense, and Caemlyn is a city that grew up around commerce.

 

Makes sense! What are your thoughts on the Band officers missing from the prologue: Daerid, Reimon, Edorian, and Estean?

 

So, I was going to say basically what David Selig said - no need to repeat it. I will add though that Daerid is probably commanding whatever contigent of infantry went with Elayne, so that's likely why he is gone, too.

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With the officers all in Cairhien with half the Band and Talmanes leading the other half, there are a few questions swirling in my head. Does anyone have a breakup of the Band forces deployed to Cairhien?

 

I'm not sure any of the Band is left in Cairhien - or at least not a significant portion of it. Elayne's intention seemed to be stripping Cairhien of just about every able-bodied man to take to the Field of Merrilor. I'd imagine that effectively all the Band that was in Cairhien is now with her there.

 

Alternatively, that could be where Daerid is - commanding whatever is left of the Band in Cairhien. I don't think that a detailed breakdown exists, though. Estean is explicitly with Elayne at the Field of Merrilor, but the locations of the others we can only speculate on.

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Thanks, Neophyte for the information. My question should have been phrased differently. I meant to ask about the Band Forces deployed away from Caemlyn in the Cairhien deal with Elayne (regardless of their current location)

 

“You left Estean in charge?” Toy erupted, so loudly that a covey of gray doves burst from cover in the thin undergrowth with a mournful whirring sound. “The man’s a fool!”

 

“Not too much of a fool to listen to Daerid.” Talmanes replied calmly.

 

“That’s going to change, Talmanes,” Toy growled. “I let it go on too long as it is. If Reimon and the others command banners now, that makes them Banner-Generals. And you a Lieutenant-General. Daerid commands five banners, and that makes him a Lieutenant-General, too. Reimon and the others will obey his orders or they can go home. Come Tarmon Gai’don, I’m not going to have my skull split open because they bloody refuse to listen to somebody who doesn’t have bloody estates.”

 

Mat seemed determined to make the Band a professional mercenary group (another cringing moment in the Mat - Elayne debate; Mat would never become a mercenary just for money; but that's a different issue) with rank given based on merit.

 

Is Estean in charge of the "Cairhien" contingent? Or is Daerid? If Estean is in charge that opens the gate form some discussion, if Daerid is in command, then that makes sense.

 

And I found it strange that the deployment in the service of the Rose Crown in Cairhien was so lopsided with most of the Band's cavalry there. I would have thought Mat would have deployed a balanced contingent to Cairhien to keep a balanced force of cavalry and infantry with him.

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Thanks, Neophyte for the information. My question should have been phrased differently. I meant to ask about the Band Forces deployed away from Caemlyn in the Cairhien deal with Elayne (regardless of their current location)

 

“You left Estean in charge?” Toy erupted, so loudly that a covey of gray doves burst from cover in the thin undergrowth with a mournful whirring sound. “The man’s a fool!”

 

“Not too much of a fool to listen to Daerid.” Talmanes replied calmly.

 

“That’s going to change, Talmanes,” Toy growled. “I let it go on too long as it is. If Reimon and the others command banners now, that makes them Banner-Generals. And you a Lieutenant-General. Daerid commands five banners, and that makes him a Lieutenant-General, too. Reimon and the others will obey his orders or they can go home. Come Tarmon Gai’don, I’m not going to have my skull split open because they bloody refuse to listen to somebody who doesn’t have bloody estates.”

 

Mat seemed determined to make the Band a professional mercenary group (another cringing moment in the Mat - Elayne debate; Mat would never become a mercenary just for money; but that's a different issue) with rank given based on merit.

 

Is Estean in charge of the "Cairhien" contingent? Or is Daerid? If Estean is in charge that opens the gate form some discussion, if Daerid is in command, then that makes sense.

 

And I found it strange that the deployment in the service of the Rose Crown in Cairhien was so lopsided with most of the Band's cavalry there. I would have thought Mat would have deployed a balanced contingent to Cairhien to keep a balanced force of cavalry and infantry with him.

 

Ah, ok ... I'm not completely sure of the answer to that question - I don't know that it was ever broken down that clearly anywhere in the books, but if I had to guess I'd say that Estean would be in overall command of the contingent, because 1) cavalry traditionally outranks infantry, 2) Mat did occasionally bend to the requirements of rank (for example, putting Nalesean over Edorion, even though he thought Edorion was a better commander, because of the relative ranks of their Houses), 3) Talmanes thinks of the contingent going with Elayne as going with Estean. Possible 4) Daerid strikes me as the type who would rather not be in overall command anyway.

 

Those are all very circumstantial though. The truth is, I think we just don't know.

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The reason for sending mostly calvalry to Cairhein seems somewhat simplistic, Nobles and the ruling classes all seem to hold cavalry in much higher regards as foot, so marching into the capitol with a entirely cavalry army composed mainly of nationals, under the command of a national would do a lot to supress doubts among the lords and ladies. What foot that was taken was likely to hold the cairheinan palace, since they would be more suited to such work than a dismounted cavalry.

 

Not to mention that most of the officers that have been named have been mostly cairheinan, so Elayne would have prefered to take them over a Tairen or Andoran.

 

As for Mat allowing his forces to be dispraportionately separated, I imagined he would have looked at a few things

1) if things went terribly in Cairhein, horse would be much more able to escort Elayne out than foot

2) Cairheinan are more impressed by horse

3) 0 enemies on the radar

4) he expected to be back before any major occurance

5) With the swelled ranks of the band, maybe he thought he could be more lenient?

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I will be very dissapointed if the caemlyn band isn't predominantly wiped out. Trollocs OVER-RAN that city to the point where they could control all gates, man all walls so that people couldn't approach the walls, harry the palace itself to the point the palace couldn't send out sorties, and still have enough trollocs to run rampant throughout the city. At the end, the band is completely surrounded (and they have thousands of townsfolk as well as their own) inside the city walls by streets flooded black as well as walls jam-packed with trollocs. And that was just one small section of the city.

 

On top of that, Talmanes brought enough men into the city to:

 

A. Hold a gate

B. Secure locations along a path leading to the palace

C. Fight entrenched trollocs around the palace (and be on the brink of losing as more trollocs joined)

D. Run a sortie to the warehouse

E. Shepherd thousands of refugees/townsfolk and STILL be overwhelmed by trollocs at the end

 

...

 

You don't enter city warfare like that, against overwhelming odds, without massive losses. I get this is the band of the red hand (albeit without it's ta'ver'en). But if they escape with more than half their men, bullocks. They lost at least 100 in the opening fight against a gate the trollocs didn't even hold yet, and where they caught the trollocs by surprise.

Some factors to consider are first off, Elayne took a lot of her soldiers to the FoM, and also all the defenders of the city that remained were inside the Inner City or manning the outer walls...easy for hordes of refugees and trollocs to push them off and take the gates as the defenses were built to keep people outside the walls. Poor for defending against an attack from within. Half the band, all the horse went to Carhien, leaving the foot behind. One error I picked up on is that the Band was allowed to basically camp outside the walls and moved their camp past all the mercenary bands and much closer to Caemlyn. Yet heading in towards the city Talmanes is passing several sizable groups. These aren't just one or two men that went into Caemlyn for some drinking. He finally confronts a group of six or seven men alongside the road and names them cowards.

 

It is obvious this scene was written because Caemlyn needed to fall. After all, Talmanes, no thanks to Olver, was warned of what was happening as it began to happen. Being so close to the city, he could have made it in before the streets grew so crowded. I'm certain that Elayne will sit on the throne in Carhien and rule a new nation forged from Andor and Carhien solving the problem of having two crown cities. I guess her mother ruling as steward in Carhien or Dyelin was out as an option.

 

And yes, Talmanes was awesomely written, but introducing some new borderland term for a fade-killer this late in the game just didn't sit right with me. Ingtar, Lan, other Borderlander POV's would have mentioned or hinted at this long before.

 

I suppose it was a very sobering scene, meant to tie in well with chapter 1 where all the refugees are roaming, tired, and starving, lending to the gloom. A city that wasn't supposed to fall has fallen, taking with it the bell founders and put an end to new dragons being made apart from one or two from whitebridge or another town or two in Andor. Half the Band is going to be out of action just from the wounded and the dead, but perhaps tales will abound and draw in a lot of the mercenaries to replace their numbers for the most part. All in all, I can tell that we are in for the read of our lives.

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There's only one comment about losses of the band I remember in the prologue and it's still rather early in Caemlyn's fall. Something about 100 dead. And the other comment is about a thousand or so. But BS really bungled the Band action in Caemlyn. There are 10k to 15k of the Band in Caemlyn. Far more than enough to achieve both goals, reaching the palace and securing the Dragons at the same time and since for some reason Estean is in charge of the detachment with Elayne that means two capable commanders who both outrank him, Edorion and Daerid are still in Caemlyn.

The losses of the Band are probably negligible since most of it never entered Caemlyn. In fact I would assume that most of the mercenaries outside of Caemlyn will end up as part of the Band due to Mat's ta'veren effect. So while they may have lost a thousand inside they'll gain ten times that much outside.

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There's only one comment about losses of the band I remember in the prologue and it's still rather early in Caemlyn's fall. Something about 100 dead. And the other comment is about a thousand or so. But BS really bungled the Band action in Caemlyn. There are 10k to 15k of the Band in Caemlyn. Far more than enough to achieve both goals, reaching the palace and securing the Dragons at the same time and since for some reason Estean is in charge of the detachment with Elayne that means two capable commanders who both outrank him, Edorion and Daerid are still in Caemlyn.

The losses of the Band are probably negligible since most of it never entered Caemlyn. In fact I would assume that most of the mercenaries outside of Caemlyn will end up as part of the Band due to Mat's ta'veren effect. So while they may have lost a thousand inside they'll gain ten times that much outside.

 

How was it bungled? Talmanes never wanted to safe the city, he wanted to get in and out with the cannons. Taking a huge army in would have had every trolloc in the city flocking to them, and even if they had managed to defeat them all, fighting in the streets in the dark would have been potentially hugely damaging. Not to mention, for all he knows, there could have been a million trolloc reinforcements on the way.

 

Mat would have done exactly the same thing, taking in a small force. He may have done it better through some brilliant tactics and whatnot, but Talmanes did fine.

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There's only one comment about losses of the band I remember in the prologue and it's still rather early in Caemlyn's fall. Something about 100 dead. And the other comment is about a thousand or so. But BS really bungled the Band action in Caemlyn. There are 10k to 15k of the Band in Caemlyn. Far more than enough to achieve both goals, reaching the palace and securing the Dragons at the same time and since for some reason Estean is in charge of the detachment with Elayne that means two capable commanders who both outrank him, Edorion and Daerid are still in Caemlyn.

The losses of the Band are probably negligible since most of it never entered Caemlyn. In fact I would assume that most of the mercenaries outside of Caemlyn will end up as part of the Band due to Mat's ta'veren effect. So while they may have lost a thousand inside they'll gain ten times that much outside.

 

How was it bungled? Talmanes never wanted to safe the city, he wanted to get in and out with the cannons. Taking a huge army in would have had every trolloc in the city flocking to them, and even if they had managed to defeat them all, fighting in the streets in the dark would have been potentially hugely damaging. Not to mention, for all he knows, there could have been a million trolloc reinforcements on the way.

 

Mat would have done exactly the same thing, taking in a small force. He may have done it better through some brilliant tactics and whatnot, but Talmanes did fine.

 

What was bungled was first Talmanes sending half the Band with Elayne under Estean. Is there any reason given for him sending half the Band with her? Elayne wanted the Band with her when she entered Cairhien, but that is done with and she has her own army no need for the Band. And assuming there was some reason I missed why send them under command of Estean? As Mat said, the man is a fool. Edorion would be a better choice and Daerid the best since he's the number three of the Band after Mat and Talmanes.

The second thing that was bungled was that BS made it look like Talmanes could only get to the palace and secure the Dragons in sequence. He had 10 to 15k soldiers and since Estean is in charge of Elayne's detachment he also must have had Edorion and Daerid. Those two could have secured the Dragons while Talmanes went to the palace.

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There's only one comment about losses of the band I remember in the prologue and it's still rather early in Caemlyn's fall. Something about 100 dead. And the other comment is about a thousand or so. But BS really bungled the Band action in Caemlyn. There are 10k to 15k of the Band in Caemlyn. Far more than enough to achieve both goals, reaching the palace and securing the Dragons at the same time and since for some reason Estean is in charge of the detachment with Elayne that means two capable commanders who both outrank him, Edorion and Daerid are still in Caemlyn.

The losses of the Band are probably negligible since most of it never entered Caemlyn. In fact I would assume that most of the mercenaries outside of Caemlyn will end up as part of the Band due to Mat's ta'veren effect. So while they may have lost a thousand inside they'll gain ten times that much outside.

 

How was it bungled? Talmanes never wanted to safe the city, he wanted to get in and out with the cannons. Taking a huge army in would have had every trolloc in the city flocking to them, and even if they had managed to defeat them all, fighting in the streets in the dark would have been potentially hugely damaging. Not to mention, for all he knows, there could have been a million trolloc reinforcements on the way.

 

Mat would have done exactly the same thing, taking in a small force. He may have done it better through some brilliant tactics and whatnot, but Talmanes did fine.

 

What was bungled was first Talmanes sending half the Band with Elayne under Estean. Is there any reason given for him sending half the Band with her? Elayne wanted the Band with her when she entered Cairhien, but that is done with and she has her own army no need for the Band. And assuming there was some reason I missed why send them under command of Estean? As Mat said, the man is a fool. Edorion would be a better choice and Daerid the best since he's the number three of the Band after Mat and Talmanes.

The second thing that was bungled was that BS made it look like Talmanes could only get to the palace and secure the Dragons in sequence. He had 10 to 15k soldiers and since Estean is in charge of Elayne's detachment he also must have had Edorion and Daerid. Those two could have secured the Dragons while Talmanes went to the palace.

 

So you would prefer he risked every competent officer under him to infilitrate a city that was already over run and in chaos, rather then have them hang around outside with the bulk of the army? As I pointed out, Talmanes has no idea about the size of the Trolloc forces, where there were reinforcements coming, etc etc. There could have been eight billion of them just standing around slaughtering people. For all he knew, he could have marched every commander in the Hand to their death if he went with your option.

 

And they sent Estean because he is a fool, and thus sent off to make Elayne happy she was getting a commanding officer.

 

Anyway, you believe he bungled it, I believe he did good on the tactical front and also did the sensible thing in the long run. Each to our own!

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What was bungled was first Talmanes sending half the Band with Elayne under Estean. Is there any reason given for him sending half the Band with her? Elayne wanted the Band with her when she entered Cairhien, but that is done with and she has her own army no need for the Band. And assuming there was some reason I missed why send them under command of Estean? As Mat said, the man is a fool. Edorion would be a better choice and Daerid the best since he's the number three of the Band after Mat and Talmanes.

I don't think half of the Band being away from Caemlyn at this point had anything to do with Talmanes. They left while Mat was still in Caemlyn, didn't they? Besides, they have a contract with Elayne, so if she wants half of them in Cairhien or at Merrilor or wherever, they have to to. Unless Mat decided to break off the deal entirely.

 

As for Estean, it just says he's away with the other half of the Band, not that he commands it. Whoever commands this group was surely chosen by Mat anyway.

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