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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Kelandon

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  1. By the way, my guess on the growing songs is that the Ogier have now figured out what's up. They sang growing songs during their battle. Rand sang some growing songs when other people (for example, Mat) were around. It wouldn't be too hard to piece it together. It won't be like the Age of Legends growing songs, though, because those also included the Nym, and there are none of those left. Nonetheless, presumably the Tinkers and the Ogier will hang out and figure out some songs early in the Fourth Age, based on the above.
  2. I was pretty much okay with most of the unanswered questions, except Nakomi. I guess it was RJ's judgment not to reveal anything about her, but that doesn't make it a good decision. There just doesn't seem to be enough information to eliminate enough possibilities. I'm okay with a lot of the ambiguity in the prophecies, but the lack of a boat when Rand dies/body switches? Is there something like a boat in that scene? I missed it altogether, if so. Maybe it's a metaphorical boat? It's sort of unfortunate that we won't get the outriggers, as I've mentioned in another topic, because it's pretty clear that RJ was setting up for them, and they'd provide a little bit of resolution on the future, which wasn't really necessary but would've been nice.
  3. My first reaction was, "That's it? Nothing about the future? It just ends when the battle ends?" Upon further reflection, I came to two things. I now get why Robert Jordan planned to do outrigger novels focusing on Mat and the Seanchan. At the time that I first heard about this, I thought, "Um, really? Count me out." But now, after reading the ending, I get it. The major things that remain unresolved center on the Seanchan. The damane, the relationship with the Aiel, their status in the Dragon's Peace, a bunch of the major characters (not only Mat and Tuon, but also Min, Moghedien, and others). You could probably also have new-body Rand show up (briefly), and probably Perrin, Elayne, Lan, and the rest of the crew. They're basically all kings and queens, now, so they'll be dealing with the Seanchan. I also get why Sanderson said that he didn't want to do the outriggers. We have visions of the future in the books, most obviously Aviendha's Rhuidean visions and Rand's battle with the Dark One for the shape of reality. Various other random thoughts: Man, I liked the way that Callandor ended up getting used. Probably my favorite prophecy/plot point in the whole book. The body swap was about as well executed as it could have been. I never liked the idea that much, but I didn't hate it when it happened. The total lack of resolution on Rand and his three women was probably for the best. Roedran was kind of disappointing. I thought that the Band working for him would have some kind of meaning. Demandred was intense. After having been missing in action for so long, he was pretty awesome. Getting all of Shara on the side of the Dark was a little... uh... hard to believe, but it worked. The girl who he got to love him was a nice touch; none of the other Forsaken quite did that (without, you know, Compulsion). Lan vs. Demandred was pretty cool, too. I wasn't that into the Gawyn or Galad fights, but I guess they worked in the broader scheme of things. I also liked that we got the other sa'angreal more powerful than Callandor (finally! After Lanfear mentioned it ages ago!), and it made sense that Demandred had it and used it at the Last Battle. Lanfear... oh, Lanfear. I wanted something a little more special for Lanfear. Working for the Light only so that she could be the one to save the Shadow in the end wasn't the most interesting way that she could have gone out. I was one of the ones who was hoping that she would try (and fail) to turn to the Light in the end. For all that we hear that no one has been in the Shadow so long that he cannot turn back to the Light, the only one we really got was Ingtar, and sort of Verin and Tomas. Lanfear would have been perfect for this, even though there would've had to have been some sort of caveat ("This doesn't make up for you, you know, drilling the Bore and torturing/killing lots of people and stuff"). The time distortion seemed sort of cheap. I guess it was necessary, but I didn't like it. Ituralde is a badass and always has been. I wish Nynaeve had played a little bit more of a role. Olver's heroism and the Horn was maybe the second-greatest plot point in the book. Mat should've been bound to the Horn, though, despite all his protests. Hurin, too. Horn-summoned Birgitte was pretty badass. I didn't really get the Leilwin plotline. It just seemed like it was going to be more than it was. Cadsuane as Amyrlin was pretty hilarious. I did come to like Egwene more as the series went along. I wasn't that into her death, but it was fine. It worked. Someone really needed to Heal Setalle's stilling. I'm going to choose to believe that someone figures out to do that (Flinn, maybe? He lived, right?) early in the Fourth Age. The explanation about making angreal was good, but what about sa'angreal? I had always assumed that the fundamental difference was the way that they were made, but we never got a resolution on that, I think. I'm also going to choose to believe that Elayne figures that out relatively early in the Fourth Age. Unless I missed it, we didn't ever really get a definitive answer on Pact of the Griffin or Court of the Sun. Yes, it makes sense that the latter involves Cairhien in some way, and yes, there are reasonable speculations about the former, but... oh well. Again, this is why outrigger novels would have been good. I wanted something with the Land of Madmen to happen. Anything at all. Everywhere else in the world got in on the action eventually. That's everything that comes to mind about the plot, anyway. It was good. Really good. I'm glad that I got to sit and read it straight through. I'm probably going to go back and re-read bits and pieces in the next few days, and I may even do a full-series re-read eventually, but this is it for the Wheel of Time for me for the most part.
  4. Yeah, I wonder about this. I haven't tracked the dreamspike stuff terribly well... I wonder if the dreamspike might just stay put during the battle, really. They might just step outside its influence when they need to leave to go to TG. Good catch! Rand sends Naeff in TOM 51. Interestingly, Naeff was the one who had his madness cured by Nynaeve... I suspect that Androl will get the same service eventually. We don't know a ton more about Naeff, other than that he's been doing odd jobs for Rand for a bit. There's also the issue, as discussed in another topic, of the Aes Sedai hanging out in Caemlyn at the Silver Swan. They're near enough to the Black Tower to play some role in it, but far enough that they don't have to.
  5. Aha. That makes a lot of sense.
  6. This is deeply unlikely. This doesn't seem like a prophetic dream. He's in T'A'R: he sees Hopper and gets blasted by Rand such that he has real wounds afterwards. When he sees future things in T'A'R, they appear in the sky or seem ethereal somehow. This is much more like Rand getting attacked in his dreams, as Rand discusses at the end of TDR 32. It's not altogether clear to me why Rand is in T'A'R (he Travels there, but he doesn't normally Dream his way there that we know of), but it looks as though he is actually there when Perrin sees him. He's not just a vision. In that case, there is no reason to believe that this foreshadows anything in the future. We also don't know that it's from Chapter 35 as far as I can tell, just that it's from that general range of chapters, and as noted above, that's quite a lot of stuff. Just to repeat something that I said above: the whole point of Chekhov's Gun is to shoot it once and resolve the thing. Thus, Mat's luck makes no sense at all; that's already been shot (most notably in the trip through the Tower of Ghenjei in TOM). You don't shoot Chekhov's Gun twice. That's not Chekhov's Gun anymore, but something else.
  7. In this range (TDR 30-40), we are introduced to the following things that I think AREN'T good candidates: * Mat's luck (TDR 30 and TDR 37) * Gaul (TDR 33-34) * Faile (TDR 33 and TDR 35) * Aviendha (TDR 37-38) * female channelers feeling affinity for each other (TDR 38) * Bain and Chiad (TDR 38) * the Aiel rationale for the Aiel War (TDR 38) * balefire (TDR 39, though it was used before in TDR 9) * Rhuarc (TDR 39) * Aludra (TDR 40, though we saw her before in TGH 27) Basically none of these things seem unresolved (a gun not fired) in the way that a Chekhov's Gun has to be; Mat's luck helped in a variety of circumstances, but most obviously at the end of TOM, and most of the rest of these characters have played major roles up to this point. Balefire, too, has been significant all over the place. I'm a little less sure about Avendoraldera and the Aiel War... we know Laman cut down Avendoraldera in order to make a throne, but do we know what happened to the throne? We know that it was a sapling from Avendesora, but Avendesora has played basically no role as yet, and it seems as though it ought to. In this range, we also get the following things that ARE unresolved and likely to play a role in AMOL: * Thom hints that he has feelings for Moiraine (TDR 31). They start to connect at the end of TOM; maybe a wedding in AMOL? * Lanfear and Callandor (TDR 32) or Lanfear and dreams (TDR 36). Lanfear has always claimed that she's awesome in dreams/T'A'R, but she's done very little in them other than pop up in Rand's dreams once (TOM Epilogue). She also boasts that LTT/Rand will be hers again. We have good reason to believe that Lanfear is going to play a pretty significant role in AMOL. * Darkhounds (TDR 33, though they were introduced once earlier). Other than an occasional balefire-producing fight, Darkhounds have played basically no role in the story, but several chapters in COT have beaten us over the head with the idea that they're important to the Last Battle. * "When the Stone of Tear falls, we [Aiel — Gaul speaking] will leave the Three-Fold Land at last. We will be changed, and find again what was ours, and was lost" (TDR 34). Clearly, the Stone has fallen and Aiel have left the Waste. They may or may not have been "changed" as yet (what does this mean exactly?), but what about that "find again what was ours, and was lost" business? Does this just mean remembering who they were in the Age of Legends? Or does "find" mean something more significant, such as finding the Song or a purpose of some sort? We can expect that the Aiel will, one way or another, be resolved in AMOL. Finally, here are some things that COULD play a role in AMOL: * Perrin smells Gray Men (TDR 33) and Moiraine suggests that she can detect Darkfriends if they're really bad (TDR 34). * The capital of Manetheren in the Mountains of Mist (TDR 35) comes up in this range. * Perrin gets told to avoid the Red Ajah (TDR 36). * Egwene Dreams a lot (TDR 37), but most of this has already been fulfilled. * Kari al'Thor comes up repeatedly (TDR 32 and TDR 39), as does Rand's parentage generally. In short, I think the major candidates really boil down to: * Thom marries Moiraine. (I honestly think this is it.) * Avendesora and maybe something about finding the Song or resolving the Aiel's conflicts over their ancestry and future. * Lanfear seduces Rand or becomes good because of her love for Rand or infiltrates his dreams even though they are warded. * Darkhounds do... something.
  8. We know, from what we have of Chapters 2-3, that we're going to see a fair bit of the Black Tower catching up to the present in the beginning of AMOL. (Right now, it's several days behind the rest of the storyline.) I've lost track of where we are, so in this post, I figure out what has just recently happened and how this might bear on what we're going to see in the early going of AMOL. I hope it will make the chapters a little more fun to read, because they'll be easier to understand. (A lot of this stuff has been happening in individual chapters and subplots for several books now, but it's been drowned in a lot of other major events.) Here's a run-down of some of the major players. LOGAIN Facts After he left the Salidar Aes Sedai in LoC, he went to the Black Tower and bonded two Aes Sedai. He also starts a pro-Logain, anti-Taim faction (WH Prologue, COT Prologue). He then leaves the Black Tower, ostensibly on a recruiting mission (COT Prologue), but actually to find Rand. He enlists Davram Bashere's help (COT Prologue, COT 24), grabs some Aes Sedai and Warders from Cairhien (COT Prologue), and travels to Rand (COT 24), who is in Algarin's manor in Tear. Rand sends him (with Bashere and Loial) to arrange for the meeting with the Daughter of the Nine Moons/Semirhage (COT 24 and Epilogue), then sends him away again. Now we get an interesting sequence, worth a re-read before AMOL. Logain reports back to Rand (KOD 18). He has been to the Black Tower again, and he "sent all the men with bonded Aes Sedai except those" in Algarin's manor to Arad Doman and Illian (and I think at this point he picks up Donalo Sandomere, Mezar, and Welyn). He sent more than half of the Black Tower. At that time, he estimates Taim's faction at 41, with over 50 in his special classes. He fights against the Trolloc attack at Algarin's manor and deals with the aftermath (KOD 19-20), and he serves as an emissary to the Sea Folk, asking them to send food to Arad Doman (KOD 22). Logain goes with Rand to Semirhage (KOD 27) and is basically unscathed. Then he returns the sul'dam to Ebou Dar (TGS Prologue). This is the last we've seen of him. Of Logain's loyalists who left with him before the Semirhage fight, Mezar returns, apparently changed (TOM 56). Welyn also returns, changed (AMOL 2-3), and Androl comes to believe that Logain is Taim's captive (AMOL 3). Finally, we've been beaten over the head with Min's "glory to come" vision (twice in TSR, once in TFOH, once in COT, again in KOD). Interpretation Logain has loyalists both inside and outside the Black Tower, and he seems to have proven his loyalty to Rand (or at least his dislike of Taim and, implicitly, the Shadow) repeatedly, both by going to him when there was something wrong in the Black Tower (in COT) and by doing major errands for him even outside the Black Tower (dealings with Arad Doman and the Seanchan). The most obvious answer is that Logain, after he is freed by Androl, becomes the leader of a Rand-loyal faction within the Black Tower, possibly aided by Asha'man (and their bonded Aes Sedai) from outside the Black Tower, and drives out Taim and his Darkfriends. His glory comes from leading the Asha'man in the Last Battle and possibly some events leading up to it. Here's the thing. Mezar has already been changed. Welyn has also been changed. If Logain is in captivity, either he's been changed or he's just about to be. I could see Androl rescuing him moments before the ritual is to take place, or I could see Androl rescuing him after it happens and then someone (Flinn? Nynaeve?) finding a way to Heal being Turned. The latter would be cooler, really. Sever him, Turn him, it doesn't matter; he's still Logain. Here's the other thing. We know that the Black Tower plotline is some days behind the rest of the story. That means that we're still reading stuff from a few days before the big attack on Caemlyn, and Androl is planning his rescue "tonight." We know that the Black Tower plays essentially no role in the attack on Caemlyn, and Rand isn't thinking or saying anything about the Asha'man at that time, either. Whatever happens in the Black Tower has to be pretty darned self-contained in order for that to make any kind of sense. That also means that Rand is in for a hell of a surprise in his present; Caemlyn is burning, but he's going to get a lot more news before the night is over, most likely. We also don't know — unless I've missed something — what exactly Logain was doing coming back to the Black Tower when he did, or how exactly he got captured. He may have some greater motive or purpose than anyone at this point is aware of. On the other hand, it may have been a routine scouting visit so that he can report back to Rand what's going on. I was a bit confused why Logain equated being bonded to Aes Sedai as being loyal to him, but I think I have an answer to that. Alviarin made sure that "no Black sisters went with Toveine" (ACOS Prologue) on the expedition to the Black Tower, so the Asha'man who bonded Aes Sedai all bonded non-Black sisters. It's possible for a Darkfriend to bond non-Darkfriends (Asne did), but it's much trickier (look at the issues Eldrith had with Kennit), so it's pretty likely that Taim's crowd deliberately avoided bonding the Aes Sedai from the White Tower just because Darkfriends don't like bonding non-Darkfriends. Later, when the Turning starts (which we don't really hear about until late in TOM), Taim manages to get both Aes Sedai (Tarna) and Asha'man (Mezar), including those who are bonded to each other (Welyn and Jenare). ANDROL/PEVARA Facts Androl has been one of Logain's loyalists since the beginning (WH Prologue). We know he is weak in the power, good at gateways, and good at leatherworking. He has a madness involving shadows. He takes leadership of the Logain faction in Logain's absence (TOM 46) and finds that gateways no longer work (TOM 56). Then he goes to Pevara (TOM 56). The next we see of them (AMOL Prologue), they're sizing each other up at Androl's place and considering an escape to the Salidar Aes Sedai outside. Androl talks them into planning a revolution instead. Then Pevara and Androl double-bond each other (AMOL 2), and Androl resolves to rescue Logain (AMOL 3). Pevara started as one of Seaine's hunters for the Black Ajah, but that collapsed when the hunters found out that Elaida had not sent them after the Black Ajah after all (KOD Prologue) and she gets sent to the Black Tower to bond Asha'man instead. This was Tarna's idea (COT 22), and it gets Tsutama's sponsorship (KOD Prologue), although they don't make it widely known where they are going (TGS 46). She goes with a whole group of Aes Sedai to ask Taim for permission, and Taim ultimately agrees (KOD Epilogue). However, it's slow going, and Javindhra starts to become erratic and Tarna appears changed; Pevara also notices that gateways don't work (TOM 53). She joins up with Androl and participates in the double-bond. Interpretation The most obvious answer is that Androl and Pevara free Logain, somehow deal with Moridin's dreamspike in the Black Tower, and escape with Logain's loyalists or fight some sort of battle against Taim's toadies. I'm not completely sure what to make of the fact that Pevara started as a Black Ajah hunter, nor that she left the White Tower before Egwene took over; this may or may not matter. TAIM There's a lot of background about Taim, and a lot we don't know. After he was taken as a false Dragon by the Aes Sedai, he escaped, and everything about that episode is suspicious. He is some sort of Moridin flunky (wears his colors, repeats his LoC line, was introduced to the other Forsaken by Moridin in AMOL Prologue). He appears to be leading a mass effort to convert/Turn the Asha'man so that he has a new army of Dreadlords. The obvious point is that there will be a big Logain/Taim confrontation. There may also be some sort of connection with Bashere: Logain spent a lot of time with Bashere, and Bashere has every reason to dislike Taim (he fought against him when Taim was a false Dragon, among other things). There may also be some sort of Moridin connection. My guess is that Taim escapes; there ought to be at least one new Forsaken at the Last Battle, and we don't have anyone else other than Taim yet. OTHERS Way back (ACOS 41), Min said that Cadsuane was going to teach Rand and all the Asha'man something that they have to learn but that they won't like learning. This could be indirect; Cadsuane "teaching" Rand led to VoG, and the new Rand might then "teach" the Asha'man by going to them. On the other hand, there may be some sort of role for Cadsuane in the nightmare that will come to the Black Tower. Around the same time (ACOS Prologue), Elaida Foretold, "The Black Tower will be rent in blood and fire, and sisters will walk its grounds." This is more likely to be related to the battle for the Black Tower that is coming; the Aes Sedai who are waiting outside (and the ones bonded to the absent Logain-allied Asha'man) are probably going to play some sort of role in the upcoming battle. We also don't know a ton about the Aes Sedai outside the Black Tower. Lyrelle is one of them, but it doesn't look as though they include any major characters. This all sounds like it's going to play out really interestingly in the next few chapters of AMOL, though.
  9. This discussion reminds me of Stephen King's speech on the relationship between "literary fiction" and "popular fiction" (starts about halfway down). I'll just repeat something I said a bit earlier: The reason I like the Sanderson WoT books is that I never much liked RJ's writing in the first place. It was fine. I wasn't offended. But that wasn't what I was reading for. I like the story and the world and the characters, not the writing style. So if we've got the same story and world and characters within the original plan of the series, but a different writing style, I'm happy as long as the new writing style doesn't bother me any more than the original. The problem with fanfiction, usually, is that it doesn't fit at all with the author's conception of his world and characters. Sanderson's writing is significantly constrained by RJ's intentions, and he's a damn sight better than your average fanfic writer. Those two factors together make these good books.
  10. Oh, I expect her to have an important role. I just don't think she'll become interesting in the way that her story allows. As RJ wrote the story, Lanfear was never all that into the Dark One; he was just the most convenient route to power, especially after she (unknowingly?) drilled the Bore. I mean, Beidomon ended in disgrace and suicide. Lanfear was never going to accept that, so she turned to the Shadow, because she was virtually rejected by the Light. This torment — being driven to evil, not seeking it out — seems like fertile ground for interesting stuff. But RJ's comments show that he didn't think about it that way. She was evil to begin with. I would love to see some complication in that, but I don't expect it.
  11. I guess that's a fundamental difference here. I don't think Rand deserved to be treated the way that Cadsuane treated him. I'm just at the beginning of the Mat-Tylin sequence, and the thing that I keep thinking — it's what I thought when I first read it — is that if the genders were reversed, the man would be reprehensible. Consider an older man, a king, who finds a young girl visiting his palace, attempts to starve her to get her affections, then breaks into her room, holds a knife to her, and forces her to have sex with him. That's about the clearest-cut case of rape I can imagine, and treating it as benignly as RJ does with Mat and Tylin would be as offensive as the ancient comedies in which a woman is raped and her "happy ending" is that her attacker claims it was because he "really loved" her and now he wants to marry her. Mat and Tylin are handled in exactly the same way, except with the genders reversed, and I think it's just as reprehensible, even though the books don't seem to portray it that way. My general feeling is that most of the woman-on-man physical abuse in the series is the same way. Cadsuane slapping Rand around (physically) fits in that category. And that's virtually her first response to him, in ACOS.
  12. Maybe this is why I like TGS and TOM so much. Things are happening that we want to happen, without a lot of fluff. At this point in the series, I don't want Cadsuane to not at all be a dumb bully but then get called one by Tam, then have Tam later realize that he's wrong and apologize, but Cadsuane exact some sort of revenge by which she gets him to do something stupid, setting off another chain of interminable events. Cadsuane needed to get slammed down, and she got slammed down. End of scene. On to the next. It doesn't hurt that Sanderson has interpreted the characters more or less in the same way as I did, too. Tam says what I think any reasonable person in his position would say, instead of hemming and hawing and blushing and "Jinkies, Egwene"-ing (there's a reason Isam's parodies are so funny; they're too accurate). So I think the reason that I like Sanderson's take on the WoT so much is that I thought that the series had lost its way in the last few books before Sanderson took it over. It was all that fluff that led to the dragging, slow pace of the mid-series books (say, books 7-10). I wasn't a huge fan of what RJ was doing to the series (though I understand now, with books 11-13 in hand, that at least most of it was necessary). I like the last two books much more because I think it put the series back on track, back where it was supposed to be. That said, I should also say that on the first read through the mid-series books, they drove me absolutely crazy (I hated books 8-11 on the first read, as they came out — even the generally better-regarded KOD). But on the most recent re-read, which I think was right before TGS, I really liked books 8-11, when I read them straight through and followed with TGS right after. We'll see what happens on the current re-read.
  13. Lanfear's character is so utterly ripe for complication. She could struggle with her inner demons and become a really compelling character illustrating the power of redemption in the Light. But RJ has pretty much foreclosed the possibility; she's one-dimensional, lusting for power (and as a secondary corollary, satisfaction), and really doesn't have that much else to her except her backstory. She's probably a vehicle for some sort of character development on Rand's part (he finally becomes okay with killing women? or something?) but won't ever do anything as interesting as attempting to turn from the Shadow back to the Light. For all the "No one can walk in the shadow so long they cannot come back to the Light" that we hear repeated throughout the series, who actually does redeem himself? Ingtar, maybe, sort of? Asmodean didn't. Lanfear won't.
  14. I'm more or less ignoring the ongoing argument, but my general thoughts.... BS doesn't have quite the same writing style as RJ, but frankly, RJ's writing style was not why I was reading the books. RJ's style was only passably readable anyway. It wasn't that he had a way with words; he had a way with storylines and world-building. Brandon is finishing out those storylines within that world, and he's doing so in a way that's also at least passably readable. So I like it a lot. My top 3 books in the series would probably be TSR, TOM, and TGS, in that order. The only character I noticed sounding a bit off was Mat, but when it wasn't screamingly off (the mis-spelled letter?), he was actually a lot funnier than he has been in the past, so I didn't much mind. (Well, and Padan Fain lost a lot of what made him cool in that one scene in TOM because he was so over the top, but I don't mind that so much, as long as his role in the Last Battle isn't awful.)
  15. There's no indication that this sentence is meant metaphorically. And I'm not sure that I follow you why you want it to be metaphorical. Yes, he feels lonely, but that's not really what the sentence says, right? It's true that Darkfriends aren't Shadowspawn. That's why Aes Sedai can't detect them. But it's equally true that Rand is rather more than the average channeler. Fain shows that it's possible; that's all. And the Aes Sedai detecting Shadowspawn shows that a "detect" ability is not all that strange, since plenty of people can detect something or other related to the Shadow. Well, there's evidence that LTT can detect people's souls, but you just dismissed it. Additionally, the line in TOM Epilogue is that he recognized Lanfear's soul in someone else's body. So yes, there is hard evidence that he can detect souls, at least in the sense that he can recognize someone he knew fairly well who's been reincarnated. If you're just saying that the evidence is circumstantial, then yes, you're entirely right. But at least one person can detect Darkfriends, Rand in his prior life could detect whether other people were around, and Rand in this life recognizes souls. He also picked a Darkfriend out of a crowd. If he can't detect Darkfriends, he can do something pretty darn close.
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