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  1. Otto von Bismark would be up there. He was the driving force behind the unification of Germany, and Lord knows how that turned the first half of the 20th century on it's head.
  2. If I had to guess, I'd give even odds it's Tam.
  3. Traditional weapons, but not ones from the age of the main story-line. I've got a few ideas as to what the Lance of Mosk might be, and it would sure as heck do a number on a Fade, as well as whatever happens to be within a hundred miles of it.
  4. Bayle Domon - passionate about old things and Archaeology.
  5. Mat. The heck with his potential as a warrior or a general or whatever, I just want to hit the town with the guy.
  6. I always thought that it might have something to go with mare, the Latin word for sea. Or English mere, which now means sort of a pool or swamp but which could mean sea in Old English. Heck, it's all the same word anyway - we can take it back to the hypothetical Proto-Indo-European *mori. Knew that Oxford English Dictionary subscription would pay off one day.
  7. Darn, I ought to have caught that. Still, Tuatha as a random string of syllables doesn't seem like it would crop up all that often, and the Aes Sedei and the Aes Sidhe certainly aren't the same thing. I actually sort of feel better now, simply taking words from another language and translating them to make your own seems a little unimaginative, like if Elvish in Lord of the Rings turned out to just be Latin or something. Not as much creative effort. Preserving the words but warping or losing the meanings is something that happens quite often in the actual evolution of languages (see the evolution of the definition of the word sanguis/sanguine from Latin to English). It fits very well with Jordan's idea of Randland being both a past and the future, it's fun to think bits and pieces of the Old Tongue are remnants of languages spoken today.
  8. So, I looked for something like this elsewhere in the forums and couldn't find anything, but if I'm rehashing old ground, I'm sorry about that. Also my first time posting a new topic, so if I mess this up somehow, sorry about that as well. So, I was on one of those epic Wikipedia link tangents and I found that I had somehow worked my way from Gettysburg to the people of Danu, the legendary seafaring race that shows up in Irish mythical history. That was all well and good, but I noticed that the title of the page was the original Irish name for them, Tuatha de Danann, and it occurred to me I'd seen one of those words somewhere before. In the Irish usage here Tuatha means people, which is exactly how it's used in the Wheel of Time, most notably in the Tuatha'an, the tinkers. This got me to thinking For some reason I had always figured the Old Tongue to be more Asian, what with the many apostrophes and the curved swords, so I ran inventory on all the Old Irish I knew, having taken a class in it a while back, and after ten or so minutes I ran right into one of the big ones, the Aes Sedei. To make a long and boring linguistic story short, Aes Sedei looks a lot like someone who was sensible enough to have never heard of something as ridiculous as a silent d might try to pronounce Aes Sidhe, a very early form of the modern Sidhe or Aos Si, the mythical Irish Fairy people, and here I'm using fairy in the old way that has nothing to do with ten year old girls and tutus. Now maybe you guys don't get as excited as I do about connecting antiquated forms of an obscure language to an imaginary language (and a dead one at that!) but for some reason figuring this sort of thing out makes my day. Now, I know some impressive writing has been done on the in-universe workings of the Old Tongue, but I was wondering if anyone else might have an idea where other words in the Old Tongue might come from in the real world, Old Irish or otherwise, or where the heck RJ would have come up with a bunch of Old Irish words long before Wikipeda was around to make people like me sound smarter than we actually are. Any ideas?
  9. Derail argument with new content! Straight out of Fog and Steel. Counselor: Normally, doctor patient confidentiality would make discussing a case with friends and family unthinkable, but given that the literal fate of the world hinges on the Amyrlin Seat and the Dragon working out their differences, I thought some protocols could stand to be broken. Mat: No argument here. Can't let the world end, I'm busy living on it. Perrin: Me too. Most of the time. Counselor: Could I trouble you for your opinions on the pair in question? Mat: They're both crazy, but at least Rand has an excuse, right? Egwene became an Aes Sedei on purpose, her and Nynaeve both. Hey, have you considered asking - Counselor: My colleague did attempt to counsel Mrs. al'Meara, yes. We still haven't found all of him, yet. We've been finding pieces as far as - Perrin: Our condolences. But that's the problem, you see? They don't handle criticism well. It's almost like they can't reflect too deeply on who they have become and reconcile it with what their doing or they'll realize that their obsession with a frankly shrill and violent woman is destroying their various relationships and steadily turning them into animals eventhoughItriedsohardtohatetheax Counselor: Ah, Master Goldeneyes? Mat: This'll go on for a while. At least three books. Listen, I don't know what Rand and Egwene are thinking. Look at me. I'm a country bumpkin who just got tossed into World War something or other, it's hard to keep numerical lists in a cyclical universe. Maybe I act a little crazy at times. So what? I've been blown up, hung, stabbed, slashed, killed at least once, and my memory is packed with a thousand lifetimes worth of PTSD. By rights I should be a drooling, shambling emotional wreck drowning his unfathomable pain and isolation in wine, women, dice, and vice, which is of course completely different from the life I intend to lead as a married man WHO STILL KNOWS HOW TO HAVE FUN BURN YOU TALMANES I HEAR YOU NOT LAUGHING OUT THERE. Perrin: And I missed her so much, I just couldn't care about anything else while she was gone, I was useless without her... Mat: See? Everyone's been on Perrin's fluffy tail about being a whining moron after his wife got taken, but hey, he just lost half his home and his entire family to Trollocs and his wife to a bunch of Shaido. Being psychologically destroyed is how a normal person ought to respond to that sort of thing. We're just lucky that in those two it manifests in obsessive dress smoothing and polygamy. It could have been worse. At least neither of them is officially married yet, look at what it did to Perrin. Perrin: I never did anything with that tramp honey please don't gut me it's just I like my kidneys so very much... Counselor: So you think their aggression towards one another is just another manifestation of the enormous strain they're under in fighting the Dark One? Mat: The Dark One? Who said anything about that guy? He's nothing, we're talking about marriage, now that's scary. Thank the Light Rand and Egwene never shacked up or I'd be running to Sightblinder for a more peaceful world.
  10. Ishamael/Moridin. The Forsaken are all made out to be super smart and dangerous, but I get the feeling he's the only one who truly understands the nature and plans of their Master.
  11. Hard to say. I reread certain parts dozens of times. The more tedious parts of the Aes Sedai plotting, or, say, Egwene brushing her hair... those bits might get glossed over. There's also about 20 pages of tFoH where the print in my book cut off the bottom two lines, so I only read that part once at the library. Same for the part of CoT where there are like 50 pages that are bound upside down, and I feel stupid reading it in public.
  12. I bought the first book for my mom on mother's day - I was very young, and I think it was the first holiday where I bought gifts with my own money. I was at a used book store, looking through the titles I could purchase for the half dozen quarters I was carrying around. I didn't know much about fantasy at the time, but the Eye of the World had the best page to dollar ratio of any of the books on the shelf and in my juvenile mind anything over 100 pages equated to Literature with a capital L, so I grabbed it. A few years later I had just finished the Belgariad by David Eddings and was looking for another world to dive into, and Rober Jordan provided.
  13. Well, I'm a guy, but if I weren't - the Red Ajah. Before Saidin was cleansed, the hunting of men who could channel was one of the most important tasks before the Tower. The damage caused by false Dragons attests to that. Now that the Source is cleansed, well, I think the Red must play a key role in the eventual acceptance of the Black Tower - there's a saying that goes, "Only Nixon could open China." The idea is that, when making amends with an old and hated enemy, the most effective diplomats are those who were the most hawkish, because their motives are beyond reproach. Sure, the Grreens might get along with Asha'man, but everyone knows the Greens are man-lovers. If the Reds recognized them, on the other hand... If the Black Tower is ever to gain serious credibility in Tar Valon, there would be no better vehicle than the Reds, and that might just make them the most important Ajah around, going into Tarmon Gai'don. If they ever get their act together. Which they would, under my glorious leadership.
  14. The scene in tDR when Mat meets the Aelfinn and asks the questions about his destiny. It's a decent insight into his character when it becomes obvious that the part about him getting married bothers him way more than dying and living again or sacrificing half of the light of the world.
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