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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Jaymie Greenway

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Everything posted by Jaymie Greenway

  1. Jaymie here. I’ll be discussing a wide variety of topics related to The Wheel of Time. Like many of you, I’ve been reading WoT since the Age of Legends, so we’ll have lots to cover together…WoTever comes to mind. WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS Affecting change out in Randland or as Sitters in the Hall, who’s the biggest badass of them all? In this series, I took a look at our own G.L.O.W. – the Glorious Ladies of WoT, specifically the smooth-cheeked, serenity-filled, skirt-smoothing, shawl-adjusting, butt-kicking Aes Sedai. I selected the most badass sister from each Ajah, as well as a runner-up for the title. In Part One, we chose out the most badass Aes Sedai of the Green, Red, and Gray Ajahs. The Blue, Yellow, White, and Brown Ajahs saw their badass representatives hailed in Part Two. Part Three examined the dark side of badassery as the Black Ajah had their day. In Part Four, it’s time to revere the ULTIMATE Badass Aes Sedai in all of Randland. Of All Ajahs and Of None Egwene al’Vere Part One in our series took a look at the Badasses of three Ajahs, Green included. I received a LOT of feedback in the “BUT WHAT ABOUT EGWENE?!” category. I heard you. I did! But I had to save her for Part Four. She may have identified as Green, holding her would-be Ajah in her heart, but her extraordinary circumstances created an Amyrlin like no other: they may all claim it, but only Egwene was truly and literally of all Ajahs and of none. And she became the absolute embodiment of Aes Sedai as she served, protected, battled, guided, maneuvered, and sacrificed her way to legend status. So, let’s talk about Egwene – most of the good, some of the bad, and all of the awesome. Maybe she’s born with it… Canonically, none of the major female characters are ta’veren. However, we must allow that the Pattern provided Egwene a lot with which to work: She’s one of the strongest channelers in a thousand years. She picks up channeling remarkably quickly and astounds other Aes Sedai by being able to split her flow of the One Power in 14 ways. She’s a Dreamer. Obviously, this comes in super handy throughout the series. (And as often as she’s mentioned, who else thought we might somehow get to meet Corianin Nedeal? Perhaps weirdly trapped in T’A’R? Maybe just me?) Genetics and family history also come through for the assist – mayor dad, Women’s Circle member mom (in a small village, true, but she’ll still pick up on politics and group dynamics), Wisdom’s apprentice (again, yes, for a small village, but the Wisdom is Nynaeve, yo), and she carries the blood of Manetheren in her veins (*acknowledges the ongoing Egwene/Queen Eldrene reincarnation discussion/debate*). Like her ancestors, she’s hard-working, resourceful, and tenacious. At its worst, that tenacity manifests as stubbornness (muley stubborn, the girl Amyrlin is!). But far more often, it shines as perseverance, dedication, and resolve. Oh, and she happens to have grown up with the Dragon Reborn. That might help down the road. Additionally, she’s wicked smart. Boldly going where no Randlander had gone before Along with her inherent traits and early-life experience, Egwene brings incredibly unique adventures to her interactions. She’s traveled the Ways. She's sat at the fires of the Traveling People. She witnessed the “exorcism” of Shadar Logoth evil from Mat. She’s been a Seanchan damane, where she learned their culture in the context of their greatest weapon, channeling; and was forced to rapidly develop her strength and dexterity in the Power (also coming in quite handily). And, of course, she lived among the Aiel as an apprentice to Wise Ones. She went to learn Dreamwalking, but she also, thankfully and serendipitously, learns and eventually lives the Aiel code of honor and obligation, ji’e’toh, taking it back with her to the wetlands. Egwene’s training from, edification through, and intimacy with the Aiel is a turning point in her fascinating trajectory. People…people who need people... Like all of our badasses, Egwene is not perfect. So much stuff has been crammed into this girl for the purpose of prophecy-fulfillment that her youth seeps out every now and then, usually in the form of immature self-preservation, and usually directed toward the people she grew up with. Examples: her early-series bratty treatment of Nynaeve (to which Elayne, of all people, puts a stop); her bullying of Nynaeve and Elayne so she wouldn’t be discovered sneaking around T’A’R; and her behavior toward Mat after he rescues the girls from the Stone of Tear. Rand remains a blind spot for her through nearly the entire series, as she often regresses back to a village-Wisdom’s-apprentice-type role when dealing with him. Even as the Last Battle begins, while they stand on the Field of Merrilor and Zen Rand reveals his plan to destroy the seals of the Dark One’s prison, Egwene hears only Stubborn Woolhead Rand, and treats her childhood sweetheart—and his plan—as such. And her relationship with Gawyn is, for some readers, nothing short of infuriating. That analysis would likely fill an essay of its own. However. I’m gonna give our young Amyrlin a few passes in light of endorsements from some tried and true badasses. Egwene has earned the respect of the Wise Ones, namely Sorilea, Bair, Melaine, and the incomparable Amys. When she announces she must leave, they are more than disappointed and want her to stay with them. Stay! In the Waste! A wetlander! Blue Ajah Badass and Amyrlin-turned-advisor Siuan Sanche also believes in Egwene, recognizing that she will “be an Amyrlin to make thrones tremble,” especially after Egwene reveals her plans for the Tower. (Lord Of Chaos, Ch. 37, When Battle Begins) When Egwene meets our beloved Gareth One-Of-The-Five-Great-Generals Bryne, he gives her his trust and his army. Do we, as readers, believe we can peg Eggy better than one Master Gareth Bryne? Do we?! And while she gains the respect of novices, Accepted, and finally Aes Sedai after her captivity in the Tower, her championing by Red Badass Silviana Brehon really seals the deal, for us readers and for the Tower. She did it all for the Tower (c’mon!) the Tower… Ironically, Egwene’s youth—or, lack of years—ultimately allowed for her greater vision, her grasp of the big picture. She seemed to have unbelievable political savvy for her age, but Egwene was so focused on the right things that she could see through the wrong. Lelaine and Romanda? She’ll use their faults to her advantage, playing them against each other to achieve her larger goal of uniting the Tower. Siuan makes lots of sense and respects her? She’ll soak up the former Amyrlin’s tutelage like sponge, for it will do nothing but help her unite the Tower. You rebels raised me Amyrlin and remained loyal to me? Awesome, but I don’t actually owe you anything. In fact, YOU owe the TOWER an apology, for your part in the break. Hop to, so we can get back to work uniting the Tower. Essentially, Egwene wasn’t bogged down by years and years of scheming and favors and grudges and personal goals. Her mind isn’t clouded with individual alliances, or “well, that’s not possible,” or “um, we don’t do that here.” When the Tower broke themselves, Egwene was able to respond with, “All bets are off. You ruined this. Now I’m going to fix it and you DO NOT get to tell me how.” Homegirl’s a badass, pure and simple. I’ll wrap this fourth Most Badass Aes Sedai installment with Egwene’s (arguably) Top Three Most Badass Moments: Honorable Mention (because, so many moments) Her overall maneuvering, first within the rebel camp, and then gloriously and so victoriously within the Tower. She shines when she gets the rebels off of their collective arse and cleverly declares war on Elaida in a beautifully written scene. Then she absolutely radiates as a prisoner in the Tower, as the culmination of every single positive trait Egwene possesses convinces the Tower Aes Sedai of their true goal. 3. The Seanchan attack on the Tower. “The woman stood like vengeance itself, the power of saidar like a storm around her. The very air seemed alight, and her brown hair blew from the wind of the open gap in the wall beside them. Egwene al’Vere.” - POV of Adelorna Bastine (The Gathering Storm, Ch. 40, The Tower Shakes) 2. The dinner that changes everything. When Egwene names Elaida coward and Elaida loses her actual damn mind, I’m ready to stand up and cheer. And then… “They could all see the weaves, and they could all see that Egwene did not scream, although her mouth was not gagged by Air. Her arms dripped blood, her body was beaten before them, and yet she found no reason to scream. Instead, she quietly blessed the Aiel Wise Ones for their wisdom” … “‘By the Light,’ Rubinde whispered.” (The Gathering Storm, Ch. 16, In the White Tower) Yes, girl. By the Light, INDEED. 1. The Flame of Tar Valon. Egwene discovers and channels the counter-weave to balefire, then wields it during the Last Battle to defeat the Sharans, knowingly sacrificing herself to make the stand. We all have a picture in our heads of Egwene’s blaze of glory, and no summary provided here will do that image justice. Do you agree with this Part Four assessment? Is Egwene al’Vere the ultimate Badass Aes Sedai? What other moments are her most badass?
  2. Jaymie here. I’ll be discussing a wide variety of topics related to The Wheel of Time. Like many of you, I’ve been reading WoT since the Age of Legends, so we’ll have lots to cover together…WoTever comes to mind. WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS Affecting change out in Randland or as Sitters in the Hall, who’s the biggest badass of them all? In this series, I’ll take a look at our own G.L.O.W. – the Glorious Ladies of WoT, specifically the smooth-cheeked, serenity-filled, skirt-smoothing, shawl-adjusting, butt-kicking Aes Sedai. I’ll select the most badass sister from each Ajah, as well as a runner-up for the title. In Part One, we chose out the most badass Aes Sedai of the Green, Red, and Gray Ajahs. The Blue, Yellow, White, and Brown Ajahs saw their badass representatives hailed in Part Two. Part Three…well, let’s see what dirty deeds comprise a Black Ajah Badass. ANOTHER WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS Black The Black Ajah. Oh, these nasty, nasty ladies. After lauding the bravery and accomplishments of the Badasses in Parts 1 and 2, it was tough to give these minions of the Dark One the same kind of distinction. But someone had to do it. And thanks to Robert Jordan, I was given some complex, startlingly well-written, and deliciously evil characters through which to sort. At first, I tried to think of characteristics that distinguished the Black sisters from the non-Dark sisters, like sneaking, conniving, word-twisting…then I saw Blight in my head yelling at Batman, “DO YOU HAVE THE SLIGHTEST IDEA HOW LITTLE THAT NARROWS IT DOWN?” But for real, we can add murdering—LOTS of murdering—to the Black Ajah resume, along with actual lying. We can also add aligning events to the desires of the Forsa—I mean, Chosen and the Dark O—dang it, Great LORD. A Few Contenders The obvious literal choice for Most Badass Aes Sedai of the Black Ajah is Verin Mathwin. But as she sacrificed her very life to thwart the Dark and reveal herself as a double agent for the Light, we simply cannot, in good conscience, brand her as Black. Besides, as we saw in Part Two, she wholly and unequivocally already owns the title of the Badass of the Brown. Liandrin was our first real introduction to a sister of the Black Ajah, as she and her pretty face and hostile personality led our young heroines straight into Seanchan hands. (And I am stoked to see Kate Fleetwood play Liandrin in the upcoming TV show. STOKED, I say!) Liandrin was mean and nasty and just what we as readers hoped to get from our first real glimpse at a member of the nervously-whispered-about Black Ajah. Sadly, she was but reduced to a sniveling mess by her mistress Moghedien before the end of Book 5 (The Fires of Heaven). A multitude of other Black sisters did their jobs well (and were fun to read while they did them): Elza Penfell was compelling as she served Rand in hopes of delivering him to the Dark in the Last Battle. Katerine Alruddin’s ambition and sheer viciousness made her one to watch. Sheriam Bayanar’s revelation as a Black sister was fairly shocking, since she felt like our Mistress of Novices, too. Her impact was huge as she had the trust of the heroines (and of US, dammit) early on, and later kept things lively and discombobulated at the Rebel camp. But she was also a scaredy-cat and her reasons for going Dark (other people are better at stuff than me!) were quite lame. We also got to know very well the unpleasant ladies who fled the Tower with Liandrin. They each had Dark shiny moments in their own right, with lots of torture, murdering, cat adopting, and bawdy song-singing with ousted monarchs. But two Black sisters stood out from the pack in terms of nastiness, their impact throughout the series, and their fascinating endings. And both were so obnoxiously exceptional that I flip-flopped between Winner and Runner-Up right up until press time. Alviarin Friedhen (Black/White) This woman was a straight-up sociopath. The Black Ajah normally recruits from among novices and Accepted, but this nut job had committed her first murder long before coming to the Tower; hell, it was before she even knew she could channel. In terms of impact, Alviarin ended up with two of the most powerful titles a woman in the series could have: head of the Black Ajah (a title bestowed by Ishamael himself) and, after helping Elaida depose Siuan, Keeper of the Chronicles in the White Tower. As Keeper, she at first manipulates Elaida, then outright controls her. Later, Alviarin does fall from her Keeper power, but shows back up at the Last Battle as a new Dreadlord. Alviarin’s character receives an unexpected (and, oh, I’ll just say it: fun!) ending during the Last Battle as she is tricked into entering an Ogier stedding (Androl, holla!). She and the Dark channelers with her are greeted by the stedding’s Eldest, who will accommodate them for as many years as they need to “reconsider their path.” Runner-Up Galina Casban (Black/Red) The wicked ways of Galina gave us some huge story arcs: she got to kill sisters gathered by Tamra Ospenya to hunt for the Dragon Reborn; 20 years later she got to capture the Dragon Reborn in a box and beat him daily, thus beginning the downward spiral of Rand into his counterproductive harder-than-steel persona (Dumai’s Wells, anyone? Yep, we can thank Galina for that). Additionally, her character gave us eyes on the Shaido and their leadership. After she was captured by the Shaido and severely, relentlessly abused by the Wise One Therava, Galina’s grit and perseverance saw her through multiple escape attempts. Each time the attempts failed, and each time she was harshly punished. That didn’t stop her from taking one last shot at flight by blackmailing fellow Shaido captive Faile into helping her. Faile complied and Galina was so tantalizingly close to freedom. But she was caught for the final time, right before Therava announced the Shaido were done in the wetlands and would return to the Waste. “Something had broken in her. She was Galina Casban, Highest of the Red Ajah, who sat on the Supreme Council of the Black Ajah, and she was going to be Therava’s plaything for the rest of her life. She was Therava’s little Lina. For the rest of her life. She knew that to her bones. Tears rolled silently down her face.” (Knife of Dreams, Ch. 30, Outside the Gates) Wow. What an ending. What do you think? Who did I miss? Do you agree or is someone else a bigger badass of the Black Ajah?
  3. Jaymie here. I’ll be discussing a wide variety of topics related to The Wheel of Time. Like many of you, I’ve been reading WoT since the Age of Legends, so we’ll have lots to cover together…WoTever comes to mind. WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS In this series, I’ll take a look at our own G.L.O.W. – the Glorious Ladies of WoT. Specifically, the smooth-cheeked, serenity-filled, skirt-smoothing, shawl-adjusting, butt-kicking Aes Sedai. I’ll select the most badass sister from each Ajah, as well as a runner-up for the title. In Part One, we chose out the most badass Aes Sedai of the Green, Red, and Gray Ajahs. The Ajahs of Part Two can claim some no-brainers: is there really any question as to the most badass Aes Sedai of the Blue, Yellow, and Brown Ajahs? IS THERE? But we love talking about them anyway, and their runners-up are truly deserving of the Badass distinction. Here’s the rundown of the Most Badass Aes Sedai of the Blue, Yellow, White, and Brown Ajahs. Blue Moiraine Damodred Moiraine is calm serenity and intense drive. She shows us (and Randland) what it is to be Aes Sedai, and we measure all others against her. She’s our first. Our last. Our everything.* Runner-Up Siuan Sanche “There is a saying in Cairhien, though I have heard it as far away as Tarabon and Saldaea. ‘Take what you want, and pay for it.’ Siuan and I took the path we wanted, and we knew we would have to pay for it eventually.” – Moiraine (Fires of Heaven, Ch. 15, What Can Be Learned In Dreams) Siuan as the next-baddest Blue may need no explanation, but let’s do it anyway: As a young Accepted, she attained knowledge that could literally kill her. Instead of running from it, she takes up the cause, knowing the risk (death, or worse yet, stilling) from the start. She is skilled in solving puzzles, seeing patterns, and maneuvering others without their knowing. And let’s not forget the icy blue gaze at which even the most powerful monarchs flinch. After the unthinkable happens, she doesn’t lay down and die, as most stilled women are known to do. She fills with purpose the hole left by her inability to channel. And it’s a badass purpose: revenge on Elaida. Finally, she advises her extremely young and inexperienced successor, a role seen by others as a blow to her pride. But when Siuan realized that Egwene “would be an Amyrlin to make thrones tremble,” she freely threw in her lot and began helping Egwene accomplish her plans. (Lord of Chaos, Ch. 37, When Battle Begins) Yellow Nynaeve al’Meara A discussion of Nynaeve’s accomplishments, acts of bravery, and…ahem…distinctive worldview could fill up its own essay. Hmmm…maybe check back in a few weeks 😊 Runner-Up Romanda Cassin had the makings of a badass, but let her stubbornness over nemesis Lelaine dictate her actions. Doesine Alwain, a Black Ajah hunter in the Tower with a penchant for cursing, also deserves a look. And after being captured as a damane and escaping with Mat’s help, Edesina Azzedin tries to convince Tuon to form a truce with the White Tower, making her one of the few former damane that can approach a Seanchan without cowering in fear. But how about... Corele Hovian Corele’s fun personality and wild appearance make her interesting; her skill with Healing and her contribution to one of the major moments in the series make her a badass. After helping to Heal Rand’s Shadar-Logoth-dagger stab wound, she bonds Asha’man and super-talented Healer Damer Flinn, making them the Healing power couple. Corele Heals and assists all over the place, essentially following Rand where she’s needed. But her claim to runner-up fame is helping to protect Rand from the Forsaken Demandred’s attacks as Rand cleansed the taint on Saidin; linking with Damer and Sarene Nemdahl, the three of them driving Demandred away helped ensure Rand’s victory. Even after an encounter with Shaidar Haran, Corele recovers and keeps on going, lending her Healing all the way through the Last Battle. White Members of the White Ajah, devoted to questions of philosophy, logic, and truth, are generally seen by other Aes Sedai as cold and detached women who consider shows of emotion pointless, as they cloud logical judgement. For the most part, readers don’t see much to indicate otherwise. Alviarin Freidhen’s POV sheds a little light at times, but, as a member of the Black Ajah, she’s not a true White. Carlinya Sorevin, as one of the six sisters who “advised” Egwene upon her raising in Salidar, saw some screen time, but still not enough to determine her level of badass. However, two White sisters in particular stand out in the later books. Daigian Moseneillin Daigian spent 27 years as a novice and 21 years as Accepted. Read that again. Daigian is the absolute weakest in the Power of any woman currently wearing the shawl. Knowing full well how other sisters would perceive and treat her, and how she would rank in any size gathering of sisters, she still spent 48 YEARS training to be Aes Sedai. And she did this without knowing that, through her achievement, she would aid the world in its time of greatest need. What she lacked in Power, she made up for in immense intellect. She had the respect of fellow Badass Cadsuane Melaidhrin (see Part One), who knew Daigian was much more than a messenger or tea server for other Aes Sedai. Uncharacteristically for a White, Daigian bonded a Warder – young Asha’man Eben Hopwil. She was distraught when their heartwarming relationship ended in Eben’s death, but she refused Nynaeve’s offer to attempt to “heal” her grief. Daigian wanted Eben’s memory to remain alive through her pain. Daigian herself was taken out by one of the greatest villains of the Dark, Shaidar Haran, while she guarded one the most-feared Forsaken, Semirhage. This woman was a badass. Runner-Up Ferane Neheran, Sitter and First Reasoner, is a pretty cool White, known to actually show emotion here and there and possessing loads of intelligence. An exchange during one of Egwene’s private “lessons” in the Tower showed Ferane to be thoughtful and willing to listen while still maintaining her authority. She might have been in the running if we’d had just a little more screen time with her, but we didn’t, so… Seaine Herimon Seaine scores major points for being a Black Ajah hunter in the Tower, but also for being super tight with Red Ajah Badass Pevara Tazanovni. Better known to readers since we are more often treated to her POV, we know that Seaine (inaccurately) interprets an order from Elaida as a directive to search for Black sisters within the Tower. From there, she exhibits some badass traits: she recruits a smart, strong woman to help achieve a goal and she courageously continues even when she’s scared out of her mind (especially after her first Black sister discovery). Even though Seaine can get a little whiny, she trusts her logic to help her power through uncertainty and follows sense when she sees it. Brown Verin Mathwin “Please see that they know, although the word Black may brand my name forever, my soul is Brown. Tell them…” “I will, Verin,” Egwene promised. “But your soul is not Brown. I can see it.” Her eyes fluttered open, meeting Egwene’s, a frown creasing her forehead. “Your soul is of a pure white, Verin,” Egwene said softly. “Like the Light itself.” Verin smiled, and her eyes closed. (The Gathering Storm, Ch. 39, A Visit From Verin Sedai) Please. Take a moment for yourself. Just leave the crumpled tissue there next to you. Resume reading when ready. Runner-Up Adeleas Nemelle At age 264, this woman comes out of her peaceful retirement (along with her sister, Vandene) upon learning the Dragon is reborn. She joins up with Moiraine and Co. and ends up fighting Shadowspawn, traveling to Salidar to hang with the Rebels, and jetting off to Ebou Dar for business with the Bowl of the Winds…and maybe to check in on some Tower runaways. After 30 years of the quiet life, Adeleas comes out calmly swinging for the good guys. Though her jump back into the fray ultimately cost Adeleas her life at the hands of the Black Ajah, Vandene was able to avenge her sister just before her own death. The death of the Nemelle sisters was among the most heartbreaking in the series, but also among the most badass, as they fought evil until their final breaths. Part Two concludes! Did I miss anybody this time? Who do you think are the most badass Aes Sedai of the Blue, White, Yellow, and Brown Ajahs? And can you believe, there’s a Part Three still to come! *paraphrasing credit to the Walrus of Love himself, Mr. Barry White
  4. Jaymie here! I’ll be discussing a wide variety of topics related to The Wheel of Time. Like many of you, I’ve been reading WoT since the Age of Legends, so we’ll have lots to cover together…WoTever comes to mind. WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS Affecting change out in Randland or as Sitters in the Hall, who’s the biggest badass of them all? In this series, I’ll take a look at our own G.L.O.W. – the Glorious Ladies of WoT. Specifically, the smooth-cheeked, serenity-filled, skirt-smoothing, shawl-adjusting, butt-kicking Aes Sedai. I’ll select the most badass sister from each Ajah, as well as a runner-up for the title. In Part One, we’re choosing out the most badass Aes Sedai of the Green, Red, and Gray Ajahs. Green The Green Ajah stands ready for the Last Battle. Green sisters are known for their ferocity, with fiery temperaments and readier displays of emotion than their more serene sisters. They are also known for their love of men, often bonding multiple Warders, or even (gasp!) marrying them. Maybe after 3000 years and no Last Battle, they let their guards down a bit. While they put on genuinely brave faces, these ladies seemed all about the boys at times. We learned a lot about Warder relationships (granted, it was sometimes through other Ajahs’ snarky comments about Greens and their dudes), but not a lot about their battle cred. And when push came to shove during the Seanchan raid, even their own Captain-General, Adelorna Bastine, lamented in her POV, “Battle Ajah indeed! The Greens with her had stood only minutes before being defeated.” (TGS, Ch. 40 The Tower Shakes) Make no mistake, I’m a fan of the Green Ajah. They’re kind of the Cool Girl Ajah. We just didn’t get to see much of the badassery in which they prided themselves. Therefore… Elayne Trakand Elayne, who, despite her idiocy in later books regarding Min’s viewing about the babies, had “a lion’s courage…” according to Siuan, who realized Elayne knew the only way to save the Aes Sedai who had dreamed themselves into a nightmare was to dive into the nightmare right along with them. (LOC, Ch. 7 A Matter of Thought) True, Siuan finished that judgment with “…and maybe a fisherbird’s sense.” But Aviendha, a Badass if there ever was one, also lauds Elayne’s bravery: “Even when Elayne is so afraid her mouth dries, her spirit does not bend,” says Aviendha during their sister ceremony. “She is braver than anyone I have ever known.” (WH, Prologue: Snow) Runner-Up Alanna had the makings of a badass; fiery and funny, a willingness to put herself in the mix of goings-on. But she knocked herself out of the running when she bonded Rand without his consent. Not only was her act atrocious (considered by Aes Sedai to be on par with rape), but it put her in vulnerable position after vulnerable position. And she sure spent a lot of screen time weeping. Therefore… Cadsuane Melaidhrin Love her or hate her, she is a force. Her “legendary” status (most of the stories about her were indeed true) and sheer strength of will going for her, Cadsuane’s mere presence stopped folks in their tracks – just long enough for her to assume the advantage in nearly any situation and never look back. Her intentions for Rand had merit and her collaboration with Sorilea (Mizz Strength of Will herself) was on point, even if her methods tanked. And, unlike many Aes Sedai, Cadsuane could (finally) admit her mistakes - and learn from them. Stubborn, to be sure, but she ultimately used her centuries of perspective to work for solutions. And…she’ll be the next Amyrlin Seat, but not because she wants to. She’ll do it, not for herself, but for the good of the Tower and for the post-Last Battle world. Red Pevara Tazanovni It’s Pevara. That is all. Runner-Up Silviana Brehon Mistress of Novices under Elaida; Keeper of the Chronicles under Egwene. Silviana was firm, fair, and did it all for the Tower. We learn to appreciate her through Egwene’s POV, as Silviana administers beatings and punishments matter-of-factly to a novice claiming to be Amyrlin. When she believes Elaida’s treatment of Egwene grows too harsh (and begins to realize exactly who is breaking the Tower, and…ahem…it ain’t Egwene), she stands up to the tyrannical Red. Says Saerin to Egwene, “She denounced Elaida, calling for her to be removed as Amyrlin. It was…quite extraordinary.” (TGS, Ch. 38 News in Tel’aran’rhiod) Then, Silviana valiantly serves the woman she could not break. Gray Yukiri Harana Yes, she played a part in deposing our girl Siuan, but Yukiri did everything for the good of the Tower. One of the tiniest Aes Sedai, she acted like a queen, spoke like a farm girl, and worked tirelessly for every single ounce she achieved. Some Yukiri highlights: she worked to ferret out Black sisters in the Tower, she pledged to Egwene after the Seanchan attack, and she invented the horizontal gateway weave that allowed spying from the sky on battles below. Badass. And after the Last Battle, believing it best for the Tower, Yukiri was one of four Sitters to approach Cadsuane about becoming the new Amyrlin Seat. Runner-Up All Rebel Grays Grays believe anything can be solved if talked through long enough. Their very nature is to stick around and work things out. But the Rebel Grays went against every instinct during the White Tower split and said (and I paraphrase), “Screw all of THIS, we need to get the hell out of Crazy Tower, regroup, and come up with a plan.” Merilille and Merana were among our best-known Rebel Grays, but ultimately fizzled out as they tried to negotiate things and kept getting usurped. And Tiana Noselle, the Rebel faction’s Mistress of Novices, was likely given the position because of her youth, and therefore easy to move aside once the Tower became whole again. Nonetheless, she was truly in for a penny, in for a pound with such a huge role in the Little Tower. Regardless of their fate, these sisters and the rest of the Rebel Grays were HERE FOR IT. And there you have it. Did I miss anybody? Who do you think are the most badass Aes Sedai of the Green, Red, and Gray Ajahs? Update:  Part 2 is now available!
  5. Be you newbie or a veteran attendee; a Wheel of Time fan since the first release of The Eye of the World or someone who only discovered the series recently; a staunch and steadfast devotee of science fiction/fantasy or someone merely taking your first foray into the genre—JordanCon 2020 is here for YOU. What is JordanCon? Officially, JordanCon is a Science Fiction/Fantasy literature convention. Founded in 2009 by Jennifer Liang, the convention exists in honor of The Wheel of Time series creator and author, Robert Jordan. JordanCon is most certainly a Wheel of Time fan’s paradise; finally, a place where nearly everyone you meet will get your WoT references (“Tai'shar Manetheren!”) and will actually care that you started another re-read over Christmas break (and will ask, without judgment, “how many is this for you?”). You will have the opportunity to discuss the upcoming television series, the politics of Tear and Andor, and view some of Robert Jordan’s handwritten notes, drafted as he built the world in which we immerse ourselves again and again. But JordanCon attendees, initially brought together by their love of a fantasy book series, represent so much more, including diverse fandoms across the board. Attendees become friends, and these friends become family at this warm, inclusive, and genuinely unique convention full of merriment. (Note, the above is not a stock description pulled from a website; this is the impact of the con made on yours truly. I showed up to JordanCon 2018 armed with one buddy, information from JordanCon.org, and the WoT knowledge accrued from being a fan of the series since 1996. I left that Sunday with new friends, new memories, and an actual slew of new book, movie, and TV show recommendations.) Programming Held in Atlanta, GA, JordanCon includes programming geared toward all aspects of the genre, in addition to Robert Jordan and The Wheel of Time. A few examples of last year’s program tracks: Art & Artists Track Fantasy Track Gaming Science Fiction Track Workshops World of the Wheel Worlds of Brandon Sanderson Writers Track Within each track, attendees will discover panels, discussions, presentations, and activities tailored to that year’s carefully procured list of eclectic and distinct topics. As track directors finalize details, the list of JordanCon 2020 programming will be available soon. Art Show, Dealers Hall, Guests of Honor, Gaming Hall As if the tracks and panels and workshops and meet-ups weren’t enough, attendees are treated to art (at the Art Show) and books (at the Dealers Hall) from established and up-and-coming artists and authors. Art and books (and a veritable plethora of other items like chain mail, leather-bound journals, jewelry, and elf ears - that’s right, ELF EARS) are available for both perusal and purchase. In the “established” category, JordanCon 2020’s Artist Guests of Honor are Annie Stegg Gerard and Justin Gerard; this year’s Author Guest of Honor is Faith Hunter, bestselling (New York Times and USA Today) author of the Jane Yellowrock series and the Soulwood series. The Gaming Hall provides an all-day venue for open gaming. Whether you drop in for a break from panels and activities, or are in it for the long campaign, attendees will find tabletop games, a Magic: The Gathering draft, and the now-famous Seanchan Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament, a JordanCon charity event. Charity Auction Speaking of now-famous, the JordanCon Charity Auction has grown year after year, raising thousands of dollars for the Mayo Clinic’s amyloidosis (the blood disorder to which Robert Jordan ultimately succumbed) research and patient care center. Items up for bid at past auctions have included signed books and cover art, handmade crafts (Wheel of Time-themed or otherwise), even memorabilia from the personal collection of Robert Jordan himself. Items are donated from fans all over the world, as well as from our talented attendees, panelists, guests of honor, and staff members. Get Your Membership Badge (and your t-shirt! And your Anthology!) Go to JordanCon.org to purchase your attendee membership, granting you access to a full weekend of JordanCon. This is also where you can purchase your official JordanCon 2020 t-shirt. T-shirt pre-sales are the only way to be certain you'll score this year's shirt. A limited number of shirts will be for sale at the convention, but they do sell out quickly. Remember, shirts can only be picked up at the JordanCon store during the convention. The same goes for the JordanCon Anthology. Available through pre-sale (with a limited number available for sale on premise) and only picked up at the con, “Become Legend: The JordanCon 2020 Anthology” houses 20 short stories written by JordanCon guests and attendees. Each story incorporates this year’s theme, “Con of Legends.” All anthology proceeds go to charity. You can read all about these talented contributors as Dragonmount’s own Mashiara Sedai features anthology authors in the weeks leading up to JordanCon with this interview series. More Info The website offers all the information you need to prepare for JordanCon 2020. You’ll find links to New Member Info (lookin’ at you, newbies); a blog filled with such nuggets of knowledge as themed drinks, breaking Con news, and a first-timers’ survival guide; and The Source, the official JordanCon newsletter (to which you can subscribe). JordanCon’s social media community will connect you even more closely to this vibrant and inviting gathering. Follow JordanCon on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and find out why one of the most-used hashtags among the JordanCon family is #welcomehome. #JordanCon #JCon2020 #isitAprilyet #welcomehome
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