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  1. We should be careful drawing conclusions about Seanchan a'dam from Nynaeve / Elayne a'dam experiences. That a'dam was different... not only did it have no leash, (and we're told often that the physcial configuration of a ter'angreal is critical to its function,) but it was based on Nynaeve's World of Dreams a'dam... which worked how she thought an a'dam would work... which may not be very accurate, given that she'd worn one once, for about a minute. The two devices may have significant differences, and ther's nothing in the text to say one way or the other. --Shannon
  2. This is not conclusive, it's kind of like the "liars village / truth-tellers village" puzzle. If Moiraine is Black Ajah, she's been released from the Oaths, and can say this, even though it's a lie. If she is not, she's bound to speak only truth, and can say this, because it's true. The fact that she said it tells you nothing about her status. That said, there's no way Moiraine is a Friend of the Dark. If she had been, she'd have killed all three boys in the first book, when it would have been trivially easy, and likely been raised to Chosen status by the Great Lord immediately. Even Verin, the only ambiguous darkfriend we've seen, had far more evidence for her darkness than has been postulated for Moiraine. --Shannon
  3. Is there "official" confirmation that severing can only be completely healed by an opposite-sex channeler? The reason I ask is that, in re-reading Lord of Chaos, Moghedien tells Nynaeve that some healing weaves were stronger in men. Nyn doesn't believe her, of course... but she's been wrong a lot. If there's an official word on this, then that's that, but if not, maybe we've got this one all wrong. --Shannon
  4. A general thought on interpretations of this particular Foretelling: For every phrase in Elaida's little speech, the literal interpretation of the words is one that does not mean what she thinks it does. Interpreted strictly literally, the Foretelling doesn't actually say anything about her "inevitable victory"... which we knew even when she said it wasn't going to happen. Every part of it has a simple meaning that doesn't imply any benefit to Elaida. I'd be careful about reading too much into this one... that's what Elaida does, and look where she ends up. It may be that this prophecy is supposed to be read more literally than the others. --Shannon
  5. I think the existence of knowledge that Lews Therin had, that Rand Al'Thor could not have learned on his own comes as close to settling this as anything can. The only way that Rand would have knowledge in his mind that only Lews Therin could have possibly known is if it was placed there by some outside agency. The only candidate that we have textual evidence for is the soul of Lews Therin Telamon. If Rand's mind was making it all up, it would be wrong more often that it was right, and so far, Lews Therin's memories are always right. We also know from the Mordeth story that dead souls can occupy new bodies in this world, and even that they can do so by force. We have direct textual evidence of Lews Therin (whatever he is) trying to take over Rand's body and mind. We have Semirhage's observation that it's even worse if the voice is real... implying very directly that such voices can be real. Basically, everything I've read leads me to the conclusion that the Lews Therin persona was as "real" as it's possible for a disembodied voice of a man dead for three thousand years to be, and that Rand Al'Thor was in very real danger of becoming Lews Therin Telamon. That danger has now passed, Rand won the fight. What access he now has to Lews Therin's memories (are they integrated, or are they gone, or something else?) will be spelled out in the last two books. I'll go ahead and bet that the answer to that will be "integrated", simply because we've had so much foreshadowing that only Lews Therin's knowledge can win the Last Battle. I also still wonder about the way in which the Lews Therin / Rand Al'Thor dichotomy plays into the whole "to live you must die" thing. Maybe Rand's victory isn't as complete as we think it is. --Shannon
  6. We can't be the 1st age of this turning of the Wheel, since the Portal Stones are from an Age older than the Age of legends, and they require the One Power to work. This, of course, rests on the following two assumptions: 1. That the numbering of the Age of the books as the Third Age is correct. And there's some slight evidence that it isn't... it's called the Third Age by some, implying that they could be wrong. 2. That a time where humans cannot channel the One Power and a time where they can cannot belong to the same Age. I think we're the Seventh Age, the final Age of a Turning in which humanity could not channel the One Power. That leaves enough time for the things that we know both pre-date the Age of Legends and require the use of the One Power. --Shannon
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    I thought that Olver was Gaidal... has that been disproved? --Shannon
  8. In re-reading the Camelyn sequence in The Eye Of The World, I was reminded of the "Hammer's Slammers" novella Counting the Cost, which David Drake wrote as a sci-fi treatment of the revolt against the Emperor Justinian. Particularly in the "one side wears red, the other side wears white/black" aspect. The parallel is obvious, and I'm wondering... Given that both men were (are, in Drake's case) graduates of The Citadel, and would have been contemporaries, what, if any, relationship did they have? Or were both drawing from the same historical reference, and the parallel is simple coincidence? I'm not aware of any color-based distinction between the supporters of Justinian and his opponents, but that's likely to be just my ignorance of Dark Age history as anything else. Just something that occurred to me in re-reading both stories. --Shannon
  9. So far as I know, we haven't seen any examples of an Asha'man and an Aes Sedai bonding each other. But it's an obvious thing to have happen. What would be the result of a reciprocal bonding? What would the wildly differing natures of Saidin and Saidar mean in this context? Will it happen? Should it happen? I did search, but either I can't format a search string in a way that will get me what I'm looking for (likely), or this has not been discussed other than as a side issue (unlikely). Ideas? --Shannon
  10. But we also see Egwene feed enough forkroot to render her so weak in the Power as to be useless, without affecting her consciousness at all. This suggests that there is a dose that will block a channeler without knocking them out. If the Shaido Wise Ones were unconscious during the fight at Malden, then you're right, and Faille cannot channel. If they were awake, but blocked, then Faile reacted to a much smaller dose, and probably can. Does anyone remember if Morgase reacts at all to the water? This would be a good clue, as she's about as weak in the Power as it's possible to be. --Shannon
  11. She's not my favorite character, but I don't see her as evil, just ambitious for herself and her husband, and jealous to a fault. I wonder where she gets that from?? <cough>Mommy</cough> I have no wish for her to die, except if an interesting plotline could develop that way.
  12. It's more her personality than her actions that seem one-dimensional to me. I've no doubt that she'll make a good Queen, but as a human being, she seems lacking to me. As a character, she's probably my least favorite woman. Given her importance to the story, I root for her to prevail, but I cannot like her. --Shannon
  13. She's actually one of my favorite characters. I've seen her change more than any of the female "leads". She starts off as sort of a "mini-Nynaeve", a woman with no respect for men as men, and totally bound by the insular society in which she was raised. By the time she is captured and reduced to the novitiate, we see her as someone who can stand with the great rulers of all time, assuming that she lives that long.... she's not there yet. But still, she has managed to bend people and situations to her will, and to rise far beyond her starting points. Elayne, Nynaeve and Faile, I see as still being bound by their early training and assumptions. They are still who we first saw them as. We've all known people like that. Elayne, especially, seems almost out of "Central Casting." It's as if Jordan called out for the classic spoiled, beautiful daughter of wealth and privilege, and Elayne is what landed in his inbox. Nynaeve at least has the strength of her weaknesses, and Faile is from a radically different culture. Note that all three Saldean women that have been explored in depth (Faile, Deira, and the Queen) have been, to put it mildly, odd. They fight the "battle of the sexes" by very different rules than we're used to. --Shannon
  14. Perhaps I was confusing... What I meant was that there is (at least one!) an explanation that can resolve the actions of these characters within the fictional world and at the same time bring in the idea that their actions were also working for the furtherance of the story as a story. Within the fantasy world presented in the books, we see the Wheel as an active force, (eg, ta'veren), so it's still within the bounds of "suspension of disbelief" to ascribe the apparent contradictions to the workings of the Wheel. In a world where fate and time take an active role, and where themes are endlessly recycled through time, questions of free will become much more complicated. How free were Lews Therin Telamon and Latra Posae Decume to act? To what extent were their actions predetermined by the Wheel of Time? The bit about "the Author" was sort of a sarcastic throwaway... can't help it... I'm just wired that way. --Shannon
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