Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Dragon Reborn Read-Along, Week 3

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1. We see Verin hoarding a collection of Corianin Sedai's writings on Dreaming. Do you think that she should share them (or selected portions) with Egwene or do you think that blundering around in the dark is the best way to learn how to do something?

I really don't see the point of not giving Egwene any and all information there is on the World of Dreams. Even if they were just Corianin's theories and not absolute fact, it might still be helpful or help Egwene expand anything she's thinking about and learn more. Especially with the apparent danger Dreaming poses, and the fact that this is a teacher-pupil relationship, I can't help but think perhaps Verin's motives for keeping certain things hidden.


2. In her testing for becoming Accepted, we see Egwene as Amyrlin. Can you accept this as a possible future for her or is it too improbable?

I'd like to think so. Just as with Nynaeve, I'd like to think she'll marry Lan someday. Amyrlin is such a high position, it's almost beyond ambition, but Egwene is definitely smart and capable enough. I think it's a real possibility. Interesting that she sees Elaida as black ajah in the dream. I think that may be more her own prejudices coloring things a bit. She's afraid of the black ajah, but Elaida is someone present in the tower she can focus her emotions on.

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3. Mat seems fairly nifty with a quarterstaff, even when he is half dead. Did his defeat of Galad and Gawyn seem to be based upon his skill, rather than luck, and did you find it convincing?

Loved this scene! Mat's not my favorite character--he's hysterical, but also very arrogant. Despite that, it was kind of fun to see the country bumpkin kick some rich, pretty-boy butt. Especially when he makes all kinds of money. Wouldn't it be great to suddenly have a skill where you out-do the competition and make all kinds of money? I mean, writing is never like that, right? ;D

Dream Ter'angreal
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4. It seems that the realm of Dreams, Tel'aran'rhiod, is very important to the Black Ajah because they have stolen many ter'angreals that were thought to be associated with Dreaming or Corianin Sedai. Why do you think they are so interested in Dreaming? 

Hard to say without knowing more about their motives. I think two things are at play here. 1) No one in the White Tower knows anything about dreaming or the World of Dreams. Maybe they figure if they can figure it out, it will give them an advantage. 2) The Forsaken we've seen thus far--Ba'alzamon himself, in fact--have made use of dreams. Probably they know much more than the humans do and if the black ajah are working for them, they be learning from Dark Instructors. 

Silvie/???
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5. Now that we know that Else was definitely an impostor, it seems that Lanfear has more than one set of tactics. Do you think that she might also be the true identity of Silvie, the old woman that Egwene encounters in her Dream of the Stone of Tear and are you surprised by the way in which she approaches women? 

Okay, Silvie was all kinds of creepy. At least if she is Lanfear, it makes sense. If she's not...well Egwene's got more than one kind of person to look out for when she sleeps. Sounds exhausting. 

6. We know that the Black Ajah 'evidence' is a trap set by Lanfear. Do you think their plan to spring the trap intentionally will work or will it lead them into some other trouble?

I think they're bound to hit a few bumps. When you do stuff like this, you're always heading--at least somewhat blindly--into enemy territory. If they're smart about it, it could work. If not, they might find themselves right back in some form of slavery (like the Seanchan).

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7. Suddenly, Mat has been revealed as a gambler with incredible luck. Does this fit with the young man that we met in the first two books and did you detect any unusual luck before his Healing in the White Tower?

It's sort of awesome. And I think it fits what we know of Mat. He was always a trickster and a prankster; always getting into trouble. Being a lucky gambler just fits right in with that. At the same time, dealing with attracting too much attention might actually serve to make him more cautious. I don't know that Mat is the sort of guy that will ever totally grow up, but he can use all the help he can get.

Extras:

I love the World of Dreams! It's so much fun. Totally want to find a way to go there when I got to sleep! I love that she saw Perrin. It was interesting that he chained himself up in the World of Dreams. Jordan is a master with his dream and world-of-dreams symbolism. Pay attention to both Perrin and Egwene's dreams. She often says something doesn't make sense and must just be a bizarre dream. Nope. Generally not. Every single one is strategically placed by the author. Just sayin'.

What did everyone else like about this section?

4 comments :

  1. Hey Liesel! When I wake up, Susan's post is usually the only one up, so I put my answers there. This week she's late so you will get the honours. ;)

    1. Yes, so this is "Verinism" number two. Her motivations are clear as mud, to me. To be honest (and I teach mathematics), yes, blundering around in the dark *for a time* is the best way to learn something. Any fool can read a problem and a solution and understand it, but you don't really learn until you have tried, failed, and understand what you did wrong. Then again, T'A'R might follow different rules. Who knows?

    2. Sounds extremely far-fetched to me. The list of things that need to fall into place for Egwene to become Amyrlin seems longer than a bad year. But... you know, it's not like this is real life or anything. Go for it, girl.

    3. Ah, I do love me some Mat :). I'm not one to judge someone's skill with a quarterstaff, but if the head coach of the Warders finds it convincing, it's good enough for me.

    4. I can't remember if we have visited T'A'R yet at this point in the books (knowingly... in fact we have already been there, or places similar to it, many times). If I recall, it takes a few chapters from Egwene's accepted test before she tries it out. But in any case, I don't think the Shadow's interest in T'A'R is anything special. They probably intend to use it in the same ways as our heroes will eventually work out.

    5. Oh, Silvie, right. So I guess we HAVE been to T'A'R. Pretty sure she is Lanfear. We've been seeing her around in the world of dreams earlier in the book. And a lot of what she says is noteworthy. "All of them pretending to serve the Great Lord, and all the while plotting and planning to regain what they lost. Each one thinking he or she is the only one plotting. Ishamael is a fool!" Presumably this is about the forsaken.

    6. In my mind, it's still a trap even if you know it, so long as you approach it in the same way. The Supergirls seem to be making calls way above their paygrade, so to speak.

    7. Yep, it is awesome. He says himself that he's always been lucky, but not this kind of lucky. It's a pretty novel superpower to have I think.

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    1. I like that the Team Evil is plotting against itself and is fractured - such as Lanfear being out for herself, and Silvie/Lanfear commenting on how others are plotting for themselves and not for the Greater Evil. Makes for a very interesting plot.

      Supergirls, above their paygrade. Too funny, and so true. Fun and entertaining for me, dangerous for them. We'll have to see what injuries result from this adventure.

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  2. The fact that the Aes Sedai don't have any Dreamers (other than Egwene) and can't really teach her, tells me that the Black Ajah have dominated this field for a long time. So, sending in Egwene with minimal training and vague warnings all around seems a bit ludicrous. I wish her the best of luck.

    I guess I better start paying attention to the dream sequences. I will admit, that those scenes were not the most interesting to me in the first two books, but I see your enthusiasm for them at the end of your post. So, I will start thinking of them as more of the plot and less like fanciful Red Herrings as I did in the past.

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  3. It is interesting to see the pictures of Verin: for some reason I always imagine her as looking like an old lady even though she is described as having the ageless look of the Aes Sedai.

    1. I can't think of a single good reason to keep all of the information from Egwene, so I am fairly sure that Verin is Black Ajah.

    2. I do wonder if that is the arrangement that Moiraine has made for if she dies: she said that their bond would pass to someone else, but it sounded like that would not be permanent, so I'm guessing that she intends it to eventually pass to Nyneave. Lan is going to be so angry!

    4. I find it really worrying that the Forsaken know so much about Dreaming and yet Egwene is blundering about with no idea what she's doing: it seems like a recipe for disaster.

    It is interesting that you say that all the dreams are significant. When I read a book I tend to assume that everything the author shows has some significance, so I'm glad that I'm not wasting my time! :D

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