Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Dragon Reborn Read-Along, Week 5



Welcome to Week 5 of The Dragon Reborn Read-Along! Remember there will be spoilers through this section of the series.


Mat Cauthon
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1) In this section, we see Mat putting on a tough demeanor and then shelling out coins to those who need it. Do you think such behavior will perpetuate his good luck, in a karmic sense, or will he be taken advantage of? 

I don't think there's any way this can work against him karmic-ally, but knowing Mat's luck, I can see it getting twisted somehow and landing him in a trolloc cookpot or something. But then it will also help him get out. Send him a chinese-throwing star or something. I thought his charity was sweet, though. It shows that despite his tongue and his attitude, he's a decent guy at heart. 
2) Loial is writing a journal of sorts of his adventures. What do you think he is focusing on? 

Loial and Perrin
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Probably anything that makes his eyes widen or his ears perk up. For someone who's either reading or writing for the majority of the series, we see remarkably little of Loial's work. Not that I'm encouraging anyone to do this (it may or may not involve end-of-series spoilers) but the final prophecy at the end of book 14, A Memory of Light, has a one-liner from him. Very simplistic, but also very beautiful. I think it's really all we ever get to see of Loial's writing.
3) At Easing the Badger Inn, Perrin is treated to some bawdy songs, making him blush furiously. Have you ever found yourself in such a situation unexpectedly? 

Nothing comes to mind. Like Perrin, I avoid such situations with care. Recently I read a book called The Four Hour Body. I honestly read it for it's weight-loss tips, but there was also a section on tips for better sex. Yeah, I totally looked. And kept the book hidden from, you know, EVERYONE! So I didn't find myself in a similar blushing situation as Perrin. :D


Sammael
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4) Illian has issues. Darkfriends, Darkhounds, Grey Men, and a Forsaken. Do you think all
that badass evil is there for Perrin or Moiraine, or is there something else about Illian that brings them? 

Perrin is ta'veren, so it could be the Pattern swirling itself around him. Of course, Moiraine also finds out in this section that Sammael--one of the Forsaken--is ruling the land. That can't be good for peace, prosperity, or saints, if you know what I mean. But maybe it's a cuthroat city anyway, and that's why the Forsaken chose it? Don't know.

5) Mat makes it to Caemlyn and proceeds to play delivery boy for Elayne's letter to her mum. As luck would have it, he overhears a plot to take Elayne's head. Whose danger is greater: Morgase's or Elayne's? 

Morgase Trakkand
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Hard to say. It's scary that he's so set on killing all the women--scumbag!--and both sweet and condescending that Mat wants to protect them. (Only Mat could make such a sweet gesture feel like he's the victim.) I also think Jordan was a genius for coming up with the concept of ta'veren. This is exactly the kind of coincidence you can pin on that, but without it, it would be WAY too convenient. Just sayin'. 
6) Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve make it safely to shore and nestle down with a Wise Woman called Mother Guenna. What do you think of Nynaeve's caution and Egwene's snippy behavior?

I thought the battle of wits was pretty entertaining. Egwene's being pretty snippy, but I have to admit I understand her behavior. Not necessarily condoning it, but it's hard to deal with someone acting superior when both of you know they're not. They're bound to but heads until both of them finds a bit of humility. I actually think going to a fellow Wisdom was an ingenious idea. I don't think it would have occurred to me that the inns would be watched. So...maybe don't take me on the suicidal roadtrips. I'm the one who'll trip on my shoelace and kill everyone before the danger even begins!

Other Tidbits:


Lan & Moiraine
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I totally love the arguments between Lan and Moiraine. They feel so teenaged, and yet are dealing with life and death and bonds and stuff. I love that Lan finds devious little ways around Moiraine's instructions. (Maybe he's not too mature for Nynaeve. :D)

Also, keep an eye on Tallanvor--the guy that took Mat to Morgase. He's never a major character, but he comes into it more later on, and I was surprised how much I came to like and root for him.

Also, I had a "what the..." moment when reading a segment on Egwene's dreams. It was another I-can't-believe-how-far-in-advance-the-author-planned-that moment. Egwene sees something about a Whitecloak and Master Luhan--really not fully explained until almost the end of the last book! Another about Perrin choosing between his ax and a hammer--awesome! And finally, about Ran d confronting Egwene herself with a lot of women, and one of them being a Seanchan. Again, we won't see the fulfillment until almost the end of book 14. How did he know all of that?!!? *sighs* That, my friends, is the genius of Robert Jordan.

Well, we're heading into the home stretch of Book 3, which has a killer ending! How is everyone else liking it?  

4 comments :

  1. Ah yes, those books we pick up for one reason, and end up learning intimate details for the bedroom. Yes, I tend to tuck those away and only share with my man or close female friends...or this gay male friend...or knitting circle. Alright, I am pretty darn open about such things, but I do curb it for work and public outings. Mostly.

    It is very good to hear that Egwene's dream sequences and some minor characters get to have more page time. I have to wonder what Jordan's writer's den looked like - did he have huge maps and timelines and character indices on the walls, did he use a computer to graph all this stuff out so he and eventually Sanderson could pull it all together? Anyway, it would be something to see.

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    1. Somehow I doubt that Mr Jordan used a computer, but I do have to wonder how much of these hints were placed by him on purpose for future use and how many Mr Sanderson pulled in to the last few books on his own.

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  2. 1. I always get the impression that Mat is a real softy, but that he tries to present a much tougher image.

    2. That is a real shame, because I would love to read some of his view on what he has experienced. BTW I really don't like that artist's version of him: he looks way too scary!

    3. I would be a little surprised to find sex tips in a weight loss book, but I would be more likely to read them out loud to my hubby while we both giggled like teenagers! :D

    5. You are so right about ta'veren: in any other book the coincidences can get really irritating, but here it is actually cool and we enjoy searching them out.

    I don't think Moiraine and Lan sound so much like teenagers as an old married couple: they know each other so well and are so familiar with each others strengths and weaknesses.

    I also thought that Tallanvor might be someone to watch, simply because he seems unhappy with how Morgase is being controlled and we spent quite a bit of time with him. If he had any doubts about acting to protect his queen then I imagine that his brush with Mat will have focussed his mind.

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  3. I think there's another Loial quote at the beginning of that chapter in aMoL (you know which one).

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