Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Dragon Reborn Read-Along, Week 6

Padan Fain/Ordeith
1. Wow, Fain seems to have taken crazy to a whole new level. What on earth could he want with a Myrdraal?

Who knows? He strikes me as the kind of dude whose motives wouldn't make much sense even if we knew them. Maybe he's trying to blackmail the Dark One or something. It's not like a fade--who is also trying to kill Rand, just in general--would have tons of information about our kids.

2. Lord Luc, selfless heroic noble with only the best interests of the locals at heart. Or so he would have you think - Perrin doesn't appear to agree. What do you make of this bloke?

Ti--uh, I mean Shaiel. ;D
It's perhaps a little convenient that he showed up to take charge right when the White Cloaks and Trollocs showed up. Besides, Perrin's advice was pretty common sense. For an educated lord, why wouldn't he have told them this earlier. It's also interesting that he doesn't contradict Perrin or try to talk everyone out of taking Perrin's advice. If Lord Luc hadn't given them Perrin's advice earlier, the only reason not to would be to keep them vulnerable and dependent on them. But if that was the case, you'd think he would fight for his position of authority. But he doesn't. To me, that says his motives are more sinister. Or, perhaps he recognizes the influence of ta'veren when he sees it, which makes him an even more interesting character. Either way, he's one to keep an eye on (as if Perrin didn't already have enough stress!).

3. We finally learn about the Aiel side of Rand's parentage. Was this about what you expected? Who might Shaiel have been? (If you have been paying attention, you should be able to work out who Rand's half brother is.)

Tam finding Rand on the slopes
of Dragonmount
Okay, I totally know who his mother and half-brother are. (Think about what we know of the history of Andor, pre-Morgase.) But I'd like to point out a few details that will become very important later on, and that may help with identification as well. Not that Rand's biological father, the Clan Chief (blanking on his name right now) died in the blight, perhaps in or near the Borderlands. He died refusing to defend himself, not against a Fade or Trolloc, but against another man, who he claimed looked like his wife...think about that. Who was his wife (a.k.a. the answer to Eivind's question) and who would have looked just like her? Hmmm. Might all be connected. Might also be connected to another character we're just becoming acquainted with. Non-specific enough for you?

4. Egwene is caught red handed in T'A'R without supervision. What do you think of Amys' reaction?

Wholly demon-face, Batman! I guess Don't wake Amys up while she's sleeping is an understatement, eh? It just goes back to an earlier question about whether the Wise Ones are harder on their pupils than the White Tower. I think that's a resounding yes. If Egwene had disobeyed in a similar way to this in the Tower, she'd be scrubbing floors or sent out to a farm to work in the sun. Not that that doesn't work as punishment, but this has a more immediate and stronger reaction that will probably do a better job of ensuring obedience. Uh, you know, theoretically. This is Egwene we're talking about.

Aviendha - Source
5. So we might see a bit of Aviendha/Rand interaction coming up. 
Teacher, student, spy and spyee. What do you expect from these two? Is Aviendha acting a bit... odd? (Even for Aiel.) 
Yeah, she is. I expect a lot of good, comedic verbal sparring. The part where she started describing Elayne naked was pretty funny. Felt bad for Rand but totally wanted to deck Mat, even as I laughed. As a writer, I'll say that we're being set up for quite a relationship arc here. The more they hate each other to begin with, the farther the pendulum has to swing in the other direction. Just sayin'.

Hadnan Kadere
6. "We ride with evil, now" Rand claims. What do you think he means? Could this somehow be part of his plan?

I don't know. I didn't remember this line before, and knowing what comes after, it's kind of interesting. I think Rand must have sensed something sinister happening, whether it came from the caravan itself or just had more to do with things happening that he hadn't planned on, I don't know, but it definitely feels like the ante's been upped. 


Best picture EVER...uh, I mean,
He Who Comes With the Dawn
I really loved the section dealing with Rand's parentage. It's so beautifully written. Interesting that Rand will be both the Aiel's salvation and their doom. Love this line from Bair: "A hard prophecy, but this has never been a gentle land."

Love Mat's comebacks:
Bair, asking about his spear: "Did you get that in Rhuidean, boy?"
Mat: "I was given it, old woman." *laughs hysterically* Gotta love his maturity!

Thought there were some interesting insights on the Aiel. Rand thinks:
"He needed people who could trust, people who followed from something besides fear of him, or greed or power. People who did not mean to use him for their own ends." It occurs to me that this is what makes the Aiel different from "wetlanders." While there are always a few bad fish--*cough* Couladin *cough*--for the most part the Aiel are much more concerned with their duty to He Who Comes With the Dawn, ji'e'toh, and fulfillment of the prophecies than personal gain. That's why Rand can trust them (and use them for his purposes) more than other peoples. After all, look how the High Lords of Tear reacted to him.

Dragons on Rand's arms

So, how did everyone else like this section?


  1. Interesting - I didn't know that there was a WoT read-along going on. Who's hosting it?

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Hi Nicole - there are 3 bloggers and 1 commenter hosting. Any of us can put you on the weekly email, if you like. Email me (nrlymrtl at gmail dot com) or Liesel.

    2. Come on Nicole, join us in our crazy attempt to read this mammoth series: you know you want to! :)

  2. Perhaps Lord Luc is the WoT version of an ambulance chasing lawyer? I noticed he got all nervous around Verin, checking her finger for the Aes Sedai ring. I think he has guessed that Verin is Aes Sedai - and Aes Sedai make nearly everyone nervous.

    I have my suspicions that Rand's harem will grow. It only seems right that an Aeil becomes part of that harem ;).

    I loved Mat's comebacks too. If you're going to call people 'boy' or 'kid', etc. then expect some throw back on your age too.

    1. Somehow I feel like an Aiel is necessary to facilitate Rand's harem because of their concept of sister-wives. It is strange that I can accept a group of women all selecting one man and deciding to share him, but the concept of a man choosing many wives makes me very angry.

  3. 2. Luc gives me the creeps for some reason, so I am going to assume that he is a bad man. You are right that his actions are a bit inconsistent, maybe that is what is making me feel that he is untrustworthy.

    3. For someone to look that much like Tigraine it would have to be her brother or cousin so that their ages match. I guess that means that we are looking for Rand's uncle or second cousin, who would be about forty now. If this turns out to be Lord Luc I will be cross!

    4. Those Wise Ones are tough ratbags aren't they? However, surviving in the Aiel Waste depends upon the people being very tough, so I can understand why they have no softness and will not allow weakness to survive. Scrubbing floors sounds a whole lot easier than Amys' discipline system!

    5. Ah, yes, the good old Romance trope: she hates him right up until the moment that she bops him over the head and drags him into her bedroll! :D

    The Aiel prophecy about Rand destroying them is certainly intriguing. Now that we know a lot more about their history I have to wonder if what he will actually destroy is their way of life, rather than them as a people. I can see how accepting him will be difficult for some of them, as we see with Couladin, but simply asking them to follow him out of the Waste will change them forever.