Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fires of Heaven Read-Along, Week 3

1. Do you think that it is possible that Nynaeve and Elayne will be more cautious in the future and avoid the next very obvious trap that arises? Also, any ideas where the extra pigeons were going after Mistress Macura’s recovery?

One can hope that they'll learn from their mistakes. We always discuss how very green both of them are, having both only been Accepted when they left the tower. I think these are their growing pains and they'll learn to be more cautious. As for the extra pigeons, Mistress Macura said she only served the Yellow Ajah, but I think it's clear that she has more than one master, and that others are watching her and reporting as well. I would guess some went to the Black Ajah, while others could have gone to any of the Forsaken.

2. We now know that the Blue Ajah is massing in Salidar, and I wonder if other renegade Sisters will head that way as well. Is anyone else feeling that their choice of meeting place is nice and convenient for our wayward Amyrlin? Do you think that Nynaeve and Elayne will hear the location and join up with our merry band?

I think anyone who doesn't want Elaida on the Amyrlin seat will eventually join together. When Siuan figured out where it was, she said no one would think to look there, but she never fully explained why. I do kind of wonder about that. Of course, having been the Amyrlin for so long, Siuan is well versed in the Tower's histories, so if anyone could figure it out, she could. I think Nynaeve and Elayne are a long way from making it to Salidar or anywhere like that, but I would definitely rather them go there than back to the Tower.

Gareth Bryne and Siuan Sanche
3. Were you surprised to discover that Gareth Bryne had the hots for Siuan? Are we going to have a soppy love story involving fishing metaphors?

LOL. Yeah, the fishing metaphors could make it downright disgusting, but I kind of like that Gareth has the hots for her. The fact that it was her eyes that hooked him, rather than her bod, shows that it's more than just lust. May be a bit of a rebound after being hurt by Morgase, but Bryne is a decent guy and well past his prime. He deserves decent companionship. Of course, Siuan's temper is looking more and more Nynaeve-ish these days, but at least we know she's his equal in intelligence, wisdom, years, and authority. It will be interesting to see how it develops.

4. Is anyone else hoping that Birgitte will have a larger role in the story in the near future? Is Egwene really a prude or do you think that Nynaeve’s dress in Tel’aran’rhiod was amazingly slutty?

Don't worry. We'll see lots more of Brigitte. Try to remember the fact that she thinks her love, Gaidal Cain has been born again. This will be important eventually, but not for awhile. Concerning Nynaeve's dress, probably both. I'm sure it was slutty, considering she was having lustful thoughts about Lan at the time, but I don't think Egwene's a prude either. I think she was just surprised to see straight-laced Nyneave wearing something like that (kind of like the first time you hear your parents swear or talk about sex) and she may have been, even then, trying to assert the authority we discuss in question 5.

Egwene and Nynaeve
5. Were you surprised by the sudden reversal in the power dynamic between Nynaeve and Egwene? During her testing to become Accepted, Egwene saw herself as Amyrlin, does her increasing self confidence make this future seem more likely?

It definitely seems more possible as she grows in intelligence. Even she was surprised that her manipulation worked so well, but that's very much a sign of her learning to be Aes Sedai. It's also significant that she later notes that Moiraine spoke to her and treated her as an equal. Obviously Egwene is coming into her own confidence. It's also just a sign of growing up, though. Before, she looked up to Nynaeve, almost as a parent. Now she's seeing her on more equal ground; seeing her flaws and shortcomings. That's normal as we grow up and come to see those we once idolized as human beings.

Galad Damodred
6. Do you agree with Elayne that Galad would actually hand them over to the Whitecloaks? I can see Thom fitting in with the travelling Menagerie, but how much braid-pulling do you expect from Nynaeve?

It's hard to say with Galad. With him, I'd say you have to worry less about what he's planning right now and more about how things might change later. I doubt he was lying about helping them (he would see that as wrong) but if something changes in the future and he's suddenly at war with his conscience, he could betray them. I just think he's not trustworthy, not because he's a terrible guy but because he's loyal to the letter of the law, rather than to people like his family. That doesn't translate into someone you can trust unconditionally. And he's a full-on whitecloak now. Really? Yeah, expect Nynaeve to try and yank that thing right out of her head. This should be entertaining.


Seanchan S'redit / "Boar-Horses"
As much as I disliked the Elayne-flirting-with-Thom story line, I actually thought this section wrapped that up well. Even though neither Julian nor Nynaeve had any clue what was going on, Elayne and Thom talked about it openly and I actually thought it was really sweet. From now on, while they'll remain close, we won't see so much absurd behavior between them, which is a relief!

I'm excited to get to the part of the story that includes Valan Luca's menagerie. I know it's not every fan's favorite part, and don't get me wrong: it's not awesome or anything (it's certainly no Rhuidean) but I always found it entertaining, so I'm looking forward to re-reading this entire section.

How did everyone else like this section?


  1. Yeah, Bryne is such a kind grandfatherly type. He deserves someone nice after what he's been through (I assume). I'm not sure at all what to think about the age gap though...

    I'm one of those who are a bit ambivalent about that menagerie. :D

  2. Siuan and the Super Girls could use a few more allies. So, I do hope everyone rallies at Salidar and that they can get some good deeds done.

    Of course, all that needs to be complicated by a blossoming romance between Siuan and Bryne ;).

    I am actually really looking forward to the Menagerie and the boar-horses. I think it is something like Egwene and Perrin way back traveling with the tinkers, or Rand in Aiel land with a caravan. Completely different culture and everyone is expected to get some work done.

  3. 1. I just have to wonder how many times they fall for a trap before becoming a little more cautious, because they can only get rescued so many times before their luck runs out.

    3. It does seem that Bryne is drawn to strong-willed women, so it will be an entertaining courtship if nothing else. I actually think that Susan made a good start into the realm of disgusting fish-based innuendo in her post! :D

    6. I wonder what kind of reception they will get after Nynaeve's 'generous' donation - I wonder if they will have to muck out after the animals?