Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lord of Chaos Read-Along, Week 3



Welcome to week 3 of our Lord of Chaos Read-Along. This week we read chapters 7-11. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that's come before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk!

1) Elayne & Nynaeve are teaching Siuan, Leane, and some of the Salidar Aes Sedai about Tel'aran'rhiod. What did you make of first Gera the Cook and then Elaida popping into Tel'aran'rhiod? Do you think Elaida's pronouncement was Foretelling or merely her dreaming?

I think it's funny when people just briefly touch T'A'R and you get some insight into their dreams. It always makes me smile. Elaida's Foretellings are supposed to be all truth, and she usually knows what they mean, so there must be at least some truth to it. But Elaida's the kind of woman who is capable of lying to herself--and believing it--even when the truth is staring her in the face. So, if I were the Salidar Aes Sedai, I'd take it with a grain of salt.

Nightmare Dreamscape
Source
2) While in Tel'aran'rhiod. Leane decides to go check her network, and Sheriam sends Nynaeve to go find her. Then most of the Salidar Aes Sedai stumble into a pocket of nightmare and Elayne has to rescue them. A series of coincidences? What did you think of Elayne's actions?

I never think anything like that is a coincidence, even if it seems to be explained pretty well. It seems to me that perhaps Elaida--or more likely, one of the Forsaken--realize that others are starting to learn more about how to survive in T'A'R, which up until now has been almost entirely their turf, and so they've set a few nasty booby traps to ensnare unwary Dreamwalkers. 

I thought Elayne's actions were pretty risky. She had more faith in those Aes Sedai than I would. I don't think I'd trust them enough to put myself at risk like that, and just hope they could "believe" themselves out of it. It worked for her, though, so I suppose kudos to her.

Logain Ablar
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3) Logain is unsettling the Aes Sedai left and right with his claim that the Red Ajah set him up as the false Dragon. How much of what he says do you think is true? How do you think the Aes Sedai, both at Salidar and those visiting from the White Tower, will react to his claims?

I wouldn't put anything past the Red Ajah. And in a way, it makes sense. For their ajah to continue to appear needed, they need false dragons that appear threatening, but that they can then pull down. Besides, having already been gentled, Logain doesn't have much more to lose, or much to gain by lying. Revenge, perhaps, but why would he need revenge unless his claims are true? 

How will they react? Well, the Tower is already broken, but if it weren't, this would have probably caused enough division to do the job. Any way you slice it--whether because of deception on the Reds' part or because the world must now accept the true dragon, a man who can channel, I think it's safe to say the order of the Red Ajah is on its way out.

Sebban Balwer
Source
4) The Lord Captain Commander Niall has information coming to him from many sources: his fake spymaster Omerna, his disguised spymaster Balwer, and some unknown via messenger pigeon. What do you make of all this various info and Niall's acceptance or dismissal of it?

Ah the Whitecloaks. Niall is a smart guy, but like most other powerful men in the world, he's deluding himself but the reality of his situation. He seems to think he has all the time in the world--maybe how strongly he emphasized that ought to be a foreshadowing in itself--and, while he does want to prepare the world for Tarmon Gaidon, he seems to think that he himself will be leading it. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say, probably not, Dude. Also like most others, he tends to believe the things that are most convenient for him, though he's more realistic than some rulers, which is sad in itself. :D

Morgase Trakand
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5) As Morgase returns from falconing, she sees many refugees along the road and questions one of her escorts, Norowhin. What do you make of his answers? How do you expect Morgase to proceed from this point? 

The answers seemed honest enough. We can see the title, which has emphasized several times since the book began, in his answers. Wars and refugees, the whole world changing from what it was in book 1. This is Rand's influence being seen on a world-wide scale.

The best thing for Morgase to do at this point is to find some way to escape and make a clean break. As the readers, we know Niall plans to hold her captive until she breaks, so obviously he's not interested in actually helping her, but I can't help but think even she must see this by now. If he was going to help her, he would have already. The longer she stays under his thumb, the harder it will be to resist his plans for her. One can only hope she can find the courage and the opportunity to get out from under the Whitecloaks' influence.

Verin and Alanna
Source
6) Rand goes to visit Culain's Hound Inn, where he gets more than one surprise. Verin and Alanna are escorting several young ladies from Emond's Field area to the White Tower to train as Aes Sedai. What do you think they will do now that they know of the split? More importantly, how would you have reacted to Alanna's little trap that she set for Rand?

It's always interesting to watch Verin's decisions. Keep an eye on that one. Obviously Alanna is still a bit unstable since the loss of her warder. There's really only two choices for them to make at this point: to take the girls to Salidar, or to the Tower. It'll be one or the other.

Rand, as usual, is a bit too much of a gentleman. I think I would have slapped Alanna silly for what she did (you know, assuming I could channel against her and everything). I mean, talk about guy rape. The Aes Sedai always compare bonding a man without his permission to rape, but Alanna has no trouble walking right up to Rand and, you know, victimizing him. Obviously not the moral of women. Now he'll have to deal with her spying on his sensations and emotions. Awkward.

Mazrim Taim
Source
7) Mazrim Taim wants to go out looking for men who can channel. Do you think his enthusiasm for building this army is for the Dragon Reborn or his own glory? How do you think he will fulfill Rand's order to bring Henre Haslin, the drunk Master of the Sword, back?

This is kind of a double-edged sword. Taim is willing to help Rand build his saidin-channeling army, which is what Rand wants. But he's definitely doing it for his own glory. I do think, for right now, he's trying to make himself indispensable  which could work out in Rand's favor. But, the second Taim gets a taste of power, I wouldn't put it past him to start building up worshipers of number one again. So, I guess we'll just have to see how it plays out. 

Extras:  

Not many extras for me this week. There was some funny stuff with Nynaeve--her sneaking up on people, then getting mad at others for sneaking up on her; saying she only hopes Lan is okay, even if he's forgotten her, then deciding if he has she'll kill him herself; typical Nynaeve stuff. And we saw that an emissary has arrived. Wouldn't you just love to be a fly on the wall in that meeting?

Mostly, though, this felt like a setting-up section. I'm excited to get a bit more deeply into the action. 

How did everyone else like this section?

7 comments :

  1. Whoah, Verin looks a week dead in that picture.

    Things you mentioned that I forgot: Yes, of course, keep watching Verin. Hints of her are few and far between, but in hindsight it's incredibly interesting whenever we meet her.

    And there's an embassy from Salidar headed for Caemlyn. Maybe Verin and Alanna will have their choice made for them.

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    1. It seems like lots of Aes Sedai are converging on Caemlyn / Cairhien . . . I guess a lot will depend on who gets to Rand first.

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  3. I thought for moment that the plot might take a big skew to the left if Elayne died in T'A'R. But she got away with her risky rescue with only a small wound to the neck. Lucky. Very lucky. I can only imagine how things would have gone if Elayne had died: Nynaeve would never for give herself, but she would probably be angry all the time and able to channel. Brigitte would be free of Wardership, but also on a guilt trip. The Salidar Aes Sedai would eihter be shaken or smug, because they don't do rational cation and sadness very well. Rand, when he heard of it, would irrationally blame himself and perhaps tip into full madness.

    So, yeah, it's good her throat wasn't slit.

    Ah, yes, Alanna spying on Rand's emotions through the Warder bond. Yes, just a wee bit awkward. I know she is still in mourning for her dead Warder, but she definitely went over a line on that one.

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    1. I never really thought that Elayne was in that much danger because I have the feeling that all of our principals will stick around now until we get to the Last Battle.

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  4. 1. Yep, Elaida is delusional and unable to see the truth if it doesn't fit what she wants.

    2. My money is on Mesaana if the nightmare was a trap . . . I must admit that I might have been tempted to leave the Aes Sedai to die, but that is why Elayne is a hero and I'm not! :D

    3. Somehow I hadn't pictured Logain as quite that yummy . . . I will take moire notice of him in future!

    4. I assume Niall's time will run out when the first Seanchan appear over the horizon . . . or the Dragonsworn . . . or an army of loyal Andorans demanding their Queen back . . . or Rand's people . . . Yep, time is not his friend.

    5. I am afraid that Morgase has got herself into a situation where she can no longer act independently. She is trapped and will need to wait for someone to rescue her, which might be quite a long time unless she can get word out about where she is.

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