Sunday, November 10, 2013

Lord of Chaos Read-Along, Week 4

Welcome to week 4 of our Lord of Chaos Read-Along! This week we read chapters 12-16. Remember everything in this section as well as everything that's come before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk!!!

I think this pic of Nynaeve shows
her pig-headedness pretty well, no?
1) Nynaeve, gutsy as ever, managed to find an open window and eavesdrop on what was happening in the Little Tower behind the wards. What do you think was being talked about? Later, Sheriam mentions not wanting to tell Nynaeve and Elayne what only a handful of (women) in the world know. What do you think the Salidar Aes Sedai are planning?

Not going to say much about this, because I totally know what it is they're planning. I'll just say that we'll find out soon enough, and it'll definitely be a curve ball for our characters! :D

2) In T'A'R, Nynaeve and Elayne fine a bowl ter'angreal hidden in a dusty store room in Ebou Dar. They only know that T'A'R pointed them to it as something that might bring the Little Tower around to supporting Rand. What do you think it does and how--if at all--will it help bring Rand support?

Not sure what spoilers to give here. I'll tell you that the ter'angreal is called The Bowl of Winds. Maybe that will help everyone guess what it does. I do really like this whole concept. It's so innovative, original, and forward-thinking to use T'A'R specifically to find something to help Rand. How many people would have had the faith and creativity for that. Our girls--as if we didn't already know--rock!

In Gawyn's dream
3) Egwene was sucked into Gawyn's dream where there were professions of love, make out sessions and, from the way her face heated when she woke, probably some sexy times. What do you think of Gawyn's professions of love and the fact that Egwene seems to reciprocate? What do you think their future looks like?

A later part of Gawyn's dream
I totally loved this whole idea! What a great, has-not-been-done-in-eighty-other-novels way to get a couple to finally decree their feelings for one another. I had to laugh that Egwene was trying so hard to get away. I just kept thinking, If you really don't wanna be there, Girl, I'll take one for the team and volunteer to make out with Gawyn. Just saying.  As for their future, well, the second one of our characters thinks, Oh, I'll just become Aes Sedai (for real!) and he'll be my warder. Simple. That's code for I-just-jinxed-myself-and-no-WAY-it'll-be-that-easy. So expect lots of angst and waiting for these two. Unfortunately.

4) Nynaeve and Elayne link with the other Salidar women to guard against another bubble of evil. What do you think of the linking process (useful? will we see it again?) and what do you make of Anaiya's apparent disappointment that it was a bubble of evil and not one of the Forsaken?

Yeah we'll definitely see some important events that involve linking. (I'm looking at you, finale of book 9!) I think it's a cool concept all around. It'd be a bit scary, giving someone control, I suppose. But on the flip side, for someone like Nynaeve who hasn't mastered complete control yet, she can experience things and contribute in a way she otherwise wouldn't have been able. So I thought that was cool.

I honestly don't remember what's up with Anaiya. Maybe she was just jonesing for a battle with the big bad guys, and was disappointed. Or maybe she's Black Ajah. Don't know, but I'll be interested to see what others think.

Flag of Andor
5) Rand meets with a handful of Andoran nobles. What is your impression of them, especially Dyelin? Do you think they are sincere? Does Dyelin truly not want power herself and seek to see Elayne on the throne? Will they be a help or a hindrance to Rand?

I like Andoran nobles better than most others because they're so much more normal. Just the fact that they don't play the Great Game as much, that their reactions can be read like normal people, etc., makes them more trust worthy in my book. They have more of a what-you-see-is-what-you-get feel to them, unlike other nobles we've seen. Dyelin looked Rand in the eye and she didn't feel like she was hiding anything. It's mostly a feeling, but Jordan usually uses telltale signs like shifty eyes and lip-licking to show deception. Given that it wasn't here, I think it says a lot about who these characters will turn out to be.

P.S. I really like Dyelin. She's not going to be particularly front-and-center, but I like that Jordan has a character who could go after power, truly doesn't. Such people are very rare, but they do exist, contrary to popular belief, and I'm glad Jordan included a character like her. I always thought she might be somewhat of a foil to Colavere, but more on that to come later in the book.

Tigraine goes into the Waste
6) We get confirmation here that Tigraine was Rand's mother, and he muses on all the things that had to happen--including many deaths--so that he could be born at the proper time to save the world. General thoughts and impressions on this?

Cool beans. Those are my thoughts on this. I was glad we finally got confirmation. This was discussed back in book 4 when Rand first read about his parents. Now think about this: Galad is Rand's half brother. Which means Elayne is his half step-sister. I think. They don't actually share either parent so it's not quite Return-of-the-Jedi weird, but still. Strange to think that, in another life, Elayne's father was married to Rand's mother. I guess it's sort of twistedly fitting that he ended up in Andor. Anyway, I liked this part. It was kind of sad for Rand, but also profound. Personally, I don't think Jordan muses enough on the more philosophical aspects of humanity and war. But when he does, he usually does a good job of it.

7) Sammael offers a truce, which Rand rejects. Do you think he was right to do so? What do you think Sammael will do now?

Uh, yeah I'm glad Rand didn't even entertain thoughts of making nice with Sammael. After so long playing the Great Game, one might wonder if that's what Sammael wanted--the rejection I mean. Because how stupid do you have to be to think Rand would actually become your temporary ally? But, from what we've seen of Sammael, he doesn't really seem bright enough to think in double and triple layers of deception. Probably he was shocked that Rand said no so quickly and is off somewhere being all dejected and butt-hurt. If it had worked, that would be one thing, but because Rand wouldn't hear of it, it just made Sammael look weak and desperate.

His brutal (and creepy! what was with that joker-smile?) use and disposal of the messenger just made him look worse. Good job, Forsaken. Wait to make yourself look awesome.

Egwene among the dreams

No mat. :(

Totally loved Nynaeve sitting on a stool trying to stay away. I could totally picture it. I loved watching Nynaeve blow up at the full sisters and then end up scrubbing pots with Elayne. And then they were both all, "I'm sorry. No I'm sorry." I just had to smile.

I also like that Egwene is venturing into T'A'R on her own. I gotta say, I don't know if I could do it. I might be too afraid of Amys! But Egwene is gutsy and wants to learn, so go her!

We're seeing--er, hearing a lot more of Lews Therin these chapters as well. That's always fun. And I really liked the Rand/Aviendha interaction in this section. I really like the dynamic they've fallen into. Just the right amount of tension and angst.

What other bloggers thought:

Dab of Darkness
Coffee, Cookies, and Chili Peppers

What did everyone else think of this section?


  1. (I'm defending my PhD in three weeks, so my answers will be of varying depth until then.)

    1. Yeah, uh… no, not saying that.

    Any guesses as to who was watching Nynaeve eavesdrop?

    2. Can't really say much about this either, but I will say that I don't think it will help bring Rand support. I think T'A'R decides on its own what you need, and doesn't necessarily show you what you think you're looking for, or even something that does what you think you need to do.

    I also had to laugh at Elayne's wildly optimistic plan of just skipping down to the capital for a couple of days. The Ebou Dar storyline is… shall we say, unexpectedly deep.

    3. Kind of brings a new dimension to those times when I dream of girls… Uhhh… I hope not many famous actresses are dreamwalkers!

    This unexpected romance strikes me as a little out of the blue and possibly unhealthy, at least from Gawyn's side. Ref. my earlier thoughts on Gawyn, he will probably want Egwene but without the whole Dragon Reborn association, so there'll be conflict aplenty here.

    4. It's useful if you have time to prepare, not so much if you're caught off guard I think (like Verin and Alanna earlier on). Anaiya was probably ready to get shit done, but unfortunately she doesn't know the forsaken as well as she thinks she does. Walking into a camp of Aes Sedai is a risky proposition even for them, and frankly, the current status quo of the rebellion suits them just fine so why bother?

    (Oh, are we teasing them more than three books into the future now?)

    5. Douglas Adams said that someone capable of getting themselves made president should on no account be allowed to do the job. In view of this, Dyelin seems like a great candidate. I kind of like her too, more in view of later events than the ones right here. If Elayne gets her ass back to Caemlyn she'll be nice to have around.

    7. I think Sammael is slowly coming to the realization that he's backed himself into a corner that he can't get out of, and nobody really wants to help him. With Rand apparently gunning for him he needs something of a miracle, and soon.

    Oh, and that messenger was super creepy.

    1. 1. I'd like to know who was watching as well . . . I will predict that she is Black Ajah and leave it at that.

      2. Elayne does seem to be overly optimistic a lot of the time, which makes her great foil for Nynaeve, the eternal grumpy pessimist! :D

      3. Oh, I don't know . . . Johnny Depp can walk into my dreams anytime he likes!!!!!

      4. I can't help thinking that Anaiya would soil herself if she actually encountered one of the Forsaken . . .

    2. Good luck on the defense! Let us know when we can congratulate you on the PhD!

      I want to say that Theodrin was watching Nynaeve eavesdrop. But I will keep my eye out for anyone trying to finagle info out of Nynaeve.

      Great Douglas Adams quote.

  2. I'm all about teasing them all the way to the final book! :D I agree about both Sammael and Dyelin. I guess I asked lots of questions whose answers contained spoilers for those of us who've read before didn't I? :D Oh well. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. 2. In many books the use of Tel'aran'rhiod to find things you 'need' could come across as a really lazy idea, but somehow that isn't the case here at all. I agree with you that it is really rather awesome and a great way to move the plot along.

    3. I'm not surprised to hear that Egwene and Gawyn will have a miserable time before finally getting together. Gawyn seems to be a tragically unlucky bloke, so it seems appropriate that nothing is easy for him.

    5. I was also won over by Dyelin's honest approach - it makes such a refreshing change to most of the other power-crazed idiots in these books.

    7. I couldn't decide whether or not Sammael was seriously looking for a truce, but I am sure that he is back home feeling all sorry for himself right now - such a loser! :D

  4. Only one comment on Sammael. Dismissing (or trying to) his atrocities in the age of legends, I almost feel sorry for him. The rest of the Forsaken think he is stupid and won't give him the time of day. He finally realizes (too late (damn mashadar!)) that he can't out think Rand. That really sucks for him since Rand is a sheep herder and has only been learning age-of-legends stuff for less than a year! He doesn't even get the honor of being bale fired. I think he truly fits the life-sucks-and-then-you-die thing.

  5. That's too bad Gawyn and Egwene will have to wait a long time to have a real relationship. Still, if Egwene feels lonely every couple of nights, she could go looking for Gawyn's dreams. It was so funny when she was trying to be all casual about asking the Wise Ones about dreams catching up a Dream Walker.

    That was nasty how Sammael used and then disposed of his messenger. Ugh.... clean up Aisle 7 please!

    Rand and Aviendha need some tea and plain chat about their lives. But that would be boring and too easy, so I appreciate Jordan keeping it complicated. :)