Sunday, December 1, 2013

Lord of Chaos Read-Along, Week 7

Welcome to week 7 of our Lord of Chaos Read-Along. This week we read chapters 31-38. Dab of Darkness is hosting this week. Remember that everything in this section or that came before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk. 

Morgase Trakand
1) Morgase is summoned to the Lord Captain Commander hours before attempting to flee. What did you think of her summoner, the 'short way' past the scaffold, and her signing the treaty? 

Obviously the Whitecloaks (some of them) are master manipulators. Morgase is someone who has trained herself to keep her calm in almost any situation, and this rattled her to the core, though she handled it admirably. This tactic is pretty brutal, but it did force her to action, which makes it effective. Poor woman. Now she has this horrible treaty to deal with on top of everything else. Suffice it to say Morgase's life probably won't go back to what it was any time soon. :D

Sea Folk Woman
Egwene attempted to board a Seafolk vessel, and got a dunking for her efforts. What did you make of the Seafolks taunt, 'Tell the other, disguises do not fool us. You do not frighten us. You are all refused the gift of passage.'? Did you like Egwene's reaction?

I can't remember specifically what this was about. It sounds, though, like they've had some dealings with Aes Sedai (maybe one of Elaida's embassy) who haven't been completely honorable with them. I thought Egwene's reaction was funny--if a bit over the top. Not the most gracious rejection, but then they did throw her in the water. She showed spunk. I loved the boatman who couldn't close his mouth. I actually used this part for a "Teaser Tuesday" post (HERE) and got some good comments.

Only you know the worth of your honor.' Egwene finally confessed to the Wise Ones and met her toh. Do you feel the method of meeting toh was satisfactory? Do you think it was too harsh, or too light?

I think it was pretty fitting. Obviously harsher than most of us are used to, but given what we know of the Aiel, it might have possibly have been worse. I was glad to see Egwene come clean before leaving her Aiel life. I loved that she said, "She thought a part of her heart always would be Aiel." (pg. 650) If Egwene is going to be Amyrlin, I can't think of any better character training she could have had than with the Aiel.

Egwene did a tricky and apparently dangerous thing traveling through Tel'aran'rhiod. Was Egwene reckless? Showing off? Just eager to have it over with? Do you think there will be any ill affects from that trip? 

I think she did what she had to do in this situation, and it was relatively harmless, but that doesn't mean she should keep doing it. The place we've heard something about this before was from Hopper to Perin, regarding Slayer. Hopper said Slayer was there in the flesh and that it was dangerous. I think of it kind of like a drug or other negative habit. Once probably doesn't do much harm, but the more you do it, the more dangerous it gets. Also, if someone as homicidal as Slayer is there in the flesh, you should probably avoid doing it just to keep from running into him. Know what I mean?

Egwene wearing stole of Amyrlin
Egwene is made Amyrlin, and one of her first questions is what would have happened if not everyone had consented. Exile is the answer. Care to speculate on when was the last time some Amyrlin candidate was exiled and what were the consequences? 

Hm. Hard to say. The White Tower likes to say that certain things haven't happened for "thousands of years" but you get the feeling that perhaps some scandalous things have happened and been buried. Neither Siuan nor Moiraine has ever talked of such a thing, so it probably hasn't happened in their lifetimes. (We probably would have heard it from one of their POVs, or Moiraine would have told Rand or something.) Beyond that, really hard to say.

6.Nynaeve and Elayne are raised to the shawl and reunited with Egwene, and promptly spill their guts about nearly everything - such as the ter-angreal bowl and Moghedien. Do you foresee tension between the ladies as each knows what's best? 

Probably. Already, we're seeing awkwardness as Nynaeve and Elayne bow to Egwene and she begs them not to. For now, they're being BFFs for the most part--obviously this is a plus for Elayne and Nynaeve who were raised to the shawl and want to make a trip to Ebou Dar for the bowl--but if at any point they're at odds or either Elayne or Nynaeve does something public that Egwene is forced to punish them for, that could change. We did see briefly that Siuan and Moiraine's relationship became a bit strained before Moiraine died and Siuan was deposed. Part of that was that they weren't in the same place and Moiraine wasn't keeping Siuan in the loop. Still, a hierarchy of authority is generally not a good thing between friends.

7) Not all is roses & tea in Salidar. We have two Sitter Factions - Lelaine and Romanda, with Delana playing both for one goal - sever or kill Logain. What complications do you see coming out of this little knotted mess? 

Plenty. Before, Egwene just had Forsaken and Shadowspawn to worry about. Not that it's a small worry, but at least it's pretty straight forward. Now she's entered the world of Aes Sedai politics. I thought it was funny that she was trying to recall everything Moiraine had taught her about the Game of Houses. Yeah, ya think? Even if she could get rid of the two women--send them off on embassies or something--there will always be factions of Aes Sedai vying for power and influence with her, as Amyrlin. I really don't envy her. I did enjoy seeing Nynaeve and Elayne and Siuan already going around manipulating Lelaine, Romanda, and Sheriam. 

As for Logain, the second he was healed he became a pickle. There is no Red Ajah in Salidar, as yet, and that might be helpful when it comes to deciding what to do about him. Still, whatever it is won't be an easy decision.

Mat Cauthon
Ah, Mat, ever the source of amusement! Mat leads the Band to Salidar, where he meets with the Amyrlin. Were you amused? Also, on the ride to Salidar, Aviendha accompanies him, along with Olver. Do you think Olver will ever come to accept the Aiel? 

Oh yes, very amused. I always look forward to reunion meetings. These characters (with the exception of Elayne) grew up together, and I always love to see what happens when they're all in the same room together again. The fact that this one was hilarious was just icing on the cake. I loved seeing Mat totally shocked about something. He always thinks he knows so much, it was nice to see him off kilter fora moment. When I first answered this question, I wrote something I remembered from this part that's way funny. Then I read it, and it happens beginning of next chapter rather than end of this one, so I took it out. Not that it's some huge spoiler or anything, just something Nynaeve does to Mat that might make whatever you're drinking come out of your nose. So look for that. 

In terms of Olver, I think he's taking his cues from Mat. If Mat was cool with the Aiel, Olver would probably accept them sooner or later. Mat accepts far more than he pretends to, but vocally he's definitely a complainer. As long as he complains about the Aiel, Olver will always have a reason (more than what he already has) to hate them. 

Extras: It was interesting to get to know Aswana. I think he's probably the most dangerous Whitecloak we've come across as yet. 

Jordan does an excellent job with the Romanda/Lelaine dynamic. They're both such busy bodies, they don't realize they're getting in their own way just by being competitive with one another. It will be interesting to see where that goes.

Delana's still in quite a pickle with Halima. We see her being kept from appointments in several different factions, and being made to play every side so Halima (Aran'gar) can know what's going on. I don't envy her position. 

Anyone excited to see what will happen when Elayne and Aviendha finally get a chance to talk? :D

How did everyone else like this section?

1 comment :

  1. I too like that Egwene is essentially (at least culturally) part Aiel now. That strength I expect will serve her well in the future.

    Good point about Slayer being in T'A'R in the flesh, and more than happy to put a hole in people. Also, doesn't Rand enter T'A'R in the flesh because he doesn't know any other way to do it?

    Yeah, I totally expect further friction among Egwene and Elayne & Nynaeve. And you make a good point about public actions that force Egwene to punish them, probably also publicly.

    That's a good point about Olver taking cues from Mat, and Mat being something of a complainer.