Sunday, December 15, 2013

Lord of Chaos Read-Along, Week 9

Welcome to week 9 of our Lord of Chaos Read-Along! This week, we read chapters 46-51. Remember that everything in this section, as well as everything that came before, is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk.

1. So the meeting that we have all been waiting for took place and Perrin met his in-laws. Perrin found the whole thing rather confusing, and I have to say that I agree with him: either Saldaeans are all crazy or it is just this particular family. What did you think of the encounters and do you think he will succeed in ruling his wife in a suitable fashion from now on?

I thought the meetings between Perrin and his in-laws were suitably amusing. I will say that I was impressed that Bashere was impressed with Perrin. When I first read it, I expected him to be all you're-unsuitable-for-my-daughter but he actually thought Perrin would be a good son-in-law, which made me like Bashere more. As for their relationship, I think Perrin's got a long way to go before he finds a comfortable niche in his relationship with Faile. The poor guy's trying so hard, but it's all turmoil for him right now.


2. Aiel attacking Aes Sedai: what is the world coming to? Any guesses as to who instigated the attack on Demira and why they let her survive?

Well it's obviously not any of the normal Aes Sedai we usually see. My guess would be either Shaido--who knows what their rationale might be--or Darkfriend Aiel. It would make sense if they were working for Sammael and trying to undermine Rand.

3. Ebou Dar is certainly proving to be interesting. Any suggestions as to why Nynaeve is so upset with Mat? Also, what were your impressions of Tylin?

I can't remember exactly why Nynaeve's being weird. It may have something to do with how they're manipulating him and the Band. Maybe her conscience is kicking in. I always think the Nynaeve/Mat dynamic is interesting (a.k.a. funny) because in many ways, these two are genre-opposite reflections of one another. Which means they'll never get along, always but heads, and always be funny together. Tylin still seems relatively normal at this point. Later, I end up not being a big fan of her character, but she speaks easily enough with our girls and seems very down to earth when it comes to her throne and cooperating with Nynaeve and Elayne. Which is good.

Loial traveling to Stedding
4. Yay, Loial is back and being all nervous and cute about Erith trying to track him down! No need to ask if you are happy to see him, but do you think he will abandon his friends and spend the rest of the War in a Stedding if she catches up with him?

Loial is determined to write his book about the Dragon Reborn and the Last Battle, and I don't think anything will deter him from that. Erith doesn't seem like the bullying type. Loial's mother, of course, is another matter entirely. If he can keep away from her, I think he could do whatever he wanted. But, of course, marriage would probably change his freedoms a bit. We'll just have to see what happens. :D

5. On a scale of one to eleven, how stupid was Demira’s attempt to chastise the Dragon Reborn by making herself look big and shouting at him? Also, what do you think of Kiruna’s great plans to bring him to heel?

Twenty! Rand has already shown that he won't let them push him around. This is what's known as a learning disability. Moiraine learned the lesson quickly. If he's being stubborn, you have to try and find other ways to influence him, in such a way that he won't feel cornered. These Aes Sedai aren't the brightest crayons in the box, you know? Ditto about Kiruna. I think they're going about this all the wrong way. They're thinking of him like a pouty kid, rather than the most powerful man in the world. Big mistake. I had to roll my eyes when they went, "Oh, he re-discovered Traveling. Bummer." Yeah. He's the Dragon Reborn. Think outside the box, Ladies.

Beardless Perrin with a Falcon on his
shoulder. Source
6. Berelain seems to be trying to give Faile a very good reason to stab her to death, but poor Perrin is getting all the blame, of course. Any idea what Berelain is doing and how Perrin is going to repair his marriage? Do you think Faile is handling this in a sensible and mature way?

I think this is in line with what we've seen of Berelain so far. Her country is small and she doesn't have much power, so she latches onto people she thinks can help her. She's being fairly sensible about Rand, which I'm sure is at least partly Rhuarc's doing, but she seems to think that Perrin might be able to help her or care for her somehow. And for some reason, his being a married dude isn't a problem for her. This is why I don't like Berelain. It's bad enough that she's pretty loose to begin with, but the minute she starts trying to come between Perrin and Faile, she becomes public enemy #1 in my book.

7. Holy boxes of Dragon Reborn, Batman! They actually went ahead and took Rand! I think we all knew that the Tower envoy might try something like this, but were you surprised by how well it worked? Any ideas on what has happened to Min?

It definitely happened fast and unexpectedly. Dingbats though they may be, I'll give them credit for putting him at his ease and pulling this off without a hitch. I was surprised how well it worked the first time I read it. Rand has so many precautions in place, you wouldn't think it would have been so easy. This doesn't bode well for his Aes Sedai trust issues. I'm assuming their incessant channeling was expressly for this purpose--so people would stop paying attention. I've always been a bit confused on this point because it isn't very well explained but if this was intentional, then I guess we've got to give them kudos for thinking ahead that far, even if the kudos are grudgingly given.

I can't remember what happened to Min, but I'm thinking the embassy found a way to keep her from being there. Just can't recall the exact details.

8. Now that Rand has been captured, what do you expect to happen? Will someone eventually work out that he is missing? Will Loial Hulk-out and tear all the Aes Sedai’s heads off? Arghhhhhhh!!!!!!!

I feel ya. Well, I know what's going to happen, so I won't say much, except that the ending of book 6 is friggin epic! So excited! I remember when my dad was reading this, I kept bugging him when he was reading book 6 so we could geek out about the ending together. When he finally read it, he loved it too. Way cool!

I won't say anything about Loial--we do get to see more Ogier fighting in the future, but I can't remember what his role, if any, is at the end of book 6--but look for Perrin to call on some of his largely unknown weapons. *waggles eyebrows* And, you know, I can't imagine Sulin will be able to do much to help Rand while wearing that livery. Just sayin'.


I was glad to see more of Thom and Juilin again. Glad to see they're still loyal to our girls. (Anyone find themselves spelling loyal, loial? Or is it just me?) 

I loved the way Perrin handled the nobles and how they tried to get info out of him. He flat out told some of them that if he knew the answers they wanted, he certainly would't tell them. Love him!

Herid Fel
And I love Herid Fel. I love that he's bookish and manages to be mysterious in a bumbling sort of way. He's one of my favorite minor characters!

I also thought the bit with Alanna was interesting even if I'd still like to smack her upside the head. She talked about how she tried to compel Rand and couldn't. She's assuming that it's because he can channel, and no one's bonded a man who can channel before. It's an interesting theory--and perhaps a natural conclusion--and we'll see more on this subject later, but I've never thought that was the reason. Most gaidin agree to the bonding. Part of that agreement is obedience. It's kind of like marriage that way. Hehe. That agreement to obedience lends itself toward compulsion. Enter Rand. He was forced. If we stick with the rape metaphor everyone in Randland uses, it can be said that the rapist can force their victim, but can't make them completely surrender or enjoy the experience. I think the same thing applies here. Because she bonded Rand without his consent, she'll never have power over him. Anyway, just an interesting tidbit.

How did everyone else like this section?


  1. I'm happy you mentioned Herid Fel. He deserves to be talked about a bit before… next week. His theories are going to be instrumental in figuring out some of the grander questions: how to win the Last Battle, how to seal the Dark One correctly, etc. As another character opines in a later book: this battle might not be fought the way we assume it will be. Conquering lands is all well and good, but it's not all.

    Yes, I'm quite giddy about next week. I actually opened your blog and saw week 9, and I was momentarily disappointed that not only had you not posted week 10, but you hadn't even posted anything else since last week! … until I remembered I was mentally one week early. :(

    1. Yup, love Herid, and Min's goofy relationship with him. I'm super-excited for next week, too. Can't wait to see how all our blogging-buddies react to the ending. It's the last super-epic ending for at least a couple of books, so that makes it double exciting. :D

    2. Your comment about how the Last Battle will be fought puts me in mind of the defeat of Sauron - all those armies, but it comes down to one man, a broken sword and chopping off a finger. I guess that the importance of uniting the nations is to make sure that nobody attacks your rear whilst you engage the Dark forces, but also so that you can keep them occupied whilst you drop the ring into the fires of Mount Doom or the equivalent.

  2. Lol! 'Learning disability' indeed! Can we just hand all the Aes Sedai and all the White Cloaks a sign with that phrase on it?

    Perhaps the Aes Sedai were practicing continuous channeling and handing off form one to another, because that would have to be flawless once they had Rand folded up in a box and gift wrapped, right?

    Interesting bit about compulsion and bonding. I wonder if Elayne can use compulsion on Birgitte? Totally different bonding circumstances - done to save her life, but she was unconscious and didn't agree to it. Should be interesting to see what happens if and when Elayne does use a compulsion on her warder.

    1. Yeah that's a good point about Brigitte not being asked either, but I still think it has to do with intention. And yes, both the Aes Sedai and the Whitecloaks deserve a sign. LOL.

    2. I suppose Birgitte being unconscious makes it less forced? Interesting philosophical point though.

  3. Sorry I’m late – I’m a rubbish host, I know! I have a good excuse though: we have a badly injured kitten and so I have been typing one-handed whilst nursing him. Plus he stinks of the sardines we got him to eat earlier . . . now I’m off to shovel a foot of snow . . . sometimes my life is a bit sucky! :D

    1. No worries! Life happens sometimes. :D Hope your kitty feels better.:D

    2. He is sitting on me purring happily as I try to type! :D

  4. 1. I was also a little surprised that they warmed to him so quickly, but Perrin is such a straightforward and honest bloke that I thought that he would win them around. I get the impression that Bashere is impressed that he can stand up to Faile at all! :D

    3. I wasn't totally taken in by Tylin's manner, mainly because so many people in this series are treacherous manipulators.

    5. Yeah, they aren't the sharpest knives are they? I am starting to think that Moiraine was really an exceptionally flexible thinker, but it did take her quite some time to work out how to deal with Rand. However, when she first met him he wasn't the prophecy-fulfilling Dragon Reborn who had already killed a couple of Forsaken, so she had some excuse for being slow on the uptake. These women seem wantonly stupid!

    6. I can understand her making a play, even though it would be very bad manners, and continuing if he gave her just the slightest hint of encouragement, but he isn't doing that. The poor guy has done everything apart from paint a twenty foot high sign on the palace wall and yet she's still at it: I find this really repellent behavior.

    7. This plan was so well constructed that I was really impressed, even though I think it is a deplorable idea to stuff Rand in a box. For once, we saw at least one Aes Sedai being very careful and not taking everything for granted, which I found rather surprising.

    8. Yay! You mean the wolves are back? I love them and we haven't had any wolf action for far too long, so I am happy about that.

    I loved Fel's note about Min being too pretty - that was such a lovely little scene. I am a little concerned that he has disappeared - I hope he hasn't just wandered off.

    I actually found my estimation of Alanna rose in this section: she actually laughs at Kiruna's criticisms because she knows that the other sisters are delusional if they think that they can manipulate Rand. Although I cannot agree with her forced Bonding, she will surely be vital in tracking him down in the rescue attempt. You point about his resistance to normal compulsion is interesting. I wonder if we will see any of the male channelers becoming Warders?