Sunday, April 6, 2014

Winter's Heart Read-Along, Week 1

Welcome to week 1 of our Winter's Heart. This week, we read the prologue through chapter 2. Remember, everything in this section as well as everything that came before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk!

1. With Talene's capture, do you think we have seen the beginning of the end of the Black Ajah? Do you think the rebel moles will do more good hunting darkfriends than they did spreading dissent?

Maybe. I don't think the Black Ajah will easily eradicated, but they say the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem. Now that it's being talked about rather than shied away from, and people are actively doing something about it, well at least we're headed in the right direction. 

Elayne Trakkand (Source)
Elayne expects to have to battle for the throne. Do you think so too? Are we overdue for Gawyn to come back? Where is he anyway?

Just like presidential campaigns in our time, successions to thrones are never simple to win, so I'd expect her to have at least something of a fight on her hands. I always think it's time for Gawyn to show up. Last we saw, he was playing protector to some of the Tower Aes Sedai. I don't think we know exactly where he is now. But I'd love to see him again. :D

Elayne & Aviendha (Source)
Elayne and Aviendha are ‘born again’ as sisters! What did you think of this birth scene? Do you expect Min to have to go through the same thing?

Some aspects of it were really cool. The description of the heartbeat during birth was really powerful. On the other hand, it was a little too hippy for my taste. You know those new-age-y things where someone is "reborn" from a big, translucent, plastic uterus. That's what it reminded me of. Kind of weird. It was kind of funny when they were slapping the crap out of one another. And yet, a scene where two naked women bitch-slap one another and then hug fiercely...kind of sounds like a male fantasy to me. Just sayin'.

I doubt Min will do anything like this. It's a purely Aiel thing that Elayne and Aviendha chose to do because they're besties. There isn't any reason for Min to participate.

Taim added a few ‘deserters’ of his own. Can we now finally add him to the evil list? Do you think Logain might be able to do something good? Maybe Elayne will be able to help, now that she has visitor's access?

Taim is finally starting to openly break from Rand. Those that are loyal to Rand over him are ending up on the Traitor's Tree, so we're finally seeing his true colors. Logain is much cooler than Taim. I stand by what I said last week: let's hope some of the glory Min sees for Logain is that he gets to punch Taim in the face.

5. Rand has decided to leave palace life and go hunt bad guys. Are you excited? How do you even hunt someone who can travel anyway? And what do you think his idea is to cleanse Saidin?

Rand is a BAMF. He always wins the battles against the Forsaken--or at least he has so far. If he's going hunting, I'm game. I totally know what happens with saidin, so I won't spoil. But I was always excited with this concept. Everything Rand has done so far--the political changes most people see as groundbreaking--could be undone very easily undone. But if he can cleanse the taint, that really would change the world as they know it. Men who channel wouldn't go crazy anymore.

I think Rand is all kinds of smart to be trying to figure it out. Besides, he himself is getting worse and worse. If he wants to stay sane long enough to win the Last Battle, he might not have a choice but to figure it out.  

Perrin's problems are just piling up: Masema will join him, and now he has to chase down Shaido while keeping his own Aiel safe from his other soldiers. Will this unlikely alliance ever hold together, or do you expect some spectacular blow-up sometime?

It's one of those things that will be one or the other in a big way. Either they'll find some massive, all-encompassing solution. Or, more likely, it'll eventually blow up. Either way, it's a pretty shaky truce right now and what happens really depends on outside forces. Poor Perrin! I really wouldn't want to be in his boots. 

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  1. Oh yes! Now that you put that light on the Aiel Sister Bond thing, it does indeed sound like a male fantasy. There are so many of those int his series that perhaps I have become numb to it and don't notice all them anymore? :)

    Maybe Rand should get a tattoo that reads BAMF on this chest. Then all the baddies would be forewarned. :)

    I really feel for Perrin in this situation. Everyone is assuming Faile is lost (one way or another) even the wolves. Plus he has all these other issues going on - the folks wanting to stomp the good Aiel, Berelain still playing her little game, and Masema.

    1. LOL. Yeah I think you definitely become numb to them after a while. That'd be a cool tattoo for Rand! And poor Perrin! He's so stressed out! :D Thanks Hon!

  2. 1. Very true: getting the White Tower clean will be a great help.

    3. Yes, I sometimes wonder if the whole "Rand has to have three women" thing is just there for wish fulfillment.

    4. Yep - Taim is getting bolder and more stupid. I just wish that Rand would pay attention and notice.

    5. It seems like an obvious move to try and cleanse the Taint because it is so very necessary. Of course, it probably needs both a male and a female channeler, so nobody could have tried it before.

    6. I always feel so sorry for Perrin: he is such a nice bloke and gets dumped in all kinds of trouble.