Sunday, May 18, 2014
Winter's Heart Read-Along, Week 7
Welcome to week 7 of our Winter's Heart Read-Along. This week we read chapters 30-35 (the end). 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. Mat helps a Seafolk woman being held as damane escape. She promises to remember his good deed. How do you think this will affect the plot of the story, and Mat specifically in the future?
I won't say much about how this will work out--honestly I don't remember much; just a few things--but it can't be anything but good to have Mat (a friend and fellow ta'veren of the Dragon Reborn) owed a favor by a Sea Folk channeler, right? Besides, karma's a real thing. With all the worries Mat is juggling, he needs to do as many good deeds as he can get his hands on.
2. Mat finally learns who Tuon is. What did you think of this situation? Of Egeanin's reaction to his announcement? Predictions?
This was Robert Jordan at his best. "...and he shivered. Oh Light how he shivered." I think I kind of shivered the first time I read it. Kind of gave me goosebumps. Overall it was a rather amusing situation--things never work out the way poor Mat intends--but it kind of had to be that way, right? He wouldn't be Mat if things went perfectly as planned.
I don't think I noticed it the first time reading, but Egeanin's reaction was significant. Mat said, "She's my wife," and Egeanin freaked out. Her exact words were, "You can't say that!" I think we'll find out what she meant some time in the next book. Just keep in mind her specific reaction was significant.
|Padan Fain (Source)|
3. Rand goes to kill Torvel and Gedwyn, but Padan Fain has done the deed for him. After a brief fight, Fain flees yet again. Do you think he will resurface? What does he have planned? What did you make of Toram Riatin (from Cairhien) being there?
Stupid Fain. Why hasn't anyone killed him yet. While he's always dangerous--and granted, he did sort of do some dirty work for Rand here--he's more of a nuisance than anything at this point. Someone needs to put him out of his misery.
Incidentally, Rand pretty much destroys Shadar Logoth at the end of this book (more on that in question 6) and you have to wonder how that will affect Fain, given that that was the fount from which his evil springs.
|Lan and Rand on rooftop (Source)|
4. Lan has been wary of Rand since the two reunited, but when things go bad on the rooftop, the two men show deep loyalty to one another. What did you think of this scene? How will it affect their relationship going forward?
I loved this scene! My heart kind of hurt when Lan returned to Nynaeve and he and Rand acted like two wary animals around one another. They were so close before! I just want them to be buds again. This scene shows that, underneath, they still remember how they once were and are loyal to one another and their causes.
Not to bash Rand or anything, but I can kind of see Lan being loyal to him, for his cause if nothing else. Rand, on the other hand, we've seen using people more and more, so you could assume that he might let Lan go because he himself has to make it to the Last Battle. But that wasn't what happened. I loved that Rand kind of did a Backdraft and refused to let go. Such a great scene!
5. Cadsuane has to intervene in Far Madding to get Rand and Lan out of prison. What do you think she had on Aleis that made Aleis surrender so quickly, to her own shame and ruin?
This was pretty intriguing. I don't think we ever find out what the history is between Cadsuane and Aleis, but obviously it's pretty dramatic. Aleis just went pale and completely surrendered. But by doing so, Cadsuane suggests that she will be ruined, so her secret must have been worth losing her position and status and reputation among her peers. Yeah, I'd totally like to here that story. Yet another index that Mr. Jordan never got around to writing. :(
|Rand and Nynaeve on hilltop (Source)|
6. The last chapter was crazy! Rand seems to have done the impossible and cleansed the taint. We got tons of different viewpoints and characters. Along with plenty of interesting revelations. What stuck out to you? What surprised you? How will a clean saidin change things?
Okay, first things first. Revelations: Cyndane is definitely Lanfear, and was "held" by the Aelfinn and Eelfinn for some period of time. Dashiva was Osan'gar (a.k.a. Aginor resurrected) all along. Pretty sure he was killed by Elza, who is a Darkfriend. (One down. Again. I actually think we should worry for Elza, despite her DF status. She said the Great Lord wouldn't mind because Dashiva was just an asha'man. She didn't realize who he actually was.) Moghedien is still a coward (shocking!). Shadar Logoth is no more. (There should be a party just for that. And I wish we could have gotten something from Fain's POV, just to see how it affected him). The Source has been cleansed.
|Casuane during cleansing. (Source)|
Things that are unclear: What happened to Demandred? I'm assuming he slinked out of sight when he realized he couldn't win, but we don't know for sure. Also, what went down with Verin's group. She was fighting one of the Forsaken, and then somehow Kiruna died. That whole thing was a bit suspicious to me.
As for the rest, I thought the whole Rand-cleansing-saidin thing was sort of awesomesauce. I love the idea of Nynaeve helping him. I love the idea of Cadsuane directing and protecting everyone throughout the process.
|Love the images of the choedan chal here. Also notice|
the black dome rising behind Rand. (Source)
See, this is, yet again, why the Forsaken are so stupid. Lots of good guys, working together to accomplish a supposedly impossible task; or, lots of evil people working alone and against one another, and end up hiding, dying, or slinking away. Hmm. I wonder who's going to win the last battle. I mean, they had SO many key players all together on that hilltop. If the Forsaken would have just worked together to take everyone out at once, they might have actually accomplished something. But, you know, no need to worry that that will ever happen.
I think having saidin clean can only have good consequences going forward. They won't have to worry about men going mad, which means male and female channelers can work together again, which hasn't been done since before the Breaking. It also means that, no matter how mad the asha'man and Rand are now, at least they won't get any worse. This is major!
Overall, despite being one of the shorter books in the series, this had so much great stuff in it. SUCH a great ending! I totally loved it!
What did everyone else think of this section?