Sunday, June 29, 2014

Crossroads of Twilight Read-Along, Week 6


Welcome to week 5 of our Crossroads of Twilight read-along. This week we read chapters 13-16. 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! 


Tar Valon (Source)
1) Nicola and Areina are still around causing trouble. Do you think they'll stay around? Reveal Egwene's secrets? Get sent home?

I do vaguely remember what becomes of these two. I think they're antagonists of the annoying kind, rather than the evil kind. Nicola in particular would go much farther in her training and in the eyes of the Aes Sedai if she would just buck up, quit whining, and learn her stuff. No one likes pupils who act the way she does. I believe Min once had a foretelling saying she'd cause trouble, which I suppose she already has by trying to blackmail Myrelle and the others about Lan and also now being whiny about her lessons. But I don't think this is the end of the trouble she causes, if I remember right.

That said, maybe go back and re-read what they said she'd Foretold: battles with the Seanchan, an Amyrlin imprisoned, the Dragon Reborn doing nine impossible things. As someone who's read the series before, let's just say she's definitely not faking that gift. Though she does seem to be trying to use it to manipulate the Aes Sedai. A slippery slope if ever there was one.

Cuendillar Seal (Source)
2) What do you think Egwene is planning with the newly-rediscovered method of making Cuendillar?

I won't give spoilers, but as an army trying to lay siege to one of the largest, most prosperous cities in the world--and full of Aes Sedai no less--there could be many possible, valuable uses for unbreakable material that can be made by sisters with saidar.

3) Siuan has discovered a strange trend of sisters too young to be Sitters being made Sitters. What do you think it means? Who or what is behind it?

I couldn't remember what this was all about, so I looked it up on wot.wikia.com. I won't spoil but there is definitely a reason behind this and it's just all-kinds-of-smart that Siuan picked up on it. It's such a subtle pattern. It's good she has such intelligent, perceptive friends. :D

Source
4) There is talk in Egwene's camp of taking the Red Ajah out of her stole entirely. Given that the Red's main purpose had to do with controlling men who can channel, and now things have changed, both because of Rand and because saidin has been cleansed, do you think the Red Ajah has become obsolete? Will they disappear completely?

I really think that's up to them. Their previous purpose--gentling men who can channel--has definitely become obsolete in Rand's new world, but that doesn't mean they have to be. They just have to come up with a new mission. Re-purpose their lives. And given the awesome character qualities we've seen in Reds (we won't name names because that would be indiscreet--Elaida) I think most of them could definitely stand to re-purpose their lives.

On a side note, I think it's telling that Elaida has more or less dissolved the Blue Ajah in the Tower because noneof them agreed with her treason, but Egwene has refused to take red out of her stole. It's proof that her motives are more pure and she truly does want the Tower to be whole. Elaida is more concerned with winning and being right.

Source
5) Egwene's Hall is arguing about a possible agreement with the Black Tower. It's based on bad information (or just a lack of info, I suppose) but it sounds like it might happen. Do you think this is a good or bad thing? What will it lead to? What form will it take?

I really this this is inevitable. They think what they felt--Rand and Nynaeve cleansing the Source--is actually a weapon the Forsaken have developed. Obviously that's not true, but in truth it doesn't really matter. Now that Asha'men exist, men are channeling openly, and especially now that saidin has been cleansed (theoretically the threat of madness should be gone) it only make sense to make an alliance between the White and Black Towers. We know that during the Time of Legends male and female Aes Sedai worked together. Why not now? 

Besides, if the only way to expand linked circles is by including both sexes, they ought to learn how to do it and practice. Chances are they'll need that during the Last Battle.

Source
6) Egwene dreams both of a Seanchan woman who will save her, and of the Seanchan attacking the Tower. What do you think these dreams mean?

This was another section I had fun reading. I totally remember what these portend (I won't say) but I didn't remember that these events were foretold in dreams so early on. It's always fun to read the dreams--Egwene's, Perrin's, or Min's foretellings--and know what they're referring to.

Halima (Source)
7) Who do you think killed Anaiya and her warder, and why? What was she doing on the outskirts of the camp in the middle of the night?

It seems obvious that Halima probably killed Anaiya and her warder, given that they were suffocated with saidin and we know Halima is really Aran'gar. Kind of creepy that she came into Egwene's tent after doing murder, if it was in fact her. Egwene really needs to wake up to Halima's evil-ness about now.

I can't remember why they were killed. It seems to big a coincidence that they were killed the same night the Hall voted to make an alliance with the Black Tower, so maybe it has something to do with that. Or, maybe Anaiya just figured out who Halima really was somehow. I'm assuming we'll get the answer at some point.

Extras:

I'm loving reading about Egwene and her adventures, but I do find myself missing other characters.

What other bloggers thought:      Dab of Darkness     Coffee, Cookies and Chili Peppers

What did everyone else think of this section?

5 comments :

  1. 1. Well I know how it will turn out, and without revealing too much I will say I don't think Nicola is really a bad person. She's perhaps excessively ambitious and has unrealistic expectiations of being able to manipulate the powers that be, but she hasn't revealed Egwene's secrets so far, so I suppose (hope) that will stay that way. Besides, Egwene is slowly but surely reining in her political opponents, so one can hope that if it comes to it, she will be stable enough to survive it.

    2. Heheheh. MY LIPS ARE SEALED. But if you kept your eyes open last week you might be able to guess.

    3. As it happens, I also know this, but this puzzle is way harder. I doubt I would be able to work this one out on my own, and I'm not holding my breath for Siuan to do so either, no matter how often she's described as a natural puzzle solver.

    4. This is actually going to become a big (or bigger) deal as the series draws nearer to the end. Certainly their current purpose will be obsolete after the cleansing becomes known and accepted, but the question is if they can reimagine their Ajah to a more suitable, modern purpose. And what would that purpose be? Egwene has reiterated that she would not like the Red Ajah to be disbanded in the same way that Elaida has tried to do with the Blue, so once can imagine that they will have a place in the Fourth Age.

    5. If it happens, I hope they will take a less antagonistic approach than Elaida's emissaries did. And they're talking about a strategic alliance, so I don't see any reason to assume otherwise. It would suck for Egwene and Rand to get into difficulties. I also think Aviendha should swallow her secrets and just tell Egwene that it was Rand channeling, not the forsaken. I get that you don't want to reveal that you bonded the Dragon Reborn, but come on!

    6. Well, they mean what they mean. I'm pretty sure I know who the Seanchan woman is, and what the dream refers to. The one about the Seanchan attack is fairly obvious. At least the Seanchan are far away and preoccupied, so presumably Egwene has some time to get things in order.

    7. Obviously it was Halima/Aran'gar. Why Anaiya specifically I can't begin to speculate.

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    1. I agree that Aviendha and our other girls should get over their fear of telling people they bonded the Dragon Reborn. Not that they should shout it from the rooftops, but they ought to trust their inner circle of friends. Would Egwene be shocked? Sure, but like everyone else, she'd get over it. Thanks for commenting, Eivind! :D

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    2. Perhaps the Red Ajah will be the keepers of all the knowledge on mental illness. After all, they have plenty of examples within the Ajah to study, but then they also have the knowledge in dealing with men who have gone insane due to the tainted power.

      Ah yes, I agree that Aviendha, and Nynaeve, and Elayne have been a little too tight lipped about what Rand has been up to. Egwene could really use this knowledge for good at the moment.

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  2. If Rand is going to do 9 impossible things, then I think cleansing saidin is on the list. Along with marrying (or bedding with blessings) three women, befriending the Amyrlin, and creating a Black Tower. I also expect that uniting Randland with the Seanchan, Seafolk, and Ogier will be on that list.

    I definitely missed reading about the other characters this week too. We got a smidge of Aviendha in T'A'R, but that was it.

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    1. Yeah, seems like the list of Rand's deeds should be a whole lot longer than nine, doesn't it? Thanks Susan! :D

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