Sunday, December 14, 2014

Towers of Midnight Read-Along, Week 4

Welcome to week 4 of our Towers of Midnight Read-Along! This week we read the Chapters 21-25. 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. Sue over at Coffee, Cookies and Chili Peppers is hosting this week. Hop on over to check out her answers as well. :D

Morgase and Rahvin (Source)
1. Morgase discovers that she was manipulated by one of the Forsaken. Do you think that her discover will finally alter her attitude towards Tallanvor, or will the poor lad have to go off and die in the Last Battle all unrequited and depressed? Does this information make it more likely that she will reveal her true identity to Perrin and Faile?

Let's hope it changes her attitude toward Tallanvor. Poor guy! I won't say anything about what actually happens, but given that she had such a major reaction to the news, it's obviously something of a turning point for her. The fact that she asked Tallanvor to wait a bit before leaving suggests she's re-thinking her feelings for him. And that alone--the changes--makes it more likely, in my mind, that she might eventually reveal her true identity.

It's kind of an interesting psychological study, really. It was like, because she couldn't understand her own mindset when everything went down in Caemlyn, she couldn't allow herself to be happy, or to be who she really is. Now that she knows it was Rahvin--that she was under his influence and is kind of off the hook for the things she did--she's suddenly re-thinking that attitude toward her life.

Map of Maradon (Source)
2. Phew! Maradon has finally opened its gates for Ituralde and his troops. Personally I could have kissed Yoeli at first, but do you think that he will really refuse to continue fighting Shadowspawn in order to submit to execution for his actions? What did you make of Lord Torkumen: Darkfriend or idiot?

Well, let's just hope someone--like Rand or Lan, perhaps?--shows up and refuses to let Yoeli submit to execution. Good men, especially soldiers like him, will be needed in the Last Battle. He seems to be the only one at Maradon that has his head screwed on right.

Normally, I would probably just call Torkumen an idiot. He seems to be the arrogant, peacock type. But I think Ilturalde makes a good point. He's a Borderlander, and a Borderlander refusing to fight shadowspawn just doesn't happen. Unless he's a Darkfriend. So, my money's on his being an evil mofo. (I don't remember how his story line goes, honestly.)

Gawyn (Sorry only so many pics of him. This one
is from the graphic novels, I think..) Source
3. Speaking of idiots . . . yet again Gawyn rushes in and ruins Egwene’s plans. Do you feel any sympathy for the poor lad, with his love-addled brain, or are you getting frustrated with his inability to let Egwene take care of herself? Any more thoughts on the identity of the assassin and Egwene’s assumption that it is Mesaana? Will Gawyn be any more sensible once he returns to Caemlyn?

I had to laugh at the image of Egwene coming out, fuming, with Gawyn hanging there. And I did have sympathy for him. I had to laugh and just think, poor guy. Maybe he's not being as logical as he ought, but what he's doing, he's doing because he genuinely cares. Egwene is still being so prickly about everything, it's her I'm more frustrated with. When he decided to go to Caemlyn, I thought, good for him. Not only will it give him some distance and hopefully help him figure himself out, but it would serve Egwene right if she loses his as both a warder and a lover. But, who knows? Maybe the distance will be what they need to finally come together.

4. So, Birgitte entered the Tower of Ghenjei, wandered around it for a few weeks and then died. Can we expect a better outcome for Mat, Thom and Noal? Obviously they are going to survive, but apart from Mat’s luck, do they have any other advantage that you can think of that Birgitte was lacking?

Given that Brigitte is a Hunter for the Horn and a heroine of legends, that story was downright crazy. Let's hope our guys do better than that. They do have Mat's ta'veren nature. He tends to curse it and think it works against him, but really it always keeps him alive, even if it's not under the best of circumstances. Of course Thom and Noal are neither ta'veren nor possessing of Mat's luck, so I might be a little more worried about them...

Elayne Trakand (Source)
5. What is it about idiot Trakands this week?!!??! So, just for a change of pace, Elayne dashes off and places herself in terrible danger and then somehow manages to survive by the skin of her teeth. I doubt that any of us were surprised by her rashness, but what did you think of her disguise: effective or not? Was anyone at all surprised to discover that the secretary/torturer was a Darkfriend? How much do you want to see Mellor with a knife through his eye?

LOL. Yeah, I just had to laugh and shake my head at this. I would totally do this if I could--her disguise was awesome by the way!!! I would totally take any chance I could to make a Black Sister soil herself--but of course she's queen. And pregnant! And yeah it was a stupid thing to do. Even so, she was doing pretty well for a while. And no I wasn't surprised about the secretary. I can't believe Mellor escaped again! Arghh! One of our heroes really needs to dispense with that guy! Hopefully soon.

Hopper? (Source)
6. It seems that Perrin may be coming to terms with his inner Wolf. Do you think that this will happen in time for the battle with the Whitecloaks, or will he need a few more ‘training sessions’ with Slayer before he can take that final step?

I don't want to say anything about what will happen with the Whitecloaks (shouldn't Perrin and Galad really be friends somehow, though?). But I LOVED his training sessions with Hopper. I love that he finally seems to be getting the hang of how the wolves inhabit T'A'R' and that he had this breakthrough where he realized it was really all about him and how he handled things. It's not like he has no choice in whether he loses himself to the wolf side. (That would be the side of the force George Lucas didn't mention: the good side, the dark side, and the wolf side.)

And Slayer's back! And surprised that Perrin is so good at chasing him, unlike before. Chump. This is an epic showdown in the making. (Yea!)

My Little Lan Pony :D (Source)
7. Lan’s little army is growing steadily and he is thoroughly annoyed by it! How funny is this? I was disappointed that we did not get to experience the swapping of his Bond to Nynaeve in this section: am I just impatient, or are you looking forward to that scene as well?

I think I said this before, but it still cracks me up that he doesn't think people will or should turn up for this. Why wouldn't they? It's Lan. And lost Malkier, which is a wound people in the Borderlands still feel keenly. And the Last Battle. And the Dragon Reborn. And just, why wouldn't they come? And after it keeps growing (1, 2, 10, 30) but he's still thinking that it really will start there. Isn't Lan supposed to be largely...logical? Realistic? Yeah, gotta tell ya, Bud: I love you, but it's time to look at the bigger picture!

Yeah, I wish we'd have gotten his thoughts on the bond as well. I can't remember when we do. But what I really want is a Lan/Nynaeve reunion. Probably won't happen until after the Last Battle (and that's assuming the both survive--highly unlikely) but still. 


I love that Rand is finally taking responsibility for everything. I loved when he told Min that, though he was sad for the things he did wrong before, it was okay, because opening himself up to the joy also opened him to his failures. He's so wise and insightful, now. And I loved that he was able to find unspoiled grain to feed the people. And that when called upon by him, suddenly soldiers and stewards who had all but given up suddenly snapped to attention and started helping him save the city. Just a cool scene overall.

How I think the Black Ajah looked when Elayne
visited them. (Source)
I loved the image, during Elayne's fight with the Black Ajah in the cells, of her picking people up and throwing them at other people:
"She did the only thing she could think of. She picked up Chesmal in a weave of air and threw her at the secretary. Both went down in a heap." (pg. 373)

Other lines I enjoyed:
Ilturalde to Yoeli when he refused to fight trollocs: 
"I see," Ilturalde said. "When did you turn to the shadow?" (pg. 388)

It's just so matter-of-fact. Ilturalde is very intelligent. He makes lightening-fast deductions and isn't afraid to voice them. And he does it in a voice that could be used discussing a prospective deal over a business lunch. In a way, he smacks of Tyrion Lannister: He shoots from the hip but is so blase about it, you just have to smile.

Perrin's epiphany: 
"Perhaps he wasn't like the wolves because he was a wolfbrother. Perhaps he was a wolfbrother because he was like the wolves." (pg. 393)

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  1. I am not too sure Lan would talk Yoeli out of execution. After all, he has his own version of a death wish all wrapped up in honor, etc.

    I'm definitely worried about Thom and Noal going into the Tower of Genjei. I don't expect both to make it back out.

    The Good side, the Dark side, and the Wolf side - Ha! That sounds about right. And, yes, it is finally time that Perrin learn his Wolf side instead of feeling it is all one way or the other.

    I love the My Little Lan Pony! And you're right, Lan is logical about everything except this - his role in the Last Battle. Sigh.....Well, we all have our illogical points, right?

    I too liked that Elayne did not hesitate to toss Darkfreinds at other Darkfriends. I am glad that she didn't even consider such a move to be beneath her queenly self.

    1. Good point about Lan's idea of death. Very true. And yeah, I"m glad Elayne didn't think it unqueenly. It would have been much less entertaining that way. :D Thanks so much for stopping by! :D