Sunday, April 27, 2014

Winter's Heart Read-Along, Week 4

Welcome to week 4 of our Winter's Heart read-along. This week we read chapters 12-17. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that came before is fair game for spoilers so read at your own risk!

Elayne wakes to a lily. (Source)
1. Elayne gets to ‘entertain’ the worst looking man in the universe, at least as far as her bodyguards know. Do you think that they will actually prove to be any protection against assassins and what did you make of Hanlon’s hints to them that Elayne likes rough men?

I think any guards help, and her guards seem to be relatively well-trained. At the same time, though, if someone really wants to get to her--like one of the Forsaken or something--the guards won't be much of a defense. I think only Brigitte (or now Rand/Min/Aviendha) might be able to stop it because they're actually connected to her emotionally.

I thought the whole she's-into-rough-men thing was funny because Brigitte is always attracted to rough, homely men. In a way it would make sense if Elayne was because she's bonded to Brigitte and maybe Brigitte's tastes are rubbing off on her. An amusing situation all around. 

2. Any suggestions about what Elayne and Rand were doing to make Birgitte seek solace in a bottle of strong liquor? Do you think it was so shocking that it put Alanna into her coma?

LOL. I wondered that too--about Alanna. I think I'm going to stay away from trying to guess any specifics, but strong erotic emotions, especially when they aren't your own, are bound to throw anyone through a loop.

Cadsuane (Source)
3. Cadsuane seems to have her hands full with angry Sea Folk and strangely subdued Aes Sedai. What do you make of the Sisters’ sudden decision to support Rand, even the Reds? How angry will Nynaeve be to discover that she is not the only one to be able to Heal Stilling?

It's hard to say what prompted the Reds' decision. I'd like to say maybe they all finally just came to their senses, but chances are their motivations are less honorable than that. They either have some deception up their sleeves, or they just decided to defect to the 'winning' team. The second they have ample motivation to go back, they will. 

Yeah, Nynaeve will probably yank her braid a bit when she learns--she does seem a bit threatened when people match or outdo her--but now that she's off doing something dangerous with Lan and Rand, I don't think she'll have much time to dwell on it. Given that Rand plans to cleanse saidin and wants her to help, well, there's not much any other sister could do to top that. Assuming they succeed, that is.

Is Cyndane Lanfear? (Source)
4. When Cyndane popped up I assumed that she was our good old friend, Lanfear, reincarnated. However, she seems to be too weak in the One Power. Any thoughts about this?

Well, we know from Siuan and Leane's experience that when a woman is stilled and then Healed, she can come back much weaker than before. This might account for Cyndane's weakness as compared with Lanfear's. And then there is the fact that the Dark One was very displeased with Lanfear. He may have purposely made her weaker 1) as punishment and 2) to keep her easily in line. Or maybe it's not her at all. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Tuon (Source)
5. We finally get to meet the Daughter of the Nine Moons. Is she what you expected? What about Anath: was anyone else very suspicious that Tuon’s previous Truthspeaker died suddenly and was replaced by this unlikely candidate?

Tuon is definitely the polar opposite of the kind of woman Mat usually likes to shack up with. She's Seanchan, owns sul'dam, is a bit spoiled and high-and-mighty, and of course is a high lady. All traits Mat loathes. Yet, I can't really see Mat finding a life partner in a barmaid. Whether he likes it or not, he needs a woman who will match him in intelligence and personality. Despite her unlikabilities, Tuon may be just that. 

Yeah, the whole Truthspeaker thing is really weird. I don't like Anath. She's one of those annoying characters you wish would just shut up, mind her own business and go away.

Mat and Noal from The Towers of Midnight
Cover (Source)
6. It seems that we were right to suspect that the Gholam would feel a personal need to kill Mat. Do you see any way that Mat can get rid of it? What about Noal: is he only an old man who happened to be in the right place at the right time?

Noal! We finally met Noal. Okay, here's what I'll say about him. We'll find out something big about him eventually. Like way in the future. And when I first read it, I went, "Whoa! Noal! Okay, where did he come from again?" I couldn't remember how Mat met him or when he came into the story, so I was glad to read this. It's one of those things that's way interesting to read the second time through, because there are things you probably won't pick up on the first time. I'll try to point out the highlights along the way for you guys to pay attention to. Anyway, I like Noal. 

And I'm scared of the gholam on Mat's behalf. I did think it was interesting that the gholam is "on orders" not to be seen. You gotta wonder why the discretion when the thing is leaving shredded corpses in it's wake. Not that the Forsaken are known for being very logical, of course.

Tuon and Mat (Source)
7. Mat meets Tuon and his dice stop thundering. Any ideas of how he is going to end up married to this woman, or will she simply ‘borrow’ him permanently from Tylin?

Yeah that was a cool moment because the readers totally knew why the dice stopped, but poor Mat was entirely befuddled. This also answers an earlier question we had about why moving into the palace made the dice stop. It was because it led directly to his meeting his future bride. 

As to the how, I won't tell. But it definitely won't be a traditional courtship and wedding. Mat's ta'veren. Expect drama. 

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

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1 comment :

  1. Good point about the Reds swearing fealty to Rand. Sue mentioned it could be due, in part, to Verin's Compulsion activities. Even still, if they had to make up their minds to side with Rand, they can also re-make-up their minds to side with someone else. They are still not trustworthy.

    Wow! Tuon is quite beautiful! The images you picked really do her justice. While I can see that she may not instantly be on Mat's list of Next Conquests, I can see how her personality and image could come to mesmerize him.

    Mat + Drama = My amusement :)