Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Towers of Midnight Read-through #42: Chapter 35 - The Right Thing


By Linda

Egwene POV

After insisting that she didn’t need protection and ordering Gawyn to stop, Egwene now feels its absence. Events will show she made a foolish decision. Egwene’s contrariness is due to being on edge as her cutting comment to Siuan shows. Siuan, another contrary character, understands Egwene’s stress and smiles at Egwene’s concern this time instead of brushing it aside.

Both Amyrlins were undone by incomplete information.

Perrin POV

Perrin remarks that Galad returned the supplies he captured. The Whitecloak commander did not keep what wasn’t his, even though as spoils of war it would be acceptable to do so. It is an integrity that Perrin respects.

Perrin seems surprised at how emotionally drained the trial left him, but the tension and concentration required to avoid multiple disasters was considerable. Plus, there was no right answer though I think he achieved the best outcome possible.

Perrin is determined that Light-aligned people should not battle each other, since every person is needed to fight the Shadow. Nor does he want to waste lives. He shows considerable insight; it was indeed the Shadow’s ploy to set groups against each other. Divide and conquer. He correctly deduces that the Shadow will attack now that they see Perrin won’t fight the Whitecloaks and that they have pinned him in place with the dreamspike for this. It is imperative that he get Travelling back again.

Perrin’s receptivity extends to reading the Pattern to an extent; he senses the recurrence of his long-term unresolved issues: Whitecloaks, Slayer, and Noal. Unspoken is the realisation that he must deal with them, or else…

Galad POV

Galad’s unresolved issue is not understanding that there is not always a right answer. Another is that mistakes can lead to “right” action - which by Galad’s definition cannot be right. And conversely, that doing the right thing can be wrong. Morgase warned Galad of this and it makes him uncomfortable. Perrin accepted that there was no right answer to his conflict with the Whitecloaks and was reluctant to make decision. On the other hand, Galad finds determining an answer, or as he sees it, “the” answer, easy. He is a foil to Perrin in this sub-thread. Perrin sees more possible answers and spends time weighing them. Both men are deep thinkers, but Galad is more willing to adopt high cost solutions than Perrin.

Bornhald’s unresolved issue is his mistaken belief – at the urging of his friend Byar - that Perrin killed his father. He realises that there is no evidence and that Byar’s behaviour and statements are inappropriate. Bornhald is shown to be a much more reasonable person here, mentally stronger and more independent than in previous scenes.

After the trial Galad acknowledges that, like Perrin, he killed a Whitecloak and was named Darkfriend for it. Moreover both men sacrificed themselves for principle. They have similar values and this will be the basis for a strong relationship. Both dislike deviousness and disingenuousness, although they can devise a clever and successful plan to circumvent these if necessary.

Perrin POV

Slayer is a match for four wolves – and two of them masters of Tel’aran’rhiod. However he was surprised by Perrin three times in their fight, and was even frightened by him on the third, when Perrin became part of Tel’aran’rhiod and basically chased him off. Perrin’s mastery of Tel’aran’rhiod is of a different kind to that of Slayer: it is of belonging rather than domination.

The dreamspike is a source of wrongness in Tel’aran’rhiod . It interferes with its operation. An object physically in Tel’aran’rhiod is “more real” than Tel’aran’rhiod because Tel’aran’rhiod is a reflection of the main world. It’s a Platonic world or abstract Form that has the highest and most fundamental kind of reality.

The wrongness of scents being mixed up, scents being random for a location, is not caused by the dreamspike – though the dreamspike probably doesn’t help – but by the Dark One corrupting reality. This will get worse. The wrongness has grown steadily throughout the series as the Dark One’s touch has increased. It is a bad sign that even the abstract, fluid world of Tel’aran’rhiod is affected by it. The theme of wrongness in The Wheel of Time is discussed here. Such corruption and destruction is typical of the alchemical operation of mortification, where things are broken apart so they can be purified or transformed into something else, hopefully something better. Alchemical symbolism underpins the series – especially the magic system – and is discussed here.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Final update for A Memory of Light, Rand essay, updated


By Linda

For some weeks I've been updating the Rand essay with discussion and new themes arising from A Memory of Light. There was a lot of material to be added, and some new symbols, especially regarding the Israelites, plus a new parallel.

Well, I've finally finished updating all the essays for A Memory of Light. Rand was the final article, and the one requiring the most work, since it is central to them all. I'll continue to write new articles and also to resume the Towers of Midnight read-through.

New material is marked in bold.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Alchemical Symbolism in the Wheel of Time Essay Updated


By Linda

This last week I've revisited an essay I wrote shortly after A Mempory of Light was published on Alchemical Symbolism in The Wheel of Time. As I updated essays in the months since, I noticed a few new points about the symbolism in the last book. I added these and also reworked the introduction.

I'm now working on an essay central to all the others: Rand's parallels. It's the last essay to be updated.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

New Blog Article: Wheel of Time and Narnia Parallels


By Linda

Years ago I noted the reference to the world of Charn in C. S. Lewis' Narnia series that Jordan made in The Shadow Rising (included in the Character Names C Parallels article) and also the similarities between Lanfear and the White Witch (in my Lanfear essay). I left it at that, until Terez and I chatted about Narnia a year or two ago. Finally I've found time to research the Narnia parallels further and write them up in a new essay.

There are quite a few parallels, as many as with the recently updated The Lord of the Rings or with Dune. And I do also plan to write about The Wheel of Time's parallels to Herbert's series.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Wheel of Time Freemasonry References Article Updated


By Linda

Robert Jordan was a Freemason and The Wheel of Time reflects that, containing Freemasonry symbols and references. I wrote an article detailing these some years ago, and have updated it for A Memory Of Light.

New material is marked in bold.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Wheel of Time Parallels with Lord of the Rings Updated


By Linda

This last weekend, it was announced that The Wheel of Time series (14 books) has been nominated for a Hugo Award for best novel. (Here is the list of nominees.)

A complex series with many themes (listed here), one of them being the premise that real world history forms part of Wheel of Time myth and legend, and that Wheel of Time history is the origin of our own stories. Over the years I've written about the extensive parallels to Norse Mythology, Judeo-Christian religion, Hindu mythology and Chinese/Mongolian history - to name a few - in the series. As part of this there are various nods to Jordan's favoured books, including The Travels of Marco Polo, Dune, The Three Musketeers, the Narnia books, and The Lord of the Rings. The article on The Wheel of Time's parallels with The Lord of the Rings has now been updated for A Memory of Light. I'm currently working on the Narnia parallels.

New material is marked in bold.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wheel of Time Costume Part 2 - Mayene to Whitecloaks and Miscellaneous - Updated


By Linda

It's been nearly 3 weeks because I've been busy updating Costume in the Wheel of Time Part 2 and working lots of overtime. I had hoped to finish both parts for JordanCon but researching new fashions takes quite while, and then at least as long again finding the right illustrations. There is a lot of new material in the second half of the costume article, notably on the Seanchan and Shara.

Costume in the Wheel of Time Part 1 can be found here and the article on underwear, etc here. Next article to be updated will be on Wheel of Time and Lord of the Rings Parallels.

New material is marked in bold.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Wheel of Time Costume Part 1 - Aes Sedai to Malkier - Updated


By Linda

The Costume in the Wheel of Time Part 1 article was updated this week in time for those putting the finishing touches to their costumes for JordanCon. I've added information on slashing and riding dresses (and combining the two) with some new illustrations, and some commentary on the Altaran marriage knife and Aiel clothing.

Last week I updated the Private Lives of the 17th and 18th Centuries article, and I hope in the next week or two (depending on my paid workload) to update part 2 of the Costume article.

New material is marked in bold.