Monday, July 4, 2011

The Gathering Storm Read-Through #29: Chapter 26 - A Crack in the Stone



By Linda


WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT

Aviendha POV

This chapter compares Aes Sedai and Wise Ones on leadership, ranking, graduation, duty, ambition, and self-confidence.

Aviendha grudgingly grants that Bashere’s troops are well-trained and efficient. Saldaeans campaign a lot and are modelled on semi-nomadic Central Asian horse people. Aiel are similar to Berber, Amerindian, and Zulu tribes people.

Aiel take only soldiers (an error: should be warriors or spears) and Wise Ones (presumably for Healing and negotiating) when they go to war. Aviendha is disgusted at camp followers and also those who shirk work or don’t look after themselves efficiently. It is why she and other Aiel despise servants.

Sand-staring sounds like depression or a similar mental illness and is regarded as useless. Aiel society is ruthless in its demands of a person’s best on all occasions, with no whining, because their environment is so harsh and life is precarious. All must contribute to the max.

Aviendha herself is not working so she has no honour and is earning toh because she is not helping the Aiel pack. Purposeful vigorous work is honourable. She is now desperate to graduate as a Wise One. Aviendha is ambitious and sees the honour of being a Wise One and wants to help guide the Aiel in the Last Days. The Wise Ones are trying to shame her into fury so she stands up against them.

In a way this “punishment” test has similarities to the final Aes Sedai testing of a candidate’s commitment to the Tower and desire to be Aes Sedai. It tests resolve, ambition and self-confidence, but at the end new Wise Ones are accepted as the equal of any other Wise One and expected to stand up for their own opinions, whereas Aes Sedai are ranked according to innate criteria and are expected to obey or defer to those higher-ranked than they. Curiously, Sorilea doesn’t treat any Wise One as her equal, until Amys stands up to her in Lord of Chaos. Cadsuane is more considerate of Aes Sedai below her than any other high-ranked Aes Sedai.

Aviendha is so involved in her thoughts that she does not hear Min approach. Another factor is that she doesn’t want people to approach her. Min has not been Healed, even though Nynaeve was in the camp. She says she doesn’t trust any Aes Sedai and nor does Rand; they probably wonder who betrayed them and freed Semirhage. (A Wise One probably set this in motion, see here and here).

Aviendha thinks Rand a skilled and lucky warrior who has earned much honour through defeating so many of the Forsaken. Where was she when Semirhage attacked? With the Wise Ones? She felt Rand’s agony when Semirhage collared him but thought it was a nightmare at first. Presumably Rand has had these for her to be fooled in this way.

Aviendha is leaving Rand to deal with his problems and face his trials. She won’t join with him unless she is his equal. On the other hand Min supports him regardless and doesn’t worry about her rank, or how others see he,r or whether she has honour or not. Min doesn’t feel that close to Aviendha – not surprisingly since they are from such different backgrounds. She expected Aviendha to want to talk about their relationship with Rand (as Aviendha and Elayne did), or even fight about it. Aviendha finds Min insulting when she mentions Aviendha’s mundane activities, but refuses to consider that she is insulting Min when she patronises her on her relative defencelessness, even though she observed Min’s body language accurately. Aviendha is not averse to sharing Rand with a woman she knows well.

Mins’ comments on Aviendha’s odd activity finally make Aviendha lose her temper and storm off to confront the Wise Ones. Yet Aviendha still has no idea of why she is being punished. She knows she can channel better than any Wise One, since Melaine intimated as much in The Gathering Storm, The Death of Adrin, and refuses more punishments from them. However Aviendha nearly backed down when the Wise Ones asked her if she thought she was their equal. They tried to intimidate her one last time and nearly succeeded but Aviendha continued on. She was surprised that their warm welcome showed this was the right thing to do.

"No woman is ready to join us until she has declared herself ready," Amys continued. "She must present herself as our equal."

The Gathering Storm, A Crack in the Stone

A Wise One has to believe in her own mind that she has graduated. Becoming a Wise One is not a matter of putting in the time and completing assignments.

Sevanna announced she was a Wise One and so they had to accept her as one. They nearly did not.

Wise Ones supposedly don’t have rank; but earn honour though through their actions and judgement. Sorilea is high-ranked though.

Aviendha could have been a Wise One weeks ago. The Aiel stuck to their ways despite the chaotic end-times, while the Tower hasn’t; they promoted women too fast in the Trolloc Wars and again now. The Aiel are one of the most conservative and insular Wheel of Time societies.

Rhuidean has been opened but Bair doesn’t think this is sufficient reason to abandon the old ways. She is described by Sanderson as a small woman, but by Jordan as the usual Aiel size, which is tall. She is thin though.

The Wise Ones still insist on a time of contemplation before Rhuidean despite the need for haste. They tell Aviendha they planned for it because they think it is really needed.

Amys wants to discuss the changes to Rand with Aviendha when she returns. Time is pressing, but Aviendha did not return before Rand changed again about 19 days later.

The Wise Ones’ test also teaches an apprentice much about punishment.

"A punishment is not a true punishment unless you accept it, Aviendha," Bair said, still smiling.

“Remember this time you spent and the shame you felt, for it is the shame any da'tsang will know, should you consign them to their fate. And they cannot escape it simply by demanding release."

The Gathering Storm, A Crack in the Stone

Which brings us to another woman who has been punished unjustly but accepted it: Shemerin.

Romanda POV

For all that Romanda thinks of Shemerin as still full Aes Sedai, she refers to her as a “runaway”. She responds to Shemerin’s subservient attitude. This underlines why the Wise Ones won’t graduate subservient candidates.

"A Wise One cannot allow others to step upon her," Amys said. "If she comes into the shade of our sisterhood thinking like an apprentice, then she will never see herself as one of us."

"But it is important—vital, even—that each Wise One be willing to defend her own well. If she believes that she is right, she cannot let herself be shoved aside, even by other Wise Ones, no matter how aged or wise."

Romanda had rarely seen a woman as determined to punish herself as this poor child.
Not a child, Romanda thought. A full Aes Sedai, whatever she says. Burn you, Elaida, for turning one of us into this! Shemerin had been Yellow. Burn it, she was Yellow.

The Gathering Storm, A Crack in the Stone

Shemerin is punishing herself for the shame of demotion and for running away. She has no resentment or anger to Elaida, and fully accepts her authority. Romanda agrees Shemerin is too weak a character to be Aes Sedai, but thinks there are other ways of dealing with weak Aes Sedai. Shemerin is traumatised though and embarrassed at having to admit in front of Siuan that she backstabbed Siuan.

Siuan wants a map of this little known way into and out of Tar Valon. She gives an order in front of Lelaine and Romanda against the Aes Sedai ranking system and backs down – a little. Romanda didn’t want Siuan as full Aes Sedai again because she is a schemer and Romanda doesn’t like schemers. No wonder, since she came off the worst when the Blues schemed for their second Blue Amyrlin in a row: Tamra.

What a contrast between the rebels and the Tower: Elaida demoted Shemerin from Aes Sedai ranks by decree for no reason except to get the Tower used to the idea of judicial demotion without stilling (stilling no longer being permanent, and anyway it is prescribed for specific crimes) and to intimidate others into obeying her. The rebels promoted Aes Sedai by decree, and when stilled Aes Sedai have their channelling abilities restored, their rights and rank are fully restored too. The senior Aes Sedai didn’t believe Egwene about Elaida’s decrees before this.

Magla and Lelaine are sceptical that Shemerin was demoted for lack of poise and not disloyalty. Romanda is more savvy:

"I suspect she used poor Shemerin as an example, acclimating the White Tower to the concept of demotion. That will let her use it on those who are actually her enemies."

The Gathering Storm, A Crack in the Stone

She really is wise and intelligent. Demotion is a dangerous precedent, if only because the Amyrlin shouldn’t be given that much power according to Romanda.

Romanda knows Lelaine is ahead of her in the power game and prays for Egwene’s return. Egwene told them the night before of her imprisonment and forbade rescue. Lelaine is taking advantage of Sheriam being Blue. Sheriam (Keeper, a position normally above Sitters) and Siuan are Lelaine’s attendants. Magla (Sitter) is Romanda’s. This is such a contrast with the Wise Ones’ conferences.

Sheriam is withdrawn and agitated; no doubt due to Mesaana’s impending deadline. Because Sheriam is there, the Blacks in theory learn of a secret way into/out of Tar Valon.

Just after Romanda said the lump under the floor of her tent is not important, it splits the canvas and huge cockroaches pour through. Siuan physically swatted the first ones. The heroic Black Ajah leader Sheriam jumps on her chair. Siuan is the first to channel to kill them, even though she is the weakest there. Romanda hates to kill things with the Power, fellow Yellow Magla probably does also. The roaches were ones from Shara, so they are ‘out of place’, Wrong. Siuan dismisses the cockroaches believing, rightly, that there will be worse stuff.

All that Romanda owns is burned. This really drives home to her that Egwene is right and the Last Battle is coming fast. Along with Shemerin’s demotion it makes her think about the threat of losing even more:

The Tower needed to be whole. Whatever it took. Would she be willing to bow before Elaida to make that happen? Would she put on an Accepted dress again if it would bring unity for the Last Battle?
She couldn't decide. And that disturbed her nearly as much as those scuttling roaches had.

The Gathering Storm, A Crack in the Stone

Romanda has said previously that the Tower is her life. She knows it is vital the Tower be whole, yet can’t decide if she would acknowledge Elaida as Amyrlin or accept demotion to Accepted if these were required for that unity (and they would be by Elaida). Yet Shemerin did. Romanda is really worried about that – what it means, what other Aes Sedai would do.

Whether to put self first or not; that is the main problem of the war against the Shadow. Many people are not committed.

Some are prepared to commit any deed, yes, but not to accept any sacrifice.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

i am not hating aes sedai but why is the tower vital?
i like a lot of them but why do have all that power? what have the really been doing since the trolloc wars even now there are around a 1000 of them and prob tqwice that in warders why dont they keep 100 sisters at the capital of each of the borderlands.

they had the strength to destroy entire shadowspawn armies and let the borderlands slowly fail because fighting the shadow wasnt as important as keeping up the image of being above normal humans.

some of them do keep male channelers from causes chaos and offer healing but that is all.
i dont understand why they are so respected when they do next to nothing for the world or are the rulers to scared of them to make them actually live up to their title and serve the world not there own power.

ive read the hisory post but i cant find any thing to back up the power of the tower beyond fear.

Donnie said...

As a "long time reader" (2-3 years I think) of your blog, I just have to say from time to time, how I admire your work here, Linda ;). I just love how much you go into detail - and seemingly remember most of the details, and carefully put them together and give us your insights and opinions without damning any of the characters, as others do.
Especially I love your great love for digging into mythology and history and point out the connections to WOT. I know from my own experience, it is taking very much time and efforts to follow such threads, and really I have to bow before you for all this hard work. - I opens many oppurtunities and can provide many pleasure by discovering new things, too, but none the less it's just hard work, if you follow this path consequently.
Thanks for your great work, I'm a glad follower of it.

Anonymous said...

not sure if it is right to say that using soldiers was an error. Aviendha has spent a lot of time with Elayne and now with Rands armies maybe she is just starting to see a difference between soldiers and civilians that everyone but the Aiel has.
its hard to spend alot of time around people and not adopt some of their way of doing things or ways of talking

moved to america 6 years ago now say chips instead of crisps and will sometimes say pants if i dont catch it first Boo

Anonymous said...

I remember reading somewhere that the Tower did actually send a pretty considerable force of Aes Sedai to Malkier's aid, but that they were just too late. Granted, the Tower could've more better served the people to whom they are said to be Servants, but they do still play a vital role. They have been the only monolith of stability and order to all of the countries between the Aryth Ocean and the Spine of the World for three millennia, and they stand as the foremost bulwark against the Shadow, which is presumably why the Shadow worked so hard to infiltrate and fracture them and not the Wise Ones, Kin, Windfinders, or sul'dam. Add to this the fact that they seem to be having a sort of rennaissance with channeling innovation and new recruits, and that they're beginning to act as a unifying force for every non-enslaved, non-Darkfriend female channeler, and you can see why the Shadow wanted to subvert them.

Anonymous said...

they tried and failled to be helpful shocker.

they try to create stabiliy but POVs have shown the truces they create are often failures and im rereading shadow risng right now just got past the part where verin says that even plots that are intended to help people have destroyed nations.

what gives one woman the right to destroy a country because she thinks it could help her own cause. they seem so concerned with a mythical greater good they dont care how many actual people suffer to achieve it.

i like Moiraine but she has had lan kill people just for finding out what she is, someone nearly died because she wanted to sleep at an inn and didnt keep her head down. is it worth it to kill someone for good night sleep? she must have done this several times because in the dragon reborn lan assumes that is what he would be expected to do, she didnt have to stay there.

is stabiliy that imporant that you would kill anyone who might slow it down?
why does being able to do a few tricks give anyone the right of life and death over poeple?

they are a lot like galad he started a war to help his sister, he knew what would happen but decided it was worth the cost and chose to let thousands suffer to get what he wanted.

Lethean Bliss said...

Well, they can't just beat the peace into people, and even some of the decisions Rand has made, with altruistic intention, have ended up being screwed up by unforeseen events or meddling from people with their own agendas.

Moiraine and Lan had to be extremely careful in how they operated before they ever found Rand, since even the slightest slip up could result in them being smothered by the Black Ajah, which had just tortured and killed an Amyrlin and some of the most powerful and senior Aes Sedai she brought into her confidence. After finding him, they had to be even more so, since the Forsaken were out and about. They could not risk anyone giving them away, even unintentionally; it wouldn't mean an end to societal stability, it would mean the end of the world.

Linda said...

The Tower is vital because it represents several hundred channellers who could do a lot for the Light's side of the War if they all contributed. The Shadow went to quite a bit of trouble to divide them against themselves so that they are too distracted to make that contribution.


Thanks very much Donnie for your comment. I'm glad you like what I write here. You are right; it is very hard work.

Anonymous: it was in New Spring that we found out that the Aes Sedai sent many sisters to help Malkier but they arrived too late.

Anonymous said...

linda i think you just hit on why i cant stand the tower if they all contributed. yes the messes them up when it has something big in the works but what about the 1000 years between the major events why not keep a massive force at the blight? only hawkwing, the trollocs and seanchanhave ever attacked the tower in force why do they need to keep their strength a 1000 miles from the front?

it might help the towers rep if they are seen destroying the shadows forces in those times when it isnt a world changing event. it would have greatly weakened the shadow, saved lives in the borderlands and they nwould have become far strongerin terms of numbers of aes sedai. people fear what they dont know but if there had been hundreds of aes sedai in the north at all times how many girls would have approached them and asked to be tested or gone to the tower on their own.

and i think this is my main reason for hating the greens, whats their excuse for not doing this isnt fighting the shadow their whole reason for being. you got it right commit any deed, yes, but not to accept any sacrifice.

Lethean Bliss, im not saying they should beat the peace into people. peace isnt a good aim anyway, not a nice way of putting it but war is good for society. not just in the tech advances but in the way it helps remind people of the moral difficulties and problems in the modern world. it isnt pleasant but ww1 & 2 did bring social change often for the better and they helped bind a generation together. america had peace for years before the nazi cock up and most of them didnt car what happened to over people just about their own comfort until fdr made them fight and they found out what was going on.
this is a lot like what is going on with tear and the other southern nations they have had a relative peace for to long and are now so centered on their own ncomfort that they dont care about the shadow.
its not very p c but war is good hor humanity, as long people are people there is going to be war and violence, but this is fine as long as the people fighting remember to treat the other side as humans not statistics or faceless enemies with nothing outside of the war.

Anonymous said...

ok completely irrelevant but in Far Madding was slayer after lan & Nynaeve or Rand & min

Lethean Bliss said...

Linda: That's where it's from, thank you! Yeah, this site's pretty awesome.

Anonymous: It's a good point; they should have at least a few sisters stationed around the Borderlands to reinforce them should the need arise. But the Aes Sedai, and indeed every non-Seanchan female channeler, seem pretty averse to displaying the Power in really overt ways. I guess they justify it the same way they justify the Three Oaths: if they want normal people to trust them, they can't lay about them with the Power unless it's an absolute emergency. I'm not saying that they're necessarily right in that, but I'd guess that's how they see it, in addition to perhaps an underlying belief that they are perhaps above "grunt" work.

Social change and technological advancement could be brought about in ways that don't require slaughter on such a horrific scale, though.

The southern nations haven't warred with the Shadow lately, but they have with each other quite a bit.

But as you said, people are people, and it's much easier to kill an enemy if you see them as what you said.

Slayer referred to the target as his "nephew," so that would make it Rand.

Anonymous said...

Lethean Bliss i thought it was rand as well but some people think he was after lan cause its luc and isam so?

and wars didnt really have that scale of slaughter until we started to use mats little brain wave and it became acceptable to target civilians on a larger scale. when you had to look the enemy in the face it was harder to justify killing 30000 women and children to mess with your enemies army if you had to see the bodies and hear the screams. well ceasar did it but he thought he was the next thing to a god so he didnt care.

the southern lands have had brawls with a few thousand men and merchants sulking not war.
i was actually thinking about this when i looked at how quick the seanchan have spread, if they were used to large scale wars they would have had large naval forces for blockades and troop move movements. also the state of the roads makes it clear that large scale conflicts are long gone, a good transport network and fleet are good during peace time for trade but are a sign of strength and a threat that you can move 100000 TRAINED troops from the capital to your border in a week.
no roads, no fleets is a sign that war has taken a back seat to politics and the nobles have let commerce become the sole domain of bankers and merchants which is why everything goes to hell when there is a war there is no one used to making sure trade and food distribution is maintained.
no wonder they got thrashed by the Aiel & Seanchan

Anonymous said...

i dont get that oaths thing about making people trust them they can still kill they just cant use the power to do it. Elaida killed siuan warder, looks like she just walked up to him and put a knife in his heart before he knew something was wrong.

Anonymous said...

Lethean Bliss, cocktail or sexual position?

SteelBlaidd said...

one of the important things we see here is the seeds of the destruction caused by Avihenda's children. Despite her time both with Rand and Elayne she really hasn't bothered to try and understand their culture. Her casual contempt for anything not Aiel is the direct cause of her children not knowing their Father's culture. When we first see them they have power but no sense of responsibility and no understanding of the wider need. It's apparent that they have no relationships with their half siblings and that Andor is a foreign place to them. This is a direct result of Avi's conviction that the Aiel are really the only people who matter, as evidenced by her complete lack of interaction with and respect for Min.

Anonymous said...

SteelBlaidd wrote a reply to this but for some reason it didnt show up not sure why

Lethean Bliss said...

Anonymous: He's Isam, too, but he did say he was specifically after his nephew when he killed those people in Far Madding. Lan is what? Isam's cousin?

Caesar's not the only one who did that. There are way too many instances in history where huge amounts of people -- men, women, and children -- were destroyed and/or enslaved. We're actually far, far more peaceful now than we've ever been, and we could incinerate every living thing in the world a few times over by pressing buttons and not looking anyone in the eye.

The Seanchan also have hordes of battle channelers, without which it would've been much harder going for them.

I don't remember whether Elaida or any Aes Sedai personally killed Alric. Regardless, with the Three Oaths an Aes Sedai can't just start flailing around with fire and lightning, and if one of them says something outright you'd know she was speaking truthfully. I dunno. I think Siuan explains this reasoning to Egwene at some point.


Anonymous: Lol wow...


SteelBlaidd: Aviendha did seem to pick up on some stuff while she was with Elayne, and what really seemed to "spoil" her children was that they were pretty much treated as royalty, whereas everyone else in Aiel society has to earn their position. They did have an obvious contempt for their Andoran relatives, though.

Linda said...

Lethean bliss: Alric was stabbed in the back. Any Aes Sedai is able to do this. It's not made plain who did it though.

I found Aviendha's children arrogant and objectionable. It's ironic that Aviendha who is so keen to uphold the old ways would have children who are uttlerly ruined because in this one vital instance they do not follow the one Aiel way that is really worthwhile; a meritocracy with care taken not to advance too soon, or too late either.

Anonymous said...

Lethean Bliss, well i google it got nothing but posts on theoryland.

and i thought i was crazy but the people on that are nuts

Anonymous said...

Lethean Bliss well i thought he was after rand but ive seen people say it was lan didnt think of using the cousin fact to shut them up thank you.

but seriously what does Lethean Bliss mean? have just looked it up nothing but you and some poetry reference i didnt know and wont remember.

blasting freebird right now awesome ;)

Anonymous said...

ok we have got to the Aiel, i like them for the most part the system has worked for them, Rhuarc and pals seem effective and skilled leaders. i dont like the 2 womans groups we have seen at all but i like Rhuarc's other wife and what his faces non wise one wife they are smart and a good balance to the chiefs.
apart from the whole fifth business, why should they get anything out of this beyond survival? if the Aiel consider this to be a punishment for no longer following the way of the leaf why do they feel business entitled to loot? if thought that the aiel system meant that you accepted the shame and paid for all wrong in full and now they want to profit from their crimes?

i cant stand the wise ones or the maidens after how they have handled the rand situation. they might be useful the rest of the time but the prophecy said that they had to serve or be destroyed not that they could demand terms or that some would be excluded from serving just because they are used to getting what they want.

the so called wise ones have undermined Rands authority with the Aiel by constantly meddling with the chiefs and sitting aside when they could be useful with information. and what the hell with watching people dreams and teaching Egwene to do this to her friends i cant think of a moe ivasive thing to do to someone short of rape or an autopsy. they think this is fine then expect Rand to trust them and work with them are they nuts?

now then the maidens which is what i think is Avihenda's biggest problem. i think they are one of the things that has had the worst impact on rand because they blackmailed him into letting them do what ever they want.
knowing that he hates seeing women hurt or killed they waited until after the battle with lanfear and told him that he would let them have their way or watch them all die.

they have no respect for his culture or background but demand that he respects the Aiel ways and they dont let him have any privacy even in his bath. they know he wants them out but they like to make him blush and have encouraged Min to humiliate him for their entertainment. and they let people into his bedroom according to their whims and what the wise ones want like sending in min when he is tired and wants to relax , i dont care how much you love someone you still need alone time and if she loves him why is she playing the maidens game when she knows he wants out of it? she does seem to stop playing along after the maidens walk in beat him but she shouldnt have started in the first place.
Min is one of my favs but i hated her around the maidens and later after she has bonded him she is angry at him when his emotions are annoying her, so she is willing to feel him die but not gloomy?

i guess that my biggest problem with Min and the aiel here is that i have always felt that you cant pick and choose in a relationship you are either all in or you are out. and this is for lovers and business partners Min cant demand the bond that get angry at Rand for what HE is feeling and the Aiel cant expect to be changed and saved but still demand that he obeys the aiel custums and let them profit (ok Rand needs to learn this as well but still ;) ).

got off topic but boo Rand has no privacy in own his head or bedroom how can he relax when someone could walk in at any moment and he can constantly feel 4 other peoples emotions in his head with know way of blocking them out?
i would go insane to in this situation and if Rand could do it again i bet he would never have told Rhuarc to let the maidens run his guard on the way Alcair Dal

Anonymous said...

Ok we have got to the Aiel, I like them for the most part the system has worked for them, Rhuarc and pals seem effective and skilled leaders. I don’t like the 2 woman’s groups we have seen at all but i like Rhuarc's other wife and what his faces non wise one wife they are smart and a good balance to the chiefs.
Apart from the whole fifth business, why should they get anything out of this beyond survival? If the Aiel consider this to be a punishment for no longer following the way of the leaf why do they feel business entitled to loot? if thought that the Aiel system meant that you accepted the shame and paid for all wrong in full and now they want to profit from their crimes?

i cant stand the wise ones or the maidens after how they have handled the Rand situation. they might be useful the rest of the time but the prophecy said that they had to serve or be destroyed not that they could demand terms or that some would be excluded from serving just because they are used to getting what they want.

the so called wise ones have undermined Rand’s authority with the Aiel by constantly meddling with the chiefs and sitting aside when they could be useful with information. And what the hell with watching people dreams and teaching Egwene to do this to her friends I cant think of a more invasive thing to do to someone short of rape or an autopsy. They think this is fine then expect Rand to trust them and work with them are they nuts?

Now then the maidens which is what I think is Aviendha's biggest problem. I think they are one of the things that have had the worst impact on Rand because they blackmailed him into letting them do what ever they want.
Knowing that he hates seeing women hurt or killed they waited until after the battle with Lanfear and told him that he would let them have their way or watch them all die.

They have no respect for his culture or background but demand that he respects the Aiel ways and they don’t let him have any privacy even in his bath. they know he wants them out but they like to make him blush and have encouraged Min to humiliate him for their entertainment. And they let people into his bedroom according to their whims and what the wise ones want like sending in min when he is tired and wants to relax , I don’t care how much you love someone you still need alone time and if she loves him why is she playing the maidens game when she knows he wants out of it? she does seem to stop playing along after the maidens walk in beat him but she shouldn’t have started in the first place.
Min is one of my favs but i hated her around the maidens and later after she has bonded him she is angry at him when his emotions are annoying her, so she is willing to feel him die but not gloomy?

i guess that my biggest problem with Min and the Aiel here is that i have always felt that you cant pick and choose in a relationship you are either all in or you are out. And this is for lovers and business partners Min cant demand the bond that get angry at Rand for what HE is feeling and the Aiel cant expect to be changed and saved but still demand that he obeys the Aiel customs and let them profit (ok Rand needs to learn this as well but still;)).

got off topic but boo Rand has no privacy in own his head or bedroom how can he relax when someone could walk in at any moment and he can constantly feel 4 other peoples emotions in his head with know way of blocking them out?
i would go insane to in this situation and if Rand could do it again I bet he would never have told Rhuarc to let the maidens run his guard on the way Alcair Dal

Anonymous said...

Alric was stabbed in the back. ok should have remembered still rereading that book. i just think it was Elaida because she has proven she is ok with killing people and seems to enjoy hurting Siuan, it might have been some one else but she just seems the most likely.
i dont know how long mesaana had been hiding as danelle so she might not have known the limits of the oaths so i dont think she was the one and any blacks would be trying to hide the shadows involvement but everyone there knows elaida is evil so noone would think twice about her killing.