Wednesday, October 3, 2012
WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT
Faile is content that she can’t always anticipate Perrin’s actions and that he doesn’t back down from her. She respects him because he is not too easy to handle and therefore is worthy of her hand. It’s part of the courtly love motif of their sub-thread. When Faile senses that Perrin is too distracted by worries to concern himself over whether to appease her she’s not too thrilled, but thoughts of Berelain eyeing off Galad are compensation enough to let it pass.
Perrin has agreed to the trial to buy himself time as well as make the Whitecloaks hear the other side to their charges. He believes Galad is fair enough to really do that. Too often Whitecloaks prejudge and their captives never get to explain their side of the story. In this sub-thread we see the huge changes that Galad is making to the Whitecloaks, seemingly effortlessly due to his obvious excellence and goodness. In reality he has paid the price for the changes already, as well as earned the right to make them, by enduring abuse from the Questioners for the greater good of the order.
In Tel’aran’rhiod Perrin’s link to Mat pulled him straight to the Tower of Ghenjei. Previously we have seen people pulled to others’ dreams, but not people pulled to places in Tel’aran’rhiod that others close to them are focussed on.
Judging by the way the dreamspike barrier makes a being go limp when they touch it, it appears to block an area by sapping the brain’s control of the body. Only those with a very strong self-image can counteract its influence. Within the dome Tel’aran’rhiod works as normal except for the difficulty of passing through the barrier. Perrin does not jump to conclusions that the dreamspike is what causes the smell of wrongness around the camps, but does think they are related: pretty good judgement. His judgement was also sound about it not being worth the risk for Morgase to tell them her identity.
Hopper likens Slayer to a wolf of wrongness, and he is a human Darkhound, in a way. I suspect he is the Broken Wolf of the Shadow’s Prophecy, if that prophecy comes true. (In Rand’s opinion prophecies show the conditions necessary for something to happen, but are no guarantees that it will happen. Other characters, Siuan and King Paitar, for example, disagree and believe that prophecy is infallible.)
The Shadowspawn outside Maradon don’t attack, but constantly beat drums. It’s intimidating and presents anyone resting. There are Darkfriend male channellers with the Shadowspawn. They aren’t seen though, only sensed. For all we know there could also be Black Ajah working with them.
Ituralde refuses to flee Maradon. Firstly because it’s the best way to keep the Shadow out of Arad Doman, and secondly, he trusts that Rand will send forces to save the city.
The Great Captain is in shock at what one explosion can do – in this case made by channellers, but cannon can do the same –to a city’s defences. It is the end of fortresses being able to keep out invaders so long as their food and water supplies hold, and no one betrays them. Ituralde thinks if he’d had more time he could have held the city. This would be by using traps to keep the invaders out, but he could not have stopped the Shadow breaking the walls down and smashing the important buildings. For such a noted strategist it is surprising that he has been using the palace as a command post. It would be an obvious and conspicuous target, with its location known and easily seen from outside the city. He should have been using a somewhat less blatant but still central point for his headquarters.
Yoeli is convinced that the smoke they see is a signal that help is coming. But it isn’t. It may be in the right location, or it may merely be what Yoeli wants to believe. In desperation he challenges Ituralde to keep fighting at Maradon. The Shadow’s attack raises some questions. Why didn’t Darkfriend channellers enter the city? Are they too few? Or needed elsewhere? Why didn’t the Trollocs bring siege towers and ladders to enter the city from higher levels as well as at ground level? Ituralde’s strategy is urban guerrilla warfare, even though he believes it is a lost cause and that they should have abandoned the city.
I didn’t like Ituralde’s use of ‘son’ when addressing Deepe. Ituralde is only in his middle years, and anyway, ‘son’ isn’t something the characters said prior to The Gathering Storm.