Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lord of Chaos Read-through #9: Almost Achieving...Something

Almost Achieving… Something

by Linda

At the end of Lord of Chaos, Demandred says:

"Have I not done well, Great Lord?"
The Great Lord's laughter filled Demandred's head.

Not being omniscient, we don’t know if Demandred has done well or not. (Note from the Lord of Chaos Prologue that the Dark One isn’t omniscient either, a fact I bet Demandred gambles on occasionally. He says he's a gambler.) Obviously the Dark One and Demandred are both chuffed at the chaos that has been sown during the book.

The list of events in Lord of Chaos and the people most responsible for them are:

  • Taim arrives, submits to the Dragon Reborn, recruits Asha’man and eventually subverts many – responsible: Rand, Taim and possibly a Forsaken ordering him

  • Tairen nobles rebel against Rand, and go to Haddon Mirk – responsible: Whitecloaks

  • Cairhien nobles rebel against Rand – responsible: Whitecloaks?, Fain?

  • Alanna bonds Rand and Verin frightens Alanna away from joining Elaida so Elaida has no string to Rand. She uses the natural alliance of Greens and Blues, aided by the other stronger Green rebels that take over the rebel embassy. – responsible: Alanna, Verin

  • Tarna arrives in Salidar – responsible: Elaida, Mesaana?

  • Borderlanders fight among themselves – responsible: unknown

  • Masema increases his numbers – responsible: Masema, possibly a Forsaken manipulating him

  • Seanchan take Tanchico – responsible: Ishamael/Suroth, Semirhage

  • Fighting in Shara – responsible: Graendal

  • Halima arrives in Salidar - responsible: Aran’gar, Shaidar Haran, Moridin?

  • Egwene is raised Amyrlin, uses Mat’s army to move rebels and sends Nynaeve and Elayne to get Bowl – responsible: Siuan and Leane, Egwene, Rand

  • Elaida’s embassy meet Rand with plans to capture him – responsible: Elaida, Alviarin and Galina, Mesaana, possibly Demandred too

  • Shaido attack Tower embassy to get Rand – responsible: Sammael, Sevanna

  • Rand saved at Dumai’s Wells – responsible: Perrin, rebel embassy, Taim and possibly a Forsaken ordering him

Some characters think they are doing right by their side, but actually they are aiding some other side. Chaos works both ways. The Dark One might not have considered this...

There’s little in the above list that Demandred did directly. Perhaps what he did was to let Rand and co muck everything up all by themselves. After all, the Dark One told Demandred to let certain people live. Since the Whitecloaks and Masema appear to be increasing chaos, it may be that Demandred was more directly involved there. As a general and soldier he would be attracted to Whitecloaks. If he's not manipulating the Whitecloaks or Masema, then Demandred is one of those evil sods who do nothing but falsely claim to the boss everyone's achievements as their own.


Anonymous said...

What about the Brown sister from the Salidar embassy that nearly got killed by brown-and-villainous-eyed Aiel? That ultimately lead to Rand's departure to Cairhien and capture by Elaida's embassy. I assume that attack can be laid at the feet of a Darkfriend, and thus a Forsaken.

Anonymous said...


Linda said...

Oh, there are more events that could have been added to the list.

It's funny you suggest this one; Dominic swears that Verin organised the attack, that the intent was to badly injure Demira and that the embassy would crack down on Rand and he would react negatively and the embassy would be over. Ie that it was done to destroy the embassy. I hope he gets to make his planned post; we're rather swamped by TGS at the moment. Certainly once Demira was Healed, Verin manipulated the embassy into confronting Rand.

It was Min who caused Rand to flee when she panicked over her viewing once Kiruna and Bera took over and that was after Rand pulled the embassy into line.

Dominic said...

Indeed, it was Min. The goal was not to make Rand flee indeed.

The way Verin used the attack (and, I believe, is behind it) was meant to shatter any trust or illusion Rand might hold about the Rebels and their envoys - all these delusions that he could trust them and they would support him he had told Verin about. Rand was way too confident and cocky about them - Verin knew they were more skilled than he believed.

Verin knew perfectly well his strength (she even believed it might take 13 of them to control him) and his temper - and, from experience as well as warnings from Moiraine, how much he hated being bullied. She even used Alanna's trick with the novices - got the embassy to treat him as a disobedient child, and knew perfectly well Rand was no novice to frigten with Illusion! Verin was very clever: she even defied his orders to her by including herself in the little show. The embassy didn't know this bit, but doing this Verin ensured she just had to join any group of sisters entering the city from now on to ruin whatever they were planning as soon as Rand knew she was involved with them.

Verin continues this trend later, compelling sisters to serve Rand, almost killing Cadsuane before she had evidence Cadsuane could be trusted as Rand's advisor.

Evidence of the manipulation was that Verin's little advice to Demira ended in disaster for the rebels, the rebels antagonizing the Dragon for good - all because Verin "misjudged" him and gave bad advice. All her "fault". And yet, Verin doesn't account this huge blunder as 'her last mistake'...

Dominic said...

The person who organized the attack knew a whole lot about Aes Sedai and warders. Even among the Forsaken, that sort of information had only begun to be available (and nothing says it has spread - the Forsaken usually keep their knowledge close to the vest; related evidence is that whatever Mesaana gleaned about the warder bond, if she paid any attention to that, she didn't pass to Semirhage, who didn't even know the bond worked both ways when she interrogated Cabriana). Semirhage was on a secret mission for Shai'tan, she certainly did not pass anything she's learned then. As for mere darkfriends...

What the bond can and cannot do is White Tower secret. There are all sorts of stories and tales about warders and the bond, but Aes Sedai rarely ever confirm or infirm them. It's a matter of security: their lives may depend on what people assume or don't know about warders. It's not widely known that warders can track their sister, or feel their wounds. Tales of the extra strength etc. are more widespread.

The person who organized the attack knew Demira wouln't die and why - the success of the whole plot rested on that - that her warder would feel her pain and track her down even if he wasn't with her, and the embassy would learn who attacked her and believe it was Rand.

Taim had other matters to deal with than meddle with the sisters. Rand had just given him what he had begged fir weeks to have, which was to recruit using gateways. As we know, it wouldn't be long before his first known cronies arrived. Taim was recruiting himself at the time. It's very doubtful Taim knew enough about warders or what went on around Rand at the palace at the time for that matter, and anyway the plot makes little sense given his priorities. He would have no control over what came next and how the sisters would react either. This could even backfire and be blamed on him.

Same for Fain - I doubted he knew enough of what was going on, how close the Aiel were to Rand, and probably not enough about warders either, and his plots and traps are usually not this convoluted. He would have trapped and killed the sisters, anyway - not come up with some elaborate scheme to have them antagonize Rand. He thought he had that covered with Elaida, if anything he believed sisters in Caemlyn were bad news for Rand.

If the Shadow did it, it more likely came from Demandred directly and it was to increase chaos. There are signs in the ciy that he may have been using darkfriends as 'dargonsworn' for that. But it's very curious he wouldn't have used Aiel darkfriends, not thugs pretending to be Aiel.

Using "Aiel" was extremely clever and again points to Verin. She's the one who knew, and could say straight out she knew for certain, that Aiel would never touch an Aes Sedai and consider them like Wise Ones. She could step in at any moment and reveal this and explain this wasn't Rand's doing if things got out of hands and she failed to orient the Embassy's next move as she wished.

There's also the fact the success of this plot rested a lot on being at the right place at the right time to step in, on knowing exactly Demira's itinerary and were she stayed and how far her warder was, and pretty exactly how matters of negotiation stood between the embassy and Rand at that point. Verin is one of the very few to have known all of that. And she has the guts to harm a sister, even risk her life, if it must be done. She did as much to all those she compelled, and nearly assassinated Cadsuane in cold blood.

Anonymous said...

Borderlanders fight among themselves - Isn't this simply a consequence of the news that Hurin brought back to Shienar?

Wotmania handle - Rurouni Kenshin

Linda said...

It's easy to turn something that has started to your advantage, and this is what the Shadow might be doing, because it's in their interest to keep the Borderlanders weak. There might have been strong disagreement when Hurin brought the news back, but why should it so quickly turn to fighting? Borderlanders know better than to fight among themselves. Perhaps they have been manipulated or infiltrated by the Shadow. We know Lanfear was in the north in WH, since she Travelled south to Shadar Logoth.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I don't remember this but I need some help with in which way Graendal was responsible for the fighting in Shara.

Can anyone help me?

Dominic said...

She had the two rulers of Shara kidnapped. They were figureheads of the Ayyad who really ruled, and there was a whole mythology surrounding the nearly deified rulers, that they ruled into a fixed cycle of seven years, believing this to be the Will of the Pattern etc.

Their disappearances presumably lead the country into civil war and chaos. The Ayyad officially served the throne - no one knew they were the real power - and losing their figureheads they seemingly lost control, or plunged into intercine wars between factions (or both), each accusing the other of the disappearance etc. Or something like this.

All we have to go by in the books is that after the kidnappings, Shara plunged into disorder and war.

It seems to be much the same as in Seanchan, but with a stronger theocratic aspect added ie: an extremely repressed and hierachised society. If you cut the head the whole thing fall apart as the old order is in complete disarray and all factions fight over the spoils. It's a bit similar to what triggered the War of Hundred Years when Hawkwing died.

Rickard Wozniak/Dragonsworn said...

Great thank's!
The Shara/Graendal one was the only I didn't had any recollection of.

You guys are great, keep up the great work! :D

Jack said...

If you subscribe to the theory that Taim is actually Demandred, it makes perfect sense why the Dark One was pleased with him. He's created an academy for Dreadlords right under the Dragon's nose, using his own money!

Linda said...

I don't subscribe to that theory. In Winter's Heart it was shown that Demandred couldn't be Taim since he didn't recognise Damer Flinn, the first man Taim tested for the channelling Talent and the best Healer among the Asha'man. Demandred also didn't know that there were old men among the Asha'man.

Demandred's ignorance of Asha'man was impressive.