Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Knife of Dreams Read-through #2: Suroth Rules OK!

By Linda

They might be on opposite sides, but Elaida and Suroth have things in common: a desire to “rule the world” that ended in their enslavement, and being closely influenced by a Forsaken. Their respective Forsaken were long-time allies, but with very different modes of operation. Mesaana exploited lines of weakness, while Semirhage took a more ‘hands on’ approach.

Suroth is less arrogant than Elaida, but she is almost as prone to erroneous beliefs, as evidenced in the Knife of Dreams Prologue:

  • Tylin had surely been killed with the One Power, by a sul’dam and her damane. [Nope.]

  • At least one sul’dam had been necessary to uncollar the Sea Folk damane. [Nope again.]

  • She did not believe they [Bethamin and Seta] were involved [in freeing the Sea Folk damane], though they had been in the kennels. They certainly had reasons enough to sneak away and seek employment far off, with someone ignorant of their filthy secret, someone like this Egeanin Tamarath who had stolen a pair of a damane. Strange that, for one newly raised to the Blood. Strange, but unimportant; she could see no way to tie it to the rest. Likely the woman had found the stresses and complexities of nobility too much for a simple sailor. Well, she would be found and arrested eventually. [Egeanin actually put an a’dam on Bethamin, so she knows better than anyone that sul’dam can become damane. And Suroth completely misjudges Egeanin and her participation in events.]

  • For the death of the acknowledged heir to the Crystal Throne, her apology would be protracted, and as painful as it was humiliating; it might end with her execution, or much worse, with being sent to the block as property. Not that it would actually come to that...[Well it did since Suroth tried to kill the heir.]

  • “The Aiel are less of a problem every day,” she [Suroth] told him firmly, “and a few [Whitecloak] deserters are nothing.” [Seven thousand Whitecloaks are something.]

  • “He [Turan] is to send me Rodel Ituralde’s head if he has to hound the man across Arad Doman and into the Blight. And if he fails to send me that head, I will take his.” [Rodel Ituralde took Turan’s head.]

When a character starts making a series of incorrect deductions, you know they are soon to make an irrevocable fall. Many of Suroth’s errors are given while she lies in the dark - symbolic of her moral, as well as informed, state.

Ironically it was Liandrin who came in with light, representing the beginnings of correct information, just as Alviarin played informant to Elaida. Not that Suroth and Elaida were aware of the favour or cared; Suroth promptly had Liandrin beaten and wanted to kill her, and Elaida also had Alviarin beaten as soon as she regained her power and threatened Alviarin with execution.

Suroth enjoyed lording it over a former Aes Sedai:

She certainly owed no explanations to property, yet once Liandrin did become completely trained, she would miss these opportunities to grind the woman’s face in how far she had fallen... Except, she enjoyed owning the former Aes Sedai who once had been so haughty with her. Making her a perfect da’covale in every way would be a great pleasure.

- Knife of Dreams, Prologue

She had plans for her:

It was time to have the woman collared, however. Already irritating rumors buzzed of an uncollared marath’damane among her servants. It would be a twelve-day wonder when the sul’dam discovered she was shielded in some way so she could not channel, yet that would help answer the question of why she had not been leashed before. Elbar would need to find some Atha’an Shadar among the sul’dam, though. That was never an easy task—relatively few sul’dam turned to the Great Lord, oddly— and she no longer really trusted any sul’dam, but perhaps Atha’an Shadar could be trusted more than the rest.

- Knife of Dreams, Prologue

but we don’t know if she carried them out. It would take time for Elbar to find Darkfriend sul’dam and Semirhage’s prompting to find and kill Tuon probably seemed more urgent.

Apparently Darkfriend damane need to be paired with Darkfriend sul’dam. Note that Suroth has arranged this before since she seems familiar with the process.

What if Suroth had followed her first instinct and had Liandrin killed?

yet an urge swept over her to strangle Liandrin with her bare hands. A second death hard on the heels of the first would intensify the Seekers’ interest in her household, if they learned of it, but Elbar could dispose of the body easily; he was clever in such tasks.

- Knife of Dreams, Prologue

Does Liandrin have a part to play yet? It will be interesting to see what Elaida, that great denier of the Black Ajah, says if they meet. If Liandrin was collared, perhaps this is why the Pattern arranged it.


Dida said...

Moridin's shield on Liandrin was inverted and used the True Power not saidin nor saidar.

So how would the Sul'dam or Damane see that Liandrin is a channeler, even though she has an ageless face?

Liandrin is a big question going into ToM Book. Did she escape Ebou Dar? Did the Seekers capture her? Did Suroth breakdown about who Liandrin is or was, and to whom?

--Might Liandrin warn Empress Fortuona that she is in danger?
Recall that property does not have to knock to gain entrance to see the Empress, and Liandrin is property in the Seanchan view.

--Is Liandrin an possibly an ex-Tinker Wilder?

--Who's younger sister Rendra is an Innkeeper at 'Three Plum Court' in Tanchico? Well, becoming an Innkeeper is what many ex-Tinkers choose to become if they are cast out or choose to live among city folk.

'The Shadow Rising' Chapter 39
Nynaeve gasped at her first sight of the innkeeper, a pretty woman not much older than herself with brown eyes and pale honey braids, her veil not hiding a plump rosebud of a mouth. Elayne gave a start, too, but it was not Liandrin. The woman—her name was Rendra—obviously knew Domon well.

'The Shadow Rising' Chapter 46
Rendra came bustling between the tables with a smile on her rosebud lips behind her veil. Elayne wished she did not look so much like Liandrin.. “Ah. You are so pretty this morning. Your dresses, they are magnificent. Beautiful.” As if the honey-haired woman had not had as much to do with choosing the fabric and cut as they. Her own was red enough for a Tinker and definitely not suitable for public.

I always thought it ironic that Nynaeve, Elayne never accidentially let Rendra know that there were looking for Liandrin---who most likely is her older sister.

Here Rendra makes comment about her mean 'older sister' --Liandrin?--and possibly a family connection to Tinkers--'the Bush':

“A stern woman, I think. When first she saw me, she looked at me as my older sister did when we were children and she was thinking of tying my braids to the bush.”

Yet it seems Liandrin finally will turn to the cause of the light after being beaten down, tortured, shielded. Besides having seeds of doubt, and tensions about the Shadow since at least 'The Great Hunt' Chapter 5 where readers get the first chance to see Liandrin's own point of view:

"Afternoon shadows gave way to evening as Liandrin made her way through the women’s apartments. Beyond the arrowslits, darkness grew and pressed on the light from the lamps in the corridor. Twilight was a troubled time for Liandrin of late, that and dawn. At dawn the day was born, just as twilight gave birth to night, but at dawn, night died, and at twilight, day. The Dark One’s power was rooted in death; he gained power from death, and at those times she thought she could feel his power stirring. Something stirred in the half dark, at least. Something she almost thought she could catch if she turned quickly enough, something she was sure she could see if she looked hard enough."

Linda said...

Because you remembered wrongly Dida. Moghedien tied the shield on Liandrin. And she used saidar.

And the stern woman Rendra ushers in is Moghedien not Liandrin.

Dida said...

You misunderstood Linda. I never claimed that Liandrin brought Moghedien to the 'Three Plum Court' Inn. Yes, that was Rendra who introduced Nynaeve & Elayne to a stern women. I have no idea where you got this claim, "And the stern woman Rendra ushers in is Moghedien not Liandrin."

Linda said...

And now you are misreading me. Moghedien is the stern woman who reminds Rendra of Rendra's older sister.

Liandrin tells us that Liandrin's father sold fruit from a barrow. She describes herself as a commoner Taraboner and as having grown up starting enviously at the Lords' palaces in Tanchico.