Thursday, May 17, 2012

Towers of Midnight Read-Through #17: Chapter 10 - After the Taint

By Linda


Perrin POV

Perrin is being pressured to attack the Whitecloaks by his Asha’man, but he is reluctant to do it, in part because he is repelled by battle, and in part because he feels they yet have a role to play in his life, a feeling of events turning full circle:

It felt like the time had come. Time to make an end to his troubles with them, one way or another.

Towers of Midnight, After the Taint

By checking over all his army, whether they need supervision or not, he is treating all sections of his forces equally. Another example of his egalitarianism is that he would rather they didn’t salute him.

The highest ranked Aes Sedai and Wise One worked with Neald to link. This may be a coincidence or not. Neald is the lowest rank of Asha’man and the Wise Ones boss him. He feels balanced when using both halves of the Source. The necessity of balance is a major theme of the series.

Neald does not actually weave saidar, he blends it with saidin. On the other hand, Rand did weave saidar at the cleansing of the taint. Masuri is frightened and revolted by linking with a male – long prejudice, plus she doesn’t know saidin is clean. Moreover Neald is leading the circle, which would add to the feeling of being at the mercy of something or someone. Edarra is more objective, but still cautious. The men haven’t told anyone that the taint is gone because they didn’t want to be thought delusional.

Grady says that he knew he should join the Black Tower because his father could channel and was found by Red sisters. Yet in Lord of Chaos he tried to back out of being tested for the ability and said that his father is looking after the farm. The latter could be a fabrication, but the former is inconsistent with his attitude in this chapter. What he says here is probably an error.

Like Rand, the Asha’man expected to die soon – accepted that they would need to be killed – and will take out as many of the enemy as they can until then.

Galad is superior to other Whitecloaks, which is why he doesn’t smell wrong. He is ultra-correct, but not infallible. His ultimatum to Perrin for a trial by battle with their armies or else he kills Perrin’s camp followers would be at a high cost – typical of Galad – and not one of his best judgements.

Galad POV

Freaked out by Perrin’s yellow eyes, Galad thinks Perrin might be Shadowspawn. He was aware the Aes Sedai could not harm him due to the oath and deduced Perrin did not have the ability or will to kill him with the One Power because he would have done it already. Galad thinks Perrin worries about his image, but actually it is his integrity. So he made the right deduction but used the wrong reason. Galad decided rapidly in favour of fighting because he thinks the Whitecloaks will have a better chance of winning now than at the Last Battle. His judgements are off due to his prejudices. The Trollocs, Morgase, and Perrin himself soon undo that.


Russ said...

Being a father myself, this conversation between Grady and Perrin really, really struck home for me. To know, without doubt, that you will not live to see your child grow up is absolutely a devastating thought. But even worse, to know that your child will likely suffer the same fate, which I'm sure Grady believes even though it isn't explicitly stated, is unfathomable. Then against all odds, your death sentence is lifted. I couldn't imagine the immense feeling of relief that would come over you.

I'm reminded of a documentary I saw that included a piece on Mickey Mantle. His grandfather and father both died in their early 40's of a genetic disease. He believed he would suffer the same fate, and it was said he was very manic depressive and alcoholic because of that. It took a toll on him, and though he didn't die like his father, he suffered greatly later in life with liver disease, etc.

Towers of Midnight is full of these moments (Teslyn-Mat a couple ago, Rand-Nynaeve in a couple more) and I think Brandon wrote a great book that really brings out the human element in many different ways.

I CANNOT wait for AMOL, for these scenes as much as the Epic parts.

Linda said...

Yes, Grady has been very patient and dutiful considering that he has been away from his family, and has just been reprieved. Yet it is the Last Battle and he is a soldier, so survival is still not a high probability. Poignant scene.