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This week we read through to the end of Chapter 42.
1. We got to see a lot more Ogier in this section. What did you think of them and their village?
I would to live in a Stedding: it would be so peaceful! It would also be great to live amongst people who really appreciate nature and do not take it for granted. Although I find botany a lot less interesting than zoology as an academic subject, I love growing plants and trees in particular. I am constantly amazed by the beauty and sophistication of nature, so I think I would fit right in with the Ogier! Plus I would love to see the Great Trees and watch a treesinger doing his or her craft.
I knew that Loial was going to find the whole experience difficult and I had forgotten the whole thing about the poor males being chosen by girls and their mothers, so that had me chuckling away. It is difficult to think of him as a highly desirable stud muffin, but it seems like he is a prize catch. It was so cute how he was instantly smitten with Erith: I wonder if she will hunt him down and force him to get married . . .
2. There were some suspicions about what the Aiel women were really doing. Do you think they are looking for Rand or that it was a coincidence?
I am sure that they were looking for Rand, just like the Aiel that Ingtar and the others met up with earlier. I assume that there are countless Aiel wandering the countryside hunting for him, but that 99% of them have not ben spotted yet as they are rather good at remaining hidden.
I would love to know what they were doing in the Stedding and what their relationship with the Ogier is like. Were they there to ask questions, or for some other purpose?
3. When Rand was trying to use the Portal stone, everyone got a glimpse at possible lives. What did you think of Rand's other possibilities? What do you think were Verin and Ingtar's?
Rand’s were really depressing because they showed how highly unlikely it is that he will be happy and die a peaceful death, and it seemed like the Dark One got his way each and every time.
I guess that Verin and Ingtar had similar experiences, as they are both warriors who are unlikely to live into old age, especially with the Last Battle looming. From her comment, I assume that some of Verin’s showed her a life with a husband and children, but I could be mistaken. I was most disturbed by Loial’s reaction, as I hate to think of anything nasty happening to him.
4. Liandrin has finally shown her true colors! How do you think her betrayal will turn out for her and the rest of the Aes Sedai? Do you think she'll get away with it?
Hands up everyone who was shocked when she was revealed to be an evil, evil Black Ajah cowbag . . . What? No one?
I was SO cross with Nynaeve and Egwene for being naïve enough to just accept all the rubbish spewing from her mouth, and I kept hoping that they would come to their senses . . . especially when she said that she had made arrangements for Elayne and Min to be ‘taken care of’. To me that reads as ‘killed’.
I hope that she receives the same treatment as the stupid Aes Sedai who invented the a’dam: and I will laugh until I pee myself as she screams when that collar closes around her throat. However, I have no doubt that she will avoid any problems in the near future: I imagine that the men that she bribed will all vanish rather suddenly once she returns to Tar Valon and there is nothing else to link her to the girls’ disappearance.
Of course, she now runs the risk of Egwene being freed and she is very, very stupid if she thinks that Nynaeve will ever forget what she did to them. I do not expect any other Aes Sedai to believe them when they accuse her, but I would lay money that Nynaeve is much stronger than Liandrin and will smear her all over the floor when they next meet.
5. Poor Egwene! Do you think Nynaeve and Elayne can save her before the ship arrives?
I am quite sure that Nynaeve is capable of almost anything, and it seems like she has almost worked out how to open the a’dam. Also, Min’s viewings seem to be reliable and they do not show Egwene as a damane. However, I am not sure that we will see any progress before we get to the next book.
On a positive note, Egwene recognizes that her time as damane has increased her control over her power and taught her some really interesting techniques as well as allowing her to draw far more than she could before. I have a sneaking suspicion that she will ready to become Accepted, if not a full Aes Sedai, when the collar comes off. I would not want to be Renna when that happens . . .