If you haven't read the book, or the whole series, why not join in and read along with the rest of us? This week the links to the other posts can be found at the bottom of this post.
This week we read through to the end of Chapter 30
1. It would seem that we have the identity of the Watcher from last week, but Moridin is not the name of any of the Forsaken. Is he a new Forsaken, just as Shaidar Haran is a new type of Myrddraal, or is he a reincarnation of one of the dead ones? Were you surprised that Moghedien was allowed to live and do you think she will ever escape the mindtrap?
So far we have seen dead Forsaken being resurrected, but no the creation of new ones, so I have to assume that it is one that we assume is dead. However, I am a little confused about why this particular one is using the True Power so much. From Moghedien’s thoughts it seems like a seriously bad idea, but I suppose we know that the Forsaken are not exactly models of common sense. I wonder if the Dark One can mitigate the ill effects for him, but why would he considering that this Forsaken has already failed and managed to get himself killed? I do wonder if we will see new Forsaken created though as the old ones get picked off . . .
I almost felt sorry for Moghedien as she crawled under those stone teeth . . . almost. I was rather surprised that she did not suffer more death and torture, although it does sound like Shaidar Haran was not too gentle with her during the ‘re-education’ process. However, I imagine that the Dark One can still make use of her strength and skills, even if he can no longer trust her to work independently. The mindtrap seems like a much more permanent form of the a’dam, so I imagine that her only hope of escape is for Moridin to release. Like that is going to happen any time soon!
2. So, Valda has proven to be a rapist as well as a murderer: lovely! Do you think that Morgase will successfully evade the Seanchan and do you expect her to tell anyone about her renunciation of the Lion Throne?
I think that we had all decided that Valda was a total douchebag, but I never thought that he would do this. So much for the vaunted purity and holiness of the Whitecloaks! :(
Somehow I doubt that Galad will take this well when he finds out.
I really hope that Morgase gets away from Suroth, who seems totally insane to me. I have a suspicion that the Seanchan’s total overconfidence with regards to the people they conquer will work against them in this case. They are so used to total domination and the subservience of the conquered that they seem to have no concept of monitoring the population for resistance or disobedience. I assume Suroth will have a total flaky melt down when she finds out, but by then our little party will be long gone. As a side note: I was pleased to see Balwer doing the decent thing and helping to rescue her. Good for him!
I thought the whole renunciation thing was a little strange, because if nobody knows about it then it is rather pointless. However, I can understand why it might have made Morgase feel as if she was protecting Andor by giving away her control of the nation. Ironically, Elayne already thinks that her mother is dead and will take the throne as if she has the right to do so when she gets to Caemlyn.
3. I guess we can assume that the Seanchan were that storm that Nynaeve could detect. What did you make of their attack on the Fortress of Light? Our previous impression of Suroth was that she was wildly overconfident about capturing Rand: do these latest events change your opinion?
I know that Ebou Dar is still a little way from the Fortress of Light, but I have to assume that they are sweeping across the continent very quickly because they certainly caught the Whitecloaks snoozing. I was very impressed by their total obliteration of the defenses, although their use of flying transport does give them a little bit of an unfair advantage. Of course, the Damane are pretty useful as well, so it was no surprise that they captured the Fortress so quickly. This does not bode well for any other defense that might try to stand against them until Rand shows up with a sizeable fore of both male and female channelers.
As I said above, Suroth seems crazy to me. The fact that she wastes her time training nobles to do complex dances suggests that she is not concentrating on what is really important. I know that the sight shook Morgase to her core, but it speaks to me of overconfidence and arrogance. It also makes me move her almost to the front of the queue of ‘people who need to meet some balefire’.
4. Sneaky! Although I hate a writer doing this, I was happy to discover that the fight between Rand and Perrin was a way to distract their enemies. How successful do you think Perrin will be at finding Masema and subduing the Dragonsworn? I am getting truly sick of it, so any ideas on how and when the whole Faile / Berelain thing will be resolved?
I doubt that it will be too difficult to discover where Masema is preaching his personal form of crazy. However, I am not sure how easy it will be to actually get close to the man himself. I picture him surrounded by hordes of equally unhinged crazy people who will be quite happy to die to protect him. This will make it very difficult to approach him if he assumes that Perrin is a threat of some type. Somehow, I doubt that Masema will accept any of the Rand’s instructions when they are transmitted by Perrin, because they will not agree with his own version of reality. Also, Perrin is not a greatly persuasive speaker, which will not help. Then, of course, nothing seems to go easily for poor Perrin, so there could be some complication that does not seem obvious now.
I had rather hoped that the whole bitchy, cat-fighting thing would be over by now: but no! I am growing to hope that one of these stupid women has some type of unfortunate accident so that she is removed from the equation, because they are so annoying. I suppose, for Perrin’s sake, I have to hope that Faile survives, but I do have a burning desire to smack their stupid heads together. :(
5. Fancy NOT telling Loial about the subterfuge: I could hold that against certain people, even if they are the Dragon Reborn and a sexy blacksmith! The Asha’man travelling with our favorite Ogier seems mighty untrustworthy: are they all like that or am I getting paranoid?
That was unnecessarily cruel to me: poor, poor Loial is so sensitive to the emotions of his friends! There, there, Loial: it will all turn out OK!
However, I can understand why Perrin did not want that Asha’man to know the truth because he seemed seriously dodgy to me. Plus, we all know that Loial is completely useless at subterfuge, so not telling him does make sense, even if I really, really hate it.
I am starting to really worry about the Asha’man because so many of them are so unpleasant. Now, I know that someone does not have to be nice in order to be a good person, but I worry that Taim is rubbing off on these guys. Jur Grady seems to be the only one of them that is vaguely normal, but we could be getting a biased view from Rand and Perrin. I was pleased to learnt hat Grady had Bonded his wife so that they would know that each other was fine: it seemed like such a practical and yet romantic thing to do.
6. Tylin manages to snare her ‘little rabbit’, although it seem to scare him half to death. Was I the only one chortling away at Mat’s discomfort? It seems that the plan to use Mat’s Ta’veren luckiness has paid off, but will it be that easy to simply find the Bowl?
Poor Mat: while I did find it funny to watch him squirm in his attempts to avoid Tylin, I was also aware that the situation would have been so much less funny if it had been an older man pursuing one of the Super Girls. I found myself wondering why a young man is supposed to enjoy having a woman force herself upon him, whilst we deplore the idea of men doing the same to women. Perhaps it is because we perceive men as driven only by lust and so they will take sex wherever they can get it. There is no doubt that Mat feels violated by the incident and yet I found it very funny. Somehow this really disturbs me.
It seems that Mat’s presence worked upon Reanne and made her send someone to check on the cache earlier than normal, so it could be as simple as following the woman to it. However, nothing in this series is simple, so I expect multiple issues and problems to intervene. We already know that the Seanchan are on their way and Old Cully is still sending incompetent Darkfriends against Mat, and we have Moghedien to add to the whole mess, so who knows what will happen next.
7. Can Elayne’s chin get any higher? Whilst I find the Aes Sedai totally irritating, I am amazed that Elayne managed to browbeat them so successfully. Is this the end of the super girls being treated like idiots? How will Nynaeve cope with this sudden change in their circumstances?
Sometimes I think that Elayne must need a neck brace! :D
This scene really surprised me because we went through such a rapid transition. The whole thing about the secret of the Kin was interesting, but the determination of the Aes Sedai to punish the Super Girls for exposing something that they knew nothing about was very irritating, if predictable. However, the fact that Elayne could simply browbeat them into submission was jaw dropping. I was amazed that they could change their allegiance and power structure so easily, even though we saw a similar shift in power when Bera and Kiruna took the control of the Salidar embassy from Merana. Although I feel gratified that the Super Girls might now be treated with some respect, it makes me uneasy that the Aes Sedai can become so subservient so quickly.
I suspect that Nynaeve will think that they are only being humored and that the Sisters are simply toying with them. I also expect her to resort to her usual reactions to stress: anger and braid pulling! :D
8. Ooooooo, Moghedien tried to totally kill someone in a little boat. Is there any doubt at all that it is Nynaeve? Will Lan get there in time to save her or will she pull her braid out trying to make the water get out of her way?
It has to be Nynaeve. Firstly, we know that Moghedien really, REALLY hates her and that hatred is about the only thing that would make her ignore her orders from Moridin and risk death (or worse). Secondly, we were told several times that Nynaeve was away on her own errand at that time, and it makes sense that she would be travelling out to speak with the Sea Folk.
I am not sure if we have been told about Nynaeve’s ability to swim. However, even if she is a strong swimmer, the shock of being plunged into the river so suddenly will make it difficult for her to orientate herself. She will also be tangled up in her clothing and the remains of the little cabin, which could trap her under the water for some time while she works out what is happening. Even if Lan was on the dock ready to dive in, could he truly swim out to her and save her before she drowned and how would he know that she was in trouble anyway?
As far as I can see, the only possible way that she can escape is for the shock and terror to break through her block so that she can somehow channel herself out of trouble. But I am not sure! Arggghhhhhh!!!!