Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Winter’s Heart by Robert Jordan: Week 7

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 the book

1. Mat helps a Seafolk woman being held as damane escape. She promises to remember his good deed. How do you think this will affect the plot of the story, and Mat specifically in the future?

I have pretty much given up trying to predict where this plot will go next because it keeps making me look stupid! However, releasing a good number of damane will weaken the Seanchan, if only a little. More importantly it will make Suroth look incompetent, which can only be a Very Good Thing.

Assuming that they manage to escape, I can see how this would give Mat a pretty significant advantage in any further dealings he has with the Seafolk. Perhaps they will give free passage for life . . . but I doubt it, as they seem to be very harsh negotiators. I suspect he might have earned a 1% discount for one trip only! :D

2. Mat finally learns who Tuon is. What did you think of this situation? Of Egeanin's reaction to his announcement? Predictions?

Tuon is going to be a real handful for the poor guy, especially with her deadly ninja skills! :D

I have a horrible suspicion that Mat has just married himself to her by repeating the phrase “She is my wife.” I believe he said it three times, which seems like a mighty significant number. Also, the others grew increasingly frantic after every repetition and tried to stop him. But, if I had to choose one of the main characters as a possible candidate for accidental marriage, it would definitely be Mat! :D

I think it is quite obvious that Tuon will be a quiet and obedient wife, dedicating her life to fulfilling her husband’s every whim . . . NOT! I predict a very difficult honeymoon period for Mat: imagine holding a fire breathing dragon by the tail whilst simultaneously juggling a large bowl of highly flammable liquid . . . whilst blindfolded . . . on an ice rink! :D

I assume that Mat’s immediate problem will be that he can no longer go through with his plan to escape the city. Unless Tuon wants to go with him, which seems highly unlikely.

3. Rand goes to kill Torvel and Gedwyn, but Padan Fain has done the deed for him. After a brief fight, Fain flees yet again. Do you think he will resurface? What does he have planned? What did you make of Toram Riatin (from Cairhien) being there?

Of course Fain will reappear: he is still set on his quest to go all stabby on Rand’s body. I was a little surprised that he ran away from the opportunity to stab Rand whilst he lay splattered on the pavement: I am seriously concerned that his level of commitment is inadequate to the task. However, as his plans basically revolve around Rand and stabbing, I am quite sure that he will lunge out of the darkness again when we least expect it. He is in serious need of a dose of balefire ASAP.

I am afraid that Toram Riatin has rather passed me by in the thousands of characters that we have encountered so far. OK, I know it probably is nowhere near a thousand: it just feels like it! As any and all people could be Darkfriends, my only confusion is that Fain has allowed him to live this long.

4. Lan has been wary of Rand since the two reunited, but when things go bad on the rooftop, the two men show deep loyalty to one another. What did you think of this scene? How will it affect their relationship going forward?

Oh, Lan, you are such a hero! Why do I always visualize him as Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn?

Lan has always struck me as a deeply dedicated man, who was as committed to her cause as Moiraine. He truly understands how important Rand is to the world and will do everything in his power to keep the Sheepherder alive as long as possible. I keep hoping that he will begin to come out of his depression or hopelessness: surely Nynaeve is giving him plenty of sexytimes to cheer him up!

I do not think that this episode will change their relationship because Lan is so pragmatic. He knows what to do and simply gets on with it.

5. Cadsuane has to intervene in Far Madding to get Rand and Lan out of prison. What do you think she had on Aleis that made Aleis surrender so quickly, to her own shame and ruin?

I thought it was as simple as showing the Counsel that there were ways to get around the anti-channeling field in place over the city. This totally undermined their complacent feeling of safety and will probably give them all nightmares for months to come. Of course, that kind of revelation could destroy the city by causing panic, so it is kept secret and they are all removed from the records to prevent the knowledge escaping.

6. The last chapter was crazy! Rand seems to have done the impossible and cleansed the taint. We got tons of different viewpoints and characters. Along with plenty of interesting revelations. What stuck out to you? What surprised you? How will a clean saidin change things?

Cyndane is confirmed to be Lanfear, as I suspected. However, we also learnt that she was no much less strong than before, a point that had confused the other Forsaken. I can only assume that the Dark One was cross with her and so gave her less power as a form of punishment. She continues to be as jealous and insane as ever, but the most important point is that her survival, or resurrection, means that Moiraine might also be alive. That would be a very significant plot point.

Osan’gar (Aginor) is revealed to be masquerading as Dashiva, which was absolutely no surprise at all. He appears to have been killed, but we need to see a body before I believe that he is never coming back.

Someone has finally caught Halima channeling saidin, so that is encouraging. Unfortunately, he seems to have escaped and will no doubt continue to cause trouble in the rebel Aes Sedai camp. Poor Eben was killed in the exchange.

I am a little worried about the folk on Tremalking: it sounds like their End of Days has just arrived. 

Hopefully things will improve now that the Taint has been cleansed. If the men can be trusted to not go stark raving bonkers at an inconvenient moment, I would imagine that everyone would be a lot happier.

Other Thoughts

I notice quite a striking similarity between the way sul’dam treat damane and how some of the Aes Sedai are treating their bonded asha’man. I find this creepy.

1 comment:

  1. Good point about making Suroth look incompetent. While the immediate reaction to Mat's business or Tylin's son's rebellion could be quite harsh, the long run could be quite useful. If Suroth is made to look incompetent, they might bring in someone else, disrupting the chain of command, etc.

    Wow! You are right. mat did say that phrase, 'She is my wife.' three times. Haha! That might explain Tuon's smile. Maybe there are certain obligations Mat is now under to her - like following her every order, or something,

    I also don't like how some of the Aes Sedai treat their bonded Asha'men. Rather sad. Of course, it only reinforces my wants - the want to kill off a certain segment of the Aes Sedai. So stuck up!


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