First Full/Partial Re-Read Through

Discussion in 'Wheel of Time Discussion - Books 1-8' started by Agoroth Shald, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. Agoroth Shald

    Agoroth Shald

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    Some of my thoughts.

    I enjoyed trying to pay attention to every time he felt the goosebumps throughout the book when he felt a female touch saidar, and he just passed it off as feeling uncomfortable or it being cold. All things I wouldn't have ever noticed on my first read through.

    Early book 2 quote spolier >>

    Moiraine is talking to Siuan Sanche about Rand at the very start, and she says something along the lines of Rands blood making him like a rock next to clay compared to the other Emonds Fielders Manetheren blood. I think she definitely underestimated his stubbornness from the start, and he has always pushed her even when she was trying to help and guide him. I do agree though that she is extremely manipulative. Seeing how other Aes Sedai talk throughout the series, she is definitely very crafty with how she twists what she's saying. It always sounds so close to the truth, but knowing what she is really doing from having read it you can see the tiny loopholes she leaves for herself.

    My opinion of Winternight

    So after finishing the book the whole of Winternight bothered me. Ishamael and/or the Dark One had narrowed down who they were looking for to Rand, Perrin, and Mat. (later in book 1 spoiler)
    Padan Fain even admits to Moiraine when she questions him at Fal Dara that they had identified it as being one of the three of them three years prior to that Winternight
    They knew that one of these three were the Dragon Reborn, and the desperately needed to capture or kill him. They also showed the ability to move a large amount of Trollocs/Fades/Draghkar wherever they needed to south of The Blight. They weren't aware that an Aes Sedai was there to take them to Tar Valon so they had no reason to rush what they were doing, yet they went ahead with the attempted capture/kill of the Dragon Reborn. It seems a little silly to me that with the knowledge of who they were going after that they didn't bring more to do it, when they had the capability and the time. I know it's fictional, and there are other times throughout the series that I've said 'Oh it would've been better if they had done this', but that is one thing that bothered me more than anything my first read through, and just as much if not more this time.
     
  2. Al'Amar El'Haldir

    Al'Amar El'Haldir Citizen

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    What may pass of as Moiraine's manipulation to some is, to me, Moiraine's much needed guardianship. The three boys are still farmers with hay in their hair; who know nothing of the world; who face dangers that are beyond their means and skills; and who's fate decides the fate of the world. They needed Moiraine. Without her, they're dead or worse. She needed to be tough on them.

    Yet we see her at the start of book two with Siuan giving Rand his freedom to fulfill the prophecies. Those two women are the only ones that got it right from the start. And in the end, even Rand admitted that he needs Aes Sedai. Without them, he would have repeated Lews Therin's mistakes.

    Take for example Shadar Logoth in an abstract sense, without Mat's destiny with the dagger. Moiraine did everything in her power to warn them of the danger of the city, how evil it was, etc... yet they sneaked out the back and nearly got themselves killed. Also, she warned them about dreams. Yet they resisted telling her out of their apprehension and fear of Aes Sedai. This allowed Ba'alzamon to manipulate their dreams and exposed them to grave danger.

    In the end, no one knew who the Dragon was till the very end of the book. Not Moiraine, and not Ba'alzamon. So, she needed to safeguard all three; and she did a wonderful job of it. From start to finish, Moiraine (and Siuan) dedicated herself to Rand and his success in the Last Battle; and not even the White Tower would get in her way.
     
  3. Agoroth Shald

    Agoroth Shald

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    I would honestly still have to say she manipulates them. While she's not evil in any sense, she sees Rand, Mat, and Perrin as a necessity to fight the Dark One at the last battle. And because of that she needs to guide them. I believe that to her any means justified the end, and because of that she did some less than savory things for the three of them. I do believe that Moiraine wants to protect the three of them as much as she can beyond the fact that she believes all three are crucial to the Last Battle, because, like I said, she is not evil.
    Going to the beginning portion of book to where Moiraine and Siuan letting Rand do as he wants. Moiraine says she thinks it's only a good idea because she believes he is too stubborn to be easily guided by her anymore. (This section is fresh in my mind because I read through it just last night)
    As far as not knowing who the Dragon was until the end of the book.
    During Rand's meeting with Siuan, Moiraine, and Verin in Fal Dara, where they reveal to him that he is the Dragon Reborn, Moiraine tells Rand that she had a good feeling that he was the one as early as their ride from Emonds Field, where Rand unknowingly used the Power on Bella. Not to mention the clear visual that Rand was not Two Rivers born, and Nynaeve confirmed that in Baerlon. Like I already said, I think her continued protection of all three was because she could see how they were all a significant part of the pattern and supporting the Dragon Reborn.
     
  4. Al'Amar El'Haldir

    Al'Amar El'Haldir Citizen

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    She's the leader of the group leaving the 2-Rivers. She is the one that knows about the dangers ahead. She is an Aes Sedai, a cousin to a king, raised in the Royal Palace in Cairhien. She is Cairhienen. And she's is one of the two people alive entrusted with the fate of the world. And her army so far are a bunch of mud-footed farmers who think that Taren Ferry is a grand adventure; and that Baerlon is a city. I think that leadership entitles her to some actions that safeguard her mission and avert disaster.

    That's the whole point of them being 3 ta'veren. They were spun out by the Pattern for a specific purpose: defeat the Dark One and reseal the Bore. Eventually, the three come to terms with their destiny.
    Lan summed it up best after her battle with Lanfear when he said, "she was always a solider; who knew that she could have died in any of her missions."

    What are the less than savory things? And what was their context? What was the goal of these things? In a way, I think Moiraine was focused in her mission. But she didn't justify any action towards achieving that mission. She could have bonded Rand against his will, when he was still a babe (figuratively). There are many things she considered doing; but didn't.
    at a later stage, she considered bedding Rand!

    Of all the main characters, Moiraine was the least Machiavellian. Rand's dark months, Nynaeve's and Elayne's lies and manipulations, Egwene's hypocrisy with oaths of fealty to her while damning Rand, and other actions make Moiraine's worst moments Angelic

    There was more to it that guiding him from afar. It was also born out of belief that he needs to fulfill his destiny and the prophecies; even at the cost of unleashing the most powerful male channeler on the world.

    And of course they wanted to guide him and help him; and he needed their help. They were the Amyrlin Seat and her trusted companion; as powerful as it can get. They, in their current state of understanding and knowledge, thought that the Dragon needed them. But when things spun out of Moiraine's plans, she remained true to Rand at cost of her life. She adapted very well to Rand's needs.

    Yes, there were hints to Rand's channeling; but the definitive proof was in the Eye of the World at the very end. That's why I said that. You might say that the absolute proof was at the end of book 2, when the pattern eliminated all other proclaimed Dragons from the field.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  5. Elanda Tonil

    Elanda Tonil Aes Sedai Survey Project Manager Forum Moderator

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    It's possibly true that she needed to approach it the way sh did, but I can completely understand Rand rebelling against her and all Aes Sedai because of it. If it were me, I don't care how much you felt it was important or how well qualified you were to find the correct path, I am an adult and have the right to govern my own life. If you try to manipulate me into something so life-changing, you can bet I am going to cut all ties with you & resent you for quite a while. Her actions are justifiable, but Rand's response to those actions seems almost inevitable. The fact she was so insistent that Tam not accompany them is huge in my mind. Tam is a very smart man & would have been all for making the sacrifices to stop the Dark One, but he would have also been an invaluable adviser for Rand and would have helped him not swim so blindly. It very much comes across that she wants to take Rand/whichever of the boys is the Dragon Reborn to the White Tower, control his actions until the Last Battle, and then trot him out to face the Dark One. She comes to care for Rand and all the Two Rivers folk throughout their travels but initially her intentions are quite disturbing. She sees the boys purely as tools & will use whatever means necessary to use them to their fullest. The fate of the entire Pattern is on the line, so I can completely understand why she is doing it, but I would still be mad as a hornet if she did it to me.

    This type of thing is particularly interesting to me on this read through. I have read the first 7 books at least two dozen times, basically back to back, but I haven't re-read them in over 5 years now so I'm coming at them relatively fresh. Each time before the books felt very Good vs. Evil to me & I didn't really sympathize with the internal conflicts on the side of Good like the Rand/Moiraine fissure, but I'm seeing a lot more the depth of motives this time through. Yes, they're working for Good, but they each have their own agenda in addition to Good. Good isn't a group who will sacrifice anything to bring about the best situation, Good is an alliance of agendas that all agree they want the Dark One defeated, but each of them wants a few different things to go alone with that. They're each willing to sacrifice everyone else's secondary goals in order to bring about their own. I'm really enjoying seeing this greater dynamic this time.
     
  6. Al'Amar El'Haldir

    Al'Amar El'Haldir Citizen

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    It would have been suicidal to wait for Tam to heal and accompany them. They were on the run with Fades and Trollocs hot on their heels. What should they have done? Wait and invite another attack on the 2-Rivers, killing many innocents? Or flee as fast as possible?

    Another thing, why shouldn't she take Abell Cauthon, Nynaeve, or any other person? The bigger the party, the bigger the risk, the harder to move quickly, the more logistics needed. Moiraine's choices at the start saved people's lives; and ensured that her party had the greatest chance of escape.

    It's never crossed my mind that she did what she did to get a monopoly on the boys. And she was flexible enough to accommodate Egwene (channeling potential) and Thom right from the start; and Nynaeve in Baerlon.

    Moiraine was intent on taking them to the White Tower; and all of them were willingly following. But when Moiraine learned that the Eye is where she needs to go; she discarded the WT plan and did what was best for the mission and Rand.

    In general, their relationship throughout the first book was more positive than at any other time in the series (except the last book). A quick example is their reunion in Caemlyn. It didn't come across as a reunion of manipulator and stubborn victim.

    The argument on Moiraine's attempt to influence Rand is there in book 4; and I can argue then on how manipulative she was. Because she was so devious and cruel in book 4 that you'd have to cringe. But she was desperate; and starting to lose control of her plan. But again, she adapted very well to remain true to Rand and his cause.

    Well, one of the most glaring themes in WoT is that no one talks to anyone; and there is hardly any sharing of plans or feelings (at least on screen). There are so many instances where I'm shouting at them: JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER YOU GOAT-KISSING FOOLS!
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  7. Elanda Tonil

    Elanda Tonil Aes Sedai Survey Project Manager Forum Moderator

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    ^ This times 1000.

    No, they certainly should have left that night, but they spent a lot of time in Baerlon & Caemlyn, plus they wandered all around the countryside to avoid notice. A single rider could easily have caught up to them, even leaving a week or two later.

    Abel had a fairly young family still to take care of, he couldn't just leave them to run their farm without him. Nynaeve makes no sense to even invite as she's not related to anyone and has no real reason to go along, plus she has major responsibilities she is shirking by following. Same to Perrin & Egwene's families. Tam really has no responsibilities with Rand gone. He could drop his animals off w/ neighbors & just leave, no one would be hurt or even really notice he's gone plus
    all his animals were slaughtered...).
    His job on the village council would be pretty easy to fill.

    As for Thom, he gave no indication he wanted to go the whole way with them, he said he just didn't want to stay there and didn't want to travel alone when he left. Plus he knew they were going & could raise the alarm they were worried about Egwene raising if she said no, so he had the power in that discussion.

    Again, I'm not saying she did anything wrong. She's probably one of the most all-around Good characters in the entire series, but the way the discussion of leaving went would have seriously irked me once I figured out what was going on. It might very easily have been the only way she could have handled it & actually gotten them to go, but that doesn't mean they won't resent her for it.
     
  8. Al'Amar El'Haldir

    Al'Amar El'Haldir Citizen

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    This is a nice discussion, Elanda :) Thanks!

    Tam and Abell ended up going to Tar Valon to ask about their sons; but they got a fat purse (in gold) from Siuan and Sheriam; and were sent home. So, they tried; but couldn't track the group; which was a side-effect of Moiraine's intent (not allow the Trollocs to catch them).

    One of the major obstacles facing Moiraine is the prevalent distrust of Aes Sedai. With his father's life on the line, Rand forced himself to seek Moiraine's help. And he did promise her anything if she saved his father's life. But no one truly overcame that; at least none of the 3 ta'veren. It took Rand 13.5 books to sort out his thing with Aes Sedai. Mat never did. And Perrin used them as a tool more than anything else.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  9. Elanda Tonil

    Elanda Tonil Aes Sedai Survey Project Manager Forum Moderator

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    I'm definitely enjoying this discussion! :D

    Didn't they leave much later though? I don't recall hearing anything about it in book 4 when, sans spoilers, we hear more about the Two Rivers. And that was years later (wasn't it? The weather freaking out makes the timeline hard to follow :lol)

    That distrust is a huge factor. I just the other day read the argument between Rand & Egwene where she told him she's going to be Aes Sedai & he explodes because "you're not a Darkfriend!" And Tam doesn't think much higher of them, though he at least doesn't think it means she's an Darkfriend, just that she isn't to be trusted. Which isn't a whole lot better, when you think about it.
     
  10. Aduiavas Ida

    Aduiavas Ida Aes Sedai Mistress of Revels - Europe Forum Moderator

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    I think Moiraine wanted to keep te boys relying on her counsel alone as much as possible, especially Rand after the revelation... That is one of her reasons for sending Thom with Nynaeve and Elayne...
     
  11. Al'Amar El'Haldir

    Al'Amar El'Haldir Citizen

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    They didn't leave that late; I think a week or two after Nynaeve didn't come back. It would take a few months for them to reach Tar Valon (Baerlon, Whitebridge, Caemlyn, Tar Valon). And the reference to it is in Book 3 in the chapters (18+) of Mat's healing and subsequent meetings with Lanfear and Siuan.

    If my timeline isn't screwed, I think the time between Falme and the Two-Rivers campaign in book 4 is a few months only. The whole 14 books cover slightly more than 2 years. The Trollocs and Whitecloaks attacked the Two Rivers right after Rand took Tear ... Falme was in the autumn, and the 2-Rivers attack next spring.

    Yes, that's the book 4 part I mentioned earlier. She did another thing or two which were purely devious; but born out of desperation in my opinion. Hope to get to that when the reread reached that stage.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  12. Nebka Galyn

    Nebka Galyn Knight of the Glitterati Aes Sedai

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    Ok we read chapter 17 last night and it's good to be reading again...

    I agree that Moiraine really felt she needed to keep a strict eye on them as they really were just small town kids that had never experienced the dangers of life.
     
  13. Elanda Tonil

    Elanda Tonil Aes Sedai Survey Project Manager Forum Moderator

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    Just FYI, I'm out of town right now & haven't had much downtime to read or ponder but I'll post more once I get back Monday or Tuesday. :)
     
  14. Agoroth Shald

    Agoroth Shald

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    Hey all! I just finished up book two, and am about two chapters into The Dragon Reborn. I've had my nose buried in my nook, and haven't gotten around to posting much the past few days unfortunately. I feel like events in the books build as each book goes, and I can't manage to stop reading. I started reading Sunday morning on chapter 8, and before I realized it I was at the battle of Falme, and it was Sunday night. I am definitely much more into reading the books this time around than I remember being on my first read through(and I really enjoyed them then)
     
  15. Falone Charpontier

    Falone Charpontier Novice

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    What a great post. I found that on my second read through, I also noticed a lot more than the first time. I also re-read it a decade later. Interesting how it is a bit different as we age, isn't it?
     
  16. Agor Narsil

    Agor Narsil Novice

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    I love re-reading sections of the books and keeping a sharp eye for foreshadowing. Some of my favorite bits in tEotW are with Moraine and Lan (and watching an Aes Sedai being evasive with answers!)
    How did any of you envision the bit where Moraine grows tall and steps over the walls of the city-I can never quite imagine that without her being very out of proportional :p
     
  17. Verbinia Dulac

    Verbinia Dulac

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    I hate to dig up an old thread, but I'm gonna while I still have "newbie" to fall back on as an excuse if that's frowned upon here. I just started a re-read after meeting some folks from this board last month. Having gotten about halfway through the series a few years ago before I put it down, I started with New Spring and I'm almost finished with Eye of the World. I definitely appreciate the foreshadowing and the easter eggs much more than I did the first time through. It's like watching a movie once you know the plot twist... Sixth Sense watches a lot different the second time, you know?
     
  18. Owena al'Saturni

    Owena al'Saturni Accepted

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    It is awesome catching the things you missed the first time.
    Every time a new book came out, I would re-read the whole series up until that point so I knew what was going on. And I had a notebook filled with notes on it.
    That was pre-internet. The last few books I read the plot summaries on Wikipedia.
    And I lost my notebook, but I have this awesome site to make up for that.
     
  19. Aduiavas Ida

    Aduiavas Ida Aes Sedai Mistress of Revels - Europe Forum Moderator

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    Yes, that is one of the great things about a good fantasy series. You catch so much foreshadowing, that rereading is almost as fun as reading it for the first time :D Robert Jordan is one of the best at doing that :D
     
  20. Jarl Lewin

    Jarl Lewin Soldier

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    Not frowned upon at all!

    I've read the first nine at least eighteen times, and I still find things I missed, either because I wasn't paying attention, or RJ really did have in mind where he was going with this story we all love so much. I read them about once a year, though that has slowed since AMoL; currently I am reading three books at once :look