Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Memory of Light Read-Through #6: Chapter 3—A Dangerous Place

By Linda

Androl POV

The scene starts in The Great Gathering inn, run by my parallel in the Wheel of Time world, if you like. Its library is a reference to the Thirteenth Depository blog. The inn represents neutral ground at the Black Tower, so the bullying here is very telling, as is Lind’s lack of surprise at it. It is indeed a dangerous place.

Welyn gives a rousing speech, holding out promise of promotions. All the prospects have to do is align with Taim. Unfortunately, some would be swayed by that.

Jonneth is openly sceptical about what Welyn says and asks where Logain is and why Taim needs him to contact Rand. Two Rivers folk do not dissimulate. The main Two Rivers characters were just like this in the beginning. It’s a good reminder of how they’ve changed.

Lind tries to divert Jonneth from openly questioning Welyn, but then wants Welyn quietly investigated. Androl says that is too dangerous, but asks her to instead take note of what Welyn says. It turns out to be too late for that, in many ways. Androl may even have been overheard asking her to report—the last part of their conversation certainly was overheard.

Androl’s fear is at its worst when he is surrounded by three Darkfriends, and also when he worried out being Turned to the Shadow. Thoughts of the Shadow bring the shadows.

From Welyn’s speech they realise that Logain is a captive and has to be rescued tonight.

Most painfully, Androl is forced to surrender his sword pin. This is reminiscent of conditions in the White Tower under Elaida, who demoted an Aes Sedai, Shemerin, and an “Accepted”, Egwene. Both actions were Elaida’s idea, not Alviarin’s:

Shemerin wrung her hands, and tears actually welled in her eyes. Something would have to be done about Shemerin…Joline helping Shemerin wobbling to her feet. The Yellow sister would do nicely for the next example; some would be necessary, to make sure none of them slid back, and she was too weak to be allowed in this council.

The Fires of Heaven, The First Sparks Fall

and show that while Elaida is not a Darkfriend, her actions—humiliating and cruel as well as contrary to law and custom—were not far off.

Androl and Pevara start to realise the potential of their double bond. One feature is that Pevara can’t sense Androl’s thoughts if he holds the void. (Padan Fain found the same thing in The Great Hunt when Rand held the void:

Sometimes, in the keep, the boy had suddenly vanished from Fain's senses. He did not know how, but always al'Thor came back, just as suddenly as he had gone.

The Great Hunt, Glimmers of the Pattern

Rand did not channel in Fal Dara keep, but he did assume the void.)

Apart from bullying, Taim’s faction aims to destroy Androl’s leadership credibility in Logain’s faction to weaken it.

Rand POV

Following his integration, Rand now likes using saidin for mundane or positive tasks, and not just to kill or destroy. Using the power extensively for violence and death helped bring about his corruption. When Rand could barely channel, due to his divided self, he reserved channelling for only the most vital tasks—defending himself and destroying Shadowspawn and Forsaken. Such constraints forced him along the dark path. This is why he told the Asha’man that they are no longer weapons – to lessen their corruption. The darker the results of weaves, the greater the corruption.

The Tinkers have the right idea about violence harming the perpetrator—but they take it to extremes and let horrific acts happen. Even though his actions are so necessary, Rand feels the responsibility of killing and destruction as a huge burden and this is part of his sacrifice. He was damaged by destroying as much as by the violence committed upon him.

Rand senses Aviendha, Min and Elayne meeting. He realises that when they promised to share him as they bonded him they meant it.

"Well, we do want to share you! We will share you, if you agree…I am asking, Rand. We are asking. Please let us bond you."

Winter’s Heart, A Lily in Winter

They will decide amongst themselves which one will make love with him. He fears the pain his death will cause them, but they insist his only choice is whether to have all three or none. The rest is their choice.

Pevara POV

Pevara correctly deduces that a ter’angreal is blocking gateways at the Black Tower, and that the Forsaken have given Taim instructions on how to use it.

Androl feels his lack of strength makes him unfit to lead, even more so now that his talent is currently blocked. His gateways are very large, when normally gateway size is an indication of strength in the Power. Talent and dexterity do alter a channeller’s effectiveness, and Androl’s gateways are one such example. Another would be Berowin’s shields. Pevara doubts his gateway making ability and wonders if he is deluded. All the Asha’man know of them, however.

Androl is emphatic that he won’t be going to the White Tower. The Asha’man doesn’t want to escape the Black Tower, just be able to use gateways. He feels insecure without that ability. Pevara doesn’t know what Androl can do with them – all the variations – so she doesn’t understand his feelings. She assumes gateways are only for going somewhere, but Androl has been experimenting with them. We will see the results of this soon.

Pevara things that a Forsaken is trying to destroy the Black tower—as was happening in the White Tower. Androl, on the other hand, thinks they have known of the Black Tower all along – and planned to steal the channellers. He may even realise that Taim has been managed by at least one Forsaken.

They argue over their Bonds. Pevara wants to be rid of Androl’s bond, but have him bonded to her. She felt betrayed by the way he behaved when they were linked. He makes light of it because she wasn’t harmed. At the time, she had no confidence this would be so, or that he wouldn’t do something mad or bad to which she would be forced to contribute. He admires her ability to control an argument, she is ability to remain calm.

Pevara disapproves of men bonding their wives as too mundane. She underestimates the closeness of married people, and is ignorant of love, really. A likely result of living in a single sex group, and one that looks down on the other sex. Not surprisingly, Androl has caught onto her thoughts faster than she has his.

Pevara insists they not link so they can fight separately. Dobser has been Turned now. They are committed to freeing Logain once they capture Dobser; even more so once two other Asha’man discover them. Pevara captures Leems and Welyn almost by herself, which impresses Androl. Pevara says:

"What did you think the Red Ajah does with its time, Androl? Sit around and complain about men? We train to right other channelers."

A Memory of Light, A Dangerous Place

This is an answer—the answer—to the critics of the Red. They will be good as channellers’ police.

Androl was apprenticed to a Wise Woman to learn how to care for friends and colleagues. Until now he has been a jack of all trades, looking for somewhere to belong.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Cadsuane's Ornaments Article Updated

I've been working to update blog articles with information from The Wheel of Time Companion. The first of these to be re-posted is Cadsuane's Ornaments. We now have descriptions of the other three of her nine ter'angreal.