Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wheel of Time Reread: The Dragon Reborn part 4

The Dragon Reborn: chapters 19 - 23

Chapter 19: Awakening
  • "Muad'drin tia dar allende caba'drin rhadiem," he murmured. The words were only sounds,yet they sparked--something.
    • The packed line of spearmen stretched a mile or more to either side below him...His bannerman rode close beside him, the Red Eagle banner flapping over his head, as the command was repeated up and down the line..."For the honor of the Red Eagle!"
    • Mat's hand trembled as he raised it to his forehead. "Los Valdar Cuebiyari," he muttered. He was almost sure he knew what it meant--"Forward the Heart Guard." or maybe "The Heart Guard will advance"--but that could not be. Moiraine had told him a few words of the Old Tongue, and those were all he knew of it. The rest might as well be magpie chatter.
  • You can turn the worst that comes to your advantage if you only think, his father always said, and Abell Cauthon was the best horse trader in the two Rivers...All because he thought about things from every side that there was.
  • Thinking about Aes Sedai made him remember a little about them. The seven Ajahs: Blue, Red, Brown, Green, Yellow, White, and Gray. The Reds were the worst. Except for the Black Ajah they all claim doesn't exist. But the Red Ajah should be no threat to him. They were only interested in men who could channel.
    • Rand. Burn me, how could I forget that? Where is he? Is he all right? He sighed regretfully, and spread butter on a piece of still-warm bread. I wonder if he's gone mad yet.
      • This is also the first time we read about the seven Ajahs. I don't think the Gray Ajah has been mentioned yet.
  • Discovering what Rand could do had been like finding out his best friend tortured small animals and killed babies. Once you finally made yourself believe it, it was hard to call him a friend any longer.
    • "I have to look out for myself," he said angrily. He upended the wine pitcher over his silver cup and was surprised to find it empty. He filled the cup with milk, instead. "Egwene and Nynaeve want to be Aes Sedai." He had not really remembered that until he said it aloud. "Rand is following Moiraine around and calling himself the Dragon Reborn. The Light knows what Perrin is up to. He's been acting crazy ever since his eyes turned funny. I have to look out for myself." Burn me, I have to! I'm the last one of us who's still sane. There's only me.
  • Rummaging around the tray for something more to eat, he was shocked to realize nothing was left but smears and a few crumbs of bread and cheese. The pitchers were both empty. He squinted down at his stomach in wonder. He should have been stuffed to the ears with all that in him, but he felt as if he had hardly eaten at all. He scraped the last bits of cheese together between thumbs and forefinger. Halfway to his mouth, his hand froze.
    • I blew the Horn of Valere.
  • Oh I'm so glad we are in Mat's head! Mat and Nynaeve are my favorite characters and I think they are a lot alike--don't tell them I said that. But they are, which is why they clash so well! I love how his memories trickle back as he eats--the big memories, we begin to see how many holes are in his memory because of the dagger. But it's just so nice to begin to know Mat!!
Chapter 20: Visitations
  • For a moment he wished  that Rand, whatever he had become, or even Perrin were there to advise him. They always seemed to get on well with women. Even girls who knew that Rand was all but promised to Egwene used to stare at him, and they seemed to think Perrin's slow ways were gentle and attractive. However hard he tried, he always managed to make a fool of himself in front of girls.
  • Visit #1, Selene/Lanfear:
    • "These...Aes Sedai mean to use you, but you will like it, in the main, I think. And accept it. There is no need to convince you to seek out glory."
    • "You are more important than you yet know. Certainly more important than these so-called Aes Sedai know. You can have glory, if you know enough not to trust them."
    • "Dark friend?" Selene said mockingly. She sounded amused, not angered. She sounded contemptuous. "One of those pathetic followers of Ba'alzamon who think he will give them immortality and power? I follow no one. There is one man I could stand beside, but I do not follow."
    • "Mat, Mat, you must learn to trust me. Oh, I will  use you, too--you have to suspicious a nature, especially since carrying that dagger, for me to deny it--but my use will gain you wealth, and power, and glory. I will not compel you. I have always believed men perform better if convinced rather than forced. These Aes Sedai do not even realize how important you are, and he will try to dissuade or kill you, but I can give you what you desire."
    • "Just remember that there is another choice. You need not be a puppet for the White Tower or prey for Ba'alzamon's Darkfriends. The world is more complex than you can imagine. Do as these Aes Sedai wish for the present, but remember your choices. Will you do that?"
  • Visit #2, Siuan Sanche the Amyrlin Seat:
    • Mat scowled. It seemed to him that when you got sick, you became invisible to women unless they were actually talking to you. And then they took at least ten years off your age. Nynaeve, his mother, his sisters, the Amyrlin Seat, they all did it.
    • "With two silver marks and a handful of copper, my son? Your dice would need to be very lucky indeed to buy all the food you'll need in the next few days. We do not Heal people, then let them waste our efforts by dying while they still need care. In addition to which, you may yet need more Healing."
      • Mat's dice are extremely lucky!
    • "A flapping tongue has killed more men then sudden storms ever did."-Siuan
    • "You remind me of my uncle Huan. No one could ever pin him down. He liked to gamble, too, and he'd much rather have fun than work. He died pulling children out of a burning house. He wouldn't stop going back as long as there was one left inside. Are you like him, Mat? Will you be there when the flames are high?"-Siuan
      • He could not meet her eyes. He studied his fingers as they plucked irritably at his blanket. "I'm no hero. I do what I have to do, but I am no hero."
      • "Most of those we call heroes only did what they had to do. I suppose it will have to be enough. For now."-Siuan and Mat
        • I think this is a perfect characterization of Mat. He doesn't want to be a hero, and he definitely doesn't want to work but when the time comes he's heroic.
    • "The more people know a thing, the more the knowledge spreads, even with the best will. Most of the world believes the Horn of Valere is only legend, and those who know better believe one of the Hunters has yet to find it. But Shayol Ghul knows it has been found, and that means at least some Darkfriends know. But they do not know where it is, and, if the Light shines on us, they do not know you sounded it. Do you really want Darkfriends coming after you? Halfmen, or other Shadowspawn? They want the Horn. You must know that. If will work as well for the Shadow as for the Light. But if it is to work for them, they must take you, or kill you. Do you want to risk that?"-Siuan
Chapter 21: A World of Dreams
  • Verin had her quarters above the library, in corridors used only by a few other Brown sisters. There was a dusty air to the halls there, as if the women who lived along them were to busy with other things to bother having the servants clean very often, and the passages took odd turns and twists, sometimes dipping or rising unexpectedly. The tapestries were few, their colorful weavings dulled, apparently cleaned as seldom as everything else here. Many of the lamps were unlit, plunging much of the hall into gloom. Egwene thought she had it to herself, except for a flash of white ahead, perhaps a novice or a servant scurrying about some task.
    • Flash of white--I've always assumed it was Lanfear. Sanderson confirmed that Verin and Lanfear are connected, but I don't remember if we've really seen their connection yet.
  • One step into the room, she stopped and stared. Shelves lined the walls, except for one door that must lead to inner rooms and except for where maps hung, often in layers, and what seemed to be charts of the night sky. She recognized the names of some constellations--the Plowman and the Haywain, the Archer and the Five Sisters--but others were unfamiliar. Books and papers and scrolls covered nearly every flat surface, with all sorts of odd things interspersed among the piles, and sometimes on top of them. Strange shapes of glass or metal, spheres and tubes interlinked, and circles held inside circles, stood among bones and skulls of every shape and description. What appeared to be a stuffed brown owl not much bigger than Egwene's hand, stood on what seemed to be a bleached white lizard's skull, but could not be, for the skull was longer than her arm and had crooked teeth as big as her fingers. Candlesticks had been stuck about in a haphazard fashion, giving good light here and shadows there, although seeming in danger of setting fire to papers in some places. The owl blinked at her, and she jumped.
    • I've always loved the description of Verin's room and where she lives. I'm pretty sure that I'd have been Brown. Plus, she has a pet owl! Verin was making owls cool even before Harry Potter!
  • Prophecy:
    • "Heart of the Dark. Ba'alzamon. Name hidden within name shrouded by name. Secret buried within secret cloaked by secret. Betrayer of Hope. Ishamael betrays all hope. Truth burns and sears. Hope fails before truth. A lie is our shield. Who can stand against the Heart of the Dark? Who can face the Betrayer of Hope? Soul of shadow, Soul of the Shadow, he is--"
    • "Paradox, child. The Dark One is the embodiment of paradox and chaos, the destroyer of reason and logic, the breaker of balance, the unmaker of order.
  • Tel'aran'rhoid
    • The Aes Sedai blinked at her again, then dismissed whatever thought had come to her with a shake of her head. "That list I gave you may be important, or it may be so much waste of paper, but it isn't the reason I summoned you...I understand from Anaiya that you might become a Dreamer. The last was Corianin Nedeal, four hundred and seventy-three years ago, and from what I can make of the records, she barely deserved the name. It would be quite interesting, if you do."
    • Egwene shifted the papers to take it, and her eyes widened in surprise. The ring certainly looked like stone, but it felt harder than steel and heavier than lead. And the circle of it was twisted. If she ran a finger along one edge, it would go around twice, inside as well as out; it only had one edge. She moved her finger along the edge twice, just to convince herself.
    • "The point is that there is a third constant besides the Creator and the Dark One. There is a world that lies within each of these others, inside all of them at the same time. Or perhaps surrounding them. Witters in the Age of Legends called it Tel'aran'rhoid, the "Unseen World." Perhaps the "World of Dreams" is a better translation. Many people--ordinary folk who could not think of channeling--sometimes glimpse Tel'aran'rhoid in their dreams, and even catch glimmers of these other worlds through it. Think of some of the peculiar things you have seen in your dreams, But a Dreamer, child--a true Dreamer--can enter Tel'aran'rhoid,"
    • "According to her, it eases the passage to Tel'aran'rhoid. She claimed it would work for those without Talent as well as for Aes Sedai, so long as you are touching it when you sleep. There are dangers, of course. Tel'aran'rhoid is not like other dreams. What happens there is real; you are actually there instead of just glimpsing it." She pushed back the sleeve of her dress, revealing a faded scar the length of her forearm. "I tried it myself, once, some years ago. Anaiya's Healing did not work as well as it should have. Remember that."
  • Favorite Lines:
    • Once again she considered burning the manuscript just as she had considered giving it to Egwene. But destroying knowledge, and knowledge, was anathema to her.
      • I still have no idea why Verin didn't give this to Egwene, unless she only did all this on Lanfear's orders? But this line is just another reason why I like sneaky Verin.
Chapter 22: The Price of the Ring
  • "Once you decide to gut a fish, there's no use waiting till it rots."-Siuan
  • Testing:
    • "To seek, to strive, is to know danger."-Sheriam
    • "The first time," Sheriam said, "is for what was. The way back will come but once. Be steadfast."
    • "Every woman I have ever watched come out of there has asked that question. The answer is, no one knows. It has been speculated that perhaps some of those who do not come back chose to stay because they found a happier place, and lived out their lives there." Her voice hardened. "If it is real, and they stayed from choice, then I hope the lives they live are far from happy. I have no sympathy for any who run from their responsibilities." The edge on her tone softened slightly. "Myself, I believe it is not real. But the danger is. Remember that."-Sheriam
    • "The second time is for what is. The way back will come but once. Be steadfast."-Sheriam
    • "This is something known only to a few, child, even in the Tower. You should not learn it now, if ever but I will tell you. There is--a weakness in being able to channel. That we learn to open ourselves to the True Source means that we can be--opened to other things...It is not so easily done. It is a thing not done, so far as I know--Light send it has not been done!--since the Trolloc Wars. It took thirteen Dreadlords--Darkfriends who could channel--weaving the flows through thirteen Myrddraal. You see? Not easily done. There are no Dreadlords today. This is a secret of the Tower, child. If others knew, we could never convince them they were safe. Only one who can channel can be turned in this way. The weakness of out strength. Everyone else is as safe as a fortress, only their own deeds and will can turn them to the Shadow."
      • "Thirteen," Egwene said in a tiny voice. "The same number who left the Tower. Liandrin, and twelve more.
    • Third:
      • Egwene stared into the standing mirror and was not sure whether she was more surprised by the ageless smoothness of her face or the striped stole that hung around her neck. The stole of the Amyrlin Seat.
        • Egwene later says she never held the oath rod--but the oath rod is what gives the ageless face.
      • Beldeine
        • She is a real person. She is of the Green Ajah
      • The Black Ajah had been destroyed. That seemed as odd thought, too. Part of her remembered something called the Great Purge.
        • Egwene is part of the Great Purge.
      • "Light," she muttered, "there's no other way short of starting a war inside the White Tower. And I may do that anyway."
      • Balefire--I think this is the first time balefire is actually named.
Chapter 23: Sealed
  • Elaida:
    • If she isn't Black Ajah, Egwene thought sourly, she's the next thing to it. 
      • She's not Black, but she is a fanatically stupid person who only screw everything she touched up!
  • Alanna:
    • "She will never allow that, Alanna. A sister in the kitchens, much less...It is unheard of. It's impossible! You did what you believed right. There is no fault to you."-Sheriam
      • Elaida puts Egwene to work in the kitchens and sends her to the Mistress of Novices.
    • "The owner doesn't muck out with the bilge boys even if he has run the boat on a mudflat."-Siuan
    • I've never understood why Alanna does this. Yeah, Siuan might be right that she's just a little weird but it still doesn't make sense. She's not Black, but she has some kind of agenda and I don't know what it is.
  • Ajahs:
    • Green:
      • "First, you must love men. I don't mean be in love with them, but love them. Not like a Blue, who merely likes men, so long as they share her causes and do not get in her way. And certainly not like a Red, who despises them as if every one of them were responsible for the Breaking....And not like a White...who has no room in her life for any passions at all."-Alanna
    • "Browns seek knowledge, Blues meddle in causes, and Whites consider the questions of truth with implacable logic. We all do some of it all, of course. But to be a Green means to stand ready." A not of pride entered Alanna's voice. "In the Trolloc Wars, we were often called the Battle Ajah. All Aes Sedai helped where and when they could, but the Green Ajah alone was always with the armies, in almost every battle. We were the counter to the Dreadlords. The Battle Ajah. And now we stand ready, for the Trollocs to come south again, for Tarmon Gai'don, the Last Battle. We will be there. That is what it means to be a Green."
  • Nynaeve:
    • "It eases with time. It eases, a little. One day we will make them pay our price. Hush. Hush."

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