Sunday, 29 January 2012

The Great Hunt - Chapters 3-6

In this section, a host of secondary characters are introduced, and a major plot twist defines the quest.
Through viewpoints of Moiraine, Bornhald, Liandrin, and Fain, a dizzying array of plot elements and events are presented.  The reader learns the whereabouts of many secondary characters encountered in The Eye of the World, including Elaida, Elayne, Morgase, Child Byar, and Dain. We are further introduced to a multitude of new secondary characters: Liandrin, Ingtar, Siuan, Carridin, other Aes Sedai, Amalisa, and more. This would not have been possible staying within the main characters viewpoints. In order for later events to make sense, it was necessary to use other credible viewpoints to present information.
The major plot twist begins with learning the Amyrlin, Siuan Sanche, is Moiraine’s best friend, and she is heavily involved in the quest to find and protect the Dragon. The threat from her is replaced by a new one. With the Amyrlin’s backing, Rand would have nothing to fear from any Aes Sedai, except that Siuan’s hold on power is tenuous. Other factions within the White Tower seek to topple her, personified by Elaida and Liandrin, both of whom fit the Red Ajah stereotype of man-haters, bullies, and having poor social skills. Siuan is still stuck on bringing Rand to Tar Valon, which has now also become the objective of her opponents. In Tar Valon, Rand would be well and truly trapped, within easy reach of the Black Ajah. Liandrin wastes no time in trying to snatch the young men to carry back to the White Tower. Moiraine’s new quest is to get Rand and the Horn of Valere to Illian. The plot twist concludes with the theft of the Horn and Mat’s dagger. Rand will surely chase after them, but will that lead him to Illian as Moiraine hopes, or to Toman Head, as Fain has predicted? Wherever Rand goes, the multinational gathering of Darkfriends made it clear that people will be watching for him, and trying to set his path according to Ba’alzamon’s wishes.
Toman Head is where Hawkwing’s armies have landed. Rumour of their arrival has spread, despite efforts to conceal it. Bors keeps confirmation of these rumours from his Lord Commander Niall so that no one will oppose them. While the Whitecloaks go about trying to conquer Almoth Plain, the strangers will gain a foothold on the mainland, as per Ba’alzamon’s wishes. Their invasion will prove to be an important distraction to the nations of men while he rallies his own forces for the Last Battle. He crafted this plan for returning forces to divide the mainland’s attention a millennium ago! But Ba’alzamon doesn’t want it to be a complete secret: Liandrin raises the rumours to Moiraine, and is surprised at herself for doing so, as though she were under a Compulsion to speak of it, should certain circumstances arise. Is the objective to get Rand to Toman Head?
Fain could have been told about his role in this plot through dreams, or by the traitor who freed him. He is still a pawn being moved around at this point. He could have been told to leave the message for Rand, telling him where they will next meet. How else could he have chosen Toman Head? Was the Horn meant to be the bait, or did they know Rand would chase after the dagger, for his friend’s sake?
Funny how the first concern Siuan expressed to Moiraine was about their old ‘mentor’ Elaida. Elaida must really feel that she didn’t do enough to help Siuan and Moiraine reach their potential, or they wouldn’t be messing with ta’veren so irresponsibly. Elaida’s strength in the Power, her credibility, and her bullying manner as depicted in New Spring, are still enough to shake the confidence of the Amyrlin.
Are Aes Sedai pledged to obey the Amyrlin as Moiraine suggests? Past coups and later events would indicate that this pledge of allegiance is in custom only.
To introduce the concept that each Ajah follows certain philosophies, the first Aes Sedai of each Ajah met is a stereotype of that philosophy. Browns are learners blind to all else, Whites are cold and logical, Greens are fiery and emotional. It is a bit more difficult to show an atypical behavior for that culture the first time you meet them. Loial is an atypical Ogier, but even so he well represents the stereotypical Ogier.
A long-term plotline is sown, as Moiraine understands that proclaiming Rand to be the Dragon will not cause any less chaos and destruction than when any False Dragon proclamation has. Even success carries a cost.
Liandrin feels her skin prickle as unseen eyes watch her. None of it makes any sense until later, but this is Lanfear again
The White Tower, presumably led by Tetsuan at the time, Tetsuan who betrayed Manetheren out of jealousy, lost the last of the Seals in the Trolloc Wars. With epic fails of this magnitude, it’s no wonder the Reds can’t get a break.
Salvation, not glory. This prophecy about the Horn of Valere is bound to play a role in A Memory of Light, as well as this novel.
Writing Lessons:
Plot twists don’t just strike out in a new direction, they somehow make the situation worse.

No comments:

Post a Comment