Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Lord of Chaos - Chapters 11-14

In this section, the underlings strive to have more control.   
Taim seeks Rand’s permission to let him go recruiting. The familiar issue of trust comes up again, but time pressures Rand to accept Taim’s proposal. The risk of an encounter between Taim’s recruiters and an Aes Sedai leading to bad blood between them is not enough; the Aes Sedai may already be against Rand in any case.
Alanna doesn’t seek permission; she just does what she knows needs to be done, even if it goes against centuries of custom. Bonding Rand is logical if the goal is to bind the ta’veren to the Tower. While she gets that part right, she is left uncertain as to which Tower she is part of now that the Rebels have splintered away. Verin will provide the necessary guidance. It turns out she is a skilled manipulator, but hides it even from her supposed allies.
Moghedien takes a stab at pushing Nynaeve to leave the rebels before they decide to beg for Elaida’s mercy. She is surprisingly aggressive about it since Nynaeve is not wearing the a’dam to keep her cowed. The women have been speaking too freely, and Moghedien knows more about them from close observation than the Forsaken ever could have learned through spies. The fact that they had Moghedien well and truly obedient and under their thumb made them forget the threat she could become if ever freed. Still, there is no way for her to be freed that they can figure out.
Seconds after receiving advice, Nynaeve already gets it wrong: Write fast for Delana. Write slow for Janya. Yet another bad day is about to get worse! Birgitte stands up to Nynaeve. Nicola does exactly what she is told, leaving out as much as possible so as to ensure Nynaeve gets in trouble.
Nynaeve the Accepted is a fickle underling herself. Delana and Janya get Nynaeve to tell them how best to control Rand, and she complies. When Tarna asks her the same question shortly after, she tells her the exact opposite, hoping Elaida will bungle her approach to Rand.  Nynaeve eavesdrops on private conversations as well as continually failing to perform any of the exercises Theodrin assigns to help break her block. She cannot surrender control for even a moment, so it is no surprise every attempt fails.
Elayne’s classes go poorly, as no student will follow her directives. Too many independent or incompetent women. She then refuses to take Tarna’s offer to return to Tar Valon, too independent to do as she is told. Egwene is similarly unable to obey the restrictions put on her by the Wise Ones.
Once again, the power of Need is used to find something that will get the rebels to support Rand. Need is a strange power, which I think can best be likened to a guided Foretelling. A Dream, or a Viewing, or a Foretelling tells you something about the future that will, or must, or may come true. Need tells you something you need that must, or may lead to the desired outcome. Using Need to find the Bowl of the Winds is not much different from Min seeing that Bowl in a Viewing, or Egwene having a dream of them finding the Bowl in a dusty House, or Nicola spouting a quatrain about the Bowl in Ebou Dar. They all are able to use foreknowledge of the events the Pattern is weaving, and are in fact part of that weaving themselves.
Egwene introduces a new part of Tel’aran’rhiod, which in some discussions is called the Gap of Infinity. In this place, she can see the dreams of people in the real world, mirror worlds, and even stranger worlds, probably the cross-hatched hard to reach worlds from Verin’s explanation back in The Dragon Reborn. The Gap of Infinity is so named because it is ‘the infinity between Tel’aran’rhiod and the waking world, the narrow gap between dream and reality’. I am drawing a cosmological map of the Wheel of Time for a theory, and had to restart because of this area I had forgotten. It is coming soon.
A bubble of evil surfaces, and Anaiya is annoyed that it was only that and not a Forsaken. It gives the rebels a chance to try out the strategies they have been devising to combat the Forsaken. Bubbles of Evil are as random and dangerous as nightmares in Tel’aran’rhiod.
Writing Lessons:
Your minor characters, the underlings, are not obedient automatons. Give them life!

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