Monday, 24 December 2012

Towers of Midnight - Chapters 26-28

In this section, lengthy setups payoff!
Perrin makes a show of force to gain a second opportunity to talk with Galad and stave off a battle. Both men want to make sure they haven’t misjudged the other, even though they admit to themselves they are unlikely to change their minds. Galad’s reversal is shown in a more present tense than many past scenes on the series, and is tenser for it. Galad considers Perrin’s display of the One Power, argues with his subordinates, then in one short paragraph the scene skips ahead to his meeting with Perrin. Often, to limit the sudden surges ahead in time, Robert Jordan would begin the scene with the characters reflecting on how they came to this moment, with soft flashbacks or explanations. This scene carries more immediacy and tension since readers don’t know whether Perrin’s gambit will work, but it also makes it feel more plot driven than character driven, despite that Galad’s reaction would be the same no matter how the scene is presented.
Galad meets Perrin’s entourage. And though Alliandre is a queen, and Berelain shares a mutual attraction with him, he can’t trust any of them enough to judge Perrin in a trial. Discovering Morgase among Perrin’s people changes that, and he accepts Morgase as judge. At last, the convoluted series of events leading Morgase here is understood. Morgase often served as the best choice of character in her location to show the reader what was happening, given her links to the heroes. All of that helped disguise that the goal was to bring her here, to serve as Perrin’s judge, to allow him to complete his personal journey and discover whether he is exonerated or as guilty as he sometimes feels.
Traveling doesn’t work, which readers and Perrin are beginning to relate to the purple barrier in Tel’aran’rhiod. Hopper knows the barrier is man-made, and finding Slayer pursuing wolves on the other side of it implies he understands its workings well enough to exploit it, if he isn’t the one who created it in the first place. This time, using his recent training, Perrin is able to achieve a victory of sorts by denying Slayer his prize. Perrin escapes to Dragonmount where wolves have begun to gather.
Egwene is writing letters to world leaders, seeking help in dissuading Rand from breaking the seals. When she catches the Hall attempting to circumvent her authority, she allows the Hall to take over the War if she gets to deal with world leaders, as she was just shown doing.  The proposal to give Egwene this sole jurisdiction comes from Lelaine, which makes it instantly suspicious and undesirable to readers, given her past behaviour. There is only one indication that this might be what Egwene wants, which is her thought before intruding on the Hall that they are still reacting to what she did months ago, and don’t see what she’s doing next. Egwene, as Amyrlin, now has sole discretion about how to deal with Rand, who is King of Illian. This is the big payoff to Egwene’s rise to power, the fact that when Rand tries to rally the world to his cause, it will be his childhood friend and love interest who will either stand with him or against him.
Egwene also starts a rumour that she is meeting in Tel’aran’rhiod, hoping to draw Mesaana out.
In Maradon, Ituralde gets blasted from the top of the wall, giving proof to one Ashaman’s detection of male channelers among the Trolloc army. It was rather foolish to allow an Asha’man to make a visible signal from where they were standing. The wall itself collapses, and the city’s defenses have been breached. As with many insurmountable attacks in history, from Malkier to Manetheren, Ituralde will hold the city as long as he can, waiting for help to arrive. His instincts say flee, but he is staying on faith and a promise. Readers wait for the payoff: will Rand repeat mistakes of the past, or arrive in time to save Ituralde? Ituralde himself is fulfilling the promise to help his neighbours that has figured so frequently in the downfall of the nations of men.
Writing Lessons:
Flashbacks or inner thoughts showing very recent events change the tempo and feel of the story. Use them to provide the mood and feelings you want, not to maintain chronology.

No comments:

Post a Comment