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The Liveblog of Time: The Great Hunt
Prologue: In the Shadow
You have some good predictions. At least two of those happen.

Your reading of the prologue is a bit off though.

I'm not sure if I should tell you what the majorly wrong part is.

Minorly, the Whitecloaks' center of power is Amadicia, where they rule in all but name. Tarabon, on the west coast, is just where Bors' current assignment from the Children happens to be, which fits in nicely with the Dark One's orders.
montagohalcyon
Two of them? I can't count any being entirely true, while two are partly true (as written here).

That aside, I didn't particularly like this prologue. Moreso the first time I read it.
Sabbo
Chapter 1: The Flame of Tar Valon
Let's see, new characters... Umm... I can think of around five by name, but I know I'm forgetting a few of the Aes Sedai.

That's this book though, not just the next few chapters.
Sabbo
Chapter 3: Friends and Enemies
Yeah, I didn't like the beginning of this book either, on top of not liking the prologue. It gets better when people start leaving the city.
Sabbo
I thought the beginning was kinda long too, but the whole time I could just feel death waiting around the corner...probably because I noticed Fain was affecting the guards...it wasn't so much an "ugh, filler" reaction as "look I know something bad's going to happen don't keep me in suspense".
montagohalcyon
Chapter 4: Summoned

And as has hopefully been mentioned already, the Aemerlyn Seat (...I can never spell that word right the first time. Even what I just wrote then, copied from your liveblog, looks wrong. >_<) is of "all Ajahs and none". This means that while she may have been raised from a specific Ajah, once she holds her new title she is no longer of that Ajah, and is expected to represent each of the seven equally. (This of course only really works in theory, as she will still mostly have the mindset she had before gaining the title.

I'd also explain about Novices and Accepted, but I know for certain that that's covered significantly during this book and the next anyway, so there's little point. The Ajah stuff is a bit more spread out however, hence why I wrote it.
Sabbo
The White's hat is actually logic and reasoning, hence why they're often use as advisors.
Arilou
Ah, I knew I'd gotten it wrong. Thanks for the correction.
Sabbo
Ah! I just realized a great way to mark spoilers in liveblogs: Put it in a hottip which is noted as containing spoilers. Problem averted!
Sabbo
Chapter 5: The Shadow in Shienar
Chapters like this, where the viewpoints are so departed from eachother, are going to be rather common from here on in. Moreso during the middle books, but even at the point the series is now (book 13 I mean, not book 2), there are still around 15 viewpoint characters.

Interesting though about what they've mentioned about the Ajahs so far, no? Particularly regarding how much or how little has been mentioned for each of them.
Sabbo
Chapter 6: Dark Prophecy
Hmm. I don't recall whether it happens in book 3 (although I don't think so), but I'm almost certain it doesn't happen right near the start of any other book. Indeed, I think this is the last Trolloc attack which causes the good characters involved to leave wherever they are for reasons other than what they had originally intended. (Although, of course, the start of the last book may be different; the specifics of that are unknown.)
Sabbo
Chapter 7: Blood Calls Blood
Verin's fun. Her motives are a bit more obscure than Moiraine's; I wasn't sure if I should trust her.

The Watchers are a group in the area near Tarabon (hmm) who await the return of Hawkwing's armies someday. I don't think they themselves are descended from him or that expedition though.

I was kind of amused by picturing Lan trying to instruct Rand how to look and act like a lord rather than a farmer in a few short minutes.

I'm sure I didn't notice any of the lengthy clothing descriptions until the internet pointed it out. It's unfortunate that's already happened to you. :(
montagohalcyon (edited by: montagohalcyon)
I didn't really notice many lengthy clothing descriptions either, the first time, but I did notice a few. Most notably about fancy clothes worn by people who don't think they should be wearing them, and a few of the times women tug on their clothes... or their hair.

But yeah. Verin. While she has little focus in the middle books, her presence in the early & late books more than makes up for it.
Sabbo
Verin is pretty much the most awesome character in the books. I'm serious.
Arilou
Bar Mat. Mat still beats out Verin.
Sabbo
Chapter 8: The Dragon Reborn
Loial's still around, no worries.
montagohalcyon
See many things I want to say, but so many ways it could be considered spoilery to do so.
Sabbo
Chapter 9: Leavetakings
Ah, Hurin. I was waiting for him. He's not terribly interesting (apart from that ability of his), but somehow I still found him memorable.
Sabbo
And now you know why Doman thought the Trollocs in the first book were actually after him.

I still can't decide if Galldrien really wrote that note or not. Probably a forgery, but he's pretty ruthless and there's no evidence one way or the other if he's a Darkfriend.
montagohalcyon
Chapter 10: The Hunt Begins
Unfortunately, that whole Aiel thing will be going on for a while longer yet. It won't be until spoiler that we get the true final nail in the coffin.

But yeah. That thing with the dead Myrdraal (which, don't worry, I can't spell it either. It's the name my mind gives them however, as it's the name used throughout most of the books)? Just gets better and better.
Sabbo
I thought Ingtar's speech gave some interesting insight into his character, especially when I looked back at the map after reading it and noticed for the first time how many countries' borders don't connect.
montagohalcyon
Chapter 11: Glimmers of the Pattern
Mat has a point, although we won't see less-than-fully-sane channelers for a long time.

The stone? Next chapter.

There will be, IIRC, six Forsaken in the next book. Although I don't think all of them are revealed as such yet.
montagohalcyon
Yeah, your predictions have certainly been interesting to we who know how it actually happens.

But yeah. Mat's awesomeness doesn't really kick in until he's freed from the dagger. Until then: Scrappy! (Well, except for one scene around when the dagger is retrieved, for an unrelated reason. But that's average levels of awesome, not Mat levels of awesome. It also has more to do with characters other than Mat, even though Mat is the trigger.)
Sabbo
Six, montagohalcyon? Hrm. I can't seem to think of who they all are. :/
Sabbo
Well, I might be wrong. For one thing I'm not sure if Lanfear shows up or not.

But if I am remembering properly: Ishamael, Be'lal, Sammael, Rahvin...huh. Gosh dang it, I have no idea who I meant to be the last one. So four, maybe five.
montagohalcyon
Rahvin shows up? Huh. Didn't remember that.

Lanfear on the other hand does show up, I think. Near the end.
Sabbo
Chapter 12: Woven in the Pattern
I don't remember anything in this chapter, so no comment on the dream for now.

Wilders often have some sort of mental block they have to overcome before they can channel properly. Nynaeve struggles with hers for quite a while; it's not Lan.

Also they tend to be looked down on by a lot of the snootier Aes Sedai. So it was gloriously satisfying for me when Nynaeve REDACTED FOR SPOILERS later.
montagohalcyon
I love the bit when REDACTED happens.

(...Dunno which REDACTED you're talking about, but I'm going to assume it's one of the awesome moments.* :P)
Sabbo
Chapter 13: From Stone to Stone
Fans tend to call the continent detailed in the maps "Randland"; the world as a whole doesn't appear to have a name. At least not one I know, people in the first blog mentioned a guide I haven't read.

The parallel universe thing really only comes into play in this book, oddly (although you could say tel'aran'rhiod is similar). There is a scene much later in the book that uses it to great effect though, it's one of my favorite parts.

Here, it's not so important other than a bit of foreshadowing, splitting up the party, and introducing a character. Who I'm wondering what you'll make of.
montagohalcyon
:/

To me, it's just "the world of the Wheel of Time series".

At least The Ways and Tel'aran'rhiod get names though. :/
Sabbo
Chapter 15: Kinslayer
There's a bit more to that alternate world than has been revealed so far. Part of it will be explained before they leave, while the other you'll only really understand later.
Sabbo
Chapter 16: In the Mirror of Darkness
I might as well confirm that since I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be obvious to the reader and you guessed it. Just so you aren't expecting it to be The Reveal and get annoyed that it's dragged out.

Anyway, due to Rand being the reincarnation of the Dragon and Lanfear's previous relationship to Lews Therin, she's along to help him survive and push him toward his destiny (ruling beside her, of course). Note how she hinted that he should channel to kill the second, suspiciously-quickly-appearing grolm pack.

So Rand has a Forsaken as a sort-of ally. Speaking of which, most of the Forsaken scheme against each other as much as the heroes. After all, they come from a technologically and magically advanced age, no one's a match for them here except each other, right?
montagohalcyon (edited by: montagohalcyon)
It is a Reveal of sorts, but I don't think it was meant to be particularly unobvious. At the very least Rand remains unaware until he's told otherwise, if I remember correctly.
Sabbo
Chapter 17: Choices
Oh whoops, I thought this stuff happened in the last chapter. Need to catch up in my own reading. But it looks like you didn't read comments anyway.
montagohalcyon
Chapter 18: To the White Tower
Just be glad that right now there are only three major viewpoint characters (Rand, Nyneave & Perrin), two of whom are in similar places; later there will be more.

Oh, and yes, Tar Valon is indeed situated upon the island formed when Lews Therin created Dragonmount.
Sabbo
Chapter 19: Beneath the Dagger
After all the work they do I always found it vaguely amusing that the Horn never got to Illian...
Arilou
And I always wonder why the Horn was meant to go to Illian in the first place.

...Although while typing out that comment a possible answer just came to me. Maybe the heroes called by the Horn are needed for diplomacy, not war...
montagohalcyon
Chapter 20: Saidin
You'll find out what's up with that in oh... Three books I think? It's actually a pretty major plot element for a couple of books.
Arilou
There's a fight involving it near the end of book four.
montagohalcyon
Chapter 21: The Nine Rings
I'm pretty sure everyone met in this chapter is unimportant outside this book, don't worry about their names.
montagohalcyon
...You mention Doman relatively frequently, but I keep having no memory of who he is. Coincidentally however, I remembered just now who he is... and that I recognize him better for his first name, which is more unique.
Sabbo
Chapter 22: Watchers
I always figured Nynaeve and Lan's romance slowly developed during the long chunks of time we don't see them in the first book. It was a little unbelievable it would have gotten as far as it did when Rand overheard them in the Blight, but after that I just accepted it.

Once I did I actually thought it added some motivation to Nynaeve; she doesn't just distrust Moiraine for taking Rand/Perrin/Mat away, she sees her as The Rival because Lan is her Warder.
montagohalcyon
Heh, given what we learned later on the events of this chapter makes much more sense. It's one of those nice little things Jordan seems to have actually planned.
Arilou
Arilou, I don't understand; can you put in a hottip what you're referring to?
Sabbo
To avoid spoilering Eegah, of course.
Sabbo
Hottip?
Arilou
[[hottip:*:One of these things]]=*
Sabbo
[[hottip: I'malking about how one of the sisters is Black Ajah]]
Arilou
No no. All three parts of the hottip are important. The first must say hottip, the second is the bit which is displayed, and the third is the bit which is hidden. I'll see if I can PM you this info in case you miss me writing this here.
Sabbo
Chapter 24: New Friends and Old Enemies
Else is pretty much there for...no reason at all other than not wanting to add more insignificant named characters.

Everyone reacts to Galad that way.
montagohalcyon
Chapter 25: Cairhien
I find it absolutely hilarious how much attention Rand manages to get by not actually being a noble or interested in local politics. Obviously this means he is being extremely devious.

Yeah, Cairhien is pretty important.
montagohalcyon
Chapter 27: A Shadow in the Night
The oily sensation isn't something Selene is doing: It's just the Dark One's taint on the male half of the One Power.
Arilou
Unlike the grolm I don't think this conveniently happened because of Selene. More likely she showed up to protect Rand if he couldn't get out on his own.

One of the named Illuminators meets up briefly with Mat in the next book, and again several installments down the road.
montagohalcyon
Chapter 28: A New Thread in the Pattern
Your predictions are what makes this blog interesting (as well as your "tropespotting"), so... What do you predict from the setups so far, for this book and whole series?
wheelreader
Rand is going to Rhuidean, but not until near the end of the series. It'll be in opposition to the other prophecy about him, as that will be revealed to be the work of the Red Ajah, who want to completely wipe out male channelers.
Eegah
Interesting theories. Btw, these predictions interest me because its pedagogigally effective way of reading (I'm a teacher).
wheelreader
Gah. There's something I would have told you about Rhuidean had you not just given that prediction.
Sabbo
Chapter 29: Seanchan
If Morena was real, which I will not confirm or deny because speculation is fun, why do you think she's a Seanchan?

Your last sentence: Yes.
montagohalcyon
Who is Morena?
wheelreader
She's the woman who had taken over Emond's Field during Nynaeve's maybe-real trip there during her test to become Accepted.
Eegah
Her actions just sync up so well with what we see of the Seanchan here; walking into a town and declaring she's running things now, and more or less letting people keep on living like they have been, but constantly in fear of her.
Eegah
Honestly, the only Seanchan scenes I particularly liked were ones where the damane were up against Aes Sedai for whatever reason, and the ones involving a certain character who has yet to arrive.
Sabbo
Oh, and anything involving Mat, but that's a given.
Sabbo
Chapter 31: On the Scent
Just posting to make sure you know that I at least am still reading. Maybe it was paranoid of me, but when I didn't get any replies to my liveblog (back when I was still doing it), I'd sometimes think that people (namely neobowman, who was the only person other than myself to read all of it) had stopped reading it. This went for three weeks before he'd remembered.
Sabbo
I too am still reading (and get the same paranoia.)
SKJAM
Chapter 32: Dangerous Words
Honestly, I never liked Cairhien.
Sabbo
Chapter 34: The Wheel Weaves
I think the fact that Dena had so much potential was why she was gotten rid of. More impactful that way.
Sabbo
By the next book somebody has assassinated the king and plunged Cairhien into open civil war. Wonder who.

Sadly and in a completely unrelated note, whatever Thom does in his Roaring Rampage Of Revenge remains offscreen, as he is not seen again between now and meeting up with Mat. Biggest Missed Moment Of Awesome in the whole series right there.
montagohalcyon
^ Wow, that long without seeing Thom? Didn't even realize.
Sabbo
Chapter 35: Stedding Tsofu
Heh, wait until you meet the Seanchan Ogier. (although that's a few books until then)

Arilou
Thanks for the spoiler.
Tropethorn
Chapter 36: Among the Elders
Nope. They're just there to make you wonder. I thought perhaps one of the Aiel was a future character, but I checked those two chapters and don't see any named.

The next chapter with the Portal Stone is one of my favorite in the whole book.
montagohalcyon

Eric119
Chapter 37: What Might Be
Huh. And here I was thinking that more had happened in the White Tower by this point since the girls last had the spotlight. :/
Sabbo
You'll understand the importance of this chapter later in this book.
wheelreader
Chapter 38: Practice
Nice call on Liandrin. I didn't get that right away, although really I should have, possibly even from the early chapters when she intimidates Amalisa.

And the road trip is going to be real short, btw.
montagohalcyon
Chapter 39: Flight from the White Tower
From my view, Rand's side of the plot doesn't get interesting until around book 5, while the girls start being interesting much earlier. Other sides have their own points too, with the latest (of the characters you know) being - I emphasize that this is my opinion only - Perrin, in the most recent book.
Sabbo
The next book is the one in which Rand basically disappears and we see a lot more from other characters' perspective.

Everything related to Perrin is definitely my favorite part of Towers of Midnight (aside from Ituralde...and Egwene but that kind of ties in with Perrin), which really surprised me since I was looking forward to Mat rescuing SPOILERS.
montagohalcyon
Rand was pretty awesome in the most recent book too. Not much pagetime though.
Sabbo
Chapter 40: Damane
And then everybody collides dramatically and dies. The other 11 books are actually blank. Feel free to read the prologue though.
Sabbo
I think that previous chapter is kind of dull intentionally so this one has more of an impact.
montagohalcyon
Chapter 41: Disagreements
I got the impression that was actually one of the villages burned by the Questioners. Which is a thing. IDK what to say about it. Demonstrating that chaos is everywhere and no one knows what's going on I guess.
montagohalcyon
Chapter 42: Falme
To me, a sign of quality writing is that by any given point in a series after the first installment (whether an episode, book, etc.), you can't tell how much was planned from the start and how was the author making shit up as he went along.
Sabbo
He narrows his possibilities to make story with prophecies, views and dreams though, so main storyline should have been already planned. I'm wondering how many of those wont be used.
wheelreader
Ah, but not all of the prophecies were listed in the first book (including Min's viewings), nor even in the first five books. Indeed, due to Min's viewings, the prophecies get introduced regularly for quite a while.
Sabbo
Chapter 43: A Plan
That reminds me, the inn Domon stopped at in Ilian shows up in the next book but nothing that happens there is related.
montagohalcyon (edited by: montagohalcyon)
Chapter 44: Five Will Ride Forth
Yeah, Whitecloaks are odd like that. Indeed, I could count the number who aren't on one hand.
Sabbo
...and four will come back. (or something like that) It's from the dark prophecy left in Fain's cell, I believe.

This is the part where you should be wondering who it will be but I completely missed out on the suspense because I forgot about the second bit.
montagohalcyon
Chapter 45: Blademaster
This isn't Rand's climax yet, no sir.

So, I think you missed the important bit with the collars—it's not that they work on anyone, it's that sul'dam like Seta can actually channel, or at least learn to, and apparently nobody figured that out before.

Which means some of the most powerful members of Seanchan society outside the nobility are the same kind of people the Seanchan believe should be slaves.

This could have pretty big repercussions if word got out.
montagohalcyon
And thus you now know exactly what being a Blademaster means... although Rand's technique will still improve further.
Sabbo
Chapter 46: To Come Out of the Shadow
So, was this Ingtar shift because Portal Stone alternate lives scene or not? Can't remember.
wheelreader
It wasn't Fain he let in, it was the assassin who shot at Rand. From the description he's a Gray Man, who you'll see officially introduced in the next book.

(btw, I love how Jordan sneaks them into descriptive passages so you don't notice at first, just how they are in-universe)
montagohalcyon
He talks about how he saw all kinds of alternate lives, but he didn't end up blowing the Horn in any of them, making him realize that his desire to redeem himself by doing that would also be considered "seeking glory" like the person who does it isn't supposed to.
Eegah
Chapter 47: The Grave is No Bar to My Call
It only happens one more time, don't worry.

Yeah, I was surprised the Hawkwing-Seanchan relationship didn't come up here.

I theorized in the comments of the last blog that, given future events in the south, maybe this is why the Horn needs to go to Ilian at some point...
montagohalcyon
You'll get your fill of on-screen battles later on. Trust me on that. (although Jordan still has an annoying tendency to skip awesome parts...)
Arilou
Chapter 48: First Claiming
And we haven't even met one of the women who's going to be a love interest!

It's implied in the next chapter that the main reason Rand is still alive is Lanfear Healing him.
montagohalcyon
Min's actions are really weird from any outside POV but makes perfect sense given who she is.
Arilou
Don't worry, this series doesn't form a Love Dodecahedron.
Sabbo
You say? Well, maybe you are right. They are just separate Love Pyramids.
wheelreader
Chapter 49: What was Meant to Be
Good prediction. It'll be very much Because Destiny Says So and Prophecy Twist from now on.
wheelreader
It's not really a cliffhanger given the epilogue outright confirms it, I don't know why the chapter ends that way. Dramatic weight?

And now, the book in which a) Rand disappears for long stretches b) ta'veren effects begin to go beyond Contrived Coincidences c) Forsaken and new types of Shadowspawn everywhere d) Mat starts to become a pretty cool guy e) Aiel actually do stuff.
montagohalcyon
Chapter 50: After
The Seanchan aren't just a throwaway villain for this book though, remember how they're the Forerunners, preparing for the Return?

Well... T He Return isn't here yet.
Arilou
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