Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Great Hunt Audiobook Update 7: It seemed so logical, then

What an ominous and unclear subtitle. First off I’d like to say RIP to Ingtar. Yes he was a darkfriend and betrayed Rand, but then again he betrayed Rand so could he really have been all bad? Quite the conundrum.

A dark start to the weekend for sure. If only that archer had shot Rand right in the heart… O I lament for what could have been. What an all time great line from Ingtar. I know it’s a serious moment but I just think of your friend convincing you to do something stupid after a long night out and just being like the next day “it seemed so logical, then.”

If you stuck with the blog this long after an odd start lets get right into it. Today is the weekly update of the number one Wheel of Time audiobook review and discussion. Who rated it number one? ME of course, if I speak it into existence then one day it will be true. At least that is what every corny ass motivational speaker or self-help book author says. More importantly though, it’s friday!

Had a great chance to knock out a lot of the audiobook this week, and I think by this time next week we will be taking a journey through the third book. By the time I finish listening to this entire series I will have ran 10 marathons, and written 500 blogs. Pretty crazy.

So one of my favorite parts of the entire series, partly because I actually remember it, was the duel between Turak and Rand. I don’t think I am alone in this, Reddit always seems to have one person chiming it about how much they love this. But you know what no one seems to talk about, just how great it would have been if Rand didn’t cheat and Turak ran him the fuck through with his sword.

I have to say every time I picture this fight I always find the idea that Turak has these like crazy long old lady nails hilarious. Like how the hell is he supposed to swing a sword around with these neon claws. Unfortunately this was our best chance to off the protagonist and Turak dropped the ball. This mush-mouth, cat lady nail having, old Irish golf pant wearing, skinny bitch couldn’t get the job done. Heron marked blade my ass. I think I would have rather seen that god damn kid Mat tricked into thinking there were ghost hound things running around take a chance at Rand over this clown. What an all time choke artist.

Lets talk about the hero of the series and his bravery in blowing the Horn of Valere. It was awesome. The fact that Arthur Hawkwing wastes time talking to Rand instead of the peoples champ is an all time snub. Him and his Snape nose can go roll in broken glass naked.

And that about wraps up this week in audiobook love. I have a special treat coming tomorrow. You guessed it, it is another blog. Real special. Lets get it.

Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Great Hunt Audiobook Update 6: Endless worlds, endless possibilities

I would like to take some time out of your regularly scheduled program to honor a true hero. A man that has faced ridicule, faced trials and tribulations, faced haters and doubters, and has rose above adversity to lead his people to greatness. I am talking of course about the legend number 8 of the New York Football Giants, Daniel Mothafucka Jones. Hi pocket presence, his ability to read the defense, his pure athleticism caused the drive that was heard round the tristate area like a local car dealership. What does this have to do with The Wheel of Time you might ask? Well my friends, in short, everything.

It was a hot summer afternoon when a young man, fresh off a grueling and truly terribly performed 8-mile run sat on his couch and tuned into the New York Football Giants. He had just finished listening to an hour-and-a-halfish (yes that’s how long it took to run 8 miles, I am not proud of this fact) of a fantastic audiobook courtesy of the lovely folks at audible (sponsor me please), when a hero first entered the television screen. He proceeded to complete his first pass. I was intrigued. Another play, another completion. My eyes were laser focused on this man-miracle. He dares to throw another, he succeeds in completing this monumental feat. Now I am tearing up, for three in a row can’t possibly be possible. Pray it is no fluke. A fourth pass, a fourth completion. I am full on weeping tears of joy. My dick may or may not be harder than a blood-diamond.  And finally, the grand finale. He lets the ball go, TOUCHDOWN. The sky erupts as the heavens open up in the presence of a god. Lightning is appearing in the sky, the world is sundering at the seams. The fabric of reality is torn. The sheer magnitude of the moment causes a weather delay. I worry how this will affect my bet if they can’t finish the game. I finish my aside. Go Giants!

There is a part in chapter 37 of The Great Hunt where Rand is trying to use a portal stone and it is acting like a shitty motor that just won’t get started. He finally gets the thing working and like a sputtering engine we are treated to six renditions of the word ‘Flicker.’ Now reading ‘flicker’ six times in a row takes no effort at all, but hearing it six straight times was just torturous. Worse than listening to a country song. BUTTTTT what we do get is this sickkkk chapter where Rand lives out like 100 lives and I have to say, I like every other version of Rand better than the one Robert Jordan subjects us too. In one life he is a disgruntled guard with an attitude problem, who goes on to lead the Caemlyn army in a last stand. That is fucking badass. None of this soft ass crying. Also Rand screws up and they launch themselves 4 months into the future. Good job dipshit.

Meanwhile at the White Tower, we are treated to an, wait for it, angry Nynaeve. The source of her anger? She got whipped up on for throwing hands with another Accepted. Nynaeve embodies the world-renowned scholar Aubrey Graham’s famous quote “twitter fingers turn to trigger fingers.” She doesn’t take no shit from noooooobody. I do think it is pretty weak though that Liandrin is able to convince them all to leave the White Tower just because they are afraid that there are Black Aja around. Like couldn’t they just go to the Amrilyn Seat? The precedent has been set that they have at least the semblance of a connection with her, and certainly asking her would be wise. O well they didn’t so off they go.

I do want to address the elephant in the room. Many have been clamoring that Matt in these last few chapters has exhibited elements of what us in the world like to call a “snitch.” In some of the lives Matt sees of himself, he has told people that Rand has been able to channel. Some, those deep dark hating trolls, would believe that this means that our hero Matt exhibits snitch like tendencies, but I am here to say that could not be further from the truth. What traits Matt truly embodies are that of the hero, he is willing to sacrifice even his own friend (who has proven to be a terrible friend on numerous occasions, even deigning to look down upon him) for the sake of the safety of the world. Duty is lighter than a feather, heavier than a mountain indeed. Happy Friday everybody!

Final Notes: I promise some more book related stuff is coming, but taking a break from The Stone Sky and whatever is the name of that stupid ass third book in A Land Fit for Heroes series to read The Ruin of Kings has me about halfway done with three different books. An interesting conundrum.

Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Great Hunt Audiobook Update 5: Cause baby you’re a firework


I have not done a great job this week of putting up any blogs, which is crazy considering how much reading I have done since Monday. The problem is, I haven’t really come close to finishing everything, I have about 200 pages left in The Dark Defiles, 340 pages left in The Stone Sky and I just started The Ruin of Kings. Why did I start The Ruin of Kings when I have more than enough on my plate? Because I am a fantasy glutton. No I wanted to read it for job related things that I am not at liberty to discuss. That sounds so fucking cool. It’s not

So here we are with another week done and an audiobook update needing to be put out there. Since we are all in the trust tree on this blog I want to say that since I posted the last update I have only listened to about an hour of The Great Hunt. Been running a lot without headphones or by listening to music so obviously that means no audiobook. It is impossible to focus on an audiobook, for me at least, while doing hills, intervals or tempo runs so any day I am scheduled to run those I listen to music. That being said, the tempo run I had this morning was missssserable. I think for the 20 minutes I ran hard I averaged like an 8:15ish mile, which is honestly just fine with me. So at least performance wise I was where I wanted to be, but physically I was dying. I actually started to cramp a little bit in my side, which never happens to me so I don’t know what that was about. Safe to say that is the last I’ll think about it until it happens again.

The blogs subtitle speaks for itself, I am a huge Katy Perry fan. No it’s because Rand launched a firework at either a trolloc or darkfriend I really don’t remember. I do know that it was pretty cool. The highlight of what I read was of course the return of the legendary Thom, who of course is already banging out a much younger lady. What a boss. It does set up that fucking crazy murderous Thom rampage he goes on at some point. I remember originally reading it and it going completely over my head. I hope listening this time I pick up on it. I think I didn’t even realize it happened until I read something on it after the series was done.

And that pretty much sums up everything. Dull stuff but you know what, not everyone is a winner. That picture I made is funny as shit though. I think I am going to have to start using football players soon. Tis the season. Have a great weekend everybody.

Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Great Hunt Audiobook Update 3: Shooter’s Shoot

After successfully arguing my case for the sexual deviance of Rand al’Bore in last weeks blog, I thought to myself “You have peaked as a blogger.” Perhaps, but much like a crippled Kobe I will continue to limp my way through this despite all evidence telling me I’m washed. And similar to Kobe, SHOOTERS SHOOT. For the record Kobe and I have many differences too. It would be rude to point those out so don’t.

This week featured a lot of Aes Sedai shit. After Selene escaped a predator, we were treated to a little Moiraine and my main man Lan. Moiraine spends some time with the Golden Girls and trys to learn some shit, but it is her conversation with Lan that really gets us. At this point we kind of don’t know the deal with Moiraine and Lan, like are they bang buddies, did the swipe right on Tinder and decide to be friends, do either of them like each other’s Instagram posts from months back, it’s confusing. So it was illuminating to see that they just got a common goal in mind. Moiraine is an all-time mindfucker. Telling Lan he is getting his bond transferred so he won’t off himself, and dangling the possibility of Nynaeve getting that bond at some point is a classic Sedai scheme.

Imagine your wife being the person who has your bond, seems fucking miserable. You get asked to go do some menial thing like take out the trash (which is the most generic chore I could think of), you obviously say no because the Giants have the ball on the 15 and it’s 3rd and goal because of a holding penalty. We call that prime Saquon the Savior time. She compels you to do it. You miss the hurdle to stiff arm to extend the ball over the corner greatness. The worst. Just kidding, flag thrown on the play, hold on Sterling Shepard on the opposite side of the field. 3rd and 25.

You come home after a long day sharpening your sword and practicing forms, you remember that Timmy the Tinker was showing your wife some pottery. You walk into the bedroom and see Timmy tinkering your wife. You go to pull out that freshly sharpened sword but NOOO. She compels you to watch because she has a cuckolding fetish. You weep silent tears. She compels you to let Timmy tinker you because she’s finished and he still hasn’t found the one song of his dick. That’s the way of the leaf for ya.

So Nynaeve and Egwene finally get to the tower and meet Sheriam. Sheriam keeps trying to make Nynaeve a novice and Nynaeve pulls a Birdman and tells her to put some res’peck on my name. I am a sucker for those ring test chapters to be raised to novice, and the Nynaeve one is just so well done. Robert Jordan has some chapters that just hit differently, I get pulled in and remember when all the bullshit is going on how he can go from overdoing it to mastering it. I’m just realizing it seems a lot of these moments for me are the Nynaeve and Lan love saga. Just so well done. When she is forced to choose between the fake reality where she has everything she wants, Lan as her husband and restored to his glory, kids, the works and the bleakness that is the world she currently resides in, my heartstrings are just pulled. I may have started to tear up… I swear I am not a little bitch despite what the evidence points too.

I was worried I wouldn’t have anything to write about. Silly me. Happy Friday!

Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Great Hunt Audiobook Update 2: Rand getting Randy

At this point of the book, we have to question if Rand is more of sexual deviant then supposed savior of the world. Sure he doesn’t explicitly have sex, or like harass anyone or any of the other things that makes my judgement obvious, but it takes a little reading between the lines to really see it. I guess this deserves some context, and with that WELCOME TO THE AUDIOBOOK UPDATE.

Assuming you are still reading after that, let me be the first to say Happy Friday! I have been fortunate enough to avoid getting trapped in the murderous heat (mostly because I spend all day trapped in the gulag I call work) and though my electric bill is rising faster than a priest’s pecker in a preschool, there’s no way I could possibly go without some AC at night. Not looking forward to having to run Saturday and Sunday, I probably will get up early and try and bang out the long run tomorrow morning. Not that you care you are here to hear about what I have heard!

Well that is going to have to wait a paragraph or two because I am here to talk about some gear. Thanks to Amazon Prime Day, no free ads, I was able to get myself a Garmin Forerunner 235 for $140. I know that the Forerunner 245 has come out already and that attributes to Garmin trying to sell off their old models, but I am not a guy who needs my watch to do a whole bunch of different things, I just want an accurate GPS and a timer. The price is well worth it for the watch, I remember for Black Friday the watch cost $200. So using it for the first time this morning, I knew that this was well worth it. The watch made checking my distance so much easier than either checking my phone or waiting for the audio cues from Runkeeper. As someone who is highly obsessed with making sure the run goes over the actual distance, I always had to adjust the GPS map on Runkeeper. Inevitably I would find out I’m .2 miles short of my goal then trudge my ass up and down the sidewalk looking like one of the crackheads in Church Square Park. All in all, this is much easier.

Okay back to the book. The characters have had their split before they inevitably meet up at the end, like all good fantasy books should. The paths have been set, Egwene and Nynaeve are headed for the White Tower, Rand is trying to keep his dick in his pants while simultaneously lording over Loial and Hurin, and the hero and wolfboy are chilling with the Shienaran boyzzzzzzzzz.

A quick comment on Padan Fain, his paranoia talking to himself thing gets a little annoying at times, but him fucking up that Myddraal by skinning it in front of all his gang is badass. I can imagine that being absolutely gruesome and terrifying. Fear is effective. And frankly more fun to read about.

I love the way Nynaeve straight up disrespects the shit out of everyone. O you are the Amyrlin and everybody purses their lips to kiss your ass, fuckkkkk that I’m going to air throw you against a wall and show you I’m the real one. Just a boss ass bitch who takes no shit. All anyone needs to do to motivate her is tell her that if she trains eventually she will fuck them all up.

The hero and Perrin are choosing to stick to the mission, which is to get the horn back. Matt’s disdain for any magic power is inspiring, he is just the perfect character. He successfully ices out Rand because Rand was acting like an entitled lord, and when Rand tries to apologize Matt’s like helllll no don’t come near me with your magic madness ass. Characters who can get by in a world of magic without any magic always make me happy. I do enjoy Perrin as well, his personality is a little over the top with the humble blacksmith routine, but I love the wolf connection. He also is a house and I respect a unit when I see one.

But let’s get back to Rand the pervert. He meets this random girl named Selene and acts like he has never seen a hot girl before. Look that’s okay, Rand is a certified loser who already lost the girl he has a crush on, so it is to be expected that he is going to be a sucker for the next woman who flashes a little kneecap, but my god you are pathetic bro.

First off, he lies about his status as a lord and eattttts up the attention Selene gives him. The guy is literally fumbling for words. Pathetic. But it is the scene where he catches her trying to rob him that gets me. Let’s run through the things he says and I will leave the reader to draw their own conclusions.

“Unbidden, the thought came of Selene with no clothes. His face went red again.”

Bro, you just met the girl and you are already undressing her with your eyes. You haven’t even followed her on Instagram yet, where you can look at her in conspicuously angled pictures meant to draw your eye to her more prominent features where she is essentially naked and you don’t have to imagine anything. Also he completely disregards her when he questions how she knows all these things about Kirby’s Dreamland when Loial, a MAN, doesn’t even know it. Basically says that because she is a woman there is no way she could have read as much as Loial. Disgusting, no respect for her mind.

“It was not that he wanted to touch her, exactly-he reminded himself that he loved Egwene; he felt guilty at the need for reminding-but she was beautiful, and she though he was a lord, and she said he could be a great man.”

This one is just too much. Break it down, he said he wanted to touch her! Without even the pretense of dinner! Get the girl a cheeseburger first before trying to touch her buns. Despicable. You know what stops him, GUILT, guilt over the fact that he is going behind the back of the girl he is talking too, salivating over a girl he just met. He would have touched Selene if he didn’t think he would feel guilty. And the whole thing about being a Lord, Rand hasn’t even held any real power yet and he is already thinking about ways to use that power to manipulate innocent women to get laid. Thirsty ass Rand just another typical man who thinks because he has power he deserves to fuck whoever he wants. So shameful.

“He had put Nynaeve’s age to her-a handful of years older than himself-but he had been wrong, he realized. She was more his own age, and beautiful,”

“She seemed so cool and self-possessed, no older than he,”

“It was not as if he had never seen a girl’s legs before: girls in the Two Rivers always tied up their skirts to go wading in the Waterwood ponds. But they stopped doing it well before they were old enough to braid their hair, and this was in the dark besides.”

THREE COMENTS ABOUT HER AGE. This guy is the fucking worst, he tries to pull this shit in America he’s going straight to jail, or the head of a finance firm… Look he mentions how hot he thinks Selene is, but he can’t stop harping on the fact that she looks young, he is almost obsessed with it. When he sees Selene’s legs, his FIRST thought is about little girls in the river, and he remembers this fondly. I am going to let you draw your own conclusions, but the evidence piles up after a while. There is a reason this is an anti-Rand blog.

Final Notes: I just want to acknowledge the kind of mind it takes to listen to an audiobook while running, retain the information and form opinions, and latter write that stuff down. On top of that I am even able to find quotes that I recall hearing. Truly inspiring stuff.

Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Great Hunt Audiobook Update 1: Lan’s Life Lesson’s

There are times when you got to raise your hand up and admit when you are in the wrong and not for the first time in my life I am raising my hand. I have let down my loyal and nonexistent audience by not providing an audiobook update last week. My apologies friends, I had a four day weekend and took the lazy way out. You may be wondering why I didn’t address this scandal on Monday’s blog. Well I didn’t want to sully my marathon blog with the stink of failure.

That being said, with the week winding down and marathon training in full almost week swing, there has been ample opportunity to dive deep into the The Great Hunt, which is of course the second book of the Wheel of Time series. I really do want to start listening to a random book in a series, like say book five of a ten book series, and see how impossible it is to follow. I think that would provide a solid level of content, since if I just continue to lightly recap the WoT I might hang myself like the prisoner in Fal Dara after he sees the Myddraal during the Padan Fain rescue attempt. That’s called a lead in folks.

Something that Robert Jordan does extremely well is these prologues that give us a POV of a character to kind of give us a different perspective then what we are going to be reading. Old Georgy does the same thing with ASIOF and now that I am thinking about it I think that a lot of authors do this exact thing. Point is, I like this shit, especially when we start to get POV’s of the bad guys. The meeting of the Dark Friend posse is interesting because the Wheel of Time, along with many other fantasy series, has the tendency to make the bad guys seem so dumb, like they kind of just fall into these traps or screw up at just the right moment. I understand some of that is necessary but it is refreshing to see that there actually is a bigger plan at play. The out that Ba’alzamon offers us is he is unsure if he wants Rand dead or not. So anytime Rand doesn’t get killed it’s a solid “well it’s not his time yet.” Just for the record I am retroactively redacting the “p” word.

What we have gotten more off in the start to this book is some good ol’ fashion Lan dialogue. I am not ashamed to admit that I almost universally love any scene in a fantasy series that involves some good ol’ fashion training. Good ol’ fashion. Just thought I should say it a third time. Maybe it is because I harbor deep seeded dreams of becoming a pro athlete despite never playing a college sport (and already being 26 out of my prime), or because I respect the grind. Or maybe I just like it idk not everything has to be looked into. Is deep seeded the expression? Who knows. Point is that we get lots of Lan’s Life Lessons. Shit that is a great subtitle for this blog or a good blog series. When you get to this part of the blog you will have noticed that is already the subtitle. A little behind-the-scenes on how I create greatness.

Lan takes an active role in training Rand, which mostly involves beating him with a practice sword. Let me tell you, nothing in this series brings me more joy then the idea of Rand getting whipped up on. The lessons he offers are the basics, but he keeps urging him to leave which shows that he not only cares for Rand (which is dumb) but that he can think separately from the goals of the Aes Sedai. I just finished the part where he imparts his final lesson “sheathing the sword” which is not the line dropped on us by the late great Walder Frey “every sword needs a sheath.”

“There will come a time when you must achieve a goal at all costs. It may come in attack or in defense. And the only way will be to allow the sword to be sheathed in your own body. … when the price is worth the gain, and there is no other choice left to you. That is called Sheathing the Sword. Remember it.”

Sick use of block quotes. If you asked Walder Frey to interpret Lan’s expression I believe he would introduce you to a concept made popular by famous Marilyn Manson rumor. I’m talking self-sucking folks.

While I normally don’t consider myself a sappy guy I can’t get enough of the Lan and Nynaeve forbidden love thing. That touching ass scene where he gives her the ring is heartwarming. As someone who loves to watch (forced to watch) a decent amount of Rom-Com’s I have a soft spot for this kind of thing.

No Matt yet and for this the book has suffered tremendously. The book also suffers from the Amyrlin Seat’s terrible fishwife expressions. It is soooooo forced. Cringe worthy. Pretty much the equivalent of every line in Twilight (the movie not the books those were good). I like her as a character but her lines are sometimes brutal.

The point of this book is to go get the horn they had for two seconds back. Thought it would be worth mentioning.

Final Notes: I wanted to do an NBA trade’s recap because anyone who even passively follows the NBA or free agency knows this has been insane. With Westbrook going to the Rockets my mind is fucking blown. Just for the record I may have mentioned I am crazy anti-Westbrook. I was going to make a joke about Westbrook saying “anti-ninja turtle” but I am vehemently pro ninja turtle. I want to get into summer league gambling, seems like a real thrill. That’s Friday folks.

Journey around the Wheel of Time

Eye of the World Final Audiobook Update

Happy Friday everybody, I hope that the week of hell weather was a nice change of pace from the flood that was unleashed upon us last week. And since it is a happy Friday it is time for the greatest serial blog of all time. Though I was remiss in writing a mid-week blog, have no fear, I have been both reading and running, so there is going to be a lot coming in the next few weeks. But most importantly, at least in the case of this stupid thing, is that I have about 20 minutes left in the audiobook! This means expect a full audiobook recap coming up next week, and get ready for the start of the next one. Since that will only leave 300 more audiobooks over 10948021 hours, this blog series will never die!

I plan on doing a full running thing next week, as I have finally selected a marathon training plan and I think it is going to be beneficial to myself (the only person who matters of course) to kind of lay out the whole plan as well as write about where I am at. As such, I don’t want to waste space here talking about it, because I am really excited for today’s blog. Also starting a sentence with ‘as such’ and still managing to throw in a ‘because’ is such pro level blogging. It is shocking how easy I make this seem.

Why am I excited about this? Glad I asked myself. See while I think this book is a fantastic start to what I am slowly realizing is a series that I did not give nearly enough credit too my first time around, there is one particular passage in Eye of the World that fully shows the breathe of Robert Jordan’s genius. Flex on em boooooy.

Chapter 48 has the gang all together, and they settle down for the night. Ol’ peeping Tom al’Thor catches Nynaeve and Lan in their most intimate moment. To say I was eagerly anticipating this is an understatement. If you are familiar with this book, you know what I am talking about. If you are not, you are probably thinking that these two are going to fuck, and that is why I am all jazzed up. It’s 2019 I don’t need to read about sex to get off you fucking weirdo’s, I have an iphone of course! Either way, that’s not what happens here. If you are not familiar with this book, get ready for a breakdown of a scene that has no context for you. Also what the hell are you doing reading this blog. Just kidding please like it I’m broke and trying to make a million dollars.

Here it is in full, then a breakdown after. The breakdown is not going to include spoilers about the rest of the series.

The Wisdom Looked at Lan silently for a long time, then poured a cup of tea and brought it to him. When he reached out with a murmur of thanks, she did not let go right away.”I should have known you would be a king.” She said quietly. Her eyes were steady on the warder’s face, but her voice trembled slightly.

Lan looked back at her just as intently. It seemed to Rand that the Warder’s face actually softened.  “I am not a king, Nynaeve. Just a man. A man without as much to his name as even the meanest farmer’s croft.”

Nynaeve’s voice steadied. “Some women don’t ask for land, or gold. Just the man.”

 “And the man who would ask her to accept so little would not be worthy of her. You are a remarkable woman, as beautiful as the sunrise, as fierce as a warrior. You are a lioness, Wisdom.”

“A Wisdom seldom weds. But if I go to Tar Valon, it may be that I will be something other than a Wisdom.”

“Aes Sedai marry as seldom as Wisdoms. Few men can live with so much power in a wife, dimming them by her radiance whether she wishes or not.”

“Some men are strong enough. I know one such.” If there could have been any doubt, her look left none as to whom she meant.

“All I have is a sword, and a war I cannot win, but can never stop fighting.”

“I’ve told you I care nothing for that. Light, you’ve made me say more than is proper already. Will you shame me to the point of asking you?”

“I will never shame you.” The gentle tone, like a caress, sounded odd to Rand’s ears in the Warder’s voice, but it made Nynaeve’s eyes brighten. “ I will hate the man you choose because he is not me, and love him if he makes you smile. No woman deserves the sure knowledge of widow’s black as her brideprice, you least of all.” He set the untouched cup on the ground and rose. “I must check the horses.”

Nynaeve remained there, kneeling, After he had gone.

Sleep or no, Rand closed his eyes. He did not think the Wisdom would like it if he watched her cry.

The first time I read this I was a little confused, I had picked up on Nynaeve had a little thing for Lan, but I did not expect it to come to a head like this. She found out he was a king in a previous chapter, where Rand notes that she paid particular attention to a story they were being told. Also classic woman move to do a slight favor for a guy just to have an opportunity to trap him in a serious conversation.

 Lan looked back at her just as intently. It seemed to Rand that the Warder’s face actually softened.  “I am not a king, Nynaeve. Just a man. A man without as much to his name as even the meanest farmer’s croft.”

While not necessarily true, Lan is the Lord of the Seven Towers and Lakes and such, it is not exactly like he can hire a lawyer and take the trollocs to court to get his land back. Actually I don’t know how squatter’s rights work in the border lands so I guess this may be true. Either way this is the first time that we see Lan reciprocate any real feelings towards Nynaeve directly. It is also at this point where I start to tear up as I run down Willow Avenue.

Nynaeve’s voice steadied. “Some women don’t ask for land, or gold. Just the man.”

And the tears fall down as well as my pride, cannot and do not want to imagine what anyone thought if they looked at me during the two minutes this scene plays out. Also I am narcissistic enough to know people look at me the entire length of all my runs.

“And the man who would ask her to accept so little would not be worthy of her. You are a remarkable woman, as beautiful as the sunrise, as fierce as a warrior. You are a lioness, Wisdom.”

You feel the rejection coming but even so it is so eloquently put by Lan that it makes it that much harsher.

“A Wisdom seldom weds. But if I go to Tar Valon, it may be that I will be something other than a Wisdom.”

This is where Robert Jordan does such a complete job of character development. I know this stuff gets realllllly, and I mean really, long winded as the series goes on but this line right here is the underlying motivation for Nynaeve to become an Aes Sedai. Nynaeve is clearly anti Aes Sedai, and while the desire to heal people thing is a motivator, the real motivation is for Nynaeve to become an Aes Sedai is because she feels this is the way to Lan’s heart. Perhaps she is the one who actually feels unworthy of him.

“Aes Sedai marry as seldom as Wisdoms. Few men can live with so much power in a wife, dimming them by her radiance whether she wishes or not.”

A paltry excuse offered by Lan here, he is grasping at straws because he is hesitant to say what he really feels.

“Some men are strong enough. I know one such.” If there could have been any doubt, her look left none as to whom she meant.

GOD this is too much. As annoying as Nynaeve is at times, her way off cutting through the bullshit is excellent.

“All I have is a sword, and a war I cannot win, but can never stop fighting.”

This is the line of the book right here. While Mat is my favorite character (can’t you tell) Lan is easily a close second. His lines are the most impactful of the entire series. There are a lot of throwaway lines Robert Jordan uses to help us see past the rugged exterior of Lan, such as when Loial mentions that he misses discussing books with the warder, but it is sentences like this that we see the full depth of his character. Bound by his oath, burdened with his sword, the last remaining soldier in an impossible war. Yet he will fight because he swore to it, it is his duty. While he tells the other borderlanders that he has abandoned the cause, he never will

“I’ve told you I care nothing for that. Light, you’ve made me say more than is proper already. Will you shame me to the point of asking you?”

And here it is, the most outright statement of the conversation. Nynaeve knows all this, maybe she doesn’t fully grasp the whole of the situation but definitely enough to understand what he is saying, but to her this does not matter. She is not asking him to put aside his oaths, she is willing to carry that burden with him.

“I will never shame you.” The gentle tone, like a caress, sounded odd to Rand’s ears in the Warder’s voice, but it made Nynaeve’s eyes brighten. “ I will hate the man you choose because he is not me, and love him if he makes you smile. No woman deserves the sure knowledge of widow’s black as her brideprice, you least of all.” He set the untouched cup on the ground and rose. “I must check the horses.”

And yet he will not give into what his heart is telling him. He will not because he knows that no matter how much he loves Nynaeve, he has sworn to fight, and there is no outcome that doesn’t end in his death. He loves Nynaeve enough that he will not put her through this, he loves her so much that he will reject her so that she can have a chance at happiness. I mean this is just a real tear jerker.

Nynaeve remained there, kneeling, After he had gone.

Sleep or no, Rand closed his eyes. He did not think the Wisdom would like it if he watched her cry.

I know this is a departure from my usual jokes, but I love this passage so much that I thought it needed to be discussed. Also this blog is getting crazy long so time to end it.