Laurien's Journey Through The Great Hunt

Laurien Achaur

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Here I go with Book Two, everyone! Thank you for coming along :D3 I may try something a little different this time and post a summary of my thoughts after I read through each chapter (which is what I'm going to do with the prologue right now) rather than a play by play, just to smooth out my own reading experience. However, I may revert to old habits out of a need to spell out my reactions in the moment. Who knows? Either way...let's get going!

Prologue: In the Shadow

- Once it was mentioned that everyone at the meeting was wearing black masks, I figured it had to be a meeting of Darkfriends. Seeing all the various nationalities and cultures represented (including Black Ajah) was quite interesting.
- The way Ba'alzamon appeared made me smirk. I figured Rand hadn't actually destroyed him because they fought in the dream realm. But after all the little injuries Rand got from his encounters with Ba'alzamon in his dreams, it only made sense for him to appear all raw and messed up after getting hit with the sword of Light.
- I'm still a bit confused as to whether Ba'alzamon is an avatar of the Dark One himself or Ishamael...or something/someone else altogether. I'm sure it'll get cleared up for me eventually!
- The way RJ describes seeing two things at once, one atop the other, is well done, I think, because it conveys the impossibility of it. Two things just are at the same time, and that's all there is to it, because there's really no other way to explain it without heads exploding :laugh:
- The reveal of Bors as a Whitecloak Questioner was a surprise but made a lot of sense. Having had Whitecloak dogma drilled into him for Light knows how long would account for the questioning he was doing.
 
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Blythe Alawdin

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I'm excited you're on The Great Hunt! I loved it so much and it introduced one of my favorite characters. It has so many twists and turns in it and I couldn't put the book down
 

Satara al'Caelahn

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Ooo new thread! I'm actually currently listening to the audio of TGH so all your feelings should be especially fresh for me. :laugh:
 

Viktara Fen

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So excited to come with you on the journey through TGH!
 
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Looking forward to continuing along with you in TGH!
 

Laurien Achaur

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It was slow at work yesterday and I ended up reading a few chapters in a row. So!

Chapter 1: The Flame of Tar Valon

- Rand and Lan doing shirtless sword-sparring atop a tower in Fal Dara? Did RJ even realize how much of a thirst trap he was writing? :laugh: To be fair, it's easier to picture with the show out now. *ahem* I'll stop.:tongue
- ...What was that wind-wall all about? Something unconsciously manifesting from Rand, or something else?
- I know Lan is an insightful man when it comes to the world around him, but the insight he shows with Rand and the others always surprises me a little.
- Wow. Rand's sword is a few millenia old and of Aes Sedai make. Talk about holding history.
- He's been waiting for Moiraine to speak to him again for a month? Yet he's so conflicted about her. Boy makes no sense.
- Waaaait, wait, wait. Was Moiraine's murmuring while holding her little blue stone at the end of EotW actually her telling the Amyrlin Seat about Rand instead of just musing to herself? Or did she actually go back to Tar Valon to tell the Amyrlin herself?

Chapter 2: The Welcome

- Yeah...I really don't think Rand is going to find it so easy to escape Fal Dara if the Amyrlin is visiting :giggle
- Oh, hey! Getting some context for what shatayan is in the books now :)
- Okay, part of me thinks the scene with Rand handing his clothes out to Elansu and the women is hilarious, and the other part of me feels bad for him basically getting sexually harassed :look: I know it was meant to be funny, but it's a product of the times that I'm taking the other point of view into account.
- He sure did get some nice clothes out of his quarters being invaded. That cloak with the dragon embroidery, though...who else's fault could that have been but Moiraine's?
- And now a bit of reference for the shambayan, too. This makes me happy :D3
- I've always been a sucker for a good ceremony. I really like what's depicted of the Welcome for the Amyrlin before Rand takes off again.
- Yep, just as I thought. Orders not to let anyone out. The ta'veren isn't getting out of his fate that easily!
 

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- Wow. Rand's sword is a few millenia old and of Aes Sedai make. Talk about holding history.

Definitely a "magic weapon" in the D&D sense! And then there's the very age of it, as you mention. I had the good fortune once to handle a sword from the late Heian period (which ended in 1185 AD), but never something quite this old, and certainly nothing for-real enchanted like this. I can only imagine the awe it would inspire to realize that you're holding a weapon that's been in use since the Age of Legends.

Okay, part of me thinks the scene with Rand handing his clothes out to Elansu and the women is hilarious, and the other part of me feels bad for him basically getting sexually harassed :look: I know it was meant to be funny, but it's a product of the times that I'm taking the other point of view into account.

I find it very interesting that RJ shows us behaviors and interactions on people's parts that aren't necessarily flattering, even (and especially) among the "good guys." I think we often see this with the Emond's Field squad, too, in a way. They have very fixed (and often very wrongheaded) notions about the way the world works and how people should behave, and sometimes that leads them to make decisions and engage in behaviors we as modern readers don't approve of...and that, I think, RJ wasn't necessarily calling on us to approve of even way back when. In this particular case, Rand's innocence and naivete do elicit a chuckle, perhaps, but as you say, the women aren't being respectful to him and are basically harassing him and mocking him, and for no other reason than that his cultural views and behaviors are at odds with theirs. These are the sorts of things that make the setting feel very real to me.

He sure did get some nice clothes out of his quarters being invaded. That cloak with the dragon embroidery, though...who else's fault could that have been but Moiraine's?

Makes you wonder what she intended for him to do with that cloak. Go sauntering into his audience with the Amyrlin wearing it like, "Yeah, that's right, I'm the Dragon Reborn"?
 

Laurien Achaur

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Definitely a "magic weapon" in the D&D sense! And then there's the very age of it, as you mention. I had the good fortune once to handle a sword from the late Heian period (which ended in 1185 AD), but never something quite this old, and certainly nothing for-real enchanted like this. I can only imagine the awe it would inspire to realize that you're holding a weapon that's been in use since the Age of Legends.

I find it very interesting that RJ shows us behaviors and interactions on people's parts that aren't necessarily flattering, even (and especially) among the "good guys." I think we often see this with the Emond's Field squad, too, in a way. They have very fixed (and often very wrongheaded) notions about the way the world works and how people should behave, and sometimes that leads them to make decisions and engage in behaviors we as modern readers don't approve of...and that, I think, RJ wasn't necessarily calling on us to approve of even way back when. In this particular case, Rand's innocence and naivete do elicit a chuckle, perhaps, but as you say, the women aren't being respectful to him and are basically harassing him and mocking him, and for no other reason than that his cultural views and behaviors are at odds with theirs. These are the sorts of things that make the setting feel very real to me.

Makes you wonder what she intended for him to do with that cloak. Go sauntering into his audience with the Amyrlin wearing it like, "Yeah, that's right, I'm the Dragon Reborn"?

Oooo, that gave me chills, that you got to handle that sword. How cool!

I agree that it makes the world feel all the more real. Perhaps it was meant to be funny and uncomfortable, which so many things can definitely be!

Maybe Moiraine intended the cloak to be some kind of test, but I'm not sure of what. Bravado? Acceptance? Who he really is underneath it all? I definitely do wonder.
 

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Oooo, that gave me chills, that you got to handle that sword. How cool!

I agree that it makes the world feel all the more real. Perhaps it was meant to be funny and uncomfortable, which so many things can definitely be!

Maybe Moiraine intended the cloak to be some kind of test, but I'm not sure of what. Bravado? Acceptance? Who he really is underneath it all? I definitely do wonder.

The sword definitely had its own presence, for lack of a better word, a realness to it that mass-produced stuff does not have. I think most truly excellent blades are like that: There's something of the smith's spirit in them. (But I will squirrel off on a tangent about swords here if I don't curtail myself. :laugh: I am happy to talk about cool swords in PMs or elsewhere, though! :sword)

As for funny and uncomfortable, perhaps even more so because our first instinct is to laugh along with them! Mine was, at least, and then I thought of poor Rand, which was much easier than it might have been in real life because the scene was from his POV, and it was clear how the whole thing affected him.

I'm still unsure what Moiraine wanted there myself. I suspect when I go back for my next re-read, I'll scrutinize that part in particular to see if there are any hints that emerged later on.
 

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The Darkfriend Tinker always interested me. My first thought (as with them all) was "Is this someone we have met, or are going to meet", but my second is "how does this work?" - In cities, I can see how people can say slightly off things and get recruited, but how does someone manage this if they don't interact with city folk
- Okay, part of me thinks the scene with Rand handing his clothes out to Elansu and the women is hilarious, and the other part of me feels bad for him basically getting sexually harassed :look: I know it was meant to be funny, but it's a product of the times that I'm taking the other point of view into account
It is mentioned that the women find the baths uncomfortable, but I can't imagine a similar scene being played for laughs with Egwene naked and one of the male staff offering to come in and collect her clothes
 

Laurien Achaur

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Chapter 3: Friends and Enemies

- Rand's feeling of being watched really does seem like a touch of madness...but I'm not entirely sure I buy that.
- Oh hey! I was wondering where Loial and the other boys were :pleased-1:
- ...Rand, what the actual hell? Your only solution to wanting to leave alone is to turn into a complete jerk to your friends, including Loial?
- I wonder how much of this book is going to have me thoroughly ticked off at Rand within a few pages, then worried sick about him again a few pages later.
- Okay, it was kind of childish, but I give props to Egwene for tackling and sitting on him :laugh:
- There are times one someone can be too kind-hearted for their own good. Egwene visiting Padan Fain is not going to end well.
- Light. I think Fain's gotten worse. Certainly creepier!
- Mordeth? What does Mordeth have to do with it now?? Ugh. I guess it would make sense that he'd show up again sometime; it's not as though he actually disappeared in Shadar Logoth.

Chapter 4: Summoned

- I'm grinning reading the description of the Aes Sedai shawl because I've seen pictures in the forums from those on TV.net who make them. They match the book spot on, I think, and they're lovely!
- Liandrin. Oh, here we go.
- I do like Anaiya. But I dislike Liandrin quite a bit already just for the way she treats to serving women who only show her respect. And I don't trust her "kindness" toward Amalisa.
- Liandrin talks a bit like Yoda at times :laugh:
- What Siuan describes them having done to reach Fal Dara as quickly as possible is fascinating - a difficult glimpse of the fact that using the One Power can take a greater toll on more than oneself.
- Of course Elaida's meeting Rand would have come back into play. Oy.
- Yeesh. Moiraine is certainly in hot water with much of the other Aes Sedai, it seems, if not the Amyrlin.
- Even in the few paragraphs that have Siuan and Moiraine alone at the end of this chapter, their interaction makes me ridiculously invested in their friendship and whatever they're keeping secret from the rest of the Tower. For just a moment, they get to be themselves before the stakes come back around to hem it all in.

Chapter 5: The Shadow in Shienar

- I'm very curious about what is in the Prophecies that has Moiraine convinced that she and Siuan specifically are part of them.
- I wonder what made Siuan think that she and Moiraine could hide the man they found to be the Dragon Reborn in the White Tower. It seems to me that because of all the machinations that clearly go on there, it would only have been a matter of time before someone else found him.
- I do admire Agelmar's self-awareness about what his own motivations would be for blowing the Horn, hence passing it to the Amyrlin.
- All this talk in absolutes of the Dragon declaring himself and Rand standing before the world as the Dragon Reborn from Moiraine, and here's Rand, currently acting the furthest thing from it. Such a long way to go!
- I understand Moiraine's reasoning for letting Rand think she has no interest in him anymore...but Light, it's cruel.
- So Moiraine is going to let Rand go off on his own, but when he needs her, she'll be there. I wonder how she intends to keep tabs on him this time.
- Now I'm chuckling at Moiraine because she says she has the ability to see Rand named as the Dragon whether he likes it or not, and then talks of him being unable to avoid his fate and the Wheel weaving as it wills, but she never once considers that it might happen without her. Either there's Prophecy that includes her for this very purpose that has yet to be revealed to the reader, or she's got way more arrogance to her than I thought.
- So Geofram Bornhald is a...decent Whitecloak, I guess? At least he seems more willing to think than assume.
- Of course, I'm automatically suspecting Einor Saren as the Whitecloak Darkfriend now. Of course, I'll probably suspect every Questioner. They may as well be, after all.
- Okay, I really hate Liandrin now. I knew the way she was acting with Amalisa earlier couldn't be trusted.
- Who is Fain's visitor? Not Egwene of course... A Shienaran Darkfriend?

Chapter 6: Dark Prophecy

- Back to the bad dreams we go. I wonder if they're even worse because of Fain's presence, especially given how his voice ties into the moment Rand wakes up. A facet to Fain's abilities as the Dark One's hound, maybe?
- Oh Rand, shut your brain up! It's Nynaeve, for crying out loud.
- Of course Nynaeve can't take a compliment :laugh: At least Rand plowed ahead!
- Um. Yes, I agree with Nynaeve that Rand is an idiot right this very moment. Wishful thinking because of what was accomplished in a dream doesn't make the Dark One dead, much less out of earshot of the Dragon Reborn's boasting!
- The repercussions of naming him didn't take long at all. Trollocs and a Myrdraal inside the walls. Fantastic.
- What Rand walks into down in the dungeon... Light. I think it's the goriest scene so far; it makes my stomach knot.
- What is Liandrin trying to do to Rand here? It's clear she hates men; is she really trying to kill him?
- Good timing, Moiraine.
- The prisoners were already being affected by Fain's presence earlier. For what just happened to have one killing himself and the other stripping his hands bloody... It's insanity. So awful.
- Maybe the one Fain was talking about at the end of the last chapter was Mat? Considering the dagger is gone, I do wonder.
- Alright, the last episode of the show makes a bit more sense now. Fain escaped and got hold of the Horn, and now it's gone. It just got rolled into the Tarwin's Gap battle in the show rather than being part of two separate incidents.
- There was no real order to close the Keep after the Welcome? Whaaaaat is going on?
- The Browns really are being depicted as detached from the world and clinical about what's right in front of their faces. It makes me a little grumpy, but I also suspect a facade on some of their parts.

Chapter 7: Blood Calls Blood

- That damn dagger! A handful of Aes Sedai plus an angreal, and they still couldn't free him of it completely, especially without it there. What is up with this thing already?
- Well that's a chilling set of words. And a lot to write in blood in so relatively short a time.
- Ah, Lanfear. I've seen her name in various places outside the books. Now it seems I'll actually come across her in context soon.
- Good grief. Verin needs to be hit with a spray bottle now and then :laugh:
- ...Or it's just a cover for more perceptiveness than she's given credit for. Perceptiveness, but not a lot of wit. I might have liked her, too.
- OMG, Liandrin, leave Perrin alone!! And Leane! What a first thing to say to him! Ugh.
- :roflHe really just picked Liandrin up, set her off to one side to get her out of his way, and kept going!:rofl I know Perrin is struggling right now, but that was awesome!
- Yeah, you better damn well apologize to him, Rand.
- But of course, you end up with your foot in your mouth regardless. :rolleyes
- Yes, Lan, whip him into shape for a bit, would you?
- This red coat with the gold-embroidered vines and herons seems like one the one that Rand is illustrated wearing a lot, or at least very similar to it.
- Manetheren's eagle for him to wear, too. Moiraine's idea, I'm assuming?
 

Nadezhda al'Lanahrin

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These reactions are making me want to read those books again!!
 

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Chapter 3: Friends and Enemies
- Rand's feeling of being watched really does seem like a touch of madness...but I'm not entirely sure I buy that.
- Okay, it was kind of childish, but I give props to Egwene for tackling and sitting on him :laugh:
- There are times one someone can be too kind-hearted for their own good. Egwene visiting Padan Fain is not going to end well.
I think Rand is sensing Fain looking at him, but I have no idea how that is possible. Yes, Egwene is childish here, but she is childish most of the time - the boys have all had to deal with something major (channeling, wolves or the dagger), but Egwene hasn't had to do anything tht challenged her sense of self, other than being told she is extra special
Chapter 4: Summoned
- I'm grinning reading the description of the Aes Sedai shawl because I've seen pictures in the forums from those on TV.net who make them. They match the book spot on, I think, and they're lovely!
- Liandrin. Oh, here we go.
- I do like Anaiya. But I dislike Liandrin quite a bit already just for the way she treats to serving women who only show her respect. And I don't trust her "kindness" toward Amalisa.
- Liandrin talks a bit like Yoda at times .
We hadn't seen much of Aes Sedai so far, so when we see Liandrin, we get more of a sense of why they might be so disliked. Liandrin does have an odd accent/speech pattern
Chapter 5: The Shadow in Shienar
- I wonder what made Siuan think that she and Moiraine could hide the man they found to be the Dragon Reborn in the White Tower. It seems to me that because of all the machinations that clearly go on there, it would only have been a matter of time before someone else found him.
- So Moiraine is going to let Rand go off on his own, but when he needs her, she'll be there. I wonder how she intends to keep tabs on him this time.
- Now I'm chuckling at Moiraine because she says she has the ability to see Rand named as the Dragon whether he likes it or not, and then talks of him being unable to avoid his fate and the Wheel weaving as it wills, but she never once considers that it might happen without her. Either there's Prophecy that includes her for this very purpose that has yet to be revealed to the reader, or she's got way more arrogance to her than I thought.
- So Geofram Bornhald is a...decent Whitecloak, I guess? At least he seems more willing to think than assume.
- Of course, I'm automatically suspecting Einor Saren as the Whitecloak Darkfriend now. Of course, I'll probably suspect every Questioner. They may as well be, after all.
Arrogance really. Not only is it not feasible, he can't fulfill prophecies there and having someone so strongly ta'veren has very unpredictable outcomes
Again ,here I don't know how she thinks she can be there, but for some reason, Illian is associated with the Horn, so she probably thinks he can get it bac and be there when he hands it over and says "by the way, I'm the Dragon Reborn"
Bornhald is sort of decent - he is still willing to do terrible things, but like many, he got into the Whitecloaks because he wanted to do good in the world and fight against Darkfriends
Chapter 6: Dark Prophecy
What is Liandrin trying to do to Rand here? It's clear she hates men; is she really trying to kill him?
- Good timing, Moiraine.
- The prisoners were already being affected by Fain's presence earlier. For what just happened to have one killing himself and the other stripping his hands bloody... It's insanity. So awful.
- Maybe the one Fain was talking about at the end of the last chapter was Mat? Considering the dagger is gone, I do wonder.
- Alright, the last episode of the show makes a bit more sense now. Fain escaped and got hold of the Horn, and now it's gone. It just got rolled into the Tarwin's Gap battle in the show rather than being part of two separate incidents.
- There was no real order to close the Keep after the Welcome? Whaaaaat is going on?
- The Browns really are being depicted as detached from the world and clinical about what's right in front of their faces. It makes me a little grumpy, but I also suspect a facade on some of their parts.
She's not trying to kill him, but she is trying to control him - probably also something that would not be allowed, though it likely gets past the three oaths
The lack of order is weird. Someone along the chain of command is lying for some reason
Mostly not a facade. The Ajah stereotypes are largely real, but girls are guided to their Ajah before being raised, so I suspect that sort of dreaminess is clamped down on in those who the Aes Sedai don't see as a Brown, and maybe indulged a little in those who are, plus once people join, such things re encouraged even more[/quote]
Chapter 7: Blood Calls Blood
- Good grief. Verin needs to be hit with a spray bottle now and then :laugh:
- ...Or it's just a cover for more perceptiveness than she's given credit for. Perceptiveness, but not a lot of wit. I might have liked her, too.
- This red coat with the gold-embroidered vines and herons seems like one the one that Rand is illustrated wearing a lot, or at least very similar to it.
- Manetheren's eagle for him to wear, too. Moiraine's idea, I'm assuming?
Verin does have some perceptivenes, but I thnk being easily distracted is for real
Yeah, Moiraine is trying to dress him like a Lord, so that people will view him differently[/quote]
 

Laurien Achaur

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So I've flown through...eighteen more chapters since the last time I posted, thanks to slow work days :brown-blink: I promise I'll get more posted soon! :laugh:
 

Viktara Fen

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Huzzah! Looking forward to it!
 

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Dang...18 Chapters....you must have smoke coming out the ears...LOL. Looking forward to the post.
 

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Chapter 8: The Dragon Reborn

- Lan sure has drilled a lot into Rand over the course of a month. I like that he uses this to get Rand out of his own head for just long enough that the idea of running finally disappears.
- Good grief. Leane is kind of incorrigible, isn't she?
- I kind of want to shake Rand throughout the whole lead-up to Siuane outright telling him he's the Dragon Reborn. I understand that he's overwhelmed with all that's happened, with knowing he can channel, with the fears he so stubbornly clings to, but it's almost as though it leaves no room for comprehension. He's in perpetual denial and never seems to grasp what being ta'veren means, much less the Dragon Reborn. Even after seeing all the stories become really, he still stubbornly clings to things Tam and Thom have told him about Aes Sedai and how the world works that aren't actually true, and I think that's one of the most frustrating things of all to me.
- Shaking my head at Lan for telling Nynave his signet ring is nothing and then telling her all the things it will do for her.
- Of course Moiraine knows Nynaeve basically wants to kill her with the One Power! It's not as though she was projecting it or anything... :rolleyes
- I'm starting to feel like the much of Shienaran culture is a commentary on the patriarchy :p Even so...I really don't like the womens' attitude about men.
- Light, Rand, you weren't gentled when you were sure you would be! Now you preemptively accuse Egwene of wanting to do it next time she sees you? Drop it already!
 

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Well, Nynaeve wants revenge against Moiraine (though by now, she really should be able to admit that it wasn't Moiraine's fault that trollocs attacked, and that if she hadn't arrived, they could all be dead), but she doesn't want to kill Moiraine - Healing is to important to her. Back in the Eye of the World, when she catches up with them, Lan tells her to have a care with her herbs and she says "I may not like her, it's true, but I help anyone who needs my help, whether I like them or not"
 
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