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Wheel of Time 4: Burning Threads [Book Spoilers]


SpaceChampion
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Another scene I re-watched was Mat blowing the Horn and the Heroes arriving. He hands off the Horn to the female hero that looks like a character from Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Amaresu maybe? She makes the Horn disappear. So where is the Horn now? 

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46 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

I re-watched the scene. Moiraine sends weaves of fire (and maybe air) in the direction of the tower. Suddenly fire from the burning ships which are to the right of where the weaves are moving bursts in a column/firebolt shape; the weaves intercept this fire column and the dragon is formed around the tower. IMO, it's unclear by Moiraine's face if she was truly shocked, or maybe just a little surprised because she wasn't sure what she wad doing, or it's nothing. I imagine she would know the shape, as per the book she recognizes the Dragon's banner, but up until that point the show hadn't done anything to indicate that people know much about why the word Dragon is used.

The main indicator that something weird happened is that Moiraine's weaves didn't head towards the burning ships from where the fire came. Also, Lanfear was smirking in the crowd, so maybe she did something, too.

I now think Lanfear did something, because I saw that scene again as well, and Theresa definitely one of Moraine's fireballs that veers off course and joins her weaves, but the body language implies she wasn't controlling that. It only stands out because Pike's body language with the weaves is so exaggerated, which I usually dislike, but here I can see the point of it. It's subtle, but I think it's there.

17 minutes ago, SpaceChampion said:

I can't remember at any time in the books someone altering another channeler's weaves.  As far as I know that can't be done.  So Moiraine must have stopped channelling or had her weaves cut to be replaced by whoever did it, if there is another person.  Hard to see anyone other than Lanfear behind it, but then why did she tell Moiraine to throw up the dragon?

We do see channelers redirecting fireballs using Air. Also, when Elayne and Avinendha are doing the Warder Bond weaves to Rand and Min, Elayne mentions how they both need to weave over what the other had woven, precisely, and this modified the weave and complexities it.

Cadsuane also has a ter'angreal that allows her to interfere with others weaves, so it is theoretically possible, given all this, that someone as skilled as Lanfear is able to redirect someone else's weaves. And she does explicitly tell Moiraine she'll know the moment to raise the banner, before dumping her on the beach. That implies she did indeed engineer this. 

All this, btw, makes me think Moiraine vs Lanfear in some kind of spectacular fight is back on. Lanfear is an ongoing concern for Moiraine in the books, but now it's even more personal in the show. The great manipulator has been manipulated, but I doubt Moiraine isn't planning to fold this to her  long-term plan to keep Rand from being influenced by Lanfear. 

Edited by fionwe1987
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56 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

Another scene I re-watched was Mat blowing the Horn and the Heroes arriving. He hands off the Horn to the female hero that looks like a character from Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Amaresu maybe? She makes the Horn disappear. So where is the Horn now? 

Amaresu is the champion of light when the male Dragon isn't around, basically a female Dragon.  So that actually makes sense why Moiraine didn't know whether the Dragon would be born male this time around. Would have been nice to see her channel the OP in battle.

Edited by SpaceChampion
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12 minutes ago, SpaceChampion said:

Amaresu is the champion of light when the male Dragon isn't around, basically a female Dragon.  So that actually makes sense why Moiraine didn't know whether the Dragon would be born male this time around. 

This was always only speculation, but good speculation. The Pattern does work on backups. There were several Prophesies dealing with Rand going dark, basically laying out hints of alternate pathways to success. And everyone is loathe to admit it, but Egwene herself is setup as deliberate blocker to Rands more insane plans like killing the Dark One, or breaking the Seals on day 1 of the Last Battle. The entire story is about checks and balances to Rand. Ta'veren are trapped within their own web, which is also something explicitly stated in the books.

In that sense, the show is doing something right. They're showing you all the investment from the Shadow to turn Rand. So far, he's still mostly his sweet village self, but as the seasons progress, the precise nature of the threat he represents, the chaos of his presence on the board (the Fisher King imagery from Moridin's game), it's pretty clear the Shadow decided to go with the flow for a bit, though Mesaana and co tried their best to end that plan by capturing Rand, only to unleash even more chaos centered around him.

So as the seasons progress, you should start to see a gradual increase in the agency and power Rand represents. He is being actively kept under wraps in some ways, because as he gains power, he's a shock to the system. If the adhere to the books, they're holding him down to build him up, and you get to see both the positives and negatives of his rise. Cheer along while also appreciating that complex ways those around him have to negotiate with his actions and decisions, especially as he descends into darkness and nihilism, as Ishy begins to succeed in his long game.

And as much as everyone hates it, RJ explicitly and obviously intended for his chaos to be guided by women. And he's also pretty clear on who are bloodsucking manipulators and who he views as genuinely worthy of guiding him, even if the audience rarely ended up seeing things that way. Within the logic and the magic of his books, we see several of these women quite literally push up against his ta'veren influence and refuse to give in, and the audience sometimes cheers on and at other times is outraged on his behalf. It's always been an interesting barometer on the views of the readers themselves, and I think the show is doing well in doing the exact same thing again. 

Edited by fionwe1987
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10 minutes ago, SpaceChampion said:

Amaresu is the champion of light when the male Dragon isn't around, basically a female Dragon.  So that actually makes sense why Moiraine didn't know whether the Dragon would be born male this time around. Would have been nice to see her channel the OP in battle.

I know she's that. I was just wondering about the Horn and I figured she would be at the forefront alongside Artur Hawkwing. I tried to identify the other heroes, but of course that's problematic since RJ didn't give them much description. Birgitte and Uno/Gaidal Cain are clear, the rest less so. There is a guy with a bow so I assume that's Rogosh Eagle-eye. I found interesting there's a dude with a distinct Roman legionary helm.

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I think what she did with the Horn is a complete mystery so I can't even speculate.

One thing I learned, what Mats says in the Old Tongue is something like It's Time To Toss the Dice.  Apparently something similar to what Alexander the Great used to say.

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5 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

I know she's that. I was just wondering about the Horn and I figured she would be at the forefront alongside Artur Hawkwing. I tried to identify the other heroes, but of course that's problematic since RJ didn't give them much description. Birgitte and Uno/Gaidal Cain are clear, the rest less so. There is a guy with a bow so I assume that's Rogosh Eagle-eye. I found interesting there's a dude with a distinct Roman legionary helm.

Shivan and Kalian are also obvious, the guy with the Trident and the woman dressed in hunting clothes. I think all the named Heroes show up. 

1 minute ago, SpaceChampion said:

One thing I learned, what Mats says in the Old Tongue is something like It's Time To Toss the Dice.  Apparently something similar to what Alexander the Great used to say.

Yep, it's his catchphrase in the series. He literally becomes extremely lucky at dice, and starts hearing dice rattle when fateful or important events are coming up. The catchphrase also becomes the motto of the Band of the Red Hand, his private army (I'm not sure what other term better applies. They aren't exactly mercenaries, though they play that role sometimes, and they're totally answerable only to Mat). 

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17 minutes ago, SpaceChampion said:

Amaresu is the champion of light when the male Dragon isn't around, basically a female Dragon.  So that actually makes sense why Moiraine didn't know whether the Dragon would be born male this time around. Would have been nice to see her channel the OP in battle.

The prophecy she heard was of the Dragon, not Amaresu. Now if the show specifically addresses this, and declares that the distinction of Amaresu and Dragon are considered one and the same,  it would make more sense.

But as it is, the clear inference is that souls aren't gendered and the Dragon can be either a male or a woman. The show is starting to backpedal a little on this now by exploring how men and women channel differently, but it's unclear how far the writers are interested in pursuing this.

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Is it not possible to say that in some turnings Lews/Rand is the soul born to the title Dragon in the Third Age, and in others, it is Amaresu's? The Dragon then becomes a title, rather than the name of one soul.

This is obviously a deviation from the books, but entirely possible that's how they'll go with this.

I will say this still leaves the very real question of whether souls have gender. Obviously, Hinduism says not, and that's the source of all the reincarnation, illusion/dream and cyclic time concepts in the books. Imposing a strict gendered soul dynamic into the concept of rebirth has some truly noxious implications, so I'm totally fine if the show gives a finger to this aspect of the books. It's not like the concept of balance and the tension between the genders that seemed inherent in the Prophesies didn't trigger questions from his readers, even back in the 90s. This isn't some new woke obsession, just dealing with the limitations of the work that were known and brought up to RJ while he was alive, too. 

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15 minutes ago, fionwe1987 said:

Yep, it's his catchphrase in the series. He literally becomes extremely lucky at dice, and starts hearing dice rattle when fateful or important events are coming up. The catchphrase also becomes the motto of the Band of the Red Hand, his private army (I'm not sure what other term better applies. They aren't exactly mercenaries, though they play that role sometimes, and they're totally answerable only to Mat). 

???  Yeah, i read the books.  I didn't memorize the Old Tongue though.  The thing I was bringing up was if Alexander was one of his past lives.

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1 hour ago, fionwe1987 said:

Is it not possible to say that in some turnings Lews/Rand is the soul born to the title Dragon in the Third Age, and in others, it is Amaresu's? The Dragon then becomes a title, rather than the name of one soul.

This is obviously a deviation from the books, but entirely possible that's how they'll go with this.

Yes, as far as I can figure, this would make sense.

1 hour ago, fionwe1987 said:

I will say this still leaves the very real question of whether souls have gender.

Since Amaresu is a soul called forth by the Horn while Lews Therin's soul is present, this would suggest two distinct souls to me. I don't know if two different forms of the same soul can be present simultaneously in this show.

1 hour ago, fionwe1987 said:

Imposing a strict gendered soul dynamic into the concept of rebirth has some truly noxious implications

I think the writers agree with you on this, so it will be interesting to see how they proceed.

To me it's akin to someone who loves American Civil War history and wants to adapt show around it, but finds the portrayal of the enslavement of black people as a highly problematic topic and therefore wants to avoid making references to it.

I just do not think at any point the writers have demonstrated the talent to pull this off.

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2 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

Shivan and Kalian are also obvious, the guy with the Trident and the woman dressed in hunting clothes. I think all the named Heroes show up. 

Even as a pretty hardcore nerd I didn't recognise these, though I know the names, I assume they're mostly only described in the TGH horn segment? Gotta admit when I saw trident guy I said to the friend I watch this with "is Aquaman a Hero of the Horn?" but I'm guessing from this that he (or at least Shiva which he's clearly referring to) is a Trident user?

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28 minutes ago, Poobah said:

Even as a pretty hardcore nerd I didn't recognise these, though I know the names, I assume they're mostly only described in the TGH horn segment? Gotta admit when I saw trident guy I said to the friend I watch this with "is Aquaman a Hero of the Horn?" but I'm guessing from this that he (or at least Shiva which he's clearly referring to) is a Trident user?

The only time they are mentioned in the series is when Mat recalls the Falme events during his meeting with Birgiite in Ebou Dar. And their description is very spare, only that Shivan wears a black mask and her sister wears a red one.

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2 hours ago, SpaceChampion said:

???  Yeah, i read the books.  I didn't memorize the Old Tongue though.  The thing I was bringing up was if Alexander was one of his past lives.

Sorry I keep forgetting who has read the books and who not. Interesting theory. Do we know Alexander the Great actually said that?

57 minutes ago, Poobah said:

Even as a pretty hardcore nerd I didn't recognise these, though I know the names, I assume they're mostly only described in the TGH horn segment? Gotta admit when I saw trident guy I said to the friend I watch this with "is Aquaman a Hero of the Horn?" but I'm guessing from this that he (or at least Shiva which he's clearly referring to) is a Trident user?

Yeah they're only briefly mentioned, and the fact that they're twins, but their birth is supposed to herald the coming of a new Age, and lookie here, Elayne was pregnant with twins (who she fervently hopes aren't two girls, for the sake of the succession). So the theory had been that is who she was carrying, and in Memory of Light, they're very carefully not mentioned as part of the Heroes who come when Olver blows the Horn. Some of them interact with Mat, who is the one who remembers seeing them, so I think that's a soft confirmation of the theory.

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11 minutes ago, fionwe1987 said:

Yeah they're only briefly mentioned, and the fact that they're twins, but their birth is supposed to herald the coming of a new Age, and lookie here, Elayne was pregnant with twins (who she fervently hopes aren't two girls, for the sake of the succession). So the theory had been that is who she was carrying, and in Memory of Light, they're very carefully not mentioned as part of the Heroes who come when Olver blows the Horn. Some of them interact with Mat, who is the one who remembers seeing them, so I think that's a soft confirmation of the theory.

The Companion's entries for them state they were born shortly before the Last Battle, so they can't be Elayne's twins.

Even so, Elayne has nothing to worry about the succession in Andor, her kids will be a boy and a girl, as per Min's viewing, just what Elayne wants and is most useful in the Andoran system. Aviendha got drunk enough to forget that part of Min's viewing about Elayne's children, but not the rest.

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51 minutes ago, fionwe1987 said:

 Do we know Alexander the Great actually said that?

Apparently not.  I read an old reddit post wrong.  Though some people do seem to this both Mat and Hawkwing have qualities of Alexander.  It was Julius Caesar who said "the die is cast".

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1 hour ago, Poobah said:

Even as a pretty hardcore nerd I didn't recognise these, though I know the names, I assume they're mostly only described in the TGH horn segment? Gotta admit when I saw trident guy I said to the friend I watch this with "is Aquaman a Hero of the Horn?" but I'm guessing from this that he (or at least Shiva which he's clearly referring to) is a Trident user?

Shiva's weapon is apparently trishula but for anyone unfamiliar with the specific details (such as me lol) yes - shiva has a Trident.

52 minutes ago, fionwe1987 said:

Sorry I keep forgetting who has read the books and who not. Interesting theory. Do we know Alexander the Great actually said that?

I'm not familiar with Alexander saying it, but Julius Caesar was reported to have said "let the die be cast" when crossing the Rubicon to march on Rome. JC was a huge Alexander fanboy so that merely being a copy of Alex's saying would certainly fit.

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2 minutes ago, SpaceChampion said:

Apparently not.  I read an old reddit post wrong.  Though some people do seem to this both Mat and Hawkwing have qualities of Alexander.  It was Julius Caesar who said "the die is cast".

Lol I was too slow.

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33 minutes ago, David Selig said:

The Companion's entries for them state they were born shortly before the Last Battle, so they can't be Elayne's twins.

Even so, Elayne has nothing to worry about the succession in Andor, her kids will be a boy and a girl, as per Min's viewing, just what Elayne wants and is most useful in the Andoran system. Aviendha got drunk enough to forget that part of Min's viewing about Elayne's children, but not the rest.

Thanks for the reminders, I'd forgotten that. 

I don't know what to make of their supposed birth before the Last Battle. I mean, Elayne was almost forced to deliver, but that didn't end up happening. But presumably this means her kids were viable? 

The only other known character pregnant with twins was Melaine, but that was two girls, I believe. Of course, they could just be born to someone random. No reason for it to be a main character. 

31 minutes ago, karaddin said:

Shiva's weapon is apparently trishula but for anyone unfamiliar with the specific details (such as me lol) yes - shiva has a Trident.

Yeah trishul means trident in Sanskrit. :D

31 minutes ago, karaddin said:

I'm not familiar with Alexander saying it, but Julius Caesar was reported to have said "let the die be cast" when crossing the Rubicon to march on Rome. JC was a huge Alexander fanboy so that merely being a copy of Alex's saying would certainly fit.

Ha, makes sense. 

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6 hours ago, SpaceChampion said:

I think what she did with the Horn is a complete mystery so I can't even speculate.

One thing I learned, what Mats says in the Old Tongue is something like It's Time To Toss the Dice.  Apparently something similar to what Alexander the Great used to say.

Also, there's Adama's, "Sometimes, you have to roll the hard six."

Yeah, that was Amaresu. Amazon gives both actor and character for the people on screen recently, at least on my TV, and I was looking for who that was. 

Looking forward to Elayne and Mat scenes with Birgitte.

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