AMol Chapter 23

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This chapter is not the begining, but it is a beginning. The beginning of Rand's attack on the Dark One. Read on for the rest of my thoughts on this chapter, but be warned, there be spoilers ahead.

Or click here for the index on all these entries.
What Happens
Gawyn scouts out a path for Egwene so they can escape the Sharans. We learn that he is using the Bloodknives rings, to make himself harder to see, and faster, though Egwene doesn't know. Egwene follows, but is captured by a Sharan channeler. She tries to summon Gawyn back by letting herself grow terrified. The Sharan women says she's sent mean to deal with Gawyn. A shadow moves up behind the Sharan, and strikes her in the head. It's Leilwin who has saved her. They sneak further away from the campsite. Gawyn frightens Egwene when emerges from a shadow right next to her. They find Bayle on their way out, and escape through a gateway to the White Tower.

Aviendha leads the channelers as they attack Thakan'dar. The fight hasn't gone very long before a very strong women appears, and Aviendha forms a circle to combat her. The women has two companions that Aviendha kills, but she escapes. She doesn't escape through a gateway, but by seeming to fold up. She orders three circles formed, one to attack the Trollocs and the other two to take cover and attack any other Dreadlords. She thinks about how other Aes Sedai and Asha'man are channeling, and it's hard to determine where the Shadow channelers are.

Rand, Moraine, Nynaeve and Thom approach the entry to the Pit of Doom. Thom offers to watch the entry. The other three continue on. The walk is arduous, and Rand's wounds bleed so much that his boot fills with his blood, and leaves a footprint. They pause at the entrance, Rand wondering if the time was right. A huge voice calls that it is TIME. Moiraine gasps, but Rand has heard this voice before, and was hoping it would speak again. They enter the Dark One's realm.

Commentary
By chapter count we're not quite halfway, and by page count at the end of this chapter we're still not quite halfway through the book. Seems a little early for Rand to be entering Shayol Ghul.

Sarene says there is a difference between Dreadlords and Black Ajah, but doesn't explain what that difference is. I guess we'll have to wait and find out. She says it about Duhara and Falion, giving it a present tense, even though they are dead. So maybe the Dark One can raise Shadow Channelers? That doesn't seem likely.

Ha, 'Pit of Doom'. Considering all the character names, place names, names of events and times, that one is a bit boring.

This VOICE that spoke, that Rand has heard before. I'm guessing it's the voice he heard at Tarwins Gap way back in TEotW, and that it somehow represents the creator. I've always thought that scene (in TEotW) was a little bit of an anomaly among the rest of the books, because the creator speaks to Rand. The creator doesn't really seem to take much of an active hand in the rest of the book, though I suppose that is also true of the Dark One.

Now, if Rand is tied up with the Pit of Doom, and he's in a bit of a time warp (Lanfear told Perrin that time is warping in the real world as well), then who is going to satisfy Demandred with a confrontation? My prediction is that Logain will earn his Min-vision-glory by pretending to be Rand and taking on Demandred.

I think this non gateway travelling trick is probably the Forsaken using the True Power to travel. I'm pretty sure Egwene saw Demandred arrive in the same fashion. In both cases the women observer (Egwene watching Demandred and Aviendha watching Graendal) they didn't detect any channelling.

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