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Love the Wheel of Time?

Hate the Wheel of Time?

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Join Jenn & Jess every week us for chapter synapsass, discussion, and plenty of real talk about this epic fantasy series.

[Transcript] Ep. 38 - The Great Hunt: Ch. 20 & 21

Jul 17, 2019

Jess 0:34
Okay, are you ready?

Jenn 0:35
I'm ready.

Both 0:37
1...2...3...to The Nine Rings!

Jess 0:48
Ah!

Jenn 0:50
I dribbled some of that down my neck.

Jess 0:53
I have done that numerous times.

Jenn 0:55
Just a little bit but it's more of a sadness of the waste of alcohol than than anything.

Jess 0:59
I know, it does seem like a great waste.

Jenn 1:01
It doesn't mean you're an alcoholic if you're like can I just wipe them off my chin and lick it off my finger?

Jess 1:05
Somebody lick this.

Jenn 1:06
A waste of liquor, fuck.

Jess 1:09
Such a terrible waste of liquor.

Jenn 1:11
That's some money down the drain right there my friend.

Jess 1:13
Simon's giving me a leg bath right now. So that's a thing that's happening.

Jenn 1:16
Sexy.

Jess 1:18
He's a dog.

Jenn 1:19
I know.

Jess 1:20
So just not...

Jess 1:21
it.

Jenn 1:22
It's a joke.

Jess 1:23
You made it weird.

Jenn 1:24
Sorry. I do that.

Jess 1:25
No, you didn't, it's fine. I made it weird, actually.

Both 1:27
(laughter)

Jess 1:31
Hello everyone and welcome to the White Tower. I'm Jess, your Amyrlin Seat.

Jenn 1:35
And I'm Jenn and your Keeper of the Chronicles.

Jess 1:38
And today we are...

Jenn 1:40
On our bullshit.

Jess 1:41
All over our bullshit. That's exactly what I was gonna say. How was your weekend?

Jenn 1:50
My weekend has been pretty good. I was pretty fat and lazy most of the weekend which is always a success.

Jess 1:58
Yeah, hell yeah.

Jenn 1:59
Except that I actually went out and hold my ass, waddled up and down the street for a little bit this evening. So we're recording a little bit late because of that, because I actually got my ass in gear. Um,

Jess 2:10
I support you and I'm proud of you.

Jenn 2:12
Other than that, video games, food and sleep and gratuitous sex. You?

Jess 2:22
That sounds amazing. My weekend was lacking in gratuitous sex but I did get some like good shit done. So a little bit of background, our home has three bedrooms and the one we sleep in and then the other to our offices. And when we moved in, I don't really know why I did this. I think I just felt bad about possibly claiming the larger of the bedrooms for myself. Even though it would have been eminently practical for me to take the larger bedroom because I am the one who has all of the shit that I fling around constantly. So I gave him the larger bedroom, I took the smaller one. And as my cosplay endeavors have increased, the space has been insufficient for my needs. So, this weekend marks, at last, the beginning of The Great Office Swap of 2019. So I am in the process of moving my like, truckload of shit out of my tiny old office into this new bigger office and getting Rich's shit into the smaller office and yeah, I've been a sweaty piece of shit for good portion of the weekend, but I'm not mad about it.

Jenn 3:47
Yeah, sometimes it's nice to like open up your creative space, even if like you're doing like manual labor, you're putting your mind and hands to work and sometimes that can actually like, help your head like and get you into a space creatively.

Jess 4:01
Yeah, yeah, I feel really good about it and like Zoey periodically has wrongheaded ideas about what she's supposed to do in this room, vis-à-vis pissing on the carpet so...

Jenn 4:12
(laughter)

Jess 4:13
Honest to God, when did you decide that this is going to be your toilet?

Jenn 4:17
Vis-à-vis pissing on the carpet? Put that on my fucking gravestone.

Jess 4:21
(laughter)

Jenn 4:24
How do you make that sound professional? Vis-à-vis pissing on the carpet.

Jess 4:30
If you say something with enough gravitas, you can make anything sound professional.

Jenn 4:35
Of course. You're a master of that. I'm gonna drink to vis-à-vis pissing on the carpet.

Jess 4:35
I'll drink to that. And to the end of that nightmare, hopefully. Um, you know, we spot clean but like just the whole like situation just needed to be addressed. So I vacuumed and vacuumed and vacuumed to get as much of the dog hair up as I could. And then I- we actually have a Hoover like carpet cleaner machine. And I use that bad boy in here and it's all nice and clean, and any residual dog piss is gone and life is great. So my plan in here though hinges pretty strongly on a very specific piece of furniture that I need to acquire from IKEA, namely the largest Kallax a shelving unit. That's- Kallax is the one that's like all cubes.

Jenn 5:34
Yeah, that's literally what's behind me. You can't, yeah, you can't see that from my angle. But they're very tall and it's worth it because I've actually created this little desk area that I sit in to partition. You can use the cubes as, actually they're so big, you use it as semi partitions to break up the length of the room and this room goes way back into the kitchen that I do my recording in . And so this is a nice little area because I got a big desk and a huge window that you guys- that you can't see Jess, in front of me. And another window here off to the side. And yeah, I love those cubes. Those are good.

Jess 6:16
I'm going to get the one that's like six and a half feet by six and a half feet. And then they have these handy dandy little adapters that you can use to actually attach their table tops to the Kallax unit, so it's like attached right to it. So I'm going to do that and that's going to be like my sewing and fabric cutting area. Then with all of the cubes and stuff, I already have lots of little cube shaped like baskets and stuff like that. So I'm going to have everything like organized in there, across the top is where I'm going to put all my wigs like, I'm going to be organized as shit, and I'm really excited about it. But I do need that piece of furniture in order to do that. So I need to get on that shit. But um yeah I'm really excited. I've had a plan in place for this space for probably the better part of a year and just have not taken the time and effort to execute so.

Jenn 7:13
Thank you cosplay for allowing Jess to get her shit together in the Great Office Swap of 2019.

Jess 7:19
Yeah, hail to you cosplay, you beautiful beautiful bitch. So if if my sound sounds different it's because I'm in a different room and there's not a lot of stuff in here yet to like absorb sounds so maybe it sounds like shit, I don't know.

Jenn 7:35
Who are you going as again for at Dragon Con you're going as a...

Jess 7:39
Okay fucking we're doing- my friends and I are getting like way harder into cosplay than we have ever been before. So we're each doing four I think. We're doing Game of Thrones so I'm going to do Shame Nun. We're doing Adventure Zone so I'm going to do Jess the Beheader, and then Laura and I decided we're going to do Lore Olympus cosplay. She's gonna be Persephone and I'm going to be Demeter. And then we're also doing Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild. So Ted is going to be the old man. Laura is going to be one of the bird people and I'm going to be the purple Great Fairy.

Jenn 8:11
Perfect. Yes.

Jess 8:14
And I actually just got my wigs for Demeter and the Great Fairy and I'm very excited about that shit. And I ordered an airbrush because Laura I decided that- because in Lore Olympus, for anybody who hasn't read it, the characters are actually, they're not like human flesh colored. They're brightly colored so Persephone is bright pink, Demeter is green with purple hair. Hades is blue with white hair. So they're all different colors. So we're like you know what, if we're going to do this, let's fucking go big or go home right? We're going to airbrush our makeup on.

Jenn 8:50
Perfect. How much is one of those airbrush machines cost to do like the airbrush makeup?

Jess 8:56
The one that I got is pretty small and compact. It was well rated on Amazon and it was only like $56 I mean, you can drop like, you can drop three bills on one if you want to, easy. But you can definitely get like sort of beginner and models for you know, 50 ish.

Jenn 9:17
That's all you need for a con, that shit can break in three days and that's all you need.

Jess 9:20
I mean honestly, as long as it makes it through the end, you know, we've been talking about going in on an airbrush together for literally for years, and now we finally decided to bite the bullet and do it so yeah, so I'm pretty excited about that. That's going to be fun. But yeah, I have started on all of my stuff far, far too late per usual because for the Great Fairy I actually had this amazing plan that involves like making a Civil War era, like hoop skirt.

Jenn 9:54
With the crin-o-line?

Jess 9:56
Well, yeah, but it doesn't have like tulle or anything on it. It's just like the sprung steel hoops and so you know how the Great Fairy is basically always waist deep in her fountain? Well the hoop skirt was going to be my fountain and it was going to have like grass on it and I was gonna have butterflies on it and fucking like water like, you know not real water but like water and it was going to be fucking lit but then of course like time got away from me and I haven't done it so, I have to make some adjustments to that plan but next year, I'll get that other part of it done. So yeah, anyway, long story short, I have a lot of shit to do and like seven weeks before DragonCon, because somehow it's already like a third of the way through July. I don't know how that happened.

Jenn 10:48
Yesterday was the 4th of July and now it's like July 15.

Jess 10:51
Yeah, and now it's already, it's practically Christmas at this point.

Jenn 10:54
It is Christmas. Merry Christmas, Jess.

Jess 10:56
Merry Christmas!

Jenn 10:59
It was a hell of a year. Happy 2020.

Jess 11:04
Happy 2027, we're almost done with these fucking books.

Jenn 11:08
We're looking at 2030.

Jess 11:11
Oh shit.

Jenn 11:13
I'm old.

Jess 11:14
Yeah, we're both old. We're old as the hills.

Jenn 11:18
So anyway, speaking of the great epic fantasy series Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time.

Jess 11:23
Perhaps we should start talking about that. What do you think?

Jenn 11:25
Fuck off, why would we do that?

Jess 11:29
Oh, weather bullshit. How's your weather?

Jenn 11:34
It's fucking Florida. We saw a gator today. When I was walking, I knew that there was there was probably going to be some gators, little baby gators. it's too small of a space, at the park that Chris and I usually walk on. And we haven't seen one even though there's been warning signs for gators by where we walk. We haven't actually physically seen one. But today we saw, not a baby baby. But I'd probably say a couple months old little baby gator

Jess 12:04
Little baby Gator!

Jenn 12:05
And we're like oh, that means your mommy and daddy are pretty close, meaning the mom. So we just kind of walked away.

Jess 12:12
We're just gonna yeet right out of here.

Jenn 12:14
So, wild gator sighting today. It's very Florida.

Jess 12:17
That's very exciting. That's Florida as fuck.

Jenn 12:20
So Florida.

Jess 12:22
So fucking Florida, so-

Jenn 12:24
Yesterday...sorry-

Jess 12:26
I'm sorry. Go ahead.

Jenn 12:27
That's it. Pretty much yesterday, we had the D&D meeting online and all we did for the D&D meeting was talk about Area 51 memes that are going around right now. That's the fad, and talking about Florida Man being at the front line of offense in the Area 51 memes, which makes- brings me great joy. Because most of my family and every man I've ever came in contact with is the Florida Man so I have, I happen to have some experience with that.

Jess 12:58
Rich posted something about some guy, this was not in Florida, I don't remember where it was. But a guy got pulled over and then arrested because he had whiskey, a rattlesnake, and uranium in his car.

Jenn 13:08
Oh, I saw it, the mug shot. Yeah, and Rich made some like some asinine comment that I loved. That was like, I mean, you know, we've all got the uranium, sometimes it happens, but drinking with open alcohol in your car. That's just a dick move, man.

Jess 13:23
That was my husband.

Jenn 13:24
Fuckin' uranium. Fuckin' whatever. Gotta get back to making the DeLorean. I mean, go to the future.

Jess 13:32
And then his friend Kevin is like, isn't this sort of literally the Schrodinger cat paradox? And I was like, yeah, the rattlesnake is both drunk and irradiated and not drunk and irradiated at the same time.

Jenn 13:48
Perfect.

Jess 13:49
It's the whiskey rattlesnake uranium paradox. So.

Jenn 13:53
That's our next band name. The Whiskey Rattlesnake Uranium Paradox.

Jess 13:58
You know what, I...

Jenn 13:59
That's the band name.

Jess 14:01
That's a fucking band name. That's metal as hell.

Jenn 14:03
The Whiskey Uranium...what the fuck? I already forgot it.

Jess 14:05
Yeah, we'll figure it out. We'll write it down somewhere.

Jenn 14:07
We'll figure it out. We just have to listen to our own podcast which, come on. That's never gonna happen.

Jess 14:15
Our weather has been hot and actually pretty humid but the last couple days have been hot, but not super humid. Yesterday night, actually we went out to a local brewery. Well, not a local brewery. It's like 30 minutes away from us.

Jenn 14:29
You fuckin' drunk.

Jess 14:30
What...

Jenn 14:31
I'm gonna drink to that.

Jess 14:32
Okay.

Jenn 14:33
Anyway.

Jess 14:34
It's - this is Wisconsin there's, swing a dead cat, hit a brewery.

Jenn 14:36
Bro, I am not judging in any way. I'm such a fucking alcoholic. Look at me. I opened the show with talking about the sadness of liquor dribbling down my neck. And wanting to take my finger and lick it off my neck for the loss of alcohol.

Jess 14:50
You know, if they are people out there who can't relate, you know what, we're not judging you. So don't judge us.

Jenn 14:58
(laughing) Jess, calm down, you know I'm joking.

Jess 15:01
I'm gonna fuckin drink to that.

Jenn 15:05
You better fucking keep that in, dammit.

Jess 15:07
That's three shots so far. And we are...

Jenn 15:10
We haven't even started.

Jess 15:11
14 minutes into the main show.

Jenn 15:15
Winning! Tiger blood!

Jess 15:17
Tiger blood in this bitch So anyway, we went to this local brewery and hung out in the biergarten. There was a blues band playing. And it was really, really fun. We went with my mom and dad and my sister and brother in law. And it was really nice, it was a really good time. And the biergarten is dog friendly. So we didn't bring our dogs because Simon would be fine, but Zoey would not be fine. And Andy and Luke didn't bring their dog Penny because she doesn't do as well as they would like in those situations either. But there were other very good dogs there. So that was extremely fun. I petted a German Shepherd. She was beautiful.

Jenn 15:54
Aw!

Jess 15:55
Yeah. So it was warm, but it wasn't humid. There's a really nice breeze, so it was highly enjoyable. And I did catch a whiff of weed, like weed. So somebody at the biergarten was living their best life and I salute them.

Jenn 16:07
Everyone in my apartment complex daily is living their best life. They hotbox themselves in their fucking cars on the parking lot. And every once in a while they crack open a window and you go by and get a fucking contact high, I swear to shit.

Jess 16:21
Nice.

Jenn 16:22
So I'm like, Oh, my God, guys.

Jess 16:24
Like, okay, well, there ya go.

Jenn 16:26
Nobody is worse than the 80 year old lady that lives downstairs.

Jess 16:29
You know what? Fucking good for her.

Jenn 16:31
She fucking smokes out, she will fucking roll these kids into a grave. Literally. She fucking smokes harder than any of the kids around here.

Jess 16:44
That's amazing.

Jenn 16:45
Hands down. She's a boss.

Jess 16:48
That is, that's good shit.

Jenn 16:50
And I'm not joking. That's the fucking truth. She fucking wakes and bakes every fucking day, at old lady time, at 6am, this bitch is up with her fucking shit.

Jess 17:09
Old lady time wake and bake. That's some good shit right there.

Jenn 17:12
She just sits around and talks to the geese and she's living her, like you said, her best life.

Jess 17:17
You want to know what? I salute that old lady. Good for you, man.

Jenn 17:20
She don't need no man. Wakin' and bakin'.

Jess 17:24
Wakin' and bakin'. Okay, so should we talk about Robert Jordan's epic fantasy series, The Wheel of Time?

Jenn 17:29
Yeah. Let's talk about the nine rings.

Jess 17:33
Okey dokey. Uh, this evening, I will be synapsizing- you know what? This is weird for me. Hold on a second. I forgot to sort of split my windows. So...

Jenn 17:44
You will be playing the part of Rand, Selene, Hurin, and Loial.

Jess 17:51
Yeah, it's a very, kind of, bottle episode, but that's okay. Okay, here we go. Chapter 20 of The Great Hunt, 'Saidin'. Lights up on our erstwhile Horn bearers. They've been traveling all night with just one short stop, so Loial and the horses can take a break. If you recall, Loial is walking/running next to his horse because his horse is carrying the Horn of Valere, which weighs a billion pounds apparently. At some point during the night they crossed into Cairhien. They stop and Selene gets off her horse and is like "I want to see the Horn again". And she orders Loial to take it down. Loial starts to oblige, but Rand's like "You better don't," Loial looks between Selene and Rand, like he's not sure what to do, but ultimately doesn't take the Horn down. Selene cops a big attitude about it and gets all shitty and Rand's like, "We need to keep the dagger shielded - speaking of uranium, apparently - just looking at it could fuck us up. We don't know. We'll just leave it in there until we can give it to Mat and then he can take it to the Aes Sedai," and in his head. He's feeling a little bad that Mat still has to deal with Aes Sedai, whereas Rand's like fuck it, I'm done with those bitches. Selene's like, "Fuck the dagger. I told you to throw that shit away. This is the Horn of Valere, dude." And Rand's like "Yeah, no." Selene proceeds to try using her feminine wiles on him and says "I just want to see a daylight, you can hold it, I won't even touch it. And then I can remember you holding the Horn of Valere and Rand hesitates, wishing that he knew more of the Prophecies of the Dragon. Apparently the one time you heard any of it was Emond's Field from a merchant's guard and Nynaeve apparently beat the shit out of the guy for it. Like-

Jenn 19:35
She broke a broom across his back.

Jess 19:39
Yes, she did. Because apparently like you're just not talking about that shit. So...

Jenn 19:44
Bitch don't play.

Jess 19:45
No, bitch don't play. And he's thinking about that, and the Horn, and Aes Sedai trying to get him to do what they want him to do. And he's like, "Girl, are you Aes Sedai?" and Selene basically loses her shit at him for a minute but then she gets herself under control again with what may be the first instance of dress/skirt smooth that we've seen so far. She's like, "I am what I am and I am not Aes Sedai." And she proceeds to give all three of these dudes the silent treatment. By the time they stop to make camp in the evening, she's talking to Loial and Hurin again, but she won't say anything to Rand unless he talks to her first. She keeps this up the next day as well. But every time he looks at her she's watching him and smiling. Sometimes it's a nice smile and sometimes it's a sexy smile and sometimes it's a mysterious smile and this behavior is definitely not manipulative. At. All.

Jenn 20:32
Not in any way

Jess 20:33
Not in any way. The terrain changes from mountains to rolling hills and they see some farms and shit in the distance and finally they see the twinkling lights the village ahead. Rand's like "Hell yeah, boy, we're gonna sleep in beds tonight" and Selene's like "Ew, a village inn, it's going to be dirty and noisy and full of dirty drunk men. Let's sleep outside again. I like it." And Rand's like, "Fain's after us and I don't want him catching up to us while we're asleep. Dude can find me. He's after me more than the Horn." And Selene's like "If Fain catches up you'll kick his ass and there might be Darkfriends in the village anyway." And Rand's like, "Unless the entire village is Darkfriends we'll be fine." And Selene's like "What if they find out you have the Horn?" And she's really just coming land, sea, and air at this like, she's working really hard.

Jenn 21:16
I like that, land, sea, and air. I'm going to steal that.

Jess 21:20
Yeah, I can't take credit for that. I got that from Letterkenny. And Loial's like, "She has a point" and Rand's like, "Throw your blanket over it. It'll be my lady's chest of clothes." And Selene's face is basically that emoji that has a straight line for a mouth. She's just like, really dude?

Jenn 21:40
Yeah.

Jess 21:42
So just about as soon as they get moving again, Rand gets distracted by something shiny off to the left and he turns his horse to go look at it. Hurin's like, "Where are you going?" And he so fixated on the shiny thing that when Red stops on his own he doesn't even realize that it's because they're at the edge of a literal cliff

Jenn 21:59
He's going to go off the cliff.

Jess 22:00
He's going to go off the cliff!

Jenn 22:01
Crazy.

Jess 22:02
Like he literally tries to knee Reed to get him to go forward again and Red's like "My dude. No." So below them there is a big ass hole in the ground. Cue Andy Dwyer singing "The Pit". (singing) The pit. I fell into the pit. Parks & Rec, anybody?

Jenn 22:20
I don't know that song.

Jess 22:21
It's very good. I'll see if I can find it for you on YouTube. It's an excavation site and there are some dudes at the bottom settling in around a fire for the night but Rand doesn't even notice them. He is 100% dialed in on this giant stone hand holding a crystal sphere sticking out of the ground. He figures the damn thing is 20 paces in diameter aka 120 feet that is pretty big.

Jenn 22:42
Crazy big.

Jess 22:44
That's pretty crazy big. A ways away from the hand is a dignified bearded man's face, the features of which seem to radiate wisdom and knowledge. Out of nowhere the void forms Saidin is all up in his shit but he's so dialed in to the statue that he doesn't even notice it. He remembers that Bayle Domon told him about a statue like this sticking out of a hill on the island of Tremalking. Selene's like. "Bro, this isn't cool, let's go." And Rand's like "I think we can get down there." Saidin is singing to him and the sphere is glowing white, and there's light swirling inside of it to the rhythm of Saidin's song. And he finally realizes that he's assumed the void. And he's thinking that if he sang along with Saidin, the statue would sing too. Like he's going a little bit off the reservation here.

Jenn 23:26
A little bit.

Jess 23:29
Rand looks at Selene kind of absently and thinks that she looks worried and maybe even scared. Selene's like "Dude, let's just get out of here. I won't even bitch about staying in the village and I won't mention the Horn ever again. Come on." Rand tries to release the void but it doesn't go. He sees that Hurin and Loial and Selene are staring at him and don't seem to notice what's going on with the crystal sphere. He feels the urge to channel and even as he swears that he's not going to do it, he does. As he does he reaches into the core of who and what he is and he says, "Till shade is gone, till water is gone, into the Shadow with teeth bared to spit in Sightblinder's eyeon the last day" and he yells the last word and the void is gone. Everybody is staring at him and he's like "What happened?" He remembered that the void hadn't gone when he released, and Saidin had grown stronger, but beyond that, he's got nothing. And he's like "Did I do or say something?" And Loial's like "You sat there all stiff and you mumbled to yourself but I didn't hear what you said until you yelled 'day' super loud. Are you okay, bud?" And Rands, like "Yeah, I'm fine," but Selene's looking at him all weird and Hurin's like "I think the guards heard you, we should bounce" and Selen's like "Let's GTFO." Rand doesn't want to look at the sphere again. But he can kind of almost remember something about it. Like he just he sort of has this feeling where he feels like he remembers something but he- obviously it's slippery. He can't grab it. He doesn't know what it is.

Jenn 24:53
Some weird shit right there.

Jess 24:54
Some very weird shit. They leave the excavation and head to the village which is called Tremonsien. Or Tremensen? See I want to pronounce it French. Tremonsien.

Jenn 25:05
Tremonsien. I like it.

Jess 25:06
It sits on top of a hill that's been terraced with stone retaining walls. The whole village is neatly laid out with stone houses and straight streets and the people are friendly and super chill. They're short with dark eyes and pale narrow faces and they're all dressed in dark clothes except for a few people who have slashes of color across their chests. They smell cooking, and it smells oddly spiced to them. Everybody looks at them curiously and stares at Loial a little longer than the rest. But nobody says shit. They get to an inn called The Nine Rings, which is also the name of the of one of Rand's favorite adventure stories when he was a kid. He helps Selene of her horse and he's like, "I hope I didn't scare you." And she's like, "You scared the shit out of me. You could have killed yourself killed...", and she trails off and smooth her dress again. And she's like, "Leave with me tonight. Bring the Horn and I'll stay with you and everything will kick ass forever." And Rand's like "I can't. The Horn isn't mine. I told you that." And she turns her back on him and walks away ,her white cloak as much of a barrier to him as a wall. Thus endeth the Synapsass.

Jenn 26:12
My favorite part of this chapter being the fact that the place that Rand went to just as called The Nine Rings ,based on the fact that he used to read a story when he was young about the nine- about nine rings. And we all know as fantasy lovers, he's talking about JRR Tolkien's epic fantasy.

Jess 26:40
Yep. So it feels very much like a nod to that whole thing. For those of you who are not familiar or need a reminder, there's a poem that JRR Tolkien wrote: Three rings for the Elven kings under the sky, seven for the door floors in their halls of stone, Nine mortal men doomed to die, one for the Dark Lord on his dark throne. In the land of Mordor, where the shadows lie, one ring to rule them all one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all in in the darkness bind them.

Jenn 27:13
(Gandalf impression) AND IN THE DARKESS, BIND THEM.

Jess 27:14
Yes.

Jenn 27:15
Yeeesssss.

Jess 27:18
So nine rings feels very much like a nod to the nine rings that were given to the kings of men who then were corrupted because men are weak. And became the Nazgûl. So, I thought that that was a nice little, little Easter egg there. And I do love that- and I didn't actually think of it until you mentioned it. But you know, Rand saying that was the name of an adventure story that he loved when he was a kid. Like I feel like that's such a nice, it feels like it's very much an intentional nod to Tolkien, like the father of modern epic fantasy. You know what I mean?

Jenn 27:59
Saying that even in the world of the Wheel of Time that there is a Tolkien and a fantasy that's lived through the ages.

Jess 28:07
Yeah, I really like that. I think that that's, I don't know if that was what he intended. But I feel-

Jenn 28:12
That's the greatest respect given like, hey, in the Wheel of Time and this alternate universe, ages after the world that we are living in now, Tolkien's epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings lives on. Throughout all the ages of the world.

Jess 28:32
Yeah. I love it. I think it's nice.

Jenn 28:35
That's a fucking respectful ass nod right there.

Jess 28:38
Yeah, I loved it. So this chapter was really really interesting because Rand got into some really weird shit.

Jenn 28:47
Bro, the Aiel prophecy.

Jess 28:51
Yep. Well is that- I don't don't think it's a prophecy per se, it's just it's what the, it's what the Aiel say about like going into battle or whatever, I think.

Jenn 29:03
For those of us joining, for those joining us. We covered this in a previous episode and-

Jess 29:10
Did we? I don't remember. And I edit them.

Jenn 29:14
No, at the Tinker wagons where, when Perrin and Egwene we're staying with Elyas and the Tinkers. The Tinkers talked about finding an Aiel when they were traveling through the Waste-

Jess 29:27
Oh, that's right.

Jenn 29:29
-that came up to the Tinker caravan, the one that Perrin stayed with later on. And that there was some woman crawling, some Maiden, Aiel Maiden, saying it was more important that she deliver her message than to receive aid and medicine because they could tell she was in a battle. Saying you know that's you know Sightblinder is basically awake and you know that the Dark One is stirring ,which is the Aiel calls Sightblinder, and till shade is gone and whatever ,and then remember when Rand first met Loial back in Caemlyn a thousand years ago and-

Jess 30:09
It does feel like it was a thousand years ago doesn't it?

Jenn 30:11
In Master Gill's library, Loial mistook Rand for an Aiel and said, "isn't that what your people say? Till shade is gone, till water is gone, with teeth bared to spit in Sightblinder's eye on the last day" and Loial like expects a reaction from Rand based on saying this, because againm he thinks Rand is an Aielman, and Rand just looks at Loial like what the fuck are you talking about? So now because, you know, at that point Rand had not heard that saying before, whereas Perrin had, out of nowhere, Rand enters into trance mode staring at this huge like, thing and starts trance talking in tongues essentially.

Jenn 30:13
(Laughing) I mean, he's speaking Common.

Jenn 30:32
And he's actually talking about spitting in Sightblinder's eye on the last day and then wakes up out of his trance like, he's saying the Aiel littany and he didn't remember saying it.

Jess 31:10
So what I think is really interesting is the fact that he was drawn to this statue in a way...it felt over and above what like you and I would feel. Because I feel like if you and I were traveling down the road toward Cairhien, and we saw something off to the side that looked interesting, we'd be like, Hey, that looks cool. Should we go look? And we would ride our horses over and we look at it like, That's dope a shit, what is that? We would maybe go find the guys and be like, Dude, what is this? What is this whole thing. But then like we would move on with our lives, whereas he was pulled toward it. Like he was drawn toward it like toward a lodestone. And he felt like this connection to it, that he didn't really understand. And then I think the thing that's really important to note is that he assumed the void. He didn't do- he didn't consciously do that. I'm not going to say I'm not going to say that he didn't do it himself. But he didn't. He didn't do it consciously. And he didn't realize that it had happened until later. And until you know, a few minutes later, and then when he's like, Okay, fine. We'll go and he tries to release it, it doesn't go. It's like he lost control of the void.

Jenn 32:27
Yeah, and he can't stop letting in Saidin. And what I find is interesting here is Selene tries to pull Rand back from the brink. And she wasn't scared about Trollocs. She wasn't scared about you know, the Horn of Valere, or Darkfriends or whatever. They say for the first time that you fight, she wasn't scared about the grolm.

Jess 32:47
No, she wasn't scared of shit.

Jenn 32:48
She hasn't been scared about anything up to this point, but Rand staring at this thing and almost driving this horse off the cliff until the horse out of self preservation just plants his ass at the edge of that cliff and says I'm not going to walk further, Rand would have, you know, galloped, not galloped, but he would have led his horse over the cliff. Selene's grabbing onto Rand's arm and it's like, Look, I will talk about the Horn of Valere anymore. I'll drop it completely.

Jess 33:16
Yeah, if you will just just come away from here.

Jenn 33:18
Get away from this statue. Like, please. Like she's begging and like actually scared for the first time.

Jess 33:26
Yeah, she's fucking terrified. So we know that, because we dropped the bomb we know that Selene is actually lead fear. She's ones of the Forsaken

Jess 33:38
I stand by that.

Jess 33:39
I don't regret it for a moment.

Jenn 33:42
In fact, it adds something unique as we continue on about these stories, knowing that she is. Even for the person that hasn't read this before going, what the fuck is she going to do next?

Jess 33:51
Well, and you want to know, I think that it's, I think it's a fun little hint that we've given that doesn't spoil anything. But hopefully spurs people's imaginations a little bit to help them connect dots maybe a little bit faster than they would have done before if it's their first read through, which I always think is pretty fun. So now we know that she is Forsaken. She know, we know that she was around in the Age of Legends. So I don't think that it's outside the realm of possibility that she knows what this is.

Jenn 34:23
Right.

Jess 34:25
I have a theory about what this is. We've learned about angreal. Moiraine has one and it's basically an object that operates as a kind of conduit that allows you to draw more of the Power than you would be able to do by yourself. So you have angreal all which are small, and then you have sa'angreal which are bigger, maybe not physically bigger, but they allow you to channel even more. Right? My theory, and I actually had this theory on my very first read through, this is a this is an angreal.

Jenn 35:12
Yeah, doesn't Rand mention that when he remembers something about on the ship with Bayle Domon, Bayle Domon saying something about there being some odd things from the Age of Legends still scattered around the world? I think we touched on that chapter like, we went into, I don't remember whether it was you or I that had that chapter. But I know that one of us went into the things that Bayle Domon found, like a, like a giant pillar that kills everyone that comes near it. And there's giant statues and a couple different places of the world.

Jess 35:45
And he does specifically mention a face and a hand holding a giant crystal sphere. Sticking out of the top of the hill, on the island of Tremalking. Like that's the, that's the Sea Folk-

Jenn 36:01
That's a Sea Folk area.

Jess 36:02
Right. So on the other side of the planet. And so, and I think that they were talking about...they talked about the Age of Legends in this chapter, didn't they?

Jenn 36:13
They did indeed. Yes.

Jess 36:15
Yeah. So he was, I think Rand was already starting to connect dots here.

Jenn 36:20
Right. So like, maybe this is what Bayle Domon was talking about it?

Jess 36:23
Yeah. He remembered that, he remembered-

Jenn 36:26
An artifact from an age long past.

Jess 36:28
Yeah, he realized that this was potentially an artifact from the Age of Legends where people were using the Power with impunity. Everybody was channeling left, right and center and men and women were working together. And so he's starting to put these puzzle pieces together of what it is that maybe he did. He, but the thing is, is that he sort of has a lapse in memory. So from the moment that he tried to release the void, but it didn't go right, until the void did finally release, he has no memory of what happened there. Almost like somebody else was in the driver's seat.

Jess 37:07
Yeah-huh.

Jess 37:09
And I think that's really interesting. I, this isn't something that I necessarily made a particular note about the first couple times that I read it through, but it absolutely...Absolutely...It's a weird thing that happened. It's like, Okay, well, he did this weird thing. And this weird thing happened. And apparently, he didn't really have control over what he was doing. But, you know, it feels like it's maybe more than that even. So.

Jenn 37:48
I think I'm picking up what you're throwing down here down here.

Jess 37:50
Oh, yeah, absolutely. And obviously, we're spoiler free. But everybody who's read it knows exactly what we're talking about. And they're probably screaming at their phone or whatever. But you know what we're talking about.

Jenn 38:01
That's an interesting think to say.

Jess 38:04
But you know what, this is something for first time readers. Make a note of this, make a note of this, this short period of time, right? Where Rand kind of- Rand forgot this thing that happened, and he seemed to not have control over what was happening. Just put that back in your memory, file it away for future reference.

Jenn 38:23
Put that in your smoke, and pipe and smoke it, rather.

Jess 38:26
Put that in your smoke and pipe it.

Jenn 38:28
That's what I said. I stand by it!

Jess 38:32
File that information away for later, that will put pieces together later on possibly, so yeah, I like this chapter. First of all, it was fairly short, which is nice.

Jenn 38:44
This is nice. A rare gift.

Jess 38:45
But the other thing that is happening here is, it seems like Rand is starting to kind of resist Selene's bullshit a little bit better. He's like, No, we have a plan. We have a very specific thing that we're supposed to do here. And I'm not doing this shit that you're talking about. I'm just not going to do it. And um-

Jenn 38:53
Like, I'm not listening, I'm not listening, la la la la la la la!

Jess 39:16
La la la la la la la! So yeah. And the other thing that I find kind of admirable about it is because, uh particularly for myself, bearing in mind that I am well old enough to be Rand's mother. I do not necessarily do that well when people are harping on me about stuff.

Jenn 39:38
True.

Jess 39:39
I will get snippy.

Jenn 39:40
Me too.

Jess 39:41
And he just is like, this fount of patience. And is just sort of gently, "No." Gently but firmly brooking no opposition. No, we're not doing that. And that's it. Like you know, it's a really interesting kind of, even just from like, the last two chapters to this chapter, there's already been a little bit of an evolution like-

Jenn 40:11
Right.

Jess 40:12
He maybe has realized-

Jenn 40:13
He progresses quickly.

Jess 40:14
Yeah, very quickly.

Jenn 40:15
He's getting over this school boy drool of "Oh my god, this beautful wooomaaaan."

Jess 40:20
"She's a pretty girl, I saw her thiiiiighs!"

Jenn 40:22
And he's like, "Alright, this pussy is not leaving me around by the nose anymore. I gonna pull my face out from between your legs. Dust off the crust for out my nostrils. Breath the free air."

Jess 40:38
The free, pussy-free air.

Jenn 40:39
And catch a whiff of what's really going on.

Jess 40:42
Of what's really happening here. Well, and I think that, I feel like there is possibly Rand is sort of processing the bat shit crazy thing that he did to get the Horn. And now that he has it, because it's a been sort of theoretical up to this point, right?

Jenn 41:03
You fucking broke into another dimension, my friend shit's getting real, real, real fast.

Jess 41:07
Real real fast. And so he obviously still doesn't really understand what was happening there. I mean, he does a little bit but um, like, he knows that he had to use the Power to do it. And I think in his subconscious, he knows that Selene had to use the Power to do it. But um, and that maybe she's the one who sent him there. But um, you know, he's not connecting those dots yet. But I think just the act of doing his bat shit crazy A-Team-style fucking plan to get the Horn and the dagger back. Now he's got it. It's no longer theoretical. He has the Horn. He has the dagger. He knows what he needs to do. He has a mission, he needs to get the Horn back to Ingtar. He needs to get the dagger to Mat. "I have a fucking plan. I'm going to execute that plan. I'm not going to let you sidetrack me."

Jenn 42:00
He's like, are you sure you're not Aes Sedai? Because he's already equating her to trying to manipulate and use him the same way Moiraine and Siuan did which is getting past the pussy craze and he's actually thinking with the right head, not the other one that's farther down below.

Jess 42:19
Yeah. And I think, I feel like his subconscious is putting the pieces together. Because I think that if he were really consciously putting the pieces together and realizing how much she was trying to manipulate him, I feel like he would get very, very angry.

Jenn 42:37
He would regard her maybe as more of an enemy. Like, what I like is, is he's realizing that just because you look beautiful and everything about you seems right, that doesn't mean you're good.

Jess 42:54
Going back to the Lord of the Rings when they talk about the Dark Lord's minions looking fair and feeling foul.

Jess 43:07
Yes.

Jess 43:09
She looks fair and feels foul. And I think that even in his subconscious, he's starting to realize that something isn't quite right there. He's definitely not putting the pieces together. Because if he put the pieces together, I think that he would be fucking livid.

Jenn 43:22
And he would be maybe even scared. Like, Who the fuck is she? If she's not Aes Sedai, because if she- if he asks her a direct question, and she says, No, I'm not Aes Sedai which she's done on multiple occasions. That means even if she was she couldn't say that because she couldn't break the three oaths, of not being able to tell a lie. So she's really not Aes Sedai, then what the fuck am I working with?

Jess 43:49
Yeah, like, what am I dealing with here?

Jenn 43:51
The only reason why Rand isn't running for the hills from her at this point, is because of his yokel background of being a shepherd and not understanding who Cairhienen people really are. Because the only wiggle room of possibility that he has for her right now in his brain is maybe all the Cairhienen nobles really do know these things. And she went to a library like she says. And he's just enough of a country schmuck to...

Jess 44:20
To buy it.

Jenn 44:22
Because otherwise, I would have to go with what she's saying. Because I don't know about Cairhien. I don't know.

Jess 44:27
I don't know Cairhien from a fucking hole in the ground. But you know, and I think the other thing is, I believe that when we first got the physical description of Selene, she has black hair, dark eyes, she's very pale. But she's tall.

Jenn 44:45
Tall. And you're about to experience in these chapters. I think you already said it in this one. The people there are short. Really short.

Jess 44:54
They're short. It said specifically in the book that there was not a single person in that Cairhienen and village that came up to Rand's shoulder.

Jenn 45:02
Not even the men game up to Rand's shoulder. N

Jess 45:04
Not even the men, and even Hurin-

Jenn 45:07
They're very small people.

Jess 45:08
Even Hurin was taller than everybody there and Hurin being you know, from Shienar they're not super, necessarily, the at least Shienarans are not super tall people.

Jenn 45:21
Yeah, they're they're on the shorter side as well. Not as short as, I think the way that they explain it in the Wheel of Time that Cairhienen and people are the shortest but I think the Shienarans are up, are the like the next shortest, like they're short so...

Jess 45:38
So they're they're not a tall people. But even Hurin is taller than every other person that they see in this village. So you know, right then even if we didn't know that Selene wasn't, even if we didn't already know that Selene wasn't who she said she was, we would know, if we remembered, that Jordan said she was tall and now all of these people in Cairhien are short...okay that right there is signal that she's not who she says she is. Plus, everybody in that village wears dark colors.

Jenn 46:10
And she's wearing a white fucking dress.

Jess 46:12
She's wearing white.

Jenn 46:15
Yeah, it's not adding up.

Jess 46:17
So yeah, things are not adding up there. So you know I feel like once-

Jenn 46:23
But maybe Rand thinks that the royalty maybe, or nobility may possibly be tall, and maybe they because to distinguish themselves from the commoners could possibly wear white instead of dark. That's still a smidge of possibility but right now...

Jess 46:39
I mean, right now as far as he's concerned that's on the table because as of right now as far as he knows, he's only met like common people and, in your chapter, soldiers. So.

Jenn 46:51
And he's met the Borderlands, meaning only aka Shienarans, so right now, in all of Rand's-

Jess 46:59
Yeah, I mean, Lan but that's a whole other thing.

Jenn 47:02
Lan's Malkieri. But he's the only Makieri that Rand knows. So of all the people that ran is really met, is Andoran people because we've already discussed how the Two Rivers and Caemlyn are also part of the same country. That's cold Andor. And then they fast-Way traveled to Shienar and Rand hung out Shienar for a little bit and he met, this Shienarans got to know them, right? He's in the village for like, weeks or months.

Jess 47:34
Probably weeks, maybe a month,

Jenn 47:37
Right. At least. So he spent some time. And now Rand is coming up in his first major country that is different than the Shienarans or Andorans. So he's meeting completely different people.

Jess 47:51
Yep. Yep, absolutely. And he doesn't have any background. He doesn't know...does he even know that Moiraine is Cairhienen?

Jenn 48:01
He does not know at this point that Moiraine is Cairhienen.

Jess 48:05
We know, right? Like the reader knows.

Jess 48:08
The reader, I believe, knows. I think she talked about it slightly to Siuan. Maybe made some allegory. Yes. Yes, we do. Because when she talks about using her little blue stone right before the meeting before Siuan happened at Fal Dara. As she was getting dressed and looking at herself in front of the mirror. She was like, Oh, you know, I use this little blue stone as a focusing trick. Some people, some other Aes Sedai think that this little blue stone that I wear on my forehead can signify some other sort of power. And even though it's not, I allow them to think that, that way I have an edge on them. When in reality, it's one of the first tricks I learned before I went to the White Tower. Growing up as a Cairhienen noble, in a Cairhienen noble house, it's what I used to spy on the other nobles. So yes, the reader knows that.

Jess 49:04
Okay, good. And just as a reminder/FYI, the stone that Moiraine wears, like on a chain around her head and it stone is on her forehead. That's a kesiera. And that is a Cairhienen headdress. So it's not like she's being weird walking around with a gem on her forehead that's something I'm guessing just nobility wears.

Jenn 49:32
Later on, without giving it away, you meet more Cairhienen female nobility, like close to like possibly royalty. And they also have different colored stones they wear on their forehead and their look very similar to Moiraine and they all have that same chain around their head with a little dangling stone.

Jess 49:57
Okay, yeah, we know that so, but I don't think that Rand knows that she's Cairhienen.

Jenn 50:02
Rand does not know that she's Cairhienen. The reader does.

Jess 50:04
And he wouldn't have the the sort of background of, Okay, well, Moiraine's from Cairhien and she's dark.

Jenn 50:10
And she's extremely short, right. Remember, guys, how tiny?

Jess 50:16
Yeah, she's tiny, right. Which is actually really interesting too, because you know-

Jenn 50:20
She's short even for a Cairhienen. They described her as at first glance, she could pass for a child.

Jess 50:28
I have to think she must be like-

Jenn 50:31
She's like four foot-

Jess 50:32
I wanna say she's maybe four foot ten?

Jenn 50:36
Maybe four foot nine or eight. She's very, very-

Jess 50:40
She's very small.On

Jenn 50:42
One of the shortest people you meet in the story.

Jess 50:44
My paternal grandmother is four foot eight.

Jenn 50:48
very petite, extremely petite.

Jess 50:50
She's pocket sized.

Jenn 50:51
Yeah, she's little-little. Yeah, no.

Jenn 50:58
I'm five six. So she's probably almost a full foot shorter than me. And I'm normal average height.

Jess 51:06
Average height.

Jess 51:07
I'm a little bit taller than those girls, but like, within the range.

Jess 51:12
Yeah, I'm like five and a half. So I imagine her like, I have a girlfriend of mine from college, Kirsten, is four foot 10. And she's very small and pocket sized.

Jenn 51:28
I think Moiraine's a little bit smaller than that.

Jess 51:29
I pushed her into snowbanks. Because she was so little and I could.

Jenn 51:35
Jess, that's not nice.

Jess 51:37
It was a goof. She didn't mind. It was a silly thing we did. I miss Kirsten. But anyway, um, so yeah, Moiraine is tiny. Cairhien people in general are on the short side. And so you know, getting back to sort of the main point is that you know, Selene says that she's Cairhienen but you know, complexion wise, it specifically says the Cairhienen have kind of narrow faces. It does not, the the physical description of Selene doesn't indicate that and you know, she has the dark hair so that fits but she's definitely too tall and she definitely does not dress in the way that other Cairhienens are dressing. Now, we don't know what nobility do at this point, but she definitely is, sort, of there are a couple of major kind of cultural touchstones that she's not hitting as far as we can tell. So it's a red flag if nothing else, for sure. So, yeah, this was a good chapter. This was a very interestesting chapter.

Jenn 52:48
I also like my chapter, chapter 21, The Nine Rings. Heeey.

Jess 52:55
Heeey.

Jenn 52:57
Chapter 21, The Nine Rings. I like this chapter it's slightly short, but it's-

Jess 53:04
It's a good one. There's interesting shit that happens here.

Jenn 53:06
So Rand expected the common room to be empty since it was near suppere time. What, the inns of this world are empty around the evening meal? Strange. What the heck fantasy are wereading? Anyhoo, there are men in common woolens dicing here in a corner but Rand can tell by the set of them that they're military men. One of them seems an officer. He has turned down boots, a sword propped up against the table nearby him, and two horizontal slashes of color like, nanners of distinction, slashed from shoulder to shoulder across the front of his dark coat. The dicing men's hair were literally bowl cut, but this captain's hair was shaved in front and long in the back, so a skullet, essentially.

Jess 54:00
(laughter) Did you make that up? Or is that something that you do about?

Jenn 54:03
I did not make it up I have to say, I bit that off comedian. The skullet.

Jess 54:08
I love it.

Jenn 54:12
The innkeeper was skinny, which is usually an abomination but it's a woman, old and wrinkly with gray hair.

Jess 54:19
And her apron is spotless.

Jenn 54:21
I-that was my next thing, her apron is spotless! The next sentence.

Jess 54:29
It's an important distinction.

Jenn 54:30
Not even joking. The apron was spotless was the next words coming out of my mouth.

Jess 54:35
(laughter)

Jenn 54:36
Fucking real real time talk. Anyway, crazy. I love you, Jess.

Jess 54:41
I love you too.

Jenn 54:43
Anyway. Sorry, Rich. She pauses eyeing Rand's coat and Selene's mannerisms and addresses Rand and Selene as, quote My Lord and My Lady. The innkeeper asks Loial if he comes from the nearby stedding, Stedding Tsofu. But Loial says he's come down from the Borderlands. That makes her pause. And the lady says that Rand and Selene don't look like Borderlanders. Rand, of course, says he's from the Two Rivers and Selene is Cairhienen, and the lady frowns at Rand's sword, but then says "come on in to The Nine Rings." As she led them to a table to eat to the innkeeper asks if they're Hunters for the Horn and Rand almost stumbles comically at the comment. But he's like no, I why would you ask him for hunting for the Horn? And she's like, "Well, we've seen so many out-of-towners throughout the last month I thought they may be those hunters from Illian getting a jumpstart and you two could be mixed up in that." She asks if Selene is well, because Selene starts making a face at all the questions but Selene's like, "I'm fine." Then Hurin pipes up as they sit down, and remarks that the innkeeper isn't Cairhienen, she doesn't sound like like it. She says she wasn't but was married to a Cairhienen man for 23 years before he died. And he was tricksy and scheming like all the rest.

Jess 56:10
Ha ha! Throwing shade.

Jenn 56:13
She is. She takes a start at Hurin sitting down in the same table with Rand and Selene. She assumed Hurin was their manservant by his different attire and attitude, but then comes back with some weird food Rand doesn't recognize. It's spicy and there are bright yellow peppers along with thin slices of pork. It was sweet and sharp with a clear sauce and lots of veggies. Now, Rand has been to the Borderlands and Caemlyn but had not talked about eating different food out of the Two Rivers until this chapter, which he can't seem to stomach the spicier food. But once he takes a bite, he actually learns he likes it, which is nice to see that he actually really likes it after the disdainful first glance. We can try something new kids!

Jess 57:08
Try something new. Well, and can I just put a pause here really quickly? The description of that food? Uh, it sounds like sweet and sour pork.

Jenn 57:19
Yeah. Yeah. Except the sauce is clear, but yes, it does seem just like it

Jess 57:26
Well, and I mean, like, the sweet and sour chicken. It's not a thick sauce. I mean, it's like pink. But it's kind of I mean, translucent isn't the right word, but it's uh, it's it's not like a thick cloudy sauce, you know. So yeah, anyway, I just the first thing I thought when I read this was like, this sounds like sweet sour pork with the peppers and the sweet sauce. Like, get him some Kikoman up on that table. You gotta get some soy sauce on this shit. Where's the rice? What's happening? Where's the chopsticks?

Jenn 57:58
Where's my white rice? Fuck.

Jess 58:00
Where's my where's my fucking Chinese food? Where's my egg foo young? God dammit. now I'm hungry.

Jenn 58:05
Where's my goddamned egg rolls?

Jess 58:08
Where are my fucking wontons?

Jenn 58:11
Where's my backup singers?! Anyway.

Jess 58:13
(laughter)

Jenn 58:18
That's a Whitney Houston reference, guys.

Jess 58:23
I love it and I love you and it's beautiful and perfect.

Jenn 58:26
Oh, you are too! The innkeeper is being nosy again. She says she noticed what looks like a flute sticking up out of Rand's saddle bags.

Jess 58:39
This bitch.

Jenn 58:40
And would Rand allow his man Hurin to play for the common room this evening?

Jess 58:47
And Hurin's like, "Uh..."

Jenn 58:49
Rand's like "Hurin doesn't play, I do" and she's like, "Oh, I withdraw my request." She seems embarrassed at having what she assumes is some southern lord playing in a common room. But he's like "Nah, it's cool. I'll play." He tells Hurin this slide it out of the bag. No need to show off the gleeman's cloak that the flute is wrapped into the nosy innkeeper, and realizes that they heronbrands on his palms do not interfere with the fingering of the flute.

Jess 59:25
(laughter)

Jenn 59:27
The book's phrasing-

Jess 59:27
I guess that answers our question from before.

Jenn 59:29
The book's phrasing actually, not mine. Yes, and I thought about our fucking thing about the herons palms earlier and masturbation. Anyway. Seems that Selene's salves really were miracle workers. Because of his herons branded on his palms, Rand starts playing Heron on the Wing, the name of the song. Selene is staring at Rand, shocked as if she is appalled at him playing. He's thinking to himself, "I know that no lords play the flute." And he determinedly starts playing several songs, back to back, making sure none of them can be heard in a lord's palace.

Jess 1:00:17
I love this.

Jenn 1:00:19
Intentionally, stubbornly he plays country songs and ditties, backhoe knee slap songs and little jigs.

Jess 1:00:29
He's fucking bluegrass up in that shit He's like I don't give a fuck.

Jenn 1:00:32
Like, I know that's Selene is nobility and I want to make sure that I don't play anything that she may recognize.

Jess 1:00:39
She needs to understand!

Jenn 1:00:40
She needs to understand he's a shepherd, bitch. The captain that Rand notices earlier closes his book to listen. And the soldiers start drunkenly singing along to one of the songs that Rand plays but they sing different lyrics than Rand is familiar with. Ah, so the old thing that Rand noticed so long on his way, so long ago on his way from Whitebridge to Caemlyn, that the same song has different words in different places is still true here. As soon as Rand is done with that song, the officer gestures with one hand and all the soldiers immediately go silent, cutting off mid-laugh-

Jess 1:01:22
Captain fuckin' buzzkill.

Jenn 1:01:24
-and scraping chairs back to sit down and be quiet. He comes up to Rand, bowing and pressing a hand to his heart. This shaven part of his head, it looks like it has powder on it. He addresses himself as Aldrin Caldevwin, apologizes for his soldiers' rowdiness, and does say that he is Captain to the Cairhienen service under the Cairhienen king. He sit down with Rand, as Rand says the soldiers were cool, no problem at all. The captain looks again at Rand's heron mark sword, taking it in with his eyes and saying nothing. Rand asks if there any strangers that the captain has seen passing through town, and the captain says that there were no nobility other than themselves that he's seen. He looks at Loial and then dismisses Hurin as a servant. The dude bro starts asking grand questions that make the innkeeper look downright unconcerned with Rand. He asks for Rand's name and where Rand is from and may he called Rand a lord, and Rand must be the youngest Andoran Caldevwin's ever seen to wear a heron marked blade. He met a man once from Andor that also had a heron marked blade. Perhaps Rand had run into the other blademaster from Andor. That man was Captain General to the Queen's Guard in Caemlyn, perhaps Rand could help Caldevwim remember that man's name?

Jess 1:02:56
This whole interaction is so weird.

Jenn 1:02:58
Rand remember the man that Queen Morgase had spoken with regarding releasing Rand in the throne room back in Andor. Rand's like Gareth Bryne? Caldevwin's like," Oh, yeah, he is so young, just like you, to wear that sword." And Rand's like "Gareth has enough silver in his hair to be your father, Caldevwin." Caldevwin's like "Oh, my mistake."

Jess 1:03:24
What the fuck you talking about dude?

Jenn 1:03:26
Then, upon passing all the verbal tests, Caldevwin turns his attention to Selene and he's dumbstruck by her beauty too. He's like, "May I have your name to put a name to such beauty?" And before Selene can respond, one of the serving girls cries out as she drops a lantern that she was lighting on the wall, the glass shattering an oil spilling everywhere causing flames to burst. Everyone goes into a tizzy to put out the fire, but the innkeeper and the servant girl beat it out with their aprons before anyone else can lend a hand. The girl insists she was being careful, in tears, not knowing how it dropped. The innkeepers turns to Rand to apologize for the outburst and the clumsiness of her maid. That maid always starts treating the dishes badly whenever she starts mooning over some new guy, but she's never dropped a lamp before. Selene interjects next, gripping her stomach and saying that she needs to lie down with all the excitement of the journey and the fire and all. The innkeepers like "Of course, I'll have a room set up for you and the lord. And can I fetch our village mother to get some herbs for your tum-tum?" Selene's like no, "I don't need any medicine. I want a room for myself." The innkeeper glances at Rand and says "Okay." Captain Caldevwin and Rand sit back down and the captain says he's sorry for staring at Selene that way, and Rand's like, I understand. Like maybe the captain should have apologized to the person he was actually staring at?

Jess 1:05:03
I know right? Like she's his property, like I'm sorry I was staring at your property.

Jenn 1:05:08
Like proprietary ownership and apologies being transferred to Rand instead of the woman he's actually insulting with all of this staring.

Jess 1:05:18
With all of his like ogling her like-

Jenn 1:05:22
I'm not gonna say shit to Selene as she leaves and he's like I'm sorry Rand for staring at Selene like-

Jess 1:05:27
Sorry she's too pretty for me to not stare at.

Jenn 1:05:30
Maybe he should apolgize to Selene for being the person he's actually staring at.

Jess 1:05:35
I'm not a fucking grown ass adult man who can control my my eyeballs do. Like, fuck off.

Jenn 1:05:40
Oh Rand, I'm sorry for staring at Selene.

Jess 1:05:47
Fucking patriarchy.

Jenn 1:05:48
Haha. I loved that part. Meaning I didn't. Anyway.

Jess 1:05:56
I fucking loved it if by loved you mean I fucking hated.

Jenn 1:05:59
I hated it. Anyway, Rand-

Jess 1:06:01
Thanks, I hate it.

Jenn 1:06:03
I hated it.

Jess 1:06:04
(singing) Thanks, I hate it.

Jenn 1:06:06
(laughter) Anyway, Rand-

Both 1:06:10
(laughter)

Jenn 1:06:14
Rand takes the moment to change the subject and asks the good captain about that crystal that they pass outside of town sticking up out of the ground. The captain says of the crystals part of the statue of a man back from the Age of Legends. The captain has been tasked with two responsibilities. One, overseeing the digging up of the statue with Cairhienen Foregaters. Whoever the Foregaters were.

Jess 1:06:39
Whatever the fuck that is.

Jenn 1:06:41
And two, to make sure that those same Foregaters doing the labor of the digging did not interrupt the daily lives of the villagers they're working next to during the project, as the Foregaters are known for drinking and carousing.

Jess 1:06:56
Oh, god forbid.

Jenn 1:06:58
Rand's like "That's cool. What are you going to do with the statue when you dig it up?" Dude does not want to respond but Rand just stares at the guy until the guy has to give an answer. The captain says it will be moved to the front of the city as a testament to the house of the Cairheneking. Then he asks Rand a question of his own, asking how long Rand is going to be staying in this outlier Cairhienen town, and rands like we're leaving in the morning for Cairhienen. The captain said, "I have soldiers headed back to the city in the morning too. I have to rotate my laborers, you see, You don't mind my men riding with you, do you? Like an escort?" The question does not allow for a no and then he gets up and leaves the table. The inkeeper comes-

Jess 1:07:45
Red flags, like alarm bells fucking screaming.

Jenn 1:07:49
The innkeeper comes back and says she's made a separate room for the Ogier and for Hurin, and another one for Rand. Selene is all settled in her own room but the innkeeper says she's going to be bold with Rand for a moment after all. Rand allowed his manservant Hurin to eat at his table and to speak his mind. So she feels free to be candid to Rand without Rand getting mad. She was married for a long time to her deceased husband. And she was always fighting with him when they weren't kissing she says, so to speak.

Jess 1:08:20
Doesn't seem like a healthy dynamic, but you know, whatever.

Jenn 1:08:24
If she knows the way of relationships just wait awhile, then knock on her door in the middle of the night and smile and say that it's his fault. Whatever the problem is, she has a feeling Selene will let him in if you get her meaning. Rand's like, "Egwene would kill me for even thinking that I've thought of doing exactly that." But Rand's like. "No. Me, Hurin, and the Ogier all sleep together in one room," which makes her balk, and then quickly shoves a bed in the room she made for the Ogier and Hurin. When the boys are all together, Loial shoving the blanketed chest with the Horn of Valere into a safe spot, Rand is like, "That Captain Caldevwin was super suspicious. What do you think his problem is?" And Hurin has to explain. He says it's the Great Game of Houses, and that this captain is playing it. It's what the Cairhienen people do. It's called Daes Dae'mar. This Captain thinks you're playing that game too, Rand, and that you're here for actually some other purpose. And his questions are trying to get you to say who you were, what your allegiances were, and why you came to this town. He thinks you're up to something for just showing up in strange company, and he's trying to root out your intentions by playing this game with you. Your responses he's analyzing as meaning something else. Loial agrees and says essentially that this is basically human bullshit and Ogier do not get involved with promoting their houses or whatever.

Jess 1:10:01
The humans are on their bullshit again.

Jenn 1:10:03
Bbut he's heard of the Daes Dae'mar from you - guessed it - Elder Haman. They're like, Selene's a Cairhienen noble, she'll know better than any of us what playing Daes Dae'mar, or the Great Game, is like. We'll ask her in the morning. But in the morning she was gone.

Jess 1:10:22
Surprise, surprise, surprise.

Jenn 1:10:25
The innkeeper shakes her head sadly and is like, "You should have listened to me, lord, I gave you advice about your lady and now she's gone." And she hands Rand an envelope with a seal impressed with a crescent moon and stars. It's a note from Selene. She says she's headed on her own to Cairhien. She doesn't like this Captain Caldevwin. She says she'll be thinking of Rand and always in her thoughts. When Rand walks out to get his horse, that captain was waiting for him with another soldier riding alongside him. Both are already mounted. There are 50 by Caldevwin and Caldevwin salutes saying he's assembled men this morning to be his, quote, escort, if Rand can call it that. Rand thinks the soldiers hay help if Fain tries to ambush them, but he does not trust the Cairhienen dudes. The captain sees that the Ogier is still struggling again with that big chest and he's like, "Hm, I remember the night previous. That's a heavy burden you're carrying. And Loial misses a step, just saying, "Uh, I like books!" The captain's like "Your lady and her fine mount aren't here." Super nosy bruh.

Jess 1:11:37
I know, right? Fuck.

Jenn 1:11:39
Rand like "Yeah, I know. My lady took off to Cairhien in the middle of the night, she's already bounced." And then the officer gives a bit away going, In the middle of the night. But my men-" Then he cuts off there, the two officers start whispering furiously behind their hands. Hurin says that the captain had some of those 50 men station around the perimeter of the building overnight to oversee who came in or out and that Selene must have slipped past them. That's why they're surprised and angry to find her gone. She outmaneuvered them. Rand just gets on his horse like, "Let's go" and they do and us and if this chapter. Chapter 21.

Jess 1:12:23
Chapter 21. So yeah, this was another really interesting chapter.

Jenn 1:12:30
Yellow peppers and Chinese food.

Jess 1:12:34
Yep. Chinese food. Sweet and sour pork. We have that.

Jenn 1:12:38
We have it.

Jess 1:12:40
So one of the things that I am wondering about is when the young woman who was working at the inn busted the lantern. Do you think that that was just she was just clumsy and busted a lantern? Or do you think that there was some kind of like external something that happened there? Like...

Jenn 1:13:14
I'm gonna, I'm gonna say, I think there's something external that happened there.

Jess 1:13:20
I wonder if Selene, wanting an excuse to leave the common room, made that happen.

Jenn 1:13:30
You think?

Jess 1:13:32
Maybe a little.

Jenn 1:13:35
Just a tad.

Jess 1:13:36
Just a little bit. Just a minor fire, a little inflagration. Small, doesn't matter. Because she certainly didtake advantage of that situation to get the fuck out.

Jenn 1:13:50
She did not.

Jess 1:13:53
She did not what?

Jenn 1:13:56
She did actually. Sorry. She...yeah, it's just it's kind of coincidence that all of a sudden, this fire starts up at the moment that the captain asked her...you know what I'm saying like, it's really weird.

Jess 1:14:17
So the- what was happening at that exact moment?

Jenn 1:14:20
He asked her what her name was. And if he-

Jess 1:14:25
Ah ha ha, yeah.

Jenn 1:14:28
If he had continued in that same line of conversation, not only her name, but he was going to ask her like, what her house was. I'm mean he's captain-

Jess 1:14:37
Like where she was from or whatever. And if she said she was Cairhienen he would want to know-

Jenn 1:14:42
Like, you're going to see your family. What family is that? I would have only led to disaster.

Jess 1:14:48
Good call.

Jess 1:14:49
So the front that sleep is carrying...because the only way that conversation would have progressed with him asking questions about Selene, would be for her to like say who her house is and who she's related to. And since we already know-

Jess 1:15:05
She's not related to anybody.

Jenn 1:15:07
She can't, she can't claim that. She's not who she says she is.

Jess 1:15:13
That- I can't believe I did not connect those dots. Well done you. I did not connect those dots.

Jenn 1:15:19
Well yeah, that's the only way that, I mean that's the reason why she had to beg off, needing to leave the common room and creating that diversion is because, because the other alternative would've had to be sit and either like try to outmaneuver Captain Caldevwin's questions, and Rand would have been like, You're Cairhienen nobility. Aren't you going to talk to the good Captain about being back home and seeing your family?

Jess 1:15:45
Yeah. Good call on that one.

Jenn 1:15:49
So she had to leave. There was no other alternative for her.

Jess 1:15:52
Yeah, absolutely. And then I assume that must be why she lit out in the middle of an night. I wonder if it was a combination of factors, like the whole thing that happened at the statue. And okay, we're in Cairhien now. And he's absolutely insisting at stopping I'm at villages and shit. So I'm not going to be able to like- it's going to blow my cover. So she decides that she's gonna bounce and meet him later.

Jenn 1:16:24
Yeah, because otherwise Rand's gonna, might ask questions. Rand might ask to, like, see her to the door of her noble house, like he might ask to come in and see where she'll is. He might ask to me her family. You don't, she doesn't know what Rand's going to ask, like, who knows if Lanfear has all these safeguards set up in place of having a Cairhienen noble house to actually come back to.

Jess 1:16:51
Yeah, I'm guessing that she doesn't, because if she had thought that far ahead, she wouldn't have bugged out like, she would have stayed put.

Jenn 1:16:57
Yeah, so we're about to...tomorrow morning, we're going to be in Cairhien and we're going to drop you off at some sort of noble palace.

Jess 1:16:59
Yeah.

Jenn 1:16:59
And we're not just going to drop you off the gate and say, bye, peace, deuces, and ride off, we're going to ring the bell and say, Selene's here, come get your bitch.

Jess 1:17:21
Yeah, like this dumbass is gonna want to meet my family.

Jenn 1:17:24
And they're going to wait outside for somebody to at least open the gate and bring her in.

Jess 1:17:27
Well, and I think that makes it pretty clear that she honestly thought that she was going to be able to get him to take the Horn and ride off with her to get glory and all of that shit, that she was not going to have to put up or shut up when she got to Cairhien because they were never going to get there. Yeah, she obviously thought she was going to be able to dissuade him from all of this other shit. And get him to follow her. Which obviously she's never met him. So, fuck. But um, yeah, good chapter. And Rand still doesn't know what the fuck is going on with her. He's, like so many red flags, and he doesn't seem to be seeing them. Which is like, dude-

Jenn 1:18:17
What a difference between the people Shienar who just seem to openly accept him as a lord that doesn't question anything he says, actually goes further than what Rand puts on and just welcomes them with open arms into their house as a lord, gives him shit, and lets him sit at their table. Where the moment that Rand walks into an outlier village, he's not even in Cairhienen proper yet, but it's in the country and in one of their villages. And they're like, You don't seem to be coming from the Borderlands. Where do you come from? Can you play the flute for us? Where are you from? How did you get that sword? Where are you going?

Jess 1:18:57
And they're just-

Jenn 1:18:58
And they take offense to Rand's question. Like, can you just tell me about the big ass statue I passed by? Like, can you at least tell me where it's from? Like, they don't even want to answer that. Meanwhile, they're peppering Rabd with a barrage of questions. And then Captain Caldevwin's bullshitting about Gareth Bryne, like, oh, he's so young and Rand obviously-

Jess 1:19:21
Rand's like, he's old as fuck. What are you talking about?

Jenn 1:19:24
And he's like, Oh, no, I just meant when he gained the sword that-

Jess 1:19:28
Which makes me wonder who is this guy?

Jenn 1:19:33
He's just a random captain that's heard of some of the other great captains in other places.

Jess 1:19:38
And it makes me think, is he actually one of the great captains? Like, is he actually just a guy? Or is he somebody else?

Jenn 1:19:48
I think he's just a guy because everyone, well you learn later. I mean, well. Gareth Bryne's pretty famous in other places. Let's just put it that way.

Jess 1:19:57
Yeah, that's true.

Jenn 1:19:58
The reader does not know this yet. And I will not go further on this subject.

Jess 1:20:04
Gareth Bryne is kind of a big deal.

Jenn 1:20:06
he's heard of Gareth Bryne because he's been the Captain General of Andor for so long. From what we understand right now.

Jess 1:20:14
Yeah. People know who he is. So

Jenn 1:20:18
People just know he is. I think that's word of mouth right now.

Jess 1:20:23
Pretty much yeah. So should we do Ne Time on the White Tower Podcast?

Jenn 1:20:31
Let'sdo it. I only have one sentence for that. But it's good.

Jess 1:20:36
I have three so...

Announcer (Jess's husband) 1:20:40
Next Time on the White Tower Podcast.

Jess 1:20:43
(singing) Sisters, Sisters, there were never such devoted sisters.

Jenn 1:20:51
I love your voice.

Jess 1:20:53
Area Warder makes excellent dog metaphor. And, Aes Sedai tries to make out with a giant singing bat. What you got?

Jenn 1:21:06
Next Time of the White Tower Podcast: The way will come but once. Be steadfast.

Jess 1:21:15
Fucking serious shit. I'm excited about that chapter.

Jenn 1:21:19
That's all I'm going to say for my chapter.

Jess 1:21:22
I am excited about that chapter.

Jenn 1:21:26
Pray for me, because it's about, it's about the like the three chapters.

Jess 1:21:30
Yeah, RIP on that one.

Jenn 1:21:35
RIP Jen's time next week. Anyway, so I've excited about this new segment. And I have a fun thing about my segment. But you want to do the Ride or Die?

Jess 1:21:48
Yes. I'm 100% prepared to do Jess's Ride or Die Character of the Week.

Jenn 1:21:54
HEYOHHHH!

Both 1:21:54
(yelling and airhorn noises)

Jenn 1:21:59
Let's do it.

Jess 1:22:00
My writer and I character of the week is - and don't get used to it because I don't expect this going to happen very often - ut it's Rand.

Jenn 1:22:09
HEYOHHH!

Jess 1:22:11
You want to know what? He resists Selene's bullshit. He makes good choices. Like, I stan a man who makes good choices.

Jenn 1:22:21
Yes.

Jess 1:22:22
I stan.

Jenn 1:22:23
He thinks with his brain and not with his dick.

Jess 1:22:26
Yep.

Jenn 1:22:27
We're seeing some actual logic from Rand.

Jess 1:22:30
And I mean, we see logic from Rand pretty frequently, but like the pussy fog is is dissapating And he is. He's focused. He's dialed into what it is he needs to do. He did have that weird little thing at the statue. But overall, he's making good choices in this chapter. And I stan.

Jenn 1:22:55
He's being strong in the face of not only Selene, but some forces that he can't reckon with or containe. He's trying to do the right thing with Mat in the face of all the temptation in the world.

Jess 1:23:07
He's doing a good job. So I stan. What you got?

Jenn 1:23:12
Mine's a little bit long.

Jess 1:23:14
Do it.

Jenn 1:23:15
Because of my explanation. My Ride or Die is, I like the innkeeper, Mistress Madwin.

Jess 1:23:20
Hell yeah.

Jenn 1:23:22
We never see her again, but in four pages, Jordan did give a lot to give us her personality and character. She's nosey, true. But you gets the feeling that she's learned from having a Cairhienen husband. She's always fighting with her husband when they weren't quote unquote "kissing", meaning having sex, so I'm going, I'm thinking that she originally was not so nosey as she appears in this chapter. I like how when Rand shows her that other people can speak their mind around his presence, after one night, one night around Rand. She went back to what may have been her more open and honest ways, before she got married, by speaking her mind about Selene. And let's just take a moment to ponder. One night being around Rand. Her nosey nature changes and she's more thoughtful. Because Rand brings that out in her.

Jess 1:24:22
It could be some Ta'veren shit.

Jenn 1:24:24
Ta'veren shit.

Jess 1:24:26
That Big Ta'veren Energy.

Jenn 1:24:28
She wants to help brand because Randy was nice with Hurin. And she took that as a kindness. So because Rand allowed you to sit at his table and eat and speak his mind she wants to help Rand, which is cool. You don't feel that she's mean because she keeps the same maids under her employ even when they quote "break dishes when they moon about a boy". And even when that one girl dropped a lantern starting a literal fire that could have taken away her livelihood in the end,s he immediately jumps on solving the problem herself by beating up the flames and then she took care to console the girl after she felt bad for yelling at her. That was cool. She was fair and telling Rand later that she's never- that the, the maid has never dropped the lantern before. But she did not dismiss the girl out of hand and she said she does not know why she dropped the lantern as she was being careful. So the innkeeper chose to believe the girl based on the girls past problems and behavior and mannerisms. Mistress Madwin was also very kind to Selene when Selene being a big baby about the fire and and her stomach cramp, seeing to her needs and trying to get Selene medicine. Other women may have been jealous of Selene's beauty, or might have been mean to a lady but she was kind, as well as a good innkeeper, even though she's a skinny one.

Jess 1:25:58
I think the skinny rule only applies to male inkeepers.

Jenn 1:26:02
I feel like I've known this lady for a long time, even though we've only- we only know her for four pages out of 14 books. So good job Jordan, on giving that impression.

Jess 1:26:16
I mean, honestly, she is a really good, colorful character and I love the fact-vI love the fact that he made her not Cairhienen. Because, I mean, he could have made her Cairhienen and they're in Cairhien, like he could have made her a Cairhienen woman, but he didn't. He made her an outsider who married a Cairhienen so even now after however many years-

Jenn 1:26:43
She adopts Cairhienen ways-

Jess 1:26:45
She does but she's still- she adopts Cairhienen ways but she also still kind of looks at it through the lens of an outsider. She plays the game, but she also is looking at it from the perspective of somebody who comes from outside of that system, and sees it kind of for what it is, which is a lot of kind of bullshit.

Jenn 1:27:09
It is bullshit. And the moment that Rand, in a position of what she considers authority like a lord, shows some sort of natural common sense toward a manservant, or just like playing the flute himself, she's like, you know what, like, it kind of like makes her go "Bzzt" for a minute and she snapped out of it and she's like, you know, these- the Cairhienen ways aren't really my ways, they're my adopted ways, and who I am as a person is kind of more in league with how Rand's acting so the moment Rand exposes himself to her. She jives with him.

Jess 1:27:45
Yeah, I think that there must be something about him that maybe reminds her of home. I'm looking back through, I'm trying to see because she says where she's from.

Jess 1:27:54
Does she? I didn't catch up on that.

Jess 1:27:56
She's not- it starts with a T but it's not Tear, she's not Tairen. Um...okay, "Light no, I'm not Cairhienen. But for my sins I married one. 23 years I lived with him. When he died on me, the light shine on him, I was all ready to go back to Lugard." I was way off, she's from Lugard.

Jenn 1:28:21
Okay, so that's close to Andor. Um, Lugardians are fast and loose. they don't have any- they're kind of like big merchant people and they are kind of a blend of all sorts of different cultures and they very quick with the tongue and just rough and ready people. So Rand acting just like a normal person and not putting on any airs would definitely satisfy a Lugardians personal sense of worth and like just vibing with him on a natural level. Because Lugard people don't have palaces and like big nobility and bullshit like that. They're just like merchant people that fucking work a trade and they die. Like that, that there's not like a huge sense of historical presence there. So.

Jess 1:29:22
I'm going to read about Lugard.

Jenn 1:29:24
Yes.

Jess 1:29:25
From the Wheel of Time companion.

Jenn 1:29:28
Please do.

Jess 1:29:30
Lugard is the capital of Murandy. Lying on the River Storn where it met the River Reisendrelle, it was ruled by King Roedran, although his authority did not extend far into the country, as local lords held sway. A rough city, decaying through neglect, Lugard was highly commercial, being on major trade routes; people from all different nations could be found in its streets. Lugarders ahda reputation for theivery and licentiousness. Large areas of bare earth were set aside within the city for accommodate trade. Tall gray walls that encircled the city were neglected, their fallen stones making them low in places. Busy broad streets were unpaced, and the city was dirty. Gray stone buildings with bright colored tile roofs were dusty, and crumbling stone walls, remnants of past nobles' territorial claims, crisscrossed the city.. Stables, horse lots, and inns nearly outnumbered houses and shops. The inns were noted for risqué names and risqué singers. The Shilene Gate stood on the eastern side of the city. So just based on that description, we know that this woman came from a place that's very, very, very different from where she showed up, like where she ended up.

Jenn 1:30:50
Like, well, they trade too, but they have a whole different kind of overseeing this ballgame.

Jess 1:30:57
Yeah, they, I mean, just based on what we've seen of Cairhienens in so far. First of all, everything is very, sort of to quote Eddie Izzard, "Ein, zwei, ein, zwei, very Prussian".

Jenn 1:31:12
I love Eddie Izzard.

Jess 1:31:14
Eddie Izzard is the best. So Ein, zwei, ein, zwei, very Prussian, everything in the village that they went to, everything was made of stone, the hill was terraced with stone retaining walls. And the streets were all very straight. And every street met at the intersection with like a, like a 90 degree angle. And it said in the description of the village that even if the road had to curve to accommodate the hill, it was almost begrudgingly done so. So they're very meticulous and very like, Jordan went out of his way to just talk about the the lots that people lived on, their houses and their really neat gardens behind, and like these very special small neat postage stamp kind of tidy lots that they all lived on in their houses made of stone and everything. So you think about that. And you know, if you extrapolate that, that this neat and tidy little village is a microcosm of Cairhien as a whole, very neat and tidy, ein, zwei, ein, zwei, kind of country. This woman coming from Murandy, coming from Lugard of all places, that was just kind of a shit show-

Jenn 1:32:29
Fast and loose, like we said.

Jess 1:32:30
It's a very different kind of culture that she's a part of. And I think that it's really interesting, what you pointed out that Rand, either just by being himself, you know, looking like a Lord but not being one, or with his Big Ta'veren Energy, which I mean, it could be that it could be a combination, made her kind of-

Jenn 1:32:52
It's kind of left up the reader to decide why she ended up being so helpful to Rand. Coming out to, in a non Cairhienen way to Rand at the end. You have to make a decision for yourself, was it a mixture of both, was it his Big Ta'veren Energy, BTE like you say, or whether it's because maybe she saw-

Jess 1:33:16
A little bit of home.

Jenn 1:33:18
For the first time in what could have been years.

Jess 1:33:20
Yeah, like 23 years if she'd been living there for- I mean, she said they were married for 23 years. So you know, at least that long, probably longer. It seems like she'd been a widow for a while. So maybe 30 years.

Jenn 1:33:31
I know what I think. I think it's because Rand showed himself- because he could have had Big Ta'veren Energy, the moment he walks into that room, but she didn't start out that way. She started out being the Cairhenin way. And because of his actions, she changed her tune.

Jess 1:33:47
Yeah, just based on the way that he-

Jenn 1:33:49
I'm going to go with Rand being himself.

Jess 1:33:51
You know, whether she could see sort of that he was, I don't want to say he was pretending to be something that he wasn't because he's not really doing that. But he's also not disabusing anyone of the notion that they get when they see him. So he's just sort of cruising. You know. So whether she saw through that, or whether it was his BTE or whatever, you know, there- I feel like, I do kind of feel like there was something that reminded her of home, because the other thing too, is that, you know, it specifically said in the description of Lugard that there are a lot of different people from a lot of different countries. It sounds like it's a real melting pot of cultures from all around the Westlands. So, you know, she's accustomed to, you know, maybe it's been 25 or 30 years, but she's accustomed to seeing these different things. But at the same time, she's been kind of-

Jenn 1:34:59
Kept in a certain way and fighting with her husband all the time.

Jess 1:35:03
She's been isolated. Well, and yeah, I mean, I feel like-

Jenn 1:35:06
She's been fighting with her husband this whole time, like she said, because she's a Lugardian, and she keeps the way of Rand's thinking, and he influenced her against kind of who she is, as a person.

Jess 1:35:21
She doesn't play the bullshit that they do in Cairhien. And you know, we talked about the Game of Houses, where like, it doesn't matter what you do, people are going to think you're up to something.

Jenn 1:35:35
So she's like, whatever, like, I get having a distrustful attitude from being, like, a merchant, but you're going way too far to be nosey and promoting houses and bullshit, like, fuck off. Like a person of her character, the only option for them to be married to Cairhien person like that would be to fight and that kind of explains her marriage. Like you get all this backstory about this woman and like four pages.

Jess 1:36:04
In like four pages, because what you need to do then is like, file that away and then put it together with what you learn about other countries as you go. And then be like, Oh, that's why that innkeeper from Lugard fought with her Cairhienen husband all the time, because she's used to just being like, whatever. And he thinks that something's happening no matter what happens. You know, it makes sense to me. So, yeah, I honestly I love that you picked her because- (powerful sneeze) -excuse me.

Jenn 1:36:36
Bless you.

Jess 1:36:37
Because I mean, she's- for all that she's only there for four pages, she's a really interesting character.

Jenn 1:36:45
She's super interesting.

Jess 1:36:47
And I think that's really like, you know, there will be times throughout the series that we drag Robert Jordan.

Jenn 1:36:55
Yeah.

Jess 1:36:56
We're gonna drag him. But-

Jess 1:36:58
Oh yeah, I can't wait for Crossroads of Twilight, my god. The slog? Oh, my God. It's gonna happen, guys, buckle up.

Jess 1:37:07
You know, for everything that he got wrong, there's at least one other thing that he got right. Andyou have to acknowledge the skill involved with creating this multi dimensional really deep character in four pages. She's, she's incidental.

Jenn 1:37:33
Yeah, she's not even a thing.

Jess 1:37:35
Yeah, I mean I don't want to say she's nothing but she's kind of nothing.

Jenn 1:37:39
She's nothing.

Jess 1:37:40
And yet you get this, it paints this picture of this person, you know, as you file that information away and then Okay, she was from Lugard, Lugard's in Murandy. Okay, here's what we learned about Murandy. Here's what we learned about Lugard. If you go back and you remember that and you think Holy shit, okay. Yeah. You know, it's like this just really subtly built-

Jenn 1:38:04
I see it as like a wild wild west. I see it almost as like saloon border town. Like kind of like you're trading and gold and shit like that and horses and you're trying to build an empire. And it's a wild- where it's like every man for himself. And you get all this influx of travelers and pilgrims everything and people on the Oregon Trail dying from dysentery, but like, that's kind of what Lugard is. Thats why they didn't have any paved roads. Like I see it as the Wild West.

Jess 1:38:40
Yeah, I can see that for sure.

Jenn 1:38:42
All the dirt. And the people coming in. And it's just a border town.

Jess 1:38:48
Yeah, it's a wild border town. You have people coming in from all over the place. They don't have the infrastructure available. So you have unpaved roads and all this other shit.

Jenn 1:39:00
There's no king, no queen, there's no royalty. It's like every fucking merchant is out to make their own, and that's cool. I like that.

Jess 1:39:10
I mean, this is what I'm talking about with world building. You know, that was what you know, going back to the Lord of the Rings thing. I started reading Lord of the Rings when I was 12 years old, I read The Hobbit for the very first time on the recommendation of my friend Soren, we were talking about it on the bus on the way home from school. And one of the things that I really loved about that series was, not only was there meticulous attention paid to the main storyline, there was also world building. You learned about the other people who lived in that world, even if they were not, sort of, the protagonists. They weren't the main people. You learned about the people who weren't habits and you became invested in them, you became invested in their cultures, you know? And, and that's what I, that's what I'm talking about with the world building is that, yeah, okay. Eomer was honestly, more or less an incidental character. He wasn't in sort of the mix for very long, he did some important stuff. But he wasn't around for very long, but you're invested in him because of the culture that was built around Rohan. He's, he's, you know, the king's nephew. And, you know, built this entire culture and this in this sort of worldview, for this for these people, and you become really, really invested in it. And that's what I love about world building. And that's what I love about what Robert Jordan has done, is he's done the same thing. And he does it in such an amazingly kind of subtle way. There's just some innkeeper, you don't necessarily pay that much attention to her-

Jenn 1:39:12
Just some bullshit innkeeper.

Jess 1:41:06
But if you do, you learn some shit. She's not just some throwaway character.

Jenn 1:41:12
She's a fleshed out character.

Jess 1:41:14
You know, she has a background, she has a motivation. She has, like-

Jenn 1:41:19
She takes care of those maids in her establishment that cost her money. She doesn't go out and get a new maid. she yells at them, then she feels bad. And then she consoles them when they're crying.

Jess 1:41:31
But yeah, cuz I mean, she realizes that people make mistakes, like, shit happens. Sometimes you drop oil, like, it's a fucking oil lamp, what do you want? You know. So it's just, I mean, I think it's a really great example of the depth, even now, you know, roughly halfway through the second book in a 14 book series, the level of depth that he was going into with his world building, that even just this random innkeeper that we never see, again is really fleshed out. You know, it's, it's pretty extraordinary, I think.

Jenn 1:42:14
I think so.

Jess 1:42:16
So.

Jenn 1:42:17
So yeah,

Jess 1:42:18
Yeah. So there's that.

Jenn 1:42:21
I think we're pretty good to wrap it up here.

Jess 1:42:24
We're ready to wrap it up. So um, for those of you who do not know where to find us on the internet, on the outside chance that you don't know where to find us on the internet, you can find us on social media, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, @WhiteTowerPod. You can, if you're interested in joining us on our Discord, we have a really, really great group of people. Very cool, very inclusive, very supportive. You can join us today at bit.ly/WhiteTowerDiscord. Come and play with us in that space. We've got some really wonderful people there. And we're working on helping each other with our fitness and making good choices. And we talk about the episodes of White Tower Podcast, and we talk about the Wheel of Time in general. And those of us who are going to SpoilerCon, we're talking about that. And there's lots of really fun stuff going on there. Also, now you can find us on our website, it's WhiteTowerPodcast.com if you want to see that. Also, we have a Patreon.

Jenn 1:43:43
There's a whole bunch fun shit in there guys, like hours and hours and hours of bonus content, recorded content.

Jess 1:43:52
There's a lot of shit in there. So basically, we've got three tiers. And depending on the tier of support that you choose, you get different stuff available. We have a lot of fun doing the extra content for that. For folks who are the Accepted level $5 a month,asically, our pre and post recording chatter. So just us talking bullshit and kind of catching upb efore we start recording, you get that. Also, frequently, the- it's called Salidar After Dark. So pretty frequently Salidar After Dark also includes shit that we cut from the main show because we were way too much on our bullshit. And it's not really appropriate even for us.

Jenn 1:44:43
Yeah, oh, yeah.

Jess 1:44:44
We'll put that in Salidar After Dark. And then if you are at the Aes Sedai level, which is $10 a month. In addition to that you also get once a month, no holds barred, spoilers-out discussion about whatever it is that we feel like talking about. We take suggestionsfrom our Patreon supporters primarily from the Discord there, we've got a channel for it, making suggestions about things to talk about. So our June episode of the Thirteenth Depository, is what it's called, we talked about the Warder bond. And we went into a lot of we like really did a deep dive on exactly what it means and the ethics and all of that stuff. And it was really, really fun to talk about. And I think that people really enjoyed it. So if you want to support us on Patreon, that would be amazing. We would really love it. Even if you come in at the Novice level, it's $1 a month, you get your name in the Book of Novices, and we've got some other stuff that we're planning on launching, primarily early access to our weekly episodes. So they usually come out to the general public on Wheel of Time Wednesday. For folks who subscribe to Patreon at any level, those episodes will come out at least a day early, possibly two days early, depending on what I'm able to do. Um, if you can do that, it would be amazing. We would love to have you supporting us on Patreon. We'd love to have you there and be a part of that community. But you want to know what, it's not always feasible. And we absolutely get that. So if you still want to support us, but you're not able to do Patreon, you can support us by going to iTunes or whatever app you use to listen to the podcast. Rate, review, and subscribe. Not every podcast app has the ability to rate and review. But if the one that you use does, please do. You know give us a rating write a review that says hey, we think these people are pretty cool. That would be really nice. If the you know iTunes at this point, it's- I'm not exactly sure how this is all going to pan out because iTunes is actually going away. Apple is deprecating iTunes. And they're going to replace it with like three sort of standalone apps, one of which is going to be a podcast app. So I'm not exactly sure how that's all going to look once the transition happens. But for now, if you can rate us on iTunes, that would be amazing. Because iTunes is really kind of the place where most podcast apps pull the feeds for, for the stuff that they have on their platforms. So if you can rate review, and subscribe us there, that'd be amazing. If you can't, even if you can go on Facebook and recommend us there. That's really super helpful. Doing a recommendation on Facebook is really super helpful too. So if you feel inclined to do that, we would very much appreciate it. Um, let me- I have a list now I actually started making a list. That's everything. I covered everything.

Jenn 1:47:50
I think you did. I mean, you got everything girl.

Jess 1:47:54
So um, anything else? Do you have anything else to talk about?

Jess 1:48:00
No, I just really gotta go pee.

Jess 1:48:03
I also kind of have to pee. But also, we are looking like it's a go for SpoilerCon that's happening at the end of September. Spoilercon.com I think is the website. And it's like, I'm going to say it's like a 97 or 98% chance that will be there. Like fucking airfare to the fucking West Coast is-

Jenn 1:48:25
Mine actually wasn't that bad.

Jess 1:48:27
Really?

Jenn 1:48:27
I think I'm just like, $380 or something?

Jess 1:48:30
For real? All the way from fucking Florida? I was looking at it recently. And it was like $800 I'm like, Go fuck yourself.

Jenn 1:48:37
Girl, if mine is $800 I'm not going, period. Are you flying first class because I'm only doing coach.

Jenn 1:48:45
It's just, I mean, the thing is, is that I'm flying out of Dane County Regional Airport, which is a small airport. If I flew out of Milwaukee it'd be cheaper. But that's two hours in the wrong direction.

Jenn 1:48:55
Oh, okay, I'm going to OIA and I can get a ride. So I'm good. Okay, I was like, are you getting the transfer plane? Is that what you're doing?

Jenn 1:49:04
Yeah, so it's not going to be non-stop and I'll probably have a layover in Minneapolis and then go from there.

Jenn 1:49:09
Oh, yeah. Because if mine's $800. Sorry, guys. I still gotta pay for room and board and food and everything there. I don't have like two grand to drop on that.

Jess 1:49:21
I just got a raise. So I'll figure it out. I'm not worried about it. But yeah, we are planning to be a Spoiler Con. We're very excited about it. There's going to be D&D I requested that you and I are- like everybody who's playing D&D is going to be paired. And I requested that you and I are paired for D&D, because then we'll just be so on our bullshit.

Jenn 1:49:40
Oh, I think Christine is going to make that happen.

Jess 1:49:42
Yeah, I'm excited about that, that's gonna be good. And it's going to be really fun to just connect with some of the folks who kind of crossover between our show and WoT Spoilers. So that's going to be really fun. And also, I've never been to Portland. So I'm very excited.

Jess 1:49:57
Neither have I. Portland!

Jess 1:49:58
I've been to Seattle but I've never been to Portland, I am absolutely in love with the Pacific Northwest, but I've never been to this part of it before. So I'm very excited. Um, is there anything else that we need to worry about right now?

Jenn 1:50:13
I don't think so. I'm gonna have to make a run to the bathroom.

Jess 1:50:17
Okay, so I'm going to wrap this up really quickly. Then, from all of us here at the White Tower, thank you very much for listening. We love you very much, and you're doing a great job.

Jenn 1:50:30
I love you Jess.

Jess 1:50:31
I love you, Jenn.

Both 1:50:32
Byeeeee! (laughter)