Monday, January 31, 2011

Analysis of Minor Characters #9: Dobraine

By Linda

Dobraine Taborwin appears a typical Cairhienin noble at first: well-informed, politically astute, and careful:

Asmodean nodded. “But before that, two of them did speak to me, once they were certain I was not a Tairen spy. Lord Dobraine, and Lady Colavaere. They clouded everything in so many hints and innuendos that I cannot be certain, but I would not be surprised if they mean to offer you the Sun Throne. They could bandy words with . . . some people I used to be acquainted with.”

The Fires of Heaven, After the Storm

“As you say,” Dobraine repeated, tucking the packets into his coat. His face betrayed no emotion, now. An experienced player in the Game of House, was Dobraine.

Winter’s Heart, Snow

He is as prudish as any of his countrymen:

"Perhaps," Dobraine said, shrugging slightly, "yet half the noblewomen in the city now wear bright colors in imitation of the Lady Min. Breeches that display their legs, and many in coats that do not even cover their ..." He coughed discreetly, realizing that Min's coat did not cover her hips completely... Besides, she thought it really was a slip; Lord Dobraine Taborwin was not the sort to make even slightly rough jokes.

The Path of Daggers, The Bargain

“I've travelled on a Sea Folk ship, and it is peculiar! Bare legs are not in it!”

The Path of Daggers, The Bargain

Yet he wears more ornament than is customary:

His signet ring was a carved ruby, and he wore another at his collar, not much larger yet flamboyant for a Cairheinin.

Winter’s Heart, Snow

and has shaved his head in the Cairhienin soldiers’ hairstyle (the Celtic tonsure, see Cairhienin costume). He adopted it before Rand took control of the city. It is a sign he fights for Cairhien, but also makes him seem harmless to other more ruthlessly and recklessly ambitious nobles.

Also unlike most Cairhienin, he is prepared to act boldly against Aiel:

"We can decide what to tell them after we tie and gag her." He moved as if to do it, even pulling a dark green scarf from his coat pocket, but Perrin caught his arm.
"She is Aiel, Dobraine," Berelain said. "A Maiden of the Spear. I do not understand the livery."
Surprisingly, it was Berelain who received a warning glare from Sulin.
Perrin exhaled slowly. And he had wanted to protect the white-haired old woman from Dobraine. The Cairhienin looked at him questioningly, raised the hand holding the scarf a little; apparently he still favoured binding and gagging.

Lord of Chaos, The Feast of Lights

and against even the most senior of Aes Sedai, informing her that he freed her captives (Winter’s Heart, Wonderful News).

He dropped his impassive and secretive persona and spoke out to Rand about the Sea Folk bargain, which he thought a poor one:

"Every city on water?" Dobraine exclaimed. "Do they mean here, too?" He leaped to his feet and began pacing, spilling more of his wine than Min had. He did not seem to notice. "A mile square? Under the Light alone knows what peculiar laws?...And what of the customs duties, and docking fees, and . . ." Suddenly he rounded on Rand. He scowled at the Aes Sedai, who paid him no mind, but it was to Rand he spoke, in a tone bordering on roughness. "They will ruin Cairhien in a year, my Lord Dragon. They will ruin any port where you allow them to do this."

The Path of Daggers, The Bargain

It shows his care for his country. Not entirely reassured by Rand, he later grumbled about the bargain where Cadsuane could hear; perhaps he hoped she could influence Rand or the Sea Folk on the matter (Winter’s Heart, Wonderful News). This is the only time we know of that Dobraine has voiced objections to Rand’s arrangements. Otherwise he is remarkably obedient. The Fires of Heaven glossary explains that Dobraine Taborwin is:

a high ranking lord of Cairhien who believes in keeping the letter of his oaths.

Is this a hint that he doesn’t necessarily follow the spirit of the oath? So far this hasn’t been apparent.

He has kept his soldier’s hairstyle, perhaps as a sign he will obey Rand as his armsman. It is a good tactic; he has survived and even prospered.

However, Rand has been sceptical at times:

Rand had no illusions that Dobraine liked him more than any of the others did, or that he would not try to gain advantage where he could, but Dobraine actually seemed ready to hold to the oath he had sworn.

The Fires of Heaven, News Comes To Cairhien

and he was openly distrustful while in the grip of paranoia induced by the taint and his link to Moridin.

Yet the Tower embassy was convinced Dobraine could not be persuaded to act against Rand, whereas they weren’t with Berelain (or thought Dobraine wasn’t worth the trouble and she was):

"Ten?" Dobraine said. "I had only one visit. I thought she was disappointed when I made it clear I had sworn fealty to the Lord Dragon.”

Lord of Chaos, The Feast of Lights

To keep his oath Dobraine was prepared to die rescuing Rand:

"You will not go alone, Ogier," Dobraine said. "I can have five hundred men I trust by tomorrow. What we can do against six Aes Sedai, I do not know, but I keep my oaths."

Lord of Chaos, The Feast of Lights

and expected to do so:

'The Lord Dragon is down there?" Dobraine asked, looking across Rhuarc. Perrin nodded. "And you mean to go in there and bring him out?" Perrin nodded again, and Dobraine sighed. He smelled resigned, not afraid. "We will go in, Lord Aybara, but I do not believe we will come out." This time Rhuarc nodded.

Lord of Chaos, Dumai’s Wells

Dobraine has been remarkably successful in identifying and negotiating through the various plots in Cairhien:

Dobraine watched Meilan and Maringil, though why was anyone's guess.

Lord of Chaos, Matters of Toh

Rand didn’t understand the politics yet. Dobraine knew Meilan and Maringil each were plotting for the throne, and Colavaere too:

"Today Cairhien has suffered two misfortunes. This morning, Lord Maringil was found dead in his bed, of poison it appears. And only a short while later High Lord Meilan apparently fell victim to a footpad's blade in the streets. Most unusual during the Feast of Lights."
"Why are you telling me this?" Perrin said slowly.
Dobraine spread his hands. "You are the Lord Dragon's friend, and he is not here." He hesitated, and when he went on, it seemed he was forcing words. "Last night, Colavaere dined with guests from a number of the smaller Houses. Daganred, Chuliandred, Annallin, Osiellin, others. Small by themselves, but numerous. The subject was alliance with House Saighan and support for Colavaere for the Sun Throne. She made little effort to hide the meeting." Again he paused, weighing Perrin with his eyes. Whatever Dobraine saw, he seemed to think it called for more explanation. "This is most strange, because both Maringil and Meilan wanted the throne, and either would have had her smothered with her own pillows had they learned of it…
Yet I am convinced Colavaere had Maringil and Meilan killed to make her own way to the throne safe. She would never have dared had she thought the Lord Dragon would ever return."
"So that is why." A small, vexed frown creased Berelain's forehead. "I have proof she had a servant put poison in Maringil's wine—she was careless, and I brought two good thief-catchers with me—but I did not know why." She bowed her head slightly, acknowledging Dobraine's admiring look.

Lord of Chaos, The Feast of Lights

Dobraine’s approval of Berelain shows he gives credit where credit is due; he also has a sense of justice:

"Treason and murder." Dobraine sounded satisfied. Those whimpered screams did not touch him. "The penalty is the same, my Lord Dragon. Death. Except, by your new law, it is hanging for murder."

A Crown of Swords, A Broken Crown

"He should have sent her to the block," Dobraine muttered, and Perrin shrugged uncomfortably. From the man's tone, it was not clear whether he meant that that was what the law called for or that it would have been more merciful. Dobraine did not understand. Rand could have sprouted wings first.
Faile's fan slowed to barely moving, and she eyed Dobraine sideways over the crimson lace. "Her death might be best for everyone. That is the prescribed penalty. What will you do, Lord Dobraine?" ...
The Cairhienin gave her a level look in return while thrusting his gauntlets behind his sword belt. “What I was commanded to do. I keep my oaths, Lady Faile."

A Crown of Swords, Old Fear and New Fear

He refused to violate his oaths and act against Rand’s orders.

Dobraine warned Rand that Berelain and Faile were targets for retribution due to their part in bringing down Colavaere:

"Dobraine tells me he's already heard whispers in the palace that you betrayed Colavaere. Those who supported her might be afraid to say boo to me, but they'll pay to have a knife stuck into you." And Faile, too, according to Dobraine; that was being taken care of. "But they won't have a chance, because you are going back to Mayene. Dobraine will take your place here until Elayne claims the Sun Throne."

A Crown of Swords, As The Plow Breaks the Earth

Dobraine thinks Elayne has a good claim to the Cairhien throne and a better one than Colavaere:

”Colavaere is the key. She knows as well as any that the Lord Dragon means the Sun Throne for Elayne Trakand." He grimaced. "Elayne Damodred, she should be. Taringail should have insisted Morgase marry into Damodred instead of marrying into Trakand himself; she needed him enough to have done it. Well, Elayne Trakand or Elayne Damodred, she has as strong a claim to the throne as any, stronger than Colavaere's by far.”

Lord of Chaos, The Feast of Lights

Judging from what Morgase said in Towers of Midnight, An Open Gate about how Taringail had more power than she early in their marriage Dobraine’s assessment is accurate.

Dobraine’s comments also show why he had no hesitation in garnering support in Cairhien for Elayne as Rand wished and why he was thje only worthy choice for Rand’s Steward in Cairhien. He could be trusted to hand the throne on to Elayne.

Rand was greatly helped by Dobraine’s informative reports on affairs in Cairhien:

"Toram Riatin appears to have vanished," Dobraine said, "though rumor, at least, says he still lives, worse luck. Rumors also say that Daved Hanlon and Jeraal Mordeth - Padan Fain, as you call the man - have deserted him. By the way, I have settled Toram's sister, the Lady Ailil, in generous apartments, with servants who are . . . trustworthy." By his tone, he clearly meant trustworthy toward himself. The woman would not be able to change her dress without him knowing. "I can understand bringing her here, and Lord Bertome and the others, but why High Lord Weiramon, or High Lady Anaiyella? It goes without saying, of course, that their servants also are trustworthy."

The Path of Daggers, The Bargain

Bertome at least is somewhat untrustworthy; Ailil later showed she was not a problem. Dobraine appears not to know why the Tairens were kept in Cairhien; but he should have been able to work it out. There was nowhere else safe to keep them until Darlin had full control of Tear.

Rand left a lot up to Dobraine:

“The top one names you my steward in Cairhein,” he said, handing the packets to Dobraine. A third still nestled next to his chest, for Gregorin den Lushenos, making him steward in Illian. “So there’ll be no trouble with anyone questioning your authority while I’m gone.” Dobraine could handle that sort of trouble with his armsmen, but best to make sure no one could claim ignorance or doubt. Maybe there would be no trouble to handle if everyone believed the Dragon Reborn would descend on transgressors. “There are orders about things, I want done, but aside from those, use your own judgment. When the Lady Elayne lays claim to the Sun Throne, throw your full support behind her... “You’ll know when to deliver the other. Whether to deliver it. Pry him out if need be, and decide by what he says. If you decide not, or he refuses, I’ll pick someone else. Not you.”
Perhaps that was brusque, but Dobraine’s expression hardly changed. His eyebrows rose slightly at the name written on the second packet; that was all. He made a smooth bow. Cairheinin usually were smooth. “It shall be as you say. Forgive me, but you sound as though you mean to be gone for a long while.”

Winter’s Heart, Snow

including when or if to give Darlin Rand’s letter appointing him Sterward of Tear. Cadsuane thought Dobraine had not told Rand she was holding Caraline Damodred and Darlin but she was wrong. Rand already had a good idea of it. Dobraine decided to give Rand’s letter of authority to Darlin and free the pair; he was bold enough to tell Cadsuane so also (Winter’s Heart, Wonderful News). Much to Samitsu’s surprise, Dobraine did not abuse his authority, but followed Rand’s wishes exactly. He has been a great support to Rand, and it nearly cost him his life when Darkfriends attacked him to get access to the Seal they thought he might have.

Min thought that losing even one of Dobraine, Bashere or Logain would be a blow (and losing all three might take Rand a year to recover, which he doesn’t have) (Crossroads of Twilight, A Strengthening Storm).

Rand decided Arad Doman was in such desperate straits that Dobreaine and large force of Aiel should be moved there to restore order. Social order had completely broken down but Dobraine brought Bandar Eban under control.

He received praise from an unlikely source – an Aiel clan chief, who normally despise Treekillers:

Bael shook his head. "Dobraine Taborwin has done well with Bandar Eban," he said, "but Rhuarc spoke rightly when he called this land broken.

The Gathering Storm, The Plan for Arad Doman

Rand was not impressed however and even became distrustful:

"Lord Dragon," Dobraine said smoothly, bowing to Rand as he approached. "I deliver to you the city of Bandar Eban. Order has been restored, as you commanded."
"I asked you to restore order to the entire country, Dobraine," Rand said softly. "Not just one city."
The nobleman wilted slightly.
"You have one of the merchant council for me?" Rand asked.
"Yes," Dobraine said. "Milisair Chadmar, last to flee the city's chaos." His eyes were eager. He had always been stalwart, but was that a ruse?
Rand had trouble trusting anyone lately. The ones who seemed most trustworthy were the ones you needed to watch the most. And Dobraine was Cairhienin. Dared Rand trust anyone from Cairhien, with their games?
Moiraine was Cairhienin. I trusted her. Mostly.
Perhaps Dobraine hoped that Rand would choose him as king in Arad Doman. He had been steward of Cairhien, but he—like most others—knew that Rand intended Elayne for the Sun Throne. Well, Rand might give this kingdom to Dobraine at that. He was better than most.

The Gathering Storm, Into Bandar Eban

Rand thinks he is thwarting Dobraine’s ambitions. Alternatively, perhaps Dobraine simply wants to please Rand and have him acknowledge his efforts and achievement. In his dark mood Rand abruptly sent Dobraine to Tear even though Rand knew more remained to be done in Arad Doman:

He turned to Dobraine. "You have done well here," he said to the lord. "Even if you haven't brought order as widely as I wish. Gather your armsmen. Narishma has been instructed to provide a gateway for you to Tear."
"Tear, my Lord?" Dobraine asked, surprised.
"Yes," Rand said. "Tell Darlin to stop pestering me with messengers. He is to keep gathering his forces; I'll bring him to Arad Doman when I decide the time is right." That would be after he met with the Daughter of the Nine Moons, which meeting would determine much.
Dobraine looked faintly crestfallen. Or was that just Rand's interpretation? Dobraine's expression rarely changed. Was he imagining his hopes of this kingdom withering away? Was he plotting against Rand?
"Yes, my Lord. I assume I'm to leave immediately?"
Dobraine has never given us reason to doubt him. He even gathered support for Elayne to take the Sun Throne!
Rand had been away from him too long. Too long to trust him. But best to get him out for now; he'd had too much time to get a foothold here, and Rand didn't trust any Cairhienin to avoid games with politics.
"Yes, you leave within the hour," Rand said, turning to walk up the graceful white stairs.
Dobraine saluted, stoic as always, and left out the front doorway. He obeyed immediately. No word of complaint. He was a good man. Rand knew he was.
Light, what is happening to me? Rand thought. I need to trust some people. Don't I?
Trust. . . ? Lews Therin whispered. Yes, perhaps we can trust him. He cannot channel. Light, the one we can't trust at all is ourselves. . . .
Rand clenched his jaw. He would reward Dobraine with the kingdom if Alsalam couldn't be found.

The Gathering Storm, Into Bandar Eban

Rand’s behaviour is peremptory. Dobraine behaves like a soldier and even salutes Rand. Rand fluctuates in his opinion of Dobraine. Dobraine’s reaction could be simple disappointment at Rand’s criticism and distrust. After all, he nearly died for Rand.

Dobraine's house colours are blue and white and his con is blue with two white diamonds. (Lord of Chaos, The Sending). Blue represents infinity, eternity, truth, faith, purity, and spiritual and intellectual life (Jack Tressider, Symbols and their Meanings). It is the most detached and least material colour. White represents purity, truth, innocence and initiation. Together both colours are reassuring about Dobraine’s motives and loyalty.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Reference Library Updates after Towers of Midnight: Perrin essay updated

By Linda

Today there is one large essay updated with information from Towers of Midnight: Perrin, the first of the three ta'veren essays. There is plenty of new material (shown in bold) to expand on the parallels I found previously and also a new parallel.

Only 4 articles remain for updating: Rand, Mat, Aiel Prophecy and the Military Forces essays.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Reference Library Updates after Towers of Midnight: two articles updated

By Linda

Two articles were updated with information from Towers of Midnight today: that perennial favourite Lord of the Rings parallels with the Wheel of Time series and Freemasonry in the Wheel of Time. All new material is in bold.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Post #21 of Wheel of Time Costume

By Linda

The costume styles of the Sea Folk were added to Part 2 of the Wheel of Time Costume article today. Sea Folk fashion is influenced by a few sources including India, Polynesia and 16th-17th century pirates.

For the full Costume article from the beginning click here.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Reference Library Updates after Towers of Midnight: Faile and Berelain essay updated

By Linda

I've had a heavy workload this week so tonight there is one essay updated with information from Towers of Midnight: Faile and Berelain. There is plenty of new material (shown in bold) to expand on the parallels I found previously. No new parallels though.

I am down to the final 7 articles for updating, but nearly all require major updates - especially the three ta'veren and the Military Forces essays.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reference Library Updates after Towers of Midnight: three articles updated

By Linda

Three articles on the Aes Sedai were updated with information from Towers of Midnight: Aes Sedai Laws and Customs: Administration, Aes Sedai Laws and Customs: Society and Aes Sedai History: New Era. The New Era history has the most new material. All new material is in bold.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Minor Characters

By Linda

For a bit of variety I have decided to resume the Analysis of Minor Characters series starting with Lini.

If you have suggestions for other minor characters I could analyse, please post them in the comments below.

Analysis of Minor Characters #8: Lini

By Linda

The indomitable Lini has been nursemaid to three generations of Trakand women, which makes her at least 75 (see Character Ages article). She is introduced to us from a distance way back in The Eye of the World, when Morgase remarks that only Lini can make Elayne behave properly; we see the effect Lini has had long before we finally meet her in The Fires of Heaven, Memories. In between, Lini’s sayings and advice are regularly quoted by Elayne and they earn Nynaeve’s rare expressions of approval.

She is one of those characters whose appearance is somewhat deceptive unless you look closely: she is

a frail-appearing woman, with skin like parchment and white hair in a bun on top of her head, but her back was straight and her dark eyes were clear and sharp.

- Winter’s Heart, Taken

Both Morgase and Elayne believe Lini is indestructible and will last forever. They never make concessions to her age, nor do they doubt her judgement or her courage. Elayne thinks she could face down a Forsaken (Knife of Dreams, Siege). Let’s hope this is not Foreshadowing.

Lini is an example of what can be achieved, and standards that can be maintained, just by willpower and thought. Never hypocritical, her high standards are as much for herself as anyone else:

She stalked by him still belting her nightrobe. "Fools! Ox-brained lummoxes! You woke my ch—!" She stopped with a fierce cough; Lini never forgot that she had been Morgase's nurse, and her mother's as well, but she never slipped in front of others. She would be cross that she had now, and it showed in her voice.

- A Crown of Swords, The Irrevocable Words

Always neat, rarely agitated, everyone respects her, if not fears her:

A violent coughing fit wracked the stout man. "Me?" Gill wheezed once he could talk. "You want me to tell her? She'll crack my pate if I mention a thing like that! I think the woman was born in Far Madding in a thunderstorm. She probably told the thunder to be quiet. It probably did."

- Winter’s Heart, The Scent of Madness

Lini is the archetypal tough little old lady, even more so than Cadsuane and the reference to Cadsuane’s home town of Far Madding is a pointer to this. Lini mirrors Cadsuane and in a way has achieved far more with far less resources.

Morgase complains that Lini takes liberties from her age and role, but these are always for the best of reasons: to protect. She is Morgase’s truthspeaker, really; she always says what she thinks, and doesn’t even curtsy no matter where she is.

Much of her advice falls into two strands: the right way to think and behave, and men:

Lini had often told her that there was always one man in the world for whom a woman would find herself behaving a brainless fool, but she had never believed that she could succumb.

- The Fires of Heaven, Memories

Men are problematic for ruling women, whether monarchs or High Seats. Such women are vulnerable in their loneliness, as targets for fortune hunters, or from having trouble with the balance of power in their relationship with even the best intentioned and loving men. Hence Lini’s constant rain of advice.

Lini is the true mother of the Trakands and, for Elayne, father as well to a degree:

"I cannot really remember my father; I was only a baby when he died. Gawyn says he spent all of his time with Galad. Lini tried to make the best of it, but I know he never came to see Gawyn or me in the nursery.”

- The Fires of Heaven, An Unexpected Offer

She very much shaped Morgase and Elayne and made them the legends they are.

Elayne fears Lini more than her mother:

Only, it was true, and she did not care if it was foolish. She would tell her mother the same to her face, and Lini. Well, perhaps not Lini. Lini had drastic ways of dealing with foolishness, and she seemed to think Elayne had not aged beyond ten.

- The Shadow Rising, Doorways

and her “inner voice” or conscience often speaks like Lini.

Only Lini dared talk about Gaebril to Morgase:

"Oh, child," Lini said sadly, "everyone knows, though no one's had the courage to tell you. I might have, if you hadn't stayed away, but it is hardly something I could go running to you with, now is it? It is the kind of thing a woman won't believe until she finds out for herself."

- The Fires of Heaven, Memories

yet even then it was because she believed that Morgase knew more than she did.

Lini knows the characters of her former charges so well, that she can deduce their thoughts from a look and a phrase:

"What are you smiling at?" Lini asked.
Morgase turned slowly. "I was thinking of Elayne." She did not think her old nurse had been close enough to hear what no one really needed to.
Lini's eyes widened, though, and her breath caught. "You come away from there now!" she snapped, and suiting actions to words, seized her arm and physically pulled her from the window.
"Lini, you forget yourself! You stopped being my nurse a long—!" Morgase drew a deep breath and softened her tone. Meeting those frightened eyes was not easy; nothing frightened Lini. "What I do is for the best, believe me," she told her gently. "There's no other way—"

- A Crown of Swords, The Irrevocable Words

Morgase moderated her tone once she realised that Lini feared she was about to suicide. That was not her intent, however, only abdication. Morgase seems to need Lini more than Elayne, but then Morgase has had more attempts at breaking her than Elayne has. In fact, Elayne needed to distance herself from Lini to grow up. The last time Elayne quotes Lini is during the siege of Caemlyn in Knife of Dreams, Siege, less than halfway through the book, then Caemlyn’s darkest hour. Elayne is more certain in her role after that, even more so once she is Queen and her “Lini voice” quietens.

Like Nynaeve, who admires her wisdom as quoted by Elayne, and like Cadsuane, Lini has a fairly poor opinion or men. Or professes one:

Men kept sticking their hands in the fire thinking this time it would not burn, so Lini always said.

- A Crown of Swords, Small Sacrifices

It's one of the things men are for, taking the blame, she remembered Lini saying once, and laughing while she did. They usually deserve it, even if you don't know exactly how.

- The Path of Daggers, A Pleasant Ride

It’s no wonder that Basel Gill said she could have been born in Far Madding (she wasn’t though, she is Andoran and most likely from the Trakand estates).

Lini was kind to Perrin after Faile was captured, but, unfortunately, her dark view of men led her to believe Berelain’s lie that Perrin slept with her (Winter’s Heart, The Scent of Madness) and she becomes totally disobliging and disapproving.

One man she does unreservedly approve of is Tallanvor. This is because she saw him swear the strongest possible oath to Morgase and knows the depth of his love and devotion to her. Lini decides that Tallandor will do Morgase very well for a husband/consort:

“You think Tallanvor is dangerous?” Morgase said sharply, and Lini gave her a sidelong, considering look.
“Only the way any man can be dangerous. A fine figure of man, don’t you think? More than tall enough. Strong hands, I should think. ‘There’s no point letting honey age too long before you eat it.”
“Lini,” Morgase said warningly. The old woman had been going on this way too often of late. Tallanvor was a handsome man...

“You hold your tongue, Lini. If you put foolish ideas into that young man’s head, I will leave you somewhere.”

- The Fires of Heaven, Glowing embers

and pushes Morgase toward him. She seems too think his love and devotion the best thing for her and played matchmaker once she was satisfied Morgase was attracted to him. When they first encountered Perrin she tried to get Perrin to marry Morgase and Tallanvor, and later seized the moment as it were, when she found them embracing:

"All right, you two," a stern voice said from behind. "We're going to see Lord Aybara right now."
Morgase pulled away. It was Lini.
"What?" Morgase tried to regain some composure.
"You're getting married," Lini declared. "If I have to pull you to it by the ears."
"I will make my own choice," Morgase said. "Perrin tried to get me to-"
"I'm not him," Lini said. "This is best done before we return to Elayne. Once you're in
Caemlyn there will be complications." She turned her eyes on Gill, who had the trunk stowed. "And you! Unpack my Lady's things."
"But Lini," Morgase protested, "we're going to Caemlyn."
"Tomorrow will be soon enough, child. Tonight, you celebrate." She eyed them. "And until the marriage is done, I don't think it's safe to trust you two alone."
Morgase flushed. "Lini," she hissed. "I'm not eighteen anymore!"
"No, when you were eighteen, you were married proper. Do I need to seize your ears?"
"I-" Morgase said.
"We're coming, Lini," Tallanvor said.

- Towers of Midnight, A Backhanded Request

Her judgement was correct; Morgase’s marriage is much better contracted before she returns to Caemlyn.

Lini is one of the few people Nynaeve approves of sight unseen. After the abortive attempt by the Seanchan to make them damane, Nynaeve has to encourage Elayne to pull herself together. It’s Elayne’s first experience of danger and adventure. Nynaeve really does mentor her a bit as Lini did, as Elayne recognises.

At least twice Nynaeve has wished to meet Lini, whom she considers clear-headed and wise. It’s interesting to speculate how this meeting would go if it occurred. Perhaps Nynaeve’s thoughts are foreshadowing.

Lini is described as having a great many old sayings. Since she can’t be separated from her sayings (as against her somewhat pity advice), I’ve collected them together:

Lini’s sayings

  • Lini used to say you could weave silk from pig bristles before you could make a man anything but a man (The Shadow Rising, Doorways)

  • "A weeping woman is a bucket with no bottom" (The Shadow Rising, Doorways)

  • "A gnarled old branch dulls the blade that severs a sapling" (The Fires of Heaven, Memories)

  • "When the honey's out of the comb, there's no putting it back" (The Fires of Heaven, Memories)

  • "Better to face the bear than run from it" (The Fires of Heaven, Memories)

  • "A fool puts a burr under the saddle before she rides" (The Fires of Heaven, Memories)

  • some saying about displaying wares you did not mean to sell (The Fires of Heaven, Memories)

  • "Dragging feet never finish a journey" (The Fires of Heaven, Memories)

  • "A man is a man, on a throne or in a pigsty" (The Fires of Heaven, A Signal)

  • "A fool puts her hand into a hollow tree without finding out what's inside first" (The Fires of Heaven, A Small Room in Sienda)

  • "If you don't look for snakes, you cannot complain when one bites you" (The Fires of Heaven, Meetings)

  • "You cannot hold the sun down at dawn" (The Fires of Heaven, A Silver Arrow)

  • "Even a queen stubs her toe, but a wise woman watches the path" (The Fires of Heaven, Ripped Away)

  • "Waiting turns men into bears in a barn, and women into cats in a sack" (The Fires of Heaven, The Price of a Ship)

  • "“Wish” and “want” trip the feet, but “is” makes the path smoother" (The Fires of Heaven, To Teach and to Learn)

  • "A young lion charges quickest, and when you least expect it" (The Fires of Heaven, Glowing Embers)

  • "There’s no point letting honey age too long before you eat it" (The Fires of Heaven, Glowing Embers)

  • "It’s too late to change your mind after you’ve jumped off the cliff" (The Fires of Heaven, Glowing Embers)

  • "A slow horse does not always reach the end of the journey" (Lord of Chaos, Prologue)

  • "The right medicine always tastes bitter" (Lord of Chaos, Prologue)

  • "What can't be changed must be endured" (Lord of Chaos, A Matter of Thought)

  • "The pike does not ask the frog's permission before dining" (Lord of Chaos, A Matter of Thought)

  • "What you need isn't always what you want" (Lord of Chaos, Under the Dust)

  • "Fools only listen to themselves" (Lord of Chaos, Possibilities)

  • "Only fools kiss hornets or bite fire" (A Crown of Swords, The Irrevocable Words)

  • "You can never put honey back in the comb" (A Crown of Swords, The First Cup)

  • "Peel the apple in your hand, girl, not the one on the tree" (The Path of Daggers, Unweaving)

  • ”When a woman plays the fool, look for the man.” (The Path of Daggers, Unweaving)

  • ”Kittens tangle your yarn, men tangle your wits, and it's simple as breathing for both.” (The Path of Daggers, Unweaving)

  • "Tears are for after; they just waste time before" (The Path of Daggers, Unweaving)

  • "Three things annoy to distraction: a tooth that aches, a shoe that pinches, and a man that chatters" (The Path of Daggers, A Simple Country Woman)

  • "A full stomach at midday made for a dull head in the afternoon," as Lini used to say (Winter’s Heart, A Cup of Tea)

  • you counted your plums in the basket, not on the tree (Crossroads of Twilight, A Bargain)

  • "When you ask questions", Lini used to say, "then you have to hear the answers whether you want to or not" (Crossroads of Twilight, High Seats)

  • "Always plan ahead," Lini used to say, "but worry too hard over next year, and you can trip over tomorrow" (Crossroads of Twilight, What Wise Ones Know)

  • I think that anyone who allows two roosters in the same barnyard deserves the ruckus they get (Towers of Midnight, A Backhanded Request)

At times Morgase suspects that Lini makes her sayings up and even challenged her over inventing them, but Lini had an unanswerable retort ready:

At my age, if I make it up, it's still an old saying.

- The Fires of Heaven, Memories

She is always one step ahead of her ‘charges’.

Lini's name and her self-imposed role of keeping her companions in line could be a reference to Linet, the maiden of Arthurian myth who continually castigated Sir Gareth on a quest. Lini constantly corrects the behaviour of Morgase’s group.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Reference Library Updates after Towers of Midnight: two articles updated

By Linda

Two articles were updated with information from Towers of Midnight: Fate, Free Will and Divining the Pattern, and MJJ Sedai's Matter of Britain 2: An Arthurian Who's Who. The new material is in bold. Towers of Midnight provided plenty of new material of how prophecy and choice play out in the Pattern. Our "Arthurian" main characters also underwent some experiences that paralleled Arthurian myth.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Reference Library Updates after Towers of Midnight: two articles updated

By Linda

Two articles were updated with information from Towers of Midnight: Prophecies of the Dragon with 3 new prophecies, and MJJ Sedai's Matter of Britain: Arthurian Myth Parallels with some new ideas about Callandor. The new material is in bold.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Reference Library Updates after Towers of Midnight: two articles updated

By Linda

Two articles were updated with information from Towers of Midnight today and both of them are on those tricky customers the Aelfinn and Eelfinn: The Aelfinn and the Eelfinn and Moiraine's Rescue. Both articles have a lot of new material. All this new material is in bold.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Reference Library Updates after Towers of Midnight: two articles updated

By Linda

Two articles were updated with information from Towers of Midnight: Foretellings
and The Noble Houses of Andor. Both articles have a lot of new material. All this new material is in bold.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Reference Library Updates after Towers of Midnight: two articles updated

By Linda

All the Character Names articles have been updated. The major new entry is Nakomi in Character Names N. The The Age of Legends article was also updated with information from Towers of Midnight today. All this new material is in bold.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Reference Library Updates after Towers of Midnight: Shadowy Prophecy updated

By Linda

The article on Shadowy Prophecy was updated today. We had quite a bit of new material on the prophecies of the Shadow in Towers of Midnight and this new material is in bold.