New Spring Ch. 7: Thrones, Schmones, This Game is for Whole Houses
October 4, 2019
Thrones, Schmones, This Game is for Whole Houses
On a casual read, this feels like one of those chapters that are relatively meaningless. It’s the one where Siuan and Moiraine are sent with letters to assorted Aes Sedai from which Moiraine concludes that the Reds aren’t to be trusted and that the Amyrlin intends to keep the whole matter a secret.
This is, of course, important because that’s precisely what Siuan and Moiraine do.
If you read just a wee bit deeper, though, this chapter is about two things: breaking the rules and showing Moiraine’s strengths.
The Spot of Ink
Moiraine gets a spot of ink on her dress while curtseying to the Amyrlin, who tells Moiraine that she—the Amyrlin—doesn’t have to remind Moiraine not to channel to clean it.
Moiraine tells Siuan that the Amyrlin just told her to use the power to clean her dress, and in that exchange, we see both themes of the chapter.
There’s a rule against Accepted using the power to do routine chores. Moiraine excels at reading between the lines to understand the motivations behind what’s said and using that to deduce hidden realities.
The Notes to the Aes Sedai
The notes to the Aes Sedai are where the quote in the header image becomes relevant. Siuan and Moiraine know two things about these notes: that the Amyrlin wants to see the recipients urgently, and that they don’t even contain a hint as to why.
Moiraine makes the entirely reasonable assumption that the most urgent matter facing the Amyrlin is the birth of the Dragon Reborn. The fact that there’s no mention of why the Aes Sedai are summoned suggests that the Amyrlin is desperate to keep it a secret.
Because the Reds are the most likely to cause trouble for a man who can channel, it doesn’t take much to put it all together and conclude that the Amyrlin doesn’t trust the Reds.
But the Roolz!
Of course, there’s a rule that men who can channel are to be brought to the Tower and gentled, but all of the Aes Sedai the Amyrlin summoned to be her Searchers are known for being sticklers for the rules.
Everyone’s got to feel a bit squoozly about allowing a man who can channel to run amok, but having the Dragon Reborn alive and channeling for the Last Battle has to supersede all the other rules about men channeling. That’s why the Searchers had to be sticklers for the rules. They had to be able to put away that squoozly feeling and do what logic told them was right.
That’s going to be a big thing going forward. There are the rules we live by every day and the rules that apply in extreme situations and they are not the same. How and when people choose to ignore the day to day laws in favor of a higher purpose—and how people respond—is a thing we’re going to see a lot of.