Welcome back to my re-read, recap, and reaction to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. This post will only have spoilers through the current chapter.
You can find my previous chapter recaps HERE.
Chapter 55: Into the Deep
NOTE: The following chapter summary comes from wot.fandom.com:
Point of view: Nynaeve al’Meara
As Nynaeve runs through the palace, she sees Liandrin and Rianna Andomeran, but fortunately they do not see her. Elayne, Egeanin, and Amathera are waiting for her at the prearranged meeting place and Amathera says that she will provide papers to allow them to safely leave the city.
Nynaeve tells them what just happened with her encounter with Moghedien and the others are stunned that she managed to capture one of the Forsaken. Nynaeve also tells them that she has the seal as well as the sad bracelets. A door to the outside opens. Juilin Sandar, Bayle Domon, and Thom are there with three hundred of Bayle’s men. It is total chaos with rioters fighting the Whitecloaks.
Back at the Three Plum Court, Elayne introduces Amathera to Rendra as ‘Thera,’ a refugee. Rendra takes her to the kitchen. Elayne tells them that Amathera has agreed to stay in hiding till she can muster her own troops so she does not have to answer to King Andric. When Nynaeve shows them the seal and the sad bracelets, Bayle recognizes the seal and says that he actually owned one. Elayne tries to melt the sad bracelets with Fire, but they do not react at all to her channeling. They agree that Bayle will take them and throw them in the sea while the others will take the seal back to Tar Valon. Nynaeve then plans to go back to Tear or wherever Lan is.
The highlight of this chapter is Nynaeve telling the others that she (at least temporarily) captured Moghedien. They have to know she’s telling the truth because Elayne felt the massive amount of the One Power being wielded. And yet… nobody knows how to react to this, Nynaeve especially. She’s so astounded by what she did that she undersells the achievement and veers toward self-criticism in not keeping the Forsaken captured and risking their mission by fighting her in the first place. The others are so flabbergasted by what she is telling them, and how she is underselling it, that they mirror her and undersell the reaction. Personally, I think Elayne at the least should have reacted in a much bigger way. Egwene – despite their budding hometown rivalry – would have been Nynaeve’s hype girl in that situation. Maybe Elayne was also a little uncomfortable having it pointed out to her just how much weaker she is than Nynaeve? She has almost certainly heard for years that she will be the most powerful Aes Sedai in one thousand years. She is also destined to be a Queen of a powerful nation. How many years did she spend in the Royal Palace of Ander believing she would be *by far* the most powerful human being on the planet? A few, right?
Then she meets Rand. Then she meets Egwene. And Nynaeve.
This is basically the epilogue chapter for the Supergirls in this book. We find out where they all plan to go and we’ll likely catch up with them in the next book a few weeks from now. I am not a fan, at all, of their plan to dispose of the bracelets weapon. Dropping it into the sea is a grand idea. Not overseeing that it is done, and done properly, seems wildly out of character for Nynaeve. The job is not over yet!
I did completely agree with Nynaeve that the White Tower should absolutely not be allowed to have the weapon, though. She understands that not even the Aes Sedai they trust (Moiraine, Siuan) can be trusted with it. This is something that the politically (allegedly) astute Elayne should have realized on her own but Nynaeve has to point it out to her. To Elayne’s credit she at least acts as though she understands and agrees once Nynaeve does point it out.
The other big thing that happens in this chapter is that Nynaeve kind of makes up with Egeanin. I think the Seanchan woman’s loyalty, in the face of extreme danger, won her over. Nynaeve *really* values loyalty. That will leave her with some difficult conversations to have with Egwene, later, but I think she probably knows that.
We’ll see these characters in Book 5!