Feb 27 2009 11:45am

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Great Hunt, Part 9

IN A WORLD WHERE BLOGS ARE POSTED... uh, so will this one be.

Hi! Welcome to the absolute last final ain’t no more seeya installment of the re-read of The Great Hunt, in which we cover Chapter 46 to the very endy end of the book. Of course, the overarching Wheel of Time Re-read goes ever on and on; our handy-dandy Index is proof—Proof!—that I do not lie.

Or that I haven’t been so far, anyway. *stares at me suspiciously*

As ever, spoilers abound for the whole wide series; if you haven’t read, don’t read.

And now, action! Adventure! Really wild things!

Chapter 46: To Come Out of the Shadow

What Happens
Nynaeve and the others hear distant shouts as they approach the damane buildings; Nynaeve says it’s nothing to do with them, and reminds Seta that she wants to make it through this as much as they do. Seta agrees fervently. No one pays them any attention as they enter the building and follow Min to Egwene’s room. Egwene is first uncertain if she’s dreaming; then she sees Seta and hisses she’d like to put her in a pot of boiling water. Elayne is shocked, and Egwene tells her Seta did the same to her, and Elayne couldn’t understand. Nynaeve channels the collar off Egwene, and they dress her in farmer’s clothes. Nynaeve hangs the bracelet linked to Seta on a peg, and Seta, realizing she means to leave her there, begs her not to, to tie and gag her instead. Egwene laughs and says she’s figured out the sul’dam’s dirty little secret: they can channel. Nynaeve asks how that can be, and Egwene explains that the ones they catch and make damane are like her and Nynaeve and Elayne, born with the spark, but sul’dam are those who can be taught. Seta moans “no” over and over. Then they are interrupted by Renna, who starts to demand what is going on; Egwene grabs the washstand pitcher and slugs Renna in the stomach with it, and then jumps on her, grabbing the collar and snapping it around Renna’s neck. She grabs the bracelet and puts it on with teeth bared, and Renna convulses wildly, her screams muffled by Egwene’s hands over her mouth. Nynaeve yells at Egwene to stop it and hauls her off Renna, and Egwene collapses sobbing on Nynaeve’s shoulder.

“She hurt me, Nynaeve. She hurt me. They all did. They hurt me, and hurt me, until I did what they wanted. I hate them. I hate them for hurting me, and I hate them because I couldn’t stop them from making me do what they wanted.”

“I know,” Nynaeve said gently. She smoothed Egwene’s hair. “It is all right to hate them, Egwene. It is. They deserve it. But it isn’t all right to let them make you like they are.”

Egwene wishes she could kill them, and Elayne and Min agree, but Nynaeve tells the two sul’dam that since she can’t free the women they hold prisoner here, she will leave them both here, collared, and they will have to hope they can figure out how to remove the collars before they are found, and if not, well, perhaps they will get a taste of what they visited upon others. That is justice. They leave the building without incident, and then they see that the streets are deserted except for Seanchan soldiers in formation on either side of them. Nynaeve says they will just walk past them, but Elayne asks what if they want her to join them? Egwene says she will die before going back, and she’ll show them what they taught her. The street under the first rank of soldiers erupts, throwing men everywhere, and she spins and repeats it on the soldiers in the opposite direction. Nynaeve yells at her to stop, and then they see a giant fireball come arcing over the rooftops straight for them. They run, and barely avoid being incinerated. Angry now, Nynaeve embraces saidar and sends lightning back at their attackers.

Domon jerks in shock as lightning and fire begin flying in the streets further inland. One of his men goes to cut one of the mooring lines, and Domon grabs him and yells that they will wait.

Bornhald sees the lightning below in the town and dismisses it as a storm. He orders Byar to leave; Byar obeys reluctantly, and Bornhald orders his legion ahead at a walk.

Rand and the others are trapped in an alley, Seanchan patrols approaching from either side. Perrin, Mat and Hurin are down at the other end. Ingtar seems preoccupied despite the danger they’re in.

“She’s in trouble,” Rand muttered. Egwene. There was an odd feeling in his head, as if pieces of his life were in danger. Egwene was one piece, one thread of the cord that made his life, but there were others, and he could feel them threatened. Down there, in Falme. And if any of those threads was destroyed, his life would never be complete, the way it was meant to be. He did not understand it, but the feeling was sure and certain.

Ingtar starts talking as if to himself. He says he never knew what the man was going to do; he was just told to let him inside Fal Dara. Ingtar still doesn’t know if the arrow was meant for the Amyrlin or for Rand. Rand stares at Ingtar, and asks what he’s talking about. Ingtar ignores him and continues, murmuring about how every year it gets worse, and the Blight advances, and no one south of the Borderlands cares or even believes.

“It seemed the only way. We would be destroyed for nothing, defending people who do not even know, or care. It seemed logical. Why should we be destroyed for them, when we could make our own peace? Better the Shadow, I thought, than useless oblivion, like Carallain, or Hardan, or . . . It seemed so logical, then.”

Rand grabs Ingtar by the coat, telling him he’s making no sense. Ingtar tells Rand he is the better man. It was salvation Ingtar was thinking of, to sound the Horn and ride against Shayol Ghul; surely that would enough to redeem him. Rand sags back, anguished, and tells Ingtar that he thinks all you need to do to come back to the Light is to want to do it. Ingtar flinches, and says that he lived other lives while they were trapped by the Portal Stone, and in every one, he never escaped, never did what he swore he would do, but Rand was ready to give it up to save a friend. There must be a price paid, Ingtar says; perhaps he can pay it here. Hurin comes over and tells them the patrol at the other end has turned aside, and Mat and Perrin have gone ahead; they’d better follow before the other soldiers reach them. Ingtar tells Rand to take the Horn where it belongs; all Ingtar ever wanted was to keep Shienar whole.

“I know, Ingtar.” Rand drew a deep breath. “The Light shine on you, Lord Ingtar of House Shinowa, and may you shelter in the palm of the Creator’s hand.” He touched Ingtar’s shoulder. “The last embrace of the mother welcome you home.” Hurin gasped.

“Thank you,” Ingtar said softly. A tension seemed to go out of him. For the first time since the night of the Trolloc raid on Fal Dara, he stood as he had when Rand first saw him, confident and relaxed. Content.

Rand tells Hurin to come on; Hurin protests, and Rand tells him Ingtar is doing what he has to do. They leave, and Rand does not look back.

Egwene: I suppose it says something that I didn’t find fault at all with her retaliation against Renna (there may have been, um, cheering involved, actually), but wanted to smack her into next week for blowing up the Seanchan soldiers. Skulking, Egwene. It’s a word, look it up.

That said, I am glad Nynaeve was there to keep all the little hotheads from going too far with the sul’dam and doing something they would regret later. To some degree Nynaeve loses this Elder Sister/Earth Mother aspect of her character later on, which on the one hand is kind of understandable (because believe it or not Egwene and Elayne do eventually mature, more or less, and stop needing a maternal figger; in fact this reversal of the power dynamic between Nynaeve and Egwene is a major plot point in, um, one of the middle books, I forget) and yet is also kind of a shame at the same time.

Ingtar: I’m pretty sure I was just as shocked by Ingtar’s revelation as Rand was. First time around, I thought Ingtar was something of an unreliable ass, maybe being tempted to do something bad with the Horn, but I never thought he was a full-blown Darkfriend. And yet it all makes sense in retrospect. No author has a perfect track record with effective plot-twists (that I know of; if you do, please do tell), and Jordan is no exception to that rule, but on this particular one, I really never saw it coming. Bravo.

Also, I suppose that if you are going to confess your sins and be absolved of Darkfriendery by anyone, the Savior of the World is a pretty darn good choice. And it came complete with benediction, you’ll notice. No subtext here, no sir!

Chapter 47: The Grave Is No Bar to My Call

What Happens
Rand and Hurin rejoin Mat and Perrin. Mat asks where Ingtar is, and Rand replies that he’s dying so the rest can get away; he adds that he will go with them to take the Horn to Verin, and then they can get it where it belongs, and kicks his horse into a run. He stops outside of the town and the others catch up with him; Perrin demands to know what he meant by that, and Mat wonders if maybe he’s going mad. Rand replies that he’s going back to Falme for Egwene. Mat grumbles a moment and then says they’ll all go, but Rand tells him he can’t waste any more time re: the dagger. Perrin interrupts that none of them are going back now; he points to Falme, which is filling with rank upon rank of Seanchan soldiers, with sul’dam and damane everywhere.

“All that for us?” Mat said incredulously. “Who do they think we are?”

An answer came to Rand, but he shoved it away before it had a chance to form completely.

Hurin then tells them they aren’t going the other way, either, and they turn to see the legion of Whitecloaks advancing from the opposite side. Mat is relieved that the Seanchan must be gathering for the Whitecloaks and not them, until Perrin points out dryly that this doesn’t change the fact that they’re sitting in the middle of what is about to be a battlefield. Rand just keeps thinking he has to go back. He realizes that all of them are staring at the Horn of Valere. Mat observes nervously that the Horn has to be at the Last Battle, but nothing says it can’t be used before then. No one refutes this, and Mat shakily raises the Horn to his lips.

It was a clear note, golden as the Horn was golden. The trees around them seemed to resonate with it, and the ground under their feet, the sky overhead. That one long sound encompassed everything.

Out of nowhere, a fog began to rise. First thin wisps hanging in the air, then thicker billows, and thicker, until it blanketed the land like clouds.

Bornhald hears the Horn and sees the rising mist, and thinks the Seanchan are trying something. He orders the legion to charge. His last thought is regret that Byar will not be able to tell Dain how he died.

Rand and the others are surrounded by fog, but somehow he can still see Falme, the battle, and even Bayle Domon’s ship in the harbor, both above and below them. Then Hurin gasps.

Down the billowing fog, as if it were the side of a mountain, rode shapes on horses. At first the dense mists hid more than that, but slowly they came closer, and it was Rand’s turn to gasp. He knew them. Men, not all in armor, and women. Their clothes and their weapons came from every Age, but he knew them all.

Rogosh Eagle-eye, a fatherly looking man with white hair and eyes so sharp as to make his name merely a hint. Gaidal Cain, a swarthy man with the hilts of his two swords sticking above his broad shoulders. Golden-haired Birgitte, with her gleaming silver bow and quiver bristling with silver arrows. More. He knew their faces, knew their names. But he heard a hundred names when he looked at each face, some so different he did not recognize them as names at all, though he knew they were. Michael instead of Mikel. Patrick instead of Paedrig. Oscar instead of Otarin.

He knew the man who rode at their head, too. Tall and hook-nosed, with dark, deep-set eyes, his great sword Justice at his side. Artur Hawkwing.

Mat asks if this is all of them, and Hawkwing replies that few are called to follow the Horn. He says Lews Therin could tell him about it, if he could only “remember when you last wore flesh”. He’s looking at Rand. Rand shakes his head and tells them about the Seanchan, saying that they must be driven into the sea, and also that there is a White Tower novice named Egwene who must be rescued. To his surprise, some of the host chuckles, and Birgitte laughs and says fondly that “Lews Therin” always chooses women who trouble him. Rand snaps back that his name is Rand al’Thor, and there is no time to waste. Hawkwing says that he has fought countless times both with and against him, and he knows Rand even if Rand does not know himself. They will drive out the invaders for him. Then he frowns and looks around, saying something holds him. He looks at Rand, and asks if he has the banner.

“Yes.” Rand tore open the straps of his saddlebags and pulled out the Dragon’s banner. It filled his hands and hung almost to his stallion’s knees. The murmur among the heroes rose.

“The Pattern weaves itself around our necks like halters,” Artur Hawkwing said. “You are here. The banner is here. The weave of this moment is set. We have come to the Horn, but we must follow the banner. And the Dragon.” Hurin made a faint sound as if his throat had seized.

“Burn me,” Mat breathed. “It’s true. Burn me!”

Perrin dismounts and strides off into the mist, and returns with a sapling cut into a pole. Rand helps him tie it to the banner, and tells Hurin to stay behind. Hurin begs to differ, saying he will see this through to the end, and Hawkwing claps the sniffer on the shoulder, saying perhaps they will add to their numbers one day. Then he bows formally to Rand, and asks Mat to play them into battle. Mat sounds the Horn again, and Perrin advances with the banner. They charge into the mist, Rand not exactly sure where they are all going. One by one all the others disappear into the fog, and Rand finds himself alone. Suddenly Ba’alzamon appears before him, and Rand’s horse rears, throwing him. Rand gets up and faces him, aware that below or above him the others had met the Seanchan in battle. Ba’alzamon’s burns are almost completely healed by now, and he carries a blackened staff. Reluctantly Rand seizes saidin and attacks. Ba’alzamon calls him Lews Therin, and when Rand denies it, asks did not the fools he summoned tell him the same thing? Rand is shaken, but presses the attack.

“You pitiful wretch. You have sounded the Horn of Valere. You are linked to it, now. Do you think the worms of the White Tower will ever release you, now? They will put chains around your neck so heavy you will never cut them.”

Rand was so surprised he felt it inside the void. He doesn’t know everything. He doesn’t know!

He again presses the attack, and Ba’alzamon falls back; below/above, the Seanchan fall back, too. He and Ba’alzamon surge back and forth, defending then attacking in turn, and each time the Seanchan and the Heroes of the Horn mirror them, and Rand realizes that the battles are linked; if he loses, so do Hawkwing and the others. He also finally notices that Ba’alzamon is behaving as if Rand’s sword can hurt him, and recalls Lan’s lesson about Sheathing the Sword, when winning is more important than surviving. Rand takes the first position of Heron Wading in the Rushes. Staring, Ba’alzamon asks him what he’s grinning about.

Rand felt a calmness beyond that of the void. “I will never serve you, Father of Lies. In a thousand lives, I never have. I know that. I’m sure of it. Come. It is time to die.”

Ba’alzamon’s eyes widened; for an instant they were furnaces that put sweat on Rand’s face. The blackness behind Ba’alzamon boiled up around him, and his face hardened. “Then die, worm!” He struck with the staff, as with a spear.

Rand screamed as he felt it pierce his side, burning like a white-hot poker. The void trembled, but he held on with the last of his strength, and drove the heron-mark blade into Ba’alzamon’s heart. Ba’alzamon screamed, and the dark behind him screamed. The world exploded in fire.

Well, first let’s get the obvious out of the way: Aw yeah, sweet, sick, killer, dude, awesome, who’s your daddy, bitchin’, Yay.

Duh. Now for other things:

Aw, Hurin. How cool are you? The Little Red Shirt Who Could Become A Contendah. Except that we never see you again after this book, but, you know. Book 12, baby! It could happen!

This whole thing is really difficult to visualize spatially. On purpose, of course, but summarizing it had me kind of cross-eyed at certain points. Like, when Rand loses his horse, did the horse reappear on the ground, or did it plunge thousands of feet to its death like the proverbial whale and bowl of petunias? Probably the former, and it’s a silly question anyway, but these are the things I think of.

Definitely the coolest thing about the Heroes of the Horn was their old-college-buddy attitude toward Rand, like, hah man, you and your women troubles, haven’t changed a bit, have you? Have a beer! This does have the unfortunate side effect of leading me to picture Artur Hawkwing and Lews Therin fighting over who gets to be captain of the rugby team, but it’s still cool, nonetheless.

So here’s a question: in the Tarmon Gai’don scene we’re presumably going to get in Memory of Light, if Gaidal Cain’s been spun out (which he has been) and Birgitte’s been ripped out (which she has been), does that mean neither of them will show when/if Mat blows the Horn at the Last Battle? Or would the archetypal versions of them still be there? And if so, would Ripped-Out Warder Birgitte feel all awkward about meeting Original Recipe Birgitte? DISCUSS.

Chapter 48: First Claiming

What Happens
Min pushes her way through panicking townsfolk; she’s lost Nynaeve, Elayne, and Egwene, and something is drawing her on into Falme. She looks back once to see a small ship fleeing the harbor, and cannot blame Domon for cutting and running.

There was one Seanchan vessel in the harbor not burning, though its towers were black from fires already extinguished. As the tall ship crept toward the harbor mouth, a figure on horseback suddenly appeared around the cliffs skirting the harbor. Riding across the water. Min’s mouth fell open. Silver glittered as the figure raised a bow; a streak of silver lanced to the boxy ship, a gleaming line connecting bow and ship. With a roar she could hear even at that distance, fire engulfed the foretower anew, and sailors rushed about the deck.

Min blinked, and when she looked again, the mounted figure was gone.

She shakes herself and continues on, until she comes to one particular house. She goes in, and through to the garden in the back, where she finds Rand unconscious, with a broken sword clutched in his left hand. She pries his hand free, and winces to see the heron on the hilt has branded itself into his palm. Rand is icy cold, and she finds a wound in his left side, already cauterized. She drags him laboriously into the house and into a bedroom, where she wrestles him into the bed. She covers him with blankets, but he will not warm up; she sighs and gets under the covers with him to try to warm him up.

For a time she studied his face. It was only his face she saw; she could never read anyone who was not conscious. “I like older men,” she told him. “I like men with education, and wit. I have no interest in farms, or sheep, or shepherds. Especially boy shepherds.” With a sigh, she smoothed back the hair from his face; he had silky hair. “But then, you aren’t a shepherd, are you? Not anymore. Light, why did the Pattern have to catch me up with you? Why couldn’t I have something safe and simple, like being shipwrecked with no food and a dozen hungry Aielmen?”

She looks up to see a shocked Egwene in the doorway, and blushes, and explains that Rand is ice cold, and she’s trying to warm him. Egwene says she felt something pulling her here, and so did Elayne. She asks Min if she knows what he is, and that he cannot marry, that he is dangerous. Min replies that she knows, and as Elayne already said, Egwene tossed him aside for the Tower, so she cannot say anything if someone else picks him up. Egwene looks at her for a long moment, then says she will bring Nynaeve, and leaves. Min tries not to cry, and wonders aloud to the unconscious Rand what Egwene would have thought if Min had told her there was yet another woman to come, and Min doesn’t even know which one he’ll choose.

“Or will you try to dandle all three of us on your knee? It may not be your fault, Rand al’Thor, but it isn’t fair.”

“Not Rand al’Thor,” said a musical voice from the door. “Lews Therin Telamon. The Dragon Reborn.”

Min stares as the most beautiful woman she’s ever seen enters the room, dressed in silver and white. She asks who the woman is, but the woman bends over Rand and says he knows, but he does not yet believe. She has guided his steps; Ishamael may think he controls events, but he does not. Min again demands her name, and the woman says she is called Lanfear. Terrified, Min only shakes her head, and Lanfear smiles and tells her Lews Therin is hers, Lanfear’s, and to take care of him for her until she comes for him, and disappears.

Byar gallops grimly east, toward Amador. He must tell Pedron Niall about Bornhald’s death and the Darkfriends who betrayed him, but even more importantly, Byar must tell him what he had seen in the sky above Falme.

I totally forgot the bit with Birgitte riding across water to take out an entire Seanchan ship. That was sweet.

The main thing that Lanfear’s appearance did for me in this chapter was make me go, oh, yeah, that’s why the last 21 chapters were awesome, because you weren’t in them, Crazytown. Urgh.

That being said, I’m a little bemused that Lanfear walks in on Min in freakin’ bed with Rand, for all intents and purposes, and not only doesn’t rip her limb from limb, but actually charges Min to take care of Rand for her. This is the psycho hose beast who will eventually have a bloody meltdown—literally—over Aviendha in TFOH? I raise my eyebrow in your general direction!

Chapter 49: What Was Meant To Be

What Happens
Rand wakes outdoors to find Min sitting next to him. He asks what happened, and she tells him they left Falme five days ago, and he’s been asleep all that time. He asks urgently about Egwene, and Min tells him she and Nynaeve and Elayne freed Egwene, and they and Mat and Hurin and Verin are on their way back to the Tower with the Horn, Mat for Healing and the girls to return to their studies. Stunned by all this, Rand raises his hands to rub his face and stares; now he has two heron brands, one in each palm, and he remembers the prophecy Thom quoted him. He notices the pain in his side and doesn’t remember being injured; he goes to examine it and Min stops him, telling him there is something wrong with the wound; it’s not responding to Healing. She mentions Moiraine, and Rand laughs bitterly to hear she is here. Moiraine approaches then, and Rand tells her he wishes she would go back to wherever she’s been hiding. Moiraine replies that she has not been hiding, but doing what she could, though it was not enough.

“What you could. You sent Verin to shepherd me, but I’m no sheep, Moiraine. You said I could go where I wanted, and I mean to go where you are not.”

“I did not send Verin.” Moiraine frowned. “She did that on her own.”

She asks whether Fain found him, and Rand says no. A fine hero he makes, he adds; he swore to rescue Egwene, and Min and Nynaeve and Elayne beat him to it; he came to Falme to face Fain, and never laid eyes on him. Moiraine deems it a good thing he didn’t; Fain is far worse than a Darkfriend. She explains how she thinks Fain met with Mordeth in Shadar Logoth and is now merged with him in some way. Then she produces Rand’s ruined sword, and when he sees it he remembers what happened.

“I killed him,” he said softly. “This time I killed him.”

Moiraine put the ruined sword aside like the useless thing it now was, and wiped her hands together. “The Dark One is not slain so easily. The mere fact that he appeared in the sky above Falme is more than merely troubling. He should not be able to do that, if he is bound as we believe. And if he is not, why has he not destroyed us all?” Min stirred uneasily.

“In the sky?” Rand said in wonder.

“Both of you,” Moiraine said. “Your battle took place across the sky, in full view of every soul in Falme. Perhaps in other towns on Toman Head, too, if half what I hear is to be believed.”

She shows him a drawing of two men fighting among the clouds, one of them with a face of solid flame. The other is recognizably Rand, and the Dragon banner flies behind them. Rand tells her to burn it, and Moiraine replies it is far too late for that. There are hundreds of these already, and the tale is spreading far and wide of how the Dragon fought the Dark One in the sky over Falme. Rand says the Dragon is supposed to break the world again; he won’t be the Dragon. Moiraine tells him he is what he is; already he shakes the world. The Black Ajah have revealed themselves for the first time in two thousand years, Cairhien is in civil war, and Arad Doman and Tarabon are not far behind. Rand protests that he did nothing in Cairhien, and Moiraine replies, exactly. Then she shows him what she found in Turak’s manor: two more seals, both broken. That makes three broken seals that they know of; when all are broken the Dark One will break free, and the world’s only hope is that the Dragon is there to meet him when it happens. Rand gets up, ignoring Min’s protest, and goes down to the camp. Loial and Perrin and the rest of the Shienarans are there, as well as Lan, who nods to him. The Dragon banner flies on a staff in the middle of the camp. Rand demands to know what that’s doing out in plain sight, and Moiraine tells him it is too late to hide; Rand retorts she doesn’t have to paint a big target on him, either. He turns to Perrin and Loial and tells them he’s glad they stayed; Perrin says the Wheel weaves them how they want, and Loial merely says that Rand is still his friend. The Shienarans have been gathering, and to Rand’s surprise they all fall to their knees. Uno says they would pledge themselves to him, and Rand tells him his oaths are to Ingtar and Agelmar. Ingtar is dead now, so they must go back to Agelmar and tell him Ingtar died well.

“It is said,” the one-eyed man said carefully, “that when the Dragon is Reborn, he will break all oaths, shatter all ties. Nothing holds us, now. We would give our oaths to you.” He drew his sword and laid it before him, hilt toward Rand, and the rest of the Shienarans did the same.

“You battled the Dark One,” Masema said. Masema, who hated him. Masema, who looked at him as if seeing a vision of the Light. “I saw you, Lord Dragon. I saw. I am your man, to the death.” His dark eyes shone with fervor.

Moiraine tells him he must choose; the Last Battle will come whether he faces what he is or not. Rand thinks Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain, and makes his decision.

Chapter 50: After

What Happens
The story of the Battle of Falme spreads far and wide, changing every time it’s told, but one aspect of it remains the same: that the defenders were led by a man whose face was seen in the sky, under the banner of the Dragon Reborn.

(I put the last two chapters together, since “Chapter” 50 is not even two pages long. SUE ME.)

Again, it is all brought home just how much Rand’s choices essentially suck. If you can call them “choices”. So far, it’s Prophecy: 2, Rand: 0. That Prophecy is a bitch, y’all.

And hey, do we ever find out for sure what Basil Exposition Moiraine was doing for 95% of this book? Well, thank God she’s back so she can tell us things. That woman can infodump like nobody’s business, man. Ooh, I now suddenly have a new theory for why Jordan “killed” Moiraine (read: moved her off camera) in TFOH. See if you can guess what it is!

Fain’s total failure to appear for Showdown at Falme Corral, after being the catalyst for the whole entire plot that led up to it: lame, or interesting subversion? YOU be the judge!

Last thought: it occurs to me that I spent a lot of these books being very impatient with Rand and Mat and Perrin for being so twitchy and resistant to the whole “lord” thing, but on reflection, if you’re just this guy (or at least think of yourself as just this guy), and then all of a sudden people are all kneeling at you and being all creepy-worshipful and SAVE US WITH YOUR AWESOMENESS, when you’re pretty well aware that you are not, in fact, all that awesome, and may in fact completely screw everything up... yeah, I can see how that would be kind of incredibly unnerving and stressful.

Aw. I feel I am Growing As A Person. Thanks, WOT! (Because Knowing is Half the Battle!)

And here endeth The Great Hunt. Two down! Whee-oo-wee-oo-wee-oo! *does the Cabbage Patch*

Yes, I have no shame. Thanks for playing.

Come back Monday for a brand spanking-new and shiny sector of the Re-read, The Dragon Reborn! Part 1 will cover The Prologue through Chapter 6. Ciao!

Richard Fife
2. R.Fife
First meaningful comment!

I don't think there will be a proto-Brigit and Cain. More likely just other people will be there, or just not as many. Who knows, perhaps some other hero has recently died and is going to be there. Oh, oh! I want Asmo to be at AMoL, all Chris Walken at the end of Prophecy III like. No one ever said he was balefired, only mysteriously killed, and the DO refused to resurrect him cause he was a filthy traitor.
3. DutchBoy
Wow, is it not beautiful and touching, the end of TGH? I loved it... as well as I loved your summary, Leigh ;-)

I also like Lanfear's character, or more in general, how the Forsaken scheme their own plans.

What annoys me is all this 'bla-bla she-is-so-beautifull' stuff. Not only Lanfear, but most of the women including the Supergirls, are said to be very beautiful. I had a laugh when seeing the drawings/illustrations of the women linked to the WOT-encyclopedia... these women were not pretty at all! If they were in the classes I teach, I would not notice them.

Leigh, great that you did the end of TGH justice by this detailed summary.

I wish all WOT fans a nice weekend
4. Rikka
chpt 46:
When Egwene starts being all authoritative on Nynaeve later it makes me want to punch things. That might be because I don't like Egwene until much later in the series, really at all. I'll admit that I reread the scene with Ingtar after I finished this book and moy or moy not have teared up a bit. Aw Ingtar :/

chpt 47:
Mat's badassery begins.... Now. I love the descriptions of the heros of the Horn. I could read pages and pages of these descriptions, RoJo gives me not nearly enough. The epic level is extreme, for godssake Mat's talking with Artur Hawkwing... ! And thus Mat becomes the sounder of the Horn and Perrin becomes the Dragon's bannerman.

As for the whole original recipe versus ripoff Birgitte, I've no clue how that's going to play out. I'm just waiting for AMoL to tell me. :D

chpt 48:
I was terrified in this chapter that Rand was going to be balancing Min and Lanfear and someone else for teh loving. That would make me fear for his genetalia, in all honesty. Lanfear is a crazy bitch. Poor Min. XD

chpt 49/50:
Ugh, Masema is so dirty and foul. What a wretched excuse for a prophet. TDR is such a biitchin' book. I'm excited for it and this last setting is very similar in my head to the first scenes of TDR. nomnomnom third book. :D
5. almuric
I love the Hurin thing more than anything else in the books. Here he is, ordinary Joe Shmoe, one little talent, hanging out with a few big cheeses, helping where he can. Next thing you know 100 of the greatest heroes ever show up. People you've been reading about all your life - the equivalent of Aragorn, Roland, Atalanta, Beowulf, Siegfried, Gilgamesh, Achilles, Hector, Odysseus, what have you. Somebody tells you that you've done enough and should stay behind and you clear your throat and say, "Uh, actually, I'd like to come along", and the biggest, baddest, most awesome guy in history, King friggin' Arthur himself, puts a hand on your shoulder and says, "You know, there's only about 100 of us right now, but occasionally one more is added to our ranks." Pretty much anybody would ride through the gates of hell with those guys at that point.

Pretty much the same as Westmoreland's reaction to King Henry V's soliloquy in Act IV, Scene III: "God's will my liege! Would you and I alone, without more help, could fight this royal battle."

I really hate that Hurin disappeared after that. Juilin Sandar - Thief-Catcher/Taker, Esq. - makes up for it a little bit, though.
6. hoping to be of the blood
Once again, L, Great job
Some random thoughts
Re: the horn parameters
What do we really know about the horn? In Randland, what is considered to be common knowledge is frequently misinterpreted, wrong, or otherwise corrupted. Mo and others have told us that anyone can blow the horn and summon the heroes, even a darkfriend, and they will fight for you. We now know that this is wrong. The horn can be sounded by anyone, but the heroes can only fight for the dragon and the banner (straight from AH.) The horn is then linked to the hornsounder (even Ba’alzamon believes this.) The link is said to exist until the hoursounder dies. Do we know this to be true? We don’t know for sure that the link is exclusive. I don’t remember what, if anything, that Brigitte confirms about these points. Did Mat die ‘enough’ (times two) to sever the link? Probably not enough info to answer.
Re: the hero force
I was surprised at how wimpy the heroes were. I envisioned them to be invincible and invulnerable, like the ghost army in LOTR, sweeping aside all mortal hosts. The tie in to Rand’s success seems to limit their usefulness. Do we know if the heroes have mortal form? Can they be hurt?
Where has he been for the last three thousand years? Hanging in TAR with the heroes? Rand is surprised that he recognizes everyone, from all ages. Some of them he had probably known throughout the various ages in his prior incarnations as the dragon. He also knew Artur Hawkwing (from the current age) by face and name. This implies to me that LTT resides in TAR, with the heroes, when he is between lives.
Blake Engholm
7. UncrownedKing
CHP 47: the epitome of SWEET. But we all know dis

Chp 48: I forgot about the eventual meltdown of LAnfear in TFOH

Chp 49: I still get the "she has to be a Darkfriend" vibe about Verin. Everytime she pops up in this series

Im going to have to guess that Gandalf the white....... i mean Moraine will have a unlocking of power on her eventual return.

"Look to my coming on the first light of the fifth day, at dawn look to the east. "

It would be sweet. On the slopes of Shal Ghoul she comes in riding on the backs of an army of DRAGONS!! Wearing a white dress that shines like the sun. Awesome! but it would also be complete and total copy right inringement. hahha
8. Mark-S
“It seemed the only way. We would be destroyed for nothing, defending people who do not even know, or care. It seemed logical. Why should we be destroyed for them, when we could make our own peace? Better the Shadow, I thought, than useless oblivion, like Carallain, or Hardan, or . . . It seemed so logical, then.”

This is probably stated in the FAQ's somewhere, but boy does this sound like Verin's version of compulsion. Its something that tugged at me since my 1st re-read.
9. Cosmix
I was thinking that Birgitte would be wisked away in her present form to the Last Battle. I don't know about Gaidal Cain, but I have a toddler and I can tell you, they can be vicious!

What's your theory about Moiraine getting wisked away for over half the series? Gandalf can't guide Frodo forever? He got sick of people asking him about Moy-raney, so he eliminated her?
J Novak
10. Novak
I still want to know who made the bloody Horn in the first place? The Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends? That seems like a whole lot of power for mortal men and women to possess (although obviously feasible based on what happened to Birgitte, later on.)
Elroy Skimms
11. elroyskimms
"We have come to the Horn, but we must follow the banner. And the Dragon."

Still gives me chills everytime I read those words. Artur Hawkwing paying homage to the shepherd from the Two Rivers, and says that he will follow him into battle.

"I will never serve you, Father of Lies. In a thousand lives, I never have. I know that. I’m sure of it. Come. It is time to die."

As you (Leigh) have said many times before, "MADE. OF. AWESOME."
Evan Langlinais
12. Skwid
Rand's benediction of Ingtar has always been tremendously moving to me. It may sound sort of ridiculous, but I would like to have Shienaran rites at my funerary service. I don't know about the naked part, but I'd definitely prefer a simple shroud to a stupid box, and I love the words and sentiment.
13. texasdan
About the link and the horn and the AS, someone somewhere in a later book (maybe Lanfear?) says it a weakness of the Oaths, that one can speak something that is dead wrong, but be able to say it because they believe it to be true... (Or something like that). Could this be the source of the misinformation about the horn?
14. Lsana
Ch 46:
I pretty much agree with Leigh: I was perfectly fine with Egwene for getting her vengeance on Renna, but wanted to kill her for attacking the soldiers. Yeah, she doesn't want to go back, I get it, I understand she'll fight to the death before she let's another sul'dam get near her, but all she does here is make it more likely that she'll have to. And it's men who think with the hair on their chests? If ever there was a case of someone in the series going with brawn over brains, it's here.

Ch 47:
First of all, best chapter name ever! At the very least, the best one thus far in the series.

There was a lot of discussion in the previous thread about the whole "can the heroes fight for anyone but the Dragon?" so I'll skip it, but I am curious as to why Moiraine thought Rand would need the banner if she didn't know about the link between the banner and the horn.

Also, I'm in the "there will be no Birgitte or Gaidal at the last battle" camp. I would think that if proto-versions of the heroes already spun out showed up, we'd have gotten a proto-dragon. What I would like to see, however, is one of our current heroes to get killed then show up at the battle tied to the horn.

Ch. 48:
A tip for Min: if you don't want to fall in love with Rand, you might try not throwing yourself at him at every given opportunity.
Kyle Bass
15. SherlockTomes
@ 14 Lsana

I'm guessing Moiraine thought Rand would need the banner because there's probably some little vague blurb in the Prophecies about the Dragon Reborn needing his banner, or people following it, or somesuch.
Joe Sherry
16. jsherry
The end of this book is very much full of awesome. The benediction, the horn, the moment with Hurin...

I don't think Birgitte will be at the last battle UNLESS she is physically there. I don't think the horn will bring her. She's ripped out.

Here's something I'm wondering about: Does Nynaeve hold a seething anger the entire end of the book? She's channeling at will but I noticed on my re-read that there wasn't any mention of her anger.

The only theory that is making sense for me is that there is enough anger about the whole Falme situation that she's able to break the block, but it doesn't fit with what we know of N's block.
17. seanie
re; horn
my take has been that they are summoned by the horn and would follow it but are superseded by the dragon and banner. The dragon makes the banner and the banner makes the dragon. Rand is proclaiming himselt DR this time . Artur Hawkwing says they have met many times as LTT . But not as DR . Someone posted on last post of Leigh that couldn't the shadow make a banner of their own ? ("trollocs no good with needle and thread !!LOLOLOL)a banner vs THE BANNER .
RE:Ingtar -- this bit gets me worked up too.
very moving , I felt for him and was glad he chose redemption . very poetic RJ . This was one of those early spots that hooked me on the series .
#13 : makes sense you can say something that is wrong ---thats not lying....An idiot like Elaida would never be able to talk ,LOL .
Great Job Leigh !!
Onward and upward !!
18. tearl
WOW! Ch.46, when Rand tells Ingtar

"The last embrace of the mother welcome you home."

That still gets me every re-read.
Blake Engholm
19. UncrownedKing

whole heartedly agreed. Incredible ending to the whole book.

On a mildly unrelated note, I think I remember there being a section of the BBOBA that had a map of Seanchanland. In the Northern part of it, Is there a Blight? If so will there be a battle there? or something?

I know not on topic at all but the thought just popped up tehn seconds ago
20. AyRon
What I also find interesting is the fact that the Heroes all refer to Rand as Lews Therin and Hawkwing is referred to as Hawkwing...they're both known by the names they had in their "last" life (presumably Lews Therin was not reborn until Rand came around or there would have been another Dragon Reborn in the interim? Does LT only come back as the Dragon?)

It supports the concept that the Wheel comes around and around again, because Ishamael makes it clear that this is not remotely only the second time Lews Therin has come around. And I believe EVERYTHING Ishy says... :)
21. cps2195
Leigh: For two books you've been mentioning your problem with the ending to TGH and now when you get there you barely mention it. I was looking forward to your comments and the discussion about the crazy battle in the sky. What's the deal with this? It is never explained and it doesn't fit into the rules established in Randland. Is this once again RJ not having worked out the rules? Is it linked to the horn? Was it similar to MOM?
22. Randalator
Ch. 47

Actually, Leigh, the last time we see Hurin is on the steps of the White Tower after having made the panoramic trip across Randland with Verin, Mat and the supergirls. But i agree, way to little Hurin-y goodness in the following books.

Also I don't think there will be doppelgangers of spun out heroes. Tel'aran'rhiod is the shelve where they are stashed away when they are not needed. If someone blows the Horn they get taken out of the shelve, dusted off, put in the proper place facing the right direction and then do the awesome. Afterwards they go back on the shelve.

If one of them isn't on the shelve when the horn is sounded then he's out of the team for the time being...

Ch. 49

There's probably not that much to learn about Moiraines whereabouts in this book. She visited Vandene and Adeleas to get a bit more exposition for Rand et al and probably sought even more exposition all on her own. The rest of time she spent travelling to Falme which must have been a real bitch pre-Travelling and with no Ogier-guide crazy enough to enter the way handy...
23. Aaron Bergman
For what Moiraine was doing for most of TGH, at some point in TDR, she says that she has become more "dangerous" over the past year learning fun stuff like balefire. Egwene's unfortunate tendency to blow up soldiers also continues on into TDR.
Blake Engholm
24. UncrownedKing

The Shelve theory, short simple too the point. Its also dumbed down to the point where us simpletons can follow it. But I agree that is why i am of the belief that birgitte and Giadal will both be at the final battle but only in flesh, No horn for YOU! Also Perrin sees, or maybe its Egwene, Birgitte and the shadow of Gaidal in Telaranriod in ... either TDR or TSR, but I think they aren't seen again after that. Also adding to the if you aint on the shelf you aint gettin called homie, theory
25. Tony Zbaraschuk
Yeah, pretty much this whole passage is Made Of Awesome.

I loved Egwene's deduction of who the sul'dam really were. "They are the women who could be trained." Somehow it makes the whole damane period even more horrific -- and she's showing the sort of cleverness and will that will carry her forward and make her an Amyrlin to make thrones tremble. Nynaeve's strict balance of justice, both to Egwene, and to Renna.

Ingtar's confession and Rand's benediction. Just... wow. Perfectly said.

Mat blowing the Horn, and the Heroes. (It's fun to see Mat's recollections of this scene, when he spends a while talking with Birgitte later.) And, yeah, the more I think about the more awesome Artur Hawkwing's comment to Hurin is.

And Rand, again. Just, wow. He hasn't fully accepted being Dragon yet (and the next book, insofar as it's about Rand, is about that struggle).

(My own theory about why the Dark One wants Rand turned is that Rand is the only one who can open his prison the last bit; he can't be fully free unless the Dragon turns the key... not that he would tell anyone that.)
26. sps49
The girls are just on edge while escaping Falme. Nynaeve is probably gritting her teeth the whole time and has no problem with :seizing" saidar, and I can understand Egwene lashing out automatically at anything Seanchan after what she's been through.

Forward to Tear!
Richard Fife
27. R.Fife
There is a blight in Seanchan, but it is more or less shadowspawn-less. The extradimensional pets of the Seanchan did a pretty good job noming all the trollocs and fades (as per BBoBA). It is still corrupt and has the uncontrollable shadowspawn (sticks, worms, etc), but little to none of the controllable grunts.

To lazy to look up other names@#s.

Lanfear comments on the weakness of the oaths in Fires of Heaven while talking to Rand in Rhuidean. On an aside, what would happen if you swore "I will speak no word that is not objectively true."? That is to say, are the oaths of the oathrod strictly enforced by self-perception of the oathtaker, or is there perhaps some ultior power to it. I know Semi was bound by one briefly when she had been discovered as a sadist in the AoL.

For "First Claiming" with Lanfear, here is a place, especially with the start of TSR, that confuses me. When Lanfear first sees Rand, she looks at his face and acts startled, and comments "You've been marked." She references the otherworld/cairhien trip, but seems surprised by some invisible mark on his forehead (the dragon fang, eh?). This was before Elayne had started being a little tramp for him, so it could not have been her. Also, when we first meet Grendal, it is commented that, while not as pretty as Lanfear, she does rank a close second, and she was over in the Almoth Plane region at the time (or so it is implied from Asmo.) Would she be brazen enough to do the first claiming, and why would she? Those are my confusions.

Oh, personal bitch about the last fight. Yeah, it is M.O.A., but at the same time, it does seem a little uncharacteristic for the rest of the series. In fact, same as the big climax for tEotW. While tDR last fight on make sense with our, the readers, increased understanding of how the world works, these two don't seem to mesh all that well. (like the way Rand Travels at the end of Eye is more like star-trek teleportation than Traveling as seen later). I honestly am very eager to see the Horn used again to see if there is a rationalization of the SFX of this fight.
28. anIceFan
I have been fighting this, but I finally grabbed my books out of the garage to start a re-read. I blame you for the mess.

Am I a wuss if I started to get chocked up when Rand is giving Ingtar his benediction? Ingtars sacrifice and Rands absolution to me are just awesome.

As I begin my re-read there are 2 portions that I really dread. The first is Egwene's "training" with the Seanchean, and the second is the whole Rand-in-the-box sequence. I get the heebie jeebies just thinking about them.

Anyway, I love the commentary.
29. Ariel S
Hey Leigh,

great job.
Re: Birgitte and Gaidal Cain, I really really don't think they'll show up with the horn.
I have some doubts about Cain, but Birgitte IS the archetypal version of herself, ripped from T-A-R. So if there were an archetypal version of her still in T-A-R... well, that'd be illogical and silly. If there was, you could rip her from T-A-R countless times, generating an army of real world Birgittes. That'd be a munchkin orgasm, but it would also suck.

About Gaidal: remember that his archetype "disappeared" from T-A-R after he got incarnated. So RJ kind of implied that the heroes called by the Horn are those who are not incarnated when the Horn is sounded (otherwise, Lews Therin would also have answered the call of the Horn, and THAT would have been weird.)
Heather Johnson
30. HeatherJ
“ Egwene was one piece, one thread of the cord that made his life, but there were others, and he could feel them threatened.” It’s Min & Elayne! I never realized the connection before, but that has to be it. (I know, everyone else is saying DUH, but I never caught that before.)

“I will never serve you, Father of Lies. In a thousand lives, I never have. I know that. I’m sure of it.” I’m having trouble remembering clearly, but do we know if in any of his lives he actually DID serve the Dark One? I’m thinking not but someone remind me please.

On the Horn/Birgitte/Gaidal question, what if the Horn calls the “real life” versions of Birgitte and Gaidal and has them ride along with the rest of the fraternity like Cosmix@9 says? Maybe their success in battle (‘cause I’m assuming the good guys win – please don’t disillusion me!) allows them to rejoin their pals and get reconnected to the Wheel the way they were meant to be. Wishful thinking is a wonderful thing IMO. (Although the “on the shelf” theory posted above @22 really does make more sense here.)

@7 UncrownedKing: Gandalf/Mo = LOL

@8 MarkS: you’re exactly right – I must give that some extra thought …
31. Daergar
I'm firmly in the "no proto-heroes" camp. However (as others have stated) I'm certain Birgitte will be there, since she is (1)Elayne's Warder, and (2)still Birgitte, despite having been kicked off the T'A'R shelf. She may not have the super-powers granted by the horn (like lighting a boat on fire with a silver arrow) but she's still a badass sniper with a bow.

I've always assumed Moiraine spent the book chilling with Adeleas and Vandene, trying to fill in the gaps in her knowledge of the Dragon and related subjects. She came to Two Rivers looking for the Dragon, and instead found 3 insanely powerful ta'veren. As soon as a lull in the action presented itself, she scooted off to the nearest library to bone up on the end of the world.
32. GregLamontva
To your point above about chapter 48 where Lanfear doesn't have any concern with Min: I think that is because she doesn't see her as a threat. The other women that she completely flips over are powerful women, both with saidar and among their respective people. I don't believe she feels that towards Min, which is why I think that she doesn't go all ape shit on her right there.
Leigh Butler
33. leighdb

The big problem I mentioned was actually the damane thing, which is not technically the "ending" of TGH but is close enough for government work. Sorry if that was confusing.

As for the ending ending, I agree with you, but I felt that I had pretty much covered that issue when I discussed the end of TEOTW. I'm trying not to repeat myself too much!
Heather Johnson
34. HeatherJ
@32 - good point. And also, at this point Min is still dressing like a boy, right? So she's not all that sexy looking and I'm figuring that Lanfear doesn't feel any jealousy toward her at all. I mean, she's LANFEAR ... she's not going to think her Lews Therin will be attracted to a plain-looking girl dressed as a boy.
35. Githraine
R.Fife @ 27.
Semi was never bound, she ran when given the choice between that and being severed. That is when she joined the DO.

I agree with all the prevailing sentiments, Not enough Huron (although he has HUGE off screen impact) Rand's benediction (Would he give it now?) The heroes, the Charge of the Whitecloaks... too much Awesome to list!
36. tearl
Leigh, not that I WANT to defend Lanfear, but she has the excuse later in TFoH that she believes (incorrectly) that R & A have been doing it nightly for weeks.
Blake Engholm
37. UncrownedKing
36. tearl

I have forgotten so much. I think I remember that too
38. Paracelsus
1. Was TGH the time when Rand was officially proclaimed as the Dragon? I thought his proclamation happened when he claimed Callandor. Didn't Mazrim Taim lose consciousness at the exact moment when Rand proclaimed himself as the Dragon?

2. I still haven't seen a good answer to this question yet: Can the heroes fight for anyone else besides the Dragon? Based on my re-read, they cannot. Hawkwing even commented that something was holding him back, 'Have you the banner?' It seems that the heroes wouldn't have fought for someone else that had blown the horn such as Fain, a darkfriend, or a Forsaken.

3. What made Rand and Ishmael appear in the sky? I don't think it was Ishmael, because didn't RJ say that channelers cannot make themselves fly? It must have been the horn that caused Rand and Ishmael to appear in the sky. But did Ishmael walk into the sky, or was he also summoned there by the horn? I am still confused by this. Based on RJs 'MC Escher' like description on this scene, it appears that they are in another dimension when they are fighting. Also recall that Hawkwing seemed to say that we have 'all the the time.' I think when the heroes were first called, time had someone stopped-- it didn't begin again until Rand began his battle with Ishamael.

4. Did Lanfear heal Rand? Recall that Verin said that Nynaeve must have done something to do Rand or he wouldn't have lived that long. Nynaeve said she was too afraid to do anything. Lanfear must have healed Rand when she touched his forehead.

5. I still think that the Last Battle will procede similarly to the end of TGH. If the horn is blown again (by Mat), Perrin will hold the banner, and Rand will fight the representation of the Dark One (Moridin or Shadar Haran). How else could it happen if the horn was blown?
39. Egglie
I love that its not Rand who blows the horn, it does so much to make the plot a whole lot more interesting.

I really do dislike the mental floating battle section though. its like RJ needed to put them into sufficient jeopardy to make blowing the horn for salvation realistic but he couldn't think of a logical way to get them out of it so he just brought in the mist. The timing doesn't work, the logistics don't work - what do the armies do while the guys stand around having a chat with Artur Hawkwing? where do perrin, hurin and mat go? do they temporarily get to fly with the heroes? if so, why don't they talk about how cool it was later?! If they were all floating then where does perrin find a tree? Do the heroes kill whitecloaks or just the seanchan? this kind of stuff really distracts me when I am reading. (generally, I love the wheel of time and I am happy to suspend my realism and enjoy but I just don't get this bit).

Where did fain go? and why didn't he come after Rand? - he must have known he was in town. Why didn't he just catch up with them in the camp when Rand is laid up for 5 days after Falme?

If Perrin and Mat are also re-born heroes (as has been suggested elsewhere on this forum) then why does Artur Hawkwing not recognize them? I don't think they are re-born. I think they are new heroes and will be added to the wheel on future turns.

Also, someone help me out here please, I am sure I remember that two of the heroes are "twins who's birth heralds the coming of a new age" (surely Elayne's babies?!) but I can't find mention of them in the text. Do they pop up in another book somewhere? or did I make it up? I was sure it was in this section.
Ofer Nave
40. odigity
1) I love when Perrin makes a pole for the banner and Matt play's the horn. One of the few rare scenes of the ta'veren actually working together.

2) The scene with Hawkwing brought something to mind. Later, Tuon asks Mat if he remembers Hawkwing's face, and he consults his eelfin memories to find several scenes where he did, in fact, see Hawkwing in the flesh. But that's not necessary. He saw him right here in Falme, as did several others.

3) I can't wait to see Rand reunited with Tam. "Thanks for the sword, dad. It melted when I stuck it in Ishamael, but I got these cool souvenirs. See?" (holds up hands)
Adam Miller
41. AdamM
Just a comment on the whole fighting for the banner and why the DO would want the horn if he can't command the Heroes anyways.

If the horn is blown, and thus linked to a hornblower by someone on the DO's side, then while he might not be able to use them, he can deny them to the DR's forces, or so one would think.

If he can turn the DR, then even better, he could have both.
Ofer Nave
42. odigity
Lsana@14: Regarding Min throwing herself at Rand, it might be similar to the situation Mat finds himself in with Tuon. Because of the Aelfin, he believes the marriage is inevitable, so he resolves himself to try to get to know and like her.
Ofer Nave
43. odigity
The Oath Rod quite simply prevents you from lying relative to your own knowledge, like a polygraph only detects your biosigns. Neither object is omniscient - that would be impossible. Otherwise, science would be obsolete. Just have a channeler bind themselves to speak only the truth, then start throwing questions at them. "Does the moon weigh more or less than one million tons?" and see which answer the bonded one can speak. :)
44. Lsana
@ 42 odigity,

Mat's situation is a little different. He's been told that he must marry the DotNM, else catastrophe will follow. Min, on the other hand, knows that she will fall in love with Rand. She claims to have no idea if he will love her in return much less if they're going to get married. No one is going to force her to do anything against her will. Given that, if she really doesn't want this, she ought to just shrug her shoulders, say "Que sera sera," and go on with her life. Let the future tend to itself.
Richard Fife
45. R.Fife
Odigity@40: I think that was one of the hole's in Mat's memory. he kinda remembered getting to be cool, but not really. When the Eelfinn filled in the holes, they did not give him back his old, real memories, they filled the gaps with the battles, etc. Thus why he had to recall Hawkwing's face from ancient memories instead of Falme.

To the correction on Semi, dur, been a while since I read that. Foggy memory made me think she was bound then released before going to the Shadow. What book was her recollection on that in?

I think the horn stopped time while the heros bantered with Rand et al, thus Hawkwing's comment on having all the time in the world. Mat and Perrin, to my understanding, are running around in the mist with the Heros, hoping a stray lightning bolt doesn't kill em.

Also, let us also not forget that the giant vision in the sky over Falme was backdropped by the Dragon Banner all Patton style.

Yes, this is Rand's proclaming himself, as this was the moment that Taim and the unnamed FD in Haddon Mirk were captured due to "sudden visions" over the battle fields, their horses going crazy, and them getting knocked out. He is not "undeniably" the dragon until he pulls out Excalib.. eh... Callandor.

I still dislike the whole Min/Elayne/Aviendha loving Rand thing. I mean, the man is actively trying to be a complete prick, and all the first two love him on sight, and Aviendha "hates him so much she falls in love with him"? WTF. I still think the Perrin/Faile romance was the best developed, followed by Mat/Bitch, er, Tuon.
46. LadyBelaine
You know DutchBoy@2, I think that one of the artists who did some of the Encyclopedia WOT work participates here, and might think your comments are insulting.

Then again, I can't draw a straight line with a ruler, and am awed by anyone who can.

-- more later when I home.
47. QuantumEve
Great recap, Leigh!

I'd forgotten how much I love the end of this book. I love that the boys are working together and the girls are too without all the crazy infighting going on. I started reading TDR this week and I can't *stand* Egwene's attitude in Tear. Especially after how awesome Nynaeve is here.

Re: Gaidal Cain getting spun out by the Wheel. I've always thought it was odd that the Wheel spun him out so close to the Last Battle. I mean there's no way he would be even close to grown by the time it came about. So I'm hoping that there's some reason he *needs* to be a little boy during it, otherwise it a big waste of a hero who could come in real handy once stuff starts going down at Tarmon Gai'don.
48. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
I have sort of a nitpicky comment that has always bothered me, and although it applies throughout the series, it comes into relief here, so I thought I'd bring it up now. This is going to be long and convoluted -- I'll do my best.

Hokay, so: LTT was the Dragon. Rand is the Dragon/LTT reborn. But we know from Ishy/other sources that the same battle has happened other times, yadda yadda. All the Horn heroes are also oft-recycled archetypes, but the names we know them by are the names they most recently had last time they were alive, according to Brigitte. That also stands to reason why we call Rand "LTT reborn" and not Joe Schmoe savior from the first age reborn. However, it causes some problems.

Ishy keeps referring to Rand as LTT. He, more than anyone, knows that LTT is just another link in the chain of saviors. So it really doesn't make any sense to me why he is so glommed on to Rand as LTT rather than Rand as Rand. When he was in the last showdown aka the War of Power, was he incessantly saying stuff to LTT like "we have danced this dance countless times, Joe Schmoe, and I have always won!"
Kinda lazy of the Dark to just recycle the same champion. I guess the Moridin redux is enough of a change. The whole Ishy/Moridin/Rand/LTT thing reminds me of the Child of Light/Child of Dark thing from the Belgariad.

The other name issue I have is with Artur Hawkwing. He refers to Rand as LTT, just like all the heroes. But we know that Artur Hawkwing was around in the time since the last Dragonpalooza (and here I'm making a distinction and specifically referring to the latest Hawkwing, not the archetype. For clarity (YEAH RIGHT!) I'm going to refer to the archetype as King Arthur). So my problem comes in that if Arthur comes back with the horn, he should either not recognize himself as Hawkwing exclusively, or he should not think of Rand as LTT. Artur Hawkwing never met Lews Therin Telamon, even if the King Arthur character did fight alongside LTT.

If it's the King Arthur character, he should fall into the same category as Ishy -- why LTT any more than Rand, if you know that LTT really isn't any more important in the long run then Rand. But even more so than Ishy, because at least Ishy had personal memories of LTT, whereas Hawkwing couldn't have.

Basically the problem I have that I just waisted all your time explaining is that people who should and do know about ALL the showdowns over the ages (Ishy and the Horn Heroes) don't ACT like they know it. But they also do things that show that they MUST know it. So what gives?

Also, I'm curious whether LTT knew he was someone reborn. Was there no prophecy around then? No one alive at the time gives any indication that LTT was the Weasel Reborn or anything.

Except for Ishydin, everything in the series seems to point to the idea that LTT was the first and Rand is the next "savior." Except it kinda craps on the whole idea of cyclicalness, and it makes Ishydin even more of a total loon for having his hokey theories.

Wow, congratulations if you worked your way through that whole convoluted post. Any comments are appreciated.
49. garstzilla
Ok all the Hawkwing rules for horn and the banner again this is why I think he is the voice at the end of TEOTW telling Rand then that "it is not here" the horn or banner. Can't have a Last Battle with out the ol horn and banner.
50. Lsana
@48 HeWhoComesWithTheNoon,

It makes perfect sense for Ishmael to refer to Rand as "Lews Therin." Yes, both Ishy and LTT were the latest in a long line of saviors. Lews Therin has since been reborn--but Ishmael hasn't. He's probably thought of his enemy as Lews Therin so long that he would have trouble thinking of him as anything else in this lifetime.

It's a little weirder for Hawkwing and crew, I'll grant, but probably the last time they saw the Dragon, before he was spun out on this incarnation, he called himself Lews Therin. So that's how they think of him.
Blake Engholm
51. UncrownedKing
@ 49

Interesting thought, wish there was more evidence whether thats the DO or not.

Hey Leigh,

Nice touch using the Hitch-hikers Guide reference up there. Another book that we should all read/talk about more often.
Richard Fife
52. R.Fife
Also, if LTT indeed hangs out in TAR, he would have refered to himself as such while hanging out on the shelf with Hawkwing and crew. Could you imagine having to sit on the shelf for 3k years, though, and listening to LTT's constant moaning/babbling about how his last life sucked? Oi. It'd be like getting stuck next to a drunk on the subway.
53. AyRon
Hewho.. @ 48:

That was the point I was making way up theory is that it's because much of this has happened before (an age long past, an age yet to come). LTT is the archetypal Dragon who appears periodically with the turn of the wheel (always in the 2nd age? Who knows?). Hawkwing appears as Hawkwing in the 3rd age, but perhaps as King Arthur in the 7th? So, LTT has appeared many times and has been, perhaps, THE most important Dragon who comes around again.

BUT...Rand is even more important but he's a one-time deal. I think perhaps Tarmon Gaidin hasn't happened before and will only happen once. The DO's big chance and the chance to seal him forever.

LTT in the 2nd age may not have known he was the Dragon Reborn. Remember, the claim is that before the Bore, they didn't even remember war.

It's enough to make your head spin...and these are theories that can probably easily be disputed.
Blake Engholm
54. UncrownedKing
If we win in the end, does Randland become a utopia? With no DO around, the Creator rules with out having to fight the oppressive DO.

If this happens does the Creator become mad with power and falls into the Shadow becoming a new DO??

Would a lesser known entity rise up and imprison the NDO?? Thus starting the cycle over again, beginning the Wheel again?? whoo I like that.

Or does the Creator fade from exsistence after the battle, because there is no need for him anymore(lack of a bad guy).

Oh GOD, I think I feel a seisure coming on now. haha
55. fuddy
i think george r.r. martin is perfect in his plot twists =)
Blake Engholm
56. UncrownedKing

I just wish he could finish a book every now and then, good god! I mean this book thats coming out takes place during the exact same time frame as the last one. Just different characters.

This, granted, is still cool. But you think that if you were writing a book that was too big for a single edition, you would write it then release it as a "2-book edition" which would sell because the series is really cool, and I like it a lot. But common George, your killing us here.

*steps off soap box, punches hole in wall*

Sorry about that rant, had to get it out there.
57. PieterT
TGH is my favourite book of WOT. I only started reading WOT about 2 years ago and I remember this book as if I read it yesterday. Somehow I thought there was more to the capture of Egwene (I don't know why).
Anyhow, TEOTW made me buy this book, but while reading TGH I bought the rest of the series. I knew I was hooked.
After two years I'm just about to finish New spring and I can't wait until MOL is released. Until that time I'll keep enjoying these re-read. Respect Leigh!
58. Caine09
First thing: Nice one with the Hitchhikers reference one of my fav's the image of a whale falling through the sky wondering if the ground will be its friend.

I love the end of TGH, there's something so epic about it, the charging Whitecloaks, the hero's of the Horn, Rand battling in the sky. Simply amazing and a tribute to RJ.

I hope Hurin appears in MOL, maybe he has died since last we've seen him and is now tied to the Wheel hmmmm i wonder, that would be really cool.
59. laframboise
As far as appearing 'in the sky' over Falme, what if it's some kind of projection? Some unknown OP thing? Strikes me that if Ishy and Rand were literally physically in the sky over Falme, if they had any altitude at all there wouldn't be much to see from down below.
Ryan Thistlethwaite
60. shintemaster
@ PieterT

I too always remembered Egwene being captured for quite a while. I can only assume it's a sign of how well done and how disturbing those scenes are. Every time I reread I'm surprised by how short this whole part is.
61. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon

I dunno where the LTT hanging out in TAR theory comes from. That's for heroes that are called back by the horn. LTT is not. There's no evidence that for other than the Heroes of the Horn (and wolves, who have a separate link) TAR functions as the afterlife.


Your rationalization about Ishy makes sense.

I did a bit of research, and found a reference to a TOR q&a where RJ stated that the Horn was _NOT_ used in the War of Power at all. So really, none of the heroes should have known the name LTT at all. I think what happened is that RJ sort of defaulted LTT/Dragon to be the name of the recurring savior despite the fact that Lews Therin was just a link in the chain.
62. Lsana
@61 HeWhoComesWithTheNoon,

Hawkwing has definitely met the Dragon in some place other than the "real world" ("You could tell him, Lews Therin, if you could but remember when you wore flesh."). Assuming that that "some place" was TAR doesn't seem totally unreasonable. When Birgitte talks about the heroes in TAR, I think she describes them as those tied to the wheel to be spun out over and over again, which certainly describes the Dragon. Even if he is never called by the horn, it's not totally unreasonable to assume he hangs out in TAR between incarnations.
Crystal McMillan
63. CDragon27
Just wanted to say I am loving this reread. This is my idea of a book club!

now some thoughts: I don't think Brigette can be there at the Last Battle except as the woman who is Elyane's warder. Torn out of the cycle implies torn away from the Horn.

Ingtar's death: I cried the first time (yes, I was surprised tho I suspected he was up to something, I didn't expect full on darkfriend) Rand's blessing chokes me up.

I think the battle in the sky is a one time deal, a fufillment of some prophecy that will declare the Dragon.

this is soo cool, I am looking forward to the recap of the next book (I haven't read it in a long time so I am sure there is stuff I've forgotten)

PS yes George R R Martin needs to get off his duff, this new book was supposed to come out over a year ago.
Robert Garza
64. FunBob
Awesome. Thanks Leigh, for a great job, as usual.

Ingtar, Ba'alzamon, the 2nd Heron, Moraine's return, Verin's departure with the Girls,....

The Dragon Reborn is awesome...and leads to the Lord of Chaos, my favorite book of the series.

65. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
@Lsana yeah it's not a totally ridiculous possibility, but there's also no evidence for it. The Dragon situation does not follow any other rules. Brigitte doesn't have old Brigitte's talking to her in her head. It's not ridiculous to think that Bran Al'Vere will become a warder, but it's still just speculation.
66. Wetlander
One of the few things I remember from my first read of this book was the sweet irony of the Seanchan coming in the name of Hawkwing, and then in this battle it turns out that he's fighting against them. Not only that, when it looks to all the world as if Rand is battling the DO (okay, we know it's only Ishy, but they didn't) in the sky, the Seanchan fortunes rise and fall with the DO, while Hawkwing is obviously on the side of the Dragon. It's only on this reread that I suddenly realized that apparently the Seanchan didn't recognize Hawkwing at all, or didn't notice him, or know he was there... Please tell me I missed some other clue along this line! Otherwise I'll be very disappointed that RJ put in this lovely little tidbit and never did anything else with it.

I'm in the camp with the "no Birgitte or Cain with the Heros at the Last Battle". Cain is spun out between now and then, so he'll be running around as a terrible two about then. But what's that line about "the Battle done, but the world not done with battle"? He'll be needed later. (Probably in one of those outrigger books we'll never have.) Birgitte is living now, so won't come to the horn but will probably be there as herself.

Oh, and I had this wonderful theory all worked out about how LTT and Hawkwing had both been spun out many times, which is why H says the bit about fighting both together and against each other. After all, who says LTT has to be THE DRAGON every time? Maybe sometimes he's just a regular hero (?!) and it's only when the end of a particular age comes along that he has to be reborn as the Dragon. It would resolve the conflict of how they could fight on opposite sides (as spun-out types) but when responding to the Horn they require the banner as well. Or then again it might not. Shoot me full of holes, someone. Unless it's been done while I tried to write all this.
67. Heather P.
OK, a few things:

I also just love it that Mat is the Hornsounder. I was struggling at times through this book with Rand and his attitude, I was glad that Mat sounded the horn and took on the burden, as it were. This is definitely the beginning of Mat's badassery.

Made. Of. Awesome.

I'll also agree that I thought Egwene's time with the Seanchan took more pages in the book than it actually did. When I reached that part in my re-read a few months ago, it was all, "Where is it? Where is it? Shouldn't she have been captured by now?" I will attribute it to RJ's skill, and the fact that the whole idea of the Seanchan sul'dam and damane is just .... disturbing.
68. Rebecca Starr
Ch 46
oh yeah, I definitely cry twice in this chapter. the first time when Egwene falls against nynaeve weeping and saying "they hurt me..." the second time for the whole Ingtar/Rand interaction.

Ch 47
I agree with those who think there is only one Gaidal Gain/Birgitte/Hawkwing etc at a time. If they are currently spun out of TAR, then they fight in their living flesh form, instead of coming to the call of the Horn.

as to Mat and Perrin being able to do all the flying and other cool stuff with the heroes, well, doesn't anyone else think the two of them might be tied to the horn too? I mean, they are ta'veren. no reason they haven't been spun out just as often as Birgitte, or Rand/LTT, but just not quite so famously. makes me think I'm right when it says, "Perrin looking as if he knew this was meant to be" just before the heroes swoop in.

i love that Jordan pulls out words like gonfanons here.

okay, 2 questions though:
1. yes I would like to know the physics of where they are all transported, and how Rand/Ishy fight in the sky
2.does anyone else find it super odd that Hawkwing is fighting his descendants here?? "Excuse me, can you help me defeat these evil Seanchan?" "Well, actually, these are my son's offspring and legacy..."

lol - I never noticed before that Ishy 'dies' here on page 666

Ch 48
Although I didn't put much stock in it until this re-read, now I'm looking at the Lanfear chapter here and thinking the long Selene-is-really-Mesaana theory posted over at might have something to it... hence she gets in "first claiming" and Lanfear is surprised to see it when she next pops up, and hence Mesaana wouldn't care two figs if Min was in bed with Rand.
69. Roxinos
6. Mat only died once. His hanging in Rhuidean did not kill him. It *almost* did. His only death was at the hands of Rahvin's lightning. He was brought back to life when Rand killed Rahvin with balefire.
Joe Sherry
70. jsherry
@61 - He Who Comes.

LTT couldn't be called by the horn because he has been reborn as Rand Al'Thor.

Birgitte talks about being reborn to Nyneave, that if she was reborn "now" she would be an infant and unable to act, that she wouldn't know anything about her past. She'd be living a new life. She wouldn't be called by the Horn, wouldn't be available at the Last Battle if it happened next week.

That's what happened (I believe) to LTT. He can't be called back. He's not in TAR. He's Rand.
71. Rebecca Starr
Novak@10 - I've always been under the impression that the Horn is much much older than the AoL. the heroes probably get spun out once an Age, and if they have been known by 100s of names... well, that makes the Horn pretty old

jsherry@16 - actually, every time Nynaeve channels in the whole Falme bit, the book makes sure to say, "such-and-such was making her angry enough..." generally, it's her anger at the idea of damane/sul'dam

as to calling Rand LTT, I guess maybe that's the default name for the Dragon/savior figure who hass been spun out a gagillion times, just as Artur Hawkwing is the default name for Hawkwing, Birgitte is the default name for Birgitte etc. To go back to Leigh's frat house comparison, these would be their locker room nicknames for each other. but note how Rand thinks, "he heard a hundred names when he looked at each face..." so they probably have to fall back on a default version that they can all remember.

with regards to all the saint names, Michael/Patrick etc., guess these guys get spun out as Heroes to become Christian saints in our Age
Joe Sherry
72. jsherry
I completely missed that, Rebecca. :) I thought I was reading that section carefully, but clearly not.
73. D24g0n
From what I can remember, there is nothing that says Ishy is the DO's champion reborn. The way I understand it, the wheel is what weaves a soul into the pattern. So, the DO cannot cause a certain soul to be reborn, just manipulate/persuade existing souls to his side. That is why Ishy does not know who the DR is in tEotW, and also why he only knows Rand as LTT.

On the subject of Hawkwing, he may be a relatively (from the current age) new Hero of the Horn that only knows LTT because they met in T'A'R. I am less clear on Hawkwing, because there is never any history about him or his possible past lives, unlike Birgitte. We know for a fact that Birgitte has been a Hero for a LONG time, same with Gaidal and the twins.

That is all I have time to comment on atm, but you are doing a great job with the re-read!
Richard Fife
74. R.Fife
Well, I think we can assume Hawkwing is also meant to be the typical "great uniter king" the wheel likes to use, ie, Arthur, Charlemange, etc. I still would like the convo:

Hawkwing: Ah, welcome back to TAR, LTT.
LTT: Oh, Ilyena! Woe! Madness! *froths at mouth*
Hawkwing: Um... are you quite well?
LTT: The cheese is nefarious, the cake is a lie!

Also, to Ishy, as I recall, his "third name worthy" ability was philosophy, so he was already a little cracked in the AoL, thinking the whole battle between light and shadow had happened hundreds of time. As the other forsaken say commonly "Ishaemel probably was crazy enough to think he was the Great Lord."
75. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
There are two quotable quotes regarding Rand and women. One is right here where Brigitte says "you always choose women who cause you trouble". As if it was a running gag for them.
The other one doesn't happen until Lanfear's meltdown at the end of Fires of Heaven(You let another woman touch you. AGAIN!)
Aside from this the only noteworthy part about this is Ingtar's moment of redemption. And the others' reaction when Rand is revealed to be the true Dragon Reborn.
76. renogade 248
Great job on the ending of this book Leigh. :)

This book ending is just AWESOME.

I too teared up at Rand's last words to Ingtar. That was just so emotional. Also love the Nyneave scene with Egwene crying on her shoulder. Very touching sceen. When I first read the book, the whole Ingtar confession that he was a darkfriend totally blew my mind. Now on a re-read, it is so obvious, but on first read through, quite unexpected.

I am also perplexed to this whole notion of fighting in the sky. Always bothered me a little as with the ending of TEOTW with Rand fighting at Tarwin's Gap. Now, I just figure that maybe RJ didn't have all his magic worked out yet, as we really don't see it again in the series. Best I can figure on the Tarwin's Gap incident is maybe it was an early version of TAR, but the Falme one where everyone can see you in the sky still bothers me a bit.

I must admit though that RJ sure knows how to write a grand ending to a book, at least the early books, not so much with the later books.

Waiting with anticipation the start of the re-read of TDR. I usually don't say this too often, but I can't wait for Monday. :)

Keep up the good work Leigh.
77. toddywatts
I always had the impression that both appearances in the sky were propaganda that the wheel spun out. They announced the Dragon at either end of Randland. It let people know how close they were to the end, and also that if they support the cause of good, they should help Rand. On the one hand, they'd probably be scared of Rand, but then if you've seen him battling a person with a face of fire, it's not hard to pick out the good guy...

Guidal Cain and Birgitte will be at the last battle in person. The real question is will they meet and fall in love all over again before it gets here. They haven't met yet, have they? Elayne & Birgitte were off to Caemlyn before Mat met Guidal, right?

I'm not convinced that the horn couldn't have been sounded by the bad guys, it's possible the whole following-the-banner thing was just an inconsistency to do with this battle. However, if that were the case, I don't think the horn would have had only heroes bound to it -- heroes who seem to have Real People Personalities. Could you picture any of the heroes we've met fighting for the DO? But, does your definition of hero depend on your orientation? Maybe there's a whole different set of bad guys bound to the horn? Is that really necessary when the DO can just bodysnatch them new bodies when he feels like it?
78. Wetlander
toddywatts @ 77

Just curious - who are you thinking is Gaidal?
79. Tony Zbaraschuk
Ishamael at one point claims (or maybe one of the other Forsaken remembers him claiming) that there have been times when the Dragon was turned to the Shadow. I am not sure that I believe him there.
80. WiseOne
Gaidal = Oliver

woot my first post.
81. Renegade 248
@ 77 and 78

I believe that toddywatts thinks that the other guy that is with Mat, Thom and Olver (forgot his name) is Gaidal. If that is the case, I believe RJ has said in a blog or in a book signing that he is not Gaidal.

Remember, Gaidal was out of TAR by LOC if I remember, and that means at the most he is only 2 years old or so.
82. Dr. Morganstien
First, this whole re-read is one of the best fan services I've ever heard of, thank you Leigh.

Second, I thought Egwene deciding to own some soldiers was totally ok. It definitely was not the most intelligent thing she could have done, but she deserved it. Also, the line "I'll die first. Let me show them what they've taught me" is one of the most badass things I've ever heard.

Nynaeve owns this entire book for being brave, intelligent, and wise. "Men often mistake killing for justice" and then she leaves the Sul'dam alone, so cool.

Lastly, can you tell I had my book in hand when commenting?
83. WiseOne
Aw man. Now I'm depressed because I thought I had figured one out on my own with the Gaidal/Olver thing. Too slow on the uptake I guess

Great re-read, by the way.
84. locosweetie
I love the end of this book!! I cried, but thats not unusual for me. Thanks Leigh for doing it the justice it deserves!

hmmm, is Rand right or left handed? He gets a heron on one hand, but it is healed enough by this time that he would have no problem using that hand. So why did he switch hands in order to get the other heron? Perhaps its a two handed sword? Maybe he is already good enough to be able to use either hand? In that case, it would have been a sinch for him to beat Turak.

@48 HeWhoComes...
Around my first reading, I was having the same questions about the names of our heroes. perhaps LTT is simply the most famous Dragon?

@54 UncrownedKing
I'm halfway into the 'Creator is the DO' camp. You take all the time and patience it takes to set up an intricate design of dominoes for only one reason: to watch it fall. This is sorta pessimistic, and the other half of the time I think it is more like the balance system in the Belgariad.

@69 Roxinos
I am forever contesting this with my brother. I say Mat was dead at Rhuidean. I think Rand almost panics 'cause he can't hear Mat's heart. That sounds dead to me. The balefire incident didn't happen. Its balefire. therefore he never died. It doesn't count. Its still really cool though!!

@77 toddywatts
I think Gaidal Cain is Olver and Birgitte does get to see alot of him when they are all in Ebou Dar. Could it be that Olver is aging faster than what would be normal in order to catch up to Birgitte? There is some doubting of his age.
85. AlfredTungstan
I would say that there is a consistancy regarding the battle in the skies of Falme, depending on how you interprete certain things. The Horn is a greater artifact linked to TAR. We know this link exists because that is where the Heroes reside between the times they are spun out by the pattern. The fog appears at the exact moment the Horn is sounded. This creates a temporary linking between the real world and TAR. As we all know, you can do anything in TAR by just thinking it. Hence Birgettes arrows light ships on fire instead of just shooting an arrow. In the meantime, Ishy is well versed in the use of TAR. Once the two worlds are temporarily linked, he himself could cause the projection of their fight in the sky, both in Falme and elsewhere. Afterall, he believes he is going to win, the bad guys always do.
I don't believe this is an inconsistant use of "magic" because the same can be said at the Eye of the World. The Eye is also strongly linked to TAR. That is why it always appears where it is most 'needed'. The girls find out about the importance of 'need' in TAR when they are searching for the Bowl of Winds. Strange "magic" was used their as well because Ishy could manipulate the world according to both the rules of reality and the rules of TAR.
We haven't encountered any other major artifacts with direct links to TAR which is why we haven't seen any of this type of strange magic again. I'm sure we will have something similar happen at the Last Battle when the Horn is sounding once again.
It's all just theory though. Keep up the good work.
86. dubya
i think it was stated somewhere in the epic love story of Birgitte and Gaidal that, among other things, Birtitte ALWAYS hates Gaidal upon first meeting him, then gradually falls in love with him. She doesn't hate Olver (in fact I somewhat remember her thinking him charming and cute in a way), therefore, Olver can't be Gaidal Cain after all.

Although it is logical to jump to such conclusions when there are only two people in the entire series described as outright U-G-L-Y ( ain't got no alibi...but you do got two enormous swords!)

which also reminds me, the fact that Gaidal wears two swords almost certainly makes him Arafellin, so if anyone wants to find him, that would be the place to start poking around. ("Excuse me, ma'am. I'm here on behalf of the Dragon Reborn. Have there been any extremely ugly babies born lately? Perhaps a child with a face like it got hit with a frying pan showing some early talent for swordsmanship? Because we have his future one true love here and she's really anxious to meet him before Tarmon Gai'don goes down." )
87. Valeiria
IMO, there's no way Birgitte isn't going to be at the last battle... mainly for the reason that Elayne is no doubt going to be there, and she's Elayne's warder.

I actually think I may be one of the only people who thinks this way, but.... I actually really like it when Egwene takes Nynaeve down a peg. I dislike her most in the early books. In fact, a bit off topic, but, the only female in this book that doesn't annoy the hell out of me at one time or another in the books is Aviendha. Of course, she's made of awesome, so that could be why. She always cracks me up. Back on topic, I gradually start to like Egwene more after late TSR, early TFoH, until the inevitable "she's AMAZING" moment in KOD. I love how she acts after she's been captured by the Tower. It just shows how much she's come into her own... and how much the Salidar Sitters underestimated her. Egwene malleable? No effing way.

Also, one theory on the names of the Heroes is that maybe they go by the name of the person who they were when they were absorbed into the hero cycle. Of course, just rereading that, I know it's probably wrong, since Ishy says to LTT that they've fought that battle before and will again. But maybe LTT wasn't in the Hero cycle before that lifetime. Will we ever really know for sure?

Another probably wrong theory that has to do with this is that maybe... just MAYBE the heroes being spun out is like how people become Ta'veren. People aren't born ta'veren, they become ta'veren. So maybe people aren't born heroes, but are born with the ability to become those old heroes? I know, that theory is pretty weak, but I just like throwing possibilities out there.

About the threads he feels being endangered, I'm of the opinion that they're not only Egwene, Min, and Elayne, but Nynaeve as well. Min says in TEOTW that Nynaeve is as much a part of it as the rest of them. Think. If she had died in this part, Rand wouldn't have been able to get her to help him cleanse saidin in WH.

@39 I remember reading the thing about the twins too. One boy and one girl, if I remember correctly. I don't remember their names, but I remember reading about it. I'm on COS right now, and I remember reading it recently... possibly earlier this book or in LOC.

And finally, I always get teary-eyed whenever I read the Nynaeve/Egwene and Ingtar/Rand parts. RJ did such a good job there tugging at those heartstrings.
88. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
Olver is _NOT_ Gaidal Cain reborn. RJ said so.
89. AlexontheMove
Am I the only one who thinks that "First Claiming" is referring to Min? Although she knows her visions always come true, I think this is the first time she accepts that she's tied to him.

The rest of the comments here are great, but they're just too much speculation for my itty, bitty little brain (UncrownedKing, I'm coming down with that same seizure!).
90. Wetlander
I've always wondered - at least ever since I found out RJ firmly declared that Olver is NOT Gaidal Cain reborn - just why he described Olver so much the same way as Gaidal. I mean, a zillion fans jumped on that similarity, and it would be so much more satisfying than knowing he's out there in obscurity just about learning to walk or something. (Of course, being Cairhienin, Olver probably won't grow up big enough to carry those two swords anyway.)
Ofer Nave
91. odigity
RJ has said that Matt didn't fully die at Rhuidean (hence CPR working), but that his death/undeath in Caemlyn at the end of FoH counted for the Aelfin's prophecy. No evidence yet on whether this cut his connection to the Horn. RAFO, I assume. :)
92. jafco
Again, great stuff Leigh. Terrific comments, too. These final chapters have some potent stuff - touching, emotional content and foreshadowing (Mat's impending badassery, etc.).

@ 45. R.Fife

"...I still dislike the whole Min/Elayne/Aviendha loving Rand thing. I mean, the man is actively trying to be a complete prick, and all the first two love him on sight, and Aviendha "hates him so much she falls in love with him"? WTF...."

Yeah, but the little set up and feminine chicanery in TDR or TSR where Elayne helps Egwene bow out and then sinks her hooks into Rand is really pretty sweet. Then she thoroughly twists thing about in the silly way these women seem to do, so that when he encounters Aviendha, he's really vulnerable. And then SHE gives him the ol' twisty, and guess who shows up? Why lil' ol' Min!

Fun stuff, actually. It's a wonder the Three Brides get it together and figure out a way to hold him at three. ;)
93. SteelBlaidd
A few observations. I've always liked how when wee see one of the characters doing something stupid (Egwyne attacking the Seanchen) it at least motivated.

My take n the two miraculous appearances of the Dragon in TEotW and TGH is that we are dealing with the miracles of the pattern as opposed to the science of channeling. They are tools used by the pattern to prepare the world for the final much more human scaled reveal in TDR.

Nifty parallel to Rand and Ba'alzie's fight in the clouds affecting the ground battle.

From Exodus 17:10-12
10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
12 But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

Rand is definitely tiring by KoD and needs some support :P

On the subject of Mat and Perrin being Heroes. Likely, but the other Heroes wouldn't mention it for the same reason the keep calling Rand Lews Therrin. Rand needs to know who he is in order to do his job so they call him by the name he recognizes as the Dragon to help him accept his calling. Mat and Perrin knowing would just screw them up.

As a couple of instances of Mat and Perrin being spunn out in our time I see Perrin "the Meloncholy King" as Lincoln with Mat as U. S. Grant.

I wouldn't be to surprised if there were a number of other Heroes running around (Galad and Gawyn spring to mind, as do Lan, Moraine, and Thom.) My argument is that the thing that ties you to the Wheel is not just bravery but also a devotion to duty, and doing what needs to be done to make the world a better place.

Personal sacrifice for others would be another big part and I would nominate Tirgrane for a spot as well.
94. adam d e
hurin is in the dragon reborn. he is on his way to the tower with verin, mat, Nynaeve, Elayne, and Egwene. he leaves to go warn the borderland about the news
95. birgit
When Lanfear makes the dragonfang sign on Rand's head, she is Healing him.
Min wears a Seanchan dress, not boy's clothes. The darkfriend Lanfear skins in the desert isn't a channeler either, and Lanfear still gets jealous.

To the correction on Semi, dur, been a while since I read that. Foggy memory made me think she was bound then released before going to the Shadow. What book was her recollection on that in?

It's in the description of Semi in The World of WoT.

the first two love him on sight, and Aviendha "hates him so much she falls in love with him"?

Avi sees in the Wise One ter'angreal that she will fall in love with Rand and hates it. She wants to remain a Maiden, not become a channeler / wife.

Oh, and I had this wonderful theory all worked out about how LTT and Hawkwing had both been spun out many times, which is why H says the bit about fighting both together and against each other. After all, who says LTT has to be THE DRAGON every time?

Arthur Paendrag = Arthur Pendragon sounds more like a dragon than Rand. Is he the Dragon in some ages?
96. AyRon
My theory about Lanfear's dragon fang sign on Rand's forehead is she's setting a saidar chastity belt on him. That's how she really learns he slept with Aviendha.

(it works just like the one in Spaceballs...Virgin Alert! Virgin Alert!)
Richard Fife
97. R.Fife
AyRon@96 Actually, its Kadere (or whatever that fat darkfriend that ran the peddler train the Waste is named). He reports to Lanfear in Cairhien, and she rips his skin off whole then goes apeshit on Rand. But, she thinks from the report that Rand has been getting it on with Avi every night for months.

As to the Rand love triangle: OK, I can kinda see it making sense why he falls in love with all three, but I am still not really happy with how they fell in love with him. I know Avi saw it in the Rhuidean Rings, and how she is all resentful like for being told "tough shit, no more spears", but, well, it just feels artificial. Granted, she never does get the full up besotted with him that Min and Elayne are....

But yeah. Min and Elayne, both in crazy love with him from first sight. Yes, I know Min had a vision of herself, but still, the actual development of the love is lacking. Maybe I'm just bitter, but I never have bought the whole "love at first sight" thing.

Oh, as to my fav char, I prefer Faile, at least up to her capture by the Shaido. I honestly can't remember her that much in her books long captivity, kinda all melts together. But she always just seemed the most real to me.

I am honestly surprised people can say the supergirls annoy them but then extol on how much they love Avi. She is as pig-headed, obstant, and man-hating as any of them. The entire way she treats Rand post-Rhuidean is, well, like a spoiled 5 year old, and even after TFoH, she is a bit of brat, imo.
98. AyRon
R Fife @ 97:

I know it was Kadere...I was joking! :p
100. AyRon
"d'oh" is from the Old Tongue meaning "Excuse me good sir, I seem to have erred." But, like all Old Tongue terms, it means so much more...

Homer: D'oh!
Lisa: A deer!
Marge: A female deer!
101. tearl
R.Fife @45 wrote

...and Aviendha "hates him so much she falls in love with him"? WTF.

birgit @95 responded

Avi sees in the Wise One ter'angreal that she will fall in love with Rand and hates it. She wants to remain a Maiden, not become a channeler / wife.

Avi IS in love with Rand. The "I hate you" act is her attempt to deal with conflicting Honors, her honor to the Aiel and her Word to Elayne. When Avi makes the statement, that night she goes to the Wise Ones and asks for punishment because she had lied.

In the "Far Snows", she finally surrenders to her fate and accepts the Honor to the Aiel. This makes her have HUGE toh to Elayne, which is addressed when she goes to Salidar.
Andrew Green
102. aegreen
Like some of the previous posters, the scene with Ingtar has always moved me too, and it is one of my favorite in WoT. RJ was at his best here.

We get to see Ingtar as his confident and relaxed self in EotW, and then we observe in TGH as he becomes taut and troubled, the external results of his internal struggle. Perhaps the "flicker" scene with the Portal Stone was his turning point, where he experienced the consequences of every action he could have ever made.

Saviors of the world and battles with the Power are always thrilling, but I think William Faulker put it best when he said "the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself . . . alone can make good writing."

Also, once a Darkfriend, not always a Darkfriend. "No man can walk so long in the Shadow that he cannot again come to the Light." Maybe that will have some significance in AMoL.
craig miller
103. craigpmiller
I understand she'll fight to the death before she let's another sul'dam get near her, but all she does here is make it more likely that she'll have to."

Don't be too hard on Eg, I always felt she was stressed to the MAX and, at that moment, not really in her right mind. Ever see someone strike out in fear, even when the odds are against them?

"And it's men who think with the hair on their chests?"
- The sexual politics in Randland just tells me that men and women are the same, they just can't see it.

Leigh - Thanx again - you ROCK!!
104. Sidetrack'd
(these comments are not directed at anyone, necessarily - just giving credit to those who sparked my thoughts)

Lsana@14 I would think that if proto-versions of the heroes already spun out showed up, we'd have gotten a proto-dragon.

I agree with everyone saying that if they're spun out, the Horn can't call them . But - also pretty sure, being who they are, the ones that are out in the real world will still be at the Battle of their own volition. That'll make for some curious connections - who among the walking-and-talking might the Horn-called folks recognize besides LTT? After the lines about Rand's "feeling threads" to Egwene/the others, I can't help but think there's something more than hormones or zip codes tying them together...

What I would like to see, however, is one of our current heroes to get killed then show up at the battle tied to the horn.

What if this is what happens at Shayol Ghul? Rand gets offed ("blood on the rocks"), Mat puts two and two together, blows the Horn and calls Rand back along with the rest. As long as someone has the banner - game on! They could "follow the Dragon" then for sure...

MadlyHatter@15 - I'm guessing Moiraine thought Rand would need the banner because there's probably some little vague blurb in the Prophecies about the Dragon Reborn needing his banner, or people following it, or somesuch.

Five ride forth, and four return. Above the watchers shall he proclaim himself, bannered cross the sky in fire

Honestly - is there a word besides "the" in the Cycle that can be trusted to be there at face value? bannered?!? That combined with the Horn and banner being stored together by the AS who went to all the trouble of hiding them and filtering some clean saidin to soak them in (was the pool there for Rand to eventually use, or was it a 'battery' of juice to power the Green Man's ever-moving home?). This should've been enough to give Moiraine a strong hunch, if nothing else, after spending 20(?) years researching the Dragon and the prophecy.

Daergar@31 - She may not have the super-powers granted by the horn (like lighting a boat on fire with a silver arrow) but she's still a badass sniper with a bow.

Do we know that it was Birgitte's arrow that caused the fire? It sure sounded like it, but there was no mention of any other unnatural powers amongst the Heroes during the battle. Which brings out another BIG question I have - were there any channelers among the called Heroes? Is that possible? If so, there should've been a lot more fireworks during the battle, whether mentioned passingly in Rand's POV of the battle, or later by Mat/others. If not, why not? There aren't too many ground-rule elements like this in WoT without some basis/explanation...

Paracelsus@38 - Can the heroes fight for anyone else besides the Dragon?...It seems that the heroes wouldn't have fought for someone else that had blown the horn such as Fain, a darkfriend, or a Forsaken.

When the Light calls, it's all-for-one, but the dark is always every-man-for-himself. Maybe the Horn works differently for the dark, since there's no loyalty/etc amongst them? I thought it was pretty clearly stated somewhere (or later by Birgitte?) that the Heroes fight for whoever calls. Could've just been bad intel, but I don't think RJ would use that device to flip the tables on us too many times - that'd be too easy/contrived/annoying/etc...

Garstzilla@49 - Ok all the Hawkwing rules for horn and the banner again this is why I think he is the voice at the end of TEOTW telling Rand then that "it is not here" the horn or banner. Can't have a Last Battle with out the ol horn and banner.

I don't know if it was just the adrenaline rush of the sequence or what, but I've never really objectively looked at those lines in EoTW. My original impression was that the voice was the Creator. Now, I can see where it could easily be Shai'tan. "I will take no part" sounds like the Creator. "only the chosen one" could go either way, since the Forsaken are also the Chosen, and we have Rand and Ishy both on hand, but I lean toward thinking it's Rand since it's "one" and he hasn't actually joined Ishy on screen yet.

"It is not here" is just W.T.F.?!? "IT" does not appear to have anything to do with just the Horn or the banner, nor can it apply to the multiple seals. What else is there??!?

"not here" can easily be the venue, since Rand moves to T'A'R or thereabouts right after, but that could be just coincidence. "not here" could be a restatement of "it's not here". what is "it"?!? This now bugs me way more than Asmodean...

laframboise@59 - As far as appearing 'in the sky' over Falme, what if it's some kind of projection? Some unknown OP thing?

Not unknown, necessarily - could simply be a projection done with Illusion like Giant Moiraine stepping over the Baerlon town wall? What or Who is doing it is then the question, and Why? Well, Moiraine did show up conveniently right after that... ;-) Although, Lanfear was there even earlier, and we know she wants to glorify Rand/LTT at every opportunity. What better way than to project him up in the sky for everyone to see?

Wetlander@66 - Cain is spun out between now and then, so he'll be running around as a terrible two about then.

Another point I've pondered a long time - who says that when a Hero is "spun out" that they're newborns? Why couldn't the wheel spin them out simply by dropping them off, fully grown, just outside of town? Everyone will think they're just a stranger wandering through and never think about it again. jsherry@70 mentions Birgitte talking about being a newborn, but since the Heroes never know they're Heroes when they're spun out, who's to say they couldn't have some spare childhood memories stuffed in their skulls, 'finn-style? I dunno - this thought's stretched a bit. Maybe this'll be clearer when we get later in the books.

D24gon@73 - So, the DO cannot cause a certain soul to be reborn, just manipulate/persuade existing souls to his side.

Umm, 'master of the grave' and stuffing Ishy/Lanfear/etc back into new bodies - DO can pick and choose souls to shuffle around as he pleases. And the recycled Forsaken shows that souls can be stuffed in grown bodies - possible support for the crazy theory above? :-/

toddywatts@77 - Maybe there's a whole different set of bad guys bound to the horn?

Hadn't considered that - interesting possibility? But is it likely when we already have one set of semi-eternal Bad Guys in the immortal Forsaken?

AlfredTungstan@85 - The Eye is also strongly linked to TAR. That is why it always appears where it is most 'needed'. The girls find out about the importance of 'need' in TAR when they are searching for the Bowl of Winds.

Whoa. That's a really cool connection. Could be...

aegreen@102 - Also, once a Darkfriend, not always a Darkfriend. "No man can walk so long in the Shadow that he cannot again come to the Light." Maybe that will have some significance in AMoL.

Isn't this the only redemption of a darkfriend we've seen in the entire series? Either RJ is a little more grim than we think, or there should be some more of this in AMoL (I hope, anyway)...
105. Sidetrack'd
wow. sorry for that - I just got through part 8 and onto 9 today, and that got really long...
106. Hugin
I also love this section. Both the Rand/Ingtar and Hurin/Hawkwing scenes are among those that I eagerly anticipate for the entire book.

It is a shame that Hurin just goes back to Shienar and is never heard from again. I mean, he gets the most awesomest-est scene of any minor character in the whole series so far. Artur F*in' Hawkwing, called back by the f*in' Horn of Valere, pats you on the back, invites you to ride into battle at his side, and implies that there's a chance you'll be added to the roll of heroes bound the Horn -- come on, after that you can't just fade from the story! Nothing against Juilin Sandar P.I., but we shouldn't need another thief catcher in the story.

I agree that the Heroes of the Horn stay on the shelf in T'A'R until they are spun out. Once spun out they aren't in T'A'R anymore and therefore can't be called by the Horn. I always figured that they have the form of their last incarnation while in T'A'R (Birgit certainly does -- we don't see her in there as Bridget, Brigitta, or any other prior incarnation) and thus use those names when the all get together for parties at the Heroes' frat house in the dreamworld. They have memories of other previous incarnations, and kid each other about them over a shot or ten of oosquai, but they have to go by some name and so they take the one that matches their appearance. So when Rand dies, he'll go to the Tau Alpha Rho parties as Rand, but he'll also have a full set of memories from LTT and other previous incarnations and the other Heroes can still kid him about how he dumped Lanfear for Ilyena but also about his menage-a-quatre with Min, Avi and Elayne.

The battle in the sky bugs me also, but I just choose not to dwell on it too much. These few chapters are, for me, among the best writing of the series so I just sit back and enjoy.

Looking forward to TDR starting next week -- that might be my favorite book of the series. Keep up the good work, Leigh.
107. sidetrack'd
errrr. lost part of this one:

aegreen@102 - Also, once a Darkfriend, not always a Darkfriend. "No man can walk so long in the Shadow that he cannot again come to the Light." Maybe that will have some significance in AMoL.

Isn't Ingtar the only redemption of a darkfriend we've seen in the entire series? Either RJ is a little more grim than we think, or there should be some more of this in AMoL (I hope, anyway)...
108. Liesel
@ Sidetrack'd @104

Which brings out another BIG question I have - were there any channelers among the called Heroes? Is that possible?

IMHO while they are Heroes, no they cannot channel (since they're not really "alive" at this point). But I think that they could be spun out as a channeler, if the Age has channelers/needs a Hero who can also channel (i.e. Rand would never survive if he couldn't channel in the current Age, but in another age that might not be an issue). If I remember correctly, Brigitte never mentions a life where she could channel, so maybe its only certain Heroes? They each have their appointed role (Great king, badass warrior, savior of the world, etc.), and many of these roles require other skills.
Abdel Masdoua
109. TheDarkOne
That last part of TGH is totally Made Of Awesome!
The Rand/Ingtar moment is really intense!
Nynaeve pretty much rocks all the way, and that bit with Hawkwing/Hurin was soooo great!

Still a little woozy on the physics of the all 'battle-in-the-sky-thing' but that's a fantastic ending to the book anyway so I'm not gonna quibble over it...
(But I enjoy all your theories! Keep it up you guys!!! ^^ )

@ Liesel 108:

I think that you just put your finger on a very good point here!
IMHO, I'd have to say that I always figured that Tarmon Gaidon (sp?) would be fought on different levels:

Obviously, the channelers, Big Bad Forsaken Inc (teaming up with Black Ajah Panthers) vs Aes Sedai & Co.

Rand will fight the Last Battle at Shayol Ghul (by which means? Well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it!)

And of course, the regular guys vs Trollocs and whatever the Blight will offer!

That's why I strongly believe that the Heroes aren't linked to the OP in any way, no channelers amongst their ranks, but they are here to (at least) even the scale of the regular guys' Battle...

That's also why I don't think that Rand, Perrin or Mat are part of those Heroes : they are supposed to be there in the flesh to do their job (read taveren-ness and al).

In that scenario (in which I could be wrong!), I really don't see how any Horn-bonded Heroes could be a channeler...

What do you think?
110. hummingbird
@39 Egglie

As much as I am really intrigued by the idea that Mat and Perrin are new heros in the making (heroletts as the case may be), how do you explain Mat knowing the old tongue?

Though it may still be that they are souls spun out again by the wheel that were NOT heros in their other life(s).... we saw in the whole flicker moment that somany variations to a life are possible...

HMMM... much to think about.
111. Hugin
One final question, although I know this thread is petering out at this point. When Rand is fighting Ishy and takes his exposed stance (which Ingtar earlier mocked), am I the only one who has a bit of a Karate Kid flashback? That's not to say that the end of this book isn't made of awesome, but I just had to ask.
112. gagecreedlives
Mark-S@8 It still makes me think of the white ajah more then anything but you could be onto something.

Novak@10 maybe its just a special little power up that the creator left.

odigity@40 I cant wait for that reunion either another awesome reunion will be when Mat meets his dad. Or even Egwene for that matter. Hey mum and dad I’m like totally the amrylin seat now.

QuantumEve@47 I imagine a few heroes would come in handy after the last battle. The pattern will be at its weakest point during Tarmon Gaidon and might need some serious correcting afterwards. Plus theres still the whole seanchan wanting to conquer the world. The last battle done but the world not done with battle.

RJ has said Mat was almost dead at Rhuidean but not actually dead.

Lanfear goes ballistic when she gets told another woman is sleeping with Rand. With Min at the moment its obvious Rand is not up to (pun probably not intended) doing anything but need healing. And she is arrogant enough to assume that Min wont dare cross the mighty Lanfear. Or maybe she just doesnt view women who cant channel as a threat.

Regarding Egwenes little brain explosion with the soldiers, I think its very understandable that she goes a little crazy considering what she has been through. I imagine it would be slightly psychologically scarring.She explodes again in the next book when Bornhald makes an empty threat to her. Its very similar to the claustrophobia Rand develops after being kept in a box.

My big problem with the ending is that the one power doesn’t affect the heroes when they are called back so how are the seanchan any chance of beating them? How could the battle flow back and forth based on the Rand/Ishy fight if the heroes cant be harmed?

And who says Birgitte will survive to the last battle. Maybe she gets offed and than comes back when the horn is sounded. If it is sounded again maybe the horn has served its purpose story wise and wont be used. The book only says it must be found before the last battle but not that it needs to be there.

Hugin@111 Massive karate kid flashback.
113. Egglie
85. AlfredTungstan

I like your theory about the horn and the eye being linked to TAR, its probably the best justification for events that I have read. I also suspect we will see more of this kid of thing at the last battle. Actually I think it would be pretty dull if Pedron Nialls idea turned out to correct and the last battle was all just trollocs and dreadlords and nothing more exciting. I am not saying that its not a cool ending of the book there is just something about it that smacks of "how do I get them out of this mess? make up some cool stuff!" I would prefer it if things were a bit more integrated with the rest of the story.

110. hummingbird
If Mat and Perrin are re-born heroes, who do you think they are? Where are the heroes mentioned in the text who would fit with their characters and tasks? It is hammered home that Rand is the dragon re-born but I cant see anything specific that points to M & P being re-born souls. It would be a major plot point and I think that if it were the case we would have seen some strong hints as to their identities in the text by now.

Mat knows some of the old tongue because he is a direct descendant of Manetheren, later he knows more because of the dagger and more again because of the finns. Also because its cool! and his character has to have something intriguing about him. It doesn't seem any more odd to me than the re-appearance of the old talents in Min and Perrin and others.

His memories of battles are too numerous to be from his past lives as a hero, he remembers fighting against Hawkwing and with him. We also know from KoD that these memories come from the finns.

Of course I could be wrong, but I would be disappointed to find out that Mat and Perrin are the re-born souls of heroes that we have never even heard mentioned in the text.

I don't see that Artur Hawkwing would talk to Rand as LTT but carefully avoid even acknowledging two other comrades. That does not make any sense to me.

Perrin is the wolf king who is mentioned in prophesy but so far as I know is not a legendary hero bound to the horn. (happy to be proved wrong if someone has a quote).

Anyway its just my thoughts - and I almost never manage to guess these things correctly!
114. Hugin
@Egglie 113 Re: Mat and Perrin:
We just don't get any info one way or the other about whether Mat and Perrin could be linked to the Horn. We only ever hear about a half dozen names of Heroes anyway -- Hawkwing, Rogosh, Birgit, Gaidal Cain, the twins -- and we know there are many more than that. I always wished we got more names, because I find them and their stories very cool. So I like the theory, but the evidence is totally inconclusive either way.
Andrew Green
115. aegreen
Sidetrack'd @ 104
I think you're right. The phrase "No man can walk so long in the Shadow..." is thrown around a lot early on, especially in Whitecloak chapters (and we know how successful they are), but I think Ingtar is the only real redemption scene in the books. Asmodean came arguably close, or at least some of us would like to think so.

Assuming Rand is successful at Tarmon Gai'don, I would like to think the question of "what to do with all these Darkfriends" will be broached afterward. I would also like that we would see some characters turn to the Light before that too, but who knows. :)
Richard Fife
116. R.Fife
I almost think the "Turn back to the light" thing is a red herring. We have seen what happens to darkfriends who try to forget their oaths. Usually nothing pleasant. Heck, the shadow has a better track record killing its own than killing heros. The only case (or case and a half) of redemption so far has been met with sudden and painful death. Although, I am not of the camp that Asmo was a good guy. His story about the man reaching for the grass in the cliff just is too poignent. And considering, in Asmo's personal timeline, it hasn't been much more than a decade since he sent his mom to a fate worse than death and mutilated his artistic rivals, well, yeah. (The rivals thing coming from the World of WoT book).

Although, I have a question of wonder. If a male channeler pre book-9 swore to the dark one, did he get protection from the taint? Moot now, so to speak, but I have been wondering.

As to what to do with surviving Darkfriends post TG? Call me bitter, but I say kill em all and let the wheel sort them out. It would seem that there is no such thing as a fair-weather darkfriend. You are corrupt as green snot or you walk in the Light. No half-assing it.
117. hoping to be of the blood
re: surviving darkfriends
Instead of killing them, sentence them to 5-10 useless labor with the Wise One's, a fate worse than death
craig miller
118. craigpmiller
am I the only one who has a bit of a Karate Kid flashback?

Err. Please. As if Karate Kid was the only example of a hero taking the blade of their opponent to achieve a victory, especially as Rand thought he was fighting the DO. He thought that this was the end (foolish sheepherder).
Richard Fife
119. R.Fife
Actually, when you read the description of Heron Wading the Rushes, he is up on one foot, completely open. Not exactly the Crane stance, but does kinda reminesce of it. I can see where Hugin is coming from. Granted, Daniel didn't actually take a painful blow from it, though.

Personally, I got the end of "Excalibur"/La Morte D'Arthur in my head. Walking up the spear to deliver a death blow. So goose-bumpy. Yes, I know the movie got the book backwards there, but still cool.
120. Randalator

Do we know that it was Birgitte's arrow that caused the fire? It sure sounded like it, but there was no mention of any other unnatural powers amongst the Heroes during the battle.

You mean apart from a bunch of never-aging, never-dying heroes riding in from the unseen World of Dreams to save the day when someone blows a certain Horn? Or the fact that the result of their battle depended on a duel in the clouds? Oh yeah, and Birgitte rode across the water! There was only one dude I know of who could walk on water and he was nailed to a cross for pulling it off.

So, in the undying words of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "I'm not exactly quaking in my stylish yet affordable boots, but there's definitely something unnatural going on here." *nudge nudge* *grin*
121. krukurr
I remember reading a piece from one of the books that only a person with true intentions (or something like that) could only blow the horn. So, this bit about only following the Dragon Banner is somewhat confusing, but it seems to go with what I remmeber reading that the horn could be blew only by someone with the correct intentions to call the heroes back.

Gaidal Cain as Uno ...Does it say anywhere with certainity that a hero of the horn has to always be the same person? NO, IN fact the series mentions several times that the person will be different...take all the stories of Birgitte. She has many stories wrote about her, as she says, but all have her with a bow. Why cant the hero change in time like Birgitte has said she has in her past lives???
From the way I have interpited the readings, it seems to me that Birgitte will show up as her current self in the series in her present life/condition but she will not have as many as her skills as she once had. Which to me there should be no real question on this.
My question seems like Uno might be Gaidal the pattern , T-A-R and current time can be one and the same or different. So why not Uno and Gaidal be the one and the same person as Uno? As time in T-A-R is not the same as in the real we have been told in the series.

Egwene; good for her and the fire power!!!
This little discussion seems to remind me of wether how one feels about war in general...War is hell, but sometimes necessary, and in order to win a war, one has to defeat one's enemies, no matter who they are...she could have lost the cause here though by her over-eagerness to kill them "Bastards"!!!ha ha ha...

“ Egwene was one piece, one thread of the cord that made his life, but there were others, and he could feel them threatened.”

This seems to bring up the fact that many of the people are tied together by the pattern in some indirect way not really obvious in some ways..

Tarmon Gaidin and Herad Fel..from later in the series.
He had his "theory" about how the wheel of time comes around to a circle and that from one age to another the cycle has to be completed in order for the next age to begin, but an age seems to be that by name..."the pattern to an extent weaves random threads, but some threads are more strong than others and are very hard to change from one age to the next"..Or so it was something like that...
and he mentioned the bore...that if it was sealed, it had to be opened, then closed, etc, etc...

So as the opening of the books go, "The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass,leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, An Age yet to come, An Age long past..." This passage and how T-A-R works seems to explain alot about the memories of the heroes and/or the living and T-A-R...The heroes in T-A-R, are able to remember their past lives. So are the Forsaken, and since they were sealed up and in a "dream-like state within the bore, it is just as if they were never dead..and just as they are human-like, and it is easier to talk about their current lives than from their, it seems more reasonable that they would refer to the DR as Lewis Therin than by his new name...just like the way we humans in real life are often more comfortable in calling something or someone by the name we are used to hearing it called...

As it has been demonstrated in the series, when one goes trough a ter'angreal or the portal stones, that their lives are shown in many different possibilities. So, why is it that a particular person has to be spun out the same in every age??? Or Mat remembering being on both sides of a war? hhhmmm??? But on the other hand, the wheel seems to have certain peoples picked out for greatness.....Gaidal Cain, Birgitte, Rand, and the others that come back as a different person, but still the same being in T-A-R or the DR for example...But I remember seeing nothing saying that the same charactor reverses his roles...

I Say that the wheel has spun out some hereos a few being out in the real world would undoubtedly help in the fight against the DO...They have their past memories, but bodies in real world are of different people and called upon as the patern demands.
122. Randalator

The "true intentions"-thingamabob is prerequisite for finding the Eye of the World not blowing the Horn of Valere.

To the whole Heroes-already-spun-out-Uno-is-Gaidal-Cain-theory: Nuh-uh.

And nuh-uh I say for a very simple reason: While time flows differently in T'A'R than it does in the real world it never flows backwards. By KoD Gaidal Cain has been out of T'A'R for about a year max. if at all. Which means he can't be older than that.

And that's the final word by Robert Jordan himself (see the WOT-FAQ on Gaidal Cain). So if any of the Heroes have been spun out since we last saw them even the oldest among them can't be more than aproximately two years old.

You're right however that a spun out Hero isn't spun out as Gaidal Cain for example but as Joe the Plumber or Danny the Vito or any other random guy who just so happens to be destined to be one of the most awesome two-blade-wielding badasses ever. And butt-ugly. But he'll end up with a beautiful badass chick, too. So that's a plus...
123. michaelt
While reading the comments some brain synapses fired (or misfired depending on what you think of my theory). What if there was AoL public address ter'angreal located at Falme that is keyed to the DR, similar to the shield around Callandor? Some Aes Sedai stashed it there so that when the DR channels it will "broadcast" what he is doing to the surrounding area. It would have a feedback aspect to it so the "speaker" can see his "audience" as well. It could work on a similar principle to the one Ishy used at the DF Social to convey orders. The only supporting statements from the books I have are:

1) Verin says they may be able to sense a man channeling. Being the sneaky Brown that she is, does she know that it is there, and if Rand channels, everyone in the surrounding area will get a good look at him?

2)The prophecies, which were written before Hawkwing's time, mention M'avron, so the people there were watching for something before they were watching for Hawkwing's arimies to come back. Could it be they were there to watch for the coming of the Dragon Reborn?

Granted, it is a stretch, but it does help explain Rand's fight in a way that conforms to the rest of WoT laws. Comments?
124. Wetlander
krukurr @121 and Randalator @122:

Moiraine quotes the "Prophecy of the Horn" in chapter 5, and Ingtar says it again in chapter 46: "Let whosoever sounds me think not of glory, but only of salvation."

No indication as to what happens if you're thinking of glory... except that Agelmar couldn't wait to hand it off to the Amyrlin to remove the temptation. Obviously he assumed it would be serious badness, one way or another.
125. Wetlander
michaelt @123:

Cool theory. I like it. :-) Not that I'm basing my understanding of WoT on it, you realize...
126. Randalator

I think what we saw employed by Ishy during the DF social to convey orders was just plain run-off-the-mill compulsion and illusion.

And with Verin being from Far Madding the easiest solution is that she fears there might be some ter'angreal similar to the guardian around. Which in the case of Cadsuane turns out to be true later.

Concerning the M'avron bit from the Karaethon Cycle: The thing with prophecies is that they by their very nature reference things that do not yet exist. For example it specifically mentioned the Daughter of the Nine Moons ("He shall bind the nine moons to serve him.") but the Seanchan empire didn't exist even till long after Hawkwings death.

This PA-ter'angreal of yours though is a very neat concept totally in line with AoL lore (Man, I would like to see TOOL on a PA-ter'angreal. That would be sweet!) and it explains the inconsistencies with TEOTW and TGH.

So yay for the idea which isn't so much of a stretch at all. The only stretch is your supporting evidence or lackt thereof.


Wow, that totally escaped me. But still salvation from a DF point of view would still be salvation technically. We interpret it as deliverance from evil because ultimately we're good. But if a DF blew the horn thinking only "We are losing. Please, dear Horn, save us! Deliver us from those horrible little goody two-shoes!" it might still work. Those Prophecies are sneaky little bastards...
Abdel Masdoua
127. TheDarkOne
@ michaelt 123

Pretty interesting theory that you've got here!
Never thought of that before and it would explain why the DR needed to be in Falme while at the same time being in agreement with the OP physics...

Has anyone ever expressed that theory before or mentioned it to RJ?

For that matter, what is the Word of God on Falme?
128. michaelt
With regards to the Heroes coming to fight for a Darkfriend.

From Rand's first(?) "life" in the Worlds of If, the Trollocs that invade the Two Rivers march under a banner that is completely black. Rand feels that this is what he was meant to fight in his life and shoots all of his arrows at the banner. I think that this banner is the DO equivalent of the Dragon Banner. If a Darkfriend/Shadowspawn were to blow the horn they would need the black banner to get the heroes to fight for the DO.

Randalator @126 -
I purposely didn't call them supporting "evidences", because they definitely aren't evidences. They were just statements that could be twisted around to prove to myself that I wasn't completely out in left field. Good point on the nine moons prophecy, though. I'd like to redact my saying that the prophecies support my theory. :)
129. Sidetrack'd
Randalator@120 - So, in the undying words of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "I'm not exactly quaking in my stylish yet affordable boots, but there's definitely something unnatural going on here." *nudge nudge* *grin*

Well, what I intended was asking if any Heroes could channel. I can easily write off riding across open water or clouds/fog/etc to their 'ghostly' state. The seemingly plain, silver arrow igniting a boat implies something a little beyond that, and if the Heroes in general were capable of things like that, there should've been more mentioned, even the passing POVs during the battle would note platoons bursting into flame, disintegrating, etc. Instead, all we hear about is the 'tide' washing back and forth... I dunno - that one piece just doesn't fit, to me.

Funny - I stumbled across and watched the first few minutes of that exact episode of Buffy yesterday, sometime shortly after posting here. Anya's "IT MUST BE BUNNIES!" still cracks me up. *grin*
Abdel Masdoua
130. TheDarkOne
And to keep up with the Buffy-spirit, don't forget "I've got a theory!" which fits nicely here!

Buffy! Ah, the old days...^^
131. Sidetrack'd
ROFLMAO - nail.on.head.
132. roll the dice
@ 69
Does it count when Matt is saved from the hounds by the balefire erasing them before they dug through the doors and scratched him, oh yeah hasnt happened yet.
133. boquaz
Lews Theron may be the "archetype" name for the Dragon. I'm pretty sure it's a play on "Lucifer"

Of course, that makes no sense with "Rand al'Thor," but it conveys the right kind of legend feeling to me (perhaps one where Lews fought on the wrong side?)

That everyone calls him LTT has always bothered me too. What's his "real" name?
134. gagecreedlives

I do remember reading a while back that there was a christian group accusing RJ of being a satanist. Id forgetten all about it until I read your post. They brought up the Lewis Therin/Lucifer and something about the 12 apostles and the 12 forsaken. I cant really remember more detail but if anyone is actually interested I will see if I can find it.
craig miller
135. craigpmiller
R.Fife@119 You're right. I wasn't actually thinking of the stance, just the act.

Randalator "Party in my eye socket and you're all invited!"
136. birgit
I found a solution to the problem of Arthur - Dragon:
Arthur Pendragon (= Hawkwing) only got his name from Uther Pendragon (= Rand) who was the Dragon in that age.
- -
137. shadowsfell
First post for me, yay. Leigh, awesome thing you got going here, love it! Keep em coming :)


"Lews Therin Telamon" = the name of the dragon during AoL, it was his real name; its used a lot throughout the series. its the dude in rands head, in later books. its the name the Forsaken knew the Dragon as.


Both LTT and Hawkwing have been spun out many times, but I doubt hawkwing would ever have been the "dragon" persona. RJ has said that channeling has a "soul" component, that Hawkwing presumably doesn't have. its also my understanding that in the WoT, people tied to the wheel always play the "same role" each incarnation. I.e. - LTT's soul is always a "dragon" persona, Hawkwing is always the general/king/etc.
138. markp
Nynaeve, is pretty cool in this book she doesn't get annoying until later (the next book?). Egwene acts in a totally understandable way even if she did completely the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Elayne proves she doesn't really know Rand when she says he would take revenge against the sul'dam. He probably wouldn't yet and probably wouldn't later on either because he avoids killing women (even if they are about to kill him)

skip all the big events

Lanfear probably just though Min was insignificant and needed someone to look after Rand. But I wonder how much of what Min was saying she over heard.
Why did Byar put so much blame on Perin, when he didn't even see him and Bornhald wasn't sure? Did he just have no other names to blame?
Dale Metzger
139. Metzg31
Mark @ 138

I think Byar has so much hate towards "darkfriend Perrin" built up inside him, that he wouldn't give a second thought to whether it was actually him.

The fact that other "darkfriends" (Moiraine, Lan, Nynaeve) took such risks to rescue Perrin from the middle of a whitecloak camp surely means that he is a very powerful darkfriend, and capable of almost anything. I find it interesting that the whitecloaks as a whole tend to hold darkfriends with a sort of despised reverence. They know that there are very few things a darkfriend won't do, but they also seem to think that there are very few things that darkfriends can't do. They almost perceive them as superhuman.

I think that this misconception has something to do with why Byar is so adamant that Perrin is to blame in Bornhald's death. It is also why WCs are so brutal and swift in exacting justice on those they name "darkfriend". When facing an enemy with seemingly limitless abilities, you're likely to lay everything at their feet and punish them as much swiftly and brutally as possible. (Note: I believe that even the worst criminals deserve their day in a fair and unbiased court and that they still retain their right to not be tortured. However, with an ideology as mixed up as the WCs, I can see how their thought process might work.)

Anyway, that was a lot of explanation, when the real reason is probably Taveren-based.

Sorry for the ramblings.

140. boquaz

That's highly entertaining. Also, "Therion" is Greek for "beast" (as in, the number of), and was the name taken by a famous crazy occultist in the early 20th century. I'm sure RJ sprinkled these nuggets around purposefully. I would imagine he found them hilarious.

The whole confusing question started by HeWhoComesWithTheNoon@48 remains unanswered.
141. Dr Hoo
Just to add my 2 cents - loved the end of TGH but was left confused / a bit unfulfilled on two points, one of which was mentioned by Leigh. Two of the major plot lines building to the climax in Falme were Fain waiting to battle with Rand, and Domon preparing his ship to take the Supergirls away by sea. Then neither one happens. Fain is simply never mentioned again this book (wtf?) despite supposedly hanging out waiting to ambush Rand, and we get one throwaway line about Domon's ship maybe heading out to sea but noone seems to notice or really care despite this being the main escape plan. Then neither guy shows up again until suddenly they pop back into the storyline in TSR. Given RJ's penchant for neatly tying up loose ends and having a plan for everything, this seemed very out of character for him.

Does anyone else always read "Hawkwing" as "Hawkwind"? I always feel surprised when I actually see the 'g' on the end there, like it is a misprint.

Regarding the earlier George RR Martin comments (from Uncrowned?), after the anticipation waiting for new WoT books to come out, and the almost unbearable anguish waiting for the Black Company series to be resolved (I had vivid dreams for years about Lady's child being kidnapped at the end of the First Book of the South before Cook finally got back to that series), I decided not to start any similar series until everything is published. So the Martin books are all sitting on my shelf unread, waiting for him to finish writing.
142. Rikka
I continually read Hawkwing as Hawking. I always have to check which one it actually is when I type it.
143. Erdrick
Ahhh! It's taking me forever to catch up! Oh well, here's my contribution to the discussion, even though hardly anybody reads these back posts anyway.

The weird things at the end of this book don't bother me, nor do they seem inconsistent. We are comfortable with the OP by now, and even treat it as a science, but there are still very weird things in the most recent books. I used to take reference to "the Pattern" was strictly a metaphor, but apparently there really is a Pattern that can "thin," or even be "unwoven." How does someone dissolve into beetles? How do palace blueprints suddenly change? How does Slayer phase in and out of TAR?

I agree with Alfred @85 that the Horn somehow merges a part of the waking world with TAR, so the battle appearing in the sky could easily be understood as an effect of this merging. What I don't get, however, is how the battles can be connected. How do the heroes get driven back? Post 112 mentioned this, but I don't see any answers posted.

Speaking of the Horn, Rebecca Starr @ 71 mentioned thinking the Horn is much older then the AoL. I thought so too, until I remembered the inscription on the Horn. It's in the Old Tongue. I don't want to bring up the linguistics debate again, but even if we allow the liberties RJ takes with language development...even fantasy can only go so far. I take that last part back; we have fantasy books where the entire universe speaks English (sans the babel fish), so never mind.

Last question; whatever happened to the stump of Tam's sword (and his scabbard for that matter)? Wouldn't it be much cooler if Rand's current Avi gifted blade was attached to his old sword hilt, instead of the plain boarhide one he is using? I'm just saying...
144. Erdrick
Oh, and to help out Egglie @ 39, here's the reference to the Age ending twins:

"So few, but all those the Wheel would spin out again and again to guide the Pattern, to make legend and myth. Mikel of the Pure Heart, and Shivan the Hunter behind his black mask. He was said to herald the end of Ages, the destruction of what had been and the birth of what was to be, he and his sister Calian, called the Chooser, who rode red-masked at his side." (CoS:ch21)

P.S. Shivan and Calian = Shiva and Kali
145. toddywatts
@81 & @88 Well, phooey. Fell for a red herring. I guess every generation has the incredibly-ugly-gets-all-the-girls-guy (Sean Penn?)

BTW, has anyone else had a character that looks like a 90 degree angle, almost like a backwards 7 or an upside-down L in the word verification? It's come up twice now and I have no idea what it is.
John Massey
146. subwoofer
Yup this is a goodder! Hurin- shoulda been in R Kelly's "World's greatest". Mat.... shoot firt, shoot some more, then maybe think about what you shot... didn't think blowing the horn would complicate the heck out of your life... the boy needs beats! As for MoL- I told you, it has to be the mother of all books to sum up all the stuff RJ left out there... things got so random that it should be 2 to get to the battle, the other for all the mayhem that ensues... and then back to the Shire and whatnot.
147. malison
My only question is what's wrong with Ishy here? He thinks Rand blew the horn while Mat is still sitting down there with all the heroes and blowing for all he's worth. Is Ishy deaf?
148. Machin Shin
Egwene: I suppose it says something that I didn’t find fault at all with her retaliation against Renna (there may have been, um, cheering involved, actually), but wanted to smack her into next week for blowing up the Seanchan soldiers. Skulking, Egwene. It’s a word, look it up.

I have been to war, been in battles, spent years in the war against drugs, seen death and killed. Egwene's reaction was normal and to be expected. This kind of anger/hate/fear can not be shed at a moments notice. It takes time to regain logic and return to yourself.
149. birgit
BTW, has anyone else had a character that looks like a 90 degree angle, almost like a backwards 7 or an upside-down L in the word verification? It's come up twice now and I have no idea what it is.

Sounds like the Greek letter gamma / Cyrillic G.
150. u_turnagain
Do we know if LTT ever got to join the TAR club after the kinslaying? Perhaps LTT was imprisoned at tEotW in the power? I ask because as someone brought up, Birgitte has not started talking to other Birgitte's in her head, even though she is becoming just like the other girls (save her keen fashion sense). I do think birgitte will die and be reborn so she can be with Gaidal, and that makes me wonder, maybe Birgitte was snatched from the pattern so Jordan could kill an important character at TG?

Even bigger what if...
What if Mat and Rand and Perrin are the dragon reborn? That would be quite the twist. the fact that Mat betrays Rand in his if lives or memories does not necessarily prevent this. One can betray oneself fairly easily. There's no question the Dragon is in Rand's head, but that dragon has not necessarily been reborn...

I'm just sayin'
Richard Fife
151. R.Fife
eh, I think from how RJ describes souls, etc, the Dragon-soul had to be free to be reborn into Rand at the moment of birth. It is ta'veran that comes and goes through life, not the soul.

Brigitte isn't going all crazy like cause I think she is more Kwistach Haderach/Reverend Mother style. She has a dominate personality (her last life) and the rest are just memories, kinda like Mat. Rand has a flat up contradictory personality fighting with his own, thus his problem.
152. b.a.h.
re: Artur Hawkwing following banner instead of horn

I think RJ was foretelling Matt's future roll as reincarnate great general and tactician; horn blower(Matt) should lead the heroes but dragon reborn supercedes the horn. I also get the idea that once blown it won't work for anyone else except for Matt.Atleast until his death.
153. wsean
"The Grave Is No Bar to My Call"-- that chapter title by itself gives me chills. :)

I am blessed with a rather poor memory at times--all three times I've read this book, I've been completely shocked at Ingtar being a DF. That's right. Surprised three times at the same plot twist. I still love the benediction Rand gives him. Awesome scene.
Richard Fife
154. R.Fife
The Great Hunt (To Everything You Want by Vertical Horizon)

Somewhere in Shienar
A wind tries to do in Rand
Fain's behind some bars, Amyrlin has a band
Boys only sit and pout
Trollocs go let Fain out
The horn is gone and fades are slick

The Daughter of Night, hint at Slayer
Won't see him til somewhere in book four
Verin is sneaky
Sneaky and real awesome
Boys go on the Hunt, girls to be trained

Ingtar is acting weird
Hurin somehow smells Fain
Perrin and Mat both think that Rand
is already insane
Moiraine takes a long trip
and the girls get on a boat
They're going to Tar Valon
Nynaeve is seasick.

Rand tries to get some sleep
Wakes up and finds Selene
She's the prettiest woman but really lame
He tries to resist her, she is a real burr
He steals the horn, and shadowkiller's named

Rand sees the choden kal
Selene will disappear
Rand plays some game in the city
Great Houses start to fear
they think that he's real good
Fain steals back Valere's Horn
Machin Shin covers his path
So Portal Stone Trip!

They all see their lives
they never survive
The Dark One says "I Win again!"
The Girls get kidnapped
Liandrin is a bitch
Now everyone is on Toman!

Seanchan are twisted
With the Damane
Egwene tries to fight but she can't escape
Bornhald follows Perrin
Bayle's pulled into a plan
Verin says that Five Ride Forth, Four Return

Rand kills a blademaster
Egwene's rescued by Min
Ingtar recovers the great horn
Then says he's a darkfriend
Rand says that it's alright
Then he gets caught inbetween
Whitecloak and Seanchan armies
So Mat blows the Horn

And the Great Heros do come
The Dragon Banner does fly
It gets all misty and Rand fight Ba'alzammon up in the sky
But Rand gets really hurt
and Lanfear says that he's hers
The Dragon has been proclaimed
Death is feather light

Duty's a mountain


A mountain
155. Mirax
I was never all that fond of Hurin, personally. He becomes a little too subservient, even before they enter Cairhien. I much prefer Juilin, not to mention, I doubt if Hurin would have followed/protected the supergirls. He would be more likely to always follow Rand, whereas it is extremely believable to have Juilin with them since he wants to atone for betraying them.

@39 Egglie - I believe when the Horn was blown, that time was suspended for all, except the group around the Horn. Also, I don't think that all of the Heroes fought in the air, just Rand. He mentions that one by one, the Heroes fell away until he was by himself, etc.
I don't really see -much- of a problem with Rand fighting in the sky with Ishy. The prophecy says he will proclaim himself above the Watchers, etc. Above - in the sky - prophecy/Pattern making it work. He was proclaimed as the DR by his fighting and by the Dragon Banner in the sky with him.

Someone was wondering previously why Moiraine said the Banner would be life or death. Once again, we go back to the prophecy. If he is going to proclaim himself, it would make sense that the Dragon Banner would be good for a proclamation. What if Rand showed up in Falme and Mo was still off doing whatever she was doing and hadn't given him the banner yet. That would screw up prophecy and potentially lead to Rand's death since the correct conditions weren't met.

@48 HeWhoComesWithTheNoon - This is jumping ahead, but it is what comes to mind. Herid Fel tells Rand that at some point the Bore has to be sealed as new. That way, people can kinda forget about the DO, then eventually they will accidentally bore a hole all over again, and the cycle continues. I would venture to say that every AOL there is a Savior, and every 3rd Age after that, there is a Savior Reborn. The AOL Savior doesn't ever have previous memories like what Rand ends up with. Therefore, the Reborn always gets stuck being seen as the previous guy, because that is who he is, just reborn. Birgitte can remember her old lives when she is in T'A'R, but says that she has no memory of them when she is in the flesh. She is always just herself, her spirit reborn in the same body. LTT was like that, just himself in his own body. Rand is a whole new spirit/body with LTT's thrown in. The heroes and Ishy recognize that LTT's spirit/soul is in there...

I'm going to stop for two reasons. 1. I don't think that anyone is reading this since I am sooo far behind. 2. I've begun to confuse myself and I'm not sure if it actually makes sense anymore. Oops!
156. cornichon

Someone's reading them because I'm obviously slightly further behind than you. I've been asking the same question as #48 on previous posts (but since I'm so far behind, my "previous" questions were actually subsequent; how's that for time travel paradox). I think the issue isn't that most people think of the Dragon as LTT; it's that the heroes and the Forsaken continue to refer to him as such. If they've been around to fight "times beyond number," they should all recognize that no one name is any more accurate than another. I'm glad to see others think it doesn't make sense. It was really starting to bug me that no one was answering my old posts or bringing it up on their own. Now, at least I can just sit back and know that it bugs others as well.
157. mike shupp
Mirax, Cornichon --

Just so you won't be last to speak here, of course.

Two thoughts on the demise of Ingtar: (1) It takes a bunch for something in fiction to affect me, and I don't get sentimental too often in dealing with the real world either, but I definitely had some moisture in my eyes when Rand listens to Ingtar's confession and gives him that benediction.

(2) Something no one has commented on; this scene was foreshadowed in chapter 10 (p179 of the pb) when Ingtar gives the same benediction to Changu and Nidao, the prison guards who everyone else assumes let Darkfriends into the keep at Fal Dara, because they saved Lord Agelmar at the battle at Tarwin's Gap. Rememberence and forgiveness and hope at that point are echoed with rememberance and forgiveness and hope when Ingtar too comes to the end of life. I find that deeply moving.
158. Gambit
Months behind, no one is reading, etc. Anyway.

I don't think the banner and Dragon are a necessary condition for the Heroes to fight, unless they are present.

Hawkwing said they would drive out the invaders, and seem poised to go... but then stopped, and said that something was holding him. After a moment, he seemed to realize what it must be: "Do you have the banner?" The banner was raised, and they were ready to go.

I suspect that if a Darkfriend had blown the horn, with no Dragon banner in sight, the Heroes would not have felt that tug that stopped them, and would (however reluctantly?) be forced to fight for the Shadow.
159. comsiakim
Hah! One last late-poster, and a newbie at that... my first post ever.

I've been reading WoT since it the first book came out in, what was it, Nov '89? I got it for my 21st b-day. Guess that makes me an old fart now... :-) Can't WAIT for the The Gathering Storm to come out next week. I just Happened to think, *Gosh, it's been a long time, I wonder if there's a new book out yet*, and Lo & behold, it's due out next week -- so I started straight away to work through this re-read and catch up on all the things I've forgotten...

Some thoughts about LTT / Hawkwing / the Horn, and the Heroes...

LTT was the Dragon: that doesn't necessarily make him a Hero. In fact, most people of this age Fear his/the Dragon's return, right? All the prophecies about doom & gloom coming with the Dragon Reborn, etc. That doesn't sound very Hero-ish to me. I think the Heroes are more like the legendary figures of our time; not necessarily the quasi-religious ones.

And doesn't Moiraine ask the sisters when she's researching about any connections between the Dragon and the Horn? The sisters didn't know of any connection - Connected the location, but not the Horn or the Heroes.

So, IMHO it's a false assumption that LTT would have been called by the Horn, regardless whether he's currently spun out as Rand.

Additionally, it's been what, 3000+ years since the Breaking of the World, and how many tons of years since Hawkwing's time as well (don't have the specific #s); the point being that there are tons of generations even within 1000 years, so there have been many, many opportunities for them to have met / battled in previous lives during the interim. (I can trace my own family line back 14 generations, and that only goes back about 500 years) Not every reincarnation was the Dragon Reborn - because not every reincarnation was at the End of an Age.
John Massey
160. subwoofer
Welcome comsiakim. Pull up a lawn chair.

I don't want to create a sense of urgency here, but the new book comes out in 9 days and it would be handy to get into the groove with the rest of us... although, come to think, we're not gonna wrap up the series in 9 days. But still, you'll miss JEJ cracking wise and Freelancer finding any excuse to get going in drag...

I'm just sayin'.

...and the doom and gloom comes with the prophecy- something to the tune of
“He is born again! I feel him! The Dragon takes his first breath on the slopes of Dragonmount! He is coming! He is coming! Light help us! Light help the world! He lies in the snow and cries like the thunder! He burns like the sun!

It is not nec. that LTT is bad, it just means that the big baddie, the DO may break free and the resulting confrontation will rock the world. But the Dragon is a savior. Without him the Light is doomed. Not every generation had this meeting. That has been stated, but when the seals weaken, the Dragon has always been there.

161. GreenishYellowAjah
Sure, I thought, starting New Spring a few days into October would leave me the right amount of time to finish KoD about 10/26. Then, part of the way through TGH, I finally click on one of the links in the emails and check out the re-reads. All of a sudden, it's taking me five times as long to get through everything, between reading comments and looking up cross-references. And now here it is the early hours of 10/23 and I just started TDR again yesterday!

Leigh, thank you for the recaps, and posters, thank you for sharing all the theories I hadn't had the knowledge of where to find.

@157 I wondered when reading your comment whether part of why Ingtar did that was hope for the same being done for him, as well as hope that they were killed because of turning against the Shadow at the end the way he was trying to.
Birgit F
162. birgit
posting statistics up to the end of tGH

- different spellings of usernames are counted separately
- punctuation is counted as words

top 50 posters by number of comments
username;comments;words;average words per comment

1: R.Fife;57;10550;185.0
2: leighdb;51;5528;108.0
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163. bubba-hotep

(and my first)

of course if anyone ever reads this, then they will probably feel obligated to post a comment...

just in case someone does come back here to read this... 1st I think people who put "First Post" in their comments are complete freakin idiots and their posts should be AUTO DELETED, second, the idiots that post "I know I'm behind and no-one is ever going to read this" need to understand that this is the internet and nothing will disapear forever, SO when the next book comes out in 2 or 3 years, people will be re-reading these blog posts again, and you will just look stupid for saying that.
164. Felx Velarius Bos
I love how you say Hurin could pop up in Book 12 like you don't think it's going to happen.
And then it does. XDDDD
165. Malchore
Did anybody notice that Lanfear and Min were in the same room together, yet Min didn't have a "Viewing" of Lanfear? This is the first time Lanfear and Min met, I presume. Also Lanfear is a channeler, and plays important roles in the next few books. One would think Lanfear has a crazy thread in The Pattern for Min to "view".

This was either an oversight by RJ, or Forsaken have some kind of ability to mask "viewings" from people like Min.
166. Alpha Statuz
I'm in the process of rereading. Amazing, the spots of color that begin to fill in while retreading through the plot.

I still have one question, and am amazed I've been unable to find an answer through some quick Googling efforts.

Where/how do we discover that Rand was fighting Ishamael at the end of this book? It's all but branded in stone online, yet I haven't come across an explanation of where it's suggested within the story.
Daniel Goss
167. Beren
@166 Alpha Statuz

It's hinted in several places, but the 'definitive' answer, if I remember correctly, comes at the end of TDR. There is a scene where Rand is claiming he killed Shai'tan and Moiraine remarks that The Dark One wouldn't have left a body behind, then Egwene chimes in with the idea that Baalzamon was Ishamael. Can't get to Google Books from here to look up chapter and verse, but like I said I'm pretty sure it's almost all the way at the end of TDR.
168. VanDalThor
poor Ingtar. I know this is 2 years late but he probably just got a little S.A.D. up there. The trees were freezing and exploding and one day he was just like f-it im trying to take a nap.
169. SonofThomandMoirane
Regarding Hawking, the Horn and the Banner, let me try to pitch in...
Most of the time, Hawking et. al. responds to the Horn and follows whomever blows it. But this time, Hawking felt the presence of something stronger than their binding to the Horn pulling at then, which was their binding to the Dragon AND his banner. The presence of the Dragon AND his banned just confirmed to themselves that this time is different.
Now, had Rand lost the banner, Hawking would follow the horn and whomever blows it. It might actually have happened in previous turnings of the wheel that the horn blower was againt the Dragon, as Hawking mentioned that they sometimes fought against each other.
So what was the significance of the Banner? By having the dragon banner with him, Rand declares that he acklowledges his destiny.
170. sadface
1)Before Matt blows the horn he says something about how "there is no reason it can't be blown before TG" and no one says anything, leading him to blow it. In this re-read I picked up a statement from Rand's POV that he CAN'T say anything. Is this tavern work? Is Rand acting on himself, or is he somehow subjected to Matt's tavernness. Maybe it takes Matt and Perrin together to make Rand's tavernness subject to theirs.
2) It took months for Rand et al to get to Falme (long enough for the supergirls to become competent channelers) so even without Traveling Morraine would have had plenty of time to get there. She went somewhere else to learn baelfire. Where could that have been? Who has the knowledge except the Forsaken? We know that Morraine has visited the Finn world before the party leaves Tear for the waste. It could have happened anytime in her history, or even after they get to Tear, but I almost expect she went there during TGH - they could have provided the baelfire knowledge.
3) I was going to bring up that the horn obviously opens a link between TAR and the real world, and was glad to see it from someone else. This could very easily allow for the weirdness of the fog, and fighting both above and below Falme. I had never thought of TEotW as also being linked to TAR, but I like the idea alot. The idea that time stops for the people in the real world however is silly. The comment on "having all the of time" is not because time stopped, it is because of time cycling.
4) People who call Rand LTT all knew of him from that life - that spin out. In the case of Ishy, they lived together and fought each other under the name LTT. In the case of Hawkwing he came after LTT died and grew up with the legand of LTT as the Dragon. I believe the name, physical appearance, and self image the hero's have while waiting to be called to the horn or spun out is the one they last lived. Their personalities don't reset until they are reborn. Brigette always thinks of herself as Brigette, never as the older versions of herself, and as such she would think of Rand as LTT because that self image called him LTT while she was last spun out.
4) On the topic of Bridgette, I seem to recall mentioning that sometimes she is older the Gaidial, and sometimes he is older. This is an interesting dynamic and points to her being pulled out instead of spun out at some other point on the wheel. Maybe hero's have to be pulled out before the time they get "added" to the hero list comes around again, otherwise they aren't there to get added, or would they get added an infinate number of times.
5) this is another sort of half idea that I can't totally pull together, but the Bore is described as not being nearer to anywhere then anywhere else, and in terms of thiness in the pattern. i have often wondered if this means the bore is in TAR, or by extension in another one of the possible worlds that is very hard, maybe impossibly hard to reach. i have also wondered it the DO prison is a vacuole, or if he will be put into a vacuole after the last battle, in order to remake a perfect prison. rj made a clear distinction between possible worlds and parrallel/perpendicular worlds. i think figuring out the true nature of reality depends on fully understanding that complex set of worlds, and how TAR connects them all.

bed time...past
171. Alsadius
I definitely enjoyed Min's line about how she likes older men. One thing I love about this series is just how many random bits of foreshadowing there are, which are invisible on the first read and hilarious on the second. (I find it annoying in a lot of series actually, but given that this is a series that has an in-universe term for "main character", I'll forgive it being a bit more storybook than most)

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