Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Roundtable! In this weekly mini-series from Tor.com, we’re asking a panel of Wheel of Time experts a number of questions that look at the upcoming final volume in this long-running fantasy series: A Memory of Light.
The questions will range from the specific, to the silly, to the broad, eventually encompassing the Wheel of Time’s legacy itself.
This week’s question was:
Although we don’t know specific plot points of A Memory of Light, it seems as if the main characters and plot threads are finally converging. What are the reunions you’re hoping for? And in a larger sense, what scenes do you really want to see in this final volume?
Leigh Butler: There are about a million reunion scenes I’m hoping for with more or less urgency in AMoL, but obviously the 900-lb gorilla in the room is the one we haven’t seen since freakin’ book three, which is Rand, Mat, and Perrin all in the same room at the same time. I’m not even sure what having the mega-triumvirate all breathing the same air will even entail at this point – feels almost like the universe would bloody implode from the portent – but holy crap do these guys need to meet up, like now. It’s not even funny.
Matt Hatch: I imagine any scene involving any of the three amigos from Emond’s field will be good ones. I’m not so interested in the final Rand confrontation; I imagine it will be powerful and dramatic, but I’m more interested in how Jordan will weave all three ta’veren into the final chapter. How will their individual roles play out in tandem to bring about the close to the Third Age? Towers of Midnight is a powerful reminder of the harmony of Jordan’s story, so I want to see that harmony continue to the very end.
Jennifer Liang: One of the things I liked about Towers of Midnight is that our characters, after long periods of separation, are finally getting back together and TALKING TO EACH OTHER. For a series that is characterized as much as this one is by miscommunication or just a plain lack of communication, it was wonderful to see Perrin and Mat sit down and finally say “You got married too? High five!” It was also great seeing Elayne sit her brother down and tell Gawyn what he tool he’s being (something that needs to happen far more frequently in my opinion) and for Egwene to bring the Wise Ones and Windfinders together for a little heart to heart.
The big elephant in the room though is Moiraine. She’s been literally pulled out of the Underworld and metaphorically brought back from the dead. Other than Thom and Mat, no one has seen her. She’s sacrificed her ability to channel strongly for something, but what? I suspect it’s something she needs to tell or do for Rand, but other than a vague suspicion regarding Callandor, I really don’t know what it could be. She’s a real wild card at this point and I can’t wait to see what she has to say about affairs.
Matt Hatch: Moiraine and Rand. Moiraine and Egwene. Moiraine and Cadsuane. Moiraine and Tam. Moiraine and Siuan. Moiraine and Bela. Moiraine and Lanfear. Moiraine and Padan Fain. Moiraine and the Dark One. It will all be fantastic. Much deserved screen time awaits Moiraine and I hope for it all. From the moment we meet her, it is clear that Moiraine will play some final role; I’m excited for that moment, that one scene, where her final role is revealed.
Although, I may have been wrong all of these years. It may be that Moiraine will hold tight to Thom’s hand and wish Rand and company good luck in storming the castle. If so, I dread those scenes where Moiraine fails to play any significant role in this final chapter. But I’m not wrong. Am I? No.
Leigh Butler: I cannot goddamn WAIT to find out what happens when Rand sees Moiraine alive. AMoL had better fucking well do that scene justice, is all I have to say, because in my opinion other than the goddamn apocalypse itself that is the biggest payoff scene of the entire series.
Beyond that, having Rand’s three Loves all together for once – Elayne, Aviendha, and Min – would be awful nice, just so we can make sure they’re all in place for when they have to ferry him to Avalon or whatever the WOT equivalent is going to turn out to be. It would similarly also be nice to see Mat and Tuon meet up, though I can’t imagine those circumstances are going to be other than… hm, fraught, given the current status of relations between Rand’s forces and the Seanchan. Should be very interesting, to say the least.
Jason Denzel: I’m really looking forward to Mat and Tuon’s reunion. We last saw them in Knife of Dreams, and I think they’re overdue for some troublemaking together.
Likewise, I’m looking forward to Rand meeting up with all three of his girls. Winter’s Heart was the last time he saw them. Elayne certainly will have some news to share with Rand... Will Rand be a deadbeat dad? Heh.
Jennifer Liang: For A Memory of Light, I look forward to seeing Rand with all the Two Rivers folk again, especially those who haven’t seen him for quite awhile. Egwene especially has no idea who Rand really is anymore, and I think much of her current opposition to him stems from that. I’d like to see the two of them really talk to each other, as people, and not as Amyrlin and Dragon.
He and Elayne need to talk as well. She has good reasons for keeping her pregnancy secret from him, but at some point, she really does need to say something.
Our three ta’veren need to sit down and rekindle their friendship, as Mat and Perrin already have and the entire Trakand family, including Galad, needs some serious conversation.
Leigh Butler: There are a number of more minor reunions that may or may not happen that I would be pleased to see. The Galad and Rand Oh-hey-we’re-half-brothers! scene would be awesome, along with of course Elayne and her oh-hey-you’re-not-dead! mother Morgase. Then there’s Nynaeve meeting her future advisor and (presumably) ass-kicker Sharina – not even to mention her meeting up with Lan again.
And then of course there is my favorite pet theory of Leane getting to be the one to kick the shit out of Alviarin, former-Keeper to former-evil-Keeper, as is right and proper. Oh, and Mat meeting up with his sister and aw-crap-you’re-Aes-Sedai-now!? Bode would be hilarious on several levels.
And, naturally, having all of the surviving Great Captains (Bryne, Ituralde, Bashere, and Jagad) in a room together should be awesome. Extra bonus points if Mat is there and makes them all feel like amateurs. That would be sweet.
Jennifer Liang: One of the fun patterns I’ve been missing from the earlier books is Rand drawing all the characters to him while he fights Ba’alzamon. The last time we saw him do this was in the Stone of Tear at the end of book three, so it’s been quite awhile. I always liked that. To me it always said “It’s about to get real up in here.” and signaled that this conflict was important. So I’m really looking forward to seeing that happen again.
Jason Denzel: Beyond just the character reunions, I’m looking forward to finally having the answers to questions we’ve been asking for twenty years and more now. Where (and what) IS the Tinker song? Where is Demandred? What will happen when Rand and Moridin (presumably) meet at the Pit of Doom? What does it mean that “twice dawns the day”?
Jennifer Liang: I’m also intensely curious as to what horrible horribleness is going on at the Black Tower. We’ve gotten hints that the 13 x 13 trick is in play there, and there’s deeper hints that Taim isn’t an alias for Demandred, but rather Moridin. There’s Aes Sedai within the Tower, some of which have been brain wiped, and Aes Sedai outside, waiting their turn. There’s a small group of dissidents waiting for Logain to return to “do something” about Taim. It’s a huge powder keg waiting to explode.
Matt Hatch: Lanfear. It doesn’t really matter what the scene is, as long as it involves Lanfear. Okay, that’s a lie; it does matter. The scene I really want to see is the one where Lanfear talks to Rand about helping him end it all. She was the cause; she should offer herself as the solution. Considering I hope for such a pivotal role, I dread the possibility that Lanfear plays little to no part in this final chapter. Although, Lanfear escaping Ishamael and disappearing into Tel’aran’rhiod never to be heard of again would be almost as good.
I’m still bitter; sadly, Aviendha killing Graendal is not going to happen, but I would really like to see it.
Leigh Butler: Other than reunion scenes, I basically want to see what the hell happens when Rand and Moridin finally confront each other head-on, and also hopefully Rand and/or Logain killing Taim with extreme killedness, because that’s so overdue I can’t even express it. And, of course, Rand’s actual Big Showdown with the Dark One, but that probably goes without saying. There’s probably more I’m forgetting but what I have is likely more than enough to be going on with. Let’s smash ‘em all together, is what I say! Bring it on!
Jason Denzel: There’s so much I want to see in this book, but at the same time, I’m dreading the end. I have a deep appreciation for well-ended stories, so it will be a bittersweet day when we finally get to read it.
We’ll close on that note this week. Chime in with what you would like to see in A Memory of Light!
And check back with us next week as we talk about the themes that are emerging from The Wheel of Time now that the series is concluding.
Jason Denzel heads the internet’s premiere comprehensive Wheel of Time fansite: Dragonmount.
Matt Hatch heads the Wheel of Time online think tank: Theoryland.
Jennifer Liang work with Dragonmount, is the chair for JordanCon, and the director of Wheel of Time content at DragonCon. She also hosts the Wheel of Time Tor.com Facebook and Twitter portals, both of which aggregate Wheel of Time content across the web.