Reading The Wheel of Time

Reading the Wheel of Time: Perrin Does What Needs Doing in Robert Jordan’s The Shadow Rising (Part 23)

This week in our read of The Shadow Rising, Perrin steps up and takes a leadership role, and is surprised when everyone lets him. Verin is back, and Alanna too, and I’m finding myself less suspicious of Verin than I used to be, and more suspicious of Alanna. I suppose only time will tell what these two Aes Sedai are really up to, but for now, they just might be able to give Perrin a helping hand. If they decide they want to.

Ivhon returns in a few minutes and gives them the okay to continue, and they follow Marin to the old sickhouse, leaving the horses outside and ducking into the crumbling structure. They find bedrolls and saddlebags, and a pot that gives off the scent of cooking, even though there’s no fire. And, of course, the Aes Sedai.

Perrin is surprised to recognize both of them. One is Verin, whom he knows well from her time helping them hunt for the Horn after it was taken from Fal Dara. Perrin is certain that she knows about Rand, and wary of the way she sometimes seems to be sharply focused and other times distant and distracted. He has seen the other one, Alanna Mosvani, once before, but more importantly, he has been warned about her by Egwene, who believes that Alanna shows too much interest in Rand, and doesn’t trust her. Perrin decides he’ll be guided by Egwene until he has more information to go on.

Marin mentions that Verin has been asking about all three boys, and that she thought it was more expedient and safe to just bring Perrin to her rather than asking permission first. Verin assures Mistress al’Vere that she did exactly right, remarking that “Perrin is in the right hands, now” and that she will enjoy learning more about the Aiel and talking with an Ogier. Loial seems pleased that she expresses an interest in Ogier books, but the Aiel exchange wary glances.

They send Marin back to the village, and Perrin is gruff with the two Aes Sedai, scandalizing Faile as he demands to know why they are here, and observes how coincidental it seems that they should have arrived at the same time as both Whitecloaks and Trollocs. But Verin takes it all in stride, serving tea as the two women explain. Every year, they tell Perrin, there are fewer and fewer women who can channel—indeed, fewer men who can channel—and Sheriam Sedai believes that the gentling of men is culling the ability to channel out of future generations. But here in the Two Rivers, where they suspect no Aes Sedai has visited in a thousand years, Moiraine found both Egwene and Nynaeve, not to mention three ta’veren.

They emphasize how hard it would be to find three such girls, and how the Old Blood is strong in the Two Rivers. Even in one week in Watch Hill while being careful not to reveal their presence, they found four girls with the ability to be trained and one child who they believed might have the spark.

The explanation makes sense to Perrin, but he still challenges them, and asks why they aren’t doing anything to stop the Whitecloaks and the Trollocs. Alanna explains the restrictions under which they are forced to operate, how the Three Oaths even bar her from seeking revenge for her murdered Warder. The Children are not Darkfriends, and the Power can only be used against them in direct self-defense.  Also, Myrddraal can sense channeling, so they must be careful of drawing too much attention to themselves. Even with those restrictions, they have taken out two Halfmen and a number of Trollocs.

Again Perrin is somewhat mollified, seeing reason in the explanation, but he is still determined to drive every single Trolloc out of the Two Rivers, with or without their help.

They explain to the Aes Sedai how they locked the Waygate from the outside, and how the Trollocs have been using the Ways to get around. Alanna remarks that she can’t understand why the Amyrlin Seat let the three boys go their separate ways, that with everything that is happening they can’t afford to have three ta’veren running loose. She herself “would have tied a string to each” of them, or even bonded them. At Perrin’s expression, however, she remarks that she is not so lost to custom that she would bond a man against his will.

Alanna heals their injuries from the battle in the Ways, although it has been too long for the cut on his cheek to be Healed without a scar. Perrin remarks that he doesn’t need to be pretty, amusing Alanna and Faile, the latter of whom later refers to Perrin’s new scar as “a beauty mark,” some reference to Domani women that Perrin doesn’t understand.

Ivhan returns, this time with Tam al’Thor and Abell Cauthon, who are delighted to see Perrin, though disappointed that their own boys are not with him. Perrin avoids giving them much information, only saying that the two are alive and well in Tear, and that they would have come, but no one realized how bad things were in the Two Rivers. When Tam asks if they ever found out why the Trollocs were after them on Winternight, Perrin tells him he’ll have to ask Moiraine. He asks to talk to them outside, wanting to get away from the obviously interested Aes Sedai. He’s also surprised when he tells Faile to stay, and she obeys without question.

Outside they tease Perrin about his beard, and about Faile. Abell remarks that the only way to deal with that sort of woman is to let her think she’s running things, reminding Perrin of what Marin al’Vere said earlier about how to deal with men. Abell also tells him that Alanna let slip that all three boys are ta’veren. Perrin responds that he hasn’t seen any signs of it in himself or in Mat, then regrets that he didn’t find a way to make Rand’s status so obvious. Tam replies that maybe Perrin doesn’t know what to look for. He avoids telling the men anything more than he has too, even when they mention their journey to the White Tower for news of their sons.

A raven alights on a branch, watching them intently, and the two older men take it out while Perrin was still reaching for an arrow. The Aes Sedai have told them about the Dark One’s spies, and they and the Women’s Circle have spread the word. Abell remarks that someone has been killing all sorts of animals in the woods, mostly just leaving the bodies around, and Perrin realizes that Slayer is in the waking world too, not just in the Wolf Dream.

He redirects the conversation to the rescue of Mat’s family, and they discuss the difficulty of finding places to hide once they can free them. Most people are scared and focused on protecting their own, and Perrin is disappointed in his people, and doesn’t hold back from saying so. He declares his intention to free all the prisoners, and then to make the Trollocs fear the Two Rivers the way they fear the Aiel Waste. Abell warns him about letting hate eat at him, but Perrin retorts that he’s just doing what needs to be done.

Meanwhile, Dain Bornhald is returning to the Whitecloak camp with his patrol, now eleven men short after a Trolloc ambush. This is the third time they have met the Trollocs in an attack that has clearly been planned, which troubles Bornhald greatly.

He notices commotion in the camp of the Traveling People, and instructs a man, Farran, to inform the Seeker that he will only be allowed to take his people South, and gives orders for Farran to communicate this in words, not with boots or fists.

The sight of his own camp brought a moment of pride to Bornhald, the long neat rows of wedge-roofed white tents, the picket lines for the horses precisely arrayed. Even here in this Light-forsaken corner of the world, the Children maintained themselves, never allowing discipline to slack. It was Light-forsaken. The Trollocs proved that. If they burned farms, it only meant some folk here were pure. Some. The rest bowed, and said “yes, my Lord,” “as you wish, my Lord,” and stubbornly went their own way as soon as his back was turned. Besides which, they were hiding an Aes Sedai. The second day south of the Taren they had killed a Warder; the man’s color-shifting cloak had been sufficient proof. Bornhald hated Aes Sedai, meddling with the One Power as if Breaking the World once was not enough. They would do it again if they were not stopped. His momentary good mood faded like spring snow.

Bornhald has all the prisoners kept in one heavily guarded tent, and only allows one out at at time. He’s not worried about escape, but he is worried about any trouble that might raise resentment in the village. Some, including Byar and Farran, want to put the prisoners to the Question even though they themselves are not Questioners, but Bornhald doesn’t like those methods, and he doesn’t want Farran anywhere near the girls, even if they are the Darkfriends Ordeith claims them to be.

All in all, what Bornhald really wants is to capture Perrin Aybara. He doesn’t believe Byar’s tales of Perrin running with wolves, but it’s clear that Perrin was the one who led Bornhald’s father into a Darkfriend trap. And Bornhald is almost ready to let Byar have his way with Master Luhhan, until either the man or his wife gave up Perrin.

Byar comes to meet him and to report that Ordeith is back. After a skirmish with the Trollocs their party has lost two men, the two whom Bornhald had specifically instructed to keep an eye on Ordeith. This is not the first time such inconvenient deaths have happened—it is the second time that only men but those Bornhald had sent died in a mysterious “skirmish with Trollocs.” Bornhald snaps for Ordeith to be brought before him at once, keeping his temper only until he makes it into his tent, where he unleashes his anger on the furniture. He wonders for the hundredth time why the Lord Captain Commander has sent him here, or why he burdened Bornhald with a man like Ordeith.

The man himself arrives, well-dressed but filthy, greeting Bornhald graciously in his sometimes-Lugardan accent. When he starts to give an account of the brave deaths of Bornhald’s men, Bornhald strikes him across the face, splitting his lip.

The smile on his face no longer mocked. It looked viperish. “Are you forgetting who signed my commission now, lordling? Pedron Niall will be hanging you with your mother’s guts if I say a word, after he has the both of you skinned alive.”

“That is if you are alive to speak this word, yes?”

Ordeith shifts tactics, reminding Bornhald that they must work together, that three terrible Darkfriends were spawned here, meant to shake the world, to destroy it. He lists their names, always ending on Perrin’s, talking of the terrible darkness of these three, insisting that they must scourge this land until the three come. Bornhald resists the pull of that name, Perrin Aybara, and tells Ordeith that he only covered up what Ordeith did at the Aybara farm because he had to, because the truth would have resulted in open rebellion from the people.

He demands to know what Ordeith is doing that he needs to hide from the Children, and Ordeith repeats something he has said before: The Shadow will do anything to stop him. He reminds Bornhald of the two Gray Men who had infiltrated the camp, unseen by all except Ordeith, who killed them. He insists that the Shadow can enter men’s minds and find out his plans, if he knows them, and asks Bornhald if he would like to die in a dream. He promises that if Bornhald gives him free reign, Ordeith will give him Perrin Aybara.

After a long silence, Bornhald orders him to leave.

When Ordeith was gone, Bornhald shivered. What was the Lord Captain Commander up to with this man? But if it put Aybara in his grasp…. Tossing his gauntlets down, he began digging through his belongings. Somewhere he had a flask of brandy.

Ordeith slinks though the camp, wary of the Whitecloaks whom he views as tools, but tools that cannot be trusted. He thinks that Bornhald may need to be disposed of eventually, that Byar will be more easily handled.

His eyes skittered hungrily across the tent holding the prisoners. They could wait. For a while yet. A little while longer. They were only tidbits anyway. Bait. He should have restrained himself at the Aybara farm, but Con Aybara had laughed in his face, and Joslyn had called him a filthy-minded little fool for naming her son Darkfriend. Well, they had learned, screaming, burning. In spite of himself he giggled under his breath. Tidbits.

He can feel that one of the ones he hates is out there somewhere to the south, but knows that it isn’t Rand. He needs more tales to make it past Bornhald’s guards and to Rand’s ears, more tales to draw him home. Everything is going to plan, except for this hiccup with the new one and his Gray Men. But Ordeith cannot be killed, part of him has survived since the Trolloc Wars, and he is no longer a puppet of the Dark One and Myrddraal.

Flies buzzed about his own tents, and sullen, suspicious eyes flinched away from his. The white cloaks were soiled here. But the swords were sharp, and obedience instant and unquestioning. Bornhald thought these men were still his. Pedron Niall believed it, too, believed Ordeith his tame creature. Fools.

In his tent, he has a Myrddraal, held down and bound by many heavy chains. He sits down on the bed and asks the Myrddraal if it has considered his proposal, tells it that he knows how to torture its kind, endlessly, if it does not accept. The Myrddraal says that it accepts, asks to be released, but Ordeith is not a fool. First they will discuss agreements and accords. As he talks, the Myrddraal begins to sweat.

The next morning, Verin indicates her intention to travel with them to Watch Hill and the Whitecloak encampment, although she warns Perrin that she won’t help with any foolishness, and not to try any tricks with her. Perrin knows she will meddle in her own way and to her own purpose, but figures that it’s better having her around than doing things behind his back, and invites Alanna to come along too. She just gives him an icy look.

Faile remarks that she’s looking forward to seeing more of Perrin’s country, and that her father raises sheep. This confuses Perrin, since she has previously said that her father was a merchant, and Faile’s flushed reply that he does both makes Perrin wonder if he is perhaps a poor man instead, and Faile is pretending for some reason.

Loial is disappointed that he cannot come—he is just too conspicuous—but Perrin takes him aside and privately asks him to keep an eye on Alanna. Loial remarks that it’s probably best to just let Aes Sedai do what they want, but ultimately agrees, announcing to everyone that he will take the time to work on his book.

They leave their pack animals behind, taking only their horses for riding, and are quickly ready. Perrin notices that Verin’s horse looks nondescript at first glance, but to someone who knows horses is clearly as strong as her Warder’s stallion. They ride with the Aiel following to either side, mostly invisible in the brush, occasionally letting themselves be seen so that the riders know where they are. Perrin feels anxious with Verin close, watching him, and is surprised when Faile expresses an intent to protect him from her.

Perrin is worried that their party will attract notice once they leave the cover of the woods, but Tam assures him that people travel in larger groups now, for safety. Most farms have been abandoned, too. But they will avoid the main highway to cut down on the chance of running into Whitecloaks.

They discuss the probable number of Trollocs in the area, and Perrin points out that the Trollocs must have a reason for attacking so sparingly, if there are indeed more than two hundred, as Tam estimates. Abell calls it luck, but Tam has seen what Trollocs do, and agrees with Perrin’s logic. Verin suggests that it is a lure, meant to draw eyes to the Two Rivers. If Andor knew, the Queen would send soldiers, although it’s likely that the Whitecloaks aren’t allowing any news out. Morgase would hardly be more happy about their presence than she would be about the Trollocs. Abell says that what she’s talking about is War, something even worse than what they have now, though Verin remains noncommittal and starts trying to write in a book while riding.

Master Cauthon kept murmuring “War,” wonderingly, under his breath, and Faile put a comforting hand on Perrin’s arm, her eyes sad.

Master al’Thor only grunted; he had been in a war, so Perrin had heard, though not where or how, exactly. Just somewhere outside the Two Rivers, where he had gone as a young man, returning years later with a wife and a child, Rand. Few Two Rivers folk ever left. Perrin doubted if any of them really knew what a war was, except by what they heard from peddlers, or merchants and their guards and wagon drivers. He knew, though. He had seen war, on Toman Head. Abell was right. What they had was bad enough, but it did not come near war.

They pass abandoned farms, fields choked with weeds and one of them burned, with graves dug by a pear tree near the house. A little before they reach their first destination, a farm belonging to a friend of theirs, Jac al’Seen. Tam asks the Aiel to wait, worried that their presence will set people talking. Gaul agrees to go wait and eat on his own, turning and loping away into the trees to wait until they depart. Bain and Chiad exchange looks, then shrug and follow.

Coming up to the farm, Perrin notices that there are boys keeping watch from the rooftop, armed with bows and quivers. They shout warning down below and the people, more people than even this big farm should hold, seem ready to fight until they recognize Tam and Abell. Then it’s all exited greetings and hubbub. Tam explains to Perrin about all the neighbors and cousins Jac has taken in, when the others decided it was no longer safe to stay on their isolated farms.

They are all ushered inside and given tea, and there is an especially large amount of attention and fuss paid to Verin, Tomas, and Faile. Verin has put away her serpent ring—not that anyone would probably recognize its significance—and manages to imply that she is there in search of old stories, as Moiraine had done before her, without ever actually telling a lie. People seem to take Tomas for some kind of lord, or perhaps a Whitecloak, although they laugh down one young boy who uses the word “Warder.” They take Faile, in her lovely green silk riding dress, for a noblewoman, and Perrin has to admit she carries it off beautifully.

Elisa al’Seen, Jac’s wife, urges the two women to consider staying in the farmhouse for safety, and the two are politely noncommittal. The talk turns to Perrin, and the rumors around him, and one woman, Adine, adds that she’s heard things about Tam and Abell too; that their boys ran off with Aes Sedai, and that they kidnapped Egwene, though the others tell her not to be foolish and hush her.

Jac tells Perrin that no one believes that he is a Darkfriend, but they have a right to hear why the Whitecloaks are accusing him, Mat, and Rand of being such. Perrin answers without revealing much, saying that it hardly takes anything for Whitecloaks to deem someone a Darkfriend, including not saying and doing what they want you to say and do. He doesn’t know why they think Rand and Mat are, but confesses to killing some of them, after they killed a friend of his and tried to kill Perrin himself. And he “didn’t see [his] way clear to let them.”

Verin adds that the Whitecloaks are very good at making neighbors turn on each other, even people who have known each other for many years, and Perrin tells them about Fain, who rides with the Whitecloaks, and how he is a Darkfriend and the one who brought the Trollocs on Winternight.

“That’s very easy for you to claim,” Adine Lewin said sharply. “You can name anybody Darkfriend.”

“So who do you believe?” Tomas said. “Those who came a few weeks ago, arrested people you know, and burned their farms? Or a young man who grew up right here?”

“I am no Darkfriend, Master al’Seen,” Perrin said, “but if you want me to go, I will.”

There is a little uncertainty, but that settles it for most of the group, and Elisa silences Adine with a look. She offers to let Perrin stay, but he declines, telling them all that he has work to do.

They are just settling down to eat the midday meal when another commotion disturbs them, and one of the boys from the rooftop arrives to announce, excitedly, that Lord Luc is coming.


When Perrin made the decision to return home, I did not expect that he would stay there very long. I even thought he might not make it at all, that he might find the way blocked to him somehow, or some other problem might turn him aside from his goal. The reason for this thinking lies mostly in the structure of The Lord of the Rings, where we get only hints and glimpses of what is happening in the Shire, but don’t actually see how it has changed until the four hobbits return home. But the threats to and changes in the Two Rivers are not a bookend to Perrin’s story but rather an integral part, something that will shape his growth as much as the adventures he’s having in the outside world.

It’s interesting to see the way Jordan weaves in hints of how much Perrin has changed. The eyes and his ease with fighting and weapons are obvious, but there are also little details scattered throughout these two chapters, as well as Chapter 33, that really bring out that feeling. Bran al’Vere giving him a full cup of brandy. Abell and Tam bonding with him over women and his new beard—even if they do tease him about it. The respect that he commands from them and other men, who listen to him as an equal and value his opinion. The way he notices the girl he used to have a crush on, now a grown woman with a husband and child. Perrin is surprised by these things, unaware of how much he carries himself as an adult because he has had nothing to compare it to. Now, in his old home, he can actually see how much he has changed. Or rather, is changing.

Perrin makes a point of disagreeing with Alanna when she refers to him as a young hero, and he also disagrees with Abell when the man worries that Perrin’s determination is driven by hatred. He says he is doing what must be done, and while I am tempted to put that down to Perrin’s humility and genuine desire to live an ordinary life instead of this extraordinary one, I wonder if this is also part of being ta’veren.  Perhaps the very nature of his purpose in the Pattern makes these actions feel inevitable to Perrin—that it isn’t a question of bravery or determination or even of choice, it just is.

It was very pleasurable to watch everyone rally around Perrin, with Verin and even Tomas speaking up for him. Perrin doesn’t get enough support, in my opinion, and part of that, I think, is because of his tendency to stay aloof and keep his thoughts to himself. By taking more of a leadership role, he has opened himself up a little to his companions, and made himself more a part of people’s lives. It’s good to see him getting respect for it.

I was struck by Tam’s observation that perhaps Perrin just doesn’t know “what to look for” to see signs of being ta’veren in himself. I think this is a poignant observation because it can be applied in more than one fashion. On the one hand, it can simple mean that Perrin doesn’t know enough about what being a ta’veren looks like, or that he doesn’t understand the magnitude of his actions and how they affect the world. But it can also be an observation about how different our perspectives can be. Perrin doesn’t view himself as a hero because he doesn’t feel heroic, but one can’t define one’s own heroism—that label can only be applied by others. And in a way, that kind of applies to being ta’veren, too.

Next week we’ll touch on this idea more, with Verin and her observations on how Perrin is shaping his community with his words and actions, but for now I’ll just reiterate a question I’ve asked before: What is the difference between ta’veren nature and free will, and if no one within the Pattern can tell the difference, is there in fact any difference at all?

Speaking of Alanna, I really liked her when we met her before. I like her fiery nature, the pride she took in being Green Ajah, and her sense of humor. However, I have to admit I’m somewhat suspicious of her now. Of course, the reader is naturally going to be aligned with Perrin, Rand, and the others, rather than the Aes Sedai who would prefer to be the ones directing events. But just like with Moiraine, Alanna preferring that she—and the White Tower—be in charge of what these ta’veren do doesn’t make her a bad person. Nevertheless, her comment about wanting to bond the three ta’veren is alarming, even if she says she’d never do it against someone’s will. Never is a strong word, and it isn’t too hard to imagine the war against the Dark One making an Aes Sedai desperate enough to change her mind about such scruples.

The idea that a Warder bond could control one of the ta’veren is an interesting one, though. As tools of the Wheel, I would rather think that such a bond would strain or break under the pressure exerted by ta’veren, or perhaps even pull the Aes Sedai deeper into the effects of the ta’veren, rather than the other way around. We’ve seen how Rand’s pull can affect people to the point of characters actually being able to feel and recognize it, and although Matt and Perrin aren’t that strong, they are still pretty formidable. As Moiraine remarked to Siuan back in the beginning of The Great Hunt, controlling a ta’veren is like trying to guide a log in rapids. So I feel like bonding one of them would probably not work out well for Alanna.

I also hadn’t considered that it was possible for someone to be bonded against their will. We know that there is a lot more balance and equality between Moiraine and Lan than is common in these relationships, and we know that Moiraine has worried that their bond could snap under the pressure, so it doesn’t seem like it’s perfectly immutable. What would happen if you held even an ordinary someone who truly didn’t want to be bonded? Could they resist, and how?

I have a lot of respect for Perrin’s insistence that the Two Rivers people need to come together and stand up, rather than hoping that the Whitecloaks and the Trollocs will take care of each other. His determination makes a lot of sense when you consider that this is a question he has been grappling with for a long time. From the moment he decided that he would kill Egwene rather than let the ravens get her, to the way he had to confront Hopper’s death and his own killing of Whitecloaks, to the discussions about the Way of the Leaf and the need to stand up to the Dark, it feels like Perrin has been preparing for this moment since he first left home. Now he is ready to be a decisive leader who chooses to unite and fight back, and he doesn’t have any of those old qualms and doubts left. He still hates violence, and we can see the symbolism in his choice to continue carrying the hammer, but he is not going to let that weaken his resolve.

Of course, Tam and Abell’s sympathies tend towards the plight of farmers being asked to choose violence, to face fighting or even war in their own land. It’s not an easy thing, but the presence of Shadowspawn, beings who are not capable of diplomacy or surrender, gives them no choice. Perrin has seen too much not to know that, and Tam knows it too, which is, I think, one of the reasons he is so quick to follow Perrin. Perrin is leading where Tam might have wanted to lead, if he’d felt able to do it.

The absolute hypocrisy of Bornhald makes me grind my teeth. He won’t let Byar put the prisoners to the Question because he doesn’t like those methods, but he’ll consider letting Byar do it to Master Luhhan if it will get him access to Perrin. He thinks Farran is a good soldier… as long as he is carefully restrained from violence around the helpless. He strongly suspects that Ordeith is murdering Bornhald’s men and despises everything else about the man to the point where even the threat of Pedron Niall’s displeasure is no longer enough to keep his hatred of Ordeith in check—yet the promise of Perrin forestalls him from doing anything about any of it. Even what he chooses to believe is pretty arbitrary: Byar’s claim that Perrin runs with wolves is easily dismissed, but the same man with the same amount of proof says that it was Perrin specifically who lured Bornhald Sr. into a trap and that is “clear enough.” I’d like to grab him by the shoulders and shake him.

And then there is sometimes Ordeith. During Ordeith’s POV sections, Jordan has an excellent way about the narration that is terribly evocative and beautifully different from anything else in the text. Every time I read it I feel like I’ve been plunged directly into that intense, scattered, coco puffs of a mind, and it’s truly chilling. As is the fact that he not only captured a Myrddraal but is actually managing to turn it into his ally—or more likely, his pawn. I mean, that is some serious business.

But that is the beauty of a character like Ordeith/Fain. He is a wildcard in every sense, evil but not of the Dark One, like the Machin Shin, and equally ready to turn on and destroy the servants of the Dark as he is those of the Light. His purpose is singular, and in some ways that makes him feel scarier and more threatening to Rand even than the Dark One himself—Rand is the Lord of the Dark’s greatest threat, his number one enemy, but the Dark One wants more than just Rand. For Ordeith/Fain, Rand is everything, enemy and purpose, and very much his sole focus, however he might also delight in the rest of the pain and suffering he causes.

I wonder if that’s what Slayer proves to be like as well. Birgitte sort of implied that he wasn’t a Darkfriend when she said that he wasn’t old but that his evil was ancient. I mean, the Dark One can definitely qualify as being an ancient evil, but the vagueness feels like it suggests something else. In any case, we know for sure now what he is about, which confirms for me that he will be Perrin’s new nemesis for a while. You know, besides Bornhald and his dumb vendetta. And possible Ordeith will become Perrin’s particular nemesis for a while as well, since they are both in the Two Rivers and Rand is far away, unlikely to hear those rumors for a long while, and less likely to be able to get back, even should he decide he could turn aside from his current path. I don’t envy Perrin this particular trifecta of bad guys at all, and I’m glad he has a good team to back him up. Hopefully he’ll remember he’s not alone, and use them all to his advantage rather than going back to the self-sacrifice route.

Next week we will just cover Chapter 33, which has a good amount of talking and lots of fodder for more musings about what a ta’veren looks like, as well as what makes a hero. Until then, I wish you all safety, comfort, and health, and a very good week indeed.

Sylas K Barrett is going to go make some dinner, and xe is not going to wonder what Ordeith/Fain did to make the Myrddraal afraid of him. Xe does not want to know.


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