Welcome back to my re-read, recap, and reaction to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. This post will only have spoilers through the current chapter.
You can find my previous chapter recaps HERE.
Chapter 38: Rescue
Perrin’s wrists are tied behind his back. Egwene is sleeping agains this back for warmth. She does not murmur as he shifts around trying to get more comfortable. The Whitecloaks did not give them a bed or blankets.
The Whitecloaks have been marching slowly toward Caemlyn. During the preceding days, Perrin has marched with a halter around his neck. He fears that the Whitecloaks will not stop if he ever falls. Egwene has marched in the same manner, also frightening of tripping.
Child Byar has been telling Perrin and Egwene what will happen to them if they arrive to face the Whitecloak Questioners in Amador. Egwene cannot believe that people do things like that to other people. Perrin believes. Byar talks matter-of-factly about hot irons, pincers, knives slicing away skin, and needles piercing. Perrin thinks about how the Whitecloaks look at them already and wonders to himself how he could convince them that he and Egwene are not Darkfriends when the Whitecloaks already believe that they are. He also feels sick in knowing that he will most likely confess to anything to get the eventual torture to stop.
Child Byar approaches Perrin and Egwene and tells them to wake up. He is now wearing Perrin’s ax as though it is his own. He kicks Perrin and tells him again to wake up. Perrin quickly acknowledges that he is awake before Byar can kick him again. He also realizes that Egwene is still sleeping and franticly yells for her to wake up before Byar has an excuse to kick her also.
B: Why should Darkfriends sleep when decent men must stay awake to guard them?
Egwene denies again that they are Darkfriends. To Perrin’s surprise, Byar ignores her. Byar tells them that the two of them are slowing their progress toward Caemlyn. He explains that they have caused a problem for Captain Bornhald. He must reach Caemlyn at the appointed time. However, he must also keep the two of them and take them to Amador after reaching Caemlyn. Keeping the two of them means that they will not reach Caemlyn in time.
If you escaped, we would not have time to track you down. We don’t have an hour to spare if we are to reach Caemlyn in time. If you frayed your ropes on a sharp rock, say, and vanished into the night, the Lord Captain’s problem would be solved.
Byar tosses a rock with a sharp edge onto the ground. He says that what he is saying is idle speculation. He further says that his guards tonight also speculate. Perrin is trying hard to think through the situation.
Suddenly, a thought appears in his mind from outside his mind.
Dapple is alive. Elyas is alive as well. Perrin cannot keep the astonishment from showing on his face. Byar asks him what thought has come to him. Suddenly, things begin to happen too fast for thought. One of the guards vanish, swallowed by the night. Before the second guard can cry out, he topples over like a felled tree.
Byar spins, whirling Perrin’s ax, and Lan enters the tent. Byar lunged at him with the ax, and missed, the momentum of the blow carrying him off-balance. Then Lan strikes at him with hands and feet until he collapses. The Warder quickly extinguishes the lantern. Lan cuts Perrin’s bonds. Egwene asks him if Byar is dead and Lan replies that he is not. Lan tells them to put on Whitecloaks to disguise themselves. Perrin cannot see anything in the pitch black.
Abruptly, lightning flashes above the camp. Beyond the tents, the earth erupts below the blow. Then more lightning. It falls like hail. The Whitecloak camp becomes chaos. The three leave through the tents and into the night. Nobody tries to stop them. Ahead in the moonlight are three horses. Moiraine speaks. She is irritated that Nynaeve has not yet returned. Lan makes as if to return to find her and Moiraine’s voice is sharp and firm.
Remember your oaths, al’Lan Mandragoran, Lord of the Seven Towers. What of the oath of a Diademed Battle Lord of the Malkieri?
Perrin and Egwene are surprised. Lan is all of that? Moments later, branches are crashing in the woods. Nynaeve appears on one horse and leading another. Perrin suddenly asks Moiraine where Rand and Mat are and she tells him elsewhere.
Perrin packs up his Whitecloak and ties it to his belt. Lan wants them to leave as little trace as possible. He then feels Dapple in his mind.
One day, again.
The wolves leave and Perrin feels their presence disappear. The group rides in the night. Perrin rides at the back of their column. He sees Nynaeve and Egwene as excited to see each other as they might be to reach home again. Occasionally the Wisdom turns to look back at him and he waves at her. Just short of dawn, after riding through the night, Moiraine calls a halt. They are finally now allowed to ride themselves of the Whitecloaks by burying them in a hole beside their camp fire. Perrin confirms that he had been wearing Byar’s cloak. He wipes his hands off as though they are dirty.
Once stopped, Egwene asks again where Rand and Mat are. Moiraine tells her that she believes they are in Caemlyn or on their way there. She promises to find them even if they are not there. Nynaeve treats Egwene’s bruises and rope burns from where she had been tied up. She then approaches Perrin and tells him to take his cloak and shirt off. She says she was told that one of the Whitecloaks took a personal disliking to him. He complies, slowly, and she gasps.
N: How could he have disliked you so much?
Perrin thinks to himself that he killed two men but aloud he tells her that he does not know. She puts ointment on his bruises. They disappear quickly and even Nynaeve seems surprised. Perrin asks her what happened to Rand and Mat. Nynaeve complains about Moiraine, emphasizing “she says” this and “she says” that. Perrin grins. Abruptly, she drops her bag and grabs Perrin’s face, thumbing back his eyelids. She held his face easily.
I don’t understand. If it was yellow eye fever, you would not be able to stand. But you don’t have any fever and the whites of your eyes are not yellowed, just your irises.
Moiraine approaches and says “yellow?” Then she holds his face up, as Nynaeve had. Moiraine mutters to herself that there was not foretelling this. She wonders to herself if the Pattern has been altered and if so by whose hand? She decides to heself that The Wheel Weaves as the Wheel Wills.
Nynaeve asks Moiraine for aid as if the request is being dragged out of her. Perrin glares at both of them and tells them to talk to him. Moiraine tells Nynaeve that this cannot be healed. She says it will not harm him directly. Then Moiraine tells both of them that they need to sleep while they can.
Suddenly Perrin realizes that Moiraine knows about the wolves and she thinks it might be the Dark One’s doing. Perrin approaches Lan to sleep. Perrin asks Lan if he knows.
Lan tells him that he knows some of what has happened to Perrin but not all. He asks if he just came to him or if he had a guide. Perrin tells him about Elyas Machera. Lan draws a deep breath and Perrin looks at him sharply.
Lan tells Perrin that Elyas taught him a lot about both the Blight and the sword. He tells Perrin that Elyas was a Warder… before. Lan tells Perrin that the Red Ajah thought Elyas could channel. Perrin tells Lan he had heard of the Red Ajah and Lan says that what he has heard is no doubt wrong. He explains that there are factions within Tar Valon.
Lan asks if Elyas is well and Perrin says that he believes so. Perrin hesitantly asks Lan about communicating with wolves. He says that Moiraine seems to think it is something the Dark One did.
P: It isn’t, it is?
Lan tells him that it is not from the Dark One in and of itself despite the fact that some think it is. Lan tells him that communicating with wolves is an old thing that was lost even before the Dark One was found during the Age of Legends. He asks Perrin what the chances are that he could meet someone capable of guiding him in this thing.
Lan tells Perrin that the Pattern is forming a Great Web, what some call the Lace of Ages, and that the three Emond’s Field boys are for some reason central to that Pattern.
I don’t think there is much chance left in your lives now.
Perrin states that the Dark One cannot touch them unless they name him. Lan notes that the people from his village are stubborn, perhaps stubborn enough to save themselves in the end.
Lan tells them that they may be nearing the end of an Age. Suddenly he grins that they may be at the end of the world itself. He tells him that they will fight anyway and that Two Rivers folk are too stubborn to surrender.
Lan advises him to get some sleep. He tells Perrin to pray they find his friends there and in time.
Lan is a bad, bad man. He just walked into the Whitecloak camp and walked out with Perrin and Egwene.
I love the two word wolf communication in this book.
“We come” earlier. In this chapter, “Help comes.”
As much as I love the wolf stuff in this book, I am not sure if I would actually like to have wolf-colored yellow eyes. I am looking forward to seeing how that looks on screen with the TV series. If it looks good on the TV show, I expect to see more “wolf eyes” colored contact purchases out and about in the real world.
Nynaeve is great again in her limited time. She laughs when Lan is impressed that she returned with the horses. We also see her heart on display when she asks how someone could not like Perrin “that much” as she sees his body covered with bruises. I believe that bruise-healing is the first time we see her realize after-the-fact that she used the One Power, since learning she could. She seems kind of horrified and resolved at the same time.
This is a chapter where we finally learn more about Lan. Diademed Battle Lord is just about as cool a title as one can have, I think. He seems to have turned a corner, too, from being annoyed by the Two Rivers folks to caring for them.
al’Lan Mandragoran is his full name. This is another name evoking King Arthur stories. Lan obviously derives in part from Lancelot. Here is what his WOT Wiki page says (with spoilers removed):
Lan may be based on Lancelot du Lake of Arthurian mythology. The name Lancelot is from an Old French word meaning “servant,” so it is somewhat fitting that he is Moiraine’s Warder. His name may be an allusion to the Druid, Allanon, in the Shannara series by Terry Brooks. Lan’s skills in the wilds, combat ability and royal heritage also resemble that of King Elessar Telcontar (Aragorn) in “The Lord of the Rings.” His name may also be derived from the historical figure Andragoras of Parthia, a satrap under Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC.