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 42: Remembrance of Dreams
Rand led a subdued group back downstairs from the attic where they left Moiraine and Lan with Mat. On the walk, Rand notices that Perrin’s eyes are gold like polished amber. Rand takes them to the library. Rand takes five steps into the library before realizing that everyone else has stopped, in the doorway, open-mouthed, and goggling.
When the group enters, Loial stands to bow formally to them. It takes Rand a minute to realizes his friends are staring at the ogier. He introduces Loial to his friends. After introducing Loial as an ogier, he watches their expressions change in astonishment. Loial asks Rand about the Aes Sedai and Rand tells him that she is upstairs with Mat. Loial suggests that they all take a seat. The act of sitting causes the Emond’s Fielders to begin asking questions. Rand has heard Loial talk about the things they ask him before and his thoughts drift to Mat.
Suddenly the door opens and Mat stands there, blinking, with a dark scarf wrapped around his forehead. Moiraine was behind him and watching him carefully.
Mat: It seems I’ve been acting, uh, sort of oddly. I don’t remember much of it really. […] Everything is hazy after Whitebridge. […] You can’t hold a man to blame for what he does when he’s crazy, can you?
Rand sees that Mat still has the dagger inside his coat. Moiraine explains to Rand that she cannot take it from him without killing him. She says it must be taken from him in Tar Valon and by more than one Aes Sedai. Rand notes that he does not look sick anymore and says that it is a good thing that Tar Valon is where they are going.
Loial rises to his feet and bows to Moiraine. After the greeting, Moiraine warns Loial to not be too free with the greeting because there are twenty other Aes Sedai in Caemlyn and everyone but her of the Red Ajah. She then says it is strange to see him. He explains that he always desired to see the groves and the cities. When Moiraine tries to dismiss Loial so that they can plan their journey, Rand steps in and tells her that Loial is coming with them.
Moiraine nods and notes that the Wheel Weaves as the Wheel Wills. She then asks Lan to see that nobody sneaks up on their meeting. She announces to the now quiet group that they cannot remain long in Caemlyn nor are they safe in The Queen’s Blessing. The announces that the Dark One’s eyes are already in the city. She also notes that Children of the Light are in Caemlyn looking for Perrin and Egwene. Rand makes a sound and Moiraine raises an eyebrow at him.
R: I thought they were looking for Mat and me.
He explains that the Whitecloaks visited the Inn and stated that they were looking for Darkfriends from the Two Rivers. Loial interjects that Elaida… and Moiraine cuts in sharply.
M: What is Elaida Sedai to do with this.
R: She wanted to throw me in prison. All I wanted was a look at Logain and she wouldn’t believe I was in the Palace Gardens with Elayne and Gawyn just by chance.
With everyone staring at him, as though he has sprouted a third eye, Rand explains that Queen Morgase let him go and that she will uphold the law regardless of what Elaida suspects.
R: Can you imagine me meeting a Queen? She’s beautiful like the queens in stories. And so is Elayne. And Gawyn? You’d like Gawyn, Perrin. Perrin? Mat? Blood and ashes, I just climbed up on the wall for a look at the False Dragon. I didn’t do anything wrong.
M: That’s what I always say.
Perrin notes that Rand really has had adventures. He says that all they did was see Tinkers and Whitecloaks. Touching the bruises on his face, he states that on the whole the Tinkers were more fun than the Whitecloaks.
Loial begins telling what he knows of the Tinkers. When Moiraine begins to cut him off, he continues on as if afraid she might stop him. He asks if he can ask her a brief question. He tells a story about a man who visited Stedding Shangtai, the stedding where he is from, who was at the point of death. After a few months in the stedding, the man healed. Howeer, before he left, Loials says the man told a curious tale. The man said that The Dark One intended to blind the eye of the world and slay the great serpent – kill time itself. Loial asks Moiraine if it is possible for the Dark One to do such a thing.
Suddenly Perrin speaks up and says that this is what the Tinkers told them and Egwene chimes in, too, saying that this sounds like the Aiel story. Moiraine asks what story they are referring to. Perrin tells the he learned, while with the Tinkers, about finding Aiel dying in the Waste after a battle with trollocs. Before the last Aiel died, she told the Tinkers what Loial just said. Sightblinder intends to blind the eye of the world. Perrin says that the event with that Aiel is said to have happened only three years ago. Perrin asks if means something and Moiraine replies that perhaps it means everything.
Perrin abruptly speaks again.
P: Ba’alzamon… at the time I wondered where I had heard that name before. Now I remember, don’t you?
Mat says that he does not want to remember anything. Perrin continues that they have to tell Moiraine and she asks “tell me what?” harshly. Moiraine’s gaze settles on Rand. Rand realizes that Perrin is right and Mat nods, too. Rand says that the three of them have had dreams that are not exactly dreams. He tells her that Ba’alzamon was in the dreams.
R: He said… he said all sorts of things. But once he said the eye of the world would never serve me.
Perrin says that Ba’alzamon told him the same thing. Mat nods, too. Moiraine states that she is not angry with him but might be angry with herself. Then she reminds them that she did ask them to tell her about strange dreams.
Moiraine: Had I known after the first such… there has not been a Dreamwalker n Tar Valon in nearly 1,000 years. But I could have tried. Now it is too late.
Rand notices that Nynaeve and Egwene are looking and he, Mat ,and Perrin with faces that are horrified. Moiraine tells the boys that being near her will help a little but that they will have to find the strength within themselves to deal with this. Perrin says that he thinks he has already found his protection. Moiraine agrees that he has.
She tells that there are limits to the Dark One’s powers and that they cannot surrender to him even for an instant. She says the Dark One cannot make them his unless they give in and allow it. Moiraine tells the three boys that they are central to the Pattern itself and that a Web of Destiny is being woven with every thread leading straight to them. She asks what else the Dark One said to them.
Perrin says that he said one of the three of them were chosen and that the Dark One laughed about what they were chosen by. Mat adds that he said the Amyriln Seat would try to use them just like they had used others. Mat remembers the name Davian. Perrin adds Raolin Darksbane. Rand adds Yurian Stonebow and Guaire Amalasan. Rand barely stops himself from saying the name Logain and he is not sure whether Moiraine noticed that he abruptly stopped.
Abruptly Rand wonders if Moiraine wants to use one of the three boys as a False Dragon. Rand asks if she knows the names. Instead of answering directly, she warns Rand against letting the Dark One sew seeds of doubt in his mind. Rand notices that she did not answer his question. He notices that Egwene is crying softly and Nynaeve is trying not to cry, too.
Loial breaks the silence by noting that all three boys are ta’veren. Moiraine says “so they are.” She says that the news regarding the Eye of the World changes much. She says that being ta’veren means sometimes bending the Pattern to your own needs and sometimes it means the Pattern bending you to the needed path.
She says that they cannot remain in Caemlyn and that they cannot leave Caemlyn. She also notes that they, just at this point, learn of a threat to the Eye of the World not from one source but from three. She says the Pattern is forcing their path.
Moiraine then states that they must reach the Eye of the World as quickly as possible. She says that the New City has grown over Caemlyn’s grove and its Waygate. She says aloud that she suspects Loial has learned the Ways and asks him if it is true.
Loial admits that he has learned the Ways. She asks if he can find the path to Fal Dara along the Ways. She gives him the name of the city as it was used during the Trolloc Wars and Loial knows it. He says he can guide them through the Ways to Fal Dara.
Moiraine states that the Pattern has chosen their path. They cannot stay in the city. They cannot leave through traditional means. However, they have found an Ogier who can guide them out of the city, through an untraditional path, at a moment when they need to reach the Great Blight as quickly as possible.
Loial tells Moiraine no and he states that if they enter the Ways they will all either die or be swallowed by the Shadow.
I love when a story provides moments like this. All of those loose little tidbits of exposition, throughout the book, are now finally tied together. We’ve even had The Ways hinted at a few times as a means of travel. I guess we’re about to learn a lot more about them.
In some ways, this chapter is one big ah-ha moment for everyone.
- Ah ha! That dagger was eating Mat’s brain!
- Ah ha! Loial left his stedding three years ago because the Pattern knew he would need to be in The Queen’s Blessing to meet Rand before this exact moment.
- Ah ha! The Whitecloaks were after Perrin and Egwene!
- Ah ha! All of those mentions of The Eye of the World earlier in the book were pointing us in a particular direction after all.
- Ah ha! All three Two Rivers boys are ta’veren!
- Ah ha! Those dreams of Ba’alzamon were important in maybe a bigger way than we currently realize.
Speaking of that, it’s really hard to put ourselves in the shoes of these characters. Unlike our real world, they *know* in a way that goes beyond faith that there is a cosmic bad guy. Humanity fought a war against it. The scars of that war are still visible on the earth. Even in the winning, humanity largely lost. Now imagine finding out that the cosmic bad guy is about to escape again and that three people you know have been visited in their dreams by that cosmic bad guy? Yeah, you’d cry, too.
Specifically though, I do find some of this detail… interesting. We know now that twenty years ago, a man found out about a plan to kill time itself. How did he find out? We know that Aiel Maidens of the Spear somehow found out about the same plan a mere three years ago? How did they find out?
Is some baddie out there just spilling the tea on their baddie plans? Why?