The Great Hunt (Chapter 14): Wolfbrother

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 14: Wolfbrother 

Ingtar is angry that they are gone and that his guard saw nothing. He says to the air that they cannot just be gone. Perrin listens to Ingtar while also listening to Mat muttering to himself some distance away. The sun is now peaking over the horizon – past time for them to have been riding. Everyone stands by their mount and waits.

Uno marches up to Ingtar and says that not only are they gone, there is not even a single track of their exit.

Uno: Burn me! Not so much as a flaming hoof scrape. They just bloody vanished.

Mat suggests that maybe they just ran away. Ingtar’s voice, dangerously soft, asks Mat why they would run away. Mat shrugs and begins to answer. Perrin wants to throw something at Mat to get him to stop talking and is relieved when Mat spreads his hands out and says he does not know why. Ingtar grimaces.

Ingtar: The Builder can go as he will but Hurin would not run away. And neither would Rand al’Thor.

Ingtar sends Uno to search the ground again. Ingtar asks aloud how he is supposed to track the Shadowspawn filth without Hurin. He then says that if he did not know better, he would guess that the Darkfriends managed this so that they could slip east or west without him knowing. Perrin shifts uneasily. He does not think Rand would have abandoned that chase. However, while he can imagine Loial going with Rand for friendship, he cannot imagine Hurin going with them.

Perrin thinks to himself that there may be a way, perhaps, to track the Darkfriends, if he is willing to take it. He does not want to take it but he might no longer be able to run. Perrin still hesitates before reluctantly drifting outward toward distant wolves. He feels for his brothers. He does not like to think of them that way but that is what they are.

Perrin makes contact. He can feel other minds. He feels his brothers, the wolves. The pack in the distance is surprised but they say that they have heard a time of men talking with wolves has come again. They ask if he is Long Tooth and they send an image of a man that looks like Elyas Machera. Perrin tells them no and sends an image of himself. The wolves reply that they have heard of Perrin. They send an image of a massive wild bull with curved horns of shining metal, running through the night, flinging himself among Whitecloaks on their horses.

Wolves: Young Bull.

Perrin is shocked that they have given him a name. He also regrets to think about how he earned the name from them. He then pushes his shock aside and gives the wolves the scent of Rand, Loial, and Hurin. Perrin’s sense of smell became heightened when his eyes became golden. He also developed an ability to see like a wolf in the darkness. The wolves have not seen or smelled Rand, Loial, and Hurin since they arrived at the camp where Perrin now stands. Perrin curses Rand for taking Hurin with him and decides that for the next step, he will have to create an explanation for Ingtar.

Perrin remembers the one time that he went to the dungeon with Egwene. He thought then than Fain smelled worse than trollocs. He remembers wanting to rip through the dungeon bars to tear the man apart. Perrin sends them the trolloc scent and Fain’s scent. From a distance comes a howl of wolves. The horses in Ingtar’s camp stamp their hooves nervously at the sound. Inside Perrin’s head, he can feel the rage and the hate of the wolves.

He knows that there are only two things that wolves hate – fire and trollocs – and they will go through fire to kill trollocs. Even more than the trollocs, Fain’s scent is putting the wolves into a frenzy, as though his scent makes the trollocs seem natural and right by comparison. He asks where they are. He puzzles out the answer and determines that the trollocs are south. The wolves are eager and they are ready to let Young Bull share in the killing.

Kill them. Kill the twisted ones.

The fury of the wolves infects Perrin, his lips pull back in a snarl and he steps forward as if to join them. With an effort, Perrin breaks the contact except for a thin sense of their presence. He feels cold inside. Mat suddenly asks Perrin if he is alright. Then he starts muttering about how the last thing he needs is for Perrin to get sick. He offers to make Perrin some willow bark tea. Perrin tells him that he is alright.

Perrin approaches Ingtar, privately, and tells him that Fain and the Darkfriends are still heading South. Ingtar asks how he knows this. Perrin replies that wolves told him. Ingtar replies that he has heard of things like this, after a moment.

Ingtar: There was a Warder, a man named Elyas Machera, who some said could talk to wolves.

Ingtar catches a look in Perrin’s eyes and asks him if he knows Elyas. Perrin admits that he does. Perin begins to say that Elyas is the one, but cuts himself off and says that he does not want to talk about it. He then tells Ingtar that he did not ask for this. Ingtar asks if the wolves will track the trollocs and darkfriends for them. Perrin nods. Ingtar says good and that he will have the Horn whatever it takes.

Ingtar tells Perrin to keep this between the two of them and Perrin says he would prefer nobody else ever found out. Ingtar says that he will tell them that Perrin thinks he has Hurin’s talent. He also tells Perrin that some of the men saw Perrin wrinkling his nose at the village and at the ferry. Ingtar says he has heard jokes about Perrin’s delicate nose.

Ingtar feels assured. He says Perrin can direct them and Uno can confirm the trail by finding tracks. Ingtar says that by nightfall every man in the camp will believe he is a Sniffer. Most of the men believe Ingtar’s story as they saddle up. Mat is the hardest to convince.

Mat: A Sniffer? You!? You’re gonna track murderer’s by smell? Perrin, you’re as crazy as Rand. I am the only sane one left from Emond’s Field with Egwene and Nynaeve trotting off to Tar Valon to become…

Perrin take’s Hurin’s place in the column as they ride. Mat makes disparaging remarks until Uno finds tracks left by trollocs and men on horses. Perrin’s efforts are at keeping the wolves from attacking the trollocs. He worries that if they do, the Darkfriends will scatter with the Horn in hand.

Perrin abruptly stops his horse, and curses softly. The other men do the same. Perrin feels great disgust from the wolves. The wolves send him images of bodies of men, women, and children, heaped and tumbled about. He can see vultures flapping blood covered wings as well as severed heads piled up.

Above some trees in the far distance, he can make out black specks in the sky, dropping and then rising again. He sees vultures fighting over their meal. He points ahead and says that there is something bad up ahead. Perrin says that he thinks the people from the village were killed by trollocs up ahead. Uno begins cursing quietly. Ingtar announces that there is someone following them. Thin scattered dust arises from behind them, to the north. A horse is running across patches of grass. A speck appears. It is a woman on horseback. Perrin can see her long before anyone else. She slows to a trot as she comes up on them.

She is a plump graying woman, fanning herself in the saddle, and she blinks at all of them vaguely. Mat disappointedly points out that she is one of the Aes Sedai from Fal Dara. He says that her name is Verin. Ingtar sharply corrects him, saying Mat should call her Verin Sedai. Ingtar bows to her frim his saddle. Verin announces that Moiraine sent her. Verin says that Moiraine thought they might need her. She points out that they must have seen the Village and says *that* was very nasty – referring to the myrddraal nailed to a door. She complains that she was in a hurry because she has never had a chance to study a myrddraal.

Suddenly Verin’s eyes narrow and her absent manner vanishes. She asks where Rand al’Thor is. Ingtar grimaces and tells her that he, the Ogier, and Hurin vanished without a trace the night before. She wonders aloud what an Ogier and Ingtar’s Sniffer would have in common with Rand. Ingtar gapes at her that she knows what Hurin does. She laughs and asks him if he thought he could keep something like Sniffers a secret.

Ingtar tells Verin that he has a new Sniffer and explains that Perrin believes he has the talent for it. He tells Verin that she is welcome to join them. Verin muses over the fact that Ingtar found a new Sniffer just as he lost his old one.

Verin: How providential.

She remarks on the fact that Rand disappeared only the night before. She turns in her saddle and Perrin wonders if she plans to ride back. Ingtar asks her if she believes their disappearance has somethin to do with the Horn and Verin replies that she does not believe that it does. She does say, though, that it is odd and that she does not like odd things until she can understand them.

Ingtar offers to send two men with her, as escort, to the spot where they disappeared. She declines the offer, studying Ingtar, and then says that she will ride with him. She asks Ingtar to speak with her as they ride and to tell her everything Rand did and said. They ride off, whispering to each other in tones too low for even Perrin to overhear. Mat rides up beside Perrin and mutters that it is Rand she’s after and not the Horn. Perrin nods in agreement. He thinks to himself that wherever Rand is, he should stay there, because that place is safer than here.

REACTION:

Robert Jordan re-used the chapter title, “Wolfbrother” and I am fine with that. No. I am GREAT with that. Honestly, if the rest of this series was just wolves complaining about the twisted ones, I would read that and enjoy it.

This is a big chapter inasmuch as we now know Perrin’s wolf name is “Young Bull” and that he earned the name on the night that he killed Whitecloaks saving himself and Egwene. All in all, I think Young Bull > Long Tooth. This is also the chapter where Perrin becomes a “Sniffer” but also tells Ingtar the truth behind it. Borderlanders are just extremely chill when it comes to weirdness. I suppose living next to the Blight will do that.

Oh, you have yellow eyes and you talk to wolves? Awesome. Wait, are you going to help me defend the world against the Shadow? Oh you will. Okay. Good deal about that wolf thing.

I wonder if a “Wolfbrother name generator” thing exists online somewhere. I feel like mine would have something to do with being abnormally sedentary.

Mat being discombobulated about this turn of events is fun, too.

Mat: A Sniffer? You!? You’re gonna track murderer’s by smell? Perrin, you’re as crazy as Rand. I am the only sane one left from Emond’s Field with Egwene and Nynaeve trotting off to Tar Valon to become…

Then here at the end of the chapter, Verin shows up. We do not know why. She says Moiraine sent her and we do not know whether that is true or not. That story just seems suspicious. It is interesting to me, though, that she must have left *before* Rand disappeared. So what spurred the sudden departures of Moiraine, Verin, and Liandrin from the Tar Valon group? Any ideas?

Something obviously spurred it, though. Verin seemed intrigued that Rand disappeared only the night before, too. It was almost as though she thought he had disappeared sometime prior to that.

I wonder if something that happened in that Village, in the room with the flies, was the trigger for the Aes Sedai departure from the Tar Valon party.

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