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 41: A Hunter’s Oath
Perrin watches the shore as The Snow Goose lands on the docks at the harbor in Illian. He can smell fish as he looks out at fishing boats and tanning yards beyond.
Perrin thinks to himself that Moiraine had not been pleased to learn that Zarine – he will not call her Faile – knows that she is Aes Sedai. She was even less pleased when learning that Zarine thought that they would lead her to the Horn of Valere. Perrin almost admires Zarine’s ability to smile at Moiraine as the Aes Sedai stares at her. Lan is barely able to hide amusement over the situation and sometimes his lips quirk almost into a smile. Both women seem to think they are the object of Lan’s amusement.
A few days earlier, Perrin overheard Moiraine ask Lan if she is the object of his amusement and he replied that he would never laugh at her.
Lan: I must become used to smiling. I hear that Myrelle tells her Warders jokes. Gaidin must smile at their bondholder’s quips.
Moiraine gave Lan a hard look for that comment but he did not blink. Perrin thinks that Lan makes cold steel seem like tin.
The crew had taken to silence when Moiraine and Zarine are on deck together. Everyone now knows Moiraine is Aes Sedai and that she is displeased. The crew had learned of it when Perrin and Zarine got into a shouting match and one of them used the words “Aes Sedai” though Perrin cannot remember which of them said it.
Perrin mutters to himself that if Zarine is the falcon, who might the hawk be, wondering if he will be stuck with two women like her. He looks out at the city, as large as either Caemlyn or Cairhien, and reaches out to the wolves finding nothing.
The ship docks and everyone departs. Loial emerges from below deck and rumbles softly that he did not know that they had arrived. Zarine touches the back of Perrin’s neck, causing him to jump. Just then, Moiraine addresses the young woman and tells her that it time for their ways to part. Zarine insists that Moiraine call her Faile and says that she will not be parting with them. Moiraine asks her if she is certain and Zarine says that she is. She adds to Moiraine that she does not think any of them will do what they must do to prevent her from following, at least.
Finally Moiraine tells her that if she wishes to go with them, that she must swear by her Hunter’s Oath to do as she says, to heed her, and not to leave them. Moiraine adds that once she knows more of what they are doing than she should that she will not allow Zarine to fall into the wrong hands. Moiraine orders her to swear to act as one of them and to do nothing that will endanger their purpose. Moiraine tells her to ask no questions of where they are going or why. Moiraine tells Zarine that she must swear this or that she will not leave the marshes of Illian until Moiraine returns to release her.
Zarine swears. After she swears, Moiraine touches her forehead and the younger woman shivers.
Moiraine: Since you brought her to us Perrin, she is your responsibility.
Both Perrin and Zarine complain about this statement but Moiraine goes serenely as if neither has spoken. She tells Perrin, calling him “ta’veren,” that it seems as though he has found Min’s falcon and that it seems that she will perch on his shoulder whether dissuaded or not. She warns Perrin though that she will do what must be done and that she will snip their threads from the Pattern if need requires it. Perrin protests again but Moiraine moves on as Loial mutters about the dangers of angering Aes Sedai and as Zarine asks him in bewilderment about him being ta’veren. She also asks who Min is and what it means that she will perch on his shoulder.
Perrin does not reply to her but is angry inwardly that Min told Moiraine about ‘the falcon.’ He had not known that she told Moiraine. He also thinks to himself that he cannot remember Mat or Rand being bulled by women on all sides. He cannot remember women bullying him either, until he left Emond’s Field. He excepts Nynaeve from that, then Mistress Luhhan, Egwene sometimes, and the Women’s Circle, too.
Perrin surprises Zarine by hoisting her onto the saddle behind him saying that Moiraine will have to buy her a horse as she cannot walk the whole way. She rubs her arm commenting on his strength and asks him where they are going. Perrin replies that she is not to ask questions and he tells her to start calling him by his name.
This is a *really* short chapter where not a lot happens. Notably Zarine/Faile joins the party officially. It’s also pretty apparent that Perrin and the falcon are future romantic interests for one another (Perrin defends her to Lan / Faile calls him cutesy names and then grabs him and laughs against his back as they ride away at the end of the chapter.)
Do we have any idea what Moiraine was going to do to her to keep her in Illian if things had gone differently?
Lan and Moiraine are still at odds over the fact that Moiraine told him she is going to send his bond to Myrelle in the event of her own untimely demise. It’s hard to relate to the notion of transferring a Warder bond but it’s kind of like your wife telling you that you will be another woman’s husband – against your will – in the event she predeceases you. This bond is closer, though, and Lan is thus understandably miffed.