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 27: Within the Ways
NOTE: The following chapter summary comes from wot.fandom.com:
Point of view: Perrin Aybara
Perrin and Gaul are in the Ways and have been following the group led by Loial for two days. Loial with Faile, Bain, and Chiad are heading for the Manetheren Waygate which will put the group near the Two Rivers. Perrin reflects on the altercation he had with Faile when she took exception to his entering the Ways first. The result appears to have been a draw. For now, Perrin is following the agreement with Loial to stay back.
Faile calls for Perrin to join her at the final guiding. Just as they are about to leave for the Waygate, Perrin smells Trollocs and shouts to warn the others. A battle starts and before long all of the Trollocs are dead. Perrin, Loial, and the Aiel all have minor injuries but Faile stayed uninjured by using her knives from a distance. Then a Fade attacks. Gaul attacks with his spear while Bain and Chiad use bow and arrows. Perrin comes up behind and uses his hammer to end the fight. There are more Trollocs so they rush to exit through the Waygate before another attack.
Perrin hears the Black Wind approaching and urges the group to hurry. Loial opens the Waygate. Faile gallops out and tumbles from her horse due to the time difference. The rest of the party exits, Loial last. As two Trollocs try to follow, they are caught by the Black Wind and pulled back inside. Loial puts the leaf key from the inside on the outside so that the the gate can no longer be opened from the inside.
It is late afternoon in the Mountains of Mist. As Perrin observes a pair of hawks, one of them is pierced by an arrow. When the other descends, it is attacked by a flock of ravens. Reluctantly Perrin sends his thoughts out to communicate with any wolves nearby, to find out about the ravens and whoever shot the arrow. He finds out that there are no wolves nearby despite this being an area with no human presence.
So, let me provide some quotes to highlight something that I definitely just read over initially:
“I told you not to do that,” he growled. Her fist was not very big, but her sudden punch to his shortribs drove most of the air from his lungs, hunching him over sideways, and she drew back her fist again. With a snarl, he seized her by the scruff of her neck and…
Well, it was her own fault. It was. He had asked her not to hit him, told her. Her own fault. He was surprised she had not tried to pull one of her knives, though; she seemed to carry as many as Mat.
Faile hits Perrin. *fade to black* Perrin has retaliated physically in some way. What did he do?
She had mounted Swallow and sat there, very stiff-backed, refusing to sit gingerly, staring at him with an unreadable expression.
I think we can infer that Perrin spanked her. In front of everyone. Loial attempted to intervene and Faile told him to stay out of it. She wanted the Aiel to intervene but they refused. I really have no idea how to even react to this scene or that the end result of it was she is not mad at him anymore. I don’t know how to compare it to the physical attack she laid on him, first.
Was she wrong to be very angry that Perrin went in first? Given the circumstances of their agreement… no. Did she take it too far with the multiple slaps and the punch? Yes. But he spanked her like she is a child? Really?
(Actually, if you watch old movies the idea of a man spanking his misbehaving significant other is… a thing. It might shock a young person to know that Lucy, from I Love Lucy fame, was spanked by her TV spouse during an episode.)
And that is quite enough on the topic. Poor Loial. I cannot imagine traveling with these two people.
The group travels The Ways. They find out trollocs have been traveling The Ways, too, and they have a brief skirmish just at the Manetheren Waygate. Loial locks the Waygate from the outisde, with the Shadowspawn inside left to die at the gusts of The Black Wind. Is it a coincidence that shadowspawn are just outside the Waygate that leads into The Two Rivers? Probably not. Is this how they got into The Two Rivers on Winternight? I cannot remember if that has been confirmed, officially, but it is by far the most likely answer.
Outside the Waygate, and close to home, Perrin feels like something is amiss outside of the Two Rivers. He sees an arrow take down a hawk in flight, and a group of ravens take down a second hawk. He decides to try communicating with wolves to find out what is going on with the ravens but to his shock he cannot feel any of them. He thinks they should be nearby, though, in the mountain wilderness.
I think that in addition to the Whitecloaks, there are other pieces on the Two Rivers chessboard for which Perrin has not planned.