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: A Missing Leaf
NOTE: The following chapter summary comes from wot.fandom.com:
Point of view: Perrin Aybara
Perrin is in the Wolf Dream after Faile forced him to take a sleeping draft. He examines farmhouses south of Emond’s Field to see if people have left. He spots ravens in the Westwood and follows in five-mile strides. He stops at the Waygate, noticing that there is only one leaf on this side of the Waygate instead of two―the Waygate is no longer locked. Suddenly the Waygate is open. After a few more minutes, a leaf appears on the inside of the Waygate and they close. Something just entered or left by the Waygate and Perrin has no doubts it is more Trollocs arriving.
A sense of being watched is all the warning he has to avoid an arrow that would have pierced him. He begins a deadly game of hide and seek with Slayer. He spots Slayer below him and notices the Borderland cut of his clothes and a strange resemblance to Lan. Slayer talks to Perrin, telling him that many Trollocs died due to the locked Waygate, victims of Machin Shin. But now they are coming through to harry the Two Rivers until Perrin is dead. Perrin realizes that Slayer is trying to lure him into a trap so instead he deliberately wakes from the Wolf Dream.
Perrin tells Faile of the open Waygate but she is insistent that he will be taken to Emond’s Field to be healed. As Faile and Ila dress him, he comments on Ila’s fine needlework that mended his shirt. She replies that it was Faile that did the mending. Faile blushes because she’d previously told Perrin that she would never mend his clothes for him. Perrin again tries to convince Raen to come to Emond’s Field but fails.
When they arrive at Emond’s Field they find the area greatly changed. Trees have been cut down and a palisade of sharpened stakes is being erected around the village. They are also constructing catapults and have six ready. As they enter the village everyone seems to be admiring Perrin and calling him Goldeneyes. When he reaches the village green a flag has been raised with a red wolf’s head on a white background, the Wolf-Head Banner. Verin examines his wound and remarks that he needs Alanna for Healing.
Perrin continues facing an axe vs. hammer choice. It feels as though this choice is leading somewhere, for Perrin’s overall character arc, but it is not clear to me just yet where that is leading. It seems pretty obvious that right now at least, he needs to be prepared to lead an army.
We can confirm that Slayer is the same person Nynaeve saw in the World of Dreams – someone who looks so much like Lan that he could be related. We are also told he smells cold and inhuman – just as Perrin thinks Luc smells cold and inhuman. Of course, Luc looks nothing like Slayer.
I like that Perrin got the upper hand on Slayer in their confrontation this time. He recognized that the other man was baiting him and reacted appropriately. Young Bull is learning.
We learn a few big things in this chapter:
- Someone (probably Slayer) has re-opened the Waygate. Perrin’s trick of locking it before apparently led to the deaths of a significant number of Shadowspawn.
- The Tinkers are going to be easy prey for the Shadowspawn.
- Emond’s Field is preparing for battle.
The Gaul / Bain / Chiad situation continues happening in the background. I don’t think we’re entirely supposed to understand just yet what to infer from their situation, but it seems to me that Gaul heard romantic interest from one of the Maidens when Perrin mentioned that they suggested they might play Maiden’s Kiss with Gaul.
On the topic of love connections, I *SO MUCH* prefer reading Perrin and Faile as a happy couple to Perrin and Faile fighting. The latter was much more annoying than compelling .
I’m a big fan of the Wolf Banner over Emond’s Field. Who doesn’t love a good banner? Verin totally manipulated that whole thing, in some effort to push Perrin along his destined path. We do have to wonder though whether she’s pushing him down a good path or not, given her own questionable allegiances. Faile is also right… the Andoran nobility will not like it. However, maybe Gaebril is too preoccupied ot notice.
My favorite Emond’s Fielder remains Cenn Buie. He was ready to turn Perrin over to the Whitecloaks the last time he saw him. A couple of weeks later, he’s chanting “Perrin Goldeneyes” and pointing him out to small children. Cenn is the Littlefinger of Emond’s Field.