The Shadow Rising (Chapter 53): The Price of a Departure

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 53: The Price of a Departure

NOTE: The following chapter summary comes from

Point of view: Perrin Aybara

There have been several more attacks on Emond’s Field since the first attack seven days ago and Perrin is in the Winespring Inn, planning the defence of the village along with FaileTam and several of the prominent villagers. Aram is also there, following Perrin wherever he goes. Dannil Lewin arrives and says that the Whitecloaks have come and brought in a wounded man demanding to see Perrin. They go to the dying man who is accompanied by several Whitecloaks including Dain Bornhald and Jaret Byar. They say they found the man a few miles to the south and the man only manages to deliver the message “we are coming” before he dies.

A boy comes running saying that there is movement in the Westwood. It turns out to be Loial and Gaul, returning from their mission to seal off the Waygate. Gaul is wounded in the leg so Loial had to carry him while they fled from the Trollocs through the woods. Loial tells them that there are thousands of Trollocs in the woods, but as he does, Luc rides up and say that they are wrong; it is less than a thousand all together. As Gaul argues in Loials favour, Luc says that he has been to the Blight and knows what he is talking about.

Perrin is lead back to the inn by Faile who foces him to go to bed. As he falls asleep he enters the Wolf dream and has some visions.

  • Egwene with fear in her eyes standing among a group of women who slowly kneel before her.
  • Mat naked and bound, with a spear with a black shaft on his back and a medallion in the shape of a foxhead hung on his chest
  • Rand in rags with a bandage covering his eyes.

He also searches the Two Rivers for signs of Trollocs and sees hundreds of camp fires scattered around the village indicating that Loial and Gaul are right. He searches the nearby villages as well, including Deven RideWatch Hill and the Taren Ferry which is destroyed. The banner of Manetheren is raised outside the White Boar. Suddenly an arrow passes over Perrin’s head just as he bows down and he takes one big leap, sees Slayer approaching and hits him in the chest with an arrow. Slayer screams and disappears. Perrin wakes up.

As he wakes he hears a commotion downstairs. Ban al’Seen tells him that Luc just rode away in a hurry looking injured. Perrin ponders about the connection between Luc and Slayer, how they both smell inhuman, but different. Downstairs he meets Faile and convinces her to go to Caemlyn for help and she agrees for the price of a wedding. Moments later they are married before the Women’s Circle and the rest of their party.


The end sequence of this chapter is probably the best “romance” writing that Jordan has done in the series to this point. I am completely convinced that Faile *loves* Perrin and vice versa. Jordan somehow convinced me of that despite two books of the two of them bickering at each other. Here in the big moment, Perrin is lying to Faile, hoping to save her. Everyone knows that Perrin is lying but he does not know that they know. His lack of awareness is exactly why he needs Faile in his life. (Loial picking up on it is the giveaway, as is the off-handed mention of Faile’s eyes “glistening.”)

Faile’s embarrassed and too-quick explanation that she has verified that the Women’s Circle already considers them betrothed and then her reaction to Perrin’s proposal was ADORABLE.

So at least as far as Perrin now knows… his new bride is going to leave the Two Rivers for Caemlyn. Faile agreed to that a little too easily, though, so we’ll see what she really does. Other things…

Loial and Gaul are back and they succeeded in permanently closing the Waygate. The Ogier lived up to his boasts about his own running ability and ran the two of them back to safety after. On the downside, Loial just mentioned for the first time that he’s been too long away from a Stedding. Ruh roh. He must be in *bad* shape to say that out loud.

We hear from Loial, Gaul, and also Perrin’s dreams that there are as many as 10,000 trollocs surrounding Emond’s Field. The upstart villagers have been repelling attacks for a week but won’t be able to hold back a force that large if they come all at once. This has a very strong echo of the Fall of Manetheren story. HOWEVER… “we are coming.” We don’t know what that means and nobody in Emond’s Field recognized the messenger. So maybe unexpected help is on the way?

Perrin kind of solves the Slayer mystery. Somehow Slayer (who looks like Lan) is the same person as Luc (who looks kind of like Rand.) Perrin shot Slayer in the wolf dream and Luc was hurt in the waking world. Unfortunately, Luc – and presumably Slayer – live on.

The other interesting thing from this chapter is that Perrin has a Wolf Dream vision.

  • Egwene with fear in her eyes standing among a group of women who slowly kneel before her.
  • Mat naked and bound, with a spear with a black shaft on his back and a medallion in the shape of a foxhead hung on his chest
  • Rand in rags with a bandage covering his eyes.

Egwene being knelt to…given her line of work, that means she’s a leader of Aes Sedai, right? Future Amyrlin? The door for that opened up with Siuan Sanche being deposed, I guess.

I have no idea what to make of either the Mat or Rand visions but neither of them bode well for either of Perrin’s friends.

We’re coming up on the big finish. I’m looking forward to seeing either the destruction or salvation of Emond’s Field.



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