RAND Al Thor
Year of Birth:
The Dragon Reborn, Coramoor, Car'a'carn, He Who Comes With the Dawn, Shadowkiller, Lord of the Morning
The Badger Reborn, Daraus Sedai, Nae'Blis, Siansonea
Actions During the Story (Spoilers)
Character Summaries (Spoilers)
Rand is described as quite handsome, with light skin, long reddish hair, and grey eyes that occasionally appear blue. In addition, he is noted as being unusually tall for the Two Rivers at approximately 6’6”, and he has a lithe build with broad shoulders. At the beginning of the story, Rand wears standard “Two Rivers woolens” which is suitable for his life as a farmer and sheepherder. Throughout the series, Rand’s clothing changes to reflect his situation and locations at various points in the story.
Rand is generally a mild-mannered young man, described as kind and generous, however, like others from the Two Rivers, he possesses the characteristic Two Rivers’ stubbornness and has been known to participate in various pranks along with his closest friends. Years spent as a shepherd has given him a deep desire to protect the people he cares about from harm, often without a care for his own personal safety. Rand is instinctively protective of anyone he perceives as weaker than himself, likely due to being raised in the Two Rivers with an ingrained social value system similar to the code of chivalry. This often makes Rand strongly opposed to putting women in harm's way, even when he knows they are at least as capable as he is. Rand, like many in the Two Rivers, mistrusts anyone from outside the village and is specifically uncomfortable around women he finds attractive, often feeling clumsy or tongue-tied. Rand’s temper can easily get the best of him, however, it is clear that he is wiser than most boys his age and is being groomed to follow his father on the Village Council.
Actions During the Story
Actions Before the Story
Rand was born in 978 NE, close enough to the end of the Aiel war that Moiraine suspected he could have been the baby Gitara Moroso foretold on the last day of the fighting near Tar Valon, the Dragon Reborn.
Rand does not appear during the events of New Spring; he was a small child living on a farm in the Two Rivers near the village of Emond’s Field for most of this time.
Actions Between the Books
Rand spent his formative years on a farm outside of Emond’s Field as a close friend of Perrin Aybara and Mat Cauthon. Rand lived a more isolated life than most children, even in the Two Rivers, as he lived with his parents on a small farm in the Westwood. During this time Rand became adept as a farmer and sheepherder and learned the other traditional skills of most Two Rivers youth, archery with the longbow, farming Tabac, caring for the family farm, herding, shearing sheep, milking cows, and handling horses and other livestock. His father, Tam al’Thor, taught Rand a trick of concentration known as the Flame and the Void, which helped Rand become one of the best with the longbow of the men his age. When he was only six years old his mother, Kari al’Thor, died of a fever in 984 NE. Rand had an ongoing relationship with Egwene al’Vere, which was considered by most in the Two Rivers to be near to betrothal, meaning the two would likely be set for marriage once Egwene is deemed an adult by the Women’s Circle and allowed to wear her hair in a braid.
Eye of the World
The first chapter opens with Rand and his father Tam as they travel with Bela, their shaggy brown mare, down the Quarry Road from their farm in the Westwood to Emond's Field. This area is called the Two Rivers and they are bringing some of Tam's brandy to the village for the Bel Tine festival the next day. On the journey, Rand feels as though he is being watched and briefly sees a rider wearing black but Tam doesn't see anything and Rand believes he might have just been seeing things.
When they arrive in Emond's Field, Rand meets his friend Mat Cauthon and they are told to unload the brandy near the Inn. They discover they both saw the man in black, but decide to keep it a secret for the time being. They also find out that there are a number of strangers in town for Bel Tine, including a gleeman, a peddler, and a Lord and Lady. The Lord and Lady are discovered to be
Moiraine and Lan. As Moiraine introduces herself to the boys, she gives Rand and Mat special coins, Tar Valon marks, in return for some tasks she plans to ask them to help with later.
Padan Fain crosses the Wagon Bridge on his wagon and stops in front of the Winespring Inn. Mat, Rand, and Perrin gather together. They talk about their knowledge of the Dragon, Aes Sedai, and the Dark One. Some believe that the Dragon Reborn will save mankind but few will speak of it because they are afraid of Aes Sedai and Children of the Light. Mat tells Rand that Moiraine gave Perrin a coin also and that Perrin also saw the rider yesterday at twilight. Rand talks with Egwene and Thom, a gleeman.
Rand and Tam return to the farm, finish chores and prepare for the evening meal. Tam brings out his heron-mark sword. Trollocs attack and Rand and Tam run from the house. Rand finds Tam wounded and feverish. Rand takes the sword and goes back to the farm for the cart and supplies. Inside the house, a Trolloc named Narg confronts Rand but Rand kills the trolloc after it attacks and runs from the house.
Tam is feverish and delirious from his wound. Rand rigs a litter to carry Tam to Emond's Field. As Rand drags Tam through the woods on the litter avoiding trollocs and myrddraal, Tam feverishly raves about the Aiel War and Laman's sin, the field at Marath and Cairhien burning. Tam raves about how pleased Kari will be that he found Rand on Dragonmount. Stunned, Rand wonders who he really is.
The next morning Rand finally reaches the village and smells smoke. Emond's Field was also attacked by Trollocs and several houses were burned. Bela came to the village on her own. Thom and Bran help Rand bring Tam upstairs. Bran notes that Moiraine and her balls of fire and Lan and his sword saved the village. Rand goes to ask Moiraine to Heal Tam. Moiraine agrees to try to help Tam.
Rand feels prickly and shivers when Moiraine Heals Tam. Lan notes the heron-mark sword. Moiraine tells Rand that he, Mat, and Perrin must leave with them and travel to Tar Valon for safety. The Dark One sent the Trollocs specifically for them. Rand reluctantly agrees, as do the other boys.
After the healing, Rand has the first of a series of recurring dreams where is confronted and chased by a figure named Ba'alzamon and other figures of the Shadow. These dreams recur throughout the book and are shared by the other boys as well.
When Tam wakes, Rand tells him about leaving and Tam tells him to go and gives him advice and warnings about Aes Sedai. Moiraine, Lan, Rand, and Mat meet Perrin in the stable. Rand brings his sword, Mat, his bow, and Perrin, his ax. Egwene arrives and demands to accompany them. Thom, who was hiding in the rafters, says he is coming, too. Rand sees a Draghkar hunting. They take the North Road toward Taren Ferry. Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Moiraine, Lan, and Thom ride north as hard as they can. Even so, Rand has to hold back Cloud. He fervently wishes that Bela will hold up. His skin prickles. Moiraine restores the horses and notes that Bela is not at all tired.
When they reach the Taren Ferry, they rouse Master Hightower, and his ferry crew and cross the Taren River with their horses including Bela and Cloud. Once across the river, Moiraine wrecks the ferry, and Rand shivers. The group eventually makes their way to a campsite that Lan had previously set up and Moiraine begins teaching Egwene about the One Power. Women who can channel must be taught. Otherwise, they might die.
The trip to Baerlon takes almost a week. Lan begins teaching Rand, Mat, and Perrin to use their weapons. Rand recognizes Lan's description of mental preparation as the flame and the void that Tam taught him. They arrive in Baerlon and stop at the Stag and Lion Inn.
In the morning, Rand meets a girl named Min Farshaw, who also knows Moiraine. Min tells Rand she has viewings about people and sees these things:
The whole group - "Sparks swirling around you, thousands of them, and a big shadow, darker than midnight. The sparks are trying to fill the shadow, and the shadow is trying to swallow the sparks. You are all tied together in something dangerous."
Egwene - "She's part of it. You're in love with her. She loves you, too, but she's not for you, or you for her. Not the way you both want. When I look at her, I see the same as when I look at Mistress Alys. She won't refuse it."
Rand - "A sword that isn't a sword", a golden crown of laurel leaves, a beggar's staff, you pouring water on sand, a bloody hand and white-hot iron, three women standing over a funeral bier with you on it, black rock wet with blood, lightning around you, some striking at you, some coming out of you. You and I will meet again."
Rand goes for a walk and runs into Padan Fain, who he had thought dead, and tells Padan Fain where they are staying and to come there for help. Rand then runs into Mat. He had the same nightmare. They agree not to tell Moiraine about them. Rand begins to feel very light-headed right as they see three Whitecloaks. Mat plays a trick releasing barrels that splash mud on the Whitecloaks. In a manic mood, Rand laughs at the Whitecloaks then stands his ground, angering them. They head back to the inn and meet Thom on the way. They tell him about Ba'alzamon and the dreams they have been having. Thom tells them those names are dangerous and they should forget them. Back at the inn, they meet Perrin who agrees to keep quiet. Nynaeve is there meeting with Moiraine. Perrin leads Rand, Mat, and Thom into the inn. After she talks to Moiraine, Nynaeve talks to Rand, telling him that Moiraine asked her if any of the three boys were born outside the Two Rivers. Nynaeve did not tell Moiraine, but she tells Rand that Tam left seeking adventure when he was Rand's age. She can just remember his return with a red-haired outlander wife, Kari al'Thor, and a baby. That evening, Rand dances with Nynaeve, Moiraine, and Egwene. Before he goes to bed, Rand heads to the kitchen for some milk where a Fade corners him and smiles. The Fade flees when Lan comes. They all leave in a hurry. Nynaeve decides to accompany them. At the Caemlyn Gate, five Whitecloaks led by Dain Bornhald approach. Moiraine appears to grow into a giant holding off the Whitecloaks and they escape. Rand hopes that Min is all right. They continue east for a few hours, sleep an hour, then are on the road again before dawn.
Moiraine, Lan, Rand, Mat, Perrin, Thom, Egwene, and Nynaeve ride east along the Caemlyn Road, which runs north of the Hills of Absher. On the third day, they hear horns behind them. Lan scouts and reports three to five fists of Trollocs, each led by a Fade. When they hear more horns ahead, they leave the road and head north for the Arinelle. They are trapped by one group of Trollocs and have to fight. After killing them, they continue north and Lan suggests a hiding place. At first, Moiraine refuses, but finally, she acquiesces and they enter Shadar Logoth and find an abandoned building to use as shelter inside the city. While taking care of the horses, Mat talks the other two boys into sneaking out. They run into a man named Mordeth who offers them treasure if they will help him carry it out of the city. Mordeth leads them deep into the cellars of a building where there is a huge pile of treasure. Mat mentions Tar Valon and Mordeth gets angry. Mordeth starts to attack, but suddenly screams and falls back, then dives through a thin crack in the wall.
When they return to Moiraine, she tells them the story of Aridhol and that anyone who accompanies Mordeth to the walls will have their soul consumed and their body was stolen. Lan arrives with news that there are Trollocs and Fades in the city. They prepare to get the horses and head for the river. As they flee, the party gets separated by Mashadar. Rand and Mat ride for the river, but they are attacked by more Trollocs. Thom helps drive them off with three of his throwing knives. They reach the river and ride downstream. They see a light that turns out to be an eighty-foot trader's boat tied up for the night. As they dismount, more Trollocs attack. They grab their saddlebags and jump onto the boat. Rand lands on a sleeping man, Floran Gelb. Rand is knocked down and a Trolloc starts to impale him. Out of nowhere, a boom swings loose and knocks the Trolloc off the boat. The captain of the boat, the Spray, is Bayle Domon. They buy passage and head downriver. Rand, Mat, and Thom are on the Spray headed down the Arinelle River. Rand has another dream. Ba'alzamon tells Rand that the Eye of the World will not serve him and Rand pricks his finger on a thorn. Rand then awakens and finds himself on the deck of the Spray. He puts his finger in his mouth and tastes blood. He looks at his finger and sees a bead of blood form on his fingertip. Four days later, Rand is sitting on top of a mast. He acts giddy and recklessly, nearly dying. Mat is there and Rand sees Mat with the ruby dagger. Mat says he took it from Shadar Logoth.
They dock at Whitebridge. After speaking with the innkeeper, they realize a Fade has been searching for Rand, Mat, and Perrin, along with Thom. Thom leads Rand and Mat as they sneak out of the inn through a window into an alley. Mat asks Thom why he is helping them. Thom tells them about his nephew Owyn. They all leave the alley and enter the square. A Fade is coming toward them. Thom tells them to go to Caemlyn to an inn called The Queen's Blessing. Thom then pushes the boys away and charges the Fade. Rand and Mat run out of town and down the road. Rand and Mat travel the road from Whitebridge to Caemlyn. They stay at several farms and get some meals in exchange for a few hours of work. After several days they arrive at the Grinwell farm and Master Grinwell invites them to stay the night. The eldest daughter is Else Grinwell. She starts flirting with Rand. Mistress Grinwell is suspicious of Rand's intent for her daughter and is happy to see him leave. Rand and Mat continue traveling for several days and then they arrive at Four Kings. It is a rougher town than Rand and Mat are used to. They finally stop at The Dancing Cartman where Saml Hake is the innkeeper. They figure out that Hake is going to rob them. They take notice of a noble in the back of the room who is watching them. Rand overhears that he stopped and looked in all the other inns, including the Royal Inn, then came here. The man's name is Howal Gode. Rand remembers seeing him in Whitebridge. Rand and Mat are shown to their room. After Saml Hake, Jak and Strom leave their room, Rand and Mat block the door. They try to escape through the window but find it is nailed shut. Howal Gode comes to their room and tries to enter. Gode tries to get them to surrender. Rand and Mat look outside and see men outside, watching the window. Lightning then strikes their room. The wall with the window has a hole in it. Mat cannot see but he and Rand take their belongings and leave. Rand and Mat are getting a ride from a farmer named Hyam Kinch. Mat's eyes are getting better and Rand seems to be feeling better, although it has not been mentioned yet when he was sick. Mat acts suspicious of the farmer as he drops them off. They start walking at daybreak. At dusk, the boys arrive at Market Sheran. The next day they have breakfast in the common room of an inn and a boy comes in and sits at their table. His name is Paitr. Mat figures out that he is a Darkfriend. Paitr tries to get them to wait, but Rand and Mat get up to leave. Paitr then yells out "You won't get away. No matter how strong you are, the Great Lord of the Dark is stronger. The Shadow will swallow you!" Rand and Mat leave quickly.
In the next village, Rand and Mat take shelter in a stable. That night they are awakened by a woman entering the stable. She comes over and asks if Rand is all right. She bends over as if to help Rand and then she lunges toward Mat. She has tried to stab Mat and now her dagger is stuck in a post and Mat now has the ruby dagger up against her throat. Her dagger is blackening the wood around it. Mat prepares to kill her, but Rand convinces him not to. Instead, they lock her up in the tack room. They then leave town. About a mile out of town, Hyam Kinch gives them a ride on his cart as he heads towards Caemlyn. While traveling, Rand and Mat notice that the road to Caemlyn is filled with people going to see the false Dragon. At nighttime, they pause near an inn, the Goose and Crown. At one end is a man on a cart, and at the other end are two other men. One of the two men walks away, and Rand realizes that it is a Fade. The man on the cart is Almen Bunt and the man returning to the inn is Raimun Holdwin, the innkeeper. Holdwin says that his "friend" is looking for two young men, one of whom carries a stolen heron-marked blade. Rand and Mat approach Bunt and ask for a ride to Caemlyn and Bunt agrees. During the ride, Bunt tells the boys a little about Queen Morgase. She has an Aes Sedai advisor named Elaida. She has a daughter named Elayne and a son named Gawyn. Rand falls to sleep and has nightmares.
Rand and Mat arrive in Caemlyn in the back of Almen Bunt's cart. Rand remembers that Thom said to go to The Queen's Blessing. They notice that many people are wearing red or white strips of cloth or cording. Rand buys some of the red cloth and a white cord and wraps it around his sword to hide the heron mark. They finally find The Queen's Blessing. They go in and meet Basel Gill. Rand tells him that Thom told them to come here. Master Gill leads them to the stableyard and asks them what is in the case they are carrying. Rand shows him Thom's flute and cloak. Rand tells Master Gill that Thom is dead, but Master Gill says that he'll believe that when he sees the corpse. Master Gill guesses correctly that the boys are having troubles with Aes Sedai. Master Gill tries to ask if either of them can channel. Rand denies it. Master Gill says that he will give them a room and some food. He also tells the boys a little of Thom's past.
Master Gill advises against going to Elaida for help because of their connection with Thom. Rand enters the library and is amazed at the number of books. He meets Loial, son of Arent, son of Halan there, who he first thinks is a Trolloc. Loial quotes, "Till shade is gone, till water is gone, into the Shadow with teeth bared screaming defiance with the last breath to spit in Sightblinder's eye on the Last Day." He thinks Rand is Aiel. Rand explains that he is from the Two Rivers. Rand tells Loial the whole story, including Trollocs and Fades and even his dreams. Loial names him ta'veren and explains the term. He explains that the Pattern bends to make the Web, ta'maral'ailen. The first bending is ta'veren. He also talks about Talents. Loial decides he wants to travel with Rand. Rand and Mat have been in Caemlyn for several days when Logain is brought into town. Rand leaves to go see Logain and asks Mat if he wants to go as well, but Mat declines. Mat has not been out of their room since they arrived. Rand has found out the meanings of the red and white cloth that everyone is wearing. The red is support for Queen Morgase and white is for those who believe her involvement with the Aes Sedai is to blame for everything going wrong. He begins looking for a place to view Logain. It is not long before a beggar bursts through the crowd on the other side of the street. The beggar looks around and then points directly at Rand. Rand backs out of the crowd and runs the other way. He finally finds a wall where he thinks he can see Logain pass by and he scrambles to the top of it. He scrapes his hands and knees on the way up. He is just in time as the procession comes into view. Eventually, Logain comes into view on a wagon inside a large cage with iron bars. Logain throws his head back and laughs and then his wagon enters the Palace grounds. He wonders aloud "Why were the Aes Sedai watching him?" A girl's nearby voice says "They're keeping him from touching the True Source, silly." He is startled, falls off the wall, and gets knocked unconscious.
Rand awakes on the ground with a bleeding head. A boy and girl climb down from a tree. The girl starts to tend to Rand's injury, bandaging his head with a silk scarf. Rand asks who their mother is and the boy tells him she is Morgase. At that, Rand realizes they are the daughter and son of the queen, Elayne and Gawyn, and starts for the wall to leave. Gawyn asks Rand to tell them his name and where he is from, which he does. Gawyn says "Elayne ought to choose her husband from there," meaning the Two Rivers. Galad walks up. Galad distrusts Rand and wants to arrest him, but Elayne stops him. Galad then leaves. Soon after, guards arrive led by Tallanvor. He and the rest of the guards escort Rand, Gawyn and Elayne to Morgase. With Morgase are Elaida and Gareth Bryne. Elaida comes over to study Rand and notices his heron-marked sword. Elaida then has a Foretelling: "From this day Andor marches toward pain and division. The Shadow has yet to darken to its blackest, and I cannot see if the Light will come after. Where the world has wept one tear, it will weep thousands." She whispers the rest to Rand, "Pain and division come to the whole world, and this man stands in the heart of it.". Morgase questions him and then decides to release him, much to Elaida's displeasure. Gawyn tells Rand he looks like an Aielman. Elayne tells Rand that she finds him handsome.
Rand runs from the Andoran Royal Palace to The Queen's Blessing. The cook tells Master Gill and Rand that there is a lady in the kitchen who is asking for Rand and Mat by name. Rand is momentarily puzzled and then dashes into the kitchen to find Moiraine, Lan, Egwene, Perrin, and Nynaeve. Rand, Egwene, Nynaeve, and Perrin go upstairs to see Mat. Moiraine touches Mat and Mat tries to slash her with the ruby dagger. Lan stops Mat's slash and holds his wrist. She explains that Fades could sense the ruby dagger for miles. Rand finally sees Perrin's yellow eyes. Moiraine tells the Two Rivers folk to step outside while she tries to Heal Mat. Rand leads the Emond's Field folk downstairs and introduces them to Loial. Moiraine and Mat enter the room and Mat has been Healed. Rand tells Moiraine that Loial is coming with them. Loial tells of a man that came to Stedding Shangtai about twenty years ago. He was near death but quickly got well in the stedding, then left. He planned to carry a message to Tar Valon that the Dark One intends to blind Eye of the World. Then Perrin tells Moiraine the Tinkers' story of the Aiel and the Eye of the World. The boys then tell her of their dreams of Ba'alzamon and the Eye of the World. Moiraine decides that they must go to the Green Man to warn him. She asks if Loial can guide them through the Ways to Fal Dara, Mafal Dadaranell. Loial says they will all die and explains the dangers of the Ways but reluctantly agrees. Rand and Mat follow Moiraine to the back of the inn where Master Gill is waiting with Lan, Perrin, Egwene, Nynaeve, and Loial. Loial leads them to a basement where the Waygate is located. They enter the Ways and begin traveling.
While inside the Ways, they find Trolloc traces, who are now using the Ways to get around. When the day is nearly past they sense a wind, Machin Shin. They rush madly for the Waygate, but the leaf is missing. Machin Shin arrives. Moiraine channels fire at it but does not kill it. She then channels to open the Waygate and they escape. Machin Shin cannot follow as it cannot leave the Ways. They can see Fal Dara in the distance and head for it.
A Shienaran Lord named Ingtar greets them. He tells Lan there are lots of new Trolloc camps in the Blight, but they will stop them at Tarwin's Gap. He takes them to Lord Agelmar, who is the Lord of Fal Dara. Moiraine speaks with Agelmar about her intentions to head into the Blight and Ingtar returns with news that a strange man was captured trying to enter the keep. Moiraine questions the man and discovers it is Padan Fain. He was compelled by Ba'alzamon to hunt and follow the boys, specifically Rand al'Thor. It was he who brought the trollocs to Emond's Field. The next morning soldiers ride out from Fal Dara to join King Easar at Tarwin's Gap and the party heads to the Blight in the other direction. As Moiraine, Lan, Rand, Mat, Perrin, Nynaeve, Egwene, and Loial ride into the Blight, the weather becomes warm and humid and feels wrong to Nynaeve and Rand. The Green Man has always been found beyond the high passes of the Mountains of Dhoom. They make camp by the Seven Towers so they will reach the mountains in broad daylight. Rand cannot sleep and overhears Nynaeve and Lan having a heart-to-heart talk. The next morning Moiraine, Lan, Rand, Perrin, Mat, Loial, Egwene, and Nynaeve continued north toward the Mountains of Dhoom. The trees start to come to life and bizarre creatures begin to attack them. They hear a fluting cry and Lan says it is Worms. Suddenly, they reach a peaceful, green area and are greeted by the Green Man.
Moiraine, Lan, Rand, Perrin, Mat, Loial, Egwene, and Nynaeve accompany the Green Man to a cave. He tells them the Eye of the World was made in the first days of the Breaking. It was made by a hundred men and women working together, and they died in the process. Moiraine says the Eye of the World has enough power to mend the seals on the Dark One's prison or to break it open. It is the pure essence of saidin. When they leave the cave two men approach, Aginor and Balthamel. Aginor says Mat guided them, "an old thing, an old friend, an old enemy". He says "the seals weaken, some of us are bound no longer, like Ishamael we walk the world again." Aginor says he might teach Rand. Everyone runs and Aginor follows Rand. Rand runs away up a hill. He hears Moiraine stop screaming and Aginor follows him. He reaches a cliff and has to stop. Aginor arrives, growing younger. He says Ba'alzamon will give great rewards to whoever brings Rand to Shayol Ghul, but he faced Lews Therin in the Hall of the Servants and does not want to share power. Rand sees a glowing white rope on Aginor and begins to draw on it himself. Rand begins drawing on the cord as well. Aginor says it is his, draws even more, and bursts into flame. Rand desperately wants to get away, and suddenly he is at Tarwin's Gap.
An army of men fights an army of Trollocs and Fades. Rand sees six Draghkar and strikes them out of the sky with lightning. He pounds on the ground and a wall of flame and rock pour over the Trollocs. He says, "This has to end." A voice in his head says, "IT IS NOT HERE. I WILL TAKE NO PART. ONLY THE CHOSEN ONE CAN DO WHAT MUST BE DONE, IF HE WILL." Rand says, "Where?" The voice says, "NOT HERE." Stairs appear and he climbs them through blackness, eventually reaching the same wooden door of his dreams. He faces Ba'alzamon again. He also has a cord, but it is black and bigger. Ba'alzamon says he let the Aiel escape and sent Jain Farstrider "whom I painted like a fool" to the Ogier to tell of the threat to the Eye of the World. He commands Rand to look and he sees Egwene, Nynaeve and his mother. Egwene and Nynaeve fade, but Kari al'Thor remains. She begs him to save her and Fades begin torturing her. Rand suddenly has a sword of fire and burns them, freeing her. Ba'alzamon says he must teach Rand before he can wield the One Power safely. Rand turns the sword on Ba'alzamon, cutting his cord then spraying him with fire. Ba'alzamon wails and is gone. Rand's cord diminishes to nothing and he falls.
Rand awakens from a raging fever back at the top of the cliff. All that is left of Aginor is oily ashes and burned cloth. He climbs back down the hill and finds Egwene, Nynaeve and Moiraine by the great oak that was the Green Man. Rand tells Moiraine he killed the Dark One. He tells her everything that happened, including Kari al'Thor. Moiraine says she suspected it was him because he resisted her token and because Bela was mysteriously Healed. She tells him she cannot teach him to channel and he denies wanting to do it again. She tells Rand that only she, Lan, Nynaeve and Egwene need to know. Rand asks if he will be gentled and Moiraine tells him the Pattern is not yet done with him. Emerging from the cave, Mat, Perrin, and Loial bring the Horn of Valere, the Dragon Banner and one of the seals of the Dark One's prison that they had found once the pool of saidin had been used. The next morning they cross the border of the Blight and see that spring has come. They arrive at Fal Dara and hear there was victory at Tarwin's Gap. During the battle, Agelmar saw Rand channeling. He tells Moiraine that Padan Fain is still secure. She shows Agelmar the Horn of Valere and asks for an escort to take it to Illian. Seven days later Lan is teaching Rand how to use his sword. He tells Lan he still intends to go away. Moiraine has been ignoring Rand. Rand tells Egwene he is going away. She asks him to come to Tar Valon with her and Nynaeve, but he refuses. Rand says he will not touch the One Power again, "Not if I have to cut my hand off, first.". Moiraine uses her kesiera to focus her eavesdropping on Rand and Egwene. She says, "The Prophecies will be fulfilled. The Dragon is Reborn."
The Great Hunt
In early summer in Fal Dara, Lan and Rand are practicing swords on top of a tower when the wind seems to turn solid and throws Rand into Lan's practice sword, injuring Rand. During the confusion afterward, they hear drums that herald the arrival of the Amyrlin Seat and her attendant Aes Sedai. Rand packs and prepares to leave Fal Dara. Rand first goes to the sally gate but is prevented from leaving. As he hurries around, he runs into Mat, Perrin, and Loial. Rand tries to anger them so they will not follow. He then runs into Egwene. She suggests hiding in the dungeon, where they encounter Padan Fain, who is highly disturbing. Egwene then offers to hide Rand in the women's apartments.
That night, Rand awakens from a nightmare to find Nynaeve in Egwene's room. The keep is under attack by Trollocs and Myrddraal. Nynaeve tells him Egwene was headed to the dungeon. Rand rushes out and makes his way through the carnage to the dungeon, finding it unlocked and the guards butchered. A note, written on the wall in blood reads, "We will meet again on Toman Head. It is never over, al'Thor." Rand hurriedly tries to scrub it away. Moiraine arrives and they find the other prisoners have gone insane, Fain has escaped, and Egwene and Mat are lying unconscious. Rand looks on as Moiraine Heals Egwene, then examines Mat, observing that the ruby dagger is gone. They realize the Horn of Valere is gone as well. As he leaves to go back to his room, Rand overhears Verin and Sarafelle as they examine the Dark Prophecy written in blood on the walls of the dungeon.
The next morning, Lan informs Rand that he has been summoned by the Amyrlin Seat. Siuan Sanche, Moiraine, and Verin are there when he arrives. Moiraine gives Rand some of his father’s history, and Siuan tells him that Ingtar will leave in search of the Horn of Valere. Rand tells them he will accompany Ingtar. Siuan informs Rand that he is the Dragon Reborn, and he angrily responds that he will not be used by the Aes Sedai. Moiraine recounts Gitara Moroso’s Foretelling of the birth of the Dragon Reborn, and how then-Amyrlin Tamra Ospenya set Moiraine and Siuan on their path to search for him. Rand again tells them he will not be used, insists that Ba'alzamon is dead, and leaves.
As Rand joins Ingtar’s group, Lan approaches and tells Rand about the Sheathing the Sword sword form. As they are talking, an arrow narrowly misses Rand, scratches Siuan, and embeds itself in a man standing behind Siuan. Siuan and Rand quickly realize the arrow was not meant for the Amyrlin, as many others assume, but for Rand. Rand then joins Ingtar, Loial, Mat, Perrin, Uno, Masema, and Hurin, the sniffer, as they ride south out of Fal Dara.
The next morning they find a camp with signs of Trolloc activity. After two days, they find Padan Fain’s Shienaran dungeon guards murdered. Later, they find a Myrddraal nailed to a door, also Fain’s work. That evening Ingtar gives Rand a package from Moiraine, the Dragon Banner. Mat and Perrin are upset to learn that Rand is the Dragon Reborn, and keep their distance as they bed down. Rand sleeps by a large stone with faint carvings, unaware that it is a Portal Stone.
The next morning, Rand wakes alongside Loial and Hurin, but the others have disappeared. Loial tells them what he knows about Portal Stones, and Hurin begs Rand to return them to the real world. Rand is unable to use it, but Hurin says he can still smell the Trollocs, so they continue to follow the trail as they did before, unnerved by the surreal landscape.
Late that night, a vision of Ba'alzamon appears, addressing Rand as Lews Therin. He commands Rand to serve the Shadow and offers to teach him the ways of saidin. Rand refuses and Ba'alzamon surrounds him with flame. When the fire disappears, Rand sees that Ba'alzamon is gone, and his sword’s heron mark has been burned into his palm.
The next morning, the trio finds an unknown woman fending off a grolm. They kill the animal, and the woman gives her name as Selene, a noblewoman from Cairhien. After Hurin slips and mentions they are following the stolen Horn of Valere, Selene begins urging Rand to keep the Horn. At Selene’s urging, and under pressure from the arrival of more grolm, they arrive at another Portal Stone. Selene points out a glyph that indicates the real world, which Rand channels into, and they are transported away. Hurin fears they’ve lost the trail, but Selene surmises that they have come out ahead of the Darkfriends due to the strange distance differential in the bizarre dimension of the Portal Stone.
After camping a few days, Hurin spots a fire, which turns out to be Fain’s camp. Rand and Loial sneak past the guard and steal back the Horn and the ruby dagger. Rand promises to take the Horn to Lord Agelmar in Shienar, and bring the dagger to Mat, placing it in the chest with the Horn.
They cross the northern border of Cairhien, past a huge excavation of a giant statue, and arrive at an inn in Tremonsien. They meet Cairhienin soldiers and an officer. Captain Caldevwin is wary and tells them he will send men to escort them to Cairhien. The next morning Selene leaves a note telling them she has gone ahead without them, so the rest leave for Cairhien with the soldiers.
They arrive in Cairhien during a festival and make their way to an inn. The innkeeper presents Rand with three invitations from Cairhienin nobles playing Daes Dae’mar, the Game of Houses, which Rand throws into the fireplace. Rand unexpectedly runs into Thom as he explores Cairhien. Thom asks Rand to bring his flute and harp to an inn outside the gates.
Rand gathers Thom’s belongings and leaves with Loial, while Hurin guards the Horn. Rand tells Thom about the Horn and asks him to help them bring it back to Shienar. He also asks about the Karaethon Cycle. Thom quotes two passages, and tells Rand he thought one of the boys Moiraine was after was a man who could channel and that he helped them because of his nephew, Owyn. Owyn could channel, but he lasted only three years before he was found and gentled, dying shortly thereafter. Nevertheless, Thom refuses to join Rand at this point.
As Rand and Loial head back into town, Trollocs and Darkfriends attack, and Selene reappears. They hide in the Illuminator's chapter house, but Loial accidentally sets off a huge explosion. Trollocs find them and Rand accidentally starts a fire with the explosives. Selene vanishes, and Rand and Loial head back to rejoin Hurin.
A few days after the Illuminators incident, the innkeeper brings Rand invitations from Barthanes Damodred and King Galldrian. Rand had received dozens of invitations by this point and had burned all of them. Hurin convinces Rand not to burn these last two. Rand and Loial leave the inn for a few hours and return to find it in flames. They rescue Hurin and the Dragon Banner, but the Horn and ruby dagger has been stolen again.
The next night, Perrin stays behind while ten Shienarans under Uno make an escort for Rand, Ingtar, Loial, Hurin, Mat, and Verin to Barthanes Manor. Rand speaks to Barthanes and other partygoers while Mat and Hurin, disguised as servants, scout around for the Horn and dagger. Rand recognizes Thom performing at the gala and tells him that the Horn was stolen and brought to the manor.
Rand follows Hurin and rejoins Loial and Mat, coming to a garden where they find a Waygate. Rand opens it, but Machin Shin is waiting, so Rand channels at it and Loial closes the Waygate. Seemingly at a dead end, they all prepare to leave. Barthanes takes Rand aside and gives him a message from Fain stating that he is waiting for Rand on Toman Head. Rand tells the others about the message and decides to pursue Fain to Toman Head.
The group leaves Cairhien and arrives at Stedding Tsofu the next day to use the Waygate. Verin opens the Waygate only to find Machin Shin waiting, so Hurin suggests using a Portal Stone. The Ogier leads Rand and the others to the nearest Portal Stone.
Verin and Rand work out how to use the Portal Stone, but something goes wrong. Rand sees visions of possible futures, all ending with a whispered: "I have won again, Lews Therin." After this disorienting ordeal, they arrive at the Portal Stone at Toman Head. They all take stock of the situation and notice that it is now late autumn; Verin estimates that four months have passed.
After three days of looking for Fain, Rand learns about the Seanchan, who have murdered many people in the area. Rand feels pulled to Falme and again dreams of Ba'alzamon. As Rand practices sword forms, Hurin, Mat, and Perrin bring news of Fain and the Whitecloaks, so they prepare to ride to Falme. Ingtar orders Uno and the others to follow as the ‘five ride forth’, fulfilling a prophecy Verin mentions.
Rand, Mat, Perrin, Hurin, and Ingtar enter Falme the following morning. They locate the Horn and dagger. Rand spots Egwene wearing an a'dam in the house across the street. Turak arrives with servants and soldiers. As the others deal with the soldiers, Rand squares off against Turak, killing him. They have to make a quick exit, but Rand vows to return for Egwene. As Rand and Ingtar hide in an alley, Ingtar admits letting in the Gray Man at Fal Dara. He sacrifices himself to guard their escape.
As Rand, Mat, Perrin, and Hurin try to find a way out of Falme, they realize they are trapped between an army of Seanchan and hundreds of Whitecloaks. Mat blows the Horn of Valere, and the Heroes of the Horn arrive, led by Artur Hawkwing. Rand seems to float away from them, facing off against Ba'alzamon, finally stabbing him in the heart, as he is also stabbed, "sheathing the sword".
Min finds an unresponsive Rand in a garden, his sword destroyed and his other hand branded with the heron mark. She drags him into a bed and warms him with her body. Lanfear appears and tells a terrified Min that Rand is Lews Therin Telamon, the Dragon Reborn, and tells her to care for him until she returns.
Five days later, Rand awakens. Min informs him of the status of the others and gives news of events that he missed while unconscious. Rand learns that his battle with Ba'alzamon was seen in the sky by everyone in the vicinity. Cairhien is in a civil war because of him. Moiraine found two broken Seals in Turak's house. The Shienarans, led by Uno, pledge themselves to Rand. Moiraine convinces Rand to accept being the Dragon Reborn.
The Dragon Reborn
As Rand, Perrin, Moiraine, Min, and the Shienarans camp in the Mountains of Mist, Rand and Moiraine argue over their next steps. Moiraine wishes to remain where they are, but Rand wants to return to Almoth Plain. Rand unconsciously causes an earthquake. Rand learns that Almoth Plain is in chaos, Whitecloaks are displacing Taraboners and Domani. Moiraine is concerned that the earthquake will alert the Shadow’s forces in the region.
Trollocs attack, but are driven off. Perrin and Min talk to Rand, who is upset because he was unable to help fend them off with the Power. Rand's wound reopens, and Moiraine heals him, though incompletely.
Rand leaves the others and travels alone, hoping to avoid putting them in danger. Moiraine shares a letter detailing Rand’s concern that Ba'alzamon is in pursuit, he doesn’t want others dying for him.
As Rand travels toward Tear, he destroys Darkhounds with a rod of white light, in spite of saidin making him feel sick.
During her studies in Tel’aran’rhiod, Egwene walks to Rand’s camp. She tries to talk to him, but he thinks she is Shadowspawn disguised as Egwene and attacks her with a sword of fire. She flees.
Rand tries to stay awake, fearful of his dreams. In addition to Egwene, he had seen Tam, Kari, Min, Mat, and Perrin, all of whom were Shadowspawn in disguise.
Another night, in the hills of Murandy, Rand encounters Perrin in his dreams and attacks him with the Power. He awakes thinking that Perrin was real and worried that he almost killed him. Shortly thereafter, a female merchant comes upon Rand and asks to share his campsite. Rand attacks her and her men, killing them all with a sword of flame. After slaying the entire entourage, Rand poses their corpses in a kneeling position, noting that there are eleven men when he counted ten before.
Rand arrives in Tear, climbs the wall of the Stone of Tear, and enters the fortress. He searches for Callandor, finally entering the Heart of the Stone where Be'lal confronts him. Rand and Be’lal fight, while Aiel and Defenders of the Stone fight around them. Rand trips and Be'lal goes to finish him, but Moiraine balefires Be’lal before he can harm Rand. The fighting stops, as Moiraine and Rand discuss him taking Callandor. Ba'alzamon reappears, saying he will take Rand's soul. Wracked with pain, Rand grasps Callandor. Ba'alzamon escapes using the Power, and Rand follows him as they fight through a strange version of the Heart of the Stone. Finally, Rand stabs Ba'alzamon through the chest with Callandor and they find themselves back in the real world. The fighting continues while Rand and Ba’alzamon are elsewhere. Rand believes slaying Ba’alzamon means he has killed the Dark One and won the Last Battle. He uses Callandor to destroy the Shadowspawn in the Stone and proclaims himself the Dragon Reborn as everyone kneels to him.
The following morning, the people of Tear awaken having dreamed of the Dragon Reborn killing Ba'alzamon in the Heart of the Stone. As the Dragon Banner flies from the Stone of Tear, the populace proclaims Rand the Dragon Reborn. As Rand roams the Stone holding Callandor with Aiel and Tairen High Lords, Moiraine and the others question the events of the previous night.
They speculate that Ba'alzamon might have been the Forsaken Ishamael rather than the Dark One. Moiraine comments that they are far from finished. Berelain sur Paendrag Paeron, the First of Mayene, gives a parchment to Moiraine. Moiraine reads the message: "Lews Therin was mine, he is mine, and he will be mine, forever. I give him into your charge, to keep for me until I come. Lanfear."
The Shadow Rising
Rand awakes in the Stone of Tear to find Berelain in his room. He leaps to his feet holding his One Power sword, but she tries to seduce him anyway. He gets angry and places her in a cage of Air. A cock crows, and a bubble of evil envelopes the Stone. Rand's reflection steps out of the mirrors in the room and attacks him. After being wounded many times, he figures out how to reabsorb them. Rand grabs Callandor, and Berelain leaves, now terrified of Rand.
Later that night, Perrin calls for Moiraine to Heal Rand, after finding him injured in his room. Rhuarc, Moiraine, and Lan arrive, and Moiraine tells them about bubbles of evil, and how they are attracted to ta'veren. Moiraine Heals Rand, but the wound in his side still resists her efforts. Moiraine continues to push Rand to decide what to do, but he continues to resist her help.
The next morning Egwene and Elayne visit Rand to give him a lesson in channeling. They experiment a bit and determine that how they channel saidar and saidin are completely different. Egwene tells Rand she does not love him, and he admits that he doesn’t love her. She leaves Rand and Elayne alone. Elayne and Rand declare their love for one another and kiss. Gaul and the High Lords enter and Elayne leaves. Rand orders the High Lords to make reforms.
Elayne continues to spend time with Rand, advising him on governing. Rand continues to meet with the High Lords as well. Rand also spends time reading and planning, wanting to do something unexpected.
Rand encounters Selene, who announces that she is Lanfear. She warns him that Sammael, Rahvin, and Moghedien are a threat, and offers to have Asmodean teach him. She wants to destroy the other Forsaken and challenge the Dark One. He rejects her and she promises to wait until he changes his mind. A Gray Man enters, and Lanfear releases him so he can destroy it.
Rand leaves the room and finds the Stone is being invaded by Myrddraal and Trollocs. Rand leads the troops, but the Shadow’s forces are strong and spread out within the Stone. During the fight, Rand realizes that there are also Shadowspawn fighting other Shadowspawn. Lanfear reappears, but denies sending the Shadowspawn to help them. At her urging, he decides to retrieve Callandor. He starts killing Shadowspawn but soon realizes there are too many. He creates a powerful storm cloud that releases streams of lightning, killing all the Shadowspawn in the Stone of Tear. In the aftermath, Rand sees a child's corpse and tries to revive her using Callandor. Later he tells Moiraine about Lanfear, she tells him she doesn’t think he can kill Lanfear. Moiraine says Lanfear will continue to seduce him. He announces that he will reveal his plans the following day.
Rand uses the twisted Redstone doorframe ter’angreal to visit the world of the Aelfinn. As Rand steps out, he runs into Mat and Moiraine, who also used the ter’angreal. Rand and Moiraine refuse to share their answers from the Aelfinn.
In the Heart of the Stone, Rand makes a series of announcements about governing Tear, then says he is going away. He thrusts Callandor into the floor of the Heart of the Stone and tells everyone that he will return for it. As Rand leaves, Moiraine warns him that anyone can take it now, but he tells her he placed wards around it. He tells Moiraine and Egwene that he is going to Rhuidean, in the Aiel Waste.
Rand leads the Aiel, Moiraine, Lan, Mat, and Egwene eastward to a Portal Stone. He has everyone gather as close to the Portal Stone as they can, then he channels to activate it.
They arrive on the slopes above Rhuidean. Amys and three other Wise Ones greet Rand and his retinue. Rand asks permission from the Wise Ones to enter Rhuidean, and they agree. When Mat asks to enter Rhuidean and is refused, Rand insists and they acquiesce. They are told to leave all weapons, then go to the heart of the city.
Mat and Rand walk through the fog and find themselves in an unfinished city. They walk by a fountain and Rand channels to bring up water for them to drink. Rand sees hundreds of items scattered about the plaza including two small statues. They reach Avendesora, and Rand enters the glass columns while Mat enters the twisted Redstone doorframe ter’angreal, a twin of the one in the Stone of Tear.
Rand enters the circle of glass columns and has a series of visions. Muradin, brother of the choleric Couladin, is ahead of him slightly in the field of glass columns.
His first vision is of Mandein, a young sept chief. Mandein joins several other Aiel chiefs to meet with three of the Jenn and two Aes Sedai. The Jenn tell them that those who would be leaders must come to Rhuidean to learn of their past. One of the Aes Sedai quotes the prophecy of the one who will lead them all: "The stone that never falls will fall to announce his coming. Of the blood, but not raised by the blood, he will come from Rhuidean at dawn, and tie you together with bonds you cannot break. He will take you back, and he will destroy you."
Mandein is the first of the chiefs to agree to go to Rhuidean. Rand is confused about the Jenn. They looked like Aiel but carried no weapons.
Rand takes another step. His second vision is of twenty-year-old Rhodric. He learns that the Jenn are moving east across the Spine of the World and that the Aes Sedai hired Ogier stonemasons to build them a new city. Rand realizes he was with the Aiel before they came to the Aiel Waste.
Rand takes another step. His third vision is of Jeordam at eighteen. His father, Lewin, leads one of the septs of Aiel who accompany the Jenn. Several Jenn asks him for help so he takes them to Lewin. After trading with some villagers, the villagers came back at night, robbed them, and kidnapped Morin's daughter and others. Lewin promises to bring them back. Jeordam begins to teach Morin to use a spear. She tells him she saw his face in a dream.
Rand takes another step. His fourth vision is of Lewin. His sister and others were kidnapped by bandits and are being held in their camp. Lewin and his friends rescue them, killing the bandits and defying Aiel law. As they are exiled from the Aiel, Lewin shouts, "I am still Aiel!" Rand feels the pain of Lewin's loss.
Rand takes another step. His fifth vision is of Adan, and he sees the break between the Tuatha’an and the Da’shain Aiel. Rand is confused by Aiel following the Way of the Leaf.
Rand takes another step. His sixth vision is of Jonai. Jonai has lost his family in the Breaking of the World. According to the Aes Sedai, Ishamael is still free. A band of Ogier are unable to find the stedding and are suffering from the longing. As Jonai has a fatal heart attack, he tells Adan to lead the Aiel south. Rand is still confused about how these people can be Aiel.
Rand takes another step. His seventh vision is Jonai again, but younger, in his prime. He is in the Hall of the Servants and witnesses Aes Sedai arguing, along with Someshta, a Nym. Callandor and the Dragon Banner rest on a table. The Aes Sedai make plans for dealing with the Breaking of the World, including a task for Someshta. One of the Aes Sedai tells Jonai he must complete his task, to lead the Aiel as they carry items of the One Power to a place of safekeeping. He goes to the wagons where thousands of his people are ready to begin their search.
Rand takes another step. His eighth vision is of Coumin, a boy of sixteen. A soldier gives him news that Lews Therin led a strike on Shayol Ghul, and that the Bore has been sealed. The Forsaken were also trapped, so the war is over. A townsman strikes Coumin, saying they will root out all who served the Forsaken. Back at his inn, he finds that an old man named Charn, who claimed to have served Lanfear before she served the Shadow, has been hanged.
Rand steps forward. His ninth vision is of Charn at age twenty-five. He is near the Collam Daan and the streets are lined with chora trees. Charn is musing about his future and is excited because today is the day Mierin Sedai told him she and Beidomon Sedai would try the new source of the One Power. Suddenly the Sharom, a thousand-foot white sphere floating above the Collam Daan, explodes in black fire. Everyone runs screaming.
Rand is back at the edge of the glass columns, he realizes he saw the formation of the hole in the Dark One's prison. Muradin has disappeared, but he sees Mat hanging by his neck from Avendesora, he cuts him down and resuscitates him. Mat tells him about his ordeal with the Eelfinn. As they leave Rhuidean, dust figures attack them, and Rand believes they are bubbles of evil. They fight their way through and break through the fog bank to arrive at dawn.
Rand and Mat return to the Aiel camp. Couladin claims Rand murdered Muradin and attacks him. Bair stops them and has Rand show them the dragon tattoos on both arms. Bair announces that a Car'a'carn, "chief of chiefs" in the Old Tongue, has been chosen. Couladin is furious, but the rest of the Aiel acknowledge Rand and return to their tents. Egwene tells Rand that Aviendha and Moiraine also went to Rhuidean and that they have been gone for seven days. Rand asks Rhuarc about his visions, and after Rand overrules the objections of the Wise Ones, Rhuarc gives him some more context to the visions. Rhuarc recommends that they all go to Cold Rocks Hold, then to Alcair Dal, a place used for meetings of the clan chiefs. The Wise Ones agree to visit all the clan chiefs and other Wise Ones in their dreams to have them come to Alcair Dal with all speed.
Rand asks Amys about his mother and Amys tells him the story of Shaiel. Maidens found her in the Aiel Waste and followed her. She said she was sent by an Aes Sedai named Gitara Moroso. They trained her as a Maiden and she was adopted by the Aiel and the Maidens. During the Aiel War, she became pregnant by the Tardaad clan chief, Janduin. When she disappeared, Janduin resigned as clan chief and was killed in the Blight by a man who looked like Shaiel. Rand is stunned that he has a half-brother. Bair tells him more of Aiel prophecy: "He shall spill out the blood of those who call themselves Aiel as water on sand, and he shall break them as dried twigs, yet the remnant of a remnant shall he save, and they shall live." Because of this prophecy, the Aiel believe Rand is their only hope of survival.
Aviendha returns in the afternoon and stares hatefully at Rand. The Wise Ones decide they need someone to teach Rand Aiel ways. They choose Aviendha, which infuriates her.
The next morning, the Aiel break camp and head northwest. Aviendha walks beside Rand and lectures him about Elayne. They encounter a group of peddlers' wagons. The leader, Hadnan Kadere, says he is seeking Cold Rocks Hold. A woman from the second wagon, Keille Shaogi, bares her teeth at Aviendha. Rand thinks Kadere is dangerous and tells Mat they ride with evil.
When they arrive at Imre Stand, they find the inside of the building is drenched with blood. Kadere introduces Rand to a beautiful young woman named Isendre. Rhuarc addresses Aviendha as a Wise One in training, and Rand realizes that must be why she went to Rhuidean and he wonders if she can channel. Suddenly Trollocs attack, Moiraine later tells Rand that the attack was aimed at him.
Aviendha tries to teach Rand about Aiel customs. Bair tells him that Aviendha did not visit the glass columns, so Rand remains baffled by her hostility. Each evening Rand practices swords with Lan and spears with Rhuarc. The gleeman from the peddler’s caravan, Jasin Natael, often questions Rand about being the Dragon Reborn. Eventually, Rhuarc announces that they have arrived at Cold Rocks Hold.
Rand is amazed to find Cold Rocks Hold is a fair-sized town. Rand is welcomed and dines with the Aiel. After dinner, Rhuarc reports the movements of the various clan chiefs. Rand wants to go to Alcair Dal immediately, but Rhuarc tells him it would be an insult to clan chiefs who have not yet arrived.
Rand goes for a walk around Cold Rocks Hold. He decides that a gift might improve his relationship with Aviendha, so he procures an ivory bracelet. All of the Maidens hold a brief ceremony with him. Rand finds Aviendha and gives her the bracelet, which she accepts. She says anything else would cause a loss of honor, but the Maidens now think he is courting her. Later Rand tells the Wise Ones that he knows Aviendha is their spy.
That night, Rand dreams he is swimming in the Waterwood with Min and Elayne, while Aviendha stands on the bank of the pond. Suddenly they vanish and a beautiful naked woman appears on the bank. She quips about him being unfaithful in his dreams and swims out to Rand. She mentions Ilyena and the other women, then bites his neck. A man's voice from the bank interrupts, and the woman reappears on the bank next to a man-sized blur before they both vanish.
Rand wakes with his neck bleeding. He feels that he is not alone and discovers Aviendha with him. She tells him that the Wise Ones have been spying on his dreams. Suddenly, Rand senses something is wrong and discovers a Draghkar, which he kills. As another Draghkar enters the room, Aviendha sounds the alarm and everyone fights the Shadowspawn. Afterward, Moiraine tells Rand that the attack was surely aimed at him.
After the attack on Cold Rocks Hold, the Maidens claim the right to guard Rand. They have ceremonial drinks until Rand has to be put to bed, Aviendha spends the night by his blankets. They leave the next morning. They reach Alcair Dal and Couladin claims he is the Car'a'carn, showing dragons on his arms like Rand's. Rand shows his arms and says his mother was Shaiel, and his father was Janduin. He challenges Couladin to tell what he saw in Rhuidean. Couladin claims he saw the glory of the Aiel. Rand then says he saw the Aiel when they followed the Way of the Leaf. Couladin calls him a liar. Most of the Aiel are horrified but the clan chiefs know who is telling the truth. All five of them declare Rand the Car'a'carn. Couladin attacks Rand and fighting breaks out. Rand channels a rainstorm.
Suddenly Lanfear appears and is angry that Rand ruined her plans and scared off Asmodean, the only one who would willingly teach Rand. She tells him that Asmodean was responsible for Couladin and the Draghkar attack, and is now on his way to Rhuidean. Rand remembers how to open a gateway and pursues Asmodean.
He sees Asmodean ahead of him, who has black threads running off into the darkness. Rand is surprised to see that Asmodean is Jasin Natael. Rand counters Asmodean’s traps and sees Asmodean jump through an open doorway. Rand follows, and they run to the center of the city and grab the male Choedan Kal control statue at the same moment, capturing half of the Power from it. Much of the city is wrecked in the battle. Avendesora burns and Rand remembers the little fat man angreal, which he uses to sever the black threads around Asmodean, defeating him.
Lanfear appears and Rand tells her he severed Asmodean from the Dark One. This was his plan so he could control him. Lanfear agrees to tell the other Forsaken that Asmodean turned on his own. She also partially shields Asmodean so he is too weak to hurt Rand. Asmodean calls her Mierin and Rand realizes Lanfear opened the Bore to the Dark One's prison in the Age of Legends. As Lanfear leaves through a gateway, she tells Rand she was disguised as Keille, not Isendre as Rand assumed. She tells him to learn quickly before the other Forsaken move more directly toward him. Rand finds the female Choedan Kal control statue and travels back to Alcair Dal with Asmodean. They agree that he will continue to pose as Jasin Natael, and he will teach Rand how to shield his dreams.
Back at Alcair Dal, Rand learns that Sevanna and Couladin left with the Shaido clan. Some from the other clans ran away as well. They head back across the canyon to make camp and wait for the rest of the clan chiefs to arrive.
Fires of Heaven
Rand meets with six Aiel clan chiefs, who agree that the other five clans will eventually come to Rand, other than the Shaido. They are all concerned by how many spears and Maidens have succumbed to the bleakness and given up their spears, or joined the Shaido. Moiraine tells Rand that the wagons with items of the One Power will soon be ready to leave for Tar Valon. She shows Rand another seal she found in the great plaza and demonstrates that it can be scratched with a knife. The seal she brought from Tear is also weakening.
Rand is cautious about going after Sammael in Illian, and Moiraine chides him for leaving Callandor behind. Rand plans to take the Aiel across the Dragonwall and use them to unite the west. Rand talks briefly with Egwene, who tells Rand that Elayne loves him.
Rand talks with Asmodean about his loyalty, and Asmodean gives Rand information about how linking works. Rand asks about the Forsaken and Asmodean tells him that Sammael is in Illian, Graendal was in Arad Doman for a time, Moghedien is somewhere in the west, and Rahvin has a queen for a pet. Asmodean does not know where the others are. Rand asks Asmodean what his chances are at the Last Battle. Rand ruminates on removing the taint from saidin.
The Maidens escort Rand to the Roof of the Maidens. Aviendha gives Rand a belt buckle to cancel the debt between them, and they exchange unpleasantries. Rand offers to ask the Wise Ones for another teacher, but Aviendha refuses. Later, Rand is attacked in the night by Darkhounds and uses balefire against them. After arguing with Rand and finally swearing to obey him, Moiraine warns Rand that balefire is extremely dangerous to use and forbidden. She explains that when balefire is used, the thing destroyed ceases to exist before the moment of its destruction, causing the Pattern to be destabilized.
Lanfear appears as Rand gets ready to return to bed and tells him Rahvin sent the Darkhounds and that he is in Caemlyn. Later Rhuarc reports that the Shaido are moving toward the Jangai Pass, and Rand decides to do the same.
As they ride through the Spine of the World, Rand can see bodies hanging from the walls of a town, apparently the work of Couladin and the Shaido.
Aviendha gives Rand another gift, King Laman’s sword. Rand accepts only the blade, giving the jeweled scabbard and hilt back to Aviendha, which infuriates her. Later, Trollocs and draghkar attack their camp, Asmodean tells Rand it was one of the other Forsaken trying to get Rand to go after Sammael.
Near Cairhien, Rand encounters Tairens and Cairhienin from the city of Cairhien. They report that Couladin and the Shaido attacked Cairhien and laid siege. Their party escaped the city to seek help.
Rand unexpectedly encounters Aviendha naked in his room. She panics, instinctively opening a gateway to Travel to an unknown location. Rand instinctively blocks the gateway open and follows her through the snowstorm on the other side. He finds her unconscious and uses the One Power to build a shelter around them. After warming her up, she awakens and they have sex for the first time. Later, Rand and Aviendha carefully make their way back to the gateway. Near the gateway, they find Seanchan soldiers, sul’dam and damane. Rand and Aviendha leap through the gateway after a brief scuffle. A piece of a Seanchan spear comes through as the gateway snaps shut. Rand decides to keep the Dragon Scepter as a reminder of the Seanchan.
Rand and his forces are five miles east of Cairhien, which is surrounded by Shaido. Rand studies his own forces and weighs his options. Egwene tells him she will help in the battle. Lan tells Rand that Mat almost exactly outlined the plan that the clan chiefs made, which confirms for Rand that Mat gained military knowledge from the ter’angreal in Rhuidean.
Before dawn, the clan chiefs arrive for a final briefing. Lan tells Rand that Moiraine will Heal wounded. Rand admits that he is wearing a sword to kill Couladin. Outside, Rand finds his tent surrounded by Maidens; they escort him to the tower with Egwene and Aviendha. They all go to the tower and Rand, Egwene, and Aviendha climb to the top. Egwene and Aviendha channel a lightning storm over the Shaido. Rand forms a giant fireball and concentrates on channeling and searing the hills.
At about an hour till noon, lightning strikes around the tower and Rand can feel saidin. The lightning marches to the tower and the tower falls. Rand passes out, and when he wakes, the old wound in his side is bleeding. Rand can feel the saidin residue leading west and realizes that the attacker was Sammael. Rand decides to move closer to the city.
Later in the night, Rand is exhausted as he makes his way to talk to the Wise Ones. He still worries about Sammael and Couladin. Rand tells Asmodean what he remembers about Sammael. Lan comes over and tells Rand that all the clans are coming to him. Rand starts to issue orders, but Lan tells him that he has won a complete victory. Rand falls from his horse and passes out.
The following morning, Rand learns that thousands of Shaido were taken prisoner, but most escaped across the River Gaelin. Rand is astounded when Aviendha tells him that Mat killed Couladin. Rand wonders why Sammael did not return to finish him off. Asmodean tells Rand that High Lords came at dawn to see him but the Wise Ones and Maidens would not let them. The High Lords left in a fury. Before them, a dozen Cairhienin lords and ladies came and were also sent away, but they all were ready to swear fealty to the Dragon Reborn. Lord Dobraine and Lady Colavaere hinted at offering Rand the throne of Cairhien, but he has other plans for who will sit on the Sun Throne.
Rand pays a surprise call on Cairhien. On the way, he passes captured Shaido and is amazed at how many there are. He also sees Aiel wearing scarlet headbands featuring the Aes Sedai symbol, the siswai'aman. These Spears Of The Dragon believe serving Rand atones for their sin in failing the Aes Sedai. Tairen nobles and Defenders of the Stone ride with Rand to the Sun Palace. Thinking that Moiraine and Thom would be proud of him, he puts the High Lords off guard by greeting some warmly and giving a cool response to others. Meilan leads the way to the Sun Throne, but Rand asks for a chair saying the Sun Throne belongs to someone else. He orders the Cairhienin nobles to join the Tairens in order of rank, then orders that all but one of his Dragon banners be replaced with the Rising Sun of Cairhien to join the banners of Tear. The Cairhienin nobles are joyous as the Tairens appear stunned. The nobles swear oaths of fealty to Rand in order of rank, and Moiraine tells Rand this was the right approach. Rand knows he must secure Cairhien before he can move on Sammael.
After ten days in Cairhien, Berelain sends a message. She is on her way to join him with a small army. He considers leaving her in charge in Cairhien as he plans to take the Tairens with him. Of all the nobles, Rand thinks that Dobraine is the only loyal one. Rand knows that Colavaere sent young women to seduce him, so he asks her to dinner to frighten her. Moiraine brings him letters from Elaida and Alviarin. Elaida promises to keep him alive for Tarmon Gai'don and is sending an escort to bring him to the White Tower. Alviarin admits that she is his biggest fan, but warns him that others in the White Tower do not support him. She asks him to keep her letter secret, especially from Moiraine. He immediately shows both letters to Moiraine, who confirms that the oaths preclude written lies, so Rand thinks there might be a rift in the White Tower. Mat returns and reports that he heard Morgase is dead. Gaebril now claims to be king of Andor and Cairhien. Rand feels guilty because he focused on Sammael in spite of knowing Rahvin was in Caemlyn. Rand wants to go after him immediately, but Moiraine convinces him to wait until the next morning. She warns him that Rahvin might be with Semirhage, Graendal, or Lanfear. They make plans for the attack the following day.
The next morning Rand prepares for his attack on Rahvin. Asmodean pleads to go with Rand, and he agrees. Rand considers going for Callandor or the Choedan Kal control statue, but he does not trust himself with so much power. As Rand, Mat, Asmodean and Aviendha leave, Egwene and Moiraine join them. Moiraine gives Rand two letters, one for him to read later and one for him to pass on to Thom Merrilin. She then tells him that there is something urgent he must see at the docks. Rand grudgingly agrees that an hour delay will not hurt, so they leave for the docks.
At the wagons, Rand asks Moiraine what he is supposed to see. Suddenly Kadere's wagon explodes and Rand, Moiraine, and Lan run toward it. Lanfear steps out holding Kadere's whole skin. She is irate that Rand slept with Aviendha. She casually knocks Moiraine and Lan aside, then sends waves of fire over the nearby Aiel. Rand and Lanfear battle trying to shield each other. She begins torturing him and climbs atop the wagon with the twisted red doorframe ter’angreal, holding an ivory bracelet angreal. Rand can feel himself dying but he cannot make himself kill Lanfear.
Rand watches in horror as Moiraine crawls out from under a wagon, then climbs onto the wagon with Lanfear. Moiraine leaps at Lanfear, grabbing the ivory bracelet from her. They both fall through the twisted red doorway. Intense light and lightning come from the door, then it and the whole wagon burn with acrid smoke. Lan staggers forward, saying he can no longer sense Moiraine. Rand blames himself for Moiraine's death because he could not kill Lanfear. Rand asks Lan to stay, but he says he must leave. Rand goes to the dockmaster's cabin to be alone and opens Moiraine's letter. Moiraine writes that if he is reading this letter, then things have happened as she hoped. She knew from Rhuidean that news of Morgase would arrive and that the next day would end at the docks. She warns him to trust no Aes Sedai and warns him to be careful of Jasin Natael. She cannot approve but understands. Rand wonders how she knew about Asmodean.
Sulin enters and begins breaking her spears. The Maidens are dishonored since he will not take them into battle against one of the Forsaken. Rand finally agrees to let the Maidens come with him to fight Rahvin.
Rand returns to the Sun Palace with five hundred Maidens, Mat, Aviendha, and Asmodean. Rand channels, and brings the group to the Royal Palace in Andor. Trollocs and Fades push through the palace walls and pour out of nearby buildings. As the battle rages, Aviendha, Asmodean, and Mat are killed. Rand opens a gateway directly into the throne room. Rahvin is there with a dozen soldiers and lords.
Rand chases Rahvin through the Royal Palace, as Rahvin tries to balefire him. He senses the residue of a gateway and Travels and finds himself in an image of the same place. It reminds him of his chase in the Stone of Tear. Rahvin tries to turn him into Lews Therin, but Rand resists. Rand sends lightning all around then goes back into the palace to find Rahvin.
Rand avoids Rahvin's traps as he follows. He nearly drowns in a fishpond and is seriously bitten before he can change it back. He sees another gateway and goes toward it, but it is a trap. He feels himself turning into an animal and saidin begins to slip away. He knows Rahvin must be nearby but he can do nothing.
Rand sees the fire from Nynaeve’s attack on Rahvin and feels the trap dissolve. Now full of saidin again, he sees Rahvin and balefires him with all his power. He then rushes upstairs to make sure he is dead.
Nynaeve Heals Rand’s recent injuries, and confirms that she saw Rahvin die. Rand asks her to tell Elayne to forget him and passes on Lan's message that Nynaeve should forget him. Then he disappears.
Back in the Royal Palace, Rand goes out to the main courtyard and finds the battle still in progress. He picks off Trollocs and Fades with balefire. After the stragglers flee, Rand is overjoyed to see Mat, Aviendha, and Asmodean alive again.
Later that day, Rand meets Davram Bashere, Marshal-General of Saldaea. Bashere tells him that Queen Tenobia sent him to retake Mazrim Taim after the White Tower let him escape. Rand tells Bashere that he is announcing an amnesty for men who can channel. Bashere asks if he means to rule the world. Rand says he only intends to impose peace and unity for the Last Battle by whatever means necessary. Bashere cannot speak for Saldaea, but he will offer his services and nine thousand cavalrymen until he can get a message back to Saldaea. Rand thinks of Sammael in Illian, the rest of the Forsaken, and the Seanchan. He says there will be blood and death before there is peace. Elsewhere in the palace, as he searches for wine, Asmodean is killed by an unknown assailant.
Lord of Chaos
It has been a few weeks since the end of The Fires of Heaven. The setting is the Royal Palace courtyard at the heart of the Inner City of Caemlyn. Rand practices the sword against five men while a host of nobles and Maidens watch. Davram Bashere watches from a gilded chair. He asks why Rand is practicing and then throws a dagger at Rand. When Rand uses saidin to stop the dagger, Bashere says that shows that Rand does not need weapons to protect himself. A Saldaean soldier enters to announce that Mazrim Taim is at the gates.
Rand recalls that Mazrim Taim, a false Dragon who could channel, raised an army and ravaged Saldaea. He was taken but escaped on the way to Tar Valon. Rand reminds Bashere of the amnesty. Lews Therin rises in a frenzy in Rand's head, shouting about Sammael and Demandred. Rand says Taim's crimes are relatively small. He is pardoned if he will submit and help fight Tarmon Gai'don. When Rand angrily refuses a compact, Taim slips to a knee and submits to the Dragon Reborn. Rand asks if Taim can teach men to channel or test a man to know if he can be taught. Taim says he can do both. Taim presents a seal on the Dark One's prison. Rand has two more hidden. As Rand holds the seal Lews Therin says to break it, but Bashere stops him.
Rand opens a gateway to the farm. There are twenty-seven men at the farm. Taim grabs Damer to test first. A tiny flame appears and Rand is relieved that Taim really can channel. Rand feels the resonance that Damer could learn. Rand tells Taim his job is to teach the men as fast as they can learn. Taim asks if Rand means to train them as weapons and Rand agrees. Taim asks if he wants to match the number of Aes Sedai. Rand thinks there are a thousand. Taim thinks there are not so many. Rand says he intends to defeat the Dark One and cleanse saidin. Taim thinks that would take more power than Rand can imagine and asks if he has a sa'angreal. When he leaves, Rand decides to go directly to Tear to visit Weiramon rather than return to the Royal Palace, so he can avoid Aviendha.
Rand and the Maidens step through the gateway to a plain near a large tent. They are in the Plains of Maredo near the border of Tear. This is where Rand has his army of Tairens, Cairhienin, and Aiel. Weiramon uncomfortably tells Rand that the High Lords Hearne, Simaan, Darlin, Tedosian, and Estanda have rebelled and gone to Haddon Mirk. They then discuss Sammael's defenses in Illian. The Weiramon and the Aiel both report that there are still five camps. Rand knows this is correct because he has visited them in Tel'aran'rhiod. Weiramon wants to attack now, but Rand orders him to wait here until Mat arrives to take command.
Rand visited Mat the previous night, traveling into his room late at night. He ranted about finishing Sammael and casually mentioned that Mazrim Taim joined him.
Rand walks the halls of the Royal Palace in Caemlyn accompanied by Bael, Bashere, and a bunch of Maidens and Knife Hands. Taim taught him the trick of not feeling heat or cold. As they walk into a courtyard Rand sees Aviendha and Lews Therin moans about Ilyena. Rand is very confused about his feelings for Aviendha, Elayne, and Min. Rand decides to go meet two Aes Sedai who are in Caemlyn. There are many girls in the inn and Rand recognizes some of them, including Bodewhin Cauthon. They tell him they are going to Tar Valon to become Aes Sedai. They tell him about Perrin, Faile, Padan Fain, the Whitecloaks, and the Trollocs. Verin, Alanna, and their Warders are with them. They only learned of the split at Whitebridge and will not be taking the girls to Tar Valon. They also will not tell Rand what, if anything, they know about the rebels. Alanna touches Rand and bonds him as a Warder. Lews Therin reacts with confusion then stunned shock. Rand shields both of them in anger. He tells them both that they may stay in Caemlyn, but they are barred from the Inner City unless he invites them. Back in the common room, the girls have been told he is the Dragon Reborn, but they are skeptical. In anger, he channels terrifying them. Realizing what he has done he apologizes then he and his party prepare to return to the Royal Palace.
Rand rides Jeade'en back to the Royal Palace at a gallop. From the Grand Hall he Travels to the farm, but he can still feel Alanna. Taim is giving a lesson to his seven students. They are using the One Power to blow up rocks with Fire and Earth and to shield each other. Rand asks Taim where Henre Haslin is. He has been teaching recruits the sword. Taim sent him away because he thinks swords are a waste of time. Rand insists that he bring Henre Haslin back. Taim wants to Travel to villages for recruits. Volunteers who do not pass he will send on to Rand to build his own army. Taim wagers that he can find more recruits in a day by his method than they currently find in a month. Rand agrees.
Egwene dreams of Elayne forcing Rand to his knees with one hand.
Rand is in the Royal Palace when Bashere enters with four nobles, Lady Dyelin of House Taravin, Lord Abelle of House Pendar, Lady Ellorien of House Traemane, and Lord Luan of House Norwelyn. Rand tells them he wants their help and support in Andor, but if they will not help him he will turn to the others in the palace including Arymilla and Lir. Rand reiterates that, now that Morgase is dead, he is holding the throne for Elayne. Dyelin supports Elayne, but Luan and Ellorien are still angry with Morgase and now support Dyelin for the throne. Dyelin says she will support Rand once Elayne is crowned, but they all say they will fight him if it does not happen soon. Rand dismisses them but holds Dyelin back because he noticed her looking at him oddly. She asks who his mother is. Thinking of Kari al'Thor, Rand says his mother was Shaiel and his father was Janduin but he grew up in the Two Rivers. Dyelin explains that he looks like Tigraine who disappeared more than twenty-five years ago. She left behind her husband Taringail and her son Galad. Her brother Luc rode north and disappeared a year before. Rand is shocked to realize that Tigraine was the woman the Aiel found who became Shaiel. She really was his mother.
After Dyelin leaves, Rand thinks about Alanna, but he does not trust her enough to replace Moiraine. He can only trust Elayne, Egwene, and Nynaeve. A group of soldiers enters escorting a man. He is clearly under some kind of compulsion. The man suddenly speaks in a voice Rand recognizes as Sammael's. He offers a truce. He will stay in the south and not attack Rand if Rand agrees not to attack him. Rand can eliminate the rest of the Forsaken, then it will just be him and Sammael on the Day of Return. Rand angrily replies that he calls due to Sammael's crimes at Rorn M'doi, Nol Caimaine, and Sohadra. No truce with the Forsaken. The man begins bleeding profusely and collapses in a pool of blood.
Rand Travels to the Sun Palace in Cairhien. Aviendha, Sulin and her Maidens, and Urien and his Red Shields accompany Rand. Rand orders the men to take him to Berelain and Rhuarc. Lews Therin hums when Rand looks at Berelain. Rand shouts at him and the voice disappears. They all understand that he put Berelain in charge because she is the only one with leadership skills whom the Cairhienin would not see as a threat. Rand says he would like to see Egwene. Berelain says there is talk of Caraline Damodred and Toram Riatin in the streets. They are gathering forces in the foothills of the Spine of the World. Lots of Andoran soldiers have joined them. Rand asks what Sevanna is doing. Rhuarc says the Shaido are building holds in Kinslayer's Dagger. He adds that there is fighting in Shara for the first time since the Trolloc Wars. A Sea Folk ship docked this morning. Jalani enters and announces Mangin. Mangin tells Rand that he killed a Cairhienin man for tattooing a dragon on his arm. Rand tells him he is to be hanged for murder and Mangin agrees.
Rand orders Berelain and Rhuarc to hang Mangin tomorrow, then he leaves for his school. Jalani and Dedric, a Red Shield of the Jaern Rift Codarra, follow him. He is alone except for them and, of course, Alanna and Lews Therin whispering about Ilyena. Rand established the School of Cairhien in the late Lord Barthanes' palace a mile from the Sun Palace. The head of the school, Idrien Tarsin, is waiting for him when he arrives. Even his school has spies. There are many inventions including an improved papermaking process, a new type of printing press, and a six furrowed plow. Kin Tovere is building a telescope to look at the stars. Idrien built the huge crossbow used in the siege of Cairhien. There is a gas lamp and a hot air balloon. Mervin is working on a steam engine. Rand goes upstairs to visit Herid Fel in his study. As Jalani and Dedric accompany him, he realizes that they like each other. In his study, Rand asks Herid about the Warder bond. Herid says he does not think it can be broken. Rand then asks if he has learned any more about what Tarmon Gai'don will be. Herid says it will not really be the Last Battle. Because the Wheel of Time turns, there will come a time again when the Dark One's prison is whole and no one even remembers him. No one can do what the Creator did, yet somehow the prison will get back to the way it was in the Age of Legends. Rand then asks if there is any reason to break the seals. Lews Therin chants for Rand to break the seals.
Egwene goes to the Sun Palace to see Rand. She asks him to help convince the Wise Ones to let her resume her "studies." She can bring him messages from Elayne then. Rand says he will help if she tells him where Elayne is. When she refuses, Rand tries to use his ta'veren effect and it almost works, but Egwene realizes what is happening and embraces the Source. She leaves in anger. She wonders why Sheriam and the others have not yet approached Rand. After the door closes Rand thinks about how much Egwene has changed. Rand believes that Egwene seized the source to defend herself from him. He feels more distant from her.
That night Rand dreams of the Age of Legends, strange flying things and ground vehicles, and Ilyena. It is the first time he has shared Lews Therin's dreams. Rand travels back to Caemlyn, and Sulin is angry with Rand going through the gateway first. He tells her he only wants two guards now, then he says that is only for inside the palace. In his rooms, Rand asks Aviendha if the Wise Ones told her where Elayne is. Aviendha asked, but they did not know either. The Wise Ones did talk about Rand, however.
Aviendha tells Rand about the Wise Ones' dreams: "Melaine and Bair dreamed of you Rand on a boat with three women whose faces they could not see, and a scale tilting first one way then the other.
Melaine and Amys dreamed of a man standing by your side with a dagger to your throat, but you did not see him. Bair and Amys dreamed of you cutting the wetlands in two with a sword. All three had this dream, which makes it especially significant. Rain, coming from a bowl. There are snares and pitfalls around the bowl. If the right hands pick it up, they will find a treasure perhaps as great as the bowl. If the wrong hands, the world is doomed. The key to finding the bowl is to find the one who is no longer."
Rand thinks the second dream means a Gray Man and the third means the general anarchy he has caused in the Westlands. Rand asks her if she wants to go back to study with the Wise Ones but Aviendha says she still has toh. Rand tells her she has no toh to him because Moiraine saved her from Lanfear, not him. Aviendha thanks him for reminding her that he does not know everything then she leaves.
Liah opens the door to Rand's quarters and admits a servant named Bari. He announces that three Ogier have arrived. They introduce themselves as Haman son of Dal son of Morel Covril daughter of Ella daughter of Soong, and Erith daughter of Iva daughter of Alar. They came looking for Loial. Loial has been gone for over five years. Rand then tells them that Loial is in the Two Rivers. Rand asks if Haman will show him the location of all the Waygates and explains that Shadowspawn are using the Ways. Rand wonders why the Forsaken did not open gateways and pour thousands of Trollocs into the palace. Haman agrees and Rand calls for maps to be brought. The Ogier marks a significant number of Waygates on the map; Rand sees the mark at Aridhol and asks Haman to show him the Waygate there.
Rand opens a gateway to Shadar Logoth just as Sulin walks into the courtyard with Liah, Cassin, and gai'shain carrying maps. Rand agrees to give Sulin a count of fifty to summon an escort. She flashes handtalk to both the Maidens and gai'shain. Over a hundred Aiel arrived. When they are about ready to leave, Nandera whispers to Sulin, "You spoke to gai'shain as Far Dareis Mai." Sulin concedes and says that they shall talk of it later. They all step through the gateway. Haman leads them to the Waygate in the middle of an open square. Rand weaves a trap around it using all five Powers. Rand wonders if he can cleanse the Ways. When Rand channels, he feels a resonance of the taint with the evil of Shadar Logoth. As they prepare to leave, Rand notices that someone is missing. It is Liah. A half-day search fails to find her. As dusk falls, Rand offers to take the Ogier directly to the Two Rivers and they gratefully accept.
Rand watches Bashere's cavalry gallop between two white stones only four paces apart. Rand wonders where Sulin is. He has not seen her in eight days since the trip to Shadar Logoth. Rand recalls one of the answers he got from the Snake people, "If you would live, you must die." As he rides back to Caemlyn, several Whitecloaks attack. Desora is killed. The Aiel kill or capture all of them. They bring Dimir Faral to Rand. His cloak is filthy. Rand tells him that he will watch the others hang, then take that message back to Pedron Niall. Rand remembers all the Maidens who died for him including Liah, Dailin, and Lamelle. He is surprised to find that Lews Therin added Ilyena Therin Moerelle to his list. Back in the Royal Palace, Reene Harfor brings him a message. The Wavemistress of Clan Catelar is asking for an audience. Elenia also wants to see Rand in his rooms. Rand meets with her and asks her to tell him about the history of Andor. Rand asks Elenia how closely related Morgase and Tigraine are. Elenia replies that they are royal cousins, but if they were commoners the bloodlines connect so far back that they would not be considered related at all. Rand is relieved that he is not related to Elayne.
The apprentices tell her that Rand has returned to Cairhien. Egwene is worried about Rand. He is cautious about Elaida but he believes Alviarin's letter and thinks he has followers in the White Tower. Egwene goes to visit Rand and he is glad to see her. She warns him about Elaida's Aes Sedai and he seems to accept her warning. He tells her he will be humble when they meet. Egwene tells him that a Wavemistress on the White Spray wants to meet him. Rand talks to himself then weaves an invisibility shield around Egwene. Somara admits Coiren, Nesune and Galina. A dozen more women bring in two heavy chests. The three Aes Sedai link and Egwene observes carefully to learn how. Rand checks the women to make sure they are not Aes Sedai as well. He then tells the Aes Sedai not to channel around him. Coiren introduces them and tells Rand they are there to escort him to the White Tower. The chests, full of gold, are a gift. Coiren also offers to have one of them stay with Rand as his advisor to replace Moiraine. Rand says he has other obligations, but he will let them know when he is ready to go. He tells them to stay away from the palace and dismisses them. As they begin to leave, Rand says, "How is Alviarin?" Galina answers that she is well then looks surprised. After they leave, Rand tells Egwene that Galina is one of Alviarin's associates who support him in the White Tower. He cites the Karaethon Cycle: "The unstained tower breaks and bends knee to the forgotten sign." Egwene does not believe it. She asks him to describe how he Travels using saidin. He says he bends the Pattern so that the two places are close, then he bores a hole. Egwene thinks that sounds completely wrong for saidar. She thinks she has figured out how to Travel to Tel'aran'rhiod in the flesh by creating a similarity between a place and its image. As Egwene leaves Rand is talking to himself again.
Rand is in a foul mood the rest of the afternoon, mostly due to knowing now that Lews Therin is real and living in his head. That night he had bad dreams about running. The next morning he realizes that the dreams of running were really about him running away from Elayne and Aviendha. He decides he will run no more, and travels to Caemlyn. Lews Therin returns and addresses Rand directly for the first time. Rand tells him that he is in his head and Lews Therin flees screaming. Rand has two letters from the Sea Folk. They are both addressed to the Coramoor and have a seal, two things like flattened bowls with a thick, ornate line running from one through the other. A servant comes in with yet another letter. It is Sulin in a dress. Sulin delivers the letter then runs out. Nandera and Jalani explain that she is meeting her toh and Rand recalls the incident just before the trip to Shadar Logoth when she spoke to gai'shain as a Maiden. Rand asks ignorant questions about ji'e'toh that clearly embarrass Aviendha. Rand opens the third letter. It is from Alliandre Maritha Kigarin. In subtle terms, she offers goodwill to him but expresses fear of the Prophet and the Whitecloaks. Rand thinks that he must do something about Masema. A door opens and Rand has a sense of filth. With difficulty, Rand realizes there is a Gray Man. As he wraps the Gray Man in Air there is a blast of fire from the balcony. Taim walks in and looks at the Gray Man with a hole burned through him. Taim seems unconcerned about the Gray Man. He came to tell Rand about a new recruit, Jahar Narishma. Lews Therin mutters that he wants to kill him. Rand thinks Sammael sent the Gray Man.
Rand steps out from behind a column in Tel'aran'rhiod. He is on one of his occasional visits to the Heart of the Stone to look at Callandor. He first came back to invert the weaves of his traps after Asmodean taught him how. By the Prophecies of the Dragon, whoever draws it will "follow after" him. He spied on Egwene meeting with the Wise Ones and rebel Aes Sedai. He now knows where the Salidar Aes Sedai are, that Elayne is there and that Egwene is going. He Travels back to the Royal Palace.
Later on, the rebel Aes Sedai decided to send an embassy to Rand in Caemlyn. Min will be joining them. When they arrive, Min goes to the palace alone to see Rand. Min also views Rand when she first sees him: Countless thousands of sparkling lights, like stars or fireflies, rushed into a great blackness, trying to fill it up, rushed in, and were swallowed. There seemed to be more lights than she had ever seen before, but the darkness swallowed them at a greater rate, too. Additionally, there was something else, something new, an aura of yellow and brown and purple that made her stomach clench.
Rand sends away the nobles. He told them that Elayne is on her way but they do not necessarily believe him. Min gives Rand a letter from Elayne. It only confuses him more about her feelings toward him. Rand says he doesn't know how he feels about Elayne or Aviendha and Min is really ticked by his talking about other women. She sits in his lap. She then tells him about the embassy. There are nine of them. She tells him that they mean no harm. She has not had any viewings that would indicate otherwise. Min tells Rand about her viewing in the throne room: Aes Sedai, or maybe other female channelers, are going to hurt him. But it might happen more than once. She says it seemed all scrambled.
Lews Therin mutters that he must be careful with nine Aes Sedai. Rand tells Min to take them a message that he will see them three at a time and that they must not channel at him. Sulin brings in a tray of refreshments and drops it when she sees Min in Rand's lap. Rand introduces Min and warns Sulin that she is his close friend. Sulin stalks out in a fury.
Rand invites Min to go to the farm with him but she is afraid. She heads back to The Crown of Roses to report. Rand has not been to the farm in too long. Rand Travels to the farm and is amazed at how much it has grown. There are now over a hundred students. Henre Haslin is teaching sword practice. Taim says he teaches the men the little he knows of Healing first, then how not to feel the heat. Taim tells Rand that the men named the farm the "Black Tower." Rand tells the men that they will be called Asha'man. The word asha'man means "guardian or defender of a just cause" in the Old Tongue. He tells them the first level will be soldier, the second level will be Dedicated and the highest level will be Asha'man. Taim says he now has Damer, Grady, and other older men leading recruiting parties.
Merana, Seonid, Masuri, and Min have a cordial meeting with Rand at the Royal Palace. It is obvious to the three Aes Sedai that Min is in love with Rand and so can no longer be trusted.
Dyelin meets with Kairen. Dyelin says she is worried about Elayne. Kairen implies that she might help while Rand might not. Luan meets with Rafela. Rafela tells Luan that Andor will be better off if Rand leaves it in peace and unity. Ellorien meets with Demira. They talk about who will have the Lion Throne if Rand leaves.
Perrin arrives in Caemlyn and meets with Rand, who is happy to see him. Rand asks Perrin to go to Tear for him, but Perrin declines. Rand tells Perrin that Moiraine is dead. He tells Perrin about the split of the Aes Sedai and that the two sides are jockeying for position with him. Rand tells Perrin that there is a third faction of Aes Sedai ready to kneel to him. Rand says he will not visit the Two Rivers camp because his presence will put them in danger. After Perrin leaves, Rand thinks that he needs Perrin or Mat in Tear to convince Sammael of the attack.
Min sees a vision around Rand and Perrin. She says "When you two were together, I saw those fireflies and the darkness stronger than ever...But with the two of you in the same room, the fireflies were holding their own instead of being eaten faster than they can swarm, the way they do when you're alone. And there's something else I saw when you two were together. Twice he's going to have to be there, or you...If he's not, something bad will happen to you. Very bad."
Rand is with Perrin in a courtyard when Loial arrives. Rand tells Loial that his mother, Elder Haman and Erith were in Caemlyn and that he took them to Emond's Field a month ago. Rand asks Loial to help him find and put guards at all the Waygates. Min arrives in a panic saying that seven of the Aes Sedai are coming. All Rand knows is that Demira has been in bed. As the Aes Sedai approach him they seem to grow larger. Lews Therin is disdainful that they would try to impress him by spinning the Mirror of Mists. Rand also recognizes this from Asmodean's teachings as the Mirror of Mists, also called Illusion. Demira speaks for them and says they no longer agree to his restrictions. Rand channels Spirit, Fire, and Earth and breaks through their Illusion, shocking them. Rand tells them the restrictions still stand and dismisses them. The Aes Sedai leave in a huff.
Later, more Aes Sedai arrived in Caemlyn, bringing the number to 13. When Min tells Rand there are now thirteen, Lews Therin almost seizes saidin from him. Min also tells him about the viewing of Bera and Kiruna: "It's the aura. Blood, death, the One Power, those two women and you, all in the same place at the same time." Rand says he is leaving and taking Min with him. Rand is joined by Min get Perrin, Faile, Loial, Bain, Chiad, Gaul, and Sulin. He sends a letter of warning to Merana. Nandera brings five hundred other Maidens. Rand opens a gateway and they Travel to the Sun Palace. Rand is so exhausted that Loial has to carry him to his rooms.
Sulin and Min stay with Rand while he spends most of the day in bed resting. Rand finds the flute Thom gave him in his wardrobe and plays a bit. Amys, Bair, Sorilea, Colinda, and a bunch of other Wise Ones come in to check on his health. Rand receives a polite letter from Coiren requesting an audience. He sends a polite refusal. He also asks for Gawyn to visit, but Gawyn never comes. Rand also meets with Berelain. She asks who he intends for the Sun Throne and he tells her it is for Elayne. Berelain thinks she is a good choice. Rand and Min go to the School of Cairhien to visit Idrien Tarsin and Herid Fel, but Herid is too distracted by Min to be of much use. The next day Herid sends Rand a note: "Belief and order give strength. Have to clear rubble before you can build."
On his tenth day back, Rand receives a fourth request from Coiren. From the feel of Alanna's bond, Rand thinks Merana is about halfway to Cairhien and so will be there in ten more days. Rand writes back to Coiren telling her she can bring two other Aes Sedai the next afternoon.
The next day, Rand prepares to meet the Aes Sedai embassy from Elaida. Rand is concerned that Min is not there yet. Coiren, Galina, and Katerine enter accompanied by a dozen serving girls with treasure chests. Rand feels himself shielded and realizes the serving girls are really Aes Sedai. Five are too young to look ageless and the rest kept their heads down. Lews Therin flees screaming. Galina takes over and tells Katerine to take the Dragon Scepter as a souvenir. As the Aes Sedai leave the Grand Hall, Galina tells Bain that Rand has left.
Rand is in a small room that is really a cage. There are six Aes Sedai holding his shield. There are twelve in total who rotate, all new faces to him. He can feel six soft points on the shield.
Rand is in the box. The box opens and Erian begins beating him again. Lews Therin moans about killing Ilyena. The beating stops and Rand sees that several Wise Ones are there, Sevanna among them. They close him in the box again. He talks to Lews Therin and Lews Therin actually carries on a conversation with him, telling Rand that he cannot break through the shield while it is actually being held, but he can undo the knots if they are tied off. Rand hears himself laughing as he feels the inside of the shield.
Erian thinks Rand is crying. Galina offers her tea, but she says she must console her remaining Warders, Rashan and Bartol; Rand killed the other Warders when he saw Min. They are still a good two weeks from Tar Valon. She plans to beat Rand every morning and evening so he will be completely docile by the time they turn him over to Elaida.
Rand is suffering in the chest. He can feel that Alanna is near. Lews Therin moans about the dark. Only Galina, Erian, and Katerine beat him more than once. He spends his time feeling the shield. He feels the box being moved from the wagon, but it does not open. Fearing that they will leave him in the chest all night, he screams for them to let him out.
In the chest, Rand feels three points of the shield tied off. Following Lews Therin's instructions, he unknots them. He breaks through the shield and crushes the remaining three points with Spirit. He can only channel where he can see, so he blows up the box with Air. There are three Aes Sedai by the box. Two are unconscious and one angular woman is screaming. Rand stilled them. Min is also near the chest, relatively uninjured. She wants him to make a gateway, but he does not know the area yet. Rand begins knocking out and shielding the other Aes Sedai including Erian, Katerine, Sarene Nemdahl, and Coiren. He cannot find Galina. Gawyn rides up and offers to take Min away, but she says she is staying with Rand. She tells Gawyn that Elayne also loves Rand.
Taim arrives and says he went to visit Rand in Cairhien. He offers to Heal Rand but Rand refuses. Lews Therin screams about killing everyone. There are about two hundred Asha'man there. They have created a dome of Air that secures the camp area. A dozen Asha'man are holding a dozen Aes Sedai including Nesune prisoner. Rand sees Alanna in another group of nine Aes Sedai and realizes they were the ones who followed from Caemlyn. Perrin, Aram, Loial, Dobraine, Nandera and Sulin are also there. Rhuarc and most of the other Aiel, the Mayeners, the Cairhienin, and the Two Rivers men are still out with the Shaido. Taim wants to let the dome stay until they learn the area well enough to Travel, even if their allies outside all die. Perrin argues telling Rand that Dannil, Ban, Wil, and Tell are still out there. Rand orders him to open the dome, then have the Asha'man kill the Shaido. He wants to send a message to Sevanna. Of the Asha'man he knows, Jur Grady, Damer, Fedwin, Eben, Jahar, and Torval, only Torval is full Asha'man.
The Asha'man use Earth and Fire to slaughter thousands of Shaido. The Shaido forces finally break and run. The rest of the rescue forces including Rhuarc slowly join the others in the camp. There are twenty-three Tower Aes Sedai prisoners, Galina not among them. Kiruna, Bera, and Alanna lead the nine Aes Sedai to congratulate Rand. Rand is furious, telling them that he said only six could come. He will now place them on the same level at the other Aes Sedai. They must kneel to him. At first, they refuse, but Taim again orders them to kneel. The nine Salidar Aes Sedai swear fealty to Rand. "The unstained tower, broken, bent knee to the forgotten sign."
A Crown of Swords
In the aftermath of Dumai’s Wells, Perrin notes that Rand is notably changed as a result of his trauma at the hands of the Aes Sedai led by Galina, worrying over Rand’s behavior and demeanor as he watches Rand obsessively search the battlefield to ensure he hasn’t missed any of the Maidens who were killed; there were 151 total, each name being added to Rand’s mental list of women whose deaths he feels responsible for. The Wise Ones, Aes Sedai, Dobraine, and Perrin all talk to Rand about who will hold the Aes Sedai prisoners, and ultimately Rand chooses to give them to the Wise Ones. Taim convinces Rand to keep a full Asha'man with him along with the four Soldiers and four Dedicated Rand who had already been chosen as an escort. Taim is surprised when Rand randomly chooses Corlan Dashiva, from a farm in the Black Hills, and tells Rand that Dashiva has progressed rapidly but is a bit of a daydreamer which could be a sign of the taint’s effects.
Rand has begun to show signs of distrust for nearly everyone around him and claims he trusts only Perrin, Min, and Loial. As the small army nears Cairhien they learn that Colavaere has seized the throne during the power vacuum created by Rand’s sudden absence. Rand, Perrin, Loial, eight Asha'man, Dobraine, Nurelle, Aram, Min, and three dozen Maidens enter the city and go to the Great Hall in the Sun Palace where they find Colavaere sitting on the throne wearing the crown. Seven attendants including Faile stand by the throne and an eighth stands behind it. Rand confronts Colavaere who tells him she has heard rumors that both Morgase and Elayne had been killed so she took the throne which she claims is her right. Rand channels and removes the crown from her head, breaking it, then repairing it for all to see. Perrin accuses her of murdering Lord Maringil and High Lord Meilan, then asks about Berelain, who is conspicuously absent. Colavaere, who has begun to show signs of panic, commands the woman behind the throne for advice. Annoura Larisen of the Gray Ajah, secretly the Aes Sedai advisor to Berelain, steps forward and tells Colavaere that she has mistaken the nature of their relationship. Faile also accuses Colavaere of treason based on the word of one of Colavaere’s maids, Maire, who has also mysteriously vanished. Annoura provides additional proof of Colavaere’s crimes based on an investigation of Berelain’s thief-catchers who have also traced the murders to Colavaere. Colavaere admits that the Tower Aes Sedai had promised her that Rand would not return. Despite the penalty of her crimes being an execution by hanging, Rand cannot bring himself to give this sentence to a woman so he chooses to strip her of her titles and exiles her to a farm. Colavaere faints when Rand makes this pronouncement.
Rand asks Perrin if he will lead an army against Illian, a stronghold of the Forsaken Sammael, but Perrin refuses saying he is not a general. The two friends argue over the fate of the Aes Sedai when Perrin tells Rand he will not allow them to be harmed. After the exchange Perrin realizes that Rand is no longer the same man he had grown up with and worries about how hard Rand has become.
Rand leaves Perrin’s rooms, mentally struggling with the trauma he had experienced at Galina’s hands and attempting to use the Void to avoid facing the memories. He has become so numb to the sensation that he no longer truly feels the taint on saidin when he seizes the Source and the voice of the insane Lews Therin Telamon in his head continues to become stronger, so strong that Rand can feel the entity inside him try to take control of the Power from him and worries what the madman would do if he were to succeed. Rand Travels to Andor and notes that he had three destinations planned but one of these would be unknown to his escort of Maidens led by Sulin as well as Fedwin Morr, Eben Hopwill, and Jonan Adley, three Asha’man Soldiers who possessed enough strength to open useful gateways of their own. Rand and his escort secretly go to the Aiel encampment outside of Caemlyn to show Bael and Davram Bashere that he is not a puppet of the Aes Sedai. After discussing what actions to take in Andor while Elayne was still missing Rand tells the Aiel and Bashere that he intends to leave Morr with them as he can Travel to deliver messages. Rand then announces that he intends to take Hopwill and Adley to the High Lords Semaradrid and Weiramon to perform the same task and is preparing for war with Illian and Sammael.
Rumors of Rand’s capture and swearing to Elaida eventually make their way to Salidar where Egwene is able to inform the Rebel Aes Sedai that this is not true, thanks to news in tel’aran’rhiod.
Having returned to Cairhien, Rand begins to use the oath sworn Aes Sedai as proof of his independence from Elaida, having Merana serve tea while he speaks with clan chiefs Idirian, Mandelain, and Janwin. The chiefs inform Rand that after the events of Dumai’s Wells the Wise Ones have decided they will engage in battle alongside the Aiel warriors to counterbalance the channeling of the Shaido Wise Ones.
After meeting with the chiefs he is confronted by Berelain, who is accompanied by Annoura, who has sworn no oaths to Rand and reminded of the Sea Folk ambassador who is still waiting to meet him. Berelain is furious that Rand wishes her to return to Mayene for her own safety, and he ultimately asks her if she would continue to serve him if he gave her a different mission which would still take her away from him. During this conversation, an Aes Sedai, Cadsuane Melaidhrin of the Green Ajah, enters the room. A shocked Annoura blurts out that she had believed the woman dead and Merana, in a near panic, rushes to tell Cadsuane she must not harm Rand, causing Rand as well as the Asha’man Dashiva and Narishma to seize saidin. Cadsuane however remains calm and simply takes in the situation around her. Cadsuane politely dismisses Berelain who tells Rand she will serve him in any location or function in which he needs her. Rand realizes Cadsuane is attempting to provoke him and tries not to react to her calm statements that she is the oldest living Aes Sedai, and despite being a Green, has faced more male channelers than any four Reds. She then begins to ask him if he has begun to show signs of madness such as hearing voices in his head. Cadsuane then collects Merana and Annoura and leaves as calmly as she came in. Not long after the Maiden Riallin brings a haggard, red-eyed, Idrien Tarsin, head of Rand’s school in Cairhien, into the room and the woman tells Rand of the murder of Herid Fel. Rand then tells Min about Fel’s murder at the hands of shadowspawn, and Min tells Rand about finding Colavaere’s suicide by hanging, leading the pair to “comfort” each other by having sex. Rand spirals in his belief that he has assaulted Min until she returns and informs him that he is a fool for thinking she was not a willing participant in their sexual encounter and expected more respect from him than to believe she would be sent away from him for her own protection.
Rand summons the Aes Sedai who have sworn fealty to him, but only Bera Harkin, Faeldrin Harella, Alanna Mosvani, each of the Green Ajah, Merana Ambrey, of the Gray Ajah, and Rafela Cindal, of the Blue Ajah, come at his summons. Kiruna Nachiman of the Green and Verin Mathwin of the Brown are otherwise occupied by their Wise One handlers and Masuri Sakowa of the Brown and Seonid Traighan of the Green have become part of Perrin’s secret mission. Rand informs the Sisters that he is placing Merana as their leader. Rand then proceeds to lead the group, which also included Asha’man Corlan Dashiva, Damer Flinn, and Jahar Narishma, to the Sea Folk vessel known as a soarer, White Spray, docked on the river. Min informs Rand that she has had a vision of these five Aes Sedai in his hand and that she believes they will keep their word to him.
Rand reaches the White Spray and announces himself as the Sea Folk Coramoor. Wavemistress to clan Shodein, Harine din Togara Two Wind, informs him that she speaks for the Mistress of the Ships and invites him to board the vessel. Harine inadvertently names Rand the Coramoor which Merana believes will give him an advantage in dealing with the Sea Folk. Harine then introduces her Windfinder, Shalon din Togara Morning Tide and Derah din Selaan Rising Wave, Sailmistress of White Spray. Derah then introduces Taval din Chanai Nine Gulls, Windfinder of White Spray.
Rand and Harine begin negotiations, with his ta’veren nature tipping the scale in his favor, but the confined space in the ship’s cabin soon begins to weigh on Rand after his experience being confined to the box and he leaves giving Merana and Rafela the command to finalize his bargain with the Sea Folk.
Feeling the success of his effect on the Sea Folk, Rand decides to test out its effect on the rebellious nobility camped outside of Cairhien and Travels, along with Min, to a location not far from the encamped army. There they encounter the Lady Caroline Damodred of Cairhien and the High Lord Darlin Sisnera of Tear along with their hunting party. Caraline speaks to Rand is and is curious and somewhat impressed by him. She then introduces him to Darlin as one of her distant Andoran “cousins”, Tomas and his wife Jaisi, of a minor branch of House Trakand. The party rides back to the camp where Toram Riatin and many other Cairhien nobles have entrenched themselves. Entering a massive tent Rand sees several Aes Sedai, including Cadsuane speaking with the rebels. Rand sees Padan Fain, now using the name Mordeth, with Toram Riatin and informs Caraline that he has placed a one hundred thousand gold crown price on the man’s head for his actions in the Two Rivers. Toram invites Rand to spar with wooden swords, which Caraline warns Rand against as Toram is a blademaster and has an uncertain temperament. The two men duel but are interrupted by a bubble of evil that forms around the encampment, killing many people, including an Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah.
As the camp devolves into chaos Rand, Min, Caraline, Darlin, Toram join with Cadsuane, Niande Moorwyn, of the Gray Ajah, and Samitsu Tamagowa, of the Yellow Ajah, to escape safely. When Rand is forced to Channel Toram realizes his true identity and leaves the group, believing the situation is a trap set by Rand to destroy the rebellion. Moments later Padan Fain leaps out of the fog and slashes Rand with the dagger from Shadar Logoth, which almost immediately kills Rand. Samitsu rushes to his side and Heals Rand, but despite Samitsu being the most gifted Healer in the history of the White Tower, she is barely able to keep Rand alive. Samitsu explains that the wound left by Fain, which is directly atop the wound Rand received at Falme, was some sort of infection of evil, but different than the original wound. The small party then makes their way back to the city of Cairhien with an unconscious Rand in the hopes of finding a way to save his life. Min explains to Cadsuane that they must take him to the Palace where he can wake to familiar faces as she fears what his reaction would be if he were to find himself surrounded by strange Aes Sedai in an unfamiliar setting due to his treatment by Galina and the other emissaries of Elaida.
At the Sun Palace Rand is brought to his chambers and several more Channelers arrive, Asha’man Damer Flinn uses saidin to ward the wounds and then goes on to link with Samitsu and Corele Hovian, also of the Yellow Ajah, to eventually save Rand’s life and in some way Ward the two wounds from each other to stop them from killing Rand.
Two days later Rand wakes to a room filled with Aes Sedai and Asha’man and asks how he is still alive. Cadsuane informs him that together Flinn, Samitsu, and Corele had found a way to save him, but that he would be weak for some time yet. Rand ignores the orders to remain in bed and immediately begins to attempt to leave. After some debate, Rand and Min are left alone in the room where Min informs Rand that she has had a vision. She has seen that Cadsuane will teach him, and all the Asha’man, a lesson they will have to learn, but will not like learning. Rand gets dressed and goes to speak to the Asha’man about events in Illian where he is told that Sammael has been encountered in combat in the area. Rand realizes that Sammael has likely set defensive wards, but is surprised the Forsaken has become personally involved in the fighting, leading Rand to believe Sammael is aware that Rand was injured. Rand then determines he, along with his Asha’man, will go to Illian to confront Sammael and asks Min to distract the Maidens as he knows their presence will alert Sammael. Rand goes to Davram Bashere to collect the Legion of the Dragon and then Travels directly into the city of Illian to confront Sammael.
Rand confronts Sammael and follows the Forsaken to Shadar Logoth, walking into a trap Sammael has set. The two men duel with the One Power to a near standstill as the entity known as Mashadar begins to awake. Rand encounters the lost Maiden of the Spear, Liah of the Chareen Aiel, who had been left behind on a previous trip to lock the Waygate at Shadar Logoth. Rand uses balefire in an attempt to destroy Mashadar and encounters a stranger who is also using balefire, the two streams cross and Rand and the stranger both feel a ringing sound and double vision. The wanderer tells Rand he needs to start thinking like Sammael if he intended to survive and that Sammael always liked to destroy an opponent near the sight of an old victory. Rand surmises Sammael is waiting for him near the Waygate. The wanderer then vanishes down an alleyway. Rand follows him, but he is gone before Rand can catch up. Rand heads toward the Waygate and finds a spot to ambush the Forsaken from, however, before he can strike at Sammael Rand sees Liah being consumed by Mashadar and chooses to use balefire on her to ensure her soul is not destroyed by the entity. When Rand turns back to kill Sammael the man is gone and the location is covered by the mindless Mashadar, which Rand assumes has killed Sammael.
Rand returns to Illian where the Council of Nine, who assume Lord Brend, Sammael’s alter ego, has killed King Mattin Stepaneos den Balgar and asks Rand to take the Lauren Crown, which he renames the Crown of Swords.
Path of Daggers
Rand is in Lord Algarin’s manor house, still recovering from the Cleansing. Cadsuane visits him and they discuss the Seanchan. They also learn that the Aes Sedai with the group are being tracked by their Warders. Rand talks with Loial, who tells him that he has protected the Waygates and that the Asha’man have been bonding Aes Sedai. Then, Rand talks to Bashere and Logain. Rand is furious at the Asha'man for bonding Aes Sedai. Elaida wants them all dead and he may have to offer Asha'man to be bonded by Aes Sedai to appease Egwene. Logain replies that it was Taim's order and everyone assumed that meant the order came from Rand. Logain tells Rand that Taim has his own coterie of all the full Asha'man except himself. He thinks most of the Black Tower would follow Taim rather than Rand. Rand asks Bashere if he has anything more to report other than Dobraine's stabbing. He answers that his own quarters were attacked as well. Someone was searching for the three intact seals. Three are already broken. Rand ends by ordering Bashere, Logain, and Loial to negotiate a truce with the Seanchan.
Later, Bashere returns from his negotiations with the Seanchan. They are amenable but require a meeting with the Dragon Reborn in person. High Lady Suroth wants him to meet the Daughter of the Nine Moons.
Crossroads of Twilight
Knife of Dreams
The Gathering Storm
Towers of Midnight
A Memory of Light
Rand has a number of extraordinary abilities, Like Perrin and Mat, he is ta’veren, meaning Rand is often in the right place at the right time. The Pattern draws people and resources to him that he might need to accomplish its goals. Like all ta’veren, Rand’s very presence in a location can bend the Pattern with sometimes amazing results. The people around Rand may make decisions or utter comments that they might otherwise have made only once in a thousand times just by being in the same room as Rand. Like Perrin and Mat, Rand begins to be able to see the other ta’veren when he discusses or thinks about them for more than a few moments. This ability appears along with a swirl of colors and allows the three to see each other in that specific moment.
Rand is one of the most powerful channelers known throughout time, with a Strength level of ++1, only Moridin/Ishamael, and Rahvin are known to equal his raw power. After integrating the memories of Lews Therin Telamon, Rand has the knowledge of a fully trained Aes Sedai from the Age of Legends, far surpassing the skill level of all modern channelers, and shows many abilities with the Power. He seems particularly adept with weaves involved in combat and is able to destroy armies of Shadowspawn with only a minor angreal to boost his strength. He was also skilled with Traveling and had valuable knowledge of dangerous weaves such as compulsion. Rand seems particularly strong in fire and spirit but is never shown as weaker in other flows of the Power, as most other channelers are depicted. Rand is most likely a Dreamwalker, as he often finds himself in Tel’aran’rhiod, but aside from learning to create wards for his dreams he never trains this ability. Rand has also been Bonded as a Warder by several women, Alanna Mosvani, Elayne Trakand, Aviendha, and Min Farshaw. The Bond is known to grant Warders extended endurance, faster than normal healing, the ability to sense shadowspawn, and the ability to sense the other Bondholders.
Rand also has a range of more mundane abilities he learns throughout his life. He is an excellent archer, having learned the Two Rivers longbow from childhood, he also becomes a blademaster after training with Lan and other fighters throughout the series but loses his skill after Semirhage’s fireball destroys one of his hands. He was trained by Rhuarc in the Aiel way of fighting with hands and feet as well as with Aiel short spears. He quickly learned political soft-skills after tutelage from Moiraine Damodred, and Thom Merrilin in Daes Dae’mar and governance of nations from Elayne Trakand. Rand, or more accurately Lews Therin, can draw extremely well. For several books, he is also able to channel the True Power, likely due to his link with Moridin. After Rand awakes in Moridin’s body he quickly realizes he no longer has the ability to channel but is able to light his pipe with nothing but a thought, a mysterious ability never seen in the books until this moment.
Rand, as the Dragon Reborn, possesses several abilities that are due to his living connection to The Pattern and Creation. He is able to bring forth healthy growth in blighted crops, and bring rains and thunder clouds to his location without the use of the One Power. These abilities are never fully explained in the text but are seen in action on a number of occasions.
Rand owns many notable items throughout the course of the story, including:
Two Rivers longbow
Bela the horse
Heron mark sword, forged with the One Power and given to him by his father
Horn of Valere (temporarily possesses it in The Great Hunt)
Callandor, an incredibly powerful sa’angreal
An angreal shaped like a smiling fat man with a sword on his lap, which seems of moderate strength
The male and female access keys, ter’angreal that connect the user to the massive Choden Kal sa’angreal and allows them to control the immense power of the devices without being destroyed
Seanchan spear, cut shorter on the haft and decorated with Dragon motifs
Crown of Swords (Laurel Crown of Illian)
King Laman’s sword, a Power wrought blade that is nearly indestructible
The dull dagger ter’angreal, which hides the bearer from the sight of the Dark One
Artur Hawkwing’s sword Justice, which he gives to his adoptive father Tam
Several Seals of the Dark One’s prison, obtained throughout the books
Rand is in control of or in a strong alliance with several kingdoms at various points in the story, thus making Rand the single most powerful ruler leading up to the Last Battle.
Nations Rand directly or personally controls:
Tear, ruled by King Darlin as Rand’s steward
Illian, Rand is crowned King after defeating Sammael
Arad Doman, ruled by the Aiel and several others after Rand comes to Bandar Eban
Nations that are under the control of Rand’s closest allies
Andor, ruled by Queen Elayne Trakand who is Bonded to Rand through a modified Warder Bond and who is pregnant with Rand’s twin children
Cairhien, also ruled by Queen Elayne Trakand
Mayene, through a strong alliance with Berelain
Ghealdan, through a pledge of fealty from Alliandre to Perrin
Rand is also considered a prophetic/messiah figure which grants him a vast amount of authority and respect for certain cultures
The Sea Folk
The Borderland Nations
Rand has an immense impact on the story and his legacy touches the world in many ways, both through the natural results of his actions and intentional choices he made to leave a positive legacy. Rand is largely considered the main character of the entire series, even when he is not the primary POV character in any given scene, the story revolves around Rand’s destiny. The overall story is in fact centered on the journey Rand takes as the Dragon Reborn and ultimately saving the Pattern from destruction by the Dark One. While the books themselves have a well-balanced amount of POVs from the Emond’s Field Five, Rand is the primary character throughout the series.
As he was told by the Aelfin, Rand has both survived the Last Battle and died as a result of the Last Battle. Having switched bodies with Moridin, Rand's soul lives on, but his body has died as a result of the years-long struggle he went through in order to save the world. Rand appears to also have some new form of power, mysteriously being able to light a pipe without the use of the One Power or True Power.
Prior to his death, Rand put into place a powerful alliance of nations, known as The Dragon’s Peace, which ensured years of non-aggression between potentially hostile forces including the Seanchan, including their puppet States: Tarabon, Amadicia, and Altara, the Aiel who will act as an international peacekeeping force, the Seafolk, and the major independent nations of the Westlands: Saldaea, Kandor, Arafel, Shienar, Arad Domon, Andor, Tar Valon, Cairhien, Ghealdan, Murandy, Illian and Tear. Along with this treaty Rand founded the Black Tower as a center for male channelers to train their now untainted abilities. He also set up several centers for secular learning in some of the major cities he conquered along the way, including Caemlyn, Cairhien, Tear, and Illian. These schools have already begun advancing technology into an early industrial phase with inventions such as “steam wagons” as well as many other new devices.
Prophecies about Rand:
"There can be no health in us, nor any good thing grow, for the land is one with the Dragon Reborn, and he one with the land. Soul of fire, heart of stone, in pride he conquers, forcing the proud to yield. He calls upon the mountains to kneel, and the seas to give way, and the very skies to bow. Pray that the heart of stone remembers tears, and the soul of fire, love.
—From a much-disputed translation of The Prophecies of the Dragon by the poet Kyera Termendal, of Shiota, believed to have been published between FY 700 and FY 800."
Footer: "Master of the lightnings, rider on the storm,
wearer of a crown of swords, spinner-out of fate.
Who thinks he turns the Wheel of Time,
may learn the truth too late.
—From a fragmentary translation of The
Prophecies of the Dragon, attributed to Lord
Mangore Kiramin, Sword-bard of Aramaelle and
Warder to Caraighan Maconar, into what was then
called the vulgar tongue (circa 300 AB)."
In Other Media
Twenty-six-year-old Dutch actor Josha Stradowski has been cast in the role of Rand al’Thor for the upcoming Wheel of Time TV series being produced by Amazon Studios. The character is set to appear in a major recurring role throughout the series.
Stradowski has a list of film and television acting credits since 2012 including the short films Caged and Alpha as well as the film Just Friends. He has recurring television credits in 2012’s Spangas as well as 2020’s High Flyers.
Stradowski won a Jury Prize for Best performance in a leading role at the 2018 International LGBT Film Fest for his work in Gewoon Vrienden (Just Friends).