Wednesday, February 27, 2002
The Twelve Salt Wells in Jurador is next door to the stables where Mat bought a horse (Knife of Dreams, A Stave and a Razor).
The number twelve represents cosmic organisation and the cycle of time. The salt wells are the likely method for mining the salt which is a major product of Jurador. The area has layers of rock salt in the surrounding strata and salt is being leached from these into shallow aquifers (water-bearing beds of rock). The water in the aquifers then becomes very salty. Deep wells are dug (or even drilled) down to these salt-water aquifers and the brine which collects into the bottom of the wells is brought to the surface. The water is evaporated to leave the salt. Twelve salt wells would bring a lot of income to the town. There may literally be twelve wells at Jurador, or the inn’s name may refer to the ‘proper order of things’ at Jurador. And considerable wealth.
The White Ring in Maderin was a brick building three storeys tall with a red door (Knife of Dreams, A Hell in Maderin). The inn’s sign has a painting of a woman's white lace garter, and indicates that it is a bawdy place, even if it isn’t a hell like Tuon wanted. Jordan has said there is no prostitution in the Wheel of Time world (see the Nine Horse Hitch entry above) so it probably isn’t a true brothel. The group was attacked by Darkfriends outside the inn.
White represents purity, truth, innocence and initiation and the ring, completion, strength, protection, authority and magical force. The inn’s name appears to refer to Tuon: she is both royal and able to learn to channel, and, although skilled in court intrigue, innocent of the common world. Thom, Seleucia and Mat all protected her, even though Mat was the real target of the Darkfriend attack.
The Queen's Lance in Saldaea was an upmarket inn where Nynaeve obtained a Malkieri merchant’s word that Lan would not ride to Tarwin’s Gap alone. The inn’s name refers to Queen Tenobia. Since Nynaeve, wife and therefore Queen in exile of Malkier, visited this inn to gain forces to ride with Lan to Tarwin’s Gap, these men represent her lance.
The Dragon in Tear is an upmarket inn with three storeys of dark gray stone and a tile roof. Rand Travelled to the Stone from there. The inn’s sign is newly painted with creatures that are a cross between those on Rand’s forearms and the winged and toothed raken (which had not yet been seen in Tear) (Knife of Dreams, Within the Stone). They are thus similar to the dragons of European, and especially Arthurian, myth. (Arthur Pendragon drew the sword from the stone, just like Rand.) The inn is probably newly renamed and is a link to Rand in his role as ruler of Tear.
Written by Linda, June 2007