Wednesday, February 27, 2002

THE DRAGON REBORN



By Linda

Harilin’s Leapin Jarra is made of stone and has a sign showing a man standing on one foot with his arms in the air (The Dragon Reborn, Jarra). Perrin encountered the wolf-man Noam there. The inn name may be a reference to a Wheel of Time local legend.

The Tremalking Splice in Tar Valon was where Mat feared his luck might come from evil (The Dragon Reborn, The First Toss). Tar Valon inns often have cosmopolitan names. The name refers to the Sea Folk – the isle of Tremalking and the joining of ropes with a splice (which is much stronger than a knot, retaining up to 95% of the strength of the line). The rope is a symbol of protection, strength, control and restraint. Mat’s luck went wild that night, completely out of control, allowing him to build up reserves of cash that he would need later, and protecting him from Darkfriends.

The Woman of Tanchico in Tar Valon was where Mat met Thom and roused him from his self-pity (The Dragon Reborn, The Woman of Tanchico). It is another inn with a cosmopolitan name.

Wayland’s Forge in Remen is a three storey building with a purple roof, large windows, and scroll-carved doors.
The inn’s sign has a man in a leather apron holding a hammer, which Perrin thought a good omen. Perrin met Faile here, rescued Gaul and killed Whitecloaks (The Dragon Reborn, Within the Weave). The inn’s name refers to Wayland, a smith of outstanding skill in Scandinavian, German and Anglo-Saxon legend who was captured by the Swedish king Nídud, lamed, and forced to work in his smithy. He was a lord of the elves according to some legends. In revenge, he killed Nídud's two young sons and also raped their sister, then he escaped by magical flight through the air. In early editions of The Dragon Reborn, the inn was called Wayman’s Forge. There are legends in England, Germany, Denmark, and Belgium that an invisible smith lives near certain sites and will shoe a horse for a traveller, provided that a coin is left on a stone and that the traveller leaves the area while the work is being done. If he tries to watch or even just look toward the smithy, the charm will fail. This legend is probably what Wayman’s Forge referred to; a smith for a wayman or traveller. Perrin began to be forged as leader against Shadow in this chapter and later realised he had to choose between the hammer and the axe.

The Riverman in Aringill has a sign with a barefoot shirtless man dancing (The Dragon Reborn, A Hero in the Night). The name refers to a local occupation.

The Good Queen in Aringill was where Mat diced for a bed in the stable and rescued Aludra (The Dragon Reborn, A Hero in the Night). The name is a typical Andoran one referring to the monarch. Ironically, by this time Morgase was under Rahvin’s influence and was not being a good queen.

The White Crescent, Tear. Mat and Thom stayed at this inn (The Dragon Reborn, A Storm in Tear). The inn’s name refers to the national symbol of Tear: the white crescent. White represents purity, truth, innocence and initiation and crescents, divine authority, increase and resurrection. Tear housed the Sword in the Stone and thus was instrumental in Rand’s confirmation as the Dragon Reborn (initiation and resurrection).

The Golden Cup in Tear was where Mat confronted Comar and accidentally killed him (The Dragon Reborn, A Storm in Tear). Certainly Comar’s dice cup (or more specifically his loaded dice in the cup) made him plenty of gold. Cups symbolise fertility, plenty and faith, and gold, perfection, purity, refinement, truth and harmony. This inn was the opposite: its clientele was poor and was being ripped off by a Darkfriend.

The Star in Tear is a four storey wooden structure with windows in the roof sited between a smithy and a weaver’s shop (The Dragon Reborn, The Hammer). Moiraine’s group stayed there and the Black Ajah set a trap for Moiraine with a hedgehog ter’angreal (The Dragon Reborn, A Flow of the Spirit). The star symbolizes guidance, guardianship, honour, achievement and hope (Jack Tressider, Symbols and their Meanings). Moiraine asked Loial for information about Be’lal to guide her plan of attack. Against all hope Perrin managed to free Faile from the trap – a great achievement.

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Written by Linda, June 2007

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