The Healing Power of Greenery
Our embattled group of heroes reaches the Eye because Rand calls the Green Man with the One Power:
His whole chest felt tight, until he could hardly breathe, and his skin stung in hot pinpricks. The Blight had turned to foothills. He could see the route they must climb once they reached the mountains, the twisting path and the high pass beyond, like an axe blow cleaving into the black stone. Light, what's up ahead that can scare what's behind? Light help me, I've never been so afraid. I don't want to go any further. No further! Seeking the flame and the void, he railed at himself. Fool! You frightened, cowardly fool! You can't stay here, and you can't go back. Are you going to leave Egwene to face it alone? The void eluded him, forming, then shivering into a thousand points of light, re-forming and shattering again, each point burning into his bones until he quivered with the pain and thought he must burst open. Light help me, I can't go on. Light help me!Rand didn’t want to go further, so he summoned the Eye. He had the physical symptoms he usually had just before channelling: the tight chest, stinging skin, bursting feeling. The difficulty may have been increased because Moiraine had already visited the Eye previously and no one is supposed to visit it twice.
He was gathering the bay's reins to turn back, to face the Worms or anything rather than what lay ahead, when the nature of the land changed. Between one slope of a hill and the next, between crest and peak, the Blight was gone.
- The Eye of the World, The Dark One Stirs
This is the second time Moiraine has visited the Eye. We don’t know why or when she did so the first time. 2000 years ago the Green Man ‘rested under Avendesora’s ungentle (?) branches'. That would have been during or just after the Trolloc Wars. What happened then that the Eye was called to Rhuidean? Rhuidean is warded and guarded by Aiel literally and with custom, so one would not think that someone could or would be pursued there.
Well even with these unanswered questions whirling, the Green Man’s place is one of Healing for all the group; like a stedding, but with access to the Source intact. It was the life force of the Nym which sustained this special place and it was so strong it did not dissipate immediately upon his death. Enough was left to aid Loial in making a much smaller paradise for the Green Man’s grave. The paradise being a link back with Paaren Disen, in the Age of Legends.
The Green Man believes that all things must grow where they are, according to the Pattern and face the turning of the Wheel. But he says the Creator won’t mind him helping. Two chapters later, the Creator will speak in Rand’s head and give him a little help, even though he said he would not. (refer previous post).
The Green Man recognizes Perrin as a Wolfbrother (and knew that they hadn’t been around for an extremely long time, possibly more than an Age), and Rand as a Child of the Dragon and wonders why Rand wears a sword since neither Aiel (now) or Dai’shain (then) carry them.
The group escaped the violence, sterility and corruption of evil into the peace, nourishment and fertility of good. Nature and its naturalness, especially if it is wild or only gently cultivated, is associated with the Goddess of Sovereignty and the quest for the restoration of the Health of the Land. This symbolism and the real world parallels used to develop it are explored in an essay I wrote for Wotmania and republished in the Reference Library: Nym and Green Man.
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