Friday, December 4, 2009

Reference Library Updates after The Gathering Storm: Prophecies of the Dragon

By Linda

The article in the Reference Library on the Prophecies of the Dragon has now been updated with information from The Gathering Storm. In fact, it was largely rewritten.

I have posted two additions below under the spoiler tag; the first is of an updated prophecy from the Karaethon Cycle, and the second is of a new prophecy from the Essanik Cycle.

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Fortune rides like the sun on high
With the fox that makes the ravens fly.
Luck his soul, lightning his eye,
He snatches the moons from out of the sky.
- Crossroads of Twilight, A Cluster of Rosebuds

Noal believes this part of the Prophecies refers to Mat and he is probably right. Perrin and Mat, Rand’s supporting ta’veren, have been included in the Prophecies in obscure metaphors so that they would not be targets of those who would like to manipulate (even with good intentions) or destroy the Pattern.

Tuon took the name of Fortuona (Fortuna of mythology) when she became Empress and she has already ridden with her consort Mat, ‘the fox that makes the ravens fly’. He has a fox-head medallion and a signet ring that shows nine moons and a fox startling two ravens. Mat is extremely lucky and has risen high due to his good fortune and to Tuon marrying him. A fortune-telling damane also named Mat as ‘the fox that makes the ravens fly’ (see Foretellings article). ‘Lightning his eye’ may refer to Mat inventing gunpowder weapons.

The raven is a symbol of the imperial family of Seanchan, and by kidnapping the daughter of the nine moons (‘snatched the moons from out of the sky’ ) and freeing the Windfinder damane, he has certainly stirred the Seanchan into flying after them.

Will Fortune stay high in the sky, or will she come back down again? Fortuna is associated with the Wheel of Fortune, and the cycle of fluctuating fortunes. Lady Luck is changeable. “What was exalted is cast down, what was cast down is raised up…” as the Prophecy says. What happens if the Empress channels?

At the end of time,
when the many become one,
the last storm shall gather its angry winds
to destroy a land already dying.
And at its center, the blind man shall stand
upon his own grave.
There he shall see again,
and weep for what has been wrought.

- from The Prophecies of the Dragon, Essanik Cycle. Malhavish's Official Translation, Imperial Record House of Seandar, Fourth Circle of Elevation

- The Gathering Storm, Epilogue

It is the first actual wording of a prophecy from the Essanik Cycle. “At the end of time” shows we have gone beyond the Last Days and the Last Battle is about to begin and as for “the many become one”: surely we aren’t going to have some unity! In a state of spiritual blindness, Rand went to the top of Dragonmount, the grave of his previous incarnation and while he didn’t literally weep, he certainly agonized over being bound by the Pattern to be born to make sacrifices and painful mistakes, to cause deaths and to fight the Dark One again and again. His pain nearly drove him to destroy the world. The last storm may refer to whatever issues from the Dark One’s sinister cloud layer, or it may be the tempest that surrounded Rand during the latter part of The Gathering Storm. Rand was about to destroy the land already dying but pulled back at the last.

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