This is the second of two posts on my embroideries of Rand’s coats. The previous post on Rand’s black and silver coat is here.
Nearly all of Rand’s coats are embroidered in gold thread, thin strips or wires of actual gold metal wound around a silk thread, to reflect his royal status. The gold thread is sewn onto the right side of the fabric with silk thread because it would damage the fabric if drawn in and out of it. Also, the thread was so valuable that the embroiderer aimed to have as much of it as possible on the right side of the fabric.
Moiraine had a number of coats made for Rand in Fal Dara and pretty much foisted them upon him. Lan instructed Rand to wear one of them to his meeting with the Amyrlin in Fal Dara and chose this one (see photo right):
Tangled, long-thorned briars climbed each red sleeve in a thick, gold embroidered line, and ran around each cuff. Golden herons stood on the collars, which were edged with gold.The briars are of two strands of thick gold thread sewn down with gold coloured silk thread onto red silk fabric.
- The Great Hunt, Blood Calls Blood
Perhaps Lan thought the coat appropriate because the briars with their long thorns were a warning that Rand is no pushover. Lan was concerned that Rand not seem easy meat to the Amyrlin and those with her:
"I am on your side, sheepherder. A little. Enough to help you a bit." The Warder's face was stone, and sympathetic words sounded strange in that rough voice. "What training you've had, I gave you, and I'll not have you groveling and sniveling. The Wheel weaves us all into the Pattern as it wills. You have less freedom about it than most, but by the Light, you can still face it on your feet. You remember who the Amyrlin Seat is, sheepherder, and you show her proper respect, but you do what I tell you, and you look her in the eye."He thought the red colour right, too. Lan may have been thinking of the red eagle of Manetheren, which was a thorn to the Dark One's foot, because he gave Rand a pin with the Manetheren symbol on it to wear with the coat, but it has other associations too. With its thorny stems, the red coat may have reminded Siuan of her troubles with the Red Ajah, and of the threat the Red Ajah, and Elaida in particular, would be to Rand. Red and gold are two of the Dragon's colours: red symbolising Rand's anger and 'soul of fire', and the blood he has to spill, and gold his royal heritage and his role as the Lord of the Morning and Prince of the Dawn and as champion of the Light of the World, the Creator. And, of course, the colours are eye-catching and impressive.
- The Great Hunt, Blood Calls Blood
Rand’s coat probably had two herons, one on each side of the collar (see photo of heron, left), since at that time Moiraine was trying to consciously fulfill the prophecy of:
“Twice and twice shall he be marked, twice to live, and twice to die,Thom pointed this out to Rand in Cairhien (The Great Hunt, Discord). Moiraine needn’t have bothered; Rand's body received the prophesied markings soon enough.
Once the heron to set his path. Twice the heron, to name him true.
- The Great Hunt, Discord
I sewed the heron’s body in very thin silk thread wrapped with gold strip sewn down onto red silk fabric. The wings, tail and eye of the heron are coils of gold wire sewn down with gold silk thread.
The dragon’s colours being red, gold and white, it is perhaps not surprising that the second coat I illustrated, the one Rand wore in Tear when he hurled Callandor into the Stone, is also red embroidered with gold:
Rand strode down that corridor, looking straight ahead, imperious in a red coat embroidered with golden scrolls up his sleeves, cradling Callandor in his right arm like a scepter.The scrolls of Rand's sleeve panel shown right are thin gold (synthetic in this case) braid sewn onto red silk with gold-coloured silk thread. There is just the single line of embroidery along the sleeve, and none outlining the cuffs.
- The Shadow Rising, Into the Heart