By Old Salt
The purpose of this article is to explain the cryptic remarks Thom made after the fight with Darkfriends in the streets of Maderin. Here is a brief recap of those events.
Tuon demanded that Mat take her to a “low” inn, one of those called a “hell”. Thom, of course, knew just the spot, a slightly seedy inn called the White Ring. Thom, Mat, Tuon and Selucia went and nothing much happened except that Mat won some gambling with dice, and was recognized by Darkfriends. When they left the inn they were set upon by a large group of Darkfriends. Mat rushed to the attack shouting at Tuon to run and for Thom to get her away. After Mat finished killing the Darkfriends, the last one which Tuon herself killed, he turned and saw more dead Darkfriends sprawled around Thom and Selucia. Thom then says.
”I’m an old man,” Thom said suddenly, “and sometimes I imagine I see things that can’t be, but luckily, I always forget them.”So what was Thom talking about here? Did Tuon channel? No. Mat was close by, and as distracted as he was, he would have noticed his foxhead medallion going cold against his chest. Besides, Tuon has already said that she will not channel.
Selucia paused to look up at him coolly. Lady’s maid she might be, but blood seemed not to faze her at all. “And what might you be trying to forget?”
“I can’t recall,” Thom replied. Selucia nodded and went back to examining his wounds.
Mat shook his head. Sometimes he was not entirely sure Thom still had all his wits. For that matter, Selucia seemed a shovel shy of a full load now and then too.
- Knife of Dreams,A Hell in Maderin
“I am nothing like these women, Toy. Nothing like them. Perhaps I could learn, but I choose not to, just as I choose not to steal or commit murder. That makes all the difference.”Did Selucia channel? No. Again the fact that Mat’s foxhead medallion did not get cold proves there was no channeling involved. So what is Thom so quickly trying to forget he saw? The answer is actually quite simple. Selucia is not only Tuon’s maid but also her bodyguard.
- Knife of Dreams, A Short Path
Tuon smiled. Selucia’s mother had given her to Tuon for a cradle-gift, to be her nursemaid, and more important, her shadow, a bodyguard no one knew about. The first twenty-five years of Selucia’s life had been training for those jobs, training in secret for the second.Selucia’s secret is still holding. She was the cause of those half dozen dead Darkfriends. Knowing the Seanchan, and given the fact that Selucia has trained for a quarter of a century, it probably took her little time to take care of the business of protecting Tuon. That was the sight that had Thom ‘misbelieving’ what he saw. Thom is also a very astute observer, and knows that both Selucia and Tuon want Selucia’s talents as a bodyguard to remain a secret. Thom’s cryptic remarks are his way of letting them both know that the secret is safe with him.
- Winter’s Heart, What a Veil Hides
Thom is not remarking about anything strange or extraordinary. His comments, as weird as they sound to Mat, are just a very deft way of letting Selucia and Tuon know that Selucia’s “second” occupation is still a secret. From Mat, for one.