Friday, September 14, 2018

Memory of Light Read-through #51: Chapter 45—Tendrils of Mist

By Linda


“Blood stained the rocks” after the battles on the Heights is a reference to the prophecy of Rand’s blood sacrifice for salvation and that Rand is one with the Land. Mat carries Rand’s banner with the Aes Sedai symbol to fight under at Thakan’dar to ensure that the prophecy of “under this sign he (Rand) will conquer” is fulfilled.

Gateways won’t open at Thakan’dar because reality is breaking up there. Mat praises Grady for his efforts at the rather alarming battle at the Ford involving people who are trapped in a different kind of broken reality.

Trickster Mat reiterates that he won’t be bound to the Horn, or anyone. Yet, ironically Mat is bound—to Rand, and objects to this strongly all through the series.

Shaisam POV

Shaisan consumes souls rather like the Machin Shin infestation of the Ways, that was “friendly”—professional courtesy, Jordan called it—to Padan Fain/Mordeth in The Great Hunt. Shaisam’s drones have dead eyes rather than the wrong ones of those Turned to the Shadow. He hides his body among these zombies. Shaisam is still bound to a body but can transcend this dependence; he is on the verge of being a deity, but needs a place to “infest” (again like the Black Wind and like vermin or disease). This sets up the next chapter.

So powerful is Shaisam now, that he is able to convert Myrddraal, whereas before he used to just kill them. His protective mist is the part of Mashadar that was carried out of Shadar Logoth in the dagger by Mat. Once Fain/Mordeth was reunited with dagger, he was able to unite Mashadar with him, control it, grow it and become Shaisam. It seems that with his usual luck Mat chose to steal Mordeth’s most potent item.

Still, Shaisam is played for laughs at times in the last book, which prevents us from taking him seriously and lessens the surprise and daring of Mat killing him. Shaisam has imbued himself in Mashadar and plans to find a suitable place in the world to imbue himself in, too—as the Black Wind did in the Ways. The sun can still burn Shaisam and Mashadar away, but the clouds are too thick for that right now.

Gaul POV

Gaul and the wolves in Tel’aran’rhiod are working together very well to counter Slayer. Slayer tricks the wolves, but not Gaul. However, the Stone Dog honourably reveals himself to protect the wolves and is injured as a result.

Perrin stands with his face toward the sun (a symbol of life, the Creator, and Rand), even though it can’t be seen. Slayer reminds us of the foretelling that Luc will be important in the Last Battle. Luc and Isam both wanted to be part of something important, so this foretelling was a major inspiration for them. Isam wanted the ability to channel but the Dark One gave him other gifts instead, including the ability to enter Tel’aran’rhiod without channelling, which requires a dual-souled nature.

Some have theorised that Moridin channels only the True Power because his body can’t channel saidin even though his mind can. But the Dark One can’t grant the ability to channel, according to Slayer in this chapter. Moridin certainly felt when Rand channelled saidin and he wouldn’t have been able to sense it if he couldn’t channel it. He used only the True Power because he was addicted to it and it showed his status as favoured one. Plus, this intimidated the other Forsaken, who would never dare to use the True Power so boldly because it is lethal. (Tough guy Demandred, for instance, flinches, at Moridin’s saa.) The clincher is that Moridin channels through Callandor with saidin first, then, when he found to his surprise that it could do so, the True Power.


Olver loves flying on to’raken, but poor Mat is terrified. From his aerial viewpoint, Mat is appalled to realise that Fain and Mashadar are in Thakan’dar—and even the Shadar Logoth dagger also. He rightly doesn’t think the Light will be so lucky that the Darkhounds and Mashadar destroy one another, which means he will have to do something about one of them, at least.

Mat sees the ancient symbol of Aes Sedai forming overhead from white and dark clouds. The clouds are a good substitute for Rand’s banner which is lost when the to’raken crashes. No need to consciously fulfil prophecy this time.

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