Friday, March 22, 2002

Egwene's Dreams

By Linda

It is known that Egwene al'Vere, the rebel Amyrlin Seat, has the rare Talent of Dreaming. Dreamers sometimes have 'true dreams' that show the future. However, these are only glimpses of possible futures and are not certain:

Dreaming was closely linked to Foretelling; the future, and events in other places, could appear in a Dreamer’s dreams.

- The Dragon Reborn, Tel’aran’rhiod

It was a true dream; she knew that long before it faded. A glimpse of a future that might come to pass, a warning of what should be watched for. True dreams were always possibilities, not certainties— she often had to remind herself of that; Dreaming was not Foretelling—but this was a dire possibility.

- Crossroads of Twilight, In The Night

One aspect that must be remembered, however, is that dreams about ta’veren are more likely to come true:

Back when she had been sure she could trust Anaiya, back before she had left the Tower, before she learned the reality of the Black Ajah, a little cautious questioning of the Aes Sedai… had revealed that a Dreamer’s dreams about ta’veren were almost always significant, and the more strongly ta’veren, the more “almost always” became “certainly.”

- The Dragon Reborn, Questions

Another Talent long thought lost is Dreaming, which involves, among other things, interpreting the Dreamer's dreams to foretell future events in more specific fashion than Foretelling does.

- The Shadow Rising, Glossary

Moreover, all prophecies made since the Dark One began to strongly affect reality (since Crossroads of Twilight) are less likely to come true:

The viewings and prophecies that occurred before the loosening of the Pattern are very valid. But those that occurred at, or after, the loosening have a higher chance of not coming true.

- Robert Jordan at a Knife of Dreams booksigning

This article will list all of Egwene’s dreams in chronological order of character and within character, an analysis of their possible meanings and whether they have occurred yet.


A Trap

... she saw Rand sleeping on the ground, wrapped in a cloak. A woman had been standing over him, looking down. Her face was in shadow, but her eyes seemed to shine like the moon, and Egwene had known she was evil. Then there was a flash of light, and they were gone. Both of them. And behind it all, almost like another thing altogether, was the feel of danger, as if a trap was just beginning to snap shut on an unsuspecting lamb, a trap with many jaws."

- The Great Hunt, Woven in the Pattern

This dream has been fulfilled; it refers to Lanfear using the Portal Stone to transport Rand, Hurin, Loial and herself to one of the mirror worlds. Rand first encounters Lanfear in the guise of Selene here.

The Crystal Sword

There had been a dream of Rand, reaching for a sword that seemed to be made of crystal, never seeing the fine net dropping over him.

- The Dragon Reborn, Questions

Another dream fulfilled. The sword made of crystal is Callandor, and the net dropping over him is the trap set by Be’lal, who was known as Netweaver.

The Dusty Chamber

And one of him kneeling in a chamber where a parched wind blew dust across the floor, and creatures like the one on the Dragon banner, but much smaller, floated on the wind, and settled into his skin.

- The Dragon Reborn, Questions

Rand in that dry, dusty chamber again, with those small creatures settling into his skin.

- The Dragon Reborn, Following the Craft

These dreams have been fulfilled. They refer to Rand being marked as He Who Comes With the Dawn in the glass columns ter’angreal in Rhuidean.

The Black Mountain

There had been a dream of him walking down into a great hole in a black mountain, a hole filled with a reddish glare as from vast fires below,

- The Dragon Reborn, Questions

Him walking toward a burning mountain, something crunching beneath his boots. She stirred and whimpered; the crunching things were the seals on the Dark One's prison, shattering with his every step.

- Lord Of Chaos, A Pile of Sand

Fulfilled when Rand entered Shayol Ghul to confront the Dark One.

As far as the second dream goes, some of Rand’s actions have resulted in broken seals and Rand intended to personally break the remaining seals deliberately in order to fight the Last Battle as Herid Fel’s note advised. Egwene was alarmed by this and tried to prevent it. However, it was Logain who ended up breaking them.

Both dreams show only Rand, and it was his plan at the time of the dreams to do these things alone, but events prevented that.

Confronting the Seanchan

… even a dream of him confronting Seanchan.

- The Dragon Reborn, Questions

Rand confronting a horde of Seanchan.

- The Dragon Reborn, Following the Craft

Rand confronted the Seanchan when he fought the Illian campaign in The Path of Daggers and when he met with Empress Fortuona.

Rand Holding a Blazing Sword

Rand holding a sword that blazed like the sun, till she could hardly see that it was a sword, could hardly make out that it was him at all.

- The Dragon Reborn, Fires in Cairhien

The blazing sword is Callandor, which is why Egwene could hardly see that it was a sword. He held it while he fought Moridin at Shayol Ghul.

Rand in Danger

Rand threatened in a dozen ways, none of them the least bit real. In one dream, he had been on a huge stones board, the black and white stones as big as boulders, and him dodging the monstrous hands that moved them and seemed to try to crush him under them. It could have meant something. It very probably did, but beyond the fact that Rand was in danger from someone, or two someones—she thought that much was clear…

- The Dragon Reborn, Fires in Cairhien

Rand is in danger of being crushed by the plots of two “players”. These could be rival Forsaken or it could represent the Shadow versus the White Tower, both of which have had schemes for Rand that are not at all in Rand’s best interest.

Six Men, Five Women

He had been sneaking through utter darkness toward Callandor, while all around him six men and five women walked, some hunting him and some ignoring him, some trying to guide him toward the shining crystal sword and some trying to stop him from reaching it, appearing not to know where he was, or only to see him in flashes. One of the men had eyes of flame, and he wanted Rand dead with a desperation she could nearly taste.

- The Dragon Reborn, Following the Craft

This is a vision of Rand and all the eleven Forsaken remaining at that time. Some of them wanted him to take Callandor, some didn’t care about him and others didn’t know where he was. It appears that at this point Ishamael had decided he wanted Rand very dead, a situation different from the first two books but that is echoed throughout this one with the attacks on Rand in his dreams and Ishamael’s eventual attempt to kill him in the Stone. It also brings into play the fight in The Shadow Rising in the Stone, where Sammael sent Trollocs to kill Rand and Semirhage sent Trollocs to stop Sammael from doing just that.

Rand Confronting Egwene

Rand confronting her, and the women with her, and one of them was a Seanchan.

- The Dragon Reborn, Following the Craft

Rand confronted the Amyrlin Egwene in the White Tower and at the Field of Merrilor, the latter being the main one, but no Seanchan woman was present. Leilwhin had demanded to serve Egwene, so she is ‘with her’ in that sense.

Crushing Buildings

Rand as tall as a mountain, walking through cities, crushing buildings beneath his feet, with screaming people like ants fleeing from him

- The Shadow Rising, What Lies Hidden

This is symbolic; wherever Rand went, war and destruction followed and people did a lot of running from it.


Rand in chains, and it was he who was screaming.

- The Shadow Rising, What Lies Hidden

This may refer to his capture and torture by Elaida’s embassy, or to his capture by Semirhage. Originally, Jordan planned that Rand was to be captured and held a second time, by Semirhage and Graendal, and this dream refers to that event (Robert Jordan, Rand notes).

Building A Wall

Rand building a wall with him on one side and her on the other, her and Elayne and others she could not make out. "It has to be done," he was saying as he piled up stones. "I'll not let you stop me now."

- The Shadow Rising, What Lies Hidden

This represents Rand’s attempt to shut everyone away, to isolate and harden himself for what is to come. He had become extremely paranoid and violent, but had a change of heart at the end of The Gathering Storm.

A Woman's Chair

Rand sitting down in a chair, and somehow she knew that the chair's owner would be murderously angry at having her chair taken.

- The Fires Of Heaven, What Can Be Learned in Dreams

This is very probably the Lion Throne. Morgase, the owner of the chair at the time Rand took Caemlyn, believed Rand sat on the throne. She was furious at Rand and was determined to join Perrin’s group to see what she could do to protect Elayne and Andor.

Elayne Forcing Rand To His Knees

Several concerned Rand, not all bad, but all odd. Elayne, forcing him to his knees with one hand.

- Lord Of Chaos, A Pile of Sand

This likely refers to Elayne (and Aviendha and Min) convincing Rand they should bond him as their Warder. Rand was also convinced to hand over leadership of the Light’s armies to Elayne, though she wasn’t the one who initiated this.

His Three Lovers

Elayne and Min and Aviendha, sitting in a silent circle around him, each in turn reaching out to lay a hand on him.

- Lord Of Chaos, A Pile of Sand

This could be the scene where Min, Aviendha and Elayne all bond Rand, but it may also refer to the three women standing around the pyre as Rand’s body is burnt. As many characters remarked, none of the three visited Rand’s body as it lay dying.

Rand Playing Dead

Logain, laughing, stepped across something on the ground and mounted a black stone; when she looked down, she thought it was Rand’s body he had stepped over, laid out on a funeral bier with his hands crossed at his breast, but when she touched his face, it broke apart like a puppet.

- A Crown Of Swords, Unseen Eyes

Logain took on leadership of the Asha’man; Rand affirmed this in A Memory of Light, The Last Battle, when he passed on his angreal to Logain. Rand’s soul still lives, though few know this, but his body was cremated, hence the image of Rand’s body being a shell.

Dying Man:

A man lay dying in a narrow bed, and it was important he not die, yet outside a funeral pyre was being built, and voices raised songs of joy and sadness.

- A Crown Of Swords, Unseen Eyes

This dream was anonymous because (apart from wanting to keep the surprise) Moridn’s soul lies dying in Rand’s body, while Rand is slowly restored to life and health in Moridin’s body. The funeral pyre will be for Rand’s body. People are joyful that the battle is over and the Dark One sealed away but mourn Rand’s death.


Rand, wearing different masks, until suddenly one of those false faces was no longer a mask, but him.

- The Path Of Daggers, Stronger than Written Law

As emphasised in the final paragraph of A Memory of Light, Rand tried to fulfil so many roles: Dragon Reborn, Coramoor, He Who Comes With The Dawn, military leader, player of the Great Game, and lover. After his confrontation with the Dark One, Rand’s soul transferred to Moridin’s body and he became the traveller/wanderer.

She had had some fine [true dreams] lately, about Rand, Mat, Perrin.

- Knife of Dreams, Honey in the Tea

She did not say what they were, however. They are less likely to come true, since the Pattern had loosened.

Crystal Sphere

The vision changed. She saw an enormous sphere made of the finest crystal. It sparkled in the light of twenty-three enormous stars, shining down on it where it sat on a dark hilltop. There were cracks in it, and it was being held together by ropes.
There was Rand, walking up the hillside, holding a woodsman's axe. He reached the top and hefted the axe, then swung at the ropes one at a time, chopping them free.
The last one parted, and the sphere began to break apart, the beautiful globe falling in pieces. Rand shook his head.

- Towers of Midnight, The Amyrlin’s Anger

The sphere represents world and time—Creation.

The twenty-three stars could represent the twenty-three major groups at the Last Battle: 1. Saldaea, 2. Kandor, 3. Arafel, 4. Shienar, 5. Malkier, 6. Tar Valon, 7. Arad Doman, 8. Two Rivers (Perrin), 9. Andor, 10. Cairhien, 11. Mayene, 12. Tear, 13. Illian, 14. Ghealdan, 15. Amadicia, 16. Altara, 17. Murandy, 18. Aiel, 19. Sea Folk, 20. Whitecloaks, 21. Seanchan, 22. Black Tower, 23. Ogier.

The world is in danger of cracking due to the Dark One damaging reality.

Egwene correctly realised that the dream refers to Rand’s plan to break the Seals.

She dreamed more about them:

Broken Seals

"His feet crunching," Egwene said, staring Moiraine in the eyes. "As he strode forward, Rand's feet stepped on the shards of the Dark One's prison. I saw him, in another dream, hacking away at it to open it. But I never actually saw him opening it, Moiraine."

"The shards were there, Mother," Moiraine said. "The seals had been broken."

- A Memory of Light, A Knack

The Seals were given to Egwene and finally Logain, to break, so the prison could be opened when Rand was ready to reseal the Bore.


The Hawk and The Falcon

Perrin with a falcon on his shoulder, and Perrin with a hawk. Only the hawk held a leash in her talons—Egwene was somehow convinced both the hawk and falcon were female—and the hawk was trying to fasten it around Perrin's neck.

- The Dragon Reborn, Questions

Perrin… with a falcon, and a hawk and the falcon and the hawk fighting

- The Dragon Reborn, Fires in Cairhien

The hawk and falcon are Berelain and Faile, and this dream represents their fight over Perrin. Faile, Zarine Bashere's adopted name, means ‘falcon’; Berelain’s sigil is a hawk on a blue background.

We have certainly seen Berelain and Faile competing with each other. The fact that Berelain is the one who is trying to leash Perrin suggests perhaps that her intentions are merely to own him, to have him do what she wants, as opposed to Faile’s intentions of living happily ever after with him. This seems likely considering the fact that Berelain first tried to flirt with Perrin when he flatly refused to take a message to Rand from her. Faile believes that Berelain never loved Perrin, and in Towers of Midnight she forced Berelain to renounce her game and undo the damage she did to Perrin’s reputation.


Perrin came and stood before her, a wolf lying at his feet…

…She had dreamed of Perrin with a wolf

- The Dragon Reborn, Fires in Cairhien

This refers to is Perrin’s ability as a Wolfbrother. The wolf in question is Hopper, who guided and protected Perrin.

An Aiel

There had been one dream of an Aiel, and she thought that had to do with Perrin, too, but she was not sure.

- The Dragon Reborn, Fires in Cairhien

This is Gaul; his situation mirrored Perrin’s to a degree. Perrin rescued Gaul from the cage around this time.

The Axe and The Hammer

Why should Perrin have a falcon on his shoulder, and what was important about him choosing between that axe he wore now and a blacksmith's hammer?

- The Dragon Reborn, Following the Craft

…he kept trying to throw away that axe of his until finally he ran, the axe floating through the air chasing him.

- Lord Of Chaos, A Pile of Sand

Fulfilled. Perrin had to choose between his axe—destruction—and his hammer—creation. In Crossroads of Twilight, this came to a head when Perrin cut off a captive’s hand and threatened much worse. Disgusted with himself, he threw the axe into a tree and chose to use the hammer instead. An ominous choice, since Perrin taking up the hammer is a sign of the Last Days (see Prophecies of the Dragon article).

Faile and Banners

...Perrin, lounging with Faile on his lap, kissing her while she played with the short-cut beard that he wore in the dream. Behind them two banners waved, a red wolf's head and a crimson eagle.

- The Fires Of Heaven, What Can Be Learned in Dreams

This is fulfilled; Perrin and Faile are married and he carries the Wolfhead and Red Eagle banners around everywhere he goes. The Red Eagle is a symbol of Manetheren and the Wolfhead is his own banner used in the Two Rivers.

Mysterious Stranger

...of Perrin running from someone deadly,

- The Dragon Reborn, Fires in Cairhien

A wolf—she was sure it was Perrin, though—fighting a man whose face kept changing.

- The Shadow Rising, What Lies Hidden

The only person we have seen Perrin running from is Slayer and Slayer certainly qualifies as deadly. Perrin has repeatedly fought Slayer, a man who changes at will between Luc and Isam, and finally killed him in A Memory of Light.

A Tinker

…A man in a bright yellow coat stood near to Perrin's shoulder, a sword strapped to his back; in some way she knew that he was a Tinker, though no Tinker would ever touch a sword. And every bit of it except the beard seemed important. The banners, Faile kissing Perrin, even the Tinker. Every time he moved closer to Perrin it was if a chill of doom shot through everything.

- The Fires Of Heaven, What Can Be Learned in Dreams

Again Perrin; he turned away from a Tinker and ran, faster and faster though she called for him to come back.

- Lord Of Chaos, A Pile of Sand

The Tinker of the vision is Aram and he was a danger to Perrin. Aram is everything Perrin does not want to be; he gave up peace for the sword, and the fanatical Masema fascinates him. In Knife of Dreams, Outside the Gates, Aram tried to kill Perrin because Masema convinced him that Perrin is actually Shadowspawn. Interestingly, Egwene doesn’t recognise him as Aram, even though she stayed with his family in The Eye of the World, showing how much he had spiritually changed.

A Cliff

..and Perrin stepping willingly over the edge of a towering cliff while saying, "It must be done. I must learn to fly before I reach the bottom."

- The Dragon Reborn, Fires in Cairhien

Fulfilled. It refers to Perrin learning how to use the Wolf Dream and understanding and accepting his role as leader and Wolfbrother. Hopper repeatedly told Perrin in The Dragon Reborn that he didn’t know Tel’aran’rhiod well enough to avoid its dangers, but Perrin insisted that he had to use it anyway. In The Gathering Storm, Embers and Ash, he asked Hopper to teach him and learned a great deal about it and himself in Towers of Midnight.

Hacking Through Brambles

Perrin and a Tinker, frenziedly hacking their way through brambles with axe and sword, unaware of the cliff that lay just ahead. And the brambles screamed with human voices they did not hear.

- The Path Of Daggers, Stronger than Written Law

Fulfilled. This refers to Perrin’s and Aram’s attempts to rescue Faile, regardless of the risks, and more especially to the Battle of Malden. During the battle at Dumai’s Wells, Perrin made a similar comment about hacking through brambles. The cliff represents danger he did not expect—Galina’s treachery, Aram’s treachery…

A Pack of Wolves

... And that dream of Perrin—with a beard!—leading a huge pack of wolves that stretched as far as the eye could see.

- The Dragon Reborn, Questions

Well, Perrin has a beard, and he has fought alongside wolves several times—at the beginning of The Dragon Reborn and Dumai’s Wells, among others, but at the Last Battle he led all the wolves against the Darkhounds in his role as Wolf King.

She [Egwene] had had some fine [true dreams] lately, about Rand, Mat, Perrin.

- Knife of Dreams, Honey in the Tea

She did not say what they were, however. They are less likely to come true, since the Pattern has loosened.


An Eye on a Balance Scale

Mat, placing his own left eye on a balance scale.

- The Dragon Reborn, Questions

Mat throwing dice with blood streaming down his face, the wide brim of his hat pulled down low so she could not see his wound, while Thom Merrilin put his hand into a fire to draw out the small blue stone that now dangled on Moiraine’s forehead.

- The Fires Of Heaven, What Can Be Learned in Dreams

Fulfilled. Mat gave up an eye to the Eelfinn as payment for Moiraine’s release. This ties in with several other visions, and the "to give up half the light of the world to save the world" prophecy of the Aelfinn. Mat has a lot of links with the Norse god Odin—among them ravens, his hat, and his spear—and Odin lost an eye.

The dream shows the dangers: Thom literally put his hands into great heat to free Moiraine, Mat has a facial wound hidden by his hat, but he still rolled his dice to find their way. I.e. He is relying on his luck while bravely playing the game against the Finns. The kesiera is something personal of Moiraine’s and is therefore symbolic of her. Noal does not appear in the dream, as though he is already dead.

The dice refers to the game of Foxes and Snakes, and that they need to use this game, and Mat’s luck, to effect a rescue.

Hanging By A Limb

Mat, hanging by his neck from a tree limb.

- The Dragon Reborn, Questions

Mat was hung from the Tree of Life in Rhuidean, fulfilling this. Of course, he was hanging from his ashandarei in the tree, not a tree branch. As above, it also links to Odin who was hung from a tree to gain wisdom.

The Seanchan

There had been a dream of Mat and Seanchan, too, but she was willing to dismiss that as a nightmare.

- The Dragon Reborn, Questions

Mat’s battle against the Seanchan in Altara (with the first usage in battle of ‘grenades’) might have been gruesome enough for Egwene to want to dismiss the dream as a nightmare, but the dream probably refers to Mat, as Prince of the Ravens and the Light’s general, directing forces (including the Seanchan) in the Last Battle. Egwene has a deep hatred of the Seanchan from her time as a damane so she would hate to see Mat on their side.

The Old Tongue

...Just like the one about Mat speaking the Old Tongue.

- The Dragon Reborn, Questions

Mat spoke words she almost understood—the Old Tongue, she thought.

- Lord Of Chaos, A Pile of Sand

At the current point in time, it seems to be more a question of when Mat isn’t speaking the Old Tongue than of when he is. This has been fulfilled many times.

Spinning Dice

... Mat with dice spinning 'round him...

- The Dragon Reborn, Fires in Cairhien

While this may refer to Mat being generally lucky, being ta’veren and all, especially the extraordinary run of luck he had in Tar Valon, Mat also hears dice spinning in his head when an important or dangerous event is about to occur. This warning system is what the dream probably refers to.

Invisible Stalkers

Mat being followed by a man who was not there ... or maybe more than one, but in some way there was no one there

- The Dragon Reborn, Fires in Cairhien

This has been fulfilled—Mat was followed by Grey Men in Tar Valon, and later killed one in the Stone of Tear during the Trolloc invasion as well. He has also been followed by the gholam, and it isn’t really a man either.

Something In The Distance

Mat riding desperately toward something unseen in the distance that he had to reach

- The Dragon Reborn, Fires in Cairhien

This was fulfilled when Mat raced against time to rescue Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve from the Stone of Tear.

An Illuminator

and Mat with a woman who seemed to be tossing fireworks about. An Illuminator, she assumed, but that made no more sense than anything else.

- The Dragon Reborn, Fires in Cairhien

This is fulfilled. In The Dragon Reborn, Mat met the rogue Illuminator Aludra who gave him the fireworks which he used to get into the Stone, and when he met up with her again in Ebou Dar they developed fireworks into gunpowder weapons.

I Am Coming!

What did it mean that Mat was dicing with the Dark One, and why did he keep shouting "I am coming!" and why did she think in the dream that he was shouting at her?

- The Dragon Reborn, Following the Craft

As in an earlier dream, this refers to Mat’s race against Comar to get to Tear and rescue Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve.

The dicing with the Dark One could refer to a number of things; his "bet" with Rahvin as Gaebril that he would find them before Comar, his dicing with Comar and Comar’s subsequent death, and his general gambling with fate and relying on his luck to get him out of danger.

Wrestling With A Seanchan Woman

Mat wrestling with a Seanchan woman who tied an invisible leash to him

- The Shadow Rising, What Lies Hidden

This was fulfilled at the end of Winter’s Heart when Mat quite literally wrestled with Tuon and has been trying to outwit her ever since. The invisible leash is undoubtedly their marriage prior to going their separate ways and Mat’s increasing fondness for Tuon and hers for him.

Two Ravens

…two ravens alighted on his shoulders, claws sinking through his coat into the flesh beneath. He seemed no more aware of them than Perrin had been of the hawk and the falcon, yet defiance passed across his face, and then grim acceptance.

- Lord Of Chaos, A Pile of Sand

Ravens generally always signify the Seanchan. Being tattooed with ravens on the shoulders means being property of the Imperial family. Now that Mat and Tuon have married, he is Prince of the Ravens, which he is not too keen about, since he dislikes nobles (Knife of Dreams, Prince of the Ravens). Mat struggled for quite a while against his fate to marry Tuon, but is accepting it and his newly acquired nobility.

A Face In Shadow

In another, a woman, face shrouded in shadow, beckoned him toward great danger; Egwene did not know what, only that it was monstrous.

- Lord Of Chaos, A Pile of Sand

Probably fulfilled when Moiraine encouraged Mat in her letter to join Thom and another man and attempt to rescue her from the world of the alien Aelfinn and Eelfinn. She made it plain the rescue attempt was exceedingly dangerous. “Her face shrouded in shadow’ is because she is not in the main world.

Illuminator’s Fireworks

Mat sat on a night-shrouded hilltop, watching a grand Illuminator's display of fireworks, and suddenly his hand shot up, seized one of those bursting lights in the sky. Arrows of fire flashed from his clenched fist, and a sense of dread filled her. Men would die because of this. The world would change.

- A Crown Of Swords, Unseen Eyes

Fulfilled. Mat and Aludra have built cannon (Towers of Midnight, A Terrible Feeling) and also used primitive grenades (Knife of Dreams, Prince of the Ravens). The invention of gunpowder weapons will of course change a lot of things and many people will die.

Aes Sedai On A Balance Scale

Mat, weighing two Aes Sedai on a huge set of balance scales, and on his decision depended...She could not say what; something vast; the world, perhaps.

- The Path Of Daggers, Stronger than Written Law

The two Aes Sedai probably represent Verin and Moiraine. Mat made promises to both and agonised in Towers of Midnight over his promise to Verin about her letter and his promise to rescue Moiraine. While protecting Caemlyn and keeping the cannon out of the Shadow’s hands is important (and Talmanes and the Band will do their best) the city was sacrificed for the vital task of rescuing Moiraine so she could persuade Egwene to agree to Rand’s treaty, and Rand to give Egwene the Seals and Elayne the generalship of the Light’s armies.

The balance scales in this dream link with the dream about Mat’s eye and indeed choosing Moiraine did lead Mat to lose an eye.

Painful Dreams

Recently, all of her dreams about Mat were pale and full of pain, like shadows cast by nightmares, almost as though Mat himself were not quite real.

- The Path Of Daggers, Stronger than Written Law

Fulfilled. This refers to the fact that Mat was severely injured in Ebou Dar when a wall fell on him, and thus was not quite all there, as it were, for some time. He was probably unconscious at times which would account for the "not quite real" bit. It could also refer to Mat's trip to the world of the Aelfinn and Eelfinn to rescue Moiraine. This is a different world to the main world, which would account for Mat being 'barely there', just as Egwene could not sense Rand when he went to the If worlds. Mat's experiences in the alien world were most painful.

Bowling On The Green

Mat stood on a village green, playing at bowls… Rubbing the ball between his hands, he took a short run and casually rolled it across the smooth grass. All nine pins fell, scattered as if they had been kicked. Mat turned and picked up another ball, and the pins were back upright. No, there was a fresh set of pins. The old still lay where they had fallen. He hurled the ball again, a lazy underhanded bowl. And Egwene wanted to scream. The pins were not turned pieces of wood. They were men, standing there watching the ball roll toward them. None moved until the ball sent them flying. Mat turned to pick up another ball, and there were more new pins, new men, standing in orderly formation among the men lying sprawled on the ground as if dead. No, they were dead. Unconcerned, Mat bowled.

…Every one of those human pins had represented thousands of men. Of that, she was certain. And an Illuminator was part of it.

- Crossroads of Twilight, In The Night

Fulfilled. This is another reference to Mat’s and Aludra’s invention of gunpowder-based weapons. It also indicates that at this time Mat did not fully realise the consequences of his actions. Huge numbers of people will die, and yet he doesn’t seem to notice. Since then Mat has realised the consequences of developing gunpowder weapons and has been haunted by dreams of people dying and the Dark One laughing because of his actions (Knife of Dreams, Dragons’ Eggs).

She [Egwene] had had some fine [true dreams] lately, about Rand, Mat, Perrin.

- Knife of Dreams, Honey in the Tea

She did not say what they were, however. They are less likely to come true, since the Pattern has loosened.

Seanchan versus Aes Sedai

She had dreamed of the Seanchan, too, of women in dresses with lightning bolts woven on their breasts, collaring a long line of women who wore Great Serpent rings, forcing them to call lightning against the White Tower.

- The Dragon Reborn, Questions

The great serpent ring is worn by both Aes Sedai and Accepted. In The Gathering Storm the Seanchan raided the White Tower and captured nearly forty initiates of which more than two dozen were Aes Sedai (The Gathering Storm, Bathed in Light). That’s a start on their “long line of women”. Once the Seanchan had Travelling, they intended to attack the Tower a second time, but did not do so.

The dream is interesting for another reason. Aes Sedai are bound by the Three Oaths not to use the One Power as a weapon unless against Shadowspawn or unless their lives, their Warder's life or that of another sister is in great danger. Thanks to Joline, in Knife of Dreams, the Seanchan learned that if the Aes Sedai damane fears for her life or that of another sister, she can use the One Power as a weapon (see theory). However, this hasn’t been put to use. No Aes Sedai damane has channelled against the White Tower. The dream has not come true and should not if Fortuona and her descendants honour the treaty.

She [Egwene] was climbing another path along a cliff shrouded in clouds, but this was a broad ledge of smoothly paved white stone, and there were no rocks underfoot. The cliff itself was chalky white and as smooth as if polished. Despite the clouds, the pale stone almost gleamed. She climbed quickly and soon realised that the ledge was spiralling around. The cliff was actually a spire. No sooner did that thought occur than she was standing on the top of it, a flat polished disc walled by mist. Not quite flat though. A small white plinth stood centred in that circle, supporting an oil-lamp made of clear glass. The flame on that lamp burned bright and steady, without flickering. It was white too.

Suddenly a pair of birds flashed out of the mist, two ravens as black as night. Streaking across the spire-top, they struck the lamp and flew on without so much as a pause. The lamp spun and wobbled, dancing around atop the plinth, flinging off droplets of oil. Some of those drops caught fire in midair and vanished. Others fell around the short column, each supporting a tiny flickering white flame. And the lamp continued to wobble on the edge of falling.

Egwene woke in darkness with a jolt. She knew. For the first time, she knew exactly what a dream meant…the Seanchan attacking the White Tower. An attack that would shake the Aes Sedai to their core and threaten the Tower itself. Of course, it was only a possibility. But the events seen in true dreams were more likely than other possibilities.

- Crossroads of Twilight, In The Night

This dream is more detailed, as though the Seanchan attack has become more likely. Certainly, the Seanchan war leaders were studying maps of the Tar Valon area as early as The Path of Daggers.

Egwene does a fair job of interpreting this dream herself. The white cliff with shining walls represents the White Tower and the lamp with the white flame fuelled by oil is the flame of Tar Valon fuelled by the Aes Sedai. The two ravens represent the Seanchan (more ravens would perhaps refer to the Shadow) and they did attack the Tower in The Gathering Storm. A number of Aes Sedai were killed, including some by the Bloodknives, and nearly forty initiates were collared; these are the drops of oil that catch fire and go out and are lost to the Tower.

Interestingly, the dream also indicates that when Egwene understands what the dream refers to while she is dreaming it the dream skips to the next scene and thus perhaps shows more of the future. This particular dream is one of Egwene’s most detailed and this may be a direct result of her comprehension of its metaphors while she was dreaming them.


And the dream about Whitecloaks binding her father’s hands

- The Dragon Reborn, Questions

This probably refers to the Mayor of Emond’s Fields’ hands being tied metaphorically—he claimed that the Two Rivers could not pressure the Whitecloaks to leave because they needed them to keep the Trollocs at bay.

Whitecloaks ravaging the Two Rivers.

- The Dragon Reborn, Fires in Cairhien.

Fulfilled. The Whitecloaks behaved arrogantly in the Two Rivers and were more interested in persecuting people as Darkfriends than in fighting Trollocs. Fain and his Whitecloaks were even worse: they killed Perrin’s family and Fain tried to encourage Bornhald to commit atrocities.

Nightmares of a Whitecloak putting Master Luhhan in the middle of a huge toothed trap for bait.

- The Dragon Reborn, Following The Craft

Fulfilled. The Whitecloaks, as part of Fain’s plan, took the Luhhans and Mat’s mother and sisters prisoners in the hope of luring Rand to the Two Rivers to rescue them. Rand saw the ruse and refused to respond to this and Perrin went in his stead.


And a dream of Min, springing a steel trap but somehow walking through it without so much as seeing it

- The Dragon Reborn, Fires in Cairhien

This probably refers to Min’s return to the White Tower in The Shadow Rising, where both the Black Ajah and Elaida wanted to rein in Siuan and Min’s indiscreet behaviour caught their eye and spurred them into planning a coup. Min survived the coup largely unscathed—she was aware that the Tower was a dangerous place and even knew that disaster would occur there, but was unaware of its imminence or the role she played in triggering events.


A woman playing with puppets, and another dream where the strings on puppets led to the hands of larger puppets, and their strings led to still greater puppets, on and on until the last strings vanished into unimaginable heights.

- The Dragon Reborn, Fires in Cairhien

Several manipulative women feature in the series (Siuan, Cadsuane, Graendal and Mesaana, for instance), but the woman playing with puppets is most likely Mesaana.

The layers of puppets may refer to the manipulative schemes of the Shadow—certainly Moridin boasts of playing both sides of the board and moving a great many people to his wishes without some of them even knowing it. Or it is a metaphor for the Pattern and even the ta’veren effect.


Kings dying, queens weeping, battles raging

- The Dragon Reborn, Fires in Cairhien

This is ongoing. Quite a few kings, and also queens, have died so far: Galldrian (died before this dream), Niall, Andric, Ailron, Nesta, Tylin, three rulers of Ghealdan, Empress Radhanan, Tenobia, Alsalam, at least six clan chiefs (including Rhuarc) and Egwene herself. A high toll. Queens weeping would include Siuan, Morgase, Alliandre, and Elaida. ‘Battles raging’ is fairly obvious.

Men and women breaking out of a cage, then putting on crowns.

- The Dragon Reborn, Fires in Cairhien

The men and women would be the Forsaken breaking out of the Dark One’s prison. They put on crowns in the sense that many of them took over nations literally (Sammael, Rahvin and Be’lal), while others planned to do so or established themselves in spheres of influence. All the Forsaken each aimed to be Naeblis and rule the world in the Dark One’s name.


She had dreamed of Aiel fighting each other, killing each other, even throwing away their weapons and running as if they had gone mad.

- The Shadow Rising, What Lies Hidden

Fulfilled. The Shaido and the Brotherless fought the other clans. The Aiel throwing their weapons away and running are those affected by the Bleakness upon learning of how the Aiel broke their vows to the Aes Sedai. Some run to the Tinkers, some remain gai’shain.

Marin al’Vere:

Her mother weeping

- The Shadow Rising, What Lies Hidden

This may well have occurred when the Two Rivers was beset by Trollocs and Whitecloaks. Or it is when she learns of Egwene’s death.


Galad wrapping himself in white as though putting on his own shroud.

- The Shadow Rising, What Lies Hidden

‘Wrapping himself in white’ refers to Galad joining the Whitecloaks. Egwene’s dream indicates this was a dangerous on Galad’s part—Valda, Asunawa, Demandred and Shadowspawn all nearly killed him.


Gawyn with his eyes full of pain and hatred.

- The Shadow Rising, What Lies Hidden

The divisive events in the White Tower and in Andor caused Gawyn to feel pain and hatred. Pain from his separation from Elayne and Egwene, since he loved them and wanted to protect them, and because he believed his mother has been killed by Rand. He also felt the pain of conflicting loyalties—siding for the White Tower against Siuan and yet knowing Egwene and Elayne were among the rebels.

He felt hatred for Rand for supposedly killing his mother and wrecking Andor, and also for the White Tower and Aes Sedai for manipulating Egwene and Elayne into doing dangerous tasks that should be done by full Aes Sedai and failing to keep them safe.

Him [Gawyn] kneeling while she cupped his head in her hands.

- Lord of Chaos, A Pile of Sand

Egwene realised Gawyn would be her Warder:

“You will be my Warder.” She had not realised the words were coming out of her mouth until they did, but once they did, she knew they were true. That dream. Gawyn kneeling for her to hold his head.

- Lord of Chaos, Like Lightning and Rain

and this happened in Towers of Midnight but he was unconscious so he didn’t literally kneel for her. In fact, he had great trouble with playing a supporting role.

A few of Egwene’s dreams show two possible events:

Some [dreams] made no sense. Twice, right atop one another, she dreamed of taking him by the shoulders and trying to turn him to face the other way against his will. Once he brushed her hands away roughly, the other time she was somehow stronger than he. The two blended together hazily. In another he began swinging a door closed on her, and she knew if that narrowing gap of light vanished, she was dead.

- Lord of Chaos, A Pile of Sand

Egwene tried to persuade Gawyn against his will not to protect her because she believed she knew who the threat to the Aes Sedai was and wanted to lure Mesaana out where she could be captured. Gawyn made his own investigations anyway, but when she got annoyed with his efforts, he left for Andor in high dudgeon. This situation is the part of the dream where Egwene was stronger than Gawyn. In Andor, Gawyn learned of how Egwene might be in danger from Bloodknives and considered leaving her to her own devices and not returning to the Tower, but on the crucial night he raced back and saved her at considerable cost to himself. This is represented in the dream by Gawyn closing the door on her and then of him being stronger than her, indeed strong enough to defend her from three Bloodknives.

She stood in a vast, dim chamber where everything was indistinct. Everything except for Gawyn, slowly coming toward her…He had some distance to cover yet, but he could see her; his gaze was fixed on her like an archer’s on the target. A faint sound of crunching and grating hung in the air. She looked down. And felt a scream building in her. On bare feet, Gawyn walked across a floor of broken glass, shards breaking at every slow step. Even in that faint light she could see the trail of blood left by his slashed feet. She flung out a hand, tried to shout for him to stop, tried to run to him, but just as quickly she was elsewhere.

In the way of dreams she floated above a long straight road across a grassy plain, looking down upon a man riding a black stallion. Gawyn. Then she was standing in the road in front of him, and he reined in. Not because he saw her, this time, but the road that had been straight now forked right where she stood, running over tall hills so no one could see what lay beyond. She knew, though. Down one fork was his violent death, down the other, a long life and a death in bed. On one path, he would marry her, on the other, not. She knew what lay ahead, but not which way led to which. Suddenly he did see her, or seemed to, and smiled, and turned his horse along one of the forks…

- A Crown Of Swords, Unseen Eyes

Walking to Egwene barefoot over glass shows how much Gawyn was fixed on Egwene and how much he suffered for love of her—he chose to stay with the Aes Sedai and served them for Egwene’s sake, instead of returning to Andor and performing his duties. He was also confused about whether to continue to lead the Younglings in serving the Tower since Elaida turned out to be at least as bad as Siuan, and again about wishing to protect Egwene rather than support and serve her. Leaving the Younglings for the rebel camp came at a cost to Gawyn’s honour. On the other hand, he was angry with the rebels for raising Egwene as Amyrlin.

The road forking where Egwene stands indicates that Egwene has a pivotal role in Gawyn’s life. Egwene can’t tell whether Gawyn marrying her will prolong his life or shorten it. As it happened, Gawyn did marry her, and was responsible for both their lives being cut short.

In Knife of Dreams, Honey in the Tea, Egwene mentions that she has had some fine dreams lately of Gawyn, though most were not prophetic. She did not say what they were, however. They are less likely to come true, since the Pattern has loosened.


Mat throwing dice with blood streaming down his face, while Thom Merrilyn put his hands into a fire to draw out the small blue stone that now dangled on Moiraine’s forehead.

- The Fires of Heaven, What Can Be Learned In Dreams

In Knife of Dreams, A Village in Shiota, Mat agreed to help Thom and another man rescue Moiraine. They know it will be a very dangerous mission and that any or all of them may die. Mat is injured, but he still rolls the dice. I.e. He is relying on his luck while bravely playing the game against the Finns. Thom did literally put his hand into fire to rescue Moiraine. The kesiera is something personal of Moiraine’s and is therefore symbolic of her.

The dice may refer to the game of Foxes and Snakes and that they need to use this game and their knowledge of it, and Mat’s luck as well, to effect the rescue. Mat has a lot of blood on his face from losing his eye.


A dream of a storm, great dark clouds rolling without wind or rain, while lighting forks, every one identical, rent the earth.

- The Fires of Heaven, What Can Be Learned In Dreams

Great dark clouds have been covering the sky since the start of The Gathering Storm, and turned into a storm during the Last Battle which the Windfinders kept at bay with the Bowl of Winds.

Egwene, Aviendha and Rand created a smaller scale storm to bring lightning in the battle for Cairhien, and Rahvin did so in Caemlyn. However, the largest lightning battle was probably Rand’s forces against the Seanchan in Altara and his defense of Maradon.

Elayne and Nynaeve:

She had another hazy almost nightmare…every time one of them (Nynaeve and Elayne) said a word, they tripped and fell on their faces or dropped a cup or a plate or knocked over a vase, always something that shattered on impact.

- Lord of Chaos, Gifts

The dream was a warning to Egwene that Elayne and Nynaeve were indiscreet and not acting deftly during Lord of Chaos and most of A Crown of Swords.


This section also includes a few dreams that aren’t ‘true’ (prophetic) but are nevertheless revealing.

Aes Sedai with switches chased her through endless corridors, where misshapen things lurched through shadows all around, where a grinning Nicola denounced her to the Hall and Thom Merrilyn came forward to give evidence.

- A Crown Of Swords, Unseen Eyes

While Egwene discounts this dream as not a true dream, there are suggestive images in it. It also may reinforce her true dream of her own impending execution described below. Egwene was beaten repeatedly in the White Tower in The Gathering Storm. ‘Misshapen things’ might indicate the amount of control the Shadow has of the Tower, with the Black Ajah so strong, Mesaana in residence, Shaidar Haran dropping by, rooms and objects moving and morphing and even rats becoming prevalent as wards fail.

Nicola ran away from the rebels and went to the Tower. She probably betrayed Egwene’s plan regarding the harbour chain to Elaida since she started apologising and justifying herself to Egwene the moment she saw Egwene in Knife of Dreams Prologue. For a non-prophetic dream, it has a lot of Foreshadowing in it.

She stood before an immense wall, clawing at it, trying to tear it down with her bare hands. It was not made of brick or stone, but countless thousands of discs, each half white and half black, the ancient symbol of the Aes Sedai, like the seven seals that had once held the Dark One’s prison shut. Some of those seals were broken now, though not even the One Power could break cuendillar, and the rest had weakened somehow, but the wall stood strong however she beat at it. She could not tear it down. Maybe it was the symbol that was important. Maybe it was the Aes Sedai she was trying to tear down, the White Tower.

- A Crown Of Swords, Unseen Eyes

Egwene likens the discs in the wall to the cuendillar seals of the Dark One’s prison as though the discs are unbreakable. Tearing the wall down with her bare hands shows that Egwene has no one but herself and her determination to do this. Perhaps no one else is aware that the wall is there, or needs to come down.

Egwene is not sure what she is trying to tear down—she thinks the wall of discs might represent Aes Sedai in general, or the White Tower. Another interpretation would be Rand, because he has revived the usage of the ancient Aes Sedai symbol and is associated with it. This would then tie in with a dream Egwene had of Rand building a wall between him and Egwene, Elayne and others (The Shadow Rising, What Lies Hidden) described above. If the two walls both represent the barrier that Rand has put between himself and Aes Sedai, then that would mean only Egwene is concerned about it enough to actively try to destroy it. Ironically Rand decided to break the Seals, and Egwene was against this move.

If the wall in the A Crown Of Swords dream represents Aes Sedai, then it would refer to the Aes Sedai ignoring what Egwene says, most notably about the desirability of Aes Sedai reuniting and about her true dream of the Seanchan attacking the Tower. Egwene continued to try to be heard at some personal cost.

Straps at waist and shoulder held her tightly to the block, and the headsman’s axe descended, but she knew that somewhere someone was running, and if they ran fast enough, the axe would stop. If not…

- A Crown Of Swords, Unseen Eyes

In Towers of Midnight Egwene’s body lay helpless in bed as her mind fought Mesaana and the Black Ajah in Tel’aran’rhiod. Gawyn ran frantically through the Tower to save Egwene from the Bloodknives killing her while she was unconscious.

A golden hawk stretched out its wing and touched her, and she and the hawk were tied together somehow; all she knew was that the hawk was female.

- A Crown Of Swords, Unseen Eyes

While both Berelain and Tuon claim descent from the Paendrags and have a hawk on their banners, in a dream of the White Tower under attack, Egwene says this woman tied to her is a Seanchan. Therefore, she is Tuon. Fortuona and Egwene had words during a parley over damane and national borders (A Memory of Light, Considerations). They found some common ground in the exasperating Matrim Cauthon.

A few dreams that are not ‘true’ dreams follow:

Wading through waist-deep snow with trees thick all around her, knowing she had to reach the edge of the forest. But even when she glimpsed the end of the trees ahead, one blink and it receded into the distance, leaving her to flounder on.

Or she was pushing a great millstone up a steep hill, but every time she was almost to the top, she slipped and fell and watched the huge stone rill back to the bottom, so she had to trudge back down and begin again, only every time the hill was higher than before. She knew enough of dreams to know where these came from even if they had no special meaning. None beyond the fact that she was tired and had a seemingly endless task in front of her, anyway.

- Crossroads of Twilight, In The Night

Egwene found being Amyrlin arduous. The dreams indicate the amount of concentration needed to further her goals; the slightest lapse and they escape her. The forest in the first dream recalls the phrase ‘can’t see the wood (forest) for the trees’; that is, being too mired in detail to see the overall picture. Certainly, the Shadow did its best to starve Egwene of accurate information about events and to keep her busy with problems so she had little time to do her own planning.

At least she only twitched through a dream of being forced to pull a cart jammed full of Aes Sedai down a muddy road.

- Crossroads of Twilight, In The Night

Egwene is trying to move the Aes Sedai in the direction she thinks is right. Interestingly, Leane once told Faolain that to lead was to neither push nor pull. Perhaps after her experience with the Aes Sedai, Egwene wouldn’t agree with her. ;)

The next dream is a 'true' one:

She was struggling up a narrow, rocky path along the face of a towering cliff. Clouds surrounded her, hiding the ground below and the crest above, yet she knew that both were very far away. She had to place her feet very carefully. The path was a cracked ledge barely wide enough for her to stand on with one shoulder pressed against the cliff, a ledge littered with stones as large as her fist that could turn under a misplaced step and send her hurtling over the edge. It almost seemed this was like the dreams of pushing millstones and pulling carts, yet she knew it was a true dream.

Abruptly, the ledge dropped away from under her with the crack of crumbling stone, and she caught frantically at the cliff, fingers scrabbling to find a hold. Her fingertips slid into a tiny crevice, and her fall stopped with a jolt that wrenched her arms. Feet dangling into the clouds, she listened to the falling stone crash against the cliff until the sound faded to nothing without the stone ever hitting the ground. Dimly, she could see the broken ledge to her left. Ten feet away, it might as well have been a mile off for all the chance she had of reaching it. In the other direction, the mists hid whatever remained of the path, but she thought it had to be farther away still. There was no strength in her arms. She could not pull herself up, only hang there by her fingertips until she fell. The edge of the crevice seemed as sharp as a knife under her fingers.

Suddenly a woman appeared, clambering down the sheer side of the cliff out of the clouds, making her way as deftly as if she were walking down stairs. There was a sword strapped to her back. Her face wavered, never settling clearly, but the sword seemed as solid as the stone. The woman reached Egwene’s level and held out one hand. “We can reach the top together,” she said in a familiar drawling accent…

She had dreamed of a Seanchan before, a Seanchan woman somehow tied to her, but this was a Seanchan who would save her.

- Crossroads of Twilight, In The Night

Egwene was in a precarious position during the Last Battle thanks to Demandred, and the Sharans and was tipped over the edge when Gawyn died fighting Demandred. Out of control after her Warder’s death, she Bonded Egeanin to save herself and poured her emotions into anger at the Shadow. Contrary to the implication of this dream, Egwene only lasted long enough to destroy Taim and the Sharan channellers and stabilise reality in that part of the battlefield. In turn she saved Egeanin by releasing the Warder bond before she died.


Logain, laughing, stepped across something on the ground and mounted a black stone; when she looked down, she thought it was Rand’s body he had stepped over…

- A Crown Of Swords, Unseen Eyes

This dream refers to Logain taking over the leadership of the Black Tower. Rand’s body died, but he lived on in Moridin’s body. (Rand’s part of the dream is described above.)

Young Man:

A dark young man held an object in his hand that shone so brightly she could not see what it was.

- A Crown Of Swords, Unseen Eyes

This may refer to Narishma holding and using Callandor at the cleansing of saidin in Winter’s Heart. He is young-looking because he is a channeller and has sun-darkened skin. Callandor was glowing very brightly as it was used to drive off the Forsaken.


In The Gathering Storm, she felt she needed to visit the rebel Aes Sedai camp in Tel’aran’rhiod and from what she saw there in the dream—fractures and division—realised that rifts were appearing among the rebels as well as the Tower and that she had could not spend much more time on attempting to reunify the Tower.

Then she used ‘need’ in Tel’aran’rhiod to find essential knowledge. She moved to a Tinker’s camp and realised the importance of Life, love and joy, and of not committing to a single cause—the reunification of the Tower.

Finally, she returned to the Tower and saw a shadow from the Tower fall on Egwene—the danger of the Seanchan and their bloodknives, and of the Shadow there.

Was this a vision of some sort? The Tower dwarfed her, and she felt its weight, as if she were holding it up herself. Pushing on those walls, keeping them from cracking and tumbling.
She stood for a long while there, sky boiling, the Tower's perfect spire throwing its shadow down on Egwene. She stared up at its peak, trying to decide if it was time to just let it fall.
No, she thought again. No, not quite yet. A few more days

The Gathering Storm, News in Tel’aran’rhiod

Egwene does save the Tower almost single-handedly against the Seanchan and then the division. She could have left it to destruction.

There, set into the glass below the Flame of Tar Valon, was a large segment in the shape of the Dragon's Fang. That wasn't part of the original window. Egwene stepped forward, inspecting the glass.
There is a third constant besides the Creator and the Dark One, Verin's meticulous voice said, a memory from another time. There is a world that lies within each of these others, inside all of them at the same time. Or perhaps surrounding them. Writers in the Age of Legends called it Tel'aran'rhiod.
Did this window represent one of those, another world where Dragon and Amyrlin ruled Tar Valon side by side?...
"I didn't choose this pattern," Egwene said, looking back at the Rose Window. "This is Tel'aran'rhiod's interpretation."

- Towers of Midnight, A Vow

The vision indicates that already the Asha’man have made their impact on the Aes Sedai and can’t be overlooked. Tel’aran’rhiod looks ahead to a time soon when men and women channellers will work together, bringing balance back to the Pattern. They will be equally respected in this world and not merely in one of the If worlds, the less real worlds, that Egwene blindly assumed. This links with Min’s viewing of a Dragon’s Fang on an inn door in the Two Rivers:

"No longer be a symbol of darkness or hate. A sign of victory and hope."

- Towers of Midnight, A Vow


Her next couple of true dreams in Towers of Midnight refer to the Forsaken.

Everything shook. The room of past and present seemed to shatter, shredding into swirling smoke. Egwene stepped back, gasping, as Gawyn ripped apart as if made of sand. All was dust around her, and thirteen black towers rose in the distance beneath a tarlike sky.
One fell, and then another, crashing to the ground. As they did, the ones that remained grew taller and taller. The ground shook as several more towers fell.
Another tower shook and cracked, collapsing most of the way to the ground—but then it recovered and grew tallest of all.
At the end of the quake, six towers remained, looming above her. Egwene had fallen to the ground, which had become soft earth covered in withered leaves.

- Towers of Midnight, The Amyrlin’s Anger

The reality of the danger of the Shadow intrudes destructively into Egwene’s fantasy. Gawyn is killed (true). The thirteen towers (yet another reference to the thirteen Towers of Midnight) are the Forsaken. Ishamael is the tower that almost collapsed completely and recovered to be taller than ever symbolising his rebirth as Moridin and anointment as Naeblis. The six remaining towers are the Forsaken alive at this time: Moridin, Cyndane, Demandred, Graendal, Mesaana (barely), and Moghedien.

Egwene ends her dream fallen—and she did fall in the Last Battle.

The vision changed. She was looking down at a nest. In it, a group of fledgling eagles screeched toward the sky for their mother. One of the eaglets uncoiled, and it wasn't an eagle at all, but a serpent. It began to strike at the fledglings one at a time, swallowing them whole. The eaglets simply continued to stare into the sky, pretending that the serpent was their sibling as it devoured them…

The middle of the three this night was the clearest to her. She felt the meaning of it, interpreting it as she sometimes could. The serpent was one of the Forsaken, hidden in the White Tower, pretending to be Aes Sedai. Egwene had suspected this was the case—Verin had said she believed it so.
Mesaana was still in the White Tower.

- Towers of Midnight, The Amyrlin’s Anger

Egwene interprets her dream correctly. The Shadow is associated with serpents (see Animal Symbolism essay) and the Aes Sedai are being light-blinded fools—easy prey for Mesaana, who lurks among them disguised as a fellow sister, to strike them down.

Glass Pillar and Cracking Sphere

Egwene strode around a frozen pillar of glass in her dream. It almost looked like a column of light. What did it mean? She could not interpret it.

The vision changed, and she found a sphere. The world, she knew somehow. Cracking. Frantic, she tied it with cords, striving to hold it together. She could keep it from breaking, but it took so much effort . . .

She faded from the dream and started awake. She embraced the Source immediately and wove a light. Where was she?

- A Memory of Light, To Require A Boon

The frozen pillar of glass is the crystal column that formed around Egwene as she used herself up making the Flame of Tar Valon weave. The weave patched up the cracks in the world caused by balefire. It did indeed take much effort to hold the world together with that weave.

Another Dreamer Amyrlin

Elayne shuffled through the sheets of paper, then stopped on one of them. " 'His blood shall give us the Light . . .' " She rubbed the page with her thumb, as if lost in thought. " 'Wait upon the Light.' Who added this note?"

"That is Doniella Alievin's copy of the Termendal translation of The Karaethon Cycle," Egwene said. "Doniella made her own notes, and they have been the subject of nearly as much discussion among scholars as the Prophecies themselves. She was a Dreamer, you know. The only Amyrlin that we know of to have been one. Before me, anyway."

- A Memory of Light, Eastward the Wind Blew

The implication is that Amyrlin Doniella dreamed that people should “wait upon the Light” and wrote this in her copy of the Prophecies of the Dragon. The phrase referred to the need for people to watch for the blinding radiance that burst from Shayol Ghul as Rand took control of the circle of four and blended the three powers together in readiness for seizing the Dark One and resealing him. This was the time when the holder of the Seals should break them, to allow Rand access to the Bore.

Written by Linda, October, 2004 and updated May 2013 and July 2017

Contributors: Moridin_2000, Paetram, Ruriha Sedai


Unknown said...

Thank you for this. I make sure to read all of your posts as soon as they are up, as I try to soak up as much WoT lore before the new book. Very in-depth!

RugbyPlayingAshaman said...

Thanks! As the next book's release nears, I'm scouring her Dreams and some sections I had noted in the earlier books so your detailed notes and ideas are valuable to me.

Drew said...

I'm RugbyPlayingAshaman btw

Linda said...

Thanks. :)

Drew: It's nice to know who you are.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. One thing I haven't thought of before came up as I was reading this...

What if Egwene's 'Dying Man' is Dobraine? Everyone thought he was already dead until Samitsu arrived to heal him. That doesn't account for why it was so important that he not die yet, but that can be taken care of the rest of the series.

Linda said...

:) Thanks

After COT I actually wrote a theory on Wotmania's theory post that Dobraine was the dying man, but KOD proved that incorrect, since he is working again.

kury said...

I think after reading tGS that the two Aes Sedai on Mats balance scale are Moiraine and Verin.

Mat, by refusing Verins wishes (or negotiating with her), has somehow condemned her, forcing her to make a hasty plan to see Egwene rather than move more cautiously such that she could survive.

All so he can save Moiraine now. And the costs to the light are considerable. While ostensibly a darkfriend, Verin proved to be a friend of the light by detailing so much information ablout the Black Ajah, most importantly their membership. While she wrote a lot of this down, who knows what she knew at the time of her death that she hadn't put in her diary and with what she knew she could have offered important analysis to the tower on futher BA activities.

Yet because Mat wanted to save Moiraine, he forces her to take the path she does in tGS.

Hans said...

"A dream of a storm, great dark clouds rolling without wind or rain, while lighting forks, every one identical, rent the earth."

While the storm certainly has other meanings now, the lightning forks, 'every one identical,' definitely brings to mind for me the sul'dam dresses. Perhaps this refers to the Return?

Anonymous said...

The Dream about the serpent in the nest is a bit strange. Egwene attributes the murdered sisters to Mesaana when in fact, they were killed by the Bloodknives. So the events don't match the Dream because the "serpent" didn't kill any "eagles". Dreams are supposed to be prophetic which implies that it's impossible to change the outcome unless there's an "if" involved.

I think it's more likely to refer to the BT and the 13x13 thing going on there because we know that actually happened and the people there are slow to notice what's happening there while others (e.g. Egwene and Rand) hardly pay any attention to it even when they know they should.


Peter said...

Hi Linda,

Regarding the ToM revisions of Egwene's dreams of 13 black towers falling and with 6 remaining upright representing the remaining forsaken.

You included Aran'gar who was balefired at Natrim's Barrow. Should this be Mesaana?

Linda said...

It certainly should! :) I've fixed it thanks Peter.

Scooter said...

Hi Linda! Hope you're well. I noticed a humorous missed update in the first sentence of the article! It's been so long, I believe we don't even think about it anymore, but Egwene isn't the Rebel Amyrlin any longer, now she's just the plain ol' Amyrlin... for everybody.

Take care!

Linda said...

Thanks Scooter. I've deleted the word rebel.

uglycat said...

i think i agree with the anon above,

on my initial reading of the eagle dream it seemed to be exactly what it said on the tin: messana was still causing a ruckus.

but as anon points out, those deaths were all caused by bloodknives. if one of the eagles had been a raven or something...

it's also that they are eaglets, children. it would seem more fitting to attribute that to a fledgling black tower to me.

finally, eagles are not used often. i can only think of manetheren.
this is probably the weakest point, since egwene herself is of manetheren descent, but it's mentioned there are a few two rivers ashaman now and the blacktower is closer to manetheren lands (on andoran soil which includes manetheren). maybe that's a stretch.

i'm not great at this symbolism stuff, but something about the dream felt a little off.
if only from a meta-thinking pov that it's odd to resolve a dream in the very same book where it's introduced.

Anonymous said...

Great post!

After re-reading the dream about the stain-glass window in 'Towers of Midnight, A Vow' I can't help but wonder if the Dragon's Fang appearing below the Flame is significant, since in the ancient Aes Sedi symbol it is placed about it.

TrueCrew said...

Great work by Linda as always. I stand amazed.

One thought I had on the Egwene's dream of Rand hitting the crystal sphere with 23 lights and Rand hacking the ropes apart and the beautiful sphere falling apart.

I thought this sphere, and the lights therein, might represent the Aiel. In Aviendha's 2nd trip through the columns, there are 11 clans at the last meeting, and the Blood of the Dragon is also given a voice. A chief and a Wise One from each of the eleven clans would equal 22, + the blood of the Dragon for 23.

Bit of a stretch, but I think it may fit better than the 23 forces of the light, why would Rand hack them apart, when he's been struggling so mightily to get them together?

Unknown said...


Regarding the dream: "Rand holding a sword that blazed like the sun, till she could hardly see that it was a sword, could hardly make out that it was him at all."

That could potentially be very early foreshadowing that it would be Moridin holding the sword at the end; not Rand. Rand starts out holding the sword, but at eventually she "could hardly make out that it was him at all" because it wasn't anymore.

Linda said...


I agree. This struck me last night as I was preparing the index.

LordJuss said...

In the same vein I wondered whether the "dark young man" holding the bright sword might actually have been Moridin and not Narishma. The description applies to both.


Ellacatticus said...

I feel I must say that Thomdrill Merrilin's name is not spelled with a 'y'.

Other things I noticed were that the game is called "Snakes and Foxes", and the dream about Logain stepping over Rand's body should include the sentence about how when Egwene touched the body, it crumpled like a paper puppet. That part is what really indicates how Rand lives on in Moridin's body.

Linda said...

The typo has been corrected, thank you.

The part of the Lgain and Rand dream of Rand's body breaking is discussed in the Rand section and does not need repeating in the Logain section.