Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Great Hunt Read-Through #13 - Blowing the Horn

Blowing The Horn

by Linda

When the Horn was blown a white fog appeared. Rand sees through the fog to a remarkable degree. Falme is both beneath him and above:

Falme floated somewhere beneath him, its landward border black with the Seanchan ranks, lightning ripping its streets. Falme hung over his head.

- The Great Hunt, The Grave is No Bar to my Call

The battle between Ishamael and Rand showed in the sky over more than just Falme as was explained by RJ at DragonCon 05:

Q98: At the end of TGH, when Rand and Ishamael were fighting in the air above Falme, they appeared in the sky over many places. And my question is whether this is something done by the One Power or something done by the Creator? How did they appear in the sky?

RJ: An effect of the Wheel, really. It wasn’t the Creator. The Wheel is more than a simple mechanism. Remember the Wheel can spit out ta’veren, can spit out Heroes as a self correcting device because the Pattern is drifting from what it is supposed to be. We are not talking about something as simple as a spinning wheel at all, we are talking something more along the lines of the most complex computer you could possibly imagine. There were at that time, two, there were False Dragons that had a chance to create a lot of disruption. By the appearance in the sky at that battle, not just in Falme but in other places, those False Dragons were taken off the board because there was only room now for one, for one Dragon.

Time slowed:

It seemed as if no time at all had passed since the Horn was first blown, as though time had paused while the heroes answered the call and now resumed counting.

- The Great Hunt, The Grave is No Bar to my Call

Rand charges in front of other Heroes; ‘charged alone through the fog‘. Red throws him off and he lands on the fog. Both Rand and his opponent walk on fog:

They were alone, only they and the rolling fog. Behind Ba'alzamon was shadow. The mist was not dark behind him; this blackness excluded the white fog.

So the white fog represents light/good. We’ve seen Ishamael’s black fog/shadow before as a representation of the Dark One’s touch and the potential availability of the True Power.

It is strange that Rand would assume the Dark One would take burns to his face, burns that took months to heal. But then Ishamael assumes or believes Rand blew the Horn, even though he can hear somebody else (Mat) using it in battle. Neither of them is thinking straight.

Their fight is linked: Rand with the Heroes versus Ishamael and the Seanchan. Tuon would not like that if she knew!

Ishamael claims the Power is killing Rand, implying that Rand is holding too much and will die or burn out. He is still trying to convince Rand he needs him as teacher. Ishamael tells of his plan for the girls:

"They will not save you," Ba'alzamon said. "Those who might save you will be carried far across the Aryth Ocean. If ever you see them again, they will be collared slaves, and they will destroy you for their new masters."

- The Great Hunt, The Grave is No Bar to my Call

This plan has been a thousand years in the making, since Ishamael (in his role as Hawkwing's advisor Jalwin Moerad) encouraged Artur Hawkwing to send his son to Seanchan.

'Those who might save Rand' are Egwene and Nynaeve, who Liandrin was ordered to take to Suroth. Ishamael and a lot of others mistakenly ignore Elayne (and Min) in their plans.

Ishamael says he is Rand’s only salvation, yet the Horn was Rand’s salvation – as the Prophecy of the Horn says : ‘ think not of glory, only salvation.‘ Rand thinks of what he saw in the Portal Stone and says he has never served the Dark One. The Falme battle is spiritual as well as physical. The Last Battle will probably be even more so.

And Three rather than One were vital for the Battle. RJ uses a lot of number symbolism, and this is probably the most important. It’s not Rand alone, it’s the three ta’veren together supporting the world between them that will win.

Perrin and Mat contrast each other. Perrin, the more mature of the two, listens carefully to what Rand says and questions him to make sure he is clear about meaning. Mat assumes Rand is leaving them because of his doom of insanity. Perrin is the first to notice the Seanchan forces gathering. He accepts the supernatural phenomena of the Horn and merely trots off to cut a pole for the Banner. Perrin is the Bannerman. Mat, wringing wild cries from the Horn is both Hornsounder and Trumpeter: the Horn represents both the Horn of Norse mythology, sounded by the Norse god Heimdall to herald Ragnarok, and the Trumpet which will sound the Last Trump.

As part of The Great Hunt read through, an article on the Horn of Valere, detailing all that is known about the Horn and the Heroes, written by long-standing Wotmania member Scalius and myself for the Wotmania FAQ is now re-published here in the Reference Library: The Horn of Valere.

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