Sunday, November 29, 2009

Reference Library Updates after The Gathering Storm: Egwene's Dreams

By Linda

The article in the Reference Library on Egwene's Dreams has now been updated with information from The Gathering Storm. Quite a bit of new material was added.

I have posted two of the updated dreams below.

Click here to expand the rest of this post

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 good start on their “long line of women”.

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 of that of another sister, she can use the One Power as a weapon (see theory).

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, with perhaps more to come, since four Bloodknives are at large, 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.

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