Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Post #3 for JordanCon 2011

By Linda

Goldwork Embroidery Workshop

First thing on Sunday morning was my workshop on how to apply gold and silver thread and coils (purls) onto fabric to embellish costumes, particularly dresses (I'm wearing an example of my work, see photos above) and coats. In earlier times the gold coils were real gold wire and the thread was made out of thin strips of gold wrapped around a silk core, and only nobles could afford such expensive materials and the skilled needleworker that applied them. The silver tarnished eventually and turned black after some years. These days we have synthetic gold thread, usually metallised polyamide or similar.

My students all were experienced at embroidery and they learned the techniques quickly. They were a lovely class and I really enjoyed demonstrating for them.

Black Tower and Red Blood

The dark doings at the Black Tower have spawned almost as many theories as the death of Asmodean. Most attendees agreed that channellers are being turned to the Shadow by a circle of 13 with 13 Myrddraal. Some think that Taim was one, if not the, first of these. But Taim’s eyes are not dead as the turned channellers are. Logain said in Knife of Dreams News for the Dragon that Taim was so eager to learn where Rand was that:

His eyes were practically on fire.

We also talked about Logain being missing, and the six Reds and Androl. Tarna has been turned and Javindhra is probably Black.

Many readers are exasperated that Rand has not gone to the Black Tower to find out what is going on. Most of what is happening there is very obviously being held over to the last book.

Last Theory Panel

The last WOT panel for JordanCon was billed as the Last Theory Panel Ever, but since A Memory of Light is not likely to be published before the next JordanCon it won’t be. It was the place to discuss anything that fans felt the previous panels didn’t touch on enough. The role of Lanfear/Cyndane in the next books and the degree to which Moridin is controlling her was a major topic of discussion.

I finished JordanCon quite exhausted but had a great time. The only thing I wish was that we all had more time to sit and chat.

Now I’m in New York for about a week to walk a lot, and visit museums and (book) shops. Less than 4 months until WorldCon in Reno!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Post #2 for JordanCon 2011

By Linda

This recount of day 2 at JordanCon is brought to you from New York City where I will be holidaying/resting for a week or so.

Bright and early on Saturday I helped costumer Pinky Shear on her “The Devil’s In the Details” costume panel. She is a brilliant designer and creator of costumes as was evident in the work she displayed. Her aim was to give advice on how to make a more authentic-looking, yet flattering, costume:

  • Take into account your body type and personality when choosing the character or national dress you wish to emulate.

  • Appropriate accessories are essential for a really believable look. Pinky recommends using my costume article and the period paintings it contains.

  • Drapery fabric is a good choice for costuming because it stands up to the wear well. Besides, in earlier times they used heavier fabrics than we do these days.

  • Using a lot of a cheaper fabric and highlights of a more expensive fabric makes costuming a lot more economical. So you can make more costumes! Or buy more books!

  • Appliquing motifs, stripes, braid or decorative ribbon can add interest or contrast. A small amount of a different colour in your costume can really give it a lift.

Aviendha’s visit to the Waste panel

Matt Hatch, Amanda Keene and I discussed Aviendha’s trip to Rhuidean in Towers of Midnight. We had heaps to say, and so did the audience, which is as it should be! We could have gone on twice as long.

For instance, was Nakomi really there, or in Aviendha’s dream, or in Tel’aran’rhiod? Is/was she a Wise One, or Verin, or a Forsaken? Myself, I think she was a Wise One.

And what of the glass columns? Amanda made the great suggestion that they have sentience. Others think they work via need, as Tel’aran’rhiod does.

Were Aviendha’s visions a Foretelling or a possible future? Do the Seanchan take over the world no matter what Aviendha does?

I think that the Aiel will break over whether to be warriors or peacekeepers and the Seanchan will break over sul’dam being able to learn to channel and whether to continue to collar damane.

News of A Memory of Light

I was not surprised to learn that A Memory of Light will probably be out later in 2012 rather than earlier. (Northern hemisphere autumn/fall, say, rather than spring). Not rushing the book is a very good idea.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Post #1 for JordanCon 2011

By Linda

What with 20 hour flights, jetlag and the onrush of events at JordanCon, I’ve had little time to post anything since Monday.

I’m delighted to say that I’ve met up with so many WOT friends from last year, plus some new ones. At dinner on Thursday I sat next to the JordanCon guest of honour David Coe, who is awesome, and also met the ever entertaining Leigh Butler or Tor.Com. Among the many things discussed over dinner was publishing trends in fantasy, especially changes in book length, something of great interest to Brandon Sanderson. I was amazed to learn that David Coe and his family spent a year in my own home town in Australia (which isn’t a major city, so that is quite unexpected). Good news is that Brandon is coming to Australia about May/June next year.

The Con was opened on Friday afternoon by Richard Fife with lots of really fun participation from guest participants and Con goers.

Jason Denzel, Leigh Butler, Amanda Keene (of and I were on the Towers of Midnight review panel straight after. One thing we were asked was whether we liked Towers of Midnight or The Gathering Storm more than the other. Jason loved the close focus on two characters of The Gathering Storm. Leigh liked Towers of Midnight. It’s a tough call though, because neither book is independent of the other. There was lots of audience participation, which was great and many good points were made. All agreed that Perrin’s hammer forging was the best scene. Many thought that Mat’s scene was predictable because it was foreshadowed so much.

The next panel I attended was the Boom Boom panel, where Alan Romanczuk and I talked about historic development of cannon and gunpowder versus how this is being shown in the series. In the Wheel of Time world, it’s the military organisation which is furtherest behind in development. The Whitecloaks are from the medieval era and so is the lack of gunpowder weapons. Other technologies and organisations are further along: there are a few renaissance influences, but most are 17th to early 19th century. The audience had lots of creative ideas for using channellers to protect the gunpowder weapons or to make gateways to assist in their deployment. The appropriate length and thickness of the cannon were also much discussed.

Next there was an interlude for dinner during which we had spectacularly stormy weather, with hail and very heavy downpours. Some people flying to the Con that evening suffered lengthy delays to their flights.

The Looney Theories panel – brought to us by Theoryland and Team Moiraine - matched up to last year’s inaugural version. The two top looney theories were 1) that the Song will be used to kill the Dark One and 2) that Min will conceive babies which will gateway into Aviendha’s womb to join Aviendha’s two already there (2+2...) to fulfil her viewing that Aviendha will have 4 babies at once. Third most popular was that Cenn Buie is the Dark One.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Three Days to JordanCon!

By Linda

In nine hours' time, at dawn, I shall be off to the airport to fly to Atlanta and JordanCon. My husband accompanies me this time. Consequently, what with being in transit, then recovering from the journey and jetlag, I shall not be posting until JordanCon starts on Friday. I will then post regular short updates on what is happening at the convention and hopefully what new information is revealed about the series.

After the convention we have a weeks' holiday in New York, plus we shall meet up with Old Salt, who posts here on the blog sometimes.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Gathering Storm Read-Through #14: Chapter 12 - Unexpected Encounters

By Linda


In her confinement, Egwene rightly feels at risk of being distracted by the long list of problems the various Aes Sedai have:

Keep focused, she told herself. Clean the patch of floor you're working on first before you move on to the rest of the house.

The Gathering Storm, Unexpected Encounters

An appropriate metaphor for the servant of the Servants as well as an inn-keeper’s daughter.

The White Tower is divided and Rand’s men Bond sisters. How could Rand allow it, Egwene wonders. The same way that Aes Sedai could allow division: by being subverted by the Shadow. It works because no one speaks up. Even Egwene hasn’t said: stop the division, you are being subverted while the fate of the world is at stake.

Egwene thinks Gawyn is competent at looking after himself. This is not what she usually says about men. Perhaps this is to stop herself worrying about him. She thinks Gawyn might be too competent at looking after himself, possibly a reference to his founding of the Younglings to serve Elaida. I’m not sure that Gawyn would agree with Egwene’s assessment.

Egwene consoles herself that the rebels would deal with Asha’man Bonding. This is not so; no one has achieved anything yet. The rebel Aes Sedai are just penned outside the Black Tower where they can be taken and turned to the Shadow.

Bennae’s room is full of books and skeletons – some still being constructed – symbolic of the Aes Sedai depositories, and the skeletons in the closet that is the thirteenth depository. Bennae has made notes on the bones of the human skeleton and she took note of all Egwene said about the thirteenth. Her room also contains mummified birds and astronomical instruments. The latter refer to Bennae needing aid to find her way out of her predicament. Birds symbolise wisdom and intelligence, here preserved in secret where few can access it.

Egwene bends her head for a model of the Sun, a reference to her future acknowledgement of Rand, who is the solar character (see Rand essay especially here). Then she moves the dusty skeleton of a rat. Rats are creatures of the Shadow and the Forsaken were long preserved in the Bore. In Towers of Midnight Egwene moves the infestation of rats that is Mesaana and the Black Ajah from the Tower...

Bennae tests Egwene with her own problem that she can’t solve. Her very question shows why she is in trouble. Bennae’s not circumspect or subtle enough. As the symbolism of her room anticipates, the Brown’s council are upset she knows about the thirteenth depository. Naturally the Council suspects someone of the Brown in the know has blabbed. Egwene suggests Bennae reassure the Council no one has been indiscreet and put herself forward as trustworthy enough to join the select group that looks after the depository. This means Egwene is condoning the existence of secret archives. She never questions whether they are a good idea or right. In contrast, Rand, until he came under the influence of the Shadow, revealed such secrets so that people would know why things were and what they were fighting for.

Egwene gives Bennae some good advice:

"Unjust punishment sometimes cannot be avoided, but it is best never to let others forget that it is unjust. If she simply accepts the way people treat her, then it won't be long before they assume she deserves the position they've placed her in." And thank you, Silviana, for that little bit of advice.

The Gathering Storm, Unexpected Encounters

which she takes; advice which came from Silviana, who was duty bound to discipline Shemerin for accepting her unjust punishment. Bennae’s situation is not as fraught as that of Shemerin: an Amyrlin gives Bennae helpful advice, whereas an Amyrlin gave Shemerin her unjust punishment.

Egwene proved this was not a fluke by advising Nagora. Then she went to Suana, who is the first Ajah Head to show Egwene she wants her in her Ajah. All these scenes show Egwene is being accepted as Aes Sedai by other Aes Sedai. Egwene will be of all Ajahs, in the sense that nearly all of them feel she might fit in their Ajah. Egwene’s situation is rather like that of an apprentice Wise One: she declared herself an Aes Sedai and they are coming to accept her as one. Note that Wise Ones are not divided into formal groups. They are not even touched by clan feuds.

Suana’s room is full of life and fertility, but affected by the Shadow’s Blight. Suana is here described as plump and round-faced, but later in The Gathering Storm Sealed to the Flame, she is bony and lanky.

Meidani’s rooms symbolise all nations – in fact, all continents except Seanchan – by containing examples of their weapons and crafts.

Egwene stares down Meidani until she becomes uncertain, then questions her, rather than accept Meidani questioning of her authority. She thinks that Meidani should have run even if this betrayed to Elaida that she and the other ferrets knew that Elaida was onto them.

Egwene describes the hallway under the Tower as spiralling like the Great Serpent. It could represent another serpent, a Forsaken, since Mesaana has rooms down here in Tel’aran’rhiod.

Secret meetings in the basement, and oaths administered without a warrant are crimes. Egwene points out that the Tower Aes Sedai are committing crimes as much as rebels are. In retaliation the Sitters threaten to order Meidani to send Egwene for penance. Egwene uses this to prove they are using the oath road as a tool of division and bullying. This is why an oath of obedience is a bad idea. Yet she made rebel Aes Sedai swear to her.

An Amyrlin is not a bully:

"Is the Amyrlin Seat's authority, then, in her power to channel?" Egwene asked. "Is she nothing more than a bully, obeyed because she can force others to do as she demands?"

The Gathering Storm, Unexpected Encounters

A large part of Elaida’s status comes from her strength in saidar, as it does for all Aes Sedai. Egwene doesn’t go down this path far though to reconsider the justness of Aes Sedai ranking.

If the Amyrlin couldn’t channel she wouldn’t be Amyrlin, so Egwene is not entirely right.

Since Siuan’s removal is “unorthodox” Elaida was not “properly” raised. Even worse, as Egwene deduces, the Black Ajah hunters found a Black Sitter, so Siuan’s deposition is invalid. Egwene thinks it is worth considering the validy of Elaida’s election:

"You call us false, Yukiri? Which Amyrlin would you rather follow? The one who has been making novices and Accepted out of Aes Sedai, banishing an entire Ajah, and causing divisions in the Tower more dangerous than any army that ever assaulted it? A woman who was raised partially through the help of the Black Ajah?”

The Gathering Storm, Unexpected Encounters

From which Egwene decides that it is wrong to raise or depose an Amyrlin without the full Hall sitting. This is one belief that Egwene does follow up in Towers of Midnight.

Egwene’s most telling point is one few Aes Sedai have openly realised, even though it is obvious:

"I think we all are serving the interests of the Shadow," Egwene said sharply, "so long as we allow ourselves to remain divided.”

The Gathering Storm, Unexpected Encounters

Egwene congratulates the four Sitters of different Ajahs for working together and orders them to work for unity and to release Meidani from the fourth Oath of obedience. They do both these things. They might have done the former unasked, but probably not the latter.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Post #26 of Wheel of Time Costume

By Linda

The costume styles of the Tear were added to Part 2 of the Wheel of Time Costume article today. Tairen nobles wear clothing strongly influenced by 16th century Europe, notably "Spanish fashion" for the men. The commoners wear clothing with South East Asian and Mediterranean and Armenian influences. Spain once owned colonies in East Asia.

For the full Costume article from the beginning click here.

I am almost at the end of this series. There are only 2 or 3 more posts to go.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Gathering Storm Read-Through #13: Chapter 11 - The Death of Adrin

By Linda


In Aviendha’s POV we get a completely different cultural perspective on recent events and on mainlander society. The Aiel are not worried about the overcast sky because it is shade to them; whereas mainlanders feel oppressed by it. What upsets the Aiel is if there is no fighting, or the hunt was unsuccessful.

Aviendha and Maidens are careful not to step on each others’ dignities, careful to play their assigned roles properly. Like the Seanchan, the Aiel have defined roles and obligations in their respective societies with sanctioned and formalised movement from one station to another.

The Aiel are affronted that Rand did not take Aiel guards with him when he met with Ituralde. As Rand should have explained to them, had he done so, at the least the Domani would have been unreceptive to him, considering Ituralde’s comments on Aiel. At worst, the Domani would have attacked Rand’s group. Rand uses people as tools rather than accepts their aid or works with them.

Useless labour is extremely shaming to Aiel. Aes Sedai use Labour, too, for discipline, but it is low-ranked rather than useless labour. Note though, that when Sulin worked as a servant for a few weeks she found it extremely shaming.

Aviendha accepts the mainlanders’ fondness for complaining because Elayne does it - and Elayne does it a lot! She thinks it is a way of bonding or showing humility. Elayne laughed at this misunderstanding and Aviendha misread that too. Now Aviendha thinks complaining is a mainlander way of showing honour. It is unthinkable to an Aiel that some people don’t care about honour at all, or that some actions don’t affect honour.

Aviendha wants to think over problems more as Elayne does and not be so much the woman of action. A double irony here: many of Elayne’s actions are impulsive, and Aviendha thinks over her problem of why she is being punished for many days and only solves it when she is goaded into snapping and acting.

The Wise Ones’ “tests” show Aviendha that they are consulting her as a Wise One and effectively meeting her half-way. All she has to do is have the confidence to say she is one of them. In a way she is as overly concerned with rank as with honour. In this she reminds me of Elza:

Elza was always very conscious of where she stood with respect to other sisters, perhaps too much so.

Winter’s Heart, Bonds

The Saldaean soldier Adrin turns to bitumen and spontaneously combusts. This evil fire – hellfire? – resisted Aviendha’s attempts to put it out with a direct weave. She had to use indirect weaves to pull water from the river to quench it ‘naturally’.

The bubble of evil makes Rand fly into an intense rage and yell challenges at the Dark One. Aviendha remarks on his erratic moods. Mental instability would be more accurate but she cuts Rand slack because she loves him and because he has earned so much honour.

Melaine faces down Merise when she gives Aviendha a back-handed complement on her channelling; falsely claiming that Aes Sedai teaching could improve her weaves further. Interestingly, Melaine thinks that Cadsuane might have been able to do what Aviendha did. It’s true that Cadsuane is next in strength in saidar in the camp, but presumably she’s next in dexterity as well.

Melaine wonders aloud to herself what the Aiel will do after the Last Battle, broken as they are prophesied to be. Aviendha takes this in; she has not considered this much before now. This will be crucial once the penny drops on why she is being punished and she is sent to Rhuidean.

Aviendha reacts negatively to mainland comforts because they would lull an Aiel into a false sense of security and thus would be too risky. This attitude too will crop up in her visit to Rhuidean.

The violence and feuding in Aiel society is evident here and explains much of what Aviendha will see in the glass columns in Rhuidean. The Aiel need to change or else the Peace after Armageddon will not include them and they will bring everyone else to the brink with them.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

JordanCon 2011 panels - a couple to whet your appetite!

By Linda

Here are fuller descriptions of two of the Wheel of Time panels at JordanCon 2011 Atlanta from April 15th-17th.

Black Tower and Red Blood

Bullying, cronyism, impenetrable barriers, mysterious disappearances and even more mysterious identities: it’s all happening at the Black Tower. Who is Taim really? What is going on in his palace? How will the Tower be rent in fire and blood? Come and tell us your theory and hear ours.

The Boom-Boom Panel

Gunpowder itself, matches, early grenades, and mortars have been developed so far. True cannon are just around the corner. What other brilliant things will Aludra invent? What brilliant tactics will Mat use to deploy them? What problems will they face? Will cannon be used against damane as well as Shadowspawn and Dreadlords? Have your say.

Details on JordanCon are here.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Gathering Storm Read-Through #12: Chapter 10 - The Last of the Tabac

By Linda


Ituralde is holed up in an abandoned stedding instead of gradually retreating further into Arad Doman as originally planned because he fears encountering Aiel (Rand’s Aiel). He feels pinned between the 100K Aiel and the >300K Seanchan. Actually he’s pinned where Rand could find him.

We get to see Graendal’s letter she wrote back in Lord of Chaos to manipulate Ituralde, though he has probably used it more cleverly than she anticipated:

" 'Strike hard against the Seanchan,' " Rajabi read. " 'Push them away, force them into their boats and back across their bloody ocean. I'm counting on you, old friend. King Alsalam.' "

The Gathering Storm, The Last of the Tabac

Now, though, Ituralde, while having achieved much, feels his time is running out, which is why he is smoking the last of his Two Rivers tabac, his best tabac. Ituralde remembers seeing Thom perform when Elayne was a young child over 15 years earlier, which shows how good a performer Thom is.

Just as Ituralde decides to force the Seanchan into a siege and die with dignity, Rand arrives. Rand apparently doesn’t know why Graendal wants Ituralde fighting the Seanchan. Her goal is anarchy, wars, weakening nations and armies, and distraction from uniting to fight the Shadow. Rand himself starts to bring the nations and armies together effectively in Towers of Midnight, once be becomes life-affirming instead of death-affirming.

In the same way the Domani officers, even Dragonsworn, follow Ituralde, believing he can do the impossible, so Ituralde believes in Rand:

Only one such as the Dragon Reborn himself could stride into a war camp like this, completely alone, and expect to be obeyed. Burn him, if that fact by itself didn't make Ituralde want to believe him.

The Gathering Storm, The Last of the Tabac

Rand’s lack of fear in the stedding, where he is among a potentially hostile army yet is unable to channel by normal means, is interesting. He has not drawn the True Power yet, so his confidence should not stem from its accessibility through his link to Moridin. Nor has he obtained the male access key back from Cadsuane so he would not think that he could somehow override the stedding barrier by entering it while drawing on the male Choedan Kal. Perhaps he’s just convinced that the Pattern will keep him alive to face the Dark One, or that he can pull Ituralde and his forces into doing what he wants by sheer force of will. Later in The Gathering Storm, Rand will use the power of his will to menace people into obedience. Perhaps he would have done that here if Ituralde was unwilling,

Rand openly says he remembers the Forsaken personally:

"I remember each of them—their faces, their mannerisms, the way they speak and act—as if I've known them for a thousand years. I remember them better than I remember my own childhood, sometimes.”

The Gathering Storm, The Last of the Tabac

This is before he sees his past lives on Dragonmount.

Rand’s calmness about the Last Battle or in offering the Amadician throne draws Ituralde in, as does his similarities with Ituralde’s beloved King Alsalam:

There was a way about this man, the way he discussed events like the Last Battle—events that mankind had been fearing for thousands of years—as if they were items on the daily camp report.

The Gathering Storm, The Last of the Tabac

Ituralde wants proof, but Rand acts as though the very request for proof means he has him.

What Ituralde sees is but a small part of how Rand will appear after his epiphany. Here he has the potential to inspire others; then he will actually do it. As Egwene says:

"The man I saw wouldn't need to destroy such a place," Egwene said. "Those inside would just follow him. Bend to his wishes. Because he was!”

Towers of Midnight, A Good Soup

I loved the exchange when Rand offers Ituralde 100 Asha’man:

"What could you do if I gave you a hundred men who could channel?"
"No, most of them are stable," al'Thor said, taking no apparent offense.

The Gathering Storm, The Last of the Tabac

The bargain is that Rand will see the Seanchan out of Arad Doman in exchange of Ituralde holding back the Shadow in the Borderlands. Ituralde thinks this is an opportunity to keep on fighting with honour. Rand fails with his side of the bargain while Ituralde does his considerable utmost to keep his. However Rand ultimately does the job for him in Towers of Midnight, A Force of Light, although it is only a temporary measure.

We see the beginnings of dragon legends in the Wheel of Time world, ones with resemblances to those of real world dragons. The dragon is claimed to be ten feet tall, have glowing eyes, and appear in the sky. Only one of these beliefs is true. The alteration of history to legend and myth is one of Jordan’s major themes.

Characterisation is good in this chapter; the only misstep is “hunker down”, which grates. It is not an expression used prior to The Gathering Storm.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Gathering Storm Read-Through #11: Chapter 9 - Leaving Malden

By Linda


Perrin is having trouble settling down after rescuing Faile, mainly because he can’t express himself to her. In a way he’s still in wolf mode and can’t talk intimately to humans. It’s one reason why he chose examining wagons while granting an audience. His fear of remaining a wolf is actually holding him in limbo; he’s neither one nor the other. He should be both.

Balwer wanted to question the Wise Ones but the Seanchan got these. He’s so desperate he even suggests sending questions for the Seanchan to ask the Wise Ones. Surely that would tell the Seanchan too much about what Balwer (and Perrin) know and would like to know. Just like many Aes Sedai, Balwer’s thirst for knowledge leads him into unwise actions. Perrin says Balwer can question the gai’shain. Perhaps the Aiel will agree to that, although reminding Aiel of their change in status is shaming.

Perrin’s shrewd observation on the difference rank makes to how people regard you is that when Lords are slow in thinking they are being careful and clever; when commoners are slow they are just slow. He promptly figured out that Forsaken met with the Shaido and were probably disguised, yet he considers himself a slow thinker.

Tam warns Perrin that most of the Two Rivers men will follow him to Shayol Ghyul. This makes Perrin brood on his leadership abilities:

He hadn't been a good leader lately. He'd never been a model one, of course, not even when Faile had been there to guide him. But during her absence, he'd been worse. Far worse. He'd ignored his orders from Rand, ignored everything, all to get her back.

The Gathering Storm, Leaving Malden

I don’t think Mat would describe any of the tasks Rand gave him as orders. Perrin takes his responsibilities seriously and not for granted as some nobles do – when they feel their responsibilities at all. He feels guilty about those people who died helping him and those he did not help, like Aram.

It strikes me that the last people waiting to consult Perrin are the most competent. I guess there was no rush for them to inform Perrin of completed tasks rather than ask for things or complain. Perrin feels empty now that he has achieved his goal of freeing Faile and hasn’t another one to replace it. He is a driven man who needs practical activity. Feeling Rand’s ta’veren pull again for the first time since Faile was captured, he decides to make returning to Rand his next focus.

Whenever I read about the wolf-head banner, it reminds me that the wolf head was a sign of an outlaw in Germanic and Anglo-Saxon society. The value of an outlaw’s life was equivalent to a wolf’s, meaning it was considered a benefit to society to kill him and a price was put on his (‘wolf’s’) head.

In the early Middle Ages a sentence of outlawry often expressed a society’s inability to enforce its legal codes; it was invoked when an accused lawbreaker fled justice. Because the sentence of outlawry placed a person beyond the protection of the law, it was in effect a death sentence. Later, as the systems of law enforcement grew more effective, the punishment of outlaws became less severe, and a sentence of outlawry often resulted in exile rather than death…Outlawry as often indicated political disfavour as it did criminal behaviour.

- Carl Lindahl, John McNamara, John Lindow (eds), Medieval Folklore

Rand banished Perrin as part of a ruse to ensure his movements were disregarded and the Whitecloaks considered Perrin an outlaw for escaping their death sentence. Considering that outlaws were called “wolf’s heads” in earlier times Perrin’s wolf’s head banner is doubly apt. See Perrin essay for an analysis of Perrin’s character including his lycanthropy or shape-shifting.