Thursday, September 20, 2018

Memory of Light Read-through #52: Chapter 46—To Awaken

By Linda

So much tension: the chapter ends on multiple cliffhangers.

Rand POV

Mere minutes have passed since the three entered Shayol Ghul, so the total eclipse is barely over at the Pit of Doom, despite days of battle having passed at Thakan’dar and weeks elsewhere. Rand feels more powerful than Moridin and tells him he’s unimportant, but Moridin laughs and knifes Alanna, his wounded hostage.

Nynaeve POV

Nynaeve can’t stop the knife because Rand has control of her channelling. It is fortuitous that herbs (and the application of mundane knowledge) rather than Healing save the day—and the world. They bring Alanna to consciousness and she releases the Warder bond before dying. On the whole, Aes Sedai consider herbs beneath them, but these plants have changed the course of events repeatedly in the series including for the Aes Sedai themselves. Jordan’s herbs often have real world parallels (see Herbs article for these and part they’ve played in series).

While rightly vilified for being made without consent, Alanna’s Warder bond was not all bad for Rand: it gave him great strength and endurance from Lord of Chaos until Winter’s Heart, when Elayne and Aviendha bonded him. (Min was included). It also was a major motivator for Rand, because of the distrust and suspicion it invoked.

When his first attack doesn’t work, Moridin does the unexpected again in stabbing his hand so Rand feels it and drops Callandor. There’s power in cleverness and determination.

Perrin POV

As Rand let go of his crushing sense of responsibility and pain, so Perrin lets go of his anger and pain. Concentrating on his task—his duty—he is not worried about whether he is wolf or man. In fact, he is truly in between, a liminal being on the thresholds of animal/human and awake/dreaming. All three ta’veren are liminal beings: Mat is liminal between the physical world and the underworld, and Rand between heaven and hell.

As a result, Perrin, who represents the Strength tarot card, is at full strength.

The fall of his hammer was like claps of thunder, the flashing of his eyes like lightning bolts. Wolves howled alongside the wind.

A Memory of Light, To Awaken

These lines also refer to Perrin’s sky god parallels, notably the Norse god Thor and the Slavic god Perun. The instinctual craftsman dodges in and out of Tel’aran’rhiod and the waking world as he concentrates on his prey, and they flicker between multiple worlds when he deals the killing blow. This is reminiscent of the Portal Stone trap/malfunction in The Great Hunt. Perrin sees various mirror and If worlds, notably one with soldiers that are a combination of Aiel and Seanchan.

When Perrin follows him from Tel’aran’rhiod to waking world and back, Slayer finally feels the terror he gave to others. Most of Jordan’s Darkfriends get their just deserts (see Darkfriends article).

Perrin’s expert eye assesses that the Light has lost the battle at Thakan’dar even though they won elsewhere. Where the Shadow has concentrated its attack, all three ta’veren are needed there to win. One or two are not enough. Perrin hears the Horn of Valere sound—not Olver’s first call, though—to summon the Heroes to Thakan’dar, including Hero wolves. The Last Hunt counters the Darkhounds’ Wild Hunt.


Olver and the Heroes are at the base of Shayol Ghul. Unfortunately, Shaisam’s mist is nearly at the path leading up the volcano. Mashadar touches Mat at the end of the chapter. More anon.

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