We skip three days with Perrin’s group, which I’m very thankful for as it means we’re spared his continued denial of his attachment to wolves, and he’s now felt enough of a connection to accept it. They run into a camp of Tinkers, gypsies who wander around searching for a song that will make the world a paradise again, and I’m predicting right now that the series will end with them finding it. Also, a nice touch is that they freely admit they have no idea how the song will do this, which keeps it from getting annoying.
Elyas introduces them to the leader Raen, and then there’s his wife Ila and their grandson Aram, who’s instantly taken with Egwene and moves right to a corny pick-up line. Elyas is oddly tense through the whole thing, and had to be convinced to not just pass them by in the first place, so there’s clearly some history there.
And then we find out the Tinkers absolutely refuse any kind of violence. Oh boy, here we go. They give this stance a name I refuse to dignify by repeating, and get smug for a while about how they’re so much better than everyone else who obviously do nothing but fight all the time. At least it’s kept a hair away from pure Can't Argue with Elves
when Aram is a complete jerk, and Raen and Ila actually acknowledge it instead of insisting his being one of them automatically makes him right. And for a while it looks like Egwene’s buying this bullshit and goes off to eat with Aram’s family, but then it turns out she’s just depressed over not knowing if anyone else is still alive, so good save there.
Raen tells a story about another group of Tinkers who found the aftermath of a battle between Trollocs and a Proud Warrior Race
called Aiel (who of course they’re completely condescending about like anyone else). One Aiel girl was still barely alive, and talked about the Dark One wanting to “blind the Eye of the World and slay the Great Serpent,” and no one has any idea what it means. And I wouldn’t count on these guys helping out with that any time soon.
Can't Argue with Elves
is one of my most hated tropes, so I was fully prepared to hate these guys as soon as they started talking about violence. And it’s treated with a bit more sophistication than, say, Star Trek: Insurrection
or The Inheritance Cycle
, but I still find the Tinkers very annoying and am dreading the next time we see them, even more than Mat. At least there’s that nice extra bit of the mythology to help wash this stuff down.