Rand and Tam arrive back on the farm, and we spend quite a while just getting to know the place as Rand goes through his daily chores. Tamís more cautious than usual about intruders, and brings down a fancy sword Rand hadnít known existed, but itís mostly just a normal day. Except thatís all just to lull us into thinking the leisurely pacing isnít done yet, because as theyíre preparing dinner, wellÖshit gets real.
The farm is attacked by humanoid monsters with animal heads, and itís quite a scary sequence as Rand is caught completely off guard, with no idea what to do, and eventually just has to creep through the woods, getting newly scared at every sound. And for his part, Tam racks up the seriesí first Crowning Moment Of Awesome
when he kills two of them, and expertly diverts them from finding Rand before circling back and meeting his son again.
Tam reveals that these things are called Trollocs, and it seems theyíll be the Orc equivalent that every fantasy story needs. Itís a better name than Urgals
, Iíll say that. And with that, Rand realizes that heís badly injured, forcing Rand to take the sword and go back to the house. Itís been completely wrecked, and one remaining Trolloc reveals that theyíre working for another legendary monster called a Fade. Then Rand kills it through pure luck, and heads back to Tam with just a few pieces of wood he was able to cut off the ruined cart. Not sure what the point of that was, but Iím sure it will be revealed soon.
So, that just happened. The attack on the farm is a huge shock after the book until now has been very easygoing, and Iím sure thatís exactly what Jordan was going for. The Trollocs are a quite promising villainous race, with notes that they all have different animal features, stopping them from just being a generic brute horde like some writers have settled for. And in the middle of it, we get some intriguing hints at Tamís backstory that actually has me invested in whether heíll survive, despite my idly thinking he wouldnít last long as the ďUncle Owen and Aunt BeruĒ type character.