Sure enough, those Trollocs from the last chapter have just been attacking Emondís Field, and theyíre up to their necks in injured people. Well, if youíre going to rip off hobbits, starting off with the Scouring of the Shire is a nice difference. Itís bad enough that Nynaeve takes one look at Tam and declares him beyond her help when she could be saving people who have a chance. But she's actually as nice and apologetic as she can be about it; thereís that other side I was asking for.
This sends Rand into a Heroic BSOD
where he goes into complete denial that Tam is doomed. Usually this kind of thing irritates me, but here I think it really works. Rand is running on fumes after dragging his father through the woods all night, and the fact that this place that kept him going all that time canít actually help is just more than he can process right now. It really becomes quite a Tearjerker
as he stumbles around seeing all the destruction, focused only on finding someone who can help. During all this thereís also an indication that Fain is a case of Never Found the Body
so you know heíll be back, though what that could mean I literally have no idea.
Rand gets Tam to the inn, where Bran talks about an Offscreen Moment of Awesome
from Moiraine and Lan fighting off the Trollocs, revealing themselves as an Aes Sedai and a Warder. We get no explanation yet for what a Warder is, but now it seems that the Aes Sedai are a lot like the Bene Gesserit
. I can only hope theyíre on the receiving end of just as awesome a Shut Up, Hannibal!
at some point. Talking about it gets Bran to realize that Moiraine might be able to save Tam, though any deal with Aes Sedai involves a price, and Rand already has than coin from her. Told you it was a bad idea.
Moiraine says the battle took a lot out of her, but sheíll do what she can, and Lan drops a hint that Rand is The Chosen One
, who she was asking so much of everyone in the hopes of finding. Hey, itís a classic trope for a reason.
Before, Rand was mostly a generic dull main character surrounding by more interesting people, but now heís really starting to show more personality of his own, and it makes things quite emotional. The way he has to deal with the possibility of being adopted on top of his fatherís injury and just how wiped out he is would be plenty for anyone to handle, so itís perfectly understandable that he just breaks for a bit. Plus, more hints at the larger story, which should be coming into focus any time now.