Moiraine’s procedure on Tam takes a while, giving Lan a chance to play Mr Exposition
. Aes Sedai have control of the One Power, which I guess means they’re all women. I guess they really are the Bene Gesseritt. And not content with that, the rest steals more from Lord of the Rings. The Myrddraal, what Rand called a Fade before, are cross-breeds of Trollocs and humans, ie they’re Uruk Hai. Though I guess a creature that’s a takeoff of both them and the Nazgul has its own kind of originality. And their weapons have the same effect as Frodo’s Weathertop wound. You know, I’m usually not one to notice stuff like this as I’m reading, but this is really obvious. Also, Tam’s sword is a Warder’s weapon, though Lan is quite irritatingly vague on what the heron means.
Moiraine is able to get the poison out, and reveals that Rand has to leave town. The pattern of the damage in town shows that the Trollocs were only after Mat and Perrin, and also Rand at his own place. Moiraine’s gathered that all of them are almost exactly the same age as the thing that they have in common that somehow makes them targets, though in Rand’s case his age is based on a lie, so I suspect that will be important later. This means the three of them have to leave that very night to save the town from being attacked again, and Moiraine offers to escort them to Tar Valon, the city of the Aes Sedai. Ding ding ding, we have a main plot!
Things are starting to take off now, with a nice use of J. Michael Straczynski’s tenet that the mysteries and solutions in a story should have a 1:1 ratio, with one mystery beginning as another ends rather than a bunch of questions piling up until answering them all is impossible (the Lost
writing method, as I like to call it). We know why the attacks happened, and now there’s the more intriguing question of why the Dark One is after these three. The story’s derivative nature is hard to overlook, but I still have hope that once they get on the road, Jordan will be able to do more than just remind us of other stories.