Chapter 12: Across the Taren
On the way to the ferry, the writing makes a point of noting that besides Moiraine and Lan, the experienced people in the group, Egwene is the only one who doesn’t complain about how hard this all is. Unfortunately, Rand attributes this to her still thinking she’s on a fun adventure like little girls dream of. Now I see some of the sexism. Upon meeting Hightower’s (heh) crew, they do a bit of a Lock and Load Montage
so the guys don’t just try to rob them, and Thom has the best one when he reveals he has a Hidden Blade
. Hello, Chekhov's Gun
The crossing goes perfectly fine, against all expectations…and then Moiraine destroys the ferry while Lan pays Hightower for it. Kind of a Crowning Moment of Funny
, in a sociopathic way. Then she reveals it was actually her who created the fog, as it now continues down the river and will make the Draghkar think they’re hiding in it as they continue north. Very nice.
This gives us time for more exposition, as they hide out in a hollow under a tree, and Moiraine talks about the male half of the One Power being corrupted by the Dark One, which is why any men who use it don’t end up well. Oh, and by the way, Egwene is one of a very, very few who are able to use it with no training at all. It’s a bit Mary Sueish, but then she goes on that Egwene still needs training so she doesn’t just blow herself up, or something. And then Egwene expects Rand to be happy about this. Not really getting that.
Some more nice world building, and the one hint of Mary Sue nipped in the bud, which is always good to see. Now we’re starting to get deeper into the dynamics of the group, and how they can change. The reveal about Egwene is probably going to wreak some havoc there for a good while yet, and her happily telling Rand she’s going to be an Aes Sedai comes off as rather spectacularly misreading the whole situation, which she seemed to have a good handle on before this. One other thing to keep an eye on.
Thom loves his hidden knives. A couple of other characters do too, but there's not much point talking about that yet. Interestingly, there are also a few characters who find such knife flipping as just for show, and of no indication as for real skill.
4th Mar 12