Chapter 14: The Stag and Lion
Everyone takes a bath at the inn, and it’s described well enough to make me want to take a hot shower. I’ll give Jordan that. Unfortunately, the scene is marred a bit by Mat being a complete idiot and starting to blurt out their whole story, to which Rand and Thom have to scramble to cover for him. Despite his Adult Child
schtick I’d hoped he was above this kind of thing, and now he’s pretty close to being branded The Millstone
. There’s also a bit where Lan says the Children of the Light will think they’re evil if they learn Trollocs are after them. I don’t follow. Also, evil people here are called Darkfriends, which really sounds goofy to me, especially since my brain keeps wanting to read it as “Darkfiends.”
They have a private dinner so they can talk some more, though it ends up being about how neither Lan or Moiraine could find out anything more than they already knew. At least we get to learn that the guy who says he’s the Dragon is named Logain, so I won’t have to keep typing that out. Although it does mean his name sounds like a bad English anime dub talking about hair growth, which I can only hope will eventually stop being distracting. They also decide to stay for another day just to take it easy on these guys who have never traveled before. They were certainly in enough of a hurry to get here, so that’s kind of odd.
Rand has a dream where the Dark One talks to him, and it’s clear that he really is reaching into the dream world to do this. A lot of it doesn’t make much sense now, but it does confirm that Therin was the one who tainted the male half of the One Power, and the Dark One made him kill his family, before he was able to use the last of it to make Dragonmount. He also says the Aes Sedai will probably kill Rand if he tells them about the dream, and then things go to High Octane Nightmare Fuel
as the Dark One telepathically breaks a rat’s back, and then does the same to Rand until he wakes up. There’s also a great rendition of the feeling of never quite being able to hold onto a concrete thought when you’re in a dream.
Another “pause for exposition” chapter, with kind of a forced reason for it, but I can’t argue with the good information we get, though half of it still needs a bit more to be completely comprehensible. Though considering how long the series is, I’d say this is plenty for the first book to build on, and I wish the pace would pick up a bit. Is there any word on how long Jordan first intended this to be, by the way?