Chapter 17: Watchers and Hunters
So, they’re on the run from various monsters, they’ve got the Children of the Light against them, and now even Nynaeve is trying to screw things up. Time for a dance party! It goes on and on, with Nynaeve and Moiraine joining in for some cheap laughs, and the one thing that seems important is that a guy with a Michael K. Williams-esque scar is watching them. Oh come on, he’s doing it on purpose now!
Well, Rand doesn’t have any jewelry that can fall onto his finger when he slips in the dance, and afterwards Lan says not-Aragorn is a spy for the Children of the Light, so at least there’s some twists to the formula now. When everyone goes to bed, Rand stays for a last drink, and the Myrddraal shows up. Rand sees its face for the first time, which is Uncanny Valley
smooth. Which actually just makes me think of the infamous CGI facelift given to Patrick Stewart in X-Men Origins: Wolverine
It’s scared off when Lan arrives, without him even doing anything, disappointingly enough. But this means they have to leave right now, with Nynaeve tagging along just to make sure Moiraine doesn’t pull anything. That’s eight; one more for a full Fellowship! And there’s a nice bit with Moiraine advising Fitch on what to do when the Myrddraal comes back to keep him as safe as possible, which is a start for making her a bit more trustworthy.
In what’s becoming kind of a Running Gag
, Lan pays off the gatemen to let them out. I’m now really hoping for a scene where he discovers he’s out of money, so they’re screwed. Bornhald and some more Children of the Light (who I’ll be calling Whitecloaks from now on, just to be lazy) come running up, but Moiraine has a Crowning Moment Of Awesome
where she parries his sword, then turns into a giant and walks over the wall, with the gatemen shutting the Whitecloaks in because they don’t want to mess with that.
After they’re a good distance away, they look back to see that the inn is on fire, thanks to Fitch not listening to Moiraine. Nynaeve gives her a What the Hell, Hero?
for drawing attention there, but Moiraine counters that she did all she could, and can’t control whether people take her seriously. And she’ll send Fitch enough gold to rebuild once the trip is over, so that’s a nice job in keeping her reasonably likable.
And the dominos fall, and it’s beautiful. A very exciting and unpredictable chapter, even with the continuing “inspiration.” The scene with the Myrddraal works particularly well, and is extremely creepy even with the way it’s easily run off, described as the shadows reaching out to melt around it. Though I do wish Jordan would settle on calling it a Myrddraal or a Fade, as this scene uses both pretty much at random. Another weird thing: looking at the map, the next town they’ll reach is Whitebridge, which is the place that new map several chapters ago starts, so that was a pretty odd place to put it.