This one has a pretty odd start, jumping to Rand and Mat almost to Caemlyn (boy, weíve been trying to get there for a while) and Mat having almost fully recovered his eyesight after the lightning bolt, before going into How We Got Here
. It serves no purpose except removing any suspense about Mat being blinded, though we do get the neat tidbit that Two Rivers is technically part of the kingdom that Caemlyn is the capital of.
Back right after their escape from Four Kings, Rand has to help Mat as his eyes are still badly hurt, and despite it being Mat, Randís efforts to help are a real Crowning Moment of Heartwarming
. It helps that Mat actually has an excuse for being The Load
now. Another dream reveals that Gode is actually dead; pity, as he was pretty fun. Still, the subversion of Never Found the Body
does rather neatly raise the question of how much we can trust to have happened off-page. For now, Gode tracking Rand down allowed the Dark One to invade his dreams again, so he pulled a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness
on him. And this time the injury that wakes him up is a fireball to the face, though thankfully it only has an effect like a light sunburn.
Matís eyesight gets better as they go on, including an encounter with another Darkfriend, Paitr, who seems to be a fairly minor soldier in the devilís army.
A bit later we see that tourists are clogging all the nearby towns to see Logain, but we can forget about that because the Dark One seems to have infected Rand with something. He sees a bunch of the people heís met all giving contradictory advice to screw with his head, including the Tearjerker
of Tam just silently staring at him.
This all allows Mat to start being Rescued from the Scrappy Heap
, as heís surprisingly able to get them a place to sleep, and take care of Rand during the night. And when theyíre confronted by a female Darkfriend in the morning, he has a Crowning Moment of Awesome
disarming her and locking her up. Though she drops that theyíre developing quite a bad reputation with all these incidents, which will be neat to see play out.
Despite the awkward How We Got Here
setup, this is another quite eventful chapter, taking what could have been repetitive scenes and making each one distinct. And while Matís character development is a bit rushed, itís nice to not have to spend the whole time wondering how heíll screw up.