Rand gets back to the inn and tells the whole story to Gill, who responds that he and Mat have to get out of the city before Elaida kills them. This had me rolling my eyes at first, as it appeared to be widening the gap between the heroes, just when it was at its narrowest so far. This does get Rand to agree to let Loial come with them, though.
And it’s all moot, as after the Whitecloaks stop in and Gill has a Crowning Moment of Awesome
kicking them out, backed up by everyone else in the room, Moiraine and the rest arrive. Nynaeve’s reaction, with a brief harshness over thinking Rand was dead before warming up, is the best part. And then he brings them to Mat, and Morgaine confirms that the dagger has been affecting him, and soon he’ll essentially be a Rage Zombie
. I think I speak for us all when I say, good one, Mat. It was also drawing all those Darkfriends to them, and now an army is approaching Caemlyn, which I’m guessing will lead to the book’s climax.
The reunion is very well done, with all the emotion that would come from being separated so long, wondering if each other was dead. And we get an actual good explanation for how Mat’s been acting, though it still doesn’t quite cover all of his annoying behavior. Another “moving furniture” chapter but a good one in its own right.