The chapter starts with a quite unexpected Crowning Moment of Funny
, as it turns out the people of Fal Dara have a rather Ancient Rome-esque view of nudity and personal space, and the castle maids have taken a lot of pleasure in making Rand uncomfortable over the last month. Well, youíre the one that stuck around after you said you were leaving.
The reason this comes up is that Moiraine has commissioned a whole new wardrobe for him, including a cloak with Lews Therinís dragon symbol, which the newly arrived Aes Sedai probably wonít be too happy about. So he tries to sneak out, but the shortest route is right through the courtyard where theyíre arriving. He makes it through without incident, and the sequence is pretty much just an excuse to describe what everyone looks like. And itís for naught anyway, as Agelmar has ordered the gates shut to everyone. Well, that was kind of a waste.
Itís a bit frustrating to encounter a chapter that has so little forward movement by its very design, but getting to see more of Fal Dara helps make up for it. Itís very fun to see how the fortress servants react to Rand, almost in a Discworld
level of culture clash. But he is at least going to meet these Aes Sedai next chapter, right?