Chapter 5: The Shadow in Shienar
Moiraine reveals more of her plan to Siuan: she’s convinced that Rand is actually the true Dragon Reborn, and she’s been deliberately distancing herself from him as a necessary step to him fulfilling that role. No more Deus ex Machina
for you! He, Mat, and Perrin will take the Horn to Illian, due to the Aes Sedai currently in town being enough to separate Mat from the dagger before they go. So I suppose this will leave Moiraine to be our viewpoint for Egwene and Nynaeve in Tar Valon. And some stuff about how the Dark One is about to break out of his prison. So…that wasn’t really him who was killed in the last book? I’m sure it’ll be clear in time.
Then, a quite unexpected shift to Geofram Bornhald as another new viewpoint character. He’s in charge of a whole legion in Tarabon, and we get a flashback that indicates another Whitecloak named Eamon Valda is currently after Elayne and Gawyn. Geofram proves to be the Anti-Villain
he first appeared to be, as he’s uneasy with what Valda has planned, and what his son might do. And now he’s pared with Einor Saren, a member of the Whitecloaks’ Complete Monster
division the Questioners. And that’s all we get.
Then Liandrin goes to Amalisa and uses a hypnotizing spell on her, telling her that she needs to get Rand, Mat, and Perrin to Tar Valon secretly. Plus something about a Black Ajah that worships the Dark One, though I don’t think that’s the remaining color in the seven (I didn’t read that comment explaining them, since the book itself should have all the important information, or something’s wrong). Not sure why Liandrin had to be so friendly with her before; maybe just to throw off Moiraine.
Finally, Fain has a brief scene where he’s apparently the one who Rand heard laughing, and was also just telepathically spying on Liandrin. Someone comes into the cell to kill him, which he’s been waiting for, though given that it ends there, I’d say we have a Jaime Lannister
There was never a chapter like this in book one, scattered among so many different viewpoints. Even the one where the heroes split up made narrative sense, while this one just seems to jump around at random. Geofram’s scene especially stands out since he’s nowhere near the others, and I guess Jordan just didn’t want to do an even bigger flashback when he becomes more important. Despite that, we get some good progress here, and very tantalizing glimpses of the book’s subplots. It’s definitely taking off now.