Chapter 9: Leavetakings
Everyone lines up to go their separate ways, and Rand sees that Loial is also joining them. Good; he kind of got forgotten for a while in all those lists of what everyone was doing. And Lan gives a Chekhov's Lecture
that somehow Rand will one day stab himself to win a fight. I’d say it’ll be to get a guy behind him, but that seems a bit too simplistic. And I’m about 50/50 on whether it’ll even happen by the end of this book.
Before they go, Rand feels that invisible person watching again, and a random guy is killed by an arrow that also grazes Siuan’s arm. So, it wasn’t Fain, then. So now I have no idea. Siuan is thankfully smart enough to see immediately that the shot was so bad that it only appears she was the target; way to Monk
The group is led by Ingtar, and they know where to go thanks to a “sniffer” who can actually smell violence. And his name is Hurin. So, given all the Lord of the Rings “influences” seen last time…nah, that’s got to be a coincidence.
And he’s already pretty fun with his enthusiastic description of his ability, though he also says there’s something even worse than Fades in the group they’re following. And they’re heading south rather than to the Blight, for whatever reason.
. I was a bit embarrassed to name him an Ensemble Darkhorse
only for him to disappear, never expecting him to show up again as a viewpoint character. Sweet. He’s in Illian, where that Carribean accent is the local. He makes a deal with people from Cairhien, only to find that the scroll they give him is an order to kill him as a Darkfriend, from the king of Cairhien, Galldrien. It’s because on his last trip he managed to pick up another of the seals to the Dark One’s prison, unbroken, so I guess that wasn’t him at all in the whole last book. So I predict it will get broken by the end of the book, letting us see how that’s possible. For now, Doman just tells his second in command Yarin Maeldan that they’re going to go to the west coast for a while.
The chapter’s first half is mostly just utilitarian, something we needed to get through but that doesn’t have much interest on its own. But the introduction of Hurin is a good twist; dare I hope we get his viewpoint sometime? And of course, it was a real thrill to get Doman’s viewpoint out of nowhere, reminiscent of that little thrill in A Song of Ice and Fire
when you see a new name at the beginning of a chapter. Though it’s clear by the end why we’re suddenly following him, I have no idea what Galldrien’s stake is in it, and since he’s the king of Moiraine’s homeland, that should lead to a nice intersection of plotlines.
Ah, Hurin. I was waiting for him. He's not terribly interesting (apart from that ability of his), but somehow I still found him memorable.