TDR: A Message Out of the Shadow

Mat POV#

Mat returns to the Royal Palace and climbs the wall just as Rand did. He hides under a window as some guards pass. He overhears two men talking, Comar and someone he refers to as Great Master. As Mat picks up the conversation, Comar tells him three girls are on their way to Tear. The Great Master says it would serve "him"[1] right if three girls ruin his plans. He asks if there is any word of the boy. He is the one who can destroy them. Comar tells him the boy has vanished,[2] but one of the girls is Elayne. The Great Master is concerned that the one in Tear is too impatient about getting Callandor and might try to use Elayne for his own benefit. He orders Comar to kill her quietly. Comar is concerned about finding her. They traced her ship to Aringill, but they had already left.[3] Mat looks through the window and gets a good look at Comar, but the Great Master has already left. Mat approaches a guard who identifies himself as Guardsman-lieutenant Tallanvor. Mat shows him the letter. Tallanvor asks him how he got by the gate guard, Elber, and Mat tells him about climbing the wall. Tallanvor agrees to take him to Queen Morgase. Morgase is holding court and is attended by a man she calls Gaebril. Mat gives her the letter and tells her Elayne was still in Tar Valon when he left.[4] She seems alternately pleased and angry about the letter and finally says she wants to make amends with Elayne. Mat starts to tell her about the conversation he overheard, but Lord Gaebril speaks first and Mat recognizes his voice as that of the Great Master. Mat says he is from Comfrey and was at the White Tower visiting his sister Else Grinwell. His name is Thom Grinwell. Morgase tells him to deliver a message back to Elayne that she misses her quiet talks with Sheriam in her study.[5] Mat says he is not going back to Tar Valon, he is going home. They dismiss him and Gaebril gives him a fat purse. As he leaves, Gaebril begins pushing Morgase to use her marriage to Taringail Damodred to claim the Sun Throne.

Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] Referring to Be'lal.
[#2] It is not clear if he means Rand or Mat.
[#3] So the Blue Crane getting stranded and them taking the Darter probably saved their lives.
[#4] They actually left before him.
[#5] A joke on the punishment Elayne surely received from the Mistress of Novices for running away. However, Sheriam was probably still a novices when Morgase was at the White Tower. Is this a slip or an attempt at a secret message?

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