Rand returns to the Defender of the Dragonwall and tells Hurin and Loial about Thom. Rand gets the harp and flute and leaves with Loial. Hurin stays behind to guard the Horn. Loial is reluctant to be seen since there might be other Ogier in the city. He is probably in big trouble with Elder Haman. They head east through the Jangai Gates and arrive at The Bunch of Grapes. The innkeeper, Zera, directs them to Thom's room. His girlfriend/apprentice, Dena, is practicing juggling. She intends to be the first female gleeman. They plan to go to Tear, then the Sea Folk islands. Thom returns. He complains that the theater manager, Seaghan, wants to hire actors to portray Rogosh Eagle-eye, Blaes and Gaidal Cain. When he sees Rand, he sends Dena out to pick up her knives from the cutler, Ivon (Knife Maker). Rand gives Thom his harp and flute. Thom gives Rand the plain flute he has been using. After Thom left Whitebridge, he passed through Caemlyn and talked to Basel Gill who told him that Rand left with an Ogier. Rand tells Thom about the Horn and asks him to help them bring it back to Shienar. He also asks Loial to leave, then asks Thom about the Karaethon Cycle. Thom quotes two passages:
twice to live and twice to die.
Once the heron, to set his path.
Twice the heron, to name him true.
Once the Dragon, for remembrance lost.
Twice the Dragon, for the price he must pay."
Once for mourning, once for birth.
Red on black, the Dragon's blood stains the rock of Shayol Ghul.
In the Pit of Doom shall his blood free men from the Shadow."
Thom admits he thought one of the boys could channel and helped them because of his nephew, Owyn, who could channel. He lasted three years before the Red Ajah found him and gentled him, then he soon died. Thom still refuses to join Rand and Rand leaves.
More Rand POV
Thom Merrilin POV#
While Thom is musing, Zera enters and warns him against getting involved in the Game of Houses. They have known each other for years. Thom was an expert at the Game twenty years ago in Caemlyn. Thom performs tonight for Lady Arilyn.
More Thom POV
Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] In early printings, Thom complains that Rand did not keep the harp tuned. Upon hearing from music lovers that this is not the correct way to store such an instrument, he changed this passage to read that Thom is grateful that Rand did not try to keep it tuned.
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