TGS: A Place to Begin

Rand POV#

Rand is in his room with Min waiting for a report from Rhuarc when he dozes off.

He wakes on the floor of a familiar stone hallway. He realizes this must be Tel'aran'rhiod or something like it. Egwene and the Wise Ones would not tell him much about it. He opens a door to a simple room with arches looking out on a sky with burning red clouds. There is a fireplace with two high chairs. The stones of the fireplace look burned.[1] Moridin sits in one of the chairs. Rand recognizes him from his visions similar to Mat and Perrin and from Shadar Logoth.[2] The colors do not appear now.[3] Rand insists that Moridin is dead. Moridin replies that Rand is dead, too, when he lashed out creating Dragonmount. Rand wonders how many of the other Forsaken have returned. Moridin says the Great Lord can bring back anyone save those killed with balefire.[4] Rand notices that Lews Therin is gone from his mind and he feels more stable.[5] Moridin asks why Rand came here.[6] Moridin says he could kill Semirhage for what she did.[7] Rand says he will defeat the Dark One. Moridin says it does not matter. The Great Lord has all eternity and he only has to win once to stop the Wheel.[8] Rand says he intends to kill the Dark One and Moridin replies that Rand cannot comprehend how stupid that concept is.[9] Rand reaches for the One Power and is pulled back into normal sleep.

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Min POV#

Min is reading Ponderings by Pelateos[10] when she notes that Rand stops thrashing in the bed. She still smells smoke and thinks Aviendha saved them from disaster. She thinks of Herid Fel, killed by Shadowspawn for his discoveries. She still has the slip of paper that reads, "Belief and order give strength. Have to clear rubble before you can build." She thinks she has discovered a clue to reseal the Dark One. She also sees herself as a last stand bodyguard for Rand though she is not as good with knives as Thom. Rand wakes and says that Lews Therin is back. He admits to her that Semirhage was right about the voice. He says that her viewing of two people merging into one proves that Lews Therin is real.[11] He tells her that Ishamael is back. He will have to use balefire to kill them permanently, despite what Cadsuane said. Min tells him that he must destroy the remaining seals. Rand says yes, that sounds right. She sees more viewings of him:

  • Fireflies consumed in darkness.
  • Three women before a pyre.
  • Flashes of light, darkness, shadow, signs of death, crowns, injuries, pain and hope.

Rand asks her if she has found what to do after breaking the seals. She promises to find answers. She feels that he trusts her. He still seems stone, but it is a place to begin.

More Min POV

Aviendha POV#

Aviendha is exhausted from her most recent punishment, jogging back and forth across the camp to light and extinguish a lantern. Amys walks up. As they walk, a gateway opens on the Traveling grounds and Damer Flinn, Davram Bashere and several Aiel and Saldaeans, returning from their meeting with the Seanchan, hurry to the manor house. A Maiden, Corana stops to tell Amys that the Seanchan have agreed to a meeting with Rand. Corana is upset with the truce but Aviendha wisely puts her in her place. Corana tells them that the Seanchan were showing off their Shaido Wise One damane. Though furious, Aviendha says that this changes nothing and Amys tells her they will have their vengeance. They send her to tell the clan chiefs. Aviendha feels through the bond that Rand is now sleeping though he was with Min earlier. Amys says she will think up better punishments for Aviendha tomorrow.[12]

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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] From Rand's final confrontation with Ishamael in TEotW,Ch52.
[#2] Moridin was the Wanderer who saved Rand before he killed Sammael in ACoS,Ch41.
[#3] Curious. Why not?
[#4] Why would Moridin tell Rand how to kill the Forsaken permanently? Is this a slip or is it intentional?
[#5] Yet another unanswered question. Why is Lews Therin gone?
[#6] This seems to be a genuine question. It must be the effect of the strange bond between Rand and Moridin that brought them together.
[#7] We do not see Moridin's left hand. It seems that harm to Rand now directly affects Moridin.
[#8] We finally see the core of Moridin's philosophy.
[#9] While we can only guess at this point, the Dark One must be fundamentally tied to all of existence.
[#10] A play on Plato's Musings
[#11] Or is this yet another misinterpretation?
[#12] Even though Aviendha is doing an excellent job! We find out what she has been doing wrong in TGS,Ch26.

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