TGS: The Last That Could Be Done

Semirhage POV#

Semirhage sits alone in her room. She does not understand how she could have been so humiliated by Cadsuane with her paralis-net.[1] Shaidar Haran appears. He tells her she failed greatly, injuring Rand, revealing herself, losing valuable pawns,[2] being captured and broken. Her shield vanishes and she can channel again. Shaidar Haran tells her she has been given one last chance. She tries the door and it opens to reveal three corpses.[3] Elza Penfell kneels before her. She tells Semirhage that she is instructed to remove the Compulsion on her[4] and gives her the Domination Band.[5]

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Rand POV#

Rand, on Tai'daishar with Bashere and Ituralde, fifty soldiers, fifty Maidens and Narishma, rides through northern Saldaea near the Blight. Lews Therin remembers the area. Saldaea looks similar to Fal Dara. Lan told him that a boy becomes a man when he earns the right to a sword. They can see the foothills of the Mountains of Dhoom. The Blight is slowly advancing. Rand orders Narishma to open a gateway then tells Ituralde to send reports via Asha'man to Bandar Eban. He will move his headquarters there in four days. Rand thinks he can trust Narishma one of the men from Dumai's Wells. Lews Therin does not. Rand thinks back on his dream of Moridin with no Lews Therin in his head. He wonders why Moridin saved him at Shadar Logoth when fighting Sammael. He thinks that he must be hard, yet Min does not want that. "To live you must die." How can one laugh and face that?

Lews Therin tells him that Min is right. He must break the seals. Lews Therin says they touched the Dark One with saidin and that is how he tainted it. Deira Bashere is waiting for her husband. Rand thinks of Tam as his father even though he knows Janduin was his real father. A small voice in his mind asks if he cares about his legacy. He founded schools in Cairhien and Andor because he wanted to leave something. Now he thinks he cannot fix everything. The voice asks if the goal is to survive or to thrive?

Back at the manor, Lord Tallaen still complains of the smoke smell. Rand goes to his room where Min is waiting. A serving woman moves dishes. As he talks to Min, something clicks around his neck. The "serving woman" is Semirhage and she put the Domination Band on him. Min throws a knife that grazes Semirhage. She knocks Min to the floor and gags her with Air. Elza enters and dons the other bracelet. Semirhage tortures Rand, but the pain hardly affects him. He tells her there is nothing more she can do to him, but she smiles, forces him to hold saidin and begin torturing Min. She tells him to beg. He does, and Min's torture stops. Then Rand begins to strangle Min. Something snaps inside Rand and all emotion goes away. He can sense a new force.[6] Rand takes hold of it and Lews Therin screams. The collar around his neck explodes. Semirhage looks stunned, then realizes what must have happened and asks why the Great Lord betrayed her. Rand uses balefire to destroy her[7] and Elza.[8] As Min recovers, he tells her they have now taken everything from him. It was the last that could be done.

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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] This is the first time that we have heard a term for Cadsuane's hair ornaments, implying that similar adornments were known in the Age of Legends.
[#2] Tuon and/or Suroth
[#3] The three are Corele, Nesune and Daigian. Only Daigian is dead; the other two are in a deep trance. (TGS,Ch23) Somehow Shaidar Haran knew which Aes Sedai had Warder who would be alerted. At a signing, Brandon Sanderson stated that Shaidar Haran was working through Elza who was the source of some of his information. The experience for her was not pleasant.
[#4] Verin's Compulsion from TPoD,Prologue
[#5] AKA the "sad bracelets" taken from Cadsuane's document box.
[#6] The True Power from the Dark One!
[#7] Afterwards Min's neck is still bruised so Semirhage's thread in the Pattern was only burned back a few moments.
[#8] We do not learn what becomes of Elza's Warder Fearil.

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