TGS: Veins of Gold

Rand POV#

Rand sits on the top of Dragonmount with the access key. It is now midday. He remembers Asmodean trying to teach him the weave that he uses for breathing the thin air. He is angry at the world, the Pattern and the Creator for using him. Everything began to go wrong with Moiraine's death. Before that he still had hope. He had not been put in a box. Rand thinks his fight is meaningless. Moridin is right that they are better off destroyed instead of living meaningless, painful lives over and over.

He draws saidin, even more than when he cleansed the taint.[1] He remembers being Healed to find Ilyena dead by his own hand. Why must he live over and over? Lews Therin sounds completely sane when he answers that we live again so we can have a second chance. Rand remembers Tam telling him he can choose why he does his duty. If he lives again then he gets to love again. He wants to do it right this time. He remembers all the lives he lived before. He drives the One Power back through the access key to the male Choedan Kal and it explodes. The One Power winks out. Rand opens his eyes for the first time in a long while. He knows he will never hear Lews Therin again for they are not two men and never were. The clouds overhead break and he can see the sun.[2] He smiles and laughs for the first time in far too long.[3]

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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] Surely attracting attention of Taim, Moridin and the rest of the male Forsaken, not to mention all the Asha'man. However, this turns out to be of little consequence. (ToM,Ch13)
[#2] Reiterating the ever stronger connection between Rand and the land. Is this break very temporary or will there be a longer respite from the clouds?
[#3] Rand has had his epiphany. What will he be like when we see him again? Is Lews Therin really permanently gone? Does Rand really have full memories of all his previous lives, something like Birgitte? If so, will they last? And most importantly, will full access to Lews Therin's memories tell him how to defeat the Dark One and win the Last Battle?

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