In which the ta’veren three (and Hurin!) escape Falme but don’t get away, thousands of Seanchan and hundreds of Whitecloaks trap the four, Mat makes an impulsive decision to blow the Horn, Geofram Bornhald leads a doomed charge, Rand meets some old friends, Perrin becomes the Dragon’s Bannerman (which isn’t as important as it sounds), Rand fights Ba’alzamon in the skies above Falme, the fight below is curiously linked to the fight above, Rand rips off The Karate Kid, Lanfear leaves a final threat, Moiraine shows back up to drop some last minute exposition
It was a long time before Jordan gave us a Wheel of Time book that didn’t end with a BAM! The last couple chapters are great, but things really get ramped up here. Jordan likes to make us wait for things, sometimes for half a dozen books after laying down some heavy foreshadowing. But the Horn is revealed at the very end of book 1 and blown by the end of book 2.
(If this post looks like crap, it is because the Block Editor is even more unusable than usual today.)
It was a clear note, golden as the Horn was golden. The trees around them seemed to resonate with it, and the ground under their feet, the sky overhead. That one long sound encompassed everything.
Out of nowhere, a fog began to rise. First thin wisps hanging in the air, then thicker billows, and thicker, until it blanked the land like clouds.
Geofram Bornhald stiffened in his saddle as a sound fille the air, so sweet he wanted to laugh, so mournful he wanted to cry. It seemed to come from every direction at once. A mist began to rise, growing even as he watched.
That is a level of imagery that a TV show simply can’t compete with. But I am very much looking forward to see that set piece adapted for television.
Did Lanfear (partially) Heal Rand? Nynaeve says she was “too frightened to light a candle.”
The final bit of verse (written in the next Age) foreshadows both Rand’s later Fisher King-like connection to the land as well as his later acquisition of Hawkwing’s sword Justice.
“They were all watching him, all waiting. Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain. He made his decision.”
The first two books are both Rand-centric, but he really takes some great leaps forward in a few ways in The Great Hunt. Enough so that Jordan can get away with largely removing him from the narrative in book 3.
I love the familiarity that the Heroes of the Horn have with Rand, chuckling over him needing to save a girl. Is Rand a Hero of the Horn? Or does the Heroes simply encounter the Dragon over and over again over the Ages (and they are blessed with full knowledge of their lives during the waiting stage).
Fate, and characters being tools of Fate, is a major theme in The Wheel of Time. This is a little true for everybody but especially true for ta’veren. And after their introduction, I think it is especially true for the Heroes as well. Hawkwing quite literally won’t start fighting until Rand pulls out the Dragon banner. Not because the Horn is tied to the Dragon. It isn’t. But because it is what the Pattern demands at this time and place and the Heroes are more tightly bound by the Pattern by most, especially during the waiting period.
“Sometimes the Wheel adds to the number” of Heroes of the Horn. And surely, at so key a moment, at least a dozen Heroes must be walking the world in the flesh and unavailable for summoning. My question to you: which characters from the series are Heroes of the Horn?
You can find all of my reread posts at The Wheel of Time Reread Index.