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awyn Will Kill Rand

by terez: 2010-05-02 | 8.86 out of 10 (14 votes)

Recent Categories: How Will It End?

The title might seem rather random and strange to some people. Maybe most people. But I was writing a post on 'dead yet lives', because I'm pretty confident about my theory on that subject (though it might be a red herring to detract from....something), and that led me to write about the Battle of Caemlyn, because according to Nicola's Foretelling, it all seems to tie in together (and many thanks to Dominic and Linda of 13th Depository - the former formerly so - for bringing the Battle of Camlann to my attention, or my brain would certainly never have gone here).

In the process of writing those two, this little theory reared its ugly head, and I cannot help but be in awe of RJ's skill with foreshadowing yet again. In fact, it's been two years since I've done a re-read, so I have a feeling that I've missed a good bit of the foreshadowing that is no doubt there. But I've got enough to sell the theory to quite a few people, I think.

And of course, it's not all that random. We all know that Gawyn wants to kill Rand. Even Rand knows that Gawyn wants to kill him (and note, as the theory goes on, how much of it is derived from Lord of Chaos):

TITLE - Lord of Chaos
CHAPTER: 55 - Dumai's Wells

Suddenly Gawyn was reining a bay stallion up not ten steps in front of him, sword in hand and twenty or more green-coated men riding at his heels. For a moment they stared at one another, and Rand prayed he would not have to harm Elayne's brother.

"Min," Gawyn grated, "I can take you out of here."

She peeked past Rand's shoulder to shake her head; she was holding on to him so tightly, he did not think he could have pried her loose had he wanted to. "I'm staying with him, Gawyn. Gawyn, Elayne loves him."

With the Power in him, Rand could see the man's knuckles go white on his sword hilt.
"Jisao," he said in a flat voice. "Rally the Younglings. We are cutting a way out of here." If his voice had been flat before, now it went dead. "Al'Thor, one day I will see you die." Digging his heels in, he galloped away, he and all the others shouting "Younglings!" at the top of their lungs, and more men in green coats cutting a way to join them with every stride.

We've just always assumed that he would get over it, right? I mean, surely he will make his way to Caemlyn, and Perrin's on the way to there with Morgase, and Gawyn and Egwene kissy kissy and the world is all happy and roses again because that's what happens in fantasy stories. Right? Gawyn can't even channel. How could he kill Rand?

The first clue that led me to question this assumption came when I was reading up on the causes of the Battle of Camlann, in Arthurian legend. Most of the accounts of the battle have the cause as a misunderstanding: a knight draws his sword to kill an adder in the grass, and the enemy sees the steel flash and thinks that the armistice has been violated. However, the older accounts of the battle tell many different stories. In one of them, Gwenhwyfach strikes her sister Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere), which leads to a confrontation between Arthur and Mordred. Elayne is certainly closely paralleled to Guinevere, not least for being Rand's lover and a queen. She only has one sister - Aviendha - and though they both smacked the shit out of each other when they bonded each other as sisters, it doesn't appear to have the potential to start any battles. Gawain is not Guinevere's brother in Arthurian legend (though Elaine is his half-aunt, like Moiraine is to Gawyn sort of, through the father rather than the mother), but Gawyn is of course Elayne's brother.

So I began to suspect that RJ had taken these legends and twisted them, as he is wont to do. And I began to wonder whether Gawyn would play some role in the beginning of the Battle of Caemlyn. And once I began to look at Gawyn, everything started to click.

First off, it's an interesting contrast to the way we are introduced to the brothers in The Eye of the World. Elayne refuses to acknowledge that Galad is her brother. Gawyn defends Galad, and then Galad betrays Rand to the Palace guards.

Also, the three obvious Mordred parallels are Moridin (also Moerad), Fain/Mordeth, and Demandred. Rand has already had his Camlann with Ishamael at Falme, down to the double-mortal-wounding thing (though of course they both survived that time). That wound never healed for Rand, and he got another never-healing wound from Fain right on top of it. So, Fain has gotten in his mortal strike at Rand, but Rand has yet to get his strike at Fain in. I believe that will come with the sealing of the Bore, probably, rather than at the Battle of Caemlyn.

Demandred might well be a big fat red herring (and a damn good one, you have to admit). Like the other two obvious Mordred guys, he claims to want to kill Rand personally. There's definitely an opportunity for him to slide in with an abduction of Elayne, for the Mordred-seduces-Guinevere parallel (Demandred had the hots for Ilyena, and he's been seen spying on Elayne in Tel'aran'rhiod). There were hints of that with Taim as well, with him checking her out before the aforementioned sister-bonding ceremony. In the end, I think Demandred is mostly a red herring so far as Mordred is concerned, though I might change my mind later.

Most of the time (even in Randland), children take the last names of their father. Elayne and Gawyn are both Trakands, but Dobraine claimed that Elayne should be a Damodred:

TITLE - Lord of Chaos
CHAPTER: 53 - The Feast of Lights

"Ten?" Dobraine said. "I had only one visit. I thought she was disappointed when I made it clear I had sworn fealty to the Lord Dragon. But whether ten or one, Colavaere is the key. She knows as well as any that the Lord Dragon means the Sun Throne for Elayne Trakand." He grimaced. "Elayne Damodred, she should be. Taringail should have insisted Morgase marry into Damodred instead of marrying into Trakand himself; she needed him enough to have done it. Well, Elayne Trakand or Elayne Damodred, she has as strong a claim to the throne as any, stronger than Colavaere's by far, yet I am convinced Colavaere had Maringil and Meilan killed to make her own way to the throne safe. She would never have dared had she thought the Lord Dragon would ever return."

I imagine that the same goes for Gawyn. So, Gawyn is the lurking and somewhat unsuspected Mordred parallel (Morgase + Damodred = Mordred).

In some of the legends, the Battle of Camlann occurs at a time when Mordred has been entrusted with the kingdom while Arthur was away. We know from The Eye of the World that it is the duty of the First Prince of the Sword to lead the armies of his queen, and it makes sense that he would fulfill this role for the Battle of Caemlyn, especially considering that Elayne is pregnant, and Birgitte does not consider herself to be a general. Since Gawyn is on the outs with Egwene, it's easy to see him getting there, especially now that the Tower conflict is resolved, and of course, Rand won't be there at first because it would cause problems between him and Gawyn before the battle. In the legend, the news of Mordred usurping the throne is what causes Arthur to return, but in this case, I think it will be the battle itself (the Seanchan attacking Caemlyn) that will draw Rand back to Caemlyn.

There are some clues for this early in Lord of Chaos, when the wind blows into Rand's point of view:

TITLE - Lord of Chaos
CHAPTER: 1 - Lion on the Hill

As the Inner City was the heart of Caemlyn, and more than merely by being its center, the Royal Palace was the heart of the Inner City, a gleeman's tale of snowy spires and golden domes and stonework like lace. A heart that beat in the shadow of those two banners.

Stripped to the waist and balanced easily on the balls of his feet, at the moment Rand was no more aware that he was in a white-tiled courtyard of the Palace than he was of the onlookers among the surrounding colonnades. Sweat slicked his hair to his skull, rolled down his chest. The half-healed round scar on his side ached fiercely, but he refused to acknowledge it. Figures like that on the white banner overhead twined around his forearms, glittering metallically red-and-gold. Dragons, the Aiel called them, and others were taking up the name. He was dimly aware of the heron branded neatly into each of his palms, but only because he could feel them against the long hilt of his wooden practice sword.

He was one with the sword, flowing from stance to stance without thought, boots scraping softly on the pale tiles. Lion on the Hill became Arc of the Moon became Tower of Morning. Without thought.

Rand sees himself as having brought a darkness to Caemlyn, even though he only 'conquered' the city to oust Rahvin (another Mordred parallel, as he had seduced the queen and declared himself king), and to avenge Morgase (so he thought), and then Aviendha, and Mat. Later in the book, he sends Mat with his whole army to get Elayne to put her on the throne. He has been avoiding Caemlyn ever since Elayne arrived to claim the throne, because he feels like he should stay away from his women so as not to cause them danger (and he tells himself that Elayne would not want him there, which was actually true in a way while she was trying to get the throne). But if he hears of the Seanchan attacking Caemlyn, he will feel obligated to return to help her.

So, we all know Gawyn wants to kill Rand. And also, we know that Rand is going to die, probably some time during the Battle of Caemlyn:

TITLE - Lord of Chaos
CHAPTER: 14 - Dreams and Nightmares

Suddenly Nicola spoke, sounding half-asleep. "The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade."

Most people seem to assume that 'the great battle' refers to Tarmon Gai'don, and that the 'world not done with battle' refers to the Seanchan or the Black Tower. The following sentence certainly suggests that the Seanchan aggression continues. However, the Aelfinn told Rand that he must unite Randland in order to win Tarmon Gai'don:

TITLE - Knife of Dreams
CHAPTER: 18 - News for the Dragon

"'The north and the east must be as one. The west and the south must be as one. The two must be as one.' He blew a smoke ring, put another in the middle of it as it expanded. That was not the whole of it. He had asked how to win and survive. The last part of his answer had been 'To live, you must die.' Not something he was going to bring up in front of Min anytime soon. In front of anyone except Alivia, for that matter. Now he just had to figure out how to live by dying. "At first, I thought it meant I had to conquer everywhere, but that wasn't what they said. What if it means the Seanchan hold the west and south, as you could say they already do, and there's an alliance to fight the Last Battle, the Seanchan with everybody else?"

If the land is still divided by the Return, then the Last Battle could not possibly be done. Therefore, the 'great battle' must refer to something else. The Black Tower battle seems unlikely, at least on its own. It's certainly important, but not quite as central as the impending battle with the Seanchan. But the Black Tower is right outside of Caemlyn, so there is certainly a potential for overlap.

Anyway, back to Gawyn. Aside from the fact that Gawyn is an angsty bitch and no one likes him, there has been a certain amount of mystery surrounding Gawyn in the series. First, a viewing of Min's:

TITLE - The Shadow Rising
CHAPTER: 47 - The Truth of a Viewing

She glanced over her shoulder toward the Tower, the thick white shaft dominating the city, whole and straight, yet broken as surely as if it lay in ruins. For a moment she let herself think of the images she had glimpsed, just for a moment, flickering around Gawyn's head. Gawyn kneeling at Egwene's feet with his head bowed, and Gawyn breaking Egwene's neck, first one then the other, as if either could be the future.

The things she saw were very rarely as clear in meaning as those two, and she had never before seen that fluttering back and forth, as though not even the viewing could tell which would be the true future. Worse, she had a feeling near to certainty that it was what she had done this day that had turned Gawyn toward those two possibilities.

From this, since we can be reasonably certain that Egwene's neck is not going to be broken, we know that Gawyn will kneel at Egwene's feet. That's a good thing, right? I would say so, since Egwene doesn't die in that option.

Then, in Lord of Chaos, Egwene has some dreams:

TITLE - Lord of Chaos
CHAPTER: 15 - A Pile of Sand

Given everything, it was no surprise that Gawyn filled her dreams. Sometimes she repeated one of his, though not exactly, of course; in her versions, certain embarrassing events just did not occur, or at least were glossed over. Gawyn spent a good deal more time reciting poetry, and holding her while they watched sunrises and sunsets. He did not stumble over saying he loved her, either. And he looked as handsome as he really was. Others were all her own. Tender kisses that lasted forever. Him kneeling while she cupped his head in her hands. Some made no sense. Twice, right atop one another, she dreamed of taking him by the shoulders and trying to turn him to face the other way against his will. Once he brushed her hands away roughly; the other time, she was somehow stronger than he. The two blended together hazily. In another he began swinging a door closed on her, and she knew if that narrowing gap of light vanished, she was dead.

She did not interpret the dream about him kneeling until later:

TITLE - Lord of Chaos
CHAPTER: 25 - Like Lightning and Rain

"Gawyn, how can you serve Elaida after what she did?"

"The Younglings serve the Tower," he replied stiffly, but his head swung uneasily. "We do as long as... Siuan Sanche... " For a moment his eyes went icy cold. Just for an instant. "Egwene, my mother always used to say, "Even a queen must obey the law she makes, or there is no law.'" He shook his head angrily. "I shouldn't be surprised to find you here. I should have known you would be where al'Thor is."

"Why do you hate him?" That had been hate in his voice or she had never heard it. "Gawyn, he really is the Dragon Reborn. You must have heard what happened in Tear. He -"

"I do not care if he is the Creator made flesh," he graced. "Al'Thor killed my mother!"

Egwene's eyes nearly popped out of her head. "Gawyn, no! No, he did not!"

"Can you swear it? Were you there when she died? It's on every tongue. The Dragon Reborn took Caemlyn, and killed Morgase. He probably killed Elayne, too. I can find no word of her." All the anger drained out of him. He slumped where he stood, head falling forward, fists clenched and eyes closed. "I can find out nothing," he whispered.

"Elayne is unharmed," Egwene said, surprised to find herself right in front of him. She reached up, and surprised herself again by running her fingers into his hair as she raised his head. It felt just as she remembered. Her hands flashed back as if burned. She was sure she would flush so crimson her face would ignite, except... Color stained Gawyn's cheeks. Of course. He remembered too, though only as his own dream. That truly should have set her face afire, but somehow it did the opposite. Gawyn's blush steadied her nerves, even made her want to smile. "Elayne is safe, Gawyn. I can swear to that."

"Where is she?" His voice was anguished. "Where has she been? Her place is in Caemlyn now. Well, not Caemlyn-not so long as al'Thor might be there-but in Andor. Where is she, Egwene?"

"I...cannot tell you. I can't, Gawyn."

He studied her, face expressionless, then sighed. "You are more Aes Sedai every time I see you." His laugh sounded forced. "Do you know I used to think about being your Warder? How is that for foolish?"

"You will be my Warder." She had not realized the words were coming out of her mouth until they did, but once they did, she knew they were true. That dream. Gawyn kneeling for her to hold his head. It could have meant a hundred things or nothing, but she knew.

Why did she know at this moment that she would bond him? Well, this is the first time she was able to tell him that she loved him, and the first time Egwene had seen him since all that hawt and steamy dream sex. It's a pretty important moment.

So, if Egwene is going to bond him, then everything is all good, right? It's an easy thing to assume, especially since the other option is for Egwene's neck to get broken.

But I don't think so. I think that, in Min's viewing, Gawyn would have killed Rand either way. He is destined to kill Rand. If Egwene bonds him, then he won't break her neck in the process. That fits with the rest of Egwene's dream (already quoted above):

Twice, right atop one another, she dreamed of taking him by the shoulders and trying to turn him to face the other way against his will. Once he brushed her hands away roughly; the other time, she was somehow stronger than he. The two blended together hazily. In another he began swinging a door closed on her, and she knew if that narrowing gap of light vanished, she was dead.

I'm not entirely sure about the first dream, or the two that blend together, but I think it means that Egwene convinces Gawyn that he must leave her and go to Caemlyn to be with his sister. In the second, I suspect that Egwene will have to make the decision to bond him before he goes. She knows she will bond him, but from what we saw in The Gathering Storm, she is prepared to take a hard line with him for his lack of trust in her during the Seanchan attack. My best guess is that she will be tempted to make him go without bonding him first, but that she will relent. This is the only thing that will save him from breaking Egwene's neck, as per Min's viewing. Perhaps Gawyn will insist on that bonding, and this will tie into the first two dreams that blend together.

Later on in chapter 25, we get some very, very interesting hints:

TITLE - Lord of Chaos
CHAPTER: 25 - Like Lightning and Rain

Gawyn startled her by drawing a ragged breath. "I will give over everything, betray everything, for you. Come away with me, Egwene. We will both leave it all behind. I have a small estate south of Whitebridge, with a vineyard and a village, so far into the country that the sun rises two days late. The world will hardly touch us there. We can be married on the way. I don't know how much time we will have - al'Thor; Tarmon Gai'don -I do not know; but we will have it together."

She stared up at him in amazement. Then she realized she had voiced that last thought aloud, What were those Aes Sedai up to?, and a key word - betray -slid into place. He thought she wanted him to spy on them. And he would. Desperately seeking a way not to, he still would, if she asked. Anything, he had promised, and anything he meant, whatever the cost to him. She made a promise to herself; to him really, but it was not the sort of promise she could speak aloud. If he let slip something she could use, she would -she had to -but she would not dig, not for the smallest scrap. Whatever the cost. Sarene Nemdahl would never understand, but it was the only way she could match what he had laid at her feet.

"I cannot," she said softly. "You can never know how much I want to, but I cannot." She laughed abruptly, feeling tears in her eyes. "And you. Betray? Gawyn Trakand, that word fits you as darkness fits the sun."

This is where it gets really interesting, to me. Because we know that Rand is going to die (unless you're one of those who thinks he will get away with faking his death - but that's a loony theory, IMO). We also know that the sky will go dark at some point on the day that his blood is shed, from the 'twice dawns the day' prophecy. Also interesting is the Pact referenced in the Shienaran Welcome:

TITLE - The Great Hunt
CHAPTER: 2 - The Welcome

The woman beside the palanquin tapped her staff three times in reply. "The Watcher of the Seals. The Flame of Tar Valon. The Amyrlin Seat."

"Why should we watch?" Ronan demanded.

"For the hope of humankind," the tall woman replied.

"Against what do we guard?"

"The shadow at noon."

"How long shall we guard?"

"From rising sun to rising sun, so long as the Wheel of Time turns."

Agelmar bowed, his white topknot stirring in the breeze. "Fal Dara offers bread and salt and welcome. Well come is the Amyrlin Seat to Fal Dara, for here is the watch kept, here is the Pact maintained. Welcome."

When Jesus was on the cross, the sky went dark at noon.It was dark until Jesus breathed his last three hours later. If Gawyn kills Rand during the Battle of Caemlyn, then it's very likely that the sun itself will go dark at that moment, and therefore Egwene's words couldn't be more perfect. As the sun goes dark, 'betray' will fit Gawyn Trakand quite well.

So, how will he pull it off? He can't channel. And what the hell will Alivia have to do with it?

I have answers to all of these questions. Back to Lord of Chaos, and Elayne. There's a theory that has been around forever at Theoryland, and a faction: The Severed Band.The theory stems from this viewing of Min's:

TITLE - The Great Hunt
CHAPTER: 24 - New Friends and Old Enemies

Despite herself, Egwene asked, "What do you see when you look at me?"

Min glanced at her. "A white flame, and ... Oh, all sorts of things. I don't know what it means."

"She says that a great deal," Elayne said dryly. "One of the things she said she saw looking at me was a severed hand. Not mine, she says. She claims she does not know what it means, either."

On the way to Ebou Dar, at the end of Lord of Chaos,there is actually a good bit of foreshadowing for Elayne taking command of the Band of the Red Hand. Elayne inspects Mat's men so that she can annoy him by giving him orders to do things that he was going to do anyway. Adding to Mat's annoyance is the fact all of his men seem to worship her, even Vanin who ostensibly hates nobles.

So, this theory was quite popular at Theoryland even before we knew for sure that Mat would be leaving the Band in Caemlyn when he left for Ghenjei. Now that we know that for sure, it seems even more likely. Plus, there's the Battle of Caemlyn lurking on the horizon, which will surely happen while Mat is gone. Elayne will need his men for that, and also, Aludra developed gunpowder specifically with the Seanchan in mind. The Battle of Caemlyn will surely be the final confrontation between the Randland forces and the Seanchan, so everything works out perfectly.

Also a subject of great annoyance for Mat on this trip to Ebou Dar was Elayne's obsession with his silver medallion, and her persistence in studying it despite Mat's wishes. It's constantly going cold from them channeling at it, and Adeleas even discovers its limitations when she channels at a pile of manure to throw it at his back. As a matter of fact, all of Elayne's posturing with the men from the Band came about because Mat had annoyed her when he refused to hand over the medallion each evening as she ordered him to (he was thinking about how he had been treated in the Stone when he refused).

All of this (including some strange behavior on Nynaeve's part which, incidentally, also can be traced back to the medallion) led to Mat deciding to stay at The Wandering Woman in Ebou Dar instead of in the Palace, which was of course very important since it led to yet another ter'angreal, the Bowl of the Winds. There was a fair amount of drama in Ebou Dar, with Tylin thrown in the mix, and it ended with Elayne and Nynaeve apologizing to Mat for the Stone, and Mat getting all mushy over the subject and offering to let Elayne wear the medallion when they went after the stash in Six Stories. Of course, she graciously allowed him to keep it, which turned out to be a good thing.

As to why all this is relevant to Gawyn killing Rand:

TITLE - The Great Hunt
CHAPTER: 37 - What Might Be

As she started around among the others, stopping briefly by each, Rand went to his friends. When he tried to straighten Mat, Mat jerked and stared at him, then grabbed Rand's coat with both hands. "Rand, I'd never tell anyone about -about you. I wouldn't betray you. You have to believe that!" He looked worse than ever, but Rand thought it was mostly fright.

"I do," Rand said. He wondered what lives Mat had lived, and what he had done. He must have told someone, or he wouldn't be so anxious about it. He could not hold it against him. Those had been other Mats, not this one. Besides, after some of the alternatives he had seen for himself ... "I believe you. Perrin?"

The curly-haired youth dropped his hands from his face with a sigh. Red marks scored his forehead and cheeks where his nails had dug in. His yellow eyes hid his thoughts. "We don't have many choices really, do we, Rand? Whatever happens, whatever we do, some things are almost always the same."

Apparently, in all of Mat's lives, he was destined to betray Rand, just as Rand was always destined to channel, and to hear 'I have won again, Lews Therin' as he dies. Rand had actually worried earlier in the book that Mat would betray him (he used that word) by telling people that he could channel. That was certainly one of the biggest worries at the time, and at this point, Rand had grown accustomed to Mat having been changed by the dagger. There is another way that Mat can (and probably will) 'betray' Rand, but it has nothing to do with how Rand will die (it comes later).

However, there is a Jesus parallel here. Linda at 13th Depository mentioned that Mat has a parallel to Judas:

A betrayal would tie in with Mat's role as the Hanged Man, which in some Italian Tarot decks is named Traditore, traitor. In Renaissance Italy, traitors were hanged upside down by one foot, just like the figure on the Hanged Man Tarot card. It should be noted too that Judas hanged himself.

Judas sold his knowledge of Jesus' whereabouts, identifying him with a kiss, for a price of thirty pieces of silver, and this led to Jesus' death. After Jesus was arrested, Judas gave the silver away (by throwing it at the priests in the Temple) and then he hanged himself on a tree. Mat got the silver medallion in Eelfland. The price: he was hanged 'for knowledge' on a tree, but he was saved from death by a 'kiss' from Rand (CPR), and he will accidentally betray Rand by giving that piece of silver away, which will lead to Rand's death at Gawyn's hands.

So, how will Gawyn come by the medallion? And what in the bloody hell will Alivia have to do with it?

Well, Mat is in Caemlyn. Or at least, he was. According to Steven Cooper's best estimation, Rand saw Mat in Caemlyn eighteen days before Rand's epiphany on Dragonmount. Verin gave Mat the option of opening the letter and following the instructions after ten days, or waiting in Caemlyn for thirty days. The only reason Mat is reluctant to open the letter is because he's stubborn about doing what an Aes Sedai tells him to, and considering that Thom's patience has got to be wearing thin by now, I'd wager that Mat opens the letter after the ten days. This means that Mat will probably be gone by the time that Rand makes it to Caemlyn.

So, Mat is going to leave the Band in Caemlyn. Why can't he leave his medallion as well?

I'm sure everyone is wondering why the hell he would do that. But there are a couple of good reasons. First off, Elayne is pregnant, which has a tendency to make people over-protective of her. Second, Mat thinks that the 'Finns are tricksters and he probably thinks they will take it back from him if he gives them the chance. He knows they can't channel, so he knows he doesn't need it. He does briefly consider in The Gathering Storm that he might encounter Lanfear, but only to question whether or not he would rescue her if he did encounter her (because she is a prisoner, so it's a reasonable assumption that she would not be in a position to use the Power on him).

He didn't really want to give it up when he offered it to Elayne in Ebou Dar, but Elayne still managed to turn it all around on him:

TITLE - A Crown of Swords
CHAPTER: 38 - Six Stories

He stared straight ahead. Bloody women! Bloody promises. Removing his hat long enough to pull the leather cord from around his neck, he reluctantly shoved it in her direction. The silver foxhead dangled beneath his fist. "You and Nynaeve will have to decide which of you wears this. But I want it back when we leave Ebou Dar. You understand? The moment we leave -"

Suddenly he realized he was walking alone. Turning, he found Elayne standing stock still two paces back, staring at him with Reanne and the rest clustered behind her.

"What's the matter now?" he demanded. "Oh. Yes, I know all about Moghedien." A skinny fellow with red stones on his brass-hoop earrings, bending over a mooring line, jerked around so fast at that name that he pitched over the side with a loud yell and a louder splash. Mat did not care who heard. "Trying to keep her secret - and two of my men dead! - after you promised. Well, we'll talk about that later. I made a promise, too; I promised to keep the pair of you alive. If Moghedien shows up, she'll go after you two. Now, here." He pushed the medallion at her again.

She shook her head slowly in puzzlement, then turned to murmur to Reanne. Only after the older women were on their way toward where Nynaeve stood beckoning them at the head of a flight of boat stairs did Elayne take the foxhead, turning it over in her fingers.

"Do you have any notion what I would have done to have this for study?" she said quietly. "Any notion at all?" She was tall for a woman, but she still had to look up at him. She might never have seen him before. "You are a troublesome man, Mat Cauthon. Lini would say I was repeating myself, but you...!" Expelling her breath, Elayne reached up to pull his hat off and slip the cord over his head. She actually tucked the foxhead into his shirt and patted it before handing him his hat. "I won't wear that while Nynaeve doesn't have one, or Aviendha, and I think they feel the same. You wear it. After all, you can hardly keep your promise if Moghedien kills you. Not that I think she's still here. I think she believes she killed Nynaeve, and I would not be surprised if that was all she came for. You must be careful, though. Nynaeve says there's a storm coming, and she doesn't mean this wind. I... " That faint blush returned to her cheeks. "I am sorry I laughed at you." She cleared her throat, looking away. "Sometimes I forget my duty to my subjects. You are a worthy subject, Matrim Cauthon. I will see that Nynaeve understands the right of... of you and Tylin. Perhaps we can help."

This time, he'll be prepared, with a story about how he needs her to keep it safe for him, and how since she's pregnant she needs it more than anyone else. There are two ways that Elayne might talk him out of giving it to her still: first, her pregnancy seems to interfere with ter'angreal - she can't use the stone ring, for example - and second, she knows from Min's viewing that she will survive to give birth to her babies, unless the Pattern is destroyed, of course. However, I suspect that Elayne will keep silent about these things and graciously consent to keep the medallion safe for Mat while he is at Ghenjei.

Then, after Mat is gone, Egwene will send Gawyn off to Caemlyn (after she bonds him, giving him the bit of extra strength and speed he needs to defeat Rand, of course), and somehow, Alivia will end up in Caemlyn as well. That seems like a pretty random assumption to make...but it's not, really. Ever since Alivia was freed, she has been rather open about hating her captors, particularly the sul'dam. Because Elayne doesn't need the medallion (either because it won't work, or because she believes she is safe until she gives birth), Alivia is the perfect person to give it to. Alivia can unleash massive destruction on the Seanchan while protected by the medallion. There's even a bit of foreshadowing for that:

TITLE - Winter's Heart
CHAPTER: 35 - With the Choedan Kal

"Cadsuane says I must have the ter'angreal, Nynaeve," she said in that soft Seanchan drawl. "Now don't argue; there isn't time. Besides, they are no good to you if you're going to be linked to him."

Maybe Cadsuane will be at the Battle of Caemlyn too! Either way, Alivia will end up with Mat's medallion (which will allow her to do something brave like stand on the city walls and attack without fear of being hit by the Power), and she will die in a blaze of glory, taking out mass numbers of those who made her a slave for over four hundred years. Maybe it will be an arrow that kills her, or maybe an indirect effect of the Power (like how Mat was killed by Rahvin's lightning while wearing it, in Caemlyn incidentally).

And then, Gawyn will take the medallion off of her dead body.

In the meantime, King Arthur (Rand) has returned to Caemlyn to help Elayne fight off the Seanchan (perhaps Alivia came with him).Gawyn finds his way to Rand, one way or another, and kills him, which most likely results in Gawyn's own death, either by another double mortal wound scenario, or simply by the fact that no one will let him live after he kills the only hope of the world against the Shadow. Perrin will not make it to the city before the battle begins, or Gawyn would learn that his mother is still alive (which would prevent him from killing Rand), but I have a feeling that he will be on the outskirts of the city when the battle begins, and that this might have something to do with how the battle is started. Thus, Rand will learn about the battle through Perrin's eyes, and also, Perrin will likely be the one to tell the Seanchan when Rand is dead, because he will see that through Rand's eyes.

Either Alivia's mass destruction or Rand's death (thinking both) will cause the Seanchan to pull back. Still no truce, because Mat is still at Ghenjei, or on the way back maybe, and because Rand is dead. This is the time of Nicola's Foretelling: the great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade.

There are, of course, going to be massive implications when Rand dies. The Aiel might grow restless. The world will surely despair. The 'world not done with battle' might refer to more than just the Last Battle; things could get unbelievably messy after Rand's death. Logain will undoubtedly take command of the Asha'man, finally free of Rand's restrictions on confronting Taim.

But this theory is not about all that. It's just about Gawyn killing Rand. I'm almost done with that bit, but there's one more quote from Lord of Chaos I'd like to throw out there:

TITLE - Lord of Chaos

The lions sing and the hills take flight. The moon by day and the sun by night. Blind woman, deaf man, jackdaw fool. Let the Lord of Chaos rule.

Rand had just conquered Cairhien and Caemlyn, defeating Couladin and Rahvin. That the lions refer to Andor is obvious, and of course Cairhien is built on the highest hill of many on that bank of the Erinin (Al'cair'rahienallen translates to 'Hill of the Golden Dawn').The 'moon by day and the sun by night' might refer to the battle that had just occurred on the docks of Cairhien between Lanfear and Moiraine. The moon connection to Lanfear is obvious, and whether or not you think Moiraine will take the Sun Throne, she is certainly one of the strongest candidates for it, and she fought Lanfear in her home city, not far from the Sun Palace itself.

I think that the 'blind woman' and the 'deaf man' might refer to Egwene and Gawyn: Egwene, who cannot see that Gawyn will betray her, and Gawyn, who will not hear the truth about his mother. The jackdaw fool is most likely Rand, who fled the Aes Sedai in Caemlyn only to land in the jaws of Elaida's trap in Cairhien.

And then there is one more important dream in A Crown of Swords:

TITLE - A Crown of Swords
CHAPTER: 10 - Unseen Eyes

Perhaps it was inevitable she should dream first of Gawyn, because she had been thinking of him.

She stood in a vast, dim chamber where everything was indistinct. Everything except Gawyn, slowly coming toward her. A tall, beautiful man - had she ever thought his half-brother Galad was more beautiful? - with golden hair and eyes of the most wonderful deep blue. He had some distance to cover yet, but he could see her; his gaze was fixed on her like an archer's on the target. A faint sound of crunching and grating hung in the air. She looked down. And felt a scream building in her. On bare feet, Gawyn walked across a floor of broken glass, shards breaking at every slow step. Even in that faint light she could see the trail of blood left by his slashed feet. She flung out a hand, tried to shout for him to stop, tried to run to him, but just that quickly she was elsewhere.

In the way of dreams she floated above a long, straight road across a grassy plain, looking down upon a man riding a black stallion. Gawyn. Then she was standing in the road in front of him, and he reined in. Not because he saw her, this time, but the road that had been straight now forked right where she stood, running over tall hills so no one could see what lay beyond. She knew, though. Down one fork was his violent death, down the other, a long life and a death in bed. On one path, he would marry her, on the other, not. She knew what lay ahead, but not which way led to which. Suddenly he did see her, or seemed to, and smiled, and turned his horse along one of the forks... And she was in another dream. And another. Another. And again.

Perhaps unlike everyone expected, Gawyn will choose the wrong fork.


As an aside, there is also a possibility that the medallion is Brandon's 'small detail' that was introduced in books 4-6 (actually, one quote says 4 and 6, but either way, it works).It would be funny if it is, because Brandon was all worried that we would find out and ruin the story based on him telling us about it.This theory came to my head via completely different means. These are all the quotes on it, in the order that they were given:

The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Chicago Borders 28 October 2009 - Barmacral reporting

Brandon mentioned a tidbit about Towers of Midnight.

There is a very small detail in books 4-6, not sure which one that will end up playing a huge role in Towers of Midnight (might end up being in A Memory of Light, but pretty sure he said Towers of Midnight). This is on a scale of Vin's earring in Mistborn, with how that was such a minor detail touched on in book one, and ended up being the key detail that saved the day in the end. That kind of small detail.

Medallion=small detail that will play a huge role in Towers of Midnight. Vin's earring might actually be a decent comparison (the pieces of silver connection might have inspired that). I don't know that it will 'save the day' (except in the sense that Rand has to die - hence Alivia 'helping' him die), but since this is paraphrased, we don't know that Brandon actually said that. It could be the reporter's impression of what Brandon was getting at.

The Gathering Storm Book Tour, West Charleston Library, Las Vegas 31 October 2009 - Matt Hatch reporting

Here is what he said in Vegas when talking about Towers of Midnight:

"...including one thing is secretly hidden in the books for books and books and books, and I haven't been able to find a hint that any of the fan communities have even gotten a whiff it, which is awesome, because they get a whiff of almost everything. And it is really going to be a shocker when it happens, but it is going to be one of those shockers that people are going to slap their foreheads, why haven't we been talking about this for twelve years..."

Yup, I think this qualifies. Definitely the bit about Gawyn wanting to kill Rand, and needing a way to do it, and the medallion is right there.

The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Sam Weller's Bookstore, Salt Lake City 2 November 2009 - Matt Hatch reporting

Matt: You had a quote that we all talked about just recently, that there is a small detail with this secret thing. There were two quotes we put together where you told somebody from Chicago where you say this detail first comes out between books 4-6. Is that verified?
Answer: It's been going for a long time. Somewhere in four and six the first hints of it are mentioned.
Matt: But that's not the only time it's ever mentioned?
Answer: It's not the only time it's ever mentioned. It is . . . hints about this hidden thing appear in pretty several of the books. It first, somewhere in one of those three is the beginning of where it shows up. The first hint that you get. [...] I mean, it's a small thing that means something large, that sort of thing...and you guys are very good at finding things and I'm not going to say whether you hit it or not.

Brandon says in 'four and six' on this one, but that's okay. The medallion was first introduced in book 4, and all the clues about Gawyn are in book 6. There's nothing particularly important about it in book 5, and the only clue that I used to put together the mystery from before then was the bit in book 2 where Mat goes through the Portal Stone. Of course, the medallion makes an appearance in all of the books except for 8 (and I think it's even mentioned there), and there are big clues about this particular mystery in books 7 and 9 particularly, not counting Gawyn's points of view.

The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Toadstool Book Shop, Milford NH 7 November 2009 - Meg Lurvey reporting

Even Brandon had moments of "Aaaah! I knew it!" He also has had the "wait, really?" moments and often, while going through notes, has said, "Ah, that group is right!" [Referring to groups on the message boards.] He also confided that there is one thing that isn't being discussed on any of the forums yet that will blow our minds when we read it. Yay!

It blew my mind when I came up with it!

The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Union Square Barnes & Noble, NYC 9 November 2009 - Stormleader report

Regarding the notorious clue that everyone has missed, Brandon pinned it down to somewhere between books 4-6 (reread time!). He reiterated how astonished we would be when we found it, but won't get any more specific for fear of ruining our surprise. Also, the "never mentioned" aspect of the clue might not be entirely true, but Brandon himself has never come across it. Maria had a knowing smile at the time, suggesting maybe it has been mentioned. Time will tell.

I sympathize with Brandon's fear, even if the medallion isn't the detail. I'm sort of scared to post this, cause it will ruin a cool surprise for a lot of fans. It would have been a good shocker.:(

The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Union Square Barnes & Noble, NYC 9 November 2009 - Old (Peter) Salt reporting

Q: You mentioned a clue that occurred in books 4-6. What can you tell us about that?
A: Brandon mentioned that he isn't on the web constantly so he can't state for certain whether or not it has been discussed. However he doubts very strongly that it has ever been discussed at length. That being said he did say that he was "very surprised" that it hasn't been discussed. Basically he thought it more important than "who killed Asmodean".

This has most definitely not been discussed at length. Sure, people might have suggested before that Gawyn would kill Rand...but they didn't have the details about the medallion to back it up. It's definitely more important than Asmodean...but everything is more important than Asmodean.

The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Union Square Barnes & Noble, NYC 9 November 2009 - WinespringBrother reporting

I asked a follow up question about the big clue in books 4-6, asking if the clue became more relevant due to events in the later books, and he said that it didn't, and that it's something we should have picked up on when it appeared. He also issued a caveat (that is basically common sense) that it is possible someone discussed this issue at some point on one of the boards and that he didn't see that, but that he has never seen it raised in his lurkings, and that this issue is more important than who killed you-know-who.

Brandon is concerned about the HCFFs digging and digging for the surprise in books 4-6 and ruining it for Towers of Midnight. Also, he stated he never read anyone discussing it but it is possible someone has. Also, it is some puzzle that should have been looked at when it was first revealed. It's bigger than who killed Asmodean, according to Brandon.

If we should have picked up on the medallion when it appeared, then it was due to the Judas parallel, but if this is indeed the overlooked thingy, then I'd guess he's talking more about how we should have connected it to Gawyn.

The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Clayton Books, CA 21 November 2009 - Lauren reporting (via Luckers)

I asked Brandon if he had noticed the important thing in books 4-6 before he started writing WoT. He said no, but he also said that he had never really wondered about Asmodean either until he read about it online. He said that there are other people who are much better at ferreting things out than he is.

Whether or not the medallion is the 'detail', or Gawyn's mission to kill Rand, I figure this is a pretty important overlooked mystery. And it's pretty much huge. And it's definitely coming into play in Towers of Midnight - after all, we know that the Battle of Caemlyn will happen while Mat is at Ghenjei, and we know that we will be seeing more of Elayne and Perrin in this book.

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Tamyrlin: 2010-05-03

Terez - I love Jesus parallels, although I was thinking that you should have gone one step further and suggested that the the Aelfinn and Eelfinn are the Pharisees and Sadducees. All in all, this would be a shocking twist, which most would feel as the premature death of Rand al'Thor from his seemingly predestined meeting with the Dark One. Although, seeing all of those viewings, dreams and foretellings together, it does feel like this is the type of event that Jordan has been foreshadowing for a very long time. If it does turn out to be this or something like this, then the disappearance of Morgase would be THE event that kicked off an amazingly misunderstood death of the Dragon Reborn. I'll let others pull it apart.


terez: 2010-05-03

Thanks Tam.

To add a few things:

1. Elaida's Foretelling about Rand: 'From this day Andor marches toward pain and division......Pain and division come to the whole world, and this man stands at the heart of it.' I believe she meant physically as well as symbolically.

2. Elaida's Foretelling about the royal line of Andor being the 'key': We've suspected for some time that this might not be specific, either to Rand, or in the way that Elaida always interpreted it. Gawyn could be just as important to Rand winning, since the Aelfinn said that Rand must die to live.

3. I made a post at the forums about 'into the heart he thrusts his sword'. I think it refers to Justice, and Tuon, which leads to Tuon being Egwene's Seanchan woman with a sword.


SDog: 2010-05-03

I'm not sold at all on the medallion being the small detail. Brandon implied that we all should have thought of the ultimate use when we first saw it, but that would be completely unexpected. Moreover, with the appearance of Cadsuane's jewelry that does just about the same thing, the importance of the medallion is diminished. All that said, I think this is a pretty good theory that ties in a ton of good stuff. Plot-wise, I assume you're thinking that Rand dies in ToM, then the final book describes how he is brought back to fight the Last Battle?


terez: 2010-05-03

@SDog - if we should have picked up on its importance when it first appeared, it should have been via the Judas parallel. There was enough info at the time to make that connection, and enough to connect it to Gawyn in book 6. And yeah, I figure Towers of Midnight will end with Rand dead and Tuon drawing the sword.


terez: 2010-05-03

Also, I have changed my mind about the sword. Egeanin, who will 'follow after' Tuon, will probably draw it out, and bring it to Tuon not to redeem herself, but because she honestly believes that it is Tuon's rightful property. That makes more sense, because it was hard to see how Tuon could get on the field to take the sword from Rand's body, and also because she is the Empress and she doesn't follow after anybody.


Ann Kalagon: 2010-05-03

Currently reading WoT for the second time, and I have become increasingly troubled by what role Gawyn will play, in light of the quote at Dumai's Wells and Egwene's dreams, etc. This ties up the danger very well and I think you might have hit it on the head. Neat comparisons to Arthurian legend.


Wetlandernw: 2010-05-03

terez, it's a well-thought-out theory. I'm not entirely convinced, but if you're right I'll certainly up the kudos to you! :) A couple of quibbles... why go through Alivia to get the medallion to Gawyn? Why wouldn't Elayne just give it to him straight off? In this scenario, they would obviously be fighting damane and Gawyn would have NO protection. Being her beloved brother, and since she obviously couldn't be out there in any useful capacity, if the medallion were in her possession I'd see her giving it to him in half a heartbeat. Also, for purposes of getting to Caemlyn, if Egwene is sending him he wouldn't be riding - she'd open a gateway for him to Travel straight there.


Sulin: 2010-05-04

Wow, my mind is blown, I need to process this for a while. I have the same questions as wetlandernw asked, as well.


Jianna: 2010-05-04

Very impressive! I especially enjoyed your detailed linking with legends... Kudos! And even if it doesn't turn out the way you have imagined... well, let me go on record as saying your theory makes for one hell of a story! My only real quibble is the Morgase factor. We know from TGS that Rand is now aware that Morgase is still alive. In fact, his reaction was rather marked, considering that he was marching steadily toward his own emotional [em]nadir[/em] at the time. Now, in the aftermath of Dragonmount, don't you think that one thing pretty high on his "to do" list would be to get Morgase to Caemlyn as soon as possible ? I mean, [em]via[/em] Gateway. For love of Elayne, if nothing else. I mean, what greater gift could he give Elayne than to reunite her with her mother? And if so, then if Gawyn goes to Caemlyn as you have theorized... problem solved! My only real quibble is the Morgase factor. We know from TGS that Rand is now aware that Morgase is still alive. In fact, his reaction was rather marked, considering that he was marching steadily toward his own emotional nadir at the time. Now, in the aftermath of Dragonmount, don't you think that one thing pretty high on his "to do" list would be to get Morgase to Caemlyn as soon as possible? For love of Elayne, if nothing else. I mean, what greater gift could he give Elayne than to reunite her with her mother?


terez: 2010-05-04

@Ann:thanks for reading!

@Wetlandernw:I'm not exactly sure why Elayne wouldn't give the medallion to Gawyn, but I suspect it might have something to do with them quarreling over Rand. I imagine that they will have some sort of plan for keeping him safe, but I'm reluctant to say exactly what. Also, I'm not sure what you're getting at with the riding thing. He can bring his horse through a gateway.

@Jianna:Rand knows about Morgase, but I don't think Rand will be there when the battle begins. He might simply learn about it through Perrin's eyes, and if Elayne is in danger, then I doubt that bringing Morgase will be on the top of his priority list. Gawyn has been irrational so far when it comes to Rand, and I expect it to continue; he certainly wouldn't take Rand's word for Morgase, and it would be difficult for Rand to find her during the battle when everything is confused. Sure, there are several ways that Gawyn could learn about Morgase, but this is the sort of irony that is common to tragedies; I expect that Morgase will be very nearby when Gawyn kills Rand.


WinespringBrother: 2010-05-04

This theory certainly covers a lot of ground, with a lot of limbs being strolled on. I gave it a decent rating, but I think there are too many possible alternate outcomes for it to all come to pass, and a decent chance that 90% of it is a miss. Very well thought out though. I would like to see a more direct link between Alivia's role in your theory and Min's viewing of her part in Rand's death. As for the opening poem in LOC, I had seen it theorized and tend to agree that the Woman and Man were Elaida not seeing the threat of the Black Tower) and Pedron (not hearing about events in a timely manner), who made big missteps in that volume, and were probably more relevant to the whole Lord of Chaos theme. I also disagree with the BUT detail, since I think Rand knows about the flaw in Mat's ter'angreal, having witnessed Mat's death by lightning in FOH. Rand would have to be pretty foolish to get in a sword duel with Gawyn, and not use the OP to protect himself in the very least, and I don't see him channeling to try to kill Gawyn in any event.


terez: 2010-05-04

@WSB - thanks for rating it before you bothered to get answers to your questions.


terez: 2010-05-04

To actually address your comments now that I'm less annoyed about the 'decent rating' and the implicit condescension:

You won't get a more direct link to Min's viewing about Alivia, because all Min said was that Alivia would 'help' Rand die. We can't magically make it to where she told us more than that. Part of what makes my theory convincing is that it won't be anything like we, or Rand, expected. That is, it won't be anything premeditated at all. Without Alivia to provide the opportunity for Gawyn to get the medallion, then Gawyn will not attack or challenge Rand, because he does not trust Rand to not use the Power on him. There is basis for Alivia doing this simply in the fact that she seems destined to use what her captors taught her about war against them. It is one of the very few themes of her character. Another theme of her character is that she is the strongest of the female channelers, and therefore always the one who ends up with the 'angreal in battle. Another theme of her character is that she was a damane for four hundred years, and many of her mannerisms are childlike, which would extend to a fondness for toys. That sums up absolutely everything we know about Alivia. There is nothing else to her character, except the fact that she has a tendency to talk down those that she can talk down, and show respect to those she can't talk down. With my theory, everything we know about Alivia serves a purpose.

As for the 'blind woman, deaf man' bit...I think that Egwene/Gawyn are more central to the entire series, and therefore the more likely interpretation, especially considering that most of the evidence for this theory was given in Lord of Chaos. Also, I think they are quite central to the theme of Lord of Chaos, since Gawyn was involved in Rand's kidnapping (though he was kept in the dark about some details until shortly before Dumai's Wells). 'Deaf man' also applies much better to someone who refuses to see the truth than to someone who simply doesn't get information in time, and even though Elaida's plans for kidnapping Rand were central to the book, she did not order the attack on the Black Tower until A Crown of Swords, and she wasn't seen in Lord of Chaos at all.

Finally, it is highly unlikely that Rand will have any clue that Gawyn is wearing the medallion. They will simply duel as swordsmen, blaemaster vs. blademaster. Rand's two never-healing wounds were both received from two of the obvious Mordred parallels (Moridin and Mordeth), and they were both received right after Rand had a battle with another blademaster (Turak at Falme, and Toram Riatin at the rebel camp). With Gawyn, Mordred and the blademaster will be one and the same. Rand will not have any idea that Gawyn is wearing the medallion until he uses the Power to try to prevent Gawyn from killing him, and it doesn't work. There is a great deal of talk about how much better Gawyn has gotten with the sword, and of course Rand just lost a hand. Also, Galad dueled a blademaster to avenge Morgase (who was not actually dead, though Valda did rape her, and that made Galad's revenge worth something), and Gawyn will also duel a blademaster to avenge Morgase.

I don't really care much whether or not it is Brandon's overlooked detail. I just thought it worth pointing out that it was a hugely overlooked mystery, and that pretty much all of the evidence for it was given in books 4 and 6, especially 6.


Wetlandernw: 2010-05-04

Sorry, terez. I'd have to go back through the whole thing to find the bit that gave me the idea you were talking about Gawyn riding from Tar Valon to Caemlyn. Possibly I read it wrong; IIRC, it was getting kinda late at the time. I just was left with an impression that some of this was going to come off as theorized based on Gawyn arriving late to the battle because he was travelling instead of Travelling. I apologize; I read the "replies" but don't really have the wherewithall to go back and read the whole post. If you say you never meant for Gawyn to be riding, but assumed he would Gate there, we'll reduce it to a single quibble. ;) I still don't understand why it's important for Gawyn to get the medallion from Alivia rather than from Elayne directly; is that purely to check off the "she will help him die" prophecy? If so, it seems to me that there are plenty of other ways that could be fulfilled. JMHO.


terez: 2010-05-04

@Wetlandernw - I'm not all that sure how Gawyn will get to Caemlyn, or under what circumstances. I just know that he will get there, and that they won't have a chance to prove to him that his mother is still alive, or that Rand didn't kill her. As for why the medallion is important: it solves three things at once. First, how Gawyn could kill Rand when Gawyn has no special powers. Second, how the Judas parallel with Mat will be completed (that was my favorite part of the theory, I think). And third, how Alivia's plotline will be resolved. See my previous post to WSB on the Alivia bit (at least, I think I covered it there - can't see the comment yet). Yeah, she COULD help Rand die in other ways, but I don't think it all that likely. Everything about her fits this.


Wetlandernw: 2010-05-05

terez - Re: Gawyn riding or Traveling, maybe I was picking up on the "Gawyn arrives too late to find out Morgase is alive before the fighting starts" - or maybe I was trying to fit in Alivia having the medallion (instead of Gawyn) from the get-go. I perfectly understand why Gawyn having the medallion is important; I'm just unclear on why, in terms of the theory, it's important for Alivia to have it first and Gawyn to get it off her. I guess there's sort of an "unwitting betrayal" motif to the theory, so it fits there: first Mat and then Alivia (but what about Elayne?) giving up the medallion so that it ends up with the worst possible person. Just saying, on first read I thought it weakened the theory; it seemed to be stretching too far, bringing in a character who is essentially irrelevant to the basis of the theory. ::shrug::


terez: 2010-05-05

She's not exactly irrelevant to the basis of the theory, though, because we know she's going to help Rand die. If Gawyn is going to kill Rand (which is getting more and more clear to me), then there is another mystery to be solved: how will Alivia help Rand die? I feel that my explanation best fits the evidence because it encompasses every aspect of her character, and also because it solves two other problems: how Gawyn will gain the confidence to challenge Rand, and how Mat's Judas parallel will be satisfied (because the Judas parallel falls flat if Mat does not in some way contribute to Rand's death). I can understand why it seems like a stretch, but I think it is better supported than any other theory concerning Alivia, and it only serves the purpose of answering the Alivia question that remains once it is determined that Gawyn will kill Rand. Yes, there might be some other way that Gawyn could get the medallion without Alivia's help, but the evidence suggests that he will not, and that he will get it via Alivia. Yes, Alivia might help Rand die in some other way, but if Gawyn is to kill Rand, then the possibilities on how she might help are limited.

Incidentally, I also just discovered that Gawain's power waxes and wanes with the sun, and that his power is strongest at noon.


WinespringBrother: 2010-05-05

I actually like the theory, and did say it was well thought out. It certainly gives more relevance to the long-running Morgase subplot. It would have been stronger if you left out the part about Min's viewing about Alivia's assistance turning into Gawyn looting Alivia's corpse for the ter'angreal- a sequence which does not seem likely - Gawyn taking a piece of jewelry that he has no clue about the significance of from the dead body of a stranger.


terez: 2010-05-05

Why would it be stronger for that? There is nothing to say that Gawyn will not learn what the ter'angreal does, so that objection seems to be a bit misplaced. The question of how Alivia will help Rand die has to be answered in some way. If you don't like my explanation, fine, but it doesn't make the theory that Gawyn will kill Rand any weaker.


Sulin: 2010-05-05

@WSB - Perhaps Gawyn will observe Alivia survive an otherwise fatal attack from the OP, or something along those lines. When she finally does fall,(for whatever reason), he simply takes the amulet for himself, seeing how it could help protect him against Rand's channeling. :)


WinespringBrother: 2010-05-06

The whole "helping Rand die" scenario makes me think of assisted suicide, which makes sense if Rand is planning on deceiving the Shadow into believing he is dead and out of play for the Last Battle.


terez: 2010-05-06

All the wording really suggests is that Alivia will be doing Rand a favor by helping him die. It need not be deliberate at all.


Davian93: 2010-05-06

Greatest theory in TL History. I bow to your brilliance, T. Its a longshot and it depends on a lot of IFs but there are no huge holes in it and it fits the requirements of the "small detail" perfectly. Good job. -Dav :)


Marie Curie 7: 2010-05-06

Cool theory! I think most of us have always considered Gawyn to be an annoying, stupid character who believed some rumors early on about Rand killing Morgase and has never been able to get over it. He wouldn't believe Egwene. Gawyn even swore not to lay a hand a Rand until Egwene had a chance to prove that Rand didn't kill Morgase. And he still doesn't believe it, and he seems to have forgotten his promise to Egwene, because he is still vehement about killing Rand in TGS:

TITLE: Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 30 - Old Advice

"They are my men," Gawyn said simply. Or, at least, they were. Either way, he had had enough of being pushed around by circumstances and wars. He would give no loyalty to the White Tower, but neither would he offer it to these rebels. Egwene and Elayne held his heart and his honor. And if he couldn't give it to them, he would give it to Andor - and the entire world - by hunting down Rand al'Thor and seeing him dead.

Rand al'Thor. Gawyn didn't believe Bryne's defense of the man. Oh, he believed that Bryne meant what he said - but he was mistaken. It could happen to the best of people, taken in by the charisma of a creature like al'Thor. He had fooled Elayne herself. The only way to help any of them would be to expose this Dragon and dispose of him.

He doesn't even believe Gareth Bryne! And he thinks that Elayne has been fooled. Only Gawyn knows the truth!

Anyway, looking back, it seems that RJ has been setting Gawyn up for this for a long time. Rand has the Power, and he is a blademaster, but he has a disadvantage now as a result of losing his hand. Gawyn, on the other hand, has been growing in skill at the blade, as we learn in TGS. So with the medallion and his skill with the sword, he will be able to finally see Rand dead...

There are lots of connections between Gawyn and the Arthurian knight Gawain, but we know RJ always twists myths and legends, so I like the twist in the connection between Gawyn and the Mordred role. I never would have thought of the Judas connection between Mat and the silver medallion, though...


PopNLocknessMonster: 2010-05-06

Mat's medal only protects against Saidar if i'm not mistaken, and then only in a direct way. I don't see how that would protect him from Rand in any way. I definately think Gawyn and Rand will clash, I think Gawyn might end up on the wrong end of that though.


Wetlandernw: 2010-05-06

PopNLocknessMonster - No, we know for a fact that Mat's medallion also negates flows of saidin. When Halima tries to channel at him in Salidar (and we know she uses saidin, because she's Balthamel rebodied) he feels the medallion go cold and sees the shock on her face. So yes, it certainly could protect Gawyn against Rand channelling saidin. We have no idea, as far as I know, whether it also blocks weaves of the True Power; IIRC, there have been strong suggestions that it might not. I believe that's based on the knowledge that the Far Madding ter'angreal cannot stop the True Power, and assuming that the medallions function on the same principle as the FM ter'angreal.


PillowFriends: 2010-05-07

I agree that Gawyn will kill Rand, but I think it will be because Rand will hesitate at the last second because of his connection to Egwene and Elayne, missing his chance at a killing blow and receiving one, instead. We've seen Rand's "weakness" in this respect before. Alivia could help Rand die by reminding him of this somehow during the heat of the battle with Gawyn. Great theory, though!


Aemon: 2010-05-11

I like this Theory quit a bit, I have always thought that Gawyn had a bigger part to play before we were finished. My only real fault comes from the "Matt will betray Rand" scenario. I can see were you can draw that conclusion, but with matt going to Ruiden in TGS, He sidestepped his fate, that was fore tolled for him. Plus with only 2 books left the rift that it would cause between Rand and Matt wouldnt be able to be resolved in time. I actually think if its a betrayal it would be him being the Prince of Ravens, although I have always thought that it will be Matt who brings the peace between the 2 empires. maybe he returns from the tower just in time :)


shauna: 2010-05-15

My first thoughts about this theory are with Mat--I thought that flicker moments from the Portal Stone transfer are from lives lived in other realities/worlds. Worlds that are very similar to the one we know, but with minor (and major) differences. For Rand, they all ended with Ishamael whispering "I won again Lews Therin." LTT won in the WoT that we are familiar with, or the DO would have broken the wheel and remade the pattern. [Presumably, Rand and company will win again (even Rand is killed by Gawyn) to keep the Wheel turning.] My point is that while Mat did betray Rand in the flickers that he experienced, he will not in the current one in the same lines that LTT won. Thoughts?


Marie Curie 7: 2010-05-16

"My first thoughts about this theory are with Mat--I thought that flicker moments from the Portal Stone transfer are from lives lived in other realities/worlds. Worlds that are very similar to the one we know, but with minor (and major) differences. For Rand, they all ended with Ishamael whispering "I won again Lews Therin." LTT won in the WoT that we are familiar with, or the DO would have broken the wheel and remade the pattern. [Presumably, Rand and company will win again (even Rand is killed by Gawyn) to keep the Wheel turning.] My point is that while Mat did betray Rand in the flickers that he experienced, he will not in the current one in the same lines that LTT won. Thoughts?"

Just because Ishamael repeated "I have won again, Lews Therin" in those many lives, that doesn't necessarily mean that the Dark One broke free. From an interview with RJ:

------- chat 1 January 2000

Q: When Rand takes Verin and the others through a portal stone in The Great Hunt, at the end of each life he hears "I have won again Lews Therin". I thought that if the Dark One won even once the Wheel would be broken and therefore the Dragon would not be reborn again. How could the Dark One have won before to be able to say "again"?

RJ: There are degrees of victory. The Dark One can achieve victory by breaking free, but can also achieve lesser victories. Such as by stopping the Dragon Reborn from doing other things he was born to do. It isn't as simple as him being born to fight The Dark One. It's never simple.

"I like this Theory quit a bit, I have always thought that Gawyn had a bigger part to play before we were finished. My only real fault comes from the "Matt will betray Rand" scenario. I can see were you can draw that conclusion, but with matt going to Ruiden in TGS, He sidestepped his fate, that was fore tolled for him. Plus with only 2 books left the rift that it would cause between Rand and Matt wouldnt be able to be resolved in time. I actually think if its a betrayal it would be him being the Prince of Ravens, although I have always thought that it will be Matt who brings the peace between the 2 empires. maybe he returns from the tower just in time :)"

You've got it backwards about Mat. If he DIDN'T go to Rhuidean, he would have sidestepped his fate and would have been killed:

TITLE: Shadow Rising
CHAPTER: 19 - Into the Doorway

"Burn your soul for a craven heart," Mat growled, "I will that! Why will I die if I do not go to Rhuidean? I very likely will die if I try. It makes no ---"

The man cut him off and spoke hurriedly. "You will have sidestepped the thread of fate, left your fate to drift on the winds of time, and you will be killed by those who do not want that fate fulfilled. Now, go. You must go! Quickly!"

Anyway, while I'm sure that Mat will feel awful about indirectly 'betraying' Rand by giving Elayne the medallion, I kind of doubt that Rand will hold it against him. Rand will probably be a bit busy with the Last Battle to think too much about it. And no doubt Mat as Prince of the Ravens will have some role to play when Randland and Seanchan join together against the Shadow.


PillowFriends: 2010-05-17

shauna wrote: "[Presumably, Rand and company will win again (even Rand is killed by Gawyn) to keep the Wheel turning.]"

I'm not sure what evidence points to this presumption. Brandon Sanderson stated in his blog on June 12, 2009, that the DO not only is capable of destroying the Wheel, but that this series could very well end that way.


terez: 2010-05-17

@PF - RJ stated that there is nothing special about this Turning of the Wheel, for one. For another, since it's a fantasy series, it's pretty safe to say that the Dark One won't win. Brandon also refuses to confirm that Lanfear=Cyndane. ;)


Chang: 2010-05-19

I would think that the overlooked clue is about the Broken Crown. We've certainly overlooked it before. I think that will become very important since that is what the B-landers will offer to Rand to unite them and so make the North and East one (I think Rand might then giver it to Perrin). Nice theory though; I fully expect Gawyn to act like an idiot and killing Rand right after rand becomes sane would be a good way to do it.


PillowFriends: 2010-05-19


Of course RJ will say that, he doesn't want to give everything away. We do both agree that the DO wont win (assuming he really is evil), but I'm sure this Turning is different. Whether Rand somehow destroys the DO, whether the Pattern is destroyed (freeing mankind and giving them true free will), etc. Something will be different. Otherwise, what would be the point of spending 15 years of one's life reading something we already know the outcome of???


jak o shadows: 2010-05-21

This is a good theory and certainly got me thinking, In my own head I have thought that it is Rand's body that will die and not his soul. I think there is more to his link with moridin than just allowing him to access the true power. We have seen that souls can be moved into new bodies. I thing Rand and Moridin will swap during their confrontation and that Alivia, being aware of what is happening will blast Rand killing Moridin's soul and allowing Rand to live in a shiny new body free of the wounds and the missing arm. I have absolutely no evidence of this though.

I also cannot see Rand fighting Gawyn, i'd imaging him allowing Gawyn to strike him down rather than kill the brother of one of his loves.


Noam: 2010-05-31

Do you suppose that it might be possible for Rand to die in ToM but be brought back as needed in AMoL with the Horn of Valere?


knightofround: 2010-06-07

Well this theory is a really cool idea, and well researched, so I definitely gotta give you props for that.

However, the core of this theory is that the Wheel of Time is essentially an Arthurian tale. And I just can't buy that. Sure, there's a lot of parallels between Andor and Camelot...but Rand makes a very poor Arthur. He's born-to-save-the-world, not born-to-unite-the-land, and he has no round table...he insists on doing everything solo whenever he can. Elayne makes a very poor Guinevere. She actually has spirit and is powerful in her own right, and she hasn't been having an affair. And Gawyn makes a very poor Mordred; he's not a bastard, he doesn't have the hots for Elayne, he didn't rule over a nation while Rand was away, and he's actually a really good swordsman (whereas Mordred was so-so, he was more into politics and black magic aka saidin)

Another thing to consider is that he's had not one, but two opportunities to kill Rand. And he didn't act on it. Perhaps finding Elayne preggers with Rand's child would drive him insane, but from what we've seen from his character, its very clear that his motivation comes from 1. Egwene 2. Elayne, and neither of them are going to let him kill Rand. He's put his duty towards those two above revenge against Rand, and we haven't seen anything to suggest that will change. When he heard his mother was dead and Rand had Camelyn, he didn't race there...he stayed with the tower. There's always the chance that Egwene could spurn him, of course, but I find that very unlikely. Especially now that Morgase has revealed her true identity, since they have gateways open to them she's probably going to get to Camelyn very soon.

Tying together the "die twice" prophecy with the medallion is very clever idea. And I'm not ruling out that the medallion is the "big thing" However your theory depends upon a lot of things. First, Mat has to give it to Elayne because she's preggers. He's always been loathe to give it up except that one time she was in immediate personal danger. Still, not impossible. Then, Elayne has to give it to Aliva. Which is a big stretch imo. We don't even know if wearing the medallion will allow individuals to use the OP. And there's really no reason for Elayne to give it to Aliva, Elayne simply does not trust her. And the last link, Aliva giving it to Gawyn is an even larger stretch. The two of them have no relationship to each other at all. And remember, its *Aliva* thats going to help Rand die. There was never anything in Gawyn's aura, foretelling, and dreams that linked Gawyn to Rand. The evidence you provided about Andor being important are far more likely to deal with Rand being from Tigrane's blood and being raised in Andor. Not to mention the other two ta'veran born there, plus the skirt-adjusting triad and Min.

Also, alot of the other stuff just doesn't make sense. Why would the Seanchan attack Andor? They tried negotiating with Morgase. They have far easier targets to go after; Arad Doman, Murandy, and Ghealdan.

I mean don't get me wrong, I think you have a really cool idea. But I think it involves a bit too much wishful you want Gawyn to kill Rand, and so went about trying to find evidence to support it. Like that bit of Morgause+Damodred=Mordred was a very nice find...but that doesn't point to Gawyn killing Rand, so much as Gawyn being a traitor. (Which we already know he is, first turning against his teachers, then turning against his duty to Andor in favor of Egwene, and most recently by betraying the tower to join the rebels)


Shaltilyena: 2010-06-07


I'm kinda new here, so I haven't had time to go through the whole website but... I read your theory and kinda liked it.

I'm currently re-reading the whole series, and I happened on that point, which might just fit on your theory.

You see, some people assume that Egwene will set gawyn straight once and for all. Or be there to use the warder bond you have mentionned to compel him (we know it's possible) not to do it.


The Dragon Reborn Chapter 23 - Sealed First paragraph

Egwene stepped out of the silver arch cold and stiff with anger. She wanted the iciness of anger to counter the searing of memory. Her body remembered burning, but other memories scored and scorched more deeply. Anger [b]cold as death[/b]. "Is that all there is for me?" she demanded. [b]"To abandon him again and again. To betray him, fail him, again and again? Is that what there is for me?"[/b].

Abandoning him / failing him. Bonding gawyn, giving him the strength to kill rand, failing him. Not restraining him. Abandoning rand to death at gawyn's hand.

Well, I may be wrong. But it's one more piece of the puzzle that may just fit there, IMO.


Marie Curie 7: 2010-06-13

"However, the core of this theory is that the Wheel of Time is essentially an Arthurian tale. And I just can't buy that. Sure, there's a lot of parallels between Andor and Camelot...but Rand makes a very poor Arthur. He's born-to-save-the-world, not born-to-unite-the-land, and he has no round table...he insists on doing everything solo whenever he can. Elayne makes a very poor Guinevere. She actually has spirit and is powerful in her own right, and she hasn't been having an affair. And Gawyn makes a very poor Mordred; he's not a bastard, he doesn't have the hots for Elayne, he didn't rule over a nation while Rand was away, and he's actually a really good swordsman (whereas Mordred was so-so, he was more into politics and black magic aka saidin)"

You seem to have sort of missed the point of Terez's theory and the way that RJ used our myths and legends in WoT. He called it 'reverse engineering'. RJ did not use direct parallels with Arthurian legends in the Wheel of Time - he twisted the legends, giving characteristics of certain Arthurian characters to a variety of Wheel of Time characters. The idea is that since time is cyclic, our myths and legends have come from actual events that happened in Rand's time but muddled through the millennia, and vice versa. And RJ did not use only Arthurian legend, of course, but also Norse mythology and Native American tales and on and on. Thus, Rand is Arthur but so is Artur Hawkwing. Merlin is found in Thom Merrilin and Moiraine and the Amyrlin Seat. And Rand not only has aspects of Arthur but also of Thor, and Mat is Odin and the coyote/trickster and many others.

Here are a couple of comments that RJ made about it (just two of many):

---- chat 14 November 2000

Fetch: Did you draw on folklore and mythologies for your books? Specifically, Mat as a parallel to Odin, with his spear that has Thought and Memory on it (Odin's ravens) and the distinct possibility that he's gonna lose an eye sometime soon?
RJ: I've tried to reverse engineer myths and legends as if this was a game of whispers. By the time the whispers travels around the room it changes. The legends of the world today are what the last child said. I'm trying to remember what was on the original paper. Yes, Odin...Yes, Rand has Arthur in him. But the stories have changed so the legends are ultimately not at all alike.

Robert Jordan in the Netherlands: Leiden, April 2001

I don't know how it in other places, but the best known legend for the american audience, that I had in mind ... when I wrote this for ... that legend is King Arthur. I would imagine that more people know the complete story of King Arthur and Guenever and the round table and the whole nine yards than know any other myth or legend, or perhaps more than know all the other myths put together. Now there are Arthurian elements in these books, but I had to try to bury them, for that reason, make them not so readily apparent. And while I had a particular part of the Arthurian legend mentioned from the first book, it was not until the third book that people began to realize what it was. In fact my editor, who is my wife, and who is a very very sharp woman uhm, had edited the book and was writing the first version of the flap copy for the book, when she suddenly shouted down the stairs to me (if you're young, forgive me): [loud] You son of a bitch, you've done it it to me again! [laughter] Because she had suddenly spotted, not until reaching this... not until reaching the cover flap, she suddenly spotted by a ... chance connection of words, this one particular Arthurian thing. [Jordan never mentioned what this was, but the logical option is of course Callandor.] And that you see, to me it's very obvious that the Arthur Legend and all of the others are in there.
Nynaeve is the name of the nymph who in some versions of the Arthur Legend, imprisoned Merlin. Amyrlin is of course a play on Merlin, as is Thom Merrilin, a play on Merlin, and Rand al'Thor is a play on Arthur, as well as on Thor, but then so is Arthur Hawkwing a play on Arthur, because as I said before it's not a retelling of the myths... As things are done by in the myth, in the legend, if things were done by one man, were actually in both done by several perhaps and had become inflated in time. But the names come from everywhere. I read the ... in the New York times, or the London Times, or something mis-seen on the street, I see, I catch a sign from the corner of my eye, and I misread a word on the sign because I only see it out of the corner of my eyes. And I jot it down, because it sounded like a good name.


So the point is that RJ's characters need not have all the characteristics or traits of the Arthurian characters, but they generally have some, and other traits are spread out to some of the other characters. So saying something like this is not really pertinent to the Arthurian parallels in WoT:

"Rand makes a very poor Arthur. He's born-to-save-the-world, not born-to-unite-the-land, and he has no round table...he insists on doing everything solo whenever he can."

Rand's character includes elements of Arthur such as being raised in ignorance of his heritage, drawing the sword from the Stone, and a host of other things. And he also obviously has ties to the Fisher King legends as the king that is one with the land. It isn't necessary for him to embody every trait of Arthur.

"Elayne makes a very poor Guinevere. She actually has spirit and is powerful in her own right, and she hasn't been having an affair."

There are other Guinevere figures in WoT, though, most importantly Egwene. Elayne actually has at least one strong parallel with the Arthurian character Morgause as a result of Rand's worry about how closely he and Elayne are related. Elayne was abducted (by the Black Ajah), though, as Guinevere was. And in another twist of legend, so was Rand/Arthur.

"And Gawyn makes a very poor Mordred; he's not a bastard, he doesn't have the hots for Elayne, he didn't rule over a nation while Rand was away, and he's actually a really good swordsman (whereas Mordred was so-so, he was more into politics and black magic aka saidin)"

Gawyn has many parallels to Gawain from Arthurian legend; however, again there are many Mordred figures in WoT, including Ishamael/Moridin, Fain/Mordeth, and perhaps Demandred. Gawyn doesn't have the hots for Elayne but rather for Egwene (another WoT Guinevere figure).

These are only a very few of the Arthurian parallels in the Wheel of Time. There are many more. I would suggest reading the 13th Depository's essays (part 1 and part 2) on the parallels as a start if you are interested in others.


jak o shadows: 2010-06-24

I am doing a re-read of the Gathering Storm and there are a couple of things that call into question your theory. Firstly there is the part where Rand is telling Min about his resident kinslayer, and swears that he will never hurt the people he loves like telemon did. We all know that Rand keeps his promises no mater what it costs him. This I think backs up my earlier point that there is no way Rand would fight Gawyn, he would prefer to let him strike him down than to turn Gawyn all crispy and thereby hurt Elayne.It just isn't the way of the Rand.

That isn't to say that Gwayn won't have a go. He does think that Rand should be put down for the good of all. However he did promise not to kill Rand without proof that he Killed Morgase. As Rand didn't kill her this may proove a bit difficult. I think it more likely he will see Rand, go bizerk, start to attack. Rand will be all zen like in his new integrated state and will not fight back and Gawyn having some honour left will not be able to do it. As knightofround said he will realise he is a traitor to everything he believed in and cannot even keep his word. As opposed to Rand, the monster as Gawyn thinks, who would let himself be killed because of a promise to himself. That kind of revelation will be pretty hard on Gawyn, to put it mildly. Who is the monster now prince boy.


lurk: 2010-06-24

Terez, loved the read! A lot of effort on your side too. Kudos well earned. What I miss is that Tam mentions to Rand in Tear that Morgase is alive and with Perrin. So at that time it is well known in Perrins company. I doubt very much that Caddie and her crew (including Nynaeve, Min and Alivia) do not know that Morgase is alive, They did pick Tam up...

So it would be logical that this news will reach Caemlyn one way or another if the big battle is there. So Gawyn would learn of this before he does his killing of Rand.

There is enough in your theory to support Rand being killed by Gawyn though. But I doubt it will be in the battle of Caemlyn


knightofround: 2010-06-28

Marie Curie 7,

I am well aware that RJ drew on modern mythologies for his books. Every artist needs something to work with, especially with a massive tome of this size.

That doesn't mean that events are going to come to fruition just because they did in a myth. This "Gawyn kills Rand" theory places a heavy emphasis of the Arthurian myth having primacy over all other myths. And not only that, it involves plucking *very specific elements* from Arthurian myths that have not been used in the series thus far. Gawyn's character is a betrayer; he has that element of the Mordred myth within him. That doesn't mean his ultimate fate is going to be killing the Rand/Arthurian figure...anymore than he's going to lust after an already wed woman.

This entire theory is an exercise in assuming Randland=Arthurian Legend, and then afterwards searching through the text to find evidence to support the theory. It's done backwards.


terez: 2010-07-03


This is one of the most common arguments I've seen against this theory, that it's somehow against the rules to use the mythologies that RJ drew from as evidence for a theory. The argument lacks logic, and I will get to why in a minute, but for now, check out Brandon's Twitter/Facebook post on Gawyn as a character, which I will quote here:


Some interesting reading if you're thinking/talking about Gawyn as a character can be found here:

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

from the comments:

One other way to think of it is thus: The Wheel will keep on turning, and the Age that we live in (or like unto it) will someday arrive. Legends from what is happening in these books will have survived, and become the Arthur legends during our day. Or, in other cases, stories of other characters have survived in other mythologies. (Look up the Slavic god Perun sometime.)

Perrin is not a god, nor is Gawyn the knight of that story I linked. But perhaps someone who lived long ago, in another Age, gave birth to rumors about a young nobleman who made a mistake, and bore the weight of that sin for the rest of his days. And that gave birth to stories, which in turn inspired a poet to write a tale.


The implication is and always has been that RJ has drawn from the myths and legends of our world and has adapted them in such a way that it is at least somewhat feasible that our myths and legends could be garbled misremembrances of the events of WoT. In other words, a reading of Gawain and the Green Knight will not tell you what will happen in WoT. However, it is possible to look at these legends for similarities to events in WoT, and when you look, you will find many parallels, and many things that might be clues to future events, such as I have done in this theory, and such as other WoT fans have done in their research on the subject.

I haven't favored Arthurian legend over other mythologies; in fact, the theory has a great deal to do with Jesus parallels. I know that the characters have various parallels, but I think that the matter of Rand's death will primarily be recognizable to Westerners as Arthurian and Christian in nature. RJ drew from many other things, but even in the real world, these stories of gods and super-human kings and warriors and nobles are very similar. The characters have various parallels to various things, but very nearly all of the prominent characters have at least one Arthurian parallel (with the notable exception of Mat and Perrin, and I think those two are paralleled to Judas and Peter respectively, though Mat being loyal would never willingly betray Rand...that is just another aspect of RJ twisting the mythology). Part of that is simply because there are so many characters that have been used in the various versions of the legends over the centuries, which gave RJ a variety to choose from, an entire framework to adapt and twist (which is a bit more of a challenge than a single adaptation).

In the same vein, Gawain did not kill King Arthur in the legends...not in any of them that I know of, though in some he was a contributor to the chain of events that led to Arthur's death, and in one he visited Arthur in a dream as a ghost or something and warned Arthur that he would die if he took the field against Mordred the next day (Gawain was already dead). And of course, Arthur is not only Rand, but also Hawkwing, and by extension Tuon, since she rules the Empire and supposedly represents Hawkwing in the field. The theory is not using Arthurian legend to determine what might happen in WoT so much as using events in WoT, foreshadowing and other clues in WoT, prophecies in WoT, Jesus parallels, and Arthurian parallels to determine what might happen in WoT. There is a rather large difference between those two things.Take the words of Thom, for example:


TITLE - The Shadow Rising
CHAPTER: 20 - Winds Rising

"How can you look at these dolphins and be unhappy, Thom?"

"They are free," he murmured, in such a tone that she was not sure he was answering her. "They have no decisions to make, no prices to pay. Not a worry in the world, except finding fish to eat. And sharks, I suppose. And lionfish. And likely a hundred more things I don't know. Perhaps it is not such an enviable life at that."

"Do you envy them?" He did not answer, but that was the wrong question anyway. She needed to make him smile again. No, laugh. For some reason she was sure if she could make him laugh, she would remember where she had seen him before. She chose another topic, one that should be nearer his heart. "Do you mean to compose the epic of Rand, Thom?" Epics were for bards, not gleemen, but there could be no harm in a little flattery. "The epic of the Dragon Reborn. Loial means to write a book, you know."

"Perhaps I will, Mistress Trakand. Perhaps. But neither my composing nor the Ogier's book will make much difference in the long run. Our stories will not survive, in the long run. When the next Age comes —" He grimaced, and tugged one of his mustaches. "Come to think of it, that may be no more than a year or two off. How is the end of an Age marked? It cannot always be a cataclysm on the order of the Breaking. But then, if the Prophecies are to be believed, this one will be. That is the trouble with prophecy. The original is always in the Old Tongue, and maybe High Chant as well: if you don't know what a thing means beforehand, there's no way to puzzle it out. Does it mean what it says, or is it a flowery way of saying something entirely different?"

"You were talking of your epic," she said, trying to guide him back, but he shook his shaggy white head.

"I was talking of change. My epic, if I compose it – and Loial's book – will be no more than seed, if we are both lucky. Those who know the truth will die, and their grandchildren's grandchildren will remember something different. And their grandchildren's grandchildren something else again. Two dozen generations, and you may be the hero of it, not Rand."

"Me?" she laughed.

"Or maybe Mat, or Lan. Or even myself." He grinned at her, warming his weathered face. "Thom Merrilin. Not a gleeman – but what? Who can say? Not eating fire, but breathing it. Hurling it about like an Aes Sedai." He flourished his cloak. "Thom Merrilin, the mysterious hero, toppling mountains and raising up kings." The grin became a rich belly laugh. "Rand al'Thor may be lucky if the next Age remembers his name correctly."

She was right; it was not just a feeling. That face, that mirth-filled laugh; she did remember them. But from where? She had to keep him talking. "Does it always happen that way? I do not think anyone doubts, say, that Artur Hawkwing conquered an empire. The whole world, or near enough."

"Hawkwing, young Mistress? He made an empire, all right, but do you think he did everything the books and stories and epics say he did? The way they say he did it? Killed the hundred best men of an opposing army, one by one? The two armies just stood there while one of the generals – a king – fought a hundred duels?"

"The books say he did."

"There isn't time between sunrise and sunset for one man to fight a hundred duels, girl."

She almost stopped him short – girl? She was Daughter Heir of Andor, not girl – but he had the bit in his teeth. "And that is only a thousand years back. Go back further, back to the oldest tales I know, from the Age before the Age of Legends. Did Mosk and Merk really fight with spears of fire, and were they even giants? Was Elsbet really queen of the whole world, and was Anla really her sister? Was Anla truly the Wise Counselor, or was it someone else? As well ask what sort of animal ivory comes from, or what kind of plant grows silk. Unless that comes from an animal, too."

"I do not know about those other questions," Elayne said a bit stiffly; being called girl still rankled, "but you could ask the Sea Folk about ivory and silk."


Thom makes a reference to his own Arthurian parallel here: Merlin, who is a combination of Thom Merrilin and the Amyrlin Seat, with a bit of Moiraine as well (and Moiraine is also paralleled to Morgaine, or Morgan Le Fay, not to mention Gandalf, who is another Merlin figure). He makes references to events in our Age, with Mosk and Merk (Moscow and America), Elsbet (Queen Elizabeth), and Anla (Ann Landers).

We have to operate under the assumption that the legends get at least some semblance of the truth right. And indeed, Ann Landers was probably the most famous advice columnist in the English Language along with her sister Abigail van Buren, if not a Wise Counselor to a Queen. Queen Elizabeth I of England was queen during the beginnings of the colonial age, and Queen Elizabeth II at the end of it. The story of Mosk and Merk is an adaptation of the events of the Cold War.

Gawyn has a few notable similarities with Gawain. His connection to the color green, the boar, and his proclivity for protecting young women, for example. Another thing they have in common is a desire for revenge. Gawain's desire for revenge was a bit more noble in nature since Lancelot killed Gawain's brothers (including Gareth), as Lancelot attempted to rescue Guinevere (Arthur's wife, with whom he was having an affair) from being burned at the stake. This is nothing like the events of WoT.

My theory was that Gawyn would use the medallion to protect him as he killed Rand before I even realized that there was a connection between the medallion and the girdle of the Gawain story, and it was based on Egwene's comment that betray fits Gawyn 'as darkness fits the sun' - along with the Jesus parallels and the 'shadow at noon' quotes - before I knew that, in some of the legends, Gawain's power was strongest at noon. Gawyn simply came to mind as I was investigating the Battle of Caemlyn, and he came to mind before I realized that Elaida's first Foretelling of the series - 'this man stands at the heart of it' - might be taken another way. I thought that Gawyn would need to kill Rand when the Shadow's power was weakest, to save him from the merge with Moridin, before I remembered Egwene's Accepted test, where Rand begs her to kill him as Caemlyn is overrun by Shadowspawn, so that they can't turn his soul to the Shadow. I thought that Alivia would be the means by which Gawyn came by the medallion, simply because it is so different from what we expect, before I realized that the role fits what we know of her character so well. I thought that Rand and Gawyn would duel and that Gawyn was a hidden Mordred parallel before I realized that there was a pattern of blademaster battles and Rand/Mordred encounters in the series (via Moridin/Ishamael and Mordeth/Fain).

In any case, it may be that I'm wrong about Gawyn killing Rand, and it may be that I'm not right about every detail, but if that is the case, it won't be because I made connections using Arthurian legend and the Jesus story, but rather because I made the wrong connections.

Back to a comment that Thom made, that if you don't know what a thing means beforehand, that there is no way to puzzle it out. We as readers have an advantage over the characters in the story when it comes to figuring things out, partly because we know what is going on in so many different plotlines, while the characters mostly only know what is happening in theirs. But the fact that we know the legends that supposedly came out of the events of WoT is simply another advantage we have over the characters in figuring out what might happen in the future.


terez: 2010-07-04

I missed a bunch of responses, so I'm going to work through them backwards:

@lurk - sorry it took me so long to reply. Yes, Rand knows that Morgase is alive via Tam, though he hasn't seen her through the colors yet. Many people know that she is alive, but are they people that Gawyn can trust? Will he even have contact with these people? Does Gawyn trust anyone any more, when it comes to Rand? He didn't trust Gareth Bryne, and Bryne didn't really know what was going on anyway (some think Egwene ought to have told him by now, or someone, but apparently no one has). That's just one of the themes of WoT...people are secretive to the point of hampering the Light's cause. Elayne and Rand both told all of the Andoran High Seats about Rahvin, but few believed.

Egwene asked Gawyn to hold back from harming Rand until she could find proof that he did not kill Morgase. Already in The Gathering Storm, Gawyn has begun to think that he promised to hold back until he found proof that Rand did kill her. What would Gawyn consider proof? What if he suspects that his sister has been in some way controlled with the Power by Rand? He has already blatantly shown that he is not happy about the fact that she loves him. Who would he go to then? Maybe his mother's closest and dearest friend, Ellorien? Ellorien does not believe that Gaebril was Rahvin, and it seems clear enough that she believes that Rand killed Morgase:


TITLE - Lord of Chaos
CHAPTER: 16 - Tellings of the Wheel

"A reward offered for news of Elayne," Ellorien said flatly, her face becoming even stonier, "who is to be made queen now that Morgase is dead."

Dyelin nodded. "That seemed well, to me."

"Not to me!" Ellorien snapped. "Morgase betrayed her friends and spurned her oldest adherents. Let us see an end to House Trakand on the Lion Throne." She seemed to have forgotten Rand. They all did.

"Dyelin," Luari said curtly. She shook her head as if she had heard this before, but he went on. "She has the best claim. I speak for Dyelin."

"Elayne is the Daughter-Heir," the golden-haired woman told them levelly. "I speak for Elayne."

"What does it matter who any of us speak for?" Abelle demanded. "If he killed Morgase, he will – " Abelle cut off abruptly with a grimace, then looked at Rand, not exactly in defiance, but definitely daring him to do his worst. And expecting him to.

"Do you really believe that?" Rand glanced sadly at the Lion Throne on its pedestal. "Why under the Light would I kill Morgase only to hand that to Elayne?"

"Few know what to believe," Ellorien said stiffly. Spots of color still stained her cheeks. "People say many things, most foolish."

"Such as?" He directed the question to her, but it was Dyelin who answered, looking him straight in the eye.

"That you will fight the Last Battle and kill the Dark One. That you are a false Dragon, or an Aes Sedai puppet, or both. That you’re Morgase’s illegitimate son, or a Tairen High Lord, or an Aielman." She frowned again for a moment, but did not stop. "That you are the son of an Aes Sedai by the Dark One. That you arethe Dark One, or else the Creator clothed in flesh. That you will destroy the world, save it, subjugate it, bring a new Age. As many tales as there are mouths. Most say you killed Morgase. Many add Elayne. They say your proclamation is a mask to hide your crimes."

Rand sighed. Some of those sayings were worse than any he had heard. "I won’t ask which you believe." Why did she keep frowning at him? She was not the only one. Luan did too, and Abelle and Ellorien darted the sort of glances at him that he had come to expect from Arymilla’s bunch when they thought he was not looking. Watching. Watching. That was Lews Therin, a hoarse giggling whisper. I see you. Who sees me? "Instead, will you help me make Andor whole again? I don’t want Andor to become another Cairhien, or worse, a Tarabon or Arad Doman."


In retrospect, it seems that Ellorien and Abelle both believe that Rand killed Morgase. That they are compared to Arymilla's group speaks volumes, and it could even be that Ellorien was somehow turned or Compelled herself, as she was the only one to refuse to stand for Elayne in the end (aside from Danine Candraed, who was apparently hiding the whole time), though Ellorien's actions of course make sense on their own. Morgase had her flogged and exiled. I can very easily see Gawyn finding his 'proof' from Ellorien, who was actually in the vicinity of Caemlyn at the time that his mother disappeared.

Another important thing to consider is that Gawyn's promise to Egwene came with an exception: so long as it does not harm Elayne or Andor. It might have gotten to the point already that Gawyn simply believes that Rand is a monster regardless of whether or not his mother is alive, but I have a feeling that Morgase will not reach Caemlyn quite in time to prove to him that she is alive (and there is still a possibility - small I think - that Rand and Gawyn would duel in Tar Valon). Just because it seems like Morgase should reach Caemlyn in time for Gawyn to know the truth does not mean that she will.

@jak o shadows - I can understand your take on it - it's probably what most people would assume - but there is still the issue of what led me to this theory in the first place: the foreshadowing in Egwene's comment. And sure, it's not foreshadowing until it happens, but there is an implication that not only will he betray his promise, but that he would be successful in killing Rand (assuming that Rand's death would cause the sun to go dark). Now, sure, it's possible that Gawyn could realize his mistake and not go through with killing Rand, who would not fight back, but we already know that Rand has to die. If Gawyn does not do the deed, then someone else will - Moridin, or Demandred, or Fain - and I think that a death at the hands of any of the three would endanger his soul, either through the corruption of Fain's dagger or the Dark One's hand.

Also, what if Rand remembers the story of the man who killed his blood father? What if he chooses not to make the same mistake? There is also the pattern of blademaster battles to consider, and the fact that the sword is central to Rand's destiny. What other blademaster in the series would he duel with? Not Galad - RJ said that would never happen.

Some of your other points are I think covered in my response to lurk above. As for the body swap theory...I don't think there is any evidence for it. Min says that they 'seem to merge', which doesn't seem to indicate a swap at all. They are merging to the point that Rand will likely have to die in order to prevent his soul being subsumed into Moridin's. Plus, the idea of Rand being in Moridin's body is at least a little bit creepy. I imagine his women would find it creepy. Much better to have Rand actually die (as per the prophecies...I don't think stealing someone else's body really counts), and then being ripped out in a nice brand new version of his own body.

@Shaltilyena - Welcome to Theoryland! Someone else had mentioned Egwene's Accepted test on the message boards - the most interesting bit is where Rand is trapped under the rubble in Caemlyn, and he begs her to kill him, so that they can't turn him to the Shadow.

@knightofround again, re a previous post. Some of your points are addressed in responses to others, but first off, yes we do know that someone can channel while wearing Mat's medallion:


RJ's blog 4 October 2005 "ONE MORE TIME"

For Krassos, yes, a channeler could still channel wearing Mat’s amulet. Cadsuane has one much like it.


Also, the bit about Elayne giving the medallion to Alivia would be random if not for a few things: 1) we know she will help Rand die, and RJ has led us to believe that it will be premeditated in some way, which means that it almost certainly will not be; 2) she is a strong female channeler and I believe that she will be given the medallion for the same reason that she was given the fancy toys at the Battle of Shadar Logoth: she can make the most use of them; and 3) practically the only thing we know about Alivia is that she has a grudge against the Seanchan, particularly the sul'dam, and that she wants nothing more than to kick Seanchan ass. Sure, Elayne could give the medallion to Gawyn, but why would she when she knows that he wants to kill Rand? Add that to the fact that it does nothing for working Alivia into the equation, and I think that's a pretty good logic tree for Alivia getting the medallion. And I don't think that Alivia will give it to him; I think that he would take it from her, and most likely from her dead body. Some don't think that this would fulfill Min's viewing, but I don't see why; it doesn't fit everyone's preconceptions about what Alivia's role will be, but it fits the wording just fine. Finally, RJ said that just because Min doesn't see something doesn't mean anything. She doesn't see everything:


Winter's Heart book tour 12 December 2000, Atlanta Chapter II - Br00se reporting

The next lady asked some question about one of Min's viewing of Rand with three women. She was confused because Min didn't recognize someone in the viewing that she should have known. RJ had to repeat three or four times that the viewing wasn't clear at the time. He seemed to be stressing that Min's inability to recognize the person didn't mean anything important. Her viewings don't always tell everything. This is only important because it means that you can't use anything that was missing from Min's viewings as proof of anything.


As to why the Seanchan would attack Andor, it's quite simple. They've only just gained the knowledge of Traveling, and they will only have the element of surprise in their favor once. Why attack the weaker countries now when things are becoming so desperate? Tuon believes that Rand is a monster that must be contained. Better to strike at the heart of his territory, the heart of his strength; the weaker nations in between would be much easier to subsume then. Also, Andor has a marath'damane queen, which Tuon might see as a threat that needs to be addressed above certain others. I believe I discussed most of these things in the theory. There are a few other reasons - that Andor is the remnants of Aldeshar, the last nation to fall to Hawkwing; that an investigation of the 'superweapon' might lead them to Andor - but perhaps most important of those other reasons is that Tuon knows that Mat was eventually headed for Caemlyn, and she wants him back. Mat said that they would next meet on the battlefield, and this is their last chance to duke it out before the Pattern requires the truce. The Band is set up to defend Caemlyn, not Ghealdan or Illian or Murandy or wherever, and though I could see Tuon having enough forces to do a coordinated strike in Illian, and doing it just because Rand is king there and it's on her borders, she knows that Rand expects her to attack Illian, and that he has about a quarter of the Black Tower there along with some Aiel. She won't attack Tear because the Stone is pretty much impenetrable. Finally, it was Suroth that tried to negotiate with Morgase, and that was in a different time. Now the Empress is here, and she's decided that she needs to get a move on because the Dragon Reborn is dangerous. A marath'damane cannot be negotiated with; Suroth was willing, just as she was willing to let Liandrin go uncollared, but Tuon is not a Darkfriend, and she sees marath'damane as abominations.

As for this:

I think it involves a bit too much wishful you want Gawyn to kill Rand, and so went about trying to find evidence to support it.

This is just a little silly. I had no desire for Gawyn to kill Rand before I discovered the evidence that pointed to it. Also, I think that his parallel to Mordred is significant in that he will be the one to actually kill Rand, and the less obvious choice. RJ liked to do what people do not expect, and everyone seems to expect that one of the more obvious Mordred parallels will kill him. The Morgase+Damodred=Mordred bit hardly stands alone as evidence; it's pointless to treat each piece of evidence as if it is not corroborated by the other bits of evidence I gave.

@Noam - Before The Gathering Storm, I believed that Rand would die and stay dead, possibly to be called back by the Horn, but after reading the book, I now think it unlikely that Rand will end the series dead, and I see the Horn as more likely making a Jesus parallel, when it is blown but Rand is not there (and the Heroes would tell them that this means that Rand is alive). I think that there is a great deal of evidence in the series pointing to Nynaeve ripping him out of Tel'aran'rhiod.


terez: 2010-07-05

Also, I realized this some time ago, but Cairhien is on the Alguenya river, not the Erinin.


Linda: 2010-07-29

Some folklore about King Arthur that seems to fit this theory is: King Arthur lies hibernating inside a mountain. There are a sword and a horn in the cavern with him. Anyone who discovers him in the cave has to choose whether to draw the sword or blow the horn, or to decide which to do first, or have to have the nerve to do both. Usually the person makes the wrong choice or their nerve fails.

In some stories there is a garter as well as the sword and the horn. The garter must be cut with the sword.


terez: 2010-07-31

@Linda - sorry for being dense, but what connection are you trying to imply? Something to do with Mat choosing to blow the Horn?


GonzoTheGreat: 2010-08-28

TGS, Chapter 21, Embers and Ash It comes, Hopper agreed. If Shadowkiller falls to the storm, all will sleep forever. If he lives, then we will hunt together. You and us.

That seems to be pretty clear: if Gawyn does kill Rand, then there won't even be a Last Battle.


terez: 2010-08-28

The prophecies make it clear that rand has to die, and they also make it pretty clear that he has to die and be resurrected before the Last Battle. The assumptions of a wolf are rather secondary to that, but in any case, Rand will be falling to Gawyn, not to the storm (which represents the Shadow's power). That's the whole point of him needing to be killed by Lightfriends, rather than at the hands of one of the Dark One's servants.


Linda: 2010-08-28

@ Terez My apologies for not replying sooner, but I only just saw your reply.

The fault is totally mine that my comment is cryptic. I realise that I was trying to say two things at once.

First up I was just commenting that the garter is part of waking King Arthur in some myths, so it's almost as important as the Sword and the Horn for that.

There's always a conundrum involved in how to do it too. The Sword versus the Horn, or cutting the garter with the sword, etc. It reminds me of Rand's riddle from the Aelfinn: to live you must die.

The other thing I wanted to say was that there's always a choice about whether to bring King Arthur back and also how to do it. I can see Gawyn having to make a choice about whether to kill Rand or not, but I'm less sure that he will actually do it.


terez: 2010-08-29

@Linda - I tried reading up on the sword/horn/garter thing. Did you read my speculations on Perun on the forums? I had previously assumed that the matter of Rand's death would be mostly Arthurian and also the 'generic messiah', with many twists of course, including direct parallels to Jesus and other generic messiah figures, but the stories of the resurrection of the dead hero in the Perun legends are interesting too.

The 'dark prophecy' threatens a 'death beyond dying' for Rand. We know of a few ways that this is possible, but one of them is the death of a Hero in Tel'aran'rhiod. I already had the feeling that Slayer was designed for this role if it came to Rand's death in circumstances that are unfavorable for the Shadow - like Rand dying at the hands of a Lightfriend on the longest day of the year, when the Shadow's powers in the world are the weakest - that Slayer's task would be to kill Rand in Tel'aran'rhiod, and reading up on Perun strengthened that belief, because it suggests that Perrin will have an important role in Rand's resurrection. Perrin only really has one special talent that has potential here, and it is his ability to enter Tel'aran'rhiod. Perrin and Slayer have been enemies since TSR, and Slayer is an assassin, and he seems connected in the dark prophecy to the 'death beyond dying'. Slayer's hounds to help him find the dead hero, and Perrin's wolves to counter them.

The legends of the cave are interesting to me because of the blatantly obvious connection to Moridin's little dream place. Is it even in the dream? I don't think it is, exactly. The place where Rand met Moridin did not feel like Tel'aran'rhiod to Rand. Egwene made it clear that being there in the dream feels no different from being there in the flesh, so it's not that. Moghedien thought in 'Mindtrap' that she must be near Shayol Ghul, because it did not feel like Tel'aran'rhiod, and Shayol Ghul was the only other option.

Doesn't the cutting of a garter symbolize the consummation of a marriage at least somewhat? Rand has already taken care of his consummations and he's not even married yet, and Perrin has as well, but Mat hasn't. And then, we have the Aelfinn prophecy you mentioned, if another part of it: 'The two must be as one.' If there is any way that Rand's domain will come to be as one, it is through the marriage of Mat and Tuon. It may be that Rand's success depends on the consummation of their marriage, at least in a way. One way that I can see their agreement assisting with Perrin's task is through Egwene. She has both the Seanchan woman saving her, with the sword more solid than the face (has to be Justice), and the female hawk stretching out its wing to touch her. There is a reason for Mat to go to Tar Valon - the Horn - and Tuon thinks that it is important for her to find the person that blew the Horn, which is suggestive of a Seanchan prophecy, perhaps from the Essanik Cycle, which seems genuine, and unique to Seanchan.

Mat also has a history of saving the supergirls, and I can't help thinking back to his departure from Salidar, and Egwene's appreciation of his gesture. And then there is Verin's letter, of course. I think that Egeanin will be the one to present the sword to Tuon, but there is a possibility that Tylee will defect, and soon. Egwene also dreams of a hard-faced Seanchan woman handing her an a'dam. Tylee, or Egeanin? I assume that the danger Egwene still faces has something to do with Mesaana, but it's hard to see exactly how it will all work out. I suppose it's possible that Berelain could be the hawk, and Egeanin the Seanchan woman.

But back to Gawyn. There are many reasons why I believe that he will be successful. One reason is simply that it's not the sort of thing that we ever expected, and for a lot of what seem to be good reasons, namely that Gawyn is supposedly one of the good guys and that it would destroy his character to have him actually go through with it. It's sort of an act beyond redemption. I think there is some irony in the fact that part of what makes us doubt that he would actually do it lies in the fact that he has such a strong love for Egwene - so strong that Egwene was pulled into his dream - and even Egwene goes a little over the top with it when they meet in Cairhien...and in the midst of those words that are so flowery as to seem OOC for Egwene - 'as darkness fits the sun' - we have foreshadowing for not only Gawyn's betrayal, but his success. It may be that the words simply refer to the dark clouds that have been hovering lately, but I believe that will start to improve very shortly as the world marches to the longest day of the year with the Dragon Reborn in a proper state of mind, FINALLY, after him having been off his rocker for at least 7 or 8 books now.

There are several things that tie Rand's death to a darkening of the sun. The Fisher King connection is a very large part of that; the world will improve now that his mind is healed, but when he dies, I suspect the land will experience its second Breaking. There are several clues pointing toward it in the prophecies, including typical Armageddon-type scenes, and that fits with what Carridin saw in his secret orders from Ishamael. We have the 'twice dawns the day' prophecy, the 'shadow at noon' threat referenced in the Shienaran Welcome, and the fact that the sun went dark at noon when Jesus was on the cross. Then there is the fact that Gawain's powers were strongest at noon - surely they will be more so on Sunday noon - and the fact that the Shadow's powers in the world are weakest at noon.

It's too much. The more I learn, the more convinced I become. I was convinced that the medallion would play a big role before I learned the story of Gawain and the girdle, which is a nice parallel to the medallion. Of course, there is an opportunity for Gawyn to learn that the medallion doesn't protect perfectly - Rand learned that with Mat - but again, there is just too much info that points to Gawyn actually killing him, or at least mortally wounding him.

For instance, Mat's luck just so happened to come to him in a way that led to him defeat both Gawyn and Galad in a duel - teaching Gawyn not to underestimate a dirty peasant, not that he didn't already know Rand carried a heron-mark sword, and that another blademaster vowed that it belonged with him - and then to get his ticket out of the Tower because Elayne needed him to carry a letter to her mother. Mat's delivery of the letter planted the seeds that were necessary to get Morgase out of Caemlyn, which led to the rumors of her death, which led to Gawyn's obsession. Mat even made a vague wager on it to Tallanvor, and asked Gill to watch the stakes. Tallanvor: "Morgase...her, I serve to the death." Mat: "I'll wager this [his sack of ten crowns gold that Rahvin gave him for delivering the letter] that Gaebril says the same." And then it was mat who delivered the news that came to Cairhien, of Morgase's 'death', and that led to Moiraine's 'death'.

There is so much more, and I'm really trying to be brief, but the point of it all is this: these events have played a huge role in the series so far. There is quite obviously some overarching thematic significance to the 'death' of Morgase.

It can only lead to one of two places: the redemption of Gawyn's character, or the death of Rand. It is difficult to see how the redemption of Gawyn's character could possibly be that important. And of course, then people would say it's important for Gawyn to make the 'right choice' because obviously Rand dying is a bad thing. But in that case, why has the Wheel gone to so much effort to have Gawyn almost kill Rand?

I think the beauty of Gawyn as Mordred is precisely the fact that it was so unexpected, and that everyone has assumed for so long that Gawyn would eventually get over it, and most have expected that he will simply be reunited with Morgase. But none of it fits. We know that Rand has to die, and we have assumed that it would be at the Last Battle after he'd saved the world, but it doesn't fit. In that case, why would his resurrection be so important?

I could go on about this forever, so I'll stop now. :D


Homeschool: 2010-09-02

It may be worth considering the 50/50 prophecy regarding Egwene and Gawyn alongside the potential of a duel at Shayol Ghul. If Gawyn wins, and is readying for the killing stroke, and Egwene intervenes... Either Gawyn would be forced to bow to her will, or destroy her for his vengeance.


terez: 2010-09-02

@Homeschool - Why do you think they would duel at Shayol Ghul? Just because of the 'blood on the rocks' prophecy? I'd be wary of that one; it screams 'red herring'. I can see Egwene dying (and maybe Moiraine as Amyrlin, which would make the Sun Throne a red herring), but I tend to think it's unlikely.


Homeschool: 2010-09-02

@Terez RJ (and Rand perspectives) hinted that it would be the combined wounds that eventually fulfilled the prophecy, and thus I suspect that if it's literal, that it's something unrelated (like a fight with a friend.) Of course, it's still possible that "his blood on the rocks" isn't literally the blood of his body, but "the blood of those who call themselves Aiel as water on sand", "washing away the Shadow". But given the implied relationships in prophecy of his death, Shayol Ghul, the Last Battle, and the references you made above to the shadow at noon and the affinity with the crucifixion story, it seems as if he will die there.

Unless, are you suggesting that he kills Rand BEFORE the Last Battle, and that Rand rises again and appears on the slopes of Shayol Ghul?


wconn1979: 2010-09-03

i believe its quite the oppsite here, Rand kills Gawyn and thats how he is to know the Amyrlins wrath.


terez: 2010-09-06

@Homeschool - Well, what Rand believes isn't always necessarily true. I think Rand's wounds will be healed by virtue of him having died and been resurrected by the time he makes it to Shayol Ghul. The Aiel are definitely a possibility for 'his blood', as are Galad and Perival Mantear (both Galahad and Perceval are important to the grail quest in Arthurian legend). I definitely believe he will die before The Last Battle, and I've believed that for a long time, simply because I believe that one of the things RJ was trying to explore with this series is the concept of a Chosen One who died before saving the world as he was prophesied to do. There are a lot of things pointing to it, including Nicola's Foretelling along with a dream shared by Bair and Melaine. Also...

@wconn - It might be that Rand kills Gawyn, but Rand is going to die, and Gawyn is at the very least going to cause Rand's wounds to break open again. I'm thinking Gawyn will actually manage to strike him in the side. In Arthurian legend, it was Gawain who died of an old, unhealed wound. I have a new theory on another contributor to Rand's death that will be going up soon.


Tenesmus: 2010-09-07

The only scenario where I see Gawyn killing Rand is one where Egwene becomes "too busy" as Amrylin and pushes Gawyn away. Gawyn goes to Caemlyn to be with his Elayne, and finds her pregnant with Rand's seed, and loses it. Rand hesitates for a second and Gawyn lands a killing blow. Min, Elayne, and Aviendha then Skim (because Elayne can't channel in her state, and Avi can't make a Travelling gateway) on a boat-like platform to Nynaeave for healing.

All this is prediacted on Egwene pushing Gawyn away, or Gawyn interpreting Egwene's busy-ness as a rebuff. That's when Gawyn could feel like her promise to him was broken, so he no longer feels compelled to not harm Rand.

So if we some tension between Eg and Gawyn early on in ToM, then this has a good chance to play out. However, if Eg and Gawyn are bonded and happy in ToM, then I doubt Gawyn will play an active role in Rand's death.


terez: 2010-09-08

Bonded does not necessarily equal happy for those two. Also, there is a good chance that Gawyn will have to watch Andor for Elayne as she goes to claim the throne of Cairhien, or perhaps something else. And since he obviously believes that Rand used the Power on Elayne or something, there is a good chance there for him to look for his 'proof' elsewhere...and who would he trust more than Morgase's best friend Ellorien?


Dulahey: 2010-11-23

Still thinking this way?


Mattismyfavorite: 2010-11-23

I think she will have Morgase do a regent type thing in Cairhien and she'll stay in Camlyn.


terez: 2010-11-23

Dulahey - obviously not entirely. Along the same lines, yes. I didn't come up with this theory until months after TGS came out; I suspect I'll mull over TOM for a while before I settle on details.


Macster: 2011-10-26

It's a shame, really...this theory is very well thought out, with lots of evidence, foreshadowing, and mythological parallels (even if it did seem to be reaching at a few points). But Towers of Midnight has pretty much completely blown this theory to pieces--not only did Gawyn swear off his hatred of Rand and desire to kill him (after he did indeed get brushed off by Egwene, leave Tar Valon, and go to Elayne in Caemlyn), but at the end of the book he goes to Merrilor and (before Rand's arrival) learns Morgase is alive and reunites with her. So the theory is pretty much false.

However, there are ways in which parts of it can be salvaged. For example, Gawyn could accidentally or unintentionally cause Rand's death, rather than do it as a premeditated act (which would fit even more with the notion of him being a traitor and it being unexpected). Or Rand could die in some other way, but Gawyn is there to witness it. Or something he says or does somehow leads the Shadow to Rand so that he dies. And the part about the Battle of Caemlyn happening while Mat is still off rescuing Moiraine is in fact true. So while the majority of this theory is wrong, there are ways in which Gawyn could still have a role to play either as a traitor or with Rand's death, and the numerous Arthurian and Christian parallels have to mean something. What, though, we can't be sure.


wantfear: 2011-10-27

I think this theory is very well thought out but i don't think caemlyn is going to be the single great battle that we see . . . with trollocs pouring out from the blight? i dont think anything in particular makes caemlyn any different from maradon. Except for the fact that the band has to get in and get the dragons back.


Waxer: 2011-10-27

Gawyn and Galad still has to learn that Rand is a half brother.


wantfear: 2011-10-28

If egwene REALLY doesnt want the seal broken, then gawyn could go to some extreme to try and kill rand . . . like using the bloodkife terangreal that he took. Blade master on PCP???? i think so.


Destrina: 2011-10-28

He is Galad's half brother, but is not related to Gawyn/Elayne, except very distantly. Galad and Rand share a mother, Galad and Gawyn/Elayne share a father. Rand and Gawyn/Elayne are related VERY distantly by blood. Rand specifically asked Dyelin how closely Tigraine/Shaile and Morgase were related, if they had been farmers or merchants, and Dyelin says, that if they were farmers or merchants they wouldn't be related at all. This is in book 5 or 6.