A Memory of Light, Epilogue

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Well, this is it. The conclusion of the 'Wheel of Time' series, and 'A Memory of Light'. You can find the rest of my posts on this book at the index.

This post contains very large and severe spoilers. If you haven't read the entire series, and you read this post, you will spoil the whole lot. So don't do that.

But otherwise, if you have read the entire series, then please read on to see my thoughts on the final scenes of this book, and my thoughts on the book as a whole.
What Happens
Rand slipps on his own blood. He's carrying something heavy out of the tunnel. He staggers out, an old woman with Gray heir in Aiel clothing whispers encouragingly to him. Rand falls unconscious. Mat stands. Mat see's the ruby dagger, but resists the urge to pick it up.

Perrin walks through the campsite at Shaoyl Ghul, seeking Rand. He finds a tent, and enters. Damer Flinn and Nynaeve are failing to heal Rand. Perrin talks with Nynaeve, and learns of Egwene's death. Perrin tells Flinn and Nynaeve to tell Min, Elayne and Aviendha that Rand is dying. Moridin is there as well, as Rand carried him out of the pit, Moridin is also dying. Perrin goes to find a gateway to Merrilor, asking if anyone has heard about Faile.

Loial looks for Mat, and passes Aiel woman getting drunk, and Aes Sedai convincing Rodel Ituralde to take the Arad Doman throne. Loial goes to Rand's tent. Nynaeve says that Rand is still dying, but Moridin is getting better. Flinn comments that none of the three (Aviendha, Min, Elayne) seem to care that Rand is passing away. Loial sees the three of them, and also thinks their behavious is odd.

Mat saunters through the Seanchan. He finds Tuon, who asks where he has been. Mat thrusts his hand into the air, and Aludra sets off the greatest fireworks the lands have ever seen. Tuon tells him she is with Child, which gives Mat quite a jolt. Mat thinks he is off the hook now, but Tuon tells him she is off the hook, because now she can have Mat executed if she wants.

Perrin collapses amongst the feald of dead, weeping. No one has seen any sign of Faile.

Moghedien sneaks around the battle field. She plans what she might do now, how she could maneuver to take control of the world. Someone snaps a Seanchan collar around her neck while she is day dreaming, and they gateway her back to Ebou Dar.

Nynaeve emerges from the tent, and proclaims tat Rand is dead. Nynaeve is upset at the lack of reaction from Aviendha, and also wonders if there is something going on she doesn't know. She confronts Aviendha. Aviendha says that Rand's death was accomplished in greatness, that he will be celebrated in greatness and that they should prepare his pyre.

Perrin, exhausted, runs in the wolf dream. He runs to various places, musing over the struggle in his soul between saving Rand and saving Faile. Despite having most recently saved Rand (from Lanfear) he feels torn, torn that he didn't go to find Faile, that she has probably sacrificed her self  to save the horn. He hears a cry, a falcon cry. He jumps, and find's himself at Merrilor, and see's a tiny falcon crying software with it's broken leg pinned under a rock, it's heartbeat faint. He claws out of the wolf dream, and madly searches for Faile. He throws a Trolloc and horse carcass out of the way, and finds her. He shifts her to the dream, then to the North, then out of the dream to Nynaeve, and she is healed.

Birgitte is the only hero to remain. She tells Elayne that he sent Olver away with the horn. She also says farewell to Elayne, she can feel that she is about to be reborn, that the cycle continues and she will once again be with Gaidal, only a few years younger.

Tam looks over a small crowd of two hunderd, carrying a torch. He says farewell to his son, and lights the pyre.

Min stands at the front of the crowd. Along with Elayne and Aviendha they step forward, watching Rand's corpse burn. Min says she saw this vision, on the first day she met Rand. Elayne asks "So now what?". Aviendha replied that they make sure everyone well and truly believes he is gone. Min nods, feeling the pulse of her bond with Rand growing stronger.

Rand awakes in a dark tent. He looks in a mirror, and see's Moridin's face looking back. He finds a bundle that Alivia has prepared, including Lamans's sword and a large bag of coins. He slips out of the tent, and finds a horse tied up nearby, so he takes it. Rand see's the funeral pyre. He notices Cadsuane looking at him, then he departs.

Cadsuane realises what has happened, and that the funeral is a sham. She gets ambushed by Saerin, Yukiri, Lyrelle and Rubinde, who want to make her Amyrlin.

Rand rides away, finding some tabac and a pipe in his pouch. He reaches for the One Power to light it, but finds nothing. But he manages to light it by thinking of it being lit. He canters away into the night to explore the world.

Commentary
Wow, I really took my time with that summary. In the book it is 18 pages. It's nice that Jordan left so much in this for us to speculate on, that it isn't all neatly tied up. Brandon has told us that the epilogue was written by Jordan before he passed away, so this is one place we know that we're getting all Jordon.

We get to wonder who the lady was that whispered to Rand when he came out of the tunnel. It sounds like this character knew what Rand was going to do with his body swap (or indeed, had already done?). Could this be Rand's mother? We get wonder how Rand lit his pipe. He obviously can't channel, but is there a new form of power now in the world, or does he still have some kind of ta'vern affect still.

We get to see that the people in this world are already thinking to the future, and working towards their own agendas. The end of the world was successfully averted, and the cycle continues, as it should. Perrin gets to keep Faile, and they'll be the rulers of Saldaea, which should make several dragonmount forum posters happy that their predictions were accurate.

I wonder when Rand pulled off his body swap. I think it was Rand in Rands body who escaped the closing tunnel at the start of the epilogue. Rand makes a point of noticing the lack of pain when he awakes, and surely he wouldn't have done that if he'd already done a swap before then. It's a bit mysterious how he did the swap. We've never seen anything like that in the rest of the series. Maybe he's used his new power that he's got, whatever that is.

Thoughts on A Memory of Light
This will be my last post in this series of reflections on the final book of the Wheel of Time series. So I thought I'd write some thoughts on the book as a whole.

It seems weird to say this, but I think you could easily make a case that this book should have been split into two. It's already a big book, but some aspects of it don't make sense to me, and feel a bit rushed. The story arc with Lanfear, and the story arc with Padan Fain both felt a little abrupt to me. I wonder if I would still feel this way if the book had been divided at the point where Mat says 'They're here' at the end of chapter 36. This is on page 616, which is about two thirds through this book. I think the rest of the story could have been bulked up a little to account for this in balance. However I am prepared to admit that if I'd heard this had been done, I would have been very annoyed. So I guess I can't have it both ways.

When I started these series of posts, I predicted that this book would make me cry. It did. It upset me, and it elated me. I was horrified, and amused, and joyous at various times. Having taken my emotions to such extents, I can only say that this book was great. It really is a fitting capstone to the legacy of Robert Jordans creation, and a tribute to the power of Brandons words.

2 Comments

Nope the book sucked. To many unexplained questions at the end. And what the heck is that in my roof?!?

Really, you thought the book wasn't very good, just because you had a few questions left over? Are you sure? I'm assuming that the book had some kind of emotional impact on you, and you're just disregarding that entirely to focus on one aspect of the book to make your judgement.

And whatever it is that is in your roof, it's completely off topic for this blog post. If you want to post on the internet that something is in your roof, get your own damn blog.

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