AMol Chapter 49

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We're almost there. Just this chapter, and then the epilogue in my next post, and we're done. As per previous warnings in about these posts, there will be spoilers (which should be surprising). I'm going to trust you to make a sensible decision about reading this post.

Other entries are here.
What Happens
In the wolf dream Perrin goes to Shayol Ghul, and finds Lanfear. She has been waiting for this moment (that Rand captures and uses Moridin), Perrin says they should go make sure nothing wrong happens. Lanfear tells Perrin to kill the shorter women (Moiraine) and that she'll kill the taller one (Nynaeve). Perrin is confused, he thought that Lanfear had joined the Light side. Perrin struggles against the compulsion she has laid on him. He breaks free, reaches over and breaks her neck. Perrin realises this was one thing that needed to be done, and a burden that he could carry for his friend Rand. He whispers to Rand to go and do what he must, that he will watch his back, as always.

The seals crumbled, the Dark One burst free, but Rand holds him tightly with his triple play of powers. Rand feels that he is dying. Rand realises that a world without the Dark One would leave men no better than the Dark One itself. So even though he could defeat the Dark One, he doesn't. Instead he forges anew the prison of the Dark One.

Moraine and Nynaeve run from the burning light. Thom catches Moraine before she can run off the edge of the path.

Commentary
Perrins thoughts to Rand were nice, about watching his friends back. And seeing Rand recreate the Dark One's prison was the culmination of the entire series. For many years this scene is what we've been waiting for. And it delivers

And yet, this chapter annoys me. Maybe it annoys me that I had no idea that Lanfear had laid a compulsion weave on Perrin. This scene doesn't describe Lanfear weaving it just now, so we have to assume she's placed it before. Either I'm annoyed I didn't spot this before, or I'm annoyed because it just didn't have any development leading up to it. And because I'm wrigin this blog post, I'm going with the later. A double cross by Lanfear would have made a good twist by itself. But to have this whole compulsion thing on Perrin is a bit weird. We've had to put up with Perrin doing his whole burn-the-world to save Faile thing, which stretched over something like 3 books. And now he's asking himself if he loves her? Get real.

And what does Faile have to do with this scene anyway? Nothing. I would have much preferred this just to be more of a straight forward fight between Lanfear and Perrin. It was nice that Perrin realised that he'd saved Rand from having to deal with Lanfear, but we already know that Rand isn't really hung up anymore on Lanfear anymore. And Perrin saying that he'll watch his back is also a little out of context. How much time has Perrin done that in the rest of the series? It's not like he's going to get any more chances to do that. But perhaps it's just Perrin's way of saying goodbye.

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