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The Dragon Reborn - First Appearance of Darkhounds


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Hello knowledgeable WoT readers,

 

My re-read continues and now I am pushing through TDR. Really enjoyed the pacing so far in this book. 

Anyway - Rand has just gone AWOL from the Mountains of Mist after making his earthquake, we get a very short POV chapter for Rand (sandwiched between two Perrin PoV's) where Rand talks about being hunted by dogs and becoming the hunter. Its also pretty clear Rand is just Balefiring these dogs like an absolute boss. 

Its not explicitly stated they are Darkhounds but they are described as muscular with large jaws and standing at least waist high. 

Are these the first appearance of Darkhounds we see?

 

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4 hours ago, SilentRoamer said:

Hello knowledgeable WoT readers,

 

My re-read continues and now I am pushing through TDR. Really enjoyed the pacing so far in this book. 

Anyway - Rand has just gone AWOL from the Mountains of Mist after making his earthquake, we get a very short POV chapter for Rand (sandwiched between two Perrin PoV's) where Rand talks about being hunted by dogs and becoming the hunter. Its also pretty clear Rand is just Balefiring these dogs like an absolute boss. 

Its not explicitly stated they are Darkhounds but they are described as muscular with large jaws and standing at least waist high. 

Are these the first appearance of Darkhounds we see?

 

That appears to be the first time we actually see them.  But not the first time we see evidence of them.

Perrin sees a pawprint in stone, and smells something like a hair burned on hot metal.  Which dissipates immediately.  He recognizes the smell as being "wrong" and wonders if it was a trace of Rand and his madness.

I believe that happens before Rand sees any dogs.  Which I think happened in a dream rather than in real life regardless.  I wouldn't be surprised if both things happen on the same day.

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Yeah we see them just before that (off page) from the PoV of Perrin as he leaves the Mountains of Mist. 

I wondered if the off smell related to the Gray Men as we see them soon after in Tar Valon - but it makes more sense to be Darkhounds considering the paw print and Rand killing hem near that location. But I thought the Darkhounds smelt like Sulfur? So I assumed the "wrongness" to be one of the Gray Men. 

 

What do you think? If it wasn't for the stone print I would say Gray Men but I think you might be right.

 

I love that Rand is just a Wild Card at the moment. Doing his own thing off killing Darkhounds like a boss. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, SilentRoamer said:

Yeah we see them just before that (off page) from the PoV of Perrin as he leaves the Mountains of Mist. 

I wondered if the off smell related to the Gray Men as we see them soon after in Tar Valon - but it makes more sense to be Darkhounds considering the paw print and Rand killing hem near that location. But I thought the Darkhounds smelt like Sulfur? So I assumed the "wrongness" to be one of the Gray Men. 

 

What do you think? If it wasn't for the stone print I would say Gray Men but I think you might be right.

 

I love that Rand is just a Wild Card at the moment. Doing his own thing off killing Darkhounds like a boss. 

 

 

It had the exact opposite affect on me.  I was very frustrated that Rand ran off.  He was safe with his people - or as safe as you can be when you're the DR.  Then he goes rabbiting off on his own because he doesn't understand himself, the taint is establishing its hold, Ishy is messing with his mind, or whatever...

 

He just abandons whatever safety/powerbase that he has.  Made me cringe because I'm very conservative.  In RPG's when given the choice, I always build up my armor rating/defense before looking at offensive power.  I would not have made a good Dragon.  😁

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1 hour ago, DojoToad said:

It had the exact opposite affect on me.  I was very frustrated that Rand ran off.  He was safe with his people - or as safe as you can be when you're the DR.  Then he goes rabbiting off on his own because he doesn't understand himself, the taint is establishing its hold, Ishy is messing with his mind, or whatever...

 

He just abandons whatever safety/powerbase that he has.  Made me cringe because I'm very conservative.  In RPG's when given the choice, I always build up my armor rating/defense before looking at offensive power.  I would not have made a good Dragon.  😁

 

Rand is like - "I have 10 points to distribute to my stats. Can I have 11 point improvement in Balefire please."

 

I don't think he left for his own safety though, I think he left for the safety of his friends and followers. We see that kind of thing a lot from early Rand if I remember (like remembering the names and faces of the dead). Responsibility weighs heavy on him,  Duty and the Mountain. 

 

I also like this from a reader PoV - it distances us from Rand and his madness so we have to puzzle out where/who/what and why. It gives the DR an air of mystery and independence of the plot which I always liked. 

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I've always taken Rand's departure to be in part the wish to get the constant pressure of Baalzamon's presence in his mind, over and done with. I've always thought he was getting quite depressed, and one thing about being depressed is you always think you're better off not getting too close to people while you are depressed. In case you inadvertently harm them. And we see Rand already taking that view, from the uncomprehending POV of Perrin and co.

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11 hours ago, SilentRoamer said:

I wondered if the off smell related to the Gray Men as we see them soon after in Tar Valon - but it makes more sense to be Darkhounds considering the paw print and Rand killing hem near that location. But I thought the Darkhounds smelt like Sulfur? So I assumed the "wrongness" to be one of the Gray Men. 

It's a different kind of "wrongness."  Or at least, it's a combination of the two.

The Gray Men smell wrong, but the Darkhounds include the sulphur/burnt hair smell as well as the wrongness.  Also, I believe the smell of Darkhounds having passed that way remains long enough for him to smell, then dissipates.  While the stench of the Gray Men only exists when they're nearby.

 

I suspect that, to Perrin, the wrongness is associated with any Shadowspawn, while the sulphur/burnt hair smell is specific to the Darkhounds.  Either that, or there's a different smell associated with each kind of Shadowspawn, and he was smelling both at the same time, since both were around.

 

It's almost certain that both Darkhounds and Gray Men were on Rand's trail as soon as he left the mountains, and eventually got after Moiraine and Perrin once they got to Illian.  Apparently sent by two different Forsaken.

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