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Winter's Heart: What's in a Title?


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I always assumed the title to refer to the harsh winter, but I find this fascinating (from TFoH Ch52):

 

And she [Lanfear] smiled like winter's heart. "You will die slowly, and beg me to let you love me before you die," she said.

 

Now I know Cyndane was rather insignificant in Winter's Heart, at least in comparison to the role she played as Lanfear in books 2-5, but could the title possibly, even if in just some remote way, reference Cyndane here. Remember in WH she has just decided that, rather than try to love Rand/Lews Therin, she will kill him, as we see from her PoV at the Battle Near Shaidar Logoth. Winter's heart would surely be an icy, snowy, white thing; winter symbolizes darkness, and woman. Lanfear is the ultimate female channeler, the one with "an icy heart" for Lews Therin; obsessed with white and silver. Surely there are parallels to Lanfear/Cyndane and the title Winter's Heart.

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From the KC

 

The Seals that hold back the night shall weaken,

and in the heart of winter shall winter’s heart be born,

amid the wailings of lamentation and the gnashing of teeth,

for winter’s heart shall ride a black horse, and the name of it is Death

 

More than anything it had to with the unnatural weather.

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The seals that hold back the night shall weaken,

And in the heart of winter shall winter’s heart be born

Amid the wailing of lamentation and the gnashing of teeth,

For winter’s heart shall ride a black horse,

And the name of it is Death.

from The Karaethon Cycle: The Prophecies of the Dragon
"Sooner or later, I have to die, Min," he said patiently. He had been told by those he had to believe. To live, you must die. That still made no sense to him, but it left one cold hard fact. Just as the Prophecies of the Dragon seemed to say, he had to die. "Not soon, I hope. I plan not soon. I'm sorry, Min. I never should have let you bond me." But he had not been strong enough to refuse, any more than he had been strong enough to push her away. He was too weak for what had to be done. He needed to drink in winter, till he made winter's heart seem Sunday noon.
Rand could not see Nynaeve any longer. He could not see anything, feel anything. He swam in surging seas of flame, scrambled across collapsing mountains of ice. The taint flowed like an ocean tide, trying to sweep him away. If he lost control for an instant, it would strip away everything that was him and carry that down the conduit, too. As bad, or maybe worse, despite the tide of filth flooding through that odd flower, the taint on the male half of the Source seemed no less. It was like oil floating on water in a coating so thin you would not notice till you touched the surface, yet covering the vastness of the male half, it was an ocean in itself. He had to hold on. He had to. But for how long? How long could he hold on?...

 

...She could feel it. That much of saidar being drawn to one spot was a beacon that any woman in the world who could channel would feel and locate. So he had found a woman to use the other access key. She would have faced the Great Lord—faced the Creator!—with him. She would have shared the power with him, let him rule the world at her side. And he had spurned her love, spurned her!

PS—I see Suttree preempted the KC quote. But in case it's not clear what I'm getting at with the last two quotes...he had to drink in winter (the taint...all of the taint, all day long) until he made winter's heart (the weather) seem like Sunday noon (the blazing beacon). I could have used anyone for the beacon bit, but I used Lanfear just for you. :wink:

Edited by Terez
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"Sooner or later, I have to die, Min," he said patiently. He had been told by those he had to believe. To live, you must die. That still made no sense to him, but it left one cold hard fact. Just as the Prophecies of the Dragon seemed to say, he had to die. "Not soon, I hope. I plan not soon. I'm sorry, Min. I never should have let you bond me." But he had not been strong enough to refuse, any more than he had been strong enough to push her away. He was too weak for what had to be done. He needed to drink in winter, till he made winter's heart seem Sunday noon.
It references both the literal winter's heart, and also Rand's attempts to make himself harder. To close himself off from his feelings, to make himself colder than winter's heart.
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I don't see how it could be particularly related, but Lan has been described with the words winter's heart at least once that I remember.

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Jordan had a gift for for imagery and flowery language. He would coin a phrase (in this case 'Winter's Heart') and then not only use it in its literal interpretations but also drop it in all throughout the series.

 

Another great example of this is in the book where Elayne bonds Rand. She describes the sensation of him as feeling like "Veins of Gold" - a phrase that obviously has a significant payoff much later in the series.

 

 

Fish

Edited by The Fisher King
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