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It Works in Theory: A Faint Thread of Music Caught Perrin's Ear


hazelkrs1

Bonjour, my brilliant boarders of Dragonmount! Welcome back to another weekly installment of "It Works in Theory," Dragonmount's newish theory blog, which just so happens to be entrusted to my hands. I apologize for the extended delay between new entries; as many of you are aware, Dragon*Con was held this past weekend in Atlanta, Georgia, and I had the privilege to go this year for the first time. In short, it was simply a blast, and particularly exquisite because my birthday fell on the last day of the event. It was, in fact, the first convention of any kind that I had ever attended, and it did not fail whatsoever to impress me. I greatly urge any fans of the Wheel of Time series to try and make it out next Labor Day weekend or even this coming spring when JordanCon will be held in the same city. And now, onto our disclaimer:

 

WARNING!!! Spoiler Alert!!! WARNING!!!

 

This blog is based on theories that will include facts and material from the latest books in the series, so if you have not read through Towers of Midnight, continue reading at your own risk! This weblog of "It Works in Theory" is copyrighted by Despothera and Dragonmount for the private use and enjoyment of our audience. Any other use of this weblog or any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the blog without consent from Despothera "signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, lost, found, queried, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighter" (from Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) is greatly encouraged. To be honest, I don't really think it is copyrighted per se anyway, but just to be on the safe side, maybe just include a link back here or something.

 

Alright, here's one more thing I wanted to get out of the way that I hope my editor won't mind terribly: I don't believe many of you know this, but in addition to having somewhat of a penchant for writing, I also happen to pretend to have minor musical talent as well. I am in a band that goes by the same name as my handle here on Dragonmount (Despothera). We recently got our website up and running to feature our newly recorded EP, so if anyone would like to check it out and see if you like it, just visit www.despothera.com. We play hard rock and metal, but have a broad spectrum of musical influences so many might be able to enjoy the songs on the site. I'm particularly proud of the song which I wrote, a 9-minute instrumental which I named "Tarmon Gai'don" in reverence of The Wheel of Time. Now that I have finished shamelessly self-promoting my band, let's go ahead and move on to the subject of today's blog.

 

I thought it fitting today after already bringing up my love of music to go into further detail about a subject I've referenced in earlier blogs: the importance of the Talent of Singing in helping to save the world of Rand and his allies. As I mentioned in my premiere blog entry, we now have a pretty good idea that the "Song" which the Tuatha'an (Tinkers, or Traveling People) have been seeking might not actually be a singularly important song, but rather a longing to return to the happier ways of their people when they were Aiel and used Seed Singing to help promote the health of the land around them. The Tuatha'an practice the Way of the Leaf and have a strong affinity both for nature and music, making them something of an oblique allusion to groups in our own society that dedicate their lives to following peaceful ways and jam bands (any Deadheads out there?). Luckers, one of our own site's admins, has written a very helpful article which talks about this subject in further detail: Demystifying The Song.

 

Many people, including myself, believe that it might be essential for the Talent of Singing to be rediscovered in order for the forces of Light to have any chance at winning. However, the big question is, how will it be rediscovered? One of the characters who is connected to this mystery most often happens to be my favorite character in the series: Perrin "Goldeneyes" Aybara. We'll get to why so many people believe he will have a central role in rediscovering the lost Talent in a moment, but first, I wanted to examine one of the character parallels that exist in the personage of Perrin.

 

If you haven't been to The Thirteenth Depository, a Wheel of Time blog headed by Linda Taglieri (who I had the pleasure of meeting this past weekend at Dragon*Con), please take time to visit there at some point. While I have a fantastic time writing my blog and am proud of what I've been able to put out so far, the theories and notions I have presented are a grain of sand on the beach compared to the many musings and thoughts that have been expressed by Linda on her site over the years. I'm particularly impressed by her ability to find the many historical, literary, and mythological references and allusions found in The Wheel of Time; Robert Jordan was simply a master of his trade when it came to selecting various figures and stories throughout the history of mankind and injecting derivatives of them into his tale. One of the connections Linda has made that I particularly enjoy is the parallel between Perrin and the fictional character of the knight Sir Percival from Arthurian Legend and Grail stories (you might have to scroll far down the page to get to that part).

 

It's my feeling that the story alluded to the most in The Wheel of Time is the story of King Arthur, The Fisher King, and the search for the Holy Grail. We won't get into the plethora of references and allegories to this legend, but it is a good idea to focus on the Perrin/Percival parallels to see how Perrin might end up being involved with the rediscovery of Singing. First of all, it's very easy to notice the similarities in their names. In fact, another name for Percival found in the early writings of Grail legend is Peredur, which is even more phonetically similar to Perrin. Percival was of noble blood but was raised in the forest in a simple upbringing until he was fifteen, when he saw a gallant group of knights that inspired him to become one himself. His genuine interest in doing the right thing is stressed almost to the point of naivete, but it is his purity of heart which singles him out to be the knight who is best equipped to find the grail.

 

We know about Perrin's modest upbringing in the Two Rivers. Although he wasn't entranced into a life of heroics, he has nonetheless been transformed into a hero, even a lord, by both the nature of him being ta'veren and the circumstances which have surrounded him. In spite of his transformation, he has kept the same noble and modest personality, and the purity of his heart has never come into question. Of the three ta'veren from Edmond's Field, he is easily the most noble; Rand has a constant struggle of internal torment at his role as the Dragon Reborn, and Mat, while very lovable himself, is somewhat of a scoundrel.

 

In the Grail stories, Percival is plagued by being in constant conflict with temptation in his quest for the grail, as Perrin is plagued by the conflict against succumbing to the wild, violent side of himself represented by the axe he leaves behind in Crossroads of Twilight. Percival was so afflicted with internal struggle in the face of temptation that he wounds himself by piercing his thigh with his own sword rather than lay with a temptress. Perrin is wounded badly in the thigh in one of his confrontations with Slayer in Tel'aran'rhiod in Towers of Midnight. One of the most important congruencies between the two characters, though, is their potential role in saving the health of the land.

 

We know how Percival helps to save the health of the land; by finding the grail, he is able to rejuvenate the Fisher King and, through him, the land. One of Min's visions gives us a glimpse of how Perrin might be connected to the health of the land:

 

The Eye of the World

Chapter 15, "Strangers and Friends"

 

The strongest thing I see about the big, curly-haired fellow are a wolf, and a broken crown, and trees flowering all around him.

 

The wolf image is obvious as Perrin is a wolfbrother. The broken crown is a reference to his connection to the Saldean crown, for which Perrin is now in the line of succession since his wife, Faile, is second in line after her father, Davram Bashere. The trees flowering all around him are a strange viewing for Min to have about Perrin. It would make sense if she saw the image about Rand, since we see in Towers of Midnight that Rand now has an aura about him which instantly brings health and vibrancy to the immediate area around him. Being that the image is around Perrin, though, it's likely that he will end up having an important role in rejuvenating the land even as the Dark One's shadow grows strongest. But how will he end up doing this?

 

We're now going to venture into a subject that was talked about recently in our 4th Age Podcast: the mystery of Nakomi. Just as a quick refresher, Nakomi was the woman who appeared to Aviendha on her journey to Rhuidean, where she saw the bleak future of her people. Many theories have been raised regarding the identity of this strange figure, but one which I particularly enjoy and find to make the most sense has to do with one particular line in the book right before Nakomi's introduction:

 

The Towers of Midnight

Chapter 39, "In the Three-fold Land"

 

Aviendha settled down, watching the fire crackle, smelling the meat. Yes, she was glad she hadn't Traveled directly to Rhuidean, instead taking the time--precious though that time was--to run in the Three-fold Land. It helped her see what she had been, and what she had become. Aviendha the Maiden was gone. She had embraced her path as a Wise One, and that brought her honor back. She had purpose again. As a Wise One, she could help lead her people through their most trying time.

 

Once this was through, her people would need to return to the Three-fold Land. Each day in the wetlands made them weaker; she herself was an excellent example. She had grown soft there. How could one not grow soft in that place? It would have to be abandoned. Soon.

 

She smiled, settling back and closing her eyes for a moment, letting the day's fatigue melt away. Her future seemed so much more clear. She was to visit Rhuidean, pass through the crystal columns, then return and claim her share of Rand's heart. She would fight at the Last Battle. She would help preserve the remnant of the Aiel who survived, then bring them home where they belonged.

 

A sound came from outside her camp.

 

Perhaps Aviendha wasn't awake at all during her encounter, but instead had drifted off to sleep with her mind filled with the problems her people faced. Aviendha has a history of doing things "accidentally," as when she first wove a gateway to get away from Rand to try and hide her shame, so it's possible that she slipped into Tel'aran'rhiod. Another possibility is that she was drawn there somehow in her need to find further clarity. Once in Tel'aran'rhiod, she is visited by Nakomi, who happens to be a Jenn Aiel who is a Hero of the Horn and resides in that dream world. It might be against their precepts to interfere or talk to people from the real world, but we already have a precedent for it and since there is a dire need for Aviendha to gain understanding about her people's predicament, it's probably okay in this circumstance to break the rules.

 

I also like other ideas about Nakomi, such as how she might be a spirit guide, or even possibly the Creator in person (remember how she has to go "see to nature"?), but let's roll with this idea for now. I don't think it's a stretch to imagine there will be a huge confrontation in Tel'aran'rhiod in the last book, especially if Perrin somehow has to save Rand from the clutches of the Dark One after Rand's death. In such an important encounter, the forces of the Light will use any tool they have to help give them an edge, so I expect to see Dreamwalkers, Wolfbrothers, and Heroes of the Horn, possibly including Nakomi.

 

Even should Nakomi not be present at the battle in the dream world, what if she still finds the time to make another appearance to Perrin at some point when he's traveling through Tel'aran'rhiod? Perrin is not just a warrior, but a blacksmith, and has the ability to create as well as destroy. The title of this week's blog is actually a direct quote from The Shadow Rising, from the last paragraph of chapter 40, and could be important foreshadowing. The music he hears is from a band of Tuatha'an he meets in the Two Rivers, and it turns out he's familiar with this particular group of Tinkers and their leader, Raen, from when he traveled with them for a time in The Eye of the World. Raen hails Perrin with the customary greeting a Tuatha'an will ask upon meeting someone in the world:

 

The Shadow Rising

Chapter 41, "Among the Tuatha'an"

 

"You are welcome to our fires. Do you know the song?"

 

Perrin might not know the Song yet, and this might be a stretch, but perhaps Nakomi helps Perrin discover something else hidden deep inside himself. Perhaps, even as Perrin's hammer, Mah'alleinir, sings its own song of destruction as it carves swathes of death through ranks of Shadowspawn, Perrin Goldeneyes will let his voice resound against the Dark One himself at the sealing of the Bore. Leading a heroic grouping of Aiel, Tuatha'an, and Ogier (and maybe even a Nym), he will Sing the Song which ends up being the Light's salvation.

 

Wouldn't that be something?

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Good stuff as always Despothera!

 

I really like the idea that Perrin finds the song. He is always conflicted when the Tuatha'an are around. Having read your comparisons between Perrin and Sir Percival, perhaps that conflict is his affinity for the Way of the Leaf versus his sense of duty to act against evil. I recall reading early in the series that Perrin never sings because he's been told he sounds like a frog being stepped on, but he seems to have many connections to the Tuatha'an and singing. I think you're right on that one.

 

So Aviendha had resolved to take the Aiel back to the Waste, and even as she was thinking this Nakomi arrives. They have a discussion where Nakomi leads Aviendha to think about the future of the Aiel, and then Aviendha sees the bleak future of the Aiel in the glass columns. Some have speculated that Nakomi was really one of the Forsaken in disguise, but I doubt it. I don't pretend to know Nakomi's source, but I think she had the Aiel's best interests in mind, and led Aviendha to consider the best way to lead the Aiel into the future.

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I truly enjoy the idea of Perrin being the real saviour. He has been carefully cultivated to become a figure of enormous power - who can't channel. One of the few. (I also think he may be immune to compulsion through his link to the wolves, but that's another theory for another time)

 

One thing that seems unusually untouched within the series is the fact that the Blacksmith is sacrosanct to the Aiel. It never gets explained.

 

I wonder if your Theory fits in with the idea that Perrin helps lead the Aiel back to their true purpose and, fitting with the wheel of time, the Blacksmith becomes a sacred role to the Aiel.

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i like the idea, but i dont think perrin knows the song(yet)...

 

i think, that its more likely, that the wolves know it, as noam says, "the wolf is peace"... and as wolves have such long memories, they would be at a good position to remember it... so, perrin may charge the dark one singing the song, but stemming not from nakomi, but from the wolves(or a mix thereof)... and would explain why it has been lost, if it can only be sung by a wolfbrother... not many have existed until recently...

 

plus, it fits in with the brutal irony of the tinkers searching for the song, but their dogs know it(or at least know of it)

 

:D just my theory

 

 

and redshield. aviendha has not resolved to take the aiel back to the waste... she's resolved to get rand to give the aiel a purpose :)

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There are several things playing into this type of scenario. At this point in the story both Rand and Perrin are physically with a mile or so of each other, so an early meeting between them is very likely. There is also a large gathering of Tuatha'an near Ebou Dar, and Rand is aware of them. However getting a mass of them to the last battle quickly may involve coming to terms with Fortuona and the Seanchan.

 

One thing arguing against Perrin's role is that he may not be on the best of terms with the Tuatha'an after Perrin give permission to Aram to pick up a sword.

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Once again, great stuff Des!

 

I hadn't considered the Nakomi connection before, nice!

 

The one problem I (previously) had with Perrin rediscovering the Song was how exactly he was going to accomplish this. I had considered Rand due to his merge with LTT, but don't like that too much because he already has his great deed to do. Mat has 'saved the world' and will presumably blow the HoV. Perrin needed a save the world moment too. (apart from saving Rand for a second time)

 

Nakomi; Jenn Aiel, roaming the World of Dreams... I like it a lot!

 

Good point TreeJoe about the Aiel and blacksmiths, that could possibly solve the problem of how exactly Nakomi ends up meeting with Perrin.

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I also like the idea of Perrin being a blacksmith having something to do with why Nakomi singles him out.

 

It does kind of make sense though for Aiel culture to have so much respect for blacksmith's, being a warrior culture and everything.

 

The only thing which I'm still wondering about is if a Nym will be needed or not. In the original Seed Singing, Aiel, Ogier, and Nym were all needed for it to work, but it might have been just for the specific task of singing to grow crops. To me the Talent of Singing can be used to aid channeling in general, so it might not be necessary to have a Nym at all. Should one be needed, perhaps there's one more which has been hidden for so long, but this seems unlikely. Nym are constructs of the One Power though, so perhaps one can be made in time for the Last Battle.

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Interesting thought processes. I have to say, Despothera, that your theories give me quite a bit to consider.

 

I think all of the signs, though, point to Perrin's death. Referencing the aforementioned prophecy, "The strongest thing I see about the big, curly-haired fellow are a wolf, and a broken crown, and trees flowering all around him." I think the trees flowering around him are the apple trees in the Two Rivers where the rest of his family are buried. Also, I think the dark prophecy mentioned in a previous post indicates that Perrin will perish, though the circumstances will likely lead to the victory of the Light rather than the inferred Shadow victory. Undoubtedly, he will live on in the world of dreams, but I do not think he will be involved with the rediscovery of the song.

 

I am torn between two theories for the rediscovery of the song. First, we can speculate that the Ogier with the Seanchan arrived in that land following the Breaking - as it is highly unlikely that would have traveled with Hawkwing's army. It is possible that those Ogier know the songs of growing. The other option is that the Wise Ones and Clan Chiefs already know the song from traveling through the ter'angreal at Rhuidean, but they only sing battle hymns and laments for the dead. If that's the case, either Rand or Aviendha could convince them to take up Singing.

 

I am unsure if the Tinkers, as contaminated as their blood-lines are, would even still have the Voice. It would be tragic if they were to find their elusive Song only to find they cannot sing it as it was meant to be sung.

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Maybe a Nym will pop out of a stasis box somewhere.

 

Poor Tinkers, that would be awful. Wouldn't the Aiel be upset if they had to take another trip down (bad)memory lane and sing the Song themselves.

 

Though I think that the Tinkers will be able to, TGS-ch38 Egwene uses 'need' in Tel'aran'rhiod and it takes her to a Tinkers' camp. This implies to me that they must have a part to play in Tarmon Gai'don.

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@Rabbott85... I've been reading the Dark Prophecy at the end of ToM:

 

"Yea, and the Broken Wolf, the one whom Death has known, shall fall and be consumed by the Towers of Midnight..."

 

I actually believe that this is a reference to Hopper instead of Perrin (the Fallen Blacksmith). The basis of this is simple:

 

1: The One-Eyed Fool is obviously Mat, and the First Among Vermin is Rand (breaking the seals to re-open the Bore), and the Fallen Blacksmith is Perrin. The reference to the Broken Wolf seems more a reference to another person.

 

2: Of the 3 Ta'Veren, Mat and Rand have both known Death (Rand as LTT), but Perrin has not. Hopper did, however.

 

Admittedly, I haven't found a solid reason why Hopper's death should impact the masses indicated in the dark prophecy, but the 2 points raised about Perrin above are still sound.

 

Another factor to consider is the "Blacksmith's Pride"; this statement doesn't fit what we know of Perrin at all. He is humble to a fault. If anything, his pride came into play when he relinquished his unwillingness to lead and accepted his roll as the Leader of a unique coalition.

 

The again, remember that the Dark Prophecy and Prophecies of the light cannot both be correct.

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Taelin, it might be a good idea to check out the theory blog from two weeks ago, it covers the dark prophecy in detail. Also, Robert Jordan confirmed in a Q&A session that the light and dark prophecies aren't competing, they'll both come true.

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also taelin, the capitalization of "D"eath makes me think that its a name... moridin. which leads me to think, that its a reference more to slayer then hopper :) moridin said he'd give grendal the dream spike and the man with two souls... clearly they know eachother.

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The nice thing about the Broken Wolf being Slayer is that it doesn't have to be his death which brings fear and sorrow to the hearts of men, the actual line in the prophecy is 'his destruction', which could easily mean he kills someone important, like Rand or Perrin or someone else important. The only problem I have with this is that if he kills Rand in T'A'R, Rand is dead forever and then the Shadow definitely will win. Either way if the Broken Wolf isn't Rand, my best bet is it's Slayer. There's a great thread about the 'Broken Wolf' and who it may be in our discussion forums.

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the broken wolf is noal (jain farstrider),his death in the towers of ghenji will despair the red hand. the singing will be perrin but not with his voice,it will be metal singing making new seals for the bore,lik he an some aes sedai did when he made his fancy hammer

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One thing to consider as a difference between Perrin and Rand and the blossoming trees. Where Perrin goes things endure growth happens, the shattered Two rivers has grown and rebuilt. He has forged alliances of trust between previously bitter enemies. When Rand comes along and heals things they return to their previous state after a time.

 

All that being said Rand is the one with the actual knowledge of the growing song. He, and other clan chiefs presumably, have heard it. The fact that the Tinkers do not believe the Aiel could have the "song" to me was a strong indicator that they do even before we learned of the connection between the two.

 

There is another possiblity to consider too. It wasnt Aiel alone singing the growing song Ogier were there as well. And the Ogier of Seanchan are very different from those of Randland. I think Loial has a bigger part yet to play too.

 

All in all I think Perrin will be the one to help build a lasting peace once all is said and done. (Though we may never actually see this in story form) I think he will be the one who "retrieves" the song from Rand. He is the only one of the three to never enter the Aiel waste or specifically hasnt visited Rhuidean. I think this fact will be very important in both rebuilding after TG and giving the Aiel new direction.

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Just wondering, is it just me, or does anyone else remember that early on, I think it was in EotW, Loial mentions that he just happens to be a "Tree Singer" and that this talent is almost lost to the Oiger? I'm fairly sure that this was NOT just happenstance, as we all know, RJ did nothing with out a reason, so I think that this off-hand remark has/had a purpous in moving the story ahead, but then I could be wrong......nah, I don't think so, eh?

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I love your blogs i just have one problem with the identiy of Nakomi right after the quote you used Aviendha meations how she wished she had some basic herbs or spices and how her mother awlays cared a small amount with her and the fact that the boundray between the deed and the living is not so stable and that people see the dead walking

 

well Aviendha would not nesasarly reckenise her mother a young women and i belive there was even a coment from Aviendha about that "Nakomi " looked formilualer and that this women has herbs or spices whetever with her and the gets up and disapeares

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@madmuo, there was also a memory of the nym's singing and dancing... i *think* loial will be involved in the finding of the song that the tinkers have been seeking

 

@bougher, nakomi is the first walking dead that we've seen where people have actually been thoughtful from... the rest seemed... unaware of the livings presence... so i think the "walking dead" theory is wrong...

 

i really have no idea who she was, where her creator-like powers come from, or where she went...

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seems to me that wolves have a vague rememberance of distant things and wouldn't remember the words or melodies of human singing... LTT and the reintergrated rand would have exact memories of it ("are you here for the singing, friend?" or something like that) and perhaps participated in it as well as the tamilyn. another possibility might be to just gate the tuathan to ruidien and run them or the seeker through the terangal.. they'd certainly be "strong" enough for it. please excuse the spelling errors; i'm not looking all those words up!

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I like several references made here:

1. Loial being a tree singer

2. wolves remembering the song and passing the memory to Perrin

3. The Seanchan Oiger having the song--the Seanchan have much stronger ties to tradition and are such sticklers for superstition, mayby they have it written down somewhere or passed through verbal tradition.

 

And here are a few of my own that came up while reading:

1. Perrin's strong ties with Loial would make him a perfect candidate for the song

2. The Tinkers aren't all opera singers, Perrin sounding like a stepped on toad doesn't exempt him--I think it actually makes him a stronger option

3. The need for a non-existant Nym could be Morraine's big deed at the last battle... we saw in book one that she already knew the Nym, maybe she studied him the first trip and understands his workings... would explain why she had to return, and her diminished powers wouldn't really matter. We read in NS and other places that the Blues are adept in manipulating bugs and the earth (her attack on Lan with the ants and water, and Suian mentions it as a `Blue secret`), would set Morraine up as the perfect person to rediscover the creation of this race just in time for the end of this age.

4. Perrin's involvement in this would be a great way for RJ/BS to represent the metaphor of Perrin putting away the axe (not participating in the actual battle) and using a hammer's blow to the dark forces (by leading the Song and righting nature).

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