Why hello, my witty habitué of Dragonmount! Welcome to another biweekly weekly (just kidding) entry of "It Works in Theory," Dragonmount's theory blog, in which this madman mysteriously gets the opportunity to muse on the topic of The Wheel of Time. Once again, I apologize for the absence of last week's blog. I do have a good excuse, though! I am ecstatic to say that I am now a married man! I'll allow some time for the applause and cheers to calm down. And now, for our weekly 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! I, Despothera, take you, my blog, to be my lawfully bonded assignment. Before these witnesses, I vow to put you off and delay writing you until the last possible moment. I take you, with all your strengths and weaknesses, as I offer myself to you, with all of my blog-related strengths and weaknesses. I shall bemoan you when you need to be written, and turn to you when I need an excuse to waste time online. You will take me in sickness and in health, or in whatever other state I might be in at the time, and leave me for better or for worse after you are written, till death do us part (or until my laptop gets thrown across the room).
Given that I did just get married recently, I thought it fitting to cover a theory related to marriage today. In fact, the specific theory we will be discussing today involves my favorite character, Perrin "Goldeneyes" Aybara, and his relationship to the Broken Crown. Alright, alright, zip it with all the abusive wife jokes! Faile and rolling pins aren't coming near each other in today's blog.
Okay, to catch everyone up, the first visions Min ever had about Perrin were described thusly:
The Eye of the World
Chapter 15, "Strangers and Friends"
"The strongest things I see about the big, curly-haired fellow are a wolf, a broken crown, and trees flowering all around him."
The first one is obvious; the last one might be hinting at Perrin's possible role in rediscovering the lost Talent of Singing. I covered this in my blog a few weeks ago (click here for the link). The second has to do with Perrin's relationship to Faile, who is second in line in the succession to the Saldaean throne. The royal seat is more commonly known as the Broken Crown, and Queen Tenobia is currently the one on whom the crown is bestowed. Faile's father, Davram Bashere, is also Tenobia's uncle, and because Tenobia does not have any spouse or heirs, he is first in line for the throne should Tenobia abdicate or meet her end.
There is some discussion regarding the alignment of Davram Bashere; some think he might be a Darkfriend. Evidence for this theory includes his attack on Rand during one of Rand's sparring sessions--an incident in which Davram claims not to recognize Mazrim Taim--and this particular quote, another one of Min's visions:
Crossroads of Twilight
Chapter 24, "A Strengthening Storm"
“You have to do something,” Min muttered, folding her arms beneath her breasts. “Logain’s aura still speaks of glory, stronger than ever. Maybe he still thinks he’s the real Dragon Reborn. And there’s something...dark...in the images I saw around Lord Davram. If he turns against you, or dies...I heard one of the soldiers say Lord Dobraine might die. Losing even one of them would be a blow. Lose all three, and it might take you a year to recover.”
The quote about Davram reminds me a lot of Min's vision of Alivia. Her desire to protect Rand from all the dangers around him leads her to be somewhat paranoid of even his closest confidants, but her suspicions seem to be just that: paranoia. However, it still can be said to be a potential clue pointing to Bashere's potential scumminess. Oh boy, that last sentence makes me feel I've been playing too much mafia lately! (For anyone wanting to check out Dragonmount's mafia games, visit this forum.)
Now, for some reason, I see Tenobia going under the radar for everyone. Apparently, not too many people believe her to be a Darkfriend. This is kind of strange, because there is practically an orgy of evidence which might seem to implicate Tenobia as having given her soul to the Dark One. Davram himself is somewhat suspicious of her motives when she leaves the Blight undefended to come down and pursue Rand. Alviarin (Head of the Black Ajah) sends a Red (and most likely Black as well) Sister to control and eventually kidnap Tenobia (it seems like that sister, Memara, failed in her tasks). One of the most damning pieces of evidence is that she left a relative of hers--Vram Torkumen, a verified Darkfriend--in charge at Maradon. Ituralde's entire campaign would have met a much shorter end had the Saldaean captain Yoeli not rebelled against his orders and performed a coup on the Darkfriend leaders. Min also has an ominous vision about Tenobia:
Towers of Midnight
Chapter 51, "A Testing"
"Tenobia," Cadsuane said, "is a wildfire. Young, impertinent and reckless. Don't let her draw you into an argument."
Rand nodded. "Min?"
"Tenobia has a spear hovering over her head," Min said. "Bloody, but shining in the light."
The imagery of the shining light probably leads many to assume she will die a heroic martyr type of death, but the flip side is that it may turn out to be that her death ends up being good for the Light. The fact that the spear is bloody definitely seems to call for someone's death; whether it's hers or someone that she betrays or kills remains to be seen. The big pitfall to the idea that Tenobia might be a Darkfriend is that she looks Rand in the eyes after his "Veins of Gold" epiphany, yet isn't outed by Rand's new Ghostrideresque ability to stare down Darkfriends. This would seem to dispel the possibility of Davram Bashere being a Darkfriend as well, since he passes the Rand al'Thor Darkfriend Seeing Eye Test(TM).
The only thing I would say about this is that I don't know if we really know enough about the new abilities to completely understand all the nuances and subtleties of how they emerge with Rand. It might be that a Darkfriend with a strong enough will can stare Rand down without being outed as easily as another Darkfriend. Another wacky idea I had was that Tenobia might be a Darkfriend going rogue, as in trying to set her own agenda to betray her former masters. The bloody spear shining in sunlight might be her moment of redemption. Either way, it seems fairly clear that there is a strong possibility of both Tenobia and Davram Bashere dying in the last book, leaving the throne to pass down to Faile. Because Saldaea has a form of a joint monarchy in which the spouse of the King or Queen is almost an equal co-ruler, Perrin would essentially end up wearing the Broken Crown.
So, what effect does this have on the outcome of the Last Battle and the events leading up to and after it? Well, first of all, it gives Perrin another possible seat as a ruler in the world that will hopefully survive after the battle. The more lands that are controlled by stable leaders that have potential ties to the Dragon Reborn after the Last Battle, the better the chances of Randland surviving and being able to adapt to a new age. He promised Lieutenant-General Tylee Khirgan that he wouldn't revive the nation of Manetheren, and even though he did enact an alliance with Elayne that made him something of a Lord over the Two Rivers, he's still not the ruler.
I've also got a small, growing theory about the explanation to the cryptic "the north and the east must be as one, the south and the west must be as one" line which would involve Perrin representing the north. As ruler of Saldaea, he would have loose control over all four of the Borderlander nations because of their alliance in face of the coming struggles. Part of the usefulness in having Perrin sit the Saldaean throne might have something to do with how Randland can keep itself from being conquered by the Seanchan should they miraculously survive Tarmon Gai'don. The rest of that particular theory will have to wait for another time, as we have arrived at the end of my blog.
Happy one week anniversary, my love!