Jump to content



WoT If…Perrin Went Against the Pattern?

Mashiara Sedai

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to "WoT If?". Sorry to keep you in suspense for a week over what topic we would be discussing. This time, I want to look at one specific scene in The Shadow Rising and examine why Perrin finds it so difficult to leave the Stone of Tear. As always:


Spoiler warning! This will include content from many books in the series, including Towers of Midnight, and speculation about A Memory of Light. Please read at your own risk.


We all know that the Pattern swirls around our three ta'veren, but it's also true that the Pattern forces them to do its bidding. Loial is the one who brings this up the most:


The Great Hunt

Chapter 3, "Friends and Enemies"


"For a time, the Wheel will bend the Pattern around you three, whatever you do. And whatever you do is more likely to be chosen by the Wheel than by you. Ta'veren pull history along behind them and shape the Pattern just by being, but the Wheel weaves ta'veren on a tighter line than other men. Wherever you go and whatever you do, until the Wheel chooses otherwise you will — "


The Dragon Reborn

Chapter 2, "Saidin"


"It's said that if you were in the same room with Artur Hawkwing, you could feel the Pattern rearranging itself. I don't know how true that is, but I've read that it was. But it doesn't only work one way. Ta'veren themselves are woven to a tighter line than the rest of us, with fewer choices."


And even Hawkwing himself speaks of the Pattern's demands:


The Great Hunt

Chapter 47, "The Grave Is No Bar To My Call"


"The Wheel spins us out for its purposes, not ours, to serve the Pattern."



"The Pattern weaves itself around our necks like halters," Artur Hawkwing said. "You are here. The banner is here. The weave of this moment is set. We have come to the Horn, but we must follow the banner. And the Dragon."


So, if the Pattern—or more specifically, the Wheel—is deciding who goes where and who does what, why does Perrin have trouble leaving the Stone of Tear? We know he had to go back home, to become Lord of the Two Rivers, to marry Faile, etc. Why is there this conflict of interest? Let's look at the scene in The Shadow Rising.


The Shadow Rising

Chapter 18, "Into the Ways"


Rand. Perrin knew it was him. The pull of ta'veren dragged at him, two whirlpools in a stream drawing one another. Coughing in the falling dust, he shook his head as hard as he could, straining not to dismount and run back up into the Stone. "We ride!" he shouted while tremors still shook the fortress. "We ride now, Loial! Now!"



Perrin was right behind with his own packhorse, wishing the Ogier's animal could run faster, wishing he could leave Loial's lumbering mount behind and outrun the suction trying to draw him back, that pull of ta'veren to ta'veren. They galloped together through the streets of Tear, toward the rising sun, barely slowing to avoid carts and carriages. Men in tight coats and women with layered aprons, still shaken by the upheaval, stared at them, dazed, sometimes barely leaping out of the way.


At the walls of the inner city paving stones gave way to dirt, shoes and coats to bare feet and bare chests above baggy breeches held up by broad sashes. The folk here dodged no less assiduously, though, for Perrin would not let Stepper slow until they had galloped past the city's outer wall, past the simple stone houses and shops that clustered outside the city proper, into a countryside of scattered farms and thickets and beyond the pull of ta'veren. Only then, breathing almost as hard as his lathered horse, he reined Stepper to a walk.


Perrin assumes he is unable to leave because of the pull of Rand, ta'veren to ta'veren. But how does he come to this conclusion? When it is time for Mat to leave—after the victory in Cairhien—he does so with no problem. Also, after Perrin is reunited with Rand and leaves again, there is no resistance.


This seems to be an isolated incident. There's no doubt the ta'veren are drawn to one another, especially when one of them is in need. For example:


Lord of Chaos



"I know," he said softly. "I can feel him tugging at me."


His voice was so strange that she reached up to grip his short beard and make him look down at her. His golden eyes, still as strange and mysterious to her as ever, looked sad. "What do you mean? You might think fondly of Gwil, but he — "


"It's Rand, Faile. He needs me."


After things settle in the Two Rivers, Perrin feels the tugging. He knows Rand needs him, and he does. Right after they reunite, Rand is kidnapped by the Tower Aes Sedai and Perrin is the one who leads the rescue mission.


However, this tugging is not the same one Perrin felt at the Stone. At the Stone, the pull seemed almost violent. Perrin physically struggled to get away from its grasp. In the Two Rivers, it's calmer, a sensation of nagging, a slight tickle. Notice Perrin doesn't jump on his horse in quick motions and run as fast as he can, as he did in Tear. His voice is "sad" rather than frantic.


To me, this shows that the tugging in Tear was something of an anomaly, and that makes me wonder why. I can only see two different reasons why there is such a pull.


First, Perrin believes in it. He assumes it is the pull of ta'veren, but that doesn't mean it's true. The whole thing could be in his head, due to his strong sense of duty. He, unlike Mat, recognizes his role in Rand's life, but still wants to go home to save his family, if he can. When he and Mat discuss going home, Perrin acknowledges that he is straying from his duty to Rand:


The Shadow Rising

Chapter 13, "Rumors"


"You don't have to," Perrin said quietly. "Nothing I heard mentioned you. Only Rand, and me."


"Burn me, I will g—" He could not say it. Thinking of going was easy enough, but saying he would? His throat tightened up to strangle the words. "Is it easy for you, Perrin? Going, I mean? Don't you...feel anything? Trying to hold you back? Telling you reasons you shouldn't go?"


"A hundred of them, Mat, but I know it comes down to Rand, and ta'veren. You won't admit that, will you? A hundred reasons to stay, but the one reason to go outweighs them. The Whitecloaks are in the Two Rivers, and they'll hurt people trying to find me. I can stop it, if I go."



"Burn me, Perrin. Burn me! I want to g-g— See? I can't even say it, now. Like my head knows I'll do it if I say it. I can't even get it out in my mind!"


Notice how Mat isn't able to say he'd go. If Perrin can plan, and Mat cannot, it seems the Pattern is okay with Perrin making the trip, or else he'd be in the same boat as Mat. So, the Pattern is fine with it, Rand's thread is fine with it, and it's only Perrin's disappointment in running that holds him back.


The second reason, which is a stretch, I'll admit, is interference by the Dark One or the Forsaken. We know Lanfear was wandering around the Stone the previous night. We know she visited Perrin in his dreams (The Dragon Reborn, Chapter 4, "Shadows Sleeping"). It's possible that she used Compulsion on him, to make him stay. Mat does hear from the Aelfinn that he will be killed by "those who do not want that fate fulfilled" (The Shadow Rising, Chapter 15, "Into the Doorway") if he doesn't go to Rhuidean. Perhaps Perrin would suffer the same fate if he didn't go back to Emond's Field? And at this point, the Dark One does want all of them dead.


On a side note, after Perrin being tugged to Rand during Lord of Chaos, I can only recall two times when the ta'veren pull comes into play. And both of them are in regards to Mat pulling someone he needs. First is Talmanes:


The Path of Daggers

Chapter 18, " A Peculiar Calling"


"I thought it might be so," he sighed. "I have...felt...something, for weeks now. Others in the Band have, too. Not urgent, but always there. As if he needed me. As if I should look south, anyway. It can be peculiar, following a ta'veren."


And later, in The Gathering Storm, the Pattern forces Verin into Mat's path:


The Gathering Storm

Chapter 36, "The Death of Tuon"


"Do you realize how strongly ta'veren you are, young man?" Verin asked.


Mat shrugged. "Rand's the one you want for that sort of thing. Honestly, I'm barely anything compared to him." Blasted colors!


"Oh, I wouldn't consider downplaying the Dragon's importance," Verin said, chuckling. "But you can't hide your light in his shadow, Matrim Cauthon. Not in the presence of any but the blind, at least. In any other time, you'd undoubtedly be the most powerfully ta'veren individual alive. Probably the most powerful to have lived in centuries."


Mat shifted on the bench. Bloody ashes, he hated the way that made him look as if he was squirming. Maybe he should just stand up. "What are you talking about, Verin?" he said instead. He folded his arms and tried to at least pretend that he was comfortable.


"I'm talking about how you yanked me halfway across the continent." Her smile widened as a soldier entered with a steaming cup of mint tea. She took it gratefully, and the soldier retreated.


"Yanked you?" Mat said. "You were looking for me."


"Only after I determined that the Pattern was tugging me somewhere." Verin blew on her tea. "That meant you or Perrin. It couldn't have been Rand's fault, since I'd been able to leave that one easily."


All this ta'veren tugging seems random and inconsistent, to me. Why is the pull so strong in Tear? Why does the sensation get milder as the series continues? Perhaps their urgency to be together decreases with the ability to see what the others are doing? There is a spike in the swirling colors in the last few books, so maybe.


That's all for this week. I'd really love comments about things I've missed or overlooked in relation to the ta'veren tug. Next week, as Metal Head requested, we'll take a closer look at Padan Fain and his role in the rest of the series.

User Feedback

Recommended Comments

Gwenifer, I think you may have touched on something important. "When the bore is unmade."


We know that the DO, if he wins, plans to un-make the world, and he would presumably use the True Power to do this. So the True Power can be used to "unmake" things. And we know that Rand can access the True Power.


Conclusion: Rand could use the True Power to unmake the Bore, restoring the Dark One's prison to the same condition it was in before the Bore was made.


This also could tie in nicely with an earlier theory about there being a "Dark Callandor" or some other kind of sa'angreal for the True Power, and the body-swap theory.


So here's how this would work, briefly:

1. Rand, along with Callandor, Nynaeve, and Alivia, faces Moridin at Shayol Ghul. Moridin reveals his own sa'angreal.


2. They fight, it looks like Moridin might win. Then, somehow, the body swap happens. Moridin is now in Rand's damaged body, bleeding all over "the rocks of Shayol Ghul." He's now firmly under the control of Nynaeve and Alivia. Nynaeve and Alivia notice that something is wrong, but Nynaeve won't act to finish off Moridin because he looks like Rand. Alivia, however, sees what has happened, and finishes Moridin off when Nynaeve will not.


3. Rand, in Moridin's body, has unrestricted access to the TP, and a dark sa'angreal. He uses both to channel the TP, and un-make the bore itself, trapping Padan Fain inside, along with any remaining surviving Forsaken (though I doubt that any of them will survive).


4. Rand survives the Last Battle and lives out the rest of his life in Moridin's body.


Maybe. Or not.

Share this comment

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my opinion, the reaction to this particularly large pull was probably a combination of several things. Perrin's sense of duty perhaps could have taken effect, but as you yourself said he already had a valid reason to go, which outweighed the reasons to stay. I think it was a combination of how new they were to the powers, the simple force of Rand's tavern, nd finnally distance. As stated several times throughout the series the power of saiden/saidar was greatly reduced at distances, it would seem logical that the wheel, or the thread of the wheel that represented Rand althor would also lose potency at a distance. The obvious question to follow this train of thought would be why then did not the pulling increase as distance closed? The answer is simple.. there was no need for it to. By that time it had already accomplished its task.

Share this comment

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Metal Head,


Though the question of how to get rid of the bore is the WoT greatest mistery, I'm not a fan of the TP option. There are a few points: first, while "unmaking" the world means annihilating it, in relation to the bore it would be something else - there is already an emptyness, the Pattern needs to get healed, recreated, sewn or whatever. Second, why would the TP stop the DO? Do you mean using Fain as a buffer which will push him away? If so, Rand could simply use the OP. But, like yours, these are only my thoughts :) And I personally don't wont to see Rand use the TP anymore. What is more, if he has access to the Light now, he doesn't need to. By the way, isn't the ability - or the permission - to channel the TP tied to one's soul, not the body? If so, Rand wouldn't obtain it by possessing Moridin's body.


Although I don't think it probable, I like the idea of the bore getting healed by the very presence of 3 ta'veren together, possibly with the help of the Song.


It's not very Perrin-and-the-pull-related, is it :)

Share this comment

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wondering how this got so off topic... But anyway, this is a pretty well timed topic because I am actually currently in the process of rereading the part where he leaves Tear so I had been thinking a lot about it, so my thoughts on the whole Perrin leaving Tear to go to the Two Rivers thing was the pulling feeling he gets to stay in Tear wasn't actually that strong until after he is just about to leave and by that time he definitely cannot change his mind, when he said a hundred reasons to stay, sort of implies that these reasons aren't actually that good, whereas to save all his friends and family and the rest of the people in the TR was a very good reason. But the tugging to stay with Rand was sort of like a reverse psychology sort of thing to set Perrin in his way, as once he got to the TR realized his plan to give himself up to the whitecloaks wouldn't have worked he would have just been sitting there twiddling his thumbs, but with the sense of purpose he had from the mental battle with Ta'veranism he had the willpower to rally the people and defeat the trollocs, send the whitecloaks away, unite the people of the TR and create a seat of power that has decent strength.


Thats my two cents, not saying it's definitely what I believe or if it's any good, but thats just what I came up with as I read.

Share this comment

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My take on it is that as Perrin was leaving there were TWO ta'veren wills at work. The key here is Jordan's description of it being like two whirlpools pulling each other. Mat couldn't even say that he would go. That tells me that the pattern demanded that he remain. Perrin had a choice. The pattern was pulling him two directions. To the Two Rivers, and to remain in Tear. Had he remained, he might have been in a position to stave off some element of events that befell Rand before they occurred, Maybe he would have been in a position to overhear or witness something crucial that might have changed something only slightly, but the Two Rivers would have been lost. The pattern's need for him being close to Rand was not as strong as it would become... As he us leaving Tear, the pull, strong as it was, only extended so far from the City. In Lord of Chaos, that pull had extended all the way to the Two Rivers.


He had a choice up until the point where he knew he had to return. That choice was part of the pattern. A very important one. If he did not go home, the Two Rivers would have been ravaged by yet another Trolloc horde, AND the Whitecloaks would have done irreparable damage. And whether or not the banner of Manetheren would fly again in truth, the People of Manetheren would not have risen up. Perrin would have no army to lead anywhere, let alone to the Last Battle. But when the pattern's need for him to be close enough to preserve Rand's thread, he was pulled inexorably back to him.

Share this comment

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...