Now, we have another edition of "WoT If?", with a focus on who will live or die at the Last Battle. I'd like to look at the Royal Family of Andor a bit today, and see if their family ties might be the key to their salvation...or their doom. As always:
Also, this WILL NOT contain spoilers from A Memory of Light's Prologue, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, or Chapter 11. Please refrain from posting any spoilers from A Memory of Light in the comments section. The A Memory of Light spoiler discussion board can be found here.
First and foremost, we need to start with Elayne. Like last week's featured couple, many fans are upset with Elayne and begging for her death. She, however, feels immune to the threat of mortality. For the past five books, since she found out she was pregnant, she has known she will live long enough to have healthy children. There was a scene in Towers of Midnight where she sort of came to terms with her supposed immortality (Chapter 23, "Foxheads"), but will that change how recklessly she acts? I doubt it.
What kind of textual evidence do we have? The main argument comes from the same logic Elayne used, that she will be safe until her children are born. Min said:
Chapter 12, "A Lily in Winter"
"She'll get with child from this. Two of them; a boy and a girl; both healthy and strong."
It's difficult to keep track of the timeline, but I believe only three or four months have passed since Elayne got pregnant. That means she has five or six more before her babies are born. If the Last Battle is starting now, I'd say Elayne is safe. Since her babies will be born "healthy and strong," I'm assuming she won't have them prematurely.
There's also Nicola's Foretelling:
Chapter 14, "Dreams and Nightmares"
"The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade."
Since Rand is "he who is dead yet lives," the Last Battle must be finished. So despite everyone's hopes, I'm saying Elayne will survive Tarmon Gai'don.
The next few have a little less certainty, in my opinion. Let's move on to Gawyn, another person a lot of fans have come to hate. Min and Egwene have both had visions about Gawyn that seem to have a "maybe" quality to them. Min sees:
Chapter 47, "The Truth of a Viewing"
Gawyn kneeling at Egwene's feet with his head bowed, and Gawyn breaking Egwene's neck, first one then the other, as if either could be the future.
And Egwene Dreams:
Lord of Chaos
Chapter 15, "A Pile of Sand"
Twice, right atop one another, she dreamed of taking him by the shoulders and trying to turn him to face the other way against his will. Once he brushed her hands away roughly; the other time, she was somehow stronger than he. The two blended together hazily.
Chapter 10, "Unseen Eyes"
Down one fork was his violent death, down the other, a long life and a death in bed. On one path, he would marry her, on the other, not.
Gawyn made his choice in Towers of Midnight. He chose to bow before Egwene, not break her neck. And with knowing that in regards to Min's viewing, we can apply it to Egwene's Dreams. Because she made him come around to her way of thinking, we can see she was "stronger" than he, turning him from what he wanted.
But which path is which? The second Dream has a violent death versus death in bed, which is paralleled in the next sentence by marrying her versus not marrying her. Does this mean they are linked in that way? That the violent death is if he marries her, and death in bed if he doesn't? That's what I would think. And we know they intend to marry (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 42, "Stronger Than Blood"), so I'd say that's evidence pointing towards Gawyn dying. However, the wording could be an Aes Sedai trick by Robert Jordan to make us believe that the phrases are paired with one another when they really aren't.
Okay, let's look at more proof. Gawyn took the ter'angreal rings from the Bloodknife Seanchan assassins. Those ter'angreal kill the wearer, even if the ring is removed.
Chapter 35, "The Death of Tuon"
The incredible abilities came at a cost, however, for the rings leeched life from their hosts, killing them in a matter of days. Removing the ring would slow that process slightly, but once activated—done by touching a drop of one's own blood to the stone ring while wearing it—the process was irreversible.
The last we've seen, Gawyn has them on a chain around his neck (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 56, "Something Wrong"). Can they hurt him if they've been activated by someone else? Does having them around the neck count as "wearing" them? How easily could Gawyn's blood drip onto the rings if they are that close?
There are a lot of questions and a lot we don't know about these ter'angreal, but I think this could be more foreshadowing about Gawyn's death.
What about Galad? We only have a few viewings from Min that hint about his future. We find out he "will always do what is right. No matter who it hurts" (The Great Hunt, Chapter 24, "New Friends and Old Enemies"), and he would hurt someone for the greater good, not even noticing who got hurt (The Great Hunt, Chapter 38, "Practice").
I think this emphasis on Galad's goodness-to-a-fault suggests a self-sacrifice. He was willing to die by the hands of Valda for the wrongs done to Morgase, and he could easily give up his own life to save another, for the greater good.
I've seen theories that suggest Galad might be the key to victory at the Last Battle for two reasons. One is Elaida's Foretelling about the "Royal line of Andor being the key to defeating the Dark One" (A Crown of Swords, Prologue), and two is the prophecy that says, "Red on black, the Dragon's blood stains the rock of Shayol Ghul. In the Pit of Doom shall his blood free men from the Shadow" (The Great Hunt, Chapter 26, "Discord"). Galad is a member of the royal line and Rand's half-brother by blood. Galad could be said to be the Dragon's blood. Since prophecy very rarely means what it says, I think it's possible that this isn't referring to Rand's actual blood. It could easily apply to Luc Mantear as well.
Min did see a viewing around Berelain sur Paendrag that she will meet "a man in white who will make her fall head over heels" (Lord of Chaos, Chapter 50, "Thorns"). We get hints in Towers of Midnight that it is Galad. Even if Berelain falls in love with him doesn't mean he will survive Tarmon Gai'don.
So, I think Galad's chances of surviving are slim as well.
Finally, let's look at Luc Mantear, who is currently half of the assassin Slayer. The circumstances around Luc's trip to the Blight are mysterious. Rumors say it was Gitara Moroso who told him to go (Lord of Chaos, Chapter 16, "Tellings of the Wheel"). If a Foretelling was involved, it seems like the Luc/Isam merging was a step the Pattern needed. And if the Pattern needed Slayer, then he most definitely has a major role to play. And that means he could be the key to victory, when he is able to help Rand—who he knows is his nephew (Winter's Heart, Chapter 22, "Out of Thin Air")—and perhaps defeat the Shadow inside himself, most likely to die in the process.
Either way, if Slayer doesn't return to the Light, Perrin will certainly kill him. I think it's almost a guarantee that Slayer will die during the Last Battle.
So, things look pretty grim for the Royal Line of Andor. I guess we'll find out for certain in six weeks! That's all for this edition. Next week, we'll look at Nicola's Foretellings (not the "Three on a boat" one!). Thanks for reading!