Welcome back to "WoT If?". This will be a continuation of theories regarding who will survive, or not survive, the Last Battle. We will be looking at Perrin and Faile. 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.
There are a lot of fans who got…impatient…with Perrin and Faile's plotlines from Winter's Heart and all the way to Knife of Dreams. Because of this, there is some resentment towards the two, and many hope one or the other will die in the Last Battle. So, we'll look at evidence on both sides and see where their fate may lie.
First, let's look at Perrin. He's important, one of the three ta'veren necessary to ensure victory at Tarmon Gai'don. It's stated several places that he and Mat are both needed to give aid to Rand. Last week's post talked about this a bit, so I won't go into detail about the possible roles Perrin will have. Suffice to say, he has to be there. And if he's taking part in the battle, there is a chance he won't survive.
However, it's pretty simple to determine that Perrin will survive. In The Eye of the World, Min had a viewing about him:
The Eye of the World
Chapter 15, "Strangers and Friends"
"The strongest things I see about the big, curlyhaired fellow are a wolf, and a broken crown, and trees flowering all around him."
Tenobia, Shield of the North and Sword of the Blightborder, is the current bearer of the Broken Crown, but there's foreshadowing that she might die during the Last Battle (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 51, "A Testing"), or at least before producing an heir (Path of Daggers, Prologue). Because of this, Davram Bashere will succeed her to the throne of Saldaea. And, as there's foreshadowing that Bashere will die during the Last Battle (Crossroads of Twilight, Chapter 24, "A Strengthening Storm"), his heir, Faile, will inherit. Saldaea might be a nation in which an outlander married to the ruler becomes equal—that is, Faile would be Queen, but Perrin could be King—so Perrin would be the wearer of the Broken Crown.
If Tenobia and Bashere die during the Last Battle, Perrin must survive it in order to receive the Broken Crown. I doubt he would be considered the King of Saldaea the exact moment the current ruler dies, so there must be a coronation, and that would certainly take place after the Last Battle.
There are a few other things to mention about Perrin. He's got a Power-wrought hammer that's going to come in handy during the Last Battle. I don't think it will make him invincible, but it did do more damage to Trollocs than a normal hammer would (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 41, "An Unexpected Ally"). He's also a very skilled Dreamwalker, so if the Battle does go into Tel'aran'rhiod, as many people believe, he will be almost invincible there, too.
My last piece of evidence might be a bit of a stretch, but I'll bring it up, just in case. When Perrin and Elayne speak of Perrin's "rebellion," they reach an agreement, naming him Steward of the Two Rivers, and saying they will encourage their children to wed (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 47, "A Teaching Chamber"). In Aviendha's second trip through the glass-column ter'angreal, she sees her grandchild, Oncala, and Elayne's grandchild, Talana. If Perrin's and Elayne's children marry, Talana could be Perrin's grandchild as well. I think that would explain the "not very pretty, but very regal" (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 49, "Court of the Sun") comment by Oncala. The mix of Two Rivers blood and Saldaean blood in one of Talana's parents, and Aiel and Andoran in the other, will probably equal something that's not very pretty.
So, Perrin must survive to get the Broken Crown and to father the child who becomes the parent of Talana.
Now, let's discuss Faile. I think most of the same arguments hold for her as for Perrin, especially the part about him fathering a child. But she will also need to be alive for him to take the Broken Crown. I think they'll have to be crowned together. However, this might be a point against her surviving. Perhaps that is why Perrin has the Broken Crown, not because they are equal rulers, but because Faile has died, leaving him to rule Saldaea alone. There is the chance that simply being her husband gives him the right even if she dies, too.
Another point for her survival: I don't think Faile will be doing much fighting during the Last Battle. Perrin has finally learned Saldaean ways, and he's become more comfortable with proving he's "stronger" than her. He'll tell her she can't fight, and she won't.
On top of that, we had three books worth of plotlines in which Faile's life was in danger. One thing I've learned from literature is authors don't repeat plotlines with the same characters. Even looking at the three times Rand fought Ba'alzamon, each scene was different: the first time, Rand simply cut the black cord; the second, Rand and Ba'alzamon dueled with swords in Falme; and the third, they fought with the One Power. So, even though the theme is the same, the execution is different. Faile spent so much time with a vague sense of danger that I don't believe she will face too much in the Last Battle.
I think that is sufficient proof for Perrin's survival, and just enough that I will say Faile will live too. With the quickly approaching arrival of A Memory of Light, I'll try to squeeze in a few more of these predictions. Next week, we'll examine the Royal Line of Andor—everyone from Elayne to Galad—and see if they're likely to live or die. Thanks for reading.