Why Androl is awesome: 1) Talent vs. Strength in the power. As discussed above this is a cool idea to explore, and I'm glad BS put his stamp down here. And the versatility of gateway use in this novel was vastly more entertaining than anytime someone flung a fireball or caused dirt to spray. 2) Male vs. Female. The Androl-Pevara bond/discovery of telepathy was new and also interesting to see male and female reaching a common ground. Much better than seeing how the typical warder bond just causes warders and Aes Sedai to lose their minds so the Shadow kills 2 for 1 in battle. Gawyn, you are a douche. 3) Androl = Rand. No, not time travel. Not, 2 bodies one soul or some crazy crap like that. The single most important role for Androl in the book is it gives us a window into Rand's future. The Epilogue is so, so bittersweet to read. Knowing that last chapter's is RJ's is a great way to finish this epic series. To see Rand finally have a chance to live life without the burden of the entire world riding on his shoulders is wonderful, but we are given no more than a tiny glimpse of a man riding off on a good horse (although no saddle and no towns to stop at for quite a while so not sure that coin is going to be all that helpful). Rand can't channel anymore, but he can light a pipe -- what are his new powers? Can he do anything he wants? or is lighting a pipe all he can muster with his mind control? If it's the latter than Rand is going off to live a life relatively weak in his powers, and supposedly he wants nothing to do with power or palaces. So what is Rand's future? It's this question that makes me happy for the Androl storyline. We get a picture of a man who just likes learning, exploring and seeing the world. Sort of like Jain Farstrider, but in a much more low key and humble way. And that is an awesome picture to have in place as we see Rand set off. Maybe Rand finds those cliffs to jump off of. Maybe Rand learns how to craft a saddle for that horse he's riding. Maybe he just chops wood for a place to sleep or goes back to playing the flute at an Inn or two. I don't know if BS did it intentionally, but the Androl storyline prepared me for Rand's departure. And for that, the Androl storyline deserves it's space in this book.