View Full Version : The new chapter icon

11-06-2009, 02:31 AM
At first, I thought it was a spiderweb, and I was thinking it was for Ituralde, since the first two chapters where it's used are his (well, the first had three points of view in it, but his was the first). But the next two chapters where it's used are Aviendha chapters, and one of them is called A Crack in the Stone. And then it's used for a Mat chapter!


So, these are the chapters where it's used:

Chapter 6 - When Iron Melts (Ituralde/Leane/Egwene)
Chapter 10 - The Last of the Tabac (Ituralde)
Chapter 11 - The Death of Adrin (Aviendha)
Chapter 26 - A Crack in the Stone (Aviendha/Romanda)
Chapter 28 - Night in Hinderstap (Mat)

Well, the cracks in stone are sort of a theme in this book - but none of the thematic quotes I could find were in any of these chapters! I can't even figure out why chapter 26 is named as it is, unless you consider Aviendha's pride to be a stone that finally cracked (this is where she finally confronted the Wise Ones). Nothing of the sort is said in the chapter, though - Rand had just decided to become cuendillar the night before.

Here are the quotes following the theme of cracking stone in this book (I think they are quite interesting):

TITLE - The Gathering Storm
PROLOGUE - What the Storm Means

Merchants ignored both young and old. They had their own problems, mainly on Southharbor, where trade into the city by way of the river had nearly come to a halt. Thick-chested workers toiled beneath the eyes of an Aes Sedai wearing a red-fringed shawl; she used the One Power to remove wards and weaken the stone, while the workmen broke the rock apart and hauled it away.

The workmen had sleeves rolled up, exposing curls of dark hair along burly arms, as they swung pick or hammer, pounding at the ancient stones. They dripped sweat onto rock or into the water below as they dug at the roots of the chain that blocked passage into the city by river. Half of that chain was now indestructible cuendillar, called heartstone by some. The effort to tear it free and allow passage into the city was an exhausting one; the harbor stoneworks—magnificent and strong, shaped by the Power itself—were only one of the more visible casualties of the silent war between the rebel Aes Sedai and those who held the Tower.

The wind blew through the harbor, where idling porters stood watching the workers chip the stones away, one by one, sending flakes of gray-white dust to float on the water. Those with too much sense—or perhaps too little—whispered that such portents could mean only one thing. Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle, must quickly be approaching.

TITLE - The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 1 - Tears from Steel

“Rand, that . . . creature is a stone,” Nynaeve said, turning to him. “She’s yielded barely a single useful sentence despite days of questioning! All she does is explain how inferior and backward we are, with the occasional aside that she’s eventually going to kill us all.” Nynaeve reached up to her long, single braid—but stopped herself short of tugging on it. She was getting better about that. Rand wondered why she bothered, considering how obvious her temper was.

TITLE - The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 7 - The Plan for Arad Doman

The sisters with Cadsuane were particularly bad, as they hadn't declared for either the White Tower or the rebels. And the sisters sworn to Rand were worse; most were still loyal to the White Tower, not seeing a problem with supporting both Elaida and Rand. Nynaeve still wondered what Rand had been thinking, allowing sisters to swear fealty to him. She'd explained his mistake to him on several occasions - quite rationally - but talking to Rand these days was like talking to a stone. Only less effective and infinitely more infuriating.


She'd told Rand that he needed to forget about the access key. Like talking to a stone. A big, red-haired, iron-faced idiot of a stone. Nynaeve harrumphed to herself. That caused Daigian to raise an eyebrow. The woman was quite good at controlling her grief, though Nynaeve - whose room in the Domani mansion was beside Daigian's - hear the woman crying to herself at night. It was not easy to lose one's Warder.

TITLE - The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 15 - A Place to Begin

Rand did not want to look toward the left side of the room. The fireplace was there. The stones that formed floor, hearth and columns were warped, as if they had been melted by an extreme heat. At the edges of his vision, they seemed to shift and change. The angles and proportions of the room were wrong. Just as they had been when he'd come here, long ago.

Something was different this time, however. Something about the colors. Many of the stones were black, as if they'd been burned, and cracks laced them. Distant red light glowed from within, as if they had cores of molten lava. There had once been a table here, hadn't there? Polished and of fine wood, its ordinary lines a discomforting contrast to the distorted angles of the stones?


To the side, in the stones of the fireplace, Rand saw
movement. Flickering bits of shadow, just barely visible through the cracks in the stones. The red-hot heat shone behind, like rock turned molten, and those shadows moved, frantic. Just faintly, Rand could hear scratching. Rats, he realized. There were rats behind the stones, being consumed by the terrible heat trapped on the other side. Their claws scratched, pushing through the cracks, as they tried to escape their burning.
TITLE - The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 15 - A Place to Begin

The prophecies didn't say Rand would win. Only that he would fight. Min shivered again—blasted window!—but met Rand's gaze. "You'll win. You'll defeat him."

He sighed. "Faith in a madman, Min?"

"Faith in you, sheepherder." Suddenly viewings spun around his head. She ignored them most of the time, unless they were new, but now she picked them out. Fireflies consumed in darkness. Three women before a pyre. Flashes of light, darkness, shadow, signs of death, crowns, injuries, pain and hope. A tempest around Rand al'Thor, stronger than any physical storm.

"We still don't know what to do," he said. "The seals are brittle enough that I could break them in my hands, but what then? Mow do I stop him? Does it say anything of that in your books?"

"It's hard to tell," she admitted. "The clues—if that's what they are—are vague. I will keep looking. I promise. I'll find answers for you."

He nodded, and she was surprised to feel his trust through the bond. That was a frighteningly rare emotion from him recently, but he did seem softer than he had during previous days. Still stone, but perhaps with some few cracks, willing to let her inside. It was a beginning.

She tightened her arms around him and closed her eyes again. A place to begin, but with so little time left.
It would have to do.
TITLE - The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 16 - In the White Tower

"Can a cracked stone be a good foundation for a building?" Egwene asked. "Can a frayed rope hold a panicky horse? How can we, in our current state, hope to manage the Dragon Reborn himself?"

TITLE - The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 17 - Questions of Control

She was slowly losing control, thread by thread. Once, something as dramatic as the squabbles at the White Tower would have drawn her immediate attention.

But she couldn't begin to work on that problem. Creation itself was unraveling, and her only way to fight that was to turn all her efforts on al'Thor.

And he resisted her every attempt to aid him. Step by step he was becoming a man with insides like stone, unmoving and unable to adapt. A statue with no feelings could not face the Dark One. Ironically, this is the chapter where Cadsuane begins to break Semirhage, the aforementioned stone.

TITLE - The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 24 - A New Commitment

"We have to go for her!" Gawyn said. "I came to ask you for help. I intend to mount a rescue."

Bryne snorted softly. "A rescue? And how do you intend to get into the White Tower? Even the Aiel couldn't break into that city."

"They didn't want to," Gawyn said. "But I don't need to take the city, I just need to sneak a small force in, then get one person out. Every rock has its cracks. I'll find a way."

TITLE - The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 33 - A Conversation with the Dragon

"Should I suffer for them all, Nynaeve?" he asked quietly, rising, face still half in the darkness. "Lay this death at my feet, if you wish. It will just be one of many. How many stones can you pile on a man's body before the weight stops mattering? How far can you burn a lump of flesh until further heat is irrelevant? If I let myself feel guilt for this boy, then I would need to feel guilt for the others. And it would crush me."

She regarded him in the half light. A king, certainly. A soldier, though he had only occasionally seen war. She forced down her anger. Hadn't this all been about proving to him that he could trust her?

"Oh, Rand," she said, turning away. "This thing you have become, the heart without any emotion but anger. It will destroy you."

"Yes," he said softly.
We are dead on the 'pray that the heart of stone remembers tears' theme, in the above quote, and in the next one:

TITLE - The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 37 - A Force of Light

"I've done it before," he whispered. "I once said that I didn't kill women, but it was a lie. I murdered a woman long before I faced Semirhage. Her name was Liah. I killed her in Shadar Logoth. I struck her down, and I called it mercy."

He turned to the fortress palace below.

"Forgive me," he said, but it didn't seem directed at Min, "for calling this mercy as well."

Something impossibly bright formed in the air before him, and Min cried out, backing away. The air itself seemed to warp, as if pulling away from Rand in fear. Dust blew from the ground in a circle around him, and the trees groaned, lit by the brilliant white light, the pine needles rattling like a hundred thousand insects scrambling over one another. Min could no longer make out Rand, only a blazing, brilliant force of light. Pure power, gathered, making the hairs on her arms rise with the force of its nebulous energy. In that moment, she felt as if she could understand what the One Power was. It was there, before her, made incarnate in the man Rand al'Thor.

And then, with a sound like a sigh, he released it. A column of pure whiteness exploded from him and burned across the silent night sky, illuminating the trees below it in a wave. It moved as quick as a snap of the fingers, striking the wall of the distant fortress. The stones came alight, as if they were breathing in the force of the energy. The entire fortress glowed, transforming into living light, an amazing, spectacular palace of unadulterated energy. It was beautiful.

And then it was gone. Burned from the landscape—and the Pattern— as if it had never been there. The entire fortress, hundreds of feet of stone and everyone who had lived in it.
And you could say that it all culminates with Rand confronting Tam in the Stone of Tear. Heart of stone, soul of fire - like Mutt said, that can be compared to the ending for Rand (his father in the Stone, and then the lava pit at Dragonmount), and interestingly, it can also be directly compared to the fireplace in Moridin's dream place.

This is not mentioning other stone things, like Mat's stone road, the stone sword Perrin is camped underneath, Leane's stone bubble of evil, Rolan's turquoise stone, the broken stone in the Tower attack, the vulnerability of the Stone of Tear to Power attacks, etc.

So, what do you guys think about the new chapter icon? :D Why was it used for those chapters? Why was chapter 26 named that?

11-06-2009, 03:13 AM
The damaged spiderweb could represent the Age Lace as it begins to unravel. It seems to be used for chapters where weird and creepy things happen to the Pattern. The iron bars on Leane's cell melting like silly putty, for example, or Adrin and his eponymous and improbable demise.

11-06-2009, 03:21 AM
I wasn't quite sure wtf it was when I started reading but by the end I concluded that it was meant to represent the Pattern unraveling. In each chapter it's in there's some weird Pattern shit going on. I think the cracks in stone is meant to refer to the cockroaches bursting out of the ground.

11-06-2009, 03:23 AM
Yeah, that's what Linda said at 13th depository. Lace! Why didn't I think of that?

And it wasn't used for chapter 10 after all (mistake on my part)....all of the other chapters had bubbles of evil.

I'm glad I rounded up the quotes on the stone theme anyway!

11-06-2009, 03:32 AM
Ah yes, good quotes, you're quite the stoner. ;)

11-06-2009, 03:35 AM
I wish. Too broke for that these days...

11-06-2009, 08:17 AM
When I saw it the first think I thought of was Lace...so that made me think of the Pattern. But it was mostly intuitive. ;)

11-06-2009, 08:24 AM
I didn't care for some of the Chapter Titles. They seemed different. I always like new Icons though as they were strictly chosen by Harriet.

Crispin's Crispian
11-06-2009, 10:56 AM
Terez, that is a kickass compilation of stone quotes. To me, the icon doesn't look like cracked stone--too much of a regular pattern. I thought it was either spiderwebs (at first) or maybe broken glass.

The more I look at it, the more I like the Age Lace idea.

BTW, the other theme I noticed was "bathed in light." I think because I saw that was the last chapter, I noticed it used in several other chapters as well. I'm quite sure the exact phrase appears at least four other times.

11-06-2009, 11:01 AM
Didn't Brandon talk about the new chapter icon at some point? I think he mentioned it as being his idea, and that it is indeed something to do with the Pattern.

11-06-2009, 12:31 PM
Terez, that is a kickass compilation of stone quotes.
Isn't it? Too bad it doesn't have anything to do with the chapter icon!

BTW, the other theme I noticed was "bathed in light." I think because I saw that was the last chapter, I noticed it used in several other chapters as well. I'm quite sure the exact phrase appears at least four other times.
Yeah, I can remember at least two - Dragonmount and Sheriam.

11-06-2009, 03:58 PM
Siuan overdid it, of course:
She hesitated. He was watching her, bathed in the glow of the two lights, eyes thoughtful. Reserved, but not accusatory. "That question drove me here, you know," he said. "It's why I hunted you all that way. It's why I finally swore to these rebel Aes Sedai, though I had little wish to be pulled into yet another war at Tar Valon. I did it all because I needed to understand. I had to know. Why? Why did the woman with those eyes— those passionate, haunting eyes—break her oath?"

The mountains were a red light district:
He shook his head, approaching the manor. To the east lay the Mountains of Mist. The sun was near to setting, and the mountains were bathed in a red light. Beyond them and to the south, so strangely close, lay Emond's Field and the Two Rivers. A home he would never see again, for a visit would only alert his enemies to his affection for it. He had worked hard to make them think he was a man without affection. At times, he feared that his ruse had become reality.

As Terez already remarked, Sheriam lost her head over it:
They'd placed her head on the block and taken it off, just like the others. That scene would always be vivid in Egwene's mind—her former Keeper, lying with her head pressed against the stump, blue dress and fiery red hair suddenly bathed in warm golden light as a thinner section of clouds moved in front of the sun. Then the silvery axe, falling to claim her head. Perhaps the Pattern would be kinder to her next time she was allowed a thread in its great tapestry. But perhaps not. Death was not an escape from the Dark One. Sheriam's horror at the end indicated that she might have been thinking that very thing as the axe took her head.

And finally Rand did it with his own grave, of course.
After all this time, the clouds had finally broken. They had pulled back in a ring around Dragonmount. The sun shone down, radiant, lighting the distant, snowcapped crag. The broken maw and uppermost peak of the blasted mountainside were bathed in light. It was the first time Egwene could remember seeing direct sunlight in weeks. Perhaps longer.

Marie Curie 7
11-06-2009, 10:29 PM
At the Chicago signing, Brandon indicated that he was the one (?!?) who wanted the new chapter icon to represent the pattern unraveling.

Chicago signing report (http://www.dragonmount.com/News/?p=887)

2. What are the new chapter symbols?

Harriet names the chapters actually, so she sent over a list of all symbols and chapter, and wanted me to pick out symbols to go with the chapters, BS pushed for new symbols. He wanted a symbol to show the pattern unfurling. So thatís what you get with chapter. Also Brandon chose Perrinís black smith puzzle for his own symbol on the author page.