View Full Version : The Golden Crane

11-29-2010, 02:19 PM
Been thinking about the reason why Lan is at Tarwin's Gap. Not Lan's reason, but why RJ chose to make Lan fight a seemingly doomed battle there along with the rest of the Malkieri.

There's already been some indication that a victory over the Shadow could bring back Malkier:
Lan kept them well away from the lakes and did not even look at them, but Rand thought the seven towers seemed taller than when he first saw them. He was sure the jagged tops were further from the ground, and above them something almost seen, seamless towers gleaming in the sun, and banners with Golden Cranes flying on the wind.
He blinked and stared, but the towers refused to vanish completely. They were there at the edge of vision until the Blight hid the lakes once more.
—TEotW ch 53: The Wheel Turns

I think many would find it unsatisfying if Malkier was restored solely through Rand's efforts without Lan and the Malkieri making a single effort to reclaim it. Before KoD, the surviving Malkieri were trying to forget about Malkier. Weilin Aldragoran wore the hadori for the reputation it gave him, not because he wanted to honor what it represented. While Lan never forgot his heritage and dedicated his life to fighting the Shadow, he's always refused to claim the title of King of Malkier and lead his people.

The Last Charge of the Golden Crane is where Lan and the Malkieri "earn" the restoration of their country. Nynaeve did her part by letting Lan go and rallying the Malkieri. The kisain means the wearer's pledged to send her sons to fight the Shadow; having no sons, Nynaeve sent her husband instead. Furthermore, she agreed to follow Rand to Shayol Ghul. She's earned her place as Queen of Malkier.

As for the Malkieri, they've donned their hadori and once more embraced what it means to be Malkieri. They're ready to die fighting the Shadow. Lan has finally accepted that he must lead the Malkieri and named himself King:
"This is your land, Lord Mandragoran."
My land, he thought. Yes, it was. He nudged Mandarb forward.
"I am al'Lan Mandragoran," Lan bellowed. "Lord of the Seven Towers, Defender of the Wall of First Fires, Bearer of the Sword of the Thousand Lakes! I was once named Aan'allein, but I reject that title, for I am alone no more. Fear me, Shadow! Fear me and know. I have returned for what is mine. I may be a king without a land. But I am still a king!"
—ToM epilogue

12-08-2010, 12:52 PM
You know, in KoD, heck in all the books, The Golden Crane is one of my favorite chapters. I still get chills. There is something in tGS-
"Will he attack?" Rand asked.

Nynaeve hesitated. "He didn't say," she said. "But yes, I think he will. He thinks you are wasting time here, Rand. If he arrives and gathers and army, and finds Trollocs gathered at Tarwin's Gap... yes, I think he'll attack."

"Then he deserves what we will get, for riding without the rest of us," Rand said.

Nynaeve scowled at him. "How can you say that?"

"I must," Rand replied softly. "The Last Battle is imminent. Perhaps my own attack on the Blight will happen at the same time as Lan's. Perhaps not." He paused thoughtfully. If Lan and whatever army he brought engaged at the Gap... perhaps that would draw attention. If Rand didn't attack there, it would throw off the Shadow. He could strike them where they didn't expect it while their eyes were on Lan.

"Yes," Rand said thoughtfully. "His death could serve me well indeed."

Nynaeve's eyes widened in fury, but Rand ignored them. A very quiet place, deep inside of him, was struck with worry over his friend. He has to ignore that worry, silence it. But that voice whispered to him.

He named you friend. Do not abandon him....

I am thinking with Rand's awakening, he will come to help Lan. As he came to help Rodel. Rand is remembering to honor his commitments or all is lost. He has to keep a hold of who he is or the Shadow has won already. Rand is not Aridhol where he has to become harder than the Shadow to beat the Shadow- I think now he knows the path to victory. Lan may die, but not today.