View Full Version : Daughter of the Night. (SPOILERS)

02-09-2013, 04:24 PM
So, before aMoL came out, I was fairly convinced that the "Daughter of the Night" dark Prophesy from tGH was actually referring to Egwene. Now that the book is out, I actually feel the Prophesy works both ways. A metaphorical interpretation makes this fit Lanfear, and her actions with Perrin, very well. But a more literal interpretation fits Egwene's last hours very well:

"Daughter of the Night, she walks again.

Egwene fought forward desperately. She could feel Gawyn above, but
she thought he was unconscious; his spark of life was so faint that she could
barely sense his direction. Her only hope was to fight through the Sharans
and reach him.

After being removed from the battlefield by Silviana when the bond lets her know Gawyn is wounded, she comes back.
The ancient war, she yet fights.

She's still fighting the Shadow, although...

Her new lover she seeks, who shall serve her and die, yet serve still.

She's seeking Gawyn, who is dying. He will die soon, and that will still serve her as it will push her to defeat the Sharans.

Who shall stand against her coming?

Who, indeed? Taim.

The Shining Walls shall kneel.

I always took this as a very odd statement in a Prophesy about Lanfear. Its what clued me in to Egwene, and I think it has multiple interpretations. On the one hand, the Shining Walls did kneel to her, and she took Tar Valon. On the other hand, the Shining Walls could be a metaphor for the Amyrlin Seat, who did kneel, albeit briefly, when faced with the man who stood against her coming:

Light! She could feel the emptiness in that hole. She began a weave, but another strike of balefire coursed across the battlefield, killing women she
loved. The trembling underfoot threw Egwene to the ground...

Balefire. She needed her own. It was the only way to fight him! She rose
to her knees and began crafting the forbidden weave, though her heart
lurched as she did it...

She yelled, forcing herself to her feet. She would not face him on her

It works both ways, I think.

It seems to me that the Prophesy refers to both these women. Both interpretations work, and that brings us to a larger point: they mirror each other very closely. One of the most enjoyable parts of aMoL was watching Lanfear play her games, and read how so many of them were dark mirrors of Egwene's actions. Here are a few obvious ones I saw:

1) Rand, caverns, and guilt:

This is perhaps the strongest parallel, and fitting, since these are two pivotal events in Rand's emotional state in aMoL. The first is when Lanfear invades his Dreamshard, and the second is when Rand is in the Pit of Doom, crushed by Egwene's death, and near to failing in his fight against the DO. Let's look at the Dreamshard first:

The cavern came again. Rand stopped at its mouth. Cold, humid air
blew out over him, chilling his skin, smelling of fungus. Rand cast aside his
walking staff, then strode into the cavern. As he passed into darkness, he wove a globe of white-blue light and hung it beside his head. The glow reflected from the wet stone, shining on smooth knobs and clefts...

He came to a small chamber, perhaps ten paces wide, at the end of the
tunnel, where the stone sank down into a clear pool of water, perfectly circular. The blue depths seemed to extend downward forever.

It is fitting that in her attempt to win back Lews Therin, Lanfear creates a "Pit of Doom" in his Dreamshard. What does she do to entice him?

... The blue depths seemed to extend downward forever. A woman in a white dress struggled to stay afloat in the center of it. The fabric of her dress rippled in the water, forming a circle. Her face and hair were wet. As Rand watched, she gasped and sank, flailing in the crystalline water.

Lanfear is acting as if she is struggling to survive, and in deep torment. But in many ways, this a good representation of what actually happens to Egwene. She's afloat on the endless depths of saidar, The fabric of the Pattern is getting damaged around her, the air rippling and breaking. Egwene is drinking deeply of saidar, drowning in it, she's in over her head, sinking. The water is crystalline, representing both saidar, and the way Egwene will use it to form a crystalline tower, in which she will literally sink, as her body will disappear into it.

Seeing the pool, Rand thinks:

That pool could actually be water, but more likely it represented something else.

And Lanfear's tactic is to say that she is entrapped by Shai'tan, in his grip:

“You can free me, Lews Therin,” Lanfear said. “He has claimed me. Must I beg? He has claimed me!”

In the Pit of Doom, this is the same fear Rand has. That Shai'tan will take Egwene:

“Not her! NOT HER!”
“Shaitan!” Rand yelled. “Not her!”

The dead are mine... Rand almost wanted to save Lanfear, but he really does want to save Egwene:

Rand bent over, squeezing his eyes shut. I will protect you, he thought. Whatever else happens, I will see you safe, I swear it. I swear it . . .

And Rand's failing in the Dreamshard is as his failing in the Pit:
He held himself back. He finally felt like a whole person again, after a
long fight. That gave him strength, but in his peace was a weakness—the
weakness he had always feared. The weakness that Moiraine had rightfully
spotted in him. The weakness of compassion.

The same thing plagues him in the Pit:

Oh, Light. Egwene’s name joined the list of the dead. That list continued to grow, thundering in his mind. His failures. So many failures.
He should have been able to save them.

In the Dreamshard, Rand must struggle with his compassion for the woman Lanfear, was, the woman she might become. In the Pit, Egwene joins a list of names of people Rand wishes he could have protected, whose deaths he considers his failures.

At both times, the solution is the same. In the Dreamshard, it is Lanfears fake pleas, her refusal to open herself to him, that lead Rand to the solution:

Rand let go.
He let go as Lews Therin never had been able to. Even after discovering
Ilyena, even after realizing how Lanfear had used him, he had held on to
hatred and scorn.

Seeing Lanfear's fake distress, Rand finds the strength to let go.

But in the Pit, the story is different. Egwene's very real sacrifice, and her request to him that he embrace her death, as well as his, is what leads Rand to the greater epiphany:

And then, he let go.
He let go of the guilt. He let go of the shame for having not saved Egwene and all the others. He let go of the need to protect her, to protect all of them.
He let them be heroes.

And here's the thing: Lanfear, with her theatrics and her selfishness is only able to let Rand deal with his emotions for her. She's all flash and no substance, and in the end, she really becomes nothing to him:

There was no love for Lanfear in what he exposed. Not a sliver. He had
squelched Lews Therms loathing of her as well. And so, to him, she really
was nothing.

For Rand, Egwene is the exact opposite:

It was about a woman who would not bend her back while she was
beaten, and who shone with the Light for all who watched. Including Rand.

Lanfear is represented by darkness, nothingness. She flirts with the Light, but only to use it for her own ends. Egwene is represented by Light. She flirts with darkness, even thrives in it, but never strays from her central quest to do what she can to save the world.

2) New lovers and old friends:

Another parallel between their actions is how they deal with the ta'veren. Faced with Rand's rejection and in desperate need of help to have her "Last Chance", she chooses Perrin, and imposes control on him through Compulsion. She seeks to supplant Faile in his mind.

Egwene, faced with the knowledge that her general has been compelled, she chooses Mat precisely because he cannot be controlled by compulsion. And rather than seeking to use him, she decides to trust him to save the day. Interestingly, she chooses Mat because he jumped into water to save a drowning boy. Lanfear chooses a substitute because Rand refused to save her from drowning. Where Lanfear seeks a replacement for Rand, Egwene choses Mat for himself.

3) Rand vs. Lews Therin:

A small thing. Where Lanfear only sees Lews Therin, in the Dragon Reborn, Egwene sees Rand the Shepherd in the Dragon Reborn.

Anyway, there's more, but I'm going to stop with that, for now.

Tl;dr: Egwene and Lanfear continue to mirror each other. The DP refers to them both. What Lanfear was unable to achieve by dramatics and illusion and compulsion, Egwene was able to achieve by real sacrifice, and trust.

02-19-2013, 12:07 PM
I just read this, must have missed it on first posting. I like the mirror images you found of Lanfear/Egwene.