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Old 09-09-2011, 12:19 PM
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Default TGH: Lanfear and Rand

There some interesting things I've found when rereading TGH regarding Selene/Lanfear and her interactions with Rand. Some of this I know has been discussed before, but since this is a reread and Lanfear/Cyndane is still a player, I'll open it up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Great Hunt:31 - "On the Scent"
Transferring things from his old coat to his new, he found the parchments. Absently, he stuffed the invitations in his pocket as he studied Selene's two letters. He wondered how he could have been such a fool. She was the beautiful young daughter of a noble House. He was a shepherd whom Aes Sedai were trying to use, a man doomed to go mad if he did not die first. Yet he could still feel the pull of her just looking at her writing, could almost smell the perfume of her.

"I am a shepherd," he told the letters, "not a great man, and if I could marry anyone, it would be Egwene, but she wants to be Aes Sedai, and how can I marry any woman, love any woman, when I'll go mad and maybe kill her?"

Words could not lessen his memory of Selene's beauty, though, or the way she made his blood go warm just by looking at him. It almost seemed to him that she was in the room with him, that he could smell her perfume, so much so that he looked around, and laughed to find himself alone.

"Having fancies like I'm addled already," he muttered.

Abruptly he tipped back the mantle of the lamp on the bedside table, lit it, and thrust the letters into the flame. Outside the inn, the wind picked up to a roar, leaking in through the shutters and fanning the flames to engulf the parchment. Hurriedly he tossed the burning letters into the cold hearth just before the fire reached his fingers. He waited until the last blackened curl went out before he buckled on his sword and left the room.
It's fairly clear to me that Lanfear had been using subtle Compulsion on Rand, as well as on Hurin and Loial to an extent. He's obsessed with finding her, thinks a lot of positive and romantic thoughts about her, and waxes on about her beauty, etc. I would argue that Rand does this to a greater extent than we would expect even regarding the most beautiful woman in history.

What's interesting to me is the last part about the letters. When Rand burns them, the wind picks up. Maybe this is symbolism, but is it possible Lanfear put a "tracker" in the letters not unlike what Moiraine did with her coins in EotW? Did the wind represent some breaking of the "spell," or was it Lanfear being pissed off and losing her temper when she realized what Rand had done?

Moreover, from the sound of it, I almost think the letters had some kind of latent Compulsion effects as well. Look at the portions I italicized above. Rand can "almost smell" her perfume, and even has the sensation that she's right there with him. Opens up some neat possibilities, IMO.

Of course, it's also possible that Rand is somehow sensitive to the One Power and whatever weave she used. Could this be a precursor to his ability to copy Isha'mael's Gateway resonance at the end of TDR?

Finally, we have the end of TGH, where Lanfear comes to visit Rand (Min's POV):

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Great Hunt:48 - "First Claiming"
The woman came to stand over the bed – her movements were so graceful, Min felt a stab of envy, though she had never before envied any woman anything – and smoothed Rand's hair as if Min were not there.
"He doesn't believe yet, I think. He knows, but he does not believe. I have guided his steps, pushed him, pulled him, enticed him. He was always stubborn, but this time I will shape him. Isha'mael thinks he controls events, but I do."

Her finger brushed Rand's forehead as if drawing a mark; Min thought uneasily that it looked like the Dragon's Fang. Rand stirred, murmuring, the first sound or movement he had made since she found him.
There has been much speculation about what Lanfear did here. It seems clear she wove something, because it affected Rand enough to make him stir and murmur (one would think Min crawling in bed with him might also do that...). Many have suggested she marked Rand or put another tracking weave on him (hence the chapter title). I think this is quite likely, but I also think she Healed him...to the extent she could.

In the next chapter, Min tells Rand about how both Moiraine and Verin tried to Heal him, but Moiraine thought Nynaeve did the best job. As we know, and as she even said, Nynaeve at this point couldn't channel unless she was angry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Great Hunt:49 - "What Was Meant to Be"
He shook his head. Something told him the pain in his side was important. He could not remember being injured, but it was important. He started to lift his blankets to look, but she slapped his hands away.
"You can't do any good with that. It isn't healed all the way, yet. Verin tried Healing, but she said it didn't work the way it should." She hesitated, nibbling her lip. "Moiraine says Nynaeve must have done something, or you wouldn't have lived till we carried you to Verin, but Nynaeve says she was too frightened to light a candle. There is... something wrong with your wound. You will have to wait for it to heal naturally." She seemed troubled.
So the other speculative thought I have: did Lanfear do something to the wound to make it inoperable, so to speak? We've always assumed it was the True Power or some weave Isha'mael created when he stabbed Rand, but what if Lanfear threw her own brand of nasty in there?

I'm wondering about the implications of all of this for the last book, because we know that something is going to happen with Rand and Cyndane. If she's had some Compulsion weave on him all this time, or somehow tied herself to his wound, she could use this as a final ploy.

I just wish I knew how.
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