Thread: Terez's reread
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:04 PM
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Also, I'm about to get back to reading and probably won't stop until I get back to Rand, if then. But I'm excited about reading To Boannda in context. And I had a thought about the resurrection, which I will not overly spam Twitter with.

Part of the mythological basis for Rand's resurrection is in the Boann/Dagda legends and specifically in the way those legends are referenced in the most blatant and layered foreshadowing of Rand's death I know of in the entire series.

Part of the basis for the resurrection is in the Perun legends, and you can tell because of the way this particular story ties in with the Birgitte method, the Arthurian women (the harem), and even Slayer. So how is Perrin important to Rand's resurrection? The obvious answer is that he will deal with Slayer and whatever else is hunting Rand/protecting the dreamspike.

But I think it started with his meeting Birgitte. She said it herself:

Originally Posted by TSR, To the Tower of Ghenjei
She almost appeared to be leaning slightly on something invisible; perhaps that silver thing he had never quite seen. "I seem to be telling you a great deal. I do not understand why I spoke in the first place. Of course. Are you ta'veren, archer?"

"Who are you?" She seemed to know a lot about the tower, and the wolf dream. But she was surprised I could talk to Hopper. "I've met you before somewhere, I think."

"I have broken too many of the prescripts already, archer."
The reason why this is significant to the Perun legends: Perrin had just come through the Waygate at Manetheren, just above the Manetherendrelle. I think the Manetherendrelle and the Tarendrelle have symbolic reference to the live water and dead water of the Perun legends.

Originally Posted by Perun guy
Rain is a happy omen and, falling before a new endeavour is commenced, guarantees its success. The sick are given rain water, or water collected from the seven springs to drink. Rain water, or the water of life, as it is called in Russian, heals wounds, makes mutilated parts of the body grow, rejuvenates the old, and resurrects the dead.

The Slavonic tales abound in accounts of how a dead hero is restored to life by means of this precious liquid, which is sometimes brought by the Whirlwind, the Thunder, and the Hail, sometimes by their types the Raven, the Hawk, the Eagle, and the Dove. But they differ from most of the similar stories in this respect. They have two species of what is called the "strong" or the "heroic" water. The one is called "the dead water" (mertvaya voda); the other the "living [or vivifying] water" (zhivaya voda). Contrary to its name, however, the dead water does not bring death; rather, it makes mutilated bodies whole, and heals wounds. But unlike live water, it does not possess the power of resurrection. Folktales are replete with motifs of dead and live water. Like the spring rains which first melt the earth, purify her, make her whole, while the following rains resurrect her, the dead hero too is first sprinkled with dead water, and then with live water, before he comes to life again. When that has been done, the corpse first shudders and then sits up, usually remarking "How long I have been asleep?" or "Oh, did I sleep too long?"

What is the source of these waters? This brings us to the arbor mundi, the world tree. There, in the centre of the universe stands the oak tree, on its top sits the bird of paradise, the eagle, under its roots lies the snake demon. Two springs flow out from under the tree; one of live water, and the other of dead water. Near the springs sit three women, the fortune tellers. One knows the past, the other the future, and the third, the present. They decide what should be and what should not be, and the fate of every being. They bring death or life, and continuously work over the creation of the world (Here I may add that one of the magical values of live water is that it imparts wisdom and power to tell the future).

The arbor mundi is seen as a mediator between the world of the dead and the world of the living. The fight between the eagle and the snake demon is eternal, and represents the cycle of life and death, and of the seasons. The defeat of the demon results in the release of live waters. Death in slavic folklore is seen as a temporary state, a state of sleep. Nothing dies till the end. Every spring the sun comes out of the clutches of the forces of darkness; every spring Perun overpowers the snake demon, and life returns to the earth. Arbor mundi, associated with the theme of the constant revival and renewal, is seen as one of the attributes of Perun.

The sun in Russian folklore is metaphorically called Ognioni kamen, or Bel goruch kamen ? the white hot stone. Perun either holds the fire-stone (the fireball) in his hands, or his thick eyelashes hide the fire underneath them or, at times, he himself represents the sun. On the one hand, the sun (fire-stone) dies every winter or, having become weak, is overpowered by his adversary the dark forces of winter and revives every spring after having bathed in the pure waters released by Perun. On the other hand, Perun has to drink the living fluids of the celestial wells first before he is able to kill the snake demon, and send life generating rains down to earth. The sun as the eye of god Perun or, as the fire hidden in the eyes of god, can burn and destroy everything when they are open but, soaked in holy waters, it generates life-giving forces. These attributes of the sun and Perun are transferred on the earth to stones.
The Two Rivers flow from the Mountains of Mist, bordered on the other side by Tarabon, Almoth Plain, and Arad Doman. Verin noted in TGH, in the context of the Dark Prophecy concerning Slayer and Rand's permanent death, that all three had probable connections to chora trees:

Originally Posted by TGH 7, Blood Calls Blood
"Now, 'the ancient tree,'" Verin said, immersed in her own thoughts. "There have always been rumors no more than that that while the nation of Almoth still lived, they had a branch of Avendesora, perhaps even a living sapling. And the banner of Almoth was 'blue for the sky above, black for the earth below, with the spreading Tree of Life to join them.' Of course, Taraboners call themselves the Tree of Man, and claim to be descended from rulers and nobles in the Age of Legends. And Domani claim descent from those who made the Tree of Life in the Age of Legends. There are other possibilities, but you will note, Mother, that at least three center around Almoth Plain and Toman Head."
Later in TSR (i.e. after Perrin meets Birgitte) we learn that the Aiel had hard times approaching the Aryth Coast:

Originally Posted by TSR 26, The Dedicated
Jonai stood at the edge of the cliff staring out westward over the sun-sparkled water. A hundred leagues in that direction lay Comelle. Had lain Comelle. Comelle had clung to the mountains overlooking the sea. A hundred leagues west, where the sea now ran....

..."You have chora cuttings," one of the Ogier said. His thick fingers gently brushed the trefoil leaves of the two potted plants tied to the side of a wagon.

"Some," Adan said curtly. "They die, but the old folk keep new cuttings before they do." He had no time for trees. He had a people to look after....

..."You have come from the east?" another Ogier asked. He wiped his bowl with a heel of bread and gulped it down. "How is it to the east?"

"Bad," Jonai replied. "Perhaps not so bad for you, though. Ten no, twelve days ago, some people took a third of our horses before we could escape. We had to abandon wagons." That pained him. Wagons left behind, and what was in them....

...Jonai managed to seize his son's frayed collar and pull his face close. "Take the people south." He had to force the words out between spasms that seemed to be ripping his heart out.
So there's a reasonable explanation as to why any of those three places might have had chora trees; perhaps all three did.

So one might say the Two Rivers flow from the Tree. The Dark Prophecy seems to think so, and if it's only the nation of Almoth that's representative of that, it is the most centered one on the origin of those two rivers.

I'm not sure the Tree symbolism will come into play beyond that, unless you want to count Rand going to live there after he's resurrected, and Perrin being his guardian in a way. I tried to think of a good reason for Rand to be resurrected on a boat in the Waterwood, but I can't come up with a plausible one. It's too bad, really.

Anyway, more symbolism. The eagle on top of the Tree seems to tie to the red eagle of Manetheren, and there's another bit about a red bird at the end of that Perun page:

Originally Posted by Perun guy
Slava is a beautiful bird - a messenger of God Perun, every feather of which was said to shine a different color. This beautiful bird was called MATEPb CBA (Mater Sva) which can be translated either as Mater Slava (Mother Glory), Mater svex (Mother of everyone) or Mater Sova (Mother Owl - which may be why much of Russian Folk art depicts an owl). This flame colored bird usually appeared in the critical moment and pointed with its wing the direction in which an army should go. Everyone knew that either glory or a glorious death awaited the warriors and the prince had no choice but to follow the bird's lead.
Also, the tie of Perrin to the sun is interesting because if anyone fits the Dagda (who stops the sun to conceal Boann's pregnancy with his child) in physical and symbolic attributes, it's Perrin. (See this fan rendition of him.) From that page:

Originally Posted by John
The Dagda and Boann
The Dagda once fell in love with Boann, a beautiful river goddess; he attempted to resist his feelings, because she was his father's wife, but when he found that she loved him as well he was powerless to resist her. The two carried on a clandestine affair until Boann became pregnant; fearing that their relationship would be discovered when Nuada returned the next day, the Dagda grasped the sun and held it in place for nine months until Boann could give birth to a beautiful baby boy, Aengus, the only person ever to have been conceived and born in only one day. When the sun went down, Nuada returned, but the Dagda had already spirited the child away for safekeeping, and he never learned of his wife's unfaithfulness.

The Dagda and the Morrigan
When the Dagda went forth to battle with the Fomorians, he met the Morrigan on the way, waiting for him by a river. She prophesied his doom and frightened him with her omens of blood and defeat, but she promised that if he kept a tryst with her she would provide him with battle plans that could not be defeated. He agreed to this and they coupled beneath the trees, after which she promised to send all the magicians and sorcerers to aid him, turning the tide of battle.
The Morrigan is a parallel to Marigan a.k.a. Moghedien. I could go on and on but I'm tired and I want to read more and I think anyone who is interested can pick the same things out of the text that I did. I will say, though, that I noticed a lot of random sun chatter between Perrin and Faile and in their general vicinity in TSR. Perrin's ta'veren swirl is what led Birgitte to break the precepts, so that she could meet Nynaeve and teach her how to heal Rand's death.
Qui nos rodunt confundantur, et cum iustis non scribantur.
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