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 Rand al'Thor

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PostSubject: Rand al'Thor   Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:45 am

Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, is the protagonist and main character of The Wheel of Time, a series of fantasy novels by Robert Jordan.

Rand al'Thor has many other titles:

  • among Westlanders: Lord of the Morning, Prince of the Dawn, True Defender of the Light
  • among the Aiel: He Who Comes with the Dawn, Car'a'carn (Chief of Chiefs)
  • among the Atha'an Miere (Sea Folk): Coramoor
  • among wolves: Shadowkiller


Description

Rand has gray or blue (interchanging) eyes and a reddish tint to his hair. He is about 6'5" or 6'6" (196-197 cm) (as described by Robert Jordan). As a result of events at the end of the Knife of Dreams, Rand has lost his left hand just below the wrist and can only wield his sword one-handed.



Birth

His birth was heralded by Gitara Moroso, Aes Sedai and Keeper of the Chronicles, who died from the sheer force of Foretelling his birth. Her Foretelling of his birth was: "He is born again! I feel him! The Dragon takes his first breath on the slope of Dragonmount! He is coming! He is coming! Light help us! Light help the world! He lies in the snow and cries like the thunder! He burns like the sun!"

Rand was born on the last day of the Battle of the Blood Snow in 978 NE, on the slopes of Dragonmount as prophesied. He was born to Tigraine Mantear, the former Daughter-heir of Andor who had fled to the Aiel Waste to become a Maiden of the Spear, a woman warrior of the Aiel people. She had been convinced to flee by Gitara Moroso, who said the world would be doomed if she did not. Tigraine, who renamed herself Shaiel, died shortly after giving birth. Galad is Rand's older half brother. His father was Janduin, an Aiel clan chief (the youngest in memory), who led the Shaarad, Reyn, Nakai and Taardad clans to kill King Laman Damodred of Cairhien for his sin. When he heard Shaiel had died, he relinquished his leadership and went off to the Great Blight to fight Trollocs. Rand was found by Tam al'Thor, an Andoran man who had joined the Illianer army and fought at the Blood Snow. He and his new wife, Kari al'Thor, took Rand back to Tam's home village, Emond's Field.

Winternight

On Winternight, 998 NE, Trollocs attacked Emond's Field. Rand, his two friends (Perrin Aybara and Mat Cauthon), his childhood sweetheart Egwene al'Vere and the gleeman Thom Merrilin were led out of Emond's Field by Aes Sedai Moiraine Damodred and her Warder, al'Lan Mandragoran. Lan began teaching Rand the sword; he has since achieved a blademaster's level of skill, though not officially recognized (However he did deafeat the Seanchan Blademaster Turak in single combat, but was not formally awarded his blade). Along with Loial the Ogier and Nynaeve al'Meara, Moiraine led them to the Eye of the World in the Blight. Rand was exposed to the Eye's well of pure, uncorrupted saidin and engaged in conflict with the Forsaken Aginor. Aginor was reduced to ash by drawing upon an excessive amount of the One Power, and Rand himself discovered, to his terror, that he was himself able to channel saidin. Rand was told he was the Dragon Reborn following these events, which ended the first book. He did not believe this, but after the Horn of Valere was stolen, Rand, Mat, Perrin and Loial accompanied Lord Ingtar and the Shienarians to reclaim it. At the Battle of Falme, Rand, who had used saidin to create a sword of fire, and Ba'alzamon fought in the sky, and he was proclaimed Dragon Reborn after his victory.

Prophecy

That winter, he camped with Moiraine, Perrin, Min Farshaw, and the Shienarians. Rand did not accept his fate. He journeyed to Tear alone, deciding this quest would end or begin his life. In the Stone of Tear, he took the blade Callandor, the Sword That Cannot Be Touched, and fulfilled a major prophecy, affirming his identity as Dragon Reborn in the minds of many, not least of all his own. He then set out with Mat, Egwene and Moiraine to the Waste, seeking the endorsement of the Aiel as their Car'a'carn, literally a "chief of chiefs". In pursuit of this end, he traveled to Rhuidean, where he learned the true origins of the Aiel. With the help of the female Forsaken Lanfear, he trapped Asmodean while there, and forced the male Forsaken to teach him to use saidin. After succeeding in being accepted as the Car'a'carn, he lead the Aiel out of the Waste and took Cairhien and Caemlyn, killing the male Forsaken Rahvin.

Black Tower

He was then approached by embassies from Elaida and from the Salidar faction. Elaida's embassy kidnapped and shielded him from using his powers. They forced him into a box and tortured him, causing him to develop severe claustrophobia. He escaped at the horrific battle at Dumai's Wells. He has since forced or persuaded many Aes Sedai on both sides to swear fealty to him. He captured Illian with the help of Davram Bashere, and was crowned its king, re-naming Illian's Laurel Crown the Crown of Swords. Mazrim Taim, a former false Dragon, has aided Rand by establishing the Black Tower, which trains men to channel, becoming Asha'man. It is Rand's answer to the White Tower. Taim has begun to style himself "the M'Hael", leader of the Tower, although his true intentions have yet to be revealed; it is speculated he is a Darkfriend, although it has been stated by the author that he is not Demandred (a favorite theory among many readers).

Lovers

Rand is bonded as a Warder to his three lovers, Min Farshaw, Elayne Trakand, Queen of Andor, and Aviendha of the Nine Valleys sept of the Taardad Aiel. Elayne is pregnant with his twins. He is advised mostly by Cadsuane Melaidhrin of the Green Ajah, and Sorilea, an Aiel Wise One. They have pledged to teach him "laughter and tears", as Rand has conditioned himself not to feel emotion by reciting the names of all the women that have died directly because of his actions over and over to himself. He believes he must be hard; others think he is becoming cruel and bitter.

Changes and appearances

Rand had changed a great deal from the boy who left Emond's Field two years ago. He has gone from the stubborn boy who refused to accept he was anything more than a simple sheepherder, to an iron-willed man who sometimes seems to have lost all trace of humanity. Having grown up with the belief that men should protect women, he has memorized the name of every woman who has died for him (at one point spending an entire night among the corpses in the aftermath of a major battle) and often berates himself with the list and the associated guilt. Many, quite understandably, worry about his sanity; others (most notably the aforementioned Cadsuane and Sorilea) worry about his humanity. Also notable, he has developed claustrophobia due to events in Lord of Chaos, when he was trapped in a box, taken out only to be beaten daily.

Finally, it is interesting to note that as the books have progressed, he has become less involved in the narrative, though he remains the central character. Book 3, The Dragon Reborn, was in fact told almost exclusively from the points-of-view of Mat Cauthon, Perrin Aybara and Egwene al'Vere, despite the fact that it is undoubtedly about Rand (all three parties eventually follow him to Tear and are present when he pulls the sword Callandor from the Stone and proclaims himself the Dragon Reborn), and the following books have continued in following the adventures of other characters besides Rand, to such a degree at times that in the tenth book, Crossroads of Twilight, Rand only appears in two chapters and the epilogue.

Reincarnation

Rand al'Thor is special in that he is the only known soul to be woven out by the Wheel of Time for a specific rebirth. Although there are other known cases of rebirth (such as Birgitte Silverbow and Gaidal Cain), only Rand al'Thor's rebirth has been foreseen. He is the rebirth of Lews Therin Telamon, a male Aes Sedai from the Age of Legends who gained prominence during the War of Power as the Dragon, the leader of the Forces of Light against the Shadow during the War of Power. This is why al'Thor is generally known as the Dragon Reborn.

Other evidence is showcased in the prologue to The Eye of the World: Ishamael comments that he and Lews Therin have battled each other since the dawn of mankind countless times, suggesting that the Dragon is a prominent figure every time the War of Power occurs.

Rand hears Lews Therin's voice in his head, something that does not normally occur with reincarnation. In fact, at the end of the 11th novel, Semirhage informs him and those present that Rand is insane, and that his condition is beyond repair. The Forsaken, including both Semirhage and Ishamael, however, are known to lie.

Inspirations

Jordan has stated that Rand is based on Tyr, the Norse god of justice, single combat and heroic glory .
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