In this section, Elayne gains a throne and Mat gains a wife
Dyelin throws her support behind Elayne, publishing her proclamation so it cannot be rescinded. Dyelin claims she never had any interest in the throne, and that it should stay in the Trakand family unless there is good reason for it not to. More importantly, she finds Elayne is an excellent ruler, has believed she would be a great ruler since before she went to the White Tower, and praises her in a manner reminiscent of Elayne’s mother Morgase. As the symbolic mother, Dyelin’s praise elevates Elayne to full womanhood, as well as to ruler of Andor.
The remaining High Seats are skeptical and question Elayne, but she explains herself and turns the question back on them. What would they have done differently? Nothing, as it turns out, and they quickly recognize her worth as ruler and throw their support behind her. Ellorien holds out, but promises to come when Andor marches to the Last Battle.
Elsewhere, Karede enters Mat’s camp in pursuit of Tuon, believing that her abductor is Thom Merrilin. Karede’s perceptions of Mat’s followers give a brief and accurate summary of where they stand in their relationships with each other and with regard to the Seanchan. Mat rides up with Tuon, settles a dispute between his Aes Sedai and the damane Mylen, and proves he can’t be touched with the One Power. Karede has a brief spell of confusion as Thom is revealed to follow Lord Mat, who rides up with Tuon and her maid. Karede may not know who Mat is, but now Tuon does, when he finally returns her to the protection of her bodyguard. Mat doesn’t know or trust Karede with her, until she reveals how she followed his career even after he was posted elsewhere. She trusts him, so Mat does as well.
Tuon tells Mat that love is possible, but she is marrying to serve the Empire. She thinks he is lying about his misadventures beyond the redstone doorways, but tells him of her damane’s prophecy, foretelling who she would marry. Mat takes some of her soldiers, while his own men give her a proper send-off. Riding into possible danger, she removes the veil, affirming her identity, and is ready to die as who she is. For his part, Mat has a new identity he has not yet accepted, a nobleman, the Prince of the Ravens.
I have a long-standing theory that Mat is Gaidal Cain, despite the obvious flaws. Tuon’s political view of her marriage added to Mat’s constantly wandering eye makes it plausible, even now, but for Mat’s admission that he may actually be in love with Tuon.
Suroth’s point of view could have been a chapter of its own, or this could have been a chapter from Tuon’s point of view. The amount of time elapsed and the brevity of the section make it appropriate for the epilogue instead. In a show of justice being served, while Tuon claims her new identity, Suroth is stripped of hers.
At the Black Tower, Pevara, and five other Red Ajah meet Mazrim Taim, his first appearance on-page since The Path of Daggers, and claim the right to bond Warders, which he grants. Having Tarna initiate the idea of bonding Asha’man provides a means to get her out of the White Tower and isolate Elaida. A middleman like the Keeper of the Chronicles would have to take Elaida’s side.
Taim’s closing words are a jab at those of us who stuck with the theory that Taim is Demandred. Using a phrase associated with Demandred, even if it was communicated to other Forsaken, will ensure that Demandred comes to mind when someone else utters it. The phrase ‘Lord of Chaos’ is also associated with trickery and deceit, so it is unclear if the author meant to invoke Demandred, or revoke the association. That tag has more than one association.
Use a tag associated with one character to bring them to mind when it is applied in another context.