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Sep 3, 2020

Seth and Travis discuss an infamous, dark, and complicated moment in Rand’s journey, when Alanna becomes much more than just another Aes Sedai. The chapter accelerates really quickly, and by the end you see hints of Darth Rand coming through. Content warning for discussions of assault. 

Death is lighter than a feather, duty is heavier than a mountain – and Rand feels that he is being beaten to death with feathers. He is a far more reluctant adventurer than any hobbit ever was! He is in Camlyn trying to figure out how to run a palace and also prepare the world for the Last Battle, setting the seeds for the fateful trip to Shadar Logoth in A Crown of Swords. Worried at the arrival of two Aes Sedai, he walks into an inn to the surprise of a gaggle of girls from back home, and then is bonded by Alanna in one of the most serious violations of consent in the entire series.  

How much did Verin influence Alanna’s actions in this moment? How much does the warder bond protect and benefit Rand for the rest of the series? How differently could this situation have been, if a different woman had bonded him first and with his consent? What does this conversation have to do with the very real issue of male sexual assault? Seth and Travis take their best shots at these questions, but the discussion is never truly over. 

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