The Car'a'carn, chief of chiefs in the Old Tongue is the man prophesied to unite the Aiel and lead them out of the Waste (TGH, Ch. 28; TSR, Ch. 34). Prophecy stated that he would come out of Rhuidean at dawn, marked by Dragons on both arms (TSR, Ch. 34) and that he would be Aiel by blood, but not raised by Aiel (TSR, Ch. 34).
Though Chief, the Car'a'carn is not a king, or even a noble and receives respect, though not the blind obedience kings or queens can expect (TSR, Ch. 37), with other chiefs, he is at best, first among equals (TFoH, Ch. 2). Similarly, when they visit Cold Rocks Hold, Dorindha accepts a gift from Rand, the Car'a'carn, but not from Moiraine, an Aes Sedai, saying her presence is honour enough (TSR, Ch. 49).
Revealing of the Car'a'carn
When Rand came out of Rhuidean marked, he was accused by Couladin of having murdered Muradin, Couladin's brother, who Rand had passed as he went through the glass columns. Asmodean was able to use Couladin's ambition and mark him in the same way as Rand, allowing Couladin to also claim to be the Car'a'carn. He however, had not been to Rhuidean and lacked the insight Rand had gained from the glass columns there. At Alcair Dal, Couladin pre-empted Rand by claiming to be the Car'a'carn himself. In order to be acclaimed Car'a'carn, Rand was forced to prove to the Aiel who he was by telling them of their history (TSR, Ch. 57). The Clan Chiefs who had made it to Alcair Dal, Rhuarc, Erim, Han and Bael announced in front of the multitudes of gathered Aiel that Rand was the Car'a'carn.
Impact of the Car'a'carn
Many who heard the truth of their history, that their ancestors had sworn to follow the Way of the Leaf, could not accept this. Some, threw down their weapons and succumbed to what the Aiel refer to as "The Bleakness" (TFoH, Ch. 2). Others fled, some, to join the societies in the Shaido, where they were called the Mera'din (ACoS, Ch. 40; KoD, Ch. 5), others to the Tuatha'an (TFoH, Ch. 5) and others still to Far Madding (WH, Ch. 22). The Shaido, with the exception of some of the Maidens, who joined their society among the Aiel following Rand (TFoH, Ch. 2) all left, heading out of the Waste and leaving a trail of death and destruction behind them (TFoH, Ch. 20; TFoH, Ch. 23; This passage needs a reference).
- Main article: Aiel Prophecies
- "Prophecy says that when the Stone of Tear falls, we will leave the Three-fold Land at last. It says we will be changed, and find again what was ours, and what was lost" (TGH, Ch. 28).
- "He shall slay his people with the sword of peace, and destroy them with the leaf" (TDR, Ch. 6).
- He will be born of Far Dareis Mai. Blood of our blood mixed with the old blood, raised by an ancient blood not ours. Of the blood, but not raised by the blood, he will come from Rhuidean at dawn, and tie you together with bonds you cannot break. He will take you back, and he will destroy you. He shall spill out the blood of those who calls themselves Aiel as water on sand, and he shall break them as dried twigs, yet the remnant of a remnant he shall save, and they shall live (TSR, Ch. 34).
Taken together, these suggest that the Aiel will leave the Waste and return to the Way of the Leaf.
"A clan chief is not a wetlander king Rand, nor is the Car'a'carn. There is respect though women generally show as little as they can get away with, but anyone can speak to a chief." (Rhuarc, The Shadow Rising, Chapter 37).