The Eye of the World: Chapter 4

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Author: Dinn da Noor

Harp Chapter Icon.png


The Gleeman


Chapter Icon: A Harp

Point of View: Rand

Location: Emond's Field

Characters: Rand, Perrin, Mat, Egwene, Thom, various Emond's Fielders, the Village Council, Nynaeve, Moiraine, Lan

Outline

Thom demonstrates some skills and Tam and Rand return home.

Summary

The white-haired, lean man is wearing a cloak full of patches in hundred of colors, but what Rand notices most about him is that he has blue eyes, as almost all Emond's Fielders have brown.

He immediately starts talking to them about the bad welcome he's gotten and how "some girl-child" chased him out of the common room. When he finds out that the Wisdom and the Village Council are discussing the news about the war in Ghealdan, he calls it old news, even for Baerlon.

Thom Merrilin then asks Egwene if she would be his assistant at his performance, something she accepts. The gleeman smirks when Perrin and Mat tell him that they've been to Watch Hill, Deven Ride, the Mire and the Mountains of Mist, but apologizes as his tongue "has always gotten him in bad trouble".

When he sees that a small crowd has gathered around them, he starts juggling balls and talks about the stories he will tell them.

He suddenly stops talking and juggling when Moiraine shows up and asks her who she is and what she's doing here and when she has answered and left with Lan, he's obviously not pleased. As the Village Council exits the inn, he goes to get some strong brandy, to the disappointment of the spectators.

Bran al'Vere argues with both Nynaeve and Cenn Buie before the Village Council spreads and moves off in different directions. Rand and his friends go to talk with Tam, who tells them that there shouldn't be anything to worry about, but that they'll organize a watch to patrol around in Deven Ride, Watch Hill and Taren Ferry.

He then tells Rand that they should get going and meet in the stables in five minutes.

Rand, Mat and Perrin decide to join the watch and tell the Mayor about the rider. However, they think that they should try to find more people who have seen him, and decide that Mat and Perrin should​ ask more people whether they've spotted the rider that evening.

Rand then sets off to the stables so Tam won't have to worry about him.

They walk in silence for a while before Rand asks why the Council needed to question the peddler. Tam tells him that if they had taken the decision straight away, people could get worried about Aes Sedai and alike, and tomorrow morning "half the village would have been sure the whole war was to descend on us". They then discuss who and what the rider is, and Tam says that two of the Village Council member's sons had seen him too, something that made Rand feel more secure and as "there was nothing the black-cloaked horseman could do that the people of Emond's Field could not handle together".

Notes

Common Themes

Smoking
  • Thom smokes a pipe
Mat
  • Mat is a little given to boasting
Perrin
  • Perrin rarely boasts

Mysteries

How does Thom know Fain and why does he not think well of him?
Does Thom realize Moiraine is an Aes Sedai?

It is clear he is not pleased to find Moiraine and Lan, but why then does he go with them?

Was Thom really a Court Bard and why isn't he one now?
Does Moiraine recognise Thom?

She calls him Master Bard, but this could just be politeness or flattery.

Miscellaenous

Rand is as tall as an Aielman.

Links to our world

The stories Thom mentions have links to our world.

  • Lenn - John Glenn.
  • Materese the Healer = Mother Theresa.
  • Alsbet Queen of the World = Queen Elizabeth the first?
  • Mosk and Merk = Moscow and America?

Characters

First Appearance

None

First Mention

Ewal Coplin Bandry Crawe, Lem Thane

Character Development

Nature

Animals
  • Pigs

Spoilers

This section contains Notes on this Chapter which may contain spoilers. Please expand to view.

Plot Lines

False Dragons

Although this is itself a very minor plotline, the introduction of the current spate of False Dragons ties in with the Pattern throwing them up until the true Dragon is revealed

Padan Fain

We see him revel in the attention, and also seems to pay some attention to the boys. We also learn that despite his pleasant demeanour, Thom at least does not think much of him.

Mysteries

How does Thom know Fain and why does he not think well of him?

This is never resolved. Fain has always presented a pleasant side to the villagers, but Thom could conceivably have encountered him elsewhere

Does Thom realize Moiraine is an Aes Sedai?

From what we know of him later, he would certainly have seen enough to recognise an Aes Sedai, he had enough contact with Elaida for example, but he still wants to go with them. It is clear he is not pleased to find Moiraine and Lan, but why then does he go with them? It is possible that even at this point, when he sees the Aes Sedai have an interest in the boys, that he figures one of them may be able to channel or is at least put in mind of Owyn.

Was Thom really a Court Bard and why isn't he one now?

This is revealed midway through the book. He was indeed a bard, highly renowned, but fled after harsh words with Morgase after he left her to help his nephew Owyn

Does Moiraine recognise Thom?

She calls him Master Bard, but this could just be politeness or flattery. She later mentions, (in The Shadow Rising) how it was somewhat arrogant of Thom to keep his name and that he ought to have expected to be recognised.

Misconceptions

The Dragon

One of the tales Thom mentions is of "The Dragon and his attempt to free the Dark One". Which did not happen

Ogier

Perrin believes Ogier are fictional. We later see the same from villagers in other countries.


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