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Warning: Spoilers for A Memory of Light under spoiler text.

Nicola Treehill had this fortelling, back in Lord of Chaos:

The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond.
Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives.
The great battle done, but the world not done with battle.
The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants.
The future teeters on the edge of a blade.
Lord of Chaos, Chapter 14 - Dreams and Nightmares

  • The lion sword - Elayne
  • The dedicated spear - Aviendha
  • She who sees beyond - Min
  • Great Battle - Tarmon Gai'don
  • The return - The Seanchan / the corenne.
  • Guardians - The Asha'man
  • Servents - Aes Sedai

There is a comparable dream which Melaine and Bair had later in the same book:

[To Rand:]Melaine and Bair dreamed of you Rand on a boat with three women whose faces they could not see, and a scale tilting first one way then the other.
Lord of Chaos, Chapter 19 - Matters of Toh

This seems to suggest that the three women in the dream are Elayne, Aviendha and Min and conversely that Rand is he who is dead yet lives from the foretelling.

Which either fits with his state at the end of A Memory of Light, or that he is Lews Therin respun.

What did the boat mean in the Wheel of Time? I'm assuming it was a metaphor? The closest actual boat I can find is

Rand's refrence to finding a ship as he rides off

but with the "The future teeters on the edge of a blade." / "a scale tilting first one way then the other." the timing seems off.

As Rand successfully negotiated the Dragon's Peace before the Last Battle.

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1 Answer 1

That particular element of the prophecy is likely a reference to the classic Aruthian legend, from which Jordan has drawn on for a lot of The Wheel of Time's symbolism.

According to that legend, when King Arthur died, he was placed on a boat and ferried off to Avalon, where he would wait until he was needed again. Three key women in the mythology were with him. The analogy here is that Rand, having done what was needed, is now "dead", and his spirit waits for the turning of the Wheel to come back around to the time when he's needed again.

The three women in the Arthur legend don't exactly line up with Rand's three women, but Jordan never borrowed from just one source for anything in his series. There is still a strong implication that Aviendha/Min/Elayne know Rand is alive and are protecting that secret, letting Rand "sail off to Avalon" in peace.

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When I thought boat == secret, the major stumbling block was that if the boat represents the secret, why doesn't Alivia count? (And perhaps Cadsuane) –  NikolaiDante Jan 17 '13 at 15:17
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I don't think the boat represents the secret itself; it represents the symbolic departure of Rand from the world. The three women in the boat just conveniently meshed up with other symbolic meanings for three women + Rand. –  Michael Edenfield Jan 17 '13 at 15:19
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