7

When the Heroes answer the call of the Horn at the end of the The Great Hunt, Artur Hawkwing makes the following remark to Rand during their pre-battle meet-and-greet:

“It takes more than bravery to bind a man to the Horn.” Artur Hawkwing’s voice was deep and carrying, a voice used to giving commands.... “Only a few are bound to the Wheel, spun out again and again to work the will of the Wheel in the Pattern of the Ages. You could tell him, Lews Therin, could you but remember when you wore flesh.” He was looking at Rand.

Despite not saying it outright, the passage above seems to be strongly suggesting that Rand is also bound to the Horn. I also remember thinking during my first read through the series that of course Rand would be tied to the Horn; the Heroes of the Horn (HotH) are bound the Wheel so that they may be called back in times of great need to fight the Shadow, which (in broad strokes) is basically quite similar to the Dragon's purpose.

Having taken this as just an obvious fact all this time, it only now occurs to me that Rand being a HotH might not make much sense after all. For one thing, it seems superfluous to have him bound to an artifact that only calls back dead people for the purpose of fighting a battle he was specifically reborn for.

A bigger problem with tying Rand to the Horn (which only becomes apparent later in the series) is that it's inconceivable that Lews Therin would have just cooled his heels in Tel'aran'rhiod for 3000 years and put off figuring out how to seal the Bore 'til the last minute. Yes, there are rules prohibiting interference of this sort while the heroes are between lives. But surely if Birgitte can violate those rules basically on a whim, with her only punishment being stern-grunts of disapproval from her boyfriend, then it would be acceptable for LTT to leave some kind of message to his future self, right?


Is there any canonical answer that sorts this out?

I largely suspect the Horn of Valere in general and lore surrounding it were initially intended to play a larger role in the series back when RJ was telling his publishers that the Wheel of Time would be a trilogy, so there may have been plans for Rand and the Horn that were abandoned during the writing process.

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    I thought this was about one of our mods..... – tilley31 Feb 29 '16 at 18:05
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    because rand IS lews therin, and IS the dragon, i would hazzard he is not bound to the horn, because when the horn is needed, he will already be in the flesh anyway fighting the shadow personally. – Himarm Feb 29 '16 at 19:02
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    @tilley31 me too. – apollo Feb 29 '16 at 19:27
  • @apollo and tilley31: see answer :-) – Rand al'Thor Feb 29 '16 at 20:26
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Yes, I am he is.

From an interview with Robert Jordan:

Regarding the Dragon and the Dragon Reborn (and Graendal's thoughts about Ishamael's musings): "Is this soul born in any other Age, or only at the advent and (theoretically, of course) the closing of the Third Age, as the Dragon/the Dragon Reborn?"

Robert Jordan: This soul is one of the Heroes, and bound to the Wheel, spun out as the Pattern wills. "It" is born in other Ages, but in a non-Dragon incarnation, to suit the pattern of that Age.

In the course of this answer, he related this to why Hawkwing calls Rand "Lews Therin" at Falme—because Hawkwing recognizes this soul. This didn't really tell me why he specifically calls him "Lews Therin", but apparently they've been hangin' together in Tel'aran'rhiod and the etiquette there is to call each other by the name of your last incarnation. (My interpretation.)

This confirms that the soul we know as the Dragon, the Dragon Reborn, or Rand al'Thor is one of the Heroes, as you surmised.

  • I feel that this supports Rand/Lews Therin being bound to the wheel and spun out again and again, till the end of these books anyway, but not bound to the horn; possibly similar to Matrims relationship to the wheel but not the horn. – Theyna Feb 29 '16 at 20:58
  • Correct me if I am wrong but I understand that bound to the wheel is > and != to bound to the horn. – Theyna Feb 29 '16 at 21:03
  • @Theyna That's my understanding as well, but I'm not 100% sure either. Mat's conversation with Hawkwing in AMoL left me with the impression that the Heroes themselves have autonomy over electing new members to their ranks. In contrast, I take being bound to the Wheel to be controlled by deeper forces of nature, while being bound to the Horn is more or less determined by committee. – David H Feb 29 '16 at 21:22
  • @DavidH completely agree, excpet not sure about Heroes of the Horn themselves having autonomy over electing new members to their ranks, but it is an interesting theory to think about. – Theyna Feb 29 '16 at 21:30
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    (with apologies to rand al'thor for the spamchat notifications) @Theyna The idea of the HotH choosing who joins their ranks seemed to me like an odd way for that to work too. But I just don't see how Hawkwing's answer to Mat allows for any other interpretation. Hawkwing doesn't merely know that Mat isn't a HotH, he also informs Mat that he was recently considered for membership but rejected, though he admits he doesn't know why. I just don't see how he could know Mat was being considered if the heroes aren't part of the selection process. – David H Feb 29 '16 at 22:02
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Some of Rand's commentary after Veins of Gold seems to indicate he has memories from times between dying in the AoL and the 'present'

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    Can you add the said Commentary? – Aegon Jul 14 '17 at 7:06

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