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I'm currently reading Crossroads of Twilight, book ten of the Wheel of Time.

Despite the excessive amount of text Jordan spends describing characters' appearances, I often have trouble visualizing what they look like. This is partially because of the words he chooses to use to describe them, which often don't mean much to me. Like 'plump'. He uses that constantly, and I don't think he means what I would mean, which is 'fat'.

On the cover of the book, there are quite a few people. Mat is obvious, with his hat and spear. I was able to identify Thom relatively quickly. I eventually decided that the small dark woman is Tuon, after a description early in the book made it clear she has very dark skin (which was not at all clear to me in the previous book). Who are the rest of these people? In particular, who is the guy with the bow? Is Juilin visible?

Full cover:

Cover with red freehand circles

I've circled Mat, Thom, and Tuon. On the front cover we also have unidentified persons 1, 2, and 3, and on the back we have persons 4 through 10.

Closeup of back cover people:

People on the back

Person 4 is actually on the binding, and person 5 is cut off. The last three are probably too indistinct to make out.

Closeups of persons 1-3

Person1 Person2 Person3

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    If I remember correctly Juilin was always mentioned as carrying a staff (like bamboo) none of these appear to have staves so I doubt any of them are meant to be Juilin. My immediate guess would be that the unidentified people are varying members of Mats company/band of followers at the time, though I stand to be corrected on all points. – Theyna Apr 26 '17 at 22:04
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    Vanin the horse thief is described as fat, so I think we can rule him out from appearing on the cover. Also, he was almost always scouting, implying he'd be often away from the main company. – Dacio Apr 26 '17 at 22:24
  • @Theyna Yeah, I agree. I expect that all the people on front cover are supposed to be specific named characters, though. Maybe not the people on the back. More than the bamboo pole, though, I expect Juilin would have his fez on. I always interpret his hat's description as a fez. – DCShannon Apr 26 '17 at 22:36
  • @DCShannon just imagine him saying; "I wear a fez now, fezzes are cool." – Theyna Apr 27 '17 at 4:38
  • My question now is how did Tuon's horse get to where it is/heading in the direction it is? and why does it seem to be attacking the other horse? – eshier May 5 '17 at 16:31
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Person 1 is Harnan. Person 2 is probably Selucia. Person 3 might be Gorderan.

The rest would be members of Mat's band, or possibly Luca's traveling show.


Scene

There's no scene in the book which exactly matches this cover. It seems to be loosely inspired by Mat's travels up the road from Ebou Dar to Lugard, and more specifically inspired by a scene where Mat, Harnan, and Gorderan pursue a certain person who has fled Luca's show.

However, neither Tuon nor Thom accompany Mat on that chase, staying with Luca's show. Juilin also stays with the show, and does not appear to be on the cover anywhere.

Person 1

Person 1 is Harnan. When he and Mat begin the chase, he is described as carrying a double curve horesebow, with a quiver near his hip on his horse. At the end of the chase, he fires his bow from horseback.

The Wheel of Time wiki entry describes Harnan like so

He is solidly built with a lantern-jaw and a tattoo of a hawk on his left cheek.

Which matches the image closely enough. I can't really tell if there's a tattoo on his cheek in the picture or not.

Person 2

I agree with er-han's answer that this is probably Selucia.

Selucia is Tuon's maid, so it makes sense for her to be depicted right next to her. She is also said to have golden hair and creamy skin.

The only reason I'm not sure it's Selucia is that the wiki describes her as having the left side of her scalp shaved. In the next book, she often wears a hood over her hair. I think she shaved the rest of her head, but unlike Egeanin does not wear a wig. In the picture, her hair seems a little long for growth since leaving Ebou Dar, but I'll just assume that that's what that is.

Person 3

This could be any number of people, as we can't see him that well, and his appearance isn't that distinctive.

However, since this scene seems closest to the chase scene, I think it's probably the other guy that went on the chase with Mat and Harnan, which is Gorderan.

The wiki describes him

He is a thick shouldered, heavily muscled man. He has gray eyes.

Certainly nothing there to disqualify him.

His proximity to Thom means it could instead be Juilin. But, we don't see Juilin's distinctive fez hat or his bamboo pole. He's also usually described as having darker skin, but from the variety of depictions I've seen when looking for images of him, it may not be clear just how dark.

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I have a partial answer.

I am pretty sure that 'person 2' is Selucia, with her gold hair and closeness to Tuon.

I couldn't identify the other ones yet. If I get a clue I will update my answer.

http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/Selucia

  • I had disqualified Selucia, because I thought I remembered her being described as having dark skin when she and Tuon were in town looking at silks, but you're right, she is actually described as having "creamy" skin. That's probably Selucia. – DCShannon May 5 '17 at 15:23

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