In TSR, Beyond the Stone both Mat and Rand get leave to enter Rhuidean.

It seems the Wise Ones were expecting Rand, but a) how did Rand know he needed to go there, b) how did he know of right (old, but right) words to say when asking for entrance?

Mat also gets leave. Considering how Aiel are for customs, and they have not anticipated Mat to arrive, he is not "of the blood", they allow him to go in with this very vague and very non-descript everything is changing talk. Is there some better explanation for allowing him to go in?

2 Answers 2


After taking the Stone in Tear, Rand spent a lot of time reading everything he could to help guide him. For example, he learns about the doorway to the snakes and foxes that way:

"A book told me," Rand said calmly. He sat down back on the edge of a crate that creaked alarmingly under his weight and crossed his arms. All very cool; Mat wished he could emulate it. "A pair of books, in fact. Treasures of the Stone and Dealings with the Territory of Mayene. Surprising what you can dig out of books if you read long enough, isn't it?

Rand has also learned that the A'iel are the "People of the Dragon", and he is the "Dragon Reborn". It's no small leap from that to him reading anything he can find on their prophecies and understanding he must go to Rhuidean. (The A'iel dreamwalkers, of course, dreamed of the need to be there - Amys knew that Rhuarc would be coming.)

When Rand arrives at Rhuidean and requests permission, he does so in "an ancient form," suggesting it probably came from a book (note, any Lews Therin Telamon memories would have predated Rhuidean, so it couldn't come from there):

He made an odd bow; left foot advanced, left hand on knee, right hand outstretched palm upward.

"By the right of blood," he said, "I ask leave to enter Rhuidean, for the honor of our ancestors and the memory of what was."

Amys blinked in evident surprise, arid Bair murmured, "An ancient form, but the question has been asked. I answer yes."

Mat asks, and is refused, but Rand says that the permission granted himself (Rand) will also cover Mat as Mat is going with Rand. They debate, but the fact of the matter is, they're already hoping/fearing/assuming that Rand is the promised one who will change everything, so to have them waffle about and choose change is not that surprising: (emphasis mine)

"It is not permitted," Melaine said sharply, her long redgold hair swinging as she shook her head. "You have no Aiel blood in your veins."

Rand had been studying Mat all this time. "He comes with me," he said suddenly. "You gave me permission, and he can come with me whether you say he can or not." He stared back at the Wise Ones, not defiantly, merely determined, set in his mind. Egwene knew him like this; he would not back down whatever they said.

"It is not permitted," Melaine said firmly, addressing her sisters. She pulled her shawl up to cover her head. "The law is clear. No woman may go to Rhuidean more than twice, no man more than once, and none at all save they have the blood of Aiel."

Seana shook her head. "Much is changing, Melaine. The old ways..."

"If he is the one," Bair said, "the Time of Change is upon us. Aes Sedai stand on Chaendaer, and Aan'allein with his shifting cloak. Can we hold to the old ways still? Knowing how much is to change?"

"We cannot hold," Amys said. "All stands on the edge of change, now...

  • I know you don't actually say this but you mentioned the Aelfinn in your answer... we know specifically that Rand didn't ask them about Rhuidean.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 12:10
  • 1
    @KutuluMike correct, the sole reason I mention them is that they demonstrate the obscure level of knowledge Rand is able to pull from old books... You wouldn't expect the Rhuidean rituals to show up in a book, but the Aelfinn example demonstrates there's a lot of obscure, unexpected things in old books.
    – gowenfawr
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 12:21

Rand was attempting to fulfill the Prophecies of the Dragon, as he was interpreting them. Once he discovered who he was, these were the only guidance he believed he had on how to proceed. This led him, for example, to take the Stone of Tear and claim Callandor. It's also how he discovered that the Aiel are the "People of the Dragon":

The Stone of Tear will never fall, till Callandor is wielded by the Dragon’s hand.

The Stone of Tear will never fall, till the People of the Dragon come.

At this point, Rand decides to follow the Aiel back to their home, where he meets the Wise Ones and is sent to Rhuidean. Rand has clearly been preparing this: he is ready to answer Couladin's objection by pointing out that his mother was Aiel (she wasn't, but he didn't know that). He's also been known to read a lot of very old books, and may have run across the old forms there.

As far as why the Wise Ones let them both go in, remember that they have Dreamers. They can see prophecy like Egwene can, and are even better at interpreting it. They knew Rand and his huge group of Aiel were going to be at Rhuidean that day, and were there to greet him. Their dreaming must have told them that he (and Moiraine) needed to go through the columns. Whatever prophecy they saw must have given them sufficient reason to let Mat go in as well.

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