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When Rand undertook his journey to become Car'a'carn, his chief rival was Couladin, an Aiel warrior who declared himself to be clan chief of the Shaido Aiel. Couladin hated Rand from the instant he saw him, but later reinforced his own claim by revealing that he

also had a dragon tattoo on each arm, later revealed to have been placed there by Asmodean in an attempt to distract Rand.

However, given how he received this, it seems unlikely he didn't know the source or what it entailed. Then again, he never seemed like a stable individual to begin with, and may have simply believed he woke up like that one morning.

Was Couladin a Darkfriend... or just plain nuts?

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    Most likely Asmodean used a bit of compulsion to implant a false memory in Couladin's head of receiving the tattoos in Rhuidean.
    – David H
    Jun 17, 2018 at 20:55

1 Answer 1

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Personal opinion - No, he was not a Darkfriend.

I believe that if he was indeed a Darkfriend, the author would've revealed that in the book at some point, either from Couladin's POV or Asmodean POV.

He was indeed a power-thirsty and unstable individual among the Shaido Aiel who disproved of Rand's claims and him entering Rhuidean. We can assume that Couladin gained the tattoos either in his sleep or while awake, but he took them as legitimate claim as the Car'a'carn.

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  • Barring a better answer, I'll accept this. I agree that Jordan probably would've mentioned it if he was a Darkfriend. Not to mention that being a Darkfriend was extremely uncommon among Aiel.
    – Omegacron
    Aug 6, 2022 at 3:23

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