In The Shadow Rising, when Rand first sees Muradin, both of them were in the ter' angreal at Rhuidean. And later on, before Rand's final vision, he sees that Muradin had already ripped out his eyes because of what he saw in there.

Muradin had managed to veil himself; bloody sockets stared blindly above the black veil. The Aiel was chewing, and bloody froth dripped onto his chest. Forward.

The Wheel of Time, The Shadow Rising

There was no sign of Muradin; he did not think the Aiel had come out of the glass forest.

So he's probably dead. Rand however, did not go mad and try to gouge out his eyes like Muradin.

My question is: Is it explained what happened to Muradin in there and why he killed himself while Rand did not?

  • 2
    IIRC - the ter'angreal showed the history of the Aiel, who were originally a pacifist people. Not sure that it is actually said anywhere specific to Muradin, but most of the Aiel not knowing of their history would possibly go mad, when finding out that they were once Tinkers
    – Alith
    Sep 4, 2018 at 8:05
  • @Alith I think that would answer my question. Makes sense since most of the Aiel seem ignorant of their history (and their disdain of such passive people.) If you could write up an answer that would be great.
    – Voronwé
    Sep 4, 2018 at 12:51
  • 2
    That's almost certainly what happened: you see a lot of Aiel not quite knowing what to do when Rand reveals the history to a larger group. They mysteriously vanish, try to be permanently gai'shain, reject his claims and join people who claim otherwise... The effect on someone who couldn't handle it would presumably be worse when experiencing the memories yourself rather than having a chief tell you.
    – Nolimon
    Sep 4, 2018 at 13:23
  • Will write up an answer when I get a chance later :)
    – Alith
    Sep 4, 2018 at 13:46

1 Answer 1


Muradin see the history of the Aiel

The ter'angreal in Rhuidean is used to "test" prospective Clan Chiefs (and Wise Ones iirc), those that make it through the columns learn the history of the Aiel back to the Breaking of the World.

Muradin has already entered the columns of the ter'angreal when Rand arrives in Rhuidean with Matt

Ahead and to the right he could just see another man, in the grays and browns of Aiel, stiff and statuestill in the changing lights. That must be Muradin, Couladin's brother. Stiff and still; something was happening. Strangely, considering the brilliance, Rand could make out the Aiel's face clearly. Eyes wide and staring, face tight, mouth quivering on the brink of a snarl. Whatever he was seeing, he did not like it. But Muradin had survived that far, at least. If he could do it, Rand could. The man was six or seven paces ahead of him at best.

The Wheel of Time, The Shadow Rising

We see that Muradin is already having difficulty accepting what is being shown to him. As Rand ventures deeper with each step into the ter-angreal, we learn with him the history of the Aiel, something that it seems Muradin cannot accept.

He was farther into the columns than a single step could account for, and closer to Muradin than he had been. The Aiel's fixed stare had become a dire frown.

The Wheel of Time, The Shadow Rising

Each step into the ter'angreal takes one further back in time, and each time Muradin is more anguished over what he is seeing.

He had seen — lived — a time before the Aiel came to their Threefold Land. He was nearer still to Muradin. The Aiel's eyes shifted uneasily, and he seemed to struggle against taking another step. Rand moved forward.

The Wheel of Time, The Shadow Rising

A step forward

Lights flashed through the glass columns, halfblinding Rand. Muradin was only a pace or two ahead, staring straight in front of him, teeth bared, snarling silently. The columns were taking them back, into the time lost history of the Aiel. Rand's feet moved of their own accord. Forward. And back in time.

The Wheel of Time, The Shadow Rising

Rand moves deeper into the glass forest

He was almost abreast of Muradin now, but the man was not aware of him. Muradin's snarl was a rictus; sweat beaded on his face; he quivered as though wanting to run. Rand's feet took him forward, and back.

The Wheel of Time, The Shadow Rising

And deeper again

Tears stung Rand's eyes; silently, he mouthed, “Siedre.” The Way of the Leaf? That was no Aiel belief. He could not think dearly; he could hardly think at all. The lights spun faster and faster. Beside him, Muradin's mouth was open in a soundless howl; the Aiel's eyes bulged as if witnessing the death of everything. They stepped forward together.

The Wheel of Time, The Shadow Rising

At this point Rand is struggling to understand what he is seeing, and he has not lived as an Aiel, for a warrior like Muradin raised as a warrior in the current Aiel society, always ready to battle, it must have been even more difficult to understand or accept.

Rand moves forward

No sense. It made no sense. How could these people be Aiel? The columns flashed in blinding pulses. The air stirred, swirling. Beside him, Muradin's mouth stretched wide in an effort to scream. The Aiel clawed at his veil, clawed at his face, leaving deep bloody scratches. Forward.

The Wheel of Time, The Shadow Rising

Another step forward for Rand and another vision of the past

Muradin had clawed deep furrows in his face; he was digging at his eyes now. Forward.

The Wheel of Time, The Shadow Rising

The final time that Rand sees Muradin

Rand quivered. The light from the columns was a shimmering blue haze that seemed solid, that seemed to claw the nerves out of his skin. The wind howled, one vast whirlwind sucking inward. Muradin had managed to veil himself; bloody sockets stared blindly above the black veil. The Aiel was chewing, and bloody froth dripped onto his chest. Forward.

The Wheel of Time, The Shadow Rising

I've not extracted quotes from what Rand encounters, the passages are quite lengthy and I feel that they should be read in full, at the end though Rand relives the Breaking of the World and a time slightly before that before stepping out from the ter'angreal. On doing so he feels that it is very unlikely that Muradin will ever complete the passage through the ter'angreal, because Muradin cannot in all likelihood accept that the Aiel were originally pacifists and had broken off from the Tinkers or Tuatha'an who followed the Way of the Leaf.

There was no sign of Muradin; he did not think the Aiel had come out of the glass forest. Or ever would.

The Wheel of Time, The Shadow Rising

  • 1
    Makes much more sense - accepted. I believe there was this one instance where Perrin and co. meet the Tinkers in TSR as well, and the Aiel with him were appalled of the notion of interacting with them
    – Voronwé
    Sep 5, 2018 at 9:51
  • To add to this, there's a good quote from TSR that "'Whoever would lead among you must come to Rhuidean and learn where we came from, and why you do not carry swords. Who cannot learn, will not live.'" It seems that Muradin's failure to accept his past is what drives him to die, if we interpret that to be part of the working of the ter'angreal.
    – Giuseppe
    Nov 28, 2018 at 18:41

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