"Let whosoever sounds me think not of glory, but only of salvation."
—Inscription on the Horn of Valere and Prophecy of the Horn
The Horn of Valere is a powerful artifact. Little is known of how it works, but the effect is clear: when the Horn is sounded, the great heroes of the Pattern are summoned to battle, and will serve whoever blew the Horn. It has recently been discovered that if in the presence of the Dragon Reborn it will follow his orders whether or not he sounded it, despite nothing ever linking the two. It is supposed to be present at the Last Battle, but there is no direct mention of it in the Prophecies of the Dragon. It is described as looking like any ordinary horn and is not grand, but it has an inscription that reads in the Old Tongue "Tia mi aven Moridin isainde vadin" or "The Grave is no bar to my call" and the Prophecy of the Horn says "Let whosoever sounds me think not of glory, but only of salvation." The Old Tongue for the prophecy is not given.
The Horn's origins are uncertain, but it was lost to the world and faded into the realm of myth for hundreds of years when the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends hid it beneath the Eye of the World during the Breaking. Deep within the Blight, it was guarded by the Green Man, Someshta, the last of the Nym, along with the banner of Lews Therin Telamon and one of the seals to the Dark One's prison, until the time of its use.
Illian traditionally mounted "Great Hunts" for the Horn in which men and women from all over the world would gather and go out in search, but all were unsuccessful. The Great Hunt that Faile swore to was the first called in 400 years.
It was said that the finding of the Horn would be one of the indications of the arrival of the Last Battle.
The Horn was found recently at the Eye of the World by a party of eight: Moiraine Damodred, Lan Mandragoran, Nynaeve al'Meara, Egwene al'Vere, Rand al'Thor, Mat Cauthon, Perrin Aybara, and Loial. They then took it to Fal Dara where it was kept safe by Lord Agelmar Jagad. While it was under his protection, Lord Algemar felt the presence of the Horn keenly, and he passed it on to the Amyrlin Seat at the first opportunity, stating that the temptation to use it was too great.
Later, the Horn was stolen from the storeroom in Fal Dara by Padan Fain during the first ever occasion that Trollocs had come into the keep. A party of twenty Shienarans led by Lord Ingtar Shinowa were sent out to track down the Darkfriends that stole it. They were accompanied by Rand, Perrin, Mat, and Loial. The group chased the Darkfriends all the way from Shienar to Falme on Toman Head, going via Cairhien.
Thinking only of salvationEdit
When the recovery party arrived at Falme, they found that the Horn was in the possession of a Seanchan nobleman named High Lord Turak Aladon. Five of the party, Rand, Perrin, Mat, Ingtar, and Hurin went into Falme to get the Horn back. After retrieving the Horn, along with Mat's tainted ruby-hilted dagger, the five went out into the street and noticed a marching Seanchan army heading towards them. Ingtar sacrificed his life so that the other four were able to escape. He also confessed to Rand that he was a Darkfriend. When the others came out into another street they saw that the reason for the army was not them but a legion of Whitecloaks heading towards the town. Caught between two armies with no way to get out, Mat sounded the horn. This action called forth the Heroes of the Horn to fight for the horn blower and repel the invading Seanchan out of the city.
Heroes of the HornEdit
The Heroes of the Horn are the great heroes of the Pattern, bound to the Horn of Valere. They are summoned to battle to fight for the Light. Sometimes the Wheel adds to their numbers, however it is unknown if heroes can be lost from the ranks.
When summoned, the Heroes refer to the person who sounded the Horn as "Hornsounder". They refer to a previous Hornsounder as "Hornblower" and treat the Hornblower with a certain amount of respect. This circumstance must be considered a rarity however, as in order for a person to be a Hornblower, they must first die and then be brought back to life before someone else blows the Horn.
During the Last Battle, Artur Hawkwing states that the Heroes of the Horn fight of their own free will and serve the Light, and that if a servant of the Shadow blew the horn the Heroes could refuse to serve him. It is also revealed that the Heroes of the Horn are not invincible, and that battle damage could force them back into the World of Dreams to heal.
It is also revealed that Mat is no longer the Hornsounder; his death and revival during the events of the invasion of Andor were sufficient to sever his ties to the Horn, allowing a new Hornsounder to emerge.
It is also later revealed that the Horn can summon not only human heroes, but wolves as well.
- Artur Hawkwing
- Birgitte Silverbow
- Blaes of Matuchin
- Buad of Albhain
- Calian the Chooser
- Gaidal Cain
- Jain Charin
- Mikel of Pure Heart
- Paedrig the Peacemaker
- Rogosh Eagle-eye
- Shivan the Hunter
- Hend the Striker
- Jain Farstrider
The name "Valere" is derived from the Latin for "to be worth." As such the name of the horn may be taken to mean "horn of worth" or "horn of value," showing it to be an artifact of great importance.
Another interpretation of the name "The Horn of Valere" may be "The Horn of They Worthy" as only those deemed heroic enough by the Pattern are chosen to be bound.
It also seems that the Pattern takes into account the individual's personality as Hend the Striker told Mat that though Mat had done more than enough to be bound he had not been chosen to be bound. Mat retorts that this is because he didn't want to be at the beck and call of any one instrument.
The Horn of Valere functions much as Gjallarhorn does in Norse mythology: both are sounded as an announcement of the imminent final battle and end of the world (Ragnarok for the Vikings and Tarmon Gai'don for the Wheel of Time world). Additionally, another name for the owner of Gjallarhorn, Heimdallr, is Vindhlér. It is possible that, in-universe, the word/name "Valere" is meant to stem from (and, in turn, derive) this alternative Norse name, making the Horn of Valere mean "Heimdallr's Horn."
Contrast also the historical poem La Chanson de Roland.