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Towers of Midnight is the name of the thirteenth and penultimate volume of The Wheel of Time series. The working title Shifting Winds was adopted for a time, but the name was replaced at Brandon Sanderson's urging in September 2009. It was reportedly due for release on October 26, 2010, but it was also rumored for release in the UK on November 5, 2010. The US release date has been pushed back to November 2, 2010. Chapter Eight "The Seven-Striped Lass" has been made available on Brandon Sanderson's blog following the "Great Hunt" puzzle event. The prologue "Distinctions" was sold on September 21, 2010 as an e-book for $2.99 on Amazon.com et al. to US/Canada residents. Chapter One "Apples First"is available to read on Tor website, while Chapter Two "Questions of Leadership" is available as an audiobook via Tor website. It is 1264 pages long.
The title can be taken as a literal reference to the The Towers of Midnight fortress-complex in Imfaral, a city in Seanchan, which has thirteen towers and is thus a reference to the number of the book. It is also a reference to a part of the Prophecies of Shadow, after the Epilogue, which mentions the Towers of Midnight, mostly in regards to Perrin Aybara.
Another possibility is glimpsed at the beginning of the third chapter, when Egwene al'Vere experienced a series of True Dreams, among which is a vision in which "thirteen black towers [stood]... beneath a tar-like sky." As Egwene watched, one tower after another fell as the remaining towers grew. A final tower "shook and cracked, collapsing most of the way to the ground. But then it recovered and grew tallest of all." Finally, "six towers remained, looming..." before another vision takes its place. While there may be thirteen towers in Imfaral, the Forsaken originally numbered thirteen as well. As of the beginning of the book, only six are living, including Moghedien, Graendal, Mesaana, Demandred, Cyndane and Moridin. The tower that "recovered and grew tallest of all" seems to fit Ishamael's defeat and death, resurrection as Moridin, and elevation to Nae'blis.
The title could also be in some way a reference to the Black and White Towers or the Tower of Ghenjei, as major plot lines for the series revolve around these towers, as well as the Seven Towers of Malkier.
The following commentary comes from MacMillian's fall, 2010 catalog. It is the same as the blurb reported to be on the dust jacket.
- The End Draws Near...
- The Last Battle has started. The seals on the Dark One's prison are crumbling. The Pattern itself is unraveling, and the armies of the Shadow have begun to boil out of the Blight. The sun has begun to set upon the Third Age. Perrin Aybara is now hunted by specters from his past: Whitecloaks, a slayer of wolves, and the responsibilities of leadership. All the while, an unseen foe is slowly pulling a noose tight around his neck. To prevail, he must seek answers in Tel'aran'rhiod and find a way — at long last — to master the wolf within him or lose himself to it forever.
- Meanwhile, Matrim Cauthon prepares for the most difficult challenge of his life. The creatures beyond the stone gateways — the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn — have confused him, taunted him, and left him hanged, his memory stuffed with bits and pieces of other mens' lives. He had hoped that his last confrontation with them would be the end of it, but the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills. The time is coming when he will again have to dance with the Snakes and the Foxes, playing a game that cannot be won. The Tower of Ghenjei awaits, and its secrets will reveal the fate of a friend long lost.
- This penultimate novel of Robert Jordan's #1 New York Times bestselling series — the second of three based on materials he left behind when he died in 2007 — brings dramatic and compelling developments to many threads in the Pattern. The end draws near.
- Dovie'andi se tovya sagain. It's time to toss the dice.
Moridin gives a dreamspike to Graendal, which blocks Traveling, to trap Perrin so he can be killed by an invading Trolloc army. She in turn orders Slayer to keep it placed in Tel'aran'rhiod so that the Asha'man with Perrin cannot form gateways. Perrin, who has been improving his Wolf Dream talents with the dead wolf Hopper, finds the dreamspike and starts moving it away. Since he can only jump within the radius of effect of the device, he can only make short hops. He eventually makes his way to Tar Valon, with Slayer chasing him.
Rand al'Thor visits the White Tower and tells Egwene al'Vere that he plans to break the seals on the Dark One's prison. Rand tells Egwene that he wants to meet her again at the Field of Merrilor in the Borderlands to discuss the situation. Egwene, alarmed by the plan, sends many letters to rulers asking them to come to the meeting place to oppose it. Many armies gather at their meeting location so that Rand and Egwene can decide the fate of the world.
Following this, Rand moves back toward Bandar Eban, where he performs a Ta'varen action, showing that the city, who thought they were starving, were not going to starve. He also meets The Potato Soldier
Moving through Ghealdan, Perrin Aybara and his followers encounter the Children of the Light, who recently raised Galad Damodred as their leader. Jaret Byar and Dain Bornhald accuse Perrin of killing two Children of the Light, Lathin and Yamwick. They also accuse him of killing Geofram Bornhald, as well as bringing Trollocs to the Two Rivers. Perrin admits he killed Lathin and Yamwick, but denies the other alleged crimes. Both Galad and Perrin want to avoid a battle over this issue and when Galad discovers his stepmother Morgase Trakand is alive and among the refugees, Galad and Perrin agree to have a trial with Morgase as the judge under Andoran law. Perrin attempts to use the fact that the two men killed his wolf friends as a legal defense, but she judges Perrin to be guilty, since killing wolves in Andor is not a valid legal reason for self-defense. She suggests that Galad set the sentencing, and Perrin agrees to abide by the ruling after Tarmon Gai'don.
Egwene al'Vere plots to find the Forsaken Mesaana. She refuses to bond Gawyn Trakand as a Warder due to his disobedience and continual foiling of her plans. He sets off Egwene's alarms and wards intended to trap Mesaana while fighting with a Bloodknife, a Seanchan assassin left during the attack on the White Tower. Egwene insists that Mesaana was behind the assassination attempt, and he secretly leaves to visit Elayne Trakand by Traveling since he feels his presence is unappreciated. Egwene sets up a dream meeting between Aes Sedai, Aiel Wise Ones, and Sea Folk Windfinders with the hidden agenda of drawing Mesaana into a trap. When Mesaana and the Black Ajah attack, the dreamspike moved by Perrin keeps Mesaana from escaping. Mesaana attempts to hold Egwene with an a'dam, but Egwene wills the a'dam unlocked and then breaks Mesaana's mind. Gawyn, having discovered the nature of the Bloodknives from a captured sul'dam and that Elayne is dreamwalking, returns by Traveling just in time to stop three Bloodknives from killing Egwene in her sleep. When she awakes, she finds that he is hurt so badly that she bonds him to save his life.
Isam kills Hopper in the dream, forever ending any chance the dead wolf can be reborn. Perrin destroys the dreamspike by dropping it into lava created by a nightmare. He escapes Isam by returning to the real world, and he decides to bring his army to bear to save Galad's Children from the attacking Trollocs. Although the Children are in danger of being wiped out, the Trolloc army breaks after Perrin's forces charge down the hill. After the battle, Jaret Byar attempts to kill Perrin, but Byar is instead killed by Dain Bornhald, who no longer believed that Perrin killed his father Geofram due to the inability of Byar to give evidence in favor of the charge at the trial. Galad sets a light sentence for Perrin's crimes, and Perrin and Galad join forces and make their way to Andor. Graendal is blamed by Shaidar Haran for Mesaana's defeat and the Myrddraal takes her away to be punished.
Mat Cauthon encounters the gholam near Caemlyn. He and the Aes Sedai Teslyn Baradon fight it off. After, Mat plots to get rid of it. Mat meets Elayne Trakand to discuss building dragon artillery according to former Illuminator Aludra's specifications. They bargain over who gets to keep how many dragons, and Mat agrees to let Elayne borrow the foxhead medallion ter'angreal he wears to block the power so that she can make copies. He and Redarm commander Talmanes lure, fight, and herd the gholam, and Mat uses the extra copies to trick and wound it. The gholam falls into a Skimming gateway formed by the Kinswoman Sumeko which Mat hopes will lead to endless free fall. When Perrin and his group arrives, Morgase convinces Elayne to let Perrin administer the Two Rivers under Andoran rule. Elayne uses the dragons, and a promise of estates in Andor for Cairhienin nobles, to convince the Cairhienin to make her queen of Cairhien.
Mat, Thom Merrilin, and Noal Charin enter the Tower of Ghenjei to attempt to rescue Moiraine Damodred. Mat uses his luck to proceed to her location, while Thom uses music, Noal uses fire, and they all use iron weapons. Along the way, they encounter many of the fox-faced Eelfinn whom they are able to repel. Once they find Moiraine, Mat makes a bargain of safe passage without attack from the Eelfinn by agreeing to give up one of his eyes, but he forgets to mention the snake-like Aelfinn. The Aelfinn harry them during their escape, and Noal, revealed to be Jain Farstrider, sacrifices himself to give them extra time. Mat, Thom, and Moiraine escape only when Mat realizes that the Eelfinn gave him his ashandarei during his previous visit because it is a key that can make an exit portal. Moiraine reveals that during her time in captivity the Eelfinn and Aelfinn slowly drained her ability to channel so that now she needs the powerful bracelet angreal to channel with any kind of strength.
- See also the full statistical analysis for this book.
Towers of Midnight contains a prologue, 57 chapters and an epilogue. There are 29 different POVs listed in this book.
|Perrin Aybara||20.60%||17% of the Prologue, 71% of Ch2, 60% of Ch4, 38% of Ch71, 93% of Ch10, 67% of Ch16, 33% of Ch18, 44% of Ch21, 61% of Ch24, 38% of Ch26, 28% of Ch28, 10% of Ch29, 84% of Ch30, 13% of Ch33, 76% of Ch342, 79% of Ch353, 8% of Ch36, 35% of Ch374, 37% of Ch385, 75% of Ch 406, 39% of Ch417, 61% of Ch 44, 21% of Ch47, 26% of Ch53 and 25% of the Epilogue|
|Matrim Cauthon||14.81%||Ch8, 9, 57% of Ch17, Ch19, 37% of Ch22, Ch31, 49% of Ch52, 52% of Ch53, Ch54, 55 and 57|
|Elayne Trakand||8.38%||Ch11, 43% of Ch17, 75% of Ch23, 20% of Ch24, 35% of Ch29, 80% of Ch45, Ch50, and 51% of Ch52|
|Egwene al'Vere||8.08%||53% of Ch38, 6% of Ch5, Ch14, 34% of Ch15, Ch27, 9% of Ch35, 92% of Ch36, 24% of Ch374, 58% of Ch 385, and 46% of Ch56|
|Galadedrid Damodred||5.72%||27% of the Prologue, 29% of Ch2, 40% of Ch4, 32% of Ch71, 7% of Ch10, 62% of Ch26, 12% of Ch35, 9% of Ch40, 61% of Ch417, and 49% of Ch43|
|Gawyn Trakand||5.40%||63% of Ch5, 29% of Ch22, 15% of Ch23, 70% of Ch 33, 36% of Ch374and 47% of Ch42|
|Faile Bashere||4.54%||33% of Ch16, 35% of Ch18, 10% of Ch28, 29% of Ch29, 16% of Ch30, 24% of Ch34, 16% of Ch40 and 52% of Ch47|
|Rodel Ituralde||4.38%||32% of Ch18, 39% of Ch21, 19% of Ch24, 62% of Ch28 and 72% of Ch32|
|Aviendha||3.93%||Ch39, 20% of Ch45, Ch48 and 49|
|Min Farshaw||3.78%||49% of Ch12, Ch13, 25, 28% of Ch32 and 75% of Ch51|
|Nynaeve al'Meara||3.66%||66% of Ch15 and all of Ch20|
|Morgase Trakand||2.97%||Ch6, 17% of Ch21, 26% of Ch29 and 39% of Ch44|
|Androl Genhald||2.28%||Ch46 and 54% of Ch56|
|Graendal||2.00%||22% of the Prologue, 31% of Ch5, 5% of Ch38 and 10% of the Epilogue|
|Lan Mandragoran||1.51%||8% of the Prologue, 30% of Ch7, 10% of Ch23, 53% of Ch42 and 8% of the Epilogue|
|Birgitte Silverbow||1.22%||34% of Ch22|
|Siuan Sanche||1.17%||47% of Ch3 and 17% of Ch33|
|Malenarin Rai||0.93%||19% of the Prologue|
|Tuon Athaem Kore Paendrag||0.65%||27% of Ch47|
|Cadsuane Melaidhrin||0.59%||51% of Ch12 and 25% of Ch51|
|Pevara Tazanovni||0.57%||22% of Ch53|
|Olver||0.51%||29% of the Epilogue|
|Alliandre Maritha Kigarin||0.45%||51% of Ch43|
|Padan Fain||0.30%||6% of the Prologue|
|Rand al'Thor||0.28%||16% of the Epilogue|
|Barriga||0.14%||8% of the Epilogue|
|Quote||0.13%||1% of the Prologue and 4% of the Epilogue|
|Mesaana||0.11%||5% of Ch37|
|1Chapter 7 has nine points of view. Galadedrid Damodred has four POV's and Perrin Aybara has four POV's. For Galadedrid, his first is 11% of the chapter, his second is 12% of the chapter, his third is 7% of the chapter, and his fourth is 2% of the chapter. For Perrin, his first is 20% of the chapter, his second is 10% of the chapter, his third is 6% of the chapter, and his fourth is 2% of the chapter.|
|2Chapter 34 has three points of view, two of which are from Perrin Aybara's POV. His first is 19% of the chapter and his second is 57% of the chapter.|
|3Chapter 35 has four points of view, two of which are from Perrin Aybara's POV. His first is 26% of the chapter and his second is 53% of the chapter.|
|4Chapter 37 has ten points of view. Gawyn Trakand has three POV's, Egwene al'Vere has two POV's, and Perrin Aybara has four POV's. For Gawyn, his first and second POV's are 13% of the chapter each, and his third is 10% of the chapter. For Egwene al'Vere, her first is 9% of the chapter and her second is 15% of the chapter. For Perrin, his first is 7% of the chapter, his second is 8% of the chapter, and his third and fourth are 10% of the chapter each.|
|5Chapter 38 has five points of view. Egwene al'Vere and Perrin Aybara have two POV's each. For Egwene, her first is 48% of the chapter and her second is 10% of the chapter. For Perrin, his first is 21% of the chapter and his second is 16% of the chapter.|
|6Chapter 40 has five points of view, three of which are from Perrin Aybara's POV. His first is 52% of the chapter, his second is 10% of the chapter, and his third is 13% of the chapter.|
|7Chapter 41 has five points of view. Galadedrid Damodred has three POV's and Perrin Aybara has two POV's. For Galadedrid, his first is 12% of the chapter, his second is 16% of the chapter, and his third is 33% of the chapter. For Perrin, his first is 20% of the chapter and his second is 19% of the chapter.|
|8Chapter 3 has three points of view, two of which are from Egwene al'Vere's POV. Her first is 21% of the chapter and her second is 32% of the chapter.|
|Leigh Butler's Re-read of Towers of Midnight, featured on Tor.com|
|Re-read listing||Part 1 · Part 2 · Part 3 · Part 4 · Part 5 · Part 6 · Part 7 · Part 8 · Part 9 · Part 10 · Part 11 · Part 12 · Part 13 · Part 14 · Part 15 · Part 16 · Part 17 · Part 18 · Part 19 · Part 20 · Part 21 · Part 22 · Part 23 · Part 24 · Part 25 · Part 26 · Part 27|