An Exclusive Interview With Rand al'Thor

by Larry Homer

REPORTER: So, Rand, as I understand it, within the last year or so you have finally become convinced that you are the Dragon Reborn and the fate of the world rests upon your shoulders?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And it turns out that your mother was the long-lost Princess Tigraine, Daughter-Heir of Andor?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And your father was Janduin, the Clan Chief of the Taardad Aiel who was the commander in chief of the four-clan task force that launched the Aiel War after King Laman chopped down some silly tree or other?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: Which bothers you just a trifle, because you grew up hearing what a bloody massacre the Aiel War was and you always thought it was a terrible waste of life over one stupid tree and what one stupid lunatic had done to it, and now you find out your daddy was the man who led the massive invasion?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And learning that these people were your parents was especially shocking because for the first 19 years of your life, you were utterly convinced that your Mom and Dad were Kari and Tam al'Thor, and they never gave any hint that you were merely adopted?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And you had always had absolute trust in them (especially Tam, since "Mom" died way back when) to be honest and fair in their dealings with you?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And one of your best friends (since infancy), Matrim Cauthon, seems to have acquired an incredible amount of military genius but won't discuss the matter with you directly?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And your other best friend, Perrin Aybara, has strange golden eyes and has acquired a phenomenal sense of smell and oddly enough, when he led a rescue party to help you escape at Dumai's Wells, a whole army of wolves popped up out of the brush for no apparent reason, despite which Perrin has never explained where the golden eyes, etc., came from?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And the girl you thought you were going to marry someday, Egwene al'Vere, finally dumped you in favor of some silly Prince Charming type?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And she later refused to share information with you, even such basic points as where were the Rebel Aes Sedai gathering so that you could make polite overtures to them, suggesting an alliance or something?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And at about that same time, she tried to manipulate you into being very standoffish with a delegation from Elaida's faction by warning you to be POLITE to them, hoping to trick you?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And when you made it clear - humorously and not insultingly - that you had seen right through her, she got very angry at YOU for your deceitful behavior?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And she has since gone to Salidar to meet the rebels (about 3 months ago, I'd say) and you haven't heard from her since? Even though you sent Mat Cauthon and his Band to that same region with orders to offer her protection if she was in bad trouble with the Salidar Hall, as well as instructions to escort Elayne back to her rightful throne?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: Meanwhile, the next girl you fell in love with (Elayne) has not seen you face-to-face since the Stone of Tear (more than half a year ago now) and when she sailed away, she left behind two letters, one full of love and one full of anger, and the only word you've had from her since them was a message she sent via Egwene in T'A'R, saying she meant every word of BOTH of them?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: She knew you were checking in at the Stone of Tear at regular intervals, and later the royal palaces of Cairhien and Andor, so any message she sent to any of those places would reach you quickly. Doesn't it seem to you that if she really cared about you, she could have done just a wee bit more to COMMUNICATE with you since that time?

RAND: YES.

REPORTER: And Aviendha hasn't been in touch with you for a couple of months either, even though she seems to be in love with you (it's hard to tell with those Aiel poker faces)?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And on the political side of things, you have strong reason to believe that most of the nobles who have publicly sworn fealty to you (in Tear, Cairhien, Andor, and Illian) would stab you in the back in a second if they thought they could get away with it, because you're so powerful it makes them uncomfortable to be around you?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And Lews Therin Telamon, who is either a separate personality in your head or else a schizophrenic manifestation of the fact that you have acquired his MEMORIES, at least, as part of the reincarnation process, keeps trying to play backseat driver with you?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And a bunch of Forsaken are still on the loose, and you have reason to believe that Forsaken are capable of using Compulsion to twist the minds of perfectly decent people to turn them into puppets, and are also capable of using Illusion to disguise themselves as people you are likelier to trust, and are capable of using Gateways to step "past" any conventional security arrangements you happen to set in place around whatever area you are currently sleeping in, and what this all adds up to is that at ANY TIME, in ANY PLACE, ANY FACE you see might very well be a Forsaken with murder on his or her mind and a lot more expertise in channeling than you seem to have?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: For instance, you thought you might be falling in love with the beautiful, charming, very admiring ("Oh you great big wonderfully courageous man!") Lady Selene, until it turned out she was Lanfear?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And even aside from the Forsaken, lately it seems every time you turn around, another assassin is trying to waste you with an arrow, or another Gray Man has just slipped into the room unnoticed and is about to slit your throat, or an Asha'man or five suddenly goes renegage and tries to disintegrate you in a heartbeat?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And your dealings with Elaida's faction of Aes Sedai have been rather strained ever since they kidnapped and tortured you?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And your dealings with the Salidar faction have been rather strained ever since Alanna (who has since aligned herself with that faction ) forced a warderbond upon you, and hasn't even bothered to apologize for invading your privacy that way, but merely seems VERY UPSET that she can't use it to force you to "behave yourself?"

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And you are a ta'veren, which causes all sorts of weird fluctuations of probability to occur around you, with the result that it's getting to the point that everytime another human being within ten miles of you stumbles and hurts himself, or dies of a sudden sickness, or whatever, you get the blame according to various rumors?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And just about a year ago, Hurin the sniffer was sent back to Shienar to tell Lord Agelmar and the other Shienarans that you were really and truly, no fooling, the long-awaited Dragon Reborn, and despite that, since that time what you have heard from the Borderlander Monarchs (who ought to have the strongest vested interest in being friendly with a guy who's supposed to fight the Shadow, since they are right next door to the Blight and get raided by Trollocs every single year) in terms of accepting you, rejecting you, making alliances with you, offering to discuss strategy, etc., can be summed in two words: "Diddly Squat", although at least Davram Bashere offered to help out with the strategic thinking?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And your study of the prophecies of the Karaethon Cycle makes it clear that you are ESSENTIAL to the victory of Good over Evil at Shayol Ghul, and if you die before that Last Battle, the whole cause is lost, despite which, even a great many people who AREN'T Darkfriends (probably) seem a lot more worried about their own political powerbases than about helping you stay alive long enough, and get things organized as much as humanly possible in preparation for the Big One?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: And from the prophecies you have examined, it appears that EVEN IF YOUR SIDE WINS at Tarmon Gai'don, you personally are going to end up dead?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER: Knowing that makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over, doesn't it?

RAND (drily): Yes!

REPORTER: Although virtually no one ever offers you any sympathy on a litle thing like being doomed to die soon, win or lose, right?

RAND: Yes.

REPORTER (scratching his head): Well, I think I understand all that stuff now, Rand, but there's still one burning question that I can't figure out the answer to.

RAND: Yes?

REPORTER: Why can't you just mellow out? Why are you acting so SUSPICIOUS of practically everybody around you, even old friends and such?

RAND (keeping his face straight somehow): Beats me, buddy. I guess the taint on saidin is making me paranoid! What other reason could there be?

[NOTE: I avoided having the Reporter accuse Egwene, Elayne, and Avi of specifically being too idiotic to use Gateways to visit him, or at the very least send "express mail" by messenger, since I'm not sure if Rand knows yet that all three of them are now proficient in Gating]

Raina's Hold / Raina's Library / Raina's Library - Other People's Humour
 

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