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Rand Al'Thor - Character Analysis
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If you have read the Wheel of Time series, you are no doubt familiar with the primary protagonist, Rand al'Thor. It is impossible to miss him. While in the later books Rand does tend to disappear and reappear quite irregularly, his story and actions are what drive the entire series forward. Therefore analyzing his character and providing a few musings on his development seemed to be a task worthy of my time, and if you are reading this you have no doubt determined it worth your time as well. If you have not read the entirety of the Wheel of Time series and dislike spoilers, it would be best to skip this article entirely.

Rand is an extremely dynamic character, although much of the time he is simply responding to events which occur to him and spends less time initiating events. Starting out in the village of Emond's Field, Rand al'Thor proved to be my personal favorite character due to his honest, good-hearted sincerity in dealing with everything. He proves to be quite capable and level-headed when faced with challenges and, throughout the first book, exceedingly 'lucky' as he evades danger through inexplicably fortunate events (for example he is nearly killed by a trolloc when suddenly the trolloc dies from a lightning strike).

He is an extremely stubborn and persistent man however as it takes him two entire books to finally accept his fate to be the Dragon Reborn. Despite numerous signs and references, he refuses to believe until finally conclusively proving it to himself through the fulfillment of prophecy by successfully grasping Callandor, the sword that is not a sword from its resting place in the central chamber of the fortress known as the Stone of Tear. However, despite his recognition of his identity, he does not truly embrace this identity, instead focusing on hardening himself so as to be 'indestructible' and reshaping his entire life to prepare for the final battle with the Dark One. Initially he is focused upon conquering and submitting much of the world to himself so as to unify them against the Dark One, however as time continues, and he continues to become mired in the plots of noblemen from every nation, Rand gradually becomes very harsh towards others who play at politics.

Additionally, Rand's mental stability must be questioned to a degree. There are two reasons for this: A) Rand has utilized Saidin extensively, thus exposing himself to the Dark One's taint which gradually, but inexorably drives those who come into contact with it insane. B) Rand is the reincarnation of Lews Therin Telamon, who is the original Dragon. Lews Therin provides much useful assistance throughout the series but just as often is heard raving mad and clearly insane.

It is extremely difficult to determine what the true nature of the connection between Rand al'Thor and Lews Therin Telamon is, as well as discern what effects are due to this concerning split personality or to the Dark One's Taint. However with the conclusion of the ninth book, Rand al'Thor successfully cleanses Saidin of the Dark One's touch, which ensures that he will never go completely mad. Also at the conclusion of book 12, he makes peace with himself and finally accepts his role as the savior of the world, truly becoming the anti-thesis to the Dark One himself, fully capable of reversing the effects of the Dark One upon the world. Therefore it seems to me that the voice of Lews Therin is less a cause of concern and more representative of Rand's lack of unity within his mind and heart concerning his role and how he would become the savior of the world.

I hope this little jaunt through my thoughts concerning Rand al'Thor has been helpful and hopefully not boring. If you have any questions or comments please address them to me on my squidoo lens devoted to Rand al'Thor.


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