Thom confronts Rand, Mat, Perrin and Egwene. Noting Thom's blue eyes, Rand recalls punching Ewal Coplin for teasing him about his gray eyes. He wonders if Thom and Lan are from the same place. Thom knows Padan Fain and does not like him. Thom once was a Court Bard. He offers many stories, the Aptarigine Cycle, Artur Hawkwing, the Green Man, Warder and Trollocs, Ogier and Aiel, The Thousand Tales of Anla, the Wise Counselor, 'Jaem the Giant-Slayer', How Susa Tamed Jain Farstrider, 'Mara and the Three Foolish Kings', Lenn, who flew to the moon, his daughter Salya, Mosk the Giant, his wars with Elsbet Queen of All, Materese the Healer, Mother of the Wondrous Ind, The Siege of the Pillars of the Sky, 'How Goodwife Karil Cured Her Husband of Snoring,' King Darith and the Fall of the House of. Moiraine and Lan arrive and talk briefly with Thom. She addresses him as "Master Bard." After they depart, Thom is clearly distrustful of Moiraine and leaves as well. Nynaeve and the Councilmen come out of the inn, Nynaeve arguing with Bran and Cenn Buie, and head to their respective homes. Egwene follows Nynaeve. The boys ask Tam about the meeting. Mat remarks that he is interested in battles. Tam says the Two Rivers is inaccessible, but they will send men to Deven Ride, Watch Hill and Taren Ferry to keep watch just the same. Rand and Tam get Bela, speaking briefly with Hu and Tad, and head back to the farm. Tam says that a straight line from Tar Valon to Ghealdan would pass just east of them, but it is silly to think that the Aes Sedai would travel cross-country through the Forest of Shadows instead of taking the road through Caemlyn and Lugard. Tam tells Rand that Lem Thane, Jon Thane's son, and Bandry Crawe, Samel Crawe's son, saw the dark rider, too.
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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] Is this a hint that Thom is originally from the Borderlands?
[#2] Many of Thom's stories reflect reality in our world.
[#3] According to the expanded glossary in "To the Blight," the Aptarigine Cycle is a lengthy series of stories chronicling the lives of several royal families over many generations.
[#4] Ann Landers
[#5] John Glenn
[#6] Salyut or Sally Ride
[#7] Moscow (TSR,Ch20)
[#8] Queen Elizabeth
[#9] Mother Teresa
[#11] Was Moiraine eavesdropping on their earlier conversation or does she know Thom and his past?
[#12] Foreshadowing his future strengths.
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