“Not all men!”
You’re right. Al'Lan Mandragoran, Lord of the Seven Towers, Lord of the Lakes, True Blade of Malkier, Defender of the Wall of First Fires, Bearer of the Sword of the Thousand Lakes, May He Sever the Shadow, Dai Shan, would never do this.
So this Saturday I spent half an hour crying on the floor of my local bookstore rereading that one specific scene in The Great Hunt that involves a certain two characters reminiscing about a pond and honestly it’s been a whole day and I still can’t stop thinking about it and holy hell I just have so many feelings about these two.
I never really thought about Lan’s last name (Mandragoran), but a while ago I heard/read that the mandragora/mandrake is a plant that can be deadly when you pull the roots out of the eart according to stories. And when people talk to Lan about his Malkieri roots, he becomes really dangerous and kills people. Maybe I’m thinking too much about it but I just never really connected the two until now, I thought it was interesting!
Mat only accidentally called Moiraine “mom” a couple of times and each time he fervently denied that he did, even if a bunch of people heard
Perrin con-stant-ly calls Moiraine “mom” and he literally never realizes, so he just keeps on talking like it didn’t happen. No one who hears points it out and Moiraine just kinda smirks because it’s a little adorable
Egwene only callled Moiraine “mom” once and she immediately caught it and tried to laugh it off with Moiraine but was actually super embarrassed. The real dilemma was the fact that Nynaeve heard and was about ready to pick Egwene up and personally carry her back to the Two Rivers
Rand definitely called Lan “dad” at least once, and they both just kinda silently agreed not to mention it, but Lan was about a million times more embarrassed than Rand.
Oh. And NOW it occurs to me that Gawyn is a foil of Lan. Lan is what Gawyn could’ve grown up to be (especially considering how Caemlyn was overrun and destroyed by Shadowspawn) if he was, you know, smart about his life decisions. Which he was not.
I mean, Lan had oaths sworn in his name when he was just a baby. Gawyn swore oaths when he was barely old enough to understand them. Lan kept his oaths, Gawyn…did not really.
Lan? Checks off “become master swordsman” from his bucket list. Gawyn? Also checks it off but he’s not as experienced or proficient obviously. And - despite the worst trip ever that were the Bloodknife rings - Gawyn was determined to seek glory (and not so sanguine about dying) when he faced Demandred whereas Lan was perfectly willing to die (Sheath the Sword, anyone??) when he did the same…and he succeeded where Gawyn (and Galad and Logain less fatally) failed.
So, Gawyn, you could’ve been great. Except you never had al'Lan Mandragoran for a role model.