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A Wheel of Time Wiki

"There will come a time when you must achieve a goal at all costs. It may come in attack or in defense. And the only way will be to allow the sword to be sheathed in your own body. ... when the price is worth the gain, and there is no other choice left to you. That is called Sheathing the Sword. Remember it."
   —Lan Mandragoran

Sheathing the Sword is a concept that encompasses sword forms.


When victory must be won at all costs, the swordsman allows the opponent's weapon, usually a sword, to be sheathed in his own body. By luring the enemy into making a cut, the enemy comes close enough to be killed.

In practice

Lan Mandragoran first taught this concept to Rand al'Thor as Rand was leaving Fal Dara.[1] Rand first sees this in use when Ingtar Shinowa defended a narrow alley to the death so that Rand and his companions can escape Falme.[2] Later, in the battle over Falme, Rand realizes he is fighting Ishamael to a stalemate, and he is running out of time. Rand used Heron Wading in the Rushes to allow the Betrayer of Hope to stab him. This lured Ishamael within Rand's cutting range, allowing Rand to finish him off.[3]

Lan also utilizes Sheathing the Sword in his duel against Demandred at the Field of Merrilor, allowing him to stab the Forsaken through the throat.

Accordingly, the Gawyn's decision to fight a bloodknife in the total darkness and expose himself by noise, can be considered a variant of this concept [4].