"Such trouble it causes killing a man, even when he deserves killing. Kill a man who needs killing, and sometimes others pay for it. The question is, was it worth doing anyway? There's always a balance, you know. Good and evil. Light and Shadow. We would not be human if there wasn't a balance."
   — Thom Merrilin

External summary

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Setting: Tar Valon

Point of view: Matrim Cauthon

Thom is performing atop a table as Mat walks in to the inn.  When he is done, he sits with Mat and complains that the patrons want his stories in common rather than Plain Chant or High Chant. Mat has never seen Thom worse for drink and he always used to put his harp away right after playing. Two maids come over, Mada and Saal, and Mat says he wants 3 or 4 chickens. Thom wants more drink, but the women insist he eat some chicken along with Mat.  Thom talks about the beautiful women he's had in his life, Morgase and Dena.

Mat and Thom talk a bit about Rand and Thom mentions his regret that Moiraine is an Aes Sedai. Thom regrets the trouble that can result from killing a man.[1] Mat convinces Thom to go to Caemlyn while devouring his three chickens. Mat wonders if he has time to order another chicken, but Thom returns quickly and seems less drunk. As they leave the inn Mat notices that the corpse of the man he killed is gone, but the guards are not present to investigate. Mat mutters about footpads and Thom tells him there are no footpads in Tar Valon, the Aes Sedai make it very unpleasant to be a thief. Mat wonders who was following him earlier. Mat decides they will catch first ship and be on their way to Caemlyn, even if it's sinking.




Characters in Stories


  1. Thom probably killed King Galldrian which resulted in the granaries being burned and civil war over the succession in Cairhien.

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