The Shadow Rising is the fourth book in the Wheel of Time series. It was published by Tor Books and released on September 15, 1992. It is 1004 pages long.

Plot Summary


TSR book cover

At the beginning of this book, all major protagonists are together at the Stone of Tear, where Rand al'Thor had recently, at the end of The Dragon Reborn, shown to the world that he was the Dragon Reborn by wielding Callandor.

During the lull that occurs between the Dragon's taking of the Stone and the coming separation of the characters once more, several changes manifest within the social order of the protagonists. Faced with the tension of sharing Rand with others, as well as coming to understand their similar stubbornness and devotion towards him, Egwene al'Vere "steps aside", formally inviting her close friend and Daughter-Heir of Andor, Elayne Trakand, to take Rand as her own. Elayne, overjoyed by her friend's sacrifice, allows Egwene to declare the end of her assumed betrothal to Rand before admitting her love for him and starting a romantic relationship.

Rand is surprised, however, when his previous traveling companion, Selene, reveals herself to be Lanfear, one of the Forsaken, and tells Rand to join her. Overwhelmed with jealousy against Ilyena (going so far as to call her a "pale-haired milksop", misinterpreted by Rand as jealousy against Elayne), she desperately pleads with him to join the forces of the Shadow, even stating her willingness to defy the Dark One if only he would be with her. As Rand furiously rejects her, the Stone of Tear is suddenly stormed by Trollocs and Fades, which are sent by the other Forsaken Sammael (though Lanfear did not have anything to do with this). Another Forsaken, Semirhage, also sent Shadowspawn to oppose Sammael's forces into the Stone of Tear. Finally, Rand uses Callandor to send a lightning storm to kill all of the Trollocs and Fades, leaving some believing Rand has gone mad.

Rand declares his intention to go follow the People of the Dragon, the Aiel, into their home, the Aiel Waste. Egwene and Moiraine Damodred resolve to accompany him. Mat Cauthon, unsure of what to do, finds answers within the Stone of Tear's Aelfinn ter'angreal, and is prompted to follow Rand to the Aiel Waste. Perrin Aybara, after hearing rumors of trouble back home in the Two Rivers, chooses to return to the Two Rivers, and Faile Bashere goes with him. Elayne, Nynaeve al'Meara, Juilin Sandar, and Thom Merrilin decide to go to Tanchico to hunt the Black Ajah. Also Min Farshaw arrives in Tar Valon to report to the Amyrlin Siuan Sanche, inadvertently setting off a chain of events that will lead to a Tower split. Thus, The Shadow Rising follows four groups of characters in four main plotlines.

Aiel Waste

Rand uses a Portal Stone to transport Mat, Egwene, Moiraine, and the Aiel at the Stone of Tear from Tear to the Aiel Waste, where Taardad and Shaido Aiel are waiting for them. The Aiel Wise Ones have Moiraine, Aviendha, and Rand enter Rhuidean, and allow Mat to go with Rand. All three enter ter'angreal in Rhuidean. When Moiraine comes out, she has some knowledge of the future. Rand comes out with dragon markings on both arms, proving him to be He Who Comes With the Dawn, the Car'a'carn, the Chief of Chiefs of all the Aiel. Mat goes into a doorway ter'angreal which leads him to the land of the Eelfinn. He comes out with the gaps in his memory filled with those of men long dead, which also grant him fluency in the Old Tongue. He was also gifted with a spear called an ashandarei and a medallion ter'angreal that protects against the One Power. Rand finds that Mat had been hanged from the Tree of Life, but Rand was able to revive Mat.

The Wise Ones assign Aviendha the task of teaching Rand Aiel customs as they travel to Cold Rocks Hold. On the way to Cold Rocks Hold they come across a group of merchants. The Aiel have the merchants follow them to Cold Rocks Hold.

At Al'cair Dal, both Rand al'Thor and Couladin of the Shaido Aiel declare themselves to be He Who Comes With the Dawn. Rand is forced to reveal the secret history of the Aiel in the Age of Legends to prove to the clan chiefs that he did enter Rhuidean and is truly He Who Comes With the Dawn, whereas Couladin is an imposter and did not. An uproar breaks out among the Aiel, and, hoping to avert violence, Rand uses the One Power to bring a rainstorm to the Aiel Waste for the first time since the Breaking of the World.

After fighting breaks out among the Aiel, Rand chases after Asmodean, who had previously been disguised as a gleeman traveling with the merchants. Going by the alias Jasin Natael, Asmodean is after the ter'angreal access keys to the Choedan Kal, the most powerful sa'angreal ever constructed. They battle at Rhuidean, and Rand is aided by Lanfear in defeating Asmodean by cutting him off from the Dark One. She gives Asmodean to Rand as a companion: Asmodean will be forced to teach Rand how to use the One Power (something only a Forsaken can do) because the Shadow will now believe him to be a traitor.

When Rand returns to Al'cair Dal, he finds that most of the Aiel, except for the Shaido and a few others, have acknowledged him as the Car'a'carn and joined him.

The Two Rivers

In the Two Rivers, Perrin discovers that the people are caught between Trollocs, led by Slayer, and the Children of the Light, with whom Padan Fain is working, and who believe Perrin is a Darkfriend. He also finds Verin Mathwin and Alanna Mosvani, both Aes Sedai, in the Two Rivers. They are searching for girls to bring to the White Tower to become Aes Sedai, since both Egwene and Nynaeve came from the Two Rivers and are strong in the Power. With the help of Blademaster Tam al'Thor (Rand's father) and Abell Cauthon (Mat's father), Perrin leads the people of the Two Rivers to war against the Trollocs, and the villagers begin to call him Lord Perrin, and Perrin Goldeneyes, titles that he tries without success to discourage. Before the final victory, Perrin marries Faile, and drives out Lord Luc after discovering that Luc is indeed Slayer.

Tanchico in Tarabon

In the city of Tanchico in Tarabon, Elayne and Nynaeve encounter Moghedien and the Black Ajah and remove a male a'dam from their possession. Elayne and Nynaeve also meet Bayle Domon and the Seanchan Egeanin. They 'befriend' the Panarch Amathera, whom they rescue from Temaile, who is tormenting her. They also manage to collect one of the Seals on the Dark One's prison. Nynaeve and Moghedien end up battling, discovering that they are equal in power. Nynaeve shields the Forsaken, but they are discovered by one of the Black Ajah, who damages the palace using a ter'angreal that makes balefire. In the confusion, Moghedien escapes.

White Tower

Min Farshaw arrives at the White Tower to report to the Amyrlin, as Moiraine bid her to do. Her arrival is noted by Elaida, who discovers that something is going on between Moiraine, Siuan, and the Dragon Reborn. Min remains in the Tower in the guise of Elmindreda, a giddy, empty-headed woman unable to decide between two suitors. Elaida and her supporters confront and depose Siuan, stilling her and Leane Sharif, her Keeper of the Chronicles. Elaida is Raised (made Amyrlin) and many Aes Sedai flee. Min hides, and with the help of the cook Laras, frees the deposed Amyrlin Seat and Leane. Min, Siuan, and Leane are recognized by Gawyn Trakand as they try to flee the Tower grounds. He is reluctant to help Siuan since the disappearance of Elayne, but he helps them escape because Min asks it, and because it means helping Egwene as well. While riding through the city toward freedom across one of the bridges, they come across the gentled Logain, whom they talk into going with them.

Plot Developments by Character

  • Rand al'Thor journeys to the Aiel Waste and visits Rhuidean, returning with marks proving his identity as He Who Comes With The Dawn. As prophesied, he fractures the Aiel by telling them of their past, and captures the Forsaken Asmodean.
  • Mat Cauthon unwittingly makes a bargain with the Eelfinn and almost dies for his trouble, but is saved by Rand. As part of the bargain, he obtains a Power-wrought weapon known as an asharandei, as well as a fox-head medallion which makes him immune to direct uses of the One Power. Finally, his fractured memories are filled in with flashes of memory and experience from hundreds of years of men, mostly generals and the like, making Mat Cauthon one of the greatest (if unwilling) generals of the present day.
  • Perrin Aybara returns to the Two Rivers to confront the Whitecloaks razing the district. Without meaning to, he takes over the defense of the area and successfully turns a farming community into a powerful defensive force, pushing back superior Trolloc forces. He realizes his love for Faile, and marries her. Against his will, Perrin is dubbed Perrin Goldeneyes, the Lord of the Two Rivers, despite many protests to the contrary.

Ebook Format

WOT Shadow final hi3

New ebook cover

The Shadow Rising was re-released again in e-book format on January 19th, 2010. A new cover, by Sam Weber, depicts Mat Cauthon with his ashandarei and the tree of life behind him.

Statistical Analysis

See also the full statistical analysis for this book.

The Shadow Rising contains 58 chapters, the narration of which is divided as follows:

POV % Chapters
Perrin Aybara 28.339% 29% of Ch2, Ch3, 9% of Ch9, 60% of Ch14, 63% of Ch16, Ch18, Ch27 through 30, 65% of Ch31, Ch32, 33, Ch40 through 45, Ch53, and 95% of Ch56
Rand al'Thor 21.589% 37% of Ch2, 23% of Ch8, 62% of Ch9, Ch10, 22, 25, 26, 34, 35% of Ch36, 51% of Ch371, Ch48, 49, 75% of Ch50, Ch57, and 99% of Ch58
Elayne Trakand 14.423% Ch6, 46% of Ch8, 7% of Ch9, Ch12, 37% of Ch16, Ch19, 20, 86% of Ch 392, 82% of Ch46, Ch51, 25% of Ch52, and 60% of Ch54
Egwene al'Vere 9.249% Ch5, 7, 31% of Ch8, 12% of Ch9, Ch11, 23, and 35
Matrim Cauthon 7.343% 34% of Ch2, 10% of Ch9, Ch13, 15, 24, 65% of Ch36, 49% of Ch37, and 25% of Ch50
Min Farshaw 5.891% 62% of Ch1, 59% of Ch17, and 73% of Ch473
Nynaeve al'Meara 3.761% 14% of Ch39, 75% of Ch52, 40% of Ch54, and Ch55
Moiraine Damodred 1.465% Ch21
Egeanin Tamarath 1.462% 46% of Ch384, and 16% of Ch465
Thomdril Merrilin 1.456% Ch4, and 34% of Ch17
Dain Bornhald 1.013% 12% of Ch1, and 27% of Ch31
Jaichim Carridin 0.829% 34% of Ch38
Siuan Sanche 0.731% 27% of Ch476
Suroth Sabelle Meldarath 0.692% 16% of Ch1
Liandrin 0.501% 20% of Ch38
Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan 0.369% 9% of Ch1
Faile Bashere 0.355% 40% of Ch14
Padan Fain 0.299% 8% of Ch31, and 5% of Ch56
Sahra Covenry 0.154% 7% of Ch17
Quote 0.046% 1% of Ch1, and 1% of Ch58
Almurat Mor 0.034% 2% of Ch46
1 Chapter 37 has three points of view, two of which are from Rand al'Thor's POV. His first is 47% of the chapter and his second is 4% of the chapter.
2 Chapter 39 has three points of view, two of which are from Elayne Trakand's POV. Her first is 65% of the chapter and her second is 21% of the chapter.
3 Chapter 47 has four points of view, two of which are from Min Farshaw's POV. Her first is 8% of the chapter and her second is 65% of the chapter.
4 Chapter 38 has four points of view, two of which are from Egeanin Tamarath's POV. Both points of view are 23% each.
5 Chapter 46 has four points of view, two of which are from Egeanin Tamarath's POV. Her first is 13% of the chapter and her second is 3% of the chapter.
6 Chapter 47 has four points of view, two of which are from Siuan Sanche's POV. Her first is 21% of the chapter and her second is 6% of the chapter.
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