"The seals that hold back night shall weaken, and in the heart of winter shall winter's heart be born amid the wailing of lamentations and the gnashing of teeth, for winter's heart shall ride a black horse, and the name of it is Death."
   —from the Karaethon Cycle: The Prophecies of the Dragon

Winter's Heart (abbreviated as WH by fans) is the ninth book of the Wheel of Time series. It was published by Tor Books and released on November 7, 2000. Upon its release, it immediately rose to the #1 position on the New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list, making it the second Wheel of Time book to reach the #1 position on that list. It remained on the list for the next two months. It is 780 pages long.


WH book cover.

As is the usual style, the title of the book is incorporated into the verse quoted from the Prophecies of the Dragon at the beginning, and also refers to the winter that was created by the use of the Bowl of the Winds in the prior book. It is also a reference to the ever deepening cold in Rand's heart.

Plot summary

Winter's Heart consists of a prologue and thirty-five chapters. Many of the events of Winter's Heart take place simultaneously with the events of the next book, Crossroads of Twilight.

Perrin Aybara and his followers pursue the Shaido Aiel who kidnapped his wife, Faile Bashere.

Elayne Trakand attempts to solidify her grip on the Lion Throne and put down rebellious nobles.

Mat Cauthon, making his return to the series after his absence in the previous book, is trapped in the city of Ebou Dar in Altara, which is under Seanchan occupation. He plans his escape, but in the end, his plans are disrupted by the interference of a Seanchan noblewoman named Tuon, who is revealed as the Daughter of the Nine Moons, heir to the Seanchan Crystal Throne. Mat, having heard a prophecy about him marrying the Daughter of the Nine Moons, kidnaps Tuon instead of tying her up and leaving her behind.

Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, is bonded as a Warder by Elayne Trakand, Aviendha, and Min Farshaw. He hunts down Asha'man traitors in Far Madding. Rand and Nynaeve al'Meara Travel to Shadar Logoth. There, defended by Cadsuane Melaidhrin's Aes Sedai and loyal Asha'man against the Forsaken, Rand and Nynaeve link and use the Choedan Kal to cleanse saidin of the taint of the Dark One so that men who channel will no longer go mad.


WH ebook cover

Rand with the Choedan Kal.

Artwork by Scott M. Fischer

The ebook cover of Winter's Heart was created by Scott Fischer. It depicts Rand al'Thor with the statue access key for the Choedan Kal at the cleansing of saidin.

Statistical Analysis

See also the full statistical analysis for this book.

Winter's Heart consists of a prologue and 35 chapters. These chapters are split up in to 29 different POVs.

POV % Chapters
Elayne Trakand 24.31% 45% of the Prologue, Ch7 through 9, 73% of Ch10, 69% of Ch121, Ch26, and 27
Matrim Cauthon 21.13% Ch15 through 19, and Ch28 through 31
Rand al'Thor 13.06% 19% of the Prologue, 26% of Ch11, 78% of Ch222, 80% of Ch25, Ch32, 70% of Ch33, 18% of Ch34, and 39% of Ch353
Perrin Aybara 8.49% Ch1, 2, 5, and 6
Faile Bashere 4.82% Ch3 and 4
Shalon din Togara Morning Tide 4.75% Ch23 and 24
Nynaeve al'Meara 3.67% 74% of Ch11, and 34% of Ch34
Cadsuane Melaidhrin 3.30% 67% of Ch13, 48% of Ch34, and 15% of Ch353
Toveine Gazal 2.47% 22% of the Prologue
Bethamin Zeami 2.07% Ch20
Egeanin Tamarath 1.94% Ch21
Min Farshaw 1.72% 31% of Ch12, and 30% of Ch33
Tuon Athaem Kore Paendrag 1.52% Ch14
Seaine Herimon 1.51% 13% of the Prologue
Demandred 1.25% 33% of Ch13, and 7% of Ch35
Asne Zeramene 0.70% 16% of Ch10
Verin Mathwin 0.56% 20% of Ch25, and 2% of Ch35
Mili Skane 0.46% 11% of Ch10
Cyndane 0.34% 8% of Ch353
Elza Penfell 0.33% 7% of Ch353
Raefar Kisman 0.32% 12% of Ch22
Luc/Isam/Slayer 0.30% 10% of Ch22
Moghedien 0.27% 6% of Ch353
Osan'gar 0.26% 6% of Ch353
Eben Hopwil 0.20% 4% of Ch35
Barmellin 0.12% 3% of Ch35
Timna 0.08% 2% of Ch35
Quote 0.03% 1% of the Prologue
Narrator 0.02% 1% of Ch35
1 Chapter 12 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 4% of the chapter.
2 Chapter 22 has four points of view, two of which are from Rand al'Thor's POV. His first is 51% of the chapter and his second is 27% of the chapter.
3 Chapter 35 has 21 points of view. Rand al'Thor has three POV's, Elza Penfell has two POV's, Cyndane has three POV's, Cadsuane Melaidhrin has three POV's, Osan'gar has two POV's, and Moghedien has two POV's. For Rand, his first is 37% of the chapter and his second and third are 1% of the chapter each. For Elza, her first is 5% of the chapter and her second is 2% of the chapter. For Cyndane, her first is 3% of the chapter, her second is 1% of the chapter, and her third is 4% of the chapter. For Cadsuane, her first is 3% of the chapter and her second and third are 6% of the chapter each. For Osan'gar, his first is 4% of the chapter, and his second is 2% of the chapter. For Moghedien, both of her POV's are 3% of the chapter each.