The Fires of Heaven

Robert Jordan


Jordan, Robert. The Fires of Heaven. 1993. New York, NY: Tor, 1993. Paperback: 9780765334640.


“Prophesized to defeat the Dark One, Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, has upset the balance of power across the land. Shaido Aiel are on the march, ravaging everything in their path. The White Tower's Amyrlin has been deposed, turning the Aes Sedai against one another. The forbidden city of Rhuidean is overrun by Shadowspawn. Despite the chaos swirling around him, Rand continues to learn how to harness his abilities, determined to wield the One Power--and ignoring the counsel of Moiraine Damodred at great cost.”


“the fires of heaven purge the earth. There is no salvation without destruction, no hope this side of death” (0)

“[Padan Fain] was not what anyone thought. Those who believed they knew him were badly mistaken. He was transg ured, now. A force unto himself, and beyond any other power” (26)

“Lanfear’s dark eyes glittered for a moment before she regained control of herself. ‘He may be Lews Therin reborn, but he is not Lews Therin himself’
‘How do you know?’ Graendal asked, smiling as if it were all a joke. ‘It may well be that, as many believe, all are born and reborn as the Wheel turns, but nothing like this has ever happened that I have read. A specific man reborn according to prophecy. Who knows what he is?’” (32)

“‘Ishamael was more than half-mad,’ Sammael muttered, ‘and less than half-human.’
‘Is that what we are?’ Graendal arched an eyebrow. ‘Merely human? Surely we are something more’” (33)

“‘A new word will have to be created to describe us’” (34)

“[Min] saw things about people-viewings, she called them-images or auras. Sometimes she knew what they meant. That woman would marry. That man would die. Small matters or grand events, joyous or bleak, there was never any rhyme or reason to who or where or when. Aes Sedai and Warders always had auras; most people never did” (53)

“the figure wrapped around each forearm: a goldenmaned, serpentine creature with eyes like the sun, scaled in scarlet and gold, each foot tipped with five golden claws” (67)

“Those marked him, to the people on this side of the mountain range variously called the Dragonwall or the Spine of the World, as He Who Comes With the Dawn. And like the herons branded into his palms, they marked him for those beyond the Dragonwall, too, according to the Prophecies, as the Dragon Reborn. In both cases prophesied to unite, save—and destroy” (67)

“As far as Rand knew, all of those things down there were angreal or sa’angreal or ter’angreal, made before the Breaking of the World to magnify the One Power or use it in various ways. Made with the Power certainly, though not even Aes Sedai knew how to construct such things now. He more than suspected the use of the twisted doorframe—a doorway to another world—but for the rest, he had no idea. No one did” (69)

“Far from the glorious heritage of battle most believed in, the Aiel had begun as helpless refugees from the Breaking of the World. Everyone who survived had been refugees then, of course, but the Aiel had never seen themselves as helpless. Worse, they had been followers of the Way of the Leaf, refusing to do violence even in defense of their lives. Aiel meant ‘dedicated’ in the Old Tongue, and it had been to peace that they were dedicated. Those who called themselves Aiel today were the descendants of those who had broken a pledge of untold generations” (72-73)

“He had heard Aiel say that they had committed some sin to be placed in the desolate Waste. Now they knew what it was. The men and women who had built Rhuidean and died here-those called the Jenn Aiel, the Clan That Was Not, on the few occasions they were spoken of-had been the ones who kept faith with the Aes Sedai of the time before the Breaking. It was hard to face the knowledge that what you had always believed was a lie” (73)

“the gai’shain were sworn to serve obediently for one year and a day, touching no weapon, doing no violence, at the end returning to their own clan and sept as if nothing had happened. A strange echo of the Way of the Leaf. Ji’e’toh, honor and obligation, required it, and breaking ji’e’toh was nearly the worst thing an Aiel could do. Perhaps the worst” (74)

“It struck Rand suddenly that this was the real reason that some Aiel took what he had revealed so hard. To those, it must seem that their ancestors had sworn gai’shain, not only for themselves but for all succeeding generations. And those generations-all, down to the present day-had broken ji’e’toh by taking up the spear” (74)

“Shara was the name of the lands beyond the Waste; not even the Aiel knew much about them” (76)

“Sightblinder was one of the Aiel names for the Dark One” (77)

“The Power stormed inside him. Egwene had told him that for a woman, touching saidar, the female half of the Source, was an embrace; for a man, always, it was a war without mercy” (79)

“Those discs were made of cuendillar, heartstone, and nothing made of cuendillar could be broken, not even by the One Power. Whatever force was used against it only made it stronger. The making of heartstone had been lost in the Breaking of the World” (81)

“They’ll accept my peace, or I’ll be buried in the Can Breat …
‘Rand, what does it mean to be buried in the Can Breat?’ …
Just something I heard once,’ he lied. He had no more idea what it meant than where it had come from” (83, 85, 86)

“‘Ask a philosopher if you want to know why. Why can’t dogs fly? Perhaps in the grand scheme of the Pattern, it’s a balance for men being stronger. We cannot link without them, but they can without us. Up to thirteen of them can anyway, a small mercy; after that, they need men to make the circle larger.’ Rand was sure he had caught a lie, this time. Moiraine said that in the Age of Legends men and women had been equally strong in the Power, and she could not lie. He said as much, adding, ‘The Five Powers are equal.’ ‘Earth, Fire, Air, Water, and Spirit.’ Natael strummed a chord for each. ‘They are equal, true, and it is also true that what a man can do with one, a woman can also. In kind, at least. But that has nothing to do with men being stronger’” (90)

Commentator’s Note: Profound metaphysical essentialism baked into Jordan’s world.

“If two women link, they do not double their strength—linking is not as simple as adding together the power of each-but if they are strong enough, they can match a man. And when they take the circle to thirteen, then you must be wary. Thirteen women who can barely channel could overpower most men, linked. The thirteen weakest women in the Tower could overpower you or any man, and barely breathe hard” (90)

“‘Luck is a horse to ride like any other,’ Mat said to himself. No matter where it came from. Not that he knew where his luck came from; he only tried to ride it as best he could” (91)

Thus is our treaty written; thus is agreement made.
Thought is the arrow of time; memory never fades.
What was asked is given. The price is paid” (98)

“‘We all have to do what we must, Mat. Not what we want to, very often. What we must’” (101)

“It was supposed to be a grand thing; all the ta’veren Mat had been able to learn about had been men like Artur Hawkwing, or women like Mabriam en Shereed, who stories said had founded the Compact of the Ten Nations after the Breaking. But none of the stories told what happened when one ta’veren was close to another as strong as Rand. It was like being a leaf in a whirlpool” (102)

“‘He transforms everything.’ Amys sounded troubled. ‘Rhuidean. The Lost Ones. The bleakness, and telling what should not have been told.’ The Wise Ones—all the Aiel, for that matter—still had difficulty speaking of that” (123)

“‘The Pattern does not see ji’e’toh,’ Bair told her, with only a hint of sympathy, if that. “Only what must and will be. Men and Maidens struggle against fate even when it is clear the Pattern weaves on despite their struggles, but you are no longer Far Dareis Mai. You must learn to ride fate. Only by surrendering to the Pattern can you begin to have some control over the course of your own life. If you fight, the Pattern will still force you, and you will find only misery where you might have found contentment instead’” (125)

“To Egwene, that sounded very much like what she had been taught concerning the One Power. To control saidar, you first had to surrender to it. Fight, and it would come wildly, or overwhelm you; surrender and guide it gently, and it did as you wished” (125)

“Finding someone else’s dreams was a lot harder than stepping into Tel’aran’rhiod, the World of Dreams, especially if they were any distance away. It was easier both the closer they were and the better you knew them” (126)

“In another’s dream, though, you were a part of that dream; it took all you could muster not to behave as the dreamer wanted, be as their dream took you, and still sometimes it did not work” (127)

“Striding to the center of the room, he planted himself atop the mosaic there, the ancient symbol of the Aes Sedai, ten feet across. It was an apt place. ‘Under this sign will he conquer.’ That was what the Prophecy of Rhuidean said of him. He stood straddling the sinuous dividing line, one boot on the black teardrop that was now called the Dragon’s Fang and used to represent evil, the other on the white now called the Flame of Tar Valon. Some men said it stood for the Light. An appropriate place to meet this attack, between Light and darkness” (134)

“The tales he had heard said the Darkhounds ran the night in the Wild Hunt, with the Dark One himself the hunter” (136)

“He had seen enough old stories walking by now to believe that any of it could be true” (136)

“‘What you used to kill the Darkhounds is called balefire. I can still sense the residue of it here.’ He could, too, like the fading smell remaining after a pie was carried out of the room, or the memory of something just snatched out of sight. ‘Since before the Breaking of the World, the use of balefire has been forbidden. The White Tower forbids us even to learn it. In the War of Power, the Forsaken and the Shadowsworn themselves used it only reluctantly’” (141-142)

“‘When anything is destroyed with balefire, it ceases to exist before the moment of its destruction, like a thread that burns away from where the flame touched it. The greater the power of the balefire, the further back in time it ceases to exist. The strongest I can manage will remove only a few seconds from the Pattern. You are much stronger. Very much so’” (142)

“For as far back as you destroyed the creature, whatever it did during that time no longer happened. Only the memories remain, for those who saw or experienced it. Only what it did before is real, now” (142)

“‘It is terrible, Rand.’ An urgent note entered her voice. ‘Why do you think even the Forsaken feared to use it? Think of the effect on the Pattern FORCA GES/DETS Metal with of a single thread, one man, removed from hours, or days, that have already been woven, like one thread picked partly out of a piece of cloth. Fragments of manuscripts remaining from the War of Power say several entire cities were destroyed with balefire before both sides realized the dangers. Hundreds of thousands of threads pulled from the Pattern, gone for days already past; whatever those people had done, now no longer had been done, and neither had what others had done because of their actions. The memories remained, but not the actions. The ripples were incalculable. The Pattern itself nearly unraveled. It could have been the destruction of everything World, time, Creation itself’” (142)

“‘With a sa’angreal like Callandor, you could annihilate a city with balefire. The Pattern could be disrupted for years to come. Who can say that the weave would even remain centered on you, ta’veren as you are, until it settled down? Being ta’veren, and so strongly so, may be your margin of victory, even in the Last Battle’” (143)

“Gathering the Power into him, life and death in swirling layers, he made a hole in the air taller than he was, opening into blackness that made the moonlight seem day. A gateway, Asmodean called it” (143)

“the endless darkness that surrounded him, above and below; he was sure that if he fell off, he would fall forever. Asmodean claimed there was a faster method, called Traveling, for using a gateway, but he had not been able to teach it” (143)

“Skimming was fast enough” (144)

“In the little alcove stood two figurines a foot tall, a man and a woman, each in flowing robes and serene of face, each holding a crystal globe aloft one hand” (145)

“The male figure could link him to a huge replica of itself, the most powerful male sa’angreal ever made, even if he were on the other side of the Aryth Ocean from it” (145)

“The female figure could do the same for a woman, joining her to the female equivalent of the great statue he hoped was still almost completely buried in Cairhien” (145)

“‘You are not the Creator,’ Moiraine had told him as he stood over that child. But with that male figure, with only half of its power, he had made the mountains move, once. With far less, with only Callandor, he had been sure he could turn back the Wheel, make a dead child live” (146)

“‘You have two of them,’ [Lanfear] said finally. ‘I thought I glimpsed… One is a woman, isn’t it?’ Her smile could have halted a man’s heart and made him grateful. ‘You are beginning to consider my plan, aren’t you? With those, together, the other Chosen will kneel at our feet. We can supplant the Great Lord himself, challenge the Creator’” (146)

“Rand’s dreams had been a challenge, of course, one [Egwene] could not fail to face” (153)

“Only, attempting to enter his dreams had been like running headlong into an invisible stone wall. She knew that his dreams lay on the other side, and she was sure she could find a way through, but there had been nothing to work on, nothing to pry at. A wall of nothing” (153)

“The first test, the first winnowing, before any training even, was to step through one of those three rings. Which one did not matter, or perhaps the choice was a matter of fate. That step seemingly took her through her life again and again, her future spread out before her, all of the possible futures based on every decision she might make for the rest of her life. Death was possible in those, too; some women could not face the future any more than others could face the past. All possible futures were too many for a mind to retain, of course. They jumbled together and faded away for the most part, but a woman gained a sense of things that would happen in her life, that must happen, that might happen” (159)

“Moghedien would probably torture them until they begged for death. Or arrange a circle of thirteen Black sisters and thirteen Myrddraal; they could turn you to the Shadow against your will that way, bind you to the Dark One” (174)

“it never seemed hot or cold in Tel’aran’rhiod” (226)

“What was in the waking world was here, too, although the reverse was not always so. The World of Dreams, the Unseen World, reflected the waking world, if sometimes in odd ways, and perhaps other worlds as well. Verin Sedai had told Egwene that there was a pattern woven of worlds, of the reality here and others, just as the weaving of people’s lives made up the Pattern of the Ages” (227)

“where better for heroes bound to the Wheel of Time to await rebirth than in a dream? A dream that had existed as long as the Wheel” (228)

“The Wheel wove the heroes into the Pattern as they were needed, to shape the Pattern, and when they died they returned here to wait again. That was what it meant to be bound to the Wheel. New heroes could find themselves bound so as well, men and women whose bravery and accomplishments raised them far above the ordinary, but once bound, it was forever” (228)

Birgitte: “‘You promised, Nynaeve.’ Those bright blue eyes were unyielding as ice. ‘The prescripts say that we must not let anyone know that we reside in Tel’aran’rhiod. I have broken many by speaking to you, much more by giving aid, because I cannot stand by and watch you battle the Shadowhave fought that battle in more lifetimes than I can remember-but I will keep as many of the prescripts as I can. You must hold to your promise’” (230)

“‘Schemes within schemes,’ Melaine murmured. ‘The Great Serpent is a good sign for you Aes Sedai, I think. Someday you may swallow yourselves by accident’” (233)

“Dreams are real here. If you let yourself drift into a fond dream, it could trap you. You’d trap yourself. Until you died.’
‘Will you—?’
‘There are nightmares walking Tel’aran’rhiod, Nynaeve’” (241)

“‘When someone has a nightmare while in Tel’aran’rhiod, it is real, too. And sometimes it survives after the dreamer has gone. You just don’t realize, do you?’” (241)

“Sometimes [Nynaeve] thought the Creator had only made men to cause trouble for women” (269)

“just below the snow line, stood something even stranger. Something that made the first monument of a few thousand years a commonplace. He could have sworn it was the remnants of shattered buildings, shining gray against the darker mountain, and stranger still, what appeared to be a dock of the same material, as for ships, slanting drunkenly down the mountain. If he was not imagining it, that had to date from before the Breaking. The face of the world had been changed utterly in those years. This could well have been an ocean’s floor, before” (311)

“Egwene floated in darkness. She seemed to be darkness herself, without substance. Whether her body lay up or down or sideways from her, she did not know there was no direction here-but she knew that it was near, that she could step into it easily. All around her in the blackness, fireflies seemingly twinkled, a vast horde fading away into unimaginable distance. Those were dreams, dreams of the Aiel in the camp, dreams of men and women across Cairhien, across the world, all glittering there” (358)

“The more ephemeral something was in the waking world a letter, a piece of clothing, a bowl that might be frequently moved the less firm its reflection in Tel’aran’rhiod” (363)

“‘We were gambling, but suddenly everyone was throwing nothing but sixes’” (413)

“The ripples he gave off as ta’veren spread out in odd, random ways” (413)

Elayne: “‘I do not mean to actually make an a’dam.’… ‘But it is a ter’angreal, and I have puzzled out how it works” (450)

“The a’dam links the two women; that why the sul’dam must be a woman who can channel, too.’ She frowned slightly. ‘It is a strange link, though. Different. Instead of two or more heads guiding, it is one taking full control, really. I think that sharing, with one the reason a damane cannot do anything the sul’dam doesn’t want her to” (451)

“‘Don’t you understand?’… ‘It is a ter’angreal, Nynaeve. And I think I can make one.’ She said each word slowly and deliberately, then laughed and rushed on. ‘If I can make this one, I can make others. Maybe I can even make angreal and sa’angreal. No one in the Tower has been able to do that in thousands of years!’” (451)

“She had come to understand that only wild creatures had reflections here” (458)

“‘She . . . was . . . one of the heroes bound to the Wheel of Time, destined to be born again and again to make legends. She wasn’t born this time, Elayne. She was ripped out of Tel’aran’rhiod as she stood. Is she still bound to the Wheel? Or has she been ripped away from that, too?’” (473)

“Two thousand years could change a great deal in a story” (483)

“What the Aiel called the bleakness had to be affecting those clans, too—every day still men tossed down their weapons and vanished” (554)

“even now, men and Maidens decided they could not accept Rand or what he had told them of themselves” (555)

“The names flickered through his head, the images of bloody fields forgotten even by historians” (556)

“he knew he would draw them back, ta’veren pulling at ta’veren, and he the strongest. Moiraine had named it no coincidence, three such growing up in the same village, all nearly the same age; the Wheel wove happenstance and coincidence into the Pattern, but it did not lay down the likes of the three of them for no reason” (560-561)

“he was sure the only chance he had of winning Tarmon Gai’don lay in having all three of them, three ta’veren who had been tied together since infancy, tied together once more” (561)

“‘Bad luck to talk of what will be … Fate will decide’” (565)

“‘Life is a dream,’ Rhuarc told him, and Han and the others nodded agreement. Life was only a dream, and all dreams had to end” (565)

“Saidin was there, filing at the edges of him, trying to erode or corrode his mind, but ready to be used” (594)

“Mat was not sure whether to laugh hysterically or sit down and Those bloody memories. If not for them, he would have ridden on. If not for Rand, he would not have the things. He could trace the steps that led to them, each necessary as it seemed at the time and seeming an end in itself, yet each leading inevitably to the next, At the beginning of it all lay Rand And bloody ta’veren. He could not understand why doing something that seemed absolutely necessary and as close to harmless as he could make it always seemed to lead him deeper into the mire” (604)

“Strength in the Power is useless if the body is exhausted. Saidin can easily kill, if the body is exhausted” (606)

“Rand shook his head. So Mat had not escaped the pull of ta’veren to ta’veren after all. Or maybe it was the Pattern that had caught him, and being ta’veren himself. Either way, he suspected Mat was not too happy right that moment. Mat had not learned the lesson that he had. Try to run away, and the Pattern pulled you back, often roughly; run in the direction the Wheel wove you, and sometimes you could manage a little control over your life. Sometimes. With luck, maybe more than any expected, at least in the long haul. But he had more urgent concerns than Mat, or the Shaido” (608)

“He was careful to use that name, even to himself, though another floated in the back of his mind now. Tel Janin Aellinsar. No history recorded the name, no fragment in the library at Tar Valon; Moiraine had told him everything the Aes Sedai knew of the Forsaken, and it was little more than was told in village tales. Even Asmodean had always called him Sammael, if for a different reason. Long before the War of the Shadow ended, the Forsaken had embraced the names men had given them, as if symbols of rebirth in the Shadow. Asmodean’s own true name-Joar Addam Nessosinmade the man flinch, and he claimed to have forgotten the others in the course of three thousand years” (609)

“‘It is the Dragon Reborn I follow, young woman. The Car’a’carn, I leave to you’” (610)

“It would be easier if this was a story, he thought. In stories, there were only so many surprises before the hero knew everything he needed; he himself never seemed to know a quarter of everything” (611)

“‘Too many have heard some version of part of the Prophecy of Rhuidean now … but it has been twisted. They know that you will destroy us…’ Her control faltered for the space of one deep breath. ‘But many believe that you will kill us all in endless dances of the spear, a sacrifice to atone for the sin. Others believe that the bleakness itself is a testing, to wear away all but the hard core before the Last Battle. I have even heard some say that the Aiel are now your dream, and that when you wake from this life, we will be no more’” (619-620)

“Trying to hold somebody else in Tel’aran’rhiod was incredibly frustrating, even after Elayne hit on the trick, which was to see the other as just another part of the dream” (679)

“Elayne alternated between the iron disc and the apparently amber plaque with its carving of a sleeping woman, but she did not really like using either ter angreal. As hard as she worked with them, she did not feel as fully in Tel’aran’rhiod as with the ring. And each did have to be worked; it was not possible to tie the flow of Spirit, or you bounced right back out of the World of Dreams immediately. Channeling anything else at the same time seemed all but impossible, yet Elayne could not understand why. She seemed more interested in how they had been made, and not at all pleased that they did not yield their secrets as easily as the a’dam. Not knowing the ‘why’ was a burr in her stocking” (680)

“Elayne, however, said she looked . . . misty. Misty was how saidar felt, too, except for the flow of Spirit she had begun to weave while awake. The rest was thin, and even the never-seen warmth of the True Source seemed muted” (681)

“‘Why do you appear so strange, Nynaeve? Have you learned to come waking?’” (682)

“‘When a Dreamwalker enters the World of Dreams in her sleep, only a tiny bit of her remains with her body, just enough to keep her body alive. If she puts herself into a shallow sleep, where she can be here and also speak to those around her in the waking world, she looks as you do to one who is here fully. Perhaps it is the same. I do not know that I like it, any woman who can channel being able to enter Tel’aran’rhiod, even in this state’” (684)

“‘Ta’veren, ‘ she said. ‘He bends the world around him. We are chips caught in a whirlpool’” (708)

Is there anything left to me but necessity?” (721)

“Another ta’veren. Two together to twist chance perhaps. No way to tell how, or even if” (783)

“There were limits for one man by himself, Asmodean claimed; it seemed there were always limits. The amount of saidin you drew did not matter. The One Power had little to do with gateways, really; only the making. Beyond, was something else. A dream of a dream, Asmodean called it” (763)

“a sense that in every direction there was nothing. Nothing, forever. It was not like night. He could see himself and the stone perfectly. But everything else, everywhere else, was blackness” (764)

“A gateway, an opening at least, a hole in reality” (783)

“‘Rand, the Wise Ones say what you’ve done, what you are doing, is dangerous, even evil. They say you lose something of yourself if you come here in the flesh, some part of what makes you human’” (795)

“Balefire. Balefire that burned a thread out of the Pattern. The stronger that balefire was, the further back that burning went. And whatever that person had done no longer had happened. He did not care if his blast at Rahvin had unraveled half the Pattern. Not if this was the result” (799)

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