The Eye of the World - Chapter 24 (cont'd) [#100Days, Day 19]

Leader Assessment: Thom Merrilin

  Thom is a bit of an enigma at this point in the story.  An interesting aspect is that he seems to prefer not to take charge directly.  Moiraine and Lan have a plan, and are intent on executing it, no matter the obstacle.  They drag others along with them, willing or not.  Their presence is so forceful, that the others can't help but be drawn in by that confidence.  Thom, on the other hand, seems more comfortable sitting off to the side observing.  Its not a reluctance to being the center of attention, as a gleeman, he lives for performing in crowds.  

  Thom seems to be more of the "big picture" thinker, observing everyone and everything and piecing it all together in a grand strategy.  Back in Emond's Field, for example, he discretely led the Mayor into providing Aes Sedai Healing as an option for Rand's father.  He sensed that, as an outsider, such advice may not be taken as well as it would be from a familiar face of authority.  On the Spray, he watched the crew and made considerable efforts to actively prevent a mutiny and prevent the crew from associating Rand, Thom and Mat's arrival on board with the Trolloc attack.  His efforts are indirect and circumspect, working from outside the spotlight.  He follow's Rand's lead, offering advice and skills to aid them on their journey - not directly countermanding Rand's desire to head for Tar Valon, but quietly placing seeds that it may not be the best place for survival. 

  Quiet observation is a useful skill, particularly in professions like mine where I tend to move around a bit, starting a new job frequently.  It's important to understand what the status quo is before launching efforts into changing things.  The large issues probably started off as a set of compounding tiny problems.  The fix may be a series of small fixes, instead of trying to implement a grand, sweeping fix-all.  

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