The Dragon Reborn - Chapter 2 [#100Days, Day 76]

"To Be A Ringbearer, Frodo, Is To Be Alone"

    An ongoing question for Perrin in this chapter deals with the nature of his friendship with Rand.  Rand is having great difficulty adjusting to the fact that he is the Dragon Reborn, and Perrin recognizes that they are changing and perhaps straining their friendship.

    Rand and he had grown up together as friends.  Are we still friends? Can we be? Now?
Perrin, The Dragon Reborn, p. 17

    "I had better go talk to him," he said.  "After they argue, he always needs someone to talk to."  Add aside from Moiraine and Lan, there were only the three of them - Min, Loial and him - who did not stare at Rand as if he stood above kings.  And of the three only Perrin knew him from before.
Perrin, The Dragon Reborn, p. 17

Rand's much smaller hut was a little lower down, well hidden in the trees, away from all the rest.  He had tried living down among the other men, but their constant awe drove him off.  He kept to himself now.  Too much to himself, to Perrin's thinking.
Perrin, The Dragon Reborn, p. 17
    For a moment, Perrin simply looked at him.  A man who could channel the One Power.  A man doomed to go mad from the taint on saidin, the male half of the true source, and certain to destroy everything around him in his madness.  A man - a thing! - everyone was taught to loathe and fear from childhood.  Only ... it was hard to stop seeing the boy he had grown up with.  How do you just stop being somebody's friend?
Perrin, The Dragon Reborn. p.18

    From farmer to savior of the world in the blink of an eye; it's no wonder Rand is having a rough time.  Keeping everyone at a distance is actually exacerbating the problem; he's inadvertently signaling that the role as Dragon Reborn has utterly consumed him and has no time for mere humans.  Rand's misguided efforts to protect those he cares about from being affected by the impending madness caused by saidin place additional strains on an already tense friendship.  Pushing everyone away is not the best solution.  Rand needs a sounding board, someone he can confide in, someone with whom he can remember being human.  Perrin makes an attempt, but stumbles through his own misgivings as well as Rand's more direct confrontation.  Leadership positions can be extremely lonely, and it's important to reach out and find someone outside that immediate chain of command to run ideas by; especially if you're destined to save the world.

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