The Dragon Reborn - Chapters 49 & 50 [#112]

Leader Development: Loial

    While Mat makes short work of Gaebril's agent, Comar, Moiraine, Perrin, Faile, Lan and Loial arrive in Tear.  The Forsaken are hiding in plain sight amongst the rulers, first Illian, now in Tear.  

    "Be quiet," Moiraine told [Faile] sharply.  "One of the Forsaken in in Tear.  The High Lord Samon is Be'lal."  Perrin shivered.
    Loial squeezed his eyes shut and groaned.  "I could have remained in the stedding.  I would probably have been very happy, married, whoever my mother chose.  She is a fine woman, my mother, and she would not give me to a bad wife."  His ears seemed to have hidden themselves completely in his shaggy hair.
    "You can go back to Stedding Shangtai," Moiraine said.  "Leave now, if you wish.  I will not stop you."
    Loial opened one eye.  "I can go?"
    "If you wish," she said.
    "Oh."  He opened the other eye, and scratched his cheek with blunt fingers the size of sausages.  "I suppose ... I suppose ... if I have a choice ... that I will stay with all of you.  I have taken a great many notes, but not nearly enough to complete my book, and I would not like to leave Perrin, and Rand -"

Moiraine and Loial, The Dragon Reborn, p. 508 - 509

    At this point, Loial's moans whenever the situation turns dire are somewhat comical.  Yet, of Moiraine's companions, Loial is the only one to whom she gives the choice of leaving.  Perrin, Mat and Rand, are central to the effort against the Dark One.  Even Faile was forced to swear an oath to serve and obey Moiraine; and now Faile knows too much to fly free.  What is impressive, is that, despite the moans, groans and leaps into pessimism, Loial elects to stay.  When given the choice, he freely chooses to stay.  For his book, of course, is the outer shell of it; it seems he has strong sense of duty.  Aptly named, indeed, is Loial.

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