The Great Hunt

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The Great Hunt
Original cover of The Great Hunt, showing Rand al'Thor holding the Horn of Valere in front of Selene and Loial
AuthorRobert Jordan
Cover artistDarrell K. Sweet
CountryUnited States
SeriesThe Wheel of Time
PublisherTor Books (North American) and Orbit Books (UK)
Publication date
November 15, 1990
Media typePrint (Hardback and Paperback)
Pages706 (U.S. paperback edition) &
600 (U.S. hardback edition)
ISBN0-312-85140-5 (US hardback edition)
813/.54 20
LC ClassPS3560.O7617 G74 1990
Preceded byThe Eye of the World 
Followed byThe Dragon Reborn 

The Great Hunt is a fantasy novel by American author Robert Jordan, the second book of The Wheel of Time series. It was published by Tor Books and released on November 15, 1990. The Great Hunt consists of a prologue and 50 chapters. In 2004 The Great Hunt was re-released as two separate books, The Hunt Begins and New Threads in the Pattern.

The story features young heroes Rand al'Thor, Mat Cauthon, and Perrin Aybara, who join Shienaren soldiers in a quest to retrieve the Horn of Valere. At the same time, Egwene al'Vere, Nynaeve al'Meara, and Elayne Trakand go to the White Tower in Tar Valon to learn Aes Sedai ways. Finally, an exotic army invades the western coast.

Plot summary[edit]


The Forsaken Ba'alzamon presides over a clandestine meeting. In addition to Forsaken and Darkfriends, Ba'alzamon's known subordinates, the meeting includes two Aes Sedai.

The Hunt Begins[edit]

At Fal Dara in Shienar, following the events in The Eye of the World, Lan Mandragoran instructs Rand in sword fighting. Mat Cauthon's condition worsens through his psychic attachment to a parasitic dagger from Shadar Logoth. Darkfriend Padan Fain is imprisoned. The Amyrlin Seat, Siuan Sanche, arrives, and identifies Rand al'Thor as the Dragon Reborn. Fain is subsequently freed by Darkforces, stealing the Horn of Valere and the tainted dagger.

Rand, Perrin Aybara, and Mat accompany a Shienaran party southbound in pursuit, under the leadership of Lord Ingtar Shinowa and guided by a tracker named Hurin who can literally smell past violence. The Amyrlin departs for Tar Valon, taking Nynaeve al'Meara and Egwene al'Vere for Aes Sedai training. Moiraine Damodred breaks off, unbidden, to seek answers. In Tar Valon, Nynaeve and Egwene befriend daughter-heir Elayne Trakand and the clairvoyant Min Farshaw. Nynaeve passes the test to become Accepted, a rank in the White Tower below Aes Sedai and above Novice.

Cover of The Hunt Begins

Rand, the Ogier Loial, and Hurin sleep near a stone. They awaken, separated from the Shienaran party, and transported to an alternate world similar to their own, but deserted and distorted. Rand suspects that he activated the stone by unconsciously channeling saidin in his sleep. (Rand's struggle to accept his channeling ability is a recurring element in the novel.) However, Egwene dreams of a woman standing over Rand while he slept, whose "eyes seemed to shine like the moon".

In this alternate world, Rand meets Ba'alzamon and has a heron's image (the crest of his sword) branded into his palm in a fight. Rand and Hurin rescue the mysterious but beautiful Selene from monsters, and return by a different portal stone to their own world, ahead of Fain's and Ingtar's groups. When Fain does arrive, Rand and Loial sneak into his camp and retrieve the Horn and dagger. Still behind, and at a loss to explain Rand's disappearance, Lord Ingtar's group pursue Fain with the aid of Perrin, who uses his telepathic ability to communicate with wolves, which in turn can track Fain's Trollocs (the Dark One's bestial foot-soldiers).

Rand's party journeys to Cairhien, where Rand finds gleeman Thom Merrilin, whom he thought dead after the events in The Eye of the World. Rand and Loial are attacked by trollocs and, during their escape, damage the Chapter House of the Illuminator's Guild, a society retaining knowledge of fireworks.

Rand receives unwanted, high-profile invitations from House Damodred and from the King. Hurin is attacked at the inn by Fain's forces, and the Horn and dagger are again stolen. Ingtar's group arrives in Cairhien. Hurin traces the Darkfriends to Barthanes Damodred's manor. Using the now-valuable invitation, the path is traced further to a Waygate in the premises. However, they are prevented from pursuit by Machin Shin. Via Barthanes, Padan Fain tells them that he is taking the Horn to the port city of Falme in Toman Head. Thom's apprentice Dena is murdered for Thom's involvement with Rand.

To Toman Head[edit]

The invading Seanchan and their exotic beasts have occupied Falme. Fain gives the Horn to High Lord Turak of the Seanchan. Geofram Bornhald, leader of the zealous religious group Children of the Light, also known as the Whitecloaks, is preparing to attack the Seanchan.

Ingtar's group tries a different Waygate in a nearby Ogier stedding, but they find Machin Shin there too. Rand takes them via a portal stone instead, but they lose months of time. At the White Tower, Liandrin Guirale lures Egwene and Nynaeve, along with an accompanying Elayne and Min, to Toman Head via the Ways, handing them over to the Seanchan. Egwene is collared with an a'dam, a device used by the Seanchan to control channelers, while Min is held hostage. Nynaeve and Elayne escape.

Elayne and Nynaeve rescue Egwene from the Seanchan and attempt to flee the city. Meanwhile, Ingtar, Rand, Hurin, Mat, and Perrin enter Falme and retrieve the Horn and dagger, Rand slaying Turak. Ingtar reveals himself as a Darkfriend, but redeems himself when he dies fighting. However, the Whitecloaks attack the Seanchan, leaving Rand's group trapped perilously between the advancing lines. Mat blows the Horn of Valere, summoning dead heroes, including Artur Hawkwing. The banner of the Dragon Reborn is unfurled, and they ride to battle against the Seanchan.

Ba'alzamon appears, and he and Rand fight, the duel projected into the air above Falme. Rand allows himself to be stabbed with Ba'alzamon's staff, giving him an opening to stab Ba'alzamon through the heart with his heron-mark sword.

The battle over and the Seanchan defeated, Rand is found by Min and hauled into a bed to recuperate. Selene arrives, touches the sleeping Rand, reveals herself to be the Forsaken Lanfear, and disappears. When Rand awakens, he finds Ingtar's army under the dragon's banner, and they ask to pledge to him.

External links[edit]