Author: Seandre ay'Luthien
The Prophecies of Rhuidean
The Prophecy of Rhuidean, the Aiel Prophecy, tells of the coming of the car'a'carn - the chief of chiefs. He is also called He Who Comes With The Dawn. This man is destined to change everything of the Aiel society. He will unite the clans and he will destroy them, and only a remnant of a remnant will remain.
These prophecies are centred around a number of key events that will take place: The person of prophecy will come, The Stone of Tear fall,
the Aiel leave the Three-fold Land,
they will be changed,
and all of them be destroyed, save a remnant of a remnant.
The stone that never falls will fall to announce his coming. We will know him when we see him, for he will be marked. He will come from the west, beyond the Spine of the World, but be of our blood. He will go to Rhuidean, and lead us out of the Three-fold Land. Under this sign (the ancient Aes Sedai symbol) he will conquer (TGH, Ch. 28).
"Prophecy says that when the Stone of Tear falls, we will leave the Three-fold Land at last. It says we will be changed, and find again what was ours, and what was lost." (TDR, Ch. 34)
"Blood of our blood mixed with the old blood, raised by an ancient blood not ours."
He will come from west of the Spine of the World, but still be of Aiel blood. He will be born of Far Dareis Mai.
Our blood is - obviously - Aiel blood; Rand's father was Janduin, clan chief of the Taardad Aiel. The old blood is the blood of the people to the west of the Spine of the World. As Rand's mother was Tigraine, Daughter-Heir of Andor, otherwise known as Shaiel, a Far Dareis Mai, among the Aiel. The ancient blood is the blood of Manetheren, whose descendants are the people in the Two Rivers (TDR, Ch. 39)
"He will come from Rhuidean at dawn, and tie you together with bonds you cannot break. He will take you back, and he will destroy you" (TSR, Ch. 24).
'"Behold what has never been seen before. A Car'a'carn has been chosen, a chief of chiefs. Born of a Maiden, he has come with the dawn from Rhuidean, according to prophecy, to unite the Aiel! The fulfillment of prophecy has begun!" (TSR, Ch. 34)
"He shall spill out the blood of those who calls themselves Aiel as water on sand, and he shall break them as dried twigs, yet the remnant of a remnant he shall save, and they shall live." (TSR, Ch. 34)
"Our prophecy says only that the Stone must fall before He Who Comes With the Dawn appears to take us back to what was ours." (TFoH, Ch. 3)
The Three Fold Land
The Aiel live in the Three-fold Land, which is a shaping stone to make them, a testing ground to prove their worth and a punishment for their sin. The Aiel believe that they served Aes Sedai before the Breaking of the World, and because they failed in their service, they were sent to the Three-fold Land. One of the old prophecies says that if they ever fail the Aes Sedai again, the Aes Sedai will destroy them.
"He 'shall slay his people with the sword of peace, and destroy them with the leaf" (TDR, Ch. 6).
"On the slopes of Dragonmount shall he be born, born of a maiden wedded to no man.'" (TDR, Ch. 39)
"The Aiel have come over the Dragon wall to his call; I have seen several in the streets, and it is said they fill the Stone. The Stone of Tear has fallen, and war breaks over the nations of the land. Those who once ruled have returned, and been driven back for the first time. Prophecy is being fulfilled." (TSR, Ch. 19).
The Prophecy of Rhuidean states that a man would come, the Car'a'carn. This man would be the chief of chiefs, and he was to unite the Aiel clans. Also known as He Who Comes With the Dawn, his coming would also cause the destruction of a large part of the Aiel people. Only a remnant of a remnant would survive his coming.
Rand al'Thor was faced with great challenges on his journey to Rhuidean. The penalty for a wetlander entering Rhuidean was death. A brash young Aielman named Couladin sought to prevent Rand from entering Rhuidean. It was Couladin, who eventually became the leader of the rebel Shaido Aiel, who refuted Rand's claim as the Car'a'carn, despite the two dragons clear upon Rand's arms after his return from Rhuidean. Couladin refused to accept a wetlander as the chief of chiefs, claiming that Rand was soft and weak.
The Car'a'carn, however, is not privileged with the absolute power of a wetlander king or queen. He is simply a chief among chiefs; he is expected to listen to his advisors, and is in general treated as any other man might be.
It was also prophesied that the Car'a'carn would be born of a Maiden of the Spear. A baby born of a Maiden was always given to an adoptive family, as Maidens were not allowed to raise their own children. Thus Rand was the first son ever to come back to the Maidens, and the Maidens welcomed him as a long-lost son, and made themselves his personal guard. They also have a very special relationship with Rand, most treating him as either a son or as a brother.
The coming of the car'a'carn made life difficult for many of the Aiel. His revelation of the early history of the Aiel led to many warriors giving up their way of life. The Bleakness reduced Rand's following by a substantial amount. Many of these warriors, refusing to believe the truth that Rand spoke, sought refuge with the Shaido Aiel, and formed a new warrior society called Mera'din, the Brotherless.
Many of the Aiel, particularly the Wise Ones, are concerned that Rand does not truly see himself as Aiel. This has led to a struggle of sorts, as the Wise Ones strive to make sure that the "remnant of a remnant" is as large as possible.
Many aspects of the Prophecies of Rhuidean have been fulfilled, and as the numerous battles against Rand's even more numerous enemies are fought, the casualties grow, and it is yet to see how large the remnant of the remnant who will survive will be.
Several tellings of the prophecy refer to the Aiel either finding again what was theirs, or being taken back to what was their's. Although they left the Waste, the Wetlands were never theirs. It may be that this refers to them finding the Way of the Leaf again (TDR, Ch. 34,