This article summarises the events of Book 14 of the Wheel of Time – A Memory of Light
PLEASE BE AWARE THIS SUMMARY MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR BOOK 14 OF THE WHEEL OF TIME
In the prologue, the armies of the Westlands assemble in preparation for Tarmon Gai’don, as do the forces of the Shadow. The Forsaken Demandred stages a raid on the city of Caemlyn, sending Trollocs to capture the cannons, developed jointly by Matrim Cauthon, Queen Elayne Trakand, and the Illuminator Aludra. Talmanes Delovinde and the Band of the Red Hand launch their own counter-attack and successfully exfiltrate the cannons out of the city, but Caemlyn is lost. The Light is bolstered by people coming from all over the world to fight, sensing the end of all things, while the Shadow welcomes a new Forsaken: Mazrim Taim, now called “M’Hael”.
Rand al’Thor prepares a meeting of all the nations on the Field of Merrilor, to persuade them to fight in Tarmon Gai’don. Mat returns to Ebou Dar to locate Tuon, only to find the city crawling with assassins sent by one of her generals. At the Black Tower, Logain Ablar is missing and Mazrim Taim is forcibly “Turning” people to the Shadow. The Asha’man still loyal to Logain, led by Androl Genhald and Aes Sedai ambassador Pevara Tazanovni, stage a rescue. Rand’s “price” of allegiance—a treaty called “The Dragon’s Peace”, in which borders are fixed and war is outlawed—and his plan to shatter the remaining seals of the Dark One’s prison, lead to widespread argument; the latter resolved only when Moiraine Damodred quotes from the Prophecies of the Dragon, and convinces Egwene to break the seals herself. The Aiel, persuaded by Aviendha’s post-apocalyptic visions during Towers of Midnight, demand to be subject to the treaty, as arbiters of any dispute. When Elayne Trakand remarks that peace cannot be maintained if the Seanchan are exempt, Rand agrees to persuade their cooperation, and appoints Elayne commander-in-chief of the armies formerly under himself.
Elayne dispatches her forces to four different campaigns, whereof Caemlyn is to be retaken by Andoran and Cairhienin troops; Egwene commands an army of Aes Sedai to reinforce Kandor, whilst Lan Mandragoran and the resurrected nation of Malkier hold Tarwin’s Gap. Rand himself will lead the Aiel to face the Dark One. The four remaining “Great Captains” are attached to each campaign: Gareth Bryne in Kandor, Agelmar Jagad at Tarwin’s Gap, Rodel Ituralde to Shayol Ghul, and Davram Bashere to serve Elayne directly. The campaigns turn to disaster when Graendal, now renamed Hessalam, Compels the commanders to err. Rand gains the support of the Seanchan by persuading Tuon in Ebou Dar that his authority, as the reincarnation of Lews Therin, supersedes hers. The Seanchan march to battle with Mat as one of their generals. Taking only Moiraine, Nynaeve al’Meara, and the sa’angreal Callandor, Rand confronts the Dark One’s champion, Moridin; interrupted only when Rand makes contact with the Dark One. Meanwhile, Perrin Aybara enters Tel’aran’rhiod to protect Rand from Slayer. In this he is assisted by Lanfear; but wounded by Slayer and forced to retreat. Rand and Egwene learn that enemy agents have seized some of the Dark One’s seals. Elayne’s forces burn Caemlyn to force the Trollocs to pursue; but they are pursued also by a new force from the north, and saved by Logain and his loyal Asha’man. At Tarwin’s Gap, the defenders are forced into rout; while in Kandor, Egwene and the Aes Sedai are unexpectedly outflanked by the nation of Shara, under Demandred. Realizing that Mat’s foxhead medallion makes him the only competent general immune to hostile ‘Compulsion’, Egwene gives him command of their forces, and Mat rallies the survivors at the Field of Merrilor.
To lure Demandred into risking his resources, Mat stages a public quarrel with Tuon, and the Seanchan depart the field. Perrin continues pursuit of Slayer. At Shayol Ghul, Graendal opposes the Aiel. When Demandred challenges the absent Rand, Gawyn Trakand attacks him directly and is mortally wounded. Later, his elder half-brother Galad Damodred is severely wounded in the same effort; but wounds Demandred before retreat. Mat’s command post is attacked directly by Sharan forces, and Siuan Sanche is killed in the defense. Gareth Bryne loses reason and dies soon after. Elayne is waylaid by several Darkfriend Guardsmen, who arrange a duplicate of Elayne to be seen dead. Faile’s contingent arrive at Merrilor, but are almost immediately betrayed. Faile seizes the Horn of Valere (capable of recruiting deceased heroes), which she gives to Olver.
Androl and Pevara track down M’Hael and steal the remaining seals on the Dark One’s prison. Egwene then asks Leilwin Shipless to be her warder and attacks M’Hael. M’Hael uses balefire to destroy a number of Aes Sedai. In the midst of her fight with M’Hael, Egwene creates a new weave, the “Flame of Tar Valon”, capable of counteracting balefire, and sacrifices her own life to destroy M’Hael and his followers. Galad passes Mat’s foxhead medallion to Lan, and Lan kills Demandred in single combat. Olver sounds the Horn of Valere, summoning legendary heroes to rescue Elayne. Mat uses the Heroes and reinforcements from the Seanchan to sweep the field.
Outside the Pattern, Shai’tan and Rand duel by constructing their visions of what reality could be after Tarmon Gai’don, and ultimately achieve stalemate on the premise that the Pattern is incomplete in case of either’s defeat. Perrin kills Slayer at the Pit of Doom, and later kills Lanfear before she can kill Moiraine. Mat kills Padan Fain with his own dagger. Olver and the resurrected heroes win the battle, while Aviendha mentally enslaves Graendal. Rand resumes his duel with Moridin, during which Rand, Moiraine, and Nynaeve take control of Moridin and use his power to create a huge weave of saidar, saidin, and True Power combined. Seeing this, Logain breaks open the Dark One’s prison, and Rand uses the huge weave of three powers, first to capture the Dark One, and later to re-create his prison without flaw.
Bereft of the Dark One’s influence, the Blight dissolves. Mat reunites with Tuon, who reveals that she is pregnant by him; whereas Perrin locates Faile buried under Trolloc corpses, but alive, and inherits the throne of Saldaea. Cadsuane Melaidhrin is elected the new Amyrlin Seat, while Moghedien is captured by a sul’dam. Thom and Moiraine, Lan and Nynaeve, wait attendance on Rand, who is slowly dying of his wounds. A funeral pyre is held; but it is revealed that Rand had exchanged psyches with Moridin, and is therefore alive. No longer able to channel the One Power, Rand now has the ability to manipulate the Pattern directly, though it is unclear to what extent.