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A Celebration of Legendary Quotes from Knife of Dreams

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Whether in danger, dalliance, or despair, Robert Jordan delivers epic character moments with cutting dialogue and sharp prose. As fighting and dread scour the Westlands, we enjoy all the exchanges nonetheless. It’s only fair we should herald the best quotes from Knife of Dreams, and that’s what we’ll do in this post.

I must make a spoiler disclosure for any green soldiers in our camp. I’ll present dialogue, thoughts, and prose from Book 11 of The Wheel of Time and confirm who said what and when. Each selection comes with a brief summary to add context, so reading as far as Crossroads of Twilight is advised but not mandatory.

I maintain that nothing in my text will ruin the book for you, but have care if you’re sensitive to light spoilers.

Books on a red background with red and white typography introducing the “Best Quotes from Knife of Dreams” post.

Best Quotes from Knife of Dreams

Knife of Dreams is thematically indulgent in fighting and the threat of inevitable war. Whenever battle is prevalent in The Wheel of Time, expect Mat Cauthon to be at the heart of it.

You’ll find him regularly in my “best quotes” posts, too, and this one as much as any. Perrin Aybara is also here with his wolverine awesomeness and habit of deep thinking.

Amongst the others, we have an impassioned edict from Nynaeve al’Meara and the candid thoughts of an Aes Sedai and Rand al’Thor.

In his last completed novel, Robert Jordan delivers memorable quotes, as was his wont. Let’s not dally about it then, but enjoy these legendary quotes from Knife of Dreams instead:

Mat Cauthon Quotes from Knife of Dreams

Mat Cauthon Quotes from Knife of Dreams - a red parchment reads, “If someone offers him enough gold, it becomes a toss of the dice, and not even Mat Cauthon could say how they’ll land.”
Birgitte Silverbow. Knife of Dreams, Chapter 13 – Siege.

Birgitte references Mat in a conversation with Elayne Trakand. The daughter heir wonders whether A’Balaman, a Murandian mercenary, can be trusted. “If someone offers him enough gold,” Birgitte says, “it becomes a toss of the dice, and not even Mat Cauthon could say how they’ll land.”

Mat Cauthon Quotes from Knife of Dreams - a red parchment reads, “There is some delight in ale and wine, and some in girls with ankles fine, But my delight, yes always mine, is to dance with Jak O’ the Shadows. We’ll toss the dice however they fall, and snuggle the girls be they short or tall, then follow Lord Mat whenever he calls, to dance with Jak O’ the Shadows.”
Band of the Red Hand (singing). Knife of Dreams, Chapter 26 – As If the World Were Fog.

Tuon is interested in Mat Cauthon’s men, recognizing their affection for the man she calls Toy. The soldiers begin singing their adapted version of Jak O’the Shadows:

“There is some delight in ale and wine, and some in girls with ankles fine, But my delight, yes always mine, is to dance with Jak O’ the Shadows. We’ll toss the dice however they fall, and snuggle the girls be they short or tall, then follow Lord Mat whenever he calls, to dance with Jak O’ the Shadows.”

Mat Cauthon Quotes from Knife of Dreams - a red parchment reads, “A beautiful battle is one you don’t have to fight.”
Mat Cauthon. Knife of Dreams, Chapter 27 – A Plain Wooden Box.

Mat responds acerbically to a captain of the Band of the Red Hand. The man is extolling Mat’s virtues and prowess to an Aes Sedai, referring to his “beautiful” battles.

“A beautiful battle is one you don’t have to fight,” Mat says.

Mat Cauthon Quotes from Knife of Dreams - a red parchment reads, “You’re not my enemy, but your Empire is.”
Mat Cauthon. Knife of Dreams, Chapter 36 – Under an Oak.

Mat has no misconceptions about the Seanchan and doesn’t intend to return to Ebou Dar when Tuon suggests he has “an honored place in the Empire, now.”

“You’re not my enemy,” Mat responds, “but your Empire is.”

Perrin Aybara Quotes from Knife of Dreams

Perrin Aybara Quotes from Knife of Dreams - a red parchment reads, “Some people thought scars a sign of toughness. It seemed to Perrin that fewer scars meant that you knew what you were doing.”
Perrin Aybara (thought). Knife of Dreams, Chapter 4 – A Deal.

Perrin Aybara smells confidence in the Seanchan woman riding a warhorse. She only has two scars, one on her cheek and another that has taken part of an eyebrow.

“Some people thought scars a sign of toughness,” the text tells us from Perrin’s point of view, “It seemed to Perrin that fewer scars meant that you knew what you were doing.”

Perrin Aybara Quotes from Knife of Dreams - a red parchment reads, “When the Wolf King carries the hammer, thus are the final days known. When the fox marries the raven, and the trumpets of battle are blown.”
Tylee Khirgan. Knife of Dreams, Chapter 4 – A Deal.

The woman is Tylee Khirgan, a Seanchan Battle General, who quotes from the Prophecies of the Dragon on meeting Perrin Aybara. “When the Wolf King carries the hammer, thus are the final days known. When the fox marries the raven, and the trumpets of battle are blown.”

These cryptic lines confirm that Perrin and Mat are referenced in the prophecies of the Dragon.

More Legendary Quotes from Knife of Dreams

Best Quotes from Knife of Dreams - a red parchment reads, “The sweetness of victory and the bitterness of defeat are alike a knife of dreams.”
Prose. Knife of Dreams, Preface – Fog and Steel.

The prefaces are always rewarding and usually gift us the book title. “The sweetness of victory and the bitterness of defeat are alike a knife of dreams,” is a quote from Fog and Steel by Madoc Comadrin. It is a book about soldiering that Matrim Cauthon likes to quote.

Best Quotes from Knife of Dreams - a red parchment reads, “Thieves are always the most careful of their purses.”
Yukiri Haruna. Knife of Dreams, Prologue – Embers Falling on Dry Grass.

“Thieves are always the most careful of their purses,” Yukiri Haruna begins as she unpicks the Red Sister Pevara’s plan to attack a meeting of the Black Ajah. To the Gray Sister, it sounds “less like chopping off a chicken’s head than like trying to wrestle a leopard in the dark.”

Favorite Quotes from Knife of Dreams - a red parchment reads, “My name is Nynaeve ti al’Meara Mandragoran. The message I want sent is this. My husband rides from World’s End toward Tarwin’s Gap, toward Tarmon Gai’don. Will he ride alone?”
Nynaeve al’Meara. Knife of Dreams, Chapter 20 – The Golden Crane.

Aldragoran wears the hadori of Malkier but rarely thinks about the lost home of his youth as he deals in fine stones in Saldaea now. He is shocked when a young Aes Sedai needs to use his messenger pigeons and is numbed to the core by her missive. Nynaeve is commanding and typically fierce:

“My name is Nynaeve ti al’Meara Mandragoran. The message I want sent is this. My husband rides from World’s End toward Tarwin’s Gap, toward Tarmon Gai’don. Will he ride alone?”

Favorite Quotes from Knife of Dreams - a red parchment reads, “Lews Therin hummed even harder, making Rand wish the man had a face so he could hit him.”
Rand al’Thor (thought). Knife of Dreams, Chapter 21 – Within the Stone.

When Rand sees Caraline Damodred, a Cairhienin noblewoman, he shudders at her striking resemblance to her cousin, Moiraine. It stirs Lews Therin, too, as Robert Jordan tells us, “Lews Therin hummed even harder, making Rand wish the man had a face so he could hit him.”

There’s room for more, so let me know your favorite quotes from Knife of Dreams, and I’ll add to these selections. Use the comments section below this post to submit your suggestions.

Where Does the Wind Rise in Knife of Dreams?

Knife of Dreams Quotes - a red parchment reads, “The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose above the broken mountain named Dragonmount. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning."
Prose. Knife of Dreams, Chapter 1 – When Last Sounds.

The Wheel of Time’s pages turn, and chapters come and pass, leaving quotes that become legendary. In one quote, called iconic by some, in Chapter 1, a quote yet to come, a quote long past, is the above paragraph.

The repeated opening is always the beginning of Chapter 1, but there are rarely like beginnings. The wind tends to rise in different places, and in Knife of Dreams, it is above the broken mountain named Dragonmount.

This immense mountain rose when Lews Therin Telamon traveled in grief to a deserted plain and destroyed himself with the One Power. It stands east of Tar Valon, close to the River Erinin.

Per prophecy, the Dragon was reborn on the slopes of Dragonmount. Rand has recently had an epiphany at its summit.

Find More Quotes from The Wheel of Time

You’ll find more quotes from The Wheel of Time in my library of posts celebrating the best from each book. I’ve delved into the literary delights in all 14 novels and the prequel. You can reach them by tapping any of the image links below:

Listen to Knife of Dreams

Kate Reading and Michael Kramer read The Wheel of Time for the audiobook series. It means we have a complete audio experience boasting consistent narration and charismatic voice performances. I can’t recommend listening to them enough.

If you want to enjoy hearing these quotes from Knife of Dreams spoken aloud, you can find out more about the Knife of Dreams audiobook by visiting my dedicated post. Just tap the image below:

Books on a red background. Red and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 11: Knife of Dreams Audiobook.”

Alternatively, you can listen to a sample recording from the audiobook at Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Use the comments section below if you have any remarks about this post, primarily if I’ve not used your favorite quote from Knife of Dreams. I’ll act swiftly to atone for any oversights. Your general feedback is always appreciated, too, of course.

Until next time, may the Light shine on you, my friends!

Russell

Books on a cloudy gray background with gray and white typography. It is a clickable link to the “Best Quotes from The Gathering Storm” post.

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