The Serpent, Spear, and Wheel of Time
A Compendium of Weaponry and Military Costuming
of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time
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** Perrin's hammer **


In a random smithy in Tear, Perrin picks up "the heavier of two hammers. About ten pounds, he estimated, and a larger handle than most people, who did not know metal working, thought was necessary." <TDR: 50, 594, The Hammer> It feels right: one day he will be a blacksmith once again. Smith Ajala has him keep the hammer, to "help you to that day." <TDR: 50, 596, The Hammer>

The hammer has a handle as long as his forearm, <TDR: 50, 596, The Hammer> and Perrin wears it with haft thrust through the loop attached to his wide plain leather belt <TSR: 28, 457, To the Tower of Ghenjei; KoD: 4, 151-155, A Deal, etc.>.

From the Prophecies of the Dragon:

    "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." <KoD: 4, 156, A Deal>.

Thor, wielding his hammer Mjolnir

painting by Mårten Eskil Winge, 1872

Perrin is breaths away from becoming King of Saldaea. Queen Tenobia is unlikely to ever wed; the Broken Crown may well reflect the break in the line of succession. Faile is Davram Bashere's eldest surviving child; Davram is Tenobia's uncle, and first in line to the throne. <TSR: 41, 680, Among the Tuatha'an; LoC: Prologue, 33, The First Message; TPoD: Prologue, 22, Deceptive Appearances>. When Davram Bashere's accuses Perrin of marrying Faile for the Broken Crown, he tells us the Wolf King may well become reality <LoC: 46, 572-573, Beyond the Gate>.

"Sleep, my wolf king," Faile tells him <TSR: 41, 682, Among the Tuatha'an>.

One more sign that Tarmon Gaidon is near ...

Both Perrin's hammer and axe lead us to Perrin's Norse god counterpart, Thor - just as Mat Cauthon is Jordan's Odin, and Rand al'Thor is Tyr. Thor is the god of thunder, of agriculture, of farmers and common folk; Perrin saves the Two Rivers from the Trolloc invasion. Tyr deals in justice and absolutes; Thor is more concerned with fairness, with moral right and wrong, echoing the not-infrequent conflicts between Rand and Perrin.

Physically, Thor is exceptionally strong, large in size, and bearded. Perrin's great strength needs no examples, Thom Merrilin tells Perrin he has "almost the size of an Ogier" <TEotW: 4, 49, The Gleeman>, and Faile convinces him to grow a beard <TSR: 2, 52, Whirlpools in the Pattern>. Thor's weapon is the axe-hammer Mjolnir, historically referred to as club, axe, and hammer, sometimes interchangeably, though it is most commonly depicted as a hammer with a large head and short handle. A weapon that slays giants and levels mountains; Perrin's hammer takes down Trollocs and Myrddraal with a single blow <TSR: 27, 446-448, Within the Ways>.

Perrin wields both axe and hammer; he is Warrior and Smith. A very reluctant warrior: "With the hammer he could make things, had made things, at a forge. The hammerhead weighed more than twice as much as the axe blade, but it was the axe that felt heavier by far every time he picked it up ... there was something comforting in holding [the hammer]." <TSR: 2, 57, Whirlpools in the Pattern> When his axe nearly kills him, Perrin snarls "Blood and ashes, how I hate you!" <TSR: 2, 59, Whirlpools in the Pattern>

Perrin eventually abandons the axe for the hammer <KoD: 27, 599, What Must Be Done>, signalling his commitment to his role as builder, not destroyer. He will use the hammer to protect his own, but his focus is life, not death.

Oh, I know: the analogy's not perfect. Odin is the Norse god associated with wolves. And Rand is named al'Thor, not al'Tyr. I'm sure Jordan is aware, and that his slight-of-pen was intentional.

See also:


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