Perrin t'Bashere Aybara, or Goldeneyes, is one of the main characters of Robert Jordan's epic fantasy The Wheel of Time.
Perrin is stocky with the thick arms and shoulders of a blacksmith. He has curly brown hair. His eyes were dark brown, although later in the series they became golden, and he also grows a beard. He is about 6'1" or 6'2" (1,85 to 1,88 m) and about 235 to 240 pounds (106 to 108 kg). Starting out as inexperienced, Perrin has grown greatly into his skills as a warrior and, despite his misgivings, a leader. He is often quiet, taking time to think things over and process them which sometimes gives him the appearance of being slow-witted when in truth, he thinks very thoroughly. He is kind-hearted and does not stomach the games or duplicity of others. Ironically, nobles and generals used to playing political games assume Perrin's frankness is a mask for his true thoughts and actions, unaware he is speaking what he truly believes. Like his friends, Perrin is honestly unaware of how inspirational he truly is or his true importance in events.
Perrin begins the series as a broad-shouldered, shaggy-haired apprentice to a blacksmith
who is chased from Emond's Field
with his friends, Rand al'Thor
, Matrim Cauthon
, and Egwene al'Vere
. The group is led away from home by two outsiders, Moiraine Damodred Sedai
and her Warder
, al'Lan Mandragoran
, and followed by their Wisdom, Nynaeve al'Meara
Unbeknownst to anyone except Moiraine Sedai, the three boys are ta'veren, and under the Dark One's eye. Moiraine Sedai intended to bring them to the White Tower for safekeeping. Perrin, for his part, was hardly interested in adventure; a methodical, placid man of great strength and equal gentleness, he would have been happy living out his days in the Two Rivers as a blacksmith.
Unfortunately, the journey went afoul, as most do when the Dark One takes interest, and Perrin and Egwene al'Vere
found themselves separated from their friends. The two were travelling to Caemlyn
(or attempting to) when they met a man in the woods named Elyas Machera
. Elyas was a Wolfbrother
, a man with unusual connections to wolves
. He recognized the latent ability in Perrin as well, and introduced him to a pack of wolves, which included Hopper and Dapple. Perrin's wolf name is Young Bull
Communicating with the wolves changed Perrin somewhat. The irises of his eyes are now gold; he can see, hear and smell better than any man, even to the point of smelling the emotions people are feeling and is able to see very well in the dark and for long distances. He can communicate in a form of telepathy with other wolves, using them for reconnaissance and occasionally as irregular shock troops in battle. Due to the little known fact that wolves live in the Dreamworld as well as in the real world, he has a natural affinity with Tel'aran'rhiod, the World of Dreams. The number of people whom Perrin has told about the full extent of his abilities can be counted on one hand.
Being a Wolfbrother has its costs, though. While following Rand's trail to Tear with Moiraine, Lan Mandragoran, and the Ogier Loial, he met a man in a small town whose brother was a Wolfbrother. The man had gone feral, losing all touch with his human side; to his own mind, he was, in fact, a wolf. Perrin fears the same fate though he wants to know how Elyas Machera manages to remain in control of himself.
The Hawk and the Falcon
Perrin soon became friends with one of Rand's companions, Min Farshaw
, a young woman with oracular visions. One of her 'viewings' told him that eventually he would meet a hawk and a falcon, both female, who would 'perch on his shoulders.' The hawk was seen to have a leash meant for Perrin. Not long after meeting the feral Wolfbrother, he came across the falcon: a Saldaean Hunter for the Horn, Zarine Bashere
, who eventually accompanied the party to Tear. Originally known as Mandarb
, the Old Tongue
word for "blade," she changed her nickname to Faile
—"falcon"—when she found out that Lan Mandragoran
's horse was called Mandarb. In Tear he also made acquaintance with Berelain
sur Paendrag, the First of Mayene, the latest in a long line of Mayener rulers descended from Artur Hawk
wing. Both showed romantic interest in Perrin, and though he did not return Berelain's sentiment, jealousy and possessiveness brought the two women to conflict several times. In the end he chose Faile, but even after his marriage to her, Berelain took advantage of Faile's later absence (see below) to attempt to leash him to her with rumors and suspicions among his followers.
Lord of the Two Rivers
After Rand, Perrin's childhood friend, conquered the Stone of Tear and was declared the Dragon Reborn, Perrin heard rumours that the Children of the Light
had been terrorizing the Two Rivers
. They were actually trying to get Rand to return, but Perrin did it instead, bringing Loial, Faile and their Aiel
friends, Gaul, Bain, and Chiad. After a harrowing passage through the Ways, they arrived at Emond's Field to find Perrin's family dead, and not only Whitecloaks, but Trollocs
in the area. While the Two Rivers
folk waffled, Perrin took charge, not because he wanted to be
in charge but because he knew what to do. He united the Two Rivers
region and repelled both forces. During the campaign, however, the Two Rivers
unanimously accepted him as their new lord and ruler; this, combined with his yellow eyes, has led to them styling him Lord Perrin Goldeneyes of the Two Rivers.
Perrin, a blacksmith at heart, thought it madness. He was much more pleased when Faile agreed to marry him. After spending The Fires of Heaven
on his honeymoon (he was not present in that book's narrative at all, the first but not the last time a main character would disappear so), he raised an army and led them to Cairhien
to help Rand, taking part in the battle of Dumai's Wells.
The Prophet of the Dragon
Rand, always in need of trustworthy commanders, sent Perrin, Faile, the Two Rivers army, Berelain, her Mayeners, some Aiel Wise Ones, oathsworn Aes Sedai
, and two Asha'man
, to Ghealdan. There a man named Masema Dagar
, the so-called Prophet of the Dragon, was causing all sorts of trouble. Perrin's orders were to find Masema (the three had met in The Great Hunt
) and bring him to heel. Tempers flared immediately, not the least between Faile and Berelain.
The task was harder than expected: Masema promised to bring a couple hundred, but brought the whole army along with him instead, and refused the use of a gateway, which would have reduced the months-long journey to an hour or two. Even worse, Perrin's forces were attacked by the Shaido, and Faile taken captive along with several of her guests and retainers (including Queen Alliandre of Ghealdan and, unbeknownst to almost everyone, Morgase Trakand Former-Queen of Andor). Perrin abandoned his task in order to rescue her, eventually joining forces with the Seanchan during Knife of Dreams. In the process, he totally dissolved the Shaido threat, and won the respect of the Seanchan, who now call him the Wolf King. He has reunited with his wife, but with A Memory of Light and Tarmon Gai'don looming, it is questionable how long the two will have in each other's company.
The Axe and the Hammer
The night Perrin left the Two Rivers, he received his signature weapon from his blacksmith master: a moon-bladed hand axe
, crafted on contract but never sold. Perrin has acquainted himself well with it, using muscles accustomed to swinging ten pounds of steel. Not long after meeting Elyas Machera, he asked if he should throw the axe away, but Elyas told him only to do so once he found himself enjoying its use. In Tear, just before Rand took the Stone, Perrin stopped for an unplanned night's work at a Tairen forge, and in payment (and gratitude) the blacksmith gave him the hammer
he had used.
The choice of ax or hammer is one Perrin is constantly having to decide in the wolf dream, where he can change things, and symbolizes the choice between destroyer and creator.
Perrin eventually discarded the ax, just after using it to torture a captive Shaido.
When the Banner-General of the Seanchan army with whom Perrin cooperated met Perrin, she quoted a section of 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.
She believes he is the wolf king. The second line refers to Mat marrying Tuon. The final days and trumpets of battle mean that Tarmon Gai'don nears.