The Wheel of Time on Prime delivered a professional and slick promo video of one of the most iconic weapons of the series for WoT Wednesday. "Crafting the Blade" was a big step up from the previous two promos that seemed to have been slapped together without much planning by Amazon. This one was more inline with the Table Read video.
There were however two questions that fans seemed to have. "Is this Tam/Rand's sword" and "where is the Heron on the hilt?".
Who's Bloody Sword is it?
While WoTonPrime didn't explicitly state that the sword was Rand's Heron-marked blade, the highlighted page and text is from when Tam's sword is first being described, so that seems to be strongly what they were implying and probably thought was obvious. Also there was this.
On top of that, it also appears to be the exact same sword that was next to Rand in the set photos of him on the archery range at Fal Dara.
While one is in a scabbard and ones not, the hilts match. Which leads us to...
Where's the Bloody Heron on the Hilt?
A thick belt slanted around Tam’s waist, and from the belt hung a sword, with a bronze heron on the black scabbard and another on the long hilt
Not only did they not highlight this part of the description, the sketch in the video doesn't show or point to there being a Heron on the hilt.
Some fans have pointed out that we can only see the left side of the hilt and that the Heron would be on the right side. The problem with that explanation though, is that we have seen both sides.
The above image comparing the two swords, while helpful for a comparison, is misleading. The image from the archery range has not only been rotated, it's been reversed.
While the sword is on a slight angle, that is clearly a view of the right side, and while the image quality this zoomed in isn't great, there doesn't appear to be any hint of a Heron on the hilt. On the scabbard maybe, hilt no.
Does it Matter?
Is no Heron on he hilt the end of the world? Is it a reason to throw a fit and pronounce to the world that the showrunner has ruined the show? No.
Is it disappointing to some fans and another reason they might have to worry about how respectful the producers are being to the source material? Yes.
Twice and twice shall he be marked, twice to live and twice to die. Once the heron, to set his path. Twice the heron, to name him true. Once the Dragon, for remembrance lost. Twice the Dragon, for the price he must pay.
Will this part of the Karaethon Cycle still be in the show? Clearly if there is no Heron on the hilt, how it comes about will need to be altered or it could be scrapped completely.
Why the Change?
Perhaps the answer is here.
How the sword as described and envisioned by Jordan doesn't fit into Judkins version of the world, is a mystery.
If it was purely an aesthetic decision, or worse, a marketing one. That would be saddening to hear. Is it too much to ask, that for certain iconic items, or parts of the series, that they at least try to stick as closely as possible to what Jordan wrote?
We'll need to WAFO to get the definitive answer to that, but from Judkins recent Q&A, it very well could be.
Disclaimer: WAFO reserves the right to be totally wrong about there being no Heron on the hilt and to look totally foolish.