Thomas Covenant is the central character of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. He is an author who develops leprosy; his wife Joan leaves him and takes their young son Roger with her. His Leprosy results in him becoming an outcast from the rest of society; his bills are paid by anonymous others and his groceries are delivered to him on Haven Farm to keep him out of the town and away from the general public.
Having lost the two last fingers on his right hand to leprosy, he has an uncanny resemblance to the Land's Berek Halfhand, the creator of the Land's Council of Lords, and one of its foremost heroes. Some in the Land mistake him for Berek returned, as legends said he would come again.
Before his diagnosis, Covenant wrote a novel; within six months of being published, it spent a year on the bestseller lists. Even so, he had feared that the book would not do well and they lived off Joan's income, she being a successful horse trainer. He struggled with his next book and retreated to Haven Farm for privacy in order to work. When she returned, they discovered he had contracted leprosy.
His illness led to gangrene and the amputation of his right pinky and ring finger. He spent six months in a leprosarium where he learned about VSE. Having seen the horrors leprosy causes if a diligent regimen is not maintained, he started carrying a penknife around with him to hold against his skin when he felt his diligence fading.
He named himself The Unbeliever when he arrived in the Land in an act of defiance at what he thinks is a dangerous hallucination. Covenant doesn't like heights and has a fear of horses.
He first enters the Land when he is about to be struck by a police car, after going directly to the phone company to pay that bill. During his transition to the Land, he is spoken to by Lord Foul and Drool Rockworm. After he arrives on Kevin's Watch, he is greeted by a girl named Lena, who treats him with hurtloam. He believes the world around him is a dream, which can be fatal to a man whose life is rigorously controlled. The hurtloam treatment results in feeling returning to his limbs, furthering his unbelief and fear of the Land.
He becomes acquainted with the people of Mithil Stonedown, including Lena's parents Trell and Atiaran and her intended young man Triock. He sees Trell reassemble a broken stone pitcher and Atiaran speak to the village and tell them a story. Overwhelmed, he rapes Lena and is nearly killed by Triock. Atiaran intercedes and says that the Lords must deal with him, and so she leads him toward Revelstone despite her own hatred of Covenant.
Atiaran, with great chagrin, guides Covenant to the Hills of Andelain, a region of the land where the Earthpoweris especially strong. There she entrusts Covenant to the care of Saltheart Foamfollower, one of the Unhomed Giants, who are allies of the people of the Land. The Giants, a seafaring people who live on the eastern coast of the Land, have a strong understanding of the Earthpower, especially as it relates to the Sea and other waters. Foamfollower is able to sail his stone boat up one of the great rivers of the Land to Revelstone, the Lords' mountain fortress.
Covenant delivers the message of Lord Foul to the Lords. He is invited into their council as an "ur-Lord" because of his connection to Berek, and his white gold ring, which the Lords recognize as having the power to unleash the "wild magic" which may be the key to defeating Lord Foul. Despite the obvious danger, the Lords decide to make an effort to wrest the powerful Staff of Law from Drool's evil grasp. Rather than waging an all-out war, the Council sends four Lords and a band of forty warriors to attempt to infiltrate Drool's lair at Mount Thunder.
Led by High Lord Prothall, and accompanied by the Lords' sleepless and ageless protectors the Bloodguard, and the Giant Foamfollower, the Lords' party sets out eastward. Covenant joins them in the hope that the recovery of the Staff of Law will somehow assist in his return to his "real" world. Along the way, Covenant attempts to come to terms with whether or not to believe in the reality of the Land. He also attempts to redeem himself for his outrage against Lena by commanding one of the Ranyhyn, the wild, free and intelligent horses of the eastern Plains of Ra, to do homage to her yearly. The Ramen, a tribe of humans who dedicate their lives to care and protection of the Ranyhyn, though repulsed to see their equine companions under Covenant's compulsion, agree to assist the quest on the last leg of its journey.
In the end, at the cost of many deaths, the Lords succeed in penetrating Mount Thunder and seizing the Staff, temporarily securing peace for the Land. Covenant destroys Drool Rockworm and saves the surviving members of the party by using the wild magic of his ring to summon the Fire-Lions, creatures of living lava which issue from the peak of Mount Thunder, although he does not fully control or even understand his power.
After the death of Drool, who had used the Staff of Law to summon Covenant to the Land, Covenant feels his physical body fading away, loses consciousness, and wakes up in his own world, a leper once more.
Several weeks after returning to his world from The Land, the leper Thomas Covenant is taking a phone call from his ex-wife Joan when he falls and hits his head, waking to find himself back in the Land, in the chamber of the Council of Lords of Revelstone.
Angered by the fact that he has been transported away from "reality," Covenant nevertheless believes he is once again experiencing a dream or delusion due to his head injury. His hypothesis is supported by the fact that the Land has seen the passing of forty years compared to the few weeks that have passed in his own world: the High Lord of the Council is Elena, the daughter of Lena and the product of Covenant's rape (though he does not know this when he first returns), and now, Covenant's summoner. Elena shows no ill will towards her biological father, and she and Covenant become close friends.
Elena explains that the evil Lord Foul has assembled a massive army, with which he now threatens the people of The Land. For forty years, the Lords have dedicated themselves to the study of Kevin's Lore, training new students at the school at the tree city of Revelwood. Only Mhorham remains from Lords of the council during the quest for the Staff of Law, but seven new Lords have taken their seats, having mastered both the magical and martial arts. The horse-tending Ramen have been enlisted to patrol the frontier near Foul's dominions. The Warward, the army of Revelstone, is full of battle-ready volunteers and is led by Hile Troy, who came to the Land from Covenant's world. An attempt was even made to attack Lord Foul directly, via a commando raid on his lair at the Land's eastern edge; although the raid, led by Lord Mhoram, failed, valuable knowledge was gained about Foul's forces.
The commander of Foul's army is one of three brothers of the race of Giants, a people previously thought incorruptible. With the aid of the powerful Illearth Stone, Foul's non-corporeal servants, the Ravers, have possessed the three brothers, now renamed Kinslaughterer, Fleshharrower and Satansfist. In shame and despair, the other Giants offer no resistance as Kinslaughterer murders them all in their home city. Thus, the Lords have lost their strongest and bravest ally in the fight against evil.
Nevertheless, the Lords resolve to meet the enemy on the battlefield. Hile Troy is a genius in military tactics who developed a mystical form of sight when hurtloam, a magical mud with miraculous curative properties, was used to try and "heal" his lack of eyes. (The hurtloam used to heal Covenant's head injury also has the effect of "curing" his leprosy). While Troy leads the army to confront Fleshharrower's attacking force, Elena and Covenant go in search of the Seventh Ward, a repository of ancient magical power which Elena believes will ensure victory.
Covenant, Elena and their two Bloodguard protectors journey through the remote mountain region on the western frontier of the Land to the hiding place of the Ward. Elena gains the power, but foolishly uses it to summon the long dead High Lord Kevin from his grave, and send him against Lord Foul. This act breaks the Law of Death, the barrier preventing the souls of the dead from interfering in the world of the living. Kevin's spirit is easily defeated and then enslaved by Foul wielding the Illearth Stone, and commanded to destroy Elena. The two High Lords engage in a battle of magic, in which Elena and her Bloodguard are defeated and killed, and the Staff of Law lost again. Covenant is able to save himself and his Bloodguard by using the power of his white gold ring, again without understanding how.
Meanwhile Hile Troy has been forced into a desperate retreat by the superior force of the Raver's army to the edge of a dangerous, forbidding forest known as Garroting Deep. In desperation, he and Lord Mhoram beg the aid of Caerroil Wildwood, an immortal Forestal who is charged with protecting the ancient forests of the Land from the Ravers. Wildwood brings the forest to life, totally destroying Foul's army, and personally "garrotes" Fleshharrower. The victory is a Pyrrhic one, however: the Lords' army is nearly obliterated, three Lords besides Elena have been killed, and Hile Troy has sacrificed himself as the price for the Forestal's aid, becoming Wildwood's immortal apprentice.
The war thus ends in a draw, and with the death of High Lord Elena his summoner, Covenant once again returns to his own world. His ex-wife has long since hung up the phone, and he is a leper once more.
Back in his own "real" world, Thomas Covenant is devastated by the loss of Elena, though he still maintains to himself that his experience in the Land was all just a dream. Tormented by this unanswerable paradox, he neglects his physical condition; he stops taking his medications and fails to treat his head wound, allowing his dormant leprosy to once again become active.
Wandering in the woods outside of his home town, he comes upon a lost little girl suffering from a rattlesnake bite. At this point he is once again summoned to the Land, this time by the desperate High Lord Mhoram, who is in need of aid. Covenant finds that seven years have gone by since the Illearth War, and Lord Foul is preparing for his final assault on the people of the Land. Foul has enslaved the tormented spirit of former High Lord Elena, who now wields the Staff of Law in the service of evil. The Lords have lost their most loyal defenders, the semi-immortal Bloodguard, and the Land has been cast into a perpetual winter. Furthermore, Lord Foul has rebuilt his army, which, under the command of the third Giant-raver Satansfist, now besieges the Lords' mountain-fortress of Revelstone. As a last resort, the Lords have decided to call upon Covenant, in the hope that he will be able to use the wild magic power of his white gold ring to repel the siege and save the Land from total destruction.
Covenant, however, demands that Mhoram release the summons in order to allow him to save the girl's life in the "real" world. Mhoram assents. Covenant does manage to save the girl, but at the cost of being poisoned by the rattlesnake venom he has sucked out of her. In this state and with the knowledge that the girl is safe, he accepts another summoning.
Covenant finds himself once again at Kevin's Watch, the place to which Lord Foul transported him at the time of his first summoning by Drool Rockworm. This time he has been brought to the Land by the joint efforts of Triock, jilted lover of Lena (whom Covenant raped on his first trip to the Land resulting in the birth of Elena) and the Giant Saltheart Foamfollower, his boon companion from the quest from the Staff of Law and one of the last two surviving Giants. Descending from the mountain and travelling east with Lena and Foamfollower in search of Lord Foul's demesne, Covenant is horrified to witness the depredations caused by Foul and his servants. South of the Plains of Ra, Covenant finds that his old bodyguard Bannor has joined with the Ramen in an attempt to protect the Ranyhyn, the intelligent, free horses who formerly served the Bloodguard as mounts. Covenant convinces the Ramen to take the Ranyhyn south to safety; Bannor, though no longer sustained by the power of his Vow, accompanies him on his journey east. Kidnapped by Ravers, Covenant confronts Elena and uses the power of his white gold ring to dismiss her ghost, although this results in the destruction of the Staff of Law. Bannor declines to follow Covenant further, although he accepts the metal heels of the Staff for safekeeping and eventual return to the Lords. Meanwhile Lord Mhoram, after a protracted battle, is able to break the siege of Revelstone and kill Satansfist.
Afterwards, Covenant and Foamfollower journey to Ridjeck Thome, the very heart of Lord Foul's dominion, where they succeed in defeating Foul; this act also repairs much of the havoc caused by Elena's breaking of the Law of Death. Covenant, who has finally gained full comprehension of and control over the power of the wild magic, uses it to destroy the Illearth Stone: in the final cataclysm Foamfollower is killed and so, seemingly, is Covenant.
However, his consciousness remains, and while in a state somewhere between being and non-existence, he is spoken to in the darkness by the voice of the old beggar from the beginning of the first book, who is in fact the Creator of the Land. The Creator thanks Covenant for saving his creation and asks him what reward he might accept. Excitedly, Covenant asks the Creator to save Foamfollower, but the Creator regretfully tells Covenant that even he cannot undo something which has already occurred: otherwise the Arch of Time, the fundamental structure underlying the Land's universe, will be destroyed. The Creator explains that this restriction, in fact, is what prevented him from dealing with Foul directly: he had to act through a proxy, Covenant, and even after causing Covenant to be transported to the Land, the Creator did not interfere with Covenant's freedom of will in any way. The decision to "save or damn" the Land was Covenant's own.
The Creator then tells Covenant that he has a choice: either he can remain in the Land in full health, or he can be returned to life in his own world, where he otherwise would have died from an allergic reaction to the anti-venom treatment applied to his unconscious body. Covenant, still unwilling to fully accept the Land, chooses the latter and awakes in his hospital bed, weakened from his physical trauma, still afflicted with his disease, but happy to be alive, and secure in the knowledge that he had not failed the Land
After Covenant is stabbed in the chest by one of Foul's dupes in the "real" world, he loses consciousness and hears a familiar voice: Lord Foul's. Taunting Covenant that there is "more despair bound up for you than your petty mortal heart can bear", Foul vows that he will have his final revenge on Covenant and the Land.
He awakes to find that both he and Linden have been transported to the Land - to Kevin's Watch, the mountain at the Land's south frontier where he was first summoned by Drool Rockworm ten years before. His wound has been healed - somehow Covenant was able to use the "wild magic" of his white gold ring, although he had no conscious control over the process. Descending from the Watch, he also finds that a terrible change has transpired: four thousand years have passed, the Earthpower is gone, or nearly gone, and the people of the Land are out of touch with what remains of it. The Land is afflicted with the Sunbane, a disruption of the physical order which alternately causes rain, desert, pestilence and unnatural fertility to wreak havoc on man, animals and nature.
The people of the Land have turned to human sacrifice as a means of harnessing the power of the Sunbane: shortly after their arrival, Covenant and Linden are taken prisoner and condemned to be "shed". They escape, but shortly thereafter Covenant is bitten by a monster. Linden, who has become imbued with a form of clairvoyance which allows her to perceive the fundamental nature of people and things in this world (which, with her medical training, she comes to think of as her "health-sense") is able to save Covenant from a life-threatening infection, but the venom from the bite leaves Covenant unable to control the destructive power of the wild magic. Stephen R. DonaldsonDespite these difficulties, Covenant and Linden Avery join with Sunder and Hollian, a man and woman of the Land, to travel to Revelstone to challenge the corrupt new rulers of the Land, the Clave. On the journey, Covenant enters the Andelainian Hills, a region of the land free of the Sunbane. There he meets with the Forestal Caer-Caveral (formerly Warmark Hile Troy) and the spirits of the long-dead characters of the First Chronicles, who provide him with rather cryptic advice concerning the plight of the Land. Saltheart Foamfollower gives Covenant something more: Vain, a creation of the ur-viles, who accompanies Covenant to Revelstone. (Linden, Sunder, and Hollian have already been captured by the Clave and imprisoned there.) Once there, Covenant agrees to undertake a "soothtell", a ritual of divination by blood. Before Covenant can defend himself the Clave's minions open his veins: this triggers the ritual. Covenant thus discovers that the cause of the current condition of the Land is the destruction of the Staff of Law, which he himself had wrought. Without the strength of the Staff to protect it, the Earthpower itself has been corrupted by Lord Foul; hence, the Sunbane.
Covenant also discovers that the leader of the Clave, the na-Mhoram, is a Raver, one of Lord Foul's immortal, incorporeal servants. As each new na-Mhoram succeeds the last, the Raver takes possession, ensuring that the Clave continues to maintain the Banefire which strengthens the Sunbane. The Banefire is fed by copious quantities of blood: among the victims held by the Clave for future sacrifice are a group of Haruchai, the descendants of the race which formerly served the Land as the Bloodguard. Covenant frees the Haruchai and his friends and retrieves the krill, an ancient and powerful sword forged in the days of the Old Lords, but, due to his power-madness combined with his blood loss, is unable to single-handedly battle the combined power of the Clave, and thus is forced to leave Revelstone.
Revelstone is located at the western limit of the Land; beyond is only mountainous wastes. Hence, Covenant and his companions set out east. Their journey is made perilous by the corruption of the Sunbane and the perversity of Sarangrave Flat, a marshy plain on the lower portion of the Land which has been inhabited for millennia by the "lurker", a mysterious and malevolent creature which is aroused by the presence of power. However, the party is preserved by Covenant's wild magic, Linden's health-sense, the Sunbane survival skills of Sunder and Hollian, and the physical prowess of the Haruchai.
As they approach the sea-coast at the eastern edge of the Land, the travellers encounter a party of Giants, of the same race as Foamfollower's long-dead people. Covenant, Avery, Vain, and four of the Haruchai take ship with the Giants in search of a solution to the matter of the Staff of Law, leaving Sunder and Hollian in the Land to try to gather resistance to the Clave in preparation for the final battle.
Following the vision he received from the Clave at Revelstone, Thomas Covenant has resolved to find a solution to the problem of the destruction of the Staff of Law, the result of which has been the corruption of the Land's natural beauty by the curse of the Sunbane. He is accompanied on his quest by Linden Avery, a physician from his own "real" world, and four Haruchai bodyguards. Their means of travel from the Land is a ship crewed by the Giants, a benevolent, seafaring people from a distant region of the Earth. The journey is made more difficult by Covenant's continuing relapses into sickness caused by the venomous bite of a Sunbane-spawned monster: the venom leaves Covenant prone to uncontrollable outbursts of power-madness, the wild magic unleashed by his white gold ring posing an imminent danger to those around him. Linden, who in this world is endowed with a kind of clairvoyance, is frustrated by her inability to help him.
From the Land, the Giant-ship sails to the home of the Elohim, a race of beings who are known to possess supreme wisdom. Linden perceives that the Elohim are in fact the embodiment of Earthpower, the mysterious energy which is the source of the beauty and magic found in this world. Despite their seeming omnipotence, the Elohim are bound by a strange code of behavior, and provide no direct help to the quest, other than showing the Giants the location of the One Tree, from which the Staff of Law was fashioned. This knowledge was hidden in Covenant's mind by the Forestal Caer-Caveral (Hile Troy), but Covenant lacked the means to reveal it. In the course of rendering this service, the Elohim cause Covenant to go into a catatonic state - "don't touch me" is all he can say.
Sailing the course which has been charted for them, the travelers find that one of the Elohim, named Findail, has joined them aboard the Giants' ship, for purposes which he declines to reveal. The questors are not pleased at this uninvited companion but are powerless to make him leave. After suffering severe damage in a storm, in which Findail refuses to help, the ship arrives at the port city of the Bhrathair, a militaristic - but also wealthy and civilized - people living at the edge of a great desert. The Bhrathair are ruled by the gaddhi, Rant Absolain, who rather coldly receives the quest's shore party, and it is discovered that the true ruler is the gaddhi's chief adviser, a wizard named Kasreyn of the Gyre. Kasreyn initially appears to be kindly disposed to the quest but is revealed to have ulterior motives.
The ship is repaired, but the ill will between the travelers and the gaddhi breaks out into overt violence. Two of the Haruchai guards lose their lives - one at the hands of a Sandgorgon, a monster indigenous to the desert, and one killed by a hustin, a semi-human creature of the gaddhi's guard. The feud was in fact the result of a manipulative ploy by Kasreyn. The wizard abducts Covenant, who is still in a catatonic state, and attempts to use his powers to compel Covenant to give up his ring. The remainder of the shore party is imprisoned in the dungeon. Using her power to invade Covenant's consciousness - which she had been loath to use because she abhors the idea of "possession" - Linden breaks Covenant's catatonia and thwarts Kasreyn's efforts to seize the ring. Covenant and the Haruchai fight their way to Kasreyn's laboratory, but discover that Kasreyn has a parasitic being, a croyel, living on his back and providing him with extended longevity, as well as immunity to physical attack. Findail destroys this croyel, killing Kasreyn and setting off a palace coup that leaves the port in a state of chaos.
The ship narrowly escapes, and further travel eventually brings the quest to the island where the One Tree is located. Brinn, Covenant's Haruchai bodyguard, sacrifices himself in a duel with the Tree's Guardian ak-Haru Kenaustin Ardenol (himself a figure from Haruchai mythology who represents their idea of the perfect warrior), and is then regenerated as the new Guardian and leads the party to the Tree itself.
When Covenant attempts to take a piece of the Tree using his power of wild magic, he is stopped by Cable Seadreamer, the mute giant. When Seadreamer makes the attempt himself, he is killed: he has disturbed the Worm of the World's End, which sleeps beneath the Tree and whose "aura" serves as a defense mechanism. This aura triggers Covenant's power to an exponential degree. As Covenant attempts to overwhelm the Worm with his power, Findail warns Linden that the Arch of Time cannot contain the struggle between the two powers and that the world will be destroyed if it continues.
Linden, much against her will, mentally reaches out to Covenant. Sharing his thoughts, she sees him open a passage back to the "real" world and attempts to return her to it. She senses, however, that in the "real" world Covenant's body is very weak (from the stab wound inflicted just before the summoning) and will die if he does not himself return. Unwilling to do this, Covenant draws Linden back through the rift between the worlds. With her help, he is able to contain his power, but at the price of the Isle of the One Tree sinking beneath the ocean as the earth heaves with the movements of the Worm of the World's End settling back from disturbance into slumber. Thus, the quest ends in failure.
Leaving the sunken island of the One Tree, the Giant ship Starfare's Gem sets course to return to the Land. In a dangerous region of the ocean known as the Soulbiter, the ship is blown off course into the far northern reaches of the Earth and becomes ice-bound. Realizing that the Land's need cannot wait for the spring melt, Thomas Covenant leaves the ship and strikes out south over the ice-scape, accompanied by Linden, Vain, Findail the Elohim, Cail of the Haruchai, and four Giants.
The party encounters many dangers on its journey but reconnoiters with Sunder and Hollian, the man and woman of the Land who Covenant left behind in order to attempt to gather resistance to the Clave, the corrupt rulers of the Land. They have little comfort to offer: the Clave has become so blood-hungry that entire villages have been completely emptied in order to sustain the Banefire, making the corruption of nature by the Sunbane worse than ever. Only the stalwart Haruchai, freed from the Clave's magical coercion, have rallied to the side of freedom.
Covenant and his companions nevertheless march on Revelstone, the mountain fortress of the Clave. Once there, Covenant stuns the others by summoning a Sandgorgon, the beast responsible for the deaths of two of his Haruchai companions in the previous book. The Sandgorgon, grateful to Covenant for having previously spared its life, breaches the outer defenses of the great Keep. After a tremendous struggle, Covenant and the Sandgorgon are able to destroy the Raver who leads the Clave, although at the price of the life of Grimmand Honninscrave, the valiant Giant captain of Starfare's Gem.
Mourning the loss of his friend and the deaths of many of the innocent denizens of Revelstone, Covenant is able to come to terms with his power-madness, through a process in which he mimics the Giantish caamora, a ritual of purification by fire. Using the Banefire and the wild magic of his white gold ring, he is able to negate the effect of the strange venom with which he has been infected. The process hurts Covenant but does not do him permanent injury. With the aid of the Sandgorgon, Linden and Covenant are able to extinguish the Banefire. The defeat of the Clave causes the corruption of the Sunbane to diminish but not to disappear.
Sending Cail and the Giant Mistweave to reconnoiter with Starfare's Gem at the eastern coast of the Land, and charging the remaining Haruchai to resume their Bloodguard forebears' role as the warders of Revelstone, Covenant and the rest of his party set out to challenge Lord Foul directly, in his lair in the depths of Mount Thunder. En route, Hollian and her unborn child die resisting an attack of a band of Sunbane-warped ur-viles. Sunder is left numb and wordless with grief: in Andelain the Forestal Caer-Caveral sacrifices his immortal life to re-unite Sunder with Hollian and the yet-to-be-born child and give them a second chance at life. In so doing, he breaks the Law of Life, which prevents the dead from intervening directly in the world of the living. Bereft of the Forestal's protection, Andelain begins to succumb to the Sunbane. Covenant leaves the young family in Andelain and continues his journey, accompanied by Linden, two Giants, Vain, and Findail.
At Mount Thunder, Covenant gives the white gold ring willingly to the Despiser, an action which was foretold by Lord Foul upon Covenant's initial return to the Land; Linden Avery refrains from preventing him from this action, despite her ability to do so. The Despiser then kills Covenant, and attempts to destroy the Arch of Time with the wild magic. However, Covenant's spirit blocks his assault: in a manner similar to the cleansing experience with the Banefire, the power of wild magic causes Covenant pain but does not harm him, and in fact makes him more powerful with each attack. (Covenant later explains, "Foul did the one thing I couldn't: he burned the venom away.") Covenant's ability to interfere in this manner is revealed as a consequence of the breaking of the Law of Life and a fulfillment of Lord Mhoram's prophecy ("You are the white gold"). Unable to comprehend this, Lord Foul continues to attack Covenant's spirit until he vanishes, drained of all his power. Linden Avery then takes the white gold ring, and uses it to bond Vain with Findail. Linden thus creates a new Staff of Law, combining the rigidness and structure of the ur-viles' lore with the pure and free Earthpower of the Elohim. Then, combining the new Staff with the power of the wild magic, she heals the Land of the Sunbane.
Giving the Staff to the Giants to take to Sunder and Hollian, Linden fades away. In the limbo between the worlds, Covenant speaks to her and explains how he defeated Foul and re-assures her that their love will transcend both time and death. Linden wakes up in the "real" world, finding Covenant dead, as expected, but takes comfort in the knowledge that through his love, she has redeemed both herself and the Land. At the very end of the book, Linden takes Covenant's white gold wedding ring.
The Last ChroniclesEdit
News comes that riders are approaching Revelstone. From the battlements, Linden sees four Masters racing to reach Lord's Keep ahead of the Demondim. With the Masters are Thomas Covenant and Jeremiah.
The arrival of Covenant and Jeremiah brings turmoil. They are tangibly present and powerful, able to evade the forces of the Demondim. Yet they give no satisfactory account of their presence. And they refuse to let Linden touch them: they refuse to acknowledge her love. Instead they insist on being sequestered until they are ready to talk to her. Linden meets with Covenant and Jeremiah in their chambers. Covenant speaks primarily in non sequiturs and evasions, although he insists that he knows how to save the Land. Jeremiah pleads with Linden to trust his companion: Feeling rejected and suspicious Linden refuses when Covenant asks for his white gold ring. In response, Covenant demands that she join him on the plateau, where he will show her how he intends to save the Land. Covenant and Jeremiah create a portal which snatches her away from her present. Without transition she finds herself with Covenant and Jeremiah ten millennia in the Land's past, during the time of Berek Halfhand's last wars before he became the first of the High Lords. They are near the dire forest of Garroting Deep- and they are far from the place and time that Covenant and Jeremiah sought. Covenant and Jeremiah hope to use the EarthBlood and the Power of Command to defeat Lord Foul permanently. Accompanied by the Theomach, Covenant and Jeremiah, she wins the future High Lord's trust by healing his injured. Covenant and Jeremiah transport Linden to Skyweir through a series of spatial portals. Building a door shaped like a large wooden box, he conveys himself, Covenant and Linden deep into Melenkurion Skyweir, to the hidden caves of the EarthBlood. Linden drinks first and uses her Command to expose the secrets of her companions. Covenant shows his ture form, he is Roger Covenant not Thomas, A terrible battle follows during which the Staff of Law turns black. Using her Staff and Seven Words to draw on the EarthBlood, Linden forces Roger and her possessed son to retreat. At last, they reach the safety of Andelain. During the dark of the moon, however, the company meets the Harrow again, Linden ignores both Infelice and the Harrow as she approaches the krill. Reaching the apex of her hidden intention, Linden summons the breakers of the Laws of Life and Death; Elena and Caer-Caveral. Through their presence the spirit of Thomas Covenant is invoked. Yet he too refuses to give her counsel; he cannot.
With her newly-acquired power, Linden enacts her secret desire and hidden intention; she resurrects Thomas Covenant, the only person she feels can help her in her quest to find Jeremiah and defeat the Despiser. But Thomas Covenant appears distraught at her actions; "Oh Linden, what have you done?" Infelice replies that with her conflagration of extreme power, Linden Avery has roused the Worm of the World's End, endangering the Arch of Time itself and all life in the Land.
After the resurrection of Thomas Covenant, Covenant's mind is fractured and often becomes lost among his vast memories of the Land's past acquired from Covenant's existence as the Timewarden.
Thomas Covenant, who must struggle with his memories, takes the Krill from its place in Andelain. However, his former wife Joan is able to attack Covenant with wild magic through the Krill. In desperation, Linden destroys the Construct, which immediately allows Roger to transport himself to the fight, where he promptly murders The Harrow. Before Roger can claim the Staff and Ring, however, his father intervenes, battling against him with Loric's Krill. Through the Krill, Joan exerts her power to harm Covenant, and his hands are so badly burned that Linden is later forced to amputate his remaining fingertips. With Stave's aid against the croyel, Linden is able to combine forces with Covenant to force Roger to flee. At last Esmer arrives, with the Ur-viles and Waynhim, and prevents Roger from fleeing with Jeremiah. Covenant is able to capture the croyel using the Krill, and Esmer takes Roger and transports him away from the fight; he shortly returns with a group of Waynhim and ur-viles, who assist the party to escape.
The conflict of these forces awakens She Who Must Not Be Named. Linden and her companions follow the Ur-viles and Waynhim in seeking a way out, and rely heavily on the strength and endurance of Ironhand Coldspray and her Swordmainnir. By holding the croyel at bay with the threat of Loric's Krill - one of few weapons that can slay the monster - the party are able to bring Jeremiah and the croyel with them. The Skurj also arrive to worsen the situation. Exposed by her EarthSight more intimately to the bane's evil than the other party members - and being a more ready target due to her family history of abuse and despair - Linden's hope finally fails when the party is cornered, and she falls into a catatonic state, deeply traumatized. Covenant first tries to reason with She Who Must Not be Named, then tries to convince Esmer to reveal her true name which would release her. When Esmer refuses Covenant asks Anele to use Liand's orcrest stone to summon the spirits of his parents, Sunder and Hollian. They leave, however, and summon High Lord Elena's spirit as bait for She Who Must Not Be Named. This ploy succeeds at delaying She Who Must Not Be Named from attacking the group. As Elena is being consumed Covenant convinces Esmer to leave them, which allows the Ardent to transport the company away.
The Ardent transports the group to a location near Landsdrop. The Ardent can no longer assist them since he failed to protect The Harrow, and begins to madden and die, though through him the race of the Insequent announce that he has become the greatest among them. Somewhat later, as a final service to Linden, he transports the Cords to Revelstone, so that they might convince the Masters to march against the Sandgorgons and Skurj that are attacking the Upper Land. In the meantime, the party rest and recuperate from their narrow escape from death. Linden is recalled from her catatonic state by Covenant, but her yearning for his love is (from her point of view) spurned. She grows bitter towards him as a result, and refocuses herself on the plight of her son.
Meanwhile, Thomas Covenant travels to the ruins of Foul's Creche to face Joan. He refuses to ride a Ranyhyn per his ancient bargain with them, so the Humbled's Ranyhyn bring with them the steed formerly ridden by The Harrow, which they compel to bear Covenant. On the journey he speaks to the Feroce, diminutive creatures who worship the Lurker of the Sarangrave. They are offshoots of the same race that produced the skest and the sur-jheherrin. The Feroce tell Covenant that the Lurker wants to be allied with Covenant, since it has realised the peril of the Worm as a common enemy. Covenant accepts this alliance, and the Feroce later help him when they battle with the Skest. Covenant reaches Joan by entering a caesure; Branl and Clyme follow him with dogged Haruchai loyalty, though Covenant is only able to free himself from the warped instant of time. He realises that Joan is beyond reach as she rebukes his efforts to help her, and intends to kill him. Covenant calls the Ranyhyn, who are able to distract Joan - due to her love of horses. The distraction provides him the opportunity to drive the Krill through Joan's heart, ending the caesure and freeing the Humbled. Turiya Herem, the Raver who had possessed Joan, flees, and Covenant takes his ex-wife's wedding ring, stripping Foul and his allies of the white gold.
Covenant and the Humbled climb onto the shore to evade a tidal wave caused by the Worm's approach to the Land; they survive, though the Humbled's Ranyhyn mounts are lost. The morning sun has failed to dawn, and Thomas Covenant watches as the stars begin to wink out, one by one.