Many of the events of Winter's Heart take place simultaneously with the events of the next book, Crossroads of Twilight . Perrin Aybara and his followers pursue the Shaido Aiel who kidnapped his wife, Faile Bashere, while Elayne Trakand attempts to suppress rebellious nobles.
Mat Cauthon is trapped in the city of Ebou Dar in Altara, under Seanchan occupation. His escape is disrupted by a Seanchan noblewoman named Tuon, the heir to the Seanchan Crystal Throne; and Mat, having heard a prophecy of his own marriage to the Daughter of the Nine Moons (referring to Tuon herself), kidnaps her.
Rand al'Thor is appointed a Warder by Elayne Trakand, Aviendha, and Min Farshaw; and later kills most of the Asha'man traitors in Far Madding. Lan also kills Toram Riatin in a duel. Caught by guards, he is imprisoned for a short time but is set free by Cadsuane and the other Aes Sedai. Rand and Nynaeve al'Meara Travel to Shadar Logoth. There, defended by Cadsuane Melaidhrin's Aes Sedai and loyal Asha'man against the Forsaken, Rand and Nynaeve use the Choedan Kal to cleanse saidin of the Dark One's influence. In the process, both Shadar Logoth and the access key (of the female Choedan Kal) are destroyed.