Fri
Jan 30 2009 10:51am

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Eye of the World, Part 4

Meine Damen und Herren, Mesdames et Messieurs, Ladies and Gentlemen! Willkommen, bienvenue, and welcome to Part 4 of the re-read of The Eye of the World, part of the ongoing Re-read of the Wheel of Time series.

Today we will be covering Chapters 27 through 35; previous entries can be found here. As always, spoilers for the entire series lurk below; click at your peril.

Before we get to it, IMPORTANT SCHEDULING NOTE: Next week we’re covering the end of the first book, and it turns out that a whole lot of crap happens as we lead up to the climax. Who knew, right? Correspondingly, the recapping/commentary has gotten rather out of hand, and so instead of two posts on Tuesday and Friday as we have been doing, I’m dividing it up into three posts, which will go up on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Hope that’s not too confusing.

Also, I wanted to say thanks and “aw, shucks” to all y’all who have said such nice things in the comments on the previous entries. I’m really excited it’s going so well, and generating so much interest and discussion; keep it up!

So let’s get on with it, shall we?

Chapter 27: Shelter From the Storm

What Happens
Perrin, Egwene and Elyas travel with the Tinkers. Perrin frets at the slow pace, and observes that Elyas seems out of place and uncomfortable among the joyous, peaceful community of the Tinkers. When he suggests moving on, though, Elyas advises him that that hard times lie ahead, and he’d do well to take rest while he has it. Elyas also says that something tells him they need to wait before leaving the Tinkers, but refuses to elaborate. Everybody dances a lot; one night some of the women do a dance that makes Perrin blush, and they are so delighted by this that they do the dance almost every night thereafter. They start teaching the dance to Egwene, and Aram is fascinated; Ila notes this with worry. Perrin asks Egwene if she’s forgotten about going to Tar Valon and being an Aes Sedai; Egwene replies that for now she’s living in the moment. Perrin has bad dreams about Trollocs and Fades slaughtering the Tinker camp, but knows these are just ordinary nightmares. His awareness of the wolves grows daily. Then one night he dreams that Ba’alzamon comes in to the Luhhans’ kitchen and sets the wolf guarding Perrin on fire, saying that will not protect him if he is the one. He says that he will mark Perrin as his, and a raven stabs Perrin’s left eye out. Perrin wakes from this to find Elyas telling him it’s time to go. The wolves are highly agitated. Elyas tells Raen they have to leave, and everyone gathers to tell them goodbye. Aram takes Egwene aside and argues with her, obviously attempting to convince her to stay, but Egwene just shakes her head. Raen ritually bids them farewell, and Elyas replies that the song will be found someday. They leave, and the wolves come and tell Elyas about what happened in Perrin’s dream, and Perrin understands them. The wolves tell him that the reason Ba’alzamon was able to do that was because he hasn’t fully accepted them, and Perrin forces them out of his head.

Commentary
Best line:

“What did you spend so much time talking about with Ila? If you weren’t dancing with that long-legged fellow, you were talking to her like it was some kind of secret.”

“Ila was giving me advice on being a woman,” Egwene replied absently. He began laughing, and she gave him a hooded, dangerous look that he failed to see.

“Advice! Nobody tells us how to be men. We just are.”

“That,” Egwene said, “is probably why you make such a bad job of it.” Up ahead, Elyas cackled loudly.

Okay, that was pretty funny.

Perrin’s still being a dumbass about the wolves. I get the problem, I really do; as various commenters have pointed out, it’s got to be scary as hell to find yourself talking to predatory animals that were stealing your livestock a few weeks before. But dude, they just told you flat out that if you don’t accept them you’ll be at Ba’alzamon’s mercy again. The wolves might be a bad thing, but you know for damn sure Crazy Flamehead Guy is!

Even leaving that aside, if it comes down to a choice between the two, call me crazy, but I say go for the option that doesn’t involve eye-stabbings. This is not rocket science, here.

Other than that, this chapter is really more of an interlude than anything else (as the chapter title suggests). I think of it as Slice O’ Life Rest Stop, With Sexy Dancing. Which is fine, really; Elyas is quite right in that none of the characters in WOT get a lot of chances to take a break, so we should probably enjoy it while we have it.

Chapter 28: Footprints in Air

What Happens
Nynaeve, Moiraine and Lan arrive at Whitebridge. Nynaeve is fuming over the way Moiraine had evaded her questions during the trip there, and Moiraine’s insistence that Nynaeve needs to go to Tar Valon to be trained. Nynaeve is even angrier with herself when she catches herself thinking of all the good she could do as a Wisdom if she could truly use the One Power. Lan is annoying her too, though she thinks to herself she wouldn’t mind if Lan was there without Moiraine. All three of them are feeling the tension building in the air; Moiraine says the tension is the Dark One’s focus on the world sharpening. Once over the bridge, they see burned out buildings and uneasy townfolk. Most of the people lie about what happened, but they hear that a boat had left the dock right before it was stormed by angry villagers, and that a gleeman might have been on board. Nynaeve asks if the boys might have been on the boat, but Moiraine is doubtful of this. They eat at Bartim’s inn, and Moiraine says she can tell that the two boys who have lost their coins were in the room less than three days ago, and that they left alive. She wants to go find the one who still has his coin first, though, reasoning that she can’t be sure which way the other two went from there, and that they will end up in Caemlyn eventually.

Commentary
Best Line:

[Moiraine:] “Part of the training you will receive in Tar Valon, Wisdom, will teach you to control your temper. You can do nothing with the One Power when emotion rules your mind.”

Well, you can’t be right all the time.

This is another transitional chapter, about which there is little to say except that I’m still finding myself in an unexpected amount of sympathy with Nynaeve. Nobody likes to be treated like a child and kept in the dark by an arrogant manipulator.

And yet, I can also see Moiraine’s side as well; nobody likes to be shouted at and questioned every six seconds by an ignorant bumpkin.

All this sympathy! I’m losing my edge.

Chapter 29: Eyes Without Pity

What Happens
Perrin, Egwene and Elyas travel across the Caralain Grass towards Caemlyn. Elyas is setting a hard pace, and Perrin and Egwene are exhausted. Neither they nor the wolves understand what has Elyas so on edge, until he and Perrin are hidden just below a ridge and see a large flock of ravens burst out of a copse of trees. Perrin feels Elyas warn the wolves to watch the sky, and Elyas says they will have to travel by night to avoid the ravens from now on. There is a place that’s “safe” that Elyas wants to reach. They see the ravens chase down a fox and devour it to the bones in moments. The three run, and a lone raven sees them, but Egwene takes it down with her sling. They continue to run, barely avoiding the huge flock time and again. Behind them, the wolves are attacked by the flock and are badly wounded before driving them off. Elyas watches Perrin, knowing he sensed it, and finally Perrin says there are ravens behind them too.

“He was right,” Egwene breathed. “You can talk to them.”

Perrin’s feet felt like lumps of iron on the ends of wooden posts, but he tried to make them move faster. If he could outrun their eyes, outrun the ravens, outrun the wolves, but above all Egwene’s eyes, that knew him now for what he was. What are you? Tainted, the Light blind me! Cursed!

They run, the ravens behind getting closer and closer, and Perrin resolves that if they are overtaken, he will kill Egwene himself with the axe rather than let the ravens do to her what they did to the fox. Then suddenly he feels a chill run through him that seems to take away some of his tiredness, and Elyas stops. Egwene says she feels like she lost something, and Elyas laughs and says they are safe; they are in a stedding, and no creature of the Dark One will willingly follow them here, and the One Power won’t work here either, even though no Ogier have been in this stedding since the Breaking. They move further in, and set up camp; Egwene is cheerful at the respite, but Perrin is beating himself up, wondering if he would really have been able to kill Egwene. Egwene realizes the rock they are sitting on looks like an eye, and Elyas tells them that is all that’s left of a giant statue of Artur Hawkwing; this was to have been the place where his capital city would have been built, in a stedding where no Aes Sedai could channel, but Hawkwing died before it could be built, and his empire fell apart as his heirs squabbled over it. Only the statue was left, and eventually someone pulled it down. Perrin wishes they were sleeping somewhere else.

Commentary
Jeez, I totally forgot about this whole raven hunt thing. Which is amazing, because it’s really well done; it’s like Jordan took that scene from Fellowship of the Ring and stretched it into a Hitchcock movie.

And ugh, the poor fox! That is disturbing, y’all. Ravens beat Trollocs on my personal Creep Factor Meter any day.

Artur Hawkwing: Though a lot of him is obviously based on Arthurian legend, his life and achievements much more closely parallel that of Alexander the Great, especially the way he died (a fever which some suspect was from poisoning) and how the vast empire he built fell apart after his death. I don’t think the story about Hawkwing dying the very day his monument was completed comes from Alexander, but it definitely rings a bell. Anyone know if that has a real-life or mythological parallel?

(Overall, though, I would bet that this scene was inspired by Shelley’s poem Ozymandias, which is about Ramses II.)

Chapter 30: Children of Shadow

What Happens
A little apart from the camp, Perrin broods over his axe, and Elyas, guessing what he’s agonizing over, tells him that Egwene would have preferred a clean death and he shouldn’t beat himself up over it. Perrin laughs bitterly at how proud he was of the axe before, but now he hates it. He goes to throw it in the pond, but Elyas stops him:

“You’ll use it, boy, and as long as you hate using it, you will use it more wisely than most men would. Wait. If ever you don’t hate it any longer, then will be the time to throw it as far as you can and run the other way.”

Perrin hefted the axe in his hands, still tempted to leave it in the pool. Easy for him to say wait. What if I wait and then can’t throw it away?

Then an urgent sending from the wolves hits them both, and Elyas and Perrin leap up and run back to the fire. They start dismantling the camp as Egwene demands to know what’s happening. Elyas tells Perrin to find a place to hide before running off. As Perrin and Egwene look for a hiding place, he tells her that a large party of men on horseback is heading for the pond, and Dapple (the wolves’ pack leader) says they smell wrong, like a rabid dog. Perrin sees an outcropping of rock, which he realizes is the hand of the Hawkwing statue, and decides to hide there. He tells Egwene, and she asks how he can see anything; Perrin realizes that he shouldn’t be able to see in the darkness, and lies to Egwene that he found it by touch. From their hiding place, Perrin follows the wolves in his mind as the men hunt them with torches. Then the men surround the clearing where they are hiding, and Perrin sees they are Children of the Light. One of them demands that whoever is hiding come out or be killed. Perrin comes out, but before he can surrender Hopper charges into the clearing and attacks the Whitecloak threatening Perrin. The wolf tears out the Whitecloak’s throat, but then the others kill him. Perrin screams, feeling Hopper’s death, and attacks. Something hits his head and he loses consciousness.

He wakes in a tent with Egwene, both of them elaborately bound, and meets Lord Captain Geofram Bornhald and Child Byar. Byar tallies up the casualties from the Whitecloaks’ wolf hunt (nine dead, twenty-three injured), and suggests making the pelt of the wolf that was with Perrin into a rug. Perrin snarls at him — literally — and Bornhald rebukes Byar mildly. Perrin and Egwene try to convince Bornhald that they are not Darkfriends, but everything they say only convinces him further that they are lying. He tells them that they will be coming along with the Children to Caemlyn, and from there to Amador, where they will be given to the Questioners. Byar objects to this, saying they should be executed immediately, and Bornhald tells him that they must be given the chance to walk in the Light. Or Egwene will be given a chance, rather; Bornhald tells Perrin that he killed two of the Children, and will therefore be hung once they reach Amador.

Commentary
Perrin became my favorite character for a while here. The Wolfbrother thing may be a big ol’ fantasy cliché, but oh, my geeky heart loves it so.

This chapter is... interesting, I guess, in that it combines the total awesomeness of Perrin gaining his wolf senses, etc. , with the complete teeth-gnashing horribleness of the Whitecloaks. God, I hate them. Smug, self-righteous... gah.

Dapple’s assessment of them as “rabid dogs” is an insult to rabid dogs, if you ask me. At least the dog didn’t decide to be a slavering loony menace to society.

Hopper’s death still chokes me up. But then, I am always a friggin’ mess anytime animals are harmed in a story; Bambi and Old Yeller remain traumatic events of my childhood. THANKS, DISNEY.

Chapter 31: Play For Your Supper

What Happens
Rand and Mat are on the road, looking for a place to hide while the approaching horsemen go by. Rand touches the scarf wrapped around his nose and throat, and thinks of the farmer who gave them the scarves — one of the few kindnesses they’d received since leaving Whitebridge. Rand thinks back to the days immediately after they’d left the town. They’d slept in bushes more often than not, with little or no food. Once Rand suggested they sell Mat’s dagger, but Mat quickly shot that down, arguing that anyone they tried to sell it to would assume they’d stolen it. Sometimes they worked for a day at a farm in return for food and shelter, but Mat’s increasing suspicion and glowering made this more and more difficult. Then one night they stopped at the farm of a man named Grinwell, and to avoid the oldest daughter Else’s attempts to hit on him, Rand pulled out Thom’s flute and played some tunes while Mat juggled. Grinwell told him that he’d have paid good money for such entertainment at an inn, and Rand was struck by this. At the next village, he went to the innkeeper and played for him, and they ended up performing in the common room, and sleeping in beds with real food inside them. This became the pattern of their travel, until they arrived at the town of Four Kings.

Commentary
This chapter starts the infamous “why does the scene with the scarves happen twice?” confusingness that goes through to the end of Chapter 33. What’s going on is a flashback nested inside another flashback, but it all starts out of order, and look, I have no idea. Steven Cooper, master of WOT chronology, explains it here; go take a look if you want to see how it goes. I’m just here to be snarky tell you what I think.

Else Grinwell is an example of the Law of Conservation of Characters, in that she seems like a throwaway walk-on role, but then shows up again later in a way that is fairly important to the plot. I find this funny, because considering the (literal) Cast Of Thousands we end up with by the time the series is barely halfway finished, Jordan adhering to a law of conservation of anything is just amusing to me.

On Rand and Mat’s travails: for some reason (maybe because it’s about 16 degrees Fahrenheit outside as I write this) I am having a much more visceral appreciation of how much sleeping under a hedge, in cold rain, with no food, must utterly suck than I did before. I have my problems (don’t we all), but I have never once in my life had to go without food or shelter except in the most extreme short-term sense. I am damn lucky.

Chapter 32: Four Kings in Shadow

What Happens
Rand doesn’t like the look of the town, and suggests that maybe they should move on, but Mat is deeply against sleeping under a hedge again, so they look at the inns. The first three inns already have musicians playing, but the fourth, The Dancing Cartman, does not. They go in, and though the oppressive atmosphere is making Rand nervous, he offers their services to the innkeeper, Hake. Hake eyes Rand’s sword acquisitively, and agrees. They perform, and soon the inn is packed while a thunderstorm goes on outside. Rand whispers to Mat at one point that Hake is going to try to rob them; Mat agrees, but insists that they eat before trying to leave. Rand notices a too-well-dressed man watching them like he recognizes them. After a while they eat in the kitchen, and overhear the servingwomen talking about the richly dressed man, and that he had rejected every other inn for this one. Rand sneaks outside and takes a look at the man’s carriage, which is inscribed with the name Howal Gode, and is just like the ones they saw in Whitebridge.

Back inside, Rand and Mat both think he might be a Darkfriend chasing them, but they have no chance to get away. They go back to the common room and play, trapped, until the common room closes for the night; Gode is the last to leave for his room upstairs. Hake shows them to their “beds” in the storeroom, and Rand is sure for a second that he and the bouncers are going to jump them right there, but Hake looks at Rand’s sword again, and leaves. Rand jams some wedges under the door, and he and Mat start trying to pry the bars off the window. Then Gode addresses them through the door, saying they have no choice except to come with him. Mat tells him to leave them alone, and Gode replies that they already halfway belong to his master, and it will be better if they don’t fight it. He starts breaking the door down, and Rand panics, desperate for a way out. Light flashes, and Rand is flung across the room; he recovers to find that the window and most of the outer wall has been blasted to rubble. Mat says it was lightning, and now he can’t see anything. There is no sign of Gode, but Rand sees bodies in the rubble. He hauls Mat out through the hole in the wall and they escape into the rain.

Commentary
This is actually an incredibly tense chapter; Jordan does an excellent job of conveying the panicky, claustrophobic air in which Rand realizes just how trapped they are. Good thing he had an unwitting ace up his sleeve, eh?

Speaking of which, TEOTW is interesting in general because it is pretty much the only time in the series that Rand (and the other Emond’s Fielders, but especially Rand) is truly powerless, in every sense of the word. (I recognize the irony of pointing this out right after Rand has blasted a brick wall into rubble, but powers you can’t control — and aren’t even aware of yet! — are worse than none at all, mostly.)

So, Rand at this point has no magical powers, no weapons training, and now no allies — unless you count Mat, who is destined to become awesome but at the moment is, well, not, what with his brain getting slowly eaten and all — and I think it is this powerlessness, and the frustration with it that Rand feels as a character and we feel as his audience/cheering section, that really solidifies the hook that has dragged us all along through, what, almost twenty years and eleven books. Rand and Co. may become insanely powerful later on, but somewhere in the back of the reader’s head, it is this Rand we remember, and continue to root for.

Chapter 33: The Dark Waits

What Happens
Rand and Mat ride in the cart of a farmer named Hyam Kinch; Rand is feeling much better, and Mat says he can almost see normally again. They watch a unit of armed horsemen ride by, and Kinch explains that they are part of the Queen’s Guard. He says they must be from far off if they don’t know about the Guard, but there’s parts of the Realm that haven’t seen them in a long time. Rand wonders what Bran al’Vere would think to hear that the Two Rivers was part of a Queen’s Realm. Kinch lets them off, saying they are two days from Caemlyn. He hesitates, and offers to let them stay at his farm; Mat is instantly suspicious, and Kinch angrily drives on. Mat then feels bad, but Rand tells him not to worry about it; they need to keep on, anyway. Rand thinks back to what had happened after they left Four Kings.

Rand and Mat stumble away from the town, Mat unable to see anything. He asks Rand not to leave him, and Rand promises he won’t. They find some bushes to hide under, and instantly fall asleep. Rand dreams that he is back in Four Kings, and goes into the Dancing Cartman to find Gode inside, burned almost beyond recognition. “So you are dead,” Rand says to him, and Ba’alzamon replies yes, but Gode found Rand for him and so deserves a reward. Ba’alzamon tells Rand that he belongs to him, and it would be better to kneel to him now, for his “hounds” are jealous, and may not be gentle if they find Rand first. Rand refuses, and Ba’alzamon says alive or dead, it doesn’t matter. He then gives Gode his “reward”, which doesn’t look like it was what Gode thought it was going to be. Ba’alzamon blasts Rand with fire, and Rand wakes up to find his face tender as if burned. Mat is writhing in his sleep:

“My eyes! Oh, Light, my eyes! He took my eyes!”

The next day they set out on the road again, and to Rand’s surprise a farmer named Alpert Mull offers them a ride in his cart. When he lets them off, he gives them scarves, sorry that it’s the best he can do for them. Rand thanks him and says he’s the best man they’ve met in days. They reach the next village, and Rand uses what little coin they have left to purchase meals and a room at the inn. The next morning Mat is overjoyed that he can see again, a little. They are eating breakfast in the common room, feeling much better in general, when a young man with a feathered cap comes in, sees them, and starts in surprise. He comes over and introduces himself as “Paitr” nervously. He asks them to please understand that this wasn’t his idea; Mat stiffens and names him Darkfriend. Paitr does not deny it, and Rand tells him to leave them alone. They go to leave, and Paitr begs them to wait; Rand punches him in the face, and they hurry out of the town. They travel to another village and go to the inn and offer their services; the innkeeper agrees, but before they can start performing, Rand becomes nauseated and starts shaking violently. Mat threatens to show the obviously sick Rand to the innkeeper’s patrons unless he gives them a place to stay, and the innkeeper puts them in the barn. Mat makes a bed out of hay for Rand and tries to help as Rand alternates between bouts of freezing shakes and feverish heat. Rand has nightmares, or maybe hallucinations, that all his friends are dead and asking him why he didn’t save them. Later, Rand wakes to see that Mat has fallen asleep, and a woman dressed in silk has entered the barn. She says she came to check on her horse, and asks if Rand is ill. Rand wakes Mat, and tells the woman he’s fine. She comes and feels his forehead anyway, and then reaches under her cloak and lunges for Mat; Mat dodges and puts the Shadar Logoth dagger to her throat. She freezes, terrified. Rand sees that the dagger she tried to kill Mat with is charring the wood it’s lodged in. Mat goes to kill the woman, and Rand stops him. Mat snarls that she is a Darkfriend, and Rand replies yes, but they are not. As they lock her in the tack room, she lets slip that a Fade is on the way. Mat helps Rand stagger to the road, where a farmer named Hyam Kinch offers them a ride.

Commentary
This is where Jordan basically drops the Anvil of Clue down on anyone’s head who hasn’t yet twigged to what’s going on with Rand. I’m pretty sure I knew what the deal was for sure at this point the first time around. I really hope I did, anyway.

Mat’s “he took my eyes!” quote: I’m really not sure this is foreshadowing, as such. Maybe it is, but Perrin also had a dream where he lost an eye, and (as we will see) so does Rand, and neither of them have any prophesied eye-losing in their futures; they both just happened to be dealing with ravens at the time, and the raven’s standard method of attack happens to be going for the eyes. So, I dunno. As Freud once said, sometimes a horrible blinding nightmare is just a horrible blinding nightmare.

Speaking of Mat, I give him a lot of shit in the early books, and he really does irritate the hell out of me on numerous occasions, but I will give him props here: even with the Shadar Logoth taint chewing on him and taking him to a whole new level of paranoia, he sticks with Rand like white on rice all through this sequence. This is especially interesting in light of the later bits where Mat’s loyalty is called into question. I say, if you can stay true to your friend while starving, freezing, running from people who want to kill you, and literally having holes eaten in your brain, well, you’re probably pretty solid in the loyalty department, actually.

On the Darkfriends: I was initially puzzled as to how exactly they were sniffing Rand and Mat out so easily, since I didn’t remember ever hearing that Darkfriends get any kind of special ESP-like abilities just for being Darkfriends (Fain being a special case and obvious exception), but this is explained later on.

More character conservation going on here: Paitr will show up again later with Morgase in Amador, and the lady in silk Darkfriend will pop up in a number of places as Mili Skane/Lady Shiaine. (What’s sad is: I didn’t have to look any of that up.)

Chapter 34: The Last Village

What Happens
Rand and Mat reach Carysford, and find a haystack to sleep in. The next morning they have a lot of company on the road to Caemlyn, a fact that does not please the locals or the merchant caravans; Rand ends up with a gash over his eye from a wagon driver’s whip. They walk until dark, and come to one last village. Mat wants to stop, but Rand insists they get to the other side of the village first. Midway through the village, they come upon a man with a cart checking his horse, and two other men talking near the inn, one of them hidden in the shadows. Rand senses something wrong with the two men, and hides to watch them. He realizes the man by the cart feels the same way. The man he can see seems very nervous. Then the shadowed man moves off, and Rand sees his cloak doesn’t move in the wind. The man with the cart (Almen Bunt) calls out to the nervous man (Holdwin), saying he’s got strange friends, and Holdwin tells him they are looking for two young men who have stolen a heron-mark sword, and that they are Darkfriends. Bunt seems amused by this. Holdwin tells Bunt he’s crazy for wanting to drive through the night to get to Caemlyn, and Bunt calmly replies this will probably be the only chance he’ll get to see a false Dragon. Holdwin stalks off, and on impulse Rand goes to Bunt and asks him for a ride, and Bunt agrees. On the way, Bunt talks to them about Queen Morgase, and how he doesn’t believe the nonsense about Morgase’s Aes Sedai advisor Elaida being the queen in all but name. Rand wonders if they don’t find Moiraine in Caemlyn whether they should go to this Elaida instead. Bunt talks some more about the drama surrounding the Andoran royal family, and eventually Rand falls asleep. He dreams about Thom:

“The Queen is wed to the land,” Thom said as brightly colored balls danced in a circle, “but the Dragon . . . the Dragon is one with the land, and the land is one with the Dragon.”

Then he dreams that a Myrddraal has captured Egwene and Perrin and Mat, and has the heads of Moiraine and Lan on his belt. Then the Fade burns Egwene to ash, and Rand screams and opens his eyes. A raven sitting on his chest says “You are mine” and plucks out his eyeball, and Rand wakes up for real. Bunt tells them they have arrived in Caemlyn.

Commentary
Goddamn ravens and their goddamn eye thing. Ugh. CREEPY. Nice fakeout, though.

The whole Andoran succession thing (which I glossed over in the already-too-long recap above) was never one of the parts of WOT that interested me all that much (sorry, Rich), but nevertheless I’m surprised that I didn’t notice/remember the implication here that Taringail’s plotting to take the throne from Morgase was linked to Laman cutting down Avendoraldera in Cairhien and the Aiel War. Maybe it doesn’t get mentioned elsewhere than here? And what does one have to do with the other anyway?

Also, it’s weird to think that Rand just heard about his real mother (Tigraine) without knowing it.

Re: Thom’s quote above: this is obviously a reference to the Fisher King, to which the Dragon/Christlike savior figure is often compared. What I find interesting about it is not that, but where this info came from in the first place. If we go with the theory that Ba’alzamon is sending the boys these dreams, Thom’s presence in the dream, not to mention the esoteric and non-threatening information he gives there, is really kind of weird. It doesn’t fit with the pattern of the other dreams, at least not until the Myrddraal shows up.

I dunno. Thoughts?

Chapter 35: Caemlyn

What Happens
Rand is staggered by his first sight of Caemlyn, and how huge and noisy it is. Mat is flipping out, demanding to know how they can know who to trust in such a place, and Rand tells him the very size of it will hide them better than anything else. Bunt pulls into an alley to let them off, and asks Rand if he really is hiding what Holdwin said he was; Rand evades the question, and Bunt advises him to hide it or get rid of it before trundling off. Mat wants to know what they should do now, and Rand says the first thing is to find the inn Thom directed them to, The Queen’s Blessing. Mat continues to freak, saying Moiraine and the others are surely all dead and they’ll be dead soon too, and Rand roughly orders him to pull himself together. Mat apologizes dully. They start asking for directions to the inn, and Rand worries about his sword being seen. He notices that most of the people wearing swords on the street have them wrapped in cloth, either red with white cord or white with red cord, and finds a vendor selling the cloth. The red cloth is cheaper, so he buys some and wraps his sword so the herons on hilt and scabbard no longer show. Eventually they find The Queen’s Blessing, and go inside and meet the innkeeper, Basel Gill. On hearing Thom’s name, Gill pulls them into the back and demands to know what they’re doing with Thom’s flute (he recognized the case), and Rand says Thom gave it to him. Rand tells Gill that Thom’s dead, but Gill doesn’t think Thom is that easy to kill. He tells them that Thom was once the Court Bard here in Andor, and suspected lover of Morgase, but Morgase got very angry when Thom went off without a word to deal with the trouble over his nephew Owyn, and the upshot is there’s still a price on Thom’s head in Caemlyn. Gill tells them that for Thom’s sake he’ll give them beds and meals for now.

Commentary
Having grown up in a city myself, I don’t think I am able to appreciate fully what it’s like for someone who’s never seen one before to see it for the first time. (Granted, New Orleans isn’t a very large city, but it does more than well enough as a primer, and certainly I’m not likely to be overwhelmed by crowds or noise after going to every Mardi Gras since I was born till I was eighteen, so.)

I do remember how I felt when I saw Mont St. Michel, though, which is the city that Peter Jackson et al used as a template for Minas Tirith, and which might be considered the one of the few quintessential medieval cities still standing in Europe. The place has barely changed in over a millennium, and I was so overwhelmed by it that I literally didn’t know what to do with it.

My awe was not for precisely the same reasons as Rand’s for Caemlyn, but I think the effect is likely the same, or near enough as to make no difference. Something about the weight of historic human achievement (“I didn’t know men could build such things”), and the utter disregard which it has for you and your paltry short life on the earth. It’s a humbling feeling.


And here endeth Part 4 of the TEOTW re-read. Remember, Part 5 goes up next Monday, and will cover Chapters 36-41. Ciao!

101 comments
Don, Iowa
1. Don, Iowa
Thanks a LOT Leigh for these writeups, you just made my Friday. On my 3rd readthru so far myself & on book 10, still nice to look back and see some things I still missed.

Keep it up!
Elroy Skimms
2. elroyskimms
Keep up the great work. I'll be doing my own re-read as we get closer to book 12 (or book 12 part 1... however it comes out) and this is really reminding me of why I loved the series so much when I started it 10 years ago. Your commentary is fantastic (and hillarious at times) which makes reading this re-cap the highlight of my Tuesday's and Friday's. Thanks for doing this for all of us fans!!!
Don, Iowa
3. Zeynep
Re: Sexy Dancing: Later Faile's descriptions of the sa'sara as something to overshadow the Tinker women's dance were pretty entertaining too, as she wants to be even more alluring to Perrin than those dance memories were.

The raven hunt scares the hell out of me still every time, too.

Hopper will make me teary-eyed once we meet him again in Tel'aran'rhiod and he will be flying, like he always wished to. And re: Whitecloaks, I want a Whitecloak pinata. Who's with me?

What is most striking about the whole Caemlyn Road arc when going over it today is, of course, how much Rand and Mat have changed since then. Meeting the innkeeper Hake today, Mat would at minute one intimidate the guy into slinking away like a yappy dog; Rand would... well, Hake would not come within ten miles of Rand so the point is moot; neither would be "suspicious" of Hake because they would recognize him for what he is within the first five words exchanged. And look at them then, trying to figure out exactly how and in what sense the various baddies are bad.

...and then I read your commentary about Chapter 32 and yup, you are of course dead on. (I was writing comments while reading, as before.)

The link between Taringail and Laman does get mentioned elsewhere, too, but I don't exactly recall where. Taringail was a Damodred and so was Laman, but why Taringail trying to get the Andoran throne (and failing because the then daughter-heir, Rand's mother, ran away) has to do with Laman getting too proud and cutting Avandoraldera, I really don't know.

Thought on Rand's dream of Thom: Maybe... _maybe_... that is things he heard from Bunt and Thom et al. merging with the first stirrings of the Dragon soul-memory seeping up. Maybe. Very much maybe. Retcon-level maybe.

The entire "red cloth was cheaper so Rand became a Queen's supporter" thing still makes me laugh. Poor Rand. Poor anyone who gets caught in politics for such frail reasons.

Sorry about the looooong comment, but then this entry was a heavyweight...
Don, Iowa
4. Jamie Bowden
You suck Leigh. I just want you to know that. I finished The Eye of the World yesterday (having started it Monday) and got about a fifth of the way through The Great Hunt.

I've done a complete reread prior to each successive book, so this is my...eleventh read of TEotW. Despite that, it's been a few years, and I had forgotten just how good the early books were (and like a lot of others, while I don't think the later books are up to the same standard, they don't suck either. Go read some Anita Blake and then come back to me and tell me they're still bad).

I'm going to go leave mean comments in your LJ now.
Don, Iowa
5. krukurr
Leigh,

Thanks for doing this project. There is so much to get out of a re-read like this.

You mentioned Paitr. I never remembered him showing up twice. I have only recalled him being in the other book with Morgase. I never saw him as really being a darfriend as it appeared he was trying to help her. But now I see him as being a darkdriend.

And now you have brought up Rand channeling, I feel kinda stupid for not catching this in earlier reads sooner than I did...As in the lightning scene...I looked at that as being
taveren. This time around, I am sure I will learn to look more deeper into the poltting of the story.
Joe Sherry
6. jsherry
I think the story of Tigraine would have made a decent "outrigger" novel, had RJ lived long enough to finish the series and then tell the side stories he was interested in.
Don, Iowa
7. Kenneth G. Cavness
Man, these chapters were a slog.

Two important things happen here, and the rest is Travelog: first, Rand uses the One Power overtly, and second, Perrin uses his link to the wolves overtly.

That's...it. In NINE CHAPTERS.

A pacing masterwork, Jordan was not.
Don, Iowa
8. krukurr
Yes, the Tigraine story as well as a couple handful of others I can think of would have been great novels. Wonder how much material besides this last book, RJ had? Like enough for some more starter material for another "outrigger" novel...
Leigh Butler
9. leighdb
Aw, Jamie, where is the love? No love? C'mon.
Don, Iowa
10. Clamarnicale
I agree with you about Perrin and the wolves. He will be trying to avoid them until he returns to the Two Rivers in The Shadow Rising, which is pretty much the moment he finally gets over it. Just a little annoying, though not nearly as irritating as Mat's behaviour in the first two books (he really doesn't become the Mat we know and love until he's been cleansed of the Dagger's influence).

About the wolves, though. Wouldn't Perrin's fear of the whole situation have been more logical if we had been introduced to some form of superstition about them early in the Two Rivers part of TEotW? They are after all mentioned frequently in Rand's thoughts in the very first chapter. The belief that wolves are creatures of the Dark One, a belief that the Whitecloaks hold, would certainly make Perrin's fear more logical. Though fear is, of course, a highly illogical feeling, as the White Ajah would quickly point out.
Don, Iowa
11. PabloRC
"Rand wonders if they don’t find Moiraine in Caemlyn whether they should go to this Elaida instead."

LOL
Don, Iowa
12. Emerkel
The time when Rand and Mat's roles are reversed and Mat is caring for Rand really stands out to me. I started a re-read in December, and I remember when I read that chapter how hearteneing it was for Mat to step up and take care of Rand when he was suffering and pretty much helpless. It was then that I saw some hope for Mat's character in the future.

However, thinking back across the whole storyline I do not recall another time when Mat and Rand were ever that close again, nor where Mat even thought about Rand in that way. Maybe I am not remembering all of their later interactions but I am somewhat disappointed that Mat never steps up to the block for Rand unless he is forced to by the pattern or by his own choice.

On a different note: thinking about the line of discussion about how there are parallels between the WOT and other author's works... there are some similar themes and character roles, but for the most part only if you are looking at them in a narrow perspective. The over-arching world stage and storyline of the WOT has so much breadth and depth it makes the story unique in so many ways. In my eyes those percieved parallels are really pretty pale when viewed against the richly vivid tapesty of Mr. Jordon's work.

In any case, I am really enjoying the commentary Leigh, and in reading everyone's posts!

Next week a three-fer! Yeeee-Haw!!!
Don, Iowa
13. SSgt Rohde
It amazes me how even tho I have read the series eight times. The amount of layers of story with in story allow you to notice something new every time. This is especially appaerant later with the third tier noble and Aes Sedai plots.
Don, Iowa
14. Heather J.
- “All this sympathy! I’m losing my edge.” Yeah, that’s what happens when RJ puts us in the minds of each character – each time the POV changes, we get a different perspective on characters we didn’t like just moments before. That’s one of the things I love so much about WOT.

- I LOVED when Egwene used the sling to take out a raven – I was so impressed with her when I first read that line.

- "Hopper’s death still chokes me up. But then, I am always a friggin’ mess anytime animals are harmed in a story; Bambi and Old Yeller remain traumatic events of my childhood. THANKS, DISNEY.” I’m right there with you on that one.

- “I think it is this powerlessness, and the frustration with it that Rand feels as a character and we feel as his audience/cheering section, that really solidifies the hook that has dragged us all along through, what, almost twenty years” – you’re right, if they’d had power from the beginning there would have been very little to make them so appealing to us, enough to keep us coming back year after year after year after year after … well, you get the point

Excellent post, as always.
Don, Iowa
15. SteelBlaidd
Re: Chapter 32

The thing is, despite his current power and position Rand is still gropeing his way through the dark, trying to figure out who he can trust with comapanions he's not entirely sure of.

@Clamarnicle I don't thik it's the wolves so much as the "there is some one else in my head" that is the worrysome thing for Perrin.
Joseph Olson
16. olsonizer
I've been a wallflower up til now. I read but don't post like mabey the silent majority. So from all those that read from the shadows, I want to thank you Leigh for some great insights, alot of sly throw-away humor and for stirring up some great nostalgia.

This project has spurred me to finally get my wife into it. She listens to audiobooks on commute. I often wonder, this being her first time through, if the experience is drasticaly different than it was for me...reading and flipping to the appendix and taking note of chapter titles and icons. I wonder if it is harder for her to follow without those crutches.

So, I've been trying to serve as a tour guide of sorts for her. It's a fine line though to talk about the series without spoiling anything to come for her. The series becomes so complex that i don't know how in depth to explain things.

Part of my joy is to see the series fresh through a 'virgins' eyes. I love to ask her about characters and happenings and hear her appropriately naive take on it and trying to keep my big yap shut.

I'm re-reading for the 3rd time myself and it's amazing how many things go unnoticed that are obvious now. Thanks, Leigh, for pointing out the obvious things that for me arn't very obvious.

A question for everyone (to /bump the threads skyward) of all the characters in WOT, which one are you the most like? What traits from some would inform us of your attitudes and personality. This is a community building exercise so we can get to know the people behind the avatars. I'll give my answer in a little bit because my post is becomeing Jordanesque. haha
Don, Iowa
17. MoreBooksForMe
Leigh,

Keep up the good work. This is a little embarassing but, the lightning scene was the first time on my first read that i realized Rand had channeled. I knew he would be the Dragon Reborn but i never noticed the channelling before then.
Not to mention, i am currently rereading FoH and didn't realize Paitr was the same person from the inn until i saw this post.

Great work. Looknig forward to 3 days a week.
Don, Iowa
18. shumble
You confused me on the Chapter 33 review. You have Kinch giving them a ride at the beginning and the end of the commentary. I am just starting a new re-read of the series, but I'm guessing he doesn't give them a ride twice especially if he was angry with them after the first ride.
Don, Iowa
19. PabloRC
MoreBooksForMe,

I didn't notice his channeling until the lightining scene, just like you. I'm glad I was not the only one!

Can you believe that when I read the scene with Bela I actually thought "it seens the Light did answer to his prayers"...
Leigh Butler
20. leighdb
shumble:

Most of Chapter 33 is a flashback, that's why. Don't worry, you're far from the only person who was confused by those chapters. See the link in the commentary for Chapter 31 above for a breakdown of the timeline.
Don, Iowa
21. locosweetie
This is my favorite sequence of chapters in the whole series. Something about the desperation of the characters really gets me wanting more. Mat is my all time favorite from the lightning scene on. I seriously thought Rand was going to either die or come out of his fever brain damaged, silly me.
Plus, from these chapters we get the best advice anyone in a fantasy novel can ever get: never trust a skinny innkeeper! Think about it.

Thanks Leigh for pointing out the Paitr thing. Here I thought I was the only one to notice :)
Don, Iowa
22. Johan G
I didn't mind the "unlikely" reappearance of both Paitr and Mili later on (they're Darkfriends, of course they'll be busy and hang out around Important People), but the one who really annoyed me was Gelb. Thank Ratatosk he hasn't come back since tSR.

Re: the dream with Thom. On my last reread I started thinking Rand was a Dreamer, though obviously untrained. Both the earlier dream (with him ending in Tar Valon) and this one son't sound like something Ba'alzamon would create. They sound more prophetic, and if Ba'alzamon is there, it's to sniff around the edges and perhaps try to pull Rand into tel'aran'rhiod. It could also be the first stirrings of Lews Therin's memories...
Don, Iowa
23. ubxs113
Leigh, great job. My buddy and I are following your post with a near religious zealotry (that may be a bit of an exaggeration but we've been reading WOT for 15 years so...) I love that they are so comprehensive, I don't even feel compelled to read that actual books, and that is a major deal for someone working and going to school full-time who has already read TEOTW 8 times. I for one would totally be cool with 3 post a week for the rest of the reread. Oh, and as a courtesy, one fan to another, please don't pull an RAFO on us. Seriously, it's just not cool.
Don, Iowa
24. tearl
@Zeynep

...but why Taringail trying to get the Andoran
throne (and failing because the then
daughter-heir, Rand's mother, ran away) has to do
with Laman getting too proud and cutting
Avandoraldera, I really don't know.

Taringail was tying to put both his children on thrones, Tigraine on Andor and Luc on Cairhien. Both attempts failed when Gitarra Sedai chased first Luc and then Tigraine out of town. This caused succesion 'wars' for both thrones. Morgase and Laman succeeded, respectively, but both held under shaky conditions.

Morgase solidified her claim somewhat by marrying Taringail. This emboldened Taringail to think he could himself be king, until in order to protect Morgase he was murdered by Thom.

Laman decided (brilliantly, DOH!) to improve his shaky position by creating a new and glorious throne from the wood of Avendoraldera.

Hope this thins the mud a bit.
Peter Moore
25. NaClH2O
The Taigraine/Demandred connection is mentioned in LoC when Rand asks Dylin(sp?) to stay behind after he has his audience with the "loyal" Andor nobility. He asks her why all the nobles stare at him so and she says he looks a lot like Tigraine and then goes on to explain how she disappeared and how she was supposed to marry into the Demandred House (to Leman? I don't remember)That's when Rand realizes how massively intertwined all the elements that lead to his birth were.

I think RJ is at his best in describing scenes. The "ravens" scene is one of my favorites of all the books. There is great tension and it's highly cinematic. I have a very clear minds eye picture of Our Heros desparately striving to stay ahead of the one group and behind the other. The foxes and other animals destroyed only generates more tension and horror. For about 4 -5 years in the beginning I had stopped reading WoT after TDR, but that one scene still stuck in my head. I sincerely hope that Red Eagle never gets the movie done, but I would still love to watch a film of that one scene.

NaCl(Hitchcock meets Peter Jackson indeed)H2O
Peter Moore
26. NaClH2O
To Mr Cavness
"Two important things happen here, and the rest is Travelog: first, Rand uses the One Power overtly, and second, Perrin uses his link to the wolves overtly.

That's...it. In NINE CHAPTERS."

I beg to completely disagree. When I'm reading fantasy I want to be taken to a world, where at least for a little bit I can immerse myself in. In order for that world to be real to me I need to know how people dress, how they talk. what the architecture is, how they travel etc etc. In other words I want a fully fleshed out world. If I only wanted physical action I'd go out and buy a comic book. One of the beauties of WoT is that it is a REAL world and not some comic book cut out caricature

NaCl(the best example of an all action genre would be an adult cinematic feature)H2O
Don, Iowa
27. Clearlyhere
Whenever I reread EotW, I always examine Nynaeve's part. I see her trying to impress Lan, but the love thing doesn't really show its head till Rand over hears her conversation in the later chapters.

Taringill was trying to get the thrown for himself in Cairhien, but his House lost statis when Laman caused the Aiel War and didn't succeed him on the thrown. That is why he tried to get rid or Morgase and presumable why Thom killed him.

I am not the only one who thinks Thom killed him.
Don, Iowa
28. Clearlyhere
Also, Mat's disloyalty after Rand is announced the Dragon Reborn always bothers me. He is a great character, but I am not a Mat lover like everyone else.

I actually love Nynaeve.
Don, Iowa
29. Annew
I love getting these reviews from you as well.

I'm on LoC now, so it's been a loooong while for me since Rand was in Cairhien for the first time, but your sword wrapping comment reminds me how much his first dealings with their politics crack me up.

Re: Hopper - so far (up til LoC) I've teared up three times, Hopper, Hurin after the Horn of Valere was blown (not sure why!) and Moiraine's big scene.

You know, I can't remember what I thought of Nynaeve the first time? I kind of like her now, even if I want to thwap her sometimes.
Tim Kington
30. TimKington
"A stedding," Elyas roared. "You never listen to stories? Of course, there hasn't been an Ogier here in three thousand odd years, not since the Breaking of the World, but it's the stedding makes the Ogier, not the Ogier make the stedding."
---
Has anyone figured this one out?


"We do not have days, Child Byar," the gray-haired man said mildly. "We ride at dawn. Nothing can change that. We must be in Caemlyn in time, yes?"
---
Why are they so keen to be there for Logain?


When Rand gets his third case of channeling sickness, it ends with him saying "Who am I? Who am I?" Do you think this is because the channeling sickness is creating some kind of link between Rand and LTT? He has a more pronounced case of this at the Eye, when he has his final bout of sickness - he doesn't remember his name until someone else says it to him.


When he turned back, Ba'alzamon's outstretched hand had become a fist. "You are mine, youngling, alive or dead. The Eye of the World will never serve you. I mark you as mine." His fist opened, and a ball of flame shot out. It struck Rand in the face, exploding, searing.

Rand lurched awake in the dark, water dripping through the cloaks onto his face. His hand trembled as he touched his cheeks. The skin felt tender, as if sunburned.
---
This is weird. Gode already said they were marked before this, so what's Ishamael doing this time?

Question:

Is the mark that Alviarin received from Shaidar Haran the same as that the Forsaken received from the Dark One? If so, is she now a Forsaken, or some sort of lesser Chosen?

Robert Jordan Answers:

The mark that Alviarin received from Shaidar Haran was not the same as that given to the Forsaken, though it shares one function: Shadowspawn will recognize her as belonging to the Dark One. They will not obey her as they will the Forsaken, however, but she doesn't have to worry about one trying to kill her, either. She is not any sort of lesser Chosen. You might think of it more like the tattoo some people get put inside the ear of their dog, an identification so others will know who the dog belongs to as soon as they see it.

Is this what Rand got?
Don, Iowa
31. krukurr
TimKington,

The mark...
Whenever I read about a mark in the series, I have always thought of it as a personal mark of some kind that all dark ones could see.
maybe someone will give a good theory or even the answer..
Don, Iowa
32. Existentialism
Actually, Hawkwings story closely parallels Arthurian legend aside from the way he did. Arthur united all the kingdoms of Britain and brought peace and prosperity to the land. When he died, it all fell apart, carved up by various powers.
Don, Iowa
33. michaelt
TimKington @30
"A stedding," Elyas roared. "You never listen to stories? Of course, there hasn't been an Ogier here in three thousand odd years, not since the Breaking of the World, but it's the stedding makes the Ogier, not the Ogier make the stedding."
---
Has anyone figured this one out?

Here's a wild theory.
There certain places one cannot enter in T'A'R. In tSR, Seana tells Egwene these are "Rhuidean (before FOH). Ogier stedding. A few others." Waygates are another. Perrin tries it in TSR and fails. I would assume Shayol Ghul is another, although I don't know of anyone trying to dream themselves there.
Suppose the reason they can't be entered, is because they are, for lack of a better term, "Other-worldly". That is, they have a connection to a place that is not Randland. Waygates were built with knowledge gained from studying the "Worlds Of If" reached by Portal Stones. Using the Are Ogier aliens? question posed by BrewtalPanda #36 of Part 3, the stedding could be places with a connection to their home world. Shayol Ghul's connection with the DO's prison outside of the Pattern is definitely "otherworldly." It is quite possible that there was a ter'angreal in Rhuidean that created an "otherworldly" effect on the city, but it was destroyed when Rand and Asmodean had their little tussle.
Perhaps the stedding were places where the Ogier arrived on the planet, and thus the "created the Ogier"

I know it is pretty far fetched, but those are some of the funnest theories to think about. :}
Don, Iowa
34. Liesel
Here's my question: Random Darkfriends accost Rand and Mat in these chapters, and later we see a gathering of Darkfriends where they are shown Rand, Mat, and Perrin & told to kill them (I can't remember which book it was, but it was in a prologue). However, in KoD, Moridin instructs the Forsaken to kill Mat & Perrin - showing them what they look like - and Semirhage says something along the lines of "Well if you had told us sooner they would be dead." Why tell Darkfriends, but not the Forsaken? Wouldn't killing off taveren be the most important task - too important for leaving to bumbling ordinary Darkfriends?

And now I'm trying to figure out who Semirhage has been impersonating of the Seanchan...besides Tuon of course.
Don, Iowa
35. krukurr
michaelt,

your theory does make some sense.

." It is quite possible that there was a ter'angreal in Rhuidean that created an "otherworldly" effect on the city, but it was destroyed when Rand and Asmodean had their little tussle.
==============================================
well, maybe it was not destroyed. There were some things that were still left. Aren't those the things Moraine took on her wagons? Did not Rand go back there after his fight with Asmodean and pick up an angral(sp?) or something that he left there?
Don, Iowa
36. krukurr
Liesel,

Throughout the series..even at different times, each Forsaken has had orders from the DO about Perrin, Mat and Rand. Some of the Forsaken have certain orders about wether to kill them or to leave them alone. Some of the Forsaken take it upon themselves to go after them on their own.
The darkfriends are allied to different Forsaken.
And in KOD I believe the orders are to "kill "em"
Don, Iowa
37. AyRon
Hi, as another person quietly reading this blog, thanks Leigh! I seriously don't have time to re-read the series for a 5th time...this is as close as I'm going to get but it's certainly making me want to pick up the books!

My favorite thing about TEOTW was how the first time I read it, I really had NO IDEA what was going on...and that parallels what it's like for the Emond's Field crew. I always laughed at how much is in plain sight that you only realize upon re-reading it. I was sometimes stunned how early certain things are brought up that RJ didn't really explain until many books down the line.

I look forward to Book 12 being published not just for finding out what happens, but b/c my wife refuses to start reading the series until it's been completed. Then, I'll get to watch her read it all for the first time. I'm almost jealous!
Don, Iowa
38. badbrown
I don't know why people hate on these chapters. Some think that Jordan did a poor job of flashbacking because he created confusion, but I always assumed the confusion was intentional. Rand loses track of time from the power sickness and he makes the reader experience this same feeling. That's part of why he was my favorite author. He changed up his writing style instead of relying on the same old ones. I only got lost the first time I read it. Having gone through it now over a dozen times in about twenty years, I actually look forward to these chapters.
Don, Iowa
39. GregoryD
Regarding the mark that Ba'alzamon puts on Rand and the others...

In the Bible, God puts a mark on Cain so that no one else will kill him for killing Abel. God says that Cain is still His and He will deal with Cain. And in the Book of Revelation, people are marked with the number of the Beast (666) or God's mark to show who each group of people belong to.

I think the same is true here. Ba'alzamon marks Rand and the others so that NO ONE WILL KILL THEM until the end. Ishy and the Dark One want Rand left alive so they can battle the good guys at the end.

I always used to think that RJ used this as an excuse to keep the good guys alive until they had the know how to fight such a superior foe. Why not get rid of them at the beginning and be done with it, I thought. It's so weak.

Then I read somewhere RJ talking about the reason for this. His take was that evil is so in love with itself that it has to keep the weak good guys around so that it can be a fair fight to prove how much more superior evil really is. The pride in itself is its own downfall.

Also, even the Forsaken are divided on what to do with Rand, etal. This is so like evil, as well. Evil can never get united. That's why they are evil. Every man for himself. Unity and love go together.

Great reread by the way.
Don, Iowa
40. alexonthemove
This re-read is great! It reminds me of why I love the WOT, especially the things that make me laugh out loud; how many times has Rand said he wished Matt or Perrin were there 'they would know how to handle this or that (situations with girls, specifically)' and yet the other two think the same thing about Rand. TEOTW really hooked me because the young characters were still naive and untried, and I was completely curious to see how they would turn out or even if they would survive. I think out of the 3 of them, Rand is the one who is trying to be what everyone wants him to be or thinks he should be (in his own way, of course), unlike Perrin or Matt who resist it alot in the beginning. I'm most curious to see how they relate to each other again when they come together in the end after being separated for most of the series.
I look forward to these every week!
Don, Iowa
41. CBeats
I must admit, even by the end of these chapters I still did not know that Rand could channel. The thought never entered my mind.
On another embarrassing note, I never caught on to the whole "Scarf Thing Happens Twice". Whenever I saw it on WoT FAQs I just thought the first copies of The Eye of the World printed had a mistake and my copy didn't have that mistake...yeah

This sequence in the book is probably the one that frightened me the most because I felt that the danger was real, palpable. All of the characters are vulnerable; Rand and Mat seem to find dangerous darkfriends wherever they go, and Perrin and Egwene have to somehow avoid thousands of ravens. That last line of Chapter 30 is something I remember almost 10 years after reading it: "But you, just Perrin from the Two Rivers, you killed two of the Children." ... "For you, I fear, a gibbet waits for you in Amador." It invokes real terror in the reader, because Perrin is pretty much helpless at the time.

Anyway, enjoying the re-read. I'm happy this is happening mon-wed-fri.
Don, Iowa
42. MariaX
I don't mind these chapters, because even though not a lot happens technically I believe they do a good job of setting up the mood. Ishamael was always too much of a monologuing villain for me to be creeped out by him, but Rand and Mat trying to sneak towards Caemlyn, feeling trapped in that awful inn and finding Darkfriends wherever they stopped? That did a much better job of creating a helpless horror-film urgency. Also, though WOT doesn't aim to be the height of realism, this section is one of the best in that sense: I'm left with a good feel of why traveling must have been a stressful and difficult undertaking for poor people in medieval times.

I was so young when I first read EOTW that I can't remember when I realised Rand was channeling (it might not have been until Moiraine explained it). That's a shame, since on reread this plot thread is one of my favourites. Very subtle but once you figure out what's going on you can see how well it's been handled.

Nitpick: chapter 33 has Rand say, when meeting Paitr, "the one wolf chasing became ten as if by magic." This is one of only two times I remember the word magic being used, and I remember them because I was convinced it just slipped by Jordan. The world only has channeling, and characters in later books never use the word. I've heard that later TDR printings correct Perrin saying he never had sisters, so I wonder if later printings of EOTW alter this part - the expression doesn't make sense in a world that doesn't use the concept of magic to describe the Power.
Don, Iowa
43. cubarey
Chapter 27:

Interesting thing about this chapter for me is the introductio of Aram (a tinker with an attitude and a temper) and his interplay with Perrin--Foreshadoing indeed.

Chapter 29:
Interesting thing about the how stedding being the site of Arthur Hawkwings never realized capital is that for whatever bad points he had (and he had many especially if you are an AS) the commen people really loved him. Kind of foreshadows the reaction to the Seanchen (his descendents) by many of the commen people of the countries they conqure (and the Tinkers)

Chapter 30:

"the complete teeth-gnashing horribleness of the Whitecloaks. God, I hate them. Smug, self-righteous... gah."

Actually Bornhald (the Old) comes off as quite a sympathetic character to me. He is a good officer, does not like to cause pain unnecessarily, is honorable and does his duty even when its a problem and causes problems (does not allow Child Byar to use unnecesarry violence against Perrin although he is convince Perrin is a Darkfriend, but is intent on bringing Perrin and Egwyne to the Questioners because its his duty although this slows him down and he has to be in Camylen in a hurry). Actually he is kind of what Galad might have been as an older man.

Chapter 31:

"Else Grinwell is an example of the Law of Conservation of Characters,"

Its also an early example of how Ta'veren can manipulate the random chance. Two young men seemingly on an adventure see the False Dragon in the big city meet a farmgirl (who just so happens can be trained to use the power to such an extent that the WhiteTower will subsequently accept her as a novice) who is inspired enough by all the talk of adventure that she convinces her father to send her to the Whitetower, where Lanfear subsequently disguises herself as the farmgirl turned novice.

Chapter 34:

"I didn’t notice/remember the implication here that Taringail’s plotting to take the throne from Morgase was linked to Laman cutting down Avendoraldera in Cairhien and the Aiel War. Maybe it doesn’t get mentioned elsewhere than here? And what does one have to do with the other anyway?

", but why Taringail trying to get the Andoran throne (and failing because the then daughter-heir, Rand's mother, ran away) has to do with Laman getting too proud and cutting Avandoraldera, I really don't know. "

Connection between Rand's mother running away and Laman cutting down the tree are both connected and essential to the prophecies of the Dragon being forefilled. and if Laman does not cut the tree there is no reason for Rand's mother to be on the slopes of Dragonmount to forefill the prophecy. Moreover, with Rand's mother needing to be at Dragonmount to forefill prophecy she would never have run away which in turn would mean that Taringil would not of needed to marry Morgase to keep his hooks on the crown of Andor which means he would never of had a reason to kill Morgase which is the reason why Thom killed him. The connection is quite easy to see isn't.


Its a bit complicated but here is the connection. Without Laman Cutting down Avendoraldera
Don, Iowa
44. birgit
Mat’s “he took my eyes!” quote: I’m really not sure this is foreshadowing, as such. Maybe it is, but Perrin also had a dream where he lost an eye, and (as we will see) so does Rand, and neither of them have any prophesied eye-losing in their futures; they both just happened to be dealing with ravens at the time, and the raven’s standard method of attack happens to be going for the eyes.

They are all having similar dreams at the same time. I also found it strange that Ba'alzamon marks them here but the Myrddraal in Bearlon already feels that Rand belongs to the DO and stops his attack.

And now I'm trying to figure out who Semirhage has been impersonating of the Seanchan...besides Tuon of course.

She is Anath. She killed the former truthspeaker and replaced her.


Did not Rand go back there after his fight with Asmodean and pick up an angral(sp?) or something that he left there?


He hid the Choedan Kal keys in Rhuidean and goes back for them later.
Don, Iowa
45. Scoobin-N-Groovin
These are some of my favorite chapters because they show the human side of the boys and how decent they are - even Mat. The scene where Rand tells Mat he won't leave him is so touching! In later books it keeps me rooting for Rand to find that side of himself again. I'm just thru Crossroads, but since these scenes, I can't remember another time where they're open and real friends to each other. While I love the series, I find this a big short coming. These people are fighting the devil himself and they never sit down and have a conversation about what's happened to them and how it can help in the struggle! "Hey, I can talk to wolves - and they're willing to help us fight the DO!" "Hey, I have memories of a zillion people, places, and battles!" I can't really buy into this dynamic, but would love someone to convince me in to it...

Wolves: Hopper rocks! The paragraph describing his name is wonderful. I love RJ's wolf language and how rich he makes the wolf's perception of their world via names. For me this really shows the beauty of the natural world and how much would be lost if the DO isn't defeated. How evil destroys everything - so of course the animals will have soldiers in the fight too. That poor fox.
Peter Moore
46. NaClH2O
To Liesel @ #34.

Ishmael (lots easier to type than Ba'alzamon) changes his mind quite a bit. In the beginning he want to turn Rand to the Dark Side. By tDR, all he wants to do is kill him, when he comes back as Morodin he wants to turn him again. Ishy is not known for his mental stability. As to why he showed the boys to the DFs at the Dark Friends Social (prologue to tGH) but not to the other Forsaken, I'm thinking that they we either still trapped in SG, or so busy carving out their niches that they either passed on Ishy's party or they weren't invited. None of the Forsaken are known for their trustfulness. Or trustworthiness for that matter.
Semi, took over the Tuon's "truthsayer" position, she's also known as Anath.

NaCl(the high level Nazis were also very untrusting)H2O
Don, Iowa
47. Erdrick
Not only do they not trust each other, the Forsaken were in out right competition with each other, even when some of them made temporary "alliances" with each other. Things only changed (at least superficially) when the Nae'blis was named. So, I guess I kind of agree with Semirhage...the only reason the good guys have a chance is because the bad guys are so untrustworthy/uncooperative, arrogant/overconfident, etc.
Don, Iowa
48. FunBob
Cheers Leigh et al...

Robert Jordan uses "evil wraps in upon itself and is ultimately self defeating" that was so famously espoused by Weis and Hickman in their Dragonlance novels. All of the Forsaken have their own goals and objectives, and only agree to work with the others when they see their own plans being advanced or supported by helping the others. That all is supposed to change with the naming of Moridin as the Na'eblis, in an effort to organize all of the Dark Ones' forces as Tarmon Gai'don approaches.

Of course, all of the Forsaken are still maneuvering and doing their own agendas while supporting the Nae'blis, even the mind caged, which often has unforseen consequences. This is best seen when Moghedien attacks Nynaevein Ebou Dar, which frees Nynaeve of her block and making her more powerful since she can now control her powers. Ultimately, the Dark Ones' forces aren't as cohesive as they can be...which mirrors the Forces of the Light, being split into those who support Rand and those who are looking for their own glory in defeating the Dark One (such as the White Cloaks, although we should see a change in their direction once Galad takes full control of the Children, and Elaida and her Aes Sedai).
Don, Iowa
49. Lacdaran
Leigh this series is great.

I don't have time to do another re-read before the next book comes out and this allows me to get back up to speed.
Don, Iowa
50. Rebecca Starr
To add to the voices of those who either like or dislike this bloc of 9 chapters, I remember I used to think it was a boring slog, maybe the first 2 or 3 times through. But the more you read them, in my opinion, the more you realize how much *is* going on, whether in foreshadowing, world building, or character development. This time around may have been the most fun I've had reading them yet.

I also second the opinions of how touching the interaction is between Mat and Rand in parts, i.e. Rand cradling Mat like a baby as he cries, Mat nursing Rand to health... I think its important for us to see this strong friendship now so that we remember it poignantly when Rand the Dragon Reborn summons Mat his general just so he can send him where he needs him.

A note on population: have we ever found out general population figures of, say, Caemlyn? Or your average Tinker band?

Ch. 28: something I never quite picked up on before is Nynaeve's sense of wrongness in the air, echoed by Moiraine and Lan. I wonder if they are already feeling the DO's touch upon the weather, and that this is the beginning of something being set in motion that isn't even fully articulated until later.

Ch. 29: Leigh, I always thought of Hawkwing and the Arthurian parallels, but brilliant note on Alexander the Great here! And thanks for the link to that poem.

Ch. 30: following up on discussion from last week about characters who are not all good or all bad, but shades of gray, Bornhold is a great example... I've always had a sort of affection for him, maybe manipulated by Perrin's first thoughts of him as grandfatherly.

Ch 31: I love it - even in an era long before cars, RJ is already preaching don't drink and drive in a wagon

Ch 32: "I think it is this powerlessness, and the frustration with it that Rand feels as a character and we feel as his audience/cheering section, that really solidifies the hook that has dragged us all along through, what, almost twenty years and eleven books. Rand and Co. may become insanely powerful later on, but somewhere in the back of the reader’s head, it is this Rand we remember, and continue to root for"
-------------------------------------
Yes! Perfectly said. In fact, I think this long chunk of chapters is really necessary for us to have this Rand firmly in our heads for later on, when he has grown so hard...

Also, I had it in my head that Howal Gode was the same man who showed up with a scar on his face in Baerlon and was watching the boys, but now I realize the two men are completely different. Was this original scar-faced man just a totally random dude then?

- "Rand found himself hoping they were dead, but he would not have put his head in to the hall to find out for sure if he had been offered a crown."

heh

Ch 34: I *totally* missed the Fisher King reference here in the dream with Thom - thanks for pointing it out
Don, Iowa
51. Effervescent
I really think the Whitecloak presence in these books is a deeper narrative into the "good vs evil" theme you talked about earlier, and the bumpkin attitude of "if I am good, I have nothing to fear."

This is exactly the attitude of the whitecloaks, and perhaps a deeper desire of humanity to come to grips with their inability to control good and evil.

The whitecloaks are sure they can walk the straight and narrow and stay on the right side of the light...but we know,as a good book will inform its readers, that it isn't as easy as that, and further the view point is very naive.
Don, Iowa
52. Caseyft
Re: Mat's loyalty

Having just finished a re-read of TSR, the striking thing about Mat is that agonizes over leaving Rand, again and again, but he never actually does it. He even goes to Rhuidean with him. He blames it on ta'veren and prophecy, but considering how he acts in TEOTW ...
Don, Iowa
53. tearl
Re: my earlier post 24
Taringail was tying to put both his children on thrones, Tigraine on Andor and Luc on Cairhien.

Oh the problems with working from memory. Taringail is NOT Luc's father!

Checking the facts in The Guide and on the pre-TEOTW timeline here, we find (years in New Era reckoning):

965 Laman crowned king of Cairhien
971 Luc travels to the Blight
972 Tigraine travels to the Aiel
972-3(?) not stated specifically, Morgase gains
throne of Andor and marries Taringail
973-5 (?) Laman cuts down Avendoraldera
976 Aiel War begins

(From the Guide, pp 120-1) Morgase kept Taringail more distant from power than Tigraine with whom he had been a near co-ruler. Like "A pebble...can cause an avalanche" this caused Laman (Taringail's uncle) to loose face in Daes Dae'mar and prompted him to build his grand throne.

Re: statement
Morgase solidified her claim somewhat by marrying Taringail. This emboldened Taringail to think he could himself be king, until in order to protect Morgase he was murdered by Thom.

It was more the refusal by Morgase to allow co-rule that so emboldened Taringail. "murdered" seems a bit strong on second look, killed in defense of what Taringail planned (and possibly had even attempted) seems a fairer description.
Don, Iowa
54. Dcole
Ah how I am enjoying these. I had forgotten how much I liked the earlier books and how much better I found them than the later ones. The first one especially we had things happening left and right. I am with you though, talking with wolves would be incredibly cool, I would have embraced it immediately but then I have always been a naturalist and a "dancing with the wolves" type of person.
Don, Iowa
55. Aristarchus
Just awesome work Leigh, very interesting and a great refresher. We're on book one and I already admire your perseverance for sticking with it!

I'm spreading the word to all of my friends that read WoT, and they too love the commentary and nuggets of interesting info that are so easy to miss or forget, and we are eagerly awaiting future installments.

Thanks so much, and keep up the great work!

P.S. Currently working through Brandon Sanderson's Final Empire trilogy (author of the last WoT book) and am thoroughly impressed. If you want to get a feel for his writing style, or just want a great trilogy in and of itself, check it out!
Don, Iowa
56. Squocka
Ch27
Interesting how Perrins Dream of Trollocs and Fades attackiing the Tinkers will come true later, I assumed during a recent reread that this was his first True Dream being a Male Wolf/Dreamwalker,

I wonder if Elyas is a Wolf/Dreamwalker

To NaClH20 above comment #25
It scared me when you said Tigraine/Demandred connection i thought WHAT??? did i miss something

Then i realised you meant Damodred.

lol
Don, Iowa
57. MattTwoTone
Re Rand's blindness prophecies (or lack thereof): The prologue to A Path of Daggers ends with Moridin playing a board game (I can't remember what it's called) with a central playing piece called The Fisher. The Fisher stands with a bandage over his eyes and his hand to his side with blood dripping out, and Moridin wonders if it is based upon a memory of a memory of Rand. Any ideas how this could play out...?
Don, Iowa
58. SteelBlaidd
Re: Sanderson

Check out his web site www.brandonsaderson.com
Don, Iowa
59. IanGH
Keep up the great work!

I've always been fond of the road sequence with Mat and Rand, although I'm glad RJ decided to leave the flashback literary device alone for the rest of the series. I still get confused when I come to that section.

Even after several rereads I totally missed the Paitr connection.

Every time I reread the series I appreciate more the importance of the first few books in setting up our feelings for the main characters. Before, when a new book came out in the series I would read it without going back and rereading the whole series. Given the *long* time between book releases, I would forget about where these guys came from and let their current personalities get on my nerves. Having these books fresh in the mind for when the new one comes out helps not just from a fact-checking point of view but also from an emotional point of view.

I don't know why but I always assumed that the "I mark you as mine" thing was just more bluff from Ishy. Is there some evidence of this "mark" in the next books?

Ian
Don, Iowa
60. ravin' idiot
@Scoobin-N-groovin

Glad someone pointed this out. The lack of communication between the characters on the Light side is infuriating.

Things seem a little bit better between the women (cfr the meetings in tel'aran'rhiod) so maybe it's something to do with the "hair on their chests" or something, I don't know...
Joe Sherry
61. jsherry
Tearl @ 53: It was more the refusal by Morgase to allow co-rule that so emboldened Taringail. "murdered" seems a bit strong on second look, killed in defense of what Taringail planned (and possibly had even attempted) seems a fairer description.

There may have been a good reason for it, but it's still murder. Even when it is done by a protagonist.
Don, Iowa
62. Rikka
looking forward to next week's triple play. not much else to say. keep it up!

:P
Don, Iowa
63. markp
I think Perrin must be the first of the two rivers exiles to kill(not counting monsters and animals).
The whitecloaks are fanatical and jump to conclusions, But from their perspective they had good reason to imprison Perrin after he kill some of of them. and Bornhald is fairly reasonable here(in comparison the the other wcs).
But this event dose lead to a lot of problems later in the books
Rand and Mats journey is one of the best parts of the book.
Don, Iowa
64. /dev/nall
Really enjoying these re-reads, keep it up!

I also made an RSS feed for the re-reads that doesn't pick up everything else on the Tor site. If anyone's interested, here's the link.
Don, Iowa
65. Rob Larson
The thing that strikes me about the world of the Wheel of Time is the way RJ balances the forces in the world. Saidar/Saidin, White Tower/Black Tower. Even evil has two sides. There's the anti-reason, destructive evil Dark One and then there's the idea that you use evil's tools to fight evil. You find the ultimate expression of this in the fall of Aridhol as well as typified by the Whitecloaks and Elida.

That's one of the scary things about guys like Bornhald the Elder. He's smart, competent, respected and very very good at what he does. Much like Rommel or Guderian among Hitler's generals, there's much to admire about him as a man, but the cause he's chosen to uphold?

One of the things I find interesting about the big three is how they don't really want to have to save the world, but are willing to do so. Contrast them with self-proclaimed world saviors like the Seanchan, Whitecloaks or Elida.
Don, Iowa
66. David Scotton
Nice use of the quote from Gladiator. :)

Since I'm already an installment behind I won't bother to comment more on this entry.
Don, Iowa
67. markerikson
Just wanted to say thanks Leigh. I feel that WOT ate up enough of my life (there were six or seven years where I literally read nothing but), so a reread of my own is not on the cards, but these summaries and comments are the next best thing. Like a little taste of what rasfwr-j used to be.

I'm was inspired to comment on this bit because this sequence of chapters is very nearly my favourite for the whole series. I was never as irritated by Mat as everyone else seems to be, and the tale of two best friends, alone and hunted on the road with only each other for support really got to me.

This sequence really forms a bond between them, at least in my mind, that Perrin does not share. And I've found I'm far more engaged, in the later books, when Rand and Mat are working together (which actually doesn't happen very much beyond tEotW).
Chris Cruthirds
68. seeks2win
I have also been somewhat of a lurker, and obviously by the date of my comment I've fallen behind. So first of all definitely many thanks to you Leigh for the read through!! I'm going to be catching up as quickly as I can.

The characters being powerless in the beginning of the book is actually one of the main things I love about this series. The fact that we get to watch them grow and get stronger is wonderful. Just like your comments earlier when Lan taught them how to use their weapons. I find it way to convenient when characters fumble around through an entire book and then all of a sudden at the end have unexplained miraculous abilities. And even though this happens at the end of this book to a certain degree, it's still explained well enough that it really makes it believable.
Don, Iowa
69. jlfitzingo
>Hopper’s death still chokes me up. But then, I am always a friggin’ mess anytime animals are harmed in a story; Bambi and Old Yeller remain traumatic events of my childhood. THANKS, DISNEY.

There is a pretty good elementary level short story, Stonefox by John Reynolds Gardiner, that my wife recently read as sub that will guarantee to tug on your heartstrings.
Don, Iowa
70. sps49
Ch.31: I still think the Scene that Happens Twice is a printing/ cut & paste error that was retconned into the weird explanation we now have.

Can't prove it, of course.
Don, Iowa
71. shumble
Chapter 33 is one of the strangest chapters I have read in almost any Fantasy novel. It starts off ahead of what actually happened. Rand blows up the room and kills a bunch of Darkfriends using the One Power, and next we see they are getting off Kinch's wagon and Rand is feeling much better.

Then Jordan goes on to explain everything that had happened up to that point and ends with them getting in Kinch's wagon.

Very confusing. Why didn't he just continue the story in chronological order instead of wrapping it all around? I didn't like that.
Don, Iowa
72. redgecola
Seriously.. I thought the same about Else, until I read this: Hidden Hints .

Nice observation re:, Alexander The Great vs. Arthur... I never thought of that.

Succession to the Throne of Andor after Tigrane is the key to every anti-coincidence that allows Randland to operate (@ least that's what keeps me thinking I know enough to keep up), so I feel lucky to have picked up on it early on.

Looking fwd to the rest of the re-read.
Don, Iowa
73. Jennthia
"Else Grinwell is an example of the Law of Conservation of Characters, in that she seems like a throwaway walk-on role, but then shows up again later in a way that is fairly important to the plot. I find this funny, because considering the (literal) Cast Of Thousands we end up with by the time the series is barely halfway finished, Jordan adhering to a law of conservation of anything is just amusing to me."

Hmmmm, my interpretation of this would be that instead of the Law of Conservation we might be seeing the effects of Rand being Ta'avern and hence drawing characters back to him throughout the books...
Don, Iowa
74. Bonzo4288
I also like these chapters. In my youth it seems that when I would read fantasy, the Hero (excuse me) HERO would start off on his White Stallion with his sidekicks along the way. In the morning he would kill a thousand enemies, get captured by an evil King; break free, kill the King ride to another Palace, then find a sweet maiden for the evening and oops, have to wipe a little sweat from his brow.

Robert Jordan, was in Vietnam. He was a soldier that got his clothes dirty and (heaven forbid) maybe even ripped! He writes a campaign like he has been there because he has. The Hero bleeds, he gets tired, hungry, feels pain.
That's what these chapters mean to me. Rand and Company are human.
Don, Iowa
75. Kung-Fu Chicken
throughout all the books matrim was my favorite character. He was a scamp from the get go. First time we see him hes hiding under the brandy cart trying to Rand to go off and fool around. While he does change drastically hes still the same joking, fooling, amiable idiot we first met. His darkside was closetest to the surface i mean gambling carousing and skirt chasing none of the other boys could stop sighing regretfully over what they left behind or what might come Mat still had the twinkle in his eye.
Don, Iowa
76. Iaeldor
I think that the dream with Thom talking about the Dragon and the Queen might be forshadowing that Rand will marry Elayne -- and that wouldmean he'll marry all three.
Don, Iowa
77. Jillain Sanche
Read the series for first time between December and May! And realized I had to read it a second time to more well examine the clues and the huge plethora of characters, et al.

Now Paitr, when we meet him in Amador I thought, "we had him before but where?" I recalled the name but had no clue as to where he was first deployed. Wow, Leigh, great work here!

I may not comment often but wanted to thank you for this work you are doing for us all.

It is amazing just how much content comes through the many dream sequences in the first book that we later recognize to be of great significance. RJ must have had huge parts of the storyline in his head already when he was yet writing the first book. What a master storyteller!
Don, Iowa
78. endertek
In Chapter 27, I think you have to consider that rather than just simply being a rest for Perrin and Egwene, this is a chance to show that Egwene is moving on from Rand. Other men are interested in her and she certainly is receptive. This makes it so Rand isn't a total dog when he falls for Min, then Elaine, then Aviendha.... or IS he?
John Massey
79. subwoofer
First off- welcome endertek :)

and yes, IMHO, Rand is a total dog, he even says words to that effect in later books, then covers it up by comparing sunsets or some such. Think he fell for Elayne first, but because she was daughter-heir, and he was a lowly sheepherder, made for Min instead.

Woof.
Don, Iowa
80. mike shupp
subwoofer @ 79. I dunno. It always seemed to me that Rand noticed Elayne was beautiful quickly enough but the one he always felt comfortable talking to was Min. Plus Min's the one who slept with him first (albeit innocently, when he was wounded at Falme), and the first to admit to admit to herself that she was going to marry the big galoot. So to me, Min's always been Wife Number One, Aviendha Number Two, and Elayne Number Three.

One marriage for affection, one for lust, and one for dynastic politics. Doesn't that sound lovely?
Don, Iowa
81. zetagirlhcr
I just finished my third re-read of the TEOTW in anticipation for the release of the twelfth book. One thing that stuck out: In chapter 34, Almen Bunt talks about Tigraine and her brother Luc, the First Prince of the Sword. I didn't catch this before, and Liegh didn't mention it in the re-cap. I think it refers to the same Luc in the later books, the guy who gets the black saa in his eyes from channeling. Did anyone else notice this?
John Massey
82. subwoofer
@81zeta- yup, you're right, it is that Luc. In later threads Free and I believe Fiddler break this down for us. But it is not the guy with black saa. Luc is Lan's half brother and something more. Check out when we get into the Slayer chapters and Perrin is putzing around with Luc. I believe it was in TGH or maybe TDR. Anyways, welcome to the club:) when you catch up and are current with the rest, 2 things.

1. It wasn't me.
2. Don't go on any of Fife's links. You have been warned.
3. There is much more barking than biting.
4. It is really cool and exciting as the new book approaches. Maybe skip ahead...

Okay, that was more than two things. I can't really count anyways....

Woof™
Don, Iowa
83. kab1
@81 zeta and 82 sub-
Yes, Luc is the one putzing around with Perrin the the two rivers, but Luc is Rand's uncle not Lan's half brother. Isam is the one who is related to Lan (half brother or cousin or something!) and of course Luc and Isam are the same person.....meaning they were merged somehow and can either look like Luc or like Isam. I was actually just going to post a question about this on the current thread! As far as for Sub's "2" things- I agree! Hope to see ya in the comments!
John Massey
84. subwoofer
Yes... Kab1 is right... sorry, early morning memory loss coupled with divided attention span from youtube...

Woof™
Don, Iowa
85. Dutch Fan
Just 'discovered' these blogs a couple of days ago. And I must say they're enjoying to read as well as the comments. (This is my first one).

First of all, I have to confess I never realized the signs of Rands channeling when I read through the series the first couple of times. Ouch...

Secondly, what comes to mind re-reading this part is the ravens-fox part. Thinking about the ring Mat later buys in Ebou Dar and the prediction for Tuon when she's coming over, it sounds a bit like forshadowing Mats possible future. Mat is the Fox. As he is quite vulnerable during this part of the story due to the dagger, there is the possibility he (The Fox) will be overpowered and killed by the shadow (Ravens) or the evil of Shadar Logoth. Later on this is changed (Healing, the three wishes) as the Fox scares of the Ravens on the ring and in the prediction.

Just too bad it isn't Mat who sees the Fox getting killed... I'll admit that to be a flaw in my theory.

I'd like to hear anyone's comments on this!

PS I envy all of you to be able to start reading the new book in a couple of weeks. I've been buying and reading the series in Dutch untill now, so I'll have to wait for the translation... more months aaarrgghh!!
T C
86. Freelancer
The only character mentioned in connection with the saa is Moridin. Isam is Lan's cousin, son of Breyan.


Rand is not a total dog. The fact that he thinks it of himself shows it to not be true. He is not a "player", and doesn't get involved with any of the three with lust in his heart. The situations that bring him close to each of the three are innocent, and Rand is never the steering force behind them, so he cannot be blamed for manipulation. There are major differences among them, indeed, but Mike Shupp's characterization of the three relationships isn't true to the story by any stretch.

I just have a problem with people putting a prurient, base spin on events in stories that aren't there.
Don, Iowa
87. rosalina
Deseo que mi hopinion no sea publica, pero yo se con este medio no es posible, pero querido escritor, si usted tomo esa responsabilidad, no me diga ahora que tenemos que esperar 24meses mas para el final, no seas pendejo hombre.
ROSALINA
Don, Iowa
88. rosalina
OK??????????
termina eso mi hijo
Don, Iowa
89. gleeman
Hi. I first started reading WOT in college in the early 90s. The Fires of Heaven had just been published when a friend gave me his copy of EOTW to read during semester break. I've read all following books and spent many hours perusing the FAQ, but never took the time to re-read any of the books a second time. Too many other books to read. :-) But as my excitement started to grow about finally seeing an end, I decided to re-read the entire series again from the beginning. I did the same thing with Stephen King's Dark Tower series and loved it. Discovering these blogs makes this experience all the better.

I've found what I believe to be a rather blatant misstep by RJ that I'm surprised nobody else has ever pointed out, either here on in the FAQ.

From Perrin's POV, there are several days between his losing his coin and being rescued. He loses his coin when he and Egwene are captured by the whitecloaks (chapter 30) and is given it back a few hours later after Bornhald finishes interrogating them. The beginning of chapter 38 makes it rather clear that Perrin & Egwene are prisoners of the Whitecloaks for several days before finally being rescued. Forced to walk behind the horses and beaten nightly by Byar.

But in chapter 37, from Nyanaeve's POV, Perrin loses his coin, gets it back, and then is rescued all in the same day/night. I'm surprised nobody else has ever mentioned this discrepancy. I'm even more amazed that RJ missed it. He's one of the most detailed oriented writers of all time. One of the many reasons I love WOT so much.
Don, Iowa
90. LWrong
i didn't think it was rand that shattered the wall in the Inn when cornered bye Howal Gode. Loial later explains that it was the pattern weaving itself around them because they were ta'veren and so the wall had to be annihilated, not that Rand had wielded the one power. Furthermore, in my memory Jordan never used his sensory imagery that generally precedes a use of the power (ie: bones prickling, blood boiling, river of flame through the body or sickly film as associated with saidin.
Don, Iowa
91. SouthTX_Liza
POST # 8 and 88 - Rosalina said: "Deseo que mi hopinion no sea publica, pero yo se con este medio no es posible, pero querido escritor, si usted tomo esa responsabilidad, no me diga ahora que tenemos que esperar 24meses mas para el final, no seas pendejo hombre." and "termina es mijo"

"I hope my opinion isnt pblic but with this medium it isnt possible. But dear writer, if you take this resposiblity, dont tell me now that we have to wait 24 more months for the ending, dont be stupid, man." and "finish that my son"

Umm rough translation for anyone that thought "WTF" about that last post. LOL

And great job Liegh! Im doing a reread of the whole series before allowing myself to buy the newest book. Just starting book 4. Thanks for all the insight!

Greetings to all from South Texas, and please, send me some of your snow for Christmas!!!
Don, Iowa
92. BenM
Porque el espanol? Huh? Not that there's anything wrong with that, I suppose. It's just weird out of the blue. Anywho...

Paitr: I wouldn't take that to be the same Paitr. Could be I suppose. But doesn't have to be. It's not like people never have the same name. It strikes me as a name that could be pretty common in Andor.

Rand sick at the inn: kind of a parallel to the nativity story. The "chosen one" is (directly or indirectly) not allowed at the inn, has to sleep in straw in a barn/stable.
Don, Iowa
93. VannaB
Probably moot at this point, but I just discovered these re-reads, and I LOVE them!!!! Thank you for doing this!!

Mat is one of my favorite characters, but I totally understand why he shies away from Rand later in the books. He grew up with the idea that men who could channel were baaaad. And that the Dragon was even worse. And now his best friend is both. In his core, we know he will stand by Rand through the worst of things, but that doesn't make him any less nervous about being around Rand. I love Mat because he's human. And because he remembers how to have fun even when things just suck.

And I totally agree that if Mat and Perrin and Rand would just TALK about the weird things going on in their brains, they'd probably A-discover they're not alone, and B-think maybe they have it easy compared to the other two, and C-be able to strategize a helluva lot more effectively. stubborn stubborn men... ah well. who can blame them for not saying a word? "Hey, uh, Rand, do you ever feel the dice rolling? or remember battles from a thousand years ago?" "No, but I do have Lews Therin rambling insanely in my head about the Forsaken, and somehow I know how to do stuff with the power. What about you Perrin?" "Oh, me? Nah, I just talk to wolves."

Anyway, that being said, I love how Mat and Rand stick by each other here. How Rand's after-sickness makes him completely helpless and Mat forgets about his own issues and takes care of him. It's the foundation for a friendship that is tested to its very limit by a world being torn apart. I love it!
Don, Iowa
95. Gabriele
I know I am really late in commenting (I only found this reread site a week or so ago--trying to catch up but may never). But if anyone rereads thes comments: Does anyone catch the fact that when Perrin dreams of Baalzamon and the raven poking his eye out that Elayas tells him it's time to go and then later they are running away from ravens? It seems to me that Elayas, instead of leading them out of danger, put them in harms way, especially the Whitecloaks.
Jeff Weston
96. JWezy
I still note new comments, so I'm here. You will find the re-read changes over time, I think they even improve. Certainly the community of commenters is pretty entertaining.

As for Elyas, I think he knows something bad is coming and is not willing to bring it down on the Traveling People. He may not live their lives, but he clearly respects them and their choices, and it is well within character to move on at that point.

As I recall, until they actually encounter the ravens, Perrin asks him what he is uneasy about, and Elyas says he doesn't know.

I have always assumed that Elyas has wolf dreams as well, and that he got his warning there. Why he and Perrin never meet in the wolf dream, I don't know. Nor do I know why the two of them can talk to the wolves, but cannot telepathically talk to each other (I think Elyas almost denies he can in a chapter or so, when Perrin thinks he reads his mind about whether he would kill Egwene cleanly rather than let the Ravens kill her slowly).
Don, Iowa
97. Alo
I just did a reread myself and I've realized something about Mat's supposed disloyalty. When you read from his POV, he's an unreliable narrator when it comes to his friends because no matter how much he grumbles and complains, he always comes through for them.

He's gone on at length about how irritating Egwene is but he puts his neck on the line to save her. I think it's the same for Rand. In fact, I think Siuan put it best when she compared him to her uncle.

He bitches and moans, but he unfailingly loyal. In his own way.
Don, Iowa
98. Tarmon
Concerning Thom being non-threatening in the dream:
But at the time, the Dragon /is/ a threatening icon! Still, that does seem to be a different style.
Don, Iowa
99. TheBeerPatriot
I just have to say it's taken way too long since my last post. Granted I've been busy with work and reading other stuff as well, but man I gotta speed up if I'm going to complete my re-read before the AMOL release at this rate! Anyway...

While Nynaeve, Lan and Moiraine don't get much time in this section, the chapter with these three shows Nynaeve's growing animosity towards Moiraine-and foreshadows her animosity at other Aes Sedai throughout the series. When I first read WOT, I couldn't stand Nynaeve in this book, but I'm definitely more favorable to her now...especially with how much she grows in subsequent books.

I liked the chapters with Perrin, Egwene and Elyas. It's hard to believe that Perrin and Egwene would not share another scene until Towers! I like the interaction between those two while staying with the Tinkers. The chapter with the raven chase is quite suspenseful. I had forgotten about Elyas' story about Artur Hawkwing in the stedding before they are set upon by the Whitecloaks.

RJ did a great job laying out the five consecutive Rand/Mat chapters in this section leading up to Caemlyn. The first chapter (Play For Your Supper) seems to provide a peaceful interlude...only to be harassed by Darkfriends the rest of the way to Caemlyn. I do love how how secondary characters Else Grinwell and Almen Bunt end up reappearing later in the series.

One of the most vivid dream/nightmare sequences is just before they arrive at Caemlyn. Rand envisions him carrying Thom on a cart, while Thom tells him "but the Dragon . . . the Dragon is one with the land, and the land is one with the Dragon." This Fisher King reference doesn't come into play until Towers, but it's amazing how long term Jordan foreshadows his characters.

When they arrive in Caemlyn, the sense of relief is neutralized by Mat's open suspicion of everyone, quite tainted by the Shadar Logoth dagger now. This section still carries a LOTR flavor, but there is definite signs of the divergent directions the characters will take going forward.
Ron Garrison
101. Man-0-Manetheran
The first time reading tEotW, did any of us think that Bela and Hopper would remain part of the story all this time? And that they have become such dear characters.
Tricia Irish
102. Tektonica
I'm about 3/4 of the way through tEotW and LOVING it! There are so many tidbits in there that resonate throughout the books.

One week from today, folks........
Don, Iowa
103. Daz
"Call me crazy, but I say go for the option that doesn’t involve eye-stabbings. This is not rocket science, here."

Ha!

I really enjoy your writing style. This is so much better than the other WoT synopses I've happened across.

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