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The Liveblog of Time: The Eye of the World
Prologue: Dragonmount
Yup, Distant prologue. Somewhere near 3000 years, I believe. That said, both of the characters in the prologue become relevant later in the story.

Honestly, I strongly suggest you reread this prologue after finishing this first book. The same applies for the other prologues, but to a far lesser degree.

.

But yeah. I look forward to reading what you have to say. By coincidence, I just started rereading the most recent book a couple of days ago. (Of course, not having to write down my thoughts every couple of pages mean that I'll probably be done before you get to the bit where the protagonists start their journey. :P)
Sabbo
Actually I'd suggest you reread it right now. The start makes more sense when you know the end. (Lews Therin's self immolation is just an overly dramatic suicide btw, just one that's dramatic enough to burn a hole in the crust)
129.240.77.90
Chapter 1: An Empty Road
Don't worry, around half of the characters here you'll never read about again after the protagonists start their adventure. I'll leave the surprise to you as to who the protagonists I'm referring to are. :P

That said, Emond's Field as a setting does crop up again later. Somewhere near the fifth or sixth book, I think.
Sabbo
I noticed the LOTR resemblances a lot in the first book too, it's not just you. It eases up after that though.

Emond's Field shows up again in the fourth book, actually.
montagohalcyon
I stand corrected.
Sabbo
Hm. It seems the weather is already being affected in the first book. Interesting.
Tropethorn
Chapter 2: Strangers
Yes Moraine is older than she looks. No she is not as old as an entire turning of the wheel.

Interesting predictions though.
Sabbo
Never take the King's shilling, lads!
SKJAM
Chapter 3: The Peddler
Don't worry, there's only a few more characters of importance left to introduce throughout the whole book (I'd say... ten). Only one of these will be introduced before the protagonists start their adventure.

But yeah, I'm firmly in the group who consider Robert Jordan's "sexism" to be vastly overstated by the people who don't like the series. And a couple who do like the series, but whatever.
Sabbo
Since things might get very confusing later otherwise I'll say that Perin is the blacksmiths apprentice, not his son. Also Nynaeve is something like 5 or so years older.

As for Jordan's sexism some of the critizism's good, some not that much. For exemple the lack of male channelers is supposed to have created a world where women dominate to a lesser degree (andor's and the sea folk only having female rulers) to greater degree (the ridiculuous list Shienar has and Malkier had for what a man must do if asked by a woman) to the oh my god I'm not sure if I can't believe humans could do this, or if I only wish I couldn't believe it degree (Women in Ebou Dar being legally allowed to kill their husbands at any time, for any reason or none at all). Some feminists see this as evidence that RJ thinks all women are crazy bitches. (these same feminists often have no problem with seeing the real world as a genderswapped version).

Something more substantial is the fact that he seems to like to see female authority figures pulled down in some humiliating fashion just a little too much. And the Super Girls (not saying who that is until the permanent cast has been firmly established, not sure wether that would count as a spoiler)

Also some claim that all the young women in the series act exactly the same way and it's a very irrational one at that. The first part is silly and very very wrong (though specifics would be spoilers) and the second is not a particularly female quality given that common sense is usually shown around once by one character per book

Kzickas
Ah, just remembered something I wanted to make you aware of: The internal consistency of the plot and stuff like that only really starts in the second book; this first book seems to have been written as if it were intended to be the only book in the series, or perhaps as if it were one of three.

Due to this, there are quite a few things in this first book which are retconned in later books, as well as some things which seem important here, but lose importance very quickly.
Sabbo
Chapter 4: The Gleeman
And thus we meet the next character of note.
Sabbo
Oh, there'll be more of them :p
Arilou
Arilou, are you talking to me? Because I've read this entire series. (excluding the as yet unreleased final book, of course)
Sabbo

24.9.18.44
Sorry for the blank comment. Something you might've missed in the long Thom scene, "Len flies to the moon in the belly of an eagle made of fire" is an indicator that one or two ages ago people had modern technology, or even future technology. Something went wrong for us to be in the Renaissance.
24.9.18.44
Aaand I just finally started my reread today, and this is approximately where I'm at.

(You might also notice the giant Mosk and his lance of fire that reaches around the world.)

I'm pretty sure neither of these were things I caught my third time through the series (didn't know about the Wo T-world=Earth theory until halfway into that particular reread).
montagohalcyon (edited by: montagohalcyon)
Chapter 5: Winternight
I was surprised at Tam's survival myself the first time through for the same reason.

The Trollocs really don't get much differentiation. I think he was planning to at first—the glossaries for the first several books go to the trouble of labeling different tribes—but nothing comes of it.

Alternatively, those names and the name "Trolloc" itself might just be given as hints at links to our mythology; there's a fan theory that the world of Wo T is actually Earth several cycles ahead or behind on the wheel. The country of Andor and the names of several characters might remind you of Arthurian legend.
montagohalcyon
Yeah, the Trollocs sadly end up (mostly) being just another brute race. The most recent book does say though how the ones with different heads are different from each other. I believe the bear-headed ones were supposed to be the most brutish of them, but you'll probably never really notice a difference.
Sabbo
Chapter 6: The Westwood
I like how Robert Jordan made this story mesh in so many ways. Rand's real mother is just the beginning of it. You know the "six degrees of separation" thing (for example, the Bacon number)? Rand is around five degrees away from Lan, ignoring the fact that they just met. In a fantasy world, that's impressive.
Sabbo
Chapter 7: Out of the Woods
Fain right now is uninteresting. Fain every other time he appears is very interesting.
Sabbo
Indeed. By the way, at this pace you're going to be doing this for years :p
Arilou
Let's see assuming a chapter a day, and ignoring the prologue book, this should only take another... 618 days, or until November 8th, 2013.

And then there's the many chapters which have multiple viewpoint characters. Which is most of them. Not sure how he's going to handle that.
Sabbo
It's actually pretty appealing that I won't have to wait for the last book to be published. Oh, the plain of being a fan of A Song Of Ice And Fire.
Eegah
I'm glad I just started ASOIAF, I'll only have to deal with waiting for (hopefully) two books. Halfway through Storm of Swords right now, then rereading Wo T before the finale will keep me occupied for a while.
montagohalcyon (edited by: montagohalcyon)
Chapter 8: A Place of Safety
I never thought of the Aes Sedai as Bene Gesserit, but now that you mention it...

Again, you'll probably keep noticing similarities to LOTR or other stories throughout the first book, but that's about it, after that things seemed pretty original to me. Of course, it's also been a while since I read the early novels.
montagohalcyon
Myrdraal aren't cross breeds between human and trolloc. They're the offspring of trolloc that happen to end up with more human than the normal trollocs human/animal mix.
Kzickas
I don't remember how much of the heron-mark blade thing was mentioned so far and what will be mentioned later, but it's not so important that I can't tell you now. I'll leave a gap before that though, just in case you'd rather wait until it's explained in more detail later.

.

.

It is the mark of a swordsman who has attained the rank of 'blademaster'. This rank is most often achieved by beating another blademaster in single combat, although there are other ways. When Lan calls it a warder's sword, he is - I believe - referring to how it was long ago made with the One Power, and as such will never dull, as well as being particularly effective against shadowspawn (eg. Trollocs & Myrddraal). These Power-wraught heron-mark blades, in their rarity, are a mark of skill among swordsmen, and are generally only possessed by the most skilled even among blademasters.

That said, Aes Sedai of their time cannot make such weapons any more, as one of their Three Oaths makes them physically incapable of doing so. If you haven't yet learned of these "Three Oaths" yet, you will soon.
Sabbo (edited by: Sabbo)
Chapter 9: Tellings of the Wheel
The padding you'll learn to hate is descriptions of clothing :p

Also, most of the stuff they talk about end up actually being relevant in some way. (you just might have to wait ten books or so)

Arilou
Also, Jordan can write great battles. Just wait until Dumai's Wells. (that's oh... Six books away.
Arilou
The padded clothing (:P) I can deal with. It's the opening of every book I hate, wherein the author writes about how a wind has moved over the surface of the land in a completely unimportant way. Which takes two or three pages.
Sabbo
Oh, and those dreams are important; pay attention to what is said and shown in them.
Sabbo
^^Really? I actually love that, ties all the books together in a way. And also the epilogues in which a multitude of false rumours spread across the land, but one central truth gets across in all of them.

But then, I didn't notice any padding until about the 8th book my first time through, probably because I read quickly and didn't have to wait long stretches for the next installment.

Of course, after that the internet informed me that boy there sure are a lot of descriptions of dresses and braid-tugging etc. Then I noticed.

Oh, yes, any dreams that happen mean something sooner or later, even if the character who had them never figures it out.
montagohalcyon
I know you're way beyond this point, and I'm going to be catching up, but I just gotta say, I fucking adore Manetheren, and the story that Moiraine tells here. Seriously, biggest fucking badasses ever. *hearts*

-Kiryn
71.93.175.114
Chapter 10: Leavetaking
The sexism in the series is really quite... Structural? It's pretty clear that Jordan *means* well. It's just that he has a very essentialist (and a bit weird) view on gender. The end result is a bit of a mess.

Also, he has a thing for spanking, and tends to include it a lot.
Arilou
Also, the cast is going to expand, and expand, and expand, and expand. This little adventuring party is going to stay the core of the story, but each of them is going to assemble a supporting cast larger than the original party... And that's not even talking about the villains and antagonists yet...
Arilou
Yeah, like I said in the introduction, part of my reason for writing this is to make it easier to keep things straight, with writing this stuff down myself doing more to keep it in my head than just reading it. I've gotten lost several times with A Song Of Ice And Fire and had to do some wary browsing through its wiki trying to avoid spoilers, and I don't want that experience again.
Eegah
The Draghkar is mentioned already? Huh. I'd forgotten that bit.

As for the map, I'm going to assume you have the same version of the book I do (even though it's very possible you don't), so follow these directions:

To start, I'll assume you know where the Two Rivers are. Follow the road from there to the east, passing Whitebridge, Four Kings & Caemlyn until you hit Aringill. From Aringill, follow the river/border north, and you'll hit Tar Valon, right next to Dragonmount.
Sabbo
Ah, I see it now. Yeah, just lazy then. I'm using the Ipad version, by the way.
Eegah
I see. Well, there are three different maps, so I wasn't (and still aren't) sure which version you'd have. (in the newer (color) version, the directions are the same, but the River Erinin stretches a bit further east & west than in the other versions. In the oldest version (the one I've got), it barely goes east at all.)
Sabbo
Chapter 11: The Road to Taren Ferry
Hightower was the true star of that movie. Well, after that guy who made all those sound effects anyway.
Sabbo
Actually, Moiraine made that fog to hide the group from the Draghkar, so that it couldn't scout them (yes, like a Crebain). Still not good, in any case.

-Kiryn
71.93.175.114
Chapter 12: Across the Taren
Thom loves his hidden knives. A couple of other characters do too, but there's not much point talking about that yet. Interestingly, there are also a few characters who find such knife flipping as just for show, and of no indication as for real skill.
Sabbo
Chapter 13: Choices
Hang on, that doesn't seem right... *rereads that chapter*

..Ah yes. You misread the bit about the male Aes Sedai. Keep in mind to distinguish what Moraine said from what Egwene said.

That said, are you happy with the new map? (Well, at least I assume you get to see the map at the start of this chapter in your version)
Sabbo
Yeah, though since they haven't left town I haven't gotten a closer look at it.

I did mean to adjust that statement after I read the chapter's second half (if they're more than 10 pages I pause to write stuff down when I'm halfway through) but so much else happened that I forgot. It is a nice distinguishing feature from the Bene Gesserit, that the Aes Sedai (one of them, at least) is willing to admit that they're fallible humans like everyone else.
Eegah
And just like fallible humans, some still believe they're better than ordinary people, or rather anybody else who isn't them.
Sabbo
Chapter 14: The Stag and Lion
Mat undergoes some drastic personality changes over the course of this book and the next couple...he'll be one of the most awesome characters later on.
montagohalcyon
I'm not certain, but it always felt to me that the author had made plans for it to be a single book, a trilogy, or the full 12+1 books (for which the last book - the 12th, not the +1 - was split into three by Brandon Sanderson and the editor)

Regarding "darkfriends", it's later revealed that this was (in-story) a warping of the phrase "Friends of the Dark", which is what they used to be called. That's dark with a capital D - the "Dark One". You'll get used to it.

Also, you misread again: It did not say that Lews Therin tainted the male half of the One Power.
Sabbo
Also, even if he said that, the Dark O Ne is known as the "Father of Lies" :p
Arilou
True again.
Sabbo
I think RJ originally intended it to be a trilogy—-you'll see a bit of a deviation in style in the endings of the third book versus the fourth...but, as you can probably already see, the plot yarn just kept on spinning and spinning and spinning...and now look where we are. ;)
71.93.175.114
Chapter 15: Strangers and Friends
Ah, some more recurring characters. Also, all these Contrived Coincidences has an explanation, or Hand Wave, rather, though it actually does figure into the plot occasionally.
Arilou
Hmm, Vimes in the world of Wo T. Interesting idea...
montagohalcyon
I don't think it's that much of a contrieved coincidence. Baerlon isn't really that big, it only seems that way to the duopotamians because they've never seen anything bigger than a little village before
Kzickas
Ha, I'm curious to hear what you'll think of the next chapter's developments.
Sabbo
Chapter 16: The Wisdom
"Offscreen Moment Of Awesome", huh? Interesting. I remember reading a forum post somewhere a while ago (shortly before Robert Jordan died) which was kind of like an Abridged Series, only in writing (as would make sense for a book). It covered the tracking moment by saying how ridiculous it was for someone who's life regularly depends on not being noticed to be noticed by someone with what would realistically be only basic tracking skills. At the end of what was written there, the author (who had gone by the name of ISAM) claimed to be Robert Jordan himself.
Sabbo
Chapter 17: Watchers and Hunters
The different cultures in Wo T all have their own names for things like the Myrddraal, you'll see a few more. Not sure why it's inconsistent there though...

I've been meaning to reread these before the final book comes out, maybe I should start over spring break so I can follow along with this blog better.
montagohalcyon
Myrddraal will, in time (I don't remember how long), become the standard name for it, as well as "The Dark One" becoming the standard name for that... being.

...Except among two groups of people, one of whom will consistently use the same names for the various dark forces that crop up - I think the only name they share usage of is Trolloc. The other group I refer to only use a different name for the Dark One and darkfriends of various degrees of authority.
Sabbo
Yeah, I got that different cultures have different names for them, but until now Rand has consistently thought of it as a Fade, while this one scene just randomly uses both at different times, something you'd hope any decent editor would catch.
Eegah
Myrdraal is the "proper" Old Tongue name for it.

Note that there are reasons for characters to occasionally slip into the Old Tongue, but that's a different matter entirely. (at least Rand & Mat)

Also, when he says the face is "smooth", he means the thing hasn't got any eyes: Just skin. (Hence another of the names for Myrdraal: "Eyeless")
Arilou
Ah, I hope I remember a question I wanted to ask you (Eegah) by the time you get up to Caemlyn. It would be nice to ask it now, but there are a few characters introduced in that city who would make good characters to compare to.
Sabbo
Chapter 18: The Caemlyn Road
What Moiraine does there is actually nothing really special. Channelers just are that powerful. (although she also has an angreal at this point I believe)

Wait until you see what a circle, or someone with a sa'angreal can do.

Killing the Fade doesen't neccessarily incapacitate the trollocs: It's something many (if not all) Myrdraal do to keep them in control. (especially important now when they're moving in "civilized" lands I guess)
Arilou
Nah, Shadar Logoth isn't quite like Moria. (It's not a cave, for one. :P) You'll find out soon enough why though.
Sabbo
There will be Moria though. It comes soon, as I see you are in chapter 38.
94.237.122.29
Chapter 19: Shadow's Waiting

He's going to be obnoxious some more in this book, but one of those times saves Rand's life, so w/e.

Also, I love the Phantom Tollbooth, thanks for making a reference to it.
montagohalcyon (edited by: montagohalcyon)
You may hate Mat now, but... *completely agrees with montagohalcyon*
Sabbo
I immediately thought of Phantom Tollbooth when Mordeth started talking about his treasure, and the Senses Taker actually isn't the one he's the most similar to (that's probably the guy who keeps you counting sand or digging a hole with a needle) but he was the only one whose name I remembered from all those years ago when I read it.
Eegah
Reading this chapter as I'm catching up, I'm reminded that I still don't get why Mordeth vanishes. I guess it could be the sword, just seems unlikely.

I'm wondering now if maybe the Trollocs entered Shadar Logoth at that moment and he could sense them.
montagohalcyon
Chapter 20: Dust on the Wind
Nah, Nynaeve is with Moraine. And no that's not really a spoiler.

As for Bayle Domon, I suppose Caribbean does suit him, although it never really occurred to me before due to me having essentially no exposure to such accents & dialects.
Sabbo
Chapter 21: Listen to the Wind
Told you.

-Sabbo
203.33.133.31
Chapter 22: A Path Chosen
...Short chapters make it hard for me to comment on them. :/
Sabbo
Chapter 23: Wolfbrother
Remember, there are more than a dozen books left. They're going to keep adding new characters for most of them. Part of the reason for the infamous plot-goes-out-of-control is the fact that there's just so gosh-darn MANY threads to the Pattern.

Arilou
Yeah, there's definitely quite a few characters of note introduced throughout the series. I place vague counts of "above 50". (I'd tried counting, but got to 40 within the first 4 books, then lost track of a few characters after that)

Sabbo
To some degree I can't even blame Jordan for hi "Every character has the same personality" syndrome: With that many it makes sense he has to repeat himself after a while.
Arilou
According to the Loads And Loads Of Characters page, there's over 2,000 named characters. So I can only imagine this kind of thing explodes in later books, Harry Turtledove style.
Eegah
"Named characters" is different from "important characters", so you won't have to worry too much. I'd take a guess at the final number for "important characters" being somewhere between 75-100.

...Which I suppose is still quite a few. Good thing then that many of these will be dead by the end, or of no importance by then.
Sabbo
Chapter 24: Flight Down the Arinelle
While we've mentioned a few times that Mat becomes awesome later, you just reminded me that it's not particularly soon, either. (Not this book, anyway. I know when, but I'll let that revelation come at its own pace)
Sabbo
There's all sorts of taboos regarding naming the Dark One. Although that mainly applies to his true name (Shai'tan).
Arilou
And it's not a pointless taboo, bad things do tend to happen if you say it.

I was biased in favor of liking a certain character from the start because my name IRL is Matt, lol. So he's probably more irritating in the beginning than I remember.
montagohalcyon (edited by: montagohalcyon)
Chapter 25: The Travelling People
That Proud Warrior Race? Yeah, you're going to be seeing them a lot a couple of books from now. Which I suppose is obvious.

Also, to get ahead of the game, they remind me of the Fremen.

Tinkers...not so much, so you can be thankful for that.
montagohalcyon
You'll get more info on the tinkers later, suffice to say that they're actually kind of heretical. But you'll get more info on that in oh... About five books?
Arilou
@montagohalcyon: Be careful of what has and hasn't been revealed yet; I don't think the Proud Warrior Race bit has really been touched on yet.

@Arilou: Tinkers as heretics? Are you sure you aren't thinking in reverse there? (...Or maybe I'm remembering it wrong. I did after all pay more attention to the other side of the issue than the Tinkers. :/)

But yeah, Tinkers reappear around 4-5 books from now.
Sabbo (edited by: Sabbo)
^ As opposed to the Jenn
Arilou
Ah, right. I see where you're coming from now.
Sabbo
Chapter 26: Whitebridge
Syrio Forel? I haven't read that series, so you may need to explain.
Sabbo
We last see him in book one fighting a seemingly hopeless battle. There's been no sign of him in the four books after that, but I'm still holding out hope, especially since the TV show also didn't show his death.
Eegah
Chapter 27: Shelter From the Storm
I've never particularly liked the Tinkers. Not for any personal reasons or anything; I just don't think they're written that well.
Sabbo
Chapter 28: Footprints in Air
The "Aes Sedai never explain anything" is kind of a running issue. Partially it's their own fault, they can't actually lie, so they've grown very good at twisting the truth... Only everyone KNOWS this, so no one believes they're saying what they're saying even when they are....
Arilou
No, I'm pretty sure Perrin's to the east. Well, the north-east anyway. He already crossed the river, no? And Whitebridge is on the river.
Sabbo
Chapter 29: Eyes Without Pity
You do meet an Ogier in this book, can't remember if it's soon though.

Lots of Arthurian naming throughout. Mostly Andoran characters and locations for some reason. Which strikes me as odd because Tar Valon — Avalon was the first I noticed.

Actually, speaking of that you already met one, Thom Merrilin...hmm...I just realized some foreshadowing. I notice new things every time I reread/observe someone else reading this series.

Anyway, IMO it's less ripping off, more evidence for the "Earth is Wo T world in the far future/distant past" fan theory.
montagohalcyon (edited by: montagohalcyon)
Basically, there's this underlying theory that the WOT world is our world/a reflection of our world/will become our world (since time is cyclical it doesen't really matter) Artur Paendrag is only the most obvious examples, there are others.

An obvious arthurian reference is of course, the Sword In The Stone. (which has already come up) there's a bunch of legends too.

Arilou
Hawkwing is King Arthur, or at least his reincarnation. As far as I can tell Andor's Arthurian themed because Camelyn = Camelot.

If you want more evidence on the Our world is the First Age theory, go back to chapter 4 and look at the stories that Thom is bringing up and see if you can recognize any of them.
Jackalyn
I don't think the Ages work like that, Jackalyn. I've always seen it as The Breaking being the start of the First Age, the end of the Trolloc Wars being the start of the second, the fall of Hawkwing being the start of the third, and the Last Battle to be the start of the fourth. Each other set of ages would have different markers for the start of the second & third ages, but the other two would be the same.
Sabbo
Everywhere else, I've seen it as First Age = Age of Myths, Second Age = Age of Legends and the Breaking starting the Third Age. I think the Guide spells this out.
Jackalyn
It's been a while since I've even seen the guide, so you'll have to forgive my general ignorance of it. That said, I've always gotten the feeling that "The Third Age" is a misnomer, and that there has actually already been many more than just three.
Sabbo
It's supposed to be the Third Age of this turning of the Wheel, and that it's happened thousands of times, Eternal Recurrence being what it is. I'm sure that if we had more information we could call it the Fifth or Seventh age as easily as the Third, or use the other names it's given. But the Third Age is how it's referred to in universe, and defined as spanning from the Breaking to current day.
Jackalyn
Chapter 30: Children of Shadow
Well, if I remember the map correctly, then they'd need to head east first anyway, at least until they get to Four Kings. After that though, heading further east would be wasteful.
Sabbo
ARGH so many things I want to say about Whitecloaks now but SPOILERS.

It's unfortunate so many of them are playing more-fanatical-and-suspicious-than-thou. Suffice to say every variation on The Cavalry comes into play with them at one point or another.
montagohalcyon
Chapter 31: Play For Your Supper
I think that girl shows up again later, although I might be thinking of somebody else. She's still unimportant even then though.
Sabbo
Chapter 32: Four Kings in Shadow
After having read all the books, the lightning being a Deus Ex Machina seems decidedly less-so. Or more so, depending on how you look at it. You'll find out by the end of the third book, I'd say. Fourth at worst.
Sabbo
SPOILER, although if you're paying attention you might have guessed it anyway.

Now that I've caught up considerably on my own reread, I can say that you might want to pay attention to how often something inexplicable or lucky happens and then one of the characters acts crazy or sick several days later, and remember Moiraine's talk with Nynaeve.
montagohalcyon
Chapter 33: The Dark Waits
Nah, this isn't where Mat gets his rescue; that comes later. Don't hold your breath.

Also, what did you mean by "a fairly minor soldier in the devil's army"? Because if you meant what it looks like you meant (note that I know nothing of that Touch Of Satan thing), then it applies to most darkfriends. Almost all of them, really.
Sabbo
The Touch of Satan was a movie featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, infamous for its numerous lengthy dialogue pauses and a thoroughly dense and unappealing main character. He ends up selling his soul to Satan, and the riff is "I think he's going to be a fairly minor soldier in the devil's army." Likewise, Paitr is a timid weakling who Rand lays out with one punch.
Eegah
Ah, I see. Well I guess I'm mostly right then; darkfriends are not in general particularly intimidating - it's only when the they're working together are the average darkfriends of any threat.
Sabbo
Chapter 34: The Last Village
Well that was an odd chapter, considering what I know. I think I'll go read it to see whether you misread anything. :/

...

Ah, right; there we go. Pay attention to words which are capitalized or italicized. The latter I assume you've been good with, but you missed the former in this chapter at least once: "Dragon" was capitalized during the dream.
Sabbo
Chapter 35: Caemlyn
Right, Mat being the way he is now doesn't end for a while. I forget whether one of us commenters mentioned earlier how long that will be, so I'm going to not say.
Sabbo
Chapter 36: Web of the Pattern
Ah, Loial. Yes, you'll be seeing more of him.

On a different note, we're almost up to the point where I wanted to ask you a question I've been meaning to ask for a while now... You just need to meet a couple more characters first.
203.33.133.31
(Ah dammit. I wasn't logged in. This - and the previous comment - were written by me, Sabbo)
203.33.133.31
Chapter 37: The Long Chase
Maybe the good tracking skills were related to her potential to use saidar? It is shown several times in this book that just wanting something can be enough for it to happen if the want-er has the potential. The thing with the horses in this chapter is another such example, I think.

The differences in this second case of course being that she'd be following a much smaller (and more easily hidden) group, and has far more wish to find the other Emond's Fielders than follow Moraine & Lan, despite her awareness of how the end results would be similar.
Sabbo
Chapter 38: Rescue
Sorry, but the concept of ta'varen is extremely central to how this series works. Luckily, it explains handily why so much can happen around only a few people.
Sabbo
It just hit me. Maybe the Whitecloaks are on their way to intercept the Aes Sedai. That would explain their weird pathfinding and insistence on being fast?

It might be explained by something else later in the book, but I can't remember, but that's just what it seems like to me right now.
Tropethorn
The Aes Sedai who have Logain, that is.
Tropethorn
Chapter 39: Weaving of the Web
More will be revealed :p

Let's just say that your guesses are incredibly entertaining.
Arilou
Also, Mat currently has a reason for behaving like a douche. It's his own fault in a way, but still.
Arilou
Let's just say that your guesses are incredibly entertaining.

Quite.
Sabbo
Chapter 40: The Web Tightens
Supergirl #3 acquired.

Also Haremette #2, but that's a different matter.
Arilou
Also why the hell doesen't the damn spoiler tags work?
Arilou
Let's see if I can get it.

Nope. Huh.
montagohalcyon (edited by: montagohalcyon)
You might want to go edit your comments then, Arilou. I don't like that spoilertags don't work either (they also don't work for the people actually writing the liveblogs, I should add), but I don't exactly see a solution. :/

On a completely different matter it's finally time for me to ask what I was wanting to ask Eegah: Of all the characters introduced thus far, what do you predict their order of international importance - from most important to least - will be by the point of the series at which we currently stand (ie. the end of book 13)? I would say "political importance", but there are a number of characters who are important albeit not within a political nature.
Sabbo (edited by: Sabbo)
Elayne's definitely at the top of the list, as she'll undoubtedly use the trip to tag along with the heroes. Maybe with Gawyn joining her, though he's pretty much a cypher so far, only existing to react to his sister. Morgase will stay put for a while, until Elaida makes her inevitable attempt to kill everyone.

Once the rest of the group catches up to Rand and Mat, they'll probably overrule Rand's objections to Loial joining them, and Elyas is definitely coming back later. After that, everyone sort of blends together into minor annoyances, though a few will probably become something more. Especially Fain, if that's who it is, with the buildup he's gotten.
Eegah
You misunderstand me. As a comparison, of the characters introduced thus far, the order of "importance" is something like this right now: Morgase, Elayne, Byrne(sp?), Gawyn, Galad, Elaida & Moraine, Bornhald & Tallanvor (I think...), Lan, Nyneave, and then everybody else is around equal... except for a couple of characters who I feel it would be a spoiler to tell you where they fit... and also which characters those are, of course.
Sabbo (edited by: Sabbo)
Ah. The Whitecloaks are probably going to become a much bigger deal later on, given the hints that they're sliding into Complete Monster territory with Byar's descriptions of the tortures they do. And Elaida is going to strike out on her own once it becomes clear that her control over Morgase has slipped too far, maybe to the ruler of some other territory we haven't seen. This will mean Elayne and Gawyn, plus all the guards, will find themselves much lower on the totem pole, giving them a more rootable underdog status.
Eegah
And any thoughts on the rest of the characters? I may have waited until now to ask the question, but that was because I was waiting for the rest of the characters introduced in this book to be introduced. (Actually, there are four other named characters who get introduced later, but only one of them lasts beyond this book as they are.)
Sabbo
Like I said, the rest are basically a blur; the only ones that really stand out are the multitudes of people everyone has been pissing off that will probably come back one by one and get smacked down.
Eegah
If you say so. I bet you'd have a more detailed answer by the end of this first book, however. :P
Sabbo
Chapter 41: Old Friends and New Threats
And thus we have dagger reveal #2 (#1 was its existence in the first place). #3 is pretty good though.
Sabbo
Chapter 42: Remembrance of Dreams
I doubt the Ways were mentioned before this chapter, as they only relate to the Ogier, male Aes Sedai, the Stedding, and the great cities (Caemlyn, Tar Valon, Manetheren, and a number of others.)
Sabbo
Yeah, the Ways weren't mentioned, but there's a pretty important reason on why they shouldn't be using them.

And now you know why Mat's been in Scrappy territory so far. And don't worry. When Mat gets his BAM Fness on, it is ON. He IS my all-time favorite fictional character for a reason, you know. ;)

-Kiryn
71.93.175.114
Remember that there's more than a dozen books left: A lot of stuff that gets introduced now is "really" for later books.
Arilou
Ah, I just realized something. You know how you (Eegah) are getting super-curious about what the Eye of the World actually is? Well I just thought it'd be a good idea to let you know how relevant each of the titles are. Don't read if you don't want to know... not that it's really spoilering anything.

Sabbo
I think, might be wrong, that Knife of Dreams refers to the process of breaching the Tower of Ghenjei, which we find out needs to be entered in that book.

Literally, the Towers of Midnight are an actual place in a land the name of which would potentially be spoilery (where Tuon's from), but other than hearing of a rebellion there they don't come into the plot.

Figuratively it could be referring to the Tower of Ghenjei again, especially given what happens to a character there. Or, it could refer to the embattled White Tower. Or, the sinister goings-on at Taim's academy.
montagohalcyon (edited by: montagohalcyon)
No, "Knife of Dreams" refers to a quote in the beginning of that book, but I suppose it could figuratively, or alternatively, or whatever, refer to the Tower of Ghenjei. Anyway, that quote is from a book that Mat will come to like a lot, and goes like this: "The sweetness of victory and the bitterness of defeat are alike a knife of dreams."

(And despite that it seems to be something of an unpopular opinion in the fandom, but I actually really liked "Knife of Dreams", damn it! It's the book that I've reread the most out of the entire series (well...the Mat sections, at least, haha).)

-Kiryn
71.93.175.114
That was my favorite beginning-of-the-novel quote. I don't know how I forgot it. :(
montagohalcyon
Chapter 43: Decisions and Apparitions
So that's the Moria equivalent, the Ways.
94.237.121.161
It won't exactly spoil anything, but the Ajahs are basically divisions of Aes Sedai, they each have their separate "goals" (and a bunch of traditions in addition to that not related to their goals) add to this that individual Aes Sedai may go off and do their own thing, but you'll get MORE than enough of Aes Sedai politics in the series...

Arilou
The whole thing about Ajahs gets expanded upon starting in the next book, to be exact.
Sabbo
RJ screws a few things up in the gender politics of the series, but at the very least, I appreciate that he at least is willing to examine the subject and that he tries. You'll see a lot of gender-flipped points throughout the series. For instance, one that I'm sure you've already come across, and that isn't spoilery if you haven't, is the fact that in Wo T, there's a constant assertion that men are the gossips, versus our society, which typically views the *women* as such. So, you see what I mean about a gender-flipped point there? The READERS know that such a thing is ridiculous, because we're inside the guys' heads enough to know that they don't really gossip (or talk to each other much at all (especially when it'd REALLY HELP IF THEY DID SO), frustratingly enough), but by flipping the genders on us, RJ makes us pause and think about the inherent absurdity of the assumption that all women are incurable gossipers.

Which, again, I commend him for being willing to examine the topic of gender disparity, because trying is a hell of a lot more than most people do. But...well. Let's just say that, in my opinion, it backfired on him a little bit, because sadly putting such a bright spotlight on the female characters only makes them easier targets, as the readership is outraged at their unfair treatment of the men, and then the HATE THOSE BITCHES is on. Which, really, misses the entire point.

I'm not saying that Jordan doesn't have some problems with sexism in his books, because he does (more on this in later books though). But I don't blame him, and I certainly don't think he had any malicious intent to purposefully be sexist. And I'm not saying that people don't have a right to hate Nynaeve, Moiraine, Egwene, or Elayne, or any other female who shows up, because whatever floats your boat. But I think a lot of hate that the female characters get hit with is simply Misaimed Fandumb. At least, that's the way I see it. *shrugs*

ANYWAY. Ah, the Ways. Both Moria and the Ways are High Octane Nightmare Fuel for me, but I'd totally pick Moria, hands down, over the Ways if I had to journey through one of them. The reason why will become clear once you get there. *shivers*

As Mark would say, you are not prepared. ;)

Anyway, have fun on vacation, and I'll definitely be looking forward to hearing your views on the next chapters! :)
71.93.175.114
^above comment is made by me, Kiryn, by the way. :)
71.93.175.114
Two things: Firstly, Kiryn, why don't you log in before posting? Secondly, it's not that the "men are gossips" thing is a genderflip, it's that Robert Jordan decided to make it obvious that both men and women gossip. If you don't notice the latter, it's because you're not paying attention and are so used to women being the gossips that it doesn't stand out when they do.
Sabbo
Sabbo, I'm not logging in because I don't have an account here.

As for the gossip thing, we'll just have to agree to disagree. I think he's making a gender-flipped point, but whatever works for you. And I pay attention just fine, thank you kindly.
169.235.163.219
You could always, y'know, make an account.

So you notice how often Mat calls women gossips, and yet ignore it? He does it about as often as women claim that men gossip.
Sabbo
Chapter 45: What Follows in Shadow
You know, I actually found that exchange hilarious. :/

(catching up, who will finish first?!)

Also holy cow updates.
montagohalcyon
Chapter 47: More Tales of the Wheel
There's still more to Fain (which apparently no one has figured out by at least the first few chapters of the next book, which is one of the few things that truly bugged me early on).
montagohalcyon
You are quite good at guessing who will be important later, though I suppose it becomes easy after years of TV Tropes.
Tropethorn
Chapter 48: The Blight
I hated that introduction to Lan & Nynaeve too, but it gets a little better in later books.
Sabbo
Chapter 50: Meetings at the Eye
There's 13. Most of them aren't as aged as these two.
montagohalcyon
Chapter 51: Against the Shadow
I was confused also at this point.

However, there is a) some deception going on here on Baalzamon's part and b) the second book's climax far eclipses this one's for epicness, IMO.

SPOILER (I guess?, if you read the next chapter before checking comments you'll know)


Also if you haven't caught on, Rand can channel, which is not a good thing in the view of 99% of the world, including himself.

You probably didn't see my comment since I posted it long after you passed that point, but...this is actually hinted at 3 times earlier (Baerlon, Domon's ship, Four Kings), with Moiraine's talk with Nynaeve being the key. One of those Fridge Brilliance moments when I got it.
montagohalcyon (edited by: montagohalcyon)
montagohalcyon, what do you mean in that last paragraph? Also, I don't think you should have said what you did in that second-last paragraph; it would work better if revealed at its own pace. (...Which admittedly is rather soon)

But yeah. As nice as this ending is, the endings for books 2, 7*, 12 & 13 are all at least as good. (And that's just from what I can remember. There's also several awesome scenes in the middle of various books.)
Sabbo
Oh, sorry. In that case

SPOILERS (only until you've finished this book)


Well, for instance the lightning strike seemed like a huge Deus Ex Machina when I read the book the first time, and Rand's periods of inexplicable foolhardy behavior and/or brief sickness puzzled me.

But once you know what's coming...the symptoms Moiraine describes to Nynaeve of a girl learning unconsciously to channel match up pretty well.

Refreshes Bela en route to Baerlon (her example, when she says she started to suspect), has persistent headache and stands up to Whitecloaks. Saved from Trolloc by boom swinging loose (which Gelb was sure he'd secured), does his stunt in the rigging several days later. Four Kings lightning strike, comes down with short, rapid fever while Mat takes care of him.
montagohalcyon (edited by: montagohalcyon)
Ah right, yes. Now I recall. I had even read your comment a couple of days ago when you referred to this.
Sabbo
It's a bit surreal, yes, it gets *some* level of explanation later, but it's kind of hard to pick up on.
Arilou
Also, yes, there are thirteen Forsaken: Ishamael, Lanfear, Rahvin, Sammael, Graendel, Demandred, Aginor, Balthamel, Moghedien, Mesaana, Asmodean, Be'lal, Semirhage.
Arilou
Chapter 52: There Is Neither Beginning Nor End
Oh good, you're planning to keep reading! :)

My copy has a preview in the back of the next book's prologue. If yours does it should answer one of your questions.
montagohalcyon
Yeah it does, but I already have the whole next book, so why bother?
Eegah
Before you go to the next book though, might I suggest you go back and read this book's prologue? It will make more sense now than it did when you first read it.
Sabbo
Chapter 53: The Wheel Turns
I thought Lan explained the heron earlier. I know somebody, somewhere, in the comments Sabbo in chapter 8 did, but you might have missed it.

Anyway, heron-marked blades generally are worn only by blademasters who have earned the right, which is why it draws attention and makes bullies or guards wary.

Rand's particular sword is one forged by Aes Sedai back before they took the Three Oaths (one of which forbids them to make weapons). It will never lose its edge or break by normal means. They're rare even among blademasters and highly sought after. I'm not sure it's ever explained how Tam got his hands on one, I think he was just a common soldier.
montagohalcyon (edited by: montagohalcyon)
SPOILERS IN THIS COMMENT. Somewhat.

.

montagohalcyon, Tam had the sword because he was a leader in the Aiel War. A general for Illian, I think, but I may be misremembering.
Sabbo
So, new thread for new book?
Arilou
Yeah. And I saw the comment about the sword, but didn't read any farther to avoid spoilers.
Eegah
*further

Don't worry too much about the sword; it will be explained in its entirety what the heron means during the second book. The origin of the sword (ie. Why Tam had it) comes later though, I think.
Sabbo
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