The Liveblog of Time: The Eye of the World


Chapter 3: The Peddler

The title character is Padan Fain, who serves as Mr. Exposition. But itís still not as painful as it might be, as heís a Large Ham who revels in revealing news to insular communities like Two Rivers. We also meet Perrin Aybara, another of Randís friends. Iím now starting to wonder how many more chapters in a row will introduce another of those. He doesnít show much personality so far, besides being The Big Guy thanks to being the blacksmithís son.

Fainís story is about how thereís a war on over the latest of several warlords who claim to be a reincarnation of the Dragon, which the prologue told us is what Therin would be known as. Thereís a prophecy that when he returns, heíll begin a war that will destroy the world. Not sure why anyone would want to fight for him, then, but hey, thatís religion for you. This new one may be genuine, since he has the creatively named One Power, which includes controlling the earth and lightning. Typically only women can use it without quickly going insane. That should provide some good Action Girls. Jordan also throws in a Crowning Moment of Funny when Rand is shouting so the others can hear him, and the noise goes away before heís finished. A clichťd gag, but it works with the way itís thrown into this serious fantasy setting.

Fain gets to a group of Aes Sedai, whatever those are, marching against the supposed Dragon, but then Bran realizes heís stirring the crowd into a panic and makes him tell the rest to the council privately. Oh yeah, thatíll calm them down. Rand and the others talk a bit about the prophecy, including a competing one that says the Dragon will actually save the world, and mention the Aes Sedai a bit, though thereís still nothing that helps explain what they actually are besides skilled wizards, and I get the feeling thereís more to it than that.

Nynaeve alíMeara, the Wisdom we heard about before, makes her entrance and is quickly established as extremely intimidating despite being the same age as Rand, and shorter. Egweneís also there, and Rand makes a real jackass of himself trying to talk to her, especially when he learns sheís considering training to be a Wisdom herself, which would involve leaving Two Rivers, which no one ever does. Yeah, hobbits. Iím calling it. Speaking of which, Perrin reveals that he also saw the Black Rider, and then thereís a cliffhanger with a white-haired man running out of the inn. Not really feeling much tension there, I have to say.

Iíve heard some accuse Jordan of sexism in his writing, but so far Iím impressed. Nynaeveís a little strong with her being described as whipping anyone who mouths off to her, but Egwene is just an intelligent young woman who doesnít take any crap, and is willing to do anything for what she wants in her life. The stuff with the war adds nicely to the background, making me look forward to finding out just how these people will inevitably get involved with it.


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 24th Feb 12
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 25th Feb 12
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 25th Feb 12