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#1 Samuraiflip05

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 03:00 AM

Please try to keep the discussions near to the more recent chapter entries. Also it may be helpful to list in your reply which chapters you are discussing. Have fun


tEotW
Prologue:
- I still remember the first time I read this prologue way back in 1991. I felt confusion more than anything else. This was mostly due to the extensive descriptions Jordan used as well as some of the references to the use of the One Power. Mana style magic(Drawing from a pool of power) was not a familiar concept to me at the time.
- The scene layed out very well however, as you can easily picture yourself right there in the hallways of that palace. Holes and scorch-marks covering the walls, blood and bodies littering the floor. Lews Therin Telamon rambling in the a kind of madness reflective of dementia or Alzheimer's.
- The entrance of Ishmael, identified by his original name, is immediately a daunting presence to the reader. In a moment of clarity, Lews Therin recognizes the mans name, and calls him the Betrayer of Hope. Ishmael performs a crude healing that causes LTT great pain. Looking around him and realizing what he has done LTT flees to an unpopulated area.
- Much throughout this chapter leaves more questions than it answers.....of course given that it is the first you ever read, I guess there wouldn't be too many questions to begin with. You are left wondering, what level of madness has befallen this man that he would slay his entire family, then weep for their absence?
- As LTT struggles with himself in the empty field, you are pummeled with the notions of his pain and anguish. You watch(well read) as he destroys himself in a fit of rage and pain befitting a man who has lost everything.
- In the end you are left with a precursor of the kind of damage done in what would be called the Breaking of the World. As the once flat plain is now a miles high mountain(note that Mt Everest is roughly 5.5 miles high) and a river that is suddenly split by an island.
- The chapter finishes with two powerful excerpts from writings(assumably from early in the fourth age) leaving us with more questions about where this story might lead us.




tEotW
Chapter 1: An Empty Road
- The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend faddes to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.... The beginning of every book. While not an isolated concept, it still holds a powerful message towards eternity. It also pulls us from the idea, or concept of a linear existence, into one dominated by repitition(?) and infinity. Many of the debates about the Wheel focus on how we could fit into such an existence. Example: In our linear way of thinking, our sun is destined to burn itself out in 5 billion years(give or take). But, in the minds of some theorists, one of the spokes on the Wheel of Time is a dark age.....one in which there is no light. Hence the following age would be "Creation" or "The Big Bang".
- While this is an interesting concept, it is merely an idea born of the opening lines. We are borne on the back of a mighty wind blowing from the mountainside upon an unassuming pair of farmers, father and son. We are given a glimpse of the current state of the land as winter seems to have held on longer than usual. We are presented with a world devoid of heavy machinery and modern distraction, where an honest days work often meant sun-up to sun-down. A world where wolves and other predators weighed heavily on the minds of men. This is where we meet Rand al'Thor. Though we have no idea yet how or why he is important, these early chapters present him as the mainstay.
- Back to the story though, Rand's perspective is what tells us that things are not right. We learn that he has lived his whole life on one of the more isolated farms in the area, and that he has been raised by his Father Tam al'Thor since his mother died when he was very young. You feel the presence that Tam exudes, the confidence, the leadership, the straightforward manner and the sense of propriety.
- The thought that the problems in the world, and the Black Rider are flights of a young man's fancy, are dispelled by Tam as he notes that he would not doubt the word of his son. Speaking of the rider, how menacing is it made to be. Causing quesiness without it's face being uncovered. But, again it is presented in a manner that leaves it's reality in question.....I mean who ever heard of a cloak that didn't flap in the wind?
- As the chapter progresses, we are given glimpses into the town and some of it's inhabitants, as well as the stubborn determination of her people. You see the town come to life with characters line Wit and Daise Congar, Nynaeve al'Meara(and a look at what has made her so demanding and unable to submit later on), and probably the best introduction in the whole series, Matrim Cauthon.
- The first you are given about Mat is his funny contortion act to avoid being seen, his thoughts on "work" and his idea of fun(scaring the girls with a "mean old badger." Nothing like a childish prankster to lighten the mood, and Mat does just that...for a couple of chapters anyways. We also see more solidity surrounding the Black Rider with the admission that mat had seen him three days earlier.
- Nearing the end of the chapter you are given some of the youthful innocence that so many of the characters will lose, later in the series. Such pleasure derived from entertainers, and fireworks, peddlers, and....a fancy lady.

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#2 Jaimelai

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 07:35 AM

I remember reading that Prologue (EotW) years ago and thinking: what the heck? It didn't make much sense to me, but I continued on to the first chapter. I still wasn't too impressed, but I had heard that it was a good series, so I continued to read rather than returning the book to the library. And am I ever glad that I did! The story that was weaving itself before me was incredible. It grew more and more involved and that Prologue grew more and more meaningful. And now after all these years, I am just totally amazed how true the story has kept to that Prologue and how powerful it truely was.
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#3 Amethea

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 04:39 AM

I'm the same. The first time I read the prologue, I wondered what it had to do with the main story. I came to the series late, so I had recommendations to stick with it and I'd understand, so I did. Looking back, there's something intensely memorable about that first scene, something I can't quite put my finger on.
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#4 Samuraiflip05

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 11:26 PM

Oh, it was the complete opposite for me....lol. Like I said, I picked that book up in 1991(I actually had one of the first printings). The cover art was intriguing, so I bought it. Reading that prologue wasn't too awe inspiring, but that was mostly due to little confusions over unfamiliar terms(One Power, etc). It was just enough to make me wonder what it was all about. It remains essentially seperated from the rest of the book until nearly the end, when Rand faces off against Ishmael(Who was not named as such in the Prologue).



tEotW
Chapter 2: Strangers

- As we are bedazzled by more extremely visual descriptions of the inn we are introduced to more characters as well. From the Mayor's wife and the Village Council the big standout here is Haral Luhhan the Blacksmith. This being the lead in for the next of Mat's pranks, further cementing his role as the prankster. And to be painfully honest, spreading rumors of ghost hounds before flouring someone's dogs is rather hilarious.
- I'm sure anyone that has a younger sibling will instantly recognize the personality of Ewin Finggar. Eager to please the older boys so he can fit in, skeptical of some things that they say(probably due to being lied to frequently), and jumpy as a fish out of water. He is all to eager to present all that he knows about the Lord and Lady in the Two Rivers. Soon here we are presented with an odd term....Warder. What in the World is a Warder? ;)
- Back outside the boys become focused on a raven that seems to be watching them. The idea of this bird intentionally watching them seems unlikely, until it displays the odd behavior that no bird would perform. You begin to get the feeling that there is something more to this when it reacts harshly to the presence of "the Lady". She has a strange effect on the lads as they seem extermely "mesmerized" by her. For me, it went beyond the usual fawn-eyed behavior that one would expect from a country lout. She peaked my curiousity quickly. Worthy of note here is the distinction between how she handed the coins to Mat and Rand vs Ewin, as well as the difference in the coins themselves, and the strange line...."There is a bond between us, now." Curious.
- Finally the chapter comes to a close with the long awaited arrival of the Peddler.

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#5 Jaimelai

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 08:09 AM

I think it wasn't till the middle of the the second chapter, with the introduction of "the Lady", till I was hooked. In fact, I remember somewhere in the middle of the first chapter where I was thinking of actually returning the book to the library, I don't know, maybe it was the names that just didn't sit right with me. But I had never given up on a book before, if the author went to all the trouble to write the thing, then at least I can do the courtesy to read it, so I continued. That was over ten years ago. I just finished my seventh (or eighth?) re-read of the series and I am still hooked.
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#6 Samuraiflip05

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 11:59 AM

So the appearance of Moiraine was when it picked up for you? Was that more of a timing thing, or did something about her character intrigue you?



tEotW
Chapter 3: The Peddler
- The Peddler...Padan Fain...even from this early description he stands out as odd. He is described as a pale, skinny fellow with gangly arms and a massive beak of a nose. I won't claim to have guessed what his later roles would be, but I can say that when searching early on in a book for the sub protagonists and antagonists, he stood out as a probable sub-antagonist.
- I think that one of the most important things that Jordan did, was to give us a direct window into life at the time. The characters most often feel very real, largely because they fit where they are placed. Farmers are simple and sensible folk prone to irrational fears/superstitions on occasion. The wealthy have that believable sense of pompous priveledge, etc.
- So much of these early chapters is spent getting a feel for the characters and who they are. Sometimes, this can make things feel slow, and I know a few people who nearly didn't make it through, but looking back there is no denying that the information is essential. Who would ever believe Rand's later struggles without first understanding his upbringing.
- When Rand is caught at the sudden silence, shouting to Perrin, it is revealed that Fain has a uncommon interest in them, when he normally would not pay attention to people of that age. As Fain tells of news outside, you get more little hints that he is something more than a peddler. You also see some of the irational superstition(Fearing the Dragon is the Dark One), and sensibility(Haral's response).
- Talk of the Dragon raises more questions than it answers. Does the thought that madness comes from touching the One Power lend itself to the madness of Lews Therin Telamon in the Prologue? You begin to understandthat there is a great deal of hatred, and suspicion surrounding those called Aes Sedai, even if you are not sure who or what they are at this point.
- How ironic, the thoughts of the masses about the Dragon, can be so close, yet so far off in reality. Yuo get the idea that not all in the world fear the thought. I wonder if Mat really did believe the Merchant's Guard and was scoffing for his friends, to avoid ridicule.
- In steps Nynaeve. I'd imagine in a movie version this would be one of those startle moments when everyone was expected to jump. You get a first hand look at the temper and one of the more repeated descriptions throughout the series....Nynaeve and her braid "Bristling" with anger. It's a common trait for her. In opposition to this the moonstruck way that Rand is around Egwene is almost comical. I first pictured Egwene as a young girl playing dress-up in her Mom's clothes and makeup, watching her imitate Nynaeve. Again, in the way of Jordan, we are given a farcical homage to the struggles of men and women as Nynaeve observes that the Village Council is useless and that the Women's Circle will need to fix thier mistakes.
- After a brief look into the relationship of Egwene and Rand we learn that Perrin too, saw the rider. This makes the three of them in four days. You have to wonder about the delay between Mat's sighting and Perrin's. Could it be that the rider first went to Perrin's family farm before the forge?




tEotW
Chapter 4: The Gleeman
- Enter the Gleeman. This makes the second chapter in a row to follow up a sudden entrance at the end of the previous chapter. This one however has a cheerier tone than Padan Fain's dark news of war and late Spring. You catch a snippet of the fact that Rand is not like the others when he notes that Lan and the Gleeman are the only people he has ever seen besides himself that have light colored eyes.
- You quickly come to understand that the Gleeman is a well spoken man of the world. He seems able to make a grand hall out of the village green. We also learn that he has no love for the Peddler. Makes you wonder how they know each other?
- Thom Merrilin, as the Gleeman is called, banters with the boys noting Rand's height. It's a wonder that anyone could miss Rand as the standout of the three(wink). He also has fun at the boys expense when speaking of travel, and Thom reinforces the idea that Aes Sedai are untrustworthy.
- As the crowds begin to gather, Thom decides to provide a sample of the later performance. He begins juggling and telling about all the stories he could tell them. I must admit that I would not have guessed at any of the references to real life(Outside of Arthurian Legend). Anla as Ann Landers, Lenn as John Glenn, Elsbet as Queen Elizabeth, etc, etc. Another interesting tidbit here is where Thom mentions that some of these stories are supposedly from the age before the Age of Legends. Is this the idea that our age...how we live now is that...age.
- The sudden change that occurs with the entrance of Moiraine is odd. Thom notices something about her that the reader does not. Likely, he recognizes her as Aes Sedai, even though the only reference to her being AS is the earlier thought, by the boys, that Lan must be a Warder.
- The story is interrupted here by the Village Council leaving the inn. They have learned that the war has been isolated to Ghealdan to the South and is unlikely to find it's way into the Two Rivers. Here we also get a better idea of why this is the back-end of forever, surounded by Mountains, Rivers and Mires. We also learn that the Council has planned patrols to make sure that no part of the war finds it's way through. Rand also learns that he and Tam are returning to the farm instead of staying for Winternight.
- As they make their way back to the farm, you get a bit of wisdom from Tam in the dealings of the Council and the Villagers as a whole. We also learn that two other boys claimed to have seen the black rider. Was this possibly another reason for the patrols in the area? Either way, it is safe to say that much more has occured in the Two Rivers in the last day, than in the last few years.

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#7 Jaimelai

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 01:06 PM

It was probably a combination of both - the timing of the introduction of a character of interest. Up to that point, I had had trouble making sense of the Prologue and the character's names themselves didn't make much sense - Tam, Rand, Perrin, Nynaeve? By the time Moiraine came into the story, I was used to the funny names and the stage of a simple rural village and country life was set. We can also see that things aren't quite right, things are changing and an adventure is ready to begin.
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#8 Samuraiflip05

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 12:10 PM

Very perceptive to sense that things would soon begin. Lo and behold what Chapter 5 reveals for us. From this point on in this book, the pace is frantic. Even with the small lulls(journey to Baerlon, etc) there is a flurry of activity. The only thing that erally slowed this book down for me, were the exhausting descriptions Jordan used for darn near everything. No simple tree lined horizon for him, nope, it was the edge of a forest lined with brown-needled fir and spruce trees, barely budding broadleafs, and bare-branched elms, among others. But, would this series be what it is...without those descriptions? I don't know about you, but for me, there is very little doubt as to what things looked like. Although, oddly enough, I often envisioned Egwene and Moraine as blondes. Not sure why.


tEotW
Chapter 5:Winternight
- As Tam and Rand arrive back at the farm, we are again reminded that there is something different about Rand. He and his Father are among the only people in the area without extended family. I can't say that I noticed this particular oddity the first time I read it, but now I wonder....Kari al'Thor was considered an outlander, but how deep to Tam's roots go? He has no living parents, and no mentioned siblings. I do not recall any refeerence to cousins of any type either. Strange.
- It is reassuring to Rand, and to me originally(as a teenager the first time I read it) that Tam is actively participating in what could have been a young man's imagination. In the meantime we are presented with a descriptive view of life on a farm and it's never-ending list of chores.
- Things get a brighter feel, briefly, as the interior of the house is described. Unfortunately, this is mixde with darker streaks as Tam, showing a bit of nervousness, locks the doors and pulls out a sword that Rand has never seen. This struck an unusual chord with me the first time I read it. For me it was akin to if I learned that my Father had a gun in the house. He was an office worker who didn't hunt or have any reason to own one. I did sense Rand's excitement about the sword. Even though he was dumbstruck by the discovery, he was quick to retort when Tam contemplated throwing it away.
- When that first rattle at the door occurred, there wasn't a single part of me that did not KNOW that the s**t was about to hit the fan. Reading it for the first time, for me, was the same feeling as in a horror movie when you can see the killer, but the victim does not. You just want to yell, "RUN FOOLS!!"
- The Trolloc...This is the first description given for one of the creatures of the Dark. Easily head and shoulders taller than any human, half again as wide....with animal/human hybrid features, this creature was nightmare made flesh. Even though there would be many worse terrors to come, this first look at a Trolloc is one of the most intense. I can't say that I would have reacted much differently than Rand at that age.
- The next several pages, frantic feeling despite the length, reveals even more questions about Tam. He obviously knows how to handle that sword, meaning he did not likely buy it from a merchant's guard as Rand assumed. He also is quick witted in a harrowing situation, immediately running in another direction when Rand almost reveals himself. More the thoughts of a seasoned fighter, than a simple farmer.
- At this point, though still a bit panicked, Rand begins to show some courage, laced with anxiety and uncertainty. He finds Tam, who is injured(and who offers insight into Trollocs). I liked how determination takes over here and he begins to think more clearly. To me, so few people in the world today seem to have that ability....panic seems a way of life. Yet for Rand, as his plans unravel(the cart being smashed), he reinvents the plans as needed(making a litter from the cart axles)
- Searching for supplies to aid him, Rand comes face to face with Narg the Trolloc. Narg speaks in broken English, and the first time I read it I...felt just how creepy it was for it to do so. After rereading, I better understand why I felt that, but it was there just the same. Purely by instinct and luck, Narg falls to Rand's sword, and Rand learns that a Myrdraal wants to speak with him.
- Finding that Tam is getting sicker(more so than the narrow wound at his side should warrant), Rand draws strength in the thought that someone in the Village could help him.
- For me this chapter was one of the most descriptively stunning. I found myself assaulted by the stench of Trollocs, riveted by thier monstrous shapes, and awed at thier carnal destruction. I ended this chapter wondering, "How will he ever get to the village....and will it be safe?"

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#9 Samuraiflip05

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 01:05 AM

What happens now? Suffering from the sudden realization that stories can be real, how does one cope with having thier world turned upside down?

Chapter 6: The Westwood
- Probably one of the shorter chapters in the entire series, it runs about 8 pages in the hardback. Rand's life has been thrown for a loop. He is hunted by stories-come-to-life, and without the guidance of his Father for the first time. Yet, despite all of that, he displays an above average amount of sense as he tends to Tam's wound and prepares to move him to the village.
- Being, at times, an overtly logical person myself, I felt for Rand as he performed these actions, because they made sense. There was wisdom in his choices and, for the most part, calm in executing them. When Tam began speaking through the fever, I had a strong idea that it may cause a problem long the way.
- As he makes his way to the Quarry Road and into the woods alongside, we are presented with a view straight out of a horror movie. Dark shadows, strange noises, unsure footing, hunger and weariness put me on the edge of my seat as I wondered if the "Fade" would find him.
- As, Tam continues his fever talk, we learn a bit more about his past. He has seen combat, although never against Trollocs. More mystery surrounding Tam, and by extension, Rand. Suddenly, they are there, the Dark Rider...the Myrdraal...the Fade, and a host of Trollocs marching towards the farm. Rand waits for them to pass by, and then is almost caught standing when the Fade silently returns scanning the woods every few yards. It sees nothing though, and rushes back to the Trollocs. Reading this section for the first time, I had a difficult time with my sense of direction. I wasn't certain if the group was headed to or from the farm until the line.....Toward the farm. I don't know about anyone else, but the idea of safety in the Village was no longer the likely answer. Rand, does not seem to make that connection though.
- More confusing words from Tam, as he reveals bits about a tree called Avendesora, or Avendoraldera. We also get other bits of info that reeally shed no light at this time. Things like the Green Man, Ogier, and "Black-Vieled" Aiel. Rand muses over maybe meeting some of them, the way the night is going. How little we knew at this time. I was very curious about some of these characters and what they might represent in the story.
- Finally Tam drops the bomb, so to speak. Is he rambling? Is he dreaming? Is he telling the truth? Is Rand not really his son? Truthfully, if you weren't certain that Rand would be the focal point of a lot to come, then you probably aren't paying attention.
- The chapter ends with Rand reciting the mantra "He's my Father." Denial is a terrible bedmate. It runs the risk here, of sapping Rand of his remaining strength.


Chapter 7: Out of the Woods
- Dawn is breaking as Rand struggles into town. By this time he is bone weary, having been likely since dawn the day before. He is starving and has gone numb from the weight of the litter on his shoulders. As he approaches, he notices the smell of smoke is too heavy for fireplaces. His fears are confirmed when he sees the first houses and notices the char and rubble. He also notices that the Bel-Tine fires were lit.....but, that they are not burning just wood, but Trolloc carcasses as well.
- The descriptions of the village, the randomness of the destruction, never caught my brain the first time I read it. Although, that is quickly rectified as the story moves on. Even more interesting than that, is the reactions by people in town. Egwene seems stunned, and likely only functioning as long as there is a direct task in front of her. She seems snapped out of it upon seeing Rand and Tam, though. Haral Luhhan, the man who faints at butchering, is running around with an axe and a large burn. And Nynaeve, torn and tortured at those she cannot save, and angry at those who qeustion her. All in all though, the village is holding together very well, especially considering that one half-day ago, most of them considered Trollocs to be a fancy Gleeman's tale.
- Egwene and the Blacksmith help Rand get to Nynaeve, but she declares that she is unable to do anything for Tam. We are also presented with the knowledge that Mat and Perrin are all right, and we get the first hints that the attacks were concentrated around those three. They take Tam to the in where he is placed in a bed for comfort, and Rand learns more about the attack on the village. He learns about the fighting and the efforts of Lan and Moiraine to get the people fighting back. Thom Merrilin subtly suggests to Rand that perhaps Moiraine could help Tam, but that there could be a cost.
- As Rand finds Moiraine and Lan, we learn just a snippet more about the event of the night. The concentration of Trollocs is something that hasn't been seen since the Trolloc Wars(Though we know nothing about those yet). How many times can I say that some tidbit of info raised another red flag about events surrounding these lads.
- Moiraine agrees to see what help she can offer Tam, and pushes off discussion of what price will be paid. We get our first glimpse of just how protective a Warder can be of his Aes Sedai as Lan snaps at Rand for hurrying her. Between Lan's stares and Moiraine's reassurances, he can only wait...impatiently.

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#10 Amethea

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 07:52 AM

When I first reread the series (the first time, I didn't appreciate it the way I do now), I was struck by the momentum of those first few chapters. It starts off so slowly, perhaps reflecting the pace of life in the Two Rivers, or RJ's subtle building of tension, and it gradually accelerates to the point that it was quite a surprise when the Trollocs actually struck. By the end of chapter seven, I was actually reading quicker than I had been when I started the book, such was the momentum.

I'll confess that I struggled with all the description at first. I've always been a quick reader, so having to get through a lot of descriptions before I get to any plot development or action was a little frustrating. My reading habits have changed a bit since then, though. Now, I take the time to savour a good book, in the knowledge that the story will unfold in its own time.

Still being honest, though, I didn't find the concept of the Trollocs as fearsome as I possibly should have. To me, the idea of a half man, half eagle/wolf/boar/mixture of all of them was difficult to envisage. Having watched a fair few of the 50s/60s monster movies that often combined such elements (not forgetting the early episodes of Doctor Who of a similar era, and other early SF shows), it was difficult to see the Trollocs as anything different to them. However, the characters would have been frightened by them - they were stories from legend, told to children to scare them into obedience and such - and it was the characters reactions to them that impressed on me how horrifying they would have found them.

It's a way off in the story yet, but I always (and still) find the Machin Shin to be one of the most terrifying enemies - if you could call it that - in the series.
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#11 Samuraiflip05

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:38 AM

I'm not sure I really could put an accurate vision of the Trollocs together. Due to that I left most of what I thought they looked like kinda shrouded. Maybe that helped them appear more frightening.

Chapter 8: A Place of Safety
- As the action returns to the man Rand calls Father...no, who he knows is his Father, we see more of Thom Merrilin, the Gleeman. Thom shows more of the same wariness, and downright rudeness towards Moraine. Lan seems disturbed by the Gleeman, even more so to me when I first read it, by how Jordan had him overly expressionless, made him stand out a bit. I kept wondering if thee was a history there,but even the most casual statements were made as if about someone unknown.
- As Moiraine begins to look at Tam, and shoos Rand to the side of the room we get another amusing glance into the simple thoughts of farmers. Rand realizes that what Moiraine appears to be doing is not like stories at all. No flashes or thunderclaps to announce her magic. Only her, adjusting his blankets and laying a hand on him to work. Rand is distracted by Lan's questioning.
- Lan takes a unusual interest in Tam's sword, belted around Rand's waist. We learn that the heron markings indicate a Master Swordsman...again more questions raised about Tam. Who is he, really? We also learn a bit more about the shadow, and it's many guises, like the use of carrion eaters as spies, and more info on Myrddraal. We also learn a new word, angreal, relics of the previous Age that help Aes Sedai perform great wonders. This word struck no chords with me the first time I read it, but more recently, after reading the DaVinci Code, I begin to wonder if there is a correlation between "Angreal", and "Sangreal"(The Holy Grail)?
- Rand is shocked and bewildered when he is told he must leave the Village. He argues, but is left without a rebuttal after the facts of the Trolloc attack are laid out in front of him. Most disturbing in this, is the fact that so much of the attack revolves around Rand's age. Finding out that Mat and Perrin are virtually the same age as well baffled me a bit at first. By this time it was blatantly obvious that Rand is the integral character, so what roles would the other two play? Are they distractions? Will they take over later in the book? This concept threw me for a bit of a loop, although it did shed some light on earlier questions(such as the coins).
- As Moiraine and Lan leave to prepare Mat and Perrin, Rand is visited by the al'Vere's. He is able to cautiously question the mayor about the farms and houses that were attacked while the mayor's wife tends to Tam. Determined to be there when Tam woke up, Rand falls asleep. So it seems that what the Aes Sedai and Warder said is truth...at least as much as is visually identifiable. What happens next?

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#12 Amethea

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 03:51 AM

I found chapter 8 very interesting, the first time I read it. It was the first time we were given a few key answers about the nature of the Dark One and his minions, some points of interest about Warders and Blademasters, and the introduction of the Angreal. I didn't connect Sa'angreal and the words 'San Graal' (Holy Grail) at the time, although looking back it seems reasonable, given RJ's knowledge of mythology.

It did feel odd that we were given the story so far from Rand's POV, only to be told that any of the three (Rand, Mat and Perrin) could be the one that Moiraine was looking for. I think it was a way to keep us guessing, but I always assumed that it would turn out to be Rand. Perhaps it was from seeing other book titles on the shelves before I read Eye of the World, though.
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#13 ArborCantor

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 06:19 PM

Very nice reviews Sam. :smile:

Not to go back too far, but I thought that the prologue was epic the first time I read it. I had heard from my mom and some people online that this was a very epic series, and I felt it as soon as I read the prologue. The grandeur of Lews Therin Telamons name and title, the Lord of Morning, just told me that I was going to love the book. When I first read it I thought that LTT and Ishmael were gods though, having just read the Belgariad which is chock full of gods. The transition from the prologue to chapter one was off-putting for me though, and until Rand's first dream of Ba'alzamon I was wondering when Ishmael would return.

Chapter 6 was the next high point in the book for me. When there was the knocking at the door I thought it would be Moraine and Lan, or maybe Thom coming to warn Tam about Moraine and Lan. I thought that they were bad guys at that point. Lan seemed very sinister to me. When the trollocs came through the door and Tam started fighting them I became utterly enthralled with the book. I don't think I put it down until Shadar Logoth.

Chapter 8 was a great chapter for showing Rand and Tam's relationship, giving Moraine and Lan more screen time, and really showing some of the depth of the World of the Wheel. The mention of angreal, sa'angreal, blademasters, and various places in the world excited me. I'm a big fan of the Silmarillion, which is all about world building. The more world building a series has, the better in my opinion.

#14 Samuraiflip05

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 01:38 AM

I think that the book takes on a bit more epic feel when you come to it later. Having picked up tEotW in 1991, there were no other books. It was not(yet) one of the largest sagas ever written. There was a great unknown factor as to what the future would hold, if there was a future. As a matter of fact, I did not return to this series until a chance conversation revealed to me that more books were in the series. This was in 1995 around the time tFoH came out. I always felt there could be more, but nothing felt gauranteed in that regard. As for the gods reference, it is an entirely fitting one. Further history will later reveal the true nature of Aes Sedai from the Age of Legends, but until then, the players in that category always hold a god-like status akin to perhaps the Gods of Greek, Roman or Norse Mythology. And RJ was definitely one for World Building....of course he cites Tolkien as a guiding force. ;)



Chapter 9: Tellings of the Wheel
- Nightmares. Often difficult to discern from reality in novels, this one stands out, both for it's suddeness and it's vividness. A barren land of cold earth, sweltering sun, thunderous clouds and unseen pursuers. Rand quickly finds himself atop a sheer cliff looking out at a mountain he has never seen, but can never forget....Shayol Ghul. Though Rand cannot name it at this time, his mind knows it for what it is and what it hides. It beckons to him, already trying to defeat him and end the battle that has waged since time began. Centering on the stubborness of the Two Rivers people, he casts off the pull and flees from the figure that appears.....Flees to Dragonmount. Is this coincidence? It bears a striking resemblance to the Prologue, with LTT facing Ishmael, who tries to recruit him, fleeing to the would-be site of Dragonmount.
- Strange that he would consider Tar Valon as a place of safety and serenity, as he holds fear and mistrust for the AS. His pursuer again instills fear in him as he attempts to flee towards a city that flees from him. Again he beats out the fear and distortion to find himself at the foot of the City Bridge. Wandering the city he first attempts to avoid the Tower at it's center, but it will not be denied, as it appears before him at every turn. Anguish fills those around him, until he accepts his guidance and walks towards the Tower. Joy fills faces and everything becomes brighter. As Rand enters the Tower, it slams shut and he is shocked awake by the sight of a Myrdraal.
- This breeds a number of questions. As a first time reader, I can't say as it made a whole lot of sense to me, and so like many things in this book the first time through, I kinda passed it over. In later rereads, I began to pick up on the subtle hints....Rand's just-out-of-reach memory of Shayol Ghul....His mistrust of AS....the pull of evil trying to win him over. A very creative and well written dream sequence, though confusing the first time through.
- As Rand takes in his surroundings, he notices that he has slept through the day, and that the room has been tended to while he slept. When he notices Tam is awake, he asks him about everything except the fevered ramblings during the night. Seems that he is fearful of the answer. I think this may be the true beginning of Rand's understanding that he is the one they are after, even if he doesn't realize he knows. Things become harried as the Warder rushes him downstairs quoting trouble.
- What happens next is a study in sociology and psychology. RJ demonstrates quite well, how bravery can be amplified with both numbers and anonimity. The townsfolk have gathered to 'persuade' the AS to leave. As a group they stand firm, but when picked out, or isolated from the crowd, people begin to shy away until the whole group folds, but not before the tale.
- In frustration, Moiraine uses the power to shock the crowd and then to amplify her voice as she speaks the history of Emond's Field.....Aemon's Field.....the last stand of the mighty warriors of Manetheren, the Mountain Home, Thorn in the Dark One's hand. A tale of desperation, a tale of perserverance, a tale of betrayal, a tale of love and devotion.....a tale to make a gleeman cry. This drove shame into those that still remained, unwove what fear and prejudice had created and brought a spark of inspiration to a people long without anything more than the stubborn will to go on.
- As Rand feared this was the true beginning of his journey. After this, there would be...no...turning back.

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#15 Leala

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 10:29 PM

~Rand's being drawn to Shayol Ghul in the nightmare is very typical of a main character, being tempted with power or compulsion to join the other side. It ends up developing their characters, and at this point, Rand is in desperate need of development. He's set out on his journey and is almost just going with the flow. A little hesitantly, but at this point, he still has no idea what he's getting himself into.
~This is kind of a more indirect way of tempting the hero again. The bright faces and dancing of the people around him makes him drop his guard, so he enters the Tower. I think the Myrddraal is foreshadowing about the Black Ajah. Even in the White Tower, the one place where he thinks is safe, still houses the Shadow. Also, as far as him thinking that the Tower is the only place of safety with a distrust of Aes Sedai, I think this comes from Moiraine. Even though she's an Aes Sedai, she's shown favor to him and his friends, and even healed Tam. She's seen the world that he hasn't and has the power to protect him, even if it's at a price. So, even though he might not want to, he trusts her somewhat.
~I actually forgot about this sequence. I read the series ten years ago, so a lot of things slipped my mind, this included. However, now that I've read a lot more of the series and read the guide book, etc, I can see a lot of subtle hints as well. Jordan is slowly building Rand's character for the reader here.
~Confusion after a really weird dream can set the mood for the waking hours. Especially after the night that Rand had just had. However, if it had been me who had the dream, I would have promptly forgotten about it, just that it was weird and confusing, which would frustrate me. Also, his surroundings had changed as well. He'd want to cling to what reality he had left: his father.
~Mob mentality is a powerful thing. People do things in a group that they would never do as individuals. Logic and common sense are thrown out the window. This is also a good case of xenophobia. The strangers, the outsiders, are the ones to blame for their problems. They're interrupting their routine, and by their logic, that's what brought the attack.
~Moiraine's story is one of my favorite parts of the books, so far. I vaguely remember it before re-reading it. Now that I'm a bit older, I don't think I'll forget it any time soon. A story about a people who stood united against their enemies, knowing they would die, and they kept going until the very, very end. Their last stand, so to speak. This story did cause the mob to slowly change their attitudes, but they still clung to their stubborn logic, they were just less belligerent about it.

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#16 Cherise

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 11:58 PM

Thank you so much for writing these summaries, Sam! I haven't time for a complete re-read before this coming November, but this is almost as good!

#17 Samuraiflip05

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 01:01 AM

I guess an important part of the verbal exchange with Tam got left out. The stern and repeated warning to guard his words, and listen carefully to what Moiraine says, being as Aes Sedai are apparently well known to "bend" the truth.
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#18 Red2111

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 07:48 AM

Sam i know i'm jumping into this kinda late, but i've been wanting to be part of a structured re-read of this series as prep for aMoL. there are a few others in the WT who were excited by the idea as well.

so i have a few questions. how strick are you guys gonna be on revealing future info (like pointing out things that foreshadow events in the last 2 books), and is it okay if i copy & paste your ad thread from teh GD forum into some of the Ajahs over at the WT?? also, will you be making a new discussion thread for each book, or just keeping it in this thread?


im gonna start EotW when i get home tonight :happy:
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#19 Samuraiflip05

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 01:06 AM

I haven't hit too much on the "Future" of the series, but I am not against it. Most of this is going to be based on the differences between the first time you read the series and later rereads.

And advertise it wherever you want. With many of the SG's leaderless atm I wasn't sure where I could post about this.
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#20 Red2111

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 07:38 AM

awesome.

i think wnaything ToM related i'll use the spoiler tage for it *nods* just to be safe.


i'm on chappie 4 right now, and i can't help but rememebring how great this story starts off. i'm actually reading the discriptions this time, rather than skimming over them like i did in my last attempted re-read.


there are only a few things worth noticing that stood out to me. i'm paying mroe attention to Fain, and found myself taken in by Rands description of the Peddler

"He's always smiling like he knows some joke others dont" and Tom's discription of "He's always the first to spread the news,a nd the worse the news the faster he spreads it"

knowing what we know of Fain now, you can see the hints about his nature from teh beginning before we even know about DF's & what Fains ultimate fate is. i have to wonder at how much Fain knows right now? does he know abotu the Trollocs and that the Fade is stalking these 3 boys? did he send the Raven? how long has he known that the DR was in that village, or was it just happenstance that he had always came to this specific village.


if i remember, some of these questions are answered in the next book when Fain is imprisioned.


i'm also noting Tom & Morianes interactions.



when i get home, there are things in the Prolouge which peaked my interest greatly. i have a few theories, and noticed there was a few things which are still un-answered.

off the top of my head, are the writings about the breaking and the Dragon that are from the 4th Age. yet Rands story takes place in the 3rd Age and writings from the AoL's were lost during the breaking. so are these writings from the Age after Rand's story? if you look through later books, you'll see that there are other memo's from the same story and the same Age, all with the "author unknown"

or is it that the AoL's was actually the 4th Age, because if these writtings are from the Age after Rand's Age, then the author should be known. so does this mean that the Ages count backwards? that the Wheel starts witht he 7th Age, and counts backwards to the 1st Age; instead of counting forward ...


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