Wheel of Time 2 : The Great Hunt (part 1)

This is NOT a review of the Wheel of Time books. I suppose you can call it a reaction blog... For it is a collection of my live reactions and thoughts to reading the Wheel of Times series for the first time.


The thoughts were originally shared on Twitter and have now been collected here for everyone's convenience. These are my full reactions from the second Wheel of Time book, with some post-read writerly thoughts at the very end.


To gain better understanding of what this is all about, please refer to this blog.


This time, I divided my readings up into days. I tend to read 2-3 chapters a day.

This part 1 chronicles the first 14 days of reading, while part 2 chronicles the end of my reading and final thoughts.


Let the reading begin!


The Great Hunt

Day 1 : The day it all began, again.


Starting at the beginning. The real beginning - the dedication.


Does anyone know the story behind this dedication...?

It makes me think hurricane disaster. But I’m not familiar, and since I’m reading Wheel of Time for the first time, I'm still too paranoid about potential spoilers to google “Robert Jordan”.


A kind soul on Twitter referred me to this reddit post about the dedication. The nice person also warned me there were spoilers in the Great Hunt in the thread, so I'm saving that for later.


Uhh this prologue is awesome!


I had been warned about long prologues but this one is not that long and besides, it’s great! I enjoy the voice and seeing the dark side! (I can now confirm that they do NOT have cookies, that was a lie)


The people watching in this section is also great. I love people watching. This is great. And I have a feeling we will run into all of the people described here. The woman from Illian, the two Aes Sedai, and “The man who called himself Bors”


Wait... Robert Jordan did it again.

Bors... Bors.... Boris?

Uhhh okay I’ve got you! So... Theory here:


The Forsaken will escape from their hold in Shayol Ghul. And it will be up to Rand (I still think he is the Dragon) and his companions (100 of them?) to lock them back again? Is that what’s going to happen??

I swear that’s the spitting image of my lad Mat! Couldn’t have done it better me-self.

Followed by an unmistakable description of Perrin. And then, Rand, of course.


This is the equivalent of wanted posters, but for criminals to use, in a fantasy setting.


Uhhh!! Very important information!!


So Rand is NOT the Dragon..... but he WILL be...?? How does one become the Dragon...?

I wonder how this will play out... when will he realise? Will he have to actively seek to become a dragon, because then I fear this world is doomed.


Hahaha! We can confirm!

I get nervous every time Rand touches his sword!


I hope he learns how to use it in this book. He is in dire need of lessons.


So, the man who calls himself Bors, is from Tarabon.


I’ve consulted my map and this means that we will likely get to visit the west coast, on the other side of Two Rivers! Does this also mean we will visit Two Rivers again...?


Who will it be? Who will make the journey home?

Hold up! Lan is as tall as Rand?? I missed something major. I was likely too star-struck by Moiraine at the time when he was first introduced, because I always imagined Lan to be on the shorter side but not any less badass for that...


It almost makes me sad to read that he is tall, even though it makes sense... I was quite fond of my inner image of a short badass hero.


You and me both, Lan. You and me both.


Except it’s a whole book ago for me.

I'm also very pleased to see Lan training Rand in sword fighting. He needs all of the held he can get, especially on the fighting front, and there is no better teacher than Lan.


A sword with 3000 years of tales.... did Rand’s sword, by any chance belong to Rand’s real father...?


And is he descended from the last Dragon Reborn aka Kinslayer...?


That’s my theory for now.


A little worn but wearable... yes Rand, but for how long? You’ve got a dozen books ahead of you, and I suspect that each book doesn’t take place over a day or two, so you should be happy with new shoes and clothes.


Pulling out stitchings looks easy, huh, Rand?

Well, it is easy, but now I really look forward to see Rand try.

Now they’ve all got bows!! This archer is very please to hear it, and we also finally get a description of a bow!!

So, in Rand’s case, at least, we’re dealing with a longbow.

That he made himself...? Gosh, I thought they were only there a month? Also that tough a draw seems very impracticable in battle.

Oh great.

Yes you do that, Rand. Because that has gone so well for you in the past...

Day 2 : The day Moiraine got her own POV chapter!


Is this Mat’s dagger? It looks like Mat’s dagger! Are we going to see Mat my lad for the first time in this book?


I’m ready! Take me to him!


Robert Jordan back at it again with his names that are sorta familiar but juuust different enough.


He is done with Matt, and Randall, and all of that. We’re going Presidential now. USA kind of presidential.


Ragan? .......Reagan?


I agree that Rand’s bow does not seem practical and certainly can’t be used on horseback, but this is iffy. Shape of bow does have something to do with it, but shortbow does NOT mean light draw.


If he’s skilled enough, Rand should be able to loosen the same amount of arrows.


That’s a really lovely piece of description of the Two Rivers folk.


There is a strange familiarity in stubbornness.

After everything you’ve been through, Rand, you should know to listen to your instincts by now.


Your gut tells you something is off? LISTEN to it! The rest of us are all listening to your gut. Join us... please!


No, Rand. You haven’t been listening to sweet Loial. I’ve been paying attention, though, so I can tell you that the city the Ogiers made was destroyed long ago.


This is a man-made city.


Oh.... Pragmatic Perrin has lost his confidence with the wolf eyes. He is distancing himself from the rest of the world.


It’s okay Perrin, it’ll be alright.

I need a Perrin chapter STAT!

THIS is why I worry about the TV version.


Without his internal monologue, if you just read what he is saying aloud, Rand often comes across mean to his friends.


I worry he will come across as rude, annoying, even sexist to modern audiences.


I hope they find a way around that.

Egwene just threatened to set his breeches on fire!!

....yes, Rand... that’s what I worry modern audiences will do to you unless the scriptwriters of this upcoming show find a way to save you ass and convey your inner thoughts to viewers.


Uff. Egwene. That hit hard.

She does have a point Rand. You’ve been known to do similar things.


So while I’m all for you heading out into the world and letting the Pattern spin your destiny, this is also why I worry.


Scary! And no Rand, I fear that he is not mad, simply possessed and able to see the wielders of the One Power or something.


Scary indeed. Especially with everyone in that dungeon becoming darker and m more evil by the day.

Wait what???? Moiraine???? This is a Moiraine chapter???

Sound the fanfare!!

(Oh.... that’s why the chapter heading is a horn, huh? I mean probably not but I’ll take it)


Moiraine’s inner dialogue is everything I had hoped it would be. I’m really enjoying this inner look at her!


My mother sometimes compared one of the characters in my book to Moiraine.

Now I get why. There is a certain tone... a certain calm.



I already like Anaiya.


Sees people for who they are

AND

As who they want to be seen?


Means what she says?


I'm a fan.


The sisterly love between Moiraine and the Amyrlin Seat is great!


I had a feeling that they were old friends. There was always some half hidden kindness in Moiraine’s tone when she spoke of the Amyrlin Seat.


I adore this.


Wait! What????

Yo!!! Sisters!! What are you planning? Let me in on your secret!

Day 3 : The day we got a crazy amount of POVs in one chapter

Whitecloaks!! Whitecloaks are coming!

Though why they would be so far north, I don’t know. Did they follow the Aes Sedai or something...?


Huh? This is also a Moiraine chapter. I did not expect that with the way the last one ended. And then we are right back in the same scene...


So I suppose we will now be told what they were plotting?

Oh... now I almost wish it was kept a secret from us. At least for a little while longer.


I CALLED IT!


It will happen. When, we don’t know. But it will happen!


Moiraine Sedai, that all sounds great, but.... I don’t think it’s going to go that smoothly. It all seems too easy and you have the horn but who is to hunt it...?

I’ll remind you that this book is called The Great Hunt. Not much of a hunt if Rand simply rides in with the horn.

What...? A POV change in the middle of a chapter...? I did not expect that.


Especially when the last chapter was Moiraine too. I don’t know how I feel about that.


If we start changing POV mid chapter we’re moving towards a Malazan kind of confusing...


I’ll believe that. The Whitecloaks give me creeps.


Different thought but: I’ve been thinking about the gender roles in this world. Are the Whitecloaks purely men? Like the Aes Sedai are purely women and we're in a Queendom and not a kingdom..?


What???? Another POV change mid-chapter - in the SAME chapter??

Okay yes. It’s getting confusing.


(Oh and is that Whitecloak we just saw the same one who was out for Perrin and Egwene...? Cause that name, Bryar, seems familiar. I do not particularly want to meet him again).


*GASP* did she just...?? Burn a book????

Plus, she “casually” threw it into the fire. Casually?? How often does she do this for it to be a casual occasion?

Okay, this Liandrin Sedai character is on my hitlist now! Book burner!

(that’s as close as I’ll get to call her a witch)


A POV change, AGAIN?? This is the fourth POV in this single chapter....


Is this how it’s going to be going forward? Having to rewire myself and figure out where we are and who we are every few paragraphs?


Trollocs! And that right after hearing about the Black Ajar. I mean we knew from the prologue that they existed, but still...

I wonder how Trollocs get into this well protected city with all of these Aes Sedai around...

This might be a new chapter but it’s like I missed half a book. What’s going on? Is this another dream? It’s gotta be another dream


Otherwise, I'll feel cheated, having skipped so much action to get to this point.


Okay, it’s a dream. Phew.

The Wisdom has got humour. And also she is right. You are a woolhead, Rand.


Oh, and she’s right about the other stuff too.


You absolute WOOLHEAD, Rand...

Nine kinds of idiot is what you are.


Blood and ashes. Open your eyes and look around you, lad. Even you don’t believe it.


You’re running out like that Rand??

In the midst of all the Aes Sedai?

The Wisdom is right, Rand. You’re a goat-brained fool.

Egwene was right, too.


You somehow end up in the lap of the very people you tried to avoid.

Bloody brilliant.

Rand, ladies and gentlemen, Rand.

Guys....

I really want to go to Illian, but the book keeps telling me that’s not where we’re going.


It keeps telling me: “oh you want to go south?”

*dangles promises of a great hunt in Illian in front of me*

Then it closes the door and says: “well too bad you’re going west!”


This sounds like bad news. Really bad news. Can they sever Mat's bond from it now? Is it too late?


Are they going to have to ride off to search for the dagger now?

That seems dangerous.


I’m assuming the Peddler has it and he is a very dark darkfriend.

Oh no.... I mean, are we sure? Absolutely sure the Aes Sedai didn’t put it somewhere else and that it's actually safe...?


Because... I’m now seeing my shimmering hope of a glorious ride to Illian dwindle into far away fiction.


Okay... so Robert Jordan is not going with the method he established in book 1.

He has decided to suddenly cast us into new scenes and settings from one paragraph to another. Change POV mid-chapter.

It’s a new style for him. It’s confusing to read. At least for now.

The Brown Aes Sedai are awesome though. They seem like they’re historians and archaeologists and forensic scientists all at the same time, and it’s quite cool and fun.


Hope we see more of them. I think we will.

Wow. Robert Jordan is really going for a new style with how much he jumps around and how quickly.

This scene between Rand and Lan would be great with the right set up, but it’s thrown in straight after trolloc fights and gore. So it feels out of place.


The writer in me wonders how quickly he wrote this book, because these last few chapters feel like a lot of sporadic ideas and great scenes that were thrown together in a rush. He is trying to weave them together but it feels rushed. Like he didn’t have time to hand stitch the connecting points.


By the way, in case there was ANY doubt:

I am NOT hating on the book or Robert Jordan.
There is just a very clear difference in writing between book 1 and 2, and I’m wondering what caused it.

This is very wise advice, al’Lan. I’d certainly prefer a slow horse to no horse.

Lan comes with some very wise phrases on the rare occasion he engages in dialogue. I’m savouring every one of those moments.

Day 4 : The day we saw a Brown Aes Sedai up close

Okay first of all: awesome title.


Second of all: except for the prologues, and the epilogue in the last book, it’s the first time the Wheel of time logo is a chapter heading.


I wonder what it will mean.


That someone is spinning the wheel of time? Using the one true source..?


Blood and ashes, I knew it!

Those trollocs just had to take Mat’s dagger and worsen his condition.


Well I suppose the lads, or at least Mat, will have to set off after the trollocs to retrieve the dagger, then.

Ha! So my initial instinct that Aes Sedai live for a long time was correct.


Although Moiraine does feel quite young. So maybe only a hundred years or so...? That’s my guess for Moiriane’s age. Within 100 years. Because she seems older than most people but young compared with other Aes sedai.

Yes of course. This is why Mat will need to go in search of the dagger. If he is lucky some of the others will join him because alone that’s going to be a difficult journey for him... near impossible.


Also why doesn’t Moiraine call him by his full name? Matrim Cauthon?


A premonition.

Written on a wall.

In blood.

In a hurry.


AND IT’S TWO PAGES LONG???


Wow the Peddler and Dark One's creatures really had lots of time. And lots of wall to write on too....

I hate to contradict the Amyrlin Seat, but I don’t think anyone is buying this speech at this point, not even the Amyrlin Seat herself. I look forward for Rand to meet Lanfear, because that’s what I assume is going to happen.


Verin is awesome, and I think I can probably say the same about her sisters in the brown and mean it too! I wonder if Aes Sedai can choose their colour or one presents itself to them or they get recruited. I have a feeling we will find out.


And then we have another mid-chapter PoV change....

Okay. I get that this is Robert Jordan’s new style, but I’m struggling to adjust.


In other news though, it’s Perrin, and I adore Perrin.

I think Robert Jordan does some of his best writing with Perrin. It feels very focused.

Like a dog at the vet.


Being able to smell the cancer in his friend.


I like Perrin.


So far, I have enjoyed every single Perrin chapter. The writing for him is... special.


Ahh so they found Perrin and that’s why they sounded the alarm? Because that whole sequence of events seemed a little strange to me. That makes more sense now.

I hope all three lads get safely on the way before the BOOK BURNER gets to them.

It’s simple, but a good example of Jordan’s use of words when writing Perrin.

Since the beginning, Perrin’s POV sections have been on the shorter side but they have all been very concise and precise.

In the first two books at least Jordan seems to particularly have enjoyed writing Perrin.

Annnnd we’re already out of Perrin’s POV. Sort and precise indeed. A little writerly fun in between other scenes is what it feels like to me.


Okay, let’s see what Rand is up to now.

*deep sigh* Rand, I know it’s tough, but you can’t have it both ways. You either tell them the truth of keep them away with lies. It’s up to you, but you 3 are all keeping secrets from each other and one of you has to be the first one to open up.


Uhh the next chapter is called The Dragon Reborn! It’s going to be Rand face to face with the Amyrlin Seat isn’t it?


Despite the promising title, I will save it for tomorrow so I can fully enjoy. I’d rather enjoy this journey than rush through it.

Day 5 : The day Rand learned he is the DRAGON REBORN

Okay, so as I thought Warders and Aes Sedai are paired off.


Questions then:

We know Aes Sedai live longer than most people, can they apply this to their Warder too or will they eventually be Warder-less or need a new Warder?


Since the Reds hate men and don’t have Warders, do only some colours of Ajah have Warders..?

Wait whaaaaaat? So the sword really was Tam’s? I mean obviously he got up to some things travelling but i never thought this.


Especially after Lan explained how difficult it was to earn that kind of sword.


So Tam al’Thor left Two Rivers to go on adventures and came back with a wife....

And yet, STILL his son, Rand al’Woolhead, thinks that: “No one from Two Rivers ever left”!!!!?

Rand knew Tam married an outlander, and still... damned Two Rivers stubbornness.

Ha, Rand! And you thought you would go off alone?


We all know you will go with them, because you think things like: “how will WE find it?”

Rand al’Woolhead. That is my official calling name for you now. It seems fitting.

Oh I adore Verin! Way to take the tension out of the room. And she does have a fair point, although I would not be picking at one particular saying, because, let’s be real, most sayings lack a knowledge of the world at large.

Ha! Well no way to run from it now Rand.


I mean, I know you will try to run from it anyways, but, the knowledge is there now. Planted in your head. Now I suspect it just needs a long while to work it’s way through your woolhead and really click.

Well at last we know why the fade in book one was only visible to these three lads born within a few weeks of each other. Now we know why the week thing was so important.


Getting lots of answers here.

What could she have told them..?


Let’s brainstorm.

“A Lord? Ha! One with a head made of wool”

“In our lands no one would be quite so bold as to ask me such a thing.”

“Lord or not, his socks stink all the same.”


Other suggestions?


Now that’s funny


And it's exactly what I imagine a stern Wisdom would take particular pleasure in giving a young troublesome lad called Matrim, acting like a goose.


Lan handing the Wisdom the ring is a bittersweet moment. He is very forward with his feelings. I suppose it suits his character. He is quite square about most things but it’s still somewhat surprising to see him vulnerable in this way. Calling her his beloved.


Yikes! Hate?? She hates Moiraine?

I thought she was just a little jealous and had a general disdain for Aes Sedai, but hate...?


Yes, this is when the Wisdom loses me in her POV chapters. To me, her hatred towards Moiraine seems misplaced, or at the very least much too extreme.

This it the 4th PoV change in this chapter. But that’s not what I wanted to highlight. We’ve been through that.

It’s the first EGWENE chapter!!

I wasn’t sure we were ever getting any Egwene chapters.

I expect Egwene.... to think more about home and about the others maybe too.


She wasn’t, Nynaeve.


She was trying to comfort herself.


....and that’s the sad truth.

We’ve heard a lot about the Red Ajah, we’ve seen the Brown Ajah up close, we know some about the Green Ajah. Even the Black Ajah.


Why do I feel like we know the least about the Blue Ajah?

And that’s despite Moiraine being a Blue Ajah.

Another thought I’ve had lingering since the last book: The guards in Shienaran are often described using Asian stereotypes, and have names that sound like they were inspired by Japanese inspired (except Lord Angelmar).


So, as far as the show is concerned, I’m expecting all Shienaran to be Asian.

(Someone in my comment section mentioned Mongolian, and yes! That's it!)

Good Egwene. I’ve tried to tell him to not be like that and treat people with respect but it won’t get through.


Rand al’Woolhead doesn’t seem to take directions from women. At least not yet.


It might be the last time he will see Egwene and this is how he goes about it? Oh Rand...

Yep. I’ve been trying to teach him this too, Egwene. But you’re right, tell him!

We all have to band together to get the message through to Rand before it’s too late and he confesses to the Dark One himself that he is the Dragon Reborn.

Let’s try out best to save Rand’s life!

Day 6 : The day the Great Hunt began

Yes I wonder what it is too. My best guess is a Black Sedai..?


Next best guess: whatever is above the food chain from a Fade. There’s gotta be a few steps between a fade and the dark one himself.

Whitecloaks call Aes Sedai darkfriends, yet still call themselves white.


Although the colour white is connected to the Aes Sedai use of the one true power, like black is connected to the male equivalent.


More generally white refers to the “Light” which both groups aim for.


I like that cause no one has sole and unique claim to a colour or an idea. Most people in Randworld see the Light as something to be attained and something almost holy. Yet their interpretation of what the light is and how to achieve it, varies hugely.

Aes Sedai and Whitecloaks certainly prove that.

That means something entirely different where I come from... but in all seriousness, that’s an awesome skill, and would definitely be my superpower. Not by choice, mind you, just cause I have a sensitive nose.


Also: will Perrin learn this too? With the sensitive nose of a wolf.

Yep. That sounds about right.

That sounds like a Brown Aes Sedai.


I’m guessing it’s new then, if she could not figure it out...?


And he doesn’t have gold eyes so not like Perrin. Just the sense of smell.


This is why I still have hope that Thom is alive. This is where I think we will find him again. Illian. The beautiful golden city for Gleeman, especially with the hunt.


Huh. This is Illian..?

I had imagined such beauty and an abundance of everything in Illian. From the little we had heard I imagined vines and gold and wonder...


And then when we finally arrive in glorious Illian we get.... a canal that stinks of chamber pots....


Ouch, that’s a foul letter to carry!


I’m glad this man has the sense to pry open the seal and look.


I would have yelled at him that it’s possible if he had not.


Now I can save my yelling for Rand al’Woolhead.

Also, I can imagine Mat my lad giving this letter to someone as a joke...

Ahh love a good collector in fantasy stories. They always carry interesting things with them.


....wait a second! This is the same captain who sailed Rand, Mat and Thom isn’t it?


So he has Moiriane’s coins...

Uh uh. I do believe this is one of the seals to the Foresaken.... Oh boy... no wonder everyone’s out to kill him and get his things.


Even the ship is sailing to Toman Head!! Okay, okay, I get it. It’s all going down on the west coast. Forgive me if I’m not super excited about Toman Head yet. I’ve heard everyone is going there, but none of them show any excitement for the place.


You’ll run straight into trouble instead.....


Because from my seat here in the omniscient world, I can tell you that trollocs and darkfriends are flocking towards towards this place and so are Whitecloaks...


Had I not had this visual aide in the chapter heading image, I definitely would have imagined a very different kind of horn, but that’s just the Viking in me, I’m sure.


So good to get that straight.

Oh gosh Lord al’Woolhead. In his eagerness to not appear as a Lord, Rand somehow ends up looking even more the Lord.


Scaring all the warriors half to death because he is unsatisfied with his fashion choices.

I get it Rand. No one likes it when everyone assumes things about them that they can’t identify with... However, you CAN be two things at once, Rand. Don’t limit yourself so.

You’ll always be the boy who grew up in Two Rivers even if you were born elsewhere.

Uhh this promises to be very interesting when Rand meets the Aiel. Riding in with a sword.


Uhh. I wonder why.... is there a terrible premonition or something...? Is that why none of them will touch a sword?


These ghost towns are really creepy. We saw one in the last book too and I feel like that never really got resolved.


I fear that Loial’s explanation is right, but I like it as little as Rand.


Oh! I caught that! He knows Perrin can smell it too.

I wonder if Perrin can smell more, or something slightly different.


Say no more Perrin. We know what you mean.

These boys really need to talk to each other about what’s happened to them.

Stop being so stubborn lads and set on being cool.Is it truly so torturous to have an honest conversation?


That’s quite beautiful.


I never understood the insistence in so many SFF tv shows, films and books with having to bury the dead.


The way we deal with the corpse of a dead one is a very cultural thing. It varies from culture to culture, so why do SFF stories so often have an obsession with having to bury everyone in the ground? Often no cultural reason is provided, as an audience we're just to assume that everyone would want to buried in the ground, when that's not even a universal fact on planet Earth.

So while they also bury the dead in the ground, here, I highly appreciate that we're given a cultural reason.

I feel sad for our Ogier. I feel like everyone keeps telling Loial this every time he hears about something he dearly wants to see.

What a disappointment the world outside the stedding must be to such a young and passionate builder.

Hmm interesting. An ability to see alternate moments? The flies are creepy, as if Rand is a corpse.


It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this.


(In sort of related news, there are less POV switches now, thankfully.)


Huh? So you’re only going to tell someone else that you saw something when you don’t have to be the first person to say that you saw it...? Is that how it works Rand?

...you know, it almost seems like if everyone thought this way no one would ever report anything.

I second Mat my lad’s question.


Who? And why?


Black Aes Sedai? No, something else.

What IS above a Fade in the Dark One’s foodchain?

Day 7 : The day Rand opened up, a little, but the others didn’t

You’ve come so far, Rand! I'm very proud of you! And yes now trollocs and Fades just seem.... inconsequential. Fades are still a bit creepy though with their cloaks that don’t flap in the wind. But there are more dangerous things out there.

This seems smart. I suppose it also works in the event that the group gets separated and someone else has to assume command. Though it does require everyone to be really quick at looking around and seeing if there is someone of higher rank. With their faces hidden by helmets, that might be tough to tell.


The banner of the dragon!!! Hahaha Of course Moiraine sent that with him. Smart move. She could not have given it to him before they headed off or he would have refused to take it. And you won’t bury it Rand. You couldn’t live with that. Even you al’Woolhead, know better.

Pragmatic Perrin knows exactly what it means and what questions are important to ask. His smarts are only trumped by Mat my lad’s dramatically timed gasp.


Pragmatic Perrin being smart again. We like a boy who knows that 2+2=4 and isn’t afraid to say it out loud either.

Also it’s nice to FINALLY see one of the lads opening up and telling the truth!!
You go Rand al’Woolhead!!

Don’t try to kid anyone, Mat my lad. You’ll do it even if Rand does mind.

Plus, Mat my lad, you’ll recall that Rand is there to SAVE YOUR LIFE!!

This dialogue makes me sad, cause it reminds me quite exactly of something else. Small tangent incoming...


Years back I was staying over at a friend’s house. She told me she had something to share and if I wanted to leave the house afterwards and never wanted to see her again, she would understand.


Then she told me that she had a girlfriend and was gay.


I responded by saying I was happy for her. I didn’t really care if she loved a girl or boy, just happy that she was in love, and then I asked her why she would assume I wouldn’t want to stay or even see her again.


Well... A month earlier she had told 2 of her oldest friends. They had responded exactly like Mat my lad here. One of them still refused to see her. The other refused to be in a room alone with her. Mat’s dialogue here is so similar to what she recounted, that it sent me straight back to that moment.

I hope Mat comes through. And Perrin too. Rand could use some moral support.

I LOVE how full of life and wonder and excitement about the world Loial has, still. Even after travelling most old the world and finding most of the old Builders’ work done and gone, he retains this youthful wonder it new discoveries.


Ehh.... Rand.... you seem to have misunderstood the use of a blanket. That’s the thing that’s supposed to keep you warm when you put it over you to sleep.... but you use at as a pillow? And use a cloak as a blanket instead...? Huh...?

Hold up!! So... you mean to tell me that the Green Ajah are taking the men who should rightfully be assigned to the Red Ajah?


This also makes me wonder: are Warders assigned or chosen, or do they get to choose?


THE SMUDGE! The ink smudge! I like that detail - a lot.


It says a lot about her, and maybe about all the Brown Ajah. They’re my fav so far, btw. But I still know very little about the other colours.

Yep, yep, me too! I adore that Verin is the first one who comes there to teach them. I think she’d likely be a good teacher but probably would rather spend her time amassing knowledge. That’s how she strikes me so far.

I really do like the brown Ajah, have I said that?

Okay. Well, sleep well. She is great. She certainly still has a sense of humour.

I hope we either get to see her POV, or alternatively either Egwene or the Wisdom join the brown Ajah, but I find that unlikely.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you handle a Red Ajah.


Also, now at least we know that the Wisdom won’t be a Red Ajah. And Egwene, please don't go down that route either. It doesn’t suit you. My guess is that one of them will take the blue and the other the green.

Ahh yes. That’s what happens when the world’s begins to open up to you.


You too have come far Egwene, but like Rand, you still have long way to go too.

Ahhh I knew it! When they first mentioned Foretelling and how rare it was, I knew and I really hoped that one of our two future Aes Sedai would be a Foreteller! Ah this will be good.

Day 8 : The day we got PARALLEL UNIVERSES!!! ....or something like that.


Hmm, I haven’t had this one before. Is that Ogier script or Trollic script?


Why does it look like a treehouse to me...? Treehouse as in a house made inside the stump of a tree.


There is even a door and a window.


Aha, so 7 Ajah, huh?

Okay, I know of:

(1) blue

(2) red

(3) green

(4) BROWN

(5) yellow

(6)......black?

(7)........?

Woah woah! Is this..? This sounds an awful lot like PARALLEL UNIVERSES!!

But, not real ones. Imagined ones. Like dream version of different possible realities.


Oh please let it be that, because that’s cool and then I swear Rand can find a teacher there so he can learn how to channel safely.


Not very clear? That’s is very clear, my dear Ogier.


Let the SFF enthusiast translate: What it means, in this reader’s humble opinion, that better be right is that what you’re dealing with is: PARALLEL UNIVERSES!!!

Oh Rand is starting to act the part of the leader. Feeling the pressure of being a high commander, maybe? He is certainly living up to his given title! Living up to the warriors' expectations of him too, maybe?

Oh dear Rand al’Woolhead, how far you’ve come!
A good example of some brilliant Robert Jordan writing.

I mentioned it in my overall thoughts on WoT1, but he is brilliant at setting up things and giving readers the reward 2 chapters later.


We’ve JUST learnt from Egwene that you can’t force it. So we know this won’t go well!

Oh yeah, Rand al’Woolhead. The Ogier knows. Loial knows. How did you expect him to miss it?


You were being obvious. Again.

Please be more careful before you run into the dark one or a fade or the Peddler and blurt out that you’re the Dragon Reborn.

Yes!! Perrin! Now we will finally see what he was sniffing about.


Someone has to lead them on without the sniffer.


Time to set aside the dog and get a real wolf.


Let’s hunt some Trollic!

Yes, Perrin, it does. I’m glad you know it. (I think Mat too knows that he was in the wrong, but he wouldn’t admit to that).


Well Perrin, you’re going to have to tell someone what you really are, or play the role of a convenient sniffer.


Gaaah I love this whole wolf scene.

Thinking like a wolf, becoming a wolf.

And the wolf names are really cool too. Perrin is getting his own pack. Who would be the alfa in the group? I bet Perrin will have to fight hard to stay on top. All the more so because he is a two-legged.

Mat my lad. Yo. Not cool.


You’ve said it yourself, mate. Everyone else is evolving, taking on the world. Accepting that nothing will ever be as it was. Evolving. Except you.

Time for you to catch up, Mat.

Just like I knew you didn’t mean to toss him aside. Yet, still, you did, Mat my lad. You’ve got a long way to go yet. All of you do, but especially you, Mat. Everyone else is well on their way to improving themselves.

I know that description! We’ve got brown Aes Sedai in the house (more specifically our favourite, Verin). So that was where she rode off to!


I had half expected the Red Ajah (BOOK BURNER!!) to arrive first. But perhaps she didn’t want to approach the group.

Haha yes. Cute attempt at secrecy.


Also, Pragmatic Perrin, you know what this means. You’re smart enough to realise. There is no hiding from this one. She will find out what you are, if she doesn’t already know.


You will be studied closely. Wolfbrother : Case study 1 (or 2?)

Okay... This parallel universe dream like place is starting to feel quite grim.... are we there yet!? Can we go home now??

And please don’t go home and land in the midst of trollocs cause you’ve been chasing them in a different world.

YESS!! Epic scene incoming! *whistles* BEEN WAITING FOR THIS!


(Side note: I need to read the prologue of the first book again soon because I might actually understand some of it now. I’m guessing, that speaking figure who was with Kinslayer, that’s him here, right...?)

*GASP* Oh, but of course!

Rand al’Woolhead!!!

I warned you!! Egwene warned you!! We all warned you!!!!


And you go and—and to the dark one himself!!


Oh I like this a lot.


Who knew the evil guy you’re supposed to hate because he is evil itself would be so philosophical..?


Do you believe now Rand al’Woolhead? It was not a dream.


You’re not as crazy as you believe, Or maybe as a wizard with a mighty nice beard once said: “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

Day 9 : The day a most suspicious lady enchanted a builder, a sniffer and a woolhead.

But not me.

Rand al’Woolhead.... you still haven’t figured it out, but I’m telling you, this is a parallel universe situation. You aren’t going to find the Trollocs you’re looking for in this place. Though you may be able to travel really far and catch up with them quite easily.

Yes Rand. I’m with the Builder over here. I don’t think it’s a.... Loial what were you going to say? Personally I was going to say that I don’t think that was a good idea but this is a builder speaking, so, now I think that what you’re riding towards isn't the spire.

Oh yes. Interesting! And it would explain why there are no Trollocs too then, I suppose. Because what are so many Trollocs going to eat and kill if they killed off ALL the humans when they won?


I doubt they’d be satisfied with wolves and deer.


Oh good, now the Ogier too is joining my cause. First Egwene, now the builder. Good. The more we work together, the bigger the chance of saving Rand al’Woolhead!


Yes, shout with me Loial: “Don’t tell her anything, Rand! Listen to your own advise!! Be careful!! Please....”


This woman and that bear (that is not a bear) really came out of nowhere though.... Usually Robert Jordan warns us a few chapters ahead. The only times he hasn’t strictly speaking warned us is with darkfriends...

Oh no.... wait! Is she one of the Foresaken??

Even the Builder is calling her nearly perfect. Something’s up. I don’t like this. I don’t trust her. She appeared as suddenly as Ba’alzamon (spelling?)


Oh! Is it him in disguise? He is so powerful he must be able to take on different form.


I’m suspicious of her.

Yo... this is getting creepy. If she’s not from this world, how does she know the name of the creature and that you have to shoot one of their eyes?


And why did one only show up when she did? And how did she get there!??

I do not trust this Selene person.

Aha, Rand. What do you say?


Maybe now you understand how I feel every time you meet someone suspicious and tell them EVERYTHING!


Except of course, this lady is too beautiful for you to be suspicious of her.... yet.


Oh please be cautious, Rand. And LEAVE HER BEHIND!!

SHE IS SO CREEPY!!


Does no one else remember what everyone’s been saying about people who want the horn. And how you shouldn’t have it if you want it and all of that?


Don’t bring her, Rand. No, no, no!! And certainly don’t let her touch the horn (OR the dagger)!

Mate... if you gotta remind yourself like this. I’m sorry, Rand, but it’s time I broke the news to you: I don’t think you ever really loved Egwene.


She was just the most beautiful girl in Two Rivers. Now you’ve seen and known other beautiful women. Each time you forget Egwene.

Okay. She just went from suspicious to DEFINITELY up to something. She can’t be for real.


What kind of human being can entertain an Ogier and rival his knowledge in history??

Nuh-uh. I don’t believe that.


So, parallel universes. Surprise. I told you so. Now that she says it, you believe it, huh? I feel like such a push-over.


But since I don’t give up, let me tell you that the possible ramifications of meeting yourself are too high. Not worth the risk. You’ve been warned.


YES!! You heard me, Rand! See what happens to your thoughts when she is not right beside you. You have actual smart thoughts! Finally! Thank you!


Listen to your instinct, Rand. No—not the ones telling you that she would look beautiful naked. The ones that ask: “how does she know?”


Yes, she would say that wouldn’t she...

Think, Rand. You don’t have to be a woolhead.

How does she know you can get her back? How could she possibly know that? And why do these creatures keep showing up when it’s most convenient for her so you HAVE to save her??

What was I just saying??? Guys... why are you all foolishly blind?


The Wisdom would roast all three of you over her fire if she were here.


Unfortunately she is not, so you’re going to be taking this woman into the real world, and get yourselves into trouble, aren’t you...?


Uh huh, Rand. You have the right idea, now keep with that thought. Why does she assume that you know? She knows a lot more than she’s saying Rand.


You did sort of tell her that you can channel, but still. You told Lan ages ago too and he didn’t recognise it for what it was.

Yep, and in this instance she would have been correct, Rand al’Woolhead. You’re too trusting for your own good. And too blinded by beauty and a bit of convenient timing.


Yesterday I was so proud of your progress, today you’ve digressed. Please come to your senses soon.

Day 10 : The day we arrived in TAR VALON!

The MAN in the mask? Putting Rand in danger...???


SELENE!!


Yep, my bet is on Selene. I know she’s a woman, but that’s just a mask. She was bad news as soon as she screamed her way into the story.

Eyes of fire??? SELENE IS BA’ALZAMON!!! Come on, she has to be.

With Egwene having dreams like this. Egwene who correctly dreamt that Rand disappeared into another world. Well okay she didn’t dream the parallel world bit, but she did dream that he disappeared like he did.

Exactly. We know this. And that is why Selene telling Rand to use the one power as much as he can is very bad news. Very bad.


Selene you... you evil nymph!

(Also I quite like that even the Amyrlin Seat is going to give them a lesson)


With the Amyrlin Seat. Flying = awesome

So out of curiosity... If you can’t make yourself levitate but you can make someone else levitate...

Could they fly in Aes Sedai pairs!??

I’ll lift you, if you lift me, kind of thing? Flying together. Oh that would be great!


What she deserves?! right now what she deserves is... I don’t even have an answer I’m so done with her attitude.


She is being insufferable, I’m sorry folks, I know you all like her, but *deep sigh* I tend to not like characters with anger problems and well... she is VERY angry.

Yeah, Egwene. I know it doesn’t feel fair when you actually WANT to learn.

You’re a good and eager student, but the Wisdom has more talent so most people are going to be more interested in her than you, even if the Wisdom continues to throw tantrums.


Sorry, my wee Lassie.

Yaaay! Tar Valon! Now I can strike that off my bucket list!


It’s one of the places I’ve been really excited about getting to see. So far it’s pretty cool. I’m loving the harbour feel.


There are 3 ways to make sure I fall for a town:

1. Ancient city

2. Old trees

3. Harbour

Tar Valon seems to have all of the above.


Other places I want to see:

1. Illian (Come on, there has to be more to it than piss pots)

2. A stedding

3. Another PARALLEL WORLD

4. Tear (cool name also the fingers of the dragon look cool)

5. Tremalking (that Island has to be on the map for a reason)

6. Back to Two Rivers


In other news, I’ve realised that I’ve been quietly rooting for Egwene since the beginning of WoT.

I think it’s because she is so eager to get out in the world, and yet everyone else is on more successful journeys than hers. I feel for her. I want her eagerness to be rewarded.

Rand.... I... I know you’re more concerned about yourself. And the prospect of maybe going mad, but.... you do realise that SHE is absolutely mad, right?


Don’t you see it al’Woolhead??? You CANNOT let her near the horn.

Oh now Fain and the Trollocs are there. Notice how neither of them scare me anymore?

I don’t scream TROLLOCS in a panic whenever they appear. Now it’s all: Oh, trollocs.

Oh Fain who killed a Fade.

They’ve been trumped by a much scarier creature, by the name of SELENE!

Rand al’Woolhead, wake up from your wet dream!! Don’t you see how she has been ordering you about since she has arrived? For days you’ve bent to her will. And when you don’t do exactly as she tells you to do, bad things happen to make you do it anyways.


She’s trouble, Rand.

Yes..... but later on it was pretty damn deadly.


Oh! Oh! Great! You can use it to kill Selene! Yes, that’ll be great. Unless.... the dark one can gain strength from such darkness as the dagger...

I think it’s a risk worth taking. Plunge the dagger into her heart, please.


This was all conveniently easy, wasn’t it...? You see it too, right Lord al’Woolhead? Trollocs asleep. Fain doesn’t even sleep clutching the dagger. Found both the dagger and horn and snatched them up.


Well, when Selene wants something, she’ll make it happen, I suppose.

I don’t know how I feel about these fight scenes.


On one hand, I adore the idea of naming the moves he does and it makes sense since he is still learning. On the other hand, I don’t know what the named poses look like, so I have no idea how the action is supposed to look.

Kind of you to ask, Selene.


NO, you may NOT!


Stay far far away from that horn. And you better stay far far away from the dagger too. Because I’ve instructed Lord al’Woolhead to strike you dead with it.

Yes it does, Selene. Yes it does.


RAND!! Listen to me now. You need to get the dagger to Mat or your mate is going to DIE!! Do NOT let yourself be enchanted by Selene and let her decide. You are there to save your mate, Mat. You can’t ride away in the opposite direction!

I’m so worried about what the future holds for these lads.

Selene is wrapping them all around her little finger and none of them seem to notice. And it’s exhausting to yell at them all the time.


Please let the Light find them.

Day 11 : The day I realised who SELENE truly is! (surprisingly it’s not the devil)

Oh wow, Rand coming to his senses and not agreeing with Selene and letting her do whatever? Good going Lord al’Woolhead! I’m proud of you again.

Okay Robert Jordan really wants his to think that Selene is Aes Sedai. But I’m not convinced.

Unless she is Black Ajah. She could be Black Ajah, I suppose. But I think she’s a forsaken.


I know yesterday I was all set on her being Ba’alzamon, because to me she is worse than the devil, but hear me out here.


Why would the Dark One send Rand to steal from Fain? Wouldn’t Fain deliver the horn to his master? But Selene is definitely with the Dark One overall...


Because she makes monsters come and she made sure it would be easy for Rand to get to the Horn and it has to be thanks to her that the Trollocs couldn’t follow their trail because neither Rand nor Loial made any effort whatsoever to hide their trail.


I’m back to my first theory. She's a Foresaken.


As soon as Selene screamed and Rand leapt to her rescue I suspected she was a Forsaken. I think that is right. And she knows that Rand is the Dragon Reborn. She can feel it, sense it. Maybe she is also a Black Ajah. But she is definitely a Forsaken.

Why doesn’t she want to go into the village now? Is she afraid people are going to recognise her for what she is? Is it difficult to fool many people at once? She always liked having the three men alone. Never more than one close to her at a time.


Oh right! Tremalking is the place with the huge statue of a hand with a sphere we heard about. I knew there was a reason I wanted to go there. This statue too is very interesting. Is the crystal connected to the One Power..? but Moiraine says things don’t hold power.

Okay Rand. But please don’t break the world, lad.

Wouldn’t that be exactly what you’ve been trying to avoid? The reason you’ve sworn never to touch the One Power again..?


It would make you exactly like one of the men who could channel whom you’ve heard stories about.

Killed what, Selene? The Dragon Reborn? The Dark One’s plaything. What is it that you truly mean? This is the first time she has acted less than confident though. I wonder what that statue and crystal is all about.


Him? Okay, so this is a Kingdom, not a Queendom. And different country from the one we know.


This Captain seems to want something from them. And seems like he won’t tell them what that is either.

Doubt he knows they have the horn, though.

Hmm interesting. He is testing them and their story. I wonder who he thinks they are and what he thinks he will gain from this.


Darkfriend? There seems to be more to him than that. In any case he is not the most dangerous company Rand keeps. It’s Selene I’m worried about.


Just as Selene was about to tell the Captain her name, huh? How convenient!


This is definitely Selene’s doing. Maybe Rand is right. Maybe she is a black Ajah. She certainly knows a lot about the One Power.

See? See!? Definitely Selene.


Okay, I’ve got it. For real now. She is a forsaken who has been locked away (or hiding) in the parallel universe.


Rand freed her by bringing her into the “real” world.


She is ALSO Black Ajah. Obviously from ages ago. Forsaken + Black Ajah


I don’t think it’s JUST that.


I mean you are a pretty suspicious lot. Difficult to miss. A woolhead, a Lady, an Ogier and a sniffer.


The Game sounds exhausting. As does politics. I suppose it’s much the same.


YES YES YESSSS!!!

SELENE HAS LEFT THE BUILDING!

Time for a celebratory dance! Oh finally, she left! I mean it’s bad news that she'll return but at least she’s gone now and maybe the men will come to their senses without her around..? (Yes i know, not likely)


You still want to pretend that a simple Lady could have done that...?


She is definitely up to evil deeds and worried about being exposed. Although, how would the captain expose her..


I wonder...


Every time I see this header, I think it’s Mat’s dagger and expect it to be the first Mat POV chapter, and every time I’m disappointed to find that it isn’t.

It’s Moiraine. I like Moiraine fine, so that’s okay.


Uhh this is a promising story and that ought to answer some questions I’ve had.


Notably:

Do Warders choose who to serve?

How are they assigned to Aes Sedai?

Do Aes Sedai get Warders as soon as they complete training, or how does that work?


Okay, so Moiraine was very clear about who should be her Warder. Are all Aes Sedai that way? Something just pulls them towards the right one?


And so, a Warder is asked to be bonded? Or asked to become a Warder?


Considering this first meeting, I’m almost surprised Lan agreed.

Uff that’s heavy stuff Moiraine. But passed on to another... Is this...

Do you mean for Lan to serve the Wisdom?

Is that what this is about? Is that why you’re telling him now so that he won’t mope around, like a fool in love?


Oh exactly Lan! Don’t you realise what this means? It could be the Wisdom. I know Moiraine said Myrelle, but details, details. I’m sure such things can be changed.


As long as the Wisdom doesn’t choose the Red in her anger, there is a nice future for your love life, al’Lan.


Well, the Daughter of the Night calls herself Selene now.

Of course! I should have remembered THAT NAME!!

SELENE = LANFEAR !!!!

I am certain of my case here.

(Also what’s with that name? Why would Lan fear her? He is too cool for fear)

"Oh hello Dementors. Fancy seeing you here. Visiting from Azkaban? Yes, it is rather nice out here. Lots of wizards/Aes Sedai to suck the life out of."


What source were both Rowling and Jordan pulling from here? Because I doubt Rowling read the Wheel of Time and nicked it from here. So what’s the inspiration I’m missing?


Selene? This your doing too? Or one of the black Ajah?


Cause we saw a few sisters in that opening chapter with the meeting of darkfriends.


Side thought: I’d like to see the POV of a Black Ajah. Why did they choose the black? What’s their reasoning?

Day 12 : The day we began AES SEDAI TRAINING!

I’ve discovered two more Ajah colours.

White and grey(?).

So in the order I know them best, it’s:

(1) blue

(2) red

(3) green

(4) brown

(5) yellow

(6) white

(7) grey

And then we’ve got the unofficial sisters in the Black.

Is that correct?

Aes Sedai vows seem decent.

Nothing too complicated. Though the weapon making could complicate certain potential battle situations.


To only speak the truth would prove tricky for some. But you can still hide things by omission, so seems fair.

Ahh I like this trope. It’s always fun to see what deep fears characters have. Although with the Wisdom, I don’t expect to be surprised.


My guess is that her fear is:

Lan and not being able to be with him because of her chosen path, or having abandoned Two Rivers as their Wisdom.

So, are all the names of the Foresaken commonly known? And do we know how many there are? (Can’t remember if I’ve been told this) Or are some of them just that famous?


And what kind of fear is this? Not being strong enough in her own right when faced with great adversity?


Wait what? That sin thing came out of nowhere. I have hardly heard anyone in this world talk about sin.


What constitutes a sin in this world and why would she have committed a crime?


And what... facing her fear is enough to be cleared of a CRIME?


Well that certainly speaks to the Wisdom’s innate skill. With Aes Sedai being this surprised, I wonder how much more powerful she will become than everyone else. Granted she learns to control the anger before she breaks the world.


Oh she remembers! And she is so going to be channelling again.


Probably going to be harder for her to leave this one and she will need to channel herself free. That’s my guess.



Oh oh, the way out has disappeared! I knew it! So now she’s going to have to channel to get out.


And despite the horror stories, she WILL get out, and still be able to channel, because she has just been shown to have great potential. That potential won’t be taken from us.


Well done Wisdom. I never doubted you. Now I just hope, you’ll be willing to learn and also learn to contain your anger.


Now I’m off to hear about our eager apprentice, and her beginning trials in the White Tower. Egwene, what have you been up to?

Elayne!! I was wondering when we would see your brother and you again. Yay!


3-2-1 until Egwene realises who you are and that Rand wasn’t lying.


Oh they’re adorable!! This is going to be the bestest of friendships. I’m glad Egwene is making friends.


They can sneak out to the kitchen at night and stuff their faces while they moon over Rand al’Woolhead. It’ll be grand.


I can see where she would reach that conclusion. But wait... does this mean that Aes Sedai ARE allowed to marry? Have kids? Or no?


I gotta say, so far, I haven’t heard a whole lot good about Red Ajah. In fact I’ve heard nothing good.

Do the Red Ajah have any redeeming qualities?

A man...? Not a Warder to be...? Ohhhh!!! The false dragon?


Yes, yes it’s the false dragon. Interesting. A gentled man. I’m curious to learn more. Please investigate, later on, Egwene. I’d like to see more.


I expected to see Min again, but I did not expect it to be here, in Tar Valon, in the White Tower!


Is she an Aes Sedai? Or did a brown Aes Sedai come across her and decided she would make a fine case study? In any case, I’m glad to see here. More premonition stuff please.


Well, in the last book, I did predict that it would be you and Rand, Elayne.


So, if that’s right, you might not have much choice. He is a womaniser this Rand al’Woolhead.

Look at you now. Three of Rand’s women sitting together and laughing.

Uh, a severed hand. That sounds less fun. I wonder whose hand you’ll have to chop off Elayne... I hope it’s not your brother, or Rand.


Or or!!!! We heard about the hand with the crystal on Tremalking island...??? Is that it? Oh that would be cool. That would be fun.

I did not much like Galad last we saw him, so I’m not thrilled. But that time it was mainly because Elayne hates him. So, maybe he's alright and I only listened to a biased source.

I wonder how Gawyn will progress. So far his role resembles the stereotypical role of “gay best friend”. We shall see how it develops.

Oh very smooth. Egwene is certainly taken by him. I’m still uncertain.

My uncertainty may have something to do with a lingering effect of having encountered Selene. Now I feel more spacious of beautiful people.


Especially those who are beautiful enough to steal all thoughts from our main characters’ heads.

Aww look at Rand al’Woolhead’s three girls bonding and becoming friends.


How lucky that Rand was in all three of your lives, so that you could all meet and become friends.

Don’t let your love for Rand get in the way of your friendship, girls.

Day 13 : The day THOM RETURNED!

(...and Selene too...)

That proves to make Rand a very rare and puzzling sight for the people in this city... also promises danger to come.


I’m still really looking forward to the day Rand finally meets Aiel.

(no, autocorrect, not Ariel, although she’s a redhead too)


Despite the Ogier’s disgust, that actually sounds like a clever and effective way to keep your people satisfied.


It also sounds really expensive, so how does this king get the funds?


And what’s he trying to hide with all the glee and joy...?


More reason to go now, Lord al’Woolhead. Don’t wait for Selene. Oh please don’t.


Though, even if you do go, I have a feeling Selene would catch up with you anyways and claim it was some great coincidence and that the pattern must want you together.


Okay I may be super paranoid because I vividly remember what happened the last time... that being said, Loial not wanting to leave the room reminds me Mat...


Loial has been carrying the case with the horn AND dagger for a while now. Please don’t let him become affected!

This is why you’ve earned the title Lord al’Woolhead, Rand.


I, and many others, including the wise Moiraine, have told you repeatedly that THOM IS ALIVE!!


You’ll see him soon. Before the end of this book, for sure! I guarantee it. Well... I certainly hope so, at least.

Ha! A storyteller with a great voice!! Is it? Is it Thom?

YESS!!! THOM IS RETURNED TO US!

I knew it! And how good to see him again!

So... I was sorta right... On the next page counts as “before the end of the book”... right?


I love and adore that this is the first thing Thom says to Rand after they’ve been separated for so long and in such a manner.


That’s the most Thom thing ever. No hellos, no boring greetings. Just right on and along.

Yes, I also thought we would see you in Illian, Thom.


And considering the title of the book I also thought we would be headed to Illian. Imagine my surprise.


It has taken me hundreds of pages to accept that we likely won’t in this book.

(though I still carry slight hope)

Well, lady, it would seem you hardly know him, because that is precisely what he was!

You can’t have known him for long then. So who are you? You’ve clearly got some ability.

I’m certain my brown sisters will ask: “New or old?”

Hmm, very intriguing. So many ability are popping up. This one seems handy to have nearby.


Bring her along, Thom, and Rand. She sounds handy. Her attitude reminds me a little of Min. So, promising.


*sigh* there goes Lord al’Woolhead again... blurting all of his secrets within seconds of saying hello. For once though, I think it’s okay. I mean, it’s Thom. I want to trust Thom. So, for once I say: go ahead Rand, tell him everything.


Oh? That was some smart thinking. Looking into the prophecies! Good going.


Maybe you’re not a total woolhead after all, Rand. Alternatively, I might just be praising you for flushing he toilet, because my expectations about your intellect are THAT low...


Either way, well done!

That is still a VERY scary thought.

Given the title of this book... I really hope it ends with someone blowing the horn.

I still can’t decide if I’d like for it to be Rand, someone else, or a darkfriend.


All three options show promise in terms of the story that will follow.

Thom, Thom...

The wheel weaves as the wheel wills. And you are in the presence of ta’veren.

You have no say in the matter. The pattern has already decided what is to become of you.

Oh no... I mean: Trollocs boohoo, but look at that title... it’s much worse.

Lanfear is back. Selene is about to make an entrance again.

All throughout the fight, I kept thinking that this was likely Loial’s first real fight, and that it would be his first kill too...

I’m sorry Loial, I did not wish it for you, but staying at Rand’s side, it was bound to happen.

No! No! Noooo! I refuse. Take her back. Leave her!


I hate her so much... she is so manipulative and creepy. And the Trollocs led them right to her. Of course. Because trouble always leads Rand right to her. Oh can we please be rid of her again?

This whole fireworks scene, all the way through, I kept thinking of this one moment ini the Lord of the Rings. It made the thought of Selene being back a little more bearable. I just wish she had been on the receiving end of that fireworks canon instead of Trollocs.


Huh? You know... for once, just this once, I gotta agree with Selene here.

(Also I’ve become aware that my hatred towards Selene might be very similar to the Wisdom’s hatred towards Moiraine. So maybe the Wisdom and I can call a truce?)


Oh and just like that Selene is gone? So all I had to do to make her go away was agree with her? Great, I’ll try that again next time.


With Selene there I figured the horn was never in real trouble, even so, I’m relieved to see that the Sniffer is okay and the Horn wasn’t stolen.

Day 14 : The day the two parties were reunited

We're starting strong today with a Practical Perrin chapter!

The wolves have given Rand a name! Shadowkiller. That is a cool name.

I can only hope it means killer of Lanfear, but I doubt that’s what it means.

Even so, it’s cool.

Aha! We see an Aielman at last! Well met, Urien.


Now... what can you tell us about Rand and the lineage he chooses to ignore but that he obviously has..?

Huh? Very intriguing. So I assume those women can channel too? But are trained differently from the Aes Sedai..?

I only have one question: Where is Rhuidean, and when can we go there?

Huh... that’s two sneaky questions in one.


Uff I love this idea! I knew the Aiel and I would vibe well with each other.


But I’m so sad I don’t get to see Rand’s reaction to this. Though... I suppose he would have loudly tried to make the Aielman go away by now and denied any physical resemblance to his kind.

They’re a fierce people for sure. I mean take into consideration where they live, why they live there and how long they have survived there... what could they possibly have to fear?


You, Urien, have just described Lord Rand al’Woolhead.

He is marked by his heron sword. He grew up in the west, in Two Rivers. He looks like you and must be of your blood. And I can’t wait to see him arrive in Rhuidean.


Thank you kindly for this premonition.


What is this, in the chapter header...?


First instinct: an octopus being attacked by some sort of insect.


Second and more probable instinct: a samurai kind of helmet, except also with a mask and the top isn’t horns but octopus legs.


I mean, it’s enough to convince me. Trollocs were less than rumours most places, myths at best, and they’re real.


Also is this the army that’s supposed to answer when the horn is blown and follow whoever blew it, or is that a different army?

Yes, why would they not want to be associated with the White when you’re all such nice chaps?


This Lord Captain can’t possibly be so naive so as not to know why people are scared of him. I must say he became less compelling after reading his POV.

Young women are being taken away no matter where they are in this world.


Out here by these Seanchan people.

Elsewhere by the Aes Sedai.

And in the Waste they go willingly to Rhuidean.

It's a dangerous world to be a young girl who can channel.

Gotcha! So it WAS a helmet that looked like an insect devouring an octopus. Oh, plumes...? Okay they could be plumes.


So I’m pretty much picturing a fierce samurai here.

Okay....... *backs away very slowly*


So you seafarers are... ruling with a firm hand then. Terrorising folk into submission. In the style of proper conquerors and invaders.

This really hits me hard. Especially because the way these people have been described makes me picture Japanese at war.


I have read in-depth accounts about the Japanese occupation of Korea and one of the demeaning things they did was to take away the Korean people’s names.

They gave them Japanese names.

Many resistance fighters write about how deeply this affected them.

Personally I'm not that attached to names, so it took me a long time to truly understand why a name is so important. It was the last kick in the face. Removing their identity. Saying: you are nothing unless you are Japanese.


So reading this brings back all of the horrors of the occupation for me, and it is genuinely horrific. The things that were done.


I see other similarities with the Seanchan in how they go about their “occupation”, but I hope the similarities stop here or it’ll be VERY tough to read.

Oh Domon, I don’t trust that’s going to go well, even if you are a good liar. I suppose you’ll be a slave next time we meet you, then. Well, one can always hope they’re feeling generous (wouldn’t count on it though). Best of luck.


I have a confession. It took me forever to read this chapter. The action was exciting but Domon’s voice is just not compelling to me. What he sees and what happens around him is exciting but his voice drags me down and makes it difficult for me to stay interested.


I can’t believe I have to say this but: it might not be wise to burn a letter from a King.


Also burning the letters is only effective if you have witnesses who will spread the word.


Besides, you might meet Thom at one of these arrangements and then he will get tangled up in the pattern again.

Oh no! Trollocs have got the horn and worse - the dagger! Mat’s going to die now. All because you wanted to follow Selene, Rand. Are you proud of yourself??


You had it all. All you needed to do was not follow Selene and go find Mat instead....

Yep. The horn is gone. Dagger too.

You can feel my excitement, right..?


The least you can do, Rand, is save something now that the Ogier has saved the sniffer. So if not the Ogier’s books then at least save the Dragon banner!


NOW Mat and Perrin and the rest show up???

Blood and ashes. You lads couldn’t have shown up half an hour earlier?

I feel you, Rand, I feel you.

The adventure continues in Part 2 here


Experience the collection of my live thoughts about the Wheel of Time series here:

1. The Eye of the World

2. The Great Hunt Part 1 and Part 2

3. The Dragon Reborn Part 1 and Part 2

4. The Shadow Rising (currently reading and tweeting)

5. The Fires of Heaven

6. Lord of Chaos

7. A Crown of Swords

8. The Path of Daggers

9. Winter's Heart

10. Crossroads of Twilight

11. Knife of Dreams

12. The Gathering Storm

13. Towers of Midnight

14. A Memory of Light

37 views
Thilde Kold Holdt

I am a novelist by profession, currently working an epic fantasy series about 7th century Korea. My epic fantasy trilogy about Vikings, the Hanged God, is currently being published. I have lived

enough different places that the most difficult question to answer is: "where are you from?" I am, quite simply, from the planet Earth, for I have yet to set foot on Mars. Someday, though...

© Thilde Kold Holdt