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

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. Part 1 chronicles the first half, we meet Selene in this part 2, and in part 3 we finish with a grand battle and my final thoughts.

 

The Great Hunt

 

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.