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. Part 1 chronicles the first 14 days of reading, while this part 2 chronicles the end of my reading.
The Great Hunt
Day 15 : The day Lord al’Woolhead accepted an invitation to a darkfriend’s manor.
I am SO proud of Rand for being able to admit this and say it as it is. It’s this kind of honesty we need to restore among our 3 lads so that they may become friends again!
That’s some impressive lip reading, or mumble hearing, or whatever it’s called! Very impressive. Had it been me, I would likely have come up with: shallow thriller...
It's also very cool that Perrin recognises Rand for what he is. Is it because of his scent..?
Oh, something we have in common, Rand. I also frequently wonder how you could have been such a fool. I wonder about that for different reasons from you, though.
Mainly: Why would you ever think you could trust Selene? And how are you still fooled by her??
Oh Perrin! What a solid mate, standing up to defend his friend like that, despite everything that has come between them since they were young men growing up together.
That is a true friend right there, ladies and gentlemen.
Rand. We both know that’s not how it happened. You rode to Cairhien because Selene talked you into it.
You freed a Foresaken and let her lead you to a city and when Trollocs showed up in the city, you stayed because you didn’t know what else to do, and because you hoped to see Selene again.
Perceptive Perrin is SUCH a good friend!
This is why I adore Perrin. He is just SO sweet and... pure. And yes, you’re right Perrin. Not only is it fair, but you three boys really need a proper talk. Though I doubt Mat will be ready until he is freed from the dagger.
Ha! Good thing you didn’t burn those invitations, huh, Lord al’Woolhead?
So a grand Lord like him is a Darkfriend working with Trollocs, eh? Interesting.
We have not heard favourable things of the King either.
I wonder if even he could be....
Guys...! Guys! The fondness in Perrin’s tone! It’s.... ahhh.... so sweet!
Perrin is really perceptive and very mature as well. He has become a bit more settled with who he is too. He doesn’t deny and resist like Rand.
He accepts his part in the Pattern, albeit reluctantly.
Uh uh.... Lord Ingtar is scaring me a bit with his obsession about the horn. He is starting to sound like Selene. What was that about how one should not desire the horn..? I get the feeling Lord Ingtar would blow it as soon as he had it in his grasp...
Ah of course! I should have known. All that power Rand felt from it. And how very exciting!
I think I’m right about the hand Min sees for Elayne being the one in Tremalking. I think Elayne and company are going to go there and use it while Rand uses this one.
Verin... are you telling THE DRAGON REBORN HOW TO BREAK THE WORLD!??
Because those 3 in training would definitely help Rand channel. The Wisdom to protect him, the other two because they love him.
Maybe the girls will use it together..?
At least one of them will use it though.
And half of what he knows he chooses to deny and not believe.
....I think that with this chapter Perrin has graduated from being called Practical Perrin to being called Perceptive Perrin.
Excuse me, over here..! Can I just say, that I think it’s very risky to bring a grumpy desperate Mat into this place.
At least if your goal is to act in secrecy.
Without his dagger, Mat is as subtle and inconspicuous as a donkey among horses. He cannot stop grumbling and looks sick too.
Oh no.... two possible scenarios here:
1. They have to use the Waygate to make an escape because they get discovered.
2. Trollocs and Fades suddenly appear en masse
Neither prospect makes me particularly thrilled.
I am SO proud of Rand for making it through this minefield conversation!
Can we please have a round of applause for our dear Lord al’Woolhead?!!
Well done, Rand. Well done!
Aha. I am saying this a lot lately, but I called that one.
(Gotta say it when I can)
I told you not to burn the invitations so that you might meet Thom again, Rand.
And I don’t think it’s going to require much more than seeing you in danger for him to join the quest again.
So, it’s Lord al’Womaniser now...?
Haha, I kind of adore how popular our lads are, especially Rand, and how uncomfortable that makes him.
Poor Thom! Being pulled back in this way. He was trying so hard to stay away but you can sense his interest peak in this scene.
I do want Thom along for the ride though, so I’m not complaining, but poor man.
This is very true and good advice, Thom. See? This is why we need you. Rand who listens to no one actually tends to listen to you.
Thom tends to make himself heard. Maybe he can even make Rand realise that it’s foolish to say everything to everyone he meets.
We need Thom.
Day 16 : The day Thom showed his skills as a fighter.
Thank you for the report, Sniffer, but there is much that you do not know. They are not still there, for the Ogier told the Lord and I that there is a Waygate.
They’re halfway across the map by now.
Now go get the Ogier so we can see if it’s safe to use this Waygate.
Ah yes, as it often is with those who would do evil onto others.
It is only when the evil deed is done that a trail can be followed. By then, some would argue that it is already too late.
Ohh Loial is SO sweet! My heart still goes out to him for having to kill for the first time in his life.
I wish I could say it would be the only time he had to do that, but in this world you either kill or die, and I do not want our Ogier to die.
And okay, so for once I’m really happy to be wrong. They didn’t have to escape through the dangerous Ways, and the party also wasn’t stopped by Trollocs and fades. Phew. Danger evaded.
Rand also keeps channelling. And this time, afterwards, he didn’t say “never again”.
Mat my lad, this is my quarrel with you. Since you left Two Rivers, not even once have you offered to take one for the team.
This come across as though you don’t care about your supposed friends. My lad, I hope it’s just the dagger affecting you, because it’s getting old.
Rand, are you truly this much of a fool?
You’re speaking to a darkfriend, remember? And all you have on your mind is Selene?
And there you go AGAIN saying more than you should and to a darkfriend!
Last chapter you did well, but it seems you will always be Lord al’Woolhead.
Yes yes, we’ve know from the start. Can we get on with it now?
If the Ways aren’t going to work, you know there is always another way...
Parallel universes, remember? That was a neat trick, Rand. But how many will you trust with it?
I like you too, Loial. A lot. Oh goodness, he is SO sweet!
Yesterday it was Perrin, today it’s the Ogier making me wallow in my feelings!
Oh no, poor Loial! How his ears must be twitching.
He worked SO hard to stay away from anyone form the stedding. Always grumbling about how the Elders wouldn’t approve and now... oh the poor young Builder.
(But I—on the other hand—am Super excited! A stedding!!)
So Mat my lad only has a few weeks left if they don’t get the dagger. That's actually a relief to hear, because I was under the impression that he only had a few days left at this point. But weeks? Pff! Lots of time to retrieve the dagger and help Mat my lad!
Oh Thom, that sounds like a bad gig. It happens to us all. At least you got paid for it, that’s something.
But there are other ways to earn money, too, even as a Gleeman, Thom.
Even better: there are other things to DO. You could.... well I dunno... help Rand?
Oh no... She had such promising talent! But I suppose that made her too powerful an ally for the story, so she had to die. I know, I know. Still, I would have liked her to stay around a little longer.
But now, Thom, there really is very little tying you to this place.
Thom! You've really been holding out on us! I did not know you were a warrior at heart.
Eager for blood when blood has been handed to you, and confident enough not to question if your blade could strike true.
There seems to be more to you yet, dear Gleeman.
Uh what a most vile death! Also who killed him and why?
The king doesn’t strike me as someone who would have ordered him to be killed in such a manner. It sounds more like the work of a darkfriend or Trolloc.
I'm a bit sad to hear nothing more will come of that storyline.
I mean that is certainly the spirit and right approach.
As little as I like Fain the Peddler, he has the right way of it. And I do like characters who think like this.
No, that is not what lessened your bargaining position. What lessened your bargaining position was admitting that you did not know how to open the chest.
Oh, well played, well played.
The Peddler might be fit to play the Great Game after all.
Oh but his opponent is great too! Well played, sires, well played!
I do adore conversations such as these where every sentence or word spoke out of place may see you fall through a trap door.
Exactly. The Peddler is much too impatient for this game.
This kind of game is not won over one simple conversation.
It requires constant moves and counter moves and a whole lot of secrecy. Never give your opponent a clue you do not absolutely need to provide.
Ohhh! Interesting! So what they ride are those creatures from the alternative reality!
Well given that he has just been put up on wanted posters all over these lands it’s good that Rand knows how to kill them.
Stick it in the eye. So, Selene did some good, after all.
Day 17 : The day we visited a STEDDING!!
Hahahaha I’m sorry, Rand, but do you truly believe that?
You can channel, Aes Sedai can channel. Your girls are in the white tower.
No, boy, you will be not be done with Aes Sedai so easily, if ever.
No, no, please tell us more, this could be important! Who were the travelling people who left and why did they leave? And what does it tell you that this many people are suddenly coming to your stedding?
Uhh, is our lovely Ogier interested in a woman now? That is sweet.
Also, this is the tone I like from Mat we just haven’t heard it in about 800 pages.
Oh goodness, Loial. When you last spoke of the Longing, I didn’t realise it was quite that bad. I thought it was simple homesickness.
Well we better make certain this NEVER happens to you, dear friend!
Oh Loial! I fear I am repeating myself, but he is SO sweet!
How can I not adore this young Ogier, when he acts so honest and kind?
See, I like Mat my lad when he is like this. He can joke and still be nice.
Oh and I adore the Ogier of course, not that anyone is in doubt. So easily he forgives and moves on.
Uhhh, at last Lord Rand al’Woolhead comes face to face with Aiel!
He is taking this rather well. Not like a woolhead at all. Like a read lord.
I am impressed Rand, I expected you to already be denying it. But maybe you only do that if someone ELSE brings up the similarities.
Bingo! But goodness, it’s good to see the three Two Rivers lads banter again, and just talk to each other, really.
We haven’t had that since the first half of the first book. I’ve missed it.
Okay.... so I couldn’t decide which part of this to show you because I love all of it...
Loial seems to be popular with the ladies, just like our Two Rivers lads!
At this point all them are so popular I’m wondering if it’s a rub off effect of being ta’veren or close to one, or if all of our heroes are just that handsome.
Haha! Well caught, Rand! Yes, I was just thinking the same. Also - Mat frowned thoughtfully??
Mat my lad can be thoughtful? We truly learn something every day here.
Indeed, Ogier. Had it not been for your three ta’veren friends, you would not have entered this stedding and possibly met a beautiful woman and future wife.
Oh goodness, Loial, you’re in SO much trouble with your Elders. I think, at this point, having left the stedding without permission is going to be the least of your troubles, when you return.....
...if you ever do.
Oh, please let Loial survive everything to come.
Aw, these sweet lads, stranding up for their Ogier friend. This softened my heart to read.
Loial has been a loyal, sweet and kind companion and friend, so it’s so nice to see that not only have I come to adore him, all three of our lads too have come to adore him.
Oh please please please. Now I’m worried! Let nothing happen to Loial, please! Let him return safe to his stedding eventually! Don’t let him die!
Rand, please do swear another oath that you won’t be bringing a corpse back to Stedding Shangtai when this is all over!
Aww sweet Ogier, always taking things so literally. I love characters like this and Loial is a great one. Oh, and Erith gave it to him?? Uhh, I sense an Ogier love story in the making!
Hahah! Perceptive Perrin roasting Mat will likely never get old!
I love these lads.
Also, let’s note that Mat is always the first to joke about others, but cannot take a joke himself.
Yes, sister, I wonder too.
How does the Black Wind know where the Dragon Reborn is?
How does it sit waiting for him at every Waygate?
Thank goodness—once again—for the sniffer’s lack of tact!
Was it not for him, they would never get anywhere!
And so, as predicted, back into the alternative universes, they march. How will you play this one off, Rand?
Day 18 : The day we... flicker flicker FLICKER!!
Well, Verin Sedai, sometimes what is generally thought is right.
And I don’t think Selene would want to meet with you, because you’d see right through her and expose her for what she truly is. She wouldn’t like that.
Well how lucky and convenient that of all the symbols and stones the one in Toman Head is one you know, Verin Sedai.
The way Verin has come to lead them... I often forget she is not Moiraine. I suppose all Aes Sedai are a little alike.
No, apparently your name is still Lord Rand al’Woolhead.
Goodness, Rand, I thought we had been through this. You’re not a FALSE dragon. They told you as much.
You’re the Dragon Reborn!
Even Ba’alzamon thinks so! What do you think you’ve been running from all this time??
Who are you trying to fool, Rand? Because you’re not fooling anyone. Not us, not Verin and not even yourself.
The last many many times you’ve reached for the void saidin has been there.
Besides, I think Verin is right, again.
The Pattern is not done with you.
Oh like in the house with all the flies? Good! Finally! I was wondering when we were going to get to that again. So does this mean we will finally figure out exactly what it is?
I bet Verin knows something. She knows a lot, being a brown sister and all.
Did they just access Ba’alzamon’s super computer?
This feels like all of the Dark One’s evil simulations to kill Rand. All the ways in which he can win and has found a way to win.
Lucky that this is not one of those times!
Okay, I’ve spent two books (almost) worried that a version of this would happen. That Egwene would end up being sent off to gentle him.
Since I see it here, I don’t think it’s going to go that way. Phew. She may still be sent but she won’t do it.
Actually this whole flickering thing has been very very educational and nice. A very good gift for Rand.
Now he know what CANNOT happen. The courses of actions that do not work, so maybe he can avoid it.
Verin Sedai! We need some more explanations for us mere mortals over here! Like... who are the ones who knew the Numbers of Chaos? The Foresaken? Selene? And are those scenarios just possible outcomes or actual played matches?
I still reckon they’re battle simulations.
No no this is actually good! You see, you kept saying that if you were to ride there it would take months, and also that Mat my lad only has weeks.
This way you’ve arrived at a realistic time PLUS Mat my lad still has weeks. Weeks to look for the dagger.
I enjoyed those flickering scenes. They read like they were really fun to write. And the best pieces of writing often reads like that.
So are all characters with three letter names starting with M going to be cheeky jokesters?
(As for Galad, the question isn’t who was looking at him, but who was HE looking at?)
I mean Min and Mat basically have the same personality. The only difference is that Mat is with the lads and Min with the lassies. Also, Min seems like she could take a joke. I’m still unconvinced that Mat can.
(Min is also right about Galad, whoever is with him will get hurt)
Uh-Thom? Is this your doing Thom?
Not a simple Gleeman, are you? Executing a king like that. Assuming it was your doing.
I say it’s a 50/50 chance that it was Thom. To quote Verin Sedai: "What’s your gamble?" I’ll take a coin toss.
Well, he basically was. Good instincts, Egwene, but he is back now to ruin your pleasant dreams.
Also even with Galad around you think more about Rand he does about you. He has been a bit preoccupied with a terrible last called Selene....
Or maybe.... Elayne, it’s the other way around.
Can we get more of Gawyn though? He seems like a nice lad. Maybe include him a bit more in the club, girls. He does not seem to love Warder training from what little we’ve seen.
I’m with you Egwene. There is only one remedy for that.
The Wisdom will have to become the Amyrlin Seat. That way no one will have real authority over her.
Easy. Fixed. Bring me the next problem.
This is all very suspicious. Especially coming from a Red Ajah and BOOK BURNER!
Do not trust the book burner. I can tell you for a fact that book burners are evil.
She is up to something.
Her timing is very suspicious too.
Aha! Yes, I knew there had to be a reason why I called you Wisdom all this time, Nynaeve. What a wise question. What do you say, huh, Liandrin?? What is it that you need a recently accepted and a novice?? Trying to lure Rand, huh?? Make a trap?
GIRLS!! Now you’re the ones who are acting like woolheads!!
You do not talk about this kind of stuff ESPECIALLY when we’ve just learnt that you can hear what goes on in the next room. Whatcha going to do if she went to see Elayne and heard everything??
I’m really in two minds about this Aes Sedai. On one hand we are led to believe she is evil because she is red. And I want to hate her because she is a book burner, but... On the other hand, maybe she has good intentions and people just hate her cause she’s a Red Ajah.
I’m also glad that all of Egwene’s friends and saying that they’re coming (and also a bit pleases imaging the Book burner’s reaction).
Can we please also bring some Warders in training..?
Particularly Gawyn. Maybe his half brother too.
Day 19 : The day they were chained
It’s cute that they still think they’re going to be able to return. Well, if the Book Burner is a Black Ajah and that is found out in the White Tower, they may be allowed back, but otherwise... I wouldn’t count on it girls.
So, good that you packed for winter.
Oh - also! When Robert Jordan did the flicker trick and transported us months into the future, I thought: "what a clever way to skip winter," and then I realised that Verin had said autumn, and what he had done was skip the happy summer months.
And then the horror sort of settled.
Because I have played the Last of Us, and I remember. That winter. So, I narrowed my eyes at the book and asked : “what plans does he have for us in winter..?”
I fear it will be the next book. I fear it will be terrible.
Oh dear Elayne, I fear you have much to learn before you become a true adventurer, but there is only way to learn this, and that is by setting out into the world. Exactly as you’re doing now. I promise, it’s not always like this. Often, but not always.
Also who bought Min a horse? Or is she wealthy? Did she sell her foretelling skills for high prices before? Because we know that Egwene and the Wisdom borrowed theirs and Elayne is rich, but Min..?
Look, owning a horse is expensive!
And are the poor horses ALWAYS in the stables? Never out on a field?
She does have a point, but I still don’t like the book burner!
(No, I’m never going to get over the fact that she-and I quote- “casually” burned a book)
I don’t trust book burners.
Ah... I was wondering how they were going to find their way without an Ogier. Even Moiraine couldn’t find her way. Darkfriends could though. And Trollocs. Servants of the Dark One. Black Ajah?
But the book burner has a parchment, okay.
She gets the benefit of the doubt. For now.
Might have been smart to tell them that BEFORE you went inside!
I mean they're novices (and one recently accepted) all with very little training, but just starting to grasp it.
She must have known. Even the she must remember what that was like. The urge.
Exactly, Egwene. You know the stakes are much higher than that.
Who he will marry will only be an issue if he can survive that long, as a man who can channel, as the Dragon Reborn, and as the only worthy opponent to the Dark One. If he is to marry, he first needs to survive.
Thankfully, he is still only gentle and not gentled.
But....Girls... you’re really out to wreck each other with this rivalry over Rand. Let him be.
Let the Pattern do what it will and leave your rivalry on the sidelines.
Now what’s is THAT supposed to look like...?? I suppose I’ll find out but what...
Is it...a turntable?
A cassette tape?
Some sort of bowl?
What is that 8 string..?
Oh so kind of instrument..?
No... I don’t know. Let’s find out.
*turns the page*
Oh sh**! That would be a yes, Egwene.
She knows who they are. She has come to deliver you all.
That sneaky man-hating Red Ajah BOOK BURNER!!!
Oh how... pleasant. So, I guess, now we know what that header image was. Shackles.
I think I would have much preferred for it to be a turntable.
To treat human beings that way. Despicable!
...wait a second. Weren’t there some Whitecloaks over here some months back ready to deal with this exact threat? What happened to them!?
I’d much rather run into Whitecloaks at this point.
Ah yes, they shall either be used as bait for Rand, or they shall be taken far away so he cannot spin such powerful girls into the pattern.
But joke's on these horrid people cause I think this might be how the girls end up in Tremalking, by that dangerous hand thing.
Perhaps, but in order to act on your commands she must also have a will to do so and if you cut her tongue and hands and take all hope, you kill your asset. Might have been wiser to make her into a loyal subject instead.
It's good that the Wisdom escaped or her tongue would already have been cut...
Uh uh! Not good.
My theories as to what's happening:
1. She’s still in a stedding
2. She used the One Force with the Way still open(?) pulling from the Way as she was told not to do.
3. She burned out, as she was repeatedly told might happen unless she learns to control her temper.
Well the first two questions are quite simple, really. The Peddler knows your name, and knows your connection to Rand. He ratted you out.
As for the Book Burner (grrr), well.... we shall see.
I don’t think she was lying entirely. And she did mention Moiraine. Time will tell.
NEW dresses? Ten GOLD marks??
Oh goodness, the Wisdom is right, she is a total princess who has no idea about the world.
Well, this should be a humbling experience for her, then.
Day 20 : The day Egwene was in pain
It’s in moments like these that it becomes apparent that Ba’alzamon is way smarter than Rand.
Also a thousand times?
And a thousand times a thousand??
How old is this Ba’alzamon dude?
Is he talking about the parallel worlds?
Or have there been that many dragons reborn?
The Wisdom rarely ever listens to her own advice.
And how is she so certain she can undo the collars? After trying once? (and obviously failing) She doesn’t think some damane would also have tried to free themselves with the One Power?
See?? Egwene has been trying (of course she has).
Honestly if it’s going to be so simple to free her, that all it takes is the Wisdom trying once, I’m going to be upset with this book.
Just saying. It better not be.
...this seems odd to me. She can come and go however she likes. I get that she is not chained so they don’t care, but I can’t understand why they’d leave her alone with Egwene who IS their pet.
The Seanchan give her clothes and quarters to sleep and everything just out of the goodness of their hearts? Seems weird to me.
It doesn’t fit with the image I’ve been presented with it Seanchan so far.
If they aren’t interested in her since she can’t channel, why would they give her living quarters among their channeling pets? And feed and clothe her? It seems like an unnecessary expense especially since she does not seem to motivate Egwene in ANY way and that was the original argument for keeping her around. Even then I would have expected them to tell her to make herself useful a lot sooner.
On theory side of things though:
The bracelet is just hanging there... can’t Min put it on and lead Egwene out of there?
I would have assumed that was one of the first things the tried. If Min can't do it, then that has to be beecause she is missing something. A DNA strand or maybe an ability to channel. I also recommend that when they do try a rescue attempt, they leave with Egwene still chained and THEN find a way to sever the bond.
Wouldn’t Min know this if she had been interested to know it? They were riding next to each other talking when Egwene was first told it (and experienced it). Min was right there watching her squirm and hearing the explanations.
But I get there’s a difference between hearing and understanding. Min hasn’t experienced it.
I told the Seanchan this was how their tactics would play out... but I suppose that’s what they want. Mindless puppets. But it is not so simple. The mind is a dangerously powerful thing. I imagine even more so for one who can channel.
Would have been wise to make them loyal subjects instead, I think.
I’m surprised they’re fed expensive meat. How often do they get meat? I would have expected them to eat fish or seafood more since they’re by the sea.
Also: Egwene is really trying to make Min understand but they’ve been there for weeks and Min STILL refutes everything she says.
This is a personal pet peeve, but I don’t like when people react like this! It's something I often see in books, films and in tv series.
Please don’t scream. It would be much more effective to listen to her and then calmly talk to her like a human being.
Screaming at her does not get your point across any better.
I really liked Min... until today.
I get that Min doesn’t see how she can help Egwene, but in this scene, all she seems to be doing is make it harder on Egwene.
Come on Min, you’re better than this!
Oh a ship? Now we’re talking. I assume this is Domon’s ship? I can’t imagine it would be anyone else. Well good, Min. At least you’ve been doing something, even if you don’t know what to say to Egwene.
Now it’d be useful if you could find the Wisdom and the princess.
Her real name is Egwene al’Vere of Emond’s Field and I WILL NOT HAVE YOU BREAK HER!
I WILL see her saved! She is too good for you and she WILL fulfill her potential!
Someone had to stand up for Egwene.
I hate these people.
I don’t easily use the word hate but my hatred grows deep.
Good that you bumped into them, Min.
Five points to gryffindor for dumb luck.
I don’t suppose you’d have any dumb luck left for the Wisdom to succeed such a foolish rescue attempt, so good that you kept quiet there.
There may yet be hope for you, Min.
Yes, well... as we’ve established, the Wisdom thinks herself too wise to listen to her own advice.
However, she is a skilled negotiator.
I like her in these situations. She will take action and act the part of someone who has already won. It’s a good tactic for the most part.
Ohh so THAT was what happened to the Wisdom yesterday?
How do they do that? That seems like a very neat trick to learn.
Someone has GOT to learn it. We can’t just have an ability bomb like this thrown at us and not have it go off some day.
Only five...? Why only five....? There is more to this than meets the eye, isn’t there?
Perceptive Perrin strikes again!
Now, Peceptive Perrin, I would have your advice. When do you think we will meet the man who called himself Bors? He was an inn keeper in Toman Head if I’m not entirely mistaken. And a darkfriends, besides. It seems we are long overdue a meeting.
(So I was a bit mistaken. The man who calls himself Bors was not from Toman Head, but he was from the west coast)
Aha!! I knew they were still around. And.... oh no.
Of course it’s Perrin who runs into them. With his history with Whitecloaks...
Well at least they might also fight the Seanchan.
Enemy of my enemy is.... not necessarily a friend, though.
At this rate, Perceptive Perrin is going to end up knowing and uniting all wolves across all of the lands!
Oh, it would be glorious.
Have I mentioned today that I really like Perrin? No?
Well here is the daily reminder then: I really like Perrin.
I do NOT however like this Whitecloak.
For all of his perception, Perrin was spotted!
And worse....: he was REMEMBERED!
Duh-duh...! *dramatic music builds*
Well done, Verin Sedai! A much needed speech and reminder for our reluctant Dragon Reborn. I do however feel that he will not heed this advice in the heat of the moment. Especially, if by some foul swoop of bad luck a certain lady by the name of Selene makes an appearance.
She says it like it means something more... and she does not usually speak like this.
It almost sounds like a premonition...!
Verin Sedai, what are you hiding from us? What do you know?
Oh goodness.... it IS something more! No wonder Verin phrased it that way. Aes Sedai can’t lie.
Five will ride fourth, but only four will return...??
Oh no, Rand. You’re not going to like what comes next.
Day 21 : The day I finished the Great Hunt!
Since we’re near the end here, I feel like I should tell you what I expect to happen before the end of this book, so here goes:
1. Someone needs to blow that damn horn and end the hunt.
2. Egwene needs to be freed or the others need to leave after a failed rescue attempt.
3. Someone in Rand’s party needs to be killed or captured.
4. Ingtar shall either be consumed blowing the horn or deal with his horn obsession.
5. Perrin needs to have another encounter with the Whitecloaks.
6. Mat needs to regain the dagger.
7. Loial needs to be safe. Always.
8. The Peddler needs to be defeated.
9. Moiraine needs to return to us.
10. Last, there is one thing that CAN’T happen. The Seanchan can’t be defeated in 60 pages or I’ll be really disappointed. It would be too easy.
Okay that’s it. I feel like there isn’t time!
Speaking of too easy, this was too easy.
We were told she had an idea. She tried it once and then it worked. That was too easy and suddenly I’m scared that I’m going to feel like that for the entire ending. Please be good, please be good.
Oh no. This is never going to go well if the princess has to wear a painful collar. Why does one of them even have to pretend?
They have the sul’dam dress. It fits the Wisdom, can’t she just go in there with Min guiding her and pick up Egwene’s bracelet? And then walk out...?
Yes, Min, and that is exactly why it DOES work. Both women have to be able to channel, I think. Otherwise that thing would never work. The sul’dam wouldn’t be able to do the things they do unless they could channel, to a certain degree, at least.
Oh goodness, now it’s the girls.
Doesn’t seem very wise, especially coming from someone who called herself Wisdom, to tell your prisoner what you’re doing.
And again: YOU DON’T EVEN NEED HER! You girls are making this much more dangerous than it needs to be.
Oh, Rand! Now I also have to worry about the banner falling into the wrong hands?
What makes you think Verin doesn’t know you have the banner if she was sent there by Moiraine? And what do you think she could possibly do with with it? You woolheaded boy...
What do you mean, Rand? It matters! Your friends already know about the parallel world, and let me remind you that you KNOW how to kill these beasts. Knowledge that is most definitely important!!
Especially if it comes to fight and it is so going to come to a fight!
Okay I went back to the premonition written in blood at the beginning because I kept thinking about the whole “five ride forth” and if maybe Verin had seen it when she was studying that wall, and that’s how she knew.
And well... I found something much more disturbing!
It predicted Lanfear!
And goodness, Rand, you better NOT be the lover who will serve her and die! You better be the one who will stand again her coming!!
Though, she’s already sort of there, isn’t she..?
And there was more.
Rand, uhm... this.... this does not sound good. You will stand alone and your friends for sacrifice?? Death or eternal life?
Oh goodness, Rand. ....Please make sure Loial isn’t sacrificed. Let the Builder be safe, please.
Guys... I know I don’t have Perrin or even the Sniffer’s sense of smell, but... this smells like a trap. Please just check the room before you touch anything. Whenever we hear of the folding screens I worry that warriors are hiding behind those screens. Please check.
Ingtar is saved? Why would he be saved...? Oh no... He is going to blow the horn isn’t he? To save the Borderlands or something like that.
Considering how Mat has been all the way through this book it is odd that I now feel incredible relief at the fact that it is Mat who holds the horn.
Oh no she isn’t, Mat. I wish you were right, but oh no she isn’t.
Wait, did Egwene sense Rand? Was that why she looked up? Could she see the glow aorund him from being able to channel..?
Rand is never going to leave now. Unless Selene shows up. Grr. Anything but that.
Guys guys!!! Sometimes I really wish you would listen to me...
Oh Blood and ashes.
There are only two ways out of this room:
1. Fight and win
2. Be captured
I know which I prefer. ATTAAACK!!!
A BLADEMASTER!! A real Blademaster!!!
Blood and ashes. Blood and ashes.
Rand!! Time to whip out everything Lan taught you! Not Sheath the Sword, though, not yet. And not the one that leaves you exposed either.
(Sorry for how blurry that photo is.... I got a bit excited at that point)
I am proud of you for defeating a Blademaster, Rand. And I am sorry too. This is what Loial went through when he killed that Trolloc. To him all life is precious, that is why you must protect him.
First though: gently let go of saidin. Do NOT bring destruction upon your friends!
The Seanchan are truly terrifying to make people act like this. It is a bit too real.
I fear they will be the scariest opponents in this series for me. What they have done, breaking people that way.... nothing could be more terrifying to me.
Oh, Rand. That is beautiful. Your heart is in the right place!
How can I call you a woolhead now, when you show such a strong sense of morality?
Well done, my lad, well done. We are there with you.
The Seanchan have broken her.
She will never be the same.
You are Egwene al’Vere from Emond’s Field! Remember that!
Wow. I can’t believe they’re questioning her will then and there. It’s fine to think it but oh my gosh the girl has been chained for weeks and as soon as you see her you insinuate that she didn’t want to be free?
As readers, we already know it’s not so easy. We have seen in it action and we have had Min's question is already and heard Egwene's attempts. So it's not for our benefit.
It’s understandable that the Wisdom wouldn’t know or understand, and it’s fair that she wonders, but did she NEED to put it to Egwene like that RIGHT THERE AND THEN?
This conversation should have happened in a day or two, not there. She could have waited. Sorry, but the way it’s done sits wrong with me.
Yes, Egwene! You’re not as far gone as I first feared.
And now she is free!!! Well done girls! I’m very proud of you all! You exceeded my expectations!
But... I still doubt Egwene will ever be the same. She must be SO angry.
The opening of chains might have felt too easy but the recuse didn’t. Phew!
I was so worried when the Wisdom so easily opened the collar but so far the rescue has been a rather satisfying read. Okay continuing on. Let’s see if they get out.
Wow Egwene, good for you! Exactly as you had imagined it!
That’s gotta feel very satisfying.
Now, Egwene, put the bracelet up on the peg.
Do not use it. Do not go further. This much will probably feel cathartic. If you go further, you will likely regret when you come to.
I agree with the Wisdom.
Yet, I keep thinking that if the tables had been reversed, the Wisdom would have been so consumed by rage that she would not only have blown their cover but likely harm all of the girls without realising, too lost in her anger. Such irony.
Oh!!! Bela!! I had forgotten about you, I’m so sorry. But... we can’t leave Bela!
That loyal horse Bela has survived since the very beginning.
I don’t think we will leave Bela, in the end, so... that means no ship.
Oh no. Things are about to go very wrong.
Oh boy. Egwene is about to destroy this entire town.
Can she do that? She has really grown in ability! I’m SO impressed!
And I understand the sentiment.
Sorry Wisdom, but I sorta want her to go on this journey.
I think it’ll be interesting in future books.
F***!! Egwene is SO powerful now! Woooow!
Like she is actually levelling half of the town. She has destroyed half an army!
Blood and ashes, Egwene.
I know I should tell you that revenge and murder aren’t right, but I can only applaud your abilities and control!
I should take a quick moment here to address the quick shifts in POV here. Many quick shifts of POV, like the beginning. It bothered me then, didn’t feel right. Here, it does NOT bother me. It fits.
This is the climax! Awesome things are happening! Give me short sections! Yes! Let me see EVERYTHING!
Yes!! Real Ta’veren!!
You can feel the pattern being spun around you, can you Rand?
Oh this is awesome!!
Ingtar! Yo! You did WHAT!??
You were.... a darkfriend all of this time?
No wonder you talked about the Horn like that. It always felt off to me, and dangerous. But wow.
You were... further gone than I feared.
I merely thought it was an obsession.
You chose the Dark One.
Did Rand just...? *flips back* Oh okay.
For a moment there, I thought Rand was telling him to kill himself like those servants. But he was consoling a man who had decided to go out in a blaze of glory.
Okay. Not as shocking, but morally right and that’s what Rand is and has been.
Our lads have come so far!
With the dagger in hand, Mat has become himself, again, and he was missed.
And after everything that has happened in this book, Rand has gained the true heart of a leader.
!!! Closed in between two huge armies!!! EPIC!!!
Oh this is going to be awesome!! The hype is real!
And Rand: now is the time to tell your mates how to kill those Seanchan beasts! I also suggest you ride together, with the Whitecloaks, and deal with the Whitecloaks later.
Mat!!!?? I did not see that one coming!
Oh my gosh, he is really going to blow the horn!!!
He is going to conjure a third army!!!
It’s going to be an epic battle!!
I’m so hyped for this!!
Aaaand half a page later all the Whitecloaks are dead without any battle taking place...
What was the point of having their army enter then?
What was the point of all of that build up!?
Ugh. I repeat: DEFEATED in HALF A PAGE! and NO battle!
Epiiic!!! Okay, we can still have the epic battle again the Seanchan and their creatures!
Oh it’ll be glorious! And this is great! You know them, Rand! You can’t deny who you are anymore!!
Also, I take back what I said earlier. I’m totally okay with the Seanchan’s being defeated in the epic battle that’s about to take place!!
Dead heroes against Seanchan!!??
Yes!! It’s going to be SO good!
Wait wait! Have I not been saying this about the names since the beginning?
Rand(all) and Mat(thew), etc. Wow....
Where is he going with this though...??
We better get back to this!
Even now, Rand? Even here you’re going to deny the truth, are you? You know it’s true. You recognised them and knew their names and they recognised you.
Ahhh that was epic, though!
Yeeees!! Let the Banner of the Dragon fly high!!
I apologise for earlier, Rand. It wasn’t because of Verin that you brought the banner, then. It was because the pattern demanded it. I see that now.
Now raise that banner!!
Yess!!! Let the banner fly!! Even the fog can’t hinder he wind from rippling across the banner!!
Ah the excitement!! Now they shall ride to an epic battle against the Seanchan! Oh it’ll be great!
Heroes of past and present together!
Aww that is really nice, Hawking!
How proud you must be, Hurin! To be accepted among the ranks of such heroes and legends!
Yess!!!! It is epic!!
(I feel like I’m saying that a lot, but it really)
This fight is going to be SO good!
Oh but wait! Rand has forgotten to tell everyone how to kill those monsters!!
Hit them in the eye! In the eye!
Yes!! Yes, Rand! Keep him occupied while your fiends fight!
I was worried we weren’t going to see the fight when he hopped off his horse. That it would just be him and Ba’alzamon talking, but phew!
Now let’s back go to the fight! Let’s see Perrin and Mat and Hurin fighting!
Ufff don’t let him say it Rand! Don’t let him kill you! We don’t ever want to hear those words again! Except...
It would be cool to hear this sentence at the very end of the series, when Rand faces the Dark One. I have won again, Lews Therin, the Dark One says and THEN Rand defeats him. Epic.
(And can we also see what Perrin and Mat and Hurin and hundreds of heroes from legends are up to now, please?)
Ohh yes!! Rand living up to his full potential! Exhibiting everything he has learned from his teachers! Trusting the legends!
Yes!!! You ARE the Dragon Reborn! Do you see it now??
Well that’s dramatic! But well done, Rand!
...Does this mean.... that the battle is over..? Before we even got to see it...?
No.... no, surely we cut to action now.
No....... we didn’t...... we cut to a quiet chapter with Min.
After ALL of that hype!!
I don't even like to read battle scenes, but I was so ready for the battle!
I wanted a Hurin chapter where he would be in awe at fighting alongside legendary heroes. The Seanchan would be fierce. We would see the close fight.
“Jab them in the eyes!” Hurin would yell, because Rand forgot to tell them.
Through Hurin we would see Damane freed and. Perrin hacking away with his axe, banner flying around him. We would see Mat blowing his horn, laughing and slashing with his dagger. Heroes and legends fighting! We would see the terror form on the fearless Seanchan’s faces when they realised that they were defeated.
If I wasn’t upset and still super hyped for a fight, I would have laughed at this, but I’m literally just waiting to get to the fight that has been hyped up. Sorry, Min. None of this is your fault. It’s not you, it’s how you’re being used in these chapters.
Egwene.... think carefully now before you speak.
Do you mean to tell me... THAT THE BATTLE IS OVER??? IT HASN’T EVEN STARTED!! We haven’t seen ANYTHING!!
Oh my.... wow.... I’m so upset.
All of that hype.
I was SO ready. Me. Ready for a fight.
Ha.... and then.. it didn’t happen.
Are we seriously having a lover’s quarrel over Rand’s dying body???
GIRLS!! Wha... are we really... So, I was denied a battle scene in favour of THIS?
Gods, that’s upsetting.
I know that description...
Now Selene is here!! As if things couldn’t get any worse.
We have a dying Rand, a lover’s quarrel over his cold body, and we’ve been denied any fight scene. And then Selene makes an appearance!!! Grr! What is she going to do?
Well, Selene. We better change that soon.
Cause I ain’t going to let any Foresaken control our Dragon Reborn!!
So, begone!! Well, heal him first, because why else are you there?
Yes yes, we know, Selene. But were you really just there to deliver your real name to some stranger who is close to Rand and tell her to watch over him!!??
You seriously came just to participate in the lover’s quarrel?
Why bother if you know he belongs to you??
Okay, so Byar isn’t dead, but the rest of the Whitecloaks are.
So easily they died. Now that I didn’t get a battle at all, I feel even more cheated by that.
We had three epic armies! And two of them did battle and we didn’t see more than 3 lines of it.
We didn’t even get to see them talking about what to do. Feeling reluctant to leave Rand there. We’re just told that it happened.
Normally I’d be okay with this much but considering how much we were have been denied from seeing every addition thing is like a stab.
Oh yes, even you can’t run from your destiny now, Rand! You ARE the Dragon Reborn.
It has been foretold and you have been marked.
You know the signs.
So as per my wishes, Moiraine came back! That’s some good news at last.
Will she be with Rand in the next book, I wonder?
Well we did know that the Peddler was worse than regular darkfriends, and in control, but I suppose it was good to get answers. It answers my questions about what’s worse than a Fade. Fain is. Well Mordeth is.
And we didn’t get to see that either!!
I mean we got to see their exchange but not people looking up and seeing them. One short section with Perrin, Mat or Hurin and we could have seen both fighting and this!
Just two pages! That’s all I needed. 2 pages.
Oh yes, there is no more running from it, Rand! They have all seen the banner. They have all seen you defeat the Dark One in the sky. They have all seen your heron blade.
They know who you are. Come, say it with me: The DRAGON REBORN!
(As Book 3 is called! Yes yes yes!)
You can deny it, Rand, and you have been doing exactly that for the past 1000 pages, but...! You know. You remember. It is time you accepted it.
Also, breaking the world?
So the girls WILL be going to Tremalking at some point.
Or one of them at least! Exciting!
As both Hurin and Loial told you at the time, Lord al’Woolhead.
You have been trying to escape your destiny, all it has done is brought you closer to it.
Perhaps it’s time to face it straight on, what do you say, Rand?
Exactly as I’ve been telling you from the start, Rand. It doesn’t matter that you were born elsewhere you will ALWAYS be the young lad you grew up in Two Rivers. And Tam is still your father.
It doesn’t have to be either or.
I’m sorry about the sword though.
Yes! Finally! The time has come!! Let the banner whip in the wind as you ride across these lands to wherever it is you’ll set off to next!
Finally!! Lovely payoff!
Ahhh this is so sweet! Perrin being perceptive as ever and standing by his mate and Loial too.
An Ogier and wolfbrother declaring their allegiance to their friend, the Dragon Reborn.
Now this is exactly the kind of final moments I needed in this book.
Oh Rand! You’re truly a leader now! They will follow you, even to their deaths.
You better lead them well.
Set aside your stubborn pride at being nothing more than a shepherd. You haven’t been a shepherd since you left Two Rivers.
Even those who never liked you will follow you, Rand. That is how powerful of a symbol you are.
You honour no one by denying it anymore. Not your father, and least of all yourself. Stand tall, Dragon, and ride into the world!
Ahhh now that’s a satisfying ending to that chapter and Rand’s journey in this novel.
He made his decision. At last.
Yes! Exactly! Finally! I think we’ve deserved it at this point!
I can’t tell you how relieved I am to know that the next book is called the Dragon Reborn. Equally I wonder what the rest of the many books in the series are going to be about. I suppose only time will tell.
Thus concludes my first reading of The Great Hunt.
I have accepted what came before. I won’t pretend that I wasn’t saddened by it, and shocked, but it is what it is. At least the last two chapters made a satisfying ending.
Final Thoughts on the Great Hunt
Going into the Great Hunt, I had a better idea of what to expect than when I began the Eye of the World, however from the second chapter it was already clear that new things were happening here.
Through this book Robert Jordan seems to have experimented as a writer and evolved a lot too. Certain choices might not have hit as well for me (like the quick scene jumps during the first section of the book). That being said, I can definitely appreciate the willingness to try new things as a writer. I think that’s important.
I still wonder about how long he had to write and complete this novel. Most of it is as polished as the first one, but there are certain passages that seem more rushed. This is something that mainly presents itself in the scene transitions (not necessarily POV or chapter changes). It was also more prevalent at the beginning of the novel.
It’s possible that this too was an experimentation from the writer that just did not hit home for me, but I think the answer as to why it is like that will become clear to me when I read book 3.
Like the first book, in this one too, Robert Jordan proves that some of the real strengths of his writing, as I see it, is his ability to layer clues throughout his story, and continuously have important development taking place.
An observant reader of the Wheel of Time will be constantly rewarded as guesses are confirmed. I always trust that there will be a satisfying resolution even if I haven’t quite got the right answer. That is probably why my disappointment at the lack of a battle scene at the end was so great. I trusted that I would be given the battle scene that had been hyped up and promised.
That being said, the main conflict in the story was wrapped up by the end of this book. The same as for the first book as well.
Seeing as the Wheel of Time is a very long series of books, I wonder if that will continue to be the case in the next books.
It probably depends on how long it took for the series to gain a loyal readership.
I am also very surprised by how quickly events continue to develop.
Right now I am truly wondering what kinds of conflicts are going to be set up in the next books, because so far very big stakes have been presented to us but at this rate, it shouldn’t take more than a couple of books more to resolve all of it. This is an aspect I’m particularly curious about. How will he keep the pace in future books?
Now, I shall reach for book 3 and see how both the series and Jordan’s writing style develop from here.
Experience the collection of my live thoughts about the Wheel of Time series here:
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