Wheel of Time 3 : The Dragon Reborn (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. For reference, I tend to read 2-3 chapters a day. Let's get on with it.

The Dragon Reborn

Day 1 : the day it all began again

Oh no, Perrin.

The last book may have been called the Great Hunt but it sounds like another Hunt is about to begin.

A Whitecloak Hunt for you, Perrin.

Stay safe Perrin, even Trollocs and Fades might be safer to meet along your way. You’ve really angered these guys.

Both of these are lovely (accurate) descriptions of Whitecloaks.

From that description this Carridin figure sounds like he will make an untimely entrance later in the book or maybe even later in the series.

Since he can outwait a stone, I'm inclined to go with: later in the series.

Run Perrin. Run!

Uhm, beg to differ.

The Dark One, Ba’alzamon himself, has said that he can control Rand if he dies.

The Dark One wants him dead, so yes, a corpse can most certainly be dangerous to not just anyone but EVERYONE!

Please don’t kill Rand. It’s not his fault.

Oh wow! That was easy! So all I have to do to get my way is just ask nicely and use the magic word? Understood.

In that case, I’ll be really bold here:

Please do not pursue Perrin again! And please only apprehend ACTUAL darkfriends.

Fain? It has got to be the Peddler.

Wormwood is a strange name to choose but it’s gotta be. Oh and he knows the names of all three of our lads! It’s definitely Fain!

RAND! RAND!! I found your nemesis!!

Oh no. Fain finally convinced someone to target Two Rivers as he warned Rand he would do.

Let them all be safe, especially Tam!

RAAAAND! You need to go home now and save your father! Right now!

(And NO, I will not hear it, he is still your father. He raised you!)

Of course he is a Darkfriend too!! Fain and now this Stone-like Whitecloak!

The Whitecloaks seem to be heavily infested with Darkfriends hiding in the light.

Also: this fade’s confession.... They move in the shadows and the night. Does this mean that fades are vampires?

Oh good question, Darkfriend! Yes, didn’t he want Rand alive? Well he did say he could still use Rand even if he was dead, being alive was only a preference, not requirement.

Does this mean that even Ba’alzamon knows it’s too late to turn Rand to the dark side?

We start with a Perrin chapter?!?

Most surprising, but I’m not complaining, I love Perrin!

(I say like anyone was in doubt)

Where the last book pulled us west to Toman’s Head this one seems to pull us to Tarabon.

The man who calls himself Bors in the prologue of the Great Hunt also mentioned Tarabon, and then we never got to go. So I reckon it's time.

I still want to go to Illian and... Tremalking... and... other places!

Oh phew! Very good to know! I was wondering about this too. I suppose they would have no chance if it didn’t need to report.

Did Elyas tell us this in book 1? I don't recall, but when I saw that raven in this chapter, I wondered the same as Perrin and I'm glad to get an answer.

Very intriguing. So Moiraine reaches out to women to report to her. How? Are these women who can mildly channel?

Otherwise they wouldn’t hear the call, would they?

What could they possibly report?

Oh no. It is as I feared.

This is going to be a dark and bleak winter. A scary winter.

Oh Loial! Still as wonderful as always, I see. Still as loyal!

(I suspect that’s where your name comes from, my loyal Ogier)

May your journey with your three ta’veren friends continue to be a good fortune!

And may you live long enough to write about it too!

First sighting of Rand.

Is this why we’re only seeing Perrin for now? Because Rand is distancing himself even from us?

In the first two books we were always with Rand unless we absolutely couldn’t be. The first time we transitioned out of his POV, it was when the party got split up and we got a Perrin section and then a Wisdom section. It was Rand's journey, then. So we stayed with him. It could even be argued that we did not see the final epic battle in the last book because we are following Rand and seeing his journey.

Now it feels more like Perrin’s journey.

It's good that I love Perrin! I likely won't have complaints over this.

Okay. So in this book he needs to be marked twice by the Dragon to truly become the Dragon Reborn..?

By the Dragon... so, by Kinslayer??

Uhhh that smells like some epic scenes.

Real dragons are super cool too though. Can we get one of each, please?

Oh no Perrin. You better not be starting this in Rand’s stead. You were the cool one who accepted your fate even if you wouldn’t have chosen it and still aren’t proud of it. Please don’t give me this stuff.

I’ve had enough of all of the denying from Rand. Please don’t join in.

Perceptive Perrin truly is a good friend!

Also Rand is going mad just sitting around doing nothing. That has never been fit for his character. It’s a wonder he held onto being a shepherd for so long.

Time to move on now, before the Dragon inadvertently hurts someone!

Wisely said, Min! And Perrin’s response is priceless!

He truly has no clue about women. He needs advice, but Perrin, it won’t be from Rand that you get it.

Not only is Rand too busy being a moody chosen one, he is as clueless as you, Perrin.

Hence why he earned the name Lord al’Woolhead.

Soulless.... that sounds like someone even the Wisdom can't negotiate with. That does not sound good.

I wish you had asked Perrin, because I’m worried to find out exactly what it is. Sounds scary!

So... the Dark One’s hierarchy:

Trolloc < Fade < Soulless < Forsaken

Oh no... we’re about to see Trollocs, aren’t we?

There’s a fight coming. The Dark One is moving his pawns across the field. Both those hidden in shadows and those cloaked in white.

Please don’t get captured when Whitecloaks show up this time Perrin!

Oh no....! I know that voice and description.

Hello, Selene. Bye now. Please go.

No no no!! Even Perrin isn’t safe from Selene! Even in dreams she appears!!

Is there no escape from this terribly dangerous Forsaken?

Hold up! What was that? Perrin’s lover and DESTROYER?? It better not be Lanfear.

Who was up ahead? Egwene was. Min. Elayne. The Wisdom. The only one Perrin knew about though was Egwene. So, is that the answer?

....I don’t want Perrin to be destroyed....

Brother! He is a real wolf brother!

It’s so nice to them to warn him that danger is headed his way!

(I bet it’s creeping Trollocs, btw)

And did we just have an 8 page long dream? It used to only be Rand who had those long dreams. I was okay with that arrangement.

Day 2 : the day we saw a lost wolfbrother

Now this is very good to know.

So we need all three of our ta’veren friends in order to succeed.

The tripod analogy is dear to me as it reminds me of Kaesomun of Goguryeo who used the analogy to refer to Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism (commonly known as the three teachings). At the time Taoism wasn't widespread in Goguryeo, so under Kaesomun's advisement, the king sent for Taoist monks to come into the kingdom and teach. At the time Buddhism was setting a strong foothold in the country and this was an effective way to ensure that no one religion gained too much power. Very long tangent there, sorry, back to the scheduled broadcast.

Oh yes!

I adore it when Perrin acknowledges his wolf-ish urges and doesn’t resist what he is.

I know it scares him, but I enjoy it when he lets go of the fear and just becomes a raging Young Bull of a Wolf.

Wow Perrin is really going at it with the wolf fight! Hunting like a wolf, killing like a wolf.

He is one of the pack.

In this book the wolves don’t seem to question him as a two-legged one anymore. They just seem to be there for him. I like that.

Perrin.... now you’re starting to sound like Rand with Saidin.

First the blacksmith vs. Shepherd

Now the wolf vs. Saidin

Perrin... it seems that you’re not actually turning into a wolf, but turning into Rand!

Wow Rand has really become bitter in this book. Maybe that’s why we don’t see it from his perspective because with the monologues he goes on here... it would be insufferable to hear his inner monologue too. His spoken monologue is enough self-pity for me.

Oh Rand has left? That’s actually a good idea Rand. You aren’t made to stand still and let others make decisions for you.

If it’ll give you the peace of mind to accomplish what you need to as the Dragon Reborn, then go for it!

Wait... Do you mean to tell me that Min hasn’t told anyone that Lanfear is free?!!

Selene came to see an unconscious Rand for no reason other than to tell a stranger (Min) that she is Lanfear and Min keeps that information to herself??

Uhh yes this sounds promising because currently Rand has no sword and honestly that’s a bit of a problem.

The lad needs a sword and after carrying a heron sword, any old weapon just isn’t going to do the trick.

We need a weaponised Dragon Reborn again.

About the breaking of the world... We figured out a way that can happen in the last book (the two statues).

As to the leaf and peace I have a theory. We met those tinkers in book 1 who followed the Way of the Leaf.

That has got to be it.

Nine moons..? I don’t know about that one.

Alternate realities, maybe?

Oh yes! This reminds me!

I wish we had seen everyone's flicker flicker flicker storylines. I really want to know exactly what they experienced.

Were you a wolf either in all of them, Perrin?

Did you become a real wolf in some?

Remain a blacksmith in others?

That's what I'm imagining.

I agree with Perrin here. I like to know what to expect, or get some hints. Preferably I like discovering things instead of being told though.

So maybe I don’t agree with him after all. Don’t tell us. Give us hints so we can guess. That’s more satisfying.

An Aielman. So not Rand or she would have said Rand. And a cage...?

Oh no. Is Perrin going to be locked up by Whitecloaks?

Are falcon and hawk wolf names or is Perrin going to befriend more than wolves?

Can’t you just tell him everything, Min?

So... she really didn’t tell them about Selene/Lanfear??? That seem really irresponsible!

Our poor lads are going into the world about to be tricked by a forsaken (again) and with no warning!

Uff! That seems harsh Moiraine! But Lan, seriously, you might want to take her up on that offer sometime soon. The Wisdom’s in training, remember?

If she doesn’t chose the Green and picks a Warder before you get there... then you’ll have blown your chance at blissful love.
Uh! A ta’veren passed through here!

But wow that’s an extreme reaction. Is Rand getting a stronger hold on the pattern? And why weddings? Was he in a lovesick mood or something? Brooding over Selene because a certain someone didn’t tell him her real name?

It feels so strange to have shifted POVs this much.

We have seen Rand do this enough times for it to not be that exciting of a sight, so I’m fine with not seeing it. It’s just strange to only hear about it when we’re so used to follow Rand’s entire journey.

Ogier smalltalk is the best in the world.

I feel like I would have a really nice and fun chat with this Ogier. We would first talk about trees and I'd learn lots about them and I'd connect it to history and mythology relating to trees and we would have a smash of a conversation. It would be great.

Oh no... well I suppose this works instead of knowing what you saw in the flicker flicker flicker realities. Oh Perrin. We will figure this out together. I promise you. I will not have you go mad.

Run, Perrin, run! (I’m going to be saying that a lot this book, aren’t I?)

Oh I worry so much about the day the Whitecloaks catch up to him again.

It’s a storyline that definitely needs to be resolved, and I doubt that an escape will be as easy as the first time.

Ohh sweet Perrin. We will figure something out for you. You keep seeing the best in other people. Actually, no.

You keep seeing the truth in others, and framing it in a good light.

We WILL do everything we can for you. Maybe you’re different because you're ta’veren too..?

Uh our first Rand POV at page 128! And the strangest thing: it’s short just like Perrin’s POV chapters began in the first time Rand focused books.

This is definitely a wolfbrother book. The title is a little misleading, but I’m super ready for some wolfbrother action!

Day 3 : the day our girls became top secret investigators!

Oh no! We have Whitecloaks! And it’s not a Perrin chapter, but Egwene!

(Those two keep getting paired off)

Will the Whitecloaks recognise her...?

I hope not. I think not.

They were more focused on Perrin back then.

“The waiting!” As Perrin called it.

It seems that bad things are bound to happen near ta’veren. Lying there all pacified by a dagger it’s easy to forget but Mat too is a ta’veren.

Maybe Wisdom. Or maybe it is as the Aes Sedai say and you have just been incredibly lucky not to do serious harm by mistake.

Imagine if something went wrong. To think she would risk it on Mat’s life when there is another to heal him.

The arrogance is strong in this one.

Yes I often wonder about that too, Egwene. The Wisdom seems like she wants to be strong but doesn’t want to listen to any advice. And certainly won’t trust anyone.

How did she ever become a Wisdom? Someone must have had to teach her then? Yet, I can’t imagine her as a student.

A storm, but I don’t think this is quite it.

A storm would be worse than this, I would think.

I doubt these Whitecloaks are going to be very successful in their quest so close to the White Tower and face to face with a cool and collected Aes Sedai like Verin.

Oh it’s that dude. My sympathies about your dad, mate, but I don’t really care about you and you certainly won’t be burning any of my girls.

I suppose we will have to run into you in the future again though. *sigh*

We have a map!! That looks like an eye! This is pretty cool. Well pretty and cool, actually.

I like the round shape of the harbours too. That’s cool.

[No matter what anyone says, that is an eye. I shall insist until the end of days]

Oh my goodness.

These girls are just as woolheaded as the boys.

How do they have so little trust and patience? How do any Aes Sedai take them seriously when they act like this? Well, I suppose that most don’t take them seriously. Not yet.

Uh and this is our first chapter from the POV of the Amyrlin seat. I don’t know that I necessarily needed a chapter form her POV. I think I would have preferred Verin. But either way I’m happy to have a closer look at what they’re plotting for our ta’veren and those entangled with them.

It’s interesting that the girls are stilled but the men gentled. I wonder when and why that distinction came about, as I’m assuming it’s a similar if not the same process.

Stilled sounds like a punishment and gentled like a service.

It really reflects the Aes Sedai view well.

Ohh that was a complication I did not think about at the end of the last book.

Now, Verin Sedai, Mother, let me tell you about the tripod.

You see.... we need all three ta’veren or this isn’t going to go down well for any of us.

Now this is Verin as we were first introduced to her!

I don’t understand why she acted like Moiraine when she was with the group through half of the last book. This is the Verin I like. Thank you for bringing her back.

And the Seanchan... yes I expected as much. *shudders*

Did you? I don’t feel like that is confirmed. She could just have allied with the Seanchan. It doesn’t necessarily make her a Black Ajah and servant to the Dark Lord.

Heroes you were never going to be, Egwene. You let yourself be fooled, you woolheaded girls.

I doubt Elayne would be ready for it, but I do like that she thinks of it. She is willing to take chances. So while she still has lots to learn I like that about her.

On that note, Elayne is another character who seems very now different from how she was when we first met her in book one.

Oh okay, so it was official. Or as close as we can get.

Oh. I would much have preferred if she hadn’t fled so I could see the panic wash over the BOOK BURNER (yes we’re never going to forget that) when the girls returned and she was forced away.

So Egwene has been affected by this Seanchan business. She seemed relatively untouched by it but it presents itself sometimes.

I had expected it to leave a deeper scar on her, but apparently not.

It could certainly be worse. Egwene would know.

Finally! I thought that would be happening soon. Especially with everything Egwene has learned by being chained.

I’m excited to see what their three fears are.

For Egwene being collared again ought to be one.

Rand the second.

Let me think about the third one. Being Stilled, maybe?

Finally someone said it. She is so angry with Galad all the time, but we don’t know why she hates him so much. Why...?

Overall the girls really have no respect for authority though. I get it with Elayne. She’s a princess. What excuse do the other two have...?

We have a new header image!

I suspect it’s going to be a Aes Sedai header.

It also looks a little like a crest.

Look at the Wisdom’s nerve. How dare SHE speak like that to the Amyrlin Seat?

On another note: girls you’re being woolheads again. She is telling you that you CAN’T be Black Ajah. It’s a good thing.

Yes!!! This will be great. Dangerous but also really cool.

I like secrecy like this and trying to figure out who is good and who is evil (other than Selene, grr).

This sounds like it’ll be a fun adventure.

Well done Egwene for standing up to the Wisdom.

I don’t like how she talks for you and down to you either. I don’t think she intends to do it like that, but that is how it comes across when she’s being overprotective.

It’ll be difficult for the Wisdom when you’re both accepted.

Day 4 : the day Mat my lad was healed!

Finally we get to hear what the Soulless are and frankly they looked a little scarier in my imagination. But the sneaky factor is still scary.

Grey men. Or women. I bet there’s a grey woman in the White Tower. A Black Aes Sedai who has gone the whole way? Assassin with saidin?

Oh boy. This is not a secret investigation if this is how you’re going to go about it. This seems counter productive. Tipping her off instead of actually getting intel.

If you want to find the truth, you’re going to have to use Aes Sedai techniques, Wisdom.

OR! A Grey Woman....! I think it’s a woman. And that’s a bit scary.

I wonder how they’ll deal with this and where he or she will strike again. I’d think Egwene and the Wisdom were easy to kill if you really wanted to.

Except of course that the pattern has been spun in their favour.

Yea.... but there are much more effective ways to ask questions and actually get answers. You asked directly and didn’t get an answer and somehow that satisfies you..?

All you’ve done is tip her off and with nothing to show for it.

Secrecy is key, Girls.

Yes! Remember who you are and what has happened, Egwene!

The pattern will protect you, I think, but still, be cautious.

The pattern might not protect you entirely but the wheel clearly isn’t done with you.

Oh no. So before the end of the book, Galad will either:

1. Follow orders and rat the girls out, exposing their plan and putting them in danger

2. Choose to break a rule for the first time in his life.

Let’s be honest. One of these is more likely than the other.

Oh yes I like this match. I’d like to see more of Gawyn.

With two princes mooning over you, Egwene, you're living the childhood dream, eh?

I feel like I know very little about Gawyn. Can we please see more of him?

And that’s exactly why the Amyrlin Seat didn’t include the princess, because she wasn’t chosen by the book burner, but volunteered to come.

But I agree. I don’t think the princess is a Darkfriend. And the we all know you’d tell her and yes you do need to tell SOMEONE. ...Gawyn?

Haha! The princess and her crazy lion analogy.

It suits her. Of course she is thinking of lions since a lion is the royal crest. But honestly, right now I’m just picturing a lion disguised as a bush, and it’s a mighty inner image.

YES!! So dangerous but yes!!

And Egwene gets that they can only do this if they work together! As I’ve been insisting all along. Why does the Wisdom not want to work together?

It seems to be because she thinks she can do it on her own rather than because she wants to protect the girls.

I do NOT trust Elaida. I don’t like to think that all Red Ajah are Darkfriends but I really don’t like this woman.

She hasn’t been pleasant even once in the last three books. Not that we’ve seen a lot of her, but still.

Well okay, at least she isn’t as bad as the book burner.

I certainly had, if I had ever been told it. But I mean that works. So they will heal Mat and if they don’t our three girls can go in as backup.

Only if they ABSOLUTELY have to though. Otherwise they might accidentally injure him...or worse.

Oh. This is not going to be easy for our girls.

They have zero discipline or respect. And never listen to advice. Good on you for telling them before going inside though, because yes, it’s clear that you can’t assume that they know what would proper and what would not.

Wooow going with the old speech thing again!

It never occurred to me before that he could have been saying all of that stuff before because of the dagger...

Has the dagger connected him to some far away past..?

Uhhh exactly! So... is he possessed or something...? Or...?

What was that. Past. Has he lived in the past?

Are we talking about reincarnation here?

Or something passed down in a bloodline? Or both?

Uh new header image! Nice looking dice positioned like... a flower. I wonder what they indicate.

MAT??? It’s a Mat my lad chapter??? At last! Finally!

(What’s with the dice though?)

Oh that explains it. Wow he is lost in the past. So is this a vision? A memory?

Are we dealing with some assassins creed sort of system or real direct reincarnation?

Why is he remembering this stuff? And how is this happening?

This is really wholesome. Since Mat doesn’t really remember the past many months he is still mostly thinking of home.

It sweet how Mat thinks of his father although we have never seen ANY indication that he has ever listened to that advice, not even BEFORE the dagger.

Uhm, Mat my lad? If I may...? This seems like a gross exaggeration, and you better take those words back some day.

That’s no way to talk about your friend Rand who has gone through so much for you.

Ha! Talking about exaggerations!

If Mat my lad is sane then I really think we have to look at the definition again.

Even a moment of lucidity like this ought to tell you that you’re anything but sane, Mat my lad. We’ll figure it out anyways, though.

Mat my lad. Have you learned nothing?... I wanted to say, but then he came out with this honest confession.

You might only remember a portion of it, you’ve been out in the world and you’ll never be that same lad again.

Especially not now that you live half-way in the past.

Now you remember? Yes, Mat you did.

And it is only now that I remember what Min said about Mat in book 1. It was something about a horn. Well yes.

So what will happen to you now, Mat? When will you blow the horn again? How will you get it back?

Oh you are very wrong Mat. You see, since you blew the horn once, only you can blow it again. But... only until you die.

They’re all going to be out to kill you. Everyone in this world who knows about you and the horn.

Run, Mat my lad. And don’t look back.

Day 5 : the day Lanfear visited Mat

Yet another new chapter header.

This one makes me really nervous since Moiraine called Lanfear something like daughter of the night...

Please let me be wrong.

I don’t want to be right about this, but I am! We know that description.

Only one person is THAT beautiful. Lanfear is back.

Oh are we going to start that trend with you too Mat my lad? All three of you lads seem the think the others are good with girls.

Well actually.... I’m not sure Perrin and Rand thought of you Mat, just each other. Sorry, mate.

I knew it... at least now I know that each time I see that pretty moon and stars header I should be anxious because Lanfear is about to make an appearance again.

She makes me SO uncomfortable.

Hmm. There is some wisdom to her.

She is mad, of course, absolutely mad with the idea of glory and power, but she is not dumb.

And she does seem to mostly be telling the truth, but what exactly is it that she wants? Rand’s heart? Why? Does she need to eat it to become human?

Ohh! What good fathers. I had forgotten that Tam knew where they were originally headed. What a good man.

What about Perrin’s father?

Wait... is Perrin an orphan? I don’t recall ever hearing him mention his family, even in thought. Only the blacksmith.

And the other choice would be to be your puppet, Lanfear? Is that what you’re proposing...?

As much as I want to continue to hate her, she is not exactly in Mat’s way. She has helped Rand more than once too.

She will help them as long as it’s in her interest.

But who knows what she actually wants?

Ohhh that’s what the dice from Mat's header image means?

Gotcha! In his old-timey memories too he gambled with dice. So, is it really reincarnation?

There certainly is some connection to past and present.

As the saying goes: all of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again.

(bonus points if you know that reference)

Oh really? If Mat is so good why didn’t he use them when he was with Rand in book 1? I feel like he didn't, or did I just forget..? Now I'm doubting myself.

As a young lad from Two Rivers who doesn’t remember ever being in a large city, how is Mat my lad so confident in his gambling skills?

There seems to be more to this than what meets the eye.

Haha Mat’s observations are really good. It’s strange that he should be SO different on the inside than the out, but I knew there was a reason I kept hoping to get a Mat chapter during these past two books.

Mat my lad is alright. At least for now. Without the dagger.

I second Mat my lad here: that sounds like an awful long time! They can’t possibly expect him to sit still for that long?

Is this going to end in some big manhunt for Mat...?

Is he clever enough to stage an escape? I’m not actually sure.

GIRLS! Get over here, and look at this.

Now it’s not perfect but this is a much better way to get intel and interrogate someone.

With his shenanigans as a kid I imagine Mat often had to use these techniques to find out if he was in trouble or not.

Mat is a natural at this.

Definitely not perfect, but he did get her alone and that’s an achievement.

And now he knows how much caution he will need to arm himself with if he is to survive his time in the White Tower.

Dangerous times.

Yep. Blood and ashes, Mat. Blood and ashes.

By blowing that horn you’ve resigned yourself to be a target and, at best, a puppet.

If you’re really good, maybe you’ll get to choose your puppet master.

She does make a fair point, Mat my lad. It could be much worse.

I know you hate Aes Sedai but I reckon at least part of that hatred was fuelled by the dagger. It could be so much worse.

Uhh Mat my lad is good at this. Girls, are you watching?

This is how you should conduct an inconspicuous interrogation.

I still don’t buy that Mat has ever been thoughtful (although he might have wanted to be he hasn’t acted it) but he certainly does have wits and smarts.

So many new header images.

I can’t begin to guess what this one is supposed to mean but it looks a little hypnotic.

Ohh yes. That’s where I’d choose to have my quarters too.

I also wonder: do all Aes Sedai have quarters in the White Tower even those who are rarely there and live elsewhere? Or do only some of the sisters have permanent quarters there?

Uh very exciting!! So the Dark One could be released in another world without anyone knowing?

Does it work the same with the Forsaken?

And the Creator is different from the Dragon? So, will they have to search for the Creator to lock the Dark One up again?

The world of dreams. I do like this whole idea of parallel worlds.

Maybe now I won’t dislike the looong dream sequences so much. Knowing that it’s a different world and what happens there might affect our own world might make it more engaging.

I feel like our three lads should know this too.

Uhh scary that even healing doesn’t work properly.

I wonder what Verin got up to in order to get injured like that.

Oh this is going to be super exciting! Egwene is so going to conquer those dreams. Although maybe not right away.

Uh our first Verin POV section!

I did request it and it doesn’t disappoint.

It’s short though. Too short

More? Please?

Ha! Exactly! Verin Sedai can be trusted and here is the definitive proof:


She is a book protector.

Hence a good guy. Like Loial.

The rule is:

Book protectors = good

Book burners = evil

Day 6 : the day Egwene became an Accepted

Oh wow so soon?

I’m really excited to see what sort of fears Egwene has hidden away.

My guesses remain roughly the same. Not being able to marry Rand, being stilled and not succeeding.

I really don’t like Elaida. We haven’t had a single Red Ajah that I’ve liked.

Are there no nice Red Ajah? Are they all Black sisters or something?

I’d like to meet a good Red Ajah.

Ohh goodness, I had forgotten too, well about the papers. Oh no, this feels dangerous.

Now I gotta worry about how she is going to get those back, and the ring too!

Oh no, oh no.

Oh no, and now something else is wrong too! Did a black Ajah mess with the..."thing I can’t spell"?

Elayne is through of course so it’s just Egwene in danger.

And there goes Elaida being a mean Red Ajah again! Perhaps you should take this seriously, Elaida!

1/3 correct guesses for me.

Rand had to be one of them, having to leave that happy plan of marrying him and having kids and living a normal life.

You’re beyond that now, Egwene. It’ll be okay. You’ll find a different way.

I’m starting to these trials are like the dream world Verin spoke about and the parallel worlds.

It’s real, in some way. Maybe what happens there can affect the other worlds too. In which case some disaster will certainly happen sooner or later.

Oh this is about Rand too.

Oh! Is she going to have to give him up to the Dark One? That could be dangerous?

Or worse: is she going to have to still him? Or kill him??

No, no, I knew it.

Oh poor Egwene, you’re going to have to kill him to get to the gate, aren’t you?

That one will stay with you, Rand dying at your hand.

Oh no? No killing. Okay. It was the not killing that would be the worst for her? Oh okay.

I for sure thought she would have to kill him to get to the gate.

We have one left and I have no idea what it’s going to be.

Oh this does not bode well for the future. Aes Sedai can be turned to the bad cause, and as Egwene is certainly thinking: Rand too.

Well now you have a new mission Egwene, you have to tell Rand about this danger, somehow.
Hmm Visit him in dreams? Can you do that?
*GASP!* I actually gasped out loud at this.

Of course. Why didn’t I see that one coming?

Oh my gosh... no.... oh no...

They’re already on Rand’s trail to turn him to the Dark One!!

This is super scary!!!

Oh snap! She remembers! Like the Wisdom did too! Egwene is super powerful!!

And the Amyrlin Seat, yes of course, Egwene would suit that position well, I think. I had mostly thought of the Wisdom because she can’t stand authority, but Egwene would be good in that position I think.

Uhh the Green Ajah?

So... two Warders, eh? Let me guess: Gawyn and Galad?

GG, Egwene.

Because I doubt Perrin or Rand would go through Warder training.

Ohh Rand is in all of them!

Oh Egwene... no matter what, harming Rand or not being with him or not doing right by him is always your worst fear.

I was wrong. You didn’t have 3 fears, you have one. I think you’ll always fear that same thing.

Ohh no!! Enough to turn her to the Dark One, and and and saidar!

She’s not supposed to use it in there! Isn’t that dangerous? That’s what they told the Wisdom.

Egwene please don’t. Please be safe.

I wonder if this Gyldan Sedai person is going to be a black Ajah in the real world too or not.

Egwene is certainly going to investigate her now. That’ll be very interesting to see.

Ohh!! I did not see that one coming! How terribly cruel!

I keep getting shock after shock in this chapter.

(...is it dangerous to gasp too many times in a row..? should I be worried about my health here?)

Ohh so it would seem that every Red Sister we meet is doomed to be a Black Ajah.

After the book burner this one is hardly a surprise, but I wonder if it’ll be the same in the real world. It would be cool if it wasn’t. Even though I really don’t like Elaida.

Egwene is really suspecting everyone now.

I have kind of grown fond of Alanna. I don’t want her to be a black Ajah. Please just not her! I’ll gladly sacrifice Elaida if we can spare Alanna. Alanna seems so sincere.

*Gasp* But of course!

I thought about the ring when she went in and I thought about the dream worlds but why didn’t I see this? Yes of course.

Wow it sounds like Egwene was super lucky. And that also confirms that what happened is like in the dream world. Scary!

See? I like Alanna. And she’s teaching me about the Different Ajah now. Albeit by gossiping about who likes men more... but still, learning.

See, for example I knew nothing about the White before. Now I know they’re boring. And that and Ajah is CHOSEN. Important stuff.

Oh that is awesome! I got goosebumps from that.

Yes, Egwene you are SO a Green sister and not just to joke about having two Warders

That is awesome. I knew something drew me to the Green Ajah. Mystery solved.

The Green sisters aren’t just the fun ones. They’re the cool ones.

Oh good that Elayne succeeded. Not that there was much doubt or that I worried, but still. I wonder what she experienced in there.

Whatever it was, I don’t think it would have made me gasp as much as Egwene numerous revelations.

Oh yes, that is the way of painful memories. They’re only terrible until something else equally bad comes along and steals our focus away. And Egwene has had a while slew of bad news and experiences today.

But when you‘re reminded of them, they’re just as bad as they first were. Oh sweet girls.

Day 7 : the day Mat fought two soon to be Warders with a quarterstaff

Well, Mat, you really blew that one. Now you’ve alerted them all.

Certainly no one will let you pass now.

Also this sounds like Domon’s accent so he is a native of Illian..? I don’t know why I didn’t pick up on that sooner.

That’s really odd. How would she know?

And why is she being all suspicious? And wasn’t Else sent out of the White Tower? Why do I feel like I remember someone talking about that...?

Warders?? Ohhh! Mat is about to meet Gawyn and Galad, isn’t he??

Go on, Mat my lad, make friends with the Warders.

I bet Gawyn will make a good friend especially for Mat and Galad... well he is Galad and not that much fun. Though I suppose it’s fun to pick on him.

Aha! Told ya so!

And Gawyn really makes everything so easy. He is really friendly and easy to get along with. Thoughtful but forthcoming.

I like Gawyn. Can we get more of Gawyn, please?

Oh. Oops. Sorry, Galad. Here I was saying you’re only fun because I can mock you...

I suppose I’m not as morally black and white as you. I’d be much better friends with the other two lads here.

(Also it’s fun that Galad is intimidated by the Wisdom)

Oh it’s on! They’re going to get their asses kicked by a sickly boy, aren’t they?

Because that old time-y person he had some memories of was some sort of warrior.

If Mat can channel (pun intended) that man, he will come out victorious.

That’s my guess.

Uhhh, shivers. This is good!

He is so going to win with the spirit of a warrior who has been dead for centuries.

I readily admit, I’ve very quickly become very invested in Mat my lad’s journey. His POVs are engaging.

You weren’t thinking. Instinct, reflexes only. Well done my lad!

He really did channel that old timey person, didn’t he? I wonder who that guy really is.

Also guys... I think this is the first real fight where we have had actual description of movements.

Shivers again. Awesome!!

Is the person Mat can remember this person who defeated Jearom, then?

Because that would be awesome. I look forward to see how this will unfold.

Huh? Then that’s not it then. It runs in the old blood. Moiraine did say something about the bloodlines being strong and how they haven’t lost the old spirit.

Mat’s and Rand’s fathers are pretty badass.

I never really knew until this book.

A bit about Tam but not like this.

Ha! Poor Galad fighting for himself against accepted and Green Ajah on a daily basis to stay unclaimed as a Warder.

I do almost feel bad for the guy, with all of these girls scratching each other’s eyes out to be next in line to touch him.

Ehhh Mat my lad, don’t you ignore what’s happening to you.

You’re not as dumb as you look and as we were led to believe from your actions in WoT 1. Please don’t ignore this. Please pursue this to find out whatever it is that’s happening to you.

Even Rand is not this mad... yet.

Oh no!!

Not Selene! Not now! Stay away Lanfear!!

Huh? It’s an Egwene chapter... what?

Don’t be so quick to dismiss these dreams, Egwene. I think what you do is glimpse the future.

Sometimes the present but often the future, at least as it could be.

That could be very useful. So you better be careful with Whitecloaks!

Uh so it’s like Min’s abilities, except in dreams so somewhat harder to control but also with more information.

Perrin is that hawk and falcon two girls? Please tell me one of them isn’t Lanfear. Anyone else! Anyone!

Hm, I don’t know how I feel about the Odin connection for Mat.

Well that’s a hell of a coincidence. And highly unlikely.

Why does the Dark One specifically need these Aes Sedai who are so different from one another?

Oh yes, her daughter... gosh this one really linger on her.

Also: I like that two characters are allowed to have the same name.

Because that happen in real life. I know many people with the same names, but in fantasy it rarely ever happens that two characters share a name.

Ohh I suppose that could be a reason, yes. Personally I was just wondering why they needed so many different women.

I suppose it could be a show of power: "look, we can convert anyone."

I think there’s more to it, though. There is another reason.

This is a very good point.

But, I happen to know that she was a BOOK BURNER, and therefore evil.

But yes, there could be someone worse than her, I suppose. There could be a library burner or a puppy killer.

Who is this Corianin Nedeal? A black Ajah? Someone unlucky whose notes a black Ajah happened to get their fingers on?

Why don’t I hear Egwene wondering who she is? Am I already supposed to know?

(I was promptly aided my twitter folks to find out who she was)

Ohhh that’s what Egwene mentioned she might use against the 13 Aes Sedai and fades when she went through her accepted trials!!

So we know Egwene is going to use this and learn to control it, even.

How..? In a dream? That sounds like it’ll be very dangerous.

Well done for standing up for yourself Egwene! The Wisdom was way out of line. It’s not her ring. It was given to Egwene because of unique abilities only she possesses.

Sorry, Wisdom, you're not the only person in the world who is special. And Egwene’s right. You have no control.

This is SO odd! Using a novice isn’t a bad idea exactly, but Else? Of all people. I don’t believe that.

Is Else a Darkfriend?

Was she recruited by the Black Ajah? She is off. Somethings wrong with her.

*gasp* SELENE!

Oh no! Of course it was you! What game are you playing at?

Hiding in your dark night and impersonating Else like this. Why are you still in the White Tower and what are you up to...?

Day 8 : the day we entered the scary World of Dreams

Who so desperately wants these things locked away? And why would Selene point them to it...? Did she plant it there?

Did she put this lock there to make it seem more difficult and like a conspiracy??

I don’t trust Selene.

(I prefer Selene to Lanfear—Lan isn’t afraid of anyone)

Egwene truly learnt a lot about her own abilities from the Seanchan experience.

And why can’t the Wisdom ever take the calm road or let someone else try?

Egwene had it!

Yes, I know you all like her and she’ll evolve, but I still don’t vibe well with the Wisdom.

I’m beginning to think that maybe they’re all like Mat, and Rand...

Are they all connected to some past version of themselves and pulling from that past??

And Mat just happens to be more in tune with his part so far..? That’s my working theory.

Because this stuff is both cool and creepy!

What are you talking about?? A half torn map isn’t a clue?? What!!?

Girls! Open your eyes!! It’s raining with clues that will lead you to Tear.

Trust me, that’s where it’s happening.

Yes that is suspicious but also: Why did Selene want you to find this all? Why did she point you this way?

What is she plotting? Why does she even need you? No offence, Girls, but she is super powerful, I’d think she didn’t need anyone other than Rand.

Finally we will use the ring! For once I’m actually feeling okay about getting a long dream sequence.

I wonder if using the ring will be as immersive as those tests to become accepted were or if it really will just be like jumbled dreams.

I hope it’s the former.

Egwene is really starting to suspect everyone. It’s sad that it has come to this but it has.

And why is Verin acting suspiciously? Why didn’t she point them to the belongings of those 13 sisters when it was right by the library? I don’t like to suspect Verin.

I like Verin.

Uhh Egwene intruding on Perrin’s Wolf dream. Is it really him, I wonder? Will he be able to remember this encounter when we see things from his perspective again?

(On that note: we haven’t had a Perrin chapter in an awful long time which is odd because his POV started the book)

We haven’t seen Rand in so long that this could very real be him now. Fighting in his dreams and knowing how to channel fire. Poor Rand.

I do hope he is okay.

This book is called The Dragon Reborn, so when will we see the Dragon Reborn?
Could have been called Detective Witches.

SELENE!! That is Selene!

I am certain. She never quite appears... human. She is always too perfect. In this case too perfect in imperfections.

Stay back Egwene and leave NOW! You can’t possibly know what she might do.

Ah yes of course. So is this Selene’s plan for Rand? Disguise him as a servant, using Egwene as a messenger..?

Hm no it doesn’t sound like her. She’d be trying to force him into it directly talking about glory and how good it feels to channel.

See? See??? It’s definitely Selene! Hearing her talk, one would think that Ishamael and her were arch-enemies but I don’t know who he really is and why they would be.

Did Ishamael betray her or something? And is he free if his bonds yet...? Have we met him...?

Hmm... I wonder.

So is this book supposed to end with Rand getting the sword after Egwene and the friend lead shin to it and proclaim him the Dragon Reborn...?

Is that what the title is all about. Because I’m seeing very little here to warrant a title focused on Rand whom we barely see.

Get her AWAY! Don’t touch Selene!

...oh she sent Egwene back. But still. I did not like that.

That was invasive.

I think there should be a warning sing above Selene that reads:

Extremely dangerous Forsaken.

Might do anything.

Keep 10 feet away.

Do not feed.

Eh... Egwene? It’s good you keep Perrin’s stuff to yourself, but did you forget that Elayne doesn’t know that Rand can channel!? Or that he is the Dragon Reborn??

I know she’s not the brightest, but how can you risk telling her about that dream and revealing those secrets??
Ohh Elayne... that is the most princess-like thing she has said in this book.

And that doesn’t seem super smart but at the same time, maybe it is a good idea after all.

Uhm, Girls... you have really followed the example set forward by the boys lately. It seems you have all turned into complete woolheads.

Once it’s known that all 3 of you are gone, you don’t think anyone will put 2 and 2 together and realise you left TOGETHER?

And I bet that person is my lad Mat. So girls, are you going to break him out of his whiter tower prison?

Also poor Mat has been there for a while but they haven’t gone to visit him yet despite how sick he was before.

Oh well. So.. how are you going to get him out of the city?

Well Mat my lad certainly likes to dance. It’s sweet.

When he sees a sweet girl he always thinks about asking her to dance.

And here’s Elayne being a total princess again. She’s lucky that she’s cute or those tactics would not have gotten her far anywhere.

That’s what I’ve been saying!! He has never done anything for anyone else at any point during these books.

It’ll be a real interesting day, when Mat my lad decides to do something truly selfless. How many books down the line will that be..? 5...? 8...?

Oh well of course, yes. When you put it like that, Mat, it’s obvious how the girls will get you out!

So much happened that I forgot about that paper the Amyrlin Seat gave them when she handed them their mission. You’ll leave with no problems.

Your luck is good, Mat.

I like Mat’s whole gambling persona, but here’s my issue:

He did not gamble in book 1. We hardly heard mention of gambling in book 2, and now suddenly every character who thinks of Mat immediately only thinks of gambling..? Everyone.

It seems to be his defining characteristic now.

I get why it has happened this way. It’s tough to plan for such a long series such as this and it’s only now that we see Mat’s POV and he needs a strong character trait that is something other than: “likes treasures and his precious dagger”.

But we could have eased into it instead of suddenly having every character constantly say: Mat=gambling.

On another note, I adore Mat’s continued and constant observations about women and how little he feels like he understands.

He hasn’t been acting like the irresponsible jokester since book 1, but he certainly is a fun lad to read about now that he has his own POV chapters!

Day 9 : the day Mat filled his pockets and then got attacked.

Wisdom! That’s no way to talk about another women!

She certainly does have a temper this one.

Little less. Mostly temper.

Ah yes it was good timing. Good that you girls decided to give it another half a day before you left.

At least now you get to report first.

Oh Egwene you woolheaded girl... no tact, no tact.

The lads were just starting to learn but now it’s like I’m starting the “survival for woolheads” training program all over again for the girls.

Please, no more.

Aha! I knew the other one would be a women. But something tells me this is not the end of it. This is also very odd. Dead how? Who killed her? And why there? How?

.....Selene? Did you have a hand in this?

Aha! I knew I remembered something about Else being sent away.

It’s good that the Wisdom mentioned Else so that they could get this information.

Selene really did plant all of that there. Why? What is she out to do?

Wow.... how is she speaking like this to the Amyrlin Seat? And why is the Amyrlin taking it and not severely punishing the Wisdom...?

The Wisdom needs to calm down and learn to control her emotions.

Ahh that makes sense. But then, in that case, if the princess’ letter gets delivered, the Queen will be truly furious.

This will surely sever the little trust that remains between the Queen and Aes Sedai.

Oh goodness, Rand. There’s a worthy weapon. And two others she says... more powerful.... that’s...

3 weapons. And we have 3 ta’veren.

I’m just saying...

Ouch. I quite like it when the Wisdom is put in her place like this. She so often jumps to conclusions and is quick to anger without fully assessing the situation.

It isn’t a smart battle strategy. Sooner or later that’s going to her, and likely also others, into a lot of trouble.

Ohh Mat my lad.

This a good example of what it is that I adore in his POV chapters.

I’m starting to get why so many people favour Mat if he stays consistent with this.

Oh yes I was wondering what would happen to that when he walked away with it. Good! Now you have a weapon, Mat my lad.

You’re as ready as you’ll ever be, then.

Seriously never knew that Mat had this much Wisdom.

Where was all of that wisdom before he took the dagger in book one?

He had charm back then but little to no wisdom. In fact he was very foolish, especially at the thought of a certain great treasure.

It might, Mat my lad. It might.

Be careful. This whole endeavour could get you killed en route, or even upon arrival.

The Queen strikes me as someone who might decide to have the messenger killers just to send the message that she isn’t pleased.

Wow Mat’s luck is good!

He is going to fill his pockets until he has no more pockets to fill. Plenty of money for him to travel and stay at the expensive inns and get hot meal every night.

He is going to be clinking as he walks down the road.
Everything is always about gambling or dancing with Mat these days.

I do like those characteristics, but I’d like to know more too. Like:

Why does he like those things so much?

And when did he start gambling?

Some... pretty hefty powers there, Mat. Care to dial it down a tone before someone takes offense?

Is this the old timey person’s strength or how is he able to do this?

What? So many of them! I thought it was just one or two people.

Why are they after him? At whose orders? To what end?

Selene... Do we need to have another talk about boundaries..?

I will bet you that’s a Grey man too! And if there are grey men... then we’re dealing with the Dark One. Is May the reason they were in the White Tower?

And why kill Mat? Is the Dark One trying to take out one of legs of the tripod and make the whole thing topple? Or get to the Horn?

Day 10 : the day Thom returned, again

Oh oh oh! Thom is back!!!

I did not expect that. Especially not in Tar Valon. Maybe elsewhere, later but not here. Oh Thom and Mat would make a good team.

That is the most Thom entrance ever.

He did the same thing when he first met Rand ages after they parted ways. This Gleeman is never satisfied with the smaller crowds, still thinking himself in the Queen’s high court.

Wow Thom readily speaks the Queen’s name like that.

Thom... you... talk too much, sometimes. At least when you’re drunk.

But I have news for you: Mat is going to go meet your Morgase.

I knew it was you Thom!! Thank you, for confirming that you killed that King.

I was certain it was you. We have a lot to learn about you, yet.

What kind of past are you hiding that killing a king is just... something you’d do..?

Ah well that explains it. Punishing yourself, eh Thom? Well, lucky for you Mat my lad here has a proposal that will be able to serve as even better punishment.

Travel with a ta’veren, right into the Queen’s doorstep. Oh it’ll be torture alright, Thom.

Hahah I feel you Mat my lad. Sometimes I get hungry too.

Yours is a little more extreme. A little...

I wonder how long Mat’s hunger will last. He usually gets very weak and hungry after a fight, and also just with time.

As I said: pure torture, Thom. The Pattern is pulling you back with these ta’veren boys. One way or another you’re going to end up going. Better go at your own free well.

It’s going to be awkward when the Queen or Elaida corner Thom.

How is a silver Tar Valon Mark different from a silver mark? Is it just the same but with an image of Tar Valon...?

I got confused when I first read this and thought maybe it was some Aes Sedai thing like the coin Moiraine gave the lads in book 1.

They’re grey men, Mat. The real question is how many are they? And do they know where you’re headed?

There seems to be Darkfriends all over these lands. So much for the Whitecloaks surrounding Tar Valon.

Haha Mat my lad has good humour and a light tone even in the midst of all of this peril.

I like Mat a lot. His POV chapters are fun to read and often make me laugh or at the very least smile.

Uh uh, dear captain, you’re going to wish you hadn‘t said that because Mat is rattling with coins. Gold and silver and he is not afraid to spend it because he has a gambling habit to feed.

Win lots of money, use it all right away. Travel light.

Mat is smart. He is nothing like the in the first book. He is almost... wise.

Did he hit his head when the Aes Sedai healed him or something? Did they trigger some untapped potential? Would his dear old da even recognise the young wise man Mat has turned into?

See what I mean? Super wise guy this Mat. We sure could have used that wisdom in the first two books. Well at least we have it now.

I wonder how he is going to evolve from here. He seems to have less... personal insecurities than Perrin and Rand.

The political situation of these lands intrigues me.

Has Tear ever had kings (or queens)?

In either case they’re still going with specific bloodlines, I assume. So not too different from royalty just more than one royal making decisions.

Uh... Lord Samon sounds like a Darkfriend. The bad kind. The really bad kind.

That’s almost Seanchan tactics.

And why if they’re brought to the stone...?

Is Selene onto this...? Is this her doing?

(Yes, yes I know, I suspect her of everything)

Ha! that would go over well, I’m sure. Thom is really sazzy at times.

Also: Lord Samon is definitely a Darkfriend, at the very least. Possibly, I'm guessing, he is Ishmael..?

Some terrible evil person, for sure.

The Dark One’s Eyes, you say.

I’m starting to wonder where your luck came from, Mat.

Who was on your side?

Was it something innate thing in him or was it some external Power..?

They are probably Grey Men but not very effective assassins. They rely too much on their numbers and their apparently ineffective stealth mode.

Unless it’s just Mat being super sharp, and not them being super bad assassins. I think they're just bad assassins.

Oh Blood and Ashes Mat. I’m sorry. Well you’ve killed Trollocs before, at least. I know they’re not really people; but that has got to count for something. If you remember that.

Oh!! Our second Rand section! We’re only a bit past halfway through a book called The Dragon Reborn.

I think that puts us on at a generous count of 5 pages out of 375. That’s a little more than 1% of the book that I expected to be ALL about Rand.

Slightly misleading title.
Wow Rand. You’re still denying it...

We’re at least half a year into your journey, closer to a year. And we’re over 1000 pages in. You have been given all of the clues. Been called the Dragon Reborn for a while by—as you say—both living and dead. AND STILL YOU DENY IT??

Yes. Okay with that sort of strong denial, I’m glad that we haven’t seen much of Rand.

But we spent the first 100 pages with Perrin and now we’re almost exclusively with Mat and the girls. When will we see Perrin again..?

So that’s the tune Selene is singing to him these days. “If you do this, you’ll see me again, Rand al’Woolhead.”

Grr. She’s cunning, using all the advantage of her beauty. This is why I suspect her at every turn when something goes wrong.

Experience the collection of my live tweets 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

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I am a novelist by profession, currently working on 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...