Wheel of Time 3 : The Dragon Reborn (part 3)

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 third 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. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Let's get on with it.

 

The Dragon Reborn

 

Day 14 : the day Mat met the Illuminator

 

It’s fun that they’re all this concerned about not being part of the Queendom.

The Queen really ought to make frequent visits to all of her lands if she intends to call them hers.

Yes. Right. The letter no one but the three girls and Thom know you have is the reason Grey Men are eager to murder you. Right.

Mat my lad. Sooner or later you’ll realise that the pattern’s pull on you is strong.
Congratulations Mat my lad!! You’re fully healed!!!

I did enjoy reading about his compulsive eating and struggling not to lick the crumbs, but I’m glad that he seems to have recovered and have his full strength now.


Hey hey, Thom! Are you looking down on horses? Horse meat tastes delicious. Nothing desperate about it.


In fact back in the Viking Age the Swedes refused to become a Christian unless they were still allowed to eat horse meat.


Great, I'm hungry now. I seem to have inherited Mat’s hunger.


Aha. It almost sounds like you’re going to have to accompany Mat and meet Morgase, Thom, to figure out what this is all about.

Is she okay..? Or has she been silenced by darkfriends? Or turned?

Word of advice: if someone offers you a crazy bet like this, as confidently as Mat my lad here, do NOT take the bet. You WILL lose.

Good going for Mat though, seems like have just got them some sweet rides.

Ohhh the Illuminator Egwene saw in her dream! Already?

Hmm I wonder why she will be important. And I did feel like the names were familiar. So these were the Illuminator we saw in the last book, no? Arguing while Selene was being all... mysterious and beautiful and distracting.

Ohh this makes me feel warm and nostalgic.

This is how it began. With Mat my lad being really excited ah the prospect of seeing Fireworks and Beltine.


Ahh... back in the day before the lads knew that Trollocs were for real and the Dark Lord was hunting them.

Mat my lad really has a soft heart.

Always wanting to help and make sure beautiful women he might want to dance with sonny go hungry.


I wonder how this will play out for him. Please don’t let yourself be corrupted to abandon this soft heart, Mat.

Oh yes, me too! I would love to see what Loial has written about his journey and what he will write about his three ta’veren friends.


Ohh that diss!


Moiraine feels quite harsh sometimes but there’s a lot of similarities between the Wisdom and Moiraine. More and more as I go along, it would seem.


On another note, I’m not wild about the Falcon. I’d be quite happy for her to leave.


Me neither, Perrin. I didn’t ask her to come either, and I don’t really want her there.


Can’t we just tie her up and leave?


I suppose the pattern wouldn’t let us, eh? She’s part of the pattern now.


She isn’t a very good listener. Asks questions although she took an oath not to do so. And she expect others to call her by her chosen name but refuses to give Perrin the same curtesy.

Oh no. Oh no. I see what’s going on here.

There’s going to be a love story here, isn’t there?

Oh no... I think I’d even prefer a relationship between Rand and Selene to this.


Tammaz. Wasn’t that what the male Illuminator in the last chapter was called..?


....I really don’t want this romance to happen, but I swear the signs are there. It’s in the works.


I hope I’m wrong.

Oh no, Loial, that does not sound good.

Of course, his stedding is nearby. So he is almost travelling homewards.


Does this mean that Loial won’t stay with us for much longer? Oh no, please don’t let him leave.

Well... Only if it’s dangerous. Loial needs to live.


Sweet sweet Loial. We have to ensure that he survives.

He MUST not die.

So, if he needs to go back to the stedding for that to happen, okay then.

Darkfriend alert! This sounds really suspicious!

Something dark and dangerous has been happening here and I do believe that Lord Brend is at the centre of it all.


Uhh shared dreams! Is this Verin’s Dreamworld or something else?


Is Selene involved? She controls dreams, doesn’t she? Has she taken control over this city...?

No.... glory would be in everyone’s minds if it was Selene, wouldn’t it?
Is the king still alive or is he dead..? This sounds suspicious.

And cut off from Tear... strangely convenient with everyone heading towards Tear. Why though..? Is it really Selene’s doing?


Hmm that is odd indeed.


We might learn a lot by your returning to your stedding, Loial.

The Builders must know something of what’s going on.
Ah. Do you see now, Moiraine? Perrin is a strong ta’veren and he is part of this.

One leg of the tripod and you must protect him as surely as you would protect Rand.

....I didn’t mean for you to go and die, Moiraine. Just to take Perrin more seriously.

And wow Perrin’s wolf senses are really strengthening. I like the slow build of his superpowers. It’s always nice to see a hero in the making.


 

Day 15 : the day Mat delivered the letter

 
Darkhounds.

That doesn’t sound good.

We’re discovering an awful lot of different servants to the Dark One.

Will there be a new reveal in each book?

Ohh no. Is that where Mat’s luck comes from?

Because I’m really worried about where his luck comes from. But if it was from Ba’alzamon, why would he also send Grey Men after Mat..?


Maybe it’s more of a metaphor..?

Creepy! How did she get into his room and why is she watching him sleep? ...Is she actually a sparkly vampire called Edward?

In other thoughts: how come Perrin can see so much in his dreams? He seems to be a dreamer just like Egwene. But I thought that was a rare skill...?

My point exactly! How does he have those skills?

And the Foresaken ARE?? So more than Lanfear is free. Ishamael..? Are all of them loose or just several of them? How did they all get free?


Oh no Perrin... you’re usually more careful than this. Usually you think things through, but that seems to have stopped in this book. Why...?

It was one of the things I really liked about Perrin.

Okay so Sammael rules Illian. Where does Ishamael rule? My guess is on Tear.

And was that bale fire??? So it IS forbidden just like I thought.

Oh no... another Foresaken here too, I take it. They’ve assumed command all throughout the lands.


This guard is so going to regret treating Mat like this when Mat follows in Rand’s footsteps and climbs over the wall. I assume that's how he will get in. If that’s doesn’t work for Mat, there’s always Thom. He probably know a thing or two.

Good point Mat my lad. He is very self-aware. In fact, I would argue that in this book, Mat is self aware in the same way that Perrin was in the first two books. Careful and thoughtful.

Mat has many other nice qualities why couldn’t Perrin keep this one..?

Definitely dealing with a Darkfriend or Foresaken here! Servant of the Dark One.

Are they all beautiful and charming like Selene?

Is that how they’ve managed this? The power of beauty and seduction..?

See? Mat is fun and I adore the way he keeps bringing up things from home.

It’s something I always wished the other characters did. I expected for it to happen with Egwene but it only happened twice and then she seemed to forget about home. It’s nice to see someone who remembers what it was like to grow up in the Tw oRivers and let their childhood influence their current-day decisions.


See?? See?? Definitely a Darkfriend, at the very least.

Possibly a Foresaken planning to rule alone.

There were 12 Foresaken more, weren’t there...? So they could successfully rule each kingdom and queendom... rule all of the lands.


It’s interesting that he would assume it would be so easy to get a personal audience with the Queen. Actually, everyone seem to assume it's easy to get a private audience with the queen. What's up with that?


And Mat my lad seems to be really lucky, again.

This Tallanvor seems to be a decent guy who is the right side and not under the control of a Foresaken.

Hahaha! I had forgotten about the flower he put into his hair. That is funny and classic Mat.

Uhm, you’re getting a bit bold with your wagers here, Mat my lad.

And how do you plan to tell her? Do you think you’ll be alone with her? Or will you just blurt it out and be prisoned or killed..?


I like the fondness in her voice here even if ultimately the Princess is still in trouble.

It’s nice to see the Queen be proud of her daughter.

Uh uh see?? This guy seems to be using Whitecloak techniques. I’ll readily admit it: I’m not super fond of this. I don’t like this Gaebril person. I wonder which of the Foresaken he is.

He has to be a Foresaken or... a former Whitecloak.

Oh no. That does not sound good. What happens if he kills Elayne, Lady Dyelin disappears mysteriously and Morgase dies after their wedding...?

Who would rule then...?

I reckon he would, at least until they might find another candidate. And by then it would be too late.


So you’ve decided to help them, then. Mat really is soft-hearted. It’s nice to see him bravely take on a mission like this.

Wait... Is this... the first time Mat is stepping up for someone else, and not for his own sake..?

That’s a smart way to get the word to her. But will it be enough for her to get rid of him?

And will she even be able to?

Or will she simply be killed if she tries to get rid of him?


This game. It’s a version of Go isn’t it?

Every time we hear of it, I end up imagining a baduk/go board.

But the games seem to be over too quickly.

I suppose that could just indicate less skilled players..?

Oh congratulations, Thom, for realising that you’ve moved on.

The heart is difficult to change and while time may heal wounds, the question is always: how much time?


As Tablo's lyrics go:

“They say that time flies,

But you keep breaking its wings.”

Ha! I love these generalisations. There have been a few of them, especially in this book and while I tend to fall on the male side of these observations, they’re still fun.


Epic ending. Mat the gambler, confident and with a mission, now. A self-chosen mission to help others.

How you’ve grown in this book, Mat my lad.

But there is still growing to do, and pages to read.


125 in this book to be exact.

Close to the end. Again.


 

Day 16 : the day everyone arrived in Tear

 

Okay I gotta ask. I get how these three girls are using fake names, they’re only accepted at this point and haven’t taken oaths.


But... Moiraine has been going by a false name before. Is she able to do this by having Lan introduce her? Never say her one name. So she doesn’t lie?

Bad dream here too. Like in Illian.

Is this Selene, or do all Foresaken have the ability to manipulate dreams?

Wow. Calm down Princess. I think Egwene is right. But I get that you don’t want her to say it aloud.


But is the Wisdom going to realise if she isn’t told?


I doubt she would like becoming more and more like Moiraine and not even realise it until it’s too late.


Wow, dude. Good guess! Yes you do that. Pretend that they’re Black Ajah. That sounds like a good idea, good sir.


FYI though, there are a lot of Aes Sedai in Tear. At least right now. Especially if Accepted also count.

Uh! Scary! The book burner knows that they’re coming!

I suppose it’s good that Egwene now knows that they know (that's a tongue twister).


This way our girls can be more prepared.


That is the most Mat thing ever.

Notice how this quest was technically a selfless quest to begin with but now Mat has made it a selfish one by making it into a wager..?


Little do you know, Mat, that if anyone can actually go home at this point, it would be you.

But you’re all three ta’veren and all of you have been woven into the pattern. There is no going back anymore.

And as you say, you’ve tasted adventure now.

Would you even want to return?

Mat’s luck is really insane.


I like reading about it but I’m also really suspicious. Especially since Perrin dreamt about Mat growing dice with Ba’alzamon.

Can he truly rely on his luck? And where does it stem from?

This is true. In that past that is definitely what has gotten you in trouble.

I think I definitely screamed “Woolhead!” At you once or twice in book 1.

Good that Mat uses a quarterstaff, then, and not a sword or other noticeable weapon.


So you can tell a lord or a merchant easily on the street, if he wears a weapon. But this man is not a merchant and considering what he is here to do, I reckon he isn’t a nice man either.

I don’t think that’s why he is winning, Mat my lad. No one has your luck.

No, I think we’re dealing with loaded dice. But I bet your luck can win even against loaded dice.

(Bold bet, I know. Reading about Mat is making me into a gambling woman)


Oh wow. His luck can even spin loaded dice! That’s incredible.

Is that the pattern pulling?

Did Mat just feel the Pattyern like Rand did at the end of book 2? (Well like I think Rand did at the end of book 2)


Your luck truly is good, Mat my lad. You found him before he could find the girls and do any real damage.


Now that you’ve revealed yourself to him, how will you deal with him? I suspect you’re going to be using your quarterstaff. You ought to interrogate him with a little torture. He knows stuff.


Oh. You killed him? Okay then. Did you really think that he was alone Mat my lad...?


There was much you could have learnt from him. Like: exactly why does the Princess need to die? What plan did he have of finding them? Who does he serve? But it’s too late now.

Good observation, Mat my lad. Now you can capitalise on your luck.

Well... as long as you can trust your luck, at least.

As long as it doesn’t come from Ba’alzamon.


Are Mat’s dreams as accurate as Egwene’s, Perrin’s and Rand's dreams?


Is it a ta’veren thing? And Egwene just happens to be able to do it as well. Or it’s because she is so closely tied to these three ta’veren...? And that’s why there hasn’t been a Dreamer in ages. because there haven't been this strong ta'veren.

This is a lovely sequence.

It’s nice to actually see Perrin be a blacksmith and show off his skills. Something he is good at.


Is he going to stay in Tear? Surely this is going to lead to a job offer?


Oh well fair enough.


At least you get to use a hammer and forget your troubles for a while.

Cleanse your mind by returning to something familiar.

Be’lal. Okay. So not Ishamael.

So we know the names of four different Foresaken, now:

Be’lal who rules Tear

Sammael who rules Illian

Ishamael (no idea where he is)

Lanfear (no idea where she is either)


I’m with you, Perrin. She is being annoying.


Oh I really don’t like her.

Please stop falling in love with her, Perrin

I don’t like this match. I can see you falling and I don’t like it because I don’t like this character.

That is... quite the plan and does not sound good for Rand. You guys better find him soon!


This book is called the Dragon Reborn and that title still does not seem to represent this book. So at the very least you guys can save him so he can pronounce himself the Dragon Reborn at the end.

Okay so the two strongest are fighting against each other. Have they split up into two factions or something?


The Foresaken sound really strong. Selene certainly is strong. She has proven that many times. They will not be easy to defeat, will they?


(They better not be. I don't really want a Seanchan battle repeat.)

 

Day 17 : the day I finished the book

 
Wisdom. By now, you ought to know that Dreams are important. It is definitely Rand.

Please tell the others that he is there.


Also have a good think about this: why are the Black Ajah in Tear if not to capture Rand? If not then why muddy Tear of all places?

Yes Wisdom, you ought to show patience. And these people aren’t odd, they’re just different from you. You’re just as odd to them.

Great. Another reason for me not to like the Wisdom. A willingness to accept and understand different cultures is kind of important to me given my... life.


That sounds suspicious. “The others”?? That’s an odd phrasing. Yes, Wisdom. Don’t trust him.


(To clarify my earlier statements: I don’t hate the Wisdom. 90% of the time I just don’t connect with her, and she tends to annoy me)


See? Egwene is hella fierce! You’re not the only one who will fight, Wisdom. And I hope you’re going to ascend beyond that sometime soon.


It’s frustrating that you girls can’t just get along and compliment each other because you have abilities. Together you could be unstoppable.


Now, THIS is one of the things I really do like about the Wisdom.

She doesn’t give up hope and she has a lot of resilience.

If someone has wronged her, you can be certain they will pay for it.

Girls... do you really think that these Black Ajah will be as easily fooled as you would have been...?

No way are they going to fall for this.

And besides, it wouldn’t matter to them. I don’t think they’d be worried even if the Amyrlin Seat was there.

Oh, just you trust your luck, Mat

Seriously it’s an insane amount of luck that this lad has. As ever, I’m worried about where it originates from. Unless it‘s just the pull of the Pattern that Mat calls luck because he is a gambler and luck is important to him.


Oh yes it can, Mat. Your luck is crazy.

Now you know where to go and maybe you’ll end up teaming up with the other people, since everyone is in Tear.


Yes. That is not something a High Lord would do.

That’s because this dude isn’t a High Lord but a Foresaken!

Mat, I know you’re a Woolhead at times, but... please tell me you’re hearing this so you’ll know to be careful.

Mat is such a soft-hearted lad.

....It’s going to get him into trouble, isn’t it? Sooner or later. Next book, I wager.


I do hope that he continues to be kindhearted even if it causes him downfall.

I think this book should just be called “The World of Dreams” at this point.

Or “the Scars of Dreams” or something like that.


Because we’ve seen under 20 pages of the Dragon Reborn but half of the book has been about dreams.

Aha! Finally one of those objects the Book Burner and her followers stole!


So they have clearly figured out what they do. At least this one.


And more importantly: they know that this party has arrived in Tear. There will be no surprise. Their arrival is expected.


Yes, Mat. All three of you Two Rivers lads are fools and Woolheads at time. But I find it funny that you’d judge this guy (Rand, clearly) for doing the exact same thing as you’re trying to do.

Ahh Mat’s wonderful contradictions.

How does Moiraine know who studied this one?

That is Brown Ajah level knowledge.

Moiraine hasn’t been to the White Tower since the Book Burner left.

Loial is so sweet and loyal that he ALMOST makes me care about that falcon.

But I really don’t. Is it just me, though...? Does anyone like the falcon? Is it just me who doesn’t like her? Is she a fan favourite like the Wisdom?


This is really epic!


But... because I really don’t care about the falcon and I’m not worried that Perrin will come out of this, it does nothing for me.


In this book, at least, the falcon has been presented as someone we're supposed to be intrested in purely because she's a female hunter.


So far, she has given NO contribution to the party, other than constantly giving people calling names and asking questions when she promised that she wouldn't.

I am given no reason to care about her.

Oh the Aiel!!

I’d like all three of our lads to go with the Aiel.

I’m interested to see how each one of them would fit in/react to the Aiel way of life.


Preferably is like them to go with the Aiel each on their own, instead of the trio going together.


Anyways...


Ha! Mat my lad would like that. He loves dancing. Although he probably means it a little different from how this spear-maiden does.

We need Mat to go and be among the Aiel. It would be great.
It’s the effect of the Dragon Reborn, Mat my lad.

People get married and killed and follow him to the roofs without even knowing what compels them to take that path.


Sandar was good after all! The book burner clearly overestimated her power of persuasion, or alternatively severely underestimated Sandar’s strength.


It might have something to do with the pattern too. But everything does.


(My autocorrect keeps insisting that he is really called Sandra..)

....why doesn’t he trust his own luck and follow Sandar and make a distraction once he is inside the Stone and needs to escape?

That seems like it would be a better use of that firework since he has already been offered a way inside.

Unless Sandar really isn’t all that good and the fact that he does this is part of Mat’s luck.

Or if this way will get him inside without a fight, although that seems doubtful to me.

So Sandar WAS good, like he said earlier.

So there was really no need to make this big of a splash entrance and attract all of the guards, was there?

Unless this means that Rand is able to enter easily? In that case I suppose it would the Pattern interfering, again.

Oh that is very smart! Okay, I’m okay with dreams when they have real world consequences and can help with current affairs. So yes, you go Egwene.


(This book should really have been called The World of Dreams or something like that)


Egwene is really skilled at this. It’s cool to see how quickly she is able to pick up on how something is done and copy it.


Elayne seems to be good at it as well, but honestly we see very little of Elayne other than when she tries to get the other two to stop fighting.


Very good, Egwene.

I like seeing her in control, considering how hard she has had to fight to get there.