What I Missed - Reading The Eye of the World (Part 2)

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Author: Ilverin Matriam
Published: March 26 2021 Tar Valon Times Blog Link

This article contains spoilers for the whole series

This is the second part in my series about “What I missed…” from previous times I read The Eye of the World (Book 1 of the Wheel of Time series).

In case you missed it, here’s a link to What I Missed – Reading The Eye of the World (Part 1).

Last time we ended on Chapter 19.

So now we continue with Chapter 23 Wolfbrother.

In it we meet Elyas for the first time and for the first time we hear about men speaking to wolves.

"This is an old thing, boy. Older than Aes Sedai. Older than anybody using the One Power. Old as humankind. Old as wolves."

What made me curious was how is this older than people using the One Power? We don’t really know in which age people had began channeling the One Power, so it could be that in the first Age people were hunting alongside wolves. But again, this is just something that doesn’t seem to be mentioned again in later books.

About Egwene in the same chapter,

"She [Dapple] said the girl’s planted firmly in the human world, while you” — he nodded at Perrin — “stand halfway between."

Elyas says that Dapple thinks Egwene is planted firmly in the human world, while Perrin is halfway in between. I wonder what that means and if it has anything to do with the Dream World. If it does, maybe things started to change for Egwene after meeting the wolves. Maybe that’s why she can easily enter the Dream world and is a Dreamer. But if she had the talent even before that, wouldn’t the wolves have seen it in her somehow?

Perrin and Egwene continue on their journey, accompanied by Elyas and the wolves.

In Chapter 25 – The traveling people, Perrin remembers his dreams from some previous nights:

He had not dreamed about Ba’alzamon since meeting Elyas and the wolves. […] In every dream he remembered there was a point where he straightened from Master Luhhan’s forge to wipe the sweat from his face, or turned from dancing with the village girls on the Green, or lifted his head from a book in front of the fireplace, and whether he was outside or under a roof, there was a wolf close to hand. Always the wolf’s back was to him, and always he knew — In the dreams it seemed the normal course of things, even at Alsbet Luhhan’s dinner table — that the wolf’s yellow eyes were watching for what might come, guarding against what might come. Only when he was awake did the dreams seem strange.

We see for the first time that wolves have something to do with dreams and somehow they are protecting Perrin’s dreams from Ba’alzamon entering them. Which might also mean that they have some contribution to Egwene’s dreams too. We don’t really know if they protected Perrin’s because he has the ability to talk to them or because he was in close proximity to them.

In Chapter 27 Shelter from the Storm

Perrin, Egwene and Elyas leave the Traveling People and continue on towards Caemlyn. There is a scene when Egwene must say goodbye to Aram and he tries to convince her to stay. What made me sad is that… they never actually met again. I wonder if they ever thought about each other ever again after their departure. Aram never learned that Egwene was going to Tar Valon to become Aes Sedai either probably (Or is this mentioned later? I will read and find out).

Until Chapter 43, everything has really been sort of straight forward, I didn’t really find much that has been surprising to me.

But in Chapter 43 – Decision and Apparitions,

Loial explains to everyone what the Ways are and how they were created. Some things I find strange include:

"When the last Aes Sedai left the stedding, they gave to the Elders a key, a talisman, that could be used for growing more."

It’s interesting to find out how did the Age of Legends Aes Sedai made the Ways. It’s probably some variation to the Traveling weave, but working for non-channeling people and Ogier. However, if there really was a way to “grow” more, why didn’t the female Aes Sedai reach out to the Ogier to find out how to grow more? Or maybe they didn’t know that the Ogier had that “talisman” and the Ogier never mentioned it.

"… some who came out had gone mad, raving about Machin Shin, the Black Wind."

Isn’t it a weird name? Black Wind? We find out later why wind, but why Black? How do the people affected by it know to call it this?

But even after Loial explained the dangers of the Ways, the group still goes through them. As they enter the ways and start moving, Rand starts noticing things around him:

The edges of their light caught other stoneworks, what appeared to be stonewalled bridges arcing off into the darkness, and gently sloping ramps, without railings of any kind, leading up and down. Between the bridges and the ramps ran a chest high balustrade, however, as though falling was a danger there at any rate. Plain white stone made the balustrade, in simple curves and rounds fitted together in complex patterns. Something about all of it seemed almost familiar to Rand, but he knew it had to be his imagination groping for anything familiar where everything was strange.

It’s funny, because I believe I noticed this in some of Rand’s dream descriptions in previous chapters, but I didn’t make much of it. Here though, I have the confirmation that Ba’alzamon indeed used the Ways’ layout when he pulled the boys into these dreams.

After they escape the Ways and are on their way to Fal Dara, Rand tries to convince Egwene and Nynaeve that they don’t need to come with them to the Blight. To which Nynaeve responds:

"I have little liking for any Aes Sedai, and this one least of all, I think."

To which I could only think… how many more Aes Sedai she will meet and how many of them will be WAY worse than Moiraine. If only Nynaeve knew what was waiting for her… 😀

On their way to the Blight later in Chapter 48 The Blight,

Rand notices that Perrin is not affected by the heat and the smells as the rest of them are.

Only Perrin, still in his coat, was breathing easily. Perrin and the Warder.
The Warder was not affected, of course, at least not that Rand could see, but to his surprise neither was Perrin.

We know from Perrin’s earlier thoughts that he wasn’t able to reach the emptiness of the Void like Rand does. We also find out later that Perrin has a strong sense of smell because of his bond to the wolves. But why isn’t he affected now? Is it just that he is not thinking about it so much, so he basically doesn’t notice it? It feels like there have been plans for Perrin’s development, which didn’t work out and were later forgotten.

"Better to cross the Mountains of Dhoom in full daylight, at noon, when the Dark One’s powers in this world are weakest."

These are Moiraine’s words later regarding the continuation of their journey. I haven’t noticed this line before and I don’t think it is ever mentioned again that the Dark one’s powers have a weak and strong point.

In Chapter 49 the group finally reaches the Eye of the World.

"This place,” said a deep voice from the trees, “is always where it is. All that changes is where those who need it are."

The Green Man greets them with this line and I cannot help wonder… did they really need to go into the Blight then? How DID this place work really?

Lastly, in the final Chapter – The Wheel Turns, Moiraine speaks with Lord Agelmar about the Horn of Valere.

"The Horn must be carried to Illian. It is there, if fresh battles threaten, that it must rally the forces of the Light."

This only strikes me as weird, because of the fact we’ve seen the horn blown in places different and very far from Illian. Why Illian? I know the Hunt for the Horn gathers in Illian, but it doesn’t seem reasonable for the Horn to be blown there. Maybe it’s a myth or a legend that says the Horn must be blown there and I don’t remember it currently.

And with this my reread of The Eye of the World ends. I enjoyed it thoroughly, went deeply in detail of some concepts and character descriptions by reading the book while listening to the audiobook. I hope everyone who has read so far enjoyed it too, maybe had some profound thoughts as I did. Comment below if there is anything you want to add.

Now, onto The Great Hunt!