The Eye of the World Read Along Part VII

eyeoftheworldbannerHello everyone. Welcome back for Part VII of the read along, which covers Chapters 41-47. Next week is our final week, which Anya (On Starships and Dragonwings) will be hosting. We’ll be throwing up an announcement post for The Great Hunt (Book 2) read along sometime this coming week. Right now we are leaning towards a 1 week break in between Books 1 & 2 as Anya is still awaiting her book in the mail, and my man desperately wants to follow our silliness with his audio version, which he is also still awaiting.

Anyway, for this week please put your blog link in the comments so that we can all hop around and see & discuss each other’s answers. Below are my snarky, occasionally insightful, mostly irreverent answers. Do I need to say that there will be spoilers roaming out in the open and hidden in every crack from here on forward?

1) Out of all the minor characters we have come across so far, Lamgwin and his body guarding (of inn and cats) has made me laugh the most. I do hope he gets swept up into things for a bigger piece. Who has been your favorite or most interesting minor character so far?

Lamgwin made me laugh with his comment about cats recovering quickly, even when someone has attempted to shove them in a sack. My kitty Pico about two years ago was helping me hang clothes in the closet by playing with the plastic coat hangers on the bed. While my back was turned to the closet, he started hissing and screaming and thrashing around and at first I couldn’t tell what the issue was. But then it became apparent that he had a hanger, the hook end, caught in his mouth. Eventually I got him free by holding the hangar still and he unhooked it from inside his mouth and ran and hid. I found him behind the water heater and coaxed him out. But to this day, he hates plastic coat hangars. His ‘recovery’ is to avoid them like you would avoid a rabid dog.

2) Hooray! The reunion has finally happened, and the only stain is Mat and his dagger. How do you think Mat’s long-term relationship with his dagger will affect things?

Mat really stepped in it with that dagger! I think this definitely makes Mat reliant on Moiraine or another friendly Aes Sedai to maintain his emotional balance. Also, from here until Mat is freed from the dagger, if he speaks his suspicions of others, his friends may or may not trust his judgement, believing it to be clouded by the malevolent influence of the dagger. For us readers, it will makes things all kinds of interesting.

3) Finally, on page 641 (of my book anyway), the boys break and start to tell all to Moiraine. Do you think the Two Rivers folk will trust Moiraine with things more easily in the future? Why didn’t Moiraine strangle the boys there and then (I know I would have!)?

I really must marvel at Moiraine’s self control – and Lan’s too, for he surely would have helped the boys piece things together or known the significance if they had confided in him. I can see the boys and Egwene trusting Moiraine and Lan more, especially since neither of them immediately beheaded Rand, Mat, and Perrin upon hearing of their dreams. Nynaeve holds little trust in anyone, unless she has deemed them harmless or good hearted (like her relationship with Egwene). So I expect she will keep challenging Moiraine especially.

Pico in his basket, his nap time interrupted.

Pico in his basket, his nap time interrupted.

4) The party kicks around several theories about the Waygates. Which was your favorite, or do you have one of your own? How about those things that lurk in the Waygates?

With the Waygates, the reader really gets a sense of what the male Aes Sedai were once capable of, working together with so much power. As for the corruption of them, the Ogier tie in, and the things that lurk within (like that evil wind), there’s plenty of room for Robert Jordan to explore. I am so glad that Loial got to go along, and that he played an essential role. While looking back, it may seem a little convenient, but Jordan built Loial into the plot line several chapters back, and also gave the Waygates a past, so the solution feels very plausible to me as a reader.

5) This section introduces the knowledge of the Green Man. How do you think he will measure up to your cultural knowledge of the legend of the Green Man?

I read this like 15 years ago and totally forgot about the Green Man, so I was not expecting this legend of legends to be pulled in. In many ways, he is a force of nature, or nature itself, so I am very excited to see what Jordan does with him. Of course, the Green Man of legend is not always kind to humans, but is rather a wild child of nature. So will this deity help rand and crew?

6) The Lord of Fal Dara, Agelmar, seems to have some previous business with Moiraine and Lan, Lord of the the Seven Towers. What do you think their collective past dealings have been?

Whatever these three faced, they did so together, because there is mutual respect all around. I am deeply curious about Lan past now and the mention of the Golden Crane. With Lord Agelmar, we have the introduction of a new culture, a warrior culture. So I am guessing that Agelmar got to see Moiraine and Lan in battle, probably joined, and may have even been rescued by them. Still, it would be a tale worth hearing (or reading).

Other Tidbits:

Padan Fain! What a deranged and evil individual. I am glad we have more definitive info from him. However, I really felt there was a very Gollum-esque quality to him. Anyone else, or just me?

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16 thoughts on “The Eye of the World Read Along Part VII

  1. Eivind Fonn says:

    2. This dagger, man. This damn dagger. The only good thing I can say about it is that it’s the spark, the first in a chain of events that eventually turn Mat’s character into… well, the Mat that the whole fandom knows. The road there is long and one of the least obvious things in the series (which says a lot).

    3. It’s the first step in the right direction, but trust with Aes Sedai (even if they are Moiraine) does not come easily. The whole Rand/Moiraine interaction is one of the most interesting in the whole series, and you’ll enjoy seeing it develop I hope.

    4. It was more than a little convenient I think, but to be fair, the series is 14 books long, and things are being set up not only for the conclusion of this book, but they will also impact things several books from now. (I’m speaking generally here, not about The Ways specifically.)

    5. I didn’t know about a “real” Green Man, that’s interesting. This ties together with the comment I posted a few weeks back where I quoted a listing by Thom of some legends from what he presumed was the First Age (i.e. the age before the Age of Legends). Any idea what I’m after?

    6. So we now know that Lan is the exiled king of an old Borderland nation. This is might be how Agelmar knows him. Lan is somewhat of a legendary figure in this region of the world, one might imagine.

    As for Moiraine, well, that’s anybody’s guess at this point.

    Can’t wait for The Great Hunt! It’s my favourite of all 14. Please do consider ordering things sooner next time. ;-)

    • nrlymrtl says:

      Robert Jordan really does pull in several old world legends, like Artur Hawkwing, now the Green Man, and Book 2 (The Great Hunt) also brings up images of old Celtic myths. Perhaps our Two Rivers folks will be playing parts in these old myths – which keep happening again and again as the wheel turns?

      • Eivind Fonn says:

        The thing is, there are hints that Rand’s world is actually ours and that we are living in the First Age. Some of the stories Thom mentions early in the book are seemingly distorted versions of real events (e.g. Elsbet, the Queen of All = Queen Elizabeth I, and the giants Mosk and Merk, with lances of fire that reach around the world clearly allude to the cold war). The others are less obvious, and there are other hints scattered across the series that I won’t mention (yet, haha).

        This creates interesting questions. If Rand indeed lives in the distant future, there must have been a time between now and then when the One Power was discovered, and since WoT history is cyclical (in the big picture, anyway), there must be a time between Rand’s Age and now when access to the One Power was lost.

        • nrlymrtl says:

          I hadn’t even thought of that…. but now that you mention it I do have some vague memories of the next 2 books….and I won’t say anything now for fear of spoilers. But we will certainly enjoy chatting about them when we get there.

    • suecccp says:

      2. It’s hard to imagine anything good coming from that dagger, but you give me hope that we will see it!

      4. I think that rather than seeing Loial and the Ways as convenient, we need to remember that the boys are all Ta’veren and so are exerting a huge influence on all the lives around them as they act as a major focus for the Pattern. We see the same kind of coincidences in their meetings with Thom, Elias and the Tinkers . . . and Rand’s accidental introduction to the court of Caemlyn . . .

  2. Liesel says:

    Gollum’s a good comparison for Fain. I really loved the way Jordan did that. Generally, telling big chunks of plot is a no-no for a writer, and we hear it all second hand through Moiraine. We didn’t see it happening from Fain’s POV and we didn’t even get to see Moiraine interrogate him. Yet, it’s effectively told. You get a great sense of how twisted Fain is, like you say, and totally see, back through the story, how each thing that happened makes more sense. Great writing. Right there. :D
    My Answers

    • nrlymrtl says:

      The final scenes talking to and about Padan Fain were intense without being gory. We know he was interrogated, and that it was probably not a gentle Vulcan mind-meld kind of thing, but we don’t get the details. Yet we don’t need them because Moiraine simply wanting to wash after chatting with our demented friend gets the point across.

      • suecccp says:

        This strikes me as a good example of that old adage that the audience can imagine something far worse than the artist can convey. Not knowing the exact details makes us feel much more uneasy about what actually happened and also preserves some of Moiraine’s mystery.

  3. 1. Aw, poor kitty! Really, it’s his own fault though, eating a hangar, seriously??

    Padan Fain definitely felt Gollum-y, especially with the split personality and talking to himself… though he is more absolute evil….

    My post

    • nrlymrtl says:

      Sometimes I think each cat is an idiot in their own way. But eating a hangar was a first for me. His brother likes dental floss.

      Padan Fain is definitely not cuddly cute like Gollum. In comparing the 2, I feel that Gollum was suckered in to coveting and then serving the ring, while Padan Fain made a conscious choice again and again to serve the Dark One.

  4. suecccp says:

    Here are my belated answers . . . I’ll be back tomorrow to add my comments . . . blast that Superbowl party last night! :D

  5. suecccp says:

    1. One of our horde got the handle of a plastic bag around her neck a few days ago: much racing around the house like Supercat with the bag chasing her! :D

    3. “Nynaeve holds little trust . . .” I think that might be a slight understatement! :D

    6. Lan = Aragorn in many ways, although it appears that his kingdom has been totally destroyed, which will make it rather difficult for him to be declared King . . .

    I like your analogy of Fain to Gollum. I get the impression that Fain began as a fairly low level Darkfriend, but has now been elevated and changed so that he can track the boys. There does also seem to be a ‘possessed’ quality to him or a split personality . . . and he did go through Shadar Logath, so goodness knows what has happened to his mind.

    • nrlymrtl says:

      I also see Lan as an Aragorn character too. It will be interesting to see how Lan is used for the rest of the series and how closely his trials and reward match Aragorn’s.

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