Welcome Everyone! Anya (On Starships and Dragonwings) and I are continuing our madness in reading The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I hope all have enjoyed the beginning of Book 2 of the series. If you are just hearing about this, you are most welcome to join in the fun. Over here is the The Schedule and also you can sign up to receive the discussion questions a few days a head of time.
What follows are discussion questions for the Prologue through the end of Chapter 6, so spoilers abound! Also, if you put together a blog post, include the link in the comments and I will make a list so everyone can jump around visiting each other’s sites.
1) That prologue was pretty intense. If you haven’t read the book/don’t remember, any wild guesses as to who all these spooky characters are? If you know, feel free to make snarky comments.
Gosh. I have totally forgotten this book. I don’t know who those folks are, but they obviously love masquerades. There were 2 Aes Sedai, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more than 2 of the Black Ajah lurking some place. Wouldn’t it be something is Eliada was one of them? Placed beside the Queen’s side, she could do so much damage at the right moment. On the other hand, she might turn out to be a very grumpy good guy with a control freak attitude.
Time will tell, right?
2) Hehe! What do you think of all of Rand’s attempts to escape from the keep?
Juvenile! Really, he waited until the last moment, and then his attempts were half-hearted at first, then grew more desperate, at which point his higher mental functions went out the window. I am glad that Egwene finally sat on him and forced some reason into his thick skull. Alas, I was dismayed at how he lashed out at his friends, especially Loial.
3) What do you make of Egwene’s visits to the dungeon and to specifically visit Padan Fain?
Some might say I have a harsh view of the world, but I have to ask why is Padan Fain still drawing breath? Should this guy not be dead? If he was captured and incarcerated in Two Rivers, yes I can see how they might keep him alive, hoping he would reform. But Lord Agelmar, Moiraine, and Lan have seen the broader, harsher world. So, at the least I would expect there would be a zero visitor without written approval rule.
With that said, I can see Egwene with her soft, yet practical, heart believing she could draw some goodness out of Padan Fain. Too bad that looks like her efforts were misplaced.
4) We have a shift in point of view pretty quickly in this book (as opposed to The Eye of the World). Has your view of Moiraine altered any by riding around in her head?
Wow! Moiraine has friends in high places! I am very excited that we are going to be seeing things from other peoples’ POV. Rand’s head is interesting, but I think I’ll enjoy 1st person from the other characters quite a bit. I especially want to ride around in Nynaeve’s head for a while and listen to her acerbic remarks first hand.
5) We finally get to meet some more Aes Sedai – in force. What are your impressions?
Quite a variety of philosophies there. I am surprised that the Red Ajah have so little use for males – replaceable breeding stock, soldiers, etc. We got some feminine chauvinism going on there, which is bound to make things very interesting for our characters and amusing for the readers. I am looking forward to their reactions in the next few chapters. All these big tough warriors to protect the keep and women – and yet the trollocs made their way in side.
6) Trollocs! Any guesses as to how they got in? Anyone else amused that the overall atmosphere is abruptly jarred by the unexpected appearance of Trollocs in both The Eye of the World and The Great Hunt?
I was totally not expecting trollocs in the keep! Indeed, this was a WTF moment for me. As they discussed towards the end of Chapter 6, someone must have let them in. Still, we have some interesting suspects. Perhaps Padan Fain escaped to let them out. Perhaps a single myrrdraal got in and wreaked a little havoc before letting them in. Perhaps there is a Black Ajah Aes Sedai running loose. I doubt it was any of Agelmar’s men.
Yes, I am highly amused at the parallel with The Eye of the World already. Trollocs at Tow Rivers, trollocs at the keep, who knows where they will pop up next? If the story arc follows the same as in Book 1, we will see the Two Rivers folk leaving with Moiraine and Lan very shortly, encountering various hazards along the way, eventually getting separated, etc. We shall see if that turns out to be so.
OK, that whole bit about only Moiraine, Lan, Egwene, and Nynaeve know what he really is seems a little silly. I mean both Mat and Perrin have shared in the dreams. They must have some inkling. Is Rand fooling himself? Have these boys really not had a chit chat about all that over a pint and a smoke?
What Other Folks Said: