The Wheel of Time Book Club: Chapters 33 – 53 (End of Book 1)

by Courtney Martin

The end is here! This was a massive set of chapters, but there was so much action happening that there was no good place to stop. The last 20 chapters of The Eye of the World are quite the rollercoaster. New important friends are made, the Dark One is gaining power, and astonishing truths are learned.

Instead of a brief overview of remaining chapters, this article will be more of an insight and commentary on the story. So many significant things happen in these chapters so no spoilers here for first time readers!


New Characters/Friends

Rand befriends the Daughter Heir (princess) of Andor – Elayne Trakand, and her brother Gawyn, the Prince of Andor. They are around the same age as Rand, friendly, and will become very important as the series continues. Descriptions of them are on pages 595-600. He also meets their older half-brother Galad. Introducing official royalty into the plot is a huge step, and could give some indication that Mr. Jordan wanted to grow the significance of some characters (i.e. Rand al’Thor). Not only does Rand manage to literally fall into the palace life, he even gets to meet the Queen of Andor herself, Morgase! This is a lot for a country bumpkin to take in, not to mention highly unlikely to happen to anyone let alone a nobody from the Two Rivers. While meeting the Queen, Rand also is introduced to the Queen’s bodyguard Gareth Bryne, and the Queen’s Aes Sedai assistant Elaida. Again, more important characters to note. Elaida is not a friendly Aes Sedai like Moiraine. Mr. Jordan is providing more details on Aes Sedai and how they are not all alike. He is building the depth of his story, and future story, as well as the varying character factions.

One huge (literally) new character introduced in these chapters is Loial. Loial is a very large, very friendly Ogier. This is the first non-human friend that Rand meets. Loial is humanoid, with big tufted ears, a large nose and eyes, and sticks out in a crowd for sure. Page 547 introduces Loial and the ogiers. Another layer of characters and their background that will become increasingly important to the Wheel of Time.

As the threads of the characters (most notably of Rand, Mat, and Perrin) become interweaved, and more and more strange and unusual things happen to them, the reader can start to see the three boys are really something special. Moiraine first hinted this when she arrived in the Two Rivers, and that they are being pursued by the Dark One and his forces. But now things are really coming together. All of the Two Rivers folk, plus Moiraine and Lan, are able to find each other in the city of Caemlyn. All three Two Rivers boys seem to meet important people on their journeys. Over and over they are brought out of danger or fend off Darkfriends and Trollocs. Loial tells Rand and his friends they are ta’veren. Loial explains the concept: ta’veren influence life threads from the Pattern to cause change, and the destinies of ta’veren themselves are more controlled by the Wheel of Time. So essentially Rand, Mat, and Perrin influence everything around them without even trying! The Wheel uses them to correct itself and the Pattern. Again, Mr. Jordan is getting very in depth with the story and background, and is making it known to the reader that the three main protagonists will continually cause action throughout the series.

Dreams and Escape

Rand, Mat, and Perrin continue to have dreams that feature the Dark One himself, Ba’alzamon. In the dreams the Dark One is finally able to figure out which boys are who, and he knows what city they are in. Moiraine finds out about the dreams and the entire group must flee Caemlyn. Before leaving, the three boys tell Moiraine about needing to go to the Eye of the World. Although they are unsure of the reasons, Moiraine understands and knows why. The city is surrounded by evil forces though, and there is but one way to escape – the Ways. Here, being ta’veren and befriending Loial come into play. The Ways are one of the best parts of this book, very creepy and suspensful. Check out pages 646 to 667 for an in depth description of the Ways, and Chapter 45 gives a chilling, heart-pounding adventure for the group going through the Ways.

Fal Dara and The Blight

Throughout the book it is noted that winter is staying long, trees are not green, crops are dying, and it is overall gloomy weather. This pertains to the Dark One slowly influencing the world. In order to see the full power of his effect on weather and land, one would go to the Blight. A terrible place, devoid of green life, only rotten vegetation survives and the weather is exceedingly dry and hot. And this is the place the group must venture to in order to get to the Eye of the World. As trollocs and other evil beings live in the Blight, there are groups of warriors and guardian cities along the Blight’s border. Fal Dara is one such place, and it is here Moiraine and her group rest and ready themselves for the next phase of their journey. It is also here that Lan’s past, and secrets, are finally revealed! Lan is not just a Warder. Lan is actually: al’Lan Mandragoran, Lord of the Seven Towers, Lord of the Lakes, and true Blade of Malkier. Lan is royalty, heir and King to the Seven Towers. But his city was is destroyed by the Blight. Now he is a Warder. Chapters 46-47 give Lan’s full history.

The group enters the Blight (Chapter 48). Here is where things get even more intense and interesting as they make their way to the Eye of the World. There was always something between Lan and Nynaeve as the book progressed, but now it finally comes to a head. They are secretly in love! This is vitally important to the series, and more will come of it later on.

The Green Man and the Eye of the World

Eventually the group finds the Green Man, guardian of the Eye of the World. He has a safe land, free from the Blight. Here Mr. Jordan really touches upon the influence of Tolkien. Chapters 49 and 50 detail the Green Man, his past, and what the Eye of the World is. The Eye is actually a vast pool of the True Source, untainted by the madness from the male Aes Sedai. Upon entering this area and seeing the Eye, two of the Dark One’s minions (the Forsaken) catch up with the group. Moiraine faces them in battle, a battle she cannot win. The group scatters, and Rand is left alone. A new dream envelopes him, but it’s not just a dream. Rand faces down the two Forsaken, destroying them. Then he faces Ba’alzamon himself, and does him an immense amount of harm. But Rand does not kill him. The last few chapters of this book set up what is to being a common thread in the series—Rand facing many of the Forsaken and Ba’alzamon. For, as Rand soon learns, as does Moiraine, he is special. He’s ta’veren, he doesn’t look like the other Two Rivers inhabitants, he doesn’t really know his real family, and….he can channel the Source. He’s can use the One Power. He is The Dragon Reborn.

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