Fantasy Book Club Series discussion

The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time, #1)
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The Wheel of Time > EYE of the WORLD - Finished ***SPOILERS***

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message 1: by Jon, What's a WoT? (last edited Apr 16, 2012 10:44AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jon (jonmoss) | 706 comments Mod
This thread opened for those of you who finished early or have already read The Eye of the World multiple times. Spoil away!

I'm going to post some links here to other resources that might be of interest to you.

Tor's Wheel of Time Reread page: Part 1 of the Eye of the World

Brandon Sanderson's Wheel of Time Musings on the Eye of the World

Warning: Spoilers only for this first novel. Any other parts of the series, please hide them via the mark spoilers coding.


message 2: by Lindsey (new) - added it

Lindsey | 59 comments Thanks for posting this early, Jon. It's hard to remember where everything happened in the books since I'm not actively re-reading this one.

The thing that always sticks out to me from this book is Rand defeating two Forsaken. Two! With absolutely no training. When I first read this book, I just figured he would defeat one per book until #12, where he would defeat the Dark One. Clearly, I had spent more time playing video games than reading fantasy at that point! Which must also be why the whole Green Man scenario reminded me of a Tom Bombadil/Great Deku Tree mashup.

In any case, the improbability of this event almost made me stop reading. Thankfully, Moraine's character pulled me onward.

As a side note, I know there are a lot of people here who, like me, have read most or all of the existing series. Is anyone else here interested in discussing this book's place in the series? The occasional hidden spoiler is easy to mark but hiding that discussion behind spoiler markers would be cumbersome. Would it possible to start a thread for that?


message 3: by Jon, What's a WoT? (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jon (jonmoss) | 706 comments Mod
Lindsey wrote: "As a side note, I know there are a lot of people here who, like me, have read most or all of the existing series. Is anyone else here interested in discussing this book's place in the series? The occasional hidden spoiler is easy to mark but hiding that discussion behind spoiler markers would be cumbersome. Would it possible to start a thread for that? "

Yes, I'll create a thread to discuss the entire series. I should have done that earlier. :)


Terry Simpson | 5 comments Being bothered by Rand doing that to me is akin to being bothered by Tolkien's use of "farm boy saves the world". At that time, much of this wasn't as big a cliche or a Deus Ex Machina as every one would rip it for being. I tend to look at whatever books I read in the context of the years they were written. Try reading the immense backstory that LOTR begins with. No action, just gobs of history about Hobbits.

In ways, even now I could give RJ an easy pass for this. You say he had absolutely no training, but in fact, he was Lews Therin incarnate, the man inhabited his head. A man who was one of if not THE most powerful male Aes Sedai. Rand later went on to do things pulled solely from Lews Therin without him actually knowing exactly how.


Heidi | 71 comments Lindsey - the Green Man killed one Forsaken, Rand killed the other using the power in the Eye of the World. It still seems like Rand got REALLY lucky, but he did have a lot of help.


message 6: by Lindsey (new) - added it

Lindsey | 59 comments My apologies, Heidi, you are correct. Rand fights them both but the Green Man kills one and Rand the other. I re-read this last year but the details sometimes escape me. Hoping to pick back up with book #2 next month.

Maybe I should clarify my objection. It wasn't that I didn't think Rand could do this (many a beginner surprises a trained person through sheer luck/randomness and it's already obvious at this point that Rand is more powerful than he knows) but rather that I thought Jordan got rid of two major bad guy characters way too early and easily, before we even really knew how evil/powerful they were. It's hard to even know if what Rand did here is exceptional. I started reading this series around when book 10 came out and it was obvious to me as a reader that this trend couldn't continue if the series was supposed to last 12 books (assuming at that point that Rand got more powerful/skilled, does he start killing 3 or 4 each book? It seemed unsustainable).

All earlier kidding about video game versus reading time aside, I consider myself reasonably well read in fantasy and I still feel that it was a Deus Ex Machina moment. I think Jordan got much better at this eventually but it's still weird that these two Forsaken, who haven't really had anything to do with the plot up to this point, show up and then get obliterated, as though the author needed a big battle to finish the book and so threw in these two characters.

Overall, I feel like this is a weak start to a series because of its obvious parallels to other fantasy works, particularly LOTR, and because of how it ends. However, I really admire how much planning Jordan had already done and the fact that his characters are really consistent throughout. And again, Moraine, one of the coolest characters in fantasy (IMO).


Leslie (LeslieHW) @Terry and others: I've read this book twice and yet I can't seem to remember whether the reader is strongly aware of the presence that Lews Therin has in Rand's mind by the close of The EoTW. (As with many series' I get a bit cloudy about the details of what happens when and where.) Great books though. Quite my favorite series' so far.


message 8: by Heidi (last edited Apr 17, 2012 09:23AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Heidi | 71 comments Lindsey wrote: "I thought Jordan got rid of two major bad guy characters way too early and easily, before we even really knew how evil/powerful they were. It's hard to even know if what Rand did here is exceptional."

Good point, I agree with this. We did need some kind of event to make us realise that Rand can channel and he's really powerful, but we never really find out much about those 2 Forsaken and they die so quickly it makes them look kind of weak.


Dana | 27 comments Heidi wrote: "Lindsey wrote: "I thought Jordan got rid of two major bad guy characters way too early and easily, before we even really knew how evil/powerful they were. It's hard to even know if what Rand did he..."

I didn't get that sense at all when I first read the book. You spend the whole book hearing how horrible the forsaken are, and how their names are used to frighten children. When they suddenly show up at the end of the book, for me it was a huge surprise to know that the Forsaken are loose already. The Green man killed one, but he died to do it. Moiraine tried to attack, and when she throws everything she has at Aginor, it doesn't even scratch him. At this point, Moiraine is kind of the base line for what power can do, so when she is brushed aside so easily it makes it obvious that they are out of their league. Even Rand just tries to run away instead of fighting. It's pure luck that he's able to survive. That and Aginor being more focused on stealing the power from the eye for himself rather than killing Rand.


Suzanne | 169 comments I enjoyed the book, but not as much as when I read it years ago - I think that I just got annoyed this time by the whole whiny "why me?" attitudes of the boys. However, I need to remember they ARE boys, and I'm hoping they show some maturity gained as we continue with the series.

I love the tinkers - I think their way of life is very interesting!


message 11: by Matt (new) - rated it 3 stars

Matt (kaiser19) I have never read any Robert Jordan books before, despite having been told ever since he passed away that I would greatly enjoy this series. Upon reading it, I was struck by how easily I was able to pick up on the characters and political factions and the basic situation in the "world" at large. There was a sense of familiarity in how the book progressed, like I had read it before. It was as if I had seen every scene before somewhere else. I would chalk this book up as an instance when using tropes can work extremely well. On the whole, it was quite a pleasant book.

Hopefully in the next one he goes beyond these tropes and we get to read something that doesn't feel familiar, now that we have a sense of the world and the characters. Looking forward to next month!


message 12: by Alex (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alex | 104 comments Some of his descriptions really don't make much sense but I liked the story overall. It was a little heavy on travel scenes. Seems like every couple of chapters Rand and Mat ran into a darkfiend or fade at an inn which started getting repetitive.

I'm still not too sure how the wheel works. The description says memories turn to legends and then myths before they get forgotten altogether. The Age of Legends came before the breaking of the world. Has everything since then been one age or did certain things like Arthur Hawking break up a few ages in between?

The nightmares make it sound like this has all happened many times before and so does the prophecy about the dragon reborn breaking the world again but that could be completely wrong.


message 13: by Dana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dana | 27 comments Alex wrote: "Has everything since then been one age or did certain things like Arthur Hawking break up a few ages in between?"

The Age of Legends was the Second Age. The breaking of the world marked the end of the Second Age, and everything since then has been in the Third Age.


Isaac Martinez | 60 comments As far as the ages and timelines, the later books have indexes at the end of them much Tolkien did which was makes trying to figure things out MUCH easier.

I took Moraine as a typical wizard/guide. Granted she plays a pivotal role later but most of the actions she takes are shades of Gandalf. I do enjoy how Jordan uses her as a starting and base point for Rand's guilt in regards to the deaths of women.

On the two forsaken at the end. You realize in the later books that those two were some of the weak links in terms of power. Granted they're still able to overpower Moraine, but that was because she was not prepared. It didn't surprise me to see Rand killing one. Being the MOST powerful Ta'veren of the 3, the pattern bends itself to his needs or rather the prophecy's needs, and the prophecy said he had to live to Tormon Gaidon so it's no wonder that he's able to do what he does.

I do agree though, that Jordan seems to have thrown them in just to give Rand targets for the inevitable bad guy ass kicking that has to end each book, but at the same time you get to see just how powerful just these two of the forsaken are and realize the obstacles he's facing in trying to take down all 12 and the dark one himself.


Margot (freezebaby) | 94 comments I would guess that, later on down the road, even Jordan probably regretted killing off two Forsaken in the very first book when he (view spoiler).

Matt, besides the influence of LoTR, yours and others comments about EoTW being very "typical" fantasy make me wonder how much of that is Jordan being influenced versus him being the influence. WoT has been hugely influential in the genre and certainly most fantasy written in the last decade and a half has been influenced by it.


message 16: by Alex (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alex | 104 comments Margot wrote: "I would guess that, later on down the road, even Jordan probably regretted killing off two Forsaken in the very first book when he [spoilers removed].

Matt, besides the influence of LoTR, yours an..."


I don't know a whole lot about fantasy in general and I've only read the first 1.75 books in the series so far but there's a lot of things I see that I recognize from A Song of Ice & Fire which didn't even get its first book published until 5 years later.


Kathi | 148 comments I finished this book this afternoon and, first time reader that I am, found it mostly satisfying. I've read enough criticism and praise over the years that my expectations were not extremely high, and I found myself liking it more than I expected. I think the characters have developed adequately.

I found the climax a bit much but not unreasonable given the Green Man's and Moiraine's actions in slaying one Forsaken and weakening the other before Rand finishes him off.

Loial, the Ogier, and Moiraine are probably two of my favorite characters, although I also liked several of the secondary characters who actually are pretty central to things, like Elyas and Thom.

Looking forward to the next book but won't be getting to it right away.


Helen | 580 comments Finished today, I enjoyed it. Thought the characters were developed well enough to make them interesting. Enjoyed the story although my friend would describe it as 'another fantasy where they wander round'. Interested to find out more about Perrin and the wolves, Rand's family tree and whether we remeet Thom.


Margot (freezebaby) | 94 comments Helen wrote: "...Enjoyed the story although my friend would describe it as 'another fantasy where they wander around'..."

Haha! I like your friend's description of it. The next few have even more wandering around.


Helen | 580 comments She summed LoTR as wandering across the country aimlessly. I'll be reading them. I'm behind but this week is the last of the school year and then I have a few weeks of reading planned!


Marilyn | 9 comments Leslie wrote: "@Terry and others: I've read this book twice and yet I can't seem to remember whether the reader is strongly aware of the presence that Lews Therin has in Rand's mind by the close of The EoTW. (A..."


Marilyn | 9 comments Leslie, I just finished the first book and had no idea about the voice in Rand's head so I think this surfaces in a later book. Perhaps you could hide your information as a spoiler for any other new readers of this series. I had wondered about it but wasn't sure of the answer.


Helen | 580 comments I noticed a few confusing points in chapter threads so avoided them.


Alicia | 11 comments I just finished this book and also had no idea about Lews Therin, although that causes things to make a little more sense. I understand he could use the true power if he needed it enough, but I thought it strange that he could do more against the Forsaken than could Moiraine. And it doesn't make any sense that the Dark One is dead when the series goes on for so much longer, so there must be something more to that.

I was a little bit disappointed that we didn't see what became of Thom by the end, but I'm also excited at the prospect to learn more of Rand's origins and how Mat and Perrin fits into things later on.


Christina  | 6 comments Here are my thoughts. I think that the ending was a bit too easy for Rand. I can't explain it, but I just expected it to be harder for him. I also can't believe how Rand assumes that he has killed the Dark One at the end of this book and that everything is over. He was never that stupid to think that it would be that easy.

I think there were some spots that were very slow, and I think there were some spots that had a lot of action in them. I can say that I nearly didn't go back to the book after all the talking in Caimlyn, and all the traveling on the road to Caimlyn.

I would have liked to know more about the sword, and what that means. I don't know if Rand's dad earned the sword or bought it, I don't think it really says in this book.

I also would have liked to see if Thom had died or not, and to learn more about the artifacts. I guess I'll have to read the next book in the series to figure out the answers though.

I think I have a hard time figuring out how he can turn this story into 15 books. I doesn't seem like (from here) that the story should take that long. I ended up and gave it 4 stars. I couldn't give it 5 because there were some really slow parts. Otherwise, very good.


Gleeson_hee | 1 comments Some parts were great, especially when Ba'alzamon showed up in Rand, Mat, and Perrin's dreams, wondering what was his plan and what is he really wants to do with them. Poor Morraine, she seems like a really good Aes Sedai, eventhough everyone seems to despise her at first every move she made.
I've had only read the first book, i guess i have a pretty long journey to finished another 14 but i think it's fine because RJ is a great story teller. Eventhough some parts of this book is quite a boring plot, but he can keep it interesting by his excellent writing.
Can't wait to see the next book.


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