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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

How much time will AMoL cover?


cloglord
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This topic has been adressed under many different threads, in defense of or in opposition to any number of other theories.  I wanted to start a thread that focused solely on the topic of how much time will be covered in AMoL, and what clues we can use to help us determine the scope of AMoL.  Since I started this thread, I'll start with my thoughts on this matter.  It will basically cover three different ways of looking at the plotlines of AMoL, what has already happened, what we know MUST happen, and what we think might happen.  First, what has already happened.

 

The single strongest clue that I can think of to tell us the minimum amount of time that AMoL will cover is the Epilouge to KoD's, and the fact that Tuon has made her journey from the border, back to Ebou Dar.  Since it seems fairly obvious that Furyk Karede does not trust Tuon's safety to other highrankingg members of the Seanchan Army, I.E. his exchange with Banner General Gamel Loune in h. 34 of KoD's, and the fact that Selucia does not trust her safety until they have returned to the Tarasin Palace,(KoD Ch 11,) It seems VERY unlikely that either of these individuals would have attempted to get Tuon back to Ebou Dar by either Raken or To'Raken.  This means that the most likely way for Tuon to return to Ebou Dar was by horse.

 

  Mat and Co. obviously took their time getting to the border, so the duration of that trip is not a good estimate of how quickly the journey could have been made.  The much better estimate is the time it took Furyk Karede to reach Tuon, once he started hunting for Tuon.  According to Steven Cooper's Timeline, it took 42 days for Furyk to make the trip to Tuon, so assuming the same precautions of remaining unnoticed remain in place it stands to reason that it would take another 42 days to return.  Therefore, if TG were to begin  on the day that Tuon returned to Ebou Dar, it would still be 42 days into AMoL.

 

Further there are some things that we KNOW must happen in AMoL.  For instance, there must be an attack on the white tower, Rand must shed his blood at Shayol Ghul, and Moraine ust be rescued.  All fo these things could take more or less time, but If we just go by the facts as they stand as of the end of KoD's, then it might help to try to establish a time frame.  Of the 3 examples above, we can only make estimates of one.  Rand could simply travel to Shayol Ghul at any time, and the Seanchan attack could happen at any time also.  However, as things stand at the end of KoD's, Mat is a signifigant distance from the Tower of Ghenji, and since he does not have the ability,(or the desire,) to travel using the OP, we should assume that he will make the trip with out the aid of a gateway.  I know that is not a popular position, but as has often been said, the simplest way is often the most likely.  I'll explain....

 

Mat has spent the better part of 2 books trying to avoid notice by anyone who may be looking for him.  Not only is he a skilled commander, capable of mauevering his troops to avoid notice, but he is personally able to avoid notice, as was mentioned by Moraine during the Mat's stay in the Stone of Tear.  Mat is good at avoiding detection.  In order for Mat to travel he must be found by a group with someone who is able to channel and can perform the traveling weave.  If someone is trying to find him purposefully, they must overcome MAt's ability to avoid detection, which makes it unlikely that he would be found, which makes the possibility of Mat Traveling to the Tower of Ghenji by way of the OP unlikely.

 

As many people have pointed out, Mat is in close proximity to both Perrin and Rand, and that Taveren pull could induce these groups to interscect.  While, I admit that this is very possible, it still has to overcome a major obstacle to  Mat using the OP to travel, Mat's distrust of Aes Sedai and his dislike for  the OP being used on him.  It is important to note, that the only 2 times that Mat has EVER skimmed or traveled it has been through a gateway that Rand produced.  It has been a very long time since he has even consented to being touched by the OP, and he has refused healing on numerous occasions.  He even spent weeks in bed healing his broken leg rather than be healed by those Aes Sedai Damane held in Ebou Dar.  I think that it would require a ggreat sense of urgency to induce Mat to travel by means of the OP, and if his sense of TG gives him such a sense of urgency, he would be induced first to attempt to reaquire the Horn of Valere.  Simply, if it was that urgent, he would not be making the trip to the tower of ghenji first, and if it weren't that urgent, he would not make the trip by means of the OP, especially considering the fact that he is currently downriver from the tower of ghenji, in the presence of the riverboat captain who first showed it to him.

 

For these reasons, I believe that Mat will make the trip by river.  According to Bale Domon in TEotW, at their current pace it was a 10 day boat trip, downriver to whitebridge from the tower of ghenji.  If you read the pages previous to this statement, you find that Domon was furious at the horrible speed that he was making.  He had his rowers rowing night and day, and yet the winds and currents seemed to conspire to make it the slowest trip downriver that could be.  Even still, he says that at THAT RATE it would be 10 days to Whitebridge.  In Ch 24 of TEotW, the Tower of Ghenji does not appear until the "Eastward shore had become flat grassland again,.."  By the worldmap in the EotW it would appear that the Tower of Ghenji would be at the western edge of the Carlain Grass.  According to my thouroughly unscientific eyeball, the distance from that boundary to Whitebridge is roughly equidistance to the distance between Mat and Whitebridge.  That would mean that even if you double the worst rate for a trip downriver to compensate for the fact that this trip would be upriver, it would only take 40 days to make the trip as a worst case scenario.  I would say that in the best case scenario it could take as little as 2 weeks to make the trip, a period of time well within the scope of time it would have taken Tuon to have made the return trip to Ebou Dar.

 

Of course there are things that we would like to see happen in the last book that would take some time to accomplish as well.  The white tower needs reunited, the black tower needs to be rend in fire, the Seanchan need to be allied with.  All of these things will take time.  As emminent as TG appears to be as of the end of KoD's it fools us into believing that TG may be close, but I simply don't believe that a timeline of weeks is sufficient to accomplish all that has been done, must be done, or should be done, to make the series work.  I mean how good will the last book be, if Lan only makes it as far as Kandor?  How would you feel if it took 2 months to rescue Faile and  the seanchan become Rand's allies overnight?  How cheap would Rand's quest for laughter and tears be if he only spends to nights sleeping rough in beggar's robes?  How long does it take to forge enough "Dragons" to make a difference?          Have all the trollocs for TG been hiding behind trees just waiting to jump out and yell "Boo!", or are they going to have to march from the blight?

 

I believe that it will, AT LEAST, be 40 days into AMoL before TG actually starts, but think it will likely be closer to 2 months.  TG itself might cover as long as a month, and barring a "19 years later, where are they now?" epilouge, the wrapup will be as short.  IMO AMoL will cover at least 3 months.

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???  It wasn't just a hop and a skip between Minas Tirith and the Black Gate.  It takes time for an army to march.  That's not even taking into account the time that the Urakai spent ravaging Rhohan, the battle at Helm's Deep, or the sacking of Orthanc, unless you don't count that as a part of the war?  No, LotR's wasn't wrapped up neatly in a few days, and hopefully neither will WoT.

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In large part, how long Tarmon Gai'don lasts will depend on how you define Tarmon Gai'don.  If Trolloc armies operating openly south of the Borderlands is your definition, then Tarmon Gai'don already began in the Two Rivers, and Perrin won the first part of it.  If the Forsaken taking over countries by stealth counts, then, again, it is already being fought.

 

If it is defined as a specific campaign or surge yet to begin, then until we know exactly what Trolloc armies have yet to emerge, and where, its impossible to say how long it will take.

 

Another alternative definition is the specific battle between Rand and Shai'tan.  In some sense this has already begun (and began even before Winternight).  There should, however, at some point be an escalation.  I don't think that will drag out for very long.  Unlike Tolkein, Jordan does not have to wait for his armies to march ... he can send Rand to Shayol Ghul with an army in literally a step.  Even the gathering of forces could be done very, very quickly with gateways.

 

I firmly believe that Rand has a plan, and that when the time comes, he will enact that plan with celerity.  Once it really starts hitting the fan, it shouldn't be more than a few days before its over.  Possibly even less.

 

Now, when it is over, will every Trolloc fall dead in its tracks?  I doubt it.  There will probably be cleanup and fallout for years to come.

 

So, a statement of how long Tarmon Gai'don will take is extremely relative and subjective, even taking the predictive part out of it.  Unless all the forces of Light and all the forces of Shadow gather in one place for an all-out winner-take-all brawl, then Tarmon Gai'don will remain more of a concept than an event.

 

All that said, I don't see the main events of AMoL taking more than, say, three months.  But the last chapter, and perhaps an epilogue, could cover a much more extensive period of time.

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I mostly agree with the time estimate Cloglord suggests--one to two months till Tarmon Gai'don is actually being fought, though we may see Trollocs beginning to move as early as the prologue. Altogether I suspect aMoL will cover between two and four months (depending on the character--not all characters were at the same time when KoD ended). I also suspect that the Epilogue may touch in as much as a couple of months following the end of the book, though not specifically a 'where are they now'. There will be a point and relevance to the epilogue... maybe in dealing with a member of the shadow that escaped--Moridin, or Alviarin. Maybe in dealing with whats happen with the Seanchan. A definate part will include Nynaeve and her widowless nature, to my mind. And her new 'Cadsuane-esque' status.

 

I also agree absolutely with Robert's comments about the fate of the Trolloc armies. They will be shattered, defeated, but there will still be battles going on with remnants for years to come.

 

 

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I don't think TG is a massive world wide battle between shadowspawn and men.  That should happen, but it will be a distraction from TG and not TG itself.  I think in order to defeat the DO Rand just needs to grab Mat and Perrin (and a few others...  Perhaps Alivia needs to be there) and head to SG to bitch slap the big baddie. 

 

The trolloc invasion will distract Rand and our other heroes into fighting a defensive war that doesn't really matter in the central conflict of the story.  It's probably not even a battle they can win without actually defeating the DO and completely healing the Pattern.

 

Once the Pattern is made whole again the war ends.  How, exactly, are Trollocs going to still be running around when the DO's prison is totally restored?  No more DO means no more true power right?  Even if that weren't the case I still think the death of Shadar Haran will cause massive casualties among the Trollocs.

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We've discussed this in another thread, but I wanted to add something to the mix. Arthur Pendragon's last battle took place at Camlaan, so it seems highly likely that a large battle will take place at Caemlyn. The Borderlanders are already to hand, plus the now united Andorans and possibly the Murandians. Heading north are Perrin and Mat, both with not inconsiderable forces. This places a large part of the forces of the Light in the vicinity of Caemlyn, a flashing beacon to any force of the Dark if there ever was one.

 

The question remains of transporting those Trolloc etc. hoards south. The Ways are the quickest and most practical for them, but how much has what Loial and Karldin done had any permanent disabling effect on these? If the Waygates around Caemlyn are out of action, that leaves travel by foot or ship. That is going to take at least a month, even running hard, so we have an immediate timelag there for AMoL to take up.

 

Yes, I agree - at least two months before things really get started.

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Hmmm, I didn't expect that particular can of worms to re-open itself here, but lets go ahead and adress this too.

I also agree that there will be a massive trolloc attack into Andor.  Considering that half of the borderlander forces, all of Andor's armies, Mat and Perrin's forces, the consolidated Murandians, are all in the general vicinity, I think that RJ has something like this very much in mind.  As for the manner in which such a trolloc horde could arrive, I'll simply reiterate my position in another thread.  I think that this horde will sneak in to Andor by way of the Aiel waste.  We know that the DO can manage to slip several hundred shadowspawn undetected as far south as a few days north of Rhuidean.  This feat took place, when the waste was still full of trained, deadly fighters.  Now that the armies of the Aiel are nowhere to be found, how much easier would it be for the Do's forces to overrun the Aiel and make their way across the spine of the world into Andor?  After all, only a remnant of a remnant will survive TG, there's still quite a few women, children, and blacksmiths on the other side of the dragonwall to be considered a remnant of a remnant.....

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if you read the fine print, the army of aiel that followed rand wasent anywere near their full streingth.  i think it was raurc told him that they would leave enuph behind to gaurd against any attack, so maby only 2 of three or maby 3 of 5 followed rand to the wet lands. if thats the case and you also fuiger that it was mostly only the wariors but anyone left behind excep gishan would fight, then there is still a considrible force laft in the waste.  not nessisarly enuff to stop a trolloc army, but enuff to slow them down, and probly get word out where they were going befor they got there at least.  i do agree that the waste is probly best area to sneek in from.  heres another idea though and it probly has been thought of befor but my tactical mind has been considering it for some time. 

sun su (sp) stated that to acheave victory it is best to hit the enemy where he is wekest, with as much force as you can bring to bere.  kind like how the gremans broke thrue the adans forest in early WWII.  i think all these gathering armies anre the forces of light gathering in one place where the good asha men can transport them to wherever it is that rand has decided to fight the trolloc armies, all at once.  concentrating your forces is best as an offencive plan, not defencive.  offencivly they give more of a punch. defencivly they are more suceptible to flanking moves, getting cut off from thier supplies, ect.  like what happend to the germans at stalingrad.  an entire army got surounded.  it had great offencive power but once it was concentrated and surounded it was only a matter of time for the russians to cut them to pices.

 

 

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if you read the fine print, the army of aiel that followed rand wasent anywere near their full streingth.

 

Could you tell me where to find this fine print?  I don't remember it.  As for the rest, remember that the Aiel in the waste are fairly isolated from one another, even within the clan, they are divided into their seperate holds.  Such a setup would make it hard to reach other holds with the news.  Considering the infighting between clans, I think there would be even more gaps in communicatino between clans.  It is one thing to know that the Caracarn has united you, it is something different in practice.

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  • 2 years later...
I mostly agree with the time estimate Cloglord suggests--one to two months till Tarmon Gai'don is actually being fought, though we may see Trollocs beginning to move as early as the prologue. Altogether I suspect aMoL will cover between two and four months (depending on the character--not all characters were at the same time when KoD ended).

 

Yup

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I'll just repeat what I said before.  If I were writing the books -

 

Book 12 would cover a few weeks.

Book 13 would cover a few days.

Book 14 would cover a few to several hours.

 

I think we've reached the point where events start tripping over each other as we accelerate toward the conclusion.

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