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When did the Third Age begin?


marcbreault
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When did the 3rd Age begin?  Was it at the breaking, or is the Ae of Legends part of the Third Age?  I know Mr. Jordan had appendecies and calendars in some of his books, but I mostly rely on the audio books because of my poor vision and these don't include those all the time.  I know there is a calendar based on AB (after the breaking) and I think there is a New Era calendar too, but I'm not sure when the third age actually starts.  My believe is the Age of Legends was the 2nd Age and it ended when the War of Power did, and the third age began with the breaking.  What are your thoughts?

 

It would also be interesting as a side note, to know whether Mr. Jordan mapped out the basics of each age, even though the series only concerns itself with the third age.  usually when you design a scheme like that, you map the whole thing out just to be complete. 

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The standard interpretation is that the Age of Legends was indeed the Second Age, and that the Third Age refers to the period after the Breaking, with the Breaking being a blurry period that fits in neither Age.

 

Robert, wherever he is these days, had a different theory--and as with most things Robert suggested it was well backed up. He suggested that the Age of Legends was the first half of the Third Age, and that the sealing of the bore forestalled an ending that should have occurred long since. I don't really agree with him, but i do remember he had a well sustained argument for it... hopefully he'll come back from hiatus soon and let us know.

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Robert's theory was based on no-one ever referring to the AoL as the 2nd Age - either in the books or RJ in interviews, as well as a remark by Herid Fel in LoC 18, about the prison being whole by the time the Third Age comes around again. Just in case you're interested.

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I would disagree with one minor change...the 3rd Age began the moment of the Sealing and Counterstrike...just as it will likely end with the resealing by Rand.  I think that there are specific moments that go from one Age to the next without a blurry period.

 

RAW's theory sounds interesting though I would disagree with it.  They don't refer to it as the 2nd Age simply because they use the term Age of Legends instead.

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The "official" arbitrarily-decided ending is the death of the last male Aes Sedai, as the existence of male AS was a key characteristic of the Age of Legends.

I would put it at the Strike on Shayol Ghul, which was that Age's equivalent of Tarmon Gai'don, which will end the Third Age. The creation of the Bore did not end the Age- after all, although society became more decadent during the last century of the Age of Legends, the Age ended with the Strike and the Breaking. The Bore only put the world on the path towards the battle, just like the various events (Gitara's Foretelling, Laman's Sin, the Aiel War, Rand's birth) put the world on the path towards Tarmon Gai'don.

 

Interestingly, Aes Sedai were involved in the first event leading to both (the Foretelling and the Bore).

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