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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
ROB_88

AOL might not be age 2

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this is a relativley new idea, and i'm not sure i believe it myself yet so bare with me.

 

we know that this age is called the third age by some

-BTW, i've been wondering who doesn't call it the third age? but i digress. -

 

so far we've assumed that AOL is age 2, but have that ever actually been stated clearly? in the books or by RJ?

 

i just noticed that the Calendar in Randland have been counted in 3 different ways since the Breaking and i thought that maybe the end of AOL was actually age 7 and the Wheel turns in unison with the changes of calemdars.

if i'm right it would make After The Breaking (AB) the first age, then Free Year (FY) the second age and the New Era (NE) the third age, all ended by a great war, and all around 1000 years long.

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I think those that don't call it the third age are people born long after Tarmon Gai'don. An age long past, an age yet to come.. Some ages will be forgotten. Especially the ones with the Dark One in them, considering nobody will remember him after a time. If nobody remembers the age before the last one, that last one suddenly becomes the first age.

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The Encyclopaedia site identifies the Age of Legends as the Second Age.  And that the Third Age begins with "After the Breaking" era.  Here is the page:

http://encyclopaedia-wot.org/history/timeline.html

 

The books tell that the Age of Legends were before the series's current Age; and the books refer to an Age before the Age of Legends; and the back covers identify the series's Age as the Third Age.  From these pieces of info, it would be reasonable to assume that the Age of Legends was the Second Age.

 

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I'm not completely certain, but I believe someone notable poster once advanced a theory that the Age of Legends might not be a separate age at all...

 

But... The people who don't call it the third age would be the people who have no access to records or accounts that date as far back as "Age One"... or people who do not believe in the Wheel of Time (a very few, I imagine)... or people who do not believe the the Breaking of the World heralded the beginning of a new Age.

 

To answer the second question... I don't believe it is stated clearly except perhaps in the BWB, which is supposedly written by Third Age historians. Also, what does it matter what Age it is called? The only reason it is called the "Second Age" is because Third Agers have access to records which recall a time before the "Second Age." Thus, one...two...three. Really, we have no way of knowing which Age it is. It could be the 1372nd age, which would really be the 7th Age of the 196th rotation.

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I'm not completely certain, but I believe someone notable poster once advanced a theory that the Age of Legends might not be a separate age at all...
That would be RobertAlexWillis.

 

so far we've assumed that AOL is age 2, but have that ever actually been stated clearly? in the books or by RJ?
No. This was one of the bases of RAW's theory. The Third Age is so called, the Fourth Age is referenced, but the earlier Ages are "the Age of Legends" and "the Age before the Age of Legends". Another point made was a conversation Rand has with Herid Fel, where Fel states the Bore must be repaired, good as new, before the Third Age comes again. Now, perhaps he misspoke, but it is a curious thing to say, when the Bore was drilled in the Age of Legends, thus it should be the Second Age. There was also a point made about the only thing RJ has specifically stated as a marker of the changing of Ages - new abilities, such as sniffers, wolfsiblings and Min's ability - are conspicuous by their absence from the changing from the "Second" to Third Ages - thus this is perhaps not the changing of an Age we assume it to be, much as the Trolloc Wars are not generally considered to have started a new Age.

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that's one way to go i guess. but i'm doing the complete opposite here, that the changing of ages might happen alot quicker than we think.

 

That the Breaking was the end of the seventh age and of all civilisation, only to be rebuild in the first age which was then ended by a new great Trolloc invasion and a great deal of civilisation and knowledge lost again

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That the Breaking was the end of the seventh age and of all civilisation, only to be rebuild in the first age which was then ended by a new great Trolloc invasion and a great deal of civilisation and knowledge lost again

 

Except that very little (except for a few nations and many lives) was lost as a result of the Trollic Wars and the Hundred Years War.

Prior to the Trollic Wars the civilization was at a "middle ages" level and it has stayed there threw out the Third Age. Compare this to the civilization in AOL (a civilization much more advanced in both knowledge and morals then our own) and the drastic tumble into a middle ages civilization brought on by the breaking.

 

Moreover, the number of an age is a subjective thing. If you are aware That their was an age of marvels that proceeded your own and have a vague understanding that there was an age prior to that age, you would reasonably call your age the third age. However, since you live in a circular time universe and have know idea how many actual turnings of the wheel have actually occured since "the beginning of time" (an oxymoron in a circular time universe)and have no way of objectively knowing which age comes first in the turning of the wheel all you can assert is that you live in the "so-called" Third Age. Those living in the age immediately following the so-called Third Age might thus presume or say that they live in the Fourth Age (At least if enough information about the age of AOL and the age that proceeded it survive into the Fourth Age).

 

One argument for believing  that our age is the one that preceeds AOL and the true First Age is that in most Ages (even ones that begin with the cataclysms that occured during the Breaking at the end of the AOL) people know that there was an age prior to their present age, however, no such claim is made in our age and we do not even realize that time is circular. Thus, the breaking that seperates our age from the previous age was so total as to destroy all life and all existence (a big bang in reverse) which leads to new big bang and the rebeginning of time, some 10-20 billion thereafter we are alive, sometime after today our age ends in another (but decidedly smaller breaking that leads to the beginning of AOL). Now i do not necessarily believe that ours is the first age but its much more logical then to believe that the thousand years or so from the breaking at the end of AOL to the Trollic wars constitutes the "real" first age.

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that's one way to go i guess. but i'm doing the complete opposite here, that the changing of ages might happen alot quicker than we think.
I know what your theory is. But look at the evidence for AoL=part of 3rd: the Third Age is the only one referred to by a number (which works as well for you), the only known indicator of a new Age is new abilities (which doesn't support you), and Herid Fel's statements, about the Bore being complete when the Third Age comes again, which flatly contradicts you.

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That the Breaking was the end of the seventh age and of all civilisation, only to be rebuild in the first age which was then ended by a new great Trolloc invasion and a great deal of civilisation and knowledge lost again

 

Except that very little (except for a few nations and many lives) was lost as a result of the Trollic Wars and the Hundred Years War.

Prior to the Trollic Wars the civilization was at a "middle ages" level and it has stayed there threw out the Third Age. Compare this to the civilization in AOL (a civilization much more advanced in both knowledge and morals then our own) and the drastic tumble into a middle ages civilization brought on by the breaking.

 

Moreover, the number of an age is a subjective thing. If you are aware That their was an age of marvels that proceeded your own and have a vague understanding that there was an age prior to that age, you would reasonably call your age the third age. However, since you live in a circular time universe and have know idea how many actual turnings of the wheel have actually occured since "the beginning of time" (an oxymoron in a circular time universe)and have no way of objectively knowing which age comes first in the turning of the wheel all you can assert is that you live in the "so-called" Third Age. Those living in the age immediately following the so-called Third Age might thus presume or say that they live in the Fourth Age (At least if enough information about the age of AOL and the age that proceeded it survive into the Fourth Age).

 

One argument for believing  that our age is the one that preceeds AOL and the true First Age is that in most Ages (even ones that begin with the cataclysms that occured during the Breaking at the end of the AOL) people know that there was an age prior to their present age, however, no such claim is made in our age and we do not even realize that time is circular. Thus, the breaking that seperates our age from the previous age was so total as to destroy all life and all existence (a big bang in reverse) which leads to new big bang and the rebeginning of time, some 10-20 billion thereafter we are alive, sometime after today our age ends in another (but decidedly smaller breaking that leads to the beginning of AOL). Now i do not necessarily believe that ours is the first age but its much more logical then to believe that the thousand years or so from the breaking at the end of AOL to the Trollic wars constitutes the "real" first age.

 

Third Age, Second Age, First Age, they're just names given by whoever's alive at the time. They're not an official, and I'd argue that since the whole thing is cyclical there is no first nor end, as there is neither beginning nor end to the turnings of the Wheel of Time. As for your claims of technology not advancing, that very well may be because of Ishamael being loose. Both Ages seems to have advanced to where we stand during the novels (Hawkwing's era was filled with Academies and schools of learning), and in some ways this time seems less civilized than even then, as if society is just getting more worn down with every disaster that's hit since the breaking. As for why technology would be so set back, I'm pretty sure the Trolloc Wars, which certainly consumed all of the continent Randland is on (it stretched into Shara) if not beyond, and considering how devastating the wars were, it was a major set back. The same goes for The War of a Hundred Years with regards to Randland and Seanchan. Whether or not that disaster (or another) spread beyond into Shara I don't know. But the devastation during both of those calamities (by far greater during the Trolloc Wars) but still are certainly enough to set back technology.

 

Second of all, with regards to naming, considering that there have been three clearly defined time segments since the Breaking, I don't see what's so odd about people in this third segment calling their time period the Third Age. I am really curious as to anything Jordan's said on the subject, but everywhere that claims that the AoL was the Second Age as fact is mysteriously lacking any citations. The whole "what is becomes memory, which becomes legend, which becomes myth, and is then forgotten" bit to the catechism seems to fit really well into each age. Four ages back is forgotten, three is myth, two is legend, one is memory, etc... For the Third Age (assuming it's War of a Hundred Years to 'Present), that puts AoL into myth. If the next repeat of AoL is four ages away from the Third Age that would make everything from the Third Age forgotten, thus making sense that this whole thing with the Dark One and the Dragon is forgotten by then, too.

 

The game of sha'rah, played by Moridin in the prologue of The Path of Daggers also seems to reference a previous battle between the Light and the Shadow, with a mysterious central piece known as The Fisher, which bares far too many similarities to The Dragon for it not to be a reference to a previous battle between the Shadow and the Light, and its injuries make it seem more like its referencing Rand al'Thors' predicament than Lews Therin's, but that may be stretching it too far.

 

What has Jordan said about this whole thing? I'd feel much more comfortable with this issue if I had any comments from him. Clearly our real world is supposed to fit into this series, based, on Jordan's quotes, and the age before the Age of Legends was without those who understood the one power, at least until the end of the age, which is probably part of the transition between the ages. But why can't that be four ages back instead of two?

 

EDIT: Perhaps I have found something relevant.

 

Week 18 Question: How did the people of the current Age go three thousand years without discovering the military applications of explosives? Were the Illuminators just that ruthless?

 

Robert Jordan Answers: The Illuminators were completely ruthless in protecting their secret. And they put about tales such as that exposure to air could sometimes makes the substances inside fireworks explode without fire, and even more violently than fire did, in order to discourage close examination. Then there is the fact that there hasn't been a single three thousand year climb from barbarism and disaster, but three roughly one thousand climbs, from the Breaking of the World, from the near total destruction of the Trolloc Wars, which either destroyed or doomed every nation then existing, and from the devastation of the War of the Hundred Years. As an historical note, fireworks were used in China for roughly a thousand years before someone decided to use gunpowder as a weapon. As a matter of desperation, they dropped large firecrackers on the heads of soldiers climbing siege ladders. And by the evidence I've seen, gunpowder wasn't used as a weapon again for several hundred more years after that. I can see the view. All right, they held off the assault, but firecrackers? Firecrackers?

 

No denial that this current age wasn't 3000 years. Hmmm... Very interesting.

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No denial that this current age wasn't 3000 years. Hmmm... Very interesting.
The question wasn't about the length of the Age. You have not found (or said) anything relevant.

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Just a thought (no real basis)

 

What if there is a cycle of Ages -

 

  • Age 1 - neither Male nor female chanellers can safely access the One Power
  • Age 2 - The One Power is discovered both male and female can safely access the One Power which leads to great discoveries - the bore is discovered and when it is opened the Dark One can directly touch the world - the closing of the bore (albeit temporary) results in a backlash that taints Saidin
  • Age 3 - Female chanellers can touch the one power but Saidin is tainted - the Age ends with the bore being resealed but another backlash makes Saidar tainted
  • Age 4 - Male chanellers can touch the one power but Saidar is tainted - the Age ends with the bore being sealed "permanently" and as a result of this neither male nor female chanellers can touch the One Power

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ok, since the thread is apparently revived i'll just countinue from where i left off.

 

that's one way to go i guess. but i'm doing the complete opposite here, that the changing of ages might happen alot quicker than we think.
I know what your theory is. But look at the evidence for AoL=part of 3rd: the Third Age is the only one referred to by a number (which works as well for you), the only known indicator of a new Age is new abilities (which doesn't support you), and Herid Fel's statements, about the Bore being complete when the Third Age comes again, which flatly contradicts you.

I... I could... dammit, i don't have anything to counter that, not even after this long.

but why do you say that new abilities are the only indicator of new Ages, it might aswell be a great change in society and life as we/they know it. like the discovery of the OP, the tainting of saidin and whatever happens after Tarmon Gaidon.

 

slightly related subject. how did the people realise there are seven ages at all? if they don't remember anything of the last turning, they cant know that it repeats.

infact, if it wasnt for Jordan saying that it IS so, i would think the idea of the wheel is of human creation

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No denial that this current age wasn't 3000 years. Hmmm... Very interesting.
The question wasn't about the length of the Age. You have not found (or said) anything relevant.

 

I never said it was direct, nor did I claim. However, the question was "How did people of this current Age go 3000 years..." The phrasing of the question does imply that these 3000 years have all be in the same Age, and it strikes me as something Jordan would have corrected. It's not a definitive comment, though.

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I... I could... dammit, i don't have anything to counter that, not even after this long.

but why do you say that new abilities are the only indicator of new Ages, it might aswell be a great change in society and life as we/they know it. like the discovery of the OP, the tainting of saidin and whatever happens after Tarmon Gaidon.

Well, any number of things could be indicators of a new Age, but new abilities appearing (or old ones disappearing) are the only ones to be confirmed by RJ, that I know of. It was one of the points brought up by RAW in favour of his theory. Channeling marked a transition between Ages, as does the re-appearance of wolfsiblings, things like Min's Viewings or Hurin, these are transitions between Ages (so we are at the end of the Third/beginning of the Fourth). Of course, if the Breaking can count as a transition, why not the War of a Hundred Years, or the Trolloc Wars? Because it was bigger, more destructive? Or do they not count because they only affected part of the world, while the Breaking affected all of it? In which case, a transition between Ages could be said to be accompanied by a global shift of some kind, which would encompass new abilities, or old ones vanishing, but we don't have RJ's word to confirm that.

 

slightly related subject. how did the people realise there are seven ages at all?
We really don't know. The Wheel magically placed the knowledge in everybody's head?

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