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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
GrandpaG

Is Randland on Earth?

Where does the Wheel of Time series take place?  

88 members have voted

  1. 1. Where does the Wheel of Time series take place?

    • Earth future.
      19
    • Earth past.
      5
    • Both.
      46
    • Neither.
      13


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If I remember correctly, he compared time to a wheel.  Have not been able to find exact quote.

Just now found the quote::

Time is a wheel. If you look in one direction, you are looking at the past. If you just turn around and look in the other direction, you are looking at the future. The books are set in our future and in our past, depending on which way you look.

http://13depository.blogspot.com/2009/03/plots-characters-and-wheel-of-time.html

 

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I think Ephemeral is right, though, about people over analyzing this stuff. RJ knew his cosmology was horse crap, so he provided vague explanations in the actual books and ducked fan questions with answers like, "It's the past and the future."

 

The most you could do to make any kind of sense of it is to read up on eastern philosophies that view time a circular, but even that doesn't really apply to the WoT universe. Not completely.

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We view things differently than our recent ancestors did.

 

They viewed things differently than their ancestors did.

 

And so on.

 

Even today, different beliefs exist.

 

With that in mind, it's easy to accept the fact that people in the future will have different beliefs than we do.  They might actually be foolish enough to swallow the nonsensical notion of the Wheel of Time.  Especially, if it is common belief.  And especially if it is supported by the most influential group in the world...the Aes Sedai.

 

We believe what we believe...they'll believe what they'll believe.  The "correct" belief depends upon when and where you exist.  Both now, and then.  No, I never took a course in philosophy and I'm proud to say that I don't feel a bit slighted.  :D

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But that's kind of my point. People discuss this stuff like it should be rational or at least internally consistent. But it's not. Because it's make believe.

 

It's just like any other myth or religion. It kind of sounds good at a glance, but it doesn't really make any sense if you study it too closely.

 

But in all fairness to RJ, he wasn't trying to sell a new religion. Rand's universe is sufficient to lay out the WoT narrative, and that's all it needs to be. Trying to make it be more is a waste of energy.

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I recall from wotmania that most of this series's inventions were similar to ones in the 1700s/1800s; which was our past.

 

The talk that the good guys would fight the bad guys, that seems an allusion to Armageddon; which will be our future.

 

Thus what Robert Jordon told seems accurate.

 

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It's just like any other myth or religion. It kind of sounds good at a glance, but it doesn't really make any sense if you study it too closely.

 

 

Alot of people could be insulted by that comment.

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Rand went through the Portal Stone and saw alternate universes. Egwene went through the Accepted Test and saw possibilities of her future. Aviendha and Moraine went through the Rings in Rhuidean and saw every choice she could have made in different ways. Rand and Mat went through the Red door leading to the Tower of Ghenjei and the Aelfinn.

 

RJ could have gone through any of these to gain his knowledge of Randland.

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But that's kind of my point. People discuss this stuff like it should be rational or at least internally consistent. But it's not. Because it's make believe.

 

All good modern fantasy and science fiction is internally consistent. To be "rational" only means that it coherently follows certain rules. WOT does this. Moroever, to label something not rational because its "make believe" is the hight of idiocy. You eqate "rationality is with "scientific proof" but forget that science is based on observation. Observation of facts (phenomina) is not the same as observation of "reality" since as any Kantian or Quantum Mechanic would tell you the act of observation itself changes reality.

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But that's kind of my point. People discuss this stuff like it should be rational or at least internally consistent. But it's not. Because it's make believe.

 

All good modern fantasy and science fiction is internally consistent. To be "rational" only means that it coherently follows certain rules. WOT does this. Moroever, to label something not rational because its "make believe" is the hight of idiocy. You eqate "rationality is with "scientific proof" but forget that science is based on observation. Observation of facts (phenomina) is not the same as observation of "reality" since as any Kantian or Quantum Mechanic would tell you the act of observation itself changes reality.

 

 

I'm not really sure what most of this has to do with the holes in RJ's cosmology. But I'll concede that I wasn't quite clear when I said WoT isn't internally consistent. It is UNTIL you try to connect to the real world.

 

If Randland was just some parallel, alternative universe, I'd say RJ does a pretty good job of not contradicting himself. I actually think he deserves a lot of credit for creating a "magic" system that has its capabilities and limitations fairly well laid out.

 

But as soon as you try to connect Randland to our world, then it has to be consistent with that, too. And it's not. So when RJ dropped cute little hints about our own world being a different age in the WoT universe, he essentially ruined his own internal consistency.

 

Again, the narrative is excellent, so I really don't have a problem with little inconsistencies in the cosmology. But all the people that are trying to figure it out as if it can be figured out are just wasting their time. They're like the Star Wars fans who try to make being a Jedi a real religion.

 

Santa Claus doesn't exist. A fairy won't leave you a dollar under your pillow if you put a tooth there. The universe isn't really ordered around a Wheel of Time.

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By the way the Wheel of Time works it is consistent that we are the First Age of the wheel. People who can channel gained the ability from Tamyrlin who was the first channeler given his power by the Creator. That means that they have to lose their ability to channel before they can get it back.

 

Losing it signals the end of the 7th Age and them getting it back signals the end of the First Age.

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By the way the Wheel of Time works it is consistent that we are the First Age of the wheel. People who can channel gained the ability from Tamyrlin who was the first channeler given his power by the Creator. That means that they have to lose their ability to channel before they can get it back.

 

Losing it signals the end of the 7th Age and them getting it back signals the end of the First Age.

 

Well, aside from this not being what was meant by internally consistent, where do you come up with them losing it at the end of the Seventh Age?

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Here's my take:

 

Seventh Age = Pre-history/Ancient  Times culminating in Jesus Christ' Crucifixion.  A form of One Power lingers possibly,  in miracles of the age, or perhaps this has just been added later from memories of earlier times.  It doesn't really matter.  End of First Age = Armageddon, RETURN of JESUS to fight the Satan for good.

 

This leads to the prophesied peaceful kingdom on earth, which is the Age of Legends, the beginning at which people are given the One Power by the Creator.  LTT is the Dragon (Jesus), at the end of this age, who is Reborn in the Third age.

 

This is my take on things, or my attempt to make sense out of it, but by no means "truth" as far as the series goes.

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I thought this was supposed to be a non biast forum.

 

Jesus was ressurected 3 days after he was crucified.

Are you saying an age could be 3 days?

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This is an unbiased forum. 

 

There are clear Jesus parallels in WoT.  I'm an atheist, btw, but this is someone else's fiction we're discussing.  Not my own. 

 

Also, what about 3 days?  (It was actually more like 36 hours since he died friday night and rose sunday morning).

 

I just said end of seventh age is Jesus' death. 

 

End of first age is Armageddon (hasn't happened yet, and it's roughly 2020 years after Jesus' death so we're still well into the First Age.) 

 

Age of legends begins after Armageddon ends.  (2nd age)  This age ends with breaking.  Into Rand's age (third age). 

 

Thousands of years between all of those events, bud.

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I've never been a fan of attempts to draw parallels between Rand and Jesus (or the nature of the Dragon and his role and the nature of Jesus and his role either).

 

Firstly, purely based on their nature they are diametric opposites. One is a pacifist who 'fights' for the spiritual wellbeing of his people, the other a warrior who literally fights for the physical survival of--not really the people, but the race. Realistically the only similarities between Rand and Jesus are is that they were both prophesized leaders--and even that is somewhat subject to debate given that Jesus himself didn't really cleave to the role the messiah was supposed to play according to the Maccabean prophecies, which was far more politically focussed than the spiritual message Jesus portrayed.

 

As for the physical points--the crown of swords is not a crown of thorns, and there are far more relevant mythological figures wearing crowns of swords than Jesus with his thorns. The stigmata too is a common mythological event--people love their saviours to suffer in surprisingly similar ways--a wound to each of the extremeties and one to the torso is common. And heroes born to virginal women? Perhaps its something to do with the symmetry of it. The hero suffers, but it adds an element of ritual to it so we don't have to feel too bad. It makes it romantic.

 

That of course brings us to the nature of the Dragon, which is more what you were suggesting--but the issue here is that the role of the Dragon as saviour is not very similar to the role of Jesus. Indeed, the cycle of rebirth and coming back to champion the people has much more in common with the Mahayana Buddhist concept of the Boddhisatva than it does with God putting on his human clothes and coming down to do some carpenting.

 

No, its very easy in western culture to see a saviour figure and think of Jesus--he is the biggest messianic figure in our history--or at least he is now thanks to the active effort of the Church--but in terms of reality they differ on essentially every point. If you're really looking for mythological precedents to inform your image of Rand, there are far more relevant ones than Jesus.

 

 

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I've never been a fan of attempts to draw parallels between Rand and Jesus (or the nature of the Dragon and his role and the nature of Jesus and his role either).

 

Firstly, purely based on their nature they are diametric opposites. One is a pacifist who 'fights' for the spiritual wellbeing of his people, the other a warrior who literally fights for the physical survival of--not really the people, but the race. Realistically the only similarities between Rand and Jesus are is that they were both prophesized leaders--and even that is somewhat subject to debate given that Jesus himself didn't really cleave to the role the messiah was supposed to play according to the Maccabean prophecies, which was far more politically focussed than the spiritual message Jesus portrayed.

 

As for the physical points--the crown of swords is not a crown of thorns, and there are far more relevant mythological figures wearing crowns of swords than Jesus with his thorns. The stigmata too is a common mythological event--people love their saviours to suffer in surprisingly similar ways--a wound to each of the extremeties and one to the torso is common. And heroes born to virginal women? Perhaps its something to do with the symmetry of it. The hero suffers, but it adds an element of ritual to it so we don't have to feel too bad. It makes it romantic.

 

That of course brings us to the nature of the Dragon, which is more what you were suggesting--but the issue here is that the role of the Dragon as saviour is not very similar to the role of Jesus. Indeed, the cycle of rebirth and coming back to champion the people has much more in common with the Mahayana Buddhist concept of the Boddhisatva than it does with God putting on his human clothes and coming down to do some carpenting.

 

No, its very easy in western culture to see a saviour figure and think of Jesus--he is the biggest messianic figure in our history--or at least he is now thanks to the active effort of the Church--but in terms of reality they differ on essentially every point. If you're really looking for mythological precedents to inform your image of Rand, there are far more relevant ones than Jesus.

 

 

 

This is a really interesting aspect of WoT, and I hope more chime in on it. 

 

I think I use the Jesus parrallel to create a real-world timeline because Tarmon Gaidon = Armageddon.  The words are just *so* similar that I think its worth reflecting on.

 

I agree with all your points re: Jesus, except he wasn't *quite* a pacifist.  Thinking of the time he threw the moneylenders out of the temple and also the time he said (allegedly) "I didn't come to bring peace, but a sword  . . . "

 

Bodhisattva's were also typically apolitical and pacifist.  But such an interesting topic, I'm curious how others integrate the timeline into our world, if they do.

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I think I use the Jesus parrallel to create a real-world timeline because Tarmon Gaidon = Armageddon.  The words are just *so* similar that I think its worth reflecting on.

 

I agree about the similarity of that aspect--last battles and what not--but that doesn't infer the fighters are those represented in the Greek New Testement. RJ drew from many mythologies--finding a link to one doesn't caste-type the rest of the story. For instance the Creator/Dark One deal seems intrinsically Zoroasterian, but it doesn't mean I'm looking for Rand to be Spenta Mainyu.

 

 

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Getting into much of this tends to take a turn for the speculative, but like Luckers, I don't believe in the Jesus/Rand parallels, as in, that they're intended to be based on the same Hero's soul in WOT lore. Perhaps if we go back a bit further in Abrahamic religions, we could make parallels to Michael the Archangel, or at least the War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness.

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I prefer a Buddhist parallel.  Both concepts The Wheel of Time and, Samsara (the Cycle of Rebirth) share similar themes.  They are cyclical with death and rebirth a constant natural happenstance.  The difference is that Buddhists seek to escape Samsara and attain Nirvana, or loosening.  The Pattern seems to have no real end.

 

I think christian comparisons don't work at all, as Christianity is very linear.

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I prefer a Buddhist parallel.  Both concepts The Wheel of Time and, Samsara (the Cycle of Rebirth) share similar themes.  They are cyclical with death and rebirth a constant natural happenstance.  The difference is that Buddhists seek to escape Samsara and attain Nirvana, or loosening.  The Pattern seems to have no real end.

 

I think christian comparisons don't work at all, as Christianity is very linear.

 

I'm typing from my phone, so please forgive typing mistakes.

 

Now, I think this goes too far. Many of the names of the Forsaken come from the Abrahamic religions, particularly the demons. I thinkthe idea in WOT lore is that myths and legends worldwide are all connected, the stories have just evolved differently in different parts of the world. Certainly Jordan has taken heavy influence from eastern mythologies, but western myths are also reflected, Abrahamic and pagan. Parallels to Jesus are not so relevant to this story, but the whole war between light and darkness certainly does.

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Getting into much of this tends to take a turn for the speculative, but like Luckers, I don't believe in the Jesus/Rand parallels, as in, that they're intended to be based on the same Hero's soul in WOT lore. Perhaps if we go back a bit further in Abrahamic religions, we could make parallels to Michael the Archangel, or at least the War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness.

 

Ah, I totally forgot about the Demons vs. Angels in the Old Testament, the demons being Forsaken, of course, and the Angels Aes Sedai.  Very cool.

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All i'm saying is The Pattern is a cycle, Samsara is a cycle.  They are very similar in terms of general theme of the cosmology.

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I don't think you can completely discount the influences of western theology. Calvinist predetermination permeates the entire narrative. Characters are constantly saying, "the Wheel weaves what the Wheel wills," more or less resigned to whatever fate the Pattern has set for them.

 

And in cases like Elayne, she just takes a prophecy about her children being born as a sign that she can do whatever she wants without any negative consequences.

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In book four, when Egwene first walked the dream world, they describe some artifacts of ages past and one of them sound and awful lot like a Mazda hood ornament. Possibly made of plastic

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