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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

First Time Reading the First Book


Always Sunny
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All right, fellas, I'm all for a hearty discussion on gender relationships in TWoT, but I feel like we're straying from the point of this thread. Let's just enjoy Sunny's insights and opinions as a first time reader and watch how they evolve over the course of reading the books.

 

Sunny, I hope you keep writing this blog, it's very fun to read and must take a lot of work to make. Hopefully, you'll keep it up for a little while longer!

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Your blog is very entertaining. I think your perceptions of Egwene and Moiraine are going to be reversed by the end of the series. I too found the dream sequences tedious. Unfortunately, it gets worse ;)

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All right, fellas, I'm all for a hearty discussion on gender relationships in TWoT, but I feel like we're straying from the point of this thread. Let's just enjoy Sunny's insights and opinions as a first time reader and watch how they evolve over the course of reading the books.

 

Sunny, I hope you keep writing this blog, it's very fun to read and must take a lot of work to make. Hopefully, you'll keep it up for a little while longer!

 

 

I guess I'm confused. What is the point of the thread? Isn't it to discuss his observations? He mentions gender in every single blog post.

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Normally, I've been posting just once every two days or so. But since I've had today off I've been able to keep checking in. Ha, maybe I shouldn't do that so much.

 

You also have Eldrene, a queen, magic-user of the first rank, and hero of song and story.

 

I'm not going to lie: I had no idea who Eldrene was. And I felt kinda silly, too. You mean I missed the part where the queen was mentioned?! So I cheated and googled the name. Don't worry, though, I didn't see anything spoilery.

 

Eldrene was the Queen of Manetheren who watched from the palace window while Aemon fought for three days against the invaders during the Trolloc Wars. Then she waited another seven days. Then she decided to evacuate the city but that didn't work out so well because the people (yes, even the women) wanted to fight. Only when she sensed that her husband, the king, had died did she use magic to destroy Manetheren. One wonders whether she waited until everyone else was dead, too, or if she just blasted the place once the king died, killing the last of the defenders in the process.

 

Sure, some could see that as heroic. Some could also see it as if she were just destroying her home out of spite, to deny the Trollocs their prize. But the second version doesn't make a good gleeman's story so, even if it were true, wouldn't be passed on for the next two thousand years.

 

But that is all way, way beside the point. The point is that you have found one more female magic user. That makes Moiraine, Egwene, Logain, and Eldrene. And also Lews Therin and Elan Morin, then, if we're going into history. So that's, what, three female witches and three male witches so far?

 

I haven't read the other books so, no doubt, I'll find that there are way more female magic users than male. But time travel yourself back to 1990 when this book came out. You didn't know any more back then than I do now. So I'm two decades behind you. I'll catch up!

 

 

"The gender thing" is a recurring theme of the blog posts, so it really isn't reasonable to expect that a forum thread about the blog would avoid the topic. And the poster does keep coming back with arguments based on his/her particular beliefs about gender relations.

 

That is absolutely correct. I do keep bringing it up. I really don't mean to derail things so much. I don't. It's just what I put down there in my notes so it's what gets written in the blog. But for the sake of harmony I'll try to keep it to a minimum. But, ha, if you wait a few more blog posts I'll start going off on a male character who I've come to not like very much. I just know that my opinion will be unpopular.

 

 

Plus, of course, I can just hear the blogger sitting in his dorm room, or a coffee shop, expounding on the futility and silliness of romantic notions like courage and honor, with a carefully-affected air of world-weary cynicism. Perhaps his lips will quirk with a jaded smile as he explains the truths, obvious to sophisticates like himself, to his less-enlightened audience...

 

This guy is going to hate these books, unless he is able to pretend that Jordan's world-view matches his own. Which would require that he be delusional.

 

I mean seriously, if you don't believe that some things are worth fighting for, that war is evil but not the worst of evils, that honor is real and courage is admirable...why would you read these books?

 

 

First: that's some good imagery. Second: that's just not very nice. I mean, you're a firefighter, randsc! I have no doubt that you are a hero. Twenty-two years? I can't imagine how many people you have rescued or how many homes you've kept from burning to cinders. How many families have you to thank for saving the lives of their loved ones? Talk about honor. Talk about courage!

 

So why can't you, you know, be a little nicer to this blogger? You don't know anything about me and you make all these assumptions. Sure, I may be a liberal hippie commie-lover. But, then again, I might not be. And does it matter? Does it matter if I write this from a dorm or coffee shop? Would it surprise you that if I said I'm writing this from a mobile home up in the hollers of West Virgina?

 

I just think that things can turn out alright. I think that there are problems in the Wheel of Time universe (not the writing, mind you, but the universe that writing reveals) but those problems can be overcome. And maybe they might be overcome without violence and war and death. Ha, talk about delusional!

 

 

Okay, then. Everybody, I'm going to keep this up. No worries there. I can guarantee that I'll finish this book at the very least. And while I won't change my observations about gender I will try to, you know, not be so abrasive about it here in the forums. I'll keep that poodoo in the blog. Fair enough, my peeps?

 

Also, why do people keep assuming I'm a guy?

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All right, fellas, I'm all for a hearty discussion on gender relationships in TWoT, but I feel like we're straying from the point of this thread. Let's just enjoy Sunny's insights and opinions as a first time reader and watch how they evolve over the course of reading the books.

 

Sunny, I hope you keep writing this blog, it's very fun to read and must take a lot of work to make. Hopefully, you'll keep it up for a little while longer!

 

 

I guess I'm confused. What is the point of the thread? Isn't it to discuss his observations? He mentions gender in every single blog post.

The point of this thread is to observe and discuss his observations, yes.

 

However, I feel that one topic of discussion is growing sufficiently large and competitive enough to threaten to derail the rest of the thread.

 

Just my opinion.

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At first glance one would assume The Eye of the World to take place in a medievil setting. Swords and horses and what not, no guns etc. So at first glance, if one applied our modern sensibilities to what on the surface appears to be a much older time period, its understandable that The Two Rivers might appear to be a little male-centric. Still, it is quite progressive comparitivly to even a hundred years ago in our time.

 

I actually liked the dream sequences. During my first read, I figured they were giving insights and clues into what was going on so I tried to pay special attention.

 

Funny that Sunny mentioned the movie Inception, because that movie made me think of WOT's dream sequences.

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Plus, of course, I can just hear the blogger sitting in his dorm room, or a coffee shop, expounding on the futility and silliness of romantic notions like courage and honor, with a carefully-affected air of world-weary cynicism. Perhaps his lips will quirk with a jaded smile as he explains the truths, obvious to sophisticates like himself, to his less-enlightened audience...

 

This guy is going to hate these books, unless he is able to pretend that Jordan's world-view matches his own. Which would require that he be delusional.

 

I mean seriously, if you don't believe that some things are worth fighting for, that war is evil but not the worst of evils, that honor is real and courage is admirable...why would you read these books?

 

 

First: that's some good imagery. Second: that's just not very nice. I mean, you're a firefighter, randsc! I have no doubt that you are a hero. Twenty-two years? I can't imagine how many people you have rescued or how many homes you've kept from burning to cinders. How many families have you to thank for saving the lives of their loved ones? Talk about honor. Talk about courage!

 

So why can't you, you know, be a little nicer to this blogger? You don't know anything about me and you make all these assumptions. Sure, I may be a liberal hippie commie-lover. But, then again, I might not be. And does it matter? Does it matter if I write this from a dorm or coffee shop? Would it surprise you that if I said I'm writing this from a mobile home up in the hollers of West Virgina?

 

I just think that things can turn out alright. I think that there are problems in the Wheel of Time universe (not the writing, mind you, but the universe that writing reveals) but those problems can be overcome. And maybe they might be overcome without violence and war and death. Ha, talk about delusional!

 

 

Sorry, this was a reference to another thread, and a common complaint of mine, which I happen to know some others share. It wasn't actually directed at you personally, but of course you couldn't know that, as it was pretty insider-joke-ish.

 

To the extent the post was aimed at you, it was aimed at your attitudes as discussed in your post on Moiraine's tale of the fall of Manetheren. Attitudes I find distasteful, obviously, and which I have tended to observe most often in what I have referred to in other threads as "Dorm Room Philosophers." That's where the depiction came from.

 

As for solving problems without violence, war and death, I'm all for it. But it isn't always possible, and in the world of the WoT, where Evil Incarnate is attempting to literally destroy the world, it's downright implausible.

Edited by randsc
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Everyone keeps saying "he" or "his" I have had a notion that the author was a she from the get go. Could be wrong.

 

Anyway I love her/his observations. I find myself looking forward to the next installment with much anticipation.

Haha yeah, me too. I just used "he" because I wasn't sure.

 

I'm sexist that way. :tongue:

 

So off they go to not see the wizard when Rand gets sick or something. Shit like this happens when you walk around a filthy city in the cold weather having never been near so many people before. Rand's growing himself an immune system, boy howdy! On the other hand, no one ever gets sick in fiction unless there in an important reason. In real life, people catch colds just 'cause. In books, people are cursed or infected on purpose.

Good catch!

Edited by Sleeper
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Everyone keeps saying "he" or "his" I have had a notion that the author was a she from the get go. Could be wrong.

 

Anyway I love her/his observations. I find myself looking forward to the next installment with much anticipation.

Haha yeah, me too. I just used "he" because I wasn't sure.

 

I'm sexist that way. :tongue:

 

So off they go to not see the wizard when Rand gets sick or something. Shit like this happens when you walk around a filthy city in the cold weather having never been near so many people before. Rand's growing himself an immune system, boy howdy! On the other hand, no one ever gets sick in fiction unless there in an important reason. In real life, people catch colds just 'cause. In books, people are cursed or infected on purpose.

Good catch!

 

I love the Nynaeve and Lan better not get together quote. In any case, he/she dislikes the best parts of the series, the foreshadows/dreams/Pattern. So I dunno if they'll like the books. they may like CoT. As for your one question, yes even a stone has a thread in the Pattern. You can't be so literal when reading Wheel of Time, it's fantasy for a reason.

Edited by JustCharlie
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Everyone keeps saying "he" or "his" I have had a notion that the author was a she from the get go. Could be wrong.

 

Anyway I love her/his observations. I find myself looking forward to the next installment with much anticipation.

Haha yeah, me too. I just used "he" because I wasn't sure.

 

I'm sexist that way. :tongue:

 

So off they go to not see the wizard when Rand gets sick or something. Shit like this happens when you walk around a filthy city in the cold weather having never been near so many people before. Rand's growing himself an immune system, boy howdy! On the other hand, no one ever gets sick in fiction unless there in an important reason. In real life, people catch colds just 'cause. In books, people are cursed or infected on purpose.

Good catch!

 

I love the Nynaeve and Lan better not get together quote. In any case, he/she dislikes the best parts of the series, the foreshadows/dreams/Pattern. So I dunno if they'll like the books. they may like CoT. As for your one question, yes even a stone has a thread in the Pattern. You can't be so literal when reading Wheel of Time, it's fantasy for a reason.

If my memory serves me, and it may not, only souls are part of the pattern. Also only humans have souls. Finally, everyone has freewill to an extent, the pattern allows for changes. The reason they were in more danger when Nynaeve came was because all together, there group was of great importents. A lot of importent threads in one place, if they all got snaped at once than the patter would fall apart. Also as you mentiond, she could have been followed,increasing the imidiate threat. Hope that helps and sorry for all my misspellings. there are many

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Yeah, why do people assume the blogger is male? Frankly (and I have no intention of being sexist in any way), I assumed that Always Sunny was a girl. But hey, you know what assumptions do!

 

Anyhow, the pattern is a... complicated thing. Keep reading, and come to your own conclusions. Maybe a month or two down the line you'll join us in some of the discussions on WOT philosophy and metaphysics.

 

Just an FYI, the dreams aren't normal, hence they're being shown. They are somewhat important, and may not necessarily be seen as 'dreams' at all, but that's another one for the philosophy/metaphysics discussions.

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Yeah, why do people assume the blogger is male? Frankly (and I have no intention of being sexist in any way), I assumed that Always Sunny was a girl. But hey, you know what assumptions do!

Same here, sorry if I'm wrong. (although I'm not sure I would see a fault in that).

 

Anyway. Your posts are great, please keep it up. You DO get sidetracked often into very ou-world considerations that wouldn't occur to those people and you also take some important things a little lightly, but that's ok. Can't remember if I did the same during my first read so that's ok.

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The reason they were in more danger when Nynaeve came was because all together, there group was of great importents. A lot of importent threads in one place, if they all got snaped at once than the patter would fall apart. Also as you mentiond, she could have been followed,increasing the imidiate threat. Hope that helps and sorry for all my misspellings. there are many

 

I'd always assumed that the reason Min said they were in more danger when Nynaeve arrived was not so much because of Nynaeve's arrival, but because of something that Rand did while he and Mat were out exploring the city 'round the time when Nynaeve showed up. That literally did put them in more immediate danger, as opposed to - as Sunny said - Nynaeve's arrival, which was only a matter of time. She'd already started after them by the first time Min saw the "fellowship".

 

*shrug* I could always be wrong. I'm relatively new around here myself, only on my second full read-through :D

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Yeah, why do people assume the blogger is male? Frankly (and I have no intention of being sexist in any way), I assumed that Always Sunny was a girl. But hey, you know what assumptions do!

 

Anyhow, the pattern is a... complicated thing. Keep reading, and come to your own conclusions. Maybe a month or two down the line you'll join us in some of the discussions on WOT philosophy and metaphysics.

 

Just an FYI, the dreams aren't normal, hence they're being shown. They are somewhat important, and may not necessarily be seen as 'dreams' at all, but that's another one for the philosophy/metaphysics discussions.

 

I don't necessarily assume that. I first referred to the blogger using his/her, but I refuse to do that forever. We're writing English, and in English, a person of unknown gender is referred to using the masculine pronoun. That isn't true of all languages, but it is true of this one.

 

I had an English professor, very protective of the language, who was from the Missouri Ozarks. He said that in the Ozarks, they had a perfectly politically-correct, gender-neutral pronoun for use when dealing with those who insisted on such a thing. They simply run the pronouns together. She-he-it. Imagine this pronounced with a slow Ozark drawl.

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It is considered just as correct to use the plural third person pronoun when referring to someone of unknown gender, and it does not have the unfortunate connotation of sexism.

 

It is fairly common, but not just as correct.

 

If that which is being referred to is unknown as to number as well as gender, than the third person plural neutral is appropriate. Refering to a single person as a plural is not correct.

 

There is only a "connotation of sexism" if you don't know the rules of English.

 

My personal favorite is when people insist that the word "mankind" be replaced with "humankind." I laugh, sometimes quite impolitely, right in their faces. Human and man have different roots, and by replacing mankind with humankind, you are actually replacing a gender-neutral term (mankind-those kinds of creatures that have and use hands, or possibly, those kinds of creatures that think) with a gender specific term (humankind-those kinds of creatures that are male members of this species).

 

"Man" did not mean "Adult male homo sapien" until centuries after the word appeared, referring to the whole of our species.

Edited by randsc
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regarding sexism in the books...I'll just say that so far you are still in, as you put it, the backwoods middle of nowhere. Give them time to get to civilization before judging them to harshly. :)

 

Or simply recognize that we're not dealing with an Information Age economy.

 

Jordan created a world where women are social equals (at least), while being mostly realistic regarding the economic roles of the genders in a society at a pre-industrial level of development.

 

Is that realistic? Perhaps not. But this is a fantasy series. The bottom line is that there are reasons other than sexism for the fact that the majority of our real world's blacksmiths have been men.

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I can't believe I'm joining in on this, but their/they is coming back into use as a gender neutral pronoun gor a singular person. I say 'coming back' because it was used this way before falling out of style in the past.

 

And you guys are making it sound as if women are not taking up professions in other areas of this world. It's true that, in general, RJ ususally has men in the manual labor intensive jobs, but we see greater diversity outside of that, particularly as we get deeper into the series, and I wouldn't say women are completely excluded from those manual labor jobs either.

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