Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Terhan

...called the third Age by some...

Recommended Posts

A huge theme in the books has been people assuming things to be true when they aren't. This happens with everyone from farmers to High Lords to Aes Sedai. It seems that all the theories and predictions and questions concerning the books hinge on the fact that there are seven Ages to the turning of the Wheel and the assumption that this is the third Age. What if it isn't? At the beginning of every book, RJ tells us:

 

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past...
(Emphasis mine)

 

Called the third Age by some? Wouldn't it be just like RJ to sneak this one in on us in the first paragraph of every single book? Much of the speculation I see revolves around this being the third age, particularly when it comes to resealing the bore. Consider that this is not the third Age. Thus, the Age of Legends was not the second Age, and the Age before that not the first. What repercussions does this bring? What possibilities does it open up? Well, a lot and many, that's what. I started to list them here but then I thought I'd let you guys run with it instead. You can probably come up with plenty of stuff I didn't think of, anyway. Have a good one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always took the numbering to be completely arbitrary and hold that there really is no true first age. There are a number of potential beginnings. This confrontation with Shai'tan is the beginning and end of a cycle, but then again, so does whatever nearly wipes humanity out and causes them to develop many languages does, too.

 

Just my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7 Ages per cycle, infinite cycles. Likely the third spoke of the wheel during its millionth cycle. How was the earth created? Likely an age = ~3000 years. At ~21000 years per cycle, what did the world look like at the beginning of time? Were there men then? Is there another Breaking coming to shape the world back ready for another AoL (in 18000 years time)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont think that there is any significance at all whether this is the 3rd age or possibly some other age. Take this asterisk *, assign one of the bars a random number. Lets call the top bar number 1. Assume that someone else calls that bar number 3. That arbitrary number does not change the fact that there is a bar both to the left and to the right of it, the same way that this Age is called the third does not change the fact that there were events that happened before it. It is just an artificial description.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7 Ages per cycle, infinite cycles. Likely the third spoke of the wheel during its millionth cycle. How was the earth created? Likely an age = ~3000 years. At ~21000 years per cycle, what did the world look like at the beginning of time? Were there men then? Is there another Breaking coming to shape the world back ready for another AoL (in 18000 years time)?

 

Ages have no set length, or at the very least the seven ages vary in length.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there is no particular significance to any of the Ages, then there is no cycle. It becomes linear time. Simple logic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is a duck a duck? Why isn't it a Flipkwakch? I suppose it's called the 3rd Age by some because they don't have anything better to call it, and no one else has a cooler name that's caught on. Or maybe some historians threw darts at a board and just decided to run with whatever set starting point they got.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there is no particular significance to any of the Ages, then there is no cycle. It becomes linear time. Simple logic.

Not so. The Wheel could have a continuous spectrum and still be a Wheel, the division into Ages an arbitrary construct of men. But that wasn't the argument presented here; merely that the numbering of the Ages is arbitrary. They can retain their uniqueness without there being a single agreed-upon numbering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not so. The Wheel could have a continuous spectrum and still be a Wheel, the division into Ages an arbitrary construct of men. But that wasn't the argument presented here; merely that the numbering of the Ages is arbitrary. They can retain their uniqueness without there being a single agreed-upon numbering.

 

Actually, it is so. If there is no significance to any particular Age, then more than the numbering becomes arbitrary. The seven-spoked Wheel itself becomes arbitrary. It's just a continuous turning representation where you could have seven spokes (seven Ages), seventeen spokes, or indeed seventeen-billion spokes. It would make no difference as none of the ages is significant in any way. It's just a continuous turning where there is no beginning or end, nothing to mark when a new 'cycle' begins. Linear time. And when I say "mark" I don't mean labelled by people. If this is the mistake you are making then you aren't following my line of thought. Not your fault, I'm sure, as it's probably easier for me to imagine than it is to explain as I'm somewhat of a physics/math nerd. Someone drop a line here if they think they are getting what I'm poking at.

 

Have a good one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not so. The Wheel could have a continuous spectrum and still be a Wheel, the division into Ages an arbitrary construct of men. But that wasn't the argument presented here; merely that the numbering of the Ages is arbitrary. They can retain their uniqueness without there being a single agreed-upon numbering.

 

Actually, it is so. If there is no significance to any particular Age, then more than the numbering becomes arbitrary. The seven-spoked Wheel itself becomes arbitrary. It's just a continuous turning representation where you could have seven spokes (seven Ages), seventeen spokes, or indeed seventeen-billion spokes. It would make no difference as none of the ages is significant in any way. It's just a continuous turning where there is no beginning or end, nothing to mark when a new 'cycle' begins. Linear time. And when I say "mark" I don't mean labelled by people. If this is the mistake you are making then you aren't following my line of thought. Not your fault, I'm sure, as it's probably easier for me to imagine than it is to explain as I'm somewhat of a physics/math nerd. Someone drop a line here if they think they are getting what I'm poking at.

If there is a repeating cycle, the same seven Ages in the same order, then how is it linear time? If we take an arbitrary point in time, and then wait long enough and it comes around again, then we have cyclical time. There is no defined starting point, but there is still a cycle. Linear time doesn't have a cycle, because it's a straight line. You could have seventeen or seventeen billion spokes, but you don't. You have seven, going round and round and round, without beginning or end. Calling a given spoke the first doesn't really mean anything, but it's still a spoke on a wheel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't you see? It wouldn't come around again. Take this quote from balefired-ed2:

 

Take this asterisk *, assign one of the bars a random number. Lets call the top bar number 1. Assume that someone else calls that bar number 3. That arbitrary number does not change the fact that there is a bar both to the left and to the right of it, the same way that this Age is called the third does not change the fact that there were events that happened before it. It is just an artificial description.

 

This view that the numbering is arbitrary and doesn't matter simply doesn't fit with cyclic time. If time cycles through seven Ages, then something must happen at the end of the seventh Age for everything to start over again from scratch (or whatever). Yes, there is always a "bar" to the left and to the right of any current "bar". But in order to have a cycle, in order for the Ages to 'repeat' themselves, there must be a first Age and a last Age in a full cycle. Therefore, the numbering is not arbitrary. It is not equally valid to say it is the fifth Age when in fact it is the seventh. Because if it is the seventh, the cycle is going to start over at one in the next Age, while if it is the fifth, there will be two more Ages before the cycle restarts.

 

If the numbers ARE arbitrary and have no significance, then it is linear time. In order for it to be cyclic time, then there has to, in fact, be a "correct" Age number for any given Age at any given Turning. Am I making sense yet? I can break out the math and the Boolean logic if you force me into it, but it could get real ugly real fast in here after that. (=

 

Have a good one, guys! (And thanks for the convos)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me cyclic time only requires repetition of time.

The current Age (or any Age) might not be numbered "correctly", but still there would be repetition if time is expressed by a wheel.

 

Linear time would actually be expressed by a line; not a wheel.

 

By the way, "Age" could apply to both forms of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see any sort of problem in not having an end age and beginning age, to me, you can measure a cycle by picking any spoke and wait for it to come back around. But let's say there is a 'first' and 'last', what would need to be the end? What would need to be the beginning?

 

Is there a new Creation every turning? That would sort of contradict the fact that in the 'current' age they remember mythologies from our time and that in our age (modern world) we have mythologies from their time (norse mythology, and the mythology of other religions).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might be possible for different cycles to have different lengths.

Also for each Age to have different proportions to the cycle and/or different lengths in different cycles.

 

If any of those are so, then the Wheel could not be measured by picking any spoke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's merely certain events happen in certain cycles. The order is important, but not the starting point.

 

On a side note, the universe obviously couldn't have started in the 'third' age due the fact that it required the DO to be imperfectly sealed, something that happened the age prior.

 

I assume that the very first age, the one that directly followed the Creator getting out of bed and putting his shoes on, was special, in so far that things may have happened that won't happen again, or at least the starting conditions were unique. From then on, seven ages, following in sequential order, the same every time.

 

Technically then, yes, there is an age 1, age 2, etc, or at least Age containing THIS event, followed by age containing THIS event... But the fact that the age is refered to as the THIRD AGE, has little to no bearing. It very well might be the seventh age, but as long as the proscribed event-specific age follows it, then ... no drama's. The problem is the people living in the world have no clue as to what age they are in. Say all knowledge of everything disappears in age 5. Age 6 is the AoE, Age 7 is the third age. At some point, the knowledge of everything prior goes away, making it impossible to keep track.

 

Now, if the "third agers" knew that the Age of Wonders was prior to the Age of Legends, which was preceeded by the Age of Blackness... Well it still wouldn't help. I don't imagine there is a big signpost at the beginning of Age 1, stating the fact, there's no indication of WHAT AGE SPECIFIC EVENT happens in WHICH AGE. The Bore being drilled could happen in -any- age, the people of WOT however only remember that there was a time before the AoLegends, therefore they must be in the third.

 

 

Think of it this way. As you make a bike wheel with the spokes, during creating there is spoke one, spoke two. Once it's complete, and it's spinning, the spokes won't move positions, but it's impossible to tell where spoke one actually is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I making sense yet? I can break out the math and the Boolean logic if you force me into it, but it could get real ugly real fast in here after that. (=

I'm sorry, but I still don't follow your logic. If you want to dive into a mathematical proof go right ahead; I hold a bachelor's degree in math, so it'd probably be easier for me to follow than a philosophical argument :smile:

(can't speak for anyone else, though)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might be possible for different cycles to have different lengths.

Also for each Age to have different proportions to the cycle and/or different lengths in different cycles.

 

If any of those are so, then the Wheel could not be measured by picking any spoke.

 

 

You would identify the spoke by looking at the Pattern of the Age, not by watching time. It may take an age 5000 years to complete it's Pattern one cycle, and maybe 3000 the next cycle, assuming that length could change. What we do KNOW is that the 'seventh' isn't necessarily the same length as the sixth, which is likely different from the fifth, etc . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

You would identify the spoke by looking at the Pattern of the Age, not by watching time. It may take an age 5000 years to complete it's Pattern one cycle, and maybe 3000 the next cycle, assuming that length could change. What we do KNOW is that the 'seventh' isn't necessarily the same length as the sixth, which is likely different from the fifth, etc . . .

 

To identify the spoke, you would need to know which events happen in which spokes. Which, given the time frames involved, is impossible for the average WOT inhabitant. Even then, if you know which events happen in which spokes, it's likely impossible to identify which event, which spoke, is the first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

You would identify the spoke by looking at the Pattern of the Age, not by watching time. It may take an age 5000 years to complete it's Pattern one cycle, and maybe 3000 the next cycle, assuming that length could change. What we do KNOW is that the 'seventh' isn't necessarily the same length as the sixth, which is likely different from the fifth, etc . . .

 

To identify the spoke, you would need to know which events happen in which spokes. Which, given the time frames involved, is impossible for the average WOT inhabitant. Even then, if you know which events happen in which spokes, it's likely impossible to identify which event, which spoke, is the first.

 

Oh, it would be impossible to do 'in-universe' of course. I meant from the outside looking in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This whole conversation reminds me of the spoof entry for the Wheel of Time. "There was an Age, called the third age by some, called the fourth age by those who couldn't count real well..."

 

hehe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This whole conversation has annoyed me, to be frank. If some of you have maths degrees and if all of you are smart yet unable to articulate yourselves nor apply your knowledge then there is little point in having the knowledge in the first place. Then again you never did hear of a person doing joint honours in maths and English...

 

I think all the maths buffs are not seeing the forrest for the cricket bats here. All the chat about spokes doesn't really help. The key point you're missing is that the ages are relative to one and other. Time is cyclical regardless of spokes and bars and whatever else you guys have said. What is an integer? Sure it's got a name but that's arbitrary. Any number is merely a relative point of reference to measure the difference between it and another. Simples. Also worth mentioning is that the resin this is called the third age is simply because we know the previous age was known by it's contemporaries as the second. Therefore we regard this age as being the third. For all intents and purposes it is. Why? Because it is one higher than the previous... As I said it's one higher than the previous. It's not arbitrary in the sense that all naming an age does is provide a point of reference and the only thing requiring a point of refreshers in terms of what age any given age is is what age is one relative to the one before.

 

Did that sound like I was repeating myself? Good, then my work here is done.

 

In my opinion, as it happens, this age is the third as the last was the second and it was thought of as such as the inhabitants of it thought the previous age was the first as there was no knowledge left from the previous one to indicate otherwise because the breakouts between ages were that bad or whatever. Given that all ages are likely to concede they are not the first I'd further my own argument above by suggesting that there never is a group of people who believe they are the first age. In this sense there will be seven ages but the only time people will get the numbers right for ages two through to seven is most likely to be after at least a period of six wrongly named ages. Wrongly in the sense that froma third party point if view you could have a calendar of sorts keeping track. However to reiterate again the only point in naming your own age can be to provide a relative sense of time. Therefore whether or not the name is 'correct' is irrelevant as never has the customer been more right. Finally, names are indeed arbitrary but then again they aren't as they can only be argued to be such from a reader point of view but that's moot as readers are not actually characters in a fiction book, that's known as catharthis and whilst healthy is actually bad maths.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think its worth mentioning that my post was ironic, if you're annoyed at me and reading this then don't be it's just you missed my huge wordy joke. Call it Scottish humor and forgive me. Mind you I don't think I should apologise if you got annoyed at my post you must be really awful at maths.... Ok if you're still annoyed don't be I just hit you with another one of my jokes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...