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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

The Wheel of Time and what the Three Ta'Veren Represent


thisguy
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The idea for the wheel of time (I mean the actual wheel which ages turn on) comes from The Yugas. The Yugas are a Vedic idea (think Hindu) and somewhat correspond to the Greek idea of a Golden Age, Silver, Bronze, etc. You can also match the Mayan calendar up with it (as long as you're not the type who thinks that means everybody dies). The three Ta'Veren correspond to three different periods in mankind's history:

 

Perrin - shamanic. One with the land. Personal deities.

Mat - Odin. Pagan gods - organized religion but polytheistic.

Rand - Christ - Monotheistic. One God over all.

 

 

That's why they are all three Ta'Veren but Rand the strongest. That's what makes the end of this age different than the end of the last. It's the sum total of human evolution against the DO.

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so, what? Christianity and monotheism is the "right" evolution? A...bold claim.

 

I agree with Durinax here, although the 3 are not as simple as one word descriptions, they are made up of dozens of mythical and legendary characters.

 

But yeah, I think in this regards, they each represent a different aspect of the world. While it may not be exactly what the prophecy means, I think that the 3 aspects must work in unision to beat the Dark One.

 

Perrin - nature, the untamed wilds.

 

Mat - Humanity, people and civilization.

 

Rand - Creation, divinity (the OP).

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Considering that all three are based on pagan gods (and more), I don't like the shaman/pagan/monotheistic "evolution" theory.

 

Perrin is Thor. Mat is Odin. Rand is Tyr. Tyr was, for some time, the head of the pantheon of the Norse gods. They're not limited to only those inspirations, surely, but that's where they primarily come from.

Edited by Agitel
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I'm not talking about Christianity being the "right" evolution. Not at all. At best I can be described as agnostic.

 

But, religion evolves like everything else.

 

How do you get Tyr for Rand? The hand? And, while I've simplified things, Rand is definitely a Christ figure.

Edited by thisguy
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Rand is many things, Thor, Tyr, Christ, Arthur etc.. To say it is primarily one is false. The 3 are a mixture of many of these legends meshed together. The whole point is the blend of many mythological figures. Some seem more prominent than others because they are the most familiar. (Like the Arthurian parallel is most easily recognized for "western" readers, but there is equal amounts of the dozens of other myths and legends)

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Rand is many things, Thor, Tyr, Christ, Arthur etc.. To say it is primarily one is false. The 3 are a mixture of many of these legends meshed together. The whole point is the blend of many mythological figures. Some seem more prominent than others because they are the most familiar. (Like the Arthurian parallel is most easily recognized for "western" readers, but there is equal amounts of the dozens of other myths and legends)

They definitely are a mix but Rand is a Christ figure. Arthurian legends are built on Christianity. Aside from losing his hand, I do not see anything that is compatible with him and Tyr. I have a thread called Mat Cauthon that shows how closely linked Odin and Mat are. The biggest parts of Rand come from Christ and then Arthur. He's not a shepherd by accident. I don't know all myths, legends and religion but I have read quite a bit. In my eyes, Perrin's character is the least defined by a myth.

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They definitely are a mix but Rand is a Christ figure. Arthurian legends are built on Christianity.

 

You have that backwards. Arthur, Merlin and the like we're based on Celtic myths that pre-date Christianity. In addition RJ specifically said he was a mix and not a Christ figure.

Edited by Suttree
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They definitely are a mix but Rand is a Christ figure. Arthurian legends are built on Christianity.

 

You have that backwards. Arthur, Merlin and the like we're based on Celtic myths that pre-date Christianity. In addition RJ specifically said he was a mix and not a Christ figure.

Arthurian legends span a great deal of time. At the end, they even mentioned artillery. They go on the search for the Holy Grail which is a Christian legend. I do not have it backwards.

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INTERVIEW: Oct 19th, 1994

Compuserve Chat (Verbatim)

 

BEN & CHRIS

 

There is a big influence (already mentioned) from wide ranging source materials. This is a great deal of fun, tracking down all of the various sources whilst reading. Is there a reason that the Arthur and other Avalon legends are referred to so much. Gawyn, Morgase, et al.?

 

ROBERT JORDAN

They really aren't referred to any more than many other legends and myths, but they're simply more recognizable to most Americans.

 

FOOTNOTE

RJ was probably hinting that the Americans are generally the least 'cultured' and the least likely to recognize the foreign legends he drew from, Norse and Slavic mythology (very prominent), etc. The Arthur legends are probably better-known elsewhere (i.e. Britain, France).

 

INTERVIEW: Oct, 1994

Reality Break Podcast (Verbatim)

 

I've tried to mine myths from every country and every continent. And reverse engineer them, of course. The Arthur myths, the Arthur legends, are easily recognizable in the books. I tried to hide them to some extent, but frankly Arthur is, I believe, the most recognizable legend in the United States. More people know about King Arthur than know about Paul Bunyan or Davey Crockett or anything that we have out of our own culture. But the others—myths from Africa and the Middle East, Norse mythology, Chinese mythologies—those things I could bury more deeply, more easily, because they're not very much recognized here.

 

INTERVIEW: Jun 26th, 1996

Compuserve Chat (Verbatim)

 

BRENDAN T. LAVIN

Mr. Jordan. I love your series, it is intricate and interesting. My favorite character (other than Rand) is Mat. People have speculated that Odin was the outline for this character. I see Chukullen (misspelled). Could you elaborate?

 

ROBERT JORDAN

 

There are a number of characters reflected, mythological characters, reflected in each of the books. Because of the basic theme, if you will, of the books, that information becomes distorted over distance or time, you cannot know the truth of an event the further you get from it. These people are supposed to be the source of a great many of our legends or myths, but what they actually did bears little resemblance to the myth. That is the conceit, that time has shifted these actions to other people, perhaps compressing two people into one or dividing one into three as far as their actions go.

 

So Rand has bits of Arthur and bits of Thor and bits of other characters. And so does Mat and so does Nynaeve, and so do others. And yes Mat does have some bits of Odin, but not exclusively. He has bits of Loki and bits of Coyote and of the Monkey King.

 

INTERVIEW: Jun 28th, 1997

DragonCon SciFi Channel Chat (Verbatim)

 

ISHAMAEL

How much of Jesus Christ is there in Rand? We have the wounded palms, side wound, crown of swords... How representational of Jesus Christ is Rand?

 

ROBERT JORDAN

Rand has some elements of Jesus Christ, yes. But he is intended more to be a general "messiah figure." An archetype such as Arthur, rather than a manifestation of Jesus Christ in any way.

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ROBERT JORDAN

Rand has some elements of Jesus Christ, yes. But he is intended more to be a general "messiah figure." An archetype such as Arthur, rather than a manifestation of Jesus Christ in any way.

 

I get it. Perhaps, I should have said Messianic figure, but I think I said it somewhere up top. As I've said, much of Arthur has been based on Christianity. Point being, the three Ta'Veren seem like different phases of human worship to me. Rand seems to be the most advanced, in terms of the evolution of religion.

 

If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. The fact that Rand is a single being who will face down the Devil to save humanity and is reborn makes him a Christ figure.

 

Christ is a translation of Messiah. Christ, Christus, Christos - latin is Christus, Christos is Greek, if I remember right. I think Christ is the English derivation. He is a Messianic figure.

 

Christ was not Jesus' last name. It was probably Ben Yusef.

Edited by thisguy
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The Thirteenth Depository makes some comparison with Tyr and explains that Jordan did intentionally model Rand after him (though certainly not only after him)

 

 

Jordan said at a booksigning that he deliberately made Rand like Tyr. Rand is a fearsome fighter and upholder of law. He seeks to make a truce with the Seanchan so that they can combine forces for the Last Battle. In Knife of Dreams, A Plain Wooden Box, he sacrificed his left hand to protect Min from Semirhage’s attack. However it was Semirhage who placed an unbreakable restraint upon Rand rather than he upon her. Only by drawing upon the True Power through his link to Moridin was he able to escape the cuendillar a’dam (The Gathering Storm, The Last That Could Be Done).

 

Tyr carries a spear that is less a weapon than a sign of judicial power (Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology). Its equivalent may be the Dragon sceptre.

 

 

There's a lot on that page relative to this discussion, too.

 

My point was just to say that we can't simply say Rand = "insert person" Perrin= "insert person" Mat= "insert person".

 

They are constructed out of dozens of different myths and legends twisted by RJ and intertwined with one another to a point they become something unique.

 

Yes, I by no means meant to state things were that simple. There's a lot of cross-over. But in the most general sense, the three ta'veren do take inspiration from Thor, Odin and Tyr, even down to 'weapon' of choice for a time.

Edited by Agitel
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The Thirteenth Depository makes some comparison with Tyr and explains that Jordan did intentionally model Rand after him (though certainly not only after him)

 

 

Jordan said at a booksigning that he deliberately made Rand like Tyr. Rand is a fearsome fighter and upholder of law. He seeks to make a truce with the Seanchan so that they can combine forces for the Last Battle. In Knife of Dreams, A Plain Wooden Box, he sacrificed his left hand to protect Min from Semirhage’s attack. However it was Semirhage who placed an unbreakable restraint upon Rand rather than he upon her. Only by drawing upon the True Power through his link to Moridin was he able to escape the cuendillar a’dam (The Gathering Storm, The Last That Could Be Done).

 

Tyr carries a spear that is less a weapon than a sign of judicial power (Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology). Its equivalent may be the Dragon sceptre.

 

 

There's a lot on that page relative to this discussion, too.

 

My point was just to say that we can't simply say Rand = "insert person" Perrin= "insert person" Mat= "insert person".

 

They are constructed out of dozens of different myths and legends twisted by RJ and intertwined with one another to a point they become something unique.

 

Yes, I by no means meant to state things were that simple. There's a lot of cross-over. But in the most general sense, the three ta'veren do take inspiration from Thor, Odin and Tyr, even down to 'weapon' of choice for a time.

Thank you for that. Tyr stuck his hand in Fenrir's mouth so that the gods could chain Fenrir - only way he would do it. So, he sacrificed his hand for it. I wanted to see how they were connected. Thanks.

 

Still, while there is no doubt that they're are cross overs and even if these guys were all inspired by only one mythological character a piece they'd still be unique as they are written. However, Rand it seems, at this moment, is going to die and be resurrected three days later. Sound familiar? He's stabbed in his side. He's just very strongly messianic to me.

 

 

Anyway, my original point which I didn't get across, and can be completely incorrect is: Perrin's gift is being a wolf brother. Balzamon (Ish) says in book two or three that he's encountered this before when he burns Perrin's wolf protector alive in a dream. Somewhere in book 1 or 2, Balzamon hold a figurine of Mat and calls him.... shoot... not the Rascal... something else that is eluding me. Anyway, he says he's dealt with him before, too. To me, they seem to be almost the reincarnation of earlier figures who stood against the DO as Lews Therin has. Perrin - the oldest. Then, Mat. Then, Rand. Just a feeling I got. I enjoy myth and religion and it's part of the reason I love RJ's books. I also like to figure out a puzzle. Anyway, glad people are interested in the discussion.

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Here's another link with explanation:

 

http://www.uiweb.uid...tic/celtic.html

 

IF Arthur existed, they believe it was in the 6th century, which is 500-600 years after Christ.

 

Granted I'm no expert of the materials but I have always heard that the Arthur myth pre-dates Christianity IN Britain which is what I meant to say. The stories were changed later on as the religion gained influence but I have never heard they were originally built on Christianity.

Edited by Suttree
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Here's another link with explanation:

 

http://www.uiweb.uid...tic/celtic.html

 

IF Arthur existed, they believe it was in the 6th century, which is 500-600 years after Christ.

 

Granted I'm no expert of the materials but I have always heard that the Arthur myth pre-dates Christianity IN Britain which is what I meant to say. The stories were changed later on as the religion gained influence but I have never heard they were originally built on Christianity.

 

Certain parts of the myths may predate Christianity on the Isle of Britain. Other parts of the myths are completely Christian.

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Here's another link with explanation:

 

http://www.uiweb.uid...tic/celtic.html

 

IF Arthur existed, they believe it was in the 6th century, which is 500-600 years after Christ.

 

Granted I'm no expert of the materials but I have always heard that the Arthur myth pre-dates Christianity IN Britain which is what I meant to say. The stories were changed later on as the religion gained influence but I have never heard they were originally built on Christianity.

 

Certain parts of the myths may predate Christianity on the Isle of Britain. Other parts of the myths are completely Christian.

unfortunately this is correct, the Arthurian (originals) where so prevelant that christians couldnt destroy them, so they christianized them in order to convert more people

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Arthur was actually , what is believable at last , a clan chief who united britain around the V and VI century against a Saxon invasion , from there sprung Kelt legend , Celtic , and around the XII century Christians took upon themselves to rewrite those legend . The most famous is Chretiens de Troyes a french .

From him you have Perceval ou le Conte du Graal , Lancelot ou le chevalier a la charette and Yvain, le Chevalier au lion .

As Durinax said they couldn't erase the Celtic heritage so over time they made him a knight in service of the Christ in the quest of the Graal ; to convert .As an example Camelot is a pure fiction .

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Arthur was actually , what is believable at last , a clan chief who united britain around the V and VI century against a Saxon invasion , from there sprung Kelt legend , Celtic , and around the XII century Christians took upon themselves to rewrite those legend .

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Britain#Christianity

 

Of course a clan chief in the 5th or 6th century would probably be a Celtic Christian, so the Christians only had to Frenchify the myths, rather than Christianizing them. The Arthur myths probably were based on earlier local legends mixed with the then-current state of the world, but well, such is true for christianity nearly everywhere (adopting parts of local culture and building upon it with Christianity)

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