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Favorite Moments from The Eye of the World

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I’m excited to write about my favorite moments from The Eye of the World, and I’ve narrowed it down to the top three.

Dragonmount and the scenes at the Eye miss my cut, for which I must apologize. The Eye of the World is bookended by these two dramatic events, so they deserve a mention. I’ve left out the Ways, too, and so many others!

In summary, this cull was brutal, but do you agree with my final picks? Let me know in the comments.

Books on a sky-blue background. Feature image for the Favorite Moments from The Eye of the World post.

SPOILER WARNING: This post has explicit spoilers for The Eye of the World. Important events will be covered in some detail, but I do not spoil the book’s ending.

My Favorite Moments from The Eye of the World

From amongst a horde of epic scenes, these are my top three favorite moments from The Eye of the World. Some artistic liberty has been given to the definition of “moment.”

Winternight

The Winternight chapter marks the beginning of Rand’s call to adventure, and it hits home in a memorable way.

Robert Jordan perfectly illustrates the farmhouse setting and way of life for the al’Thors, before unleashing the Trollocs. As fantastical stories become real nightmares for Rand, I, as the reader, feel immersed in his terror.

The Farmhouse

Tam and Rand al’Thor return to their farmhouse in The Westwood, an unusual and isolated place to farm. There’s some wariness in Tam following Rand’s tale about the mysterious black-clad rider. Rand stables Bela and completes some chores while dinner stews.

As the pair settle, Rand is alarmed that Tam locks the doors, something people in the Two Rivers don’t usually need to do. He’s stunned again when his father unpacks a heron-marked blade from a chest under his bed. Rand has questions, but they must wait. There’s a large thumping at the farmhouse door, and then it bursts open!

When Robert Jordan trips the switch, the action is a page burner to read.

Tam proves that the sword is not merely a collector’s piece as he battles a group of muzzled Trollocs who have grunted their way into the living area. Rand escapes through a window while Tam fights the Trollocs, leading the beasts away from the farmhouse. The two reunite in the Westwood, but Tam has taken a wound.

With Tam’s sword, Rand returns to the farmhouse to gather supplies. There, he runs into Narg, the only talking Trolloc in The Wheel of Time series (earning iconic status by uniquity rather than intelligence). Narg is not so “smart” when he manages to impale himself on the heron-marked blade.

Rand returns to his father and plans to get him to the village so Nynaeve, the Wisdom, can tend to the insipid Trolloc wound.

The Westwood

The gash on Tam’s chest doesn’t seem coarse enough to warrant the burning fever that’s crippling him. The man is mumbling to himself and burning up badly.

Rand is resourceful in his fear. He bandages his father and constructs a makeshift litter. He avoids using the main Quarry Road to the village but keeps close to it to avoid losing his way. Tam is gibbering as if to his long-dead wife, Kari, not helping Rand’s efforts to hide.

To the writer’s credit, Rand’s predicament is horrifying. The threat of monsters in the dark is palpable as Rand struggles through The Westwood. There’s a terrifying moment when a Fade leads a group of Trollocs up the Quarry Road. The rider’s innate hatred for all things seeps into Rand’s fear.

Tam talks about war and a flood of savages crossing the Dragonwall. There’s mention of Avendesora, the Tree of Life, and the price of Laman’s pride. Stories, Rand reflects, on a night when the stories became real.

“Maybe all the stories were as real as the news the peddlers and merchants brought, all the gleeman’s tales and all the stories told at night in front of the fireplace. Next, he might actually meet the Green Man, or an Ogier giant, or a wild, black-veiled Aielman.”

The stomach punch comes when Tam mutters about a dying woman giving birth on the slope of a mountain. A baby he saved, taking it back to Kari. They named it Rand.

Rand buries it as a fever dream, though the stable protections of his youth are shattered by the night’s events. It’s heartbreaking.

Robert Jordan’s use of show-don’t-tell is expertly done in crafting these chapters, and Winternight is easily amongst my favorite moments of the entire series.

Shadar Logoth

Shadar Logoth means “the place where shadows wait” in the Old Tongue. It’s a city that corrupted itself from within and bred an evil to rival that of the Shadow when its toxic people massacred each other. So, when Moiraine detours there, it’s enough to bring a sense of foreboding.

The party’s experience in Shadar Logoth tightens our suspense, and the dramatic climax results in a traumatic separation of the group. But the city is so vast our lightly traveled youths can’t help but gawp at it. In their naivety, the boys have more wonder than wisdom at this stage.

Having found shelter, an exhausted Moiraine takes some rest. This allows Mat to suggest exploring the city. It’s an exasperating and patently stupid idea.

Intrigue gets the better of Rand and Perrin, and they agree to tag along. It’s a dead city. Please wake up, kids!

Mordeth

So it is that the three boys are found by a man calling himself Mordeth. The stranger keeps to the shadows because he’s been sheltering inside for so long. Not dodgy at all, then.

He asks for the boys’ help carrying treasure out of the city. The promise of riches is enough to sucker Mat into agreeing. This leaves Rand and Perrin with no choice but to follow.

Mordeth leads them to treasure, but his mood changes when Aes Sedai and Tar Valon, the city from which Aes Sedai rule, are mentioned. And then Rand realizes that the strange man has no shadow!

The body of Mordeth balloons before their eyes, towering over them and reaching out to engulf the boys and block their escape. But something, perhaps a light ray, causes him to whimper and suffer back into the shadows.

Mat ensures he leaves with some treasure, at least – a dagger with a ruby in its hilt. An acquisition he’ll come to regret.

The trio flee back to their companions but feel haunted by watchers in the shadows as they make their way to safety.

Hey, we all mess up sometimes.

Mashadar

A night’s sleep, possible due to Moiraine’s protective wards, is broken when Myrddraal and Trollocs overcome their fear of Shadar Logoth (or are driven by a superior dread) and enter the city. The party must flee at once.

Here, the group is separated by the misty tendrils of Mashadar.

Mashadar manifests Shadar Logoth’s evil and brings death at a touch as it sweeps through the city by night. Trollocs and Fades are ensnared by this malignant mist, but our party must fend against Mashadar and the Shadowspawn!

Rand finds himself in a party of three with Mat and Thom, and, because of point-of-view, we don’t know what fate befell the others just yet.

Robert Jordan leaves us shriveled in irritation at Mat’s idiocy, pumped by the adrenalin-packed escape and desperate to read more. The separation also allows Robert Jordan to explore other points of view in the coming chapters, which serves the book well.

So yes, Shadar Logoth is clearly a favorite moment of mine.

Caemlyn

On his arrival, Rand is in awe of Caemlyn’s size and splendor. It’s a feeling I share as The Eye of the World enters its most significant phase.

Robert Jordan spends a healthy amount of the book building his world, planting seeds that continue to flower as the story progresses. An expert in his craft, Robert Jordan’s skill truly blossoms in the capital of Andor. The mental imagery I formed on my first read of these chapters is still with me now, as explicit and ageless as an Aes Sedai face.

The plot, world and new characters are deliciously served to us. Reunions and the dagger revelation happen later (I don’t cover them here), but The Wheel of Time is born in Caemlyn, and I love it.

Our main characters have changed a lot since we last saw them together, but they’re on a more significant journey than they think.

The Queen’s Blessing Inn

Rand doesn’t know the meaning behind the red cloth/white cord and white cloth/red cord fashion accessories he finds on sale, but he must protect against any unwanted interest in his sword. He covers the sheath and hilt of his heron-marked blade with red cloth since it’s the cheapest.

Unwittingly, however, Rand is now broadcasting his political support for the Queen of Andor. This alone could provoke hostile attention in some parts of the city.

The increasingly sour Mat is not the best company, but the pair follow Thom Merrilin’s instructions and find their way to The Queen’s Blessing Inn. The overweight innkeeper, Basel Gill, quickly ushers the boys outside for a chat.

The loveable Gill is wary of Aes Sedai matters and troubles in general, but he agrees to give the boys bed and board since they’re friends of Thom (who, we learn, was Queen Morgase’s court bard and lover for a time). Mat takes to bed, so Rand looks for privacy in the inn’s library.

And that’s where we meet Loial, son of Arent, son of Halan. The giant Ogier’s name rings in my ears, but Rand mistakes him for a Trolloc! Once Rand’s initial fright is placated, the two become friends, and we get to know the adorable Loial. We learn a lot, too!

Robert Jordan packs a lot of exposition into The Queen’s Blessing interactions, but the reading is lightweight and engaging because the characters are so enjoyable. There’s also a change in tone as the narrative focuses on the political and social aspects of city life.

Loial also fills us in on history, lore, Ogier, Aiel, and ta’veran. This takes us out of the traveling adventure mode we’ve been accustomed to and is a refreshing read because of it.

Logain is a man who can channel the One Power, so his destiny is madness if it hasn’t befallen him already. He also proclaimed himself the Dragon Reborn, gathering a following before the Aes Sedai captured him.

Prophecies dictate that Lews Therin Telamon, named “Dragon,” will be born again. He will return in the world’s direst need and be humanity’s savior or destroyer.

Lews Therin led 100 companions, all male Aes Sedai, to reseal the Dark One’s prison at Shayol Ghul in the last Age. The Dark One’s retaliation was to corrupt the male half of the power, sending men with the gift insane. These madmen sundered the world, and the Dragon killed everyone he loved.

It brought about the Breaking of the World and the end of the Age of Legends.

Men channeling is a loathsome and dangerous act in the current Age, but just mentioning the Dragon is fouler still. It fills a man with fear, bitter hatred, and despair. The Dragon’s Fang symbol is a sign of evil across nations.

Most men, women, and children will weep just thinking about the Dragon Reborn. His coming will bring carnage to the world, and no one wants that in their lifetime. So Logain’s downfall, now he’s been subdued and shielded from the power, is a big deal.

He’ll soon be gentled by Aes Sedai at the White Tower in Tar Valon. Logain will likely lose any will to live when he’s permanently cut off from “saidin”, the source of the One Power for men. Thank the Light!

The False Dragon

Rand can’t resist the draw of seeing the False Dragon, Logain, paraded through the streets of Caemlyn by Aes Sedai.

Despite what seems like a wasting sickness in Mat and the news that a rabid vagabond has been asking after him, Rand ventures out. Alas, he comes across the half-mad beggar in the streets – the massed crowd is giving way to the filthy rogue. The wretched man points directly at Rand, his cue to scarper.

Still determined to catch sight of the parade, Rand climbs a wall. He sees Logain, who looks up to where Rand is sitting. The caged man laughs… at Rand, it seems!

Eight Aes Sedai keep a shield on the False Dragon, but Rand wonders what they’re up to. Answering voices unseat Rand from his perch, and he tumbles heavily to the ground below… into the Royal Gardens.

So much for being discrete!

The flag of Andor - a white lion rampant on a field of red.
The flag of Andor – “Forward the White Lion!”

The Royal Palace

The haughty but pretty Elayne (the daughter-heir of Andor) and the amiable Gawyn (her brother and sworn sword) see Rand to his feet. Thankfully, the two seem likely to let Rand’s trespassing slide since they’re breaking the rules themselves, but the arrival of half-brother Galad puts paid to that notion.

Galad’s painful benevolence results in guards leading Rand away. He’s to answer for his security breach before Queen Morgase herself!

Aes Sedai advisor Elaida, a Red Sister who seems to pulse with severity and suspicion, is in attendance along with Gareth Bryne (Captain General of the Queen’s Guard).

Elaida has a Foretelling – a prophetical and rare Aes Sedai talent. Worryingly, Elaida “speaks truly” that Rand will stand at the heart of the world’s pain and division. That is not what Rand wants to hear right now.

Morgase is a fair ruler and sees no malice, so she allows Rand to leave. However, Robert Jordan revels in introducing the Andoran family and its court.

The conversations are layered to ensure an ample supply of new information. Tricks of the trade, but Robert Jordan levels up the scale of the plot with Elaida’s revelations. He lets us know that Rand’s journey will be epic and painful.

These are memorable moments from The Eye of the World and why our first visit to Caemlyn is so intrinsic to the success of The Wheel of Time book series.

Leigh Butler

If you’re following my The Eye of the World navigation, you’ll be coming to my The Eye of the World synopsis posts next. Well, the first parts of it, at least.

I’ve challenged myself to complete a full synopsis, but my work won’t be a chapter-by-chapter summary. Such a feat was accomplished by Leigh Butler back in 2009 through 2014. Her labor of love for The Wheel of Time can be found at tor.com (opens in a new tab). It’s a charismatic and sincere account of Leigh’s re-read before the publication of The Gathering Storm.

Leigh also continues after Knife of Dreams, covering the whole series. She has released her monumental commentary as Kindle books (Amazon link), and it’s worth the dimes, so please support her work if you can. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

I’m immensely grateful to Leigh (I’m finding her words tremendously helpful for my efforts here), and she inspires me. May you always find water and shade, Leigh Butler.

TAKE YOUR PICK OF 5 VOLUMES OR BUY THEM ALL

Well, that’s everything for this post. What are your favorite moments from The Eye of the World? Use the comments section below to let me know, and I’ll be sure to respond.

Until next time, may the Light shine on you, my friends!

Russell

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TAP FOR PART 1 OF MY “THE EYE OF THE WORLD” SYNOPSIS

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