Rereading The Eye of the World, chapters 37-42

In which Perrin and Egwene are rescued from Whitecloaks, Rand meets Elayne and visits with the queen, Basel Gill faces down Whitecloaks, Moiraine et al. arrive in Caemlyn, Mat’s possession of the dagger is discovered, and a decision is made to travel the Ways to seek the Eye of the Word (title drop!).

In a long series full of Lan’s badassery, this sequence has one of the very best examples (below the jump):

Byar opened his mouth, and as Perrin waited for sentence to be pronounced, things began to happen too fast for thought.

Suddenly one of the guards vanished.  One minute there were two dim shapes, the next the night swallowed one of them.  The second guard turned, the beginning of a cry on his lips, but before the first syllable was uttered there was a solid tchunk and he toppled over like a felled tree.

Byar spun, swift as a striking viper, the axe whirling in his hands so fast that it hummed.  Perrin’s eyes bulged as the night seemed to flow into the lantern light.  His mouth opened to yell, but his throat locked tight with fear.  For an instant he even forgot that Byar wanted to kill them.  The Whitecloak was another human being, and the night had come alive to take them all.

Then the darkness invading the light became Lan, cloak swirling through shades of gray and black as he moved.  The axe in Byar’s hands lashed out like lightning . . . and Lan seemed to lean casually aside, letting the blade pass so close he must have felt the wind of it.  Byar’s eyes widened as the force of his blow carried him off balance, as the Warder struck with hands and feet in rapid succession, so quick that Perrin was no sure what he had just seen.  What he was sure of was Byar collapsing like a puppet.  Before the falling Whitecloak had finished settling to the ground, the Warder was on his knees extinguishing the lantern.

The first chapter also features a character-revealing moment from Nynaeve—she comments on her own fear in her internal monologue but it doesn’t stop her from acting any more than it will throughout the series.  Her refusal to succumb to her fear leads to her discovery of Bela in the Whitecloaks lines, cementing a trend for a long line of improbably occurrences that keep Bela in the story.

These are mostly setup chapters.  What is remarkable, though, is that they don’t just set up the end game for the book.  There are a lot of characters running around in these chapters who we will see much more of later.  Byar, Basel Gill, Lamgwin, Morgase, Gawyn, Elayne (one of the six main characters), Elaida.

I have to say that Moiraine is a little overly credulous about the references to the Eye dropped in her lap, even considering the role that fate plays within the world of the story.  But, hey, it all works out in the end.  And it gets us in the Ways . . .

 

You can find all of my reread posts at The Wheel of Time Reread Index.

About H.P.

Blogs on books at Every Day Should Be Tuesday (speculative fiction) and Hillbilly Highways (country noir and nonfiction). https://everydayshouldbetuesday.wordpress.com/ https://hillbillyhighways.wordpress.com/
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12 Responses to Rereading The Eye of the World, chapters 37-42

  1. Bookstooge says:

    Ahh, if only Lan had killed Byar. Oh well 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • J.J. Adamson says:

      Can Lan kill when he wants to? Moiraine can’t use the power as a weapon except in self-defense, etc., but Lan’s not prevented from killing anyone is he?

      Liked by 2 people

      • H.P. says:

        He definitely can. He tells Perrin that he doesn’t kill when he doesn’t have to, but he kills plenty throughout the series.

        Like

      • Bookstooge says:

        Well, what HP quoted sure seems to show Lan killing some other White Cloaks, so I don’t see why Byar would be any different…

        Liked by 1 person

        • J.J. Adamson says:

          I thought Lan just knocked the guy out eighties-style. You know, one quick jab to the back of the neck?

          Liked by 2 people

          • Bookstooge says:

            Well, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for this type of thing now that you’ve brought it to my attention. Not making any promises that I’ll remember to tell you though 😀

            Liked by 1 person

          • H.P. says:

            From when he shows back up in book 6:

            “He would not have gone aside to seek battle. . . . He would not have moved one foot to stand aside from battle either. She had felt his journey in distance and blood; his blood. [T]hrough lands infested with rebels and rogues, bandits and Dragonsworn, focused on her like an arrow speeding to the target, carving his way through any man who stood in his path.”

            Like

  2. J.J. Adamson says:

    I’m re-reading the series myself. I’m almost 200 pgs. in to The Dragon Reborn, and I have to say it’s jogging my memory that of all the subplots, I really don’t understand what’s going on with the Whitecloaks. What is the conflict between Carridin and Bornhald in The Great Hunt? I understand why Byar is obsessed with Perrin, but how exactly was anyone betrayed at Falme? I can also see Byar blaming Bornhald’s death and the loss of his legion on Perrin, but why betrayed? It just kind of washed over me the other times I read the series, now I’m not so sure what is going on with the Whitecloaks: what do they want, other than to kill Darkfriends and so on?

    Liked by 1 person

    • H.P. says:

      It’s complicated…even having just read it. Pedron Niall has a xanatos plot to seize Almoth Plain, which isn’t bad but he doesn’t tell anybody the details. Bornhold freelances with the discovery of the Seanchan and hates Questioners (both reasonable). Carridin is a Darkfriend so he has mixed loyalties. Byar already hates Perrin from the first book, sees Perrin entering Falme shortly before the battle, and takes a wild (but plausible) leap of logic in service of his preexisting hate. He also gets brushed by what Fain carries from Shadar Logoth in book 4, which ends any chance of reconciliation.

      Pedon Niall’s machinations have plenty of effect later on. His “dragonsworn” do much to poison the well against Rand, and sealing the border with Tarabon helps keep knowledge the Seanchan have returned from getting out.

      Like

      • J.J. Adamson says:

        I got a little bit from Niall’s dressing down of JC at the beginning of TDR (followed quickly by the Myrddraal’s order to kill Rand). It’s really unclear in The Great Hunt. It’s probably the only thing I’ve had to look up on the websites to keep track of.

        It’s quite different reading the series again after eight years or so. My tastes haven’t really changed, but I notice things I didn’t use to notice. Before I would just let a lot of stuff go, hoping it would get resolved later (quite often it does).

        Liked by 1 person

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