For those of you who don’t already know this, I am a huge fan of The Wheel of Time series by the late Robert Jordan. It is nearing completion now, as Brandon Sanderson has stepped up to finishe the series. (He also co-hosts a writers podcast called Writing Excuses, take a listen if you have some time.)
If you havn’t read the series this post will mean very little to you, so go read up and come back when you are done… likely about six months from now.
Once upon a time, before I began my own journey as a writer, I picked up the first book in the series. I have always loved fantasy stories, and needed a good hefty book to get me through a trip I was about to take. A friend at work reccomended the series, so I picked up the first book.
It was amazing.
As I worked my way through the series one of my best friends did as well, generally staying at about the same point as myself. We spent many hours discussing what had come before in the tale, and where we saw it going. In fact, we likely spent more time on theory-crafting what might come to pass than we did on actually reading the books.
We caught a lot of the little things, nuances, forshadowed events. Like the players of another wheel, the Wheel of Fortune, we were good at solving puzzles with only half the pieces.
In fact, if the two of us get together and watch any type of mystery on television our wives would leave the room, because we tended to spoil things for them by figuring out who did it before the heroes did.
Years later, and many re-reads later I now see the story differently.
It’s still epicly awesome, at a level I don’t even aspire to in my own writing. The difference is that now I see more than just the story itself, I see the craftsmanship that went into it. I can see underneath the surface to the framework that it was built on.
All my plotlines are but houses of cards by comparison.
Alrighty then enough mooning over the story.
Im not here for that, I’m here to make some predictions about how the story will unfold.
You see, I started a complete reread of the series today, and I saw something that simply clicked.
I know now that the good guys will win.
What make me so certain you ask?
Simple. There is a passage in the prelude to the first book that tells you.
“And it came to pass in those days, as it had come before and would come again, that the Dark lay heavy on the land and weighed down the hearts of men, and the green things failed, and hope died. And men cried out to the Creator, saying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the promised one be born of the mountain, according to the prophecies, as he was in ages past and will be in ages to come. Let the prince of the morning sing to the land that green things will grow and valleys give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.
(from Charal Drinnan te Calamon, the Cycle of the Dragon, author unknown, the Fourth Age.”
Thats part of the prolog, before the maps and such, in the beginnig of the first book in the series. This next bit is literally the next paragraph of text, though it is several pages of artwork later.
“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, and Age long past, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist. The wind was not the beginning, there are neither Beginnings nor endings to the turning of The Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.”
Those two paragraphs speak volumes once you have read the tale. We learn a lot as we go.
We know that one of the main characters of our tale is the Dragon Reborn. We become familliar with the prophecies that ere mentioned in the first paragraph. We see many of those events unfold. Actually I believe we have seen everything other than the Prince of the Morning singing to the land, though he is closely intertwined with it, even to the point of having a bubble of good weather and bountiful crops follow where he goes.
The most telling part of the passage is this. It was written in the Fourth Age.
It history, already happened, perhaps on it’s way to fading into legend by the time of the quote.
The Dragon Reborn, the Lord of the Morning, is referred to as the hero in that little snippet.
The winners write the history books.
I could get a lot more into it, and likely will as my re-read continues, but for now I can read through knowing that the good guys will come out on top in the end.
So who wants to re-read with me?
Come on, its an excellent series, and the last book should be out later this year.