Prologue: Eye of the World
Word-Count by POV:
Lews Therin Telamon - 2,362
Quote - 254
The story opens with Lews Therin Telamon wandering through the remnants of his palace. There are dead men, women, and children on the floors of the palace. The narration indicates that these people were killed by some sort of power that had chased them even as they tried to escape.
Lews Therin Telamon is seemingly unaware of the destruction and death around him. He continues to search the palace, calling for his wife Ilyena. A man appears behind him, the air shimmering and rippling until the man simply appears from nothing. The man is dressed in black and Lews Therin Telamon does not seem to know who he is, instead asking him if he has come to take part in the Singing or to visit.
The man identifies himself as Elan Morin Tedronai and Lews Therin remembers his other name, Betrayer of Hope. Lews Therin continues to ignore the man’s taunts, instead asking about where his wife Ilyena could be. Elan Morin, the man dressed in black, mocks Lews Therin, saying that he “once stood first among the Servants. Once you wore the Ring of Tamyrlin and sat in the High Seat. Once you summoned the Nine Rods of Dominion. Now, look at you! A pitiful shattered wretch.”
He then uses his own version of healing to give Lews Therin clarity and remove the madness from his mind. The healing is extremely painful, but once the pain dissipates, Lews Therin is now aware of the dead lying around his palace and sees his wife, Illyena Sunhair, lying dead. He screams in agony and then turns to confront the Betrayer, who he blames for her death. He states that for 10 years the Betrayer’s master has wracked the world, but he is interrupted as the Betrayer tells him their battles have been occurring since the beginning of time and that they will continue to fight until the Shadow is triumphant.
But The Betrayer of Hope reminds him that it was Lews Therin who killed his family and everyone he loved. Stricken with overwhelming grief, pain, and guilt, Lews Therin uses the True Source, although saidin is tainted, to Travel. Essentially, Lews Therin uses the True Source to transport himself to a remote area, devoid of habitation. He finds himself on flat land with a large river nearby.
Giving in to his grief and guilt over what he had done, he draws on so much of the One Power that he destroys himself by channeling a great amount of the One Power into the earth and a large volcanic mountain forms on the flat plane. The mountain is miles high and its forming reshapes the area, pushing a curve into the previously straight river and forming a long island in the river.
After the creation of the mountain and the island, the black-clad man again appears on the island and his face shows rage and contempt at the events that had just occurred. He vows that it isn’t over between them and their battle will not be done until the end of time and then vanishes.
“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 the 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 Drianaan te Calamon, The Cycle of the Dragon. Author unknown, the Fourth Age)
Minor Spoilers Below!!!
Lews Therin's Palace
Ring of the Tamyrlin
The High Seat
Nine Rods of Dominion
Aes Sedai Symbol
When Ishamael appears, the air shimmers and he simply appears. This isn’t how Traveling is done with the One Power, so it is very much implied that he is using the True Power (the power given by the Dark One) instead. He then goes on to say that he “follows a different power now”, implying the same thing.
Obviously, although it isn’t stated overtly, the man in black that Lews Therin calls the Betrayer of Hope is Ishamael. Ishamael actually means Betrayer of Hope in the Old Tongue that Lews Therin spoke, so there as no need to call him a different name.
Ishamael tells Lews Therin that they have fought thousands upon thousands of battles with the turning of the Wheel and they will continue to fight until the Shadow is triumphant. This is very indicative of Ishamael’s philosophy and reason for turning to the Shadow. He believed that if the Wheel of Time would continue to turn forever, that at some point, the Shadow would eventually be triumphant and break the Wheel of Time and that it was inevitable. This was why he joined the Shadow and you can see the seeds of that philosophy here when talking to Lews Therin in the Prologue of the series.
The mountain formed at the end of the Prologue is Dragonmount and the island formed inside the river is the island that will much later become Tar Valon. Even though we don’t see Tar Valon in Eye of the World, you can see that Robert Jordan had this mapped out and how it tied together.
The quotes at the end of the Prologue come from the Fourth Age and although they describe the events of the Breaking of the World and the rebirth of the Dragon, they are written in a time after the Last Battle, implying from the very beginning that the Light will be victorious again.
Lews Therin makes the comment that Ishamael shouldn’t use the name “Shai’tan” as it is dangerous. This is echoed later in the story when Rand thinks he has done something wrong in The Great Hunt by naming the Dark One. This is never fleshed out why this is dangerous or what the result of naming the Dark One truly was.
Ishamael mentions that its too bad Lews Therin’s “Sisters” aren’t here there heal him. It’s interesting that it seems there is the assumption that only the female channelers heal. Why did Ishamael specifically say Sisters over other Servants or Healers? The best answer here I can think of is that all of the male channelers are going insane and it would take a “Sister” to heal him.
Ishamael says that people named Lews Therin the Dragon, something we know is true. What we don’t know is what exactly a Dragon is or why he earned that title. We know that actual Dragons in the way we think of them do not exist in this world.
Why is Ishamael already free? It is later explained that he was never totally sealed in the Bore and we see him reappear every thousand years or so in the story for a period of 40 years. Aran, son of Malan, son of Senar reported that people saw Ishamael up to 40 years after the sealing of the Bore and speculated that he was released in 40-year increments. The other question this brings up though is how long had the Bore been sealed when Ishamael arrived at Lews Therin’s home?
Ishamael performs some sort of healing on Lews Therin to restore his sanity. What type of healing was this? It is implied by Ishamael that Aes Sedai wouldn’t be able to give him more than a few minutes of sanity and he then states that Shai’tan’s healing is different? What is the nature of this healing? Did he extend the same protection against the Taint that the other Forsaken had?
Pride is something that comes up as a common theme with Lews Therin’s character. He seemingly admits to his pride being the cause of his downfall before he ends his life. He is extremely powerful, but it seems he was used to getting his way and always being the smartest person in the room. This pride led him to attempt the seal the Bore without the help of the women. Additionally, we see this come up with Ishamael and the other Forsaken repeatedly. A good number of the Forsaken joined the ranks of the Shadow because of disrespect or slights from Lews Therin. Whether they were real slights or perceived, it seems he was a source of envy and jealousy for many and he didn’t seem to quell that well.
As mentioned, many of the Forsaken were motivated by Lews Therin’s pride. Ishamael mentions here that he was humbled by Lews Therin in the Hall of Servants and defeated at Paran Disen and that he wants Lews Therin to be aware that Ishamael had beaten him now and be aware of how far he had fallen. This seems to indicate that Ishamael was not driven purely by logic and philosophy, but also a desire to be “right”
Lord of the Morning
The Fourth Age