Prologue #2: Eye of the World
Word-Count by POV:
Egwene al'Vere - 10,044
The chapter opens with a nine-year-old Egwene al’Vere carrying water from the Winespring. She is with many of the other villagers from Emond’s Field in a clearing called Widow Aynal’s Meadow to the southeast of Emond’s Field. They are all there as today is the day that sheep are sheared in the village and the entire village has shown up to take part in the shearing.
Egwene has been assigned the task of bringing water to the men and women working in the field. She has decided to take her job very seriously and is determined to be the “best water carrier ever.” While filling her bucket, Egwene notices a raven acting strangely and watching the men work.
As she carries her water, a boy two years older than her named Kenley Ahan tells her that she won’t be able to play with the other kids this year and tells her to get on about her work, which annoys Egwene greatly. Because he will be able to join the older boys next year in shearing sheep, he believes he has some authority over her and she doesn’t like him giving her orders. She attempts to give him a look she has seen the older women give to men, but it doesn’t have the desired effect.
She continues carrying water through the crowd of people and offers water to anyone who wants it. She takes care to avoid her four sisters in the crowd because they treat her like a baby and she doesn’t like that.
Egwene makes her way back to refill her bucket and spots the village blacksmith Master Luhhan talking with Con and Joslyn Aybara, the parents of Perrin Aybara. She isn’t sure what they are talking about, but she notices another girl named Cilia Cole staring at Perrin and Egwene immediately grimaces at Cilia staring at Perrin. Egwene then notices another raven looking in their direction and comments to herself that they are everywhere today.
As Egwene looks in that direction, Adora Aybara asks Egwene why she is staring at Perrin and Egwene resents that Adora thought that Egwene was staring at Perrin. Egwene looks for Perrin after this exchange to go speak with him, but he is gone so she continues to the river to refill her bucket of water.
After refilling her bucket, Egwene comes across the village Wisdom, Mistress Barran and her apprentice Nynaeve al’Meara. They are tending the wound Bili Congar had given himself with a set of wool shears. Again, Egwene notices a number of ravens staring at them and she thinks its extremely unnatural that they are just watching and not trying to get food. Egwene decides to ask Mistress Barran about the ravens, but before she can, Nynaeve asks Egwene if she has work to do and Egwene reluctantly goes back to delivering water.
Egwene continues delivering water and overhears her sister Elisa and another woman talking about why Elisa’s hair isn’t allowed to be braided yet and when Elisa notices Egwene, she takes her frustrations out on Egwene, admonishing her and telling her that the “grownups” were working there and she should leave.
Egwene goes back to refill her bucket yet again and decides to look for Perrin and Mat Cauthon. She eventually finds them with some other boys, including Rand al’Thor. Everyone in the village has told her that one day she will marry Rand and she wonders what kind of husband he will be.
The boys talk about their futures and some talk of going on adventures. Egwene muses to herself that she would love to go on adventures. The boys are about to get back to work when Dannil Lewin tells the boys that the Mayor wants to see them. She decides to follow them to find out what the Mayor, who is her father, wants with them.
When they all get to there the Mayor is working, he tells them that they have worked hard and that he will reward them with a story. The boys ask for stories about trollocs and false Dragons, but Bran says he doesn’t know any stories like that and asks Tam al’Thor if he will tell a story. Tam tells them the story of how the Dragon lead the Hundred Companions to Shayol Guhl and sealed the bore into the Dark One’s prison. Perrin asks Tam what a Dragon is and Tam doesn’t know, but they all agree that it sounds fierce.
After the conclusion of the story, the boys get back to work and so does Egwene. But as she is heading back to get more water, she notices more ravens staring at her. She decides to not be distracted and puts her thoughts back to being the best water carrier ever.
We then get a bit of a flash-forward as the chapter gives us the narration that Egwene carried water the following year, but moved on to helping with food the year after. She gives herself the new goal of being the youngest girl to get her hair braided. She stops listening to adults tell stories, but still likes to read of distant lands.
“At nine, she was carrying water for the first time, but she was going to be the best water-carrier ever.” - Egwene al’Vere
Mistress (Joslyn) Luhhan
Minor Spoilers Below!!!
Widow Aynal's Meadow
The Two Rivers
When Tam tells his story, he mentions buildings in the Age of Legends that were taller than the White Tower and almost as tall as mountains. This is clearly a reference to skyscrapers.
In the same story, we see references to cars and planes that are run with the One Power. This is essentially what our world would look like if we had infinite power from the One Power rather than non-renewable energy sources.
The Travels of Jain Farstrider
We see a scene of Perrin’s parents talking with Master Luhhan and although we don’t know explicitly what they are talking about, we see some dialogue from Master Luhhan indicating that Perrin will do very well. This appears to be the beginnings of Perrin’s apprenticeship with Master Luhhan as the blacksmith.
When Egwene meets the Wisdom, Mistress Barran, and Nynaeve, she thinks on how the previous Wisdom’s apprentice before Nynaeve died from a sudden illness that Mistress Barran was powerless to stop. Given the descriptions, this is very likely channeling sickness. Nynaeve later has had similar experiences but survived them.
When Egwene overhears the boys talking, Rand mentions that he wants to be a king. The boys make fun of him and call him the King of Sheep. Later, Rand becomes more than a King, being the Dragon Reborn and essentially rules over all of the Westlands and the forces of the Light, as well as having multiple actual kingdoms under his reign.
We get the first mention that Rand’s eyes are different than anyone in the Two Rivers here. It is stated that he has blue and grey eyes and that no one else in the Two Rivers has these colored eyes.
In the same conversion among the boys, Mat says that he wants to run off and live without working, again foreshadowing his personality that we will see later as he constantly wants to avoid work.
The ravens play a major role in the chapter as they are seemingly spying on the boys and Egwene. We later know that ravens can be eyes of the Dark One and their peculiar behavior is really indicative of this. Egwene even feels that “someone” was watching her, not just the raven.
Perrin asks at the end of Tam al’Thor’s story about what a Dragon is. This again foreshadows Perrin’s inquisitive nature and insightfulness as he always tries to understand things.
Egwene demonstrates throughout the chapter her ambition and her goal setting. She sets up her later character arcs of having a strong desire to be the best at everything she does.
Why would the Shadow be watching the boys and Egwene this early? If they knew the Dragon was here, why wouldn’t they have acted sooner?
Perrin’s family is included here when we don’t see them later in the story and I have to wonder if this was done to humanize them to a degree so when they are killed later in The Shadow Rising that is has some weight.
This particular prologue was written well after the first book was released and was released as a part of splitting Eye of the World into two separate books geared towards a young adult audience. It does go well with the previous prologue as it gives some context to the first prologue that was lacking in the original version
During Tam’s story, Egwene believes that Tam was wrong because he said that the Forsaken were once Aes Sedai. This is a great example of how Robert Jordan writes the unreliable narrator. Egwene thinks that only women can be Aes Sedai because that’s how it is at the time she is alive and since some of the Forsaken were men, this couldn’t be true.
Age of Legends
War of the Shadow