Chapter 3: Eye of the World
Word-Count by POV:
Rand al'Thor - 5260
The chapter opens with the peddler’s wagon crossing the Wagon Bridge in the Emond’s Field Green and stopping in front of the Winespring Inn. At the arrival of the peddler, many villagers, including the village council, crowd around the wagon to hear news and purchase goods.
The crowd demands the peddler, Padan Fain, to give them information about the outside world. Fain keeps the crowd waiting, fiddling with small tasks on his wagon to build tension and build excitement. Eventually, he stands and speaks, telling the villagers of Emond’s Field of wars in Ghealdan with a man that claims to be the Dragon Reborn and tells of Aes Sedai being dispatched to capture him as he can channel the One Power.
The Village Council and the Mayor, Bran al’Vere, alarmed at the talk of war and false dragons, asks Fain to come into the Inn to speak privately. Fain agrees and as the men disappear into the Inn, the crowd disperses, but Rand, Mat, and Perrin remain and begin talking about the news of the false dragon and the war. Mat tells them that he heard from a merchant guard once that the Dragon would be reborn in the hour of the greatest need to battle the Dark One, but Rand and Mat are very skeptical of this and they begin to debate about whether naming the Dark One is bad and whether Aes Sedai are all darkfriends.
They are interrupted by Nynaeve al’Meara, the village Wisdom, and Egwene al’Vere, the Mayor’s daughter, and apprentice Wisdom. Nynaeve demands to know what has them talking about things like this as she was not present for the arrival of the peddler. When they tell her of the things Fain said, she says that the Village Council is probably asking all of the wrong questions and that this should be Women’s Circle business and marches into the Inn to do her own questioning.
This leaves Rand and Egwene a chance to speak and Rand asks Egwene if she will dance with him tomorrow during Bel Tine. She tells him that in the afternoon she will as she will be busy in the morning and then shows Rand that her hair is now in a braid. This signifies that she is of marrying age, despite being a few years younger than he. In the morning, all of the unmarried women will be dancing around the Bel Tine pole.
Rand tells Egwene that just because someone is old enough to marry doesn’t mean they should and Egwene surprises Rand by saying that she agrees and doesn’t mean they should ever get married. She goes on to say she might become Wisdom and that Nynaeve says she can be taught to Listen to the Wind and that Wisdom’s seldom marry. She goes on to say that she would love to move out of the Two Rivers and see places and they have a small argument about that being foolish.
They are interrupted as Mat and Perrin rejoin the conversation and Perrin has received a coin from Moiraine as well and saw the black rider that both Rand and Mat had seen earlier. Perrin says that he saw the rider at the edge of town staring at the smithy where he worked. When he told Master Luhhan, he didn’t believe him.
Rand tells Perrin that he believes him and Egwene demands to know what is going on. Perrin and Mat explain about the rider and Egwene tells them that they are all being foolish and spreading dumb tales. They are all interrupted though as a man in shaggy white hair bursts out of the Inn and the chapter ends.
“No one ever leaves the Two Rivers,” he went on. “Maybe somebody from Taren Ferry, but they’re all strange anyway. Hardly like Two Rivers folk at all.”
- Rand al’Thor
Minor Spoilers Below!!!
The Wagon Bridge
The Winespring Inn
Padan Fain had noticed the boys all the year before. This is obvious foreshadowing that he had helped to track the boys of that particular age down in the Two Rivers and had been taking an interest in them earlier than simply this year.
Wolves are mentioned as coming out of the mountains and killing animals and attacking men. This appears to be a Chekov’s gun of sorts in the sense that they are wanting to set up Wolves to be scary and terrifying as this isn’t the first time they have been mentioned. This appears to be setting up the wolves to be scary before they end up being friendly with Perrin and we discover that he can speak with them.
Egwene mentions that Nynaeve says she can learn to Listen to the Wind. We know this to be channeling the One Power, despite Nynaeve and Egwene not being aware of this. This is Nynaeve discovering the ability to channel within Egwene.
The people again believe that the Dragon is as bad as the Dark One or that he is the Dark One. They have been told legends and myths that are separated from the truth due to the lack of education and reliable information in their rural area. This is very believable if you think about modern society and the struggles we have with communication and reliable information, let along in a time and era where there was no instant communication and books were rare.
We get the first interactions between Rand and Egwene here and I think this sets the tone for the rest of their relationship. They are both aware of the assumed wedding they would have, but neither seems to really want to commit to it. Rand wants to get out of being married and Egwene seems to show no interest, wanting to travel to another Village and become the Wisdom.
Additionally, we see some of the tension between them and how they treat each other. Rand seemingly tells her what she should want to do, implying that she would be crazy to leave the Two Rivers and have her own agency of sorts. And we see Egwene become extremely condescending to Rand specifically when all 3 of the boys tell her of the rider they saw. Her overall attitude towards Rand is that he shouldn’t be that stupid and he couldn’t possibly believe what he thinks he does. This small interaction between the two of them is very similar to what we see when Rand tells Egwene he will be breaking the seals on the Dark One’s Prison and she immediately thinks he needs guidance and that he is insane and how Rand believes he can just tell Egwene what to think.
The Dark One