The Wheel of Time is one of the foundational fiction franchises of my life and the reality of the upcoming TV show has re-kindled my love for this story and this world in ways that are probably disconcerting to normal people.
But screw normal people. This is the Wheel of Time. It is a story with a depth and breadth that is often breathtaking. It’s a story that has engendered more discussion about what are sometimes relatively trivial things than just about anything else I’ve ever seen.
It is a story about love and duty and the prices we pay to honor both our past and our future.
For reasons that pass all understanding, I have decided to re-read the entire series and blog about the experience. I’m going to try to look at it as both a fan of the story and as a storyteller and I reserve the right to speculate wildly about what will or won’t be in the TV series.
When I originally conceived of this project, I asked the Wheel of Time community on Twitter whether I should start with The Eye of the World or New Spring and they overwhelmingly voted for The Eye of the World.
I’m starting with New Spring either because the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, or because I saw some interesting start-of-narrative stuff in the first chapter that felt like a compelling starting point.
I started my re-read with New Spring because I’m a contrary bastard and because the first couple chapters dealt with some thematic things I’m going to be looking at throughout the reread.
If you’re not up on every detail of every chapter, you can find chapter summaries courtesy of TarValon.net.
Wheel of Time Prequel: New Spring
Chapter One: The Hook
New Spring is not the beginning of the Wheel of Time. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.
And it begins with Lan Mandragoran going around waking up sentries which might be the most borderlander thing ever. In the borderlands, they’re overwhelmingly aware of their duty to stand between the Blight and the rest of humanity. Lan Mandragoran is often presented as a distillation, the platonic ideal of what it means to be a borderlander.