Happy Friday everybody, I hope that the week of hell weather was a nice change of pace from the flood that was unleashed upon us last week. And since it is a happy Friday it is time for the greatest serial blog of all time. Though I was remiss in writing a mid-week blog, have no fear, I have been both reading and running, so there is going to be a lot coming in the next few weeks. But most importantly, at least in the case of this stupid thing, is that I have about 20 minutes left in the audiobook! This means expect a full audiobook recap coming up next week, and get ready for the start of the next one. Since that will only leave 300 more audiobooks over 10948021 hours, this blog series will never die!

I plan on doing a full running thing next week, as I have finally selected a marathon training plan and I think it is going to be beneficial to myself (the only person who matters of course) to kind of lay out the whole plan as well as write about where I am at. As such, I don’t want to waste space here talking about it, because I am really excited for today’s blog. Also starting a sentence with ‘as such’ and still managing to throw in a ‘because’ is such pro level blogging. It is shocking how easy I make this seem.

Why am I excited about this? Glad I asked myself. See while I think this book is a fantastic start to what I am slowly realizing is a series that I did not give nearly enough credit too my first time around, there is one particular passage in Eye of the World that fully shows the breathe of Robert Jordan’s genius. Flex on em boooooy.

Chapter 48 has the gang all together, and they settle down for the night. Ol’ peeping Tom al’Thor catches Nynaeve and Lan in their most intimate moment. To say I was eagerly anticipating this is an understatement. If you are familiar with this book, you know what I am talking about. If you are not, you are probably thinking that these two are going to fuck, and that is why I am all jazzed up. It’s 2019 I don’t need to read about sex to get off you fucking weirdo’s, I have an iphone of course! Either way, that’s not what happens here. If you are not familiar with this book, get ready for a breakdown of a scene that has no context for you. Also what the hell are you doing reading this blog. Just kidding please like it I’m broke and trying to make a million dollars.

Here it is in full, then a breakdown after. The breakdown is not going to include spoilers about the rest of the series.

The Wisdom Looked at Lan silently for a long time, then poured a cup of tea and brought it to him. When he reached out with a murmur of thanks, she did not let go right away.”I should have known you would be a king.” She said quietly. Her eyes were steady on the warder’s face, but her voice trembled slightly.

Lan looked back at her just as intently. It seemed to Rand that the Warder’s face actually softened.  “I am not a king, Nynaeve. Just a man. A man without as much to his name as even the meanest farmer’s croft.”

Nynaeve’s voice steadied. “Some women don’t ask for land, or gold. Just the man.”

 “And the man who would ask her to accept so little would not be worthy of her. You are a remarkable woman, as beautiful as the sunrise, as fierce as a warrior. You are a lioness, Wisdom.”

“A Wisdom seldom weds. But if I go to Tar Valon, it may be that I will be something other than a Wisdom.”

“Aes Sedai marry as seldom as Wisdoms. Few men can live with so much power in a wife, dimming them by her radiance whether she wishes or not.”

“Some men are strong enough. I know one such.” If there could have been any doubt, her look left none as to whom she meant.

“All I have is a sword, and a war I cannot win, but can never stop fighting.”

“I’ve told you I care nothing for that. Light, you’ve made me say more than is proper already. Will you shame me to the point of asking you?”

“I will never shame you.” The gentle tone, like a caress, sounded odd to Rand’s ears in the Warder’s voice, but it made Nynaeve’s eyes brighten. “ I will hate the man you choose because he is not me, and love him if he makes you smile. No woman deserves the sure knowledge of widow’s black as her brideprice, you least of all.” He set the untouched cup on the ground and rose. “I must check the horses.”

Nynaeve remained there, kneeling, After he had gone.

Sleep or no, Rand closed his eyes. He did not think the Wisdom would like it if he watched her cry.

The first time I read this I was a little confused, I had picked up on Nynaeve had a little thing for Lan, but I did not expect it to come to a head like this. She found out he was a king in a previous chapter, where Rand notes that she paid particular attention to a story they were being told. Also classic woman move to do a slight favor for a guy just to have an opportunity to trap him in a serious conversation.

 Lan looked back at her just as intently. It seemed to Rand that the Warder’s face actually softened.  “I am not a king, Nynaeve. Just a man. A man without as much to his name as even the meanest farmer’s croft.”

While not necessarily true, Lan is the Lord of the Seven Towers and Lakes and such, it is not exactly like he can hire a lawyer and take the trollocs to court to get his land back. Actually I don’t know how squatter’s rights work in the border lands so I guess this may be true. Either way this is the first time that we see Lan reciprocate any real feelings towards Nynaeve directly. It is also at this point where I start to tear up as I run down Willow Avenue.

Nynaeve’s voice steadied. “Some women don’t ask for land, or gold. Just the man.”

And the tears fall down as well as my pride, cannot and do not want to imagine what anyone thought if they looked at me during the two minutes this scene plays out. Also I am narcissistic enough to know people look at me the entire length of all my runs.

“And the man who would ask her to accept so little would not be worthy of her. You are a remarkable woman, as beautiful as the sunrise, as fierce as a warrior. You are a lioness, Wisdom.”

You feel the rejection coming but even so it is so eloquently put by Lan that it makes it that much harsher.

“A Wisdom seldom weds. But if I go to Tar Valon, it may be that I will be something other than a Wisdom.”

This is where Robert Jordan does such a complete job of character development. I know this stuff gets realllllly, and I mean really, long winded as the series goes on but this line right here is the underlying motivation for Nynaeve to become an Aes Sedai. Nynaeve is clearly anti Aes Sedai, and while the desire to heal people thing is a motivator, the real motivation is for Nynaeve to become an Aes Sedai is because she feels this is the way to Lan’s heart. Perhaps she is the one who actually feels unworthy of him.

“Aes Sedai marry as seldom as Wisdoms. Few men can live with so much power in a wife, dimming them by her radiance whether she wishes or not.”

A paltry excuse offered by Lan here, he is grasping at straws because he is hesitant to say what he really feels.

“Some men are strong enough. I know one such.” If there could have been any doubt, her look left none as to whom she meant.

GOD this is too much. As annoying as Nynaeve is at times, her way off cutting through the bullshit is excellent.

“All I have is a sword, and a war I cannot win, but can never stop fighting.”

This is the line of the book right here. While Mat is my favorite character (can’t you tell) Lan is easily a close second. His lines are the most impactful of the entire series. There are a lot of throwaway lines Robert Jordan uses to help us see past the rugged exterior of Lan, such as when Loial mentions that he misses discussing books with the warder, but it is sentences like this that we see the full depth of his character. Bound by his oath, burdened with his sword, the last remaining soldier in an impossible war. Yet he will fight because he swore to it, it is his duty. While he tells the other borderlanders that he has abandoned the cause, he never will

“I’ve told you I care nothing for that. Light, you’ve made me say more than is proper already. Will you shame me to the point of asking you?”

And here it is, the most outright statement of the conversation. Nynaeve knows all this, maybe she doesn’t fully grasp the whole of the situation but definitely enough to understand what he is saying, but to her this does not matter. She is not asking him to put aside his oaths, she is willing to carry that burden with him.

“I will never shame you.” The gentle tone, like a caress, sounded odd to Rand’s ears in the Warder’s voice, but it made Nynaeve’s eyes brighten. “ I will hate the man you choose because he is not me, and love him if he makes you smile. No woman deserves the sure knowledge of widow’s black as her brideprice, you least of all.” He set the untouched cup on the ground and rose. “I must check the horses.”

And yet he will not give into what his heart is telling him. He will not because he knows that no matter how much he loves Nynaeve, he has sworn to fight, and there is no outcome that doesn’t end in his death. He loves Nynaeve enough that he will not put her through this, he loves her so much that he will reject her so that she can have a chance at happiness. I mean this is just a real tear jerker.

Nynaeve remained there, kneeling, After he had gone.

Sleep or no, Rand closed his eyes. He did not think the Wisdom would like it if he watched her cry.

I know this is a departure from my usual jokes, but I love this passage so much that I thought it needed to be discussed. Also this blog is getting crazy long so time to end it.

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