New Re-read After 7 Years

Discussion in 'Wheel of Time Discussion - Books 1-14' started by Satara al'Caelahn, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. Satara al'Caelahn

    Satara al'Caelahn Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    835
    Location:
    Kokomo, Indiana
    Anyone who knows WoT (all of us I hope) know this is a huge series. It's not for the faint of heart. So I did a reread in preparation for the release of A Memory of Light seven years ago and I haven't read the books since then.

    During that seven year gap, I had two kids, got married, lost my father, and a whole slew of other life-related things that have probably shaped me into a slightly different version of myself than I was previously.

    I decided recently to do another re-read. I wanted to freshen up the things I'd forgotten, and revisit some of my favorite scenes. And I'm surprised at how often I'm seeing scenes from a totally different angle than I did the last time through. It's almost like reading them for the first time all over again, because characters I didn't like before were suddenly the most interesting ones. :lol Plots that I thought dragged on were filled with subtle nuances that I hadn't caught before. I found myself sympathizing with characters more in some cases, and less in others.

    Has anyone else done a re-read after a really long gap like that? What were your thoughts?
     
  2. Aintza Bisera

    Aintza Bisera Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,533
    Location:
    Texarkana, TX
    I am doing one now after a significant period of time. I'm still in Eye of the World, but I am anxious to see how things differ for me!
     
  3. Satara al'Caelahn

    Satara al'Caelahn Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    835
    Location:
    Kokomo, Indiana
    Me too! I was expecting to feel the same about things this time through as I did before, but I just keep being annoyed at Moraine thinking she knows best. I've noticed Rand's... offness... sooner. Faile isn't so bad.

    I'm currently on The Fires of Heaven, so we'll see what happens later on. I've forgotten A Lot. :lol
     
  4. Aintza Bisera

    Aintza Bisera Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,533
    Location:
    Texarkana, TX
    Yeah, I have definitely noticed the signs with Rand a lot sooner. I had forgotten how early they actually started!

    I'm anxious to see if my thoughts in the whole Perrin/Faile thing will change with my age and experience. :lol I really liked her character at first.
     
  5. Jocasta Braithe

    Jocasta Braithe Novice Forum Moderator Game Master

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Messages:
    4,059
    Location:
    Maine
    I think I sympathize a lot with Faile while simultaneously finding their whole relationship dynamic unhealthy and unacceptable. :p But I understand it's the only thing she knows.
     
  6. Satara al'Caelahn

    Satara al'Caelahn Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    835
    Location:
    Kokomo, Indiana
    I'm sure I'll get annoyed at Faile all over again, later on. :look But for now, I think she and Perrin are adorable.

    Although, like you said Jocasta, I definitely recognize some of the unhealthy things that she does. But I also recognize all the unhealthy things that both men and women do in this series, with that whole Village Council / Women's Circle sort of dynamic. I see it more prominently now than I did when I first read the series.
     
  7. Jocasta Braithe

    Jocasta Braithe Novice Forum Moderator Game Master

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Messages:
    4,059
    Location:
    Maine
    Yeah, I'm reading it for the first time in my late 30s and I think I wouldn't have noticed a lot of those nuances if I'd read it as a teen or 20-something.
     
  8. Ilverin Matriam

    Ilverin Matriam Aes Sedai Outreach Activities Coordinator Head of the Gray Ajah Historian Tower Gatekeeper

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,238
    Location:
    Bulgaria
    As someone who first read the series in her teens, I did not think many of the relationships in the books were unhealthy or anything. There were also so many decisions of the characters that seemed unreasonable to me. Also, I liked Nynaeve at first, with her bossy attitude, while now, I find her ridiculously annoying and a total brat! :rolleyes

    My last reread was in 2017 I think and that was after finishing aMoL in 2013 or 2014, so a good number of years had passed for me to forget many of the things in the series. It felt really great to reread the series again after so long and I was also listening to them on audiobooks, which made it like someone was telling me a story in my ear! I enjoyed them more than ever! ANd like you said, Satara, some scenes I was seeing from a different angle. Also some scenes, that used to drag a lot while I was reading them before, were super fascinating in the audiobooks and I enjoyed listening to them.

    I am currently doing a reread too! I can;t wait to see how many things I will noticed, which I haven't noticed before! :lol
     
  9. Roheryn ni Galghandhrei t'al'Djinn

    Roheryn ni Galghandhrei t'al'Djinn Aes Sedai Membership Activities Coordinator Head of the Green Ajah

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    8,866
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I'm almost finished with a reread and I feel like every time I read it, my opinions on certain characters change. For example, I really didn't like Nynaeve the first time I read it in my teens. Now, I really enjoy her character development and such.
     
  10. Idine Espanyas

    Idine Espanyas Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,630
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I'm also doing a re-read; just finished KOD. I agree with you, @Roheryn ni Galghandhrei t'al'Djinn - I feel like my perspectives on different characters changes with each re-read. I appreciate Nynaeve so much more now, and Min (at least, in the later books) irritates me sooooo much more than she used to.
     
  11. Alora Sionn

    Alora Sionn Mama Wolf Gaidin Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    39,256
    Location:
    House Redwolf
    I'm with you on both of those Idine lol
     
  12. Roheryn ni Galghandhrei t'al'Djinn

    Roheryn ni Galghandhrei t'al'Djinn Aes Sedai Membership Activities Coordinator Head of the Green Ajah

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    8,866
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Yes to that too!
     
  13. Idine Espanyas

    Idine Espanyas Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,630
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    And also... Rand annoys me less this time around. I just more feel sorry for the guy and what he's going through. Poor dude. :(
     
  14. Satara al'Caelahn

    Satara al'Caelahn Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    835
    Location:
    Kokomo, Indiana
    I'm only in Fires of Heaven but some of the changes in my perspective that I've noticed is that I agree with @Ilverin Matriam here. Nynaeve sounds like a brat and she's completely ridiculous (though I do appreciate her growth later). I am insanely irritated by how bossy the women are, particularly Moiraine and Siuan thinking they know everything about everything. @Idine Espanyas I agree, I feel really bad for Rand. He's just a kid thrown into an impossible situation with a lot of weight on his shoulders while trying not to go insane.

    I'm currently on the part where Elayne, Nynaeve, Thom, and Juilin join the menagerie and I'm finding it very slow reading, though I was intrigued the first time through.

    I've also decided that I would willingly put in the time to read the entire series from Bela's perspective. :lol
     
  15. Aintza Bisera

    Aintza Bisera Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,533
    Location:
    Texarkana, TX
    I read in a subreddit that Nynaeve and Elayne are supposed to be comic foil and therefore ridiculous, and if you keep that in mind it makes their characters better. So I am going to try that.

    Eye of the World is going so slow for me, but I am loving Perrin still. I hated those chapters the first time I read.
     
  16. Vendanin al’Grenwye

    Vendanin al’Grenwye

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Mid-Missouri
    I wish I had something profound to add here, but I relate to your original post and pretty much agree all around.

    I was entertained by each character in my first reads; I remember being shocked at all the hate towards this character or that when I finally joined FB groups years ago. I was honestly worried that it would jade my perspective in subsequent reads. Luckily, while all those opinions did spur me to examine the character a little more thoroughly, I realized I felt mostly the same way after another read: I loved them all, the good, the bad, and the annoying. After aging a few years between reads, I found that I felt even MORE empathy toward them. The pull toward something bigger than yourself, the longing to leave behind something bigger than yourself, the politics and maneuvering, the relationships and connections, and the beautiful POVs Jordan wrote - all of it meant even more to me after living some more life.
     
  17. Satara al'Caelahn

    Satara al'Caelahn Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    835
    Location:
    Kokomo, Indiana
    If anything, I think there's an element of comedy to most of the characters, particularly Nynaeve's hair tugging. I just can't see her or Elayne as only comic relief, though.

    Same! Not a facebook group, but here. There was a lot of... distaste toward Perrin and Faile chapters in later books and I was always confused by it. I'm not there yet in my reread so I don't know how I'll feel about it this time, but I'm curious to see. I didn't hate them last time, in either case. :lol

    I think the thing that I like most about these books is the magic system and how ingrained it is into the world's culture. I'd never in a million years think to call an Aes Sedai a witch, but if you take a step back and look at it objectively... she's a witch practicing magic. Only it feels so very wrong to say that because of the strong culture that Jordan built. They are channelers wielding the true power. Every time I try to explain the books to people and put it into terms they might understand more easily (e.g. "male magic users" "a tower of witches" "orcs") I cringe so hard. It's just not right! :lol
     
  18. Aintza Bisera

    Aintza Bisera Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,533
    Location:
    Texarkana, TX
    Bad phrasing on my part. I think what the article meant is more a lot of the situations they are put in are supposed to be comic foil.

    Nynaeve is one of the character in the series with the most depth, imo.
     
  19. Satara al'Caelahn

    Satara al'Caelahn Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    835
    Location:
    Kokomo, Indiana
    Okay, now that is something I agree with wholeheartedly. :lol

    My biggest peeve with Nynaeve is how long she holds a grudge against Moiraine, especially long after knowing that leaving Emond's Field was the right choice. Which, of course, is caught up with her feelings for Lan and his bond and nobody said any of these characters are rational, but I digress.
     
  20. Aintza Bisera

    Aintza Bisera Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,533
    Location:
    Texarkana, TX
    Agreed. I feel like when Moiraine resurfaces in her head Nynaeve says, "Oh of course you're still alive. You would be still alive." :lol