Foreshadowing and Prophecies

This contains spoilers for The Wheel of Time and The Scholomance (or at least the first two Scholomance books, since the third hasn’t come out yet). I think the spoilers are fairly mild, but still, if you’re like me and want to go into things unspoiled, you might want to read something else for now.

In books, television shows, etc., there’s almost always some form of foreshadowing and, in the kind of books, television shows, etc, that I like, there’s a good chance that there’ll be at least one prophecy.

Like, one of my favorite television shows in recent years was Gravity Falls (OMG. So good!). In Gravity Falls, twins Dipper and Mabel Pines are sent to stay with their Grunkle Stan for the summer. Dipper finds a book with a handprint and the number 3 on the cover. Soon, Dipper is noticing all sorts of weird things about Gravity Falls and he wants to get to the bottom of it. Meanwhile, Mabel is willing to help Dipper, but mostly she just wants to have fun. Alex Hirsch, the creator, foreshadowed things and dropped clues, and so on. When a group of the fans started poring through the series, Hirsch is quoted as saying that he created an army of Dippers.

I’m a Mabel. I’m along for the ride, just having fun. Sometimes I’ll catch a line that sticks out to me, but like as not, I won’t actually say, “Wow. This will be important later.”

This is not to say that I don’t have fun on rereads finding the foreshadowing. But for my first reading/watching, I like finding out things as the author intends to reveal them.

Strangely, though, I tend to worry at prophecies like a terrier with a rat.

In the Wheel of Time series, it is predicted that Rand will “break the world again,” and everyone’s terrified of what he will do, etc., but after people have been fleeing their homelands and settling elsewhere, someone is all, “Rand will break the world,” and I’m, “dude, he already is breaking the world.”

The exact words of the prophecy are “and he shall break the world again by his coming, tearing apart all ties that bind.” I mean, people leaving their homes and moving to new places and putting down roots there? The characters are clearly expecting a physical breaking, but the breaking that Rand brings is more of an interpersonal breaking.

This is brought on by my recent read of The Last Graduate, by Naomi Novik. In the Scholomance series, we find that our protagonist, El, is the subject of a prophecy in which El is supposed to “destroy” the enclaves of the wizards. I think I know how she’s going to do it, and I can’t wait to find out if I’m right.

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