Wheel of Time, Episode 2: Shadow’s Waiting

As always, there will be spoilers for both the television series and the books in this post. Probably more spoilers for the books, because The Eye of the World was published in 1990. Y’all’ve had between how long ago you were, like, 12 and 31 years to read it.

Today’s spoiler space photo is the San Antonio River from the Mission Reach part of the River Walk. I believe that I took this picture at least in part to show that the river is not always as calm as it seems when one is at the downtown portion of the River Walk.

Anyone who has read The Eye of the World will recognize the chapter title as the name of the city of Shadar Logoth.

Shadar Logoth was originally the city of Aridhol, and was dedicated to the Light. Eventually, the King took on a counselor called Mordeth, who advised him to try to use the Dark’s tactics against it, and the warmth of the people of Aridhol became cruelty. They believed that any kind of atrocity they committed, so long as it was in the name of the Light, was acceptable.

Eventually, every living thing in the city was consumed by the darkness that had come to call Aridhol home. The name of that darkness was Mashadar, and the city became known as “Shadar Logoth,” the place where the shadow waits. We get the “Reader’s Digest Condensed” version of this tale. I was pleased to get any of it.

In this episode, we also meet the Children of the Light and the Hand of the Light, more informally, and also slightly pejoratively, known as the “Whitecloaks” and the “Questioners.” Well, we get the names “Whitecloaks” and “Questioners,” which made me uncomfortable. I understand that Judkins is trying to pare it down and all, but it seems that a few seconds to establish that those are not the groups’ real names would be well spent.

I don’t remember if I mentioned this in the last post, but we have roughly 4.6 episodes for each book. A lot of stuff will have to be cut down, condensed, or removed.

For example, we finally hear the tale of Manetheren, which Moiraine tells the people of Emond’s Field earlier in the book. They fit it in by having the kids sing a song about Manetheren while riding their horses through the woods, so Moiraine tells them the story and explains to them that they are the descendants of the people of Manetheren. That was a nice bit of streamlining on the storytelling. We want to show that they’ve been traveling for a while, so let’s have Moiraine tell us of Manetheren while they move.

We end the episode in the place where I gave up on The Eye of the World back in 1993. Thomas and I went to the Bookstop that was where the Party City is now on 281 up near Bitters. I picked up The Eye of the World and got to the end of Shadow’s Waiting. That’s when the central group splits up. Then I lost track of who went where with whom and had to put the book down. I was determined to read it, though, so I skipped this whole chapter then read to the end. Once I knew where everyone was, my second and subsequent readthroughs went much better.

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