Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Best Wheel of Time Quotes

Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson’s Best Quotes from The Wheel of Time

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(Spoilers may be included in some of the quotes below, do not read if you do not want to potentially see spoilers for all fourteen Wheel of Time books).

Great writing has the ability to tattoo itself into a reader’s brain, enter the flow of a person’s blood, become a part of the essence of who they are.  Prose that is expertly crafted can gut a reader’s insides providing the most powerful moments in a story.

A great book can leave behind many memories for readers, memories that can last a lifetime.

Average writing is forgotten, but great writing lives forever in the recesses of a person’s mind.

The Wheel of Time is a series that is not without its flaws, but it did provide readers with many great instances of writing.  Looking back through the series there were some finely crafted scenes, dialogues, descriptions, and other great scenes in prose that were captured by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson.

I’ve put together a collection of some of my favorite and most striking quotes and scenes from The Wheel of Time.  With the series recently completed these were the moments that I found that I would never forget in this series.

The Wheel of Time Introduction

The Wheel of Time turns, an Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend.  Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.  In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist.  The wind was not the beginning.  There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time.  But it was a beginning. – Eye of the World


The Best of Philosophy

“Of course we believe.  The Wheel of Time weaves the Pattern of the Ages, and lives are the threads it weaves.  No one can tell how the thread of his own life will be woven into the Pattern,  or how the thread of a people will be woven.” – Loial – Eye of the World

“Life is uncertainty and struggle, choice and change; one who knew how her life was woven into the Pattern as well as she knew how a thread was laid into a carpet would have the life of an animal. If she did not go mad.  Humankind is made for uncertainty, struggle, choice, and change.” -Amys – The Shadow Rising

“How long had it been since he had been doing what was necessary instead of what was right?  In a fair world they would be one in the same.” – Rand – The Fires of Heaven

“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.”- The Fires of Heaven

She did not care much for rules, at least for other people’s rules – other people rarely saw the situation as clearly as she, and thus made stupid rules; why should that woman, Derys, not marry if she wished, for example? – but rules and penances spoke of a society.  She was right. – Nynaeve – A Crown of Swords

“A man who trusts everyone is a fool, and a man who trusts no one is a fool. We are all fools, if we live long enough.” – Lews Therin – Winter’s Heart 

“A beautiful battle is one you don’t have to fight.” – Mat – Knife of Dreams 

“So long as we do not depend on the facts entirely, incomplete knowledge is better than complete ignorance.” – Egwene – The Towers of Midnight

“I wonder if,” Nynaeve said, “we sometimes put the White Tower —as an institution— before the people we serve. I wonder if we let it become a goal in itself, instead of a means to help us achieve greater goals.”
“Devotion is important, Nynaeve. The White Tower protects and guides the world.”
“And yet, so many of us do it without families,” Nynaeve said. “Without love, without passion beyond our own particular interests. So even while we try to guide the world, we separate ourselves from it. We risk arrogance, Egwene. We always assume we know best, but risk making ourselves unable to fathom the people we claim to serve.”– Nynaeve – The Towers of Midnight

The Best Advice

“The fact that the price must be paid is proof it is worth paying.” – Eye of the World

“There is one rule, above all others, for being a man. Whatever comes, face it on your feet.”  – Lan – The Great Hunt

“Death comes to us all; we can only choose how to face it when it comes.” – The Dragon Reborn

“You read too much and understand too little.”– Moiraine – The Shadow Rising

“What can’t be changed must be endured.” – Lini – The Lord of Chaos


The Best of Darkness

“Death rides on my shoulder, death walks in my footsteps. I am death.” – Lews Therin

“In a cruel land, you either learned to laugh at cruelty or spent your life weeping.” – A Crown of Swords

“Sometimes, pain is all that lets you know you’re alive.”  – Lews Therin – Crossroads of Twilight


The Best of Life

“One more dance along the razor’s edge finished. Almost dead yesterday, maybe dead tomorrow, but alive, gloriously alive, today.”– Mat – Lord of Chaos

Rand thought with wonder.  Because each time we live we get to love again.  That was the answer it swept all over him, lives lived, mistakes made, love changing everything.  He saw the entire world in his mind’s eye, lit by the glow in his hand.  He remembered lives, hundreds of them, thousands of them, stretching to infinity.  He remembered love, and peace, and joy, and hope. – Rand – The Gathering Storm

“Here is your flaw, Shaitan, Lord of the Dark, Lord of Envy, Lord of Nothing, here is why you fail. It was not about me. It’s never been about me.”
It was about a woman, torn and beaten down, cast from her throne and made a puppet. A woman who had crawled when she had to. That woman still fought.
It was about a man that love repeatedly forsook. A man who found relevance in a world that others would have let pass them by. A man who remembered stories and who took fool boys under his wing when the smarter move would have been to keep on walking. That man still fought.
It was about a woman with a secret, a hope for the future. A woman who had hunted the truth before others could. A woman who had given her live, then had it returned. That woman still fought.
It was about a man whose family was taken from him, but who stood tall in his sorrow and protected those he could.
It was about a woman who refused to believe that she could not help, could not heal those who had been harmed.
It was about a hero who insisted with every breath that he was anything but a hero.
It was about a woman who would not bend her back while she was beaten, and who shown with a light for all who watched, including Rand.
It was about them all.” – Rand yelling at the Dark One – A Memory of Light

The Best of Honor 

Honor didn’t come from being punished, but accepting a punishment and bearing it restored honor…What was life without honor. – Aviendha – The Gathering Storm 


The Best of Aging

“Beauty flees… Years will make your breasts sag, your flesh grow slack, your skin grow leathery.  Men who smiled to see your face will speak to you as if you were just another man.  Your husband may see you always as the first time his eyes caught you, but no other man will dream of you.  Will you no longer be you?  Your body is only clothing.  Your flesh will wither, but you are your heart and mind, and they do not change except to grow stronger.” – Viendre to Elayne and Aviendha – Winter’s Heart

The Best of Dreams

“Life is a dream from which we all must wake before we can dream again.” – The Fires of Heaven 

“Life is a dream, and everyone wakes eventually.” – Aviendha to Egwene – Crossroads of Twilight  


The Best Quotes of Redemption and Inspiration

“Human kind is being swept away everywhere.  Nations fail and vanish.  Darkfriends are everywhere, and none of these southlanders seem to notice or care.  We fight to hold the Borderlands to keep them safe in their houses, and every year, despite all we can do, the Blight advances.  And those southlanders think Trollocs are myths, and Myrddraal a Gleeman’s Tale.”  He frowned and shook his head.  “It was the only way.  We would be destroyed for nothing, defending people who do not even know, or care.  It seemed logical.  Why should we be destroyed for them, when we would make our own peace?  Better the Shadow I thought, than useless oblivion….” – Ingtar – The Great Hunt

“No man cannot walk so long in the Shadow that he cannot come again to the Light.  That is what they say.  Surely that would have been enough to wash away what I have been and done.” – Ingtar – The Great Hunt

“Lan told me once that Malkier lives so long as one man wears the hadori in pledge that he will fight the Shadow, so long as one woman wears the ki’sain in pledge that she will send her sons to fight the shadow. I wear the ki’sain, Master Aldragoran. My husband wears the hadori. So do you. Will Lan Mandragoran ride to the last battle alone?” – Nynaeve – Knife of Dreams 


The Best Poems

Give me your trust, said the Aes Sedai.
On my shoulders I support the sky.
Trust me to know and to do what is best,
And I will take care of the rest.
But trust is the color of a dark seed growing.
Trust is the color of a heart’s blood flowing.
Trust is the color of a soul’s last breath.
Trust is the color of death.
Give me your trust said the queen on her throne,
for I must bear the burden alone.
Trust me to lead and to judge and to rule, and no man will think you a fool.
But trust is the sound of the grave-dog’s bark.
Trust is the sound of betrayal in the dark.
Trust is the sound of a soul’s last breath.
Trust is the sound of death. – The Lord of Chaos

Life is a dream — that knows no shade.
Life is a dream — of pain and woe.
A dream from which — we pray to wake.
A dream from which — we wake and go.
Who would sleep — when the new dawn waits?
Who would sleep — when the sweet winds blow?
A dream must end — when the new day comes.
This dream from which — we wake and go. – A Crown of Swords

The Best Song

We’ll drink the wine till the cup is dry,
And kiss the girls so they’ll not cry,
And toss the dice until we fly,
To danse with Jack O’ the Shadows.

We’ll danse all night until the moon runs free,
And dandle the lasses upon our knee,
And then you’ll ride along with me,
To danse with Jack O’ the Shadows.

We’ll sing all night, and drink all day,
And on the girls we’ll send our pay,
And when it’s gone, then we’ll away,
To danse with Jack O’ the Shadows.

There’s some delight in ale and wine,
And some in girls with ankles fine,
But my delight, yes, always mine,
Is to danse with Jack O’ the Shadows.

We’ll toss the dice however they fall,
And snuggle the girls be they short or tall,
Then follow young Mat whenever he calls,
To danse with Jack O’ the Shadows. – Mat 

The Difference Between Men and Women

“Any fool knows men and women think differently at times, but the biggest difference is this. Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget.”- Thom – The Dragon Reborn


The Best Oaths

“Til shade is gone,
til water is gone
Into the shadow with teeth bared
Screaming defiance with the last breath
To spit in Sightblinder’s eye on the Last Day.”- The Aiel oath – The Dragon Reborn


The Best of Romance and Love

“You have made a place in my heart where I thought there was no room for anything else. You have made flowers grow where I cultivated dust and stones. Remember this, on this journey you insist on making. If you die, I will not survive you long.”  Lan to Nynaeve – The Shadow Rising

“I will hate the man you choose because he isn’t 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.” – Lan to Nynaeve – Eye of the World

“Just because fate has chosen something for you instead of you choosing it for yourself doesn’t mean it has to be bad.  Even if it’s something you are sure you would never have chosen in a hundred years.  Better ten days of love than years of regretting.” Min – The Dragon Reborn

“I ran from you as hard as I could, to shield my honor.  And you followed me even here.  The rings do not lie, and I can run no more.”  Her tone firmed decisively.  “I will run no more.” – Aviendha – The Fires of Heaven

“When you wish for so long that you could hear something, and then suddenly, with no warning, you do, is like a lightning strike and rain on parched ground at the same time. You’re stunned, but you cannot hear enough.” – Gawyn to Egwene – Lord of Chaos 


The Best Humor

Rand is the one who is supposed to go mad. And here I am, talking to an axe!– Perrin – The Shadow Rising

“We are going to tickle some Aes Sedai under the chin, rescue a mule, and put a snip-nosed girl on the Lion Throne. Oh, yes. That’s Aviendha. Don’t look at her crosswise, or she’ll try to cut your throat and probably slit her own by mistake.” – Mat – The Lord of Chaos

Nynaeve married? Lan married to Nynaeve?  The man was mad.  No wonder his eyes looked so bleak.  Most would as soon have stuffed a rabid fox down his own shirt.  Only a fool married, and only a madman would marry Nynaeve. – Mat – A Crown of Swords

“I will not be angry with you,” she went on in a much milder tone, and that sounded addressed to herself as well….
“If you say so,” Lan said mildly.
Nynaeve quivered.  “Don’t you take that tone with me!” she shouted.  “I tell you, I’m not angry! Do you hear me?”
“Blood and ashes. Nynaeve,” Mat growled.  “He doesn’t think you’re angry.  I don’t think you’re angry.”  A good thing women had taught him to lie with a straight face. – Mat talking to Nynaeve and Lan – A Crown of Swords

“I won’t shout at you,” Nynaeve shouted. – Nynaeve – A Crown of Swords

“Pessimism, she is a fond friend of yours, yes?” – That’s uncalled for. I barely know her. Mere acquaintances, at best.” – Mat – The Gathering Storm

“How do you fight someone smarter than yourself? Rand Whispered. The answer is simple. You make her think that you are sitting down across the table from her, ready to play her game. Then you punch her in the face as hard as you can.”– Rand – The Gathering Storm

“You were never meant for greatness, Asmodean, only to follow those who are great.” Lanfear to Asmodean – The Shadow Rising
“Advice! Nobody tells us how to be men. We just are.” – Perrin

“That is probably why you make such a bad job of it.” – Egwene – Eye of the World 
“What did you do to your hand, by the way?”
“What did you do to your eye?”
“A little accident with a corkscrew and thirteen angry innkeepers. The hand?”
“Lost it capturing one of the Forsaken.”
“Capturing?” Mat said. “You’re growing soft.”
Rand snorted. “Tell me you’ve done better.”
“I killed a gholam,” Mat said.
“I freed Illian from Sammael.”
“I married the Empress of the Seanchan.”
“Mat,” Rand said, “are you really trying to get into a bragging contest with the Dragon Reborn?” He paused for a moment. “Besides, I cleansed saidin. I win….”
“By the way, I saved Moiraine. Chew on that as you try to decide which of the two of us is winning.”- Friendly argument between Mat and Rand – A Memory of Light

“I have never known anyone else,” Egwene said to him, “who will work so hard to avoid hard work, Matrim Cauthon.”- Egwene to Mat – A Memory of Light


The Best of the Footnotes and Proverbs

“And it came to pass in those days, as it had come before and would come again, that the Dark lay heavy on the land and weighed down the hearts of men, and the green things failed, and hope died. And men cried out to the Creator saying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the Promised One be born of the mountain, according to the prophecies, as he was in ages past and will be in ages to come. Let the Prince of the Morning sing to the land that green things will grow and the valleys give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.”– Eye of the World
The lions sing and the hill take flight
The moon by day, and the sun by night.
Blind woman, deaf man, jackdaw fool.
Let the Lord of Chaos rule. – Lord of Chaos

Who would sup with the mighty must climb the path of daggers – The Path of Daggers

We rode on the winds of the rising storm
We ran to the sounds of the thunder
We danced among the lightning bolts,
and tore the world asunder – Crossroads of Twilight

The sweetness of victory and the bitterness of defeat are alike a knife of dreams – Knife of Dreams
“Dawn broke that morning on Polov Heights, but the sun did not shine on the Defenders of the Light. Out of the west and out of the north came the armies of Darkness, to win this one last battle and cast a Shadow across the earth; to usher in an Age where the wails of suffering would go unheard.” – A Memory of Light


The Best Wheel of Time Epilogues and Final Chapter Endings

“In Agelmar’s private garden, under a thick bower dotted with white blossoms, Moiraine shifted on her bedchair.  The fragments of the seal lay on her lap, and the small gem she sometimes wore in her hair spun and glittered on its gold chain from the ends of her fingers.  The faint blue glow faded from the stone, and a smile touched her lips.  It had no power in itself, the stone, but the first use she had ever learned of the One Power, as a girl, in the Royal Palace in Cairhien, was using the stone to listen to people when they thought they were too far off to be overheard. “The Prophecies will be fulfilled,” the Aes Sedai whispered.  “The Dragon is Reborn.” – Moiraine – Eye of the World

“You must choose, Rand,” Moiraine said.  “The world will be broken whether you break it or not.  Tarmon Gai’don will come, and that alone will tear the world apart.  Will you still try to hide from what you are, and leave the world to face the Last Battle undefended? Choose.”  They were all watching him all waiting.  Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain.  He made his decision.” –  Rand – The Great Hunt

The Aes Sedai turned that cool gaze on Mat.  “And you thought it was done?  You are ta’veren, Mat, a thread more crucial to the Pattern than most, and the sounder of the Horn of Valere.   Nothing is done for you, yet.”  They were all looking at him.. Nynaeve sadly, Egwene as though she had never seen him before, Elayne as if she expected him to change into someone else.  Rhurac had a certain respect in his eyes, though Mat would just as soon have done without it, all things considered. “Well of course,” he told them.  Burn Me!  “I understand.”  I wonder how soon Thom will be fit to travel?  Time to run.  Maybe Perrin will come with us.  “You can count on me.”  From outside, the cries still rose, unceasing.  “The Dragon! Al’Thor! The Dragon! Al’Thor! The Dragon! Al’Thor! The Dragon! Al’Thor!” – Mat – The Dragon Reborn

On a day of fire and blood, a tattered banner waved above Dumai’s Wells, bearing the ancient symbol of Aes Sedai.  On a day of fire and blood and the One Power, as prophecy had suggested, the unstained tower, broken, bent knee to the forgotten sign.  The first nine Aes Sedai swore fealty to the Dragon Reborn and the world was changed forever. – Narrator – The Lord of Chaos

He regarded the world beneath him.  The clouds above had finally broken, if only just above him.  The gloom dispersed, allowing him to see the sun hanging just above.  Rand looked up at it.  Then he smiled.  Finally, he let out a deep-throated laugh, true and pure.  It had been far too long. – Rand – The Gathering Storm

The wind blew southward, through knotted forests, over shimmering plains and toward lands unexplored.  This wind, it was not the ending.  There are no endings, and never will be endings, to the turning of the Wheel of Time.  But it was an ending. – A Memory of Light

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