I’ve just finished reading Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series ‘The Wheel of Time’.
14 books, 11 written by Jordan and the final 3 by Brandon Sanderson, who took over using Jordan’s extensive notes after Jordan died. What a series. In some ways better even than Tolkien’s world I think. In some ways definitely not, but either way, much bigger. Thank you Robert and Bradon for an excellent series. Each book starts with a variation on these words:
“The Wheel of Time turns, and 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 Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.”
I couldn’t help but think there are similarities between the words above and those of John chapter 1 from the Bible:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John isn’t the best part of the Bible to read first, because it’s very heavy (Mark or Luke are more advisable). These first few words are not exactly an easy read after all. I absolutely love the WoT books, but every time I’ve read that opening section to people they have said it’s heavy too, but I think it’s beautiful. The ‘but it was a beginning’ makes me think of the characters being in a specific age for a specific purpose, and to me it oozes with possibility, i.e. how will they make the best of it? What will they strive for? How will they overcome adversity? Is happiness and even peace possible in such a complex and dark world? I guess we could ask the same questions about you and I today. “The darkness has not overcome it” (the light, says John). Sometimes we are surrounded by darkness in our world, and yet the light is out there. And his name is Jesus Christ. And I know I just started a sentence with a conjunction. But I don’t care.