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Robert Jordan was the pen name of James Oliver Rigney, Jr. (October 17, 1948 – September 16, 2007), under which he is best known as the author of the bestselling The Wheel of Time fantasy series. He also wrote under the name Reagan O'Neal.
Born: October 17th, 1948
Died: September 16th, 2007
Quotes: 309 sourced quotes total (includes 1 misattributed)
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There is an old saying here in the Borderlands: "Better to have one woman on your side than ten men."
"Wish" and "want" trip the feet, but "is" makes the path smoother.
There are things worth fighting for.
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.
You will do well.
Lan shook his head slightly. "He was better. But he thought I was finished, with only one arm. He never understood. You surrender after you're dead."
I can rest when I’m dead.
"Here, southlander, you can't quit while you are winning." "Better than when I'm losing."
Surprising what you can dig out of books if you read long enough, isn't it?
The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, and we are only the thread of the Pattern.
What can’t be changed must be endured.
Do not trouble trouble till trouble troubles you.
There is one rule, above all others, for being a man. Whatever comes, face it on your feet."
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.
"The end is near," Moridin said. "The Wheel has groaned its final rotation, the clock has lost its spring, the serpent heaves its final gasps. He must know pain of heart. He must know frustration, and he must know anguish. Bring these to him. And you will be rewarded."
In wars, boy, fools kill other fools for foolish causes.
The rose petal floats on water. The kingfisher flashes above the pond. Life and beauty swirl in the midst of death.
Till shade is gone, till water is gone, into the Shadow with teeth bared, screaming defiance with the last breath, to spit into Sightblinder's eye on the Last Day.
"I dare the truth, Elaida," Egwene said quietly. "you are a coward and a tyrant. I'd name you Darkfriend as well, but I suspect that the Dark One would perhaps be embarrassed to associate with you."
I do read sometimes.
You do talk nonsense sometimes.
Weep for Manetheren. Weep for what is lost forever.
I doubt you can understand the magnitude of the stupidity in your statement.
The fact that the price must be paid is proof it is worth paying.
An Aes Sedai never lies, but the truth she speaks, may not be the truth you think you hear.
Often you don't know whether a woman is friend, enemy or lover until it is too late. Sometimes, she is all three.
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.
"What a strange thing to say," Egwene said. "Why do they use it like that? Peace." "When you have never known a thing except to dream," Lan replied, heeling Mandarb forward, "it becomes more than a talisman."
Are you deaf as well as blind, woman? I’m not a carpet to walk over, and I distinctly heard myself speak. If I pinch your bottom, you can slap my face, but until I do, I expect a civil word for a civil word!
Clutch the bramble and you will be pricked.
A woman’s eyes cut deeper than a knife.
Tonight you will eat fish. Tomorrow, you may die.
I’m no lord. I’ve more respect for myself than that.
Sometimes, pain is all that lets you know you're alive.
A beautiful battle is one you don't have to fight.
A fool puts a burr under the saddle before she rides.
Teach him how you will, a pig will never play the flute.
Kneel and swear to the Lord Dragon, or you will be knelt.
Wounds to the pride are remembered long after wounds to the flesh.
Death rides on my shoulder, death walks in my footsteps. I am death.
What woman could I hate enough to marry her to the Dragon Reborn?
The best lie is often one too ridiculous to be taken for a lie.
Always plan for the worst, that way all your surprises will be pleasant ones.
Nothing like a little dance with Trollocs to ready you for sleep. Right Aviendha?
What happened with the pond? Surely the water is the point of the story.
Waiting turns men into bears in a barn, and women into cats in a sack.
I’m a gambler, a farmboy, and I’m here to take command of your bloody army!
Think if you want to stay alive. Fear will kill you if you don't control it.
Death comes for us all. We can only choose how to face it when it comes.
An Aiel, Hal, can hide in a fold in the ground you wouldn’t even stumble over.
Take what you can have. Rejoice in what you can save, and do not mourn your losses too long.
We are always more afraid than we wish to be, but we can always be braver than we expect.
When a woman says she will obey you, of her own will, it is time to sleep lightly and watch your back.
The arrogance of men never ceases to amaze me. You all think everything has to do with you, and every woman has to desire you.
We rode on the winds of the rising storm, We ran to the sounds of thunder. We danced among the lightning bolts And tore the world asunder.
Before I knew what was happening, I had a fistful of spears around my neck like a collar. I could have shaved myself with one sneeze.
If you must mount the gallows, give a jest to the crowd, a coin to the hangman, and make the drop with a smile on your lips.
I am the Dragon Reborn. Denying won’t change it. Wishing won’t change it. I’m not the man you knew back in Emond’s Field. Do you understand now? Do you?
Yes, Betrayer of Hope. So have men named me, just as they named you Dragon, but unlike you I embrace the name. They gave me the name to revile me, but I will yet make them kneel and worship it.
I will never shame you. I will hate the man you choose because he is not 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.
I forget nothing, Aes Sedai. I said six could come, but I count nine. I said you would be on an equal footing with the Tower emissaries, and for bringing nine, you will be. They are on their knees, Aes Sedai. Kneel!
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.
I trust you like a brother. Until the day you betray me. You have a parole for what you’ve done, in return for your teaching, and a better bargain than you deserve, but the day you turn against me, I will tear it up and bury it with you.
You'll use it [Perrin's axe], boy, and as long as you hate using it, you would use it more wisely than most men would. Wait. If ever you don't hate it any longer, then will be the time to throw it as far as you can and run the other way.
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.
A thousand years of sheep!
Light, it's been too long.
I thought you saidar-ed it.
Should and would build no bridges.
Sleep well and wake, Rand al'Thor.
The weak must be bold cautiously.
Are you so eager to destroy us?
You must surrender before you can guide.
If wishes were wings, pigs would fly.
You always had to pay the butcher.
Whatever can be done, can be undone.
It's never over, al'Thor. The battle's never done.
A pig painted gold is still a pig.
To lead is neither to push or pull.
Never gamble without knowing a back way out.
Have you finished sharing your wisdom, Jasin Natael?
The fox often offers the duck its pond.
You cannot please everyone. You cannot soothe everyone.
Any day you wake up, maybe you die.
A man should never give promises in bed.
An Aes Sedai’s gift is bait for a fish.
Better ten days of love than years of regretting.
On the heights, the paths are paved with daggers.
A weeping woman is a bucket with no bottom.
Humankind is made for uncertainty, struggle, choice and change.
Better to try understanding the sun than a woman.
Never kiss a girl whose brothers have knife scars.
If you are not mine, then you are dead.
Dance well with a woman, and she’s halfway yours.
A man without trust might as well be dead.
Women do not become exhausted, they only exhaust others.
Let the dead rest, and care for the living.
Caution once forgotten could be forgotten once too often.
If you pursue two hares, both will escape you.
An Aes Sedai is ten women in one skin.
It is the enemy you underestimate who kills you.
Sometimes, a wife must do what her husband cannot.
Nobody tells us how to be men. We just are.
Bring your lightnings, Aes Sedai. I will dance with them.
Trust is as slippery as a basket of eels sometimes.
It is better to be the hammer than the nail.
Rand al’Thor is a mule-headed, stone-willed fool of a...a...a man!
If you plan for the worst, all surprises are pleasant.
The pike does not ask the frog’s permission before dining.
A man's dreams are a maze even he cannot know.
The wheel of a man's life. No mercy. No pity.
What I love I destroy. What I destroy, I love.
They will pay. I am the Lord of the Morning.
Loial, didn't you say there was no wind in the Ways?
Whatever you can do, Lews Therin, I can do. And better.
A gnarled old branch dulls the blade that severs a sapling.
I will see you tonight. Or I will see you dead.
We hear less, Davram Bashere, but perhaps sometimes we see more.
If it hurts too much, make it hurt someone else instead.
A jealous wife is like a hornets’ nest in your mattress
Well, tie a kerchief on my face and call me Aiel.
The more tragic things get, the more I feel like laughing.
Love is an odd thing. As odd a thing as there is.
All men dream. But I know dreams for dreams. This is reality.
A flapping tongue has killed more men than sudden storms ever did.
If I knew everything, Matrim, I would not need to ask questions.
Courage to strengthen, fire to blind, music to daze, iron to bind.
He strains to hear a whisper who refuses to hear a shout.
The Creator made women to please the eye and trouble the mind.
The more women there are about, the softer a wise man steps."
A man is a man, on a throne or in a pigsty.
Not thinking about a thorn doesn’t make it hurt your foot less.
When the honey’s out of the comb, there’s no putting it back.
It was easier to trip a fool than to knock him down.
There’s no point letting honey age too long before you eat it.
A slow horse does not always reach the end of the journey.
Pride fills me. I am sick with the pride that destroyed me.
The gall of the man. The utter gall! Detaining us! Restricting us!
The only man completely at peace is a man without a navel.
Mourn if you must. But mourn on the march to Tarmon Gai'don.
The boy was dead eager, which could soon lead to plain dead.
I may be a fool, but I intend to be a live fool.
If a woman does need a hero, she needs him today, not tomorrow.
A flapping tongue can put you in the net instead of the fish."
If you don’t look for snakes, you cannot complain when one bites you.
Even a queen stubs her toe, but a wise woman watches the path.
It’s too late to change your mind after you’ve jumped off the cliff.
Men believe the worst easily, and women believe it hides something still darker.
An arrow may not be a shocklance, yet it can still kill you.
Break the seals. Break the seals, and end it. Let me die forever.
I killed the whole world, and you can too, if you try hard.
If a woman does need a hero, she needs him today, not tomorrow.
Besides, you must remember the old saying. Let the lord of chaos rule.
Once you decide to gut a fish, there’s no use waiting till it rots.
To anger an Aes Sedai is to put your head in a hornets’ nest.
There's no time for winking at the men when you're busy bailing the boat.
It is better to guide people than try to hammer them into a line.
Wanting won’t make a stone cheese. But he still smells like cheese to me.
You were never meant for greatness, Asmodean, only to follow those who are great.
I lead no armies, Warder. I command nothing save myself, and not always that.
If I could find a way to escape my destiny, do I deserve to?
Men! When you cannot win an argument, you either run away or resort to force.
Jump in a hole without looking, and there’ll be a snake in it every time.
A fool puts her hand into a hollow tree without finding out what’s inside first.
The only way to live is to die. I must die. I deserve only death.
Dance with her, and she will forgive much; dance well, and she will forgive anything.
A cat for a hat, or a hat for a cat. But nothing for nothing.
You put your cat in your hat and stuff it down your breeches, Rand al’Thor.
Honor? Maybe they're letting him sleep on silk, but a prisoner is still a prisoner.
Only a fool thinks his enemies stand still when he isn't looking, my Lord Dragon.
You break your neck, and I’ll see it mended just so I can break it again.
We all have our limits. And we set them further out than we have any right.
The louder a man tells you he’s honest, the harder you must hold onto your purse.
Do you have any idea how long it takes to dig graves for twenty-three oak trees?
The best way to avoid trouble is to make sure no one wants to trouble you.
When a young woman's cheeks redden for no apparent reason, there is usually a man involved.
Cheer the bull, or cheer the bear; cheer both, and you will be trampled and eaten.
The more bosom a woman displayed, the less she wanted you to look. Openly, at least.
To fight the raven you may make alliance with the serpent until the battle is done.
You could weave silk from pig bristles before you could make a man anything but a man.
A shoat squealing under a fence just attracts the fox, when it should be trying to run.
What is too absurd to believe is believed because it is too absurd to be a lie.
The Wheel of Time and the wheel of a man's life turn alike without pity or mercy.
Men always say they didn't mean it that way. You would think they spoke a different language.
Take life as it comes. Run when you have to, fight when you must, rest when you can.
Rand is the one who is supposed to go mad. And here I am, talking to an axe!
If you fell head first into a pigsty, you'd try to convince everybody you did it on purpose.
I have seen a tough man break when I sent for a basket of figs and some mice.
You trouble me so, Rand al’Thor. Light, sometimes I think the Creator made you just to trouble me.
A shaping stone, to make us; a testing ground to prove our worth; and a punishment for the sin.
No wine for me. Strange enough things happen when my head is clear. I want to know the difference.
Light! Two [wives]! Oh, burn me! He’s the luckiest man in the world or the biggest fool since creation.
All he wanted from life was some good wine, a game of dice, and a pretty girl or three
The best way to apologize to a man is to trip him in a secluded part of the garden.
Men! Too blind to see what a stone could see, and too stubborn to be trusted to think for themselves.
Fall in love with a man, and you end up doing laundry, even if it does belong to another man.
A woman's flaming rights are whatever she flaming says they are." Uno laughed. "That's what women in Shienar say, anyway.
That was all he ever really wanted from women; a smile, a dance, a kiss, and to be remembered fondly.
First things first; take care of what can be done now before worrying too long over what might never be.
The woman learns nothing. The Aes Sedai we served in the Age of Legends could not have been such fools.
Nothing ever goes as you expect. Expect nothing, and you will not be surprised. Expect nothing. Hope for nothing. Nothing.
As my Lord says, my Lord's leg is not a side of beef. Thank you, my Lord, for instructing me.
You cannot tell a man he has the power to make the earth shake, then expect him to walk small.
A Myrddraal has less cunning than a woman, and a Trolloc fights with more honor. And a goat has more sense.
I always get what I want in the end. And I think I want...ornamental ironwork. For the windows of my bedchamber.
Young men and fools sometimes bear pain they do not have to as a badge of their pride. Or their foolishness.
In the Borderlands, sheepherder, if a man has the raising of a child, that child is his, and none can say different.
When there are fish heads and blood in the water, you don’t need to see the silverpike to know they are there.
Men fight when they should run, and fools fight when they should run. But I had no need to say it twice.
I have made up my mind, young Tallanvor, and I do not expect you to question me when I have done so.
I came to bloody rescue you. Burn me if I expected to be greeted as if I had come to steal a pie.
Schemes within schemes. The Great Serpent is a good sign for you Aes Sedai, I think. Someday you may swallow yourselves by accident.
A man must know when to retreat from a woman, but a wise man knows that sometimes he must stand and face her.
I think the woman was born in Far Madding in a thunderstorm. She probably told the thunder to be quiet. It probably did.
One pretty woman means fun at the dance. Two pretty women mean trouble in the house. Three pretty women mean run for the hills.
You have to understand, child. Everyone wants someone in their life, someone who cares for them, someone they can care for. Even a queen.
If you try putting a woman on a horse when she does not want to go, she may put a knife in your ribs.
I thought I could build, I was wrong. We are not builders, not you, or I, or the other one. We are destroyers. Destroyers.
What is already woven cannot be undone. It will not make the trees grow again for you to bring the building down on our heads.
Soon comes the day all shall be free. Even you, and even me. Soon comes the day all shall die. Surely you, but never I.
A Warder once told me Trollocs call the Aiel Waste 'the Dying Ground.' I mean to make them give that name to the Two Rivers.
Young men can be impetuous, young men can be rush, young men can be fools, but the Car'a'carn cannot let himself be a young man.
For what else you have done, there can be no forgiveness, Betrayer, but for Ilyena's death I will destroy you beyond anything your master can repair.
"A bloody hero. Thom, if I ever look like acting the hero again, you kick me." "And what would you have done differently?" "Just kick me!"
I know how to take a man out of his miseries. Give him a swift kick, or else get him drunk and find him a pr-...
She was not a pretty little porcelain doll; she was a beautiful little porcelain doll. On the outside, anyway. Inside, where it counted, was another matter.
Perhaps they do [deserve to die] and perhaps he[Rand al'Thor] would. But men often mistake killing and revenge for justice. They seldom have the stomach for justice.
You never escape the traps you spin yourself. Only a greater power can break a power, and then you're trapped again. Trapped forever so you cannot die.
Never prod at a woman unless you must. She will kill you faster than a man and for less reason, even if she weeps over it after.
Nimble finger and nimble wits will take you a good deal further than a sword and muscles. Sharp eyes help as well, but fortunately, I have these things.
When you leap from a cliff, it is too late for anything but holding to your courage. And hoping there's a haywain at the bottom to land in.
Prophecy is most dangerous when you try to make it happen... The Pattern weaves itself around you, but when you try to weave it, even you cannot hold it.
I’ll not have you bleeding to death on me. That would be just like you, to die and leave me the work of burying you. You have no consideration.
The lions sing and the hills take flight. The moon by day, and the sun by night. Blind woman, deaf man, jackdaw fool. Let the Lord of Chaos rule.
It was a gelding, and it would not have hurt me. Horses like me. I am not a little boy: I am nine. And my name is Olver, not boy.
Let most men have a finger, and they will have the whole hand before you know. Let a clan chief have a finger, and he will have the entire arm.
"The Amyrlin understands the most complex of creeds and debates," Egwene said, quoting from memory. "Yet in the end, she is the servant of all, even the lowest of laborers."
Stopping a man from what he wants to do is like taking a sweet from a child. Sometimes you have to do it, but sometimes it just isn’t worth the trouble.
As well you try to understand the sun, Perrin. It simply is, and it is not to be understood. You cannot live without it, but it exacts a price. So with women.
Men always believe they are in control of everything around them. When they find out they are not, they think they have failed, instead of learning a simple truth women already know.
A crafty enemy will set a weak ambush you are meant to break through. Confident because you have dealt with the threat, your guard relaxed, you walk into the second, stronger ambush.
By the look of you, Nynaeve, I could almost think you were angry, but I know you have such a sweet disposition people ask you to dabble your fingers in their tea.
If the world is ending, a woman will want time to fix her hair. If the world's ending, a woman will take time to to tell a man something he's done wrong.
[Aviendha] didn't trust change. It couldn't be spotted or stabbed; it was more silent than any scout, more deadly than any assassin. No, she'd never trust it, but she would accept it.
Men always seem to refuse to admit they are sick until they’re sick enough to make twice as much work for women. Then they claim they’re well too soon, with the same result.
Oh, I do remember you. The one with the fla- the mouth. Ragan thought you could skin and butcher a blo- bull at ten paces with your tongue. Chaena and Nangu thought fifty.
When a woman plays the fool, look for the man. That was one of Lini's favorites. Another was, Kittens tangle your yarn, men tangle your wits, and it's simple as breathing for both.
The yellowfly is almost too small to see, but if you leave its egg in your skin, you will lose an arm or leg before it hatches - if it does not kill you.
In my day, girls jumped when a Wise One said jump, and continued jumping until they were told to stop. As I am still alive it is still my day. Need I make myself clearer?
Absently he fingered the neat slice across the shoulder of his coat. Good shooting, at a moving target only half seen through the trees. He could have admired it more had he not been the target.
And as for words of wisdom, the first she had heard out of him had been a fervent promise never to throw a rock at anyone again, offered after she had paddled his young backside for it.
You can never know everything, and part of what you know is always wrong. Perhaps even the most important part. A portion of wisdom lies in knowing that. A portion of courage lies in going on anyway.
The leaf lives its appointed time, and does not struggle against the wind that carries it away. The leaf does no harm, and finally falls to nourish new leaves. So it should be with all men. And women.
My mother always told me the best way to learn to deal with a man was to learn to ride a mule. She said they have about equal brains most of the time. Sometimes the mule is smarter.
...but who can know the heart of a man? Not even he himself, I suspect. A man is the easiest animal to put on a leash, and the hardest to keep leashed. Even when he chooses it himself.
It seems to me that kings — and queens — can be fools when they forget what they are and act like who they are, but they’re worse when they only remember what they are and forget who.
The road ahead of you is long, dark, and, I very much fear, bloodstained. I also very much fear that you will take us all down that road. But you must live to reach the end of it.
For the young, death is an enemy they wish to try their strength against. For those of us a little older, she is an old friend, an old lover, but one we are not eager to meet again soon.
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.
Sevanna wants my head, Taim. Apparently, she thought she could take it today. I mean to let her know her mistake. I told you to make weapons, Taim. Show me just how deadly they are. Disperse the Shaido. Break them.
You are a very lucky man, Dimir Faral. You are going to watch your friends hang. Then you'll be given a horse, and you will go tell Pedron Niall that one day I will hang him too for what happened here.
I don't know. They could put up a warning sign or something. Hello. Welcome to Hindstrap. We will murder you in the night and eat your bloody face if you stay past sunset. Try the pies. Martna Maily makes them fresh daily."
I will use anybody I must. You said it yourself; I am who I am. And I'm using myself up, Perrin, because I have to. Just like I'll use anybody I have to. We don't have a choice anymore. Not me, not you, not anybody!
I always thought the stole weighed about as much as three good men. The Amyrlin has few easy decisions to make, and fewer where she can be sure. Do what you must, and pay the price if you’re wrong. Sometimes if you are right, too.
We are alike in many ways, you and I. There is a darkness in us. Darkness, pain, death. They radiate from us. If ever you love a woman, Rand, leave her and let her find another. It will be the best gift you can give her.
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.
I have heard it said that a man caught between his wife and a Wise One often wishes for a dozen old enemies to fight instead. A man caught between a wife and three Wise Ones, and the wife a Wise One herself, must consider trying to slay Sightblinder.
Masema. That had been his name. He'd earned his sword on his fifteenth birthday. His father had been so proud. It's over, then, he thought, unable to keep his eyes open. He closed them, falling as if through an endless void. Did I do well, Father, or did I fail?
He recalled countering Sammael's last move with something particulary nasty, but he could not pull the memory to the surface. Not balefire. "Mustn't use that. Threatens the fabric of the Pattern. Not even for Ilyena? I would burn the world and use my soul for tinder to hear her laugh again."'
Victors write history. Had I taken the Stone of Tear, history would have shown I was born on the slopes of Dragonmount, of a woman never touched by a man, and that the heavens opened up in radiance to herald my coming. The sort of thing they say about you, now.
You want to know what the Great Lord told me? Very well. But it stays here, held close. Since Sammael chose to stay away, he learns nothing. Nor do the others, whether alive or dead. The first part of the Great Lord’s message was simple. ‘Let the Lord of Chaos rule.’ His words, exact.
We are all fools sometimes, child, yet a wise woman learns to limit how often. Since you seem to have finished breakfast, I suggest you rid yourself of that mug and find something to do before you find yourself in hot water instead. Have you ever considered cutting your hair short? No matter. Off with you.
And she learned to guard her tongue better. I will wager she did. When we left them, she was still yelping and trying to get those scarlet puffers out of her dress. A scarlet puffer looks much like a red adder if your eye is dull like a wetlander’s, but it is not poisonous. It does wriggle when confined, though.
There is some delight in ale and wine And some in girls with ankles fine But my delight, yes always mine Is to dance with Jak O’ the Shadows We will toss the dice however they fall And snuggle the girls be they short or tall Then follow lord Mat whenever he calls To dance with Jak O’ the Shadows.
THE CHOSEN DWINDLE, DEMANDRED. THE WEAK FALL AWAY. WHO BETRAYS ME SHALL DIE THE FINAL DEATH. ASMODEAN, TWISTED BY HIS WEAKNESS. RAHVIN DEAD IN HIS PRIDE. HE SERVED WELL, YET EVEN I CANNOT SAVE HIM FROM BALEFIRE. EVEN I CANNOT STEP OUTSIDE OF TIME... DONE BY MY ANCIENT ENEMY, THE ONE CALLED DRAGON. WOULD YOU UNLEASH THE BALEFIRE IN MY SERVICE, DEMANDRED?
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?
I am going to defeat them, Taim. All of them. They think they can tear everything down. It’s always tearing down, never building up! I’m going to build something, leave something behind. Whatever happens, I will do that! I’ll defeat the Dark One. And cleanse saidin, so men don’t have to fear going mad, and the world doesn’t have to fear men channeling. I’ll . . .
Now. When the poor blind fool they’ve chosen out for their Amyrlin gets here, I will do the talking. She can’t be very bright, or they’d never have been able to shove her into the job. Amyrlin Seat for a bloody village in the middle of bloody nowhere. You keep your mouths shut and curtsy for all you’re worth, and I’ll pull your bacon off the coals again.
A woman in white stood atop the rubble a short distance away, a massive halo of power surrounding her, her arm outstretched toward the fleeing soldiers, her eyes intense. The woman stood like vengeance itself, the power of saidar like a storm around her. The very air seemed alight, and her brown hair blew from the wind of the open gap in the wall beside them. Egwene al'Vere.
Ravens and crows. Rats. Mists and clouds. Insects and corruption. Strange events and odd occurences The ordinary twisted and strange. Wonders. The dead are beginning to walk and some see them. Others do not, but more and more, we all fear the night. These have been our days. They rain upon us beneath a dead sky, crushing us with their fury, until as one, we beg, "Let it begin."
The great and powerful Car’a’carn gave his honor to Far Dareis Mai to carry. If the mighty Car’a’carn dies in ambush while the Maidens protect him, Far Dareis Mai has no honor left. If the all-conquering Car’a’carn does not care, perhaps Enaila is right. Perhaps the omnipotent Car’a’carn is a willful boy who should be held by the hand lest he run over a cliff because he will not look.
"I once saw a man hanging from a cliff," he said slowly. "The brink was crumbling beneath his fingers, and the only thing near enough to grasp was a tuft of grass, a few long blades with roots barely clinging to the rock. The only chance he had of climbing back up on the cliff. So he grabbed it." His abrupt chuckle held no mirth. "He had to know it would pull free."
A ship is alive, and he is like a man, with a true man’s heart. Treat him well and care for him properly, and he will fight for you against the worst sea. He will fight to keep you alive even after the sea has long since given him his own deathstroke. Neglect him, though, ignore the small warnings he gives of danger, and he will drown you in a flat sea beneath a cloudless sky.
Mat was caught up in it now. He more than merely liked gambling, and battle was a gamble to make dicing in taverns a thing for children and toothless invalids. Lives were the stake here, yours and other men's, men who were not even there. Make the wrong wager, a foolish bet, and cities died, or whole nations. Natael's somber music was fit accompaniment. At the same time, this was a game that set the blood racing.
Remember, you fool! Remember your futile attack on Great Lord of the Dark! Remember his counterstroke! Remember! Even now the Hundred Companions are tearing the world apart, and every day a hundred men more join them. What hand slew Ilyena Sunhair, Kinslayer? Not mine. Not mine. What hand struck down every life that bore a drop of your blood, everyone who loved you, everyone you loved? Not mine, Kinslayer. Not mine. Remember, and know the price of opposing Shai'tan!
How was he to cause war, as the prophecies say he must? How was he to break the nations and bind them to him? How could he 'slay his people with the sword of peace' or 'bind the nine moons to serve him' if he was locked away? Do the prophecies say that he will be 'unfettered'? Do they not speak of the 'chaos of his passing'? How can anything pass at all if he is kept in chains?
How people see you first is what they hold hardest in their minds. It is the way of the world. You can step down from a throne, and even if you behave like a farmer in a pigsty, some part in each of them will remember that you did descend from a throne. But if they see only a young man first, a country man, they will resent him stepping up to his throne later, whatever his right, whatever his power
We can't go back, Mat. The Wheel has turned, for better or worse. And it will keep turning, as lights die and forests dim, storms call and skies break. Turn it will. The Wheel is not hope, and the Wheel does not care, the Wheel simply is. But so long as it turns, folk may hope, folk may care. For with light that fades, another will eventually grow, and each storm that rages must eventually die. As long as the Wheel turns. As long is it turns....
But she was a fount of Power, drawn from deep within the fluted rod in her hands, channeled through a group of novices and Accepted hiding in the room behind, bound to her in circle. Egwene was part of the fires that burned in the Tower, bloodying the sky with their flames, painting the air with their smoke. She almost seemed not a being of flesh, but one of pure Power, sending judgment to those who had dared bring war to the Tower itself. Blasts of lightning stormed from the sky, the clouds churning above. Fire sprouted from her hands.
Take this message back to Sammael. Every death he has caused since waking, I lay at his feet and call due. Every murder he has ever done or caused, I lay at his feet and call due. He escaped justice in the Rorn M’doi, and at Nol Caimaine, and Sohadra . . . " More of Lews Therin’s memories, but the pain of what had been done there, the agony of what Lews Therin’s eyes had seen, burned across the Void as if Rand’s. " . . . But I will see justice done now. Tell him, no truce with the Forsaken. No truce with the Shadow.
"Humankind 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 these southlanders think Trollocs are myths, and Myrddraal a gleeman's tale." He frowned and shook his head. "It seemed 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 could make our own peace? Better the Shadow, I thought, than useless oblivion, like Caralain, or Hardan, or … It seemed so logical, then."
I will run no more.
And you did it. A lot
You read too much and understand too little.
Take what you want, and pay for it.
What you need isn’t always what you want.
Lord of the Morning, I have come for you!
Better to face the bear than run from it.
No man should have another man's voice in his head.
A man who will not die to save a woman is no man.
Most of those we call heroes only did what they had to do.
At my age, if I make it up, it’s still an old saying.
If you don't know everything, you must go on with what you do know.
What you want is what you cannot have. What you cannot have is what you want.
There was a price to be paid for any decision he made. There was a price for who he was. Other people paid it.
Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain. Although some believe that Jordan is the author of this, it is in fact a Japanese proverb (義は険しい山よりも重く、死は大鳥の羽よりも軽い) best known for its use in the Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors. It is itself a variation of a Chinese proverb that can be traced back at the very least to Han dynasty writer Sima Qian, Death can be as heavy as Mount Tai, or lighter than a goose feather (死有重於泰山,輕於鴻毛).
Do you know how to unite the people behind you, Child Carridin? The quickest way? Loose a lion - a rabid lion - in the streets. And when panic grips the people, once it has turned their bowels to water, calmly tell them you will deal with it. Then you kill it, and order them to hang the carcass up where everyone can see. Before they have time to think, you give another order, and it will be obeyed. And if you continue to give orders, they will continue to obey, for you will be the one who saved them, and who better to lead?
Women are like goats. It's like . . . Well, reasoning with a woman is like sitting down to a friendly game of dice. Only the woman refuses to acknowledge the basic bloody rules of the game. A man, he'll cheat you - but he'll do it honestly. He'll use loaded dice, so that you think you're losing by chance. And if you aren't clever enough to spot what he's doing, then maybe he deserves to take your coin. And that's that. A woman, though, she'll sit down to that same game and she'll smile, and act like she's going to play. Only when it's her turn to throw, she'll toss a pair of her own dice that are blank on all six sides. Not a single pip showing. She'll inspect the throw, then she'll look up at you and say, 'clearly I just won.' Now, you'll scratch your head and look at the dice. Then you'll look up at her, then down at the dice again 'But there aren't any pips on these dice' you'll say." 'Yes there are,' she'll say. 'And both dice rolled a one.' 'That's exactly the number you need to win,' you'll say. 'What a coincidence,' she'll reply, then begin to scoop up your coins. And you'll sit there, trying to wrap your head 'bout what just happened. And you'll realise something. A pair of ones isn't the winning throw! Not when you threw a six on your turn. That means she needed a pair of twos instead! Excitedly you'll explain what you've discovered. Only then do you know what she'll do?" "No idea, Mat." "Then she'll reach over and rub the blank faces of her dice. And then, with a perfectly straight face, she'll say, 'I'm sorry. There was a spot of dirt on the dice. Clearly you'll see they actually came up as twos!' And she'll believe it. She'll bloody believe it!" "Incredible." "Only that's not the end of it!" "I had presumed it wouldn't be Mat." "She scoops up all of your coins. And then every other wonam in the room will come over and congratulate her on throwing that pair of twos! The more you complain, the more those bloody women will join in the argument. You'll be outnumbered in a moment, and each of those women will explain to you how those dice clearly read twos, and how you really need to stop behaving like a child. Every single flaming one of them will see the twos! even the prudish woman who has hated your woman from birth - since your woman's granny stole the other woman's granny's honeycake recipe when they were both maids - that woman will side against you." "They're nefarious creatures indeed." "By the time they're done, you'll be left with no coin, several lists worth of errands to run and what clothing to wear and a splitting headache. You'll sit there and stare at the table and begin to wonder, just maybe, if those dice didn't read twos after all. If only to preserve what's left of your sanity. That's what it's like to reason with a woman, I tell you."