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Where we Stand
At long bloody last, we stand on the final day. No, I don't speak of the Mayan apocolypse which didn't happen or all those that will crop up in the future. I speak of the last day before the release of A Memory of Light, the last day we can all sppeculate of what will await us in the end.
What we Feel
Quite simply, how do you feel on this day? Veterans and newcomers alike, those who took notes, obsessively recording every fact, and those who read carelessly, unaware of all the foreshadowing and surprised when the foretold events occur. Does eagerness fill you as you await the end? Or is a sense of melancholy falling upon you like a blanket?
The answer, I feel, is a mixture of both. We've been through quite a lot, haven't we? The channeling of the Eye, the duel above Falme, the claiming of Callandor, the expulsion of the Amyrilin. Our hearts were broken as Moiraine "died", and at the same time, were filled with exhilaration as Lanfear was defeated. We cheered as Rand broke free of the Aes Sedai and shed tears as Rand killed Liah.
There have been defeats as well: Rand's destruction of his forces and the Seanchan's, Faile's capture, Mat's loss of an eye, and Rand's descent into madness. But, there has been a victory to offset each defeat. THIS is why we connect so deeply with this series; it, more than any other fantasy series, echoes life perfectly. From the fear we all feel when we confront all the evil and vice in the world to the simple differences between men and women which are never resolved. Both large and small things are encapsulated in the Wheel, depression and happiness, life and death, war and eventual peace, and yes, even Aes Sedai and Asha'man.
Why, then, would we be excited to see it's end? Well, it can't go on forever. Rand can't fight forever, we can't yell at Siuan to love Gareth Bryne for decades, it simply can't br done. The Wheel of Time is an adventure, not a soap opera. Victory decides the day, not drama.
But, I would like to meet the person who doesen't feel a pang in his or her heart or a tear in their eye when they turn the final page in A Memory of Light. The characters in the books are a part of us, some of us have been reading this series for decades; how could one not feel attached to a world after that?
So, on this final day, take heart. Hope, fear, cherish, and cry when you purchase the book tomorrow; and, when you turn the page, know that you have accomplished something. Know that you have explored a world as vast and wide as America, that you have stayed with Rand on a legendary odyssey, and know that you are one of countless thousands who feel the same thing.
Who we Remember
Robert Jordan- for leading us into this world, discovering it first, but never naming it. May You Rest In Peace.