PhoenixFalls edited the summary of The Eye of the World Thursday, August 12, 2010.
The prologue introduces Lews Therin Telamon (which might be read as Kinslayer in some editions), the Dragon, victorious commander of the forces of Light in the war against Shai'tan. His victory was not without cost, however; as a result of the tainting of saidin, the male half of the One Power, Lews Therin has gone insane and murdered his family. He is confronted by Ishamael, one of the Forsaken, who restores his sanity, allowing him to realize what he has done. Faced with the magnitude of his crimes, Lews Therin commits suicide by drawing deadly amounts of Saidin, thus creating Dragonmount.
FROM THE TWO RIVERS TO SHADAR LOGOTH
The early chapters of the book are set in and around the rustic village of Emond's Field in the The Two Rivers district of Andor, where most of the primary characters reside.
On the eve of Bel Tine, an annual festival celebrating the arrival of spring, an unexpected attack by bestial Trollocs and fearsome Myrddraal seems to target Rand al'Thor and his two friends, Matrim Cauthon and Perrin Aybara specifically. Hoping to spare their loved ones from any further attacks, the three young men decide to flee the village by night, accompanied by Moiraine Damodred, an Aes Sedai, and her Warder, al'Lan Mandragoran. As they attempt to leave, their surreptitious escape is discovered by the innkeeper's daughter, Egwene al'Vere, and a wandering gleeman, Thom Merrilin, who join them.
Chased by Trollocs, Myrddraal, and Draghkar, the seven companions make their way to the nearby city of Baerlon, where they encounter Min Farshaw, a young woman gifted with the ability to see a person's past, and future, and Dain Bornhald, an officer in the Children of the Light. They also find Padan Fain, a peddler who was presumed killed during the Trolloc attack on Emond's Field. Also in Baerlon, Rand and his two friends begin experiencing dreams in which they are taunted by an arrogant man who calls himself Ba'alzamon. Shortly before they depart, Nynaeve al'Meara, the village Wisdom of Emond's Field, arrives to retrieve the four villagers. When Rand and his friends refuse to return with her, Nynaeve joins them to ensure their continued safety.
Pursued by ever-increasing numbers of Trollocs and Myrddraal, the travellers are forced to take refuge in the ancient, abandoned, and deadly city of Shadar Logoth, a place even Myrddraal are reluctant to enter. While there, Rand and his two friends foolishly try to explore the ruined city and meet a man named Mordeth, who first offers them riches in exchange for a small favor, then attempts to kill them when he learns that their companions include an Aes Sedai and that their eventual destination is Tar Valon, the home city of the Aes Sedai order. The three barely escape, and only reach their companions just before nightfall.
FROM SHADAR LOGOTH TO CAEMLYN
Myrddraal and Trollocs enter Shadar Logoth during the night, forcing the eight companions from their warded quarters. As they try to avoid the search and leave the city, Mashadar, the evil of Shadar Logoth made manifest, separates them from each other.
Fleeing Shadar Logoth with Trollocs close behind, Rand, Mat, and Thom stumble across a moored ship on the nearby River Arinelle. The captain, Bayle Domon, reluctantly grants them passage to Whitebridge. During the journey downriver, Ba'alzamon continues to haunt Rand's and Mat's dreams, and Mat becomes strangely reclusive and suspicious of strangers. Rand discovers that Mat took a ruby-hilted dagger from the piles of tainted treasure in Shadar Logoth despite Moiraine's warning about anything Mordeth gave them. Mat insists that because he took the dagger instead of Mordeth giving it to him, that it was safe. Rand agrees.
In Whitebridge, the trio are confronted by a Myrddraal in a crowded square. Thom apparently sacrifices himself to buy Rand and Mat time to escape, and the two continue alone on the road toward Caemlyn, earning meals and lodging along the way by playing Thom's flute and juggling. As they near Caemlyn, however, they begin to encounter Darkfriends in nearly every town who seem to be able to recognize them by sight, and Mat's paranoid behavior becomes more debilitating.
Once in Caemlyn, Mat confines himself to his bed and seeks to avoid all contact with outsiders while Rand makes the acquaintance of an Ogier named Loial and embarks on an unlikely adventure. Logain Ablar, a recently-captured False Dragon, is being paraded through the streets of Caemlyn. While seeking to catch a glimpse of him, Rand climbs a wall and accidentally falls over the top into the palace garden, where he meets Elayne Trakand, heir-apparent to the throne of Andor, her brother Gawyn, and her half-brother Galad Damodred.
When the palace guards are alerted to Rand's presence by Galad, he is taken into custody despite Elayne's protests and brought before Queen Morgase and her Aes Sedai advisor, Elaida. Elaida prophetically identifies Rand as a dangerous individual, but Queen Morgase decides that she does not have sufficient evidence to imprison him.
Meanwhile, Egwene and Perrin plan a route that should take them from Shadar Logoth almost directly toward Caemlyn. Along the way, they meet Elyas Machera, a man who can communicate with wolves. He tells Perrin that he, too, can develop this gift though Perrin shows little interest in this possibility. Elyas and the wolves decide to accompany the two youngsters at least part of the way to Caemlyn. They travel for a few days with the Tuatha'an, a nomadic, pacifistic people, before striking out on their own when the wolves witness one of Perrin's dreams featuring Ba'alzamon.
After fleeing from massive swarms of ravens and crows sent to mark their movements and kill them, they run afoul of a legion of Children of the Light commanded by Geofram Bornhald, father of the officer encountered in Baerlon. After witnessing the death of a wolf at the hands of a Whitecloak, Perrin, whose talent has developed despite his efforts, goes temporarily insane and kills two of them. Elyas escapes, but the Children of the Light hold Perrin and Egwene prisoner, planning to execute at least Perrin as soon as they reach Amador.
Moiraine, Lan, and Nynaeve rescue Egwene and Perrin from the Whitecloaks just as one overzealous individual is contemplating their premature 'release'. Together they travel to Caemlyn, where they are reunited with Mat and Rand, who has only just returned from his adventure at the castle. Moiraine immediately diagnoses Mat's "sickness" as the corrupting influence of the ruby-hilted dagger, and she uses her powers to diminish its effects, although she cannot heal him completely or break his attachment to it.
FROM CAEMLYN TO THE EYE OF THE WORLD
Loial warns Moiraine of a threat to the Eye of the World, a threat independently corroborated by a story heard by Perrin and Egwene while among the Tuatha'an and by the dreams of Rand, Mat, and Perrin. Moiraine decides that in order to reach the Eye of the World in time to stop the Dark One, they must take the Ways (passageways built by male channelers in the time of madness for the Ogier to travel long distances in short amounts of time). The group is guided along the dangerous Ways (now tainted by evil) by Loial and emerge in Shienar, where they meet Lord Agelmar Jagad and Ingtar Shinowa in the fortress of Fal Dara, on the eve of an expected battle against a Trolloc army.
Padan Fain is found climbing the walls of Fal Dara. He is taken into custody and interrogated by Moiraine and Lan, who discover that Fain is a Darkfriend whose mind has been specifically moulded to find the Dark One's quarry; it was he who aimed the attack on Emond's Field. Following that attack, he was forced into the Myrddraals' pursuit of the companions, only escaping them in Shadar Logoth.
Even separated from the Myrddraal, however, he was still the Dark One's bloodhound, and he followed the companions to Caemlyn, through the Ways, and to Fal Dara.
The group enters the Blight in search of the Eye of the World, guarded by Someshta (the fabled Green Man). The Eye is revealed as a pool of pure Saidin, and when the companions exit they are confronted by the Forsaken Aginor and Balthamel. Balthamel dies at the hand of the Green Man, and Aginor is consumed by the One Power as he battles Rand for control of the saidin at the Eye of the World. Guided by blind luck and instinctive knowledge, Rand uses the supply of saidin to decimate the Trolloc army and defeat Ba'alzamon.
Afterwards, Rand realizes to his own horror that he channeled the One Power, and that he is condemned to a fate of insanity and rotting death. The book ends with Moiraine's ominous statement to herself that, "The Dragon is Reborn."
THE EYE OF THE WORLD
The Eye of the World is in a hidden location in the Blight created by the male and female Aes Sedai after the Dark One tainted saidin. It was created using both saidin and saidar (the male and female halves of the Power respectively), and is protected by Someshta, whom is known as "The Green Man" and is the last of the Nym. It houses a pool of pure, untainted saidin, as well as one of the seven Seals on the Dark One's prison, Lews Therin's Dragon Banner and the Horn of Valere. Moiraine brings the party here to help discover which one of the three ta'veren can channel (thus discovering which one of them is the Dragon Reborn). It is during the battle with Aginor and Balthamel, two of the Forsaken, that Rand channels consciously for the first time. Balthamel is killed by Someshta, and Aginor is killed by drawing too much of the power.