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The Anthropology of The Wheel of Time

A Structuralist analysis of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series (Gravitas, Celeretas, Dual Sovereignty and more, with special attention paid to notions of Witchcraft as described by Kluckhohn, Evans-Pritchard, Needham, Ginzburg, and Luhrman.)

J. Titus Stupfel

on 28 April 2011

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Transcript of The Anthropology of The Wheel of Time

The Anthropology of The Wheel of Time A Structuralist analysis of practices of magic in Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. Celeritas and Power Symbolic Time:
The Bore and The Breaking Gravitas and Authority The Dragon:
Bricolage Incarnate? Lews Therin to Rand Al'Thor -Gravitas: Tar Valon and The White Tower holding The Shadow at bay for 3,000 years, set in their ways regarding men and 'Wilders' The One Power:
Two Halves of the Same Coin -'The Dragon Reborn'
-Nobility -vs- Peasantry -Weaves of the One Power and/or the World of Dreams as the unseen world (Ginzburg; 'Dreamers' enter trance-like state) Saidin -vs- Saidar ; opposition drives Wheel, sustains the Pattern -Celeritas: Chaotic nature of Sadin and the Taint; Rand "breaking all allegiances" as "Lord of Chaos" to ready the world for Tarmon Gai'don The Age of Legends and the Third Age as Gravitas, the War of Power and The Breaking as Celeritas. (Dumezil) -Children: Aes Sedai seen as 'witches' and 'servants of the Dark One'
-Aes Sedai: No, we FIGHT the Dark One
(Ties into Ginzburg) Channeling as 'Witchcraft':
'Children of the Light' -Suspected 'Darkfriends' are 'put to the question' -Power, but no authority alone: Rand w/o Moiraine, Lews Therin w/o female Aes Sedai. Witchcraft or Sorcery? Some magical objects, known as Ter'angreal, can be used by anyone (which could be considered sorcery) Seniores -vs- Iuniores -EVERYONE thinks that men who can
channel are in league with the Dark One. -Authority, but not power: Constrained by the Three Oaths, can still "make kings dance on thrones" -Greatest works of Age of Legends required both men and women channelers; 'linking' only possible through women -Dragon's Fang; Symbol transformed, negative connotation, often scrawled on doors of villagers who piss off their neighbors (Kluckhohn) 'Oracles' -'Village 'Wisdoms'
-Windfinders (Sea-folk)
-Rhuidean's glass columns
-Twisted stone doreways
-Min's Viewings Similar to E.P.? -Most examples of magic use in series would be considered 'witchcraft' by E.P. because channeling is an INTRINSIC ability; some need to be trained to control it for own safety, others don't know they have it, but the potential is inherent to the person. -Majority of main characters start out fairly young
-Egwene -vs- tower tradition (age-limits on training and 'wilders')
-Rand having to "break the world to save it," break norms. The End!
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