The Wheel of Time

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I count life just a stuff to try the soul's strength on.
Robert Browning
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This page includes quotes from all The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.

  • 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.

The Eye of the World (15 January 1990)

  • In wars, boy, fools kill other fools for foolish causes
    • Thom Merrilin (Chapter 4)
  • Think if you want to stay alive. Fear will kill you if you don't control it.
    • Elyas Machera
  • 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.
    • Elyas Machera
  • "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."
    • Aiel Oath
  • The best lie is often one too ridiculous to be taken for a lie.
    • Morgase Trakand
  • The fact that the price must be paid is proof it is worth paying.
    • al'Lan Mandragoran
  • "The rose petal floats on water. The kingfisher flashes above the pond. Life and beauty swirl in the midst of death.
    • al'Lan Mandragoran
  • "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, feeling Mandarb forward, "it becomes more than a talisman."
    • al'Lan Mandragoran and Egwene al'Vere
  • 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.
    • al'Lan Mandragoran to Nynaeve al'Meara
  • Death is lighter than a feather, but Duty is heavier than a mountain.
    • al'Lan Mandragoran
  • "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."
    • Aram
  • "Teach him how you will, a pig will never play the flute."
    • Thom Merrilin
  • "Take life as it comes. Run when you have to, fight when you must, rest when you can."
    • Elyas Machera
  • "An Aes Sedai never lies, but the truth she speaks, may not be the truth you think you hear."
    • Tam al'Thor
  • "A thousand years of sheep!"
    • Mat Cauthon

The Great Hunt (15 November 1990)

  • Love is an odd thing. As odd a thing as there is.
    • al'Lan Mandragoran
  • "Here, southlander, you can't quit while you are winning" "Better than when I'm losing"
    • Man in Fal Dara and Mat Cauthon
  • There is an old saying here in the Borderlands: "Better to have one woman on your side than ten men."
    • al'Lan Mandragoran
  • There is one rule, above all others, for a man. Whatever comes, face it on your feet.
    • al'Lan Mandragoran
  • Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain.
    • Rand al'Thor, The Dragon Reborn
  • 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.
    • Nynaeve al'Meara
  • "An Aes Sedai’s gift is bait for a fish."
    • Mat Cauthon
  • "A pig painted gold is still a pig."
    • Mat Cauthon
  • "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."
    • Egwene al'Vere
  • "Men! When you cannot win an argument, you either run away or resort to force."
    • Egwene al'Vere
  • "Better to have one woman on your side than ten men."
    • Borderland saying
  • "I may be a fool, but I intend to be a live fool."
    • Matrim Cauthon
  • "A man who will not die to save a woman is no man."
    • Shienaran saying
  • "All men dream. But I know dreams for dreams. This is reality."
    • al'Lan Mandragoran
  • "A shaping stone, to make us; a testing ground to prove our worth; and a punishment for the sin."
    • Aiel on the Three Fold Land
  • "Jump in a hole without looking, and there’ll be a snake in it every time."
    • Hurin
  • "You break your neck, and I’ll see it mended just so I can break it again."
    • Nynaeve

The Dragon Reborn (15 October 1991)

  • 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?
    • Pedron Niall
  • Should and would build no bridges.
    • Lini
  • ... 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.
    • Siuan Sanche
  • A flapping tongue has killed more men than sudden storms ever did.
    • Siuan Sanche
  • One pretty woman means fun at the dance. Two pretty women mean trouble in the house. Three pretty women mean run for the hills.
    • Matrim Cauthon
  • Death comes for us all. We can only choose how to face it when it comes.
    • Aviendha of the Nine Valleys sept of the Taardad Aiel
  • 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.
    • Aviendha of the Nine Valleys sept of the Taardad Aiel
  • "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!"
    • Matrim Cauthon and Thomdril Merrilin
  • 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.
    • Thomdril Merrilin
  • "Better ten days of love than years of regretting."
    • Min Farshaw
  • "Men! Too blind to see what a stone could see, and too stubborn to be trusted to think for themselves."
    • Min Farshaw
  • "To anger an Aes Sedai is to put your head in a hornets’ nest."
    • Loial
  • "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."
    • Min Farshaw
  • "To lead is neither to push or pull."
    • Leane
  • "When there are fish heads and blood in the water, you don’t need to see the silver pike to know they are there."
    • Siuan Sanche
  • "Trust is as slippery as a basket of eels sometimes."
    • Siuan Sanche
  • "A man is the easiest animal to put on a leash, and the hardest to keep leashed. Even when he chooses it himself."
    • Siuan Sanche
  • "Once you decide to gut a fish, there’s no use waiting till it rots."
    • Siuan Sanche
  • "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."
    • Faile Bashere
  • "It is better to be the hammer than the nail."
    • Egwene al'Vere
  • "Men fight when they should run, and fools fight when they should run. But I had no need to say it twice."
    • Faile Bashere
  • "I came to bloody rescue you. Burn me if I expected to be greeted as if I had come to steal a pie."
    • Mat Cauthon

The Shadow Rising (15 September 1992)

  • Surprising what you can dig out of books if you read long enough, isn't it?
    • Rand Al'Thor
  • You read too much and understand too little.
    • Moiraine Damodred
  • 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.
    • Moiraine Damodred
  • On the heights, the paths are paved with daggers.
    • Seanchan saying
  • 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.
    • al'Lan Mandragoran
  • 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.
    • Gaul
  • A Myrddraal has less cunning than a woman, and a Trolloc fights with more honor. And a goat has more sense.
    • Gaul
  • You have to understand, child. Everyone wants someone in their life, someone who cares for them, someone they can care for. Even a queen.
    • Thomdril Merrilin
  • "Rand is the one who is supposed to go mad. And here I am, talking to an axe!"
    • Perrin Aybara
  • "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."
    • Mat recalling the Maiden's Kiss
  • "Rand al’Thor is a mule-headed, stone-willed fool of a...a...a man!"
    • Moiraine Damondred
  • "You could weave silk from pig bristles before you could make a man anything but a man."
    • Lini
  • "A weeping woman is a bucket with no bottom."
    • Lini
  • "It is better to guide people than try to hammer them into a line."
    • Queen Morgase Trakand
  • "Whatever you can do, Lews Therin, I can do. And better."
    • Lanfear
  • "I always get what I want in the end. And I think I want...ornamental ironwork. For the windows of my bedchamber."
    • Berelain sur Paendrag Tanreal of House Paeron
  • "I do read sometimes."
    • Matrim Cauthon
  • "Do not trouble trouble till trouble troubles you."
    • A saying in Maule, Tear
  • "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."
    • Jorin din Jubai White Wing
  • "Humankind is made for uncertainty, struggle, choice and change."
    • Amys, Aiel Wise One
  • "If you plan for the worst, all surprises are pleasant."
    • Gaul
  • "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."
    • Faile
  • "Courage to strengthen, fire to blind, music to daze, iron to bind."
    • Snakes and Foxes game
  • "Nothing like a little dance with Trollocs to ready you for sleep. Right Aviendha?"
    • Mat Cauthon
  • "Wanting won’t make a stone cheese. But he still smells like cheese to me."
    • Perrin Aybara on Lord Luc
  • "Light! Two! Oh, burn me! He’s the luckiest man in the world or the biggest fool since creation."
    • Mat Cauthon
  • "A flapping tongue can put you in the net instead of the fish."
    • Siuan Sanche

The Fires of Heaven (15 October 1993)

  • I will run no more.
    • Aviendha
  • 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-...
    • Thom Merrilin to Elayne Trakand
  • 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.
    • Mat Cauthon
  • 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.
    • Nynaeve al'Meara about Rand
  • 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 mirith. 'He had to know it would pull free.'
    • Asmodean to Rand
  • 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. Natel's somber music was fit accompaniment. At the same time, this was a game that set the blood racing.
    • Mat Cauthon
  • " 'A woman's flaming rights are whatever she flaming says they are.' Uno laughed. 'Thats what women in Shienar say, anyway.'"
    • Uno
  • "That was all he ever really wanted from women; a smile, a dance, a kiss, and to be remembered fondly."
    • Mat Cauthon
  • "The Creator made women to please the eye and trouble the mind."
    • Two Rivers saying
  • "'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.'"
    • Lan to Rand
  • "We all have our limits. The thought slid up suprisingly from somewhere. And we set them further out than we have any right."
    • Rand al'Thor
  • "The more women there are about, the softer a wise man steps."
    • Arad Doman saying
  • "A man is a man, on a throne or in a pigsty."
    • Lini
  • "A shoat squealing under a fence just attracts the fox, when it should be trying to run."
    • Lini
  • "I have seen a tough man break when I sent for a basket of figs and some mice."
    • Juilin
  • "Not thinking about a thorn doesn’t make it hurt your foot less."
    • Lini
  • "A fool puts her hand into a hollow tree without finding out what’s inside first."
    • Lini
  • "If you don’t look for snakes, you cannot complain when one bites you."
    • Lini
  • "A gnarled old branch dulls the blade that severs a sapling."
    • Lini
  • "When the honey’s out of the comb, there’s no putting it back."
    • Lini page
  • "Better to face the bear than run from it."
    • Lini
  • "A fool puts a burr under the saddle before she rides."
    • Lini
  • "At my age, if I make it up, it’s still an old saying."
    • Lini
  • "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."
    • Aviendha
  • "When a woman says she will obey you, of her own will, it is time to sleep lightly and watch your back."
    • Asmodean
  • "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."
    • Rand to Asmodean
  • "All he wanted from life was some good wine, a game of dice, and a pretty girl or three."
    • Matrim Cauthon
  • "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?"
    • Sorilea
  • "Better to try understanding the sun than a woman."
    • Thom Merrilin
  • "Even a queen stubs her toe, but a wise woman watches the path."
    • Lini
  • "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."
    • Birgitte Silverbow
  • "Never kiss a girl whose brothers have knife scars."
    • Mat Cauthon
  • "Never gamble without knowing a back way out."
    • Matrim Cauthon
  • "I can rest when I’m dead."
    • Rand al'Thor
  • "The louder a man tells you he’s honest, the harder you must hold onto your purse."
    • Two Rivers saying
  • "The fox often offers the duck its pond."
    • Two Rivers saying
  • "Waiting turns men into bears in a barn, and women into cats in a sack."
    • Lini
  • "”Wish” and “want” trip the feet, but “is” makes the path smoother."
    • Lini
  • "I’m no lord. I’ve more respect for myself than that."
    • Mat Cauthon
  • " 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."
    • Egwene al'Vere
  • "I’m a gambler, a farmboy, and I’m here to take command of your bloody army!"
    • Matrim Cauthon
  • "If you are not mine, they you are dead."
    • Lanfear

Lord of Chaos (15 October 1994)

  • 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?
    • The Dark One
  • A slow horse does not always reach the end of the journey.
    • Lini (Orbit ed., 1995, p. 55)
  • We are always more afraid than we wish to be, but we can always be braver than we expect.
    • Sorilea
  • If the world was 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.
    • Matrim Cauthon
  • 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!
    • Rand al'Thor
  • Kneel to the Lord Dragon, or you will be knelt.
    • Mazrim Taim, after the battle of Dumai's Wells
  • "Dance with a woman, and she will forgive much; dance well, and she will forgive anything."
    • Matrim Cauthon
  • "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."
    • Chant from a children’s game heard in Great Arvalon, the Fourth Age
  • "The best way to apologize to a man is to trip him in a secluded part of the garden."
    • Breane
  • "Clutch the bramble and you will be pricked."
    • Rand al'Thor
  • "Men believe the worst easily, and women believe it hides something still darker."
    • Two Rivers saying
  • "A woman’s eyes cut deeper than a knife."
    • Two Rivers saying
  • If I had taken the Stone of Tear, histories 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 at my coming.
    • Mazrim Taim
  • "Dance well with a woman, and she’s halfway yours."
    • Matrim Cauthon
  • "What can’t be changed must be endured."
    • Lini
  • "The pike does not ask the frog’s permission before dining."
    • Lini
  • "A man without trust might as well be dead."
    • Lews Therin Telamon
  • "If wishes were wings, pig would fly."
    • Old saying in Randland
  • "What you need isn’t always what you want."
    • Lini
  • "What you want is what you cannot have. What you cannot have is what you want."
    • Lews Therin Telamon
  • "Death rides on my shoulder, death walks in my footsteps. I am death."
    • Lews Therin Telamon
  • "If it hurts too much, make it hurt someone else instead."
    • Lews Therin Telamon
  • "Nothing ever goes as you expect. Expect nothing, and you will not be surprised. Expect nothing. Hope for nothing. Nothing!"
    • Lews Therin Telamon
  • "You can put your cat in your hat and stuff it down your breeches, Rand al’Thor."
    • Egwene al'Vere
  • "A cat for a hat, or a hat for a cat. But nothing for nothing."
    • Taren Ferry saying
  • "What I love I destroy. What I destroy, I love."
    • Lews Therin Telamon

A Crown of Swords (15 May 1996)

  • Only a fool thinks his enemies stand still when he isn't looking, my Lord Dragon.
    • Damer Flinn

The Path of Daggers (20 October 1998)

  • I killed the whole world, and you can too, if you try hard.
    • Lews Therin Telamon

Winter's Heart (9 November 2000)

  • I think the woman was born in Far Madding in a thunderstorm. She probably told the thunder to be quiet. It probably did.
    • Basil Gill, referring to Lini
  • 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.
    • Lews Therin Telamon
  • I thought I could build, I was wrong. We are not builders, not you, or I, or the other one. We are destroyers. Destroyers.
    • Lews Therin Telamon, to Rand
  • Any day you wake up, maybe you die.
    • Deni

Crossroads of Twilight (7 January 2003)

  • If a woman does need a hero, she needs him today, not tomorrow.
    • Egwene al'Vere
  • Sometimes, pain is all that lets you know you're alive.
    • Lews Therin Telamon

Knife of Dreams (11 October 2005)

  • 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?
    • Nynaeve ti al'Meara Mandragoran
  • A man should never give promises in bed.
    • Rand al'Thor
  • Mourn if you must. But mourn on the march to Tarmon Gai'don.
    • Logain Ablar
  • A beautiful battle is one you don't have to fight.
    • Mat Cauthon
  • The boy was dead eager, which could soon lead to plain dead.
    • Mat, about Olver
  • To fight the raven you may make alliance with the serpent until the battle is done.
    • Byar, Children of the Light
  • 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

    • Song of the Band of the Red Hand

The World of Robert Jordan's "The Wheel of Time" (November 1998)

New Spring (January 2004)

  • "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.'"
    • al'Lan Mandragoran

See also

External links

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