Ages of the Wheel Theory
Author: Eleyan Al'Landerin, Lyssandra Darai
We believe that we are in the 7th Age. Why do we think that when everyone else seems to agree that we are actually in the 1st Age? Well, first of all, just because everyone agrees on something doesn't make it true. And second, we've come across some rather convincing ideas that, at the very least, make a good argument for the 7th Age theory.
There are many clues throughout the books that hint our own Age was not too long before the Age of Legends. Thom mentions that the oldest stories, to his knowledge, come from the Age before the Age of Legends. These stories have vague references to long range weapons that can be interpreted as missiles. Some connect the names in these stories with the names of presently existing countries like America. For example, the tale of the two great giants, Mosk and Merk, who fought with huge spears of flame. Mosk - Moscow... and Merk - America...who fought with huge spears of flame...likely rockets or nuclear missiles. America at war with Moscow/Russia? It seems likely, and it would account for our Age ending and the 1st Age beginning, and how channelers developed - radiation and great need.
There are other tales that could be references to our age. There is a passing mention of Queen Elsbet, queen of the world, who is probably Queen Elizabeth of England. There is another tale mentioned, that of Lenn flying to the moon in the belly of an eagle made of fire, and his daughter Salya, who walked among the stars. Those are likely Glenn the astronaut, who flew to the moon..."the eagle has landed"... the fire of the rockets propelling it. And Salya, Lenn's daughter... If Lenn is actually Glenn, then it would be plausible that Salya was Sally Ride. Although not of blood relatives, they were both astronauts and Sally Ride was the first woman in space.
Now, these references could mean that we were the 1st Age, since all we know is that they happened before the Age of Legends, but there is something to refute that. The Portal Stones came from the Age before the Age of Legends, and were not well understood in that Age. We do not have Portal Stones in this Age, and we are not likely to in the future - if anything big enough happens to enable us to create Portal Stones, then it is probably big enough to end this Age. And there is more. Looking into the 3rd Age's past only provides half of the story.
As the wheel is round, it makes sense that things occurring in WoT would also appear, if slightly skewed, in our own legends and myths! There are Odin's ravens, named Thought and Memory. Mat's spear is carved with two ravens, and the cryptic message inscribed there mentions both thought and memory. Odin also lost an eye in the pursuit of knowledge. We've yet to see what giving up half of the light means, but it is quite likely also the loss of an eye; especially given one of Min's viewings of him - an eye on a balance scale. There is our King Arthur legend (Arthur Pendragon = Artur Paendrag), and the pulling of the sword from the stone to name him king (Callandor from the Stone of Tear). Perhaps even the scantiest of tales from the Age of Legends - Atlantis, which was destroyed by an unknown catastrophe. If there are still traces of what occurred in the 2nd or 3rd Age in our history, then we cannot be just about to come upon it again! It is much more likely that we are on opposite sides of the wheel, each with vague memories of each other.
So, here is our theory at the way the Wheel of Time has gone:
1st Age - Due to the radiation and the hard times (we likely lose all technology), channeling is rediscovered and used. We do all sorts of strange things with it, including making Portal Stones. Since the world was pretty much destroyed, everyone forgot the old religions - including the existence of a Dark One.
2nd Age - Age of Legends. A new society and government is formed, replacing the one in the 1st Age.
3rd Age - Rand's time. The Dark One tries to break free and the Dragon Reborn prevents him.
4th Age - Stories, songs, and marginally accurate accounts of Rand are written. The Dragon Reborn is highly known.
5th Age - Something happened to Break the world again, changing the landmasses into what we know now. The people are reduced to tribes of hunter-gatherers, and knowledge is only preserved as stories. Channelers are the shaman and Wise Women of the various tribes and religions. This Age ends perhaps as late as 33 AD, with the death of the last channeler, Jesus.
6th Age - From 33 AD to perhaps 1700 AD. This is the medieval and renaissance times, with high society around, but little in the way of technology or comfort for anyone but the rich. This ends with the Industrial Revolution.
7th Age - Our Age, the Age of technology and no channelers. America and Russia get into a nuclear war, Breaking the world yet again, and ending the 7th Age.