The Collapse is the name given to a span of time in the Age of Legends, after the Bore was made. The drilling of the Bore was a scientific experiment headed by Mierin and Beidomon in an attempt to access a power that both men and women could use. The power turned out to be the True Power, the essence of the Dark One seeping through a thinness in the Pattern.

Forsaken Be'lal

You were a greater swordsman, once, Lews Therin. Do you remember when we took that tame sport called swords and learned to kill with it, as the old volumes said men once had? - Be'lal

"...ripples in the fabric of reality as shock waves from the breach shook the Pattern.
Up to this time, the denizens of the world had only to deal with the evil within themselves. If motivations for war and hate were removed, then so were the resultant activities. The Bore changed all of that.
The fabric of society began to unravel under the onslaught of the Dark One’s influence. A large part of the horror came from the simple fact that for many years, no one knew why this was all happening; chaos seemed to be welling up from nowhere, without cause.
It was during this time that such brutal sports as sha’je dueling came briefly into vogue. Sha’je duels, held at Qual, involved the use of left- and right-hand daggers, called respectively osan’gar and aran’gar, tipped with slow poison… In some parts of the world, in the years immediately preceding the final collapse into war, murder, rape and even torture became regular parts of many spectator sports."

   —The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time

During this period there was a slow degeneration of society, attributed to the Dark One's ability to influence hearts and emotions. Brutal sports and treacherous politics became more and more common as the Collapse wore on, and the art of war was rediscovered through these often fatal confrontations. This slow corrupting influence lasted a little more than a hundred years; slowly persons of power and prestige converted to the Shadow, either publicly or in secret.

"...all of these Dreadlords, as they were known, traveled to the Pit of Doom in Shayol Ghul to dedicate their souls to the Dark Lord."
   —The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time

Once a sufficient segment of society had fallen under the Dark One's sway, the War of Power began in earnest with a concerted attempt to unleash him fully upon the world.


The Collapse has parallels with the Christian concept of the Fall. In both cases humankind lived an existence of relative bliss and innocence. A woman (Lanfear in the Age of Legends and Eve in the Garden of Eden) partook of something that was forbidden and introduced evil into the world.


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.