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Hand of Onyx




Hello there, fellow denizens of Dragonmount! Welcome to another weekly installment of "It works in Theory...", Dragonmount's brand new theory blog headed by yours truly! Before I begin, let me say that I was thrilled to read all the comments and responses to last week's premiere entry, and I hope to continue to find little tidbits and ideas for you to bounce around in your head a little bit. Also let me put in this disclaimer for legal purposes:


WARNING!!! Spoiler Alert!!! WARNING!!!

This blog is based on theories that will include facts and material from the latest books in the series, so if you have not read through the Towers of Midnight, continue reading at your own risk! "It works in theory..." is a free-flowing narrative that occasionally touches on immature subjects, and if you don't like that, then your mom wears combat boots.


There's one more thing I wanted to address before I moved to the focus of this week's issue: obviously any theory I put out here is just one opinion or take on a subject, and there's a good chance I'll be way off base with various predictions, but occasionally I will get lucky and hit the nail right on the head, and there's a chance I might spoil some big reveal for you. I know you're probably aware of this already, but I only stress this because I get the feeling I might have tripped onto the bombshell theory I was looking for last week.


So what is the subject of today's article? It has to do with the "hand of onyx" that Min sees in a vision involving Callandor around Rand in the Towers of Midnight. I was extremely excited to cover this topic because in earlier theories and discussions regarding the hand of onyx, Tel'Aran'Rhiod is usually brought up as a way of helping Rand replace the hand that Semirhage blew away. For a long time I believed something like this might happen, and I found it to be an amazing allusion to another favorite fantasy series of mine: The Chronicles of Amber, written by Roger Zelazny.


In the Chronicles of Amber, there exists a world/plane of exitence known as Tir-na Nog'th, and there are huge similarities between it and Tel'Aran"Rhiod, the world of dreams in the Wheel of Time. Of course the names even look similar, but the overall feel of the two worlds, their relation to dreams/visions, their use by the author to reveal certain hints and foreshadowing, all draw big parallels. There is also a main character in the Chronicles of Amber called Benedict, who is an amazing swordsman who loses a hand, but later gains an artificial hand from Tir-na Nog'th that he uses to replace his lost appendage.


Unfortunately, even though it's still possible that Robert Jordan was alluding to Zelazny's epic fantasy series, I have come to a different conclusion regarding the hand of onyx. Before I go further, let's examine the full quote regarding the dark hand, found in the last book to come out in the series Towers of Midnight:


The Towers of Midnight

Chapter 51, "A Testing"


The hair on Min's neck rose as she held the crystal sword. Callandor. She'd heard stories of this weapon since she was a child, wild tales of distant Tear and the strange Sword That Is Not a Sword. Now she held it in her own fingers.

It was lighter than she'd expected. It's crystalline length caught and played with the lamplight. It seemed to shimmer too much, the light inside changing even when she didn't move. The crystal was smooth, but warm. It almost felt alive.

Rand stood in front of her, looking down at the weapon. They were in their rooms inside the Stone of Tear, accompanied by Cadsuane, Narishma, Merise, Naeff and two Maidens.

Rand reached out, touching the weapon. She glanced at him, and a viewing sprang to life above him. A glowing sword, Callandor, being gripped in a black hand. She gasped.

"What did you see?" Rand asked softly.

"Callandor, held in a fist. The hand looks to be made of onyx."

"Any idea what it means?"

She shook her head.


There's also another viewing Min has, earlier in the same book, that seems very closely related to this matter:


The Towers of Midnight

Chapter 25, "Return to Bandar Eban"


"Rand, I see sunlight around you."

He glanced up at her, then glanced at the sky.

"Not that sunlight," Min whispered. "A viewing. I see dark clouds, pushed away by the sunlight's warmth. I see you, a brilliant white sword held in your hand, wielded against one of black, held by a faceless darkness. I see trees, growing green again, bearing fruit. I see a field, the crops healthy and full." She hesitated. "I see the Two Rivers, Rand. I see an inn there with the mark of the Dragon's Fang inlaid on it's door. No longer a symbol of darkness or hate. A sign of victory and hope."


In my quest to wrap my head around this issue, and figure out what I thought it might be referring to, I started to look at different theories and discussion relating to Callandor. I still couldn't quite get a grasp on what I was looking for, so I started to venture to other subjects, and focused on one in particular: The BLANK in the blight.


Q: This question has to do with a conversation I had with Wilson.

Brandon: Oh okay, is this going to be? Okay, I think I know what this is going to be.

Q: At last JordanCon I was talking with Wilson, and he was telling me about the night that Robert Jordan told him the end of the book.

Brandon: Uh huh.

Q: And he says that it started off with the word... they were talking about whatever, and it started off with Robert Jordan getting really quiet and then leaning in and saying, "There is a _____ in the Blight." To which that completely blindsides Wilson. He says, "There’s a what?!?" And Robert Jordan then says, "There's a _____ in the Blight and not even Harriet knows about it." And then went on for two hours describing about how this was important and pivotal and yet takes place... be really important for the end of the book. Any further hints?

Brandon: And see, Wilson can get away with stuff that I can't. And that is a story I've been told by three different people now. In fact, the first day I was there in Charleston, Harriet told it to me. Then Maria told it to me. And then I met Wilson later and he told it to me. Because that was the day when they suddenly said, "We need a tape recorder. Someone get a tape recorder." And I think Maria, like, went to the store to get one and came back with... But then, that was the session where he started for the first time dictating what was to happen and things like this. I do know that story. It's great for you to share it with everyone. I would not have shared that story because I have to be extra careful not to cross any lines. And so…you will get hints about whatever that was in the next book [Towers of Midnight].


At first I thought this was an unrelated subject to what I had been researching, but suddenly I had a Veins of Gold styled revelation: There's a Callandor in the blight. At least, there's a twin to Callandor in the blight, a male sa'angreal most likely equal in power, which perhaps might even draw in the True Power instead of the One Power. This series has often examined the nature of duality, Light vs. Shadow, Saidin vs. Saidar, etc. and the stage is set for the ultimate confrontation between the champion for the forces of Light (Rand) to face the champion of Shadow (Moridin). Both champions will have their sa'angreal sword, and have their two female companions to help them wield them: Rand has Nyneave and Alivia, Moridin has Cyndane and Moghedien.


The only things we know about the _____ in the blight is that it's something that would be very hard to unearth, even Harriet didn't know about it, that it would be an instant shocker so it must have huge implications, and that it would be hinted at in Towers of Midnight. I'd say the two Tower of Midnight quote I provided would qualify for that, but there's even more hints:


The Towers of Midnight

Chapter 32, "A Storm of Light"


"Have you ever wondered why Callandor is so often called a 'fearful blade' or 'the blade of ruin' in the prophecies?"

"It's such a powerful sa'angreal," he said. "Maybe it's because of the destruction it can cause?"

"Maybe," she said.

"You think it's something else."

"There's a phrase," Min said, "in the Jendai Prophecy. I wish we knew more of them. Anyway, it says 'and the Blade will bind him by twain.'"

"Two women," Rand said. "I need to be in a circle with two women to control it."

She grimaced.

"What?" Rand said. "You might as well be out with it, Min. I need to know."

"There's another phrase, from The Karatheon Cycle. Anyway, I think that Callandor might be flawed beyond that. I think it might...Rand, I think it might make you weak, open you to attack, if you use it."

"Perhaps that's how I'll be killed, then."


The flaw Min speaks of, the blade binding by twain, has to do with the fact that there is an at least equally powerful sa'angreal which is the perfect antithesis to Callandor, and that wielding Callandor in the presence of that other sa'angreal will lead to the Dragon's fall. Needing two women in a circle is a red herring here; we have often seen that we will miss something big because we overlook a part of prophecy or foreshadowing in the novels thinking it has already been fulfilled or explained. There is another reference to this sa'angreal in the fourth book of the series, The Shadow Rising:


The Shadow Rising

Chapter 9, "Decisions"


Could he use a sword against a woman, against Selene? No, against Lanfear, against one of the Forsaken.

His back came up hard against something, and he looked around to see what it was. There was nothing there. A wall of nothing, with his back pressed up against it. Callandor glittered not three paces away-on the other side. He thumped a fist against the barrier in frustration.; it was as unyielding as rock.

"I cannot trust you fully, Lews Therin. Not yet." She came closer, and he considered simply seizing her. He was bigger and stronger by far-and blocked as he was, she could wrap him up with the Power like a kitten tangled in a ball of string. "Not with that, certainly," she added, grimacing at Callandor. "There are only two more powerful that a man can use. One at least, I know, still exists. No, Lews Therin. I will not trust you yet with that. "


One of the sa'angreal which Lanfear mentions is the male Choedan Kal, which is now kaput. As for the other, that supposedly is stronger than Callandor?


From Netherlands tour 8 April 2001, Elf Fantasy Fair - Aan'allein reporting


Q: In The Shadow Rising, Lanfear mentioned two sa'angreal stronger than Callandor that a male could use. Is the second one ever going to appear?

Robert Jordan: Read And Find Out.


And here's another one four years later:


From Knife of Dreams tour 28 October 2005 - Jason Wolfbrother reporting


Jason Wolfbrother: Was Callandor constructed during the War of Power?

Robert Jordan: Yes


Jason Wolfbrother: Was it used in the War of Power?

Robert Jordan: Yes, that is how the flaw was discovered.


Jason Wolfbrother: Why didn't they ward/buffer Callandor?

Robert Jordan: The flaw with Callandor is simply a manufacturing flaw. (He went on to talk about how they were at the end of their tech age with only a few sho-wings and jo-cars left. A couple of shocklances were still around but they were not as prevalent as they had been. Anyway they had been mass producing ter'angreal, angreal, and sa'angreal, and there are bound to be flaws with the products. The flaw with Callandor is simply one such flaw.)


Jason Wolfbrother: What is the second most powerful angreal for men? Will it make an appearance?

Robert Jordan: RAFO (Read And Find Out).


So how does all of this apply to the black hand holding Callandor? Well we all know that there is a link between Rand and Moridin (for more information see Rand/Moridin Link). If you take this one step further, and introduce the body-swap theory (heres the link for that one Body Swap theory) which essentially states that Rand and Moridin will switch bodies due to their link and the amount of Power they will be channeling in the vicinity of Shayol Ghul, you begin to see how a black hand might hold Callandor. When Rand and Moridin swap bodies, Moridin will find himself in Rand's body, and he will be held in a circle by Nyneave and Alivia, but he will be wielding Callandor. The black hand in Min's vision means the same thing meant by a a "blade of black, held by a faceless darkness"; that it will be someone from the shadow.


There are other possibilities with this theory, as well as big implications in how this will effect the outcome of the series, but seeing as I've already covered a large chunk of material and rambled on for too long already, I will have to continue the rest of this theory next week, when I cover what is meant by "the day that dawns twice". Thanks for stopping by again, and please feel free to comment, whether you agree or disagree. Until next week!



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Very thorough, I see why you got the job. :smile: I've missed a good WOT blog actually about the books. :happy::wheel: Looking forward to more.

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I think the biggest problem with this is that you've made a rather large leap in assuming that a dark Callandor exists at all. The other sa'angreal stronger than Callandor could be anything, and might not even exist any longer. If it does exist, we don't know anything about it. The only thing that seems to point to it is the quote about the 'brilliant white sword' against the dark one, and this is one of those cases where I think it extremely likely that the prophecy refers to Justice rather than Callandor - and in that case, it's likely to be symbolic. The viewing about Callandor in a fist of onyx...that's about Callandor, not the hypothetical dark Callandor.


Also, I don't buy the body swap theory at all. I'm rather firmly in the Nynaeve resurrects him camp. :biggrin:

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Like Terez, i don't like the body swap theory.

However, I do find this scenerio to be interesting. If Morridin and Rand Swap, and both have a powerful sword, then we get a nice showdown.

If Rand/Lanfear/Moggie take out Moridin who has Nyaneve/Alivia, then Alivia could then take out Rand. Which fits the viewing of her helping him die.


If Moridin as Rand dies, this then fits the Dark Prophecy that Terez believes to be Rand. Weeping, sorrow, yadda yadda...

however, it's actually a good thing for the forces of Light.

I'm still hoping the Dark Prophecy death is Perrin's body in the wolf dream, and his wolf body lives on, but slim chance that i'm right with that one.


Anyway, if Rand and Moridin die, then you get the resurrection with Nyaneve pulling Rand back into reality.

Thank you Moggie for showing her that trick. Everyone is happy, because everyone's theory is then correct.

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I don't go much on the body swap theory either, but I think that the Rand/Moridin connection bears some serious thinking about...

In the prologue of TGS, when Moridin is meeting with Mesaana, Demandred and Graendal:


'Moridin looked down, flexing his left hand, as if it were stiff. Graendal caught a hint of pain in his expression.'


So Rand has just lost his left hand to Semhirage's bolt of Fire in KoD, and Moridin is feeling the effects of that injury. So what if when Rand kills Moridin at the Last Battle, through the effects of their connection, he either kills himself (unlikely since he has to then face the Dark One), or is weakened enough by it that it ultimately helps cause his death. Maybe this is also the cause of his blood on the rocks of Shayol Ghul.

There are so many hints and mention of this connection that I think it has to play a MAJOR part in the Last Battle.

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I didn't even realize this one had comments on it my bad.


Just got finished writing another blog so Im too tired to craft my arguments. I will return on the morrow!

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