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Darkfriend Discernment




Among any list of top theory topics, determining who is a Darkfriend ranks high. Often, in the past, I’ve tried to ferret out Darkfriends by alliances, hints, POV suspicions about the different characters they encounter, or just pure guesswork. After reading through the entire series again recently, there is a better method.

As readers of the series we are privileged, so to speak, to peer in at Darkfriend meetings, particularly at the high level, and so we know part of the strategy of the Dark. Two points, in particular, stand out:

  1. Increase chaos (i.e., strife, turmoil, and dissent)
  2. Keep an eye on Rand and other main characters.



Given this awareness, we can at least keep a wary eye on characters if they seem to fit either category and also meet other criteria. Naturally, the second category is a bit too inclusive, for Min has certainly kept an eye on Rand, but her POV and basic observation would rule her out. Other characters, such as Wise Ones, Maidens, clan chiefs, and Davram Bashere are not so easily eliminated from consideration, as we shall consider in a later entry.

Within the first category, any character that increases chaos is either an active Darkfriend or, in Moridin’s terminology (see Path of Daggers) serving the Shadow though they do not know it. Alviarin actively worked to increase chaos at the prompting of Mesaana in such as blatant way that even Elaida was aware of the consequences of the orders she was given. Elaida, in turn, increased chaos in many ways prior to winding up under the thumb of Alviarin, and in that way unwittingly served the Shadow. Rand in many instances acted to increase chaos and thus fit into the latter category of “serving the Shadow unwittingly” for a significant amount of time and that also was a ploy of the Dark One.

Other characters may or may not serve the Shadow knowingly, such as Berelain. Her actions with Perrin, particularly after Faile’s capture, served to increase discord and strife among the group Perrin was called to lead. Were these the actions of a friend of the Light acting in a selfish manner, but not intending to aid the cause of the Shadow, or is she an active Darkfiend hidden among the forces of Light?

Such questions shall trouble us until the final book is published and perhaps even after, but perhaps we can glean a few answers or at least simply argue-in a friendly manner- the points over the course of he next 7 months. Let the debates begin.



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