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Was the Eye of the World used correctly?


herid

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In short I believe that Moiraine and Co were baited into using the Eye of the World prematurely by Ishy in order to speed up the destruction of the seals on the DO's prison.

Many of the ideas here are not due to me originally. I'll try to give appropriate links when I can.

 

The original purpose of the Eye was never explained. We are simply told that it's supposed to be used for "the greatest need the world would ever face" (tEoTW, ch 52). Here is how it ended up being used.

 

Moiraine believes that it can be used to break the DO's prison.

 

While the world refuses to believe, the Dark One may be at the brink of victory. There is enough power in the Eye of the World to undo his prison. If the Dark One has found some way to bend the Eye of the World to his use . . . ”

--tEoTW, ch 43

 

She gets two pieces of intel that indicate that the DO plans to do just that. First Raen tells Perrin that two years ago a bunch of Aiel maidens who returned from the Blight and on the brink of death one of them told the Tinkers that the Leafblighter (the DO) intended to blind the Eye of the World (tEoTW, ch 25).

Then Loial tells the story of a man (later revealed as Jain Farstrider) who came to stedding Shangtai some twenty years ago and

Before he left, he told a curious tale which he said he meant to carry to Tar Valon. He said the Dark One intended to blind the Eye of the World, and slay the Great Serpent, kill time itself.

--tEoTW, ch 42

 

Moiraine puts two and two together and off they go to visit the Eye.

So basically she wants to use the Eye because she fears the Shadow will use it for some really sinister purpose.

However, this can not possibly be the intended purpose of the Eye.

For if it was never made in the first place there would not be any danger of it being used this way. Its secondary usefulness was to let Rand have the Horn and the Dragon Banner. But again, why would that require huge amounts of saidin? They could have just stored those things under Callandor if that's all it was intended for. Or else they could have warded them as they did Callandor wherever they wanted to store them. We know from Rand's visions in TSR, ch 26 that the same group of people was responsible both for the placement of Callandor and for the creation of the Eye.

Rand also used it to kill a large number of Trollocs and other shadowspawn in Tarwin's gap. But really, compared to the numbers of Trollocs pouring in from the Blight currently (TOM, prologue and ch 32) this was not a large force at all. Rand also killed Aginor with it (or, perhaps, Aginor did it to himself) but Aginor was not going to find the Eye if not for Mat's presence there. And again, he was just one Forsaken and Rand later killed a number of them without using anything close to the amount of saidin that was in the Eye. None of this seems to qualify as "the greatest need the world would ever face" especially compared to the LB that is starting right now. Lastly, it is completely unclear why any of this required saidin in the Eye to be clean. Rand channeled huge amounts of tainted saidin later through Choedan Kal and did all right. I don't see why he couldn't have done the same things he did use the Eye for but with tainted saidin.

 

Moiraine realizes that something may not be right here but only after the fact.

 

 

“I begin to wonder,” Moiraine said. “The Eye of the World was made against the greatest need the world would ever face, but was it made for the use to which . . . we . . . put it, or to guard these things?"

--tEoTW, ch 52

 

As I explained above, her second guess that the Eye's primary purpose was to guard the Horn and the Banner looks wrong to me.

 

Ishy tells Rand that he baited him into using the Eye.

 

 

I began the setting of your path the day you were born, a path to lead you to your grave, or here. Aiel allowed to flee, and one to live, to speak the words that would echo down the years. Jain Farstrider, a hero,” he twisted the word to a sneer, “whom I painted like a fool and sent to the Ogier thinking he was free of me.

--tEoTW, ch 51

 

He is implying that he deliberately allowed the Aiel and Jain to escape in order to bait Rand to use the Eye.

Now, Ishy, of course, is not exactly trustworthy. He told Rand a number of lies but he also told him a number of truths. In this case he knows exactly where their info on the threat to the Eye comes from, including the detail that only one of the Aiel was left alive. And he just seems to be gloating. I don't see what would be the point of lying here. The Eye has already been used up. What does it matter if Rand believes him or not? Furthermore, his story seems to be corroborated by Noal much later

 

 

“He [Jain Farstrider] was a fool,” Noal said grimly before Mat could open his mouth, though Olver did get his open, and left it gaping while the old man continued. “He went gallivanting about the world and left a good and loving wife to die of a fever without him there to hold her hand while she died. He let himself be made into a tool by—“ Abruptly Noal's face went blank. Staring through Mat, he rubbed at his forehead as though attempting to recall something.

-KoD, ch 6

 

Noal/Jain was clearly compelled by Ishy but he still remembers a few things.

 

Edit: Just found an old quote by Jordan supporting the idea that the Eye was not used as originally intended.

 

 

Interview: Aug 4th, 1996

ACOS Signing Report - Hawk (Paraphrased) Hawk

Pam—here's something new for the FAQ. I asked him exactly why the pool of untainted saidin was needed at the Eye of the World.

 

Robert Jordan

 

He kind of gave me a RAFO. RJ said that he has an idea of what he wants that to have been for, but he's not sure he's going to use it, so he didn't want to give me information and then change his mind later. So all our guesses are correct at the moment!

 

 

 

So what was the point of using the Eye early from Ishy's point of view? What did he want with it? I believe this has to do with the seals on the DO's prison. This part is mostly based on a theory posted at the thritheenth depository. I agree with pretty much everything in it so I will be somewhat brief.

The seals are made from cuendillar which is supposedly unbreakable. The first seal found was sitting under the Eye. It's broken into pieces when found but each piece seems like perfect cuendillar. Lan breaks a knife made of best steel on it.

 

 

 

The Warder separated out the largest piece, then raised the knife high and brought it down with all his might. A spark flew, the fragment leaped with the force of the blow, and the blade snapped with a sharp crack. He examined the stump left attached to the hilt, then tossed it aside. “The best steel from Tear,” he said dryly.

tEoTW, ch 52

 

In contrast, the rest of the seals are very brittle when found and are easily breakable so much so that Nyn breaks one accidentally. Moreover, while still intact they have a strong evil sense to them. Nyn feels this with the seal they found in Tanchico and were bringing to Salidar

 

 

Evil seemed to bathe her hand, stronger than ever, as if the Dark One really was trying to break through the cuendillar seal.

-TFOH, ch 49

 

But when the seal was broken the evil feeling disappeared (TFOH, ch 50). It was confirmed by BS that one of the two ways to destroy cuendillar is by using TP (the other is a mystery). So I believe that's what was going on. The DO was working on the seals from inside the prison. But while all seven were unbroken he couldn't do much and the process was very slow. It could even be that he could do nothing at all and the seals were simply weakening by themselves with the passage of time. But once the first seal went he could destroy the others relatively quickly with TP. That's why they become brittle and is also why they feel evil while unbroken. Once broken the DO has no further use for them and moves on to the other seals which is why the broken seals do not have the "evil" feel.

 

That does it for all the seals except for the very first one. It seems to have been destroyed by different means (the above mentioned mysterious second method of destroying cuendillar) because the shards are not brittle at all. I believe that destruction of the first seal was the result of the use of the Eye and this allowed the DO to work on the remaining seals and destroy them much faster than he could have if the first seal remained intact. It also likely accelerated the release of the trapped Forsaken except for Ishy, Aginor and Balthamel who were out before the Eye was used. This more or less follows another thirteenth depository theory.

 

We actually have some confirmation of this. When Rand and co used the Portal stone in TGH, ch 27, he saw many alternate lives he could have lived. In a lot of them he didn't declare himself the Dragon Reborn and lived for many years (sometimes having multiple children) before dying in some way.

However, note that in the current timeline only slightly more than two years have passed since the beginning of tEoTW. Currently, the world is completely breaking apart due to the seals being very weak. No matter what happens it can not last much longer in its current state. Nothing like this happens in most of Rand's alternate lives. Why not? I believe the reason is that the Eye was not used in those other lives and hence the deterioration of the seals proceeded at a much slower pace than in the current timeline. I also believe that Ishy knew of this effect of the use of the Eye and baited Rand into using it early in order to accelerate the destruction of the seals.

 

On a slightly more speculative note it may be that the intended use of the Eye was exactly that - to help Rand break the seals but only at the correct moment during the Last Battle, when he would be ready to reseal the bore. The fact that saidin in the Eye apparently needed to be clean might be related to the exact mechanism of the seal destruction which I don't really understand.

It's very clear that the seals do need to be broken. Even Egwene agrees with that. The disagreement is only about the timing. The Horn and the Banner should not have really been needed before that moment either as far as the makers of the Eye knew. Lastly, this would fit "the greatest need the world would ever face" designation much better than what the Eye ended up being used for. What need can be greater than the need to win the LB?

Along the lines of the same speculation there are some definite similarities between Rand channeling at Maradon in ToM and his using the Eye. BS confirmed that in an interview

 

 

Interview: 2011

 

Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

Jeff Edde (3 January 2011)

 

Interesting. In The Eye of the World, Rand uses Light and Power. Is it significant that he uses Light and Power again in Towers of Midnight?

Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

 

 

Yes.

JEFF EDDE (12 JANUARY)

 

Can Rand channel Light and Power as a result of touching the Eye of the World, or does he have access to it because he is who he is?

BRANDON SANDERSON

 

It was the power in the Eye, so far as I know.

 

There has been a lot of discussion about what exactly allowed Rand to channel so strongly at Maradon. My own, admittedly rather far fetched idea, is that during his epiphany on the Dragonmount he created some kind of substitute for the original Eye of the World and that's what he is using at Maradon.

After all, if my theory is right he'll need something in place of the original Eye during the LB.

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A substitute for the original Eye..

 

I've been wondering about the Dark One, why It is known by the Aiel as 'Sightblinder'. Also:

 

 

there are the Eye Blinders in the Town in the Blight. Back in EotW, Aiel talk about the DO intending to blind the Eye of the World. So I did wonder if the reason they're called Eye Blinders is that there is already a second Eye somewhere.

 

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I agree with just about everything in this article/post. The problem, as I see it, is that though the Eye was not used as intended, that doesn't mean it was used inappropriately. LTT's banner was also in the Eye. Why? The banner will play a large part in the LB, for sure, but it also appears to have been needed before then. The banner was needed at Falme to allow the heroes to work. And the Heroes were needed to battle the Seanchan. If the Seanchan had been able to hold Falme, they would have had a much better footing on Randland, and they would have been giving Rand much more trouble much earlier than they have been. Additionally, the Dragon Banner allowed the Aiel to realize that the Dragon is the Car'a'carn. Yes, the secret name for the Aiel is "The People of the Dragon", but the visual aid of matching the Aiel chief tattoos to the Dragon Banner made it an almost certainty that Rand was the Car'a'carn. So, not only would Rand have had to deal with the Seanchan much earlier, he also would have had much more trouble winning over the Aiel, and the Shaido would have been even more of a headache.

 

So, the Eye was not used as intended, yes. But that doesn't mean it was incorrectly used.

 

And maybe the intended use was to teach Rand about Light and Power, arguably the greatest need the world would ever face. Even LTT didn't seem to be able to channel Light and Power in the same way Rand can. Maybe someone has a quote that will disprove this statement, but LTT seemed limited to only the Power. Rand can channel Light and Power because of his use of the Eye. He had to puzzle over the Eye for quite a while, and go through personal exploration and strife before he was able to use Light and Power. If he had only used the Eye right at the end, there wouldn't have been enough time for him to learn everything he needed to learn. So, there is a little bit of "plans within plans, feints within feints" here. Rand thought he won at the Eye (at the time). Ishy and the DO thought that THEY had won, by forcing him to use the Eye too early. But really the Light won at the Eye, by setting Rand on the path towards Light and Power.

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First, thanks for the comments to you both.

A substitute for the original Eye..

 

I've been wondering about the Dark One, why It is known by the Aiel as 'Sightblinder'. Also:

 

Spoiler

 

there are the Eye Blinders in the Town in the Blight. Back in EotW, Aiel talk about the DO intending to blind the Eye of the World. So I did wonder if the reason they're called Eye Blinders is that there is already a second Eye somewhere.

I've seen you offer this idea on the forum but I don't believe in it as I said in that thread. The name Samma N’Sei (the eye blinders in the OT) is clearly very old and far precedes the destruction of the first Eye. You are most likely right about the reason for the name but in that case it just refers to the first Eye.

 

@Wizbang The Aiel don't care about the banner. They follow the Car'a'carn, not the Dragon. They needed Rand to take the Stone (that was the sign they were looking for). The banner was not relevant there. The only thing that the original banner is really needed for is to lead the Heroes called by the Horn. The point about Falme you make is a good one though. However, we don't know how things would have unfolded in the future if the Eye was not used as it was. So this is hard to argue. Avi's visions suggest that the prophecies can be fulfilled in different ways and perhaps even in different order in alternate timelines. But in any case, we are really only arguing semantics here. The Eye was used as it was and things are going to work out according to the prophecies the way they are currently going. That can qualify as an appropriate use, I guess, I don't disagree with that. What I was saying is that this was not what was originally planned by the makers of the Eye and things could have worked (again according to the prophecies) in the way they really intended.

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@Noal, right, something like this is definitely at play here be but one still has to account for the incredible strength with which Rand channels at Maradon and the fact that he is glowing himself in that scene. When he nuked Natrin's Barrow he also channeled a lot of pure saidin. However, Rand himself is not glowing in that scene, just the access key is.

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Then, yes, I agree that the Eye was not used as intended. I am shocked that the Aes Sedai during the breaking were able to Foretell that far into the future, and be sure of that their actions would do any good. They very nearly had a bullseye with the eventual use of the Eye. If Aes Sedai had this great a Talent in Foretelling, why didn't they see the creation of the Bore? But, that is another discussion.

 

The Eye was not used as intended by the Aes Sedai who created it, and perhaps even the original intent of the Pattern, that then had to adapt to meet the influence of Ishy and the DO. All the world can hope for now is that Rand's use of it will still come out right in the end.

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@Herid, I like your theory, and it made me think of two things.

 

Firstly, Rand may have used up the saidin stored in the Eye of the World at the end of Book 1, as Ishy wanted, but that wouldn't have destroyed the Eye if the Eye was a Well similar to the other Wells we've seen.  Instead of creating a 'substitute' Well, perhaps Rand simply refilled the pre-existing Eye.  

 

Secondly, you posit that the Eye was a reinforcement mechanism for the Seals and that it existed in part to extend their life until the Dragon used up the Eye to spur the seals destruction.

 

However, could saidin in the Eye simply be used to reseal the Dark One's prison in a way that would not taint the OP?  Basically, saidin was tainted because LTT touched saidin to the Dark One, creating a conduit between the DO and the OP.  However, if Rand instead used saidin from a Well, all the DO could would be connected to was Rand and the Well, not the OP.  Now this would still probably drive Rand nuts just like LTT, but the damage would be contained.  Also, Rand would be in control of the link, so any DO backlash would be limited to him  and would not affect Nynaeve or Moiraine.  Also, because the dark taint-tines protruding into Rand's brain from his tainted saidin use are coated with Light, he may actually be protected from future taint effects in a way that LTT never was...  

 

So Rand uses a huge Well (i.e., the Eye) that is used to recreate the Dark One's prison in a link with Nynaeve / Moiraine.  Saidin from the Well is placed on the inside of the prison and clean OP-drawn saidar is placed on the outside of the prison.  The relevance of the Eye, and why so many people had to die during the Breaking to ensure its existence is thereby explained.  These people studied what LTT did wrong while the world was going to Hell and put together a Well for the Dragon to use the next time he needed to seal away the DO...  Of course, in that case, they should have provided some written instructions instead of simply the Dragon Banner, Horn of Valere and Seal.

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@Sentinel78 Thanks a lot for the comment.

@Herid, I like your theory, and it made me think of two things.

 

Firstly, Rand may have used up the saidin stored in the Eye of the World at the end of Book 1, as Ishy wanted, but that wouldn't have destroyed the Eye if the Eye was a Well similar to the other Wells we've seen.  Instead of creating a 'substitute' Well, perhaps Rand simply refilled the pre-existing Eye.

I don't know how Rand would be able to do that all the way from Dragonmount. Also, if the original Eye survived after it was emptied I would imagine that Rand and co would find it along with the stuff they found under it.

 

 

Secondly, you posit that the Eye was a reinforcement mechanism for the Seals

I actually never made that claim but it may have been one of the functions of the Eye. But primarily, I think the Eye was to be used to destroy the seals at the right moment.

and that it existed in part to extend their life until the Dragon used up the Eye to spur the seals destruction.

 

However, could saidin in the Eye simply be used to reseal the Dark One's prison in a way that would not taint the OP?  Basically, saidin was tainted because LTT touched saidin to the Dark One, creating a conduit between the DO and the OP.  However, if Rand instead used saidin from a Well, all the DO could would be connected to was Rand and the Well, not the OP.  Now this would still probably drive Rand nuts just like LTT, but the damage would be contained.  Also, Rand would be in control of the link, so any DO backlash would be limited to him  and would not affect Nynaeve or Moiraine.  Also, because the dark taint-tines protruding into Rand's brain from his tainted saidin use are coated with Light, he may actually be protected from future taint effects in a way that LTT never was...  

 

So Rand uses a huge Well (i.e., the Eye) that is used to recreate the Dark One's prison in a link with Nynaeve / Moiraine.  Saidin from the Well is placed on the inside of the prison and clean OP-drawn saidar is placed on the outside of the prison.  The relevance of the Eye, and why so many people had to die during the Breaking to ensure its existence is thereby explained.  These people studied what LTT did wrong while the world was going to Hell and put together a Well for the Dragon to use the next time he needed to seal away the DO...  Of course, in that case, they should have provided some written instructions instead of simply the Dragon Banner, Horn of Valere and Seal.

 

This is a very cool idea! I never thought about that possibility. Based on RJ's comments I'm not sure if in such scenario the damage would be limited to Rand alone and not touch saidar but perhaps not. I still favor the idea that Fain's power from Rand's wound (hence his blood washing away the shadow) will be used to touch the DO  (similarly to how it was used in the cleansing). But I do like your idea too. You might want to post it on the main forum so that more people can discuss it. It's definitely  worth a discussion IMO.

 

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@Sentinel78 Thanks a lot for the comment.

@Herid, I like your theory, and it made me think of two things.

 

Firstly, Rand may have used up the saidin stored in the Eye of the World at the end of Book 1, as Ishy wanted, but that wouldn't have destroyed the Eye if the Eye was a Well similar to the other Wells we've seen.  Instead of creating a 'substitute' Well, perhaps Rand simply refilled the pre-existing Eye.

I don't know how Rand would be able to do that all the way from Dragonmount. Also, if the original Eye survived after it was emptied I would imagine that Rand and co would find it along with the stuff they found under it.

 

 

Secondly, you posit that the Eye was a reinforcement mechanism for the Seals

I actually never made that claim but it may have been one of the functions of the Eye. But primarily, I think the Eye was to be used to destroy the seals at the right moment.

and that it existed in part to extend their life until the Dragon used up the Eye to spur the seals destruction.

 

However, could saidin in the Eye simply be used to reseal the Dark One's prison in a way that would not taint the OP?  Basically, saidin was tainted because LTT touched saidin to the Dark One, creating a conduit between the DO and the OP.  However, if Rand instead used saidin from a Well, all the DO could would be connected to was Rand and the Well, not the OP.  Now this would still probably drive Rand nuts just like LTT, but the damage would be contained.  Also, Rand would be in control of the link, so any DO backlash would be limited to him  and would not affect Nynaeve or Moiraine.  Also, because the dark taint-tines protruding into Rand's brain from his tainted saidin use are coated with Light, he may actually be protected from future taint effects in a way that LTT never was...  

 

So Rand uses a huge Well (i.e., the Eye) that is used to recreate the Dark One's prison in a link with Nynaeve / Moiraine.  Saidin from the Well is placed on the inside of the prison and clean OP-drawn saidar is placed on the outside of the prison.  The relevance of the Eye, and why so many people had to die during the Breaking to ensure its existence is thereby explained.  These people studied what LTT did wrong while the world was going to Hell and put together a Well for the Dragon to use the next time he needed to seal away the DO...  Of course, in that case, they should have provided some written instructions instead of simply the Dragon Banner, Horn of Valere and Seal.

 

This is a very cool idea! I never thought about that possibility. Based on RJ's comments I'm not sure if in such scenario the damage would be limited to Rand alone and not touch saidar but perhaps not. I still favor the idea that Fain's power from Rand's wound (hence his blood washing away the shadow) will be used to touch the DO  (similarly to how it was used in the cleansing). But I do like your idea too. You might want to post it on the main forum so that more people can discuss it. It's definitely  worth a discussion IMO.

 

Thanks Herid - just beefed up the support and posted a topic here

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