Book one wasn't guaranteed any sequels when it came out, so it had to have an ending tha could pass for a stand-alone. When it sold well, sequels were green lit, and it became the first of a series.
Things changed with hindsight and Jordan changed as a writer and the story changed and grew more complicated.
and everyone leveled up, Rand and the forsaken.
you can construct meaning behind happenstance but I think it was mostly happenstance.
That theory actually makes a great deal of sense.
It doesn't explain why they created it in the first place though, as Jordan said it wasn't used for the purpose it was intended for. That said, I suppose it would have been very handy for Rand to have clean Saidin when he was starting out.
This made me think of a more literary question - should Jordan have killed off two of the chosen at the beginning of the series? It kind of undermined their status right from the start to die from an untrained farmer and a damaged plant creature. Might it have been better for Someshta to have wounded Balthamel and then Rand caught them by surprise by securing the Eye - then they retreat?
I think the ending would still have been fairly dramatic and it wouldn't really change anything about the long term arc of the series (neither character really needed to be doing anything for the next few books, they could just carry out some schemes off screen, finding artefacts etc. until they get better bodies) - but it may have built more tension to avoid the death of any of the Chosen until book 3.
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