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Zeustav

Nae'blis: a foregone conclusion?

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I've only read to The Gathering Storm, so please -- NO SPOILERS PAST THE END OF KNIFE OF DREAMS!!

 

The Forsaken infighting has been one of the most engrossing subplots thus far in my eyes, mostly because we by necessity only see it in brief glimpses or by the shadows that it casts. Though sometimes the Forsaken strike me as incompetent peacocks who do nothing but sip punch/mulled wine/brandy and sneer while muttering "so-called Aes Sedai" and chopping naked people in half with gateways to annoy Graendal, at other times they're so remarkably good at their jobs that I can't understand how anyone on the side of the Light has a chance (Rahvin's utter domination of Caemlyn, Sammael taking charge of Illian, Semirhage managing to cause massive civil unrest and murder an entire royal family off camera in Seanchan, everything that Lanfear does prior to TFoH). I had thought, up until aCoS (?) that the position of Nae'blis was wholly up for grabs, and that any remaining Forsaken (except maybe Graendal because what the blazes has she ever done besides jiggle at people and tag along with Sammael on his day trips to Kinslayer's Dagger) had a solid chance at snagging it.

 

Then the DO pulls Moridin out of his back pocket and goes, "nah, never mind. This guy? He's the guy."

 

What? Really? The reincarnation of Ishamael is the one who we're going to go with?

 

Let's run through Ishamael's accomplishments in the series prior to his death:

 

TEotW: he gives Rand and co. some bad dreams and utterly messes up at the Eye of the World.

tGH: he gives Rand and co. some bad dreams and gets chopped up by a farm boy who's still trying to figure out how to swordfight.

tDR: he gives Rand and co. some bad dreams and gets singlehandedly wasted by a larval Dragon Reborn when his back-up got punk'd by Moiraine.

 

I know I'm skipping over everything else Ishamael did - causing Artur Hawkwing's downfall, leading the Trollocs, influencing every major evil event from the Breaking up through when all of the other Forsaken were freed [also worth noting Ishamael only did all of that because the rest of the Forsaken couldn't] - but is that enough to make up for his nonstop failure throughout the first few books? We see with Lanfear/Cyndane/Moghedien/Semirhage/Asmodean that it's uncommon for the DO to reward failure, or even give more than a passive second chance (Osan'gar and Aran'gar made sense to me in their role as undercover Forsaken agents - not power players as far as Nae'blis goes). Furthermore, crazy Moridin occasionally forgets that he isn't the DO himself! I can't imagine the DO is fond of that!

 

 

What about a results-oriented approach? Perhaps the DO has a longer-term plan. Let's take a look at what Moridin was able to accomplish in his first five books serving in the role of Nae'blis:

 

aCoS: Made Moghedien his creepy soul-slave. Saved Rand's life during the Shadar Logoth fight, while also apparently mind-merging with him somehow.

tPoD: Told the Forsaken not to murder Rand. Made Cyndane/Lanfear his creepy soul-slave.

WH: Sent the rest of the Forsaken to stop Rand from cleansing Saidin. Failed at that.

CoT: Footage not found

KoD: Told the rest of the Forsaken again not to murder Rand, but to try to murder either Mat or Perrin. Also failed at that. Badly.

 

What.

 

So, what gives? Why build up so much Nae'blis plotting and Forsaken infighting for Shaidar Haran to just drop by tel'aran'rhiod and go, "hey, sorry, Moridin's Nae'blis, which was sort of the plan from when we started, so... ta ta". Might it be to foment further plotting? I doubt it. Might it be because of Ishamael / Moridin's logic behind turning to the shadow? We know that the rest of the Forsaken joined up either on account of selfish reasons or because they got mad at the Light (what the heck Demandred/Lanfear); Moridin/Ishy turned because of his interpretation of how the cyclical nature of life and the wheel would eventually guarantee a loss by the Light and a victory by the Dark. Maybe it was this pure loyalty that drew the DO to choose Ishy/Moridin to be Nae'blis?

 

 

 

PS I am aware that this probably will be answered in later books; I just wanted to toss these thoughts out there and see what others thought.

 

PPS y'all if Mazrim Taim ends up having been Demandred this whole time I am going to flip my lid. There are so many reasons Taim shouldn't be Demandred, however BS's description in the prologue of tGS as being a dark-haied guy with an ultra-hooked nose is worrying to me. Also the fact that Taim closed out KoD's epilogue saying "let the lord of chaos rule", a phrase that had been coined in LoC by DEMANDRED... 

 

PPPS Remember Be'lal? I don't.

Edited by Zeustav

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The problem is that you are assuming the Dark One cares about political power.

 

No, it has been said time and again that the Dark One wants to *destroy* the Pattern. Ishamael is the Nae'blis because he is the only one among the Forsaken who understands this.

 

Or at least, that's what we're led to believe...

Edited by solarz

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In the Big White Book though explains Ishy was always the DO top general even though Ishy never held a field command.  I always saw Ishy as being like Eisenhower in WWII, the guy that might not of had the best mind when it came to war like Dem or Sam, but he was the guy who saw the big picture and could get the others in line.  

 

Also after the bore was sealed by LTT, Ishy was spun out and did a lot of good things for the DO.  Formed the BA, got Hawkwing to turn against the Aes Sedai, started the trolloc wars.  So he was the guy that the DO could trust the most.  Like you said it was the selfish nature of the others that made them predictable to the DO, he knew they would look out for themselves first. Which doesn't make a good Nae'blis.  Not really fair to blame him for the other's failures.  Some of your questions will be answered later on.

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I agree with the original poster,even though I love Ishamael and his existential angst.

In fact, the one they should have chosen as Naeblis should be Demandred, for accomplishments that only appear on screen in the final book. By AMoL, he is the only forsaken (SPOILERS, LOOK AWAY NOW) with an entire nation under his banner, an army of both male and female channelers and a saangreal. 



Of course, as the previous posts have pointed out, ishamael is the only one who gets the DO's agenda and would welcome true annihilation. Plus,he is strongest in the OP

Edited by BFG
Added spoiler tags

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17 hours ago, solarz said:

The problem is that you are assuming the Dark One cares about political power.

 

No, it has been said time and again that the Dark One wants to *destroy* the Pattern. Ishamael is the Nae'blis because he is the only one among the Forsaken who understands this.

 

Or at least, that's what we're led to believe...

If he destroys the pattern, what's left there.  Plus the fact that he reset Ishmael after he died leads me to believe that he wouldn't have wanted a complete victory any more than the Light would have.  After that to quoth Bill Paxton, Game over man, game over.

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Well some of your questions will be answered in later books.  But for the most part if you look at all the other Forsaken up until where you are now in the series.  Who would you trust to be Nae'blis out of all of them?

 

Also here is a link  **SPOLIERS in it** Which answers one of your questions about if Mazrim Taim ends up having been Demandred
https://dragonmount.com/forums/topic/96065-bits-from-rjs-notes/

It really interesting, a good read and interesting posts.  But only when you really wish to know as it comes from RJ's notes.  I am only including the link because I found it really interesting to sort of see behind the scenes about this.

 

 

Edited by Sabio

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On 3/14/2018 at 9:36 AM, Sabio said:

Also here is a link  **SPOLIERS in it** Which answers one of your questions about if Mazrim Taim ends up having been Demandred
https://dragonmount.com/forums/topic/96065-bits-from-rjs-notes/

It really interesting, a good read and interesting posts.  But only when you really wish to know as it comes from RJ's notes.  I am only including the link because I found it really interesting to sort of see behind the scenes about this.

 

Nice, thanks for sharing. I guess I should hold off on clicking until I'm finished with Memory of Light, though?

 

Quote

Well some of your questions will be answered in later books.  But for the most part if you look at all the other Forsaken up until where you are now in the series.  Who would you trust to be Nae'blis out of all of them?

 

Potentially Demandred? He's the only one that has any mystery left to him and he's really not gone and mucked anything up yet that we're aware of. Plus, he's playing his cards so close to the chest it seems least likely that anyone would be able to so much as find him (let alone wreck him) without a massive burst of ta'veren luck.

 

Quote

If he destroys the pattern, what's left there.  Plus the fact that he reset Ishmael after he died leads me to believe that he wouldn't have wanted a complete victory any more than the Light would have.

 

Unless the DO was planning on creating a new pattern; that would only be speculation on my part, though, and kinda out of sync with everything seen in the Age of Legends and later on in the Third Age. It seems like his plan is to warp all of the existing pattern into following his will, though he's a little heavy handed so it causes things like ripples in the pattern, whole long-dead cities disappearing, the dead walking...

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1 minute ago, Zeustav said:

Unless the DO was planning on creating a new pattern; that would only be speculation on my part, though, and kinda out of sync with everything seen in the Age of Legends and later on in the Third Age. It seems like his plan is to warp all of the existing pattern into following his will, though he's a little heavy handed so it causes things like ripples in the pattern, whole long-dead cities disappearing, the dead walking...

 

Moiraine once said the DO was also a part of the Wheel. Outside of the Pattern, but still a part of the Wheel of Time.

 

This leads me to believe that the DO was never meant to destroy creation, was never meant to "win". Just as the One Power drives the Wheel, the Dark One is one of the components that helps create the Pattern. He is the force of change and destruction, of progress and renewal.

 

A question we've never asked: why did the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends wanted to tap into the True Power? Was not the One Power enough? Why did they feel the need to potentially destabilize the very fabric of reality in order to tap into a new source of Power? I think that question reflects something that was fundamentally wrong with the society of the Age of Legends: a calcification of progress, a dearth of meaningful change. They desired desperately, needed even, something new to happen, and were willing to take great risks for change to happen.

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Well the BWB basicly says Aes Sedai chafed under the severe limitations imposed by the natural restrictions of saidin and saidar.  Some dreamed of a source of power that would bypass these limitations.  A team had discovered a thin place in the pattern that appeared to cover an undivided source of the One Power separate from the True Source.  This energy did not seem to follow the conventional restrictions of the Power, in that it gave indications of being usable by men and women equally.  Such a source, available without limitations, would allow men and women to unite in ways previously impossible.  Since it couldn't be accessed by traditional means they had only to bore a small hole in the pattern to tap it.

 

So they basicly thought they found some new super one power, I see it as they felt they had achieved all they could with the power were probably like well what do we do now.  It was probably arrogance, since the Aes Sedai at the time seemed to have the mindset of their was nothing they couldn't do.  Not knowing it was really the DO I am sure they never even considered it was potentially dangerous.  They probably simply thought of the benefits and never thought much about risks.  All l we need to do is just make a tiny hole, what's the harm in that?

 

I don't think the DO really wants to destroy creation, I would say he wants to manipulate creation,  Since if creation is destroyed, then what purpose does he have?  Everything is dead and he will just be there twiddling his thumbs thinking what now.

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7 minutes ago, solarz said:

He is the force of change and destruction, of progress and renewal.

 

So he's the fungal kingdom of the pattern. No wonder he's causing food and drink to spoil and vermin to thrive.

 

8 minutes ago, solarz said:

A question we've never asked: why did the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends wanted to tap into the True Power? Was not the One Power enough? Why did they feel the need to potentially destabilize the very fabric of reality in order to tap into a new source of Power? I think that question reflects something that was fundamentally wrong with the society of the Age of Legends: a calcification of progress, a dearth of meaningful change. They desired desperately, needed even, something new to happen, and were willing to take great risks for change to happen.

 

Energy efficiency, probably. Or curiosity. As I recall, Robert Jordan talked at length about how there would be no interest in setting novels during the AoL because it was this idyllic, peaceful, beatific, utopian world. They literally never knew what a sword was til they opened the bore. Nobody was ever dissatisfied with anything up til they let out the DO. So, what was to prevent them from trying to further improve their lives?

 

I figure opening the bore is their Large Hadron Collider, only gone horribly wrong.

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On 3/15/2018 at 10:05 AM, solarz said:
On 3/15/2018 at 10:28 AM, Sabio said:

Well the BWB basicly says Aes Sedai chafed under the severe limitations imposed by the natural restrictions of saidin and saidar.  Some dreamed of a source of power that would bypass these limitations.  A team had discovered a thin place in the pattern that appeared to cover an undivided source of the One Power separate from the True Source.  This energy did not seem to follow the conventional restrictions of the Power, in that it gave indications of being usable by men and women equally.  Such a source, available without limitations, would allow men and women to unite in ways previously impossible.  Since it couldn't be accessed by traditional means they had only to bore a small hole in the pattern to tap it.

 

So they basicly thought they found some new super one power, I see it as they felt they had achieved all they could with the power were probably like well what do we do now.  It was probably arrogance, since the Aes Sedai at the time seemed to have the mindset of their was nothing they couldn't do.  Not knowing it was really the DO I am sure they never even considered it was potentially dangerous.  They probably simply thought of the benefits and never thought much about risks.  All l we need to do is just make a tiny hole, what's the harm in that?

 

I don't think the DO really wants to destroy creation, I would say he wants to manipulate creation,  Since if creation is destroyed, then what purpose does he have?  Everything is dead and he will just be there twiddling his thumbs thinking what now.

True.

I also think that the fact that the age...if you can't call it too perfect, had reached it's limitations in terms of the Power.  They had to learn new skills, something that was impossible in their current age.  So one step back and two steps forward, eventually.

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