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Padan Fain, thoughts?

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I thought Padan Fain was shaping up to be something interesting, then...  Nothing really happened with him.


He was brought to the final battle and killed by BS off out of a sense of obligation I suppose, but did he do anything that mattered in the last half of the series?

 

If Perrin had managed to kill him off in the Two Rivers would that have been a better ending for him?

 

And does anybody disagree, and think that Blackwind Faindeith learning about vaccines was a fitting end for the 14 book long buildup?

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Concept was okay, execution poor. I subscribe to the theory that Fain was the Pattern's backup plan or Dark One 2.0 and I think that could have been made to work a little more clearly.

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Padan Fain could have been made into a more used and better character if only he became the Dark One's hand. It would have made a lot of sense giving to his bringing of mayhem across the world. Also a darkfriend power duo with him and Slayer would have been cool. 

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22 hours ago, shintemaster said:

Concept was okay, execution poor. I subscribe to the theory that Fain was the Pattern's backup plan or Dark One 2.0 and I think that could have been made to work a little more clearly.

 

I was thinking further about this character last night. Particularly later in the series and it occurs to me that Padan Fain talks specifically about wanting to kill the Dark One after killing Rand. This seems to add even further weight to him being able to replace the Dark One.

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Or maybe replace the Dragon.

 

It's pondered in the past that the whole white tower couldn't have stopped Mashadar.  Would the Forsaken have fared any better?

 

*I seriously doubt this was considered, but it's neat to think about.

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I definitely agree Fain seemed wasted at the end, and to be honest I feel like he was originally intended for a larger role, but RJ changed his mind.

 

Early on in the series Fain was like the baddest of the bad, and only continued seeming to get stronger, his whole amalgam with Mordeth especially seemed like it was designed for some big act, but we started hearing from him less and less. I wonder if maybe RJ didn't leave a lot of notes on him and so BS had to just throw something together so he wasn't left out.

 

Once the Forsaken became more prominent I feel like Fain was talked about less, but especially considering the multiple major plot points that took place at Shadar Logoth, you'd think something would have happened.

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All good points, I think.  But I also feel that Fain's evil is a counter to the Dark One, not a replacement.  When Moiraine tells the story of Shaidar Logoth, she says that their dedication to eradicating the Shadow turned them just as evil as the Shadow.  Kinda like how Sirius Black says in the HP series, "The world's not divided into Death Eaters and good guys" (or something like that).  Shaidar Logoth is a different evil that the Dark One.  It's what the Children of the Light would have become if Galad hadn't taken over and rid them of that blinded mindset.

 

I think I'm doing a poor job of explaining.  It's like, people can be evil and not be associated with the Shadow.  It's a separate, different evil. 

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These points tie in with the vision scene Rand has while fighting the D.O. By completely eradicating evil he created something far worse. Shaidar Logoth is a mini version of Rands vision. They tried to eradicate the Dark One but instead became a separate entity of evil, a twisted form of the Light. Evil is not the Shadow and good is not the Light.

This is further proved by Padan Fain wanting to kill both the Dragon and the D.O, he is not inherently Light or Shadow. In my opinion if Shaidar Logoth instead of being corrupted and destroyed was a city where all the citizens were like Fain would have been a cool third party to the Light/Shadow fight.

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I always felt that Fain had a sort of "Gollum" style ending in store, but with a twist.

 

Bear with me here, but play along:

 

Rand has the Dark One contained, using the three-powered 'fist' to hold him, but he's crippled with indecision. He knows he can't kill him, or the Twisted Victory happens, he thinks just resealing him will not be enough, and certainly can't let him go. Is he to be trapped there forever, holding the Dark One at bay but never able to 'win'? Is hope fading?

 

He doesn't know what to do. He's stuck. But then, seemingly from nowhere, and fulfilling the original "desire" of Ardhol/SL to fight the Shadow, Mashadar/Fain (or whatever it decides to be called at that point) surges past him and strikes at the Dark One himself, landing a killing blow. Screaming about how al'Thor belongs to him. Getting Fain his revenge at the tortures the Dark One put him through, etc.

 

Rand is horrified. The Dark One is dead, there is nothing now to create the contrast that allows people to *choose* to be good, rather than be forced to it. But wait, just as nature abhors a vacuum, the Pattern demands and needs a Dark One, and at that moment, Fain is sucked into the Dark One's prison as a substitute, and Rand then reforges the prison to contain him for all time.

 

So Fain's huge build has a resolution, Rand gets to die/live as before, the day is won, and Fain is eliminated in (imho) a more satisfying manner than Mat simply stabbing him with the dagger.

 

Ok, call me names now. :D

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The biggest issue with that is Fain being what he is, who could say the impact that would have on the pattern when the DO prison gets bored into again.  He couldn't simply be the DO, there would be no true power for instance.  So there would be no TP for people to sense and eventually bore in the prison.  Being insane and wanting to destroy good and evil, what would happen if his prison was bored into?  Just being stuffed into the prison wouldn't make him the DO.

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Like with everything else, RJ spent too much time on the faile rescue or Elayne and Nyneave at Luca's show, etc. and literally ran out of time to do justice to Fain, a proper white tower battle, a proper TG, take your pick. Brandon couldn't finish everything in three books so he did the best he could. But yes, like other characters and plots, Fain's potential was wasted

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I think that had Fain gone into the Prison, then Rand is no longer the Dragon, since he cannot deal with Fain. Mat would have taken his place as Champion. Plus, Artur Hawkwing hints that Mat is well known to all the Heroes, but he is not counted amongst them. This is possibly because he is Rand's replacement if Fain had taken the DO's place.

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On 12/30/2018 at 11:38 AM, Sabio said:

The biggest issue with that is Fain being what he is, who could say the impact that would have on the pattern when the DO prison gets bored into again.  He couldn't simply be the DO, there would be no true power for instance.  So there would be no TP for people to sense and eventually bore in the prison.  Being insane and wanting to destroy good and evil, what would happen if his prison was bored into?  Just being stuffed into the prison wouldn't make him the DO.

 

But Fain did have powers.  They kept evolving as the stories progressed.  From the darkening of people's natures, to illusions in Far Madding (A place where the Power can't be used) and then of course, everything that happened on his way to Thakan'dar.  He had powers, and he was evolving.

 

Honestly, I think I prefer this over the Philosophy 090 class we got in AMoL.

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True.  I did think Fain ended satisfactorily--(I couldn't think of a better person to kill him than Mat)--but I would have liked him to be more involved in the end.  He was such a major character in the beginning.

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Fain had powers but not DO type powers,  so if prison was bored into things would change.  As he was insane and wanted everyone dead, it likely if ever freed he would continue to try and kill everyone.  Simply being stuffed in the prison doesn't make you the DO, in theory the DO could of escaped and stuffed Rand in there.

Edited by Sabio

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The Wheel would have still used Fain as a counterpoint to the Creator if the DO died, because of the issue of Balance. The Creator does not balance the DO. Rand has that purpose. Who balances Fain with that in mind? Mat is the answer to that question. Fain was just present in the story, because the Wheel took Rand's free will and right to choose into account. He just hung around too long, because Rand had to figure out the right choice in the right circumstances, something the battle with the DO actually showed. The very instant that was showed and he had decided, Mat killed Fain, because Rand had chosen a different course. Fain surviving any longer would have destroyed the Wheel , because the encounter was supposed to happen the way it did. Put Fain in there, what would Moiraine had done if Thom died. He was guarding the entrance to the Pit itself. One way this could have gone down is if for example, Rand cannot grab the DO, Moridin gets free, since Callandor functions as a male Adam requiring two women to control him, both sides of the One Power are tainted, leaving only Mat to stop Fain. If Moridin does not kill Mat first. One REALLY bad outcome. Actually I would say a complete disaster.

 

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On 1/3/2019 at 11:11 PM, Sabio said:

Fain had powers but not DO type powers,  so if prison was bored into things would change.  As he was insane and wanted everyone dead, it likely if ever freed he would continue to try and kill everyone.  Simply being stuffed in the prison doesn't make you the DO, in theory the DO could of escaped and stuffed Rand in there.

 

Yes.  Fain did not have tDO's powers; however, his were evolving.  When I wrote my initial response, I kept thinking about the fall of Aridhol and how the citizenry went about looking for a way to out Dark One the Dark One.  Moiraine remarked that the things done in the name of the Light were awful by the citizens of the doomed city.  Eventually Mordeth was trapped in the city with Mashadar.  Mordeth showed great change once Mat & Co. let him free, but I always thought that Mashadar had something to do with Mordeth's twisting, or he it, or it was a mutually beneficial relationship.  Who knows what would have happened if Mordeth's power was allowed to grow, change, or evolve.

 

I am particularly minded of the frequent repeats throughout the books that tDO is bound outside of The Pattern.  Since we do not know too much of what constitutes outside of The Pattern we did see that the Dark One had some abilities, including shaping reality.  While Fain may never have those possibilities, this thread has had me thinking that perhaps Fain was to be the one sealed in the Bore once Rand killed the Dark One.  If he did, and was forced to eject Fain from The Pattern, would Fain change?  Could he?  I'd imagine he could, particularly since his soul seemed to be melded to Mordeth's.  Furthering the suppositions on the evidence here, I think perhaps Fain would take the place of tDO within the Bore, and Rand et al. try to explain to everyone/simplify things to that tDO is locked up once more.

 

This may be a particular function of The Pattern, for whatever reasons it may have.  There may always need to be a Dark One trapped within the Bore, or at least, there may always need to be something trapped within the Bore for the Wheel to function.  It weaves as it wills.  As Rand chose not to kill tDO or Moridin and that someone (possibly the Creator) applauded him for the decision, perhaps the Wheel allowed Fain's thread to be removed from the current weaving as he was not needed.  Perhaps he was just, in the end, the Pattern's ace in the hole.

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12 hours ago, DemandredFO said:

Yes but if the wheel never changes and can never change, as I believe RJ or someone said, why would it need a backup plan?

 

That's a good question Demandred.  I think of it as: The Dragon has sided with tDO before, it was mentioned that it had happened in the past.  I believe it was Moridin that said that.  Since it has happened, the Wheel has had to course correct when it does.  Since that's the case, there are backups to make certain the Wheel always turns, even if it has to have a hiccup now and again.

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