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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Dagon Thyne

When did ishy get his memories?

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From an early point in the series, it's clear that ishamael remembers all of his past lives.  This seems to be why he is so desperate for death.  

 

but do he have these memories before joining the Shadow or did The dark one give them to him?

 

it would make sense that he joined the shadow because the dark one promised to give him an eternal death, if he was so tired from remembering all of his lives.  

 

but the story was quite clear that the reason he joined the shadow is because he saw that the shadows triumph was inevitable.  It never mentioned early on that he saught an eternal death.  did he make his decision to join the shadow because he remembered his past lives and new the shadow will eventually win, or did he simply study the past and realize that's a dark one would be broken free again, and that it was a cycle.  

 

Fel figured that out early in the series before his death.  He tried to tell Rand that's the whole thing was a cycle and would repeat itself.  

 

so it's unclear whether or not is she had the memories already or was given to him after he had already turned to the shadow.  

 

 

 

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He knew when he confronted Lews Therin in the prologue to EOTW, he stood on the Island that would become Tar Valon and said something along the lines of

”you can’t escape me Dragon, we will meet again, we have fought a thousand times, a thousand times a thousand, and will keep meeting until the Wheel breaks”

He is also known as having to put up the theory that the Soul of Lews Therin had fought the Dark One countless times.

I’m beginning to actually develop a theory here, that Ishamael had already regained his memories and knew all about the Dark one even Before the drilling of the Bore. And that he actually manipulated the entire drilling from behind the scenes. He was an influential Philosopher in the AOL and amongst the first Aes Sedai to go over to the Dark Side. 

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Posted (edited)

 

 

 I don't think he knew about the dark one prior to the boar being drilled, but I am sure that he knew about the cycle well before he turned to the shadow.  

 

He turned to the shadow because he realized that the cycle with continue every time the dark one was resealed and that the dark one would eventually win.  he was a very logical person and he saw joining the shadow and helping The dark one succeed as the most logical choice.  

 

What I'm unclear on is whether or not he had his memories prior to this.  Because it's also revealed that he follows the dark one because the dark one promised to allow him an eternal death where he didn't have to live anymore lives.  it would make sense for this choice to come about because of his memories and the exhaustion of remembering every life would bring.  

 

What's unclear is whether or not the dark one gave him his memories after he join the shadow or if he already had his memories and they played a part in his decision to join the shadow.  

Edited by Dagon Thyne

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I don't think Ishy actually remembers any of his prior lives.  Rather, I think that prior to the drilling of the Bore, he's aware of the cycle of eternal recurrence of the Wheel and of a soul's rebirth.  It's not until after he becomes aware of the Dark One and his nature, i.e. after the Bore is drilled, that he adopts his fatalistic perspective and becomes the only Forsaken alongside Meiren to join the Shadow not out of hatred or jealously. 

 

It's probably when Elan goes to the Bore for the first time, investigating this new Power and personality, that the Dark One shows him "previous turnings of the Wheel," which were probably all distortions and falsehoods, and which were probably calculated to cement Elan's loyalty to the Shadow and contributed in no small part to driving him to a level of insanity where he felt like he'd lived those prior turnings.  In reality, the Dark One probably just pulled him out of the Pattern, similarly to the way Rand gets pulled out in MoL, wove false realities for him to experience and mentally torture him, and where Rand ultimately defies and defeats the Dark One, Elan is successfully manipulated and submits.

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7 hours ago, Thrasymachus said:

I don't think Ishy actually remembers any of his prior lives.  Rather, I think that prior to the drilling of the Bore, he's aware of the cycle of eternal recurrence of the Wheel and of a soul's rebirth.  It's not until after he becomes aware of the Dark One and his nature, i.e. after the Bore is drilled, that he adopts his fatalistic perspective and becomes the only Forsaken alongside Meiren to join the Shadow not out of hatred or jealously. 

 

It's probably when Elan goes to the Bore for the first time, investigating this new Power and personality, that the Dark One shows him "previous turnings of the Wheel," which were probably all distortions and falsehoods, and which were probably calculated to cement Elan's loyalty to the Shadow and contributed in no small part to driving him to a level of insanity where he felt like he'd lived those prior turnings.  In reality, the Dark One probably just pulled him out of the Pattern, similarly to the way Rand gets pulled out in MoL, wove false realities for him to experience and mentally torture him, and where Rand ultimately defies and defeats the Dark One, Elan is successfully manipulated and submits.

 

 

He said that he remembered fighting the chosen of like countless times, in the prologue of eye of the world.  

 

He knew that he was the one who served as the CoL's antithesis.

 

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Posted (edited)

Further to my proposed theory i will add another bit, Lanfear knew as well. Look at the facts, both were Dreamwalkers, thus had the means to subtly influence other people, Lanfear was a member of the team of researchers that Drilled the Bore but one of those that escaped, and had reasons to be somewhat peed off, lack of recognition and being rejected by Lews Therin chief amongst them.

 

My theory goes like this, Ishamael realises Decades or even Centuries before the Drilling who and what he is, and decides then that he has to free the Dark One to end the cycle. So he begins a long game to achieve his goal and somewhere along the way he comes to understand how it can be achieved, by drilling a hole into the prison, but he can’t do it by himself. At some stage he runs into Mierin Eronaile who would become Lanfear who is very dissatisfied with her lot, and decides to trust her with the knowledge of the Dark One, she decides to join him and together they slowly and very subtly manipulate a group of researchers at the Collum Daan through there Dreams and enforced by discussion, that there is an untapped energy source that both Men and Women can use, Lanfear doing it as part of the team, Ishamael working through his Philosophy and behind the scenes to create uncertainty in the world. Beidomon the leader of the Researchers supposedly commits “suicide” sometime after the Drilling, not hard to make murder look like suicide. Just about any evidence is covered up by the destruction of the Collam Daan caused by the Back Lash from the drilling, Beidomon may have began to suspect Lanfear at least.

 

Its very difficult to understand why a group of very intelligent Scientists would put the most important centre of learning in the world in such danger unless they weren’t thinking straight.

 

This is all pure theory on my part, not meant to be taken to seriously just a way of getting people to think about possibilities, and remember how history is presented in WOT, from the perspective of late unknown 3rd Age Historians who has gathered scraps of information, unlike LOTR which is told in the form of a unknown witness who saw it all.

Edited by Harldin

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Ishy says lots of stuff.  He may even believe what he says.  But he's also nuttier than squirrel-poo and in service to The Father of Lies.  I would especially not take seriously his claims that he is the Dark's mirror to the Dragon, eternally reborn to oppose the Champion of the Light.  While probably every soul is eventually reborn, in one Age or another, the Dragon's is the only soul whose rebirth is certain and for a specific purpose, as revealed through Prophecy.  And really only for that one (eternally recurring) rebirth.  And Elan's soul specifically is beyond the Dark One's grasp, as he died after the prison was remade.  The Dark One *might* have grabbed Barid Bel's soul, as he would have had that window of opportunity after Lan killed him, and before Rand won, but as reality was on the verge of unraveling and Demandred's usefulness to the Shadow was spent, it's possible that He couldn't, and at least as likely that He wouldn't have bothered.

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It doesn't seem hard to imagine that Ish, who had access to all the wonders of the Age of Legends, knew about the rebirth cycle before the Bore was opened. If Herid Fel could figure out that people are reborn with the Wheel's turning then Ish likely knew as well.

 

Whether Ish remembered his past lives or not? I'm not so sure. Rand remembers being Lews Therin because that's how his madness manifested (one way, at least). It's not a normal or natural thing, but the result of the Dark One's taint (which is connected to something outside of time) and Rand being the Dragon (and the Pattern bending around him to give him what he needs). It's a specific set of circumstances, as far as we know requiring the Dark One's touch. So it seems unlikely to me that Ish remembered his past lives before the Bore was open; the Dark One wouldn't be able to reach him beforehand.

 

With the Bore open, the Dark One could possibly re-create the circumstances that let Rand remember being Lews Therin. Ish *could* remember his previous lives. But the question is; what does the Dark One gain by giving Ish those memories? 

 

It probably boils down to whether Ish was really the "anti-Dragon" or not. If he is, then he probably does remember his actual past lives; the Pattern demands balance and if Rand remembers his past then his opposite number should too. But if Ish isn't the anti-Dragon, the Dark One probably has more to gain by spinning carefully constructed illusions around Ish (just like he did with the "I win again Lews Therin" visions pulled from possible worlds) and then lying to Ish about it being his real past. That lets the Dark One have full control over what Ish "remembers" and guarantees nothing sways Ish away from the Shadow.

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It's unlikely he remembers all his past lives, but he understands how the wheel works.  In the AOL he was the formost philosopher of his time.  So he was the type to reason things out.  RJ has said no one suspected it was the DO they were sensing, so Lanfear had no idea it was the DO when they tried, since part of the turnings of the wheel is the world must totally forget the DO exists.  .  The BWB says writings from when Ishy went over to the shadow show that he started to believe the war between the Shadow and LTT's soul had gone one since the creation, and endless war between the DO and the creator using human surrogates.  So it was sometime after he went to the shadow he started to figure out this might be and endless thing.  I would imagine the DO told him things that got him thinking.  Since Ishy was one of the first, possibly the first to go over to the shadow and it was Ishy who announced to the world what they faced, Ishy would be the person who would try to reason this stuff out.

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Sure, but "reasoning things out" isn't "remembering past lives."  Ishy insistence that he and Lews Therin have fought this fight innumerable times before is a delusion born of a (flawed) metaphysical insight, and likely a great deal of influence by the Dark One designed to inflate his ego.  Each Turning of the Wheel is different from the one before; nothing says that it must have been Elan's soul who opposed the Dragon in prior Turnings, and nothing marks Elan's soul out as special, like the Dragon's, or even as special as any of the other Heroes of the Horn that reside in Tel'aran'Rhiod.

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Posted (edited)

 My guess is IShy came to understand if one soul is born over and over to be part of this endless fight, then another soul is probably born to oppose it again and again.  Since the writings were from after he joined the Shadow (it was never said when he started writing after he went over) it's likely he started to gain insight from the DO, also being spun out over the years allowed him more time to contemplate things.    

Edited by Sabio

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Actually don't think he remembers anything, he knows how the Wheel works, but doesn't actually name any specific event outside his current life that he remembers. 

 

I've always believed Ishy bought into his own hype. Made himself seem more important to The Wheel than he really was. He was trying to impress everyone with how smart he was in understanding the Wheel, that he missed the easy answers right in front of him

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Posted (edited)

Ishy was right on how the mechanics of the wheel worked.  He was wrong on other stuff like failing to understanding LTT's soul being born  didn't make the person LTT, so he assumed they would act like LTT would.  Instead as we saw the person might have some memories from LTT but they aren't LTT.  Part of the problem is by the time we get much from Ishy he is already pretty insane so you can't trust everything he says and thinks.  Another problem is some of the info he is using is probably from the DO and the DO can't be trusted to always provide accurate info.  Fox is right you really don't see him pulling up memories from past lives.

Edited by Sabio

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We actually don't know how right Elan was about the mechanics of the Wheel, or even how true the whole metaphor of the Wheel and the Pattern really is, in that universe.  The Wheel of Time series is rife with unreliable narrators who are confident of things that turn out to not be true at all.  That the Heroes of the Horn will fight for whoever sounds it, is one of the biggest examples.  For the entire series, even to the very last battle of the Last Battle, there were those (Perrin) who believed they would fight on the side of the Shadow, if a darkfriend or dreadlord or Forsaken blew the thing.  Is there actually a Creator, a personality in opposition to the Dark One?  We don't really know.  That mysterious VOICE we hear in the EoTW and the MoL?  We never definitively learn who or what that is.

 

Logically, the notion of cyclical Time, where everything that has happened will happen again in just the same way, is incoherent.  It makes it impossible to distinguish past from future, and from within the cycle, it is impossible to determine that there is a cycle at all.  And the specific way the Wheel and the Pattern is described is not truly cyclical, but infinitely linear, with a repeating pattern, but one where subsequent repetitions of that pattern are distinguishable from prior ones.  The Lews Therin we read about lies definitely in Rand's past, and even if (when) that soul were to inhabit a man named Lews Therin in the far-flung future, that Lews Therin will be a different man from the Lews Therin we know.

 

There is a tendency to think that the knowledge from the Age of Legends is more accurate or closer to the Truth of the metaphysical reality that governs that fictional world, but they could simply be more deeply deluded, having long ago mistaken their analogies and metaphors for the actual truth, and committed themselves to ever more elaborate mental epicycles to maintain their beliefs.  For all the knowledge that was lost in the Breaking, the Third Age managed to discover things that were deemed impossible in the Age of Legends, the bonding of Warders, Healing stilling, and successfully unraveling weaves, for example. There is no one in the series that is All-Knowing, even Fel starts with the assumption of the accuracy of the Wheel metaphor, and no one ever questions or challenges that notion.

 

Not even appealing to the Word of God, i.e. the interview database, helps much.  When questioned/challenged about these deeper questions regarding the metaphysical underpinning of his world, where Jordan doesn't answer in his typical and ubiquitous RAFO, he's fond of pointing out that this is fiction.  In other words, we're trying to make sense of what is literally nonsense.  Highly entertaining and even meaningful nonsense, but nonsense nonetheless.

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But we know from RJ certain things like LTT and Ishy souls are tied together, that certain events happen over and over such as the world forgets about the DO etc.. So Ishy is correct about this battle happening again and again and that LTT and him keep facing each other.  What happens between each major event isn't always the same as so free will comes into play.   But eventually certain things will occur again such as forgetting about the DO and the drilling into his prison.  

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Go ahead and search the interview database for anywhere Jordan says Rand's and Ishamael's souls are tied together.  I already have, and haven't found anything.  There's not even confirmation that Elan's soul survives his final confrontation with Rand, rather than finding the oblivion he always sought.  If it didn't, then Ishamael couldn't have fought Rand innumerable times before, if the eternal recurrence of events is true. 

 

The cycle of the Wheel and eternal repetition of events was certainly the metaphysical picture Jordan was trying to portray, as understood by the characters in the books.  But press him too hard trying to make sense out of the inconsistencies and implications of the world he built, and he would be very likely to chastise you for taking his books of fiction too seriously.  That kind of response is common, on all kinds of the hypothetical and theoretical questions he got.

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Rj confirmed there are a few souls linked together LTT and Ishy, Brigtte and what's his name.  If balefire can't kill a soul for eternity then Ishy's soul has clearly survived the drawing too much power.  I doubt it's  possible to kill a soul and stop it from ever being reborn again.

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I have the theory that the dark one gave Ishmael all of his memories once he joined the shadow.  I think that he did it on the premise that access to his memories would help him better fight against Lew's Therin, but with the added benefits of driving him mad from mental exhaustion from having to remember every life pee ever lived.  and this is why he remains with the shadow because the dark one promised to end this exhaustion by giving him an eternal death, once the wheel is destroyed.  

 

 

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I have a theory of how balefire actually works. 

 

Imagine the pattern is a weave, and our lives are threads that make up this weave. When you die a normal death the thread is just brought out of the weave, and when you are reborn, your thread is brought back.

 

However if you are killed with balefire, the thread is burnt away, not completely, but enough to get that «time messing» effect, and the thread can never be returned to the pattern. 

 

I seem to remember something Moridin told Rand in TGS about why forsaken can only die by balefire, but I can’t remember how he described it. Could someone look that up?

 

If my theory is true then at least there is nothing special with the forsaken, where a lot of them are killed by balefire. The DO just finds the most greedy, powerful channelers every time he is released, and names them his Chosen.

 

Can’t tell whether this means that there is nothing special with Elan’s soul or not. If the Pattern demands a champion for the DO because the Light has a champion, the Pattern would probably force this champion to never die by balefire so he could be reborn to face Rand again, time without end.

 

However I got the fealing that Rand’s true enemy was the DO, and not the DO’s «champion». When the DO touched the Pattern, and the Pattern demanded balance, thus gave Rand incredible taveren powers, Rand was the counterpoint to the DO, not to some champion.

 

I don’t know. Someone should kill Elan with balefire and see what happens.

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It basicly come down to if you die to balefire the DO can't being you back since he doesn't know when you died.  Depending  on the strength of the balefire used to kill you, the person may of been burnt out for a minute or when Rand used the sword a really long time.  Not to mention it destroys his link to the forsaken. So he has no connection to the soul anymore making it so he can't simply locate the soul.  Balefire just burns you from the pattern it doesn't destroy the soul.  So even if you die by balefire you will still get reborn. I see it as a failsafe by the pattern to make sure someone like Ishy doesn't just blast everyone with balefire age after age in hopes to end all existence by finally killing everyone off.

 

Only a few souls get spun out again and again for special purposes so with free will it means most of the main people on team light and shadow will be different people.  Since if your soul was always destined to be evil you have no free will.

 

RJ confirmed LTT and Ishy's soul are connected and will be spun out again for major events.

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