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johnnysd

Re: Moiraine...was this ever answered

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I was sort of away from WOT for a long time but with the series coming I am re-reading it for maybe the 6th time I guess, though I have only read the BS books once and will likely not read them again.

 

That said, my biggest question that has always bothered me is this:

 

How in the light did Moiraine know specifically that Sammael was in Illian and Be'Lal was in Tear?

 

I asked Jordan this personally once and after Harriet said it was a good question and Jordan said it was one of the best questions he gets asked he said 

 

 

"You have to understand that Moiraine did not just go sit under a tree. She was on a quest. How she knew is important to the story and you will find out more about this in later books."

 

I asked this back in 2007 and there was no answer then but as far as I know this was actually never answered in the books or elsewhere as far as I know. 

 

Was there ever an explanation?

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She interpreted Billie’s dream. And listened to people in Tear too. The Forsaken for some reason weren’t shielding their dreams. Rand learned in Rhuidean after getting Asmodean as a teacher. 

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20 minutes ago, Jsbrads2 said:

She interpreted Billie’s dream. And listened to people in Tear too. The Forsaken for some reason weren’t shielding their dreams. Rand learned in Rhuidean after getting Asmodean as a teacher. 

 

It was easy to figure out it was one of the forsaken but never really explained how she knew a specific one.

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Posted (edited)

When she went to research under Adeleas and Vandene during the events of The Great Hunt, she was looking for specific things, but she also didn't find much that was useful.  She asked about the Horn and whether the Prophecies linked it to the Dragon, she asked about whether Tomon Head was mentioned, and learned that A and V disagreed on the subject.  And crucially, she asked about Lanfear.

 

In her own studies in the elder sisters' library, she no doubt pulled all references to the Forsaken and and Prophecies and commentaries relating to them, looking specifically for references to Lanfear, because she was suspected to have already been freed, but likely coming across information relating to each of the Forsaken.  Some of that information likely included physical descriptions and personal characteristics.  Sammael is especially physically distinctive.

 

With the Blue's extensive eyes-and-ears networks, it likely wouldn't have been difficult for her to learn of political shakeups in the lands they were passing through, and planning to enter.  New lords that have outsized influence and power in both Illian and Tear, who happen to match the physical description of Sammael in one case, and the modus operandi of Bel'al in the other.

Edited by Thrasymachus

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12 hours ago, Thrasymachus said:

When she went to research under Adeleas and Vandene during the events of The Great Hunt, she was looking for specific things, but she also didn't find much that was useful.  She asked about the Horn and whether the Prophecies linked it to the Dragon, she asked about whether Tomon Head was mentioned, and learned that A and V disagreed on the subject.  And crucially, she asked about Lanfear.

 

In her own studies in the elder sisters' library, she no doubt pulled all references to the Forsaken and and Prophecies and commentaries relating to them, looking specifically for references to Lanfear, because she was suspected to have already been freed, but likely coming across information relating to each of the Forsaken.  Some of that information likely included physical descriptions and personal characteristics.  Sammael is especially physically distinctive.

 

With the Blue's extensive eyes-and-ears networks, it likely wouldn't have been difficult for her to learn of political shakeups in the lands they were passing through, and planning to enter.  New lords that have outsized influence and power in both Illian and Tear, who happen to match the physical description of Sammael in one case, and the modus operandi of Bel'al in the other.

 

That is good speculation but Jordan himself in my conversation with him about it said that it was not what you have above and important to the story. He never shared it apparently, but it was not as you have above. Thanks for replying though

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Maria sort of answered it thus:

 

 How Moiraine is able to able to learn which Forsaken is in power in Tear and Illian in The Dragon Reborn?

 

I’ve always assumed research, research, research. I have no better answer.

 

And since the only time we see Moiraine in research was during The Great Hunt, that speculation is likely the best answer to the question.  It should also be noted that Jordan's denial that she learned how to identify them from Adeleas and Vandene or her early research with them doesn't appear in the interview database.

 

There's also speculation that Moiraine learned about Sammael in Illian, and possibly Bel'al in Tear by using her eavesdropping trick, and got caught at it while gathering intel in Illian, which is what necessitated their quick getaway and caused Sammael to sic his Darkhounds on them.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Thrasymachus said:

Maria sort of answered it thus:

 

 How Moiraine is able to able to learn which Forsaken is in power in Tear and Illian in The Dragon Reborn?

 

I’ve always assumed research, research, research. I have no better answer.

 

And since the only time we see Moiraine in research was during The Great Hunt, that speculation is likely the best answer to the question.  It should also be noted that Jordan's denial that she learned how to identify them from Adeleas and Vandene or her early research with them doesn't appear in the interview database.

 

There's also speculation that Moiraine learned about Sammael in Illian, and possibly Bel'al in Tear by using her eavesdropping trick, and got caught at it while gathering intel in Illian, which is what necessitated their quick getaway and caused Sammael to sic his Darkhounds on them.

 

 

 

 

All possible I guess. I know some people have all the notes so maybe it wasnt as important as Jordan made it seem when I talked to him about it. The eavesdropping idea has some merit. The weird thing is that at the point I talked to him about this it was like book 8 or so, so if there is a mundane answer like research or eavesdropping then there would have been no reason not to just share that. Plus after the "research" she still knows next to nothing about the Forsaken by her own account. All good thanks for the responses.

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I just assume she got alot from the dreams the forsaken were projecting then research on the little known about each forsaken.  If they weren't hiding their identies in the dreams she might of guessed from known descriptions of the forsaken.  

 

It always did seem like something RJ put in before really thinking that out.  There doesn't seem to be anything in the companion on how she figured those two out.  Since the BWB was written to be from a researchers point of view I always took it as what is in the BWB about the forsaken is the little that is known.  

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As your question pertained to The Dragon Reborn, Jordan may not have assumed you'd read past that, in spite of the event being for book 8.  Jordan never liked to spoil his fans, and if he could give a RAFO, he would. 

 

If it was her eavesdropping trick that clued her in, that trick does become a minor plot point later on.  Moiraine shows it to the Aiel Wise Ones and Egwene, they bond over it, helping overcome Wise One reticence to working with Aes Sedai, and both go on to use it for their own purposes.  If it was her research with Adeleas and Vandene, he may have simply being referring to the fact that they become minor plot-relevant characters later on.  Jordan never liked to explain too much, and when pressed, he either liked to give his typical RAFO, or remind his readers that they're worrying about a work of fiction and that they should lighten up.

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29 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

As your question pertained to The Dragon Reborn, Jordan may not have assumed you'd read past that, in spite of the event being for book 8.  Jordan never liked to spoil his fans, and if he could give a RAFO, he would. 

 

If it was her eavesdropping trick that clued her in, that trick does become a minor plot point later on.  Moiraine shows it to the Aiel Wise Ones and Egwene, they bond over it, helping overcome Wise One reticence to working with Aes Sedai, and both go on to use it for their own purposes.  If it was her research with Adeleas and Vandene, he may have simply being referring to the fact that they become minor plot-relevant characters later on.  Jordan never liked to explain too much, and when pressed, he either liked to give his typical RAFO, or remind his readers that they're worrying about a work of fiction and that they should lighten up.

 

 

All of that is possible and he was answering a lot of questions with his famous RAFO, but in this case he didn't. I don't know he made it seem important but you are right that the eavesdropping thing would make sense. He made it seem different than that though.

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We know with the stone it increases the range of her eavesdropping.  My only issue with that as an answer would be trying that trick at a whole palace would mean you need to know where exactly the person is in that place at that moment and we know she didn't eavesdrop on Be'Lal.  I still suspect with his lack of a straight answer it was sort of an oops type thing.  

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35 minutes ago, Sabio said:

We know with the stone it increases the range of her eavesdropping.  My only issue with that as an answer would be trying that trick at a whole palace would mean you need to know where exactly the person is in that place at that moment and we know she didn't eavesdrop on Be'Lal.  I still suspect with his lack of a straight answer it was sort of an oops type thing.  

 

I just don't think it was anything sort of "normal" like research or eavesdropping, Jordan definitely suggested it was through a different unrevealed means. Maybe it was a complete oversight and that is the way he covered it, maybe something simple like eavesdropping is the actual answer, or maybe he later decided it was not important to the narrative. 

 

My personal theory is that Lanfear may have told Moiraine some things to protect Rand.  Lanfear was visiting a lot of the EF guys so it wouldnt be a stretch to think she visited Moiraine, and in Book 4 when Rand announces Lanfear was there, she is calm, assumes she had nothing to do with the bad Trollocs sent by Sammael and may have even assumed (mistakenly) that she sent the "good ones, plus she says that Lanfear is unlikely to harm Rand, which seems to make sense firsthand as least as much or more than inference from books.

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FWVLIW, I've always assumed it was the fact that an Aes Sedai is more sensitive to things like dreams - being able to sense the Dark One's creatures must have something to do with it - so she must've felt the dream presence of Sammael and Be'lal from a greater distance than other non-channeler characters. then naturally that led to going checking out the source of those disturbing dreams, and triggering Sammael's and Be'lal's reactions.

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So as to dreams, I think moraine couldn’t have been visited in her own dreams, those are warded. And while a powerful forsaken may know how to break the wards, it seems that can harm the sleeper. While Lanfear isn’t scared of moraine, she seems to want to avoid people seeing her. A full aes sedai isn’t something to ignore, the girl’s naïveté is workable, but she only met egwene once and it was both disguised and in the world of dreams, when egwene was brand new to the world of dreams.

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Posted (edited)

I have a suspicion that she knew there existed three possibilities. One was Sammael, one was Demandred, and one was Be'lal, since these three are considered the best in battle.

 

Ishamael is mostly how Palpatine manipulated the Republic, and Rahvin is mostly like Dooku.

 

It all depends on what knowledge the White Tower library had on these Forsaken, as much as the stories told about each of the them and how that knowledge matched up.

 

For example, if Sammael was considered the best military leader with an emphasis on defense, and Moiraine knew this, then his actions in simply raising armies and building fortresses would have told her it was Sammael.

 

Meanwhile, information on Demandred and Be'lal both clearly pointed in alternative directions that did not fit with what was going on in Illian, since they would not build their forces the same way.

 

Egwene did the exact same process when Demandred eventually showed up, and it pretty much confirmed every bit of information they had on him when he did, because he was acting as a conqueror, which is a totally different type of military leader. 

Edited by wotfan4472

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The hillforts weren’t built when Moraine fled Illian with Lan, Perrin, and Faile. Also in Moraine’s conversation with the Adeleas sister, they admitted no one knew anything. There wasn’t books on the forsaken, just whatever they were able to distill from comments thru their research. Besides it seemed Moraine was mostly interested in Lanfear.

Egwene had even less ancient information than Moraine, but she also knew who was already dead, by process of elimination...

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When was the conversation Moiraine had with Loial about Ogier knowledge about the Forsaken?

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Coincidentally, I just reread that chapter last night. After tracking the Dread Hounds, Lan had gone in search of Moiraine to warn her. Their presence alerted her to the presence of  one of the Foresaken so she would have looked for information on which one and where exactly.Also, remember that Moiraine was Tar Valon's spy master. She would have all kinds of sources of information sources.

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Posted (edited)

The hillforts were not built, true, but their planning and construction had started by then. Added up with troop deployment, which would have been between each hillfort location, and it all points to Sammael, if Moiraine knew all of that about him. Every step outlined here points to Sammael and his defensive abilities.  

 

Loial and Moiraine have a conversation in Tear about Be'lal. It reveals that the Ogier had information that the Aes Sedai did not have on him, due to not being as open as Sammael, Demandred, Ishamael and others.

Edited by wotfan4472

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Sammael just got to Illian, he was raised to top position that winter. In that level of technology, nothing would have been started by the time Moraine got there.

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But Sammael would have to be pushing for all of those developments as soon as he was in the top position. Moiraine could easily have discovered rumors of those developments, since her Cairheinen upbringing would have allowed her to learn of these movements, which would have been a red flag. The Darkhound attack pretty much confirmed it for her, and she must have been bothered by Illian's emotional atmosphere, as well, before that Darkhound attack.

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As long as you're not talking about a lot of clearing and digging, something like a hillfort can be built remarkably quickly.  Split-log construction using mud to fill the cracks could be thrown up in mere days with enough manpower and horsepower.  We're not talking about anything like modern construction, where you'd have to excavate virgin soil, replace it with engineered fill, dig out and pour concrete foundations, and wait for those to cure before putting up steel columns and structural supports, plumbing and electrical conduits, and the whole affair we're used to.  A modern fortification might take a year to construct.  But the biggest slow-down for the more primitive hillforts constructed by the Illianers would have been rainy weather creating mud, slowing down the transportation of suitable logs to use in the construction.  Even hampered by rain and mud, as long as there were forests nearby they could harvest from, I have a hard time seeing any one of them taking more than a month to build.

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It doesn't seem like Samm would have a need to build any hillforts until Rand took Tear, then Samm would see the need for them.  Samm would see Tear as a big threat once Rand held power there.

 

When was Moiriane described as  Tar Valon's spy master?

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I think we are going to have to put this in the same place as, how did Morraine learn that the Dragon Reborn was living in the 2 Rivers. Remembering that she did not know which of the 3 Boys was the DR? 
It is just something there is no ready explanation for.

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