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So, who/what is the Dark One?


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I'm sure this has been discussed at some point, but I don't remember seeing it. What/who is the Dark One? We hear about The Creator, but never actually see any sign of him, and our in our interactions with DO, he doesn't seem to a "supernatural" being, being ignorant of many things and events. Even at the end of the series when Rand confronts him, he seems very powerless outside what his "people" do. 

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We do hear from the Creator once. He speaks to Rand at the end of The Eye of the World.

 

The Dark One remains somewhat mysterious. We don't have a breakdown of who or what he is. But he seems very one-dimensional, and I don't mean that as a criticism of the books. He's influential, but he seems made up of the worst of all human traits, and this limits him as he's pretty much only these traits coalesced into some aware-of-itself force. He keeps running the same strategy over and over again. He doesn't think of anything else because he doesn't understand goodness. He seems ultimately focused on turning the Creator's champion specifically. Ultimately a force of chaos against order, but one who seems pretty ineffectual when he doesn't have humanity/intelligent beings to cooperate with him. Humanity ultimately broke the prison and in their selfishness allowed things to progress as they did.

 

Without him it seems humanity loses a part of itself. But is he the source or is he the result of their creation? I don't know, it seems like a chicken and the egg question. And is he on par with the Creator or himself a creation of him? Again, no idea.

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The "DO" is the metaphysical representation of Chaos & Entropy within the Wheel of Time Universe.
The "Creator" is the metaphysical representation of Order & Creation within the Wheel of Time Universe.
The "Wheel" is the metaphysical representation of "Balance" between the two opposing forces, and the "Serpent" represents eternity cyclical time.

There's  debates as to how much if any interference the creator has had within the books. I don't necessarily agree that the voice at the end of TEOW was the creator, but LTT/or earlier incarnations.

 

While the DO is "Imprisoned", it's interaction within the series is almost always through 3rd party hands. Influencing the hearts and minds if you will. It does have more "direct" interaction with reality the closer you get to the "bore". 
Bubbles of "Evil" are almost physical manifestations of the DO's chaos, injected into the tapestry the wheel weaves, like oil on water, poking it's head through the gaps in the threads.

As we learned in the final battle, Destroying the DO, would result in removing that little bit of chaos within every human being, effectively taking away our very free will.

There is no doubt in my mind there's influences of these entities taken out of Hinduism, Greek/Roman, Norse Mythology, and even Christianity/Judaism. Looking purely at the OT , the "serpent" was what goaded freewill in humanity. If it wasn't for that bit of chaos and curiosity, Humans would never have had free will. At least, that's from the biblical perspective.
Greek/Roman you have similar stories like Pandora's Box & Prometheus, all about punishing humans for being curious.

 

Having free-will and not doing what we're told, is kind of a running theme really.

 

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On 8/5/2020 at 10:41 PM, Agitel said:

We do hear from the Creator once. He speaks to Rand at the end of The Eye of the World.

I am not sure why you think the Creator spoke to Rand in the Eye of the World. 

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Considering the Wheel of Time is a wheel, it could be like a pre-recorded message from the Creator.  Imperfectly sealing the Bore primes the messages, the first gets triggered if the DR gets a wild hair and tries to end the whole thing early, while the last one gets triggered once the stage is finally set for the final showdown.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Quote

IT IS NOT HERE.
It was not Rand’s thought, making his skull vibrate.
I WILL TAKE NO PART. ONLY THE CHOSEN ONE CAN DO WHAT MUST BE DONE, IF HE WILL.
“Where?” He did not want to say it, but he could not stop himself. “Where?” The haze surrounding him parted, leaving a dome of clear, clean air ten spans high, walled by billowing smoke and dust. Steps rose before him, each standing alone and unsupported, stretching up into the murk that obscured the sun.
NOT HERE.

 

Perhaps it's not explicit and we've been told it's left to the reader's interpretation, but "I am not sure why you think..." is a bit of a strong criticism here.

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