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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

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I've been re-re-re-re reading (well listening to) the series, and this is something I've been mulling over for some time. Verin was wrong. Or at least.. there is something off about the world. We're told the world endlessly loops and the same events happen over and over. Except that there is a single thing that does permanently change. She said to Eqwene there are 3 constants, the Dark One, the Creator, and TAR. But I think there is a 4th, and its one that, as far as we know, not actually constant. 

 

The Horn of Valere.

 

Granted, there is much information that the horn can be destroyed and reforged in a new form or the same, but what it means is more important. It summons heroic figures who have been bound to the wheel to be spun out again and again. It is confirmed by direct question and storylines that people join this group, and there is no known way to remove them. Perhaps death in the dream can, but that is unconfirmed. I think it is either not possible or incredibly difficult (afterall, when Moghedien attacked her, she threw her out of TAR instead of trying to kill her, perhaps knowing killing her wouldn't work).

 

The point I'm getting at, is that while the wheel turns and events happen again and again, the heroes bound to it seem to grow in number. Perhaps between 0 and 2 per age? (Must be 2, from Birgitte and Gaidal, but less too) I invite speculation on what this might mean? Does the turnings somehow reset the number of heros? Do they only stay bound for so many ages before dying or being released? Is there perhaps a critical mass of heroes some point in the future? What do you think?

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If Heroes can be added, then it must be possible for Heroes to be retired, else in the infinite turnings of the Wheel, there would be infinite Heroes, rather than only around 100.  Likewise with turning iron into cuendillar, there must exist some natural process to revert that, else there would be no iron left to turn into cuendillar (let alone things like steel armor and swords) and a whole lot of cuendillar laying about.

 

Really, though, this is just one of the many brilliant facets of Jordan's world-building prowess.  He purposefully makes things obscure, vague, mysterious and outright contradictory/impossible to challenge reader's suspension of disbelief and motivate them to create their own head-canons to maintain it.  In truth, there is no answer to whether Heroes can retire from being bound to TaR or the Horn, whether or how iron is replenished or what happens to cuendillar from prior Turnings, how our time can be a prior Age to the Third Age, who Nakomi is, or how Rand lit his pipe, and many other mysteries, precisely so that readers can wonder about those things.

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11 hours ago, Thrasymachus said:

If Heroes can be added, then it must be possible for Heroes to be retired, else in the infinite turnings of the Wheel, there would be infinite Heroes, rather than only around 100. 

From my perspective, there are actively only ever 100 souls "attuned" to the horn at any one time. Often heroes get "retired" by being reborn, and in their stead a "new" soul becomes part of the 100. Sometimes when that reborn hero dies, they don't become attuned to the horn again, sometimes they do.

 

So it's not always the same "100" souls, but some souls are always "heroic". 

Sometimes these souls are like "D&D Gods", in that they are "aspects" of Heroic deeds. One's going to be the best with a bow, swords, two swords, spear. One is selfless. One is a great leader. (Hawkwing would be our Alexander)

 

As for the Horn being a constant? 

I'd say it's inexorably linked to TAR/Wheel. It's a bridge between the two, perhaps something else entirely not of "man". Hard to say really. It could be a "constant", or it could just be like "King Arthur", it's a tale as old as time itself. It's part of the grand story that's always being retold in a different way each time.

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We'll, a counterexample to that idea is when Birgitte recounts where she and Gaidal had a nice, quiet, pastoral life as farmers where they didn't really do anything "heroic." Birgitte called it "boring," though she admitted they were happy as they lived it.  And yet they remained Heroes.  You'd think if they were able to be retired, that it's happen after such an uneventful life.  At any given time, depending on population size, there's got to be hundreds, if not thousands of people being heroes and living heroic lives, but almost none of them are called to be Heroes.  

 

I believe the interview database claims the Horn of Valerie is in fact Dizzy Gillespie's bent-horn trumpet, and that it originally called back, not Heroes, but legendary jazz players to form a Big Band-style backup group for the Horn player.  Of course, this was probably tongue-in-cheek.  But the Horn was created, in the Age before the Age of Legends, and it's made of soft brass that can be scratched and dented, so it must be capable of being destroyed, and must at some point be destroyed.  Likely not long after the Last Battle, given what Birgitte has Olver do with it to prevent Elayne from seizing it as a royal treasure.

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True, it can be destroyed, but that doesn't affect those bound to the wheel, as far as we know. And it's very durable, remember Mat threw it over a wall and it didn't cause a scratch. 

(edit:)

A thought I had on that, actually. Birgitte is actually more evidence that the heroes aren't lost when the horn is lost. She has more lives than she can count. Now, Moiraine said its been 300 generations since the breaking, and we know Birgitte and Gaidal were around for the founding of the white tower, which was not long after, and she knows she's lost FAR more than that. How many incarnations in those 300 generations could she possibly have had? Not many, assuming she lived long. I think this speaks to them being eternal, once added.

Edited by Mechascoots
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There may be a moment somewhere in the turning where the Horn is destroyed and the Heroes ceased to be and then in the next turning they start all over again, maybe a handful of Heroes are born, help the Dragon save the world and he somehow bounds them to the Wheel to be spun out when needed and then someone else at a later date creates the Horn. I do think that at some stage the Horn and the Heroes cease to be.

 

I also have another theory concerning the Horn, that the next time it is blown that the company of Heroes will have 2 more members.

The Blacksmith and the Gambler.

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1 hour ago, Harldin said:

I also have another theory concerning the Horn, that the next time it is blown that the company of Heroes will have 2 more members.

The Blacksmith and the Gambler.

 

Maybe the Blacksmith and the Falcon (If the horn does get a new set of heroes, perhaps they replace B&G?). Confirmed in MoL, Mat is not hornbound.

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On 10/31/2020 at 11:13 AM, Mechascoots said:

 

Maybe the Blacksmith and the Falcon (If the horn does get a new set of heroes, perhaps they replace B&G?). Confirmed in MoL, Mat is not hornbound.

Where is that?

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16 hours ago, Harldin said:

Where is that?

In chapter 43, towards the end of the battle, Mat asks Hend the Striker if he's one of the heroes. Hend says flat out he isn't. He comments that Mat has been more than heroic enough to join them, he has not and isn't sure why. Mat says it might be because he would hate it.

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The Horn calls the heros that are in The World of Dreams. The World of Dreams is constant, not the Horn. The physics of the universe is constant, that heros get reborn, that they enjoy the World of Dream between rebirths...

The horn is just a Terangreal. It is an old one, but it isn’t necessary for the light to be victorious. The Horn could fall into the hands of the Dark and make the job harder for the Light to win, but the light will always find what they need. 

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In TGH Rand noticed there were more then a hundred.  But Perin really didn't do enough IMO to earn hero status.  I think it's unlikely any of the main characters except Rand and Ishy are destined for future roles.  Next time both the good and bad people will be all new folks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Perrin’s multi day fight against all takers in the world of dreams including killing Lanfear?

Birgitte didn’t accomplish that ever and she was rewoven into the Hero list. 

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