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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Balefire...


trakand_01
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Please can you help, as I'm not sure if i have my understanding right here. Is it correct that balefiring someone not only kills them, but removes their thread from the pattern? And that by removing their thread from the pattern, un-does things that have happened, for example balefiring Rahvin brought Aviendha, Mat and Asmodean back to life.

 

How far back in time does it undo things? For example when Rand balefired Rahvin, did it undo EVERYTHING Rahvin had done? Did it bring others back to life too?

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Please can you help, as I'm not sure if i have my understanding right here. Is it correct that balefiring someone not only kills them, but removes their thread from the pattern? And that by removing their thread from the pattern, un-does things that have happened, for example balefiring Rahvin brought Aviendha, Mat and Asmodean back to life.

 

How far back in time does it undo things? For example when Rand balefired Rahvin, did it undo EVERYTHING Rahvin had done? Did it bring others back to life too?

Balefire basically means you die before the person who used the balefire eses the balefire - you die before you are killed. How much before is dependant on the amount of balefire used, with Moiraine being able to erase only a few seconds, and Rand's killing of Rhavin apparently taking place about half an hour beforehand - so no, it doesn't undo your whole life. Hope that helps. Also, balefire makes it basically impossible for Shai'tan to transmigrate your soul, although you will still be rewoven in due course by the Wheel.
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The length of time for which the balefired person no longer exists for is proportional the the strength of the balefire blast ie. weak strength balefire = short amount of time 'undone', huge strength balefire = minute, possibly hours 'undone' I don't think I explained that well, in a rush.

 

This link should cover all questions....

 

http://forums.dragonmount.com/index.php/topic,10117.0.html

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This is how I look at it, others might not share my viewpoint.

All people and events are threads in the lace of the pattern. The Wheel of Time weaves those threads into the pattern as people interact with each other. Balefire "burns" a thread. It burns it such that the thread is not merely "snipped", but the thread is burnt back into the weave already woven (back in time) The stronger the balefire, the further back the thread is burnt away. Events, or threads, that rely on the balefired thread to exist, also cease to exist.

 

So, when Rand balefired Rahvin with very strong balefire, he "undid" Rahvin's actions far enough back in time to erase the deaths of Mat, Asmo, and Avi.

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I see, thanks for that. So it all depends on the size of the flame (the power behind the balefire). I know that balefire is widely prohibited, but surely it could be an incredible weapon in the final throws of battle? Especially if you were losing. Imagine the scene;

 

your army v their army. one of their soldiers kills 3 of your men. you balefire him. you now have 3 more men and one less of them. If the ratio of them killing you is 1:3 (you have a rubbish army, turn and run), then each time you balefire one of them, 3 of yours have never been killed... Especially if a powerful channeler is doing the balefiring; you could afford to leave it longer (and thus have more of your soldiers' deaths to erase) before balefiring...

 

Or maybe it wouldnt work like i'm thinking?

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yea that would probably work... i think there is even one theory for the last battle that says the dark one will only be able to escape when enough balefire is used to weaken reality, which means there would have to be many uses of balefire from both sides, maybe even balefiring someone who has balefired others...

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The reason balefire has generally been prohibited is because of the damage it can do to the pattern. Imagine the same piece of lace described earlier, with lots of different threads being burned out all in the same period of time. It would become very instable, and eventually fall to pieces completely. As strong a weapon as it could be in TG, the threat of doing too much damage to the pattern is too great for it to actually be used in the way you've described.

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yea that would probably work... i think there is even one theory for the last battle that says the dark one will only be able to escape when enough balefire is used to weaken reality, which means there would have to be many uses of balefire from both sides, maybe even balefiring someone who has balefired others...

 

That is unlikely. For starters we know that the effects of balefire are beyond even the Dark Ones ability to counteract or control. Secondly, we know that the Shadow forbade balefire just as strongly as the Light did. Altogether it seems clear... balefire is not a tool the Dark One wishes used in mass quantities.

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I know the basics of Balefire, but in TDR, chapter 39 - Treads in the Pattern [p 381 hardback], the wondergirls, lead by Nynaeve balefire three Myrddraal. And afterwards the people the Myrddraal killed, just seconds ago, are still dead.

 

Rhuarc even says it right out: "There is no need, Aes Sedai, they took Shadowman steel."

 

Anyone know why that would happen?

 

Where the Myrddraal already dead from Egwenes fire, or that air that forced them into a ball and that's why the Balefire didn't work or did Jordan just slip up and make a mistake?

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Most likely, Nynaeve didn't use a large enough amount/intensity of balefire to 'undo' the actions of the Myrddraal far enough back to have stopped the deaths of the Aiel.

 

Remember Rand is stronger in the power than even Nynaeve, probably by a significant enough margin (it's never really clear to me how much stronger) Rand only managed to erase minutes after balefiring Rahvin and that was with the help of the fat manangreal. Even a simple angreal makes a huge difference to how much someone can hold. The effects of angreal was discussed in a different post, I think it was decided that it does far more than simply 'add 30%' your ability, it I think it adds a few times extra what you can hold.

 

Here's the old discussion on it:

http://forums.dragonmount.com/index.php/topic,19212.0.html

 

Now, with the Choedan Kal, he could make it so someone never even existed.

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That is unlikely. For starters we know that the effects of balefire are beyond even the Dark Ones ability to counteract or control. Secondly, we know that the Shadow forbade balefire just as strongly as the Light did. Altogether it seems clear... balefire is not a tool the Dark One wishes used in mass quantities.

 

He wouldnt really need to control it, just use the effects of the unraveling fabric of reality... which for someone who plans on stopping the wheel of time and all that sort of evil stuff, unraveling reality shouldnt be that much of a stretch... as for the forbidding balefire... that was a general consensus by the channelers of both sides, humans who kind of need reality to survive... doesnt indicate that the dark one suggested that in any way... anyway it just seems that the dark one needs something extra to escape his prison, just having the seals break wouldnt be enough since he couldnt escape back in the age of legends before the seals were made in the first place

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Nyneave is definitely at the top when it comes to strength, but we have to remember that she hasn't reached her full potential yet, and she was at even less of her potential when she, Elayne and Egwene took out those Myrdraal.

 

When Nyneave Healed Logain, he stretched her shield to the point of breaking, "not to break it but as though he were stretching muscles he hadn't used in a while" (paraphrase), and we know that Logain is almost as strong as Rand...so it stands to reason that when Rand uses balefire, the effect is dramatically different than when Nyneave used it.

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He wouldnt really need to control it, just use the effects of the unraveling fabric of reality... which for someone who plans on stopping the wheel of time and all that sort of evil stuff, unraveling reality shouldnt be that much of a stretch... as for the forbidding balefire... that was a general consensus by the channelers of both sides, humans who kind of need reality to survive... doesnt indicate that the dark one suggested that in any way... anyway it just seems that the dark one needs something extra to escape his prison, just having the seals break wouldnt be enough since he couldnt escape back in the age of legends before the seals were made in the first place

 

The issue is that the effects of balefire exceed his ability to predict or control, and that includes the unravelling. For all his power, he is not omnipotent, and balefire and the resulting effects on reality are beyond his influence. So yes, he does want to break the wheel, but he wants to do it in his own way that he can control, not in a way that he had no influence over, and might potentially be dangerous to him (RJ stated that balefire could indeed destroy him, though the amounts would also unmake existence along with him--the reverse is something he must concider--what if the effect weaves him into the fabric of the pattern, what if the pattern collapses on him--we know it is large enough to contain him, it falling apart on him in a way that he can't control or influence...).

 

 

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