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Why Do None of the Characters Understand Balefire?


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It's not unpredictable.  It's very predictable.  If I erase someone from the pattern for X amount of time then all actions they took cease to exist.  In the event that weeks or months are removed this can cause a serious paradox.

 

If I balefire you for 30 seconds then only the things you did in those 30 seconds will be erased.  Not a second more or any other actions.  This means that if I am aware of your entire set of actions for that 30 seconds I can balefire you with complete control over the results.

 

I know exactly what I'm removing from the pattern.  People keep talking about how dangerous it is, and if you use too much or use it too freely I agree.  But for controlled uses, like getting Rand's hand back or saving Mat from a Darkhound, its very predictable and easy to control.

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Something I would like to point out is that you dont know how the pattern will re-make itself. If you have seen the butterfly effect you would know what i mean. A small chance can make a huge difference and probably for the worst. Thats the whole problem with time travel or in this case balefire

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I'm not sure how much balefire would be needed to actually unravel the pattern. I don't think it's even possible in the "current" day and age. It only almost unraveled during the War of Power, and entire cities with presumably hundreds of thousands if not millions of people in them were balefired. It would be foolish of Rand to stop using balefire when he must just because of that "threat".

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I dont think he should stop using it to kill the chosen, and such like, I just think he shouldnt use it as a sort of "undo" button every time he makes a mistake.

He would have been justified using balefire in the fight with Semirhage; yet now that Semirhage is their prisoner, there are few ways to justify it against her now.  (she attacking first, she facing trial then be convicted, it being done during a rescue attempt against the rescuers and she gets in the way of its path)

 

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Believe me, I understand the whole time paradox argument and the potential issues with Balefire.  I also understand how hard it would be to control...its not like a clock where you can say...'okay go back 30 seconds....now'.

 

It's more a guess and check process, but the fact of the matter is, shouold it be used to get the 'Lord Dragon's' hand back so he doesn't die in the Last Battle?  Come on, if entire cities were wiped out and that failed to unravel the Pattern, I'm pretty sure taking out a minute or two of ONE PERSON'S life wouldn't have catostrophic effects, especially as somebody above me said, everybody has seen what happens in those two minutes.

 

The whole time paradox thing is theoretical, in many ways the idea of Balefire is flawed.  If the dog slobbering on Mat never happened, then how does he remember it?  That seems a huge flaw to me, characters still remember what was done, even after said event was erased from history.

 

But the fact of the matter is, whether Balefire is right to use or not; why do none of the characters think it through properly.  Rand doesn't even think of it as an option anymore.  And why didn't he check to see if Morgase was still alive somewhere?

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About why Rand won't balefire Semi himself, not even thinking about it, because it's Rand. He couldn't make himself kill Lanfear even though he saw her killing Aviendha and Egwene , and since then he is even more reluctant to harm women himself.

 

Using balefire as last resort in a battle cause it's the most powerful weave the channelers know ,may be excused from time to time. But start using it like reset button for fixing your own mistakes, and you can end up on the fast train to Shadowvile, but then again even the Shadow might not want you then. It's selfish and close to playing a god, and those aren't usually the traits "good guys" have.

 

On the side note, the series won't be much interesting if every character capable of using it, starts trowing balefire around instead of fireballs or lightnings just cause it's cooler and have a bonus effect of undoing what the bad guy just did.

 

Interior: Inn

 

Mat: "Hey Rand my luck is a bit off today, just lost 50 gold marks to this guy." Point's someone in the crowd around one of the tables.

Rand: "Don't you worry, i'll take care of it."

Bright white light, people flashing out of existence.

Mat: "Oh thanks dude, let me buy you a drink." Fingering the fat purse filled with gold, that just appeared in his hand.

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I think balefire is a weave that was too powerful and therefore had to be curbed. If we push the idea of using too much of it - which a really mad channeller could do - we get Armageddon on a cosmic Randland level. If all is part of the pattern so is the "universe" as it is in Randland also part of it. Balefire could make everything fall apart. The whole thing strikes me as a mishap in writing from RJ's side. He invented THE bomb and it got out of hand.

 

 

 

No. He created a weave that could destroy reality and limited its use from both sides. Rand knows how dangerous it is, and IIRC nobody else of the Light knows it. The Dark One outlawed balefire in the War of the Power because the consequences applied to the Shadow as well as anyone else. Whole cities ceased to exist; if that isnt enough of a consequence to make its use extremely limited, then such an excuse does not exist. The characters themselves learn the consequences and so rarely use it. I doubt balefire will be Rands weapon of choice now.

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Is it just me, or does anyone else see the irony of a guy named Balefire to da face being against using balefire?  ;)

 

If you knew me, you would know it's even a bigger irony for me to argue against balefire on the basis of morality. I am not saying it's something I agree with, or that it's how I would act in that situation.

 

I am speaking from the parameters of the series. And as far as that goes, the very reason for Rand to exist is to protect the pattern from the Dark One. And yet, you think it's fine for Rand to do something to the pattern so damaging and wrong that even the DO won't let his followers do it?

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Is it just me, or does anyone else see the irony of a guy named Balefire to da face being against using balefire?  ;)

 

If you knew me, you would know it's even a bigger irony for me to argue against balefire on the basis of morality. I am not saying it's something I agree with, or that it's how I would act in that situation.

 

I am speaking from the parameters of the series. And as far as that goes, the very reason for Rand to exist is to protect the pattern from the Dark One. And yet, you think it's fine for Rand to do something to the pattern so damaging and wrong that even the DO won't let his followers do it?

 

Considering that Mat (a Ta'veren, who exists only to help Rand correct the Pattern) was killed by Rahvin, and Rand used balefire to bring him back, Id say yes, its fine for Rand to do it.

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Maybe it still damages the Pattern? I mean, whatever someone has been doing for 1 minute is removed. People alive will keep their memories, but small (tiny, actually) things are different then they should have been if the 1 minute hadn't been removed. The Wheel tries to correct everything, from the tiniest change in air molecules to where & what people would have done differently during that minute. If it's done a thousand times all over the world, then maybe the drift is too much for the Wheel?

 

 

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And why didn't he check to see if Morgase was still alive somewhere?

Where would he check?  Morgase was likely miles away from Caemlyn since she left like 30 to 31 days before he killed Rahvin; 29 to 30 days before he got the news.

 

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This all begs the question.. why didn't the mad male channelers after the War of Power use balefire? And if they did, why didn't reality implode? Seems like if they're mad enough to kill all their friends and family, and try to destroy the world one person/building/mountain at a time, they'd be mad enough to use balefire.

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This all begs the question.. why didn't the mad male channelers after the War of Power use balefire? And if they did, why didn't reality implode? Seems like if they're mad enough to kill all their friends and family, and try to destroy the world one person/building/mountain at a time, they'd be mad enough to use balefire.

Maybe it's a very complex weave that requires sane people with full mental concentration?  :-\

 

 

 

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why didn't the mad male channelers after the War of Power use balefire?

Against the Dark One?  It was told that the amount of One Power needed to balefire the Dark One would destroy the world.  From 13despository::

Why doesn't somebody just Balefire the Dark One?

The quantity necessary would destroy the world.

http://13depository.blogspot.com/2009/03/plots-characters-and-wheel-of-time.html

 

Against the Forsaken and/or against other Shadow forces?  It likely would not have made them sane again.

 

Against someone/something else?  It would do little (if any) good.

 

Maybe it's a very complex weave that requires sane people with full mental concentration?  :-\

Balefire seems to be a simple weave since it was discovered without guidance. (Rand against a dog during his trip to Tear, Nynaeve against myrddraal during her/Elayne's/Egwene's trip to Tear)

 

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why didn't the mad male channelers after the War of Power use balefire?

Against the Dark One?  It was told that the amount of One Power needed to balefire the Dark One would destroy the world.  From 13despository::

Why doesn't somebody just Balefire the Dark One?

The quantity necessary would destroy the world.

http://13depository.blogspot.com/2009/03/plots-characters-and-wheel-of-time.html

 

Against the Forsaken and/or against other Shadow forces?  It likely would not have made them sane again.

 

Against someone/something else?  It would do little (if any) good.

 

Maybe it's a very complex weave that requires sane people with full mental concentration?  :-\

Balefire seems to be a simple weave since it was discovered without guidance. (Rand against a dog during his trip to Tear, Nynaeve against myrddraal during her/Elayne's/Egwene's trip to Tear)

 

 

You completely missed my point. I'm not asking why they should or should not have done it, I was asking why they didn't do it. Why a bunch of raving mad channelers who had no qualms about destroying anything neglected to use the single most devastating weave in their arsenal. Unless they did use it, of course. In which case the question will be more like why didn't it ruin the pattern?

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This all begs the question.. why didn't the mad male channelers after the War of Power use balefire? And if they did, why didn't reality implode? Seems like if they're mad enough to kill all their friends and family, and try to destroy the world one person/building/mountain at a time, they'd be mad enough to use balefire.

Maybe it's a very complex weave that requires sane people with full mental concentration?  :-\

 

 

 

 

Or maybe people should realize that the Taint didnt turn them all evil, lusting for destruction, it made them all unaware of what they were doing. Like it made Lews Therin kill his family unknowingly, like it made Rand almost kill Bashere and all his own men unknowingly. Wildness of the mind.

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Exactly; it makes them all horribly and violently insane. Lews Therin was probably wandering through the halls, calling for Ilyena while he blasted everyone to smithereens.

 

LTT: Ilyena? Where are you?

Ilyena: I'm right here, please stop killing everyone.

LTT: I can't find you. *Blasts her with lightning* Where are you?

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I think balefire is a weave that was too powerful and therefore had to be curbed. If we push the idea of using too much of it - which a really mad channeller could do - we get Armageddon on a cosmic Randland level. If all is part of the pattern so is the "universe" as it is in Randland also part of it. Balefire could make everything fall apart. The whole thing strikes me as a mishap in writing from RJ's side. He invented THE bomb and it got out of hand.

 

 

 

No. He created a weave that could destroy reality and limited its use from both sides. Rand knows how dangerous it is, and IIRC nobody else of the Light knows it. The Dark One outlawed balefire in the War of the Power because the consequences applied to the Shadow as well as anyone else. Whole cities ceased to exist; if that isnt enough of a consequence to make its use extremely limited, then such an excuse does not exist. The characters themselves learn the consequences and so rarely use it. I doubt balefire will be Rands weapon of choice now.

 

I still believe that RJ ended up with a weapon he hadn't planned for. That happens in many stories, not a big deal. You create a sword that is All-Powerful but then you get to thinking: "Ok, so what happens next?" If the hero or villain get the thing it is Game Over. SO, author puts deadly curse on Sword. Or something to that effect. Perhaps Bailfire [sic!] isn't part of this here fine theory of mine but I get that feeling.

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If theres one thing ive learnt its that RJ never puts anything in by accident. I bet he knew eackly how powerful balefire was when he wrote it andf thats how he intended it to be

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