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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

No, Balefire Does Not Work Like that. (-- 2009 Empy Award Winner!)


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Erm, what I said about your extrapolation was the stuff you came out with about the Age Lace and Pattern being two seperate things, balefire damaging both, and only the Lace healing. You based that on... cloud fairies?

 

Nope.  On the explanation of the Wheel, the Power, and the Pattern in the BWB.  I quoted the relevant part.

And yes, the actions had no longer happened, but that doesn't mean that everything only somewhat related to what had happened change. Only those which would cause a paradox. If your understanding of balefire was correct (i.e. "Back To The Future method) it would constantly cause paradoxical time loops, and people's memories would change.

 

As far as I know, nobody has ever claimed that "everything only somewhat related to what had happened" changes.  But, those things directly traceable to the person who got balefired do change.  And, that is always more than what appears on the surface.

 

What needs to end up getting changed is always a factor of how much time is involved in the balefire incident.  Somebody only balefired back 2 seconds is going to need a lot less to be changed than somebody balefired back 2 hours.

 

IF Semirhage and Elza are only balefired back a few seconds, nothing about the scene as written needs to change.  But, if they got balefired back a few minutes, then a number of things need to change that did not change in that scene as written.  Min's bruises being one.

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Erm, what I said about your extrapolation was the stuff you came out with about the Age Lace and Pattern being two seperate things, balefire damaging both, and only the Lace healing. You based that on... cloud fairies?

 

Nope.  On the explanation of the Wheel, the Power, and the Pattern in the BWB.  I quoted the relevant part.

 

Like I said, the "relevant part" has barely anything to do with your elaborate over-extrapolation which you were trying to pass off as established fact.

And yes, the actions had no longer happened, but that doesn't mean that everything only somewhat related to what had happened change. Only those which would cause a paradox. If your understanding of balefire was correct (i.e. "Back To The Future method) it would constantly cause paradoxical time loops, and people's memories would change.

 

As far as I know, nobody has ever claimed that "everything only somewhat related to what had happened" changes.  But, those things directly traceable to the person who got balefired do change.  And, that is always more than what appears on the surface.

 

What needs to end up getting changed is always a factor of how much time is involved in the balefire incident.  Somebody only balefired back 2 seconds is going to need a lot less to be changed than somebody balefired back 2 hours.

 

IF Semirhage and Elza are only balefired back a few seconds, nothing about the scene as written needs to change.  But, if they got balefired back a few minutes, then a number of things need to change that did not change in that scene as written.  Min's bruises being one.

If they got balefired back a few minutes (which is more likely by far given the description of how much power Rand was holding) then things need to change if your opinion on how balefire works is correct. Are you infallible? Do you really think you have a more firm grasp than the author with RJ's own notes, his assistants and his editor? Not to mention all the fans who seem to understand it the same way they do. If so, that's a lot of hubris.

 

If it was really a complete time re-write as you seem to say then yes everything related to the person balefired over that period should change, even if those actions were only related slightly. But the Wheel only turns one way.

Here's a question, if there was a complete new timeline made each time somebody was balefired, why wouldn't the DO be able to transmigrate them? RJ's answer on the matter is that due to the Forsaken being killed in the past he has less of a window in which to transmigrate them, less time to react. But by your theory time went backwards and rewrote itself, creating a new timeline. The Dark One would have ample time to transmigrate, back at the moment when the Forsaken's thread was burned back to.

Or instead would you care to explain how Nynaeve was suddenly almost drowning once Moggy balefired her boat? If you are correct the balefire caused a complete new timeline rather than just causing the Wheel to fix any serious paradoxes. If that was the case surely she and the other passengers would have had time to make it on deck and get off the ship in the 'missing minutes'.

 

Your idea of how balefire work just isn't backed up by the books. You can claim "well it's hard to write they must make mistakes" if you want, but I think we all know who is more likely to be getting it wrong between you and RJ&BS.

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Say for instance I go to the harbour and see a boat, I BF that boat with all I have. Let's say I am pretty strong and I wipe that boat out of the pattern for an hour.

 

Does the fisherman, who got home twenty minutes ago with a shed load of fish, suddenly pop five miles back out to see and start drowning? Assuming he started fishing six hours ago, got on his boat when it existed, then five hours into his working day the boat just vanishes, completely.

 

In my understanding of things this hasn't actually been tested since the age of legends. Maybe we will see some results of this sort of thing since Rand did in Graendal's house.

 

As I see it the chap who was out fishing is home, he gets in and sorts out his fish, happily gutting away when I am at the harbour destroying his boat. The pattern (which is not sentient) can't be bothered drowning the fisherman. It just lets the fisherman keep his memories of a happy day fishing.

 

Or does it?

 

I want to know from both your perspectives what would happen in this scenario.

 

For a supplemental to the above lets say that on the fisherman's way home he bumps into another boat and after swapping insurance details with the owner he apologises for making a hole in the other man's bow and continues home.

 

This hole would cease to be but would the fisherman still phone up his insurer the next day?

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My understanding is that he would die at sea, and that is why balefire is so dangerous to the pattern - because all the stuff would have to readjust itself to allow for the fisherman to die at sea.

 

If nothing happened, I don't really see the threat balefire poses to the pattern?

 

Your example is somewhat close to what happened with Nynaeve in the harbor.

 

The balefire burned a hole in the boat, back in time, so that it started to take on water before the balefire was shot. That means in the patter reajusted itself to having a siking boat in the flash between the balefire striking the target and the target being balefired.

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Say for instance I go to the harbour and see a boat, I BF that boat with all I have. Let's say I am pretty strong and I wipe that boat out of the pattern for an hour.

I'm really not sure what happens with vehicles. We've been told that every object has a thread, but it's not entirely clear what happens when a ship, or carriage, or sho-wing is balefired strongly just after people have disembarked.

If I had to guess I'd say the fisherman would drown at sea, but I wouldn't put money on it.

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Say for instance I go to the harbour and see a boat, I BF that boat with all I have. Let's say I am pretty strong and I wipe that boat out of the pattern for an hour.

 

Does the fisherman, who got home twenty minutes ago with a shed load of fish, suddenly pop five miles back out to see and start drowning? Assuming he started fishing six hours ago, got on his boat when it existed, then five hours into his working day the boat just vanishes, completely.

 

In my understanding of things this hasn't actually been tested since the age of legends. Maybe we will see some results of this sort of thing since Rand did in Graendal's house.

 

As I see it the chap who was out fishing is home, he gets in and sorts out his fish, happily gutting away when I am at the harbour destroying his boat. The pattern (which is not sentient) can't be bothered drowning the fisherman. It just lets the fisherman keep his memories of a happy day fishing.

 

Or does it?

 

I want to know from both your perspectives what would happen in this scenario.

 

For a supplemental to the above lets say that on the fisherman's way home he bumps into another boat and after swapping insurance details with the owner he apologises for making a hole in the other man's bow and continues home.

 

This hole would cease to be but would the fisherman still phone up his insurer the next day?

 

For what happens to the fisherman we just need to look at the balefiring of the fortress for guidance.  When it was destroyed, it didn't vanish dumping a bunch of people into the snow, it took everybody with it.

 

In the first case, the fisherman's history kills him.  His thread was intertwined with the boat's thread at the instant of its destruction.

 

In the second case, if the boat was balefired back to before it made the hole, the fisherman would again be dead, because, again he was on the boat at the instant it was destroyed.

 

The only way he survives is if the quantity of balefire used was so small that it only burned away part of the boat.  Then he finds himself, like Nynaeve, trying not to drown.

 

That's why whoever wove the Compulsion on Doofusface has to be dead.  Side note:  Mr. Hindley has a good speculation.  Graendal and Aran'gar seemed to be working up to some kind of mutual endeavor.  We've seen nothing of Aran'gar for awhile now.  The Compulsion Nynaeve found was "different."  There is a possibility that the weaver was Aran'gar and not Graendal.  But, whoever it was died in that fortress, because the instant of destruction was before Doofusface got there and before that person had any idea they might be in danger.

 

The only people who would have survived the fortress incident would be those, like Doofusface, who would have arrived after the fortress actually ceased to exist and then left before the fortress was struck by the balefire.

 

The tricky part about how that works is that balefire burns backward in time.  Anybody still in the fortress when the balefire struck dies.  Anybody still in the fortress at the actual instant of destruction dies.  Only those who both arrived and left between those two points in time, like Doofusface, survive.

 

Illustration:

 

At 9:01 a messenger arrives at an office building, goes inside, delivers his package to Jack and then leaves at 9:03.  On his way out, he meets Joe coming in, late to work again.  At 9:04 Jack leaves to make a sales call.  At 9:05, the building gets balefired back to 9:00.

 

Jack dies.  Even though he left before the balefire struck, his thread was there when the building ceased to exist.

 

Joe dies.  Even though he got there late, his thread was in the building when everything started to burn backwards in time.  He actually dies before he gets to the building.

 

The package is destroyed.  Even though it supposedly arrived after the building ceased to exist, like Joe, its thread was still there when the burn backward started.

 

The messenger lives.  He supposedly arrived after the building ceased to exist and left before it started to burn.  In actuality, when he pulls up to the building and reaches for that package, he finds nothing.  The package has already been destroyed.  It vanished at 9:00, and even though the messenger remembers seeing it and remembers needing to stop, he doesn't.   With no package to deliver, he shakes his head in puzzlement, and moves on, never having entered the building.  Never having spoken to either Jack or Joe.  Even though he remembers having done all three things.

 

EDIT: On further reflection, the messenger doesn't even bother to reach for the no longer existing package, because he's just pulled up to a smoking hole in the ground.

 

 

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I really really really can't remember but for some reason I think that the girls were on a sea folk boat when they used the balefire ter'angreal.

 

which was mentioned in the above post...

i need sleep.

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I really really really can't remember but for some reason I think that the girls were on a sea folk boat when they used the balefire ter'angreal.

 

Maybe you're thinking of the scene when Nynaeve was on the boat when Moggy tried to balefire her?

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Take Bob's opinions on how balefire works with a pinch of salt though, the way he understands it doesn't explain a few things.

Such as the damage to the Caemlyn palace, the general lack of people 'teleporting' to a different place once someone is balefired (Nyn's boat being an exception for a couple of reasons), and the fact that people's memories should change if it works like he thinks.

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Take Bob's opinions on how balefire works with a pinch of salt though, the way he understands it doesn't explain a few things.

Such as the damage to the Caemlyn palace, the general lack of people 'teleporting' to a different place once someone is balefired (Nyn's boat being an exception for a couple of reasons), and the fact that people's memories should change if it works like he thinks.

 

No.  Jordan's rules for balefire consistently state that the memories remain even though the circumstances change.

 

Take the Rahvin case.  Asmo, Mat and Avi die from lightning.  They're dead... still dead.... dead.... Rand balefires Rahvin.

 

How you want things to work, they then suddenly spring to life, having been dead for X minutes, and time keeps rolling forward.

 

The way it actually works is that they never died in the first place.  Even though Rand, and lots of Aiel remember seeing their bodies laying there smoking and smoldering away, those bodies never were there.  The interval during the Preliminary Reality during which they were dead gets erased and that entire interval get rewoven into the Final Reality where they never died.

 

That's how that incident fulfills the 'Finn answer, "To die and live again a part of what was."  If there were no reweave, Mat couldn't "live again a part of what was." because the "was" part of that would all be in the "dead" part of Mat's past.

 

Balticon XXX April 1996 - Bill Garrett reporting

 

Mat's amulet blocks both saidin and saidar. Jordan answered this one straight-out when asked. He pointed out that the amulet only blocks actual weavings of the One Power, not the physical effects that could be caused by a weaving. For example, Elayne was able to use the One Power to hurl a rock at Mat. Rahvin was able to create a bolt of lightning which struck Mat. (Jordan noted that Mat's death by lightning and subsequent undoing of his death when Rand balefired Rahvin, fulfills a prophecy about living, dying, and then living again.)

 

The balefire does not resurrect Mat, it undoes his death.

 

The simplest analogy I can think of is like making a post on this forum.

 

You open a window and type a response.  Your computer buffers what you type.  This is a Preliminary Reality.

 

You look it over.  Decide you want to change a line here, and remove a whole paragraph there.  The computer rewrites its buffer to reflect those changes.

 

Now, finally happy with your response you hit the Submit button.  Then and only then does your post get transmitted to the host, saved in the database, and finally appear in the thread.  All of that preliminary stuff got rewritten before it ever became "permanent."  The submitted post becomes the Final Reality.

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The way it actually works is that they never died in the first place.  Even though Rand, and lots of Aiel remember seeing their bodies laying there smoking and smoldering away, those bodies never were there.  The interval during the Preliminary Reality during which they were dead gets erased and that entire interval get rewoven into the Final Reality where they never died.

Mat died and lived again when Rand Balefired Rahvin. So, yes, they died.

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The way it actually works is that they never died in the first place.  Even though Rand, and lots of Aiel remember seeing their bodies laying there smoking and smoldering away, those bodies never were there.  The interval during the Preliminary Reality during which they were dead gets erased and that entire interval get rewoven into the Final Reality where they never died.

Mat died and lived again when Rand Balefired Rahvin. So, yes, they died.

 

They did but they didn't.  Mat can't "live again a part of what was" if he was dead at the time.  He can only do that if his death is undone, not if he is resurrected.

 

Your version is he died and was resurrected.  What Jordan said is that the death becomes undone.

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They did but they didn't.

No, they did and they did.

 

Mat can't "live again a part of what was" if he was dead at the time.

No, he can't "live again a part of what was" if he was not dead at the time.

 

He can only do that if his death is undone, not if he is resurrected.

I've not said that he was resurrected. Balefire undoes some things.

 

Your version is he died and was resurrected.

No, that's not my version.

 

What Jordan said is that the death becomes undone.

Exactly.

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Mat can't "live again a part of what was" if he was dead at the time.

No, he can't "live again a part of what was" if he was not dead at the time.

 

A lot of stuff went on in that Square between the time Rand sees them "dead" and the time that he balefires Rahvin.  Some of that's the "part of what was," because some of that stuff disappears once the deaths are undone and some doesn't.

 

Mat "lives again" the "part of what was" that the balefire did not undo.  The part that was common to both the Preliminary Reality and the Final Reality.  The part that he missed the first time through due to being potentially dead and all.

 

The 'Finns tell him he must do two mutually contradictory things.  He must die, and he must live again a part of what was.  In short he has to experience a paradox.  He has to become Schrodinger's cat, both dead and alive at the same time.  Balefire is the only thing that provides just that paradox.  Balefire is the only thing that causes time and reality to be rewoven.

 

Preliminary Timeline - Mat dies.  Stuff happens after he dies.  Because he's dead he doesn't experience any of it.

Final Timeline - Mat does not die.  He gets to experience the stuff he missed in the Preliminary Timeline.

 

He's Schrodinger's cat, both dead and not dead at the same time.

 

The Wheel touches everything that exists within the Pattern, including all the Worlds of If.  It spins all of those Worlds of If in parallel.  Reality moves between them according to what actually happens.

 

Initially things look like reality is going to flow through one of those Worlds of If.  One where Mat, Avi, and Asmo all die.  As it turns out, reality flows through a different World of If where they all live.  Schrodinger has lots of cats.  One sits at the junction where each World of If splits off from some other World of If.

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There's no need to bring up Schroedinger's cat. It has nothing to do with WoT. If it did, then it would surely be living in Tar Valon. Alive and well at all times.  :D

 

Well, being Schrodinger's cat, it must necessarily be a smart cat.  And, I agree, a smart cat would be where the cream flows most freely. ;)

 

If we try to reduce the problem to quantum mechanics, at any instant in the Wheel of Time, reality is indeterminate until enough additional time has passed that no extant power is capable of any longer altering the state of that instant.

 

Which kinda means nobody knows what really happened until sometime in the future.

 

Nasty, nasty stuff, balefire.

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Re Schroedinger's cat, I hate that whole nonsense which goes along with that we need to perceive it happening blahblah - did you read the Flashforward book? I did, a lot of chat about it in there too. The cat is not both dead and not dead at the same time in two worlds of IF... just don't start with that!

 

Anyway, back to reality and the WOT - the research of which is useful unlike that Cat Chat! Thanks to the people who answered my boat question, it has cleared a lot of my thoughts up on the BF issue - the fisherman drowns, the fish were never gutted, some of them may have even survived and never been caught which is good as the stocks are important.

 

I would like to ask an additional thing which has been bugging me. Please don't answer this with "the pattern would unravel"

 

What happens if instead of an hour of the boat's thread being deleted me and 64 other AS link up with 64 CKs and we all use the TP and OP and throw everything we have that the fracking boat. We do this say ten years after the boat went out and did that fishing - and we burn it right back to half way through the trip, so 10 years and 1 hour exactly.

 

In the interim 10 years the fisherman got home, gutted the fish and made love to his sexy fish wife. She has a baby, we can call this baby Alpha. The fish get sold and lots of people have dinner. The other boat goes out to sea and the owner and his four year old son, Beta, die as a result of the hole in the bow, caused by Alpha's pop.

 

Alpha grows up to be a healthy nine year old (accounting for the time Mammy spent preggers) and enjoys maths, science and football (soccer to you Americans) his team win the final of the under 10s world cup and he scores the winning goal.

 

Then the Balefire incident occurs, the world remembers Alpha but Beta who would now be 14 is back alive -  no one will know him.

 

What happens to Alpha and Beta?

 

What happens to the Sexy Fish Wife? Does she remember her own child and then does she feel a sense of loss or does she just have Matt style memories as if they are someone else's but also their own?

 

Does Beta just instantly integrate into society? Is he a four year old in a 14 year old's body or is he in a 4 year old's body?

 

 

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what a bunch of nonsense.

 

you heard it folks.. this crap is NONSENSE! it has been made official. lets close this thread before more people have nerdgasms at discussing the cosmic effects of balefire

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Take Bob's opinions on how balefire works with a pinch of salt though, the way he understands it doesn't explain a few things.

Such as the damage to the Caemlyn palace, the general lack of people 'teleporting' to a different place once someone is balefired (Nyn's boat being an exception for a couple of reasons), and the fact that people's memories should change if it works like he thinks.

<snip>

You still aren't answering any of the problems I've identified in your theory of how Balefire acts.

 

Here's another for good measure: if a new timeline was made as you seem to thing (rather than the pattern just trying to solve paradoxes at the moment balefire was used) then surely people would have time to react to the 'new' circumstances? Nynaeve wouldn't have found herself instantly drowning for example, she would have used the elapsed minutes to get up on deck and jump over the side - or left her cabin to try at least. The Dark One would also have time to 'react' and transmigrate the soul of a balefired Forsaken if balefire simply reset time, creating a new chain of events.

Someone who has been killed with balefire in actuality died before the apparent time of his or her death, and thus the window of opportunity for the Dark One to secure that soul for transmigration is gone before the Dark One can know that the soul must be secured unless the amount of balefire used is very small.
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I would still like to know what would happen to Alpha and Beta in the scenario I detailed before but in the mean time, Bob - do you think that had the boat been balefired with more power and therefore for a longer time Nynaeve would have drowned and now be dead?

 

Lets say the boat was BFd for thirty seconds, not enough time to drown, necessarily, as she wouldn't have necessarily been breathing in water. However, if the boat had been done for about four minutes then Nynaeve  would have drowned by the time she realised the boat did not exist.

 

What do you say? Or could the boat have been BFd for a whole hour and she would still have only just appeared in the water?

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Balefiring 10 years of a person away is unprecedented. It would probably severely damage the Pattern, similar to how balefiring tens of thousands of people back a few minutes did.

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