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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
JenniferL

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

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It was briefly mentioned earlier (but not really discussed) about the palace being entirely balefired, and someone stated (i don't care who) that if someone who had been in the palace near the time of the BFing but left before it, the BF was powerful enough to go back before that time that hypothetical person was in it, that they would be killed by the palace's thread (or perhaps some other means - they were not very clear...) burning backwards tjrough the pattern.

 

This is proposterous. The fact is, a different reality would now exist, where they would have had no palace to go to, and ended up doing something else, even though they remember being in the palace. But they are not dead.

 

Maybe they have a muddy dress from being in a palce one second and standing on a bare patch of earth the next (in the other possibility that the palace was erased back to a time that they were still present), but they simply left for the next village, or whatever one does upon finding themselves in that situation. And they will wonder and exclaim "How did my dress get all muddy?", but they will never remember, and the dry cleaning servant will think her lady has been romping with the stable boy out the back again, and no amount of persuasion or reweaving of the pattern will ever change her mind.

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I do not think it would be possible to Balefire yourself... If it had been possible, then you couldn't have woven the Balefire. Your thread, everything you did and all the weaving you performed (Rahvin's lightning) is undone. If your weaving was undone, then there would be no Balefire. I think, if anyone could invent a situation were it could happen, then the weave wouldn't work. It can't undo itself, so there wont be any Balefire. That's my guess, anyway. Take it or leave it. It probably won't occur in the series. :D

 

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Maybe they have a muddy dress from being in a palce one second and standing on a bare patch of earth the next (in the other possibility that the palace was erased back to a time that they were still present), but they simply left for the next village, or whatever one does upon finding themselves in that situation. And they will wonder and exclaim "How did my dress get all muddy?", but they will never remember, and the dry cleaning servant will think her lady has been romping with the stable boy out the back again, and no amount of persuasion or reweaving of the pattern will ever change her mind.

 

Actually the original question posed whether the person could be balefired but still have sent out the balefired. It seems to me that a sufficently so thread of balelfire might permit the person to be balefired back to a time after he sent the balefire and before he he got hit by it. Moreover RJ's supposed response means that we are taking this a bit two seriously, its a story.

 

It cannot resolve the balefire because doing so would create a paradox. so it leave it alone.

 

Actually you are partially wrong. The paradox exists as the person's thread may have been burned back prior to the time that he sent out the  balefire in which case there would not have existed balefire to kill him. Further, paradox would exist in any event as persons would know about actions that never occured.

 

 

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I'll leave it. It was already pretty much agreed on the forums that balefire is the only thing balefire cannot undo.

 

It would be a similar situation if two people simaultaneously fired same strenght of bale fire at each other (one high, one low, to avoid mind-mergers ;)), and upon the balefire hitting striking (at obv the same instant) both people would cease to exist, as 'per normal' with balefire.

Again, just an opinion. No evidence.

But i sits better than 'they (weaves) would not work' or 'balefire would cease to exist before hitting opponent', and is less lazy than 'the pattern would unravel'. Well, sorta less lazy  :P. The pattern can simply eliminate the paradox by getting rid of both guys as if they had both been struck by seperate people (who did not consequentially BF each other).

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Copied from Theoryland:

Q: "If person A balefires person B, then person C balefires person A, what happens?" 

RJ: Depends on how strong the balefire was....

 

 

 

 

 

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Q: What happens when two people balefire each other simultaneously? 

RJ: A lot of confusion.

:D

(it would probably be difficult to balefire each other simultaneously with the exact same amount of BF. Just my guess. Won't matter much, though.)

 

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Ah yes, i see what your saying. Jordan had not come up with the answer to every crazy balefire scenario (and the fans sure have no shortage of those), so he hadn't decided/figured out yet what might happened in those situations.

But one things for sure: he never said the pattern would unravel :D. Confusion, thats what he said.

 

Hmm. I wonder how he'd have developed that...?

 

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It seems logical to me, that in the world RJ has created, that the Creation is a living thing and that the threads in the Pattern are part of that organism, sort of like panpsychism. As a living thing, Creation attempts to heal itself, and certain events like balefire do a great deal more damage. While inanimate and animate objects might be equally tied to the Pattern, the living have a greater impact on other threads due to their interactive nature.

 

Paradox would be a wound to Creation, but a minor one if only a few threads are affected. A thread (a single life) with the bead of life on it that has died still lives, and carries on to grown another bead of life in Rebirth. The Pattern's own healing begins anew where it left off. This reality seems to be reflected best by Mat and Rand, but especially Mat, who has access to all the memories of his thread. When he asked for his memories back, the thread, being part of him, was what the Aelfinn (?) granted. All of them.

 

Threads tied together by an interaction of their beads can be healed as the balefire has burned the end of those threads (the future that has not grown yet) back to the point of the interaction before the bead of life died. A life severed by balefire cannot continue to grow and Rebirth does not happen.

 

The greater the damage created by Balefire, the greater the impact on the Pattern, as more threads become damaged. Theoretically, the Pattern could survive any widespread balefire damage as it sprouts new beads from interactions and continues on from the remaining ones, but the beads need interaction to be sustained, and the fallout of the damage in the physical plane could kill the survivors, ensuring that the threads can no longer grow.

 

The past might still exist, but it becomes irrelevant to a dead Pattern.

 

Just some thoughts on it by a newcomer. Take as you will.

 

~ $0.02

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It seems logical to me, that in the world RJ has created, that the Creation is a living thing and that the threads in the Pattern are part of that organism, sort of like panpsychism. As a living thing, Creation attempts to heal itself, and certain events like balefire do a great deal more damage. While inanimate and animate objects might be equally tied to the Pattern, the living have a greater impact on other threads due to their interactive nature.

 

Paradox would be a wound to Creation, but a minor one if only a few threads are affected. A thread (a single life) with the bead of life on it that has died still lives, and carries on to grown another bead of life in Rebirth. The Pattern's own healing begins anew where it left off. This reality seems to be reflected best by Mat and Rand, but especially Mat, who has access to all the memories of his thread. When he asked for his memories back, the thread, being part of him, was what the Aelfinn (?) granted. All of them.

 

Threads tied together by an interaction of their beads can be healed as the balefire has burned the end of those threads (the future that has not grown yet) back to the point of the interaction before the bead of life died. A life severed by balefire cannot continue to grow and Rebirth does not happen.

 

The greater the damage created by Balefire, the greater the impact on the Pattern, as more threads become damaged. Theoretically, the Pattern could survive any widespread balefire damage as it sprouts new beads from interactions and continues on from the remaining ones, but the beads need interaction to be sustained, and the fallout of the damage in the physical plane could kill the survivors, ensuring that the threads can no longer grow.

 

The past might still exist, but it becomes irrelevant to a dead Pattern.

 

Just some thoughts on it by a newcomer. Take as you will.

 

~ $0.02

 

 

Makes perfect sense. Explains everything in a somewhat confusing way, but it makes sense! Kudos!

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Ever since Moraine first explained the nature of Balefire, I've been waiting for it to be used as a major plot device. It's been used a few times, such as Rhavin's death and the reversal of Mat/Asmodean/Avhienda's deaths, but that wasn't it being used as a plot device, but just an example of how it works.  Then comes Graendal. Using the compulsion weave as a litmus for Graendal's death was brilliant, but still not as big as I was hoping to see. The Graendal/Asmodean theory though, would be impeccable, and having liked Asmodean so much, I really hope it turns out to be the case.

Asmodean is still dead.

 

Since Balefire doesn't change people's reactions even when it burns back, Asmodean (if no longer killed at that time) would not have been eating.  So even if Asmodean were "un-killed" he would've starved to death.

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I more or less agree with you about how the pattern works, a couple of corrections though.

 

but especially Mat, who has access to all the memories of his thread. When he asked for his memories back, the thread, being part of him, was what the Aelfinn (?) granted. All of them.

 

Mat's Memories aren't from his thread they came from adventurers who went into Finnland.

 

Q: Are all of Mat's memories from his past lives?

RJ: No, Mat's "old" memories are not from his past lives at all. The "sickness" he got from the Shadar Logoth dagger resulted in holes in his memory. He found whole stretches of his life that seemed to be missing. When he passed through the "doorframe" ter'angreal in Rhuidean, one of the things he said - not knowing that the rules here were different than in the other ter'angreal he had used - was that he wanted the holes in his memory filled up, meaning that he wanted to recover his own memories. In this place, however, it was not a matter of asking questions and receiving answers, but of striking bargains for what you want. What he received for that particular demand was memories gathered by the people on that side of the ter'angreal, memories from many men, all long dead, from many cultures. And since not everyone passing by has the nerve to journey through a ter'angreal to some other world, the memories he received were those of adventurers and soldiers and men of daring.  [see TOR Questions above - RJ clarified that most of Mat's memory donors entered 'Finnland through the Tower of Ghenjei. - Terez]

 

A life severed by balefire cannot continue to grow and Rebirth does not happen.

 

Balefire does not prevent rebirth

 

It was also mentioned that balefire does not mean that someone can’t be reborn into the Pattern. I was very surprised by this and hadn’t heard it before, but apparently Brandon has said it in previous Q&A sessions. Brandon said he was also surprised but that Maria was very insistent about this – so if the Dragon Reborn was balefired, he could still be reborn.

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Who says that how far back the actions of one burned out is determined by power? What if it is determined by Rand really wanting to help his friends out? Why is it power and not feeling? The amount of anger you have about an event would be linked to power, naturally, but why is it so ... mathematical?

 

From the linusmafia site, the following quote from TFOH:

"When anything is destroyed with balefire, it ceases to exist before the moment of its destruction, like a thread that burns away from where the flame touched it. The greater the power of the balefire, the further back in time it ceases to exist. The strongest [Moiraine] can manage will remove only a few seconds from the Pattern...For as far back as you destroy [something], whatever it did during that time no longer happened. Only the memories remain, for those who saw or experienced it." [TFOH: 6, Gateways, 119]

 

In other words, Jordan said it, and any claims that the temporal effect of balefire is regulated by "desire" appears to be unsupported by the books.

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It seems logical to me, that in the world RJ has created, that the Creation is a living thing and that the threads in the Pattern are part of that organism, sort of like panpsychism. As a living thing, Creation attempts to heal itself, and certain events like balefire do a great deal more damage. While inanimate and animate objects might be equally tied to the Pattern, the living have a greater impact on other threads due to their interactive nature.

 

Paradox would be a wound to Creation, but a minor one if only a few threads are affected. A thread (a single life) with the bead of life on it that has died still lives, and carries on to grown another bead of life in Rebirth. The Pattern's own healing begins anew where it left off. This reality seems to be reflected best by Mat and Rand, but especially Mat, who has access to all the memories of his thread. When he asked for his memories back, the thread, being part of him, was what the Aelfinn (?) granted. All of them.

Threads tied together by an interaction of their beads can be healed as the balefire has burned the end of those threads (the future that has not grown yet) back to the point of the interaction before the bead of life died. A life severed by balefire cannot continue to grow and Rebirth does not happen.

 

The greater the damage created by Balefire, the greater the impact on the Pattern, as more threads become damaged. Theoretically, the Pattern could survive any widespread balefire damage as it sprouts new beads from interactions and continues on from the remaining ones, but the beads need interaction to be sustained, and the fallout of the damage in the physical plane could kill the survivors, ensuring that the threads can no longer grow.

 

The past might still exist, but it becomes irrelevant to a dead Pattern.

 

 

Sorry that i'm backtracking on this thread (i was away for awhile and am just catching up), but i must say, except for the parts iv mad smaller, which were slightly divergent from your main point anyway: Bravo sir, Bravo.

This is the absolute closest fitting analogy for the nature of the pattern that i have seen to date. It seems to fit every piece of evidence, every oddity we have seen, and by extension of your theory, great damage which kills the pattern, or things like the black wind or the SL evil, could be considered diseases or even cancers.

Maybe

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I was trying to read the entire thread to make sure I'm not reposting something, but I had to stop around page 15 when it appeared to degenerate into a flame-war about real world time-travel.  As such, please forgive me if either of these points are repetitions.

 

Balefire kills by burning the thread backwards in time, right?  Doing significant damage to the Pattern in the process.  The TP works entirely by doing damage directly to the Pattern.  Is balefire just OP simulated TP blasts?

 

When do the bubbles of evil begin appearing relative to balefire use?  Is there a good chronology site up somewhere that I could use to answer that?

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Lets say that the pattern is made up of many threads. Whenever two threads interact with each other they are attached at that point. You could imagine this is done with beads, but I find that the simplest way is that they merge into one thread while they are interacting then separate afterwards. This would be similar to braiding them together. RJ said at some point that all things have threads, I can't remember where the quote is but he definitely said it. This is also proved because BF works on nonliving objects as well as living ones. If BF works, then the object must have a thread to burn. This means that simply by existing, one thread is always interacting with many others. This means that they have been "braided" together. Lets say that Bob was standing on the ground, but doing nothing else. His feet would be interacting with the ground so they would be braided together. Lets say that Charlie was standing somewhere else. He would also be interacting with the ground so he would be braided with the ground as well. However, unless Bob and Charlie are interacting with each other, their threads would never connect. If all of these ideas are true then we can use this model to understand the effects of Balefire.

When Ravi(sp) killed Mat, he used the power. Energy does not have a thread so according to the model, Mat and Ravi's threads were combined, then when they separated, Mat was dead. His body was still interacting with the ground and the air though. When Rand BFed Ravi, Ravi's thread burnt back to before he interacted with Mat. This means that the interaction they had no longer occurred, so Mat was no longer dead. Most theories about BF agree with this. When we use the model to analyse the bruises on Min's neck after Rand uses BF on Semirage(sp), we can see that the model is more useful. When Semi forced Rand to choke Min, Semi's thread and Rand's thread were braided together and Rand's thread and Min's thread were braided together. When Rand BFed Semi, even if her thread burnt back before she and Rand's interacted, the interaction between Rand and Min still exists, therefore the bruises on Min's neck remain.

The danger of BF comes from the fact that if enough threads are destroyed, then the pattern would not have enough connections to hold itself together, and could fall apart.

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I was trying to read the entire thread to make sure I'm not reposting something, but I had to stop around page 15 when it appeared to degenerate into a flame-war about real world time-travel.  As such, please forgive me if either of these points are repetitions.

 

Balefire kills by burning the thread backwards in time, right?  Doing significant damage to the Pattern in the process.  The TP works entirely by doing damage directly to the Pattern.  Is balefire just OP simulated TP blasts?

 

When do the bubbles of evil begin appearing relative to balefire use?  Is there a good chronology site up somewhere that I could use to answer that?

My theory is that, if the bubbles of evil are caused by BF, then the time that the bubble takes place is not exclusively dependent on the time the BF takes place. When the thread is burned by BF, it or the threads around it create a kind of backlash. This backlash travels backwards through the pattern until something causes it to be released, forming a bubble of evil.

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Ever since Moraine first explained the nature of Balefire, I've been waiting for it to be used as a major plot device. It's been used a few times, such as Rhavin's death and the reversal of Mat/Asmodean/Avhienda's deaths, but that wasn't it being used as a plot device, but just an example of how it works.  Then comes Graendal. Using the compulsion weave as a litmus for Graendal's death was brilliant, but still not as big as I was hoping to see. The Graendal/Asmodean theory though, would be impeccable, and having liked Asmodean so much, I really hope it turns out to be the case.

Asmodean is still dead.

 

Since Balefire doesn't change people's reactions even when it burns back, Asmodean (if no longer killed at that time) would not have been eating.  So even if Asmodean were "un-killed" he would've starved to death.

 

I don't think Asmodean was balefired. Why? RaT severed his ties to the DO. I believe the DO can only give rebirth to the threads that are directly connected to him. The Forsaken all have the same tie to him that Asmo had. When any Forsaken get balefired the thread and the ties to the DO are severed. Without that tie, the DO can't revive his Chosen servants. Asmodean IMO didn't need to be balefired to never be seen again or resurrected by the DO, because he lost his ties to the DO. Remember how shocked Asmo was when the tie was cut to begin with. He had an incredulous look, like the impossible had been done. Not only did Asmo realize that he was no longer protected against the taint, but that he was no longer tied to the DO, and that if he was killed(Forsake or by whomever)the DO would not be able to rebirth his soul.

 

Once gain, just an opinion.

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I always thought that Balefire was the ultimate death and it prevented rebirth as well.

 

Well, we know that it prevents specialized resurrection for the Forsaken, but it's not confirmed for Rebirth. I recall seeing someone writing somewhere (after I'd written short essay on the Pattern) that RJ states the soul does not die even if Balefired, so I'd speculate that it's -only- the thread that is destroyed and that the soul can't be reborn.

 

 

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I always thought that Balefire was the ultimate death and it prevented rebirth as well.

 

Well, we know that it prevents specialized resurrection for the Forsaken, but it's not confirmed for Rebirth. I recall seeing someone writing somewhere (after I'd written short essay on the Pattern) that RJ states the soul does not die even if Balefired, so I'd speculate that it's -only- the thread that is destroyed and that the soul can't be reborn.

 

 

 

I believe it was confirmed that balefired souls do get reborn eventually, because balefire only destroys the thread and not the soul. Dying by regular means only ends the weaving of that thread, but doesn't destroy it.

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I believe it was confirmed that balefired souls do get reborn eventually, because balefire only destroys the thread and not the soul. Dying by regular means only ends the weaving of that thread, but doesn't destroy it.

 

Actually, the Dark One itself confirmed that the soul is somehow detached from the Wheel, probably via thread removal, and puts the soul "outside of time", a place even the DO itself can't step. I suppose the soul could radiate back to the Wheel and somehow grow a new thread eventually, but you'd need a confirmation on that.

 

This makes a lot of sense in the context of the Wheel of Time being like a spool with a tapestry on it, the threads of the tapestry making up the Age Lace (referred to by Moiraine). Any disconnection of those threads (see: balefire) would remove them from the Wheel.

 

However, the thread is only burned yea-far back, so it seems sketchy as to what that means in the greater scheme.

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I believe it was confirmed that balefired souls do get reborn eventually, because balefire only destroys the thread and not the soul. Dying by regular means only ends the weaving of that thread, but doesn't destroy it.

 

Actually, the Dark One itself confirmed that the soul is somehow detached from the Wheel, probably via thread removal, and puts the soul "outside of time", a place even the DO itself can't step. I suppose the soul could radiate back to the Wheel and somehow grow a new thread eventually, but you'd need a confirmation on that.

 

This makes a lot of sense in the context of the Wheel of Time being like a spool with a tapestry on it, the threads of the tapestry making up the Age Lace (referred to by Moiraine). Any disconnection of those threads (see: balefire) would remove them from the Wheel.

 

However, the thread is only burned yea-far back, so it seems sketchy as to what that means in the greater scheme.

 

I believe the balefire question of wwheter or not someone killed by balefire could be reborn, was answered by RJ in a Q&A. Ibelieve it's posted here somewhere. He said that someone who is balefired could be reborn again. It just destroys there thread and not their soul. Their soul will never die, it just keeps getting spun out into the pattern.

 

Also remember, you cannot believe ANYTHING a Forsaken tells you. And if that's the case, you REALLY can't believe ANYTHING the DO is selling.

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I believe the balefire question of wwheter or not someone killed by balefire could be reborn, was answered by RJ in a Q&A. Ibelieve it's posted here somewhere. He said that someone who is balefired could be reborn again. It just destroys there thread and not their soul. Their soul will never die, it just keeps getting spun out into the pattern.

 

I'll have to see if I can dig it out. Was it posted in this thread?

 

Also remember, you cannot believe ANYTHING a Forsaken tells you. And if that's the case, you REALLY can't believe ANYTHING the DO is selling.

 

I understand the credibility issue. However, in this case, the DO had a vested interest in resurrecting Rahvin. Rahvin's a valuable servant, and while prone to vanity and the like could easily have been re-used as a subject of Moridin. When it (the DO) says that it cannot do this because it cannot step outside of time to recover the soul, I'm inclined to believe that. There's no rationale to it lying about that, because the DO doesn't have to explain its reasoning to anyone.

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I think it's a case that the Dark One can only resurrect souls he's "grabbed," and he can only grab souls at the moment of their deaths. A moment after their death, they are out of his reach and free to continue with the natural method of reincarnation later in time in a new thread.

 

The problem of Balefire is that the thread burns backwards, and the people dies earlier in time. So the Dark One automatically misses his opportunity to grab (and thus resurrect) since the soul is already dead'n'gone before he can do the scooping.

 

If people Balefired were permanently gone from the spinning of the Wheel, then the Wheel is in long term trouble. Sooner or later the number of souls would be whittled down towards zilch, especially each time the War of Power is run through.

 

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