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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

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


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It wouldn't matter who balefired Semirhage.  If Semi was erased to before she put the Domination Band on Rand, the bruises would disappear.

No, it wouldn't matter who BFed Semirhage. Min would still keep her bruises.

 

No she wouldn't.

 

Balefire is crucial to the series.  It is vital for the reader to understand how it works in order to understand key elements of the series.  That's why Jordan has Moiraine explain how it works.  That's why the BWB goes into more detail about how it works.  He wants us to understand.  He isn't playing gotcha games.

 

... whatever had been done because of those vanished actions also had no longer been done.

 

Recall the 'Finns answer to Mat.  He was to "die and live again a part of what was."

 

Rahvin's lightning accomplished the dying part.  Rand's balefiring of Rahvin created the conditions where the Wheel had to rewrite the whole battle in the square to correct the differences between what had "happened due to Mat and Avi being dead" and what now had to flow out of their never having been dead. That's the living again a part of what was portion. ( Asmo is a non-factor here.  He did nothing during that battle. )

 

In the first go-round, Mat and Avi are dead, so obviously they aren't killing any Trollocs or Myrrdraal.  Therefore those creatures do kill some number of Aiel.  In the second, corrected go-round, they are killing Shadowspawn, so Aiel who had been previously killed by the Shadowspawn that Mat and Avi are now killing can't be killed by them.  Those Aiel are also restored and now kill yet more Shadowspawn allowing yet more Aiel to be restored, etc, etc.  The body/casualty count shifted greatly in the Aiels' favor as a result.

 

The Wheel must maintain causality, otherwise there is no order to the world.  If Aiel are allowed to be cut in half by dead Trollocs, there is no order, no causality.

 

Same thing holds for the Rand/Semi interaction.  If Rand balefires Semi back to before she put the Domination Band on his neck, she can't force him to choke Min.  If she can't force him to choke Min, there can be no bruises on her neck.  Causality requires that it work that way.

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1. Why did Nynaeve had to heal Rand? His wounds were caused by Rahvin's weaving of the dream.

RJ stated this was due to the nature of T'a'r - the wounds would have faded away over time rather than instantly vanishing.
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This is really important because it explains many things within the books. For example:

 

When Rhavin dies by balefire some things are undone but some are not. The things caused by his use of lightning (Mat, Asmo, and others dead) must be undone. The pattern cannot leave those people inexplicably dead. So it returned them to life. The damage done to the palace during the fight was not undone. Rand caused that damage. It is not paradoxical without Rhavin present.

 

2 questions about that sequence:

 

1. Why did Nynaeve had to heal Rand?  His wounds were caused by Rahvin's weaving of the dream.

 

2. Would it not matter how long ago Rahvin placed the wards that protected the city?  If he had done this months prior (like Rand had set wards protecting callandor), wouldn't it have been too far back to be burned away?

 

Well, I think it can be summed up like so: Balefire creates a hole in the patter from the thread it burns out, and then the pattern has to fill that hole with the consequences that thread itself had on the pattern. The thing to note here, is that it only effects the things that can be considered major alterations in the pattern.

 

So, when Rhavin died, it brought back Mat and Avhienda and Asmodean because their deaths are certain changes to the patter, considering how important at least two of them are.

Rands wounds however, only have the possibility of affecting the pattern through killing Rand. So perhaps if they were life threatening, they would have been reversed.

 

Another possibility is that they were a secondary cause of Rhavin's actions. Yes, he orchestrated the the damage done to Rand, but it could be said that TAR is what actually did the damage. The same as Semi's bruises she orchestrated through Rand remaining on Min.

 

This also made me think of Ramshalan's compulsion. It's hard to say if it can be considered a direct change in the pattern, but apparently it was. My guess is that It either would have directly lead to his death, or that it was reversed because Compulsion changes a thread in the pattern as much as it changes a mind.

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The Wheel must maintain causality, otherwise there is no order to the world.  If Aiel are allowed to be cut in half by dead Trollocs, there is no order, no causality.

 

Same thing holds for the Rand/Semi interaction.  If Rand balefires Semi back to before she put the Domination Band on his neck, she can't force him to choke Min.  If she can't force him to choke Min, there can be no bruises on her neck.  Causality requires that it work that way.

 

obviously not or the scene is miswritten, balefire itself is a paradox and should unwrite its own use, nynaeve shouldn't have nearly drowned, and the damage to the palace shouldn't have existed in TFoH.

 

time does not go backwards and rewrite. RJ being a physicist is even greater support for this as reverse time travel is not possible in the real world anymore than it is in WoT... The pattern only corrects paradox, it doesn't rewrite time. That is impossible. Otherwise no amount of balefire could ever destroy the pattern. It would simply backtrack and be much different than it was at the time of balefire use. We know that balefire threatens to unravel the pattern. That wouldn't be the case under your theory.

 

I rather doubt that the man who invented balefire and worked out how he wanted it to work miswrote any of the balefire scenes he penned.  Let me suggest that it is more likely that you misread or misinterpreted what he wrote.

 

The holes in the palace in Caemlyn remain.  Both those caused by Rand and those caused by Rahvin, because once balefire has been loosed it cannot be unloosed.  That's what standing outside its own paradox means.  If Rahvin had balefired Mat, Avi, and Asmo, they would have stayed dead no matter what Rand did.

 

As to Nynaeve And The Boat - Water doesn't care what time it is, it's going to flow wherever gravity will allow.

 

A <----- B

 

At space-time point B the boat is cut in half by balefire which kills the oarsmen and necessitates that it be translated backwards to space-time point A.  The instant the balefire touched that portion of the boat, it started filling with water.  Once translated back to space-time point A it had been filling with water for time period X = B - A.  That's why Nynaeve suddenly finds herself underwater.

 

The reason reality ripples and then snaps back into solidity when Rand balefires Graendal's castle is due to all of the threads that had to be rewoven to maintain causality in the wake of all that destruction.

 

The Wheel must maintain causality.

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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?

 

 

What I really want to know though is since when has BF stopped moving through objects? Since when ever ever has someone been able to shoot their jacket on the floor and not have a hole in the floor too, and for that matter a hole in the roof of the floor below and then one in floor of that room etc.

 

Does anyone remember being told the dangers of BF? Does anyone else remember them looking and seeing that the rods of light had just kept going?

 

Have I been reading the same book as you guys or has the author of the particular copies I've been reading just gone and ignored outright maybe half the danger of BF?? Semi - got hit - beam stopped. Elza - got hit - beam stopped.

 

SINCE WHEN!!?!??!??!?!?????????!!!!!??!?!?!??!??!!??!??!?!??!

 

That much BF used to kill Gren. means that there is a massive massive hole in the ground after the palace and that this pit will be the biggest absence of dirt that has ever existed no?

 

I'm fairly certainly that balefire has always stopped after hitting a person. The only time it continues is when it has not hit someone.

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No, it can blast straight though people and do more damage.

 

Rand throttled back on what he used to kill the Darkhounds to spare damage to the building and still made some holes.  He had better control in Caemlyn and really throttled back on what he used on the Trollocs so as not to kill any Aiel behind them.

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another question i wonder about is "do items have a thread in the tapestry?" they have as much ability to change the course of a persons thread as entity's do

 

e.g it could be argued that only things that live have threads, but trees live if you cut down a tree and make a bench out of it have you cut the trees thread from the pattern or have you just changed it from one state to another?

I see this question has kind of been left out of the talks. I think that only humans have threads in the pattern, but I'm not entirely sure. Loial says in TGH that "All people are threads in the web, but the Wheel weaves the pattern of the web around ta'veren", but then again, it doesn't mention anything about inanimate objects or living things that are not human (e.g. trees).

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Balefire seems to have the effect of bringing people back to life or healing wounds more than anything. The thing that stands out the most to me is that BF does not change actions majorly, just brings people back to life or heals wounds done to them. Without extensive research and knowledge of what RJ was thinking, my own perception is that once BF tears a thread out of a pattern, that thread is gone and so are any of the interactions so far into the past, except when there is a third thread of the pattern involved. Like with Mat and the darkhounds, or when Rahvin used his lightning, there was no outside interference such as a healing or maybe a beheading(ya know..to keep them dead). If that makes sense.

 

In the scene with Rand attacking Min, that's a prime example of the third thread theory or whatever it is. Also, if you are the one to use balefire, you are immune to the results of it? To do otherwise would create the paradox of you never actually using it in the first place. Reason being that you would not have cause to use it in that situation.

 

With everyone talking about the death of Graendel and how much balefire was used, instead of going all the way back to sowing Chaos in Arad Doman, think about the messenger and the Council Member (forgot her name). Seems everyone forgot about that important part right there. If her compulsion was erased just a few weeks back, the messenger would not have been poisoned, could have relayed all the information to everyone about what was going on and prevented all of this from happening. That right there is the clue about how long into the past the balefire affected.

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Hello,

 In one of the posts in these million that I have read over the last week, the poster said that threads were burnt out permantly when Balefired.  But, I seem to remember RJ once saying that was not the case.  A Balefired thread could still be reborn, just not gathered and recycled by the Dark One.

 

Anyone remember this or am I thinking wrong?

 

Thanks,

Yarazin

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At space-time point B the boat is cut in half by balefire which kills the oarsmen and necessitates that it be translated backwards to space-time point A.  The instant the balefire touched that portion of the boat, it started filling with water.  Once translated back to space-time point A it had been filling with water for time period X = B - A.  That's why Nynaeve suddenly finds herself underwater.

 

But if time would be rewind as you say it does Nynaeve wouldn't have just sat there MINUTES while boat is filling up. She would have bailed out. So why didn't she?

 

Answer: Time doesn't rewind.

 

If time would rewind there would be no bruises on Min's neck and they wouldn't be where they were. Why is there bruises in neck? Because time doesn't rewind.

 

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Hello,

 In one of the posts in these million that I have read over the last week, the poster said that threads were burnt out permantly when Balefired.  But, I seem to remember RJ once saying that was not the case.  A Balefired thread could still be reborn, just not gathered and recycled by the Dark One.

 

Anyone remember this or am I thinking wrong?

 

Thanks,

Yarazin

 

You are right RJ has stated BF doesn't kill soul forever. They can be reborn. The horror of BF(apart from the fact it kills people which is horrible in itself) is in the fact it causes some serious strain on the pattern and risks blowing whole pattern apart. If BF wouldn't do that it would actually be damned useful weapon as it's the only way you can kill forsaken and be sure he or she won't just come back to life.

 

(he also has given contradictary answers whether you can unbalefire somebody by balefiring the person who balefired the other. Guess even RJ can goofball :D)

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<delurk>

All the "will balefiring Graendal resurrect Asmodean"-theorists seem to be missing an important point about balefire -- which, truth be told, does not rule out the theory, but serves to make things even more complicated.

 

As I understand the mechanics of balefire, when someone is balefired, the thread is removed going backwards in time, while the pattern in the present instantly tries to merge the weave.  The past is not changed as such, but the pattern tries to reweave whatever remains from the point to which the balefiree's thread was burnt.

 

This causes some intrinsic problems when trying to use balefire to revert previous instances of balefire, which is surely part of what makes balefire so dangerous.  Let's look at the following completely hypothetical scenario:

 

Consider four distinct points in time, t0, t1, t2, t3 (listed in chronological order). What happens if:

 

- Bob balefires Charlie at time t2, burning his thread back to t0.

- Alice balefires Bob at time t3, burning his thread back to t1.

 

I postulate that when the pattern tries to work out the consequences of Alice's balefire, the thread of Charlie will not be present, and hence Charlie will not live -- even though Bob ceased to exist before he balefired Charlie!

 

If Alice balefires Bob back to some time before t0 I assume that Charlie will indeed live, though the pattern as such will suffer a larger rift, with unpredictable consequences.  Although, much as in global thermonuclear war, all bets are off at this point anyhow.

 

Assuming that Graendal did balefire Asmodean (which I doubt), and Graendal indeed was in the castle (which I do believe) and Rand's balefire burnt Graendal's thread from the pattern not to the moment Asmodean died, but to a point before the end of his unburnt thread, it may still be possible that he lives. I do not believe that this happened, both due to the preposterous amounts of power needed to balefire someone more than a few days back in time, and because of the ridiculous amounts of fallout this would have been caused in the pattern elsewhere, which has not been observed.

</delurk>

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Think of it this way:

 

Joe Balefires Bob which burns his thread back say 1 minute, but then John Balefires Joe which burns his thread back 2 minutes.

 

I maintain that in this circumstance Bob will not be alive because his thread will still be burnt. and therefore cant exist in future weaving's (unless they have been reborn).

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I maintain that in this circumstance Bob will not be alive because his thread will still be burnt. and therefore cant exist in future weaving's (unless they have been reborn).

The Balefire is a direct weave by a channeler, and thus it will be undone if a strong enough BF is used upon the first wielder.

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He doesn't specifically say anything. Just that under the circumstance that the balefire was a certain strength something will happen. lol

 

The Balefire is a direct weave by a channeler, and thus it will be undone if a strong enough BF is used upon the first wielder.

 

While that does make sense, Should balefire not be different? especially since it burns threads instead of just a normal death?

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He doesn't specifically say anything. Just that under the circumstance that the balefire was a certain strength something will happen. lol

Yes, and the difference (between "strong enough" and "too weak") is whether the first BF will be undone or not.

 

While that does make sense, Should balefire not be different? especially since it burns threads instead of just a normal death?

A person who doesn't exist can not weave Balefire.

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Well if a balefire was undone, dont you think that it would put the pattern into a massive flux? Having to unburn x amount of a persons thread in the pattern.

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The Balefire is a direct weave by a channeler, and thus it will be undone if a strong enough BF is used upon the first wielder.

 

Well, yes.  "Strong enough" is the key - my interpretation is that you would have to balefire somewhat further than the moment of the first balefireing.  In short, balefire is the only event which is not automatically undone by balefire - though it may happen if the balefire is sufficiently extra-strength.

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Balefire is always bad for the Pattern. Sometimes it's more damaging than usual.

 

Well, yes.  "Strong enough" is the key - my interpretation is that you would have to balefire somewhat further than the moment of the first balefireing.  In short, balefire is the only thing which is not automatically undone by balefire - though it may happen be if the balefire is sufficiently extra-strength.

Yeah, I think that you need to counter both time and magnitude of the first BF. That part is speculation, but it seems very reasonable.

 

 

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I wonder if it is even possible for balefire to fully destroy the pattern, assuming in the AOL dozens upon dozens cities were destroyed with balefire, what if every city on the planet got the same treatment, would the pattern unravel, or would it ripple and fray, and then eventually repair itself?

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The Wheel must maintain causality, otherwise there is no order to the world.  If Aiel are allowed to be cut in half by dead Trollocs, there is no order, no causality.

 

Same thing holds for the Rand/Semi interaction.  If Rand balefires Semi back to before she put the Domination Band on his neck, she can't force him to choke Min.  If she can't force him to choke Min, there can be no bruises on her neck.  Causality requires that it work that way.

 

obviously not or the scene is miswritten, balefire itself is a paradox and should unwrite its own use, nynaeve shouldn't have nearly drowned, and the damage to the palace shouldn't have existed in TFoH.

 

time does not go backwards and rewrite. RJ being a physicist is even greater support for this as reverse time travel is not possible in the real world anymore than it is in WoT... The pattern only corrects paradox, it doesn't rewrite time. That is impossible. Otherwise no amount of balefire could ever destroy the pattern. It would simply backtrack and be much different than it was at the time of balefire use. We know that balefire threatens to unravel the pattern. That wouldn't be the case under your theory.

 

Not true. Review your quantum. At the speed of light, all times are effectively simultaneous. Further, outside the light cones, you can make effects proceed their causes- how you'd get there is another matter.

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