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(spoilers) Ishamael's Theory about the Wheel and Dragons


UltramegaOK
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I was re-reading the Guide book a couple days ago, specifically the biography of Ishamael, and it reminded me of what he told Lews Therin in the EoTW prologue (and also told Rand later in that same book).

 

He said something about how Lews Therin was not the first person to call himself "Dragon", and that the battle between the Dragon and the Dark One had gone on for all of eternity. Furthermore, in the past, some Dragons had actually switched sides and fought for the Dark One.  I may not be getting this all correct, so feel free to correct me, if you have actual quotes.  I'm sure someone will anyway.

 

But then I was thinking also about how some particularly powerfule and influential souls get reborn into new ages.

 

So I started putting these ideas together and thought...

 

What if Ishamael/Moridin is carrying the soul of an ex-Dragon.  Specifically, the last Dragon that actually switched sides and fought for the Dark One?

 

Throw in 3000 years of semi-consciousness, being killed and reborn, plus a balefire-made connection to the CURRENT Dragon, and you've got the makings for one messed up dude.  Perhaps someone who sees himself as the Anti-Dragon, the Dark One's answer to the Creator's Champion.

 

Some of this I'm sure has been gone over before, but I'm especially curious what people might think about the idea of Moridin carrying the soul of a turn-coat ex-Dragon.

 

Okay, go!

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I think that Dragon was the title Lews Therin shunned, because he didnt want to be thought of as more than a man. He was the leader of the Aes Sedai, and the title Dragon-saviur of the world-was a particularly weighty one. A modest leader when he was sane, perhaps.

 

Im not buying Ishamael being a previous Dragon, but I do accept that Nae'blis, while not officially in the Dark Ones thoughts, is definitely the Shadows answer to the Dragon. True Power vs Saidin and the Pattern seems like an even fight to me. One thing I wonder about though, is how many times Ishamael might have been reincarnated. I would love it if he had needed a new body each time he became free.

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Im not buying Ishamael being a previous Dragon

 

Would you care to say why you don't buy it?  Is there somewhere in the book you can quote that rules this out?  I only ask because my buddy and I really like this idea.  Why else would Ishamael make the claim?  Sure, he could have been lying, but he told the same lie to Aes Sedai in the AoL, to Lews Therin, and to Rand, plus his entire strategy has been NOT to kill Rand.  How else could he know about other dragons having switched sides?  Obviously both Ishamael and the Dark One thought it is possible to get a Dragon to willingly switch sides, or they'd never have bothered trying to convert Rand, and would instead have devoted all their energy to killing him.

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Firstly, RJ stated that the Dragon never turned to the Shadow. His exact words when questioned were "You believed Ishamael? He's a lying liar that lies."

 

Secondly, 'Dragon' is a title the people of the Age of Legends gave Lews Therin for his role as leader of the Light against the Shadow. It was specific to that incarnation of the Light's Champion, and was not a known name for Lews Therin's soul. That is why Rand is the Dragon Reborn and not the Dragon, as was Lews Therin.

 

They did not realise the significance of his soul--and we know that for a fact too. Graendal states it in LoC.

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Okay, I accept all this.  Forgive my incorrect use of the word "Dragon."  I was not trying to argue semantics, but was in fact referring to the soul of WHOM/WHATEVER the Creator chooses/selects/creates as his champion for whichever age.  The point being that the Creator has a Champion whenever a champion is needed.  But I do understand what you're saying, and concede the point about Ishamael being a turn-coat ex-Dragon.  :)

 

But then why would Moridin and the DO would want Rand alive?  I'm assuming it's some greater reason other than just because Moridin wants to kill him personally.  That sounds unlikely to me, since Rand was the victor in their three actual fights, actually killing Ishamael in the third fight, and Moridin knows this.  Knowing now that Rand is dangerous enough to not only kill him again, but to actually balefire him, I still cannot justify why Moridin is going to such lengths (such as the end of ACoS) to make sure Rand stays alive.  He must need Rand for SOMETHING, right?

 

Any thoughts?

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It's strongly implied that Rand is more of a Hero than just a ta'veren, which means he's born for a specific role. Rand is the Dragon, and his soul has always been the Dragon, though not always by that name (the game of sha'rah seems to imply he once went by a title such as the Fisher). The Age of Legends had no memory of the Dragon other than the remnants left in the game of sha'rah, nor did they have any idea of Heroes (souls born for a specific purpose). I highly doubt Ishamael is a soul born to a specific purpose. He's just a man who turned to the Shadow. Ishy was a theologian and a philosopher, so it's natural that he should think about such things, plus he seems to be the only one who has a true understanding of what the Dark One is after. He was also mad as a hatter by the time he confronts the Dragon Reborn. He believed himself to be the Dark One, which is why he spoke so. Keep in mind that Herid Fel, a friend of Rand and also a philosopher, was developing ideas very similar to Ishamael's.

 

The Wheel wouldn't weave out a thread to ally with the Dark One, a being which runs counter to everything the Wheel's trying to do. Nor can the Dark One pluck a particular soul at anytime he pleases, it needs to be done at the moment of death or very or immediately after, as Balefire shows.

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Okay, I accept all this.  Forgive my incorrect use of the word "Dragon."  I was not trying to argue semantics, but was in fact referring to the soul of WHOM/WHATEVER the Creator chooses/selects/creates as his champion for whichever age.  The point being that the Creator has a Champion whenever a champion is needed.  But I do understand what you're saying, and concede the point about Ishamael being a turn-coat ex-Dragon.  :)

 

But then why would Moridin and the DO would want Rand alive?  I'm assuming it's some greater reason other than just because Moridin wants to kill him personally.  That sounds unlikely to me, since Rand was the victor in their three actual fights, actually killing Ishamael in the third fight, and Moridin knows this.  Knowing now that Rand is dangerous enough to not only kill him again, but to actually balefire him, I still cannot justify why Moridin is going to such lengths (such as the end of ACoS) to make sure Rand stays alive.  He must need Rand for SOMETHING, right?

 

Any thoughts?

 

Reread the last segment of the prologue for A Path of Daggers. The Light holds the Fisher.

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Okay, first off I must say, Ultramega, WOW! I've never quite considered different Dragon souls before, and I must say that your theory has immediately become one of my favourites concerning Dragons. Now, to get on with your theory:

 

I'm not sure how much I agree that your theory is correct; this is not to say that I don't think it's interesting, in fact, I think it is captivating. But I would argue some points differently. For instance, I don't think there is enough evidence to point to Ishmael as being an ex-Dragon. However, unlike Mr. Jordan, I have some faith in what Ishmael has said concerning the Dragon's turning to the shadow. In the case that a Dragon has turned to the shadow, I thought that perhaps another Hero came in (perhaps Hawkwing, who stated he fought both with and against Lews Therin) to save the Light.

 

Now with your theory to consider, perhaps a Dragon is not a Hero in the sense that he (maybe even she?) is bound to the Horn of Valere, or if that soul is bound, maybe it is bound conditionally. Perhaps the Dragon soul is only a Hero - or Dragon - as long as that soul champions the Light. If that soul turns to the Dark, perhaps it loses its Hero-status, and the soul that defeats the ex-Dragon takes over as the next Dragon.

 

*Note* I'm using Dragon as a term for the soul of the Light's Champion, regardless of what it is referred to as in different ages.

 

Ultramega, great theory! ;D

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But then why would Moridin and the DO would want Rand alive?  I'm assuming it's some greater reason other than just because Moridin wants to kill him personally.  That sounds unlikely to me, since Rand was the victor in their three actual fights, actually killing Ishamael in the third fight, and Moridin knows this.  Knowing now that Rand is dangerous enough to not only kill him again, but to actually balefire him, I still cannot justify why Moridin is going to such lengths (such as the end of ACoS) to make sure Rand stays alive.  He must need Rand for SOMETHING, right?

 

If Rand turns to the Shadow it gives the Dark One power over his soul. Which essentially ends the cycle of war between Light and Dark.

 

My guess is if Rand were foolish enough to turn, the Dark One would immediately expunge his soul.

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But then why would Moridin and the DO would want Rand alive?  I'm assuming it's some greater reason other than just because Moridin wants to kill him personally.  That sounds unlikely to me, since Rand was the victor in their three actual fights, actually killing Ishamael in the third fight, and Moridin knows this.  Knowing now that Rand is dangerous enough to not only kill him again, but to actually balefire him, I still cannot justify why Moridin is going to such lengths (such as the end of ACoS) to make sure Rand stays alive.  He must need Rand for SOMETHING, right?

 

If Rand turns to the Shadow it gives the Dark One power over his soul. Which essentially ends the cycle of war between Light and Dark.

 

My guess is if Rand were foolish enough to turn, the Dark One would immediately expunge his soul.

 

Perhaps the Shadow thinks it doesn't matter which side Rand believes he's on so long as his actions can be manipulated, too. And to be honest, I think the Dark One would rather use him then destroy him.

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Im not buying Ishamael being a previous Dragon

 

Would you care to say why you don't buy it?  Is there somewhere in the book you can quote that rules this out?  I only ask because my buddy and I really like this idea.  Why else would Ishamael make the claim?  Sure, he could have been lying, but he told the same lie to Aes Sedai in the AoL, to Lews Therin, and to Rand, plus his entire strategy has been NOT to kill Rand.  How else could he know about other dragons having switched sides?  Obviously both Ishamael and the Dark One thought it is possible to get a Dragon to willingly switch sides, or they'd never have bothered trying to convert Rand, and would instead have devoted all their energy to killing him.

 

I dont buy it because the Dragon is a single person that cant exist twice at once, just like anything else. Lews Therin was the last one before Rand; Rand is Lews Therins soul reborn. Elan Morin/Ishamael/Moridin existed at the same time as the Dragon being spun out-twice-which means Ishamael does not possess the Dragon soul and never did. He is not the Dragon and never was.

 

I can definitely understand why you and your friend came to the idea though. I love Ishamaels rivalry with the Dragon, one thing we should now remember is that if he ever says the same thing to Rand about fighting many times before, he is now right. Ishamael fought Rand three times and Lews Therin at least twice, and will probaby fight Rand again.

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Yes, I suppose the entire idea came up as a result of not really understanding exactly what is different about Ishamael, compared to the other Forsaken, and even compared to Lews Therin and Rand.  When he became Moridin, he seemed to regain some of his sanity.  At least, it felt that way to me as I read the passages writting from his POV.  He thinks more clearly, and was cogent enough to help Rand fight against Sammael.  If the old Ishy thought he WAS the DO, I'm not so sure that Moridin does.  Or does he?  He knows he is Nae'blis, so he must have recovered enough sanity to know that one cannot be Nae'blis if one is actually the DO.

 

Which brings me to another question.  Do you think Demandred hates Moridin?  Do you think he feels slighted by the Dark One?  Passed over for Ishamael despite having earned, in his own mind, the right to be Nae'blis?  Remember in the beginning of LoC, the DO told Demandred he MIGHT be named Nae'blis if he performed well in the task the DO set out for him, then the novel ends with Demandred saying "Have I not done well, Great Lord?" and the DO laughing, not out of spite, but presumably because he is pleased with how well Demandred has done.  Then, suddenly, Moridin shows up and is named Nae'blis.

 

If I was Demandred, I'd be a little miffed at this.  He was always upset at playing second-fiddle to Lews Therin in the Age of Legends, so he goes over to the DO, hoping for greater glory and a chance to kill Lews Therin.  Now suddenly, he must play second-fiddle to Moridin, and is forbidden from killing Rand (the only thing he really cares about), despite accomplishing the Great Lord's task and pleasing his master enough to send him into fits of laughter and glee (such as the DO is capable of).

 

Does anyone think this is going to be a factor in upcoming plot threads?

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But then why would Moridin and the DO would want Rand alive?  I'm assuming it's some greater reason other than just because Moridin wants to kill him personally.  That sounds unlikely to me, since Rand was the victor in their three actual fights, actually killing Ishamael in the third fight, and Moridin knows this.  Knowing now that Rand is dangerous enough to not only kill him again, but to actually balefire him, I still cannot justify why Moridin is going to such lengths (such as the end of ACoS) to make sure Rand stays alive.  He must need Rand for SOMETHING, right?

 

If Rand turns to the Shadow it gives the Dark One power over his soul. Which essentially ends the cycle of war between Light and Dark.

 

My guess is if Rand were foolish enough to turn, the Dark One would immediately expunge his soul.

 

Thing is, I dont think the Dark One could do that without being free. And I think Rand inherrited the Chosen mark via Moridin. Nothing to back it up, wild speculation, but there it is.

 

Also, one thing people look over when they say "the Dragon has never been turned" there is no way to be sure. What should be said is "the Dragon has never WON for the Shadow" and it is entirely possible that the Dragon was turned and then turned back before it is too late.

 

 

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Firstly, RJ stated that the Dragon never turned to the Shadow. His exact words when questioned were "You believed Ishamael? He's a lying liar that lies."

 

Secondly, 'Dragon' is a title the people of the Age of Legends gave Lews Therin for his role as leader of the Light against the Shadow. It was specific to that incarnation of the Light's Champion, and was not a known name for Lews Therin's soul. That is why Rand is the Dragon Reborn and not the Dragon, as was Lews Therin.

 

They did not realise the significance of his soul--and we know that for a fact too. Graendal states it in LoC.

Wasn't there something about when dragon turns to the shadow it's a draw?

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IIRC Jordan has commented on some of these past battles and said there have indeed been times the dragon turned to the shadow (and vice versa for the DO's champion. Whom I'm inclined to believe has always been Ishy). In such cases, the battle has so far resulted in a draw or stalemate, whatever the hell that means.

 

I take it to mean that not all 'last battles' have been with the aim of undoing existence (well, eventually but not after that battle) as it might just not have been possible. And there is something about the current developments anyway that strongly suggests the DO needs the dragon to fully realise his goal.

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I've got a semi-related question in regards to Moridin/Ishy.

 

He says to Rand that they've fought this battle time and time again, I don't have it in front of me but from memory he is specifically saying YOU and I have fought this battle. Considering that Ishy turned to the DO during the Age of Legends, how does he know the battle had been taking place beforehand?

 

Is it just a case of the Dark One telling him, or is Ishy's soul reborn over and over, and somehow he has access to these memories ala Rand's situation?

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But then why would Moridin and the DO would want Rand alive? 

The only one that wants him alive was Ishy, I believe.

 

And I think Ishy was trying to turn him to the Shadow, thus earning himself Nae'blis.  Maybe Ishy learned about turning someone to the Shadow while he was only "partially" trapped and thought that if anyone could do it, he could do it.

 

If all the other "Chosen" are out to kill Rand, how great a gift would it be to give the DO if you presented him the Dragon, bound and ready to serve?

 

Surely that would be prize enough to raise Ishy above the rest?

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The way I have read the books for the last 20 years, the Dragon is a single Soul that is reborn over and over and over again, fighting the Dark One.  I've always felt that Ishamael was simply "enlightened" by the Dark One as to what was really going on, no more or less and when he says "we have fought this battle for many turnings of the wheel", he is speaking for the Dark One, not himself per say.  Ishy has been pretending to be the Dark One for thousands of years after all.   

 

As for the "Last Battle", I have two theories as to where it is heading:

Min's been reading a lot of Philosophy lately, so I think she will have the final answers as to how to defeat the Dark One in the end. 

 

As for the theories, I think one of the following will happen:

1.  The "Last Battle" is some branching point in time that will either see the Dark One fully destroyed forever or Time destroyed.  At the same time, the Dragon will be allowed to live out the rest of his long Saidin prolonged life and then will NEVER be reborn ever again.  Ie- He will finally find peace. 

 

I say this because Ishy has said numerous times that this time the Wheel will be broken and he will never be reborn, so obviously, there is something different about this battle....

 

2.  The Last Battle will take place and a few thousands years later, after the Dark One is found, he will be rediscovered and it will begin anew.  Afterall, Ishy is full of crap too, so the idea that "You will never be reborn this time" may simply be a threat to convince Rand to turn to the Dark One. 

 

 

 

 

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As for the "Last Battle", I have two theories as to where it is heading:

Min's been reading a lot of Philosophy lately, so I think she will have the final answers as to how to defeat the Dark One in the end. 

 

As for the theories, I think one of the following will happen:

1.  The "Last Battle" is some branching point in time that will either see the Dark One fully destroyed forever or Time destroyed.  At the same time, the Dragon will be allowed to live out the rest of his long Saidin prolonged life and then will NEVER be reborn ever again.  Ie- He will finally find peace. 

 

I say this because Ishy has said numerous times that this time the Wheel will be broken and he will never be reborn, so obviously, there is something different about this battle....

 

2.   The Last Battle will take place and a few thousands years later, after the Dark One is found, he will be rediscovered and it will begin anew.  Afterall, Ishy is full of crap too, so the idea that "You will never be reborn this time" may simply be a threat to convince Rand to turn to the Dark One. 

 

Good ideas.  I agree that Min will be the first to discover the key, if Moiraine has not found the answer among the Finns.  But I think the ending will in some way reconcile Darkness and Light.

 

The themes of the entire series has always revolved around the reconcilliation of counterparts that work against and with each other.  Saidin & Saidar, Men & Women, White Tower & Black Tower, Seanchan & Old World, Channeling & Conventional Weapons, Village Council & Women's Circle, Clan & Sept, etc.  It's all over the entire series.  I wonder if the end will involve some kind of similar reconcilliation of the Dark One and the Creator, embodied by Moridin and Rand.  One Power & True Power.  Order & Choas.

 

Anyway.  Just brainstorming....

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