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The Big Unnoticed Thing Theory Compilation--Last Update 29/6/11


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The Big Unnoticed Thing—Theory Compilation!


Please Note: The BUT was resolved in Towers of Midnight--it was Mat's Ashendarei, which the Finns apparently gave to him for no reason, but in reality they gave it to him in answer to his wish for a way out. This is not in the BUT compilation because it was discussed in the theoryland conversation that Brandon Sanderson's assitant Peter Ahlstrom said did not contain the BUT. Apparently he missed it.



Before I start, this is a compilation not a discussion--if your looking to chat up your favourite ideas and scour down others then come play with us in the Discussion Thread


Hey guys, so wow. I’ve just finished going through over 3000 posts on this thing and you people are amazing. This is not just a few hard core fans, but the Fandom itself has come out in force and scoured the books with a fine tooth comb. I will be very startled if ToM comes out and one of you hasn’t discovered the BUT. In any case this is my effort to assist. It’s my hope that this compilation will be a resource for all the fans to use.


All credit goes to the folks who came up with the ideas, and I apologise in advance because I know my entries here don’t do justice to the detail you have all put in—this is the bones, and it is my intention to expand and detail each entry to fit the discussions, but you’ll have to bear with me. Also I know I probably missed some theories along the way, so bear with me on that too.


Table of Contents


Note: The quick links no longer work, so just scroll down.


1.0 Administrata


1.1 Brandon’s Quotes on the Big Unnoticed Thing

1.2 Some Thoughts on the Big Unnoticed Thing—Please Read Before Reading the Theories

1.3 Things Theoryland Discussed in the Area Peter Ahsltrom Ruled Out


2.0 The Big Unnoticed Thing Theories


2.1 Things Unnoticed in Tel’aran’rhiod

2.2 Things Unnoticed Amongst the Aiel

2.3 Things Unnoticed Amongst the Shadow

2.4 Things Unnoticed with the Power and Power Related Issues and Items

2.5 Things Unnoticed Miscellaneous


3.0 Compilation Resources


3.1 The Theoryland Quotes I Used To Create the Peter Ahlstrom List.

3.2 What To Do If You Find A Mistake.

3.3 You Want to Suggest a Theory Be Added to the Compilation? Read This.

3.4 What Was the Mistborn Spoiler?

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1.1 Brandon’s Quotes on the Big Unnoticed Thing



1. Question: You had a quote that we all talked about just recently, that there is a small detail with this secret thing. There were two quotes we put together where you told somebody from Chicago where you say this detail first comes out between books 4-6. Is that verified?


1. Answer: It’s been going for a long time. Somewhere in four and six the first hints of it are mentioned.


2. Question: But that’s not the only time it’s ever mentioned?


2. Answer: It’s not the only time it’s ever mentioned. It is…hints about this hidden thing appear in pretty much…in several of the books. It first, somewhere in one of those three is the beginning of where it shows up. The first hint that you get. […] I mean, it’s a small thing that means something large, that sort of thing…and you guys are very good at finding things and I’m not going to say whether you hit it or not.


• I asked a follow up question about the big clue in books 4-6, asking if the clue became more relevant due to events in the later books, and he said that it didn't, and that it's something we should have picked up on when it appeared. He also issued a caveat (that is basically common sense) that it is possible someone discussed this issue at some point on one of the boards and that he didn't see that, but that he has never seen it raised in his lurkings, and that this issue is more important than who killed you-know-who.

• Brandon is concerned about the HCFF's digging and digging for the surprise in books 4-6 and ruining it for TOM. Also, he stated he never read anyone discussing it but it is possible someone has. Also, it is some puzzle that should have been looked at when it was first revealed. It's bigger than who killed Asmodean, according to Brandon. [Luckers Note: This seems to confirm that it will be revealed in ToM]

• New 23/11/09

• I was at the Clayton, CA signing today and I asked Brandon if he had noticed the important thing in books 4-6 before he started writing WOT.  He said no, but he also said that he had never really wondered about Asmodean either until he read about it online.  He said that there are other people who are much better at ferreting things out than he is.

• Regarding the notorious clue that everyone has missed, Brandon pinned it down to somewhere between books 4-6 (reread time!). He reiterated how astonished we would be when we found it… but won’t get any more specific for fear of ruining our surprise. Also, the “never mentioned” aspect of the clue might not be entirely true, but Brandon himself has never come across it. Maria had a knowing smile at the time, suggesting maybe it has been mentioned. Time will tell.


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1.2 Some Thoughts on the Big Unnoticed Thing—Please Read Before Reading the Theories


I used these thoughts in structuring the compilation, as well as serving as standards with which to judge each of the ideas.


Exclusions and Criterion


Ok, so Brandon said a few things about the BUT that I’ve used to establish criteria for analysing the theories. There are limitations to this—for instance how could we possibly judge which discussions Brandon has seen when lurking, and which he hasn’t—and as such I haven’t really excluded any theories based on these criteria.  Additionally, bear in mind that these addendums are just my thoughts, and that the only reason I am offering them is to provide some structure, and give people a general idea of where a theory stands.


Books 4-6 or Books 4 and 6?


One of the quotations from Brandon reads: “Somewhere in four and six the first hints of [the BUT] are mentioned.” However, elsewhere he stated: “somewhere in one of those three is the beginning of where it shows up.”


Firstly, Brandon himself seems a tad uncertain as to where it’s first mentioned, so I don’t think we can read too much into the exclusion of book five even were that the only quote. But beyond that: it seems easier to me to mistakenly put ‘and’ instead of ‘to’ (as in books 4 to 6) than to mishear ‘one of those two’, as ‘one of those three’ so I think at this stage we must conclude that it is indeed books 4, 5 and 6.


It Be Ongoing


Brandon stated that: “It’s been going for a long time.” And that entries in books 4-6 are “not the only time it’s ever mentioned. It is…hints about this hidden thing appear in pretty much…in several of the books.”


This implies several things—first and clearest is that the BUT is referenced outside books 4-6. Second, that the BUT is an event, action or effect. It has been ‘going on’ for some time, not ‘existing’ for some time. This does not wholly rule out it being an object, but it does require that if it is an object that it is doing something, or something is occurring due to it. It may even be as simple as the way characters are reacting or not reacting to it, but it has to be more than it’s existence which is significant.


Criteria on this will be written as ‘The Ongoing Principal’.


The Discussion Factor


Brandon said that he has never seen anyone discussing this point in his lurking on the Forums. That being said he reiterated several times that that does not mean that it hadn’t been discussed, a point which I came to appreciate recently when I made a passing reference to the Sylvase Theory—which I would have said was heavily discussed—and everyone in the thread stared at me blankly.


As such I didn’t really bother to investigate whether an idea had been discussed and am just putting down the degree to which I recall it being discussed, and am instructing you all to take the discussion factor with a grain of salt.


Criteria on this will be written as ‘The Discussion Factor’.


The Big Reveal


Brandon said that: “it's something we should have picked up on when it appeared.”


This of course is on par with Asmodean’s killer being intuitively obvious. It does help in some ways—if the suggested BUT does not have significance except when looked at with knowledge gained in the later books it most probably isn’t the actual BUT.


Criteria on this will be written as ‘Revelation Requirements’.


The Later Books


As said in the Ongoing Principal, the BUT continues in the later books. However, Brandon stated that the clue does not become more relevant in the later books. This means that the issue should remain at the same level of obscurity, if not stepping back even further into the background.


Criteria on this will be written as ‘Presence in the Later Books’. Mostly this will just repeat the Ongoing Principal, but there are a few where this issue distinguishes itself.


The Faceslap


Brandon said that we would be astonished when we found it, and that it was an issue that would be bigger than Asmodean (meaning how the fans would regard it. It will almost certainly have a bigger impact on the plot than Asmodean’s death did).


Criteria on this will be written as ‘Potential Impact’.


One Other Thought—Why Books 4-6


This question has been brought up several times on the forums. The point it makes is that if the BUT first appears in books 4-6 than it might mean that it is because it is linked to a plot or theme which is first explored in depth in books 4-6. Usually this idea was linked to the Aiel or Tel’aran’rhiod, the two elements of the series explored most heavily in books 4-6, and which then having been detailed stepped back into the background a little more. It’s an interesting thought, but not necessarily a correct one. It’s entirely possible that the BUT occurred in books 4-6 for no other reason than that that is where RJ brought it up, and could be entirely unrelated to any of the stuff going on at the time.


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1.3 Things Peter Ahsltrom Ruled Out



Brandon Sanderson's assistant, Peter Ahlstrom, told Tamyrlin that in the Theoryland discussion of this issue no one had figured it out (up to post 137). It was confirmed by Brandon that Peter knew the secret. I've gone through that discussion and compiled a list of what was raised.


NOTE: This is my list, not Team Jordan's. It is designed only as an aid not as an official list from Team Jordans. You can find the copy and paste list of the quotes I used to create this list here.


Things we can probably rule out based on the Theorylander discussion


Certain parts of these comments were inaccurate, therefore depending on Peter’s thoughts on the importance of technicalities may still be viable.


•   Elayne and Nynaeve’s use of Need in TAR which led to the *angreal storeroom [note: The theorylanders only discussed this in terms of E&N using Need to find a ter’angreal which fixes the weather, which is not accurate. They were using Need to find something to help Rand, and to convince the the Salidar Aes Sedai to stand with him (which led to the Bowl of the Winds and their claims that it required a man to work).]

•   Farstrider in Graendal’s lair [note: In my opinion the old man is more likely Alsalam, but irrespective as with above the Graendal’s ‘old man’ may still be viable, provided he isn’t in fact Farstrider]


Things we can fully rule out based on the Theorylander discussion


( * ) means more than one mention in the thread.

( ** ) means detailed conversation occurred on this subject in the thread.


•   **A.R. (anything related) to Birgitte, her expulsion from TAR, or Moghedian controlling her.

•   A.R. to Slayer in the Two Rivers, or him entering ToG.

•   *A.R. to the ter’angreal stash in Rhuidean, or those taken by Moiraine.

•   A.R. to Egeanin’s appearance in the story.

•   A.R. to Fel’s note, philosophy, or instructions to Rand.

•   **A.R. to Shara, or reports of war there.

•   **A.R. to the Tinker wagons Mat finds destroyed in LoC.

•   A.R. to either of Moiraine’s notes.

•   *A.R. to any actions of the Gholam.

•   **A.R. to the Tower of Ghenjei, the doorway ter’angreal, the Finn’s, or prophecies or knowledge relating to either.

•   A.R. to the sisters Siuan sent to recapture Taim.

•   A.R. to the question of who killed Sahra Covenry.

•   **A.R. to Graendal’s meeting with Inturalde, or what she may have done to him.

•   A.R. to the Pit of Doom being in a different world.

•   *A.R. to Rand becoming Moridin.

•   **A.R. to Rand being one with the land, or the changing influence of his ta’verenism, or the effects his corrupted wounds might have through his ta’verenism.

•   A.R. to Asmodean.

•   A.R. to Taim gaining his freedom, Joiya's 'plan' for Black Ajah to free him and set him up as a False Rand, or dealing with Bashere.

•   **A.R. to the Aiel Memory Collumns, the seed singing, or the Song, including Ogier, Tinker and Aiel implications.

•   A.R. to Moiraine’s knowledge of the future.

•   A.R. to Fain in books 4-6.

•   **A.R. to the Ashendarei or the Medallion, or the reasons the Finns gave them to Mat.

•   A.R. to Avendesora, including the correlation between Rand’s feelings under Avendesora, and his feelings in Veins of gold.

•   A.R. to Min’s viewing in tSR, including that of the apple cheeked accepted [Theodrin???] behind bars.


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2.1 Things Unnoticed in Tel’aran’rhiod



The Unseen Watchers of Tel’aran’rhiod


The first citing of the girls feeling eyes on them in Tel'aran'rhiod occurs in book four...


Studying the columns herself, Egwene shrugged uncomfortably. It did feel as if, they were being watched. No doubt it was just because they were the only people in the Stone. No one who had access to Tel'aran'rhiod could expect to find anyone to watch, here. [tSR;35, Sharp Lessons]


It gets referenced frequently, however. Here are some of the quotes.


"...She had the sensation of being watched from the dimnesses between the columns..."

"...The emptiness of the vast chamber oppressed her, all those great polished columns and that sense of being watched from the dimness between..."

”... there was often a feel of unseen eyes in the World of Dreams…”

"...that sensation of being watched that was so common in Tel’aran ‘rhiod. It was all Nynaeve could do not to flee..."

“…Suddenly very much aware of feeling unseen eyes…”

“…She had almost grown accustomed to the feel of unseen eyes in this vast chamber…”

“…Even the feel of unseen eyes could not touch her through her anger this morning…”

“…often she had the feeling of eyes watching…”

"...calling [Egwene] did nothing except increase that uneasy feeling of being watched..."

"...she became aware of being watched by unseen eyes. That sensation was always present in Tel'aran'rhiod, and not even the Wise Ones knew why..."

"...The ever-present sensation of unseen eyes watching was not dreamlike..."

"...That no longer seemed any odder to her than the feel of unseen eyes watching..."


The Ongoing Principal: First mentioned in book 4, with heavy mention in through books four and five, slows down a bit in book 6, and then has one mention each in books 7, 9 &10. This fits neatly with the Ongoing Principal.

The Discussion Factor: I cannot recall it being discussed once on DM, though Terez stated that it had been on Theoryland

Revelation Requirements: The eyes are an oddity that is brought up often and never explained. We indeed should have taken notice the second they appeared. This fits perfectly.

Presence in the Later Books: Fades into the background more after book six, so no problem here.

Potential Impact: Uncertain. The eyes have a dire feel to them, but we have no specific indication of what may come from them should this be the BUT.

Other Thoughts/Problems None.



Entering the Dream in the Flesh makes you Naughty!


The Wise One’s have this to say about entering the Dream in the flesh.


It is said that once there were those who could enter the dream in the flesh, and no longer be in this world at all. This was an evil thing, for they did evil; it must never be attempted, even if you believe it possible for you, for each time you will lose some part of what makes you human. [tSR; 23, Beyond the Stone]


Largely this was dismissed by the fandom as superstition based on memories of the Forsaken, but it can be noted that we might have seen effects such as the Wise One’s speak of—Slayer smells cold and barely human to Perrin, which could possibly be because he spends so much time in the Dream in the flesh (and not as a result of his Slayerness, as was assumed). Rand becomes fairly dark, and smells strange to Hurin. The Forsaken are all quite nasty, and even Egwene grows more stern after her jaunt (though that’s as easily just her maturing, which begun in the faceoff with Nynaeve before she entered the Dream in the flesh).


The Ongoing Principal: First mentioned in book four, there are several other times this warning is spoken of, and the entering of the dream in the flesh plus the dark nature of those that do it continues through the series, which fits the ongoing principal neatly.

The Discussion Factor: I can recall it being discussed once or twice, but never heavily. Easily missed by Brandon.

Revelation Requirements: Given the issue was stated flat out, yes I’d say we should have noticed it.

Presence in the Later Books: After book six the warning is not repeated, but the journeys into the dream continue—this fits Brandon’s comment

Potential Impact: Pretty big. Rand lost a heap of his humanity, and Egwene may have too.

Other Thoughts/Problems: Veins of Gold show Rand coming back from the edge, which doesn’t really fit this being a huge problem in ToM. Additionally all of the people listed above have other reasons for the nature or change of their personality.



Removing Things from TAR & Birgitte’s Arrow


Despite the fact that you cannot remove things from TAR Birgitte somehow manages to hold on to the arrow—her clothes don’t make it, but her arrow does, somehow.


The Ongoing Principal: The arrow itself is frequently referenced in books five and six, and the first statements about taking things out of TAR come in book six, and that is referenced again several other times. Rand also brings out a splinter in tSR which turns to ash when removed. These are objects, but fulfil by having implications of an effect.

The Discussion Factor: Never discussed that I’ve seen.

Revelation Requirements: I’m not sure on this. Why the arrow and not her clothes perhaps should have alerted us, and the statement about removing things from TAR came in book 6...

Presence in the Later Books: Other than that the rule continues to work, not really.

Potential Impact: Uncertain. The Arrow itself was used to make Moghedian’s a’dam, so I don’t see that it’ll be coming back to have an effect. Other’s have suggested things like Rand re-creating his hand in TAR and leaving with it.

Other Thoughts/Problems:  Heroes don’t jump out of TAR full grown normally, so already Moghedian was violating the known rules, which may part in parcel answer this issue—though the question remains; why the arrow and not her clothes? Peter Ahlstrom ruled out Birgitte herself, but not the question of why the arrow, alone, went with her.



Evil in Tenchico


Amys has this to say of Tanchico.


Amys eyed the white buildings around them and grimaced. “Tanchico? In . . . Tarabon? This city is dying, eating itself. There is a darkness here, an evil. Worse than men can make. Or women.”[tSR;11, What Lies Hidden]


I originally thought it was either the Black Ajah, Moghedian or the Domination Band, but all of those things are manmade. Of course Amys could simple be being over-dramatic--or could vastly underestimate the deprivations to which mankind can act. Nevertheless this chapter made a huge point of how Dreamers could sense things in the Dream (Egwene goes on for some time about this).


The Ongoing Principal: This could be said to be ongoing—Tanchico is still there, and nothing has said that it has changed since we last saw it.

The Discussion Factor: Never discussed.

Revelation Requirements: Not really fulfilled. The context of what Egwene was searching for answers Amys’ comment on the surface of things. The Black Ajah and something bad for Rand are both evil—it’s only once we knew what the Domination Band was that the question of ‘manmade’ becomes curious.

Presence in the Later Books: This is one moment were the presence is different to the Ongoing. This could be ongoing, but this evil is never stated again, and so has no later presence.

Potential Impact: Unknown.

Other Thoughts/Problems: The chapter title is interesting—what lies hidden? The Domination Band? The Seal? Moghedian? Or the BUT?



Animals in TAR


Why are there no domestic animals in TAR? Are the wild animals that do enter TAR like the wolves—the dead and the dreaming? Or are they reflections? ---if they are like the wolves would that suggest they are sentient? Is this why domesticated animals have no reflections, because they are broken to human control/enslaved?


The Ongoing Principal: Yes. First mentioned in book five, and referenced on and off through the books since then. Also, may imply rules and effects of the dream in play, so that fulfils it being an ongoing issue.

The Discussion Factor: Never discussed that I recall.

Revelation Requirements: It was an oddity, and the question was directly phrased by Egwene, so yes I could see why it should be said we should recognise it.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact: Unknown. Possibly revealing that non-human life is sentient. New enemies or allies?

Other Thoughts/Problems: there may possibly be a connection to Moggy not entering TAR whilst leashed in this.



Moggy not entering TAR while Leashed


At least, not that we ever see. And that is wierd—if she could enter the dream she could have sought out people to free her, even if she was being careful not to let the other Forsaken know she had been captured, but there is not the slightest thought or bubble of hope or anything.


The Ongoing Principal: It goes on during her whole period as a captive, but its not referenced afterwards.

The Discussion Factor: Never discussed that I’ve seen.

Revelation Requirements: I can see why this should have been noted at the time.

Presence in the Later Books: None.

Potential Impact: None that I can see. Egwene gets leashed?

Other Thoughts/Problems: This has a simple answer: The a’dam stops you entering the dream.



TAR Precepts


Where did they come from? Are they enforced? Did Birgitte breaking them expose her to Moghedian, or was it just simply that by not obeying them she placed herself in a position where Moghedian could find her? Has her breaking them placed any of the other Heroes in danger.


The Ongoing Principal: Not really. There has been no sign of the other heroes in TAR, no mention of the precepts again. Birgitte’s presence might be said to make it be ongoing.

The Discussion Factor: I can recall this being discussed a few times.

Revelation Requirements: Problematic. There was nothing really about the precepts to leap out at us. Birgitte was warned it was dangerous to disobey them, she did, and she suffered. End of story and nothing to suggest we should have thought it’d go beyond that.

Presence in the Later Books: No. Again a time where this differs from the Ongoing issue.

Potential Impact: The Heroes all die permanently? Are all thrown out of TAR? The Horn doesn’t work?

Other Thoughts/Problems: Not really.



Channeling in the Flesh


You can channel more strongly in the flesh then when dreaming.


“Why will you not understand what I tell you? Even if they had only dreamed themselves here, either would be stronger than we. Here in the flesh, they could crush us without blinking. In the flesh they can draw saidin more deeply than we can draw saidar dreaming.”[tFoH; 55, The Threads Burn]


The Ongoing Principal: People do continue to enter in the flesh, and channel once within, so this is probably ongoing.

The Discussion Factor: Never discussed.

Revelation Requirements: Maybe. It was an oddity that none of the wonder girls ever mentioned this.

Presence in the Later Books: No.

Potential Impact: Unknown.

Other Thoughts/Problems: Could this possibly connect to why entering the dream in the flesh is dangerous?



Changing Forms in the Dream


Both Ishamael and Rahvin attempt to change Rand’s form in the dream, even though he is there in the flesh.


The Ongoing Principal: No. This is never referenced again.

The Discussion Factor: A bit of discussion. Not much.

Revelation Requirements: I don’t see any reason we should have taken note of this at the time.

Presence in the Later Books: No.

Potential Impact: Suggestions have included Rand fixing his hand, and altering Moridin’s body back to look like his original body after the Body Swap.

Other Thoughts/Problems: None.






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2.2 Things Unnoticed Amongst the Aiel



Water In The Waste


Rand made it rain in the Waste and then he and Asmo cracked open Rhuidean and let out the underground ocean to make a new lake at Rhuidean.


The Ongoing Principal: Rand wonders on what the presence of such water would do, and there are frequent references to water in relation to the Waste—also potential foreshadowing when Rand looks at clouds hanging over the Spine of the World promising rain that would never come. Then there are the other weather issues which are referenced often—the two could easily connect to lead to a catastrophy.

The Discussion Factor: Never discussed AFAIK.

Revelation Requirements: Not great. Yes, it was a big change, but not something to make us sit up and take notice.

Presence in the Later Books: Not specifically to the weather of the Waste, but to the weather in general... but yeah, this is a weak point for this theory.

Potential Impact: A sudden change in climate? Flooding in the Waste? This could contribute to the remnant of a remnant, and I for one would not mind seeing the Shaido die in a flash flood. An excellent end to the worlds shoddiest Aiel.

Other Thoughts/Problems: Consider what impact this sudden increase in water in such an arid land may have, especially if it mixes with the other weather problems caused by the Dark One--and the things that were done with the Bowl of the Winds to fix them, and now the tGS the constant over-cast state... what effect could all this be having on an ecosystem built for the blistering sun?



Aiel Darkfriends


Melindhra, the note Kadere found, the Aiel Darkfriends who attempt to kill Mat in LoC. The fact that Moghedian and Rahvin (at least, probably in Rahvin case—more on this in the Shadow Thread) both knew of Rand’s intention to attack Caemlyn when the only ones we know of who could have revealed that info are the Wise Ones or the leaders of the societies. The fact that the Shadow displays it knows Mat sounded the Horn shortly after Rhuarc learns of it.


Most of these bear separate analysis, but the general theory coming out of all this is that there are either lots of Aiel Darkfriends, or that many of the Aiel in positions of authority (the ones we know and love) are Darkfriends.


The Ongoing Principal: See first paragraph. Oh yeah is it going on.

The Discussion Factor: I can recall once or twice that Aiel Darkfriends were discussed—never in detail and never with the above sequence from books 4-6 laid out in front.

Revelation Requirements: I’m not sure. There were indicators, but I don’t know if it should have been taken as anything special—we’ve have Darkfriend reveals before, why is this special?—though I suppose none of the other reveals had a group of people we knew and liked.

Presence in the Later Books: It’s been suggested that Sorilea and Bair seeing where Cadsuane kept the sa’angreal and Domination Band might mean they tipped off the Shadow. This may not be necessary though—Brandon said that to break the wards Elza was given knowledge of several rare weaves, and used in other ways by Shaidar Haren—that could have led her to the hiding place, as could a simple search.

Potential Impact: Could be huge I guess—lead the Aiel away from Rand and all that.

Other Thoughts/Problems: They haven’t achieved much, have they? Wait, invert that, they have achieved some pretty big things, but on the side of the light. They could easily have caused more mischief even whilst staying hidden.



Aiel Darkfriends who attacked Mat


In LoC a bunch of Aiel leap out of gateways and attack Mat. They are not Shaido sent by the Foolboxes, as some have suggested. It is far too early for that.


The Ongoing Principal: In line with other Aiel DF outlined above. But still, a one off event that is never referenced again so this by itself probably is not the BUT

The Discussion Factor: Never AFAIK.

Revelation Requirements: Nothing really there to make us sit up and take notice.

Presence in the Later Books: None.

Potential Impact: None that I see.

Other Thoughts/Problems:  So, Darkfriends—sent by Sammael? But why would he send Aiel? And why so few? Triple the number and not even Mat’s luck could save him. The simple answer was it was an attempt to turn Mat against Rand, but if so it seems hamfisted.



The Remnant of a Remnant


It’s been suggested that this is being fulfilled in a way other than lots and lots of Aiel dying. Some have suggested the Shaido will be the surviving remnant, others that those who threw down their spears and joined the Tinkers/swore themselves gai’shain—note the prophecy speaks of Rand saving a remnant of ‘those who call themselves Aiel’ so the normal Tinkers are out.


A few points I would add. One, the prophecy was spoken by an Aes Sedai living amongst the Jenn—to her modern Aiel would already be a remnant. That they don’t use swords and cover their faces and wear cadin’sor are all remanent of Dai’shain beliefs and lifestyles. This opens a new line of thought, that the remnant will not be that of drastically reduced numbers (though I’ve no doubt many Aiel will die in TG—Rand shall spill out the blood of those who call themselves Aiel, and all that jazz) but a remnant of culture.


That would be the thing which has gone unnoticed—that the Aiel are changing. Wise One’s have joined in battle and defied Aes Sedai. Clans have been united. The Westlands have been explored, and now with travelling will not simply be left to do their own thing on the other side of the Wetlands. Soon they will have to find a place for male channelers—will men become Wise Ones? And if so will women become chiefs?


Prophecy is being fulfilled, and it’s gone unnoticed (at least supposedly).


The Ongoing Principal: Yes. In any of the incarnations of the theory.

The Discussion Factor: It has been discussed—at one time very heavily.

Revelation Requirements: Perhaps we should have looked at social changes at the time, Rand certainly brought enough, but I don’t know why we should have placed and special merit on it. So the Aiel are changing?

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact: If its the Shaido or Aiel Tinkers, perhaps the rest of the Aiel will be wiped out in ToM? Alternatively if its social changes perhaps we’ll be seeing Aiel male channelers brought into the fold, or the Aiel taking a new stance—like, perhaps, they’ll decide once and for all not to return to the Threefold land. Perhaps the Aiel conquer the Westlands after TG and begin a new Aiel Empire.

Other Thoughts/Problems:



The Wise Ones are (Secretly) Playing God


I was tempted to call it the Flashforward effect—but seriously, there are thousands of Wise One’s each having gone through the rings in Rhuidean, so each with some ideas of what the future holds. If they compared notes on their small pieces they might paint an interesting picture.


Note: Rinse and Repeat with the title “The Darkfriend Wise Ones are (Secretly) Playing the Great Lord”.


The Ongoing Principal: References to the rings, and the knowledge gained are ongoing.

The Discussion Factor: Never discussed that I recall.

Revelation Requirements: Perhaps. Moiraine’s achievements should certainly have underlined the power of the rings.

Presence in the Later Books: Sort of. References to the Rings, certainly.

Potential Impact: Huge. Wise One’s save/destroy the world (depending on how you look at it.

Other Thoughts/Problems: If this picture of the future is known (and as detailed as this theory suggests), why were the Shaido Wise One’s ignoring it? Surely it would have at least shown that they must follow Rand? Or, if not, at least spelled out some of the dangers of not following him (mass leashing, anyone?) And if not, if it were just a small group amongst the Wise One’s comparing notes then that limits its effectiveness dramatically—each Wise One retains only a few bits of information consciously. Thousands of such added together might be impressive, but go far below that in numbers...



Melaine Slipping About Moiraine and the Rings


In the Wise One’s dreams Moiraine was always the one to demand the right to go to the rings, instead  Melaine slipped up and told her. There is no indication of this having changed anything, but it’s there.


The Ongoing Principal: Not really.

The Discussion Factor: Once that I recall.

Revelation Requirements: Moiraine directly asks if it changes things, and receives a maybe. So yes I could see it being said that we should have noticed. I don’t know how much importance it could be said we should have attributed to it.

Presence in the Later Books: Not really.

Potential Impact: Uncertain—it should be noted that Moiraine is coming back on screen in ToM, which may be an indication that this could rear its head.

Other Thoughts/Problems:



Aiel Failing the Aes Sedai


Technically this was first brought up in book two by Urien, yet the actual ‘failing’ doesn’t begin until book 6, so it might still be viable. And the Shaido certainly fail the Aes Sedai—does this spell out the Aes Sedai destroying the Shaido? What of the Aes Sedai d’tsang? I don’t know if that could be seen as failing, since it seems to be teaching the Aes Sedai a thing or to, but the Tower might see it differently.


The Ongoing Principal: Yup, still ongoing. Referenced frequently, both the actions and the belief that failing the Aes Sedai would result in destruction.

The Discussion Factor: Never really discussed.

Revelation Requirements: Yeah, I’d say this fulfils the requirements.

Presence in the Later Books: Yup.

Potential Impact: I dunno? War between the Aiel and the Tower?

Other Thoughts/Problems: Was this ever really a prophecy, or is it just something the Aiel have come to believe. I reckon the latter.



The Aiel Chief’s Chairs


They’re chairs. The Chiefs sit on them to dispense justice and judgement... I think the only reason people brought this up was because it was mentioned and never seen.


The Ongoing Principal: Sorta.

The Discussion Factor: Never.

Revelation Requirements: Doesn’t fulfil this point.

Presence in the Later Books: Referenced fairly often that the Aiel don’t sit on chairs.

Potential Impact: Nothing I can see. The Aiel all develop bad posture?

Other Thoughts/Problems: I got nothing.



The Wise Ones/Rhuarc and Berelain


In book 4 Rhuarc shames Berelain, and likely beats her. Yet in book six they start treating her with a great deal of respect and affection, yet we never see exactly what it was she did to make them suddenly like her.


The Ongoing Principal: Yes, the attitude continues into later books.

The Discussion Factor: It was discussed a bit—not as something huge, just as a commentary on Aiel attitudes.

Revelation Requirements: Not really. It was an unexplained change I guess.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact: None that I can see.

Other Thoughts/Problems: This does fit with Aiel attitudes—once you correct a shaming trait, it’s as if it were never there, and the act of correcting, as well as coming out to face more dangerous nations in support of Rand would bring Berelain much ji in the eyes of the Aiel. I also suspect its more in there as a point about the prudish nature of the Wetlands. Caught up in her disapproval Egwene doesn’t see Berelains true worth and ability. The Aiel do.



The Siswai’aman


Aiel put on red headbands and name themselves the Spears of the Dragon, yet refuse to admit they are wearing the headbands. Aviendha says that they believe that in serving the Dragon they look to work of their Toh to the Aes Sedai. I can see why people have locked into this one—it happens suddenly, and the origins of it are uncertain, and the Aiel’s own secrecy highlight it. However, that being said this does fit Aiel beliefs—once you know you have Toh, you try to meet it. That’s were things get a little funky again—other Aiel not mentioning it makes sense, you do not shame another by speaking of their Toh. But the siswai’aman not speaking of it is weird? Most Aiel leap forward to admit they have Toh, but these do not even acknowledge it.


Others have suggested things from the siswai’aman all being potential channelers drawn by Rand’s ta’maral’ailen, to that they’re all darkfriends. I do not see signs of either being the case.


The Ongoing Principal: Fits perfectly.

The Discussion Factor: Not often.

Revelation Requirements: It was odd enough that it should draw our attention.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact: I don’t know. Maybe Rand offends them and they turn against him? Maybe they do something monstrous in a desperate attempt to meet their Toh?

Other Thoughts/Problems: As I said I see why people like this one, but I’m not actually sure there is a mystery here.



The Bleakness


The period of blank staring an Aiel goes through as he or she tries to reconcile the true past of the Aiel as followers of the Way of the Leaf. The results have been Aiel throwing down their spears  and running off to join the Tinkers or the Shaido, or swearing themselves gai’shain permenantly. Becoming Siswai’aman could probably be said to be a result of the Bleakness too.


The Ongoing Principal: Yes.

The Discussion Factor: Quite heavy--The Song is the big newbie fan idea, and Aiel joining with tinkers has been a favourite suggestion for how it will come back. I suppose since this is a result of the Bleakness it might be said that it’s not discussed—but then if thats the case then these results of the Bleakness aren’t the impact of it being the BUT.

Revelation Requirements: People did take note.

Presence in the Later Books: The results of it are, yes. I don’t think an Aiel undergoing the Bleakness has been seen since book seven.

Potential Impact: Suggestions have included Aiel Tinkers finding the Song, the Aiel returning to life under the First Covenant—very likely the Bleakness was the first step on the path to fulfilling the Remanent of a Remanent prophecy, though I doubt this is the BUT impact.

Other Thoughts/Problems:



Aiel Regaining What Was Theirs


Aiel speak of leaving the Three Fold Land and regaining what was theirs as prophecy during the early books. And what was that? The Way of the Leaf? Their position as servants to the Aes Sedai? Both seem unlikely. Could be remanent material.


The Ongoing Principal: Not really been mentioned, and each day they move further away from it. Though Aiel Tinkers could be said to be doing this.

The Discussion Factor: None that I recall.

Revelation Requirements: Perhaps. It sounds like a challenge so maybe we should have noticed.

Presence in the Later Books: Not really.

Potential Impact: Aiel all become Dai’shain again? Rhuarc serves Egwene her tea of a morning. No idea.

Other Thoughts/Problems:



Those Dedicated to Peace in Battle


Why would the Aiel be sworn to peace as a very part of the nature of who they are (an oath written in bone, as Moiraine translates Aiel) in an age that does not even know what war is?


The Ongoing Principal: They’re still called Aiel, I guess.

The Discussion Factor: A bit, on and off.

Revelation Requirements: I think so. It’s certainly a bit odd.

Presence in the Later Books: Sort of. Statements about the nature of the Age of Legends continue, as do the Aiel. Nothing specific on the why of their name though.

Potential Impact: No idea.

Other Thoughts/Problems: War is remembered of in the histories of the Age of Legends. The name could easily date to a time when war was not a fantasy—indeed, the Aes Sedai, sworn to serve, are served by those sworn to peace—could channelers and Aiel be working to correct some great evil they did in the past? A war of genocide or near extinction or something? Could this be the First Covenant? A pact of peace following some terrible world war?



Rand Dishonouring the Maidens


Rand first tries to keep the Maiden’s out of the fight in book 5, and we first see the Maiden’s reactions (Sulin breaking her spears).  Breaking a spear is a big thing to an Aiel, and this could be a big thing.


The Ongoing Principal: Yes, it continued, though the beat down happened in book seven, which seems an escalation of this—which doesn’t fit Brandon’s comment about it not becoming more relevant in the later books.

The Discussion Factor: Not that I can recall.

Revelation Requirements: Breaking a spear is a huge thing. We should have given it more weight.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes. In fact, perhaps tellingly, we witness two maidens discussing the issue in tGS.

Potential Impact: The Maidens abandoning him or breaking their spears and running at a key moment in TG?

Other Thoughts/Problems:  Problem is this seemed more likely prior to Rand’s epiphany in tGS? Although—maybe Light Rand would be more inclined to try and protect them, and thus dishonour them?







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2.3 Things Unnoticed Amongst the Shadow



Trollocs and Myrdraal and... helicopters?


How does Semirhage react fast enough to get new Trollocs into the Stone to fight Sammael’s in tSR? I don’t see the Ways working—the Dark One would have to learn of Sammael’s intentions, sends for Semirhage (no small difficulty with her on a ship with Tuon and bunch of damane), she has to gather her own Trollocs, and even then  it’d be a one to two day trip through the Ways (if not more—she’d likely have to send them through in two or three groups to evade Machin Shin).


So did Sammael for some odd reason wait 3 or 4 days for Semirhage to be able to blunt his effort in the nick of time, after making his intentions somehow known to the Dark One? This is all quite weird.


On the same note, how does Asmo get Trollocs to Imre Stand and Cold Rocks unnoticed? The closest Waygate is in the Spine of the World, one would think the Aiel would notice a Shadowspawn army moving through the Waste (Rhuarc expresses shock that a couple of wagons could do it, an army of 10,000 should have drawn notice in moments). Yet not only do they do this, no one comments on it.


The Ongoing Principal: Not really.

The Discussion Factor: Never, that I recall.

Revelation Requirements: No. We didn’t know about Trollocs and gateways at that time, so I don’t see any reason why we should have questioned this.

Presence in the Later Books: Possibly the Trollocs that attacked Tylee in tGS? It’s been noted that the nearest Waygates are outside the Seanchan perimeter for Ebou Dar, so how did they get inside unnoticed?

Potential Impact: Huge. A previously unknown way of moving Shadowspawn?

Other Thoughts/Problems:



Rhianna, Jeaine and Berylla


These three black sisters were sent off by Moghedian on missions unknown, and never seen again.


The Ongoing Principal: No. Only referenced this once in book 5.

The Discussion Factor: Yes, quite heavily at times.

Revelation Requirements: Nothing to distinguish them from any of the other Black Sisters sent off, so not really.

Presence in the Later Books: None.

Potential Impact: No idea, but it could be big I suppose. I’ve suggested before that Berylla and Rhianna were watching over Masema, guiding him whenever the Fake Rand couldn’t keep an eye on him. It’s noted that women served as his lieutenant’s, and Rhianna is described as a subtle and skilled manipulator—the perfect person to carefully nudge things into escalating. I don’t know if that could be said to have an impact now Masema’s dead.

Other Thoughts/Problems: This cannot be the BUT, but it may still be an unnoticed thing that will play a role.



The Blight Receding


The Blight grows quiet and recedes two miles in book four, and Shadowspawn raids are stopped.


The Ongoing Principal: Referenced often.

The Discussion Factor: Not heavily.

Revelation Requirements: I could accept that.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes. Though this seems to have reversed itself as of tGS when Bashere observes the Blight has moved south again.

Potential Impact: The obvious answer is this was done in order that the Light would focus on fighting each other and ignore the Shadow. Moridin certainly infers as much in KoD—and as far as it goes it succeeded. But that time is past, so I’m not sure it could be said to have an upcoming impact. The borderlanders not being at their posts could be said to be a result, but Rand’s replacing them so....

Other Thoughts/Problems: Problems:  As I stated, this is reversed in tGS and it could be a continuing result of the victory at the Eye, in which case it began in book one, not four.



The Fade and the Hornsounder


The Shadow did not know Mat had sounded the horn at the end of tGH—Ishamael thinks it was Rand. Yet in tSR a Fade names Mat ‘the Hornsounder’. So, who blabbed? At that stage only Moiraine, Siuan, Verin, Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Elayne, Nynaeve, Faile, Loial, Hurin and Rhuarc know it was Mat.


Was it Verin then? Given her secret agenda that seems… odd. And if she could keep secret that she intended to out the Black without it violating her Oaths, she could keep this secret. Rhuarc? Hurin?


The Ongoing Principal: Not referenced again [that specifically the shadow knows Mat sounded the Horn], except in the general sense that Mat is referenced to have sounded the Horn.

The Discussion Factor: Not that I recall—though there is a notation on the mystery in the EWoT, which Brandon is stated to use. Still, he could have missed that.

Revelation Requirements: I can see why it could be said we should have noticed this was odd.

Presence in the Later Books: None.

Potential Impact: The Shadow kidnaps Mat and makes him use the Horn for them? I dunno.

Other Thoughts/Problems:



Rahvin’s Preparedness


Rahvin has a small army of Trollocs waiting around for Rand’s attack. How did he know to have them ready? And where did he keep them? I don’t see how he could maintain a Trolloc force in Caemlyn for long. Of course Moghedian’s answer applies, that he feared betrayal by the other three in the group, and brought the Trollocs in when he knew the plan was about to be set in motion in case they set Rand upon him instead of Sammael.  Alternatively this could be connected to the question of Darkfriend Wise Ones raised in the Aiel section.


The Ongoing Principal: No.

The Discussion Factor: No. Though as above there is a mention in EWoT.

Revelation Requirements: I can see why we should have been questioning the presence of the Trollocs, though not why we should grant it special importance.

Presence in the Later Books: No.

Potential Impact: None that I can see.

Other Thoughts/Problems:



Moghedian Knew Rand’s Plans to Attack Rahvin


Efforts were made to keep the exact target secret (seemingly only the leaders of the societies knew it was Rahvin, if Roidan’s refusal to tell Sulin it was Rahvin  means anything). The Wise One’s probably knew as well, as Aviendha went and spoke to them about it—so, does this mean high ranking Aiel Darkfriends.


The Ongoing Principal: This unique fact, that Moghedian knew, is never referenced again.

The Discussion Factor: Not that I recall.

Revelation Requirements: Not really—Moghedian’s a spy, so it’s hardly startling that she would know. Still, perhaps Sulin’s comment should have pointed it out to us.

Presence in the Later Books: No.

Potential Impact: Darkfriend Aiel.

Other Thoughts/Problems: This should be linked to the Darkfriend Aiel option. By itself it is not the BUT, and I only gave it its own entry because it was brought up so much. (I may even later move this to the Aiel section anyway).


Slayer and Janduin


Why was Slayer in the Blight at that time? Why did he kill Rand’s father? Was it happenstance or did he intentionally seek him out?


The Ongoing Principal: Only referenced the once.

The Discussion Factor: A fair bit of discussion on this one.

Revelation Requirements: Yes it should have been noted. But, for that matter, it was noted.

Presence in the Later Books: None.

Potential Impact: No idea.

Other Thoughts/Problems: Could this be the reason Gitara sent Luc to the Blight?



That Graendal Was at an Inn in Maeron When Mat was There


a copper-skinned Domani woman, though wearing a modest blue dress, with quick eyes and gemmed rings on all her fingers [LoC; 5, A Different Dance]


This was compared to a description of Graendal in the very next chapter…


Her thin blue Domani gown clung and more than hinted. As usual she had a ring with different stones on every finger, four or five gem-encrusted bracelets on each wrist, and a wide collar of huge sapphires snugged around the gown's high neck. [LoC; 6, Threads of Woven Shadow


The combination of rings, Domani, blue dress was added to it being only a chapter apart was the basis.


The Ongoing Principal: No. We never see the Domani again, Graendal never references it, and there is no indication she did anything anyway—Mat’s medallion didn’t go cold.

The Discussion Factor: On and off.

Revelation Requirements: I don’t see why we should. A connection between rings and dresses, but with other divergent issues. No, I’m going to say this fails the Revelation Requirements.

Presence in the Later Books: None.

Potential Impact: Graendal did something...?

Other Thoughts/Problems: This seems unlikely.


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2.4 Things Unnoticed with the Power and Power Related Issues and Items



Ignoring Heat and Cold


The BUT in this is the idea that maybe only channelers can do this. Though a lack of perspiration is noted about Aes Sedai prior to book four, the trick itself, as a thing of concentration, is first detailed and explained in books four through six. Now, though it is said to have nothing to do with the Power, no one who cannot channel uses it. The first potential hint we see of this possibility is that the Asha’men’s wives are seen sweating. Taim says they want no part of the trick, but perhaps the did try, and fail—Taim also states that many of the think its saidin. The next hint we have is Min who, perhaps tellingly, states in tGS that she never had been able to master the trick.


Whatever that "trick" about ignoring cold and heat was, Min had never been able to figure it out. They claimed it had nothing to do with the power, but if that were so, why were Rand and the Aes Sedai the only ones who could manage it?[tGS: 37, A Force of Light]


Now, Siuan states that she can still ignore heat and cold.


She still had enough control of herself to ignore the heat, usually [tFoH; 27, The Practice of Diffidence]


So to a degree they are right, it is not a thing of the Power—but could it be a result of the same trait in your soul or body which might mean you could come to channel the power? Thus meaning only prospective channelers could use it? Consider Rand and Moghedian’s descriptions of the trick.


It was a matter of distancing from himself, of concentrating inward, a little like the way he prepared to embrace saidin. Strange that it should be so close to the Power yet have nothing to do with it at all.[LoC; 10, A Saying in the Borderlands]


She claimed it took time working with the Power before you could achieve the detachment necessary to ignore heat or cold, not much better than the Aes Sedais' vague promises that it would come "eventually."


Now Moghedian was lying about working with the power, but both she and Rand speak of achieving a necessary state. A state that people without the ability (latent, severed or otherwise) cannot do.


The Ongoing Principal: Yes, but the problem is that it becomes stronger through Min, and that goes against Brandon’s statements about it not growing more relevant in the later books.

The Discussion Factor: No.

Revelation Requirements: I don’t see why we should have noticed this. Taim’s explanation of Sora is reasonable, and Siuan despite being severed could still do it.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact: No idea.

Other Thoughts/Problems: Whilst probably not the BUT, it’s an interesting catch.


Callandor, More Than Just A Way To Make Rand Super-Powerful


Consider, despite it’s flaw and the fact that Solinda had the Access Keys (she gave the Aiel their ter’angreal) it was Callandor that the Light made incredible effort to see in Rand’s hand. These facts are what allow Callandor to be a potential BUT despite it being mentioned in book one, and explained and used as a sa’angreal in book three—it is not Callandor which is the BUT, its the fact that it was set aside over more powerful, potentially more useful sa’angreal.


The Ongoing Principal: Definately. Rand constantly questions the use of Callandor, and the related issues that point out that that use was always more than just that it was a sa’angreal—but that it specifically needed to be used by the Dragon.

The Discussion Factor: Not this aspect of Callandor that I ever recall.

Revelation Requirements: In my opinion, yes. The second we learnt Solinda was responsible for both the Aiel and their mission, and responsible for Callandor, we should have been questioning why it wasn’t the Choedan Kal secured and left behind .

Presence in the Later Books: Yup.

Potential Impact: Dunno, get the feeling its going to be big—perhaps even at the heart of how Rand defeats the Dark One.

Other Thoughts/Problems: The problem with this is that Brandon himself laid this out quite bluntly in tGS with Rand, Cadsuane, Min and prophecy. It seems weird that he would do that, and then make it even more blunt with the BUT comment. Besides this made the issue more relevant, which goes against his comments.



Not Using the Access Keys


This is pretty similar to the one above. Firstly Solinda had the Access Keys (unless the Aiel found them along the way, which I don’t see as likely)yet did not use them,  then an Aes Sedai came to the Dai’shain and took sa’angreal saying Ishamael was free, yet does not take the Access Key? Did Solinda and this Aes Sedai both know that they needed to stay with the Aiel? Or did they fear to use them? This is the second instance of someone having the chance to take an Access Key, and not doing so despite the fact that it could be beneficial to them (and there is a third in Shaidar Haren and Elza in tGS).


The Ongoing Principal: First appeared in the right books, and Rand thinks on whether he should use the Choedan Kal at several stages through the series.

The Discussion Factor: None that I know of.

Revelation Requirements: I can see why we should have picked up on it.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact: Here’s where it runs into a wall—the CK are both destroyed (and yes guys, the statue on Tremalking was destroyed with the female Access Key. Alviarin states this). What possible further impact could it have? Could using that much power have weakened reality, or the seals, or something?

Other Thoughts/Problems:



The Other Male sa’angreal that is Stronger than Callandor


Lanfear states that...


“I cannot trust you fully, Lews Therin. Not yet.” She came closer, and he considered simply seizing her. He was bigger and stronger by far - and blocked as he was, she could wrap him up with the Power like a kitten tangled in a ball of string. “Not with that, certainly,” she added, grimacing at Callandor. “There are only two more powerful that a man can use. One at least, I know, still exists. No, Lews Therin. I will not trust you yet with that.”[tSR; 9, Decisions]


The Ongoing Principal: Never mentioned again.

The Discussion Factor: Heavy.

Revelation Requirements: Fairly clear.

Presence in the Later Books: No.

Potential Impact: I don’t know?

Other Thoughts/Problems: Some have suggested that this is the Ring of Tamyrlin. Aside from the fact that it is unlikely the Aes Sedai would have a male sa’angreal as a symbol of office for a position women could (and frequently did) fill, if it were the Ring of Tamyrlin it would mean it is definitely not the BUT, as that is first referenced in tEotW. I raise this because people suggested that the ring itself could be the BUT and the impact could be Rand using it as a symbol to claim equality or supremacy with Egwene. The Ring is not the BUT. The sa’angreal, if it is the BUT, is not the ring. And if the sa’angreal is the Ring and not the BUT, then there is nothing to suggest we’ll ever see it.



The Warding of the Great Holding


In LoC Mesaana has this to say:


“The Great Hold in the Stone of Tear is also warded, with a nasty thing that would have held me fast had I tried to pass through or untie it. I don't think it can be untied except by whoever wove it, and until then it is a trap for any other woman who can channel.” [she later adds to herself]: “She also suspected there was a trap for men woven around the Great Hold, too, or Demandred would have had his sa'angreal and launched himself at Rand al'Thor long since.” [LoC; Prologue]


Yet in tSR Moiraine, Egwene, Elayne, Nynaeve and Rand all come and go within the Great Holding without any troubles. So, who wove it? Also Mesaana can’t detect one for men (though her logic is sound as to why there almost certainly is one), so are these wards woven of saidin? In which case how did Mesaana have such knowledge of the warding made to grab women? She obviously didn’t learn it from actually experience it, and given she isn’t able to read the one for men she clearly doesn’t know some heretofore unknown way of reading a man’s web.


Is then the female warding made of saidar, and the male saidin? They are clearly not inverted saidar for the same reason as they are not both saidin. Either Mesaana would be able to read both, were they, or read neither. So what’s the deal? And who wove them. Moiraine and Rand? Or is this an old warding that somehow only guards against shadow channelers?  This would explain why Be’lal didn’t get angreal and other toys out of the Great Holding, but again raises the question of who wove it.


The Ongoing Principal: Not really. The Great Holding is never referenced again outside of LoC, and the Warding is never referenced again at all. Though, that being said, its clearly still inviolate, so that may mean that it is ongoing, albeit it a point in absence.

The Discussion Factor: Never heavily.

Revelation Requirements: Yes, I can definitely see why we should have been commenting on this.

Presence in the Later Books: Not directly.

Potential Impact: No idea.

Other Thoughts/Problems:



Dogs Liking Men Who Can Channel, But Hating Women. Cats Doing the Same in Reverse.


Though there are earlier references in books five and six to cats gathering wherever there were a lot of Aes Sedai, this issue is first clearly and specifically commented on by Demira in LoC.


Cats seemed to sense something about Aes Sedai; she had never heard of an Aes Sedai being scratched by even the most feral cat. Dogs were hostile, true, almost as if they thought Aes Sedai were cats, but they almost always slinked away after a little show. [LoC;46, Beyond the Gate]


The Ongoing Principal: Yes. Cats and dogs appear around channelers at many times in the series, and the issue is directly referenced at least two other times.

The Discussion Factor: It’s been commented on as a curiosity, but never deeply discussed.

Revelation Requirements: I don’t really see why Brandon would think we should have taken this as anything other than a worldbuilding curiosity. *shrug*

Presence in the Later Books: Yes. In CoT we learn that the reverse is true with dogs  and cats for men from Toveine.

Potential Impact: No idea? Cats can channel saidar and dogs saidin?

Other Thoughts/Problems: This issue becomes a little stronger in later books, with an Aes Sedai getting attacked by a dog. Also, one could say that this was referenced earlier than book four, there is a scene in which an inn’s cats flock to Moiraine in book one. A subtle precursor, and easily missed by Brandon, but it is there.


Taking Circles Beyond Thirteen


Pretty much the obvious. Probably the only reason it is in the BUT list is that it was mentioned yet never done, though as of CoT there are clear intentions to set up a situation so it could be done. *shrug*


The Ongoing Principal: Yes, referenced often and most clearly laid out in books four through six.

The Discussion Factor: Discussed a fair bit that I recall.

Revelation Requirements: I don’t see it. There’s nothing particularly special about this knowledge.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact: Super links, obviously. But used to what effect? I suppose I would like to see a Seanchan army encounter a full link. “Shield them, damane!” “Are you fracking kidding me?”

Other Thoughts/Problems: This really did not in any way go unnoticed.



The Oaths, Being Severed, the Loss of the Agelessness, And Appearence


Whilst the effects of the Oath Rod have probably been too heavily discussed to be the BUT themselves (There are even threads on this on the WoTFAQ, and the Thirteenth Depository) there is an aspect of the Oaths that hasn’t been discussed, specifically the way a person looks after they’ve been severed and the Agelessness fades.  Siuan states it the clearest.


And her own father would not have recognized her. She did not really look as she had as a young woman; the changes maturity had made were still there, but softened into youth. Coldly objective, she thought she might be somewhat prettier than she had been as a girl; pretty was the best that had ever been said of her. Handsome had been the more usual compliment. She could not connect that face to her, to Siuan Sanche.


Siuan is wrong in this. As a slowed channeler of her strength the passage of twenty years would have left no great sign. Without the oaths that passage (and whatever maturity she gained) would have altered her appearance very little. So then what Siaun is attributing to maturation (softened back into youth) was in fact an effect of being bound.


The Ongoing Principal: Yes. Heaviest mention when people are first growing used to who she is in books five and six, after which it fades into the background, though it is still occasionally mentioned.

The Discussion Factor: Nope.

Revelation Requirements: Perhaps. The Oaths having peremenant physiological effects should have been noted once we realised the life-shortening effects of the Rod (which, by the way, is brought up by Semirhage in LoC, so potentially in the scope of us realising).

Presence in the Later Books: Yup.

Potential Impact: The obvious one is that if the Oaths has permanent effects on you whether or not you are later unbound, then Egwene’s plan of unbinding and retiring into the Kin will have no effect. This could come to a head in ToM—an old Aes Sedai deciding to unswear, and dying anyway—additionally this could in some way play in with unveiling Mesaana—if the rod has permanent effects Mesaana would want to avoid them—perhaps if you unswear swiftly enough the effects don’t take place, and Mesaana is caught trying to steal the Rod, or something.

Other Thoughts/Problems: Wow, this one’s taking me deep into the realms of speculation. Here’s some more for you. We know from Sammael in [LoC; 6, Threads of Woven Shadow] that the effects of the Oaths are accumulative—for instance it takes more than one Oath to achieve the Agelessness.  Now as of tGS all Aes Sedai have sworn at least six times on the Oath Rod, bringing them on par with the BA—and I would point out that none of the older Aes Sedai (Cadsuane, Meilyn, Romanda, Adeleas, Vandene) were Black Ajah. What I’m suggesting is if three limit you down to a top of 300 years, maybe six pushes you down to 250 or 200. In which case a lot of the Aes Sedai are about to start dying of old age, beginning with Romanda, but including the vast majority of the Tower’s upper management—the BA Hunters for instance have sworn way more than six times. Could this lead to Egwene having the Aes Sedai foreswear the Oaths? And If so will she be in time?


The Fat Man Angreal


Found in book four, disappeared in book six when Aes Sedai captured Rand.


The Ongoing Principal: It fits the book four to six part, but after Rand’s search for it early in book seven its never really referenced again. Also it fails the ongoing issue as there are no indications that it’s existence or its loss are having any ongoing influences on plot or characters.

The Discussion Factor: I recall it being discussed, yes.

Revelation Requirements: I don’t see what special significance we should have placed in it.

Presence in the Later Books: No.

Potential Impact: Some have suggested Taim may have it.

Other Thoughts/Problems:


Aes Sedai Not Being Able to Write a Lie


Rand asks this, and Moiraine nods (people have pointed out that this is not in itself ‘speaking a word that is not true’, but Moiraine’s at least somewhat trustworthy), and besides, the Black Ajah Hunters seem to assume that Aes Sedai cannot write a lie as well—yet the word form is exact. ‘Speak a word’.


The Ongoing Principal: First mentioned in book five, and referenced later on by the BAH.

The Discussion Factor: This have been discussed.

Revelation Requirements: It was noted, to a degree. So yes, I can see that.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact:  An Aes Sedai going ‘wait a minute, I never said I wouldn’t write a lie’ and proceeding to do so,

Other Thoughts/Problems: This whole issue is kind of a weird note in the series—which might be exactly what we’re looking for. On the other hand only one Aes Sedai realising this in the history of the Tower? That seems... fortuitous.


New Method of Healing Severing and the Bore


Nynaeve describes a hole in Logain, which she bridges. It has been suggested that using the same method may be a way to permanently seal the bore. Certainly the Age of Legenders didn’t know this technique, which would explain why they didn’t employ it.


The Ongoing Principal: References to the method are made throughout the books (Logain was even apparently attempting to describe it to Asha’men in the hopes of reproducing it before Flynn stumbled on it/his own version of it.

The Discussion Factor: Never discussed.

Revelation Requirements: Not really. That the bore and what was missing in Logain are described in similar manners doesn’t imply that they are in any way similar, and I see no reason for Brandon to think we should have thought that.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact: Sealing the bore and saving mankind for another Age.

Other Thoughts/Problems: It’s a bit of a leap.


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2.5 Things Unnoticed Miscellaneous



Thom and the sisters involved in the Vileness


Moiraine promises to reveal all the sisters responsible for the Red Ajah Hunt and Destroy mission when next they meet, saying that a skilled player of the Great Game (i.e. Thom, the Grey Fox) could do something with them.


The Ongoing Principal: The Vileness, that sisters escaped without any justice, Thom’s abilities, and his left over feelings about Oweyn are all referenced frequently, but with the necessary ambiguity to allow Moiraine’s discussion with him to be the most relevant part of this—so yes, it all fits very neatly.

The Discussion Factor: Not correctly. The letter was once thought to contain this information, and there was discussion on that—obviously it did not, and since that revelation in KoD I don’t recall new discussion on what Thom will do once he meets up with Moiraine and she informs him.

Revelation Requirements: Yes, we should have taken note when Moiraine died despite promising she would meet him again and tell him then. We did, to a degree, but people only used the point for the question of whether Moiraine was alive. Additionally people mostly thought the information was in the letter, again despite Moiraine’s promise they would meet and we should tell him then. So, yes.

Presence in the Later Books: Yup.

Potential Impact: The obvious impact is that Thom will take out bundles of Red Sisters, however it could be much more simple—for instance Thom might join the Black Tower (RJ stated he couldn’t channel, not necessarily that he couldn’t learn) or, as is perhaps more likely, become an advisor to the Black Tower in dealing with the White, using this knowledge to shame the White and bring a somewhat more equal political footing. He could potentially even work with Moiraine to unite the Towers, using this knowledge to bring men into the White Tower on equal footing . Alternatively he could use this to incite war between the Black and White Towers. This information could have great use to a man of Thom’s skill, and thus a big impact.

Other Thoughts/Problems: This BUT has the clearest indication of coming to a head in ToM, given that’s when Moiraine returns.


Perrin Breaking From Rand’s ta’veren Pull in tSR


Other times when Perrin and Mat have succeeded in leaving Rand its been because the pull let them go. Whenever else Rand’s pull has been at full strength they’ve been pulled back—but this time, though the pull was at full strength, Perrin broke free through sheer stubbornness. Perrin being in the Two Rivers changed many things, Luc even states directly that that many Trollocs would not have been brought had Perrin not come, and his focus would have remained on killing Fain—perhaps that was what was supposed to happen, but Perrin side-stepped the fate of his thread.



The Ongoing Principal: Breaking free from Rand is referenced constantly through books 4-6, then fades back slightly in the later books, though the colours could be said to be representative of this. Perhaps tellingly Perrin and Mat begin feeling the pull again in tGS.

The Discussion Factor: Not discussed AFAIK.

Revelation Requirements: Perhaps. We see Mat strain to break free, and hear the warning from the Finn’s that doing so will be to ‘side step the fate of his thread’ and that that would be very bad. So yes I could see why we might have been expected to sit up and take note when Perrin’s does exactly that. Against that though, we have no proof that Rand’s pull always pulls in the direction of one’s fate, for all that it did then (though the fact that it sometimes relaxes and lets them go, does seem to suggest it)

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact: Perrin’s doomed himself to death. Or perhaps Fain was supposed to die at Isam’s hand, but didn’t because of Perrin’s presence. Perhaps the Two River’s folk were more or less meant to be wiped out, and will be somehow used as hostages against Rand. It could have a number of impacts.

Other Thoughts/Problems:



Egwene Being Handed An A’Dam In A Dream


A hard-faced Seanchan woman handed her a silvery bracelet and necklace connected by a silvery leash, an a'dam. That made her cry out; Seanchan had put an a'dam on her once. She would die before letting it happen again. [LoC; 15, A Pile of Sand]


Egwene clearly takes this as just a nightmare, and not a true dream, but it is curious—wouldn’t the Seanchan woman be trying to leash her in a nightmare, not giving her the a’dam? And notice the description of bracelet and necklace—the hard faced Seanchan woman (Fortuona) gives both bracelet and necklace to Egwene. Could this indicate somewhere down the line that Fortuona will choose to send sul’dam and damane to the Tower for training?


The Ongoing Principal: The issues the Seanchan are having with the sul’dam damane system are referenced constantly. The revelations about the sul’dam, Elayne’s plan to send sparked sul’dam back to be leashed, Bethamin and Seta training with (and presumably to be) Aes Sedai... Yes, its ongoing.

The Discussion Factor: Never discussed, not even on the WoTFAQ dreams listing.

Revelation Requirements: Yes, I could see why we should have noticed.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes—at least things related to it are building.

Potential Impact: sul’dam and damane trained as Aes Sedai?

Other Thoughts/Problems: Could connect to the Carlinya dream below spelling out a new method of dealing with channelers in the Empire. Trained as Aes Sedai then serve as property with great authority, like the Seekers. However, I do not possibly see how this could come to play out as early as ToM. There is way too much that needs to happen first. The seeds are there, but this is down the line.



Carlinya’s Raven Tattoo’s


Min sees stylized drawing of ravens around Carlinya that she thinks is a tattoo in book 5. In book 4 we learn that the Raven tattoo is a symbol of being property of the Crystal Throne. Aes Sedai being property of the Empress in that manner is weird—the ravens bring with them prestige and power, and I doubt that a simple damane would be marked so, even were she direct property of the Throne—indeed, in book two it is stated that most damane are the direct property of the Crystal Throne. None seem to be marked with the ravens.


Beyond that the references to the problems that the Empire will have with the sul’dam issue appear at the same time.


The Ongoing Principal: To a degree, yes. The issues that make the viewing of the ravens are referenced often, but the ravens on Carlinya are never mentioned again.

The Discussion Factor: Not really, AFAIK.

Revelation Requirements: Yes, I can see why we should have taken note after the ravens on the Seekers and Deathwatch Guard were explained in book four.

Presence in the Later Books: Not directly, though the way the ravens and the issues with the sul’dam are referenced fits very neatly with the BUT not becoming more relevant, but indications still being there.

Potential Impact: Potentially this spells out the new way in which channelers will be dealt with by the Empire—Aes Sedai that serve as property sort of in the same way the Deathwatch Guard or Seekers do—with honour and freedom. This could have big ramifications.

Other Thoughts/Problems: Possibly connects to Egwene’s a’dam dream. Like it, though, I don’t see how this could possibly come to play at the front in ToM. It requires a massive shift in perception by Fortuona and the Seanchan—and whilst the seeds of that shift are certainly there, and growing strongly, they still have a long way to go. As such I doubt this is the BUT, but rather something that would/will be dealt with in the Outriggers.



Stasis Boxes


That’s pretty much it. They exist. They are referenced on and off. I suppose the BUT here is that something or someone important may be found in one.


The Ongoing Principal: The boxes themselves are mentioned, and I suppose the general desire to find things from AOL could get around the object problem and thus be said for it to be ongoing.

The Discussion Factor: Not really.

Revelation Requirements: Not really.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact: As said above—something or someone found in one. An Age of Legends Aes Sedai, maybe? Or some terrible weapon.

Other Thoughts/Problems:



Is Mat Still Connected to the Horn


He died, the connection is supposed to be lost when he dies—nothing suggests one way or the other whether it would come back when he did.


The Ongoing Principal: Mat’s connection to the horn fits neatly with the ongoing principal.

The Discussion Factor: Discussed quite frequently.

Revelation Requirements: Yes, I can see why we should have taken notice (I think we did).

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact: He isn’t connected and someone else sounds it? A Darkfriend or something.

Other Thoughts/Problems: Seems... anti-climatic.



Aes Sedai Washing Rand’s Feet and Drying Them with Their Hair


From the Jendai prophecy. Taken mostly just as a sign that Aes Sedai will serve Rand, what if it implies more—one notes that one of the things Egwene must do to convince the Hall to name her Amyrlin is to wash and dry their feet, and ask them to let her serve. Could this then have some implication of Aes Sedai convincing Rand of their importance/authority through an act of subservience?


The Ongoing Principal: Never directly referenced, though the thing about Aes Sedai serving Rand is spoken of.

The Discussion Factor: Not that I recall.

Revelation Requirements: I dunno. Not really I don’t think. Perhaps by LoC.

Presence in the Later Books: Sort of.

Potential Impact: Aes Sedai gaining authority with Rand?

Other Thoughts/Problems: One must note that this is almost precisely what Moiraine did. Metaphorically, anyway. Prophecy fulfilled, or will others follow Moiraine’s path? One must note that Nynaeve thinks about this precisely during tGS.



Gaidal Cain


Firstly is not Olver, as stated by RJ. That aside his rebirth is first mentioned in book five. As per RJ’s statements about Olver we know Gaidal would be a baby or at most a small toddler by now.


The Ongoing Principal: Gaidal is mentioned often, because of Birgitte.

The Discussion Factor: Yes, heavily, but mostly in the ZOMG NOT OLVER variety.

Revelation Requirements: Well... yes, but then, we did notice it. I mean Birgitte flat out says he’s been reborn. That be that.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes, in reference, not in knowledge of the baby.

Potential Impact: None at all that I can see. Birgitte gets the hots for an ugly child and is arrested?

Other Thoughts/Problems:



Moiraine’s Letters About Taim


Moiraine sent three letters to Siuan about Taim, none of which make it. So, they must have been intercepted by an unknown party before reaching Siuan.


The Ongoing Principal: Never referenced again.

The Discussion Factor: Not really—Bob Kluttz has a note in the EWOT about it.

Revelation Requirements: Yes, we should have noticed when Siuan said she’d only received that one letter.

Presence in the Later Books: No.

Potential Impact: None that I can see—obviously this was either done by the Black Ajah, or Mesaana—had it been Elaida steps would have been taken that never were. Perhaps it will be involved with the revelation about Mesaana—Egwene knew Moiraine sent the letters, Siuan can attest to them not reaching her, then they find them in Joe Random Sister’s room, or something?

Other Thoughts/Problems:



Dragon Sceptre


Other than it appearing in book five I don’t see any issue in it.


The Ongoing Principal: It is present, but it has the object problem—no effect, or influence. Rand clearly doesn’t need it to remind him of the Seanchan now.

The Discussion Factor: Not really.

Revelation Requirements: Not really.

Presence in the Later Books: It’s there.

Potential Impact: None that I can see.

Other Thoughts/Problems: It’s existence, origins, and continuing presence in the story (Rand kept it to remind him the Seanchan were out there) are all explained, and it’s been destroyed, so I don’t see any further implications here.



The Borderlanders Fighting Amongst Themselves


This was never clearly explained. Niall states that “Along the Blightborder men were arguing over whether al'Thor was another false Dragon or the Dragon Reborn. Borderlanders being as they were, sometimes those arguments flared into small-scale battles.” [LoC; 9, Plans]


That seems fair, until you look at the later books and see that the Borderlanders seemingly have no doubt Rand is the Dragon. Ok, so then you can suggest the arguments were resolved in favour of Rand being the Dragon—but then the Borderlanders gather armies and march away from their duty in the Borderlands, claiming they are going to do what needs to be done.


So, what needs to be done? And why is it going to take an army and not a few emissaries? Keep in mind that technically the BUT here would be the arguments, not the army marching. That’s after book six and may be a result, but is not itself the BUT.


The Ongoing Principal: Yes—except the borderlanders marching an army is bigger than the original fighting, which defies the point about how the BUT doesn’t grow more relevant in later books. This is a big problem.

The Discussion Factor: Yes, it has been discussed.

Revelation Requirements: It was.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes, but heavier.

Potential Impact: Something bad is going to happen when Rand meets the Borderlanders. We’ve known this for a long time—the BL army has hung around too long, with thirteen often referenced but never seen Aes Sedai. Bashere and Tenobia are likely doomed to die so Faile and Perrin can take the Broken Crown (and thus fulfilling Min’s viewing about Bashere). Most suggest that the thirteen are black, and will take Rand prisoner (the second time women who can channel will hurt him, and the second time Rand will need Perrin).

Other Thoughts/Problems: By itself this cannot be the BUT, however when you look at it through another angle things change...



Joiya, The Freeing of Taim, and the Borderlanders.


Joiya tells the Wondergirls that Liandrin was planning to free Taim and use him to turn the nations against Rand. Clearly Liandrin did not do this—which actually makes sense, as Joiya was bound against betraying the Great Lord, and perhaps adding falsehoods to a real plan allowed her to dance around that (in the hopes that she could later point out how useful she had been), alternatively Joiya may have thought the plan abandoned in favour of Tanchico, yet later another black sister decided to re-implement it.


The point is that someone did free Taim, and consider—it is stated again and again how wary Warders are when false Dragons are taken—how they remember Guire Amalasan’s followers attempting to free him and that they don’t relax until the False Dragons are gentled—so how did Taim’s followers sneak in to release him? Had even one Warder become suspicious he could have roused the Aes Sedai, and we’ve seen how effective they are against non-channeling forces at Dumai’s Well’s.


The suggestion would then be that either the sisters who held him were Black, or that a different set of Black sisters were sent to free him (I doubt one of the Forsaken would risk thirteen Aes Sedai just to free Taim). From there consider the rest of Joiya’s comments—he was to announce himself Rand and commit atrocities to turn the nations against him. Obviously Taim didn’t do this—perhaps Joiya was lying in this part, perhaps Taim tried and discovered he could not announce himself Dragon (as Moiraine said would be the case). Perhaps that plan was simply abandoned in favour of another—Taim going and joining Rand. So, he runs off to Caemlyn, and that leaves the Aes Sedai—and the whole ‘turning the nations against Rand’ thing.


So what happens next? The Borderlanders start fighting each other for the first time in three millennia. As a result of this fighting the Borderland rulers abandon their posts, amass a huge army (by old Westland standards) and march south seeking Rand to ‘do what needs to be done’. Amongst their number are thirteen shadowy Aes Sedai who had come to them in two groups of six and seven.


Here’s what’s suggested. The Aes Sedai having freed Taim learn of the Tower break, and decide not to return—instead they head north and revert back to the original plan—turn the nations against Rand. They incite the Borderlanders on this issue, and note—the fighting begins first in Shienar, the closest nation to the Black Hills where Taim was freed, and spreads to Kandor and Arafel, but never quite reaches Saldaea. Why? The Aes Sedai didn’t have time to get there before the Borderlanders decide to gather. The Thirteen then regroup and join the rulers.


The Ongoing Principal: First raised in books 4-6 then referenced later. Yup, it fits.

The Discussion Factor: Quite heavily.

Revelation Requirements: Yes and no. Taim’s freedom following Joiya’s comments should have raised questions about the Black Ajah (and did), and perhaps that should have alerted us to the Borderlander troubles being incited in following of the plan—but I can’t really see anyone making that connection until learning of the Aes Sedai with the borderlanders, and that happens much later.

Presence in the Later Books: Yup.

Potential Impact: Bad, bad stuff awaits Rand when he meets the BL rulers.

Other Thoughts/Problems: This seems a little complicated to be the BUT, but you never know.



Sammael’s Truce With Rand


Sammael offers Rand a truce, which Rand declines, yet Sammael later tells Graendal that he got that truce. Why the lie? Just to play Graendal and get her to do what he wants? Sammael was successful if that was the case, but still, Sammael’s extreme confidence seems peculiar. Could someone else have intervened in order to trick Sammael


The Ongoing Principal: Doesn’t really work, especially with Sammael dead.

The Discussion Factor: Not that I recall.

Revelation Requirements: Yes, it was worth noting.

Presence in the Later Books: Not really.

Potential Impact: No idea.

Other Thoughts/Problems: This is explained by his trying to play Graendal.



Snakes and Foxes Game


Mat refuses to roll the dice himself whilst playing Olver, as he does not wish his luck to interfere.


The Ongoing Principal: The Game and Mat’s luck are referenced on and off through the series.

The Discussion Factor: None.

Revelation Requirements: Not really—just a man being nice to a kid.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact: Something to do with using Olver against the Finn’s?

Other Thoughts/Problems:  Whilst I’ve no doubt this is foreshadowing for him dealing with the Finn’s, I don’t know about it being the BUT.




First appears in book 6, and RJ has stated he is there for a reason other than serving as a red herring for who Gaidal Cain was reborn as (and, again to be clear, he is not Gaidal). That other reason could be the BUT.


The Ongoing Principal: Well he’s certainly around.

The Discussion Factor: Only in the Gaidal sense.

Revelation Requirements: Can’t see it. Without RJ’s comment there is no reason to think he’s anything other than a kid.

Presence in the Later Books: Yup.

Potential Impact: No idea.

Other Thoughts/Problems:



Ronde Macura


After her failed attempt to capture Elayne and Nynaeve, she sends off a letter to the tower, a letter to the west (most likely to the Seanchan given they are the only power in the west at that point, and that Ronde later joins them and gives them Forkroot. That being said the Tower and the Seanchan make a weird duo of employers) and a third to an unknown place.



The Ongoing Principal: Ronde and Forkroot are referenced on and off, so yes.

The Discussion Factor: Not that I recall.

Revelation Requirements: Yes—it was certainly weird enough to draw notice.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact:  Her hatred of the Tower might drive her to something big, or possibly she may come to regret giving the Seanchan forkroot when she learns fully what happens with damane, and do the inverse. (indeed a thought occurs to me—would forkroot effect sul’dam? It doesn’t affect fully unsparked learners, which we know because there is no word of women being taken at the borders who then can’t be held by the a’dam, but sul’dam walk much closer to the line of sparking).

Other Thoughts/Problems:



Rand’s Third Answer


That’s pretty much it.


The Ongoing Principal: Rand’s answers are referenced throughout the series.

The Discussion Factor: Heavy.

Revelation Requirements: Yes, it was pretty clear.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact: No idea—the key to the Last Battle?

Other Thoughts/Problems: Rand’s answers to the Finns were referenced often in the discussion Peter Ahlstrom ruled out—though as a whole, whether that rules out the Third Answer (which was never itself specifically referenced) I do not know.



The Academies and New Innovations.


The Ongoing Principal: Yup. Fulfilled.

The Discussion Factor: Not heavy.

Revelation Requirements: I’m not sure—we noticed they’d exist, but nothing in them directly foretold great things to come. Not specifically anyway.

Presence in the Later Books: Yup.

Potential Impact: Some great discoveries (the atomic bomb?)

Other Thoughts/Problems:



Mat’s Hat


It’s a super special hat. It... wait for it... stops skin cancer. Must be a ter’angreal.


No, I’m being flippant. People suggest that the fact that it belonged to a Darkfriend and was handed to Mat by a Forsaken that it’s been altered or had weaves placed on it.


The Ongoing Principal: Yes.

The Discussion Factor: No.

Revelation Requirements: No.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact: It really doesn’t protect from skin cancer, and Mat has to suffer the indignity of letting himself be healed with the Power.

Other Thoughts/Problems: It’s a hat. Kadere himself expresses that at the end of tFoH. Anything that could have been done to it could have been done to any article of clothing Mat had.



The Murder of Perrin’s Family


Covered up by Bornhald as Trollocs when really it was Fain.


The Ongoing Principal: Not really referenced after book six.

The Discussion Factor: Not discussed.

Revelation Requirements: We did note it, so yes.

Presence in the Later Books: Not once that I recall.

Potential Impact: Given the upcoming meeting between Perrin and Bornhald—maybe.

Other Thoughts/Problems:



Seanchan/Age of Legends Soldiers


Both are described with the same helmet, a monstrous insect with mandibles serving as the faceguard. The Seanchan soldiers are introduced in book 2, of course, but it could be said that the issue wasn’t noticeable until book 4 when we first see AOL soldiers.


The Ongoing Principal: The AOL soldiers are never referenced again, and no comment is ever made about the connection, but the Seanchan helmet is seen often enough.

The Discussion Factor: On and off—never heavily.

Revelation Requirements: Yeah, I could see why we should have noticed.

Presence in the Later Books: Perhaps.

Potential Impact: Dunno?

Other Thoughts/Problems: The big problem is there is a fairly simple explanation. We know that the War against the Shadow never really stopped in Seanchan—they continued fighting on for almost a thousand years after the Breaking until they completely eradicated the Shadowspawn, and even then they did not stop fighting, turning on each other in a melee until Luthair took control. Therefore the Seanchan soldiers have an unbroken military history leading back to the soldiers of the Age of Legends—and thus it is not that surprising that they retain some of their memorabilia and styles. In any case I can’t really see the impact this similarity might have.



Faolain’s Future


Min implies that Faolain has a good future ahead of her in tFoH.  Faolain also references a project she is working on which compares with the Discoveries the Wondergirls have made.


“So the Aes Sedai’s golden children have decided to take a rest, have they?" Faolain’s smile was as far from friendly as it was possible for a smile to be. "I am not here for the joy of it, you know. I meant to spend today working on something of my own, something not terribly inferior to what you golden children have done, I think.”


The Ongoing Principal: Faolain’s being slightly different to what she currently appears to be has been referenced heavily (her siding with the Blue over Red, her swearing to Egwene). But this discovery or her bright future is never again referenced.

The Discussion Factor: Not often and never heavily.

Revelation Requirements: Yes, I could see why we should have noticed this.

Presence in the Later Books: Not really.

Potential Impact: She could be about to achieve big things—one must note she is with the group that went to the Black Tower.

Other Thoughts/Problems:



Mat’s Ravens


Whilst they may simply refer to Mat marrying Tuon, it could imply that in marrying her he was made property.


The Ongoing Principal: Only referenced once in books 4-6 (in the dream), however Tuon jokes often on making him property.  The problem is this doesn’t fit the Big Thing, which is supposed to fade a bit more into the background after book 6. This becomes heightened with Tuon’s joking.

The Discussion Factor: It got a fair bit in the discussion of who the Daughter of the Nine Moons would be and how Mat would come to marry her, but it was never discussed on its own that I recall.

Revelation Requirements: Yes—we knew what the Raven tattoo’s meant, so we could connect.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes. It becomes stronger.

Potential Impact: Dunno. I don’t see Mat putting up with being property—even glorified property.

Other Thoughts/Problems: This could just as easily just refer to him marrying her.





Alanna was brought up often in the threads due to some of the odd things she does, and the odd things people say about her.  The problem with her is that her ‘oddities’ in books four to six explain themselves. Verin warns Perrin to beware Alanna because she fears that Alanna would try to bond him, (a belief several Aes Sedai share). That Alanna is unique in actually being willing to do so is explained by  her emotional state (from the death of Ihvon and the bond-snapping effect). Verin was not even the only one that realises this—Faile takes Alanna aside and threatens to kill her if she does. This comes to a head when she does bond Rand.


The Ongoing Principal: It is strongest in 4-6, but still present later, so that fits.

The Discussion Factor: Very, very heavily. Due to Verin’s warning being a Verinism, Alanna has been brought up often as people tried to explain Verin’s actions—a fact which I would think Brandon would be aware of, given he just brought a resolution to the Verinisms. Additionally her failed attempt to compel Rand also brought up frequent discussions about her (note, that’s not caused by her, but by him holding saidin).

Revelation Requirements: Perhaps. The problem is that there is not really a mystery to any of Alanna’s oddities—they can all be explained to date, and as such I’m not sure what Brandon would have expected us to comment on.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact: Alanna does more weird stuff, jeopardising Rand or TG? Some have suggested she is black, though there is no evidence for that—Egwene makes no comment on her, and nor does Verin (and one would think Verin would think to warn Egwene that a Black had bonded the Dragon Reborn).

Other Thoughts/Problems: Alanna’s first weird behaviour is in tDR when she requests to share Egwene’s punishment (this is also explained, by her Kandori honour) but if we are looking at Alanna’s oddities, then it doesn’t begin in books 4-6, it begins in book 3.



The Dice in Mat’s Head


Their rolling and stopping signifies big decisions and events in Mat’s life.


The Ongoing Principal: Yes.

The Discussion Factor: A bit.

Revelation Requirements: We did.

Presence in the Later Books: Yes.

Potential Impact: Helps Mat reach decisions.

Other Thoughts/Problems: First mentioned in tDR, so not the BUT.



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3.1 The Theoryland Quotes I Used To Create the Peter Ahlstrom List



I copy and pasted each comment from the Theorylander thread that Peter Ahlstrom reviewed. From that I created the above shortlist, but here is the source material for that list for you to go through if you wish.


•   Moghedian and Brigitte - Moghedien did something to Birgitte, in creating her, like a ticking time bomb. Birgitte, unknown to herself, is Moghedien's creature (or the Dark One's) and Moghedien will use her (or Moridin) will us

•   Something to do with Egeanin. First mentioned in book 4.

•   Perrin in the Two Rivers which means also including Luc/Slayer/Isam, Birgitte & Gaidal

•   The ter'angreal stash from Rhuidean

•   Tigraine's journey to the Waste.

•   --Speaking of using Need though, didn't Nynaeve and Elayne use Need in T'A'R to find something to fix the weather, but it originally took them to Tar Valon, but they knew that they didn't have access so they added the 'not in Tar Valon' clause? Could that be something? iirc, that topic hasn't been largely discussed.  

•   Farstrider, seen in Graendal's lair? [Luckers comment: This is an assumption. The old man may have been many people—this doesn’t rule out the old man being the issue, though it does rule out Farstrider as the old man being the issue].

•   Nynaeve witnessing Moghedien ripping Birgitte out of Tel'aran'rhiod?

•   Fel, telling Rand he didn't think the Dragon Reborn could make the prison whole again like the Creator made it?

•   There was reported to be war in Shara much earlier in the series... perhaps we will see the results as Sharan armies march to support Rand... seems unlikely as Rand's plotline shouldn't have much time in ToM.

•   Also, all the carts of ter'angreal from Rhuidean that Moiraine was taking to the tower are still somewhere presumably.

•   LoC,Ch22 - Near the River Erinin, Chel Vanin and Mat find a burned Tinker camp with the people slaughtered. There is a message on a wagon, "Tell the Dragon Reborn."  This is the one mystery I can think of that doesn't get discussed much and what discussion there is devolves into "there's just not enough information."

•   Moiraine's letter to Thom, or something she wrote to Rand

•   Tinkers. Lots to think about there.  The Gholam was involved in the slaughter?

•   Perrin chased Slayer to the Tower, Birgitte was there and talked with Perrin...so, we've got Perrin meeting up with Galad who recognizes Morgase. Perrin takes Morgaze back to Caemlyn and meets up with Mat. Also while there they meet Elayne and Birgitte. Perrin & Mat both know her Birgitte and it might well come up a few things about the Tower. It doesn't seem quite right, but could this manage to get Birgitte included in the trip to rescue Moiraine? And while there could Birgitte make a few wishes or ask some questions, especially re: Gaidal?

•   Perrin meets Tinkers again in Two Rivers

Tinker caravan gets butchered with no explanation.

•   [Luckers Paraphrasing] Something to do with Demandred’s talk with the Dark One in the Prologue of LoC.

•   Perrin meets Tinkers again in Two Rivers.

•   Tinker caravan gets butchered with no explanation.

•   The sisters Siuan sent to re-capture Taim. Where the hell are they?

•   The rest of the Black Ajah that originally left the Tower? (Berylla Naron, Jeaine Caide, Rianna Andomeran are still missing.)

•   Who killed Sahra Covenry?

•   LoC p. 183, paperback. Graendal meeting with Ituralde in Arad Doman. You know she wouldn't miss the chance to do something to him.

•   This could be completly off base but when Mat & Rand used the twisted doorway in Tear to enter the lands of the Finns Moiraine specifically said that the presence of a Ta'veren was not a good idea and two Ta'veren were in serious danger of breaking the connection to the finn land. This was in Book 4.

•   Now if I'm not mistaken the pit of doom is somewhat removed from the real world, different sky etc. One might even say that the tunnel down to the pit of doom has the same function as the ter'angreal doorway. If you could get the three ta'veren there at the same time like say "three becomes one" might that not have some serious effect on the "tunnel" and remove the Do's ability to affect the world.

•   Something I saw in someone's signature here on TL, about the 'finn prophecy to Rand "to live you must die".. The 'finn speak the old tongue, which isn't exactly Rand's mothertongue. I like this idea because I noticed the death/Moridin thing on the Horn of Valere and was shot down for it, but what if Rand mistranslated their profecy a little, obviously not knowing about Moridin at the time?

•   Continued: "to live you must become Moridin"? Interesting. Certainly a different way of looking at it.

•   It's Rand. Thom's mention that the Dragon Reborn is one with the land and the land is one with the Dragon. The things that keep happening to the world at large roughly follow Rand's wounds and moods. Much of what has been attributed to th Dark One is actually Rand's doing. He is wounded at Falme, which cannot be healed, and is constantly warm to the touch, and the land enters a long summer.  He is cut by the Shadar Logoth daggar and things begin to rot. He grows increasingly paranoid and suspicious of his friends and allies because the wound is never healed and the spoilage accelerates.  The barriers between his past lives begin to thin and he is able to access memories from them, and ghosts (memories of previous times) start to appear.  He sinks deeper into madness/depression and the 'good' things normally caused by his ta'veren nature stop, leaving only the bad. A parallel to his mental state.  Just something I've been kicking around for a while

•   Possibly! : TITLE: Great Hunt CHAPTER: 50 – After: And men cried out to the Creator, praying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the Promised One be born of the mountain, according to the Prophecies, as he was in Ages past and will be in Ages to come. Let the Prince of the Morning sing to the land that green things will grow and the valleys give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time. -from Choral, Drianaan to Calaanon, The Cycle of the Dragon, Author unknown, the Fourth Age

•   Tam, the 'small detail' would be Thom's comment, which most people have ignored. Mythology and legend (and the WoT world being the source thereof) have been major themes. The Fisher King legend is one that has been mostly ignored by the fandom.

•   First doorway ter'angreal introduced in Tear in book four. From then on we come across another doorway and Rhuidean rings and ancestor thing that Aviendha will be using in ToM.

•   Jasin Natael is also introduced in book four.

•   Finally, is there anything that hasn't been beaten to death about these two? (Davram and Mazrim): Joiya tells Egwene that the Black Ajah plan to free Mazrim Taim and set him up as a false dragon in book four (they go to Tanchico instead), Mazrim Taim escapes from the Aes Sedai in book four, we find out Bashere goes AWOL in book five, Bashere leads a taunting Mazrim Taim to Rand in book five, Mazrim Taim sets up Black Tower in book six, etc. Maybe there's something there, maybe not!

•   Moghedien was told by either Moridin or Shaidar Haran that she did some small good thing by mistake which saved her bacon. Presumably that was sometime in books 4-6 and I had a theory that she was responsible for Gaidal's disappearance prior to her ripping Birgitte out of TAR. But I like the Tinker thing too. Maybe we can do some kind of timeline to figure out who could have killed the Tinkers and start from there. At least we know shadowspawn weren't gated there.

•   Another minor detail that would fit this interpretation is the fact that Seed Singing doesn't require channers. That would tie into the return of tinkers to the books after a lapse of a book or two of no mention of the tinkers other than Aram. We learned that seed singing in books 4-6 from Charn's(?) POV in the glass columns ter'angreal, but I'd have to look it uo to give a book/chapter reference.

•   There have been a few comments that if things don't start to grow no one will be left alive for the Last Battle. A rediscovery of Seed Singing combined with Rand's hopefully brigher attidude would certainly be useful for the forces of the light.

•   So, Fisher/Rand/Dragon and the Land/Tinker/Song idea, a very good possibility. We haven't been focused on the combination of ideas...and Rand's direct connection was highlighted in this book, alluding to what's possible for ToM as it pertains to Rand.

•   another possibility that a friend suggested is that Taim is controlled by Demandred via a broken mindtrap

•   Thinking about Thom and Moiraine...is it possible that the small thing is when Moiraine told Thom that she would see him again at some point in the future? Although this won't really be that surprising when it happens... I'm guessing it's something to do with Moiraine, and what she knows that means Rand will fail without her. Something from her questions to the Aelfinn? She has a few POVs in Books 4 and 5 that I should reread.  Although she claims in her note to Rand that she knows nothing about what happens after "except perhaps for one small thing which does not concern you"...so I doubt her answers from the 'Finn can have to do with the future, as that "one small thing" is probably Thom's attempted rescue.

•   --Of the things mentioned here, I'm most inclined to believe the "need" thing.. what's in the Tower that they couldn't get?

•   Someone mentioned Min's bookmark from Fel as a possibility upstream and I think it might be something more like that. As an example, it is a big deal at first but then keeps harmlessly popping up long after it seems important. I don't know that it's that one but I like it as a model.

•   --Probably another bowl. There were tons of them in the Age of Legends - small regions were each controlled by one of them. If not, another ter'angreal that could have done something similar. They could always get Aviendha to visit and find out...

•   I remember RJ being pressed about his favorite chapter before, and he gave the standard answer of "The chapter I'm working on." But then he was a bit more revealing and said that the chapters he thought he did the best were the Rhuidean columns. Those of course have a lot of material, and do touch on the song. Another bit from one of those chapters is something that would relate to the Finn: why the hell did Mat get the ashandarei? Memories, and the medallion are the two obvious ones. He's back in Rhuidean afterwards so that was done, too. Why the ashandarei?

•   As to Fel's comment about the seals - that came out in this book quite sharply, so it's hardly a hidden detail. The reason Rand asked Fel about it in the first place was that Lews Therin appeared to take over his body and try to break the seal that Taim had given him. So Rand asked Fel if there might be a reason why someone would break the seals. Fel seemed to think the idea was ridiculous and even a bit horrifying. But then he left the note about 'clearing the rubble - belief and order give strength'. The 'order' part might refer to something to do with the Seanchan, or just establishing order in general. The Aiel do it. Egwene has done it in the Tower. Elayne has done it in Caemlyn, etc. Belief obviously has to do with people believing that it is important to fight, like the Borderlanders in the prologue (and I think it also will come into play when they have to keep fighting after Rand dies).

•   If you want something interesting from Fel, it might be that he didn't seem to believe the Dragon Reborn could actually make the prison whole like the Creator made it.

•   If you want something from Fain....that's a good one for him to be confused about whether the info was introduced in 4, 5, or 6, because Fain was prominent in those books. The Two Rivers is a good mental landmark, and he might have been thinking, 'Well, I know it wasn't before the Two Rivers (book 4), and I know it wasn't after Lord of Chaos because that's the last time we see Fain before the incident in Cairhien where he knifes Rand (book 7), and then the incident in Far Madding (book 9).' Maybe Fain's special talents? Torturing Fades? Being able to see Darkfriends? Being able to make people do weird things? Some people thought when Crossroads came out that maybe Fain had caused the problems in So Habor.

•   the Aelfinn doorway experience [Luckers insert: with Mat] - why the three extra answers? We know they were trying to get him (and Rand) out of there before the place came down on their heads or whatever, but I'm just saying.

•   The ashandarei was actually the weapon I had in mind when I suggested that the detail might be something like a weapon that someone carries around all the time. I just assumed that the gift of the ashandarei was so strange that it must have been discussed to death already. Terez mentioned a theory that suggested that the ashandarei was part of the leavetaking agreement but I got the feeling that the only reason Mat was allowed to leave at all was because he used one of his wishes to be back in Rhuidean. Otherwise he might have become one of the human skins the Foxes wear. Perhaps they gave the spear to him because he is ta'veren? Is the metal it is made out of important?

•   [Luckers insert: This was a reply to the above] The ravens on it might be.

•   When I heard the reference to Mistborn, my first thought was that it would have something to do with Mat's medallion, as the two objects in question are similar from a literary standpoint. Although the ashandarei does seem more likely.....

•   Somewhere in the Yukko version of these forums is an old exBoard thread about "Suitable Weapons" where I suggested that the Ashendarei was a roundabout wedding gift to Tuon because it resembles a Naginata which was considered to be a "suitable weapon" for women to defend the home estate while the warriors were out doing "warriorry things."

•   Thus far the ashandarei has been a kinda cool, pointy thing with a snarky inscription on it.  The memories and the medallion have already played major parts in the overall storyline. Has the ashandarei done anything like that so far? It interested Tuon but it was his ring with the ravens in flight that tipped her off about him being her future husband, not the ashandarei. The ashandarei seems to be the "Chekov's gun" of the Eelfin experience that still needs to be used.

•   What if the ashandarei is an angreal, sa'angreal or ter'angreal? That would be ironic. What if it were the Blade of Light?

•   Thom, Mat and someone else must enter the Tower of Ghenjei to rescue Moiraine. At some point, I believe it was revealed that the Finns were based within and/or accessible from the Tower. We were also given the indication from the Rings that they don't like music or fire. Similarly, with the Snakes and Foxes game, we discover that the only way to beat the game is to cheat. Do we have any hints as to how to cheat the Finns?

•   Taim's taunting of Bashere when they meet: Compulsion. He used Compulsion, or something very much like it on two of Bashere's officers (and I believe their wives) when they first met. If Taim's been sitting in the Black Tower using Compulsion on everyone for the past several months what could that mean?

•   Ituralde is a particularly combustible ally for Rand heading into Book 13. There's this Graendal factor you just highlighted ... and I agree, I don't think she'd miss the chance to tamper with him. Plus Rand didn't keep up his end of the deal in Arad Doman (though he could theoretically correct that post-tGS).

•   [Taim] does know compulsion. (LoC, 93) Unless he used the Verin method and talked to lots of male wilders with daddy issues, he probably learned it directly from someone. Perhaps the same source he learned his other old-knowledge weaves. Maybe whoever helped him escape from his Aes Sedai guard?

•   [Luckers Paraphrase-ment] Rand’s new attitude seems to be based on love and peace, but notice the correlation between Rand’s thoughts about that in Vein of Gold, and his feelings when he is under Avendesora. So I figure, maybe a small little place we were told about way back when might be able to help him out:

•   [Luckers insert: On Taim’s use of compulsion] not compulsion then, but something similar, something mind breaking. All this time with him doing stuff like this is a minor detail, the implication of which has largely been ignored.

•   What about Avendesora? I could see the tree being something we glossed over. Oh wow, the Tree of Life, lets move on. Anyway, we know Avi is heading there, all signs point to a song being found and sung and I think Avendesora could play a big part in the fight against the blight. I can see it now, lines of weaponless Aiel, Tinkers and Ogier singing saplings to grow and fight the corruption of the blight.

•   What about Min's viewings in the first chapter of TSR? Not all of those viewings dealt with the WT split and subsequent fighting. Sheriam's viewing of her face battered and bruised didn't come to fruition until much later in the series. I've always wondered about the "apple-cheeked Accepted" that Min views right before Sheriam. It's most likely that she's Theodrin, from the description we get of her when she initially tries to help Nyn break her block:


Originally Posted by TSR, Chapter 1

Another Accepted came to replace one already there, and to Min’s eyes bars floated in front of her apple-cheeked face, like a cage.


Originally Posted by LoC, Chapter 8

Of course, the apple-cheeked Domani woman was not Aes Sedai. Back in the Tower, Theodrin would have been raised to the shawl already, but here she had been raised to something more than Accepted, less than a full sister.

•   [Continued] Why are there bars in front of her face? We know that currently, as of TGS, she's missing along with the other AS from the Rebel camp on the BT mission. What if she's being held in some sort of prison by Taim and/or other Asha'man? Not sure what significance this would play, but it could point to exposing Taim and his cohorts, or it could be indicative that the A'M have some way to overpower a group of women channelers, because if Theodrin retained her ability to channel, why would she be imprisoned?

•   I wonder if Aviendha will be the one to bring back singing after seeing/learning it after her trip through the glass columns

•   Speaking of the corruption of the lands after Rand's first wound, were his followers also corrupted? It was at the same time that Masema became fanatical, and that may have only grown worse over time, spreading through the Dragonsworn.

•   Also, a small detail about the Tinkers may be the fact that they were on the way to see Rand in Cairhien when they were killed, since Mat was going the opposite direction south to Tear. And obviously, the message was such a small detail to Mat since it slipped his mind when Rand showed up to send him to Salidar.

•   Mat had it correct on the tinker thing, IMO. I think it was simply a tragic case of "death before important detail written down". There have been a few good cases of someone dieing before giving the final bit of info. (Harid Fel among them). Maybe we will find out what it was, but it won't be from where we expect.

•   Tinkers' song is a pretty good detail, but hardly hidden. It is mentioned in every book with a tinker in it, pretty much.


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3.2 Found a Mistake? Read This.


I would really appreciate for people to let me know if they’ve found errors, but just a few points. Firstly, for the time being keep it to factual errors: (eg. have I stated something happened in book four when it happened in book three, have I included something RJ already explained, etc). If it’s just that you feel my interpretation is wrong, or incomplete, bring it up in the Discussion Thread. I will be monitoring that thread, and it is my full intention to expand upon each theory so as to better represent the discussion relating to them. For now though I’m just throwing up the bones, so bear with me.


Now, if you do find an error, PM me with 'BUT Error' as the subject title. That being said I would ask you to first check your facts before PMing me. I say this not because I’m so certain I’m correct (honestly after wading through 300+ pages on this subject I doubt my mind is working at all) but because I saw a considerable amount of misinformation in the thread. Here are some good resources you can use to assist in that.


The Wheel of Time FAQ

Encyclopaedia WOT

The Thirteenth Depository

Theorylands Interview Database

Steven Cooper's Timeline

Ideal Seek (you can search phrases from the books using this)


If you’ve gone through and cannot find what you’re looking for, but are certain it’s an error, you can still PM me, but it may take me some time to look and respond. If you have the citations it will be much faster and more effective.


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3.3 You Want to Suggest a Theory Be Added to the Compilation? Read This


For all that it’s incredibly likely that I’ve missed viable BUT’s, I’m going to be stringent on this. I’m sorry about that but there is nearly 3000 posts in the Discussion Thread, and I don’t think my sanity would survive 3000 PM’s consisting of ‘hey, the Ogier come from another world. That’s a bit weird. Maybe it’s the BUT?’. The point of this was to apply a little structure, so if you’re going to submit something for this compilation you need to apply that structure before coming to me, or else wait for me to get around to it myself.


So, if you have a theory that is not here, your first stop is the Discussion Thread. I’ll be monitoring that thread anyway, and will update this thing on the go. If, however, you think your idea is solid and really should be up here, this is what you do.


1. Check out the List of Things Peter Ahlstrom Ruled Out and also the list of Theoryland Quotes I Used To Compile It. If your theory is on that list it’s not going to be in here. If, however, you think your theory might not be ruled out because it deals with an unaddressed aspect of the issue you can still approach me—but the first step is to explain clearly why your theory steps outside that list


2. Check your facts. There was a lot of misinformation in the Discussion Thread, so before you come to me get your references straight. Here is a list of resources to assist you in doing that.


The Wheel of time FAQ

Encyclopaedia WOT

The Thirteenth Depository

Theorylands Interview Database

Steven Cooper's Timeline

Ideal Seek (you can search phrases from the books using this)


3. Read the List of Criteria. As I stated they’re subjective, so I don’t mind if your theory breaks these criteria, but the point of this thread is structure, so I do want you to address each of the criteria in detail.


4. Put it in the format I’ve used. This is me being lazy, but I’m assuming you all already knew that. :)


5. PM it to me with ‘BUT Theory—I’ve read the rules’ as the subject. I will review and update as best I can—and I will reply to you with my decision to include or reason to ignore.


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3.4 What Was the Mistborn Spoiler?


Firstly, you should actually go read the Mistborn series. They are good and the spoilers here deal with central issues to the entire series. Find them out the proper way--you won't regret it.















Here Come the Spoilers






Background Information to the Mistborn Unnoticed Thing


Magic Systems


The Mistborn magic systems revolve around metals, and there are three styles.


Allomancy: Involves the consumption of a metal. After consuming it one may burn it to create an effect--for instance burning Tin dramatically sharpens your senses, and burning Pewter gives you great strength and agility. Allomancers come in two styles, Mistings who can burn one of the sixteen metals, or Mistborn who can burn all of them (more on mist in a moment).


Feruchemy: Involves using metal to store things. For instance you may store strength--spend a day weak and you can then have a day at twice your own strength--or an hour at 24 times your own strength.


Hemalurgy: Involves driving metal spikes into people to have effects. This can have many uses, depending on the metal of the spikes and how they are driven into the body. For the purpose of the Unnoticed Thing the most significant is that if you drive a specific spike through an Allomancer or Feruchamist into another person they gain an ability that Allomance or Feruchamist had. If the person recieving the ability doesn't have that ability themselves, they gain it in a slightly weaker form than the original Allomance or Feruchamist. If they do have that ability, their ability becomes stronger than it was.


So, for example, you drive a hemalurgical spike through a Tineye (a Misting who can burn Tin and increase their senses) into someone who is not a Tineye, and they gain the ability to increase their senses a little. Drive it into someone who is a Tineye, and it increases their ability dramatically beyond that of a normal Tineye.


Note: Despite hints, hemalurgy isn't properly explained till late in the series.


God-like Beings


There are in the Mistborn series two god-like beings (Shards of something called Adonalsium). They are Preservation and Ruin. These two worked together to make the world, on the understanding that Ruin would one day destroy it. Preservation went back on this deal, and managed to imprison Ruin. Doing this, however, depleted him. His power was lost to him and appeared as the unnatural Mist that permeates the world.


Allomancy is a power of Preservation, which is why Allomancers are called Mistings and Mistborn. Hemalurgy is of Ruin. Ruin can speak to, influence and even control, people with hemalurgical spikes in them--the degree depending on the nature of the spike.


The Unnoticed Thing


Vin has an earing. A Hemalurgical metal spike through her ear. It was done by her mother, who used a pin to kill her sister and then made it into an earing for Vin. This hemalurgical spike gives Vin stronger abilities in burning Bronze (which allows you to sense the use of Allomancy). This allows Vin to pierce Copperclouds (burning copper conceals the use of Allomancy). That is the first hint that something was wierd with Vin--the ability to pierce copperclouds when no one else could.


The hint that should have directed to the earing as the source begins with the fact that people rarely wore metal jewellry, due to the power and dangers of Allomancy. From there it becomes more specific, with the existence of the Steel Inquisitiors. The Inquisitors are Hemalurgists who have many spikes driven through them. This point is framed directly when characters question how they survived spikes driven through their eyes, and when questions are raised as to the extent of their Allomantic abilities (including that one character, Marsh, who is known to not be a Mistborn gains the abilitiy to burn all the metals on becoming an Inquisitor).


The next bit was the voice--Ruin speaks to Vin in the guise of memories of things her brother Reen said. The cruelty of the things Ruin says is slowly shown to be divergent from the things Reen actually did to save Vin. This point is further emphasised in book two with a character who hears the voice of God, is learnt to have a metal spike, and who in his final moments is laughed at by that voice.


The final significant thing, is that when Vin's earring is removed she manages to draw on the Mists (the powers of persevation, though she doesn't know it). Later when she puts her earring back in place, the mists pull back from her (repulsed by her hemalurgical spike). This was another point intended to make clear the significance of the earring prior to the understanding of hemalurgy.


Ultimately this issue resolves the series--I will not say why. For the purpose of this discussion I think this has made clear the way the Unnoticed Thing played out in the Mistborn series.

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