Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

The Attack on Algarin's Manor (Re-Post for DMDB)


Luckers
 Share

Recommended Posts

The Attack on Algarin's Manor--The Fake Sammael

 

 

The Order

 

The first issue here is that the order was not obeyed because the man who ordered it looked like Sammael, it was obeyed because the one who gave the order had the Chosen Mark.

 

"Sammael, or someone disguised as him, gave orders to the Myrdraal, and they obeyed so it was one of the Chosen."

 

[KoD--3--At the Gardens]

 

For clarity, the Chosen Mark is a sort of imprint the Dark One puts on the souls of his high chosen. RJ describes it thus.

 

Week 2 Question: Is the mark that Alviarin received from Shaidar Haran the same as that the Forsaken received from the Dark One? If so, is she now a Forsaken, or some sort of lesser Chosen?

 

Robert Jordan Answers: The mark that Alviarin received from Shaidar Haran was not the same as that given to the Forsaken, though it shares one function: Shadowspawn will recognize her as belonging to the Dark One. They will not obey her as they will the Forsaken, however, but she doesn't have to worry about one trying to kill her, either. She is not any sort of lesser Chosen. You might think of it more like the tattoo some people get put inside the ear of their dog, an identification so others will know who the dog belongs to as soon as they see it.

 

[Tor QotW]

 

Moridin's point is clear--despite the fact that he looked like Sammael, the fact that he was obeyed means he was one of the Chosen (and thus had the mark). Had he not had the mark, even looking like Sammael would not have helped.

 

But What of Fain?

 

We’ve seen Fain command Myrdraal in the past, without the Mark, so couldn’t he have used his tricks again?  And Fain has a lot more going for him; he has the ability to create illusions, and thus could make himself look like Sammael, he’s got an ability to control or command Machin Shin, thus providing for the way a hundred thousand Trollocs passed through the Way’s safely.

 

But it is the very first point, the commanding of Myrdraal, where we run into trouble.  Consider the way Fain gains the obedience of the Myrdraal.

 

With a sigh, he seated himself on the edge of his bed. The lamps were already lit, more than a dozen, leaving no shadow anywhere. The tent was as bright inside as noonday. "Have you thought over my proposal? Accept, and you walk free. Refuse.... I know how to hurt your sort., I can make you scream through endless dying. Forever dying, forever screaming."

 

The chains hummed at a jerk; the stakes driven deep into the ground creaked. "Very well. The Myrddraal's voice was dried snakeskin crumbling. "I accept. Release me."

 

Ordeith smiled. It thought him a fool. It would learn. They all would. "First, the matter of ... shall we say, agreements and accord?" As he talked, the Myrddraal began to sweat.

 

[tSR--31--Assurences]

 

Essentially, yes, he does use his abilities to gain obedience from the Myrdraal, but only in the form of giving it pain. As flashy as his methods are, they are still just a way of performing torture. It takes time for the Myrdraal to break—it even pretends to break, intending to later go back on its word.

 

The ‘Sammael’ did not torture hundreds of Myrdraal into obeying him. He commanded, they obeyed. Fain, for all that he had going for him, could not have done that.

 

As Moridin states that means the Chosen and their Mark.

 

Troop Movement; The Machin Shin Problem

 

If it wasn’t Fain, with his ability to command Machin Shin, then how did one hundred thousand Trollocs move through the waves unmolested by the Black Wind? Based on Moiraine and Rand’s fights with Machin Shin channelling does not provide the answer—the strongest channeler on earth could not have protected and shielded that many Trollocs for the time it took them to move through the Ways—and that many all at once should have attracted the Wind immediately upon entering.

 

When Was The Attack Launched

 

One of the suggested answers for the Machin Shin problem is that the movement was staggered. Sent bit by bit and built up in Tear before initiating the attack, much like how Isam gathered forces in the Two Rivers. Unfortunately this suggestion is just as problematic as the issue it is attempting to solve. Consider;-

 

According to the Steven Cooper Timeline, Rand has been at the manor in Tear for 28 days. Even sending the Trollocs through the ways in small groups, to have gathered a hundred thousand in twenty-eight days they would need to send at least 7100 through at a time, which given Machin Shin's nature is as impossible as the hundred thousand. Furthermore we know pretty much every Trolloc that was sent made it to the manor in tear, or rather every Myrdraal which amounts to the same thing in a group scenario. Even sending them in groups shouldn't be possible if Machin Shin were doing its job properly.

 

So Is Machin Shin Doing It’s Job?

 

Perhaps not. This provides the most viable answer to the Machin Shin problem—that rather than someone figuring out a way to get around it, it simply wasn’t there to cause a problem to begin with. Specifically I’m talking of its changing nature--ever since it encountered Fain in tEotW we have seen its behaviour change--waiting at Waygates, trying to force its way out and at times appearing as if it might succeed. These changes occurred within a six month period, and it has been a further year and half since then for it to continue to change.

 

Either way, whatever is going on with Machin Shin it did not attack the Trollocs, and that doesn’t stand as evidence that a plan was put in place by the person who ordered this attack for sending the Trollocs through in small groups.  As such Moridin's comments indicate a certain degree of immediacy--he learned of it, and summoned the meeting in TAR straight away to issue his commands that the missing Trollocs be watched for. Likely within the last three or four days.

 

The Nature of the Attack

 

Ok, so send a hundred thousand Trollocs to kill Rand. Seems a simple enough plan, no? And indeed, as Logain states it was a close run thing. Without his Asha'men reinforcements they might have lost. Only pause for a moment a consider that--Rand had the male Choedan Kal and Callandor, and the Trollocs attacked in a neat little group that would have been right for the plucking. By all rights it should never have come to be as close as it did, only Rand's lack of foresight allowed for that.

 

Some point out that Rand may not have had the Choedan Kal or Callandor on him—that he had hidden them, or that Cadsuane had retained possession of them—but that’s irrelevant here. What we are discussing is the effects of the presence of these two sa’angreal would play to someone planning the attack.

 

The Forsaken knew Rand had the two sa’angreal with him.  More importantly they had just walked away from getting spanked around by Rand and his followers due in large part to the superior preparation Cadsuane had put in place. In effect they had reason to not only be aware of the presence of those sa’angreal, they had reason to expect that Rand and those with him would be prepared to use them in the event of an attack. That Rand wasn’t is irrelevant, as is the fact that it didn’t occur to him when the attack was initiated.

 

From that point we have the fact that the Forsaken lived through the war known as THE war of the power. They knew what the power could do against an army unprotected by their own channelers. Effectively they had no reason to expect Rand to be an idiot, and from their perspective launching such an attack serves no purpose but to bring Rand's attention back onto the Shadow, which seems counter-productive after all their hard work on spreading dissension and causing drama amongst the light, whilst keeping the Blight as quiet as a lamb. It certainly did with Lan's.

 

Cyndane or Moghedien

 

So, for the majority of the Forsaken this attack would be an adventure in stupidity, or at the least short sightedness. Cyndane and Moghedien are the exception to this. Due to their enslavement to Moridin their resources are limited, and both have a deep obsessive hatred for one of the people present at Algarin’s manor. Cyndane also knows the trick of finding Rand through his ta’maral’ailen. So, they each have a specific motive—revenge—and both are limited in how they can enact that revenge, therefore explaining the easy ‘hit-or-miss’ nature of the Shadowspawn attack.

 

Moridin certainly seems concerned about letting Cyndane too close to Rand—saying that she would ‘accidentally’ kill him, and we’ve seen Moghedien detour from Moridin’s orders to try and kill Nynaeve in the past. That being said, Moridin still remains the big problem in this. When Moghedien makes her small diversion to try and kill Nynaeve she’s nearly out of her mind with fear that Moridin will know. She states “Moridin's instructions had been explicit, the price of disobedience made excruciatingly clear,” and the same again at the Cleansing—this time reinforced by Cyndane who made a similar comment about disobedience.

 

 

Moghedien’s fear at a small detour essentially rules her out—she literally is out of her mind with fear, even with her babbling to herself that he had never forbidden this. He had forbidden Shadowspawn involvement with the Light, and blatant act like subverting a hundred thousand Trollocs is a hundred fold the risk her trying to kill Nynaeve was. Cyndane likely faces the same restrictions though she has been willing to risk herself in her obsession with Rand in the past. Still, disobeying Moridin in such an open way bears such risk to either woman as to by itself make this theory unlikely.

 

So, without the limited resources and desperation Moghedien and Cyndane provide us with we are left wondering why the Forsaken used such a desperate plan. This leads to three options.

 

1. The attack was incidental.

2. They really did wish to draw Rand's attention to the North.

3. It wasn't the Forsaken.

 

The Attack Was Incidental

 

This suggestion is that the attack itself wasn't the point--if it killed Rand, hey great, but if not who cares. The issue here is what was the real intention? If it was simply to draw suspicion on one of their fellow Chosen why wear the Sammael mask? That straight up screams disguise, and given the Chosen all clearly thought he was dead (which he is) why would any be aiming for him. Why not appear as one of the alive and active Chosen? Unless of course there was no Sammael at all, as Dominic of the Thirteenth Depository point out. Or in other words, what if Moridin was lying?

 

Moridin

 

We can note there were already mind-games being played in the organisation of the room in the form of the additional chairs, so is it a far bet to suggest that this entire thing is some sort of game Moridin is playing to keep the Chosen off guard?  Under this idea the attack being sent would serve the purpose of making the Chosen think they were being considered for treason, and given the Dark One’s treatment of treasonous Chosen thereby make them toe the line extra carefully.

 

In support of this idea, one may note that it wasn’t a stretch to figure out who the focus of the attack would be—and given Moridin can track Rand, yet makes no effort to place people at the Waygates near Rand’s position it would seem to indicate that Moridin did not care to make much of an effort to thwart the attack.

 

However, this idea is problematic. For one thing it seems overkill. The Forsaken had already been reined in by Shaidar Haren, and to directly underline that reining in Mesaana had been tortured for disobeying Moridin’s command to go and fight at the cleansing. Furthermore the Forsaken, those worth Moridin’s effort, anyway, were hardly cowards. They weren’t going to step back for the idea that they might be suspected of treason—especially given they all probably were contemplating treason. Aran’gar certainly was and she doesn’t bat an eye at this.

 

In effect the Forsaken had all been reined in as far as cheap theatrics were going to be able to achieve. Furthermore this attack serves no purpose but to refocus Rand on the north again—certainly it serves the trick with Lan. Given that keeping the light’s focus on the South and away from the Shadow is Moridin’s pet plan it seems unlikely he’d risk it for such a cheap trick.

 

Another point against Moridin is in the link between himself and Rand—note that he re-issues the no-kill order at the exact time the link grows strong enough to reveal itself for what it is—a link between his and Rand’s souls, as opposed to a channelling sickness side-effect of crossing balefire streams with Rand. That makes sense given what occurs to warders when their bond is broken. The bond and the link may be two distinct things, but Moridin must be at least concerned. That makes it less likely that he would wilfully risk Rand’s life before finding a way to safely break the connection.

 

Counter-point: Dominic of the Thirteenth Depository points out that the attack may not have been directed at Rand at all, but rather at his companions. Rand has assembled a very dangerous group and a worrying arsenal – sufficient to drive back an attack by all the Chosen but Mesaana and Moridin, without Rand himself , or the CK, even involved.  Moridin may very well have qualms about letting such a group around Rand survive long enough to fight TG at his side.  The real purpose of the attack may have been to destroy Rand’s “Companions”, possibly with commands issued to keep the Shadowspawn from killing Rand.

 

This idea would presumably imply that the effort with the Forsaken was simply a bonus. That Moridin took advantage of a pre-existing situation to serve a second purpose. However if the attack were officially sponsored by the Shadow to kill Rand’s coterie, why use Trollocs? If winnowing out Rand’s ranks was the purpose why not send the Gholam? Or even just a bunch of Grey Men? Rand may be well guarded, but his guards aren’t.

 

Sending a large force on the off chance of success against an enemy who could sweep them all aside like flotsam in a flood seems stupid and blunt. Moridin prides himself on the subtlety of his planning.

 

Graendal

 

It can be noted that with the exception of Graendal and Aran’gar the other six Chosen have seemingly formed alliances of three.  Demandred, Mesaana and Semirhage, and the apparent alliance between Cyndane, Moghedien and Moridin (remember the Forsaken don't know of the cour'souvra, though Aran'gar guesses that that might be the case). This leaves Graendal and Aran'gar in a loose position. We know Aran'gar wasn't at fault (she wonders openly if Demandred is trying to hide that he did it), but it could be Graendal.

 

Under this theory Graendal caused the attack, intentionally blaming it on someone others would see through in order that everyone would suspect everyone else. People acting on their own causes division in alliances—‘if they’ve done this, what else may they be doing without my knowledge?’

 

Still this is problematic. Moridin’s control of Cyndane and Moghedien is openly authoritative, and that makes attempting to cause dissension between them pointless. Graendal could easily guess that both women would already be scheming against Moridin, and that Moridin would be aware of it. No one likes being forced to be openly submissive, much less one of the Chosen. As for Demandred, Semirhage and Mesaana—their alliance is constantly reinforced as weak. They do not tell each other their plans; they just hold a loose agreement not to move against each other until all the rest are out of the way. Graendal’s pretty cluey, and probably picked that up.

 

Graendal is also no fool. There are less self-destructive ways of causing dissension without risking the cause of the Shadow itself, much less disobeying the Dark One openly, especially given the Dark One only just cracked down on disobedience. Graendal’s shown herself to be too subtle for this sort of open movement.

 

Demandred

 

The only thing going for Demandred is his military background, and that in some ways stands against him, because he more than most would appreciate the stupidity of attacking Rand with a force that had no channelers. Dominic of the Thirteenth Depository also points out that his reaction to learning of the ‘Sammael’ speaks of his innocence—specifically, he blurts out that Sammael must be dead, realises that means one of them must be responsible, and backtracks to keep the idea of Sammael being alive open.

 

Counter-point: That could simply be good acting. Aran’gar considers that possibility.

 

Mesaana

 

Given her recent abuse for disobeying it would be strange for her to act now. Also no explanation for the stupidity of such an attack.

 

Semirhage

 

Given her plan to leash Rand, it is unlikely she would launch this attack anyway. And again there is no explanation for her to launch so stupid an attack.

 

 

The Attack Was Meant To Draw Rand's Attention North

 

I'm putting this up because I have seen it suggested, and more or less so that we can rule it out. The method of it would be that maybe one of the Forsaken was a double agent or has since decided to turn on the Shadow. Straight up it's unlikely, but as a source for this attack it’s impossible--there are better ways to warn Rand than to send an army to attack him, even if you feel certain it’s impossible that army would succeed. Some suggested Cyndane and Moghedian may fit here too, acting self-destructively out of a desire to get revenge on the Shadow for their soulbinding, but aside from the reasons above that stand against them disobeying Moridin, their obsessive hatred of Rand and Nynaeve respectively stop them trying to help Rand in anyway.

 

Nope. Looney bin with this one.

 

It Wasn't The Forsaken

 

Or rather, it wasn't one of the old Forsaken. Firstly, we know that around book ten the Dark One was feeling remarkably dissatisfied with his Chosen. He was forced to rely on them because they were irreplaceable in their knowledge and ability, yet they were fractious and self-serving, and the previous threat of their utter annihilation was no longer available.

 

He responded to this in a number of ways. Reining them in tightly under Moridin, Soulbinding Cyndane and Moghedien, having Shaidar Haren go over their heads to directly interact with darkfriends like Alviarin and so on.

 

It's in that last one that I believe the key is, specifically Shaidar Haren marks Alviarin with a weaker version of the Chosen Mark as a sign of favour. Now, that doesn't instantly mean that he's also raising new chosen, however it does show that Shaidar Haren is elevating Third Agers, and marking them--effectively it shows that the Dark One is attempting to create methods of accessing power without having to rely on the current Chosen too heavily.

 

Now Alviarin only gets a weak mark, which makes sense. She is not overly strong in the power, and her education is that of a Third Ager, and we know that the Dark One values these things in his Chosen. RJ stated it thus...

 

the Dark One, who believes that his people from the age of Legends are in all practical ways better -- for which read better trained, more capable, and thus better able to serve him efficiently and effectively -- than the people of the present time. And he is right. In a way. They are certainly better trained, with a much wider knowledge.

 

[Tor QotW]

 

So, the Dark One clearly places value on knowledge and strength, yet he can't (and doesn't) like having to rely on his current Chosen, who in recent days have caused problems with disobedience. The answer is Taim.

 

Mazrim Taim

 

Origins

 

Firstly according to RJ he is 28 years of age in LoC, and the earliest a man can spark is 18*. This means that currently Taim has been channeling a minimum of 6 years and a maximum of around 11 years (a year has passed since LoC).

 

We also know something of what he was doing during the time prior to his announcing himself Dragon 2 years ago--he says that he found five men over the years who could channel, though the only one who had the courage to go beyond the training went mad after 2 years. That two years, along with the comment of 'over the years' plus the 2 years after he announced himself Dragon is why I set up the 6 year minimum, though in truth I believe it to be longer.

 

Now even 6 years is a long time for Taim not to be showing signs of the Taint--both the mental instability, and the physical rotting. It’s not impossible of course, and some suggest that Taim's emotional instability and hubris might be a form of highly functional insanity, but even so, it seems a long time.

 

This is what I suggest. Around fifteen or sixteen years ago we know that Ishamael was in one of his free cycles (he personally physically forced Jarna Milari into the ter'angreal that killed her) and that he knew at the time that the Dragon Reborn had been born, and that Tarmon Gai'don was fast approaching. At this time I believe that he set out to gather channelers--beginning by testing and training men himself directly (and probably having women trained as well, Liandrin certainly infers as much in tFoH), and then setting them to go out and train men.

 

Why do I believe Taim is one such? For starters we know that Ishamael did it before, during the Trolloc Wars, so it makes sense that he would do it again. Secondly we have Taim's mannerisms--comments like 'so-called Aiel', the use of the lightning bolt sigil favoured by Sammael and Be'lal, the colouring of the tiles, the use of the Lord of Chaos comment--all of which imply significant long term exposure to the Forsaken and their mannerisms.

 

Beyond which he actually states it, he says he found five men--he claims only one of those men went beyond the testing, and that man went mad in two years, yet this almost certainly must be a lie because we know Taim is a darkfriend--one way or another he IS a darkfriend. Thirdly, he comments to Rand that if you use too much power in testing a man for the ability, the resonance MIGHT kill him, yet if he learned this through personal experience then one of those five men died, and there is no 'might' about it. His knowledge is too exactly technical.

 

So that, according to this theory, is Taim's origins. From there I believe he was commanded to announce himself Dragon by Ishamael and perform atrocities to spread and heighten fear of the Dragon. Certainly that’s implied by the few comments we have about his actions in that time, of what he did to Bashere's emissaries.

 

What Ties Taim to this Attack

 

1. Timing. We know that less than three days prior to the attack Taim was desperately seeking to learn Rand's location--and yes, he didn't get it from Logain, but even assuming one of Logain's men isn't a plant then there are 51 Aes Sedai who directly stated their intention to play on the rift between Logain and Taim who could have revealed it.

 

From there, the timing is perfect. Three days, time to go to the Trollocs, command them into the Ways, have them travel the Ways, leave at Stedding Shangtai, and make the trip from there down into northern Tear and the manor.

 

2. History. Taim is well known for assuming Forsaken characteristics and mannerisms. He copies their language, uses their designs (the fist holding three prongs of lightning) and colours (the use of Moridin's red and black). It would fit with his nature to appear as Sammael.

 

3. Modus Operendi. Whilst the attack makes no sense from one of the real Forsaken, It fits Taim. His methods are always blunt--this almost exactly matched what he did during the attack on the Sun Palace, throwing force blindly as long as it can't be traced to him with no real pause for thought or planning on the off chance that it succeed. It matches what he did with saving Rand from the Grey Man, the way he set up his inner cadre of darkfriends, the attack on Demira, the way he responded to Pevara....

 

Taim is blunt, and so was this attack.

 

Why Would Moridin Let Taim Do This?

 

Who says he’d know? Shaidar Haren’s presumed reasoning for raising a new Chosen is to provide the Dark One with resources outside the established second age power structure—Moridin may be nae’blis, may even be well trusted by the Dark One, but that doesn’t mean the Dark One will tell him everything that he is doing. Indeed, that would be against everything we’ve observed of his behaviour. Here are Semirhage’s thoughts on the matter.

 

Asmodean. A traitor, and so doomed, but he really had vanished, and Shaidar Haran's existence and her own orders here combined to remind her that the Great Lord worked in his own ways toward his own goals. The Chosen were no more than pieces on the board; they might be Counselors and Spires, but they were still pieces. If the Great Lord moved her here secretly, might he not be moving Moghedien or Lanfear, or even Asmodean? Might Shaidar Haran not be sent to deliver covert commands to Graendal or Sammael? Or for that matter, to Demandred or Mesaana? Their uneasy alliance—if it could be called by so strong a name—had lasted a long time, but neither would tell her if they received secret orders from the Great Lord, any more than she would ever let them learn of the orders that had brought her here, or those that had had her send Myrddraal and Trollocs to the Stone of Tear to battle those sent by Sammael

 

[LoC-6-Threads of Woven Shadow]

 

Moridin may be the greatest of the great pieces, but to the Dark One he is still a piece.

 

Ok, But Why Hasn’t the Dark One Done Anything?

 

The question of why the Dark One would let Taim go his own way, or at the least warn Moridin that Taim was about when some unknown Chosen started issuing orders contrary to the Shadow’s game plan is answered by the same answer we gave for Moridin above—who's to say he even knows this is going on, and thus needed to give Moridin this information? As Demandred states "He was never sure how much the Great Lord knew of the world. He had been as startled by ignorance as by knowledge." And as to why Moridin wouldn't have gone to him with this, maybe the Dark One is too busy. He denies access to himself as he chooses. Elaida says that "...the dead appearing was the first sign, a thinning of reality as the Dark One gathered himself."

 

We haven't seen the Dark One in person since he began to 'gather himself', but whatever he's been doing he's still in the process of doing it.

 

In the end though, the Mazrim Taim theory fits motive, opportunity, and methodology, but has the weakness of forcing us to assume facts not in evidence—specifically that he has been raised to the level of Chosen.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 62
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Personally, I believe it makes the most sense that Graendal posed as Sammael and sent the Trollocs in KoD (obviously without any tactical advice, though, since Graendal isn't a General). Probably she learned about Rand's whereabouts from her extensive spy network.

 

We know that Graendal often uses MoM in her plottings. Plus, she is certainly the one Forsaken, who knows how to play her old buddy Sammael best. Besides that, Graendal is - besides Moridin - the only Forsaken who is actually convinced that Sammael must be dead, after she raided his chambers. This explains why she used Sammael as her disguise. Using this disguise, she didn't have to fear that Moridin would realize that she was behind that.

 

I definitely doubt that any Forsaken, Taim or the DO could really believe that they could kill Rand with this Trolloc army, especially after the recent sound defeat of most of the Forsaken at the Cleansing; Rand has Callandor, the Choedan Kal and some super strong channelers after all.

 

In my view Graendal's motive was especially to discredit Demandred - the only real remaining male Forsaken General - in the Nae'blis' eyes, because he seems the obvious choice on the first view. Another reason for Graendal was to confuse the other Forsaken, if Sammael might still be alive. Such a mindgame fits Graendal, and I think her reactions & words at the Forsaken meeting in KoD support that. If this attack had weakened Rand's group, much the better, especially since it seemed likely already then, that Rand would come to Arad Doman next.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to go with Semirhage on this one. As you say, she had a plan to capture Rand by means of the male a'dam. What better way to do this than to make Rand remember how close Tarmon Gaidon is? If she hadn't sent the trollocs to attack Rand, Semirhage might have to wait a long time before Rand saw the necessity of negotiating with the Seanchan. As per Rand's and Cadsuane's discussion where Rand asks Cadsuane's advice about dealing with the Seanchan, we know Rand is at least considering it. By sending the trollocs either the same day, or shortly after that discussion (via darkfriend spies in Algarin's manor perhaps?), Semirhage forces Rand's hand. After the attack, Rand sees how short time is and how necessary a truce with the Seanchan is. That reasoning ultimately leads him to send Bashere, Logain, and Loial to Ebou Dar. The meeting would have happened eventually, but the attack forced it to happen that much sooner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We know that Graendal often uses MoM in her plottings. Plus, she is certainly the one Forsaken, who knows how to play her old buddy Sammael best. Besides that, Graendal is - besides Moridin - the only Forsaken who is actually convinced that Sammael must be dead, after she raided his chambers. This explains why she used Sammael as her disguise. Using this disguise, she didn't have to fear that Moridin would realize that she was behind that.

 

My issue with this statement, is that if it is indeed Graendal, then using Sammael as her disguise makes her a suspect.  Moridin as you said knows/believes really strongly that Sammael is dead, and if he is dead he can't be sending Trollocs off on missions.  So based on that it would have to be one of the other remaining Forsaken.  If it was Graendal, and she wanted to not cast suspicion on herself, she would have posed as an alive Forsaken, because that would have cast the suspicion on someone who could actually have done it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We know that Graendal often uses MoM in her plottings. Plus, she is certainly the one Forsaken, who knows how to play her old buddy Sammael best. Besides that, Graendal is - besides Moridin - the only Forsaken who is actually convinced that Sammael must be dead, after she raided his chambers. This explains why she used Sammael as her disguise. Using this disguise, she didn't have to fear that Moridin would realize that she was behind that.

 

My issue with this statement, is that if it is indeed Graendal, then using Sammael as her disguise makes her a suspect.  Moridin as you said knows/believes really strongly that Sammael is dead, and if he is dead he can't be sending Trollocs off on missions.  So based on that it would have to be one of the other remaining Forsaken.  If it was Graendal, and she wanted to not cast suspicion on herself, she would have posed as an alive Forsaken, because that would have cast the suspicion on someone who could actually have done it.

 

Yeah, Moridin knows that Sammael is dead, and therefore obviously suspects one of the remaining Forsaken to be the culprit. This is made clear, when Moridin scans the Forsaken at their meeting twice. Demandred is the Forsaken, who strangly suddenly argues that Sammael might be alive after all, although he said at first that Sammael would never hide that long (Aran'gar remarks that it's special that Demandred would admit a mistake). In my view Demandred does that, because he eventually realized that he would be the obvious suspect for posing as Sammael, since he is a man, a General and hates Rand. This is presicely what Graendal wanted; she even initiated this suspicion by stating as the first person after Moridin's announcement regarding the Trolloc army, that Sammael must be dead.

 

To disguise herself directly as Demandred would probably be considered too risky for Graendal, because Demandred would certainly search for the Forsaken who posed as him and there aren't many left who would do that (basically just Aran'gar or Graendal). Thus Graendal used an indirect way to discredit Demandred, whom she probably considered to be the most dangerous rival to possibly replace Moridin as Nae'blis. Besides that, posing as Sammael had the advantage that the other Forsaken might become uncertain, if Sammael might actually be alive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, Luckers mentioned how in Book 6 Taim set-up the Grey Man to attack Rand in his presence so that Taim could 'save' Rand from the Grey Man and win Rand's trust.  This implies either that (i) Taim has the Mark and the authority to give orders to Grey Men, or (ii) Taim had one of the Forsaken give the order and set it up for him. 

 

(ii) seems like a little bit of a stretch to me, as the other Forsaken are busy elsewhere (except maybe Demandred, but he was busy with events to the South and using proxies).  So assuming that Taim could set-up the Grey Man by himself lends credence to Taim having the authority to control Trollocs/Fades as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Were the trollocs moved through the ways then? Can a person or thing be made to enter T'A'R agasint there will?

 

You need to use a gateway to move someone physically into TAR and passing through a gateway kills Shadowspawn.  That leaves the Ways or a Portal Stone.

 

I always figured that Fain was somehow able to fake a Chosen Mark and send the Trollocs through the Ways.  If not him, Lanfear has seen the Portal Stone in southern Cairhein where the manor was and could beam them over there from any other Portal Stone or may have just whipped them through the Ways herself and not really cared about whether or not Machin Shin killed half of them.  Sure, the DO's clamping down to keep everyone in line, but she's a crazy-assed bitch who might disobey him anyways.

 

I hadn't thought of Taim, though.  That's a good notion.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

. . .but has the weakness of forcing us to assume facts not in evidence. . .

 

Flashback ???

 

So, yet again the "Attack on Algarin's Manor" discussion is dominated by the. . .idea. . .that the Trollocs sent through the Ways by the Sammael imposter and the Trollocs that attack at Algarin's manor are the same group.

 

Just about every point is dependent on the acceptance of that idea.

 

First, Moridin notes that the Sammael imposter sent "thousands" of Trollocs through the Ways, but Rand notes that there were about one-hundred thousand Trollocs in the attack on the manor.  We can not pretend that those numbers are the same.  We then are forced to accept that someone is speaking vaguely, or is just plain off by a large factor.  The common belief is that Moridin just didn't have accurate numbers, but this can't be proven either way.

 

Second, the timeline is improbable.  Moridin called the impromptu meeting with the Forsaken specifically to bring up the Sammael imposter and the Trollocs; whether he brought it up as a ruse, a threat, or just a regular old "heads-up," it was the first thing he brought up, and he discussed it emphatically.  Moridin certainly found the issue to be important for one reason or another. 

 

The meeting occurred four (maybe five?) days before the attack.  This doesn't leave much time for such a large group of Trollocs to get from the Waygate in the Blight to the manor.  Luckers seems to think otherwise . . .

 

From there, the timing is perfect. Three days, time to go to the Trollocs, command them into the Ways, have them travel the Ways, leave at Stedding Shangtai, and make the trip from there down into northern Tear and the manor.

 

I can not stress enough that every time we have ever seen anyone use the Ways, it has taken at least one day just to get through; in most cases I believe it took two days.  That was for groups of 5 to 10 people on horses.  Logistically for one-hundred thousand Trollocs:

  - it takes at least one whole day for all those Trollocs to just go through the Waygate itself two by two.

 

  - the same time constraint exists just to exit the Waygate at the other end.

 

  - there is at least a day (if we accept anything at all of what we've seen about traveling the Ways) to get through.  For a force of 100,000 this would likely take even longer due to the difficulty of traveling through pitch blackness on paths and ramps that aren't necessarily all that broad, let alone all the twists and turns they have to make.  All those things conspire together to make such a large force move very, very slowly.

 

  - the Waygate near Stedding Shangtai, which is the closest Waygate to Algarin's manor, is clear on the other side of the Spine of the World.  If Mat's very mobile, and much smaller, Band takes days and days to move through the smaller hills and mountains in Altara and Murandy, how long can we presume it would take a force of one-hundred thousand Trollocs to cross the Spine?

 

The conclusion that can be drawn from these very realistic points is that Taim couldn't have done it in three days as Luckers suggests, and the Sammael imposter couldn't have done it in four, or five, or six, or even seven.  The whole process must have taken closer to two weeks time.

 

So, accept that the Sammael imposter's Trollocs and the Algarin manor Trollocs are the same group if you will, but please be aware that to do so you must stretch the numbers beyond recognition, believe that Moridin is poorly informed, and that one-hundred thousand Trollocs can move through the Ways and across extremely high mountain ranges at speeds for which we have absolutely no precedent. 

 

Now. . .

 

There is another theory as to the purpose of the attack on the manor that I have spoken of before, and that deviant728 touched on as well, but didn't make it in to Luckers' repost.  Luckers did provide me with a nice segway, though:

 

. . .one may note that it wasn’t a stretch to figure out who the focus of the attack would be—and given Moridin can track Rand, yet makes no effort to place people at the Waygates near Rand’s position it would seem to indicate that Moridin did not care to make much of an effort to thwart the attack.

 

It just so happens that the evening that the Trollocs attacked Algarin's manor was the same evening that Semirhage, disguised as Tuon, agreed to meet with Bashere and set up a meeting between the Daughter of the Nine Moons and the Dragon Reborn.

 

It is well known at this point, that Semirhage's plan to collar Rand was part of Moridin's plan.  Moridin knew about it, and even suggests to Demandred and Mesaana that he was the one who had organized the whole endeavor from the very beginning.  It is Moridin, after all, who has the most incentive right now to try and get a handle on Rand without actually killing him due to their present link.  The Domination Bands are the best means to that end.

 

One-hundred thousand Trollocs is not an issue for Rand.  Surrounded by dozens of channelers, being in possession of Callandor and the Choedan Kal, having the ability to jump through a gateway with the Shadowspawn unable to follow - Rand was not in any real danger from the attack.  But, the attack sure did up the ante.

 

If Moridin were trying to make Rand feel desperate, draw Rand's attention elsewhere, get Rand to question his readiness for Tarmon Gaidon, flush Rand out of hiding, inspire a meeting between Rand and the Seanchan to "consolidate" the forces of Randland, and to generally force Rand's hand, the attack would have strategically been just the thing to do.

 

And wouldn't you just know it . . . Rand accepted Semirhage's meeting and three days later Rand walked right in to Moridin's trap.

 

This theory would also explain why Moridin would even know about the unauthorized movement of Trollocs.  If he had already been going through the motions of sending Trollocs through the Ways for his own ends, he would likely be made aware of any unauthorized movement.

 

Also, after the Trolloc attack that Tylee experiences in Altara, it has become apparent that there are rogue groups of Trollocs in places they probably shouldn't be.  So we don't necessarily have to accept that the Sammael imposter's Trollocs and the Algarin's manor Trollocs have to be one and the same; it is realistic to think that there may be multiple, independent groups moving around Randland for various purposes, or even with no purpose at all (being lost).

 

To recap:

 

Algarin's manor and the Sammael imposter are not necessarily linked.

 

Moridin may have had a very good reason to send the hundred thousand to the manor on his own for his own ends - to flush out Rand and send him running to the meeting with Semirhage to get collared.

 

Moridin prides himself on the subtlety of his planning.

     
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Were the trollocs moved through the ways then? Can a person or thing be made to enter T'A'R agasint there will?

 

You need to use a gateway to move someone physically into TAR and passing through a gateway kills Shadowspawn.  That leaves the Ways or a Portal Stone.

 

I always figured that Fain was somehow able to fake a Chosen Mark and send the Trollocs through the Ways.  If not him, Lanfear has seen the Portal Stone in southern Cairhein where the manor was and could beam them over there from any other Portal Stone or may have just whipped them through the Ways herself and not really cared about whether or not Machin Shin killed half of them.  Sure, the DO's clamping down to keep everyone in line, but she's a crazy-assed bitch who might disobey him anyways.

 

I hadn't thought of Taim, though.  That's a good notion.

 

I don't think Lanfear had anything to do with those Trollocs, but I just wanted to point out that Rand with the fat-man angreal almost burnt himself out traveling with a few hundred people to Rhuidean in Book 4 via portal stone.  It's a bit of a stretch that Lanfear could be hundreds of thousands of Shadowspawn in that manner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is not entirely a new thought, but I was thinking today if one of the Forsaken that everyone is certain is dead might have been brought back.  One of them might pose as Sammael in order to distract the other Chosen from the fact that he's not dead yet.  We can definitely rule out Rahvin and Sammael, from quotes directly from both RJ and the Dark One, but I'll attempt to make another case.

 

1) Osan'Gar/Aginor is back.

 

He wasn't Balefired.  Many people think that the DO was growing displeased with him since he hasn't been particularly effective in the Third Age, and that perhaps he wasn't brought back because he died twice.  There's a quote from Brandon that says all the Forsaken who haven't been brought back died by Balefire.   Unless this is a BS slip, and we've seen a few, there's a definitely a chance he's still out there.  There's no direct quotes to say that he's definitely gone for good.

 

His expertise is very exclusive in the Third Age.  He was a leading scientist and biologist using the OP, and essentially created Trollocs, Draghkar and several other nasty things as well.  From what we can determine about his strength in the Power, he's just a hair behind Rand and Ishydin, so probably the third strongest male channeler in the world (we don't know definitely about Logain or Taim).  The reason that the DO is reviving Forsaken at all is because there's a scarcity of qualified servants in the current Age.  In the AoL he might have simply promoted someone else to fill his vacancy, but there's no one in the current world who would even be close to matching his specialties.  There's not a good reason to discard him.

 

So what are his motives?  Essentially, the same as anyone else.  He doesn't want to show up personally to match Rand for strength-he doesn't like open engagements, despite his famous duel with Lews Therin in the Hall of Servants.  It stands to reason that would be willing to use Trollocs as well, since he created them.  He would actually know better than most how many Trollocs would be needed, since he was "trained" alongside some of the Asha'Man with Rand.  He certainly wouldn't have anticipated Logain's faction showing up since he wasn't at the BT when Logain came to the Black Tower.

 

2) Be'lal

 

This is very far fetched, mostly because I believe RJ's intent was for balefire to serve as the absolute standard for killing Forsaken, but some of his statements leave open the possibility.  We once thought that the DO had to seize souls in the instant of their death in order to bring them back, but he explained (mostly in comments about Asmodean) that there's actually a bubble of time for him to act.  This opens the possibility that you could balefire a Forsaken very weakly, so they only lost a few seconds from the Pattern, and the DO could still bring them back.  Here it is, straight out of the Creator's mouth.

 

Robert Jordan Answers: There are definitely time constraints on the Dark One's power to transmigrate a soul. The soul doesn't have to be secured immediately - that is, the Dark One doesn't have to be ready to snatch the soul at the instant of death - but the longer that passes after the death, the less chance that the Dark One will be able to secure the soul. Someone who has been killed with balefire in actuality died before the apparent time of his or her death, and thus the window of opportunity for the Dark One to secure that soul for transmigration is gone before the Dark One can know that the soul must be secured unless the amount of balefire used is very small. Remember that the more balefire is used, the further back the target's thread is burned out of the pattern.

 

He specifically leaves open the possibility of killing with balefire and having that soul transmigrated anyway.  Be'lal represents the weakest example of balefire on a Forsaken to date.

 

So, how much time was lost?  Actually, we have a good benchmark for that, as well.  In tFoH, she tells us this:

 

"When anything is destroyed with balefire, it ceases to exist before the moment of its destruction, like a thread that burns away from where the flame touched it.  The greater the power of the balefire, the further back in time it ceases to exist.  The strongest I can manage will remove only a few seconds from the Pattern."

 

The Fires of Heaven, Gateways

 

There's a chance that she's wrong, but we have no reason to believe this.  Moiraine is generally used as the authority figure for most things in the series, and is only wrong on few specific, isolated incidents.  For comparison, Rand is significantly stronger that she is, and he hits Rahvin with his full strength plus an angreal.  That takes at most a couple of hours from the Pattern, as far as we can tell.

 

Still, at the point in the series where Be'lal was killed, I think RJ wanted it to serve as the ultimate weapon before he hammered out the mechanics . We didn't have an explanation for how BF actually worked until two books later.  If Be'lal was revived, it would have been around the same time as Moridin, since they died in close proximity, and there's no evidence of him since his death.  But it's not a certainty.  This might even qualify as a BUT, except that you wouldn't know it's possible without having read a very specific RJ interview question.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There can't be any serious doubt that the Trollocs, which the Sammael imposter sent, were there ones who attacked the manor. Moridin says that "Sammael" sent "a hundred Myrddraal and thousands of Trollocs into the Ways." Since we know that Myrddraal and Trollocs usually form a fist, and that a fist normally contains of one Myrddraal and 100-200 Trollocs, we easily reach the number of 100.000.

 

It also fits with the timeline, because one can assume that "Sammael" sent the Trollocs at least a few days before Moridin noticed it into the Ways, and they attacked 6 days after the Forsaken meeting (according to the Tellings of the Wheel-chronology).

 

On the other hand, it makes no sense that Moridin would send such an army against Rand, because there is always a little risk that Rand might be wounded or even killed in such a battle (which Moridin doesn't want at all, because of their link). Besides that, as we learn in TGS, Moridin wants to assemble all Shadowspawn in the Blight, before they attack. At this time Rand had also already arranged a meeting with "Tuon".

 

This makes also clear that not one of Moridin's pets, Moghedien or Cyndane, dared to send the Trollocs. Moridin certainly grilled them thoroughly, if they were involved (and they obviously weren't), before he interrogated the other Forsaken on this matter. In Moridin's eyes, one of the other Forsaken must be the culprit, and that actually makes the most sense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My problem with thinking it is Taim is no proof, no way to know for sure he sent a grayman or can command shadowspawn.  Taim tried to kill Rand with Asha'man and that failed why would he think Trollocs could do it?  Taim IMO would be morel likely to have 30 of his Asha'man appear suddenly and level the place.  No proof Taim can pretend to be one of the forsaken, or knew Samm well enough to immate him.  Only one of the Forsaken could immate him well enough.

 

I think the whole attack was to get Rand moving, he was staying put and as pointed out it might of been a reminder the last battle was coming.  Make him feel desperate and fall into a trap.  Could of been Demandred in hopes of pushing him towards Semi.

 

Also as stated no proof those were the trollocs sent into the ways.  As with the Trolloc attack on the Seanchan they are being secretly positioned around.  Who can say if all those trollocs came through at one or in groups.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always figured that the Trollocs that attacked the Seanchan were part of the same group that attacked Rand and they just took a wrong turn in the Ways or were running from the Black Wind or something and ended up on the wrong side of the continent.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a thread regarding who is impersonating Sammael and in that Machin Shin was a major discussion point but I don't see so much of it here beyond the first post. The Black Wind is seen as a wild thing now, something that might have been corrupted by its contact with Fain. It was believed that either a lot of trollocs were dying in the Ways or else Machin Shin was somehow being controlled, which leads people to look at Fain. I think we were intentionally misled to believe that Fain has control over Machin Shin and that events in the books show it was not him.

 

 

I'm under the impression that Ishamael brought the Black Wind in line with his plans. We know that it was waiting for Rand at each Waygate to prevent his using it for easy travel. This was against Fain's intentions - he knew Rand would use the Waygate to follow him quickly to Toman Head. He left the message to be delivered to Rand with this intention and when speaking with Turak he spoke as if Rand was only a few days behind him at most. It was never his intention to let the Black Wind kill him. In fact, setting a trap for Rand would be entirely out of Fain's character as he wants to kill Rand himself. If the Black Wind was simply corrupted by its contact with Mordeth, it would not have been chanting "Al'Thor". Further, at the start of The Shadow Rising we see Fain thinking he'll finally make Rand come to him. That means he believed Rand was not on his way to Toman Head and he intends to use the Two Rivers as bait to force him. This wouldn't make sense if he knew Rand would take a few months to get to him.

 

Ishamael uses the Waygates to move trollocs. The Ways were also a favorite location of his in the dream world - We see him in the (undarkened) Ways in TAR on at least 3 occasions by the beginning of book 3.

 

The big thing wasn't involving him or Fain. It was what Liandrin said. When she takes the wonder girls into the Ways, they say that Moiraine said the Black Wind can't be stopped. Liandrin has a mocking smile on her face and says Moiraine doesn't know as much as she thinks. Liandrin had some hidden knowledge and was not afraid of the Black Wind. She knew it wouldn't bother her. Had it been Fain that corrupted it, she would not have known it was behaving oddly. That means it must have been one of the Forsaken and Ishamael fits it the best given his past experience with the Ways. It's most likely that Ishamael gave the Black Wind orders to prevent Rand traveling along the Ways (maybe to force him to channel at a portal stone, in co-op with Lanfear?) and then gave Liandrin the instructions on how to navigate them to Toman Head.

 

So if anybody was moving trollocs through the Ways late in the series, it would have been Moridin. The attack wouldn't have had the intent of killing any of the channelers in Rand's party but it would have served as a good wake up call to tell Rand he can't hide and the enemy is growing in numbers while he sits (they could toss away that many trollocs). He then was able to use the Sammael impersonation to increase suspicion among the rest of the forsaken. Now they will be watching each other even more closely and might be easier to keep in line through manipulation. That he could use the Ways without worrying about massive losses due to Machin Shin only implies that he has it under control, otherwise they would have found some other route to take.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure if anyone considered it from this angle, but Taim and Demandred each separately ordered Torval, Kisman and the other renegade Ashaman to kill Rand in Far Madding.  Moridin also said kill him 'if necessary', but to bring the CK back to Moridin no matter what (presumably to stop the taint-cleansing, since Moridin did not appear to care about Rand having the CK in tGS). 

 

In Far Madding, Isam is also trying to kill Rand under the orders of a disguised Forsaken (or Taim), who retreats to a "snowy forest glade", consistent with the area around the Black Tower in Andor.  I think the Trolloc attack on Algarin's Manor was the follow-up to Isam's failed attempt to kill Rand in Far Madding.

 

Specifically, I think it was Taim ordering Isam to kill Rand, and that Taim also likely impersonated Sammael and used Isam to ferry the Trollocs to Algarin's manner.  Remember that the only three people we've known to move Trollocs through the Ways are (i) Sammael (into Shadar Logoth, Book 7), (ii) Isam (to the Two Rivers, Book 4) and (iii) Ishamael (to the Two Rivers, Book 1).

 

Moridin rules himself out (unless he's lying; doubtful), Sammael is dead and that leaves Isam.  Isam would only doing any of this under the orders of the disguised Forsaken (who I believe is Taim). 

 

This isn't guaranteed, but is there anything explicitly wrong with this theory?  More or less, trying to think of this Trolloc raid in the bigger context of who has been trying to kill Rand despite the no-kill order.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There can't be any serious doubt that the Trollocs, which the Sammael imposter sent, were there ones who attacked the manor. Moridin says that "Sammael" sent "a hundred Myrddraal and thousands of Trollocs into the Ways." Since we know that Myrddraal and Trollocs usually form a fist, and that a fist normally contains of one Myrddraal and 100-200 Trollocs, we easily reach the number of 100.000.

 

It also fits with the timeline, because one can assume that "Sammael" sent the Trollocs at least a few days before Moridin noticed it into the Ways, and they attacked 6 days after the Forsaken meeting (according to the Tellings of the Wheel-chronology).

 

The seemingly specific number of Myrddraal and the seemingly vague number of Trollocs noted by Moridin has been a serious point of discussion in the past.  If we assume the number of Myrddraal is correct and each of them is leading a fist of 100 to 200 Trollocs to lead the them through the Ways, that accounts for 10,000 to 20,000 Trollocs.  That number is certainly in keeping with Moridin's statement of "thousands."

 

I think that this is very likely the truth of the matter.  To get the numbers Moridin speaks of in reference to the Sammael imposter to match up with the attack on Algarin's manor, we have to start making suppositions about where Moridin got his information and generally about how Trolloc hoards are organized.

 

We have to suppose that:

 

- Moridin was very poorly informed.

 

- If the Myrddraal number is correct, then each Myrddraal was linked to 1000 Trollocs, which we've never seen before, or there were 75,000 Trollocs who were managing to travel through the Ways without guidance from a link to a Myrddraal.

 

- If the Myrddraal number is not correct, then it would likely need to be off by a factor of 10. (I can understand not having an accurate number for Trollocs who are expendable in many ways, but to be off by a factor of 10 when accounting for Myrddraal?  That's pushing it.)

 

Some of these suppositions may seem reasonable, but they stretch what little facts we know a bit too far for my liking.  So, I'm just not buying it.

 

As for the timeline, 6 days sounds right for the chronology of events.  It still doesn't give quite enough time, unless the Sammael imposter did his thing many days before Moridin called the meeting.

 

That would leave us with a great deal of questions:

 

Did Moridin not know until the day of the Forsaken meeting, and then call the impromptu meeting in response?  Did Moridin know about it soon after it happened, but didn't bother to bring it up for a couple days?  If so, why did it seem so important in the meeting if he had been sitting on the information for a few days already?

 

None of these are questions that we can answer.

 

In general, I think that the issue is rather simple.  If the numbers have to be stretched beyond recognition to match up with each other and the timeline is compressed so tightly that it requires speeds of travel for which we have no precedent, the two things probably aren't related. 

   

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are right on the numbers, Paerish Swar. Math was never my strength..  ;D

However, another explanation could be that Moridin gave misleading numbers to provoke a reaction from the possible Sammael imposter.

 

In any case, I still think it's plot-wise very unlikely that the riddle about the Trolloc army & "Sammael" is introduced in the beginning of KoD, and some chapters later we actually see a Trolloc army attacking Rand & Co., but that those two incidents deal with different Trolloc armies which aren't related. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about the possibility of another chosen? I mean, Moggy said that there were 29 people ever allowed to touch the true source. Can we safely assume that those who weren't sealed away in the bore all died? Also what would happen if the person who was once one of the Chosen died, and was reborn? Does the mark that the dark one imbues on them touch their soul, so that it remains with them in all lives? Have to admit that if this event is actually a serious event with future repercussions and not just a momentary thing to show some disloyalty within the ranks of the DO, it's a bit of a deus ex machina.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Far Madding, Isam is also trying to kill Rand under the orders of a disguised Forsaken (or Taim), who retreats to a "snowy forest glade", consistent with the area around the Black Tower in Andor.  I think the Trolloc attack on Algarin's Manor was the follow-up to Isam's failed attempt to kill Rand in Far Madding.

 

Specifically, I think it was Taim ordering Isam to kill Rand, and that Taim also likely impersonated Sammael and used Isam to ferry the Trollocs to Algarin's manner.  Remember that the only three people we've known to move Trollocs through the Ways are (i) Sammael (into Shadar Logoth, Book 7), (ii) Isam (to the Two Rivers, Book 4) and (iii) Ishamael (to the Two Rivers, Book 1).

 

Moridin rules himself out (unless he's lying; doubtful), Sammael is dead and that leaves Isam.  Isam would only doing any of this under the orders of the disguised Forsaken (who I believe is Taim). 

 

This isn't guaranteed, but is there anything explicitly wrong with this theory?  More or less, trying to think of this Trolloc raid in the bigger context of who has been trying to kill Rand despite the no-kill order.

 

Problem is how would Taim know Isam exsists or how to contact him?  Orginally I assumed Isam was trying to kill Lan and Ny.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Far Madding, Isam is also trying to kill Rand under the orders of a disguised Forsaken (or Taim), who retreats to a "snowy forest glade", consistent with the area around the Black Tower in Andor.  I think the Trolloc attack on Algarin's Manor was the follow-up to Isam's failed attempt to kill Rand in Far Madding.

 

Specifically, I think it was Taim ordering Isam to kill Rand, and that Taim also likely impersonated Sammael and used Isam to ferry the Trollocs to Algarin's manner.  Remember that the only three people we've known to move Trollocs through the Ways are (i) Sammael (into Shadar Logoth, Book 7), (ii) Isam (to the Two Rivers, Book 4) and (iii) Ishamael (to the Two Rivers, Book 1).

 

Moridin rules himself out (unless he's lying; doubtful), Sammael is dead and that leaves Isam.  Isam would only doing any of this under the orders of the disguised Forsaken (who I believe is Taim). 

 

This isn't guaranteed, but is there anything explicitly wrong with this theory?  More or less, trying to think of this Trolloc raid in the bigger context of who has been trying to kill Rand despite the no-kill order.

 

Problem is how would Taim know Isam exsists or how to contact him?  Orginally I assumed Isam was trying to kill Lan and Ny.

 

When I first read it I thought that too, but the 'nephew' comment was from Luc's perspective, not Isam's.  Plus, Isam is Lan's cousin, not his uncle.  It's an open question on how Luc has any idea that Rand was Tigraine (his sister's) son however.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think one should also remember that Graendal already tried to cast suspicion on the male Forsaken - probably especially to harm Demandred, during the Forsaken Tea Party in WH - shortly before the Cleansing:

'"If the young man does somehow remove the shadow, well ... You who channel saidin will no longer need the Great Lord's special protection. Will he trust your ... loyalty ... then?" Smiling, she [Graendal] sipped her wine. Osan'gar did not smile. His face paled, and he scrubbed a hand across his mouth. Aran'gar sat up on the edge of her long chair, no longer trying to be sensuous. Her hands formed claws on her lap, and she glared at Graendal as if ready to go to her throat. Demandred's fists unclenched. It was out in the open at last. He had hoped to have al'Thor dead — or failing that, captive — before this suspicion reared its head. During the War of Power, more than a dozen of the Chosen had died of the Great Lord's suspicion.'

 

So, it would certainly fit Graendal's M.O. to cast further dissension among the Forsaken and especially make Demandred suspicious by posing as Sammael; and if Rand had - against all odds - actually died during the attack, much the better (Graendal also wonders in TGS, prologue, why they don't simply kill Rand).

 

Besides that, also the blurb of KoD indicated that a Forsaken was behind this plot (IIRC, those blurbs are written by Harriet and usually correct):

"The Wheel of Time turns, and Robert Jordan gives us the eleventh volume of his extraordinary masterwork of fantasy. The dead are walking, men die impossible deaths, and it seems as though reality itself has become unstable: All are signs of the imminence of Tarmon Gai'don, the Last Battle, when Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, must confront the Dark One as humanity's only hope. But Rand dares not fight until he possesses all the surviving seals on the Dark One's prison and has dealt with the Seanchan, who threaten to overrun all nations this side of the Aryth Ocean and increasingly seem too entrenched to be fought off. But his attempt to make a truce with the Seanchan is shadowed by treachery that may cost him everything. Whatever the price, though, he must have that truce. And he faces other dangers. There are those among the Forsaken who will go to any length to see him dead - and the Black Ajah is at his side..."

 

The other danger from a Forsaken, who will go any length to see Rand dead, refers most likely to the attack of the Trolloc army in KoD, because Semirhage and Moridin just wanted to capture Rand.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it was Greandal who sent those trollocs, why then would Moridin first pretend to be upset in KoD, only to turn around and applaud her initiative in tGS? I can only see that being reasonable if Moridin never discovers that it was indeed Greandal, if she did send them.

 

As for any of the Forsaken being reborn, this too is unlikely as there just isn't enough time in the remaining books to give meaningful roles to those reborn. With so many other things going on, I don't see RJ introducing old forsaken in new bodies in the notes he left behind. Rand and Co. still have a lot of Forsaken plots to deal with without adding any new ones.

 

As for Taim sending them, he is not a Forsaken. We have no knowledge that he can command shadowspawn, but we also do not know if he can and we just haven't seen it yet. I think that even if he were able to command them, he would not have masterminded this raid for the simple reason of not having motivation. Why would Taim, if he has so many legions of trollocs to command, send them off on a whim of a chance of killing Rand? The attack in Cairhein was much more subtle in character; if Rand hadn't just left his rooms, he would have died. It was pure chance that saved him. If that is how Taim operates, then this attack shares nothing in common. Plus, Taim never knew where Rand was as per Logain's comment of Taim burning with curiosity to know where Rand was holed up. Taim just doesn't add up.

 

I think we have to apply Occum's Razor here. Semirhage had the most reason to force Rand to move. She needed him to see the need for a treaty with the Seanchan. She knew the attack was likely to fail in killing him, but would probably kill some of his followers (she didn't know of Logain when the attack was sent), which would suit her plans all the more because it would be easier to capture Rand that way.

 

I am not saying it couldn't be something else, but I have to keep pushing the Semirhage angle as the most likely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...