Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Seanchan Prophecy; Fact or Fiction


Luckers
 Share

Recommended Posts

Seanchan Prophecy; Fact or Fiction

 

Essanik Cycle vs. Karetheon Cycle

 

Firstly, just a quick disambiguation. I've seen people stating that the Seanchan Prophecies are the Essanik Cycle, whilst the Westland Prophecies are the Karetheon Cycle. This is not so--the Seanchan have the Karetheon Cycle also, they just have an additional set of prophecies about the Dragon which they've put together in the Essanik Cycle. We have no indications that the Essanik Cycle has been played with at all--indeed the only prophecy from it that we've seen turned out to be true.

 

So, for clarity, the Karetheon Cycle seems to be a compilation of foretelling made during the first forty or so years of the Breaking whilst communication held up enough for them to spread around. The Essanik Cycle seems to be a group of Foretellings made by Aes Sedai (and possibly damane as well) on the Seanchan continent. Note: Elaida states that there were also foretellings about the Last Battle made by Tower trained Aes Sedai in the Westlands--these have seemingly not be made into an official Cycle, but rather kept hidden in the Tower Library.

 

The Problem With the Karetheon Cycle

 

In tPoD we learn that the copy of the Karetheon Cycle Luthair brought with him to Seanchan contained a mention in it that it not to be found in any other version of the Prophecies either in the Westlands or in Seanchan.

 

The Prophecies of the Dragon had been known in Seanchan even before Luthair Paendrag began the Consolidation. In corrupted form, it was said, much different from the pure version Luthair Paendrag brought. Miraj had seen several volumes of The Karaethon Cycle printed in these lands, and they were corrupted too, not one mentioned him serving the Crystal Throne!

 

[tPoD; 24, A Time For Iron]

 

This is obviously paraphrased--later we get a different phrasing of that prophecy from Tuon.

 

"I must find a way to make contact with the Dragon Reborn as soon as possible. He must kneel before the Crystal Throne before Tarmon Gai'don, or all is lost." The Prophecies of the Dragon said so, clearly.

 

[WH; 14, What a Veil Hides]

 

I trust Tuon's phrasing more than Miraj--her knowledge seems more specific than his. But kneel or serve both would probably confuse Moiraine.

 

“Neither the first nor the last,” Moiraine said. “Callandor will be but one fulfilment of The Karaethon Cycle, as his birth on the slopes of Dragonmount was the first. He has yet to break the nations, or shatter the world. Even scholars who have studied the Prophecies for their entire lives do not know how to interpret them all. What does it mean that he ‘shall slay his people with the sword of peace, and destroy them with the leaf? What does it meant that he ‘shall bind the nine moons to serve him’? Yet these are given equal weight with Callandor in the Cycle.

 

[tDR; 6, The Hunt Begins]

 

So which is it? Will he serve the Crystal Throne, or will it serve him? I've seen people suggest that the answer is both. The favourite method for this seems to be the Domination Band--Tuon binds Rand, then as the Band's control wavers he comes to bind her. Other's consist of Rand physically dropping to a knee before balefiring the hell out of her, and everything in between.

 

However there are still problems here...

 

The Origins of This Prophecy

 

Ok, so according to Miraj Luthair brought his copy of the Karetheon Cycle from the Westlands, yet the ones in the Westlands contain no mention of it. Why? Would someone have scoured all reference from every copy of the Prophecies in the Westlands? Every Commentary? Even if such a thing were possible, which I doubt, why would anyone do that? No one in the Westlands knew what the Crystal Throne was, or would have a reason to destroy references to the Dragon submitting to it--indeed if the Unstained Tower Breaking and Bending Knee, or the fall of Tear survived, how did this not?

 

No it seems unlikely to point of impossibility that Luthair obtained his version of the Prophecies in the Westlands. Furthermore it seems similarly unlikely (impossible) that the one singular pure version of the Prophecies existed to be found by the man who would in fact come to sit the Crystal Throne in contradiction to all other versions of the Prophecies across the world. So whilst there are ways both prophecies might be fulfilled it seems essentially certain that the Seanchan entry of the Dragon kneeling to the Crystal Throne is a fabrication. But if so, by whom?

 

Who Played With Prophecy?

 

The Importance of a Chair

 

The first candidate is Luthair (or one of his descendents--just because it is claimed he had it with him when he arrived doesn't mean he did). It makes sense for the people who sat the Crystal Throne to want to glorify it, and this fits very neatly with Seanchan concepts of the relative significance of the Emperor/Empress--they can have no equal, not even the Dragon.

 

Still, it's somewhat peculiar that a thousand years ago they were making such elaborate efforts to put the Dragon in his place. It's possible that have forming the Court and naming themselves the Nine Moons they found the reference to the Nine Moons being bound and freaked, but even so this seems a little premature.

 

The Issue of a Doom

 

The second candidate is Ishamael. He tells Rand that in sending Luthair to Seanchan he sealed two dooms. One then (the death of Hawkwing's Empire) and one now (presumably the Seanchan Return, and the conflict it would cause).

 

However this is odd. The Seanchan are not Darkfriends, and their war of unification isn't so different to Rand's--focussed in large part on fighting the Shadow. So how could Ishamael be so certain as to claim their insured a certain doom--the answer would be the Prophecy. In altering it he would have specifically targeted the Seanchan Empire at the Dragon, a confrontation which well could spell doom for the Light.

 

Conclusions

 

At this stage it seems highly unlikely that the Seanchan clause of Rand kneeling is true. The origins of this cause are simply to suspect to be trusted. If this is a fabrication the most likely fabricator is Ishamael, though it could also simply be the Imperial Family themselves. It should be noted that this is a manipulation of the Karetheon Cycle and that the Essanik Cycle does not seem to be a fabrication, and there are no indications of foul play related to it.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 122
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

While I agree there is no evidence of tampering with the Essanik Cycle (or the Randland version of the Karetheon Cycle), it's important to keep in mind a comment made by Brandon Sanderson:

Q: "We know that the Karaethon Cycle and the Essanik Cycle are different. Is that because there were different contributors to each, or some other reason (like tampering by Ishamael)? Which is more correct?"

A: "The Essanik cycle had only in Seanchan and there were different contributors. Which is more correct? I'm not going to say which is more correct. There has been tampering…"

Q: "In both?"

A: "People are not perfect, alright? Let’s just say that and there are lots of forces at work. The Essanik cycle, they have tried to preserve it as perfectly as they can. If the Outriggers ever get written there will be more information about what the Essanik cycle is. It is had only in Seanchan. It was given by damane in Seanchan, so nobody knows about it on the main continent."

Therefore, while it's possible both versions were preserved to the best of their keeper's abilities, we cannot and should not assume they only contain true and accurate prophecies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I agree there is no evidence of tampering with the Essanik Cycle (or the Randland version of the Karetheon Cycle), it's important to keep in mind a comment made by Brandon Sanderson:

Q: "We know that the Karaethon Cycle and the Essanik Cycle are different. Is that because there were different contributors to each, or some other reason (like tampering by Ishamael)? Which is more correct?"

A: "The Essanik cycle had only in Seanchan and there were different contributors. Which is more correct? I'm not going to say which is more correct. There has been tampering"

Q: "In both?"

A: "People are not perfect, alright? Lets just say that and there are lots of forces at work. The Essanik cycle, they have tried to preserve it as perfectly as they can. If the Outriggers ever get written there will be more information about what the Essanik cycle is. It is had only in Seanchan. It was given by damane in Seanchan, so nobody knows about it on the main continent."

Therefore, while it's possible both versions were preserved to the best of their keeper's abilities, we cannot and should not assume they only contain true and accurate prophecies.

it is probably true to assume that the seanchan version is more tampered though since Luthair probably took with him a few copies of the prophecies allowing ishy to sweep in and change it easier

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Durinax, I agree. IIRC, Ishamael was out and about when Luthair set sail to Seanchan, so he could easily modify the versions that were being shipped along with him.

Duskfire, I see this thread as dealing with the validity of the aforementioned prophecy. It can of course turn out that way even if it isn't prophecy, but since the Karetheon Cycle was finalized 3K years ago, they can't both be true prophecy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doesn't it say somewhere, like in book one or something, that Ishamael messed with Luthair's version of the prophecy?  Or was that just speculated?  I could've sworn that Ishamael said that he had tampered with it some...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

EDIT: I read too quickly and incorrectly.

I thought i read:

 

We have no indications that the Essanik Cycle has been played OUTat all

 

:)

 

Seanchan Prophecy; Fact or Fiction

How much had he fulfilled? He didn't seem blinded yet, so that had yet to happen. The Essanik Cycle said that he would stand on his own grave and weep. Or did that prophecy refer to the dead walking, as they did already? Certainly, some of those spirits walked across their own graves. The writings were unclear, sometimes.

 

Tuon-pov TGS CH35 A Halo of Blackness

 

Many believe 'Blind' was not meant literally, but instead referred to his view of LIFE.

 

Also, standing on his own grave can be the events in Veins of Gold

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an aside; there are two others sets of prophecy that we know of that you didn't mention.  The He who comes with the dawn and the Coramamor prophecies.

So 5 sets.  4 of which are specific to the last battle.  Not sure if what the Aes Seadi have are a mismash or last battle specific. I guess we could throw the Cordin Neadla (sorry I am a horrible WOT name speller) notes as well.

 

Also,  I guess we have Nicola, Eladia, Egwene, Briar, Amys and Perrin as ongoing sources of prophecy; not to mention whatever damne might have the gift.  I guess there are the forsaken as well.  Seems like Moggy and Cyd(Lanfear) might have the ability to dream.  

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seanchan Prophecy; Fact or Fiction

 

We have no indications that the Essanik Cycle has been played with at all

 

 

 

How much had he fulfilled? He didn't seem blinded yet, so that had yet to happen. The Essanik Cycle said that he would stand on his own grave and weep. Or did that prophecy refer to the dead walking, as they did already? Certainly, some of those spirits walked across their own graves. The writings were unclear, sometimes.

 

Tuon-pov TGS CH35 A Halo of Blackness

 

Many believe 'Blind' was not meant literally, but instead referred to his view of LIFE.

 

Also, standing on his own grave can be the events in Veins of Gold

 

I think both references to 'blind' and 'standing on his own grave' refer to Veins of Gold.  After all, he travels to the Dragonmount because:

 

"Why have we come here? Rand thought.

Because, Rand replied.  Because we made this.  This is where we died."

 

He clearly indicates he's standing on his own grave.

 

The biggest reason I think that both those prophecies are fulfilled at that time though, is because right after it is the Epilogue, which is just Egwene looking out at Dragonmount, seeing it bathed in light, and saying that the day should be marked, for something really important just happened.  Immediately after that, it says:

 

"At the end of time,

when the many become one,

the last storm shall gather its angry winds

to destroy a land already dying.

And at its center,

the blind man shall stand upon his own grave.

There he shall see again,

and weep for what has been wrought.

 

-from The Prophecies of the Dragon,

Essanik Cycle, Malhavish's Official Translation,

Imperial Record House of Seandar,

Fourth Circle of Elevation."

 

(I have the book right in front of me, so that's copied word for word.)

 

I'd say that's pretty solid proof that those prophecies were just fulfilled.  He just stood on his own grave, saw the reality of what he was becoming, and learned to laugh and cry again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Umm... yeah. Doesn't every regular on this site know this already?

 

I don't know.  I've had to educate three or four folks in the last year or so who were convinced that Rand had to kneel to the Crystal Throne; when I explained in general what Luckers has been so kind as to have explained in detail, those folks seemed like they didn't realize the K-Cycle had been tampered with...

 

So, take that for what it's worth.  I'm just grateful to have a consolidated place for this topic.  It's one that's been spread across several threads in the past.

 

My two coppers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an aside; there are two others sets of prophecy that we know of that you didn't mention.  The He who comes with the dawn and the Coramamor prophecies.

 

There's the Amayar prophecy that caused them to commit mass suicide. They believed when the hand on Tremalking was destroyed it would mark the end of illusion. It might have the same origin as the Aiel belief that life is a dream we all wake from, and Knife of Dreams which in this case could mean something that kills (like war).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Umm... yeah. Doesn't every regular on this site know this already?

 

I don't know.  I've had to educate three or four folks in the last year or so who were convinced that Rand had to kneel to the Crystal Throne; when I explained in general what Luckers has been so kind as to have explained in detail, those folks seemed like they didn't realize the K-Cycle had been tampered with...

 

So, take that for what it's worth.  I'm just grateful to have a consolidated place for this topic.  It's one that's been spread across several threads in the past.

 

My two coppers.

 

But why cant both happen? There just seems to be alot of assumption around the place that Rand won't kneel, when based on his personality shift at the end of TGS I actually think it likely to happen. We have already seen Rand self fulfill a prophecy in regards to Callandor and Narishma, and alot of his decision making has been influenced by what he understands about the prophecies (not to mention Mins viewings.) Theres no reason why the prophecy couldn't have been tampered with and for it to also come true as well.

 

In fact, I find it semi-ironic that if it was Ishamael who did the tampering, if it still became true, then in a way he is making the alliance between Rand the Seanchan even stronger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose both could happen.  Sometimes prophecy tends to fulfill itself because it is expected to.  Even if one wasn't literally Foretold or whatever, doesn't mean certain events can't make it happen.  People want/need prophecy to be fulfilled so that they have something to believe in, so they will go to great lengths to make things happen, if they aren't "true" prophecy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose both could happen.  Sometimes prophecy tends to fulfill itself because it is expected to.  Even if one wasn't literally Foretold or whatever, doesn't mean certain events can't make it happen.  People want/need prophecy to be fulfilled so that they have something to believe in, so they will go to great lengths to make things happen, if they aren't "true" prophecy.

 

Well the way I look at it is that Tuon will never back down from her beliefs. Or rather, the Seanchan won't. It would be impossible to convince them that their prophecies have been tampered with. There's just no evidence or proof that is the case; sure their version and Randland version is contradictory, but theres been prophecies before that were as well, so thats not evidence. Rather someone has to concede, and I can see Rand doing it before Tuon. He'll bow to her, but it won't be a sign of submission that she probably believes it to be, but rather as a humble gesture from a leader and ruler.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well that sounds pretty pointless.  I'm not sure why it would be impossible to convince them someone hijacked their entire culture provided you could demonstrate or reveal who did it.  Even the Aiel had a group of people who were kind of sitting on the truth of their origins that were trusted enough to confirm it (clan chiefs).  Not much of a stretch to imagine the Seanchan may wind up having something similar going on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Irrespective of the fact that it could happen, it won't. It is a fabrication.

 

Regardless which is real which is fake, which has been tampered or not. People on each side of the ocean BELIEVE theirs is the right one. They can’t just stop believing in it.

 

Rand:"Tuon, by the way Ishy messed with your prophecy, so i won’t kneel."

Tuon:"oh darn, i guess that’s fine."

 

That will not happen, a belief is embedded in your soul. If the pattern wants to tie everyone together in order to the wheel to keep one spinning it needs to make both prophecies come true.

 

This is the reason why the E-cycle, is being fulfilled as well as the K-cycle.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well that sounds pretty pointless.  I'm not sure why it would be impossible to convince them someone hijacked their entire culture provided you could demonstrate or reveal who did it.  Even the Aiel had a group of people who were kind of sitting on the truth of their origins that were trusted enough to confirm it (clan chiefs).  Not much of a stretch to imagine the Seanchan may wind up having something similar going on.

 

Yeah but as you pointed out, the Aiel had confirmation of their past from other sources. And even then, alot of them rebelled and the bleakness came along, etc etc. How would you prove that to the Seanchan? Especially if Ishamael did it, he isn't exactly going to come along and admit he did it.

 

Not to mention, what if Ishamael writing that "prophecy" was the will of the Pattern? What if he meant to tamper with it, so Rand and the Seanchan would be able to forge an alliance based on it? Does that make it any less of a prophecy? If something came true, even if it was originally fabricated, how is that any less of a prophecy then something that was written in the Karatheon cycle? it could be the Pattern just altering itself to accomidate the tampering.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It has been built up as one of the big mysteries in the series, we lack the information to answer it at this point and that's intentional.  There is precedence in the story of a culture having some earth shattering secret of their past suddenly revealed to them.  I don't know how or if the same will happen to the Seanchan but you can't ignore the possibility of it.  The alternative is apparently Rand makes some relatively meaningless bowing gesture so they get their prophecy check in the box?  Maybe, but that's pretty pointless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Rand is just going to become a slave to the Seanchan, and they'll use him to win the Last Battle, then conquer the world after he dies and the world is saved.

 

What?  It would certainly not be what people saw coming!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Seanchan prophecy is fake but that doesn't mean it can't happen. Because the Seanchan so firmly believe that this event will take place it will have some effect on what happens. Rand very well might kneel in some way to the throne as a symbol of the peace between the two sides. He won't be forced into it. Basically just because it's fake doesn't mean it won't happen anyway.

 

Rand is going to learn of this fake prophecy eventually. He'll probably know it to be fake but he'll see that the Seanchan will not budge on this. He very well could go along with it just to appease them. Or else he'll trip over something and fall in front of Tuon and everybody will raise their hands up and say "Behold!" as he fulfills the prophecy while getting back up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...