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Mesaana: Fail or Success?


Crael123
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Well. Mesaana hasn't done a lot in this series seemingly. She has hung out at the White Tower the whole series and done nothing when she was sitting on top of the largest stash of Sa'angreal, angreal, and Ter'angreal. But here is an even and unbiased argument on weather or not she was a fail. or a successful player at the anti-Rand game.

 

                               FAIL

 

This is the most obvious choice. She has sat basically on top of the largest stash of Power related objects in the world, and stole none of them. yes, it would have been very difficult to keep her cover if she stole one, but she could have gotten the Fluted Rod Egwene used in the Seanchan invasion, and Rand may not have been able to stop her, let alone the normal Aes Sedai unaided. She could have single handedly destroyed the White Tower. She has far superior knowledge and in this case, more power than the ENTIRE TOWER could have wielded.  Also, she did not stop the Tower from being reunited, as she told Moridin she would. She let her prized jewel, the Black Ajah, be destroyed. So it appears that Mesaana has been nothing but a string of failure after failure. It really does seem that her case is far beyond any redemption. or is it?

 

                                SUCCESS

 

Well, seemingly there is nothing for me too put in this category. But let us look at what she may have done indirectly, or influenced.

 

The Breaking of the White Tower in tSR. this put the Aes Sedai at eachother's throats for a good 8 books. it made massive barriers between the Ajahs, made the majority of the non rebels hate every one that was not in their Ajah. this was HUGE. the White Tower, as flawed as it is, is still one of the main rallying points for TG. the aes sedai, so called servants of all, are so blind and prideful they can barely stop from killing eachother! she was behind this crumbling of one of the main fortress of the Light.

 

Boxing Rand in LoC. this was probably the worst thing that ever happened to the Light. their general, their leader, was pushed to the brink. this made him hate all Aes Sedai, and nearly pushed him to destroy the world. the box was the starting point of Rand's insanity. he lost all trust in everyone, and walled off his emotions. this, along with Simerhage and the a'dam, was probably the most devastating blow ever struck in this Age against the Light. also, this indirectly caused Dumani's Wells. and that was awesome.

 

Stealing the Dream Ter'angreals in TGS. this could be a major blow, but we havn't seen how this turns out yet. still somewhat of a wild card.

 

Also, even though we have seen her face, we still have not figured out who she was! this has to count for something! but i she is Tarna. i was reading CoT, and i read the chapter that SH raped her, and RJ emphasized "big blue eyes"  then 2 pages later it talks about Tarnas "big blue eyes" and how nervous she was! it fits. 

 

 

so. what do you guys think? was Mesaana the greatest Forsaken of them all? or was she just sort of the Epic Fail of the group? you decide.

 

 

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I think actually she was a success.

 

She had a stable power base, managed to get the Tower split, and hampered efforts to reunite it, all while maintaining the BA.

The BA was unmasked because of something she had absolutely no control over, and she has still managed to stay in the Tower, yes she might have to be more subtle in her deeds, but she can still do it. With the other Forsaken they were done for as soon as their Power base was gone.

 

Definitely one of the better ones in my opinion.

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I think Mesaana did pretty good. In a short couple of years she managed to cripple a society that had been around for thousands of years. Sure it may have come undone in the end, but that was mostly because of a number of situations that were out of her control: Seanchan invasion, darkfriend hunters, Verins list of Black ajah, etc etc. And she hurt the Aes Sedais image to the world in general alot more, as well as increase the tension between Rand and Aes Sedai. And after all that, she still somehow made it through the great purging.

 

 

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I can't get around how stupid it was to actually remove a finger from Sheriam, unless being real dumb in that case was actually her plan, or had use for human fingers.  Or that wasn't really Mesaana that time.

it isnt that stupid, it gives great encouragement

 

Success

I think she may be the only one of the forsaken to sucessfully go against a main character channeller and come out ontop. I have a feeling she is going to soundly beat egwene, pure guessing.

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I think you make valid points on both sides - with Mesaana's most recent failures and her punishment by Shaidar Haran it's easy to forget the successes she's had - putting Rand in the box and breaking the White Tower being the most important. And she's probably beaten the Oath Rod, which in itself is quite a feat. While I think Egwene's going to take her out in ToM or early AMoL, I wouldn't count Mesaana out yet. I hope she actually does pull off something really nasty with those dream ter'angreal before she gets taken out.

 

 

 

Also, even though we have seen her face, we still have not figured out who she was! this has to count for something! but i she is Tarna. i was reading CoT, and i read the chapter that SH raped her, and RJ emphasized "big blue eyes"  then 2 pages later it talks about Tarnas "big blue eyes" and how nervous she was! it fits. 

 

 

We got a Tarna PoV in KoD, so she can't be Mesaana.

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Im going to go with Sucess, although she has made soem mistakes, other forsaken have turned out much worse.

 

 

Sucessful ventures

 

-Breaking and War of the WT. (splitting the (arguably) most powerful and influential (pre-BT) allies of the Light was a great sucess)

 

- Boxing of Rand. (As stated above, arguably the most sucessful and biggest blow to the forces of Light. Leading to a "dark Rand" and his distrust of one of the most powerful allies he has.)

 

- Managing to maintain her disguise after a few years in the Tower. She was not in Andor or somewhere, able to control kings and queens with compulsion, she is in the White Tower, full of Channelers, the most experienced people in fighting the shadow. She is limited in the use of the OP. To remain incognito all this time is pretty impressive.

 

-Whoever first suggested she should have done something with the ter'angreal and angreal, i would say the exact opposite. Her job was to create discord in the WT, to break it, in which she succeeded, it wsant her job to just blast the crap out of it. If she had done that, then the BA would be revealed, and the Tower (as Egwene has finally managed to do) would set aside its squables to fight the common enemy. No, brute force isnt always the best option. (note: how do we know that she hasnt done anything with ter'angreal?)

 

Plus, it would have been impossible to go up agianst the entire tower. Yes, perhaps for a time she would be able to hold them off, but there are limits to her fatigue. In any case, it has never been the Shadows intention to destroy the world, or right from the start they would have just invaded with trollocs and blasted the crap out of everything. No, she wasnt meant to "blow the crap out of the White Tower" She was just doing what everyone else was, carving out a power base.

 

Failures

 

- She didnt turn up to the cleansing, earning her a raping.

 

- She lost control of the WT, the BA are ousted. (not really her fault, there are limits to even the Forsaken's capabilites, she couldnt anticipate that Verin would do as she did, she may be superior in knowledge and that, but she isnt a god, she cant perform miracles.)

 

 

 

So in conclusion, she has failed, however, it was not any mistake on her part, but rather the sucess of Egwene and co.  And while these failures are pretty major, look at the damage she DID do. Broke the WT, which ripped the most powerful enemy of the shadow apart when they could have been preparing for TG, they have had to fix their own internal affairs. She created the distrust between Rand and AS, a major blow, and she has managed to stay hidden in a nest full of silverpike.

 

Edit: OF course, since the Light will eventually win, you could consider ALL of the forsaken to be failures, eventually, no matter how great they are, the Light will overcome the Shadow.

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it isnt that stupid, it gives great encouragement

 

Well not enough to cancel out the drawbacks of doing that I don't think.  She doesn't care about Sheriam but having a sister run around like it's an easter egg hunt while their fingers start to go missing is just too much of an anomaly for it not to be noticed, and it was.  The only reason it didn't blow up is Verin got that list out before anyone had the time to get to the bottom of her situation. 

 

So she risked undermining her own orders to get rid of Egwene, increasing BA exposure, revealing their's one of the Forsaken in their midst trying to grab up all ter'angreal etc.

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Can the breaking of the White Tower be considered a success? It was already against Rand in the first place. All she had to do was let things be. The Aes Sedai believed it needs to control Rand, not let him run free. She could have also had Siuan murdered and a rightful Amyrlin set in place. All she did was make the White Tower split for a little while and then made whole again with Aes Sedai that have a strong and united resolve in what must be done. They overcame a major problem and came out on top. It was a complete and utter failure on Mesaana's part. Just because it was going well for a while doesn't make it a success. Mesaana still failed to break the White Tower and it ended with one of the Dragon's friends as Amyrlin and a little thing called the Great Purge.

 

She was punished already for her failures. The head of the Black Ajah could have done what she managed to do successfully (Rand's box).

 

What didn't she do? Extend the Black Ajah's influence by turning good Aes Sedai via the 13x13 trick. She wasn't even in complete control over the Black Ajah. As Moghedien put it in The Fires of Heaven, they belonged to whichever of the Chosen snapped them up. The ones that fled the tower in The Dragon Reborn weren't acting on Mesaana's orders - they were Ishamael's and Bel'al's. Rhavin had the Aes Sedai spy in Caemlyn too. So giving her the Black Ajah's action seems a bit of a jump to me.

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I just hope she gets to kill Egwene before she leaves the tower. I dont have any particular feelings toward Egwene but the shadow badly needs any actual wins besides off screen things in Seanchan or grain faling.

 

And not a Egwene dies killing Mesaana and stopping some crucial dark plan in the process, but a trap and kill Egwene in a way that shows that the dark side can get to anyone etc.

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All she did was make the White Tower split for a little while and then made whole again with Aes Sedai that have a strong and united resolve in what must be done.

 

I agree with you here, but what do you expect, its a fantasy book, all of the "bad guys" are going to lose at some point, so the debate really is pointless, all of the Forsaken will fail, unless the DO wins, which isnt going to happen, so really, i dont see the debate.

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All she did was make the White Tower split for a little while and then made whole again with Aes Sedai that have a strong and united resolve in what must be done.

 

I agree with you here, but what do you expect, its a fantasy book, all of the "bad guys" are going to lose at some point, so the debate really is pointless, all of the Forsaken will fail, unless the DO wins, which isnt going to happen, so really, i dont see the debate.

 

well i just made that because i thought Mesaana had one of the most interesting cases and was wondering what every body else thought.

 

I just hope she gets to kill Egwene before she leaves the tower. I dont have any particular feelings toward Egwene but the shadow badly needs any actual wins besides off screen things in Seanchan or grain faling.

 

And not a Egwene dies killing Mesaana and stopping some crucial dark plan in the process, but a trap and kill Egwene in a way that shows that the dark side can get to anyone etc.

 

i agree. i am not a fan of Egwene. and i agree with MikeRiley she could have used 13 13 and that would have been very interesting.

 

@Dreamwalker  i forgot about that. but still we have no idea who she is really, still.

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Another thing that seems odd to me is how desperately she was trying to reach out to Moridin, even in front of Graendal, to rescue Semirhage.  Not only did she not receive help, but made everything worse because then she had been ordered to not aid her period.  Just seemed so out of character for one of the forsaken to reveal that sort of weakness, even going so far as to say it's their duty to help her.  She couldn't be that stupid ?

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Another thing that seems odd to me is how desperately she was trying to reach out to Moridin, even in front of Graendal, to rescue Semirhage.  Not only did she not receive help, but made everything worse because then she had been ordered to not aid her period.  Just seemed so out of character for one of the forsaken to reveal that sort of weakness, even going so far as to say it's their duty to help her.  She couldn't be that stupid ?

well she likely knew that without semi controlling the seanchan that an attack against the WT would be inevitable and that would jeapordize her position, she is quite smart in wanting semi rescued. if the seanchan wouldnt have attacked Egwene would have been executed, Elaida would be in charge, and mesaana woudl have complete control of the WT

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Another thing that seems odd to me is how desperately she was trying to reach out to Moridin, even in front of Graendal, to rescue Semirhage.  Not only did she not receive help, but made everything worse because then she had been ordered to not aid her period.  Just seemed so out of character for one of the forsaken to reveal that sort of weakness, even going so far as to say it's their duty to help her.  She couldn't be that stupid ?

well she likely knew that without semi controlling the seanchan that an attack against the WT would be inevitable and that would jeapordize her position, she is quite smart in wanting semi rescued. if the seanchan wouldnt have attacked Egwene would have been executed, Elaida would be in charge, and mesaana woudl have complete control of the WT

 

Came to say the above,  Mesaana's ass was on the line.

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The point was that if she did want her rescued she went about the dumbest way possible to try and achieve it.

well she knew that she couldnt do it by herself, especially since rand travels with a bunch of AS AM and aiel. so it would have had to be an covert type thing, and she isnt located in the right area for that and had no idea how to do it.

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I am trying to understand your point of view.  She could order Fades, Trollocs, Black Ajah around.. but she thought Moridin suddenly turned into a lifeguard after decades of insane evil?

I dont think mesaana knew about elza, but fades and trollocs would be useless, and once the element of surprise woudl be lost the forces of light would move semi to a more secure and secretive place (I hope)

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Elza?  Maybe not but there's what, around ~100 others or so?  Forget the tally Verin gave.  Instead she's chopping off fingers over dreamweavers?  The element of surprise would be lost either way if Moridin had decided to help her right then.  No the only other thing that makes sense is she was hoping he'd go out and snatch Semirhage up so she could sneak in behind to grab the domination band, hopefully without him noticing.  That is if she were not really stupid which is difficult to rule out because she has apparently been so stupid with everything else we've seen her do.

 

A few minutes later she says she's perfectly poised to rule the AS, which even if it were a lie or a bluff, no one would believe if she couldn't even free Semirhage without outside help.

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I'd tend to lead toward "success" more than failure.

 

If we wanted to rank the Forsaken in terms of how they have done (so far), from worst to first.

 

Short versions:

Fails: Aginor/Oran'gar, Balthamel/Aran'gar, Mogedhein, Lanfear/Cyndane

Close but No Cigar: Be'lal, Asmodean

Moderate success: Sammael, Rahvin, Graendal

Mostly successful: Mesaana, Semirhage

Top shelf: Moridin, Demandred

 

1. Aginor/Oran'gar. EPIC Fail.

 

Destroyed by untrained Rand at the EOTW, then pimpled by Elza at The Cleansing. Hung around Rand, bungled trying to kill him. Big props in the AOL, but not much this time around. He wasn't balefired, so the DO could have brought him back, but didn't, enough said.

 

2. Balthamel/Aran'gar. Fail.

 

Killed by a Nym, then botches things with the Rebels. Did manage to escape and do some damage to Egwene, but did she really add that much to what the likes of Sheriam, Moira, and the other Blacks were doing? Still alive and can improve.

 

3. Moghedein. Fail.

 

Got her but beat by Nynaeve, twice. Had to be rescued. Lost her cool and let Nynaeve break through her shield. Used valuable resources to basically hunt the wondergils for revenge. Did make a good effort with the stash in Ebou Dar, and did do some damage around Tanchico. Still alive, and maybe coming into her own after the Cleansing, but the fact that she wears a mindtrap shows you how the DO rates things. Still alive though, and we don't know what all of Liandrin's 13 have done at her behest.

 

4. Lanfear/Cyndane. Fail.

 

Like the Spider, she's in a mindtrap, so I guess we know where the DO rates her. Mostly political and self-serving machinations with dreams of challenging the DO. Interesting plots with the other Forsaken, but not as effective because everyone already knows she's too untrustworthy. Had a chance to go after both Access Keys, and let them slip away. Still alive, however. But letting Moiraine get the best of her (seemingly) can't be good for the pride, either. Still, the DO apparently brought her back. Am I missing something?

 

5. Be'lal. Almost success, but fail

 

Risky move to go for Callandor so soon, but had established a nice base in Tear and he almost succeeded. Still, have to give some credit for going for the big enchilada. Getting balefired by Moiraine moves him down the list a bit. Still, the DO would have brought him back if he could have.

 

6. Asmodean. Almost success, but fail.

 

Speaking of almost succeeding. Another minute or two and he'd have had the access key. An even bigger fish than Callandor. Also, he managed to break the Shaido off from Rand with his Dragons and Couladin, which certainly caused a lot of problems, so he gets credit for that. And when Lanfear refused to help him, he was doomed. We don't know the manner of his death (for certain) so can't comment on if the DO would have brought him back or not, yet the DO couldn't have been pleased with him teaching the Dragon.

 

7. Sammael. Moderate success.

 

He and Graendal did some good work with the Shaido. He established a nice base in Illian. He had a good plan for defending his territory. If Moridin wouldn't have helped Rand, maybe things would have turned out differently. Still, getting killed by Mashadar was weak. He deserved better.  

 

8. Rahvin. Moderate success.

 

Established a power base w/out having to call the shots himself (like many of the others). Got killed going toe-to-toe with the Dragon. And maybe wouldn't have unless Nynaeve and Mogehdein gave an assist. Still, managed to destabilize the strongest nation south of the Borderlands and break their close ties with Tar Valon. And get one of the 5 Great Captains removed from the game. He also did some damage to Rand's group (killing Mat and Aviendha). Still, Morgase did get away, but Andor will be a long time recovering from what he did. No chance for the DO to bring he back, would've if could've.

 

 

9. Graendal. Moderate success.

 

Although bringing Chaos to Arad Doman, Almoth Plain, and Tarabon isn't as big a feather as Andor, she did it well. Also taking out (for a while) one of the 5 Great Captains in Ituralde and making it easy for the Seanchan to waltz home. Plus, she may have done a lot that hasn't come to fruition yet. I'm tempted to rank her behind Rahvin, but I think she'll pass him once the truth is out. She had no chance

 

 

10. Mesaana. Mostly successful.

 

Again, keeping the Tower out of the game for so long has been huge. She broke the WT. They are still reeling and can't really take offensive action. She broke them and made them blind to the Seanchan threat. Most of the BA (or around half) that was in the Tower of with the Rebels got away, and we still have those parts that were non-aligned to deal with. They'll cause trouble, particularly at the BT.

 

She's still alive, by the way. She did err by sending Alviarin out when she did. That was stupid, why not use a lesser personage (Talene?) or even someone without position (Atuan) to run her errand.

 

11. Semirhage. Mostly successful.

 

Totally destroyed what could have been a powerful ally for the Light by thrusting the Empire into chaos and isolating the Return. Meanwhile, sowed deep seeds of distrust for channelers in Tuon, and almost wiping her out besides. As a result, the Return is still interesting in capturing the people who are most able to aid the light, and they distract them from what they need to do. They are a force for chaos, despite restoring order in some parts.

 

Undone by Cadsuane's ter'angreal, a loss of composure thereafter (the fireball), and ultimately, sacrificed by the DO himself. Hers was a relatively small error, but sacrificing her almost won the game. If she'd have been allowed to make Rand kill Min, there may have been no turning back for him. Can't be brought back.

 

12. Demandred. Can't say, but I've got a feeling he's done well.

 

I'm assuming he's Taim. But either way, we don't know who he is, yet. But his little group (Mesaana and Semirhage) has certainly done the most damage to the two most powerful groups (Seanchan/Aes Sedai) and pitted them against each other. Have to think he is involved with another major group of channelers (Asha'man, Wise Ones, Windfinders, Ayyaad, Kin). And since he's male, 3 are out right away. Murandy is too small potatoes.

 

13. Moridin. Mostly successful. He's nae'blis, after all.

 

Still, he has gotten beat by Rand twice (tGH, tDR). But also could have offed him once (vs. Sammael). His fingerprints are on virtually everything, including the Semirhage gambit. Though, he might have acted out of spite (for the arm) and a bit too soon: let Rand kill Min first, grant Rand TP for revenge on Semi, let him destroy everything again, just like before. Why step in BEFORE the Dragon kills Ilyena? Did he want it to be different this time?

 

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