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Cleansing the ways and it's impact on the last battle


Otarin
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I know I have seen speculation that the Ways may have been cleasend now that Sadin is clean.  Those I believe have mostly been shot down.  However,  I would like to make the argument that Sadin was never the source of the taint in the first place. 

 

1) The Taint is described as an oily film on the surface of Sadin.  Sadin itself is clean.  But in order to use it you must reach through the taint to get to it.  No where do we see weaves do odd things because of the taint.  The weaves do what they should; the user is the one that is corupted. 

 

2) The ways themselves were fine for over a thousand years.  The ways didn't start to decline until after the creation of Shadar Logoth.  (Loial's story in the tEOTW describes this timing)

 

3) Fain is able to survive Machin Shin. (tEOTW).  Some of the voices recognized him.  Others feared him.

 

4) Fain is able to control Machin Shin. (TGH)

 

5) Machin Shin is able to track Rand (TGH). An ability learned from Fain?

 

Why do the voices in Machin Shin recognize Fain?  Why do they know him? Why do they fear him? Because Machin Shin is the souls of the people of Shadar Logoth or maybe the Souls Mashadar has consumed?

 

With the destruction of SL in the cleansing and by extension the Way Gate the link to SL and the source of coruption of the Ways has been lost.

 

I don't know if Machin Shin survived or not. My fear is it didn't and the ways are wide open to be used by the Shadow Spawn; which is the way they are moving large groups of troops around.  Rand and by extention Loial and Kisman weren't able to find or protect all of the way gates.  Enough are open for this to be a serious problem.   

 

Could we see the cleansing of the Taint come back to hurt the Light Side?

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It has been confirmed by RJ that the corruption of the Ways was caused by the taint.

 

Awww i was liking this theory. It made fains interactions with the ways more interesting and understandable.

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Fain didn't and probably can't control the Black Wind. He was upset when Rand did not follow him to Falme via the Ways and it was the Black Wind that foiled his plan.

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A quote would be nice.  I don't remember hearing that RJ confirmed that the Ways were caused by the taint.

 

Also, I don't think that Machin Shin foiled Fain's plan, I think he did actually want it to follow Rand or track him somehow, but Fain hadn't gained his full ability yet, and maybe had less control over Machin Shin at the time than he would've liked?

 

I really like these links that you pointed out, and I think you might be on to something.  I think that the whole "unseen eyes" in T'A'R and in SL are all related, and I wouldn't be surprised if Machin Shin is somehow related to all of that as well.

 

Whether or not the Black Wind did come about from the taint on saidin or the evil of SL or something else, I still think it will be possible to cleanse the Ways by somehow using the Talisman of Growing (is that what it's called?).

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