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Lews Therin; Our Friendly Neighbourhood Madmen

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Lews Therin—Our Friendly Neighbourhood Madman

 

Suggested to have begun as early as the Eye of the World, but certainly present by the Shadow Rising Rand has been experiencing the seepage of memory and knowledge from his past life as Lews Therin. At around the same time—though more heavily in the Fires of Heaven—Rand begins to hear a voice which has the mannerisms and knowledge of Lews Therin.

 

Whilst the memories are without a doubt real, in older days there was considerable discussion about the voice. Currently that discussion revolves around the Real Madness Theory and the Construct Theory, which are as follows.

 

The Real Madness Theory—which states that Lews Therin is a real and viable facet personality of Rand’s soul, and the one which ruled the soul during its incarnation as Lews Therin, which has manifested due to the Taint.

 

The Construct Theory—suggests that the Lews Therin voice and personality are not real. It suggests that Rand, emotionally stunted, desperate to harden himself, and receiving memories from the past has gathered those memories and created the LTT personality to hold them. That is where the name comes from—Rand constructed Lews Therin from memories and his own psychological issues.

 

Now I’ll expand on both of these in a second, but first let me explain a bit more about the history of theories on this subject. You see, prior to KoD the landscape was very different, and three major theories predominated. For full details on these theories read 2.1.6: Is LTT for Real, or is Rand Insane? Where did LTT go in ACOS? but here is a short run down of the theories.

 

The Rebirth Theory—that the Lews Therin memories manifested as a natural part of the cycle of rebirth. The support for this was that we’ve seen other sorts of manifestations in this form—the Old Blood, Birgitte, Mat’s memories. The problem with this was no where else do we see what occurs with Rand. Mat has memory seepage from other lives, without any LTT-type antics. Birgitte never struggles with Maerion. The counter argument was often, well maybe Rand is special—he is the Light’s Champion. This may be a natural weapon built into the Dragon’s Soul [This counter argument often revolved around the Third Man being a Dragon before LTT, but as we know he turned out to be Moridin].

 

The Taint Theory—That the Lews Therin manifestation was a pure insanity. Just a normal schitzophrenic. The support for this theory was mostly in Cadsuane’s comments about men who can channel hearing voices. The problem is that this didn’t explain why Lews Therin so often seemed to know things Rand had no way of knowing.

 

The Construct Theory—was the middle ground, and you can see why it’s appealing. Memories manifesting is a natural middle ground. Rand’s mental instability and emotional regression causes the subconscious construction of a fake personality which wraps itself around the memories and serves as a mouthpiece for both them and Rand’s subconscious desires. I will expand more upon the Construct Theory in a moment.

 

For the short though, notice that all three theories presume that the voice is either real, and not a result of the Taint, or not-real and caused by the Taint. This was a common thought in those days—the Taint causes madness. If the Taint causes Lews Therin, then he is madness, and therefore not real because as we all know, insanities are delusions of what is not real. I’ll expand on this issue in a moment also, I raise it now only to explain why the Real Madness Theory was not really a theory in those days. It was more like an assumption. People would wander onto the boards express the thought along the lines of ‘oh, I just guess I always just left it at that that Lews Therin was real and caused by the Taint’, and someone else would sit down and calmly explain the full issues, after which invariably the first person would leave a Constructionist.

 

The Real Madness Theory

 

Support For The Real Madness Theory

 

Take it away Semirhage.

 

"He's insane," she said coolly. Standing there stiff as a statue, Min's knife hilt still sticking out beside her collarbone and the front of her black dress glistening with blood, she might have been a queen on her throne. "Graendal could explain it better than I. Madness was her specialty. I will try, however. You know of people who hear voices in their heads? Sometimes, very rarely, the voices they hear are the voices of past lives. Lanfear claimed he knew things from our own Age, things only Lews Therin Telamon could know. Clearly, he is hearing Lews Therin's voice. It makes no difference that his voice is real, however. In fact, that makes his situation worse. Even Graendal usually failed to achieve reintegration with someone who heard a real voice. I understand the descent into terminal madness can be . . . abrupt."

 

[KoD; 27, A Plain Wooden Box]

 

I have seen it claimed often that Semirhage lied, usually for the purpose of spreading distrust in his followers with the suggested danger of Rand going terminally insane, and based on the evidence that she’s one of those untrustworthy Forsaken. Lews Therin addresses this.

 

Rand tried not to think too hard about the things Semirhage had said on the day when Rand had lost his hand. She was one of the Forsaken; she would say anything if she thought it would bring her target pain.

She tortured an entire city to prove herself, Lews Therin whispered. She has killed a thousand men a thousand different ways to see how their screams would differ from one another. But she rarely lies. Rarely.

[tGS; 1, Tears From Steel]

 

Aside from which, consider her statements.

 

1. He hears a voice in his head. True.

2. That voice has the knowledge and personality of his past life. Seemingly true.

3. The way to resolve this is reintegration. Seemingly true—this seems very much in tune with what we witness occur in tGS.

4. This voice can result into a descent into terminal madness. Uncertain, yet likely. Rand certainly was growing more unstable in tGS despite the Taint no longer existing.

 

Now, leaving aside the various arguments that might be offered to apply her words to the Construct Theory, there’s this simple fact—those are some damn good guesses if she was making it up. Consider, if Lews Therin’s voice is not real, her guessing that Rand constructed a voice to speak for the memory transfer (which should have been her assumption if voice manifestation were not real) is pretty out of this world.

 

For all that she’s a nasty Forsaken, her claims seem pretty on the ball. In any case you can see why this completely destroyed the Rebirth and Taint theories, at least in their distinct and pure forms. It also provides us with the idea that permits the Real Madness Theory. Specifically, the concept that just because Lews Therin is real does not make him any less of a madness. But lets not trust Semirhage, lets look at this in greater detail, starting with the Taint.

 

The Taint

 

Taint Induced Madness

 

The first thing we should look at is specifically what the Taint is, and what it does, for I’ve often seen the question ‘if the Taint caused Lews Therin to appear, why aren’t other Asha’men displaying knowledge of super secret weaves’? I would point out in return the question of why haven’t we seen other Asha’man display the reversion to childhood that Morr suffers? Why didn’t more have delusions of spiders crawling all over him as that other unfortunate man suffered?

 

The answer to all this lies in the fact that the Taint is not a type of insanity in itself. What the Taint does is destabilizes people’s mental states. It induces them to go mad—or perhaps pushes them away from being sane is a better way to look at it—but the type of insanity they then suffer entirely depends on what they were predisposed to. This is why we have seen such a variety in the forms of insanity—and the time it takes them to go mad too, I’d guess—because that depends on them.

 

Additionally, its more than possible that one of the other men who have gone insane due to the Taint did suffer this same form of insanity—but not everyone has as epic a past life as he does. For instance if the last life you lived was as a baker a hundred years before two villages across, attaining those memories aren’t really going to make a splash in the world.

 

Can An Insanity Be Real?

 

The next problem people seem to have is the idea that if the Taint induces madness then how can the Lews Therin manifestation—proven real (at least memory wise)—be a result of this? The problem with such a thought is that it presumes that an insanity is something which is not real. That is not actually accurate in the real world—which is why psychologists speak of Abnormal Psychology and not of insanity—but in WoT we don’t even need a philosophical discussion on what is and is not real to answer it. The Taint induces normal forms of madness in people exposed to it. The manifestation of the personalities and memories of past lives is a normal form of madness in the World of the Wheel. Rand is exposed to the Taint, and suffers the manifestation of a past life personality. By simple sequence they are suggested to be cause and effect.

 

The Construct Theory

 

Ok, so you must have been wondering why I went into all that detail about dead theories. It’s because from a post KoD perspective its hard to explain why the Construct Theory was such a strong theory. Back then it provided a solid answer for how Rand could hear a voice, be insane from the Taint, and still have that voice be real. It combined the valid points from the Rebirth and Taint theories, and answered the flaws in both. From there it followed up with quotes which did suggestively sustain the idea that Lews Therin was a construct of Rand’s mind. Essentially Lews Therin expressing the emotions or ideas which Rand was refusing to let touch him as he endeavoured to grow stronger…

 

 

"In his room at The Counsel's Head, Rand sat on the bed with his legs folded and his back against the wall, playing the silver-mounted flute Thom Merrilin had given him so long ago. ... The tune was called 'Lament for the Long Night', and he had never heard it before in his life. Lews Therin had, though. It was like the skill at drawing. Rand thought that should frighten him, or make him angry, but he simply sat and played, while Lews Therin wept."

 

[WH: 25, Bonds, 481]:

 

You can see how this might be applied to the Construct Theory. The problem is KoD destroyed the need for the Construct Theories separation of memory and personality to explain how LTT was both madness and real, all the Construct Theory has left is vaguely suggestive quotes—ones which can be applied just as easily to Lews Therin being real. After all if it was a Lament, why shouldn’t Lews Therin cry to here it? Especially since it was his memory.

 

Take for instance: “A man who trusts everyone is a fool and a man who trusts no one is a fool.” Is this Lews Therin mouthing Rand’s subconscious concerns about his own inability to trust set against his fears of the dangers of trusting? Or is Lews Therin simply making an accurate observation about what he perceives of that confliction in Rand?

 

The problem with all this is they are just as easily Lews Therin’s issues. Lews Therin is not oblivious to Rand’s situation—him commenting on problems Rand is facing and positions Rand has taken is not something that we need to explain away. Lacking the need for the Construct to exist to permit the facts that the memories are real, but the voice is a madness (and therefore presumed not real), then all the Construct Theory has is a string of interpretations on quotes that don’t need to be interpreted. At face value, they make sense.

 

However, in tGS we get some quotes which many Constructionists regard as proof, so I’ll address them specifically.

 

tGS and the Construct Theory; The Proof of the Construct

 

Prior to tGS the evidence of the Construct Theory was fairly much in the manner listed above. Twenty or thirty quotes listed in sequence with pointers made as to how they might relate to Rand’s subconscious desires or thoughts. This had some weight, of course, but in tGS, we gain some highly suggestive quotes which stand in support of the Construct Theory, two of which many constructionists regard as proof the Theory is correct. The first is as follows…

 

He knew—somehow—that he would never again hear Lews Therin's voice in his head. For they were not two men, and never had been.

 

[tGS; 50, Veins of Gold]

 

The inference Constructionists draw is clear—he and Lews Therin were not two men, therefore Lews Therin was Rand’s creation, a construct. However, to argue that LTT is not another man apart from Rand is not to state that he is not real.

 

However you look at it Rand is quite correct—they were not two men. They were two facet manifestations of the same soul. We know this from RJ.

 

Q:The question is, with Rand and LTT, do they have 1 soul or 2 souls in the body?

A: They have 1 soul with 2 personalities. The reincarnation of souls does not mean reincarnation of personalities. The personality develops with each reincarnation of the soul. This is the cosmology that I [cobbled] together.

[New York Barnes and Noble signing on January 7, 2003]

 

Personality created from the experiences each underwent in their own distinct period of life, but still the same soul--and Birgitte makes clear that the facet personalities for all incarnations are still one person. She speaks of I and me, when referring to them.

 

So that’s the Real Madness interpretation. Rand was merely coming to perceive a fact that he’d previously been denying. A denial which was driving them further apart, and since a soul cannot split (as per RJ) that was driving him mad. Semirhage makes clear that integration is the solution to this, and to do that Rand needed to realise that Lews Therin was a part of himself--a different aspect of his own soul--but still him.

 

So yes, not two men, but two personalities.

 

Furthermore Brandon stated that he put no clear resolutions as to the Construct v. Real discussion in the book [instert quote] . If we are to interpret that quote in the manner the constructionists suggest, then Brandon flat out stated that Lews Therin was not real—which he says he did not do.

 

The second quote is…

 

It will be a mercy, Lews Therin whispered. Death is always a mercy. The madman didn't sound as crazy as he once had. In fact, his voice had started to sound an awful lot like Rand's own voice.

 

[tGS; 49, Just Another Man]

 

The Construct implication is that it sounds like Rand because it is Rand. He constructed it, therefore under the mask its Rand all along.

 

Yet, again, the situation supplies the Real Madness answer—Lews Therin sounds like Rand because they are being brought closer together—integrating, in effect. When Rand goes on his suicidal binger he, for the first time, is truly aligned with Lews Therin’s intentions. After over a year of trying to distance himself from Lews Therin Rand for the first time doesn’t fight him, doesn’t push him away—or wish that he could—instead he is joining Lews Therin in the suicide booth. That alignment allows them both to perceive the truth—that they are one soul.

 

Of course as a result of integration they sound like one another. They are one another. Denying this is what put them in trouble in the first place.

 

Conclusions

 

For the Construct Theory to be true we would have to first dismiss Semirhage’s statements as lie, a suggestion which goes against her stated nature, and is made highly unlikely by the accuracy and details of her supposed lies in correlation with the state Rand happens to be in. Even then the Construct Theory is based on a fallacious premise that a madness cannot also be real.

 

With KoD cutting the legs out from under the Construct Theory, all it has are a series of interpreted quotations which were originally only suggestive filler for the theory, and can just as easily be interpreted under the Real Madness Theory.

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I think the distinction here between 'real' and 'constructed' is a bit pedantic.

 

Since TSR it's been pretty obvious that Rand is experiencing the actual memories of his previous life as LTT. Thus, the voice is 'real' in the sense that it is the voice of a real personality and memories. Yet it is still 'constructed' in the sense that it appears, to Rand, as an distinct external entity, when he's really just talking to himself with two different personalities. The construct is this (false) appearance of separation.

 

Semirhage's statement simply points out that if you hear a voice talking to you, it is far more convincing (and dangerous) when it incorporates real personality traits and memories.

 

To summarize: Rand is insane. His insanity manifests as a voice constructed from the real personality traits and memories of LTT. His healing happens once he can accept those traits and memories, and the voice built around them, as part of himself.

 

-- dwn

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Ha! Good post, Luckers. I'm wondering why Terez is quiet.

 

The Construct would be a good writing technique, though.

Probably because Luckers already knows how she feels on the matter. He probably also knows how I feel, but I'll poke the bear, see what happens. The construct is a VERY good technique. This is part of the reason I feel so strongly about it. But mainly it's just that I feel (in complete contradiction to what Luckers apparently thinks) that Occam's razor nullifies the need for a 'real' LTT. We KNOW that LTT's memories are seeping through. We KNOW that Rand is highly uncomfortable about that (in the beginning, at least). We KNOW that he's been under so much pressure that it's a wonder he hasn't cracked. The simplest answer, to me, is that he HAS cracked after all.

 

I think the distinction here between 'real' and 'constructed' is a bit pedantic.

[...]

To summarize: Rand is insane. His insanity manifests as a voice constructed from the real personality traits and memories of LTT. His healing happens once he can accept those traits and memories, and the voice built around them, as part of himself.

Why, you seem to be a supporter of the 'construct' persuasion yourself. The distinction is that if LTT's voice is 'real' in some sense, then it's not Rand's psyche that's responsible for it.

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Why, you seem to be a supporter of the 'construct' persuasion yourself. The distinction is that if LTT's voice is 'real' in some sense, then it's not Rand's psyche that's responsible for it.

 

Yes, I do think the construct theory fits what happened; I guess I wasn't clear on that.

 

I don't think the 'ghost' (for lack of a better term) of LTT was talking to Rand. Even so, a voice constructed by the psyche can simultaneously be considered real--as in Rand's case and in Semirhage's diagnosis--when it is built around the personality traits and memories of a past life. The language describing Rand's revelation/reintegration may be metaphorical, but it still describes the collapse of a psychological construct.

 

-- dwn

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So I was reading through the layout of the theory (i really shouldve looked at this link a long time ago), then I get to the bottom of the page, and I panic because Im thinking "wait, both of those theories make sense to me... which side am I on?!?!". Then I read Dwn's next post and it all becomes clear again. Thank you Dwn for stating exactly what I was feeling: the differences between these two supposedly contradicting theories are trivial. Rand is/was really mad, so his psyche responded how many others might, he constructed a seperate personality, drawing upon inherent memories and personality traits to flesh it out a bit, so to speak. And Semirhage didn't have to lie, she just had to tell an Aes Sedai truth, that there was a possibility his psyche would succumb under the mental and emotional stress. And she could have easily gathered enough information about him to formulate a tentative prognosis which she would use to help create division if she could.

 

Edit: also it makes me feel like my "Are Rand and LTT the same person" thread seems pretty unnecessary. Now to draw this thread to Mr. Ares attention...

Edited by Despothera

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Edit: I just realized I was responding to people from last year. But oh well...

 

Why, you seem to be a supporter of the 'construct' persuasion yourself. The distinction is that if LTT's voice is 'real' in some sense, then it's not Rand's psyche that's responsible for it.

 

Yes, I do think the construct theory fits what happened; I guess I wasn't clear on that.

 

I don't think the 'ghost' (for lack of a better term) of LTT was talking to Rand. Even so, a voice constructed by the psyche can simultaneously be considered real--as in Rand's case and in Semirhage's diagnosis--when it is built around the personality traits and memories of a past life. The language describing Rand's revelation/reintegration may be metaphorical, but it still describes the collapse of a psychological construct.

 

-- dwn

Indeed, the construct camp has always been rather clear on this point. No one ever suggested that the memories weren't real. So, 'pedantic' is a good word for Luckers' distinction, but 'semantic' works too.

 

Another issue is that the construct was never a very accurate representation of the 'real' Lews Therin. It was more of a representation of Rand's subconscious - his suppressed thoughts and emotions. The 'real' Lews Therin was most often exhibited directly in Rand's own words, thoughts, and actions, while the construct was perceived through the lens of Rand's preconceptions about what sort of man Lews Therin was (a murdering madman). He was unwilling to see Lews Therin any other way, which was part of why it took so long for him to be able to see those memories as his own. And, if he could siphon his own signs of madness into the construct, then he could convince himself that he wasn't going mad. Lews Therin was mad, but not him. (Min spells this out rather eloquently in her thoughts in TGS 15).

 

And indeed, Luckers knows how I feel about this. I wrote my own article on the subject. :biggrin:

Edited by Terez

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Aahh, Schrödinger's Cat.. is it alive or is it dead? The answer is 'Yes'. Seemples!

 

I've never subscribed to the 'LTT Real' theory, because, as I've said elsewhere, LTT was sane when he died, having been healed from the taint-madness by Ishy.

 

And I don't believe Semi on principle, she would say anything at that point to destabilise Rand. The LTT-voice said she 'rarely' lies.. but 'rarely' isn't 'never'.

 

edited.. oops!

Edited by FarShainMael

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Guest PiotrekS

Aahh, Schrödinger's Cat.. is it alive or is it dead? The answer is 'Yes'. Seemples!

 

I've never subscribed to the 'LTT Real' theory, because, as I've said elsewhere, LTT was sane when he died, having been healed from the taint-madness by Ishy.

 

And I don't believe Semi on principle, she would say anything at that point to destabise Rand. The LTT-voice said she 'rarely' lies.. but 'rarely' isn't 'never'.

 

Ishy's healing was only temporary though, wasn't it? He was able to give LTT only a "few lucid moments" (or something like that).

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If that was relevant, then Lews Therin should have gone back to being insane like he was. But he didn't. Sometimes he was saner than Rand.

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Aahh, Schrödinger's Cat.. is it alive or is it dead? The answer is 'Yes'. Seemples!

 

I've never subscribed to the 'LTT Real' theory, because, as I've said elsewhere, LTT was sane when he died, having been healed from the taint-madness by Ishy.

 

And I don't believe Semi on principle, she would say anything at that point to destabilise Rand. The LTT-voice said she 'rarely' lies.. but 'rarely' isn't 'never'.

 

Ishy's healing was only temporary though, wasn't it? He was able to give LTT only a "few lucid moments" (or something like that).

 

"A pity for you.. that one of your Sisters is not here. I was never very skilled at Healing, and I follow a different power now. But even one of them could only give you a few lucid minutes, if you did not destroy her first. What I can do will serve as well, for my purposes.. But I fear Shai'tan's healing is different from the sort you know. Be healed, Lews Therin!"

 

It was the OP that would only give LTT a few lucid minutes. Ishy used the TP, and we don't know how well that would have worked - except that Ishy was clearly angry when LTT 'escaped' by committing suicide, so may well have been expecting the effect to be permanent or at least long-lasting.

 

Therefore, LTT died free from the taint-insanity, if overwhelmed by grief. If the LTT-voice was real, it should have appeared sane, at least to begin with. That didn't happen.

Edited by FarShainMael

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I always considered LTT being real. I thought they were two different parts of one soul merging, two different entities within one soul. Like Rand said (or was it LTT? Don't remember), they are the same, yet they are different because of the way they were grown up...

 

 

I never really thought about the taint part, so meh. D:

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Ho, i do like seeing this discussion come back up, and can't resist butting in :biggrin:

 

there's not really too much of an argument that i can see...hmm how's this for a way of looking at it though?

 

you are alive (LTT) go into a coma, wake up with no memory, begin a new life (rand) till slowly old memories start to surface as your former self tries to reasert itself (though still incomplet so unable to succeed)

 

meanwhile your new memories/personality has been formed over so long that it's no longer a matter of reverting anymore even as your memories finally return

 

insofar as they had contributed to your personality at the time of going into the coma

 

add to this a bunch of people with second had knowledge telling you who you really are/were (and actually you weren't so great)

 

of course considering this occurs in a fantastical universe with reincarnation, the metaphor is streatched, nor do i really account for the taint beyond a catalyst... but still, a thought i thought i'd share :wacko:

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Unless im wrong, Lews Therin did not know all his previous lifes?

1 This could either mean, the madness is what reduces the wall between earliyer lifes of the dragon soul.

2 OR,that Rand simply reached farther on the path of enlightenment that the dragon may reach?( What i mean is that the Dragon can reach different levels of enlightenment during each age, depending on enviroment during childhood e.t.c

meh,that did not turn out the way i wanted. This shit is hard to put down in words.

What i believe is that the memories seeping through is NOT madness, however the manifestation of lews therin's voice, the impression that they are two different persons however would be madness. This would apply to the fact that the madness of the taint is different for each person depending on who they are. In VoG, Rand is a just on the edge of terminal madness,but pulls through and creates the barrier Nynaeve sees, thus the reintegration and the dissapearance of LTT's voice

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allota has a point.... thanks to TGS and all the "hooks O Evil" in poor Rand's brain we can definitely say that real or construct, LTT being in Rand's head was his manifestation of madness. It's kinda funny though, personally I never gave this much thought, I always just kinda accepted that LTT was real in a way and that it was Rand's brand o crazy all in one. But explanations are always nice. :biggrin:

Edited by UmakemeRandy

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Whenever I see this topic come up, I am reminded of the last few lines of the chapter "King's Cross" in the last Harry Potter novel. As the train station's fading away, “Tell me one last thing,” said Harry. “Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?”

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

 

 

Here's the way I see it. Personalities are constructed out of experiences an individual has in the world. Those personalities are grounded, if you will, or maintain their unifying character throughout a lifetime of vastly differing experiences, through the memory of prior experiences. So both the "Rand" personality and the "Lews Therin" personality are constructed, and are both constructed out of the memories that are unique to them. Rand is in a rare situation, though, in that Lews Therin's memories are leaking through in a way that is at once much stronger than what we see manifesting in the "Old Blood" phenomenon, and is substantially different from Birgitte's case. The Old Blood memories are vague, usually limited to speaking a few words of the Old Tongue in situations of stress without really understanding them, or a feeling reminiscent of deja vu. There's very little to have to integrate into one's own self-conception because almost nothing from a previous life is really remembered. Rand remembers much more specific things, songs, locations, people's faces and characteristics, and gains these memories rapidly and vividly.

 

And Rand lacks something that Birgitte has, which causes him to manifest two apparently separate personalities. This is a pre-existing internal narrative which places these memories in a unifying, internally coherent context. Birgette remembers that she was a Hero of the Horn, and as a Hero, has the perspective that enables her to see all these lives worth of memories as a single set of experiences. Rand lacks that perspective. Rand, on the other hand, for a very long time didn't see himself as The Dragon, and didn't even want to be a male channeler, let alone the Dragon Reborn, not that a person could blame him. He saw himself as stepping into a role that had to be played to save mankind because there was nobody else. What Rand wanted was to just be a normal guy, and even when he's hardening himself so he can take on Sammael or march on the Seanchan or take out Graendal's hideout, his internal dialog is always one of wishing he didn't have to, of pushing down his weeping, or letting Lews Therin weep for him. It was his active desire to not be who he thought he had to be that caused those previous life's memories, the memories of the Dragon, to manifest as a coherent separate personality. And this is because a personality is just what emerges when present experience is filtered and interpreted through a unified set of memories. If you've got two sets of memories that are refusing to be integrated into a unity, you're going to manifest two personalities. That's literally one of the causes of dissociative identity disorder, where memories of a traumatic event are segregated off from the main personality, and manifest as a protector or victim personality to relieve the unconscious feelings of anxiety those memories cause. And because these two personalities are aware of each other, they have access to each other's memories, though in a way that still separates them from each other. Even when Rand can't remember whether something he's remembering is from Lews Therin's memories or his own, he still feels like he ought to be able to tell. But because the Lew Therin memories are real, the Lews Therin personality is real.

 

Rand's epiphany is the development of a unifying context for Rand to place the Lews Therin memories. And because he was able to reintegrate the Lews Therin memories, his personality changed quite substantially as well. I think this unifying context is different in nature than the perspective of being a Hero of the Horn, in other words, I don't think the barrier between previous live's memories broke down to the point where Rand remembered being a Hero in TaR. Although the results appear to be similar, Rand apparently now remembers not just Lews Therin's life as if it were his own, but all his previous lives, stretching back to the beginning, in much the same way that Birgette did when she was first torn out. Perhaps it is this capacity to attain this epiphany in the living world that makes the Dragon's soul special.

 

I think the important question to ask is whether the Lew Therin voice in Rand's head would have sounded anything at all like he would have sounded if we were able to interview him just before he made Dragonmount. I do think the voice has changed over time, as Rand has had experiences, so too has the Lews Therin personality, which makes their mutual dis-integration even more confounding and maddening. Lews Therin, as a voice in Rand's head, has undergone character development. He's grown saner, often while it seems Rand is growing more insane. And I don't think the original separation between the Lews Therin and Rand Al'Thor memories was all that sharp on its own, Rand was able to refresh Bela, and fight effectively with the One Power, long before the Lews Therin voice manifested as a robust personality. I think it was the Rand Al'Thor personality itself which enforced the separation between these sets of memories, but that the separation itself is a natural one that would ordinarily be enforced by the barrier between previous live's memories. In this sense, Lews Therin is a construction of Rand Al'Thor's personality, but it is a re-construction of a real personality. “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

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