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Identity of Mesaana


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Mesaana is diguised as a brown ajah member I'm sure about that.

 

Greandal muses to herself that Mesaana was a famous scholar in the AoL and only became a Forsaken in the first place for the chance at more interesting research. What better way to infiltrate the tower by chosing an Ajah were you fit in.

I believe Mesaana is only imitating the effects of Agelessness caused by the binding of the oath rod. she is from the AoL and is familiar with the process. This is why she is vaguely familiar to Alviarin when the disguise is removed. Didn't she also study and torture captured Aes Sedai and their Warders?

Think about Suian and Leane after the stilling removed their ageless looks and the binding. They were discribed as being "vaguely familiar"

 

I think it was Semirhage who liked to torture warders/Aes Sedai, but I'm not entirely sure. That fits in more with Semirhage's motif, though, she's a pretty legendary torturer.

 

edit; http://encyclopaedia-wot.org/characters/s/semirhage.html - In chapter 6 of Lord of Chaos, it says Semirhage is presented with a choice between severing and binding, driving her to join the Dark One. This is proof enough for me at least that the forsaken are not immune to the the effects of the oath rod. Also in that chapter, Semirhage tortures Cabriana to get information, and probably kills her afterwords.

 

I'm guessing Mesaana probably got out of the tower for a bit, because I don't think she's immune to the oath rod. Apparently the oath rod was a originally a punishment for channelers who used the One Power to commit crimes, and if a channeler knew a way to violate the oaths it would be useless. While she could theoretically get away with finding it after using it and releasing the oaths, that wouldn't help her out if she doesn't have a chance to slip away to release the oaths without people seeing, which is the method they are using to root out the Black Ajah. I don't think she'd have been Silviana, because as a prisoner, they would have kept her shielded by multiple sisters who would know if she slipped away, and being locked in a cell doesn't seem like something a Forsaken would tolerate.

Edited by thatbwoydc
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I believe Mesana is the fat cook who "can't" channel, and who pretends to care about rules and order, but has repeatedly helped certain individuals escape or break seemingly little rules from time to time, which had drastic effects. Can't remember her name. But a little weaving of the True Power, unseen by Aes Sedai, or the use of a Terangreal that perhaps hides the use of the OP, could keep her disguised.

Edited by Jblademaster
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my vote is laras. she is definately close with darkfriends, or she wouldnt have helped verin with the poison, it would keep her from being tested with the OR and she has been working siuan/Egwenes rebellion very hard. plus after laras tries to kick egwene out of the kitchens/WT is when messaana tries to have egwene removed as the "figurehead"

 

 

Laras was in "New Spring" some twenty years ago.This absolutely rules her out as a Forsaken Candidate.

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I do not believe Laras is Mesaana in disguise...

 

Nor does any of the following reflect my personal beliefs - personally, I believe Verin was being as honest and helpful as she could while under the affect of the tea. But I thought the point was worth raising:

 

Just because someone was known, just because someone looks the same, does not mean they weren't replaced - for once by someone who actually paid attention to mimicking.

 

"She's many things, but not a Darkfriend. You'd sooner find a Whitecloak marrying an Aes Sedai than find Laras swearing to the Great Lord. Exraordinary woman. And quite good at judging the flavor of teas."

 

This also does not restrict much.

 

If we take it on faith that Verin is being scrupulously truthful here, it still leaves an Aes Sedai's worth of wiggle room. The only thing it rules out is Laras being a common Darkfriend. Does not rule out Black Ajah, does not rule out Chosen, etc. And there's always the possibility that Verin is lying. She was Black Ajah, after all.

 

Man, what an effective technique for a misdirection. Wrap a powerful but subtle compulsion on a minion. Fill her full of lies to tell my most effective enemy. Send her off with instructions to find a way to kill herself before she can answer too many questions, then once she's made sure she will be able to die in a timely fashion, she's to go meet with that enemy.

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@ danvighar, we actually see Galad thinking he would like to marry egwene dont we? so a whitecloak marrying an aes sedai doesnt seem too far fetched to me.

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Just finished reread of TGS. Thinking about how one defeats the Oath Rod gave me this idea.

If you consider what Rand said about removing Compulsion: Repeat the weave, only reversed. So what if One prepares a weave which is the reverse of the binding weave, before taking the oath - wouldn't the weaves negate each other?

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I think defeating the Oath Rod is as simple as being honest when she says she's not a Darkfriend. DFs are the rank-and-file little people and the Chosen are so far above them that they're unrelated. Non-Chosen may disagree with that interpretation, but Mesaana's interpretation is the only one that's important in regards to whether or not she can say it without breaking the first oath.

 

You don't need some kind of overly complex super spell to do it, just simple logic.

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hmm i just thought of something (i have no idea who mesaana is btw) isnt the oath rod process something like, you remove the oaths, take the oaths again, then say you are not a dark friend.... if mesaana went through this, wouldnt she have ended up being bound by the 3 oaths? yes, she could still say she was not a dark friend, but wouldnt the oaths still stick with her? so we'd have a forsaken who has taken the aes sedai oaths? i could be wrong.... probably am.

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hmm i just thought of something (i have no idea who mesaana is btw) isnt the oath rod process something like, you remove the oaths, take the oaths again, then say you are not a dark friend.... if mesaana went through this, wouldnt she have ended up being bound by the 3 oaths? yes, she could still say she was not a dark friend, but wouldnt the oaths still stick with her? so we'd have a forsaken who has taken the aes sedai oaths? i could be wrong.... probably am.

 

Yes. I think that one of the subplots of the next book is going to be Mesaana trying to grab the Oath Rod so that she can remove them. Given her recent screwups and punishments, she's pretty much forced to hole up in the Tower and can't make a run for it herself until she's smoked Egwene to even things out for her. Right now, she can honestly say that she's not a DF, but she can't answer "No" to "Are you Mesaana?" She can't even use the Power as a weapon to zap the Aes Sedai guarding the Rod or to defend herself if they try to arrest her if they're looking to take her alive.

 

I think it's going to be an interesting bit.

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Is there anything else that would rule her out that others can think of?

 

Motive is the main thing. We know that Mesaana wanted Egwene back leading the rebels, and Elaida in power and causing division within the Tower. If Mesaana was Silviana, she would have ample time to use a little Compulsion to get Egwene back to the rebels (maybe by ordering herself rescued), which would surely rally the Tower back against them. But Silviana spoke out for Egwene and publicly denounced Elaida. Silviana was stern, but fair in her punishments. She accepted the position as Keeper, a necessary component in Egwene's plan to heal the Tower.

 

Silviana's actions make no sense if we're to assume that she was Mesaana in disguise.

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Motive is the main thing. We know that Mesaana wanted Egwene back leading the rebels, and Elaida in power and causing division within the Tower.

 

I'm not on board with the Silviana thing, but this isn't quite accurate. That's how she had planned for things to go originally, but in Knife Of Dreams when the FS have their meeting and she learns that Egwene's still in charge and holding T'A'R meetings with the rebels, she was cool with that. She even forbade Aran'gar from attempting a rescue until she felt one was needed.

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I'm not on board with the Silviana thing, but this isn't quite accurate. That's how she had planned for things to go originally, but in Knife Of Dreams when the FS have their meeting and she learns that Egwene's still in charge and holding T'A'R meetings with the rebels, she was cool with that. She even forbade Aran'gar from attempting a rescue until she felt one was needed.

 

You're right -- Mesaana doesn't want to surrender Egwene to Aran'gar, and defers to Moridin on when or if a rescue will occur. But the point remains that Mesaana has specific motives for the Aes Sedai, worth quoting:

 

Knife of Dreams, "At the Gardens"

"They're [the rebels are] determined to hold on?" Mesaana murmured, half under her breath. She nodded. "Good. Good. Then everything is proceeding according to plan. I had been thinking I would need to stage some sort of 'rescue,' but perhaps I can wait until Elaida has broken her. Her return should create even more confusion, then."

 

Contrast this with Silviana's actions:

 

The Gathering Storm, "News In Tel'aran'rhiod"

"Silviana demanded to be heard by the full Hall while it was sitting," Saerin explained. "She stood before the lot of us, before Elaida herself, and insisted that your treatment was unlawful. Which, likely, it was. Even if you aren't an Aes Sedai, you shouldn't have been placed in such terrible conditions." Saerin glanced at Egwene. "Silviana demanded your release. She seemed to respect you a great deal, I should say. She spoke with pride in her voicee of how you'd received your punishments, as if you were a student who had learned her lesson well."

 

Mesaana wants Egwene broken. Silviana emphatically does not -- and risks being charged as a Darkfriend to stand up for her. That's proof enough for me that Mesaana is not Silviana.

Edited by MahaRaj
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Whoever she is, Mesaana is likely to be a huge threat in the near future.

 

Mesaana already wasn't in the best of standing, and now she's likely lost any influence she had in the Tower, her promise of bringing the Aes Sedai to the Shadow has blown up in her face, and the Black Ajah was unravelled--and nearly destroyed--on her watch. She must be pretty damn upset with Egwene right about now, not to mention terrified of what Moridin or Shadar Haran will do to her.

 

Incidentally, has anyone come up with a strong reason why Mesaana failed to show up at the Cleansing? She also failed to show at the one Forsaken Coffee Hour, so didn't receive the warning then about Rand's plan, but surely she learned of the command by other means. Both incidents suggest that her assumed identity means she can't just run off on a moment's notice.

 

-- dwn

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Mesaana was at the Ansaline meeting. Wearing white and looking unhappy, IIRC.

Yes, her failure to be at Shadar Logoth is tough to explain unless you do assume she was detained by her duties at WT and continuously in somebody's presence.

That rather militates against the Danelle ID.

Or else, she just decided to duck. Shaidar and Moridin weren't interested in explanations.

I guess when we get to know her id, we'll have an idea.

We have better guesses for why Moridin could not be present.

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Maybe she's not an idiot. The Forsaken's "attack" on Rand was one of the most hapless and pathetic attempts at a battle I've ever seen. They all just kind of wandered around not doing a whole lot and wasting time. Given that they knew this order was coming and Aginor had apparently figured out that Rand needed to be at Shadar Logoth to do it, their lack of ability to put any kind of preparation or effort into it was what caused me to start writing off the Forsaken as overrated and useless.

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Maybe she's not an idiot. The Forsaken's "attack" on Rand was one of the most hapless and pathetic attempts at a battle I've ever seen. They all just kind of wandered around not doing a whole lot and wasting time. Given that they knew this order was coming and Aginor had apparently figured out that Rand needed to be at Shadar Logoth to do it, their lack of ability to put any kind of preparation or effort into it was what caused me to start writing off the Forsaken as overrated and useless.

 

To some extent I agree with you, however I would say it comes with the Forsakens lack of trust to work together that was the real problem at the Cleansing. They just cant work together, and would never put themselves into a situation where they would have to rely on a darkfriend for help. If they had grabbed a few black ajah and linked up with them things would have been different, but the Forsaken would never do that. And that is basically why evil is dumb :P

 

Also, they didnt expect that much resistance. Keep in mind, Rand had orignally wanted just him and Nynaeve. It was Cadsuane who implemented that awesome defense basically out of nowhere; the Forsaken didn't know of it.

 

Buit yeah, for the most part they are useless. But they do have their reasons.

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Mesaana wants Egwene broken. Silviana emphatically does not -- and risks being charged as a Darkfriend to stand up for her. That's proof enough for me that Mesaana is not Silviana.

 

Yeah, true enough. Like I said, I wasn't a Siliviana proponent anyway. Now I simply have more reason not to be.

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Maybe she's not an idiot. The Forsaken's "attack" on Rand was one of the most hapless and pathetic attempts at a battle I've ever seen.

 

That's irrelevant: she was commanded to appear, and she didn't. Which in itself was an idiotic move.

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Buit yeah, for the most part they are useless. But they do have their reasons.

 

Well, you know, other than the utter havoc they've managed to wreak on the world. It's worth quoting RJ on this:

From RJ's blog 25 September 2005 "DUMB EVIL?"

 

I see a number of posts about that, and I find them a little surprising. Anybody out there ever read about the internal workings of the Third Reich or the reasons why the Nazis made some of their major, and often disastrous decisions? It was a zoo. A madhouse! Just for an example, even in the last days, they were sidelining trains carrying desperately needed supplies to the front in order to use the engines to transport more people to the death camps! And yet they came within a whisker or two of winning. There are hundreds of counterfactuals — the historian’s name for alternate histories — showing how the Nazis could have won outright as late as Normandy, at least to the extent of hanging onto Germany and quite possibly France, or pulled out a tie as late as the Battle of the Bulge. The internal workings of the Soviet Union under Lenin, Stalin (even more so) and most of their successors often made the Nazis look almost sensible, yet Stalin did manage to defeat the Nazis, though largely with the inadvertent help of the Nazis themselves. And his successors, frequently making decisions in nearly buffoon-like fashion, came very close to pulling out a victory over the Western democracies. Henry Kissinger actually saw his position as negotiating the best second-place position he could for the United States vis-a-vis the Soviet Union and the inevitable triumph of communism. True fact. You can look it up. Both Kissinger’s feelings and the view of many intelligent people on this side of the Iron Curtain that we were fighting a losing battle are a matter of record. I lived through a lot of that, took part in some of the skirmishing, and I’ll tell you, it was a damned close run thing.

 

The Forsaken are a group of power hungry people who don’t like one another and vie with one another for power as much as they vie with the forces of the Light. Much like the internal politicking in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. But look at the situation in the world as it actually stands, from the White Tower divided to crop failures caused by a too-long winter and a too-long summer and people fleeing their farms because the Dragon Reborn has broken all bonds, meaning still less food, and that spoiling at a fearsome rate, from chaos in Arad Doman to a large part of the Borderland armies out of position, from the arrival of the Seanchan focusing too many eyes on them instead of the Shadow to the strongest single nation, Andor, riven by civil war in all but name and Tear split by open warfare, from…. Well, take your pick. There are lots more to chose from. Take a step back and look at what the forces of the Shadow have wrought. The world and the forces of the Light are in bad shape. At this point, boys and girls, the Shadow is winning. There are glimmers of hope, but only glimmers, and they MUST pay off for the Light to win. All the Shadow needs for victory is for matters to keep on as they have been going thus far and one or two of those glimmers to fade or be extinguished. The forces of the Light are on the ropes, and they don’t even know everything the Dark One has up his sleeve.

 

Think of it this way. The bell is about to ring for the fifteenth round, and the Light is so far behind on points the only way to win is a knockout. Our boy is game, but he’s wobbly on his legs and bleeding from cuts over his eyes. Now he has three minutes to pull out his best stuff and deliver the punch of his life. The Dark One has taken a few shots, but nothing that has really damaged him. He’s still dancing on his toes and talking trash. His head shots can fracture a skull, and his body punches can break ribs. And now he’s ready to unveil his surprises. You didn’t think all it would take is for Rand to show up at the Last Battle, did you? According to the Prophecies, the Light has no chance without him, but his presence doesn’t ensure victory, just that the Light has a chance. Gotta stiffen your legs and blink the blood out of your eyes. Gotta suck it up and find that punch. Three minutes to go, and you gotta find that knockout. That’s your only chance.

 

And recall, he wrote that well after Winter's Heart, so screw up at the Cleansing be damned: they can't simply be written off as "useless". Even with some of the recent gains for the Light, the world is hardly in great shape. As for overrated: of course they were. They were made out to be nigh-unto gods in the imagination of WoTLanders for thousands of years, and that's all we had to go on for a long while in the books. But of course, they're nothing of the kind and never were. Yeah, they have a rather spotted record. So does everyone. So it's not "DUMB EVIL" it's "DUMB HUMANITY". And it's not even really about being genuinely stupid. It's about people who have done stupid things due to a number of things like personal and unrecognized cognitive and cultural biases that are impossible to not have to one degree or another, having to act on incomplete information or information they think is good but isn't, lack of trust and communication for very often rational reasons, insane levels of stress, garden-variety mental illness such as depression, anxiety and the like, various means of literally messing with people's heads being used on a fairly regular basis, etc., etc.

Edited by didymos
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And recall, he wrote that well after Winter's Heart, so screw up at the Cleansing be damned: they can't simply be written off as "useless". As for overrated: of course they were. They were made out to be nigh-unto gods in the imagination of WoTLanders for thousands of years, and that's all we had to go on for a long while in the books. But of course, they're nothing of the kind and never were.

 

See, that's the problem. Jordan tells us that they're nasty and awful and scary and stuff, but all he shows us is a buncha useless halfwits.

 

Then, when he really tries to makes them nasty and evil and stuff he overdoes it viz Graendal kidnapping the Sh'putzes singlehanded and Semirhage singlehandedly killing the single most heavily guarded person in the world and ( almost ) her entire family - offfreakingscreen!!!

 

If they're really that powerful, he wasted at least 12 volumes of the series on air and puffery. One of the Forsaken displaying Graendal/Semirhage power and ruthlessness could have rendered every civilization on the entire planet incapable of resistance.

 

He tells us they're AWFUL. He shows us that they're pitiful.

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hmm i just thought of something (i have no idea who mesaana is btw) isnt the oath rod process something like, you remove the oaths, take the oaths again, then say you are not a dark friend.... if mesaana went through this, wouldnt she have ended up being bound by the 3 oaths? yes, she could still say she was not a dark friend, but wouldnt the oaths still stick with her? so we'd have a forsaken who has taken the aes sedai oaths? i could be wrong.... probably am.

 

The Forsaken's oaths, sworn in Shayol Ghul , (possibly with the True Power ? ) might negate the affects of the Oath Rod.

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If they're really that powerful, he wasted at least 12 volumes of the series on air and puffery. One of the Forsaken displaying Graendal/Semirhage power and ruthlessness could have rendered every civilization on the entire planet incapable of resistance.

 

He tells us they're AWFUL. He shows us that they're pitiful.

 

Agreed - we're shown their glaring weaknesses, but all the things that made them fearsome and deadly and gave them such grandiose reputations was relegated to the BWB. Had that been incorporated into the storytelling, replacing lengthy descriptions of entrances to minor towns and certain useless installments in the series, they'd have come across as much more fearsome enemies. Instead, only a few of them end up in a position where they may actually shine... Moridin and Demandred, perhaps Graendal. The nastiest (in portrayal) of the DO's minions seem to be those that are only marginally associated with the Shadow or completely inhuman: Padan Fain, Mashadar, Machin Shin, maybe Blightworms. Semirhage had some potential, but even then, well meh.

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If they're really that powerful, he wasted at least 12 volumes of the series on air and puffery. One of the Forsaken displaying Graendal/Semirhage power and ruthlessness could have rendered every civilization on the entire planet incapable of resistance.

 

He tells us they're AWFUL. He shows us that they're pitiful.

 

Agreed - we're shown their glaring weaknesses, but all the things that made them fearsome and deadly and gave them such grandiose reputations was relegated to the BWB. Had that been incorporated into the storytelling, replacing lengthy descriptions of entrances to minor towns and certain useless installments in the series, they'd have come across as much more fearsome enemies. Instead, only a few of them end up in a position where they may actually shine... Moridin and Demandred, perhaps Graendal. The nastiest (in portrayal) of the DO's minions seem to be those that are only marginally associated with the Shadow or completely inhuman: Padan Fain, Mashadar, Machin Shin, maybe Blightworms. Semirhage had some potential, but even then, well meh.

 

Well at least Rahvin went out with a good fight, managed to kill some mains doing so as well. Though that was undone with Balefire. I think even Lanfear did pretty well on her own considering her main goal was Rand, if it wasn't for Moraine she would have won.

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