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JenniferL

What is the Big Unnoticed Thing? (spoilers)

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Wow, while allowing Mat to escape is certainly big, especially since Rand needs Moiraine to win, I was kind of underwhelmed.

 

I thought the scope of the big, unnoticed thing would be grander and affect a wider range of things more directly. Still, in a way, it does.

 

 

I was pleased with the scene, and with finding out that the Ashandarei has a purpose never supposed, but it sure was fun speculating on the BUT and hearing others theories. I guess I'm a little sad to not have the mystery anymore.

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What makes anyone think the BUT is the spear? In terms of the story and the mechanics of the world using the spear to escape the ToG is a very minor detail. It happens once and then never again. How is this big? Compared to Vin's earring, the spear is nothing, using the fireworks is at least as big as the spear was. And the spear was not unnoticed.

 

How is the BUT not the Rhuidean Ter'Angreal predicting the future?

 

Or The Red Aiel, or well, anything else?

Edited by Jong

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What makes anyone think the BUT is the spear?

 

Brandon said it was at the end of Chapter 55 in an answer to a question.

 

Huh? What question. Where did he say this? Are you saying that this was in the books or what?

Edited by Jong

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What makes anyone think the BUT is the spear?

 

Brandon said it was at the end of Chapter 55 in an answer to a question.

 

Huh? What question. There were no questions about this in Chapter 55. And the text contains no such asides to we the reader explaining about BUTs. What are you talking about.

 

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I took his answer to a question from his Twitter interview on Nov 8 posted on Tor to mean to be about the BUT, and just figured Chapter 55 was about ToG. Here is the quote:

 

Question: can’t figure it out....what was the “little thing” that was missed at the start of the series?

 

Brandon Sanderson: End of chapter 55.

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What makes anyone think the BUT is the spear? In terms of the story and the mechanics of the world using the spear to escape the ToG is a very minor detail. It happens once and then never again. How is this big? Compared to Vin's earring, the spear is nothing, using the fireworks is at least as big as the spear was. And the spear was not unnoticed.

 

How is the BUT not the Rhuidean Ter'Angreal predicting the future?

 

It's kind of a glaring detail that we never got an answer to, at least. I mean, at first, no one seriously believed the Ashandarei was of huge importance, even though people did question how Mat came by it. A lot of discussions asking why Mat got it ended with the conclusion that they picked up something that "laying around" to hang him with. Even people who thought it was significant didn't manage to tie it in to his request for leave-taking.

 

Also, considering that getting out of Finnland is always a bigger trick than getting in, I'd say it was pretty significant to the story. No one really came up with a good answer about how to exit since we didn't know what the spear did.

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What makes anyone think the BUT is the spear?

 

Brandon said it was at the end of Chapter 55 in an answer to a question.

 

Huh? What question. There were no questions about this in Chapter 55. And the text contains no such asides to we the reader explaining about BUTs. What are you talking about.

 

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I took his answer to a question from his Twitter interview on Nov 8 posted on Tor to mean to be about the BUT, and just figured Chapter 55 was about ToG. Here is the quote:

 

Question: can’t figure it out....what was the “little thing” that was missed at the start of the series?

 

Brandon Sanderson: End of chapter 55.

 

Well, it sounds like he is saying that the spear is the BUT.

 

Or maybe he was talking about the small unnoticed thing from book 3.

 

This is pretty confusing.

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What about the angreal that Morraine is wearing now, its described the same as the one Lanfear wore when they both went through the red doorway. Maybe i missed something when I read the book, rereading. Would be funny if it was really Lanfear

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What makes anyone think the BUT is the spear? In terms of the story and the mechanics of the world using the spear to escape the ToG is a very minor detail. It happens once and then never again. How is this big? Compared to Vin's earring, the spear is nothing, using the fireworks is at least as big as the spear was. And the spear was not unnoticed.

 

How is the BUT not the Rhuidean Ter'Angreal predicting the future?

 

It's kind of a glaring detail that we never got an answer to, at least. I mean, at first, no one seriously believed the Ashandarei was of huge importance, even though people did question how Mat came by it. A lot of discussions asking why Mat got it ended with the conclusion that they picked up something that "laying around" to hang him with. Even people who thought it was significant didn't manage to tie it in to his request for leave-taking.

 

Also, considering that getting out of Finnland is always a bigger trick than getting in, I'd say it was pretty significant to the story. No one really came up with a good answer about how to exit since we didn't know what the spear did.

 

I think the Ashandarei was discussed in detail, particularly what did the inscription mean. This may have all taken place 10-15 years ago, but it happened. IF you are going to say, it was unnoticed then you need to back that up. The fact that Mat knew how to use it / had memories of it, led most people to believe that it was just another weapon. But it was discussed.

 

I understand they needed to find a way out. But lets be clear. The fact that: the spear can create a door out of the tower. That is not a big thing. This is exactly like the fire works. Its like the bronze knife. Its like talking with Brigette to find out more about her time in the tower. Its just another minor technical aspect of how the ToG works. It was one thing in 1000 pages that got us one step closer to the end. Let me prove it to you. Think about the opposite scenario. What if Mat had known since day one that the spear would let him out of the tower? Would anyone have said "wow that's big". No. Its just one more detail. Just because it happened to be the last piece of the puzzle, does not make it a bigger than the others. Its just another piece.

 

A big thing is something that is going to have a huge impact on the story for the rest of the series. The fact that the spear lets you out of Finn land is not a big thing. Mat miraculously surviving yet again is a big thing, the fact that he escaped by usinging his spear is small potatoes.

Edited by Jong

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To those who feel like Noal's sacrifice was a bit cheap, I agree. I can understand why it happened, but the first thing that occurred to me, as well, was that Noal only died so that Mat could have more time to think. He didn't exactly procure them a way out. Just seemed like Jain Farstrider deserved to accomplish a bit more with his death than to allow Mat more time to solve a riddle.

 

Considering that time to think was exactly what Mat needed to win, I'd say it was pretty important. They all would have died if he hadn't done that before Mat got anywhere near the shattered doorway to Tear, and if he hadn't delayed them as long as he did, Mat wouldn't have had time to even carve the portal. They almost didn't have enough time to get through the thing as it was. And, as mentioned, Jain made it possible for Moiraine to escape, and per Min's viewing, Rand basically can't win without her. So, yeah, fairly significant sacrifice.

 

This goes to complaints about the ashandarei not being "cool enough" or whatever as well. If it did not exist....

 

Mat = Dead. Moiraine = Dead. Shadow = Victorious.

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Its use was really isolated, and in that way it was less impressive than the reveal of Asmo's killer (I mean in Moridin's and SH's chats with Graendal, not that folly in the glossary). But Asmo was already dead and knowing who did it changes nothing, whereas allowing Mat to escape 'finnland was very important indeed. I'm actually quite surprised at the way it was revealed. It seemed that Mat really took his time with that revelation (I mean, once he started thinking in the right direction, it became obvious which way this is going to go. Not that I had any inkling what the Ashandarei was all about before that). For me, it For me, it lessened the worth of Noal's sacrifice.

 

I think his lack of clear thinking is excusable since he just had his eye ripped out; that is truly horrifying and I'm impressed he was in any kind of shape at all after that.

 

As far as earlier, he might have realized it if contemplating things on any random day, yeah, but Mat tried to avoid thinking about that place as much as possible so it's quite understandable.

 

HA, Big LOL. Good point about Mat's eye, poor bugger.

As for Noal/Jain Farstrider, he probably had one of the best deaths in the series, earning him Mad Dog status in my books.

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Any thoughts on the Red Aiel being the BUT? We know that male Aiel channelers have been entering the Blight for a long time. Has the Shadow been collecting and turning these men to start a DF Aiel society?

 

I dunno. Maybe?

 

I think you are on the right track, it sounds like a pretty cool notion.

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Any thoughts on the Red Aiel being the BUT? We know that male Aiel channelers have been entering the Blight for a long time. Has the Shadow been collecting and turning these men to start a DF Aiel society?

 

I dunno. Maybe?

 

I think you are on the right track, it sounds like a pretty cool notion.

 

Wrong track. It was confirmed by Brandon on twitter to be the ashandarei:

BRCayen: @BrandonSandrson I can't figure it out....what was the "little thing" that was missed at the start of the series?

 

BrandonSandrson: @BRCayen End of chapter 55.

 

The end of chapter 55 in ToM is Mat carving his way out of 'Finnland to freedom, and the ashandarei first appeared in Book 4, which was one of the three Brandon said to look in.

Edited by didymos

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It's so annoying how obvious it was as Id been thinking to myself for almost 10 bloomin years "why did they just give him that? The Eelfinn are tight buggers with their bargains why?" Lol

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It's so annoying how obvious it was as Id been thinking to myself for almost 10 bloomin years "why did they just give him that? The Eelfinn are tight buggers with their bargains why?" Lol

 

I never even thought there was any particular in-story reason. I figured RJ did it just because:

 

a. the thing is really cool, which thereby enhances the coolness of Mat

b. it was simply part of the whole Odin thing. Odin had a magic spear and it was part of the myth of his hanging to gain knowledge of the runes, so Mat had to get one too.

 

I just wrote it off as "ta'veren" as far as in-world explanations go. Kinda like how the Snakes answered some extra questions when he started yelling at him and they were trying to get rid of him.

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Okay so I think the big unnoticed thing could be the Ashendarei and if so i'd like to take this as a point to dispel the constant comments that the Finns gave Mat the way out two times over because they threw him out and also gave him the weapon. But we must take into account two things. First of all they know the future of the waking world of humans and the only reason they make bargains is so they gain something from giving the knowledge...but the most important piece that ties into that knowledge is that they make bargains on a broad spectrum and if we think about it this time doing so works against them. They gave him the ashendarei specifically BECAUSE they knew he was coming back and since the specifics weren't laid out to be a way out for that 1 time they gave him the Ashendarei to cover their butts as part of the orginal bargain so that Mat couldn't call them out for it should he remember that he didn't say specifically that he only wanted a way out once. Thats my thought on that

 

Second thing i think it could be is the thing in VERIN's letter. The waygate in Caemlyn. It was a big deal when Loial went around destroying waygates but the one they didn't destroy was Caemlyn's and it was specifically written in that they only walled it up instead of the way Loial did it by letting them die. Or having them melted. So this mistep in handling the waygate and now the fact that Caemlyn is burning could very well be the unnoticed thing. Especially since i'm pretty sure this wasnt talked about on any large or even much of a small scale. Thats my take.

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I love how so many here are either....

 

1. So convinced this isn't a bigger deal then Asmo's killer

 

2. What's the big deal, I knew there was something up with that thing!

 

First off, Asmo's killer is nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Inconsequential to the story. Jordan thought it was obvious, and there was a time that even after the fandom went nuts about it, he wasn't even going to bother answering it in the books. Brandon, as was I, was a reader who never even cared about who Asmo's killer was until I came online and saw others making such a big fuss about it.

 

The ONLY way in which you could say that Asmo's killer was a bigger deal was in the specific case that it's something that the hardcore fandom frothed over. But there was never any qualifier needed from Brandon to confirm this, since by it's very nature, the BUT was not going to be as big in a fandom sense as Asmo's killer since Brandon said that he'd never even really seen the BUT discussed.

 

Secondly, I love that people act like this wasn't a big deal because they knew something was up.

 

Yeah, just like how we knew something was up with Verin. Just like how we should have seen the "plain as the nose on your face" explanation for why Noam went wolf and Elyas didn't.

 

The answer is really easy to see after you've gotten the answer. A shame that all of you that knew there was something up with the Ashandarei don't have thread links to how you broke down exactly how and why.

 

I am not saying that none of you knew, but I remember on Terez's thread when she spilled the beans that they had messed up and the previous "definitely not one of these" list for the BUT turned into the "definitely one of these" list(and thus making for some of the most precise guessing for the BUT after we had been put on the wrong path for so long). I remember a grand total of one guy even getting anywhere close to this rationale. Tying together the fact that each item Mat was given corresponded to his wishes. And if I remember right, the guy theorized that perhaps the Ashandarei protected against the True Power or something. Which was good reasoning, but still wrong.

 

That all said, I don't think it was that big of a deal either. Not in the sense that I am dissapointed, but I found it to be one of the many satisfying reveals in this book, and not particularly more mindblowing then some. I think the reason Brandon seemed to hype it is simply because Brandon's favorite character is Mat! And Mat has all these cool doodads from the 'finn. Imagine Brandon's headslapper reaction when Mat's cool, signature weapon turned out to be more then just a cool way to give Mat a unique, badass weapon. Brandon's only, completely understandable, mistake here imho was expecting everyone to be quite as excited as he was when he first read about it.

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Second thing i think it could be is the thing in VERIN's letter. The waygate in Caemlyn.

 

Can't be, for two reasons:

 

1. The Caemlyn Waygate appeared way back in tEotW. Brandon specifically said that the UT first appeared in book 4, 5, or 6. Which the ashandarei did, in book 4.

2. Brandon has confirmed it was the ashandarei.

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I got the Ashendari thing, but didn't Terez or someone else say there was also an unnoticed thing from the 3rd book that played a part? What was that?

 

Apologies if this has already been discussed.

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I got the Ashendari thing, but didn't Terez or someone else say there was also an unnoticed thing from the 3rd book that played a part? What was that?

 

Apologies if this has already been discussed.

 

Not sure if it's been discussed, but I do think I remember the quote. If so, it's probably the Noam thing. It's funny how obvious that answer was and no one seemed to figure it out. Ties into Jordan's theme of how you can't trust anyones opinion in the series just because they speak it authoritatively. I think most took Moiraine's word with too much authority. Just another example of great sublty from Jordan.

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I got the Ashendari thing, but didn't Terez or someone else say there was also an unnoticed thing from the 3rd book that played a part? What was that?

 

Apologies if this has already been discussed.

 

Not sure if it's been discussed, but I do think I remember the quote. If so, it's probably the Noam thing. It's funny how obvious that answer was and no one seemed to figure it out. Ties into Jordan's theme of how you can't trust anyones opinion in the series just because they speak it authoritatively. I think most took Moiraine's word with too much authority. Just another example of great sublty from Jordan.

Okay, that makes sense.

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I dont get it. If you ask for something, does it always have to work? If the Eelfin knew that he was going to come back why did they give him the Ashandarei. They could have just let him out the first time, but tehy gave him a permanent way out, that will always work. If they werent always trying to twist the rules then they would have captured him.

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I dont get it. If you ask for something, does it always have to work? If the Eelfin knew that he was going to come back why did they give him the Ashandarei. They could have just let him out the first time, but tehy gave him a permanent way out, that will always work. If they werent always trying to twist the rules then they would have captured him.

 

This is speculation, but I think he was guaranteed a way out by the treaty governing entrance by the redstone doorway. So, when he asked to be away from them, asked them to open a door, the Eelfinn were bound to fulfill that demand in a different way, even if it was redundant.

 

-- dwn

 

(Edited for clarity.)

Edited by dwn

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I dont get it. If you ask for something, does it always have to work? If the Eelfin knew that he was going to come back why did they give him the Ashandarei. They could have just let him out the first time, but tehy gave him a permanent way out, that will always work. If they werent always trying to twist the rules then they would have captured him.

 

We may never know the answer, but I've gotten the impression that what is given is not really the choice of the foxes. I may be wrong. But it seems like the items they have given out have been rather mish mash. I don't think the requests are made, and then the foxes decide what they are going to make. Either they somehow have a vast hodgepodge of items dealing with the power they they pick through and have to take what works for the situation, or(I like this one better) perhaps the agreement between humans and foxes creates some kind of "random item generator". The human makes thier request, the foxes add thier intent, and the item is forged in a random mix of those things. So that the human doesn't get exactly what they might want, but the foxes don't have complete control over what gets made either.

 

Cause lets face it, there's no reason that the foxes HAD to give Mat a foxhead medallion that negates the power, or a blade on a stick that is a quarterstaff(the melee weapon we had already seen Mat be proficient with) that just turns out to fulfill a basically unrelated request.

 

There is some kind of randomness going on there, I think.

 

The funny thing is that I didn't even realize until I posted that last sentence that it's exactly the kind of process that you would expect Mat to get a great outcome from! If the exact items are some kind of random generation, then you would expect Mat to hit the figurative jackpot! :biggrin:

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I dont get it. If you ask for something, does it always have to work? If the Eelfin knew that he was going to come back why did they give him the Ashandarei. They could have just let him out the first time, but tehy gave him a permanent way out, that will always work. If they werent always trying to twist the rules then they would have captured him.

 

This is speculation, but I think he was guaranteed a way out by the treaty governing entrance by the redstone doorway. So, when he asked to be away from them, asked them to open a door, the Eelfinn were bound to fulfill that demand in a different way, even if it was redundant.

 

-- dwn

 

(Edited for clarity.)

 

Moiraine and Lanfear entered through the redstone doorway, and they weren't guaranteed a way out. Thought, maybe the destruction they caused to the door negated that, i dunno.

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