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The Aiel Thing in the Epilogue

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Soul and body" contradicts Balthamel's resurrection though, since he's a male channeler in a female body.

 

The soul determines what you can channel (i.e. saidin or saidar). The genetic side influences other factors like sparker/learner, strength, and probably stuff like ability to learn quickly, memorize weaves quickly, etc.

 

From what we've learned of Rand's revelations regarding his connection with Lews Therin, we know that a person is the same in every life cycle. The Nature versus Nurture thesis. A person's nature is the same in every rebirth with the way one is brought up being the deciding factor. This is why Rand was able to withstand the Dark One's attempts to convert him this time around. Thus his ability to channel, his strengths and weaknesses are the same in every life.

 

This in turn makes it more logical that Birgitte simply knew Barashelle instead of being her. Thanks for helping me clear that up dwn.

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I had always thought that the strength in the One Power was tied to a persons soul, but the ability to channel at all was tied to the body. Which is why the Forsaken have changed bodies but not lost any power (except for Lanfear, which is different circumstances.)

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Their eye color is wrong. Tarna's eyes didn't change in color, nor did any of the turned AM's. If they were Aiel, they've been corrupted in some other way (I'm not saying that they weren't turned, just that that's not all that has been done to them).

Assuming this DF sept of Aiel was founded by turning the Aiel men who could channel and went north to fight the dark one, they'd need women to continue their sept. It's alot easier to capture women from the borderlands or Shara then it is from the waste. So their descendants have darker features than the original Aiel.

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I nominate the name Really Creepy Aiel Dudes for them.

 

To add my thoughts to previous discussion, I'd like to point out it wasn't just male Aiel channelers who went into the Blight. Young men and "Maidens with less sense than goats" went north to hunt Trollocs in the Blight. It's their version of a teenage joy ride in a fast car. Perhaps some who survived became corrupted somehow. Or perhaps Aiel who were already Darkfriends were commonly among those who made the trip to begin with, and formed their own "society."

 

Edited to change "thrill ride" to "joy ride" as it made more sense on reread.

This is true, however the only people that can be turned over to the shadow are channelers. Which is why it seems so likely that they are the male channelers who went north. Why would any other Aiel just go north and give themselves to the shadow? Even if they did would they look as crazy as the description of these men? Also I think the argument that he used a dagger instead of channeling is quite silly, if you stand by that go read the chapter again. The man is dieing and crawling towards the blight and the Aiel man smiles and gets pleasure in killing him with his dagger. It has to be male channelers, many have wondered this for a long time and it would be so late into the story to just announce something like "Oh yeah guys there's an aiel clan in the blight that has crazy looking eyes and pointed teeth".

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(Quick note: If I contradict you in some way, please don't take it as a personal offense, I'm just trying to add some more logic to the argument)

 

The Land of Madmen Theory:

Yes, the LoMM is talked about in the BWB, but to introduce the LoMM in the last book? Keep in mind that there are tons of WoT readers that haven't read the BWB and maybe haven't even heard of it. The only reason I knew of it and read it was because a friend of mind gave it to me. It's not really a major part of the series. It's nice for information on circles and various things, but I don't think RJ would put in a whole new race that hasn't been mentioned in the books at all (as far as I know). While, it could work, Aiel or Shara theories are going to be stronger as we actually have reference points.

 

The Aiel Theory (my favorite theory, so I'm *slightly* biased):

When the man first saw them, he immediately thought they were Aiel. Thus, they look like Aiel (in at least some regard). If you are going to argue that they don't look enough like Aiel to be Aiel, the guy thought they were Aiel, they wore the cadin'sor, and they carried short spears. Aiel much? I think so.

Now, this CRAD (Creepy Red Aiel Dude) used his knife to kill. He may have been able to channel, he may not have. We don't know. Lots of male Aiel channelers could have been turned, and if there is a sept of DF Aiel in the blight, they could have been bread to try to get more channelers. Obviously, this means not all of the CRADs could channel.

(For some quick evidence of an Aiel sept in the blight, like an earlier poster said, look at the village that Perrin found in the middle of the blight thing. It could have been one of those switcheroo's that we've seen occur in the WT, just on a larger scale and over a greater distance. Pehaps since the DO is near the blight, the crazy effects occur more often and with more potency near the blight. The village showed signs of life and showed that maybe some people could live in the Blight in certain areas, ie Aiel DFs. Maybe the DO purposely lessened the potency of the blight in certain areas to make room for them to live. o.O)

For the physical changes of the CRADs (eye color and skin color? Not sure on the skin, because I don't have the book on me, lent it to a friend), personally I don't see why the DF and male channeler Aiel couldn't have been bred with Sharans or even the possible corrupted Aiel from the Portal Stone worlds. This would account for the traits that we see. For time constraints on the breeding, obviously channelers would have been going to the blight for thousands of years. Perhaps in those periods where Ishamael was free for a few years, he would rally some DF Aes Sedai or Kin or something and then have them turn a few Aiel channelers, get a few Sharans, and breed away for the next thousand years. Perhaps difficult, and perhaps requiring some foresight, but still, entirely possible.

 

Finally, The Sharan Theory:

Possible, but since they were described as Aiel, I would think it more likely that the Sharans may have been bred with Aiel.

 

Portal Stone World:

Likely, me likey much. Crazy, awesome, possible, and feels kinda like something RJ would do just to make us feel like we should have thought of this when Demandred's rule was first mentioned and just to make us feel stupid. =) Heck, maybe the whole Nae'blis with Demandred thing was so that the DO would make him Nae'blis in a portal stone world. xD

 

 

Again, please don't flame me unless you have direct evidence against what I have said. I know that I come across very harsh and affrontive (made up word?) on this post (and a lot of my other ones) but usually it's just because I don't take the time to go back and make it sound nicer because I'm laaaazzzyyy.

 

Edit: de-lazified my self and edited some things to make my post clearer, and added the portal stone world theory. =)

Edited by imBored

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I think Fain had something to do with them. They look slightly similar to the Trollocs that Fain makes in the blight.

 

 

Ditto.

 

I also agree that if they were male channelers, they would not need to use a knife. Fain is messing with the DO's plans for sure. Some of the movement of trollocs are possibly by his hand as well.

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well you missed out the guy who was injured initially thought they where myrrdraal, then later realized they where Aiel

 

Well, he was panicked and realized he'd wandered into the Blight, and his first instinct on seeing human-sized things in the Blight was "Myrddraal!". Then he really looked and decided they were Aiel. And then they got close and he decided they weren't Aiel, but "something else". Then he died. Presumably.

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Can you imagine the pain of filing down your deeth to points? Creepy doesn't begin to describe them. Dark eyes has me wondering and guessing, which I assume is the point, but they do have spears and red veil. But they take the veil off when they kill. My first thought was 13x13'ed aiel who had wondered into the blight, but now I really doubt the explanation is that simple.

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Their eye color is wrong. Tarna's eyes didn't change in color, nor did any of the turned AM's. If they were Aiel, they've been corrupted in some other way (I'm not saying that they weren't turned, just that that's not all that has been done to them).

Assuming this DF sept of Aiel was founded by turning the Aiel men who could channel and went north to fight the dark one, they'd need women to continue their sept. It's alot easier to capture women from the borderlands or Shara then it is from the waste. So their descendants have darker features than the original Aiel.

 

Exactly.

 

At this point, the only thing that even really suggests that they aren't Aiel is the eye color, and this explanation pegs that one. It also fits well with being a plan of Ishy/Moridin. Since we know that he's the one that's been thinking longterm since he was locked up. He could have initiated the Aiel in the Blight plan any time he was free along with his Seanchan plan, and likely his forming the Black Ajah(which in turn could have turned Aiel channelers to start, and then set a "culture" on a path that would have been self-sustaining, but tainted).

 

The other differences like sharp teeth, red viel, and unvieling to kill really enhance the impression that these are Aiel....but different. Not that these are not Aiel at all. It suggests a longterm divergence of "culture" that could have been created in a Blight bound Aiel sept.

 

Interesting sidenote: I beleive that Jordan was dodgey when asked who exactly it was who raised Isam after they were overrun. A clan of Aiel inhabiting the Blight seem good candidates.

 

I really would suggest that anyone puzzling over this go back and read the Forsaken tea party in The Gathering Storm. There does seem to be some tastey clues buried in there. The whole setting itself suggests very, very much that those talking about inhabitable zones in the Blight are dead on. Moridin has his little fortress in the Blight, and not only does it seem "habitable", but it has "guards" that have to stay on duty to protect Moridin's fortress from certain monsters of the Blight that follow no one, not even Moridin. The question is....who exactly are the guards? Could they be of the Aiel sept we're talking about? Seems like a likely choice, since up until then we haven't really seen Moridin with an organized army of Randland DF that he's transplanted into the Blight.

 

Here's the interesting quote(it's a Graendal PoV).....

 

She walked to the window and found the reason for the rust-colored light. Outside, the claylike ground was stained red from the iron in the soil. She was on the second level of a deep black tower, the stones drawing in the burning heat of the sky. Very little vegetation sprouted outside, and that which did was spotted with black. So, it was deep in the northeastern Blight. It had been some time since she'd been here. Moridin seemed to have located a fortress of all things.

 

A collection of shoddy huts stood in the shadow of the fortress, and a few patches of blightstrain crops marked fields in the distance. They were probably trying a new strain, coaxing it to grow in the area. Perhaps several different crops; that would explain the different patches. Guards prowled the area wearing black uniforms despite the heat. Soldiers were necessary to fight off attack from various Shadowspawn that inhabited the lands this deep within the Blight. Those creatures obeyed no master save for the Great Lord himself. What was Moridin doing all the way out here?

 

While the details of the guards aren't a perfect match, I think it is still possible(they both where black and the used of the word "prowled" suggests these are not just normal DF guards). But this passage clearly shows that some kind of people are trying to inhabit the Blight. And the bolded part pretty much clinches that whatever it is, it is the same as what Perrin and co. found.

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The other differences like sharp teeth, red viel, and unvieling to kill really enhance the impression that these are Aiel....but different. Not that these are not Aiel at all. It suggests a longterm divergence of "culture" that could have been created in a Blight bound Aiel sept.

 

Interesting sidenote: I beleive that Jordan was dodgey when asked who exactly it was who raised Isam after they were overrun. A clan of Aiel inhabiting the Blight seem good candidates.

 

You know, that just clicked perfectly for me.

 

That whole unveiling to kill thing suggests that the red-veiled Aiel are a deliberate subversion of the norms of Aiel culture. Probably there are other things about them that are backwards from what we know about "normal" Aiel as well. Now, if they're actually a complete sept or clan, it's a reasonable guess that they have Wise Ones, perhaps even some who can dreamwalk. What's one of the biggest taboos among Aiel dreamwalkers that gets drilled into Egwene during her apprenticeship? That you should never ever enter Tel'aran'rhiod in the flesh. So what's the first thing that a subverted Wise One deliberately rejecting everything her culture had previously believed in would do?

 

You can probably see where this is going. A clan of evil Aiel dreamwalkers really would be the perfect place for Isam to have learned all his crazy Tel'aran'rhiod-in-the-flesh powers.

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You know, that just clicked perfectly for me.

 

That whole unveiling to kill thing suggests that the red-veiled Aiel are a deliberate subversion of the norms of Aiel culture. Probably there are other things about them that are backwards from what we know about "normal" Aiel as well. Now, if they're actually a complete sept or clan, it's a reasonable guess that they have Wise Ones, perhaps even some who can dreamwalk. What's one of the biggest taboos among Aiel dreamwalkers that gets drilled into Egwene during her apprenticeship? That you should never ever enter Tel'aran'rhiod in the flesh. So what's the first thing that a subverted Wise One deliberately rejecting everything her culture had previously believed in would do?

 

You can probably see where this is going. A clan of evil Aiel dreamwalkers really would be the perfect place for Isam to have learned all his crazy Tel'aran'rhiod-in-the-flesh powers.

 

Brilliant!

 

It's very interesting that you made this connection, and if fits so well. This didn't even cross my mind, though it definitely should have. The only thing that made me make the connection, as I said, was a comment by Jordan(taken from the theoryland interview archive)....

 

DragonCon 4 September 2005 - Emma reporting

 

Frenzy: How can Slayer know that Rand is his nephew?

Jordan: The Shadow knows a lot about Rand. They know a lot about Perrin and Mat too - once they began to identify possibilities, they went hyper trying to get information because anything might be part of the key to controlling him.

 

Question: Why was the infant Isam spared death at the hand of the Trollocs?

Jordan: Possible political use later. You've got somebody who is related to the royal family of Malkier, and you can raise him exactly the way you want...you can instill whatever belief system you want. He's a blank slate and he might be a very powerful tool.

 

Question: Was Isam raised by the Shadow directly, by his mother, or by someone else?

Jordan: By someone else. Read and find out.

 

Before ToM came out I was reading a lot about Slayer because I was one of the "there's a lot we don't know about Slayer, and what we don't know is going to reveal him as Asmo's killer" people(whoops!). This quote rolled over me, but I always found it suspcious. Why wouldn't his mother raise him? She was a DF, so why the hell wouldn't she raise him? And why RAFO who did raise him? I always assumed it would be a pretty simple answer. That even if his mother didn't raise him he could be raised in a DF house in the northern Borderlands or something. Dancing around it struck me as being suggestive of his raising being somewhere in the Blight. And TGS made me even more suspicious with it's seemingly inhabited fortress. Discussing this idea about the Blight just kinda made it click in my head that an Aiel clan in the Blight would make a perfect place to be raised for a young Isam/Slayer. The fact that you would independantly throw out an idea like the WO schooling him on TAR that fits so well is a pretty good indication that we are on the right track imho.

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I still say their dead aiel whom have had myrrdraal souls transferred into the body, the filed teeth would fit with trolloc/myrrdraal diets which would consist almost exclusively of meat.

 

The shoufa can be explained that since they would suddenly have eye the myrrdraal would need to search for something to cover and protect them, and since human bodies are not as hardy as myrrdraal that could also explain the huts and such

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"Soul and body" contradicts Balthamel's resurrection though, since he's a male channeler in a female body.

 

In one of Birgitte's lives she was Aes Sedai. On the day before her final test for the shawl during the Trolloc Wars she bonded a beautiful man whom she wanted for a warder because she feared someone else may snatch him before her. When this was discovered she had to relinquish her bond and was - once she had served her penance - given the bond of seemingly the ugliest warder around (Gaidal Cain.) She made his life a living hell before realizing that she loved him.

 

It wasn't Birgitte, just an Accepted she knew (Barashelle) during the Trolloc Wars. I don't want to quote the whole thing, but it's in TFoH, A New Name, p. 409.

 

-- dwn

 

Are you sure? Because the way she describes the story - in part where she describes the relationship with her new warder - implies that it is herself she's talking about. At least, that's how I interpreted it. I could very well be wrong, I don't have the books here to check it.

 

Nope. Definitely her telling about someone else (I actually just re-read Fires of Heaven last week).

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I remember a saying about the "Black eyed Aiel" I believe it came from the Borderlands actually. Aviendha herself was surprised by it and the Borderlanders ought to know enough about Aiel to be aware they are not black eyed. So this has me wondering. Could these "aiel" like man have played a role before? A role that has faded to a myth but left the saying? Maybe from one of the fallen Borderlands during the Trolloc Wars?

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I know someone else mentioned this already, and I have to agree, this has something to do with Fain/Mordeth in my belief, and his control over Mashadar allowing him to possess trollocs. Maybe he possessed some Aiel. At this point I think he possessed Sammael, and he's the one sending Trollocs all over the ways.

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Sorry, maybe this is an obvious reference that I am just missing or maybe its a thing that I'm not getting because I'm new to this community but what is the deal with the number 13? Is it just a darkfriend thing because there are originally 13 forsaken?

 

EDIT** Nevermind. 13 dreadlords 13 myrddraal thing. Remembered just now. Thanks anyway.

Edited by johthohar

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At this point I think he possessed Sammael, and he's the one sending Trollocs all over the ways.

 

Sammael is dead. -RJ

 

This whole Darkfriend Aiel sept breeding in the Blight theory has about as much strength behind it as a man clutching at a tuft of grass on the edge of a cliff. You're grasping at straws guys.

 

And really? Myrddraal souls transferred to Aiel bodies? What would be the point? They would lose their Frightening Gaze as well as the ability to travel through shadows. Jumping to that conclusion based on the fact that they move with a "sleek grace?"

 

At the very least, Aiel darkfriends have their own sense of honor based on ji'e'toh. We know this based on Matrim's relationship with Melindhra. They wouldn't just up and leave it all to the dogs.

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This whole Darkfriend Aiel sept breeding in the Blight theory has about as much strength behind it as a man clutching at a tuft of grass on the edge of a cliff. You're grasping at straws guys.

 

Really? Because I think the points that we have brought up are pretty strong. I don't find your simple assertion that we are grasping at straws to be very convincing. Perhaps you could give some reasons for why our points are wrong.

 

At the very least, Aiel darkfriends have their own sense of honor based on ji'e'toh. We know this based on Matrim's relationship with Melindhra. They wouldn't just up and leave it all to the dogs.

 

1. Do we even know that Melindhra follows any kind of ji'e'toh? What indication of that do we have of that other then what could have been her playing the part?

 

2. If you would have read what me and others were saying, we were saying that in the precious few bits of info we got about these guys, they seem to have a twisted form of thier own ji'e'toh. Viels, spears, cadin'sor. The unvieling to kill smacks of being a corruption of the Aiel's culture norm.

 

A few more things of interest about this....

 

-From a book signing tour....

 

Matt: We are told the male Aiel channelers go to the Blight to "to kill the Dark One." And it is said "None survived long enough to face madness." Is this point of view or truth.

 

Brandon: RAFO. It's not that I don't know, it's that I think in reading the text you can answer that question yourself.

 

 

Remember that Jordan himself said RAFO sometimes means "Read what's out and figure it out", not just reading future books. I am not exactly sure what Brandon is saying here if it's not that those CRAD's are what we think they are.

 

-Another small note, I was watching a Discovery channel special last night about the Great Rift Valley in Africa and it had a bit about the Afar people. People who collect the pure salt left over on the land from a long dried sea. And how they get water from isolated hot springs. The springs are high in floride. And the interesting thing about floride is that in small amounts it strengthens teeth, but in large amounts it actually softens them. Allowing the men of the tribe to perform a ritual where they actually chistle thier teeth to points.

 

I just find the ideas of the island of Madmen or Sharans to be completely unsatisfactory. When something looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, why are we calling it a goose?

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Alright.

 

"The Aiel's dark eyes were glassy and hard."

 

dark eyes != color

 

This is an assumption that I'd like to clear up right off the bat. Most people seem to believe that the fact that they have "dark eyes" means that they have black or brown eyes. This is not necessarily true. They may be dark with malice, malevolence or a hatred for the light. They may even be a bit sleepy. It's wrong to assume that the meaning here is the color of their eyes rather than a representation of something beyond the eyes.

 

Naturally, it's wrong to assume that it's not the color of their eyes either. However we're not given any distinctive visual characteristics of these guys that differs from other Aiel beyond their red veils and filed teeth, so it would seem prudent to (yes) assume that nothing else is different either. (Personally, I'd like to picture them as being half rotten, the veil red with their own blood. However I know that's not the case.)

 

Now, on to this darkfriend sept in the Blight theory. Why? What would be the point of such a thing? The point of darkfriends is to do His work among those who are unassuming. There is no purpose for such a sept to exist in the Blight other than to fight other creatures of the Dark One, which seems extremely counter productive. Another aspect of being Aiel is that they wouldn't build a village like the one Perrin found. They'd continue to live in tents - or, granted build a hold somewhere in the Mountains of Dhoom. Then where are all the darkfriend Aiel? They're still around, hiding in plain sight. True, they may all have dropped off the face of the earth for a reunion in the blight where - after a bit of dentistry and needlework - they set off back into Randland. But that's ignoring everything the last few sentences has to say:

 

"These weren't Aiel. They were something else.

Something terrible."

 

Ominous I'm sure. The main thing about this is letting us know that these aren't just some fools who decided that accidentally bloodying your tongue every two minutes sounds like a great time.

 

But they may be Aiel who have been turned by a circle of 13x13? This would have been a possible explanation if it wasn't for the evidence prevalent at the Black Tower contradicting it.

 

The red-veiled ones have "dark eyes," "glassy and hard" with a "glee" as they killed. While those at the Black Tower have "cold" eyes and "the smile on the lips of a corpse." Also, "something not-quite-alive inside those eyes." The obvious difference is that those who have been turned at the Black Tower appear to be little more than walking dead - "A shadows stuffed inside human skin." with an inability to show any real emotions. The red-veiled one who killed Barriga seemed like he was having a very good time doing so.

 

Granted, there's one piece I hadn't accounted for in my previous statement and that is that none of the characters at the Black Tower were about kill someone. This may be the one time the shadow inside comes alive and expresses a true emotion. Will keep this in mind for the future - however, the evidence as of yet points to them being something else.

 

There is nothing that depicts them as being dark skinned. There is nothing about them that even remotely suggests that they're Sharans.

 

The only Aiel we've ever seen who killed without veiling was Liah. This was due to the taint of Shadar Logoth. True, Couladin did try to kill Rand and Matrim on the mountain, but he was kind of a dick to begin with.

 

Tarmon Gaidon is approaching, and it's high time for the Shadow to reveal some new shadowspawn. We've already seen what Aginor can do with a handful of humans and some essence of Shai'Tan. We've got Trollocs, Myrddraal, Gholams, Grey Men, Draghkar and Zomarans. Granted, Grey Men are just fools who gave up their soul, but it goes to show what can be done.

 

They could be Fain's Aiel? Good point, that's actually more likely than anything else. He has been in the area after all. But wouldn't they have come with him wherever he's going? Would he even care about using scouts?

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