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The Aiel Thing in the Epilogue

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Alright.

 

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

 

dark eyes != color

 

 

In, WoT (not to mention in general), that's pretty much exactly what it means. Only once that I've been able to find has "dark" referred to emotion, and it was the Green Man in tEotW: "hazelnut eyes dark with anger". Notice that it's "dark with X", too. You do sometimes see "dark [some adjective] eyes" but the person in question always has actual, dark-colored eyes.

Edited by didymos

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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

I think he's confusing Mashadar for Machin Shin. Machin Shin is theorized to steal souls and that the voices that compose it are the voices of the various souls it's taken over time. Mashadar though is, for the most part mindless, and simply kills. Sammael was killed by Mashadar so I'm thinking his reasoning is that he confused Mashadar with Machin Shin and assumed that Sammael's soul was in Fain's control.

 

Anyhoo, even if Mashadar somehow took souls, it's unlikely that Fain's the one impersonating Sammael since he kills everything he comes across now and the Trollocs he resurrects are corrupted by Mashadar, noticeably so. I'm fairly certain Moridin would have noticed that distinction.

 

Why is the shadow bothering to turn anyone at all? Why not just kill the Aiel who go up to the Blight? (assuming that the man in question WAS Aiel)

A) Because that's what the Shadow does

B) That's how a lot of the Forsaken operate, they corrupt and turn rather then raise their own armies

C) Because that's what the Shadow enjoys

D) Because while the Trollocs are massive in numbers, they're really not that great of an army.

 

Anyhoo, I really do like the idea that these things are an intentional perversion of the Aiel. Considering that Moridin likes a very fearful sort of symmetry, it makes a very twisted sense that he'd cultivate his own Aiel to match Rand's. I'm also wondering if perhaps the Dark One's pulling in forces from other universes through the portal stones since this kind of inversion is also indicative of the alternate reality nature of the portal worlds. That last part though is more idle speculation then backed by any real facts.

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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.)

 

1. As didymos already pointed out, it ususually does mean just that. And in the context of the sentence is seems very, very much to be referring to a physical, rather then a figurative feature. By which I mean the descriptive, literal part of the sentence which refers to the actual "eyes" includes the word "dark" and then the descriptive terms come after in "glassy" and "hard".

 

2. Even if this were the case, the dark eyes are the only physical trait even suggesting these aren't Aiel! If you take that away, then there is virtually no reason to not think these are corrupted Aiel. Yes, we used this to expand upon the idea into requiring a longterm Aiel presence in the Blight, but the idea really stands on it's own without that.

 

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.

 

Actually, now that we've gotten this clue, there are so many reasons to do this is almost seems crazy that no one thought of it before. Why have a self sustaining, divergent, clan of Aiel in the Blight that is corrupted and working for the Shadow?

 

1. Whatever blunders the Forsaken has shown, one thing they have always done at least is show savvy in that they see the value in channelers. The Black Ajah has existed for a long time, and the Shadow dipped it's fingers in on the ground floor when the Black Tower was formed. So, why not have a homegrown group of channelers?

 

2. Ah, but how to do that? The Blight is a merciless deathtrap for all those who enter. I mean, there's not a hardy group of fearless warriors that have shown themselves to be capable of surviving in the harshest envirionment imaginable...is there?

 

3. Seeing this, would the Aiel not make a tempting target for Ishy on one of his 40 years trips from the Bore? Lets face it, we have accepted it as a matter of course, but there's really no reason why the Aiel should have a tradition of sending male channelers into the Blight is there? In fact the whole tradition looks a little suspicious when you look at it in this context. Seems like a great little seed for Ishy to plant. These Aiel channelers could be forcefully turned, and then left to breed with borderland hostages. Thier children would then be tainted by the Blight knows what. Thier parents teaching....the food itself? All manner of things.

 

4. So yeah, I would say a group of loyal supersoldier DF with the bonus of gathering in all the male channelers of that race would be a pretty good plan for the Shadow.

 

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.

 

How would they guard Moridin's fortress if they were in the Mountains of Dhoom?

 

What about the Blight indicates that they would be able to use it's natural resources to produce material for tents?

 

Assuming that the Aiel would use the same exact survival methods for living in a new envirionment is incorrect. But the trait they have shown, of being adaptable, would fit with building thier habitats out of what is available.

 

As I said, this is one of those things that seems so obvious now. From the Forsaken tea party we know that there are some type of people surviving in the Blight. They are building habitats and farming. We are given a clue that they have been doing this for years, at least. Gran says it's been a long time since she'd been there, and then goes on to make the curious statement that the mysterious farmers "must be trying new strains of crops" meaning someone must have been farming there the last time Gran had been there. So knowing this, even discounting the CRAD's in the epiclogue.....who exactly do you think could/would be surviving and actually showing signs of a livable culture in the Blight?

 

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:

 

Alright, I think I have made a pretty good case for it without establishing that the missing Aiel DF are definitely missing. So I will say this, it is perfectly possible that we just haven't seen the Aiel DF. Afterall, it's a matter of which PoV we are shown, and the CRAD's themselves are rather conspicious by thier absence in the first 11 books!

 

That said, it's not exactly like this is something that only I've noticed. It has long, loooooong been pondered why exactly the Aiel are the one culture that show almost no sign of DF infiltration. The sneaky Shaido, even with all thier flaws, have been shown through action and PoV to be surprisingly clean from DF. Couladin was a fool, Sevanna was power hungry, and the rest of the scattering of PoV from them we have seen are clean. Sammy had to trick them into using the goof-boxes to scatter them. If I remember right pretty much every Wise One around Sevanna was against trusting Sammy on this offer, so that seems to indicate he didn't have anyone on the inside backing him up.

 

While Sorelea still might have some 'splainin to do on SH discovering Cads stash, both Rhuarc and Amys, long suspected to finally blow the DF lid off the Aiel were shown in ToM to almost certainly not be DF. Rhuarc stood right in front of "peer into your soul" Rand with no reaction, and it's hard to imagine that Amys would still refuse to break cover even when one of the Forsaken was on the line. In fact, I sensed that Brandon was actually having a little fun with us when the Wise Ones kept bleeding out of the walls and coming at Egwene with thier snide comments, but nope. No turncoats there.

 

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.

 

Actually, while it seems likely that the "glassy" part refers precisely to being turned, my theory doesn't hinge on that fact. In fact, the idea that the Aiel have been longtime inhabitants of the Blight would suggest that there could be male Aiel channelers that don't need to be turned to be loyal to the DO.

 

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 another big thing you are missing here. The PoV from the Black Tower has a reference point from which to base all of thier assumptions. The PoV for the CRAD's has no such reference point.

 

By which I mean, Pevara is Tarna's friend. She has probably seen her laugh, seen her happy, seen her annoyed, and knows her. So when she looks into her eyes, she sees the lack of those things. Which in turn look like a deadness to her.

 

To Barriga, he has no reference point to what these men are like, so he has no reference point to know just how horrible the look in those eyes are.

 

Besides all that, I think we have definitive word from Jordan himself that the assumptions you are making are incorrect. A forceful turning does not change a person completely or make them dead inside(ala a Gray Man). It enhances the negative aspects of that persons personality. Wouldn't you kind of suspect that a reserved Aes Sedai "enhanced negatively" would have more of a "dead" look in her eyes, while an Aiel "enhanced negatively" would take pleasure in killing.

 

 

 

Anyhoo, I really do like the idea that these things are an intentional perversion of the Aiel. Considering that Moridin likes a very fearful sort of symmetry, it makes a very twisted sense that he'd cultivate his own Aiel to match Rand's. I'm also wondering if perhaps the Dark One's pulling in forces from other universes through the portal stones since this kind of inversion is also indicative of the alternate reality nature of the portal worlds. That last part though is more idle speculation then backed by any real facts.

 

Yeah, I am liking this theory not just because it makes sense, but because it makes a LOT of literary sense. I know everyone does not agree, but the more we talk about it, the more I am convinced that this is either.....

 

1. Aiel channelers sent to the Blight and turned to the Shadow. Something that is reltitively new and small scale and involves only channelers.

 

2. Something largescale on the order of an entire corrupted clan with thier own culture, cultivated by Ishy(this is my favorite)

 

3. Alternate reality Aiel that have been shipped in from another dimension(this one is certainly possible, but I like the others because they tie up more loose ends)

 

The more we talk about it, the more I am convinced that there's no way this is Fain's doing, Sharamen, or anything else. This has to be some kind of Aiel.

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BTW filing teeth is not uncommon in several tribal cultures, especially (former) cannibal tribes in New Guinea/ Pacific and also IIRC some West Africans.

I'd assume that it's a detail we're supposed to pick up on.

It's not particularly painful or a particularly big deal in the short run.

Obviously, if you live long enough it will cause dental problems but we're talking low life expectancy anyway.

 

Edit: The other Forsaken obviously knew little or nothing about this "dark-clan" if it exists.

It would have to be a Ishy-Moridin scheme carried out over centuries, but after the trolloc Wars (there are no such descriptions of Aiel-type dreadlords that I can recall from trolloc wars).

It could be interesting to look through Ishaemel - Moridin PoVs to see if he has any vibes about the 3rd Age "normal" Aiel or shows greater familiarity with their lifestyles.

Edited by Sharaman

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one thing I have to say is that the thoughts of a 13 by 13 circle force turning Aiel would not really work I dont think because they went there to die, and unless they where held for a long period of time their attitudes towards destroying shadowspawn wouldnt really change i dont think.

 

 

btw I threw out the myrrdraal -> Aiel soul thinger just to have a super crazy theory before the end of the series. And personnally I actually think it could make sense

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I think they are evil aiel.

 

In the age of legends aiel served aes sedai, why wouldnt some of them have served aes sedai who would eventually become forsaken/dreadlords. If normal aiel went from pacifists to what they are now, theres no reason why others couldnt go from pacifists to cannibal darkfriends.

 

Also, the pointed teeth presumably mean cannibalism, and that suggests they are related to aiel because its another thing about them that is directly opposite. In The Gaterhing Storm, Semirhage asks an aiel how much torture they would need to kill a blacksmith and eat his flesh. I believe aiel being extremly against cannibalism is mentioned other times aswell. Unveiling to kill, and being cannibals is too many ways that they are dirrectly opposite to aiel for these guys not to be somehow related to them.

 

 

Even if they turn out to not be aiel, I am convinced that they wont all be channelers (some might be though). For us, the reader's, entertainment, the shadow needs more exciting soldiers than trollocs and fades. Trollocs were imposing in EotW, but battles with the shadow (like maradon) are getting kind of cheesy. No quantity of trollocs will really be enough to make Tarmon Gai'don an epic battle from a non-channeling point of view. Whether these guys are Aiel, from shara, darkfriends of something else, I think there will be alot of them, and they will mostly NOT be channelers. Elite foot-soldiers of the shadow, the way aiel are like that to the dragon.

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I am reminder of... Demira's? attackers in Lord of Chaos. People who looked a lot like Aiel, but didn't talk right for normal Aiel.

 

Sure, we've always figured (reasonably so) that they were ordinary Darkfriends pretending in order to cause problems. In part, we believed this because the attackers were described as dark-eyed. But if the theories above are correct - I'm not sure of that, but going from that assumption - another possibility opens up, no?

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I am reminder of... Demira's? attackers in Lord of Chaos. People who looked a lot like Aiel, but didn't talk right for normal Aiel.

 

Sure, we've always figured (reasonably so) that they were ordinary Darkfriends pretending in order to cause problems. In part, we believed this because the attackers were described as dark-eyed. But if the theories above are correct - I'm not sure of that, but going from that assumption - another possibility opens up, no?

 

Its possible. That would be kind of cool actually. A minor little mystery like that solved by a new development later on. I can almost believe it happening. Good pick up!

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We have a situation where reality is breaking down. The dead walk. Buildings turn to dust. Trees become dry and brittle overnight.

 

IOW borders and dividing lines are breaking down.

 

So, what's next? The dividing line between the Waking World and the World of Dreams/Nightmares? The dividing line between this reality and alternate realities from various MIrror Worlds?

 

Too early to say for sure, but both of those things seem possible.

 

Corrupt Aiel or just Aiel from an alternate reality? Does it matter?

 

I think the important point for us as readers is that the Dark is supposed to have more going for it than we've seen up til now. I'm not expecting much in the way of explanations. The story has reached the point where we're supposed to be running into ghosties and ghoulies and things that go bump in the night, to finally, at long last frighten us and add some menace.

 

Sadly, it comes about eight to ten books late.

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I think it's the Aelfinn - they're the snakes right? I always get them confused. It just fits, like how they were moving like Myrdraal and had the sharp teeth. Mat was gloating so much about his defeating them at their own game that something had to go wrong. Also how Olver won at snakes and foxes without cheating - seems like something is happening with the Aelfinn to me. Deffinitly ruling out the evil Aiel. Anyone else think so?

Edited by LordO'TheMorning

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~I did a post about this shortly after I had finished the book and have been mulling this over for a while now. I've read everybody elses comments, and don't think any of the arguments stand out as being 'the most WoT acceptable'. So I'll add my theory for your perusal. It may contribute to someone else's.

 

Demandred has been missing for a rather long time. A couple of books ago at the Moridin, Semi, Mesaana and Gren meeting he says that he has marshalled his armies and is ready for his assault. Now we could argue for a very long time where this is but I'm inclined to think it's probobly LoMM. We know that Grendal has her finger in the Shara pie and is probobly controlling the Ayyad over there. Semi was in control of the Seanchan, so no Demandred there. But the LoMM has been ignored, much the same as RJ's treatment of Demandred. Sort of makes me think this is where he is most likely to be.

 

My thoughts on them being from an alternate reality, well it doesn't feel right. We can assume that any world where the Forsaken were imprisoned they were released. So they are fighting TG in that reality. More than one of the same forsaken in a reality might be a bit of a problem, it hasn't happened in this one (yet) so I'm inclined to think that it isn't happening anywhere else.

 

So that leaves us with the Land of Mad Men. Good base for Demandred, out of the way, primitive culture that already murders anyone who turns up there. Avoided by all other people and seems to have no ruling government so easy for Demandred to take over and mobilise.

 

Also at the very start of the book, in chapter one we see ships with red sails attacking the Seanchan mainland, could be other Seanchan, but you all know how important colour is in WoT, so it ties in with the 'Red Aiel' clothing. And no red sails were mentioned anywhere in the chapters about the return or Lielwin's PoV's and you would have thought that a special navy force with red sails would be known about by either Tuon or Leilwin and mentioned at some point.

 

So we have great ships with red sails finishing off the Seanchan mainland. Bye Bye threat from there. It would make sence as a battle commander to wipe out what remains on Seanchan, stopping Tuon from retrieving extra forces through gateways. We have pretend mental Aiel, wearing red tearing up the Borderlands. Not sure if the force attacking Seanchan would have had time to sail to the Eastern Blight but a month passes from the first scene of the book to the end so it might be possible. But Demandred could be attacking with two separate forces. Remember Demandred was ready to mobilise months ago and may have been transporting LoMM warrioirs all over the place under the direction of Moridin. They are wearing his colours.

 

Hope that makes sense guys!

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So that leaves us with the Land of Mad Men. Good base for Demandred, out of the way, primitive culture that already murders anyone who turns up there. Avoided by all other people and seems to have no ruling government so easy for Demandred to take over and mobilise.

 

Also at the very start of the book, in chapter one we see ships with red sails attacking the Seanchan mainland, could be other Seanchan, but you all know how important colour is in WoT, so it ties in with the 'Red Aiel' clothing. And no red sails were mentioned anywhere in the chapters about the return or Lielwin's PoV's and you would have thought that a special navy force with red sails would be known about by either Tuon or Leilwin and mentioned at some point.

 

So we have great ships with red sails finishing off the Seanchan mainland. Bye Bye threat from there. It would make sence as a battle commander to wipe out what remains on Seanchan, stopping Tuon from retrieving extra forces through gateways. We have pretend mental Aiel, wearing red tearing up the Borderlands. Not sure if the force attacking Seanchan would have had time to sail to the Eastern Blight but a month passes from the first scene of the book to the end so it might be possible. But Demandred could be attacking with two separate forces. Remember Demandred was ready to mobilise months ago and may have been transporting LoMM warrioirs all over the place under the direction of Moridin. They are wearing his colours.

 

The thing that makes me skeptical of Shara or LoMM theories is just the fact that the red-veiled people are so obviously patterned after Aiel, and it just doesn't make sense that soldiers from Shara or LoMM would just happen to bear such a strong resemblance to Aiel (or that Demandred or whoever commands them would arbitrarily tell them to dress like Aiel).

 

There's also the fact that, as you say, the LoMM, so far as we know, has a primitive, disorganized culture. It's really hard to imagine such a culture having the technology or infrastructure to build ships capable of sailing all the way from the LoMM to Seanchan. Even the Sea Folk, as far as I recall, never made it all the way to Seanchan, let alone LoMM; and the Seanchan only just now managed to assemble a force capable of reaching Randland. If there was another seafaring power with such technology, it seems like we'd have heard about it from either the Sea Folk or the Seanchan by now.

 

You can certainly argue that maybe Demandred consolidated the LoMM under his rule and taught them to be expert shipbuilders and sailors in just a few years. Seems unnecessarily complicated, though; it's much simpler to just assume that the Shadow has been secretly building ships and training evil Aiel to sail them for years now. (Becoming expert sailors would be another way the evil Aiel reject traditional Aiel lifestyle.)

 

The idea of a hidden sept or clan of evil Aiel living in the Blight just fits with so many things, from the mysterious thing in the Blight that no one knows about, to the question of why there seem to be so few Darkfriends in the normal Aiel clans, to the question of who raised Isam and taught him to use Tel'aran'rhiod so well.

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reavers....good call!

 

rather than read page after page of theory, I will simply post mine (I know, its prob been covered already)

 

I would say they are merely the aiel men & women who went into the blight looking for a fight (or were running there as darkfriends) and they were caught, channelers and non-channelers alike. 13x13 probable. Makes the most sense to me. Doesn't need to be some crazy out there reasoning for this one. And by exposing their faces...they are letting the victim know that he will not be getting away as he has seen who they are...instant death sentence. Also likely that these are the channelers that assaulted maradon. anyhoo, proceed w the criticism. :)

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I think it's the Aelfinn - they're the snakes right? I always get them confused. It just fits, like how they were moving like Myrdraal and had the sharp teeth. Mat was gloating so much about his defeating them at their own game that something had to go wrong. Also how Olver won at snakes and foxes without cheating - seems like something is happening with the Aelfinn to me. Deffinitly ruling out the evil Aiel. Anyone else think so?

Not vertical pupils.

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I don't think that the LoMM inhabitants would have had to build great ships, these could have been previously or newely captured vessels, which they have been trained to use by sea-faring DF's, there must be some among the Sea Folk and sea-faring Seanchan.

 

The Sea Folk have tried to sail out West but their ships do not return, because the Seanchan blasted them out of the water.

 

Also if my memory serves me correctly a coloured map of the whole of the world of WoT, the LoMM and the Waste are both a browny deserty colour, hinting at a similarity in climate. Maybe due to this the cultures wear similar attire? Anyone who lives in a desert will be wearing a viel or shoufa type 'hat'. Can't explain the spears too well but hey ho it's only a theory! It would also sow more fear of real Aiel if they were disguised as them. And any addition fear and Chaos during the LB is a good thing for the DF's and FS.

 

They may be Aiel creatures controlled by Moridin and come from the Blight, but I find cross breeding with other peoples a bit far fetched, as who would be overseeing this breeding process? Ishy/Moridin could have done it on his periodic releases from the Bore, but he seemed a bit busy with setting up the BA and Trolloc Wars. And after his permanent realse this would not give enough time to be breeding anything useful for the LB. Also Aiel DF's are about, there was Mat's bit of stuff from Rhuidean and I think that Thereva is probobly a DF, and possibly Sorilea, with the Sad Bracelet/Semi thing and Rand not seeing her since becoming Jesus Rand being good arguments for her. Also you would think that a DF Aiel would probobly join with the Shaido to try and defeat Rand, and most of those are dead Perrin/Seanchan style, so Rand won't be Jesus lasering them now either. So I don't think they're a clan of DF Aiel, as there are spatterings of them about and possibly already mushed.

 

Just thought I'd expound on why I came to my original conclusion.

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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.

I think that you might have something there, I think that whoever they are, they are twisted from who they were.

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+10,ooo for Jesuslaser

 

My first thought was twisted aiel, possibly just darkfriends. Maybe descended from male channelers gone to die but caught. They seemed strikingly opposite of aiel.

 

Sharans sounded plausible, as well. My only strong feeling is that they aren't entirely human.

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I am on the Sharan boat for sure, they act nothing like aeil really.

 

But on Demandred... I think he is in Murandy, using proxies at the BT, Shara, possible land of Madmen, maybe the Seanchan mainland (its chaos too hey what the heck) and maybe has something to do with the Band of the Red Hand.

 

But he is in Murandy and BT for sure. Shara likely, Graendal always seemed to be there passively. Demandred controls Shara, and Graendal just stole the rulers. But i wonder how they got to Caemlyn in the first place if they were sharan? That points to they are turned Aeil. but if they were turned male channelers then why did they use blades rather than just blow them up with a fireball? So they could be turned Aeil, but not channelers. But that doesnt explain why their veils were red and they took them off. We have seen with Milhindra, Mats darkfriend Aeil lover, that even if they are dark side they still use their veils when they are about to kill you. so that points to the Sharan argument. Or they could be some totally new unknown force.

 

So my conclusion? They are most likely Sharan or an unknown force that is yet to be reckoned with. I think Demandred is behind it though. He has his fingers in a bunch of pies.

 

My 2 cent

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Ok I immediately thought that they were Sharans, and although there are a lot of good arguments otherwise I'm still not swayed. For one I highly disagree with the LoMM theory. Nearly the only time it is ever brought up is in the BWB, which is obviously not part of the main series, and even there is barely mentioned. The whole turned Aiel thing has some merit, but I think it is just not completely reasonable as it would take so long and doesn't explain other aspects.

 

I'd say that there is good possibility that Demandred is in control of the Sharans, though it is not necessarily true. Shara has been mentioned several times in the books, and is also briefly mentioned in ToM, which leads me to believe that it is of some importance. I think that especially since we don't have great descriptions of the Sharans we can assume that they are similar to the Aiel in many ways. I mean look at the landscape for one.

 

They are separated by the Cliffs of Dawn, which could easily be a change caused by the breaking separating the Aiel of the time. We can also easily assume that they have ships, as they do have ports and although they generally have no wish to leave, considering they are somewhat advanced although primitive in many ways, I'd say it is much more likely for them to have ships than the LoMM. We also know that just across the ocean from Shara is Seanchan. This means that the Seanchan could have had contact with the Seanchan already, which could possibly explain a reason to want to attack them. We do know that the Seanchan eventually have contact, as we see in Avi's POV in Rhuidean that in the future the Seanchan have the Sharans hunting the Aiel if they go too far East.

 

Now the one thing that I'd say is slightly off about this theory would be the lack of explanation for the 'glassy eyes'. This though, considering the fact that our witness' are full of blood and tears is not the most concerning part. We do know that this man knows what Aiel look like well enough to notice the red veil was not normal, and with that knowledge he did think they were Aiel, but like I said, there is a good shot that Sharans look quite similr to Aiel.

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I'd say that there is good possibility that Demandred is in control of the Sharans, though it is not necessarily true. Shara has been mentioned several times in the books, and is also briefly mentioned in ToM, which leads me to believe that it is of some importance. I think that especially since we don't have great descriptions of the Sharans we can assume that they are similar to the Aiel in many ways. I mean look at the landscape for one.

 

They are separated by the Cliffs of Dawn, which could easily be a change caused by the breaking separating the Aiel of the time.

 

There are Waste-like badlands immediately to the east of the Cliffs of Dawn and the Great Rift, but Shara is pretty big and probably has a lot of variance in terrain in its interior.

 

The few things we do know about Sharans are that they're deceitful to outlanders, they practice chattel slavery, and they seem to be totally obedient to their rulers and to the "Will of the Pattern." None of that sounds anything at all like Aiel.

 

We can also easily assume that they have ships, as they do have ports and although they generally have no wish to leave, considering they are somewhat advanced although primitive in many ways, I'd say it is much more likely for them to have ships than the LoMM. We also know that just across the ocean from Shara is Seanchan. This means that the Seanchan could have had contact with the Seanchan already, which could possibly explain a reason to want to attack them. We do know that the Seanchan eventually have contact, as we see in Avi's POV in Rhuidean that in the future the Seanchan have the Sharans hunting the Aiel if they go too far East.

 

The Sharans likely do have ships and could easily be the force attacking the Seanchan (crossing the Morenal Ocean and attacking the Seanchan continent from the west). I don't think they have anything to do with the evil similar-to-Aiel people in the Blight, though. The description is too obviously suggestive of Aiel, and assuming that Sharans just happen to resemble Aiel just feels like too much of a stretch. (It is still possible that the ships with red sails and the red-veiled people are completely unrelated.)

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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.

 

 

So can we call them the Bizzaro Aiel?

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