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Why didn't Rand balefire Semirhage earlier?


muddymess
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Why didn't Rand balefire Semirhage in the attack? He could probably have gotten his hand back, so why not? It's pretty clear at this point that he has no qualms about doing what is necessary forthe greater good.

 

This has annoyed me for a while, it doesn't seem like he was knocked out long enough for him to be unable to do it and he knew of the time altering effect of balefire.

 

Thoughts?

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At the end of the day, even towards the end as he slipped towards being DarkRand, Rand tried to hold himself to a certain code of conduct. It wasn't always the most sane code of conduct, but it existed. Using balefire on a prisoner (especially a female prisoner) would be against his morals.

 

No, it doesn't make sense. Please recall Rand was crazy at the time.

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His code of conduct almost cost him his life as well as the pattern itself. I agree that it's completely insane, but he should never even consider the Forsaken as people at all - they are the embodiment of evil, and should be treated as such. It just annoys me that Rand doesn't realize this, even after having his conduct cause problems in the past (Colaveare etc).

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I think he probably considered a live forsaken as a prisoner, to be of more value than his hand. And it's not like he knew what keeping Semirhage would lead to. He made the same mistake as Nynaeve, Elayne and Egwene. Hopefully in the future when someone captures a forsaken, they will just execute them instead of trying to dig for information. Although I would kill for some information on Demandred.

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Why doesnt he balefire to get his hand back?! Pay attention man!

 

The hand means nothing to him, he has just spent ten books becoming the hardest man alive, and when he loses the hand he dismisses it seconds after. And as everyone else has said hes just spent seven books building up a fanatical obsession about the women that died because of him.

 

Why WOULD Rand add another name to his list to get his hand back? Why dont I go on a murderous rampage the next time someone in front of me walks too slow? What is the greater good in breaking the one rule you feel is keeping you human?

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Why doesnt he balefire to get his hand back?! Pay attention man!

 

The hand means nothing to him, he has just spent ten books becoming the hardest man alive, and when he loses the hand he dismisses it seconds after. And as everyone else has said hes just spent seven books building up a fanatical obsession about the women that died because of him.

 

Why WOULD Rand add another name to his list to get his hand back? Why dont I go on a murderous rampage the next time someone in front of me walks too slow? What is the greater good in breaking the one rule you feel is keeping you human?

With all the talk of him using "tools" isn't his hand a useful tool? I realize he dismisses it a few seconds after, but that's because he knows he can't change what's been done (unless of course, he balefires her). At this point he was already cold, calculating and basically emotionless and isn't really surprising he wouldn't fret over a loss.

 

There's a difference between those he's killed before and a Forsaken. They're special circumstance. It's like the difference between having a female soldier in your army die in a war and killing a mass murdering sadist who takes extreme pleasure in torture.

 

I realize he doesn't hurt women intentionally, but it's really stupid in this case.

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Why doesnt he balefire to get his hand back?! Pay attention man!

 

The hand means nothing to him, he has just spent ten books becoming the hardest man alive, and when he loses the hand he dismisses it seconds after. And as everyone else has said hes just spent seven books building up a fanatical obsession about the women that died because of him.

 

Why WOULD Rand add another name to his list to get his hand back? Why dont I go on a murderous rampage the next time someone in front of me walks too slow? What is the greater good in breaking the one rule you feel is keeping you human?

With all the talk of him using "tools" isn't his hand a useful tool? I realize he dismisses it a few seconds after, but that's because he knows he can't change what's been done (unless of course, he balefires her). At this point he was already cold, calculating and basically emotionless and isn't really surprising he wouldn't fret over a loss.

 

There's a difference between those he's killed before and a Forsaken. They're special circumstance. It's like the difference between having a female soldier in your army die in a war and killing a mass murdering sadist who takes extreme pleasure in torture.

 

I realize he doesn't hurt women intentionally, but it's really stupid in this case.

 

The mass murdering sadist in question has very important information on the enemy. Even if Rand could bring himself to kill women, he wouldn't because the information Semirhage has is too valuable. No one even proposes killing her, not even Cadsuane, and they don't have problems with killing women.

Besides using balefire every time something goes wrong is sort of insane and I don't think Rand was so far gone yet. I could see him doing that after using the TP but not before.

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Keep Semi Alive = Able to pump her for info

Kill Semi Dead = DO can reincarnate her

Balefire Semi ASAP to get hand back = DO can't reincarnate, get hand back, but no info.

 

Somebody else touched on Rand not giving two shakes about his hand anyway, and we can see that he was in the mindset being that his whole purpose is to die anyway, so why give two shakes about a hand when your days are numbered regardless.

 

That being said you might say hey, he should have pumped her brains, then balefired her beyond boogers...In that case you'd probably be talking about a wwwhhoooole boatload of balefire, assuming you'd spent time breaking into her skull, and probably a big honking balescream, destabilizing the pattern, all for a hand when you're already slated to die in short order?

 

Whether or not he has both hands has no bearing on what he needs to do to save the world. Besides he can blow things up with his mind with the OP, or saving that we know he can use the TP as well.

 

After all the apparent trouble Rand & Co. went through to end up capturing an AoL caliber AS, it'd seem like a big waste to whack that resource for one mans hand.

 

Besides, when Cads' hairpiece causes Semi's disguise to flicker, we're shown how Rand & Lews battle internally for control of Saidin, neither able to grasp it firmly, and while that's going on the fireball's launched at Rand. He can't grasp the power b/c of the internal conflict, and if he physically gets out of the way Min takes the bullet. He gets his hand bombed off, and only comes back to his senses after Semi's et al have been captured. So, he couldn't have balefired her during the attack.

 

He could have balefired her after, but the way I see it that would have devalued all the effort Cads, and everyone else had made to capture her alive. Everyone knows how criminal Semi is, but let's face it she's got a whhhooole lot of knowledge between the ears that you've just put in prime position to start harvesting.

 

If you tracked down an al-Zawahiri, and lost your hand & were knocked out in the process, but found out your pals captured him when you were out - and you know if you kill him right now you could get your hand back, feeling justified b/c the dude's wicked bad - but fully passing up the opportunity to crack his brain for all the knowledge he's got in the grey goop... I dunno about you all, but that seems like a pretty easy decision to make?

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Keep Semi Alive = Able to pump her for info

Kill Semi Dead = DO can reincarnate her

Balefire Semi ASAP to get hand back = DO can't reincarnate, get hand back, but no info.

 

Somebody else touched on Rand not giving two shakes about his hand anyway, and we can see that he was in the mindset being that his whole purpose is to die anyway, so why give two shakes about a hand when your days are numbered regardless.

 

That being said you might say hey, he should have pumped her brains, then balefired her beyond boogers...In that case you'd probably be talking about a wwwhhoooole boatload of balefire, assuming you'd spent time breaking into her skull, and probably a big honking balescream, destabilizing the pattern, all for a hand when you're already slated to die in short order?

 

Whether or not he has both hands has no bearing on what he needs to do to save the world. Besides he can blow things up with his mind with the OP, or saving that we know he can use the TP as well.

 

After all the apparent trouble Rand & Co. went through to end up capturing an AoL caliber AS, it'd seem like a big waste to whack that resource for one mans hand.

 

Besides, when Cads' hairpiece causes Semi's disguise to flicker, we're shown how Rand & Lews battle internally for control of Saidin, neither able to grasp it firmly, and while that's going on the fireball's launched at Rand. He can't grasp the power b/c of the internal conflict, and if he physically gets out of the way Min takes the bullet. He gets his hand bombed off, and only comes back to his senses after Semi's et al have been captured. So, he couldn't have balefired her during the attack.

 

He could have balefired her after, but the way I see it that would have devalued all the effort Cads, and everyone else had made to capture her alive. Everyone knows how criminal Semi is, but let's face it she's got a whhhooole lot of knowledge between the ears that you've just put in prime position to start harvesting.

 

If you tracked down an al-Zawahiri, and lost your hand & were knocked out in the process, but found out your pals captured him when you were out - and you know if you kill him right now you could get your hand back, feeling justified b/c the dude's wicked bad - but fully passing up the opportunity to crack his brain for all the knowledge he's got in the grey goop... I dunno about you all, but that seems like a pretty easy decision to make?

Considering how well it went for Moggy in captivity I was just waiting for Semirhage to break loose and cause untold havoc. Nynaeve should know this.

 

The end result could arguably have been better had he balefired her, since they got nothing of value from her and lost a few good women. But as the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20.

 

I would probably kill the guy and get my hand back... but I really really like my hands.

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Considering how well it went for Moggy in captivity I was just waiting for Semirhage to break loose and cause untold havoc. Nynaeve should know this.

 

The end result could arguably have been better had he balefired her, since they got nothing of value from her and lost a few good women. But as the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20.

 

I would probably kill the guy and get my hand back... but I really really like my hands.

 

 

Dude there's a huge difference between the capture/holding of Moggy vs. the same for Semi. With Moggy, a bare handful of people know her true nature. Nynaeve wasn't able to channel freely, with her block. Siuan & Leanne had drastically diminished powers... With Semi there's Nynaeve with no block, Cads at the height of experience, the Aes Sedai sworn to Rand, the wise ones, Rand, Alivia, Asha'man on site.

 

I think the comparison between how things were with Moggy vs. how things were with Semi is a little ridiculous?

 

At the same time, nothing Semi does is responsible for her escape. Cads has her breaking down eating food off the floor by that point. She's not going anywhere.

 

Elza & SH are the one who bear the sole responsibility, both for setting Semi free, and for what happens to Corele, Nesune & Daigian. If Rand had balefired Semi, than Elza would still be around feeding information to SH, and the sad bracelets would still be in play.

 

Whether Rand & Co. would have been able to get any information from Semi is up in the air, we just don't know. We do know Cads had her cracking like an egg, and those women that died, died because of what Elza & SH did, not because Semi ordered or had anything to do with it, or by dirtying her own hands.

 

You can't say in hindsight that it was a bad idea to have kept her under their thumb considering the circumstances. On site they have at least three of the most powerful female channelers in the world, one of which we know has a proven record of being able to beat a forsaken. The most powerful male channeler & ta'varen in the world with a CK access key in his back pocket, the most experienced light-sider dreamwalkers in the world...And it's in the open who they're keeping prisoner, watching her around the clock, and they all know the game-plan as to what they're doing.

 

 

By all means though, aside from getting his hand back & killing a bad guy, how would things have been better if Semi had been balefired?

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It's Taint-induced madness. Unconscious guilt over Ilyena's death likely contributes to it, but that's only part of Rand's personality because of other Taint-induced madness, so either way it's the Taint. So yeah Rand is insane, but not in a way that we call overly strict behavior "insane" as hyperbole. He's really insane.

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By all means though, aside from getting his hand back & killing a bad guy, how would things have been better if Semi had been balefired?

 

How would they have been worse? They got nothing out of their interegation of Semi (especially since Rand wouldn't let them use torture). And Rand would have known that there was almost no chance of them actually breaking Semi. Even after they "broke" her with that ridiculous spanking (maybe the dumbest scene in the series) she wasn't going to tell them anything. The odds of them breaking Semi and getting any worthwhile info out of her versus the odds of her breaking free or causing some kind of havoc are tilted way towards the latter. And that's not hindsight talking, Rand should have known that right away.

 

There was basically no downside to Rand balefiring Semi. His moronic inability to harm women cost him his hand, almost cost Min her life, did cost others in his party their lives, and ended up putting him firmly down the path that almost lead to him blowing up the world. He'd have been much better off killing her right away and getting his hand back in the bargain.

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When I read the scene I pictured Rand caring only about Min and protecting her, not thinking fast enough to throw balefire.

I don't remember if he was already embracing the source or if he also had a slight hesitation because of the sickness.

That got him blasted in the hand.

 

he passed out and by the time he came too, it was far too late to balefire her with enough force to get his hand back.

 

He didn't care about his hand at that point anyway, and the threat was contained. What's done is done.

I don't think his feelings about women really mattered to him as much as the opportunity didn't really present itself.

Edited by DocBean
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When I read the scene I pictured Rand caring only about Min and protecting her, not thinking fast enough to throw balefire.

I don't remember if he was already embracing the source or if he also had a slight hesitation because of the sickness.

That got him blasted in the hand.

 

he passed out and by the time he came too, it was far too late to balefire her with enough force to get his hand back.

 

He didn't care about his hand at that point anyway, and the threat was contained. What's done is done.

I don't think his feelings about women really mattered to him as much as the opportunity didn't really present itself.

 

But its only a few moments later that he comes to. He could easily have produced enough balefire to erase Semi's actions from just a minute or two before that had he wanted to. I'm not surprised based on the character that he didn't do it, I just think it was stupid.

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When I read the scene I pictured Rand caring only about Min and protecting her, not thinking fast enough to throw balefire.

I don't remember if he was already embracing the source or if he also had a slight hesitation because of the sickness.

That got him blasted in the hand.

 

he passed out and by the time he came too, it was far too late to balefire her with enough force to get his hand back.

 

He didn't care about his hand at that point anyway, and the threat was contained. What's done is done.

I don't think his feelings about women really mattered to him as much as the opportunity didn't really present itself.

 

But its only a few moments later that he comes to. He could easily have produced enough balefire to erase Semi's actions from just a minute or two before that had he wanted to. I'm not surprised based on the character that he didn't do it, I just think it was stupid.

 

Well, not only did he not care. Meh, just a hand.

he also is pretty scared of grasping the source at this point in the story.

He certainly wouldn't want his power grab sickness to show in front of Semi. and rarely let any of the others see it.

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By all means though, aside from getting his hand back & killing a bad guy, how would things have been better if Semi had been balefired?

 

How would they have been worse? They got nothing out of their interegation of Semi (especially since Rand wouldn't let them use torture). And Rand would have known that there was almost no chance of them actually breaking Semi. Even after they "broke" her with that ridiculous spanking (maybe the dumbest scene in the series) she wasn't going to tell them anything. The odds of them breaking Semi and getting any worthwhile info out of her versus the odds of her breaking free or causing some kind of havoc are tilted way towards the latter. And that's not hindsight talking, Rand should have known that right away.

 

There was basically no downside to Rand balefiring Semi. His moronic inability to harm women cost him his hand, almost cost Min her life, did cost others in his party their lives, and ended up putting him firmly down the path that almost lead to him blowing up the world. He'd have been much better off killing her right away and getting his hand back in the bargain.

 

Well it's actually Cadsuane who captured Semirhage, and she wanted to question her. Also torture would not have worked on Semirhage anyway. Even if Rand could hurt women, he wouldn't have killed Semirhage because there is a chance of breaking her. And Cadsuane believed in that chance.

They still should not have taken such a risk with a forsaken, but they are hardly the first to make that mistake, and it doesn't have anything to do with Rand's inability to harm women. Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve made that mistake as well.

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By all means though, aside from getting his hand back & killing a bad guy, how would things have been better if Semi had been balefired?

 

How would they have been worse? They got nothing out of their interegation of Semi (especially since Rand wouldn't let them use torture). And Rand would have known that there was almost no chance of them actually breaking Semi. Even after they "broke" her with that ridiculous spanking (maybe the dumbest scene in the series) she wasn't going to tell them anything. The odds of them breaking Semi and getting any worthwhile info out of her versus the odds of her breaking free or causing some kind of havoc are tilted way towards the latter. And that's not hindsight talking, Rand should have known that right away.

 

There was basically no downside to Rand balefiring Semi. His moronic inability to harm women cost him his hand, almost cost Min her life, did cost others in his party their lives, and ended up putting him firmly down the path that almost lead to him blowing up the world. He'd have been much better off killing her right away and getting his hand back in the bargain.

 

Well it's actually Cadsuane who captured Semirhage, and she wanted to question her. Also torture would not have worked on Semirhage anyway. Even if Rand could hurt women, he wouldn't have killed Semirhage because there is a chance of breaking her. And Cadsuane believed in that chance.

They still should not have taken such a risk with a forsaken, but they are hardly the first to make that mistake, and it doesn't have anything to do with Rand's inability to harm women. Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve made that mistake as well.

 

Are you arguing that Rand couldn't have overruled Cadsuane because Semi was her prisoner and she wanted to question her? I'd say that if Rand wanted to kill or torture Semi he could have regardless of what Cadsuane wanted.

 

My argument was that he should have known that torturing Semi would be useless. They were not going to get any info out of her and her presence is a huge potential risk (as we later see). So he should have just killed her and been done with it. Had he used balefire to start with he would have gotten his hand back. Had he done it at the beginning he would be in the same place as he is by the end of The Last that Could be Done (Semi dead by him using balefire) except he'd have his hand back, Min wouldn't have almost died, several Aes Sedai would still be alive, and he wouldn't have had to use the True Power and gone further down the path of Dark Rand.

 

Again, some of that is hindsight but I maintain that he should have known that nothing good would come from keeping Semi a prisoner. The odds of her breaking and telling them anything are much, much lower than her escaping or otherwise causing havoc. Had he been willing to kill women at that time, the logical thing to do would have been to zap her with balefire.

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he also is pretty scared of grasping the source at this point in the story.

He certainly wouldn't want his power grab sickness to show in front of Semi. and rarely let any of the others see it.

I thought the same when I saw this thread, but reread the scene to check and Rand actually managed to grasp the Source just after Semirhage's attack, so he could've balefired her if he wanted to.

 

My argument was that he should have known that torturing Semi would be useless. They were not going to get any info out of her

Not sure about that. Cadsuane had started to break Semirhage's will, with the spanking and all other humiliations.

 

The mistake was that the security around Semirhage was really lax. Only 3 Aes Sedai shielding her and few other guards (if any, can't recall). There should've been a dozen Asha'man and as many Aes Sedai, and hundreds of of Aiel around and all kinds of wards. And she should've been stilled immediately after capturing her.

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This is the definition of a fast reply, and I've only read half the posts here (will read more later) and only have access to one of the books, but let me pose a better question to you:

 

Now that Rand has reintegrated and is a legendary 400+ year old Aes Sedai, shouldn't he know how to heal his hand by token of AoL knowledge? I remember reading somewhere that everything short of death could be healed in the AoL. In fact, I'm positive Nynaeve is fixed upon this fact. So are we to take lost limbs as being short of death? Or is it an equivalent? A limb can "die" while still attached to a body can it not?

 

Now admittedly, I remember a PoV where Rand stated healing was not his one of his strengths or something, and fair enough; he can't be awesome at everything. However, I'm positive that Rand/Lews is far beyond anyone with regards to skill with flows. Even Egwene, she of "nothing more to be taught" fame. Even if he can't do it, I'm sure he should know how to do it. So why does he not instruct one of the Asha'man, who has a talent for healing, in how it would be done and get his hand back? To give an example, much like how Asmodean taught him to weave...gates was it? Asmodean is different yes, in that he was blocked at the time and couldn't because he couldn't muster the power, but I believe it would be a similar thing. Flinn has a talent for healing, yes? I'm pretty sure he could figure it out with Rand's instruction (I know Flinn is not in his present company). Better yet, why doesn't he link with Nynaeve, so that she would be able to feel or see Saidin and show her how it's done? The only answer for Rand not getting his hand back is simply that he doesn't care about it, which I'm inclined to believe.

 

Another interesting question:

 

Rand said in the AoL, that Aes Sedai thought healing madness was impossible, yes? But Nynaeve did not heal madness, she healed taint-induced madness. The taint wasn't around when Lews Therin was alive, and he killed himself shortly after the backlash which established the taint. So perhaps in the AoL, healing madness was truly impossible and Nynaeve is doomed to fail in her "heal everything but death" quest, as a sort of weird, extremely detailed foreshadowing? The only other reference to healing madness I could think of is reintegration, but (and I'm ver unsure of this so correct me please) wasn't it Semirhage that claimed hearing past-life voices was part of the taint effect and that healing it was nigh impossible? Given that the taint didn't exist until after she was bound, how does she know of any of this, besides probably experimenting on male channelers in the current age after her release?

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By all means though, aside from getting his hand back & killing a bad guy, how would things have been better if Semi had been balefired?

 

How would they have been worse? They got nothing out of their interegation of Semi (especially since Rand wouldn't let them use torture). And Rand would have known that there was almost no chance of them actually breaking Semi. Even after they "broke" her with that ridiculous spanking (maybe the dumbest scene in the series) she wasn't going to tell them anything. The odds of them breaking Semi and getting any worthwhile info out of her versus the odds of her breaking free or causing some kind of havoc are tilted way towards the latter. And that's not hindsight talking, Rand should have known that right away.

 

There was basically no downside to Rand balefiring Semi. His moronic inability to harm women cost him his hand, almost cost Min her life, did cost others in his party their lives, and ended up putting him firmly down the path that almost lead to him blowing up the world. He'd have been much better off killing her right away and getting his hand back in the bargain.

 

Well it's actually Cadsuane who captured Semirhage, and she wanted to question her. Also torture would not have worked on Semirhage anyway. Even if Rand could hurt women, he wouldn't have killed Semirhage because there is a chance of breaking her. And Cadsuane believed in that chance.

They still should not have taken such a risk with a forsaken, but they are hardly the first to make that mistake, and it doesn't have anything to do with Rand's inability to harm women. Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve made that mistake as well.

 

Are you arguing that Rand couldn't have overruled Cadsuane because Semi was her prisoner and she wanted to question her? I'd say that if Rand wanted to kill or torture Semi he could have regardless of what Cadsuane wanted.

 

My argument was that he should have known that torturing Semi would be useless. They were not going to get any info out of her and her presence is a huge potential risk (as we later see). So he should have just killed her and been done with it. Had he used balefire to start with he would have gotten his hand back. Had he done it at the beginning he would be in the same place as he is by the end of The Last that Could be Done (Semi dead by him using balefire) except he'd have his hand back, Min wouldn't have almost died, several Aes Sedai would still be alive, and he wouldn't have had to use the True Power and gone further down the path of Dark Rand.

 

Again, some of that is hindsight but I maintain that he should have known that nothing good would come from keeping Semi a prisoner. The odds of her breaking and telling them anything are much, much lower than her escaping or otherwise causing havoc. Had he been willing to kill women at that time, the logical thing to do would have been to zap her with balefire.

 

Everything you say is true. I'm sure Rand could have overruled Cadsuane if he truly believed that it was too dangerous to keep Semirhage as a prisoner, but I think that as she was Cadsuane's prisoner he just left it up to her. Rand simply never seemed to bother with Semirhage apart from telling Cadsuane that she could not torture her. Keeping her alive is a mistake in judgement of course just as keeping Moghedien alive was a mistake in judgement, but I don't think the reason for keeping her alive was reluctance to kill women. It would have become his reason if they decided that nothing could be learned from Semirhage, but that never happened.

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