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Self-Fulfilling Prophecies


Pantherus
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I've been a bit annoyed at the self-fulfilling prophecies that keep cropping up in WoT, where someone fulfils the prophecy solely because they heard about it in the first place. Mat kidnapping, and ultimately marrying, Tuon is the prime example - if he'd never heard about her from the *Finns then he'd never have kidnapped her and thus never have married her - furthermore Tuon only agreed to marry HIM because of her own prophecies about him.

 

Some minor examples hold too, like the crown for the King of Tear which Min offered to design based on her vision, and of course Siuan and Gareth when they rescue Egwene...

 

It just feels weak when the character hears their prophecies and then actively goes out to fulfil them.

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I've been a bit annoyed at the self-fulfilling prophecies that keep cropping up in WoT, where someone fulfils the prophecy solely because they heard about it in the first place. Mat kidnapping, and ultimately marrying, Tuon is the prime example - if he'd never heard about her from the *Finns then he'd never have kidnapped her and thus never have married her - furthermore Tuon only agreed to marry HIM because of her own prophecies about him.

 

Some minor examples hold too, like the crown for the King of Tear which Min offered to design based on her vision, and of course Siuan and Gareth when they rescue Egwene...

 

It just feels weak when the character hears their prophecies and then actively goes out to fulfil them.

well it kind of makes sense, if I told you that you would win the lottery (and assuming you never bought a ticket before) would you buy them if you thought I knew the future?

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What is the purpose of prophecy, if not it's fulfillment?

As far as I see it, in the Wheel of Time there are two types of prophecies: the first are identifiers. You know that the dragon will be reborn when... Or you know that such and such will happen because... /etc. These types are warnings and guide posts, big flashing signs that tell when the world (or at least, the world as you know it) starts to end.

Then there are the prophecies that are made to be fulfilled. These are prophecies that are written down to tell people what to do. These are the "Hey dude! Your fate is to marry that chick, else the world will end!" or the "Hey dude! You wanna live? Gotta die first! Kthnxbye!" with smatterings of "Dude, your blood on Shayol Ghul? Totally gonna free mankind" or "You know the compass? Cut it in half diagonally! Now make the world like that! Isn't this just fun fun fun?".

The first type of prophecy is given as a warning, the second type is given as a guide. If the second type aren't self fulfilling, then they've failed of their purpose.

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Oh I dunno. As we saw in the mirror worlds, not always did things turn out right, in fact one could argue that fulfilling the dragons prophecy took quite a bit of doing. This is why I think Rand studied and studied and studied it. He wanted to at least try to get it right and now end up DO bait.

 

As it is, no I don't think its boring... Neither are the prophecies guaranteed I think. Isn't there some prophecies that haven't come to be?

Also, just like the quatraines (sp?) of Nostradamus (sp?) they tend to be rather cryptic and open to a lot of interpretation.

 

Just my thoughts

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"Hey dude! You wanna live? Gotta die first! Kthnxbye!" with smatterings of "Dude, your blood on Shayol Ghul? Totally gonna free mankind"

 

Pardon me for a second, Two things.. #1 I totally agree with your post Eru, and secondly LMFAO! ^ This is a sig worthy quote... awesome.

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They're Ta'veren, the Pattern informs them of what they need to know to do what they need to do.

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Is it a self fulfilling prophecy? Yes.

 

 

But who says it wouldn't have happened anyway? If only one side gets their prophecy it could still happen. If neither got it, it could happen.

 

IMO, the prophecies just moved the time of their marriage forward. If Mat had only got his 3 questions (instead of the extras) I think it could have been a political marriage later. Who better to marry the Seanchan Empress than the best friend of the Dragon Reborn and the most brilliant general in the world?

 

I find the effect that Mat walking into the stone doorway the first time had on other events. If Mat doesn't go in the first time he doesn't go into the second to get more answers. He doesn't get the other men's memories to become the best general in the land. He doesn't get his weapon which also is a way out of Finn Land. He doesn't get the Foxhead medallion to fight the Gholem. Moraine dies.

 

 

Much bigger and interesting effect.

Edited by UGAShadow
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What is the purpose of prophecy, if not it's fulfillment?

As far as I see it, in the Wheel of Time there are two types of prophecies: the first are identifiers. You know that the dragon will be reborn when... Or you know that such and such will happen because... /etc. These types are warnings and guide posts, big flashing signs that tell when the world (or at least, the world as you know it) starts to end.

Then there are the prophecies that are made to be fulfilled. These are prophecies that are written down to tell people what to do. These are the "Hey dude! Your fate is to marry that chick, else the world will end!" or the "Hey dude! You wanna live? Gotta die first! Kthnxbye!" with smatterings of "Dude, your blood on Shayol Ghul? Totally gonna free mankind" or "You know the compass? Cut it in half diagonally! Now make the world like that! Isn't this just fun fun fun?".

The first type of prophecy is given as a warning, the second type is given as a guide. If the second type aren't self fulfilling, then they've failed of their purpose.

 

 

beautifully put! Quite hilarious too, btw. LOL

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I think a lot of the self-fulfilling prophecies are meant to be that way. The prophecies are meant to be known in order for people to know that they must be done. In this way prophecies function as tools from the past to help in the present/future.

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When reading this kind of literature, you have to engage in "the willing suspension of disbelief", and accept things like magic and dragons that do not occur in our world.

 

In our world, prophecy is bullshit. Pure wishfaul thinking. There's never been a provable case of it. As was pointed out, Nostradamus was so vague that people selectively interpreted later events to fit them into his framework. And how many times has history rolled right past the end of the world as predicted by some doomsayer's interpretation of religious prophecy?

 

In Randland, Prophecy works, and it works however Jordan and Sanderson choose. The reader just goes with it. It's OK to point out internal inconsistencies, but if an author posits prophecy, its manner of fulfillment is up to him or her. I think WoT made a great point with the way prophecies were revised to manipulate the Seanchan. Give a nation an excuse to believe it's their destiny to conquer the world, and they'll go out and do it. Prophecy, like religion, is a great manipulation tool because you can't debate something that has no basis in logic.

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In ToM Moridin speaks of his dark prophecies that people fighting for the light must never, ever get their hands on. It's as if they contain information on how to win vs. the DO or something nearly as bad for his cause. So why not destroy all records of them? If they're prophecy and will happen no matter what, then they'll happen. If the DO wins and all prophecy is negated due to the pattern's destruction (and that's what you want), then you might as well not risk them falling into the Light's hands and enable them to become self fulfilling.

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In ToM Moridin speaks of his dark prophecies that people fighting for the light must never, ever get their hands on. It's as if they contain information on how to win vs. the DO or something nearly as bad for his cause. So why not destroy all records of them? If they're prophecy and will happen no matter what, then they'll happen. If the DO wins and all prophecy is negated due to the pattern's destruction (and that's what you want), then you might as well not risk them falling into the Light's hands and enable them to become self fulfilling.

 

That is because Moridin is an intellectual and quite the avid reader. Destroying the Pattern is one thing but a book just crosses the line. This isn't Nazi Germany.

Edited by Kal11
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That is because Moridin is an intellectual and quite the avid reader. Destroying the Pattern is one thing but a book just crosses the line. This isn't Nazi Germany.

Hahahahahah, YES!

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In ToM Moridin speaks of his dark prophecies that people fighting for the light must never, ever get their hands on. It's as if they contain information on how to win vs. the DO or something nearly as bad for his cause. So why not destroy all records of them? If they're prophecy and will happen no matter what, then they'll happen. If the DO wins and all prophecy is negated due to the pattern's destruction (and that's what you want), then you might as well not risk them falling into the Light's hands and enable them to become self fulfilling.

 

That is because Moridin is an intellectual and quite the avid reader. Destroying the Pattern is one thing but a book just crosses the line. This isn't Nazi Germany.

Hahaha... what was I thinking? :laugh:

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In ToM Moridin speaks of his dark prophecies that people fighting for the light must never, ever get their hands on. It's as if they contain information on how to win vs. the DO or something nearly as bad for his cause. So why not destroy all records of them? If they're prophecy and will happen no matter what, then they'll happen. If the DO wins and all prophecy is negated due to the pattern's destruction (and that's what you want), then you might as well not risk them falling into the Light's hands and enable them to become self fulfilling.

 

That is because Moridin is an intellectual and quite the avid reader. Destroying the Pattern is one thing but a book just crosses the line. This isn't Nazi Germany.

Hahaha... what was I thinking? :laugh:

 

Seriously though I think his book(s) are pretty safe in his blight stronghold. Even the Forsaken have no clue where that place actually is other than general guesses based on the terrain.

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"Hey dude! You wanna live? Gotta die first! Kthnxbye!" with smatterings of "Dude, your blood on Shayol Ghul? Totally gonna free mankind"

 

Pardon me for a second, Two things.. #1 I totally agree with your post Eru, and secondly LMFAO! ^ This is a sig worthy quote... awesome.

Feel free to use it!

 

On Moridin's Prophecies, likely they say what the bad guys have to do in order to win (and are the reason Ishy/Moridin seems to be playing a different game than the forsaken). If the good guys got a hold of them, they would know what to do to prevent a DO victory.

However, they are either

A: Safely holed up in the blight where no good guys will ever go

or B: So important to the DO that Moridin is unwilling to destroy them (and trust his memory) just in case something happened to him.

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"Hey dude! You wanna live? Gotta die first! Kthnxbye!" with smatterings of "Dude, your blood on Shayol Ghul? Totally gonna free mankind"

 

Pardon me for a second, Two things.. #1 I totally agree with your post Eru, and secondly LMFAO! ^ This is a sig worthy quote... awesome.

Feel free to use it!

 

On Moridin's Prophecies, likely they say what the bad guys have to do in order to win (and are the reason Ishy/Moridin seems to be playing a different game than the forsaken). If the good guys got a hold of them, they would know what to do to prevent a DO victory. However, they are either

A: Safely holed up in the blight where no good guys will ever go

or B: So important to the DO that Moridin is unwilling to destroy them (and trust his memory) just in case something happened to him.

 

Sounds logical to me, I could see that as a realistic possibility to Moridin's planning and thought process during the series. Keep the other Forsaken in the dark mostly and let them run amuck to distract Rand and company while he works his plot. Basic sleight of hand.

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What I think here, is this: We may think the prophecies are self fulfilling, but that is somewhat because we see everything.

For example, for Mat, he was fulfilling his own prophecy, but to Tuon, the different prophecies she had heard were being fulfilled.

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What I think here, is this: We may think the prophecies are self fulfilling, but that is somewhat because we see everything.

For example, for Mat, he was fulfilling his own prophecy, but to Tuon, the different prophecies she had heard were being fulfilled.

Tuon's prophecy was meant for Tuon only, Mat's for Mat.

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Yeah, but Mat fulfilled what her prophecy said, without knowing about it, while fulfilling his prophecy, knowing about it.

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I guess the argument stands about them fulfilling each others' prophecies.

 

I don't know if it's conflicting - but I DO like self-fulfilling prophecies of the sort where a person hears of it, actively goes out to try and avoid/stop it, and inadvertently makes it happen - as someone mentioned, like they do in the Matrix with the vase. Or more locally - the whole killing kids to try and kill the DR before he grows up; and it's parallel of King Herid trying to kill Christ as a baby.

 

I guess it just rankles a little that Mat hears his destiny is to marry the Daughter of the Nine Moons, he actively looks for her (asking various woman if they know what it means) and then when he finds her, he's all "Whelp, guess you're my Wife, the Snakes told me so! YOINK!"

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