Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
DigitalSoul

where did lews therin go?

Recommended Posts

I don't think it's ever been explicitly stated (not that I know really) but I guess it depends on what you think of the LTT voice (real or madness). It disappears after Cadsuane tells Rand that hearing voices is a symptom of taint-madness. If it was some kind of saidin-induced way Rand dealt with his past memories, I've always thought that hearing it wasn't a real voice stopped Rand's subconscious from generating the voice as an outlet for his memories for some time (until the taint started wearing his sanity down again). If you believe LTT was a real voice in Rand's head, then I guess you could say that Cadsuane scared him away.

 

Of course, someone from TJ might have answered this in the plethora of interviews and panel discussions that I haven't read!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it's ever been explicitly stated (not that I know really) but I guess it depends on what you think of the LTT voice (real or madness). It disappears after Cadsuane tells Rand that hearing voices is a symptom of taint-madness. If it was some kind of saidin-induced way Rand dealt with his past memories, I've always thought that hearing it wasn't a real voice stopped Rand's subconscious from generating the voice as an outlet for his memories for some time (until the taint started wearing his sanity down again). If you believe LTT was a real voice in Rand's head, then I guess you could say that Cadsuane scared him away.

But the latter reasoning doesn't explain why he came back, or where he went in the meantime.

 

The voice was only ever a psychological construct that formed as a consequence of 1) Rand's rather insistent denial that he was Lews Therin, and 2) taint insanity. The 'voice' came back just when Rand was about to start killing him some Asha'man, namely Torval and whoever came with him. At that point Rand (subconsciously) realized that he needed Lews Therin to be his murdering madman so that he could function normally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I agree LTT never "existed" other than as a construct of Rand's subconscious to separate his previous life from his current one, but I was just noting that that view isn't unanimous.

 

Did LTT come back when he was going to kill Asha'man? I thought it came back before that in PoD, but I might be wrong - which I probably am, because that would make perfect sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The chapter in question is TPOD 14: Message from the M'Hael. Torval shows up and tempts Rand to stab him in the heart. Then Lews Therin comes back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TGS rather clearly states that LTT had never been a separate entity, but rather a feature of Rand's insanity. I'm not sure it was even related to the Taint-insanity. I got the impression that Rand was being driven insane by the sheer pressures working in apposition on him (he's a farmboy-turned-Holy-Sacrifice/Saviour of the World... that has to put you under some intense psychological forces which you wouldn't ordinarily have the facility to deal with if you're a country lad) and LTT was a manifestation of that.

 

I'm still trying to work out, though, how he's now managed to integrate both their lives. Healing himself from the brink of insanity by understanding himself is one thing... but how that equals Rand Therin Sedai I do not know.

 

It's likely LTT's voice will remain a mystery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rand has very specific memories from LTT. How could he have those if the voice was just a manifestation of Rand's insanity?

The memories are real. The voice is a manifestation of Rand's insanity. Readers tend to conflate the two, but if you'll notice, the 'voice' rarely shares memories with Rand. He just remembers them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There has to be some sort of explanation for the memories.

 

 

Also in the later books, Lews Therin tries multiple times to seize control of saidin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is how I look at it in my head to make LT in Rand's head make sense to me. Around TSR Rand starts having moments where he pulls one of Lew Therin's memories out of nowhere like they are one his own. (Which, technically they are.) Rand is scared by this and so are other people who happen to notice. Later, (around the end of TSR or beginning of FoH, I only have ToM with me righ now.) Lews Therin starts talking to Rand in his head. I think Rand constructed LT as a coping mechanism. I attribute this to a mix of Rand trying to deal with the memories comming from Lews Therin because it is just scary to be having the memories of someone who went mad and who ended up doing some pretty nasty things to people he loved. Also, in later books, the voice evolves to house most of Rand's own negativity. (For example, the paranoia around other male channelers.) So basically, the voice is Rand's way of dealing with the crazy memories and all of the bad things that Rand has had to do. Plus, the taint just pushed all of this along.

 

As far as to why Rand has the memories in the first place, not sure we will ever know. My thought is that it was actually the taint that broke the "barrier" in Rand's soul between his own memories and LTs. I also like to think that this happens to some of the other male channelers who go mad. No way to prove that theory though, unless we get a pov from an Ashaman with a similar problem in AMoL.

 

That is my two cents.

Edited by Justin Andrew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also in the later books, Lews Therin tries multiple times to seize control of saidin.

That's what appears to happen. Most likely Rand was subconsciously aware of the danger of Moridin in those moments when his face was clear (usually when he was seizing saidin), but he was consciously trying to ignore it, so 'Lews Therin' trying to grab the power is just Rand's instinctual reaction to the danger. Rand's progression is somewhat like a schizo's progression. It takes some time of truly believing that the voices in your head are real before you can 'see' them. The confusion over the Power was just the advanced stages of the insanity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also in the later books, Lews Therin tries multiple times to seize control of saidin.

That's what appears to happen. Most likely Rand was subconsciously aware of the danger of Moridin in those moments when his face was clear (usually when he was seizing saidin), but he was consciously trying to ignore it, so 'Lews Therin' trying to grab the power is just Rand's instinctual reaction to the danger. Rand's progression is somewhat like a schizo's progression. It takes some time of truly believing that the voices in your head are real before you can 'see' them. The confusion over the Power was just the advanced stages of the insanity.

 

I agree with Terez. Rand's progression into insanity is a fantastic verion of a schizo's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There has to be some sort of explanation for the memories.

 

 

Also in the later books, Lews Therin tries multiple times to seize control of saidin.

Well, Rand is LTT reborn... loads of theories are out there to explain the memories, but if Rand was going to have any odd memories, it makes sense that they should be LTTs.

 

As someone suggested above, the voice and the memories are conflated by fans - the two could be unrelated. The battle for control of saidin can be easily explained as further insanity (anything is possible where the mind is concerned lol). I see it as Rand having split his mind into two: one part being the mad rage and grief (entirely belonging to Rand) which is combined with the 'natural' memories of LTT to form a personality of its own. That second personality craves death as a punishment for what Rand perceives as his crimes (to the Maidens and other blood on his hands) and so fought his more 'rational' mind for the Power to destroy himself.

 

My theory also explains the extreme feats of channeling seen in KoD (when Logain learned Deathgates and Blossoms of Fire), because this is a combination of LTT's memories and Rand's madness.

 

Once Veins of Gold happens... Rand no longer has madness to contend with, and as he has accepted himself, LTT's memories become a part of him as naturally as they were always meant to be :).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I see it as Rand having split his mind into two: one part being the mad rage and grief (entirely belonging to Rand) which is combined with the 'natural' memories of LTT to form a personality of its own. That second personality craves death as a punishment for what Rand perceives as his crimes (to the Maidens and other blood on his hands) and so fought his more 'rational' mind for the Power to destroy himself.

It works that way a lot of the time, but I think it is simpler to say that the 'voice' is Rand's subconscious, and that Rand himself has conflated it with the memories because he began to imagine the voice in the first place out of denial of those memories. He has a thought about Ilyena, and then he really thinks about it—"Oh wow, I've never met anyone named Ilyena!"—and assumes there must be a voice in his head, etc. But as Rand becomes more and more insane, sometimes 'Lews Therin' is the sane one, so it doesn't really work to say that the 'voice' is the 'murdering madman' half of Rand, even though Rand likes to see it that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Missed this post:

 

TGS rather clearly states that LTT had never been a separate entity, but rather a feature of Rand's insanity. I'm not sure it was even related to the Taint-insanity.

Brandon said it was only part of what was going on, but it was definitely involved. That's the short answer...

 

I got the impression that Rand was being driven insane by the sheer pressures working in apposition on him (he's a farmboy-turned-Holy-Sacrifice/Saviour of the World... that has to put you under some intense psychological forces which you wouldn't ordinarily have the facility to deal with if you're a country lad) and LTT was a manifestation of that.

I studied this pretty thoroughly, and I think the evolution of the alternate personality can be traced. Rand had a very clear motive to disassociate himself from those memories before he even realized where they were coming from—I'm sure that's what happened with Graendal's patients back in the Age of Legends, assuming they really existed (which they probably did). Once Rand was told he was the Kinslayer...to say that it had an emotional and psychological impact on Rand would be the understatement of the century. You can see that in TGH 8 when they first tell him he's the Dragon Reborn, and you can see it in TFOH 6 when he realizes where the memories are coming from, that he remembers Lanfear (and not surprisingly, it's the sex he remembers), and you can see it in TGS 47, 49 and 50. You can even see it in TEOTW 6 when Rand first learns (despite his denial) that Tam isn't his father (which, incidentally, is tied into TGS 47, 49 and 50 in a huge way). It's been a major theme of the series since book one, that the Dragon is at the same time the savior and the most hated man in the history of the world. Rand's already pissed at having been stuffed into the job, but he's particularly pissed at Lews Therin for screwing it all up and tainting saidin and making people mistrust him. How's he supposed to get used to the idea that Lews Therin really was him all along?

 

The pressure doesn't help, and the taint doesn't either, but both of them are just aspects of the above. Rand has Lews Therin talking to him in his head, but meanwhile, in TSR, Rand all of a sudden pulls the ability to deal with Tairen High Lords out of his ass. I'm not saying Thom and Moiraine didn't help, or the books he was reading, but I'm talking about Rand's crazy secret thoughts—love this in Mat's POV when Lanfear and Asmodean show up—about expecting some of the Forsaken to follow him into the Waste, etc. That's Lews Therin, creeping up on Rand, and he doesn't even know, or acknowledge it in any way. He gets the first verifiable Lews Therin memory (aside from a dream in TEOTW 9) in TSR 9, when he's talking to Lanfear—he thinks, "The words sounded true – he knew they were true – but where had they come from?" In TSR 10 he also clearly taps into Lews Therin memories when he makes the crazy weave that kills all the Shadowspawn in the Stone, but Rand has no idea what's going on until (as I mentioned before) TFOH 6. For the rest of TSR, though, no verifiable memories at all, though Lanfear tells him in the end that his plan—to capture Asmodean—was something Lews Therin might have done.

 

But thematically, Rand had already made that change, just in time for Lanfear's arrival:

 

She would as soon be in a room with a Myrddraal, now, or the Dark One himself, but she's no milksop. "Thank you," he said quietly, "but no. I would appreciate it if you told no one what happened here. Not yet. I will do what needs to be done." It had to be the Forsaken.

 

"As my Lord Dragon commands." She gave him a tight curtsy and hurried out, perhaps afraid he might change his mind about letting her go.

 

"As soon the Dark One himself," he murmured as the door closed behind her.

 

Limping to the foot of the bed, he lowered himself into the chest there and laid Callandor across his knees, bloody hands resting on the glowing blade. With that in his hands, even one of the Forsaken would fear him. In a moment he would send for Moiraine to Heal his wounds. In a moment he would speak to the Aiel outside, and become the Dragon Reborn again. But for now, he only wanted to sit, and remember a shepherd named Rand al'Thor.

And that goes back to Tam, too. RJ is awesome like that. In any case, you might say the voice helped him stay saner than he otherwise would have. It gave him an outlet for his insanity (as we saw with the 'return' of Lews Therin in TPOD).

 

I'm still trying to work out, though, how he's now managed to integrate both their lives. Healing himself from the brink of insanity by understanding himself is one thing... but how that equals Rand Therin Sedai I do not know.

For one thing, he was actively suppressing the memories before then. Or rather, he was gravitating toward the idea that he was 'no better than' Lews Therin before then, which is an important distinction, and he held onto that view until TGS 50, when he finally admitted that Lews Therin was not really a bad guy after all (and was therefore able to admit that Rand was not really a bad guy either). You can see the early signs of that gravitation...well, you can see them clearly starting around TFOH, with the Maidens and Moiraine and Aviendha (briefly dead), etc. The Battle of Cairhien is really touching, and he really sinks into being Lews Therin when he's delirious. With Lanfear on the docks, it's crazy awesome stuff (I understand this annoys people, and I know why, but it's important to remember that the scene is supposed to highlight his encroaching insanity more than his pure, noble heart - that's the point of the Moiraine lesson), and it gets even better with Aviendha, especially since it's in Caemlyn, where he met Elayne (and the 'death' of Morgase had brought him there). LOC is less touching and more paranoia, which is especially sharp with Taim and the Aes Sedai. ACOS is where Dimmesdale is born, in the butcher's yard, on through till the bath. Rand at the end of ACOS is a clear sign that he's losing it, from the minute he decides to go around ta'verening things like the Sea Folk and the Cairhienin/Tairen rebels, and when he almost gets himself killed by the Fain dagger, he becomes convinced that he's invincible, and as soon as he wakes up he decides to go kill Sammael. Min was like, "No, you woolhead, oh burn me I'll watch the door while you escape." And there he gets his link with Moridin. TPOD was seriously downhill, fun Lews Therin stuff, and then he gets the crazy idea to go to Far Madding, where he gets his dumb ass trapped by a bunch of old ladies who can't even channel, and Cadsuane has to save him (again). After that, he cleanses saidin (thanks to Cadsuane watching his back) and then he goes into hiding. At that point, he's practically useless and definitely suicidal.

 

There are two things going on here that I think are pertinent to your question. First is simply that Rand is suppressing his Lews Therin memories in an unhealthy way, and by the time KOD rolls around he's no longer doing it so much because he truly believes Lews Therin is the bad guy but rather out of habit. He's feeling a certain kinship with Lews Therin at that point, and that feeling of kinship has been growing for a long time by then. He just sincerely believes that Lews Therin is another person, fighting him for his head and even his connection to the Power, to the point that when Lews Therin 'takes over', he has to remind himself to offer up his fingers for the Arrows of Fire. Like Semirhage said, he's insane. But he has categorized 'Lews Therin' in his head as a separate entity that he cannot access at will, and therefore he cannot access those memories at will.

 

So yes, Rand's acceptance of Lews Therin as being himself was important, and the Tam episode was a necessary catalyst. But then there is the fact that Rand's brain is warded from the taint. Rand most likely did that to himself quite on accident with the Choedan Kal - in fact, holding all of that Power might have helped to 'clear his head' - but we don't know for sure which came first. I'm sure RJ planned it that way quite on purpose, but I tend to think that they were rather simultaneous. When Nynaeve Healed Naeff's madness, his delusion—that there were Fades hanging around in every shadow—went away. Androl's delusion is that the shadows are reaching out to get him. Rand's delusion was that Lews Therin was another man, and warding his brain from the taint made it go away...but the revelation was required in order for him to do it. My guess is that it happened at the moment that he remembered everything in a flash:

 

Why, Rand? Why do you go to battle? What is the point?

 

Why?

 

All was still. Even with the tempest, the winds, the crashes of thunder. All was still.

 

Why? Rand thought with wonder. Because each time we live, we get to love again.

 

That was the answer. It all swept over him, lives lived, mistakes made, love changing everything. He saw the entire world in his mind's eye, lit by the glow in his hand. He remembered lives, hundreds of them, thousands of them, stretching to infinity. He remembered love, and peace, and joy, and hope.

 

Within that moment, suddenly something amazing occurred to him. If I live again, then she might as well!

 

That's why he fought. That's why he lived again, and that was the answer to Tam's question. I fight because last time, I failed. I fight because I want to fix what I did wrong.

 

I want to do it right this time.

 

The Power within him reached a crescendo, and he turned it upon itself, drove it through the access key.

Aside from a small musical objection (that is, that a crescendo is not really something you 'reach'; it's a gradual swelling and the term describes the process, not the product), it's interesting that the Power within him actually increases before he sends it into the access key. Rand described himself as 'a conduit of power and energy' before then, and no doubt that has to do with both the warding of his brain from the taint - which is still there - and perhaps also the stretching of his ability with the Power, seen at Maradon (and possibly having something to do with Aviendha's odd babies).

 

Of course, there is some nifty symbolism in the fact that there is a certain truth to the delusions of both Naeff and Androl, and most likely, we'll never know the truth. Androl is certain that if one of those shadows touches him, he'll die, and maybe that's true. And who knows what shadows Fades are hanging around in? No one understands what they do, and the Dark One's touch on the Pattern is growing. On that line of thought, there was a certain amount of truth to Rand's delusion. He had to have time to grow accustomed to those memories before he could truly accept them as his own; it's easy enough to see why he couldn't do that at first, angst aside; to him, it seemed they really were two different men. How could we expect him to see it any differently, back in TSR and TFOH?

 

It's likely LTT's voice will remain a mystery.

Yes, it's definitely better that way. It was made clear enough in the books IMO, but definitely not so much to the more casual readers, and even rather not obvious to some of the old-timers. It's one of those discussions that will never die, not because there is any real doubt as to the gist of what was going on, but because it's so counterintuitive...until TGS. Now it's much less so; readers who read straight through to TGS tend to gravitate toward construct theory immediately, whereas in the past most readers thought of them as being two separate beings (somehow murkily in one being), struggling against each other, etc., as opposed to probing the subtleties of what was going on there and making some sense of it. The construct camp mainly missed out on how much the link with Moridin was influencing the issue; that clears up a lot of things that we could never explain all that well. Anyway, RJ told Team Jordan that he didn't want a clear answer to be given on Lews Therin, ever. It's easy to see why; a simple answer would be incredibly disappointing. It's much more fun to convince people than it is to tell them what RJ said about it, and I'm sure he had that in mind; the mystery really provokes a deeper look into the details of WoT, which can only be good for posterity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terez likes to act like her opinion is fact on this matter, but it is not. I for one think the text makes perfectly clear that Lews Therin was real, a manifestation within Rand's soul of Lews Therin's personality, the sum of his experience, which has now intergrated with Rand's personality.

 

You can read my evidence in the Lews Therin thread of my FAQ which is stuck at the top of the board, and linked in my signature.

 

As for the question--no idea. I suspect he was hiding from Cadsuane. She's very scary sometimes. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terez likes to act like her opinion is fact on this matter, but it is not. I for one think the text makes perfectly clear that Lews Therin was real, a manifestation within Rand's soul of Lews Therin's personality, the sum of his experience, which has now intergrated with Rand's personality.

And again, I think your stance completely misses the gist of the real vs construct debate, playing instead on semantics issues that have been hashed out thoroughly on Theoryland. As you have said yourself, it was never much discussed on Dragonmount, and I think that to most of us it is apparent in your arguments. As I mentioned in my FAQ article, even on Dragonmount your viewpoint lacks support, and on Theoryland (where the arguments were well known) the change after TGS was drastic.

 

As for the question--no idea. I suspect he was hiding from Cadsuane. She's very scary sometimes. :)

This is a good example of the difference between your arguments and mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LTT never actually existed in Rand's head. He was not a seperate person, but Rand's own memories of his precious life. Rand could not accept the fact that he was himself and LTT in the same body and soul. So, in his mind, he created a type of split personality that was in the form of a voice in his head, but it was actually his own memories speaking to him. After almost killing Tam, and realizing the truth about himself, Rand no longer needed the voice, so it disapeared.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LTT never actually existed in Rand's head. He was not a seperate person, but Rand's own memories of his precious life. Rand could not accept the fact that he was himself and LTT in the same body and soul. So, in his mind, he created a type of split personality that was in the form of a voice in his head, but it was actually his own memories speaking to him. After almost killing Tam, and realizing the truth about himself, Rand no longer needed the voice, so it disapeared. Rand is a schizo......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think some of the problems in understanding the LTT voice, and accepting any of the theories as stated lie in the hazy, not-quite-right psychology of the story. the symptoms rand manifests don't really fit a psychotic or a dissociative disorder that well. but that's a problem with the writing more than with the theorizing, imo. it's a fantasy, so i don't try to work it out in real world terms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't find the psychology to be particularly hazy. It's not precisely comparable with real-world psychology, especially as it relates to Rand, because people don't actually remember past lives in the real world - or at least, few people believe in such things. Rand's mental illness is believable in its own way because it follows a certain logic despite the fantasy elements; particularly there was a great deal of effort put into the detail concerning Rand's motives for disassociation, so obviously RJ intended for it to be analyzed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terez likes to act like her opinion is fact on this matter, but it is not. I for one think the text makes perfectly clear that Lews Therin was real, a manifestation within Rand's soul of Lews Therin's personality, the sum of his experience, which has now intergrated with Rand's personality.

And again, I think your stance completely misses the gist of the real vs construct debate, playing instead on semantics issues that have been hashed out thoroughly on Theoryland. As you have said yourself, it was never much discussed on Dragonmount, and I think that to most of us it is apparent in your arguments. As I mentioned in my FAQ article, even on Dragonmount your viewpoint lacks support, and on Theoryland (where the arguments were well known) the change after TGS was drastic.

 

As for the question--no idea. I suspect he was hiding from Cadsuane. She's very scary sometimes. :)

This is a good example of the difference between your arguments and mine.

 

It is a good example, isn't it? Perfect, in fact. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Missed this post:

 

TGS rather clearly states that LTT had never been a separate entity, but rather a feature of Rand's insanity. I'm not sure it was even related to the Taint-insanity.

Brandon said it was only part of what was going on, but it was definitely involved. That's the short answer...

 

I got the impression that Rand was being driven insane by the sheer pressures working in apposition on him (he's a farmboy-turned-Holy-Sacrifice/Saviour of the World... that has to put you under some intense psychological forces which you wouldn't ordinarily have the facility to deal with if you're a country lad) and LTT was a manifestation of that.

I studied this pretty thoroughly, and I think the evolution of the alternate personality can be traced. Rand had a very clear motive to disassociate himself from those memories before he even realized where they were coming from—I'm sure that's what happened with Graendal's patients back in the Age of Legends, assuming they really existed (which they probably did). Once Rand was told he was the Kinslayer...to say that it had an emotional and psychological impact on Rand would be the understatement of the century. You can see that in TGH 8 when they first tell him he's the Dragon Reborn, and you can see it in TFOH 6 when he realizes where the memories are coming from, that he remembers Lanfear (and not surprisingly, it's the sex he remembers), and you can see it in TGS 47, 49 and 50. You can even see it in TEOTW 6 when Rand first learns (despite his denial) that Tam isn't his father (which, incidentally, is tied into TGS 47, 49 and 50 in a huge way). It's been a major theme of the series since book one, that the Dragon is at the same time the savior and the most hated man in the history of the world. Rand's already pissed at having been stuffed into the job, but he's particularly pissed at Lews Therin for screwing it all up and tainting saidin and making people mistrust him. How's he supposed to get used to the idea that Lews Therin really was him all along?

 

The pressure doesn't help, and the taint doesn't either, but both of them are just aspects of the above. Rand has Lews Therin talking to him in his head, but meanwhile, in TSR, Rand all of a sudden pulls the ability to deal with Tairen High Lords out of his ass. I'm not saying Thom and Moiraine didn't help, or the books he was reading, but I'm talking about Rand's crazy secret thoughts—love this in Mat's POV when Lanfear and Asmodean show up—about expecting some of the Forsaken to follow him into the Waste, etc. That's Lews Therin, creeping up on Rand, and he doesn't even know, or acknowledge it in any way. He gets the first verifiable Lews Therin memory (aside from a dream in TEOTW 9) in TSR 9, when he's talking to Lanfear—he thinks, "The words sounded true – he knew they were true – but where had they come from?" In TSR 10 he also clearly taps into Lews Therin memories when he makes the crazy weave that kills all the Shadowspawn in the Stone, but Rand has no idea what's going on until (as I mentioned before) TFOH 6. For the rest of TSR, though, no verifiable memories at all, though Lanfear tells him in the end that his plan—to capture Asmodean—was something Lews Therin might have done.

 

But thematically, Rand had already made that change, just in time for Lanfear's arrival:

 

She would as soon be in a room with a Myrddraal, now, or the Dark One himself, but she's no milksop. "Thank you," he said quietly, "but no. I would appreciate it if you told no one what happened here. Not yet. I will do what needs to be done." It had to be the Forsaken.

 

"As my Lord Dragon commands." She gave him a tight curtsy and hurried out, perhaps afraid he might change his mind about letting her go.

 

"As soon the Dark One himself," he murmured as the door closed behind her.

 

Limping to the foot of the bed, he lowered himself into the chest there and laid Callandor across his knees, bloody hands resting on the glowing blade. With that in his hands, even one of the Forsaken would fear him. In a moment he would send for Moiraine to Heal his wounds. In a moment he would speak to the Aiel outside, and become the Dragon Reborn again. But for now, he only wanted to sit, and remember a shepherd named Rand al'Thor.

And that goes back to Tam, too. RJ is awesome like that. In any case, you might say the voice helped him stay saner than he otherwise would have. It gave him an outlet for his insanity (as we saw with the 'return' of Lews Therin in TPOD).

 

I'm still trying to work out, though, how he's now managed to integrate both their lives. Healing himself from the brink of insanity by understanding himself is one thing... but how that equals Rand Therin Sedai I do not know.

For one thing, he was actively suppressing the memories before then. Or rather, he was gravitating toward the idea that he was 'no better than' Lews Therin before then, which is an important distinction, and he held onto that view until TGS 50, when he finally admitted that Lews Therin was not really a bad guy after all (and was therefore able to admit that Rand was not really a bad guy either). You can see the early signs of that gravitation...well, you can see them clearly starting around TFOH, with the Maidens and Moiraine and Aviendha (briefly dead), etc. The Battle of Cairhien is really touching, and he really sinks into being Lews Therin when he's delirious. With Lanfear on the docks, it's crazy awesome stuff (I understand this annoys people, and I know why, but it's important to remember that the scene is supposed to highlight his encroaching insanity more than his pure, noble heart - that's the point of the Moiraine lesson), and it gets even better with Aviendha, especially since it's in Caemlyn, where he met Elayne (and the 'death' of Morgase had brought him there). LOC is less touching and more paranoia, which is especially sharp with Taim and the Aes Sedai. ACOS is where Dimmesdale is born, in the butcher's yard, on through till the bath. Rand at the end of ACOS is a clear sign that he's losing it, from the minute he decides to go around ta'verening things like the Sea Folk and the Cairhienin/Tairen rebels, and when he almost gets himself killed by the Fain dagger, he becomes convinced that he's invincible, and as soon as he wakes up he decides to go kill Sammael. Min was like, "No, you woolhead, oh burn me I'll watch the door while you escape." And there he gets his link with Moridin. TPOD was seriously downhill, fun Lews Therin stuff, and then he gets the crazy idea to go to Far Madding, where he gets his dumb ass trapped by a bunch of old ladies who can't even channel, and Cadsuane has to save him (again). After that, he cleanses saidin (thanks to Cadsuane watching his back) and then he goes into hiding. At that point, he's practically useless and definitely suicidal.

 

There are two things going on here that I think are pertinent to your question. First is simply that Rand is suppressing his Lews Therin memories in an unhealthy way, and by the time KOD rolls around he's no longer doing it so much because he truly believes Lews Therin is the bad guy but rather out of habit. He's feeling a certain kinship with Lews Therin at that point, and that feeling of kinship has been growing for a long time by then. He just sincerely believes that Lews Therin is another person, fighting him for his head and even his connection to the Power, to the point that when Lews Therin 'takes over', he has to remind himself to offer up his fingers for the Arrows of Fire. Like Semirhage said, he's insane. But he has categorized 'Lews Therin' in his head as a separate entity that he cannot access at will, and therefore he cannot access those memories at will.

 

So yes, Rand's acceptance of Lews Therin as being himself was important, and the Tam episode was a necessary catalyst. But then there is the fact that Rand's brain is warded from the taint. Rand most likely did that to himself quite on accident with the Choedan Kal - in fact, holding all of that Power might have helped to 'clear his head' - but we don't know for sure which came first. I'm sure RJ planned it that way quite on purpose, but I tend to think that they were rather simultaneous. When Nynaeve Healed Naeff's madness, his delusion—that there were Fades hanging around in every shadow—went away. Androl's delusion is that the shadows are reaching out to get him. Rand's delusion was that Lews Therin was another man, and warding his brain from the taint made it go away...but the revelation was required in order for him to do it. My guess is that it happened at the moment that he remembered everything in a flash:

 

Why, Rand? Why do you go to battle? What is the point?

 

Why?

 

All was still. Even with the tempest, the winds, the crashes of thunder. All was still.

 

Why? Rand thought with wonder. Because each time we live, we get to love again.

 

That was the answer. It all swept over him, lives lived, mistakes made, love changing everything. He saw the entire world in his mind's eye, lit by the glow in his hand. He remembered lives, hundreds of them, thousands of them, stretching to infinity. He remembered love, and peace, and joy, and hope.

 

Within that moment, suddenly something amazing occurred to him. If I live again, then she might as well!

 

That's why he fought. That's why he lived again, and that was the answer to Tam's question. I fight because last time, I failed. I fight because I want to fix what I did wrong.

 

I want to do it right this time.

 

The Power within him reached a crescendo, and he turned it upon itself, drove it through the access key.

Aside from a small musical objection (that is, that a crescendo is not really something you 'reach'; it's a gradual swelling and the term describes the process, not the product), it's interesting that the Power within him actually increases before he sends it into the access key. Rand described himself as 'a conduit of power and energy' before then, and no doubt that has to do with both the warding of his brain from the taint - which is still there - and perhaps also the stretching of his ability with the Power, seen at Maradon (and possibly having something to do with Aviendha's odd babies).

 

Of course, there is some nifty symbolism in the fact that there is a certain truth to the delusions of both Naeff and Androl, and most likely, we'll never know the truth. Androl is certain that if one of those shadows touches him, he'll die, and maybe that's true. And who knows what shadows Fades are hanging around in? No one understands what they do, and the Dark One's touch on the Pattern is growing. On that line of thought, there was a certain amount of truth to Rand's delusion. He had to have time to grow accustomed to those memories before he could truly accept them as his own; it's easy enough to see why he couldn't do that at first, angst aside; to him, it seemed they really were two different men. How could we expect him to see it any differently, back in TSR and TFOH?

 

It's likely LTT's voice will remain a mystery.

Yes, it's definitely better that way. It was made clear enough in the books IMO, but definitely not so much to the more casual readers, and even rather not obvious to some of the old-timers. It's one of those discussions that will never die, not because there is any real doubt as to the gist of what was going on, but because it's so counterintuitive...until TGS. Now it's much less so; readers who read straight through to TGS tend to gravitate toward construct theory immediately, whereas in the past most readers thought of them as being two separate beings (somehow murkily in one being), struggling against each other, etc., as opposed to probing the subtleties of what was going on there and making some sense of it. The construct camp mainly missed out on how much the link with Moridin was influencing the issue; that clears up a lot of things that we could never explain all that well. Anyway, RJ told Team Jordan that he didn't want a clear answer to be given on Lews Therin, ever. It's easy to see why; a simple answer would be incredibly disappointing. It's much more fun to convince people than it is to tell them what RJ said about it, and I'm sure he had that in mind; the mystery really provokes a deeper look into the details of WoT, which can only be good for posterity.

Wow. Epic post, man, and I like how you've constructed it.

 

I had an epiphany shortly after I posted what I did (I've never been very good at letting puzzles go until I've figured them out) and I think I more or less came to what your idea is on the nature of LTT's voice.

 

My idea is that Rand "inheriting" LTT's memories was a thing of the Pattern, was something that needed to happen for him to battle the Shadow and win. But, as you say, he was unwilling to accept this idea, fearing LTT's insanity and his own eventual insanity due to the Taint. Then I factored in his insanity that came not from the Taint: the one that arose from all the stress he's been under and combined them all.

 

So, Rand's denial of who and what he is - LTT reborn - his fear of insanity and his actual insanity all combine to form that voice he hears in his head - a separate manifestation of himself. Once he lances that bundle to clear himself of that insanity, as he did in Veins of Gold, all you have left is LTT's memories, which he has now accepted into himself. My theory is that somehow Rand bundled his fear, denial and insanity with the part of his mind that contains LTT's memories, but once he unravelled that web (if you'll forgive the pun) he became Rand Sedai.

 

Is that more or less what you were saying? Or have I misread?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As for the question--no idea. I suspect he was hiding from Cadsuane. She's very scary sometimes. :)

This is a good example of the difference between your arguments and mine.

It is a good example, isn't it? Perfect, in fact. :D

It seems you are trying to say that the difference is that I pretend to know what happened there while you take the high road and admit you don't know. Correct? But what I am saying is that your surface analysis of the subject - apparent in the above and in other writings on the subject - is insufficient to the task, and does not do justice to the sheer amount of text that RJ dedicated to the subject. I still love you though. :wink:

 

In the chapter where Lews Therin 'comes back', did you know that Rand denied him three times?

 

My idea is that Rand "inheriting" LTT's memories was a thing of the Pattern, was something that needed to happen for him to battle the Shadow and win. But, as you say, he was unwilling to accept this idea, fearing LTT's insanity and his own eventual insanity due to the Taint. Then I factored in his insanity that came not from the Taint: the one that arose from all the stress he's been under and combined them all.

 

So, Rand's denial of who and what he is - LTT reborn - his fear of insanity and his actual insanity all combine to form that voice he hears in his head - a separate manifestation of himself. Once he lances that bundle to clear himself of that insanity, as he did in Veins of Gold, all you have left is LTT's memories, which he has now accepted into himself. My theory is that somehow Rand bundled his fear, denial and insanity with the part of his mind that contains LTT's memories, but once he unravelled that web (if you'll forgive the pun) he became Rand Sedai.

 

Is that more or less what you were saying? Or have I misread?

The only problem here is that you seem to be focusing on Rand's fear of insanity more than anything else. Yes, that's a huge part of what's going on here, but part of it is a resistance to face the pain of what he did in his past life, and in the beginning, a resistance to associating himself with that legend in any way. When he started remembering, it got really personal for him, and that could only act together with the taint (and Rand's fear of it) to contribute to Rand's increasing delusions. But that fear of insanity is part of what encouraged Rand to associate his mad thoughts with 'Lews Therin', the bad guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...