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sleepinghour

The nature of Rand Sedai

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Despite our maintained civility, I'm not as invested in this thread as I was "Egwene WTF?" and it grows so fast, so I kinda skimmed, but just one thing to add on the Rand-LTT two-persons side of things:

 

Rand does not just have the benefit of 20 years of additional experiences. He has the whole historical perspective and long-term view of how LTT's actions effected the world. This would DRASTICALLY change how he looks back at what "he" did as LTT. So while doing those things shaped LTT's personality, and some of that will inevitably rub off on Rand (like how Egwene noted Rand speaks more scholarly... that'd just be a better understanding of diction and grammar), Rand will view many of his other actions completely differently. Like murdering his family, it's less tramatic because he already knew he did it, and he has his own chicks to think about. Basically, he's a different person.

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Despite our maintained civility, I'm not as invested in this thread as I was "Egwene WTF?" and it grows so fast, so I kinda skimmed, but just one thing to add on the Rand-LTT two-persons side of things:

 

Rand does not just have the benefit of 20 years of additional experiences. He has the whole historical perspective and long-term view of how LTT's actions effected the world. This would DRASTICALLY change how he looks back at what "he" did as LTT. So while doing those things shaped LTT's personality, and some of that will inevitably rub off on Rand (like how Egwene noted Rand speaks more scholarly... that'd just be a better understanding of diction and grammar), Rand will view many of his other actions completely differently. Like murdering his family, it's less tramatic because he already knew he did it, and he has his own chicks to think about. Basically, he's a different person.

 

Right, he's not just LTT, but he's not just Rand either. To me he's a mix of the two, which basically results in a person who is neither and instead someone new, with characteristics of both.

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We have. We disagree. If King Tut died thousands of years ago, and you happen to have some of his memories, mere fragments of the man he was, without this overwriting your existing personality, then you are you, plus a bit of King Tut, as opposed to you are King Tut.

This is not a fair analysis of what was being said. You say 'you happen to have some of his memories'. I'm saying, if you have ALL of his memories.
I'm saying the quantity of memories recieved is not important, what is important is the totality of the person.
Once an experience has happened, all it is is a memory. If you have all of the memories of a person, then you have all of the experiences and wisdom of that person. In that case I'd say you are that person.
There is more to a person than memories.

 

We can all agree that in RJ's universe there is such a thing as a soul. This is beyond debate.

Its relevance to the matter at hand is, however, entirely up for debate. After all, every person has a soul, but every soul has many people attached to it, so the mere fact of two people sharing a soul says nothing - absoutely nothing - about whether or not they are the same.

 

I think that goes too far. I agree that having merely the same soul doesn't make two people the same. That's what I explained in Cases C and D in my post. But having the same soul doesn't say absolutely nothing about whether two people are the same. It is a factor, just like having the same body, or having the same memories. In a universe where there are definitely souls, and these souls are spun out into existence over and over again, it has to be the case that the soul has some relevance to the person.

So the soul must have some significance, therefore it must have this significance? My thinking: the body is like a canvas, the person is like the painting. The soul is the paints used. Having the same soul means that this shade of red will be used, in some quantity, somewhere. Of course, a different soul might still have the same shade of red, it just doesn't have to.

 

Without the soul being a consideration, the only things you have left are a body and memories, and there's no way to distinguish Ishamael-Moridin from Mat, other than method.
And result.

 

That's missing the point of what people are saying - it's not that only a short space of time passed, it's that everything about them save body was transferred wholesale into a new body, and nothing of the person who inhabited that body before them survived. That is completely different to Rand/LTT.

It is not completely different.
Yes, it is.
The differences are that Rand has 20 years worth of memories in his body that have not been erased (that is exactly the correct way to describe it because Moridin's body had it's own memories that were erased), and that Rand already had the same soul (so that didn't need to be erased). My point is that 20 years worth of memories are personality changing, but not person changing.
Not twenty years of memories - 400. Rand gets the new memories, not LTT. And yes, getting all those new memories might change Rand's personality, but it doesn't change his person into LTT.

 

In the case of Rand, we have a person being born, living his life, then he gets memories belonging to another person stuffed into his head, he remembers another life as if it were his own. This is almost exactly the case we have with Mat, a case most people are fine with accepting is Mat with other men's memories, not Mat is now all those people (and he always was).

You only reach this conclusion because you ignore the soul.
I only ignore the soul because it isn't relevant. I see your division between Mat and Rand as consequently being wholly arbitrary.

 

When you look back on yourself 10 years ago, don't you feel like you're more yourself now than you were then?
No.
Don't you sometimes question why you acted like you did?
No.

 

Fair enough, I guess you haven't changed over the course of your life. I certainly think about some of the things I did as a teenager, and laugh at myself for my naivete or my decisions. And I definitely think that if 27-year-old-me were in 17-year-old-me's body, I would act differently.

I look back on the things I did as a teenager and understand why I did them, even if knowing I'd make different choices today. I've changed, but not become any more or less like me in doing so. Only brought different facets to the fore, sent others to the rear.

 

What about Birgitte?

And I have to restate my disagreement with this point: she is not any of those people, though they are a part of her. She didn't do the things they did.

I respect your right to disagree, but all you've done here is state that disagreement.

I know. That's what I said I was doing. My conclusion is based on my coherent (but not zany) philosophy, which I have already explained and didn't see the need to repeat.
If you think she isn't any of those people, even the instant she got dragged into the real world, then was she any of those people when she was in T'A'R?
No. T'a'r Birgitte is a composite, made up of other people, but separate and distinct from them (like Frankenstein's monster - made of others, but not any of those others it ws made from). A new person, created from old ones.

 

Moridin is a different case because there is only one man in there. No dispute, no other lives - the same is not true of Rand or Birgitte or Mat.

What do you mean 'no other lives'? What about Ishamael? Are you saying that Moridin and Ishamael are living the SAME life.
Essentially, yes - he is a continuation, not a restart as Rand was.
If the Dark Lord had accidentally forgotten to wipe that body of its memories, then Moridin would be EXACTLY like Rand. The difference between them is not one of lives, but of additional memories.
Exactly like Rand? Despite two souls, as opposed to Rand's one? So the soul is not, by your own admission, a relevant consideration.

 

TL;DR
What does this mean?

Too long; didn't read. It's a summary for people who didn't want to read my irritatingly long post.

Why not just say it's a summary?

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This had to be in two lots as it said there were too many blocks of quoted text.

 

I said, "as conclusive as you can get..."

I know what you said, and I disagreed with you on the grounds that it could be a lot more conclusive.

That's fine. It's all quite subjective. I mean, some people are still arguing Asmodean.
Which could have been clearer. I think the evidence is conclusive, but they didn't actually say Graendal killed him, they said she was responsible...

 

 

If you accept that the Voice is a construct of Rand's own thoughts, then the natural conclusion is that Rand thinks he's LTT.

But if the voice is Rand's own, not LTT's, then you must also accept that Rand isn't LTT. And that therefore LTT died and never came back. His personality is gone. Rand now has another man's memories integrated, but that man died. Only memories remain, not a personality.

The problem with your argument is you've added an extra premise. I never said "not LTT's." The Voice is Rand's own. It is also LTT's own voice. Because Rand is LTT.

Now you've added the extra premise - I do not accept that Rand and LTT are the same.

 

And what about LTT's ability to draw.
I take it as good evidence they are not the same person.
Except it turns out that Rand can draw.
Which shoots your argument in the foot - if Rand can draw, it says noting about LTT. If he cannot, then clearly there is more than just a voice, more than a construct.

 

One could argue that he is wrong. But if he is wrong, how can anyone in the book short of the Creator and the Dark One tell?
Why would they need to? We can draw conclusions from the evidence independently of the characters.

Unfortunately, everything is presented from the characters' POV's. If no one in the book can tell, how can we?

We have brains. We use them. Just because they don't reach a given conclusion means nothing.
If Rand claims he is LTT and there is nothing within the books that contradict it, then we should assume it to be true.
Likewise, if there is evidence to the contrary (as we say there is) then it should not be assumed.

 

That's not the only quote though...

RJ's blog 4 October 2005 "ONE MORE TIME"

 

- Everybody fears death because the being that is reborn, while possessing the same soul, will not be the same person. The fear is simple. I will cease to exist. Someone else will exist, bearing my soul. But I will cease.

Interesting. That still makes sense within the parameters I described before. When a person normally dies they fear that death, even though their soul will be reborn, because when their soul is reborn, it will do so without their memories. This, I think, is the key point. Very, very, very few people in the Wheel of Time universe are reborn with the memories of a previous life. As far as I can tell it's only the Dragon, and anyone the Dark Lord transmigrates, and maybe a few other male channellers affected by the taint.

The Chosen were transmigrated, not reborn. The Dragon was not reborn with past life memories, nor is any male channeler.

 

This quote by RJ doesn't conflict with what I said, because I agree that when a soul is reborn in a new body without its old memories, that is a new person.
So Rand is a new person - he was reborn without memories. Then new memories (LTT's) were added, but these are personality changing, not person changing. So, following your own logic, we see that Rand is a new person, not LTT.

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She is head of the AS, he is not AS at all, despite having memories of being head of a now long defunct organisation. First Among Servants isn't a recognised position among modern AS, any more than Holy Roman Emperor is among modern Germans.

Ordinarily I wouldn't think that people have any right to titles held in a previous life, but Rand is a different case, IMO. He is LTT, albeit in a different body.

 

Something I also found ironic in ToM was Rand telling Cadsuane that he is "the only male Aes Sedai still alive who was properly raised," while Egwene was never tested, and as of ToM claims she has no intention of ever taking the test. So who has more right to call themselves Aes Sedai?

I highly doubt that the test is the same now as it was then

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This quote by RJ doesn't conflict with what I said, because I agree that when a soul is reborn in a new body without its old memories, that is a new person. The old person has ceased to exist.....unless and until all of their memories are downloaded into this new person with their soul. At which point they become the same person. An unlikely event that has occurred only once as far as we know.

 

This.

 

But this is not what happened to Rand. And if you have a reborn person in a new body (Rand) with his traits and quirks and personality when all of LTT.s memories are downloaded into Rand he doesn´t become LTT. He is still Rand, with acces to his older memories from a diff life-time that is LTT. So they are not the same person. What would be the point? If they are the same person then Rand´s upbringing can´t mean squat.

 

With respect to the first part of what you were saying, I think the difference is just a question of wording. You say that Rand has access to older memories of LTT that he didn't before, so Rand Sedai is Rand with a few more memories. Others may say that LTT has access to newer memories of Rand that he didn't have before (and a not-so-shiny new body), so Rand Sedai is LTT with a few more memories. I think both approaches are accurate.

 

With respect to the part that I bolded, why does Rand and LTT being the same person imply that Rand's upbringing can't mean squat. Are you the same person as you were 20 years ago? You are, except you have 20 years of experience. To say that you are that same person doesn't mean that the last 20 years of your upbringing mean nothing. You're the same person with a more mature personality thanks to 20 years of learning and experience. Same with Rand.

 

What I was saying was that Rand himself said that this time around was diff because of his upbringing. If Rand and LTT were the same person then his upbringing wouldn´t mean anything i.e. he is reborn as Rand to get another chance, to be different this time around. If his personality remains the same when he is Rand who is to say that he wouldn´t make all of those mistakes again? The Wheel is very determenistic.

I had another point with the bolded part... but sadly it has slipped my mind =/

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Something I also found ironic in ToM was Rand telling Cadsuane that he is "the only male Aes Sedai still alive who was properly raised," while Egwene was never tested, and as of ToM claims she has no intention of ever taking the test. So who has more right to call themselves Aes Sedai?

I highly doubt that the test is the same now as it was then

So do I. Since this thread was split off from the 'wtf Egwene' thread, I'm not entirely sure which posts ended up where, but my point was that 1) Rand has at least as much right to the title as Egwene, 2) Egwene wasn't even properly raised by the current Age's standards.

Edited by sleepinghour

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Something I also found ironic in ToM was Rand telling Cadsuane that he is "the only male Aes Sedai still alive who was properly raised," while Egwene was never tested, and as of ToM claims she has no intention of ever taking the test. So who has more right to call themselves Aes Sedai?

I highly doubt that the test is the same now as it was then

So do I. Since this thread was split off from the 'wtf Egwene' thread, I'm not entirely sure which posts ended up where, but my point was that 1) Rand has at least as much right to the title as Egwene, 2) Egwene wasn't even properly raised by the current Age's standards.

 

Whoa whoa whoa. Egwene was raised properly by the letter of the law. The Amyrlin is an Aes Sedai. If they have an issue with how the Tower Law is written, they'll need to change it.

 

Unless of course Rand reclaims his First Among Servants title, claiming he was never properly deposed when he went insane, and therefore he's still the Amyrlin himself. Wouldn't that be funny. Not very Rand-like to claim something like that and cause that kinda trouble, but dark rand might have done it.

Edited by Kael Pyralis

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Whoa whoa whoa. Egwene was raised properly by the letter of the law. The Amyrlin is an Aes Sedai. If they have an issue with how the Tower Law is written, they'll need to change it.

Um no.That was kind of a loophole.Since it didn't specify the requirements prior to the raising , they raised her.Since the Amyrlin is an Aes Sedai, she can be considered that too. It was not proper, it was downright abuse.

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Whoa whoa whoa. Egwene was raised properly by the letter of the law. The Amyrlin is an Aes Sedai. If they have an issue with how the Tower Law is written, they'll need to change it.

She became Aes Sedai thanks to a loophole that was never intended to replace the actual process, as nobody anticipated an Accepted would ever be raised to Amyrlin. This has already been discussed in the other thread, so I don't see the point in rehashing it in what is now a Rand thread.

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Whoa whoa whoa. Egwene was raised properly by the letter of the law. The Amyrlin is an Aes Sedai. If they have an issue with how the Tower Law is written, they'll need to change it.

Um no.That was kind of a loophole.Since it didn't specify the requirements prior to the raising , they raised her.Since the Amyrlin is an Aes Sedai, she can be considered that too. It was not proper, it was downright abuse.

 

That's what I said, letter of the law. Spirit of the law is rather irrelevant. Write it better. Especially now that precedent has been set, it is lawful.

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That's what I said, letter of the law. Spirit of the law is rather irrelevant. Write it better. Especially now that precedent has been set, it is lawful.

No.The raising TO the Aes Sedai was contrary to the law.Her raising to Amyrlin wasn't though, which allowed her to circumvent the whole situation.So she was not raised according to the law.

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Something I also found ironic in ToM was Rand telling Cadsuane that he is "the only male Aes Sedai still alive who was properly raised," while Egwene was never tested, and as of ToM claims she has no intention of ever taking the test. So who has more right to call themselves Aes Sedai?

I highly doubt that the test is the same now as it was then

So do I. Since this thread was split off from the 'wtf Egwene' thread, I'm not entirely sure which posts ended up where, but my point was that 1) Rand has at least as much right to the title as Egwene, 2) Egwene wasn't even properly raised by the current Age's standards.

 

Whoa whoa whoa. Egwene was raised properly by the letter of the law. The Amyrlin is an Aes Sedai. If they have an issue with how the Tower Law is written, they'll need to change it.

 

Unless of course Rand reclaims his First Among Servants title, claiming he was never properly deposed when he went insane, and therefore he's still the Amyrlin himself. Wouldn't that be funny. Not very Rand-like to claim something like that and cause that kinda trouble, but dark rand might have done it.

 

First Among Servants and Amrylin are not the same postions. The first was over men and women, the second only women. Egwene has no claim to the former, the title presumably died with LTT. In any case Rand has never claimed to be a third age aes sedai, which is impossible anyway since it's sort of a woman only group at the moment, only an AoL aes sedai. Therefore she has absolutely no power over him through his standing as aes sedai.

 

Rand claiming to be First Among Servants would be fairly pointless as the title no longer has any power

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If memory serves, LTT was not the First Among Servants when he died. He either retired or was stripped of the title after the strike at SG.

 

As far as I know he still had it when he attacked SG. Whether he lost it afterwards or people just didn't care considering the chaos that must be happening is unclear but in any case he's the last person that we know of to have held the title. Which is why I say it pretty much died with him.

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If memory serves, LTT was not the First Among Servants when he died. He either retired or was stripped of the title after the strike at SG.

 

As far as I know he still had it when he attacked SG. Whether he lost it afterwards or people just didn't care considering the chaos that must be happening is unclear but in any case he's the last person that we know of to have held the title. Which is why I say it pretty much died with him.

 

SaSG

Civilization had retained a large degree of cohesion in the areas held by the Light, far more so than in those held by the Shadow. Deprived of their highest levels (and also perhaps because of the loss of the Dark One's influence) the Shadowsworn fell into struggles among themselves for power, dividing into warring, vulnerable well before the Breaking progressed to a point that made the war the least of anyone's concerns.

 

There was some time in between the Strike and The Breaking, before the world progressed to all out chaos. Not sure if LPD took up the title after LTT. At the least she "rose to a prominence which rivaled that of Lews Therin before her"

Edited by Suttree

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She could just be as famous/important...Probably they did away away with the position. Also, I think the BREAKING started immediately after the strike as is evident from the discussion between LTT and Ishmael in prologue of tEoTW.

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She could just be as famous/important...Probably they did away away with the position. Also, I think the BREAKING started immediately after the strike as is evident from the discussion between LTT and Ishmael in prologue of tEoTW.

 

Well yeah technically it did, but if you read the quote above it shows there was time before all out chaos ensued.

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The breaking started with the remnants of the Hundred Companions. However, it didn't go into full swing until a most of the other Male Aes Sedai went bonkers, which (as evidenced by the mental health and casualties of the Black Tower) probably took a few years.

During this time the Shadow Controlled territories ripped themselves apart, while the light-controlled territories desperately tried to survive. Then the amount of madmen breached the breaking point and the world went to pot.

 

(Source: The Big White Book, Rand's trip through the columns and a logical look at what they conclude)

 

So it's possible that Latra took the title. However, I think it more likely that the position simply disappeared.

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If you accept that the Voice is a construct of Rand's own thoughts, then the natural conclusion is that Rand thinks he's LTT.

But if the voice is Rand's own, not LTT's, then you must also accept that Rand isn't LTT. And that therefore LTT died and never came back. His personality is gone. Rand now has another man's memories integrated, but that man died. Only memories remain, not a personality.

The problem with your argument is you've added an extra premise. I never said "not LTT's." The Voice is Rand's own. It is also LTT's own voice. Because Rand is LTT.

Now you've added the extra premise - I do not accept that Rand and LTT are the same.

Now you've just gone off on a tangent. If we're not arguing what I said then we're just stating opinions that have nothing to do with the initial quote.

 

 

And what about LTT's ability to draw.
I take it as good evidence they are not the same person.
Except it turns out that Rand can draw.
Which shoots your argument in the foot - if Rand can draw, it says noting about LTT. If he cannot, then clearly there is more than just a voice, more than a construct.

Sure it does. It says that LTT can draw and that Rand isn't just making things up. (Which is what I said in the part you cut off.)

 

 

One could argue that he is wrong. But if he is wrong, how can anyone in the book short of the Creator and the Dark One tell?
Why would they need to? We can draw conclusions from the evidence independently of the characters.

Unfortunately, everything is presented from the characters' POV's. If no one in the book can tell, how can we?

We have brains. We use them. Just because they don't reach a given conclusion means nothing.

How? Any information we receive is from some character's POV. If we simply dismiss Rand's opinion of himself as unreliable, how can we accept anyone else's opinion about him as fact?

 

 

If Rand claims he is LTT and there is nothing within the books that contradict it, then we should assume it to be true.
Likewise, if there is evidence to the contrary (as we say there is) then it should not be assumed.

What evidence to the contrary? So far, I've only seen references to what RJ said (which is outside of the books) and alternative interpretations of specific events.

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If you accept that the Voice is a construct of Rand's own thoughts, then the natural conclusion is that Rand thinks he's LTT.

But if the voice is Rand's own, not LTT's, then you must also accept that Rand isn't LTT. And that therefore LTT died and never came back. His personality is gone. Rand now has another man's memories integrated, but that man died. Only memories remain, not a personality.

The problem with your argument is you've added an extra premise. I never said "not LTT's." The Voice is Rand's own. It is also LTT's own voice. Because Rand is LTT.

Now you've added the extra premise - I do not accept that Rand and LTT are the same.
Now you've just gone off on a tangent. If we're not arguing what I said then we're just stating opinions that have nothing to do with the initial quote.
We are arguing about what you said - you still introduced a new premise.

 

 

And what about LTT's ability to draw.
I take it as good evidence they are not the same person.
Except it turns out that Rand can draw.
Which shoots your argument in the foot - if Rand can draw, it says nothing about LTT. If he cannot, then clearly there is more than just a voice, more than a construct.
Sure it does. It says that LTT can draw and that Rand isn't just making things up. (Which is what I said in the part you cut off.)
If Rand can draw - not LTT, Rand - then Rand having the ability to draw says nothing about LTT. If Rand cannot draw, but LTT can, then Rand's newfound ability to draw indicates there is more than just a voice in his head.

 

 

One could argue that he is wrong. But if he is wrong, how can anyone in the book short of the Creator and the Dark One tell?
Why would they need to? We can draw conclusions from the evidence independently of the characters.

Unfortunately, everything is presented from the characters' POV's. If no one in the book can tell, how can we?

We have brains. We use them. Just because they don't reach a given conclusion means nothing.
How? Any information we receive is from some character's POV. If we simply dismiss Rand's opinion of himself as unreliable, how can we accept anyone else's opinion about him as fact?
The characters have access to evidence. So do we, via the characters. The characters can believe the evidence supports certain conclusions. Just because no character ever voices a particular conclusion, doesn't mean it isn't valid. What Rand believes isn't important, because we are capable of drawing our own conclusions from the evidence, and saying the based on the facts, Rand is wrong.

 

 

If Rand claims he is LTT and there is nothing within the books that contradict it, then we should assume it to be true.
Likewise, if there is evidence to the contrary (as we say there is) then it should not be assumed.

What evidence to the contrary? So far, I've only seen references to what RJ said (which is outside of the books) and alternative interpretations of specific events.

Alternative interpretations are perfectly valid. We have other cases of different lives/bodies/etc. - Mat, Birgitte, the Chosen. Birgitte doesn't believe that her past lives are her - she has no right to the memories. Per the quote from the books already provided by Suttree.

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If you accept that the Voice is a construct of Rand's own thoughts, then the natural conclusion is that Rand thinks he's LTT.

But if the voice is Rand's own, not LTT's, then you must also accept that Rand isn't LTT. And that therefore LTT died and never came back. His personality is gone. Rand now has another man's memories integrated, but that man died. Only memories remain, not a personality.

The problem with your argument is you've added an extra premise. I never said "not LTT's." The Voice is Rand's own. It is also LTT's own voice. Because Rand is LTT.

Now you've added the extra premise - I do not accept that Rand and LTT are the same.
Now you've just gone off on a tangent. If we're not arguing what I said then we're just stating opinions that have nothing to do with the initial quote.
We are arguing about what you said - you still introduced a new premise.

Let's take a look at the sequence of events:

1) I made a statement.

2) You made a counter-statement based on a premise you introduced.

3) I pointed out that you introduced a new premise that I did not agree with and specified my own position on this premise you introduced.

4) You pointed out that by addressing the premise you introduced, I introduced my own version of the premise.

5) I pointed out that arguing about the new premise is irrelevant to the original statement.

6) You continue to remain fixated on this new premise you introduced.

7) I LOL'd.

 

 

And what about LTT's ability to draw.
I take it as good evidence they are not the same person.
Except it turns out that Rand can draw.
Which shoots your argument in the foot - if Rand can draw, it says nothing about LTT. If he cannot, then clearly there is more than just a voice, more than a construct.
Sure it does. It says that LTT can draw and that Rand isn't just making things up. (Which is what I said in the part you cut off.)
If Rand can draw - not LTT, Rand - then Rand having the ability to draw says nothing about LTT. If Rand cannot draw, but LTT can, then Rand's newfound ability to draw indicates there is more than just a voice in his head.

You've taken what I said out of context. The fact that Rand gains the ability to draw because he thinks LTT can draw is a clear indication that what he thinks about LTT is not just his imagination.

 

The point I think you are trying to get at is that if Rand were LTT then Rand should have always been able to draw. Think of it this way. I'm an expert tennis player (not really). For some reason, I forget everything about tennis including how to hold the racquet. I then suck at tennis. Suddenly, I remember how to play tennis including how to hold the racquet, swing mechanics, where to be on the court, the tactile feel of the ball coming off the strings, the different sounds the ball makes from different spins, etc. I'm great at tennis again.

 

 

One could argue that he is wrong. But if he is wrong, how can anyone in the book short of the Creator and the Dark One tell?
Why would they need to? We can draw conclusions from the evidence independently of the characters.

Unfortunately, everything is presented from the characters' POV's. If no one in the book can tell, how can we?

We have brains. We use them. Just because they don't reach a given conclusion means nothing.
How? Any information we receive is from some character's POV. If we simply dismiss Rand's opinion of himself as unreliable, how can we accept anyone else's opinion about him as fact?
The characters have access to evidence. So do we, via the characters. The characters can believe the evidence supports certain conclusions. Just because no character ever voices a particular conclusion, doesn't mean it isn't valid. What Rand believes isn't important, because we are capable of drawing our own conclusions from the evidence, and saying the based on the facts, Rand is wrong.

Every piece of evidence from within the books is based on what a character thinks they see and thinks they know. Rand thinking he is LTT is a piece of evidence. If we can simply dismiss what Rand thinks is true, then we can simply dismiss what every other character thinks is true. Specifically, if we can simply dismiss what Rand thinks about LTT, then we can simply dismiss what everyone else thinks about LTT.

 

 

If Rand claims he is LTT and there is nothing within the books that contradict it, then we should assume it to be true.
Likewise, if there is evidence to the contrary (as we say there is) then it should not be assumed.

What evidence to the contrary? So far, I've only seen references to what RJ said (which is outside of the books) and alternative interpretations of specific events.

Alternative interpretations are perfectly valid. We have other cases of different lives/bodies/etc. - Mat, Birgitte, the Chosen. Birgitte doesn't believe that her past lives are her - she has no right to the memories. Per the quote from the books already provided by Suttree.

Alternative interpretations by themselves do not disprove each other. They are just that: alternatives.

 

The other cases of different lives/bodies don't prove anything either. In some of the cases (Mat) they aren't the same person. In some of the cases (Forsaken) they are. And one of the case (Birgitte) may not even be a person at all. Nor do any of the cases apply directly to Rand.

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Every piece of evidence from within the books is based on what a character thinks they see and thinks they know. Rand thinking he is LTT is a piece of evidence. If we can simply dismiss what Rand thinks is true, then we can simply dismiss what every other character thinks is true. Specifically, if we can simply dismiss what Rand thinks about LTT, then we can simply dismiss what everyone else thinks about LTT.

 

Most of your other arguments I did not quote seem pointless, though I've got to disagree with this. Anything a particular character thinks or says out loud MUST be scrutinized. They are not flawless, and they DO NOT speak for the author as some have suggested. Robert Jordan writes his characters with their own personalities, opinions, and flaws.

 

Robert Jordan even BLATANTLY shows this to the readers in TEotW: In Perrin's PoV he thinks he's bad with women and Rand is good, then in Rand's PoV he thinks he's bad with women and that Perrin is good. A direct conflict of information. But that's their personal opinions. Those lines are so clunky and obvious that I'd bet the whole point is to demonstrate that the thoughts of his characters are not to be banked on.

 

That applies to everything the characters think or say. But then you ask "well how can we know anything for sure?". Well technically we can't, but we can be quite certain of some things as long as we use the factual information we get from them. For example if Rand thought "the sky was cloudy today". We can be reasonably sure that the sky is cloudy. Some characters may have slightly different opinions on how much cloud constitutes as cloudy, but for the most part, we have a range of how much cloud is in the sky.

 

If a character says "Min has dark hair." and another says "Min has black hair". Who is right? Well maybe her hair is close to black and the particular lighting made it look completely black in one scene.

 

Also, there are people who are more reliable on certain topics. Getting facts about channeling from a non-channeler is probably not a good idea, no matter how confident that person thinks they are. Also, spoken words are less reliable than thoughts. People might lie, mislead, or hide things if they're speaking to another character, but if we're seeing their PoV, we get a more honest viewpoint (still only a viewpoint).

 

Another example, Egwene says she thinks Rand could break the shields holding him in the Tower. But she's neither holding the shield to feel any potential pressure he might try putting on it, nor can she sense how strong he is. That makes her an extremely unreliable source of that information, it's just her opinion based on how Rand is acting. And obviously Rand can act cocky without being able to do what she suggests.

 

That's how third-person-subjective/limited multi-PoV works. Question everything. That's what makes it so fun!

Edited by Kael Pyralis

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Also, there are people who are more reliable on certain topics. Getting facts about channeling from a non-channeler is probably not a good idea, no matter how confident that person thinks they are. Also, spoken words are less reliable than thoughts. People might lie, mislead, or hide things if they're speaking to another character, but if we're seeing their PoV, we get a more honest viewpoint (still only a viewpoint).

 

Couldnt agree more. And its for that reason that I absolutely refuse to believe Min of all people can figure out what the flaw in Callandor is. Sure, she can go off things Herid Fel wrote or read, but even then hes not a channeler so theres one flaw, and after that, Min is hardly a philosopher, she just read a few books.

 

We just have to look at what happens just like the characters do. The difference is we can cross reference what characters see and think, whereas they cannot. Unless they start talking to each other.

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Every piece of evidence from within the books is based on what a character thinks they see and thinks they know. Rand thinking he is LTT is a piece of evidence. If we can simply dismiss what Rand thinks is true, then we can simply dismiss what every other character thinks is true. Specifically, if we can simply dismiss what Rand thinks about LTT, then we can simply dismiss what everyone else thinks about LTT.

 

Most of your other arguments I did not quote seem pointless, though I've got to disagree with this. Anything a particular character thinks or says out loud MUST be scrutinized. They are not flawless, and they DO NOT speak for the author as some have suggested. Robert Jordan writes his characters with their own personalities, opinions, and flaws.

 

Robert Jordan even BLATANTLY shows this to the readers in TEotW: In Perrin's PoV he thinks he's bad with women and Rand is good, then in Rand's PoV he thinks he's bad with women and that Perrin is good. A direct conflict of information. But that's their personal opinions. Those lines are so clunky and obvious that I'd bet the whole point is to demonstrate that the thoughts of his characters are not to be banked on.

You're missing the point.

 

No one said we have to believe everything each character's POV tells us.

 

 

That applies to everything the characters think or say. But then you ask "well how can we know anything for sure?". Well technically we can't, but we can be quite certain of some things as long as we use the factual information we get from them. For example if Rand thought "the sky was cloudy today". We can be reasonably sure that the sky is cloudy. Some characters may have slightly different opinions on how much cloud constitutes as cloudy, but for the most part, we have a range of how much cloud is in the sky.

No. Do not misquote me. What I said was, if we start dismissing Rand's POV because it's "just his POV" then we can't trust anyone else's POV either. Is that clearer?

 

 

If a character says "Min has dark hair." and another says "Min has black hair". Who is right? Well maybe her hair is close to black and the particular lighting made it look completely black in one scene.

 

Also, there are people who are more reliable on certain topics. Getting facts about channeling from a non-channeler is probably not a good idea, no matter how confident that person thinks they are. Also, spoken words are less reliable than thoughts. People might lie, mislead, or hide things if they're speaking to another character, but if we're seeing their PoV, we get a more honest viewpoint (still only a viewpoint).

 

Another example, Egwene says she thinks Rand could break the shields holding him in the Tower. But she's neither holding the shield to feel any potential pressure he might try putting on it, nor can she sense how strong he is. That makes her an extremely unreliable source of that information, it's just her opinion based on how Rand is acting. And obviously Rand can act cocky without being able to do what she suggests.

 

That's how third-person-subjective/limited multi-PoV works. Question everything. That's what makes it so fun!

That's all fine and good. Now address the specific topic. Rand thinks he's LTT. Do we believe him or not? And why?

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