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Dragonmount from balefire


Bromo Sapien
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So I just started to reread all the books again in a pseudo-anticipation of aMoL twelve+ months off and something interesting popped up in the very first prologue. If you go back and read the description of LTT making this forum's namesake, it reads like a person summoning a giant bar of balefire. My theory, albeit one that has had very few days to mature, is that LTT summoned a bar so large that it erased the land's history back to the days of Randland being created, where volcanoes were prominent (assuming Randland's early days were similar to Earth's, which, considering the parallels, seems likely). First, here's the passage that made me think of balefire:

 

The air turned to fire, the fire to light liquefied. The bolt that struck from the heavens would have seared and blinded any eye that glimpsed it, even for an instant. From the heavens it came, blazed through Lews Therin Telamon, bored into the bowels of the earth. Stone turned to vapor at its touch. The earth trashed and quivered like a living thing in agony. Only a heartbeat did the shining bar exist, connecting ground and sky, but even after it vanished the earth yet heaved like the sea in a storm. Molten rock fountained five hundred feet into the air, and the groaning ground rose, thrusting the burning spray ever upward, ever higher.

 

That "shining bar" describes balefire exactly, the only difference being that it came from the sky instead of LTT. However, I believe it's Moiraine when she is teaching Egwene on the road to Fal Dara who says that the One Power is controlled by the mind the extraneous movements like "throwing" a fireball need not exist. This implies that balefire doesn't necessarily need to come from the person wielding it, especially considering it has to pass through him.

 

The description of the "stone [turning] to vapor at its touch" is also reminiscent of Rand fighting one of the Forsaken (I forget which one; I read all the early ones consecutively so for the most part they blend together a bit into one tale.) and hitting statues which dissolve into nothingness.

 

As for what the balefire accomplished in terms of creating the Dragonmount, doesn't that last few lines after the balefire left sound like a world being born. Fire shooting into the sky, constant earthquakes, etc.? With a bar of balefire that large, it could take ages off the landscape. LTT was the most powerful channeler ever and he admits that "Quickly he had drawn more of the One Power than he could channel unaided..." Even still, he continues drawing more and more.

 

Also, I don't see a feasible alternative. The only other possibilities would be that LTT rose a mountain around himself, but the text makes it clear that it comes from the sky and goes down, not from the center of the earth up. It couldn't be that the pure act of channeling that much of the Power created the mountain because we've never seen the Power create anything from nothing before.

 

The one critique I have on my own theory is the fact that balefire would erase LTT. While you might be able to get around the whole "being reborn despite being erased from the Pattern" by saying that the Savior figure as an idea (ie not Rand or LTT but the actual Savior that is ultimately reborn in each age as these people) is outside the Pattern since it returns so frequently, the fact that LTT the person is hit is hard to ignore. If this were balefire, theoretically the kinslaying should never have happened, as well as the Hundred Companion's raid, and no "Dragon" Reborn, since there would never have been a Dragon. Is there some way around this problem or did I just disprove my entire post in a single thought? I'm thinking, unfortunately, it's probably the latter.

 

What are your thoughts on this? Does this have some merit even if it has a giant, LTT-sized hole in it?

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Balefire doesn't keep a person from being reborn...it just erases a part of what they did as they die before they are hit...

 

I actually think that what he pulled down was pure saidin like what was found in the Eye. Remember that a stone dropped in the stuff fizzled from existance?

 

Since RJ said the Power isn't infinite (it "refills" itself I guess), I see it like a dam. Ppl that use the Power access it by opening a small window on that dam and manipulating the stuff that comes through...LTT just accessed more of the Power by opening the biggest window ever.

 

I'm guessing that his hope was to drain enough saidin to save the world for a time (slow down the destruction from men going mad). Also remember that Ishy ports to the vicinity so the bolt LTT calls down isn't really world-wide.

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I like the theory, it has been theorized before, but RJ or BS said it wasn't balefire.

 

Well that shoots down everything then, doesn't it. Kinda suspected this had been addressed considering it's 21 years old and just about everything that's anything in WOT has been analyzed ad infinitum.

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Like another told, this has been theorized before. And like others told, Robert Jordan told it was not balefire.

 

From my understanding, balefire affects just its target unless the target is some kind container (building, transportation, etc).

Lews Therin was not inside anything.

 

And from my understanding, balefire always destroys and never creates.

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Tom McCormick: Please find out if Lews Therin balefired himself in the prologue in The Eye of the World, or if he just drew too much of the One Power. If it isn't critical to the continuing plot, I'm sure he'll say.

RJ: Lews Therin did not use balefire on himself; he simply drew as much of the One Power as he could, then kept on pulling it in.

http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/Letter_to_Tom_McCormick_November/December_1993

 

I seem to recall that Brandom was discussing the power of Balefire and considered that even with the Coeden Kal.. Ahh here it is..

 

Brandon: Let’s divorce it. Rand balefires Rahvin as hardcore as he could and Rand is one of the most powerful people to live and he got us, what have you determined, from the lightning killing Mat until balefire killed Rahvin, I’d guess fifteen minutes.

Matt: Well, he at least got us fifteen minutes. We don’t know how far back, we just know up to that moment.

Brandon: Well, we do know because if it had been too much further than that we would have noticed a lot of discrepancies in the Pattern from things he’d done...

Matt: Let’s say thirty minutes to an hour, at the most.

Brandon: Alright, thirty minutes to an hour. Okay, let’s say the Choedan Kal amplifies his abilities 100 fold…let’s say it’s a 100 times more powerful than Rand. That’s giving us, lets say he got an hour, we’ve got four days, from the most powerful, one of the most powerful sa’angreal ever created. I think it is unrealistic to assume you can get back a year, but that’s not saying it is impossible. I think that if you did that to the Pattern the ramifications would be so dramatic you’d see the Pattern unraveling hardcore at that point, it’s like balefiring an entire city. When I first read that guess I just laughed, I’m like guys c’mon lets run the math on this.

https://docs.google.com/View?docID=dcjspjqg_59g3crchdk&revision=_latest

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Tom McCormick: Please find out if Lews Therin balefired himself in the prologue in The Eye of the World, or if he just drew too much of the One Power. If it isn't critical to the continuing plot, I'm sure he'll say.

RJ: Lews Therin did not use balefire on himself; he simply drew as much of the One Power as he could, then kept on pulling it in.

http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/Letter_to_Tom_McCormick_November/December_1993

 

I seem to recall that Brandom was discussing the power of Balefire and considered that even with the Coeden Kal.. Ahh here it is..

 

Brandon: Let’s divorce it. Rand balefires Rahvin as hardcore as he could and Rand is one of the most powerful people to live and he got us, what have you determined, from the lightning killing Mat until balefire killed Rahvin, I’d guess fifteen minutes.

Matt: Well, he at least got us fifteen minutes. We don’t know how far back, we just know up to that moment.

Brandon: Well, we do know because if it had been too much further than that we would have noticed a lot of discrepancies in the Pattern from things he’d done...

Matt: Let’s say thirty minutes to an hour, at the most.

Brandon: Alright, thirty minutes to an hour. Okay, let’s say the Choedan Kal amplifies his abilities 100 fold…let’s say it’s a 100 times more powerful than Rand. That’s giving us, lets say he got an hour, we’ve got four days, from the most powerful, one of the most powerful sa’angreal ever created. I think it is unrealistic to assume you can get back a year, but that’s not saying it is impossible. I think that if you did that to the Pattern the ramifications would be so dramatic you’d see the Pattern unraveling hardcore at that point, it’s like balefiring an entire city. When I first read that guess I just laughed, I’m like guys c’mon lets run the math on this.

https://docs.google.com/View?docID=dcjspjqg_59g3crchdk&revision=_latest

 

Brandon isn't really saying 4 days either here, it's hypothetical. When did Delana and Aran'gar arrive at Natrin's Barrow? If it was more recent than 4 days I would have thought we would have seen some ramifications to the pattern already. Delana was a Sitter just prior to high tailing to Graendal's HQ and who knows what Aran'gar was up to seeing as Egwene was out of her reach.

 

I think it's also possible that the size (literally) of the weave could take more power. I'm basing this on evidence such as taking out columns, carving niches in walls etc. For example:

 

[-] Width of Moiraine's Balefire when killing Darkhounds and Bel'al

[--] Width of Nynaeve's when killing Fades (in TDR) and in her Testing for the Shawl

[------] Width of Rand's when fighting Rhavin (at his natural full strength at the time)

[----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------] x 10

Width of Rand's when dealing with Natrin's Barrow.

 

Also, it is mentioned in book something, that the Balefire just keeps on going (depth-wise) until the weaver lets it go. Examples are Caemlyn/Rhavin and Tanchico/Jeannie Cade with Ter'angreal. There was no mention of chunks carved out of the mountains behind Natrin's Barrow, let alone landslides which would have resulted from it.

 

Lastly, I think it is mostly about control. In TGH I believe that Rand was making his weaves as small as he could to wipe out the Darkhounds without attracting Myrdraal. Rand used Balefire almost every time he defeated a Forsaken in TAR. He saw the damage caused there and learned to let go of the weave as soon as the target was achieved, as was seen in later books.

 

So that is why I think that the Balefire Rand used then, couldn't have taken away 3-4 days of Aran'gar's and Delana's actions. That was an Aes Sedai answer from Brandon I believe. Very subtle.

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I always understood Dragonmount as beeing created, not by the power itself, but that the power bored into the inner core of the earth and made it erupt like a volcano, creating the mountain. After burning away the mantle, the magma was freet o fountain up. Isn't that pretty much how it is described?

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well in manatherin the ground was turned to glass so alot of heat is generated, so lews therin probably just generated so much he melter the land all around and underneath him down far enough that the magma could break through to the surface.

Edited by rand4747
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Tom McCormick: Please find out if Lews Therin balefired himself in the prologue in The Eye of the World, or if he just drew too much of the One Power. If it isn't critical to the continuing plot, I'm sure he'll say.

RJ: Lews Therin did not use balefire on himself; he simply drew as much of the One Power as he could, then kept on pulling it in.

http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/Letter_to_Tom_McCormick_November/December_1993

 

I seem to recall that Brandom was discussing the power of Balefire and considered that even with the Coeden Kal.. Ahh here it is..

 

Brandon: Let’s divorce it. Rand balefires Rahvin as hardcore as he could and Rand is one of the most powerful people to live and he got us, what have you determined, from the lightning killing Mat until balefire killed Rahvin, I’d guess fifteen minutes.

Matt: Well, he at least got us fifteen minutes. We don’t know how far back, we just know up to that moment.

Brandon: Well, we do know because if it had been too much further than that we would have noticed a lot of discrepancies in the Pattern from things he’d done...

Matt: Let’s say thirty minutes to an hour, at the most.

Brandon: Alright, thirty minutes to an hour. Okay, let’s say the Choedan Kal amplifies his abilities 100 fold…let’s say it’s a 100 times more powerful than Rand. That’s giving us, lets say he got an hour, we’ve got four days, from the most powerful, one of the most powerful sa’angreal ever created. I think it is unrealistic to assume you can get back a year, but that’s not saying it is impossible. I think that if you did that to the Pattern the ramifications would be so dramatic you’d see the Pattern unraveling hardcore at that point, it’s like balefiring an entire city. When I first read that guess I just laughed, I’m like guys c’mon lets run the math on this.

https://docs.google.com/View?docID=dcjspjqg_59g3crchdk&revision=_latest

 

Brandon isn't really saying 4 days either here, it's hypothetical. When did Delana and Aran'gar arrive at Natrin's Barrow? If it was more recent than 4 days I would have thought we would have seen some ramifications to the pattern already. Delana was a Sitter just prior to high tailing to Graendal's HQ and who knows what Aran'gar was up to seeing as Egwene was out of her reach.

 

I think it's also possible that the size (literally) of the weave could take more power. I'm basing this on evidence such as taking out columns, carving niches in walls etc. For example:

 

[-] Width of Moiraine's Balefire when killing Darkhounds and Bel'al

[--] Width of Nynaeve's when killing Fades (in TDR) and in her Testing for the Shawl

[------] Width of Rand's when fighting Rhavin (at his natural full strength at the time)

[----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------] x 10

Width of Rand's when dealing with Natrin's Barrow.

 

Also, it is mentioned in book something, that the Balefire just keeps on going (depth-wise) until the weaver lets it go. Examples are Caemlyn/Rhavin and Tanchico/Jeannie Cade with Ter'angreal. There was no mention of chunks carved out of the mountains behind Natrin's Barrow, let alone landslides which would have resulted from it.

 

Lastly, I think it is mostly about control. In TGH I believe that Rand was making his weaves as small as he could to wipe out the Darkhounds without attracting Myrdraal. Rand used Balefire almost every time he defeated a Forsaken in TAR. He saw the damage caused there and learned to let go of the weave as soon as the target was achieved, as was seen in later books.

 

So that is why I think that the Balefire Rand used then, couldn't have taken away 3-4 days of Aran'gar's and Delana's actions. That was an Aes Sedai answer from Brandon I believe. Very subtle.

 

As I read it, Brandon is estimating a theoretical maximum of how far back in time someone can be balefired, using Rand with the Choedan Kal as the way to get the most power through.

Basicly, a way to make the people who think that Balefiring Lanfear will undo her creating the Bore in the first place, a few thousand years ago, reconsider.

 

But yes, I assume that creating a really wide beam of Balefire take some strength which is taken from how far back you are burning things..

Could have sworn I had seen a quote by Brandom about the Barrow, but I cant seem to find it again..

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I always understood Dragonmount as beeing created, not by the power itself, but that the power bored into the inner core of the earth and made it erupt like a volcano, creating the mountain. After burning away the mantle, the magma was freet o fountain up. Isn't that pretty much how it is described?

 

That's the way I always understood it as well. LTT didn't 'create' the mountain. The blast he killed himself with was so powerful it punched a hole in the crust, and the mountain was formed from the subsequent eruption.

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Since RJ said the Power isn't infinite (it "refills" itself I guess), I see it like a dam.

You left out the other part of the quote, the part about "when the weave is done, it returns to the Source". So I don't see how LTT could've been trying to steal Power away to save the world.

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Since RJ said the Power isn't infinite (it "refills" itself I guess), I see it like a dam.

You left out the other part of the quote, the part about "when the weave is done, it returns to the Source". So I don't see how LTT could've been trying to steal Power away to save the world.

He wasnt trying to steal it away I don't think, I think he was just punishing himself for what he had done on a whim, since sanity was only just returned to him.

Oh and I don't see as it refills itself, I see as once that part of the one power has been used it goes back to the true source, thats how Rand's cleansing worked, he just had to go through all of Saidin and cleanse every single part of it, once that bit of the one power was cleansed it was all good... if you get what I mean.

Like there was clean parts of saidin after they released the saidin in the eye, it was just so miniscule compared to the entirety of it that it just sort of blended in with the rest of it seemingly making no difference at all.

 

Also about the natrims barrow thing, I always just thought he was using a few maybe 5 or so times his own strength, I never really saw it as him holding the extent of the power of the Choeden Kal, otherwise every male channeler in the world would have seen where he was...

Edited by Arkane101
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The Choden Kal was glowing like a mini sun according to Min IIRC (paraphrasing). Same thing really as at VoG so a massive amount of Power. It takes a certain strength to weave even a thin stream and Rand's enveloped the whole of Natrin's Barrow.

 

And yes, I've read posts about Balefire touching the 'container' which I interpret as outer wall/castle wall whatever as applied to the barrow but I don't buy that. If so, whole columns or walls would be removed rather than parts of them as has been shown in the text numerous times.

 

Got sidetracked there... other chanellers would have felt that Balefire but seeing as Rand pretty much Travelled away soon after and the bashing they received when Rand cleansed Saidin, I don't think the Forsaken would having been rushing to get there.

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No, the Forsaken would probably not congregate to Natrin's Barrow even if Rand drew that deeply (but others would still comment on it, as we've seen channelers do around the world during the Cleansing).

 

True, but after the Cleansing, the Bowl of Winds which besides the FS at the Cleansing, comments made were by AS and AM. Only males would have felt the Natrin's Barrow and VoG channeling and there aren't many male FS left and I think we've only heard from Moridin since then in Rand's dream. Perhaps the AM being under the influence of the DS can't feel Saidin being woven outside it. We don't know that much about DS's and they could have more properties than the two we know of.

 

As for the AM outside, they're mostly up near the Blight fighting their own battles and that closer use of large amounts of Power could drown out or blur the sensing of other channeling.

 

I always seem to create more questions for myself... :rolleyes:

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I don't think so. VoG isn't the same because Rand only drew saidin there, he didn't actually channel it. And during the Cleansing Perrin's Asha'man (and pretty much everyone, everywhere) dropped whatever they were doing and had a strong urge to flee. Do you think we wouldn't have seen the same reaction if Rand channeled similar amounts at the Barrow? From Grady and Neald, at least?

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I don't think so. VoG isn't the same because Rand only drew saidin there, he didn't actually channel it. And during the Cleansing Perrin's Asha'man (and pretty much everyone, everywhere) dropped whatever they were doing and had a strong urge to flee. Do you think we wouldn't have seen the same reaction if Rand channeled similar amounts at the Barrow? From Grady and Neald, at least?

 

Gotta agree with yoniy0 on this one.

 

Also, about balefire, the discussion below pretty much explains everything nicely. After some initial hand waving, there's a "spread" factor. So you can shoot a small stream then spread it over objects, like Nynaeve's boat, Rand and the palace, or whole cities from the AoL.

 

You don't have to go all Goku Super Saiyan and make a beam as large as what you want to poof.

 

But that also explains why you can shoot slices in a building or holes through a pillar because it's not "instructed" to spread.

 

Marie Curie: Even a stone in a wall has a thread in the Pattern, right? You said so...

Brandon: As I understand it, Robert Jordan specifically said that even inanimate objects have a thread.

Marie: So, that explains why when, say, a stone pillar is balefired, only the portion that balefire hits disintegrates...

Brandon: Right...

Marie: ...because all of those little bits would have their own threads...

Brandon: Theoretically. And I was wrong on that for a while - I had to go back and look at interviews before I...[to Terez] Were you the one that sent me that?

Terez: Yeah, I tweeted that to you...

Brandon: Yeah...the boat that Nynaeve was on that got balefired...

Marie: She pointed out that inanimate objects...their threads are burned back. But that also explains why a person who has one thread tied to their soul would be completely eliminated by balefire.

Brandon: Mmmhmm.

Marie: So why did their clothes go away?

Terez: (laughs)

Brandon: Balefire does spread a bit, from what I've read.

Marie: Then why doesn't it for the column?

Brandon: It does, but it's like, you know...just a little bit.

Marie: Right, but if you use a pencil-thin bit of balefire, right, and I shot your shirt, why would the whole shirt disappear?

Brandon: Um, if it goes through and hits you, then you disintegrate, and it will spread out from you.

Marie: Then, that doesn't explain Nynaeve's boat.2

Brandon: No, it doesn't. ... I will be perfectly honest with you. I've worked through and tried to figure out the rules of balefiring inanimate objects quite a bit...because we've got the whole thing with Nynaeve and...

Marie: The rowers.

Brandon: Yeah. Well no, not even that...earlier than that with the balefire rod that's like cutting swaths through the palace in Tanchico, and it's just cutting lines through the palace, just slicing big holes...

Marie: Right. That's the stone pillars...the multiple threads...

Terez: It did the same thing in Caemlyn with Rand and Rahvin.

Brandon: Yeah. And that's searing little lines, but then you hit something living, and it all *poofs*. It actually becomes motes...like it hits and it spreads to the full, living thing, and then *poof* that all goes away. And so...the clothes are something I hadn't even thought of, but balefire does seem to spread a little bit...

Marie: You would think that, you know...where the balefire hit, obviously there would be a hole, the person would *poof*, and their clothes would drop.

Brandon: Yeah. But it's got to spread a little bit because of that. But then, you know, with the boat...yeah.

Marie: You can't imagine how many debates we've had on Theoryland about the boat...

Terez: Oh god...

Brandon: The boat is an outlier. You could argue a couple of things on it - distance and power level could both be involved.

Marie: And there are other outliers, like in TGS...um...

Terez: The palace?

Marie: Yeah, the palace...

Brandon: That, I did intentionally. Looking through everything that is happening, and saying, 'He is continuing to pump balefire into this thing, to expand it through into the entire thing...

Terez: So, it's a deliberate, directive thing...

Brandon: That's got to be possible, because in the Age of Legends...

Terez: Right, whole cities...

Brandon: Right, whole cities. And so there's got to be a force-to-spread multiplier. Does that make sense?

Marie: Sure.

Brandon: So, I'm using a force-to-spread multiplier. And so you could maybe make that argument with the boat.

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I don't think so. VoG isn't the same because Rand only drew saidin there, he didn't actually channel it. And during the Cleansing Perrin's Asha'man (and pretty much everyone, everywhere) dropped whatever they were doing and had a strong urge to flee. Do you think we wouldn't have seen the same reaction if Rand channeled similar amounts at the Barrow? From Grady and Neald, at least?

 

Gotta agree with yoniy0 on this one.

 

Not so sure of this about VoG. In TGH when they are holed up in the mountains and Rand nearly pulls the mountain down on them he tells Perrin that he 'had to send it somewhere'. IIRC, at VoG when he held so much Power and then had his epiphany, he threw the Power back at the Choden Kal and the Access Key to destroy them and temptation both.

 

Also, about balefire, the discussion below pretty much explains everything nicely. After some initial hand waving, there's a "spread" factor. So you can shoot a small stream then spread it over objects, like Nynaeve's boat, Rand and the palace, or whole cities from the AoL.

 

You don't have to go all Goku Super Saiyan and make a beam as large as what you want to poof.

 

But that also explains why you can shoot slices in a building or holes through a pillar because it's not "instructed" to spread.

 

What we see in Tanchico is not "spread". With Mogs the aim of her stream is interrupted (as in her concentration to keep it aimed) by the pigeons because she is paranoid about Moridin feeling what she was doing when she was supposed to be doing something else. i.e she was probably aiming for the cabin that Nyn was in but when she flinched in reaction to the pigeons, her aim moved and took out the rowers and sliced the boat in half.

 

Also, when Jeane Caide used the Ter'angreal it was so powerful that she couldn't control it and her aim was all over the place. Even when she let go of the weave she was tottering as if dizzy. We saw this lack of control in Caemlyn too when Elayne was trapped by, and subsequently captured the Black AS when massive trenches were cut and the stream went up into the sky etc..

 

My analogy is that both situations I think are similar to using an automatic weapon, if you are prepared you can fire a string of bullets at roughly the same target. However, if you are not strong enough to control the 'throwback'? effect of the gun or are distracted, the results are very likely to be that the string of bullets makes a line, from where your aim began and where it deviated to. Even if you don't really know much about guns (hand up), that much can be gleaned from numerous movies and books that at least try to portray some reality.

 

Marie Curie: Even a stone in a wall has a thread in the Pattern, right? You said so...

Brandon: As I understand it, Robert Jordan specifically said that even inanimate objects have a thread.

Marie: So, that explains why when, say, a stone pillar is balefired, only the portion that balefire hits disintegrates...

Brandon: Right...

Marie: ...because all of those little bits would have their own threads...

Brandon: Theoretically. And I was wrong on that for a while - I had to go back and look at interviews before I...[to Terez] Were you the one that sent me that?

Terez: Yeah, I tweeted that to you...

Brandon: Yeah...the boat that Nynaeve was on that got balefired...

Marie: She pointed out that inanimate objects...their threads are burned back. But that also explains why a person who has one thread tied to their soul would be completely eliminated by balefire.

Brandon: Mmmhmm.

Marie: So why did their clothes go away?

Terez: (laughs)

Brandon: Balefire does spread a bit, from what I've read.

Marie: Then why doesn't it for the column?

Brandon: It does, but it's like, you know...just a little bit.

Marie: Right, but if you use a pencil-thin bit of balefire, right, and I shot your shirt, why would the whole shirt disappear?

Brandon: Um, if it goes through and hits you, then you disintegrate, and it will spread out from you.

Marie: Then, that doesn't explain Nynaeve's boat.2

Brandon: No, it doesn't. ... I will be perfectly honest with you. I've worked through and tried to figure out the rules of balefiring inanimate objects quite a bit...because we've got the whole thing with Nynaeve and...

Marie: The rowers.

Brandon: Yeah. Well no, not even that...earlier than that with the balefire rod that's like cutting swaths through the palace in Tanchico, and it's just cutting lines through the palace, just slicing big holes...

Marie: Right. That's the stone pillars...the multiple threads...

Terez: It did the same thing in Caemlyn with Rand and Rahvin.

Brandon: Yeah. And that's searing little lines, but then you hit something living, and it all *poofs*. It actually becomes motes...like it hits and it spreads to the full, living thing, and then *poof* that all goes away. And so...the clothes are something I hadn't even thought of, but balefire does seem to spread a little bit...

Marie: You would think that, you know...where the balefire hit, obviously there would be a hole, the person would *poof*, and their clothes would drop.

Brandon: Yeah. But it's got to spread a little bit because of that. But then, you know, with the boat...yeah.

Marie: You can't imagine how many debates we've had on Theoryland about the boat...

Terez: Oh god...

Brandon: The boat is an outlier. You could argue a couple of things on it - distance and power level could both be involved.

Marie: And there are other outliers, like in TGS...um...

Terez: The palace?

Marie: Yeah, the palace...

Brandon: That, I did intentionally. Looking through everything that is happening, and saying, 'He is continuing to pump balefire into this thing, to expand it through into the entire thing...

Terez: So, it's a deliberate, directive thing...

Brandon: That's got to be possible, because in the Age of Legends...

Terez: Right, whole cities...

Brandon: Right, whole cities. And so there's got to be a force-to-spread multiplier. Does that make sense?

Marie: Sure.

Brandon: So, I'm using a force-to-spread multiplier. And so you could maybe make that argument with the boat.

 

This sounds to me like Brandon was being led by the nose and only made up his mind with what theory he could make work for him right at the end of the quote. I don't know if this is the whole conversation or just an excerpt but what I do note, is that Brandon said he had to reason out the rules and uses words like seem a bit. If your aim was true but you just continued to pump the Balefire in as Brandon said, then that stream would have gone straight through and cut a hole who know how deep into the mountains behind the palace and beyond.

 

When Rand has spoken about it, it is obvious that he cuts off his streams not to keep them from 'spreading', but to stop them from going deeper. Taking his finger off the trigger as it were. If you kept firing above gun at a wooden post at the same point, the bullets would eventually cut through the post and shoot whatever is behind it. As does Balefire.

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I don't think so. VoG isn't the same because Rand only drew saidin there, he didn't actually channel it. And during the Cleansing Perrin's Asha'man (and pretty much everyone, everywhere) dropped whatever they were doing and had a strong urge to flee. Do you think we wouldn't have seen the same reaction if Rand channeled similar amounts at the Barrow? From Grady and Neald, at least?

 

Gotta agree with yoniy0 on this one.

 

Not so sure of this about VoG. In TGH when they are holed up in the mountains and Rand nearly pulls the mountain down on them he tells Perrin that he 'had to send it somewhere'. IIRC, at VoG when he held so much Power and then had his epiphany, he threw the Power back at the Choden Kal and the Access Key to destroy them and temptation both.

 

Also, about balefire, the discussion below pretty much explains everything nicely. After some initial hand waving, there's a "spread" factor. So you can shoot a small stream then spread it over objects, like Nynaeve's boat, Rand and the palace, or whole cities from the AoL.

 

You don't have to go all Goku Super Saiyan and make a beam as large as what you want to poof.

 

But that also explains why you can shoot slices in a building or holes through a pillar because it's not "instructed" to spread.

 

What we see in Tanchico is not "spread". With Mogs the aim of her stream is interrupted (as in her concentration to keep it aimed) by the pigeons because she is paranoid about Moridin feeling what she was doing when she was supposed to be doing something else. i.e she was probably aiming for the cabin that Nyn was in but when she flinched in reaction to the pigeons, her aim moved and took out the rowers and sliced the boat in half.

 

Also, when Jeane Caide used the Ter'angreal it was so powerful that she couldn't control it and her aim was all over the place. Even when she let go of the weave she was tottering as if dizzy. We saw this lack of control in Caemlyn too when Elayne was trapped by, and subsequently captured the Black AS when massive trenches were cut and the stream went up into the sky etc..

 

My analogy is that both situations I think are similar to using an automatic weapon, if you are prepared you can fire a string of bullets at roughly the same target. However, if you are not strong enough to control the 'throwback'? effect of the gun or are distracted, the results are very likely to be that the string of bullets makes a line, from where your aim began and where it deviated to. Even if you don't really know much about guns (hand up), that much can be gleaned from numerous movies and books that at least try to portray some reality.

 

Marie Curie: Even a stone in a wall has a thread in the Pattern, right? You said so...

Brandon: As I understand it, Robert Jordan specifically said that even inanimate objects have a thread.

Marie: So, that explains why when, say, a stone pillar is balefired, only the portion that balefire hits disintegrates...

Brandon: Right...

Marie: ...because all of those little bits would have their own threads...

Brandon: Theoretically. And I was wrong on that for a while - I had to go back and look at interviews before I...[to Terez] Were you the one that sent me that?

Terez: Yeah, I tweeted that to you...

Brandon: Yeah...the boat that Nynaeve was on that got balefired...

Marie: She pointed out that inanimate objects...their threads are burned back. But that also explains why a person who has one thread tied to their soul would be completely eliminated by balefire.

Brandon: Mmmhmm.

Marie: So why did their clothes go away?

Terez: (laughs)

Brandon: Balefire does spread a bit, from what I've read.

Marie: Then why doesn't it for the column?

Brandon: It does, but it's like, you know...just a little bit.

Marie: Right, but if you use a pencil-thin bit of balefire, right, and I shot your shirt, why would the whole shirt disappear?

Brandon: Um, if it goes through and hits you, then you disintegrate, and it will spread out from you.

Marie: Then, that doesn't explain Nynaeve's boat.2

Brandon: No, it doesn't. ... I will be perfectly honest with you. I've worked through and tried to figure out the rules of balefiring inanimate objects quite a bit...because we've got the whole thing with Nynaeve and...

Marie: The rowers.

Brandon: Yeah. Well no, not even that...earlier than that with the balefire rod that's like cutting swaths through the palace in Tanchico, and it's just cutting lines through the palace, just slicing big holes...

Marie: Right. That's the stone pillars...the multiple threads...

Terez: It did the same thing in Caemlyn with Rand and Rahvin.

Brandon: Yeah. And that's searing little lines, but then you hit something living, and it all *poofs*. It actually becomes motes...like it hits and it spreads to the full, living thing, and then *poof* that all goes away. And so...the clothes are something I hadn't even thought of, but balefire does seem to spread a little bit...

Marie: You would think that, you know...where the balefire hit, obviously there would be a hole, the person would *poof*, and their clothes would drop.

Brandon: Yeah. But it's got to spread a little bit because of that. But then, you know, with the boat...yeah.

Marie: You can't imagine how many debates we've had on Theoryland about the boat...

Terez: Oh god...

Brandon: The boat is an outlier. You could argue a couple of things on it - distance and power level could both be involved.

Marie: And there are other outliers, like in TGS...um...

Terez: The palace?

Marie: Yeah, the palace...

Brandon: That, I did intentionally. Looking through everything that is happening, and saying, 'He is continuing to pump balefire into this thing, to expand it through into the entire thing...

Terez: So, it's a deliberate, directive thing...

Brandon: That's got to be possible, because in the Age of Legends...

Terez: Right, whole cities...

Brandon: Right, whole cities. And so there's got to be a force-to-spread multiplier. Does that make sense?

Marie: Sure.

Brandon: So, I'm using a force-to-spread multiplier. And so you could maybe make that argument with the boat.

 

This sounds to me like Brandon was being led by the nose and only made up his mind with what theory he could make work for him right at the end of the quote. I don't know if this is the whole conversation or just an excerpt but what I do note, is that Brandon said he had to reason out the rules and uses words like seem a bit. If your aim was true but you just continued to pump the Balefire in as Brandon said, then that stream would have gone straight through and cut a hole who know how deep into the mountains behind the palace and beyond.

 

When Rand has spoken about it, it is obvious that he cuts off his streams not to keep them from 'spreading', but to stop them from going deeper. Taking his finger off the trigger as it were. If you kept firing above gun at a wooden post at the same point, the bullets would eventually cut through the post and shoot whatever is behind it. As does Balefire.

 

What Brandon said does make some sense. It's balefire, after all, and fire kind of spreads within stuff to a certain degree. In my hometown, the swamp has been on fire for about a year now in spite of rain, because the fire still burns under the ground. Maybe balefire spreads from the inside out in cases living things, and because of the huge amount of contact between the person and what they are wearing, the clothes catch, too.

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