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Thom's knives


LeeM.Erickson
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Ok, so I was perusing Terez's compilation of RJ/Sanderson interviews, and came across this:

 

Brandon on Twitter - 8 January 2011

Much has been made of the blue flash when Thom fights the Fade. I can't say what it was, but it's not what most seem to think.

 

Ok, so I always thought that "what most people seem to think" was that Thom had knives that were Power wrought. In fact, according to Encyclopedia WoT, later versions of The Eye of the World were edited to change a line that Thom says after escaping Shadar Logoth and using throwing knives to stop Trollocs. The original line (which is the one that appears in my copy of EotW) showed Thom muttering about losing "his best knives" and was changed to read "my second best knives" presumably because there was an inconsistency, ie, Power wrought blades would obviously be considered Thom's best set, so it wouldn't make sense for him to lose his best set and still have Power wrought weapons. By changing the knives he used on the Trollocs to his second-best set, there's no contradiction when you see him later use the Power wrought weapons.

 

So is Brandon implying here that the blue flash wasn't from Power wrought weapons? If not, what could it be? We know Thom can't channel. If the blue flash wasn't from Power wrought knives, then why did they edit the text in The Eye of the World?

 

Maybe I'm interpreting this wrong, and Brandon meant that most people believe something OTHER than him having Power wrought blades, and I'm taking it for granted that this is the common consensus? And if this isn't a big deal, why can't Brandon clarify?

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Think most people thought it was the blades. But RJ had this to say...

Netherlands tour, Dromen and Demonen chat - 6 April 2001

 

Malivar: Do Myrddraal blades flash blue lightning regardless of the blades they strike? Or does it require a power wrought blade? If so, why do the two Fades fighting in the Stone make the flashes?

RJ: Myrddraal blades produce the blue lightning only when they strike their own kind of blade or a blade wrought with the One Power, not simple steel.

Malivar: If a Fade's blade will not produce lightning except against other Thakan'dar wrought blades, and power-wrought blades, why do Thom's daggers produce it when he attacks the Fade at Whitebridge?

 

RJ: Thom's daggers did not produce the effect. It was produced before Thom reached the Fade.

 

&

 

USAToday Chat - 5 January 2004

 

NY, NY: Why was there a blue light flashing when Thom met the Fade in Whitebridge?

RJ: Because Thom's best knives are very special indeed.

 

&

 

Ruhira Sedai: You've said before that the blue flashes during the fight with the Myrddraal in Whitebridge were not from Thom's daggers. What were they from?

RJ: RAFO.

 

 

So do they have some other type of power perhaps?

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We can quickly run through four main possibilities of this:

 

1. Rand channeled without knowing.

 

2. Thom's "Best set of knives" are Ter'angreal or are power-wrought. (Lan says something in TGH when talking of his and Rand's blades, he claims his was simply wrought, that there were such blades that maybe had powers, and we've seen a hint that Perrin's power-wrought hammer can burn the flesh of Trollocs. Might be imbued with some kind of attack, but probably Ter'angreal or Aes Sedai forged.)

 

3. Thom himself can channel. (Runs in the family after all, and his nephew Owen was stilled before he could save him.)

 

4. Something we have no idea about as of yet RJ was saving for the end.

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3. Thom himself can channel. (Runs in the family after all, and his nephew Owen was stilled before he could save him.)

 

We can cross one off, per RJ Thom can't channel.

 

Lord of Chaos book tour Seattle 25 October 1994 - Edward Liu reporting

I brought up the hereditary point (i.e. Owyn) but he said just because your parents have a particular gene doesn't mean you'll receive that particular gene. Also he made a point that Owyn was Thom's nephew so therefore not necessarily very similar gene-wise. When I pressed him again on it, he said (I'm quoting) 'There is no way in hell Thom can channel.' All he offered for explanations is that Thom is a 'mysterious man.'
Edited by Suttree
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I've seen the suggestion offered that Thom's knives were something he took from Taringail after killing him--the idea doesn't seem to have any basis other than the idea that it might allow for Moiraine to provide the reveal of a House Damodred family heirloom, and I suppose it being more likely that an ancient and powerful House would have such knives than a bard, but there it is.

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Ohhhh, I remember this thread from TL.

 

My thought on the matter was that due to the way the question was asked, and RJ's answer was phrased, he was being sly and hinting that it wasn't necessarily a direct effect. What is being said about Sanderson's response seems to jibe with that.

 

In short, I believe that the knives, for whatever reason, caused the Fade enough injury to make it stumble in bringing out its blade, and rather than hitting Thom, it struck the Whitebridge itself.

 

Specifically, my thought was based on the geography of the incident and the events directly leading up to it. When the group first enters Whitebridge, Rand imagines that he sees a shadow ripple across the AOL artifact. Later, after docking, the bridge is described as coming down in the center of a square and is directly across from the city gate that the boys later flee to. This also happens to be exactly where the Fade is described as being (halway across the square, minus mention of the bridge). The inn they stay at borders on that square, and they walk directly into the oncoming Fade.

 

Fade-blade + power wrought Whitebridge = blue flashes.

 

Thom bodyblock + fade = crushing blow to the kneecap on the pavement and a permanent residual limp

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sad, but obvious, just because most male channelers go crazy while young during thom's era, that doesn't mean that all of them do. while i am likely wrong, i suspect that thom merrilin is himself a channeler. i doubt that is true, but it could work.

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sad, but obvious, just because most male channelers go crazy while young during thom's era, that doesn't mean that all of them do. while i am likely wrong, i suspect that thom merrilin is himself a channeler. i doubt that is true, but it could work.

 

RJ confirmed that Thom cannot channel. In addition he would have started experiencing the physical rotting that comes with long term exposure to the Taint, whether or not he managed to retain some degree of sanity.

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I've always had a feeling that Thom was gentled.

He was not going to stop his nephew from being gentled so saving Owen must mean knowing how to survive gentling.

If Thom was gentled then he can't channel but the quote from RJ doesn't say he never could.

Would gentling stop the effects of the taint?

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I've always had a feeling that Thom was gentled.

He was not going to stop his nephew from being gentled so saving Owen must mean knowing how to survive gentling.

If Thom was gentled then he can't channel but the quote from RJ doesn't say he never could.

Would gentling stop the effects of the taint?

 

I believe it was stated by RJ that being gentled would only maintain the effects of the taint as they were, otherwise the Breaking would not have been so bad as it was. But also, those who have been gentled lose their will to live well before they reach Thom's age.

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I've always had a feeling that Thom was gentled.

He was not going to stop his nephew from being gentled so saving Owen must mean knowing how to survive gentling.

If Thom was gentled then he can't channel but the quote from RJ doesn't say he never could.

Would gentling stop the effects of the taint?

 

We also have this..I highly doubt Thom could ever channel.

 

 

Lord of Chaos book tour Seattle 25 October 1994 - Tony Zbaraschuk reporting

 

Q: Can Thom channel?

RJ: Absolutely not. I never intended anyone to think he could.

 

[Jordan also strongly implied that Thom was not Elayne's father. Oh, well, so much for all our beautiful net theories based on those two facts.]

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[Jordan also strongly implied that Thom was not Elayne's father. Oh, well, so much for all our beautiful net theories based on those two facts.]

 

Well if he didnt come out and say it than its still in the realm of possibility. Personaly I'm holding to it.

 

...course I'm still waiting on hard, concrete set-in-stone in-story confirmation that Taim is not Demodred (like the two of them in the same room together confirmation), that Olvir is not Gaidial Cain reborn, and a few other mad theories that I remain obstinate on. I have a secret theory that Jordan planed all that to happen, but fans second-guess him so he changed those plot progressions mid stream to spite us. He's somewhere laughing, now at the knashing of teath. knash knash knash. :biggrin:

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In short, I believe that the knives, for whatever reason, caused the Fade enough injury to make it stumble in bringing out its blade, and rather than hitting Thom, it struck the Whitebridge itself.

 

Specifically, my thought was based on the geography of the incident and the events directly leading up to it. When the group first enters Whitebridge, Rand imagines that he sees a shadow ripple across the AOL artifact. Later, after docking, the bridge is described as coming down in the center of a square and is directly across from the city gate that the boys later flee to. This also happens to be exactly where the Fade is described as being (halway across the square, minus mention of the bridge). The inn they stay at borders on that square, and they walk directly into the oncoming Fade.

 

Fade-blade + power wrought Whitebridge = blue flashes.

 

Thom bodyblock + fade = crushing blow to the kneecap on the pavement and a permanent residual limp

 

That's a good idea! That, or if the Fade knocked the throwing knife from the air with his blade then and struck the bridge in the same swing . . .

 

Regardless, good idea. Blue flashes for power wrought blades, why not other power wrought artifacts?

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I wonder if the location has something to do with it. White Bridge being from AoL and all. Just thought of it as I remember seeing the question as to why DO couldn't/woundn't bring Asmo back, and one of the reason was "location." Palace must be very old as well, so maybe there is something there. IDK, just throwing ideas around.

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I wonder if the location has something to do with it. White Bridge being from AoL and all. Just thought of it as I remember seeing the question as to why DO couldn't/woundn't bring Asmo back, and one of the reason was "location." Palace must be very old as well, so maybe there is something there. IDK, just throwing ideas around.

 

I'm suspect that by "location," RJ is referring to Tel'aran'rhiod, not the Caemlyn Palace. It would go a great distance to explaining just why nobody heard him scream, why there was no body, and why RJ thought the answer to the mystery was intuitive. The ability to force someone into the dream world narrows the candidates down to the Forsaken, and by that point in the game (and by the time of RJ's answer), we already knew that half the suspects were either dead or elsewhere, and many of the others could be reasoned out of the equation.

 

Were Asmodean to be killed in the dream, that leaves the location and perhaps even the survival of his life thread for "recyclying" in question. Hardly worth the effort.

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@FSM - nice concept. But there'd presumably need to be some sort of remote portable control / networking device as there was with the Choedan Kal? You can't carry a flipping bridge around!

 

Either that, or you'd have to be physically present. Rand felt the CK as he passed it. The access keys may have been a convenience rather than a requirement.

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That's Right, he felt the Choedan Kal. he did not feel the white bridge. as such, it will not be a (sa)angreaal. (if it were female, some AS would have known.)

 

When Rand saw the White Bridge (EotW26), he was very new indeed in his experience of saidin - as mb reminds us, he had only channelled twice, and that without even knowing it! So it's perhaps not surprising that he did not feel anything like what he got at the CK. However, there was something:

 

And over it all the White Bridge towered and shone.

 

“It looks like glass,” Rand said to no one in particular.

 

Captain Domon paused behind him and tucked his thumbs behind his broad belt. “Nay, lad. Whatever it be, it no be glass. Never so hard the rains come, it no be slippery, and the best chisel and the strongest arm no make a mark on it.”

 

“A remnant from the Age of Legends,” Thom said. “I have always thought it must be.”

 

The captain gave a dour grunt. “Mayhap. But still useful despite. Could be someone else built it. Does no have to be Aes Sedai work, Fortune prick me. It no has to be so old as all that. Put your back into it, you bloody fool!” He hurried off down the deck.

 

Rand stared even more wonderingly. From the Age of Legends. Made by Aes Sedai, then. That was why Captain Domon felt the way he did, for all his talk about the wonder and strangeness of the world. Aes Sedai work. One thing to hear about it, another to see it, and touch it. You know that, don’t you? For an instant it seemed to Rand that a shadow rippled through the milk-white structure.

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I wonder if the location has something to do with it. White Bridge being from AoL and all. Just thought of it as I remember seeing the question as to why DO couldn't/woundn't bring Asmo back, and one of the reason was "location." Palace must be very old as well, so maybe there is something there. IDK, just throwing ideas around.

 

I'm suspect that by "location," RJ is referring to Tel'aran'rhiod, not the Caemlyn Palace. It would go a great distance to explaining just why nobody heard him scream, why there was no body, and why RJ thought the answer to the mystery was intuitive. The ability to force someone into the dream world narrows the candidates down to the Forsaken, and by that point in the game (and by the time of RJ's answer), we already knew that half the suspects were either dead or elsewhere, and many of the others could be reasoned out of the equation.

 

Were Asmodean to be killed in the dream, that leaves the location and perhaps even the survival of his life thread for "recyclying" in question. Hardly worth the effort.

 

I always figured he was balefired by someone who masked their ability to channel and inverted their weave. Failing that it might be Shaidar Haran, but that would be a really, really specific target, and Asmo was ID'ed as having died "the final death" along with Rahvin (aka balefired or not able to resurrect).

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I always figured he was balefired by someone who masked their ability to channel and inverted their weave. Failing that it might be Shaidar Haran, but that would be a really, really specific target, and Asmo was ID'ed as having died "the final death" along with Rahvin (aka balefired or not able to resurrect).

 

Right, but I believe it's been mentioned that balefire isn't the only thing that can take someone out of DO's hands for resurrection. TAR strikes me as just such a place, because it's two steps removed from the DO's touch. A body lost in TAR is a thread he can't touch.

 

I have to ask, because I can't recall for certain. There is never any point at which the DO manifests itself in Mat/Rand/Perrin's dreams, is there? That was all Ishamael's doing as Ba'alzamon?

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