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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

A Theory about the Dark One


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In A Visit from Verin Sedai, Verin says something interesting: "The Chosen are predictable, but the Great Lord is anything but. Even after decades of study, I can't be certain exactly what he wants or why he wants it. I only know that this battle isn't being fought the way that al'Thor assumes it will be." This got me thinking A) What is the true battle the Dark One is fighting, B) why is it fought this way (and not a traditional way), C) what does this imply about the Dark One's motivations, and D) what is the nature of the Dark One's prison. Here are my theories.

 

A) It seems obvious to me that the "Last Battle" is irrelevant. In my opinion, the most important battle has already been fought by Rand and won. This battle lasted since near the beginning of The Eye of the World and ended when Rand "won" in VOG. What do I mean by this? I do not believe that the Dark One wished to kill, capture, or convert Rand. Many of us (including me until recently) believe that the forsaken are/were dangerously incompetent, but were they? What if their mission (unbeknownst to them) wasn't to kill or capture Rand. Alright, granted they were ordered not to kill him (Semirhage was even ordered to save him by sending trollocs to the Stone), but I don't believe they knew why this order was given (and many planned on ignoring it, such as Granedal, Demandred, Aran'gar and I believe Mesaana). I believe that the battle was for Rand's soul. If the Dark One's mission was to force Rand to become so depressed that he wants the world to end, then his forsaken and other minions were wildly successful. Simply consider how close to destroying the world Rand came in VOG.

 

B) The natural question that follows from this theory about the Dark One's behavior is why? Why does the Dark One not wish to kill or capture (and convert) Rand? I would like to point out quickly that I believe it is obvious the Dark One did not wish to capture Rand. He could have denied Rand access to the True Power, and blam he would have been captured and 13X13'd. I believe the Dark One set free Semirhage and gave her the domination band in a complex plot to force Rand to use the True Power. Why? To further his goal of making Rand more depressed and deprived. It is clear that the Dark One did not want Rand dead or captured. All of this speculation, is however, redundant. Consider what we learned in the Great Hunt when Rand travelled by portal stone. The Dark One has tried AN INFINITE number of times to "win." I will discuss what he wants to achieve later, but first let's consider this fact. A wheel has no beginnings...so the Dark One has fought, and lost, a huge amount of times. He must have tried everything. According to the portal stone visions, he did try everything. And yet, the world still exists. Apparently, killing Rand early, capturing Rand, and killing him at the "Last Battle" all result in the Dark One "losing." We also learned this from Herid Fel (who was killed for learning this, lest he let Rand know. The Dark One needed Rand to be focused on fighting the forsaken and for him to be ignorant of the true battle the Dark One was waging). I believe that this turning of the wheel that RJ has presented us is unique. The Dark One has finally stopped trying to kill or capture Rand and he has attempted to force Rand into a state of absolute despair. Why? I'll answer that in part D.

 

C) So what does the Dark One want? I believe that he simply wishes to destroy existence. The complete end of all things. The Dark One is not human and as such cannot have human motivations. The Dark One is a force of nature that simply wishes to destroy. Only Moridin (and myself, of course :) is aware of this fact: "'There is no path to victory,' Moridin said. 'The only path is to follow the Great Lord and rule for a time before all things end. The others are fools. They look for grand rewards in the eternities, but there will be no eternities. Only the now, the last days.' He laughed again, and this time there was joy in it. True pleasure" Moridin wants existence to end as well. Only he understands the Dark One, and therefore he is Nae'Blis. My third theory is that the Creator made the Dark One in order for death to occur. It is obvious that without death life cannot exist. The Creator knew, however, that the Dark One would wish to destroy all life and existence, so he imprisoned him. He knew also that someday his prison for the Dark One would be whittled away, no matter how perfect he made it, and he needed a more perfect solution, a perpetual solution, if you will.

 

D) I believe that Rand's soul is the true seal on the Dark One's prison. I believe the Creator made the Dragon and his soul as a seal on the Dark One's prison. As long as his soul exists, the Dark One cannot destroy the pattern, even if he destroys the world. When the wheel reaches its beginning point, the world pops back into existence. I believe that bestowing this power on the Dragon had one unfortunate side-effect: the Dragon obtained the power to destroy everything. Consider the evidence that shows Rand to be one with the land (the food spoilage when Rand reached the pinnacle of his despair). Rand, I believe, almost destroyed the pattern and all existence in VOG. I further believe that the Dark One took an incredible amount of time to realize this, but this turning of the wheel he tried to manipulate Rand into doing his dirty work. The true last battle has already been fought and won by Rand...assuming Rand doesn't every again touch the True Power or attempt to kill the Dark One. I believe that either of these two attempts will result in a victory for the Dark One.

 

Alright, let me know what you think (and sorry for the length, I got a bit carried away).

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Seems to me that Rand's link to the land and role based on that link makes him a very specific threat to the DO... he's the only person that can Heal the Bore. Not talking seals or any of that, but outright restoring the land to what it was before Beidomon and Lanfear dug a hole in it. Perhaps the DO's power originates from Outside, and freedom still comes with the danger that Rand could cut Itself off from its power source.

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Would like to point out the DO very much did want to convert/bring dark Rand to the front. It ties back in to the whole Sha'rah game, the concept of forcing him to make the moves you want. He came very close to wining culminating in that the VoG sequence. I think Eht is very much on to something with his post as well.

Edited by Suttree
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Seems to me that Rand's link to the land and role based on that link makes him a very specific threat to the DO... he's the only person that can Heal the Bore. Not talking seals or any of that, but outright restoring the land to what it was before Beidomon and Lanfear dug a hole in it. Perhaps the DO's power originates from Outside, and freedom still comes with the danger that Rand could cut Itself off from its power source.

 

It's a poor hunter who has only a single string for his bow and a single arrow with which to launch it. The DO has many strings to its bow and many arrows to launch from them. The DO is far from a poor hunter.

 

Consider the great paradox of the series. Ishamael/Ba'alzamon/Moridin is Nae'blis and has repeatedly ordered that Rand not be killed. Moridin, as his very first act outside of his coccoon at Shayol Ghul, even helped insure that Sammael would not succeed in his planned ambush at Shadar Logoth. Yet Shaidar Haran, the Hand of the Dark, and the Dark One's shadow Avatar, who does nothing without being animated to it by the DO itself, set Bors/Jachim Carridin the task of finding and killing Rand and every month that he failed Shadar Haran killed some member of Carridin's family until Moridin found out what Carridin was up to and had him killed for disobeying his order to leave Rand alone. He puts his own agenda ahead of the DO's wants or needs yet remains Nae'blis.

 

So, the evidence says that the DO DOES want Rand dead. It's only Ishydin who wants him to live at least until he is forced to tell Elan Tedronai that Tedronai is the better man and truer philosopher.

 

Verin was right. There is no reasoning that can figure out what the DO wants and how it wants to accomplish its goals. The Dark One is simply too alien. It's "reasoning", if it even engages in such activity, is simply unknowable. About all we can reasonably guess to be true is that the DO feeds on chaos and Tedronai craves complete entropy, and the cessation of the endless Merry-go-round ride. To him it's the endless circle or nothing. He fails to consider the third alternative which is linear time. One shot and you're done. No endless repetition of past mistakes.

Edited by Bob T Dwarf
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It's a poor hunter who has only a single string for his bow and a single arrow with which to launch it. The DO has many strings to his bow and many arrows to launch from them. The DO is far from a poor hunter.

 

Ta'veren. Ties to the Land Itself. OP. TP. The Memories of an powerful channeler a thousand years gone. These are all arrows in Rand's quiver, part of what he is as a person. He has many more stemming from those abilities that make him who he is.

 

Two powerful ta'veren as his closest friends. White Tower. Black Tower. Andor. Cairhein. Tear. Illian. Callandor. The People of the Dragon. Three women of power as lovers. Rand isn't coming unarmed.

 

If the Dragon Soul were the only arrow he possessed, then he'd certainly be dead meat. Good thing the Pattern's defensive mechanisms are top notch, eh?

Edited by Eht Slat Meit
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It's a poor hunter who has only a single string for his bow and a single arrow with which to launch it. The DO has many strings to his bow and many arrows to launch from them. The DO is far from a poor hunter.

 

Ta'veren. Ties to the Land Itself. OP. TP. The Memories of an powerful channeler a thousand years gone. These are all arrows in Rand's quiver, part of what he is as a person. He has many more stemming from those abilities that make him who he is.

 

Two powerful ta'veren as his closest friends. White Tower. Black Tower. Andor. Cairhein. Tear. Illian. Callandor. The People of the Dragon. Three women of power as lovers. Rand isn't coming unarmed.

 

If the Dragon Soul were the only arrow he possessed, then he'd certainly be dead meat. Good thing the Pattern's defensive mechanisms are top notch, eh?

 

Not just those. The Creator built the Wheel and the Wheel is crooked. It cheats to preserve itself.

 

Take to heart the Lesson of The Snakes and The Foxes, young Padawan. To win or at least tie every time you must cheat.

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In A Visit from Verin Sedai, Verin says something interesting: "The Chosen are predictable, but the Great Lord is anything but. Even after decades of study, I can't be certain exactly what he wants or why he wants it. I only know that this battle isn't being fought the way that al'Thor assumes it will be." This got me thinking A) What is the true battle the Dark One is fighting, B) why is it fought this way (and not a traditional way), C) what does this imply about the Dark One's motivations, and D) what is the nature of the Dark One's prison. Here are my theories.

 

A) It seems obvious to me that the "Last Battle" is irrelevant. In my opinion, the most important battle has already been fought by Rand and won. This battle lasted since near the beginning of The Eye of the World and ended when Rand "won" in VOG. What do I mean by this? I do not believe that the Dark One wished to kill, capture, or convert Rand. Many of us (including me until recently) believe that the forsaken are/were dangerously incompetent, but were they? What if their mission (unbeknownst to them) wasn't to kill or capture Rand. Alright, granted they were ordered not to kill him (Semirhage was even ordered to save him by sending trollocs to the Stone), but I don't believe they knew why this order was given (and many planned on ignoring it, such as Granedal, Demandred, Aran'gar and I believe Mesaana). I believe that the battle was for Rand's soul. If the Dark One's mission was to force Rand to become so depressed that he wants the world to end, then his forsaken and other minions were wildly successful. Simply consider how close to destroying the world Rand came in VOG.

 

B) The natural question that follows from this theory about the Dark One's behavior is why? Why does the Dark One not wish to kill or capture (and convert) Rand? I would like to point out quickly that I believe it is obvious the Dark One did not wish to capture Rand. He could have denied Rand access to the True Power, and blam he would have been captured and 13X13'd. I believe the Dark One set free Semirhage and gave her the domination band in a complex plot to force Rand to use the True Power. Why? To further his goal of making Rand more depressed and deprived. It is clear that the Dark One did not want Rand dead or captured. All of this speculation, is however, redundant. Consider what we learned in the Great Hunt when Rand travelled by portal stone. The Dark One has tried AN INFINITE number of times to "win." I will discuss what he wants to achieve later, but first let's consider this fact. A wheel has no beginnings...so the Dark One has fought, and lost, a huge amount of times. He must have tried everything. According to the portal stone visions, he did try everything. And yet, the world still exists. Apparently, killing Rand early, capturing Rand, and killing him at the "Last Battle" all result in the Dark One "losing." We also learned this from Herid Fel (who was killed for learning this, lest he let Rand know. The Dark One needed Rand to be focused on fighting the forsaken and for him to be ignorant of the true battle the Dark One was waging). I believe that this turning of the wheel that RJ has presented us is unique. The Dark One has finally stopped trying to kill or capture Rand and he has attempted to force Rand into a state of absolute despair. Why? I'll answer that in part D.

 

C) So what does the Dark One want? I believe that he simply wishes to destroy existence. The complete end of all things. The Dark One is not human and as such cannot have human motivations. The Dark One is a force of nature that simply wishes to destroy. Only Moridin (and myself, of course :) is aware of this fact: "'There is no path to victory,' Moridin said. 'The only path is to follow the Great Lord and rule for a time before all things end. The others are fools. They look for grand rewards in the eternities, but there will be no eternities. Only the now, the last days.' He laughed again, and this time there was joy in it. True pleasure" Moridin wants existence to end as well. Only he understands the Dark One, and therefore he is Nae'Blis. My third theory is that the Creator made the Dark One in order for death to occur. It is obvious that without death life cannot exist. The Creator knew, however, that the Dark One would wish to destroy all life and existence, so he imprisoned him. He knew also that someday his prison for the Dark One would be whittled away, no matter how perfect he made it, and he needed a more perfect solution, a perpetual solution, if you will.

 

D) I believe that Rand's soul is the true seal on the Dark One's prison. I believe the Creator made the Dragon and his soul as a seal on the Dark One's prison. As long as his soul exists, the Dark One cannot destroy the pattern, even if he destroys the world. When the wheel reaches its beginning point, the world pops back into existence. I believe that bestowing this power on the Dragon had one unfortunate side-effect: the Dragon obtained the power to destroy everything. Consider the evidence that shows Rand to be one with the land (the food spoilage when Rand reached the pinnacle of his despair). Rand, I believe, almost destroyed the pattern and all existence in VOG. I further believe that the Dark One took an incredible amount of time to realize this, but this turning of the wheel he tried to manipulate Rand into doing his dirty work. The true last battle has already been fought and won by Rand...assuming Rand doesn't every again touch the True Power or attempt to kill the Dark One. I believe that either of these two attempts will result in a victory for the Dark One.

 

Alright, let me know what you think (and sorry for the length, I got a bit carried away).

 

I like this theory.

 

It's a poor hunter who has only a single string for his bow and a single arrow with which to launch it. The DO has many strings to his bow and many arrows to launch from them. The DO is far from a poor hunter.

 

Ta'veren. Ties to the Land Itself. OP. TP. The Memories of an powerful channeler a thousand years gone. These are all arrows in Rand's quiver, part of what he is as a person. He has many more stemming from those abilities that make him who he is.

 

Two powerful ta'veren as his closest friends. White Tower. Black Tower. Andor. Cairhein. Tear. Illian. Callandor. The People of the Dragon. Three women of power as lovers. Rand isn't coming unarmed.

 

If the Dragon Soul were the only arrow he possessed, then he'd certainly be dead meat. Good thing the Pattern's defensive mechanisms are top notch, eh?

 

Not just those. The Creator built the Wheel and the Wheel is crooked. It cheats to preserve itself.

 

Take to heart the Lesson of The Snakes and The Foxes, young Padawan. To win or at least tie every time you must cheat.

That is a good one. To win or tie, you must cheat. And the Dark One is sealed. But, as we have seen with Olver, it is also possible to win without cheating, even if it never happened before. So, what if Rand wins without cheating? Will that mean that the battle is REALLY done, and that the Dark One is no threat anymore?

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It's a poor hunter who has only a single string for his bow and a single arrow with which to launch it. The DO has many strings to his bow and many arrows to launch from them. The DO is far from a poor hunter.

 

Ta'veren. Ties to the Land Itself. OP. TP. The Memories of an powerful channeler a thousand years gone. These are all arrows in Rand's quiver, part of what he is as a person. He has many more stemming from those abilities that make him who he is.

 

Two powerful ta'veren as his closest friends. White Tower. Black Tower. Andor. Cairhein. Tear. Illian. Callandor. The People of the Dragon. Three women of power as lovers. Rand isn't coming unarmed.

 

If the Dragon Soul were the only arrow he possessed, then he'd certainly be dead meat. Good thing the Pattern's defensive mechanisms are top notch, eh?

 

Not just those. The Creator built the Wheel and the Wheel is crooked. It cheats to preserve itself.

 

Take to heart the Lesson of The Snakes and The Foxes, young Padawan. To win or at least tie every time you must cheat.

for those who have read the books of the fallen. the wheel of time is like quick ben(ben adaephon Delat) only more important.

This is Quick ben's game...the bones are in his sweaty hands and have been for some time...the thing about Adaephon Delat's game is this: he cheats

now is the time for the cheating ways of the wheel to pay off and end this war once and for all

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I actually disagree.

 

I think Rand needs to pull the entire Pattern together to naturally seal the Bore, and that requires his becoming, at his ultimate apotheosis and embrace of his destiny, a ta'veren so strong that the Pattern can't pull on him anymore. At one instance, his will will be the Pattern. I also rather think that is where Mat and Perrin come in- they are strong enough ta'veren themselves that Rand can feel their counter-pull.

 

Incidentally, had a fun thought on that. I think Perrin's "second time" was at Dragonmount, tipping the balance of chance in Rand's favor. Similarly, I think that's the importance of the Portal Stone incident in Tear- "there was no more than an even chance that the young man calling himself Rand al'Thor would come"- except it wasn't even, Mat was there.

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